Dear Book Lovers, Welcome! I am delighted that you have found The Through the Looking Glass blog. For over twenty years I reviewed children's literature titles for my online journal, which came out six times a year. Every book review written for that publication can be found on the Through the Looking Glass website (the link is below). I am now moving in a different direction, though the columns that I write are still book-centric. Instead of writing reviews, I'm offering you columns on topics that have been inspired by wonderful books that I have read. I tell you about the books in question, and describe how they have have impacted me. This may sound peculiar to some of you, but the books that I tend to choose are ones that resonate with me on some level. Therefore, when I read the last page and close the covers, I am not quite the same person that I was when first I started reading the book. The shift in my perspective might be miniscule, but it is still there. The books I am looking are both about adult and children's titles. Some of the children's titles will appeal to adults, while others will not. Some of the adult titles will appeal to younger readers, particularly those who are eager to expand their horizons.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Two wonderful gift idea titles.

At this time of year I am always looking for titles that would make great gifts. Here are two that I just looked at and reviewed.

Oceanology: The True account of the voyage of the Nautilus

A.J. Wood, Emily Hawkins Illustrator: Wayne Anderson , Gary Blythe , Ian Andrew , David Wyatt
Novelty Book
For ages 7 and up
Candlewick Press, 2009 ISBN: 0763642908

It is 1863, and Professor Pierre Arronax is going on a very special expedition of “adventure” traveling on a
vessel called the Nautilus. The professor invites his nephew, Zoticus de Lesseps, to join him in what he hopes will be a journey that is “not only beneficial to ourselves,” “but to the scientific community at large.”
The journey begins on April 3rd, 1863, and two days later the professor and Zoticus see the Nautilus for the first time. They discover, to their amazement, that they are going to be travelling under the water instead of on top of it. Never having been in a submarine before, the travelers are slightly nervous, but they soon forget about their concerns when they are given a warm welcome by the captain of the Nautilus, Captain Nemo. The captain is delighted to have “like-minded adventurers” on his ship.
The Nautilus is an extraordinary vessel, and very soon Zoticus and the professor are able to see and hear all kinds of remarkable things. Whales swim around the submarine, and Zoticus gets to go out in a bathysphere. This allows him to see stingrays, seals, penguins, and sharks up close. He is able to get even closer to the undersea world when he and the professor don diving suits to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Captain Nemo
explains that “the ocean is like a mirror of the land, with the coral reefs being the rain forests of the seas.”
In this fascinating book, the authors and illustrators combine fact and fiction seamlessly. Readers will not only be entertained by the gripping story, but they will also learn a lot about oceans and the creatures that live in them. With a gripping ending and many novelty features to explore, this book would make a great gift for anyone who likes to read about adventures.

Peek-a-boo What?

Novelty Board Book

For infants to age 3

Begin Smart, 2009 ISBN: 1934618500
Little children have, for the most part, very little control over their lives. Of course, they can cry when they need something, but they don’t get much of a say in what they do. This book gives little children something special because it allows them to stick fingers through holes, turn pages by themselves, and when they open a fold-out page they make something magically appear. When they close the page, they make something magically disappear.
Each double page spread presents little readers with a peek-a-boo situation. For example, the second spread shows us a little blue fish swimming across the page. We can see something behind the fold-out page through the peek-a-boo peep holes. What’s there? When the page is opened, children will see an array of blue fishes and the word “blue” written across the fold-out area.
With interesting associations to discover, words to learn, delightful collage pictures to look at, and novelty features to explore, this is a book that will give little children hours of fun.

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