28 February 2012

Why Do We Love Mice in Books So Much Challenge

A Mouse Reading Outside the House.
By The Little Sister
While reviewing Secrets at Sea we jotted down a list of books: main character... MICE. Quickly we found that most of the books we really, really liked and many we absolutely loved. Truth be told we cannot get enough of little anthropomorphized mice. Give them a sword, we want them on our side; give them a dress, we want to invite them to our tea party; make them talk, we want to listen to their story. What is it about these little creatures that in books we love, but scurrying around in our homes, well, we grab a trap.

We are guessing that there are 
mountains of mice books out 
there and we want to find 
(and hopefully

Can you help? 
Tell us about your favorites
--tell us about why you love them. 
Don't be afraid to share books 
that have already been mentioned, 
we want to know the story of 
why YOU like the book. 

So share on Dear Readers, 
tell us Why You Love Mice in Books SO Much!

Please use the following format for your comment:
Title of the Book, Author, and your thoughts on the book.

23 February 2012

BFWP Book Review: Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck

Secrets at Sea is simply "one billion thumbs up," according to The Little Sister. She explains, "the mice have human friends, a mouse restaurant, they go on a boat to England and a lot of... MICE and FUN!" The Big Sister shares that "I loved this book, even though I am almost 12. The book takes something that a young child would like and turns it into something for all ages --who wouldn't love a book with a mouse that saves the day by hiding in a woman's bosom?" She said, "please include a smiley face," so ;)!
We couldn't wait to review
Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck!

The Mom read Secrets at Sea aloud to The Sisters and each of us enjoyed this new book by Richard Peck for myriad reasons. Imagine: the mice put on clothes when they get home and take them off when they go out into human territory. The ultimate goal is to keep their truth --their brilliance-- hidden, revealing it only to the most deserving humans. As they venture out into the world, they have to survive and they do, with style. They do more than survive though, they thrive. And they teach us that it never hurts to want something more and to trust that taking care of yourself is always a good idea.

If you liked these books you'll probably like Secrets at Sea too! Click the links to find the book at your nearest library:
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Di Camillo
Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem (A series worth collecting, recently reissued!)
Stuart Little by E. B. White
Poppy by Avi (There is a whole series, check them all out!)
Redwall by Brian Jacques (Another wonderful Series!)
Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton respectively by Geronimo Stilton and Thea Stilton (noms de plume of Edward Herrmann)

Thanks to the Horn Book Magazine for keeping us up to date on all the wonderful children's books out there! Remember, we mentioned their wonderful piece by Richard Peck and shared more, click to read more. The Mom is often asked how she keeps up on all the good books out there. Well the Horn Book Magazine is one secret and the other, no secret at all, we go to the library a LOT!!

So, turn off the computer and head to the nearest library and check this one out!

10 February 2012

Best of BFWP: "You can't tell a book...

...by its movie."  Louis A Safian

On Fridays we'll tempt you to sneak away from your books to talk about movies.  But not just any movies --just movies that were once books.  

Tell us about your favorite movies adapted from books.  And go ahead, tell us about those movies that were not as good as the book (I think we all know one of those!)  Post in the comments below.

06 February 2012

What are You Reading RIGHT NOW? Winter 2012

The Big Sister came up with this challenge way back in May of 2010 and it was so popular that we decided to make it a regular feature. So come by often and share what you are reading! This challenge is a great place to learn about new and old good books to read, so enjoy the comments too!

Nice and simple: tell The Books for Walls Project what you are reading  --whether a newspaper, a magazine, a book-on-tape, or just a good old fashioned book.
Take a moment check out all of our challenges. Bookmark it and take a challenge whenever you have an urge to find or to share a good book or story: The Books for Walls Project Complete List of Challenges.

So, What are you Reading Right Now? Tell us in the comments below:

04 February 2012

Get the Scoop! At Your Library: National Libraries Day and Take Your Child to the Library Day

"A library is not a luxury, 
it is a necessity"
Henry Ward Beecher

Today we are celebrating National Libraries Day in honor of our friends in Britain. What to  do on National Libraries Day? It is simple. Julia Donaldson, Waterstone's Children's Laureate, penned a poem to celebrate the day, and concluded:
Yes, come to the library! Browse and borrow,
And help make sure it’ll still be here tomorrow.
  Read the full poem, click here.
Visit the National Libraries Day website to learn more!

And today is a special day, just for KIDS: Take Your Child to the Library Day and we got the scoop from ALA (American Library Association) Connect:
"Nadine Lipman of the Waterford (CT) Public Library, and Caitlin Augusta of the Stratford (CT) Library Association have started a grassroots initiative called “Take Your Child to the Library Day.” The  annual event will be on the first Saturday in February (February 4, 2012). 
They've set up a blog at: takeyourchildtothelibrary.blogspot.com, and a public Facebook page at facebook.com/Take-Your-Child-to-the-Library-Day/286965. Everyone is invited to participate, including libraries outside of Connecticut." Note: the lovely artwork for Take Your Child to the Library day was created by children's author Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. 
We have plans to help spread the word and more people involved, it's on our calendar for 2013! Wouldn't it be lovely if EVERY day was Take Your Child to the Library Day? 
Celebrate libraries! 
Stop in at the nearest library, 
tell them the Books for Walls Project sent you. 

