Tag Archives: Book Review

Flashback Four: The Pompeii Disaster

Title: Flashback Four: The Pompeii Disaster 

Author: Dan Gutman

Publisher: Harper Collins

Number of pages: 235

Type of Book: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Historical, Adventure

Genre: Middle Grade (MG)

Age: 8 – 12

Buy it here: Twitter/Instagram: @Bookwormcafeng; https://www.amazon.com/Flashback-Four-3-Pompeii-Disaster/dp/0062374451/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=flashback+four+pompeii&qid=1604955382&sr=8-1

Price: N1500; $7.50

MY SUMMARY

In part three of the Flashback Four series, the four tweens travel back in time to AD 79 to take pictures of one of the world’s most devastating natural disasters: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius aka, the day a huge volcano erupted and buried the Roman city of Pompeii in volcanic ash. What seems like a simple mission – dash into Pompeii, find a good spot, take a picture of the volcano, and dash back into the time machine to modern day New York – goes awry when the flashback 4 are kidnapped. The girls become slaves in a laundromat and the boys become gladiators in one of the first amphitheaters ever built, fighting hardened criminals and wild animals. They have one hour to escape captivity and make it out of Pompeii or become part of ancient history. Read the book to find out how it all plays out.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book was a first for me because it is a book of fiction with elements of nonfiction and I loved the blend of fiction and non-fiction. I loved the narrator’s voice, it was fun and cheeky and he spoke directly to the reader making it even more interesting. Finally, I love that I learnt a thousand and one things. I learnt about Pliny the Younger, the city of Pompeii and volcanoes. The book features a whole section on making a DIY volcano at home! Perfect science experiment for these homeschooling days!

I guess the ultimate highlight is that to celebrate my birthday and my love for history (it bothers on obsession really) my sister and I visited the Getty Villa in Malibu, California last year. The villa is a recreation of the Villa dei Papiri, one of the ancient Roman country homes destroyed during the Pompeii disaster. It was like walking through a time machine. It was really easy to imagine some of the scenes in this book because of the villa.

DOWN: Gosh, the book was about 50 pages too long and incredible slow-paced. These made it book very putdownable! When I read reviews of the series I was shocked to see words like ‘action-packed’, ‘fast-paced’. Ah! I was really confused. I mean, there was some action and a few cliff hangers but fast-paced? No! Long story short, it took 10 whole days to read the book and even at that, it was a struggle. (I read 500-page books in 2 days!) If I didn’t have to read it as mentor text and for the blog as well, I may never have finished reading the book. But hey, thumbs up for the nonfiction elements, they were out of this world. Check the trivia section out for some of the mind rocking ones.

RATING

* * * *

TRIVIA

  1. Romans used urine to wash their clothes. Yup, they soaked the clothes in tubs filled with old urine and had slaves step in them.
  2. The average male during the Roman Empire stood about five feet tall, i.e. the height of an average 13-year-old boy.

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Make a Volcano using the instructions on pages 50 – 54.

CHALLENGE: Flashback Four: The Pompeii Disaster 

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Read Pliny the Younger’s letters on the Pompeii Disaster and write a short story about the disaster.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8 – 12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 15th 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

BEASTS MADE OF NIGHT by Tochi Onyebuchi

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The Good Egg

Title: The Good Egg

Author: Jory John; Illustrator: Pete Oswald

Publisher: HarperCollins

Number of pages: 40

Type of Book: Picture book, Fiction

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Egg-Jory-John/dp/B0817JDTLL/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Price: $9.75

MY SUMMARY

This is a funny and insightful tale about the importance of self-care and taking things easy. The verrrrrry good egg likes for everything and everyone to be perfect. She (I liked to think of the egg as female, just because I am partial to female characters😀 ) is always ready to help anyone and everyone, she specifically says ‘… if you need any help whatsoever, I’m your egg.’ She also cleans up after her housemates who she describes as ‘not-good’ eggs because they ignore bedtime, throw tantrums, cry for no reason and eat sugary cereals (typical toddlers). Of course, she’s really exhausted every night and eventually, she starts cracking up, literally. Read the book to find out how the good egg deals with the problem of being ‘too good’

