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April is National Poetry Month

April 1, 2013

Let the celebration begin! April is the month when we shine the spotlight on POETRY! You may not realize it, and you may think that you “don’t like” poetry, but you know, poetry comes in so many different forms that you may not even be aware of how it influences us. Think of those catchy jingles on commercials, those nursery rhymes we still hold so dear, so many love songs, and really how many of us learned to read with the help of Dr. Seuss? Face it, you really do like poetry and you didn’t even know!

“Rhymes make me feel better when I’m down. the midwife, Gertrude, told me that rhymes were a waste of brain space, but I like the way they sound. When you say the words and the sounds match, it feels like everything in the world is in it’s place and whatever you say is powerful and true.” – Liesl Shurtliff, RUMP: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin

Today we are sharing a few of our favorite books of poetry:

Once Upon a Twice by Denise Doyen, illustrated by Barry Moser

Once Upon a Twice

I must admit, I was first attracted to this picture book on the basis of Barry Moser’s amazing artwork. Once I read the first few pages, however, I was immediately captivated by Denise Doyen’s clever rhymes and inventive wordplay reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky. This is a wonderful read-aloud, but not for the faint-hearted, as it deals with the fears we all have about the night and dangers lurking. –Tim

Railway Rhymes  by R. Schuyler Hooke, illustrated by Richard Courtney

Railway Rhymes

With two boys who have been obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine at different times, I’ve spent the better part of 10 years familiarizing myself with the oeuvre. Lucky (?) for me, Random House publishes all Thomas books in the USA! I can honestly say I have a favorite, a book of poetry called Railway Rhymes. Most of the poems are short, they are all different formats (even Haiku!) and I can plow through most of the book in one sitting. Plus I don’t have to sit through wordy stories with suspect lessons, which most of the original stories are! –Deanna 

I Like Old Clothes by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Patrice Barton

I Like Old Clothes

Sarah W. shared her favorite lines from Mary Ann Hoberman’s recently re-released I Like Old Clothes:

I like old clothes,

Hand-me-down-clothes,

Worn outgrown clothes,

Not-my own clothes.

Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins, illustrated by Eric Gurney

Hand Hand Fingers Thumb

I sold this book for years but had no idea how wonderful it was until I read it aloud to Emerson as a baby. It immediately became a family favorite. It is true poetry the way the rhyming words blend with the rhythm. Dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum…-Dandy

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

A Light in the Attic

When I was a child, my very favorite poet was Shel Silverstein, so when I had kids of my own, his classic books of poetry, like A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends were among the first books I bought for their libraries. Many nights we end our bedtime story routine with a few of his short, hilarious poems. Favorites include “Boa Constrictor” (Oh heck, it’s up to my neck!) and “Crowded Tub” (I just washed a behind that I’m sure wasn’t mine/there are too many kids in this tub.) Few other children’s poets manage to capture the zany, clever feel of his poems in words that appeal to kids and their parents. –Erin

The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss

The Butter Battle Book

When I think of poetry in kids books I automatically think of Dr. Seuss! Any Seuss title can be used to celebrate poetry, not just because his stories rhyme, but because they are a perfect combination of the rhythmic, the metaphorical…His stories are allegorical and far from ostensible—in other words they are beautiful and make you think! For me, The Butter Battle Book is a Dr. Seuss book that never gets mentioned enough so I will do so here. I LOVE THIS BOOK! An anti-war story, and a parable about arms races, there are many reasons why The Butter Battle book is an important book that can bridge discussion about war and possible consequences that they create.  It’s also quite amusing since the war between the two cultures in this book is born out of the senseless conflict  over toast: The “Yooks” eat their toast with the butter-side up, while the “Zooks” eat their toast with the butter-side down. If you’re looking for a Seuss title that will expand your knowledge of repertoire of his work (while also celebrating poetry month!) then this is the book for you! Though grown-ups and older kids may enjoy it the most. –Bobbie

Joyful Noise by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Eric Beddows

Joyful Noise

Spring and Poetry Month collide in the best way in this collection of “poems for two voices”, that’s all about insects. Yes, insects. You can hear the sound of their lives as these poems chart the changing of the seasons. Perfect for reading aloud in the classroom or maybe around a campfire, this book celebrates life and words. –Kate

Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Marc Brown

Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young

The gold standard for poetry books, this collection is the book that I would recommend be on every nursery bookshelf. It’s never too early to share poetry and words with children, and these delightful short poems are fun for the reader and the listener. –Kate

LITTLE SEEDS

Little seeds we sow in spring,

growing while the robins sing,

give us carrots, peas and beans,

tomatoes, pumpkins, squash and greens.

