Megan K’s Favorites of 2011

Megan had a huge list of favorites for the year, proving that 2011 was a GREAT year for publishing! After some crafty picking and choosing, she was able to pick just a few of her favorite books to share with you:

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver; $16.99; HarperCollins; ages 8+





Everything Goes On Land by Brian Biggs; $14.99; HarperCollins; ages 3+

The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman by Meg Wolitzer; $16.99; Penguin Group; age 10+

You Are My Work of Art by Sue DiCicco; $11.95; Running Press Books; ages 2+

Red Sled by Lita Judge; $16.99; Simon & Schuster; ages 3+

Cristi’s Favorites of 2011

Cristi loves finding the perfect book for customers and will always go out of her way to make sure you’re happy with your purchase! She loved a lot of books that were published this year and had a hard time choosing just a few! These are the ones that really stood out for her:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness; $28.95; Penguin Group; Adult Fiction

It’s a Little Book by Lane Smith; $7.99; Roaring Brook Press; ages 2+

The Man in the Moon by William Joyce; $17.99; Simon & Schuster; ages 3+

Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein; $19.99; HarperCollins; ages 8+

Goodnight Ipad: A Parody for the Next Generation by Ann Droyd; $14.95; Penguin Group; ages 5+

Miss Megan Talks New(ish) Holiday Classics

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Here at Hooray for Books, our holiday section has exploded into a vibrant display of red and green and silver and gold. It’s a great spot to stop awhile and browse! But if you’re in a rush, one of our friendly booksellers is more than happy to show you their “go-to” books for the season. And I, dear readers, am no different. There are certain books that I just love to hand sell during the holidays. Here are a few of my top picks!

One Starry Night, by Lauren Thompson, illus. by Jonathan Bean, Simon & Schuster, Ages 0-3

In the nighttime near Bethlehem, animal mamas take care of their little babies. A sheep nuzzles her lamb, a cat cares for her kitten, a dog watches over her pup, and in the stable, Mary and Joseph cradle their new baby. This is a simple, sweet little book to share with the smallest children. Jonathan Bean’s sketch-style illustrations, done in shades of brown, indigo, and black, are infused with dramatic light and shadow. The text is simple, sparing, and repetitive. This is a visually stunning book that is a great option for wiggly wee ones who aren’t quite ready for a wordier version of the Christmas story!

The 12 Days of Christmas, by Rachel Isadora, Penguin, Ages 3-6 

Rachel Isadora’s signature style turns to the holiday season, and what a treat it is! Transporting the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to Africa, Isadora’s reinterpretation is full of life and color. Each two-page spread is dedicated to a different tradition as related to the song, while small boxes at the bottom of the page feature miniatures of the previous parts of the song. Isadora’s joyous, collage-style illustrations are beautifully textured and full of bright patterns that will catch young readers’ eyes. I especially enjoyed the author’s brief note at the end, which discusses some of her inspiration found in her travels in Africa. What a great twist on a traditional carol that incorporates practices from other parts of the world!

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson, illus. by Laura Cornell, HarperCollins, Ages 4-9

On occasion, my family likes to quote Barbara Robinson’s infamous Herdman family from her novel The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Now, with illustrations by Laura Cornell, Robinson has adapted her classic story for a younger audience. I love the unexpected qualities of this story. Just try not to laugh out loud when little Gladys Herdman interprets the Angel of the Lord as a comic book character who shrieks, “Shazam!” But when Imogene, the rudest, bossiest, nastiest Herdman finally appears in the pageant as Mary, quiet and reverent and tearful, I defy any reader not to get emotional along with the awed church audience. Robinson’s story is edited here, but it keeps the requisite humor parents expect from the original. Cornell, who illustrated Is There Really a Human Race? and It’s Hard to Be Five, is the perfect artist to pair with this story. Her pictures are raucous, chaotic, and full of mischief–just like those terrible, wonderful Herdmans!

Great Joy, by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline, Candlewick Press, Ages 4-9 

Frances can look outside her window and see the organ grinder and his little monkey. At night, she can hear their mournful music playing on when everyone else is warm and safe in bed. Frances wishes there were some way she could help the organ grinder, but it’s the Great Depression, and everyone is struggling, even at Christmas. But when she gets up onstage as the angel in the Christmas pageant, she finds the organ grinder in the audience, and suddenly she realizes that she’s had the words all along that are able to bring peace and joy in hard times. This book is absolutely beautiful. Kate DiCamillo’s first foray into picture books is accompanied by breathtaking art from Bagram Ibatoulline (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane). It’s the glow of Ibatoulline’s illustrations that makes this book unforgettable. It’s warm and inviting and wistful–everything I want to see in a (new) holiday classic.

These are my favorite holiday releases from recent years! You can’t go wrong with any of these–there’s holiday cheer for everyone on your list!

Happy reading (and happy holidays!),

Miss Megan G.

‘Tis the Season for Giving!

Here at the store, we have a yearly tradition that we LOVE to talk about!  Hooray for the Holidays is a program we’ve put together where you, our fabulous customers, can come in and shop for books for a child that would otherwise not be receiving books this holiday season.

