Category Archives: Book Lists

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

thanksgiving-snoopy-wallpaper

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

Thanksgiving is a holiday about being thankful for all of the things we have in our lives: a home, a family, friends, and of course food. Food is an equalizer in many ways – no matter what our background, we can unite around a table full of delicious things to eat. Plus, food can tell us stories about different families, cultures, and experiences from around the world.

This year, I’ve compiled a list of books about food and cookbooks so that you can expand your food horizons. Maybe you only feel comfortable tweaking a familiar family favorite, or maybe you’ll branch out and try something completely different! Plus, cooking with family and friends can be a great activity to do together as the months get colder.

However you are spending your holiday, may it be a safe and happy one!

Straight Talk: The Truth About Food by Stephanie Paris; 978-1433348570

The Monster Health Book: A Guide to Eating Healthy, Being Active, & Feeling Great for Monsters & Kids by Edward Miller; 978-0823421398

Good Enough To Eat: A Kid’s Guide to Food and Nutrition written and illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell; 978-0064451741

Science Experiments You Can Eat: Revised Edition by Vicki Cobb; 978-0064460026

Edible Science: Experiments You can Eat by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen and Carol Tennant; 978-1426321115

The Science Chef: 100 Fun Food Experiments and Recipes for Kids by Joan D’Amico and Karen E. Drummond; 978-0471310457

Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!) by Deanna F. Cook; 978-1612124001

American Girl Cooking: Recipes for Delicious Snacks, Meals, and More; 978-1681881010

The Pokemon Cookbook: Easy & Fun Recipes by Maki Kudo; 978-1421589893

The Star Wars Cook Book: Wookie Cookies and Other Galactic Recipes by Robin Davis; 978-0811821841

The Star Wars Cook Book: BB-Ate: Awaken to the Force of Breakfast and Brunch by Lara Starr; 978-1452162980

Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes by Roald Dahl, Felicity Dahl, and Josie Fison; Illustrated by Quentin Blake; 978-0140378207

The Wizard’s Cookbook: Magical Recipes Inspired by Harry Potter, Merlin, The Wizard of Oz, and More by Aurelia Beaupommier; 978-1510729247

Let’s Cook French, A Family Cookbook: Cuisinons Francais, Un livre pour toute la famille by Claudine Pepin with illustrations by Jacques Pepin; 978-1631591471

Let’s Cook Italian: A Family Cookbook by Anna Prandoni; 978-1631590634

Let’s Cook Spanish: A Family Cookbook by Gabriela Llamas; 978-1631590993

Handstand Kids Mexican Cookbook by Yvette Garfield with foreward by Aaron Sanchez; 9780979210723

Handstand Kids Chinese Cookbook by Yvette Garfield with foreward by Ming Tsai; 9780979210747

The International Cookbook for Kids by Matthew Locricchio; 978-0761463139

The 2nd International Cookbook for Kids by Matthew Locricchio, illustrated by Jack McConnell; 978-1503946484

MasterChef Junior Cookbook: Bold Recipes and Essential Techniques to Inspire Young Cooks; 978-0451499127

The Young Chef: Recipes and Techniques for Kids Who Love to Cook by The Culinary Institute of America; 978-0470928660

Baking Class: 50 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Bake! By Deanna F. Cook; 978-1612128559

American Girl Baking: Recipes for Cookies, Cupcakes, and More; 978-1681880228

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Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

happy-thanksgiving-resnick-distributorsHappy Thanksgiving 2016!

Change.

It’s a thing.

A thing that’s been happening a lot this last year, what with an election and all. Which, of course, gets people thinking about a lot of different things that can and/or will affect our daily lives. But change doesn’t always have to be bad – growing up is a change and there are parts of it that aren’t too terrible. And all the thought about change got me thinking about diversity.

Diversity is what makes this country a great place to live. Diversity means that we are able to surround ourselves with people that can offer us a different perspective of the world around us. Diversity means  we have the opportunity to expand our horizons and become much intellectually richer people. Diversity is something we should celebrate; no one should have to be criticized for being different.

This year, I compiled a list of books that celebrate the awesomeness of diversity and why it’s okay if we’re not all the same. We shouldn’t have to be afraid to stand up for who we are and what we believe in. We all have unique ideas to bring to the table. It’s my hope that even if we don’t always agree, we can accept each other and respect what we have to say. Take some time to think about what sort of diverse things you offer the world and how you can share your talents to make it more diverse.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Don’t Laugh At Me by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin, illustrated by Glin Dibley; 978-1582460581

We Are All Americans: Understanding Diversity by Joy Masoff; 978-0972715621

Mosaic: Celebrating Diversity Through Creative Writing by Montgomery County Public Middle School Students; 978-1533292964

Boy Girl Girl Boy! The Who’s Who Book of Gender Diversity by Tracy Bryan; 978-1512199147

