Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Aviary Wonders Inc.

I never know what I'm going to find at the library any given Tuesday.  When I spotted Aviary Wonders Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual, I knew immediately it was right up my second grader's alley.

And my own.

He's a bird-loving artist and I have a fondness for the wonderfully bizarre.

Source: Kate Samworth

I don't know if my eight-year-old completely digested the satirical humor, but he spent an entire afternoon crafting and drawing birds.  It became a family affair as we each selected bodies, beaks, wings and speciality items.   Anytime a book inspires creativity and rivals the Xbox for the afternoon, you know you've found a winner.  Congrats to Kate Samworth for creating this delightfully quirky debut.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

This morning I made a special stop at Barnes & Noble, to buy myself a birthday gift.  Is there a better way to kick off a birthday weekend than starting a great book?  I think not.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The answer is Stephan Pastis

If you're wondering what's been cracking me up lately, it's this :

And this :

And sometimes this :

You're welcome.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Because I love to hear book makers talk about books...

and I really, really like these guys, here you go:


About halfway through, they do an awesome Q&A session with the children in the audience.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

First there is brown, and you hope for a sign

I love ushering in each new season with books.

Last year I posted a {Spring Picture Book List}.  I don't know how, but I had not yet made the acquaintance of a certain wonderful springy book that definitely deserves rank near of the top of any springy booklist.  And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by the amazing Erin E. Stead.

Image source: MacMillan 

It's the absolutely perfect book to say hello to the rebirth of green.

It's a quiet, lovely book that begs to be read out loud.  On my last library visit I spontaneously read it aloud to a very accommodating friend.  (Beware if you run into me at the library, you may be subject to random read-alouds!).

I'd love to read it to each of you, but instead I'll just post the trailer and implore you to go and grab your own copy as soon as possible…while "all around there is brown, a very possible sort of brown".

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

On reality, Calvin and Hobbes, and the wisdom of an eight-year-old

We've been inhaling Calvin and Hobbes around here lately.

A few days ago, I made a confession:
Every time Hobbes is depicted as a lifeless stuffed animal, it makes me really, really sad.

My eight-year-old was baffled.  "Why?" he wanted to know.

"Because," I tried to explain, "he's not real, and Calvin is really just completely alone."





"You do know that Calvin's not real either, right?  They're just comics!"


Monday, April 7, 2014

Beware of Pothole!

This afternoon the boys and I had a little Mac Barnett reading session around the kitchen table.   We, not surprisingly if you know me, read Extra Yarn.  In my defense, it had been awhile.  Then we followed it up with Mustache!.

Source: illustrator Kevin Cornell {here}

Allow me to share one of my favorite book pages of all time.  It never fails to crack me up.  Let me set it up.  The books opens with: "King Duncan was a terrible king, but he was terribly handsome."  The billboards get me every time.  Enjoy and beware of potholes!

Source: illustrator Kevin Cornell {here}

Kudos to Mac Barnett and Kevin Cornell.  If you like to laugh (please tell me you do!), this one is a must-own.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


My boys are tough customers these days.  Their book bar is set so high it's difficult to find anything that meets their approval.  They are in full-on Calvin and Hobbes mode, so if anything has a shot at breaking them away—it had better be funny.

Today I found a winner.

Weasels by Elys Dolan.

At first glance I knew it had great potential to catapult itself over their ridiculously-high bar.
It's about weasels on a quest for world domination.  How could it go wrong?

They smirked.  They laughed.   They pulled the book closer to investigate the illustrations.

And I celebrated my victory.
We wage weird wars around here.