Thursday, December 19, 2013

What We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World by Henry Clark

I realized I hardly ever do young readers books.  I know there are so many new ones being published but for some reason it is easier to flip through a picture book and get a feel for the story then it is a new novel.  That being said I was straightening and shelving in  the young readers or grades 4-6 section at Well Read the other day when I came across today's book.  I usually can tell if I like something by reading the first few paragraphs.  So when I came across this book I was so intrigued by the title that I checked out the first chapter.  I haven't finished it yet but what I have read so far seemed fun and fresh.

What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World is a the debut novel by  Henry Clark.  It is a great book for kids who like humorous stories with a little adventure sprinkle in.  I love the three main characters River, Freak and Fiona.  The book has a contemporary feel but at the same time reads like the books I read when I a kid.  The story centers around the mysterious sofa and the unique crayon they find in it....I would tell you the rest but that would ruin the story....this is a great gift for the holidays for any child who loves an adventure story laced with humor.  I am hoping this is the start of more adventurous with these great new characters......

Oh check out Henry Clark's website....lots of fun stuff to read and see.  Website

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Smallest Gift of Christmas written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

The Smallest Gift of Christmas written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds brings back memories of some Christmas mornings from when I was a kid.  How many times did I  have an idea of what I wanted only to be a bit disappointed.  The expectations were always grander than reality.  I love how the main character, Roland, makes wish after wish for the biggest present he can get. How he comes to realize that maybe small is perfect after all.  Didn't we always do the same...always wishing. I love how beautifully Mr Reynolds tells the story in his simple phrasing and wonderful illustrations.  The message is not a new one but it is one that all children (and some adults) need to be reminded of once in awhile.  I teared up at the last image....such a perfect story to read at this time of year. This is the perfect story time book.  This is also the kind of book that can be given as a family gift....even if there are no children in the house...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pinkalicious Cupcake Cookbook by Victoria Kann

Looking at the weather this morning and saw that the whole country is in some sort of dreadful weather pattern.  Except of course Florida....which is apparently sunny and warm.  Since most people can't just pick up and go to Florida the best that can be done is stay in and get cozy.  I think baking is one of the coziest things to do on a cold winters day.

The Pinkalicious Cupcake Cookbook by Victoria Kann is the perfect new cookbook for kids to have fun with while hunkered down in your house.  There are 20 different cupcake recipes to make and enjoy.  While I am thinking this is geared towards girls (what with the pink theme and all), there are few decorating tips that might be a little bit gender neutral. Besides it doesn't matter if you are a boy or girl when it comes to eating these sweet treats.  What's great about the recipes are the step by step instructions that show you how to decorate different cupcakes.  Gluten free recipes are also included. There are also decorating tips for a multitude of holidays which makes it a perfect gift too.  This is a fun new cookbook for the baker in your life.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Dwarf in the Drawer: A Mischievous Parody by L. Van King illustrated by Chuck Gonzales

Today is Bring your Child to a Bookstore Day.  It is a great way to instill a love of reading in your child's life.

I thought I would do a really fun book for today.  It is considered a parody so it isn't necessarily a "children's" book although it does come with a cute plush.  I sometimes like to do a book that a grown up would appreciate while still being cute for children.

The Dwarf in the Drawer: A Mischievous Parody by L. Van King with illustrations by Chuck Gonzales is a clever attempt to counter the sticky sweetness of a certain book about a certain elf.  The Dwarf in the Drawer doesn't need to be hid nor does he report back to Santa what anyone is doing.  He is a bit lazy---love the line about Colbert---but charming too in his own way.   This is for the parent or grown up who is tired of hiding a certain elf and just wants to relax a bit for the holiday's.( I have nothing against a that "certain elf" but he reminds me too much of Christmas ornaments I had as a child...ones that I hid at the back of the tree because they were a little creepy---but that was just me.)  This is a fun book that is great to read on a night when you  are just too tired to do anything but sit and snuggle.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

O Christmas Tree: Its History and Holiday Traditions by Jacqueline Farmer illustrated by Joanne Friar

Tonight is the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree.  This was always one of my favorite events.  I really just like the actual moment when the countdown begins and the lights go on.  My Dad worked in the area when I was growing up so I have some very fond memories of going to see the tree.

O Christmas Tree: It's History and Holiday Traditions by Jacqueline Farmer and illustrated by Joanne Friar is the perfect book to  recommend today because it is a beautifully illustrated history of how the Christmas Tree came to be.  It isn't a story book per se but explains how and why we now put Christmas trees up in our homes.  I also like how there is a whole section that talks about growing Christmas trees and a listing with pictures of the different kinds of trees.  This is a perfect book to just have out at the holidays....something for a child to look at and learn from in a quiet sort of way.  I know so many children who love information type books...this book combines information with the wonder of the season.  A family tradition type of book.  

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Flashback Tuesday: Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner illustrated by Mark Buehner

As we head into winter (at least here on the East Coast) I thought I would suggest one of my favorite books about the fun part of winter: making snowmen!

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner with pictures by Mark Buehner became an instant classic when it first came out.  I immediately knew that it would be wonderful to read aloud and use at story time.  I loved the story line of a child wondering why the snowman they made had changed and drooped a bit over night.  I love the imaginative explanation that follows from making snowmen angels to skating in the park to snowmen races.  I also love how Mark Buehner has hidden little pictures in the scenes to make the book a bit more interactive.  This is a book that has been so successful it has spawned a few sequels.  It is a must have book for any child's bookshelf.