Where’s Waldo in Alexandria!

For the second year in a row, we’re partnering with our good friends over at Candlewick Press and sponsoring a city-wide Where’s Waldo? scavenger hunt! Here’s how you can join in on the fun:

Where's Waldo

  • Pick up a Waldo Passport at our front desk. (We’re located at 1555 King St.) Or download it here.
  • Find the hidden Waldo cutout at 25 businesses in Old Town, and get a stamp (or signature) on your passport for each one!
  • 10 stamps/signatures: receive an “I Found Waldo” sticker and a $1 off coupon for any Waldo book in our store.
  • 20 stamps/signatures: receive an “I Found Waldo” sticker, a $1 off coupon for a Waldo book, and be entered to win the July 31st raffle of grand prizes.

(Please note: we have a limit of 100 stickers and coupons. Get them while they’re here!)

Join us on Wednesday, July 31st, 5:30-6:30 pm for a Waldo party and prize drawing! Grand prizes include a deluxe Waldo book set, gift certificates to local businesses, and tickets to First Night Alexandria.

Follow us on Twitter (@HFBooks) for Waldo clues and updates! Hashtag #WheresWaldoAlexandria with your own Waldo-related musings!

Questions? Call us at (703) 548-4092 or email info@hooray4books.com.

How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? The Story of Food

How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? The Story of Food book cover

Got a curious grade-school gardener? How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? The Story of Food by Chris Butterworth and illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti would be for you. The book discusses how various food items get from farm to table: bread, cheese, veggies, cookies,  showing the process in picture book format with simple text that anyone can understand.

How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? The Story of Food by Chris Butterworth and illustrated by Lucia Gaggiotti; Candlewick Press, 2013, $5.99. Ages 3-6.

Not a Valentine story

Bear has a secret admirer. Not the kind that sends unsigned notes, but the kind that leaves him yummy treats every morning. When Bear wakes up, he finds a carrot on the rock outside his cave, and on each succeeding day, he finds more: first two carrots, then three, then a bunch, and even a flower. Bear busies himself in finding stuff to give back to his new friend, singing “I wonder who it is.” Each night he tries to wait to see who is coming by, but as hard as he tries, Bear always falls asleep. Until one night when he hears someone singing back. Could it be that he has found his new friend?

This book is another extra-special story from Daniel Pinkwater. We’ve loved his others books about bears in the past; this book is no different. Though the title is Bear in Love, don’t confuse it with yet another Valentine’s Day story. I think that the story is a sweet friendship story as well. It’s great for teaching a child to share with others, and it’s also a good story if a child is worried about having a friend that is different than he or she.

Bear in Love, by Daniel Pinkwater; illustrated by Will Hillenbrand; Candlewick Press; hardcover; $15.99; ages 3-6

Happy Reading,


Learning to Read this School Year

Learning to read can be a lot of fun!  There are so many new beginning readers to break the routine of Dr. Seuss and BOB books (although we love them as well!).  Come by before the school year starts and pick up some fun new stories.

Though Giles Andreae would argue that Giraffes Can’t Dance, Jamie Michalak says sure they can, and Joe the giraffe’s talents do not stop at dancing. When Joe picks up his friend Sparky the turtle, they find something very interesting: a box with small people in it showing off their talents and inviting Sparky and Joe to stop living life in the slow lane and come out of their shells (two things that scare Sparky a little). With help from Joe, Sparky finds a talent they both have to show the small people in the box. Will this shy turtle become a star?

Joe and Sparky, Superstars! by Jamie Michalak; Candlewick Press; paperback; $4.99

Can you not get enough of shark week? We have just the book about those creepy, scary sea creatures. National Geographic Kids publishes great level readers about all types of science and nature topics. They now have a level 2 reader called Weird Sea Creatures, and I can tell you, they sure are weird. Dumbo Octopus and Blopfish sound like they aren’t real animals, but National Geographic’s amazing photographs show that they are. There is even a quiz in the back of the book for kids to test their parents on how well they know their weird sea creatures.

Weird Sea Creatures by Laura Marsh; National Geographic; paperback; $3.99

If the strange animals are not your favorite, we also have a new series of animal stories full of cute animals like baby tigers, kittens, penguins, and more. These books are part of the Photo Adventure Series, and the stories can be read a number of different ways: the parent can read the story entirely as a picture book, the child can read the story entirely on their own, or the parent and child can take turns. Each story has boldfaced words, the parent can read the regular typeface words and the child can read the boldfaced words. Almost every page also has a “fact stop” for extra information on the animal. This is a must for finding out about your favorite animal.

Happy reading,


Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds

Marisol is in charge of painting the sky for the class mural, but she can’t find the color blue! She isn’t sure how to create the perfect sky without the perfect blue color and is worried she won’t be able to make a beautiful mural.
When she sees has the opportunity to watch the sky change from day to night — while riding home on the bus and then sitting on her front porch — Marisol realizes that the sky doesn’t HAVE to be blue. It can be whatever she wants it to be, while still becoming something absolutely beautiful.
Peter Reynolds is one of my absolute favorite authors. Sky Color is going to inspire kids AND adults, making for an awesome picture book. Just because we’ve been taught that the sky is blue doesn’t mean it has to be blue all the time. Sometimes it’s purple, pink, orange, grey…lots of colors. Marisol will help everyone realize that you don’t need the color blue to make a sky…be creative!
I also love the other books in Reynolds’ Creatrilogy series: The Dot and Ish. They also will help to spark a great sense of creativity in any child. Love them!
Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds; $14.00; Candlewick; Ages 3+

April is National Poetry Month!

