“19 books to help children find hope and strength in stressful times”

The Washington Post came up with a list, from a Librarian, of books which will help children through this really tough time that the United States, and our world is facing.

Yes, they are picture books, but everyone, no matter which side you are on currently, is facing a tough time. So sometimes helping your children understand everything going on in the world and how to find hope and strength is needed. These 19 books really do speak to me as I’ve read quite a few of them. Even as an adult I may want to check some out again.

A friend sent me this link and so I am sharing it with you. Now it is your turn to share it with others.

Peaceful Photo



International Talk Like A Pirate Day

“Ahoy, matey!”

Yes, it is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.

September 19 is the day to jump ship, wear a bandana and talk salty!. Created by two friends  as a fun inside joke this day has grown to spread around the world and reflect on the Golden Age of Piracy. Peppered with odd phrases, funny accents and eye patches this is like Halloween without the gore.

So, with that thought in mind, rather than walk around with a peg leg and a parrot, sounding like you should be on the poop deck why not just read a pirate book instead? There are (not surprisingly) quite a few to choose from for all ages and stages of readers.

If you have little buccaneers in your life, or you want to relive the delight of children’s picture books,  there is the truly wonderful “How I Became A Pirate” by Belinda Long and David Shannon with a charming story and such exciting images you can’t help but love pirates.

Or the how about the charming “Pirates Don’t Change Diapers” also by Long and Shannon. And don’t be fooled……… these books are fun for adults too!!

If you want something a little more challenging middle school, YA and adult readers can dive into two excellent classics from years gone by.


“Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe and “Treasure Island” by  Robert Louis Stevenson are both works of classic literature that have stood the test of time and are loved. A little out of fashion now these books tell the tales of shipwreck, islands,pirates and much more. In their heyday they were no other fictional accounts to read and these were the rites of passage for young readers. While you won’t be able to get through these today (unless you do nothing else but read) they are worth the investment of time.



Looking for something a little heavier on  facts, rather than fiction two great books will give you everything you need to find out what pirates were all about.


“Pirate” from the DK Eyewitness Books series is jam packed with pictures, facts, lore and so much more. Not a book that you have to read from cover to cover you can delve into various sections (or the whole book) and come away loaded with information. Packed with great images you will have a much clearer understanding or pirates, and what being cutthroat really is. Definitely worth getting if you love the sea, want to know about pirates or just curious about history.






“Pirateology” is a one of those great books to give, and get, as gifts. With the sub-title of “The Pirate Hunters Companion” this magical book straddles fact, fiction and fantasy. Full of maps, letters (that you can pull out and read) this is a great book to look at and pour over. Wonderful for any age.



If you haven’t got the time to delve into a book stop by your library and borrow one of the really enjoyable “Pirates Of The Caribbean” movies. Classics, entertaining and really enjoyable. However, you spend the day take a moment to join in the fun, have some awe for those plunderers of the sea and check out one of these great books or movies and enjoy a day that can gives you the reason to have fun.



Talk Among Yourselves Tuesday

President Barack Obama has written a book for his daughters ~ Of Thee I Sing ~ and it is in bookstores today. Random House the publisher has released a video promoting it and the illustrations look wonderful.

Introducing several famous people the book appears simply written  but big on dreams and aspirations. I look forward to seeing it in person (more on this later).

Proceeds from the book will be donated to scholarships for children of soldiers who have been killed or injured. Now I might have to buy it!

With the holiday season fast approaching this might just be the perfect gift to give…..

Additional note:

Read a review here.

I guess there is nothing more to say.



Talk Among Yourselves Tuesday

Following this somewhat depressing article the question of young children,  books (picture books particularly) and early reading fills my thoughts. There is nothing so wonderful as sharing a book with a child, or several children, or many. Have you ever seen the look of excitement and wonder as a story unfolds before them? As they guess what is coming next, what might be hidden in the pictures, where the furry little hero is heading, what exactly is in the “great green room”? You get the idea. If you have the complete delight of sitting with one of these little people on your lap you can positively feel them twitch  and quiver with anticipation.

However, there is much competition for the attention of little ones. There is television, the computer, electronic games, etc. Hopefully, some of this media will be book related and they will be offered early learning programs and reading games. But nothing compares to being read to, sharing a book together and discovering the printed word and pictures without something that requires a battery or plug.

So, what a surprise to discover this. Online Story Time. huh??? I must have been under a rock as Barnes and Noble have a whole section devoted to it here. Lovely picture books are read to children by the authors.


And several others. There is something wonderful about listening to the author of a book reading to you. Maurice Sendak has a rough, gravely voice and listening to him say “wild things” almost sends shivers down your spine.

Lovely idea. Well put together. And then you can buy the book. Great marketing.

However, in this fast paced world where the television and/or the computer is the babysitter and children spend far too much time on electronic media and less interacting together (timetables play dates for the younger set, texting and not conversing for the older set) I find myself worrying about this. Despite the potentials, I am sure it has little value and is really a gimmick. Hopefully parents will sit with their little one and listen and watch together. Maybe the parent who feels they don’t know how to read out load…..

I am not convinced about this. What do you think? Is this a wonderful idea or is it a gimmick? What’s next…..story time on Skype?

Thoughts please!




Looking For Some Light Reading?

Just in case you aren’t sure where you stand on the picture book issue and need to refresh your opinion, or you need to get a little early holiday shopping done Gilt is offering select Harper Collins children’s books with such wonderful classics as Good Night Moon, Fancy Nancy, The Grouchy Ladybug and others. All of these lovely books will be available until 9pm October 26th. If you are not a member……I am sure we can figure something out.