Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

I haven't been posting lately because I have been busy with my other endeavor ~ The Savory Garden~ the veggie burger business I have with my sister-in-law.  Our farmer's market season had started again and we were busy preparing and cooking all last week.  

Today's book wasn't what I originally planned but as they say "plans change"....I was so excited to read that Beau Bridges in working on making The Giver into a film.  I think that is wonderful.   While we are all familiar with this Newbery Award winning title and it's iconic cover.....I think Mr Bridges will be perfect for the role.  

Gathering Blue
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry is what some consider part of "The Giver" trilogy.   I always felt there was a connection but it is a subtle connection.   I loved this story just as much...if not more....because I could identify more with the characters.   It is also a futuristic society only this time it is more primitive but no less different or challenging than the world we live in.   Like I said I don't feel it is sequel to " The Giver" it is a perfect companion piece----these books are stories of two completely opposite ways of living....but both are destructive.  Since most children read "The Giver" in school I think Gathering Blue would make a perfect summer reading title....beautifully written and lovely to read....maybe some day Beau Bridges will want to make a film of this also....

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Fun Book: Catch That Baby by Nancy Coffelt illustrated by Scott Nash

It has been a long time since I have been around a baby.   Last Sunday I got to hold a sweet little baby boy who  loves Ice Cream.   He is a boy after my own heart....so sweet.
Catch That Baby!

Catch That Baby by Nancy Coffelt and illustrated by Scott Nash reminds me of all the babies who have come in and out of my life.   Most babies love to run around sans clothes and sometimes it truly is hard to "catch" them.   This is a really cute book that is really fun to read.   I love the illustrations for their cartoony aspect and because it matches the baby's antics so well.  I can't think of any child who wouldn't find this funny.   I also think it would make a great present for new parents....it can show them what they have to look forward to.  A fun fun book!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: The Summer Solstice by Ellen Jackson illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis

It is a sure sign of summer when kids are out selling lemonade.....my neighbors little girl just set up her stand.....so sweet.  

Summer Solstice, The
The Summer Solstice by Ellen Jackson and illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis is a beautifully illustrated book that details how different countries and cultures--ancient and contemporary celebrate the first day of Summer.   This book has a lot of information along with great activities and even a few recipes.   I like that it combines history with science so that there is something for everyone.  A great book to use throughout the summer for when the doldrums set in.  

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer Jackson: Grown Up by Teresa E. Harris illus by Ag Ford

Summer Jackson: Grown Up

Summer Jackson: Grown Up by Teresa E. Harris and illustrated by Ag Ford is a really sweet read aloud book that sure to become a favorite.  The author is so spot on with her depiction of a child who can't wait to grow up.   I always marvel at children who try constantly to be considered a grown up.  This just doesn't apply to girls but to boys as well.   This is the kind of book that makes me wish I was doing story times again.   It is a fun read with wonderful illustrations.  I know that not only will the kids enjoy it but their parents too.   This is the perfect book for the mini adult in your life....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: The Star-Spangled Banner illustrated by Peter Spier

What better way to celebrate Flag Day but with a book that celebrates our flag.   I was never one to want to change our National Anthem....it makes me cry.   Whenever I hear this song as well as see our beautiful flag I am filled with great emotion and pride at being an American.   

The Star-Spangled Banner (Reading Rainbow Books)
The Star-Spangled Banner written by Francis Scott Key and illustrated with wonderful illustrations by Peter Spier is a must have book for everyone.   I love how Mr Spier's illustrations really capture the words and bring them to life.   There is so much to look at in this book that children will never be bored. It has all the words to the Anthem....which we never really hear.  I like the collection of flags of the United States and all the historical data too.   The fact that it is more than just a picture book means it can have a broader audience.   This is definitely a book that can grow with a child.   A must have book for all ages...

Happy Flag Day Everyone!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Finding Lincoln by Ann Malaspina illus by Colin Bootman

This past weekend was a bit busy.   Yesterday I attended and volunteered at the BCCL'S biennial BooksNJ event at the Paramus Public Library.   It was a great event that showcased lots of authors from the  New Jersey area.   I volunteered because my friend Alexa works there and said they might need help.   It was fun unpacking books and seeing titles that were new to me.    I remember thinking how I love the smell of new books and that I missed handling them.   As much as e-books may be the wave of the future that is one thing they can't give you ----a new book smell.  

