Up There... Old Books for Young Readers

Some kids, some sticks, some stones, and some collaborative creativity are all it takes for the "town" of Roxaboxen to come to life in an empty desert lot. Beautifully illustrated by the inimitable Barbara Cooney, this was an inspiration to me in my backyard as kid and a reminder to me now, as an adult, of the incredible power of a child's imagination. -Alex
Roxaboxen (Harper Collins, 1991)
Alice McLerran, illus. by Barbara Cooney
Events for Young Readers at 57th Street Books 
On February 22, Chicago based author and educator Pam Saxelby (above) was our storytime guest. Saxelby's second book Josie the Great takes a charming and imaginative look at the arrival of a new baby from her sibling's perspective, perfect for readers ages 4-8. After storytime, the audience sprawled across the carpet to design and decorate their own house! Join us Sunday, March 19 at 3pm for Dr. Seuss Day at 57th Street Books, with edible Green Eggs & Ham, Dr. Seuss's "School of Rhyme," and an Oobleck making workshop! Costumes encouraged, wordplay expected! 
Dr. Seuss Day at 57th Street Books!
March 2 marked the National Education Association's Read Across America Day and the indelible Dr. Seuss's day of birth! Join us March 19 for a celebration of all things (zummers, floofloovers, and snuvs) Seussian! Click here to RSVP. 
"If we didn’t have birthdays,
you wouldn’t be you.
If you’d never been born,
well then what would you do?
If you’d never been born, 
well then what would you be?
You might be a fish!
Or a toad in a tree!
You might be a doorknob! 
Or three baked potatoes!
You might be a bag full of 
hard green tomatoes.

Or worse than all that…
Why, you might be a WASN’T!
A Wasn’t has no fun at all.
No, he doesn’t."

From Happy Birthday to You by Dr. Seuss (1959, Random House) 
What We're Reading 
My Valley (Elsewhere Editions, 2017) 
Claude Ponti, tr. from the French by Alyson Waters

Any time publisher Archipelago Books releases a new title is time for celebration in my eyes, but My Valley marks a particularly exciting addition to the world of translated literature. With their new children's imprint, Elsewhere Editions, the team at Archipelago has dedicated new effort in providing all ages with accessible world literature.  

In this first book, we are introduced to the expansive world (in an expansive and oversized picture book) of the Twims, who are lovable and curious monkey-like creatures who live with their families inside of maze-like trees (with multiple libraries and reading nooks!), explore their wooded and magical land, encounter giants seeking their secrets to happiness, and dabble with wish-granting stones. 

My Valley is lush with colorful and stark imagery that readers of all ages will find infinite secrets in. The pastiche of stories contain magic, compassion, and tongue-twisting names that will delight families for storytimes to come. This is a truly unique addition to any storybook collection. -Kevin

The Bear Who Wasn't There: And the Fabulous Forest (Akashic Books, 2016)
Oren Lavie, illus. by Wolf Erlbruch

Is it better to be first or last when you're all alone? The Bear Who Wasn't There isn't so sure (about anything, really), but one thing is certain: "Beautiful isn't a number." Be that as it may, it might just be a way of life for a "very nice," "very handsome," and "happy bear," too. The Bear Who Wasn't There is a humorful lesson in self-discovery, reminding us that knowing thyself is sometimes as simple as getting out of the house you forgot you had. -Colin 

Available in hardcover April 18, 2017

The Book of Mistakes (Dial Books, 2017)
Corinna Luyken

An artist picks up her pencil to draw a girl:

It started

with one mistake. [The eye is too big.]

Making the other eye even bigger was another mistake.

But the glasses—they were a good idea.

The artist draws a tree. Now the artist makes the girl’s legs too long. But wait: From the pencil has emerged a tree. It’s okay that the girl have long legs; now she can climb the tree.

Do you see—

how with each mistake

she is becoming?

This delicious picture book is a feast for the eyes and a joyful tribute to the creative process. -Franny

Preorder your copy now! 

Franny's March Recommendations

Pax (Balzer & Bray, 2016)
Sara Pennypacker, illus. by Jon Klassen

Peter and Pax, a fox, have been together since Pax was a kit. But when Peter’s dad enlists in the military, he forces Peter to return Pax to the wild. Peter immediately regrets his decision and runs away to find Pax, while Pax embarks on a journey of his own. A beautifully-written bitter-sweet story of love and loyalty.

57th Street Books' Children's Manager Franny Billingsley with this month's top recommendations of Children's, Middle Grade, and Young Adult literature. Click here to see the list!

"Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss" (as splendiforously sung by Colin and Miranda)

“You're off to great places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting!

So... Get on your way!

-Dr. Seuss
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