#BookReview Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

One of my New Years Resolutions was the read more “classics” this year, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of the first I was able to pick up. I was so lucky that I found this book at a local charity book sale! It was screaming my name the minute I saw it on the table and it’s been screaming my name while it’s been sitting on my bookshelf (well…desk. My bookshelves are rather full. I need to get reading faster and more to clear some room…).

I’ve seen both of the movies (Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp) so I knew what was coming. It was going to be a book full of shenanigans with some humor and lessons sprinkled throughout. And boy, did it not disappoint! I have to say, Roald Dahl is one amazing author and I really want to read more by him now. This classic is so full of childish nonsense and valuable lessons all at the same time. It’s mesmerizing what this man could do with his words.

The book has some deep, dark material that comes off as playful. Charlie and his family weren’t well off and Roald make that very, very clear. Yet the prose he puts this narrative in makes it seem… fun? Silly? I can’t even pick the right word. As an adult, I am in awe of how this family survived but I could easily see a child laughing their way through. A child would truly have no idea what the horror of starving is like, yet it is described so amazingly in this book…

Seriously, I’m in awe. I am in complete and utter awe over this man’s writing. He’s a literary genius, to say the least.

There are parts as an adult that I can pick apart, but I don’t think this book was intended to be some literary work that needs to be examined like Shakespeare. This book shows the good and the bad of being a kid – don’t be stubborn, don’t be a brat, don’t watch television all day, don’t go ahead without listening – stuff that we all learn as a kid. Charlie is the “perfect” child who listens and does what he is supposed to, and in the end he wins. Is this how life works? Nope. Is it still important to teach? Heck yes!

Wonka is such a wild and interesting character too. He’s a very old adult but doesn’t act like it who employs Oompa Loompa and pays them in cacoa beans. He has a giant workshop but no workers and wants to give a child his only life’s work. Yes, that makes so much sense… Not. But it’s believable in this book, because he’s so wild and zany… I’d love to see a perfect adaption of this book – word for word, picture for picture, etc.

The language, dark humour and sarcasm in this book also make it absolutely hilarious. Snozzberries gets me every time! And Wonka’s absolutely amazing sarcasm against the children… Well, it’s mean but it’s funny. So funny. I found myself giggling at how ridiculous some of the comments were, yet I still loved it all the same.

Either way, this book is amazing! I wish I would have read it as a kid but reading it as an adult was so much funnier! Amazingly enough, this book only took me two days to finish.

Five out of five stars!

I need some more Roald Dahl in my life!

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

 

Check out some more reviews and books you might enjoy:

#BookReview Snowman Paul Returns to the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid

#BookReview HughTube by Richard Clark

#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Advertisements

#BookReview Seeds and Trees by Brandon Walden

Seeds and Trees by Brandon Walden is a super cute illustrated story.

I absolutely love the main title page – the flowers, thorns and bird are absolutely stunning. The art style felt unique yet beautiful, which is something I crave in picture books. I love seeing different art styles that connect with the story.

An added touch was the letter from the author at the beginning. As a child, I probably would have skipped by it and not cared in the least, but as an adult I like reading into the mind of the author. Seeing the reasons behind the story is always a little pleasure of mine!

The story itself worked well with the art style. The contrasting There was a bit of a rhyming scheme at certain points of the story, but it didn’t feel super forced.

The theme and story itself tells a really important tale about positive vibes. I definitely think this book would be a great read for parents to bond with their children or for a school to pick up. I could see young classrooms picking this story apart and telling great tales!

Five out of five stars!

I found this book for free on BookBub.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for my latest updates!
And comment below – what children’s books do you absolutely love?

#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller

The Water War is an absolutely brilliant addition to the Milligan Creek series by Kevin Miller!

Can I just say, I am oh so frustrated with this series! Why did it have to come out when I was an adult?! I would have ate this book up as a child! This is the most fun I’ve had in a long time reading a book, and I truly mean that. It’s the type of book I needed as a kid – dosed in reality yet so full of hilarity!