And we pick them,

one and all,

through the summer,

through the fall.

Winter comes, then spring, and then

little seeds we sow again.

-Else Holmelund Minarik

 

Thanks for joining us at RAoReading today, and Happy National Poetry Month!

Please share your thoughts in our comments section – bonus points for rhyming comments!

Baseball and Books: Author Josh Berk Joins Us

March 29, 2013

The baseball season opens today in many cities, and it seemed only right to celebrate this rite of passage by inviting  Josh Berk, author of The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator and the recently released baseball mystery Strike Three, You’re Dead . He joins us to talk about books and baseball!

Strike Three You're Dead

It’s snowing stupid snowflakes outside my window as I write this here in late March, but I know spring is near. It’s on my calendar in big letters. I’m not speaking of the vernal equinox (although I do enjoy saying the words “vernal equinox”). I’m speaking of Opening Day! Baseball is almost here, which is the main reason I look forward to spring (and also because I am sick the aforementioned stupid snowflakes).

When I was a kid, playing baseball was without a doubt my favorite activity. I wasn’t particularly good at it (okay, terrible) but I loved it. It was what I thought about all winter. I used to imagine that I had a ray gun that could melt snow, which I shot at stubborn patches from the bus window on the way to and from school. I played Little League and also in a strange neighborhood league. I say “strange” because it was one-on-one baseball, played in our suburban backyards. Someone pitched a tennis ball, someone hit it with a wiffle ball bat, and then we immediately began debating (arguing) if it was a hit or if it would have been fielded for an out. It is perhaps remarkable that these games did not always end in fist-fights. They took quite a bit of diplomacy and imagination.

What was also remarkable about these games is that they featured full line-ups, with both sides being The Phillies. We had the lineups and starting rotations memorized. If a lefty was up, we batted lefty. If chewing-tobacco-loving Kent Tekulve was on the mound, we’d stuff our mouths with chewed carrots to simulate his mouth full of dip. We had platoons and bullpens. And thus we had the chance to answer such burning questions as what would happen if Juan Samuel batted off teammate John Denny. (Usually what happened is that he hit a groundball which was followed by a two-hour argument.)

I was an obsessed Philles fan through the 1980s, a time which the Phillies were mostly terrible. I did get the chance to see them lose in the World Series in 1983, but mostly I had the chance to see them finish in last place. I feel as though it built character and shaped my personality in some indefinable way, to always root for a last place team. I’ve talked this over with some of my friends who grew up Red Sox fans and they feel the same way. We’re not quite sure how to reconcile our place at the top (or at least not the bottom) of the standings these days.

It was this psychic weight, this strange fascination with a perennial last-place team, that originally inspired me to write the book that would become my new middle grade baseball/mystery novel STRIKE THREE, YOU’RE DEAD. I had the idea that this group of kids would group up always rooting for the losers. I even had the idea that the main character would be literally conceived on October 23, 1993, when all of Phillies fandom had our hearts broken by Joe Carter and the Toronto Blue Jays in that year’s World Series. I had this idea several years ago, when this main character would be twelve or so, a prime age for baseball fandom, and another era where the Phils were pretty bad.

But then something happened in the latter part of the first decade of this new century. The Phillies got good! They had second place finishes, first place finishes, and of course their World Series victory in 2008. I was thrilled, but had to rework this book idea! A friend of mine suggested making it be about the Cubs, a franchise for which a World Series trophy is never a concern. Instead, I took out the parts about being a fan of a losing team and just focused on fandom in general. It’s such a strange thing, to cheer so fanatically for a team whether good or bad. I always think of the Jerry Seinfeld routine: “Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify.  Because the players are always changing, you’re actually rooting for the clothes when you get right down to it… Fans will be so in love with a player but if he goes to another team, they boo him.  This is the same human being in a different shirt, they hate him now.  Boo!  Different shirt!!”

It’s irrational and thus funny to me, even if I do it myself. So I started playing with plot points about rivalries and insane fans and all the quirkiness that makes baseball so great to me. I worked in references to some of the great eccentric baseball players over the years – Bill Lee, Al Hrabosky, and Satchel Paige (who actually is a major inspiration for the sequel to STRIKE THREE).

