Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Star Wars Epic Yarns Board Books


I discovered these adorable board books over Christmas. After seeing The Force Awakens, my Star Wars obsession was in full swing as I was Christmas shopping for my toddler. I wanted to buy anything and everything Star Wars for him but realized all good things are better in small doses. When I found these books sitting on the shelf I said, "PERFECT! My son must have all of them."

Jack and Holman handcrafted these characters with felt. Recreating the scenes and surroundings add the extra special touch allowing fans to travel back to their favorite moments in the movies. Go behind the scenes, here, to see how the scenes and characters were created. 

These books should be at the top of your list, if you are a parent educating your children about Star Wars. Think educational board books meet Star Wars. Creators, Jack and Holman Wang summarize Episodes IV, V, and VI with 12 words accompanied with iconic scenes. They include all of the high notes, from Luke training with Yoda, to the classic fight scene between Vader and Luke. They did a great job. The best part? My son loves them and falls asleep with one each night. No joke. Parent win! 

Check out a copy today! A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi are all available.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Atypical Animals

There are a ton of books out there about animals. Bears, barn animals, monkeys, dogs, cats...You know the typical animals. But what about all the OTHER animals out there? I'm talking about Sloths, Moles, or even a bandicoot! Don't get me wrong, I love fluffy puppies and kittens, but I am a lover of all animals to my very core. The following is a list of charming stories about adorable atypical animals. I have enjoyed the "research" for this blog post, as I have read each one to my own child. They will warm your heart and make you laugh all while you share some educational time with your child. 
Happy Reading!



Sparky! by Jenny Offill:  I absolutely LOVED this story! From the whimsical illustrations to the heartwarming story, I loved every ounce of it. The artist is Chris Appelhans who was the illustrator and production designer for the movie Coraline, which explains why I adored them so much.  So, what is it about...
A little girl receives a sloth via mail order. At first, it appears there is nothing exceptional about this pet. Sparky sits in the tree, eats the tree, and is content with the comfort of life. This makes things difficult when trying to teach Sparky cool, new tricks. But as the story comes to a close the girl discovers just how wonderful AND irresistible Sparky is! 
Warning parents: this story may cause children to have a longing for his/her own pet sloth.

Nothing Like a Puffin by Sue Soltis:  A cute little book with an entertaining take on creative classification. A series of objects are compared to a puffin. It becomes clear that there are similarities but in the end there is NOTHING like a puffin. Your child is guaranteed to view the world with a new creative outlook, after reading this one.


My Rhinoceros by Jon Agee: Another story featuring the relationship of a child and his exotic pet. Once again, this story too has adorable illustrations. A rhinoceros may not be able to play fetch, catch a ball or do awesome tricks. He can do something much more than that...like stop criminals and pop balloons. A story of pet ownership: expectations, excitement of ownership, first impressions, and the ups and downs that come with all of the above. 

Astrid the Fly by Maria Jonsson: I found myself rooting for little Astrid throughout the story. This book may not sway you to the compassionate and loving side of house flies but it will be a load of fun. Astrid the fly has been warned about all the scary things a tiny insect can encounter in a human home (vacuum cleaners and swatters, oh my!). But no one ever told her the refrigerator, while inviting, could be so scary. Adventure and humor awaits all in this book.

How Do You Hug a Porcupine? By Laurie Isop: Confession: This review just might be bias because I ADORE porcupines. They might have quills that can prick but they are just so darn cute! It's so easy to hug dogs, cats, horses, or even a snake. But getting around those prickly pricks of a porcupine can be tricky. That doesn't mean the porcupines should be left out. Open your arms wide and prepare for a hug fest, welcoming ALL animals!

Looking for a Moose by Phyllis Root: This book combines going on a bear hunt with fun jokes/puns. Get your walking shoes ready because looking for a moose can be quite a journey. Children will get a kick out of the funny jokes played on the visual ques. A seek and find fun for everyone!

Crickwing by Jannell Cannon: Who knew my heart could be warmed by a cockroach and ants? Great story-telling accompanied by some whimsical illustrations. The story tells the tale of a cockroach, who has been bullying some of the smaller insects. As the story unfolds Crickwing learns how his actions makes others feel when he is bullied himself. A lot of great lessons in this book: bullying, team work, friendship and forgiveness. 

