Thursday, November 27, 2014

November Challenge - Whatever Wednesday

November 24 - Whatever Wednesday

Since this is the last Whatever Wednesday post for this November Challenge, I am not going to focus on just one book. Instead, I am going to focus on a element of writing I have always found very intriguing and fun. I didn't do a great deal of research, just a little searching, but I could not find a specific word for this element. I'm sure there is one out there, and maybe someone can help me out. The element I am talking about - the use of ephemera (facsimile documents) within the book.

History Decoded: The 10
Greatest Conspiracies of All Time
by Brad Meltzer

The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy
by Nick Bantock
I recently picked up a copy of Brad Meltzer's History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time. As soon as I read about the publication of this book, I knew it would be one I HAD to read. When I got into my car with it earlier in the week, I could not wait to open it up and begin to read. I got so excited when I opened the first envelope to pull out the documents included on the chapter surrounding the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, I was taken back twenty years to the day I first came across Nick Bantock's Griffin and Sabine Trilogy. I was so engrossed in Griffin & Sabine I ignored everyone around me in order to enjoy it thoroughly from cover to cover. Granted the first book, Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence is only 48 pages long, but when you taken into consideration all of the little details taken into the writing of this book, just know I was in my very own bibliophile heaven for a few hours time.

So, knowing how much I enjoyed Griffin & Sabine and my love for history, you can see why I was thrilled when I got my hands on Meltzer's book. I was lucky enough to receive an electronic pre-publication version of History Decoded, but because of the formatting of the book, I was not able to enjoy it. I had to get my hands on the physical book. I think that is another reason I love these kinds of books so very much. It not only allows you to hold the "actual documents" and peruse them as if you were the recipient (of the letter, postcard, brochure, etc.) it also brings an entirely different experience to the reader.

I'm not going to say there is anything against reading on a device. I'm not going to say I HAVE to have the physical book because I want to hold it, turn the pages, and enjoy the smell of the pages. I'm simply going to say it is just different. I love the convenience of my e-reader. I love having books with me no matter where I am going or what I am doing. If I have my telephone, I have my books. It is like my security blanket. I also love to read physical books. I have a VERY hard time going into a book store and walking out of the store without at least one bag. However for books like History Decoded and The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy, the physical book is part of the adventure.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any other books which fit into this same category for adults. I'm sure there are other out there, and I encourage you to pick one up and get a feel for the excitement of discovery through the pages of a book and the ephemera included.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November Challenge - Texas 2x2 Tuesday

November 25 - Texas 2x2 Reading List

My plan was to spotlight another great book from the Texas 2x2 Reading List for today's blog post. Then I realized this is my last for Texas 2x2 Tuesday for this 2014 November Challenge. I started to get very sad until I realized the power I have to share ALL of the titles (300 to date) ever named to the Texas 2x2 Reading List. Now, don't get all anxious. I am NOT going to review every one of the titles. I am merely going to provide you with a way to quickly obtain a list of all of the titles, authors, illustrators, and the year the book was named to the list. This is actually a document I began working on about seven years ago. I wanted to quickly be able to locate the authors and illustrators of the 2x2 books and be able to find out how many times a specific author or illustrator had been named to the list. There was no such document, so I (being the CDO person I am - yes, it is CDO - it MUST be in alphabetical order) created one.

All you have to do is scan this QR code in order to go directly to the Google shared document. If you cannot scan the code, that is fine. Here is the URL -

When you first scan the QR code, you will
be directed to an advertisement, just wait a few
seconds and you will be directed to the document.

If you have a young child in your life and you are looking for the very best books to read to them, or purchase as a gift, I suggest checking out the titles, authors, and illustrators on this list. It is interesting to note, a number of the books named to the Texas 2x2 Reading List in early January of each year by the Texas 2x2 Reading List Committee (a project of the Children's Round Table, a unit of the Texas Library Association), have also been honored with distinctions from the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. Some of these include - the Caldecott Medal and Honor, Geisel Award, and Notable Children's Books.

You can also view all of the Texas 2x2 Reading List titles on Shelfari.

November Challenge - Mystery Monday

November 24 - Mystery Monday - Scrapbook Mystery series by Laura Childs

A Scrapbook Mystery Series
by Laura Childs
When you have a hobby or passion you try to find your joy in all things you do in your life. One of my greatest passions in life is reading. I'm sure that is kind of obvious. There are other hobbies and interests I have too, including football and scrapbooking. So, when I discovered Laura Childs's (pseudonym of Gerry Schmitt) Scrapbook Mystery series I knew I was in heaven. Not only could I enjoy preserving my family memories through the use of beautiful papers, stickers, and of course my photos, but I could carry the enthusiasm for this creative hobby over into my reading.

Carmela Bertrand, the owner of a scrapbook store in New Orleans is the protagonist in this twelve (to date) book series. Although Carmela is constantly finding herself in the middle of a mystery, she still finds the time to create amazing scrapbooks. I love to read about her creations and only wish I had the skill and ability to replicate some of the cool techniques Childs describes in her books. If you are a crafty person, a lover of mysteries, or a fan of NOLA, I believe you will enjoy this series. 

Other series written by Childs includes The Teashop Mysteries and The Cackleberry Club Mysteries.
The Teashop Mysteries revolve around Theodosia Browning, the owner of the Indigo Tea Shop, and the mysterious and historical city of Charleston, South Carolina. The Cackleberry Club Mysteries are set in a fictional town in the Midwest. Three women in the mid-forties have launched an egg themed cafe which offers a yarn shop and a cozy book nook. This series provides the reader with great recipes and tips on cake decorating and knitting.

*I have written about another scrapbook mystery series in a past posts (July 2011 and November 2014)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November Challenge - Sexy Saturday

November 22 - Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson

Bid Time Return
by Richard Matheson
Somewhere in Time
by Richard Matheson

At first, I was reluctant to include Richard Matheson's book Bid Time Return (the title later changed to Somewhere in Time following the movie release in 1980) because I didn't want anyone to have the wrong idea of books contents. So, I did what any good librarian does, I did some research. I found the word sexy means attractive, interesting, and appealing (as well as sexually suggestive, stimulating, and erotic). This book, to me falls into the Sexy Saturday category based on the first part of the definition because of the character descriptions (very attractive), the time travel aspect (interesting), and the idea that love can transcend time (appealing).

