Friday, October 30, 2015

Autumn Visitors by Karel Hayes

I was in my favorite bookstore recently and noticed this really sweet book about Autumn. I had not seen it before nor did I know that it was the fourth and final book in a series of books about the cutest bear family.

Autumn Visitors by Karel Hayes is the perfect book for the season. It has wonderful illustrations that show a family of bears and the fun they get into during the fall season.  It is such a sweet read aloud that can be read every night from October and Halloween until Thanksgiving.  I love the way the sparse text is enhanced by the rich and colorful illustrations. There is something new to discover in every reading.  This is the perfect book for a classroom story time or a one on one bedtime read...a must have new book to be read every year during the fall.

I think all the books deserve a place on a child's bookshelf.....going back and reading  the first three I really loved The Winter Visitors too....this has the Bear family taking over a vacation cottage when the owners leave....few words again but rich and expansive illustrations....a cosy book to read by the fire!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman is one of those books that stays with you for a long time.  It is a middle grade reader that I feel any grown up would love.  I read it in one day and loved it.  Usually I recommend a book knowing that it will appeal to a certain audience.  I generally need to like the book but even if I don't I usually know it will fill a need for a certain reader.  This is not the case here.  This is a book I wish had never ended...a story that is timeless.

I have always read Alice Hoffman books.  Her last few grown up novels I have loved....I am actually reading her most recent novel The Marriage of Opposites as I write this.  Beyond that I have loved her YA titles too....the best being Green Angel a book that I still see vividly in my mind.

I now have a new's book Nightbird.  Like I said I read it one afternoon. It is more a middle grade novel than YA but that doesn't matter to me.  I always feel like books don't really have an age range.  Middle grade, YA or adult as long as I am reading a good story it doesn't matter.  That is how I felt when I read Nightbird.  From the first moment I started reading I  was drawn into the world of the main character "Twig"....she sort of reminded me of myself at her age.  I loved to read and kept mostly to myself.  This was a book I would have devoured when I  was young.  Alice Hoffman has written a book that feels like it could have taken place at any time. It doesn't pinpoint an era so the reader has the freedom to see just the characters and the moment of the story not the when of the story.  It really took be back to being a twelve year old reading in the backyard on a summers day.

I love how Alice Hoffman injects magic in her stories.  It is such a subtle magic that we can almost feel like it is real.  The world she has created here is warm and inviting a world I didn't want to leave. I realize I haven't given a description of what it is about and there is a reason for that.  This book is all about emotion and feelings.  The joy I felt when reading it....but as I have said before I am not a reviewer....I recommend books that should be read.  I don't want to give a review that tells you the story because the reader should find that out for themselves.  I am just here to say that it should be read....especially if you love a good mystery with a bit of fantasy thrown in....a story with great characters that will stay with you forever.  I literally cried when it was over because it so reminded me of how books made me feel when I was go back to that time even for a moment was a joy.

Friday, October 9, 2015

FLUTTER AND HUM / ALETEO Y ZUMBIDO Animal Poems / Poemas de Animales by Julie Paschkis

My busy season has officially begun.  Which means late nights for a morning person.  I have been trying to recommend a book each week so as to keep up with my blog. But it has been challenging.   I was so excited to learn that I have been accepted as a judge in Poetry for the second round of CYBILS.  Because of this I thought I would recommend today a beautiful Poetry book about animals. 

Flutter and Hum/ Aleteo Y Zumbido: Animal Poems/ Poemas de Animales by Julie Paschkis caught my eye because of it's striking cover.  I don't speak Spanish but I was intrigued by the design of the book. As I started reading I realized how Ms Paschkis had seamlessly combined words and pictures. I love how the illustrations have words intermingled to further clarify the poems. It is this mingling of words and pictures that made me truly love this book. This is the kind of book that is perfect for the classroom.  I could see each spread being made into a poster for display. The fact that each poem is also in Spanish is an added bonus.  It is not necessary for someone to read Spanish and it is also not necessary for someone to read English in order to enjoy this beautiful book. 
  It is a perfect gift for not just bilingual families to read together at bedtime or anytime.  Most children I know love animals and this book makes a great introduction to the animal world.  The poems are whimsical and soothing at the same time.  A beautiful edition to any child's or classroom library.