Book Review: Tink by Bodil Bredsdorff

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Tink by Bodil Bredsdorff

This is the third book in The Children of Crow Cove series.  This book focuses mostly on Tink, who is growing into a young man now.  The people of Crow Cove are facing difficult times as food dwindles at the end of the winter.  They are down to just eating potatoes.  Tink, blaming himself for their hunger, decides to leave Crow Cove, but on his way discovers a man lying at the side of the road.  It turns out to be Burd, the abusive man whom Foula and Eidi ran away from.  Tink returns to the cove with him, bringing into their family both danger and hope.

There is something so special about this series.  Each book is short and yet has depth in it.  There are detailed looks at how the people live.  In this book, there are many details about the wildlife at Crow Cove and how fishing works and storing the catch happens.  These small details create a living, breathing world in the book.

The characters here are ones that readers of the series will recognize.  Villains from previous books return again, displaying complex reactions and roles.  No character here is written simply, rather they are complicated and require compassion from the reader and others in the story. 

This third book is a great addition to the series, displaying the same strengths as the other books.  I am hoping for more books as change comes again to Crow Cove at the end of this book, and I just have to know what happens to my beloved characters.  Appropriate for ages 11-13.

Reviewed from copy received from Farrar Straus & Giroux.

Book Review: This Plus That by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

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This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Jen Corace

This book starts with 1 + 1 but it doesn’t equal 2.  Instead the answer is “us”.  Start with that charming beginning and you then enter a book filled with a variety of equations that surprise, delight and cause laughter.  There are equations for colors that result in a rainbow.  There are equations for city and country.  Very different things add up to equal school vs. birthday, as one might expect.  This is a book that celebrates the little things in life all through equations that reveal the small pieces of what make up the special things. 

My favorite equation in the book is “cozy + smell of pancakes – alarm clock = weekend” which shows just how simple yet profound these little equations can be.  Can’t you smell the pancakes?  A big key to the success of the book is the clever nature of the equations.  They are different and interesting enough to keep the reader enjoying them throughout the book.  Even better, they inspire you to start thinking about your life in equations too.

Corace’s illustrations add to the charm of the book with their bright colors and modern lines.  Her round-faced, merry children add a zest to the book.  Happily, the illustrations have a vintage feel as well, especially when adults are depicted. 

This book inspires thinking in equations, so a great activity might be for children to write their own life equations.  Maybe even about their class or the library?  Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by A Reading Year.