Picture Book Buzz of 2014

pigeon

As the year wraps up, many "Best of the Year" lists are coming out. Goodreads just announced its Best Picture Books of 2014, and it's no surprise that fan favorite Mo Willems won for The Pigeon Needs A Bath! My favorite from the Goodreads list is Gaston, the heartwarming story of a feisty bulldog who doesn't match his posh […]

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Festive Fall Activities

Autumn leaves

I've always loved fall, probably because my birthday is in October. So I'll take any excuse to put on a sweater, pick some Apples and stomp through some crispy leaves. The official first day of autumn is September 22, which means it's time to heat up some apple cider and hunt for the perfect pumpkin to carve. You […]

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Fun Ways to Live Healthy

Photo by Kelly Sikkema via Flikr

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, so why not learn some healthy habits to start off the new school year? Reading about healthy eating doesn't have to be boring like an old textbook. The Monster Health Book offers tasty menu tips and food group facts with a dose of humor. Even better than just reading about nutrition, why not […]

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We’re Off to See the Wizard!

Wizard of Oz Poster

It's been 75 years since Dorothy stepped into the technicolor world of munchkins and flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz, which still ranks as one of the most awesome movies of all time. The film is based on the book by Chicago native L. Frank Baum, with a few details changed. For example, did you know that Dorothy's shoes were […]

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Best Celebrity Breakup Songs

Felt heart cut into two jagged pieces

Reigning queen of celebrity breakup songs, Taylor Swift, just announced that her new album, 1989, will be released October 27. Of all her confessional tunes, "Dear John" is my favorite. She really stuck it to John Mayer on this track from 2010's Speak Now. Well...allegedly the song was about him. Ahem. "Don't you think I was too young to be […]

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May the 4th Be with You!

Photo by KAMiKAZOW via Wikimedia Commons

May the 4th has been adopted by fans as Star Wars Day due to its similarity to the movie's catchphrase, "May the Force be with you." With Episode VII  slated to open December 18, 2015, interest in the series is intensifying again. But let's not forget where the phenomenon began. During it its initial release […]

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Jim Henson’s Legacy

After finishing the recent Jim Henson biography, I'm in awe of what the man accomplished in 53 short years. Despite all his success, the book reveals little-known facts about his career. Who knew that Henson first performed a primitive, non-frog version of Kermit in 1955? Reading about each project the artistic genius undertook brought back fond childhood memories. We […]

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Celebrate Spring with Romantic Poetry

Chicagoans had good reason to doubt it this year, but in the words of Percy Bysshe Shelley, "If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" These famous lines from "Ode to the West Wind" illustrate the Romantic poets' passionate love of nature. And what season stirs the soul more than spring? Shelley and his peers Lord Byron, Coleridge, […]

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Women Writers to Admire: Jen Lancaster

Jen Lancaster accomplished the nearly impossible task of turning her hilarious blog, Jennsylvania, into a successful book. Since Bitter Is the New Black was published in 2006, she's penned six more memoirs and three novels. Bitter is her tale of losing her lucrative finance job in Chicago and learning some seriously humbling lessons along the way. While it warmed my heart to see her ditch her snotty […]

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Women Writers to Admire: Joan Didion

While taking undergrad writing courses, I aspired to be as sharply observant and coolly cynical as Joan Didion. Her essay collections The White Album and Slouching towards Bethlehem captured the allure of Hollywood and the chaos of 60s California counterculture. In the 60s and 70s, she perfected "New Journalism," the creative nonfiction format that brought stories to life with personal […]

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