Forget Chocolate. . . Give a Book

SuperloveWho Wants HugHug MachineStormy NightHow to Grow FriendI Love Dogs

Today I purchased a book to give ML for Valentine’s Day.  Last year, I gave her chocolate.  Guess who ate most of it?  At the bookstore recently, ML saw a new Geronimo Stilton book.  She asked, “Will you buy it for my birthday?”  Her birthday isn’t until October.  I wish I had a red valentine chocolate box to put it in.  That would make ML laugh.

Below are some new picture books about love.  Perfect for the huggable child in your life.

Superlove by Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Mark Chambers – Most girls dream of being a flower girl.  ML did.  The young girl in this book has a plan; but Pinky her cat has other plans.  Who will come to the rescue?  A delightful story highlighting imagination and loving families.

Who Wants a Hug? by Jeff Mack – Bear loves to give hugs and is always asking skunk if he wants a hug.  Skunk refuses time and again.  Bear perseveres.  Will skunk finally give in?  Adorable, animated illustrations fill this book.

Hug Machine by Scott Campbell – No thing is too small or big to receive a hug from Hug Machine.  A perfect read with my favorite hugger in the world. . . ML

Stormy Night by Salina Yoon – As a child, I was petifried whenever there was a thunderstorm.  This sweet, loving book is a perfect read for children like me.

How to Grow a Friend by Sara Gillingham – Other than one’s family, the greatest love in childrens’ lives is friends.  Read it.  Then, read it again to see if you can find the cute little bird that graces each page spread.

I Love Dogs by Sue Stainton and illustrated by Bob Staake – What kind of dogs do you love?  Lazy or Crazy? Spotty or Dotty? Prowling or Howling?  Use this book to help children love adjectives.

Now for the unveiling of the Geronimo Stilton book ML is receiving February 14th.

Geronimo Stilton


My Caldecott Award and Honor Choices

Which of the three books below will I chose as my Mock Caldecott Medal Winner?  I’ve studied my long list.  Looked at the books over and over… and then some more.  Contemplated and finally decided to ignore all opinions, including Calvin and ML’s and choose from my heart.




I would like Stardines illustrated by Carin Berger to win the medal.  The quirky illustrations using diorama, cut paper and collage compliment Jack Prelutsky’s wacky poems.  Each time I looked at Bluebird by Bob Staake, the more I appreciated the artistry.  It almost didn’t make my long list.  I’m glad it did.  There’s a reason David Wiesner has won three Caldecott medals.  He’s that talented and his latest book Mr. Wuffles is worthy of a fourth.  I just couldn’t give it to him with so many other artists deserving to be recognized.  I know it’s not supposed to work that way.

ML and I are eager to hear the committee’s decision.  It’s the first thing she’ll want to know when I pick her up Monday from school.

Bluebird – Another Addition to ML and Calvin’s Mock Caldecott List


I’ve been going back and forth on adding Bluebird by Bob Staake to their Mock Caldecott list.  I don’t want to overwhelm them with choices.  And quite honestly, it wasn’t one I wanted on my long list until I looked at again yesterday.

Today, I saw a bluebird as I entered my car to drive to work.  It’s only January.  Next, I looked on the ground and saw a robin.  As my grandma always said, “The robin’s are here, spring is on it’s way.” Call it a sign if you like.  It was a reminder ML and I are allowed different opinions.  And I should provide a variety of art mediums in the Mock Caldecott.  To quote inside the book, “The illustrations in this book were rendered in Adobe Photoshop.”  Most of the books on the list I created for Calvin and ML include watercolor.

With a quick web search, I learned NC bluebirds do not migrate.  In February, they begin to select their nesting territory.  Last year we had two broods of bluebirds in our birdhouse.  This weekend, while ML and Calvin are reading Bluebird, I’ll spring clean their house in hopes they return.

If ML and Calvin award the medal to this wordless book, the laugh’s on me.  Actually it’s an almost wordless book; set in the city with a bluebird following a boy throughout his day.  The words are on street signs, the classroom chalkboard, busesm trucks and a cart to purchase boats in a park.  I don’t want to tell you more.  I want you to find your own meaning in the book.  However, here’s a link to his process  I love the image of the proposal he sent to editors.  Really helps show the long, arduous process of getting your book in print.  Us lay people have no idea.

Thrilled I saw the bluebird and rediscovered this book.  Like so many other books, you discover more when you read it months later.  Who knows?  Maybe it will make it to the top of my list.