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Thursday
Feb162017

antoinette

Little poodle Antoinette lives contentedly with her family in Paris.  All of her bulldog siblings seem to have found their unique strengths, but not Antoinette.  She wonders.  One day, she has a revelation as she follows her heart and instinct in a true act of bravery.  Fans of a certain spunky bulldog named Gaston will be elated to see him make an appearance in this lively and affable sequel.

Antoinette was written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Sunday
Feb122017

nanette's baguette

Oh happiest of days.  Little Nanette is finally granted the responsibility of procuring the day's bread.  The WEIGHTY responsibility of getting the daily baguette.  En route, distractions abound—all brilliantly rhyming with our protagonist's name—as Nanette attempts to stay focused on the task at hand.  Luckily she makes it to baker Juliette and starts her way home, warm and wonderful baguette in tow.  But can our heroine resist the beguiling aroma of a perfect and gloriously crusty baguette ALL the way home?  Will she crack under the pressure?  Missing the ending in this one might be something you'll regret. ;)  Ingenious rhymes and extraordinary handcrafted French village by the incomparable Mo WillemsNanette's Baguette was published by Disney Hyperion.

Friday
Feb102017

guys read

Saving these for when Nate gets a little older (and Avery will probably dig some of these short stories as well), but am really enjoying reading through them now.   Isn’t that one of the marks of great kidlit?  Stories that resonate with both kids and adults.

Sometimes when I start a collection of short stories, I excitedly rifle through them and read the first couple lines of each.  Here's how the first story in Guys Read: Funny Business starts out — "Ernest was a nerd, but it was fourth grade: we were all nerds.  Even the best of us were shackled to some fatal flaw."  After reading that, you know it's going to be pretty hilarious (and smartly written).  And your mind jumps back to some embarrassing, awkward scene from your own fourth grade career.

The Guys Read series was edited by Jon Scieszka and published by Walden Pond Press.

Thursday
Feb092017

dorothea lange

Dorothea Lange experienced suffering during childhood and learned about empathy at a very young age, which prepared her for her life's work.  In high school, she discovered that she had a keen eye for images and she worked very hard to break into the field of photography, which at the time was dominated by men.  Dorothea Lange is most famous for documenting people living in rural America during the Great Depression.  The frankness and stark realism of her images brought to light the poverty and injustices suffered by so many in that era.  Her lens told the truth.  "More than a photographer, she was a storyteller with a camera."

Dorothea Lange: The Photographer Who Found the Faces of the Depression was written by Carol Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Sarah Green and published by Albert Whitman.

Wednesday
Feb082017

other-wordly: words both strange and lovely from around the world

Oh, brumous days of January — "of gray skies and winter days; filled with heavy clouds or fog; relating to winter or cold, sunless weather."  Reading Other-Wordly: words both strange and lovely from around the world this week, and thinking about the relationship between language and culture.  If anyone else listens to a lot of bossa nova and has always wondered what “saudade” means, it’s included in this beautiful collection of words.

Other-Wordly: words both strange and lovely from around the world was written by Yee Lum-Mak, illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley and published by Chronicle Books.