booksinckids's blog

This series somehow fell off the radar, no one seems to know it. Filled with powerful magic, quests and mystery, The Book of Three introduces us Taran, an orphan being raised by an old soldier and an ancient sorcerer. Taran dreams of glory on the battlefield but slowly learns just what that means. Steeped in Welsh mythology, this first installment will draw in anyone, boy or girl, who will just open it up. Written by Lloyd Alexander, for ages 8-12.

--reviewed by Elizabeth of Books Inc. Alameda

Shannon is our Senior Children's Buyer. Not only does she have the fabulous taste that makes Books Inc. Kids what it is today, but she's also a mommy of two! For 2013 we will be featuring her faves. Enjoy!

 


 

As Santa prepares for his big night, readers are treated to a lovely, quiet story full of magic and wonder. Gloriously illustrated by Jon Muth (Zen Shorts, City Dog, Country Frog) this is the perfect book to read to little ones as Christmas approaches. What I love about this story is not just the sense of anticipation that permeates every page, or even Santa's mustache, which is rendered charmingly by Muth; it's the idea that Santa is just a normal guy, thoughtfully doing his job. And that one night a year, that totally normal guy does something very special. The focus is not on the presents, but rather on the preparation necessary to make so many people so very happy. Sure to be a future Christmas classic, be sure not to miss The Christmas Magic this year.

--Reviewed by Maggie, Books Inc. Children's Department Director

I know this seems like a pretty obvious pick, but it's been a long time since I've actually picked up this book re-read it. It is still just as great as you remember and my 4 year old nephew just can't get enough of it! Out of all the Christmas stories out there I really like this one because in the end even though the Grinch stole everything the Whos were still happy. No Santa or presents needed, just family and friends!
 
--Reviewed by Melanie, Books Inc. Berkeley

 How did Van Dusen know what my dream house looks like? Oh yeah, it's because he's awesome! I felt this story was even more fun than "If I built a car" though both carry a fun rhythm that is perfect for reading aloud! The kids at my storytime really got into this book. You could just see the little wheels turning in their heads imagining this great manor. A racetrack room?! Are you kidding me?! Yes Please! 

Reviewed by Courtney, Books Inc. Burlingame

 The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate by Scott Nash

Talking birds with hats! Air pirates! Sword fights! This very handsome hardcover edition with engaging ink and watercolor illustrations by the author will make a fine gift for a backyard naturalist who loves stories of swashbuckling derring-do. Comparable to Brian Jacques' Redwall series with language accessible for a 9 year old, the coming-of-age/ bird-out-of-the-nest aspects of the story will appeal to older kids and the whole family will enjoy the high adventure. There is a clever balance between imaginative, unique world-building and accurate ornithological details. As a lifelong scholar of fantasy literature and an avid birdwatcher, this book seemed especially written for me, but I hope other readers will share my appreciation of this cunning blend of Roger Tory Petersen and Robert Louis Stevenson. (Ages 8-11)

 

 

 When Charlie McButton Lost Power by Suzanne Collins

Yes, that Collins, of Hunger Games and Gregor fame; turns out she can turn out a pretty good rhyme too. The story has a bunch of important lessons, but it doesn't get preachy or saccharine sweet and we appreciate family fun time that has nothing to do with screens or gadgets. When Charlie's house loses power he loses control and lands in time out, but our hero makes some discoveries about himself and annoying his baby sister so everyone lives happily ever after. (Ages 3+)

Reviews by Chris, Compass Books SFO 

 

When I open Gonzalez’s My Colors, My World, I feel myself getting lost within her worldbrought to life by her vivid artwork.  Maya, her main character, narrates life living in the desert, at first, monochromatic with sand blanketing her environment.  Yet with a little purple bird by her side, she teaches us to open our eyes to the accentuated intensity of natural colors such as pink sunsets, her red swing, and the green cactus growing outside her house.  By reading the parallel text, young readers will be inspired to celebrate the beautiful colors of wherever they live.  (Ages 5-8)

Reviewed by Jamie Dela Cruz, Books Inc. Market Street 

How excited (a word here meaning, "jumping up and down while trying to stay steady enough to read a book") am I about this!?

If you have forgotten what it's like to read a Lemony Snicket novel, Who Could That Be at This Hour? is here to remind you. A new novel set in the same universe of  The Series of Unfortunate Events not only means new mysteries and new characters, but also new insights into old questions (and naturally, new questions about old insights). This book concerns the adventures of a young Lemony Snicket who, geared with "an unusual education" and a natural curiosity, begins solving the mysteries of a town called Stain'd-by-the-Sea.  In typical Snicket fashion, the narrative is charming, playful, and bittersweet, weaving witty humor with tones of anticipated sorrow.  As in The Series of Unfortunate Events, the narrator is Snicket himself and his simple language but elegant (and at times somewhat profound) ideas, make this another remarkable novel. 

P.S. You may have guessed that the answer to the first question is "very." In that case, you would be correct and I suspect you too could have a very successful future with an "unusual education" in a town called Stain'd-by-the-Sea. (Ages 9+)

Reviewed by Kelly, Books Inc. Laurel Village

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