Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rockin’ Reads & Library Activities

Back to the writing and also tote printing front.  Due to numerous inquiries about our cool Library Romp tote, I’m working on getting some ready by summer.  They’ll be amazing and you'll be able to get them here soon. And for those wondering what else I've been working on lately?  It’s another inspirational pocket read in the making, but the big news is that I’m getting ready to launch my new children's book!  (Hint: What library adventures await Pixie?)  It’s going to be a series and can’t wait for you to meet 'Her'.  I couldn’t just reconfigure an already completed story, so wrote a new one and now excitedly waiting for my artist to bring it to life.   
Celebrate National Library Week April 13-19, 2014 
 
So how has your library changed you?  It’s no secret here that what started as a quest to define a writer, I found myself. With my Little Reader, we have traveled to places unimaginable and unearthed the stories in my heart.    Having two inspirational pocket reads, another in progress, and now finally a new children’s story.  I'm bringing magic and amazing journeys out of the library, which can only be seen with the eyes of a child. 
I decided to change up this weeks romp and switched from going to find particular books to just hanging out. We've started exploring, asking questions, sharing, and talking with other library patrons.  Here’s a list of fun things to do at your library other than just checking out books. It’s an adventure so just go with it!  If you have any other fun or interesting ideas bring them on!  
 
Here’s our list & will finish them by National Library Week!
 
                       
 
1.  Look for the biggest book in the library and take your picture with it.
2.  Browse the travel section, find a place you want to visit, & make plans to go.   
3.  Go to the cookbook section, find a recipe, and cook it together.
4.  Find a funny poem, read it a loud and then copy it into your journal.
5.  Romp the music section and find a CD to check out.   Listen to it all the way through.
6.  Discover a book of quotes and write one on the sidewalk with chalk.
7.  Bring paper and colored pencils. Draw from the easy I-Can-Draw-Books and have the library hang it on the wall. 
8.  Take a present to the librarians. 
9.   Leave a thoughtful review on a post-it note in a book you really loved.
10.  Hunt for authors with your same last name.
11.  Peruse books about where you live.  Learn something new.
13.  Uncover the weirdest reference book you can find?

14.  Read a biography from the children’s sections. 
15.  Get each kid their own library card & book tote.
16.  Never fuss about late fees.
 
                                     Rockin' This Weeks Reads
 
A Dark Tale
By Brown, Ruth
 
 

In this tale a cat goes into the dark dark woods, into a dark dark house, where he finds a dark dark box and gets a surprise… Could be a great Halloween read but we’re always up for scary reads!  The repetitive sentences and detailed illustrations will keep you in suspense on each page turn.  Where will the cat take you next? 

Louis, The Adventures of a Chicken
By Di Camillo, Kate
 
 

Louise is not your ordinary chicken.  She longs for adventure and decides to fly the coop to search for the unknown.  You’ll get a laugh of her silly antics along the way as she encounters pirates, circus performers and some…  If you are familiar with Kate Di Camillo you know that her books often have a dark side targeting the older readers, but this isn’t the case here.  Perfect amount of silliness makes for a top giggly bedtime read.
 
Butterflies Under Our Hats
By Sasso, Sandy Eisenberg
 

 
I had to check this one out being it was about butterflies and didn’t realize it was a Jewish book until started reading it.  The idea of a town down on their luck comes to learn about hope when a fairy comes along. It seemed forced, a bit contrite in making a point about having hope.  Love the butterflies and hats though, which did captivate the imagination of my little listener. 
 
Interrupting Chicken
By Stein, David Ezra

 
This 2011 Caldecott Honor book is adorable for audiences young and old.  As dad tries multiple times to tell little chicken stories, he keeps interrupting and finishing the fairytale.  We’ve all been there, experienced the interrupting child.  Cute story time read that seems to never get old around here. (This is our third checkout at least!) 
Wanna extend the story with a writing activity, Sure Thing Chicken Wing ...

 
Hide and Seek Fog
By Tresselt, Alvin
 
 
 
When a heavy fog rolls into this quaint coastal town, everyday activity comes to a halt for three days.  The misty pictures show a lobster man that can’t trap lobsters, sailors that can’t sail, but the children can play hide and seek with the fog.  Not an overly exciting tale and those that don’t live at the beach may not be able to relate, but we sure did.  There’s nothing more amazing than watching the sea fog roll in and blanketing your entire town.  Little Reader says, " It's a good book to read on a fuzzy day!"

