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‘Tis the Season…for Snow Forts!

13 Dec

Last week we had the first snow of the season here in New York. Granted it was just some flurries, but it had everyone buzzing with excitement in our offices! So we thought we’d gather some of our favorite snow reads for when we get back inside after spending all day in the stuff!


Cynthia Rylant’s quiet lyrical text and Lauren Stringer’s beautiful illustrations together make Snow a wonderful love letter to, well, snow! It’s a perfect bedtime story after a full day of snowmen and snow angels for little ones. You can find it on SeeSaw December!

Sneezy the Snowman

This snowman cannot stay warm! Every time his friends try to help, he ends up melting and they have to rebuild him. Find out how they fix Sneezy’s snowy problem in this hilarious read-aloud on SeeSaw December!

Mouse’s First Snow

Join Mouse as he experiences all the best parts of winter! Ride along with him on his first sled, and watch as he and his father build his first snow house and as Mouse makes his own snow angel. This Firefly December title is perfect for beginning readers

The Magical Snowman

Told with simple text and engaging illustrations, The Magical Snowman is a story about friendship. Little Rabbit makes a snowman one morning, and while his father says the snowman isn’t real, Little Rabbit will find out just how real the snowman is! Available on Firefly December!

Where the Snowflakes Fall

With an adorable arctic seal on the cover, little readers will love this book all about arctic animals that live in snow! Find it on Honeybee this December!

Snow Science Pack

As an added bonus, on SeeSaw this December you can find a kit to make your own snow! (I won’t lie, I may bring this with me when I visit Florida!)

Are you what you read?

17 Nov

What classic children’s story shaped the lives of an NFL star, a skateboarding legend, a world-renowned artist, a popular TV weatherman, and an Emmy-winning actor?

 Well…did you guess correctly? Continue reading

Books to Movies!

22 Sep

Photo by Mr. Wabu

Did you hear? They’re turning GOOSEBUMPS into a movie! When we heard this news, it got us thinking…what are some of our favorite book-to-movie experiences? While we definitely are in the business of reading and books, it’s fun to see how the silver screen compares to our imaginations sometimes. I can remember seeing The Return of the King in the theater and thinking, “That is exactly what I pictured the Mount Doom scene to look like.”

In our opinion, the best movies based on books have to stay true to the character and the story, and most of all, leave you wanting to read (or reread!) the book. Here are a few favorites that we definitely couldn’t skip:

Harry Potter

Of course we have to pick Harry Potter—we are already rereading the series in anticipation for the seventh movie!

Charlotte’s Web

This E.B. White classic chapter book has an equally classic movie to go alongside it—I still sing Templeton the rat’s carnival song every so often when I’m feeling particularly silly!

James and the Giant Peach

The animation and technology of this movie perfectly encapsulated the whimsy and adventure of Roald Dahl’s book about a boy braving the seas with his crew of ragtag insects!

Freaky Friday

The original, of course. Jodie Foster brought the smart-talking Annabel Andrews to life in this Mary Rodgers classic. She sure figured out that her mom’s life wasn’t nearly as enviable as she thought!

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Equal parts distressing and hilarious, this movie was perfect for the Lemony Snicket set. Even with us at the edge of our seats, the Baudelaire children came back time and time again from everything the evil Count Olaf threw at them.

Go on! Tell us some of your favorites!

Chapter Books Band Wagon!

20 Sep

It’s an exciting time for kids heading into first and second grades this fall—some have discovered chapter books and there are so many great ones out there! Chapter books are an important milestone for new readers. I can distinctly remember graduating to The Baby-Sitters Club after six months’ worth of Baby-Sitters Little Sister—it was a momentous occasion. It meant I was finally one of the big kids! So today, in honor of all those kids jumping on the chapter book wagon, we decided we’d take a look back at some of our favorite chapter books!

The Trumpet of the Swan

This is my absolute favorite E.B. White story. Some may prefer Charlotte and her salutations, but for me it was always about Louis and his trumpet.


Roald Dahl’s story of a giant catching good dreams is certainly one of his more friendly pieces. There’s a tiny bit of me that still wants to be Sophie!

Where the Red Fern Grows

Billy’s love for his two dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann, is the integral (and heartbreaking) part in this story about friendship and loss. I dare you to read this without getting teary eyed.


I have to be honest—the Bunnicula cover terrified me when I was younger. But when I finally got around to reading it, I couldn’t believe it’d taken me so long. It is about a bunny vampire who sucks the juice out of vegetables—a.k.a. Instant Hilarity!

Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking was definitely one of my idols growing up—she’s brash and headstrong, but so caring and adventurous that it didn’t matter! (Also, I reeeeally wanted to live in her house!)

So there you have it, Book Talkers—some of our favorite chapter books growing up. Now you tell us! What were some of yours?