And I created a young fan – Lenny Norbeck – who is yes, in no small way, very similar to myself at age twelve or so. He loves baseball, stinks at baseball, and so decides to devote himself to his fandom. He also decides to become an announcer, which is the dream of many a strike-out-prone Little Leaguer. What could be better than to be paid to talk about baseball all day? Lenny enters a contest where he gets to announce a live inning of a Phillies game on TV. It’s a dream come true! Until tragedy strikes and Lenny has to switch from announcing the game to solving a crime. I love creating mysteries for young readers and this one was so fun because it let me set the whodunit right inside a baseball stadium where I could fill the cast with all sorts of wacky players and evil villains. And, because it’s fiction, Lenny cracks the case and the Phillies always win.

Josh Berk RAoR no-hitter.

Here’s a picture of the highlight of my Phillies fandom: the ticket from Roy Halladay’s 2010 no-hitter in the play-offs. I was lucky enough to be there. It was a beautiful day. As irrational as fandom can be, as much as we’re just cheering for a shirt, I can tell you that the emotion in that stadium was real. Some people even shed a few tears. Not me! (Okay, fine, me.)

So let’s get this snowstorm over with and bring on the spring. Play ball!

Many thanks to Josh Berk for joining us on RAoR today!

Please share your thoughts about books and baseball in our comments section.

 

Books in the Wild: Spring Cleaning Edition

March 27, 2013

For the last couple of months I’ve had a lot of fun with our Books in the Wild Cat and Dog editions. Today it’s back to clever places to keep our books, and even though there are snow flurries outside my window as I write this, I know Spring will be here soon, and my thoughts turn to Spring cleaning. To narrow down the multitude of tasks that that involves, I’ve turned to these pictures for inspiration. So many places and ways to display and store books!

BITW Amazing reading spot and bookcase

Creative seating AND book storage!

BITW Bed and Books Bliss

Always a book nearby, and how comfy does this look?

BITW Book TUB   The “book tub”…..bliss on so many levels!

BITW Books Walls along staircase  Most practical use of a staircase I’ve even seen.

BITW Bookshelves under the stairs

And the second most practical use of a staircase.

BITW Bookshelves surround couchBookshelves aren’t just for your walls.

BITW Bookcase Tree They may not grow on trees, but you can store them on this one!

BITW Picture Book Wagon

A wagon of picture books available for the youngest readers.

Do you have a clever and unique place that you keep your books? Please share it with us at randomactsofreading@gmail.com and it might appear in a future Books in the Wild post!

 

The Wait is Over! New Titles Available in Paperback in March

March 25, 2013

March offers a wide variety of books new in paperback and a few paperback originals from our friends at National Geographic too. Read on and make your list for that next trip to your favorite bookstore!

Middle Grade and YA

When Life Gives You O.J. by Erica S. Perl

When Life Gives You OJ

Zelly’s family had moved from Brooklyn to Vermont, and Zelly really, really wants a dog. She’s the new girl and she thinks a dog will help her fit in, but her parents won’t give in. In an effort to help, her grandfather Ace comes up with a plan for a “practice dog” named O. J., made from an empty orange juice jug. Can she prove that she’ll be able to take care of a dog by caring for this practice dog? This hilarious story, with a fun and touching relationship between Zelly and her grandfather is one to share with the whole family, grandparents included!

Precious Bones by Mika Ashley-Hollinger

Precious Bones

Bones is 10 years old and lives with her parents in the Florida Everglades in 1949. Bones’ plans for this summer are to hunt and fish with her friend Little Man, but one day they come upon the evidence of a crime. Bones’ dad Nolay, who is a Miccosukee Indian is accused of the crime, and it looks like Bones may be the only one who can set things right. This compelling story addresses issues of racism, greed and the bonds of family.

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

chomp

Our hero Wahoo Cray is the son of an animal wrangler in Florida–think gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys & snappers. Then along comes  Derek Badger, “star” of a reality TV show, and though he doesn’t know it, he’s the creature who needs to be wrangled most of all. With his usual hilarious view of both the good and bad of human nature, Hiaasen takes us along with Wahoo, his dad and a friend in need named Tuna, and shows us that good triumphs over crazy, one more time.

