News and Events

What's happening at Mockingbird Books in Seattle, WA

June Newsletter

my-octopus-arms-9781442458437.in01

Illustration from “My Octopus Arms” by Keith Baker

Goodbye, Hello!

It is with great appreciation and affection that we bid farewell to Wendy Ostenson, bookseller extraordinaire! Wendy’s upbeat presence in the shop, both out front and behind the scenes, is highly treasured by all. She is a favorite at story time and her impeccable taste in books, flair for displays, marketing skills and knowledge of the publishing and bookselling industry have made her absolutely invaluable. We will miss her greatly!

With goodbyes come a few hellos. We are very excited to include Jesse Miller and Kathryn Dennis to our staff at Mockingbird Books. Jesse recently moved to the PNW. He loves playing guitar, reading books and listening to music. He loves working with kids and is happy to be joining our staff. Kathryn is a children’s book author, illustrator and designer, with lots of experience in the world of publishing, advertising and marketing. She has worked in both print and television as an art director and has quite a few pre-teen mystery novels under her belt. Welcome!

Maple

With all this summery weather and nice long days, we just want to head outside with a picnic basket and a good book. What about you? Why not pop by the store next time you’re heading to the lake and let us help you find the perfect book to relax with under a big canopy of maple leaves…

Upcoming Events

June 4, 11, 18 and 25, Thursdays at 11:00AM – Betsy Dischel of Musikal Magik is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and will be with us to sing, dance and share stories in Hebrew, Spanish and American Sign Language.

June 13, Saturday at 11:00AMStory time with the Transportation Choices Coalition, including a special reading of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems. Listen to great books on the different ways we access public transportation!

June 20, Saturday at 11:00AMKaty Webber of Musikal Magik will bring her delightful blend of music, drumming, dancing and stories to share.

Also on June 20, Saturday from 10:00AM to 1:00PM – Anna Stivers, Seattle’s Recruiting Specialist for The Nanny League, will be hosting a booth just outside the bookstore and sharing complimentary coffee and pastries. The Nanny League is L.A.’s premier placement agency for professional, college-educated nannies, providing excellent childcare opportunities for our neighborhood families and unparalleled service and support.” Help us welcome Anna and The Nanny League to Seattle by stopping by the booth and attending a Q and A session inside the store. Each family who joins Anna for the Q and A session is eligible for 25% off their first placement fee.

June 30, Tuesday at 11:00AM – Claudia McGehee Author Event – Join us as Claudia McGehee presents her book My Wilderness: An Alaskan Adventure. My Wilderness recounts the 1918 winter on Alaska’s Fox Island from the point of view of nine-year-old Rocky, son of painter Rockwell Kent II. Fans of Nikki McClure and Hannah Viano will love McGehee’s scratchboard style illustrations.

Reminder: Story Time Every Day at 11:00am (except Sunday)

Staff Picks

Emily’s Illustrator SpotlightHome

Carson Ellis (illustrator of Home)

Some may be familiar with Carson Ellis’ work in the Wildwood series and rightfully so! Her watercolor illustrations have a soothing quality to them, both in their cool tones and classic and uncomplicated style. Her use of texture brings shapes on her pages to life and the overall look of her layout seems to be a marriage of vintage and European influences. For fans of that classic children’s literature look, she’s one of my top picks.

Home catalogs the wide variety of abodes we live in. From Atlanteans to Norse gods, the pages of this book stretch our imagination of what home really is. This is a great read for wandering minds and the dreamers among us!

Mary’s PicksFamilies, Families

[PICTURE BOOKS]

Families, Families, Families! by Suzanne Lang; illustrated by Max Lang

More and more books for children are being published showing the wonderful combinations of non-traditional families. Families, Families, Families! uses delightful, silly and colorful animals to describe a myriad of possible family relationships. Children will love the animals and will indeed understand the message. As the book says, “…if you love each other, then you are a family.”

The Skunk by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Patrick McDonaldThe Skunk

Oh my! What would you do if you walked out your front door dressed in a tuxedo and found a skunk, a bright-eyed, happy looking skunk? Run: Not the tuxedo man. He quietly walks away but oops, the skunk is following him. The skunk follows the man all over town as the man frantically tries and tries to lose him. At last the man moves to a new house and neighborhood. Success. No skunk. The man wonders where the skunk has gone. He starts to look for him. The end! Delightful pen ad ink cartoon-like illustrations accompany the text. The sly humor will be appreciated by adults and children alike.

Alison’s Picks

[YA]

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy NelsonThe Sky is Everywhere

By the author of I’ll Give You the Sun, comes another tender, funny tale about family, friendship, loss and love. The story centers on Lennie, named after John Lennon, who has recently lost her sister to a sudden illness. Her mother disappeared when she was very young and she lives with her wild and creative grandmother and very large Uncle Big, who are delightfully quirky and wise. As she tries to navigate her overwhelming grief and comes to terms with loss both old and new, Lennie finds herself drawn to two boys at once. Jandy Nelson depicts this turbulent time with such colorful language that it almost makes me want to be young like that again (almost)! My teen daughters and I LOVE this author. She is so passionate and descriptive in her writing and gets to the heart of relationships in such a satisfying and unique way. Highly recommended for your summer reading list!Bird Witch

[GRAPHIC NOVEL]

Bird Witch by Kay Leyh

We love Yeti Press! Local, as in Green Lake, they are putting out some phenomenal new graphic works. Bird Witch is a beautifully illustrated story about two young girls with magical powers. Full of adventure!

