Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Children's Blizzard

Well - I did it - I FINALLY finished The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin. Now ask me if I liked it???? My answer would be ~ when I wasn't deep in info about weather or political goings-ons - yes, I did like it. BUT - I had to wade through much "technical" info to get to the parts I did enjoy. It was a long read for me - but I trudged through. (Don't be too impressed - I had to help lead a book talk on it!!!) I must say - it was more interesting since I live out here where it all took place. So - it's my big Non-Fiction read for awhile. I would say, if you enjoy history and a good blizzard story - it's very good, just a little too technical for me.

Usborne Nursery Rhyme Treasury

I LOVE this book - I have recently been hit over and over by how important Nursery Rhymes are to learning - and how much we need them back in our curriculum, story hours, etc. SO - when I saw this new book, The Usborne Nursery Rhyme Treasury compiled by Susanna Davidson - I said, "This is wonderful!!!" It has tons of beautifully-illustrated nursery rhymes and even some old ones I had never heard of before!! What a wonderful compilation - thanks Usborne, for a much-needed book!! (And if you want a copy and don't have an Usborne Rep - email me - I have an awesome one!!)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Choosing Books for Kids

I thought this was a helpful article in the Denver Post - see what you think!! It's a tough job to choose GOOD books for our kids - this might help!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Chickens to the Rescue

John Himmelman's Chickens to the Rescue is WONDERFUL!!! I can see using this, as a librarian, for story hours on chickens and farm animals and as a parent - the read aloud value is hard to beat!! The jist?? Each day of the week the chickens spot a problem and rush to fix it for the farm family. BUT - what happens on Sunday when the chickens are resting??? Too cute - you must read it to find out!! (Great for younger ages - there is not a lot of reading.)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Move Over, Rover!

This is adorable - Move Over, Rover! by Karen Beaumont is a wonderful new picture book. Reminiscent of Jan Brett's The Mitten or The Hat - Rover goes to his doghouse to escape the rain but all of the other animals in his yard have the same idea!! They crowd in until the skunk finds his way in and then the other animals decided they'd better find a new spot!! So endearing and the illustrations by Jane Dyer just top it off!!

Friday, March 23, 2007


Rules by Cynthia Lord is a Newbery Honor book - and yes, I agree it is worth an award!! A great story about a teenage girl growing up with an autistic brother - you do learn a lot about autistic personalities - hence the "Rules" Catherine creates for her brother just to keep life flowing smoothly. My favorite rule? "No toys in the fish tank." You also see her struggle with a friendship she is developing with a boy she meets when her brother goes to therapy. I appreciated the honesty of Lord ~ she is frank and, I feel, handles the conflicting struggles that a teen faces with great openness and humor. I found a great blog review on the book too - it demands to be read! This blogger's rule?? "When you start this book, read slowly. It will come to an end long before you are ready to say goodbye." SO TRUE!

Lord has a great website too - go and check out how she reacted to the Newbery Honor!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Kid Tea

Here it is - one of the greatest new kids books on baths I've seen!!! Kid Tea by Elizabeth Ficocelli is WONDERFUL!!!! Monday a brother and sister get into mud pies so when they get in the tub and they make "brown kid tea." Tuesday they eat popsicles and in the tub make "purple kid tea." It goes on for each day of the week until Sunday - when they are clean for only ONE DAY BUT....."just you wait until Monday!" I LOVE IT!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring Reading Thing

I have so many books sitting here waiting to be read that I thought I'd take part in the Spring Reading Thing Challenge. We are just supposed to list some books we'd like to get done with by June 21. Since I am a librarian - I am try to read some in my Jr. High and Teen Section - that means some of my titles will be in that genre. So here's my list:

Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata READ REVIEW
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M.T. Anderson READ REVIEW
Shanghai Shadows by Lois Ruby
The Jade Dragon by Carolyn Marsden READ REVIEW
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Wild Swans by Jung Chang
Mothers of Famous Men by Archer Wallace
Forever Lily by Beth Nonte Russell READ REVIEW
The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood READ REVIEW
Of course, the list is always open-ended - I will have to add more if I get done with these!!!

