Friday, December 9, 2011

The Wonder of it all ( A look at picture books and Young Adult)

The Holiday season is approaching fast, the streets of New York City all decorated in lights. I love this time of the year. A walk down 5 ave or Madison ave or anywhere in New York, you can see, feel, hear, smell and taste the holiday season. There are all kinds of fun things to do. What is the wonder of it all? Christmas celebrates Jesus's Birthday while Hanukkah celebrates a wonderful story about how a small amount of oil good for one day ended up burning for eight. This was the miracle of God. Both of these holidays are very different from each other. Then there Kwanzaa I am not sure what that celebrates but it also involves lights. What are these holidays about. I believe all three are about family, communication and a love for your religious beliefs. 

 There is lots of wonder in these holidays. They have been celebrated for many centuries but do people truly know there meaning? Our children see them as a way to get gifts. Doing this time shopping is encouraged by all stores. I believe it is much more important to learn about these holidays instead of making them just another way to make an extra buck. Sit down with your children, tell them what the true meaning of the holidays are and do not buy the latest gadgets on the market. Here is a good idea for a gift give your children books about the holidays instead.


Picture Books

One Candle - "One Candle" By Eve Bunting. Illustrated by K. Wendy Popp. Published by Joanna Cotler Books an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. 2002. Summary: "Every year a family celebrates Hanukkah by retelling the story of how Grandma and her sister managed to mark the day while in a German concentration camp." This book has wonderful illustrations and a very powerful story about one family's celebration of Hanukkah. This book is a great example of something that should be taught to your children on this wonderful holiday. The Jewish people believe in family and community and this wonderful books looks at both. I highly recommend it to your kids and to you as well. It has lots to teach everyone.

Talia and the Rude Vegetables- "Talia and the Rude Vegetables." By Linda Elovitz Marshall. Illustrated by Francesca Assirelli. Published by Kar-Ben publishing a division of Lerner Publishing Group Inc. 2011. Summary: "City-girl Talia misunderstands her grandmother's request that she go to the garden for "root vegetables" but manages to find some she thinks are rude, as well as a good use for the rest she harvests. Includes a recipe for Rude Vegetable Stew."  This picture book has lots of fun pictures and a wonderful Jewish story line. When I read this book it touched me. It is about the Jewish tradition of charity, family, community, and holidays. This is a must have for any young child in your family. The holidays are not about gifts, shopping but about family, charity and love. This books combines all three. The best part is it comes with a very tasty vegetable stew now that cannot be beat. Make it a must have for every child and adult. 

The Littlest Frog- "The Littlest Frog." By Sylvia Rouss. Illustrated by Holly Hannon. Published by Pitspopany Press. copyright 2001 Printed in Israel and sold in New York. This is a funny twist on the bible story of Exodus. A long time ago the Jewish people were slaves in Egypt. It is believed they build huge pyramids, cities and castles. It is written like a Jewish folk tale. This time is celebrated doing Spring in a holiday known as Passover. The name is taken from the timer when every Jew living in Egypt took lamb blood and placed it on there door. When God's angel of death killed all the Egyptians first born he passed over the houses marked with blood. This folk tale uses one plague known as frogs to tell a story. It has fantastic illustrations and a fun story that anyone can enjoy. It can be used to teach your children about the history of the Jewish people and give them a taste of the of the bible. It is a Fun read for everyone. 

Young Adult Books

Orchards- "Orchards a novel." by Holly Thompson. Illustrated by Grady McFerrin. Published by Delacorte Press an imprint of Random House. Copyright 2011. Summary: "Sent to Japan for the summer after an eighth-grade classmate's suicide, half-Japanese, half-Jewish Kana Goldberg tries to fit in with relatives she barely knows and reflects on the guilt she feels over the tragedy back home." I really loved this book very much and highly recommend it for your Young adult. It looks at very common features  in a young teen's live. This includes bullying, suicide, moving to a new place for a visit and not fitting in with the crowd. It is a struggle many teens face. Another unique thing about this book that I found very cool is that it a novel written in poetry verse that makes it very different from other Young adult books. The verses are beautifully written and are full of vivid visions. On another level it takes a strong look at both the Jewish culture and Japanese one. It is a fun read not only for young adults but adults as well. 

The Maze Runner- "The Maze Runner." by James Dashner. Published by Delacorte Press an imprint of Random House. Summary: "Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape. This is the first book in a trilogy. It is a story of a Destopian world and survival. Thomas finds himself in a controlled environment with all boys from 12- 18 years old. he has to learn to work together with them and survive. This young adult book looks at several factors that a teen lives with. This factors include violence, bullying, survival and the importance of working together. Another aspect of "The Maze Runner." is a love story and a extraordinary communication technique. It is a fun read full of adventure, growth and relationships. I highly recommend this book to everyone. 

I will have some new book reviews in my next update. I hope to grow and expand on my blog and maybe add some children author interviews for your enjoyment. Happy holiday season everyone. Please become a follower and add your commends here.          

Monday, November 21, 2011

Jewish Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Conference and Me (Lucky 13)

The Conference
      I am a Jew this quote has been said many times over the years. Yesterday I spent a whole day in a book conference in Temple Emanu-El on east 65th street. It is a much smaller conference then SCBWI but it is very specific to the topic of Jewish books. The market is starting to rise now. This conference had many great speakers including agents, Editors, authors, publishers, the Sydney Taylor awards, Jewish Book  Council and PJ library All the speakers I listed above made wonderful speeches. They focused on the usual stuff. Everyone is looking for a fresh voice, great characters, wonderful dialog and Jewish themed books. What are Jewish themed books you ask. "Look at them as a table with five legs" one publisher said. Family, holidays, Community, Hebrew language and the leg of Israel. All these topics were covered and discussed closely.

What does it mean to be a Jew?
     I was born in Russia and was a Jewish refugee when Ronald Reagan made a deal with the USSR, he exchanged pipes for 20.000 Jews to come to USA. The deal was made in 1980's. I was among that group.

To me being Jewish means a connection to community, helping others in need, Studying the old Testament, making a convent with one God and becoming a man through a Bar Mitvah. Everything works together as one. Exodus says "we were strangers in a strange land."   That is what I was in Russia, you see under communism life was not easy for anyone. We could not practice our religion freely, we could not speak out in public, we had very little food and hard lives.  I would like to end this post with five Jewish Quotes.

1) "Good Deeds are better then wise Sayings." -Talmud: Pirke Avot
2) "The Wisdom of the wise and the experience of the ages are perpetuated by quotations."  Benjamin Disraeli
3) "Experience is what we call the accumulation of our mistakes." -Yiddish folk saying
4) "If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past."  -Baruch Spinoza
5) "Life is God's novel so let him write it." -Isaac Bashevis Singer

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Public libraries and Celebrating Halloween ( A look at Public library life)

We just finished celebrating Halloween. Your children dressed in wonderful costumes, you walked from house to house getting candy, your schools had parties and ton of candy was given away. This holiday was celebrated all over the country and probably in other countries as well. Last post I shared with you where Halloween came from and the folklore behind it but today I will take a larger step. I will look at how public libraries celebrated this holiday.

A few days ago I did a massive survey on a list called pub lib and asked a very simple question How does your library celebrate Halloween. I got a massive response to this question and have decided to give a list of 10 most unique stories that came from this list. This post will not have any book reviews and lets say I will catalog this under Cool Stuff. Please enjoy my list of 10.

1)  The year we had the ground breaking for our building the same day as the Halloween parade so that as soon as that parade was over we had our parade from the old building to the new site. Thus the community band that played for our parade and ground breaking ceremony did it dressed in Halloween costumes. The last two years of the Optimists Halloween parade we entered a book truck drill team. The first year we each dressed as a story book character and put pictures on our book trucks to fit our character. The second year we all wore black with bright colored boas and decorated the carts for Halloween.

Meg Van Patten
Head of Reference and Adult Services
Baldwinsville Public Library    

2) This year, the teen party was on Saturday, 10/29. We started with a Haunted Library; the kids turned our entire building into a haunted maze, then played spook after dark. You know the sort of thing -- shelves blocked by spiderwebs and fabric panels spray-painted to look like blood, things hanging from the ceiling, black lights (which made this year's chair monster look super-freaky -- all eyes and teeth!) two different scary soundtracks playing in different areas, mechanical monsters and then people jumping out at you in the dark. Oh, and one of the librarians rocking like a mad woman in the story time chair and staring as she pressed the old-fashioned people-counting clicker.
Oh, and last thing (this is actually going in reverse chronology... oops)... we also hosted a "Nightmare on Dunn Street" this year for the first time. One Friday night earlier in the month, we lit a fire bowl, roasted marshmallows and hot dogs, and told ghost stories after dark. We had 25 people come, which is huge for us for a first-time teen event. I discovered that my teens are willing to tell stories, but have no idea how to do it, and I think we will most likely do it again in the summer. I am going to theme it around "A Midsummer Night's Dream," and we will all tell sidhe stories instead of ghost stories.

Dora Byrd Rowe
Library Director
James L. Hamner Public Library

3) We had a Boo Bash  -- we had pumpkin decorating (magic markers, sequins, felt and foam pieces and googly eyes), Halloween bingo, "Madame Roselita" telling your fortune (with a moving broom activated by noise and a fog machine), 5 or 6 games, scary (but not too scary) storytelling, a costume judging contest and treat bags for all the kids.
Library staff could dress up or not, as they pleased -- we had a nurse, farmer, cowboy, nymph, witch, cat, vampire, dog, fortune teller, genie, dancer and the bearded lady.

Lynn Pauley
Reference Associate / Adult Programming Associate
Dr. Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library

4) One year I teamed up with my local 4H and we did a teen run haunted library. The 4H had more money than we did so they contributed a lot towards the cost.  This year, I wanted to have the teens to have zombie horror movie makeup done on them. I called a local arts high school and they recommended a teacher. He came, brought 3 of his students to help and supplies and did it all for free! They looked amazing. We also have Halloween candy out and we dressed up.

