Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Librarian Gone Wild!

Roaring my terrible ROAR!
"In November's
gusty gale
I will flop
my flippy tail
and spout hot soup
I'll be a whale!
Spouting once
Spouting twice
Spouting checken soup
with rice. "
From Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak

A life long Maurice Sendak lover and recently inspired by the FANTASTIC exhibit at Portland Public Library I couldn't resist being a WILD THING for our annual Halloween event at my Library. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Traveling to ALA (and enjoying more of Chicago than humanly possible in 4 days) didn't leave too much time for reading.  So forgive my sparse contribution this week!

I will admit I was skeptical about this one (no offense Jeff Probst).  Happily, my skepticism was completely unfounded.  This is a fantastic summer read for middle grade readers! 
4 kids in a newly formed blended family set off on a sailing adventure while their parents honeymoon. The trip was originally designed to help the kids get to know each other and bond as a family.  It accomplishes its mission, but not in the way it was expected.  The kids end up stranded (surprise!) on an island in the south pacific.  No adults, no guidance just the kids and their limited supplies. Kids will LOVE this fast and tense read! I also suggest you have the second in the series on-hand because once this one is finished, they won't want to wait. 

There is much buzz about Blue Balliett's latest and I promise you, the rumors are true.  I loved everything about this one.  Another fabulous middle grade read! 

While fantasy is not my favorite genre, I really enjoyed this one (even if it was a little on the long side at 464 pages).  While not perfect, readers will be invested enough in Jemma's fate to overlook imperfections in the plot.  Some darker moments were edge-of-your-seat exciting and a wee bit scary.
I look forward to seeing more from Kit Grindstaff!
Suggested for hardcore fantasy fans grades 6 and up. 

Check out the book trailer here.

Until next time, happy reading!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Fast & Fun Reads (picture book edition)

I always feel like I should have more time for family reading in the summer.  Somehow, with all the sunshiny temptations, we always seem to have less.  Constant interruptions can make it difficult to squeeze in that valuable together reading time.  Why not gather up some quick reads to sneak into those (rare) moments of downtime?  Here are some fast & fun reads which are guaranteed to make the whole family smile! 

Bark, George!


When prompted by his mother to "Bark, George." George makes many interesting sounds but none of them are what one expects a dog to say. This book proves, once and for all, that picture books are to be enjoyed by readers of ALL ages.  Delightful in every way! 

A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea

There was a day when I used to think that a pig parade sounded like a rather awesome and inspired idea.  That was before I read this gem of a book by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes.  Pigs, it turns out, are actually quite uncooperative when it comes to parades. Who knew? 
Totally fun! 

*If you love this, which you will, you must check out Chicken Cheeks also by Michael Ian Black*

Chicken Cheeks

Because really, who doesn't love a story about butts? 

I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean

A perfect picture book to use for a quick and fun read or to generate a conversation about the food chain. 
The giant squid is almost as charming as the big, bold and beautiful illustrations that leap off from the double spread pages.  You can't help but adore her as she proclaims over and over  that she is the BIGGEST thing in the ocean.  Her positive attitude goes undaunted even after the cruel realization that she is in fact NOT the biggest thing in the ocean. 
A FANTASTIC read aloud!

Bright Ideas!                                                 

Check out the latest installment by Philippe Courdray.  Benjamin Bear and his companion have many interesting problems to solve in this series of one page comic strips.  Just right kid humor interspersed with more thoughtful stories make this a fun (and quick) blend.  The illustrations are top-notch! Sure to please readers from kindergarten to adulthood.
I understand this is not technically a picture book, but I couldn't do a post about fun books without including this one because it is SO SUPER FUN it deserved a spot amid the rest.

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Check out a few of my favorites from this week's picture book binge!

It's Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones!  by Warren Hanson and Illustrated by Tricia Tusa

"It’s Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones, there’s laundry to be done.
So gather up the dirty clothes and sort them one by one.
Wash them, dry them, iron them, and fold them nice and neat—

Then fling them out the window so they brighten up the street!"

A silly romp through the weekly chore list is sure to inspire some smiles.  I especially loved the charming watercolor and pen illustrations.  Suggest this to fans of the Amelia Bedelia series. 

