Mass-produced holiday cards first appeared in Europe with the early printing presses, hundreds of years ago. As early as 1467, the Christ child appeared on a card in Germany wishing the receiver a good and happy year.
In older times and in other countries, New Year's was a time to give little presents, sometimes food, sometimes jewelry, sometimes money. In some countries, they still prefer to send New Year's cards to Christmas cards.
Bored? Nothing to do? Jump into a cozy picture book on a winter night. Troublesome trolls and a beauty's Beast! Helpful hedgehogs and polite polar bears! Whether you find yourself surrounded by swirling snowflakes or a chilly blue twilight, there are no better companions for winter's frozen brightness than Jan Brett's tales from the European tradition. Read our author profile for more.
Today, Sesame Street turns 40 years old. As a child of the '70's, Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird, and Grover became my very close pals. The music–from the uplifting "Sunny Days" intro theme to the swinging "1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-tweeeelve" pinball disco song–became personal anthems. I learned phonics from the letter of the day and counting from...who else?...The Count.
Right now there is a sick kid upstairs, reading and coughing. And laughing, in between coughs. "Mom, this book is hilarious!" he manages to squeak out, somewhat breathlessly. When I ask what the book is, I'm told, "This Book is Not Good For You," which doesn't sound like a promising read when you are ill. The plot summary includes something about adventure, chocolate, and kidnapping. And a narrator who writes himself into the story, sometimes even falling asleep for pages at a time.
Halloween is October 31, 2009. We have scared up some great articles and booklists for you to learn more about this spooky holiday.
Get ready for some spooky good times! We found lots of games to play, stories to share, crafts and recipes beyond compare.
Did you know that Halloween is one of the world’s oldest holidays? It has gone through many changes, but was originally a Celtic festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in), marking the end of harvest and the beginning of the new year (November 1st).
Ghoulish, ghastly and deliciously fun books for all ages!
Get the creepy crawlies with R. L. Stine. He's a master of conjuring things that go bump in the dark. Imagine you've just moved to the town of Dark Falls where you don't know anybody.
Pinky Dinky Doo is full of spunk and has lots of adventures in her own beginning reading series. The books have vibrant artwork and zany text that especially appeals to the pre-reader and beginning reading set. Pinky also has her own show on Noggin.
To get a taste of what Pinky is all about, go to her awesome Web site. There you can play Pinky games, watch more than a dozen videos, and even listen to her audio podcast.
I blogged a few weeks ago about the Percy Jackson and The New Olympians series (click here to read). The first book, The Lightning Thief, is being made into a movie, due to be released February 2010. Here's a new trailer for the movie, and it looks awesome: