Monday, December 13, 2010

The Reindeer Keeper by Barbara Briggs Ward

For those of you who follow my blog and are familiar with my website- The Lollipop Book Club- you understand that I adore well written and illustrated children's books. My business and passion are wrapped into one, and for this I am fortunate.

Truth be told, you can catch me reading an actual novel from time to time. I cannot imagine a cozier day than to settle into my couch by the fireplace with a cup of coffee and a book that will take me away to another place or into someone else's life for awhile.

I am quite particular about what I will read but not because I am a book snob. Simply put, I do not have a lot of free time with three active kids under age 9 and a business to run.

I can tell you that this holiday season, The Reindeer Keeper will be waiting for me on the table by my favorite couch in the den. The cover alone is the perfect invitation on a cold winter day.

The storyline alludes to something magical -we must Believe Again. Reminds me of The Polar Express and I have a feeling it will touch me in the same way. If you have a few moments, visit the website for The Reindeer Keeper and enjoy the video introducing this enticing holiday novel.

You may find this book to be the perfect gift for many on your list this season! The book is available for purchase on the website and through Amazon.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quotes for Kids

The Lollipop Book Club connects children and adults through the gift of books. What makes our service so special is the way in which we package and deliver the gifts to the child's doorstep. We carry baby book gifts, chapter books like Newbery Medal Winners, and a huge selection of the best picture books for girls and boys of every age in between.
Each book includes a bookplate with a special message from the gift-giver. Our customers cherish this opportunity to wish a Happy Birthday, offer a Congratulations, and impart words of wisdom kids will read every time they pick up a favorite book.

Here is a list of our absolutely favorite quotes for kids, famous and not-so-famous alike, that we have imprinted on notes for those very special Lollipop Book Club gifts:

"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on the Treasure Island."
- Walt Disney

"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
-French novelist Colette’s advice to her daughter

"Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing."
- William Arthur Ward

"I don’t know who my grandfather was; I’m much more concerned to know what his grandson will be."
- Abraham Lincoln

"Fall seven times, stand up eight."
-Japanese saying

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
-Chinese saying

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."
-Henry Ford

"It doesn't matter how slowly you go- as long as you don't stop!"

"You always pass failure on the way to success."
-Mickey Rooney

"Only surround yourself with people who will lift you higher."
-Oprah Winfrey

"Make each day your masterpiece."
-John Wooden

"It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters."
- Epictetus

"Because life is a gift, all of us are gifted."
- Noah benShea

New Halloween Books for Kids- Perfectly Spooky Gifts!

Send a spooktacular Halloween book from The Lollipop Book Club. Each Halloween package includes a book of your choice, a Halloween lollipop, and a message on a bookplate, making this gift the creepiest keepsake ever. Here are some of the best new Halloween books for 2010.

Zen Ghosts by Jon J. Muth

From the publisher:

It's Halloween.

The trees are ablaze in fiery reds. Excited children don colorful costumes. And there's mystery and fun around every corner

When Addy, Michael, and Karl finish trick-or-treating, their bags are brimming with treats. But the fun isn't over yet. Their good friend Stillwater the panda has one more special surprise in store for them. A mysterious visitor is about to tell them a spine-tingling story -- one that will fill each and every reader with wonder.

Scaredy-Cat, Splat! by Rob Scotton

From the publisher:

It's Halloween, and Splat is determined to be the scariest cat in the class. Unfortunately he's just too much of a scaredy-cat. He's afraid of a little spider, and everyone says his costume looks more silly than scary. And when Mrs. Wimpydimple tells a ghost story in the dark, Splat gets so frightened that he tips over his jack-o'-lantern. But when the lights go back on, the entire class is scared silly by a small, black, furry creature with a big pumpkin head. "Whooooo" can it be?

The Curious Little Witch by Lieve Baeten

From the publisher:

What happens when a little witch gets curious? An international bestseller comes to the US! Lizzy is a curious little witch. Late one night she spots an old house all lit up when everyone else is asleep, and she can't help herself. She just "has "to investigate. The Little Witch books have been favorites around the world for years. Now, at last, the irresistible Little Witch comes to America!

Vampire Boy's Good by Lisa Brown

From the publisher:

When the sun goes down and everything is wonderfully cold and dark, a vampire boy and a little witch go searching for children in the night.

But this is no ordinary night. It is Halloween, and what they find may surprise them. . . .

