Sunday, January 30, 2011

Reference Sunday: Egypt A to Z by Jeff Reynolds

This has been amazing week in world news.   What is going on in Egypt seems to have happened suddenly and with such force.   There are many books for kids dealing with Egypt but most of them seem to deal more with Ancient Egypt.
Egypt: A to Z

Egypt A to Z by Jeff Reynolds is a great book to read and talk about during this crisis.   This book talks about the country as it is today not just how it was in the past.   It is part of a series that talks about the countries of the world. It has information about the geography, culture, history, people, economy and politics.   This is a perfect introduction to a country in crisis.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg

Beautiful Oops!

Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg is technically a board book meant for a toddler.   I say technically because it is so much more than a board book.  This is the kind of book that I would give to someone who might be a bit of a perfectionist and who might not see the possibilities a mistake can bring.   The illustrations are quirky and the foldouts are fun but it is the lesson that is most important.   Mr Saltzberg has said in a few simple words that it is better to make the most out of an "oops"----just like the old adage to make lemonade out of lemons.   A wonderful book for all ages......

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: Love Among the Walnuts by Jean Ferris

It has been sold and dreary these past few days that I have been wanting to do is curl up on the couch and read a book.  Today is the kind of day where only a comfort book will do.

Love among the Walnuts
Love Among the Walnuts by Jean Ferris is truly a comfort book.   I loved this book from the moment I read the first line.   The characters are wonderful and refreshing.   This quirky little story of a son trying to save his parents  from his nefarious relatives is heartwarming and funny at the same time.   I love how this book reminds me of the old screwball comedies of the thirties.   I truly recommend this book to anyone who loves to read offbeat stories with a bit of mystery thrown in.   A warm book on a cold winter's day....what better way to spend an afternoon.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Shoe-La-La by Karen Beaumont illus by Leuyen Pham


Shoe-La-La by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by Leuyen Pham is one of those books that immediately caught my eye.   It is the kind of book that begs to be read as soon as you see it.   It is one of the girliest books I know but so perfect and spot on that I wish I had a little girl to give it to.   I have a feeling I might just give this to my niece Celia even though she is in was so her as a little girl.   She was the kind of girl who loved to dress up and would change her clothes constantly.   She was also big on shoes....which hasn't changed.   I sometimes wish we had the same size foot so I could raid her collection.   But back to the book~ Karen Beaumont's fun story matches perfectly with Leuyen Pham's incredibly adorable illustrations.   This is a must have new book for any little girl's storybook bookshelf.   I smile just thinking about it.....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine by Holly Hobbie

Looking out my window at this cold and dreary day is putting me in a melancholy mood.   I was trying to find a book that would make me feel better when I came across my Toot & Puddle books.   I have always found them to be quite soothing.   
Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine
Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine by Holly Hobbie is the kind of soothing book that reasures us in a quiet way.   I love how Toot is just having a "blue" kind of day....a day we all have ....but he has his friends to support him and get him through the "blue" feeling.    The illustrations have already put me in a better mood.   I was so happy to discover this book is now in paperback....hopefully it will help lots of kids and adults get through a dreary day!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reference Sunday: Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons by Dr Ernest Drake & Dugald Steer

I read somewhere that today is apparently "Appreciate a Dragon Day"....I usually write about non-fiction book on Sundays or at least a reference type book so I think today's book should qualify.

I love dragons...always have.   I love the idea of them especially since I found out that my Chinese Zodiac is a dragon.  

Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons (Ologies)
Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons by Dr Ernest Drake and Dugald Stead is the type of book that I would have loved as a kid.   I remember when it first came out, I thought it was so clever.  Of course it has spawned an array of sequels and other "ologies" but that shouldn't detract from the original.  There is so much to look at and read should provide hours of entertainment.   It is also a great way to enhance a child's imagination.   The interactive quality is wonderful.  This is a great book and series to snuggle up with on a cold winter's day.....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

American Babies by The Global Fund for Children

American Babies (A Global Fund for Children Book) (Global Fund for Children Books)
Global Babies
American Babies by The Global Fund for Children is a wonderful new board book that celebrates babies across our country.    It is a companion piece to Global Babies a 2008 Notable Children's book.   Both titles use photographs of some of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen.   The simple text is perfect to string all the photos together.  The one thing I have learned about babies is that they love to look at other babies.   These are perfect books for little hands.   I also love the fact that part of the proceeds from these book goes to helping children around the world.  Must have books for the babies your life.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard illust by Alice & Martin Provensen

Yesterday the ALA announced the Caldecott and Newbery awards at their bi-annual meeting.   There were other awards as well but these are the two most prestigious.  I haven't read this years Newbery Award winner but I have added it to my list of books to read this year.  So since I usually write about a classic or older title on Tuesdays I thought I would write about one of my favorite award winning titles.

