Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reference Sunday: Ripley's Believe it or Not! Enter if You Dare!

Happy Halloween!!!  I would have posted earlier but I had a gaggle of early trick or treaters.  As it is I am almost out of candy.   This is what happens when Halloween falls on a beautiful Sunday!

Last night I went to "real" haunted house..they did a very good job of having creatures jump out at me...sad to say I did scream a few times.   They even dared us to enter a few rooms....which reminded me of today's book suggestion.
Ripley's Believe It or Not! Enter If You Dare!
Ripley's Believe it or Not! Enter if you Dare! from the Ripley's people is a great book for the curious minded among us.  It is not necessarily a children's book but I know a few kids who would love it.   I think I liked the "Ripley's Revealed" sections as I am always fascinated to find out how things work.   A great family gift since there would be something for everyone.....

Have a spooky rest of your day!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex

Today is Frankenstein Friday which was started in 1997 by Ron MacCloskey so it is appropriate that today's books are all about Frankenstein.

I remember reading  Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and thinking it really has nothing to do with the images I had grown up with.   The monster was actually quite intelligent albeit with a murderous streak.   It really is a story of ethics and morals that questions whether or not we should do something just because we can.   Today Frankenstein has morphed into a totally different creature or should I say monster.  To celebrate this day and to get ready for Halloween I am suggesting the following two books for kids.   Maybe these books will someday inspire children to read the original.

Frankenstein Takes the Cake
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich
Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich and Frankenstein Takes the Cake both by Adam Rex are very funny books in rhyme that deal with not just Frankenstein but other "lovable" monsters as well.  These quirky books really made me laugh.... Two truly fun books for kids (and some adults I know!)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Goblin and the Empty Chair by Mem Fox illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon

Yesterday morning while I was video chatting with my sister, she told me that she had a new favorite picture book.   She made me look up Mem Fox while we were still chatting ....we "watched" together a video of the author reading her book.   To say it was one of the most beautiful stories I had heard in a long time is an understatement.   I want to thank my sister Ann for introducing me to this wonderful book.
The Goblin and the Empty Chair

The Goblin and the Empty Chair by Mem Fox and illustrated by award winning duo Leo & Diane Dillon is the story of  a goblin who is ashamed of who he is so he hides himself away.  We go on to meet a family who is very sad but whom the Goblin helps.   I found the story uplifting and inspiring.   It is a new kind of fairy tale, one that speaks to all of us of compassion and love.   We never really do see the Goblins face but see his heart instead.    The illustrations are perfect for this special book, I can't imagine anyone but the Dillons doing it justice.  This is the kind of book for all ages.  I would give to children to foster conversation.  I would give this book  to adults to help them understand grief and how we come to terms with the sadness in our lives.   Mem Fox has written a powerful story that speaks to the world.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: Shake Dem Halloween Bones by W. Nikola-Lisa illus by Mike Reed

Shake Dem Halloween Bones

Shake Dem Halloween Bones by W. Nikola-Lisa and illustrated by Mike Reed is one of the best books for a Halloween story time.   I love books that have great rhymes and really gets the kids involved.  I would either read this as the first book during a story time to get the children excited or towards the middle when they start to get antsy.   Either way it is a must read for Halloween.  I love the illustrations too because they really capture the essence of the book --- a perfect match of story and pictures!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reference Sunday: Halloween Activity Books

Since Halloween is a week away I thought I would suggest some great activity books to get your little ghost or goblin in the mood.  

Intricate Jack O'Lanterns: 45 Halloween Designs to Color

Intricate Jack Lantern's: 45 Halloween Designs to Color by Jack Abraham geared towards 4-8 year olds but I know a few adults who would love this.  Who said coloring is for kids?

Halloween Doodles: Spooky Designs to Complete and Create

Halloween Doodles: Spooky Designs to Complete & Create by Emma Parrish the publisher also recommends for ages 4-8 but we know that older kids love to doodle!

