National Poultry Day!!!!*

*no birds were eaten during the making of this post. 

Hi Everyone,

For those of you who don’t know, March 19th is National Poultry Day.  On this day, we celebrate all edible fowl, by eating them for every meal. While that is all well and good, I say let’s also celebrate the bird books. Though that date has passed, I thought I’d spend a little time recognizing these animals. So, in honor of National Poultry Day, I’m going to take a look at the books in which poultry will never be eaten, safe forever in the their illustrated pages.

That Is NOT a Good Idea!– Mo Willems

Let’s face it: Mo Willems is great at writing (and illustrating) stories with birds. And we sure are glad. That Is NOT a Good Idea! is yet another fantastic story (told as if it were a silent movie) about a duck who doesn’t realize that a wolf wants to have her for dinner. Literally! But the ducklings who are watching the events unfold know, and they keep trying to stop the duck from walking into the wolf’s trap. With an ending you won’t see coming, this book doesn’t disappoint with it’s humor and cleverness.

Interrupting Chicken– David Ezra Stein

This 2011 Caldecott Honor is the story of Papa who tries to read a bedtime story to his son, Chicken, but Chicken keeps interrupting. Finally, Chicken has interrupted all the stories, and Papa is about to give up. But Chicken pulls out a story of his own, and tells it to Papa. There are stories within a story, humor, and fairytales in this great picturebook. Really, what more could you ask for?

 

Caterina and the Perfect PartyErin Eitter Kono 

Caterina, a little brown bird, loves to make lists. Her current list is all about her perfect party. She’s sent out invitations to her friends, made food and decorations, but there is one thing she wasn’t counting on: a surprise rain shower! Now everything is ruined, but she can always count on her friends to make the clouds disappear. I love Caterina and her crazy organizational skills. Kono has beautifully written and illustrated this new picturebook that celebrates unwanted surprises.

So go out and celebrate all the birds! By not eating them. Well, maybe just for a day? They’ll really appreciate it, I’m sure.

Sam is the book buyer for the iconic World’s Only Curious George Store. After earning her master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College, she decided to travel the world, searching for Hufflelumps, Diagon Alley, Cair Paravel, silver slippers, and Neverland, before settling in Curious George’s house to read books all day. 

Different Kinds of Love

Hi Everyone,

The books this time showcase different kinds of love.

No Ordinary FamilyUte Krause 

No Ordinary Family is one of those books that surprised me. The narrative begins as a story about a family separated by divorce. But this is not all a sad story. When the Bandit kids’ parents split up, the kids, left with their mother, decide to go visit their father. And when the kids arrive, they find that a princess and her children have come to live with him! Well, the Bandit kids don’t like these prissy princesses. Not at all! So they pull some pranks and accidentally go a bit too far. But, by the end, the Princess and Bandit children are friends, and it’s time for the Bandits to go back to mom’s house. And you’ll never guess what they find there! Definitely an ending I didn’t expect, but in a funny way.

 

A Sick Day for Amos McGee Philip C. Stead

A Sick Day for Amos McGee portrays the different ways one can care for a friend. Amos loves his job taking care of his animal friends at the zoo. He plays chess with elephant, races with tortoise, hangs out with penguin, has a handkerchief for rhinoceros, and reads bedtime stories to owl. But one day, Amos doesn’t come to work. The animals worry, so they travel to Amos’ house. He’s in bed with the sniffles! All the animals take turns staying with Amos, and, soon he feels better enough that he reads them all a bedtime story. This 2011 Caldecott Medal winner is one of my favorite recommends for children who love animals. It is a sweet and lovely story, with an aspect that is reminiscent of Peggy Rathmann’Goodnight Gorillathere is a red balloon that readers can follow throughout the illustrations. 

 A Year with MarmaladeAlison Reyonds

A Year with Marmalade chronicles the time that Ella and Marmalade, the cat, spend waiting for their friend Maddy to return home with her family. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but Ella and Marmalade aren’t friends. Ella spends the time trying to do all the activities that Maddy did with her, but Marmalade avoids them. Marmalade won’t play in the leaves, jump in puddles, or  But, one frosty morning, Ella wakes up to Marmalade laying on her feet. Thus begins a fast friendship. They play in the snow and read books by the fire. Soon, Maddy returns, and the three enjoy a great reunion. This book is one of my favorite new releases of 2013. The illustrations are charming, and the text tells a lovely story of a growing friendship. I cannot wait for the next Marmalade book, A New Friend for Marmalade!

Sam is the book buyer for the iconic World’s Only Curious George Store. After earning her master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College, she decided to travel the world, searching for Hufflelumps, Diagon Alley, Cair Paravel, silver slippers, and Neverland, before settling in Curious George’s house to read books all day.

