Tag Archives: Children’s Book

New Picture Books Galore – January & February 2012

Here is a list of some picture books I am excited about that were released in the month of January and February! I will try to come out with this list on a monthly basis; since this is the first, both months are squished into one.

Plant A Kiss
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Little Miss planted a kiss . . . One small act of love blooms into something bigger and more dazzling than Little Miss could have ever imagined in this epic journey about life, kindness, and giving.

Maudie & Bear
by Jan Ormerod: Bear’s world revolves around Maudie. Maudie’s world also revolves around Maudie. This book is delightful!

One Cool Friend
by Tony Buzzeo: On a momentous visit to the aquarium, Elliot discovers his dream pet: a penguin. It’s just proper enough for a straight-laced boy like him. And when he asks his father if he may have one (please and thank you), his father says yes. Elliot should have realized that Dad probably thought he meant a stuffed penguin and not a real one . . . With illustrations from David Small, this picture book is utterly cool-dorable (Cool + Adorable).

Zoo Girl
by Rebecca Elliot: Zoo girl has no family. In the children’s home, she feels lost and alone. On a trip to the zoo, she is accidentally left behind. But the animals love her—and when she’s discovered snuggled in a cage with the tigers by the zoo keepers and brought back to the orphanage, she doesn’t want to go. Thankfully, the keepers know when they first see her that they have found a daughter at last, and return shortly with adoption papers to take her home with them. Zoo girl has found her family at last!

Extra Yarn
by Mac Barnett: This looks like an ordinary box full of ordinary yarn. But it turns out it isn’t. Illustrated by Jon Klassen, this picture book is truly lovely. A town turns from drab to colorful with knitted sweaters.

Another Brother
by Matthew Cordell: Life for Davy was glorious as long as he had his mother and father to himself. But then he got a brother, Petey. When Davy sang, Petey cried. When Davy created a masterpiece, Petey spat up on it. And then he got another brother, Mike! And another, Stu! And another, Gil! Until he had TWELVE LITTLE BROTHERS! And that was only the beginning!


Gideon & Otto
by Olivier Dunrea: Meet Gideon, the newest addition to Olivier Dunrea’s gaggle of adorable goslings! Gideon likes to splash with the ducklings, hop with the frogs, play chase-the-piglets, and scamper all over the farmyard. But one thing busy Gideon does not want to do is take his nap, no matter how many times his mother asks . . . until he gets tired, of course.

Duck for a Day
by Meg McKinlay: Abby’s class has a duck named Max who waddles and quacks and makes your feet all warm when he sits on them. Even though Max is a duck with demands – from an ideal aquatic environment to fresh strawberries – Abby might get to take him home overnight, if she can make everything perfect. And Abby is sure she can do it. The problem is, weird Noah from next door wants to take Max home, too. Abby can hear him digging on his side of the fence, but she knows he’ll never get Max. A duck needs calm, and what can Noah do about his chaotic backyard and noisy sisters?

What Color is My World? The Lost History of African-American Inventors
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld: Did you know that James West invented the microphone in your cell phone? That Fred Jones invented the refrigerated truck that makes supermarkets possible? Or that Dr. Percy Julian synthesized cortisone from soy, easing untold people’s pain? These are just some of the black inventors and innovators scoring big points in this dynamic look at several unsung heroes who shared a desire to improve people’s lives. Offering profiles with fast facts on flaps and framed by a funny contemporary story featuring two feisty twins, here is a nod to the minds behind the gamma electric cell and the ice-cream scoop, improvements to traffic lights, open-heart surgery, and more – inventors whose ingenuity and perseverance against great odds made our world safer, better, and brighter.


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Silly Rabbit Kids Books are for Adults Too, You Know

I received this photo from the amazing Penguin Rep., Nicole.  It is very true.

Not Just For Kids

Don’t forget about the Giveaway Schmiveaway –  SIGNED copy of Oliver Jeffers’ book, The Way Back Home!!!

