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|Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Lowest new price: $9.25
Lowest used price: $1.65
List price: $17.99
Author: Dr. Seuss
Brand: Random House
Dr. Seuss's wonderfully wise graduation speech is the perfect send-off for children starting out in the world, be they nursery, high school, or college grads! With his trademark use of humorous verse and illustrations, Dr. Seuss addresses the the ups and downs life presents while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within them all.
"Don't be fooled by the title of this seriocomic ode to success; it's not 'Climb Every Mountain,' kid version. All journeys face perils, whether from indecision, from loneliness, or worst of all, from too much waiting. Seuss' familiar pajama-clad hero is up to the challenge, and his odyssey is captured vividly in busy two-page spreads evoking both the good times (grinning purple elephants, floating golden castles) and the bad (deep blue wells of confusion). Seuss' message is simple but never sappy: life may be a 'Great Balancing Act,' but through it all 'There's fun to be done.'"—(starred) Booklist.
Inspirational yet honest, and always rhythmically rollicking, Oh, the Places You'll Go! is a perfect sendoff for children, 1 to 100, entering any new phase of their lives. Kindergartners, graduate students, newlyweds, newly employeds--all will glean shiny pearls of wisdom about the big, bountiful future. The incomparable Dr. Seuss rejoices in the potential everyone has to fulfill their wildest dreams: "You'll be on your way up! / You'll be seeing great sights! / You'll join the high fliers / who soar to high heights." At the same time, he won't delude the starry-eyed upstart about the pitfalls of life: "You can get all hung up / in a prickle-ly perch. / And your gang will fly on. / You'll be left in a Lurch."
But fear not! Dr. Seuss, with his inimitable illustrations and exhilarating rhymes, is convinced ("98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed") that success is imminent. As long as you remember "to be dexterous and deft. And NEVER mix up your right foot with your left," things should work out. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter
- Recommended Age: 5 years and up
Lowest new price: $5.99
Lowest used price: $8.17
List price: $15.99
Author: R. J. Palacio
Brand: Knopf Books for Young Readers
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
"Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder
Amazon Best Books of the Month for Kids, February 2012: Wonder is a rare gem of a novel--beautifully written and populated by characters who linger in your memory and heart. August Pullman is a 10-year-old boy who likes Star Wars and Xbox, ordinary except for his jarring facial anomalies. Homeschooled all his life, August heads to public school for fifth grade and he is not the only one changed by the experience--something we learn about first-hand through the narratives of those who orbit his world. August’s internal dialogue and interactions with students and family ring true, and though remarkably courageous he comes across as a sweet, funny boy who wants the same things others want: friendship, understanding, and the freedom to be himself. “It is only with one’s heart that one can see clearly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” From The Little Prince and R.J. Palacio’s remarkable novel, Wonder.--Seira Wilson
|Star Wars: Vader's Little Princess
Lowest new price: $3.80
Lowest used price: $9.71
List price: $14.95
Author: Jeffrey Brown
Brand: Chronicle Books
In this irresistibly funny follow-up to the breakout bestseller Darth Vader and Son, Vader—Sith Lord and leader of the Galactic Empire—now faces the trials, joys, and mood swings of raising his daughter Leia as she grows from a sweet little girl into a rebellious teenager. Smart and funny illustrations by artist Jeffrey Brown give classic Star Wars moments a twist by bringing these iconic family relations together under one roof. From tea parties to teaching Leia how to fly a TIE fighter, regulating the time she spends talking with friends via R2-D2's hologram, and making sure Leia doesn't leave the house wearing only the a skirted metal bikini, Vader's parenting skills are put hilariously to the test.
|The One and Only Ivan
Lowest new price: $7.50
Lowest used price: $7.40
List price: $16.99
Author: Katherine Applegate
Brand: Harper Collins
Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.
Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.
Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.
Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.
|The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, Book 4)
Lowest new price: $11.32
List price: $19.99
Author: Rick Riordan
At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy's instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea's forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?
They have no choice. If the demigods don't succeed, Gaea's armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.
|Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
Lowest new price: $9.29
Lowest used price: $4.64
List price: $16.99
Author: Sherri Duskey Rinker
Brand: Chronicle Books
As the sun sets behind the big construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to say goodnight. One by one, Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Dump Truck, Bulldozer, and Excavator finish their work and lie down to rest—so they'll be ready for another day of rough and tough construction play! With irresistible artwork by best-selling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld and sweet, rhyming text, this book will have truck lovers of all ages begging for more.
Amazon.com Exclusive Essay: From the Slush Pile to #1: Realizing My Vision. Or Not. First-time author Sherri Duskey Rinker's
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site steadily climbed up the New York Times' Bestseller list throughout 2011, reaching #1 on January 29th, 2012. Here she shares the early inspiration that inspired a career in design, and how another artist brought her vision to life.
