Archive | December, 2010

A Reader’s Resolution

30 Dec

Happy New Year, everyone! In honor of 2011, we thought we’d do a quick “Reader’s Resolution.” These are books I am resolving to read this year. Leave a comment with some of yours!

In 2011, I plan to finally read The Brothers Karamazov and Boneshaker.

How about you?

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

29 Dec

This holiday season I was lucky enough to head down to Florida to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It – was – awesome! Walking up to the gates, we began to hear John Williams’ score from the movies, and then the Hogwarts Express came into sight.

And then of course, Hogsmeade.

They had everything—from Zonko’s to Honeydukes, and of course the Three Broomsticks…but we had a different plan. First off, we went to Olivander’s where we got to see a special kid get chosen by a new wand, and then Hogwarts!

The ”castle ride” had a bit of a wait (2 hours!), but all the while we were in line, we got to walk through Hogwarts. There were mandrakes in the conservatory and Harry, Hermione, and Ron even paid a visit to let us know what we were getting into (lots of flying and action, it seemed). We actually passed by the entrance of Dumbledore’s office!

And they were kind enough to give us warnings early on:

Once we got out of Hogwarts, we of course had to try Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice! And then it was straight on to Honeydukes and Zonko’s!

There were Ton Tongue Toffees and Cauldron Cakes, and Extendable Ears and U-No-Poo tablets!

We headed back to Platform 9 ¾, where the conductor and a Weasley twin were kind enough to take a picture with a friend. (As you can see, the twin is still a bit of a prankster).

Sadly, we did have to leave The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, our own money bags a few galleons lighter, but our eyes full of wonder and magic in real life! I have to be honest, I bought a wand.

Overall, the experience was wonderful and it really was Harry Potter come to life. I just wish I could live there! I suppose I’ll just have to reread them yet again!

Reading at Home

23 Dec

Between all of the baking, eating, snuggling, shopping, and sledding, sometimes we all need a little reminder to breathe, read (yes, of course we had to sneak that one in!), and relax with family and friends.

Here are some of our favorite winter Book Club titles for reading with family and friends. Hope you enjoy this precious time together!


Honeybee January: In the Snow by Peggy Collins

A great story about a father and son having fun during the first snowfall of the season.


Firefly December: Bedtime for Little Bears! by David Bedford and Caroline Pedler

This may be the sweetest wintertime read-aloud of all time. We think you’ll agree after you check out the amazing illustrations!


SeeSaw January: How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

An adorable title in the beloved series. Get ready for some snuggle time!


Lucky January: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

It’s miraculous. It’s a bunny. It’s a great read-aloud for all ages!


Arrow January: The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone

Full of mystery, romance, and fun, this is a great title to relax with.


TAB January: The Chronicles of Narnia Boxed Set by C.S. Lewis

It’s the Chronicles.  Really, isn’t that enough said? Start reading the series aloud this winter break and we guarantee you’ll have the whole family hanging on every word!


Have a wonderful time with your family and friends! Happy holidays!

A Special Thank You

22 Dec

Scholastic Book Clubs President, Judy Newman, has a special message for parents, families and care-givers this holiday season.


It’s Christmas, David! Let’s Make an Ornament!

21 Dec

Have you ever noticed how perfectly round and ornament-like David’s head is? Well, we did! In honor of David Shannon’s hilarious new book, It’s Christmas, David!, Scholastic Book Clubs offered the Make a David Ornament Sweepstakes and asked teachers and students to be creative! The premise? David’s head is round like an ornament—so why not have your students create a David-inspired decoration as a classroom holiday art project? We received hundreds of wonderful, creative, and inspired ornaments that captured the playfulness and

The Scholastic Christmas Tree

naughtiness of the favorite character David. They were so good, we even have them hanging on the Scholastic tree in the lobby of the New York office!


The sweepstakes may be over, but there’s still time to create your own holiday ornament inspired by David’s round head. Create your own, or use the shapes provided here to decorate and embellish. And don’t forget to read David Shannon’s newest book before you start your art project—I promise you’ll be inspired by David’s antics, and you might just see a little of yourself as a child, eagerly awaiting a visit from Santa!


The 5 Winning Ornaments!

 

It’s Christmas, David! can be found in Firefly December, and all-year online in Club Shop.

New Books for a New Year: Lucky Edition!

20 Dec

The holiday season is upon us, and that means a new year is just around the bend. To get ready for the upcoming 2011 year, Lucky January has some suggestions to start your year off right!