Spooky, Silly Halloween Puzzles

Spooky, Silly Halloween Puzzles by Patrick Merrill is meant for ages 9-12 but I am sure older kids can share some it with a younger child.

Lift-the-Flap Shadow Book Halloween

Halloween Lift-the-Flap Shadow Book from Priddy books is perfect for toddlers to have fun with....

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Halloween, Mittens by Lola M. Schaefer illus by Susan Kathleen Hartung

Sometimes I forget how beginning reader books can just be so cute.   I tend to always think that they can't be a fun book.  Today's book is a perfect example of a "teaching" book that is fun to read.

Happy Halloween, Mittens (My First I Can Read)

Happy Halloween, Mittens (My First I Can Read) by Lola M. Schaefer and illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung is a really sweet new book about a little kitten who keeps getting in the way of Halloween preparations.   Even though it is meant to help children learn to read I think it make a sweet read aloud for any child.   This is a great new character for kids to love and learn with.   The illustrations are precious but not too sappy and the story really speaks to kids.  

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Flashback Tuesday: The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg

The Widow's Broom

The Widow's Broom by Chris Van Allsburg is an old favorite of mine.  I have always admired Chris Van Allsburg because he really knows how to tell a story and convey emotions with his illustrations.   As with most of his stories the feeling of a bygone era is evident although timeless.  Another thing I love about this book is that it is just a scary story that is not "Halloween" can be read any time of year not just in the Fall.   This is a great book to read to a group of kids, especially if there is a wide range of ages.  It is spooky but not too scary for little ones and the older ones can relate to what happens.    I love to watch the expressions on the kids faces when they understand the twist of an ending.   So have a glass of apple cider, dim the lights and enjoy a spooky tale!

Monday, October 18, 2010

National Chocolate Cupcake Day!

Happy National Chocolate Cupcake Day!   I just love any excuse to eat are some of my favorite books about cupcakes....the first one is a book I wrote about recently but it never hurts to mention again.:

Cupcake by Charise Mericle Harper is a cute new book....even though it is about a vanilla cupcake ~ a cupcake is a cupcake....still a sweet (no pun intended) story!

Little Mouse and the Big Cupcake

Little Mouse and the Big Cupcake by Thomas Taylor and illustrated by Jill book about a little mouse who needs help moving a very large cupcake and all his friends who help him....

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake   [IF YOU GIVE A CAT A CUPCAKE] [Hardcover]

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond..from the "If You Give..." series...totally perfect!

It's Raining Cupcakes

It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder is a great middle grade book about a girl whose mother is opening a Cupcake shop....

These are just a few books to read while the enjoying a delicious Chocolate Cupcake.....yummmmm!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Reference Sunday: Lives Turned Upside: Homeless Children in Their Own Words & Photographs by Jim Hubbard

The things that we learn by using the Internet.  The one thing I want this blog to be is informative.   I am always looking for ways to tie together what goes on in the world to books.   Today I found out is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.  It originated in Paris in 1987 but was only recognized in the US in 1992.   According to wikipedia, and I quote" One of the main aims of the day is to make the voice of the poor heard. To this end, commemorations often include testimonies from people living in poverty, describing their own experiences or those of people they know"   

In doing research as to what book to highlight on today's blog I came across a title that moved me.  

Lives Turned Upside Down: Homeless Children in Their Own Words and Photographs

Lives Turned Upside: Homeless Children in Their Own Words and Photographs by Jim Hubbard was first published in the late 80's and early 90's.  He is a renowned photographer who gave camera's to children in order for them to document their lives.   The images are still quite powerful.   This book also became the basis for the organization Shooting Back.  Looking at these photograph's and seeing what these children see is inspiring.  What amazes me is that it is as if these photos were taken yesterday.  Not much has changed and yet there is a hopefulness that change will come.   This is a great book for children and adults to foster discussion and empathy for the world around them.  This is the perfect book for teachers and parents to use as a teaching tool so that maybe our children will grow up to care about others and try to help.   There is always hope.