This blog is not intended make you feel like a bad parent if you don't read to your kids for an hour every day.
This blog is not intended to make you feel stupid for not knowing a lot about children's books.
This blog is simply intended to let you know about books for you and your kids, so you can go to the library and have an idea of what to reach for instead of staring numbly at the shelves, picking up books you think might be good (then finding out they're not), or watching your kids pick out Disney Comic Books and Star Wars thrillers and nothing else.
With that in mind, let me share with you a new favorite fantasy author. These books are definitely young adult (not because of content—they're totally clean), but if you have a child who loves fantasy and is looking for a new great author, look no further: Rachel Neumeier.
I just read The City in the Lake (with its kind of creepy cover—did you know that authors have very little say if any over the covers of their books? The saying never judge a book by it's cover is soooooo true, because do you know who pretty much gets the biggest say over book covers besides the publishers? Barnes and Nobles representatives. Seriously. They pick YA covers based on what they think a teen in a book store will shell out money for—hence all the headless girls on the front of books nowadays). The City in the Lake was beautifully written and I loved the story and the characters and the truths I found in the ending. Such a good fantasy.
I'm also enjoying her Griffon Mage series.
And before I sign off, I just want to reiterate again, how much we love the How to Train Your Dragon Series. My mom just sent Shaemus books five, six, and seven, (along with some Franny K. Steins—LOVE Franny K. Steins for beginning readers), and he and I are reading them every night and laughing so hard. For instance, Hiccup's best friend, Fishlegs, has a dragon named Horrorcow. If we ever get a dog, we will probably name him Horrorcow, because that is the best name ever. There's a fabulous picture in book five of Toothless, Hiccup's dragon, and Horrorcow playing in a raging forest fire like they're at an amusement park. You have to see it for yourselves! Imagine sliding down a burning tree like you're going down a water slide.
(And here are some Franny K. Stein covers just to peek your interest:)