Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

Happy Halloween! I am so glad I get to post today~I have been away most Saturdays and haven't been able to write anything. I used to love Halloween as a kid. We used to go all over the neighborhood knocking on doors. We would be so tired at night we could barely eat the candy we brought home. For the past week I have written about different books that would be great to read to kids for the big day. I thought I would just add some more that you might be interested in getting and reading to your kids.
Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman -- Fun story about a witch who wants to make a pumpkin pie!
Scary, Scary, Halloween by Eve Bunting--a sweet introduction to Halloween with a surprise ending.
Shake Dem Halloween Bones by W. Nikola-Lisa--great book to read to get the kids moving and laughing!
Room On the Broom by Julia Donaldson--great read aloud!
So have a Happy and Spooky Halloween!!!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Horror Anthologies: Half Minute Horrors edited by Susan Rich

OK so tomorrow is Halloween! I thought I would give a list of books that have short stories in them that would be great to read at a Halloween party. I was recently privy to a discussion about anthologies and whether or not they sell. I totally believe that it is a niche market and depends on the subject matter. I think anthologies are great for kids too especially if there is a theme about them.

The newest "horror" anthology that I think gets it right is called Half Minute Horrors edited by Susan Rich with contributions from great authors & illustrators such as Jon Scieskza, Lane Smith, Lemony Snicket, Neil Gaiman, Holly Black as many others. It is also nice because it is giving it's royalties to the First Book the non-profit organization that gives books to needy children. I think that is really great!

Some kids like things short and sweet. Sometimes when it is hard to get kids to read, short stories are a great compromise because when they finish a story they have a sense of accomplishment.

Here is a list of some other scary anthologies:

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz; illus by Stephen Gammell
Newbery Halloween: A Dozen Scary Stories by Newbery Award Winning Authors edited by Martin H. Greenberg
Beware: R.L. Stine Picks His Favorite Scary Stories by R.L. Stine

Enjoy and have a great Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky Illus by Arnold Lobel

In honor of Halloween I thought I would suggest a book of poetry that would be great to read by the light of a Jack O'Lantern. Jack Prelutsky is a prolific author who brings varied and interesting subjects to life. This book, The Headless Horseman Rides at Midnight is a companion piece to an older book called Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep, which sadly seems to be only available in a library edition. The Headless Horseman Rides at Midnight gives 12 Poems about 12 creepy creatures that are fun to read this time of year.

I love Arnold Lobel's illustrations because they convey the scariness of the creatures such as the Mummy and the Zombie. Here's to Spooky Reading!!!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Only a Witch Can Fly by Alison McGhee, Illus by Taeeun Yoo

Only a Witch Can Fly is a new book by Alison McGhee and Taeeun Yoo. It is a sophisticated book that is just a joy to look at. Even though it takes place at Halloween it should really be read all year round. The words are lyrical and sweet and the illustrations are inspiring.

Normally I would try to talk about books that are really meant for children but sometimes I find that children's books are meant for adults. This is one that can cross over. I see it as something an adult would appreciate, truly a collectible. It is a sweet book to read aloud with charming lines with a calming rhythm. Apparently the poetry is in something called "sestina" which is a 12th century format. This would be great for an English class talking about different types of poetry.

The artwork is also wonderful and gives a warm feeling all around. This is a really magical book that should be treasured. It has a classic and timeless appeal.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Flashback Tuesday: The Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey

Long before Dav Pilkey gave us those funny books about Captain Underpants he gave us really brilliant picture books. I had an employee who would always try to stick Dav Pilkey's books into more story times. He loved to read Dogzilla or Kat Kong to the kids. When he did read them he did so with such enthusiasm that the children literally squealed with delight. I thought it fitting to talk about one of my all time favorite Halloween story's that was written by Mr. Pilkey.

The Hallo-wiener is one of his more brilliant works, it became an instant classic when it first came out. I loved to read it at story time because all the kids got the joke as did the parents. So many times we read storey's to kids but they are lost on the parents. This is the kind of book that even parents stopped talking for.

