(Review) Too Much Stuff

TITLE: Too Much Stuff
AUTHOR: Robert Munsch
ILLUSTRATOR: Michael Martchenko
PUB DATE: September 2010
PUBLISHER: Scholastic

SOURCE: I received Too Much Stuff from Scholastic to read and review.


Temina is excited about taking a trip on an airplane, and super-excited to include ALL of her toys and dolls on the trip as well. Until mom says: “You can bring just ONE doll.” Impossible! How is she going to pick just ONE? She hatches a top secret plan and sneaks more than one toy into the airport and onto the plane. While everyone around her gawks, Temina proudly displays her beloved companions. Word spreads quickly to other children on the plane, who feel lonely without their own dolls. Temina is happy to lend out her treasures. The flight becomes a happy memory for Temina and her family, and even more so months later when her generosity is rewarded in the most surprising way! Like Temina”s dolls bursting out of her backpack, this new story by Robert Munsch is bursting with humour and surprises at every turn, beautifully enhanced by the delightful artwork of Michael Martchenko!

We love Robert Munsch books. We have read them all, I believe so we were really excited to hear about this newest book Too Much Stuff. A subject all parents can relate to.

I have to admit I cringe when I think about family vacations because I know if I let Michael dictate and pack his own bag we would probably end bringing every single toy he has (which is probably enough to fill a moving van). So far the farthest we have travelled with him was to Prince Edward Island and Chicago and both times were rough because there was stuff that he just didn’t want to leave behind.

So what I tend to do is tell him that he can only bring a back pack and the only rule is that he has to bring items that will entertain him the whole trip and that once he has packed it that I am going to go through it to check. Thankfully he is pretty good but he does try to sneak additional things in when your not looking.

Just like Temina does. In a parents eye it seems like the kids have 500 of everything but Temina knows exactly how many of each item she has and is quick to tell her mother that. As far as her mother knows Temina only has one doll and one toy with her but what the mother doesn’t know that her back pack is filled with toys and dolls.

At the airport she won’t let anyone help her carry her back pack no matter who it is even the security can’t search her bag because she is afraid they will find out what is in her back pack so instead they xray it just to be sure.

Its only once they get on the plane that her mother and everyone else knows what is in that huge back pack. Thankfully Temina isn’t selfish and willing to share her toys because before you know she is sharing them with the other kids on the plane.

This is a great story for kids to read. I loved that Temina was willing to share and it didn’t bother her that she didn’t get the toys back because she knew she would get some more from her grandmother. Then a few months later she gets a unexpected surprise in the mail. What could it be?

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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(Review) Terry Fox: A Story of Hope

TITLE: Terry Fox: A Story of Hope
AUTHOR: Maxine Trottier
PUB DATE: July 2010
PUBLISHER: Scholastic

SOURCE: I received this book from Scholastic Canada. Thank you Scholastic for sending it to me.

“Anything’s possible if you try. Dreams are made if people try.”

From the time he was very young, Terry Fox liked to finish what he started. He always wanted to do his best. So at the age of 18, when his right leg was amputated, he worked hard to recover. Right from the beginning, he was determined to find a way to beat cancer –- for all the children he had met who were fighting the disease. And right from the beginning, he had a dream –- to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. This is Terry’s story of hope.

The year 2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope! This new edition includes extra photographs and updates on Terry’s legacy.

The author is donating all royalties from this book to the Terry Fox Foundation. Scholastic Canada is matching that donation.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Terry Fox, Marathon of Hope run. To honor this special occasion Scholastic Canada is releasing this special edition that includes 8 pages with updated information about his legacy.

What I discovered before reading this book is that its the very first authorized biography of Terry Fox that is written specifically for young readers. It was created in cooperation with The Terry Fox Foundation and his family.

I was ten years old the day Terry began his Marathon of Hope in St. John’s NFLD on April 12, 1980. I remember watching it on tv and was in awe of him and what he had planned to do. Terry Fox was always a hero to me and still to this day he is.

I have to admit that reading this book was hard to read without crying because this was a person who wanted to make a change and he did. He has raised millions of dollars for cancer research. It was nice to read more about him and to see all the great photos of him growing up.

He went through alot and not once did he ever give up. No matter how bad things got he persevered. He fought until the day he died. He is a Canadian hero that will never be forgotten.

This is a great book and one that will be on our book shelves forever. Its filled with a ton of great pics of all parts of Terry’s life. Which was really nice to see. Its written in a simple form suitable for the younger reader.

My favorite quote is:

‘Anything is possible if you try. Dreams are made if people try.’

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Otto Grows Down Review

PUB DATE: February 2009

What would it be like if time went backwards? One unlucky little boy is about to find out!

Otto has just one birthday wish: that his new baby sister Anna had never been born. And it comes true when the days suddenly start moving in reverse. But now, instead of growing up, Otto’s growing DOWN. He’s getting younger every minute and in danger of disappearing entirely. Can he turn things around before it’s too late-for Anna and himself?

