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Reader Writer Runner (Victoria, BC)

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Sugarlump And The Unicorn
Sugarlump And The Unicorn
by Julia Donaldson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 14.43
23 used & new from CDN$ 4.76

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Story Time Again..., March 26 2014
Ce commentaire est de: Sugarlump And The Unicorn (Hardcover)
Be careful what you wish for: Sugarlump the rocking horse has grown tired of the indoors and wants to experience the world. But when a unicorn with sparkling blue eyes helps him break free into the great outdoors, he soon misses the children he left behind. Can the unicorn grant Sugarlump ultimate happiness?

Parents of boys: do not overlook "Sugarlump and the Unicorn" on the basis of its glitter, feminine colours and "girly" theme. My 3.5 year old son loves Lydia Monks's illustrations, combinations of hand-drawn pictures and photographic images of textures. Additionally, Donaldson writes in her characteristic, catchy rhyme and includes her famous choruses that children can learn quickly and recite throughout the story.

This magical story will enchant a broad audience, making it a must-have on any child's shelf. And, on a practical note, the glitter is somehow encapsulated on the page so it will neither wear off over time nor rub off on readers!

Diggers Go
Diggers Go
by Steve Light
Edition: Board book
Price: CDN$ 10.36
38 used & new from CDN$ 1.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Story Time Again..., March 21 2014
Ce commentaire est de: Diggers Go (Board book)
When open, "Diggers Go" spans two FEET and contains colourful pictures of noisy construction trucks busy doing their jobs. A mini-front loader graces the cover, a mini-excavator adorns the back and in between lie six giant vehicles paired with sound effects. The forklift goes WHIRRRFFFTT-BONK, the jackhammer goes KKAKKA-AKK and the bulldozer goes RRRUMBLE-SCRUUMBLE!

Any preschooler with a love of construction sites will enjoy this book; just don't expect it to fit into your purse or standard backpack!

by Julia Donaldson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 13.71
30 used & new from CDN$ 11.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Story Time Again..., March 20 2014
Ce commentaire est de: Superworm (Hardcover)
From the phenomenal Donaldson/Scheffler team ("The Gruffalo") comes the new and charming tale of an unlikely hero. Superworm uses his super-long, super-strong body for inventive play in the garden; he effortlessly becomes a swing or a slide, a crane or a train! Better still, he valiantly uses his body as a fishing line to save a beetle from a well, then as a lassoo to rescue baby toad who has strayed into the street. When an evil adversary (wizard lizard) causes trouble, Superworm's small animal and insect friends band together to save the day!

This gem of a story has beautiful, detailed illustrations creating opportunity for interactive "I Spy." Simple rhymes make the words easy to repeat and remember and plot elements of humour, danger and a happy ending stress "Superworm"'s theme: with teamwork, everyone can make a difference.

Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well
Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well
by David L. Katz M.D.
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 17.24
30 used & new from CDN$ 17.24

4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., March 16 2014
David Katz's basic guidelines for optimum heath will certainly not surprise the health-conscious reader: eat more plants and less processed food, quit smoking and move. To boot, those who frequently read up on nutrition and healthy living may learn nothing from the pages of "Disease Proof." However, what Katz lacks in originality he makes up for in attitude. He exhibits passion for whole foods and exercise but maintains a realistic tone, recognizing that life has room for both indulgences and prudent habits. Trendy cleanses and fad diets do not interest Katz; he would rather give readers the tools to live a vibrant and pleasurable life.

Katz walks his readers through healthy eating habits, exercise tips, and strategies for mental shifts that can release unhealthful weight, cease smoking, and increase physical fitness. He emphasizes "skill power" over "willpower": desire alone will not result in change; we need everyday resources, emotional support, organizational skills and confidence to turn that desire into reality.

While not the flashiest, catchiest, or most sensational book on the market, "Disease Proof" refreshingly opts for evidence-based sensibility. Other writers may demonize ingredients and share wildly alarmist claims but Katz uniquely balances science, strategy and wit to produce an empowering, informative read.

