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.