The story of a dachshund named Oscar who is made to wear a hot dog bun costume for Halloween is just too funny not to laugh at. The fact that his mother calls him her "little Vienna sausage" makes every parent smile even though kids needed an explanation of what that is. There is so much to love about this book, the story, the humor, the message and the illustrations all work together in a special way. This is what great story telling is all about. I truly believe that this is a must have for a child's bookshelf.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme by Bobbi Katz

The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme is one of those quirky books that make me smile.

It caught my eye because it said "ghostwritten" by Bobbi Katz....very cute idea. This is a great book for kids because it has all sorts of fun stuff to look at and read while also throwing in some poetry. It is supposed to be a scrapbook of a "monsterologist" and tells secrets and stories about the monsters we know and some we don't. The illustrations are playful and right up kids alleys. This is a fun book that kids will pour over and laugh with. My nephew Alex loves it. So if you have inquistive children who love scary things this is a great book for them.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Reference Sunday:Alphab'art by Anne Guery & Olivier Dussatour

Today would have been the great Pablo Picasso's birthday. He was an incredible artist who continues to inspire millions with his art. Pablo Picasso also led a very colorful life which I think might be a prerequisite for genius. I thought of just giving a list of books about Picasso but then thought that anyone could do that.

The object of this blog is to help people choose good books for children. I enjoy giving suggestions and finding answers for people. I also like finding hidden treasures. To that end I found a book that I think would be a great help to anyone wanting to inspire children and educate them on the wonders of art. The book is called Alphab'art by Anne Guery & Olivier Dussatour. It was originally published in France and has been translated into English. It uses 26 pieces of art, one for each letter of the alphabet, to teach not only the alphabet but explanations of the artist and the painting. One letter of the alphabet is hidden in each painting.

It includes great works of art by such artists as the birthday boy Pablo Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, & Dali, as well as Hopper, Klee & many others. I love books like these because they make us realize that there are more to paintings or artwork than meets the eye. Which is why art is so important to the world.

Artists (and I mean any kind of artist including writers) create because they can't help it. True artists create for themselves but we reap the rewards just as much as they do. So Happy Birthday Mr Picasso ~thank you for enriching the world with your genius.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The 13 Days of Halloween by Carol Greene & Tim Raglin

I think I have mentioned before that I like parodies especially if they are done well. This new book called The 13 Days of Halloween is just that, a perfectly good parody that is fun to read. I should say sing because it takes it's theme from the 12 Days of Christmas.

This is a great book to have at story time because it is so interactive. It is great for parents to "read" too since they probably know the melody. Sometimes books do a take off of a song and it is not that well known. That is not the case with this amusing book. The illustrations are great and add to the enjoyment of the story. A spooky good time!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fun Book of the Day: Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills

When I was little I always loved playing Duck Duck Goose in the playground. It was basically the only game I liked to play. It always made me nervous but in a good way. The first time I saw the Duck & Goose books I laughed because they made me think of having fun on the playground. Of course the books aren't about the game but about two friends sharing and playing together. I love the softness of the illustrations and the expressiveness of the characters. I have always enjoyed Tad Hills works. I was a big fan of his touch and feel books "My Fuzzy Friends"~~when I was in the stores touch & feel was a big seller and when I bought books that trend continued. My Fuzzy Friends was a big seller for me and I could understand why. The illustrations and playfulness of the book makes it fun to share with a child.
His new book Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin is great for this time of year. I love the color palette and sweet story it tells. It is a fun book to add to your toddler's library that will never go out of style. A sweet read!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Birthday to two Greats! : Celia Cruz & Dizzy Gillespie

Normally I like to write about a new book on Wednesdays but I couldn't resist writing today about two of my favorite musicians. It turns out that the Queen of Salsa and the infamous Jazz Man share a birthday. I have always liked all kinds of music so I love the fact that I can share some books about two icons in the music world.
I never really knew Celia Cruz while she was living, I regret that but it is always good to learn something new. She had a very colorful life and I am even prouder because she lived here in New Jersey. The following two titles are great introductions to a beautiful woman and successful singer.

Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa by Veronica Chambers
My Name is Celia/Me Llamo Celia by Monica Brown (a bilingual book)

Dizzy Gillespie is the premier Jazz musician of his time. Just listening to his music gives me a thrill. Interestingly enough he had a lot to do with bringing other music to the forefront and this includes Salsa so it is even more fitting that he and Celia Cruz share this post. Here are my two favorite books on his life to share with children.

