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Display Name: Mindy R
About me: I'm a librarian, a mom, and a writer.

Mindy R's Book Lists
Standout Titles for New Readers (7 titles)
Sick of the usual boring titles for your new reader? Try these instead.

Mindy R's Comments    
Cover ArtWhat the heart knows : chants, charms, & blessings
by Sidman, Joyce.
Beautiful tribute to the power of words & poems.   posted Dec 23, 2013 at 9:08AM

Cover ArtClara and Clem take a ride
by Long, Ethan
Cute easy reader that celebrates imagination. Great kid-appeal and perfect for new readers.   posted Nov 18, 2013 at 12:28PM

Cover ArtThe nice book
by David Ezra Stein
A simple and lovely look at what it means to be nice. Perfect to share with preschoolers.   posted Oct 21, 2013 at 10:26AM

Cover ArtGolden domes and silver lanterns : a Muslim book of colors
by Khan, Hena.
Beautifully illustrated picture book about Muslim culture from a child’s-eye view. Great for talking about culture, colors, or inspiring a discussion about what is important in your family.   posted Jun 3, 2013 at 3:33PM

Cover ArtHands can
by Hudson, Cheryl Willis.
Great choice for preschoolers learning about what their bodies can do.   posted Mar 14, 2013 at 9:58AM

Cover ArtPrincess in training
by Sauer, Tammi.
This is a fun book to challenge your princess stereotypes and encourage kids to value individuality.   posted Jan 14, 2013 at 10:46AM

Cover ArtA Christmas tree for Pyn
by Dunrea, Olivier.
This is a sweet story of father and daughter. It is one of my favorite Christmas picture books.   posted Nov 12, 2012 at 9:03AM

Cover ArtSafekeeping
by Hesse, Karen.
This is a different sort of dystopian novel. It is quiet and introspective. It focuses on the individual experience rather than the big ideas. Fans of the genre looking for something new may like this one, but it might also appeal to those who don’t usually gravitate to dystopian fiction.   posted Oct 16, 2012 at 10:14AM

Cover ArtYou are stardust
by Kelsey, Elin.
Beautiful book! Perfect for inspiring children to look at the natural world with wonder.   posted Oct 15, 2012 at 3:40PM

Cover ArtApple
by McClure, Nikki.
I love Nikki McClure’s art, and this book showcases it well. Lovely.   posted Sep 17, 2012 at 3:00PM

Cover ArtBetsy-Tacy
by Lovelace, Maud Hart
I read this book aloud to my four-year-old daughter, and we both really enjoyed it. We hope to continue reading the series together.   posted Sep 5, 2012 at 10:55AM

Cover ArtHomo mysterious : evolutionary puzzles of human nature
by Barash, David P.
Fascinating book!   posted Aug 14, 2012 at 3:17PM

Cover ArtChristina Katerina & the box
by Gauch, Patricia Lee.
This was a childhood favorite of mine, and I am happy to be able to share it with my daughter.   posted Aug 9, 2012 at 10:35AM

Cover ArtIt’s time for preschool!
by Codell, Esme Raji
Great book with lots of details to talk about what your child can expect in preschool. Recommended!   posted Aug 3, 2012 at 9:03AM

Cover ArtEarthly astonishments : a novel
by Jocelyn, Marthe.
Fascinting historical novel that explores what choices were available to people who were physically different in the late 1800’s.   posted Jul 12, 2012 at 10:41AM

Cover ArtBenny and Penny in The toy breaker : a Toon Book
by Hayes, Geoffrey.
My preschool-age daughter loves the Benny and Penny series. The kid-friendly stories and the easy-to-read comic format are engaging. Highly recommended.   posted Jul 10, 2012 at 10:55AM

Cover ArtBluebird : women and the new psychology of happiness
by Gore, Ariel
I appreciated Ariel Gore’s insights into happiness and optimism in this memoir/social commentary. I strongly recommend it to those who have enjoyed her previous work or readers who are interested in positive psychology.   posted Jun 18, 2012 at 1:13PM

Cover ArtMay B. : a novel
by Rose, Caroline Starr
This is a spare novel-in-verse inpsired by Laura Ingalls Wilder that features a young girl on her own on the prairie. Recommended!   posted Jun 6, 2012 at 12:38PM

Cover ArtI saw a peacock with a fiery tail
by Urveti, Ram Singh
Really beautiful book of interest to poets, artists, and designers.   posted Jun 1, 2012 at 9:10AM

Cover ArtBrownie & Pearl go for a spin
by Rylant, Cynthia.
This is a great series for preschool-age girls. Simple, sweet stories that engage kids with minimal text.   posted Mar 27, 2012 at 9:48AM

Cover ArtDo unto otters : a book about manners
by Keller, Laurie.
A hilarious lesson in manners that works well with young children to open a discussion about behavior. My 4 year-old loved it.   posted Mar 7, 2012 at 10:40AM

Cover ArtThe tree that time built : a celebration of nature, science, and imagination
by Hoberman, Mary Ann.
A real treasure for families looking to instill a sense of wonder for science and nature in their children.   posted Nov 2, 2011 at 3:10PM