Ardith Ohka
Indian River Library

5) We do a Senior tree at the Library. We have partnered with the local nursing homes in our town and with the help of the public we help provide gifts for those that are in long term care centers or rehab facilities. This idea grew out of the budget cuts that not only were experienced by Government agencies but also care facilities. Recently they did not have enough funding to provide a holiday meal and gifts for their residents so we partnered with them. It has been a very successful program/partnership and the public seem to enjoy participating. We put tags on a decorated Christmas tree that is called the Senior Reading Tree which is decorated with lights and bulbs and the tags with names and the requested gift(s) provided by the facilities. This is our fourth year and we will probably do approximately 100 - 125 packages/gifts.

Robert E. Perone, MSLIS
Director of Library Services
Bradford County Public Library

6)  We actually go all out for Halloween for our community. Let me preface this by saying though we are a small rural public library and we receive a donation from the community to put on a party. This year was the best year yet because our Friends of the Library group put together a haunted house in the basement community community room, so this year we had a party and a haunted house. It was all very cool.

Rebecca Buchmann, Director
Black Creek Village Library

7) We're a small public library in a town with a strong Main Street organization. On the Saturday before Halloween, Main Street Wilmington sponsors a Trick or Treat Trail with downtown businesses handing out candy. During that time, we also do a craft time featuring simple crafts the kids can make fairly quickly. This past Saturday, we had about 80 kids go through during the two hours. We also give out candy during the "regular" trick or treat time (which is tonight).

Nancy P. Ehas
Wilmington Public Library

8)  We pick a theme (often book related) and many staff dress up. We’ve been Wizard of Oz characters, Alice in Wonderland characters, Harry Potter….This year we’re comic book or cartoon characters. So far we have Cruella de Vil, Dalmatian puppies, Biblioman, Ms. Literate, Conan the librarian……and more. Most patrons love it. Some just shake their heads. – Bette Ammon

Bette Ammon
Library Director
Coeur d'Alene Public Library

9)  We have a mitten tree at our library. We collect mittens, hats and scarves and adorn the tree with them. They are then donated to local families in need. This is as nondenominational as we can get. We also put up a menorah and have books about Kwanzaa displayed. We try our best and welcome suggestions from the community to make everyone feel important, included and welcome at the library.

Laurenne Teachout
Library Director
Stephentown Memorial Library

10)  My staff loves Halloween!  The Library has been decorated for about a month.  It's mostly purple lights, bats and spiders -- nothing too scary.  Some of the staff dress up and we always have candy for the public.  Also, children are invited to dress in costume for storytimes during the week before Halloween. They have a little parade through the library.   The Children's Librarian dresses up as Mother Goose.  Today we have a glamorous witch (not scary), a steampunk heroine, Cher and the victim of a vampire.  Staff members that don't dress in costume usually wear Halloween-style shirts.  We have fun and the public has come to expect it!

Jane Carle
Kirtland Public Library

This concludes my special update, I really would love to get you commends on here. Hope you enjoy this. Thank you everyone who shared there stories with me I am sorry I was not able to use everyones, but there will be other chances.  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Hollow Eve Story ( The Spirit Gates are open)

        Where does Halloween comes from? Today I want to share a story with everyone that I used to tell the children when I worked in a private school. It always made them enjoy this holiday even more. Here it goes.
   A long time ago both Spirits and living beings shared the earth. They lived side by side but there was trouble. they just could not get along and the planet was getting crowded. The dead had trouble communicating with the living except through a group called Spiritualist. They had the gift of talking to the dead. This went on for many years then one day both sides decided it was enough. The leaders that the Celts called the druids met with the leaders of the dead. The spiritualist acted as the communication force between the two parties.
    After many days of discussion a deal was made. The two groups decided that if they put aside one day a year to celebrate the dead that they will go live in the after life. A deal was made with the druids and the dead. The next day after the contract was signed the dead vanished.
     Now just a little about the Spirit Gate. Every year in October the gateway opens and the spirit world begin to enter into our earth getting ready for what we call Halloween. It is probably the oldest holiday that we celebrate.

                                                         The Celtic Cross now for our reviews

ReviewsMiddle Readers

Corline- "Coraline" written by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated by Dave McKean. It was published by Harper Trophy a division of Harper Collins Publisher Inc.. It came out in 2002. Summary: "Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of others." With Halloween just around the corner this a wonderful and scary book for your middle graders. Coraline goes finds a door in her home that leads her to a different world where everything seems perfect on the outside but as she looks deeper and explores this new world she discovers dark secrets that can not only change her family, but also many human souls. This book is an scary adventure she will never forget. The simple language makes this a good read for both boys and girls.

A Drowned Maiden Hair- "A Drowned Maiden's Hair." This book was written by Laura Amy Schlitz. It was published by Candlewick Press. It came out 2006 in hard cover and in 2008 paperback. Summary: "At a Barbary Asylum for female orphans, eleven-year-old Maud is adopted by three spinster sisters moonlighting as mediums who take her home and reveal to her the role she will play in their seances." This book is a considered historical fiction and takes place in 1909 when the spiritualist movement is at its peek. This group used make people think they can talk to the dead. This is a fantastic book that looks at that era through the eyes of an 11 year old girl. If your kids have an interest in this kind of history this is a good book for them.