My husband and I started dating in August of 1990. Somewhere in Time (starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour) was the first movie we ever saw together. It became our movie. It wasn't merely the romantic love story between two people who lived eighty years apart (she in the 1890s and he in the 1970s), but the music which captured our hearts. Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini would become our song.

This is one of the rare occasions when I saw a movie based on a book before I read the book. In fact, when I saw the movie I was not aware it was based on a book at all. After falling in love with the movie, the soundtrack, and the man who would become my husband, I fell in love with the book.

The protagonist, Richard Collier, a screenwriter in his mid-thirties has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He decides to spend his final days at the Hotel del Coronado. It is here, Richard becomes obsessed with the photograph of Elise McKenna, a famous theater actress who performed in the hotel in the 1890s.  Richard's infatuation with Miss McKenna becomes so intense he is convinced he must travel back in time to meet and pursue a relationship with the actress.

I am a huge fan of time travel, which is obvious based on titles I have written about in the past. Richard Matheson, has stated that Bid Time Return and What Dreams May Come [1978] (made into a movie in 1998, starring Robin Williams) "represent the best writing I have done in the novel form." Sadly Mr. Matheson passed away in June of 2013. Among these two great novels, both of which I have read, he leaves behind a huge legacy. To read more about the writer who "scared three generations of kids", read Richard Matheson (1926-2013): The Wizard of What-If? the Remembrance article from Time Magazine.

Friday, November 21, 2014

November Challenge - Fantasy Friday

November 21st - Fantasy Friday - Locke & Key series by Joe Hill

Locke & Key series
by Joe Hill

I wrote about Joe Hill's wonderful graphic novel series, Locke & Key earlier in the year. Since then, I have finished reading all of the books in the series.
  • Welcome to Lovecraft
  • Head Games
  • Crown of Shadows
  • Keys to the Kingdom
  • Clockworks
  • Alpha & Omega
These books are a perfect combination of horror (for which Joe Hill's father, Stephen King has built a pretty good reputation on as a writer) and fantasy. The amazing graphics by Gabriel Rodriguez make this a must read series for those who love these genres. I have to admit I have never really been a fan of graphic novels, but Hill and Rodriguez have pulled me in to this world. I highly recommend this series for Fantasy Friday.

It was recently announced at Comic-Con the books will be made into a trilogy of movies by Universal. I have not seen any information about a release date, but I did read the script is "half written". I'm so glad I have read the books. I just hope the script writers are true to the work. It makes me so sad when a great book is butchered into a movie.

November Challenge - Thriller Thursday

November 20th - Thrilling Thursday - The 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch

The 13th Hour
by Richard Doetsch

When I think of Richard Doetsch's book The 13th Hour so many adjectives come to mind...gripping, riveting, blood-tingling, and mind-blowing. I could actually go on, but I'm sure you would like to know why I would describe this book in this manner.

Nick Quinn is given the chance to go back in time  to prevent the murder of his wife, which he has been accused.  The coolest part of this sci-fi, fantasy, thriller is how the book moves from chapter to chapter. He is given a talisman which allows him to go back in time in one hour increments in order to collect the clues to identify her killer. It is hard to talk about this book without giving too much away. It is one of those books that immediately grabs you and will not let you go even after the final words.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November Challenge - Whatever Wednesday

November 19th - Whatever Wednesday - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot

Now, before I tell you about this fascinating book, I want to define Whatever Wednesday. I did not intend for this category to be taken as flippant. On the contrary, so many books can fit into the category (and I almost think it is my favorite because of that). With the guidelines I set for myself, this title would not have fit into any of the categories if I had not made Whatever Wednesdays. So, with that being said, let me tell you about my selection for today.

Now, if you remember my review from Sexy Saturday I am not usually a science-y person. I lean toward history. However, the mixture of science and history throughout this extraordinary story of HeLa cells and Henrietta Lacks is gripping. I have always been intrigued with genetics. I remember learning how to complete a blood type chart in high school biology. and I was fascinated by DNA. By reading this book, I have discovered that I might not have learned about cells, DNA, and so many other amazing biological discoveries if it had not been for Henrietta Lacks.

I first learned about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot from my husband. The book was selected as the common reading for the incoming freshman. In the winter of 2011, Texas Christian University hosted members of the Lacks family at the 2011 Fogelson Honors Forum

Skloot's book has been named the winner of a number of awards including the 2010 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the 2010 Wellcome Trust Book Prize, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Award for Excellence in Science Writing, the 2011 Audie Award for Best Non-Fiction Audiobook, and a Medial Journalists' Association Open Book Award.

During the Fogelson Honors Forum at TCU, Mrs. Lacks's great-granddaughter, Erika Johnson said, "If you know someone who hasn't read the book or learned about it, pass along your knowledge. It's important, not just to the science world, but to everyone." Oprah Winfrey and Alan Ball are doing just that by working with HBO to bring Mrs. Lacks's story to even through the medium of television. As an avid reader, I always say the book is so much better than a movie could ever be, however, if Mrs. Lacks's legacy is shared with more people because of the adaptation of Skloot's book, it will be for the best. Thank you, Ms. Skloot's for sharing the life of Henrietta Lacks with all of us.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November Challenge - Texas 2x2 Tuesday

November 18th - Texas 2x2 Tuesday - Nugget & Fang: Friends Forever--or Snack Time? 

Nugget & Fang: Friends Forever--or Snack Time?written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Michael Slack 

Nugget (a fish) and Fang (a shark) are the very best of friends, until Nugget goes off to school. It doesn't matter what the subject Nugget is learning, it seems everything points to the fact that sharks and fish cannot be friends! 

This is a great story to use with young children when talking about diversity.  No matter our differences, we can make adjustments and be friends, regardless of what anyone else says. During the time we were reading the Nugget & Fang our students were learning about choices. We talked about the choices Fang and Nugget made throughout the story and if they were good or bad choices and why. The children laughed at Fang's Food Chain at the end of the story, so we made sure to include it with our costumes.

