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


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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.”

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Girl, Wash Your Face

by Rachel Hollis

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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.”

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Crafty Llama

by Mike Kerr, Illustrated by Renata Liwska

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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

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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!

Ep. 16: Candlewick Press Senior Editor, Katie Cunningham

This week we’re getting a behind the scenes peek at Candlewick Press, a publisher that is constantly putting out kidlit that I adore. Candlewick Senior Editor, Katie Cunningham highlights standout titles and gives insights about her work as an editor that bibliophiles will love hearing about.

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

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To learn more about Candlewick and stay in the know about forthcoming titles, you can visit Candlewick.com and follow them on social media @Candlewick.

Books Mentioned On This Week’s Episode:

Alma And How She Got Her Name

House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery

Journey

Because of Winn Dixie

Louisiana’s Way Home

Maps

Yaqui Delgado

Shapes Trilogy

This Is Not My Hat

Rescue and Jessica

Julian Is A Mermaid

We Are Here to Stay

Merci Suarez Changes Gears

Patchwork Bike

The Stuff of Stars

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

An American Marriage

Sex Object

Teaching My Mother to Give Birth

All You Can Ever Know

There Will Be No Miracles Here

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, I’d be so grateful.

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!

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

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!

Ep. 11: Author and Illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal on “Alma and How She Got Her Name”

Author and illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal joins me on the podcast this week to discuss her latest picture book, Alma And How She Got Her Name. Juana is also the illustrator of La Madre Goose and La Princesa and the Pea, for which she won the 2018 Pura Belpré Medal Award for Illustration. We chatted about the backstory of Alma, Juana’s journey as an illustrator, and the ways this book can start important conversations in homes and classrooms.

 

 

This episode is also available on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

 

Shownotes:

Learn more about Juana Martinez-Neal on her website http://juanamartinezneal.com.

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If you’re enjoying the podcast, be sure to subscribe and rate and review on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. To stay up to date on bookish happenings, you can follow me on Twitter @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

 

What I’ve Been Reading…

Fall in New England means apple picking, gorgeous foliage, pumpkin spiced everything, and most importantly–the start of cozy reading season.

Here are the books I’ve been curled up with this month:

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.

The Lotterys More or Less

by Emma Donoghue

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A sequel to The Lotterys Plus One is here! If you or the kids in your life are fans of books that feature the adventures of big, rambunctious families with a lot of heart then pick up this series by Emma Donoghue. This book, set during the holidays, would also make a great gift for the kids in your life. The Lotterys, with four parents, one grandparent and six siblings are from a variety of different backgrounds and celebrate an array of holiday traditions in this entertaining sequel. Their rich, quirky family culture continues to make me wish I was their neighbor and could drop by for a visit. You may know the author from her adult novels, Room and The Wonder. Fans of this series could try The Vanderbeekers series by Karina Yan Glaser next.

“Sumac Lottery is the keeper of her family’s traditions — from Pow Wow to Holi, Carnival to Hogmanay, Sumac’s on guard to make sure that no Lottery celebration gets forgotten. But this winter all Sumac’s seasonal plans go awry when a Brazilian visitor overstays his welcome. A terrible ice storm grounds all flights, so one of her dads and her favorite brother can’t make it home from India. And then the power starts going out across the city… Can Sumac hang on to the spirit of the season, even if nothing is going like a Lottery holiday should?”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

 

Vox

by Christina Dalcher

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For fans of The Handmaids’ Tale looking for their next read, my recommendation is Vox. This page turner by Christina Dalcher similarly evokes fear by making this alternate reality, where women are limited to 100 words per day seem plausible.

