That’s Mine!

thatsmineWe’ve mentioned Candace Fleming’s book Oh No! recently, and for those of you who enjoyed it, I highly recommend That’s Mine! I love this brand-new picture book by Michael Van Zeveren. In That’s Mine! a frog discovers a mysterious egg, which he claims as his own, despite the protests of the other animals. The snappy dialogue and animal sounds make this book perfect for read-alouds.  Little ones will enjoy guessing whom the egg belongs to and what’s inside. Its bright colors and humorous twist at the end are sure to please even the youngest reader.


That’s Mine! by Michael Van Zeveren; Gecko Press; $17.95


Our 2013 Caldecott Shortlist!

Our staff has voted on our favorite picture books of the year, and we’ve agreed on our picks for the Caldecott! Check out our shortlist!

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon KlassenBalzer & Bray/Harperteen; 16.99

Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett, illus. by Adam RexHyperion Books; 16.99

Oh, No! by Candace Fleming, illus. by Eric RohmannSchwartz & Wade Books; 17.99

This Is Not My Hat by Jon KlassenCandlewick Press; 15.99

Bear Has a Story to Tellby Philip C. Stead, illus. by Erin E. SteadRoaring Brook Press; 16.99

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr., illus. by Kadir NelsonSchwartz & Wade Books; 18.99

What’s your pick for Caldecott? Comment and let us know, then check back on January 28th to see if your favorites made the grade!

Different is okay!

As a bookseller, I shouldn’t admit that I picked up Oliver based on its cover art, but I was immediately drawn to the darling play scene in muted tones. (Side note: Don’t be discouraged by my use of muted tones; the art is eye-catching and there are many little details to notice!) Oliver is a sweet story about a boy who is perfectly content with quieter, more imaginative activities. He and his toy friends take on adventure via books and conquering household furniture as it were a desert or shark-infested waters (reminiscent of  the “hot lava” that flowed through my living room once upon a time). This is the perfect book for an introverted child. It will let him or her know that it is okay to feel different and prefer solitary play, and that when she or he is ready for a human playmate, there will be another child ready and willing.


P.S. Keep your eyes open for Oliver and Olivia’s missed encounters.

Oliver, by Birgitta Sif; Candlewick Press, $16.99

Need a little something extra with that holiday gift?

The holiday season is quickly descending upon us all, whether we’re ready for it or not!  For shoppers wanting to get a bit more than a book for a holiday gift, we have some fantastic dolls and plush to match some of our most popular books!

We have a Corduroy bear to pair with the classic Don Freeman read, Corduroy, and he is just adorable! We have Peter Rabbit, Pat the Bunny, and the sweet bunny from Goodnight Moon, as well. Perfect, not only for the holidays, but for baby gifts, as well.

Angelina Ballerina, Madeline, Fancy Nancy, and Eloise are all wonderful choices for little girls and we have beautiful dolls by the Madame Alexander company, all set to match your book choice.

Elephant & Piggie, the stars of Mo Willems’ hilarious early reader series, now have their own plush characters to go with the silly stories. We have the Pigeon and Knuffle Bunny too!

We have lots of other book/plush pairs for your gifts! Stop in or call to see if we have the pair you’re looking for.

The Wonderful Book by Leonid Gore IS a Wonderful Book

The Wonderful Book by Leonid Gore; Scholastic Press; 2010; $16.99

This picture book for 3-6 year olds shows just how wonderful books are for reading as well as other things. In the forest, a rabbit discovers a book and uses it for a house; a bear discovers the same book and uses it as a hat; mice discover the book and use it as a table. Finally, a little boy discovers the book and begins to read aloud; much to the pleasure of the rabbit, the bear, the mice and a couple of other forest creatures.

A great book for those who love books and reading. The story is told with humor and charm and then ending makes this book an endearing treasure that you’ll be happy to read again and again.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer [Summer’s pick]

What would you do if you discovered a secret colony of fairies living in Earth’s core? Well, 12-year-old Artemis Fowl decides to exploit the fairies for their gold! A genius and criminal mastermind, Artemis kidnaps a fairy and demands a ransom of gold. Artemis’ plan seems airtight, but he doesn’t plan on his victim being a feisty, female LEPreacon officer named Holly Short. Will Artemis’ plan succeed? Will young Artemis grow a conscience and abandon his criminal plans? Artemis and Holly are joined by a whole host of fun and outrageous characters from Artemis’ bodyguard, Butler, to fairy police chief named Commander Root.

Eoin Colfer tells this magical tale with a wit and intelligence everyone will enjoy. The characters develop throughout the series, and each book contains thrilling adventures and witty comebacks that will have readers gasping and laughing out loud.

Artemis Fowl published by Miramax Books       visit Eoin Colfer’s website: Ages 9-90

Last news from LA

Well, I got caught up in the madness that is BookExpo, and didn’t have enough energy to blog at the end of the day.  BookExpo took place at the Staples Convention Center in downtown LA, which is a HUGE place.  Half of the exhibits were at one end of the building, and the other half were at the other end, which was a block away!  I tried to be methodical in planning my day, but ended up traipsing back and forth anyway.

The good news is that I saw wonderful books, many of which I ordered for the store.  Sleeping Bear Press has a book called Titanicat about a young boy who’s slated to cross the Atlantic on the Titanic and what happens with his cat (I don’t want to give away the story, but it gave me goosebumps!)   I also found INCREDIBLY soft Peter Rabbits and Guess How Much I Love You bunnies, which we’ll have in a couple of weeks; and talking Charlie & Lola dolls, as well as Marv’s dog, Sizzles, which will ship this August.  I ordered some books in French, which will take a while to arrive, since they’re coming from France!  I got some recommendations from the woman who’s in charge of the children’s classes at our local L’Alliance Francaise, so we should have some really good titles.

One of the highlights of the convention was a chance to meet Alexandra Day, the author of the Good Dog, Carl books, with her current companion, a female Rottweiler who looks just like Carl.  When Ms. Day said “bang,” the dog played dead; the dog also did high fives and lots of other tricks, especially anything that involved a tennis ball.  Ms. Day was promoting a new book from Laughing Elephant Press called Hooray For Dogs.  I told her that we would absolutely HAVE to have the book in Hooray For Books!, so look for it in the coming weeks!

I also met Jon Scieszka and David Shannon, who are collaborating on a new series called Trucktown, which features characters such as “Jack Truck” and “Dump Truck Dan.”  We have Smash! Crash! in the store right now, and will order new titles as they’re available.  I invited both of them to visit the bookstore in the fall, during the 2008 National Book Festival, so we’ll see if they take me up on the invitation!

In his role as the Library of Congress’ first National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature,  Jon Scieszka opened the annual Children’s Author/Illustrator Breakfast, which turned out to be one of the funniest breakfasts I’ve ever attended.  The MC was Eoin Colfer of Artemis Fowl fame, who is a very witty Irishman who looks a little bit like a leprechaun!  He introduced the other panelists — Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian, the coming-of-age story of a young misfit on an Indian reservation; Neil Gaiman, author of Coraline, which has been made into a movie which comes out soon; and JUDY BLUME.  It was a tremendous pleasure to see and hear as she talked about her years as a children’s author (she just turned 70 and looks fabulous!).   Neil blogs a bit about the panel at his site – sounds like he enjoyed it as much as the audience did!

The time change is catching up with me — more later.