Saturday, June 29, 2013

Unleashing Readers Launch Week

Unleashing Readers: Helping Students Navigate The World of Books is a new blog developed by Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsberg.  To celebrate their launch week, they have asked some of their friends to talk about some of our favorite books.  I didn't realize that this would be stressful.  There are so many good books out there and how am I to pick just one for each of these categories.  Here is what I picked today, but know that if you ask me in a couple of weeks my choices might change. :-)

My favorite read aloud...

Yes, I am cheating here, but I love reading all three (Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm; Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko; and Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis) of these books aloud.  Once we finish them, we hold a 1930's party with the food and drinks mentioned in the books and I also introduce the kids to some of the pop culture of the time.

My favorite close read/analysis book...

I fell in love with The Dreamer when I first read it.  I wanted my students, many who are Hispanic, to really read and understand this book.  I began by reading the picture book, Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People and when we finished with this book we celebrated with a Literacy Café.
My favorite lit circle/book club book...

Both The Word Eater by Mary Amato and Frindle by Andrew Clements center around words and responsibility.  The discussions students have with both of these books are fabulous.  Especially, as the question about responsibility comes into play.  Additionally, both books lead to some wonderful lessons about words and their meanings.

My favorite book for the classroom library...

I am cheating here again.  Really, I think anything by Steve Jenkins should be included in an elementary classroom library.  His nonfiction picture books are creative and filled with wonderful images and great facts. 

My favorite book in general....

My first book that I really read independently and loved was The Secret Garden.  As a child, I was very fond of historical fiction especially from the late 1800's and early 1900's. I have read it multiple times even as an adult.  In 2012, Ellen Potter wrote a book inspired by The Secret Garden and in a modern day setting called The Humming Room.  I loved Potter's version too in a totally different way.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

July Kindle Fire Giveaway Sign-ups

Sign-ups are now open for our Kindle Fire Giveaway Hop. Book bloggers and Authors can sign up for $10 per Rafflecopter spot. The funds collected will pay for the prizes; there may be more in addition to the Kindle Fire if we exceed the cost of a Kindle Fire HD.


  • This is for juvenile to YA book blogs and authors (PB: Picture Book, MG: Middle Grade, YA: Young Adult, NA: New Adult). 
  • The cost for each Rafflecopter slot (Follow me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, Follow my blog, Add my book to Goodreads, etc.) is $10, payable on Paypal or Amazon (US) gift certificates. We will send more info to all the qualifying sponsors by July 2, 2013.
  • We will be offering raffle items to bloggers as well as blog readers if the funds exceed the cost of a Kindle Fire. (Final prizes TBD)
  • The hop will start sometime in July (TBD when all sponsors have signed up). 
  • The deadline to sign up is June 30, 2013
  • There will be a lot of kid-lit type blogs on this hop, so please no 18+, mature blogs on this hop* although we will allow upper YA and new adult authors to join. 
  • Signing up also means you will be posting about the giveaway on your blog or website. We would also appreciate if you would post the sign-up information. Please link to this page with the image above or the text "July Kindle Fire Giveaway Hop". 
  • Sponsors can also add books or swag to the giveaway as long as they are in keeping with the rest of the rules.
  • If you are not sure if your blog or book qualifies, please sign up anyway and we'll get back to you after we check it out.


This is the type of hop that you may have seen on the book blog -- Thanks to Kathy H for the idea. She also holds her own hops so check them out at her site.

This hop will be hosted by 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - The Mighty Lalouche

Author: Matthew Olshan
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (May 14, 2013)
Source: Purchased
Audience: Grades 2 to 5
Keywords: French History, Letter Carriers, Boxing

Description from GoodReads:
In Paris, France, there lived a humble postman named Lalouche. He was small, but his hands were nimble, his legs were fast, and his arms were strong. When his job was replaced by an electric car, he turned to boxing to support himself and his pet finch, Genevieve. But--"You? A boxer?" the fighters asked. "I could sneeze and knock you down!" Still, Lalouche refused to give up. And perhaps small Lalouche was just nimble . . . just fast . . . and just strong enough to beat his fierce competitors. This is a marvelous story, full of humor and heart, and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, winner of a New York Times Best Illustrated Award

My thoughts on the book:   
This book may be pushing the extremes of the true description of nonfiction picture book.  It is more a book of historical fiction. Though a postman named Lalouche did not really exist, French boxing did exist in the early nineteenth century.  Electric cars were being created and experimented with in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  It is this context of Paris, Frances in the late nineteenth century that author Matthew Olshan uses to create his story of a humble but very special postman.  

What would it be like if the French postal system did decide to use sporty electric cars to deliver the mail?  In The Mighty Lalouche, Olshan speculates how exactly the use of an electric car would provide an opportunity for the small, nimble and quick postman to become famous.

Lalouche did not know about boxing or what was expected of him.  Ignoring those who laughed at him, Lalouche uses his special speed and strength to become a success. 

Despite Lalouche's success in the ring, he missed his former occupation.  I love these lines from the book -

"And yet stationery stores could make him sad, and envelopes, and above all, stamps."

"In his heart, Lalouche was still a postman."

And when his boss called him to say that the electric car was not working out. Lalouche was ready to return. "And just like that, Lalouche traded in his famous gloves and booties for a humble postman's uniform."

Matthew Olshan has provided young readers with an enchanting story and pieces of history that may be less familiar.  Illustrator/artist, Sophie Blackall brings the story to life with her incredible artwork.  I have always been amazed at any author who uses paper cutting as a means of creating illustrations.  Her paper cuttings bring an extra layer and texture to The Mighty Lalouche.  Read about Sophie Blackall's process to create the artwork for The Mighty Lalouche, click here.

This is one of my favorite picture books of 2013 and just a wonderful story.  I encourage you to pick up a copy of this book from your local library or independent children's bookstore if you haven't seen it.

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Clementine and the Spring Trip Blog Tour & Giveaway with Guest Post by Sara Pennypacker

Today, I am excited to welcome Sara Pennypacker to Kid Lit Frenzy.  I love her Clementine series and often recommend them to students.  

Hi Alyson, and thanks for inviting me to stop in and guest post. You may end up sorry you did, but it’s too late now. I’ve been on a blog tour for my newest Clementine book, CLEMENTINE AND THE SPRING TRIP, for a week now, and many of the blogs have been interviews with lots of good questions. This has made me want to turn the tables, so I’ve decided to interview you...

First of all, Alyson, do you know you live near Marla Frazee?!?! (I figured this out because you often seem to stop in at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, which is where Marla lives.) If you already know this, do you stalk her? Because I sure would. She’s a genius and I am so lucky she illustrates my Clementine books and will be illustrating my next series (starring Waylon, a boy in Clementine’s class.) I would spy on her to try to figure out how she gets so much emotion and humor into her drawings.

Look at this one here, where Clementine is telling her father how much she misses her cat:

Illustration © Marla Frazee

Or this one here, where she’s being a bit dramatic about how she likes her eggs:

Illustration © Marla Frazee

Also, I would try to find out what Marla does to make her hair look so awesome.

Because I’m such a big fan, if I lived near Marla I would be tempted to bust into her house on Sunday mornings and make her heart-shaped pancakes, just to thank her for making such wonderful art, but that’s the kind of thing that’s well-intentioned in theory but a little creepy in actuality, so it’s good I live 3000 miles away.

Ahem. I have signed books at Vroman’s twice now...were you there? If not, will you come the next time?

To entice you, here’s my favorite Vroman’s story: While I was taking a little break from signing, a woman came up to ask Marla if there was any vomiting in the Clementine books. I’m not kidding! Marla was, of course, a little taken aback by the question, and replied, “Well, I didn’t illustrate any.” Unfortunately, the woman left before I came back to the table, so I didn’t get to educate her. Yes, there is vomiting, because it’s kind of a big deal to elementary school kids! In fact, in the first book, Clementine very responsibly doesn’t spin her little brother in the wok a second time because it makes him throw up. And in THE TALENTED CLEMENTINE, there’s an accident onstage at the talent show that our hero quickly closes the curtain on. Mostly I wish I’d been there to ask the woman, “What kind of a crazy question is that? Weren’t you ever a kid???” Now don’t you wish you’d been there, too, Alyson?

A favor: May I please steal the word Frenzy?

Of course you don’t own it, but the truth is I hadn’t realized what a fabulous word it is until coming to your blog, so I’d owe you. I love that it has a Z in it, and that it sounds like “Friend-sy” but most of all that it conjures up such an energetic, crazed image. In return, I will give you a writing tip to pass on: It’s always funny to connect two words that are usually opposites. For instance, Clementine might notice that her mother is “frenzying very calmly” or that Margaret was “in a frenzy to calm herself down.”

