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When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky: Two Artists, Their Ballet, and One Extraordinary Riot
Mar 13th, 2014 by Noodlenuts

 Stravinsky inspired Nijinsky.
Nijinsky inspired Stravinsky.
Together they decided to dream of something different and new.

When I was about four or five years old, I was taken to see The Nutcracker, and like any kid, I promptly fell in love with ballet, pirouetting my way through the house for weeks afterwards. But instead of contributing to my new games of pretend by buying me a tutu, my father bought me a Tchaikovsky record, Read the rest of this entry »

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Wag!
Mar 3rd, 2013 by Noodlenuts

‘Fwip-fwip-fwip’

Okay, so the line above isn’t so much an introduction to this story as it is the sound at the heart of it—the sound of Earl the dog’s tail wagging.

In Wag!, cartoonist Patrick McDonnell has taken the beloved characters of his comic strip, Mutts, and used them to create a sweet, uncomplicated picture book about love and what makes us happy, framed by the simple question, “What make’s Earl’s tail wag?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Windy and Friends
Oct 29th, 2010 by Noodlenuts

Age Range: Preschool & Up

These small-format, hardcover picture books are real treasures. The weather-themed stories are simple but well composed, with fantastic vocabulary. The pictures–of handcrafted tableaux created by the authors–are unique and fascinating in their textured look. And each book is full of little treats–a CD of songs at the back written especially for the book, for example, or a “secret” activity printed under the front flap. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tacky the Penguin
Oct 19th, 2010 by Noodlenuts

Age Range: Preschool & Up

Tacky  is a penguin who marches to the beat of his own internal drummer, happily oblivious to his differences from the other penguins. The nicest thing about Tacky, though, is that no matter how clumsy or confused he might be, it is his very uniqueness that usually leads to him saving the day. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hairy Maclary
Sep 26th, 2010 by Noodlenuts

Age Range: Toddler, Preschool

The simple, rhyming stories of Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, his canine pals, and the mischief they get into are truly timeless and genuinely entertaining. I have yet to meet a child who doesn’t love them. Read the rest of this entry »

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George & Martha
Sep 25th, 2010 by Noodlenuts

Age Range: Preschool & Up

George and Martha  are two lovably lumpy-looking hippopotami, and the best of friends. Their stories are told in little vignettes of a few pages each, and are both remarkable and endearing for their realistic look at friendships among children, warts and all. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Wicked Wizard and the Wicked Witch
May 21st, 2010 by Noodlenuts

Once a wicked wizard
met a wicked witch,
and they wanted to know
which was wickeder.

The highest praise I can think to give to The Wicked Wizard & the Wicked Witch is to say that it reminds me a great deal of some of the favourite books of my own childhood. Read the rest of this entry »

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Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Ball
May 21st, 2010 by Noodlenuts

Benjamin Budge was a great big man,
A great big huge TREMENDOUS man,
But his tiny house was so very small,
There wasn’t room for him at all!

Now Barnaby Ball was a wee small man,
A tiny, tiny, tiny man.
But his house was as big as a house can be
Too big for Barnaby Ball, you see.

Neighbours Benjamin Budge and Barnaby Ball have a couple of very serious, very similar problems. Benjamin Budge is a very big man in a very little house, and Barnaby Ball is a very small man in a very large house, and they are both rather miserable. Read the rest of this entry »

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My Friend Lucky: A Love Story
May 20th, 2010 by Noodlenuts

My Friend Lucky is not your average book of opposites.  While it does take the standard format for this genre, with the contrasted pairs portrayed on opposing pages, and a bare minimum of text, the author gives us more than just the usual concrete opposites.  Along with big and small, and happy and sad, he uses this familiar format to illustrate more abstract ideas. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who Asked the Moon to Dinner?
May 20th, 2010 by Noodlenuts

One of the things I love best about picture books is how widely they vary.  Although the general format may be the same, the range of styles, artwork, stories, etc. is almost unlimited, which is important because the imaginations and tastes of young children are just as varied. Read the rest of this entry »

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