Chapter books you’ve been waiting for

Ivy and Bean No News is Good News

There’s nothing like a familiar protagonist, setting, and illustrations to make easing into a new book a smooth ride for young readers. Two of these chapter books are entries in popular series; one is a sequel to an award-winning book from New Zealand; and one, while not part of a series, will be sure to […]

Neighborhood news

reach out and read

Our downstairs neighbors, the super-cool nonprofit organization Reach Out and Read, are now providing some handy reading tips on the Pampers Village website. Their advice includes helpful information on how to “read” wordless books with children, why dads should read aloud with their kids, what rhyming books do for your toddler’s brain, and how military […]

A Halloween treat

how to draw a happy witch

Halloween is coming, which means it’s time to learn How to Draw a Happy Witch and 99 Things That Go Bump in the Night (Sterling, September). In Joy Sikorski and Nick Sunday’s second book about Little Man the cat (How to Draw a Sailing Cat) readers can follow the adventures of Little Man as he […]

Five questions for Claire A. Nivola

Claire Nivola

An earlier picture book by Claire A. Nivola, Elisabeth, told about the true experience of her mother, Ruth, a Jewish child whose family fled Nazi Germany. In Orani: My Father’s Village, author-illustrator Nivola takes readers along on a remembrance of her childhood visits to the small Sardinian town where her father was born. 1. Tomie […]

YA historical fiction (and one biography)

Nazi Germany, ancient Egypt, and 1893 New York City are the settings for new historical novels for teens, while a biography of Dickens takes readers to Victorian London. In 1936 Berlin, Karl Stern is surprised when he’s beaten up by Nazi bullies: he’s blond and fair-skinned, and he and his family aren’t observant Jews. Then […]

Cover girls

I smiled when I saw Mitali Perkins’s Facebook status update the other day. Apparently it was World Read Aloud Day—one of those things, like Mitali, that I can usually feel pretty good about (unlike Turn Off Your TV Week or Stop Eating So Much Takeout Month). On World Read Aloud Day I read a chapter […]

Fortune’s cookies

It’s your lucky day if you find yourself in possession of Fortune Cookies by Albert Bitterman (Beach Lane). In a concisely told, carefully conceived story, a girl receives a box of seven fortune cookies. Her first fortune says, “Today you will lose something you don’t need.” And, voila, she loses her tooth, which she puts […]

Paper cuts, or why I’m swearing at Grace Lin

Grace Lin has some adorable Ling & Ting paper dolls up on her blog—the perfect activity to keep my daughters (ages 5 and 10) busy during these last few moments of school vacation week. Grace recommends using cardstock, which we lacked, so our dolls were a little flimsy. I can’t blame that on Grace, but […]