The Bookshelf Corner

A creative space for all things books and writing….

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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss


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NetGalley Book Review: Henry Hodges Needs a Friend by Andy Andrews, Illustrated by Colleen Madden

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson: CHILDREN’S for providing me with an e-copy to read and review. Henry Hodges Needs a Friend was published March 3, 2015.


Image via NetGalley

Genre: Picture Book, Children’s Fiction
Rating: 3/5
Recommend to Others?: Unsure


Summary (via NetGalley):
From the author of The Kid Who Changed the World, this hilarious rhyming story, complete with charming art, offers comfort to children who often feel left out or are in need of a good friend.

At some point, almost every child struggles with feeling like they don’t fit in or are left out—just like Henry Hodges. Henry is a lonely little boy on a lonely little street who longs for a friend. One day, his mother and father take him to a pet rescue shelter and his lonely world is changed! Told in a playful rhyme with adorable illustrations, this book will be a favorite among children and parents who love dogs and, ultimately, will comfort and encourage children who struggle with feeling accepted and finding friends.
Kids will want to read this whimsical and imaginative story again and again!


My Review:
This book was okay but I’m not sure about the overall impressions I get from it. Henry is bored, lonely, and without a friend nearby. His parents decide to get him a pet. I’m all for getting a pet for your kid to be friends with (having a pet has many benefits) but why doesn’t Henry just invite friends over from time to time or go to their house?Just seems like there’s something missing from the story and it leaves me skeptical.

The illustrations are fantastic. They’re so smooth, bright and colorful. I did laugh at the funny imaginings Henry had of what his new friend might be like. The narrative told in couplets/abab rhyme scheme was a nice touch as well.


5 Movies I Didn’t Know Were Books FIRST

There are movies I’ve seen and loved that I didn’t know where books first, which always made for shocking discoveries. I don’t think I truly knew what adaptations were until maybe high school. But now I’m more conscious of this. However, it is fascinating to look at the adaptation history of a particular work. Adaptations in general are a really interesting subject to read about.

So here are 5 randomly chosen movies I didn’t know were books first:

#1: Where The Wild Things Are (by Maurice Sendak)
#2: The Help (by Kathryn Stockett)
#3: A Walk To Remember (by Nicholas Sparks)
#4: Eat, Pray, Love (by Elizabeth Gilbert)
#5: Bridget Jones’s Diary (by Helen Fielding)

I’ve only watched the movie for #2 and #3, have never read any of these books, but I’ve heard of all of these movies and authors (except for Kathryn Stockett, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Helen Fielding). I’ve been meaning to watch Bridget Jones’s Diary – because I like Colin Firth and Renée Zellweger – but just haven’t found the time (maybe I’ll read the book first?). And I do plan to read Where The Wild Things Are at some point because it’s a classic. Perhaps 2018 will be the year.

Which of these titles do you recommend I watch and/or read? Are there any movies you’ve seen that you didn’t know were books first? Let me know in the comments below.


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Picture Book: “Dale’s Bedtime Story” by Christina @ The Bookshelf Corner (TEXT ONLY)

Dale’s Bedtime Story by Christina @ The Bookshelf Corner
© Jan/Feb 2017

*slightly edited from original text

Dale is a good little boy…but very adventurous. He can be quite the handful. Dale had a habit of exploring and getting into things he shouldn’t. His parents chased after him all day long.

Late one night, his parents finally got Dale ready for bed.

“Okay, kiddo,” his father said. He cleared his throat. “Time for a bedtime story.”

“So your father and I – I mean, you –  can go to sleep…finally.” His mother whispered the last bit to herself.

Dale looked at his parents’ tired expressions with a sad frown on his face. “I want to tell you a bedtime story!” Dale said. He scooted to the end of the bed. “This is the most amazing, fantastical, coolest story ever to be told!” He cleared his throat the same way his father always did before telling a story and began.

“Once upon a time, there was a knight named Dad who was very brave and nice and strong and had a mighty sharp sword and could shoot lasers out of his eyes. He was the best of the best, which is why he sometimes wasn’t invited to play checkers with the other knights.

“People loved him because he could destroy all the monsters and eat a whole chocolate cake by himself. But he was very lonely like a foot without a sock to keep it warm. Every knight but him had a lady who they loved with all their hearts. Sir Dad had no one, which made him feel oh-so sad. You can’t be a true knight without a lady, he thought.