Nugget & Fang was named one of the 20 books for the 2014 Texas 2x2 Reading List. At my school, we love this book so very much, my clerk and I dressed as Nugget and Fang for our Fall Literacy Night. 

Mrs. Betts as Nugget and Mrs. Wilson as Fang

November Challenge - Catching up

I'm trying to play catch up! Last week I came home to no electricity. Once the electricity came back on I did not think about going to my computer and writing my blog posts because I had actually written ahead. However, when I went to my computer on Sunday morning (then to catch up because I was a day behind) I found it would not turn on. My son went in and checked the breaker box and yes, the breaker had been tripped. However, when he reset it smoke began rising from my computer's surge protector. He quickly turned the breaker back off and came running to help me, because needless to say, I was in a panic! We were able to determine the surge protector had indeed done its job. It died so that my computer may live! Thank you little surge protector.

So on to my catch up for the November Challenge.

November 15 - Sexy Saturday - Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex
by Mary Roach
This is the first Mary Roach book I have read. I have many of her other titles on my To Read List, including Stiff, which believe it or not is not the prequel to this book! Go ahead, laugh, but Stiff has nothing to do with Sexy Saturday, unless of course you are into necrophilia!

I found this book one Saturday afternoon while browsing the shelves at my public library. The title intrigued me, and being a consenting adult, I checked it out. It shouldn't matter what I read anyway. No one has the right to look at my library record to see that I was reading about sex. I was experienced in the subject, obviously. My only child is now an adult (oh, that pains me to say...or write)!

Anyway, on to the book. I have never been much a science person. My interests run more toward history. However when I heard about the manner in which Ms. Roach writes, I was immediately curious and pulled into her book. She has a wonderful way with words she has been called, "the funniest science writer in the country" by Burkhard Bilger of The New Yorker. It may not be the sexiest book you have ever read, but I will tell you it will be the most entertaining science book you will ever read!

November 17 - Mystery Monday - Scrap-N-Craft Mysteries by Joanna Campbell-Slan

Paper Scissors Death
by Joanna Campbell-Slan
One of the very best ways to learn about new books is to simply browse the shelves, whether at the local bookstore (which unfortunately we no longer have in my home town) or the public library. I found the first book in the Scrap-N-Craft Mysteries series by Joanna Campbell-Slan, in just that manner. Be addicted to scrapbooking for many years, the title immediately caught my attention.  I read this first book about fellow scrapbook enthusiast, Kiki Lowenstein, when it was published in 2008. I enjoyed this book so much I could hardly wait for the next title to be released. Currently there are 9 books in the series with a 10th book to be released December 15, 2014 - Handmade, Holiday, Homicide. There are two additional titles: Shotgun, Wedding, Bells and Glue, Baby, Gone which will be released in 2015. Ms. Campbell-Slan has also released 21 novellas / short stories to keep readers hooked between full length novels.

I was thrilled to get to meet Ms. Campbell-Slan in 2012 when she was a panel speaker during the American Library Association's Midwinter Conference in Dallas. She was not only a fantastic speaker, but also very kind to this crazed fan of her books.

Monday, November 17, 2014

November Challenge - Fantasy Friday

November 14 - Fantasy Friday - Grave Site by Charlaine Harris

Grave Site
by Charlaine Harris
Today's selection is in the paranormal fantasy genre. Some of Charlaine Harris's biggest fans may not know her name, but they know two of her most popular fictional characters, William Thomas Compton and Sookie Stackhouse. They are the main characters in Harris's Southern Vampire Mystery series on which the HBO series True Blood is based.I was reading Charlaine Harris long before the series came out in 2008. The first book in the series Dead Until Dark was published in 2001.

Today's Fantasy Friday title, Grave Sight is from the Harper Connelly series. For those of you who enjoyed the Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment movie The Sixth Sense, these books just might grab you in a similar fashion. Harper Connelly, can see dead people. In fact, not only can she see them, but she can sense the person's final location and share their last moment on earth. Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver - who acts as her manager and bodyguard have developed a business of locating the dead for grieving family members.

To date, there are only four titles in the series, Grave Sight, Grave Surprise, An Ice Cold Grave, and Grave Secret. I have read all four and loved them. Sadly, it has been rumored that Ms. Harris will no longer be writing about Harper Connelly. This is very disappointing to me because I thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of Harper and Tolliver. I wish Ms. Harris would reconsider this decision (which was published on her Facebook page January 9, 2012), however I will respect her choice. I'm sure it can't be easy trying to please all of her readers all of the time. I guess as long as she continues to write, we will continue to read, which will make us all happy.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November Challenge - Thriller Thursday

November 13 - Thriller Thursday - J.A. Jance's Edge of Evil

Edge of Evil
by J.A. Jance

My sister-in-love, Iris, introduced me to the thrilling world of J.A. Jance. I devoured the first Ali Reynolds novel and wanted more. Edge of Evil is the first book in the series of nine books, the latest of which was released in February of 2014. 

The Ali Reynolds series of books is not the only series this former librarian and high school English teacher has written. Other series include J.P. Beaumont, Joanna Brady, and the Walker Family. She has also written a book of poetry and a number of short stories. If you need something to put you on the edge of your seat begging for more, find a Jance book and you will be well on your way to an evening of reading. You won't be able to put the book down until the last page, and then you will want to immediately pick up the next book!

