Book Review: 2010 Newbery Honor Books

Being that I am a lifelong bookworm, I get pretty excited when the Newbery awards are announced each January. This year I had read all but one of the winners before they were revealed. One of the five has already become a favorite read-aloud for my 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter, so I’m thrilled to be able to share them with you today.

Newbery Award

The Newbery Award for 2010 went to Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me. This was an early favorite for a lot of readers as it is a truly unusual children’s book. This book is a mystery, though not in your typical sense, and a big part of the fun is in figuring it out.

The book begins in the late 1970s after Miranda’s best friend Sal has been punched in the stomach while walking home and now he isn’t speaking to her anymore. That’s all I’ll tell you about the book because to tell you more would spoil your fun.

However, I will share how Stead said she got the idea for this book:

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Music Review: Dan Zanes Concert DVD and a Surprising New Find

Don’t you just love when something both free & fun arrives in your inbox?  Last week I was pleasantly surprised to see such a surprise in my own inbox and it made the perfect bonus content for this month’s review—read on to learn more!

Dan Zanes

But first, I’d like to introduce you to Dan Zanes. You may already know him as a very popular and successful children’s music artist, but he’s one our family had not tried out until recently.  On one of our last trips to the library Dan Zanes & Friends – All Around the Kitchen! Crazy Videos & Concert Songs! was out for display with a cover that just said fun.  Knowing that Mr. Zanes was someone we wanted to try out we decided to give this DVD a whirl.

We don’t watch a lot of TV in our house so my three-year-old was ecstatic about having a new “movie.”  At the same time I was ecstatic about being able to try out a new children’s music artist and put my swollen, pregnant feet up on the couch for 30 minutes.  We were both pleasantly surprised by our choice to give this band a try.

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At the Craft Table with Rae Grant: Egg Cartons – Imagine the Possibilities

Egg cartons have been a fascination of mine in recent years. They seem like the perfect invention; a snug cup which holds delicate, breakable eggs securely enough to travel miles from farm to table, and they have a solid lid which closes and opens easily without breaking. They simply are useful.

Kids have caught on to this handy container and use them to store favorite collectibles. In our family, many a summer day was spent filling the little cups with pebbles and natural treasures down by our brook. Kids quickly learn that an egg carton houses acorns, rock, marbles, insects and butterflies, small dolls, pennies, feathers, and leaves.  Their treasures were safe in that egg carton. (Mom was less likely to throw out the treasures right away.)

While utilitarian at heart, the recycled cardboard egg carton is an opportunity to repurpose.

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