Kids Books

Grandpa’s Great Escape–David Walliams

Given the title of this book I thought it would be far more fun than it was. It was actually kind of terrifying for kids I think. Or at least for the 4 year old I read it to.

I had to keep editing a little because it deals with Alzheimers and really rough treatment of such patients. (Only because the operators of the facility were evil.)

I would like to see a book for kids where caretakers or nurses in this situation weren’t portrayed as evil. That would be nice.

Overall, this was a good book to learn about what is happening to your grandparent/loved one and helped explain Alzheimers in a nice and thoughtful way for the most part. That aspect wasn’t too scary. So if that runs in your family or you are having a hard time explaining to your kids, this might help.

Or make it worse. Depends on the kid, I suspect.

I didn’t like it that much. But, hello, not my age group.

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Classic, Kids Books

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!

Kids Books

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing–Judy Blume

This book is dear to me only because I read it to my little cousin and he not only enjoyed the antics, but it kind of reminded me that he is an extra special little guy.

In that he’s articulate and does not throw tantrums the likes of this kids little brother Fudge.

In fact, I found that some of this was unrealistic (obviously, it’s a kids book made for entertainment not realism.) and didn’t show Fudge being a particularly verbal kid.

BUT I have to remember that not every kid is a little sass-pot like my cousin and that he is in fact the exception to the rule. (He’s a clever little twerp who told me just last week “I am capable of walking, thank you.” and to his sister when he was asked to do something “I am not available for that.” haha He’s four and amazing.)

This book also gave us the lovely phrase “Eat it or wear it.” to which I say whenever we are in an argument at lunch time and it helps us to ease our frustration with each other.

It was a cute book, definitely good to read to or with a kid. (Nothing like the weirdo Roald Dahl books that bordered on inappropriate constantly.)

Constant vigilance.

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Classic, Kids Books

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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Kids Books

George’s Marvellous Medicine–Roald Dahl

Sigh.

Here’s another interesting book by Roald Dahl. And wildly inappropriate for a kid. I have to keep reminding myself that these are not meant for Daryl’s age group (Being 3 years old.) . That they are meant for older kids. But I also don’t appreciate what this one was saying to that age group either.

This is about George. George’s grandmother is a bit of an intolerable shrew.

All this woman does is complain and treat people like garbage. She talks down to everyone, she yells at them, and is a complete and utter unappreciative …well…asshole.

So I don’t blame George for thinking that maybe the old hag could use something to make her more pleasant.

Thus he creates his ‘Marvellous Medicine’.

Which includes things from the kitchen, things from the barn, things from the bathroom. I’m talking perfume, horse pills, toilet bowl cleaner, various things from around the house.

Most of which aren’t safe for people to be ingesting.

Which is why I was like “Oh Hell no Roald Dahl. What are you telling kids here!!!” I could understand if it was like peppers or flowers or something that wouldn’t cause a person actual harm, but the list of things this guy included shouldn’t be anywhere near an old persons stomach. Let alone a kids hands.

It was supposed to be magical, but I just found it disturbing.

This guy. *Shakes head*

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Kids Books

Roald Dahl

The Giraffe, The Pelly, and Me—Roald Dahl

This book was short and sweet and so will this review be:

This was about a little boy who was introduced to his new neighbours: a giraffe, a pelican, and a monkey. They had just moved in and were renovating a house to be their business. They were opening a window cleaning business and the boy shows them a house that really needs it since there are several hundred windows and they all live happily ever after cleaning these windows.

It was short, which was good since there was zero plot for this kids book, and I liked it. It was cute and Daryl liked the bits about the animals.

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James and the Giant Peach—Roald Dahl

Again, being a kid of the 90s I watched the movie version of this first and I believe I thought it was super creepy.

The book however was quite sweet. The story is, of course, that James’ parents die, he moves in with his terrible aunts, they mistreat him, magic makes a peach grow alongside a bunch of bugs in the area, and adventure begins as the aunts are bowled over by the oversized peach.

I really liked this one, it had funny jokes, wordplay, and I learned some interesting information on bugs.

Definitely a good book for any age child.

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The Witches—Roald Dahl

Hey there, here’s another for the list of things not to read to children.

Firstly, I don’t know why the hell I thought Roald Dahl WASN’T going to be a big creep. The descriptions alone should’ve made me turn away from reading these to a two year old.

I mean, the book is called “The Witches”. I should’ve known.

But hey. Live and learn, right?

Short, creepy, and full of witches, mice, and mayhem, this book is about a kid who discovers real witches and learns from his grandmother how to fight them off.

The problem is: Witches look like any normal person.

In the beginning of the book Dahl goes on to give you a list of people who are likely witches, they are always women and could be anyone from your teacher to your mother to the person reading the book right now. And then goes on to describe how you can tell who is a witch and who isn’t.

The only saving grace I had working with this book was that Daryl would fall asleep pretty easily during it. And that I would use a witch hand to tickle him so that it wasn’t so terrifying.

Good for older kids I suppose.

If you hate them and want to give them nightmares.

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Classic, Kids Books

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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