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It took a while to get our hands on Marc Martin's latest wonder, LOTS, but we're  elated that it finally made its way to us.  LOTS is tremendous in beauty, scope and vision.  Its pages are immersive and offer a collection of unusual facts about different places around the world.

We loved stopping in Hong Kong and experiencing all the jade and goldfish markets, the double-decker trams, the bubble tea and the dim sum carts.  In Reykjavik, we were intrigued by the northern lights, the migration of the Arctic terns and the myriad of Icelandic sauces including a mustard with a complicated name.

It is truly a book about (almost) everything, for everyone.

LOTS was written and illustrated by Marc Martin and published by Viking Books.


listen! listen!

What does a noise sound like?  What is its shape?  What is its color?  Beautiful words from Ann Rand reminding us to tune in to the sounds around us—the sounds that make up our world, from the clanging and dissonant to the quiet and meditative.  The crunch, crunch of buttered toast.  Paul Rand uses modern and bold papercut shapes  to depict the energy and sensations of these sounds.  Let us remember to stop in our tracks every once in a while, engage our senses and listen to the snow and the whisper of the trees.

Listen! Listen! is by Ann and Paul Rand and published by Princeton Architectural Press.


the land of nod

"From breakfast on through all the day 

At home among my friends I stay, 

But every night I go abroad 

Afar into the land of Nod."

Robert Hunter's new illustrated version of Robert Louis Stevenson's poem The Land of Nod is, needless to say, dreamy.  His ethereal palette of sleepy-eyed soft pinks and blues evoke a perpetual twilight that gives its pages an exotic but familiar feel.  In Stevenson's poem, an ailing boy spends all day stuck at home, which seems to be reflective of the poet's own childhood.  At night, he crosses over to the Land of Nod, a dreamland where his playthings come to life in a big way.

Robert Hunter has created a fantastic, curious, mischievous but elusive world that we've oft imagined and tried to remember in the morning while wiping the sleep from our eyes.  There is a certain magic distilled in the words of Stevenson's poem which Robert Hunter's stunning visual storytelling has brought to life once more, for a whole new set of young readers.

The Land of Nod is by Robert Louis Stevenson, illustrated by Robert Hunter (@roberthunter) and published by Flying Eye Books.


little penguins

Christian Robinson's art evokes the lightness and quiet whimsy of Ezra Jack Keats' work and Cynthia Rylant's narrative about a quintet of penguins experiencing snow on a wintry day will warm your heart, no matter how old you are.  Little Penguins possesses the Danish concept of 'hygge' in spades.  It's one to be enjoyed again and again as the nights get colder and story time gets cozier.

Little Penguins was written by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by Schwartz and Wade Books.


milly-molly-mandy's autumn

A throwback to simpler times.  Introducing Avery to Milly-Molly-Mandy, a girl growing up in a small English village, and some of her autumn goings-on—helping her mother make “lots of pots of pumpkin-and-ginger jam,” watching everything go aflame for Guy Fawkes Day, celebrating the blacksmith’s wedding and anxiously waiting to see what her mysterious plant will turn out to be.  This is one to read aloud at bedtime with a cup of warm tea in hand.  Written by Joyce Lankester Brisley, the first set of Milly-Molly-Mandy stories was published in 1928.

I came across this recipe for chocolate and ginger cake inspired by the book on the most charming blog about food in books, The Little Library Café (@bakingfiction).  Kate is also writing a cookbook with recipes inspired by literature (one of my favorite kinds of books), due out in fall 2017.

Also, be sure to check out what is sharing for #classicchapterbooks today.  Milly-Molly-Mandy’s Autumn was published by Macmillan Children’s Books.