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.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Yes, Oscar likes cars, a lot. But, he also has other interests, which are tents, and dinosaurs. There aren't a lot of kid books about tents, but thankfully dinosaurs are a popular topic, and there are some really cool new Dino books available!

written by "Dino" Don Lessem         illustrated by Franco Tempesta

This new dinosaur encyclopedia from National Geographic touts itself as the most complete dinosaur reference ever. Pictorally, that may well be true; the book is filled with pictures of every dinosaur currently known. The pictures visually pop out of the book with dinosaurs in lizardly colors tromping, rollicking, and of course eating in deserts, swamplands, and forests. I am happy to report that it does not appear to be the most complete book text-wise. An eight-year-old can read the Ultimate Dino-Pedia on their own. True this 271-page-book may intimidate an eight year old, but those who have no fear can easily conquer the Dino-Pedia!

Each page has the name of the dinosaur in large print at the top (with a pronunciation guide below) and a two-word synopsis followed by a single paragraph of description. For example:

Scansoriopteryx has some odd features for a little meat eater - and they all suggest it climbed trees. It has long front limbs...

Each page has a box with the dinosaurs name, the meaning of the name, the period they lived, where they were found, fossils that have been discovered, length, and a pictorial size comparison of the dinosaur to 4foot 6inch kid. There is a fun fact in a circle, often accompanied by a picture. On the Scansoriopteryx page there is a picture of a woodpecker, and then a blurb about how the dinosaur may have fed on insects living in the tree bark. Additionally there is a descriptive blurb on the awesome dinosaur picture, the Scansoriopteryx blurb talks about how it climbed trees with it's claw-tipped third finger, and how it couldn't actually fly, despite it's feathers.

In truth, this Dino-Pedia does contain a LOT of information about dinosaurs. But it is set up is such visually arresting way that it holds the attention of my 22-month-old, which is pretty impressive.

by Lila Prap

If you would like some humor with your dinosaur facts, this is the book for you! Lila Praps' Dinosaurs?! is filled with stylized dinosaur illustrations surrounded by chickens commenting on the creature's abilities and making jokes at it's expense. Chickens are descended from dinosaurs, you see, so they feature prominently in the book. This is a great book for Dino fans with a sense of humor, I myself enjoy it more than Dino-Pedia, but Oscar doesn't quite get all the jokes.

On the Ankylosaurus page (that's the dinosaur with a spiky armor on it's back and a big club tail) a chicken asks "Why does this one have a club on his tail? Did he whack flies with it?" A rooster responds "He had it instead of a weight to work out with." And then little chicks add "Or to hit himself on the head if he couldn't remember something!" That makes me smile, but Oscar, would think it meant the dinosaur used his tail to whack flies. So, I probably need to wait until he is at least 3 years old to share Dinosaurs?! with Oscar.

More prehistoric poems with lift-the-flap surprises!
Written by Tony Mitton, Illustrated by Lynne Chapman

When I'm busy feeding I look easy to attack,
but look at all this tough stuff I'm wearing on my back.
You may think I'm a meal that a carnivore might like,
but imagine trying to chew through a knob or a spike.
If you mean to eat me, believe me it's a wast...
Even if you caught me, you wouldn't like the taste!

This poem is printed on a page with picture of a spiky toothed Dino just about to chomp on the Ankylosaurus' tail. The spiky toothed Dino's head is a flap, you pull it down and there's a picture of a confused spiky toothed Dino saying YUCK!

This is humor Oscar can understand! Not a lot of Dino facts, but lots of fun poems and flaps! Very cute.


  1. i. love. your. blog!!
    This is fantastic. This is what i've been looking for. it is what i wish i would write. i'm SO glad you did and i can cross it off of my list of "never going to get done" things. i would love to search by age, as i have an 8 year old, a 5 year old and a 2 year old. do you have any headings for age groups?

  2. Thank you! I don't have it organized by age, but hmmmm, I suppose I should.