What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from the Bookseller category)

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from the Bookseller category, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 16,627
26. Guinea Pig Party by Holly Surplice

I am always a fan of a great birthday book, and Holly Surplice's Guinea Pig Party is definitely great. It is also clever in its concept, wonderfully rhyming and charmingly illustrated. 

Guinea Pig Party  starts with ten little guinea pigs partying in a line. As the party games begin, little things here and there cause the numbers to dwindle. There is a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey incident and pogo stick problem. There is a temper tantrum and a little pig who eats too much cake and makes an exit. When the birthday pig is all alone, a wish brings back all the party goers and happiness ensues. The final pages show the numbers from 1 - 10 with the happy little party pigs prancing around them!

Source: Review Copy

0 Comments on Guinea Pig Party by Holly Surplice as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
27. Hi! A Rhyming Animal Sounds Book by Ethan Long

Hi! A Rhyming Animals Sounds Book by prolific illustrator and author Ethan Long is brilliant! A companion to Good Night! A Bedtime Animal Sounds BookHi! A Rhyming Animals Sounds Book is completely, simply engaging. After all, after getting a few words under the belt like "mama" and "dada," most kids learn a few animal sounds like "woof" and "moo." Hi! A Rhyming Animals Sounds Book capitalizes on this with very fun two page spreads where animals greet each other with their trademark sounds, which just happen to rhyme.

Long includes classic animals and their sounds, like a cat, a dog and a cow in Hi! A Rhyming Animals Sounds Book but he also throws in the less conventional yak, polar bear and pigeon. His brightly colored illustrations are filled with fun and movement and I have no doubt little listeners will enjoy repeating the sounds the animals make.

Just a few more books by Ethan Long:

Source: Review Copy

0 Comments on Hi! A Rhyming Animal Sounds Book by Ethan Long as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
28. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, 527 pp, RL: Teen

A couple of years ago, Rainbow Rowell gutted me with her YA novel, Eleanor & Park, a powerful story of a relationship between outsiders growing up in Nebraska in the 1980s. Her next YA novel (Rowell also writes for adults, Attachments and Landline, both of which I've read but have not reviewed. Adults can be kind of boring) Fangirl was equally amazing and opened a window on (for adults, anyway) the world of fan fiction and "shipping." With Carry On, Rowell 's main character is Simon Snow, a "fictional fictional character," as she refers to him in her Author's Note, hero of his own series of Harry Potter-esque novels and subject of the fan fiction created by Cath, the main character in Fangirl. It probably sounds a little confusing if you haven't read Fangirl and/or know nothing about fan fiction. It's probably best if you dive into Carry On with dim-ish memories of Fangirl and almost no memories of Harry Potter. If, like me, you have pretty vivid memories of both, things could get tangled in your head and you just might start asking yourself questions like the one Rowell addresses on her website: did she write Carry On as Gemma T. Leslie, fictional author of the fictional eight-book-children's adventure series, did she write as Cath, the fanfic writing star of Fangirl, or did she write as Rainbow Rowell? Her answer is this, "I'm writing as me. . . I wanted to explore what I could do with this world and these characters. So, even though I'm writing a book that was inspired by fictional fanfiction of a fictional series . . . I think what I'm writing now is canon." If you are still confused, my best advice to you is this: keep calm and read on. 

For me, Carry On was most enjoyable when I was reading it for what it was - Rowell taking these two compelling characters, Simon and Baz, and letting them work things out over the course of their final year at Watford, a school for humans and other magical creatures. In Heather Schwedel's review, "Rainbow Rowell's New Book Is a Harry Potter Rip-Off That Proves How Great Fan Fiction Can Be," she writes, the "achievement of Carry On is that, even with a template more or less designed by someone else, Rowell has written a book that conjures Rowling-esque magic just as effectively as J.K. Rowling herself - and yet still feels like something new." While I admit to struggling, Rowell definitely does create something new in Carry On.  A couple of years ago I reviewed the first book in Lev Grossman's trilogy, The Magicians because I was deeply interested in seeing what an author could do with the concept of a school for magicians when the students were on the verge of adulthood. Grossman is a phenomenal writer and the characters and world he created have stayed with me, but my overall take-away was that the one defining factor that makes a book about magicians for adults is the presence of overwhelming depression and hopelessness felt by the characters. Grossman's book had a level of sadness that reminded me of why I stopped reading adult novels almost entirely. Rowell's books for adults, while presenting genuinely complex struggles, just don't get as deeply sad and this is true in Carry On as well. 