I grew up loving picture books.
I can still hear my grandmother's voice over the sound of the pages turning, the old wind-up Westclox alarm clock ticking away and the sound of traffic rolling down Howard Street. I remember the smell of books mingling with the smell of freshly laundered sheets.
Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House was my favorite, and I obsessed over the whimsically sweet illustrations of that little pink house happily sitting upon a hill covered in daisies.
Inspired, I wanted to be an artist. I also wanted to be a poet, an art teacher, and a journalist. The ping-pong ball of art vs. words ended with a career as a graphic designer. It was a perfect fit: I took pictures and words and put them together in a pretty way.
I met an artist, a photographer. He also had grown up with Virginia Burton: Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. It was a sign. So I married him. We had two boys and two good excuses for buying dozens (and dozens) of picture books.
Inspired by my youngest son's tireless (literally!) obsession with trucks, I wrote Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site in stolen moments during the workday and late at night, after the boys were tucked in. And with the words emerged a vision (dare I say "obsession") for how the book and my trucks would look.
I could see it so clearly: realistic illustrations of trucks superimposed with facial expressions to convey the mood and create the characters. Strong, yet simple graphic elements to create the setting. A bit of realism. A bit of collage. A bit of a grunge to compliment the dirty work of the trucks. I included the concept illustration with my manuscript and sent it, unsolicited, to Chronicle Books.
When my editor contacted me, three months after I'd sent the manuscript, she was friendly, but also to-the-point: They loved the manuscript (!), and hated (though she used a nicer word) the illustration concept.
One of the reasons that Chronicle was the first (and ultimately only) publisher on my list was that I LOVE their picture books. I appreciate their beauty and high production values. So, I had a choice here: trust, or walk away. I chose trust--with a big dash of fear.
My editor asked if I had any ideas for illustrators. I sent her a dozen names and online portfolios. I'm pretty certain she ignored me. And, they chose Tom Lichtenheld. (Who?)
When I told my editor that I'd never heard of Tom, she quickly emailed a few examples. The first was from Tom's NYT best-selling book, Duck! Rabbit! I was stunned to see bold, simple shapes and thickly-outlined illustrations. I stared blankly at the screen, feeling my heart sink.
Could this guy even draw a truck?
I spent the next couple of months intently focused on the process of editing and developing the final manuscript. But it was always there, in the back of my mind: What would the book look like? What had I given up?
One evening I received an excited email from my editor with Tom's first pencil sketch attached.
I wrote back: "I’m scared. I'll pour a glass of wine and then look at it."
I held my breath and double-clicked. And there it was: classic, timeless and tender, with just a touch of whimsy. My crane truck, a distant, younger cousin to Mike Mulligan, perhaps? My heart melted. I was won over.
So there it was: nothing like I imagined. But it was better. I've come to learn that some of the best things in life--like marriage and motherhood--are like that.
And I could almost feel Mrs. Burton smiling down.
Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House
Virginia Lee Burton's Mike Mulligan's steam shovel
Rinker's original vision for Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
Illustrator Tom Lichtenheld's Duck! Rabbit!
Lichtenheld's first sketch of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
|The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Lowest new price: $3.48
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $10.99
Author: Eric Carle
"The very hungry caterpillar literally eats his way through the pages of the book—and right into your child's heart..."
"Gorgeously illustrated, brilliantly innovative..."
—The New York Times Book Review
"In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf." So begins Eric Carle's modern classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. More than 12 million copies of this book have been sold in its original, full-sized edition, and the beloved tale of science and gluttony has been translated into 20 languages. This five-by-four-inch miniature edition is truly tiny, with tiny type, but it is a nice size for small hands to hold and flip through the pictures. Despite its diminished state, the book is complete in every detail, following the ravenous caterpillar's path as he eats his way through one apple (and the pages of the book itself) on Monday, two pears on Tuesday, three plums on Wednesday, and so on, through cherry pie and sausage--until he is really fat and has a stomachache. And no doubt you know what happens next! Kids love butterfly metamorphosis stories, and this popular favorite teaches counting and the days of the week, too. A fun gift package for caterpillar fans. (Baby to preschool) --Karin Snelson
Eric Carle and Tomie dePaola: Author One-on-One Eric Carle A Look Inside The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Board Book)
is the creator, author, and illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar
and many other children’s books. Tomie dePaola
is the author and illustrator of Strega Nona: Her Story
and countless other books. They recently had a conversation about their careers as picture book authors. Tomie dePaola:
When I was only four years old, I announced to my family in particular and to the world in general that I was going to become an artist, and write stories and draw pictures for books. I never swayed from that early declaration. I’ve always been curious to know, what inspired you to become a creator and illustrator of picture books? Eric Carle:
My career began as a graphic designer and for a number of years I worked as an art director for an advertising agency in New York. In the mid 1960's Bill Martin, Jr. saw an ad of a red lobster that I had designed and asked me to illustrate his Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
Well, I was set on fire! I was so inspired by this book, and the opportunity to illustrate it changed my life. After that, I started to create my own books, both words and pictures, and really it was then that I had found my true course in life.
