Several weeks ago, I was sent three children’s books to review. They were such beautiful books I kept them around just to have them decorate my office.
Then, because last week was convention-free for me, I decided to open the books. The text was minimal compared to the large illustrations, and all three books could be read quickly.
I noted in reading the books, each one about a different animal, that they had a point of view, something environmentalists would applaud. “Snowy, a Leopard of the High Mountains” got separated from his mother because of “hate in the forest” (hunters).
The other two books, “The Lonely Polar Bear” and “Giant, a Panda of the Enchanted Forest” had different messages, one a subtle introduction to the subject of climate change and one about a vulnerable species. All three stories, gratefully, have happy endings.
The books’ publisher is Happy Fox Books. Authors and illustrators all have names unfamiliar to me. Xuan Loc Xuan authored one book and illustrated two books. Know Le authored and illustrated one book, and Milisava Petkovic authored one book.
The illustrations of these books are lovely and indeed the stories would obviously appeal to children. The books are about $11.00 each, and I can vouch for the fact that they look great just sitting on a bookshelf or coffee table.
Now to a book that I thought might have a message and was surprised that it didn’t. The book is Bill O’Reilly’s “The United States of Trump”. O’Reilly is a former history teacher and has been very successful with a series of history books.
O’Reilly is also a former Fox news commentator and tends to support Republicans, so I expected a book that was quite flattering to our current controversial President.
What I found, instead, was an interesting, somewhat sad, story of why the current Chief Executive is the way he is. The way he is, says O’Reilly, is, in part, that he trusts no one except his family and has no friends other than his family. The “no friends” part was sad, to me.
O’Reilly talks a lot about himself in the book, so we learn about him, too. Clearly, Trump does not like talking about his background with the author and in fact was occasionally rude, though ultimately somewhat cooperative.
Amazingly, although Trump grew up with an absent father and was sent to boarding school and though his sons grew up the same way, all three men ended up achievers in one way or another. But most folks, I would say, would never have traded their own upbringings for the experience of the Trumps.
In terms of history, O’Reilly recounts Trump’s unlikely, though some say brilliant, participation in the 2016 Presidential campaign. I found remembering all that (scandals and all) rather amazing, even though I lived through it all.
The book cover, incidentally is not a favorite of mine; it seems rather tabloid-like, though I did not find the book contents to be that way, though I did not find this book heavy reading. In some places I felt the author searched for filler.
I think folks on either side of the political middle would find this book interesting. It’s just history.