Friday, July 6, 2012

Writing and Writers: It's all about books

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Great children's books and programs at a hometown bookstore

Children's section at Tome on the Range, Las Vegas, NM
My interview with Suzanne Cole, former landscape designer and now children’s book specialist at Tome on the Range, was a joy. Her enthusiasm for her job, an inborn sense of fun and an apparent love of books made for a lively conversation and new insight into the bookstore’s commitment to providing an adventure in reading for all ages.

Suzanne said the “Where's Waldo” contest will continue through July. What is it? Look for Waldo at participating stores and collect four tickets to win a Waldo button. Eight tickets earns an entry in a drawing to win various prizes including art supplies from Art Essentials and Waldo books. Participating businesses are Unikat Jewelers, Tito's Gallery, Stuff, New Moon, Art Essentials, @ the Plaza, Threadbare, Pam's Flowers, Plaza Antiques, Wardancer Gallery, Semilla Natural Foods , Tome on the Range, and Gordon's Jewelers.

The much anticipated summer day camp, “Riding the Rails,” runs from July 30 to Aug. 3 from 12:30 to 5 p.m., for ages 8-12. The camp will take place on Monday and Thursday at the Las Vegas City and Rough Rider Memorial Museum. On Tuesday and Friday sessions will be at the parish hall on the Plaza. The highlight of the week will be a train ride to Lamy for a visit to the railway museum there. There are only eight openings left, so parents need to get to Tome soon to assure their child has a spot at this year’s camp. Fee for the camp is $50 per child.

Suzanne also brought several children’s books as examples of the variety available in the colorful and well-stocked children and youth section.

Picture books included Cowboy Ned and Andy, by Ezra Stein. What will Ned get Cowboy Bob for his birthday? The answer is found on the wonderfully illustrated pages of a book that teaches about what is important in life.

Wumbers by Amy Rosenthal is a fascinating approach to reading and thinking. Parts of the words are represented by a number, as in 4tune. Wumbers requires strict attention and is a great way for children to learn concentration and thinking on more than one level.

For intermediate readers Suzanne brought:
Bink And Gollie - Two For One, by Kate DiCamillo. Bink and Gollie, different in every way and fast friends, use teamwork and smarts while checking out the wonders at the state fair. It’s a funny and warmhearted story of friendship featuring the visual humor of illustrator Tony Fucile.  

Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage is the hilarious tale of rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau. (From “Miss LoBeau  lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone's business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she's been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her "upstream mother," she's found a home with the Colonel--a café owner with a forgotten past of his own--and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.”

The Case of the Deadly Deserados, by Caroline Lawrence. (Kirkus Review: Twelve-year-old P.K. “Pinky” Pinkerton was born with a poker face—he can’t show or read emotion—but it’s not until he lands in Nevada Territory’s silver-mining country that he comes to terms with the hand he’s dealt. This fast-paced and deadpan-funny Wild West adventure is Pinky’s first-person account, scrawled out as “last words” on ledger sheets in a mine shaft while three desperados hunt him down. Read more…

I confess the young adult selections Suzanne brought were interesting enough that I might be adding them to my book list, which leads me to comment on the reading lists developed for summer reading for kids of all ages. Suzanne said everyone at Tome contributed to the development of the lists, which run the gamut from paranormal to sweet children’s book with simple messages. The following are suggested books that I found intriguing.

Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson. (From Maureen Johnson’s website: The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago. Read more…

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices Series), by Cassandra Clare: (Goodreads review: When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos. Read more…

For more about about books in general and children's books in particular, stop by Tome on the Range and talk to Suzanne or any of the booksellers.They'll be happy to help you.

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