Monday, November 3, 2014

On our Book Shelf: November 2014

Last week I worked my first (and only) day at my new job at the Itty Book Book Van.

You always need to look for the perks of a job, in this case there were many but one of the main ones was that I got to read heaps of new children's books. Shoppers were keen to know what I thought about certain books and I really enjoyed talking about them with both the kids and the adults they dragged into the van.

The van holds books that are old favourites and fabulously new.

These were my top three recommendations:

1) The Story Machine by Tom McLaughlin. 

This was new to me and I loved it all. Elliott finds a typewriter. Imagine not knowing what a typewriter is? My kids didn't. Elliott learns to use the typewriter in a way most adults wouldn't have thought of. The illustrations work among the text in a beautiful way. This is a must add book to anyone in love with children's literature. Adults will happily read it over and over again to a child who enjoys re reading favourite stories.

2) All Through the Year.

We have had this for close to two years and it is still a favourite at bedtime. Children pick up different things over time, noticing the seasons, the festivals, the flow of their year. Illustrations that seem so simple are actually quite engaging and provide just enough for little eyes to see without giving the entire picture that can be filled in with your imagination.
I find this a perfect book for the child you don't know what to buy for.

3) Doll House Book

The reality is that this is a drawing book, not a reading book and there are not even any prompts. However I still really liked this one. It encourages kids to draw any type of building. It's a dollhouse for some or a barn or a farm. It could be the inside of a room or the outside of a dwelling. It's for your own stories, and really they are probably the most important. For adults, it's also a much more convenient way to hold on to some of your kids artwork.

Away from the van I have recently finished the books The Five People you Meet in Heaven and For One More Day. Both written by Mitch Albom. They are not new books and I don't know why they haven't crossed my path before. You might know Mitch Albom from his more popular book Tuesdays with Morrie. Both books are written in a simple conversational dialogue, as though you are just chatting with the characters. Both are fictional accounts of life after death. I am rather fascinated with the possibilities of what heaven may or may not look like and I enjoyed reading about just what might be. Because really. You just don't know.

What are you reading right now?


  1. Neither of my kids had ever seen a typewriter before until we went to a junk shop and the guy there had several of them. Totally got a zillion mum points for not only showing my kids my old Olivetti portable, but {gasp} letting them have a try!

    I'm attempting to read a Terry Pratchett novel at the moment, but it's not doing it for me.

  2. I do love the Dolls House Book! I just finished Gone Girl (like to read before I view - now off to the movie); Where'd you go Bernadette (not new but fabulous, conversational and gripping I thought); and Summer House with Swimming Pool (loved The Dinner and this was almost as good). At a loose book 'end' so I will now try your suggestion, For one more day...(I enjoyed Tuesdays with Morrie)! Happy reading...

    1. I was not a fan of Gone Girl the book, but I thought it made for a good movie.

  3. I love the look of The Story Machine!

  4. "Your only day", does that mean we can't have you back one day? You rocked the little van with your broad bookish knowledge, we loved having the whole Hewy team behind the counter, we sure hope you'll will come back again one day soon!

  5. All Throughout The Year, one of my favourite books. I am seriously jealous of you working in The Itty Bitty Book Van: hope you are still enjoying it.


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