Wednesday, July 30, 2008

They like us! They really, really like us!

Curious George was named 2008's Best of Boston kids' bookstore by Boston Magazine! Hip, hip, hooray!

Here's why, according to their annual Best of Boston issue:

Founded with help from Curious George coauthor Margret Rey, this Harvard Square mainstay doesn't rest on pedigree. It livens up the calendar with frequent author signings, stays timely with additions like an "environmental awareness" section, and balances its bountiful classics with acclaimed new releases. And since sifting through thousands of titles for all reading levels can be daunting, the seasoned staffers are ready to help you locate, say, the perfect horse-themed series for your nine-year-old niece. Though here's betting no assistance will be required to spot books and toys featuring a certain mischievous monkey.

We think we're the best around thanks to all of you. We know you rely on us to find the perfect horse-themed series for your nine-year-old niece. Or the best truck book for your auto-voracious three-year-old son, the best funny/scary chapter book for your first time camper, the best girly book that's not too, well, "girly." Our customers keep us on our toes and we owe this Best of Boston award to you. Keep those challenges and questions coming. We're here for you.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Waiting and wishing and hoping.

Our ever-growing list of must-see movie adaptations has a new addition! The coming months promise The Tale of Despereaux, Twilight, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (psst! leaked trailer!), and -- drum roll please! -- Coraline. The film looks to be as fabulously disturbing as the novel and the graphic novel, with Dakota Fanning and Teri Hatcher lending their voices to the 3D stop-motion animation. February can't come soon enough!

Speaking of Twilight (not to mention impatience), the release of Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn is now a mere four days away. Over 6000 rabid Twilight fans mobbed the panel at Comic Con San Diego on Thursday, hoping to catch a glimpse of the author and cast members Kristin Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Luckily, now you can watch Stephenie's interview and peruse pictures on the Twilight Lexicon from the safety of your own computer, without fear of being stampeded by "Twihards." Oh, who are we kidding? We'd probably stampede, too.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Author Event at George

Join us on Friday, August 8th at 4pm for a signing by author Susan Lendroth. Ms. Lendroth's new picture book Ocean Wide, Ocean Deep, sumptuously illustrated by Raul Allen, tells the story of a young girl on Cape Cod in the 19th century who spends a year pining for her father gone to China for trading. The lyrical rhyme of this quiet, haunting picture book evokes the lapping of the sea and the loneliness that comes of dreaming of a loved one far away. Ultimately, the girl and her father are reunited, showing that love between a parent and child is deep as the ocean. Copies are available for purchase now.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Food (and food in books) for thought

At this time last year, several CG staff members were attending Simmons College's month-long symposium on food in children's literature. The subject is still very much on our plates -- consider the deep and abiding love of a bear for his marmalade in the recent Paddington Here and Now, or Bella's precarious balance between potential mate and potential meal for vampiric beau Edward in the Twilight series.

Jane Brocket is chewing on similar themes at the Guardian. Her menu of the "Top 10 Food Scenes in Children's Literature" definitely highlights some of our favorite evocative food moments, like Jo March eating apple after apple while sobbing over her gothic romances. But why stop at ten? Children's literature is chock-full of descriptions to delight foodies of any age. Here are a few of our most memorable literary meals:
- Edmund's magical Turkish delight in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
- the Baudelaire orphans' pasta puttanesca catastrophe in The Bad Beginning
- Brian's desperate meal of leathery turtle eggs in Hatchet
- end-of-year feasts in the Harry Potter series
- Charlie's Wonka's Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
What are your favorite food scenes in kids' books?

And really, isn't it about time for a little smackerel of something? All this blogging is making us hungry.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fun times in Harvard Square

Enjoy the Kids Summer Music Series at Regattabar this summer. With four shows featuring funky kids musical acts coming up in the next two months, the second annual series promises fun pastimes for families visiting Cambridge or just looking for something to do around the hometown. Concerts are followed by family lunch at Henrietta's Table at the Charles Hotel where all kids get a free dessert. Yes! Visit for details.

A new and notable chapter book.

