Kids Corner – Usborne Publishing

I have come across a publisher in the past few years who’s books for children I am drawn to for their subject matter and presentation.  This publisher is Usborne.  Apparently I am not the only one who has fallen in love with their ability to share stories and facts in beautiful, colorful and witty ways.  Usborne was named the Children’s Publisher of the Year for 2012. 

We have started to carry a few of their products in the Bookshop so I wanted to share a bit about them with you.

Usborne is a major, independent, award-winning UK publishing company, and Children’s Publisher of the Year 2012. They publish almost every type of children’s book for every age from baby to teenager.

Founded by Peter Usborne in 1973, Usborne pioneered a completely new generation of entertaining, colorful and friendly non-fiction books. Since its foundation, Usborne has been the publisher that children themselves love for its humorous, factual and fun books.

Usborne has so many different types of books in their collection that I can’t cover them all here but I would like to share a few of my favorites.

Children’s Classics:  If you love reading the classics to your children then you definitely need to check out the Illustrated Classics for Girls and the Illustrated Classics for Boys.  Each collection contains six timeless classic stories with beautiful illustrations.  The Classics for Girls shares the stories of The Railway Children, The Wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden, Black Beauty, Little Women and Heidi to “enchant and delight” readers.  The Classics for Boys tells the thrilling stories of Robin Hood, Gulliver’s Travels, Moonfleet, Around the World in 80 Days, Robinson Crusoe and The Canterville Ghost filled with “action and adventure”.  These are stories you will read again and again and the beautiful books are something that will be passed down through the generations.

Sticker Books:  What is more fun for a child than stickers?  Stickers that can be used with their ever expanding imaginations!  Usborne has taken sticker books to a whole new level.  One of their most popular sticker books is theDoll’s House Sticker Book.  This is a gorgeous sticker book with beautifully decorated rooms just waiting to be filled with furniture and accessories.  The book includes eleven rooms spread over three stories in the house, including a master bedroom, two children’s bedrooms, a baby’s nursery, a kitchen, living room, study, dining room and attic.  Children will have hours of fun arranging the house just as they want it, with objects ranging from chandeliers to china, as well as toys, ornaments and even food.

In addition to theDoll’s Housewe have sticker books to create imaginative fairy kingdoms, picture and word matching in both English and Spanish and dot-to-dots.

I have to stop there but if your child loves science, crafts/activities, history, puzzles, basically everything then you have to check out Usborne because I know you will love it as much as we do.

This Week in the Bookshop

We are celebrating Classic Chapter Books this month and next. 

All of us here at the Bookshop picked a classic chapter book to feature.  We each picked something we remember reading when we were younger, something that touched, moved or inspired us.  We invite you to re-read these books or to share them with a new reader.  All of the books highlighted here are 25% off from mid-May to mid-June.

The Westing Game

by Ellen Raskin 

Winner of the Newberry Medal, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and an ALA Notable Book

A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will.  And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger — and possible murderer — to inherit his vast fortune, one thing’s for sure:  Sam Westing may be dead…but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

A great introduction to the mystery genre!

The Secret Garden

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A house with a hundred rooms is a house full of secrets.  That’s what orphaned Mary Lennox finds out when she comes to live in her uncle’s mansion on the Yorkshire moors.  At night, she hears the sound of crying down a long corridor.  Outside, she meets Dickon, a magical boy who can charm and talk to animals.  Then, one day, Mary discovers the most mysterious wonder of all – a secret garden, walled and locked, which has been forgotten for years and years.  Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring this special place back to life?

“Then she slipped through the door, and shut it behind her, breathing quite fast with excitement, and wonder, and delight.  She was standing inside the secret garden.”

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

By E.L. Konigsburg

Claudia Kinkaid feels unappreciated by her parents and bored with her orderly, straight-A existence.  She is nearly twelve when she decides to run away from her home in suburban Connecticut.  Being practical, she chooses a comfortable destination — New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art — and a thrifty traveling companion, her nine-year-old brother Jamie.  After careful planning, Claudia and Jamie arrive at the museum, hiding from the guards in the rest rooms, sleeping on priceless beds, and bathing in the fountain.  But when a statue of an angel, rumored to be a possible Michelangelo, is given to the museum, Claudia decides they must solve the mystery.  Their search leads them to the statue’s original owner, eccentric Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, who narrates the story in a peppery letter to her lawyer.  Mrs. Frankweiler both solves the mystery and helps Claudia understand why the secret of the statue is so important to her.

After reading this book, every child will long for a trip to New York and a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

ALA Notable Book 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis       

Four English school children find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magic land of Narnia and assist Aslan, the golden lion, to triumph over the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.

Lewis believed anything worth reading at 5, is worth reading at 50.  This enduring classic proves that to be true.


Charlotte’s Web

by E.B. White

E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, published sixty years ago, is the story of a guileless pig named Wilbur and the savvy spider who befriended him.

In a review at the time of publishing, Eudora Welty praised E.B. White’s novel for its “felicity, tenderness and unexpectedness, grace and humor and praise of life, and the good backbone of succinctness that only the most highly imaginative stories seem to grow.”


Others we recommend:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Black Beauty

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Anne of Green Gables

Destined to become a classic:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret