Friday, April 25, 2008
The latest issue of The Horn Book Magazine has just arrived! Catch a starred review of CG staffer Bethany's beloved We Are the Ship, along with Susan Cooper's speech "Unriddling the World: Fantasy and Children," which was originally presented last November at the Cambridge Forum. If you can't get enough of The Horn Book, check out our favorite blogger, Roger Sutton, or sign up for their free email newsletter. In case you hadn't noticed, we definitely can't get enough!
The Children's Book Council's annual Children's Book Week is coming up in just a few weeks, May 12th through 18th. This year, for the first time ever, they're hosting a Children's Choice book award! Kids can go vote for the best book, author, and illustrator of the year. We'd have a hard time choosing a favorite among the nominees, who include Curious George best-sellers Mo Willems (the Pigeon series), Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians series), Jennifer Holm (Babymouse series), and Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Roderick Rules).
A reminder: the deadline for our yearly Art and Writing Contest is quickly approaching -- make sure to get your entry in by May 15th by downloading and printing the entry form. The entries we've already received look incredible! Come by our art room to stock up on any supplies you may need for your masterpiece.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Speaking of the Bookish Ball, we think it was a great success! We've got lots of signed books still available not only from Timothy Basil Ering, but from local illustrator and Curious George staffer Julia Denos as well. Despite the odd rain squalls, lots of folks were out and about in
Another local author we absolutely love, Lois Lowry, has gotten some well-deserved attention in this Monday's Boston Globe. (Is it just us, or is the Globe all about children's lit lately? We like this trend.) Hear her read from her hilarious new book, The Willoughbys; then come into Curious George to peruse the fruits of her incredibly prolific career -- 31 amazing books in the last 33 years!
We got a large shipment of adult and youth Curious George t-shirts this week. These are probably the last we'll have for a while as Curious George t-shirts are being discontinued due to licensing issues. Be sure to grab up a few before they're gone! We especially like the new "The Fast and the Curious" shirt featuring George and the man in the yellow hat racing away in a yellow convertible.
Next week is April vacation for Cambridge public schools. Are you ready? We have lots of books and games to offer stir crazy kids (and parents!). Check out the new book about our favorite sisters, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, by Jeanne Birdsall. Sarah Dessen also has a new one called Lock and Key. Gary Soto's Facts of Life and Tim Wynne-Jones's Rex Zero, King of Nothing are fresh offerings which may appeal more to the dudes in the crowd. Look forward to
Once you've selected your spring break reading, check out our suggestions for outdoor (and emergency indoor) activities. The art room has tons of supplies perfect for a rainy April day, including chubby crayons, markers, finger paints, Floam, Play-Doh, and Easy Squeezy Paints from Parents (Brush built right in! Awesome! And not messy!). The game table is stacked with Sequence, Rush Hour, retro editions of Monopoly, Parcheesi and dominoes, as well as every variation on Scrabble you could possibly want. We also have a new coloring and activity book display with doodle books from Taro Gomi. For the younger ones, there are myriad Klutz Chicken Socks activity books to explore. Everyone can enjoy some outdoor time with bubbles, giant flying rings, Frisbees, Skyrocopters, and balsa gliders. Don’t forget your sunhat! Find SPF 30 Walaroo sunhats at Curious George too. We’ve got April vacation covered. Necks out for spring!
One last thing: over her own spring vacation, CG staff member Katie visited the "Over Rainbows and Down Rabbit Holes: The Art of Children's Books" exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. After hearing her rave about the amazing array of illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon, Leo Lionni, Chris Van Allsburg, Trina Schartt Hyman, and more, we can't wait for the exhibition to move to its permanent home at the Eric Carle Museum this fall. If your summer travels take you to southern California, make sure to stop in!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Underneath his curly blond hair and wide blue eyes lie formidable computer hacking skills, what one may call a pliable moral code, and once, under the tutelage of his “therapist” A.K.A. Chancellor of the Axis Institute for World Domination, Thaddeus Roth, an uncanny ability to not get caught. After graduating high school at age thirteen, Cadel is enrolled at the Axis Institute founded by his father, Phineas Darkkon (who, incidentally, is in jail for a number of schemes). Naturally, Cadel’s best courses are “Infiltration” and “Basic Lying.” However, there’s one lesson that keeps giving him trouble, no matter how he tries to calculate variables and manipulate outcomes: human nature is a slippery system not easily hacked. Filled with disguises, intrigues, betrayals and cross-betrayals, poisoned nail polish, narrow escapes, terrible stinks, and the occasional twinge of conscience, Evil Genius is perfect for any villain-lover.