Cover ArtA family of readers : the book lover’s guide to children’s and young adult liter
by Sutton, Roger.
This is a great book for parents, teachers, or librarians who are interested in finding good books for their children (babies through teens). Recommended.   posted Sep 7, 2011 at 9:58AM

Cover ArtThe princess knight
by Funke, Cornelia Caroline.
I appreciate the "girl power" message to this story, but it was a bit long for my preschooler and contained many unfamiliar elements. I don’t think it had the impact I was hoping for.   posted Sep 1, 2011 at 1:06PM

Cover ArtOlder than the stars
by Fox, Karen C.
This is a fun book that makes cosmology accessable to a wide range of ages. My preschooler enjoyed the cumulative rhyme, and the science information could easily be shared with a 2nd or 3rd grader. Recommended.   posted Aug 9, 2011 at 4:36PM

Cover ArtQuestions, questions
by Pfister, Marcus
This is a really striking picture book designed to get even younger kids thinking and asking questions about the world around them.   posted Jul 20, 2011 at 1:53PM

Cover ArtMama, is it summer yet?
by McClure, Nikki.
A lovely look at the signs of spring by one of my favorite illustrators.   posted May 18, 2011 at 8:20PM

Cover ArtBig machine : a novel
by LaValle, Victor D.
This book is dark and strange. It probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I loved it.   posted May 18, 2011 at 8:19PM

Cover ArtTiny Little Fly
by Rosen, Michael
What a great read-aloud! The illustrations are also quite remarkable. This is a favorite of the year for sure.   posted Apr 21, 2011 at 10:36AM

Cover ArtMore bears!
by Nesbitt, Kenn.
I could take it or leave it, but my 3yrold thought it was hilarious.   posted Apr 20, 2011 at 10:59AM

Cover ArtWhose names are unknown : a novel
by Babb, Sanora.
A must read for fans of historical fiction or anyone interested in learning more about the Great Depression or the Dust Bowl. Highly recommended.   posted Mar 25, 2011 at 3:14PM

Cover ArtHow to become a famous writer before you’re dead : your words in print and your
by Gore, Ariel
I love Ariel Gore’s emphasis on DIY, but there is plenty of advice for writers trying to get published in traditional venues as well.   posted Mar 22, 2011 at 11:54AM

Cover ArtNursery university [videorecording]
by Makar, Matthew.
It’s still a little unbelievable to me that people would go through all that just for a fancy preschool. Really interesting doc.   posted Mar 9, 2011 at 4:27PM

Cover ArtThe ghost’s child
by Hartnett, Sonya.
A lovely fable that explores beauty and love. It will appeal to teen or adult fans of magical realism.   posted Mar 9, 2011 at 11:47AM

Cover ArtPoster child : a memoir
by Rapp, Emily.
Ultimately uneven, but some very compelling portions of this memoir deal with self-image and confidence as a person with a disabilty.   posted Mar 8, 2011 at 10:06AM

Cover ArtHouse of dolls
by Block, Francesca Lia.
Francesca Lia Block is the master of the twenty-first century fairy tale, and this is a great example of her work. Here’s a book that FLB fans can share with their daughters.   posted Feb 18, 2011 at 9:08AM

Cover Art10 simple solutions to adult ADD : how to overcome chronic distraction and accom
by Sarkis, Stephanie
The suggestions were too general to be of much use. I did find some of the information about ADD helpful, but that is not likely to be unique to this book. Skip this one.   posted Feb 10, 2011 at 1:43PM

Cover ArtToo late to die young : nearly true tales from a life
by Johnson, Harriet McBryde.
If you have an interest in disabilities, read this book. Otherwise, you can skip it.   posted Feb 1, 2011 at 2:07PM

Cover ArtNurtureshock : new thinking about children
by Bronson, Po
Very engaging look at the research behind child development and what that means for parents. Highly recommended.   posted Feb 1, 2011 at 2:05PM

Cover ArtWinter wheat
by Walker, Mildred
If you are looking for something to read after you’ve devoured Willa Cather, this is a good choice.   posted Jan 25, 2011 at 2:11PM

Cover ArtUbiquitous : celebrating nature’s survivors
by Sidman, Joyce.
Beautiful. This book is not just for kids. If you are interested in animals/evolution, check this out. If only just for the timeline on the endpapers.   posted Jan 25, 2011 at 11:15AM

Cover ArtThe dreamer
by Ryan, Pam Munoz
Lovely. I would recommend this novel to Neruda fans of all ages.   posted Jan 21, 2011 at 2:53PM

Cover ArtThe robin makes a laughing sound : a birder’s journal
by Wolf, Sallie.
This book seems more a poetry book than a bird book. It is quite lovely and may inspire young people to start writing about the natural world.   posted Jan 18, 2011 at 8:49AM

Cover ArtPractically green : your guide to ecofriendly decision-making
by Preston, Micaela
Go as green as you can with this helpful book.   posted Jan 13, 2011 at 1:54PM

