Bah, Humbug! Gifts to Cheer up Holiday Grumps

It’s holiday time again, and that means eggnog, Christmas carols, and mistletoe. But sometimes, all of that excitement can lead to holiday blues, or even (in the worst cases) a Scrooge in your midst.

December 21st is Humbug Day, so if you’ve got a Scrooge, a Grinch, or someone who’s just tired of hearing Christmas music, we’ve got some great options that will turn their frowns upside-down.

9780064434508

The Grouchy Ladybug” by Eric Carle

Sometimes all a holiday grouch needs is someone to be nice to them, and the Grouchy Ladybug is a perfect example of that. Why not partner the book with a perfect little Grouchy Ladybug finger puppet for a complete gift package.

 

Crankenstein” by Samantha Berger

This book is definitely relevant to me (and some of my coworkers, teehee). Sometimes things just aren’t going your way, and all there is to do is let out a good “ARGGH!” and to try to have a good sense of humor.

Jokelopedia” by Eva Blank

Where do snowmen and snowwomen go to dance? The Snowball! What’s the best way to chase the grumps away? An awesome joke! This book is so much fun and has given me some great material to share with my coworkers. Sure they may groan like Crankenstein when I tell them, but they’re always smiling when they do it.

grinch

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

A humbug post wouldn’t be complete without this quintessential Christmas grouch. Every Grinch needs a Cindy-Lou Who to remind them that Christmas isn’t just about the bells and whistles of the holiday, it’s also about togetherness and love!

 

I hope that all of these recommendations serve to turn your Crankensteins, Grouches, and Grinches into Cuddlers, Grinners, and Princes. Happy Holidays!

Love,

Felisia, your friendly neighborhood events coordinator.

Holiday Gift Ideas: Book Sets!

The holidays are almost upon us. *cue dramatic music* I don’t know about you, but I haven’t even started shopping yet. So, I thought I’d talk about a few gift book sets, just to give you a few ideas.

The Harry Potter Box Set– J. K. Rowling

HP Set

This beautiful set is perfect for life-long fans or anyone who has never read the series. Each of the seven books features a new cover, courtesy of Kazu Kibuishi. Every one adds a new perspective for the books with vivid illustrations that depict scenes we’ve only ever imagined. Sure, you might have seen them in the movies, but Kibuishi’s illustrations capture the wonder of reading the books for the first time.

My favorite new cover is  Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which depicts Harry, Hermione and Ron flying the Thestrals away from Hogwarts. Beautiful.

Also, when you put the books in order there is a wonderful scene of Hogwarts!

I enjoy everything about this set, and I think anyone you give it to will love it, too!

 

The Chronicles of Narnia– C. S. Lewis

I received this gift set for Christmas when I was younger, and I immediately fell in love with Narnia. I remember wishing I had a wardrobe, so that I could meet Mr. Tumnus, the fawn, and walk the halls of Cair Paravel with Peter, Susan, Lucy and Edmund.

David Wiesner illustrated these covers beautifully, setting the stage for C. S. Lewis’ magical words.

Transport someone to Narnia through this terrific book set!

 

Curious George Complete Adventures Deluxe Book and CD Gift Set– H. A. Rey and Margret Rey

This neat set contains both the written and audio versions of all the original Curious George stories by H.A. Rey and Margret Rey.

Each compact disc contains two of the stories, which you can listen to while you read along.

This is a great set that is perfect for family story time or individual quiet time. And the audio stories are wonderful for long car rides. Either way, this lovely set is a fantastic gift for Curious George fans, young and old.

Big Wishes Gift Drive

Our holiday book and toy drive is on! We are so excited to be teaming up with Magic 106.7 and The Home for Little Wanderers on the Big Wishes Gift Drive. Last year we raised over $10,000 in books for Cradles to Crayons, and this year, with your help, we’re aiming to double that amount!

winter window

Come by the store and check out our window display. The snowman will fill up a little more with every donation!

On Sunday, December 8th, Magic 106.7 will be hosting a live broadcast from our store from 12pm-2pm. Come by to enter the raffle for some great prizes. If you donate a gift during the broadcast, you will save 30% off your total purchase*!

Curious George will even be making a special visit to thank everyone for their donations!

Can’t make it into the store? You can donate here and we will do all the work for you!

*Excludes Lego Products. Discounts cannot be combined with any other offer.

Cozy Up with Jellycat Stuffed Animals!

Jellycat stuffed animals are here! New animals have arrived just in time for the holidays and cold winter nights. Jellycat has become my personal favorite go-to for stuffed animals. They pride themselves on their “quirky, original and innovative soft toys for all ages.” With their variety of cute and cuddly collections, they have something for everyone! One of my favorite collections that we carry is the Bashful series. You will be amazed at how soft they are! We currently have the small bashful penguin, lamb, yellow duckling, pink mouse, chocolate bunny, and honey bear.

Bashful Penguin    Bashful Chocolate Bunny    Bashful Yellow Duckling    Bashful Honey Bear

Our staff favorite is the bashful beige bunny, which we carry in medium (12″) and large (14″). We can’t get over how adorable this bunny is, and it’s so soft and cuddly that kids of all ages will love it.

Bashful Beige BunnyIn addition to a variety of stuffed animals, we carry Jellycat soft activity books. Jellycat Tails Books are great for babies, with stories that introduce them to animals and colors and tails they can feel.  Your child can explore farm animals or the jungle while developing sensory awareness.

Farm Tails

We carry many more cute and soft stuffed animals and books in addition to the collections I mentioned above. There are so many to choose from! Come visit the store or search our website to find which Jellycat animals and books are perfect for you and your kids!

Curious About Discounts

discountOne of the questions we hear all the time is “Do you offer any discounts?” The answer is yes! We offer the following discounts every day:

Teacher Discount – 20% off all regularly priced items with valid School or MTA ID*

Military Discount – 10% off all regularly priced items with valid Military ID*

Museum of Science Members – 10% off all regularly priced items with valid membership card*

WGBH Members – 10% off all regularly priced items with valid membership card*

Our newest discount is to thank our neighbors at Harvard University for their continued support.

Harvard Faculty & Students – 10% off all regularly priced items with valid Harvard ID*

If you don’t fall into any of those categories, there are still ways to save! Join our newsletter by sending us your email and you will receive information about our store, our events, and more. There is a coupon included each month! . You can also sign up for our new loyalty program to begin earning rewards on every purchase!

*Discounts are valid on regular priced items excluding LEGO products. Coupons, discounts, and special offers may not be combined unless specifically stated.

Curious George’s Greatest Adventure

The Journey That Saved Curious GeorgeYou might know that Curious George has sailed on a ship from Africa, become a movie star, flown a kite, delivered newspapers, gone to the hospital for an operation, and even traveled to space as an astronaut. But did you know that he also escaped from Nazis during World War II? What makes this story even more amazing is that it was not written in a book — it happened in real life.

Cecily G and the 9 MonkeysIt was the year 1940, and Hans Augusto Rey was living with his wife, Margret, in Paris. They had moved there from Brazil in 1935, and in 1939 had published their first children’s book, Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys. One of the little monkeys featured in the book had proved so popular that the Reys decided to write more stories about him. However, war had broken out in Europe. The German army had invaded Poland the year before, and was now advancing into France. The Reys had both been born in Germany, but they were also Jewish — their lives would be in terrible danger if Paris fell to the Nazis. They fled on bicycles just hours before the first German forces entered the city; among the few possessions they took with them were the manuscript and illustrations for a new book starring Fifi the monkey.

After escaping from France, the Reys travelled through Spain, Portugal, and Brazil, until finally ending up in New York City. In 1941, the Houghton Mifflin Company published their new book. Fifi’s name had been changed to one Margret and H.A. Reymore familiar to Americans – the mischievous monkey was now known as Curious George, and even though his creators’ incredible journey was over, his own adventures were only beginning.