Top 5 Favorite Schools from Children’s Literature

15 Sep

It’s September, and it’s back-to-school time for almost everyone. We have been discussing back to school quite a bit on Book Talk with “Authors Go Back to School!” and chatting about our favorite memories of Scholastic Book Clubs when we were in school. Now we are adding one more to the list…Top 5 Favorite Schools from Children’s Literature! Here are the coolest/best schools or camps from some of our favorite books in no particular order:

Hogwarts (Harry Potter)

Camp Half-Blood (Percy Jackson & the Olympians)

Wayside School

Gallagher Academy (Gallagher Girls)

Cat School (Splat the Cat)

What are some of your favorite schools from children’s books?

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Everywhere!

9 Sep

Photo by Tambako

As soon as September comes around, a certain large orange fruit hits the town—pumpkins! It seems like everywhere you look, you’ll find something pumpkin-related waiting for you: in your coffee, in desserts (yum!), and of course, on your doorstep. We just can’t get enough of this orange-colored fruit! (Fun fact: The US produces 1.5 BILLION pounds of pumpkin each year.)

You can bet the younger Clubs are obsessed with pumpkins, and who can blame us? With so many great picture books about this sign of the season, we sometimes find ourselves overwhelmed with all the possible titles we should offer. Do we choose an old favorite? A teacher-recommended pick? A new pumpkin-related title in a favorite series? Or all of the above (and then some)?

To help you wade through this veritable pumpkin patch, here are Book Talk’s top five pumpkin books (in no particular order):

The Ugly Pumpkin:  I’m a big fan of Dave Horowitz, and this funny little rhyming book is a fantastic take on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale—with a silly surprise ending, to boot! You can find this one on Firefly October.

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever:  These two mice each have found the perfect pumpkin to win the neighborhood contest—the only problem is that these two separate pumpkins turn out to be the same!

Pumpkin Town!:  Uh-oh, these brothers accidently spread pumpkin seeds all over their town—and now there are pumpkins EVERYWHERE! One of my favorite pumpkin books, and it’s great for creative discussion.

The Legend of Spookley, the Square Pumpkin:  Pumpkins are supposed to be round, but little Spookley shows that it’s cool to be square!

Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin:  Could any duo in recent memory be cuter than Duck & Goose? I think not! Check out this gourd-tastic board book on Firefly September!

Did we miss one of your favorites? Do you have a special pumpkin memory you’d like to share? Make sure to comment on this post!

This post was written by guest blogger, Celia. Celia is an editor on Firefly and Honeybee, and a huge pumpkin ethusiast!

Goldilicious and More Favorites!

19 Aug

When I was younger, I loved reading about characters I could connect with and look up to – more often than not, these characters were little girls just like me… if a little more precocious. There was Olivia and Eloise, not to mention Madeline!

Now, there’s exciting news about one of today’s favorite girls (drum roll, please!) Goldilicious is finally out in paperback! In the third installment of Victoria Kann’s best selling series, we meet Pinkalicious’ unicorn, Goldilicious. Goldilicious high jumps, roller skates, and is always there for Pinkalicious – especially when she has to fend off her little brother Peter’s evil magic! You can find it on Firefly this September!

There are so many great characters for girls to read about and admire! In honor of Goldlicious’ paperback debut, here’s a list of Book Talk’s top five girl characters, in no particular order as we could never really choose 🙂


Pinkalicious has to be on the list, she’s just so cute! And who doesn’t want a unicorn for a best friend?

Fancy Nancy

This lovely fancy lady is an intelligent, sassy, and very imaginative girl. Nancy is très jolie, and très drôle. Did I mention she’s a great way to pick up some French lingo?


Well, you all already know that we here at Book Talk adore Ramona. She’s the classic every girl, though sometimes she’s brave enough to say what some of us could only think – and that’s why we love her!

Ladybug Girl

Ladybug Girl is always on a mission with her loyal sidekick, a basset hound named Bingo. Whether it’s playing in the forest, forming The Bug Squad, or conquering the ocean, Ladybug Girl can always make the most of any situation!

Ginny Fry

A bit newer to the list than the others, Ginny is an adorable first grader with a penchant for excitement. You can meet her in SeeSaw this September!

What would yours be?

Summer Backslide & Our Top 5

20 Jul

A few weeks ago we posted an article from USA Today on our Facebook page about how reading during the summer might be the best way to protect against the summer backslide. It got us thinking here at the Book Talk team, what were our favorite summer reads growing up? That being said, here are our Top 5 summer reads from when we were younger:


The Phantom Tollbooth
The Giver
Max and Me and the Time Machine
Miracle at the Plate
Sideways Stories from Wayside School


A Wrinkle in Time
Lord of the Rings
Anne of Green Gables
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Alanna: The First Adventure


To Kill a Mockingbird
The Midwife’s Apprentice
A Cricket in Times Square
Island of the Blue Dolphins


Mrs. PiggleWiggle-anything
Strega Nona
Amelia Bedelia-anything
A Wrinkle in Time


Watership Down
The Little Prince
Island of the Blue Dolphins
Where the Red Fern Grows


A Wrinkle in Time
The Secret Garden
My Side of the Mountain
Anne of Green Gables

As you can see, we have some repeats but what can we say…A Wrinkle in Time is awesome.

What would your top 5 be?