Its Otto’s 6th Birthday and he has a new baby sister, Anna and he is not happy about it. When he blows out the candles on his cake he wishes Anna was never born. As soon as he made his wish weird things began to happen such as the candles were lit again, the hands on his watch were going backwards, he was wrapping his presents back up and giving them back to his friends and many more funny things happened. Time was going backwards and Otto was going back in time. He relived his 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and first birthdays all over again. After each birthday he would make the wish saying he wished he was 6 again. Finally at his first birthday he realized what he had to do to set things straight.

Moral of the story is becareful what you wish for you never know what will happen.

Thanks again to Michael Sussman for sending a signed copy of Otto Grows Down for Michael. He was thrilled when he saw it was signed.

We are looking forward to Michael’s new book. Hopefully it will be out soon.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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Otto Grows Down Author Interview

PUB DATE: February 2009

I have to send out a huge THANK YOU to Michael Sussman for contacting me and asking if I would be interested in reviewing his first children’s book. I knew Michael (my son) would love the book and he did love it. We read it all the time.

Michael was also very gracious to do this interview with Michael. This is Michael’s first interview with an author and I was really impressed with the questions he came up with. Not bad for a 6 year old in my opinion. What do you think?

Thank You again Michael for taking the time out to do this interview with Michael and thank you to my Michael for coming up with these great questions. You did a fantastic job. I hope you enjoy this interview.

MICHAEL:How long have you been a writer?

MICHAEL(author):I started writing short stories in middle school and poetry and song lyrics in high school. I kept a journal for many years and wrote a doctoral thesis for graduate school. I published two books for mental health professionals before starting to write for children.

MICHAEL:Why did you decide to write a children’s book?

MICHAEL(author):I was reading loads of picture books to my son, Ollie, and wasn’t impressed with most of them. I thought I could do better!
(This is Michael (author) with his son Ollie.)
[You did a fantastic job Michael. The book is great. I am sure we all were in Ollie’s place at one time or another. I know I could relate to Ollie as I wished that too with my younger brother.]

MICHAEL: Do you have any say in the illustrations that are used in the book?

MICHAEL(author): None at all. Most people think the author gets to chose the illustrator, but that is the job of the editor. I lucked out, though: my editor chose the wonderfully talented Scott Magoon! I was able to see early sketches of the illustrations, and Scott was very open and responsive to my suggestions.

MICHAEL: Do you plan on writing more children books?

MICHAEL(author): There are many more on the way! The next one is titled, Bella Bellows.

[We are excited about this one the title alone sounds really good. Can’t wait for it to come out.]

MICHAEL: Is “Otto Grows Down” based an anything? [Michael wasn’t sure if that question made sense when I was writing them down. He actually explained it very well. His words were after asking the question “What I mean is if Michael based Ollie’s wish on his own siblings and wishing they were around?”

MICHAEL(author): As a child, I used to amuse myself by imagining what a day would be like if time ran in reverse. I was also very jealous when my baby brother was born.

MICHAEL: What was your favorite part about the book? [Michael’s favorite part of the book was seeing things being done backwards especially the bath one.]

MICHAEL(author): I like the funny aspects of living in reverse, like taking in the garbage on trash day and taking baths when you are clean and they make you dirty. My favorite illustration is of Otto lying awake at night, feeling bad about Anna.

MICHAEL: How long did it take you to write Otto Grows Down? [I think he wanted to know this because in the last month he has been making his own little booklets. A possible future author in the making?]

MICHAEL(author): The first draft only took a few days, but it took over a year to get the story just right.

[Michael was a little surprised when he heard this as he thinks things happen quickly with books and getting them out to the public.]

MICHAEL: Was it a long process from the time you wrote the book to getting it in customer’s hands?

MICHAEL(author); Was it ever! It took nearly three years from the time I sold the manuscript to Sterling. Picture books take an extra long time, especially if you have a well known illustrator (who typically have several other projects to finish before they get to yours.)

MICHAEL: Do you have any advice to kids who want to write a book? [He asks this because he is making little booklets with short stories in them.]

MICHAEL(author): Study your favorite stories and learn from them. Get as much feedback as you can from lots of people on your story, and keep rewriting it until every word is perfect. Learn about submitting your manuscript from books such as Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books.

MICHAEL: Is there anything you want people to know about you or your book?

MICHAEL(author): All the names in the story—Otto, Anna, Bob, Mom, and Dad—are palindromes. That is, they read the same forwards and backwards!

As it says on the jacket flap: unlike Otto, I’m still stuck in backwards time! If you have any ideas on how to help me, please e-mail me at Michael@OttoGrowsDown.com

You can learn more about Michael Sussman at http://www.ottogrowsdown.com/

Finally the last picture is of Michael reading Otto Grows Down. He really is just looking at the pictures in the book. We won’t let him know that we know he is just looking at the pictures.

Michael’s review of Otto Grows Down will be posted tomorrow. Come back and check his review.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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Sounds Funny & 1-2-3 Chicago Reviews

Thank You to Duopress for sending these two great board books to Michael. He loved them. I was really nice to see him looking at the books and making up the story. He wanted me to read them but then realized there was no words to them. He was happy cause he was able to read them himself.

