Founding Females, Groundbreaking Girls & World-Changing Women!

I’m very happy to be back in the regular swing of posting reviews and have really been enjoying catching up with some of the new books that have come out during my time away. But it’s high time for a theme month and I’m really excited about this one.

Strong WomenIn May, I’ll be reviewing books about amazing women and the many ways their strength and courage have changed (and continue to change) our world. I started making a list of books for this theme month and I just couldn’t stop. My ever-growing list covers incredible groundbreaking women born over a 250 year span, between 1750 and 2000. So I’m going to warn you right now that this isn’t going to be a theme ‘month’ as much as it’ll be a theme ‘however-long-it-takes-to-review-all-these-books.’

With the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements showing us how much work there still is to be done, reading these books has been a powerful reminder of how very far we have come. I hope that you, like me, will learn a lot and be inspired by these remarkable women.



And She’s Back!


Yeah, so back at the end of July, I said I was going to slow down my posting frequency, but I wasn’t going to take a full break from posting.  I posted one review about a week later.

NothingAnd then I pretty much took a full break from posting.  Oops.

But the wedding is over (and it was beautiful and wonderful), the home re-organization is done (as much as projects like this are ever really ‘done’) and life is returning to its normal pace.

Most importantly, this weekend I took a road trip to Amherst, Massachusetts to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for their Inspiration Day event. Inspiration, indeed!  The 10 authors/illustrators in attendance were Sophie Blackall, Sandra Boynton, Bryan Collier, Tony DiTerlizzi, Laurie Keller, Loren Long, LeUyen Pham, Jerry Pinkney, Robin Preiss Glasser, and Mo Willems. I was fascinated listening to them talk about their inspirations and thoroughly starstruck having the opportunity to meet and talk to them as they were signing books.


Here’s a picture of all the books we had signed at the event.

Every single one of the artists was warm, funny and gracious to their fans and they all clearly adore what they do. My daughter and I left inspired and overjoyed and I have a big stack of books to read and review here on my desk.  While I’ve already reviewed most of the books pictured above, I plan to feature the event artists over the course of the next few weeks.

As always, I got the question about how I fit into the picture book world.  Teacher? Librarian? Grandparent? I always say I’m just a fan but after this weekend, I think I will also use the word ‘collector.’ Because that’s an appropriate word for someone who buys and treasures works of art.


Slowing My Roll…


Hand writing So Many Things in To Do List, vector conceptIf you’re a regular follower of this blog, you may have noticed that the posts have been a little on the ‘few and far between’ side lately.  This is because that pesky Real Life thing has been very insistent on taking up all my time, leaving me with the choice of slowing way down or taking another full break. For now, I’m just slowing down and hoping to continue at this snail’s pace until things let up.

But hey, at least the real life stuff is fun!  My daughter is getting married in September and we’re having a wonderful time crafting lots of things for the wedding and helping with plans. In addition, we’re doing some large re-organizing projects at home, I’ve taken on some major new assignments at work and we’ve also been doing prep work for a big family vacation coming up early next year.

For now, I’ll try to keep posting here and there, when I can, and hope to be back to my regular schedule after things die down, probably in early October.  Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Here’s How…

how-to-mdWow, I am WAY overdue for a theme month, friends!  2017 has been a pretty busy year and my focus has been all over the place, hence my less frequent posting here at the bookshelf.  But I’ve finally been able to devote some time to catching up on my ever-growing theme list. (Yay!)

June’s theme is ‘How To…’ books and will feature a month full of books whose titles start with those words. I was not surprised to see that there are just dozens of them out there, but I was very surprised to see how many of them have sub-themes in common. Lots of these books are teaching their readers how to deal with parents, grandparents and quite a few of them feature dragons. (I guess not a lot is really known about how to do things with dragons, so the younger generation will be better schooled than the rest of us on that subject.)  There are many that offer tips on how to do specific things with animals and lots of them about the care and maintenance of friends. If there was a ‘How To Teach Your Grandma’s Cat How to Make Friends with a Dragon,’ I suppose that one would be the grand prize winner.

Ready to learn something new?  Well, the How-To’s are heading your way starting tomorrow.  See you then!

The Possum Hits Four Digits!


Yesterday, I posted my 999th book review, so it’s time to throw a little mini party to celebrate my upcoming 1000th review!  Here, have a cupcake and a party hat.

I started this blog four years ago, as a way of sharing my love for the picture books that I had loved in my childhood and in the childhoods of my kids.  But while at the library, looking for books from the list I initially put together, I kept finding more books from authors I already knew and new books from authors I’d never heard of before.  I made the ultimately very important decision to review new picture books along with the old and I am so glad I did.

I frequently use the term ‘bookshelf favorite’ and many of them (James Marshall, Sandra Boynton, Maurice Sendak, Dr. Seuss) were authors and illustrators I’ve known and loved for years but writing this blog introduced me to new and amazing artists and writers, like Oliver Jeffers, Lane Smith, Philip Stead, Marla Frazee, Patrick McDonnell and Mac Barnett.  It truly is a wonderful time to be a fan of picture books.

WordPress tells me that this blog gets around 5,000 visitors per year and if you’re one of them, I’d like to thank you for stopping by and investing your time in reading my opinions.  New books come out every week, I have a big bookshelf full of old books still to review (and a lot of great theme months planned) so if you keep coming back, it looks like I’ll still be here.  See you tomorrow for a special 1000th review!


Break Time’s Over

Hi, folks!

It’s been a busy month (which included a wonderful vacation) and I’m very ready to get back to reading and reviewing picture books here at the Possum’s Bookshelf.

But before I do, I wanted to take a moment to honor bookshelf favorite Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who passed away yesterday at the much-too-soon age of 51.  Having read her wonderful, insightful and very personal books for both adults and children, I felt like I knew her. I even got to email back and forth with her a few times when I was involved in a group read for her delightful Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life.

This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations is probably my favorite of her picture books and you can read my review by clicking that link.  Her most recent book, Textbook: Amy Krouse Rosenthal is an immersive experience that is insightful and fantastic.  One notion from that book really stayed with me and I’ll share it here because it feels appropriate.


Break Time!


Just a quick post to say that I’m going to step back and take a little break from the bookshelf.  Lots of stuff going on in my life at work and at home so I have fallen behind on reviews.

I’ll be back in mid-March, with lots of great books for us to share.

Have a great month, folks!  See you back here soon!