The Spill

The Spill, Written by Jacqueline Leigh, Illustrated by Erika Wilson

Jacqueline Leigh’s precious and whimsical new picture book, The Spill, shimmers with joy and delight, and Wild for Books is super excited to bring you the inside scoop before the book debuts June 5th.

It’s a beautiful, bright morning and Faye wants to carry her very full glass of milk to her favorite chair. Both parents and kids know, sometimes the simplest tasks can turn into one big messy adventure.

This book will delight your little ones and have them giggling at Faye, her fluffy, boisterous dog, Max, and the silly ways Faye spills her milk, as she navigates to her “favorite sipping spot…the fluffy chair – the big blue one by the window, at the end of the hall.”

The delightful story and darling, colorful illustrations by Erika Wilson complement each other perfectly. Kids will relate to the spilled milk as well as all the subtle details like the magnetic letters on a refrigerator, younger siblings blocking the way, and a chickadee splashing in the bird bath. This book literally sparkles, in language, in fun, and in the big green eyes of a precocious little girl.

Leigh, author of Time For Bed With Ford And Red (find our review herehas her pulse on the musical language kids love with phrases like, “fill it to the tip-top,” and “so-sloppy morning.” She has a talent for writing stories that bring love and calm to this crazy life of raising kids.

Sink into your favorite chair with your favorite little ones and enjoy The Spill together.

The official release date is June 5th, but Leigh is hosting an online launch party this Thursday, May 17th at 8:00pm EST. Here is the invite and link to Jacqueline Leigh’s, The Spill Online Launch.

“Join Author Jacqueline Leigh and friends as they open the first boxes of her second children’s book, The Spill. You and the author will see the book for the first time together! This is also your chance to buy autographed copies of the book. For every 5 books sold during the Facebook Live Launch, a prize will be given away. Prizes have been donated by local artisans, stay tuned to get a sneak peak at these FIVE giveaways. We look forward to celebrating with you, tune in on May 17th at 8:00pm EST for laughing, crying and all things children’s books.”  The Spill Online Launch

Big Foot and Little Foot

Big Foot and Little Foot

Story by Ellen Potter, Art by Felicita Sala

Amulet Books, 2018

Meet Hugo, a Sasquatch, probably the cutest, most curious Sasquatch you’ll ever encounter. He lives a pretty good life in the North Woods with his family. He walks to school with his sister and friends, has a kind, but strict teacher, eats all the acorn butter he wants, and, get this, a small stream runs through his bedroom!

The one thing Hugo dreams about more than anything, while playing with his small wooden boat in his bedroom stream, is to explore the Big Wide World and have adventures.

Only, he can’t. He’s not allowed out in the Big Wide World, because, well, HUMANS!

Humans are all that is bad in a Sasquatch’s world. Humans are dangerous. Gigi, his super smart friend, tells him,

“Humans either want to kill Sasquatches or capture them.”

This is pretty much the belief of all Sasquatches, except for Hugo’s grandpa who says,

“Humans are no worse than Sasquatches. Some are good and some are bad and some are just a pain in the tush.”

Well, fortunately for Hugo, he has a gentle and kind heart. He opens his mind to his grandpa’s beliefs when he meets an actual human boy named Boone. The two become fast friends and partners in adventure!

Both my kids and I adored this funny and clever tale. We loved Hugo’s kind and a naive personality, the names of things like Boone, Mrs. Nukluk, Ripple Worm River, and the charming, warm tone of this precious story simply captivated us.

Adventure, true friendship, bravery in the face of ignorance, silliness, and the pure pleasure of mysteries in our world are some of the treasures you will discover in Big Foot and Little Foot. And we hope it’s just the 1st book of adventure for Hugo and Boone. The pictures by Felicita Sala perfectly illustrate the charm and warmth of the characters and environment in Big Foot and Little Foot.

We met Ellen Potter at our AWESOME, independent bookstore here in Bangor, The Briar Patch, a few weeks ago. Inviting and wonderful to talk to, she was genuinely interested in each child and in sharing her love for storytelling. I’m so glad we discovered her because she’s published a whole bunch of books for kids, including, the Piper Green & the Fairy Tree Series, the Otis Dooda Series, Slob, and Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook. What a treasure we discovered in Ellen Potter!

 

Time for Bed with Ford and Red

Time for Bed with Ford & Red by Jacqueline Leigh, illustrated by Mackenzie Fink

Mascot Books, 2017

How’s bedtime at your house with your little ones? To be honest, bedtime with my kids has never gone as I expected. Like most things, the reality of parenting is often so different than how I dreamed it would be. For us, bedtime has often been akin to the witching hour, rather than a bucolic, precious time when I lull my babies to sleep in a matter of minutes.

My kids generally hate bedtime, they don’t like, as Jasper says, “The complete boredom of sleeping.” And they don’t like to be separated from Greg or me. Even while I know this is normal, it can be difficult at the end of the day to handle these moments with care. In fact, Greg usually does bedtime in our house. His well of patience is much deeper than mine. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve generally been with the kids all day, and at the end I’m one tired mama, and he’s one awesome husband and father.

No matter who does bedtime at our house, one thing that always makes the routine better is BOOKS!!! Gosh, I even love the sound of someone reading to me.

We have had so many favorite bedtime books over the years: A Book of Sleep by Il Sung Na, Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman, Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann, and I Love You More Than the Smell of Swamp Gas by Kevan Atteberry

Most of the time, now that our kids are getting a bit older, Greg or I read to them from a novel at night, but they still love picture books. And Time for Bed with Ford & Red, by Jacqueline Leigh, is one of the most precious picture books I’ve read in a long time. Our kids adore it too! It is the perfect bedtime book for parents and kids alike.

Tucked in nice and cozy, a little boy, Ford, and his special bunny, Red, embark on one big dream adventure. From riding wild horses, to climbing rainbows and deep sea exploring, the pages of this book are full of silliness, friendship, connection and beauty.

Our favorite part, here at Wild for Books, is when they save the baby whale.

A fishing net drops from a ship overhead,

Tangling a baby whale in each tricky thread.

Red tugs at the net with all of his might,

So the baby and his mama can reunite.

The kids and I love that this book is full of imagination, like when the elephant arrives home with them. And Leigh’s lovely words pair beautifully with Mackenzie Fink’s fun and luminous illustrations. Personally, as a parent I love that the adventures are just what every child might find wonderful to dream about.

Filling our kids’ heads with beautiful thoughts and images as we send them off to sleep is what parents everywhere strive to do. And Ford and Red are the perfect companions to invite your kids into dreamland.

Add Time for Bed with Ford & Red to your bedtime routine. You won’t be disappointed!

These Words I Shaped for You

These Words I Shaped for You by Megan Merchant, illustrated by Basak Agaoglu

Philomel Books, 2018

OH! MY HEART I LOVED THIS GORGEOUS BOOK!!

I had a feeling before this gem fell into my hands that it would be special, because Megan Merchant is SUCH A BRILLIANT POET!!

And, as someone who devours books and words, I don’t say that lightly.

Words can be such simple things, but in the hands of a great writer, words can reach in and seduce your heart, caress tears from your eyes, leave you breathless with magic and hope and wonder. Megan’s poetry and essays do all of that and more. She treats words like fine strands of silk, weaving them together until they become a butterfly newly released from its cocoon.

These Words I Shaped for You, Megan’s first picture book, is the newest, dazzling butterfly to add to her collection of writings.

Illustrated by Basak Agaoglu, a mama panda carries and twirls and loves her baby through this vibrant, lyrical world. Each new page of stunning artwork matches Megan’s words beauty for beauty as you explore this book.

It’s a mother’s song, a mother’s poem, a mother’s comfort at bedtime, a mother’s reminder of dreams and exploration, and ultimately a mother’s way of teaching her child about the connections made through love, that carry us through this world. It’s a stunning love letter from a mother to her child.

