Saturday, April 28, 2012

Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans

The old saying goes "you can't tell a book by it's cover" which is true....but in the book world it is the cover that makes a person stop and take notice.    Sometimes I see a cover makes me stop in my tracks and I must find out what the book is about.   Many times I have been disappointed to find the cover was the best thing about the book.   Not so for today's recommendation.

Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms Magic, Mystery & a Very Strange Adventure by Lissa Evans was originally published in the UK.   I am not sure what the UK cover looked like but the US cover drew me in and made me want to take a look.   I was so happy I did.    This story of a little boy who wants to find his mysterious uncle is the kind of book I would have loved to read as a child.   I love the quirky characters that I liked as soon as they were introduced to me.  It has an old fashioned feeling even though it is a very modern book.   It will appeal to children who love magic and mystery like I did when I was young.   Heck it is the kind of book I like to read now.  This is a wonderful adventure story that keeps the reader yearning for more.   It would be a great book to read on vacation or curled up on the couch on a rainy afternoon.   I can't wait to read more adventures of Stuart and his friends.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett illustrated by Adam Rex

Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Adam Rex is probably one of my favorite new picture books.     It reminds of when in theatre, film or TV the fourth wall is broken---where the audience is brought into the story.  

I love the wordplay and how the story has two different types of illustrations. This is done  to offset what is supposed to be the story of the "picture book" and the "fight" between the author and the illustrator. It really is very clever.   It even has a subtle teachable message that doesn't become too preachy.   The collaborators really do work well together.   This is definitely on my list of must have new books.   I actually discovered this book by finding a video they did to promote the cute I just had to find out more.   They really should take their "act" on the road.   I am including their video for your enjoyment....some things need to be shared!


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Friday, April 13, 2012

Poem Runs by Douglas Florian

Not only is April poetry month it is also the start of the baseball season.   I thought it would be appropriate to recommend a wonderful new book by Douglas Florian.   I am also excited to recommend a baseball poetry book on the day my Yankees won their home opener.....Go Yankees!

Poem Runs (Baseball Poems & Paintings) by Douglas Florian and published by Harcourt Children's Books has wonderful poems and illustrations that are sure to delight the youngest baseball fan.   I love the images and the colors not only in the actual paintings but in the way his poems are so visual in and of themselves.   I love the wordplay, so fun to read.   This is a perfect book for the classroom to introduce poetry to children.   It is also a must have book for the baseball lover in your life.


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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

IBBA: Independent Book Bloggers Award

Hi everyone,

Goodreads had a new award that hopefully you can help with.  I have submitted my blog for the IBBA, The Independent Book Bloggers Award.   I would love it if you would vote for me.



Vote Here

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems by Gail Carson Levine and illustrated by Matthew Cordell

I can't believe it is April already...spring is such a wonderful time of year.   In honor of poetry month I thought I would start out with a really fun new book by a well loved author.  I have  always liked Gail Carson Levine.  She has a way of stating things in the most sardonic way.  Her new book is no exception.

Forgive Me, I meant to Do It: False Apology Poems by Gail Carson Levine and illustrated wonderfully by Matthew Cordell is a book of poems based on the classic poem "This is Just To Say" by William Carlos Williams.   She even goes so far to credit him by including the poem with an explanation at the end of he book.

Normally I like to teach children to be nice.   I think the best thing we can teach kids today is to be kind to one another.   That being said I know that children tend to have a bit of a mean streak about them.   How many times have we demanded they apology to someone knowing full well that they may say the words....but don't really mean it.   I think this book is a great way to show them we are on to them and that we understand.

 I love how she uses fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters that all kids can recognize, since they aren't real non-apologies then there really is no harm in them.   Knowing that this is a great teachable book, Harpercollins has created a fantastic downloadable Teachers Guide for use in the classroom.

As much as this a great book for teachers to read to kids, I know quite a few adults who would get a kick out of the poems.  The illustrations remind me of Edward Gorey and his  "The Gashlycrumb Tinies"---and I know of one friend who would appreciate that.

So this is a great new book to help celebrate Poetry Month...albeit in a fun and sarcastic way....