In her latest kidsmediacentre kids’ panel review, Emily looks at “Superworm” by author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler.
It is the story of a china rabbit named Edward Tulane (go figure), who is one day accidentally dropped into the ocean by his devoted owner Abelene. After many days in the ocean, he is fished out by a fisherman named Lawrence who takes care of him along with his wife Nellie until being sent to a dumpster by their niece Lolly.
Once again he is lost and found by a hobo (the book’s words not mine), named Bull. After 7 whole years with Bull and his dog Lucy, Edward is kicked off a train (literally!), and found by a crazy old lady who uses him as a scarecrow.
By now, he does not want to be loved and just wants to die – it’s hard being passed around all the time! He is stolen by a young boy named Bryce. Bryce gives Edward to his little sister Sarah-Ruth, a young girl who is extremely sick. She sadly dies and Bryce is forced to live in the streets. On his first night on the street with Bryce however, Edward is broken.
Bryce, of course, can’t pay to fix Edward so he has to let him go, leaving him with a china doll expert. What happens next is a wonderful surprise that makes Edward’s journey worthwhile.
I liked this book because it is by one of my very favourite authors. It is such a beautiful story and I recommend it for readers about 10 and up. It is also good for adults!
Thanks for reading!
Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector
Nowadays cats are all the rage, and what better way to contribute to said rage than with an app that lets you collect virtual cats? This app is called Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector and it is incredible. I am a giant fan of this app, and a lot of my friends are too. In this app, you are given a yard where you can place different toys and accessories to attract cats that you can buy in the store for fish (the currency in the game).
This game is full of surprises as different items bought in the store attract different types of cats. The real kicker is the cats won’t show up if you are always on the app so you have to close it and periodically check back in. I guess that’s how they get you to keep coming back. Now, I think the goal of the game is to collect all of the cats, but it is unclear since the game was originally all in Japanese.
The app was first released in October 2014 and was developed by Hit-Point and is available on iOS and Android devices. I personally love this game because of the cute animations as well as the push to beat my friends by collecting all of the cats before them. One thing about the game that I really like is that you can change the name of the cat after you have “collected” it.
I would recommend this game to people because of all the fun I’ve had with it. Sure it can get a little boring because you can’t really interact with your cats, but I like the challenge of collecting all the cats. Also, every once in a while, one of your cats will bring you a memento and you collect those as well and they are adorable. Have I mentioned this game is adorable? Because it is.
What are better than virtual cats? Real ones! However, if you can’t get real cats, virtual ones are a close second, which is why Kitty Collector is the app for you. It’s like practice for my future of being a cat lady! So it’s great!
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- The Big Book of Peanuts: All the Daily Strips From the 1960s, by Charles M. Schulz (©2015 by Peanuts Worldwide, LLC. Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC)
The Big Book of Peanuts: All the Daily Strips From the 1960s is really just a lot of comic strips showing a small group of kids that keep making different jokes. The main characters in Peanuts are: Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Schroder, Sally, and Woodstock. It is entertaining to see them live their lives in funny ways for the readers.
Why it’s cool:
The Peanuts book is cool because you have Peanuts strips from 10 years in one book. For special days during the year, you can see what happened. I like to see how so few characters can make so many different jokes, and when I actually get a joke from one of the strips, I have a laugh. Another thing I like is that there are so many strips to read, so you can read it for a very long time. Though some strips are better than others, all together, it’s very awesome.
Is this entertaining, educational, or both?
It is entertaining, but not educational, because every strip has its own little joke to it, but it is not educational because there is no learning in it, although there is one comic strip where I learned that the Bible contains 3,566,480 letters and 773,893 words (Page 511).
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Mystery Diners on the Food Network.
Mystery Diners is an awesome 30 minute reality television show on the Food Network. The show is about a man named Charles Stiles and his team of Mystery Diners who help restaurant owners with problems they are having in their restaurants that involve dishonest or bad employees.
In the episodes, a restaurant owner is having problems with one or more employees. In most cases, the employees are stealing or acting inappropriately when the owner is away. However, because this bad behaviour only happens when the owner is not around, they call in Mystery Diners to help!