Jesse’s Picks

[PICTURE BOOK]

William and the Missing Masterpiece by Helen HancocksWilliam and the Missing

Who stole the Mona Cheesa from the art museum?? It’s National Cheese Week in Paris and international cat of mystery, William, must find out what all the “stink” is about. Join William as he mingles with Parisian artists and sits in cafes pondering the mystery. The story comes to a brilliant climax at the Homage to Fromage when the true thief (or thieves?) are discovered! Helen Hancock’s new picture book is hilarious, beautiful, mysterious, and very French! A must buy!!

[GROWN-UP]Colorless

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami’s long awaited novel follows the story of a young man troubled by the past, and haunted by the loss of an important friend. I always feel like I am entering a strange but beautiful dream when I read Murakami’s work, and this is no exception. Murakami is able to illustrate the confusion of being a young person in a way that no one else can. His characters are incredibly nuanced and dynamic. Colorloress Tsukuru Tazaki is a meditation on friendship, loss, and taking difficult paths to find resolve. A great novel by a masterful writer.

 

Join us for Story Time every day at 11:00 except Sundays.

Happy Reading!

Mary, Wendy, Alison, Jesse, Emily and Alyson

May Newsletter

What Do You Do

Illustration from “What Do You Do With an Idea” by Kobe Yamada; illustrated by Mae Besom

We are well into the month of May as this newsletter finally gets to the presses! May started off with a bang. Seventeen regional bookstores hosted celebrations for Independent Bookstore Day. Wow! It was FUN! Thanks to everyone who participated in the event. We had a scavenger hunt, a collaborative book-making project, sidewalk art, Clifford the Big Red Dog and lots of fun talking to customers new and old. See our Facebook page for pictures:

https://www.facebook.com/mockingbirdbooks

We have extra copies of the passport, which also serves as a map to most of the bookstores in the greater Seattle area. Feel free to pick one up at the shop and carry it with you. You never know when you might need a book!

We have had some great author events at the bookstore recently. First, Christian Page came to talk about his new book for middle and YA readers; The Iron Golem. We highly recommend you pick up a copy for the monster-loving, thrill-seeker in your life! Hannah Viano joined us for story time in the end of April and captivated babies and adults alike with the reading of her new book Arrow to Alaska. Rosamund Hodge released her new novel, Crimson Bound, a dark and mysterious tale based on some of the more obscure versions of Little Red Riding Hood and lots of elements from her rich imagination. What a great story teller! Friday, May 8th, the talented and authentic Nikki McClure, read from her gorgeous new book, IN, as well as four or five of her other titles. It was such a pleaseure to see the books come alive in her hands. She even did a demonstration of her paper cutting technique. Pop in to see the picture she left behind and pick up a signed copy of one of her books. We also carry some of her cards and journals, which make perfect gifts.

 

Upcoming Events

May 14, 21, and 28, Thursdays at 11:00AM – Betsy Dischel of Musikal Magik is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and will be with us to sing, dance and share stories in Hebrew, Spanish and American Sign Language.

May 16, Saturday at 11:00AMKaty Webber of Musikal Magik will bring her delightful blend of music, drumming, dancing and stories to share.

May 23, Saturday at 1:00PM – Sanae Ishida Author Event. Join us for a book reading and origami making session with local author/illustrator Sanae Ishida. Little Kunoichi, the Ninja Girl is a beautiful and clever book about friendship, hard work and the power of imagination. Sanae is a children’s clothing designer who lives in Seattle with her husband and daughter.

We are hoping to re-establish some book groups this summer. Let us know if you are interested in leading or attending. We will send out details as we get closer to June.

Reminder: Story Time Every Day at 11:00am (except Sunday)

Staff Picks

Emily’s Illustrator SpotlightElliott the Otter

John Skewes (illustrator of Elliott the Otter: The Totally Untrue Story of Elliott, Boss of the Bay)

Did you know John Skewes is local? Even more reason to love the ilustrator whose work in the Larry Gets Lost series (now for most major cities!) brought yet another beautiful Seattle book to our shelves. Skewes’ work highlights some of the best outcomes when digital painting meets graphic design. His lines are crisp, his colors are bright, and his spreads are beautifully uncomplicated, while still being chock-full of detail.

Elliott the Otter gives a short, sneak peek at some of the day-to-day activities of the Seattle waterfront, all through the eyes of an energetic otter named Elliott. Cranes, tugboats, orcas, salmon and ferries are all beautifully detailed in this book. Such a great reminder of the wonderful city we live in and the ways in which our waterways enhance our life!

Mary’s Picture Book PicksSoon

Soon by Timothy Knapman; illustrated by Patrick Benson

Elephants have been much in the news in Seattle of late! In this memorable tale, elephants Raju and his mother set off on an adventure. They walk and walk and walk. Raju keeps asking, “When can we go home again?” His mother always answers, “Soon.” As they walk, they meet a snake, crocodiles, and a tiger. Raju’s mother, big and so strong, shoos them all away, keeping her baby safe. “When can we go home again?” Raju asks. “Soon,” says his mother. And this time she means it. Then Raju has the last word asking, “When can we do it all over again?” The wonderful, gentle illustrations are by Patrick Benson, who also illustrated Owl Babies.

