Book Habit

Posts tagged childrens books

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Kid’s Corner - “Chu’s Day” by Adam Rex

In Chu’s Day award-winning author Neil Gaiman (Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Blueberry Girl) tells the story of Chu, a little panda with a big sneeze.

"When Chu sneezed, bad things happened." Chu’s mother took him to the library where there was "old-book-dust in the air" but Chu didn’t sneeze.    His father took him to the diner where there was "a lot of pepper in the air" but Chu didn’t sneeze. 

Later that day his parents took him to the circus and guess what happened?  Chu sneezed!  His one sneeze took out the circus, the diner and the library.  “Oops, said Chu.  That was a sneeze all right.”

The illustrations, by Adam Rex, are fantastic.  There are no people in the book just animals.  The librarian is a giraffe, the chef in the diner is a whale and the circus is run by all animals.  In fact, there are so many different animals in this book you could make a game of naming them all.  This is an adorable book, especially Chu, that your kids will want to read again and again.

Filed under Chu's Day Neil Gaiman Adam Rex Childrens books sneeze

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On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…BOGO 1/2 off Children’s Holiday Books

With so many Children’s holiday books out there, how can you pick just one?  Well you don’t have to, today only when you buy one you get a second one at half off!

Pick up a classic like How the Grinch Stole Christmasor Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree.

Grab a newrelease that will soon be a favorite likePete the Cat Saves ChristmasorThe Christmas Quiet Book. 

There is something for every kid on your list, young or old.

Filed under childrens books Christmas books grinch mr. willowby pete the cat christmas quiet

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Hip Hot and Happening in the Bookshop - Jerry Spinelli

We are excited to announce that Jerry Spinelli will be in the Bookshop on November 3 from 11am-1pm.

A little bit about Jerry:

When Jerry Spinelli was a kid, he wanted to grow up to be either a cowboy or a baseball player. Lucky for us he became a writer instead.

He grew up in rural Pennsylvania and went to college at Gettysburg College and Johns Hopkins University. He has published more than 25 books and has six children and 16 grandchildren.

Jerry Spinelli began writing when he was 16 — not much older than the hero of his book Maniac Magee. After his high school football team won a big game, his classmates ran cheering through the streets — all except Jerry, who went home and wrote a poem about the victory. When his poem was published in the local paper, Jerry decided to become a writer instead of a major-league shortstop.

In most of his books, Jerry writes about events and feelings from his own childhood. He also gets a lot of material from his seven adventurous kids! His wife, Eileen, also a children’s book author and will be joining him here at the Bookshop.

In addition to the Newbery Award winner, Maniac Magee and Wringer, Jerry has a number of books on the middle school summer reading lists.  His latest book is Jake and Lily.

Come join us and welcome Jerry to the neighborhood.

Filed under jerry spinelli eileen spinelli childrens books author signing maniac magee

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Kids’ Corner - “Mossy” by Jan Brett

Children’s author, Jan Brett, has done it again with her beautiful new book  Mossy.

Mossy is an Eastern box turtle who lives at Lilypad Pond.  She spends so much time there that the moss around the pond began growing on her carapace, until her shell was covered with it.  When the weather turned warmer tiny ferns and wildflowers began to bloom on her back until she was walking around underneath an amazing garden.

One day Dr. Carolina came across Mossy and decided that she would be perfect in her museum so she took her back and put her in a beautiful viewing pavilion for everyone to see.  Mossy, however, became sad.  She missed her misty pond and her new friend Scoot.  When Tory, Dr. Carolina’s niece, realized how sad Mossy was they decided to take her home.  But how would they share Mossy with the museum visitors? 

The illustrations in this book are so beautiful.  From Mossy and her garden to the border images you will discover new treasures hidden within each scene.  This is a beautiful story to share with a child and to teach them about preserving and respecting nature and all of its creatures.

Filed under jan brett mossy box turtle childrens books

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Kids Corner - “Those Darn Squirrels Fly South”

FINALLY a book that illustrates that people are happier in warm weather!  I knew this was the case but could never convince people.

InThose Darn Squirrels Fly South author Adam Rubin and illustrator Daneiel Salmieri (the same team that brought usDragons Love Tacos) tell the story of Old Man Fookwire.  