Cover ArtRaising freethinkers : a practical guide for parenting beyond belief
by McGowan, Dale.
Very helpful book with lots of practical ideas for activities. The Q&A format is helpful. I will likely be buying this title to have on hand for reference.   posted Jan 7, 2011 at 8:50AM

Cover ArtThe creative family : how to encourage imagination & nurture family connections
by Soule, Amanda Blake.
This book is filled with ideas for families with young children to explore art and nature. I loved it.   posted Jan 5, 2011 at 2:19PM

Cover ArtThis world we live in
by Pfeffer, Susan Beth
A quick and engaging read despite the fact that I didn’t feel as connected to the characters as I did in the two previous books in this series. Recommended for fans of teen post-apocalyptic fiction.   posted Jan 5, 2011 at 2:14PM

Cover ArtSlanted and enchanted : the evolution of indie culture
by Oakes, Kaya,Oakes, Kaya
This is for all those who are against the corporatization of indie. See the beginnings of the sub-culture with music, art, and poetry in the 1950s and 60s in this fascinating recent history book.   posted Dec 27, 2010 at 12:34PM

Cover ArtSchool, the story of American public education
by Mondale, Sarah.
An interesting overview. Not terribly in-depth, but it did cover aspects of education that were new to me.   posted Dec 27, 2010 at 9:13AM

Cover ArtThe Unidentified
by Mariz, Rae
A quick read--perfect for teens who want something like Uglies by Scott Westerfeld or Feed by M.T. Anderson.   posted Dec 17, 2010 at 11:38AM

Cover ArtThe busy body book : a kid’s guide to fitness
by Rockwell, Lizzy.
Simple in a good way. Perfect book for introducing fitness/health/anatomy to young children. Recommended.   posted Dec 15, 2010 at 1:04PM

Cover ArtA Coyote solstice tale
by King, Thomas
A cute idea (anti-consumerist holiday story), but the execution seems more geared toward adults than kids.   posted Dec 13, 2010 at 1:01PM

Cover ArtDesperate crossing [DVD] : the untold story of the Mayflower
by Mayflower (Ship)
I really enjoyed learning more about this familiar story. Perhaps Thanksgiving is more about cooperation and survival than I thought. Recommended.   posted Dec 8, 2010 at 3:12PM

Cover ArtBad mother : a chronicle of maternal crimes, minor calamities, and occasional mo
by Waldman, Ayelet.
A very engaging look at motherhood, family life, and related tangents from a mom who had the gall to write that she loves her husband more than her kids. Then had to face the fallout.   posted Dec 7, 2010 at 2:13PM

Cover ArtDon’t spill the beans!
by Schoenherr, Ian.
Cute birthday book for preschoolers.   posted Dec 7, 2010 at 2:10PM

Cover ArtChild : how children think, learn and grow in the early years
by Morris, Desmond.
Fascinating and beautiful. A perfect coffee table book for families.   posted Dec 6, 2010 at 12:57PM

Cover ArtLittle Mouse gets ready
by Smith, Jeff
My three-year-old thought this book was hilarious. We recommend it.   posted Dec 6, 2010 at 12:56PM

Cover ArtGood Book : the bizarre, hilarious, disturbing, marvelous, and inspiring things
by Plotz, David.
Mostly funny, occasionally insightful. Recommended for nonbelievers (or those undecided) who want to know more about the Bible without having to read it.   posted Nov 29, 2010 at 1:37PM

Cover ArtThe creative habit : learn it and use it for life : a practical guide
by Tharp, Twyla.
Creativity classic. Highly quotable work with exercises that may help get the creative person in the groove.   posted Nov 18, 2010 at 3:20PM

Cover ArtThe garden
by Aidinoff, Elsie V.
Interesting take on a familiar story. I enjoyed it, and I think it would appeal more to adults than to teens.   posted Nov 17, 2010 at 2:32PM

Cover ArtSum : forty tales from the afterlives
by Eagleman, David.
Highly recommended. The book is small and the stories are short. Thoroughly engaging.   posted Nov 17, 2010 at 11:59AM

Cover ArtHush
by Chayil, Eishes
Really interesting look at how closing one’s self off from the world (either as an individual or as a community) makes you vulnerable. Highly recommended.   posted Nov 17, 2010 at 8:55AM

Cover ArtThe unit : a novel
by Holmqvist, Ninni
Excellent dystopia. Recommended to those who liked The Handmaid’s Tale or other stories of the near future.   posted Nov 16, 2010 at 2:46PM

Cover ArtAntarctic antics [videorecording] : --and more hilarious animal stories!
by Canova, Diana.
My three-year-old asks for Bark, George again and again. The other stories don’t really hold her interest, but that one is a hit.   posted Nov 16, 2010 at 2:44PM

Cover ArtFamily feasts for $75 a week : a penny-wise mom shares her recipe for cutting hu
by Ostyn, Mary
To be honest, the money-saving tips were nothing new to me (use coupons, watch sales, buy in bulk, plan your meals). It didn’t seem like anything that wasn’t available on the many blogs/web sites on frugal living. There are a few recipes that I’m planning to try though.   posted Nov 16, 2010 at 9:11AM


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