Thursday, January 26, 2012

We're Moving!

Dear Readers,

We’re excited to ANNOUNCE that we are beginning a New Year of books with a New Website! You can check it out at

We appreciate your readership and feedback and look forward to continuing to explore wonderful children’s books together! We hope that the new feature of categorized posts will make it easier to access posts about your favorite books in a hurry.

Thank you for following, and we can’t wait to see you here!

Neely’s News

Monday, January 16, 2012

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

The Dr. Seuss classic, Oh, The Places You’ll Go, is a famous children’s book that is often used and referenced during important landmarks in life. This book is so special because it approaches very adult themes in simple language that any child can understand.

It’s about a time in ones life where new beginnings are about to occur and the future is unknown. It discusses topics of making new choices- good and bad and going through stages of depression or “slumps” in life.

Although realistic, it presents a positive view of what the future may hold. The story warns readers that they will run into confusion, but find a good answer.

They will have to be patient and wait, but they will have fun. They will be scared, but they will be confident. At times they will win, but at times they will lose.

The story reveals that life is about ups and downs. Disappointment is a part of life, but success and happiness will follow.

This book should be read at home and at school. It teaches important life lessons and should be read aloud to all ages.

This is a book adults should read frequently and live by. It is filled with inspirational and honest quotes!

“Step with care and great tact

and remember that Life's

a Great Balancing Act.”

"And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)”

Click Here for a link to a reading of Oh, the Places You'll Go by John Lithgow

-Happy Reading!

Lauren and Sage

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wild Boars Cook

Wild Boars Cook by Meg Rosoff

In this funny picture book, award-winning author Meg Rosoff brings back her characters from Meet Wild Boars. This time the boars are HUNGRY, HUNGRY, HUNGRY, and are willing to eat anything. They CRUNCH, CRUNCH, CRUNCH candy and hot dogs, and MUNCH, MUNCH, MUNCH on pickles and old boots. That is, until they find a recipe for a delicious, yummy, massive pudding! 

But even after they devour the pudding they are still hungry! In the end, they find another recipe for a massive cookie! Children wont actually see the boars make this one but are instead left with the directions and the possibility of making it themselves!

I loved this book and think children will too. It's funny and the illustrations by award winning Sophie Blackall are fabulous. This book could be used with mini lessons on food, good manners, or just for fun! I would recommend this book for ages 3 and up, and think it's a positive addition to any home or school library. School Library Journal gave it a starred review, stating: 

"These wonderful hijinks with the endearing boars are pictured in wildly imaginative illustrations, including endpapers that look like boar hair. Libraries should not miss out on this fun title..."

This is a book trailer that I made for the book.

Happy Reading.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Doctor De Soto- By William Steig

Doctor De Soto, a favorite book from my childhood, tells the story of a mouse dentist who works with his wife to outsmart a fox. Doctor De Soto is a well respected dentist who treats animals of all sizes. Doctor De Soto typically stays away from animals who are dangerous to mice, however one day when a fox comes to Doctor De Soto’s office crying and begging for help, Doctor De Soto decided to take a risk and take the wolf on as a patient. While Doctor De Soto was working in the wolf’s mouth to help fix his toothache, the wolf realized how delicious the mouse would taste. That night, the De Sotos figured out a plan as to how they would keep the fox from eating them the next day when he comes back for his appointment. The clever De Sotos used a special formula in the fox’s mouth that would keep him from

opening his mouth for a day. Therefore, the fox would not be able to eat the De Sotos.

William Steig not only wrote this fantastic children’s book, but he illustrated it as well. The illustrations are simple yet clever and really help to bring the story alive. The illustrations have a cartoon-like quality to them, which would definitely appeal to children of all ages.

This is a great book to have in the classroom and to have at home. Doctor De Soto is a great read aloud book because it would interest tosuch a wide range of children and it is also a great book to read to children at home.

Click here for some classroom activities that could be used after reading Doctor De Soto

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A new edition of a book from the past: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Pop-up book!