2014 Toy Fair

Toy Fair BannerOur buying team just returned from the 2014 Toy Fair at the Javits Center in New York City and we have some exciting new toys coming our way that we wanted to share with you. Alicia Keys 1

Alicia Keys was the special guest for the opening of Toy Fair. Surrounded by the Power Rangers, she welcomed everyone and cut the ceremonial ribbon. Once the ribbon was cut, the crowd was set forth to see the newest and best toys from around the globe.

The sheer number of toy companies was overwhelming! We walked up and down aisle after aisle finding you fun, new toys for your families. In the coming weeks we’ll be receiving new items from Melissa & Doug, Gund, Safari, Apple Park, Areaware, and many more! We’ll also be bringing in some new companies! Be on the lookout for Hexbugs, Plan Toys, and many more!

Toy of the Year Winners

Begin Again TOTY We’ve been carrying Begin Again Toys in our store for a few months now and we think they are awesome. Their Animal Parade A to Z Floor Puzzle was one of our favorite items from them, and apparently others agreed because it was named Specialty Toy of the Year by The Toy Industry Association. We will be carrying this item again, along with many other items from Begin Again Toys. Goldie Blox TOTY

Winner of the Educational Toy of the Year, GoldieBlox, took the US by storm for fourth quarter 2013. The whole line of their products will be shipping to us soon. Each of their three designs comes with a story book that doubles as an instruction booklet to design an engineering experiment. Once you’ve completed the story, you can take apart your device and create new and original experiments.

Lisa Louisa New GeorgeWhen we arrived at the Gund Booth at Toy Fair, we were super excited to see three new Curious George stuffed animals that will be released this year. The first, you can get a sneak peek of to the right. Teach Me Curious George will be released in early March 2014. Complete with buttons, velcro, loops, and ties, George will teach your child basic motor functions. Unfortunately we were not able to take pictures of the other two Curious George items, but believe me… They are super cute and will definitely be on your little ones’ wish lists!

Jamie LegoJimmy LegoWhile Toy Fair was a work event, our team still managed to have some fun! We got to hang out with a giant Emmet (from The Lego Movie) made entirely of Lego bricks. He was over 6 feet tall! Jimmy and Jamie are both big fans of the movie and LEGO and couldn’t help but snap a few pictures with Emmet.

Louisa ZombieLouisa, our General Manager, zombie-fied herself at the Razor Scooter Booth.

Grumpy LisaLisa, our Operations Manager, found her spirit animal in Grumpy Cat at the Gund Booth.

Jimmy Bear

I became the World’s Softest teddy bear at the World’s Softest Booth.Jamie Snoopy

Jamie, our Owner and Buyer, got to meet Snoopy!

Keep an eye out for all of our new toys. Some items have already begun trickling in, so come by and check everything out!

Great Snowy Books

I love snow, and winter is my favorite season. So to celebrate the wonderful frozen water that falls from the sky, I’ve gathered some great snowy books.

1. The Snowy DayEzra Jack Keats

When the little boy wakes up, the world is covered in snow. This story follows his adventures while playing outside and trying to avoid the big kids’ snowball fights.

 

2. The Long WinterLaura Ingalls Wilder

I read this series over and over as a child, especially this one.

The Ingalls’ town is hit with a blizzard, and, even though it is fun in the beginning, the snow, which reaches the rooftops, has cut off the train. People are running out of food quickly. Will someone figure out a way to save the town?

 

3. The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeC. S. Lewis

Narnia is stuck in winter, having not seen summer for many many years. But when Lucy, Susan, Peter and Edmund discover the wintery land in the wardrobe, the snow begins to melt.

Follow the Pevensies’ adventures in Narnia!

 

4. Curious George in the Snow– Margaret & H. A. Rey

 Join Curious George for a hot beverage before he rockets down the snowy mountain! Curious George reaches the bottom of the mountain safely, but not without causing a ruckus along the way.

 

What are some of your favorite snowy books?

-Sam

Sam is the book buyer for the iconic World’s Only Curious George Store. After earning her master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College, she decided to travel the world, searching for Hufflelumps, Diagon Alley, Cair Paravel, silver slippers, and Neverland, before settling in Curious George’s house to read books all day. 

 

New Year, New George!

With the new year under way, I’d like to show you some new books and toys that will be available now and in the near future.

First up, we have two new Curious George books. In saves-penniesCurious George Saves His Pennies, George sees a train he wants to buy in the window of a toy store. He decides that he is going to save his money to buy it, not realizing how long and hard it will be to save. Once he finally saves enough, George heads to the toy store, only to lose his piggy bank on the way!  How will it end? Come on by to find out! The book also comes with a  punch out bank that can be used to teach your kids about money.

maplesyrup

In Curious George Makes Maple Syrup, George runs out of syrup on pancake day! Where is he going to find more? With the help of his friends, George learns how sap from a maple tree is turned into his favorite breakfast topping. Your kids will love learning the process with their friend, Curious George!