November Challenge - Whatever Wednesday

November 12th - Whatever Wednesday - This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection by Carol Burnett

This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection
by Carol Burnett

I listened to Carol Burnett's amazing autobiography, This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection, through our libraries Overdrive app. I have always loved Carol Burnett, but after listening to her read her book I love her even more. I truly felt like she was talking to me. I laughed. I cried. I didn't want our one-sided "conversation" to end. I not only enjoyed hearing some of the behind the scenes stories from The Carol Burnett Show, but stories from her life growing up and the many celebrities she befriended over the years. She has always seemed like a down to earth person. I would love to have the opportunity some day to thank her in person for the joy she has brought to my life all these years.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November Challenge - Texas 2x2 Tuesday

November 11th - Texas 2x2 Tuesday - Pip & Squeak by Ian Schoenherr

Pip & Squeak
by Ian Schoenherr
I guess you could say it is arctic wind that has blown down on us in the past twelve hours that has started me thinking about two of my favorite little mice, Pip & Squeak. They are running late to their friend Gus's birthday. Squeak reminds Pip to get the gift. For those diligent observers, you will see the gift is a wedge of cheese. The rest of the story is the adventure Pip and Squeak go on as they make their way through the snow. When they are well on their way to see Gus, Squeak realizes they forgot the gift. Now what will they take to the birthday boy? 

Young and old readers alike will enjoy not only the characters and storyline (especially the humorous interactions between Pip and Squeak), but also the wonderful illustrations created by Ian Schoenherr. This is one of my favorite stories to read to my students when the weather turns cold. I love to hear their predictions and their surprise when they find out the ending to this fun tale.

Monday, November 10, 2014

November Challenge - Mystery Monday

November 10th -  Mystery Monday - Elvis and the Dearly Departed by Peggy Webb

Elvis and the Dearly Departed
by Peggy Webb

I have always heard, "Don't judge a book by its cover," but when you work with four-year-olds all day, everyday that is JUST what you do! My students can't read so that is exactly HOW they judge a book. If their attention is captured by the picture on the cover, that is the book they are going to check out. Well, this is the case with Peggy Webb's book Elvis and the Dearly Departed, my Mystery Monday selection for this week. My attention was initially caught by the adorable basset hound on the cover AND the name Elvis in the title. That was all I needed to see in order to know I wanted to read more. This is the first book in the Southern Cousins Mysteries. There are currently five books in the series (the last Elvis and the Blue Christmas Corpse was published in 2012).

Elvis is a basset hound who is convinced he is the reincarnation of The King, Elvis Presley. Elvis' human mom, Callie Valentine Jones (hair dresses for the recently deceased at the Eternal Rest Funeral Home) and her wake catering cousin, Lovie find themselves in a mystery when the body of a local prominent doctor goes missing. Even though this is a mystery, there is great comic relief in not only this book, but the entire series.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November Challenge - Sexy Saturday

November 8th - Sexy Saturday - Separate Beds by LaVyrle Spencer

Separate Beds
by LaVyrle Spencer

I went back many years to pull this title for Sexy Saturday. This is one of those books you just can't put down because you are so pulled into the character's story. It all begins with a blind date, alcohol, and a very unexpected pregnancy. To me this is not a typical romance novel in that the male protagonist is more of a lead in the love story. He is the one the reader is cheering for because he works so hard to build a relationship with the mother of his child. 

November Challenge - Fantasy Friday

November 8th - Fantasy Friday - On a Pale Horse by Piers Anthony

On a Pale Horse
by Piers Anthony

I wrote about reading On a Pale Horse back in the summer of 2011. It remains a strong title in my mind when thinking of fantasy titles. I have not actually read another Piers Anthony title yet, but I have read a number of books with similar themes based on my enjoyment of this book. 

This is the first in the Incarnations of Immortality series of eight books. This book was the inspiration for the t.v. series Dead Like Me which stared Mandy Patinkin as one of many grim reapers. The premise of the book and the television series was for the grim reaper to remove the souls of people just before they are to die and escort them until the time they are to move to their afterlife. 

A bleak subject for a "fantasy", but a great read none the less. I think it is about time I continue the series, so I will add them to my To Read list.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Challenge - Thriller Thursday

November 7 - Thrilling Thursday - Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes
by Jodi Picoult

Most readers will look at the cover of this book and say I am crazy for selecting this title as my Thrilling Thursday selection. Synonyms of the word thrilling include: breathtaking, electrifying, gripping, stimulating, mind-blowing, stirring, and sensational (to name more than a few). This book exemplifies all of these words.

On my husband's 37th birthday the United States was shocked when two teenagers killed twelve students and a teacher, wounded 23 others and then committed suicide in Columbine, Colorado. It was the first time I had ever felt vulnerable as an educator. As a member of our campus crisis team we had talked about what to do in the case of a tornado, fire, or an evacuation. We had never discussed an active shooter scenario. The following school year, our team began talking about what we would do if an active shooter were to come on campus, or God forbid into the building.

A friend recommended Nineteen Minutes to me. I believe it was the first of Jodi Picoult's books I ever read. When I began reading this book, I had no preconceived notions. I really didn't even know what the book was about. I didn't read the blurb because I didn't want to have any kind of spoiler. I wanted to enjoy the book for the story and not for what I might predict would happen.

As I found out later, Jodi Picoult enjoys taking on a challenge. She seems to love controversy while making the reader step back and reconsider their own beliefs. She made me do just that. Nineteen Minutes is the amount of time it took for the small town of Sterling, New Hampshire to be shattered much like Columbine. I don't want to give any more of the story away. I do want you to know you will question your beliefs about so many different subjects when you have finished reading this book. I would love to hear back from anyone who reads the book because of this recommendation.

Here are a few questions to ponder.

  • What are your feelings toward Peter Houghton at the beginning of the book?
  • Do those feelings change as you read his story? If so, how and why?
  • Is anyone a victor at the end of this book? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think there are so many instances of school violence?

November Challenge - Whatever Wednesday

November 5 - Whatever Wednesday - Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig

Rhett Butler's People
by Donald McCaig

For those who know me well will understand why I chose this particular book for my first Whatever Wednesday. This book, like so many other books can fit into more than one of the categories for my November Challenge. However, I wanted to spotlight this title today because it has one of my all time favorite characters as the title character. I have loved Rhett Butler from the moment he appeared on the pages of Margaret Mitchell's novel, Gone with the Wind. I could hardly wait for this book to be released. I was going to be able to read more about Rhett, to find out about his life, his family, and Miss Katie Scarlett O'Hara from his perspective. I was not disappointed, and I don't think anyone who loves the characters from GWTW either from the pages or the screen will be disappointed either.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November Challenge - Thankful for Books

In the past I've joined others posting a particular thanksgiving for each day of November. This year I am going to do something a little different. I am going to share something for which I am particularly thankful for...books.