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: It tickled my funny bone, I loved it. The word play was hilarious: ‘Egg was cracking up’, ‘egg’s head felt scrambled’, names of the other eggs: Meg, Sheldon, Frank😀 The illustrations were particularly funny and charming. The eggs were really cute and expressive. I really loved the good egg’s huge round frames. I loved the page where the egg was sick and took IV fluids labelled ‘yolk’❤️ I think Pete Oswald did a fantastic job with the illustrations. In fact, the two, John and Oswald make a perfect match. They have worked together on several great books: The Couch Potato, The Bad Seed. (Check them out too)

I loved the universal themes of the book: It’s OK to not be perfect; we need to be as good to ourselves as we are to others; we need to take things easy and we need to take time off to cool off when things get too much.

Finally, I love that even though it’s a book for kids (a picture book) it really is wonderful for adults as well.

DOWN: None.

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Watch a read-aloud video here:

CHALLENGE: The Good Egg

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Draw an angry egg, a happy egg and a sad egg (4 – 6 year olds)
  • Find four things the good egg did to ‘relax’ in the crossword puzzle below (7 – 8 year olds)
ZDCYPAINTGJBX
VNOHGONDSAMNO
KSARESBENGEDN
HBGRAYWKBLUAN
IMEDITATIONET
ODSJAAGKNRSRS
OCNKLEWALKSNA
LXSBAELPGUPLF

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 25th 2020.

Next Book of the Week:

QUEEN IDIA OF BENIN by 234 Express

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photo credit: amazon.com

Too Small Tola

Title: Too Small Tola


Author: Atinuke

Publisher: Walker Books

Number of pages: 96

Type of Book: Fiction; African; Contemporary

Age: 7+

Available here: @thebookwormcafebookstore on Instagram; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Too-Small-Tola-Atinuke/dp/1406388912/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=too+small+tola&qid=1602613660&sr=8-1

Price: N2000; GBP 5.29

MY SUMMARY
This is a book of 3 stories which feature tiny Tola who lives in the slums of Lagos with her grandmother and siblings. In all 3 stories, where she battles with power outage, lack of water, helping Abdul the tailor and going shopping at the famous Mile 12 Market, Tola shows her family and friends that even though she’s small, she’s mighty.


THUMBS UP AND DOWN
UP: I absolutely absolutely loved the illustrations by Onyinye Iwu. They were the major highlight. Vibrant and apt, they complemented the story perfectly and brought the characters to life. They would have been even more wonderful if they were coloured.

The stories were delightful. I loved the fact they give readers a sneak peak into life in Lagos, especially, the hustle and bustle of daily life. I loved the reference to kerosene lanterns, battling with electricity, fetching water with jerry cans and of course, the famous Mile12 Market. I particularly liked the bit about Tola’s Grandma’s earrings which were left to her by her own grandmother (Tola’s great great grandmother). It made me smile.

One line that made me laugh was the description of one of Tola’s neighbours: ‘ … as tough as stockfish.’ 😀

DOWN: The stories were a bit flat, in the sense that they lacked ‘engaging’ conflict. Basically, the book is quite ‘putdownable’ and may not win the fight against TVs and tablets.

In a few places, the book reads like it was written by a non-Nigerian. Phrases like ‘Okada taxi’ irked me.

RATING
🌟 🌟 🌟

CHALLENGE: TOO SMALL TOLA
CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Describe your street using all your five senses. (7 – 9 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 7 – 9 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book. Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, October 18th 2020.