Dizzy by Jonah Winter
The Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt

The wonderful thing about illustrated books for children is that the range of subjects is as diverse as the children we know. These books are a clear example of the fact that there are books for every child and their interests. These books are great because they are great read alouds~~fun for both reader and listener alike!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Flashback Tuesday: Where is Baby's Belly Button by Karen Katz

While working in the bookstore I was constantly being asked about baby books. Since babies can't read customers were always confused about what to get. I always recommended board books because they are sturdy and do not rip easily. I also liked to recommend books that have a repetitive nature about them.

When I left the stores to work in the buying office one of my subjects to buy was called Toddlers. I kept in mind what I had learned in the stores and applied them to my buying skills. Almost ten years ago this really cute book came along. Where is Baby's Belly Button by Karen Katz is a perfect first book for a toddler. It has cute illustrations, it is playful, repetitive and also interactive. It is great to read with a child for fun learning and bonding moments.
Since this book came out Karen Katz has written and illustrated many other books. They make perfect gifts for new families. I never grow tired of suggesting her books because I know they will be a hit.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

A few weeks ago I discussed a new book called Otis. I was very much reminded of one of my favorite books The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. Imagine my surprise when I came across this sweet little book called The Curious Garden by Peter Brown. It reminded me of The Little House just as much as Otis did.

This tender story of a little boy who finds a garden amidst the dreary city is lovely to behold. The words are lyrical and the illustrations inspiring. The colors grow as the garden grows. The wordless spreads speak volumes. This is a beautiful book to read to children to show them how one little act can change the world. It does this in a non preachy manner that is so refreshing. A real heartwarming book that should not be missed.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Reference Sunday: Math Books!

OK so by now you know that I like to have themes for my blog entries. I think this goes back to my days in the bookstore when I would try to do certain things on certain days. Part of that was because I knew customers would come back again & again in expectation.

So on Sundays I like to write about some sort of reference book. The only criteria is that they not be boring, dare I say they should be fun!

Today is a special day because it is my niece Erin's birthday. She loves numbers and is a whiz at Math. When I first met her (she is married to my nephew Michael) she was still in college and had just finished a paper which had a number theme. She was the first person I knew outside of the book world who actually understood what an ISBN number was. (For those who are not aware this is the "international standard book number" each book has.) Needless to say I was impressed. She is also the person I go to when I have math issues. I always say I am a book person not a number person. So the two following books are fun books about numbers and math~they should be enjoyed by all!

Math Curse by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith
Great story to read aloud showing how numbers can cause anxiety but still learn in the end that numbers can be fun.
Grapes of Math by Greg Tang & Harry Briggs
One of many Greg Tang's books that deal with numbers, math and problem solving. This too is told in an amusing way. I also love the title because I love the play on words.

Happy Birthday Erin!!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fun Book of the Day: Runaway Mummy by Michael Rex

I was in the bookstore the other day and found this wonderfully funny new book: The Runaway Mummy by Michael Rex. I love to read parodies especially when they are done well. I also love when I read something that makes me laugh out loud. This clever book is a follow up to his Goodnight Goon which was also a parody.

Runaway Mummy I think I like a bit better because there are less parodies Runaway Bunny, on which it is based. I have seen many more takeoffs of Goodnight Moon so while I like Goodnight Goon it didn't have as much of an impact on me.

Like I said I laughed out loud while reading the Runaway Mummy~which always elicits stares. The funny thing is that Runaway Bunny always reminds me of a part-time employee when I worked in the bookstore. She used to complain about it because she felt it was a very co-dependent book and didn't send the right message. So this parody brought that memory to the forefront and actually made me enjoy it more.

Of course kids won't know that, they will just experience a fun book about a mummy that will make them laugh. The illustrations are wonderful and totally enhance the story. I would totally read this at storytime!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Maurice Sendak

Last night as I watched the documentary about Maurice Sendak on HBO I realized that children's authors are some of the the most complicated people. It was fascinating to watch and hear him talk about his life and influences. Of the many things that impressed me I loved how he thought about children. That we try to hide so much from them but in the end they know more than we think. I have always thought this. I try never to talk down to a child. Most children are more perceptive than we imagine, so when we talk down to them we are inhibiting their growth. I find most children to have better insights to the human condition than so many adults. Which is why we must always prevail on them to be kind and empathic to the world around them.