Two brand-new mystery series are premiering in Lucky January. Pony Mysteries: Penny and Pepper is all about a girl who moves to the country and has to make friends in a new town. Penny meets a horse named Pepper and finds out there is more to the country than she thought! When a mystery arises, Pepper helps Penny start searching for clues. The second series is Jack Gets a Clue. In the first book, The Case of the Beagle Burglar, Jack gets hit on the head with an acorn and finds out he can talk to animals! When his friend’s plans to build the best robot get stolen, Jack uses his brand-new talent to sniff out the thief.


Frankly, Frannie and George Brown, Class Clown are also making an appearance in Lucky January. These two hilarious kids are always trying to help, but just can’t seem to keep out of trouble. When Frannie decides to help out a local restaurant on the busiest night ever, she is shocked to find out they are serving people snails! Find out if Frannie can save the customers from escargot or if the restaurant will let her go in Frankly Frannie: Check, Please! In George Brown, Class Clown: World’s Worst Wedgie, George is determined to make some money. There is the most amazing remote control toy that he is dying to have and George tries all sorts of odd jobs to get to his goal. Check out this hilarious story and see if George’s burps will blunder up his day again!


Everyone has a favorite character and this January, two of Lucky’s favorites—Fancy Nancy and Fly Guy—are coming out with brand-new stories for you! Fancy Nancy is back in her brand-new book, Fancy Nancy Sees Stars (available in the Fancy Nancy Pack on Lucky). When Nancy finds out her class is going on a field trip to the planetarium, she can’t wait! Stars are so sparkly and all the constellations have such fancy names. But will a rainy night ruin her fancy field trip? Fly Guy is also buzzing around this January in his new book, Buzz Boy and Fly Guy. Buzz Boy makes a book and Fly Guy is up against pirates and fire-breathing dragons! This easy-to-read format will have you laughing along with your favorite characters in this low-price special hardcover format.

Find all these books and more in Lucky January 2011. Happy holidays and happy reading!

—Caitlin, Editor

This guest post was brought to you by one of our Lucky Editors, Caitlin!

Holiday Baking with Family!

17 Dec

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Lights are being strung, trees are being dragged through the city to be put up before Christmas morning, and in my house, trays upon trays of cookies are coming out of the oven.  I don’t have a favorite Christmas cookie, but I do have a few family recipes that we make every year without fail.  It’s not because they are the most delicious (even though they are) or that they are the beautifully decorated (which they aren’t).  The reason we make these same three types of cookies is that they are perfect for baking with a big group. Everyone can have a hand in the fun and the recipes are so simple, they are almost fool-proof.

Simple Illustrated Instructions and Full Color Photos

But I’m not one to just continue making the same thing year after year, and in the end, all that matters is that the recipes are easy and fun to make.  So this weekend, I’m going to be testing out a few new kid-friendly, fool-proof cookie recipes from The Usborne Children’s Book of Baking to add to my cookie repertoire.  The Children’s Book of Baking is my favorite type of cookbook – it has wonderful photos so you know what your cookies should look like when they’re done, and there only a few simple ingredients per baked treat. With fun recipes like easy meringue cookies, jammy sandwich cookies, and chocolate brownies, how could you go wrong?  Just don’t be surprised when your little one takes the wooden spoon and starts giving instructions on how YOU should be baking!

Having guests? Try these sunny muffins!

The Usborne Children’s Book of Baking can be found in the Firefly December catalog.

January Dollar Books!

16 Dec

Hey BookTalkers, we have a special holiday treat for you… it’s the January $1 books! Click through for more! Continue reading

May the Force Be with You

15 Dec

I’ll say it: I had (and still have) a crush on Han Solo.

Not on Harrison Ford, mind you—Indiana Jones is all right—but on Han Solo himself. And it seems that I’m not alone—another Scholastic blogger made the same confession earlier this week. I guess great minds crush alike.

But this is supposed to be about BOOKS, right?

Well, I’m happy to tell you that the greatness that is Star Wars doesn’t have to stop on the screen. And if I were a Star Wars geek (ahem), I would turn directly to the fifth page of our Holiday Gift Books catalog for a whole slew of books about your (my) favorite characters. There’s the Star Wars® Rebel Force Collection as well as Star Wars® Blueprints: Rebel Edition, where you can examine the ins and outs of some truly awesome starfighters (rebel ships ONLY)!

If you’re not excited enough already, check out this silly video about dads trying to have “the talk” (the Star Wars talk, that is) with their kids. And if anyone knows how to make that Yoda hat, please, please, let me know.

This post was brought to you by Liz, guest blogger and aspiring Jedi Knight.

Reach Out and Read: Making a Difference Nationwide

14 Dec

You may remember reading about the ways in which Scholastic Book Clubs partners with Reach Out and Read (a nonprofit that works with doctors and nurses to promote early literacy) (Reach Out and Read: Through a Doctor’s Eyes) to encourage school readiness. Now we’d like to share with you a few of the many inspiring success stories from this wonderful program.  And, as always, remember to read every day!

