About Me

My name is Genevieve Woods and in addition to being the mother of an adorable preschooler named Oscar and his adorable toddler brother Henry, I am the Children's Buyer at Spellbinder Books, a small independent bookstore in Bishop, California. I am often asked by customers for recommendations...and thus the idea for this blog was sparked.

Many sites recommending books for kids are created by librarians and non-profits. While these are great sites, they often recommend out-of-print books. This site is all about the great books that are available now! While I am not being paid for these recommendations, I would appreciate it if readers would purchase the books I recommend from local independent bookstores, or even B&N. Basically don't buy from the evil empire (A_A_O_), because if you do much of our literary knowledge will be lost.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nation - The Book of the Week

Last year I wrote a review for Terry Pratchett's young adult novel Nation. I loved it. I still love it, I love it so much that I can't figure out what to say about it for a staff review in the store. Now you can love it too, for 20% off. This week's Book of the Week is Nation!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Boxcar Vampires?

It makes sense for publishers to cash in on the vampire craze. Vampire books sell, so why not make as many as possible? I may roll my eyes at the sheer number vampire books listed in the catalogues, but I understand that fans of Twilight need additional books to satisfy their needs. But but but but but but - BUT I never thought the craze would make it's way into the Boxcar Children!
This September the Boxcar Children is coming out with it's 120th book - The Vampire Mystery! Now, for $4.99, 8 year-olds can enjoy vampire lore as well! When I saw it in the catalogue I laughed for ten minutes, I was crying, my eyes watered, in truth it made my day.

This means nothing if you don't know the Boxcar Children. It is an early chapter book series created by 1st grade teacher Gertrude Chandler Warner in 1924. I read the first book as a youngin, and though I was never prone to cleaning, I too wanted to make my own broom out of a stick and twigs; I wonder if the author knew her protagonists would be encountering vampires in the future?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Train Book with Tracks!

There are lots of novelty books, wood books, books with puppets attached, books in the shape of animals... I kinda like novelty books, it spices up life when unpacking a book box - rectangle rectangle rectangle STAR rectangle rectangle rectangle. But being a funny shape doesn't always make for a good story, so it is extra special when a book combines both novelty AND tale. This week's Book of the Week does just that!

Usborne's Farmyard Tales Wind-Up Train Book, comes with a model train and 3 tracks. The over sized board book has three stories with a track to go with each one. The stories are based on Farmyard Tales by Heather Amery and include a horse rescuing a school group by pulling a broken-down train, a trip to the seaside, and a train dog rescue. They are cute, simple stories good for ages 0-6. After each story there is a track illustrating the places mentioned in the tale and designed for the wind-up train that comes with the book. You wind-up the train and off you go passing Mr. Straw the scarecrow, just as Poppy and Sam did in the story.

The little wind-up train is small, with parts that could fall off; it is a choking hazard. Because of this the book is not recommended for children under 36 months, but much younger children would enjoy the book, just don't let them play with the wind-up train unsupervised. As always the Book of the Week is 20% off list price at Spellbinder Books (the physical store) in Bishop!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Have You Seen My Eric Carle Board Book?

Everyone loves Eric Carle! The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear Brown Bear are constantly on the bestseller list, or at least their board book editions are. The publisher has taken note of this Eric Carle board book popularity, and is releasing his less popular titles in board book editions. Maybe those less popular titles will now become popular? The Greedy Python is a fantastic story, though the illustrations are sometimes a little bit green. I am a big fan of the Have You Seen My Cat board book, it has awesome heavy duty pull-tabs. The different board books are all cool, I have a hard time picking a favorite; this week all Eric Carle Board Books are the Book of the Week!