GradCGcropped

mystery george

Just in time for Graduation Season, this 8″ Curious George stuffed animal makes a perfect gift for graduates of all ages. Graduation George will be released in March, but you can reserve yours today!

Our final new addition to our line of Curious George products is also from Gund. He should be arriving shortly but until he does, can you guess what is special about him? Take your guess in the comments section and then click on the mystery photo to see him and order yours!

Don’t Lose Your Marbles

meteor marbles

Iridescent marbles much like these “Meteors” were the jewels of my 4th grade collection.

Back when I was in fourth grade, marbles were the consuming passion of all the kids in my class. We’d spend all of recess haggling over trades, sorting our collections, and showing off our coolest-looking aggies. We even found the time to play marbles with our marbles!

Times have changed a little since then, but kids (and even some grownups) all over the world are still playing with marbles. These simple glass balls are proof that a toy doesn’t have to “do” anything to be great—in fact, it’s often the case that the simpler the toy is, the more you can learn from it, and the more fun you can have using your imagination to come up with new games and experiments!

newton

If Isaac Newton were an immortal vampire, he would have celebrated his 371st birthday on January 4th.

One of the best (and also dorkiest) things about marbles is that they’re a good way of learning about classical mechanics, the branch of physics that has to do with objects in motion.  In particular, they can be used to demonstrate Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion, the foundation for much of our understanding of how and why things move (or don’t, as the case may be).

The traditional game of marbles showcases all three laws of motion. Marbles tend to stay still unless something (like another marble) hits them; lighter marbles are easier to move than heavier ones (the reason “shooters” are bigger than regular marbles); and when two marbles collide, they bounce off each other with equal force (so when a shooter hits a regular marble, the little one goes flying while the shooter only slows down).

Quercetti Migoga marble run

I had one of these when I was a kid, too. I thought it was was pretty rad.

If you put your marbles through a marble run, you can see a demonstration of something else that Isaac Newton—among other famous smart guys, like Galileo Galilei and Albert Einstein—was interested in: gravity. The force of Earth’s gravity is what causes the marble to go faster and faster as it rolls down the chutes and ramps.

Of course, you don’t have to be a scientist to have fun with marbles. Some people would rather learn about their history, or see how they are made; some (like my 4th-grade classmates) care most about winning against their friends; others just want to collect as many neat-looking and unique marbles as they can! As long as you are having fun and using your imagination, there is no limit to the fun you can have, even with something as simple as a bag of little glass spheres.

The World’s Only Curious George Store, located in Harvard Square, carries a selection of marbles, as well as many other children’s toys, games, and books.

 

January 25th is NOT Opposite Day!

(psst, it totally is.)

For every up, there is a down, for every square, there is a round, for every high, there is a low, and for every to there is a fro!

To celebrate Opposite Day, here are some of my favorite opposites books for children of all ages!

Opposites Concept Books

Opposites!A great way to help your little bitty ones learn about words and concepts is with these great opposites books. For the classic Curious George fan, Curious George’s Opposites is perfect. If super heroes like the Flash are more your speed, you’ll love the heroes and villains in Super Heroes Opposites. If you know someone who is crazy for the classics, Babylit’s Sense and Sensibility Opposites Primer is perfect to introduce little ones to classic literature and the concept of opposites!

Red Cat Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond

Red Cat and Blue Cat are complete opposites, and their differences often RedCatBluCat-1lead to bared teeth, flying claws, and hissing! But when they learn to work together and learn from each other, they find out that their differences are what make them the perfect team, as well as individually special.

goodrich+zorro

 

Say Hello to Zorro by Carter Goodrich

Carter Goodrich is one of my favorite author/illustrators, and his character design for Disney Pixar is nothing short of awesome. I absolutely love his books about Mr. Bud and Zorro, especially this first one. When Mr. Bud is forced to welcome Zorro into his life, he hesitates to want to share and change his beloved schedule, and his space! The new little guy poses an annoyance at first, but as they get to know each other, they find that sharing isn’t the worst thing when you’re sharing with a friend.

If you love all of these opposites suggestions, please join us for the

Opposite Day Story Time and Activity on January 31st at 10:30 am

In celebration of January 25th NOT being Opposite Day, we will NOT be reading books about opposites. Sometimes, someone who is completely different from you in every way can turn out to be your best friend! We will be reading some of the Elephant and Piggie books, Red Cat Blue Cat, Say Hello to Zorro, and Strega Nona Meets Her Match.

Stick around to color pages of opposites, and even make your own opposites flash cards!

I hope to see you there!

<3

Felisia, Your Friendly Neighborhood Events Coordinator

New Books to Think About!

Wondering what new books are out there? Trying to find a new book for the kid who’s read everything?  Well, here are few great reads (one newly released in paperback) that might be perfect for you.

