February cries out for a heartwarming book. R.J. Palacio’s 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts is just that. Kids who loved Palacio’s novel Wonder can check in with Auggie Pullman and the students of Thomas Browne’s fifth-grade class. The precept for New Year’s Day is, “We carry within us the wonders we seek around us,” written by Sir Thomas Browne. There are words uttered by Popeye and thoughts of Helen Keller in this calendar of maxims. The whole family will enjoy this easy-to-read and hard-to-put-down book. —Maureen Millea Smith
Available at Magers and Quinn Booksellers and Barnes and Noble. Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.
Generally speaking, a wine of “style” is associated with a trending grape, and currently, moscato is the grape trend of choice.
Eight generations old, with vines planted all the way back in 1746, Gaston Chiquet, a Champagne house, is one of my favorite sparkling producers of the moment. The Gaston Chiquet Blanc de Blancs d’Aÿ, is made from only chardonnay grapes. The luxurious mouth-feel of chardonnay lends Chiquet’s Blanc de Blancs a gorgeous creamy mid-center ripened with alluring notes of fresh orange, mandarin, dried pineapple and Meyer lemon. Delicate yet perfectly balanced with a long charming finish. —Leslee Miller
Similar selections available at France 44. Leslee Miller is a certified sommelier and owner of local wine consulting firm, Amusee.
Barbra Streisand’s much-awaited CD, Partners features Michael Bublé, Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Blake Shelton, Josh Groban and John Legend, to name a few. “People” has a new bossa nova beat, with Stevie Wonder’s vocals and harmonica giving it an entirely new flavor. John Mayer’s guitar, as well as his distinctive voice, on “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” give it a bluesy feel.Jason Gould, Streisand’s son, teams with her on “How Deep Is the Ocean.” His voice has the same tenderness as his mother’s, proving her talent has found its way to the next generation. Finally, she sings “Love Me Tender,” in an engineered “duet” with Elvis Presley. —Patty Peterson
CD or digital download available at Amazon.com, Target.com and iTunes. Patty Peterson is an award-winning vocalist and Jazz 88 KBEM radio host.