Monday, December 24, 2012

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

All of us here at the Castle Library want to take a moment to wish all our visitors a very
Merry Christmas 
                                             and a blessed 
New Year. 

We thank you all for visiting us, for your wonderful comments on the books we post and hope you've found something during the year that will help your youngsters become better readers. It is our hope, that by providing simple activities to go along with picture books, or thought provoking questions for older readers, that youngsters will find a greater enjoyment in reading.

If you haven't already, we hope you'll find us over at facebook and like our page where we not only share post from this site, but also news tidbits, links to free books for all ages and any other fun things we find while browsing around.

We hope everyone will enjoy the holidays. Bake some cookies with your children. Read the old tried and true books such as "Twas the Night Before Christmas", "Frosty The Snowman" or so many others. And don't forget to share the greatest story, and the very reason we celebrate this season.

Be sure to tell them the story about a great ruler, who left his throne and his beautiful home to come and live with the people of his land. He loved them very much and was tired of being separated from them. He came, as a baby. He came in the most lowly place possible so that he'd understand our low places. He came helpless as we often feel helpless when our world is in chaos. He came to walk the same life we have to walk. He brought nothing from his beautiful land with him. No riches. No groomsman. No finery.

Yet, he did bring his love for his people. He spent his life teaching them and loving them and living amongst him. He gave up everything for them. Everything.

And I won't tell you the rest of the story here. Go read it for yourself. Start with Luke 2 and keep going.
If you wish.

Merry Christmas from The Queen, Wiz. Lexiconi, the dragons and knights and all who dwell amongst the shelves of the Castle Library.

Monday, December 17, 2012

I'll Save You BOBO! by Eileen and Marc Rosenthal

Good Day dear Readers,
The Queen here with a fun adventure that's sure to spur your child's imagination. I'll Save You BOBO! by Eileen and Marc Rosenthal shows the trials of trying to be creative when your pet wants to play.

Happy Reading,
The Queen


Book Title: I'll Save You Bobo!
Author: Eileen Rosenthal                                                                                                              
Illustrator: Marc Rosenthal

Book Information:

Publisher and date: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (April 3, 2012)
Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Book Info: Hardcover: 40 pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book
ISBN: 978-1442403789

Book Summary
The irresistible stars of I Must Have Bobo! return in another everyday adventure in domestic disharmony!

Willy wants to write a storybook starring Bobo—and act out revenge fantasies on Earl—but Earl keeps wrecking the story (hence the desire to act out revenge fantasies!). Quit it, Earl…and stop stealing Bobo!

But sometimes it only takes a small thing to realize that even sworn enemies have something in common. For instance: Bobo and Earl both have very snakey tails! Is that a truce? Don’t count on it.

Activity Adventures:

Crafty Ideas:
Draw a picture of your favorite character having an adventure: Put them on a pirate boat, a jungle, in space... Use your imagination.

Writing Prompts:
Find your favorite toy. Now, pick a place... jungle, ocean on a ship, or any other place you can imaging. Next, think of a terrible bad guy. With all this you have the makings of a story. Now write it!

Authors Arena

Author and Illustrator: from
 A sock monkey has never come between Eileen and Marc Rosenthal.  Unlike Willy and Earl, the couple enjoys working together (and even sharing).  Marc is the creative mind behind Archie and the Pirate and Phooey.  Eileen and Marc live in the Berkshires with their family.

Marc Rosenthal is the illustrator of many books for children including  I Must Have Bobo, The Straight Line Wonder by Mem Fox and Phooey, which he wrote.  Marc’s illustrations can be seen regularly in The New Yorker, Time, Forbes, Fortune, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and others.  Visit him online at

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Illuminated by Jackie Castle

Good Day Dear Readers,
The Queen here with a young adult book written by one of our own castle residents, Jackie Castle who has penned the first installment of the White Road Chronicles titled Illuminated.

