Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Dog Wearing Shoes by Sangmi Ko

This past weekend I was visiting my brother and family when he suggested we go for a ride.  We ended up one town over from him, Madison NJ.  I have always loved is a quaint town with cute shops and lots of restaurants.  Now my brother knows I love books so he showed me the newest Independent bookseller Short Stories Community Book Hub...I loved it.  It is in a great location and has great space.  It is more than just a bookseller it also hosts community events and music.  After we left he then brought me to another store a few doors down---the Chatham Bookseller (it used to be the Madison Public Library)...I was in heaven.  This is a wonderful used bookshop with shelves and shelves of books---some really old.  I just took in the sight and the smells...there is nothing like the smell of a bookstore.

Little did my brother know that he gave me the best birthday present ever by introducing me to not one but two of my favorite places to visit.

This past Wednesday I again was in downtown Madison.  I was waiting for a friend so that we could go to see the production of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged)(revised)  that was being performed by the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.  While I was waiting for in the Short Stories Community Book Hub I read today's book selection.

A Dog Wearing Shoes by Sangmi Ko is the sweetest book about a little girl who falls in love with a lost dog who happens to be wearing shoes.  She becomes very attached to the puppy but then realizes it must belong to someone else.  This is the perfect book for anyone who loves a good animal story that also teaches about empathy and caring.  It is also a perfect way to explain why getting a pet from an animal shelter can be very rewarding.  I loved the illustrations too....they are whimsical and sensitive at the same time.  I highly recommend it!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott

Back in February I was part of the Cybils Award panel for Poetry.  I have written about a few of the books but not all.  This week I was reminded of one of the finalists....Paper Hearts by Meg Wiviott.

Like many people this week I was intrigued by the story of the Auschwitz mug that had hidden jewelry under a false bottom.

Link to the story

I am always amazed to learn a different aspect of history.  When I read Paper Hearts, which is based on a true story, I learned how some victims fought to survive in concentration camps during World War II.  The young girls in the story tried to retain who they were by doing little things. Such as wearing a silky shirt under their uniforms or sharing their food with others.  Even if it meant punishment when caught.  The title refers to an origami heart that is made in secret as a birthday card for another girl.  It is this simple act which helped these courageous girls retain their dignity and personality. It is a very powerful story that resonates even today.  It is definitely a crossover YA to adult novel.
The "paper heart" is real and can be seen in the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.  These are real items--- the heart and the mug.....real items that stand as a testament of people who suffered and serve as a reminder of the human spirit.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox & Judy Horacek

I can't believe it has been a month since I posted last.  I recently went back to work after my winter hiatus and it has been non-stop ever since.  While I loved the warmer winter we had I am not thrilled with this colder and wetter spring.  The first event we held this season is an event called "Sheep to Shaw" was a rousing success.  It was a beautiful weekend and there were baby lambs to be seen that the children loved.  In the shop we bring in lots of little stuffed lambs, sheep and animals.  We also bring in a plethora of books.  One of the books is today's recommendation.

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek a very cute book that we are selling in board book form.  This is a fun book that teaches about color, size, action and reaction.  One of my co-workers brought his four year old little girl to work the other day.  She is so cute that we sat and read this book together.  I do miss reading to little ones and her reactions were perfect.  This is a great story time book that can be read again again.  I love books like this because  it is very interactive between the child and the reader. Sometimes it is the simplest books that can be the most fun.....

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer

I love Poetry Month...especially when I find find new books to read and uncover.  This one jumped out at me because one of my favorite people is my nephew and godson Daniel.  He is a bit old for this book as he is in college but it still reminds me of him when he was a little boy.  I remember our walks with his constant monologue and questions about all that we encountered....from cars to the pond and animals we met along the way.

Daniel Finds a Poem written and illustrated by Micha Archer is a wonderful introduction of poetry for a child.  What is Poetry? This sweet book is the story of a little boy who wants the answer to that question.  He discovers it all around him as he walks through the park from the animals and creatures that he meets.  At the end of the book Daniel presents all he has discovered in the form of a poem.  This book is not only an introduction to poetry but to nature as well.  I love the lyrical way in which it is written alongside it's sweet illustrations.  This is a perfect book for a classroom, library or a child's bookshelf.  A great book to be read again and again.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Good Morning Yoga by Mariam Gates illustrated by Sarah Jane Hinder

Good Morning Yoga: A Pose by Pose Wake Up Story written by Mariam Gates and illustrated by Sarah Jane Hinder is a sweet new book that teaches Yoga to the very young.  It does so by incorporating yoga poses into a little story filled with imagination.  Last fall I recommended another children's yoga book called I Am Yoga. At that time I had only taken one yoga class myself.  Since then I have been taking classes run by my sister in law. I have found them to be very soothing and inspiring.  I have another friend who teaches yoga to children.  When I found Good Morning Yoga I thought of her.  This is a perfect companion book to I Am Yoga.  I love the soothing way this new book is written.  Each pose is written as a little adventure.  I personally liked Mountain Pose and the way Downward Facing Dog is presented.  In today's world children tend to not get up and move as much as they should. This would be a perfect practice for a child first thing in the morning or anytime.  A way for them to stretch and move in a gentle manner.  At the end of the book there is even a bit about meditation....which can be very calming.  I think any book that instills a feeling of calm and focus can only be a good thing.  At the link there are additional links to videos of the book...Something to enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

All We Know by Linda Ashman illustrated by Jane Dyer

I love Springtime!The days are longer and the earth smells sweet. Spring brings the promise of new things.

All We Know by Linda Ashman and illustrated by Jane Dyer shows that same promise of the beauty of Spring.  Jane Dyer's illustrations always touch my heart and make me feel warm and fuzzy. They also remind me of my niece when she was little.  My niece has a little boy of her own now and so they remind me of him too.  The sweet illustrations combined with Linda Ashman's tender prose make a perfect match.  I love this new book.  It is the perfect read aloud for either a story time or bedtime.  It is more than just a story of a mother's love for her child but it is the story of the beauty of the natural world around us.  A perfect new baby gift.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank's Window by Jeff Gottesfeld illustrated by Peter McCarty

It is March so it is Women's History Month. Today is also International Women's Day. I thought it would be appropriate to write about a girl who never got the chance to grow up and become the woman she was meant to be. Her memory has inspired many by her example and story.

The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank's Window by Jeff Gottesfeld and illustrated  by Peter McCarty is the touching story of Anne Frank as told by the tree that stood outside the Annex where she hid.  I love the concept of this book.  I remember reading about the tree (yes it was real) when it fell during a storm.  Anne Frank mentions the tree three times in her diary.  I love how Jeff Gottesfeld has poignantly written this picture book from the perspective of the tree.  Mr McCarty's illustrations are also such a beautiful match to the poetic words that we cannot help but truly see Anne Frank from a different stand point.  This is a wonderful way to introduce a difficult subject to a younger audience.  A must have new book....