‘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 info@hooray4books.com and we’ll be happy to fill you in on the details.

Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel

Amanda’s Pick: Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel

Thirteen-year-old Ben Tomlin has been raised the only child of two scientists, each very dedicated to the world of science and progress. When his parents decide to bring home a newborn chimpanzee to attempt to teach him language, Ben is totally skeptical and unsure of how his life will be changed by an animal living in his house.

Zan integrates into the family much more easily than anyone expected and his language skills grow at an incredible rate. Ben is surprised at how attached he has become to his “little brother” in such a short period of time and spends lots of time with Zan, in between chasing girls, trying to make new friends, and trying to be a typical teenage boy.

Part coming-of-age story, part animal-interest story, Half Brother is an excellent read in terms of plot and character development. Ben is written in such a realistic manner that you’ll become his friend, as well as his cheerleader. He has big ideas for a thirteen-year-old and his determination and heart definitely shine.

Humor is intertwined with the seriousness of the subject manner and you’ll definitely want a tissue or two handy!

Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel; Scholastic Press; 2010; $17.99; 12 and up

One Blue Fish: A Colorful Counting Book

Rebecca’s Pick: One Blue Fish: A Colorful Counting Book by Charles Reasoner

Looking for a fantastic counting book? One Blue Fish is for you.  Charles Reasoner’s colorful lift-the-flap book explores the numbers 1 to 10 and all different kinds of animals. His large, bold text contrasts wonderfully against the bright pages. Count the green frogs, orange ladybugs and red dragonflies in this one-of-a-kind book! This is a perfect summer book for your little one!

One Blue Fish: A Colorful Counting Book, by Charles Reasoner, Simon & Schuster Publishing, $9.99, Ages 2-4.

Snowflake Bentley Proves Snow Can be Beautiful

Snowflake Bentley Book CoverThis Caldecott Award winner proves that snow can still be beautiful–even when you’ve had as much as we’ve had in the past week! Wilson Bentley grew up in Jericho, Vermont, and spent his life photographing snowflakes. Snowflake Bentley, as he is called, loved studying nature; and he loved studying snowflakes most of all. Using a camera with a microscope attached, Bentley took hundreds of pictures of snowflakes, learning that no two were ever alike.  The book is filled with bright hand-colored wood-cut illustrations as well as sidebars giving you more details and quotes from Wilson Bentley, reminding us of the beauty of nature.

Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Mary Azarian; Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, $17.00

Orange Pear Apple Bear

Rebecca’s new favorite is Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett!

Who knew so few words could create so many combinations! Emily Gravett’s Orange Pear Apple Bear uses just four words to create a truly enjoyable picture book! Ranging from an image of a bear the color orange, to an orange fruit, to a pear-shaped bear, Gravett is a master of word play!  With its simplistic yet charming watercolor illustrations, Orange Pear Apple Bear is sure to be added to your pile of bedtime favorites!

Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett; Hardcover;12.99; Simon & Schuster Books, Ages 3-6

Count with Vampires, Witches and Werewolves in Over in the Hollow

Over in the Hollow book coverOver in the Hollow, by Rebecca Dickinson; illustrated by S. Britt (ages 3-6)

Based on the old Appalachian poem “Over in the Meadow,” Dickinson transforms the rhyme with a Halloween flavor. Vampires replace muskrats as they bite, witches replace crows as they zoom, and werewolves replace lizards as they howl. Because it’s a Halloween book the fun doesn’t stop at ten, but goes up to thirteen with skeletons, cats and ghosts getting into the act.  Readers can easily say or act out the actions of each of the characters (well, maybe not the biting vampires).   Filled with rich, lush illustrations that have the feel of picture books from decades ago, this is the perfect book to haunt your shelf this Halloween.

Over in the Hollow, by Rebecca Dickinson; illustrated by S. Britt; 2009;$15.99; Chronicle Books

Tarra and Bella

tarra This touching story about an elephant named Tarra and a dog named Bella is especially fun to read because it’s a true story! No one would guess that a retired show business elephant and an adorable stray dog would form a friendship, but these two became inseparable. Carol Buckley’s photography shows Tarra and Bella swimming together  in a pond and strolling around the elephant sanctuary. When Bella gets sick, Tarra, loyal and concerned, stands waiting outside for her friend to get better. This is a great book about an unlikely friendship. A must-read for animal lovers! Check out the video below!

Tarra and Bella, text and photography by Carol Buckley; G.P. Putnam’s Sons; 16.99; 2009

See a video story of Tarra and Bella