Enter to win by subscribing to Read Schmead and by posting comments. Every current and new subscriber is entered into the contest automatically. If you happen to leave comments on posts then those will count as additional entries. Winners will be picked randomly.


Filed under Book-Related Stuff

Oliver Jeffers’ New Book, Stuck, & The Giveaway Schmiveaway

Have I mentioned that I love EVERYTHING JEFFERS!!  Well, I do.  Recently, Non and I got the chance to meet Oliver Jeffers at the SCIBA Author Feast and Trade Show in Long Beach, California.  It was fantastic! Jeffers spoke and presented a slide show about his life that was perfectly him and hilarious.  It read like one of his picture books and the audience was enthralled.  Afterward, Oliver Jeffers was kind enough to sign my iPhone case which has an image from another one of his books, Lost and Found.

Me, Oliver Jeffers, Non

My signed iPhone Case

We also received his newest book, Stuck!

Stuck is amazing!  The book is about a boy named Floyd who gets his kite stuck in a tree.  Well, naturally, Floyd throws his shoe into the tree to knock down the kite, then his other shoe to knock down his shoe, then Mitch the cat gets tossed up in order to get the shoe down, and, in proper Jeffers humor, Floyd fetches a ladder which he chucks into the tree to get Mitch out.  The result is, as you would imagine, a whole lot of stuff stuck in a tree.

My new Giveaway Schmiveaway is a SIGNED copy of Oliver Jeffers’ book, The Way Back Home!!!  It is a great book about two unlikely allies trying to find their way home.

Enter to win by subscribing to Read Schmead and by posting comments. Every current and new subscriber is entered into the contest automatically. If you happen to leave comments on posts then those will count as additional entries. Winners will be picked randomly.

All Jeffers Books:

Age Group: Embryo and up
Genre: Picture Book, Friendship, Home
Themes: Family, Friendship
Publisher: Philomel Books, Division of Penguin Young Readers Group


Filed under Giveaway Schmiveaway, Picture Books

Rick Riordan – God of the Little People

On October 8th A Whale of a Tale Children’s Bookshoppe and the Mission Viejo Library hosted Mr. Rick Riordan (writer of the Percy Jackson Series, The Kane Chronicles, and The Lost Heroes).  It was glorious.  First, let me just say this, Rick Riordan is incredibly average looking.  I don’t mean this as a slight.  All I mean is that he looks like my 5th grade elementary school teacher, or perhaps, anyone’s 5th grade elementary school teacher.   It was the most surreal, hilarious, and exciting thing to see over 1,200 kids screaming and whooping for this elementary school teacher.  To all those kids (and to me), Rick Riordan is a god.  He has written some fantastic books and truly reinvigorated Greek, Egyptian, and Roman Mythology.  I mean, mythology is amazing, but Riordan has added to an already fascinating story world.  I remember my older sister being obsessed with D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths.  And of course she was–Poseidon, Titans, Zeus, all those guys/gals are pretty dang interesting and now there are even more stories about malevolent and benevolent gods thanks to Riordan.  All this being said, it was truly a joy to watch Riordan speak up on the stage and it was even better getting to meet such a genuinely nice guy.  Enjoy the pictures I took at the event!

Rick Riordan and Alex

The Whale of a Tale staff, Togas and all!

Rick was here promoting his newest book, The Son of Neptune

Riding the chariot

Entering the "arena" to screaming fans

You can still buy some autographed copies of Rick Riordan’s book at A Whale of a Tale Bookshoppe!  Call us at 949-854-8288.   For more awesome pictures of the event go to Read Schmead’s Facebook page.  Also, if you don’t want to purchase a book from A Whale of a Tale directly then click on the book covers to find another independent bookstore online.


Filed under Events, Middle Grade Books

Book Festivals are Exhausting, but Oh So Awesome

This weekend was fantastic.  Exhausting but fantastic.  Saturday I was selling books at the Mission Viejo Book Festival.  (Side note: Latitude 33 Bookstore closed at the end of August, but I have been adopted by another wonderful bookstore located in Irvine called A Whale of A Tale Bookshoppe.)  I was able to meet Cornelia Funke, author of Dragon Rider, the Inkheart Trilogy, Igraine the Brave, and many other great titles.

