Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mini Reviews: Animal Books!

Le sigh... have you ever read some of your old posts, notice how bad the spelling is, then realize what
people must have thought of your poor spelling, then suddenly want to give up on blogging? But I digress, because this post is actually Mini-Reviews! And by Mini-Reviews, I mean tiny reviews of books that I'm too lazy to give full reviews to. :P

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide [Translated to English in 2014]
We found this book at the library, and picked it up because it looked intriguing, and the gushy praise that they always stick on the back cover sounded promising. Well... it was kind of a mixed bag. The story is about a husband and wife who are tenants living in a small house that's actually owned by the neighbors next door. The husband and wife (the husband narrates the story, but neither of them actually are named) befriend the neighbor's cat, and philosophical poeticallness commences. There were a lot of things I liked about the book, though my final impression of it was pretty much 'meh'. What I liked about it was that the writing is beautiful. I don't have the book at hand now, since I gave it to Mom to read, but there's a bit about how a moment felt serene and calm, and it was almost like it was dreamed up by the room. It's very hard to explain. ;)
The cat was also named Chibi. Which was highly amusing to me, since you all know what I like to draw. :D
Unfortunately, there was also a lot that I didn't get. See, the characters in the book get very emotional about this cat, to the point that it's the center of their lives. I'm not really an animal person. I mean, I like animals, I have nothing against animals, but for whatever reason, I guess I don't 'get' it when people get so incredibly attached to their pets. That having been said, I'm quite attached to my friend's dog. But, y'know. He's my friend's dog, not my dog.
So yeah. I didn't really 'get' a lot about this book. But it was fast paced (Not like there's much of a plot. It's more of a thought book than an action book.), I finished it in under and hour, and it was a nice look at another culture, so... The End.
The Verdict: C

Babe The Gallant Pig by Dick King Smith [1983]
Here's a sweet little book. Overall, I like the book Charlotte's Web better than this book, but I like the movie adaptation of Babe better than both of them!
I think here we have a rare case of the movie being better than the book, but this is still a very good read. Babe has a simple plot, and nice, vivid characters, the only reason I think that the movie is better is because the movie kind of expands upon the story and brings everything to life in a beautiful way. Just the way an adaptation should. :)
The Verdict: B+

Charlotte's Web by E. B. White [1952]
Serious mixed feelings about this book. I like this book a little better than Babe the Gallant Pig, but only because this book has gorgeous prose, whereas Babe is a little drab feeling, if you get my drift.
However, Babe himself is a better character than Wilbur. Seriously. Wilbur is irritating, whiny, and none of the things Charlotte writes about him are true! He's not terrific, he's not radiant, and no. I don't think that he's humble, either. He's self-pitying, and that's a thing that looks similar but isn't the same thing. I can attest to that, a self-pitying person myself.
... anyway, Charlotte herself is actually a very good character, and that last paragraph  in the chapter where she dies is absolutely heartbreaking! That's kind of what redeemed this book for me, at least. I just can't say no to pretty imagery in writing. :)
The Verdict: B+

So yeah! Animal books, won't you?

1 comment:

  1. Aha! Finally someone who agrees with me that Charlotte's Web is not the best children's book in the universe! I too am annoyed by whinyness, and you're right, Wilbur is whiny.


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