Celebrate Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month, this week I’m sharing a post from last April:

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April is Poetry Month! Celebrate by reading poetry with the children in your life or by picking up an adult collection. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Children’s Collections:

For collections that celebrate poetry and reading, try Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poetry by Kwame Alexander and Book Speak!: Poems About Books by Laurie Purdie Salas:

 

 

 

 If you’re looking for a funny poetry book, try A Light in the Attic or anything else by Shel Silverstein, Laugh-eteria by Douglas Florian, and I’m Just No Good At Rhyming And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-ups by Chris Harris.

 

 

 

Travel the world, celebrate sports, and explore animal life in these collections: The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry Edited by J. Patrick Lewis, Amazing Places with poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, and Good Sports: Rhymes About Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More by Jack Prelutsky.

 

 

For fun, creative pairs of poems that can be read in reverse I recommend Mirror Mirror, Follow Follow, or Echo Echo, which are all by Marilyn Singer and are based on fairy tales and greek myths.

 

 

 

You could also celebrate Poetry Month by reading a novel in verse. These also make fantastic choices for listening to as audiobooks.

Novels In Verse:

From Kwame Alexander’s Crossover (Plus Booked and Rebound), to Sharon Creech’s Moo and Another Day As Emily there is great kids’ realistic fiction in verse! (Bonus for Poetry Month: Another Day As Emily’s Susie decides to try living like poet Emily Dickinson).

 

 

For a historical read in verse try Inside Out & Back Again by Thanha Lai or Jacqueline Woodson’s incredible memoir Brown Girl Dreaming.

 

 

 

 

For a beginning chapter book in verse read Gone Fishing (Also Gone Camping) or the sweet, funny series of books beginning with Like Pickle Juice On A Cookie by Julie Steinberg.

 

 

I also adore “A Child’s Garden of Poetry” which HBO created with the Poetry Foundation. You can watch video clips of some of the poems on The Poetry Foundation’s website. 

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Check out “Hope” is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson, read by Claire Danes and also shared with sign language. It’s one of my favorites.

 

Poetry for Adults

I usually spend so much time sharing children’s poetry during April, that I haven’t made enough time for adult poets! This year, I picked up two collections from my local public library, Yeats’s When You Are Old: Early, Poems, Plays, And Fairy Tales And Maya Angelou’s The Complete Poetry:

 

 

 

What books are you reading and sharing during Poetry Month? Leave me a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

 

 

Start a Parent/Child Book Club

Are you looking for a fun way to connect with your child over books? Start a parent/child book club! 

As a school librarian, I helped host a 4th and 5th grade parent/child book club and was always so moved by the conversations and insights shared at these events. Books can be a wonderful way for kids to open up about problems they are facing or feelings they are having, that they may not have shared otherwise. It is also valuable for kids to see their peers as well as adults reading and chatting about books in a meaningful way.

I think upper elementary school is a great time to begin this sort of book club. Invite some of your child’s friends and their parents to join. You could meet monthly or bimonthly, taking turns hosting. Food always makes a book club more enjoyable. Keep it simple and order some pizzas or do a pot-luck.

Use these middle grade book suggestions to help get your parent/child book club started. As time goes on, you could have the kids bring ideas and vote for what they want to read next.

Reading Suggestions for Your Parent/Child Book Club

1.  Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

2. Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

3. Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper

 

4. You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly

 

5. Wonderby R.J. Palacio

 

6. Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

 

7. It Ain’t So Awful Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

 

8. Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French

9. Front Deskby Kelly Yang

10. The Losers Club by Andrew Clements

11. The Benefits of Being An Octopus by Ann Braden

 

12. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

 

What middle-grade books have you enjoyed reading with the kids in your life? I’d love to hear. Leave me a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

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Boston Author Event Roundup: April

 

Are you looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

Here are some of the authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area this month.

Be sure to check your local library and bookstore’s event calendar to see what author events are coming to your community.

Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list!

Kwame Alexander presents The Undefeated,

joined by Lamar Giles, Raul the Third, and Kip Wilson

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“Harvard Book Store welcomes Newbery Medal–winning author KWAME ALEXANDER for a celebration of the launch of his new Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprint, Versify, and the release of his new picture book The Undefeated.

He will be joined by Versify authors LAMAR GILES, RAÚL THE THIRD, and KIP WILSON, who will be presenting their respective new children’s books The Last Last-Day-of-Summer, ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market, and White Rose. The event will be a special 45-minute program focused on spreading the word about how books can empower young people to imagine and create a better world. It will be followed by audience Q&A and a signing with all four authors.”

For more information and to purchase tickets visit the event website.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 – 7:00pm at Trident Books, Boston

First Draft with Sarah Enni Live: In Conversation With Sara Farizan and Katie Cotugno

“Join us for an in-conversation event with local authors Sarah Enni, author of TELL ME EVERYTHING, Sara Farizan, author of HERE TO STAY and IF YOU COULD BE MINE, and Katie Cotugno, author of HOW TO LOVE, 99 DAYS. This will be a lively chat including discussions of the themes connecting all of their books, writing young adult fiction, and an audience Q&A. This event will also be recorded and released as a bonus episode of the First Draft podcast.”

Thursday, April 4, 2019 – 7:00pm at Silver Unicorn Books, Acton

Julie Berry, Lovely War

“We are extremely excited to welcome Printz Honor author Julie Berry to share her newest YA novel, Lovely War.

They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette. A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect-turned-soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the U.S. Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story, as told by goddess Aphrodite, who must spin the tale or face judgment on Mount Olympus, is filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, and reveals that, though War is a formidable force, it’s no match for the transcendent power of Love.

Author Julie Berry’s critically-acclaimed writing has been called “haunting and unforgettable” by New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea Ruta Sepetys and “utterly original and instantly engrossing” by Publishers Weekly.

Julie Berry is the author of the 2017 Printz Honor and Los Angeles Times Book Prize shortlisted novel The Passion of Dolssa, the Carnegie and Edgar shortlistedAll the Truth That’s in Me, and many other acclaimed middle grade novels and picture books. She holds a BS from Rensselaer in communication and an MFA from Vermont College. She lives in Southern California with her family.”

For more information visit the event website.

– 11am at Blue Bunny Books

Hayley Barrett, Babymoon

“The Blue Bunny welcomes Hayley Barrett to share her forthcoming picture book, Babymoon. Hayley’s debut picture book encourages growing families to take time together to rest and fall in love. In a perfect gift for new and expectant parents (and siblings), a gentle story pays tribute to the wonder and emotion of a family’s first quiet days with a newborn. Once an aspiring nurse-midwife, Hayley honors the arrival of any child, whether newborn or older, by birth or by adoption, as a momentous event.”

For more information visit the event website.

 

 at Blue Bunny Books, Dedham

Book Release Party with Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple,

A Kite for the Moon

“Meet the New York Times bestselling mother-daughter author team of Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple for a special event marking the release of their new picture book, A Kite for Moon.

The book tells a heartfelt story about a young boy’s fascination and unlikely friendship with the moon. With whimsical illustrations by award-winning artist Matt Phelan, the story begins when the little boy, who is flying his kite, notices a sad Moon. He sends up kites to her, even writing notes to Moon promising he will come see her someday. This promise propels him through years and years of studying, learning, and training to be an astronaut!

Dedicated to Neil Armstrong, this is the perfect children’s book to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first United States moon landing.”

For more information visit the event website.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 – 7:00pm at Trident Books, Boston

Steven Rowley in Conversation with William Kuhn,

The Editor

“In 2016, Steven Rowley’s smash debut, Lily and the Octopus, was a publishing phenomenon. The magical tale of grief and friendship sent shock waves through the literary world and was heralded on both sides of the Atlantic. Sold in translation in nineteen languages, Rowley’s remarkable book made The Washington Post’s list of Notable Fiction for 2016 and is currently in development as an Amazon Studios feature film.

Rowley now delivers on the soaring promise of that debut with The Editor, a stunning exploration of the complicated bond forged within families and a tribute to the serendipitous relationships that shape and define us—perfect for admirers of Less and The Nix.”