Maurice Sendak is brillant artist and author. I couldn't believe he is over 80 years old. His most iconic book~Where the Wild Things Are~is now a movie. Just last night I was talking to a friend who is so excited to see the movie because the book meant so much to him.

But this isn't the only book he wrote so I thought I would mention my two favorite books. They are known but not widely and they bring back nice memories for me.

A Sign On Rosie's Door was always one of my favorite books because she had a similar name to me. I also remember the musical which is probably why I liked it so much. I liked Rosie because she was quirky and fun.
The other book or I should say books, was the Nutshell Library. The first reason I liked this set of books was because they came in a tiny box, I have always liked cute little things~something I share with my sister. My favorite little book in this collection is Chicken Soup with Rice :A Book of Months.
This little book consists of poems for each month. When I was little I needed to take speech classes because I had a bit of a lisp. The speech teacher made me recite these poem's because they had lots of "s's" in them. For example:
Chicken Soup With Rice--January by Maurice Sendak
In January it's so nice,
While slipping on the sliding ice,
To sipping hot chicken soup with rice,
Sipping once, sipping twice,
Sipping chicken soup with rice
So while everyone might just remember his more famous books these are what I think of when I think of Maurice Sendak. This is my childhood.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Omnivore's Dilemma for Kids by Michael Pollan

In a previous entry I mentioned that I started a veggie burger business with my sister-in-law. We started the business because she makes great veggie burgers and we had been noticing how many people wanted to eat better. One of the things I did was read a book by Michael Pollan called In Defense of Food. I learned how to read labels and shop a supermarket correctly or at least more healthfully. I hadn't read his book The Omnivore's Dilemma but I discussed it with people who have read it. I thought it would be too much information for me and well I didn't want to stop eating everything. Turns out I should have read it but now I can do one better and read Michael Pollan's young readers version, The Omnivore's Dilemma for Kids. It is written for the average young reader to help them understand how and where their food is made. He uses lots of photos and graphs and writes in a plain straightforward language so that kids will not be overwhelmed. It is definitely a good read!

While selling our veggie burgers at the farmer's market we have been amazed at how many parents tell us that one or more of their children are vegetarians. Kids are making their own decisions about what they eat and that is a good thing. This book should help them make informed choices.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Flashback Tuesday: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

The fact that Halloween is a little over two weeks away has not escaped me. When I was in the bookstore this was always one of my favorite stories to read during this time of the year. It isn't specifically a Halloween tale even though it has a pumpkin on the cover. It is just meant to be a "scary" story that is fun to read.

I have always enjoyed reading The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything because it is the kind of book that gets the children involved. There is repetitive text that is great to have the kids repeat. There is also the activity part....I always had the children "clomp, clomp" or "shake, shake" or the best one "wiggle, wiggle". By the end of the story they were all laughing and giggling which is a sound I love.

It is a great book to add to your child's collection because it can be read at other times of the year. Most Halloween books deal with the holiday with talks of trick or treating, candy and costumes. This book is just a rollicking read!

Monday, October 12, 2009

You Wouldn't Want to Sail With Christopher Columbus! Uncharted Waters You'd Rather Not Cross by Fiona Macdonald

I was trying to think of a great way to honor Columbus Day. Do I recommend books about Columbus or do I suggest titles that are historical or about exploration? Then I remembered this great series of books that are a humorous way to learn about history.

The series is called "You Wouldn't Want to ..." which makes history fun for kids. They explore such historical times as the Civil War, the American Revolution, the Boston Tea Party, Vikings, and Egyptian Pyramid builders, to name a few.
This title on Christopher Columbus is an amusing way to explain to children what it really was like to sail the open seas in 1492. It really brings into focus how people lived in those days without being boring.
These are great titles for reluctant readers and to help make history interesting.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Reference Sunday: Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan Illus by Brian Selznick

Today is the 125th Anniversary of the birth of Eleanor Roosevelt. She is one of our most celebrated first ladies having been first lady from 1933 to 1945. She was a courageous and strong woman who's life is still an inspiration.

