Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Picture Book Wednesday: Books about Emotions


I'm talking about Emotions and Mindfulness today. Lately at the library, we've been working on a big project. We have our picture books separated into categories. But we're working on diving those categories even further. 

For example: we have a Growing Up section. But now all the books on Potty Training, Emotions, and Death & Grief will be together (along with a few other categories). It's been a long process, but we're getting there.

This alphabet book is all about growth and knowing that things take work, but that work will pay off. While the text is longer than most alphabet books, the sentiment is fantastic. The illustrations are bright and cheerful with diverse characters. There are pages at the end of the book for adults that further the growth mindset. 

Emma desperately wants to be a part of Carly's Cartwheel Club. It takes her weeks of trying, but she finally makes it. But once she's a part of the club, Emma discovers she doesn't like all the rules. Emma's determination and discovery that Carly is a bully will have readers cheering when she forms her own inclusive club. This is a great book to start discussions about bullying, frenemies, and true friendship. 

* sent for review

Lucy worries a lot - about everything. Even things that could never happen. Lucy wants to take part in play her school is putting on, even though she's worried about it. Luckily, her teacher asks her an important question, "Can you be courageous?" And the answer is yes. This is a good book to talk about worrying, anxiety, and being brace despite worrying.

* sent for review

Tomorrow is always rushing toward the next thing, not taking any time to see what's in front of her. But when a boy constantly is in her way, Tomorrow begins to slow down and take a look around. This book is a nice reminder to slow down and explore the possibilities. 

* sent for review

Pedro is moving in a few days and he is sad and anxious. Together with his mother and his friend, he explores different areas of mindfulness.  While there is a story here, there are plenty of tools to help guide children through their own process and find the technique that works best for them.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Settings

 This week's topic is all about places we'd like to live in books. I'm using books I've read recently.

Always looking to go back to England!


Would love to be a regular at Fairy Tale Cupcakes or Torte Bakery - as long as I don't end up murdered.

Wildstone sounds charming

Winterhouse sounds amazingly fun to explore - plus there are all those puzzles! And that library!!

I wouldn't mind spending the summer in a "cottage" in Newport

Inside NYPL? yes please!

Small Greek island with a quirky bookstore.

An NYC department store - with a group of feminist lady friends.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Review: The Gray Man

* First in a series *

The Gray Man is a legend, a whisper in the wind. But in reality, his last assassination made an enemy of the wrong man. Now that enemy is employing people who will do anything to capture him - dead or alive. 

He escapes one rescue attempt, which turns out to be an assignation attempt. Then he goes dark. He only contacts the one person he trusts.

Unfortunately for him, that one person has been compromised by Fitzroy's family being held captive. The Gray man was once on security detail for the family and made close connections to Fitzroy's twin granddaughters. Even though he knows it's a trap, there's no way he's not going to try his hardest to save them.

But to get to them, he's going to have to get through teams of trained men.

Fun Fact: I admit, I didn't know about these books until I heard about them in an email. Apparently this book will be made into a series or movie. There are so far 10 books in this series.

My Thoughts: I really liked this book - lots of action and danger. It does read like a movie, so I'm very interested in seeing the adaptation. He's the underdog, but not the underdog. You can't help but root for him. He's an assassin with morals.

Cover Thoughts: Fine, but not that exciting
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your library - people will be wanting it!

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Teen Summer Reading (5): Foodie Fun


  It's that time of year again to start planning the Teen Summer Reading Program.

I have a bunch of craft ideas to choose from this year. I'm not sure teens care about the theme as much, so my crafts don't always follow that.

We're virtual again this summer, so we're creating Take & Make craft bags.

We talked about crafts and food. My favorite nonfiction books. Nonfiction books that I plan to order.

This week is the last week and I'm diving into a program that we do at the library for kids and teens. It's been our most popular program during the pandemic. 

It's is a costly program. The Friends of Cragin Library generously pays for it. We've been doing these programs monthly, but in the summer, they are weekly. 