Lost Cat– C. Roger Mader

Embark on a journey with Slipper the cat as she searches for her humans. They accidentally left her behind during moving day, and, just when Slipper decides to look for other people to adopt, she finds a lovely surprise.

 

Old MIkamba Had a FarmRachel Isadora

This twist on the nursery song “Old McDonald” is beautiful and fun. You’ll have fun making these different animals sounds, because, instead of farm animals, Old Mikamba’s farm houses cheetahs, elephants and lions.

There, ThereSam McBratney

From the author of Guess How Much I Love You! While playing outside, Little Hansie Bear gets into all kinds of scrapes while walking like a duck and digging the deepest hole. But his father hugs Hansie and reminds him that everything will get better soon. And when Hansie’s dad steps on a thorn, Hansie knows just what to do.


Abigail
– Catherine Rayner

Abigail the giraffe loves to count, but every time she tries, her friends unintentionally ruin her fun. But her friends find a way to help Abigail do what she loves and even join in.

 


Sidney, Stella and the Moon
– Emma Yarlett

Sidney and Stella cannot share, and fighting over a bouncy ball causes the moon to break into a million pieces. Can they settle their differences and find a new moon?

 


The Mysterious Woods of Whistle Root– Christopher Pennell

In this new book published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, someone is stealing the rats of Whistle Root in the dark of night, forcing them to substitute vegetables for musicians when they play their instruments. Carly is the only one who notices because she cannot sleep at night. Carly must fight the horrid griddlebeast to save the rats and the rest of Whistle Root Woods.

 


Treasure Hunters- James Patterson

Hunt treasure with the Kidd kids as they sail the seven seas in search of their lost parents. In this humorous story, the Kidds encounter pirates, treacherous storms, and befuddling mysteries, but each obstacle brings them closer to their parents and a treasure bigger than either of them can imagine.

 


Snow in Summer Jane Yolen

Now in paperback: a fairytale of Snow White turned upside down! Summer’s life was perfect, but that changes when her mother dies in childbirth. Her new step-mother, Stepmama, is terrible, and Summer isn’t sure that she can stop Stepmama from doing something truly horrible.

 

If you’ve read any of these books, what did you think? If not, which ones interest you?

-Sam

 

 

Sam is the book buyer for the iconic World’s Only Curious George Store. After earning her master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College, she decided to travel the world, searching for Hufflelumps, Diagon Alley, Cair Paravel, silver slippers, and Neverland, before settling in Curious George’s house to read books all day. 

Introduce Your Toddler to the Classics!

The BabyLit board book series by Gibbs Smith is one of my favorite series that we carry for toddlers. Each book introduces your child to the classics through bright colors and concepts like opposites and counting. They’re also great for unique and adorable baby shower gifts.

Alice  Jane Eyre  Sherlock  Romeo Sense and Sensibility

Introduce your child to counting from 1 to 10 with themes and pictures from Jane EyrePride and Prejudice, and Romeo and Juliet. Help your toddler learn about colors, opposites, and weather with Alice in WonderlandWuthering HeightsSense & SensibilityMoby-Dick, and Sherlock Holmes.

Magnetic

We also carry interactive toys that make great creative learning gifts when paired with BabyLIt books. Magnetic Wooden Numbers by Melissa & Doug include math signs for counting and solving basic math problems. Read through Jane EyrePride and Prejudice, or Romeo and Juliet as your child uses the magnetic numbers to count!

 

Geometric StackerThe Geometric Stacker by  Melissa & Doug is a fun and simple way to begin teaching shapes and colors. Add Alice in Wonderland as a great gift for babies and toddlers interested in the colors and shapes around them. If your toddler loves to create and build instead, the Wooden ABC BlocksABC 123 Blocks by Melissa & Doug are a classic toy that help with building dexterity and learning how to count at the same time.

Fish bowlLet your baby explore the ocean with the My First Fishbowl by Tomy. The soft stuffed fish have bright colors and a variety of textures to help your child develop hand-eye coordination. Introduce your child to the ocean world with Moby-Dick as they play with the fishbowl!

 

 

Don’t Let the Day of the Ninja Sneak Up On You

Ninja Day LogoYou may be surprised to learn that December 5th is the International Day of the Ninja – in fact, the ninjas of the world would be disappointed if you weren’t. After all, these ancient Japanese warriors and spies have a reputation to uphold, and it doesn’t involve giving advance notice of when they’re about to strike from the shadows.

Although their strict adherence to the way of invisibility poses obvious problems for ninja public relations, the shinobi have devised many stealthy ways of raising public awareness of ninja issues. Ninja education is always lurking just out of sight, waiting to strike when least expected. They have even infiltrated the shelves of the World’s Only Curious George Store!

Ninja rules prohibit us from revealing specific ninja-related items above the cut