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Results 1 - 25 of 15,866
1. Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do by Steve Jenkins & Robin Page,

Steve Jenkins and Robin Page have a talent for presenting the animal world in endlessly interesting ways for readers young and old, as they prove once again with Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do. Jenkins's colorful collage-style illustrations get up close and personal with the sometimes strange faces of animals from all over the world in this new book,

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2. Hanukkah Reads 2014

Looking for charming Hanukkah stories to share with your family? Well some of my authors can help you with that...

BEAUTIFUL YETTA'S HANUKKAH KITTEN by Daniel Pinkwater, illustrated by Jill Pinkwater, is a cuddly and funny holiday story for all ages to appreciate. This is the follow-up to BEAUTIFUL YETTA, THE YIDDISH CHICKEN, in which the title bird escapes from certain doom to the enchanted world of Brooklyn, NY.
Now Beautiful Yetta the (Yiddish-speaking) Chicken has made her cozy home among the (Spanish-speaking) Parrots of Brooklyn. She is like their mother. This little family is doing pretty well, even on cold winter nights. But during a snowstorm, Yetta happens upon something very strange -- a tiny ginger kitten! OY! Cats are no good for birds! But this little kitty definitely needs some warmth and love. Maybe the neighborhood Grandmother can help... at least with feeding everyone yummy latkes. Yay! Autographed copies of BEAUTIFUL YETTA'S HANUKKAH KITTEN available now at Oblong Books.

SIMON AND THE BEAR: A HANUKKAH TALE by Eric A Kimmel, illustrated by Matthew Trueman: Before Simon sails to America, he promises his family that he will get a job and send for them. Simon's mother knows he will need a miracle, so she reminds him to celebrate Hanukkah wherever he may be. Little does either of them know that this task will be more complicated than she could have imagined... This fanciful Hanukkah tale-like none you've ever read before-celebrates eight miracles: family, friendship, hope, selflessness, sharing, faith, courage, and love. A retelling of the ancient Hanukkah story is included on the last page.

Now in Paperback: HANUKKAH BEAR by Eric A Kimmel, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka: This is the tale of Bubba Branya, a little old lady who can barely see but makes the very best latkes in town. Her rabbi comes to visit, and he brings his gigantic appetite. . . and mumbly voice. . . and growly tummy . . . and furry face. . . uh-oh!  Comedy ensues as the dynamic duo of granny and the bear play dreidel, light the menorah, and of course, enjoy plenty of yummy latkes. Kimmel's classic story is the perfect match for Mike Wohnoutka's warmly glowing new illustrations; this one is sure to delight not only little ones, but the whole family.

And a classic: HERSHEL AND THE HANUKKAH GOBLINS by Eric A Kimmel, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman: The Caldecott Honor winning classic is celebrating it's 25th anniversary with a new edition! This is the somewhat scary and totally unforgettable tale of the ingenious Hershel, who rids a village synagogue of goblins by cleverly outwitting them.


HAPPY HOLIDAYS and HAPPY READING, EVERYBODY!

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3. Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton,

Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes is the newest book from zoologist and children's book author extraordinaire, Nicola Davies. As always, Davies is paired with a wonderful illustrator, this time Emily Sutton, who brings wonderful detail and engaging colors to this look at the smallest of living things. Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes is sure to start conversations the minute you

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4. Malala: A Brave Girl from Pakistan / Iqbal: A Brave Boy from Pakistan, by Jeanette Winter

Becoming an elementary school librarian has changed the way that I read and think about children's books. Instead of reading to or imagining my own children reading the books I review, I now also think about my students and how they will receive and understand a book. Also, as a librarian, I can encourage (or insist) students read a book that they probably would never pick up on their own.

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5. The Best Fiction of 2014

Few topics are more contentious at Powell's than agreeing on the "best" works of fiction. Our tastes run the gamut from experimental tragicomedies to multi-generational sagas to offbeat coming-of-age tales to surreal character studies... and so on. As such, rather than present selections from one perspective, we thought it wise to get a more representative [...]

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6. Poetry Friday: A Zoo of Human Emotion by Caitlin Siehl

A zoo of human emotion. Anger is sleeping in its exhibit, and the security guard warns you not to tap the glass. Across the way, in a different exhibit, you can’t see inside, but a sign is hanging up that reads: "Do not feed the loneliness."

