Hop Picks for April 2018

While I write this it is SNOWING! Again.

   People keep telling me that spring is coming but I am losing patience. My distrust of the weather is very real and like many of you, I am so, so, SO ready for warmer weather. 

The only distraction from the snow (that I can find) is in books about gardens.

   I have been heading to libraries and asking for books that transplant me to sunnier days. Books that are filled with flowers, tall lush forests, and magical gardens. Even though it is nasty out, I can sit and quietly imagine the feel of soil and the scent of blooming plants. Until spring arrives, I will be enamored with these books. 

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   I dare everyone to try picking up Garden Spells and only reading the first page. This is not a difficult read but it captivates from the very beginning. The Waverley sisters are two realistic protagonists and it was delightful to read their story. Sarah Addison Allen does a remarkable job of writing these two women as down to earth whilst they cook with magical plants and take care of a mystical tree that grows in their yard. 

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   Visually, Jan Brett's books are incredible. She is unlike any other illustrator (all of her books are BEAUTIFUL!) and her book Mossy is breathtaking. The detail, the variety of color and texture...I can pick this book up and forget all about the snow outside. Gorgeous pictures turn the story of Mossy, the turtle with a garden on her back, into a pure adventure. 

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   Alice Hoffman is known for stories filled with enchantment and The Red Garden is no exception. This collection of stories, centered around a small town in Massachusetts, are filled with a natural world that is both mystical and a comfort to the characters. Every story is an an emotional fairy tale with so much whimsy that you will surely be entertained. 

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   The Edible Front Yard made me super excited for planting! Ivette Soler's book makes it easy to plan a garden on a tiny piece of property. Apparently, you don't need acres and acres to grow your own food, you just need this book and a little bit of sunny weather... cue the sunshine please!! 

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   The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett is a classic. I was delighted to reread the alluring tale of Mary Lennox . The librarian that recommended this book to me knew I was craving sunny weather and brought me this beautifully illustrated copy. Graham Rust's illustrations are lush and alive and the perfect pairing for such a lovely story.

The Night Gardener by Johnathan Auxier was also recommended to me by a librarian.

YAY FOR LIBRARIANS and their recommendations!!! 

 It is considered YA but I think we have established that genre is amazing and all adults should be reading YA too!! This book is AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME! I read it in two days. The Night Gardener has all the ingredients for wonderfully magic storytelling; there is a magic garden, a tree that grants wishes, orphaned siblings working for a rich family in a giant haunted house.... it was so much fun to read.

If you are looking for a book that is just pure magical entertainment then read The Night Gardener

   Friends, I hope that while you read this post there is sunshine and all the snow is gone. I suggest you take some time to visit a library on the next sunny afternoon. There are so many spring activities taking place at a library nearby and they're all free. Have you started your passport travels? Happy adventures and don't forget to #thelibraryhop. 

  FYI if you travel to Brainerd Memorial Library you will find a new display in conjunction with The Library Hop's monthly book picks!  YAY!!

Thanks for checking in.

Next Month: Celebrations


Historical Details

  Passport to Connecticut Libraries is up and running. With spring on its way, my family is setting off to visit as many libraries as possible. We are packing snacks, checking our map and expecting to travel all across the state. 

The passport program is so fun!!! 

  Through these experiences, I have developed a sense of how truly unique every library is. The staff, the resources, the architecture, the patrons... they are all different! The variety is so special and a good reason to love libraries!

At their core, every library has the same job BUT I think we can all agree that they are all rather distinct.

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   Every time I go into a library it is like visiting a new city. The characteristics of a library are what draw me to specific spaces like a quiet reading room, sunny spot to sit with friends or an ancient stained glass window.

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   Here in Connecticut we are so lucky to have some beautifully archaic library buildings. Mark Twain has a library here! It is wonderful to head to a library and see incredible detailing, brickwork, glass windows and paintings going back more than a hundred years!

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I love when libraries hold on to the original details. There is something so magical about sharing a space with such deep history. Knowing that so many people have turned a door knob and entered into a library..... it's pretty neat!

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Every library houses literature but its walls tell a story too. 

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Which library will you be headed to this week?

Don't forget your passport