This time around, the boys of Milligan Creek have a brand new resident to deal with – Fiona Pickleberrybush. Everyone loves this girl – she’s pretty and lounges around the pool all day with her sunglasses on. With everyone falling at her feet, Matt knows something is up and he wants his life back to normal. To try to get attention away from this girl and have a fun summer, the boys decide to play Assassin – a giant game of tag with water guns where you hit your intended target with water. Those who have their target hit are out of the game! The prize is determined to be a date with Fiona or Matt (or not Matt, in case you are wondering). And with that, the games are off!

This story is packed with relatable characters that feel real. These kids seem like they fit right in with my childhood and Kevin does a great job of developing them over the books. Matt’s character development is definitely the focus of this book, and boy does Kevin do it justice! Seeing Matt change over the book and the surprise ending, well, it impressed me!

Each kid in this story has their own personalities and quirks that make them feel like real kids. They are intelligent, resourceful, hilarious and written beautifully. Some of the quirks are more interesting than others, like the kids who like to “Moo”, but they still feel like real children and speak like children. One of my biggest pet peeves of children’s books is when the kids talk like adults. Yet, these kids feel like kids! Kevin knows how to make these characters and build them up over time.

I think this is a great quality series (from a Canadian author!) that should be read to all children! Put this book in school libraries, use it for reading buddies, use it for library events and spread the word around! There are few books out there that have so much fun packed into one little book AND have a great theme.

This book focuses on accepting others despite their differences, and that is a really big issue in today’s society. Having Kevin include that theme in a book like this makes me have a lot of faith for the next generations. If you haven’t read the first two in this series, I highly recommend it! You could easily pick this book up without reading the past two, but why would you?! This series just keeps getting better with each novel that introduced.

I 100% recommend this book to anyone looking for a lighthearted, fun, and inspirational read for themselves or their kids. Books like this show how powerful literature truly is. Unique stories like this are one of the reasons I love reviewing books!

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author Kevin Miller in exchange for an honest review.

 

You can purchase this book on:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Find the other books in this series on:

Up The Creek (Book #1) on Indigo

Up The Creek (Book #1) on Amazon.ca

Up The Creek (Book #1) Amazon.com

Unlimited (Book #2) on Indigo

Unlimited (Book #2) on Amazon.ca

Unlimited (Book #2) on Amazon.com

These books are available with the Amazon Prime program too, at the time of writing this blog.

Check out my review of Unlimited: #BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller

Or find 10 more books I loved just as much as this book! Collection 1: #TopTens – Children’s Fiction Part 1

Check out Kevin on his website: http://www.kevinmillerxi.com/

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Snowman Paul Returns to the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid

38139504

 

The third book, Snowman Paul Returns to the Winter Olympics, is yet another wonderful addition to this series. This time, Paul is a referee at the Olympics! But, if we learned anything from last time, maybe Paul shouldn’t be trusted with this job… So, what lesson can Paul teach us this time around? This time, Paul is too busy being a referee and working really hard! This book was a little shorter than the last one (well, it felt shorter), but the story was just as strong! All work and no play makes Paul a bored snowman!

I think this story is a super cute addition! I really liked the art style that continues across the series.

If you had to pick one series to read to your kids, this series has to be it! It has beautiful artwork that is soft yet sweet, and it has important themes all children need to learn. These books can be talking points in a classroom, or simply at bedtime! And why not learn with a super cute Snowman?

Four out of five stars!

 

Find out more about Snowman Paul on:

Goodreads

The Author’s Goodreads Page

Facebook

MySnowmanPaul.com

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

#BookReview My Snowman, Paul by Yossi Lapid

32852107

 

My Snowman, Paul is a great addition to your child’s bookshelf!

I loved the bright purples within this book – all of the contrasting colours worked well in the soft setting. The art style itself was so soft and smooth, which was very nice on the eyes.

There’s lots of rhyming in this book! Us, fuss, fun, anyone, etc! The rhyming scheme is definitely fun and enjoyable as you follow along with the story.

The main theme of this story seemed to be – do what you love no matter what other people say. Bill, the boy who thinks Snowmen are dumb, taunts Dan. When Dan’s Mom tells him to go build a snowman anyway, he learns that it’s great to do what you love even if other people don’t see the fun in it. He even made a new best friend, Paul the snowman!

