Archive for category The Reading Room


Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (ages 9-12)

An exchange student who's really an alien, a secret room that becomes the perfect place for a quick escape, a typical tale of grandfatherly exaggeration that is actually even more bizarre than he says… These are the odd details of everyday life that grow and take on an incredible life of their own in tales and illustrations that Shaun Tan's many fans will love.


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This week's Reading Room recommendation comes from @sdcreates, who replied to Jo's tweet about what everyone was reading with their kids. Sharon's pick, "The House That Sailed Away," was one we had to share.

Morgan, Mother, Father, Grandma, Tailcat and the Baby find themselves catapulted into the wackiest adventure ever when their London house floats off down the street and out to sea! 

Hungry cannibals, blood-thirsty pirates, a kidnapping and buried treasure are just some of the hair-raisers in store in Pat Hutchins' own adaptation of her classic children's novel.

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Evelyn is lots of things. Circus performer. Antarctic explorer. I'm not.

Here is the perfect book for children who feel like their outgoing friend is oh-so-talented . . . and they're not. Our shy narrator lists all the things that her best friend, Evelyn, is good at—from jumping on the bed to roller skating really fast. Luckily, Evelyn points out what makes her so special: she's a one-of-a-kind true blue best friend. Robert Weinstock's hilarious illustrations wonderfully complement Pam Smallcomb's simple text, perfect for young children. This sweet depiction of friendship shows—in a completely fresh, original way—that everyone is special.

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Clear explanations and over 70 illustrations demonstrate how to position your hands to make lifelike shadows of a lumbering dinosaur, a pair of playful monkeys, an eagle taking flight, a cat scratching itself, a howling wolf, a neighing horse, a dog that eats a rabbit, and many other figures. This book also gives you good advice on how to organize a performance of your own shadow art. Fun for the whole family, though younger kids may need some assistance.

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Our lasted book pick was inspired by one of Jo's Twitter followers (@LadyBGR) who is reading the Llama Lama books with her kids. You can follow Jo on Twitter at: @Jo_Frost

Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney (Ages 4-8)


Llama Llama holidays.

Jingle music. Lights ablaze.

How long till that special date?

Llama Llama has to wait.

If there's one thing Llama Llama doesn't like, it's waiting. He and Mama Llama rush around, shopping for presents, baking cookies, decorating the tree . . . but how long is it until Christmas? Will it ever come? Finally, Llama Llama just can't wait any more! It takes a cuddle from Mama Llama to remind him that "Gifts are nice, but there's another: The true gift is, we have each other."

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The Omnivore's Dilemma (Young Readers Edition) by Michael Pollan (Ages 11 & up)

“What’s for dinner?” seems like a simple question. But do you really know…

– What happens to a field of potatoes destined to become french fries … or
- In how many disguises corn sneaks into your food? (Hint: it’s in your soda, your burger, and that Twinkie!)

– Do you know what that “organic” sticker on your banana actually means … or
- Where the chicken in your nugget grew up?

Do you know the secrets behind what you eat?

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