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Welcome to ReadThatAgain.com, a just-for-fun website reviewing a bunch of children's books that our family has enjoyed over the last few years. We try to find fun, intelligent, well-crafted books, but most importantly, books that kids like! Hopefully you'll find these reviews useful... Please feel free to comment on the site or send recommendations for books we may have missed... In the meantime, enjoy!

This is the second page of books written by authors under the letter "F"






Kids Books -- "F" By Author

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"Muncha Muncha Muncha!"
Written by Candace Fleming
Illustrated by Brian Karas
(Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2002)

A deservedly popular book that pits an Elmer Fuddian farmer against three resourceful, rapacious rabbits. The plot will appeal to little kids: no matter what Mr. McGreely does to protect his veggies -- building a wall, digging a moat, erecting a fortress -- the "flop-ears" always manage to lift his lettuce and kipe his carrots. The real fun of this book lies in the sound effects, which build up and repeat with each new turn of the page... It's a great book for adult readers to ham it up for their audience, digging into each goofy stanza as if they were Ian McKellen on steroids. Plus, who can resist a story where the bunnies steal the carrots... Whyyyy, you wascawwy wabbits...! (A-)


"Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Hide!"
Written by Candace Fleming
Illustrated by Brian Karas
(Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, 2007)

In this sequel to 2002's Muncha Muncha Muncha, the three mischievous rabbits continue their campaign to torment the super-grumpy Mr. McGreely. It's winter, and the previously contested vegetable garden has gone to seed, but as the chilly winds start to blow the widdle wabbits want to come in from the cold. Oh, did I start to slip into an Elmer Fudd accent? Well, no wonder, since Mr. McGreely is the most Fuddian book character in years -- no matter that the rabbits do, he totally blows his stack and overcompensates by sealing his chimney, nailing his windows shut and bricking up his door, in an effort to keep them out. He's not a particularly likable character, nor are the rabbits, who don't get any lines, ala Bugs Bunny, and do, in all fairness, seem to get out to drive McGreely nuts. Although the wordplay and soundplay isn't as fun as the first installment, this is an okay book, a favorite for lots of folks, and one that was requested several times here, as well. (B-)


"Mama Cat Has Three Kittens"
Written by Denise Fleming
Illustrated by Denise Fleming
(Henry Holt, 1998)

Probably for cat lovers only, but if you fit that description, you'll like this book... Hopefully your kids will as well! A mother cat takes her kittens outside to show them the ropes -- how to clean themselves, sharpen their claws, etc. Two of the kittens, a piebald named Fluffy and a calico called Skinny, follow the mama cat's every move, while an aloof tabby named Boris prefers to nap the day away. The paintings that accompany the simple text have an impressionistic ease to them, and definitely capture some of the loose laziness of our purring, padded pals... This book isn't going to change your life or anything, but it's a nice addition to any feline-friendly library. I like it. (B-)


"A Pig Is Big"
Written by Douglas Florian
Illustrated by Douglas Florian
(Greenwillow, 2000)

This book teaches about size, and in particular how there is always something bigger than the biggest thing you can imagine. It starts with a pig, moves to a cow, then to a car, and on up through the universe. I thought this book was cool, but my kid was just not into it -- too nakedly instructive, and she caught on right away. Still, I thought it had a very nice, elegant way of getting the point across. Worth checking out; great for the right kids, at the right time. (B+)


"Captain's Purr"
Written by Madeleine Floyd
Illustrated by Madeleine Floyd
(Harcourt, 2003)

A delightful tall tale about an entirely average cat. Captain is a portly black-and-white piebald (based on the author's own cat, named Captain...) who likes to sleep more than anything else, an activity followed eating, washing and walking about. He also enjoys taking the rowboat out for moonlight sails to meet his girlfriend (a petit tabby cat on the other side of the Thames...) The fantastical element of the story is introduced in a delightfully matter-of-fact way, leaving it up to the reader to decide whether the adventures really happened or not. a great book for cat lovers, full of well-observed illustrations, and a languid, loping pace appropriate to the subject. Recommended! (B+)


"Cold Paws, Warm Heart"
Written by Madeleine Floyd
Illustrated by Madeleine Floyd
(Candlewick, 2005)

Inherently rather sad, this is a nice story about the redemptive power of friendship, although it's more about social isolation than anything else... A gentle polar bear named Cold Paws lives alone on a vast ice flow, sad and lonely because none of the other animals want to play with him. He spends his time alone, sometimes playing the flute in order to cheer himself up, but he always feels frozen and cold inside. When a young girl from a nearby village hears the music, she comes to investigate and winds up befriending the desolate bear, giving him winter clothes to wear, warm drinks and, ultimately, a lot of hearty hugs, all of which brings warmth into his life. The mechanics of the story, and of their friendship, are touching and sweet, although some kids may find the utter sadness of Cold Paws' life to be a bit disturbing... I did. It's a dark, yet tender tale. (B-)




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