The Olive Fairy Book

“The Olive Fairy Book,” by Andrew Lang, illustrated by Kate Baylay; The Folio Society, $84.95, 296 pages.   In late January, author Jane Yolen – considered by many to be the ‘Hans Christian Andersen’ of her generation  – spoke with me about the introduction she wrote to the Folio Society’s The Olive Fairy Book, a newContinue reading “The Olive Fairy Book”

Reading through Nemo

February may be a short month, but it’s full of celebrations, and our selections aim to recognize those themes through vibrant illustrations, witty stories, and tales of strength and valor. No books about blizzards though – we’ve set our sights squarely on spring.  “The Black Rabbit,” by Phillipa Leathers; Candlewick Press, $12.99, 40 pages agesContinue reading “Reading through Nemo”

Julia Pimsleur-Levine

Interview with Julia Pimsleur-Levine, CEO of Little Pim             Julia Pimsleur-Levine, founder and CEO of the Little Pim language program, spoke to me from her Manhattan office about her business, love of languages, and being a ‘mompreneur.’  photo credit: Jean-Luc Mege Mompreneur           Pimsleur-Levine considers herself part of a growing groupContinue reading “Julia Pimsleur-Levine”

Book Launch at Jill Newhouse Gallery

MANHATTAN, Friday January 18 — Last night, despite the plummeting temperatures, I attended a launch for a book of poetry called The Living and the Dead, written by Mario Luzi. Dana Gioia, himself a poet and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, translated this edition. The line drawings were rendered by internationally acclaimed artistContinue reading “Book Launch at Jill Newhouse Gallery”

Midweek gem

“Unspoken; A Story from the Underground Railroad,” by Henry Cole, Scholastic Press, 40 pages, $16.99 ages 4 and up.    Sometimes the most profound stories are wordless. Here, author-illustrator (and former schoolteacher) Henry Cole renders a tense and moving tale of the Underground Railroad with full-page graphite on charcoal paper illustrations. The weighty, sepia tonedContinue reading “Midweek gem”

Why Write

I struggled this week to find purpose to what I do – how do I continue writing children’s book reviews in the wake of last Friday’s unspeakable tragedy? I couldn’t sit at my desk and find anything relevant, soothing, even angry, to write.  So I called my parents. My mother, after reflecting awhile, had theContinue reading “Why Write”

Interview with Fulvio Testa

Interview on November 11 2012 at the Waldorf Astoria NYC Introduction to “Pinocchio” by Umberto Eco, “…it’s not even a fairy tale, since it lacks the fairy tale’s indifference to everyday reality and doesn’t limit itself to one simple basic moral, but rather deals with many.”         On Veteran’s Day a couple weeksContinue reading “Interview with Fulvio Testa”

Odd Love

“Otter and Odder; A Love Story,” by James Howe, illustrated by Chris Raschka; Candlewick Press, $14.00, 40 pages, ages 5-7. An otter falls in love with a fish that he might normally consider eating, and so begins this tale of discovering l’amour and the challenges of keeping an unlikely love alive.  Author James Howe’s hallmark read-aloud styleContinue reading “Odd Love”

Thanksgiving Quick Pick

The holiday rush begins early, so here’s a bright book that will keep little ones entertained.   “Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: The Great Pancake Adventure,” by Matt Luckhurst; Abrams Books for Young Readers, $17.95, 48 pages ages 4-6.  Matt Luckhurst’s debut children’s book spins a classic North American folktale about the giantContinue reading “Thanksgiving Quick Pick”

Sometimes, a bowl of soup is perfect, except when it’s not.

“Happy Harry’s Café,” by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Richard Holland; Candlewick Press, $16.99 32 pages, ages 3-5.    English poet Michael Rosen (“We’re going on a Bear Hunt”) takes a classic Jewish joke  and crafts a quirky rhyme around it in this warm and toasty picture book.  Harry, who appears to be a polar bear,Continue reading “Sometimes, a bowl of soup is perfect, except when it’s not.”