Monday, October 31, 2016

CATtastic Crafts : DIY Projects for Cats and Cat People by Mariko Ishikawa

Holiday time is just ahead and of course you want some gifts for the felines in your house!  Here are more than 30 “cat-approved” projects you can make quickly and inexpensively.  

Projects include cat toys meant to give your kitty exercise and some interaction with you, a three-tier cat condo, and lots of projects for cat beds, bowls, kitty clothing and more. There’s even a section of cat-themed accessories for the humans in your cat’s life.

Many of these plans are simple enough that they would be great projects for older children to work on with a little parental supervision.  Cat-lovers will really get a kick out of this fun and quirky book!

Reviewed by Kate Tesdell
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Monday, October 17, 2016

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

This book is about what it was like to be a girl growing up in 1970’s Brooklyn.  It’s told from August’s perspective as an adult.  She and her brother moved to Brooklyn with their father when they were eight and four.  Their mother was left behind, and August said she would join them “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.”  They sat at the window watching the street below while their father was at work.  Eventually, they were allowed to leave the apartment and join the kids in the street below.  August became friends with Sylvie, Gigi and Angela.  They were inseparable.  The book is written in short memories.  It skips a little bit, as if August was remembering one thing, which led to another memory…  It’s quick to read and has a dream-like quality.  

Reviewed by Fiona Swift
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Monday, October 3, 2016

Hamilton: the Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

Although a hip-hop infused musical adaptation of Ron Chernow’s 800-page biography of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton probably seemed like an unlikely prospect at one time, Hamilton is now a Tony Award winner and the biggest show to hit Broadway in decades. With the box office sold out and tickets going for hundreds of dollars, this book by the show’s creative genius may be the closest any of us get to the magic for a while.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s lyrics are printed here in their entirety, (including some tidbits that didn’t even make it onto the two-disc Broadway cast recording), alongside full-color photographs from the production. Miranda also treats us with insights into his writing process and makes sure we catch his shout-outs to everyone from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Biggie Smalls. McCarter includes more behind-the-scenes information and photos, showing us how the writer, producers, musicians, set designers, choreographers, and actors collaborated to create something special. It’s a treat for fans of the show, but also a great introduction to Hamilton for those who are just curious to see what all of the excitement is about.

Reviewed by Lynn Heitkamp
Click here to find this book