Guy Langman, Crime Scene Procrastinator by Josh Berk

Guy Langman

OK, even if I hadn’t been a fan of Josh Berk’s first novel The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, I would have picked this one up based on the very clever title–yes, I’m also a fan of CSI. Well our main man Guy isn’t exactly a CSI fan, he joins Forensics Club when his friend tells him it will impress girls, so imagine his surprise when they stumble on a real dead body at the simulated crime scene. Guy is also dealing with the mystery of who his recently deceased father really was. A funny and sensitive story about solving mysteries, personal and not so personal, with a narrator you don’t want to see go when the story is over.

Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill

Sisters of Glass

Maria is the younger daughter in a family of Venetian glassmakers. She would love to become a glassblower herself but that job will fall to only the male members of the family. Her father’s dying wish was for her to marry into nobility, but she doesn’t want to follow that path and would prefer to see her older sister fill that role. To complicate matters she finds herself attracted to a new glassblower who has come to work at their family business. Will family loyalty win out over love or vice versa?

Non-Fiction For All Ages

National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America by Jonathan Alderfer

NG Bird Guide North America

Featuring 100 species of birds from across the US this colorful guide helps kids identify and understand birds. Information about their range, the sounds they make, the food they like to eat, a cool or weird fun fact, and a feature called “A Closer Look,” which digs deeper into once aspect of the bird’s life (eating habits, birdsongs, etc.). Each profile will also display a fact box with the bird’s scientific name, weight, length, and wingspan.  Conservation information, a find out more section, glossary, and index are included too. The perfect first birding guide.

National Geographic Kids Just Joking 3 by Ruth A. Musgrave

NG Just Joking 3

In the third volume of National Geographic’s popular Just Joking series you get more of this:

Q: What do you get from a cow after an earthquake?
A: A milkshake!

Packed with even more of the silly jokes that kids love, including knock-knocks, tongue twisters, riddles, traditional question and answer jokes, and more. Laughing animals, funny people, and other colorful photos are paired with each joke, adding an extra laugh on each page. It’s THE  fun-filled book, perfect for tossing into a backpack to share with friends at school or camp.

Myths Busted!  by Emily KriegerNG Myth's Busted

“Did you know fortune cookies aren’t even found in China? Or that alligators don’t actually live in the sewers of New York City? Want to prove it to your friends? This book gives kids the tools to break and bust wild and wacky myths from around the world. These myths reveal a broad range of historical and scientific truths that keep kids learning while interacting with their favorite fictional “facts.” Chock full of colorful photographs and funny text, this book includes hundreds of fascinating facts and interesting tidbits that prove you can’t believe everything you’re told. Each busted myth also features an explanation of where it originated, which uncovers often surprising historical significance. So next time someone tells you that the average person accidentally ingests 8 spiders each year–don’t tell them that if they believe that they are as dumb as an ox–because oxen are actually quite smart.” The perfect book to share with the family, kids or anyone who is still a kid at heart. Who knew learning could be so much fun?

Thanks for joining us at RAoR today and we hope you have a long list of new books to pick up on your next trip to the bookstore!

Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

Unlikely Friendships

March 22, 2013

Eventually we all learn that sometimes friendship comes at the most unexpected time, and from the most unlikely places. Kids books, both fiction and non-fiction have some lovely examples of this. Today we’re sharing books which have a story of an unlikely friendship, and a great lesson to share.

One of our favorite picture books from our Spring list is RIBBIT, which inspired this post. We love it so much that not one, but two of our colleagues had something to share about it!

Picture Books

Ribbit by Rodrigo Folgueira, illustrated by Poly Bernatene

Ribbit

A group of frogs are having a pleasant morning in their pond when they notice a strange visitor: a large, pink pig that cries Ribbit! Offended that the pig may be making fun of them, the frogs enlist the opinion of the other animals in their community, including the wise old beetle that finally brings light to the situation when he poses that “Maybe he just wanted to make new friends.” In a fun, engaging story-time book (the words carry the interactive feel as the font sizes literally crescendo and decrescendo on the page), Rodrigo Folgueira discusses the importance of not jumping to conclusions and the fun that comes with seeking out a friend who is different. I loved it! –Bobbie

Why are the frogs so suspicious when a pig shows up in their pond, sits on a lily pad and starts to “Ribbit”? They just can’t understand it. More than just a friendship book, this is great look at accepting things at face value without suspicion. On a lighter note, it’s a perfect pre-school and early elementary school read-aloud! Who doesn’t want to imitate a pig as a frog? RIBBIT!-Deanna

