BOOK REVIEWS

Tough Boris Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-05 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:0152018913
LANGUAGE: English

" This story is about a pirate named Boris Von der Borch (mean, scruffy, and massive like all pirates are). He is also greedy and fearless. There is a personality characteristic per page. His parrot dies and he cries. The book teaches descriptive words, emotions, as well as facial expressions. It also teaches sentence fluency when read aloud. Students can also use pictures to find context clues (boy hides on each page). " said.

" This is perfect for a library story time -- especially if there are two performers. There's one line per page, which is echoed either on the same page or the next. (Such as... "He was tough. ALL pirates are tough"). It's even better if you read in your "talk-like-a-pirate" voice.Warning -- The pirate's parrot DIES, but we changed it to "became ill" and when the little bird-sized coffin is slipped into the waves we said it was sent to shore. " said.

" I don't know what I love about this book but I had to search high and low to find it for my own library after having it in my classroom. Pretty much a picture book that tells of a young violin player ending up on a pirate ship after having his violin taken during a pirate raid. The words tell us how tough Boris is but the pictures tell a different side of the mean pirate. One of my favorite books. " said.

" A new favorite book about pirates by the beloved Mem Fox. Boris von der Borch is a tough, scruffy, greedy pirate - like all pirates. However, when his parrot dies, even this tough pirate cries. Great discussion about the emotions that we all share and the events that cause them, for the youngest audience. Beautiful watery illustrations embrace the setting of a pirate ship and carefully chosen words. Mem Fox has done it again. " said.

" This book has few words, but so much heart. When my children were little, I would sing them the Sesame Street song "It's Okay to Cry". This book has the same message.This book makes sweeping negative generalizations about pirates ( a launching point to discussing "making generalization, if you are a teacher), and then leads to the most sensitive conclusion. The faces on my first graders, when I reached the end... ...priceless. " said.

"This book was moving along nicely until the whole dead parrot part. I'm not quite sure what Fox was going for here, humor or pathos. Either way, it just took too strange and sad a turn for me, and I certainly couldn't imagine reading it aloud to a group of preschoolers for pirate story time, which is why I read this beforehand. I suppose it could work well for letting a kid know that even the people who seem the toughest still feel sad and cry sometimes, but I'm not sure that message will really come across well for a wide audience. But maybe that's just me..." said.

"This is a great example of a book that has a counterpoint relationship between the text and illustrations. The text tells the story of a greedy pirate who goes through a difficult experience, while the pictures have a hidden story about a boy and his violin. The way that the text and illustrations play off of each other adds an entire new level to the storyline. The illustrations are drawn from multiple angles and and positions allowing the reader to have a distant and yet intimate relationship with the different characters in the story. " said.

"In this book Mem Fox depicts the life of a pirate, who unexpectedly has real emotions and displays them. Tough Boris is good for teaching students repetition and predictability ("he was tough. All pirates are tough. He was massive. All pirates are massive. He was scruffy. All pirates are scruffy.") The illustrations in this book add color to the world of pirates. The colors that Kathryn Brown uses gives a lighter side to Tough Boris and the other pirates. It is almost as if Brown was depicting their emotions to us through the color scheme used." said.

November 2017 New Book:

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