You can read more more about H.A. and Margret Rey’s remarkable life in The Journey that Saved Curious George, by Louise Drummond.

Celebrating Thanksgiving at Curious George

       

There is nothing quite like Thanksgiving in New England and The Curious George Store is thankful to be able to spend it here with your families in Harvard Square. To show our gratitude for a wonderful 2013 we’re offering a thankful story time, a new and improved loyalty program, discounts on selected Thanksgiving books, and a Pinterest board full of ideas and goodies to celebrate Thanksgiving.

            Friday, November 22nd – Thanksgiving Story time and Activity 10:30 am

 

happy-thanksgivingIt’s time for turkey, stuffing, and some fun Thanksgiving stories and activities! Join us today as we read stories about being thankful, even for the littlest things. Stick around after story time for fun coloring and activities. Please note, due to the impending holidays this is the last story time of 2013.

This story time is free and open to the public.

 

Be sure to pick up your copy of Happy Thanksgiving, Curious George while you’re here for story time.  As our book of the month we are offering this title at 20% off both in store AND online. In addition, we have oodles of other Thanksgiving titles in store at 20-25% off! Looking to save even more? Be sure to check out our new loyalty program!Tday 1

T day 3Tday 2

I’ve become addicted to Pinterest. I can’t help it.  For me, the best part, is that I get paid to make YOUR life easier! Where else can you go to find ideas on how to start a family tradition, how to set your table, and most importantly, crafts, games and activities to keep the family entertained while the turkey is cooking!?  Be sure to check out and follow our Thanksgiving board as I hack my way across the internet looking for time (and sanity) savers.

Lastly, I’m proud to announce that we will be closed on Thanksgiving and open normal business hours on Black Friday to ensure our staff gets to spend quality time with their loved ones. We wish you and yours the happiest of Thanksgiving holidays and look forward to seeing you in December!

 

 

Introducing Our New Loyalty Program!

LoyaltyProgramFeature To say thanks for another great year, we are introducing our new Loyalty Program! Instead of getting another pesky card that bulks up your wallet, any and all of your credit cards can be used as a rewards card linked to your account!

What does it mean to be a loyalty member? First, you’ll get $15 cash back with every $150 spent online or in store.  You’ll get offers and coupons catered specifically to you and we’ll even waive the in store credit card purchase minimum! Get started today and we’ll reward you with 20% cash back on your first purchase! It’s perfect timing with the holidays quickly approaching.

Have one of our old loyalty cards? No problem, redeem them before December 31st and receive 30% off of your total purchase.  We are also offering advanced coupons to our Newsletter recipients only. To sign up for the program, click here.

GeekGift Extravaganza!

All of the staff of the Curious George Store have their own quirky tastes: Jimmy LOVES Legos, Jane is mad about Mad Men, Sam is drawn to Doctor Who, and I am crazy for comic books. We are all united under the simple fact that we are nerds and geeks.

Everyone knows someone whose tastes lend themselves to nerdy things, and we have tons of cool things to shower them in for the Holidays, whether they’re itty bitty, or just young at heart.

Star Wars!

My first crush at 6-years-old was Han Solo, so it’s obvious that I love Star Wars. Here are just a few of things we have that are popular to anyone, even from long long ago or galaxies far far away!

20120609-142250

Star Wars Origami: comes with awesome tear out pagesin the back of the book with awesome designs to make your own characters and ships!

515f4g-9TKL._SX300_

Thumb Doodles: Create illustrations of your favorite characters with just your fingers!

star wars lightsaber thumb wrestling

Light Saber Thumb Wrestling: It doesn’t matter if their Sith or Jedi, everyone will love this fun game!

Science!

A good friend of mine is a pharmaceutical chemist, and he absolutely loved the cool things we had to offer for his niece to “get her started young!”

3-elemental-blocks

Elemental Blocks: For the budding chemist on your holiday gift list, these elemental blocks are so so cool.

