Ep. 18: Lisa Gozashti, Owner and Manager of Brookline Booksmith

Have you stopped into your local independent bookstore this holiday season? Lisa Gozashti joins me this week to chat about one of my favorites: Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, Massachusetts. Lisa gives us the inside scoop on bookstore life and recommends some of her favorite reads.

 

 

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

 

I hope you are able to stop in at Brookline Booksmith or your local indie to finish your holiday shopping!

 

Lisa’s Favorites:

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

There There by Tommy Orange

Immigrant Montana by Amitava Kumar

Nine Continents by Xiaolu Guo

Emissary by Yoko Tawada

Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck

Disoriental by Negar Djavadhi

Border by Kapka Kassabova

Happiness by Aminatta Forna

 

 

Brookline Booksmith’s Kids’ Department Favorites:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

The Track series by Jason Reynolds

The Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey 

Refugee by Alan Gratz 

Rescue and Jessica by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes illustrated by Scott Magoon

The Wild Robot series by Peter Brown 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown by Jeff Kinney

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus 

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima 

The Wings of Fire series by Tui Sutherland 

 

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please share it with a friend and be sure to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show.

 

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

 

Affiliate links for Amazon 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!

What I’ve Been Reading…

Lately, I’ve been loving hibernating with a good read while the snow falls.

Luckily, there are books from my TBR list scattered all over the house, so I have quite the stockpile at the ready.

Here are some of the books I’ve been reading lately:

One Day in December

by Josie Silver 41wMPIhMMHL._SX339_BO1,204,203,200_-2

This is the perfect book for fans of Love Actually and One Day to curl up with this holiday season. I spent a completely delightful afternoon on the couch devouring this one as I sipped hot chocolate. A lovely escape.

“Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away. 

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be. 

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.”

Jane Austen at Home: A Biography

by Lucy Worsley


51vc78qShkL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_

Have you read Pride and Prejudice over and over? Own a prized copy of Persuasion Jane Austen At Home is a must read. I love books about books and this one does not disappoint. Lucy Worsley’s writing is engaging and this book was full of surprising, inspiring details about Jane’s home life and writing career that make me adore Jane Austen even more.

“Take a trip back to Jane Austen’s world and the many places she lived as historian Lucy Worsley visits Austen’s childhood home, her schools, her holiday accommodations, the houses–both grand and small–of the relations upon whom she was dependent, and the home she shared with her mother and sister towards the end of her life. In places like Steventon Parsonage, Godmersham Park, Chawton House and a small rented house in Winchester, Worsley discovers a Jane Austen very different from the one who famously lived a ‘life without incident’.

Worsley examines the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the varying ways in which homes are used in her novels as both places of pleasure and as prisons. She shows readers a passionate Jane Austen who fought for her freedom, a woman who had at least five marriage prospects, but–in the end–a woman who refused to settle for anything less than Mr. Darcy.”

Start your FREE 7 Day Bluprint Trial! Dive into thousands of hours of expert taught videos.

 

Girl, Wash Your Face

by Rachel Hollis

51uuwa-5OgL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

If you’re looking for some tough love to start chasing down New Year’s resolutions, Girl Wash Your Face fits the bill. I recently started listening to Rachel Hollis’s Rise podcast and following her on social media. I found some of the chapters more helpful than others, but there are definitely useful insights and it’s an interesting peek behind the scenes at this online personality. To preview some of the book, you can listen to Hollis read chapters on several episodes of the podcast.

“As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.

With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.”
 

The Perfect Score

by Rob Buyea

Rob Buyea is the master of the middle grade school story. I can’t count the number of times his Because of Mr. Terupt books were devoured by eager readers in my elementary school library! I recently picked up The Perfect Score and Buyea is definitely at it again, capturing the daily life at school and the dynamics between children, teachers, and parents so well. Next up for me is the recently published sequel, The Perfect Secret.

“No one likes or wants to take the statewide assessment tests. Not the students in Mrs. Woods’s sixth-grade class. Not even Mrs. Woods. It’s not as if the kids don’t already have things to worry about. . . .
 
Under pressure to be the top gymnast her mother expects her to be, RANDI starts to wonder what her destiny truly holds. Football-crazy GAVIN has always struggled with reading and feels as dumb as his high school–dropout father. TREVOR acts tough and mean, but as much as he hates school, he hates being home even more. SCOTT’s got a big brain and an even bigger heart, especially when it comes to his grandfather, but his good intentions always backfire in spectacular ways. NATALIE, know-it-all and aspiring lawyer, loves to follow the rules—only this year, she’s about to break them all.
 