This isn't to imply in any way that the issues Simon and Baz grapple with in Carry On are superficial. In fact, I found Simon's storyline, his origin story and the climactic resolution, the most compelling, creative and philosophical aspect of Carry On. Rowell uses magical elements and circumstances to create tension between Simon and Baz, their relationship seamlessly flipping from antagonistic to amorous more than half way into the novel. Perhaps because I couldn't entirely quiet the Harry Potter voices in my head, waiting for this moment to arrive felt nearly interminable. But, once it did arrive (we all knew it would happen, right? And not just because Cath wrote it in her fanfic?) the pace and plot of Carry On poured out like a flood and I couldn't put the book down. While Rowell does a fine job establishing the wizarding world, the most rewarding moments in Carry On are the moments of personal interaction between the four main characters. Adults are off the page most of the time, even though, as in Harry Potter, it is the children dealing with the messes made by the adults. Rowell's take on the classicism of the wizarding world and the desire for revolution amongst the underrepresented and discriminated against magicians feels a little more American than Rowling's, despite the fact that Rowell has set Carry On squarely in England. And, knowing that Rowell is an American writing in a British voice, I sometimes found myself feeling that occasional Briticisms rang false. That said, Rowell did a superb job with her wizarding swears, my favorite being, "Nicks and Slick," uttered by Phoebe. "Crowley" and "Chomsky" were other swears that got me grinning. "Chomsky," especially, as Rowell's very cool rules for spells - words gain meaning through repeated use, therefore idioms and other phrases frequently uttered by a certain culture, are powerful spells when uttered (along with use of a wand) by magicians. Be Our Guest, Up, Up and Away, As You Were, and Scooby-Scooby Do, Where Are You? are just a few that are used to varying degrees of success over the course of Carry On

Everyone who loves Rainbow Rowell should and will read Carry On. For those who aren't familiar with her works, Carry On could be a pretty cool introduction to her work. It almost makes me wish that I could start with Carry On and read backwards, looking to see if the magic - the powerful relationships and moving characters -  that made me fall in love with her work the first time I read Eleanor & Park works both ways.

Source: Purchased

0 Comments on Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, 527 pp, RL: Teen as of 11/2/2015 5:44:00 AM
Add a Comment
29. Best Books of October 2015

October 2015: 15 books and scripts read

Recommended for Teens
Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel
Amity by Micol Ostow

Recommended for Kids
Louise Trapeze is Totally 100% Fearless by Micol Ostow, illustrated by Brigette Barrager

Add a Comment
30. Poetry Friday: Unbidden by Rae Armantrout

The ghosts swarm.
They speak as one
person. Each
loves you. Each
has left something


Did the palo verde
blush yellow
all at once?

Today's edges
are so sharp

they might cut
anything that moved.


The way a lost

will come back

You're not interested
in it now,

in knowing
where it's been.

- Unbidden by Rae Armantrout

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Add a Comment
31. The Glass Sentence AND The Golden Specific by S. E. Grove, 528 pp, RL 5

The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove is an ambitious, original novel that draws comparisons to the standard bearer of high fantasy for children's literature, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy which begins with The Golden Compass. In fact, Megan Whalen Turner, author of the superb quartet that begins with The Thief says that not since  The Golden Compass has she seen such "an original and compelling world built inside a book." And, while the compliments and comparisons are warranted, I share the "quivery receptivity" and tentative enthusiasm that Gregory Maguire expressed for this book in his review of The Glass Sentence in the New York Times on June 13, 2014. Grove brings some truly amazing concepts and creations to the table, but sometimes what she does and where she goes with them don't quite do justice to the world she builds and the plot she sets in motion. In spite of this, I am anxious to see where she goes with her story eagerly await the third and final book in this trilogy.

