Uprooted by Lynne Reid Banks

I'm really not sure what the point of this book was. There was no story.

I have not read any of the author's other works, such as the popular The Indian in the Cupboard, so I have nothing to compare this piece to. The premise of the book sounded very interesting. I don't believe it's looked at too frequently within the WWII genre. Instead of children and moms being sent out into the countryside of England, some made the trek across the Atlantic to having their world turned upside down. The author had this same experience, and the back blurb stated that the book is influenced on her experiences. Here is the problem. The book read more like a memoir than a story. Lynne Reid Banks should have wrote a memoir on her experiences. It would have been much more compelling.

This book is just a retelling of experiences she had. There is no conflict, problem, climax, or resolution. It's just a blurbs of experiences.

I also had some questions about the experiences she had. This was 1940/41 on the prairies in Canada. I am an American currently living on the Canadian prairies. I've lived in southeastern Manitoba for almost 10 years. We moved about eight months ago to Saskatchewan, living about an hour and half northeast of Saskatoon, where this "story" took place. There wasn't too much detail about the area. Yes, it's flat. She talked about a hotel in Saskatoon as well as the Saskatchewan river. She went north for a bit, and saw the wilderness. Again, they seemed to be scenes from her experiences rather than having a purpose to the story.

A few things stood out, also. The author wrote about the Canadian kids making fun of her for saying "mum." The Canadian kids said, "mom." Again, this is 1940 Canada. Even today, I hear "mum" and "mummy" more so than "mom." My husband states that he writes "mom," but it comes out "mum," but it's to be expected in 2016. American life seems to be more influential now than the UK. My mother-in-law was born in the late 40s and she has many English-isms. She clearly says, "mum," and "mummy." She also says "serviette" (napkin), "Chesterfield" (couch), and routinely says, "ta!" (Thank you.) So I imagine that in 1940 Canada, English influence over speech was still more prominent than it is today.

Also, Halloween was a big deal in Saskatoon. Was it? I know that Halloween has pockets of fans in North America even in the 1800s, but I don't believe it really took off until after the war, the late 40s/early 50s. I was very surprised to read this.

Canadians, weigh in. Tell me if I'm wrong!

This book needed a good editor, too. The house they were staying in went from a one-bathroom home to a two-bathroom home. Then grammatical tenses were all over the place. Usually I can overlook all of that if I have an engaging story. I couldn't overlook it in this case.

Ultimately, I was pretty disappointed in this book. I really would have found it more interesting if Lynne Reid Banks wrote a memoir about her experiences. Then she could have gone into depth and THAT would have been interesting.

Title: Uprooted
Author: Lynne Reid Banks
Publisher: HarperCollins UK
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9780007589432

This is Sadie by Sara O'Leary

Publisher's summary:
Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and visited the world of fairytales. She whispers to the dresses in her closet and talks to birds in the treetops. She has wings that take her anywhere she wants to go, but that always bring her home again. She likes to make things -- boats out of boxes and castles out of cushions. But more than anything Sadie likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all. For Sadie, the world is so full of wonderful possibilities ... This is Sadie, and this is her story.
The premise of this book is not new.  A child's imagination can take them anywhere, can make them be anyone, and can make them do anything.  This book, however, is special.

It is such a fanciful story.  Perhaps it is more of a reminder, a nudge for the adult that is reading this to the child.  A child doesn't typically need to be reminded of their creativity.  Where those of us of who have passed the ages of childhood typically could use a refresher course on how to use our imagination.  This was the case in our home where I embraced the book.  My six year old, when asked if she like it, said, "It's okay."

Julie Morstad's illustrations are what made this book from being typical to being special.  They are quaint, almost taunting the reader to play.  Here is a glimpse of what's inside the book:

Overall, I loved This is Sadie and recommend to children (and their parents).

Author: Sara O'Leary
Illustrator: Julie Morstad
Publisher: Tundra Books
Year: 2015
ISBN: 9781770495326

Plants Feed Me by Lizzy Rockwell

The publisher's summary:
Watermelons are fruits. Cabbages are leaves. Walnuts are seeds. Carrots are roots. People eat many parts of plants. Even flowers!&nbspDetailed illustrations teach new readers about the edible parts of different plants, including leaves, flowers, stems, roots, and seeds. Labelled diagrams explain how an apple seed can grow into a new plant, reveal how a walnut is contained within its shell, and show how wheat seeds make flour.
A story for toddlers and preschoolers quite full of information, Plants Feed Me is not bogged down nonsense.  It is sweet and simple, ultimately digestible for the young reader/listener.  The book includes the different parts of plants that are edible, where a plant can grow, and what can be made from plants. The overall message of the book is that "Plants feed us." The illustrations are bold and bright, leaving the plants looking amazingly appetizing.  Even beets. Well, almost . . . 
A great book to introduce eating vegetables and plants to children. I can also see this one being used for younger elementary grades when learning about plants.  Also a great book to read to the youngsters before planting a garden this spring.

Title: Plants Feed Me
Author: Lizzy Rockwell
Publisher: Holiday House
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9780823425266

If You Hold a Seed by Elly MacKay

The publisher's summary:
Something magical happens when you plant a dream with a seed. With plenty of love and patience, they can blossom into an extraordinary gift.
To be shared with those you love and those with big dreams, this book encourages us to never give up.
A sweet story that starts with a young boy with a seed and a wish.  It ends with the boy, now grown with a child of his own, passing down a seed.  The story itself isn't original as the idea of a plant growing as a metaphor to the child growing to adulthood is commonplace.  It is heartwarming, nonetheless.  But don't let that turn you away.  This book does have a shining star that makes it stand out.  That is the artwork.

Ms. MacKay is an artist that uses paper theater to create her beautiful images, which are the ultimate draw to the book.  Such intricate work, I cannot fathom the patience one must have to create scenes for an entire book.  The more I learned about her process, the more amazed I was with the book.  Here is a glimpse at Ms. MacKay's techniques:

Some of Ms. MacKay's work that many readers out there maybe familiar with are the 2014 covers of the 8 book set of Anne of Green Gables.  I've been hemming and hawing over buying this set because I love the covers.

I may have to.

Oh, she also has an Etsy shop.

If You Hold a Seed is something to be seen for the imaginative art alone.  I'll be looking out for her other books.

Title: If You Hold a Seed
Author: Elly MacKay
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9780762447213

A Return

I have decided to delve back into the world of book blogging.  I never wanted to leave.  The way our lives unfold, however, sometimes separates us from the small joys.

If there are any lingering readers who have forgotten to update their readers, you will notice that I have deleted my past posts.  This was done to give myself a fresh start.  My opinions may no longer be the same.  Motherhood has a way of maturing us in ways nothing else can.  I tended to be more negative in the past.  That is something that I want to rectify on my future posts.  Unless a book truly warrants a harsh criticism (and very few that I have read do), I want to try to be more upbeat and positive about the books I read.  Reading brings me joy.  I want to share that joy with like-minded folks who are seeking opinions and information about books.  It's so easy to be caught up in the negativity of the world.  I really do not want to contribute any more.  I want to celebrate books.  They are truly wonderful things.

Another reason that I deleted past posts is because, in addition to discussing books that I have read, I plan on sharing our home education experience.  My children are currently six, five, and three years old.  We are starting our journey.  I find so many ideas and encouragement from other home educating blogs, that I want to be included in that experience.

How this will all evolve, I can only speculate.  But I am excited to be back on the journey.