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Posts Tagged ‘Marc Brown’

Children’s Books, Briefly: 2014-03-27

Posted by Tracy Poff on March 27, 2014

Arthur Goes to Camp by Marc Brown

ArthurGoesToCamp-coverThe fifth Arthur book. The art has continued to evolve, and by this point Arthur should look quite familiar to viewers of the TV series. The story is that Arthur goes to camp, is sure that he will hate it–does hate it–but, in the end, he accidentally wins a scavenger hunt for his team, and decides he loves camp. It’s meant to be funny, I guess, but it doesn’t work for me, and the story’s not very interesting. Much boys vs. girls, followed by a new antagonist: an entire camp of villains. Not to my taste.

Arthur’s Halloween by Marc Brown

ArthursHalloween-coverThe sixth Arthur book. Halloween themed, obviously, with a rather tired ‘old lady who isn’t actually a witch, gasp!’ plot. Plenty of Arthur being afraid of his shadow, though he does overcome his fear to go after his sister, which is a point in his favor. Most of these books, so far, are about Arthur being afraid or otherwise insecure. Is that what the series is all about? It’d be nice if Arthur could occasionally be a bit more straightforwardly admirable.

Arthur’s April Fool by Marc Brown

ArthursAprilFool-coverThe seventh Arthur book. Another holiday themed book, and we’re not done with those yet. Arthur must deal with a bully while preparing for the April Fool’s assembly. He’s very nervous, but in the end, he manages to play a trick or two on the bully. It’s unfortunate that none of the adults around Arthur, including those aware of the bullying, do anything to help, but I expect that’s more truth in fiction than anything. Rather average book.

Arthur’s Thanksgiving by Marc Brown

ArthursThanksgiving-coverThe eighth Arthur book. Arthur is put in charge of the Thanksgiving play. Arthur’s friends are extra nice to him, to be sure they get the parts they want. This is nice, until Arthur realizes that nobody wants to play the turkey–and he can’t have a play called The Big Turkey Hunt without a turkey! I was expecting a lesson about leadership, or standing up to your friends, or something, but in the end Arthur just plays the turkey himself, and his friends are kind enough to join him in his embarrassment. Disappointing. Another average book.

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Children’s Books, Briefly: 2014-03-23

Posted by Tracy Poff on March 23, 2014

I had never read any of Marc Brown’s Arthur books before, so I’ve been catching up a bit. They’re not bad. The artwork really evolves over the first few books, and from the covers of later books I’m guessing that trend continues. Should be interesting to see how the books go, over the years.

Arthur’s Nose by Marc Brown

ArthursNose-cover

The first entry in the venerable Arthur series. Arthur is teased because of his nose, and considers rhinoplasty, but ultimately decides that he’s fine just as he is. Not too bad art, decent message. The highlight is Arthur trying on various other animals’ noses to see which he likes. Not a bad book, but the series does improve.

Arthur’s Eyes by Marc Brown

ArthursEyes-coverSecond Arthur book. Arthur needs glasses, and is teased because of them. Eventually he learns that they are very helpful, and don’t look so bad after all. Better art than the previous book, and generally improved.

Arthur’s Valentine by Marc Brown

ArthursValentine-coverThird Arthur book. Nice art, and this one even has a real story. Francine is secretly sending Arthur valentines, but Arthur hopes it might be the new girl, Sue Ellen, sending them. Francine has teased Arthur in the previous books, and he gets her back with a little trick, once he discovers that she is his secret admirer. This is the best Arthur book so far.

Arthur and the True Francine by Marc Brown

ArthurAndTheTrueFrancine-coverThe fourth Arthur book, though he scarcely appears. This time, Francine is in the spotlight. It’s nice to see her get a positive showing, here. The moral is that honesty is the best policy, but I’m not sure I agree with the book’s position that Francine shouldn’t reveal when her friend is lying. Loyalty is one thing, but… anyway, it’s still a pretty good book, though I liked Arthur’s Valentine a bit better.

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