We Love Picture Books!

July 10, 2013

A week ago, we were lucky enough to be featured on Candlewick’s year-long We Believe in Picture Books video project!

Want to know what books we’re grabbing for? They are, in order:

Baby Penguins Everywhere by Melissa Guion

Hello! Hello! by Matthew Cordell

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

The Pet Project by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Zachariah OHora

PSSST! by Adam Rex

Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack

Steadfast Tin Soldier by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Jen Corace

Bear and Bee by Sergio Ruzzier

Chu’s Day by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Adam Rex

How to Be a Cat by Nikki McClure

Betty Bunny Wants Everything by Michael Kaplan, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch

Giant Dance Party by Betsy Bird, illustrated by Brandon Dorman

I’m Bored by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Thanks to Carter Higgins, Betsy Bird, and Rosemond Cates for putting our video on their blogs!

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CATEGORIES: books, Julie

These are the consequences of diminished electronic usage

December 14, 2012

So, remember how I was hollering with love for Matthew Cordell’s HELLO! HELLO! last month? I have given this book to people, forced it on people, talked about how much I love it.

But you know what happens when you turn off electronic devices? I’ll tell you. Your kids have no idea how electronic devices work. Will this make them look like wingnuts in today’s society? Time will tell. My kids might look like wingnuts anyway.

Since we have been repeatedly reading Hello! Hello!:

  • Ramona asked me to help her turn on the Etch-a-Sketch.
  • The girls were pretending holiday cards were laptops. Ramona, while “looking for games” started to lick the “laptop.” Because I’m always tasting my computer and looking for games?
  • We got an old typewriter out of the basement.* The kids used the typewriter to write such messages as “we will take over email” and “twitter is now ours” (as well as “raw eggs are good” and “gummy bears are chasing me” so I’m not sure how much we can trust their world domination plans).

* We continue to give our children some kind of modified 1970s upbringing, between pencils and typewriters and our regular showings of Get Smart and Kung Fu. Plus I got them a vintage Spirograph for Christmas. I really hope we’re not harming them by withholding modern conveniences like Justin Bieber.

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CATEGORIES: books, Julie

New review: hello! hello!

November 14, 2012

Oh, boy, is this book amazing. You may remember my intense love for Matthew Cordell’s Another Brother. I was so excited to read Cordell’s new book, hello! hello!

This book…oh, this book. I’m kind of speechless about how awesome it is (well, not THAT speechless, since my review today on Brain Burps is one of my longest ones ever). It’s a beautiful book, visually, but it’s also timely and, frankly, very very important. It’s a book about lifting your head up from all those electronic devices and really seeing the world again. Remember trees? Remember people? Real people, in front of you? Remember your kids? Hello!

I will also say that I recorded this review at 8:00 pm on election night, as an effort to get myself to stop maniacally refreshing twelve different web pages of election results. So if there’s a slightly crazed, hysterical edge to my voice in this review, that’s why. Another little funny thing for you to listen for is that I inexplicably didn’t start gesturing until halfway through, and you can hear me start talking a lot more animatedly. Yes, I even talk with my hands when I’m all alone recording reviews for you to hear.

Check out the review on the latest Brain Burps podcast, which is an interview with the amazing Tony DiTerlizzi, who is an incredible illustrator, and co-author of the Spiderwick Chronicles, which are my favorite kidlit chapter books set in Maine.

One last (important!) thing. If you buy hello! hello! by November 30, 2012, Matthew Cordell will send you ALL KINDS OF STUFF. He’s so cool. Check out his blog post here about all the cool art and things he’ll personally send you if you have a receipt that proves you bought the book!

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New Review on Brain Burps: Another Brother

May 30, 2012

Check out my new review on Brain Burps About Books today: Another Brother by Matthew Cordell.

Here’s what I love about social media: Darshana Khiani from Flowering Minds is my Goodreads friend, and she sent me a message saying she thought I’d like this book. (Side note: check out the recent interview with Darshana on my fellow Brain Burps contributor Julie Hedlund’s site.) So I love that we are all trying to be our real selves online, so much so that someone I’ve never met or even exchanged emails with can tell when there’s a book I’d like.*

Or, more true: a book I’d LOVE. Oh boy is this a great book. Yet another one that had my kids screaming with laughter, and definitely one I was happy to read again and again, because it’s so funny and the illustrations are so darn cute I want to curl up and take a nap with them.

This podcast episode is Part 2 of Facebook-Questions-Answered with Robyn Bradley, so don’t miss it! You can see the info on the episode here, or listen directly by clicking here.

*Do I love that we put our real selves online, or do I find it creepy? A little of both, honestly. And I realize that there are many, many people who are not putting their real selves online, but who are making up whole alternate personae, but whatever, those aren’t who I’m talking about. Or maybe they are, if I could accurately recommend a book to someone’s alternate persona.

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