2014

25 Days – Book 9: Manger

Day 9 brings us a book of selected poems. This book is so incredibly lovely, I was quite surprised to realize I haven’t featured it before. It is a book about Christmas Eve. About a moment when, if all creatures were given human thought and speech, they might utter responses to welcome and comfort the baby Jesus in the manger. Allow yourself to wonder with Manger, poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Helen Cann, 2014.

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Wordless Wednesday: The Girl And The Bicycle & Interview With Mark Pett

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It’s Wordless Wednesday once again! Somehow I managed to sit on this awesome interview for months now! I’m not exactly sure what happened. I contacted Mark Pett and he readily agreed to do the interview, and then I never got it up. So sorry about that Mark! It wasn’t lack of interest in your answers, I promise. Let’s just blame it on life and the amount of reviews and books that I get buried under weekly.

So join me this late Wednesday evening for a beautiful story about a girl, a wished for bicycle, persistence, and true generosity. Here is The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett, 2014. And stay tuned for a Q&A with him too!

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Wordless Wednesday: The Farmer And The Clown & Interview With Marla Frazee

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I confess that I have greatly struggled with today’s Wordless Wednesday post. This book is so beautiful, so clever, and so powerful – words just don’t do it justice. I have been tempted to simply post the photos and the awesome Q&A with Marla Frazee; but that probably isn’t fair. I’ll do my best to analyze it, but please keep in mind – it is worth so much more than my words. Take a look at this heartbreakingly beautiful story of two characters who are much different than they seem, and end up needing each other much more than they realized. Here is The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee, 2014. Read the full post…

Let’s Read Three: Ghost Books

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It is the week of Halloween and our street is already verging on disgusting with all the creepy, crawly decor. I’m not much of a Halloween fan, especially of the gross and terrifying stuff. But I do like hanging out with friends, eating fun treats, wearing great costumes, and clever decorations. I love themed things. So today I want to do a group pairing with a ghostly theme perfect for Halloween. Two of them aren’t technically Halloween books, but ghosts are always appropriate for the occasion and so I think they work. Join me in reading three lovely books celebrating one of the famous characters of the holiday. Let’s read three books about ghosts! Read the full post…

Let’s Read Superhero Books, Part 1: The Princess In Black By Hale & Pham

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Today I am excited to share some books that fall in the superhero genre of books, perfect for those Marvel-loving readers. The class I am working with in the South Bronx is full of superhero fans, but most of them only follow the famous characters like Spider-Man and Batman and Wonder Woman. So for one of our recent reading hours, I pulled together a pile of books that all had superhero themes. We read another chapter book, but this one is much shorter and full of illustrations as well, making it possible for us to read the whole thing within our hour as well as a couple short picture books. I’m going to split up my review again so that I can share details about the chapter book in Part 1 and in Part 2 I will share all the picture books we read as well as a few suggestions for other books that we ran out of time for.

Let’s read some superhero books, starting with awesomeness from The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, 2014.

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Let’s Read A Pile Of Dragon Books, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my crazy dragon piles of books. If you missed Part 1, check it out for information on the chapter book we read, My Father’s Dragon, and all the crafts we ended up making with my South Bronx storytime group.

As promised, here is the rest of the pile of dragon books we ended up loving. It is quite a varied assortment, my only criteria being that there must be a dragon in it in some way. Themes work best when there is great variety among the books instead of feeling that they drag out. I’m going to do my old, big lists thing and just give one picture and a brief statement about each. So let’s read some dragon books!

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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: 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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25 Days – Book 5: The Night Before The Night Before Christmas (& Giveaway)

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We are five days into this Christmas picture book journey and I actually have a brand new Christmas book to share. I always find it a little difficult to add a new book to my Christmas collection because the classics are classics for a reason and they edge out all other books, often without competition. Today’s book however, is in the process of making its way out and I think it is worth a look. It is a first picture book from a generous new author and digital illustrator duo who are hoping to push their way into the market. Allow me to introduce you to The Night Before The Night Before Christmas by Jay Dee, illustrated by Darren Geers, 2014.

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