You Will Be My Friend! by Peter Brown

You Will Be My Friend

Unlike the pig in Ribbit, who benignly sits with the frogs to make friends, Peter Brown’s bear in You Will Be My Friend is slightly more aggressive. Kids will giggle at her unsuccessful attempts to befriend all different animals by force!-Deanna

 An Extraordinary Egg by Leo Lionni

An Extraordinary Egg

Three frogs discover an large white egg, and they decide it must be a chicken egg. Of course none of them has ever seen a chicken, so when the scaly, green creature emerges from the egg, they call  it chicken. A hilarious case of mistaken identity and acceptance. –Kate

Hey, Duck! by Carin Bramsen

Hey Duck

In an effort to make a new friend a fluffy duckling calls out “hey, duck”, in the direction of a cat. The duckling doesn’t realize that a cat is definitely not a duck, and the cat does his best to avoid the boisterous and very friendly duck. But time is the great conqueror and eventually the cat gives in and a meow is as good as a quack and friendship follows. –Kate

Scribbles and Ink by Ethan Long

Scribbles and Ink

Ink (the mouse) likes things to be clean and precise. Scribbles (the cat) is the opposite. But while there should be plenty of room for each of them to make their art without getting in each others way, or on each others nerves, THEY CAN’T MANAGE THAT!  Watch the battle of the brush and the pencil end with a mutual appreciation. –Sarah W.

Pirates vs. Cowboys by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by David Barneda

Pirates vs Cowboys

Burnt Beard & his crew swagger into Old Cheyenne, but Black Bob McKraw & his posse aren’t very hospitable. To top it off, the pirates & cowboys can’t understand each other-not until Pegleg Highnoon comes in and saves the day. With phrases like “fair scrub and a swish” and ‘mangy hornswagglers” kids & parents alike will enjoy this book that begs to be read aloud! –Dandy

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Stellaluna

Stellaluna is a baby bat who one night is knocked from her mother’s embrace by an owl and ends up falling into a bird’s nest. Event though she doesn’t look exactly like them, the birds accept her and teach her their bird ways. Eventually Stellaluna is reunited with her mother, but the bond between the bat and birds remains, and they are friends forever.  Kate

NonFiction

Best Friends Forever by Amy Shields

Best Friends Forever NGeo

National Geographic Kids brings readers the first in a series of four books that explore unexpected animal bonds. In this book you’ll meet four unlikely pairings, including Billy and Lilly. Billy the boxer adopted Lilly the goat when she was abandoned by her mother. Billy and Lilly are rarely apart since Billy has taken on the role of Lilly’s protector, caretaker, and constant companion. Coming in July 2013.

 Owen and Mzee by Craig Hatkoff and Peter Greste

Owen and Mzee

When Owen was stranded after the Dec 2004 tsunami, villagers in Kenya worked tirelessly to rescue him. Then, to everyone’s amazement, the orphan hippo and the elderly tortoise adopted each other. Now they are inseparable, swimming, eating, and playing together. A remarkable story of one joyful outcome after a tragedy.

 And for the grownups and older readers:

Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom by Jennifer S. Holland

Unlikely Friendships

“Written by “National Geographic “magazine writer Jennifer Holland, “Unlikely Friendships” documents one heartwarming tale after another of animals who, with nothing else in common, bond in the most unexpected ways. A cat and a bird. A mare and a fawn. An elephant and a sheep. A snake and a hamster. The well-documented stories of Koko the gorilla and All Ball the kitten; and the hippo Owen and the tortoise Mzee.”

From picture books to books for older readers, the animal kingdom gives us a reason to smile with stories like these. What’s your favorite story of an unlikely friendship?

What Our Kids Are Reading

March 20, 2013

Many of us have kids of our own at home. While we do our best to read only Random House books with them and to use them as test subjects before we sell to our bookstore accounts, sometimes they have a mind of their own and choose their own stories! Here is what they have been loving these days…

Dandy:

Lucas seems to follow Emerson’s lead when choosing books, as he does for most things. I guess it’s the life of a second kid!

So, that latest fad in our house is Geronimo Stilton. I think I’ve read about 8 of these books in recent weeks & have a few more in my future as both boys brought new ones home from school this week. After those are read I’m taking over & reading The Emerald Atlas. I know they are going to LOVE it! They were entranced listening to the first three Harry Potter books, but we need to hold off on the rest-as the are a little too mature for us.

Erin:

We start our bedtime story routine these days with a book of Gabe’s choosing. He tends to fixate on just a few books which he wants us to read over and over, and this week it’s been When Dinosaurs Came with Everything by Elise Broach and David Small. It’s a hilarious book about a very strange day, when every stop on a mom’s day of errands results in yet another dinosaur coming home with her and her son.

