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Staff Picks

The Movie Was Better (What!?)

I know, I know, that’s a crazy thing to say.  Everyone knows the book is always better than the movie.  I’ve been disappointed so many times by movie-versions of awesome books that I wonder why I bother anymore.  But every once in a while, I’ve been surprised, loving the visual remake even more than the original book.  Here are some great ones:

Anne of Green GablesAnne of Green Gables

At almost 8 hours long (including the sequel), this miniseries has an advantage over normal-length films in successfully recreating the books of Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea.  It loses none of Anne’s romance and spunk, while managing to avoid the small amounts of magical nonsense that bothered me in the book.

How to Train Your DragonHow to Train Your Dragon

I loved this movie and was surprised when I read the book that the plot was completely different.  Usually this bothers me, but not this time, perhaps because I saw the movie first or because it really fleshed out the setting and characters in a way the book (at only 200 pages) couldn’t.

Princess BrideThe Princess Bride

Now, this one I feel conflicted about.  The movie, as almost everyone will agree, is downright perfect.  But, I also really loved the book.  It’s long and absorbing and funny and imaginative and lets you live in that unique world for much longer than the movie can at only 98 minutes.  Most people I know like the movie better, but if you are a fan, don’t hesitate to try the book.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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I Have a Confession

At the risk of losing my library certification, or possibly my job, I have a confession to make:  I hate Goodnight Moon.  Okay, I know that’s not how we encourage children to talk, so let me revise: I don’t prefer Goodnight Moon.  Is this the appropriate forum to go into detail about everything I don’t like about it?  Probably not, but let me just mention a few things.  Read More..

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Poetry in Picture Books

Do you want to share poetry with your child but can’t stand any more of the tired old rhythm of nursery rhymes?  You’re thinking maybe it’s time to explore the emotion and organic flow of free verse, but your kids aren’t quite ready for Sylvia Plath.  Try these books that explore the sound, rhythm, flow, and feel of words as they tell their story.  Read More..

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Perfect Schmerfect, Part 4: Princess-Style

For whatever reason, our culture has become princess-obsessed when it comes to little girls.  Parents with the best intentions to raise their girls as strong, competent, independent members of society, must struggle through the princess years, with inhibiting, frilly clothing, simpering ideals, and pink everywhere.  Read More..

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Perfect Schmerfect, Part 3: Trust Yourself, Find Your Tribe

As a follow up to my previous post on Weird, a book about building confidence and being true to yourself, filled with parental support, I’d like to present 10,000 Dresses by Marcus Ewert (for ages 5-10), a book filled with confidence in spite of a great lack of parent support. Read More..

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Perfect Schmerfect, Part 2: To Thine Own Self Be True

As I continue my vendetta against perfectionism, I remember a friend recently told me that her 4-year-old refuses to wear certain clothes to preschool because she “doesn’t get any compliments when she wears that outfit.”  I was dismayed that someone so young could be worried about what other people think about how she looks.  So, Read More..

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Perfect Schmerfect, Part 1: The Perfect Book

I have a personal vendetta against perfectionism.  I’ve struggled with it my whole life.  As I battle my own perfectionism, I’ve decided to preach a little in hopes the newest generation will realize early on that perfect doesn’t exist (so don’t waste your time).  Here’s the first in a series of posts highlighting books that help us let go of unrealistic expectations, so we can get on with our lives.  Read More..

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Chill Out in the Blue Cubby

So you’ve tried out the green cubby and the purple cubby, but you’ve been waiting for our list before you sample the blue cubby, right?  Wait no longer.

Dexter Bexley and the Big Blue Beastie by Joel Stewart, The Big Blue Spot by Peter Holwitz, What Bluebirds Do by Pamela Kirby, In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck, The Bog Baby by Jeanne Willis, and Water Sings Blue by Kate Coombs.Blue cubby

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Curl Up in the Purple Cubby

Previously we celebrated the new colored cubbies in the Children’s Room with a list of books perfect for getting cozy in the green cubby.  This time, we present some purple options for the purple cubby! Mr Pine’s Purple House by Leonard Kessler, Isabella, Star of the Story by Jennifer Fosberry, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes, Harold and the Purple Crayon and Harold’s Fairy Tale by Crockett Johnson.

purple titles

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Get Cozy in the Green Cubby

One of the joys of the new children’s room is the colored cubbies to curl up in.  Grab a book, pick your favorite color, and settle down to read in style.  Here are some perfect books for the green cubby.

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith, Meet Mr. and Mrs. Green by Keith Baker, Read More..

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