Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo

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I think that Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls does not need a formal presentation, since it has focused a lot of attention: it is the outcome of a successful crowdfunding campaign both on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it obtained great praises and critiques.

Because of its characteristics (the reasons it was written, the contents, the specific choice of the title) I think it’s a book that is either loved or hated; it’s difficult to judge it only for its content, because it is also about meaning and intent.

I liked it (and I’ve already buy it as present): it’s not flawless, maybe I would not have chosen the same 100 women or I would have written something different about some of them, but it needs to be praised for the good idea and realization.

The stories are sorted alphabetically by name, and all women are also portrayed in an illustration; the images, made by women illustrator around the world, are beautiful, and I think they fit the style of the woman described.

The title is provocative, but the book is suited for everybody: for children because it teaches that everyone can do great things, and for adults because it helps learning something new about people and foreign cultures and societies.


Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli & Francesca Cavallo ★★★★★

*I read this book in italian

[ARC] from Kids Can Press – 3

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Whenever Kids Can Press releases advanced reading copies of its children book I try to get them all.

Here, in random order, the reviews of the following children book:

  • The Day I Became a Bird by Ingrid Chabbert
  • A Squiggly Story by Andrew Larsen
  • The Pruwahaha Monster by Jean-Paul Mulders
  • On Our Way to Oyster Bay by Monica Kulling
  • Lucy and Company by Marianne Dubuc
  • The Branch by Mireille Messier

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Da ragazzo spiare i ragazzi giocare
al ritmo balordo del tuo cuore malato
e ti viene la voglia di uscire e provare
che cosa ti manca per correre al prato,
e ti tieni la voglia, e rimani a pensare
come diavolo fanno a riprendere fiato.
(Un malato di Cuore, F. De Andrè)

Madeline vive in una camera bianca, in una casa isolata dall’esterno e dagli agenti allergici che potrebbero scatenare la malattia di Madeline e ucciderla.

Madeline ha una particolare sindrome da immunodeficienza, e ha ormai accettato uno stile di vita basato su letture, lezioni online e la sola presenza dell’infermiera Carla e della madre, ma l’arrivo di nuovi vicini, e in particolare del loro figlio Olly, creerà delle crepe nell’equilibrio della ragazza che inizierà a desiderare tutto quello che le può offrire la vita.

Il romanzo ci racconta la storia di Madeline dal suo punto di vista, e la sua particolarità sta proprio nei disegni e negli appunti con cui la ragazza arricchisce il suo racconto, indicati anche mediante cambiamenti tipografici. Originale anche l’idea di inserire le “spoiler review”, tema del blog scritto dalla ragazza, ovvero recensioni spoiler di romanzi in una singola, lapidaria frase. Tra i vari registri utilizzati anche quelli delle chat e delle email, e sotto questi punti di vista l’edizione è molto curata.

La storia di Madeline è emozionante, e lo sviluppo degli eventi del romanzo tiene sicuramente incollati al testo, purtroppo un episodio chiave risulta molto forzato, col risultato di banalizzare una storia originale e ben strutturata.

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Madeline lives in a white room, in a house isolated from the external environment and from the allergens that could trigger Madeline’s illness and kill her.

Madeline has a particular form of immunodeficiency, and has accepted an isolated life, based on reading, on online lectures with the only presence of her nurse Carla and her mother. The arrival of the new neighbours, and in particular of their son, Olly, will start cracking the balance in the girls’ life, and she soon begins desiring everything life could offer her.

The novel tells Madeline’s story from her point of view, and the peculiarity of the book stays in the illustrations and notes she makes to enrich her story, that stands out also thanks to typographic changes. It’s original also the idea to insert the “spoiler review” articles Madeline writes for the blog, one lines, hard, spoiler book review. Among the narrative style used there are also chat messages and emails, and from this perspective the book is very well-built.

Madeline’s story is exiting, and the events development keeps the eyes to the book, unfortunately a key event is quite forced, making an original and well-built story in a standard ya one.

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon ★★☆☆

[ARC] Poems about Cats by Yasmine Surovec

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This nice book collects different poems by various authors that have in common the presence of cats.

Each poem is illustrated by Yasmine Surovec, author of http://www.catversushuman.com/. I The illustrations are both serious and comical, either way they suit perfectly the specific poetry. A very nice book, perfectly suited for cat lover – but not exclusively.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.

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* Poems about Cats by Yasmine Surovec ★★★★☆

*I read this book in English

[ARC] Lovecraft’s Monsters by Ellen Datlow

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This stories collection by different authors – some of them quite famous – is based, as the title itself says, upon the monsters from the Lovecraft’s imaginary.

The book suffers the common issue of the collections: the stories are not all at the same level, so there will be some more or less interesting.
Maybe also the idea to create a book that takes inspiration from Lovecraft does not help: who knows the author could be disappointed from some stories derived from his pantheon of monsters (the same way Neonomicon disappointed me).

The book is however very well finished and well-built: short and longer stories are alternated and separated by some interesting and evocative illustrations.
Overall I liked also the two poems, a new way to talk about monsters and horrors; I liked also the ending part where are listed – with history and characteristics – all the Lovecraft’s monster taken into account in the whole book.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.

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* Lovecraft’s Monsters by Ellen Datlow ★★★☆☆

*I read this book in English

Hellboy by Mike Mignola

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Hellboy, a demon called from hell during WWII, deals with supernatural beings with other characters with particular talents.
The main plot line follows Hellboy against the same man able to summon him, and other short and complete stories run along this one.

The main strength of this comic are the author illustrations that enrich a story that otherwise could have run the risk of being trivial.

[ARC] Hellboy: The First 20 Years

This book contains the illustrations and the cover of Hellboy, and sketches that show the evolution of an image toward the resulting one.

A great book, rich and beautiful, the images are wonderful; of course it’s suited for the homonymous graphic novel public.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.

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* Hellboy by Mike Mignola ★★★★☆

*I read this book in Italian

[ARC] The Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell

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Neptune has 50 daughters, each having a particular talent, the only one that seems to not have any skill is Minnow, the youngest.
On her own the mermaid is very curious and she asks the reason of various things, the thing that mostly will draw her attention will be a red, refined, object that the mermaids does not understand and know its use: Minnow will not be satisfied until she will know what the object is.

It’s a beautiful tale – as the illustrations are – that teaches to follow our own way.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.

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* The Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell ★★★★★

*I read this book in English