The Graveyard Book- "The Graveyard Book." by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated by Dave McKean. It was published by Harper Collins Publishers and came out in 2008. It then won a Newbery Medal in 2009.  Summary: Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard." I have say that I loved this book and agree that it won the award. It has many layers to it. It is a great book to go with the Halloween holiday. It shows that even a young boy can be raised by ghosts. This is a must read for everyone young and small and can be considered a classic.
Young Adults

Looking For Alaska-
"Looking For Alaska." Written by John Green. Published by Dutton Books,, New York 2005. Summary: " Sixteen-year-old Miles first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama includes good friends and great pranks, but is defined by a search for answers about life and death after a fatal car crash." This edgy Young adult novel is about how a young man grows up in a Catholic School. He is faced by many problems in his life there. Yet it is a book that looks at how each of us grows up doing our teen years. This book is not only a love story, but also the journey of a young man into adulthood. It explores hard topics, but is a great read for any young adult.

Speak- "Speak" written by Laurie Halse Anderson. It was published by Penguin Putnam inc. It came out in 1999. It had many Young adult awards. Summary: " A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman year in High School." This is also an edgy Young adult that looks at what happens when a young girl is gang raped in a party. This causes her whole freshman High School year to go down hill. It is a psychological battle that Melinda faces on this journey. Book list posted this on the book "Anderson perfectly captures the harsh conformity of a high-school cliques and one teen's struggle to find acceptance from her peers." This book is a very modern story that shows the struggles of teens in High School, and should be a good read for High school students today.

Star Girl- "Star Girl" was written by Jerry Spinelli. It was published by Alfred A. Knopf. It came out in 2000. Summary: "In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Star girl changes Mica High School forever." I really enjoyed this book, it is funny and looks at many subjects that our teens face today in High School. It covers: first love, popularity and friendships. This is a classic High school story that every teen should read. In our lives the teen years are very important for exploration and discovery. I believe that wonderful book can help guide them on this journey to adulthood
Picture Books
While You Were Sleeping- "While You are sleeping." Written and Illustrated by Alexis Deacon. This picture book was first published in Great Britain by Hutchinson press an imprint of Random House in 2006. It was then  re printed by Farrar, Straus and Giroux/ New York. "Did you know that your stuffed toys have a secret life." Summary: "A girl's bedside toys go to great lengths to keep her safe at night while she is sleeping." This two time winner of the New York times award for best illustrated book, Alexis uses charming illustrations and simple words to show what toys do at night. This is a wonderful book for a bed time story that you young children will want your read everyone. The question she asks What if toys came to life every night to help kids sleep better. They do everything necessary to help children sleep well. I really enjoyed this book and I believe it will be great read to your young ones. I highly recommend this wonderful bed time story.

Whats Under the Bed?-  "What's Under The Bed?" Written and Illustrated by Joe Fenton. This picture book was published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young readers. It came out in 2008. Summary: "When Fred lays down his head, he imagines there is something monstrous under his bed." This is a very cute book that encourages children to use and explore their imagination. It has wonderful illustrations that mix black and white and color together. The book is written in rhyme and tells the story of boy who is always scared to sleep because he things their is a monster under his bed. After his imagination runs wild and thinks of all kind of strange things that can happen he discovers that in reality there is nothing to be afraid of after all. This can be a fun book for both girls and boys. It can not only help them to use their imagination but also not to be afraid of the dark or monsters under the bed or in the closest.

Lousy Rotten Stinkin Grapes- "Lousy Rotten Stinkin Grapes." Written by Margie Palatini and Illustrated by Barry Moser. This book was published by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers. It came out in 2009. Summary: "Retells the fable of a frustrated fox, that after many tries to reach a high bunch of grapes, decides they must be sour anyway. This picture book is based on a well loved Aesop fable. This book is a fun read. It has good pictures and a moral meaning, after trying all kind of ways to get the grapes down from a tree, fox gets so frustrated that he decides not to eat them at all. I think this book can teach the children to be patient because that can really help you in life. If you like a nice moral and fun story this is a good book for you and your children.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Some great children books Heroes and remembering 9-11-2001

      It has been ten years since the attacks on New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC. On that day evil destroyed our country. Today we remember all the heroes that died in the bombings. It was a beautiful crisp Tuesday mourning, the sky was almost clear blue, with a few clouds floating in the sky. That day almost 4000 people were killed just because they wanted to start work early. each one of them had a face and a family they just wanted to support. After 9-11-2001 the whole country joined together. People were proud to be Americans.  The red, white and blue flew high. Each one of them died as heroes for freedom. They died for this country.
     Now once again we suffer and it is time we all joined together as one. Stop the politics, stop the fights and put your country first. USA will always be a great and powerful country but today we all cry for our future. It is time to honer being American and it is time to love our country. Get the jobs back, get the economy rolling and God Bless the USA and lets honer everyone who gave up their lives for Freedom.
   I will review a few books with great heroes in them, Please take a look at them and read.

