Shopping: Make it Count!

In this space … and on The Reading Tub Tub® web site … I have talked about GoodSearch. I can’t say enough positive things about it. There is no simpler way to offer support than to go about your daily routine and AT THE SAME TIME have a lifelong impact on our kids and their future success.

Now, GoodSearch has launched GoodShop! What could be cooler? Sending some flowers to Mom? Shop at GoodSearch and the store donates a portion of the sale to the charity YOU designate. Doesn’t matter what you buy, you would be helping a child learn to read.

Visit GoodShop or click the link below. You will recognize the merchants: 1-800 Flowers, Target, BestBuy, PetSmart, and soon, even Amazon! Bookmark this link … You will definitely want it at the ready for the upcoming holidays!

Remember authors: if we don’t teach our kids to read, they won’t be paging through your book. Kids want to be successful. Reading is the key.

The Bookbag, Books for Ages 4 to 8, July/August 2007

Given that it’s back to school time, in addition to the usual bookbags, we added a short post with some great get-ready-for-school stories! (Look for the posting called School is in the Bag!)

Here are some of our favorites from those lazy days of summer. There have been lots to choose from … with nearly 50 reviews these past two months!

1001 Things to Do in Fairyland by Gillian Doherty. There are 14 themed pages filled with the things that little girls love … and plenty of fairies and princess paraphernalia, too. This is a seek-and-find book for discerning objects and counting. “This is I Spy in pink! and perfectly suited for the Kindergarten set.” (Usborne, 2005)

Courage the Monkey by Mark Jordan. Jonathan is a spider monkey who is about to turn 11. When you’re 11, you can climb a tree … but Jonathan is scared. He was so embarrassed about it that he stopped playing with his friends. Can he overcome his fear? (Decere Publishing, 2006)

Growing up Grizzly by Douglas H. Chadwick. Emmett (a grizzly) seemed to be lost. He spent his days in this remote cove in Alaska, mostly looking lonely. He needed friends. Then one day, he happened upon Baylee (a momma grizzly) and her three new cubs. This is a photo-journey that follows Baylee, the cubs, and Emmett (the adopted bear) through two years. (Falcon Guide, an Imprint of Globe Pequot Press, 2007)

Molly and the Sword by Robert Shlasko. When Molly’s family needs water, she volunteers to go to the village square to get some. Except that this is a time of war, and she is mistaken for a spy. But fate steps in and she returns home. Many years later, as she is about to play her violin at a great performance hall, she is trying to muster all of her courage again. Can she do it? This is a story that shows that bravery, courage, and friendship show themselves in different ways. (Jane & Street Publishers, Ltd, 2004)

Now Caitlin Can: A Donate Organ Helps a Child Get Well by Ramona Wood. Freddie Pendzinski has all kinds of feelings. He is happy to have a new baby sister, but frustrated because she is sick all the time. He tries to be a good big brother, but it’s hard, and he is sad. When he learns that she needs to have a kidney transplant, he worries if it will really help. This picture book follows the life of Caitlin Pendzinski and her need for a kidney tranpslant. “This an excellent book to enlighten children about children whose lives may not be like their own. It is not bogged down in detail, but it does explain things; but neither does it gloss over the facets of a organ donation.” (ABC Press, 2004)

Party Princess (Teach Your Children Well Series) by Vanita Braver, MD. Madison wants to look beautiful for her birthday party, so she decide to borrow Mom’s makeup … without asking. Instead, she ended up looking and feeling terrible about herself. Throughout the story’s events she learned that beauty comes from the inside not the outside. This is a picture book with life lessons for little girls. (Child and Family Press, 2005)

Tell me a Story: Timeless Folktales from Around the World by Amy Friedman. This collection of eight folktales lets children explore the qualities we hope they learn (wisdom, wit, compassion, generosity) as well as those we don’t (selfishness, greed, theft). This is an eBook collection of folktales from around the world. (Friedman & Danziger, 2006)

The Book Bag, Books for ages 8 to 12 July/August 2007

Among this collection you will find some great fantasies that, now that you are finished with Harry Potter, will satisfy that “great fantasy book” craving you have.

The Azura Stones by Helen Bailie. Hayley, Alex, and Spence – who are best friends – decide to spend their first summer weekend hiking and camping at Silvertop Mountain, high in the Cascades. With a treasure map left by her archaeologist grandfather, Hayley and friends are determined to find the mysterious and powerful Azura Stones. They don’t know it, but they’re situation is truly ominous. They are being followed by criminals who intend to do whatever it takes to find and steal the stones. “The author has written an engaging story that will get rave reviews from its intended audience. Adolescent readers will find it difficult to put it down and certainly read it more than once or twice.” (American Book Publishing, 2007)

Heir of the Forgotten Realm by Michael J. Svigel. Lukas is afraid of fire. A fire-eating dragon destroyed the Kingdom of Stanton and hilled his parents, the King and Queen. Orphaned, he took residence in Trallia, a neighboring kingdom, where he met princess Lilia to whom he is engaged. However, tragedy struck again. The dragon, Haarlok, attacked Trallia and kidnapped Lilia. Lukas was overcome with fear and couldn’t react. Somehow he has to get the princess back. This is a fantasy adventure with opportunities to discover one’s own human character. (Baker Tritten Press, 2006)

Monsters and Water Beasts by Karen Hokanson Miller. The Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, Mermaids, the Big Bird of Texas, and others. We’ve heard about them all. Every so often a sighting of an indescribable being sets off a rash of stories about the existence of monstors and water beasts. This book provides a brief description of nine monsters/water beasts and shares facts and fables about their existence. This is a non-fiction collection that offers the stories of mythical creatures and monsters. (Henry Holt and Company, 2007)

Spectacular Journey by Donaki. Three life-long friends – all animals – live in a beautiful mountain forest. When they decide to take a journey off the mountain, together they must handle the challenges, dangers, and surprises of their adventures. “From its well crafted story and engaging characters, to its superb illustrations, this is a literary work not simply a children’s book.” (Ithaca Press, 2006)

Tales of the Tokoloshe by Pieter Scholtz. The Irish have their leprechauns, Arabs have their Jinn, and South Africans have their Tokoloshe. This book is filled with stories that recount the adventures, and exploits of one particular Tokoloshe. This collection of short stories is drawn from southern African folklore. “This is fun to read. Although the book’s audience is preteen and its locale is South Africa, readers of any age and culture will enjoy the adventures of the Tokoloshe.” (Struik Publishers, 2004)

Through the Rug
by Jill Vanderwood Alyssa is spending the weekend with grandmother. She is is nervous because Grandma is, to say the least, eccentric. Upon arriving at Grandma’s house, Alyssa discovers that her grandmother has just earned a degree in magical cooking and she plans to spend the weekend trying out recipes. Alyssa thought this might be fun until she saw what Grandma’s magic had done to her dog Domino. This looks like it is going to be an unforgettable experience. This is a magical fantasy adventure enjoyed by a grandmother and granddaughter. (AuthorHouse, 2006)