Next Book of the Week:

THE GOOD EGG by Jory John

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We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

Title: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

Author: Ryan T Higgins 

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Number of pages: 48

Type of Book: Fiction

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it herehttps://www.amazon.com/We-Dont-Eat-Our-Classmates/dp/1368003559/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=We+Do+Not+Eat+Our+Classmates&qid=1600365413&sr=8-1

Price: $14.50 (Hardcover)

MY SUMMARY

In this absolutely hilarious story, a T-rex, Penelope, discovers on her first day of school that her classmates (all children) are really tasty. Mrs. Noodleman and Daddy tell Penelope over and over again not to eat her classmates but they are delicious and she just cannot resist. Well, one day, Penelope learns the hard way that being a snack is not fun … *read the book* 

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Humour. This book made me laugh and laugh. It also emphasizes the golden rule in the funniest way possible and it’s a funny reminder that experience really is the best teacher.  

DOWN: None.

RATING

5 Stars

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

CHALLENGE: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates 

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

1.     Find the names of three characters in the book in the crossword puzzle below (6 – 8 year olds)

ZDPYHNMKDGWBX
VNWESWILLIAMO
KBAANDBELGEAN
HBGRLEWLDLUEN
IWBUSTLKRREIT
ODSJABEONRIUS
OCNKWETRPIDBA
LXSSAELPREPLF
2. Write a different ending for the story. 50 words only.

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00 am on Friday, September 23rd2020.

#Nigerian residents only

Next Book of the Week:

CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE by Tomi Adeyemi

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photo credit: amazon.com

Tales From the Arabian Nights

imageTitle: Tales from The Arabian Nights
Author: Andrew Lang
Publisher: Award Publications
Number of pages: 304
Type of Book: Fiction; Classic
Age: 8+
Available here: https://www.amazon.com/Tales-Arabian-Nights-Essential-Classics/dp/184135838X
Price: $13.57
MY SUMMARY
Set in ancient Arabian lands between Persia and China, this book tells the story of Scheherazade, the wife of the rich and powerful Sultan Schahriar. The Sultan loved his first wife to pieces. Sadly, she betrayed him, so he killed her and developed a hatred for all women. Vengeful,, he married a new bride every evening and killed her the following morning. His once loyal subjects hated and cursed him because they lost daughters to him daily. Then one day, a young lady, Scheherazade decided to marry the Sultan against her family’s wishes. She told him stories for a thousand and one nights to avoid being killed by him.
Scheherazade was portrayed as a master story teller as she wove fantastic magical tales of enchanted lands, genies, fantastic beasts, life changing adventures and dazzling jewels. She was able to keep him so interested in her stories that he kept postponing her death to be able to hear the end of each story. Some of the stories she told were age-old classics like The Seven Voyages of Sinbad, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (Read a review of this book here ) and Disney favorite, Aladdin and the Magical Lamp.
Read the book to find out what happened when Scheherazade ran out of stories.
THUMBS UP AND DOWN
UP: It is literally a book of stories. It is filled with fun and magical stories for children and adults, some with a moral or two. It also gives readers a sneak peak into life in ancient Arabia.

DOWN: None

RATING
4 stars
TRIVIA
1 Why did Sultan Schahriar kill his wives the day after the wedding?: He believed all women were deceitful like his first wife and he wanted the world to be rid of them.
2 Who was Scheherazade: The first daughter of the Sultan’s Grand Vizir
3 Some of the stories told by Scheherazade: Blind Baba Abdalla, Ali Baba and the Forty thieves, the Seven Voyages of Sinbad
4 What happened after One thousand and one nights: Read the book to find out

CHALLENGE: Tales from The Arabian Nights
CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

1. Write a 400 word story within a story set in ancient Hausa, Igbo or Yoruba land (8 – 12 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com
Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.
Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, February 19th 2017.
Next Book of the Week:

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photo credit: amazon.com

The Story of Islam

Title: The Story of Islam

Author: Rob Lloyd Jones

Publisher: Usborne Publishing (Young Reading Series 3)

Number of pages: 61

Type of Book: Non-Fiction; History; Educational

Age: 8+

Buy it here: http://product.chelisbookazine.com/product-tag/young-reading-series-3/page/6/?orderby=date; https://www.amazon.com/Story-Islam-Usborne-Young-Reading/dp/0794518656