Smithsonian+Crystal+Growing

Smithsonian Crystal Growing Kit: If you’re super into this awesome activity, try making rock candy out of crystallized sugar as well!

1310044P

Volcano Kit: This tried and true science project is still a super cool way to learn about the acids and bases.

Legos!

We were super excited to finally start stocking Legos last month! We have all manner of different cool collections, from Star Wars to Lord of The Rings, to DC and Marvel Super Heroes.

 

Books!

Best of all of these are the books that we have for creative minded kids, no matter what the age of the little one on your list.

 

Toddler books:

SuperHeroConceptBooks

Super Hero Concept Books: These concept books will teach your little ones all they need to know about counting, opposites, and colors while showing some of the coolest characters in comic book history!

9781423634119_p0_v1_s260x420

Sherlock Holmes Hound of the Baskervilles Sound Concept Book:

We all fell in love with the BabyLit book series, and this one is no exception. Teach your little ones about all kinds of sounds with this onomatopoetic concept book starring our favorite detective.

Picture Books:

9781419708459

“Rosie Revere Engineer” by Andrea Beaty: I love this book so much. Rosie is such a creative and empowering figure for little girls who like being creative. If you have a little one girl who prefers Legos to Tutus (or likes to play with her Legos in a tutu), this is the book for her.

RANDYRILEY_CVR-2-387x450

“Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit” by Chris Van Dusen: Randy Riley loves baseball and science, and this book brings together both of those things with seamless humor, illustration, and awesomeness.

Books for Older Kids and the young at heart:

ConstellationsStars

“Find the Constellations” and “The Stars” and by H.A. Rey: Many people don’t know that the creator of Curious George also wrote some really fantastic books about observing the night sky. These books are incredibly informative, but illustrated in a very sweet and easily understandable way by the same hands that brought our favorite Curious monkey to life.

0001HV

“Darth Vader and Son” and “Vader’s Little Princess” by Jefferey Brown: Do you ever wonder what would have happened if Darth Vader had raised Luke and Leia? Jefferey Brown definitely answers those questions with this adorable series of one panel comic strips, replete with references to everyone’s favorite trilogy (yes, trilogy). While these comics were created definitely with children in mind, they are also a great laugh for any parent as well. I bought Darth Vader and Son for my brother who just had his first son, and he could not have laughed harder.

These are some of my absolute favorite items from our store! I really hope that this has given you some ideas for the holiday season and some great gift ideas for the person in your family who may be as geeky or nerdy as I am!

Signing off, I’ve been your friendly neighborhood Events Lady, Felisia 🙂 Happy nerding!

In Which All the Books Are Gone

Snatchabook

This delightful picturebook written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty is a lovely narrative about the power of stories. 

The Snatchabook follows the woodland animals of Burrow Down as the creatures, young and old, read their bedtime books. But, oh no! The books are gone! That is just the beginning. Soon all the books in Burrow Down are missing, and no one knows why or how. Eliza Brown decides to investigate. She sets a trap and catches a Snatchabook!

What is a Snatchabook, you might ask? The Snatchabook is a creature who takes books because he has no one to read to him. He never wanted to steal, but he didn’t know what else to do. Eliza Brown helps the Snatchabook think up a plan. Like the Grinch does with all the toys he stole, the Snatchabook returns all the missing books. Eliza Brown tells everyone in Burrow Down about the little Snatchabook’s plight, and they make sure the Snatchabook is welcome to hear a story every night. 

If you haven’t encountered this book yet, I think you should. Right away. Like now. The song-like text is great for bedtime reading, while it promotes books and a love of reading. The text is fantastically complemented by the illustrations, which are whimsical, adorable, and, at times, funny.

I want a Snatchabook. Badly. He’d be in heaven with my numerous piles of books, and we’d read them late into the night. So if you see a Snatchabook, send him my way, will you? 

I love this book, and I think you will too! What do you guys think of The Snatchabook?

Pick up your copy today at The World’s Only Curious George Store!