We have a range of ages in need of books,  both boys and girls, and you simply choose a child and shop away! It’s a fantastic and fun way to help the community, while supporting an independent business at the same time. We also give a discount on books purchased for the program,  leaving your wallet happy too!

Bring your children and get them involved in helping a less-fortunate child enjoy the gift of a great book! If you need help choosing, one of our employees would be thrilled to help, or choose YOUR favorite book that you would love a child to own. It’s a lot of fun and an amazing way to give this holiday season.

Got questions about the program? Give us a call at the store at 703-548-4092 or email us at and we’ll be happy to fill you in on the details.

Oh, Daddy! & Other Great Father’s Day Books

Looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift? Give Dad the gift of quality time with his favorite kids–everyone loves a good story!

Daddy Calls Me Doodlebug by J.D. Lester, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata

This book shows all the imaginative ways Daddy and his little one play together. Father and child are transformed into different animals in this rhyming adventure. This is a charming book for ages infant to three.

Oh, Daddy! by Bob Shea

Daddies can be so silly sometimes! Their smart kids sometimes need to remind them how to get dressed, sit in the car, eat carrots, and water flowers. These colorful illustrations are humorous and light-hearted, sure to be a hit with Dad this year. Kids three to six will enjoy it, too.

My Father is Taller Than a Tree by Joseph Bruchac, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin

This sweet, lyrical picture book is a perfect gift for Father’s Day. The illustrations, which have a wonderful classic feel, show all kinds of different dads and their special gifts.  Kids three to six will appreciate this gem, and fathers will be touched to receive this book.

We have lots of other Father’s Day books and gifts, so stop by the store and we’ll help you pick out something great for your Dad!

Ladybug Girl Dresses Up

Erin’s pick of the day this cold January Friday is Ladybug Girl Dresses Up!

Hot off the presses (released January 7, 2010), this new Ladybug Girl book is sure to delight current fans and gain some new readers. Follow Lulu as she tries on different costumes and re-invents herself in several ways. She’s an astronaut, a tiger, and of course the one and only Ladybug Girl.

This board book is a great gift for your own toddler dress-up enthusiasts (ages 1-3).

Ladybug Girl Dresses Up!, by David Soman and Jacky Davis, Grosset&Dunlap, $5.99

Patrick’s Book of the Day 07/11/09

Bedtime Kiss for Little Fish CoverBedtime Kiss for Little Fish, by Lorie Ann Grover (ages 0-3)

This colorful board book will be the perfect goodnight reading for your little guppy.  It’s “Time for sleep in the deep” and little fish is telling each of the sea creatures to settle down, i.e., “One last swish, jellyfish.”  Simple rhyming phrases on each page with pictures that are sure to capture the eye.  The board book format means that the sturdy, cardboard pages can take a beating from busy baby hands as you read it night after night.

Bedtime Kiss for Little Fish, by Lorie Ann Grover; 2009; Cartwheel Books; $6.99; ages 0 – 3

Megan’s Book of the Day 6/12/09

All of Baby, Nose to Toes, by Victoria Adler, illus. Hiroe Nakata, Ages 0-3

51En3eKo6SL__SL500_AA240_Baby’s got bright little eyes, a neat little nose, and a plump little tummy! Mommy and Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa, and even Big Brother love every inch of this sweet little baby! Told in fun, lilting rhyme, this adorable picture book lovingly describes the cute ears, dancing legs, and tapping toes that make a “good enough to eat baby. Sweep me off my feet baby.”

Victoria Adler’s delightful rhyme is clever enough to engage and amuse parents, and simple and concise enough to capture your little one’s attention. Hiroe Nakata’s watercolor illustrations are bright and imaginative, capturing beautifully a wriggly, giggly bundle of joy! Don’t miss an opportunity to share this lovely read-aloud with your child!

All of Baby, Nose to Toes, Victoria Adler, Hiroe Nakata, Dial Books, June 2009

Come check out this and other fantastic books for itty-bitties at Hooray for Books! Also, give us a call if you need a quick suggestion: 703-548-4092.

Enjoy a good book today!

–Miss Megan

Megan’s Book du Jour 5/8/09: You and Me: We’re Opposites

imagesYou and Me: We’re Opposites, by Harriet Ziefert, illus. by Ethan Long, Ages 0-3

As a worker journeys around the zoo taking care of the animals, he sees opposites all around him. From a nice flamingo to a grumpy gorilla, a big elephant to a little lizard, a tall giraffe to small penguins, a dirty hippo to a clean parrot, opposites are in abundance! But for our friend the zoo worker, the most important opposite is when he is awake–and the animals are all asleep!

Told with the simplest of dialogue between animals, this is an excellent tale of concepts to share with your child. Harriet Ziefert’s story is witty and brief, and Ethan Long’s illustrations are engaging and colorful. Don’t miss out on this fantastic book to read with your little one!

You and Me: We’re Opposites, by Harriet Ziefert, illus. by Ethan Long, pub. Blue Apple Books, April 2009

Get lost in a book today!

–Miss Megan