Alvin Ho by Lenore Look is itching to be read. With a bold cover and illustrations by LeUyen Pham (Grace for President, Freckleface Strawberry) and the relatable subtitle "Allergic to girls, school, and other scary things" it practically jumps off our new titles display. It jumped for us, anyway. Sometimes it's hard to find a simple chapter book with enough depth to satisfy a blossoming new reader. Alvin's story of overcoming (sort of) his ample neuroses and surviving (sort of) second grade, making friends, psychotherapy and piano lessons universalizes the human predisposition to worry. In the tradition of Kevin Henkes's Wemberly Worried and Melanie Watt's Scaredy Squirrel books, Look makes it easy to laugh good naturedly at Alvin's worries and maybe some of our own, as well.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Twilightfest 2008: We ♥ Vegan Vampires, too. currently has a feature about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga, already being touted as "the next Harry Potter." The series will (tentatively) conclude with the release of book four, Breaking Dawn, in T-minus 16 days. Meyer states in the EW article that she's already working on the manuscript of the Edward-narrated companion novel Midnight Sun, but she hasn't yet decided whether or not to sell the book to her publisher.

The December 12 release date for the Twilight movie clearly feels an eternity away for "Twihards;" YouTube has both an official Twilight channel for trailers and hundreds of fan-made mini-movies. Luckily for fans thirsty for movie news, EW also has an article on the cast (including both love interests, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black) and the challenges of adapting the novel to screen.

Definitely make sure to check out the New York Times' op-ed column, "A Virginal Goth Girl." Columnist Gail Collins discusses how the Twilight saga's immense popularity reflects the books' gender politics and changing social expectations of teen girls. It seems that, like her predecessor J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer has intrigued fans and critics alike.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Playdates at the ICA

The Institute of Contemporary Art will be hosting summer Playdates, day-long programs of free art-education events for kids and their parents. "Moving Conversations," taking place Saturday, July 26, combines dance and sculpture to inspire kids to consider art's interactive potential. Participants will make their own sculptures with plaster -- or their own bodies! Get all the information on future Playdates as well as teen events at the ICA's site.

Release date for new David Macaulay book!

David Macaulay (author of The Way Things Work, Cathedral, the Caldecott-winning Black and White, and many more) will have an amazing new book out in early October. The Way We Work is a look at human anatomy from an engineering perspective, helping kids and grown-ups alike to understand the mechanics of their bodies.

Several CG staff members have been lucky to get behind-the-scenes, in-progress glimpses of The Way We Work over the last year, and we can tell you that this latest Macaulay masterpiece is exhaustively researched and illustrated in tremendous detail. Humor shines through the text and illustrations to entertain while educating.

Drop by David Macaulay's website for an interview about The Way We Work and a slide show of sneak peek illustrations. Another exciting Macaulay tidbit: he'll be launching his very own nonfiction imprint under Roaring Brook in 2011. You can pick up The Way Things Work board game downstairs in our chapter book room to help tide you over until October -- or 2011!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

For post-Potter depression...

A year after the Harry Potter series ended, Jo Rowling still enchants millions of readers worldwide. Her recent activities, including her appearance at the Harvard commencement ceremonies and her participation in the "What's Your Story?" charity auction, have been making big headlines. JKR was in the news again last week when a complete deluxe first edition set of the series were auctioned -- for £17,800 (more than $35,000)! Get the whole scoop at The Guardian.

If you're suffering from Potter withdrawal, check out our selection of Potter paraphernalia. We've got all seven books in hardcover editions, books 1-6 in paperback, a slew of companion books (from The Science of Harry Potter to The Idiot's Guide to the World of Harry Potter), Latin- and Spanish-language translations of Sorcerer's Stone, Harry-style glasses, Hogwarts ties, and lots more. Make sure to peruse our YA sci-fi/fantasy suggestions too.

As for our house banners, which prompt lots of questions and compliments: Sorry, but they're not for sale. A talented CG alumna made them especially for us, and we like them just as much as our shoppers do!

One last tip -- to keep up on all things Potter, including JKR's shenanigans and movie news, head over to The Leaky Cauldron. This unbelievably well-researched fansite is constantly updated with new Harry info.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

It's So Amazing!

Robie H. Harris, writer of ground-breaking non-fiction and poignant picture books, visited the shop today! It was great chatting with her about upcoming projects (look for The Day Leo Said I Hate You in September) and the fifteenth anniversary of It's Perfectly Normal coming right up in 2009. We have a bunch of signed copies of her books available...for now!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Coming in July...

Four exciting series additions will be pubbing this month. Check out our new titles display for the following long-awaited items:

Geronimo Stilton, Secret Agent
(#34) - July 1st

Stop in the Name of Pants!
Confessions of Georgia Nicholson by Louise Rennison - July 1st

Artemis Fowl: Time Paradox
by Eoin Colfer - July 15th

Judy Moody Goes to College
by Megan McDonald - July 29th