Is it time to start thinking about Christmas books? I think SO! Here are a few for the Littles.

Llama Llama Holiday Drama

Llama llama holiday drama by Anna Dewdney

Poor little Llama is overwhelmed with all the holiday preparations.

You will LOVE it!!

And this is an old favorite (who doesn’t love a Rotty?)

Carl’s Christmas

Carl's Christmas by Alexandra Day

and another pooch who thinks she’s a reindeer:


Olive the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh

What’s Christmas without Elmo?

Elmo’s 12 Days of Christmas

Elmo's 12 Days of Christmas

(its all about monsters)

and of course, Tomie de Paola’s

The Legend of Old  Befana

an Italian spin on Christmas


Caroline Carlson and The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates

I’m so excited to share this title with you: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates. If you know anything about me you know I love pirates.

The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates

Here’s a synopsis from

Pirates! Magic! Treasure! A gargoyle? Caroline Carlson’s hilarious tween novel The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart’s Mysterious Benedict Society.

Hilary Westfield has always dreamed of being a pirate. She can tread water for thirty-seven minutes. She can tie a knot faster than a fleet of sailors, and she already owns a rather pointy sword.

There’s only one problem: The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refuses to let any girl join their ranks of scourges and scallywags.

But Hilary is not the kind of girl to take no for answer. To escape a life of petticoats and politeness at her stuffy finishing school, Hilary sets out in search of her own seaworthy adventure, where she gets swept up in a madcap quest involving a map without an X, a magical treasure that likely doesn’t exist, a talking gargoyle, a crew of misfit scallywags, and the most treacherous—and unexpected—villain on the High Seas.

Written with uproarious wit and an inviting storyteller tone, the first book in Caroline Carlson’s quirky seafaring series is a piratical tale like no other.


What’s not to love?


Pirate Pame


My #FridayReads are All Over the Place

My #FridayReads

I havent written a #FridayReads post in a long time! Here’s what I’m currently reading:

On Audio

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


I’m rediscovering Harry Potter all over again thanks to the Oh Witch Please Podcast so I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series. But this time on audio. It’s been delightful. Do check out the Oh Witch Please podcast. WARNING: Not safe for work or children.

On My Lunchbreak

The Circle by Dave Eggar


For Bookclub

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


Believe it or not, kids, that’s all I’m reading at the mo.

Tell me what you’re reading!


Books Children Reviews

Seriously, Just Go to Sleep by Adam Mansbach

Here’s a bedtime story for kids, “Seriously, Just Go to Sleep by Adam Mansbach.”  This is the CLEAN version of Go The FOK to Sleep.  It’s equally as funny and endearing.  I hope you enjoy it.

You’ll notice that there are children and parents of different colors in this book YAY!!

Four paws for ethnic diversity!

Children Reviews

Scary School by Derek the Ghost

I’m really not sure where to begin when describing Scary School by Derek the Ghost! There are so many things to love!   I found the story to be insanely funny and the illustrations added to the hilarity.  My only concern is that the story was a tad bit too long; I kept wondering what would be left to tell in the sequels.

If you’re like me, An Unconventional Librarian, you will appreciate Mrs. T, the T-Rex librarian who wears a blue dress.  What’s conventional about that? Nothing and I LOVE it!

Do you know what else I love about Scary School? Principal Headcrusher.  Not only is the character obviously African American, but, with the exception of her freakishly large hands, displays common African American features.  Additionally, she is not just a side character, but a main character, which is important for young readers of color to witness.  LOVE!

My favorite scene in the story is the retelling of the three little pigs performed by the goblins of Goblin Hill.  You know you’re in for a treat of a story when the opening line says that each little pig has an advanced degree in architecture.  I chuckled each time the wolf blew down the goblin’s house the wolf danced to distract the children from the moaning of the injured goblins. The story finishes:

And so all the pigs were eaten by the wolf, as is the correct nature of the food chain. Even the smartest pig on Earth is no match for a hungry wolf who has connections in the demolition business.

I couldn’t stop chuckling!

Derek the Ghost is on to something here, and I can’t wait to read the next installments (hint, hint).

