A Captivating Chronicle: If I Die Before I Wake (The Flu Epidemic Diary of Fiona Macgregor)

Friday, October 10, 2008.

If I Die Before I Wake (The Flu Epidemic Diary of Fiona Macgregor, 1918)Author: Jean Little
Published: 2007 Scholastic (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0439988373

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Beautifully bound in a soft unevenly edged journal and told with humour, innocence, intimacy and affection, the daily entries of a fictional twelve year old disclose the spellbinding details of life during the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918-19.

Our daughter Lucy (9) also contributes to the discussion of the book, which she tells us is part of her current favourite series.

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HOTLINE VOICES: Author Michelle Mulder from Victoria, British Columbia shares her thoughts on The Composition (by Antonio Skarmeta and Alfonso Ruano). Thanks, Michelle!

Life is Good: Jillian Jiggs

Friday, August 22, 2008.

Jillian JiggsAuthor: Phoebe Gilman
Illustrator: Phoebe Gilman
Published: 1985 Scholastic Books (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0590413406

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Good friends, good intentions and an unstoppable stream of creativity: this infectiously upbeat tale of disarray, distraction and blissful disobedience makes us glad we chose the adventure that is family life. We can’t imagine a childhood without it.

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Pop over to Read. Imagine. Talk. for today’s full menu of poetry offerings. Poetry Fridays are brought to us by Kelly Herold of Big A, Little A.

Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things are.

— Marianne Williamson

Of Vice and Mensch: Such A Prince

Wednesday, June 25, 2008.

Such A PrinceAuthor: Dan Bar-el (on JOMB)
Illustrator: John Manders (on JOMB)
Published: 2007 Clarion Books (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0618714685

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Tabloid-style coverage, Looney-Toonesque illustrations and the feisty narration of a bohemian godmother transform the traditional tending of a love-sick princess into a comical read-again caper.

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Permission and Patience: Waiting For Benjamin (A Story about Autism)

Friday, May 9, 2008.

Waiting For Benjamin: A Story about AutismAuthor: Alexandra Jessup Altman
Illustrator: Susan Keeter
Published: 2008 Albert Whitman (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0807573647

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Warm, realistic artwork and candid first person narrative highlight the hidden hopes and hardships of an easily overlooked sibling to a special needs child.

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Brothers With Borders: The Puddle Pail

Thursday, April 10, 2008.

The Puddle PailAuthor: Elisa Kleven (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Elisa Kleven
Published: 1997 Tricycle Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1582462062

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This wonderfully cluttered and sweetly retro story of a sibling’s soft struggle for individuality is a heartening celebration of creativity, character and acceptance.

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Canine Coastguard: Heroes of Isle aux Morts

Wednesday, April 2, 2008.

Heroes of Isle aux MortsAuthor: Alice Walsh
Illustrator: Geoff Butler (on JOMB)
Published: 2001 Tundra Books (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0887765017

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Based on a true story and starring a Newfoundland dog, this suspenseful account of a daring maritime rescue is an inspiring reminder of the resourcefulness, generosity and pluck of an era gone by.

You can read more about the Canadian Coast Guard vessel, CGCS Ann Harvey, which was named for one of the young rescuers, here.

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You can learn more about Newfoundland Dogs here.

Greatness, Gratitude and Generosity: Piano Starts Here (The Young Art Tatum)

Saturday, March 29, 2008.

Piano Starts HereAuthor: Robert Andrew Parker
Illustrator: Robert Andrew Parker
Published: 2008 Random House (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0375839658

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Breezy, evocative images and fondly recalled, first-person narrative provide an intimate — if imagined — look at the early life and loves of Jazz legend, Art Tatum.

You can learn more about Art Tatum here.

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Slime, Crime and Greediness: The Three Fishing Brothers Gruff

Wednesday, March 26, 2008.

The Three Fishing Brothers GruffAuthor: Ben Galbraith
Illustrator: Ben Galbraith
Published: 2007 Hodder & Stoughton (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0340893427

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Stubble, nastiness, dead fish and debris transform foul fishing tactics into a riveting affair in this gloriously disagreeable cautionary tale.

You can learn more about the real Poverty Bay (home of author/illustrator, Ben Galbraith) and Bay of Plenty here and here.

The Sting of the Sidelined Sibling: Chloë’s Birthday. . . and Me

Friday, March 21, 2008.

Chloë's Birthday . . . and MeAuthor: Giselle Potter (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Giselle Potter
Published: 2004 Atheneum/Anne Schwartz (on JOMB)
ISBN: 068986230X

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In minty blues, greens and creams stirred with rich reds and chocolates, like childhood drawings brought magically to life, fabulous folk-art illustrations combine with perfectly picked childhood details to relay a true tale of envy, endurance and a sibling’s special day.

Other books mentioned:

  • The Year I Didn’t Go to School

You can learn more about Chloe and Giselle’s father and the family puppet troupe that brought them to Europe in the 1970’s here.

It’s Not Easy Being Mean: Mrs. Goat and Her Seven Little Kids

Wednesday, February 20, 2008.

Mrs Goat and Her Seven Little KidsAuthor: Tony Ross (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Tony Ross
Published: 2004 Andersen Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 1842703382

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Thumps, chomps, head butts and the might of the spunky youngest make this refreshingly ridiculous version of the original Grimm’s tale a shockingly fun read.

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You can read a version of the original Grimm’s fairy tale here.

Of Lack and Levity: Up

Friday, February 15, 2008.

UpAuthor: Jim LaMarche (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Jim LaMarche
Published: 2006 Chronicle Books (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0811844455

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Dreamy, maritime seascapes and homespun charm are brushed lightly with a glimmer of the extraordinary in this magical story of sibling belittling and the delight of possibilities.

Other books mentioned:

  • Matilda

Criticism, Confidence and Caring: A Very Unusual Dog

Friday, February 8, 2008.

A Very Unusual DogAuthor: Dorothy Joan Harris
Illustrator: Kim LaFave (on JOMB)
Published: 2004 Scholastic Canada (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0439937183

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Hazy, gold and red, retro artwork and snappy, all-too-familiar bickering make this simple yet surprisingly stirring tale of rivalry and resilience a memorable reminder of a decided route to happiness.

Other books mentioned:

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