Alpha Oops! H is for Halloween by Alethea Contis & Bob Kolar

From the publisher:

H gets top billing -- but a stubborn B has something scary to say -- as the inside-out alphabet gives a howl-arious Halloween performance.
Ack It's time for the show, and A isn't ready. But then again, Halloween can only start with one letter, no matter how the A-B-Cs normally go The misbehaving alphabet is back, and there's no telling who will take the stage next. Z for zombie? P for pirate? Will X think of something good in time? Neon-bright, comically detailed illustrations show a cacophony of costumed letters, each with a mind and personality all its own. Along the bottom, tiny pumpkins arrange the players in proper order, making this alphabet story letter-perfect for Halloween

The Halloween Kid by Rhode Montijo

From the publisher:

The Halloween Kid is capable of wranglin' all manner of halloween hoodlums to keep the night safe for trick-or-treaters...

That is until a band of greedy goodie goblins gallop onto the scene - then even the Halloween Kid can use a helpin' hand.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Graduation Quotes and Books

It's that time of year when graduates of every age are celebrating their recent accomplishments and preparing for their next endeavors. So whether you are attending a ceremony for preschool or medical school graduates, you may want to send a poignant message to that special person who is ready for a new challenge.

Here are some of the best graduation quotes we could find that will touch and inspire your graduate. Think about sending your special message along with a fabulous graduation book from The Lollipop Book Club!

"Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

"All our dreams can come true...if we have the courage to pursue them." -Walt Disney

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go." -Dr. Seuss

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." -Winston Churchill

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela

"The horizon leans forward, offering you space to place new steps of change." -Maya Angelou

"A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad." -Theodore Roosevelt

"It is clear the future holds great opportunities. It also holds pitfalls. The trick will be to avoid the pitfalls, seize the opportunities, and get back home by six o'clock." -Woody Allen
"Hitch your wagon to a star." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." -Confucius

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Attributed to Mark Twain

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." -Judy Garland

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -Dr. Seuss

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." -Milton Berle

"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone." - Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." -Henry Ford

"To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks." -A.A. Milne

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Autism Books for Children

The number of children diagnosed with autism or otherwise falling on the autistic spectrum is staggering. And chances are very high that you know someone who has a child affected by this disorder. For adults, it can be difficult to fully comprehend the complexity of autism and the social ramifications. So you can only imagine how hard it is for kids to try and understand what is going on with their autistic siblings, schoolmates or neighbors.

A good autism book for children is a tool that adults can use to help explain the disorder. Through compelling illustrations and simple text, children can gain better insight into the behavior of their autistic peers. Reading these books about with your kids also opens the door to a conversation and invites questions that may otherwise go unanswered.

Since We're Friends: An Autism Picture Book
by Celeste Shally and David Harrington

This sweet story offers a nice message for anyone who has the opportunity to befriend a highly functioning autistic child. Two boys, one autistic and one not, form a friendship that withstands some challenges. This is a good story for normally developing children who can learn to overlook quirky behavior and develop an invaluable bond with an autistic child.

I Am Utterly Unique: Celebrating the Strengths of Children with Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism
By Elaine Marie Larson and Vivian Strand

Children with Asperger Syndrome and highly functioning autism are the focus of this adorable book focusing on the gifts they have to offer. This book is the perfect read-aloud to children with an autistic-spectrum disorder as it embraces their talents in a fun A-Z format.

Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes

by Jennifer Elder and Marc Thomas

A little boy with Asberger’s Syndrome introduces children to amazing people who have made a significant impact in various fields of study. A common thread among all of these heroes is their autism, making it difficult for them to relate to others. This is an inspirational book for autistic children and their families.

All About My Brother: An Eight-Year-Old Sister's Introduction to Her Brother Who Has Autism

by Sarah Peralta

The sister of an autistic child provides a heartfelt viewpoint of her brother and what is really important about him. Children will learn that while autism can be a dominating characteristic, there are many other interesting things about that person as well. This book is a valuable resource for aunts who want to talk about autism with the other siblings.

Everybody is Different: A Book for Young People with Brothers or Sisters with Autism
by Fiona Bleach

This book is a perfectly inviting resource for siblings of autistic children. Everybody Is Different offers an explanation of autism in kid-friendly language. In addition to educating children about the disorder, the author provides guidance on how to make life a little bit easier with an autistic child.

Sweet Reading!
Karen Gallagher

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Book Review: My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete

An honest and moving picture book, My Brother Charlie, captures the essence of autism from the perspective of a twin sister. The authors, Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete, wrote the story based on their personal experience. This mother-daughter team offers a realistic depiction of autism, highlighting the gifts an affected child has to offer without glossing over the challenges.

Like many twins, Charlie and Callie have a lot in common, but they also are very different in some very significant ways. While Callie loves to talk, Charlie is often quiet. Also, Callie has a loving nature but Charlie’s does not display outward signs of affection. Loving words are “…locked deep inside my brother.”