Grove, who says she is an "historian and dedicated traveler," was raised in the United States and Central America, her parents being from both places. One of the most exciting things about The Glass Sentence is that it is set in America and South America, where most high fantasy is set in England and Europe. The Glass Sentence begins with a prologue, a first person account of the "Great Disruption" that occurred some 90 years earlier on July 16, 1799. Writing to her grandson, Shadrack, Bostonian Elizabeth Elli describes  the moment of the break in time that left her suspended over the river her young self was about to jump into. In that moment of suspension, she saw the natural world around her pass through a full year of seasons. Only later did she, and the rest of Boston and eventually the world, discover what happened. The Great Disruption, as Maguire aptly and precisely says, "shattered the normal progress of time and arrangement of nations and eras." The North Atlantic region, now called "New Occident," seems to be on the proper timeline, although Florida is called "Seminole" and the states west of Georgia are "New Akan." The rest of the country, now reverted to unsettled territory, is known as the Badlands or Indian Territory. And New Occident runs on a twenty hour day. 

When the novel begins, we get a rich glimpse of the new political system that has evolved since the world has been tipped into chaos. Young Sophia Tims sits in the sweltering heat of the Boston State House where "the eighty-eight men and two women rich enough to procure their positions" make up the parliament, which is voting to decide on the closing of the borders of New Occident. In 1832, seeking a less corrupt and violent government, it was decided that both seats in the parliament and the opportunity to speak before the parliament would become occasions that must be bought. Thanks to a benefactor, Sophia's uncle, Shadrack Elli, has paid for four minutes and thirteen seconds during which he speaks for keeping the borders open. Elli is the country's greatest cartologer and cartology, (mapmaking is no longer two dimensional) after the Great Disruption, is now a bit like Lyra's reading of the Golden Compass. It involves memories and emotions that are woven into the map itself, and maps can be made of any kind of materials. Truly reading a map is now a bit like having an out-of-body experience and seeing the world through another's eyes. Sophia is learning these skills from her uncle, who understandably does not want communications cut off from this strange new world. Also, both Shadrack and Sophia want the borders open when her parents, who disappeared eight years earlier while on an expedition to help a fellow explorer, might return.

Shortly after the vote to close the borders, Shadrack is kidnapped, his study and map collection ransacked. Sophia finds a hidden map meant for her and, joining forces with Theo, a Badlands boy who ran away from a traveling circus, the two try to make their way to the one person who can help them find Shadrack. By train, boat and wagon, the two travel to the Port of Veracruz then on to Nochtland. A lively band of pirates, captained by Calixta, who I really wanted to see more of, aid the children. A kindly trader named Mazapán who once made his living making marzipan creations for the royals, where everything on the table, from the cloth to the plates to the floral decorations, was made of sugar, also helps Sophia when Theo disappears. There is also the Lachrima, which is a creature sort of like a Dementor, that leaves you unbearably sad and weepy, a creation I am not doing justice to. There are also the Nihilismians, a group that believes that, post the Great Disruption, the world around is a false one. A scholarly group, also prone to evil (the Sandman faction of the group  wear grappling hooks on their belts and submerge people in giant hourglasses), they have archives where they collect accounts from all over the world of time slips. Employed by a veiled woman named Blanca, the Nihilismians are the bad guys in this book, but it was never really clear to me why or for what reason they were so. 

Grove clearly loves spending time in the world that she created, and her characters love to tell stories about their lives and the lives of their loved ones in this world. At a certain point, I felt like almost half of The Glass Sentence was made of characters retelling events in the past. I suppose that this makes sense in a world where time has been fractured and humanity has been altered (some humans bear the "Mark of the Vine," which means they are, in some way, part plant, where others have the "Mark of Iron," and so on) but it also makes for minimal movement among the characters. While I definitely appreciate a work of fantasy that does not rely on constant action to move a story forward, the slow pace of The Glass Sentence does not always deliver the gifts of pacing that I would hope, such as character development. This also makes the world that Grove created feel a bit limitless and without parameters which, in a Dr, Who kind of way, means she can continually introduce new characters, creatures and events to the world. Grove brings The Glass Sentence to an exciting and (knowing this is a trilogy) satisfying end, but it also left me wanting to know more.

