Last month, I attended the annual BookExpo America at the Javits Center. The BookExpo is a wondrous event for anyone who loves books as there is aisle after aisle of nothing but books, books and more books – or as, Montclair’s own, Stephen Colbert described it on opening day, it’s “the Lollapalooza of reading quietly to yourself.”
However, in this digital age, in addition to the abundance of actual books, there was also a growing focus on eBooks and eReaders, and on applications that help facilitate “social reading.”
There were plenty of recently released children’s books, a few that I thought were just fantastic include:
Ava’s Poppy – written and illustrated by Marcus Pfister (best-known for The Rainbow Fish) this story of Ava’s love for her beloved Poppy is charming and affecting, and even has a surprise ending.
The Monkey and the Bee and The Monkey Goes Bananas – both written by Carly Dempsey, Peter Raymundo and Ed Bloom and illustrated by Peter Raymundo, tell the hilarious stories of a monkey befuddled first by a too-friendly bee, and then by bananas just beyond his grasp. Both books are perfectly suited to a kid’s sense of humor, and tell their stories with just a few words, making them especially good choices for early readers.
This fall brings a new installment of the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series with Book 7, The Third Wheel coming out on November 13. And, on October 2, the fifth book in the Dork Diaries series Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-it-All will be released.
In cookbooks, I liked the two below for having easy-to-follow recipes with an emphasis on meals that kids will enjoy:
365 Days of Slow Cooking – Karen Bellessa Petersen’s book grew out of her popular blog, 365DaysofCrockPot.com, and features lots of easy recipes perfect for busy families, not to mention picky children.
Secrets of Skinny Kids – Rebecca Rogers, a New Jersey mom, had every recipe she included in this book taste tasted by a panel of kids. Of the hundreds of healthy recipes the kids sampled, only 70 “passed” and were used in the cookbook. Kid-pleasing recipes include Strawberry Snowball Salad, Kid Guacamole and Stuffed Artichokes.
As for adult literature? For better or for worse, the success of Fifty Shades of Grey had just about every publisher at BookExpo America telling me what they had planned in their romance and erotica categories. Let’s just hope some of it is better written.