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Jim LaMarche Loves Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen
After a summer day of hiking in the redwoods with my visiting nephews and nieces it was pretty wonderful to plop on the couch after dinner and read aloud to the kids the next couple of chapters of a story that inspired teary, falling off the couch laughter. That book is Harris and Me: A Summer Remembered by Gary Paulsen.
The Me in the title is the 11 year old narrator, a city boy shipped off for the summer by his alcoholic parents to his relative’s farm in Minnesota. Harris is his 9 year old thrill seeking, profanity spewing, barely housebroken cousin.
There is a pet lynx on the farm named Buzzer and an attack rooster named Ernie. Breakfast is served before daybreak where, like a wolf pack, getting enough to eat is a matter of speed and table position.
Harris is continually creating wildly absurd adventures with his cousin hanging on for the ride, sometimes literally. There is a hilarious scene involving an electric fence, a dare and pee. A scene I might have written off as conductively improbable if I hadn’t witnessed a similar event as a boy back in Wisconsin. It involved an electrified fence and our hunting dog Brownie. Although old, Brownie set a canine record for the standing vertical leap that day.
Gary Paulsen has written a slew of wonderful books. Look for them. His Book Hatchet was my own sons’ favorite.
Author and illustrator Jim LaMarche is one of the most talented artists working in children’s books today. His many successful books include Rainbabies by Laura Kraus Melmed and Albert by Donna Jo Napoli, which was selected as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book.
Meet Jim LaMarche 3:00 PM Saturday, December 3 at Books Inc. Mountain View for a Storytime reading of his new critically-acclaimed picture book, Pond.
Do you have a little fish in your home who hates getting out of the water and wants to know more ALL about the things that live in the sea?! Well there has been an emergence of books about or featuring sea creatures! Look at these beautiful books!
The Kraken's Rules for Making Friends by Brittany R. Jacobs
It's no big surprise that the Kraken has no friends, but he is TIRED OF IT. With a bad temper and a knack for destruction, his talent for meeting new fish is...not so seaworthy. He finds hope when another monster of the deep, a great white shark, offers him some RULES FOR MAKING FRIENDS. Will these rules help the most terrifying monster of the deep make a new chum? (Ages 4-7) Available Now.
Octopuses One to Ten by Ellen Jackson
Dive into this fascinating counting journey through the amazing and mysterious world of octopuses.
Everyone knows octopuses have eight arms. But did you know that they have three hearts and nine brains? This intriguing exploration of octopuses goes through numbers one to ten, with a snappy rhyme and fascinating octopus facts for each number. The book also includes octopus crafts and activities for more learning fun. (Ages 2-8) Available Now.
Giant Squid by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann
The giant squid is one of the most elusive creatures in the world. As large as whales, they hide beyond reach deep within the sea, forcing scientists to piece together their story from those clues they leave behind. An injured whale's ring-shaped scars indicate an encounter with a giant squid. A piece of beak broken off in the whale's belly; a flash of ink dispersed as a blinding defense to allow the squid to escape-- these fragments of proof were all we had . . . until a giant squid was finally filmed in its natural habitat only two years ago. In this beautiful and clever nonfiction picture book about the giant squid, Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann explore, both visually and poetically, this hidden creature's mysterious life. (Ages 6-10) Available Now.
Under Water, Under Earth by Aleksandra & Daniel Mizielianska
Discover the amazing world that lies just beneath the surface.
Hundreds of fascinating facts are waiting to be unearthed in this latest book from Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski, the creative duo behind the best-selling Maps. Dive below the surface and find out what happens under earth and under sea from early submarines and deep-sea life to burrowing animals and man-made tunnels. You will never look at the world in the same way again. Gorgeous design and quirky illustrations make this a book to be pored over again and again.
(Ages 8-12), Available Now
"What if every child saw themself in children's books? Let's make the books that are missing."
The mission of #ReadInColor and Blood Orange Press is to make beautiful diverse stories for diverse children, stories that will stay on families' shelves for generations.
Blood Orange Press was created in 2013 by local Oakland author and illustrator, Janine Macbeth. Their first book was Oh, Oh, Baby Boy! written and illustrated by Macbeth, which can be special ordered in stores today.
Now Blood Orange Press needs its community's help to continue publishing the next three books in its pipeline.
To learn more about #ReadInColor and/or to make a contribution to them, click here.
Books Inc. is a strong believer in the need of diverse books and we hope to see more like Blood Orange Press and Oh, Oh, Baby Boy!
Where seeing a small trend popping up in Children's publishing lately: Robots!
Over the last couple months a number of Robot titles have graced our shelves, and there's more to come. Take a look:
Little Bot and Sparrow by Jake Parker
A story of friendship that can inspire anyone, even robots, to dream . . .
