Tag Archives: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

WWW Wednesdays – April 17, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

I didn’t do a WWW Wednesdays update last week but I’m catching up today, with the many books we’ve read in the past couple of weeks.

My bookshelf

E. Aster Bunnymund and the Battle of the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core by William Joyce– What I’m currently reading
E. Aster Bunnymund and the Battle of the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core by William Joyce. This book is part of The Guardians book series, which inspired the Rise of the Guardians movie. My six-year old read this book on his own and told me I should read it too, so here I go! So far, I’ve really enjoyed William Joyce’s picture books, The Man in the Moon and The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie.

– What I recently finished reading
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I have a feeling Gone Girl is one of those books most people will either love or hate. I can see the appeal of the story and on the plus side, I have to say it’s well written and make you want to continue reading. But by page 40, I had figured out the whole story so by the time I got to the “twist”, it wasn’t a surprise at all. In the book, Nick keeps saying that Amy seems three steps ahead of him. Well, I was three steps ahead of Amy. Honestly, the title “Gone Girl” is a dead giveaway. I have no idea why the author picked it instead of something like “Missing Girl”, which would be a little more mysterious. The ending is disappointing too and made me wonder why I bothered reading over 400 pages to get there. If you like reading books on sociopaths, this is a good one. If you like mysteries, you’ll figure out everything that happens before it happens.

Tripwire by Lee Child, the third in the Jack Reacher series. Another great Jack reacher story as usual. This one is full of twists that kept me on the edge. I’m pretty good at predicting what happens in books but I never saw these twists coming. This is a great mystery that doesn’t unfold until the very end.

How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life by Tom Rath and Don Clifton. This book is very short but a great read. I think it deserves its own post, along with How Full Is Your Bucket? (For Kids), so I’ll write a review on both books very soon.

– What I think I’ll read next
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

My kids’ bookshelf

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra SteinWhat they’re currently reading
Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein. Char at Joy in the Moments talked about this book in a recent post. I read it a long time ago with my kids so it was time to revisit it. We’re enjoying it just as much the second time around. Little Chicken is a hoot, constantly interrupting her dad’s storytelling to save the characters of each fairy tale by rewriting the ending. I love David Ezra Stein’s colorful and lively paintings too.
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. The die cut pages of this book let you explore the many shades of the color green. My kids love the format of this book and keep guessing what’s hiding on the next page.
Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds.  Jasper Rabbit can’t resist the carrots that grow in Crackenhopper Field, until he begins hearing and seeing creepy carrots wherever he goes. Does he really see creepy carrots, or is it just his imagination? After you read this book, you’ll realize how smart carrots can be (I had no idea!).

Creepy carrots! by Aaron Reynolds

Creepy carrots! by Aaron Reynolds

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate– What they recently finished reading
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. I first read this book by myself (you can read my review of The One and Only Ivan here) and I really wanted to share this story with my kids, since it’s a youth book. My five-year old didn’t stick around for long. I think the book had a lot of text and not enough illustrations for him. My six-year old LOVED it and shared bits of the story with his brother every morning. Warning to sensitive parents: it’s really hard to read a few parts of this book without choking up and looking like an idiot in front of your kid. ;-)
Arrowhawk by Lola M. SchaeferArrowhawk by Lola M. Schaefer. This is the true story of a red tailed hawk’s survival after being struck by a poacher’s arrow. At the end of the book, you can read how this bird survived a severe injury to its leg and wing for eight weeks in the wild, being tracked and eventually getting rescued and released. 

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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WWW Wednesdays – March 6, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson– What I’m currently reading
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, a Swedish writer. My best friend suggested I read it, so I am! Allan Karlsson is about to celebrate his 100th birthday in a nursing home when he decides to escape by climbing out his bedroom window. What happens next is quite an eventful journey. It turns out that Allan has lived quite a exciting life already, involving explosives and world travel… I’m really enjoying it so far.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate– What I recently finished reading
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Wow, what an amazing book! And the best part is, it’s inpired by the true story of a gorilla who lived in a cage inside a circus-theme mall in Washington State. I can’t imagine being locked up alone in a small cage for three decades, can you? Poor Ivan the gorilla never had a choice. This book made me smile and made me laugh. It made me cringe and made me cry. I now want to read it again with my kids, even though I know it will make me choke up and my kids will ask, What’s going on with your voice, Mama? Katherine Applegate gives a unique, believable voice to this gentle giant and every single character plays a crucial role. This is a deeply touching story I recommend everyone to read, younger or older. It will make you feel human again.

The Lying Game #4: Hide and Seek by Sara Shepard. Reading The Lying Game series is still a guilty pleasure to me. These books are fast to read and the mystery is kept alive, even though suspects are eliminated one by one, so we’re still guessing who killed Sutton. I think I’ve got it figured out but won’t know until the last book. I like the new surprise character at the end of this book and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks– What I think I’ll read next
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. I know from first hand experience that such romance NEVER happens in real life, and girls never get kissed like on this book cover. So I may as well get it from a book than not at all! ;-)
I loved reading The Notebook and the movie was great too. Alright, looking at Ryan Gosling for two hours helped a bit too!  I hear this book is just as good so I want to find out for myself.  I know this story has a twist so if you’ve read it, please don’t reveal any spoilers in your comment, thank you!

My kids’ bookshelf

What they’re currently reading
Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet. We LOVE this book, which tells the story of brilliant inventor Tony Sarg, who started his career as a pupeeter and created the very first giant balloons of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. His upside-down puppets were inspired by the Goodyear blimps. The book has great illustrations and also contains more information about Tony Sarg, as well as newspaper clippings about his creations.

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade

– What they recently finished reading 
Beep and Bah by James Burks. Bah the goat brings a lonely sock to Beep the robot, who is hungry for adventure. Both set off on a mission to find the missing sock, crossing plains, climbing mountains, even diving to the bottom of the sea. When they reach the end of the world, they still haven’t found the missing sock so they turn around. Hmm, I wonder where that sock is…

Beep and Bah by James Burks

Beep and Bah by James Burks

This story reminds me of Minnie and Moo: The Case of the Missing Jelly Donut, when the jelly donut is stuck in Minnie’s butt during their whole search.

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, the author of the hilarious Those Darn Squirrels books (I still need to review these books…). The boy in this book describes the love dragons have for tacos, and the dangers of feeding them
anything with spicy salsa. Dragons love taco parties but you need to make sure there are no peppers in the salsa. Otherwise, this happens…

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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WWW Wednesdays – February 27, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

– What I’m currently reading 
The Lying game #4 - Hide and Seek by Sara ShepardThe Lying Game #4: Hide and Seek by Sara Shepard. I’m half way through and it’s still a guilty pleasure.

– What I recently finished reading
Die Trying by Lee Child. I just couldn’t put this book down and I felt it was better than the first Jack Reacher book, simply based on that reason. To me, a great book makes me want to keep flipping the pages, no matter the story or the topic. Jack Reacher is a mysterious and fascinating character. I really enjoyed following his train of thought, and his decision-making and deductive skills. I don’t want to give away the story, so I’ll just say I learned a lot about how the FBI and the various government branches work together (or not). I’m looking forward to reading more Jack Reacher books.

– What I think I’ll read next
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, which is based on the true story of a gorilla who lived in a cage inside a circus-theme mall in Washington State.

My kids’ bookshelf

Chloe And The Lion by Mac BarnettWhat they’re currently reading
Chloe And The Lion by Mac Barnett. Mac, the author of this book, fires Adam, the illustrator, over their differences on what should happen to Chloe. Then Mac hires another illustrator, who somehow reiterates what Adam previously said. So Mac decides to hire Adam back, but there’s a slight problem. Mac made the lion eat Adam and now, he’s not sure how to get him out… This hilarious story will probably make it to my top favorite children’s books of 2013. My kids can’t have enough of it and they ask to read it again and again.

–  Z Is For Moose by Kelly Bingham. This is another favorite read at our house right now (we’ve been very lucky with our book selections recently). Moose, is very eager to play his part in the alphabet book Zebra is putting together, until he reaches the page with the letter M and realizes he’s not on it. What happens next is the result of a very disappointed moose and quite a messy alphabet book, until Zebra finds a spot for Moose after all.

Big Chickens by Leslie Helakoski– What they recently finished reading 
We’ve enjoyed several books by Leslie Helakoski all around the same theme… big chickens! Each story follows the same recipe: the chickens enjoy time in the chicken coop but one of them wants to explore and spread his wings. Soon the rest of the chickens follow and they all get in trouble. Funny illustrations to go with adventure, peril, courage, and happy ending – what more could you ask for?
Big Chickens
Big Chickens Fly The Coop
Big chickens Go To Town

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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