Would you like me to talk a little about the CLEMENTINE series, and about the newest book? You would?

Great! In case you don’t know them, the Clementine books are about a third grade girl who possibly has just the slightest, teensy issue with attention. I base her on my own son (who lives in LA now, so is another neighbor of yours!) who got his own attention issues from his mother, I’m afraid. While the books are funny, I’m very serious about two things when I write them.

First, kids like this, while presenting some challenges, are often extremely empathetic, gifted artists, and creative problem solvers – three things the world could use more of.

Second, all the adults in Clementine’s world are functional, supportive, caring and present. The smart author avoids adult characters like this, because there’s more reader sympathy for the main character who’s an orphan, or neglected or mistreated. Also because it’s harder to drum up dramatic tension in a story when everyone around is helpful to the main character. But I really felt there was a need for contemporary fiction about healthy family dynamics, and that it could be compelling if told truthfully with a lot of humor. Bringing these perfectly ordinary, yet beautifully extraordinary, people to life on the Clementine pages has been the biggest joy of my writing career.

While the Clementine books are funny first, they also explore real issues kids her age often encounter: sibling rivalry, missing pets, worries about one’s place in the family, etc. In the newest book, the sixth in what will be a series of seven, CLEMENTINE AND THE SPRING TRIP, I decided to push Clementine’s sense of fairness a little. On a field trip, she encounters a chicken and can no longer avoid an unpleasant injustice – people eat animals! – and must work out her response. As with all the books, I loved writing this one – Clementine and her friends and family are so much fun to hang out with!

I will be in your area next summer, Alyson. Will you have a literacy café with me, where you and I eat cake and get frenzied about books?

You will? Excellent – I can tell you and I would have a lot to talk about, and we may have to order seconds on the cake, to keep us fortified. BTW, I like to bake cakes, not just eat them – here’s a picture of me with a chocolate zucchini cake, mascarpone frosting:

I will send you my California dates when I have them...

Oh Sara, yes, I have met the wonderful Marla Frazee several times at Vromans, and she also visited my school.  Also, I would be more than happy to attend one of your book events at Vroman's or another store in Southern California.  And, I would be honored to host a Literacy Café for you to celebrate you and Celementine.  Thank you for this delightful post. - Alyson

Sara Pennypacker ( was a painter before becoming a writer, and has two absolutely fabulous children who are now grown. She has written several books, including the Clementine series, all illustrated by Marla Frazee, The Amazing World of Stuart, Sparrow Girl, and Summer of the Gypsy Moths. She grew up in Massachusetts and splits her time between Cape Cod and Florida.

For additional stops on her blog tour check out the dates below:

Mon, June 17: GreenBeanTeenQueen -
Tues, June 18: Once Upon a Story -
Wed, June 19: Mother Daughter Book Club -
Thurs, June 20: Media Darlings -
Fri, June 21: Sharpread -
Mon, June 24: Children's Book Review -
Tues, June 25: Kid Lit Frenzy -
Wed, June 26: There's a Book -
Thurs, June 27: As They Grow Up -
Fri, June 28 Bookingmama

Thank you to Disney Hyperion and Blue Slip Media for arranging the blog tour and for giving away a copy of Clementine and the Spring Trip for a giveaway (US/Canada).  Please fill out the rafflecopter below to enter to win a copy.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 24, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA - 6/24/13

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. Jen & Kellee from Teach Mentor Texts have adapted this to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

Since I can't talk about what I read last week (that's the nature of award reading), I will share with you what I am planning on taking with me on my trip (Los Angeles to Chicago/ALA to Connecticut and back to Los Angeles).

What I am planning on reading with my ears:

Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz (Brilliance Audio, April 9, 2013)

Far, Far Away by Tom McNeal (Listening Library, June 11, 2013)

The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher (HarperCollins, June 18, 2013)

What I am planning on reading in the traditional sense:

Sidekicked by John David Anderson (Walden Pond Press, June 25, 2013)

The Real Boy by Anne Ersu; Illustrated by Erin McGuire (Walden Pond Press, September 24, 2013)

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza (Katherine Tegen Books, March 12, 2013)

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, June 11, 2013)

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein (Disney-Hyperion, September 10, 2013)

Of course, I am also shipping to Connecticut a box of books to read that I can't talk about until sometime in the future (as in 2014).

