Friday, February 28, 2014

Sun's a roaring dandelion, hour by hour.
Sometimes the moon's a scythe, sometimes a silver flower.
But the stars!  all night long the stars are clover.
Over, and over, and over!
- Robert Wallace, "In the Field Forever"
What greater gift on the bookshelf than a perfect anthology of poems?  This lovely, over-sized tome of thirty six well-chosen treasures takes us through the wheel of the year with evocative and colorful full-edge mixed media. The only complaint might be wishing the "very short" ride would never end, but open it back up, and the seasons begin again.   A book that would be relished as a gift, and a lyrical read-aloud treat for teachers as well.
Link for information; please support your local independent bookseller.  

Friday, February 21, 2014


Aviary Wonders, Inc.:  Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual by Kate Samworth. 
Extremely creative and extraordinarily gorgeous build-your-own-bird guide that painlessly introduces children to high-level science vocabulary and explores biology part by beautiful painted part, while quirky Q&A and assembly instructions also introduce readers to wonderful expository writing.   Teachers, this is an out-of-the-box mentor text, as children will enjoy creating their own catalogs and order forms for creatures that inspire them.  Imagination takes flight.
Link for information; please support your local independent bookseller.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Brother Hugo and the Bear by Katy Beebe, illustrated by S.D. Schindler.  Based on a real note found in a 12th century manuscript, a monk loses a library book when it is eaten by a bear, and makes penance by recreating the manuscript page by painstaking page.  But will the bear be waiting for another course?  An exciting read-aloud that teaches the process of how books used to be made, you don't have to be a bruin to find this book delicious.  I only wish the publisher had invested in a little illumination...ah, well, nothing a gold marker can't fix.
Link for information; please support your local independent bookseller.  

Thursday, February 06, 2014


Help!  We Need a Title!  by Henré Tullet.  Nothing's betta than a little meta.  An author climbs inside his own story to make peace with his characters and give them something exciting to do.  While this character-in-a-book awareness stunt has been done in various iterations in children's literature before (Henrik Drescher's unfairly out-of-print Simon's Book being one example, Mo Willems' We Are In a Book! and Mordecai Gerstein's A Book more recent explorations on the theme)  and my favorite writing-process-book-for-kids remains Mary Jane Auch's The Plot Chickens, naturally the author of Press Here has his own fun and cunning spin on things; expressive photos of the author himself pasted inside the book makes this a little fresh and lively lines are kid-friendly and worth a look.  
Link for information; please support your local independent bookseller.  

Saturday, February 01, 2014


Food Trucks by Mark Todd.  Each double-paged spread features a chummy vehicle, a poem and fun facts to fit every taste:  breakfast , burger, barbecue, falafel, salad, grilled cheese, cupcakes, sushi, curries, taco, pretzel, waffle, and, of course, ice cream.  While this title's content travels a bit all over the place with verse on one side and surprising non-fiction samples on the other, it offers an appetizing opportunity for children not only to choose a favorite but to design their own truck celebrating whatever culture and culinary tradition honks their horn.
Link for information; please support your local independent bookseller.


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