Tag Archives: Staff

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.

The BFG

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.

Bunnicula

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?

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!

Remember When…

8 Sep

Happy International Literacy Day!

We love working for a company that has been a staple in schools and in the campaign for literacy for almost 90 years. Whenever we meet new people and they ask where we work their reaction is always, “I remember Book Clubs! I used to bring the flyer home and circle exactly what I wanted to buy! My whole flyer was filled with circles.”

Let’s not forget when the book box actually makes it to the classroom. “It was magical when the book box arrived. It helped reading feel like Christmas!” or “There was always a book our family could buy, which helped make me a reader!” We remember that feeling when the book box arrived and all we could think was: I can’t concentrate on math right now, teach—there is a box of books with my name on some of them and I want them NOW!

Just check out this video of students receiving the 4th Wimpy Kid book. Remember how excited you were when the book box showed up?


The strong nostalgia that resonates with adults about Scholastic Book Clubs is just one of the many things that we love about working here.

Having a job that brings excitement about books and reading to kids is a privilege. Seeing kids interact with Scholastic Book Clubs just like we used to do is the best inspiration we have to keep bringing the best books to all of you!

Share some of your memories with us! We’d love to hear them!
For more Book Clubs nostalgia, visit our friends over at On Our Minds!

Labor Day Weekend Reads

3 Sep

Now, we know that you may think that Labor Day means one thing: BBQ. But for the Book Talk crew, it means we get one extra day to do what we love best: read.

Yes, we will enjoy copious amounts of grilled delicacies, family, and friends, but we’ll also enjoy catching some rays while reading some fantastic books. What could be better? Not much, we say!

Here’s an inside lens into our Labor Day Weekend Reads (of course, we want to hear from you too!):

Preeti: My hopes are probably too high for this weekend, but I’ll be at the beach with more than a few reads. I’m most excited about Entwined, a young adult novel about my faaavorite fairy tale, “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” I also intend to relive the excitement of Scaredy-Cat, Splat! , which I am going to share with my friends so we can squeal over its cuteness!

Trevor: I’ll be reading an adult title (GASP!)—Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad—as well as reading the final installment in The 39 Clues® series, The 39 Clues®, Book Ten: Into the Gauntlet!

Erin: This weekend is filled with traveling, so I’ll have a lot of time to devote to some BIG books. I’m rereading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (for about the seventh time…). And because I can’t just read children’s books ALL the time (sigh), I’m going back to my history major tendencies and reading The Pillars of the Earth. Have a great weekend!

Jen: My weekend is going to be filled with family read-alongs! I’ll be rereading Mockingjay with my 14-year-old cousin. I’ll also be diving into the world of medicine with My Body (from Firefly September) so I can keep up with my loved ones, many of whom are doctors (hey, I’ve got to learn it somehow!).

What are you all reading this weekend?

Back to School!

31 Aug

 

Strange new teacher.
Strange new toys.
Lots of kids and lots of noise!

Llama Llama Misses Mama! Like many kids this fall, Llama Llama is heading to school for the first time. Anna Dewdney has provided teachers and parents alike with a great story to encourage social and emotional development. Brand new on Firefly this September, Llama Llama must learn how to get along with a new teacher and new friends and without Mama Llama. Check out our Firefly editor’s review of Llama Llama Misses Mama! Our friends at Penguin have also put together a collection of classroom activities go along with Llama Llama Misses Mama, grab them here!

In celebration of back to school stories, we Book Talkers thought we’d let you know about some other great September titles for all ages!

Ready for Kindergarten, Stinky Face?

On SeeSaw this September, Stinky Face has a million questions for his mother – What if the sink pours grape juice instead of water? Just how strange will Kindergarten be?



Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School

Meet our favorite mixed-up lady as a young girl, in this Lucky September offer! Amelia Bedelia can’t WAIT for school!



Dexter the Tough

On Arrow this fall, Dexter starts his first day in the fourth grade at a new school by slipping and falling in front of everyone – could it get any worse? This is a wonderful chapter book chronicling a boy’s trouble fitting in – in school and life.

 

What are some books that have helped your kids get ready for school? Leave a comment and let us know!

The Real Deal: Editors David and Abby Preview Fall Titles

9 Aug

It’s back-to-school season, all right.  The squeak-squeak songs of new sneakers in the crowded hallways, the tap-tap dance of new lunchboxes on young knees, and the grind-grind of sharpened pencils wafts from the classrooms-school’s back (or will be soon!), and we’re looking forward to sharing in the enthusiasm of a new year.

We’re bursting at the seams here at Book Clubs, especially our editors, who think that this is the BEST year yet for children’s books in Clubs.  But with so many options, we know it can be hard to find the books that are just right for your child (or student). Will they be age appropriate?  Will they hold your child’s interest? Will they be the right reading level?  And this is where we love to help.  Our editors have worked tirelessly to hand-select the best new books of the year that will not only keep them interested, but will boost their reading levels and success in school.

Make sure you check out this video featuring two of our resident experts/all-stars/children’s book gurus, Editors David and Abby, to learn a little more about some of their favorite September titles.  In David’s words, “We’ve spared no effort to provide you with the very,very finest books that can be found on planet Earth in  Scholastic Book Clubs.”

Do you agree? Open up your Book Clubs September flyers (in print or online) and just bask in the wonder, the joy, and the genius of children’s books.  We have found an awesome selection of just-right books for kids across America, and we hope you think so too!