Giant Vehicles by Rod Green; illustrated by Stephen BeistyGiant Vehicles

Does your child love trains, trucks and things that go? A big board book, it is filled with intricate illustrations and written facts about big, big vehicles; everything from trains to rockets to submarines, to a big ship which is a floating hotel! Not only that, there are flaps to open. A perfect “things that go” treasure to share with a child.

Mary’s Pick for AdultsStoried Life

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

What a delight, especially for book lovers! A bachelor bookseller on Alice Island, off Hyannis, MA, A.J. Fikry’s life is about to be turned upside down. His bookstore is not doing well, he is lonely, and a rare book of Poe poems has been stolen. Yikes! As the blurb on the back of the books says, a very “unexpected arrival” gives Fikry the chance to completely turn his life around. I’ll say no more…

Alison’s Picks

[Grown-up]

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth OzekiTale for the Time Being

This is an ethereal story about two women, separated by distance and time, but also linked by time and space. One is a teenager in Japan named Nao (pronounced now) and the other is a woman in her 40s named Ruth, living on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC. While walking on the beach after a storm, Ruth chances upon a Hello Kitty lunchbox full of interesting and mysterious treasures; an unusual watch, some letters and a diary, written some time before. As Ruth tries to untangle the mystery surrounding these objects, she begins to feel deeply connected to Nao and makes new connections within her own community. Meanwhile, Nao struggles to negotiate the crumbling facade of her family, while gaining strength from her radical feminist Buddhist great grandmother. There are some lovely passages about the deeper meaning of time and what it means to be human.

[YA]Everything Everything

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (Release date: September 1, 2015)

I absolutely love this new novel by Nicola Yoon. It is one of the most original and most satisfying coming of age/ love stories I have read in a very long time. The story centers on a 17-year-old young woman who has been housebound her entire life with a devastating illness that keeps her from the outside world. With the help of her mother and nurse, she has negotiated the confines of her small world rather gracefully. Everything begins to change when a new family moves in next door with a teenage son.

“I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black — black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly and it is certainly going to be a disaster.”

How will she get to know this intriguing boy if she can’t have any human contact with him? What unfolds is the beauty and uncertainty of taking risks. A great twist in the plot keeps you wanting more until the very last page!

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (Release date: June 9th 2015)Finding Audrey

A quirky, funny and insightful novel about a family negotiating the tricky waters of adolescence. The main character is a girl named Audrey, who suffers from an anxiety disorder and as a result, has not left home in several months. Her doctor suggests she make a film about the people and things in her world to help her re-adjust to life outside. Through the lens of Audreys camera, we see the comical, poignant and very familiar dysfunctions of her family. (More than once I asked myself, do I do that?) We also see her develop and At first unable to be in the same room with this unfamiliar boy, she eventually learns to trust him and finds a path to healing. A great weekend or summer read.

Wendy’s PickLittle Kunoichi

Little Kunoichi, The Ninja Girl by Sanae Ishida

Little Kunoichi, a young ninja in training, is frustrated. Inspired by tiny Chibi Samurai’s practice and skills, she works harder than ever — and makes a friend. Together, they show the power of perseverance, hard work, and cooperation when they wow the crowd at the Autumn Festival. Includes facts about martial arts. (provided by publisher)

Jesse’s PickWorld of Mamoko

The World of Mamoko: In the Time of Dragons by David and Aleksandra Mizielinska

You tell the story! I was immediately drawn to the Mamoko books because of their captivating illustrations. The books feature HUGE two-page panoramic illustrations with twenty-five reoccurring characters in each scene. The reader finds each of the characters in the illustration and tells the story of what they are making, who they are talking to, or whatever they might think up! Time of Dragons is set up in the medieval times of dragons, castles, knights, and trolls. There’s so much going on in each scene, it’s hard to lose interest!

 

Join us for Story Time every day at 11:00 except Sundays.

Happy Reading!

Mary, Wendy, Alison, Jesse, Emily and Alyson

April Newsletter

Shh! We Have a Plan

Illustration from Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton

APRIL showers bring more than just flowers to Mockingbird Books! We have lots of new and exciting titles to usher in Spring. See our staff reviews for some of the latest. April is also very D.E.A.R. to us because it is Drop Everything And Read month; a national celebration of reading initiated by beloved children’s author, Beverly Cleary. It is designed to remind folks of all ages to make reading a priority activity in their lives.

This month we will be supporting Jackie Schwartz, a senior at Nathan Hale High School, with her senior project. She is organizing a book drive for the Page Ahead Literacy Program and will be collecting book donations at Mockingbird throughout the month. Keep your eyes peeled for the donation basket in the store and help us make it a success!

See: http://www.pageahead.org/ for more
details about the organization.

“Being read to as a young child is one of the strongest predictors for future academic success, but so many children don’t have access to children’s books in their homes. The Page Ahead program gives new books to children in need. They proudly serve over 35,000 children in Washington every year. Mockingbird Books has kindly agreed to help me host this book drive to provide Page Ahead with new books to donate to children and their families. When you are shopping for your own child please consider buying an extra book(s) to donate to this cause. The gift of literacy is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give a child.”
– Jackie Schwartz

 

Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 25 at 4:00PM – Local author Christian Page will be here to read from his new Tween/YA novel, The Iron Golem. He will also do some book signing and talk about how to become an author. This is part of a larger book tour and fundraiser geared towards tweens and teens. Chris will donate a portion of the proceeds to local schools and children’s hospitals.

