Ordinary People Change the World

I am ordinary.  I wake up every morning, change a diaper (or 2), eat breakfast, brush my teeth, etc… There is nothing extraordinary about my life in the traditional sense of the word. I am no Rosa Parks or Amelia Earhart.  I have not united this country like Abraham Lincoln or lived among chimpanzees like Jane Goodall. You won’t find a book on the shelf with my name in the title yet I know I have the capacity, as we all d,o to change this world even if it is within my own little piece of it.  I have embraced the message of Brad Meltzer’s biography series for kids, “Ordinary People Change the World”.  These picture book biographies bring history to life for readers and show that people that we view as extraordinary started out in this world the same as everyone else, a baby born to make their own path.  “We Can All Be Heroes” is the theme of these books and the message to young readers.

January 16 is Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.  As we prepare to celebrate one of the most extraordinary ordinary people in our history share these stories with children to let them know that they have the capacity to do good and that someday their birthday could be celebrated by all.

From Page to Screen in 2017

Happy New Year!I hope you have made and are sticking to your resolutions this first week of 2017.  A constant resolution in my world is to always read the book before watching the movie adaptation (if either is worth it).  It looks like this year I will have an easy time keeping my resolution, at least in the children’s and YA categories.  2017 will see just 5 books turned into movies from these categories.  Still, I am super excited about 3 of the 5 titles (I’ll let you try to guess which ones) and I hope to be able to leave my little ones with Mima for at least one movie date this year.  In the meantime I’ll reread my favorites and maybe even catch up on some adult books to movies.


The Reader’s Have Spoken…

The winners of the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards have been announced.  This is one election where popular votes do count.  Goodreads users vote on their favorite books in almost every genre.  Below are the nominees of the Middle Grade & Children’s Category.  Rick Riordan’s The Hidden Oracle claimed the top honor with 46,348 votes. Visit Goodreads for a complete list of winners and nominees.

For Teens By Teens

When I was a teenager I was busy playing sports and riding around town on my bike with friends.  I in no way had the drive or talent to write a book.  Now, half way through my 30’s, I still don’t come anywhere near to having the commitment to writing a book but I know young people who love writing and dream of publishing a book some day.  A recent chat with author Ben Clanton who began writing children’s books in college led me to look into young people who were published before they left their teen years behind them.  Check out the books below and start kicking yourself for not being as productive in your teens as these folks…

Winter is for Snow

As I sit here today looking out my window at the patches of snow in my yard and a forecast including temperatures in the 50s, it is hard to believe that just a week ago I was up to my knees in the white stuff and schools were closed for 1.5 days.  Then again, I shouldn’t be surprised at all.  I live in Central NY where it is not uncommon to get inches upon inches of snow to get you in the holiday spirit only to be disappointed in a few weeks as you wear your raincoat to holiday festivities.  Winter Storm Argos hit us hard and it was beautiful while it lasted.  Fun was had by all in the form of sledding, snowman building, and even a little cross country skiing.  I have always said that if it can’t be 70s and sunny and is bound to be cold then give me snow!  After all winter is for snow.   Check out these fun picture books to get a taste of the winter season…

Celebrating Picture Books

November is Picture Book Month. Author and storyteller Dianne de Las Casas founded the international initiative to celebrate the importance of picture books.  To me picture books are a link to my past, a staple in my present, and an eye to the future.

As a librarian it was always a great joy to see the excitement in children’s eyes when I’d pull out a book they already knew or had during storytime.  Just as scent can connect us to a certain memory a picture book can do the same.  I have very strong memories of my favorite picture book as a child,  The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy.  For me it brings back memories of the holidays, my favorite time of the year.

Now as a mother who has no boundaries when it comes to buying picture books resulting in a rather large collection, I have no qualms reading my 2 year old daughter’s favorite, The Little Blue Truck, over and over (with my eyes closed most times).  I know it brings her joy and what’s more is I can see her developing language skills as she says the rhyming word or retells the story in her own way.  That is what gives me an eye towards the future.  Picture books are important because they bring us happiness or other emotions and as an added bonus they certainly help develop literacy skills and a lifelong connection to books.

Enjoy the following list composed of not only my favorites old and new, but my daughter’s as well as friends from social media.  Click to learn more about Picture Book Month including daily posts from picture book champions.

The Buck Stops Here — Presidential and Election Books to Make You Smile

Without getting too involved in any deep political conversation here is a list of picture books, both fiction and nonfiction, to make you smile because let’s face it, I’d rather read about the ridiculous antics of Amelia Bedelia or learn about which president had the most pets in the White House than listen to the current state of affairs.  However you feel Election 2016 is what everyone is and will be talking about this week. So grab a picture book, read, enjoy, and escape.

And to add to your bank of knowledge, the phrase “The Buck Stops Here” was popularized by Harry S. Truman and ultimately means the President has to make decision and accept responsibility for those decisions, (as do the voters). Here’s to hoping!

There’s Going To Be a New Baby

Two years and two days after my daughter was born we welcomed our second child, Leo Stephen on October 10, 2016. As excited as I was to meet our new little person I am just as excited to see how our daughter will embrace (hopefully) her role as a big sister. As the baby in a family of four I have no idea what it’s like to give up your role as baby. As a public librarian there were many times when an expectant mother would ask for book suggestions for welcoming a new baby into the family. Here are some great ones to get you started…