I usually like to write about a reference or nonfiction book on Sunday's but I never got the chance to do a posting.  So today I thought I would recommend a book I saw at yesterday's festival.   I sat in on a Non-fiction panel for young readers that was very interesting.   One of the author's was Ann Malaspina....she showcased a few of her titles and talked about the difference between writing a nonfiction picture book versus a nonfiction young reader.   I picked today's book because I like the characters and the story and because it takes place in a library ---which I thought was an appropriate setting since the events of yesterday was all about libraries.  
Finding Lincoln
Finding Lincoln by Ann Malaspina and illusrated beautifully by Colin Bootman takes place in Alabama in 1951.   It is the story of a boy who wants to find out more about Abraham Lincoln but is not allowed in the "whites only" library because he is African American.   The kind librarian helps him after hours to find the information he needs.   It is a sweetly told story that is not preachy. It is a great way to teach children about this time in our recent history that explains about segregation.   I was also drawn to this books for two other reasons....the main character is named Louis---like my Dad and it has to do with Abraham Lincoln---who my Mother loved.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Allegra Biscotti Collection by Olivia Bennett

The Allegra Biscotti CollectionWho What Wear: The Allegra Biscotti Collection
The Allegra Biscotti Collection by Olivia Bennett is a refreshing new character for the tween and early teen  girl in your life.  I say refreshing because there is no mystery or vampire around in this story of a girl who becomes a fashion designer.  I know many a little girl who loves clothes and who say they want to design them when they grow up.  The characters are well written and likable.   I found myself wishing I had some sort of fashion sense just like Emma Rose or as she is more well know "Allegra Biscotti"....a perfect book for the little fashionista in your life.  

There is a second book too:  Who What Wear: The Allegra Biscotti Collection which just came out....two great books perfect for summer reading....

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow illustrated by Ted Rand

I love how a slip in the facts of American History can result in a "teachable moment".   This is the perfect time to reinforce some American History to our children.  This "teachable moment" also gave me a topic for today's posting.  
Paul Revere's Ride
Paul Revere's Ride  by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and illustrated by Ted Rand is the perfect book to start the conversation about what really happened during this moment in history.   The words are iconic and the illustrations are wonderful and perfectly represent this historic moment.   

Normally I just do one book on Tuesdays.....but I think there is an exception to every rule.  Here are some other books for children to help understand the importance of Paul Revere's Ride!
Many Rides Of Paul ReverePaul Revere's Ride (Step into Reading)And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? (Paperstar)A Picture Book of Paul Revere (Picture Book Biographies)Let It Begin Here!: Lexington & Concord: First Battles of the American Revolution
Many Rides of Paul Revere by James Cross Giblin is great biography of Paul Revere.   This book is an overall biography of his life and gives a more accurate telling of what occurred during the American Revolution and his part in it.   

Paul Revere's Ride (Step Into Reading) by Shana Corey and illustrated by Chris O'Leary is a beginning reader book for the younger student to read and learn from.  It has lots of information which is told in a simpler language. 

And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? by Jean Fritz and illustrated by Margot Tomes is a more detailed account of this historic ride and includes more tidbits and information then in most stories.   Jean Fritz is a master at bringing history to life.   

A Picture Book of Paul Revere by David A. Adler and illustrated by John & Alexandra Wallner is another book written for younger children.  Mr Adler like Jean Fritz is notable for his great biographies that are perfect for children.   This is no exception .   

Let It Begin Here!: Lexington & Concord: First Battles of the American Revolution by Dennis Brindell Fradin and illustrated by Larry Day is a great book to give an overview of the start of the American Revolution.   It includes Paul Revere's ride and the events that surrounded it plus much more. 

These are just a few books I think would help explain what really happened in the early years American History.....I hope they help.   

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Reference Sunday: Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg

Chris Van Allsburg has always been an incredible storyteller.   His stories and illustrations are iconic and unforgettable.   His newest book is a departure for him because it is based on a true story.  

Queen of the Falls
Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg is the based on the true account of Annie Edson Taylor  a 62 years old woman who in 1901 decided to have the adventure of a lifetime.   The fact that her idea of an adventure is riding in a barrel over Niagara Falls is even more amazing.    I love this story.   It is a great way to show children that we are never too old to do something new.   Annie Edson Taylor is a new heroine for little girls to look up to.   While we may not want our children to do something quite as dangerous as this, I do think we want our children to never stop experiencing life.   

Mr Van Allsburg's illustrations are wonderful as usual but even his words paint a picture.   His description of the Falls themselves made me feel like I was actually there.