- Caitlyn Siehl

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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7. Up & Down: A Lift-the-Flap Book by Britta Teckentrup

Britta Teckentrup is one of my new (to me) favorite picture book illustrator/authors. Her work in Busy Bunny Days  and The Odd One Out, which I reviewed earlier this year call to mind the work of Richard Scary and the brightly patterned fabrics of Marimekko. In her newest book (in the U.S.) Teckentrup, who is German but lived in London for almost 20 years, uses her way with patterns and

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8. The Extraordinary Mr. Qwerty by Karla Strambini

Honestly, Karla Strambini could have created an entirely wordless picture book that didn't even have  a plot and I would have turned the pages just as eagerly - her illustrations are that compelling, that filled with stories of their own. That said, The Extraordinary Mr. Qwerty has a wonderful story threaded with themes of creativity, community and creative diversity. I especially love her

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9. The Best Nonfiction of 2014

A lot is made of the romance of bookstores. The smell of paper! The joy of discovery! The ancient, cracking leather bindings of books with dated inscriptions! And it's true that bookstores are magical places to browse and linger — just maybe not in the two days before Christmas. Because in the swirling mad hum [...]

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10. Is there a dog in this book? by Viviane Schwarz

Viviane Schwarz has long been a favorite of mine. Back in 2008 she introduced us to Moonpie, André and Tiny, a pack of cats in a brilliant lift-the-flap book who, when not hiding invited readers to toss them balls of wool,  open boxes for them to hide in and to blow on the page to try them off after being caught up in a fishy "floodwave" to hilarious ends in There are cats in this book.  In

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11. Tiptop Cat by C. Roger Mader

I love a good cat story, and by that I mean a story in which a cat is behaving (although not necessarily always realistically illustrated) like a real cat, and Tiptop Cat by C. Roger Mader is definitely that!  Tiptop Cat begins, quite simply, "Of all the gifts she got that day, the best on was the cat." Right away, we know that this story is about the cat - people are irrelevant, or at

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12. The Powell’s Playlist: Richard McGuire

My book Here has just been released; it is a graphic novel that shows one location, a suburban living room, over the span of billions of years. The book is loosely based around my childhood home. While preparing this playlist, it occurred to me how we all get branded by the music we grew up [...]

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13. Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi of 2014

Here are the books that knocked my socks off in 2014. All of them would make great gifts; each of them was truly something that evoked that inexpressible delight of finding an author you are excited about. ÷ ÷ ÷ Prince of Fools (Red Queen's War #1) by Mark Lawrence Prince of Fools is essentially [...]

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14. Shooting at the Stars: the Christmas Truce of 1914 by John Hendrix

Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914 is the newest book from a longtime favorite of mine, John Hendrix, and the second that Hendrix illustrated and authored himself. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I, Herndrix turns his thoughtful eye to a humane moment in the midst of an inhumane period of history, telling the story of the incredible Christmas Truce between

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15. Best YA Fiction of 2014

So what is with all the hullabaloo about young adult literature these days? Do we have John Green to blame for getting us sucked in to the tragic sagas in coming-of-age children's books? I am in the fourth decade of my life, and I found myself pulled into the throws of YA lit this year, [...]

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16. In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang, 175 pp, RL: MIDDLE GRADE

In Real Life by Corey Doctorow (based on his 2004 story, "Anda's Game") and Jen Wang is a captivating book - both in story and illustrations - that you will read through rapidly, wanting to to reach the satisfying ending. In Real Life is also a book you will return to and think about long after you have finished reading. And, if you are like me and know nothing about MMORPGs - massive

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17. How Is Fantasy Different from Fairy Tale?

Fairy tale is a country of the mind where there are many inhabitants stretching back into deep time, and we're like people before Babel, we speak a common tongue: fairy tales exist in a symbolic Esperanto, with familiar motifs and images and characters and plots taking on new shapes and colors and sounds. One of [...]

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18. Best Cookbooks of 2014

As the cookbook buyer for Powell's Books, I am the lucky one who gets to choose every new cookbook that comes into our stores. This means I have a pretty sweet cookbook collection, but I try to keep my shelves under control by limiting myself to only one bookcase of cookbooks. When a new cookbook [...]

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19. Fred Armisen: What I’m Giving

At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached out to authors featured in our Holiday Gift Guide to learn about their own experiences with book giving during this bountiful time of year. Today's featured giver [...]

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20. The Great Big DInosaur Treasury: Tales of Adventure and Discovery

Storybook collections were a memorable part of my childhood, but they seemed to be few and far between for my own children. However, over the last couple of years Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has been putting out these fantastic treasuries that are an incredible value. The Family Story Book: Tales of Laughter, Curiosity and Fun and The Family Bedtime Treasury: Tales of Sleepy Times and

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21. William Gibson: What I’m Giving

At Powell's, we feel the holidays are the perfect time to share our love of books with those close to us. For this special blog series, we reached out to authors featured in our Holiday Gift Guide to learn about their own experiences with book giving during this bountiful time of year. Today's featured giver [...]

