Review | Baker and Taylor and the Mystery of the Library Cats

Synopsis (from NetGalley):
This is the first title in a newly independent reader series that combines fun storylines featuring two bookish cats, with factoids throughout to create an immersive reading experience for bibliophiles, cat-lovers, and learners of regional history and culture alike.


Meet Baker and Taylor, two cat buddies (opposite in every way) who are about to leave the comfort of their cozy public library reading nook to embark on one epic literary road trip!

After spending most of their time reading in the library, Baker and Taylor are encouraged by their friend Flora to get out and see the world. Their first stop? New York City. There, Flora tells them, they’ll meet another pair of cat besties eager to share their library—the 42nd Street branch of the New York Public Library —with them.


Review

Purrfect book for library and cat lovers, alike!

This was a fun and short picture book starring Baker and Taylor as they try to uncover a mystery: what are the famous library cats of New York City’s public library? And how do they find them?

As the two cats seek out these felines they use the transit system and traverse the streets of NYC. Being a studious and literary cat, Baker has brought along his guidebook and together he and his friend, Taylor, make sense of their surroundings while learning tons of facts about NYC! I thought this was such a fun way to incorporate an educational component into this picture book and it’s so much fun when they finally find out exactly what the NYC library cats are.

The illustrations are so charming and display beautiful detail of the cats and their surroundings. The text is easy to read and the dialogue and narration component is written well. It includes information on how diverse NYC is, it’s population size, and information about the wide range of languages spoken in the city. And, at the end, there are info pages of the New York Public Library and other landmarks in NYC.

Absolutely wonderful book that fosters a love of the two cats, the discovery of new sights and locations when travelling, and of libraries! An absolute joy to read. My cat Olivia and I read this together – this is highly recommended!

Thank you to NetGalley and Paw Prints Publishing for this advanced review copy. This was voluntarily read; all opinions are my own.

Themes

  • Exploration
  • Education
  • Mystery

Feelings

  • Informative
  • Adventurous
  • Fun!

Rating

Numerical Rating: 5 stars!

QOTD: What is the last children’s
book you’ve enjoyed? Let us know!

REVIEW | Shoo!

Synopsis (from Amazon):
A raucous debut picture book about an invasion of pesky animals.

Mrs Golightly doesn’t like animals – and now a whole zoo has moved next door! No matter how hard she tries to shoo them away, she finds animals everywhere: a kangaroo on the loo, a giraffe in her bath, and even ants in her pants.

What can she do to get rid of these stinky, bothersome creatures?

Bursting with colour, delightful rhyme and outrageous humour, Shoo! is acclaimed children’s author Susie Bower’s first picture book.



Review

This eARC was a cute picture book about Mrs. Golightly, a character who does not like the company of animals; however, a zoo opens up next door. What is she to do?!

The illustrations were adorable and filled with cute creatures that each display so much personality. I enjoyed the rhymes within, their structure and placement, and the themes of tolerance, acceptance, and embracing/adapting to change.

Some text was hard to read (e.g., black font on a grey/dark blue/dark green background). While I liked the themes, I think the story itself was alright. The illustrations had a simple colour palette of neutral and dark greens, greys, blues, and reds which were melancholy.

I enjoyed that you do see personal growth with Mrs. Golightly as she adapts to the neighbouring zoo and root for her and the zoo’s inhabitants to befriend, or at the very least, coexist with each other. And to be flexible while adapting to these changes, which can be a challenging thing to do!

Thank you to NetGalley for a review copy. All opinions are my own.

Themes

  • Tolerance
  • Facing changes

Feelings

  • Funny
  • Lighthearted
  • Reflective

Rating

Numerical Rating: 3.5 stars

QOTD: What is the last children’s
book you’ve enjoyed? Let us know!

REVIEW | Anne of Green Gables, Manga classics

Book cover of Anne of Green Gables Manga Classics. Text: Book Review, Anne of Green Gables, Graphic Novel, www.sarasreadignook.ca
Storygraph | Goodreads

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert were planning to adopt an orphaned boy to help out around their farm, Green Gables – instead, they got Anne Shirley. A plucky redheaded girl with a vibrant imagination, Anne turns first Green Gables and then the rest of Prince Edward Island on its ear. 

Manga Classics® is proud to be the only authorized manga adaption of Anne of Green Gables by the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery. This volume presents a faithful recreation of this classic kids novel, from the Lake of Shining Waters to the Dryad’s Bubble!

Foreword by Kate McDonald Butler – granddaughter of the original author! 


Review

The setting of L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables is stunning. There is the beauty of the nearby ocean, with beaches filled with reddened sand. And the smell of the lush greenery and delicate flowers that are abundant during the warm months. This is quite a famous classic and I was so thrilled to see that there was a manga copy available since this provides a new arena for this story to be told, in an addition to all other adaptations (e.g., film, audio theatre, graphic novels, etc.)

Now, let’s discuss the manga itself. The manga is quite true to the book, which is the first of many books about Anne Shirley. The original book itself was written in 1908 and covers Anne’s life from the age of 11-16 in which you see a lot of personal growth and development of her character with time. The manga does a great job of illustrating Anne, her adoptive family, and other characters, as well as the home in which Anne lives. I was very impressed with the care that was taken to ensure the setting and scenery appeared accurate. Some characters have differences in appearance and I think those distinctions were translated quite well using manga artwork!

Anne has a very distinctive voice and doesn’t quite talk or act like anyone I’ve read about in any other book – and I think this was very well captured by the manga, which appears to be quite similarly and well adapted from the original dialogue. In fact, all of the characters – their dialogue and actions feel quite authentic!

I also appreciate the ancillary information at the end of the book which includes Crystal C. Chan’s thoughts and process on adapting the book: setting the focus, processing the details, Easter eggs, notes on incorporating feminism into the manga, and the ways in which manga is a strong medium for presenting the book.

In my opinion, this is the most entertaining, fun, and creative adaptation I have read of Anne of Green Gables that also manages to stay quite true to the original book. It was a total joy to read and I’m so happy it is in illustrated form since I think it has the potential to create an impact on young readers and fans of manga, alike!

Feelings

  • Hopeful
  • Humorous
  • Hopeful

Themes

  • Friendship
  • Home
  • Coming of Age
  • Imagination vs. Expectation

Rating

Numerical rating: 4.75 stars

QOTD: have you read the
original Anne of Green Gables? Let us know!