Old Man Fookwire is a grump!  The one thing he loves to do is paint the birds in that live in his area during the summer months.  He is content to paint the birds unless the darn squirrels get in the way.  Every year summer fades to fall and the birds fly south.  Fookwire is content staying in the cold and being a grump but the squirrels are curious to know where the birds go and what they do.  The squirrels decide to build flying mobiles and follow the birds south. 

When the birds and squirrels land on the warm beach they are amazed and happy.  They soak up the sun and drink fruity drinks and have a grand time.  Soon though they begin to miss Fookwire so they give him a call.  Fookwire hears the squeak of the squirrels and misses them so he drives south to see what they are up to.  When he arrives, and the squirrels give him a full body hug, he laughs for the first time since any of them can remember.

With their humorous style of writing and telling stories with pictures, Rubin and Salmieri have created another classic for your children’s picture book collection.

To find out what happens to Fookwire and the squirrels you have to come to the Bookshop and read the book. 

Filed under those darn squirrels fly south adam rubin daniel salmieri childrens books snowbirds

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Kids Corner - Usborne Publishing

I have come across a publisher in the past few years who’s books for children I am drawn to for their subject matter and presentation.  This publisher is Usborne.  Apparently I am not the only one who has fallen in love with their ability to share stories and facts in beautiful, colorful and witty ways.  Usborne was named the Children’s Publisher of the Year for 2012. 

We have started to carry a few of their products in the Bookshop so I wanted to share a bit about them with you.

Usborne is a major, independent, award-winning UK publishing company, and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. They publish almost every type of children’s book for every age from baby to teenager.

Founded by Peter Usborne in 1973, Usborne pioneered a completely new generation of entertaining, colorful and friendly non-fiction books. Since its foundation, Usborne has been the publisher that children themselves love for its humorous, factual and fun books.

Usborne has so many different types of books in their collection that I can’t cover them all here but I would like to share a few of my favorites.

Children’s Classics:  If you love reading the classics to your children then you definitely need to check out the Illustrated Classics for Girls and the Illustrated Classics for Boys.  Each collection contains six timeless classic stories with beautiful illustrations.  The Classics for Girls shares the stories of The Railway Children, The Wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden, Black Beauty, Little Women and Heidi to “enchant and delight” readers.  The Classics for Boys tells the thrilling stories of Robin Hood, Gulliver’s Travels, Moonfleet, Around the World in 80 Days, Robinson Crusoe and The Canterville Ghost filled with “action and adventure”.  These are stories you will read again and again and the beautiful books are something that will be passed down through the generations.

Sticker Books:  What is more fun for a child than stickers?  Stickers that can be used with their ever expanding imaginations!  Usborne has taken sticker books to a whole new level.  One of their most popular sticker books is theDoll’s House Sticker Book.  This is a gorgeous sticker book with beautifully decorated rooms just waiting to be filled with furniture and accessories.  The book includes eleven rooms spread over three stories in the house, including a master bedroom, two children’s bedrooms, a baby’s nursery, a kitchen, living room, study, dining room and attic.  Children will have hours of fun arranging the house just as they want it, with objects ranging from chandeliers to china, as well as toys, ornaments and even food.

In addition to theDoll’s Housewe have sticker books to create imaginative fairy kingdoms, picture and word matching in both English and Spanish and dot-to-dots.

I have to stop there but if your child loves science, crafts/activities, history, puzzles, basically everything then you have to check out Usborne because I know you will love it as much as we do.

Filed under usborne sticker books childrens books classic books science books

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This Week in the Bookshop - Did you complete your summer reading?

The nights are cooler and the notebooks and backpacks are lining the shelves at the stores.  That’s right, school is starting in less that 2 weeks.  Where did the summer go?

Did you (or your children) complete their summer reading requirements?  We still have our summer reading room stocked full of books at 20% off through the end of the month so hurry in before summer ends.

If you are wondering if you child or children have summer reading requirements and they are in middle or high school, the answer is YES!  If they attend St. Elizabeth’s or The Montgomery School for all grades (kindergarten on up) the answer is YES!  We have the lists so stop by and we can help you select a book for that procrastinator in your life.

Filed under summer reading montgomery school st. elizabeths childrens books

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Your Input - We love it!

When a customer requested a “Mr. Happy” by Roger Hargreaves book a few months ago for his child, I was delighted.  I had forgotten about these small, square, retro books I grew up on when I was younger.  This memory in turn brought me to purchase the series for the store- we had to have these!  What a delight it has been to have parents smile and laugh with nostalgia while reading these books in the corner to their little ones in our children’s section. I love it. Another perfect example of the magic bookstores can bring to families.

There is an overwhelmingly vast selection of children’s book out there to choose from- quite a daunting task!  I continue to try my best at picking unique, engaging and magical books for your children that hopefully will provide them with cherished memories of reading time with mom and dad. I still have a trunk in my mother’s basement of a select few books (ok more than a few) that she read to me (over and over and over at my insistence- oh how wonderful you mothers and fathers are!) and that I hope to read to my children one day. 

I always welcome suggestions from parents about great children books that they love and their children love and will continue to stock our shelves with your requests- nothing makes me happier!  I have acquired some real gems for our collection- so thank you to all who have engaged me in suggestion and conversation! Keep it up!

So come check out our “Mr. Men and Little Miss” books out, and if you have any other suggestions for our children’s corner- I’d love to hear it.  Meanwhile here is a little information for your brain on one of my favorite children’s authors.

Charles Roger Hargreaves (9 May 1935 – 11 September 1988) was an English author and illustrator of children’s books, notably the Mr. Men and Little Miss series, intended for very young readers (hey I still read them!). He is Britain’s third best-selling author, having sold more than 100 million books.

As an adult, he spent a year working in his father’s laundry and dry-cleaning business before starting out in advertising. But his original ambition was to be a cartoonist; and, in 1971, while he was working as the creative director at a London firm, he wrote the first Mr. Men book, Mr. Tickle, when his son,Adam, asked his father what a tickle looked like!  Hargreaves drew a figure with a round orange body and long, rubbery arms, which became Mr. Tickle.  He initially had difficulty finding a publisher; but, once he did, the books became an instant success, selling over one million copies within three years and spawning a BBC animated television series, narrated and voiced by Arthur Lowe.

By 1976, Hargreaves had quit his day job. In 1981, the Little Miss series of books began to appear. It, too, was made into a television series in 1983, which was narrated by John Alderton, who, with Pauline Collins, voiced the Men and Misses, respectively. Although Hargreaves wrote many other children’s stories, including the Timbuctoo series of twenty-five books, John Mouse, and the Roundy and Squary books, he is best known for his 46 Mr. Men books and 33 Little Miss books.

Each book in the original Mr. Men and Little Miss series introduced a different title character and his/her single dominant personality to convey a simple moral lesson. The Mr. Men and Little Miss characters frequently reappeared in other characters books. The books’ simple stories, with brightly-colored, boldly-drawn illustrations, made them very popular, with sales of over 100 million worldwide across 28 countries.

The stories are set in a
fictional universe called “Misterland”, which is inhabited by the Mr. Men and Little Misses themselves, as well as some ordinary human characters. Misterland is connected to the real world, as referenced in the story Mr. Fussy: “‘I’m your cousin,’ replied Mr. Clumsy. Your long lost cousin from Australia.’”

Now, isn’t that delightfully silly?


Filed under Mr. Happy Childrens books ROger Hargreaves Book lists

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Kids Corner - The Man in the Moon

Sometimes there are books that I put on the shelves that I think to myself “I really need to read that one”.  The Man in the Moon by William Joyce was just one of those books.  What drew me to the book was the beautiful illustrations, something Joyce is famous for.  You might be familiar with some of his other works like Dinosaur Bob and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (also an Academy Award winning short film).  The Man in the Moon is the start of the Guardians of Childhood series that Joyce has been working on for almost twenty years and tells the story of the boy who would become Tsar Lunar, the Guardian who watches over the dreams of all the children of Earth.

You already know all of the Guardians of Childhood:  Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman, the Easter Bunny to name a few.  However, did you know the very first Guardian was the Man in the Moon (MiM)?

