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Top 10 Children's Books for the Holiday Season

By Katie Behrens. Dec 14, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Christmas Books

Whether you’re eight years old or eighty, there’s something magical about receiving a children’s book as a holiday gift. Whether it's a story you knew and loved as a child, or one you're passing on to a new generation, children's books stir old memories and create new. You open up the wrapping paper to find a beautiful story that transports you to a different place and time.  It is also a meaningful experience for the gift giver, wanting to pass along a character or story that they loved as a child. And for those merely ‘young at heart’, what a joy to receive a rare copy of a book that you haven’t seen in years!

     
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Book Spotlight: Wag-by-Wall by Beatrix Potter

Beloved children's book author and illustrator Beatrix Potter was a staple in many childhoods. Perhaps best known for her Peter Rabbit stories, Potter was a prolific writer with familiar, enchanting illustrations. In 1944, Wag-by-Wall, originally intended for The Fairy Caravan, was published for the first time in The Hornbook Magazine. When published as a book, illustrations were omitted since Potter did not include them in any drafts. The setting of the book is based on the Lake District Potter lived in and loved. Her detailed descriptions of the setting and characters serve as an excellent example of Potter’s skill as a storyteller and her magical ability to enrapture readers of all ages.  

     
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Cornelia Funke: Fantasy for All Ages

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 10, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Movie Tie-Ins, Book Collecting

German writer Cornelia Funke was born in 1958 in Dorsten in what was formerly West Germany. She studied pedagogy at the University of Hamburg and after graduation, worked for three years as a social worker. She married book printer Rolf Frahme in 1979 and shortly after, left social work to briefly pursue illustration. However, she quickly turned to writing her own books, and her efforts have been supremely successful. Her first books, which in English were titled Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost and C.H.I.X., were published in 1993, and each were the the first book in a series for elementary-aged readers. She published her first novel, The Thief Lord, in 2000 and has gone on to write many successful novels for young adults, including Dragon Rider and the Inkheart trilogy, and most recently the MirrorWorld novel The Golden Yarn and picture book The Book No One Ever Read.

     
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David Macaulay's Books For All Age

By Adrienne Rivera. Dec 2, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Legendary Illustrators, Children's Books

David Macaulay's books and illustrations are as thought-provoking as they are whimsical. He first had his idea for a French gargoyle story, which became Cathedral: The Story of its Construction, in the early seventies. While the lovely gargoyle ladies of medieval France did not make the cut, he was left with a drawing of a cathedral. This inspired a trip to Europe for research and resulted in the aforementioned Cathedral: The Story of its Construction's publication in the spring of 1973. Macaulay was given the Caldecott Honor Award for his efforts. He had been an interior designer and a high school teacher before, but after receiving such a prestigious award, he devoted himself to teaching illustration at his alma mater, the Rhode Island Institute of Design, and to writing and illustrating.

     
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Four of Jan Brett's Snowy Stories

By Abigail Bekx. Dec 1, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books, Legendary Illustrators

As winter approaches, it is nice to curl up with a book and a blanket, or, if one is lucky enough to live someplace warm, to pretend it is cold. One author and illustrator especially suited for snowy day reading is Jan Brett. Due to her extensive research, Brett’s illustrations hold an element of realism, which helps readers connect to the characters and settings. With over 30 books, readers are presented with many options to choose from when finding a snowy story. Enjoyable by adult and child readers, Brett’s books provide a perfect winter read.   

     
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The Quintessential Swiss-ness of Johanna Spyri's Heidi

By Matt Reimann. Nov 28, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

As of this writing, some 50 million copies of Johanna Spyri’s Heidi have been sold. A precursor to children’s book heroines from Pippi Longstocking to Eloise, Heidi has earned herself a place in countless childhood memories. Intelligent, caring, effervescent, often in the face of considerable challenges, it is not so hard to see why Heidi continues to be beloved by millions. Amid such artful successes, it can be easy to forget what its author Johanna Spyri contributed to the culture and posterity of her native Switzerland.

     
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Ten of the Best Children's Books for Thanksgiving

By Abigail Bekx. Nov 22, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Children's Books

Thanksgiving is known for many things: turkey, parades, football, and, of course, Pilgrims and Native Americans. With all of the distractions and celebrations, it can be easy to forget the meaning and history of the holiday. An easy, fun way to remember why we celebrate, for both old and young, is through children’s books. The simple presentation of facts and intriguing illustrations allow readers to remember what Thanksgiving means and why we celebrate. 

     
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Astrid Lindgren: Pioneer of Children's Literature

By Kristin Masters. Nov 14, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Book Collecting, Children's Books, Awarded Books

Today marks the birthday of Astrid Lindgren, the talented children's author who created Pippi Longstocking, and who is the namesake of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA). Her books have sold over 145 million copies around the world, and she's earned a place as one of the most distinguished children's authors of the twentieth century.

     
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Caldecott Winning Illustrators Series: Elizabeth Orton Jones

By Adrienne Rivera. Nov 13, 2018. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Awarded Books, Caldecott Medal, Children's Books

Each year, the Caldecott Medal is given to a children's book of exceptional quality that exhibits the highest level of artistic excellence. The illustrators given the award are known for their illustrations, whether it be for their beauty, humor, realism, innovation, or any other number of qualities. To be awarded a Caldecott medal is the highest honor an American children's book illustrator can receive. Continuing our Caldecott Medal Winning Book Series, we take a look at Elizabeth Orton Jones, an author who missed out on the award as a runner up in 1944, only to win the award the following year in 1945.

     
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Happy Birthday, Kay Thompson!

By Adrienne Rivera. Nov 9, 2018. 4:00 PM.

Topics: Children's Books

Kay Thompson is perhaps today best known for her work on the beloved children's book series Eloise and for her role in the equally famous film adaptation of the musical Funny Face. Both her literary, film, and music careers represent a bygone sort of old Hollywood glamour. From the music she arranged for MGM studios to her night club acts to the ritzy penthouse apartment that served as home to Eloise, Thompson's life and work serve as a glimpse into a exciting age of New York and Tinsel Town that now exists only in pop culture and memories. But it's the human heart of her work and the precocious spirit of Eloise that makes for an enduring classic. Today would have been Kay Thompson's 109th birthday, so let's take a look at the career of this Hollywood and children's literature icon.

     
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