Tuesday, March 27, 2018

"Finding Gobi for Little Ones" by Dion Leonard, illustrated by Lisa Manuzak

Finding Gobi for Little Ones is a 24-page board book. The pages are flimsy board for older children, which the publisher suggests is appropriate for ages 4-8. Notably, this is the same range as the paper children's book version, Gobi: A Little Dog with a Big Heart.

All versions of this book (also including an adult version and a young reader's version Finding Gobi: The True Story of One Little Dog's Big Journey) tell the true story of an adult ultramarathon runner, Dion Leonard, running a race in the Gobi desert and encountering a little dog that runs along with him. He names the dog Gobi and she runs the entire race with him, facing challenges such as a dangerous river crossing. The theme throughout is repeated that they will be forever friends.

This version of the book has the same illustrations as Gobi, the paper children's book version. However, there is just over half of the amount of text, suggesting that though the publisher classifies this as the same age range, this is the younger version of the book (also because it has board book pages). There is less dialogue and the text more closely relates to the illustrations.

Of the three children's versions of the book, this one is my favorite. I really enjoyed the illustrations, with the adorable Gobi pup winking, begging, and jumping for joy. The amount of text is just right, without including unnecessary additional text. I do like that the young reader's version gave a more full account of what happened after the race (and the paper version even had an author's note explaining some of the aftermath as well). However, the core of this story is the race and the incredible dog that could keep up with the runners.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was not required to post a positive review.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Review: "The Knot Yours Truly" by Carley Roney and the editors of TheKnot.com

This book is primarily wedding photos and is essentially a large magazine. It is broken into three sections: defining your style, real weddings, and crafts.

The defining your style section is the most brief at 12 pages, but it packs the most text per page. Most of the information is very basic (defining formality, choosing a color or theme, etc.). It also definitely spends time plugging the website: "sign up for notifications from The Knot--we'll send you a list of to-dos tailored to where you are in the planning process along with tons of inspiration" (20). However basic this section may be, it is a very exciting time so it might be nice to read anyway.

Nearly 160 pages of "real weddings" make up the largest part of this book. That's all it's described as in the table of contents, but at the beginning of the actual section it breaks it down further into bohemian, classic, eclectic, glam, modern, romantic, and rustic. Personally I would have preferred this information to be in the main table of contents for ease of access, but it's not that inconvenient. Each section covers several couples' weddings, including quotes from the couple, and tons of pictures of invitations, centerpieces, dresses, tuxes, and cakes. At the end of each section there's a "blueprint"page that suggests colors, flowers, paper, attire, menu, venues, and favors that match the style. This seems like a very helpful overview for anyone really looking for advice on what type of flowers or colors.

The crafts section is really cute. From save-the-date clay magnets to a breakfast-to-go basket for out of town guests, this is a great idea for the creative couple looking to put their personal touch on their wedding. However, each of these crafts is only one page of typed instructions and one full-page picture. So don't expect step by step pictures to help you progress.

There's also an index and a list of the venues and photographers used, which is helpful.

Overall, yes, all of this information is also available from other sources for free and probably even more useful online, such as The Knot or Pinterest. However, this book would make a really nice gift for a newly engaged couple excited to start dreaming of their wedding together. This would also be really fun to browse through with a recently engaged friend (or soon to be).

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, but was not required to post a positive review.