When Little Bot is thrown out with the garbage, he finds himself in a strange new world. Fortunately, Sparrow is there to take him under her wing. Together, they explore the forest, share adventures, and learn what it means to be forever friends.This sweet and lasting tale by Jake Parker beautifully captures the happiness and love that can come from making your first true friend and the courage it takes when it's time to say goodbye. (Ages 3-6, Available Now)
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
One day, a boy and a robot meet in the woods. They play. They have fun.
But when Bot gets switched off, Boy thinks he's sick. The usual remedies applesauce, reading a story don't help, so Boy tucks the sick Bot in, then falls asleep.
Bot is worried when he powers on and finds his friend powered off. He takes Boy home with him and tries all "his "remedies: oil, reading an instruction manual. Nothing revives the malfunctioning Boy. Can the Inventor help fix him?
Using the perfect blend of sweetness and humor, this story of an adorable duo will win the hearts of the very youngest readers. (Ages 2-5, Available Now)
Rabbit & Robot and Ribbit by Cece Bell
What happens when two friends suddenly become three? Cece Bell's very funny follow-up to the Geisel Honor winning Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover.
Rabbit is excited. He is going to surprise his good friend Robot at home. DING DONG When Robot opens the door, he is surprised. He wasn't expecting Rabbit. In fact, he is already engrossed in a game of checkers with another friend, Ribbit. Now Rabbit is the one who is surprised, and a bit jealous. While Robot thinks everything Ribbit says is humorous, all Rabbit hears is "ribbit." And Ribbit eats flies with her popcorn. Gross. When Rabbit and Ribbit get mad because they both want to be Cowboy Jack Rabbit, Robot's Emotion Decoder overheats, leaving him out of commission. Can Rabbit and Ribbit find a way to work together to revive their friend? New readers will find plenty to chuckle over as Robot's two friends become friends themselves. (Ages 5-9, Available Now)
Bitty Bot by Tim McCanna
A little robot would rather go on an intergalactic adventure than go to sleep in this rhyming romp that breaks all the bedtime rules.
In a busy robot town
bots begin to power down.
All except for Bitty Bot
Charming text in rhyming verse tells the story of energetic Bitty Bot, who, instead of going to bed decides to build a rocket and go on a space adventure Sweet and fun to read aloud, this bedtime book is perfect for tots and bots of all varieties.
(Ages 4-8, Available Now)
Fuzzy by Tom Angleberger
From the minds of Tom Angleberger, the New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Origami Yoda series, and Paul Dellinger, an adult science-fiction writer, comes a funny middle school story with a memorable robot title character. When Max Maxine Zelaster befriends her new robot classmate Fuzzy, part of Vanguard One Middle School's new Robot Integration Program, she helps him learn everything he needs to know about surviving middle school the good, the bad, and the really, really, ugly. Little do they know that surviving seventh grade is going to become a true matter of life and death, because Vanguard has an evil presence at its heart: a digital student evaluation system named BARBARA that might be taking its mission to shape the perfect student to extremes. (Ages 8-12, Available Now)
Mechanica by Lance Balchin
An imaginative field guide to the fantasy world of Mechanica creatures, with amazing and beautiful steampunk-inspired illustrations.
In this field guide from the future, a dashing explorer Miss Liberty Crisp details amazing creatures known as Mechanica: human-created life forms designed to replace extinct species.
Set inthe twenty-third century, the book describes how Earth could no longer support wildlife. The warnings had been ignored. Corporations continued to expose the environment to chemical and radioactive waste, and many Earth species began to disappear. By 2200, vast areas of theworldhad become uninhabitable and wildlife extinct. In place of the lost wildlife species, the corporations began to create Mechanica. But the Mechanica escaped their confinement, and started to develop in the wild on their own. Filled with inventive and awe-inspiring images and details, this book is sure to spark readers imaginations. Kids will marvel at the steampunk-inspired renderings of mechanical bugs, birds, bats, snakes, and more. (Ages 8-12, Available Now)
Boy Robot by Simon Curtis
Seventeen-year-old Isaak discovers the truth about his origin and the underground forces that must come together to fight against a secret government organization formed to eradicate those like him in this high-octane science fiction debut.
There once was a boy who was made, not created.
In a single night, Isaak's life changed forever.
His adoptive parents were killed, a mysterious girl saved him from a team of soldiers, and he learned of his own dark and destructive origin.
An origin he doesn t want to believe, but one he cannot deny.
Isaak is a Robot: a government-made synthetic human, produced as a weapon and now hunted, marked for termination.
He and the Robots can only find asylum with the Underground a secret network of Robots and humans working together to ensure a coexistent future.
To be protected by the Underground, Isaak will have to make it there first. But with a deadly military force tasked to find him at any cost, his odds are less than favorable.
Now Isaak must decide whether to hold on to his humanity and face possible death or to embrace his true nature in order to survive, at the risk of becoming the weapon he was made to be. (Ages14 & UP, Available 10/25)