Mini Reviews: Adventures with Barefoot Critters, Paris in Love & O is for Outlaw

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Adventures with Barefoot Critters
by Teagan White

This sweet children's book features woodland creatures, (a fox, deer, squirrel and inexplicably a Triceratops), having adventures. Each page is dedicated to a single letter of the alphabet and has a cute little sentence paired with rustic illustrations.

I love that the book starts at the beginning of the year and works it is way through summertime fun and ends with Z on New Year's Eve. It also doesn't keep things too simple in regards to the alphabet. Instead of each letter having a single word ("A" is for Apple, "B" is for Ball), if uses that letter in multiple words in a single sentence. For example the F page says, “We camped in the Forest, cooking Food over the Fire.”

BOTTOM LINE: A very cute children’s book that introduces kids to the alphabet.

Paris in Love 
by Eloisa James
This memoir is based on the author’s time in Paris. She moves to the famous city from her home in New Jersey with her two children and Italian husband in tow. The family’s goal is to embrace a sweeter, slower life for a single year, savoring food and experiences.
The author, by her own admission, compiled her Facebook and Twitter posts about her time in Paris to create this “memoir.” The result is a completely disjointed book. There are funny bits and astute observations, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the entire book is a series of non sequiturs with the loosest of threads holding it together. She’ll say something about her daughter’s difficult time adjusting to her new school and then the very next line is about a delicious meal she ate and then the next mentions their overweight chihuahua.
It was sweet to read about the wonderful meals she ate and museums she saw, but for me it wasn’t enough to justify a book. The format was too fragmented and I probably would have enjoyed it more if I’d read them on Facebook, in the original form they were intended.
BOTTOM LINE: There are too many great Parisian memoirs out there to make this one worthwhile. Read it only if you’re in the mood for a tiny taste of Paris and don’t care what form it comes in.
O is for Outlaw
by Sue Grafton
Kinsey’s first marriage has always been an unknown for readers. In this book we get to explore that relationship and in doing so we learn more about the tough P.I. we’ve come to know and love. O is for Outlaw has the same expected set up of the other novels, it just deals with Kinsey’s past instead of a stranger’s this time.
From bar fights to Vietnam Kinsey digs into her ex’s past and the confusing circumstances surrounding their break-up. She also makes a quick trip to Louisville, Ky. and spends a bit of time in the southern city.
BOTTOM LINE: A good addition to the series and a fun read.
**There’s one glaring thing I have to mention about the audio version of this book. All of the books in this series, from “A is for Alibi” to “N is for Noose” are read by Judy Kaye. She always did a fantastic job and I have a feeling her narration is a big part of why I’ve enjoyed these. This latest installment is read by Mary Peiffer. She doesn’t do a bad job; it’s just not the voice I’ve grown to connect with Kinsey Millhone. I have no idea why they switched narrators midway through the series, but it’s definitely a disappointment.


Andi said...

Adventures with Barefoot Critters looks adorable. I just ordered a "Shiver Me Letters" alphabet book for Greyson. On the whole, he's not terribly interested in knowing his letters. He can sing the ABC song but when it comes to identification he has a harder time. Hoping something like Shiver or Adventures could help get him interested.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Andi - I definitely saved this one to share with future littles :)

Leslie @ This is the Refrain said...

I have no reason to buy the Adventures with Barefoot Critters, but man oh man I want to have it just cause it looks so cute!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Lu - I don't either, but I love it!