Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tucker's Spooky Halloween by Leslie McGuirk

I can't believe that I am just discovering these cute books by Leslie McGuirk.  Tucker is the most adorable little character who should be seen by everyone.   In this really fun Halloween book, Tucker's Spooky Halloween, Ms McGuirk treats us to the wonderful idea that a dog can decide what he wants to dress up as.   This is so funny because I just read an article about how pet costumes are almost as prolific as kid costumes for Halloween.   I know so many dog owners who dress up their pets that I have always wondered how the pet feels being dressed in costume.   This is a great book for the pet lover in your life not just a great read aloud for children.   I look forward to writing more about Leslie McGuirk's books....she is a wonderful storyteller and illustrator.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift illus by Lynd Ward

In honor of the George Washington Bridge's 80th birthday I thought I would recommend a favorite book from childhood.  

The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift and illustrated by Lynd Ward is a classic book from 1942 that tells of a little lighthouse that was built before the GWB was even thought of.  When the bridge comes along it overshadows the little lighthouse but in the end the lighthouse saves the day.   It is based on a real lighthouse that can still be seen below the great bridge.   When I was little we used to take the GWB to my Grandmother's house in NYC.   I remember trying to strain my eyes to see if I could see the Little Red Lighthouse....for visitors to NYC this would be a great unique place to try and find and see.....a true piece of Americana.   Click on the link above to find visitor information....before you go make sure you and your children read the is inspirational and heartwarming.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Reference Sunday: National Geographic Kids Halloween Book of Fun

My neighbor across the street loves Halloween.  Every year the display on his lawn grows and grows.   This year it startled me even more when I got home one night and saw a huge blow up of Dracula staring over at me.   Apparently he decorates the inside of his house even more than the outside.....gotta love it when people are that enthusiastic about a kid's holiday!

National Geographic Kids Halloween Book of Fun by the National Geographic Society would be the perfect book for my neighbor.  It has loads of fun activities and games plus it has costume ideas and tips for having a great party. It has something for every child in the house (or grownup) no matter what their age.   I love the section that talks about spooky myths.....I even learned a few things.

This is a great book to have fun with at this time of year.....a must have Halloween book for the spooky in all of us!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hampire by Sudipta Barhan-Quallen illus by Howard Fine

Hampire by Sudipta Barhan-Quallen and illustrated by Howard Fine is a really fun book to read at this time of year.   It isn't necessarily a Halloween book but it is supposed to be a spooky book albeit played for laughs.   I have always been of fan of Howard Fine every since Piggie Pie (my niece Celia loved that book) so I was thrilled to see his illustrations in this funny book.  The way he draws his characters and the expressions he gives them are priceless.    It is definitely a story time book but for an older child... really young children might not get the "vampire" references or some of the "in" jokes.   It is still a fun read.   Oh and the fact that "Hampire" is (spoiler alert) really a vegetarian makes it even more adorable to me.   This is a great new book that can be read anytime of the year....not just for Halloween.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Reference Sunday: Everything For Your Halloween Party from Golden Books

I can't believe Halloween is a few weeks away.  Last year I suggested a number of Halloween Activity books that still are good today....but I was excited to find this great little book that has wonderful ideas to help with anyone's Halloween party. 

Everything for Your Halloween Party from Golden Books is a fun book with cutouts to make Halloween decorations including party hats and a centerpiece.   While this would be fun for a children's party I think it would be great for a grown up party too!  It was originally published in the 1940's so it has a great "retro" feel to it.   As you know I am big on the "retro"  enjoy!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara illus by Mark Fearing

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara and illustrated by Mark Fearing is a clever retelling of the Three Little Pigs.....I love stories that have been re-imagined especially when they are done well.   This is a great book to also introduce the planets to isn't a "science" book as stated in the Author's note but the planets are depicted and in a realistic way.  This is the perfect way to also introduce fairy tales to your this and then go back and read the original.   I would have loved to read this at story time as a new book selection....the activities that can go with it are endless.   This is a fun new book....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster illust by Jules Feiffer

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of it's publication.   This classic book with it's iconic cover has never gone out of style.   It is still a perennial on school reading lists which is how it should be.  Even though I have shelved this book and read about this book for years and am a huge fan of both Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer, it wasn't until a few years ago that I actually read it myself.   It was not at all what I imagined it to was even better.  I couldn't believe it took me so long to finally pick it up and read.   I loved the word play and the many times have we felt like Milo---bored with everything.   This is a must have classic that every child should and every grown up should may be 50 years old but is still young at heart!

Monday, October 10, 2011

M.O.M (Mom Operating Manual) by Doreen Cronin illus by Laura Cornell

M.O.M (Mom Operating Manual) by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Laura Cornell was a thrill to discover.  I love Laura Cornell's illustrations and recognized the her art work as soon as I saw the cover. I am also a big fan of Doreen Cronin who has a great writing style.   This is a fun book to read.   This is the kind of book I would have loved to read at story time because I know the parents would get a kick out of it.   I like how it has been published now and not just in time for Mother's Day.   Although it would make a perfect new mother gift.   Some might say the language is a bit too adult for kids to understand but since I don't believe in talking down to children I think it is worded perfectly.  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Reference Sunday: First Pitch: How Baseball Began by John Thorn

I haven't posted in awhile....but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking of books that might interesting  to read.   I found this really great title about Football  but it has been postponed and I don't like to write about books that are not available yet.   Luckily from the same publisher I saw that they have a new book on the history of baseball.   Which turns out to be ideal because  MLB playoffs started this weekend------Go Yankees!  

First Pitch: How Baseball Began by John Thorn and published by Beach Ball Books is a wonderful history  of Baseball for kids.   I even learned some things.  I love how it is written by the official historian for MLB----he does a wonderful job of explaining how baseball came to be the game we love today.   I also love his use of vintage photographs ----  fun to look at.   This is perfect for the baseball fan in your life.