Outcasts United: The Story of a Refugee Soccer Team That Changed a Town by Warren St. John; 978-0385741958

A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord; 978-0545700276

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okafor; 978-0670011964

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson; 978-0147515827

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia; 978-0060760908

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia; 978-0061938641

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia; 978-0062215895

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis; 978-0385382946

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine; 978-0142424353

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely; 978-1481463331

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas; 978-0544612310

Four-Four-Two by Dean Hughes; 978-1481462525

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan; 978-0439874021

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli; 978-0439444439

Be Good to Eddie Lee by Virginia Fleming; 978-0698115828

Wonder by R.J. Palacio; 978-0375869020

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Merry Christmas 2015!

merry_christmasMerry Christmas 2015!

This year, I have been thinking a lot about reading. ‘But Beth’, you’re thinking, ‘don’t you always think about reading?’ And to answer your question, yes, I am always thinking about reading in some form or another, but to be more specific, I was thinking about the stories that were read to me out loud as a child. I remember curling up in a parent or grandparent’s lap (or next to them, as I grew older) with a favorite book and listening to the story. There’s a certain magic to the words that doesn’t always come across when you are reading something to yourself. Plus, there’s a plethora of other really good reasons reading aloud can be awesome – especially for young children.

So here’s a list of some holiday favorites to read aloud with the family. Most of them are marketed as children’s books, but I find that these can be enjoyed at most any age. And wherever you are or whatever you do to celebrate the season, have fun, be safe, and have a wonderful holiday!

Eight Tales for Eight Nights: Stories for Chanukah by Peninnah Schram & Steven M. Rosman; 978-0876682340

The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt, illustrated by Tim Jonke; 978-0745917436

Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Jason Cockcroft; 978-1416925187

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry; 0836247396

Santa’s Favorite Story: Santa Tells the Story of the First Christmas by Hisako Aoki, illustrated by Ivan Gantschev; 978-1416950295

The Night Before Christmas: The Classic Edition by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Charles Santore; 978-1604332377

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus: The Classic Edition by Frances P. Church, illustrated by Joel Spector; 978-0762411207

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg; 978-0395389492

Corduroy by Don Freeman; 978-0140501735

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss; 978-0394800790

The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert, photographs by Per Breiehagen; 978-0449816813

The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett; 978-0698116528

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P.J. Lynch; 978-0763678227

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston, illustrated by Barbara Cooney; 978-0803702998

Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin; 978-1442496736

Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh, illustrated by J. Otto Seibold; 978-0811818070

How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague; 978-0545416788

The Smallest Gift of Christmas by Peter H. Reynolds; 978-0763679811

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Happy Veterans Day 2015!

indexHappy Veteran’s Day!

If you see a Veteran or an active service member today (or really, any day), thank them for their service to our country. Freedom was won for us by soldiers, and it is important to remember to thank the brave men and women who have put their lives on the line to ensure that we can still have the freedom we enjoy.

I’ve compiled a short list of children’s books that talk about Veteran’s Day and why it’s important. And if you have an interest in further supporting our troops: uso.org, Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled American Veterans, and Homes for Our Troops are just a few of the charities that help support veterans and active service members.

Their sacrifice is our gain; don’t let what they’ve done be forgotten.

Veteran’s Day by Jacqueline S. Cotton; 978-0516274997

Veterans Day: Valuing the Sacrifice of Veterans by Arlene Worsley; 978-1605969329

Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood by Valerie Pfundstein, illustrated by Aaron Anderson; 978-0578135106

The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans by Barbara Walsh, illustrated by Layne Johnson; 978-1590787540

Remembering Our Heroes: Veterans Day by Kelly Rodgers; 978-1433373633

From A to Z What a Veteran Means to Me! by David Rabb, illustrated by Isha Gupta; 978-0989002622

The Wall by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ronald Himler; 978-0395629772

America’s White Table by Margot Theis Raven, illustrated by Mike Benny; 978-1585362165

A Tale of Two Heroes by Jody Davids, illustrated by Anita Miller; 978-0578162867

My Two Great Grandfathers: A Story of Remembrance by Dolores H. Lee and James T. Lees

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Happy Guy Fawkes Day 2015!

Remember, Remember!/the fifth of November….

indexHappy Guy Fawkes Day/Bonfire Night, once again!

Since Guy Fawkes Day is about rebelling against the government (among other things) and we have a presidential election coming up this next year, I thought I would put together a list of books about the American government and Democracy. It’s important to be a well-informed citizen, and part of being a well-informed citizen is knowing how the government works and our role in it.

It may not seem like ordinary people have that big of a role in determining what goes on in this country, but that’s not actually true. Taking the time to learn about the issues and going out and voting (if you’re old enough) does impact what issues get addressed and which ones don’t. Don’t ever think that your voice doesn’t count!