Tuesday, April 28 at 11:00AM – Local author Hannah Viano will read from and sign copies of her new book Arrow to Alaska: A Pacific Northwest Adventure. Hannah is also the author of S is for Salmon, a beautifully illustrated Pacific Northwest alphabet book.

Thursdays, April 2, 16, 23, and 30 at 11:00AMBetsy Dischel of Musikal Magik; Betsy is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and will be with us to sing, dance and share stories in Hebrew, Spanish and American Sign Language.

Saturday, April 18 at 11:00AMKaty Webber of Musikal Magik – Sing, drum, dance and shake your sillies out! Katy gets everyone moving and shaking with her great sense of rhythm and fun.

 Sneak Peek at May Events

Saturday, May 2 from 11:00AM to 5:00PM – It’s Independent Bookstore Day! Indie booksellers all over the region (and the country) will be celebrating with activities and prizes. Join us for the fun from 11-5!

Tuesday, May 5 at 7:00PMRosamund Hodge Author Event. We are hosting the release party for her new YA novel, Crimson Bound. Book signing and a reading, plus yummy food and beverages.

Friday, May 8 at 11:00AMNikki McClure will join us for story time. She will be reading from her new, gorgeously illustrated book, IN. Don’t miss it!

Staff Picks

Emily’s Illustrator SpotlightOnceUpon

Claire Keane (illustrator of Once Upon A Cloud)

There is no ignoring the very much anticipated (by me) release of Claire Keane’s first book, Once Upon A Cloud. Known heir to the Family Circus throne (granddaughter of Bil Keane) and offspring of the Disney character animation legend Glen Keane, Claire has quite the artistic shadow to sit in. But her work in development for Tangled, Frozen, and a multitude of others, brings light to her achievement in her own right. Claire’s style is an amalgamation of what I discern to be a variety of influences, including Bil Keane, Mary Blair, and even Glen Keane, along with many of the impressionists (Monet, Matisse – her daughter’s namesake, etc.) and no doubt many others. Her illustrations are soft yet energized – like an opulent grandfather clock in the way that it is both beautiful and imposing while technical gears work quietly in the background.

Once Upon A Cloud follows the journey of Celeste, a young girl whose quest is to find the perfect gift for her mother. Inspiration hits her just as she is about to fall asleep and carries her through a picturesque flight, leaving her with the perfect solution as she wakes. With Mother’s Day coming up, this book makes the perfect gift (perhaps paired with some flowers?) Alternatively, those of us who can claim visual self-indulgence will eagerly devour this title.

Mary’s Favorite Picture BooksCountry Bunny

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Du Bose Heyward, illustrated by Marjorie Flack

First published in 1939, The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes has remained the best Easter book ever! I know teens who loved it as young children and re-read it at this time of year. Grandfather Bunny searches each year for a new Easter Bunny to deliver eggs to all the world’s children. Usually only the fastest bunnies are chosen. A little brown rabbit named Cottontail, mother of 21 little ones, dreams of being chosen. Wonder of wonders, she is chosen because she shows she is swift, wise, kind and very clever. Her adventures are magic to behold. Marjorie Flack’s illustrations are delightful. There is also a small edition complete with a little gold shoe necklace, perfect to pop into an Easter basket.

 

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris HaughtonShh We Have a Plan

Little Lost Owl, also by Chris Haughton, has been one of my very favorite books for story time this past year. His new book, Shh! We Have a Plan, is equally delightful. Up in the tree is an exquisite bird. Four stealthy friends creep up on it, ‘Shh! We have a plan’, in hopes of catching it in their net. Over and over the bird escapes. Finally, the four friends are forced to flee, pursued by a flock of colorful birds. But wait, what is that squirrel doing in the final picture? Scrumptious, bold graphic illustrations humorously tell the story.

Alison’s PicksPenderwicks in Spring

Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall

We are pleased to announce, that this latest installment in the lives of the beloved Penderwicks has arrived! The ever-expanding Penderwick clan is growing up, this time seen through the eyes of Batty and Ben. Friends come and go, Batty goes into business with dogs and there are surprises both welcome and unwelcome. The clan carries on in usual heartwarming fashion.

Moonpenny Island by Tricia SpringstubbMoonPenny Island

A lovely, well-written gem of a book for middle grade readers about friendship and loss, secrets and resilience, and the inevitability of change. Eleven year old Flor O’Dell has lived her whole life on Moonpenny Island with her best friend Sylvie. When Sylvie leaves the island suddenly to go to school on the mainland, Flor must find her own way. It’s a world full of change and leavings and Flor has to dig deep to understand and come to terms with the world as it is.

Nana in the City by Lauren CastilloNana In the City

A sweet picture book about a boy who comes to visit his grandmother in the city. He is worried that the city is no place for his grandma, but she shows him all the delightful things to be found there and it not only soothes his fears, but makes him ecited to return. Text and illustrations are perfectly paired.

Mo’ne Davis: Remember My Name by Mo’ne Davis and Hilary BeardMoNeDavisRemember

A memoir by the young Philadelphia native who wowed the world with her incredible fast ball and at the age of thirteen, became the first female pitcher to win a game in the Little League World Series. Not only was she featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but she was also inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, all before beginning her 8th grade year! Inspiring to any young athlete, Mo’ne describes how hard work and following your dreams can make incredible things happen.

What Will Hatch? by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Susie GhahremaniWhatWillHatch

This is such a lovely book for springtime! Each page is gorgeously illustrated, asking what will hatch? Holes the shape and size of the various eggs make an enticing plea to young audiences. Turn the page, and hatchlings from tadpoles to platypuses are revealed. Story time today had the group rapt with attention and carefully taking turns.