“Set in a United States in which half the population has been silenced, Vox is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than one hundred words per day, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial. This can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her. Soon women are not permitted to hold jobs. Girls are not taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words each day, but now women have only one hundred to make themselves heard. For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

This is just the beginning…not the end.”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

A Big Mooncake for Little Star

by Grace Lin

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Grace Lin is one of my favorite Kidlit authors. You may know her from her middle grade titles such as the Newbery Honor book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, easy readers like the sweet and funny Ling and Ting series, and so many more. Her newest picture book is a beautiful, imaginative story of the phases of the moon. This would make a fantastic read aloud in an elementary classroom or library and is also perfect for one on one sharing at bedtime. Highly recommended.
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.”

Indiebound    Amazon

The Good News About Bad Behavior: What Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever – An What To Do About It

by Katherine Reynolds Lewis

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If you are a parent, caregiver or educator interested in some of the latest research and theories on kids and behavior, The Good News About Bad Behavior is a compelling read. As Booklist noted, “In her first book, Lewis researches and explains how we got here and the ways that adults can help the kids in their lives improve through connection, communication, and capability.”

“Why don’t our kids do what we want them to do? Parents often take the blame for misbehavior, but this obscures a broader trend: in our modern, highly connected age, children have less self-control than ever. About half of the current generation of children will develop a mood or behavioral disorder or a substance addiction by age eighteen. Contemporary kids need to learn independence and responsibility, yet our old ideas of punishments and rewards are preventing this from happening.
To stem this growing crisis of self-regulation, journalist and parenting expert Katherine Reynolds Lewis articulates what she calls The Apprenticeship Model, a new theory of discipline that centers on learning the art of self-control. Blending new scientific research and powerful individual stories of change, Lewis shows that, if we trust our children to face consequences, they will learn to adapt and moderate their own behavior. She watches as chaotic homes become peaceful, bewildered teachers see progress, and her own family grows and evolves in light of these new ideas. You’ll recognize your own family in Lewis’s sensitive, realistic stories, and you’ll find a path to making everyone in your home more capable, kinder, and happier–including yourself.”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

 

The Wedding Date and The Proposal 

by Jasmine Guillory

If you’re looking for a delightful romantic comedy to escape into, Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date fits the bill. Entertainment Weekly called The Wedding Date, “A swoony rom-com brimming with humor and charm.” and NPR said, “This novel reads like a truly contemporary contemporary romance in that the hero and heroine grapple with issues anyone dating today will relate to.” The companion book, The Proposal comes out on October 30th and is sure to please Guillory’s fans. As Buzzfeed notes, “With sharp banter, a well-rounded cast of characters, and plenty of swoony scenes, Jasmine Guillory defends her position as one of the most exciting rom-com writers out there.”

The Wedding Date

Indiebound    Amazon

 

The Proposal    

 Indiebound    Amazon

 

What have you been reading? I’d love to hear your recommendations. 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 New Picture Books to Read This Month

Are you looking for picture books to share with your children or students?

Here are a few of my favorite new releases.

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.

 

Grow Up, David!

by David Shannon

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David is back! The series that includes No David!, Davis Goes to School, and more returns after an 8 year gap. The David books were always in high demand with kindergarten and first graders in my library. Kids will be thrilled to get their hands on Grow up, David! and it doesn’t disappoint.

“Little-brother antics have never been so endearing — or true to life! David Shannon’s beloved character in his bestselling book No, David! captures the attention and hearts of young children as few characters can. Readers relish David’s exuberance, defiance, and wildly energetic curiosity, and when there’s trouble, you can bet “David did it!” Now he’s taunting his older brother by eating his Halloween candy, making a bathroom mess, and following him up the tree house. “You’re too little!” won’t stop David’s tricks in this all-time “read it again” favorite.”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

A Parade of Elephants

by Kevin Henkes

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Kevin Henkes is the beloved author/illustrator behind Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse, Chrysanthemum, Kitten’s First Full Moon and many more. A Parade of Elephants would make a delightful bedtime story for preschoolers and toddlers.