Introducing Sounds Funny!, a seriously wacky board book that takes the youngest readers to theworld of comic sounds.

A car goes vroom, a dog goes woof, and a bubble pops! Sounds are all over, and kids will love toimitate them with this book that uses some of the most appealing elements of comic books andpop art, such as simple panels and intense primary colors.Imitating sounds is an important element of language development, and this sturdy board bookpresents a cause-and-effect scenario (cause: an airplane takes off; effect: the plane goes “zoom”)that will introduce young readers to the wonderful world of sounds in a fun and appealing way.

Sounds Funny! is giggling-inducing reading for kids and parents alike.

Sounds Funny: A Book About Comic Sounds. This one he really enjoyed because he was thrilled he could read it on his own and he was even making the sounds that go with each picture. He loved the airplane sound and always says “Daddy works with airplanes right mommy?” This is a great book for any age child. The pictures are bright and colorful.

Here is another favorite of Michael’s. His cousin lives in Chicago so I think this was something he could relate too, although we have never been but want to go now. Its a great counting book that uses Chicago landmarks such as The Towers of the Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, Chicago River, Sears Tower and the Chicago Water Tower to count with. This is a great counting book and its perfect for the little ones that are learning to count. This is probably be a book we bring with us when he go to Chicago.

Introducing 123 Chicago, a new board book that takes the youngest readers on a cool trip through the windy city while practicing essential number skills.

Kids will count to 10 using some of Chicago’s most beloved symbols— The Sears Tower, the El train, Fireworks on Navy Pier, Chicago Style Hot Dogs, Deep Dish Pizza—in this board book featuring contemporary illustrations, dazzling colors, and a bold, clear design. The end of the book includes a complete location list, in both English and Spanish, to help parents locate the symbols and landmarks and plan an entertaining trip to Chicago.

123 Chicago is part of the Cool Counting Books series, which includes 123 New York, 123 California, 123 Texas, and 123 USA.

Thank You again Duopress for allowing us to review these two great books that you publish. Looking forward to reading more of your books.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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Our Corner Grcoery Store Review

PUB DATE: April 2009

Thank You to Tundra Books and Sylvia for sending us this book to read and review.

If you remember my last review about Tundra Books I was inquiring about the jacket of the book and Sylvia kindly emailed me to let know that in fact this was only on Tundra Books. They are called posters. I think this is a great feature of the books.

This was such a fun book to read and the illustrations were fantastic. Michael really enjoyed the book. He loved naming everything in the pictures. We talked about the price of the items.

Anna Maria is a little girl who loves to help her grandparents in their grocery store on Saturdays. Its a very small grocery store. She helps to arrange fruits and vegetables, greet the customers that come in and making sure the store in clean and neat. From the book we learn through all the customers coming in how this store is needed in the community.

There is even a kitchen attached to the grocery store. They make sandwiches for the customers to buy. They are a busy grocery store from the time they open till the close. They sell all kinds of fruits, vegetables, breads, milk etc in the store.

This is a great book that makes you appreciate those little independant grocery stores.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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The Lime Green Secret Review

PUB DATE: February 2009

Gloria is the happiest little girl because she is the flower girl in her sister’s Fran wedding. She has a brand new satin gown, (its really pretty) long white gloves, brand new shiny white shoes, pretty lace socks and even a tiara.

Her mother has warned her that she is not to wear or play with the dress until the day of the wedding. Gloria has a hard time because at night time the dress hanging on the back of the door looks like a hovering radiant angel in flight.

Even when she plays she can’t stop thinking about her outfit. She can conduct better in the white gloves. The the next day she can’t leave the white shoes at home so she sneaks off to school in them and cleans them after school. She gets caught fixing the tiara and her mother is upset. Then one day she dresses up in the whole outfit and spots her friend outside so she sneaks out the show her and her friends at the park. She feels like a queen until her cousin comes to the park. She is scared and runs home. Telling her dolls and animals that she will never do it again decides to have a tea party with lime soda. Accidentally she feels a cup with too much soda she goes to drink it put it spills on her dress. Scared she doesn’t tell anyone and hangs it up with stain inside. When the day of the wedding comes she discovers that her bouquet will cover the stain and no one will notice until the bride throws her bouquet. Fran and Gloria are more alike then they knew.

Georgia Graham, born and raised in Calgary, has been a compulsive drawer as long as she can remember. Throughout grade school, she filled up endless sketch books and margins of scribblers with doodles and characters. She graduated from the Visual Communications program at the Alberta College of Art in 1982. The Lime Green Secret is the eleventh book she has illustrated and the third she has written. She visits elementary schools, mostly in Alberta, demonstrating her drawing techniques and sharing her love of writing and illustrating. She enjoys Bible storytelling at her church and at camp. Georgia is a self-proclaimed introvert who loves people and talks too much. She lives on a tree farm in central Alberta with her husband and her dog, Ginger, who is depicted in this book.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.