Wendy’s Pick for AdultsGetInTroubleStories

Get in Trouble: Stories by Kelly Link

This is easily one of the best collections I’ve read in years. It’s short stories just as I like them – unpredictable and utterly hard to shake once they end. Link is known for her sci-fi work, which is shown here, but she travels through most genres and made me laugh along the way. This collection is out there in a zany way, with heroes with special powers, ghosts, and even aging vampire actors. For me they all worked, especially the haunting but somehow comforting tale Summer People. If you like your writing as weird as I do, this book is for you.

Wendy’s Pick for TeensEleanorAndPark

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

My mother/daughter book group recently read Eleanor & Park and it led to a most engaging conversation about self image. Everyone in the group had many thoughts to contribute. Essentially a love story set in a typical 80s high school, this book has themes of family, friendship and romance that adults and both genders can easily relate to. Rowell is a master of fleshing out her characters and pulls out emotion in truly authentic scenes. I loved her attention to detais, including playlists with many of the bands that I favored as a teen. Plus it was fun to describe the significance of a “mix tape” gift to my 14 year old! She just put her new copy of Rowell’s Fangirl on my pillow with a stern note to “read it.” I’m looking forward to checking out Attachments and Landline soon, two of Rowell’s adult novels.

 

Join us for Story Time every day at 11:00 except Sundays.

Happy Reading!

Mary, Wendy, Alison, Katie, Taylor, Emily and Alyson

March Newsletter

Mr Squirrel and the Moon

Illustration from Mr. Squirrel and the Moon by Sebastian Meschenmoser

Happy March everyone! Spring has sprung all around the neighborhood with cherry trees in full bloom, the intoxicating scent of Daphne wafting down the street, and bulbs peeking up everywhere. The park is alive with strollers and joggers enjoying this fine, if slightly unseasonable weather. When you are out and about, come stop in the store and see what’s springing up in here! We have all kinds of books to celebrate the season, from board books about babies and baby animals to a whole new crop of titles for Easter and St. Patrick’s Day.

We have great new picks for adults and young adults too, including Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges (the story behind the movie The Imitation Game,) The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo for adults. For YA, check out All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and Golden Son, the second book in the Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown. Check out our great series for middle readers and an everchanging collection of Ready-to-Read books for the emerging reader.

Although the California port strike and adverse weather conditions have created some unexpected delays in the supply chain, we are now able to stock many of this year’s award winners, including: The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat (of Sidekicks fame), Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrations by Jon Klassen, Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and more!


Diverse BooksOur Diversity in Books drive was a great success thanks to all of you who purchased and donated books. Many thanks also go to Megan Camp-Snyder from MacDonald Elementary and Kintisha Williams of Treehouse for raising awareness and partnering with local independent bookstores! Thanks Kintisha for a fantastic Storytime!


 

There have been a number of requests to revive our book clubs. We would love to provide this service, but with the changing demographics of our staff members, we aren’t yet able to do so. Why not consider hosting your own book club at the store? Come by or call and we can discuss details.
Need help finding the perfect gift for the readers in your life? Want to inspire a love of reading or nudge a reluctant one? Trying to find a particular book you don’t see on the shelves? We want to be your go-to local bookseller! We can offer great suggestions, order books, and custom gift-wrap your purchases free of charge.


 

Upcoming Events

Monday, March 9 at 11:00AMSuper Hero Story Time – Join Wendy for some super hero fun! Come dressed as your favorite superhero, listen to super hero stories and peruse our collection of stories to bring home.

Thursdays, March 5, 12, 19, and 26 at 11:00AMBetsy Dischel of Musikal Magik; Betsy is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and will be with us to sing, dance and share stories in Hebrew, Spanish and American Sign Language.

Saturday, March 14 at 11:00AMKaty Webber of Musikal Magik – Sing, drum, dance and shake your sillies out! Katy gets everyone moving and shaking with her great sense of rhythm and fun.

Staff Picks

Emily’s Illustrator SpotlightThis One Summer

Jillian Tamaki (illustrator of This One Summer)

I have not yet featured a graphic novel, partially because I know I would ultimately end up spotlighting every single illustrator found in this genre. I think it has always been a secret wish of mine that comics might evolve into the marriage of illustration and novel that is now the graphic novel. In the same way that Disney transformed cartoon shorts into films with the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, a few pioneers in the world of comics have pushed limits to make graphic novels a reality.

Jillian Tamaki’s illustrative aesthetic combines a multitude of discernible styles – I can see an influence of manga as well as film storyboards, along with many others. It is not cartoony, but not completely realistic either. All-in-all, her spreads are easy on the eyes with their blue tones and expressive characters. If ice cream were a style, hers would be it.

This One Summer perfectly captures the collective remembrance of summer we all share. Certain novelty shops or roadside signs…the slowness of time and the meandering way we go about summer days…even the weight of the air changes. Anyone pouring over these pages will experience a group nostalgia we all feel for the combined summers of our youth.

Mary’s PicksRed: A Crayon's Story

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Red is a crayon. “He was red. But he wasn’t very good at it.” Every time he drew something it was blue! The other crayons had all sorts of ideas as to why he wasn’t very good at it. Maybe he wasn’t sharp enough. Maybe he needed to press harder. He just couldn’t get the hang of it. Then one day a new friend asked him to make a blue ocean. He didn’t think he could do it because, after all, he was red. And then he drew blue jeans, a blue whale, and well, you can guess the rest of the story. He had been wrapped in the wrong color all along!