The book is available at both Kindle and Nook stores. The print version from Createspace is also available. 
Happy Reading,
The Queen


Publisher: Castle Library Publishing; 1 edition (December 4, 2012)
File Size: 617 KB
Reading Age 12 and up- Geared for young adult
ASIN: B00AIVX3UA (Amazon)
BN ID: 2940015815573 (Barnes and Noble)

ISBN: 9781481194624

Book Summary:

Alyra, mockingly known as Princess, was captured at an early age by the evil ruler, Darnel, and brought up in the dark land of Racah. At the age of seventeen, she considers herself nothing special. She has no recollection of who she is or where she came from. Her hope of ever finding freedom dims.
Until the messenger arrives. Until he brings to light the meaning behind the medallion she's kept hidden. Until she accepts the blinding truth.

Now she flees for her life.

Alyra’s journey leads her down a narrow road with strange traveling companions. Together, they encounter a kingdom where nothing is what it first seems.

Adventure Activities

Discussion Questions:
Alyra had a problem doing the one thing she was told to do. What did she have along her journey that helped her stay on the path? What helps you to stick to something you want to do?

Jerin spent a lot of time drawing up a map to help him get to Aloblase. Did it help?
How about you? Do you have some sort of map or plan to help you accomplish a goal you've set?

Writing Prompt
Lotari the centaur was reluctant to take the journey. Have you ever been divided between wanting to try something new, or staying in your safe place? What did you do about that? If you set your hooves to the stones, can you write your own story about what happened?

Start a journal of what you hope your future might hold. What kind of job would you like to be doing by time you reach 20? 30? I know it seems like a long way off, but what kind of work do you think you'd like to retire from?

Crafty Idea
Once you have an idea of what you might want to do in your life. Jot some quick notes on what it will take to get there... college? Specialized training? Working your way up to a certain position? Learning a craft or skill? Going somewhere new?
Create a poster that looks like a map of where you want to go in your life and what stops you'll need to make on the way.

 If you had a medallion, what do you think would be one it? Draw your own medallion.

Author's Arena

Jackie Castle graduated from UT Southwestern Medical Center of Dallas. She is a published freelance writer, storyteller and elementary educator. She lives in Texas with her husband, two teenagers, and her dog, Ginger (aka ginger-roonie). When she's not teaching, she is traipsing through the worlds of Alburnium or Fae in search of another story.

She looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary in everything she experiences.

Jackie spent several years on this book series. Sometimes she'd put it aside to work on a different writing project. Other times, she didn't write at all because her journey took her in another direction. Yet, all along, no matter where her path led, she knew writing was her destiny. She wants to help others find their passion in life and follow their dreams, like she's followed hers.

She is now spending most of her time trekking through Alburnium while she gathers ideas for the next book in this series. There are sure to be more dragons, she assures us.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12by12in12 End of Year Celebration

Join the 12by12in12 Party
Well, as many of you know, here at the Castle Library, we've participated in Julie Hedlund's 2012, Write 12 books in 12 months challenge.

We were doing really well, too, until bigger dreams hit and we began to put all our focus into completing a Young Adult Novel titled Illuminated and indie publishing it.Which, just this past week, Illuminated went up on Amazon an Barnes and Noble- as ebooks, and on createspace in print. We are very excited about this book.

Still, because of this fun challenge, we have twelve new children's story ideas. Four of those are completed stories. One has been submitted to a children's magazine. (And been rejected, but it's a start, right?)

Even better, we've learned so much and have made some wonderful new friends... all who, like us here at the Castle Library, love books. Love writing. And want to share that passion by encouraging and helping each other. 

We've so enjoyed reading and featuring some of the new talent in this budding community, and we hope to be featuring even more in 2013. Because YES! folks, the fun will continue.

Oh, and you all must click over to Julie Hedlund's site to see her video. It's priceless.

Happy Writing and Reading!
The Queen- along with:
Jackie Castle (Royal Scribe- in training)
Wiz. Lexiconi, Sr. Mage 1st class: Fabulist extraordinaire. 
Lexiconi's all frog choir
Dirkus and Rankus (Bestest dragon writers and chasers of royal knights, ever, ever!)