Books are an extremely important part of my life. Not only because I am a librarian, but because I am a reader. I'm not afraid to say it! In fact, I will say it again, I AM A READER! My "To Read" list gets longer and longer every day. I will never be able to read all of the books I want to read. My idea of Heaven is an ever growing library.

So with that being said, I will be posting the title of a book each day in the following six (seven) categories...

#Surplus Sundays (these are a true bonus)

If you want to join me in this adventure, feel free. You can post your books on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your blog, or even below in the comments section. I think it is going to be a fun challenge for me, especially choosing the perfect title for each category. Will your To Read list grow?

Let the reading begin.

Now, to play a little catchup...

November 1 - Sexy Saturday - The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon - There is no better way to start this challenge than to talk about the wonderfully intoxicating romance between Jamie and Claire. These books are not your typical romance novels (sometimes referred to as "Chick Lit"). They can fit into a number of different genres, and have been by many people (according to Ms. Gabaldon herself). These include, but are not limited to, the following: romance, historical fiction, thriller, science fiction, history, and adventure. There is something for every reader in this series because Ms. Gabaldon tears down the genre walls and lets her characters create their own destiny.

This series has recently become even more popular because of the television series on Starz. The first half of the season (eight episodes) began in August and ran through September. The second half of the first season is not scheduled to air until April 2015. 
The Outlander series
by Diana Gabaldon

November 2 - Surplus Sunday

Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Playing for Pizza
by John Grisham
Since this book is representing Sunday, it only seems fitting that it should be related to football! Playing for Pizza is a book about self discovery. When the third-string quarterback of the Cleveland Browns is cut from the team following a horrible performance, he is unable to find work for another team. The only team that will take him is the Mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy. Not knowing the country, culture, or language, Rick has a great deal to learn, but more than anything else, he has a lot to discovery about himself.

November 3 - Mysterious Monday 

The Cradle will Fall by Mary Higgins Clark

The Cradle will Fall
by Mary Higgins Clark
I don't actually remember when I read this, my first of Mary Higgins Clark's, book. I believe I might have been in high school. This book set me on my path of mystery novels. I loved the suspense and anxiety I felt for the main character, Katie DeMaio because I, as the reader, knew information she did not. The medical aspect of this book was also intriguing. I know not all doctors are like the one depicted in the book, but it does make one suspicious.

November 4 - Texas 2x2 Tuesday (I like this a lot better than my initial "Tot Tuesday") 

Move Over Rover by Karen Beaumont and Jane Dyer

Move Over Rover
written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by Jane Dyer
Move Over Rover was named to the Texas 2x2 Reading List in 2007. I love to read the book aloud to young children to see if they scrutinize the illustrations. Do they look closely enough to see each animal to crawl into Rover's doghouse to get out of the rain? If you pick up this wonderful book, be sure to read the story and look at the pictures very carefully. Can you predict what is going to happen at the end of the book? When sharing it with young children see if they have the same hypothesis.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Betty White & Abraham Lincoln?

I know Betty White never dated Abraham Lincoln, but these are two people who have been in the books I have read and listened to recently.

If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)
by Betty White
I listened to Betty White's If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't) [2011] while commuting to and from work. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about her life, friends, and career. I have always enjoyed watching her on television. I remember watching her on The Mary Tyler Moore Show when I was a kid and then enjoying The Golden Girls and now laughing hysterically as she plays Elka Ostrosky in Hot in Cleveland. Last Thursday evening as we were closing the library for the night, my dad came in and told me he had just read of Betty White's death (later confirmed as a hoax). I was so heartbroken I immediately went to my computer to write about her and her book. I was so relieved to read online that it was a hoax, actually a misinterpretation of a reporters tongue in cheek headline, that I said a silent thank goodness and shut my computer down.

It is not that I did not want to write about her book at that point, it was just I was so relieved to find out she was alive, I was afraid I would not express how much I enjoyed her book.  I love hearing about the lives of the famous. I don't envy their lives, I am just intrigued by them. I would never want to be in their shoes, no matter how much fame and fortune it might bring.

This is the first of White's seven books I have read (actually listened to) I was immediately engrossed in her story. I almost felt like she was talking to me, giving me an inside look at her life. I hope everyone who listens as she narrates her book feels the same. I felt almost like a grandchild listening to her grandmother tell stories about her life. I say that because at times she would repeat something she had said in a previous chapter, making me feel like we had known each other for a very long time. It made me laugh because I hear my mother telling my son stories she has told many times before, but we all listen as if it was the first time.

I am a fan of Betty White and hope she continues to make me (and everyone else) laugh for many, many years before she joins her beloved husband Allen.

The Lincoln Myth
by Steve Berry
I finished reading Steve Berry's The Lincoln Myth this morning. I have always been fascinated by history. My dad has researched our family history my entire life. I don't remember a time in my life when we didn't go on a vacation in order to visit the local library and genealogical societies. It wasn't until I was married that I even thought about a vacation being someplace fun (Disney World) and not related to a cemetery or library. (Even though we DID visit a number of libraries and cemeteries during our trip to Florida and Disney. My husband's family is from Florida.)

 I also had a fabulous teacher in high school who brought history to life for me. I will always be grateful to him for the lessons he taught by telling the story of our past. I have read a number of Steve Berry's other Cotton Malone novels. I have thoroughly enjoyed every one of his books. Although the story is always great and seems to be thoroughly researched, I have a HUGE problem with the actions of some of his characters (Destroying a library book is NEVER okay ~ especially when said book is from the Library of Congress. Yes, I know it is a character in a book, but that still does not make it acceptable!).

I have to say I was shocked to find out Mr. Berry is a member of the Smithsonian Libraries Advisory Board and has twice served as the national spokesman for the American Library Association's Preservation Week. As a member of ALA, I am very surprised. Maybe by having him serve as the spokesman ALA is helping him to realize the bad habits some of his characters are modeling to his readers. I truly hope his fans see how appalling it is to read about the destruction of historical artifact and that Mr. Berry does not see these actions as appropriate at any time. It makes me wonder if he has ever considered some of these deeds himself while doing his research?