See Me Dig by Paul Meisel

A super-fun, high quality early reader.  Large easy-to-read text with lots of repitition make this a fabulous choice for those just beginning to read. 

A rowdy bunch of digging dogs encounter a scary bear, buried treasure, pirate ghosts and find a kindred spirit in a back hoe.

This title is head & shoulders above other early readers in its ability to tell a bigger story with its amazing illustrations.  Engaging and fun! 

A few more titles you should check out!

Tiger in my Soup by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Jeffery Ebbeler

How to be a Cat by Nikki McClure

I Have a Garden by Bob Barner


Monday, September 17, 2012

It's Monday! Here's What I'm Reading.

Hooray for Monday!  Here's what I'm up to today:

 Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
A disaster which has fascinated us for 100 years continues to do so. In fact, I set my alarm to wake myself up extra early this morning so that I could finish it! While we tend to think of this as well-known event, younger readers may not have had much exposure. This book geared for readers 8 - 13 years old was particularly well done.  Hopkinson uses eye-witness accounts, photographs, maps, letters, telegraph transmissions and quotes from survivors to tell the tale from the point-of-view of the passengers making this a particularly gripping account.

I lamented to a co-worker that whenever I read stories about real-life disasters, I'm always on the edge of my seat hoping that *this time* it will end differently.  This has never been more true than when I read this genuinely affecting version of the tale. 

I got the pleasure of running my Library's Toddler Time this morning and shared a few of my favorites for a Monday morning. 

My fast approaching lunch break means I get to start Fenway Fever by John H. Ritter (in honor of my annual Birthday trip to Fenway next weekend).  I'll let you know what I think...of the book and my trip to Fenway  ;)

Now tell me, what are YOU reading? 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Remembering Roald

The first book I remember my mother reading to me was "James and the Giant Peach".  It's not that she hadn't read me scores of other titles, its just that this was the first one that mattered to me. Ever a fan of dark and subversive, I thought the poems about Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker were wonderful.  I felt a sort of interesting mix of pride and shock as the story went on.  I truly felt as if that book had been written exclusively for me and I was proud that Roald Dahl felt I was grown-up enough to "get the joke".   I was shocked that my mother read this (and then many others) without batting an eye at what seemed too delicious for a child's ear. 

I had always liked books but after a few Roald Dahl titles, I LOVED books and began gobbling them up as fast as I could.  I have since read and re-read them many time. I have read them to my own children and shared them with library patrons.  Each time I open one of my beloved childhood favorites, I get the same rush of excitement as I did so many years ago for I know that what lies inside is going to fill me wonder and pride and shock all over again.  Thank you Mr. Dahl for understanding that children are just little people and are just as deserving of stories which shock and delight as are adults. 
Today we celebrate a masterful story teller and here is my tribute.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Displays

I am always amazed at how fast books (any books) which are placed on display will get scooped up by patrons looking for their next favorite read.  I could just put an assortment of books out on easels and people would check them out.... but where's the fun in that?  

Here are a few of my latest displays, just for fun.

Dr. Seuss on the Loose!

Seuss books on display with home-made Trufulla Trees.  The only challenge with this eye catching display is keeping it stocked.  I stole the Trufulla Tree directions from this blog
These were so much fun to make and really brighten up a book display. 

Better Together!

I find that many people request the print book along with the audio so that they can read along as they listen.  I wrapped these up into a pretty little display. It's a fantastic time saver and it looks super cute.               Give yourself the gift of reading!

 Easy-Peasy a book, an audio and some curling ribbon. 

The MVD (Most Valuable Display)

I work with the public school to get a copies of their recommended summer reading lists.  I have copies of the list available and we pull all the books (that are in) and put them on display together by school.  This saves staff time and is SO CONVENIENT for patrons who are searching for these titles. Having the lists here at the public library has been an amazing tool, many people forget them at home and are relieved to find that we have them. Totally makes us look like ROCK STARS!

 Don't Judge a Book by its Cover! 

Who hasn't heard this sage advice?  This displays doesn't allow any judging.  We covered up some of those books that have less than appealing covers.  The inside flap descriptions are copied and pasted onto the back so patrons can make their selections based on what the book is about, not by its cover.  We let them unwrap it after they read the book.  SO.MUCH.FUN!!