 

Saturday April 13th- 11:00AM at Silver Unicorn Books, Acton

Saturday Morning Story Time:

Andrea Wang, Magic Ramen

“This Saturday morning we explore the origins of ramen noodle soup and the story of Momofuku Ando.  Andrea Wang will read from her new picture book,Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando.

Inspiration struck when Momofuku Ando spotted the long lines for a simple bowl of ramen following World War II.
Every day, Momofuku Ando would retire to his lab–a little shed in his backyard. For years, he’d dreamed about making a new kind of ramen noodle soup that was quick, convenient, and tasty for the hungry people he’d seen in line for a bowl on the black market following World War II. Peace follows from a full stomach, he believed.

Day after day, Ando experimented. Night after night, he failed. But Ando kept experimenting.

With persistence, creativity, and a little inspiration, Ando succeeded.”

For more information visit the event website.

 

Performance ergobaby carriers are great for warmer climates and outdoor activities

 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 – 7:00pm at Belmont Books

Louis Bayard, Courting Mr. Lincoln

“When Mary Todd meets Abraham Lincoln in Springfield in the winter of 1840, he is on no one’s shortlist to be president. Rough and reticent, he’s a country lawyer lacking money and manners, living above a dry goods shop, but with a gift for oratory. Mary, a quick, self-possessed debutante with a tireless interest in debates and elections, at first finds him an enigma. “I can only hope,” she tells his roommate, the handsome, charming Joshua Speed, “that his waters being so very still, they also run deep.”

It’s not long, though, before she sees the Lincoln that Speed knows: a man who, despite his awkwardness, is amiable and profound, with a gentle wit to match his genius and a respect for her keen political mind. But as her relationship with Lincoln deepens, she must confront his inseparable friendship with Speed, who has taught his roommate how to dance, dress, and navigate the polite society of Springfield.

Told in the alternating voices of Mary Todd and Joshua Speed, and rich with historical detail, Courting Mr. Lincoln creates a sympathetic and complex portrait of Mary unlike any that has come before; a moving portrayal of the deep and very real connection between the two men; and most of all, an evocation of the unformed man who would grow into one of the nation’s most beloved presidents.

Louis Bayard, a master storyteller at the height of his powers, delivers here a page-turning tale of love, longing, and forbidden possibilities.”

 

50% Off First 3 Months Bluprint Subscription at mybluprint.com through 4/7/19.

For more information visit the event website.
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Boston Author Event Roundup: March

Are you looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

Here are some of the authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area this month.

Be sure to check your local library and bookstore’s event calendar to see what author events are coming to your community.

Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list!

“An eye-opening, inspiring, and timely account of the complex relationship between notable suffragist Alice Paul and President Woodrow Wilson in Alice’s fight for women’s equality. From solitary confinement, hunger strikes, and mental institutions to sitting right across from President Wilson, Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? reveals the inspiring, near-death journey it took, spearheaded in no small part by Paul’s leadership, to grant women the right to vote in America.”

For more information visit the event website.

Tuesday Mar. 5th 6:00 pm at Brookline Booksmith

Valeria Luiselli in conversation with Christopher Lydon, Lost Children Archive

“Valeria will be in conversation with Christopher Lydon, the host of WBUR’s Radio Open Source.

From the two-time NBCC Finalist, an emotionally resonant, fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border – an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity.”

Wednesday, March 6th – 6:30 PM at An Unlikely Story in Plainville

Soman Chainani, The School for Good And Evil: A Crystal of Time 

“Soman Chainani will introduce the fifth installment in his New York Times bestselling fantasy series, the School for Good and Evil. Sophie, Agatha, and their friends must find a way to overthrow the sinister evil that twists lies into the truth and seeks to rewrite their story. While you’re waiting for the event, you can enroll at the School for Good and Evil and take the entrance exam!”

For more information visit the event website. 

Wednesday, March 6th- 7pm at First Parish Church, sponsored by Harvard Bookstore 

Gretchen Rubin, Outer Order, Inner Calm

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

“Harvard Book Store welcomes celebrated writer and podcaster GRETCHEN RUBIN—bestselling author of The Happiness Project and Better Than Before—for a discussion of her latest book, Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness.”

For more information and to purchase tickets visit the event website.

Saturday, March 9, 2019 – 11:00am at Belmont Books

Josh Funk’s 10th Book Celebration!

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“Hansel and Gretel will not listen to their storyteller. For one thing, who leaves a trail of bread crumbs lying around, when there are people starving? Not Hansel, that’s for sure And that sweet old lady who lives in a house made of cookies and candy? There’s no way she’s an evil witch As for Gretel, well, she’s about to set the record straight–after all, who says the story can’t be called Gretel and Hansel? It’s time for these wacky siblings to take their fairy tale into their own hands. So sit back and enjoy the gingerbread

With laugh-out-loud dialogue and bold, playful art (including hidden search-and-find fairy-tale creatures), this Hansel and Gretel retelling will have kids giggling right up to the delicious ending.”

Sunday, March 10th- 2pm at Silver Unicorn Books, Acton

MarcyKate Connolly and Monica Tesler

Sunday, March 10 – 3pm at Concord Bookshop

Jabari Asim, We Can’t Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival

We Can't Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival Cover Image

“Please join us on Sunday, March 10 at 3pm, when acclaimed author Jabari Asim presents We Can’t Breathe, Insightful and searing essays that celebrate the vibrancy and strength of black history and culture in America.”

For more information visit the event website.

ShoutLaurie Halse Anderson

SHOUT

“Harvard Book Store welcomes LAURIE HALSE ANDERSON, the award-winning, bestselling author of Speak, for a discussion of her new memoir, SHOUT—a searing poetic memoir for the #MeToo era. Anderson will be joined in conversation by a special guest, to be announced.”

For more information visit the event website.

 

Monday, March 18, 2019 – 7:00pm at Porter Square Books

Whitney Scharer, The Age of Light 

 

Tuesday, March 19th- 6pm at Belmont Books

Kathryn Lasky, Tangled in Time

“For fans of the Royal Diaries series and Gail Carson Levine, Newbery Honor-winning author Kathryn Lasky delivers the first enchanting adventure in a compelling new middle grade series about a newly orphaned girl who finds herself time-travelling between the present day and the court of the two most memorable English princesses in history.”

Sunday, March 24, 2019 – 10:00am at An Unlikely Story in Plainville

LeUyen Pham, The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Cake

“Suit up for some monster-fighting fun with LeUyen Pham, the illustrator of THE PRINCESS IN BLACK series! Her colorful illustrations always bring alive the humor and action in the stories and the newest installment, THE SCIENCE FAIR SCARE, is no different. In the book, when a goo monster threatens the interkingdom science fair, only Princess Magnolia’s monster-fighting alter ego, Princess in Black can save the day. At the event, LeUyen will give a presentation and do a drawing demonstration, followed by a signing.”  

For more information visit the event website.

 

Watch yoga classes at myBluprint.com

 

Tuesday March 26th – 7:00 PM at Harvard Bookstore

Laila Lalami, The Other AmericansThe Other Americans: A Novel

“Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed writer LAILA LALAMI—author of Pulitzer Prize–finalist The Moor’s Account—for a discussion of her new novel, The Other Americans. She will be joined in conversation by MIN JIN LEE, author of the celebrated National Book Award–finalist Pachinko.”

An Afternoon with Lynda Mullaly Hunt

 

“Come spend an afternoon with Lynda Mullaly Hunt, the award-winning middle-grade author of One for the Murphys and the New York Times bestseller, Fish In a Tree. We can’t wait for this event!”

For more information visit the event website.

Sunday, March 24th at 3pm at Concord Bookshop

Melissa Stewart and Sarah Brannen present Seashells: More Than a Home

Seashells: More Than a Home Cover Image

“Please join us on Sunday, March 24 at 3pm, when author Melissa Stewart and illustrator Sarah S. Brannen will be here with their new collaboration, Seashells: More Than a Home.”

For more information visit the event website.

Celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday

Each year, Dr. Seuss’s birthday is celebrated on March 2nd with Read Across America Day. Join in the celebration of these classic books and of the importance of reading! You can take part at home or see if there is a celebration at your child’s school or local library.

Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate:

Have A Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast

Green Eggs and Ham is a Dr. Seuss classic. This story is a crowd pleaser for children of all ages. That “Sam-I-Am” asks over and over again for the main character to try green eggs and ham. Sam sure is persistent before he finally gets his wish! And low and behold, the green eggs and ham are a hit!

What better way to start off Dr. Seuss’s birthday than to read the book aloud to your kids at breakfast and then eat some of your own green eggs and ham! You can scramble eggs and add chopped up spinach or kale to make them green. I’ve also made our eggs green by mixing in avocado. Or if you want to get a bit fancier, you can buy some green food dye to use. You can either chop up small bits of cooked ham, or if like my family you’re not big ham fans, serve your eggs with sausage or bacon instead. And if getting out the door in the morning is too rushed to make this happen, why not do breakfast for dinner? 

Attend the Dr. Seuss Birthday Party at the

Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts

Saturday March 2nd from 10am-5pm

Photo via springfieldmuseums.org

The birthday celebration at the Dr. Seuss Museum looks too good to be missed! With Dr. Seuss’s birthday falling on a Saturday this year, this could be the perfect time to join in the fun!

“Celebrate beloved children’s author and Springfield native Theodor “Ted” Geisel–aka Dr. Seuss–on his 115th birthday. This action-packed day features Seuss-inspired cakes and decorations; a dance party; art and science activities; and meet and greets with The Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, the Grinch and the Lorax.”

Highlights from this year’s celebration include:

“The Cat in the Hat and Friends, 11 am-1 pm, 2-4 pm
The Cat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, the Grinch and the Lorax are here to celebrate their creator’s special day. Get a hug or a high five and snap a selfie with your favorite character.

If I Ran the Zoo, Noon-3 pm
Meet from our friends from Forest Park Zoo! Theodor Robert Geisel (Dr. Seuss’s dad) was superintendent of Forest Park Zoo and his work may have inspired many of Dr. Seuss’s wild characters!  Get up close and personal with some birds, mammals, and reptiles.

Karaoke and Dance Party, 11 am-3 pm
DJ Marty invites you to bust a move in your dancing shoes and maybe even belt out a tune of your own.

Dr. Seuss Photo Booth, 11 am-4 pm
Grab a Seussian prop to take some fun and memorable family photos.

Seuss Puppet Theaters, 11 am-4 pm
Create your own performance with our Seuss shadow puppet and finger puppet theaters.”

Museum Hours

Tuesday–Saturday: 10 am–5 pm Sunday: 11 am–5 pm Monday: Closed

Admission

Adults: $25    Seniors (60+): $16.50     College Students: $16.50    Youth 3–17: $13 Children Under 3: Free    Springfield Residents (with valid ID): Free 

For more information visit the event website.

Read Oh The Thinks You Can Think! And Make Something Up!

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If you want a book that celebrates the power of the imagination, look no further than Oh The Thinks You Can Think! Dr. Seuss comes up with so many fantastical creatures and settings. For older children, I love to make the connection with kids that this is an awful lot like what great fantasy writers like J.K. Rowling have done. Someone had to dream up Quidditch, Butterbeer, and Blast-Ended Skrewts! Challenge your kids to come up with their own made-up creatures, games, foods, or places. Then they can draw, paint or use craft supplies to make their creations the way they imagine them. And of course, name them!

Favorite Dr. Seuss Read Alouds to Share:

Green Eggs and Ham

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“Do you like green eggs and ham?” asks Sam-I-am in this Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss. In a house or with a mouse? In a boat or with a goat? On a train or in a tree? Sam keeps asking persistently. With unmistakable characters and signature rhymes, Dr. Seuss’s beloved favorite has cemented its place as a children’s classic. In this most famous of cumulative tales, the list of places to enjoy green eggs and ham, and friends to enjoy them with, gets longer and longer. Follow Sam-I-am as he insists that this unusual treat is indeed a delectable snack to be savored everywhere and in every way. “

Oh The Thinks You Can Think

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“Relates in verse some of the unusual thinks you can think if only you try. A mad outpouring of made-up words, and intriguing ideas.”

The Sneetches And Other Stories

The Sneetches and Other Stories“Dr. Seuss creates another timeless picture-book classic with The Sneetches and Other Stories. Are you a Star-Belly Sneetch or a Plain-Belly Sneetch? This delightful book contains four tales with deliciously subtle takes on how silly it is to be, well, silly. “The Sneetches,” “The Zax,” “Too Many Daves,” and “What Was I Scared Of?” make this energetic compilation a must-have for every library. Full of Dr. Seuss’s signature rhymes and unmistakable characters, it’s perfect for new and lifelong Seuss fans.”

Yertle the Turtle and Other StoriesYertle the Turtle and Other Stories

“Dr. Seuss presents three modern fables in the rhyming favorite Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories. The collection features tales about greed (“Yertle the Turtle”), vanity (“Gertrude McFuzz”), and pride (“The Big Brag”). In no other book does a small burp have such political importance! Yet again, Dr. Seuss proves that he and classic picture books go hand in hand.”

Take $10 Off When You Spend $50+ On Supplies with code SAVE10 at shop.mybluprint.com 2/19-2/20/19.

The Lorax

The Lorax (Classic Seuss)

” ‘Unless someone like you…cares a whole awful lot…nothing is going to get better…It’s not.’

Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth’s natural beauty.”

Oh The Places You’ll Go

Oh, the Places You'll Go!  From soaring to high heights and seeing great sights to being left in a Lurch on a prickle-ly perch, Dr. Seuss addresses life’s ups and downs with his trademark humorous verse and illustrations, while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within. In a starred review, Booklist notes, “Seuss’s message is simple but never sappy: life may be a ‘Great Balancing Act,’ but through it all ‘There’s fun to be done.’” A perennial favorite and a perfect gift for anyone starting a new phase in their life!

The Cat In The HatThe Cat in the Hat

“Poor Dick and Sally. It’s cold and wet and they’re stuck in the house with nothing to do . . . until a giant cat in a hat shows up, transforming the dull day into a madcap adventure and almost wrecking the place in the process! Written by Dr. Seuss in 1957 in response to the concern that “pallid primers [with] abnormally courteous, unnaturally clean boys and girls’ were leading to growing illiteracy among children, The Cat in the Hat (the first Random House Beginner Book) changed the way our children learn how to read.”

 

Dr. Seuss’s ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book!

“From Aunt Annie’s Alligator to Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz, this sturdy board book version of Dr. Seuss’s ABC is now available in a bigger trim size. With Dr. Seuss as your guide, learning the alphabet is as fun and as funny as the feather on a Fiffer-feffer-feff!”

 

Can’t Choose? Try this Collection:

Your Favorite Seuss: Thirteen Best-Loved StoriesYour Favorite Seuss (Classic Seuss)“From his very first book to his very last book, here in one big volume are 13 classic Dr. Seuss stories, everyone’s favorites. All of the words and virtually all of the illustrations are included. Each story is prefaced by a short essay by someone whose life was changed by Dr. Seuss or who is simply an unabashed admirer. Also included are photographs of Dr. Seuss, memorabilia, and original sketches from his books.”

How will you celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday? Be sure to check to see if your local library or bookstore has a Read Across America party you could attend. If your child’s school will be celebrating, you could also volunteer to be a guest reader.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Boston Author Event Roundup: February

Are you looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

Here are some of the authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area this month.

Be sure to check your local library and bookstore’s event calendar to see what author events are coming to your community.

Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list!

Saturday, February 2nd – 7pm at Belmont Books 

Story Slam

Story Slam The Book That Saved My Life (1).png

“Have a story you want to tell? Join us for a special story slam hosted by The Moth’s Steve Almond.

We have 100 tickets available for $10. Up to 10 ticket holders may participate in the story slam and will be chosen on a first-come first-served basis from a sign-up list. Ticket holders also get a one time 10% off coupon for the bookstore or cafe good for the night of the event.

If you would like to participate, please put a request in your order comments. Or you can email us at info@belmontbooks.com, purchase your ticket at the link below, give us a call at 617-923-1496, or sign up in person. Your story must be 5 minutes long and revolve around the theme “The Book That Saved My Life.” No notecards on stage so make sure you practice!

