Tag Archives: toddlers

Toddler Storytime, Thursday, June 11


I’m starting to love my toddlers more and more. They used to be a difficult middle-age-group for me. Their books weren’t as clear-cut obvious as those for the babies or preschoolers; they were the wiggliest of all my storytime groups; I never felt 100% comfortable with them as I did with the other groups.

But I think that’s changed. They’re still the wiggliest, but in the way, that’s good. It’s taught me to be flexible. If they get a little wiggly, we can do a song that helps them get their wiggles out, like “Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” Raffi’s “Shake My Sillies Out,” or just get up and do some arm and leg shaking, or jumping jacks, or something silly. If they get a lot wiggly, and the Storytime Titanic starts sinking, then I know that it’s time to end a bit early, and that’s okay.

My Thursday storytime went beautifully. Being a little silly with this group works really well. (With preschoolers, I do try to be more serious, because the older preschoolers are going to Kindergarten – very much so, sometimes; they’re so old! – and they need to be able to sit still.) So this session’s book selections were solid choices.


As it happened, most of them knew We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, though this was my first time with it. So they were happy to help me make the movements and the noises and get faster once we “saw” the bear. We sang/read Five Little Monkeys and the big book of Freight Train, which we didn’t get to last time.

What’s funny, and worth noting, is that they were getting a little wiggly by the end, when I was reading Freight Train, but I wanted to try something that had worked in the past when I was a camp counselor with teenagers. If you’re ever in a room with a bunch of loud teens, the quieter you speak when trying to get their attention, the quicker they will get quiet in their curiosity to hear what you say.

I knew it worked with teens, but I wondered if it worked with toddlers, so I decided to try it. I read Freight Train steadily and in the same volume I had with my other books, and would you believe it, I’d say about 75% of them quieted down and paid attention! Whaaaa?! Some of them were even reading along with me.

You could have knocked me over with a feather. It was great.

In other news, I need a break. I often feel like I’m turning into a fractious toddler. I get cranky in the middle of the day, knowing I need a nap or some food. I don’t want to listen to what people are saying. I want to go home. I want to go home NOWWWW. Or a nap. Maybe because it’s summer, maybe because public schools close on Friday (Beyonce help us all), maybe because it’s unrelentingly hot and humid, maybe because I need a vacation.


In the top spot: Oregon reigns supreme.

It’s about time to hear a new voice.

Ugh, just…. no. NO.

A few misfires, but some other excellent recommendations.

Oh, man, do I just love The Bad Seed

From Friend D:

Queen Victoria took a stab at a children’s book (well, way before she was Queen).

#14: Annabelle has just never liked this book.

From Friend P:

James McBride has a few things to say about To Kill a Mockingbird.

From Mama Bear:

Thank goodness for fine caps!

“Shawl insufficiency”

Sounds like a good time in my hometown


True – traditionally it’s a Mommy job, amirite?

This whole story is weird, but how dare they drag Madeline into it?

I am a logolept.

Probably another bad idea in a series of bad ideas?

Mostly agreed, except for Alexander and…. 

For obvious reasons, and we salute you.

From Sister A:

Jeez, where don’t I read? Where do you read?

Quite Brit-centric, Mama Bear and I agreed, but, well, can’t complain. (Where’s Charlotte A. Cavatica, ahem ahem??)

The new Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling cover!

“Hello, I’m an illustrator, I know this sounds weird, but could I draw your child and not tell you what it’s for?”

In What’s Annabelle Reading, The long experiment of rereading The Little House on the Prairie series is finally over. They were fine, but I can clearly see why 8-year-old me wouldn’t have enjoyed them. The last few books, with teenage Laura having friends, going to parties, etc., I enjoyed much more than flipping pages through descriptions of Pa building a door. Ugh.

In other news, I also read Emily Gould’s Friendshipwhich was meh, since I didn’t particularly care about either protagonist in said friendship, and The Hangman’s Daughter, which was a nice little historical mystery from Germany.


Toddlers, Wednesday, May 29, and Babies, Friday, May 3


My two storytimes last week couldn’t possibly have been more different.

My toddlers were almost a full house, and while I had their attention through the first book, 1, 2, 3 to the Zoo,  I rapidly lost it after the book and the song after that. And taking some advice from Kenny Rogers, I figured I wouldn’t try to keep the kids much longer, so we sang a song and adjourned. I didn’t even get to Barnyard Banternor the big-book version of Freight Train I’d planned to close with.  Maybe next time.