So what are you reading that you can talk about? :-)  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Wig in the Window Book Launch Party

After months and months of waiting for Kristen Kittscher's The Wig in the Window to be available for everyone to enjoy, over 150 people gathered together at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena to celebrate.  And celebrate we did. 

There were yin and yang cookies to celebrate the characters Sophie Young and Grace Yang.  The cookies were very delicious and made by Lara Fiedler. 

Colleen from Vroman's introduced Kristen Kittscher.  For a debut author, Kristen never appeared nervous.  She was charming, and funny, and very appreciative of all the wonderful folks who helped make the evening a reality. 

I loved that there was a dramatic reading of one of the passages from the book.  This was a very fun alternative to the traditional reading of a section of the book. It really made it come alive for everyone.

The "real life" Young and Yang were in the audience complete with wigs.  Along with the animated book trailer, Kristen showed the original interview video

Ingrid Sundberg didn't need a wig for the evening.  Her beautiful hair matched the cover colors of the Kristen's book.  Ingrid was working with Russell Gearheart who provided a photo booth for the evening.  For some amazing photos from the event, check out Russell Gearheart Photography's event page here.

I was so glad to have been a part of such a wonderful evening and to celebrate with Kristen on the release of her book. If you haven't added The Wig in the Window to your "to-read" pile, please consider picking up a copy at your local independent bookstore. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Nonfiction Pictue Book Wednesday - Barbed Wire Baseball

Author: Marissa Moss
Illustrator: Yuko Shimizu
Publisher: Abrams (April 9, 2013)
Source: Personal Copy - Purchased
Audience: Ages 8-11
Keywords: Nonfiction, World War II, Japanese American Internment, Baseball

Description from GoodReads:
As a boy, Kenichi "Zeni” Zenimura dreams of playing professional baseball, but everyone tells him he is too small. Yet he grows up to be a successful player, playing with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig! When the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in 1941, Zeni and his family are sent to one of ten internment camps where more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry are imprisoned without trials. Zeni brings the game of baseball to the camp, along with a sense of hope.

This true story, set in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, introduces children to a little-discussed part of American history through Marissa Moss’s rich text and Yuko Shimizu’s beautiful illustrations. The book includes author and illustrator notes, archival photographs, and a bibliography.

My thoughts on the book:
Earlier in the year, I was searching for books to use in several elementary schools to celebrate the Fred Korematsu Day.  Korematsu became know for standing up for the rights of Japanese American citizens who were unfairly held in Internment Camps in the United States during World War II.  As a result, when I heard about this book and that it also focused on Japanese American citizens who were interned, I was definitely looking forward to reading it.

Author, Marissa Moss tells the story of Kenichi "Zeni” Zenimura, who despite his small stature dreams of playing baseball.  His is a story of perseverance, and a story of what a community can do despite the situation they find themselves in.  Though Moss has chosen to focus her story solidly on Zeni's work at creating a viable playing field for baseball and pulling in all of those in the Internment Camp to make it a reality, there are references to what life was like at the camp for those who were held there.  Moss provides readers with a story of hope and what hard work can do for an individual or a community.

Along with Moss' ability to make the story of Zeni and those in the camp come to life, Yuko Shimizu's illustrations provide the just right feel and look for the text.  This is one book where you can read the story without the illustrations and it would be good.  You can look at the pictures and get a sense of the story without reading the words.  But when you put the two together, it becomes something special.  This is how I felt about the work of Moss and Shimizu.

At the end, readers will discover some information about Kenichi "Zeni" Zenimura, as well as, additionally resources.  I also enjoyed reading the author's note and artist's note at the ends.  This is one book to definitely add to multiple lists from baseball to history to civil rights.  I encourage you to go out and pick up a copy to read and to add to your school or classroom library.   

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger Blog Tour - Interview & Giveaway

Today, I am excited to welcome author, Jenny Meyerhoff to Kid Lit Frenzy.  She answers some questions about her newest book The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger, about her writing and more.  Thanks Jenny for stopping by and chatting.

Can you share with readers a little bit about The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger?

Louie wants to be a stand-up comedian, but he’s got one big problem. He’s afraid to do his act in front of other people. He’s just fine when he performs in his closet in front of tennis shoes and baseball caps. He’s even got an amazing catch phrase…Barftastic! It means amazing times fantastic plus unbelievable. Squared. For Louie, life is barftastic, until his dad decides Louie should perform in the school talent show and Louie’s best friend starts spending all his time with the new kid. Louie wonders if doing well in the talent show will make all his problems go away. He just doesn’t know if he will kill (that’s comedian talk for do really, really awesome) or if he’ll bomb (that’s comedian talk for stink worse than the tuna sandwich you accidentally left in your lunch box over spring break.)

