Jack Frost is in the house and it looks like he intends to stay a while! Which means it’s a great time to snuggle up with your favorite little people and a good book. We’ve got some spectacular recommendations for winter picture books that will delight your littlest ducklings… and keep scrolling down to see some other awesome titles for the early readers in your house, all on the theme of winter. Break out the hot cocoa, bundle up and enjoy! continue reading >>
Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. ~ Emilie Buchwald
Picture books are always a delight for imaginative children. Here at the Literary Duck, we’re happy to say that 2013 has produced a bumper crop of stunning, amazing, beautifully illustrated picture books that are sure to become family favorites. So whether you’re adding books to your own library or starting to think about the winter holidays and gift giving, check out these ten titles that we love. continue reading >>
If your favorite young readers need new books to get them through the summer, you’re in luck. Whether they’re little or nearly grown, there’s been a bumper crop of excellent new titles published just for them this summer. Here are some of our favorites… continue reading >>
There are some great new kids’ books out for May reading. Check out this baker’s dozen!
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest By: Charles de Lint
In this enchanting expansion of De Lint and Vess’ 2003 picture book, A Circle of Cats, the duo tells the story of Lillian Kindred, a spirited orphan living on a farm at the edge of a forest with her beloved aunt. While exploring, Lillian is bitten by a snake but saved from death by the magic of the feral cats she has befriended, who turn her into a kitten. Seeking a return to human form, Lillian makes a deal with Old Mother Possum, only to discover that her aunt has died of snakebite. A complex series of adventures, transformations and tradeoffs occurs, involving a number of De Lint’s typically syncretistic magical characters, including Aunt Nancy the spider woman and T.H. Reynolds the fox, who unapologetically informs Lillian that he’s eaten Mother Possum’s husband, saying, “I’m a fox. It’s what we do.” De Lint zestfully combines the traditional and the original, the light and the dark, while Vess’ luminous full-color illustrations, simultaneously fluid and precise, capture Lillian’s effervescent blend of determination and curiosity. Ages 8-12. (Publisher’s Weekly)
Steam Train, Dream Train By: Sherri Duskey Rinker
Like this team’s bestselling Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, this vehicular bedtime book revs up before winding down, and both text and [...]
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If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough. ~ Irish Saying
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Literary Duck!
O’Sullivan Stew: A Tale Cooked Up in Ireland By: Hudson Talbot
Feisty Kate O’Sullivan may daydream some of the time, but she knows when action is needed. When tax collectors visit her Irish village and steal the witch’s red stallion, the girl tries to enlist the help of the townsfolk, who shrug their shoulders and declare that their neighbor isn’t one of them. The witch goes “into a snit,” all sorts of disasters occur, and food becomes scarce. Kate prods her father and brothers into action and they set off to steal the stallion back. Caught by the king and threatened with hanging, Kate saves each family member by telling a clever story. The horse is returned, and the O’Sullivans are set free, whereupon they go home to celebrate. When the king arrives at Kate’s doorstep to declare his love, she says that she might marry him in five years, after she has some of her own adventures. Kate is a lively, take-charge heroine and Talbott’s colorful illustrations capture her spirit perfectly, whether her hair is standing on end as she sneezes a mighty “AAAA CHOOO” or her eyes mirror innocent pleasure as she turns down the king’s proposal. This is not a simple tale, but the pictures and text work so well together that the events move along with ease. Full [...]
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If January is any indication, 2013 is going to be a great year for kids’ reading! Welcome to the New Year.
Building Our House
By: Jonathan Bean
Bean sets aside the urban setting of his Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, At Night (2007), in this homage to his back-to-the-land parents, who built his childhood home in the 1970s. Told from the perspective of Bean’s older sister, the story revels in the practical work of house building, demystifying the stages of construction in a matter-of-fact, engaging tone. The oversized portrait format echoes the height of the house the family builds, but front endpapers first show a vast, rural landscape in the foreground of which lies the “weedy field Dad and Mom bought from a farmer.” Front matter depicts them packing and leaving the city. Ensuing spreads detail how they live in a trailer on their new property while slowly building the house: setting the corners of the foundation; digging out the basement; gathering rocks and using them in the foundation; measuring, marking and cutting timber for the frame; and so on. The scene depicting a frame-raising party situates the little homesteading family in a loving community of relatives and friends who gather to help; then, right after they all move in, the family grows when both Mom and the pet cat have babies. Throughout, the watercolor-and-ink illustrations invite close examination for narrative details such as these while also providing ample visual information about construction. Raise the [...]
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Religion is a complicated subject to tackle with anyone, let alone inquisitive children. Growing up, I wasn’t taught to follow any particular faith, and therefore didn’t know that half my family was Jewish until I was at least six or seven. As I grew older and began to learn more about what it really means to be Jewish, I discovered there was so much more to it than the Torah. Saturday, December 8th marks the first of eight nights of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Oi, that’s not such an easy story to explain to a child! Luckily the Literary Duck is featuring an assortment of children’s books that do just that, plus so much more! Following are my favorite three selections, sure to be Bubbe-approved.
By: Emily Sper
How did I not know of this book sooner? Featuring a color-coded pronunciation key on the inside cover, this board book teaches children (and certain twenty-two year olds) how to count from 1-8 in Hebrew and Yiddish. Additionally, each page features a tradition of Hanukkah—four dreidels, five gold coins, six Maccabees. The last page has a short and sweet story of Hanukkah even the smallest child could understand. If you’re looking for a great introductory book, this one is a definite must for your list!
Old Man Winter is taking his job seriously—it’s getting downright chilly in western Oregon. Here at the Literary Duck, we think this is the perfect time to celebrate all things winter with your favorite ducklings. And of course we have recommendations!
By: Tove Jansson
THE TOVE JANSSON CLASSIC IN A NEW SOFTCOVER FORMAT! Due to the resounding success of the hardcover Moomin comics by Tove Jansson and Lars Jansson, Drawn & Quarterly is reissuing this classic comic in an all-new format. Available in an affordable kid-proof but kid-friendly flexicover, and in full color for the first time, these books are slimmer versions of the hardcovers, with one story in each volume while previous editions collected four.
Moomin wakes up one morning to find the pond frozen over, and rather than hibernate, the family decides to brave the winter weather. At first, their wintry adventure seems to be going swimmingly, until Mr. Brisk of the Great Outdoors Club takes over and forces everyone to embrace the winter sports, whether they want to or not. Ages 9 – 12 (Publisher’s Marketing)
By: Barbara Lehman
This perfectly eloquent wordless book tells the complex story of a reader who gets lost, literally, in a little book that has the magic to move her to another place. On her winter-gray walk to school, a [...]
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