Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Impossible Now Out In Paperback!

Impossible by Nancy Werlin Published by Dial of Penguin Group USA is now out in paperback!

This book was impossible to put down. Everything in my life went by the wayside until I finished it. Nancy Werlin is a master at writing chilling, suspenseful stories with layers of meaning that you think about long after you close the book.

Impossible was inspired by the old folk song “Scarborough Fair”, which in turn was based on one of the Child ballads from Scotland known as “The Elfin Knight.” In it a woman has to perform three impossible tasks to prove her true love, which sounds cruel, but in another version it is a devil who requires her to perform the tasks, which makes the ballad suddenly more sinister, and gave Nancy Werlin the idea for a story.

Lucy Scarborough is seventeen when her life begins to spin out of control manipulated by a curse that ruined her mother’s life and generations of grandmothers before her. A pregnancy following a date rape gives Lucy her timeline to perform three ancient, impossible tasks in order to break the curse. Unlike her ancestors, she is not abandoned and trying to complete the tasks alone – she has family and a true love, who believe her and help her. But even with help the tasks seem impossible, and the devil, angry and concerned that she could succeed, takes human form and beguiles those closest to her, insinuating himself into her family.

I couldn’t guess the ending as possible resolutions came and went, and no tricks or betrayals are too low, when a purely evil devil is waiting for you.

What a book, Child ballads are riches in Nancy Werlin’s magical hands.

Audrey, Wait! Now Out In Paperback!

Audrey, Wait!
Written by Robin Benway

When Audrey breaks up with her musician boyfriend, he writes a song about it; by chance and the internet, the song becomes a hit making Audrey a reluctant, national celebrity. With paparazzi following her everywhere, Audrey’s private life is splashed across the internet and the fan magazines. How can she get her life back and maybe even fall in love again, when everyone who wants to be famous is trying to be her new best friend?

One Shoe Blues Pictures

The One Shoe Blues event at dragonwings was a hit! The kids saw a music video with B.B. King himself singing the blues about his missing shoe, while receiving advice from Momsock and a chorus of sock puppets.

After the music we made socks into puppets, put on a little puppet shows, had photos taken with the sock puppets (SEE PICTURES!), won sock puppet tattoos playing Boynton Bingo, and generally had a good time.

Stay updated for news of future Dragonwings Bookstore Events!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Book Reviews

Max Spaniel Dinosaur Hunt
By David Catrow

Join Max Spaniel as he uses his superior hunting skills to track down dinosaurs. Watch him use his ears, eyes, and nose to locate real (or at least real to Max Spaniel) dinosaur artifacts in his own backyard. Young children will love this silly story along with the humorous illustration.

A Friend Like You
By Tanja Askani

Tanja Askani's A Friend Like You is a heartwarming story about friendship that young children are sure to love. Tanja Askani has been adopting animals that that were either orphaned or injured since she was a small child. She used pictures she has collected over the years to illustrate this story. For every sentence in the book there is an adorable matching picture of an unexpected pair of animals playing together. The story portrays the message that friendship comes in all shapes and sizes. As an added bonus, the author gives a mini biography of each of the featured animals at the end of the story.

The Mitten
Retold by Jim Aylesworth
Illustrated by Barbara McClintock

Readers young and old will enjoy this retelling of the classic winter story The Mitten. After a long day of fun playing out in the snow a little boy realizes that he lost one of the mittens knit for him by his grandmother. His grandmother tells him not to worry as they will go out to find the mitten the next day. Meanwhile, a squirrel, rabbit, fox, and even a bear have been using the mitten to warm up their frozen toes. What will come of the mitten when one more visitor asks the animals to share just a little more space?

Merry Christmas, Splat
By Rob Scotton

After writing his Christmas wish list to Santa, Splat the cat wonders if he has been good enough all year to deserve the really big present he is hoping for. He is pretty sure he has been good enough...but decides to help his mother get ready for Christmas just in case. After washing the already clean dishes and decorating the already decorated tree, Splat heads to bed and listens all night for Santa. When morning comes with no sign of Santa, Splat is sure he will not be receiving his big present. Did Santa skip over Splat, or will Splat get the present of his dreams after all...

Big Frog Can't Fit In
A Pop Out Book by Mo Willems
Paper Engineering by Bruce Foster

Big Frog is sad because she cannot fit into her book! Will her friends be able to come up with a solution to help her out? Children will love the large pop out images and pull out tabs in this creatively crafted book.

My Little Polar Bear
By Claudia Rueda

A new baby polar bear has arrived in the frozen Arctic. Little polar bear follows her mother over snow and melting ice, through the freezing ocean water, and into a blowing snowstorm. Little polar bear has doubts about whether she is a real polar bear, but feels much better after listening to her mother's reassuring words. My Little Polar Bear is a beautifully illustrated story about a mother's love for her child.

How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?
By Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Even after lots of moping, kicking, and making messes, the mothers and fathers of the little dinosaurs still love them. This humorous story will leave readers ready for some dinosaurs sized hugs. How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? is a wonderful new edition to Jane Yolen and Mark Teague's award winning How Do Dinosaurs...? children's series.

Stagecoach Sal
By Deborah Hopkinson
Pictures by Carson Ellis

Sal loved riding around with her father and singing on his stagecoach, but the one thing she wanted more than anything else was to drive herself. After an unfortunate accident Pa needed a break from driving the stagecoach, and Sal finally received her chance to drive alone. However, with the infamous stagecoach robber Poetic Pete on the loose, Sal is bound to have an interesting night. Stagecoach Sal is a fictional story based on the life of Delia Haskett Rawson. Delia was the first, and possibly the only, female stagecoach mail deliverer in California. This book offers up a healthy dose of history for children ages four to seven.

Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol
Illustrated by Brett Helquist

Witness the story of Ebenezer Scrooge breathtakingly illustrated by Brett Helquist. Watch Scrooge transform from a stingy business man to a caring and Christmas loving citizen after visits from three Christmas ghosts. Brett Helquist's intricate art paired with this classic Christmas story is sure to please the entire family.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

One Shoe Blues Event

It's a BYOS (bring your own sock) Event at Dragonwings Bookstore on Saturday, November 21 at 3:00 PM. You'll get to see a music video with B.B. King himself singing the blues about his missing shoe, while he gets advice from Momsock and a chorus of sock puppets. See the post below for a "making of" One Shoe Blues video.

After the music we'll have stations around the store where you can make your sock into a puppet, put on a puppet show, have your photo taken with your sock puppet, get a sock puppet tattoo, play Boynton Bingo, and dance the Barnyard Dance.

Call 715-256-9186 for reservations. All ages are welcome. Parents are asked to take their little ones through the stations, and we always appreciate having you lend a hand here and there.

Admission fee: a new pair of socks or mittens for the Dragonwings Donation Box. We give seasonal donations of books and/or winter wear to the Family Crisis Center, Healthy Beginnings, and the Food Pantry.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Our Favorite New Books

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Early one spring morning Stick Man is carried away from his family tree by a passing dog. He has one narrow escape after another trying to find his way home and ends up in a fireplace. All seems lost until her meets a Stuck Man in the chimney, and his luck finally changes. I loved the sly humor in the illustrations, and hope there will be more adventures about the endearing Stick Man and his family. - Ellen

The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson illustrated by Jon J. Muth

Santa's house sits alone in a vast, snowy landscape under an endless night sky. As the magic draws closer, he calls the deer, buffs the sleigh, and polishes the bells. With a cundle of gifts, he waits quietly for the magic of the night to fill his heart and carry him off on a journey through the stars. Gentle prose and thriling illustrations will bring goose bumps to the readers of this timeless tale. - Ellen