 

“Up and down, over and under, through and around . . . five big and brightly colored elephants are on a mission in this picture book for young children by Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes. Where are they going? What will they do when they get there? It’s a surprise! With a text shimmering with repetition and rhythm, bright pastel illustrations, large and readable type, and an adorable parade of elephants, Kevin Henkes introduces basic concepts such as numbers, shapes, adjectives, adverbs, and daytime and nighttime.”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

 

Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude

by Josh Funk, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

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Fans of Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen will enjoy this new title by Josh Funk.  Lost in the Library is ideal for sharing in public and school libraries.

“Steadfast Fortitude and curious Patience are waiting every morning to greet visitors of the Library. That is until, one early morning, when Fortitude finds Patience is missing. The city is about to awake, and the lions absolutely must be in their places before the sun rises. Now, Fortitude must abandon his own post to find his best friend in the Library’s labyrinthine halls.”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

The Day You Begin

by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López

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This book has been on my TBR list since it came out and I finally got my hands on a copy!  Elementary school teachers, librarians, and parents: I can’t recommend this picture book highly enough. Run to your school or local library and borrow a copy! This would spark such valuable discussions about feeling like an outsider, acceptance, differences, and classroom community. A must read.

“National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpre Illustrator Award winner Rafael Lopez have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.

There will be times when you walk into a room
and no one there is quite like you.

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.”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth

by Kate Gardner, Illustrated by Heidi Smith

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This beautiful and fascinating nonfiction picture book is full of surprising facts about animals we might deem frightening, mean, or ugly. Engaging and perfect for reading out loud. Follow up with The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond or Feathers, Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart.

“Spiders are creepy. Porcupines are scary. Bats are ugly. Or are they . . . ? This captivating book invites you to look beyond your first impressions at these awe-inspiring animals in the wild. After all, it’s best not to judge a beast until you understand its full, lovely life.”

Indiebound    Amazon

 

What picture books are topping your list of favorites right now? I’d love to hear your recommendations. 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

What I’ve Been Reading…

The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden

by Karina Yan Glaser

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Vanderbeeker fans, the wait is almost over! The sequel to the enchanting middle-grade novel,  The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street comes out on September 25th and it does not disappoint. This time, the lovable Vanderbeekers are on summer vacation–having adventures in their Harlem neighborhood and trying to create a community garden. This is a must-read for the kids in your life and would make a fantastic classroom read aloud for upper elementary. Look out for my interview with author Karina Yan Glaser on Episode 6 of  the A Bookish Home podcast, coming up on Thursday, September 20th. Amy Poehler also recently optioned the rights to The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, so I’m hoping we see this heartwarming, funny book on the big screen soon!

Look for The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden at your local library or bookstore or order online:

Indiebound    Amazon     Amazon Kindle

What We Were Promised

by Lucy Tan

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What We Were Promised is the stunning debut novel by Lucy Tan that draws the reader into the world of modern Shanghai from the views of the wealthy Zhen family, and Sunny, the housekeeper employed at their luxury high rise. Fans of The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee will find What We Were Promised also delivers keen observations and a carefully woven story with deeply buried secrets.  Library Journal declares, “A novel of class, culture, and expectations; readers who enjoyed works like Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians will likely find Tan’s surprising and down-to-earth tale an entertaining read.” And Booklist writes, “Tan’s first novel is beautiful and compassionate as it explores how identity is reinvented and the importance of confronting the past to move into the future.” Lucy Tan will be on the podcast to discuss What We Were Promised on October 4th!

Look for What We Were Promised at your local library or bookstore or order online:

Indiebound.    Amazon     Amazon Kindle

I’d Rather Be Reading:

The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life

by Anne Bogel

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Bibliophiles and fellow fans of author Anne Bogel’s Modern Mrs. Darcy blog and What Should I Read Podcast will enjoy her new book of essays on the reading life: I’d Rather Be Reading.  I listened to the audiobook and it was a treat to hear some of Anne’s backstory as a reader and the role books have played in her life as I took note of countless literary references. If you’re looking to make the leap from podcasts to audiobooks, this conversational collection would be an excellent place to start.