The-Power-of-One-Does-a-Single-Vote-Matters1General Books about Government

Forms of Government by Peter Benoit; 978-0531258262

Kids’ Guide to Government books by Ernestine Giesecke

The Everything American Government Book: From the Constitution to Present-Day Elections, All You Need to Understand Our Democratic System by Nick Ragone; 978-1593370558

Americapedia: Taking the Dumb Out of Freedom by Andisheh Nouraee, Daniel Ehrenhaft, and Jodi Lynn Anderson; 978-0802797933

How the U.S. Government Works by Syl Sobel, J.D.; 978-0764147920

How to Build Your Own Country by Valerie Wyatt; illustrated by Fred Rix; 978-1554533107

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights

In Defense of Liberty: The Story of America’s Bill of Rights by Russell Freedman; 978-0823415854

A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution by Betsy Maestro, illustrated by Guilio Maestro; 978-0688101923

The Bill of Rights: Protecting Our Freedom Then and Now by Syl Sobel, J.D.; 978-0764140211

A Kid’s Guide to America’s Bill of Rights: Curfews, Censorship, and the 100-Pound Giant by Katherine Krull, illustrated by Anna DiVito; 978-0380974979

Constitutional Law for Kids: Discovering the Rights and Privileges Granted by the U.S. Constitution by Ursula Furi-Perry; 978-1627220231

God and Government: The Separation of Church and State by Ann E. Weiss; 978-0395549773

Branches of Government

Our Government: The Three Branches by Shelly Buchanan; 978-1433373657

A Woman in the House (and Senate): How Women Came to the United States Congress, Broke Down Barriers, and Changed the Country by Ilene Cooper, illustrations by Elizabeth Baddeley; 978-1419710360

Our Supreme Court: A History with 14 Activities by Richard Panchyk; 978-1556526077

The U.S. Congress for Kids: Over 200 Years of Lawmaking, Deal-Breaking, and Compromising by Ronald A. Reis; 978-1613749777

Guilty?: Crime, Punishment, and the Changing Face of Justice by Teri Kanefield; 978-0544148963

The Supreme Court and the Judicial Branch by Bryon Giddens-White; 978-1403466082

Checks and Balances: A Look at the Powers of Government by Kathiann M. Kowalski; 978-0761385585

The President, Vice President, and Cabinet: A Look at the Executive Branch by Elaine Landau; 978-0761385639

The Congress: A Look at the Legislative Branch by Robin Nelson and Sandy Donovan; 978-0761385592

Judges and Courts: A Look at the Judicial Branch by Kathiann M. Kowalski; 978-0761385622

The Presidency

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be President: A Young Person’s Guide to Understanding the Presidency of the United States by Linda M. Eccelston; 978-1442165977

So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George, illustrated by David Small; 978-0399243172

If I Ran for President by Catherine Stier, illustrated by Lynne Avril; 978-0807535448

The New Big Book of U.S. Presidents: Fascinating Facts about Each and Every President, Including an American History Timeline by Todd Davis and Marc Frey; 978-0762448807

Smart About the Presidents written and illustrated by Jon Buller, Susan Schade, Maryann Cocca-Leffler; Dana Regan, and Jill Weber; 978-0448433721

Madam President: The Extraordinary, True (and Evolving) Story of Women in Politics by Catherine Thimmesh, illustrated by Douglas B. Jones; 978-0618971435

Elections/Activism

The Art of the Possible: An Everyday Guide to Politics by Edward Keenan, illustrated by Julie McLaughlin; 978-1771470681

It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! by Chelsea Clinton; 978-0399176128

It’s Your World–If You Don’t Like It, Change It: Activism for Teenagers by Mikki Halpin; 978-0689874482

Election!: A Kid’s Guide to Picking Our President by Dan Gutman; 978-1453270660

The Kid’s Guide to Social Action by Barbara A. Lewis; 978-1575420387

Vote (DK Eyewitness Books) by DK Publishing; 978-0756633820

Vote! by Eileen Christelow; 978-0547059730

The Future Is Ours: A Handbook for Student Activists in the 21st Century edited by John W. Bartlett; 978-0805047875

See How They Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the White House by Susan E. Goodman, illustrated by Elwood Smith; 978-1599908977

How Political Campaigns and Elections Work by Kevin Cunningham; 978-1624036330

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Happy Thanksgiving 2014!

Happy Thanksgiving 2014!

This holiday season has gotten me thinking about the notion of family and home. Family is many things to me: it is the people to which I am related by blood and the people I have made friends with over the years that have welcomed me as one of their own. Families come in all varieties and each has their own special drama, but they are the people that will always have your back. Home has a different definition as well. It might not always be the building with four sides and a door surrounded by a white picket fence, but it is a place where we feel safe and comfortable. Maybe we share this home with our families, maybe it’s a special place all our own that no one knows about but us.