 Use It or 
Lose It!

02 February 2012

The Cuddle Up and Read Challenge

"We read to know that we are not alone."

C.S. Lewis
The Little Sister reading and cuddling with The Cat
(Photo subject to Copyright)
The Little Sister has been plotting this Challenge for a while. You see, she is a Cuddler. Her favorite pastime is cuddling and a close second is reading --so cuddling and reading, well that is simply heaven for her.

This challenge has options: 
share your favorite books to cuddle up and read, 
share books to read aloud while cuddled up,
share your favorite place to cuddle up and read. 
By all means spend a moment cuddled up and enjoy reading! 
And then take the challenge and share your thoughts with 
The Little Sister she'd LOVE 
to hear from YOU!

01 February 2012

Best of BFWP: Face to Face with Mary Doria Russell (and Annie)

A wonderful night back in 2010. We just found Mary Doria Russell on Twitter and immediately dove back into our history to revisit this wonderful experience! Enjoy!

The Mom (behind Children of God),
Mary Doria Russell (behind Annie Fannie),
and The Bean (behind Thread of Grace.)
Last night as the autumn winds blew and rain threatened The Bean and I enjoyed an amazing evening. The glowing lights of the City Opera House invited us into the hush of library-loving bibliophiles gathered to listen to this year's Traverse City Reads author, Mary Doria Russell

The first thing that suggested an interesting night ahead: seated on a couch --being photographed-- a woman and a dog. Dogs are not usually invited to such events, but this one seemed as welcome as anyone. A short legged, long haired dachshund, "half a dog high, dog and a half long--" taken right from the pages of Dreamers of the Day. But this dog wasn't Rosie, this dog was "Annie Fannie Sweet Feet". As soon as we had a chance, we asked the very approachable Mary who came first Annie, or Rosie? She shared that Annie was first and absolutely the inspiration for Rosie. She explained that she would have used the name Annie Fannie in Dreamers had an editor not advised against it due to the British-English definition of fanny. And so Annie became Rosie and Rosie became a perfect companion to Agnes Shanklin as she traveled from Ohio to Egypt, back home to Ohio and then onto her final rest in Egypt. Just as Annie Fannie is a perfect companion to Mary and her husband on a "working vacation" in Northern Michigan.

I did not know that T.E. Lawrence in Dreamers of the Day was the "Lawrence of Arabia" and was sad to admit that I knew so little of a history that is so clearly connected to our modern times. Mary enlightened the audience with insights into writing historical fiction.  She explained that she is a reader and read countless books which allowed her to use the actual words of Winston Churchill and T. E. Lawrence within the text of Dreamers. Including this famous line, "the dreamers of day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." Dreamers of the Day left me hungry for history and full of questions.

Audience members learned that Mary Doria Russell became a writer by way of life and the changes it brings (she's never taken a writing course). And became a great writer because she is a great reader and knows the importance of "giving (readers) characters to care about." The Bean asked if she had a regular writing routine or if she just wrote when inspired. Mary laughed and explained that her morning begins, "with two cups of coffee, two newspapers... then it is on to the computer... four hours of serious work." 

The evening was full of serious topics balanced perfectly by Mary's personality. Later while she signed my books I told her that my mom (The Bean) and I found her to be a delicious hoot --she laughed and said that friends told her "that if writing didn't work out she could pursue work as a comedienne."  Anyone in the audience would be hard pressed to disagree, I admit to laughing so hard that I --The Bean as my witness-- snorted.

Please note Mary's
amazing smile!
I asked Mary to sign my copy of Dreamers of the Day to The Sisters.  So that when they are older and have questions about war, 9/11, or why there are places in the world that constantly fight, I will steer them to our bookshelf. Where they will find their own copy of Dreamers of the Day. Then I will share they story of last night, when I listened to an amazing woman tell us all about her journey through her life and into her books and into our lives. I will tell The Sisters that Mary Doria Russell is a "readers writer", a lover of dogs, and that she is a "hoot." I will tell my daughters that Dreamers is a book worth reading more than once and then I will set them off on their own journey. The next step of my journey is to watch Lawrence of Arabia and to read everything I can get my hands on written by the wonderful Mary Doria Russell.

In closing The Books for Walls Project would like to thank Mary Doria Russell for being a sport and taking the BFWP style behind-the-books (dog!) photo with The Mom and The Bean. We'll never forget our evening with Mary and Annie Fannie!

Mary will make one more appearance in the Traverse City Area this weekend at Brilliant Books October 23rd at 7pm, 
click for more information. For a comprehensive profile of Mary Doria Russell by Cleveland Women, click here. 

Please join in the conversation and add your comments below.