That being said, I will praise The Lincoln Myth. Again, I will say his books are very well researched, as evidenced in the Writer's Note at the end of the book. Throughout the reading of his books, he makes the reader question their knowledge of history. I personally like the questions that pop into my head as I read his books. A lot of those questions are answered by the end of the book when he reveals if the information is historical, or merely created in his imagination. I wonder where he gets his ideas and how they spring into his mind?

I will continue to read Steve Berry, but I do hope he begins to make his characters better consumers of the library and the wonderful resources provided to everyone by having them return the materials in the same manner in which they found them ~ whole.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Audiobooks, my new addiction

I remember when I was a child, my mother reading to . One of my most vivid memories is of lying in her bed listening as she read from one of the many books we always had in a pile next to the bed. I don't remember the title of the book. All I remember was suddenly awakening and being very frightened. I guess I had fallen asleep as she read, her voice calm and soothing. The abrupt waking scared me so badly I remember it some 35 years later.

Why do I mention this memory today? It all has to do with listening to books and stories. The only negative memory I have of listening to books is the one above, which is not so much negative as powerful. I have always loved listening to stories, especially by wonderful storytellers like Donald Davis and Barbara McBride-Smith, both of whom I have had the pleasure to hear in person.

The Belgariad
by David Eddings
When I was pregnant with my son, my husband and I decided we would read our favorite books to each other. We knew it was important to read to our baby and what better way to begin bonding than by sharing our favorite books with each other aloud. Well, Walter started. He was going to read The Belgariad by David Eddings. I honest tried listening to him read this, one of his favorite books. However I would immediately fall asleep. In my defense, Walter has an extremely tranquilizing voice. He could have been a hypnotist attempting to pacify me into a deep sleep. It worked every single time he picked up the book. Needless to say, this we never finished the book. (Years later Walter did share this book aloud with Timothy - our son - who thoroughly enjoyed it as much as his father.)

If you have read my previous post, you will remember I recently began using Overdrive, an amazing service provided by our local library. It not only has Audiobooks, but also eBooks, which can be checked out. Walter had been listening to books he checked out from our library on his daily hour and a half roundtrip commute. I don't have to drive far at all to get to work, but I decided a ten minutes of listening to a book is better than losing that ten minutes to not reading, so that is when I checked out Billy Crystal's book Still Foolin' Em. As soon as I finished listening to it I checked out another autobiography. I went from one Saturday Night Live personality to another, Tina Fey. Her Bossypants was a great book, again because the author's narration brought so much to the presentation.

I have always enjoyed Tina Fey. I loved her on Weekend Update and was completely blown away by her portrayal of Sarah Palin. I hate to admit I never watched 30 Rock. After listening to her book, I think I need to go back and watch the series.

Again, as soon as I finished listening to Fey's autobiography I was back on to the Overdrive app to find another book.
Ali in Wonderland and Other Tall Tales
by Ali Wentworth
This time it was Ali Wentworth's  Ali in Wonderland and Other Tall Tales.

I'm not sure what initially drew me to Ali Wentworth. I do, however remember how shocked I was to learn that she was married to the political correspondent we watch on the ABC Evening News. They just did not seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly or chips and salsa. He has always seemed so stuffy and political where she seemed over the top and hysterical. Well, I guess opposites truly do attract.

On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave
by Candace Fleming
Listening to Ali tell her stories was fabulous. It was almost like sitting down with her for a personal conversation. She has no inhibitions. She tells everything like it is in her life. I'm fairly certain I would not have enjoyed this book as much had I simply read it from cover to cover. Hearing her read the words provided for a much more pleasurable experience. Her tales were interesting, informative, and most of all funny. When it ended, I wanted more.

I attempted to find more, but was not successful. So, if I couldn't have funny, I might as well, since it it October, go for something scary. I found Candace Flemings's On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave. Written for young adults, but please don't get caught up in the genre, no matter what your age, this is a phenomenal book. The book revolves around a cemetery for the young, who have been buried here from 1800 to present time.

A young man, Mike, is directed to a forgotten cemetery for teens who have died. Each story is told in a different voice providing the listener a better connection to the ghost. At the end of the book, the author provides a little background information concerning the setting and plotbase for each story. Some of the stories are based on historical information collected from the author, others are simply fantastical tales woven in the authors imagination. Personally, I would have preferred more of the historically acurate tales. I was a bit preplexed when listening to the more sci-fi stories, as I was expecting the author to follow the authentic ghost tale format. The classical stories fit better into the setting of the graveyard for teenagers. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys ghost stories.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Still Reading....

The Giver
by Lois Lowry

I continue to read even if I don't post. I don't always feel the need or the ability to write about the books I read. In fact one of the best books I read over the summer, The Giver by Lois Lowry is one of those books. I hate to admit I had never read the book, but it is true. So after seeing Mrs. Lowry and Jeff Bridges over the summer talk about the release of The Giver Movie, I simply had to read the book and then see the movie. I was moved by both and will forever be thankful I was able to hear the author speak about this amazing book.
Barbara Stripling (ALA President), Jeff Bridges, & Lois Lowry
ALA President's Program, June 29, 2014, Las Vegas, Nevada

This weekend I actually finished two books. The first I stumbled upon through NetGalley.To begin, I will say I am NOT a fan of flying. I am terrified of heights and if God had intended for me to fly, He would have put wings on my back. That being said, when I recently had to fly I observed the flight attendants who took care of me and my husband during our flight. I was curious to know if they were married, had children, and why they had chosen this particular profession. I was not thinking anything derogatory, just simple curiosity. When I stumbled across Diary of a Pissed-Off Flight Attendant, I hoped I would learn at least a few of the answers to the questions I had earlier in the summer. I was pleasantly surprised when reading Ms. Pearl's book. I loved reading the stories of families boarding the airplane, the misadventures of the pilots, and other very interesting tales presented in this book. Did Ms. Pearl come across as mean to the passengers who disrespected her in "her office"? No, I don't believe she did. We, as passengers, need to step back and realize we are coming into their place of work. We cannot be obnoxious, rude, or inebriated in public businesses. What makes anyone think they have the right to act that way in an airplane where others cannot simply leave the premises? Ms. Pearl's stories were not only insightful, but should be eye-opening to those who are frequent flyers. The sad part is those who NEED to read this book in order to see what she has written about them, are probably not readers. If they ARE readers, then they will probably not see themselves as part of the problem.
Diary of a Pissed-Off Flight Attendant
by Sydney Pearl

I have friends who are pilots and flight attendants for major airlines.I also have a lot of friends who fly. I will definitely be telling them about this book! Not only so some of them can have a good laugh, but also so some of them can change their ways and make life a little easier for the ones who take care of us while flying.

