Hannah is Avid's manager of children's books--she gets to buy all of the kids' books for both shops, do storytimes, and bring books and authors into local schools. A librarian at heart (and in training), she loves magical, immersive stories for all ages and from all corners of the world!
Birdsong is a beautiful ode to seasonal shifts in our lives and in the natural world. As a young girl moves to a new home and befriends her elderly neighbor, she finds a wise friend and fellow artist who opens her eyes to new ways of seeing (and creating). Flett's gentle illustrations and a sincere story make this book a tender way to explore life and death--truly a poem for the heart.
"Language deficit leads to attention deficit," asserts Macfarlane in Landmarks, another book that celebrates the language of the landscape. When we lose language, we lose a way of seeing, a way that invites wonder and even love. In The Lost Words, Macfarlane and Morris "conjure back" words of the natural world that have been lost to the language of "progress." Macfarlane's rhythmic chants for each word sound delicious when read (or sung!) aloud, and Morris's gold-flecked, detailed paintings infuse a mythical element into each being. As these spells bring the flora and fauna alive in readers' imaginations, a hope springs that readers will begin to see new things with new wonder. A truly magical treasure.
This is the first in a series that is dear to my heart. Though technically it is the second book--the first, The Moomins and the Great Flood, was intially only published in the UK--it is still a wonderful introduction to the myriad inhabitants of Moominvalley. On the surface, this is an apocalyptic adventure, but at its heart it's a celebration of community and friendship. The entire Moomintroll series is something to be savored--I come back to it time and time again to find the whimsy, inclusiveness, and magic that the real world lacks.
The Pushcart War is a little book of metafictional genius--a deadpan journalistic take on a "war" between puschcart peddlers and truck drivers in New York City glorifies the beauty of small mischiefs and peaceful resistance in overcoming powerful bullies. Fun and silly and simultaneously deadly serious, Merrill's novel provides readers with a creative blueprint for social justice that is just as relevant today as it was in the 1960s.
This grand, sweeping tale of life in 14th-century Norway will immerse you in a stark yet rich world of romance, betrayal, and familial love that spans generations. Kristen is a facintating character; a passionate, stubborn woman who will become as beloved to readers as Jane Eyre and Dorothea Brooke.
I have a hard time calling Fred Rogers anything but Mister Rogers, and that speaks to how much of a cultural symbol he has become for anyone who grew up watching his show--it’s difficult to believe that beyond the Neighborhood, there was a real man who had worries and troubles of his own. King’s loving portrait shines a light on the complexity of Rogers’s life while also revealing that off-camera there was a man just as kind and tender as he appeared on screen. The Good Neighbor is a biography that is as inspiring as it is fascinating--reading it is like taking a trip back to the Neighborhood, full of make-believe and kindness and gentleness and love.
Read Braiding Sweetgrass and let it hold your heart, singing a truth from deep within the earth, from the soil and roots and the gifts they give us. Kimmerer's prose is pure poetry and is devastating and beautiful in equal measure, and with it she reminds us that we humans are inextricably bound to the fate of all living things, giving reasons both scientific and sacred.
In Underland, Macfarlane provokes readers to see the world way beyond human time--a thing that makes us uncomfortable, but is necessary for providing life for generations to come. The underland is where things are hidden, buried, and decaying, but Macfarlane's lyrical, detailed account of his travels under the earth shines a light on how crucial this space is for understanding the planet we all live on. A spectacular journey that will have you pondering deep time and all that is hidden beneath the ground on which you walk.
Don't let the title fool you--this book is a call to action. It is not a delete-your-account, throw-your-phone-away, go-live-in-the-woods kind of disengagement Odell is calling for. It is one in which we refuse to engage in a for-profit, attention-sapping game and instead turn to one another and to the places we inhabit to ground ourselves and open to an attention that sees us as beings who are inextricably bound to the fate of everyone and and everything around us.