 

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan SantatAdventures of Beekle

Did you have an imaginary friend? I did. This is the story of an imaginary friend who was born on an island where ALL imaginary friends are born. He waited and waited for a real child to choose him. No one did. So, “he did the unimaginable.” He sailed away to find his friend in the real world. He had adventures galore. He even climbed a tree. As he sat there feeling very sad, suddenly someone down below shouted “Hello!” It was a little girl. She looked just right. They were perfect together. She named him Beekle. He now had a name and he was so happy. Friendship, courage, great illustrations!

Katie’s PicksDarkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

“In the woods is a glass coffin. It rests right on the ground, and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives.” Weaving together the best parts of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Grimm’s Fairytales, The Darkest Part of the Forest is a refreshing take on magic realism. Siblings Hazel and Ben live in Fairfold, a small town where humans and fairy folk live side by side. Tourists flock to see the boy in the coffin and experience fairy magic firsthand. But not all is idyllic – the Folk can be quite cruel and are overall highy mercurial beings. The boy in the glass coffin has slept for centuries, and generations of Fairfold citizens have grown up on the wild stories surrounding him and the promise that he will never wake. Until one day, he does. Hazel must become the knight she has always pretended to be in order to save her brother and her town. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to teen and adult fans of fantasy.

 

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey5th Wave

Lights out. Surf’s up. Pestilence. Silence. The first four waves of the Others have decimated the human population. Alien lifeforms whose arrival signaled mass extinction, the Others are unstoppable. Sixteen-year-old Cassie has lost nearly everything. After surviving the floods and plagues, her journal and the hope that her baby brother is still alive are all that she clings to. With the arrival of the mysterious Evan Walker, her hope in rescuing her brother is renewed, but who is Evan and what exactly does he want? I am typically skeptical of novels involving aliens, but Rick Yancey has delivered a work sure to surprise.

Alison’s PicksLeaving Before the Rains

Leaving Before the Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller

Alexandra Fuller continues to demonstrate her powerful and evocative writing skill in this latest memoir. At once comical and tragic, the stories of her early life in southern Africa reveal the roots of her resilience and the fragility of her survival. The iconic role of her parents, with all their inconsistencies and endearments, helps make sense of the gulf between her African and American identities and in turn her disintegrating marriage. In a speaking engagement in the US, she is asked whether she identifies as African. Herein lies the central theme; how she comes to terms with the contrasting realities of her wildly unpredictable childhood in Africa and the orderly, safe existence she experiences in America. She embodies one, her husband the other. The immediacy of her language, with its exquisite rendering of place and relationships, creates an intimacy that takes her singular experience and makes it universal. A stunning accomplishment.

Wolfie the Bunny by Ame DyckmanWolfie the Bunny

A humorous twist on the Big Bad Wolf, sort of… Dot the bunny gets a new baby brother, who happens to be a wolf. She keeps telling her family that he is going to EAT THEM ALL UP! Ultimately, it is her baby brother who almost gets eaten and Dot who saves the day. Moral? Maybe the Big Bad Wolf got a bad rap! A very sweet sibling story with fantastic illustrations by Zachariah OHora.

 

Join us for Story Time every day at 11:00 except Sundays.

Happy Reading!

Mary, Wendy, Alison, Katie, Taylor, Emily and Alyson

February Newsletter

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Illustration from Hug Machine by Scott Campbell

 

Love is in the air!

February has come to Seattle and with it, new stories and books for the whole family. Valentine’s Day arrives on February 14th and Mockingbird Books has quite an array of books for your loved ones. Stop by the shop and check out our display!

The month of February also brings Black History Month, the annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in the United States – past, present, and future. We have great books for all ages on such figures as Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, Joe Louis, Ruby Bridges, the Obama family, and many more.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, February 4 at 11:00AM – Author Kelly Cook will read her new picture book about friendship and finding home, called The Mighty-Fine Adventure of Piper and Floyd.

Thursdays, February 5, 12, 19, and 26 at 11:00AMBetsy Dischel of Musikal Magik; Betsy is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and will be with us to sing, dance and share stories in Hebrew, Spanish and American Sign Language.

Thursday, February 5, at 11:00AM Story Time – The folks from Disney will be here, raffling off a chance to win a DVD of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14, all day – We will have a Valentine-Making Station set up in the store for your little ones to make a creation to share with a loved one. Pete the Cat and Snoopy and Curious George and Maisy and lots of other characters have stories about making valentines for their friends, too. Crayons, paper, and stickers provided.

Saturday, February 21 at 11:00AMKaty Webber of Musikal Magik will join us for fun and music. Be ready for lots of drumming!

Staff Picks

Emily’s Illustrator Spotlight (feat. books about bears)Goodnight Already!

Goodnight Already! by Jory John & Benji Davies

Davies employs a mix between the painterly and design with this tag-team tale of a grumpy bear who just wants to sleep and his neighbor, a duck, who only wants to stay up and hang out with bear. Bold uses of colors help electrify the storyline and bring these two very different characters to life.

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-RoachThe Bear Ate Your Sandwich

One of my favorites this year – The Bear Ate Your Sandwich tells the story of a bear and, ultimately, how it came to eat the listner’s sandwich. Each spread reads like a painting, but all flow so rhythmically together. Hardy strokes of color are near reminiscent of the impressionists and the end will leave you with a wonderful twist.

The Big Blue Thing on the Hill by Yuval ZommerBig Blue Thing on the Hill

The most fearsome animals in the forest (including bears!) suddenly are outmatched by a rumbling… big, blue, thing. The van that appears is not to be reckoned with – how will these animals counter? The illustrations found on these pages are slightly European, slightly painterly, and a fresh and exciting new style to be found on the shelves this year.

Mary’s Picks

(for 9-12)A Snicker of Magic

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd is a delight! Felicity Pickle, the book’s main character, is also a delight. She “sees” words around people and places. When she arrives in Midnight Gulch, yet another town where her nomadic mother has decided to move, she’s heard it used to be a magical place where people “danced and even baked secrets into pies.” A curse has destroyed the magic but Felicity senses a hint of magic still exists and she is determined to make the magic return. Can she? This story is good old fashioned fun!

(for 5 and up)Horatio's One Wish

Horatio’s One Wish: A Tale of One Heroic Hedgehog, Two Loyal Hamsters and and a Missing River Otter by local author Josh Kriegsberg has won a Mom’s Choice Award Gold Medal! Published a few years ago, when Josh brought the book in we all read it and loved it. Somewhat reminiscent of Wind in the Willows, it is a gentle, sweet story of friendship and kindness – a perfect family read-a-loud! Josh now has also made a Teacher’s Guide and would love to do school visits.

(for adults and young adults)As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust

As Chimney Sweeper’s Come to Dust: A Flavia de Luce Novel. Alan Bradley, author of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and other Flavia de Luce novels has another hit. This time our protagonist is shipped off to Canada to Miss Bodycote’s Female Academy, a school her mother once attended. Annoyed, to say the least, she soon has a mystery to solve. A mummified body falls down the chimney of her bedroom. Flavia de Luce is still 11 years old and still a chemist and sleuth. What will she discover? Adults and young adults love this series.

Hug MachineWendy’s Picks

(for picture books)

Hug Machine by Scott Campbell has turned into one of my story time favorites. This Can-Do Crusader is out to make the world a better place one hug at a time. It’s exhausting work, but there is nobody The Hug Machine won’t hug, although sometimes it requires some extra gear and imagination.

The new release Snoozefest by Samantha Berger is a clever bedtime story that even parents will Snoozefestenjoy. An adorable sloth, who also is a stellar sleeper, heads out to attend an arena Snoozefest where bands like the Nocturnal Nesters and Quiet Quartet lull audiences to sleep. Hipster sleepers don designer jammies and blankets to join the fun. Then our sloth friend finds all-too-soon that he’s slept through the festival. This is a great read for animal lovers, Bumbershoot fans, and cuddlers.

(for emerging readers)

It seems as if we just can’t stock enough superhero books right now. Kids of every age are looking for leads in capes with extraordinary skills. Parents are looking for superheroes that aren’t super violent. Luckily, publishers are putting out some good titles for even younger kids. (We even have superhero alphabet and counting board books in stock for toddlers!)PrincessinBlack

But for girls 5-8, I especially like Princess in Black by Shannon Hale. Dainty Princess Magnolia changes into her alter ego, Princess in Black, when the monster alarm rings. Then Twinkle, Twinkle, SMASH! Princess in Black is on the job, tracking and thwarting monsters in great style with great success. I like that this book doesn’t entirely reject princesses, but shows that girls can have another strong, physical side. It also is extremely well-illustrated and fun to read. The writer, Shannon Hale, has put out some fabulous books for 9-12 year olds, including The Princess Academy and Goose Girl.Captain Awesome

For boys 5-8, Stan Kirby’s Captain Awesome series is a winner. With real-kid problems like trying to learn to play soccer and mastering spelling, Captain Awesome (a.k.a Eugune McGuilikudy) tackles his days with a Mi-Tee good attitude. Sidekick Nacho Cheese Man helps as they sort out situations in these action packed easy-to-read books. Titles include Captain Awesome, Soccer Star; Captain Awesome Saves the Winter Wonderland; Captain Awesome and the Spelling Bee; Captain Awesome Gets Crushed and more.

Katie’s PicksA Crankenstein Valentine

(for picture books)

A Crankenstein Valentine by Samantha Berger says “Bah humbug!” to Valentine’s Day. On a day all about feeling the love, one kid feels only revulsion. It’s a fun read aloud with plenty of rhyme and sound effects. It also features the illustrative work of Dan Santat, who wrote and illustrated The Three Little Ninja Pigs. It ultimately ends with a sweet message that maybe Valentine’s Day isn’t so bad – especially if you have a friend who feels the same way as you.

(for adults and YA)Strange Fruit Vol. 1

Strange Fruit Volume 1: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History by Joel Christian Gill is a beautiful compilation and graphic novel. Its title is taken from a song of the same name by Billie Holiday. In Gill’s own words, Strange Fruit details “the stories of people who, in spite of the ‘Strange Fruit’ society where they lived, liberated themselves from the magnolia trees and tried to do something amazing.” It is an emotional read, vivid and alive. It also serves as a somber reminder of a not-so-distant past and the ongoing struggles of today. I see several awards in this work’s future.

