Thursday, September 22, 2011

Circle of Secrets

I really loved Kimberley Griffith Little's book THE HEALING SPELL. In this book, the main character Livie travels through the Louisiana swamps to visit a traiteur (or healer), for a healing spell that she hopes will bring her mother out of a coma. 

In CIRCLE OF SECRETS, Kimberley tells us the story of the traiteur from THE HEALING SPELL and her daughter. 

Kimberley's writing is beautiful and lush, and in CIRCLE OF SECRETS, she was able to do something that I rarely see in literary books--she created suspense. I was on the edge of my seat, flipping pages like a madwoman--I HAD to know what was going to happen. 

And then she threw a ghost story into the spicy brew of cajun magic, a mysterious deserted island, and spirit-catching bottles. This book is wonderful: full of suspense, melancholy and magic. Find a middle grade reader and put this book in his or her hands. 


Check out what the other Bookanistas are reading:

Elana Johnson shivers over Shifting
Christine Fonseca  is definitely Falling for Hamlet
Shelli Johannes-Wells contemplates The Future of Us
Shana Silver finds Fateful Fabulous
Corrine Jackson delights in a Hex Hall & Demonglass double feature
Stasia Ward Kehoe shares her passion for Possess

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Birdie's Back!

Sujean Rim is one of my favorite illustrators. She is well-known for her super-fashionista-fabulous illustrations for the Daily Candy website.

She also wrote and illustrated BIRDIE'S BIG GIRL SHOES, and in that book, Birdie, a budding fashionista, gets to have a blast in her mom's rah-ther impressive shoe closet.

In her newest book, BIRDIE'S BIG GIRL DRESS, Birdie faces a dilemma that I know all too well--pulling her favorite dress from her closet only to find that it no longer fits (okay--Birdie's dress doesn't fit because she's a little girl and growing, my clothes don't fit because of a little too much goat cheese and crostini).

What in the world will Birdie wear to her own birthday party??

Well, Birdie solves her problem with creativity and panache and a trip to the attic.

I can look at this book a hundred times and never get tired of it. The illustrations are so effortlessly chic--just like true style should be--I really, really want to jump inside this book. And maybe play dress-up with Birdie. My daughter and I absolutely love this one!

And go see what the other Bookanistas are up to this week:

Elana Johnson is in a tizzy over Texas Gothic
LiLa Roecker  celebrates Something Like Hope
Christine Fonseca  is transformed by Shifting
Shannon Whitney Messenger takes a shine to So Silver Bright – with giveaway
Scott Tracey is on board for Starship Academy
Beth Revis shouts about The Name of the Star
Shana Silver loves Lola and the Boy Next Door
Rosemary Clement Moore is distracted by Alien Invasion & Other Inconveniences
Sarah Frances Hardy adores Birdie’s Big Girl Dress
Stasia Ward Kehoe takes a fancy to Fracture
Carolina Valdez Miller goes gaga for Glow and Shifting – with giveaway

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Missoni Madness

Hi all!

I'd just like to say that, yes. I'm one of those people. I've had the Missoni Target launch on my calendar for weeks, scrolling through the previews on an almost daily basis.

Why? you ask. Do you really need some knock off knits that will pick and stretch . . . sweater dresses that you will throw away after season. Is all of that really worth it?

My precious readers. THIS is why:

How incredibly fabulous is this luggage?

Anyway, here was my Plan A. Wake up at the crack of dawn (this is not hard because I do that anyway). Immediately log on to and buy the suitcase. No browsing. Just buy it. It's free shipping, so I figured I'd have the rest of the day to leisurely browse the sight for socks, makeup bags, cute melamine trays . . .

I went to sleep with my iPad next to my bed, and I woke up bleary eyed and headed straight for my precious suitcase.

It was ALREADY SOLD OUT. I couldn't believe it. So I started searching around. At least, I could get a couple of Christmas and birthday presents.

Then the Target site CRASHED. (Okay, I've just realized I'm using my Caps Lock button, ALOT--evidence of my insanity).

So, I had to do what any sane person would do and move to Plan B, which was to drop my kids off at school and high-tail it to the nearest target (an hour away). I got to the store, expecting crazy women fighting over knitwear and running through the store full throttle with their baskets. But what I saw was a normal slow Tuesday morning at Target. I could hear Muzak playing softly over the PA system (or I may have imagined that).

I walked to the suitcase area (okay, I power walked/jogged), and there it was. ONE. I grabbed it and threw it in my basket, covering it with my jacket so that no one would be tempted to steal it from me. Because people do that, you know. Um, did I mention that there was virtually NO ONE in the store?

Once the suitcase was secured, I strolled leisurely through the displays, grabbing a couple of tote bags to give as gifts. But, to my horror, many of the coolest things on the website (trays, drink ware, poufs) were not in the store, and there were little notes everywhere saying that there were "even more items available on the website!!" Dangit.

Anyway, I had my precious suitcase. So I checked out thinking, I'd just come home and get my stocking stuffers from the comfort of my couch. But guess what??? The Target site was down and is STILL down.

This, my precious unborn fawns, is insanity in its highest form. Who knew the world was this desperate for a bunch of cheap Missoni stuff? WHO KNEW????

 Well, Target did. Obviously.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lottie Paris Lives Here

I'm always fascinated by "day in the life" picture books because in books like these (think Eloise and Olivia), the author is able to present a slice of a child's life to the reader--often without a plot. And when these kinds of books are done right, children want to read them over and over and over again.

LOTTIE PARIS LIVES HERE written by Angela Johnson and illustrated by Scott M. Fischer, is one of those books. In fact, I dare you not to fall in love with this little girl. Just look at her!

The illustrations in this book are absolutely incredible. Scott Fischer said that he used "gouache, applied with rollers, stencils, sponges, brushes, and I even used a bit of sandpaper here and there! It is a very tactile feeling book, and my most inventive to date for sure!" I love the way he shifted perspective and used patterns and a soft palette throughout the book, paying attention to every little detail in Lottie's life. 

And what a wonderful little life she has! Lottie has just the right mixture of fun and sass (with just a tiny bit of naughty), but she remains grounded by her house, her front porch, and her Papa Pete. It's a sweet little book, and my daughter and I have read it so many times, just so we can end up sitting with Lottie  on her porch swing as the sun sets.


Check out what the other Bookanistas are reading these days . . .

Elana Johnson shares some book love for Random Acts of Publicity Week
LiLa Roecker is wild about a double giveaway of Witch Eyes and Wildefire
Christine Fonseca  thinks you should Write Your Book Now!
Shannon Whitney Messenger  loves Legend – with signed arc giveaway
Scott Tracey: Today is Witch Eyes release day – wowza!
Jessi Kirby gets inside Sean Griswold’s Head
Sarah Frances Hardy applauds Lottie Paris Lives Here
Stasia Ward Kehoe marvels at The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer