Gerturde and Toby Save the Gingerbread Man

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Gertrude and Toby Save the Gingerbread Man by Shari Tharp art by Jim Heath

Goodreads rating: 5 stars

 

I received this book through Goodreads Giveaway. This is my honest review.

Gertrude and Toby Save the Gingerbread Man  is a cute, short story, about Gertrude (goat) and Toby (turtle), two farm animals who like to go on adventures. This particular adventure starts off with the Farmer taking the prized pig to the fair. Gertrude and Toby decide to go off to town for an adventure. Along the way, they see a magic carpet flying in the woods. Shortly after, a young boy and girl running out of the woods away from a witch. The magic carpet flies underneath the children and brings them to safety by Gertrude and Toby. These two children are Hansel and Gretel. They tag along with Gertrude and Toby into town. Once there, they hear a scream and see a Gingerbread Man being carried by a beanstalk into the sky. The magic carpet took Gertrude and Toby up into the clouds to a cabin of a giant. Gertrude was able to rescue the Gingerbread Man and they escaped back to the town. The baker told Hansel and Gretel they could live with him, and Gertrude and Toby happily went back to their farm.

This was a cute story. This book is great for young children and is able to keep their interest. There are many pictures with a paragraph or few sentences on most pages. It is a great stepping stone book, or to be read to young children at bedtime. This is the second book, but you do not have to read the first book to follow along. Each book appears to be it’s own new adventure and is written in a way to keep kids interested.

I really liked the mixture of identifiable fairy tales such as Hansel and Gretel, Gingerbread Man, and Jack and the Beanstalk. I think that is an interesting concept to include them. This was probably my favorite part of the story. I liked how they all connected to each other.

The illustrations were great. Jim Heath is a great artist and each picture was interesting and helps visualize the story.

Zac and Mia

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My rating: 3.8 Stars out of 5. Goodreads rating: 4 stars

I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. The following is an honest review that I was in no way compensated to give 

First, I should say, this if I could rate this more than a 3.5 but less than a 4 on Goodreads, I would.

When I first entered this giveaway, I was excited to find out that I won. Once I received the book and started to read it, I found that i constantly had to remind myself that this book is not John Greene’s The Fault In Our Stars. If you plan on reading this and you liked The Fault in Our Stars, Zac and Mia is WAY different. If you go in thinking it might be just as great, you might be disappointed.

Zac was an enjoyable character. He was funny, and your almost typical 17 year old male. He was a smart ass and was obsessed with success rates. Cancer success rates that is. Zac has lukemea, with a very low success rate. In the 50s. If he is lucky. At the beginning of this story, Zac is in the hospital after having just received a marrow transplant. Chemo didn’t work, and this transplant has a “hit or miss.” Zac was always the strong one. For his family, for himself, and eventually, for Mia.

Mia was atrocious. I am not trying to be insensitive. I do understand why she was upset, having osteocarcoma and ultimately having part of her leg removed…I get that she would be upset. Mia was very shallow, and instead of doing what the doctors told her, she RAN AWAY….because running away from our problems means they won’t ever catch up right? Page after page of “woe is me” is too much. Especially when you have Zac, who had to have a marrow transplant that MAY NOT work and he is not crying or sniveling or stealing from family to run away. I think Betts could have spent a little more time on Mia. I couldn’t stand Mia until part 3 when she finally got it together.

Zac was strong. He just tried living what he had left of life to live. He never gave up on Mia, even when she gave up on herself. This story is about more than cancer and friendship. It’s about growth and strength.

I feel this story took too long to get to the point. I liked it was told from the points of view of both Zac and Mia, but I found myself more engrossed in Zac’s narratives. This book did bring tears to my eyes. Even though it took me a while to read and truck through, part 3 was worth reading and bumped my overall rating.

This book was far from The Fault in Our Stars, but then again, it’s not supposed to be the same is it? Just keep an open mind.