Monthly Archives: January 2014

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.