Saturday, February 20, 2010

Here Comes the Bride by Beatrice Masini illus Anna Laura Cantone

I am off to a bridal shower. My cousin's daughter is getting married in March so today is the family shower. I have always liked weddings...if only because I love to dance and eat cake. Bridal showers are fun too....alas no dancing but there is sure to be cake. In honor of the day I thought I would suggest this really fun new picture book.

Here Comes the Bride by Beatrice Masini & illustrated by Anna Laura Cantone was originally published in Italy. It is a funny story about a seamstress who makes wedding dress but when it comes to make her own she gets carried away. The illustrations are quirky and amusing...the expression on the grooms face is priceless. I think the main character, Filomena, is a hoot. This is a fun wedding book to read to a child if they are going to or are to be in a wedding. It isn't sappy like some can be. A really fun book.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Copernicus!

Today is the great Copernicus' birthday. He is the one who figured out that the Earth is not the center of the universe.

Nicolaus Copernicus: The Earth is a Planet by Dennis B. Fradin & illustrated by Cynthia von Buhler is a great picture book that tells in simple language the story of his life. I loved the illustrations which are more like oil paintings. This is great book to introduce Copernicus to anyone who wants to know more about the origins of astronomy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler

Growing up I loved to read fairy tales. One of my favorite fairy tales was the Twelve Dancing Princesses. I loved how this story was so magical and that there was dancing involved. The version I remember reading had the soldier telling the king that he didn't want to marry any of the princesses but he wanted them to marry the prince's they had danced with. I thought it was a very romantic ending.

I was thrilled to discover The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler. Another retelling of an old story. Diane Zahler has done a superb job of re-imagining this classic fairy tale. I love the characters and the way they interact. I wish this had been around when I was would have become one of my favorite books. This is for any girl who loves fairy tales ~ young or old!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Read Aloud Wednesday: Hip & Hop, Don't Stop! by Jef Czekaj

Hip & Hope, Don't Stop! by Jef Czekaj is a new book that is a retelling of the tortoise & the hare fable. This is a great read aloud for kids because they love rhymes and I think would really love the way it is told in rap form. It is a great story of friendship and acceptance too. The illustrations use a comic book form but is not overly done. I was never a fan of the original fable because the hare was so obnoxious. This retelling is nice because the two become friends and the annoyance I have always felt is gone. This book is a great book to read at a story time~it is sure to bring smiles.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco

Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco is one of my all time favorite books. It is definitely one of my favorite Patricia Polacco books. I can still remember the first time I read it. I was so blown away by the story and the illustrations that I sat and cried right in the middle of the store.

This story of two boys from different worlds during the Civil War is so touching and real that it is sometimes hard to believe it is a true story. This is a story that had been handed down from generation to generation so I am sure the tone had changed in each retelling of it. But the story always remained the same.
The illustration of the boys hands as they are being torn apart still gives me goosebumps when I think about it.

Some people might say this is too harsh a story for young children. I say we shouldn't talk down to children and should always try to tell them the truth. Children can handle more than we give them credit for.

Pink and Say was the first picture book I encountered that made me realize that not all picture books are for children. This is a book for all ages. It is not just for children~

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy President's Day!

Today is President's Day and I would be remiss if I didn't suggest some books for kids that are perfect to help celebrate.

President's Day by Anne Rockwell illus Lizzy Rockwell~ New in paperback this is a school story that teaches children about the holiday in the guise of students putting on a play. A great tool for classrooms. Ages 4-8

The New Book of U. S. Presidents by Todd Davis & Marc Frey~The most up to date encyclopedia of presidents. It includes an American History Timeline & includes President Obama. Ages 9-12

So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George Illus David Small~This is one of my
favorite books. It is such a fun way to learn history. The illustrations by David Small are priceless. Ages 9-12 (although I think younger kids would love it too!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Reference Sunday: Chinese New Year!

First off Happy Valentines Day! Today is also the start of Chinese New Year---the Year of the Tiger! It just so happens that my two little nephews, Alex & Michael V are Tigers...very sweet ones at that. Here are some books that are good introduction to the fun holiday!


Happy Chinese New Year, Kai Lan! by Lauren Silverhardt --normally I wouldn't recommend a TV tie-in title but this Nickelodeon series is based on a preschool character who is Chinese American. This book is perfect for explaining Chinese New Year to preschoolers.

Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin ---really sweet picture book that tells the story of a family celebrating Chinese New Year.

Lion Dancer: Ernie Wan's Chinese New Year by Karen Waters ---I always liked this book because it used photographs to illustrate the holiday. It is wonderful the way it depicts the Chinese New Year Celebration. A classic title.