Which is why I downloaded the audiobook for The Golden Specific the minute it was released!

The Golden Specific feels like a much stronger, coherent, specific book by Grove, and the continuing story of Sophia and Theo is richer for it. Book 2 finds Sophia and Theo on different continents, both seeking answers. Sophia is still trying to find the whereabouts of her parents. A ghostly presence leads her to a Nihilismian Archive where she is helped by a strangely (for Nihilismians) kind girl. Sophia decides to head to a foreign Age in the Papal States where her parents were last seen and where her mother's diary is being held in a Nihilismian Archive, taking mysterious cargo across the seas with her. She lands in a city devastated by the Plague, a disease with its own strange traits specific to this Age, along with a woman who bears the Mark of the Plant named Goldenrod. She can see the future and produce flowers from her palms. They team up with a Robin Hood-type hunter named Errol who lost his brother to the Plague and is still haunted by his ghost. With the help of a strange map, Sophia tries to find her way to the elusive Ausentinia, a land where you can find anything you have lost. In Sophia's story, readers learn more about the quest that her parents were on and the events that hindered them.

Meanwhile, Theo is stuck in Boston, trying to save Shadrack and his best friend Miles from charges that they murdered the Prime Minister, Cyrill Bligh, who is found stabbed in Elli's study. Theo finds two unlikely friends as he attempts to unravel this political crime. First, Theo hires Winnie, an urchin who hangs out at the State House, to deliver him information. A curious, charismatic MP named Broadgirdle has stepped in to fill the vacancy left after the murder and steer the nation towards exploration, by way of war, of the west. Theo disguises himself and gets a job working for Broadgirdle while at the same time befriending the (seemingly) simpering, spoiled Nettie Grey, daughter of the great detective, Roscoe Grey. Nettie, it turns out, uses her spoiled girl persona as a front, allowing her to sneak around town and dig up clues to for her father's cases. Then, having Grey wrapped around her little finger, she feeds him the clues, making him look like Sherlock Holmes. Together, Nettie and Theo dig up clues, which lead to a deeper mystery involving the Eerie, a spiritual, magical people from the west who number among them Weatherers, people who can reverse the effects of the Great Disruption that cause people to turn into Lachrima, or the Wailing. The two plot paths of Sophia and Theo cross in an amazing way by the end of The Golden Specific in a very fantastic way that, while still wishing that aspects of The Glass Sentence could be more unified and streamlined, makes me all the more anxious for the conclusion of this trilogy.

Source: Review Copy - The Glass Sentence 
Source: Purchased Audio books, The Glass Sentence 
and  The Golden Specific  

0 Comments on The Glass Sentence AND The Golden Specific by S. E. Grove, 528 pp, RL 5 as of 10/30/2015 5:09:00 AM
Add a Comment
32. Amity by Micol Ostow

Looking for a book to give you goosebumps this Halloween? Check out Amity by Micol Ostow. Inspired by the house on 112 Ocean Avenue - the Amityville Horror - this work of fiction follows two teenaged protagonists who moved in the same house ten years apart. Gwen and Connor narrate alternating sections in first person, making readers privy to their innermost thoughts as they begin to see and hear things which are out of the ordinary: faces in mirrors, dirt and blood on their own hands and faces, whispers in the night. Objects appear and disappear from different rooms in the house; the air thickens and chills. Yet no one else seems to see and hear these things. No one, except...

Each protagonist has a sibling that is (or was) close to them: Connor has a twin sister, while Gwen has a brother who is barely a year older, a brother who has become more distant and hostile since they moved into the house. Meanwhile, ten years earlier, Connor had a similar temperament, giving into dark thoughts and violent urges, seeming to feed on the evil energy of the house while simultaneously it fed on him.

The parallels between the two stories grow more evident as the story continues, and then things begin to line up, overlap, and explode.

The dual narrative definitely works in this scenario, with Gwen's fear that she is going crazy (again) contrasting effectively with Connor's unapologetic enjoyment as he embraces his darkness. Gwen thinks she's pathetic, but readers will find her sympathetic; Connor is twisted, and he likes it that way. It is interesting to note that both characters are trying to be happy in their own ways and both are pretending to be something they're not.

With short, unnumbered chapters - sometimes no longer than three-quarters of a page - the action moves quickly, and the format and plotting of the story should attract and intrigue horror fans, even those with shorter attention spans.

Add a Comment
33. Felix Stands Tall by Rosemary Wells

Rosemary Wells is one of a handful of picture book author/illustrators, along with the magnificent Kevin Henkes, that I discovered more than twenty years ago when my first child was born. Wells and Henkes, both of whom are also gifted  writers of chapter books for older readers, have this remarkable insight into children and the emotional ups and downs of being a little kid. Their picture books combine empathy, compassion and intelligent humor (as well as great vocabulary) with meaningful stories that never get old. Happily, two decades later, both Wells and Henkes continue to create wonderful picture books that I am always excited to read, even if my daughter can't sit in my lap to listen anymore...

With Felix Stands Tall, Wells revisits Felix the guinea pig. When Fiona asks if she can be Felix's best friend and he agrees,  she tells him it's settled - the will be in the talent show at the Guinea Pig Jubilee and they will win first prize! She goes on to tell Felix that they will sing, "There's a Pixie in My Garden." When Felix asks if they have to, she assures him that best friends do everything together. Feeling reassured, Felix has his mother make him a boy pixie costume to go with Fiona's girl pixie costume (hand drawn patterns for the costumes make charming front pieces) and he learns the song and dance. And they do win!

Sadly, this is where things start to get bad for Felix. Minkie, Bucky and Dimples begin to tease Felix , at first just with words, but eventually with pranks like putting a Slime Creeper down his shirt and a chirping plastic cricket in his egg-salad sandwich. At lunch, Fiona notices something is up and tells Felix he is a "hot mess." While this may seem out of place for the tone Wells creates in Felix Stands Tall, it is delivered with such matter-of-factness from Fiona that it is downright hilarious. Wells has a distinct gift for comedic delivery in her characters - Ruby, the long suffering big sister to Max, comes to mind - and it comes through in the bold Fiona. Fiona shares the secret to her bravery with Felix (in a very sweet way that I could see kids trying out themselves) and it works for him! He even has the courage to  counter Fiona's suggestion that they wear twin cupcake costumes for Halloween with an idea of his own - fire breathing dragons, the pattern for which appears on the endpapers!

Yet another hit out of the park for Rosemary Wells! You can read my reviews of other books by Wells - picture and chapter - here.

More Felix books!

And just a few of my favorite 
Rosemary Wells picture books:

Source: Review Copy

0 Comments on Felix Stands Tall by Rosemary Wells as of 10/28/2015 4:25:00 AM
Add a Comment
34. On the Table: Heartlandia, Crossroads, Brunch at Bobby’s, and More

Welcome to the biggest cookbook season of the year! September, October, and November rival the entire rest of the year with new cookbook releases. My fellow book buyers and I cooked from a selection of cookbooks, and I've reviewed them below. I've also included a list of some other new releases at the bottom of [...]

0 Comments on On the Table: Heartlandia, Crossroads, Brunch at Bobby’s, and More as of 10/26/2015 3:39:00 PM
Add a Comment
35. Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia, 304 pp, RL 3

My older son, now eighteen, grew up with DK books and videos about everything from trees and volcanoes to planets, the human body and death. As a bookseller who got to see the whole range of encyclopedic books being published for kids, nothing every came close to the crisp visual style of DK and the engaging way text is presented on the page. The best part of DK books for children is that they are the perfect segue to the DK books for adults, which provide a more in depth examination of subjects. With this prejudice, it takes a lot for me to look at, let alone recommend, an encyclopedia by any other publisher. However, Animal Planet, in partnership with Time Inc. Books, has put together Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia, a visually attractive, fact filled book that is worth the price and sure to make kids smile - and read.