Alison’s PicksThe Cure for Dreaming

(for tween and YA)

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Cat Winters has done it again with another deliciously atmospheric historical novel. Set in Portland, Oregon in 1900, this mesmerizing tale combines the upheavals of the suffrage movement, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and a turn of the century hypnotist! Add a plucky girl, an oppressive father, some mystery and romance, and you’re in for a good read.

X: a novel (YA)X: A Novel

Chronicles the social, political and deeply personal influences on the early life of Malcolm X, co-written by his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz (author of Growing Up X and the acclaimed picture book, Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X) and Kekla Magoon (author of How It Went Down, newly released and in stock!). The novel follows Malcolm from his youth in Lansing, Michigan to his imprisonment for theft at age 20 on the streets of Harlem. Raised by proud parents steeped in the Back to Africa movement, Malcolm is taught to believe he can be anything he wants to be. Both dreams and family are shattered, however, by the dual tragedies of poverty and racism. What makes this novel important is that it is more than the story of one man. It is a pivotal account of the black experience in America from the early 20th century to the present.

 

Join us for Story Time every day at 11:00 except Sundays.

Happy Reading!

Mary, Wendy, Alison, Katie, Taylor, Emily and Alyson

January Newsletter

Chicken Soup with Rice

Illustration from Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months by Maurice Sendak

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Thank you for your support during the holidays. Now it’s time to jump into 2015!

More and more children like to cook and are learning about nutrition. There are many wonderful, fun stories about food and excellent cookbooks just for kids. Check out our display!

Folk and fairy tales are once again making a comeback. We have had many requests and have some beautiful new and classic selections for you to choose from. Many of the books for young adults are so wonderful adults are reading them too! What is your young person’s interest? We are certain there is the perfect book to match.

Upcoming Events

Thursdays, January 8, 15, 22, and 29 at 11:00amBetsy Dischel of Musikal Magik; Betsy is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and will be with us to sing, dance and share stories in Hebrew, Spanish and American Sign Language.

Katy Webber of Musikal Magik – Katy will not be here in January, but will return in February!

Staff Picks

Mary’s Picks for Food StoriesElephant and Piggie

Elephant and Piggy wonder Should I Share My Ice Cream. Dragons Love Tacos. Confetti (Snack Time for Confetti) likes bugs but the other animals go “yuk.” In The Sandwich Swap Lily and Salma are not about to trade lunches… Lily likes peanut butter and Salma likes Hummus. They even get into a fight. Friendship wins and they do trade sandwiches. Yum. The Berenstain Bears eat Too Much Junk Food. Chaat and Sweets introduces the very young to samosa, tandoori, kebab and other delicacies from India. Namaste! Sara Anderson’s A Day at the Market is chock full of food at the Pike Place Market. Mr. and Mrs. Green have quite a time in Cookies. Just how many cookies can Mr. Green not eat? These are all fun stories for the under 5’s.

Katie’s PicksExplorer Series

The Explorer Anthologies by Kazu Kibuishi

Fans of the Amulet series, Smile, Astronaut Academy, and Missile Mouse, rejoice. In the anthology series edited by Kazu Kibuishi, we are delivered a host of colorful short stories by different writers in graphic novel form. The three books in the series thus far include The Mystery Boxes (2012), The Lost Islands (2013), and The Hidden Doors (2014). The way the series works is that the involved artists and writers create short stories based upon the titular theme. From ancient treasure chests to desert islands to shape-shifting dragons, there is something for every young reader in each installment

Alison’s PicksCartwheeling in Thunderstorms

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell (Middle Readers)

This is one of those delicious books that you discover when you are about ten; find a secret place to hide in; and then devour. Think,The Little Princess meetsWest With the Night (Beryl Markham). This story begins in Africa with a scrappy, brave girl named Will, who lives on a Zimbabwean farm with her father. After tragedy strikes, she is sent to a dreary boarding school in London, where it is difficult to fit in. This is a story of friendship and loss and the strength to carry on. In the first half of the book, Katherine Rundell superbly conjures the vast landscape that is Africa, utilizing all the senses to give us the pleasure of smelling, tasting and touching Will’s childhood there. In contrast, the second half takes us through the lonely streets of London as Will navigates a difficult transition to a life of rules and judgement. Through Will, we experience a life fully and fiercely lived. This is the kind of story that makes you want to be your truest, bravest, most essential self.Of Thee I Sing

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama, illustrated by Loren Long (of Otis fame) (Hardcover Picture Book)

A lovely, poetic tribute to the real American dream. The President honors some of our nation’s finest historical figures, from Billie Holiday to Jackie Robinson to Albert Einstein and Hellen Keller. Loren Long’s illustrations perfectly capture Obama’s theme: the potential for each child to become part of this dream.Wollstonecraft Detection

The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency by Jordan Stratford, illustrated by Kelly Murphy (Middle Readers)

Set in London in the year 1826, a time of great invention and technological advances, this is an adventurous detective tale with two plucky and curious heroines. It is also a story about the fictional meeting of two fascinating historical figures: Ada Byron, the world’s first computer programmer and Mary Shelley, the world’s first science fiction author. For fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society and Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series.

 

Join us for Story Time every day at 11:00 except Sundays.

Happy Reading!

Mary, Wendy, Alison, Katie, Taylor, Emily and Alyson

OPEN SUNDAYS IN DECEMBER

UPDATE: Mockingbird Books will now be OPEN from Noon-5pm all Sundays in December to help make your holiday shopping easier! We will return to our regular schedule of being CLOSED on Sundays beginning in January. Happy holidays from all of us here at Mockingbird!