In a complete 180, my babies were all about storytime on Friday. We could have gone on forever. “Give us more,” they cooed, smiling, clapping their hands, and drooling all over their grownups. (I don’t know. I don’t speak baby. They may have been smiling and clapping their hands and cooing, but saying “This sucks, where’s my pureed spinach?” But they looked happy, so I’m taking my wins where I can get them, okay?)


Baby Love is a brand-new book that I snatched up when planning storytime. It has a refrain about kissing and hugging, which spurred some spontaneous, well… baby love! Doesn’t get any better than that. Pete’s a Pizza and My Nose, Your Nose are always popular, so those worked too.

Isn’t it funny how in just a few short years, boom, kids can change so much?

Today I have a meeting with my teen space committee to talk more about how we can make it a welcoming space, but still enforce the rules. It’s a tough balance, but I know we can do it.


In the top spot, from Sister A, this is the BEST NEWS OF MY SUMMER AND IT’S ONLY JUNE 2! Because y’all KNOW how I feel about Bill Bryson!

This takes the second spot among all my Judy-related links this installment.

Dirtbag Tess of the D’Urbervilles. (I read it for the first time in 9th grade, missed the whole point, and loved it when I reread it. Definitely worth looking into again. Thomas Hardy!)

Were you ever a Poky Little Puppy devotee? I don’t think I ever was.

In the category of “More things we don’t need…”

Mansfield Park in a nutshell, particularly if you watched the 1999 Patricia Rozema adaptation.

Glad to hear that my Texas friends are okay. But it’s funny (weird funny) that in times like these, people turn to… where else? Their library!

More problems with the New York Times’ summer reading list.

Not so much “around the world” as it is mostly “around Britain,” but they’re still gorgeous!

From Coworker A:

Her friend J works for the DC Public Library and did a reading guide from Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston. It is excellent.

From Friend D:

Here’s a chance to watch my Birthday Twin be cute.

More appropriate casting news for Doctor Strange.

Well, this is a problem.

I’m not sure a bookstore has “more to offer than all of [the] libraries combined,” but I’ll root to save a bookstore anyday.

Again, bookstores FTW.

J.K. is a BADASS! I love her!

From Friend E:

Don’t read this list on an empty tummy.

She sounds divinely interesting.

Some of the best opening lines in lit!

From Mama Bear:

I’ve said for years that the world would be a better place if we just adopted an Austenian way of life. Finally, someone’s listening.

He will never not be relevant.

It was different for all of us, but with different books and different moments, but Judy taught us all.

It’s not like the need for diversity is ever going to disappear, let’s be honest.

There is no reason to read this book. The first one was fine, thankyouverymuch. (The last line, burn!)

From Sister A:

Judy gifs!

“LIBBA BRAY” was how she titled her email about these great summer YA reads.

More John Green cuteness.

I love the part at the beginning about crying when people meet Judy Blume. She’s going to be in my town soon, and I cried when I met her, and a friend is worrying about crying when she meets her, and I was like, “Honey, we all do it.”

In What’s Annabelle Reading, the project I sneakily alluded to is finished! Friend E and I both read How to Be Bothby Ali Smith… but I read it from the beginning, and she read the second half first and then read the first half. We’re meeting to discuss it on Thursday night, at which point I’ll report our findings.

Because I love anything to do with New York City around the turn of the century, and good ole Theodore Roosevelt, I picked up this doorstop. It was interesting, yet plodding to get through.

Toddler Storytime, Thursday, May 21


Thursday, May 21 seems so long ago – after a weekend of camping in the great outdoors – that I hardly remember it now. There were a lot of my familiar faces, and all went smoothly.


My new book to old book ratio this time around was 2:1. I used my flannel cut-outs with Today is Monday, and then got a big kick out of the children’s reactions to Where is the Green Sheep? (a good book for talking about what the sheep are doing in the pictures and confirming that we hadn’t yet seen the green sheep) and Nighty Night, Little Green Monster, which reveals the cutest little monster ever. It’s a sweet book.

In other news, Mama Bear and Daddio are in Seattle right now, and Mama Bear sent me this picture – how neat! I would go to see this; wouldn’t you?


Links! (Lots about Judy Blume, as her new book comes out soon!)

This is in the top spot, because I think it’s a scream. I could NOT stop laughing.

Ugh, this is just not okay. 

Some “screw you” book dedications.

Not the most clever from McSweeneys: Little Pulp Fiction Women. 

From Coworker L:

Austen’s hotties, ranked. I will not reveal #1 here – you must look, and no, it’s not Darcy.