Look for I’d Rather Be Reading at your local library or bookstore or order online:

Indiebound     Amazon     Amazon Kindle

Forever or a Day 

by Sarah Jacoby

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This gorgeous picture book examines the mysterious nature of time. In Forever or a Day, we look at time from a child’s point of view. The narrator notes, “Sometimes it’s far, far away–like when you will be old, gazing out at the sea” and later,  “You cannot hold it. You cannot give it to someone in exchange for a snack.” School Library Journal notes, “This is a book that bears repeated readings. Its treasures reveal themselves on close examination and its subject matter is, of course, profound…. A lovely lap book, exceptionally well-suited for intergenerational sharing again and again.” For those doing Mock Caldecotts this year, I think Forever or a Day‘s detailed illustrations and complex topic would be perfect for discussion with older picture book readers.

Look for Forever or a Day at your local library or bookstore or order online:

Indiebound     Amazon

Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win

by Jo Piazza

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Jo Piazza is the author of six books, including The Knockoff and How to Be Married. In her new novel, Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, a Silicon Valley executive decides to return to her small hometown in Pennsylvania to run for the Senate. The campaign that follows will turn her life upside down in more ways than she ever expected. Library Journal writes, “Piazza’s contemporary representation of what women go through to become successful politicians is both insightful and honest. Rooted in current events, the plot precisely captures the modern political environment. It’s easy to empathize with and cheer for this likable heroine.”

Look for Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win at your local library or bookstore or order online:

Indiebound    Amazon     Amazon Kindle

 

What have you been reading lately? I’d love to hear!  Leave a note in the comments or let me know on Twitter @ABookishHome.

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

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

 

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  I also participate in the Indiebound Affiliate program.

Massachusetts Author Event Roundup: September Edition

Are you looking for a bookish event to attend this month? Add an author reading to your calendar!

Check the events calendar at your local bookstores, libraries, and museums to find authors coming to your area. You can also follow favorite authors on social media or visit their website to see if they have any upcoming events. Attend on your own or bring your child along to experience the magic of hearing from an author in person!

If you are local to the Boston area, here are some fantastic author events coming your way this month:

Wednesday, September 12 – 6pm at Boston Public Library, Copley Square

Anne Boyd Rioux, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women And Why It Still Matters

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“On its 150th anniversary, discover the story of the beloved classic that has captured the imaginations of generations. Soon after publication on September 30, 1868, Little Women became an enormous bestseller and one of America – and the world’s – favorite novels. When Anne Boyd Rioux read the novel in her twenties, she had a powerful reaction to the story. Through teaching the book, she has seen the same effect on many others. In Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, Rioux recounts how Louisa May Alcott came to write Little Women, drawing inspiration from her own life. Rioux also examines why this tale of family and community ties, set as the Civil War was tearing America apart, has resonated through later wars, the Depression, and times of changing opportunities for women.”

For more, visit the event website and listen to A Bookish Home Podcast Episode 1 with Anne Boyd Rioux. You can also see Anne Boyd Rioux’s complete book tour information here.

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women And Why It Still Matters is available on:

Indiebound     Amazon    Amazon Kindle

Wednesday, September 12th –6pm at Silver Unicorn Books, Acton

Rebecca Caprara (The Magic of Melwick Orchard) and Erin Cashman (Uncharted)

