Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Monday, August 26, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's/YA version at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

I did it.  I finished The Last Dragonslayer, the first book in the Chronicles of Kazam by Jasper Fforde for Middle Grade Mania.  Despite being included in Middle Grade Mania, I would classify this on the young end of YA.  It has an awesomely unique fantasy world, a great sense of humor, really colorful and memorable characters and no romance, which is refreshing.  The plot stayed fresh throughout, despite some moments where I thought I was being set up for disappointment.  (I was wrong.)

This week I'll be starting on The Song of the Quarkbeast, the second book in the series.

What are you reading?

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's/YA version at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

So it turns out when I'm deep in rehearsal for a show, I'm terrible at reading.  Something about already being immersed in another world and having no free time, I'm sure.  Anyway, I got a bit deeper into The Last Dragonslayer, the first book in the Chronicles of Kazam by Jasper Fforde for the upcoming Middle Grade Mania event.  I'm really enjoying it.  The world is very unique; a take on fantasy I haven't quite seen before.  I love the characters and I'm really looking forward to seeing how everything plays out.

This week I hope to finish The Last Dragonslayer and move on to the sequel, The Song of the Quarkbeast.

What are you reading?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Event Preview: You Are My Little Pumpkin Pie with Amy E. Sklansky


Join us at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 24, 2013, at Left Bank Books--Downtown for a special Storytime when St. Louis author Amy E. Sklansky will read her newest book, You Are My Little Pumpkin Pie (illustrated by Talitha Shipman, who will not be present).  There will even be real pumpkin pie!

Every baby deserves to feel special and loved.  This book highlights the delight parents take in their children, making every moment with them one to remember.  This read-aloud gives lots of opportunities for cuddles and kisses!

Copies of Amy's books (which also include My Daddy and Me (illustrated by Ard Hoyt), You Are My Little Cupcake (illustrated by Talitha Shipman), Out of This World: Poems and Facts About Space (illustrated by Stacey Schuett) and Where Do Chicks Come From? (illustrated by Pam Paparone)) will be available for purchase and signing.  If you can't make it to the event, call Left Bank Books at 314-367-6731, ext. 2, to order signed, personalized copies.

Monday, August 12, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's/YA version at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

Last week I finished A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, inspired by an idea from Soibhan Dowd, illustrated by Jim Kay for Ness's upcoming author event.  This is a lovely parable that will probably resonate with lots of people.  It's heartbreaking and beautiful, especially when paired with the total book design of Kay.

Next I read The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett, the fourth Origami Yoda book by Tom Angleberger.  If you liked the previous books, you'll enjoy this one as well.  I'm continually surprised by how deep these books go and the issues addressed.  They are definitely more than immediately meets the eye.

Finally, I started The Last Dragonslayer, the first book in the Chronicles of Kazam by Jasper Fforde, for the Middle Grade Mania event.  I'm barely into this at all, but I can already tell I'll enjoy the worldbuilding and eclectic characters.

This week I'll be finishing The Last Dragonslayer, then starting its sequel, The Song of the Quarkbeast.

What are you reading?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Event Preview: Robot+Bike=Kitten with Joe Mohr


Join us at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 17, 2013, at Left Bank Books--Central West End for a special Storytime when St. Louis author and illustrator Joe Mohr will discuss his new poetry book, Robot+Bike=Kitten.

This collection of 34 poems will have kids rolling in the aisles while adults will appreciate the subtle messages being picked up along the way.  You'll learn everything from why to care about the environment to why you should pick your nose.  The colorful illustrations round out this entertaining and educational package.

Copies of Robot+Bike=Kitten will be available for purchase and signing.  If you can't make it to the event, call Left Bank Books at 314-367-6731, ext. 1, to order signed personalized copies.

Monday, August 5, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Book Journey with a children's/YA version at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

First up this week was finishing The Whatnot, the sequel to The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann.  This steampunk fairy tale was surprising at every turn, not so much in a plot twist way, but in that I could never predict where the story was going to take me next.  It was certainly a fun ride, and I liked that we picked up years after the first book, in order to see the evolution of the characters, but I feel cheated that we didn't get more Mr. Jelliby.  I read an ARC from Greenwillow Books.

Next was Rasl by Jeff Smith.  This is a decidedly adult tale from Smith, with no shortage of profanity, sex and violence.  Still, fans of Smith world-building will find plenty to like in this contemporary science fiction story while those who are unfamiliar will almost certainly get sucked in.  I read it in one sitting.  I read an ARC from Cartoon Books.

Then I started A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, inspired by an idea from Soibhan Dowd, illustrated by Jim Kay for Ness's upcoming author event.  I'm really intrigued by the story so far; it's both heartbreaking and beautiful.  I am also continually in awe of the beautiful works of art Candlewick makes out of their books.









This week also saw me filling is as Storytime lady.  The kids and I read:

--Oh No, George! by Chris Haughton.  I love Haughton's illustrations, but hadn't read the book yet.  This is perfect for read-alouds with lots of cues for the audience and repetition the kids can pick up on easily.  We read a complementary copy from Candlewick.

--Fancy Nancy: The Fanciest Doll in the Universe by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser.  I'm a Fancy Nancy fan already, and this is a cute story about getting along with younger siblings.

--Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger, illustrated by Cece Bell.  This was a little long for the younger ones, but they had fun with the histrionics of it.









This week I'll be finishing A Monster Calls, then continuing my Newbery reading with The Dark Frigate by Charles Boardman Hawes.

What are you reading?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Event Preview: The Surprise Attack of the Jabba the Puppett with Tom Angleberger


Join us at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 8, 2013, at Left Bank Books--Downtown when Tom Angleberger will discuss his latest book in the Origami Yoda series, The Attack of Jabba the Puppett.  We will also make crafts based on the books.

In this latest installment of the popular series following the kids of McQuarrie Middle School, arts funding and extracurriculars have been cut in order to allow more time and resources to standardized testing.  Luckily, Dwight is back at school and his Force-filled friends can help take down the FunTime Menace prep program.  But when Jabba the Puppett makes a surprise appearance, will it be more than they can handle?

Copies of Tom's books, including the Origami Yoda series (The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Darth Paper Strikes Back, The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett and Art2-D2's Guide to Folding and Doodling), Crankee DoodleFake Mustache and Horton Halfpott will be available for purchase and signing.  If you can't make it to the event, call Left Bank Books at 314-367-6731, ext. 2, to order signed, personalized copies.