On your blog, you mentioned that you got the idea for this book from something that happened with your son? Were there other ways that he and his friends influenced the story or characters?

All of my kids (and their friends) are large influences on my writing. I steal character first names and last names from their friends. I’ll often ask to borrow bits of dialogue that I overhear. And the experiences that are happening in their lives often wind up in the book I’m writing at that moment, from a friend who hasn’t lost any baby teeth, to square dancing lessons in gym, to being homesick at camp. In the case of The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger, my son was also my first reader and gave me lots of great suggestions, like changing the word girl-illas to girlzillas. I also may have borrowed some of his most embarrassing moments, but I’ve promised him never to reveal which ones. ☺

Louie wants to do stand-up comedy, but struggles with stage fright. Do you have anything on your list of fears you would like to conquer?

I don’t have stage fright the way Louie does, but I often feel that way about my writing. I don’t want to let anyone see it. That’s kind of a problem if you want to be a published author. Letting people see what you wrote is an essential part of the job. So every day, I work on my fear of letting my work out into the world and trusting, that it will somehow find the readers it is meant for. I do have lots of other fears—jumping from airplanes, fighting tigers, and accidentally going grocery shopping in my underwear, for example. But I do not plan on conquering any of them.

If you could spend the day with any fictional character (not one of your own), who would it be and what would you do?

I’d like to make myself thirteen again and send myself to Avonlea to hang out with Anne of Green Gables, and all her friends. I’d be game for any of her adventures: acting out dramatic poems, thinking up scary stories in the haunted woods, or serving ourselves up a “grown-up” tea. I hope she’d find me a kindred spirit!

Where do you like to write and what does your writing space look like?

I mainly write in my office, which is a converted storage space in my husband’s business suite. I find it challenging to write at home with consistency and used to write at cafés. I still do that now sometimes for fun, but I love my cozy little room, filled with inspirational pictures and sayings. When I walk in the room and shut the door, the real world disappears and the worlds I create are all that remain.

If you could claim credit for another children's book (one written by another author), what book would it be and why?

I’m going to go with Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery, again. I’d love to create a character as lovable as Anne. Anne is flawed, but charmingly so. Even though she’s always making mistakes, readers are rooting for her to find love and happiness on every page. I think that’s one of the reasons the book is so enduring.

Who would you credit as having the most influence on your work?

The authors I read over and over growing up were Judy Blume and Shel Silverstein and I think that their styles and aesthetics just seeped into my cells. I don’t know if I would be a writer at all if I hadn’t read their books to shreds.

Can you share about any future projects that you are working on?

Right now I’m focused on the second book in Louie’s Barftastic life. It’ll be out next spring. It’s still a work in progress, so for now I’ll just say, Halloween, square-dancing and coupons.

What top 3 books do you recommend for 8 to 12 year olds for summer reading?

I am going to recommend two series that the 8-12 year olds in my house are reading. These books are being read over and over, which is about the best recommendation I can think of!

The Charlie Joe Jackson books by Tommy Greenwald. Funny and a little bit subversive in just the right way.

The Astronaut Academy Books by Dave Roman. Awesome graphic novels!

And lastly, I recommend Dorko The Magnificent by the hilarious Andrea Beaty. This book about a boy magician pairs great with Louie Buger! Those two could hold one heck of a talent show.

Author Bio
Jenny Meyerhoff is the author of a young adult novel, Queen of Secrets, and three books for young readers--Sami's Sleepaway Summer, Third Grade Baby, and most recently, The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger, a story about an aspiring stand-up comic with an unusual catch phrase. Unlike Louie, Jenny is not a comedian, but she does know a lot about barf. After all, she’s a mom. Her three kids love fluffernutters, comedy and reading. Jenny lives in Riverwoods, Illinois with her funny kids and her delightful husband. For more information, visit her website:

Check out all of the stops on the blog tour:

