‘The Little Grey Men’ by B.B. – Goodreads book review

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The Little Grey MenThe Little Grey Men by B.B.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very gentle, sedate fantasy adventure, with just a few moments of high excitement. I give it four stars for the quality of the writing, although I usually like fantasy novels with more of the fantasy equivalent of car chases, explosions and alien invasions. The characterization is good enough that one does suffer along with the gnomes, lots of angst hoping for their safe journey and eventual reunion. If you invest the effort into really getting into the book then I think it pays off, although it might take a bit of doing.

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Image – Bernard Spragg. NZ on Flickr, public domain.

Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack by M.E. Kerr – book review

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Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack!Dinky Hocker Shoots Smack! by M.E. Kerr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great book. I adore Dinky, for declining to be brainwashed and cooperative like a good little robot. And also for her name. And Natalia, for… well, it’s hard to say. She’s certainly a sweetie, but a bit too willing to collude in her own oppression. It’s difficult not to have a certain affection for her, though. Tucker OTOH is just annoying, and John too.

I can’t believe Kerr is the same author who wrote When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, though. Wow.*
*Well, she isn’t, that’s all. On checking, that was all just in my head, which explains a lot! It did seem an odd conjunction of styles and subjects.

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‘Crazy Vanilla’ by Barbara Wersba – Book Review

Crazy VanillaCrazy Vanilla by Barbara Wersba

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I expected a little more from this than I actually got – it felt as if at any moment a profound epiphany might appear, but that promise was never quite made good. Still, I did enjoy it. The best thing was reading about Tyler’s love of nature and animals, which felt deeply real. His opinions and reading about the anthropomorphization of animals in human culture was especially interesting – more so than his personal relationships, really. I found his issues with his older brother’s sexuality a bit tacked-on and not really credible. Still a worthwhile read though.

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Review: Little Big Books by Robert Klanten

Little Big Books: Illustrations for Children's Picture BooksLittle Big Books: Illustrations for Children’s Picture Books by Robert Klanten

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was delightful, and the chance to experience the artwork of so many wonderful artists was a joy. I was slightly disappointed that only a small number of the artists featured were actually interviewed for the book, as I found the interviews to be as much of a highlight as the illustrations. Kitty Crowther’s interview especially was wonderful, funny and enlightening, in addition to her beautiful pictures. I did mark the book down slightly from four to five for this reason. Although if all the artists had been interviewed, it would of course have been a much longer and more expensive book!

However it’s a beautiful book and wonderfully presented, and I would still recommend it to anyone interested in art and book illustration.

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