Death Comes to Pemberley–P.D. James

This is a decent “sequel” to Pride and Prejudice. 

Felt like it picked up right where we left off. And also kind of felt like Downton Abbey. 

I liked the writing, it was a more readable Jane Austen (I know, I know, what a shit thing to say, but we all know how it is to get through Jane Austen sometimes because of the language and time barrier. Yes. I know she wrote in English. Get a grip.) and the story was fun.

By this point in the story, Elizabeth and Darcy have been together for six years, they have some kids, and the Wickhams are back wreaking havoc. 

In that they found someone dead. 

It was a good mystery with beloved characters. 

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Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm–Kate Douglas Wiggin

Grain of salt here: This is a children’s book. And I usually don’t like childrens books that are classics just because I find them quite boring and like nothing happens. (Generational gap, I suppose.)

This was no exception. It’s about a little girl who is lovely, but a bit of a show off. She is sent to a farm to live with her aunts and is constantly in trouble for being…well an extrovert.

Hurts my feminist heart to see a little girls life being snuffed out and stuck in a box. No worries though, everyone ends up dead and she gets an inheritance to make life better.

I just couldn’t get on board with this book. I was reading it to my little cousin as part of our nap time ritual (at the time) and it put us both to sleep.

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Harry Potter and The Cursed Child–J.K. Rowling, John Thorne, Jack Tiffany

I wish I had seen this in play form. This was so interesting and cool! Even though JK Rowling didn’t write the play itself, she did approve of this and it’s based on a short story she wrote.

I missed my people. This is the only universe that’s ever felt completely like home to me.

Including this one we currently live in. Being a human is so boring sometimes.

So to be able to revisit it and see old characters, and see all our kids grown up and having an adventure was really fun, even if it was super heartbreaking at points.

This is about Harry as an adult and what’s going on with his children, as the synopsis concludes: Past and present collide and things get really super bananas.

Okay. They didn’t say that word for word, but here we are.

I really enjoyed this, for obvious reasons. It was quick to read given that the format is in that of a play and it’s for the characters to learn their lines.

I genuinely hope they make this into a mini series or something, that would be so cool.

Constant vigilance!

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The Jungle Book–Rudyard Kipling

We all know what The Jungle Book is about yes? Okay.

I really liked it, but I don’t know that I should’ve been reading it to my little cousin. There’s a lot of carnage in here. Like a lot.

It even had a drawing in there of a dead/dying animal.

It was not okay.

However, it was a good book, maybe more for kids 10 and up though. But only because of that drawing.

As always with jungle themed books, it made me want to run away and live there Swiss Family Robinson style.

If only a wolf would adopt me.

Definitely a decent classic to read for sure.

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Constant vigilance!

The Roald Dahl Collection

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Admittedly, I didn’t know Roald Dahl even wrote this. I thought it came from the likes of someone with a twisted mind like Tim Burton.

Well, given what his other books, I wasn’t totally wrong.

This book was good, but had some serious darkness in it. I didn’t like reading to the kid that the foxes were trapped at one point and that the evil farmer was trying to basically set them on fire.

Not exactly kid friendly those bits.

Plus the foxes were starving to death at one point I think.

It’s okay though, they build a small society with their other animal friends.

I don’t 100% remember this book, so maybe read it before you read it to your kid.

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Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

I didn’t know this book existed. This follows Charlie, his grandfather, and Willy Wonka on their adventure after they burst through the roof.

There’s probably a reason why I never knew this existed, and that’s because it turns a little sci-fi on us and moves away from the classic Chocolate Factory aspect of things.

They end up going through space, then nearly being gunned down by the army, and a whole slew of misadventures.

It was still cute, but not as good as the first, which is probably why he never revisited these characters again.

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The Magic Finger

Another weird one for the record books. But only in that it had an odd magical element, nothing truly creepy or life threatening could come of this one. It was just about a little girl who was mad at the neighbours for hunting and turned them into birds.

It was okay.