Now, I have a question for you, Tomie. How would you describe your artistic style, and has it changed over time? Tomie dePaola:
My illustration style is heavily influenced by folk art--strong simple shapes, bold lines, color, color, color and a deceptive simplicity. My style began to develop early in art school, and through the years, it hasn’t changed very much, but it has refined itself. How would you describe yours? Eric Carle:
My aim with my work is to simplify and refine, be logical and harmonious. I like to use simple shapes, bright colors and a lot of white space. I write for the child inside of me. That is always where I begin. Tomie dePaola:
I do, as well. The only audience I keep in mind is that four-year-old in me. People sometimes ask me what advice I would give to young artists. I always think of the wonderful advice I received from my twin cousins when they were in art school in the late '30s. They told me, “Practice, practice, practice and don’t copy.” Eric Carle:
I often tell people about the four magic letters: DO IT. I want to be encouraging but I can only offer the example of my own experience, which is just one approach. There are many wonderful artists to learn about, which is important. But you must use your own imagination. You have to just do it. Tomie dePaola:
How do you feel knowing that a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar
is sold every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world? Eric Carle:
It is hard for me, maybe for others too, to grasp this concept. But I am truly honored that my story is enjoyed by so many and that it is now being shared by a generation of parents who grew up with my book. How about your Strega Nona
. She is one of your most popular characters. Can you share how she came to be? Tomie dePaola:
In the ‘70s when I was teaching at a college, we were required to attend faculty meetings. I always sat in the back with a yellow legal pad. Everyone thought I was taking notes. At one meeting a doodle appeared of a little lady with a big nose and a big chin. I named her Strega Nona, and the rest is history. Speaking of history, how will you be celebrating the third annual Very Hungry Caterpillar
Day this year? Eric Carle:
On The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Day, March 20th, I will probably be at home with my wife, Bobbie (I am a bit of a hermit, actually). But I will be saying a little toast to the caterpillar for whom I have a special place in my heart. And speaking of holidays, isn’t your favorite holiday Christmas. Do you have a special Christmas memory? Tomie dePaola:
Christmas is my favorite holiday. My favorite Christmas was the one when I received tons and tons of art supplies: everything from an easel to paints, pads and pads of paper, and “how to draw” books.
(Click on Images to Enlarge)
- Recommended Age: 3 months - 4 years
|Dork Diaries 6: Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker
Lowest new price: $7.96
Lowest used price: $9.32
List price: $13.99
Author: Rachel Rene Russell
Loveand crushesare in the air for Nikki Maxwell in this sixth book of the New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series.
Its the biggest dance of the year and Nikki Maxwell is hoping her crush, Brandon, wants to be her date. But time is running out. What if he doesnt want to go with her? Or worsewhat if he ends up going with Mackenzie?!!
In the sixth book in the blockbuster Dork Diaries seriesnow with more than 8 million copies in printjoin Nikki, Chloe and Zoey as they tackle the topic of love, Dork Diaries style!
|Summer Bridge Activities, Grades 1 - 2: NONE
Lowest new price: $8.23
Lowest used price: $8.90
List price: $14.95
School stops for summer…learning never should! The award-winning Summer Bridge Activities(R) workbook series is aligned to Common Core State Standards and was developed to help parents support their children academically year-round. While there are many other summer workbooks available, Summer Bridge Activities(R) remains the #1 choice recommended by teachers. In only 15 minutes a day, the activities in the Summer Bridge Activities(R) workbook help your first grade child keep skills sharp and feel confident for second grade! --Each workbook is divided into three sections which correspond to the three months of traditional summer vacation. Sections begin with a goal-setting activity, a word list, and information for parents about the fitness and character development activities located throughout the section. Extension activities also encourage outdoor learning, science experiments, and social studies exercises. With bonus flash cards and a colorful award certificate, Summer Bridge Activities(R) is all you need for learning fun all summer long!
|Just Me and My Dad (Little Critter)
Lowest new price: $0.01
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $3.99
Author: Mercer Mayer
Brand: Random House Books for Young Readers
This well-loved Little Critter picture book has become a modern classic. It's the tale of a father-and-son camping trip filled with Little Critter's mistakes and good intentions. In spite of difficulties, however, the happy father and son manage to put up their tent, catch fish for dinner, and sleep beneath the stars. In spite of minimal text, the story is full and rich, with endearing illustrations from start to finish.
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