The book is very short (barely 15 pages) but is a nice, quick read for your children! It’s cute, fun and tells a great lesson for all kids!

Four out of five stars!

I found this book on Bookbub!

 

Find out more about this book on:

Goodreads

The Author’s Goodreads Page

Facebook

MySnowmanPaul.com

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

#BookReview Pandora’s Lunch Box: Don’t Open! by Richard Clark

Print

 

Richard Clark has another winner on his hand with Pandora’s new book!

The cover itself was really cool – it gave me “Inside Out” (by Pixar) vibes. It’s unique and not following the typical trend with recent covers (which I love, by the way! Uniqueness for the win!).

Pandora’s sense of curiosity reminds me of myself when I was younger (and reminds me of many kids I know too!). Curiosity is a common trait among kids, which is sometimes lacking from children’s novels and middle grade books. When you mix in the wide range of hysterical characters (that meet every middle grade trope in the book), well, you’ve got one awesome story!

Pandora really wants to know what’s in a sandwich – and she seems like quite the science wiz! I loved that she was her own character with epic quirks. I’m tired of boring characters without personalities. Thank you Richard Clark! I also really loved the reference to Pandora (and the fact that she has a box she shouldn’t open). That reference might go over the heads of most kids, but for adults reading it, it’s absolutely hilarious! And really appreciated! It’s G rated adult humor!

I’d say this book is a sweet fantasy novel (if you are looking for a specific genre), to a small degree. What else would you call an almost magical lunch box?

There’s also some pictures floating about this book, which are really cute and funny! They were awesome, and helped show me some of the characters. The pictures are of the vices within Pandora’s box.

Overall, the story is absolutely silly, but is the perfect middle grade story. It’s not very long, so it’s perfect for a bedtime read or for some zany fun in the middle of the day.

Four out of five stars!

 

Find out more about this book, Pandora’s Lunch Box: Don’t Open on:

Goodreads – Pandora

Amazon.com – Pandora

Amazon.ca – Pandora

 

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

Find out more about the illustrator, Rich Murray, on:

Facebook – Rich Murray

@RichToonsTV

www.richtoons.com

Youtube – RichToonsTV

Check out another amazing book by Richard Clark My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent:

Goodreads – Secret Agent

Amazon.com – Secret Agent

Amazon.ca – Secret Agent

 

Find out more about another book by Richard Clark, 8th Grade Fugitive on:

Goodreads – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.com – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.ca – 8th Grade Fugitive

 

Find out more about A Dog of My Own by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.com – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.ca – A Dog of My Own

 

If you enjoyed the review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview My Best Friend is a Secret Agent by Richard Clark

26819851

 

This book is serious fun! It’s silly, zanely and full of hilarity!

The pictures in the book are incredibly amusing, and go along perfectly with the story! The story is a little out of this world (a kid designing a microchip that goes on your tooth and make you a secret agent?!) but that’s why it’s so good! This is the type of creativity and imagination I needed in my childhood books! I’ve been waiting for this kind of awesome for years!

I’d say this book is a mix of secret agents, superheroes and comedy! Our lead is kind of the Q or Alfred to his best friend who’s the Batman or James Bond (less broody, of course). There’s also the cute love interest, the mean bully, and other school tropes you’d expect. It’s not as intense as those adaptions of spies (obviously), but it felt like the kid friendly version – with lots more silly commentary and goofy plot lines.

This book could easily be read to your child (maybe 6 years and up? Do 3 year olds know what secret agents are?…) or used as a middle grade book. It doesn’t seem to have some moral theme behind it, it’s most just for fun!

I could easily see this being the next kid’s television show with it’s awesome plot. It almost felt like the book adaption of a movie.

The worst part of this book was the cliffhanger! Now I have to get the rest of the books to know how it ended!!

Overall, this book is awesome! I’d definitely recommend this book as a fun read! It’ll have you giggling at every page!

Four out of five stars!

I found this book on Bookbub!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

Find out more about the illustrator on:

Facebook

www.richtoons.com

Youtube – RichToonsTV

Twitter – @richtoonstv

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

 

Photo from Goodreads.