Sunday, December 31, 2006

Non-Fiction Picture Books - Happy New Year Everywhere

Happy New Year Everywhere by Arlene Erlbach 2001

Haven't had a chance to refresh myself or find any new books for the New Year celebration, but found this book that offers some interesting information on how New Year's is celebrate around the world. Something worth exploring with your young one. "The author shares traditional customs and traditions of celebrating the New Year from 20 different countries. Different cultures may celebrate the New Year using different calendars and holiday names. Each section highlights a different county, the date(s) of their New Year observance, the name of their New Year holiday as well as a traditional greeting, a related game, recipe, song or craft. There is a world map that pinpoints each country that is being discussed. Colorful line art accompanies the projects." Suggested for preschool age and up. Here's wishing you all a happy and peaceful New Year.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Christmas Joy To You

Singing to you a joyous Christmas! (Will be back after the 29th.)

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
come, and behold him, born the King of angels;
O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.
And of course:
Silent night, holy night, all is calm,
all is bright round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace.
Sleep in heavenly peace

Picture Books - Santa's Book of Names

Do you know a little one having trouble learning to read? Then enjoy a fun and encouraging book for Christmas. David McPhail’s Santa’s Book of Names (1997) is beautifully illustrated and heartwarming. Read it together and emphasis that with some patience it will all come together in time. Great for ages preschool and up. This book leads the reader into the sequel Edward and the Pirates (1997), which is really fun to read aloud to a young audience. It picks up with Edward from Santa's Book of Names. Also, Pirates quietly teaches the importance of taking care of library books. Just as a side note Edward and the Pirates was published before Santa's Book of Names.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Merry Christmas and thoughts...

I have made it a point not to post any pictures of my family in order to maintain a certain level of privacy. In addition, my husband is pretty adamant, as I am, about the safety of our wee one. But, for this holiday season where so many around the world are taking time to be with their families and friends whether it be for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or some other occasion I felt the urge to brighten this blog with a face that is so dear to me.

Our year has been filled with much, much sorrow with the passing of so many in the family with the most recent this past week. It is hard to face the holidays with a bright smile, but I just look to the wee one and remember the joy she brings and why we take the time to celebrate.

So, here she is the bright spot in my day (of course her daddy is a another bright spot too). Whether celebrating any occasion or staying close to home with all the familiar creature comforts, may you enjoy a peaceful time over the next few weeks.

If you are looking for last minute gift items or just some thoughts for gifts to give later on then of course I am going to suggest books. And, yes I will even go as far as saying giving a children's book whether it be a picture or chapter book to adult is a grand idea. Nothing says happy more than relating to your inner child. There are a number of creative ways to give a book, but I really like some of the ideas that Mother Reader shares in her Twenty-one ways to give a book posting. Very funny and creative. Check her out.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Chapter Books - Pride and Prejudice

Ah! One of my favorite books was authored by the English writer Jane Austen, who happens to have been born today December 16, 1775. So, I say celebrate by reading one of her many wonderful novels. My personal favorite is Pride and Prejudice although Sense and Sensibility is a close second. Pride and Prejudice is unique to me in that it is considered a children’s classic, but is also widely enjoyed by adults. For me I would group this book with titles such as Little Women or Wuthering Heights, but I didn’t really have any interest in it until adulthood.

Although I have always considered Little Women to be more of a traditional children’s classic I tend to think books by Austen and even Bronte more in terms of young adult and up. So, when I see them on the shelves in the juvenile section of the library and bookstores, I am reminded these are good options for those more mature middle grade readers. Plus, it reminds me of a very advanced student I once worked with who was in the fourth grade and had just finished Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. She had asked me for some other works of similar quality, but for some reason I hadn’t thought of Austen (nor had I read Tolstoy). Suggest away to all those seeking a good book or author.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Picture Book - Amy, Ben, and Catalpa the Cat: A Fanciful Story of This and That

Amy, Ben, and Catalpa the Cat: A Fanciful Story of This and That by Alma S. Coon Illustrations by Gail Owens 1990

Ahhh! A bit of history wrapped in an ABC picture book. This is a humorous little story that follows Amy, Ben and Catalpa the cat through their chores and streets of the colonial town of Williamsburg. For anyone, especially the younger set, chores can be somewhat boring and time consuming. But, for Amy and Ben they have a way of adding a bit of fun to their chores and are still able to get into a little mischief with Catalpa on their way to the fair. From baking an apple pie to Market Street’s marmalade to wearing Tri-cornered hats the author has managed to work in a historical story around the alphabet. The reader/listener gets a taste of what life might have been like for a couple of typical young citizens of Williamsburg. The artwork is very vivid and really adds to the imagery of the story. The text is written in an entertaining rhyme and I would suggest this to the kindergarten age crowd on up. This particular copy came via a visit to Williamsburg, but I believe it is available online through some smaller retailers.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Picture Book - Edwina: The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct

Edwina The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems 2006

So much has already been written or noted about this recent publication of Willems that it is hard to add anything. But, with the holidays of various origins upon us, I say what a great gift it would make to give. Edwina, who is a very likeable and almost mesmerizing dinosaur, makes a community shun the thought she really mustn't be. However, there is one in the community, a Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie, that doesn't like Edwina. He wants his knowledge of dinosaur extinction to be heard and hopes to make Edwina disappear with a poof. Willems provides a book that helps us all learn that being right doesn't mean you will find satisfaction in being right. Great book for preschool age and up and for those that also think being right is more important than letting things be. Plus, Willems book reaches into the heart of most everyone that enjoys chocolate chip cookies. (Spoiler- Has a great ending.)