However you define your family or your home, I hope that everyone is spending the holiday doing something they love with the people they love and really taking the time to appreciate what we have and what we have been given. And above all, have a safe and happy holiday!

A Million Ways Home by Diana Dorisi Wingnet; 978-0545667067

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage; 978-0142426050

Bloomability by Sharon Creech; 978-0064408233

Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech; 978-0060560157

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech; 978-0064406963

The Boy on the Porch by Sharon Creech; 978-0061892387

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate; 978-0061992254

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff; 978-0399255175

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illustrations by Matt Phelan; 978-1416975571

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool; 978-0375858291

A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck; 978-0142401101

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck; 978-0803725188

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath; 978-0312380045

One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath; 978-0375869709

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick; 978-0545027892

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm; 978-0375836909

The Moffats by Eleanor Estes; 978-0152025410

Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes; 978-0152025052

The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carson, illustrated by Garth Williams; 978-0064402507

In The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord; 978-0064401753

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan; 978-0064402057

Baby by Patricia MacLachlan; 978-0440411451

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli; 978-0316809061

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson; 978-0064402019

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse; 978-0590371254

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas 2013!

b-468565-Merry_Christmas_Merry Christmas 2013!

This year, I have compiled a list of books that celebrate the ‘symbols’ of the holiday season, namely the tree, Santa, and the nativity. All three have been around as holiday decoration staples for, well, years, but personally, I’ve never given much thought to the tradition of putting up a tree with decorations or the myth of a fat man breaking into houses to leave gifts. As a Christian, the symbolism of the nativity is near and dear to me and I’ve grown up knowing the who, what, where, and why of the child in the manger. I’ve also included a few of my own favorite Christmas/holiday stories to the list.

Whatever you celebrate and however you celebrate, have fun, be safe,  and have a wonderful holiday!

The Tree

The Legend of the Christmas Tree by Pat Matuszak, Rick Osborne, & Bill Dodge; 978-0310700432

The First Christmas Tree: A Legend from Long Ago by Helen Haidle, illustrated by David Haidle and Elizabeth Haidle; 978-0801043932

O Christmas Tree: Its History and Holiday Traditions by Jacqueline Farmer, illustrated by Joan Friar; 978-1580892391

The Legend of the Christmas Tree by Robert Mangus; 978-1606048948

Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Jane Manning; 978-0060290337

Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect by Richard Schneider; 978-1426754869

The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree by David Rubell, illustrated by Jim LaMarche; 978-0375869228

Santa/Saint Nicholas

The Legend of Saint Nicholas by Dandi Daley Mackall & Guy Porfirio; 978-0310713272

Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Julie Stiegemeyer, illustrated by Chris Ellison; 978-0758613417

The Miracle of St. Nicholas by Gloria Whelan, illustrated by Judith Brown; 978-1883937188

The Nativity

The Christmas Story: The Brick Bible for Kids by Brendan Powell Smith; 978-1620871737

Mary’s Son: A Tale of Christmas by Darryl Nyznyk; 0965651355

Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Jason Cockcroft; 978-1416925187

The Very First Christmas by Paul L. Maier, illustrated by Francisco Ordaz; 978-0758606167

Other Holiday Symbols

The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale by Aaron Shepard, illustrated by Wendy Edelson; 978-0938497486

The Gift of the Christmas Cookie: Sharing the True Meaning of Jesus’ Birth by Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Deborah Chabrian; 978-0310713289

The Legend of the Poinsettia retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola; 978-0698115675

The Legend of the Christmas Stocking by Rick Osborne and James Griffin, illustrated by Jim Griffin; 978-0310708988

Waiting for Christmas: A Story about the Advent Calendar by Kathleen Long Bostrom, illustrated by Alexi Natchev; 978-0310710158

The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg, illustrated by Richard Cordroy; 978-0310730125

The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans, illustrated by Jacob Collins; 978-1416950479

Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett; 978-0399234446

Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner, illustrated by Mark Buehner; 978-0803729957

Personal Favorites

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry; 0836247396

The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt, illustrated by Tim Jonke; 978-0745917436

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg; 978-0395389492

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss; 978-0394800790

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Boris Karloff (rereleased in 2009)

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, and Taylor Momsen (2000)

The Mitten by Jan Brett; 978-0399231094

The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffmann, adapted by Janet Schulmann, illustrated by Reneé Grad; 978-0060278144

The Muppet Christmas Carol starring Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmore, and Frank Oz (1992)

A Charlie Brown Christmas starring Ann Altieri, Chris Doran, Sally Dryer, and Bill Melendez (2008)

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