Joyce tells the story of how MiM’s parents saved him during a battle with the evil Pitch, the King of Nightmares.  MiM’s parents and his best friend, Nightlight, were all killed during the battle but their spirits remained in the stars.  MiM was raised in the tunnels of the moon by the Moonbots, Moonmice and giant Glowworms.  He had a great childhood, including meals of lunar ice cream and space juice nectarine. 

As MiM got older he discovered Earth and the children that lived there.  When the children of earth lost balloons they would float up to MiM and he could hear their hopes and dreams in the balloons.  MiM got together with his friends, Santa Clause and the others, to bring joy to the children on earth.  However, the one thing he could not change was that the children were still afraid of the dark.  MiM then discovered Dreamsand on the surface of the moon and that by kicking over all the rocks the Dreamsand would glow and light up the moon. 

Now that the moon was 100 times brighter the children of Earth could see the glowing face of the moon and know they were not alone in the dark.

"A fabulous recapturing of an old, real fairy-tale world. Dark. Mysterious. Stunning!" —Maurice Sendak, Caldecott-winning creator of Where The Wild Things Are

"William Joyce, to put it simply, is a genius, and we are lucky to have another book from him. The Man in the Moon is filled with tenderness, love, and enchantment. It’s an unforgettable story which will, I predict, take its rightful place in the hearts of children everywhere.” —Brian Selznick, author/illustrator of the Caldecott-winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Filed under the man in the moon william joyce childrens books wellington square bookshop

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This Week in the Bookshop

We are celebrating Classic Chapter Books this month and next. 

All of us here at the Bookshop picked a classic chapter book to feature.  We each picked something we remember reading when we were younger, something that touched, moved or inspired us.  We invite you to re-read these books or to share them with a new reader.  All of the books highlighted here are 25% off from mid-May to mid-June.

The Westing Game

by Ellen Raskin 

Winner of the Newberry Medal, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and an ALA Notable Book

A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will.  And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger — and possible murderer — to inherit his vast fortune, one thing’s for sure:  Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

A great introduction to the mystery genre!

The Secret Garden

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A house with a hundred rooms is a house full of secrets.  That’s what orphaned Mary Lennox finds out when she comes to live in her uncle’s mansion on the Yorkshire moors.  At night, she hears the sound of crying down a long corridor.  Outside, she meets Dickon, a magical boy who can charm and talk to animals.  Then, one day, Mary discovers the most mysterious wonder of all - a secret garden, walled and locked, which has been forgotten for years and years.  Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring this special place back to life?

"Then she slipped through the door, and shut it behind her, breathing quite fast with excitement, and wonder, and delight.  She was standing inside the secret garden."

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

By E.L. Konigsburg

Claudia Kinkaid feels unappreciated by her parents and bored with her orderly, straight-A existence.  She is nearly twelve when she decides to run away from her home in suburban Connecticut.  Being practical, she chooses a comfortable destination — New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art — and a thrifty traveling companion, her nine-year-old brother Jamie.  After careful planning, Claudia and Jamie arrive at the museum, hiding from the guards in the rest rooms, sleeping on priceless beds, and bathing in the fountain.  But when a statue of an angel, rumored to be a possible Michelangelo, is given to the museum, Claudia decides they must solve the mystery.  Their search leads them to the statue’s original owner, eccentric Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, who narrates the story in a peppery letter to her lawyer.  Mrs. Frankweiler both solves the mystery and helps Claudia understand why the secret of the statue is so important to her.

After reading this book, every child will long for a trip to New York and a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

ALA Notable Book 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis       

Four English school children find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.

Lewis believed anything worth reading at 5, is worth reading at 50.  This enduring classic proves that to be true.


Charlotte’s Web

by E.B. White

E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, published sixty years ago, is the story of a guileless pig named Wilbur and the savvy spider who befriended him.

In a review at the time of publishing, Eudora Welty praised E.B. White’s novel for its “felicity, tenderness and unexpectedness, grace and humor and praise of life, and the good backbone of succinctness that only the most highly imaginative stories seem to grow.”


Others we recommend:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Black Beauty

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Anne of Green Gables

Destined to become a classic:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Filed under classic books chapter books childrens books wellington square bookshop newberry medal narnia