All Aboard the ARC: Beneath the Trees: The Autumn of Mr. Grumpf by DAV

Beneath the Trees: The Autumn of Mr. Grumpf by DAV

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Mr. Grumpf is a lovable curmudgeon. When we first meet him, Mr. Grumpf is busy trying to sweep away the last of the leaves from his doorstep in preparation for the fast-approaching winter. He is a badger that doesn’t want to be bothered. His neighbors, however, must have missed the memo because he is constantly being interrupted.

Despite his ill-tempered disposition, Mr. Grumpf always helps his neighbors when they ask and sometimes even when they don’t. Whether it’s helping a mouse retrieve his kite that’s stuck in a tree (and then repairing it when it turns out to be broken) or delivering nuts to a beleaguered father squirrel who has fallen behind in gathering nuts for winter, Mr. Grumpf is always of service to his neighbors…though never with a smile.

When Mr. Grumpf finally makes it home, he finds all the neighbors he’s helped helping him with his pre-winter chores. The smallest of smiles breaks through his grumpy veneer when the same mouse whose kite he saved presents him with his once-broken broom—repaired and ready to go.

I loved the illustrations in this book. The author uses a minimal of dialogue and narration to tell the story. It is image-driven, so children must interpret what’s happening most often by following the sequence of images on the page and reading the characters’ facial expressions.

All in all, I loved Beneath the Trees and I’m looking forward to the next books in the series.

Beneath the Trees: The Autumn of Mr. Grumpf is due to be released on October 12th, 2021 by Magnetic Press and is now available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter and Instagram @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

From the Archives: Quotes Graphics Part 3

I have a lot of these, but this will probably be the last batch I’ll share for a while. I have a lot of reading to catch up on because my day job has been incredibly time-consuming recently. Let me know what you think!

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Graphics © 2020 by Fred Slusher. All rights reserved.

From the Archives: Quotes Graphics Part 2

As promised, here are more of the quotes graphics I made last year.

Listen, I know I’m not going to win any awards for graphic designing but these were so much to make. Stay tuned for part three!

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Graphics © 2020 by Fred Slusher. All rights reserved.

From the Archives: Quotes Graphics

There was a time last year when I became obsessed with making quotes graphics like a bored suburban Pinterest Princess.

I’m not going to lie, I’m probably going to do it again sometime in the future. It was a good way for me to have a creative outlet that wasn’t writing and that didn’t require me to practice delayed gratification, which is not something people with ADHD are good at.

This time in my life also coincided with Taylor Swift’s surprise release of folklore, and let’s just say I was *really* in my feelings. As we all probably were.

This time in my life also coincided with Taylor Swift’s surprise release of folklore, and let’s just say I was *really* in my feelings. As we all probably were.

This is probably going to be a three-part series because I have a lot of graphics to share. I hope you enjoy them!

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Graphics © 2020 by Fred Slusher. All rights reserved.

Moving Memoirs: Update

Dear Readers, I intended for Moving Memoirs to be possibly a ten post series, highlighting my all-time favorites in the genre.

Once I started my list, however, I realized that it’s going to be a much bigger project. I am still adding titles as I remember them (and comb through my Goodreads) and I’m currently at 34 individual titles.

That said, I really hoped you all liked the first installment where I talked about Wild because there’s going to be a lot more where that came from.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

My Favorite Book Dads

Great fathers make for good books, and these five strapping papas are my top picks for the world’s best book dads.

Phillip Troy Linger as Mr. Everdeen in the 2012 film adaptation of The Hunger Games

#1: Mr. Everdeen

Creator: Suzanne Collins

Book Appearances (mentioned): The Hunger Games (trilogy)

Why I Love Him: Although he’s deceased by the start of the first book, Mr. Everdeen (who was never given a first name by author Suzanne Collins) is an incredibly strong presence throughout the entire series.

He is the father of Katniss and Primrose Everdeen. A coal miner from the Seam, Mr. Everdeen was killed in a mining accident that left Katniss as the head of the household. Following his death, Mrs. Everdeen was rendered catatonic by grief and an impenetrable sadness.

To keep her family from starving, Katniss uses skills she gleaned from her father to hunt and gather in the woods, and signs up for tesserae (grain ration) to supplement what she can’t acquire from the woods.

Throughout the series, we learn that most of Katniss’s philosophies on life, not to mention her affinity with a bow and arrow, were acquired from her father. Her fierce devotion to her sister Prim, her protective nature, and her courage are also qualities she got from him. So, it is not too far of a stretch to say that Katniss’s original decision to volunteer as tribute in Prim’s place at the Reaping was a direct result of the ethos given to her by her father.

The love of a father was instrumental in taking down a despotic Capitol.

May the odds be ever in your favor, Mr. Everdeen.