At 304 pages, Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia is packed with information on over 2,500 animals and over 1,000 color photographs. Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia is divided into eight chapters with detailed profiles of the seven animal classes, which are also color coded. One feature that I find especially interesting is the green "Surprisingly Human" content box that appears from time to time, sharing facts about animals that our species shares, like the fact that female vampire bats are nice to each other, sharing food with friends who did not feed sufficiently. Another feature, the R.O.A.R. (Reach Out And Act) box, highlights Animal Planet's partnerships with "leading animal and wildlife organizations to help make the world a better place for animals" and ways that people are helping animals in our communities and in the wild.

Great photos aside, there are definitely enough features in Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia to make it a worthwhile investment. And, as a parent, former bookseller and school librarian, I can tell you that almost all kids are happy to sit down with a book like this and pore over the pages.

Source: Review Copy

0 Comments on Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia, 304 pp, RL 3 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
36. Louise Trapeze Is Totally 100% Fearless by Micol Ostow, illustrated by Brigette Barrager

Louise Trapeze performs with her parents in the Sweet Potato Circus, but only her parents are allowed to fly from one trapeze to another, while Louise has to do her tricks on one low bar that doesn't swing. Louise's mama and daddy have always said that she'll be allowed to perform on the real flying trapeze when she's nine years old - which seems so far away when you're six-almost-seven years old</i> - but the night before her seventh birthday, they tell her they are going to let her perform on a higher-than-usual trapeze now instead of later! Finally, her dream is coming true!

...except the thought of getting on that new trapeze, which is so high in the air and so far above the net, makes Louise just a little bit nervous. Because it turns out she might be just a little bit scared of heights! And she doesn't want to tell anyone that - not her parents, not her best friend, Stella, or anyone else in the circus. She doesn't even want to admit it to herself, because she doesn't want to feel like a scared little baby - she wants to be a big kid and an awesome performer. But how can she do that when even the thought of getting on that so-high-up trapeze makes the butterflies in her stomach flutter so hard?

Louise Trapeze Is Totally 100% Fearless, the first book in a new series for young readers, is sure to delight youngsters who can't wait to be a "big kid" and want to do "grown up" stuff, but are maybe a little nervous, worried, or scared about growing up or feel like they are not actually physically or emotionally capable to do those things they want so badly to do. Think of the kid who wants to ride a bike but is scared to take off the training wheels.

Written by Micol Ostow, who also writes young adult novels, this sweet story is accompanied by Brigette Barrager's black, white, and pink illustrations. Barrager's style perfectly compliments this story and setting, and it's lovely to see a wide variety of characters, people and critters alike, that are big and tall, short and small, all different shades and sizes - and it must be said that Stella's hair is enviable! Look closely for a nod to Uni the Unicorn, a book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal which Brigette Barrager also illustrated, as well as a reference to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Spoiler: One of the characters in the Sweet Potato Circus shares a name with a beloved pet from Sunnydale!)

Louise Trapeze Did NOT Lose the Juggling Chickens, the next book in the series, will be available in 2016.

Add a Comment
37. Poetry Friday: Epilogue to the Breakfast Table Series by Oliver Wendell Holmes

A crazy bookcase, placed before
A low-price dealer's open door;
Therein arrayed in broken rows
A ragged crew of rhyme and prose,
The homeless vagrants, waifs, and strays
Whose low estate this line betrays
(Set forth the lesser birds to lime)

This is the opening stanza from Epilogue to the Breakfast Table Series by Oliver Wendell Holmes. Here are two of my favorite stanzas from the poem:

What have I rescued from the shelf?
A Boswell, writing out himself!
For though he changes dress and name,
The man beneath is still the same,
Laughing or sad, by fits and starts,
One actor in a dozen parts,
And whatsoe'er the mask may be,
The voice assures us, This is he.


And his is not the playwright's page;
His table does not ape the stage;
What matter if the figures seen
Are only shadows on a screen,
He finds in them his lurking thought,
And on their lips the words he sought,
Like one who sits before the keys
And plays a tune himself to please.

Click here to read the Epilogue in its entirety.