Price: N690; $5.86

MY SUMMARY

The story of Islam began with an ordinary man, an Arabian called Muhammad. In year 610, on a mountain close to Mecca, Muhammad sat alone in a cave when, out of nowhere, a voice spoke to him. The voice told him he was a messenger of God, an angel. Through that angel and some visions, he received revelations directing him to start a new religion, Islam. Muhammad spread the doctrines of this religion by word of mouth and with the use of animal skins but it wasn’t well received by Meccans. Muslims were persecuted for about 20 years until they took over Mecca after a war in year 630. Muhammad died two years later in year 632 but that was only the beginning of the religion. Over the next ten centuries, Muhammad’s Muslim army grew under the care of several successors (caliphs) and conquered several nations around Arabia, Christian and pagan alike, converting many to Islam. However, there was trouble in paradise. The Muslims had split into two groups, the Sunni Muslims and the Shi’ites.

Read this book to learn about these groups, the Abbasids, a group of Shi’ite Muslims who brought a period of great wealth, knowledge of the arts and sciences and culture to the world and the magnificent city of Baghdad; the Ottomans, arguably the greatest Muslims that ever lived; the Taj Mahal, the resting place of the Mughal empress, Shah Jahan, and the Crusades, the centuries-long war between Christians and Muslims over the holy city of Jerusalem.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: This book gives a brief but information-packed history of Islam with pictures, maps and illustrations and the most vivid words, I have read in a book in a very long time.  I have read it twice already. It’s a little slice of world history. I recommend for parents and children alike especially for lovers of history.

DOWN: None.

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. Islam: Submission to God’s will; Muslims: those who submit to God’s will
  2. The Five Pillars of Islam: Shahadah: a declaration that there is only one true God, Allah and Muhammad is his messenger; 2. Salah: prayers said 5 times a day facing in the direction of Mecca; 3. Charity, giving Zakah – a percentage of savings- to the poor; 4. Fasting (Sawm) in the month of Ramadan and 5. Hajj: a pilgrimage to Mecca
  3. صلى الله عليه وسلم (salla alllah ealayh wasallam) is said every time the Prophet Muhammad’s name is mentioned. It means ‘Peace be upon him’.
  4. Muhammad was buried in a tomb which was placed in: The Mosque of the Prophet, in Medina, ‘The City of the Prophet’.
  5. Some achievements of the Golden Age of Islam: Literature: One thousand and one nights (Tales from Arabian nights) one of the best collections of stories and poems from the Arabian empire (read a review of one of the stories, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves here); Baghdad, the most spectacular city in the world at the time, the House of Wisdom, an enormous library filled with books from which many of their ideas were birthed, Astrolabes and Magnetic compasses: helped people travel the world and used later by Europeans to discover America!

VIEW SAMPLE PAGES HERE: https://usborne.com/browse-books/catalogue/product/1/2338/the-story-of-islam/#&gid=1&pid=1

CHALLENGE: The Story of Islam

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 300-word essay on the story of Islam in Nigeria. (8 – 9 year olds)

OR

  1. Draw a picture using only the details in the first four lines of the last sample page. See the link above for sample pages

 

  1. Write a 500-word essay on the story of Christianity (10-12 year olds)

OR

  1. Draw a picture using only the details in the first four lines of the last sample page. See the link above for sample pages

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book. Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, February 5th 2017. 

