Max

Max

Max

by Bob Graham

Age: 4+

Interests: superheroes, babies, family, flying

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The Three Robbers

three-robbers

The Three Robbers

by Tomi Ungerer

Age: 3+

Interests: crime, robbers, treasure, orphans, morality, helping others

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Real Books Printed on Paper Still Hold a Place in the Nursery

Well this is encouraging. I’ve jumped into the virtual world of gadgets for an awful lot of things, but I still can’t let go of real books, especially not for reading with kids. And now there’s a study that finds a whole lot of other parents feel the same way I do.

(I particularly like the Dad who says he reads paper books so his kids will know that he’s reading and not just updating his facebook!)

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A real big colourful picture book still delivers a bigger sensory punch than the same thing on a screen. Imagine a very young toddler gazing at the pictures, flipping pages, holding the book and turning it all around to admire it, even gnawing a little on the corner… All good exploratory fun and vital in forming a concept in their minds of what a book is.

At that age all those lovely board books are actually toys, sensory toys! Especially pop-up books. A screen can’t deliver that kind of excitement!

Not to mention the thrill of walking into a library, with shelves and shelves and shelves of books. Even the tiny library my home town had simply filled me with awe at the vastness of its reserves. I don’t think scrolling through an ebook catalogue will ever give you that feeling.

It’s just nice to go out in the world and encounter books there.

Invincible Louisa

Invincible-Louisa

NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1934

Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of “Little Women”

by Cornelia Meigs

Age: 11+

Interests: biography, writers, nonfiction, American history, strong girls, Little Women

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Haunted House

Haunted House

GREENAWAY MEDAL WINNER -1979

Haunted House

By Jan Pienkowski

Age: 2+

Interests: pop-up books, Hallowe’en, spooky stuff, monsters

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Mishka

mishka

GREENAWAY MEDAL WINNER – 1975

Mishka

by Victor G. Ambrus

Age: 3+

Interests: music, circus, animals

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Princess Issues

Well it looks like times are a-changing. I don’t know whether you follow things like this online, but Merida – the heroine from Pixar’s Brave – was recently added to the official Disney Princess lineup, only her design was ‘tweaked’ a little… Now it’s obvious that she wouldn’t look exactly the same as in the movie, since she’d have to be changed from a 3D CGI gal to a 2D drawing, but somehow in the process she also aged about 6 years, lost a few inches around the waist, and started using makeup.

(Some have also mentioned that her hair has been de-frizzed, but to be fair, I think that just has to happen when you go from CGI to two-dimensional drawing. I mean who wants to draw every single hair sproinging out of her head?)

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Merida sexed up and slimmed down to join the princess throng. No surprise there. The real surprise is that there was an immediate furor about the changes, led by the writer and co-director of Brave, Brenda Chapman. God bless her for getting mad and raising a stink.

But wait, that’s not even the most surprising part. This is: it looks like Disney has backed down on the design. Here’s the latest on the story.

The design of those Disney Princesses has always driven me crazy but this news makes me feel like there is finally a wave of opinion cresting on the issue. Cresting and crashing down on the Disney marketers. What finally pushed it over the top was the fact that Merida herself spends the entire movie resisting glittery off-the-shoulder dresses and all attempts to make her more girlie. Which makes this makeover all the more repugnant.

So Disney… give us an uncinched, younger Merida with no makeup, please! And for goodness sake, give her back her bow and arrows!

Mrs. Easter and the Storks

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GREENAWAY MEDAL WINNER – 1957

Mrs Easter and the Storks

by V.H. Drummond

Age: 4+

Interests: birds, travel, London, adventure, chase, royalty

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An Exciting Day at the Library: Blissed out at the VPL

What’s that? “Don’t get out much, Kim”, you say?

Seriously folks, last Wednesday I paid my first ever visit to the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library. I enjoyed audacious architecture, even if it was a teensy bit Kafkaesque …

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… but the books inside are really what made my day.

I’ve been slowly and methodically picking my way through the Caldecott and Greenaway Medal winning titles. Finding them, one by one, in libraries and bookstores and thrift stores. Hunting them down and ordering them through interlibrary loans. I finished all the Caldecott Winners last February and I was down to my last 8 Greenaways – the 8 most obscure, hard-to-find, out-of-print titles.

So on Wednesday I walk down the steps into the children’s section of the VPL and what do I find?

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Only the Awards Reference Collection, that’s all!

In short, I was able to read every single book left on my list! Bliss!

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I wonder what the library staff thought of me walking around with the biggest grin on my face?

Anyhoo, I’ve got a pile of notes I just need to type up and I’ll get those last reviews up here very very shortly.

I may have mentioned this before but I LOVE LIBRARIES!

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The Whipping Boy

9780060521226

NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER – 1987

The Whipping Boy

by Sid Fleischman

Age: 6 + (read to); 7 + (independent reading)

Interests: medieval times, adventure, criminals, carnivals and bears

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.