Posts tagged ‘photography’

REVENGE IS SWEET

Jesper Jinx and the Sneezing Season: The Jesper Jinx Series Book 2

Written and Illustrated by Marko Kitti

Jesper Jinx is an eleven-year-old British boy who lives in a seaside village called Puffington Hill. The name jinx is attached to him because he has a knack for experiencing bad luck or inflicting it on others. At the outset, readers meet Jesper trying to win over Chloe, (the girl he has a crush on), by appearing at just the right moment with the sandwich for which she has no money. Fate intervenes when a seagull swoops in to steal it, knocking him down and embarrassing Jesper.

The following weekend Jesper is lured with a prize of 50 pounds to accompany his family to get a photo of a rare purple buzzard. The journey involves being outdoors in allergy season. Of course, Jesper secretly spits out his medicine and disaster ensues just as he thinks he has the winning photo in hand. A squirrel couple named Ronald and Ramona achieve their revenge for Jesper’s kite ruining their home and injuring them. When Jesper and his friend Oliver challenge his teenage sister to a balancing contest, what appears to be a victory rapidly switches to disaster and embarrassment for Jesper.

Kitti cleverly intertwines plot elements and characters to create a cohesive story. The comic pictures add a whimsical touch to the humorous dialogue. Middle-grade students will enjoy the preposterous circumstances and antics of sibling rivalry. Fans of this book will enjoy all the books in this series.

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NO BAD LUCK HERE

Albatrosses: Amazing Animal Facts

Written by Rita Terry

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Contrary to the widely known expression from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “an albatross around your neck,” the albatross has nothing to do with bad luck. These beautiful animals are the world’s largest seabirds. Levy enlightens readers about the twenty-two varieties, their distinctive appearance, size and weight, diet, habitat, breeding habits, courtship, enemies, and environmental threats.

Most readers probably know little about these birds. I found it interesting that they live for long periods of time on one island, mate with one partner for life, and do not leave their parents until they master the intricate courtship dance to attract their life partner. The fact that the Wandering Albatross can soar without moving its wings for days at a time is amazing. It is sad that so many of these birds are killed when they dive down deep for fish bait and then drown before they can return to the surface.

This book is targeted for readers ages five to eighteen. Photographs are beautiful; the book will probably be most interesting to readers eight and older, who will be better able to master the text. This book contains a lot of information in less than fifty pages, and is well written with the exception of a typo in the spelling of Antarctica. Young animal lovers or children looking for an interesting research project will find the book a valuable nonfiction resource.

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BUGGING OUT

Bed-Bugged (Doodle bugged Mysteries Book 1)

Written by Susan J. Kroupa

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First in a series of mysteries featuring a Labradoodle simply named Doodle. The dog has recently come from the pound to live with a master he calls boss and his daughter Molly. Doodle has been trained to sniff out bedbugs. Boss organized the Hunter Detection Company in the hopes of making a new start in the Washington, DC area. Everything rests on Doodle making it a success.

Ten year old Molly is smart; she will begin a special science school program at the end of the summer. Molly’s hobby is taking pictures; she keeps a secret album of memories for her Mexican mother, who she has not seen since the age of three. When intruders steal Molly’s album and her computer, Doodle is frustrated that he is unable to catch them. It does not take Molly long to realize that there might be a connection to work that her father Josh has recently completed. Like Doodle the young preteen is relentless in her will to solve the mystery. There will be unlikely connections to crime and family.

This story is told in the first “person” voice of Doodle. It is lots of fun to hear a dog’s perspective and humor as to the quirky habits and personalities of humans. While the book touches on serious issues like family relationships, immigration, and divorce, the overall tone is upbeat making this book appropriate for preteens, teens and adults. The plot contains unexpected turns and characters are well-balanced. Recommended for mystery fans, animal lovers, and anyone who enjoys curling up with an interesting read for a few hours.

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EASTER EGGCITEMENT

A Rabbit’s Tale: An Adult Easter Story (Praying Mantis Series Book 1)

Written by Diogenes Ruiz

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An interesting Easter story for teens and adults. Written from a Christian fiction perspective, though not a preachy story with a totally one sided perspective. At the outset the reader gets the impression she is reading a middle grade novel. Juan Arias is a fifth grader growing up in non-religious Catholic family with his father who is a computer programmer, his mother a homemaker, and his younger sister, Angie. Juan has a passion for photography; he is eagerly waiting for a subscription to National Geographic to arrive in the mail. A new family rents the house across the street, but Monty turns out to be a mean-sprinted bully. Their first encounter involves Monty placing a dead squirrel in Juan’s mailbox. Monty terrorizes Juan and threatens his sister if Juan reveals that Monty stole Juan’s photograph to submit as his own.

The scene shifts as Monty moves away and Juan grows to adulthood. Sadly, Juan follows in his father’s footsteps and gives up his dream of photography to marry Leigh, who turns out to be a self-centered selfish brat. But Juan’s sister Angie marries Ray and has two beautiful children who adore Juan. When Ray talks Juan into dressing up as the Easter Bunny for a holiday party, an outlandish set of events is put into play leading to a shakeup of family relationships, embezzlement, and attempted murder. Juan becomes a victim once more; it appears that his life will be ruined. Characters from past and present are intertwined in a melange of emotions and devious plots.

The Easter story is woven into the well-developed plot and interesting characters. As the title indicates, this book is part of the Christian fiction genre, though it relates a sometimes funny, sometimes sad commentary on what life can dish out.

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AFRICAN ADVENTURES

African Safari with Ted and Raymond

By: Rhonda Patton

Illustrated by Chester McDaniel

African Safaripic

For those who are not familiar with the series, Ted and Raymond are two frog friends who share many adventures. In this latest book, which I read in Kindle version, the friends are about to embark on an African safari. They create a list and pack supplies; Ted makes sure to include a safety kit! They find their way to the airport, pass security, and board the plane where a map is shown to indicate Africa’s location. The reader is introduced to African culture by pictures and explanations of African dress and musical instruments. An African frog named Adebayo, which means “born in a joyful time” is to be their guide. Their jeep passes native Umbrella Thorn trees as they make their way to camp. But the friends are surprised that they will be sleeping in tents outside! They meet other tourists and natives and are introduced to native foods like steamed green bananas and flax bread. The next day they board the jeep and see native animals like the Kingfisher, flamingos, lions and zebras. After observing dozens more animals and taking lots of pictures, Ted and Raymond are sad that their safari is coming to a close. Our two frog friends promise that there will be many more adventures with new friends.

I enjoyed the way the author introduced a wealth of information about the culture, animals, food and customs of Africa. The whole travel experience was portrayed realistically from the preparation and packing to the landing and tour itself. Ted and Raymond are drawn as very stylized characters, but the images in the latter part of the book are good representations of the actual animals. Children are given a few facts about each of them. Hopefully they will be enticed to do more research and exploring on their own. Teachers may want to use this book as a read aloud introduction to a science unit on animals or as an opportunity to study African culture. Parents can employ the book as an introduction to what will happen when the family travels by air. I believe that this book is an excellent addition to the Ted and Raymond series of adventures.

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