If I were in the bookstore and a customer came in looking for books on Eleanor Roosevelt I could show them a multitude of books about her life. There are many biographies for children on Eleanor Roosevelt and any of them would do for a child to read about and/or do a report on. That being said I would also show the customer this wonderful picture book based on a true incident in Eleanor Roosevelt's life.
It happened in 1933. Mrs Roosevelt had invited her friend, the celebrated aviatrix Amelia Earhart, to dinner at the White House. This story tells of how the two women decided to have some fun and go for a plane ride around Washington DC. Again, it is a true story. At the end of the book, there is an author's note explaining the actual event because some details were changed for the story.
Brian Selznick's wonderful illustrations enhance this special tale by his warm black & white sketches of the time. This is truly a beautiful book about two incredible women.
Happy Birthday Eleanor!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Crashing into the Moon!

I saw on the news this morning that NASA sent a missile to crash into the moon to see if has water. It was really interesting although I think the new people were a bit disappointed that it wasn't more dramatic. It did get me thinking about all the children's books I know that deal with the moon. There are so many non-fiction books but also great story books that have the moon as their subject. I couldn't let the day go by without suggesting some great books for all ages about the Moon!


Great non-fiction titles:

The Moon by Seymour Simon

The Moon Seems to Change by Franklyn M. Branley

Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 On the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh

Great Picture Books:

Papa Please Get the Moon For Me by Eric Carle

Kittens First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant

These are just some of my favorites there are many more where these came from~the Moon has been a great inspiration through the ages ~ now would be a great time to explore!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

National Poetry Day in the UK

I saw that today is National Poetry Day in England. April is National Poetry Month here in the United States. This means I would need to wait until then to talk about our Children's Poet Laureate. Mary Ann Hoberman, a prolific children's author, was appointed Children's Poet Laureate one year ago today. I have always enjoyed her books through the years. I especially enjoy her series of books titled You Read to Me, I'll Read to You...because they let the child become part of story time. They are a great before bed read aloud for parents to have quality time with their children. The new one is called You Read to Me I'll Read to You Very Short Scary Tales to Read Together.

I love her writing, she really knows how children think and writes in such a way that her words are accessible. A most recent poetry book of her is called The Llama Who Had No Pajama. This collection of poems spans her storied career.

Because it is National Poetry Month in the UK I thought I would suggest a great new poetry collection by Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton. Since, of course, Julie Andrews is originally from England. Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies is a wonderful book illustrated by James McMullan that should be a must on your child's bookshelf. It has 150 works from Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Shel Silverstein and even Rodgers & Hammerstein among others. There is even an accompanying CD with 21 of the works being read by Julie and her daughter. This would make a great family gift too!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What Sisters Do Best/What Brothers Do Best by Laura Numeroff, Illus by Lynn Munsinger

I am the youngest of four children. I have one sister and two older brothers. They have each enriched my life in different ways. I have already talked about my sister, how she read to me, told me stories and got me my first library card. She will always be my older sister, the person I defer to and ask advice of. She is basically my best friend without whom I couldn't be who I am.

I have two older brothers, my oldest brother went away to college when I was only 6 years old. I have talked about him before too when I spoke about the book The Marvelous Toy . He is also the one who took me to see The Wonderful Wizard of Oz when I was little, it was a going away present to me before he left for college. I think for a long time he still thought of me as a child but as I grew up we had some great talks because we had similar interests. I had some great conversations with him.

Then there is my other brother Michael who is a few years older than me. He was basically my "tormentor" when we were kids. He always teased me and tickled me, but in a good way. He was never malicious and I knew he cared about me. He was and is very sweet too and when he knew I was sad he would always try to make me feel better. Once when I was home sick he tried to bring me an ice cream cone from school~of course it melted but it was the thought that counted. I know I can turn to him if I ever need anything.