California

“I cannot imagine not having the Reach Out and Read program.  The developmental ob servations I make and use as an opportunity to support the mastery of the child and parent is invaluable.  It is great that children no longer ask for a lollipop, they want a book!”
-Family Physician, Los Angeles, CA


Colorado
“One day a little girl and I read together for about 45 minutes in the
waiting room.  When it was time to leave, her grandmother came over and
told me that the girl had recently been through lots of trauma in her
life, and that this was the first time in days she had seen her smile.”
-Volunteer Reader, Denver, CO

Kansas

“Many of our patients have financial difficulties and are unable to
purchase books on their own.  Providing books for children that allow families to read together in the clinic and at home has strengthened both the physician-child and the parent-child bonds.”
-Family Physician, Kansas City, KS

Massachusetts

“Thank you very much for taking care of us.  We love the children’s books
you gave us and the stickers at the end of our visits.”
-3-year-old, 6-year-old, and 9-year-old siblings, Somerville, MA

Pennsylvania

“The Reach Out and Read program gets children ready to read and parents
like me wanting to read. From birth, my son loved to hear me read books
to him. Now he is an active 2-year-old who can never get enough of
reading. With a new book at every well visit, he always has a book to
read.”
– A Reach Out and Read Parent, Philadelphia, PA

Vermont

“The short-term and long-term benefits of Reach Out and Read are
immeasurable: families bonding with children through reading, children
developing an early love of books, more success in school, and
ultimately more success in life.”
-Maternal Child Health Services Director, Colchester, VT

Hawaii

“It means a lot knowing that our doctor cares about the development of my
daughter’s learning skills.  And it’s always nice to get a book that we
can read together.”
-Mother, Honolulu, HI

 

 

Arizona

“One of my 18-month-old patients got a toy doctor’s kit for Christmas.  A
few days later she was examining her doll – she listened with the
stethoscope, gave the doll a shot, and then went to her bookshelf and
took out the book she got at her checkup and gave it to the doll.”
-Pediatrician, Phoenix, AZ

Georgia

“Thanks to the generosity and support of Reach Out and Read we have
wonderful new books to give our young patients at their routine health
checks while at the same time educating their families on the importance of making reading a fun everyday event. We are sincerely grateful for the support and we hope to continue together on this quest to make our children’s future the brightest possible.”
– Dr. Albert, Dr. Blum, Eileen Barlow, Lanica Evans, Christie Brooks,
Jamie Hicks, and Henriette Freeman Kids 1st Pediatrics
Watkinsville, GA

Indiana

“I’ve seen the positive effect this program has on parents and children.
For many of the families we serve, books are a luxury.  Reach Out and
Read makes it possible for children to start their own library by the
time they reach kindergarten.”
-Program Coordinator, Fort Wayne, IN

Massachusetts

“One of our patients is a mother of three and a domestic violence victim.
She and her children move often between shelters to stay safe, and every
time they move, she allows her children to only keep one toy.  Every
time, the children choose to keep one of their Reach Out and Read books
instead.”
-Volunteer, Boston, MA

Michigan

“Today I read to two 4-month-old babies.  One of their mothers couldn’t
believe her baby would be so excited about books.  She had never read to
him before, but said that she would start tonight!”
-Volunteer Reader, Kalamazoo, MI

Minnesota

“For the high-risk population we serve at our clinic, the opportunity to
be read to and to develop a love of books may make the difference
between future success and failure.”
-Pediatrician, Minneapolis, MN

Missouri

“After handing a book to an 18-month-old, his mother told me that she
couldn’t read and felt ashamed.  I reassured her that she could tell the
story from the pictures and helped her enroll in a learn-to-read
program.”
– Pediatrician, Kansas City, MO

New York

“Reach Out and Read is a gift to us, the providers.  It enables us to
further our ultimate goal, the improvement of the health and well-being
of children and their families, by way of a novel, interactive, and fun
approach.”
-Pediatrician, Brooklyn, NY

Ohio

“The parents are always so surprised by the importance our physicians
and especially our staff puts on reading books to young children. I
never tire of the look on parents’ faces when they see particularly the
board books for infants.”
– Sara Guerrero-Duby, M.D. F.A.A.P.
Children’s Medical Group
Akron, OH

Virginia

“The children come to expect a book every time they see the doctor.  I
walked into an exam room the other day and a Spanish-speaking child
greeted me by saying “libro” (book) before I could even say hello.
-Pediatrician, Alexandria, VA

Find out more about Reach Out and Read at http://reachoutandread.org/

Find out more about ClassroomsCare http://classroomscare.scholastic.com/