Ms. Pearl conveyed feelings I have often wanted to express as an educator, such as "Who is the parent here?" Her observations were spot on for parents, especially. I truly enjoyed every moment of this book. It reminded me of Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica and The Nanny Diaries: A Novel by Emma Mclaughlin and Nicola Kraus.

Still Foolin' Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going,
and Where the Hell Are My Keys?
by Billy Crystal

While reading the above Diary I learned of Billy Crystal's new book Still Foolin' Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys? while watching The View. I was particularly moved by the tribute he and Whoopi Goldberg had for their friend and colleague Robin Williams on September 19th. I have always enjoyed great comedians and the trio of Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Robin Williams will forever be one of my all time favorites. Their work on Comic Relief will always be classic and will always make me laugh. When I heard about his new book, I immediately looked online to see if my local public library had a copy. The book was checked out, but the audiobook (which is really what I wanted, since Billy won Audiobook of the Year - he also received an award in the humor category and best narration by an author) was available. I was so excited. I am not usually one to listen to audiobooks. I don't have a long commute to work, can't really listen in the office, and don't want to fall asleep listening because I don't want to miss a thing. For Billy, I made the exception and he has converted me. (I have already downloaded the next audiobook I will be listening to in the coming days.)

Still Foolin' Em was phenomenal! I was going to say, "Mahvelous", but I thought it might be too corny! I loved hearing about his life growing up, the start of his family and career, and his love of Muhammad Ali and the New York Yankees. I really feel like I know him so much better as a person now and not just a celebrity. It was very insightful and revealing of who he is as a person and not an over the top "look at me". He made me laugh. He made me cry. He made me think about my own life.  It was a great read and I highly recommend a listen, no foolin'!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Stand Up to Bullying!

Bullying has become a national epidemic not only in schools, playgrounds, but also online. It seems that everywhere you look someone is being bullied or bullying another. I remember when I was a child being teased and picked on, but now it seems to go far beyond name calling.

Stand Up to Bullying: Upstanders to the Rescue
by Phyllis Kaufman Goodstein & Elizabeth Verdick
illustrated by Steve Mark
Phyllis Kaufman Goodstein and Elizabeth Verdick have written a wonderful book entitled Stand Up to Bullying: Upstanders to the Rescue which defines bullying, explains that it is NOT a game, identifies the roles of bullying, and empowers the "upstanders" (as opposed to the bystanders) to get involved and stop the bullying. In kid friendly terms and interactive text (Reader's Theater - short plays,True / False quiz , Assertive responses, and even body language tips), Goodstein and Verdick have created a great resource for school counselors, teachers, and others who work with children on a regular basis. I believe this books should be in the hands of these professionals on the first day of school to get the message out to all students that bullying is not acceptable. I think going through this book as a group, class, or maybe even one of one with students will empower them to become upstanders. If this book helps only one student in a school to feel they can make a difference in the war against bullying, then we have all won.

An example of a full page spread to
help children identify instances of bullying.
*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Free Spirit Publishing has provided a complimentary digital copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Stan Lee & Dex T-Rex

Today is the day! Stan Lee announced back in June the next book from his Stan Lee's Kids Universe imprint. It is (insert drum roll please) Dex T-Rex: The Mischievous Little Dinosuar by Katya Bowser. To see Mr. Lee's promo video, click here.

Dex T-Rex: The Mischievous Little Dinosaur
by Katya Bowser

Dex is an adorable blue T-Rex who is a very typical boy, even if he is a dinosaur. He plows through the grass tearing up everything he can find just for fun.In this delightful and very colorful story told in rhyme we see the devastation Dex is causing to the world around him, with nary a care. When he head butts a tree and "out fell a caterpillar, as dazed as it could be" Dex realizes the trouble he has caused. He decides to change his ways and repair what he has broken. He changes his attitude and vows to "only do things that are worthwhile".

It is humorous to see how Dex attempts to make repairs to the tree - by taping the leaves back on the branches, the flowers - by gluing them back to the stems, the stick - by tying it back together, and the grass - by using safety pins. He promises his new friend he would "never...harm anything anymore".

This is a wonderful book for young children. They will be easily able to relate to Dex and his game of dinosaur. I believe they will be empathetic to the caterpillar and quickly see Dex was in the wrong when he smashed and crashed through nature hurting all of the plants and trees. For slightly older children this is a great book to share with them about how we can't always repair things we break. Parents can talk about the tree, flowers, stick, and grass asking their child if the repairs Dex made would really work. It might even be fun to play act some of the events in the story in order to prove (or disprove) the child's response. Play with a stick. Use it to write in the dirt, or as a can to walk. Now, break the stick in half. Tie the two pieces back together and try to do the same things again.

I think this book will be a hit with young children because it is a dinosaur. I think it will also be a hit with parents because it teaches a lesson without being preachy. It teaches empathy without going over the top, and it makes everyone aware that doing good is so much better than doing harm.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Stan Lee's Kids Universe has provided a complimentary digital copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Scandalously Wonderful

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place
by Julie Berry

I just finished reading Julie Berry's The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place. Simply fabulous is the perfect way for me to describe this suspenseful mystery. I love the opening of the book where each of the students of St. Etheldreda's School for Young Ladies is introduced and the reason for their enrollment into the school is revealed. The main characters are the young ladies, the students of St. Etheldreda's. They have been given very specific nicknames based on the background information provided in the first chapter. The students are Dear Roberta, Disgraceful Mary Jane, Dour Elinor, Dull Martha, Pocked Louise, Smooth Kitty, and Stout Alice. The story takes place in Ely, Cambridgeshire, England and is set in 1890.

