Reviews written by Francesca Amendolia

66 results - showing 31 - 45
1 2 3 4 5
Ordering
May 08, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
The restaurant is full!

-- How do you carve an elephant? -- Get a block of marble and take away everything that doesn’t look like an elephant. I’ve always loved that joke, and not because it’s funny, because it isn’t. I love it because it’s beautifully, simply and totally true...

May 08, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Blending families

In SUMMER OF THE WOLVES, two girls (Diana and Stephanie), who have just recently become step-sisters, set off for a family vacation at a ranch. They barely know each other, and are very different. One is outdoorsy, the other less so. One is interested in boys, the other, not so...

May 02, 2012 (Updated: May 02, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Letting art happen

There’s something especially intriguing about picture books that focus on an artist. Picture books ought to be intensely visual, rewarding in both word and image – and when the illustrator is given the expanded license to explore not just the experiential world, but the creative world of another artist, well,...

May 01, 2012 (Updated: May 01, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Pass the edamame and read this book!

Soybeans, or edamame, are not a particularly exotic foodstuff in the United States these days, but as recently as the 1950s, they were grown only as feed for livestock. Yet for thousands of Chinese immigrants, they were a rare and welcome taste of home. AUNTIE YANG’S GREAT SOYBEAN PICNIC by...

April 29, 2012 (Updated: April 29, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
So much more than a girl-playing-a-boy-sport story

There is no crying in baseball. What there is in baseball, however, is narrative. There is heroism, teamwork, character, courage, perseverance, skill and endurance. And so it is with PLAY BALL, the new graphic novel written by Nunzio Defilippis and Christina Weir and drawn by Jackie Lewis....

April 27, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
The Story of Hades and Persephone

HADES: LORD OF THE DEAD, the fourth in an ongoing series of graphic novels about the Olympians, is just as appealing as all the others have been. While the writer/artist includes plenty of information about both Hades, the god and Hades, his domain—the Underworld, information never gets in the way...

April 15, 2012 (Updated: April 15, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
Valentino Finds a Home

This bright little picture book will appeal to the youngest readers, especially those who have guinea pigs, or a fondness for small animals...and frankly, what child isn't fond of small animals? The charming illustrations incorporate photos of the intrepid Valentino in a variety of amusing situations, including weight-lifting and (my...

April 13, 2012 (Updated: April 15, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
The Bremen Town Musicians

We had a couple of Brian Wildsmith picture books when I was very small. They have since disintegrated, but his art lingers in my pre-verbal memory like something mysterious and magical. Whenever I see his illustrations now, like fireworks they light up those moments locked in my hindbrain when I...

April 13, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Cat Girl's Day Off

Okay, first I'd better 'fess up. I love *Ferris Bueller's Day Off.* I loved it in 1986 when I was (mumble-mumble) years old, and I love it now. In fact, I’m a fan of pretty much everything by John Hughes. Which means I was even more of a sucker for...

April 10, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
That which lurks in the shadows…

When Courtney Crumrin and her social-climbing parents come to live with mysterious Great-Uncle Aloysius in his dusty, dark gothic mansion, she realizes almost immediately things are not what they seem. In the shadowy corners of her new home lurk… things. Creatures. Danger. First published in 2002, this...

April 10, 2012 (Updated: April 10, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
Gorgeous graphic novel

GIANTS BEWARE! Because there’s a hero in the house and her name is Claudette. Small, fierce, red-haired Claudette lives in a walled town, and chafes at the restriction. Just listening to stories of evil giants and those who fought them is not enough for her. She wants to go out...

April 07, 2012
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
The utterly dauntless Alice Miranda rides (her pony) again!

I adore children’s books from the first half of the 20th century, including the admittedly saccharine Milly Molly Mandy books, as well as the Famous Five and everything else by Enid Blyton. I love Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. I do not insist upon gritty...

April 04, 2012 (Updated: April 04, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Baby Flo is a star -- on stage, and on the page

This truly lovely picture book was like seeing a star emerge from behind the clouds. I not only enjoyed BABY FLO in and of itself, but I enjoyed learning about Florence Mills, a remarkable girl and one I think young children would easily admire and identify with. ...

March 26, 2012
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
No stranger than our own world...

There are books that make me smile, and books that make me sigh, books that put me to sleep and books that keep me up all night. There are books that disappoint me, and books that surprise me, books I carry on reading even while I cook supper, and books...

February 21, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
These beans bite back!

When the book opens, the kingdom of Ardendale is celebrating a wedding! Ivy's fairy godmother, after many hundreds of years of fairy-ing (and many jilted lovers), is finally getting married. Ivy, her bridesmaid, is stuck wearing a most ridiculous (but delightfully described) dress and Eldridge, her dragon friend, is contentedly...

66 results - showing 31 - 45
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