“Mary Had a Little Glam” is a modern twist on a classic nursery rhyme featuring a young girl named Mary who has an eye for fashion and loves to share her gift with others. When she notices her classmates, some of whom are also children featured in popular nursery rhymes, are looking a bit drab, she works her magic to make them all glamorous. The artwork seamlessly blends together images of new and old across the pages; from the dog walker with the man bun and couple sipping their coffee drinks at a cafe to the classroom teacher outfitted in Victorian-styled dress. I love the obvious nods Tammi Sauer and Vanessa Brantley-Newton make to timeless stories while adding their personal twists in the process. It makes for an enjoyable story for both the adult and child reading it!

Owen Davey’s “Crazy About Cats” isn’t just a visual feast with unique, eye-catching art, but also a fun read that explores the interesting world of wild cats. The book features an orange, green, and tan color scheme which is very fitting for many of the animals the author highlights. (Some of whom he draws in real life scale!)  What I really love about this book (other than the absolutely amazing art) is the writing. It’s clear and concise and lacks the condescending tone some resource books for younger readers have. This book is great for a person of any age who enjoys learning about animals, especially if they enjoy aesthetically pleasing art over photographs. And if you fall in love with Owen Davey like I did, he has two other books in this collection, “Smart About Sharks” and “Mad About Monkeys,” that are just as engaging and informative.

Probably one of THE children’s books of 2017, “Dragons Love Tacos 2” imagines a world in which our favorite taco loving dragons are faced with a dilemma of catastrophic proportions; one that can only be solved by embarking on a dangerous journey to the past. Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri return with another quirky tale filled with taco trees, hungry dragons, and lots of mild (but never spicy!) salsa. The narrator takes you along for the ride, asking questions and engaging you in conversation, making you feel like you’re responsible for moving the story along. This is one of my favorite things about Rubin—his ability to pull the reader in and make them an active participant instead of a passive observer. If you have a love for tacos and silly dragons, definitely pick up a copy of this book! (Only after you’ve read the first one, of course.)

You can find all these books – and more! – at any of our six bookshops.

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For Langston Hughes on His 123 Birthday

Speech given on February 1, 2024 in Havana, Cuba In 1927 Langston Hughes walked into a Cuba amid an emerging community of artists, intellectuals, and radicals.  He saw a “sunrise in a new land [– a day – in his words]sic – full of brownskin surprises, and hitherto unknown contacts in a world of color.”  … Continued

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Palestine Week 2024

January 18, 2024 – January 25, 2024 In keeping with our ongoing mission of uplifting racial and cultural connections, Busboys and Poets is hosting Palestine Week (January 18 through January 25, 2024). This week-long series of events will offer a diverse range of programming featuring Palestinian food, music, dance, poetry, discussions, and other enriching events. … Continued

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Everest Base Camp #18

Why am I here? It is 6 am now. I have not slept. My breathing is not improving. I am waiting for the first break of light. Bending to put on my shoes is exhausting. I put on one shoe. Sit upright. Take a deep breath. And put the other. I go to the dining … Continued

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Split This Rock Poem of the Week: Joseph LMS Green

  Joseph Green is a spoken word artist, educator, and motivational speaker with over 15 years’ experience in youth development. He co-founded poetryN.O.W., a nonprofit providing creative writing programming and curriculum for DC-area youth and schools. While serving as Split This Rock’s Director of Youth Programs for 3 years, he transferred poetryN.O.W’s work into Split This Rock’s care. Joseph has … Continued