The winner will be chosen by our special guest judges, Crystal King, Edwin Hill, and Hank Phillippi Ryan, and will receive a $25 gift card to the store!”

For more information visit the event website. 

 

Tuesday, February 5th- 6pm at the Brattle Theatre, sponsored by Harvard Bookstore 

Howard Schultz, From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America

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“Harvard Book Store welcomes longtime chief executive officer and chairman of Starbucks HOWARD SCHULTZ for a discussion of his latest book, From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America.”

For more information visit the event website.

**Note: this event is now sold old but Harvard Bookstore says there will be a standby line at the door.**

Tuesday, February 5th- 7pm at Brookline Booksmith

Andrew and Irene Li, Double Awesome Chinese Food

“Too intimidated to cook Chinese food at home but crave those punchy flavors? Not anymore. Put down that takeout kung pao chicken and get in the kitchen! Full of irresistible recipes that marry traditional Asian ingredients with comforting American classics and seasonal ingredients, Double Awesome Chinese Food delivers the goods. The three fun-loving Chinese-American siblings behind the acclaimed restaurant Mei Mei take the fear factor out of cooking this complex cuisine, infusing it with creativity, playfulness, and ease.Margaret, Irene, and Andrew Li are the sibling co-owners of a food truck and restaurant in Boston, Massachusetts. Their food truck, Mei Mei Street Kitchen, opened in 2012 and was soon awarded Boston’s Best Meals on Wheels by Boston Magazine. Their brick-and-mortar restaurant opened in late 2013 and was named Eater Boston’s Restaurant of the Year.”

For more information visit the event website.

Thursday, February 7th- 7:30pm at the Wilbur Theater

Angie Thomas, On the Come Up in conversation with Christina Tucker

“From the author of #1 New York Times bestselling and award winning The Hate U Give, On the Come Upis an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.

Angie will appear in conversation with Christina Tucker, co-host of the podcast Unfriendly Black Hotties. Each ticket comes with copy of On the Come Up, and Angie will do a book signing for all patrons after show.

Angie Thomas holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Thomas is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included.”

For more information and to purchase tickets visit Brookline Booksmith events.

Thursday, February 7th- 7pm at First Parish Church, sponsored by Harvard Bookstore

Marlon James, Black Leopard, Red Wolf 

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“Harvard Book Store welcomes Man Booker Prize–winning novelist MARLON JAMES—author of A Brief History of Seven Killings—for a discussion of his highly anticipated latest novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf.”

For more information and to purchase tickets visit the event website.

Saturday, February 9th- 2pm at Newtonville Books 

Middle Grade “Luck and Magic” Author Reading with Susan Lubner, Anna Staniszewski, and Susan Tan

“Susan Lubner is the author of three picture books and the middle grade novel, The Upside of Ordinary. Her stories have also appeared in Spiderand Highlights. Besides reading and writing, Susan loves taking long walks, spending time on the water at Cape Cod, the color blue, painting, and eating lots of chocolate. She lives in Massachusetts, but was born and raised in Maine, where her family always had two, three, or sometimes four cats.”

“Born in Poland and raised in the United States, Anna Staniszewskigrew up loving stories in both Polish and English. She was a Writer-in-Residence at the Boston Public Library and a winner of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. Currently, Anna lives outside of Boston and teaches at Simmons College.”

“Susan Tan has lived many places in her life, but calls Concord, Massachusetts, home. She grew up in a mixed-race family, and, like Cilla Lee-Jenkins, had very little hair until the age of five. After studying at Williams College, she earned her PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she studied children’s literature. She currently lives in Somerville, enjoys frequent trips to Chinatown to eat tzuck sang, and teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.”

Sunday, February 10th- 1pm at the Eric Carle Museum, Amherst

Out of the Box: The Graphic Novel Comes of Age

Participating artists include Vera Brosgol, Catia Chien, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Matt Phelan, Raina Telgemeier, and Sara Varon.

This event is certainly worth the drive to Amherst for graphic novel fans!

“Meet artists from Out of the Box: The Graphic Novel Comes of Age in a fun Q&A format. Participating artists include Vera Brosgol, Catia Chien, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Matt Phelan, Raina Telgemeier, and Sara Varon.

Space is limited. Reservations are suggested and begin January 10.
Reserve your tickets online.

Image: Raina Telgemeier, Illustration for Smile (Graphix). © 2010 Raina Telgemeier. Used by permission of Scholastic Inc.

For more information visit the event website. ”

**Note: this event is now full, but you can add your name to the waitlist.**

Monday, February 11th- 6:30pm at An Unlikely Story, Plainville 

Raina Telgemeier & Vera Brosgol

Be prepared to smile! Join us in welcoming two award-winning graphic novelists, Raina Telgemeier, creator of the Eisner Award-winning graphic memoirsSmile and Sisters, and Vera Brosgol, creator of the 2017 Caldecott Honor picture book, LEAVE ME ALONE! Raina and Vera will discuss the inspirations for their graphic novels SMILE and BE PREPARED, followed by a Q&A and signing.

For more event information and to get tickets visit the event website.

Tuesday, February 12th- 6pm at Belmont Books 

Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan,Watch Us Rise

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“Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends on a mission–they’re sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women’s Rights Club. They post their work online–poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine’s response to the racial microaggressions she experiences–and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by trolls. When things escalate in real life, the principal shuts the club down. Not willing to be silenced, Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices–and those of other young women–to be heard.

Join us for a book discussion, signing, and free pizza!”

For more information visit the event website.

Friday, February 15th- 7pm at Harvard Bookstore

Katharine Smyth, All the Lives We Ever Lived

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“Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcome writer and editor KATHARINE SMYTH for a discussion of her debut book, All the Lives We Ever Lived: Finding Solace in Virginia Woolf. She will be joined in conversation by award-winning writer DARCY FREY—author of The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams.”

For more information visit the event website.

Saturday, February 16th- 11am at Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton

Saturday Storytime: Alison Goldberg, I Love You For Miles and Miles

“We are welcoming back local author Alison Goldberg to celebrate the board book release of I Love You For Miles and Miles. This is a lovely crafted car-and-truck-and-train-filled book that compares the enduring power of love to various vehicles, and it has been a store favorite since we had Alison out last year!

Goldberg’s picture book debut, this I-love-you book is perfect for children who love vehicles that dig, carry, and lift. Love can be stronger than the strongest excavator, longer than the longest train, and taller than the tallest crane. With exciting imagery and engaging, lyrical text, Goldberg compares the abilities of vehicles like trains, planes, cars, boats, and construction equipment to the never-ending love a parent has for their child.

Join us to celebrate this local author, who may just have a craft for kids to do as well!”

For more information visit the event website.

Saturday, February 16th- 2pm at Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton

Double Book Launch Party: Jen Petro-Roy, Good Enough and You Are Enough

“On this day, we are doing our first double book launch! How exciting is that! Local author Jen Petro-Roy is simulteanously releasing a middle-grade novel, Good Enough and a children’s non-fiction book, You Are Enough: Your Guide to Body Image and Eating Disorder Recovery. Both deal with eating disorders, which is something Jen has experienced and dealt with in her life.

In Good Enough, 12-year-old Riley was many things before she had an eating disorder: an aspiring artist, a runner, a sister, and a friend. Especially since under the influence of her eating disorder, Riley alienated her friends, abandoned her art, turned running into something harmful, and destroyed her family’s trust.

If Riley wants her life back, she has to recover. But when her roommate starts to break the rules, triggering Riley’s old behaviors and blackmailing her into silence, Riley realizes that recovery will be even harder than she thought.Meanwhile,You Are Enough is a book that’s written to be inclusive of people with disordered eating of all genders, races and ethnicities, sexual orientations, ability, sizes, etc. The author is taking special care to be inclusive of trans and non-binary readers, fat readers, chronically ill readers, disabled readers, cis men, and readers without insurance–all groups who are often excluded from the eating disorder recovery conversation.

Jen has drawn on her own experiences with anorexia, OCD, and over-exercising, as well as her experiences in inpatient and residential treatment. But she has also spoken to healthcare professionals, as well as other people who have suffered from eating disorders to craft what is the first book about these disorders geared toward younger readers.