“One day, he was riding his trusty horse, Edgar the Handsomest, when – as he was about to pass a tree – he heard a cry for help. He looked around wondering where the sound was coming from. Someone called to him again. He thought it was the tree. ‘Do you need help, Mr. Tree?’ Dad asked the large tree.

“‘Up here, sir knight! It was me!’ a voice cried from above.

“The knight looked up and saw a frightened lady clinging to the tree trunk. She wore only one sock. ‘Good lady,’ he called. ‘How did you get up there?’

“‘A cat stole my sock and ran up this tree,’ she replied. ‘So I climbed the tree to get it back but the cat jumped down and ran away. I got stuck because I do not like heights. Can you help me?’

“Dad leapt off his horse and struck a knightly pose. ‘Don’t worry, my lady. I will save you!’ he promised.

“The knight took out a jet-pack, flew up into the tree, and rescued the lady.

“They were both very happy to see each other. So happy that…”

Dale trailed off when he heard snoring. Both his parents had fallen asleep. He smiled, then cautiously crawled back into his spot in between them. “So happy that Sir Dad gave Lady Mom a spare sock he had and they fell madly in love,” Dale continued, whispering now. “They rode away on the horse, went home, and got married. They started a family and had a little boy named Prince Dale…who deep down loved his Mom and Dad very much…” He yawned and his eyes began to droop. “And they all lived happily…ever…after. The end.” And soon, Dale fell asleep as well.




Reading 2017: Best of Picture Books

It’s a tie for the #1 spot in this category…


The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Pictures by Oliver Jeffers

Image via Goodreads


The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! by Mo Willems

Image via Scholastic

Both books are really good in their own special way. What I like most about them is how hilarious the stories are. They’re just brilliantly told picture books. The Day the Crayons Quit made me think of my childhood – I loved drawing with crayons as a kid. And The Pigeon Wants A Puppy! is just so silly it’s funny.


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Book Review: Lilly’s Big Day by Kevin Henkes

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Picture Books, Children’s Fiction
Series: Mouse Books
Rating: 4/5
Recommend to Others?: Yes


Summary (via Goodreads):
Mr. Slinger has big news.
He’s getting married.

Lilly has big plans.
She’s going to be the flower girl.
(Lilly has always wanted to be a flower girl.
Even more than a surgeon or a diva or a hairdresser.)

But what’s the biggest,
the best,
the most perfect thing of all?
You’re invited to the wedding — so start reading!


My Review:
I’m a big fan of Kevin Henkes’s books. He’s a very talented storyteller and artist. Lilly’s Big Day was a wonderful and funny read. I just adore Lilly’s character and how determined she is to be the best flower girl ever. Once she gets an idea in her head she doesn’t let it go – no counterargument can dissuade her. And it’s funny how she seems to be more excited about the wedding than Mr. Slinger (her teacher). Her excitement about the occasion is very infectious. I couldn’t wait to read what would happen next.


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Book Review: The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Picture Books, Children’s Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Recommend to Others?: Yes


Summary (via Goodreads):
The New York Times bestseller that celebrates the dreams, acceptance, and love that parents have for their children . . . now and forever!
From brave and bold to creative and clever, Emily Winfield Martin’s rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful, and sometimes humorous, illustrations, and a clever gatefold with kids in costumes, this is a book grown-ups will love reading over and over to kids—both young and old. A great gift for any occasion, but a special stand-out for baby showers, birthdays, and graduation. The Wonderful Things You Will Be has a loving and truthful message that will endure for lifetimes.


My Review:
Wow. I felt so many emotions from the very beginning. This book was so cute and precious and emotional. The words reminded me of birthday cards I’d gotten from my parents, so I felt really connected to the story. I love the illustrations too – they’re so sweet and lovely and sweep across the pages with such gentle vigor. Not to mention all the babies are so cute! I also love the message of unbridled love and hope the parent has for their child and their future. Using rhymes to tell the story makes the author’s words much more effective than if rhymes hadn’t been used. The Wonderful Things You Will Be is a perfect book for all to enjoy; definitely need to add this to my bookshelf. There are so many good things that can be taken away from this wonderful story.