I said to myself this weekend: What did I do to log myself out of my Simon and Schuster account of free ebooks? Of course, who knows what the password is as it is the only one that I have not put on my list of passwords (hiding in my hidden spot). So, what is a poor girl to do? Go old school with wonderful and amazing in your hand reader copies!
Book one was Book Buddies V01 Ivy Lost and Found created by Cynthia Lord with Stephanie Graegin. I was not sure I would like this novel as it looked simple, overly sugary and wishy-washy. However, this novel for (read to) ages 5 and up, and solo reading ages 7 to (young) 10, turned into a sweet story about being brave and adventures one can have. It is a classic story theme with an old school tone, but accessible to a contemporary audience. Ivy is a doll given to Anne on her birthday. And like special birthday toys, Ivy turns into a favorite and the two of them have muddy and loving adventures together. But of course, Anne grows up and puts dolls away. It is not until Anne is an adult that Ivy is found again. Found to take on new adventures with new children as a doll going to a book buddy and be checked out of the library. On her first day Ivy is reluctantly chosen by Fern. But that was as blessing in disguise as she will go on to help Fern find a way to speak up for herself, be a listener and both will realize that there is always enough love to give and get. Set to be a series, I think this will become a favorite of all types of children.
Book two was a book I debated about taking the reader copy of. Spider-Ham Graphic Novel: Great Power, No Responsibility. The Miles Morales movie introduced me to the multi-universes that hold a variety of Spider People/Spidermen but, of course, my brain could not wrap itself around a Spider Pig, or Spider-Ham/Peter Porker. Spider-Ham was a spider that was bitten by a radioactive pig and turned into a pig with spider powers (the author, Steve Foxe, admits it is confusing). This Looney Tune world is a bit cliched, you know it and it is not always a nice place. There is slapstick and bad “jokes.” However, the illustrations are cute. Shadia Amin created a comic book of comic book characters. There are Easter eggs about things Ham has “souvenir collected” from Captain Americat, The Black Panda and more. There are Green and Orange Goblins (two different people) and a revolving door of justice (cue the criminal leaving the jailhouse as the new one comes in and the “See you at the bank heist tomorrow night” conversation. Ham is not very superhero like. But I see the appeal for readers ages 7 to 10.
Finally, as things started to get a bit on the darker side (I was reading on the porch, sitting on the billion-year-old “double love seat” with last year’s new cushions on it) Waffles and Pancake: Planetary-YUM by Drew Brockington closed out the reading. This is a cute graphic novel with facts about space and furballs, is based on another series were our hero Waffles stars, CatStonauts. The flow can be awkward for adult readers but ages 6 up will be fine. Its tone is that of a child as Waffles and his sister Pancake take us through the museum with their Dad-Cat. Cat puns pepper the pages as the moon, space and star-tots take center stage. Their adventures continue when they get lost from their father and worry that they will have to live in the museum on tuna-melts and furever. Of course, there is a message here (as an adult in charge to help you). Brockington’s background of being a member of NASA (at Space Camp) comes full center and their ablaiities to create simple but not simplistic, not diluted but quiet color illustrations. Details are basic, but what is there guides the reader around.
Fantasy, friendship and superhero themes are included in each book and will have its own audience, but all cover a variety of states and could become anyone’s favorite read.