Night Animals by Gianna Marino: I will start this review off with a personal story. I read this story to my 18 month old, Gregory. He called the skunk a cat (yes, I immediately thought of Pepe Le Pew) and then proceeded to snuggle with the picture of said skunk. When something like that happens, it has to be shared and a review must be written. 

It all begins with possum hearing a rustling or is it? What could possibly be out at night? As possum continues on his journey, more animals join for they are scared too. Together they make quite a discovery when they realize they are night animals too. I found this to be a charming story. Plus it is a fun way to teach children to identify/classify nocturnal animals. 




My Pet Book by Bob Staake: Are you a bookworm? Does your child love books? Then this is the book for you! A tale of a boy who decides the typical pets are not for him. For him, the perfect pet is a bright red book. It is quiet, doesn't make messes, doesn't require any training, and it will never make you sneezy. Perfect! But one day the pet book goes missing, which is followed by a lively adventure to reunite the boy with his book. Adorable, funny, and charming this book is sure to his a soft spot.

Shy Creatures by David W. Mack: I wish this story was around when I was a child. I was a very shy child and this book would have made me feel a bit more comfortable in my skin.  A shy little girl decides to care for shy creatures when she grows up. Even though these magical creatures are big and sometimes intimidating, they are shy. The story is told in rhyme (much like Dr. Suess). Watch your child's imagination ignite with all the magical creatures.

Hunwick's Egg by Mem Fox: Hunwick is a bandicoot, which is a cute animal of the rodent family. They are marsupials found in New Guinea, Australia. Hunwick discovers a mysterious egg in his burrow, after a storm during the night. No one knows what to do with the egg. Hunwick, however, knows that some TLC and friendliness can make the world a better place. Hunwick shows us that a little love and a lot of care can make anything special. 




Julia's House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke: Julia and her house settle into their lovely new town. Everything is great but it's too quiet. So, she decides to put up a sign welcoming all lost creatures to their home. Pretty soon Julia has more than enough housemates to take care of the "quiet problem." When you've got mermaids, trolls and sea monsters in your house things can get a bit crazy and MESSY. Julia proceeds with kindness and love as she regains control of her household by teaching the creatures how to participate in daily chores.

I thought this was such a sweet story. Through beautiful illustrations and a heartwarming story, Hatke is able to show children how and why taking care of the home is important. Most importantly he shows how everyone big or small, furry or hairless, sea-dwelling or fire-breathing; has a unique way they can help others. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Times They Are A-Changin'


With Daylight Saving Time coming to an end, not only do we have to adjust to the time change, but we have to help our kids adjust as well.  Transitioning can be difficult for some kids, but perhaps we can make the process more fun by adding a few new stories to their bedtime routines. Try checking out one of these storybook collections from our easy section, which feature several childhood favorite characters:




Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Star Wars Reads Day






Looking for some good Star Wars books to get your kids excited about the upcoming new movie release? Here are a list of books that are all held by the Linebaugh Library System. Make sure you check them out and celebrate Star Wars Reads Day this October at Linebaugh Public Library! 

EASY BOOKS


· A New Hope by Wang, Jack
· The Empire Strikes Back by Wang, Jack 
· Return of the Jedi,  by Wang, Jack  
· Star Wars Can you Spot A Jedi? by Last, Shari  
·  A New Hope by Grange, Emma
· The Empire Strikes Back, by Grange, Emma
· The Return Of the Jedi, by Grange, Emma
· A New Hero by Hildago, Pablo
· The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight by DiTerlizzi, Tony
· Ezra and the Pilot by Heddle, Jennifer
· Star Wars 1,2,3  by Scholastic Inc.
· Escape from Darth Vader by Siglain, Micheal



JUVENILE FICTION BOOKS


· Edge of the Galaxy (Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire 1) by, Fry, Jason
· Rebel in the Ranks (Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire 2) by, Fry, Jason
· Imperial Justice (Star Wars Rebels: Servants of the Empire 3) by, Fry, Jason
· Moving target : a Princess Leia adventure by, Castellucci, Cecil
· Star wars rebels head-to-head by, Hidalgo, Pablo