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

Add a Comment
38. The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, 89 pp, RL 2

Last year I reviewed and loved Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale and superbly illustrated by LeUeyn Pham and I am so excited to be reviewing the second book in the series a year later, The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess PartyThe way I see it, with Princess Magnolia, the Hales and Pham have created a character and series that hits all my literary sweet spots: a high interest chapter book that is a perfect bridge between leveled readers and chapter books, a character who is all things - a princess with her own unicorn and a secret double life fighting monsters. Magnolia can go from wearing a pouffy pink gown and tiara while having tea with the Duchess Wigtower to a black booted, masked and caped crusader with a scepter that turns into a staff for battle and Pham brings her to life with vivid, action filled panache. Best of all, the Princess in Black books are sweet and playful and not the least bit saccharine. 

In The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party, Magnolia is preparing for her birthday party and the eleven princesses (and their steeds) who will be attending the party. Just as they begin to arrive, Magnolia's "glitter-stone ring rang." Monsters are leaving Monster Land, Duff the goat boy's flock is in danger and the Princess in Black needs to perform her signature moves, like the Tiara Trip and the Tentacle Tangle, on them to make everything right with the world again.
Just when Magnolia thinks she can get back to her guests, the party games, the cake and the presents, her glitter-stone ring goes off again. And again. Magnolia juggles her responsibilities admirably. Until she doesn't. My favorite part of The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party are the princesses themselves. Pham's illustrations of Princess Sneezewort, Princess Zinnia, Princess Honeysuckle, Princess Hyacinth, Princess Apple Blossom, Princess Bluebell, Princess Euphoria, Princess Tulip, Princess Crocus, Princess Snapdragon, and Princess Jasmine bring to mind an updated rendering of the singing dolls from the It's a Small World ride at Disneyland, in the best way possible, without the singing. I couldn't stop poring over the pages, taking in all the details. Now, I need to get this books onto the shelves of my library because students have been asking for it for weeks!
Coming February 2016!!!

Source: Review Copy

0 Comments on The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, 89 pp, RL 2 as of 10/23/2015 1:49:00 PM
Add a Comment
39. Powell’s Q&A: Audrey Niffenegger

Describe your latest book. I recently edited and illustrated a collection of ghost stories, Ghostly. It features stories by E. A. Poe, Neil Gaiman, Saki, Kelly Link, and M. R. James, and also some stories by writers who one might not associate with ghost stories, including A. S. Byatt, P. G. Wodehouse, and Edith Wharton. [...]

0 Comments on Powell’s Q&A: Audrey Niffenegger as of 10/23/2015 3:41:00 PM
Add a Comment
40. Readerly Term No. 064: Printrovert

÷ ÷ ÷ Have you invented a Readerly Term of your own? Email us at readerlyterms@powells.com with the word and definition, and we'll consider including it in our Compendium. Browse all the terms here.

0 Comments on Readerly Term No. 064: Printrovert as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
41. I Am Henry Finch by Alexis Deacon, illustrated by Viviane Schwarz

I AM HENRY FINCH is the latest picture book from Alexis Deacon Viviane Schwarz, a duo known for creating thoughtful, slightly off-kilter, deep but silly picture books. And thinking about all three of these books in conjunction, A Place to Call HomeCheese Belongs to You and now I AM HENRY FINCH are all, in some ways, about communal living, or participating in a community, which is an uncommon for picture books.

 Henry Finch lived in a great flock of finches that "made such a racket all day long, they really could not hear themselves think." Unfortunately for the finches, sometimes, like when the Beast comes, they need to be able to think, to focus and to act. But this is the way it always was.

Until one night when Henry Finch wakes up in teh quiet of the night. He has a though AND he actually hears it! This is the thought that he has: I AM HENRY FINCH. I THINK. AM I THE FIRST FINCH EVER TO HAVE A THOUGHT?In the silence, Henry hears his thoughts and thinks more thoughts, one of which is, I COULD BE GREAT.

Henry's thoughts lead him to a dark place, literally. When the Beast arrives Henry zooms in for the attack and ends up inside the belly of the Beast where he has more thoughts, many of them dark, which lead to some truly amazing illustrations. Inside the Beast, Henry realizes he can hear the thoughts of the Beast that lead him to empathy and a new thought. Henry Finch returns to the flock and, a transformed finch, he transforms the other finches. I AM HENRY FINCH got me thinking a lot as I read it and, writing about it here, I realize how much more there is to it and how much can be taken away from it. I AM HENRY FINCH is a truly amazing book, even more so because it is a really fun book to read and have read to you.

