Oh junior novelizations of kids movies

Pokemon 3: Spell of the Unown by Tracey West

Every once in a while I try to read a book I’m not really interested in but is popular with my library patrons, aka children.

If that’s why you picked up this book, go for it! It’s as good a book as any. If you’re looking for a compelling story, I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m sure kids love it, and it’s an easy read so it’s probably a great way to get that reluctant reader into a book,  but as an adult, it has little, if anything to offer.

Last movie I watched:

Cinderella 3.

Last TV show I watched:

Sanctuary. It was a neat show.


Tiny Owly

Owly: Tiny Tales by Andy Runton

This is basically a baby chapter book (seriously, I watched a baby try to read it this morning). I’ve previously reviewed Owly and I don’t have a lot more to add to it. Owly is great for earlier readers because it’s basically a graphic novel but instead of text it’s got pictographs of sorts – mostly punctuation and the occasional picture image so it really helps teach early literacy skills to children with very little letter knowledge. There’s lots of opportunity for decoding, literacy skills like page orientation and narrative understanding without getting the frustration of letter knowledge and phonetics. Obviously it’s a stepping stone book, and your kid should grow out of it, but particularly for struggling readers, Owly is a great place to gain confidence and prepare for their future of prolific reading when at present, things are a little challenging.

Last movie I watched: Home I think. Very sweet although apparently no one’s favourite Pixar. I loved it though.

Last TV episode I watched:

Smallville. One of the things I love most about this show is how many women are on it (no tokenism here) and that they are friends with each other, not rivals (or even if they are, they’re still friends), not enemies but friends.

Just for the funny

My Weird School Daze #5: Officer Spence Makes No Sense by Dan Gutman

This is a super easy novel, maybe 80 pages long that I recommend to parents and kids because it’s short and funny and a good starter novel. And there’s like a million in the series, so it’s a pretty solid recommendation. But until now I haven’t actually read one. It’s not much a commitment really.

The premise is there seems to be a sandwich thief in Ella Mentary School and Officer Spence, the security guard is determined to stop whoever it is, even if it means arresting everyone – all the teachers, the principle, everyone. When will the madness stop?

There was a lot about this book that I expected. Short, lots of pictures, funny, easy reading level, basically a perfect starter novel for a reluctant reader. What I wasn’t expecting was some of the clever language play and literacy jokes that were worked in there as well. As you may have noticed, they attend Ella Mentary School, which is a pretty excellent pun. And there’s more. So many more. The kids aren’t really meant to be characters, just jokes and it works well because they’re hilarious. And you can see the author laughing too, through funny tricks like having a chapter so short it was only one page, that ends with laughing at the teacher who’s making you read one more chapter.

I stand by my recommendation. Great literature it is not, but as a fun easy, transition read it’s basically perfect.

Last movie I watched:
Still About Time. I’m not watching much these days.

Last TV show I watched:

Probably still Love It or List It. Which is unnecessary dramatic.

Geronimo Stilton doesn’t nail it

Geronimo Stilton: Singing Sensation

This was not Geronimo Stilton at his strongest and no one could be more disappointed then I am. Generally I love Geronimo. Way too much for someone who’s a few years shy of 30 anyway.

This particular one has the trademark fun fonts and Geronimo Stilton’s fumbling, hilarious mishaps but the story was lacking in anything fun or interesting. What you’d imagine to be the story – Geronimo unwillingly entered into a singing contest – is over by the 40th page or so and the rest is Geronimo tracking down some cats who are participating in musical piracy and thwarting them.

I mean, I’m a librarian, I have a healthy respect for copyright law and the pros and cons of the current copyright situation and of course, at the end of the day people should get paid for their arts and talents. But this book was simplistic (literally stolen CDs being burned and sold) and honestly, dull. I’m not sure that anyone, least of all the target audience, is really excited about music pirates. Not musical pirates, because obviously that would be wonderful.

Anyway I’m not going to write off the whole series because of this one but I’m probably not going recommend this one particularly to any kids I run into. Just not that good.

Last movie I watched:

STAR WARS FORCE AWAKENS!!!!!!!! But I can’t talk about it

Last TV episode I watched:

Smallville. Man, I love this show but I had forgotten how lame the first season is