Tues, June 4 Green Bean Teen Queen -
Thurs, June 6 The OWL for YA and Hooked on Books -
Fri, June 7 Dear Teen Me -
Mon, June 10 Mother Daughter Book Club -
Tues, June 11 Geo Librarian -
Wed, June 12 The Children's Book Review -
Thurs, June 13 The Book Monsters -
Fri, June 14 Ms. Yingling Reads -
Sun, June 16 Nerdy Book Club
Mon, June 17 As They Grow Up
Tues, June 18 Kid Lit Frenzy -
Wed, June 19 Mundie Kids -
Thurs, June 20 There's a Book -

Thank you to Blue Slip Media for The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger Giveaway for participants with US mailing addresses.- Enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 17, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA - 6/17/13

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. Jen & Kellee from Teach Mentor Texts have adapted this to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

My reading stack this week was a bit eclectic.  There were a few picture books, a few graphic novels, some nonfiction, and some fiction.  However, I am glad to report that for the past couple of weeks I have been enjoying what I am reading.  For a few weeks, nothing seemed exciting.  Now I can't decide what I want to read first.

Here is what jumped out of the stack this week:

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani; Illustrated by Maris Wicks (First Second, June 11, 2013) - I have been talking about this one for several weeks.  Glad to have finally read it.  If you haven't added this to your summer reading, please do.

Squish 5: Game On! by Jenni Holm and Matt Holm (May 1, 2013, Random House) - I finally picked up a copy of Game On!  And it is the best Squish book so far and I have loved them all.

The Show Must Go On! (Three Ring Rascals #1) by Kate Klise; Illustrated by M. Sarah Klise (Algonquin Books, September 10, 2013)- Sister team Kate and Sarah Klise have a new series for 7 to 10 year olds.  This was a fun, quick read and will make an enjoyable read aloud.  Look for it in the fall.

Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger; Illustrated by Cece Bell (Clarion Books, June 4, 2013)- Angleberger and Bell team up for a hilarious tribute of sorts to Yankee Doodle Dandy.

The New Arrival by Vanya Nastanlieva (Simply Read Books, April 30, 2013) - A sweet look at what is it like to be new in the neighborhood.

No Fits, Nilson! by  Zachariah Ohora (Dial, June 13, 2013) - Sometimes little girls can throw gorilla-sized tantrums.  I really enjoyed both the art and text in this one.

A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke (Margaret K. McElderry, March 5, 2013) - I never realized how adorable a sloth could be and Cooke's book is filled with cute pictures and informative text.

Barbed Wire Baseball by Marissa Moss; Illustrated by Yuko Shimizu (Abrams, April 9, 2013)  - This one missed my baseball post, but definitely a worthy read.  Review to come on Wednesday.

The Mighty Lalouche by Michael Olshan (Schwartz & Wade; May 14, 2013) - I had seen this one around and was happy to finally read it. 

I started by haven't finished reading...

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo; Illustrated by K.G. Campbell (Candlewick Press, September 24, 2013) - I love DiCamillo's work and this one is turning out to be such a great read.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (St. Martin's Griffin; February 26,2012) - The YA pick in this pile is one that has come highly recommended.  So far so good...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

How a visit to an Indie Bookstore brings me to a picture book post on Chronicle Books...

Recently, I have been to a couple of author events at Skylight Books in Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.  It is a quirky, artsy, independent bookstore in a quirky, diverse, artsy neighborhood.  I would spend more time visiting the store if it wasn't such an annoying drive to get there. 

However, while I was there yesterday waiting for Elizabeth Ross' book launch to begin, I spent some time browsing in the children's corner.  It made me realize that Chronicle Books is a perfect match with Skylight Books.  Both have the same quirky, artsy, indie feel that I have come to love and appreciate, which made me realize that I have a stack of picture books from Chronicle that I was trying to figure out how to feature.

Out of the stack of Chronicle Picture books here are some of my favorites that are sure to delight your youngest readers....

Upcoming Releases:

WIGGLE! and HIDE AND SEEK by Taro Gomi
Ages Infant to 2; Board Books - August 2013

DIGGERS GO by Steve Light
Ages 2 to 5; Board Book - August 2013

Sea Monster and Bossy Fish by Kate Messner; Illustrated by Andy Rash
Ages 3 to 6; Hardcover - August 2013

Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack
Ages 2 to 5; Hardcover - September 2013

Yeti Turn Out the Light by Greg Long and Chris Edmundson; Illustrated by Wednesday Kirwan
Ages 3 to 6; Hardcover - September 2013

The Bear's Song by Benjamin Chaud
Agues 3 to 6; Hardcover - October 2013