From Family Friend Jill’s blog:

Think carefully before you review a book online.

From Friend D:

If you take a book, isn’t every bar a library bar?

Edward Gorey’s most notable covers.

See below, but here’s a literary smackdown between Bill Gates and Osama bin Laden.

From Friend E:

What’s Bill Gates reading?

(Stolen) From Friend M:

You might be (or might make a good) librarian if…

From Friend T:

The books were great, and it looks as if SyFy may have gotten the adaptation right.

From Library Friend D:

Hark, a Vagrant! tackles the Brontes (see below for more Bronte action)

From Mama Bear:

Want some sexy sex time, according to Our Jane? Hit the seashore.

An interesting story about one of the first real “children’s” books.

Judy Blume knows all your secrets.

The New York Times review of Judy Blume’s new book, In the Unlikely Event.

A generous gesture to the Baltimore City libraries.

ALL OF THESE. YA forever!

Clearly library paste was before my time.

Snacks to pair with some kickin’ new YA books.

Another author who’s becoming a bookseller – and this one might surprise you.

From Sister A:

It’s comforting to know that the Queen of the Puberty Books was a late bloomer.

“Oh, to be a fly on the wall,” Sister A wrote about this photo.

Her subject line to me: “This may be the only time you see dementors referenced in an article about the Orioles.”

I want it nowwwwwww #VerucaSalt

If you’re going to jump all over Go Set a Watchman, might as well reread To Kill a Mockingbird first, right?

So here’s a funny story. A few weekends ago when Sister A came to visit, we had occasion to bring up Al Hirschfeld twice (once by Brian Selznick!), hilariously. Not that he’s such a random topic, but hey, how often does he come up in conversation, and twice in a weekend? Then the next day was Mother’s Day, so we met up with the parents. It turns out that the parents had gone antiquing and Mama Bear had found a signed memoir in an antique store. Whose memoir? Al Hirschfeld’s. How weird is that? So then Sister A sent this link, with the subject, “This was on my Zite… I’m just saying.”

In What’s Annabelle Reading, the only book I’ve finished lately is On the Banks of Plum Creek, in my Laura Ingalls Wilder re-reading. But I’m in the middle of another book for a project with Friend E, so I promise I’ll report on that once we finish.

Toddler, Outdoor, and Family Fun Storytimes


I’m so sorry, my chickadees. I’ve fallen down on the job. It’s been a few days since I should have posted, so I have lots of links for you, too, and many books that I’ve read, including a new personal project to share!

My Wednesday storytime was with the toddlers, and I’ve started using some music CDs to accent my storytimes. I’ve been singing up to now, but is that something that everyone wants to hear? No. Besides, there’s a lot of great children’s music out there waiting to be discovered.


My new book this time was This Little Chick, which is a terrific animal sounds book for all ages. I love discovering new books, but then I think to myself, “Why have I not discovered this before??” I found CDs with Raffi’s “Shake My Sillies Out,” and have used that in this storytime and my outdoor storytime, along with Sharon, Lois, and Bram’s “Skinamarink.” Both songs were under a minute, so we did them twice. Again, with the young ones, REPETITION. REPETITION. It bears repeating: REPETITION.

This was my first outdoor storytime of the year on Thursday, and Coworker L, who did it last week, helpfully let me know that it skewed young. Last year, it skewed young to toddlers, but this year, it skewed young to one-year-olds. WOW. At the last minute before I left, I thought to bring along Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, and I’m glad I did, because I was just filled with babies, ones, and a few twos and threes.

So I did a lot more songs than I had planned, and the only books of the ones below that I actually read was Suse MacDonald’s AlphabaticsI was planning to have the kids identify the pictures, but the teachers did, and then I asked the kids about the pictures – “Oh, look, a hat! Do we see anyone here wearing a hat right now? Yes! Let’s point to them!” (etc.)


For my Saturday Family Fun Time, sometimes I have trouble coming up with themes, so I look at that day in history. You may remember that I did that with Marie Antoinette and the teens once. So I went to Wikipedia don’t judge me and learned that May 16, 1929 was the first Academy Awards.

“Aha!” thought yours truly, the genius.

So yesterday, I had a private Family Fun Time with College Friend D and his hilariously adorable three-year-old J, and we watched the 1952 Academy Award nominee short Madeline and then read Madeline’s Rescuethen read Gerald McBoing-Boing (which I had never heard of before starting my planning, but, oddly, Mama Bear and Daddio had), and watched Gerald McBoing-Boing on Planet Moo, an Academy Award short nominated in 1956. Finally, we watched the 1984 nominee cartoon Dr. DeSoto and then read The Amazing Bone.