A few weeks ago on Grandparents Day I suggested the flip book What Grandma's Do Best/What Grandpa's Do Best by Laura Numeroff. Well she has finally done the book I had always hoped she would do. What Sister's Do Best/What Brother's Do Best a perfect book for me. The text is pretty much the same for both but that doesn't matter, it is a great story for anyone who has siblings. It is great for parents to read to their children since it will hopefully help with any sibling rivalry that might exist in their home. All brothers and sisters fight but sometimes it is nice to be reminded what is like to have one or two people who will always be there for you. It would make a really great gift!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Flashback Tuesday: Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

As I have stated before my sister, Ann E. Burg, is an author. She and her friend, the acclaimed author Lesa Cline-Ransome are teaching a class called "Writing for Children: Not Just a Fairytale" at the Rhinebeck, NY School for Continuing Education. My sister was telling me about yesterdays class discussion . They were discussing unique "voices" in children's literature. The first book that popped into my head that has a great "voice" was the classic Newbery Honor title, Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman.

I remember when this book came out. I have always liked history and this had all the elements of a great book. I remember getting caught up in the story. Catherine is a great character who was easy to like and empathize with. She is strong willed with a great sense of self. Karen Cushman was able to write about a time and place that is foreign to the reader but still have us understand the life that Catherine was leading.
I was a bit disappointed that it didn't win the Newbery Medal, I felt that it really was the best book that season. I was happy the next year that Karen Cushman went on to win for her next title, The Midwives Apprentice, but still thought Catherine was the better book. I think that Catherine Called Birdy is a must read for all. It has a very memorable character and is a fantastic read.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) by Florence Parry Heide; Illust by Lane Smith

Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) is a sweet new book. I love fractured fairy tales and stories that are a twist on the familiar. It is a about a princess who has the knack for floating. Her parents, the king & queen, try everthing to keep her grounded. It is a great story that shows that while we need to be protective of our children we must still let them be who they really are. It is a great way to get that message across without being preachy.

The illustrations are by one of my favorite illustrators. Lane Smith is prolific and diverse in his work. I am lucky enough to have met him twice and found that he is a very sweet man. The first time I met him he an Jon Scieszka had just come out with The Stinky Cheeseman. They had come to our store to do a talk and signing. It was fun especially because they got a kick out of the plate of "stinky cheese" we had for them. Now at that time we never told customers that they couldn't bring other books to get signed. Mr. Smith was so cute because he was embarrased at the fact that so many adults had come with his art books to sign which made him very busy but not his partner Mr. Scieszka. Of course Jon Scieszka was good natured about it especially because Lane Smith was so embarrased. Like I said a very sweet man. I also love the fact that he is not a cookie cutter artist, all his illustrations are different enough and are perfect for the stories they are helping to tell. This new book about a princess who floats is a wonderful example of his genius. Check it out!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Reference Sunday: Fire Prevention Week

When I was working in the bookstore I always tried to follow what was going on in the world as a way to tie in books to any event. I not only looked to the news but I looked to teachers, many of whom worked for me, to give me ideas for storytimes and displays.

Every year one of the biggest events was always Fire Prevention Week. We would plan storytimes and even visits with local firefighters. All our displays would feature books dealing with either fire safety or firemen and fire trucks. So here are some books that might help you teach your child about fire safety while still being a good read.

No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids by Jean Pendziwol
Stop, Drop & Roll by Margery Cuyler
Arthur's Fire Drill by Marc Brown
Clifford the Firehouse Dog by Norman Bridwell
Big Frank's Fire Truck by Leslie McGuire
Fire!Fire! by Gail Gibbons

This is also a good week to review with your children what to do in case of a fire. How to evacuate the house and how to call 911. We all want our children to be safe and this week is a good way to remind us how to do it. Have a great week!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

I stated in my bio that I have been in the world of books for most of my life. What I didn't say was that I have always loved food too. Last year my sister-in-law Theresa, who is a fantastic cook, and I started a Veggie Burger business. She had developed these awesome tasting veggie burgers that we thought other people might like. Our company is called The Savory Garden. We sell three kinds of veggie burgers at a local farmers market and a deli. They have been very well received. To be honest we are not vegetarians , we do try to eat healthy and are very health conscious.
Eating healthy is very important not just for adults but for children also. Through the years there have been many wonderful books that highlight vegetables and good eating for children. I thought I would list some today so that while we may not be able to turn all children into vegetarians we might be able to get them to eat better....

The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons
Gregory the Terrible Eater by Mitchell Sharmat
I Eat Vegetables by Hannah Tofts
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
Herb the Vegetarian Dragon by Jules Bass