I wonder if I can get a blue dress like Mrs. T the librarian?

award winners Books Diversity

APeek at Black History Month

Black History month may be winding down but there is still time to talk about some of the great books available.

Remember, it’s appropriate to read these beautiful books all year long, not just during Black History month!

This three just caught my attention recently:

When Grandmama Sings by Margaree King Mitchell 

photo courtesy

then this one

Freedom Song by Sally M. Walker

photo courtesy

and of course, we all love poetry

Freedom’s a Callin’ Me by Ntozake Shange

photo courtesy

Don’t the illustrations look delish?

Putting these on my want list!

Books NaBloPoMo

Multicultural e-books for kids

If your kids are online and looking for books to read, why not try a digital library?

Here’s one I think is interesting:

International Children’s Digital Library

located at

The mission of the International Children’s Digital Library Foundation (ICDL Foundation) is to support the world’s children in becoming effective members of the global community – who exhibit tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas — by making the best in children’s literature available online free of charge. The Foundation pursues its vision by building a digital library of outstanding children’s books from around the world and supporting communities of children and adults in exploring and using this literature through innovative technology designed in close partnership with children for children.

Ever want to read a book in Farsi or Croation? They have it!

Check it out sometime if you have a minute!


I’ll Miss Anna Dewdney: Llama Llama Red Pajama

The World got a little sadder the other day when we lost Anna Dewdney, author of Llama Llama Red Pajama.

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Her books were so great, little ones everywhere could relate to the situations that little llama encounters. For example:


Llama llama Holiday Drama: kids and holiday shopping and parties, etc. Who can’t relate? Or what about


When little llama goes to preschool and misses mama? Look at those eyes! Of course there’s


Llama Llama home with Mama when little llama has a cold and has to stay home and be cared for by mama. And who can forget


Llama Llama Mad at Mama for being forced to go to the grocery store with her? Who likes that???

There are so many more Llama Llama books and other books written by Anna Dewdney.  Check them out, they’re keepers.

I had the great fortune to work with her when she came to the bookstore.

Anna Dewdney and PammyPam

She was ever so nice to me and I’ll never forget her. Read a book to a child, she said.




Books Children Reviews

When you Gotta Go by William Tellem is STILL my favorite bathroom book

When you Gotta Go by William Tellem
is STILL my favorite bathroom book

When You Gotta Go by William Tellem

If you’re afraid of potty humor then don’t watch this video.  As you can see from the video, I’m almost laughing as I read the book.  It was given to me because I enjoyed it so much.  I am honored and flattered to have received this book.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

When You Gotta Go is published by, “sharp stories for keen kids”.  I am in love with this publisher.  Need more multicultural books for children around here. Did I mention the book was graciously given to me by SwordPen CEO Zev Lewinson himself?  Here’s a link to a blog post he wrote *about* me!

Meanwhile, watch the video. Have an open mind and…LAUGH


What did you think? Too silly for you?


Sarah, Plain and Tall and Feminism

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

“Did mama sing every day?” asked Caleb. “Every-single-day?” He sat close to the fire, his chin in his hand.  It was dusk, and the dogs lay beside him on the warm hearthstones.

Somehow in my reading lifetime I missed Sarah, Plain and Tall; I recently discovered this gem and can see why it is so beloved.  After Papa is left a widower with small children at home, he puts an ad in the newspaper for a wife.  What he gets is Sarah.  Sarah is a perfect match for Papa and the children and the delightful tale of their growing relationships gently unfolds during the story.

No matter how much I enjoyed the story (and the possibility of reading the sequels) I cannot help thinking that there is no ethnic diversity in the story.  But not nonexistent.  The author very slyly imposes a feminist approach to Sarah’s character.  Sarah is smart and physically strong and is able to perform many tasks around the farm that are traditionally male and forces the family to understand that these abilities are part of her character.  Naturally, Papa has trouble adjusting to this type of woman. These-strong minded female character traits are important for young readers to be exposed to.  This viewpoint provides diversity with Sarah is a role model.

Diversity benefits this entire family as Sarah decides whether she will stay and become Papa’s wife.

This book is a re-read and counts toward my YA books of the 80s and 90s challenge.

I give this story four paws!

Edited to add: Check out what happened when I read this gem!





Edited to add: Check out what happened when I read this gem!