It doesn't take long for the action to begin in Berry's late 19th century book for young adults. Within the first ten pages the Headmistress of the school and her brother are both dead. The girls set out to hide the bodies and any evidence of foul play which occurred on Prickwillow Place. 

I don't want to ruin any of the story by providing too much detail. I thoroughly enjoyed this well researched account of Victorian life and believe children in upper elementary to middle school will enjoy the mystery, suspense, adventure, and hilarity of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Roaring Brook Press has provided a complimentary digital copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

There was (another) Old Lady

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
by Rashin

I don't want the title of this post to deceive anyone. I am a fan of the "Old Lady" stories. I love the repetition and the predictability for young readers / listeners.

I love the bright colors used in the illustrations for this version. However, I have to admit I was very disappointed when I discovered the picture clues I thought were going to be included for each of the animals swallowed did not happen. Here is what I mean. When opening the book you see a fly swirling through the air onto the title page. On the next page, the old lady has swallowed the fly. On this same page, you see a spider hanging from a web in the upper left hand corner of the page. this makes it easy for young children to predict who might be eaten next (because there is also a cat on the page). When the page is turned, you do indeed see the lady swallow the spider. This pattern continues until the old lady swallows the dog. The next page is a cross section of the old lady's stomach with the animals chasing each other in a circle - very funny, but the pattern has stopped. The next page shows the old lady attempting to swallow the cow - also very funny, especially the milk squirting from the udder! The predictability is back once the cow has been swallowed because in the background you see a very worried purple horse.

Now, everyone knows that when the old lady swallows a horse, she dies - of course! This version actually shows the old lady lying on the ground with her feet sticking out from behind some bushes and a transport old lady angel flying off. Miraculously once the old lady has died the animals are able to escape from her belly.

Not the most realistic story ever written - because A. you can't really swallow all of those animals, and B. animals don't talk, as they do with speech bubbles in this version. Even with the issue of the cow not being on the page after the dog has been swallowed, I like this book a lot. I love the bright, bold colors and the interaction of the animals throughout. I believe this title would be a great addition to a collection of children's picture books, and for a personal collection of "Old Lady" who swallowed "whatever" books.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, North South Books Publishing Company has provided a complimentary digital copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.

Monday, July 14, 2014

When Lunch Fights Back

When Lunch Fights Back:
Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses
by Rebecca L. Johnson

If the cover of this book does not intrigue elementary age students, I'm not sure what will capture their attention. It is not difficult to save the photographs in this book are amazing. It is difficult to say they are not creepy. From the hagfish (a primitive eel-like animal), which can pick "up the scent of a dead whale from more than 1 mile away"and then secrete slimed fibers when attacked to (my favorite...because I am a TCU fan after all) the Texas Horned Lizard (or TCU Horned Frog) which can squirt blood from his eye into the mouth of a predator when threatened. The following animals are also included in the book: African Hairy Frog, the Spanish Ribbed Newt, Neocapritermes Taracua Termites, Hoopoe, Fulmar, the Peacock Mantis Shrimp (which is pictured on the cover of the book), the Two-Spot Astyanax, and Black Mustard.

The descriptions of each of the animals and their defenses is fabulous, but the best part is the "Science Behind the Story" which follows each of the animals in order to give the reader the why and not just the how. Each animal spotlighted has a color photograph and an information box with the scientific name, distribution (where they live), the habitat, and size of the animal.

There is a table of contents, a note from the author, source notes, a glossary, selected biography, a more to explore section with additional book, web, and video resources, and an index.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Lerner Publishing Group has provided a complimentary digital copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Big or Little? Original, 25th Anniversary, or Board Book

When I was a child my favorite book was Ann Likes Red, by Dorothy Z. Seymour and illustrated by Nancy Meyerhoff. Now, I don't really remember what is was about this book that I loved so very much. My favorite color as a child was green, so it couldn't be because of the color red. Reading through the book not long ago, I couldn't figure out why I wanted this book read over and over again.

Ann Likes Red
written by Dorothy Z. Seymour
illustrated by Nancy Meyerhoff

I am reminded of my childhood favorite each time a child comes up to the circulation desk with Kathy Stinson's Red is Best. First published in 1982, Red is Best is now considered a children's classic. Where Ann is portrayed as an independent little girl, the child in Red is Best, Kelly, is an obstinate toddler who claims everything is better when red is involved. In 2011 Red is Best was re-released as a board book.

Red is Best
written by Kathy Stinson
illustrated by Robin Baird Lewis

Ms. Stinson's book Big or Little? was first published in 1983 with illustrations by Robin Baird Lewis. In early 2009 the 25th anniversary edition of the book was released with illustrations by Toni Goffe. In January of this year, Big or Little was released once again, this time in board book form with illustrations by Jennifer Bell. The text is shorter than the original story in order to appeal to toddlers and fit into the board book format. The illustrations are bright and very colorful, much more cheerful than the soft muted colors from the 2009 edition. When looking at the three covers, I feel Annick Press made the right move in having Ms. Bell create the illustrations for this format. I think infants and toddlers will find this cover much more appealing and will want to pick it up to read. That is not to say the original, or even the 25th anniversary edition is bad, it is directed to an older audience and therefore the illustrations are more fitting.

With the release of the board book, there have also been some changes to the story, even though the description states it has been adapted for toddlers. There is no longer a big brother in the story. The child pictured on the cover (which could really be a girl or a boy) is an only child. When comparing to the previous two editions, the child is a boy named Toby. He has an older brother and a younger sister, thus making him feel big and little depending on the circumstances and the sibling he happens to be around at the time.



I believe this will be a nice edition to a toddler's library, however if you have the original story from 1983, I would hold on to it. I feel it is a much better story to share, especially for older children.

*To comply with new guidelines introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, Annick Press has provided a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes. My review is in no way influenced by the author or publishing company and is solely my opinion.