Book Review: This is New York By M. Sasek

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Today is St. Patrick’s Day and while I’m all about wearing green for any occasion, I’m actually celebrating another special, personal holiday. This marks our year anniversary of living in NYC! Oh, how things have changed in that year. I thought it appropriate to celebrate an old book that still rings true and delights in the city. Originally printed in 1960, M. Sasek’s fabulous look at New York was reprinted in 2003 with some updated statistics. It is a beautiful look at the big and small, up and down, packed amazingness of the largest city in the Western Hemisphere. This is New York by M. Sasek, 1960/2003. Read the full post…

Let’s Read Three: Search Books!

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The long, cold winter days are starting to wear thin around here. Now is when I start grabbing for books that ask more from the reader. I’m calling this grouping “Search Books,” but perhaps that title is a bit lacking still. Each of these are descended in some form from the Where’s Waldo genre of books; but I love these more because they carry a solid storyline as well. You don’t have to search when you read them, but they are exponentially more fun if you do. Grab your magnifying glasses and let’s read three books that make you search!

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Book Review: Kuma-Kuma Chan, The Little Bear By Kazue Takahashi

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Have you met Kuma-Kuma Chan yet? We are quite smitten with this little bear and his simple, adorable book. His story was originally published in Japan in 2001, but he has finally made his way over to the U.S. thanks to Museyon. He is a little bear that keeps quite busy and will delight every reader with this charming look at what a day in his life might possibly look like. Meet Kuma-Kuma Chan, The Little Bear by Kazue Takahashi, 2014. Read the full post…

Let’s Read Three: Snow Books!

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It seems that Winter Storm Juno was not as bad as predicted, at least here in NYC; but we do have a lot of snow! And of course, snow means snow days, and snow days mean playing in the snow. And when we are done freezing in the snow, we warm up with cocoa and books about snow of course! I have written about many wintery, snowy books in the past including my winter list from 2013 and one of my new favorite snow books by Jonathan Bean from last year. But today, for this Let’s Read Three series, I bring three vintage books about the anticipation, excitement, and joy of snow.

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An added bonus in each of these, that I didn’t originally intend, is that they all feature sledding! The third book, I am of course cheating a bit as I only intend to feature the first story, “Down the Hill.” But it counts as a story, and is just the right length for a cozy reading with these other two. Let’s read three books about winter and snow! Read the full post…

Let’s Read Three: Inventing Books!

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Happy New Year friends! It is that time of year where everyone seems to have some kind of refresh on their mind. Be it resolutions, lists, a determined thought – the new year tends to give us some extra gusto to do something. With these new resolves in mind, I think this set of three is perfect to encourage and motivate on whatever project you long to create.

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I toyed with calling these “Perseverance Books,” but it sounded too cheesy. I also realized that adults don’t really talk about “inventing” things, unless that is their actual occupation. Children’s books are full of inventors and inventions of all sorts. I think we need to get back to believing we can create a solution to something, no matter our age. So, let’s read three books celebrating the failures and surprising successes of inventing!

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Goodnight Moon Animation Narrated By Susan Sarandon

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday week and are ready for the New Year to arrive. While you await, and rest a lot I hope, you must see this sweet video animation of the classic book, Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrations by Clement Hurd, and marvelous narration by Susan Sarandon. Enjoy!

Also, don’t miss this great article from the Opinion section of the NY Times, What Writers Can Learn From ‘Goodnight Moon.’ Happy New Year!

25 Days – Book 25: The Christmas Story

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Merry Christmas! We have reached the end of yet another 25 Days of Christmas picture books. This season went so fast, and yet when I look back at the first books posted this December, it seems like ages ago. How is that possible? As I suspect no one will be visiting today, I will share a simple, vintage Little Golden Book that has sat on my family’s bookshelves for years. It is only appropriate to finish with a Nativity story and what better than a classic Eloise Wilkin styled one. Here is The Christmas Story by Jane Werner Watson, illustrations by Eloise Wilkin, 1956.

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25 Days – Book 24: The Night Before Christmas (Reid)

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Now it is truly the night before Christmas, and so I bring the last of the illustrated books in our countdown bearing such a name by Clement C. Moore. I have saved a new favorite for last, as I was astounded to find it and behold its amazing clay illustrations. Allow me to show you The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrations by Barbara Reid, 2013.

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25 Days – Book 23: The Christmas Pageant

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Three more days until Christmas, which means three more books in our Advent countdown! Today we have another fun book by Tomie dePaola, that is an illustrated version of a play about the Nativity story. It is such a fun concept to draw characters having a play and I love all the ways dePaola pictures the set and costumes. Here is The Christmas Pageant by Tomie dePaola, 1978.

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25 Days – Book 22: The Night Before Christmas (Knight)

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Can you believe I am back with yet another “The Night Before Christmas” books? And even more incredible, I promise this is not the last in our countdown, for what would Christmas Eve be without a “The Night Before Christmas” book? But this year I just had too many I admired that I had to include them all. I’ve made a tag so you can see all my favorite illustrated versions of Clement C. Moore’s famous poem over all my yearly countdowns. Tonight, let’s finish the Christmas Nutshell Library collection with The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, pictures by Hilary Knight, 1963.

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