These will be Jen’s second and third books, respectively. You may remember Jen’s first book, P.S. I Miss You, which we featured at an event in September!

Join us for this wonderful double book launch party!”

For more information visit the event website.

Thursday, February 21st- 7pm at Concord Bookshop

Crystal King, The Chef’s Secret

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“Please join us on Thursday, February 21 at 7pm, when Crystal King presents her new novel, The Chef’s Secret.

Crystal King is an author, culinary enthusiast, and marketing expert. Her writing is fueled by a love of history and a passion for the food, language, and culture of Italy. She has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at several universities including Harvard Extension School and Boston University, as well as at GrubStreet, one of the leading creative writing centers in the US. A Pushcart Prize–nominated poet and former co-editor of the online literary arts journal Plum Ruby Review, Crystal received her MA in critical and creative thinking from UMass Boston, where she developed a series of exercises and writing prompts to help fiction writers in medias res. She resides in Boston but considers Italy her next great love after her husband, Joe, and their two cats, Nero and Merlin. She is the author of Feast of Sorrow.”

For more information visit the event website.

Join Bluprint For Just $100 & Get a Free Project Box! Valid at myBluprint.com through 1/31/19.

Saturday, February 23rd- 11am at Blue Bunny Books

Say Something Book Launch Party with Peter H. Reynolds

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“The world needs your voice. If you have a brilliant idea… say something! If you see an injustice… say something!

In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, have the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voices. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are… what you are thinking… and what you believe. And how you’ll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!

For more information visit the event website.

Thursday, February 28th- 6pm at Belmont Books 

Tui Sutherland, Wings of Fire Graphic Novel #2

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“Join us for the launch of the second graphic novel in the Wings of Fire series. Tui will be discussing the series, answering questions, and signing books. Tickets will be $5 and can be purchased over the phone or in store. You can also purchase tickets online here. We only have 100 tickets available so get yours now! All children under the age of 10 will need to be accompanied by an adult.”

For more information visit the event website.

Thursday, February 28th- 7pm at Porter Square Books 

Susan Conley, Elsey Come Home

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“From the widely praised author of Paris Was the Place–a shattering new novel that bravely delves into the darkest corners of addiction, marriage, and motherhood.

When Elsey’s husband, Lukas, hands her a brochure for a weeklong mountain retreat, she knows he is really giving her an ultimatum: Go, or we’re done. Once a successful painter, Elsey set down roots in China after falling passionately for Lukas, the tall, Danish MC at a warehouse rave in downtown Beijing. Now, with two young daughters and unable to find a balance between her identities as painter, mother, and, especially, wife, Elsey fills her days worrying, drinking, and descending into desperate unhappiness. So, brochure in hand, she agrees to go and confront the ghosts of her past. There, she meets a group of men and women who will forever alter the way she understands herself: from Tasmin, another (much richer) expat, to Hunter, a young man whose courage endangers them all, and, most important, Mei–wife of one of China’s most famous artists and a renowned painter herself–with whom Elsey quickly forges a fierce friendship and whose candidness about her pain helps Elsey understand her own. But Elsey must risk tearing herself and Lukas further apart when she decides she must return to her childhood home–the center of her deepest pain–before she can find her way back to him. Written in a voice at once wry, sensual, blunt, and hypnotic, Elsey Come Home is a modern odyssey and a quietly dynamic portrait of contemporary womanhood.

Susan Conley is the author of the novel Paris Was the Place and The Foremost Good Fortune, a book that won the Maine Literary Award for memoir. Born and raised in Maine, her writing has appeared in The New York Times MagazineThe Paris Review, and Ploughshares. She has been awarded fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Maine Arts Commission, and the Massachusetts Arts Council. She spent three years in Beijing with her husband and two sons before moving back to Portland, Maine, where she currently lives. She teaches in the Stonecoast Writing Program at the University of Southern Maine.

Get Ready for the Oscars of Children’s Books

It’s almost time for the Oscars of Children’s Books! The American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards will take place Monday, January 28th. So many prestigious book awards will be announced including the Caldecott Medal, Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Awards, and more. It is so exciting to find out which books will be chosen, discover new titles to add to your list, and learn which authors and illustrators lives’ will be changed forever! 

There is a livestream of the event beginning at 11am EST on 1/28. I’m planning to have a viewing party with my daughter in our pjs, with some popcorn of course. If you and your family can’t watch the award announcemenst live because of school or work, ALA also usually shares a recording of the awards later that day.  Watching the awards with the little ones in your life can be a great way to build enthusiasm around books and reading. I always loved showing the announcement of awards like the Caldecott and Newbery to the students in my school library. 

To get in the award season spirit, you and your child could check out some of the past winners from your local library and read them together. Taking a look at award lists, past and present, is also a fantastic way to find new books to read.

Each medal in the list below has a link to the ALA Youth Media Award official page, with more information about the medal and access to a full list of past winners:

The Caldecott Medal

caldecottThe Caldecott Medal is awarded “to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.”

The list of amazing past Caldecott winners is a mile long: Wolf in the Snow (2018), This is Not My Hat (2013),  Jumanji (1982), Where the Wild Things Are (1964), The Snowy Day (1963), and so many more.  You have probably seen the gold medal, or the silver Caldecott Honor medal on many of your favorite picture books. 

Here are some of the picture books I’m rooting for this year:

Alma and How She Got Her Name

by Juana Martinez-Neal

28234753.jpg“If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.”

You can listen to my interview with author/illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal on episode Episode 11 of A Bookish Home, the podcast.

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The Day You Begin

by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez

37506301.jpg“There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.

Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael Lopez’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.”

The Rabbit Listened

by Cori Doerrfeld

35248504.jpg“When something terrible happens, Taylor doesn’t know where to turn. All the animals are sure they have the answer. The chicken wants to talk it out, but Taylor doesn’t feel like chatting. The bear thinks Taylor should get angry, but that’s not quite right either. One by one, the animals try to tell Taylor how to process this loss, and one by one they fail. Then the rabbit arrives. All the rabbit does is listen, which is just what Taylor needs.”

What If…

by Samantha Berger, Pictures by Mike Curato

35959676.jpg“This girl is determined to express herself! If she can’t draw her dreams, she’ll sculpt or build, carve or collage. If she can’t do that, she’ll turn her world into a canvas. And if everything around her is taken away, she’ll sing, dance, and dream…

Stunning mixed media illustrations, lyrical text, and a breathtaking gatefold conjure powerful magic in this heartfelt affirmation of art, imagination, and the resilience of the human spirit.”

Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have A Horse

by Marcy Campbell and Corinna Luyken

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“Adrian Simcox tells anyone who will listen that he has a horse–the best and most beautiful horse anywhere.

But Chloe does NOT believe him. Adrian Simcox lives in a tiny house. Where would he keep a horse? He has holes in his shoes. How would he pay for a horse?

The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier Chloe gets. But when she calls him out at school and even complains about him to her mom, Chloe doesn’t get the vindication she craves. She gets something far more important.”

 

A Big Mooncake for Little Star

by Grace Lin

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“Pat, pat, pat…

Little Star’s soft feet tiptoed to the Big Mooncake.

Little Star loves the delicious Mooncake that she bakes with her mama. But she’s not supposed to eat any yet! What happens when she can’t resist a nibble?

In this stunning picture book that shines as bright as the stars in the sky, Newbery Honor author Grace Lin creates a heartwarming original story that explains phases of the moon.’

Julian Is A Mermaid

by Jessica Love

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“While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a periwinkle curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.”

Dreamers

by Yuyi Morales

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“In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the US with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn’t come empty-handed.

She brought her strength, her work, her passion, her hopes and dreams…and her stories. Caldecott Honor artist and five-time Pura Belpré winner Yuyi Morales’s gorgeous new picture book Dreamers is about making a home in a new place. Yuyi and her son Kelly’s passage was not easy, and Yuyi spoke no English whatsoever at the time. But together, they found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it.”

Drawn Together

by Minh Lê and Dan Santat

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“When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.”

Blue

by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

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“How many shades of blue are there? There’s the soft blue of a baby’s cherished blanket, the ocean blue of a romp in the waves, the chilly blue of a cold winter’s walk in the snow, and the true blue of the bond that exists between children and animals.

In this simple, sumptuously illustrated companion to Caldecott Honor Book Green, award-winning artist Laura Vaccaro Seeger turns her attention to the ways in which color evokes emotion, and in doing so tells the story of one special and enduring friendship.”

For more on the Caldecott Award, you can also listen to Episode 22 of A Bookish Home, the podcast with Ashley Waring, librarian and member of the 2017 Caldecott Award Committee. Ashley gives us a behind the scenes look at this prestigious award!

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The Newbery Medal

newberyWhile the Caldecott is awarded based on the book’s illustrations, the Newbery Medal focuses on the writing and is awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”

There are so many wonderful past Newbery winners to add to your To Be Read list including Hello Universe (2018), Last Stop on Market Street (2016), The One and Only Ivan (2013), The Tale of Despereaux (2004), Bud, Not Buddy (2000), Number the Stars (1990), From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1968) and many more.

Here are some of the books I’ll be rooting for during this year’s Newbery announcement:

You Go First

by Erin Entrada Kelly

35068526.jpg“Twelve-year-old Charlotte Lockard and eleven-year-old Ben Boxer are separated by more than a thousand miles. On the surface, their lives seem vastly different—Charlotte lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, while Ben is in the small town of Lanester, Louisiana. Charlotte wants to be a geologist and keeps a rock collection in her room. Ben is obsessed with Harry Potter, presidential history, and recycling. But the two have more in common than they think. They’re both highly gifted. They’re both experiencing family turmoil. And they both sit alone at lunch.

Over the course of a week, Charlotte and Ben—online friends connected only by a Scrabble game—will intersect in unexpected ways as they struggle to navigate the turmoil of middle school. You Go First reminds us that no matter how hard it is to keep our heads above troubled water, we never struggle alone.”

Front Desk

by Kelly Yang

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“Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.

Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.

Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?

It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?”

The Parker Inheritance

by Varian Johnson

35238085.jpg“The letter waits in a book, in a box, in an attic, in an old house in Lambert, South Carolina. It’s waiting for Candice Miller.

When Candice finds the letter, she isn’t sure she should read it. It’s addressed to her grandmother, after all, who left Lambert in a cloud of shame. But the letter describes a young woman named Siobhan Washington. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding the letter-writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle. Grandma tried and failed. But now Candice has another chance.

So with the help of Brandon Jones, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues in the letter. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert’s history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter’s promise before the summer ends?”

 

7-Day Free Bluprint Trial at myBluprint.com through 1/29/19.

Merci Suarez Changes Gears

by Meg Medina

38185346.jpg“Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren’t going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what’s going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.”

I’m excited to share that an interview with Meg Medina is coming up soon on A Bookish Home, the podcast!

 

The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

33294200.jpg“A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.”

 

Hey, Kiddo

by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

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Hey, Kiddo is the graphic memoir of author-illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Raised by his colorful grandparents, who adopted him because his mother was an incarcerated heroin addict, Krosoczka didn’t know his father’s name until he saw his birth certificate when registering for a school ski trip. Hey, Kiddotraces Krosoczka’s search for his father, his difficult interactions with his mother, his day-to-day life with his grandparents, and his path to becoming an artist.

You can listen to my interview with Jarrett J. Krosoczka on Episode 13 of A Bookish Home, the podcast.

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The Truth As Told By Mason Buttle

by Leslie Connor

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“Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.

Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny.”

Some of the other awards I can’t wait to hear announced are:

The Coretta Scott King Awards

coretta scott awardThe Coretta Scott King Awards are given “to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.”

Some of the great past winners you could check out are Piecing Me Together (2018), Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets (2018), Firebird (2015), Heart and Soul (2012), My People (2010), and Elijah of Buxton (2008).

 

The Pura Belpré Award

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The Pura Belpré Award is given “to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.”

Some of the past winning titles include La Princesa and the Pea (2018), Juana and Lucas (2017)Drum Dream Girl (2016), I Lived on Butterfly Hill (2015), and The Dreamer (2011).

 

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

Geisel_200The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given, “to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.” Past winners you might want to check out to enjoy with your beginning reader are Charlie & Mouse (2018), We Are Growing! (2017), The Watermelon Seed (2014), Up Tall and High (2013), and Bink and Gollie (2011).

The Robert F. Sibert Medalseibert200w

The Robert F. Sibert Medal is given, “to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. ” Some past winners to share are Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 (2018), Giant Squid (2017 Honor Book), Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras (2016), Balloons Over Broadway (2012), and We are the Ship (2009).

For a full list of awards and past winners you can visit the ALA Youth Media Awards page.

I hope you’re able to tune in to the livestream of the ALA Youth Media Awards on Monday 1/28 at 11am EST.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Boston Author Event Roundup–January

Are you looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

Here are some of the authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area this month.

Be sure to check your local library and bookstore’s event calendar to see what author events are coming to your community.

Not in the Boston area? This list is still a great way to find a book to add to your TBR list!

 

 

Tuesday, January 8th – 7pm at Belmont Books

YA Panel: EmPOWERment

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“Gaining confidence is something many struggle with in their teen years. How does that affect our writing and reading of characters going through the same challenges? Erin Cashman, Sara Farizan, and Adrienne Kisner will be tackling this question and talking about their writing process.

Erin Cashman is a Young Adult author living in Massachusetts. Her debut YA fantasy, The Exceptionals (Holiday House) was named a Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Book of 2013. She is also the workshop coordinator and a mentor at the 1st 5 Pages Writing Workshop through the blog Adventures in YA Publishing.

Sara Farizan is an Iranian American writer and ardent basketball fan who was born in and lives near Boston. The award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine and Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel, she has an MFA from Lesley University and a BA in film and media studies from American University. Here to Stay is her third novel.

Adrienne Kisner has master’s and doctorate degrees in theology from Boston University and was inspired by her work with high school and college students to write Dear Rachel Maddow. She is also a graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts with an MFA in writing for children and young adults. Dear Rachel Maddow is her debut.”

For more information you can visit the event website.

 

Tuesday, January 8th – 7pm at Brookline Booksmith

Ha Jin, The Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Bai

“With the instincts of a master novelist, Ha Jin draws on a wide range of historical and literary sources to weave the life story of Li Bai (701-762), whose poems–shaped by Daoist thought and characterized by their passion, romance, and lust for life–rang throughout the Tang Dynasty. Jin follows Li Bai from his birth on China’s western frontier through his travels as a young man seeking a place among the empire’s civil servants, his wanderings allowing him to hone his poetic craft, share his verses, and win him friends and admirers along the way. In his later years he is swept up in a military rebellion that alters the course of China, and his death is shrouded in speculation and legend to this day. The Banished Immortal is an extraordinary portrait of a poet who both transcended his time and was shaped by it, and whose ability to live, love, and mourn without reservation produced some of the most enduring verses in the world.”

For more information you can visit the event website.

 

Thursday, January 10th – 7pm at Harvard Bookstore

Chigozie Obioma, An Orchestra of Minorities

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“Harvard Book Store welcomes acclaimed writer CHIGOZIE OBIOMA—author of The Fishermen, a finalist for the Man Booker Prize—for a discussion of his latest novel, An Orchestra of Minorities.

You can find more event information here.

 

 

Friday, January 11th – 6:30pm at The Lenox Hotel, Boston

An Evening with Author Elin Hilderbrand

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“Join New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand at The Lenox and get transported to the stunning beaches of St. John as she launches her thrilling new book “Winter in Paradise”.”

To find out more about this $50 ticketed event visit the event website. I would imagine this will sell out quickly, so be sure to look into this soon if you hope to attend.

 

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Friday, January 11th – 7pm at Brookline Booksmith

Lincoln Peirce, Max and the Midnights

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“Max wants to be a knight! Too bad that dream is about as likely as finding a friendly dragon. But when Max’s uncle Budrick is kidnapped by the cruel King Gastley, Max has to act…and fast! Joined by a band of brave adventurers–the Midknights–Max sets out on a thrilling quest: to save Uncle Budrick and restore the realm of Byjovia to its former high spirits! Magic and (mis)adventures abound in this hilarious illustrated novel from the New York Times bestselling creator of the Big Nate series, Lincoln Peirce.”

