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boo la la witch spa

For a little witch who is plum exhausted from all of her endless nights of flying around, cooking and cackling, a visit to the witch spa for a spell is just the thing.  Her session includes a cup of warm bat-whisker tea, a broom bristle facial, a scarab skin scrub, an eye of newt wrap and probably best of all, a “soak in a cauldron of mold from four hundred fungi, four hundred years old.”  A dish of candy-corn flan ends her completely relaxing day on a sweet note.

This one would be great for reading aloud if you’re having a Halloween shindig this year, with a mini nail bar afterwards with glow-in-the-dark nail polish, of course.

Boo-La-La Witch Spa was written by Samantha Berger, illustrated by Isabel Roxas and published by Dial Books.


also an octopus

Also an Octopus: a meta picture book that illuminates story-writing for kids and shows them how stories begin as "a little bit of nothing" and how they take on a life of their own.  The ukelele-playing octopus who serendipitously meets a band of rocket scientists who help him build something purple, shiny and totally awesome can attest to that.  But what becomes of the octopus and his new contraption?  That's up to the child reading this book, and the writer in him/her to imagine and decide.  Also an Octopus will be fantastic for launching many lively discussions about the writing process with children and how ideas become words, how words become sentences and how sentences work together to form a narrative that propels an idea forward and brings it to life.

Also an Octopus is Maggie Tokuda-Hall's debut picture book, illustrated by Benji Davies and published by Candlewick Press.


space case

Classic, funny and slightly absurd.  Adults would do good to read James Marshall every once in a while as reminder not to take life too seriously. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Space Case is published by Puffin Books.  Thanks to @teeandpenguin whose Instagram feed we spotted this in last week.


we found a hat

Strunk and White would be fans of Jon Klassen’s hat trilogy.  The text presents a narrative that is crisp, tight and to the point, eschewing needless superfluity, with the illustrations telling many more aspects of the story.  With Jon’s work, there’s more to it than meets the eye.  Kids will recognize the subtle and irreverent humor embedded in the pictures after a few good reads.  They’ll also realize how much intention you really can read in someone’s eyes, which is something they might not typically give much thought.

We met Jon yesterday at a bookstore reading and signing.  He was incredibly kind, gracious and drew a ton of animals at Avery and Nate’s behest.  And yes, he wore a hat.

I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat and We Found A Hat were published by Candlewick Press.


the day santa stopped believing in harold

The tables have turned in this unconventionally funny holiday tale.  Santa has a sneaking suspicion that Harold the kid isn’t real.  He doesn’t believe that Harold is the one who writes him a letter every year, or that he puts out a plate of milk and cookies for him on Christmas Eve.  Meanwhile, down south, Harold is grappling with a similar quandary.  Anxious to put their uncertainties to rest, both Santa and Harold devise plans to discover if the other does indeed exist…and the results are a riot.  Don’t miss this one!

The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold was written by Maureen Fergus, illustrated by Cale Atkinson and published by Tundra Books.