Next Book of the Week:

THE LAST DAYS AT FORCADOS HIGH SCHOOL by A. H. Mohammed

 

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photo credit: usborne.com

 

Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #31: China – Land of the Emperor’s Great Wall

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Title: Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #31: China – Land of the Emperor’s Great Wall

Author: Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Number of pages: 128

Type of Book: Non-Fiction

Age: 8+

Buy it here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/magic-tree-house-fact-tracker-31-mary-pope-osborne/1119054505?ean=9780385386357; http://www.randomhousekids.com/books/detail/236086-magic-tree-house-fact-tracker-31-china-land-of-the-emperors-great-wall?isbn=9780385386357

Price: $5.99

MY SUMMARY

This book is the 31st in the Magic Tree House series, an adventure series that takes siblings, Jack and Annie on exciting journeys through time to discover the wonders of the world. Read my review of the first book in this series, Dinosaurs Before Dark here. This book is the non-fiction companion to Magic Tree House #14: Day of the Dragon King. In #14, siblings Jack and Annie visit China during the reign of the Dragon King. This book provides background information to #14. It offers a wealth of information on Chinese history. Readers learn that the Dragon King, Qin Shihuandi united all the states/cities in China and became its first Emperor. He had a burial ground the size of a small city. He was buried with 8,000 terra cotta soldiers to guard his tomb, war chariots, terra cotta horses and lots of weapons (swords, spears and cross bars). Readers also learn how the Chinese invented paper and silk (and refused to share the secret of silk production for about 2,000 years!) This book also introduces readers to the great Chinese Dynasties, philosophers, festivals and the Chinese Language. Does your child know that Mandarin, the official language in China, (and not English) is the most widely spoken language in the world?

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Everything!! This book could easily have been titled, ‘All You Need to Know About China for Kids’. I loved absolutely everything about it. It’s a valuable resource/ reference tool on all things China for kids (adults too!) with all sorts of information ranging from Chinese festivals (New Year, Moon, Kite, Dragon Boat, etc.) to delicacies (rice, frog legs, chicken feet, etc.) and inventions (paper, silk, tea bag, porcelain, compass).

It’s filled with fun facts, photographs and illustrations. It also provides pronunciation guides for some Chinese words e.g. Xie Xie (SHE – ah SHE – ah) meaning ‘Thank You’. The book also has some pointers on how to conduct research in libraries, museums and using books and the internet! I cannot say how much I love this series. I HIGHLY recommend this book for boys and girls between the age of 7 and 12. The Magic Tree House series has sold more than 100 million books world wide! A testament to its value.

DOWN: None!!!!! 

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. What percentage of the world’s population lives in China? 20%.
  2. Chinese rulers and Egyptian Pharaohs have this in common? They are buried with things they would need for the afterlife such as weapons, food, clothes, jewelry, etc.
  3. China is about the size of ……? The USA!
  4. This has formed a basic part of the Chinese diet for thousands of years: Rice
  5. The most famous Chinese Philosopher?
  6. Fast facts about the Great Wall of China: The first wall was built by the first Emperor of China. It took 12 years to complete and it was 1,500 miles long. 400,000 men died while building this wall. It was also called ‘The Cemetery Wall’. The Great Wall was built in the 16th Century and it is 5,500 miles long.

Visit Jack and Annie here: www.magictreehouse.com

Look inside: http://insight.randomhouse.com/widget/v2/?width=600&isbn=9780385386357&author=OSBORNE%2C%20MARY%20POPE&title=China%3A%20Land%20of%20the%20Emperor%26%2339%3Bs%20Great%20Wall

CHALLENGE: Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #31: China – Land of the Emperor’s Great Wall

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 600-word essay on any of the following: a. Chinese Terra-cotta Soldiers, b. The Great Wall of China, c. The Chinese New Year (8 – 9 year olds)

OR

  1. Write a 1000-word essay on any of the following: a. Confucius, b. The Himalayas, c. The Dragon King (10-12 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book. Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, June 26th 2016.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading today’s post.

