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Best Books to Read Aloud to Children

Reading aloud was a bedtime rite of passage in my household. Long after I learned to read on my own, my mum would still read to me in bed often, for the simple pleasure and enjoyment of each other’s company. And for me, even though I was capable of racing through books well beyond my […]

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Is Enid Blyton Too Old-Fashioned to Be Relevant?

Is Enid Blyton simply an anachronism? Does the fact that she has sold hundreds of millions of books count for anything when critics say her adventure stories are old-fashioned and no longer relevant to today’s young readers? My colleague Richard says yes, and I agree. I grew up with her books, in Canada, in the […]

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Carnegie and Greenaway: A Double Win for “A Monster Calls”

It’s the first time ever that the same book has been awarded both the Carnegie Medal (for excellence in writing for children) and the Kate Greenaway Medal (for excellence in illustration for children). Each prize is conferred upon the winner by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) and consists of a gold […]

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A Thousand Words: When Authors Act as Artists

Melville House had a great post a few days ago about the art of great authors. It was full of beautiful examples – paintings and art by the likes of Goethe, Victor Hugo, Herman Hesse, Aldous Huxley, Jack Kerouac, Kurt Vonnegut, Henry Miller (complete with genitalia, naturally) and more. It made me think to scour […]

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E.B. White’s Love Letter About His Dachshund

It’s easy to love a man who loves his dog. In 1951, E.B. White, author of the beloved children’s stories Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little got in trouble with the SPCA for allegedly not paying the tax to license his daschund, and thus “harboring an unlicensed dog”. The letter he wrote them in return is […]

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A Wild Price for Sendak’s Classic: May’s Most Expensive Sales

May was an outstanding month for rare and expensive book sales on AbeBooks. As we all know, beloved children’s author Maurice Sendak passed away at age 83 on June 8th, so it was no surprise when sales for his more collectible books – first editions, signed copies, and the like – began rolling in. The […]

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Kate Greenaway’s Influence on Children’s Fashion

Victorian-era English illustrator Kate Greenaway drew children’s clothing with such care, imagination and detail that she inspired a line of clothing.

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Impressive Collection of Aesop’s Fables Wins Grand Prize

Congratulations to Samuel Jang of Victoria, BC, who was the first place winner in the 2011-2012 National Book Collecting Contest for Young Canadians Under 30, of which AbeBooks was a proud sponsor. The requirements for the contest were simple – be Canadian, be under 30, and write an essay about your book collection – what […]

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Kraken Vs. Kraken! (Then and Now)

The image on the left is from an 1802 book called Histoire naturelle generale et particulière des Mollusques by Denys Montfort. The image on the right is one I came across today, from 2004, listed as original children’s book art by Tom Leonard, and called Mysterious Giant Squid. The Kraken hasn’t changed much in 202 […]

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Christopher Walken Reads “Where the Wild Things Are”

Curmudgeonly grump and marvelously imaginative author Maurice Sendak died a week ago today. I came across this again today and thought it was worth a revisit…. Sendak’s classic Where the Wild Things Are, as ready by Christopher Walken*. Makes me laugh every time. “The kid is kind of a jerk. I think that’s the point […]

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