“This is going to be one of the best events of the year! Two local authors, both from Boxborough, have great novels out just a week apart from each other! First up is Rebecca Caprara’s debut novel, The Magic of Melwick Orchard. You may know Rebecca because her family owned the Acton School of Ballet for a very long time before turning it over to new ownership this summer. Rebecca’s book follows the story of a young girl who just can’t be a priority in her parents’ lives because of her ill sister is heartwrenching, but it is infused with a magic that will keep you up late at night finishing it. The book doesn’t come out until September, and we are so excited for it. Erin Cashman’s book, Uncharted, comes out a few days later. Hers is a gaenre-defying novel that is at once young adult, fantasy and mystery.  It tells the tale of teenage Annabeth, and a secret society that may have found the fountain of youth. But the book is so much more than that, as Annabeth grapples with love and loss, and has to summon the strength inside of herself to be brave and do what’s right, all while trying to unravel a mystery that has far more twists and turns than you would expect. We thought we had this book figured six times, and were wrong every single time! Both books are among our favorites of 2018. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be celebrating these two great ladies and their two excellent books!”

For more information visit the event website.

The Magic of Melwick Orchard is available on:

Indiebound      Amazon    Amazon Kindle     

Uncharted is available on:

Indiebound      Amazon    Amazon Kindle

You can find Rebecca Caprara’s full book tour information here.

Book tour information for Erin Cashman is available here.

Friday, September 14th –7pm at Newtonville Books

Release Party for Here to Stay by Sara Farizan

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“What happens when a kid who’s flown under the radar for most of high school gets pulled off the bench to make the winning basket in a varsity playoff game? If his name is Bijan Majidi, life is suddenly high fives in the hallways and invitations to exclusive parties—along with an anonymous photo sent by a school cyberbully that makes Bijan look like a terrorist. The administration says they’ll find and punish the culprit. Bijan wants to pretend it never happened. He’s not ashamed of his Middle Eastern heritage; he just doesn’t want to be a poster child for Islamophobia. Lots of classmates rally around Bijan. Others make it clear they don’t want him oranybody who looks like him at their school. But it’s not always easy to tell your enemies from your friends.

For more, check out the event website.

Here to Stay is available on:

Indiebound      Amazon    Amazon Kindle     

Saturday,  September 15th – 4pm at Belmont Books

Louise Miller, The Late Bloomers’ Club

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“The Great Belmont Books Bake-Off returns! To celebrate special cake in The Late Bloomers’ Club, [Louise Miller] will be judging a cake baking contest at Belmont Books. There will be prizes. Reading, Q&A, Book Signing and Bake-Off”

For more, visit the event website and listen to my interview with Louise Miller in A Bookish Home Podcast Episode 4.

You can find Louise Miller’s full event schedule here.

The Late Bloomers’ Club is available on:

Indiebound   Amazon    Amazon Kindle

Ella & Monkey at Sea by Emilie Boon

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Do you love picture books? Join us in our children’s section each Wednesday and Sunday for drop-in storytime! Today’s storytime features Emilie Boon reading her new book. Leaving home and traveling to a whole new place is overwhelming, so it’s good to have a beloved toy who can help express how you feel. Ella’s best friend, Monkey, doesn’t like good-bye hugs. He doesn’t want to say good-bye to Oma. And he doesn’t want to move away forever. Neither does Ella. But Papa is waiting for them in New York. So Ella and Monkey must board the ship with Mama and leave their old home in Holland for their new home in America.

For more information visit the event website

Ella & Monkey at Sea is available on:

Indiebound     Amazon

Sunday, September 16th –2pm at Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton

Author Event with Christina Collins (After Zero), Jen Petro-Roy (P.S. I Miss You), and Beth Turley (If This Were A Story)

“This is going to be a great middle-grade panel discussion, led by three local authors who have debut novels — all geared toward middle-grade readers — out in 2018.

Christina Collins is a Maynard native who now lives across the pond in Northern Ireland. Her debut novel, After Zero, comes out Sept. 4, and is an incredibly moving story of what happens to a girl who decides to stop talking. The book has already received praise from Kirkus Reviews and Booklist, who says it’s “easy to root for” main character Elise.

Beth Turley lives in southeastern Connecticut, and her book, If This Were a Story, debuts on Aug. 28. Her book centers on a 10-year-old girl who deals with bullies at school through the power of stories. The book has earned praise from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and has been compared to The Thing about Jellyfish.

