Look Into My Eyes

Once upon a time I was strictly a one book at a time girl and then technology happened. Now I’m a 3 book at a time girl, there’s the ‘real’ book, then there’s the audiobook and then there’s the e-book (although do people really call them e-books any more?) on my phone. I’m still a fairly faithful girl though as I very rarely stop say reading my real book half way through and pick up another real book instead, instead if I’m not loving the (for example) real book, I’ll just stop reading it, leaving a forlorn pile of other real books mounting up behind it, waiting for me to just sit down, grit my teeth and finish reading the real book I wasn’t getting on with, so that I can go and read something new.

I maintain my (fairly) faithfulness by tending to listen/read my on the go three books in certain situations; audiobooks are for embroidery / housework / occasionally falling asleep to (I don’t like to do that one particularly much as I always have to go back and listen again because I fall asleep pretty quickly), books on my phone (it’s funny, I can technically read my books on both my iPhone and my iPad but I 99.99999% of the time stick to my iPhone because I find the iPad too cumbersome to hold for long periods of time) are for commuting / snatched moments when cooking and real books are for the bath (because I can’t take my iPhone in there). If I’m really loving one of my three books though, it’ll sneak into my other reading times, Mr. Lacer bought me an iDuck for my birthday, so I can now listen to audiobooks in the bath and if I’m particularly loving a book on my phone I will find other snatched moments to read it, just as if I’m particularly loving my current real book I’ll stick that in my bag and read that when I’m travelling instead of reading the book on my phone (heck, who am I kidding, most of the time when I’m travelling I’m reading Twitter).

So, this is all really a lengthy explanation as to why, on this blog, I tend to just review audiobooks, after all I listen to them when I’m doing embroidery and housework and I do a lot of both (Mr. Lacer would argue I do far more of the former than the latter). Thanks to working mainly from home, I have a commute of a second, so don’t get much chance to read when travelling. So, that leaves the real books, I think the last ‘real’ fiction book I reviewed on here was eeek (just checked) last September! So, the question lies, what have I been doing in the bath since then? Day dreaming actually, as my real book since then has been Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child and I really wasn’t enjoying it.

I am normally quite a big Lauren Child fan, I predict just the sight of her Charlie and Lola when I’m a little old lady will have me weak at the knees with reminiscence about Girl and Boy Lacer’s childhood and I like her other picture books like The Princess and the Pea, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book? and That Pesky Rat even more. She did a fantastic illustrated version of Pippi Longstocking (and has also done an equally beautiful looking illustrated version of The Secret Garden, which eek I should have bought when I saw in the shops last year because it looks like it may be out of print now, well it’s only on Amazon now at stupid prices, I shouldn’t have listened to that internal voice in my head going “Well you’ve got two copies of The Secret Garden already”). I also love her Clarice Bean books, I prefer the picture books over the novels because you get to see more of her great illustrations in the picture books but I like both. So I thought I’d like Look Into My Eyes, a spy novel based on the books Clarice reads in the Clarice Bean books, hmmm no.

Ach don’t listen to me, I’m a grumbling old grown up, much as I do like reading kids books, I am aware that when reviewing them that sometimes I may just not get them and that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad. An action loving 8-10 year old girl may love Look into My Eyes (having said that, I tried to coax my action loving 8 year old girl with this and she wasn’t interested, although her head is well and truly in JK Rowling’s grasp at the moment). For those that haven’t already read the Clarice Bean books, Clarice loves reading Ruby Redfort books, Ruby is a girl spy who gets up to exciting stuff and lives her life according to a set of various interesting rules, which Clarice copies. Although when writing Clarice Bean the Ruby Redfort books didn’t exist, there was apparently massive demand for Lauren Child to write them and so she did. So, as you can imagine, when an author is writing a book that previously only existed in another book, Look Into My Eyes is a little cliched. The book is set in America and all the characters (with OTT American names) are very two-dimensional, with the exception of Ruby, who has a little more colour. The plot though is ‘fairly’ exciting, involving a robbery attempt at a museum and there are secret spy agencies, silly gadgets and even more OTT villains.

Overall, I would say this is not one for the grown ups, now before you say anything, I know Lauren Child didn’t write this for grown ups but I know so many adults these days who are happily into children’s literature, well I think this is not one for them. However if you’re 8-10 years old, like a spot of adventure and have already read the Clarice Bean books, go ahead, read it, you might like it.

 

Girl Lacer’s List

Found on the kids’ table just now.

Am I a mean mummy for putting this on the internet? Well Girl Lacer did leave it out on the table where I could see it as I changed printer cartridges . . . I think she must of done this this morning, sort of a spotter’s list of all the things she thought would (or would not) happen this morning.

Number 1 sadly doesn’t not surprise me, Girl and Boy Lacer used to be incredibly close and Boy Lacer still is close to his sister, but I always knew the harmony between them was unlikely to last as Girl Lacer got older and started to increasingly get a mind of her own (now she’s always had a mind of her own that one, from birth, but that independence of spirit (read stubborn as hell) has got even stronger as she’s got older). It can’t be particularly easy being the older sister of a little brother with ASD, she doesn’t yet know the official term for Boy Lacer’s difficulties but she’s starting to pick up on it more (she asked the other day why I got into Kew as Boy Lacer’s carer, I explained it was because he had trouble walking and talking which is the usual way we describe Boy Lacer’s difficulties (that and having trouble making friends, although he’s doing quite well at that at the moment, as there are some lovely kids in his class)).

Number 2 and number 3 doesn’t particularly surprise me either to be honest and the number 3 part is normally linked to the number 2 part, Girl Lacer is perfecting the art of totally and utterly not listening to her parents and she’s very good at it, so asking nicely doesn’t usually work, she’ll only do something if you get to the strident, hand on my hip nagging phase (I still do the asking nicely bit by the way and isn’t it one of the ‘nicer’ parts of parenting, getting totally ignored?).

Number 4 is slightly confusing, she’s crossed out what looks like ‘money’ and written ‘mommy’ instead, I still think that’s meant to be money though, as she’s known how to spell mummy since about 3 and never writes it as the more American ‘mommy’ (I don’t think she even knows that version exists). Note that she hasn’t ticked it. If it is meant to be money, that makes me sad and I know full well that is one of the negatives of living where we live, as we live in a tiny flat in a very affluent area, so most of her school friends have much more available to them than she does, like living somewhere with stairs and their own bedroom away from brothers (see number 1) for a start. She’s always from an early age (about 4 I’d say) been aware of money and aware that we don’t have much and a big part of me thinks that’s horrible that she should be aware of such an adult concern so young, but at least hopefully when she’s an adult herself she’ll treat money with respect and be aware that it is not always there. I also wish though that although she compares herself with her friends and feels that lack of money, that she would realise that compared to a lot of people, with no roof over their heads and struggling to get even a basic amount of food on the table, we are still in a much better position. Now if she did mean having lots of me, instead of lots of money, that makes me sad to, I have made sure recently she’s had plenty of mummy time (to the extent now that the holidays are over I’m hideously behind with work), I suppose the ‘having lots of money’ and ‘having lots of mummy’ are inversely tied to each other, the more I work, the more money we have, the less she has of me.

Girl Lacer has been reading Clarice Bean recently and writing lists is such a Clarice Bean thing to do, so I can see where this is coming from, in the Clarice Bean book we read together recently Clarice had a ‘worst worries book’, I wonder if Girl Lacer has one of those somewhere now to. Don’t worry though, I’m not going to go looking for it, but if she goes leaving stuff out on her table again . . .