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summer of the gypsy moths

Suumertime – and the reading is easy…

The long summer vacation is a great time for kids to catch up on some reading. Some like to keep it light and breezy, while others enjoy having enough leisure time to read something really challenging. But what about books about summer vacations? There are lots of these, because it’s a great way for an [...]

July 3rd, 2013
zombie makers

Bullies, Zombies and Bears: New Books for Older Readers

The Bird King: An Artist’s Notebook by Shaun Tan Looking through this gorgeous (and beautifully reproduced) book is like peeking into the sketchbook and portfolio of Shaun Tan (The Arrival). His working method is to “just start drawing” and the book goes on to show everything from highly detailed doodles to painted storyboards. Most of [...]

March 20th, 2013
nic bishop snakes

Snakes, Superheroes and Selling: New Books for Younger Readers

Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird by Stephanie Spinner; illustrated by Meilo So Irene Pepperberg bought an African grey parrot in 1977 and called him Alex – short for Avian Learning Experiment. This wonderful book tells the true story of how graduate student Irene taught Alex to speak – actually speak, not just mimic words. [...]

January 9th, 2013
One-Year-in-Coal-Harbour

There’s a Chill in the Air: New Books for Older Readers

Almost Home by Joan Bauer 12 year-old Sugar Mae Cole is the type of resilient heroine frequently found in Joan Bauer’s novels. Her beloved grandmother has died, her father has abandoned his wife and daughter and the final straw is that Sugar Mae and her mother lose their home. They move to Chicago but that [...]

November 21st, 2012
wild book

Changing the World: New Books for Older Readers

Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin Sheinkin is a master of page-turning narrative nonfiction and this gripping thriller about the race to build the atom bomb is another winner. Drawing on a huge cast of characters and taking us all over the world, Bomb [...]

October 17th, 2012
create with maisy

Crafting, Writing and Composing: New Books for Younger Readers

Create with Maisy by Lucy Cousins One thing I often find frustrating about craft books, especially those for young children, is that the completed projects shown on the page look so much more polished and professional than anything my kids (or I!) could produce. So, in this craft book featuring Maisy Mouse and friends, I [...]

September 19th, 2012
uglies

O Brave New World!

In 1946, Aldous Huxley published Brave New World – a science fiction tale about a society that has erased all individuality and emotion to achieve stability. Dystopias like this have been around for many years in both books and movies, but the popularity of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins has made it a [...]

August 26th, 2012
squid and octopus

Cooking, Drawing and Baseball: New Books for Younger Readers

Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child written and illustrated by Jessie Hartland With words and illustrations as exuberant as Julia Child herself, this lively biography features handwritten captions and cartoon-style pictures that burst with Julia’s lust for food and life itself. Starting with her conventional upbringing and her travels during World War II [...]

August 8th, 2012