Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Story Blanket

The Story Blanket is a beautiful story - I see it being one we will read to our children again and again.  Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz have created a story that is reminscent of Simms Taback's Joseph Had a Little Overcoat.  Babba Zarrah has a big old blanket that kids come to sit on and listen to stories but the blanket grows smaller as people in the village mysteriously gain scarves, aprons, etc. - that all match the story blanket!  When the villagers see what Babba Zarrah is doing, they all chip in to help her!  I love the story - and the illustrations are also an integral part of the story - Elena Odriozola is magnificent as an illustrator.  This is one you don't want to miss!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kristi Valiant

I "happened upon" this illustrator - she was new-to-me - but oh, what a wonderful find!!  Kristi has illustrated a lot of books for children, but we have one particular favorite at our house:  Chinese Lanterns!!  It is a small book - a beginning reader - but mighty in size!!  What we love about it are the directions to make your own lanterns!!  But the illustrations are perfect for the story and it's just the right size for Chloe!  AND, just a secret here, if you contact Kristi personally - she will sign it for your child!!!  You NEED to go and check her out!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Dog Who Belonged to No One

I was sent a review copy of a precious book that you need to know is out there!  Amy Hest's The Dog Who Belonged to No One is a wonderful story of a lonely dog and a lonely little girl, Lia.  I am always drawn to stories of dogs and this one is no exception.  The illustrations also make this book so endearing - Amy Bates - has "superbly" illustrated this one, and it makes you want to cuddle the pup and give Lia a hug.  Hest and Bates have both captured the love one can have for a pet and THAT is what makes this book wonderful!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Copper Fire

I was asked to join a blog tour and I'm SO glad I did.  Suzanne Woods Fisher has written a fabulous book - Copper Fire.  It is a sequel to Copper Star, but I hadn't read that first one and it still stood alone.  What a great story - lots of suspense, intrigue, history, and more!  It is also set in one of my favorite time periods to read about - World War Two.  But it's not a typical World War Two story that you've heard before - it is a twist that brought to light a whole new facet of things that went on during that time - this is the story of a Resistance Worker - her previous escape, her new life, and how her past comes back to visit her in a very unexpected way.  I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.  I will be purchasing the first in the series as well - great read!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Jane Yolen's Hippo Series

These are MAGNIFICENT!!!  I am always on the lookout for new "catchy" board books and leave it to Jane Yolen to start us off with a new series that is just superb!!  Her Hippo Board Books are now some of my new favorites!  One Hippo Hops, Hip Hippos, and Sad, Mad, Glad Hippos all are introduce us to the crazy hippos!  They focus on numbers, colors and feelings and, I hope, many other topics as well!  Vlasta van Kampen is the illustrator, and she just adds to the fun of these books. 

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Christina Meldrum's Madapple is a book that I am still mulling over long after I have finished.  It is the story of a 15 year old girl, Aslaug,  that is brought up by her very unique mother in almost complete isolation.  Her mother is very sick and relies on plants to try to heal herself.  When her mother dies, Aslaug's isolation is torn away from her and she goes to live with family that she doesn't even know.  This is not an easy time in her life and her story is riveting - fill of interesting twists and turns.  I loved that the story was told from a very unique perspective - one chapter is in the present - it takes place at Aslaug's murder trial.  And the opposite chapter is a look back at her life - and this is where we find the story of her life.  This book is very much like nothing I've ever read before - I did like it - it got a bit technical in some parts with long descriptions of some plants and what medicinal value they have - and in other parts with history into gnostic gospels, eastern religions, etc. but really an interesting storyline.  Definately for the older teen - but a good read.  Also reviewed by Amanda. (Thought you might be interested in reading her review as it was the one that got me interested in the book.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jumpy Jack and Googily

Meg Rosoff and Sophie Blackall score BIG on this one!!  Jumpy Jack and Googily is an adorable children's book that broaches that subject of monsters!!  But how can one NOT love this monster, Googily!?!?  He is adorable and is SO good to Jumpy Jack - always helping him search for monsters high and low!  I LOVE this one and I have added it to my "Monster" file for story hour. 

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bad Rats

Kidwick Books has a new book out - Bad Rats - by Eric Drachman and illustrated by James Muscarello.  I really liked this story - at first I was thinking - where are they going with this?  But once I got about halfway through - I loved the whole idea - those that may be a bit different than us are not BAD - they may even be exceptional!!  Such a great idea - and teaches kids to be careful before they label others.  This is really a neat story and the read-along CD is such a great idea.  AND don't miss this!!  Kidwick has a great idea - you can go online and hear all of their books for free!!  Bad Rats is HERE.  What a super way to enjoy books and SO nice for parents and teachers. 

Sylvan Dell Does it AGAIN!!!

Probably one of my favorite boxes to open here at the library is from Sylvan Dell Publishing.  And this box was no exception! 