Jibberwillies At Night
By Vail, Rachel
 
 
 
Do you ever get the hibbe-gibbes or jibberwillies for that matter?  Katie Honors usually doesn’t, but one evening falling asleep doesn’t come so easy.  Thanks to mom’s quick thinking, she captures all the scary jibberwillies and tosses them out the window.  Cute way to show how to get a handle of your fears and the words are amazingly woven into this story.  Well done Mrs. Vail ;-)
 
What Dad’s Can’t Do
By Wood, Douglas

 
Here’s a great companion to What Moms Can’t Do, with the same green dinosaur checking off the things dads can’t do.  A fun simple look at how fathers enrich their children’s lives.  We love hide and seek around here and Little Reader especially loved the page where dad gets found playing hide and seek.  She went straight to her writing center and made a picture of her backyard that her dad built. I had fun overlaying their photos into her drawing.  
 This would be a great Father’s Day gift, but she can’t wait till then!
 
 
 
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I receive lots of funny stories, book reading quotes, and pictures and choose one to share on each post.  I try to choose the most relevant one, but will eventually try to get to each of them.  But please don’t hesitate to share them on our other social connections.  I recommend going to our Facebook page and adding to our collection there.  If you’d rather go with Twitter or StumbleUpon that’s fine as well.  Either way I’d love to here from you ;-)   
 
She'd always been a little excitable, a little more passionate about books than your average person, but she was supposed to be –
she was a librarian, after all.”
 
Continue Reading...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Knock Knock Who’s There?

Wow, lot’s of great door pics!  Congrats to Rustie MacDonald, she's the first place door picture winner and will receive a copy the book Doors.  And because I couldn’t just choose one, Michelle Kents is receiving a copy of The Old Man & His Door.  Also, a mentionable kudos to Aubrey Laney and her son Caleb on their creative pic.   So why doors?  Front doors are often forgotten, ignored, given not the attention they deserve.  A lot of thought should be put into your front door and here’s why.   It’s the mouth of your home, setting its tone and energy.  That’s a lot of responsibility for a just a door!  You may not know this, but color represents different things.  I'll explain momentarily...

Rustie MacDonald
Here is my favorite door....  It is to the door to my new home that I recently purchased. The success here was that I am a full time single parent, ZERO support from the EX and working my tail feathers off, offered me the opportunity to be a home owner. This DOOR is my dream....

Michelle Kents
It’s pink and not by choice.  I sent my husband to pick up purple paint which was going over our white door.  And then he decided to surprise me.  When I came home from work my front door looked like Barbie’s pink Dream House.  He had not checked the color  first, but just slapped what was in the bucket on the door.  Guess what?   I loved it, pink and all!
 

Aubrey & Caleb Laney
We are fanatic about Legos and this morning I asked my four year old son to construct a Lego door for mommy.  I ended up with a house, barn, and some.  After telling him I was going to send it in for a contest he insisted on taking pictures.  Here's our best door snapshot, but I did spare you the other 37.   <Enjoy>
 
What’s Your Front Door Color?


Blue is a great Feng Shui color. If you want your home’s curb appeal to suggest a feeling of abundance and prosperity, why not paint your front door a beautiful blue.


Do you like yellow?  A yellow door evokes mental clarity, understanding, wisdom, confidence, curiosity, and happiness. Would you want to bring some sunshine into your home?  I definitely would!
    

Wanna go green? This color door is said to represent balance, peace, compassion, growth, and brings harmony into the home.


 
Purple?  Surprisingly this is not unheard of and a lot of people are going with this color.  It's symbolizes energy and is thought to invite many opportunities into your home.

  

Then there’s red, the color of my last two doors.  This color means welcome, and here’s a piece of early American history for you.  For tired travelers, when they came across homes with red doors they new it was a place to stop and spend the night or rest.

         A Pepto-Bismol & Pink Bubblegum Explosion!

The other big happening around here is Little Reader turned the Big "8"  We originally planned a Totoro party but there wasn’t enough time to get the supplies shipped from Japan.  Why this adorable Japanese icon hasn’t become big in the US is beyond me?  So we went with her second choice, a Pink Fashion theme!
 
       http://goodriddlesnow.com/riddles/view/1014
On A Riddle Note:  Last week I was contacted by a funny guy who asked if I would link up his page of laughs to this post. So after checking it out and having a few giggles, I’ve decided to share it.  For the young and old wanting a daily dose of funny in your life-  Here It Is!   
 
