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Showing posts from June, 2011

Junonia, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes, 176 pp, RL 3

I have no doubt that you all know the picture books of Kevin Henkes (pronounced Hen-kis), including his Caldecott winning Kitten's First Full Moon and the Caldecott Honor winning Owen, as well as the modern classics Chrysanthemum and Lily's Purple Plastic Purse, which came out in 1996 when my daughter was three. This book was a huge part of our lives (we have Lily and little brother Julius dolls as well as plastic purple purse that plays music) as was one of the best "new baby brother/sister"  books out there, Julius, Baby of the World, which was very helpful when her little brother arrived a year later. We also had a fabulous interactive CD-Rom based on Henke's picture book, Sheila Rae the Brave, which got a lot of play in our house. Henkes' picture books have been such a huge part of my children's lives it amazes me that I have not mentioned his work once in the three years since I started this blog. A versatile illustrator and author, Henkes has also …

Dear America Series, Various Authors, published by Scholastic, RL 4

When I first started working as a bookseller in 1995 the American Girls historical books were hugely popular. In 1996 Scholastic began publishing their Dear America series of books written at a slightly higher reading level. Thirty-six titles and nine years later they ended the series. Presented as diaries written by girls during important historical periods or events in America, there was and continues to be nothing like these books on the shelf. While I have not read one yet, as a bookseller I found them to be very popular with girls, a great series to move up to after finishing the American Girls books and also an excellent resource for kids who had to read historical fiction for class.



The series covered a wide ranges of periods and places from the Mayflower reaching America in 1620 through the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, the Salem Witch Trials, the Oregon Trail, the Dust Bowl, WWI, the Depression, Pearl Harbor and WWII. Experiences like the Suffragette Movement, the Immigrant …

These are Our Friends - Paintings by Christopher Stott

During National Poetry Month this year when I was posting a poem-a-day and searching for images to go with the poems I came across the works of contemporary realist painter Christopher Stott, who generously allowed me to use his painting Books, Paper, Pencil, Typewriter with Eve Merriam's poem Ways of Composing.  I fell in love with his work and immediately subscribed to his mailing list (I am saving my pennies to buy a print of one of his paintings) and just received an these paintings of books I wanted to share with you. Of books, Stott writes, "What I love about books is their versatility. They offer and endless bounty of compositions for me to work with, and they have themes and symbolism in a wide variety of manners."I hope you enjoy them even half as much as I do.
These Are Our Friends



Stacks of Books & Espresso Cups


Red Book



Origins & Apple


Vintage Research

Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern, 219 pp RL: TEEN

"I did it," is all that Penny's whispery voice says in the message she leaves on Lil's phone at 4:27 am on the "first Saturday of the rest of our lives," also known as the day after high school graduation. Eight hours later, Penny is gone and Lil is keeping what she knows about her possible kidnapping from Penny's parents, the police and the FBI. While Penny's disappearance is the spark that sets the events of Julie Halpern's third novel Don't Stop Now in motion, finding her is just the destination. The real story is that of the friendship between Lil and her best friend and unrequited love since freshman year, Josh. While Lil wants to make sure Penny is ok, she also thinks a road trip to find her may be her last chance she has to spark something more than friendship with Josh before she heads off to become the "new, improved college version of me."  The easy affection Lil and Josh have for each other and Halpern's skill at wr…