Raiders' Ransom by Emily Diamand

Ages 9-12

In a futuristic England mostly submerged by water, people have long forgotten the power of technology, except for a dangerous few to whom it is worth any ransom - even the Prime Minister's daughter. Winner of the Chicken House/London Times Children's Fiction Competition, this tale has a swift-moving plot that will surprise readers over and over again. - Ellen

How The Grinch Stole Christmas Lacing Cards
This lacing card kit includes five silly lacing cards, five brightly-colored laces, and several activities. The lacing cards help children develop fine motor skills, learn to count, and improve hand-eye co-ordination. The front of the lace cards outlines favorite Grinch characters and the back of each card has a numbers and shapes lacing activity. The set includes a workbook with several brain stimulating activities such as a maze, search-and-find page, and a word scramble that are sure to please. - Angie

Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas

by Jane O'Connor Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
There is nothing Fancy Nancy loves more than Christmas. Decorating the Christmas tree with family heirlooms, wrapping presents with pretty paper, the aroma of delectable Christmas cookies with sprinkles, and all that tinsel! Ooh la la! Nancy has used her birthday money from last summer to buy a spinning, flashing, and color-changing tree topper. However, after things take a turn for the worse, a devastated Fancy Nancy learns a lesson in improvising that will help her Christmas day to turn out as splendiferous as ever. - Angie

How to Talk to Santa

By Alec Greven Illustrations by Kei Acedera

Ten-year-old Alec Greven’s How to Talk to Santa teaches kids that Christmas is about having fun, believing in magic, getting together with friends, and giving to others. He outlines each part of the Christmas season, beginning with Operation Christmas (OC), which transforms normal people into Christmas-crazed shoppers, decorators, and partyers. Alec explains the importance of being nice at least 75% of the time if you hope to receive any of the gifts from your carefully revised and edited wish list (Santa does not like greedy children). He reminds everyone to leave a thank-you letter and snacks for Santa and the reindeer for all of their hard work. If you hope to keep your parents happy on Christmas morning, don’t wake them until after 7 a.m. Most importantly, Alec reminds kids that you can be 100 and still believe in Santa. - Angie


By Janet Lawler Pictures by John Shroades

‘Twas the night before Christmas when Tyrannoclaus along with his helpers were hard at work wrapping gifts for all of the little dinosaurs of dinosaur land. Danger arose when the earth below the volcano-based workshop split open and began to erupt! Will the children of dinosaur land have a present-less Christmas morning, or will Tyrannoclaus be able to save the gifts? Read this colorfully illustrated children’s story to find out! - Angie

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Art Class

Take an Art Class with visiting artist Brian Strassburg!

On Saturday, November 7 Brian Strassburg will be in town for a gallery show of his unique art boxes at Originals Gallery. He will also bring some of his pieces to an Art Class at Dragonwings, where he will show us how he constructed them and share some techniques.

Each of Brian's art boxes uses mixed-media, 3-D elements, and collage to illustrate a theme, a story, a famous personality, or even a letter of the alphabet. Unique and quirky, unlike anything we've ever seen before, these boxes are guaranteed to inspire kids to create an amazing box filled with art from their own imagination. Once they know how, they could make art boxes for holiday decorations, for gifts, as a scout project etc.

Art Class with a Visiting Artist
Saturday, November 7
3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Ages 9 and up

Fee: $7.50 includes all supplies
Registration: 715-256-9186

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Author Catherine Gilbert Murdock coming to Dragonwings

Her books are winning awards, her character D.J. Schwenk is beloved by readers, the setting is a dairy farm in Wisconsin, and the best news of all is that book # 3 Front and Center arrived ahead of its scheduled release in October!

Get ready to meet popular author Catherine Murdock on Monday, September 28th. She will meet with creative writing students at Waupaca High School and Waupaca Middle School in the afternoon. Then she will be come to Dragonwings Bookstore for an informal, open house until 4:45 PM.

