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Current Obsession - Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli


Alphablock by Christopher Franceschelli, Peskimo (Illustrator)
Publication Date: August 6th, 2013
Publisher: Abrams Appleseed
Pages: 104 pages

With thick pages cut into the shape of each letter, children and parents will enjoy this peek-through guessing game around the letterform itself. Sprinkles, hot fudge, and cherries hint at I's ice cream sundae, while aquarium accessories hint at F's fish. As readers interact with the pages, they will familiarize themselves not only with the 26 letters and associated words, but also with each letter's physicality--angles, holes, and curves, both front and back. With Peskimo's animated, stylish visuals, this fresh ABC book encourages readers to manipulate the alphabet in a whole new way. Note: illustrations have a retro feel, with imperfect variations in color and texture.

Books Inc. Kids Review - Ms. Rapscott's Girls by Elise Primavera

Ms. Rapscott's Girls by Elise Primavera
Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books
Genre: Action Adventure
Ages: 8-12

Fans of Mary Poppins will love this whimsical tale of a boarding school for children of very busy parents, where an extraordinary headmistress teaches them life lessons about courage, adventure, friendship . . . and the importance of birthday cake.
Nestled inside a lighthouse, Great Rapscott School for the Daughters of Busy Parents takes its motto from Amelia Earhart: Adventure is worthwhile in itself. Headmistress Ms. Rapscott couldn't agree more, but her students, who are shipped to the school in boxes, could use a little convincing. Still, despite their initial reluctance, the students are soon soaring through the sky and getting lost on purpose. In addition to learning what birthday cakes are and how best to approach a bumbershoot tree, the students also manage to learn a little something about strength and bravery.

Busy parents don’t have time to teach their daughters things like How to Boil an Egg or How to Stick Up for One’s Self. That’s where Ms. Rapscott comes in. Her school is specifically for teaching Girls with Busy Parents everything they need to know. Her current crop of girls is one short though—one of the flying cardboard boxes that deliver her charges wasn’t sealed properly, and the poor girl was lost! Will they ever find her?  This is one of my favorite books from the past year. It has such humor and heart that I smiled the whole way through, especially whenever Lewis and Clark - the teacher’s assistants who just happen to be sweater-and-watch wearing, clipboard-wielding corgis - were mentioned.
Reviewed by Eleanor from Books Inc. Palo Alto

Current Obsession - Nest by Kenneth Oppel


Nest by Kenneth Oppel, Illus. by Jon Klassen
Expected Publication Date: October 6th, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 256 pages

Steve just wants to save his baby brother--but what will he lose in the bargain?
This is a haunting gothic tale for fans of "Coraline," from acclaimed author Kenneth Oppel ("Silverwing," "The Boundless") with illustrations from Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen.
For some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it's just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp's nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to "fix" the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered.
All he has to do is say "Yes." But "yes" is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back?
Celebrated author Kenneth Oppel creates an eerie masterpiece in this compelling story that explores disability and diversity, fears and dreams, and what ultimately makes a family. Includes illustrations from celebrated artist Jon Klassen.

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