Picture Books

Black Out- This book is written and illustrated by my friend John Rocco, It came out in 2011 from Hyperion Books. It is great for children Age 4-8. The hero here is the people of New York City, I am quoting my friend "It was a normal, summer night in the city. Hot, Noisy, Busy and then the lights went out." In this book John takes us on a ride back to August when all the lights in NYC went out.  All the people were busy at first but after the Blackout they all joined together and ran out into the streets and when the lights went back on they were not busy anymore. I chose his book because on 9-11-2001 New Yorkers also joined together to save each others. They all risked their lives to do this. This book has wonderful illustrations and is a good read for your children.

Ghost Ship- This book was written by Mary Higgins Clark and Illustrated by Wendell Minor. It was published in 2007 by Simon and Schuster. "While visiting his grandmother on Cape Code, nine-year-old Thomas encounters a ship's cabin boy from centuries past." I loved this ghost story very much. The reason I choose this as a book to review on the ten year anniversary of 9-11 because it looks at the possibility of ghosts. When those buildings fell the in-prints of those who died were left behind. In this book our hero encounters a boy from 1752, who teaches him all the history of a ship he was on. The illustrations are wonderful and it is just a great historical story that should be shared with your children. Please give this book a chance.

The Enchanted Rope- This gives me a chance to talk about my picture book. It was written by David D Bernstein and Illustrated by Sally Taylor. It was published in 2010 by Outskirts Press. The best age for this book is 6 to 8. The reason I choose this book is because My hero Jack finds a way to grief for his mother's death by going into a world of imagination. Doing 9-11 many children had lost their family members. I watched some of these kids speak today. My book will help both children and adults to cope with the death of their loved ones. It is written in the fairy tale form. "Under the Alaskan sun, in a field of dreams, Jack gathers up one hundred wildflowers and starts to weave an enchanted rope so he can climb up to the world of angels his mother is in." This book has many wonderful reviews and I believe if someone had lost a loved one it can bring them comfort and joy knowing that they are looking over them.

Middle Readers

I will share one middle grade series with you guys. Each of these books are a fun and wonderful read. The Sister Grimm Series of Books- These books are written by Michael Buckley and illustrated by
Peter Ferguson. It has a total of 9 books published by Amulet Books. These books are about two sisters who are relatives of the Brothers Grimm. They moved to their grandmother's house and became fairy tale detectives. All nine books take place in a town called Ferry-port where an evil curse has been put on the ever afters which are characters of various fairy tales. They are not aloud to leave this city. The spell only can broken if their is no more Grimm family. These books are full of lots of humor and memorable characters and lots of puzzles and Mystery. I highly recommend these books to middle readers. I chose this book for my
9-11  blog because all of us need to live in a world of fairy tales and imagination. God Bless everyone. Let us all remember all those men and women who not only died on 9-11-2001 but died serving are country and saving our freedoms. Thanks to all the government officials who took action on that dark day in US history.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Book Expo of America 2011 (A great book party)

(Note- I will post new book recommendations next update. I am still waiting to get an independent publisher's book, that I can review. If you want me to review your children's book, Please e-mail me to for further  directions. )
    It took place in New York's  Javit's Center from Monday May 23 to Thursday May 26. I had the privilege to be a part of this experience. I helped out in one of the booths and had a book signing, which went great.
    Let me tell a bit about this trade show and give you some wonderful news about children book publishing.  I spend three full days in the Expo. It is the second largest Book Expo in the world with 6000 plus booths. All the major book publishers were there and many unknown ones as well. It combined everyone in publishing industry. It included traditional publishers, bookstores, Self publishers, book sellers, librarians, teachers, editors, authors and many others.
     Doing my stay I understood that with the new technologies book publishing is becoming an easier now. I also learned that children book publishing is not going anywhere anytime soon. I got to here several lectures on this topic. The truth is today children book publishing is becoming stronger and better then ever. The new technologies gives more writers a chance to get their stories out to world.
    Another topic that was talked about is that publishing has become much more competitive and has been moved to new medias like e-books and electronic readers. This opens many new markets as well. The business continues to grow and change rapidly. This can be both a good thing and a bad one as well.
     As I went from booth to booth I got a chance to meet so many wonderful people. I also got a preview of books that will be going to be published in the near future. I also got many free books as gifts. I also got a preview of the future of book publishing and got a Chance to see some wonderful booths.
      In conclusion, I highly recommend that everyone involved in book publishing or who is a children book reader to get a chance to come to the Book Expo in "The Big Apple."


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Oldies, but Goldie's (Where are we heading now?)