The whole school is in a frenzy with test time approaching—kids, teachers, the administration. Everyone is anxious. When one of the kids has a big idea for acing the tests, they’re all in. But things get ugly before they get better, and in the end, the real meaning of the perfect score surprises them all.”

VX-2888-ERD-US-Audible-Associates-MedRectangle-300x250.jpg

Crafty Llama

by Mike Kerr, Illustrated by Renata Liwska

craftyllama.jpg

I’ve been loving reading this book to my toddler. Crafty Llama has such a sweet, cozy feel (perfect for this time of year) and I really like the message about the joy of “making”.

“Llama loves to make things. It doesn’t matter what, really–something special, something lovely. Beaver loves to make things, too. But he likes things to be useful. On this lovely day, Llama is inspired. She is having fun making things, like gifts for her friends. And soon many of her friends are inspired right along with her. But Beaver needs to think about what Llama and the other animals are making. What useful thing can he do with this day?”

The Elephant

by Jenni Desmond

512-XNo3pkL._SX393_BO1,204,203,200_-2.jpg

I am such a big fan of Jenni Desmond’s nonfiction picture books. The Blue Whaleis one of the most engaging books I’ve read aloud to kids and full of facts that I still remember several years later! The Elephant continues in that vein with a book brimming with surprising bits of knowledge (For example an elephant produces 300 pounds of dung a day and their tusks measure the length of 8 feet, or two seven-year-old children toe to toe.) The illustrations are useful to kids and beautiful. Highly recommend as a class read aloud to spark more research or discussion.

“In this, Jenni Desmond’s third nonfiction children’s book about one of the large, endangered animals of Earth, we join a young boy as he learns about The Elephant.
From Africa to Asia, the elephant makes its home. Light on their feet, despite their great weight, these magnificent creatures appear light and graceful because they’re always walking on their tip-toes. They have excellent hearing and can detect the rumblings of other elephants from six miles away.”

There’s still time to wrap up read alouds you already own for your little ones! A Christmas Wish and Fa La La Tra-la-la are two of our favorite books from the Bookish Advent Calendar I made for my little one. Check out that post for all the details.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

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

Bookish Gifts for the Readers on Your Holiday Shopping List

Are you looking for gift ideas for the readers in your life?

Here are some literary presents for the book nerds on your holiday shopping list:

 

Harry Potter Kids’ T-Shirt Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 11.40.57 AM.png

 

 

Books Turn Muggles Into Wizards Socks

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 11.47.13 AM.png

 

 

Jane Austen Candle,  

“There Is Nothing Like Staying Home For Real Comfort”41+jpBTxSWL

 

 

Library Card Mug

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 11.49.46 AM.png

 

 

“This Is How We Roll” Sweatshirt

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 11.57.48 AM.png

 

 

Persuasion Tote Bag

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 12.07.22 PM.png

 

 

 

 

 

“Read” Onesie

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 11.59.29 AM.png

 

 

Wonder Blanket

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 12.10.35 PM.png

 

“Book Nerd” Hat

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 12.49.17 PM.png

 

Vintage Library 1000 Piece Puzzle

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 12.26.10 PM.png

 

 

 

Enjoy 50% Off All Holiday Season! Sign up for a Bluprint subscription today, and we'll automatically take 50% off the full price of your Craftsy items every time you shop from now until December 31. Offer valid at myBluprint.com through 12/25/18.

 

 

“When In Doubt, Go To The Library” Zippered Pouch

Screen Shot 2018-11-08 at 12.14.44 PM.png

 

 

What are your favorite bookish gift ideas this holiday season?

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

 

Affiliate links for Amazon are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase an item through some of 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

Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 1.55.49 PM

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 2.09.05 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 2.15.52 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 2.30.13 PM.png

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

isle_la_motte-017-450x300.jpg

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

DSC_4947.jpg

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

Retouched_NNP_2-338x348.jpg

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

early_literacy_at_well-child_checkup.jpg

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

Other-countries-Lebanon-sincol.jpg

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

Start your FREE 7 Day Bluprint Trial! Dive into thousands of hours of expert taught videos.

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:

IMG_2525

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.

IMG_2485.JPG

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.

IMG_2500

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.

IMG_2525

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.

TistheSeason

Enjoy 50% Off All Holiday Season! Sign up for a Bluprint subscription today, and we'll automatically take 50% off the full price of your Craftsy items every time you shop from now until December 31. Offer valid at myBluprint.com through 12/25/18.

Here are the 25 books in our Bookish Advent Calendar:

1. Fa La La 

by Leslie Patricelli

51BQh0WfzUL._AC_US436_QL65_

“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

61Y2kSiRi6L._AC_US436_QL65_

“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

Peter Rabbit Christmas Wish

“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

redlulu

“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

oliviahelps.jpg

“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

How_the_Grinch_Stole_Christmas_cover

“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

51G0OXB6GdL._AC_US436_QL65_

“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

51n3nv8gljl-_ac_us436_ql65_.jpg

“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

61MfaTlLRvL._SX494_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

“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

9781481486866

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

513zE3ihGUL._SX497_BO1,204,203,200_

“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

Too-Many-Tamales-by-Gary-Soto

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

christmasbear.jpg

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

61YSCb8rgWL._SY402_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

“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

9780399168666

“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

rudolph2

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

5158S+vXusL._SX460_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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

The-Nutcracker-in-Harlem

“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

61L+clNPnmL._AC_US436_QL65_

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

51u-RhlpSeL._SX374_BO1,204,203,200_

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

61Kx+zJMmgL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_

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

51vD5x2r4oL._SX430_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

“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

51tutlovEiL._AC_US436_QL65_

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

51UJmXfw79L._AC_US436_QL65_

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

Cover image for Little Blue Truck's Christmas

“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

Have you subscribed to the blog? Sign up to receive a notification whenever there’s a new post or podcast episode.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links for Indiebound and Amazon 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!

Halloween Read Alouds To Enjoy With Your Baby or Toddler

Halloween is around the corner. Add to the excitement by sharing one of these books with your little one!

Here are five fun read alouds to introduce the holiday to your baby or toddler:

Look for these at your local bookstore or library. You can also use the links below to order online from Indiebound or Amazon. Descriptions are from the publishers.

 

EEK! Halloween!

by Sandra Boynton

51ey6-9wI4L._AC_US436_QL65_.jpg

Sandra Boynton’s books are always a hit in our house. In Eek! Halloween!, kids will enjoy watching the chickens as they find out there’s no need to be nervous about the “strange” things going on. A pumpkin with flickering eyes? A witch? An elephant dressed as a mouse? “Relax, silly chickens! It’s HALLOWEEN!”

“Boynton celebrates Halloween! A new addition to the Boynton on Board series, with over 21 million copies sold, Eek! Halloween! is all treat and no tricks, a journey with Boynton and her nutty characters through the tradition of Halloween. It starts with an uh-oh—the chickens are nervous! Strange things are happening. One chicken saw a pumpkin with flickering eyes, another spied a mouse of enormous size. They all saw a wizard and a witch, and a spooky robot. “WHAT’S GOING ON HERE? WHAT DOES IT MEAN? / Relax, silly chickens! It’s HALLOWEEN!”

Indiebound     Amazon

 

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween

by Alan Schertle

index.aspx-2.jpeg

This adorable lift-the-flap book is sure to delight as your little one finds which animal is “hidden” behind their Halloween costume. Rhyming texts and a chance to guess the animal sound adds to the fun of this read aloud.

“Beep! Beep! It’s Halloween! Little Blue Truck is picking up his animal friends for a costume party. Lift the flaps in this large, sturdy board book to find out who’s dressed up in each costume! Will Blue wear a costume too? With the delightful rhymes and signature illustration style that made Little Blue Truck a household name, Blue’s new adventure is full of festive costumes, fall colors, and plenty of Halloween fun!”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

Boo!

by Leslie Patricelli

51RjlFHcwoL._AC_US436_QL65_.jpg

Patricelli’s holiday books are some of my favorites for young readers and Boo! is no exception. Boo! is a silly and sweet introduction to celebrating Halloween.

“The inimitable Baby brings a humorous spin to the holidays in a cheerful board book fit for trick-or-treat bags. It’s almost Halloween! How should Daddy carve the pumpkin? So many expressions to choose from! What should Baby be—a princess or pirate, ballerina or clown? When the jack-o’-lantern’s ready (looking suspiciously like Baby), it’s time for a little ghost to head out in the slightly scary night. But fear turns to excitement as the pumpkin fills up with treats. WOW!”

Indiebound      Amazon

 

 

Happy Halloween, Biscuit!

by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

61XMHCzQ83L._SY469_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Your little one will love lifting the flap to search for biscuit as he gets lost in a pumpkin patch, hides under a Halloween costume, and more.

“Trick or Treat, Biscuit! Lift the flaps to reveal spook-tacular surprises on Biscuit’s first Halloween adventure! Biscuit and the little girl are going trick-or-treating on his first Halloween. What kinds of silly surprises are in store for them? Pull back the flaps to find out!

Indiebound    Amazon

Llama Llama Trick or Treat

by Anna Dewdney

61QHy+2B48L._AC_US436_QL65_.jpg

Fans of llama llama will have fun reading about ways to take part in the holiday–carving a pumpkin, choosing a costume, and preparing for trick-or-treating.

“In Llama Llama Trick or Treat, little llama finds the perfect costume, picks out a pumpkin for a jack-o’-lantern, and then goes trick-or-treating with Mama and his friends!”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

What are you favorite Halloween reads? Leave a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter or Instagram @ABookishHome.

If you’re enjoying the blog, be sure to tell a friend and subscribe to make sure you’ll never miss a new post.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

 

Five Standout Picture Books to Read this Month

Are you on the lookout for new picture books to share with the little ones in your life? Here are 5 books to request from your local library or purchase this month:

 

 

1. Alma and How She Got Her Name

by Juana Martinez-Neal

alma.jpg

Alma and her family have completely melted my heart. I pored over the soft illustrations and inspiring story of a library copy of Alma and How She Got Her Name, then immediately ordered this picture book for my daughter. When Alma complains to her father that her full name–Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela–is too long, he tells her the story of her name. We meet each relative her name honors and learn the unique interests, beliefs, and contributions of Esperanza, José, Pura, and Candela. “I love the story of my name!” Alma declares.  Just when I thought the book couldn’t get any better Alma’s father shares, “I picked the name Alma just for you. You are the first and only Alma. You will make your own story.”  Perfection. This book could lead to a wonderful discussion of how a child received their name or open the doors to investigating their family tree. I shared this with teachers and students at a recent All School Meeting and cannot stop singing its praises! Highly recommended.

For more on this book, check out this Activity Kit from Candlewick, watch the interview with author and illustrator Juana Martinez Neal, and see her draw Alma.

 

 

 

2. Dad By My Side

by Soosh

9780734418746

Are you on the lookout for a great Father’s Day read? Dad By My Side is my pick this year. I spotted this book on display at the fantastic independent bookstore, Water Street Books in Exeter, New Hampshire and had to buy it for my husband. Author and illustrator, Soosh, portrays this father/daughter pair with so much love and affection as they play games, snuggle, have puppet shows, chase monsters, and more. I particularly love the pages where they “try new things” (sewing the daughter a dress) and keep in touch when the dad is away by singing lullabies on the phone. This is a book that I think is about to become a bedtime staple for our family and I bet the dads and kids in your life will enjoy it as well. To see more of Soosh’s illustrations and read about her inspiration for the book, check out, “Artist’s Tender Illustrations Show The Kind Of Father She Wishes She’d Had”.

 

3. Saffron Ice Cream

by Rashin

We are heading into the season of trips to the beach, and in Saffron Ice Cream we get a taste of two different beach experiences. Young Rashin and her family have moved to Brooklyn from Iran and are about to head to the beach at Coney Island for the first time. As they travel there, she thinks back on what it was like to go the beach by the Caspian Sea and wonders what will be the same and different. Rashin misses many things about her old home, including her favorite flavor of ice cream–saffron, but she discovers Coney Island has a lot to offer, including the promise of a new friend. I’m excited to share this one with students this week as we promote summer reading by turning the library into a beach for some fun reading time–complete with umbrellas, sand pails, beach towels and chairs, ocean sounds and more!

You can hear the story behind the book from the author, Rashin:

 

 

4. The Honeybee

by Kirsten Hall and Isabelle Arsenault

the-honeybee-9781481469975_hr

The Honeybee is a beautiful book, with illustrations you will want to stop and savor. The writing is just as charming with rhyming text that begs to be read out loud. “Do you hear it? You’re near it. It’s closer, it’s coming, it’s buzzing, it’s humming…A BEE!” Perfect for outdoor sharing or as a science read aloud, little ones will learn all about honeybees and their important role in our world in a lively, engaging way. For more, you can also check out the activity sheet from the publisher:

Honeybee Activity Sheet from Simon & Schuster Honeybee Activity Sheet (pdf)

 

5. Captain Starfish

by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys

captainstarfish

In Captain Starfish, we meet Alfie, a young boy who wants to attend his school’s underwater parade in his starfish costume, but is feeling too shy and anxious. “I can’t”, he tells his mom, “Please don’t be angry”. Alfie’s parents are both depicted as loving and supportive and his mom decides to take him to the aquarium. It is there that he draws inspiration from a different sea creature that also needs to “hide away” sometimes.  A comforting, sweet story that is sure to connect with children. This is also a gorgeous book with bright coral, blue and seafoam colors throughout.

 

What picture books are at the top of your list right now? You can share in the comments or on Twitter @ABookishHome.

Ten Bookish Gift Ideas for a Baby Shower

Will you be attending a baby shower or buying a baby gift soon? This is a great time to help build baby’s library and make sure the nursery is well stocked for many bedtime read alouds to come!

If you’re the one planning a baby shower, I love when the invitation asks guests, “Instead of a card for baby and mother, please give a book with your thoughts in the cover”. Many of my daughter’s favorite books and read alouds were baby gifts from friends and family and it is so wonderful to open a book and see a loved one’s name inside.

Not sure what book to choose? Here are some ideas to get you started!

Ten Bookish Gift Ideas for a Baby Shower

1. A Fun, Silly Board Book by Sandra Boynton–she has many!

Board books are also a perfect, durable choice for easy sharing with a little bookworm that might love chewing on the pages.

 

2. One of Nancy Tillman’s Sweet Stories

These board books make loving, sentimental read alouds. On the Night You Were Born is our favorite.

 

3. A Delightful Bedtime Read Aloud

Meet Little Nutbrown Hare in the classic Guess How Much I Love You or discover beautifully illustrated dreamlands in Dream Animals. Both are perfect for reading over and over with a sleep little one!

 

4. A Board Book for Learning

Try a book that teaches–from where baby’s eyes and nose are (Where is Baby’s Belly Button) to baby’s First 100 Words, or well known nursery rhymes such as “Humpty Dumpty” and “Mary Had A Little Lamb” (Usborne Very First Nursery Rhymes).

 

5. Holiday Read Alouds

A great idea for building baby’s library is by gifting books for holidays. We received books for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Halloween and more at our baby shower and it has been so helpful to have those ready to share with our little one! Some of our favorites are Leslie Patricelli’s funny stories such a Boo!, Fa La La, and Huggy Kissy.

 

6. A Classic Picture Book

Help build baby’s library with one of these wonderful picture books to enjoy for years to come!

 

7. A More Recent Picture Book Favorite

Gift one of these stellar books to stock the nursery! Capture the imagination with The Dot or Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and inspire perseverance (Ada Twist Scientist) and gratitude (Last Stop on Market Street). You also can never go wrong with  a book from Mo Willems’ crowd pleasing, laugh out loud Elephant and Piggie and Pigeon series.

 

 

8. A Bookish Onesie from Out of Print

Pair your gift of a classic picture book with a coordinating bookish onesie!

 

 

 

9. A Storybook Gift Basket

You can create a gift basket with a children’s book and coordinating stuffed animal or other items. I’m a big Peter Rabbit fan and loved the coordinating blanket and baby dish set we received. Barnes and Noble has quite a few character stuffed animals including Peter Rabbit, Pigeon, and Madeline. Your local bookstore would be another good place to try.

 

10. A Subscription to Hello Magazine from Highlights

We received a Hello magazine subscription as a baby gift and it has been a hit! It’s fun to get mail each month and the magazine makes a great read aloud choice. My favorite part though is how perfectly constructed this is for babies and toddlers– it’s the perfect size for little hands (and to throw in the diaper bag), the pages can be chewed on and tugged without ever getting damaged and you can wipe it down.

highlightshello

 

Do you have a favorite bookish gift idea for a baby shower? Share in the comments.

Don’t forget to subscribe to A Bookish Home to receive your weekly email with a new post sharing ideas for building a culture of reading in your home. You can also follow A Bookish Home on Twitter (@ABookishHome) or Facebook (@ABookishHome).

 

Have a Bookish Birthday Party

Are you planning a birthday party for your little one? Make it bookish!

1. Choose a Book Your Child Loves.

I’m always looking for ways to create a culture of reading in our home, so when it came time to pick a theme for my daughter’s first birthday party, we went with her favorite book–Never Touch a Monster by Stuart Lynch.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 5.56.52 AM.png

She helped pick this adorable touch and feel board book at her daycare’s Scholastic Book Fair and it has been well loved this year–to the point that I had to sneakily replace it when it began to fall apart from all of my little bookworm’s chewing! (This also made me extra happy because in my pre-librarian life I worked at Scholastic). I highly recommend this one to any babies in your life as a funny, interactive read aloud they won’t be able to get enough of.

Basing a birthday party theme on a favorite book  would also work for older children. Some books that might lend themselves well are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Dino sports books, Harry Potter, Curious George, Land of Stories, The Lorax, the Rainbow Magic fairies series, Pete the Cat, Elephant and Piggie, Pinkilicious, and Wings of Fire.

 

2. Order or Make Decorations that Relate to the Story.

I have seen official book decorations, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Those are wonderful, but you can buy or make related decorations if it’s a different book your child loves. So if your little one is a big Wings of Fire fan, you could look for dragon decorations. For the Rainbow Magic fairy books, go with a fairy theme or for The Lorax, you could try making truffula trees. Then you can also display copies of the book, either your own or from a library.

For the Never Touch a Monster book we ordered some monster decorations that looked similar to the characters in the story.  We also bought two new related touch and feel titles for our celebration we thought our little reader would love–That’s Not My Monster… by Fiona Watt and Never Touch a Dinosaur by Stuart Lynch. The books were able to double as decorations and party entertainment as well. I wasn’t feeling particularly crafty so this was a way to make the party feel special for her without taking much effort!

IMG_0452.HEIC

 

3. Buy Books for Birthday Presents.

If you’re like me and try to get most of your books at the library, this is a good excuse to stock up on some new titles! Used bookstores and kids’ tag sales are also a great way to buy children’s books on a budget.

I found the presents I wanted while browsing at a fantastic independent bookstore I visited on a recent trip to Colorado: Boulder Bookstore. They had such a wonderful children’s section to discover new books in and it always makes me happy if I can support an independent bookstore.

 


The board books I chose for my little bookworm are Pride and Prejudice: A Counting Primer (A Baby Lit Book) by Jennifer Adams, My Little Cities: Paris by Jennifer Adams, and Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering by Ruth Spiro. These books are each part of a series with beautiful illustrations and interesting stories for children in the areas of literature, science, and travel (click on the links to see more titles). I also found an adorable Little Feminist board book set with pages on many important women “Artists”, “Leaders”, “Activists” and “Pioneers” such as Maya Angelou, Queen Elizabeth I, Malala Yousafzai, and Sally Ride.

screen-shot-2018-03-29-at-5-49-06-am.png

 

4. Write your Child Birthday Messages Inside the Books.

These were perfect titles to share thoughts on wishing her a life where she can follow her dreams and do anything she sets her mind to! I’m hoping to start a tradition of giving my daughter books every year for her birthday with keepsake messages written inside. You could write your child a message on their birthday book each year and then keep them on a special shelf.

 

5. Enjoy the Party and Read the Books with your Little One!

Celebrate, play, and read on the day of the party. Then you can continue to enjoy any books you’ve given as presents during daily read alouds together!

 

Have you made a children’s book a theme for a birthday party? Or have you gifted any great books lately? Share your ideas in the comments!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

My Postgreeneggsham

Friday, March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America Day! I’m celebrating all week long with Seuss read alouds and activities in the library and Seuss bedtime read alouds for my little one. I’ve also invited teachers and students to vote for their favorite Dr. Seuss book with stickers on a display outside the library.

Here are some of the top picks so far, which you might want to share with the kids in your life to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday!

 

My favorite Dr. Seuss book is Oh The Thinks You Can Think, which makes a great read aloud for any age.

OhTheThinksYouCanThink.jpeg

I love the way Dr. Seuss encourages us to use our imaginations in this one and I emphasize how cool it is that he makes up so many interesting creatures, places, games, and even food in the story. For the older students, we make the connection that this is what some of our favorite fantasy authors do, for example JK Rowling’s creation of “Quidditch”, “Hogwarts”, and “Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans”. After we read, I like to challenge students to make up their own words, like Dr. Seuss did, at one of our centers. It’s been so fun seeing what they come up with!

On Friday, we’ll have a special “breakfast for dinner” for our Seuss celebration at home. I’m going to make this green eggs and ham recipe from 100 Days of Read Food. I like that I don’t have to go out and buy green food coloring for this one, she just blends in some kale.

green-eggs-590x393
Green Eggs and Ham Recipe from 100 Days of Real Food

I hope you have fun celebrating! Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

 

Update: If like me, you realize you are short a few shopping ingredients, you can improvise and do green eggs with avocado and bacon!

ham.JPG