Russell Hornsby as Maverick “Big Mav” Carter in the 2018 film adaptation of The Hate U Give

#2: Maverick “Big Mav” Carter

Creator: Angie Thomas

Book Appearances: The Hate U Give and Concrete Rose

Why I Love Him: Maverick “Big Mav” Carter is the definition of fatherly devotion. His children include Starr (the main character and protagonist of THUG), Seven, and Sekani.

Maverick has experienced more trauma than any one person should have to endure. Despite that, as patriarch of the Carter family and a leader in the Garden Heights community, he is able to transcend that trauma and create a beautiful legacy for his family. He makes sacrifices so his children have more opportunities for advancement than he himself was given. He teaches them about their cultural heritage, about Black history, and how to survive in a world that makes harmful assignations against them because of their skin color.

“When the Khalils get arrested for selling drugs, they either spend most of their life in prison, another billion-dollar industry, or they have a hard time getting a real job and probably start selling drugs again. That’s the hate they’re giving us, baby, a system designed against us. That’s Thug Life.

— Maverick “Big Mav” Carter, The Hate U Give

The above quote is from a conversation Maverick has with his daughter, Starr, in chapter ten of the book. In it, he quickly summarizes for Starr the reason why so many Black communities are kept disenfranchised: a prison industrial complex that disproportionately incarcerates Black people and incentivizes a system that perpetuates white supremacy at the expense of Black people and their communities.

For more on the prison industrial complex, check out this lecture by Dr. Angela Y. Davis, a longtime activist, author, academic, and revolutionary.

#3: Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark

Sean Bean as Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones, the television series based on George R.R. Martin’s high fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire

“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.”

— Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark, Hand of the King, Warden of the North, and Lord of Winterfell, A Game of Thrones

Creator: George R.R. Martin

Book Appearances: A Song of Ice and Fire (series)

Ah, poor Ned. Poor headless Ned. A virtuous man if ever one lived. Gritty yet gracious. Stern yet solid. Courageous yet kind. Husband of Lady Catelyn Stark and father to Robb, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon. Loyal to the core. Willing to get his hands dirty but unwilling to engage in dirty Westerosi politics. His idealism and his sense of fidelity are what lead him to travel south with King Robert in the first place, and are both inextricably tied up in his downfall.

Why I Love Him: Ned Stark lives by a code of honor going back hundreds of years. This code is based on familial piety, stewardship, and justice. Our way is the old way. The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. He passes this code onto his children, whom he guides with a firmness grounded in love.

It’s pitiable that his best character traits are the very reason he is unable to overcome the machinations of Queen Cersei (The Original Evil Wine Mom) and her spoiled brat of a tyrant, Joffrey. I guess one could say that it is better to die with dignity than live with regret. Rest In Peace, Ned. We’ll never forget you.

#4: Don Vito Corleone (referred to as Godfather by everyone)

Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone in the 1972 film adaptation of The Godfather

Creator: Mario Puzo

Book Appearances: The Godfather, The Godfather Returns, and The Family Corleone

Why I Love Him: Sure, ol’ Vito is a ruthless killer. Sure, he emotionally damages all of his children in different yet equally debilitating ways. Sure, he mumbles a lot and is very demanding. None of these facts make me love him any less.

Vito is the personification of the American Dream. He was an orphan, a penniless immigrant who came to America’s shores with nothing. And he created an empire. Despite his penchant for killing his enemies in business, he is very loving toward his family and his colleagues who don’t cross him.

“I don’t trust society to protect us, I have no intention of placing my fate in the hands of men whose only qualification is that they managed to con a block of people to vote for them.”

— Don Vito Corleone, The Godfather

#5: Horton the Elephant

Creator: Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

Book Appearances: Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton Hears a Who!, Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories , and I Am Horton

Why I Love Him: First of all, hats off to Horton. We stan a king in this house. Horton the Elephant is probably the finest example of a devoted single father in all of literature. He’s tricked into keeping an egg warm while the mother, a derelict bird named Mayzie, decides she wants her freedom and absconds to Palm Beach, ostensibly for the remainder of her life.

“I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent!”

— Horton the Elephant, Horton Hatches the Egg

When the going gets tough, a lot of folks get going. Not Horton. Even though he was a victim of deception, he takes up his mantle as surrogate father with pride and panache.

“Even though he was a victim of deception, he [Horton] takes up his mantle as surrogate father with pride and panache.”

When the egg hatches to reveal a creature with features of both an elephant and a bird, we the readers see that nurture beats nature every time, even when it comes to breaking the laws of biology and genetics.

Who are your favorite fictional fathers? Let me know!

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

New Blog Series: All Aboard the ARC!

I hope you’ll forgive my play on words. If you don’t or can’t, I understand.

One of the big parts of my job and my life in general is recommending books to people, and sometimes I receive ARCs (advance reader copies) of to-be-released titles so I can review them and be able to hand-sell them when they first come out.

I’m really excited about this series and I hope it’ll introduce you to books you’ll love and cherish for years to come.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.