Xie Xie

 

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The Little Mermaid

The-Little-Mermaid-304x450

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Title: The Little Mermaid

Author: Hans Christian Andersen

Publisher: Usborne Publishing/ Hythloday
Press

Number of pages: 48/80

Type of Book: Fiction; Classic

Age: 4 – 8

Buy it here:

http://product.chelisbookazine.com/product/the-little-mermaid-young-reading-series-1/; http://www.amazon.com/Little-Mermaid-Original-Illustrations/dp/0615963943/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461935499&sr=1-4&keywords=the+little+mermaid; https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Mermaid-Young-Reading-Packs/dp/0746085338/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461798575&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=the+little+mermaid+suborn+young+reading+series+one;

Free Download here: http://hca.gilead.org.il/li_merma.html

Price: N580; $4.00

MY SUMMARY

The little mermaid, the last and the prettiest of the six daughters of the Sea-King, wants more than anything to rise out of the ocean and see the earth and humans! When finally gets the chance to rise out of the ocean on her fifteenth birthday, she stumbles upon a party on a ship and falls in love with the celebrant, a prince. Suddenly she desperately wants to exchange her fish tail for a pair of legs, to be human. Unbeknownst to her family, she visits the Sea-Witch who grants her wish, on one condition. Read the book to find out how she finally meets the Prince and if they lived happily every after.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: The original version of this story is replete with vital lessons for children. Young readers learn the advantages of being content, the consequences of disobedience, the importance of love and the soul, etc.

DOWN: The Disney version though it has a happier ending is a bit shallow compared to the original version.

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. This story has had at least three different versions with three different endings. In some versions, the prince marries someone else and the little mermaid dies of a broken heart, in the original version, the prince marries someone else and the little mermaid joins the ‘Daughters of the Air’, a group of ethereal spirits and in Disney’s version, she marries the prince and they live happily ever after!
  2. The little mermaid is called ‘the little mermaid in some versions, Melody in others and Ariel by Disney.
  3. In the story, the little mermaid had the finest voice in the world!

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  • Watch a video here (Disney’s version):

CHALLENGE: The Little Mermaid

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Read the story here: http://hca.gilead.org.il/li_merma.html (version 1)

Answer the following questions (6-8 year olds)

  • How many sisters does the little mermaid have?
  • What did the little mermaid give to the Sea-Witch in exchange for a pair of legs?
  • Who are the Daughters of the Air?

OR

  1. Draw and colour the little mermaid (4-5 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 4 – 8 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Tuesday, May 3rd 2015.

Next Book of the Week:

THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare

 

 

 

The Comedy of Errors

Title: The Comedy of Errors

Author: William Shakespeare

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Number of pages: 272

Type of Book: Classic, Fiction

Age: 8+

Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Comedy-Errors-Folger-Shakespeare-Library/dp/0743484886/ref=tmm_mmp_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= ; free download here (unabridged version for older readers): http://www.pubwire.com/DownloadDocs/PDFiles/SHAKESPR/COMEDY/COMEDYOF.PDF

Price: $5:99

MY SUMMARY

This story is one of mistaken identity and as is common with stories of this nature, what follows is chaos for the characters and laughter for the readers. One fateful night, two women gave birth to a set of identical twin boys each. The first woman was a wealthy merchant’s wife from Syracuse, the other, a poor woman. The latter sold her twins as servants to the former’s twins. Shortly after, the merchant and his family were caught in a storm at sea; the wife and a set of twins (one son and one servant) was lost. Distraught, the merchant named the surviving boys after the lost boys. Many years later, both boys (Antipholus of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus) and their servants (Dromio of Syracuse and Dromio of Ephesus) happened to be in the town of Ephesus at the same time. This led to mass confusion, a lot of beatings, some arrests, an almost exorcism and riotous laughter!

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: Humour! It lives up to its title. Most stories featuring identical twins are filled with laughter, this one features two sets of identical twins so its twice as much fun! I recommend for all the members of the family.

DOWN: None

RATING

5 Stars

TRIVIA

  1. The story is set in the city of Ephesus
  2. Egeon, (the father of the twins) must do this to avoid being executed the next day? Give a thousand marks to the Duke of Ephesus.
  3. While dining in his brother’s house, (he’s mistaken for his brother) Antipholus of E does this: he woos his brother’s wife’s sister!
  4. Antipholus of Ephesus suffers this as a result of the mix-up: He’s locked out of his own house
  5. His wife thinks he has gone mad and begs an exorcist to cure him.
  6. He’s accused of refusal to pay a debt and he’s locked up in prison.

