Speed Reviews – Children’s Books

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A few more speed reviews for you. These are books I read over a year ago that never got reviewed. They’re short since it’s been so long since I read them.

Kaboom! Explosions of all Kinds by Gillian Richardson
Stars: ***

Summary: Who knew that some insects can create explosions to get food? Or that fireworks were once used to fight wars? Explosions are all around us, from the Big Bang that created the universe to the “pop” of a seedpod, from solar flares to the explosive gases lurking in a coal mine. Full of fun facts, dramatic images and highlights of momentous blasts in history—including the infamous Halifax explosion of 1917— KABOOM! examines an astonishing variety of explosions and the science behind them. – Annick Press

I have read lots of science type books from Annick Press but this wasn’t one of the best ones. It was interesting but didn’t capture my interest the way some of the others did (Nibbling on Einstein’s Brain, Spiked Scorpions and Walking Whales etc…). I’m not sure what caused my disinterest but I did find my mind wandering. I’m also not the intended age (9+) of course. However if I find it a tad slow, I think older kids would too.  The best part of the book was the photos showing explosives used for demolition. It shows how the building implodes.

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The Bubble by Brian D. McClure
Stars: ***

Summary: Once there was a little boy, who didn’t want anyone to play with any of his toys… As the little boy grows into a man, he only cares about his many material possessions. As one by one, the things he cares about begin to leave his life, he soon finds himself all alone, trapped inside a bubble. The Bubble is a delightful story that will help both children and adults remember what truly matters in life. – from BriandMcClure.com

The premise of this book was good. Teaching a child that possessions aren’t everything is a great idea. However I’m not sure about the way the book ended up. The first 25 pages were great. Then it gets a little weird:

“…Soon the trees, grass, and flowers left his property.” pg 26 – Um they just disappeared?
“Soon, his possessions left him.” pg 30 – Riiiight.
“Soon, his house left him… but he still had his fenced-in yard.” pg 35 – See where this is going.
(then the soil leaves and he is immersed in an empty bubble)
“The bubble started to sink into the void, where his house and possessions once were. The last thing the old man saw was the twelve-foot fence that once surrounded his property.” pg 41

Okay so I get that it’s supposed to show how alone he ends up and the ending sort of explains it a bit as well but it just seems a bit weird to me. I would have preferred a book that’s more realistic, where the man just grows old amongst stuff but alone. To me if the book is going to teach a real life lesson, it should be more realistic. But perhaps you would like it. It does have a good morale and I love the graphics. It’s a great book for all ages as not just kids need reminders about possessions.

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*Both books were received in exchange for a review if I finished them. All opinions are honest and are my own. 

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.