Archive for December 18, 2012


Universal Pictures has Joe Roth set to produce the film version of Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor.  The second book in the series is one that I’m waiting to read (I’m on the hold list at the library).   Last year, the film rights to the book were battled for between Universal and Paramount, ending in a high-six figure deal.

The author is enthusiastic about the producer selection:

“I am a huge fan of his big, gorgeous fantasy epics with powerful female characters. I can’t wait to see how he’ll bring my world to life on film. He’s the dream producer for this property, and I couldn’t be happier.”

daddy christmas and hanukkah mama

Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko

Sadie celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah in her house.  Their family celebrations are a delightful mix of the two holidays.  Latkes are on the mantel waiting for Santa to come, he’s a big fan of the family recipe.  Carols are sung about dreidels and mangers.  Gelt is spread under the Christmas tree.  Food is a huge part of both traditions and then stories are shared from both as well.  This is as warm and joyous a celebration as anyone could wish. 

Alko nicely draws both holidays together, mixing them into something that is even more lovely and amazing than either of them alone.  It is a testament to how families that come from two different faiths can honor both of them and also create something uniquely their own.  My only complaint is that there isn’t an author’s note discussing the two holidays in more detail.

Alko’s illustrations are done in collage.  She combines the detail and texture of textiles with paint and paper cutouts.  The incorporation is done in a subtle but effective way, the different types catching your eye and adding depth.

A great pick for the holidays, this book will reach families who are themselves creating new traditions from old.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Knopf.

boot and shoe

Boot & Shoe by Marla Frazee

Boot and Shoe were born in the same litter and now live together in the same house.  They eat out of the same bowl, pee on the same tree, and sleep in the same bed.  They do spend their days apart though, one on the front porch and one on the back porch.  Everything was blissful until a squirrel started messing with them one day.  After a ferocious chasing around the house, Shoe found himself on the back porch, where Boot should be, and Boot was on the front porch with no Shoe in sight.  The two waited and waited for the other to show up, they missed dinner, and got drenched in a rainstorm, but the other one never showed up.  They even made sure to check the other porch, but they both did it at the same time and missed each other.  How will they ever find one another?  Read the book and find out!

Frazee has written a book that is very funny but also filled with a wonderful friendship between these two identical dogs.  The fact that they spend their days apart but their activities so closely meshed adds to the pleasure of the book.  The wonderful peace of the way they spend their day is just so perfect that it’s almost a relief when chaos enters with the squirrel.  Then the fun begins!

Frazee’s art is as warm as ever.  She has a wonderful comedic timing that is shown off particularly well in this story with two dogs and two interwoven storylines.  The squirrel chase alone, captured in a single two-page spread, is worth the read.

Another treat from the amazing Frazee, this book is pure fun and a great read-aloud too!  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Beach Lane Books.

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