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The Twits

Have you had enough of my non-review reviews? Have you had enough of Roald Dahl?

Me too.

I’ve heard about this book for awhile, it’s noted as one of his best, and I can’t agree on that. I definitely enjoyed Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory better. Hell, I enjoyed The Witches better.

The Twits was good in that it was odd, but that’s where it ended. I didn’t like them at all (I’m guessing you weren’t supposed to) and I can’t stand books where it’s teaching kids new ways to be bad.

But then again, I guess it’s also teaching kids what retaliation is for when you ARE bad. Because there’s a monkey uprising in this.

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Danny the Champion of the World

I love a good gypsy story, but I think I’m just on the outs with Roald Dahl at this point. Reading the entire collection he has to a kid over the span of months is really daunting if you find some of his stories to be flipping weird.

On the one hand, this story was sweet because it was about a father and son, how they plot ways to get back at a mean man, but on the other hand: I can’t read anymore of these books.
Yeesh. Maybe it’s just the way I perceive them, maybe other people see the good parts where the villain is conquered, but I just see these books as a ‘How-to’ on misbehaviour.

I think I’m turning into an adult.
It’s finally happening. Oh God. Help me.

I bet I would’ve loved these books as kids! To see adults get their comeuppance for keeping the kids spirits down! But as an adult I can’t help thinking what little brats some of the kids in these stories are.

Anyway…. this wasn’t the worst of them. I’d say you could read this to your kid, no matter what age.

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So that’s the last of the Roald Dahl! Next week will be back to regular programming!

(Especially since the kid wants me to sing to him at naptime instead of read to him.)

Constant vigilance!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory–Roald Dahl

Contrary to what I’ve been writing about Roald Dahl’s books on here (those were the questionable ones to be sure) I do actually enjoy his writing. It is not really for toddlers, but I should’ve probably knew they weren’t going to be. My bad.

However, this book was totally lovely! Just as I remember it.

Funny story: One of my cousins that I look after, his school makes it mandatory to go to the library (as they should) and one day they were having a Free Books day for the old books to leave the school. Everyone got to take home whatever they wanted. He chose ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. It was busted and old and has an old school hardcover.

He thought it was really cool that there was even a library card in the back with all these peoples names on them.

I read through them and realized not only did I start recognizing the names of some of the students, but I recognized their handwriting! Some of the names it was hard not to given that they had written down their quite obvious nicknames. And in between all those was a name written in in pencil:

“Allison”. Full with the funny ‘A’ I used to do and my attempt at cursive.

I had read that book when I was his age and now he was holding a piece of my history. How weird is that? Weird and cool.

Anyway, THIS is a safe book to read to your kids. It’s just as sweet as we remember and quirky too. Definitely pass this one down, or snuggle up with your kids for it.

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The BFG–Roald Dahl

The kid and I have moved on from short baby stories for the soul purpose of helping me to not keep reading the same story over and over again at nap time.

Thus taking us over to his sisters collection of Roald Dahl books that I thought would be a safe bet when reading to a child.

I was wrong.
The Big Friendly Giant was pretty interesting… in that it made it sound like kids being snatched from their beds in the middle of the night and gobbled up by monsters was just an ordinary event.

I actually found this one a little scary, especially for the kid. At the time he was just two years old so it was normal for me to keep censoring the scary bits where if a kid sees a shadow outside the window it’s likely to be something coming to eat him.

Definitely for ages 7 and up.

But otherwise, I really liked the storyline. I liked that it all started out so simply, a little girl sees a giant with a horn blowing something into kids windows. She follows him and it is found out that he was blowing nice dreams into the kids heads while they slept. Meanwhile his fellow giants were stealing kids from their beds all over the world and eating them like jelly beans.

The BFG doesn’t like that so the pair decide to stop them all once and for all.

They end up contacting the Queen of England through a dream and she helps to secure her nation and the world.

The word play in this book was fun, the story was sweet (even if a little too sinister for a toddler), and I’m glad I’m reading up on some kids classics that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten to read.

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