Many mothers of autistic children sense that their child is different, often from the time of infancy. Such is the case with Charlie’s mom, despite the fact that a diagnosis does not follow for quite some time. Having an official name for his disorder doesn’t really change what Charlie’s sister and his mother have already come to understand about him.

Charlie is a bright, active and inquisitive child. He has many talents and interests like other little kids his age. He loves to climb, swim, and collect things. But sadly, he lacks the ability to socialize and connect with people most of the time. Laughing, making friends, communicating--these are all things Charlie wishes he could do. Often he seems disconnected and far away in his mind, and he can “ruin the best playdates.”

But then there are the times when Charlie does demonstrate love for his sister through his actions, and even conjures up the words to match. Those special moments are among the many blessings Callie counts when she thinks about her twin brother Charlie.

My Brother Charlie is a beautifully written story about life with an autistic sibling. The book is highly effective as told through the words of a young child. The story does not get lost in complex terminology, nor is there any focus on trying to “fix” Charlie. Rather, it is an endearing tale of acceptance, love, and recognition of a loving soul who has so much to give the world around him. If you have an autistic child in your life, I highly recommend that you share this book with his or her brothers, sisters, cousins, and other children who are affected by autism.

Sweet Reading!Karen Gallagher

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fantastic St. Patrick's Day Books For Kids

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner! So now is the perfect time to start thinking about how to celebrate this fun holiday with your kids. A great way is to read a good book together about leprechauns, shamrocks, and everything green.

Here is a list of our top 5 picks to get you started:

#1: Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk
by Gerald McDermott
This is a very funny tale about poor Tim O’Toole, ostracized by the townspeople for his misfortune. One day he comes across a group of Little People and demands some of their treasure. The evil McGoons in turn rob Tim of his fortune, until he utilizes the help of ten tiny men with clubs to retrieve the goods. This whimsical story is full of Irish humor, making it an enjoyable St. Patty’s Day read for kids.

#2: The Leprechaun’s Gold
by Pamela Duncan Edwards

There is a contest to find the best harpist in Ireland, and it comes down to two musicians- Tom and Pat. Pat is clearly the more talented of the two, so Tom relies on a sneaky scheme to try to win the title. His attempt fails miserably, thanks to the assistance of a leprechaun Pat befriended. Children will enjoy the moral of this suspenseful little story, and will have fun searching for the shamrocks hidden through the book.

#3: That’s What Leprechauns Do
by Eve Bunting

Ari, Col, and Boo set out to find their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but like most leprechauns, they find themselves creating quite a bit of mischief along the way. Their antics will tickle the funny bone of every child as the endearing trio creates havoc throughout the beautiful Irish countryside.

#4: The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever

by Teddy Slater

Sit back and enjoy this lighthearted rhyming romp with a group of leprechauns celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. The day is filled with music, dancing and a fun parade. Young children will enjoy the colorful illustrations and simple story about a day full of cheerful little people.

#5: O’Sullivan Stew

by Hudson Talbott

Mix things up a bit with a story about an Irish girl who takes it upon herself to restore peace to her Irish village. Kate O’Sullivan is a clever heroine who, despite her good intentions, gets into trouble. She manages to outwit the king and saves the day in a funny tale full of subtle humor and vibrant illustrations.

Sweet Reading!
Karen Gallagher

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney: 2010 Caldecott Medal Winner

A picture is worth a thousand words. There is no better expression to describe Jerry Pinkney’s latest children’s book, The Lion and the Mouse. Winner of the prestigious Caldecott Medal for 2010, The Lion and the Mouse is a beautiful and practically wordless retelling of the classic Aesop’s fable.

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually to one children’s book based on the illustrative depiction of a story. The cover alone of this magnificent work will convince you that the book is worthy of this recognition.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story, The Lion and the Mouse is a classic tale about the unusual friendship these two creatures form. Set in the African Serengeti, a tiny mouse escapes the grip of a hungry owl but lands in the paws of a ferocious lion. The lion inexplicably lets the mouse go, but in time she returns the favor by chewing through the ropes of a trap and sets the lion free. The unlikely bond between these very different animals is one that can be appreciated by children and adults alike.

But the story alone, no matter how remarkable, is not what makes this book so magnificent. The gripping illustrations, done in watercolor and colored pencils, will have you pouring over every detail. Pinkney’s animals are both realistic and expressive, an important yet difficult feat given the scope of their emotions throughout the book.

The sparse text, really just animal noises, allows the reader to focus on the amazing illustrations. Words would be nothing more than a distraction in this story that is so masterfully told through pictures.

The Lion and the Mouse would make a wonderful gift for children of every age. The pictures offer something for everyone and the story itself is a gentle reminder that friendships come in every shape and size.

Sweet Reading!
Karen Gallagher