Stack Happy

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His and her stacks


Berry Favorite Things

An interesting article on the connection between physical activity and learning in kids. Play is learning people!

Writers do insults better than anybody!

Can’t wait to try this rainbow soap slime from Learn with Play at Home in storytime! 

Can’t get enough of Candace from Portlandia? Then get on over to Audible to listen to this free audiobook!

FREE: Portlandia Travelogue: The Brussels to Antwerp Express Audiobook

This Litograph print of Sense and Sensibility. These are so cool!

Sense and Sensibility

Check out Architectural Digest’s gallery of amazing home libraries.  I could live with this one!

dam images decor libraries library 01 katherine newman


Snow Days…and a Review

We got snow in my neck of the woods  city and while it wasn’t as much as the east coast got it was enough to get a couple of snow days. What’s a librarian to do–drink coffee, read, nap, eat chili…..or blog? Coffee drinking, reading, napping and chili eating beat out blogging this week. #Sorrynotsorry  What else did I do while I wasn’t blogging? I call this “toys in snow”……..


On Monday this little masterpiece got left behind after storytime……


Review of The Bear Report

Oh, this book! Thyra Heder, who also did Fraidyzoo, does tremendous work here. The story: a girl has to find facts on polar bears to share with her class. After deciding that the only thing to say about them is that ” They are big. They eat things. They are mean”, a polar bear suddenly appears in her house. He takes her on a grand adventure to show her what life is like in his Arctic home, from fish sticks to the Aurora Borealis. By the end, she’s overflowing with inspiration and resolved to tell everyone all about her new friend.


In the author’s note, Heder talks briefly about a glacier hike she took in Iceland. She draws on that experience to create a funny, understated and beautiful picture book. And what a beautiful picture book it is. Full of hazy watercolors in muted shades of aqua, turquoise, lavender and white, it’s a sweet depiction. Heder, via her talented approach, has made the Arctic seem warm and inviting rather than cold and bleak. You want to see Heder’s Arctic. Do read this one. Recommend for preK and up.





Wonder Garden, a Review

We were setting up a display of children’s new nonfiction books when this book found its way to me. Wonder Garden illustrated by Kristjana S. Williams and written by Jenny Broom is quite simply one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever seen.


It’s an over-sized trip around the world to explore the habitats of the Amazon, Black Forest, Great Barrier Reef, Chihuahuan Desert and Himalayan Mountains. Each page is covered in bright illustrations  with a gold gate overlay on the cover which gives the reader the feel of setting off on an exotic, psychedelic adventure.


Each section includes a summary of each habitat, brief descriptions of animals with their scientific names as well as an index. This is one of those books with the wondrous detail that a kid could get lost in. With such visually stunning illustrations even non-readers will want to sit with this one awhile. Recommended for readers of all ages.



And the nominees are….

Little Miss Litberry has been nominated for a

by the ladies at Raven&Beez! Thanks! They’re reading and reviewing lots of good books so go check them out! I had to find out what the Liebster was all about and it’s a way to discover and connect with other great blogs.

11 Random Litberry Facts

  1. I have a secret dream of spending the night in an art museum.
  2. I’ve twirled fire and have the video evidence to prove it!
  3. I spent a month in a foreign country with only the clothes on my back!
  4. My favorite vacation is a beach vacation.
  5. I never re-read books. I already know what happens; can’t do it!
  6. My playlists are organized by moods.
  7. Since I was a child, I’ve reorganized my closets for fun.
  8. I don’t believe in celebrating Valentine’s Day.
  9. In my free time I sing competitively with two choruses.
  10. The best concert I’ve ever been to was Mumford & Sons.
  11. If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be Ireland.

Here are Raven & Beez’s questions for me:

1. What is your favourite memory?    If I have to pick a favorite I’d say my first trip abroad which was to Russia. 

2. If you ruled a kingdom what would you call it and what kind of creatures would live in it? (go crazy with this answer)     Cherryheart Island and it would have adorable miniature animals–miniature horses, sheep, cows……

3. If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?    I think I’d want the ability to instantly transport myself anywhere. Why, um, because that’d be awesome!

4. Do you have a pet? And if you don’t, would you want one? If so which one?  No, but I wouldn’t mind a floppy-eared rabbit. 

5. How would you survive a zombie apocalypse?  I’d try and get to a safe zombie-free zone. That always works in the movies. 

6. What are your favourite T.V. shows?  Currently Grimm, Portlandia and Bravo Housewives

7. What is one book universe you really really want to live in?   Too hard of a question but I’ll say Narnia.

8. If you were to kill someone (morality and threat of being caught aside), how would you do it? (Be creative here)  um…..poisoning? 

9. How do you think the world will end?  In a ball of fire

10. Which people are you comfortable farting in front of?  No one! 

11. Do you have a tattoo? If yes what is it? If no, would you like one and of what?  No, but if I did it’d be something small, dainty and well-hidden!

I’m nominating…..

Their mission should they choose to accept it:

Eleven Up!

  1. What’s on your playlist?
  2. Name a book you hated.
  3. What’s your dream travel destination?
  4. If you had 24 hours to live what would you do?
  5. What word best describes you?
  6. Last good book you read?
  7. What book would you like to see turned into a movie?
  8. 3 things you can’t live without.
  9. Favorite way to spend a day off?
  10. What’s your talent?
  11. What would your “Real Housewives” opening comment be?

Happy reading and blogging!

2016 Newbery and Caldecott Awards, The Morning After

Well, I’m shocked but not altogether surprised by the committees’ mind-boggling choices. They routinely give these awards to titles that just aren’t very good compared to others and end up sitting on the shelf because no one wants to read them. Cases in point…..


Even for 1957 this couldn’t have been the best picture book of the year.

Not even people wanting to read Newberys read this one.











Let’s break it down.

Caldecott winner: Finding Winnie illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Some were saying this was Blackall’s year. I’d say so with two books showcasing her delightful style and both with lots of book buzz. IMO, she should’ve gotten the medal for Fine Dessert but I figure the backlash and author apology on that one ruled it out. The only disappointment here was In a Village by the Sea not getting an honor.

Newbery winner: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

Ugh. Blech. Yuck. I mean, congrats to Peña. He becomes the first Hispanic author to win the Newbery. I’m all for minorities breaking boundaries. But. Market wasn’t the best book of 2015. I know lots of people did love it, and that confuses me because I’m not sure what they saw that I missed. If that’s you, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments. My first issue is that there were so. many. better. books. Of all the books that were published last year this is supposed to be the best one? There were lots of other picture books with much better stories including Song of Delphine, Beyond the Pond and Boats for Papa. You’re going to give a picture book the award for best story and you don’t give it to Boats for Papa????

And second, what about the chapter books they could’ve given it to?

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At least they got honors but, come on. Can anyone really make the case that Market is a better story than either War, a beautiful, sophisticated story so exquisitely written that it transcends children’s literature or Echo which is nothing less than a tour de force of writing and Ryan’s best work? That they got honors diminishes their place in the canon of children’s literature. Strictly from a literary perspective these books were executed at a level so far above Market that it’s not fair to even have them in the same category. It’s like comparing a Cadillac to a Fiesta. Bradley, you were robbed. Robbed!

Third, this is yet another Newbery choice that will be a hard sell to the usual 3rd-6th grade crowd that reads them. The award brings much attention to the winning book so it’s unfortunate that this year’s winner is a picture book in which the illustrations and the text don’t match up.

Lastly, it seems that the focus was more about rewarding the best diverse books rather than the books that were simply the best. However, since the committee is forbidden to discuss it the world will never know.

What are your thoughts?

Berry Favorite Things

Nothing makes you more excited to try new things, make plans or set goals than the start of a new year. Here are a few things I’m loving now.

Book Riot’s 2016 Read Harder Challenge 

This children’s biography on E.E. Cummings. It’s beautiful.


This song from Harmonica Pocket. It’s going on the storytime playlist!

Can not wait to break out this gorgeous winter art idea at storytime.

Using Zinio on my new tablet!


Pulled an all-nighter to watch the documentary everyone’s talking about. 

And this free printable of 2016 goals. There’s a kids’ version, too.