5 Egg-cellent Easter Reads

Five sweet reads filled with bunnies, eggs and other fun goodies that kids will love!

Dora’s Easter Bunny Adventure

The sneaky Swiper is at it again, swiping the Easter bunny’s basket of eggs—on Easter! When the Swiper sets the basket afloat in the Rainbow River headed toward a waterfall, it’s up to Dora and Boots to rescue it and return it to the Easter bunny before it’s too late.

Milo the Really Big Bunny

Milo has always been different from the other little, white bunnies. Not only is he the biggest bunny, but he’s also purple! However, when the Easter bunny asks for a helper this year, Milo steps up, hoping that this will finally be his chance to fit in and show his worth.

E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core!

The second book in The Guardians series by William Joyce puts the focus on E. Aster Bunnymund. In the first book, Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, Nicholas St. North rounded up his fellow Guardians and took down the Nightmare King, Pitch, but now, Pitch seeks his revenge. After an attack on E. Aster Bunnymund, the Guardians team up to defeat him again, maybe this time for good.

Easter Egg Dash

Heading down a rough road, Izzy the ice cream truck begins dropping her ice cream Easter eggs all over town, but instead of creating a mess, the bumpy road makes for a combination of new flavours. Younger readers will have fun feeling rocky road ice cream with real bits of road, playing with stickers, and lifting flaps to discover which new flavours have been concocted.

What’s in That Egg, Diego?

Dora’s cousin Diego is on an adventure to discover different animals that hatch from eggs, from snakes to crocodiles to macaws. Kids join in on the fun peeking under gatefold flaps to find out which animals are in which eggs, with a surprising pop-up on the last page.

Ten Reasons Why Books Make the Best Gifts (well, after puppies and private islands)

1)      Because other than those sparkly pencils and key chains with peoples’ names on them, books are one of the best gifts that you can find a uniquely suited one for every person on your list

2)      Because you don’t need to poke holes in the box so the book can breathe

3)      Because they are easier to wrap than a football or bicycle

4)      Because you can do all of your shopping in one spot

5)      Because you don’t have to feed them, plug them in, or put batteries in them

6)      Because “They have whole worlds inside them, and it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world.” –Neil Gaiman

7)      Because you can even find one for the person who has everything

8)      Because they never come in the wrong colour, size or style

9)      Because they don’t need to be assembled

10)   Because it shows the recipient that you took the time to think about who they are and what they are interested in

So what’s the trick? Picking the right book. Luckily for you, I have some suggestions for everyone on your holiday gift list.

For the Hockey Lover

Double Overtime

Double Overtime by Stephen Cole

Full of fun facts, crazy yet true stories, and chalk full pictures, this book is for every hockey fan of every team (even if you the gift-buyer don’t know anything about hockey!)

For the (New) Baker

 Baking with the Cake Boss

Baking with the Cake Boss by Buddy Valastro

Buddy, from TLC’s smash hit Cake Boss, is back with another book. For the novice baker, this book starts with the basics of baking – the simple yet noble sugar cookie – and advances to fantastically intricate themed cakes for home-baking pros.  This is one gift that both the recipient and the giver are bound to benefit from!

For the Extraordinary Women in Your Life

 The Dovekeepers

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Strong, brave, resourceful, sensuous, caring, and giving – these are just some of the used words to describe the women of The Dovekeepers. A masterpiece that was five years in the making, the author of Practical Magic tells the beautiful and harrowing tale of four Jewish women in 70 C.E. Masada, Israel.

For Lovers of  iAnything

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Steve Jobs – the man who changed the world, whether we like it or not. Walter Isaacson’s biography, the only authorized biography of the Apple co-founder and innovator, tells the story of this intense personality whose drive for perfection can be seen in every one of his products and serves as a rollercoaster tale of ambition, obsessions, compulsion, creativity and innovation.

For Your Daughter, Niece or Little Sister

Dork Diaries Box Set

Dork Diaries Box Set by Rachel Renee Russell

This super popular series chronicles the oh-so-fabulous life of Nikki Maxwell as she navigates the halls of middle school, mean girls, BFF drama and first crushes. These spunky, funny, and relatable books are perfect for tween girl readers (and best of all, they are PG-rated so you don’t have to worry about your 11-year old niece reading vampire/immortal love scenes!).

For Almost Anyone (really, who doesn’t read Stephen King?)

11/22/63

11/22/63 by Stephen King

The incredible Stephen King is back in a brand new way. In 11/22/63, King tells the ultimate “What If?” story. What if you could go back in time and change history? King’s suspenseful and riveting tale of time travel to one of America’s most epic periods in history will have readers on the edge of their seats until the last page is turned.