Celebrating Chinese New Year: An Activity Book by Hingman Chan--great book with facts & history of Chinese New Year that comes with activities to make paper dragons, lanterns etc....very helpful in celebrating this wonderful holiday!

Guo Nian Hao! Happy New Year!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New books to "Love"!

Tomorrow is Valentines Day. All week I have tried to suggest books that would be a perfect way to celebrate. There are so many books for children that are about love but are not necessarily about Valentines Day. I thought today I would recommend some recently published titles that can keep that warm feeling we get on Valentines Day around for the rest of the year.

Kiss Kiss by Selma Mandine---This is a really sweet picture book about a little teddy bear who asks a little boy what 'kisses" are like. Gentle and warm for ages 4-8....great price too!

You're Lovable to Me by Kat Yeh Illus Sue Anderson--Sweet bedtime book that has gentle words and cozy illustrations. A warm & reassuring family picture book for ages 4-8.

Hugs & Kisses by Roger Priddy--Great little touch & fell board book for toddlers.

Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons On Love by Amy Krouse Rosenthal illus by Jane & Brooke Dyer. This is wonderful picture book for any age to that teaches what love is all about. I am a huge Jane Dyer fan (her daughter too) and just love the warm illustrations that are timeless.

I love these books because, as I said, they are just for Valentines Day but for everyday to share with someone you love!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter Olympics: Let the Games Begin!

Back in January I told you about a book called Freeze Frame: A Photographic History of the Winter Olympics. Since today is opening day for the Vancouver Winter Games I thought I would suggest some books that might be fun & informative to read during this exciting sports event!


Tacky & the Winter Games by Helen Lester illus by Lynn Munsinger --I love Tacky, he is one of my favorite characters. This book is sure to get anyone in the mood for the Winter Games! It is for ages 4-8 but trust me all ages love Tacky!!!

The Ency of the Winter Games by John Wukovits---great book that talks about the origins of the games with a synopsis of each event. This is the perfect book for the older child who wants to read about what they are watching on TV.

The Winter Olympics: An Insiders Guide to the Legends, Lore & Games~Vancouver Edition by Ron C. Judd -- Technically this is an adult book but I think it would make a great family book. It is filled with fun and interesting facts about the Winter Olympics and it includes this years venues. A book the whole family can enjoy and share together.


So enjoy the games....and have some fun!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine by Herman Parish illus Lynne Avril

I have always been a great fan of Amelia Bedelia. I thought she was so funny how she got everything wrong just because she took things so literally.....she made me laugh. I also liked that despite her faults she was loved.

At first I didn't think I would like updated versions of her but I have changed my mind. I really like this new Amelia Bedelia....she has that innocence that I think is still needed in childhood.

Amelia Bedelia's First Valentine by Herman Parish & illus by Lynne Avril is a really sweet Valentines Day book. It is perfect for its age group and would make a great book to read year after year. A wonderful addition to a wonderful series of books.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Read Aloud Wednesday: Snow & Hearts!

Today is my first real snow day. It is snowing like mad outside my window ---last fall I suggested a book that I would like to recommend today as a perfect book to read by the fire.

Hooray for Snow by Kazuo Iwamura is the sweetly illustrated picture book of three little squirrels who go sledding with their father. Since my brother has three boys this reminds me of them.

Snow Day by Barbara Joose illus Jennifer Plecas is a great read aloud and fun story of how a little boy and his dog spend the day in the snow. Great family story too!


Since I intended to write about more books for Valentines Day here are a couple of books to read together while the snow piles up....or not depending on where you live!

The Day it Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond is one another favorite of mine~it is just a sweet story of a little girl who catches hearts and makes Valentines with them.

Happy Valentines Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff illus Felicia Bond ~~the mouse from the If You Give series of books celebrates Valentines Day with his friends. This is a new book that all should it is about a "mouse" we love. Since it is also illustrated by Felicia Bond I thought they could be read together.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli illus Paul Yalowitz

As the Gershwin song goes: Somebody Love Me, I wonder who, I wonder who can it can be~

Somebody Love You Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli & illus by Paul Yalowitz is one of my all time favorite Valentines Day books. I think it is great book to be read outside of Valentines Day too because it is such a wonderful book. The first time I read it I knew it was special because of the feelings it invoked. Mr Hatch is one of the most memorable characters~I think there is a little bit of him in everyone. Wouldn't it be nice if a little mistake, like in the book, brought us all closer together. This is a great read aloud and should be on every bookshelf not just a child's. This is a book that enhances that feeling of friendship and love.....

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Valentines Day Books!

Here are some new books that are the perfect way to get ready for Valentines Day!