Of course - bird books are right up there in my book!  So Whistling Wings by Laura Goering and illustrated by Laura Jacques was one of my favorites!  It is the story of a tundra swan and his first adventure with migration.  That is why I LOVE Sylvan Dell - their stories are such great teaching tools.  You get information on birds, migration, tundra life, the list goes on and on.  AND the teaching tools on their website are FABULOUS!!
River Beds by Gail Langer Karwoski, illustrated by Connie McLennan is another great read.  Again, I must say Sylvan Dell also specializes in making their illustrations the best they can be - they find superb illustrators and their work is almost life-like.  River Beds is a beautiful book that takes you around the world on a boat ride and shows you how mammals sleep  on 10 different rivers in the world.  Great concept and I can see it being used in story hours/classrooms as well.  You could take off on the bedtime/sleep theme, rivers, many more - it is just superb!
My Half Day by Doris Fisher and Dani Sneed, illustrated by Karen Lee is a great follow up to My Even Day and One Odd Day by Fisher.  See why I love these books???  Math and Science all in picture book format - I LOVE it!!  This book would be great for fractions, measuring, etc.  ~ wonderful math!!!!  AND be sure to go to their website for even more activities that go with the book - they are a wealth of information for teachers!
John McGranaghan's Saturn for my Birthday is SO fun.  Little Jeffrey wants Saturn for his birthday - oh yes, and the moons too - make that all 47 of them!!!  I love it that they are not all for him though - he will gladly share them with his friends, teacher, etc!  There are great facts in here on Saturn and the Solar System - don't miss this one!  The magnificent illustrator on this one is Wendy Edelson - she has her own unique style and it is superb!
Who could not LOVE this one!?!?  Blackberry Banquet by Terry Pierce and illustrated by Lisa Downey is all about those wonderful forest animals.  You could pair this with animal sounds, the food chain, plants, even blueberry recipes!  This is another great one -that just makes a great read aloud all on its own!
Oh so sad to get to the bottom of a box!!!  Sort it Out by Barbara Mariconda and illustrated by Sherry Rogers was a fun find at the bottom!  I did a story hour just last year and needed books on sorting and this would have been great!  This fun story is told in rhyme but with a great way of letting the kids interact and add ideas while you are reading - so fun for reading aloud!  Sorting, graphing, attributes, even writing ideas - this one is another great find!
Thank you Sylvan Dell - I can not tell you how much I give these books to parents AND teachers alike and ALWAYS send them to your website as well - you are REALLY leaving your mark in the education world!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fabulous New Titles

You are familiar with this, right??  Then you've got to see THIS!!!  Rob Scotton is amazing - his stories are hilarious, kids love them, and his illustrations just top them off!  Splat the Cat is no exception - and this one is perfect for the first-day-of-school-jitters.  We laughed out loud at this one - and it is sure to be in my Story Hour reads this fall.

Another wonderful find??  Susan Jeffers', My Chincoteague Pony.  First of all, Susan Jeffers is another author/illustrator that you absolutely CAN NOT go wrong with.  But this story is amazing - it is a true story of a little girl that wants her own pony.  (Every little girl's dream!!)  It is touching, it is one you will be recommending over and over.  AND I LOVE the ending - it is one of those wonderful - pay-it-forward stories.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Friday, August 08, 2008

A Contest and China

In honor of the olympics, there is a great contest going on - have to say - I am entering even though I ALREADY own the book - I think our library needs a copy!!!  I purchased this at Barnes and Noble last Friday night at midnight - it is just a wonderful book on Chinese culture and other things "Chinese" - it will be great for our Harvest Moon Festival, New Year's Celebration, and China unit studies.

by Debbi Michiko Florence
Go HERE to enter!!

Breaking Dawn

It's Done!!! I fininshed Breaking Dawn last night. I stood in line at midnight to buy it, started it on the way home, and have been reading WHEN I CAN ever since. I must say it didn't disappoint me - even with the hoopla that I've been reading about it. I think she wrapped it up nicely and it settled lots of things for me. Thanks Meyers for a great series - you made me branch out - I've never read in the vampire genre before!!!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway Winner!!!


Yep - that's #9 - you are the lucky winner of my book - The Kite Runner.  You are the winner!!!!

Thanks all for playing in the giveaway and hope you will be back!


Yes, I was one of the only adults in line at midnight to get THIS!!! bdcoverBut I didn't care - I considered it "for the job" - what we don't do as librarians!! I stood in line with teenage girls dressed in prom and wedding dresses and screamed every five minutes until midnight! And then I read all the way home!! So that's all the post for today - must go read some more!!

See what happens at midnight?!?!?!?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Made to Stick

Chip and Dan Heath - brothers that are in the business world, have come up with an interesting book. Made to Stick is all about making your ideas "stick" in the business world (or any world for that matter). I am not usually a fan of these types of "business" books, but wow, this one can relate to so many different aspects of life - even home. How to be convincing - make your ideas memorable and sticky. I love the whole idea!!

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