Jen lives in Massachussetts, and her book, P.S. I Miss You, debuted in March. Two sisters are torn apart by strict Catholic parents, when the older sister, Cilla, becomes pregnant. Younger sister Evie is forbidden to speak to Cilla, who is sent away to live with her aunt, so instead she secretly sends her letters. That is, until Cilla stops writing back.

These women have written three excellent middle-grade novels that deal with mental health and we couldn’t be more excited to have them all to the store individually, never mind at the exact same time! Join us for this fabulous middle-grade event!”

For more information visit the event website.

After Zero is available on:

Indiebound      Amazon    Amazon Kindle     

If This Were A Story is available on:

Indiebound      Amazon    Amazon Kindle     

P.S. I Miss You is available on:

Indiebound      Amazon    Amazon Kindle     

Sunday, September 16, 2018 – 3:00pm at Porter Square Books

Mission Defrostable by Josh Funk & Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes and Stinkers by Melissa Stewart

“There’s a frost in the fridge–and it’s hardened Pudding Pond and frozen Yogurt Falls. Agent Asparagus is on the case, and she begs Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast to join her superspy team. But when the enemy snatches Asparagus, Pancake and French Toast have only one dough man to turn to for help: the evil Baron von Waffle Will he help them save the fridge . . . or are they doomed to become frozen food? Josh Funk is the author of Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, followed by its sequel The Case of the Stinky Stench, Albie Newton, How to Code a Sandcastle, Lost in the Library, and more. He lives in Concord, MA.

Puny? Poky? Clumsy? Shy? A lighthearted look at the surprising traits that help some animals survive. Written with a lively, playful voice, Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers introduces young readers to a variety of “animal underdogs” and explains how characteristics that might seem like weaknesses are critical for finding food and staying safe in an eat-or-be-eaten world. Award-winning author Melissa Stewart offers readers a humorous and informative nonfiction picture book with a gentle message of understanding and celebrating differences. Stephanie Laberis’s bright, bold–and scientifically accurate–illustrations add to the fun.”

For more visit the event website.

Josh Funk’s full book tour schedule is available here.

Mission Defrostable is available on:

Indiebound     Amazon

Melissa Stewart’s full book tour schedule is available here.

Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes and Stinkers is available on:

Indiebound     Amazon

Monday, September 17, 2018 – 7:00pm at Belmont Public Library, with Belmont Books

Winnie’s Great War by Lindsay Mattick and Josh Greenhut

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“Learn the story behind everyone’s favorite bear in Lindsay Mattick’s Winnie’s Great War at Belmont Public Library.

This beautifully told story is a triumphant blending of deep research and magnificent imagination. Infused with Sophie Blackall’s irresistible renderings of an endearing bear, the book is also woven through with entries from Captain Harry Colebourn’s real wartime diaries and contains a selection of artifacts from the Colebourn Family Archives. The result is a one-of-a-kind exploration into the realities of war, the meaning of courage, and the indelible power of friendship, all told through the historic adventures of one extraordinary bear. ”

For more information visit the event website.

Winnie’s Great War is available on:

Indiebound     Amazon

Friday September 21st – 8:00 PM with Harvard Bookstore at Memorial Church, Cambridge

 Leadership In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

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“Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcome Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer and historian DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN—the bestselling author of Team of Rivals and The Bully Pulpit—for a discussion of her highly anticipated latest book, Leadership: In Turbulent Times.
Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the leader make the times or do the times make the leader? In Leadership, Goodwin draws upon the four presidents she has studied most closely—Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson (in civil rights)—to show how they recognized leadership qualities within themselves and were recognized as leaders by others. By looking back to their first entries into public life, we encounter them at a time when their paths were filled with confusion, fear, and hope. Leadership tells the story of how they all collided with dramatic reversals that disrupted their lives and threatened to shatter forever their ambitions. Nonetheless, they all emerged fitted to confront the contours and dilemmas of their times.”
For more visit the event website.
The full book tour schedule for Doris Kearns Goodwin is available here.