Once you have devoured Evil Genius, you can go straight to its new sequel, Genius Squad. Here a (mostly) reformed Cadel is desperate to escape foster care and get back to a computer after the explosive dissolution of the Axis Institute and disappearance of its most dangerous professors. Just when the foster-sibling tension and constant surveillance seem about to drive our villain-hero crazy, the “Genius Squad” approaches Cadel and his friend Sonja about infiltrating and taking down GenoME, a pet project of Phineas Darkkon. It wouldn’t be Catherine Jinks if things were always what they seemed. Many more plot twists, kidnappings, heeled ankle boots, super spyware and general villainous mayhem await Cadel in this installment—because, of course, there’s a third on the way, promisingly titled Genius Wars.
Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and
These books follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter, with boarding school settings peopled by gifted kids. Unlike Hogwarts, there is nothing as innocent as Divination or Herbology being taught at the Axis Institute or the Learning Institute. These books probe the ambiguity of good and evil and take the dangerous process of identifying friend and foe to a whole new level. In my opinion, that’s what makes them such remarkable reads.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Some new arrivals for you:
From the author/illustrator who brought us DOG and Tails comes Alphabet, an alphabet book full of all the colors and textures you’d expect from Matthew Van Fleet. Even the cover is fun to explore, with “Alphabet” spelled out in lots of different animal parts. Guess which “letter” belongs to whom before flipping the cover open to view the menagerie in all its glory.
Judith Kerr’s beloved stories about Mog the cat are now available in a boxed set. The six paperback volumes are packaged in an attractive box featuring Mog herself. As our wise buyer says, “Mog’s the bomb!”
Just when we didn’t think we could enjoy The Pigeon any more, Mo Willems has reincarnated him in another totally lovable mess: insatiable desire for a puppy. Despite his promises to water his puppy every week, readers must tell The Pigeon “no!” Which is, as always, the very best part.
The prequel to His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman has hit our shelves! Once Upon a Time in the North details the meeting of Texan balloonist Lee Skoresby and armored bear Iorek Byrnison. This compact, cloth bound book with pretty wood cut illustrations by John Lawrence also features memorabilia, clues and a miniature board game. For our part, we're just pretty jazzed to see Hester again.
Friday, April 4, 2008
April is Poetry Month!
Check out our window display and peruse the poetry section to stock up on themed reading material for the month. Some of our favorites:
The World's Greatest Poems by J. Patrick Lewis and Keith Graves
Flamingos on the Roof by Calef Brown
My Dog May be a Genius by Children's Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky, illustrations by James Stevenson
Other Goose: Recycled Rhymes for our Fragile Times by Barbara Wyn Klunder
Oops by Alan Katz, illustrated by Edward Koren
Also look into illustrated collections of classic poetry, Shel Silvertein's oeuvre, A. A. Milne and novels told in verse.
Roger Sutton, editor and chief at The Horn Book, posted their starred picks for the May/June issue on his blog Read Roger. We are especially excited about The London Eye Mystery by Sioban Dowd, which has been selling quite well in the chapter book room, as well as Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers. And, of course, We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson made the list as well. We praised this one last week as the most beautiful part of our baseball book collection. Check it out on our display table if you haven't seen it yet.
Get your children's Haggadahs - and all your other Passover needs - at Curious George. Once you've picked up your Passover bag of plagues, Read A Mat Passover placemat (with secret spot to hide the Afikomen), and bright, plastic Seder plate you'll want some books to really put you in the mood. We suggest Passover Around the World by Tami Lehman-Wilzig, The Matza Man (a variation on the Gingerbread Man) by Naomi Howland, and The Hungry Clothes and Other Jewish Folktales retold by Peninnah Schram and illustrated by Gianni DeConno. Keep the littlest ones occupied with DK's Ultimate Sticker Book of Passover.
The design team behind the Saturday morning cartoon Sushi Pack, Leo and Laura Espinosa, were featured in the Boston Globe March 30. The Cambridge designers have recently published a picture book Otis and Rae and the Grumbling Splunk with Boston house Houghton Mifflin. This candy-colored adventure story is now available at Curious George.
We'll leave you with a few picks from the new picture books. These should come in handy on a rainy afternoon in the near future:
Mary Had a Little Lamp by Jack Lechner, illustrated by Bob Staake. Staake's digital, geometric illustrations perfectly compliment this wacky modernization of a familiar nursery rhyme. For anyone who's ever been questioned for their attachment to an inanimate object, this is the book for you.
Sally Gets a Job by Steven Huneck. Sally is back in another introspective episode. This book, illustrated with Huneck's bold wood cuts, is riddled with verbal and visual puns. Little ones will love catching the jokes and Sally's heartwarming conclusion regarding the perfect job.
Ladybug Girl by David Soman, illustrated by Jackie Davis. Take one four-year-old girl. Dress her in bug wings, galoshes, and antennae headband. Add Bassett Hound and plenty of sass. Lulu overcomes her brother's image of her as "too little" and is empowered to do anything as "Ladybug Girl." The backyard setting is perfect for springtime.