Picture Books
  1. Wild About Books- This picture book is written by Judy Sierra and illustrated by Marc Brown. It won the E.B White Read Aloud Award in 2005. It was published by Alfred A. Knopf in August 2004. It is a great book to read aloud both in the classroom and at bed time. What happens when librarian Molly McGrew by mistake drove her bookmobile into the zoo. All the animals end up having fun borrowing her books. The illustrations are wonderful and the story brings your child into a world where animals read books and the adventures they have doing so. The animals also discover reading. This is probably one of my favorite books. It will be a great read for any child or adult. I highly recommend it to be available in any school library. 
  2. Flotsam- This book was illustrated by David Wiesner. It won the Caldecott Medal in 2007. It was published by Clarion Books in 2006. This book uses only illustrations to tell a wonderful story. The main character is a boy spending time on a beach. The boy's story is told through pictures that flow smoothly. He discovers an old camera with film in it. It seems the pictures had traveled in the ocean for a very long time. It is a great book for children because each illustration tells its own story. It also proofs that picture books do not necessary need words to tell a wonderful story. 
  3. MoonPowder- This book was written and illustrated by John Rocco a very good friend of mine. It was published by Hyperion Books for Children. It came out in 2008. This book is the story about Eli Treebuckler who is known for fixing everything. Then one day the Moonpowder factory is on the blink and he is the only that can fix it. The question is will he get there on time. This book is full of wonderful illustrations and a fantastic story. This is a great book to read to your child at bedtime. It covers topics like dreams and nightmares. It also takes Eli on a amazing journey to save the Moonpowder factory. I believe it will also take your children there.          
Middle Readers
  1. Charmed Life- This book was written by Diana Wynne Jones. It was published by Macmillian Children's Books in 1977. This is the story about two siblings a boy named Eric who has no talent with magic and Gwendolyn   who is a gifted witch with astonishing powers, it suits her enormously when she is taken to live in Chrestomanci Castle. This is the home of a great enchanter. However, life with his family is not what either of the children expects and sparks start to fly. This is a charming story that is probably like the Harry Potter of it's day. Even though it came out over thirty years ago it can still be viewed in our day. It has a great story that any middle grader interested in magic and fantasy  could enjoy. I highly recommend this book for them. 
  2. Over Sea, Under Stone- This book was written by Susan Cooper. It was published in 1965 by Simon and Schuster and came out again in 2000 from Aladdin paperback. This book is the first in the Dark is Rising Sequence. When three siblings go on holiday to Cornwall they find an ancient manuscript which sends them on a dangerous quest for a grail that would reveal the true story of King Arthur and entraps them in a battle between the forces of light and darkness. The Dark is rising group of a books are classics in there own way. They can be a great and fun read for fantasy lovers. I think that both children and adults would like these group of books. I will review the others as I update my blog. 
  3. The Witches- This book was written by Roald Dahl. It was first published in Great Britten in 1983 by Jonathen Cape Ltd. It then went through several printings and was sold and translated in several countries. It is a true classic by a well known writer. It has been assigned in several classrooms as well. When a little boy loses his parents in car accident his Grandma takes him in to live with her. To make the boy feel better she tells him scary and amazing stories about witches. The boy's life changes when he actually encounters the Grand High Witch herself. In this book Dahl looks at the possibility of what if witches excised and lived among us. He is a wonderful story teller that both scares and makes his readers laugh. This book in particular has been overlooked. His most well known books are: "James and the Giant Peach." and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." I believe that any child or adult could enjoy this book. If you have never heard of Dahl I highly recommend you look him up and read his classic books.             

Young Adult books

  1. The Outsiders- This book was written by S.E. Hinton. It was first published by The Viking Press in 1967. It went through several printings and the copyright was renewed by the author in 1995. This book started it all for the YA genre. In this story Ponyboy can count on his friends and brothers but not on much else beside troubles with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich children. This book looks at  a gang war that takes place in a city setting between the poor and rich. It is required reading in most schools. This book is highly recommended for every young adult. It is a classic story that can be understood by youth today who grew up in urban setting. I especially love this book because I also was raised in a city that had a gang war going on. I will tell everyone more about it in a future post.
  2. East- This book was written by Edith Pattou. It was published by Harcourt books in 2003. This book is the story about a girl named Rose. Since the day Rose was born it was clear she had a special fate. Rose ends up journeying to a distant castle on the back of a great white bear. He was the victim of a cruel enchantment that only Rose can break. When I read this book I loved it very much. It is an epic fairy tale that is full of amazing landscape, wonderful living characters and a great story. I read the book in less then a week. It was an extra special experience for me because I grew up around fairy tales all my live and on several levels. You teen ager would love this wonderful book.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

All around fantasy and a little about reality

Fantasy Book Reviews

Picture Books

1) Where The Wild Things Are -This picture book by Maurice Sendak and  a very popular book. I highly recommend it if you did not read it yet. The book is a classic and has been for years.  It was published originally in 1963 and won the 1964 Caldecott Medal for most distinguished picture book of the year. When a boy named Max misbehaves his mother sends him to his room where his fantastic journey begins. After his journey he comes home to discover that barely any time had passed even though his trip seemed to take place a very long time. This book is a wonderful read not only for children but adults as well. It explores the possibilities of other worlds and so much more.

2) The Egg- This picture book by M.P Robertson is less known, but also a great read. It was published in 2001 by Dial books. It is about a boy named George, who one day discovers a huge egg under one of his barn chickens. When the egg is warmed and hatches a dragon is born. It is then when George's adventure begins. His adventure takes him for a special training and eventually to another world where dragons live. The book has amazing illustrations and a great fantasy story line that any child or adult will enjoy. It is a great read for everyone. Make sure to look for this book and to share it with your children in the classroom or by a sizzling fire.