But remember that there are no geniuses like three-year-olds, who come out with the best ideas.

At the beginning of Family Fun Time, I shared some fun facts about the early Academy Awards (tickets to the first ceremony were $5, compared to the oddly reasonable $69 today, and the first one lasted 15 minutes; this year’s ran at what, three hours plus?).

Then I asked if anyone knew why the Academy Awards were also called The Oscars.

J instantly replied, “Because they’re trashy!”

Can’t argue with that logic, can you?


Well, okay then.


A Q&A with Anthony Doerr, the author of the Pulitzer-winning All the Light We Cannot See. 

You should have seen me with my paintbrush on Harry Potter Day at work last year, really trying to cast spells with that thing.

Ayn Rand’s Babysitters Club. Heh.

So many embarrassingly-new names to me.

French Milk was charming! Lucy Knisley is one to watch, and so are these other women. Graphic novel memoirs are a great place to start if you’re interested in the genre but a little hesitant about starting.

From College Friend J:

He and I were in the college Writing Center together, and boy, did we know On Writing Well backwards and forward.

From Friend D:

Who wouldn’t, seeing this?

Sharing books with my mother is a wonderful memory (all below aside.)

From Mama Bear:

A rave review for Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. 

A fascinating column about Daphne du Maurier.

Numbers 15 and 16 really hit home.


Sister A and I are chronic re-readers. For this author, not so much.

Charlotte Lucas, which is a little humiliating, but okay.

From Sister A:

Shout-out to The Amazing Bone!

In What’s Annabelle Reading, after finishing “Mammy Sucks” (not the official name of the book), I picked up Far from the Madding Crowd, because I realized I’d never read it. I LOVED it. And now it’s a new movie with Carey Mulligan. I can’t wait to see it.

Then finally, I got a copy of Ms. Marvel: No Normal, which is one of the first new graphic novels I’ve ever read. We need new women superheroes. We need new teenage women superheroes. We need new diverse teenage women superheroes. We need new Muslim teenage women superheroes. I’m so happy this graphic novel came along.

When Sister A was visiting, I grabbed a copy of The Partly Cloudy Patriot to read from our local Little Free Library, which is always fun to visit. You never know what you’ll find. Sarah Vowell is snarky and clever.

So, with my first of two new projects, falling under the category of “Books That Didn’t Take When I Was a Kid,” I’m re/reading the Little House series, in order. I’ve already made it through Little House in the Big Woods, the first, which is the only one I remember, and I remember it clearly from multiple childhood rereadings. Mama Bear and I had the whole set and we were planning to read them aloud before bedtime. I don’t remember why we didn’t continue, but I sense it’s because we got to Little House on the Prairie and I strongly objected; on this reread I realized 8-year-old Annabelle would have definitely found it boring. Who cares how Pa built a door? Even 35-year-old Annabelle skimmed that part pretty quickly.

The whole part about the Native Americans living nearby was cool, except I felt squicky with the repeated “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” mantra from one of the Ingalls’ neighbors. Despite the blatant racism (y’know, aside from that), it’s charming, although the little girls are too well-behaved to be believed.

While I was waiting for the next few books in the series to come in, I pulled out The Fault in Our Stars, by my birthday twin, and damn near started crying on my commute yesterday. Although I did see a teenage girl with an “Okay? Okay.” shirt and we shared a nice moment.

Preschool Storytime, Wednesday, January 28


This post was going to be titled “Preschool and Baby Storytimes,” but given that I had absolutely zero babies for my storytime today (wahhhh), I’ll just focus on my preschool storytime.

Funnily enough, it wasn’t even a preschool storytime. What with the weather in the Northeast, our storytime numbers have been low this week – it’s snowing even as I type this – and I had some leftover toddlers, without a preschooler in sight. So with a bit of tweaking, I made my preschool storytime a toddler storytime. We still had a ball!


I had already planned to read Piggies in Pajamas and Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing in my preschool storytime, and those worked well enough, but not beautifully, with the toddlers. I added Jane Cabrera’s The Wheels on the Busand boom, toddler storytime. We sang “Shake My Sillies Out” with egg shakers, and the usual songs, and though it was a small group, we had a nice time.