I have read I AM HENRY FINCH out loud several times now to varying grade levels. I am the librarian at a school where more than 75% of the population is socioeconomically disadvantaged and also English language learners. In many ways, the lives of my students are loud, noisy, and chaotic like the lives of the finches in the flock. At any time the Beast can strike their flock, in the form of job loss, illness, legal issues, mental illness and more. At school, my students are loud and chaotic when in a group and difficult to quiet down - especially on Mondays and after vacations when they have been outside of the disciplined school environment. All of them listened to I AM HENRY FINCH attentively. I hope that they all took away from it what Henry takes from his adventure.

Also by Deacon & Schwarz:

Source: Review Copy

0 Comments on I Am Henry Finch by Alexis Deacon, illustrated by Viviane Schwarz as of 10/23/2015 1:49:00 PM
Add a Comment
42. The Last Kids on Earth

The Last Kids on Earth is a blast. Jack Sullivan is a confident and self-deprecating kid who's just trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, tame a monster for a pet, track down June (the cute girl from school), and make his own Mountain Dew with his best friend, Quint. Books mentioned in this post The [...]

0 Comments on The Last Kids on Earth as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
43. B is for Bear

J is for Jackrabbit, D is for Dandelion, Y is for Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker — all lovingly illustrated by paper-cut artist Hannah Viano. Sweet, interesting touches throughout make this book more than just strikingly beautiful. It's also a wonderful tribute and introduction to the natural world. Books mentioned in this post B Is for Bear: A [...]

0 Comments on B is for Bear as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
44. Powell’s Q&A: Lauren Redniss

Describe your latest book. My new book, Thunder and Lightning, is about weather and humankind through the ages. How did the last good book you read end up in your hands, and why did you read it? I'm reading Ian Frazier's On the Rez, which was given to me by a friend. Fantastic book. Aside [...]

0 Comments on Powell’s Q&A: Lauren Redniss as of 10/19/2015 4:31:00 PM
Add a Comment
45. How to Be Both

You know when you're immersed in a story so compelling that you look at the people around you and think: you guys don't even know what I'm going through? How to Be Both is incredible. At a sentence level, it's expertly done, and on a story level, it is fascinating. Read it! Books mentioned in [...]

0 Comments on How to Be Both as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
46. The Laws of Medicine

As illuminating as his Pulitzer Prize-winning book on cancer, The Emperor of All Maladies, Mukherjee's accessible book on complex ideas takes readers through medical history and the three principles he sees as the laws that govern medicine, and how understanding these laws can empower us all. Books mentioned in this post The Laws of Medicine: [...]

0 Comments on The Laws of Medicine as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
47. The Boy Who Drew Monsters

The Boy Who Drew Monsters is a perfectly spooky, fascinatingly creepy tale set on the coast of Maine. I absolutely love Donohue's imaginative writing, and the story of Jack Peter, who refuses to leave his home and spends his time drawing monsters, does not disappoint! Books mentioned in this post The Boy Who Drew Monsters [...]

0 Comments on The Boy Who Drew Monsters as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
48. Drinking in America

Drinking in America takes the history we all learned in school and adds alcohol to the picture. Apparently people were a lot drunker than we've been told. This book is fascinating, well written, and full of shareable anecdotes. Books mentioned in this post Drinking in America: Our Secret History Susan Cheever Sale Hardcover $19.60

0 Comments on Drinking in America as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
49. Beer Bites

Beer Bites presents world pub grub and street fare with pairings of the perfect craft beers. The recipes (gratins, hand pies, sandwiches, pretzels) are mostly easy, and the beer descriptions are enticing. Beer Bites is for those who enjoy unpretentious play in the kitchen, and at the table. Books mentioned in this post Beer Bites: [...]

0 Comments on Beer Bites as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
50. The Evolution of Everything

Who invented the Internet? Who is in charge of the English language? Where is the central committee of the world economy?Who invented the Internet? Who is in charge of the English language? Where is the central committee of the world economy? Some of the most important phenomena of the human world are the products "of [...]

0 Comments on The Evolution of Everything as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts