Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: I Miss You Every Day by Simms Taback

Today we got the very sad news of the death of Caldecott winning author/illustrator Simms Taback.  It made me think of all the wonderful books he has given us.   I know he won a Caldecott for Joseph Had a Little Overcoat --- which is a wonderful book but I wanted to suggest a book I love.   

I Miss You Every Day written and illustrated by Simms Taback is a sweet and whimsical story of a little girl who misses someone so much she decides to mail herself to them.   I always thought this book would be  great to read aloud.   It has a great rhythm to it that makes it perfect for story time.   I love the endless possibilities for crafts and discussion.   We have all experienced someone we love being far away....this wonderful book helps us understand we are not alone in missing them.   It is ironic that this should be my favorite Simms Taback book as we will miss him very much.Thank you Mr Taback for bringing the world so much beauty and joy.  You will be missed. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Sigh by Marjane Satrapi

The Sigh written and illustrated by Marjane Satrapi is a beautiful fable that is more than just a story for  young readers.   I was struck by the cover which is so eye catching.   When I read the first few pages I was reminded of the classic fairy tales and fables that I love.  It is described as being a graphic novel.  The book does have many beautiful illustrations that advance the story but it doesn't  seem like a graphic novel in the truest form. The illustrations had a familiar feel to me so I did some research and realized I know  the author from her Academy Award Nominated film called Persepolis.  This film  is based on her book (a memoir)  of the same name.  I had never seen the film but remember seeing reviews and previews of it when it first came out.

  Marjane Satrapi  is a wonderful storyteller who immediately captures the readers imagination.   This would be a great book for children and parents to read together snuggled up by the fire on a cold winter's night.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: Moishe's Miracle by Laura Kraus Melmed illustrated by David Slonim

Moishe's Miracle a Hanukkah Story by Laura Kraus Melmed and illustrated by David Slonim is a really fun Hanukkah story about a good hearted man who is given the gift of a magic skillet which makes endless latkes.  It is a wonderfully illustrated and well told story that transcends the holiday it was inspired by.   I like the way the Rabbi saves the day.   I really love how the illustrations play on light and dark.   This book makes a great holiday read aloud...and also makes me crave a good potato!   Happy Hanukkah! latke

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Teacher Gifts for the Holidays!

It's that time of year when parents need to get gifts for their children's teachers.  I know this gets harder and harder each year because as children get older they usually have more than one teacher a year.   When my sister taught school she would get lots of baked goods and mugs....believe me most of the mugs in my house were given to her by her students.   I thought I would give a suggestion for a great teacher gift. Not quite original but a good reminder.
            A friend of mine who is a teacher told a story of how her class is reading about Antarctica and how her kids can't get enough stories about penguins etc.   She said she borrowed the Magic Tree House #40: Eve of the Emperor Penguin from her son and they loved it.  He insisted that she was only to "borrow" it  as he wanted it back some day.   I love that story!

This is what parents can get their teachers....books for their classroom libraries.   Why not buy a book your child loved or something in that subject matter and donate it to a teacher's library.   A gift card to a local  independent bookstore would also be great!   This way you are not only helping cash strapped teachers but the community as well.   Teacher's always need more than one copy of a book too, especially if it is a popular title.

Another suggestion is to help teachers with supplies....so many of my teacher friends spend their own money to support classroom activities....they don't make much as it is, so any help would be appreciated.   Bring some holiday spirit to the people who see your child each day and take care of them....it is a great way to give back!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden illustrated by Barbara Cooney

The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden and illustrated by Barbara Cooney is an old favorite that I had forgotten about.   I was recently reminded of it when  blogger Read Aloud Dad  posted the cover on FB.   I love this story of a little orphan girl who longs for a home and a doll who longs to be loved. This is a timeless and nostalgic tale that should be read year after year.   It should be part of any family tradition.   A must have Christmas book!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee

My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee is a  wonderful new book by an author who never disappoints me.   I love his sweet characters and whimsical illustrations.   This is a perfectly fun read aloud that is great for story time.   It is sure to inspire a child's imagination.   A great new book that is a must have for any child.   Jon Agee knows how to tell a story with warmth and sweet simplicity.   Enjoy!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Come Back, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish illustrated by Wallace Tripp

Today is my sister Ann's birthday and for the last few years I have suggested books about Emily Dickinson as it is Emily's birthday too.   You can read about them here and here....they are still wonderful books especially Emily by Michael Bedard.   Today I am writing about a childhood favorite because whenever I see this book it reminds me of my sister.

Come Back, Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish and illustrated by Wallace Tripp is not one of the more popular Amelia Bedelia books but like I said it is one that I love.   This was my introduction to the character who is Amelia Bedelia.   I remember reading it for the first time and laughing out loud. My sister Ann bought this for me when I was feeling a bit down in the dumps.....I don't remember why I was sad but I know I was.   It was just like her to try and cheer me up....she has always done that for me.   It was appropriate she would think a book would do the trick....after all she is a writer.  It is a great beginning reader book that is perfect for the silly reader in your life....

Happy Birthday Ann Elizabeth, thanks for making me smile!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Flashback Tuesday: Santa Calls by William Joyce

Santa Calls by William Joyce is one of my all time favorite Christmas books.  I bought it for myself when I was still working in the stores....here is my original blog post from 2009 .   As today is the Feast of St Nicholas I thought it would be a good time to revisit this new classic story.   I still get a warm feeling when I read it.   When I met William Joyce way back when he talked about making it into a film.   I am not sure if it was just wishful thinking on his part but I wish it would still happen.   In today's world I think Santa Calls would make a great 3D movie...life action or animated.  Even if it isn't a movie it is still a classic book that should be read by all......

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Reference Sunday: The LEGO Ideas Book by Daniel Lipkowitz

I think I have mentioned before how my nephews were always a bit obsessed with LEGOs.   When they were younger and we went on vacation they always took a huge bin of LEGO pieces to play with.   It was always funny how we, the adults, would be scrambling around the beach house trying to gather all the pieces on the last day of vacation.   I can remember countless times being with my nephews and playing with the LEGOs in their basement.   My structures always looked the same but theirs were very intricate.  
I wish I had today's book to reference....

The LEGO Ideas Book by Daniel Lipkowitz and published by DK Publishing is the perfect gift this season for the LEGO lover in your life.   It filled with wonderful new ways to use the LEGO pieces that seem to multiply like rabbits in the house.   It is set up with different chapters including transportation, buildings, kingdoms (my favorite) and "useful makes".   So if you don't know which LEGO set to buy this year maybe you should just give this book....as it can extend the life of previous LEGO gifts.