Visit William Shakespeare here: http://www.shakespeare-online.com

Watch the play here:

CHALLENGE: The Comedy of Errors

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 600-word comedy of errors. (8 – 9 year olds)

OR

  1. Write a 1000-word comedy of errors (10-12 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Sunday, May 1st  2016.

Next Book of the Week:

MERCHANT OF VERNICE by William Shakespeare

 

 

A Tale of Two Cities

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Title: A Tale of Two Cities

Author: Charles Dickens

Publisher: Usborne Publishing/Dover Publications

Number of pages: 64, 304

Type of Book: Classic, Fiction

Age: 8+

Buy it here: http://product.chelisbookazine.com/product/a-tale-of-two-cities-young-reading-series-3/; http://www.amazon.com/Tale-Cities-Young-Reading-Three/dp/0746096984/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461361373&sr=1-2-fkmr0&keywords=a+tale+of+two+cities+by+charles+dickens+usborne+publishing; http://www.planetpublish.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/A_Tale_of_Two_Cities_T.pdf; free download here (unabridged version for older readers): http://www.planetpublish.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/A_Tale_of_Two_Cities_T.pdf

Price: N580; $1.98; $4.50

MY SUMMARY

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…’ It was the period just before the French Revolution. The rich got richer and lived lavishly and the poor got poorer and suffered untold hardship and injustice at the hands of the rich.

Against this backdrop Lucie Manette’s life unfolds. Lucie is reunited with her father after eighteen years. He has been unjustly imprisoned in the Bastille for almost two decades for witnessing a murder. They return to a peaceful life in England until fate takes them back to France to serve as witnesses at a trial. In France, Lucie meets Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton who fall in love with her. After an eventful trial, the Manettes return to Engalnd with Carton and Darnay and Lucie marries Darnay. Again, life seems to be peaceful for the Manettes until Charles returns to France, during the French Revolution and is caught, tried and sentenced to death for committing treason. Read this book to find out how Charles escapes death, if he does.

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: I enjoyed reading this book, first because it was a bit of fiction with a slice of history and secondly because it reminded me of Les Miserables. Dickens is a wonderful story spinner. My best character was the death spinner Mrs. Defarge who used knitting for a brand new purpose: to put down the names of aristocrats to be killed. The first line is also one of the best opening lines i’ve ever seen, second only to Lemon Snicket’s opening line in ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events: Book One’

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

This line stuck in my head for years! I read this book some twenty years ago and promptly forgot everything about it except this line. I recommend for older independent readers, boys and girls alike.

DOWN: The unabridged version might be a bit much for children especially because the diction is anything but simple but the abridged version is almost skeletal.

RATING

4.5 Stars 

TRIVIA

  1. The two cities? London and Paris
  2. An extraordinary feature of Mrs. Defarge’s knitting? She knits the names of all the rich people to be killed during the Revolution.
  3. These two love Lucie Manette and look like identical twins? Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton.
  4. Charles Darnay’s secret identity? He is the nephew and heir to Marquis Evremonde, the much hated French aristocrat.
  5. Why was Lucie Manette’s father away for 18 years? Because he witnessed the death of a young boy and girl at the hands of Marquis Evremonde so the latter put him in Prison.

Visit Charles Dickens here: http://www.charlesdickensinfo.com

CHALLENGE: A Tale of Two Cities

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write a 600-word essay on the French Revolution. (8 – 9 year olds)

OR

  1. Write a 600-word essay on the following: a. The French Revolution. b. The Biafran War (10-12 year olds)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com

Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8-12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.

Answers must be submitted before 12:00am on Tuesday, April 26th 2016.

Next Book of the Week:

COMEDY OF ERRORS by William Shakespeare