Sometimes poetry gets a bad rap. In school, poetry always ended up being the “boring” subject that no one wanted to participate in and I think if kids just had the right poems in their hands, they would see how fun and interesting poetry can really be!

April is National Poetry Month and we have a great poetry section in the store that will certainly spark an interest in your kids. Funny poems, shorts poems, long poems, dog poems, etc. We have something for every reader! If you or your children haven’t yet read any poetry together, April is definitely the month to do so. You can learn more about National Poetry month here.

One of the fun events that happens during Poetry Month is Poem in Your Pocket Day, which we encourage everyone to participate in! It’s easy: just selection a poem that you love, carry it in your pocket on April 26th, and share it with your friends, family, coworkers, etc. Spread the poetry love!

If you come into Hooray for Books! and share your poem with us, you’ll receive a gift from our grab bag!

Poetry can be cool, fun, and exciting! Just because it’s not a book with chapters or a picture book with lots of illustrations doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time. Encourage your kids to read poetry and to have fun with it! We would love to show you some of our favorites in the store.

Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein;$19.99; HarperCollins; Ages 4+

Here’s A Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry by Jane Yolen and illustrator Polly Dunbar; $21.99; Candlewick Press; Ages 4+

Chris Van Dusen has a new book!

It’s no secret at Hooray for Books! that we love author Chris Van Dusen. His book, The Circus Ship, is one of our all-time bestsellers…we love to sell it to everyone!  We think his latest is destined for our bestseller shelf as well.

Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit is the story of a boy genius who loves science and baseball. Unfortunately, he and baseball just don’t get along. When he sees a fireball headed straight towards Earth, Randy tries his best to warn everyone, but no one takes him seriously. Randy combines his smarts (robots!) and his passions (baseball), into an awesome, world-saving combination.

Super silly illustrations and a great word flow, perfect for reading aloud, help to make Van Dusen’s latest a “really big hit!”

Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit by Chris Van Dusen; $17.99; Candlewick Press; Ages 3+

Miss Megan’s Favorites of 2011

Each of us here at Hooray for Books has our favorites that we’ve fallen in love with throughout the year. Today, Miss Megan shares the books that became her favorites over the past 12 months.

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness; Candlewick Press, $16.99, ages 12+

Okay for Now, by Gary Schmidt; Clarion Books, $16.99, ages 10+

Chime, by Frannie Billingsley; Dial Books, $17.99, ages 14+

I Want My Hat Back, by Jon Klassen; Chronicle Books, $15.99, ages 3+

Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu; Walden Pond Press, $16.99, ages 10+

Everybody Sees the Ants, by A.S. King; Little Brown Books for Young Readers, $17.99, ages 14+

If you would like us to reserve  a copy of any of these titles, call us at 703-548-4092 or come on in! We would love to show you more of our favorite books!

Argus by Michelle Knudsen

Sally’s teacher, Mrs. Henshaw, hands out eggs, with instructions to observe the little baby chicks when they hatch. But when the eggs start to crack, Sally and her entire class are in for a surprise! Sally’s “chick” is green and scaly with big yellow eyes–very different from the fluffy yellow chicks the rest of her friends are playing with. When Sally draws a picture of her new pet, it is twice as long as the others. When the other chicks learn to peck for seeds, Argus chews a giant crater into the playground. When the students mark their chicks’ growth, Sally has to use a stepladder. She’s just about fed up with her very “different” chick, when Argus vanishes! Sally waits to feel relieved, but all she feels is sad. Together, she and her classmates band together and scour the area for Argus. When they find him digging up a neighbor’s front yard, Sally realizes that different isn’t a bad thing–it’s the thing that makes Argus special!

Michelle Knudsen (author of Hooray for Books favorite Library Lion) delivers again with this delightful tale of unlikely friendship! Andrea Wesson’s watercolor illustrations are whimsical and playful, bringing Argus’ hairbrained antics brilliantly to life. This is the perfect storytime book to share with  young readers!

Argus by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Andrea Wesson. Ages 3-6. Candlewick Press. $15.99


Rebecca’s Pick: Brontorina by James Howe

All Brontorina Apatosaurus wants to do is dance ballet. The problem is, she is an enormous dinosaur! When Madame Lucille lets her participate in a class, poor Brontorina realizes she is too large to dance in the studio. Her tail flies everywhere and she comes dangerously close to squashing the piano! Not to mention the trouble she has finding ballet slippers! Will the darling dino be able to achieve her dream? Don’t miss this opportunity to see a dinosaur do an arabesque!

Brontorina, by James Howe, Candlewick Press, Ages 3-6