Sadly I didn’t have anyone for my babytime, but it actually worked out nicely, because I met a couple from Korea wandering around, and the wife is a library school teacher there, and I showed them all through our children’s section, and even gave them a bag of swag to boot. We have so many international visitors – library people are library people, no matter where they’re from.

Oh, I forgot, I haven’t shown off some of the great displays my coworkers have done in a while, so I want to highlight them here. Aren’t they clever?


Often we’ll do smaller displays on top of some of our bookcases, and here’s the Pets one. I love the little fishbowl on the top.


Recognize any of these silhouettes?


Coworker L gets a special shoutout because she worked so blasted hard on this one. Each state is a YA book that takes place there, and the white box to the right – you may not be able to read, sorry – lists all the books she used. I think it is supercool.

In links today:

The top spot: We have lost Colleen McCullough, who wrote The Thorn Birdsand Margaret Bloy Graham, who illustrated Harry and the Dirty Dog(Mama Bear, who sent me the latter link, wrote that she can still picture herself at her kitchen table writing a book report in second grade on Harry and his adventures.)

I wish we could do more. We need to do more. 

Ms. Marvel is Muslim. Also? Ms. Marvel takes no crap.

You may laugh at #4, but that’s super-important. I know nothing about the new Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. shows, but I can serve the kids at my library a lot better if I do. Also to learn about? Minecraft.

Librarians are the most powerful people in schools, from what I hear.

A Q&A with family friend and author Jill Morrow (whose new book is coming out soon yay!)

A blogger mom sings our praises. Thank you!

From Coworker L:

The GIFs are a particularly snarky addition to the advice.

From Friend D:

I can’t even.

Preservation, conservation, and restoration are part of archiving, which I know little about but respect greatly. Here’s part of what that all entails. 

Please, corporations, just stop trying.

From Mama Bear:

Some pretty solid choices on this list, but my favorite one – not included, sadly – is still ” ‘Where’s Papa going with that ax?’ said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.”

Seriously, none from Lady Catherine, who has not a civil word for anyone? I’m surprised.

In What’s Annabelle Reading:

Wow, did I enjoy Noggin, by John Corey Whaley. It’s not just a book about, you know, having a cryogenically frozen head, but about starting over and trying to get past the past. Definitely a winner.

I don’t usually write about books I’m reading until I finish them, but I’m in the middle of a Stephen King – won’t say which one yet – and I think the old boy may have lost his touch. When do I get scared?

Storytimes and more, Thursday, January 8 and Friday, January 9


Three programs in two days takes a lot out of a woman.

Yesterday I happily filled in on a toddler storytime for a coworker. (Why is it, by the way, that storytimes I pick up on the fly always seem to go so well, sometimes better than the ones I have planned for a while?)


I’m trying to start a new self-policy as far as choosing books for storytime. 3 is the standard total for all storytimes but preschool, I’ve found, and two out of the three books can be old standards – ones I’ve used before – but the third one has to be new. That’s my new rule. So this way I can keep my list of standards growing, and make sure that the list is also fresh. This one’s new ones were Under My Hood I Have a Hatwhich worked really well with the cold weather we’ve been having, and Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes, which I only sort of count as new because I’ve read Pete the Cat books before.

In the afternoon, I hosted Art Attack for the teens. I’ve come to realize that I’m not terrific about planning for teens. I don’t understand them as well as I do children. But every once in a while I get a good idea, and I can translate that idea into something useful. So this time, I did. I found an interesting article on The Huffington Post linking coloring with stress reduction in adults, and boom, an Art Attack was born.

I printed out a whole bunch of semi-complicated mandalas – just google “coloring mandalas” – and printed them out. The attendees – all one of them! – loved it. We did have a good time just coloring, and I can attest that it was relaxing. So nice. Here’s my completed one:


I’m handy with colored pencils.

Figuring that I had about 10 blank ones left over, and knowing that sometimes our kids might be interested in coloring, I posted mine and other completed ones – the rest of the staff wanted to get in on it, too – on the wall with a folder of the blank ones:


I can’t believe this is my job.

Today was baby storytime, and I had a nice little crop of babies and little wanderers.


The new book this time was A Kiss Means I Love You, which I have fallen in love with. It’s a terrific book that I’d recommend for babies up through young toddlers, I think. I’m going to add it to my “gifts for new babies” rotation, too, since I think it would make a wonderful one-on-one read-aloud book.

I”m happy to have the weekend off! I’d worked two in a row, and generally I don’t mind, but it is nice to have some time to myself. Although I am volunteering for the library for part of it, but that doesn’t really count.

