Doctor Smurf by Peyo

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Title: Doctor Smurf by Peyo

Notable: Book #20 in The Smurfs Graphic Novels series

Premise:

When Papa Smurf is too busy in his laboratory to tend to the health needs of the rest of the Smurfs, one of them decides to take on the roll of Doctor himself.  The new Doctor Smurf prescribes whichever potions suit his fancy, writes sick notes for all of the Smurfs, and generally causes a complete breakdown of the Smurf way of life.  It’s up to Papa Smurf to put things to rights and take over again as the physician for the Smurf village.

My thoughts:

When I saw that the library had a line of these Smurf graphic novels, I was over the moon!  I never even knew that they existed!  In my bid to finish my reading challenge by the end of the year (which I’m not certain I’ll accomplish), I’m reading more graphic novels.  Kind of a cop-out, but a fun cop-out nonetheless.

This story is playful and lighthearted as you’d expect any Smurf story to be.  It doesn’t contain anything really profound, though it does make you think a bit about hypochondria and the over-prescription of medication.  I’m sure that would be lost on a child reading the story.  My one criticism is that I think the world “Smurf” is overused.  In the show they use it to mean any number of things, and I totally get that.  It’s part of what makes it so charming, but when the word is used so much that you have difficulty understanding parts of the story, that’s a sign that you might want to hold back on that next “smurf” you’re going to substitute.  Just my two cents.  Other than that, I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more Smurf graphic novels.

I recommend Doctor Smurf to kids and adults alike who are fans of the Smurfs.

Rating: 4 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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Prodigal Son by Danielle Steel

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I just got done reading another book that came off of the next-to-the-crossword-puzzle list, Prodigal Son.  I’ve never read any Danielle Steel books before, though I remember my grandma had a couple of her books lying around the house.  For some reason I thought she wrote romance novels.  Maybe she does, but this book is not one of them.

Firstly, the story is about a couple of twin brothers, Michael and Peter, and the enmity between them.  Peter, the “black sheep” decides to leave home and make a life for himself away from the slander of his brother and the disappointment of his parents.  Fast forward over a decade and the two brothers have found their niches–Michael has taken over his father’s small town medical practice, and Peter is a hot-shot on Wall Street.

With the Wall Street bust, Peter finds that he has lost everything.  To add insult to injury, his shallow wife decides to file for divorce.  At the end of his resources, Peter returns to his hometown to live in the outdated lake house that his parents left him when they died.

This is where the story starts to pick up, as Michael and Peter are thrown into the same social circles again.  At this point I could tell you how the story goes, but then I’d wreck it for you.  I won’t do that, and you’re welcome.  I’ll just say that the illness of Michael’s wife really brings the brothers’ issues to a head.  Their differences and family problems are finally resolved.  It’s not a feel-good book, even though my explanation kind of makes it sound that way.

The story plot was pretty good, but the execution was subpar.  I feel strange saying that about a book by such a popular author.  As I was reading it, it seemed like something was a little off.  As I got further into the book, I finally realized what it was.  The writing itself seemed like it wasn’t done by a professional.  If you read it, you’ll see what I’m talking about.  This is just an example of some of the awkwardness that is present throughout the book:

“And the next day Peter and the boys left for Spain.  They went to Madrid and Seville and Toledo, and then lay on a beach on the Costa Brava, and they spent the last few days in Mallorca, and they all loved it.” (p. 263)

I’m not sure if the book wasn’t proofread well, or what.  Who knows.  Anyhow, I wouldn’t recommend the book.  It was painful trying to make it all the way through.  Maybe some of her older books are better.  I’ll have to check one of them out and see.

Possible Objections:

  • Some bad language.
  • Some violence.

 Rating: 2 Stars

 

Until next time…

Lori

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The Complete Book of First Experiences by Anne Civardi

First Experiences

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The Complete Book of First Experiences is a fun book about many new experiences that kids may have.  It has stories about going to the hospital, going to the doctor, going to school, going to the dentist, having a baby, moving, getting a new puppy, going on a plane, and going to a party.

The illustrations are by Stephen Cartwright and they are so cute.  They have a lot of detail and are really fun to look at.  There’s also a little yellow duck for you to find on each two-page spread.

I like this book because it’s fun and exciting.  It’s good for preschool up to school-age kids.

Possible Objections:

  1. In the story about the new baby, the mom is shown breastfeeding her baby.  You can’t see a lot, but some people may not be comfortable with their child even knowing about how breastfeeding works.
  2. In the story about the party, some of the children are wearing Halloween costumes that some parents may not like (i.e. witch, vampire, ghost, monster).

 

Toodles,

Jewls