A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers

A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers by Nancy Willard  and illustrated by Alice & Martin Provensen is an amazing book because it is the only children's book to win a Newbery Award AND get a Caldecott Honor at the same time.    I love how Nancy Willard introduces a classic poet to children by weaving a story around his poems.   The illustrations match the story/ poems in such a way that they can transport us to a different time. This is a great book to read aloud on cozy kind of day....maybe a snow day.  This is a wonderful book and a must have for anyone's bookshelf---young or old.

Friday, January 7, 2011

There Once Was a Sky Full of Stars by Bob Crelin illust by Amy Ziner

Back on Nov 24th I wrote about star and constellation books because a friend had asked for some gift suggestions.  Today I got an email from her saying the book she picked was a great hit.   She chose:
There Once Was a Sky Full of Stars

There Once Was a Sky Full of Stars by Bob Crelin and illustrated by Amy Ziner.  My friend gave this book to her friend's daughter for Christmas. I suggested this book because of it is a great read aloud, the iilustrations are beautiful as well as its environmental aspect.  

Here is what my friend Lindsay wrote to me: "Wanted to tell you how much Wendy (the Mom of the recipient of "There Once Was A Sky Full of Stars") LOVED the book.
She sat right down (on the bare floor, no less), and began reading it aloud, enjoying the rhythm and the rhymes.
Amelia, the recipient, happened to be in a post-ice cream-party full-on state of frenzy at that I don't think she much noticed, but I know Wendy and I'm sure Amelia will be learning lots about the stars and enjoying the book right along with her."

This kind of statement makes me feel like I did a good thing by starting this blog.   It makes me feel good that I can help someone spread a little joy.   As for Amelia, she will eventually love the book because she has a mother who is so doesn't bother me that she wasn't noticing it at the time...she is after all only 4 years old.   

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: Rumpelstiltskin by Brothers Grimm illus by Paul O. Zelinsky

Today is the birth anniversary of Jacob Grimm of the Brothers Grimm whose fairy tales have been read and told for generations.   As you know I love fairy tales, straight up or fractured.  Jacob's birthday let's me talk about one of my favorite Grimm stories.  

Rumpelstiltskin by the Brothers Grimm and illustrated by the award winning Paul O' Zelinsky has always been a favorite version of the this classic tale.   Mr. Zelinsky truly captures the feel of the fairy tale with some of the most exquisite illustrations.    I always felt sorry for the girl who has to spin straw because the predicament she gets herself into was not of her making.  I also love how Rumpelstiltskin gets his just rewards ..... I never liked him.   Anyway this is a wonderful "must have" book for anyone who loves a good fairy tale, told and illustrated beautifully.  

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Reference Sunday: America Bowl: 44 Presidents vs. 44 Super Bowls in the Ultimate Matchup by Don Steinberg by

Happy New Year!  I hope 2011 and brings everyone all good things.

I haven't written for a few days as it was the holidays and a snowstorm got in the way.  Even though I haven't posted since Tuesday that hasn't meant that I wasn't doing my research.  I wanted to find the right book to start off the New Year in style.  

America Bowl: 44 Presidents vs. 44 Super Bowls in the ultimate matchup!
America Bowl: 44 Presidents vs. 44 Super Bowls in the Ultimate Matchup by Don Steinberg really caught me by surprise.   Mr Steinberg has found a way a unique way to learn about American history and sports that isn't boring or dry.  I would have loved to been there when he realized that this past year was the only time we would have 44 Presidents and 44 Super Bowls.   The fact that he was able to connect the two totally different aspects of American life is shear genius.

                           I happen to love reading about history but I am not really into sports or football so this is a great book for a person like me.   I learned things about Football I never new.   I know so many kids who can recite sports statistics with ease but ask them about a historical moment in time and they are stumped.   This book is a great way for those sports addicts to combine their love of sports with the historical knowledge everyone should know.  Again I commend Mr Steinberg for bringing a new twist on reading about history.....a fun must have new book for the new year!