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Romance + Reading = Love

Once Upon a Time… … there was a little girl who loved stories and fairytales.  She discovered Andrew Lang’s colored fairy books and read through them—pretty colors first and not-so-pretty colors (like olive!) later.  She had a peculiarity though: she only read the stories with princes or princesses.  And, she felt cheated if there wasn’t a […]

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Book Bits is Back! (2/5/16)

It’s high time we revived Book Bits: a random collection of interesting book-related links and information found around the web. Enjoy! Beatrix Potter has a new book coming out! Now you can ask the advice of a “book concierge” like you might a hotel concierge. Rumor has it that a new Little House movie is in […]

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Five Family Read Alouds

Long winter nights and the occasional snow day make for excellent read-aloud weather.  Here are five favorites that can be enjoyed by the whole family.  (Or, if you’d rather listen, several of these titles have been made into excellent audiobooks.) Wolf Story by William McCleery.  NYR Children’s Collection, reprint, 2012.  88 pages.   A man […]

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One Reader’s 10 Most Memorable Books of 2015

As a professional reviewer, book award committee member, teacher, and bibliophile, I read a lot of books in a given year. A. Lot. I recorded 170 titles in Goodreads for 2015, but that barely scratches the surface (as my local librarians can attest). Those were the titles that I liked enough to review, were getting […]

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Newbery Buzz: Drowned City by Don Brown

Continuing our series of discussions about “buzz” books, this time Janie and Betsy look at a nonfiction work in graphic novel format. Betsy: Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans is getting buzz on several Mock lists. Because it is a nonfiction graphic novel, I’ve heard it thrown about as a possible Caldecott, Newbery, and/or Sibert candidate. […]

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2016 Reading Challenge for Kids with Printable

The Grown-Ups’ 2016 Reading Challenge Perhaps you have seen Tim Challies‘s  2016 Reading Challenge. Inspired in part by an original PopSugar reading challenge, Challies has broken his challenge down into different levels of readers: those who might just want to tackle one book a month (“Light”) all the way to those who want to read two books every week […]

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Happy 150th birthday, Alice in Wonderland!

Alice in Wonderland turned 150 years old this year! Here are seven of the many reasons I believe Alice is worth celebrating with a tea party, an unbirthday party, or at least some of the Queen of Hearts’ jam tarts. Why I enjoy Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass 1. Because it was […]

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Interview with Jonathan Bean, author and illustrator

I’m delighted to introduce our readers to Jonathan Bean, author and illustrator of a recently published picture book about homeschooling based on his childhood experience: This Is My Home, This Is My School (FSG, 2015). He has won numerous awards for both writing and illustrating, and was kind enough to share his experience as an […]

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When Is a Story More Than a Story?

We live in the Age of Narrative. And increasingly, novels stop telling stories and become about story, gazing at themselves with calm adoration. This is nowhere more true than in the celebrated children’s novels of Brian Selznek. Selnek began as an illustrator who, over time, developed a distinctive, detailed, textured style built on shades of […]

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Is Petunia Ready for Social Security? Picture Books and Retirement

Do Picture Books Retire? Petunia, that silly goose, is turning the ripe old age of 65 this year, the same age as my father-in-law who is retiring this fall from his long-standing position as nurse anesthetist. The Carrot Seed at 70 is the same age as my father who semi-retired this summer. And Harold and his trusty […]

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Scary Stuff

In honor of the holiday this week that celebrates spooks and skeletons, here’s a post from a few years ago. Everybody has their favorite C. S. Lewis quotes.  Here’s one of mine: “Almost the whole of Christian theology could perhaps be deduced from the two facts (a) That men make coarse jokes, and (b) That […]

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