Monday, September 28, 2015

Book Recommendations by Charlie Joe Jackson

If you MUST read, here are a few favorites, recommended by Charlie Joe Jackson...
But first, some tips for reading...
1. If you have to read a book, make sure it has short chapters.
2. Make sure you've read at least one book to completion, so that if someone asks you what's your favorite book, you can answer the question.
3. If you absolutely, positively have to read a book, make sure it is on a topic you like.
4. It's possible to dislike reading and still be good at writing (or drawing!).
5. Not all books are bad.

And remember, if the book isn't available at your favorite library, place a hold or have a librarian request it for you!

Delivery of Doom by Dan Taccarino

Zorgoochi Intergalactic Pizza: Delivery of Doom
When Luno's dad FINALLY gives him the responsibility of delivering pizza orders all over the galaxy, Luno is excited, mostly. He knows that delivering pizza is no walk on the moon. There are hostile customers, and there's always the threat of his deliveries being intercepted by Quantum Pizza, the fast-growing chain restaurant that will do anything to put indies like Zorgoochi Intergalactic out of business.

Otis Dooda by Ellen Potter
Otis Dooda by Ellen Potter
Meet Otis Dooda. Yes, that's his name. Go on and have a good laugh. He's heard it all before. He's been called things like Otis Poopy Stink and Otis Toilet Twinkie. That's right, yuck it up and get it out of your system. We'll wait.
All right then. This is the story of Otis and the Dooda family (including their rat named Smoochie) moving to New York City, and the incredibly strange, but true, things that happened to them. It all started with Otis getting cursed by a guy in a potted plant in their apartment building lobby, and then meeting a bunch of their neighbors, including a farting pony named Peaches who was disguised as a dog. And that was just the first day.

My Life as a Joke by Jake Tashjian

Derek Fallon discovers all the angst that comes with being twelve--he just wants to feel grown up, but life gets in the way with a series of mishaps that make him look like a baby. He passes out during a worm dissection in science class, falls flat on his face in gym class and gets a fat lip that causes him to lisp all day, and his plans for a monster-truck party turn into a bouncy house disaster. Why isn't being in middle school as great as Derek imagined? Thankfully, with a little help from his friends--and, ironically, a Toys for Tots fundraiser--things seem like they could start shaping up at last.

Justin Case: Rules, Tools, and Maybe a Bully by Rachel

Justin Case made it through third grade and summer camp in the previous two books. Now he's in fourth grade, and there's even more to worry about: friends, bullies, grades, tests--and did we say bullies?
Once again, Rachel Vail and Matthew Cordell bring to life all the worries and triumphs of elementary school life, in diary form. Fans will relate to Justin and his adventures.

Stuck in the Middle (of Middle School): A Novel in Doodles by Karen Romano YoungStuck in the Middle (of Middle School): A Novel in Doodles
In Stuck in the Middle (of Middle School) by Karen Romano Young, Doreen and her family had to move because of her once she got kicked out of school. She's vowed to make her new middle school work for her, but it's still a challenge, given her ADHD, her younger sister's growing popularity, and tensions between her parents, as they all adjust to a new city and new jobs. Add to that a lot of homework, a talent show, and her first [gulp!] school dance, and you'll agree that Doreen needs to work extra hard to stay focused. Good thing she has her doodle-journal!

Katfish by Obert Skye

Rob Burnside's life is in ruins. After his escapades with Pinocula and his resulting outrageous lies, everyone is fed up with him. In this Creature from My Closet book by Obert Skye, Rob needs help. And his science laboratory closet is there to give him a hand. Meet Katfish, a mashup of Katniss from the Hunger Games and the Little Mermaid. This girl is strong as nails and sports a tail.
Everyone at Rob's school is excited about an upcoming riff on the Hunger Games created by Principal Smelt: the Fun-ger Games. Rob is less excited because the principal and his mom have roped him into participating. But Katfish is sticking around to help Rob out with girl advice, Fun-ger Games tips, and how to get people to stop hating him. What could go wrong?

Blurbs from

Monday, September 21, 2015

Four Picture Books to Share with your Children this Fall.

With the weather finally cooling down and pumpkins making their appearance at grocery stores around town, it’s finally starting to feel like fall. Young children will be curious about the busy activities of the squirrels in their yard and the sudden appearance of Halloween decorations and candy at every store.  Reading books about the seasons helps kids make sense of the changing world around them. Whether you are still looking for inspiration to get excited about this beautiful season or you are already a fan, here are four picture books that perfectly evoke the wonders to come and are sure to please the youngest readers in your house.
Leaves by David Ezra Stein
An adorable bear notices the leaves falling from the trees and grows increasingly distressed. Where will they go now, he wonders. He gets to work gathering as many as he can and deposits them into a big hollow tree trunk. Realizing he has the perfect place to take a rest, the bear cuddles up and falls asleep on the leaf pile, ready for the cold weather! Simple, with only a few words per page, Leaves works great for young toddlers up to preschool age.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
This sweet, classic tale shares many traits with David Ezra Stein’s Leaves, except the story features more words and works better for a slightly older child. Fletcher is a young fox saddened by the sight of leaves turning brown and falling to the ground.  When he wakes one morning to see the tree covered with white frost and snow, Fletcher realizes that the brown leaves don’t necessarily signify the tree’s demise but its transformation.
Penguin and Pumpkin by Salina Yoon
Salina Yoon’s penguin stories are full of heart and simple, positive messages that will resonate with preschoolers. When the penguins realize that autumn will not be coming to their icy home, they decide to take a trip in search of leaves and pumpkins.  Whimsical details abound in Yoon’s bright illustrations and children and parents alike will enjoy seeking them out on every page.
The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri
A story time classic this time of year, Nancy Tafuri can always be counted on to deliver the perfect mix of story, repetition and wonderfully expressive animal characters. As the weather turns colder, all of the animals in the forest invite Squirrel to do various activities with them, but he is too busy to join them. Why is the squirrel so busy? By the end of the story, all is revealed when we see the squirrel cuddled up to sleep surrounded by the nuts he has gathered. A perfect read aloud for teachers, librarians and parents. Tafuri’s books offer many opportunities for discussing the pictures and asking simple questions about plot.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

In Brief - Wellesley is #5 Best Suburb to Raise a Family in MA!

Trumped only by Sudbury, Lexington, Weston and Wayland, we are not surprised Wellesley is in the top 5 places to raise a family

Fast Facts -

Population: 28,504

Colleges in town: Wellesley College, Babson College, Mass Bay Community College (Wellesley campus)


  • Wellesley Farms
  • Wellesley Fells
  • Wellesley Hills (02481)
  • Wellesley Lower Falls
  • Wellesley Square (02482)
  • Babson Park (02457)
  • Overbrook
  • Sheridan Hills

  • Median household income is approximately 3X the national average.

    49% of residents have a Master's Degree or higher.

    Yay Wellesley!