JUVENILE GRAPHIC NOVELS

· Star Wars in the shadow of Yavin, v. 1-6 by, Wood, Brian
· Goodnight Darth Vader  by, Brown, Jeffrey
· Return of the Padawan by, Brown, Jeffrey
· Darth Vader and Son by, Brown, Jeffrey   

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Gaiman Guide for Kids

Neil Gaiman is one of my most favorite authors of all time. He doesn't just write a story. He takes you on an adventure via his writing. It's like he has created a small world just for you and your imagination to visit. That being said, I was delighted to discover he has written quite a few children's books (picture books up to middle grade level). I believe his talent for writing adult fiction is, equally, matched to his children's fiction. So, whether you are a big Neil Gaiman fan like me or are now curious due to this blog post, the adventure is just a book away!


 
Picture Books:

The Dangerous Alphabet
Two children and their pet gazelle head out on an adventure in the deep corners of the city with their treasure map. A tale full of creepy monsters, pirates, and heroism. Gaiman uses 26 alphabetical lines to guide the reader along the journey. Readers beware, because even the alphabet is deceiving. If your child enjoys creepy tales, this is one they are sure to enjoy.
 
Chu's Day   Chu's First Day of School   Chu's Day at the Beach   
 Chu is small panda with a BIG sneeze. Bad things happen when Chu sneezes. Hold on to your seats or you might get blown off your feet with this series.


Fortunately the Milk    
I was reminded of all the times my dad would turn a simple explanation into an amazing story. It has, quickly, become one of my favorite children's books. Get ready for a crazy fun adventure...And it all begins with a bowl of cereal.

Instructions      

Gaiman shares wisdom with the reader. Through his stories Gaiman has shared a lifetime of adventures with us. We have traveled with him to other worlds and met characters we will hold in our hearts forever. Now he shares, in his own words, words of wisdom and takes us home. 


Blueberry Girl   
This story was written for a friend of Gaiman's, who was expecting the arrival of her daughter. Gaiman turns this wish, all parents have for their child, into a book that celebrates growing up. It is what every parent wishes for their child and every girl hopes for herself. 

Crazy Hair  
 My hair is kind of crazy so I was able to relate to this story. It's silly and a lot of fun to read. An adventure of a different kind...Through a jungle of hair.

The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish    
This was the first book Gaiman wrote for Children.  It's silly and sure to entertain all ages. Imagine wanting 2 goldfish soooo bad you would swap your dad for them. But that's only the beginning! What if mom finds out!?


Juvenile Fiction (Middle Age and up):

The Wolves in the Walls     
Lucy has been hearing weird creaking, squeaking noises coming from the walls of her home. She is sure there are wolves in the walls. And when the wolves come out...It's all over.

Coraline     
Coraline has always wanted to know what lies beyond the closet door in the drawing room. The alternate world that awaits her is surprising and mysterious, which is a perfect match to a curious girl. 

For some reason this has been a story that has stuck with me over the past  few years. I am of the opinion it's because my creative mind is my partner in crime and I was an only child. I would search for worlds behind closet doors, or protect the fort I made in the backyard. Those adventures were brought to life with this story. It was creepy, strange, and different. Just like my playtime as a child.

The Graveyard Book
I believe this is one of my all time favorite books by Neil Gaiman. The preface of the story can make one hesitant, unless you enjoy the weird and unusual story. In short, the story is about a boy, Nobody Owens. He loses his family to a fatal event at an early age and is raised by ghosts in the nearby graveyard. But the story is so much more than that. I found it to be a beautiful analogy. Children want nothing more than to explore and experience the world around them. They hear the word jump and not only ask "How high?" but "Where can I jump to?" But, as parents, we know how scary and intimidating that world can be. So, we protect them and keep them safe until they are ready to fly. Nobody Owens encompasses that child-like curiosity. It is a beautiful story with Neil Gaiman at his best! Enjoy.