The group of Mystery Diners includes private investigators and undercover operatives who help restaurant owners by placing hidden cameras in their restaurants so that they can find out what’s really going on when the owner is not around. Charles leads the team and monitors the hidden cameras with the owner. They also use undercover Mystery Diners to act as waitresses-in-training, cooks-in-training or customers. These undercover operatives help to identify the real problems while Charles and the owner watch everything on the hidden cameras.
At the end people who have been stealing or acting inappropriately are usually fired and sometimes they go to jail!
I like this show because you get to see how people are behaving without them knowing you are watching. Also, I like it because the people acting badly are always caught and the owners get their restaurant back on track! Be warned that sometimes they can use bad words, but they are always ‘bleeped’ out.
Although Mystery Diners may not be right for all people, older kids will love it.
Is it entertaining, educational or a little of both?
It’s mostly entertaining, but it does show you what can happen if you aren’t good later in life!
Time to review James Dashner’s post apocalyptic science fiction Maze Runner trilogy (this review will be excluding the prequel The Kill Order). This is a fantastic trilogy that uses its intricate writing style to shield the books in a cloud of mystery. These books are definitely worth a read.
The first book (The Maze Runner) opens with a teenage boy (Tomas), confined to a lift, moving skywards. He has amnesia and cannot remember anything, save for his name later on. As the lift stops, several other boys around the same age as him greet him. It is revealed that these boys have been placed into a large maze, with one way out. They must use teamwork in order to survive the many obstacles ahead of them, from the deadly maze (The Maze Runner), to the scorching remains of Mexico (The Scorch Trials), and even to confronting the sinister organization that put them through all these trials (The Death Cure).
As a side note, the Maze Runner movies will not be taken into consideration for this review. I viewed the first one and I disliked it, as it strayed too far from the source material for my taste. As a result, I have also not seen the second movie, released last year in 2015.
First off, the writing style in these books is phenomenal; it is written from a third person perspective. However, because Tomas has amnesia, it becomes more like a first person adventure; we discover and experience the same things Tomas does at the same time as him. Tomas is almost an extension of us the reader. We experience everything through his eyes, and that is an element that makes the book more engaging. The genius twist with this however, is that by using a third person perspective, we can observe what emotions and thoughts are running through the other character’s heads. It is a fantastic way to learn more about each character while at the same time experiencing every event with Tomas.
Furthermore, the plot in each book is engaging and well written. For the first two books (The Maze Runner and The Scorch Trials), there is an added layer of mystery surrounding each. That notion is always present at the back of your mind and in the book, with subtle hints towards future plot points. This helps engage the reader, as they want to uncover the truth about these mysteries. The plot is well written with the story moving at a faster pace to engage readers. There are handfuls of action and character drama to really round out these books. With each death defying scenario the reader is constantly on the edge of their seat wondering what happens next.
Finally with the third book, all the mysteries are uncovered, however, there is still another added layer that really makes you wonder if Tomas and the other Gladers are really doing the right thing – accomplishing the correct task. The only criticism I can really give to these books is that the ending is somewhat anti-climactic and leaves you almost frustrated as the ending appears as if the author (James Dashner) could not think of a suitable ending.
The Maze Runner trilogy is a fantastic young-adult book series that will engage you to the very end. Aside from a disappointing and anti-climactic ending, these books are phenomenally written, expertly paced, and amazing. If you have enjoyed book series such as the Hunger Games in particular, you will love these books.
