• new picture books Archive

    “Everyone is always good at something.” It was a mantra I heard throughout my childhood, from my teachers, to my own mother…and one that I find myself echoing today with my own kids. When my 9-year-old laments that she is small for her age, I remind her that bigger isn’t always better. “Just listen how loudly you can sing,” I tell her as she belts out a number from her theater class. Because each of us is unique, we have qualities and traits that we may sometimes frown upon or even take for granted without fully realizing the beauty in their purpose. That’s the theme behind a new children’s book, Clumsy Duck, in which the title character’s self-imposed name fails to capture his true talents. [&hellip

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    I truly don’t know a greater love than the one that exists between my 5-year-old and our cat. The two are practically inseparable and have fostered a bond that began when my daughter was just a baby. My mother reminds me that I too treasured my childhood kitty and how I cried every time we left for vacation, worrying that she’d be lonely (I still shed a tear before leaving Peanut, and hide my red eyes behind dark sunglasses before we head out of town.) Because their friendship is more than heartwarming–it transcends the bounds of human/animal duos–I am relishing a new picture book about a young girl who unsuspectingly befriends a furry friend while pet-sitting. A Year With Marmalade follows a year in the [&hellip

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    When I was about 10 or 11, my best friend Allison invited me to spend the night at her parents’ summer home in Westhampton Beach. Because I’d never been away from home without my family before, I was more scared than excited. My parents, in sharp contrast, saw this as an opportunity: an invitation to “summer” in the Hamptons? Who wouldn’t jump at the chance! After a bit of coaxing and a not-so-gentle nudge, my bag was packed and the next thing I knew, we were cruising the Montauk Highway in Allison’s dad’s car. By the timeĀ  we reached Dune Road, I was hooked on life out east. After a day of boating around the tranquil bay, followed by frolicking in the rough surf, we [&hellip

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    Let’s face it: they’ve had it. I’m talking about the crayons in your kid’s desk. After months and months of grubby little hands completing classwork, decorating book covers and instilling creativity in any capacity, these dutiful classroom staples have done their due diligence–and then some. And if you think you’re exhausted, just get a load of their cracked disposition. In one of the most inventive picture books of the year, The Day the Crayons Quit, these crayons finally declare “enough!” and share their feelings with a boy named Duncan, their resident artist. Told through a collection of hilarious missives, each color explains why life hasn’t actually been fair lately and makes compelling arguments for their individual cases. From the over-worked red who “even works holidays” [&hellip

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    When I was a kid and Father’s Day rolled around, I often saved up enough money to buy my dad one of two things: either Old Spice after shave or Aqua Velva. And, if he was really lucky, I could spring for a gift set, which included soap on a rope. That would be a banner year for my dad. Never tiring of these gifts that epitomized what fatherhood meant to me, my father always accepted these tokens with gratitude. In fact, I think he even came to count on them, especially when he was running low on after shave. With Dad’s Day practically here once again, it’s time to treat our favorite fathers with something special. If you haven’t already gone out and buy [&hellip

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    Spring training is well underway, and myriads of baseball fans are snatching up season tickets in anticipation of Opening Day. As all this snow slowly melts away and thoughts turn to warmer days, it’s only natural that kids will want to grab their mitts and throw the ball around with Dear Old Dad. Just because my baseball enthusiasm is limited to catching an occasional game on TV (more when my dad was alive) doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the peanuts and crackerjacks part of the experience (wink, wink). But for those of you bona fide baseball fans who’ll go to the ends of the earth (or so it seems) to defend your home team’s honor, comes a delightful new picture book that will resonate with [&hellip

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    When I was a kid, a snow day meant trekking over to the local country club, squeezing between the fence and sledding until the sun set. Never mind the fact that I was trespassing; I was in plenty of good company, as evidenced by the many sled tracks up and down the hilly grounds. I joined my older sister and brother and their friends, happily trudging up and down that blasted hill, with mittens so soaked I could barely feel my fingers. And that was a good thing. I’m lucky that I can relive fond memories like these, thanks to a charming new picture book from Islandport Press. The Iciest, Diciest, Scariest Sled Ride Ever is a fitting title for an especially active story. Anyone [&hellip

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    As my family and I wrap up a week’s vacation in coastal Maine, we can head for home, confident in the fact that we’ve completed all the requisite Maine specialties: We visited a lighthouse, sampled just-picked blueberries and, of course, gorged ourselves on lobster (well, maybe not all of us, but my husband was definitely had his fair share). And no matter the destination, what’s a vacation without a good book? My husband and I are happily devouring our selected reads, but I also wanted to make sure that my girls had some fun reading of their own. I was especially delighted when I saw that the picture book I had packed had made its way into area bookstores and gift shops from Portland to [&hellip

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    When someone I know has a new baby, my favorite gift to welcome their little one is a book. It doesn’t matter if it’s a board book about bunnies or a picture book about penguins; I love the inviting prospect of sitting in a comfy chair with a little person on my lap, inhaling their fresh-from-the bath scent and snuggling in for some one-on-one time. It’s a small moment of parenting that gives me the greatest pleasure, and my hope is to offer that same experience to my new mom friend. If you’re on the lookout for a new baby gift this spring, be sure to check out Hey Little Baby! by Heather Leigh. The tender tale of a brand-new person and all the possibilities [&hellip

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    My husband likes to tease me about my preference for the predictable, but in the topsy-turvy world of parenting, I take great comfort in the repetitive rhythms of my day. Because of my 7-year-old’s after-school activities, I plan make-ahead meals of roasted chicken on Mondays and spaghetti and meatballs on Tuesdays. (No need to phone home and ask “What’s for dinner?”) And when I make my twice-weekly visit to our local fish market, the guys behind the counter are already poised behind the flounder and shrimp. “What’s the matter?,” one of the fish men once inquired when I opted for salmon. Geez, am I really that set in my ways? Maybe that’s why I can relate to the title character in the brand-new children’s picture [&hellip

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