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amanda pig school girl cover

Amanda Pig, School Girl 1997

Amanda Pig, School Girl by Jean Van Leeuwen; illustrated by Ann Schweninger Books about children starting school usually have a common trajectory: before the big day, the kid worries about some specific aspect(s) such as missing parents, not making friends, not knowing where the bathroom is etc. They start school, maybe have a wobbly few [...]

June 29th, 2011
Sisters of the Sword_Samurai

Sisters of the Sword 2008

Sisters of the Sword by Maya Snow I get very swept up by books. It is one of the immense pleasures of my life but it also means that reading is a high intensity activity. For example, too many young adult novels in a stretch and I begin to think that I hate my parents, [...]

June 27th, 2011
The Essential Calvin and Hobbes cover

The Essential Calvin and Hobbes 1992

The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson I love hearing my kids laugh when they read or when I read to them. For Christmas this year, my son received The Essential Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson and it has provided many laugh out loud moments. My son was instantly intrigued, especially when he [...]

June 22nd, 2011
marc-chagall-the-i-and-the-village

Art for Children (Series)

Art for Children Series by Ernest Raboff Appreciating art is a learned skill. Sure, you can say, “Yes, I like that painting,” or “No, I don’t” but describing why, or having a meaningful discussion about art, can be difficult for children as well as adults. But once you have the vocabulary to talk about art, [...]

June 20th, 2011
tin roof blowdown

Too Good to Miss: James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke is a mystery writer who’s too good to miss. Burke’s precise lyricism brings a depth to his stories that far transcends the typical mystery genre. His greatest creation, Detective Dave Robicheaux, is a police detective with the New Iberria Sheriff’s Department in Louisiana. He lives with a three-legged raccoon named Tripod, a [...]

June 15th, 2011
Truman

Truman’s Aunt Farm 1994

Truman’s Aunt Farm By Jama Kim Rattigan, illustrated by G. Brian Karas I say tomahto and you say tomayto. Even though we’ve been living here for nearly 15 years, my English accent has not changed a whit and every now and then I run into a vocabulary or pronunciation issue. I noticed this recently, when [...]

June 15th, 2011
where did i come from sperm

“Where Did I Come From?” (1973)

“Where Did I Come From?” by Peter Mayle, illustrated by Arthur Robins We had covered the respiratory system and the digestive system. Finally it was time for the reproductive system. Dr Bedeham, our biology teacher, took us through asexual reproduction, then frogs, rabbits and finally human reproduction. The textbook was dry and factual and Dr [...]

June 13th, 2011
darklover

Introduction to Paranormal Romance

Paranormal Romance, aka PNR, is very difficult to define.  In publishing terms it is a subgenre of Romance, however many readers argue that the SFF (Science Fiction/Fantasy) and Horror elements are equally as important.  PNR heroines tend to be witty, independent, and strong.  Her hero/love interest is often Darcy-like, an emotionally distant man with flaws [...]

June 9th, 2011