Bookends

Two Stowaways in Santa’s Sleigh

Two Stowaways in Santa’s Sleigh

 Cindy: Slipper the cat is curious about a nighttime visitor to her house, Mr. Furry Boots, who has nice, soft ankles to rub and an inviting red bag to climb inside. Before you know it, Slipper is on her way to the North Pole, where Ms. Furry Boots “lets the cat out of the bag.” […]

Falling for Gertie

Falling for Gertie

Lynn:  It’s been quite a while since I’ve fallen as hard for a character as I’ve fallen for Gertie Reece Foy! She bounced off the pages of Kate Beasley’s debut novel, Gertie’s Leap to Greatness (2016), and right into my heart. Gertie is a force of nature: exuberant, loud, and confident. And she’s a girl […]

1 + 1 = 2 Fun Counting Books

1 + 1 = 2 Fun Counting Books

Cindy: Children are often told not to play with their food, but don’t tell that to author/illustrator Juana Medina. 1 Big Salad: A Delicious Counting Book (2016) combines math and art, turning veggies into animals via black, squiggly lines. The fun starts with half an avocado: the pit becomes a nose, the fruit a deer. Two Radish Mice uses radish […]

How to Build a Museum

How to Build a Museum

Lynn: The National Museum of African American History and Culture opened its doors in September 2016. It’d been a long time coming—100 years since the idea of a “Monument at the Capital in Honor of the Negro Soldiers and Sailors Who Fought in the Wars of our Country,” was proposed by the National Memorial Association […]

Reader, Know Thyself

Reader, Know Thyself

Lynn: Cindy and I have run an after-school book club for 16 years. We try to support our members as a fellowship of readers, encouraging them to read widely and develop literary criticism skills. Our latest lively, opinionated group is coming on fast, and I was thinking about using one of my favorite exercises with […]

Retelling Familiar Tales: SNOW WHITE and THE SINGING BONES

Retelling Familiar Tales: SNOW WHITE and THE SINGING BONES

Lynn: Author/artist Matt Phelan has gifted readers with a brilliant twist on a familiar tale. In Snow White (2016), set in the Roaring Twenties and Depression-Era New York, young Samantha “Snow” White loses her mother to tuberculosis. Her father, the King of Wall Street, soon marries a stunningly beautiful Queen of the Follies star who, in […]

The Night Before Thanksgiving

Cindy and Lynn: One of our favorite Thanksgiving books is Dav Pilkey’s Thanksgiving spin on the Clement Clarke Moore* poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving (published in 1990, still in print 26 years later) looks at the holiday from the perspective of children on a school field trip to a farm. […]

Sibling Succession Gets the Royal Treatment in KING BABY

Sibling Succession Gets the Royal Treatment in KING BABY

Cindy: “I am King Baby!” proclaims the infant on the first page of Kate Beaton’s picture book, King Baby (2016). Soon, lines of adoring subjects bestow gifts upon him. Babies have demands, and King Baby is certainly no exception. Feed me! Burp me! Change me! Carry me! Perhaps my favorite happens when King Baby sits on […]

Chinatown, Earthquakes, and Taking Care of Business: Stacey Lee’s OUTRUN THE MOON

Chinatown, Earthquakes, and Taking Care of Business: Stacey Lee’s OUTRUN THE MOON

Lynn: In Outrun the Moon (2016), Stacey Lee takes readers to 1906 San Francisco, introducing a feisty heroine who won’t take no for an answer.  Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong has big plans. Following the advice of a cherished business book, she plans to start her own import business and move her family out of Chinatown to Nob […]

Posted in: Bookends, Young Adult
Preparing for Snow with Picture Books, Part Two

Preparing for Snow with Picture Books, Part Two

Cindy and Lynn: Light the fire and heat up the hot chocolate: Here’s Part Two of our list of picture books post that will help you get ready for the snow. Two award-winners, the poet Joyce Sidman and the illustrator Beth Krommes, have teamed up to give us Before Morning (2016), a gorgeous ode to a snowy […]