Kisses by Barney Saltzberg--a touch & feel book for the littlest among us. Brightly illustrated and very cheerful. A fun book to share. I love the elephants on the cover.....

The Great Valentine's Day Mix-Up by Saxton Moore---fun school story about Valentines Day cards that get "mixed up"~great lift the flaps with messages to decode.

Bear Hugs: Romantically Ridiculous Animal Rhymes by Karma Wilson illus by Suzanne Watts. Really fun poems & rhymes to make anyone smile.
These are just a couple of new books that struck my fancy.....I hope they strike yours too!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Reference Sunday: Everything Kids' Football Book by Greg Jacobs

Here it is Superbowl Sunday a day when so many get together to eat, drink, party & watch some football.

I have recommended the Everything Books from Adams Media before but I don't think it is redundant to suggest another perfect title from them.

The Everything Kids' Football Book by Greg Jacobs is a great book for any kid who loves the game of football. I also think it would be a great book for any adult going to a Superbowl Party that is not a football fan. It can help them sound knowledgeable about the game.

Greg Jacobs does just as good a job with football as he did with the Everything Kids' Baseball Book. This book is filled with not only anecdotes but games and activities too. A fun book to use on a fun day!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Woof: A Love Story by Sarah Weeks illus by Holly Berry

A week from tomorrow is Valentines Day....I thought it was high time I started suggesting some books that would help celebrate the day. Valentines Day was and is a big holiday for bookstores. When I was in the stores it ranked 3rd after Christmas and Halloween. I had a district manager who really loved (no pun intended) Valentines Day and always encouraged us to make a big deal out of it.

Woof: A Love Story by Sarah Weeks is one of the cutest books I have seen in a long time. I love how a dog falls in love with a cat but when the dog says "I Love You" all the cat hears is "woof, woof, woof..."! It is a wonderful read aloud and can actually foster conversation about how just because we are different it doesn't mean we can' t love each other. The illustrations by Holly Berry captures the mood completely. A new book that is a sweet read!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce is one of those books that begs to be picked up if you see it on the shelf. I love the really is eye catching.

It is by the author of Millions and Framed ~ he does like the one word title. It is such a fun book ~ it really made me laugh. The main character Liam is the kind of kid I like to root for. This is the perfect book for a reluctant reader that is sure to please. I know a few kids who would enjoy it. It is adventurous and fun with some truth thrown in.
It is the perfect book to read while being snowbound!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni illus Bryan Collier

Today is Rosa Parks birthday. I would have suggested a book about her even if it hadn't been Black History Month. I have always been inspired by act of courage.

My favorite story of her life and the one I would recommend most is also inspiring.

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni & illustrated by Bryan Collier is a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award Winner.

I think Nikki Giovanni is one the greatest poets of our time. Her words are beautiful and she really is a storyteller. Bryan Collier is one of my favorite illustrators. I love his palettes and how his images come to life. If there is one book to get on Rosa Parks this would be it.

Happy Birthday Rosa!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Read Aloud Wednesday: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

When I worked in the bookstore Wednesday was always our story time day. At one time I had three story times in one day. There was always a theme and an activity. My favorite part was picking the books to read.

I thought I would use Wednesday as a day to suggest books that make great read alouds.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a perfect story time book. It introduces us to a little boy in a city who spends the day in the snow. This book was originally written in 1962 and it won the 1963 Caldecott for its wonderful illustrations. Ezra Jack Keats is one of the first authors at that time to tell a story using a child of African American descent. The wonderful thing about it is that is really just a book about a boy playing in the snow. There is no agenda just a story but the fact the boy is African American speaks volumes for that time. It is a must have title.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: Gregory's Shadow by Don Freeman

I couldn't let Groundhog Day go by without recommending a book to read. When I was first in the stores there were few books that dealt with this holiday. As with all things that has changed.
Since there are so many books I thought I would suggest an older title. It was actually first published posthumously but it has a nostalgic feel to it.
Gregory's Shadow by Don Freeman of Corduroy fame is a sweet story of a little groundhog who's best friend is his shadow. The illustrations are soft and inviting and while it might be a long story it has a sweet message.
Here's to Staten Island Chuck who says Spring will come early!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Kid's Guide to African American History by Nancy I. Sanders

Today is the first day of Black History Month. I found this great book that can be used everyday of the month and beyond to help celebrate.

The Kid's Guide To African American History by Nancy I. Sanders is packed with over 70 activities, songs & games to help teach children about African American History. This would be great for teachers and librarians to use and great for parents too. It also has short biography's of famous African Americans and well as explanations of important historical events in our history.

This book is a perfect book not just for older kids but for younger ones as well. It is well written and easy to use. It is not overwhelming at all~ the perfect book to learn with.