No links today! And sorry, I don’t always remember to put a top spot one in.)

In What’s Annabelle Reading, Friend T had recommended an old-school YA book, The Girl Who Owned a City, which I believe was originally printed in the mid-1990s. (This is a link to the graphic novel, but I read the actual book.) It’s an early example of what we’d call dystopic today. (A world with no adults? Cool.)

Toddlers, Wednesday, December 17, and Babies, Friday, December 19


Today’s the last day of programming for 2014. I got lucky, thanks to a sick coworker, and got to pick up her baby lapsit, which as you know is my favorite.

I had the Toddlers on Wednesday, and our theme the whole time was counting. We have a (and “plethora” seems so inadequate)… boatload of counting books, so it’s easy to find one you love and then plan the rest of the storytime around it.


Pete the Cat is always the most popular book, no matter what else I’m reading. This time it was Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. If you hear children under the age of five use the word groovy, thank Pete the Cat. Eric Carle is a winner on my end (the kids don’t appreciate the history of his work, but all of his books are classics), and 1, 2, 3, To the Zoo is a wordless book that works well if you’re talking about animals or numbers. Finally, of course, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, but I forgot to bring my shirt. Annabelle fail.

On Thursday we had a school group of fifth graders come in to pick out some books for winter break. Thursday’s our busiest morning with two high-volume storytimes, preschool and ones, so we knew we wouldn’t be able to give the kids the kind of booktalks that they deserved. Instead, Coworkers J and Z and I pulled some of our favorite books from when we were fifth-graders, and put in slips about the books’ plots and why we loved them, and put them on a cart. Here’s mine from one of my favorites:


There were some on which I just wrote, “Please, please read this, I love this book, do yourself a favor,” or something. The kids had a ball! They didn’t choose a lot of our books, but they still had a ball! (The books they didn’t choose? We put them back on the shelf with our slips still in them.)

Also, their teacher had a tattoo that made me go apenuts.

Bet you can guess why.


Today I just pulled some books for babytime at the last minute (it happens, give me a break), but I had a small group of regulars and a new new new baby, so we had a lovely time.


Karen Katz, I’m telling you. She’s the best. So is Jan Thomas.  I usually use Jan Thomas books for preschoolers, but this one was easy for babies, about wiggling and dancing and jumping, and it worked nicely. Another one to add to my tried-and-true for babies list.

It’ll be strange to have a few weeks off from storytime, but it’ll be nice, too. We’ll be able to focus on weeding our chapter books a bit, on displays, planning some new teen programming, and other projects we have to do.

Remember how Tuesday was Jane Austen Day? I hope so. It is, after all, the most important day of the year. I had lunch with Friends P+D, and ohmygoodness guess what they gave me?

A bag from the Jane Austen Centre in BATH!!! (I mean, the bag had a gorgeous white nightgown in it because they remember me talking about it once, BUT STILL), they sent away to the JAC for it! I spent about five minutes just looking at that bag. I teared up, even, because that’s something that I do now, but just looking at that bag brought back so many memories. Here’s me still looking a bit dazed and gleeful with the nightgown and the bag.


My friends know me really well. I can’t wait to wash that nightgown and get into it when we have a bit of snow.


In the top spot, ave atque vale to Norman Bridwell, creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Clifford wasn’t the only dog in town, you know.

Care for your books, you careless people.

Casting news for Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.

For all you last-minute gift-buyers


Also, Anthony Goldstein represents!

From Friend D:

Bookstores are magical places.

Works of art, these are.

Someone tries to make Ayn Rand funny. Ayn Rand is never funny. One star.

From Friend L:

Book always wins.

Oh, Amelia Bedelia, you’ve gone from kooky to effing scary.

From Friend P:

What if Voldemort had won the Battle of Hogwarts?

From Mama Bear:

If you cannot find inspiration in Jane Austen’s world, then you are dead inside and I weep for you.

Of course she was ahead of her time, she was Jane Austen, get with it, Buzzfeed.

The next time you think YA is just a placeholder from kids’ books to adult reading, think again.

From Sister A:

Dibbly fresh New year’s resolutions from the Babysitters club.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I took a short break from my YA bonanza to read the world’s most boring true-life murder mystery. WE GET IT. ARSENIC IS POISON. You don’t have to spend 75 pages talking about arsenic. Seriously. Then it was back to my tower of Lizzie Skurnick’s YA with Sandra Scoppetone’s Happy Endings Are All Alike.  Just reading it, it seems like, in the 1970s, “lesbian” was a dirty word.