Jessie is my favourite TV show right now. I discovered it a year ago and can’t get enough of it! I even series-record it on our PVR! The show started in 2010 and, sadly, the show ended in October 2015. I watch it so much, that my Mom asked me why I like this show more than other shows. I said “I don’t know” because I don’t really think about it. But she asked me to give her some reasons and so I had to think about it. That’s when I decided to do a review of it, so here it is!!!!…
Jessie is an awesome TV show because it is about a teenager who originally lived in Texas, and then moved to New York to follow her dreams and become an actress. But on the way, she meets a young girl named Zuri who wants her to be her nanny. At first, Jessie was happy, but then she saw the other kids she had to watch: Luke, Emma, and Ravi. When she saw the way they were acting, she wasn’t too happy about becoming a nanny…
It is a very popular show, and I think that is because it’s so diverse. All of the kids are different ages, and come from different cultures. Emma is the eldest, and she is the only biological child of the parents. Their dad is a movie producer and their mom is an actress, so they’re away most of the time… that’s why they need Jessie. After having Emma, they adopted Luke from Detroit, (but he thinks he is from Krypton). Then came Ravi from India and Zuri from Uganda.
The many ages, cultures, and personalities of the characters make the show fun for kids because there is at least one person that they can relate to. When I first started watching, I liked Zuri because I was younger, because she is cute, adorable, and fun. Now that I am growing older, I like Emma because she likes fashion and is more mature. I also like Jessie, because she really cares for all the kids. Luke is very funny because he gets into a lot of trouble, and I can relate to Ravi because he is from India and so am I. He speaks in Hindi sometimes, and although I can’t understand it because I speak a different language, my parents understand and they translate it for me.
The show also has Bertman, the butler, who takes care of the house and food. He is very lazy, and has only gone through one sponge (for cleaning dishes, etc.), in his ten years of working. He is very humorous because he plays pranks on the kids. The kids prank each other, Jessie, and especially Bertram.
The show stars Debbie Ryan (as Jessie), Peyton List (as Emma), Cameron Boyce (as Luke), Karan Brar (as Ravi), Skai Jackson (as Zuri), and Kevin Chamberlin (as Bertram). I wish it kept going, but as all good shows, it had to end. The good news is that some of the kids (Emma, Ravi and Zuri), moved on to a new show called Bunk’d. It’s about kids at a camp. Luke is in a different show called Gamers Guide To Pretty Much Everything. He sometimes shows up on Bunk’d as well. The other characters (Jessie and Bertram) don’t show up at all.
For people who have seen the show, they already know all that I wrote about, and for the people who have not seen it yet, watch it…you’ll LOVE it!
A place for everything and everything in its place.
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Angus Reviews Zootopia.
Why it’s cool:
We went to see Zootopia because the trailer was so funny!
The story is about a little bunny, Judy, that wants to be a hero. She wants to help the community. So she becomes a police officer, becoming Lieutenant Judy Hops – right in the future city, Zootopia!
Judy becomes good friends with the fox, Nick Wilde, her natural predator.
The city has all animals living happily together. Then the animals begin to change. They are mysteriously turning wild. It’s up to Judy to solve the mystery.
Is this entertaining, educational, or both?
I think both. The message of the movie is that we all need to work together as a team. I loved this movie and so did my mom, so it’s good for both adults and kids. It was full of action and excitement. It has great ratings and I know why. It is a super film.
This week, Emily shares her thoughts on one of her favourite shows — The Numtums!
The Walk is a movie about a young street performer from Paris, France, named Philip Petit, who dreams of walking between New York’s World Trade Center “twin towers” on a high wire. With a group of “accomplices” and friends, and many months of planning, he succeeds!
The Walk is a true story that took place in 1974. It’s the story of a young man’s adventure, and a movie that you will not soon forget. I recommend this movie for 10-11 years and older, but maybe not for those afraid of heights. At the time of Petit’s walk, the Twin Towers were still under construction, and set to be the tallest buildings in the world.
I have always loved Phillip’s story of determination. I have enjoyed the many books he wrote or that were written about him, and the movie is no exception. The movie has inspired me to look into Phillip’s story to learn more about his lifetime and the adventure he had! I will say he is an amazing person and The Walk is a great way of capturing his story: anything is possible!
Meet our kids' panel: a savvy group of kids with a strong point of view about the media and the culture they consume. Culturally diverse, a range of age and interests, they'll provide you with an insight into kids' media ... what works, what doesn't and why. Check back often for new reviews. We think you'll be inspired!