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22. WRITING IS PRICELESS

Picture

Writing for me has always been about personal empowerment, not about fame or fortune. That’s how my writing career started, and it is still my main goal as a writer: let the words out and see where they take you. As Robert Frost said, “No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

In the beginning I wrote to discover what I knew. Then I wrote for myself and my best friend, Dave. I grew up next door to Dave in Queens, New York, until he turned five. His family moved away. Our parents stayed great friends. The friendship survived because on Thursdays the men met to play cards in the kitchen and the women to sew sweaters and chat in the living room. They took turns visiting one another with lifelong friends.

As teens, Dave and I would always spend part of the summer together. We shared important interests: playing baseball, chasing girls for dates, blue ribbons on the track team, and a Regents diploma. During the school year, it was frequently more satisfying to write long letters to one another about girls, sports, school, and our domineering fathers than to do anything else. Our moms faithfully exchanged our letters every Thursday. We called it the “Pocketbook Mail Express.” No stamps needed, just the trials and tribulations of life-and-death teenage issues. We wrote volumes. The writing was extremely cathartic and highly invisible. Only our eyes ever saw what we wrote.

Our fathers were card carrying members of the Greatest Generation ever—hard workers, honest and loyal. They worked for the future of their kids, but their kids were supposed to be seen and not heard. We had a roof over our heads, food on the table, mothers who believed in us, and fathers who wanted us to be near-perfect. And we weren’t.

If we earned B’s, “Why don’t you have all A’s?” If we won a red ribbon in a race, “Why didn’t you win a blue ribbon?” Our best was never good enough. We didn’t feel like our fathers believed in us.

When I became a high school senior, we had to write a weekly essay. My English teacher, Ms. Starr Hacker, always scribbled an “A” on my compositions. Only the size of the “A” varied. I worked very hard in class. She wrote in my yearbook, “Good luck to a very interesting student and personality.” What made me interesting? I think that I was emerging as a writer, thanks to David and Ms. Hacker.

I decided to give back to others like Ms. Hacker did by becoming a teacher. When I told my father, he asked “Why a teacher?”

“I won’t be happy unless I’m a teacher.”

He asked, “Why do you have to be happy?”

I had no answer. I was flawed with the possibility that my father, a plumber, might not be happy with his work. He had fooled me.

My guidance counselor warned my father that I might not be college material. Nevertheless, I couldn’t wait to take English and Education courses. I knew at least three people believed in me: Mom, Dave, and Ms. Hacker—and writing played an important part in it.

I graduated from a community college, and transferred to a state college. I met my true love and we both graduated with teaching degrees. The two years that Marilyn and I were engaged, my father was worried that I would flunk out. Dad didn’t know that Marilyn made me a better student. Before mom met Marilyn, Dad said, “I don’t want you to like Marilyn.” But they did anyway.

Two weeks after graduation we married. My brother once noted that “Dad isn’t smiling in your wedding photo.”

He’s right. Before the shot was taken, Dad leaned over and said, “You should have gone to graduate school first.”

I was a successful teacher for thirty-three years. During and after my teaching years, I wrote essays for parents and teachers, and poems for children. It was never about making money. It was about corralling my experiences and making sense of them.

When my mother was dying in the nursing home, I sat down and wrote a tribute about her life to capsulate what a great mom she was. It was my last gift for her, a gift of words. At her funeral in church I read my tribute. To my amazement, the congregation stood up and clapped.

Writing is a priceless gift.  

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23. Poetry Friday: Piano by D.H. Lawrence

Softly, in the dusk, a woman is singing to me;
Taking me back down the vista of years, till I see
A child sitting under the piano, in the boom of the tingling strings
And pressing the small, poised feet of a mother who smiles as she sings.

In spite of myself, the insidious mastery of song
Betrays me back, till the heart of me weeps to belong
To the old Sunday evenings at home, with winter outside
And hymns in the cosy parlour, the tinkling piano our guide.

- Piano by D.H. Lawrence - Read the full poem

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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24. Winterfrost by Michelle Houts, 259pp, RL: 4

Winterfrost  by Michelle Houts features a mythical creature that captured my imagination as a child - gnomes, also known as "nisse." Gnomes was one of the first books I remember purchasing with my own, hard earned money, and I think it also is the first encyclopedic book about a fictional creature. Winterfrost  is a superb story that combines holiday and cultural traditions with a story of

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25. Best Kids’ Books of 2014

No, I'm sorry, it's impossible. The best kids' books of 2014? The best? Can't do it. There have been entirely too many exceptional examples of the smart, the hilarious, the exciting, the heartfelt, and the downright weird. To think we could pick just a handful and call them the absolute best for the whole 12 [...]

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