Roald Dahl’s infamous story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been reinvented once again! Quentin Blake’s pop-up, pull-tab, and lift-the-flap book makes reading this well-loved story an interactive and visually stimulating experience. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has been a classic for generations because of its unique dynamic between an incredibly creative story line and the common underdog concept. Charlie Bucket is a little boy who comes from nothing, but wins the opportunity of a lifetime to see Willy Wonka’s amazing chocolate factory. With his winning golden ticket in hand, Charlie and his Grandpa Joe go to the factory with four other children and their parents to have the most bizarre yet exciting adventure of their lives.

Quentin Blake has illustrated the majority of Roald Dahl’s stories, and I often associate Blake’s distinct style with Dahl’s books that I remember reading as a child. This pop-up book is no different as many of the characters and scenes look almost exactly as they did in the original book. There is a lot of text on each page, but the organization of the text along with the interactive pull-out/lift-the-flap components on every page make it a fun, enjoyable read.

Blake does a fantastic job of making the classic story come to life in this picture book. The reader has the opportunity to step inside the story and explore Willy Wonka’s factory for his/herself.

If you would like to see some of the pop-up spreads, click this link below!,,9780141328874,00.html

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Story of May

Most children seem to have that one story that they want to read over and over again before bed. For me, this was the gorgeously illustrated book, The Story of May by Mordicai Gerstein. The young month, May, lives with her mother, April, who teaches her how to be a proper spring month.

“May skipped into the morning. She sprinkled periwinkles at the edge of the woods. She spun round and round, tossing dandelions, bluets and violets everywhere. She welcomed the warblers and listened to their gossip of foreign places.”

May becomes so caught up in the wonders of being a spring month that she wanders too far from home. Luckily, her aunt June is there waiting to welcome her. June tells May of her father, December, and so begins May’s journey through the year to meet the man that is her father. On her adventure, May meets her relatives each personifying his or her own month. Her uncle July is a large sun burnt man with a watermelon, while October wears a cloak of colorful leaves and carves pumpkins.

In addition to the cute story and beautiful illustrations, The Story of May also serves an educational purpose. In addition to teaching children the months of the year, The Story of May subtly teaches children about each month. Instead of explicitly stating that it snows in January and is windy in March, May’s uncle January skis and her cousin March is a kite.

This is book that I loved as a child and hope others enjoy it as much as I did.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith

A personal favorite from my childhood, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, is a silly and entertaining book that children of all ages will enjoy! This picture book is a compilation of classic stories that many children love and have heard multiple times . What makes this book so different and fun are the variations that are taken in the retelling of the story. Instead of reading about The Boy Who Cried Wolf, children get to read about The Boy Who Cried "Cow Patty." Other variations include Chicken Licken (Chicken Little), The Really Ugly Duckling (The Ugly Duckling), and The Princess and the Bowling Ball (The Princess and the Pea).

From the very first pages of the book...
To the back cover...
The book provides comedic value unlike many other children's books.
Each story lines follow its own unique transformation that is sure to both surprise and entertain children. The story of The Really Ugly Duckling begins the same as most other versions in which there was one duckling who was much uglier than all of his brothers and sisters, however, "he knew that one day he would probably grow up to be a swan and be bigger and look better than anything in the pond."


Each story has fantastic illustrations that perfectly match the oddities found in the text. The images span the entire book and provide wonderful variations among each story, contrasting light versus dark, using collage-like images, and unrealistic portrayals of characters, especially the Stinky Cheese Man. The main story of the book. The Stinky Cheese Man, is a variation on The Gingerbread Man,

"Run run run as fast as you can. You can't catch me. I'm the Stinky Cheese Man!
The little old lady and the little old man sniffed the air. 'I'm not really very hungry,' said the little old man. 'I'm not really all that lonely,' said the little old lady. So they didn't chase the Stinky Cheese Man."

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales is not about morals. It's not about lessons. And it is surely not about making a point. Unlike the classic versions of these stories, this book is purely about good, sarcastic, fun; and that is exactly what is provides for all of its readers.

-Alex Rogers