The Princess and the Pony

Kate Beaton is probably best known for her webcomics -- she’s the creative mind behind the ultra-popular Hark! A Vagrant, a hysterical take on history, as well as several autobiographical comics about her experiences growing up in Nova Scotia. In The Princess and the Pony, her first picture book for early elementary readers, she brings her…
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Chiggers

It’s finally summer, and thirteen year old Abby is back at the sleepaway camp she’s loved attending for the last several years. Except this summer, things have started changing. There are new piercings, new boys, even new natural phenomena (including will o’ the wisps and the eponymous biting pests -- chiggers). Then there’s the new…
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Rosie Revere, Engineer

As a children’s librarian, it’s probably no surprise to my friends and family that I like to give picture books as presents when babies are born. I always tried to pick a few of my best loved classics as well as some modern favorites, and recently a pattern among the modern titles has begun to emerge…
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Bread and Jam for Frances

Russel Hoban's Frances series is a staple of my childhood, and this book just might be my favorite of them all. The title character, Frances, is a lovable but imperfect badger who’s sometimes a little too stubborn and headstrong for her own good (hmm, I wonder why I related to her as a child…). In…
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Literacy Through Lip-Reading

There’s a whole host of reasons to read, sing, and talk with your babies every day, from sharing a special bonding moment together to helping build their literacy skills, and now a new study about the speech development of infants confirms it: your babies learn to talk by listening to (and watching) you! It’s not…
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Carry On

Rainbow Rowell is one of the most acclaimed authors in young adult fiction right now (in 2013 her books Eleanor & Park and Fangirl were both named on the New York Times as some of the year's best in young adult fiction), so it might be a little redundant to recommend book Carry on as well, but I can’t…
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Print Exposure Builds Literacy

Print exposure – the act of making written words visible to young children – is a key component in developing children’s reading skills, and a new study confirms that it is an integral part of developing pre-reader's sense of how meaning is attached to words. In a study conducted at Washington University in St. Louis…
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Books and Bagels

Calling all students in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade! You're invited to join us at ELPL for our monthly book club just for you, Books and Bagels. So what is Books and Bagels all about? After reading the book of the month, we meet with friends to discuss the book, participate in a hands-on activity based on the…
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A Little Life

I was warned, several times, before I even started Hanya Yanagihara's A Little Life: it is not an easy one to read. And within the first 50 pages (of a hefty 750 total), it became obvious just how true those warnings were. This is a harrowing, challenging book, dealing with a laundry list of painful…
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The Raven King

First, two disclaimers: one, I’m using this review as an opportunity to recommend the whole series, so if you haven’t already, don’t start with The Raven King, which is the newly released fourth and final book in Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle series – start with The Raven Boys and its two follow-ups, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily…
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