Monday, January 22, 2018

I Love LOVE!

Though a blizzard blows outside, this hyacinth gives me hope for spring, and LOVE is here!

I feel as if I have a little inside track on this book because I first heard about it when I heard de la Peña talk about it at the Plum Creek Children's Literacy Festival in 2016. Then he gave an amazing session about it at last year's Picture Book Summit.  And now the book is out in the world!

This book for all ages is actually a poem about what love is in its broadest definition. Matt de la Peña's beautiful language ("A cabdriver plays love softly on his radio/while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city...") married to Loren Long's sensitive illustrations demonstrate the many ways love manifests itself in one's life through good and bad. Diverse scenarios, races, religions, and persons show that we all experience--or hope to experience--love. And it's love that gives us the confidence and hope to keep going and giving. This is a book I will read and re-read and re-read and give to others. Recommended for everyone of every age.

Here's a video to give you a taste of the book and more about the author and illustrator:

I had thought about saving this post for Valentine's Day, but to quote the song, "What the world needs now is love, sweet love." Will you share it, LOVE, the book, and love the emotion?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Snow Globe Magic with Melissa Stoller

Snow globes do seem magical. Shake them, create a blizzard, and watch the flakes fall on the scene inside the globe. But what if the globe is really enchanted? Such is the premise in Melissa Stoller's Enchanted Snow Globe Collection, chapter books for young readers, illustrated by Callie Metler-Smith. The first book, Return to Coney Island , is based on a story from the author's family.

In the book, twins Emma and Simon enjoy hearing the story of how their great-grandmother and great-grandfather met at Coney Island. Soon, the magic of their grandmother's snow globe takes them there in the year 1928! The twins must think on their feet as they see similarities and differences between then and now. They experience the roller coaster, board walk, trolley, and other Coney Island attractions as they follow their great-grandmother as a young woman and make sure she meets her mate. What a fun way to make history come alive, and get kids thinking about their own families' pasts! The story is enriched by author Stoller's Family Book Club guide in the back, which includes discussion questions, a recipe, a craft, and family connection ideas. She also lists research links for readers who want to know more. I'm looking forward to the next in the series--The Liberty Bell Train Ride, coming in Spring 2018. Watch for Stoller's debut picture book in 2018, too!

For more about Stoller and her writing, see this interview with kidlit blogger and author, Vivian Kirkfield.

If you know me, you know I'm not a fan of winter, but here it is, January first in North America, so--