The Art of French Pastry
The Art of French Pastry
by Jacquy Pfeiffer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 28.84
31 used & new from CDN$ 26.03

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., March 15 2014
Ce commentaire est de: The Art of French Pastry (Hardcover)
Part instruction manual, part personal history and part science lesson, "The Art of French Pastry" puts intricate confections within the reach of the experienced home baker. In his opening chapter, Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer lays out foundation recipes upon which he bases the rest of the creations in his book. He instructs readers on how to work with yeast, a piping bag, sugar, eggs, meringue, chocolate and fruit; then, he launches into five more chapters of stunning, meticulous recipes for eclairs, tarts, cookies, cakes and Alsatian specialties.

But even before Chapter One, Pfeiffer pleads home pastry cooks to throw away their measuring spoons and cups and weigh all ingredients on a digital scale. He displays equal passion for quality ingredients, extolling the virtues of European butter over lower fat American butter. For puff pastry, he recommends King Arthur all-purpose flour with a midrange level of gluten. Only whole milk (preferably organic) will suffice and any unseasonal fruit will ruin the finished product. Picky? Yes. But precision, Pfeiffer argues, results in perfection.

Every recipe begins with an estimate of yield and time commitment along with a section called “Before You Begin,” which lists equipment requirements. Each recipe also has a table of ingredients listed in order of use in addition to notes, tips, and both a reminder to weigh the ingredients and to read everything twice before you begin. And the chef proves correct: once broken down into steps, a four page recipe requiring two days of effort becomes logical, efficient and possible.

Geared towards neither the faint of heart nor the inexperienced, "The Art of French Pastry" provides beautifully organized, systematically written, and well-photographed recipes for those willing to commit. Jacquy Pfeiffer has truly mastered the art of teaching French pastry and his book offers readers the opportunity to become his students.

Richard Scarry's Let's Count with Lowly
Richard Scarry's Let's Count with Lowly
by Richard Scarry
Edition: Board book
Price: CDN$ 8.54
29 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Story Time Again..., March 13 2014
My 3.5 year-old son has loved Busytown practically since infancy so this interactive counting book provides hours of quality entertainment. The first page features Lowly Worm alone (one) but flip the page and Huckle Cat joins him to make two. Soon, Wolfgang Wolf, Harry Hyena and the rest of the gang appear in the mix to teach preschoolers to count to ten. Each page features a numbered tab and contains interesting, vibrantly coloured details. Both kids and adults will spot something new with every flip through the book.

A fun way to work on counting and number recognition, all on sturdy board pages that can handle punishment from tiny fingers!

Would You Kill the Fat Man?: The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong
Would You Kill the Fat Man?: The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong
by David Edmonds
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 15.12
36 used & new from CDN$ 12.77

4.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., March 8 2014
Is it justifiable to steer a train away from five people tied to the track when, as a result, an individual on a side track will perish? Is it morally acceptable to cause the death of one man in order to save five innocent lives? What about pushing a large man off a footbridge to block a runaway train that is hurtling towards five people tied to a track? In his provocative new book, "Would You Kill the Fat Man?", David Edmonds demonstrates the fun of philosophical discussions. He presents a number of thought experiments that pique interest, stimulate curiosity and "test our moral intuitions." Although some of Edmonds' scenarios sound far-fetched, they succeed in motivating us to ponder complex ethical issues.

"Would You Kill the Fat Man?" provides an immensely pleasurable read. Neither ponderous nor pretentious, Edmonds explains technical terms such as the "Doctrine of Double Effect" clearly and concisely. In addition, he deftly mixes law, evolutionary biology, linguistics, medicine, psychology, and sociology in his effort to explain why we act as we do. Do we make specific moral distinctions instinctually? Does a person's geographical/cultural background influence his/her behaviour? Finally, the author includes intriguing anecdotes about figures like Winston Churchill, Grover Cleveland, and Harry Truman, all of whom had to make extremely controversial decisions.

The book does not supply conclusive answers though it does have practical implications. Soldiers might have to attack a military installation, knowing they might kill civilians in the process; agencies invade people's privacy with hopes of foiling terrorist plots; law enforcement officials deceive suspects to make them reveal vital information. Every day, in both dramatic and mundane situations, each of us must make moral and ethical judgments.

No "one-size-fits-all" solution exists. Even if some convince themselves to push the fat man off the footbridge, for others, no rationalization could eliminate the guilt that might ensue. We all think, cry and laugh differently; we all have memories and, in most cases, feel empathy for others. "Would You Kill the Fat Man?" ultimately encourages us to reflect on Kant's statement: "Persons must never be treated merely as a means to some other end."