For more information visit the event website.

Thursday, January 17th – 7pm at Belmont Books

Ann Hood, Kitchen Yarns

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“From her Italian American childhood through singlehood, raising and feeding a growing family, divorce, and a new marriage to food writer Michael Ruhlman, Ann Hood has long appreciated the power of a good meal. Growing up, she tasted love in her grandmother’s tomato sauce and dreamed of her mother’s special-occasion Fancy Lady Sandwiches. Later, the kitchen became the heart of Hood’s own home. She cooked pork roast to warm her first apartment, used two cups of dried basil for her first attempt at making pesto, taught her children how to make their favorite potatoes, found hope in her daughter’s omelet after a divorce, and fell in love again–with both her husband and his foolproof chicken stock.”

You can find more information on the event website.

Saturday, January 19th – 5pm at Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton

Karen M. McManus, Two Can Keep A Secret,in conversation with Sara Farizan

We are so excited to welcome New York Times bestselling author Karen M. McManus to celebrate her new release, Two Can Keep A Secret, with fellow YA author Sara Farizan. Karen’s new YA thriller takes us to the small town of Echo Ridge, Vt., where secrets are everywhere. After hearing of missing teenagers and  a recent homecoming tragedy, Ellery now has to move there to live with her grandmother. Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous—and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

Karen M. McManus is the author of the young adult thriller One of Us Is Lying, which spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into 38 languages worldwide.  She lives in Massachusetts and holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University, which she uses to draft fake news stories for her novels.

Sara Farizan is an award-winning author of three YA novels, most recently Here to Stay. She is also one of the store’s absolute favorite people, and it will be a joy to welcome her back!

You can find more information on the event website.

Sunday, January 20th – 3pm at Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton

Book Launch Party: Sarah Brannen’s Bear Needs Help

Join us to we celebrate local author Sarah S. Brannen’s new release, Bear Needs Help.  

A lumbering little polar bear has one shoe untied, and he needs some help! Sadly for him, though, the other animals are all too scared of him: the lemmings, rabbits, and seals all run away as he approaches them for assistance. What’s Bear going to do? Luckily, two plucky birds are more than happy to help out and offer advice — though probably not quite in the way that readers anticipate. In this sweet and funny book about asking for help (and receiving it), expectations are flipped in a simple but clever way.

“Laced with humor and…decipherable in more ways than one.”—Kirkus Reviews

Sarah S. Brannen is the award-winning illustrator of 20 books for children, including one of our store’s favorite books, Feathers: Not Just For Flying, by Melissa Stewart.  She is the author and the illustrator of Madame Martine, Madame Martine Breaks the Rules, and Uncle Bobby’s Wedding. In addition, Sarah as a journalist and photographer, and has two books scheduled for release following Bear Needs Help! Join us to help launch this amazing new wintry book from an accomplished and awesome local author!

You can find more information on the event website.

Wednesday, January 23rd – 7pm at Brookline Booksmith

Dani Shapiro, Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love

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Inheritance is a book about secrets–secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in–a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.”

For more information visit the event website.

 

Thursday, January 31st – 7pm at Harvard Bookstore

Daisy Johnson, Everything Under, in conversation with Margot Livesey

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“Harvard Book Store welcomes award-winning writer DAISY JOHNSON for a discussion of her debut novel, Everything Under, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She will be joined in conversation by bestselling author MARGOT LIVESEY.”

For more information visit the event website.

 

 

What bookish events are you attending this month?

Leave a note in the comments or tag me on Instagram or Twitter @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

 ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links  are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase a book through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Ten Bookish Charities to Support on Giving Tuesday

Today is Giving Tuesday!

Here are ten organizations promoting reading and literacy that you can donate to this holiday season.

1. Book Trust

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Book Trust’s mission is to help elementary school children with little or no access to books fall in love with reading and become lifelong learners. In the 2017-2018 school year, Book Trust provided nearly 1 million books to 55,000 students (22,000 in CO) who chose, read, and loved them.

2. Pajama Program

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Pajama Program is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2001 that believes that every child, no matter their circumstances, has the inherent right to a loving good night, complete with the comforting bedtime ritual of changing into new pajamas and enjoying an enchanting story. Pajama Program offers children affected by instability the unconditional, magical gifts of new pajamas and new books so that they can enjoy the greatest benefit of a loving bedtime and peaceful good night: a fulfilling good day.

3. Books for Africa

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Books For Africa remains the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 42 million books to all 55 countries on the African continent since 1988.  In fiscal year 2018 alone, Books For Africa shipped 2.3 million books, and 123 computers and e-readers containing 283,000 digital books, to 29 African countries. More than $2.2 million was raised last year to ship these books to the students of Africa.

4. Save the Children

In their gift catalog, Save the Children offers options to provide a Book Bag to children in need or to fund a Community Book Bank.

5. First Book

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First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to children in need. Since our founding in 1992, First Book has distributed more than 175 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families.

6. Children’s Literacy Foundation

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The Children’s Literacy Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire a love of reading and writing among children up to age 12 throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Since 1998, CLiF has served more than 180,000 low-income, at-risk, and rural children in 400 communities across every region of the Twin States.

7. Room To Read

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Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond. 

8. Project Night Out

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Project Night Night donates over 25,000 Night Night Packages each year to homeless children 12 and under who need our childhood essentials to have a concrete and predictable source of security and an increased exposure to high-quality literacy materials during their time of upheaval. Each Night Night Package contains a new security blanket, an age- appropriate children’s book, and a stuffed animal — all nestled inside of a new canvas tote bag. By providing objects of reliable comfort, Project Night Night reduces trauma and advances the emotional and cognitive well-being of the children we serve.

9. Reach Out and Read

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Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

10. Book Aid International

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Book Aid International is the UK’s leading international book donation and library development charity. Every year, the charity sends around one million brand new books to people around the world who would otherwise have very few opportunities to access books and read.

I hope you’re able to find a bookish charity that you’d like to support this holiday season!

If you think your friends and family would be interested in any of these organizations, please spread the word.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

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Create A Bookish Advent Calendar

I’m so excited to add a new bookish tradition to our family’s holiday celebration this year!

I made an advent calendar using Christmas books:

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I’m all about finding ways to bring my love of reading into our family life. I also am trying to avoid too much holiday busyness and choose what traditions I start carefully, so while I didn’t make time for a holiday card and will probably forget to move the Elf on the Shelf half the time, creating this was pure joy for my inner book nerd.

I’m beyond excited to share this with my daughter and celebrate the season with a different holiday read aloud each day. If you’re looking for a new tradition or a way to bring books into the holidays, here’s how I went about creating this advent calendar.

First, I searched my house for Christmas board books or picture books that we already own or have gotten as gifts. Once I figured out how many I had (fifteen), I requested others from the library. I decided not to buy new books for this project, but you certainly could if you want.

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I wrapped the books, marked them 1 to 25 with a sharpie, and will put them under our tree. My toddler and I will open one book together each day and have a special Christmas read aloud.

I made sure to put any library books first in the order so we can return them quickly! I chose to keep all my books Christmas themed, but you could wrap up any books in your house or incorporate general winter read alouds.

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I’m looking forward to snuggling up with my daughter and having a Christmas read aloud every day for the next few weeks. Adding in some cups of hot chocolate and cookies for a few of these story times also sounds festive.

Most of these books will only take a few minutes to read together, but I think this will be a great way to build anticipation and connect over a busy few weeks.

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We celebrate Christmas in our family, but you could  wrap up a book for each night of Hannukah and number them one through eight. If your family isn’t religious, another idea would be to choose a week’s worth of winter books sometime in December and wrap them up to create some special read aloud moments.

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Here are the 25 books in our Bookish Advent Calendar:

1. Fa La La 

by Leslie Patricelli

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“Baby is so excited about the upcoming Christmas season! There are things to decorate: a tree, a gingerbread house, a doggy! Celebrate the season with humor and joy as everyone s favorite baby puts a special spin on Christmas.”

