Midnight Girl – FREE

Award-winning science fiction author, Will Shetterly has released his new YA novel via Lulu.  This means it is FREE.  Just head to Scribd and you can start reading immediately.

You can also read Shetterly’s blog to hear about why he did not go with a publishing house

Thanks to Boing Boing.

The Story of Snow

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino with Jon Nelson, PhD.

This book covers snow from the way it begins with a tiny speck and how it turns into a snow crystal.  Filled with delightful details like the types of things that form the tiny specks in the atmosphere. (It could be sea salt or plant leaf bacteria!) The book is a mix of drawings and snowflake photographs which works well.  The images of the crystals are stunning and will have readers poring over the pages and discussing their favorites.  The book talks about the different types of snowflakes, whether they are unique, and how you too can study their structure.

Snow is such an amazing weather phenomenon all on its own (or at least that is what I am repeating over and over again to myself as a winter storm bears down on Wisconsin.)  This book will mix well with fiction books about snow and winter, though it is one that children will want to hold and look closely at. 

Ideal for units on snowflakes and just for the pleasure of snow itself, this book has a place in all libraries.  Appropriate for ages 4-9.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by A Patchwork of Books.

Christmas Magic

The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jon J. Muth

Santa can feel the magic coming. His whiskers tingle.  So he gathers the reindeer from the fields and feeds them and curries them.  He gets out the sleigh and shines it.  The bells are polished.  He oils his boots and darns his warmest socks.  Then he heads upstairs to the toy room with his thick book of children and fills an enormous bag with toys.  The sleigh is filled, the reindeer harnessed and all is still and waiting.  Then the magic comes, the magic that makes reindeer fly.

This Christmas book is a special one.  It captures the light, the magic, the simple joy of the Christmas holiday.  There is a lovely grace and poetic feel to Thompson’s words.  They convey a holiday of busyness but a more gentle and deliberate pace.  Muth’s illustrations are done in watercolors and pastels.  They have a shimmer and shine to them, a warmth and a coziness that really speaks to the holidays and their essence.  His Santa is not potbellied and has a more European feel to him, lending a very universal feel to the book.

Beautifully written and illustrated this is a holiday book to treasure.  Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Check out this lovely book trailer that captures the feel of the book very nicely.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by 4IQREAD, The Hungry Readers, Where the Best Books Are!, and The Children’s Book Review.  Also featured on 7-Imp.