Lonely End of the Rink, The: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie
Lonely End of the Rink, The: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie
by Grant Lawrence
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 16.89
21 used & new from CDN$ 5.84

3.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., March 7 2014
Canadians have no shortage of feel-good, hockey-themed memoirs from which to choose; tales of simple, warm-hearted folks who find solace on frozen ponds and eventually climb to NHL stardom fill bookstore shelves in an attempt to remind us that hockey is, in Don Cherry's words, "a sport made only for the most upstanding of people."

Grant Lawrence never came close to playing in the NHL but his story certainly fits into the tired "hockey changed my life" genre. His new book, "The Lonely End Of The Rink: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie," varies slightly from the standard plot as Lawrence found the goalkeeper position because he didn’t want to partake in a pick-up scrimmage. But, predictably, Lawrence gives an unflinching account of how tending goal allowed a taciturn, skinny nerd to break out of his shell and realize his true capabilities.

Best known for his day job on CBC Radio and as the lead singer of The Smugglers, Lawrence does deftly blend these two aspects of his life: the young artist desperately seeking his voice and the pseudo-athlete trying to evade scrutiny from the jocks. His strength in writing here lies in his self-reflection as he balances two distinct social statuses. However, at times he delves too far into mundane details of his growing up, ones that readers will not find unique or interesting. More ruthless editing could have prevented many of his chapters from slowing down to a near crawl.

An ultimately charming but hackneyed account of how hockey, in all its glory, can seduce even the most unlikely of people.

The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop
The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book: Uncommon Recipes from the Celebrated Brooklyn Pie Shop
by Emily Elsen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 20.69
30 used & new from CDN$ 20.69

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts..., March 6 2014
Twenty-something sisters Emily and Melissa Elsen know their pie. They hail from small-town North Dakota, where their family owned a restaurant in which the girls learned to bake at their grandmother's elbow. Their Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Shop in Brooklyn, opened in 2010, has quickly risen to national prominence because the girls have combined their real-world know-how about pie making with cutting-edge culinary trends. This collection of exciting, flawless, and thoroughly vetted recipes quite possibly form the most exciting pie cookbook on the current market.

The Elsens make their pies seasonally and therefore arrange the recipes in this fashion. But before presenting their formulae, the authors provide 70 pages of clear, essential instructions on accurately following the recipes, choosing and sourcing ingredients, using the right tools and performing techniques such as mixing and rolling the dough, creating a lattice, crimping, baking and cooling. The 60+ actual recipes then begin, each accompanied by a lovely photo. Rest assured, the Elsens do not duplicate recipes you already have; they include: Salted Caramel Apple Pie, Pistachio Coconut Cream Pie, Strawberry Balsamic Pie, Bourbon Pear Crumble Pie, Malted Chocolate Pecan Pie, Grapefruit Custard Pie, Black Bottom Meyer Lemon Pie, and Maple Buttermilk Custard Pie. The few simpler, standby recipes, like rhubarb pie and sour cherry pie, have even undergone updates for better sweet/sour balance and optimum texture.

A must-have for every pie fan!

Goodnight, Canada
Goodnight, Canada
by Andrea Lynn Beck
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 12.26
7 used & new from CDN$ 4.34

5.0 out of 5 stars Story Time Again..., March 4 2014
Ce commentaire est de: Goodnight, Canada (Hardcover)
A bedtime story, geography lesson and puzzle all in one, "Goodnight, Canada" forms a rich portrait of our native land. Andrea Beck transports young ones across the country, inviting them to bid goodnight to every province and territory. Each gets its own two-page spread filled with beautiful illustrations depicting a child going to bed surrounded by landmarks and symbols unique to his/her home.

In Newfoundland, a little girl wearing an oilskin jacket prepares for slumber in a fishing boat; in Prince Edward Island, a boy sleeps under a quilt of patchwork potato farms while a bear dressed as Anne of Green Gables cross the Confederation Bridge from the far shore. In each whimsical spread, the reader can spot the provincial or territorial flag and, at the end of the book, the children from each location wave goodnight together on a single page.

A gentle and imaginative book for 2-6 year olds that imparts knowledge without becoming didactic.

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