After Gabe’s book, we read a chapter book for Norah, who is six. A few weeks ago, I picked up the first two Ivy and Bean books at the library, and we’ve all fallen in love with these charming, funny books. They’re the perfect level for her age and interest, the girls are sweet without being saccharine and clever without being too snarky, and Sophie Blackall’s art adds to the terrific package. The best thing? There are many more books in the series!

Sarah:

I’m on the road this week visiting my awesome Florida indies, so I spent some time last weekend reading all the picture book F&G’s (samples) I’ll be selling, while Mia had fun trying to pry them from my hands and deconstruct them.

Mia F&Gs

We have some awesome pictures books on our list for fall 2013 publication but the one I want to call out today is Dream Animals written and illustrated by Emily Winfield Martin who is also a popular Etsy artist.

This book is the perfect blend of whimsical text and gorgeous artwork, some of which was featured last week in a Fall 2013 Sneak Previewin PW Children’s Bookshelf – here’s another little sneak peak at a few spreads:

Dream Animals

Deanna:

The twins came home a few weeks ago and were excited to tell me that their teacher had started reading a new book aloud to them called The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I don’t think it would have occurred to me to start them on the Chronicles of Narnia in Kindergarten, but they loved it and would update me each day on where they were in the book. During this time, my oldest came home with his newest reading/writing assignment. The genre this time? Fantasy! Realizing I did not have my own copy of the series (the one from my childhood must be tucked away in another family member’s house), I bought the series and started him on it right away. The twins have finished the first book (I know it’s been renumbered but TLTWATW will always be the first to me!) and moved on to Prince Caspian, so I let them watch the movie. While I know the new, live action movies have gotten some nice praise, I wanted them to see the animated version I remembered from my childhood. It’s out of print but I found it in 10 “chapters” on YouTube. I love watching it with them as the images they created in the minds while be read to are recreated by someone else’s vision. They like to talk about whether a character or scene looks like what they thought it would. They don’t really understand the fact that they created their own movie in their minds just by listening, but I love how attentive and hooked into the book they were. I definitely worry how the exposure to so much media will affect my children and their ability to focus, so this seems like a win for parents who read to their children every night!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to share what you’re reading to your kids, grandkids or students! 

Indie Ingenuity: Spring Fling

March 18, 2013

We would probably all agree that one of the most fun parts of our jobs as book reps is when we get to talk directly to consumers about the books we love so much.  We do this all the time here, on Random Acts of Reading, and also in person when our bookstore’s invite us to be part of an event.  Many of us speak regularly at rep nights or educator events and while each bookstore puts a different spin on them, the goal is always the same: to connect with the community, to find new readers, and to help them discover new books.

Recently I was invited by my local independent bookstore, Lorelei Books, to help host a “Spring Fling” Ladies Night Out event.  I worked with the owner, Laura, to come up with a list of spring and Easter themed books and then I spent the evening talking to customers – mostly mothers and grandmothers (many of them my friends and family!) – about them.  We had wine and appetizers and customers received a discount on their purchases that night.  It was great fun and quite successful for the bookstore too!   Often, there is a charitable component to these events and in this case we collected donations for the local Junior Auxiliary chapter’s literacy project.

This was the second time Laura tried this kind of event at her bookstore, we did something similar over Christmas, and I think it’s a great example of indie ingenuity.  We plan to do it again next Christmas and are also talking about a teacher night in the fall.  I look forward to it!  Here’s a picture of the table of Random House Children’s books that I helped sell to Laura’s customers that evening:

image

Before the event, I polled my co-workers for their favorite spring or Easter themed book, and here is what we all came up with (some of these books are new this month and were featured recently in our post “The View from Monday” New Titles Available in March):

Dandy – something old: I am a Bunny.  Something new: Pirates vs. Cowboys:

Pirates vs Cowboys

Deanna – Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bike because it’s such a universal theme:

Nic – Snow Rabbit Spring Rabbit.  Or Chicken Chicken Duck or Our Farm:

Bobbie – Any of the Duck & Goose books:

Me (Sarah) – For Easter, God Gave Us Easter.  For Spring, an old favorite, Inch by Inch and a new favorite, Ribbit!:

Ribbit

 

We’d love to know if you have any favorite events throughout the year at your local bookstore!  Enjoy your week!