Foodie Fun is a cooking program. Or rather, a baking program. We pick out a recipe, purchase the ingredients, bag up the ingredients, and film a video. If it's a very common household item, we don't include it. Then the kids/teens/parents pick up a bag, watch the video, and make the sweet treat. 

We hand them out on a Saturday. A video of instructions drops that morning.

We usually have between 30 and 40 bags. They are gone by Tuesday.

What do we make?

Usually sweets. We pack each bag enough for a serving. If they like it and want to make more, they have the instructions. We do seasonal themes - the picture above is bags from our turkey Oreo pretzel. I like making different Chex Mixes or variations on chocolate bark. 

Here is our Pinterest board where I gather ideas.

Here is the latest video:

And that's the program. It works better during the pandemic months than it does in person. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Graphic Novel Review: Donut Feed the Squirrels

Two squirrels spot a donut truck and they want to try those amazing smelling treats. How can they get their paws on them?
I really enjoyed the way these squirrels problem solved their way into tasting donuts. Who wouldn't want to taste the donuts? A really fun graphic novel that's perfect for summer reading theme. And it looks like this will be a new series! Happy to read more about these funny determined squirrels. 

Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for schools and public libraries.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Picture Book Wednesday: Eyes that Kiss in the Corners


A young Asian girl realizes her eyes are different than other people's eyes. Butt he more she looks, the more she sees that she eyes eyes just like her mother, her grandmother, and her little sister. 

A very sweet story about family, differences, and embracing yourself. Plus the illustrations are gorgeous. 

Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A must have for your school and public library.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Asian-American Writers

 This week, I'm changing the topic because of the news. I'm talk about books on my TBR pile that are written by Asian-American authors.



Middle Grade:





Have you read any of these? What other books should I add to my list?

Monday, March 22, 2021

Review: Taste Test for Love


Liza Yang and her mother have a complicated relationship. Her mother's always trying to set her up with horrible boys. Boys that Liza would never consider dating. She dates boys on the sly - boys her mother would never pick out. She's not interested in dating Asian boys or her mother's traditional values. More than anything she wants to got to culinary school and bake. 

Liza often works in her mother's bakery. But her parents don't want that life for her. They want more for their children. Liza's older sister is perfect in her parents' eyes. Liza wishes she could be more appreciated instead for being molded into someone she's not.

It's the 5th annual baking contest at her parents' bakery. Liza isn't allowed to compete, but she and her parents have come to a comprise. She can be one of the judges for the contest. Little does she know, her mother's plan for the contest. And she's not pleased. The only way to get her mother off her back is to start dating an approved boy. But is she willing to do that?
My Thoughts: The tagline was Jane Austen meets Great British Baking Show. Which sold me on the book. And it was exactly that - and I loved it. I loved Liza. I loved the moments in the bakery and trying out new recipes. This book did make me want to bake. I loved her moments with her sister - who is a model. I especially loved their time together in New York City. I enjoyed her banter with James. I really loved the baking competition and how that turned out. I loved the friendships in this book. What a fantastic debut novel. I can't wait to read more from this author!

Cover Thoughts: Perfection
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for your school and public libraries

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Happy Spring (Unless You're Bruce)

 Happy First Day of Spring!

Everyone is happy - expect for Bruce. 

Ruth the bunny wants to share her love of Spring with Bruce. Who is of course, grumpy.

Another fun adventure with grumpy Bruce. 

Friday, March 19, 2021

Teen Summer Reading (4)

  It's that time of year again to start planning the Teen Summer Reading Program.

I have a bunch of craft ideas to choose from this year. I'm not sure teens care about the theme as much, so my crafts don't always follow that.

We're virtual again this summer, so we're creating Take & Make craft bags.

Last time we talked about crafts and food. And my favorite nonfiction books.

This week is also all about books, but books I'm planning to purchase for the collection. Again, teen books don't have animal books in the same way as Children's books. So these are again all nonfiction.

But really they're geared towards anyone.