Archive for June 2012

I recently picked up a booklet at the TPL celebrating Lillian Smith’s hiring and her contributions as Toronto’s “first professionally trained children’s librarian”. It is packed interesting historical tidbits and highlights 100 books published from 1912 to today. It has lots of familiar covers, some of which I recall reading as a child and one which we have covered in an Emerging Readers blog from almost one year ago (Press Here by Herve Tullet).

Included in the selection of 100 are some that we are fortunate to have as part of our home library collection that we can read time and time again –

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans – one of the original brave girls (“To the tiger in the zoo, Madeline just said ‘Pooh-pooh‘”). If you are thinking of taking your daughter(s) to see that new movie this summer, also plan to pick up this great book.

Mr. Gumpy’s Outing by John Burningham – I can’t count the number of times we read this one to the girls in the first years of their lives! It wasn’t a surprise to see the new book run now being featured in bookstores.

Finally, there is one book that we hope to catch as a theatre production in the next two weeks at the Toronto Fringe Kids FestivalSomething from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman.

There are many suggestions in this booklet that we haven’t read yet, so we are going to add them to our summer reading list and we may highlight some here soon! Let us know your favourite too!


Ivy + Bean – No News Is Good News by Annie Barrows & Sophie Blackall

Elizabeth, Sophie and I are about to embark on a new adventure – two months of summer vacation together! In recognition of this new three-of-us together model, Elizabeth and Sophie are contributing to this blog post. Each of us is looking forward to our own vision of what this summer will be…

Cathy: getting time to connect with each of my daughters in a way not possible during too short weekends, with (too many!) scheduled activities.

Elizabeth: sleeping in, no dictée and “my birthday is the next one in the family!”

Sophie: spending time with Lizzy, missing my daycare friends and (maybe) cracking the code to learn to ride a two-wheeler by myself!

Thanks to our local book bank, we’ve acquired a few books in a series that is one of our “old” favourites, first discovered through the public library — Ivy + Bean! Author Annie and illustrator Sophie can’t create these stories fast enough, but when Ivy & Bean – No News Is Good News became available this past spring, it encouraged us to re-read some of the previous adventures we had already enjoyed. They were just as fun the second time around! These stories are chapter books with occasional illustrations. Like many good books, you will frequently find yourself looking forward to the next opportunity to read more!

C: Which character do you like best?

E: Ivy

S: Yeah, Ivy

[This surprised to me. Both girls seemed to like the character who they describe as neater and more proper. Maybe because it is frequently Ivy’s imaginative and creative sides that cause the adventures to unfold!]

C: If you were to join in their next adventure what do you think it should be about?

S: Hotdog buns or bananas

E: Tiny, tiny beans or crickets, baby crickets

[This interview took place over breakfast. Sophie’s mind was obviously influenced by other forces!]

If you haven’t yet enjoyed these adventures, the stories are about two 7-year old girls who live on the same street. They are different enough that they never thought they would become friends — but they are! These are hilarious adventures involving dance, babysitters, ghosts, small individual wax-wrapped cheeses, mud volcanos, and more!

We also recently discovered a similar type of book series –  Heidi Heckelbeck has a secret. The author of this series has had four books published so far this year (!). Even though the library only has access to two of the books so far, if you need some additional good reading for this summer, it is worth checking out. Enjoy!