A-Doorable Reads & Some
 
Door Knockers
By Dahl, Michael


 
You can’t go wrong with all the giggles packed into this knock-knock joke book.  It’s sure to make you smile, but I have to admit this book goes everywhere with us now.  Maybe we can get through the morning without any more jokes ;-P

Knock At The Door
By Kemp, Moira  

 
Little Reader pulled this off the shelf romping door books.  Don’t bother, it’s way too with not much of a storyline.  It could better be used as an Easter display with it’s cute bunny on the cover!   If you have a teething baby this could also work.

Those Darn Squirrels And The Cat Next Door
By Rubin, Adam

 
 
Love Those Darn Squirrels, so we jumped with excitement on finding this one! The grumpy mister Fookwire may not like the pesky squirrels in his yard picking on the birds, but things are about to change when Muffins the cat moves next door.   You’ll get a kick how the squirrels pull together with the birds and teach the cat who’s boss!   After all, what harm can a bucket of ice, cold water, and string do?
Sneak A Peak
 
 
The Old Man & His Door
By Soto, Gary
 

 
I’ve never been a big Gary Soto fan, as I find the emphasis of the intermixed English to Spanish distracting from the story.  I know most people adore his books, but I think there are other writers that do this better.  Like in, Katrina The Beautiful Cockroach.  With all this to say, I was surprisingly charmed here.   When a wife tells her husband to bring a puerco to the party, he ends up bringing a puerta instead.  A pig sure would have been a lot easier to carry than lugging a door across town.  I think what I liked most here was it showed how items can be used for other purposes outside of what they are intended for.  Maybe I was too quick to judge, this one was both interactive and outright fun!
 
The Dinosaur Next Door
By Stimson, Joan
 

 
So books about doors are not as popular as you might think.  Surprising, I know ;-P With slim pickins’ we ended up with a Tadpole early reader book.   These AR type books are ones that Little Reader tests on at school, so we generally don’t romp them.  But we did, and it really got me thinking!  What would happen if I was awakened by a dinosaur outside my bedroom window?  Imagine I’d do what Tom did and shrink back under the covers.  That’s until realizing it was just the neighbor inviting me to a costume party.  Sorry, I didn’t mean to spoil it, but this ones a great playful read.
 
Cottonball Colin
By Willis, Jeanne
 

 
This one’s not bout doors, but worth the note!  I never knew about this author until now. I fell in love with Colin, the adorable little mouse and his over protective mom of course.  So before venturing out into the BIG world Collin is wrapped in cotton for protection.  Does this keep him safe?  All I’ll say is, everything that could go wrong does go wrong.  This sadly ends with the demise of this tiny rodent. No just kidding, Colin in the end becomes a whole new mouse and a mother learns to let go.  Great refresher for moms, and a reminder that we have to let our children learn about the world for themselves. 

 
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Happiness often sneaks through a door you didn’t know you left open. 
- John Barrymore
Continue Reading...

Monday, March 3, 2014

New Book On The Block, not NKOTB

And you thought this was going to be about NKOTB didn’t you?   But a quick web search I did learn they’re on a European tour these days.  My kids look at me like I’m crazy when I talk of back in the day music. - And that’s not all that far back either.  I’m still trying to convince my teenage basketball boys that rap is not music ;-{ But I do as most mom’s do, let them base and blare their jams.  And then I bring them back to reality of what real music is.  I’m an 80’s 90’s girl in case you were wondering!

http://www.amazon.com/Planting-Success-How-Dig-Roots-ebook/dp/B00ILPLDS4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1393863453&sr=1-1&keywords=planting+successPlanting Success is the NBOTB!  This easy read guide will help get you where you want to be.  In short, what you feed your mind determines your appetite, so you must begin by digging at the roots or issues impacting your life.  When you have power over your emotions and able to keep your flaws out of the picture, then you are able to move forward in achieving your goals.   Let me show you how this is easily done.  In less than a few minutes, you can begin the start to a new you!
 
Book fairs are still at the top of my favorite school activities, but there’s something else that comes in close second.  It’s the science fair!  This year my first grader got the whole family on board and we figured how Humpty Dumpty Could Have Been Saved.  She says I need to make this into a story.   
It’s a Winner!
 
And what’s up with all this cold weather, it’s supposed to be warm in south Texas?  I had shorts and flop-flops on yesterday & today dressed for the mountains.  Skiing is on the brain these days, as I’m trying to plan a family vacation before my oldest heads off to college next year.  Ski trip or cruise, not sure what would be best for my different age kids?  Something exciting enough for teens and also fun for a first grader.  
 
So let’s make a chocolate frosty and think on it. (Better than Wendy's)  Put chocolate milk, 2 heaping spoonfuls of whip cream, 3 spoonfuls of sweet condensed milk into blender, and cup of ice into blender and pulsate a few times.  Doesn’t take much to blend this tasty treat!


   Romps We’re Wild About
 
Why Can’t I Fly
By Brown, Ken
 
 
 
Your neck is too long, your wings are too small, and other discouraging words from a sparrow aren’t going to stop this determined ostrich.  Through a series of failing attempts, the ostrich presses on into trees, sand, and tumbles down cliffs.  To prove to those around him he builds a flying machine and does eventually get it flying.  But there’s no one around to see?  Or maybe they do see him, just from a different view. This story of true friendship will have you cheering at the end. Be sure and snag this one off the shelf and keep it for a while.
 
Good Thing You’re Not An Octopus
By Markes, Julie

 
 
Too much trouble to brush your teeth, well at least your not a shark.  Don’t like having to get dressed in the morning, good thing your not an octopus.  Here you’ll walk in the shoes of a little boy that doesn’t want to do the not-so-fun things. Lessoned learned that no matter how bad you think you have it, things could always be worse. 

The Tortoise & The Hare
By Pinkney, Jerry
 
 
A detailed, pictorially engaging, award-winning classic.  Do I really need to tell you the rabbit doesn’t win?  But the difference here, this classic tale is told with a western twist.  The pictures definitely steal the show on this one.
 
The Boo! Book
By Lachenmeyer, Nathaniel

 
 
Do ghosts really live in books and if so, what should we do about it?  This suspenseful tongue-n-cheek ghost rule book is illustrated beautifully in pastels adding to its imaginative nature.   Don’t want to spoil it but as you read it, so will the suspense.  That is to the last page. POP!
 
I’d Know you Anywhere, My Love
By Tillman, Nancy
 
 
 
Not only will it capture your eyes, but also your heart.  And the best part about it is that children get to ROAR!   When a mother’s child becomes a different animal, she always recognizes them. No matter what our children become or dream for that matter, we moms will always love them.  I first downloaded this on my Kindle, but later found this doesn’t do the book justice.  I find this to be the case with books having outstanding detailed artwork like this!  Besides I love to hear the pages turning and not to mention the smell of a new book.  It’s okay to let your nerd show, I do all the time ;-P
 
You know I love stories that capture the heart.
Here’s one that really defines family. 
 
 
The Egg
By Roberston, M P
 
 
 
Cute little book about a boy who hatches an egg and ends up rasing what’s inside.  In a non-preachy manner it depicts responsibility, caring for others, and in the end, letting go.  Perfect length, great illustrations, and now every time we see a rock we have to examine it to make sure it’s not a dinosaur egg. 
 
What To Do If An Elephant Steps On Your Foot
By Robinson, Michelle
 
 
 
A great snuggle time read!   Like If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, but here your safari guide can’t seem to find his way out of trouble in the jungle.  And from the moment the elephant steps on the guide’s foot, this circular tale goes awry.  This fun witty book will leave you with the message of listen, keep calm, and never give up!
 
 
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The doors will be open to those that are bold enough to knock. 
Author & Mom - Ally Winer
 
I'm into doors these days and our next romp will be about them. Do you really pay attention to the entrance of your home? You'd be surprised how a door can transform the feel of any abode.  So  I'm calling for door pictures.  Take a picture of your door or snap a shot of one you like.  They will go up on the next post, and the favorite will receive a copy of Doors by Celeste Sollod.  Join the fun and feel free to submit door puns along the way!

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About Me

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I'm a reading, writing, publishing, blogging, children's book mama.  Our library journey has opened up a door of wonder, excitement, and imagination for not only my children but myself.  Brining inspiration, motivation, and just overall joy for the written word.  
 
What started as a mission to find out what makes a true writer, has unfolded the realization that we all have a story.  Not to sound cliché here but, Just Do It!  It's the motivation to get out there, connect, share your story, and not wait for the approval or disapproval of others.  For myself it's publishing, and writing about self motivation, getting to your dreams, and facing what's holding you back. 
 
Who knows what the future holds for any of us?  Give your children the passion for written words while creating thinkers and doers. 
 
The library is what did this for us.  Who else gives out unlimited free books, movies, and other book media, and doesn't even mind when we eliminate the need for bookends? 
 
In a nut shell emphasizing the nut, it's all about the Library Romps & Writing Prompts.
 
 
Enjoy & God Bless
 
- CG

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