Visit Callapidder Days and see who else is Doing the Spring Reading Thing!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

I brought home a very large, and somewhat daunting, book to my (almost) 12 year old son the other night and said, "I need a book review - are you up for it??" He said, "Sure." And thus began his adventure with Brian Selznick's newest book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. My son came to me the next morning and said he knew exactly why it's a bestseller - he stayed up past midnight (yes, I was long asleep!!!) and only had 50 pages left to finish!! He does love to read, but he was a bit skeptical about this one when I handed it to him - I was thrilled to see that he enjoyed it. He loved the way the pictures helped to tell the story - "almost like a silent movie," he said. And my favorite quote: "I didn't know it was after midnight when I was reading, I just wanted to keep going!!!" SO, guess I have to say what millions are already saying, "It's a good one, pick up a copy and READ IT!!!"
Read what Selznick has to say about his book here.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Higher Power of Lucky

I finished The Higher Power of Lucky yesterday and wanted to turn right around and start it all over again!! I kid you not - it was THAT good! I fell head over heels for Lucky - an adorable little girl left without a momma or a dad. She is left with a guardian whom, she is sure, wants to leave her and head back to France. Lucky is spunky and adoring and sure to be one of my favorite new heroines!!! Grab a copy and read it soon!!
I wanted to add this extra blurb on upcoming excitement for the book as well:


New York, NY, March 13, 2007 —Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing today announced a multi-platform marketing and publicity campaign for the 2007 Newbery medal winning THE HIGHER POWER OF LUCKY by Susan Patron and illustrated by Matt Phelan. The campaign kicks off with a brand new online video, featuring an interview of Susan Patron conducted by Cynthia Kadohata, author of the 2005 Newbery winning KIRA-KIRA, where Patron delivers a powerful message to kids about the importance of books.Rick Richter, the President of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing provides an introductory statement to the video, touching on the recent controversy surrounding the book and the groundswell of support the book has received – widely ranging from authors like Maurice Sendak and Neil Gaiman to a New York Times editorial. This video will be distributed through a number of online channels to librarians, educators and bookstores, as well as having a presence on more consumer oriented sites like youtube, google video and The following is a link to watch the video, click here.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hob Nobbing

Another thing I LOVE about my job - the chance to meet up with authors and chat!!! Yep, that was my night tonight - we had Kate Iola at our library to share her book and a question and answer session. She was wonderful!!! How can you not help but love a gal that was an avid book reader as a child - that's my kind of kid!! Here's a little about her - Her favorite author? John Sanford. Her degree? Molecular Pathology. Her home? An acreage in rural Iowa!! (See, I told you she was great!!)

Her book, Deadstock, is so relevant out here in the Heartland - what if only one cow contracted Foot and Mouth disease?? What would that do to the rest of the cattle, to our economy, to the nation as a whole??? It would be catastrophic - I didn't know much about this disease before I read the book, but it is frightening and would be a disaster to our state and nation. So you want to know what the results would be?? Hurry and read it before the sequel comes out next August!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What an Honor!!

I read many book blogs daily - I love it AND it's great for my job - so it's two-fold. I post on my own book blog - again, I love it and it's partly for the job. I dream that one day I'll make it big in Bloggerland - people will tune into my posts daily for bits of wisdom (I know - BIG DREAM!!!) but I was so thrilled to see this at one of my favorite blogs - Big A Little a. Yup, Kelly's got a great children's lit blog and she's made it BIG!!! :) Thanks Kelly, for the shout out -

Big Bug Surprise

I LOVED her illustrations in Princess Penelope - can't wait to see this one!!! (Double click on the image to see it larger.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Get Out of That Pit!

Yep, Beth Moore is one of my all-time favorites. If you ask me why - I have to say it's because she is so REAL. You read her books just like she is sitting in your living room chatting with you - and you realize that you are not alone in your struggles. She seems like a friend to me and I've never even met her. So - at a very low point - I saw this book, Get Out of That Pit, sitting on a bookshelf in our Christian Book Store and thought - that's me. I started reading, crying, and reading some more and now I am almost finished - it is amazing - wonderfully powerful reading. I challenge you to read it - you may not even realize you are in a pit - they are different for everyone - but we can all get out and enjoy what God has for us!!

AND, if you want to read what others think - then join us for the Bloggity Book Club at Little Bits of Life.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Veil of Roses

Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald is a novel about a woman from Iran that is sent to America on a short stay visa and given instructions to find a husband so she can stay in America and have a better life than women are allowed to have in Iran. I found it a fascinating book - I did not know all of the cultural standards for women in the Middle East and it was eye-opening for me. I thought it was well-written and quite a wonderful story of first love. Tami is a naive gal in a new country and her "finds" in this new country are quite inspiring and funny. As usual, I need to put a disclaimer out there because there was some very vulgar language and "racy"descriptions in a few parts as Tami meets up with Eva - a woman well-versed in American sexual culture - and tries to teach her a thing or two!! All-in-all, I thought it was a great read that really made me think about the freedoms we have here in America that other countries will do ANYTHING to have as well.

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