This is chance to ask your burning questions, buy all of her books, and get them signed and personalized! Have a cup of tea and munch on cookies with a well-known author. Ask her why Wisconsin, when she grew up on a farm in Connecticut? And how did she get it all so right? Also, where did Princess Ben, a really good fantasy, come from, right in the middle of her dairy queen books?

We'll find out on Monday. Hope you can come.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Fancy Nancy Party August 12

It's time to dig through your closet, or better yet your mother's closet, to find the perfect items for an over-the-top fancy outfit to wear to Dragonwings Fancy Nancy Party.

At the party we will create fancy crafts, play Fancy Nancy games, and have a fancy snack. We'll read a few pages from Fancy Nancy's new book Explorer Extraordinaire and find out how Nancy is discovering fanciness in the world all around her. Party activities are designed for ages 3-8.

The party will be held at Dragonwings Bookstore at 3:00 PM on Wednesday August 12. Reservations are $7.50 and can be made by calling Dragonwings at 256-9186. Parents are always welcome, always free, and are usually asked to lend a hand with the crafts and games. Reservation fees include all craft supplies, snacks, party favors, and a Fancy Nancy easy reader.

If we have a waiting list for the 3:00 party, we may hold a second party at 4:00.

You can find out more about Fancy Nancy's joie de vivre by checking out Dragonwings' large selection of Fancy Nancy picture books, easy readers, sticker and activity books, games, and colorforms, all of which make perfect gifts for children who love the fancy side of life.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


Hands-on Puzzle Activities for All Ages

When you play Puzzlemania at Dragonwings this week, you can try puzzle activities that have sound, magnets, mazes, and even frogs. Puzzle stations are set up for three age groups around the store. When you come in, pick up a game card at the front desk, and get started. If you need help, just ask us. Once you've tried all of the puzzles at your station, report back to the front desk, tell us which were your worst or best puzzles, and get your prize.

At the puzzle station for ages 2-4 we have Vehicle Sound Blocks, Musical Instrument Sound Puzzle, Color Maze, Construction Sound Puzzle, and the Fishing Game.

The puzzle station for ages 5-7 has a Tow Truck Puzzle, Pattern Blocks, Magnetic Match Rings, and I Spy Circus Berzerkus.

The puzzle station for ages 8-100 has a Hoppers challenge (told you there would be frogs), a Set challenge with six possible sets, and two challenges from On the Dot - a new game that we love.

Puzzlemania will run through Friday August 7

By the way, if you are wondering what the answers are to the World Record Quiz Questions from last week: b. Russia, b. beard, c. C-3PO.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

World Records Quiz Game

Challenge yourself with this week's summer game at Dragonwings Bookstore - the World Records Quiz Game. This is a stop-in-and-play-anytime all week game. Pick up a game card at the front desk, search for the quiz questions, guess the answers, and report back for prizes. The quiz questions come from one of our favorite books: Book of World Records Ultimate Quiz Challenge. Believe me, the answers will often surprise you.

Try these out, and then come in for more. If you can't wait, write your answers in comments and we'll let you know if your guesses are correct.

What country has the most forest area?
a. Canada
b. Russia
c. Brazil

What is the fastest growing hair on the body?
a. Eyelashes
b. Beard
c. leg hair

Who is the first character to speak in Star Wars?
a. Han Solo
b. R2D2
c. C-3PO

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Why did the Wolf cross the road?

Have you been wishing you knew some new chicken jokes? You'll find lots of them in this week's search and find game at Dragonwings. It's another stop in and play anytime game. Get the details at the front desk and start your search for jokes and activities around the store.

Bring in a chicken joke that we haven't heard before and earn 15% off any book in the store. (Offer good until we close the doors at 5:00 on Friday the 17th.)

New this week: Two new games from Melissa&Doug for ages 4 and up. Each has a booklet filled with ten different games and lots of variations for different ages. Ranging from Treasure Hunts to card games, both Puppy Pursuit and Funny Frogs have a lot of play value.

Have you figured out why the Wolf crossed the road?

He wanted to have chicken for dinner.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dragonwings Summer Games

Tricky Tricks

Dragonwings has five new challenges for you this week. We have the games set up around the store, so you can stop in any time to play. Pick up your game cards at the front desk and start your search. Each time you find one of the Tricky Tricks, stop and try the challenge. Keep going until you've tried (and mastered?) all five. Then return your game cards, tell us how you did, and a choose a prize.

The Tricky Tricks include: Impossitables Optical Illusion, Rubber Band Secret Messages, Pencil Athletics, Shape-by-Shape Pattern Puzzle, and Block-by-Block Building Game. The first three were created by Klutz Press, and the last two by Thinkfun Games.

Good luck and have fun!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dragonwings Summer Games

Jokes & Riddles Stop in any time this week to play the first Dragongame of the summer. Find the joke cards and Tricky Doodles hidden around the store and guess the answers. Don't forget to write down the secret letters, then unscramble them to find the missing word. Jokes & Riddles runs from June 20-26, followed by Tricky Tricks June 27 to July 3.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

No TV Week Photos

Over 50 people showed up to try our Jokes, Pranks, and Magic Tricks for Tuesday's No TV Week after school program. Thanks to the hundreds of inspiring activities in the Encyclopedia of Immaturity, we had a great time setting up funny experiments for everyone to try. Above a young student is attempting pencil athletic feats with her eyes closed.
In these photos a mother and daughter have success with the fake sneeze, while the big brother gets ready to shoot a two foot string out of a squirt bottle.
Another fake sneeze in progress. Ask us how to do this fake-out that gets everyone laughing.
More fun with the squeeze bottle and string - simple, but very effective.
"How to break your neck" was a big hit, and kids loved doing it again and again. All that you need for this gag is an empty water bottle.
On Earth Day kids started a Giant's Garden by planting seeds for two-foot long beans and yard-long cucumbers. Nearly twenty people stopped in to try their hand at gardening.
Ideas for this workshop came from Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy. Mammoth Sunflowers, purple beans that turn green when cooked, colorful Easter Egg radishes and tiny jelly bean tomatoes will also be growing in these unusual gardens this summer. If you have questions about the seeds that you planted for your Giant's Garden, let me know. I also have extra seeds, if you need replacements.

If you are looking for some easy garden ideas that are truly fun for kids, stop in and ask me (Ellen) anytime. My son and I have grown name gardens, sunflower houses, rainbow gardens, mazes, butterfly gardens and many more.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Free Fun for No TV Week

Yikes! No TV for a WEEK? Don't worry - Dragonwings, your public library, and even your teachers are making plans to help you get through this endless week. What will you do without TV? Well, you could spend your extra free time getting ahead on your homework and chores, or you could come to Dragonwings Bookstore on Tuesday and Wednesday for a little fun.

Tuesday April 21 - after school: Jokes, Pranks and Magic Tricks

Here's your chance to learn new ways to amaze and annoy your family and friends. We will crack some jokes and listen to your favorites. We will consult this famous encyclopedia for step-by-step instructions for ingenious, goofy pranks. And we will expose the trickery behind a few magic tricks. If you're interested, call 256-9186 to register.

Wednesday April 22 - after school
Magic Beans for Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day in a BIG way by growing a Giant's Garden. We have the magic beans, more mammoth seeds and all of the supplies that you need. Once the leaves have sprouted, you can transplant your baby giants into the ground, or a pot, an old boot or pail. Find out what the top twenty plants are for kids, how to hear tomatoes gurgle, and lots more. If you are interested, call 256-9186 to register.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Kids know that every spring the Easter Bunny shops at Dragonwings. That's because we have lots of basket-size treats that are more fun than a mound of candy. Pictured below are a few of this year's treats. Mix in some of our ladybug or sunflower German chocolates and your baskets will be ready to go.