3) Sweep Dreams- This picture book came out in 2005. It is by Nancy Willard and Illustrated by Mary Grandpre.  It was published by Little Brown and company. It is about a man who fell in love with a magical broom. The mystery started when the lady at the register had no idea where this broom was from. Since it had no cost on it she gave it to the man as a gift. The man never used the broom to sweep and this made her sick. As soon as started using her to sweep the floors and etc.. the broom became very happy and danced outside in the street.  A bad man saw it and kidnapped her. As the book goes on many magical adventures take place. I believe children will get right into the story. The book has all kinds of wonderful pictures that almost everyone will enjoy. Please pick up a copy.

Middle Readers

1) The Phantom Tollbooth- I read this wonderful book back in elementary school. It was written Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer who I had the pleasure to meet and talk to a few months ago. It came out from Random House in 1961. I love this classical book that teaches many things to children. It is about a boy named Milo who is bored of everything in his life. One day a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room. Milo drives through it in his toy car because he has nothing better to do. This leads him to a different world. It is here that Milo's whole view of life changes. he takes on several amazing quests and meets fantastic creatures including a ticking watch dog named Tock.  I loved this classic fantasy book as a young lad and I truly believe your son or daughter will as well.

2) The Book of Time Trilogy- I got a chance to read this Trilogy on my trip to FL. You can look back at my older posts to read more about it. It includes three books: The Book of Time, The Gate of Days and The Circle of Gold. They are by Gullaume Prevost and were translated by William Rodarm. The books  originally published by Gallimard Jeunnesse in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The English- language translations were published by Arthur A. Levine books in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Cheryl Klein was the wonderful editor who worked on this wonderful Fantasy Trilogy.  The books are about Faulkner family. They could be any ordinary family on the outside, but they have many secrets. Sam Faulkner a 13 year old boy discovers a secret room that lets him travel through time. He learns that his own father traveled in time earlier in his life. In these three books Sam has a very important mission. He has to save not only his parents from very evil forces, but also has to save time and the world itself from the same evil being. This is a very fun set of books that both girls and boys would love. I highly recommend them to everyone.

Young Adult Books

1) Feed- I had a chance to read this fantasy Young adult book a few years ago. It was a National Book Award finalist and was published by Candlewick Press in 2002. It was written by M.T Anderson. This book explores a future where teen agers and most humans had been implanted with a device known as a feed. It is a transmitter implanted directly into the brain. Titus meets a girl named Violet who cares what is going on in the world around them challenge everything Titus and his friends hold dear. She decides to fight the feed and the evil forces behind it. The book takes the reader on a journey through this future world and looks at how teenagers rebel against it. It is masterfully written and can be a great read for our young people and the battles they face in everyday life. I highly recommend that everyone read this book.

2) The Lord of The Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit- These high fantasy books are on top of my list as must reads. They were written by J.R.R Tolkien in the mid 1950's.  They had a deep storyline with fantastic setting, landscape, characters and plot. It is your typical good vs evil fantasy story. All four books are wonderfully written and are must reads for everyone. As most of you know they later became award winning movies that are timeless classics. Tolkien created a whole new world in his books. If you did not get a chance to read these books please pick them up in your local bookstore or library and enjoy a fantastic trip through a new visual world you would never forget.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Healing Yourself (Its all about the people)

Week 3

     I want to start by sending a prayer to Japan and all the other people hurt by the earthquake that hit today. God bless everyone and may you spark of hope glow brighter always.  Love and light to everyone who have gone and who have suffered on this day.
    Today I finished my three week stay in Hippocrates Health Institute. I want to write this blog especially about People. It is them who create this world we live in. Here in the center it is all about men and women who came to change their lives. The healing that takes place and the love you feel  around you everyday. It is all about support for each other. People come here for two reasons to be saved or enlightened. Each one is treated with love not only from the staff, but from the others staying here. It is a community where you meet so many amazing people with fantastic stories of how they were saved. They were saved from cancer, diabetes, heart disease and so many other illnesses.
It is a hard journey that each of us takes together. All through out this journey support is everywhere.

    I will like to end with a one inspiring story: one man had a very bad case of arthritis, he came here nine weeks ago. At one point he could not walk he went on the diet and came here, his family joined him for the last three weeks and they were amazed at how he had improved. They also changed all their lifestyle to support him. His youngest son had an allegory to sugar and he talked about how he almost died because of this allergy. This incident not only changed this family's life, but brought them closer together.

     In conclusion I would to say if any of ever decide to come here to heal yourself or just to detox you will discover lots of support and will meet many amazing people with fantastic stories. Hippocrates Health Institute will heal you on all levels and this place will open up your mind to many possibilities and change your life forever.   

Friday, March 4, 2011

Healing Yourself on all Levels (Week 2)

Book Reviews
   Hello again my friends, I am now reading my forth children's book. In April I will dedicate my whole blog post to lots of books suggestions for teachers, children and parents. It will be a list divided into categories each with three to four books on it. Until then I will continue with my experience here in Hippocrates.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Healing Yourself on all Levels

Children Book Reviews        

Hello everyone for the next three posts I will not do any reviews. I am reading many children books that will be recommended for everyone in about a month. I will be blogging to everyone about a very special place I am visiting right now. I will tell you about miracles that went on here. I will also share my experience. I am doing lots of reading and when I update in April I will have more children book suggestions for librarians, children and parents. I will also add my first book review. Enjoy these posts.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Black History Month ( Are we all slaves in this world?)

