Thursday, May 17, 2018

SERIES THURSDAY: Stink: Hamlet and Cheese/Claude on the Big Screen/The Lost Stone


ABOUT THE BOOK

Hie thee to Shakespeare camp with Stink to learn fake sword-fighting, spout silly curses, and prithee try to escape a kiss . . . BLUCK!

It's spring break, and Stink is faced with a difficult choice: hang out at home with his sister, Judy, or become a Shakespeare Sprite with his friend Sophie of the Elves. Hanged be! When Sophie tells Stink that there will be swordplay and cursing at Shakespeare camp, his choice is made. But wait! How now? The eager young thespian hadn't counted on Riley Rottenberger being a Sprite, too. And he positively had not counted on being the only boy! Fie upon't!


REVIEW

I'm not a huge fan of introducing Shakespeare to children.  I had a hard enough time with it in high school.  But McDonald does a great job of making Shakespearean drama seem fun and exciting with sword-fighting and insulting going on.  Stink is eager to participate when his friend Sophie tells him about the swords and the insulting that will be occurring at Shakespeare camp.  He isn't so excited when he discovers that not only is he the only boy, but his rival Riley Rottenberger is attending.  But as things get going and he learns about acting, and costumes, he enjoys himself enough to forget about those things.  Except when Riley tells him that he's going to be getting a kiss before the week is over.  Once again, Megan McDonald has written a winning story about Stink and his everyday troubles and still makes it feel fresh and new.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Claude is no ordinary dog he leads an extraordinary life! When Claude spots a film crew on Waggy Avenue, he and Sir Bobblysock cant wait to help behind the scenes. But when the movie loses its stars, the pals are launched onto the big screen!

REVIEW

I kinda liked the first Claude book I read, but the ones I've read since then I haven't enjoyed as much.  While Claude and his friend Bobblysock are enjoyable enough, the story here made me role my eyes at the stereotypes.  The gorgeous blonde heroine who can't help but show her cleavage helplessly waits for the handsome, foolish hero to come rescue her from the big, dark, dangerous gorilla.  Claude's clumsy attempts to help the show and the impending disaster that the reader senses is coming are the only things that save the book from being downright boring.  That's not to say the book isn't going to find readers.  Some young readers might enjoy the silliness enough to put up with the foolishness.  Readers who've enjoyed the other Claude books will probably enjoy it.  But I found myself rolling my eyes throughout.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Welcome to the Kingdom of Wrenly—a new chapter book series full of fantasy and adventure.

Meet Lucas, the eight year-old prince, and Clara, the daughter of the queen's seamstress. Lucas is an only child who longs to make friends and go on adventures. Clara knows the kingdom well, so she and Lucas team up and explore the lands of Wrenly!

In The Lost Stone, Lucas and Clara search for Queen Tasha's missing emerald. On their exciting adventure, they travel to all the main attractions of Wrenly: Primlox (the island of fairies), Burth (the island of trolls), Crestwood (the island of dragons), Hobsgrove (the island of wizards), and the beautiful Mermaid's Cove. King Caleb has promised to reward the person who finds the precious stone, and Lucas and Clara are determined to search the entire kingdom until they find it!

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.


REVIEW

The Lost Stone is a cute read for young fantasy lovers who aren't ready for the older stuff yet.  This is the first book in a series of adventures that follows the exploits of Prince Lucas and his best friend, Clara.  In this book, Lucas sneaks out of the castle disguised as a village boy so he can attend the local school and hopefully make a real friend.  But he is quickly discovered and returned to the palace.  Luckily for him, his parents understand his desire for a friend and they allow him to be friends again with Clara.  After his mother loses an emerald that she values, Lucas and Clara set out to find it.  The illustrations are cute and help move the story along.  The text reads smoothly and well, especially for readers new to chapter books.  A fun series that I plan to get for my library.

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