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The Penderwicks at Point Mouette

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette (2011)

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall We started the 100 Great Children’s Books blog with a review of The Secret Garden, published in 1911. In my review I talked about my response to the book’s emotional rawness, its unacknowledged economic injustice, and the incredible sweetness of being read to by my mother. It [...]

December 28th, 2011
polar express cover

The Polar Express 1985

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg As Yolanda has written in previous posts, Christmas is a time for wishes and a time for memories: The Polar Express perfectly captures both. A young boy lies awake on Christmas Eve wishing for the sound of sleigh bells, but instead hears the sound of a train. He [...]

December 26th, 2011
03_DEEPWATER

First Friday: The True Cost of Oil, 1/6/12

The Library’s First Friday series continues in 2012, kicking off with The True Cost of Oil. Author and award-winning journalist Lisa Margonelli will take us on a provocative tour of the true cost of gasoline from our local gas station, to oil spills in the Gulf, to militias in the Niger Delta, to Middle East [...]

December 23rd, 2011
christmas memory inside2

A Christmas Memory 1956, 1989

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote As much as Christmas is about wishing, for grown-ups, it is also about memories. During the holidays, we recall days gone by filled with special meaning – sometimes poignant, sometimes joyous, and sometimes downright sorrowful. My memories of Christmas include believing in Santa Claus (and other mythical beings), spending [...]

December 21st, 2011
I Am A Bunny inside1

I Am a Bunny 1963

I Am a Bunny by Ole Risom, illustrated by Richard Scarry At some point between my childhood and several years ago, I forgot all about I Am a Bunny. When I was pregnant and enthusiastically collecting picture books for my daughter’s library, I never had even a wisp of thought about a tall, slender board [...]

December 19th, 2011
best-christmas-pageant-ever

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever 1972

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson I’m a big fan of creating family traditions and Christmas is a great time for that. We’ve imported a load from my English childhood and my husband’s Welsh childhood, as well as creating our own for our American-born children. Food is important: My contribution is getting my [...]

December 14th, 2011
story of holly and ivy cover

The Story of Holly and Ivy 1957, 1985

The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden Christmas is about wishing – wishing for a special gift, wishing for snow, and, in the case of Holly and Ivy, wishing for something that is missing. Ivy, a tough little orphan, is wishing for a home. Holly, a beautiful but shy Christmas doll, is wishing [...]

December 12th, 2011
flower fairy christmas

The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies 2002

The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker Santa has never visited my house.  Instead, we had the Christmas Angel, who came on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas morning.  This was one of my favorite family traditions, inspired by European roots and reinterpreted by my English mum. One Christmas, I received my [...]

December 7th, 2011