Great books to read
  1. The Adventures of Huck Finn- This book written by Mark Twain is a great example of an all time classic. It is about a young boy who never went school and who spends days at time just doing noting but having fun. Ain't this a dream of many boys. The book has lots of bad grammer and language. It was written in the 19 century just after the civil war. The author is a genis in many ways. The book really takes of when Huck Finn meets a slave named Jim. He helps this man escape. That is when the real adventure begins. They build a raft and go on a dangerous journey on the Mississippi River the heart of the south. This book is a classic American boy tale. The language is hard but it will be the perfect book for your middle grade or young adult reader. Please incourage your children to read this classic american novel and do not forget about The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I really loved both these books and did a research paper on them. I bet you kids will love them too. 
  2. The Slave Dancer- This book written by Paula Fox and a newberry award winner in 2002 is a wonderful book to honor black history month. It is about a 13 year old boy named Jessie Bollier who is earning pennies by playing his fife on docks of New Orleans. One day he is kidnapped and thrown aboard a slave ship, where his job is to provide music while shackled slaves dance and keep their muscles strong and bodies profitable. On this journey Jessie is sickened at how these slaves are treated. They are whipped and treated very bad. Before the ship makes it to it goal it shipwrecked in the Gulf of Mexico. Jessie and a slave boy named Ras are the only two survivors. This book is a powerful work and it should not be missed. It presents one of the most gruesome eras in history. Any 11- 14 year old should read this book. 
  3. Rosa's Bus The Ride to Civil Rights- This picture book written by Jo S. Kittinger and illustrated by Steven Walker came out in 2010. It looks at the civil rights movement of the 1960's through the eyes of bus that Mrs. Rosa Parks boarded. This point of view I found to be lots of fun and intersting. It gives new meaning to that saying "What if walls could talk?" This book also looks at the bus boycut that followed. This book is both historical and fun to read. I highly recommend your share it with your students or children. It is a great resource to teach youngsters about the civil rights movement. Please enjoy. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day (A time to love)

Book Suggestions

  1. The Hunger Games Trilogy- These three books are wonderful fanatsy stories for Young adults. Imgine a world divided into 13 Distracts that are run by a place called The Capital. In these three books by Suzanne Collins, the author brings this world to life. She combines love, Action, survival and fantasy together. The Three books are called "The Hunger Games.", "Catching Fire." and "Mocking Jay." The books are written so well that your teen will not put them down.
  2. Knuffle Bunny Free- This is the last picture book in a trilogy by Mo Williams. Trixie loves her stuffed bunny, but she always seems to lose him somewhere. The other two books are called "Knuffle Bunny" and "Knuffle Bunny Too." They both got Caldecott Honers. The illustratuions combine drawings with photos. I bet your children will want you read these books over and over again. I bet you remember the stuffed animal that you loved as child. I had a large yellow duck who I gave lots of love too. These books will not only touch that child hidden deep inside us all, but it will also touch our children. I highly recommend that you sit in front of your fireplace with that special child on your lap and read these books together.
  3. The Giver- A Newbery Medal winner in 1994, this book by Lois Lowry is a true classic for your child to read and is required reading in many schools. Mrs. Lowry wrote about a perfect world where everything is under control and each person is assigned a role in this communuty. Every kind of pain, fear and plessure of life is held by one person. Jonas a 12 year old boy is asigned to train with the giver. His whole life as he knows is about to fall apart. I think that this book has many layers to it. It is a great read for everyone. It  can cause a deep discussion with your child. So please take a moment to get your children off the TV, computer or Video game system start a family book club instead. Your children will thank you.  

Friday, February 11, 2011

About me and a few book suggestions

     Hello folks and welcome to my new blog. let me tell everyone a little about me and then I will add a few wonderful  books for the teachers and parents out there.
     I was born in Moscow Hospital in the mid seventies and left Russia to find religious freedom in the USA. When we applied to leave my parents lost their jobs right away. We had to wait three years until America opened her doors to us.
    We came here in 1981 invited by a local temple to a city in New York called Mount Vernon. I learned the language in just under six months, because my sister and I got invited to sleep away camp within one month when we arrived in the States. I was six and she was eight. All I can say it was the most horrible sleep away experience I ever had. Everyone made fun of me and I was almost forced to eat a live frog, it tasted a little salty. I can look back at this and laugh now but imagine how a little boy would feel.
     The years went by and I went through the American School system and eventually got an MLS and a library media certification. I always loved to write all my life. This was the case because my sister and I grew up around fairy tales.My parents read to us almost every night.   
     I started by writing poetry and then got into children's books after the 9-11-2001. This was the day that changed my life forever.  I now have a book out called "The Enchanted Rope." I am waiting to hear from two publishing companies as well on my manuscripts. I am now working on a fantasy trilogy.
    If anyone wants me to do a review for a book please contact me at