Blog: Kids Lit Picks

kids picks

Mix It Up!

by Herve Tullet

Ages: birth – 7 years (approximately grades preschool – 1st)

Our story begins with a smudgy gray spot of paint smack dab in the middle of the page, along with the instructions to “Tap that gray spot. Just a little, to see what happens.” Instantly joined by more dots (upon turning the page, of course), our story zips into what happens when different colors are mixed. First, readers experiment mixing paints with their fingers, rubbing red into blue and so forth. But then, the real fun begins as reader shake, tilt, press, and rub the pages to make more colors in more ways. The fun doesn’t end with the final turn of the page, as readers are encouraged to experiment on their own (parents and caregivers, beware!).

Mix It Up is the second of Herve Tullet’s innovative, interactive books. Preceded by Press Here, this newest addition to Herve’s collection packs the same literary punch in a world full of screen time technology. Putting an emphasis on physical interactions with the books, Mix It Up! presents the challenge of an i-device, the educational concepts of a beginning art class, and the literacy concepts of a book all in one, small, exciting package. Those who enjoyed Press Here, aspiring artists, or those who enjoy i-devices will enjoy Mix It Up! 

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A Snicker of Magic

by Lloyd, Natalie

Ages: 8 years and up (approximately grades 3+)

Felicity Pickle has never had a permanent home or a friend to call her own. Her mother has a wandering spirit and moves Felicity and her sister, Frannie Jo, from place to place. Their next stop is Midnight Gulch, the town where her mother grew up that has a history rooted in magic. Long ago in Midnight Gulch, secrets were baked into pies and people danced up real thunderstorms. Felicity has a little magic in herself, too. She can see words appear out of thin air, words that people are thinking or words that describe the objects or people around them. Felicity collects these words in a notebook because she’s too afraid to speak them herself. Slowly, Felicity eases out of her shell. She has a new best friend and becomes intrigued by the legend of a curse that banished the magic from Midnight Gulch. With her newfound confidence and her own little snicker of magic, Felicity might end the curse and finally find a place to call home.

While elements of whimsy and magic are a large part of this book, the overall theme is about the importance of love, family, and forgiveness. It shows the reader that families and love can come in many forms, and that forgiveness is more powerful than any curse. Debut author Lloyd showcases her folksy storytelling style by creating the most charming of towns in Midnight Gulch with quirky characters that are authentically human, flaws and all. This fun, heartfelt read is recommended for grades 3 and up for readers who enjoyed A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff and Savvy by Ingrid Law.

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