Gosh, I found it difficult to pick a favorite line in this book, but I’ll leave you with these words,

“If you are quiet,

you can hear

the lulling chime of starlight

as you descend into dreams…”

If you’re ready to meet your first baby, this book is the perfect love song. If already have your babies, even if they are nine and seven like mine, this book is such a touching, precious reminder of those dreamy, first moments and all the wondrous days to follow.

Treat yourself or a new mama in your life to this stunning board book. And if you want to read more of Megan’s work, you can find her here, meganmerchant.wixsite.com/poet.

 

Nevermoor

Nevermoor by Jessica TownsendNevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend

Published by Little, Brown and Company, 2017

Lily and I love books with strong characters and beautifully drawn worlds, and Nevermoor is an absolute delight!

Open the pages to Jessica Townsend’s Nevermoor and you enter a magical world full of adventure, mystery, secrets, friendships, and so many intriguing characters. The heroine, Morrigan Crow, was born on Eventide which in her world, makes her one of the cursed children. People blame her for everything. Every death, every disaster, every negative thing that happens. She’s miserable and lonely, and waiting to die on her eleventh birthday, as the curse predicts she will.

But just before she turns eleven, she’s rescued by a man named Jupiter North. He spirits her away to the secret city of Nevermoor. In this new magical world, Morrigan learns that she is to compete in four trials to enter the select and highly esteemed Wundrous Society.

As her journey unfolds, Morrigan makes friends and enemies, discovers fascinating secrets of Nevermoor, and learns that she isn’t cursed after all. But being told you’re cursed for eleven years, and suddenly trying to believe the opposite, isn’t necessarily as easy as one might think. Morrigan struggles with the truths she uncovers about herself and others, she struggles with being brave, she struggles with not having all the answers, but throughout, her true nature of curiosity, compassion and strength prevail.

Lily and I felt this book overflowed with amazingness! For fun, we decided to write about it in an interview with me asking her questions.

Tell me what you liked about Nevermoor, Lily.

I like the characters, especially Hawthorne Swift because he was so adventurous. And I like how every character she meets in Nevermoor has a unique personality. Jupiter North, the super smart but mysterious owner of the Hotel Deucalion; Fenestra the enormous, snobby Magnificat; Hawthorne Swift, a joke-playing, dragon-riding friend; Noelle Devereaux, a girl with a voice like an angel who’s also as mean as a wicked witch; Dame Chanda Kali who can sing to animals; a vampire dwarf; and Jupiter’s mysterious nephew, Jack.

Also, I thought it was interesting and crazy that she starts off in an ordinary place as a cursed child, but she gets taken to Nevermoor where everyone has an awesome talent, except for her.

What kind of heroine is Morrigan?

In the beginning, she’s a bit young and naïve, but also a bit negative because she thinks she’s going to die. Morrigan doesn’t know what her knack is, and she doesn’t want to cause Jupiter to lose his job. She wants a family to love; she wants people to like her; she wants to belong somewhere. She’s kind and brave, even though she doesn’t think she is, but being brave isn’t easy, as Morrigan finds out.

What is a knack?

It’s like a talent that people have who want to get into the Wundrous Society.

What is Wunder?

The power source for everything they use, like electricity. You can harvest it. It can also be used in bad ways.

Who is your favorite character?

My favorite character is Hawthorne Swift. He’s a jokester, he’s adventurous and mischievous, he rides dragons. And he makes a good friend to Morrigan.

Were there any parts of the book that made you mad or frustrated?

There were some parts I was kind of mad about, but I like that because I like to be able to feel emotions for your characters. Mostly the part where Jupiter won’t tell her things and it’s frustrating for her and she doesn’t know what to do. Also, the Hunt of Smoke and Shadow was super scary. And the fact that she kept thinking she was going to die because of the curse.

Are you excited to read the second book in the series?

YES! I am pumped to read the next book. There’s so much going on in Nevermoor, that I want to know all of it. I liked this book almost better than Harry Potter.

I’m pretty sure my kids like the Harry Potter series more than any other books they’ve ever read, so for Lily to say she likes a book almost better than Harry Potter, well, that is high praise indeed. If you’re looking for a fantastical adventure with a great heroine in an enchanting world, Nevermoor is the book for you.