Cornelia and Me

Cornelia in her amazing dress and Alex (owner of A Whale of a Tale)

My Enthusiastic Face

At the OC Book Festival myself and Non helped out Robyn Hawk (Check out her blog Reading it All) with the YA/Teen Stage.  It was a hot day but the line-up that Robyn put together was just so cool.  (See how I did that–hot and cool.  I’m a dork).  The event started with a Tween Panel moderated by the ever so funny author of the School of Fear series, Gitty Daneshvari.  It featured the following authors: Greg Taylor – Killer Pizza series, Helen Stringer – Spellbinder and Midnight Gate, Greg van Eekhout – The Boy at the End of the World, Mark Jeffrey – Max Quick series.

The Tween Panel

Me and My BFF

Gitty was a fantastic moderator and I utterly adore listening to her talk.  She is just the funniest and I like to imagine we are best friends who exchange witty, self-deprecating remarks about our imagined illnesses and ridiculous fears.  We laugh and then we cry and then we check our WebMD Apps.

Following the panel were authors Frank Beddor (Looking Glass Wars series), PJ Haarsma (Softwire series), Lisi Harrison (Monster High series), and the very likeable Holly Goldberg Sloan, author of I’ll Be There.

Frank Beddor and PJ Haarsma

Me and Holly Goldberg Sloan

The Teen Lit (Keeping it Real) Panel featured:  Jessi Kirby – Moonglass, Kirsten Hubbard – Like Mandarin, Lindsey Leavitt – Sean Griswold’s Head, and the awesome Andrew Smith with his new novel, Stick.  The portion of Stick that Andrew read made me so eager to read the entire book.  He truly has an amazing narrative style.

The Teen Lit Panel

Me, Andrew Smith, and Non

The rest of the day was filled with paranormal/supernatural lit.  The Paranormal Panel included:  Emma Michaels – The Thirteenth Chime and Anasazi, Inara Scott – Delacroix Academy, Cindy Pon – Kingdom of Xia series, Gretchen McNeil – Possess, Jeff Mariotte – Dark Vengence.  Kami Garcia, co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series, and Heather Brewer, author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series and now her new series The Slayer Chronicles, drew large crowds.

Kami Garcia

The Paranormal Panel

Heather Brewer

The final two authors, Nancy Holder and Amber Benson, rounded off a great day at the festival.  I purchased Amber’s series, Calliope Reaper Jones, and can’t wait to start it.  Amber’s writing style is so smart and funny that I know it will be awesome.

Me, Nancy Holder, Amber Benson, and Non

Amber Benson


Filed under Book-Related Stuff

Just Plain Cute!

(Oliver) by Christopher Franceschelli is just plain C-U-T-E!  This incredibly simple board book about an egg made me force all of my co-workers to read it.  I “awwed” every time they or myself got to the end.  There are less than 50 words in the entire book and yet each word is just perfect.  You really should pick this up just to find out what is so dang cute.  I insist.

Age Group: 1 and up
Genre: Picture Book
Themes: Eggs, Miracles, Cuteness

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The Super Awesome Illustrator Series: Emily Gravett

Emily Gravett is another one of my favorite illustrators and she’s a great author to boot!  With many books under her illustrator/author belt, Emily has created endearing and inventive stories like, Orange Pear Apple Bear, Spells, The Rabbit Problem and many more.

In Gravett’s newest book, Blue Chameleon, an endearing and lonely chameleon searches for a friend.  Finding the right friend can be hard, especially for a chameleon.  The chameleon goes through all kinds of colors and shapes, saying “howdy” to different objects and animals, hoping to find a friend.  This book does a great job at introducing colors and animal/objects.

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Filed under Picture Books, Super Awesome Illustrator Series