Leadership in Turbulent Times is available on:

Indiebound     Amazon

Saturday September 29th –7pm with Harvard Bookstore at First Church, Cambridge

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

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“Harvard Book Store welcomes celebrated novelist JODI PICOULT—whose last ten novels have debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list—for a discussion of her latest novel, A Spark of Light. She will be joined in conversation by CELESTE NG, award-winning author of Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You.”
For more, visit the event website.

A Spark of Light  is available on:

Saturday, September 29nd – 10:30am at Book Ends Bookstore, Winchester

Storytime with Kate Gardner, Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth

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“Please join us for Saturday Story Time on Septemberr 29th at 10:30am! We are welcoming author Kate Gardner in to read her new picture book Lovely Beasts, a stunning debut picture book that encourages kids to look beyond first impressions by sharing unexpected details about seemingly scary wild animals like gorillas, rhinoceroses, and more.

After all, it’s best not to judge a beast until you understand its full, lovely life.

Kate Gardner says hello to every animal she encounters, regardless of its reputation. Once, she was even voluntarily shocked by an electric eel named Thor. Kate lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, with three lovely beasts (one of whom is her husband).”

For more information visit the event website.

Lovely Beasts: The Surprising Truth is available on:

Indiebound   Amazon

Book Lunch Party for I Am Human by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds

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“From the picture book dream team behind I Am Yoga and I Am Peace comes the third book in their wellness series: I Am Human. A hopeful meditation on all the great (and challenging) parts of being human, I Am Human shows that it’s okay to make mistakes while also emphasizing the power of good choices by offering a kind word or smile or by saying “I’m sorry.” At its heart, this picture book is a celebration of empathy and compassion that lifts up the flawed fullness of humanity and encourages children to see themselves as part of one big imperfect family—millions strong.”
For more visit the event website.

I Am Human is available on:

Sunday, September 23rd – 12:30pm at the Eric Carle Museum

Meet Dav Pilkey! Author of Dog Man and Captain Underpants

“Meet Dav Pilkey, author/illustrator of the bestselling Captain Underpantsand Dog Man series! Pilkey will talk about his new book, Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas, do a live drawing, and share fun trivia with the audience. Following the 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm auditorium programs, guests can get books signed by Pilkey and enjoy photo opportunities with Dog Man and Captain Underpants!

UPDATE – 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm auditorium programs with Dav Pilkey are FULL. The wait list is also FULL. Visitors can still meet Dav Pilkey during the book signing times. A limited number of book signing tickets are available first come, first serve when Museum opens at 12:00 pm.”

For more information, visit the event website. A full schedule of Dav Pilkey’s book your is  available here.

Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas is available on:

Indiebound    Amazon    Amazon Kindle

The Red Fox Clan image_path

“#1 New York Times bestselling author John Flanagan returns to the world of Ranger’s Apprentice, continuing the story arc starring fan favorites, Will and Maddie (The Royal Ranger: A New Beginning).

After passing her third-year assessment as a ranger’s apprentice, Maddie is called home to Castle Araluen. Forced to keep her ranger training a secret, Maddie feels trapped by the monotony of castle life and longs to find a way out. But there are whisperings of a new threat to the kingdom. The mysterious Red Fox Clan, a group of anarchists all donning fox masks, have threatened Castle Araluen and question Princess Cassandra and Madelyn’s succession to the throne. Will they succeed in unseating Cassandra and Madelyn and take the throne for themselves?”

For more information visit the event website.

The Red Fox Clan is available on:

Shop your local indie bookstore”>Indiebound    Amazon    Amazon Kindle

John Flanagan’s full book tour information is available here.

Saturday, September 29th at 1:30pm, Eric Carle Museum

Drawing Paddington with R.W. Alley

“R.W. Alley has been illustrating Michael Bond’s Paddington books for over twenty years. Guests of all ages will enjoy watching Alley capture Paddington’s likeness and personality in this lively drawing demonstration, which includes a Q&A with the audience. Paper and drawing supplies will be provided for those who wish to draw along with Alley! Book signing to follow program.”

(R. W. Alley, Illustration for Paddington and the Grand Tour, HarperCollins, 2014. Courtesy of the artist. © R. W. Alley 2018.)

For more information visit the event website.

What bookish events are you planning to attend this month? Reach out! Leave a comment or share with me on Twitter @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

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Five Picture Books for Back to School

Are you looking for a picture book to kick off the new school year with your students or children?

Here are five of my favorite back to school read alouds:

 

1. School’s First Day of School

Story by Adam Rex, Pictures by Christian Robinson

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In this funny, charming story a brand new school awaits its first students: “It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him?” A read aloud of School’s First Day of School is sure to delight your students or children. For more, watch this PBS interview with illustrator Christian Robinson where he discusses his process and a topic I’m passionate about–the importance of children seeing themselves reflected in books:

 

2. Planet Kindergarten

By Sue Ganz-Schmitt, Illustrated by Shane Prigmore

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Do you teach Kindergarten or have a child about to take this leap? This is the read aloud for you. In this adorable and clever story, a young boy ventures off to a strange new world, with different customs and alien inhabitants: Planet Kindergarten. Engaging and sure to excite young readers about this new adventure. Check out the book trailer for a sneak peak:

 

 

3. Wemberly Worried

By Kevin Henkes

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Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of many beloved and award-winning picture books from Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse and Kitten’s First Full Moon, to Owen and Chrysanthemum. All of his books make fantastic classroom read alouds, but Wemberly Worried is one of my favorites and a wonderful choice to calm new school year anxieties for the pre-K to second grade set: “Wemberly worried about everything. Big things. Little things. And things in between. Then it was time for school to start. And Wemberly worried even more. If you ever worry (or know someone who does), this is the book for you.” For more, check out this Activity Guide from Kevin Henkes with a Wemberly coloring page, a “worry list”, recipes from the book and more.

 

4. When Sophie Thinks She Can’t…

By Molly Bang

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If you are looking to kick off the new school year with a discussion about “growth mindset” and the importance of persistence, Molly Bang’s new book is an excellent read aloud choice. When Sophie Thinks She Can’t… is Molly Bang’s third Sophie book, you may recognize this character from When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry… or When Sophie’s Feelings are Really, Really Hurt. In this story, Sophie gets frustrated when she struggles to solve a math puzzle and shouts, “I CAN’T DO IT!” She doubts whether she will ever be “smart”: “Luckily Sophie’s teacher steps in. What does it mean to be smart? Using current, popular “mindset” techniques, Sophie’s class is taught that we get smarter when we exercise our brains, such as when we work harder at solving a puzzle. Struggling to solve a problem doesn’t mean “I can’t do it!” Sophie and her classmates just can’t do it. . .yet!” For more, you can watch this book trailer from Scholastic:

 

 

5. The Dot 

By Peter H. Reynolds

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Are you hoping to inspire the kids in your life to take risks in the classroom this year and follow their creativity? Read them The Dot by Peter Reynolds: “Her teacher smiled. ‘Just make a mark and see where it takes you.’ Art class is over, but Vashti is sitting glued to her chair in front of a blank piece of paper. The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can’t draw – she’s no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. “There!” she says. That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery.” To take the uplifting message one step further, you could also celebrate International Dot Day on September 15th with your students. I love the idea from this Educator Guide to do a  “Door Dots” activity,  “Have the classroom door covered in plain colored dots, waiting like a blank canvas.” After reading the book, students could “make their mark” and decorate one of the dots.

 

What books will you be sharing with the kids in your life to kick off this new school year?