2. Pick A Pine Tree

by Patricia Toht

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“Part of the magic of the Christmas season stems from the traditions that families and friends take part in every year: hanging up stockings; putting lights in the windows; and, one of the most important of all, picking out and taking home the Christmas tree”.

3. A Christmas Wish: A Peter Rabbit Tale

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“It’s Christmas Eve and Peter Rabbit is wide awake, listening out for Santa Claus. He hears all sorts of noises in the night, but none of them turn out to be Santa! Can Peter stay awake long enough to see Santa? Another addition to the adorable line of very young stories set in Peter Rabbit’s world. The simple tales deal with the early experiences and emotions of small children, as seen through the eyes of Beatrix Potter’s classic characters.”

4. Red & Lulu

by Matt Tavares

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“Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cozy in the cold months, and once a year the people who live nearby string lights on their tree and sing a special song: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each other again. Luckily, it’s just the season for miracles. . . . From Matt Tavares comes a heart-tugging story combining the cheer of Christmas, the magic of New York City, and the real meaning of the holiday season: how important it is to be surrounded by love.”

5. Olivia Helps With Christmas

by Ian Falcon

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“Christmas is coming, and Olivia is incredibly busy. She has to wait for Santa, make sure dad sets up the tree, wait for Santa, watch mom make the Christmas dinner, wait for Santa, oversee the care with which the stockings are hung and, of course, OPEN HER PRESENTS! Do you see how hard it is to be so helpful during the holidays? A lovingly-told and lavishly-illustrated Olivia Helps With Christmas is the perfect stuffing for any stocking, and a bright star atop the Olivia series.”

6. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

by Dr. Seuss

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“Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” Not since “’Twas the night before Christmas” has the beginning of a Christmas tale been so instantly recognizable. This heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays, and his story is the perfect gift for young and old. “

7. Waltz of the Snowflakes

by Elly Mackay

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“It is a cold and rainy evening when Gran gives her granddaughter something special: tickets to the ballet. Her granddaughter is reluctant to go. The weather is terrible and they have to wear fancy, uncomfortable clothes. But as the curtains rise on The Nutcracker, the girl’s eyes light up as she’s introduced to the magic of the theater. The bright costumes, the intricate dances, the magical music, and a new friend all combine to captivate the girl and to bring color to an otherwise dreary evening. Waltz of the Snowflakes is Elly MacKay at her finest, mixing her acclaimed paper-cut artwork with vibrant colors in this whimsical, dreamlike, and inspiring wordless picture book. A must-have for any ballet- and theater-obsessed reader and the perfect gift to be shared during the holidays or any time of year when the world outside needs a little bit of color and vibrancy.”

8. The Polar Express

by Chris Van Allsburg

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“A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . . Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.”

9. A Very Merry Christmas Prayer

by Bonnie Rickner Jensen

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“Enjoy the wonder of Christmas with a thankful heart. These little woodland animals are full of joy over so many blessings, from twinkling lights and sparkling snowflakes to family fun and the gift of God’s love. Join the celebration with gratitude and make this your own very merry Christmas prayer!”

10. The Little Reindeer 

by Nicola Killen

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When a jingling sound wakes her from her sleep, a little girl’s dreams come true when she meets a lost reindeer in the forest. They set off on a magical adventure and it becomes a Christmas never to forget

11. The ABCs of Christmas 

by Jill Howarth

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“LEARN the ALPHABET and DECK the HALLS! Spread the joy of Christmas with this sparkly board book that features clever word associations and delightfully festive illustrations.”

12. Too Many Tamales 

by Gary Soto

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Christmas Eve started out so perfectly for Maria. Snow had fallen and the streets glittered. Maria’s favorite cousins were coming over and she got to help make the tamales for Christmas dinner. It was almost too good to be true when her mother left the kitchen for a moment and Maria got to try on her beautiful diamond ring . . . This is the story of a treasure thought to be lost in a batch of tamales; of a desperate adn funny attempt by Maria and her cousins to eat their way out of trouble; and the warm way a family pulls together to make it a perfect Christmas after all.

13. A Christmas for Bear

by Bonny Becker

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Celebrating Christmas for the first time, Bear and his friend Mouse have a party, but whenever Bear comes back from the kitchen with more treats Mouse has vanished in search of a present.

14. Santa’s Sleigh Is On Its Way To… series

by Eric James

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“It’s Christmas Eve and Santa’s sleigh is already on its way to your home-town. It promises to be the best Christmas ever; But things don’t go according to plan! Is Santa okay? And what was that very important task you meant to do before you went to bed?

The story is available in over 120 different locations within the UK, US and Canada (generic version also available) with bespoke artwork and locations unique to your chosen location.”

15. The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas

by Laura Murray

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“Everyone in class is busy practicing songs and making goodies for their trip to town to thank community helpers, and the Gingerbread Man has made a gift for someone extra sweet. But before he can deliver his gift, whipping wind and swirling snow come to town, too. Slushy sidewalks are no place for a cookie, but this Gingerbread Man won’t let a little bad weather stop him!”

16. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Lift the Tab Board Book

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Pictures of Rudolph, Santa, Sam the Snowman and other characters from the original stop motion animation appear on the pages of this Lift-the-Flap Tab Book, which has tabbed edges and fun flaps to lift on every page.

17. Christmas for Greta and Gracie

by Yasmeen Ismail

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Greta and Gracie are sisters – Greta is chatty while Gracie is quiet and it’s all fine until, one day, everything changes. It’s nearly Christmas and together the sisters decorate the tree, shop for presents and even try a spot of ice-skating! But Greta, of course, always knows best – poor Gracie can’t get a word in edgeways. Then on Christmas Eve, while Greta is quietly sleeping, Gracie hears a funny noise …whatever could it be? She creeps downstairs to investigate, and the next morning her very special revelation leaves chitty chatty Greta lost for words!

18. The Nutcracker in Harlem

by T.E. McMorrow

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“In Harlem in the 1920s, in the middle of a family Christmas party, Marie receives a nutcracker from her Uncle Cab, which leads to a marvelous dream in this resetting of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s familiar tale. Includes historical notes.”

19. Duck & Goose: It’s Time for Christmas

by Tad Hills

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Goose is more interested in skating, sledding, and making snow angels than in helping Duck decorate their big Christmas tree.

20. Ninja Claus

by Arree Chung

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It’s nearly Christmas, and Maxwell only has one thing on his mind–catching a glimpse of Santa Claus. No sweat for an experienced ninja like himself!On Christmas Eve, Maxwell rigs a super-special ninja trap and lies in wait. But when the trap is sprung, is it Santa who’s been captured? And might Santa have some super-special ninja tricks of his own?

21. A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World

by M. E. Furman

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A World of Cookies for Santa takes readers across the globe to see all the treats that await Santa on Christmas Eve. M. E. Furman provides recipes for children to bake some of Santa’s cookies for themselves.

22. The Night Before Christmas

by Clement C. Moore

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“Capture the thrill of a traditional Christmas with Clement C. Moore’s treasured seasonal rhyme. Brought to life with the warm and playful artwork of Henry Fisher, this magical story is full of character and humour, and will delight children new to the story as well as parents who know it from their own childhood.”

23. Merry Christmas, Little One!

by Sandra Magsamen

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Little ones will love this gently refreshed backlist classic Christmas lift-the-flap board book from the bestselling baby and toddler brand creator, Sandra Magsamen. With heartfelt rhymes, adorable illustrations, and engaging lift-the-flaps, children will be merrily reading and playing along all through the season.

24. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

by Eric Litwin

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Spend the holidays with your favorite blue cat! In this rockin’ spin on the traditional tale The Night Before Christmas, Pete the Cat proves that giving your all in the spirit of Christmas is the totally groovy thing to do.

25. Little Blue Truck’s Christmas

by Alice Schertle

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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Little Blue Truck is spreading cheer by delivering Christmas trees to his animal friends. Can you help count each green tree from one to five and back again? Don’t forget to save one for Blue! Beep! Beep!

What books will you use in your bookish advent calendar? I’d love to hear and see your photos! Tag me on Instagram or Twitter @ABookishHome.

And if you decide to make this a tradition for your family, you could ask relatives to give children’s Christmas books as presents or keep your eyes peeled at used bookstores or tag sales this year

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Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

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