The New YA Must-Have

 Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

With so many YA vampire/werewolf/warlock/immortal, etc, etc, etc books out there, it’s hard for the discerning gift-giver to know which one to choose for the teen on their list. Well look no further – Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series left young women begging for another adventure to go on, bad-boy to drool over, and smart, brave girl to read about, and with the second of the Infernal Devices series, Clare delivers.

For the 20-something Student

5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides)

 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) by Matthew Inman

Perfect for the quirky-humored, google-searching  20-something, 5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides) offers up 4 Reasons to Carry a Shovel at All Times, 6 Types of Crappy Hugs, 8 Ways to Tell if Your Loved One Plans to Eat You, 17 Things Worth Knowing About Your Cat, and 20 Things Worth Knowing About Beer.

Literary Non-Fiction

Rin Tin Tin

Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean

If you can’t get someone a puppy for Christmas, get this book instead. Rin Tin Tin has been getting rave reviews and for good reason. Whether you love dogs, old Hollywood, the entrepreneurs behind entertainment, biographies, history, or just a wonderfully written story, Rin Tin Tin delivers.

For the Book Club Lover

The Lady of the Rivers

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Witchcraft, royalty, betrayal and passion, The Lady of the Rivers delivers it all. This book, to be enjoyed in front of a fireplace and with a cup of tea, is sure to keep your favorite aunt, sister or friend company this holiday season.

Brain Food

Grand Pursuit

Grand Pursuit by Sylvia Nasar

In this epic yet readable narrative modern economics, Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind, tells the of how activist thinkers like Marx, Sydney Fisher, Irving Fisher, and Milton Friedman transformed not just the Western world, but the entire planet.

The New Children’s Classic

The Man in the Moon

 The Man in the Moon by William Joyce

“Meet the very first guardian of childhood, MiM, the Man in the Moon.” A beautiful and tender story of love, adventure, and enchantment, The Man in the Moon, will capture hearts both young and old.

Wreck the Halls

When I was given the task of writing on the S&S blog (I’ve never blogged before, apparently I live under a rock), I was a little worried about what I would write about as the new marketing intern. That is, until I got my “assignment” – Wreck the Halls: Cake Wrecks Gets Festive. So, in the name of research, I spent the afternoon flipping through the book, almost peeing my pants laughing in the process.

What is a Cake Wreck, you ask? According to the hilarious Jen Yates and her equally inappropriately funny husband, John, “a Cake Wreck is any professionally made cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, [or] inappropriate….”

In her first book, Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong, (which just so happened to become a New York Times Bestseller), we saw creepy baby cakes, cakes with questionable spelling, anti-sexual harassment cakes, and, my favorite, divorce cakes (nothing says it better than a cake with “I Didn’t Like You That Much Anyway” written on it…except maybe the “Go Die in a Car Fire” cake).

Cake Wrecks

And now, Yates is back with a second helping of Cake Wrecks. With Santa being eaten by an alligator and vampire pilgrim cakes, who needs a Hallmark card?

Watch the trailer

Both Cake Wrecks and Wreck the Halls are actually books, with over two hundred pages of cake wreck photos accompanied by Yates’ special blend of wit and sarcasm. And somehow, they don’t stop being funny, but actually become even funnier because, as you flip through it with friends, you know what is coming. Wreck the Halls is the perfect Christmas gift and offers sweet relief from holiday shopping madness, whether you give it as a gift or, if you are like me, you keep it for yourself.

To win a copy of Wreck the Halls, share your own cake wreck photo and submit it to the Simon & Schuster Facebook page where you can also check out the recent Simon & Schuster Cake Wrecks event with Jen Yates at Indigo in Yorkdale.

For more Cake Wrecks, check out CakeWrecks.com. Be sure to follow @CakeWrecks on Twitter and like Cake Wrecks on Facebook!

Win a beach bag brimming with books and summer goodies!

Summer is upon us, and the sunny days and longer nights leave a lot more time for reading. Enter below for your chance to win 1 of 10 beach bags brimming with books and summertime goodies from Cake Beauty and Softlips.


Read more about The Vault, Last Night at Chateau Marmont, Justice, Dominance, When Passion Rules and Then Came You.

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Time to Grow!

 

 

 

Gayla Trail, author of You Grow Girl  has a great way of demystifying the art of keeping plants alive, which for me, is invaluable information. (Recently, I was given a coniferous “bonsai” that was touted as being un-killable. Surprise: it died.)

When I read her May 16th article in the Globe and Mail about sowing seeds later in the season, I decided to attempt to plant some edibles on my small-space apartment balcony.

With her completely non-frightening words of encouragement echoing in my head, I planted lettuce, beets and beans. And look, they’re actually growing!

Gardenarium

 

Check out Gayla Trail’s blog at www.yougrowgirl.com