Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein by Jennifer Roy

Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein by Jennifer Roy

Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein

Video game villains and real-life dictators dominate daily life for eleven-year-old Ali

Ali Fadhil has very simple likes and dislikes. It is 1991 in Iraq and all Ali wants to do is read his comics and play football and video games. But President Saddam Hussein has other plans. After he invades neighbouring Kuwait, the U.S. and their allies launch Operation Desert Storm to force him out. Over the next forty-three days, Ali and his family would survive bombings, food shortages and constant fear.

Cinematic and timely, this is the story of how war changed one boy’s destiny forever and would one day bring him face to face with Saddam himself at the UN trial.

Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein by Jennifer Roy

Based on the childhood of Ali Fadhil, who went on to become an interpreter during the trial of dictator Saddam Hussein, this book shows what life was like for the people of Basra, Iraq during the beginning of the war in 1991.

While this is definitely a book geared towards children, who – of course – were not even born when these events took place (in fact, they weren’t even born when Hussein was executed), it is an interesting read for anyone who remembers the events of the 1990s and early 2000s.

A side note: I had no idea what “Atari” was, and had to look it up. I feel like it’s something I should have known!

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

How to Speak Cat: A Guide to Decoding Cat Language by Aline Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman

How to Speak Cat A Guide to Decoding Cat Language by Aline Alexander and Newman Gary Weitzman National Geographic Kids (Editor)

We know cats are beautiful, secretive, and independent … but even the most loyal cat owners are often baffled by their own pet’s behavior. With veterinarian expert Dr. Gary Weitzman as guide, this fun book helps kids understand what cats are trying to communicate by their body language and behavior. So if you’ve ever wondered what Fluffy means when she’s purring or moving her tail emphatically from left to right – this book is for you! It’s full of insights, expert advice, and real-life cat scenarios, and showcases more than 30 poses, so you’ll soon learn what each meow and flick of the tail means!

How to Speak Cat: A Guide to Decoding Cat Language by Aline Alexander Newman and Gary Weitzman

Apologies to people who don’t visit this blog for reviews about cat books!

 

How to Speak Cat might be marketed as a being for younger readers, but I actually think it’s one of the best books you could pick up to learn about cat care and cat behaviour.

I should have expected National Geographic to put together an excellent guide: they definitely did. Anybody who’s been around cats will know quite a bit of the information already, but what I loved best was that the author took all the theories that are often stated as fact, and questioned them. I learnt more about cats from this than any other “how to” sort of book I’ve read on the subject.

A note, however: DO NOT get this in ebook form! The formatting is – predictably – a mess. The pictures are grey and broken up over a few pages. Some of the text, which I guess is a different colour in the paper version, is in a very light, nearly unreadable shade.

That said, I’d recommend this.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

 

The Week: 20th – 26th August

U.S. Senator John McCain @SenJohnMcCain , Ukraine's friend and greatest US supporter.

Edit: R.I.P. to John McCain.

What an absolutely stupid week in Australian politics. We seem to change Prime Ministers faster than Donald Trump changes staff!

Weirdly, on Thursday afternoon, right after some of the worst drama in Parliament here in Canberra unfolded, I stepped outside and a group of fighter jets flew straight over me. (I’ve been around them many times before, but GOD, those things are loud). People in Canberra were joking that a military coup had begun.

Maybe we need one!

One Week

My review of Watchmaker’s Heart by Juli D. Revezzo

Children’s Book Week

This Is Not My Hat (I Want My Hat Back) by Jon Klassen

Curious Zelda in a Book!

Curious Zelda The Cat

On this day: Human Rights in Canada

Ukrainian Independence Day

National Dog Day

Jane Austen (Little People, Big Dreams) by Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Jane Austen (Little People, Big Dreams) by Isabel Sanchez Vegara

New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the remarkable life of Jane Austen, the British novelist, in this true story of her life. Little Jane grew up in a big family that loved learning and she often read from her father’s library. In her teenage years she began to write in bound notebooks and craft her own novels. As an adult, Jane secretly created stories that shone a light on the British upper classes and provided a witty social commentary of the time, creating a new dialogue for female characters in books. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

Jane Austen (Little People, Big Dreams) by Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Jane Austen is part of a series aimed at very young readers, introducing children to famous women in history.

The illustrations are simple, and a little childlike, as though young Jane herself might be telling the story.

Austen’s works are far too advanced for readers in the target age group of this book, but it’s an interesting way to introduce girls and boys alike to the fact there were PLENTY of women in history who achievement many different things.

 

Review copy from NetGalley.

How Do Cats Do That?: Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

How Do Cats Do That Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

How Do Cats Do That?: Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

It was 1am. I was looking for a book to read. Instead of something in the realm of fiction for grownups, I saw the crazy cat on the cover of How Do Cats Do That? and downloaded this book instead.

Written in simple language in order to appeal to all ages, the book does exactly what you’d expect: it explains everything you would want to know about cats and their behaviour.

After having a gazillion stray cats turn up in my life in recent years, I’ve already read everything I could find about this particular topic, but this is a good summary for people who need to know a lot about cats in a hurry.

A quick, easy read.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.