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Monday, October 31, 2011

Witches Brew & Sparkly Fairy Shoes

We made it to Halloween!  With haunted romps, eyeball bubbling stew, (chicken and dumplings) candy apples, hanging bats, glowing jack-o-lanterns, and ghost popping boos. 

So while the teenagers devour the trick-or-treaters candy bowl, one purple fairy and one zombie head into the night of goblins and ghouls.    


Wanda Witch and the Bullies
By Impey, Rose

This Scholastic Level 3 Reader kept giggles and questions going throughout the whole read. Much to Wanda’s embarrassment her mom makes the cat, Cat-a-bogus walk her to school.  There, she takes matters into her own wand when she’s tripped and bullied. And when walking home after school, she devises a sweet form of retaliation that any goblin will surely dislike.   
“I’m going to be what the goblins are for Halloween. Can we make my brother wear that?” - Little Reader - Um, no!

A Very Brave Witch
By McGhee, Alison

Did you know that witches are frightened of humans?  In this cute Halloween story, a little witch sets out to prove that she isn't afraid of people, even though they aren't green. But when her flight goes awry, she will soon find out if the other witches have been right all along, or if perhaps over-exaggeration was at play.  The word bubbles and colorful illustrations, makes this a sweet read.

“I want a green face Mama, so that I can be a witch fairy tonight.” Little Reader – (We are sticking with the Purple Fairy.)

 The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
By Williams, Linda

On a windy afternoon a little old lady goes for a walk in the forest, and when it starts to get dark she begins seeing things on her path. - Two big shoes, pants, a shirt, two white gloves, a black hat, and a very scary pumpkin head. Did this scare the little old lady or the crows away?  A spooktacular read-aloud with patterns and special effect sounds that will have young readers making the noises and acting them out. (CLOMP, CLOMP, WIGGLE, WIGGLE, SHAKE, SHAKE)

The Farmer and the Witch
By De Lage, Ida

Amanda and the Witch Switch
By Himmelman, John

Trick or Treat, Danny!
By Kunhardt, Edith

Spooky ABC
By Merriam, Eve

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Seinfeld’s, Halloween is a coffee table children’s book that nostalgically and hysterically goes back to the good old days of door-to-door trick-or-treating.  Indeed a unique library addition, with its eye-candy pictures and funny bone tickling humor.
                              I recommend listening to the CD first.

On a weird note, look what washed up on a Florida Beach!  Did the Dutch artist, Ego Leonard have something to do with it?  Now 3 lego men have been found… 2007 in Holland, 2009 in England, and this one.  Are we dealing with some sort of Lego Man take over?  Not sure, but my Little Reader is convinced he jumped off a boat to find pumpkins.  (Can’t wait to see what she does with this in writer’s workshop?)
So we will visit the pumpkin patch again, pick out another, turn it into a jack-o-lantern, and leave it out for him.  My life is full of writable moments; I just need to take more moments to write.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Out of the Blue Thoughts

Thinking about color, being that it’s the time of year leaves turn vibrant colors.   (I’m still waiting, but the palm trees around here aren’t changing.)  

So why do we have favorite colors? Must be a brain thing releasing happy chemicals. Or maybe it stems from the childhood question, what’s your favorite color, to which I quickly answered. Purple! 

All I know is that for the last two years, I’ve been on a blue kick.    My blue Christmas d├ęcor, random blue purchases (candles, a dutch oven, & tanzanite to name a few), and now trying to sway my husband into a blue tile roof. Oh, and my absolute favorite snack, blueberries. Why does food come naturally in every color except blue?  Blue cheese is kinda blue, but are there any more?

My love for blue just seems instinctive.  Thinking about reading the blue books at the library as well.  That’s after I set up my blue website, when will I ever find the time to write?
Current Blue Reads

Blue Hat, Green Hat
By Boynton, Sandra

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse
By Carle, Eric

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish
By Dr. Seus

Little Blue and Little Yellow
By Lionni, Leo
Blue Goose
By Tafuri, Nancy

The Last Little Blue Envelope
By Johnson, Maureen

House Beautiful March 2010 All About Blue

Did you know?

- Blue is the favored color choice for toothbrushes.
- Owls are the only birds that can see the color blue.
- Mosquito's are attracted to the color blue twice as much as any other color.
- Blue is the least "gender specific" color, having equal appeal to both men and women.
 - Blue is the only color which maintains its own character in all its tones... it will always stay blue.
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

On a Haunted Note!

Little Reader and I swept the library looking for spooky reads.  With pages of ghosts, witches, apples, pumpkins and our first cold front, we move into Halloween mode. Ok maybe not cold, but anything below 90 is cool for Texas beach living.  I see the makings of a story here, our jack-o'-lantern catching the waves in Port A.

Here are a few of our latest books.

By Szilagyi, Mary

In short, a little girl becomes frightened by a thunderstorm and after being comforted by her mother, she in turn comforts the family dog hiding under the couch.  It’s an older (1985) simple book, but its “scratchy pictures" grabbed Little Critic’s attention and she snatched it off the shelf.  (Out of romp sequence.)  After three reads, the Little Reader is still drawn to the girl’s expressions throughout the story.

Earth to Clunk
By Smallcomb, Pam

A fresh story that takes the concept of pen pals to a whole new place!  A boy is forced to be pen pals with an alien from planet Quazar.  So he sends his big sister off and in return gets a Zoid, whatever that is.  From old lasagna to smelly socks, it's a friendship from out of this world.  An excellent merge of text and art, and a five star funny read aloud.   

Mail Harry to the Moon!
By Harris, Robie

“Before Harry, there was ME!” A cute new baby story about a little boy who gets a nuisance of a baby brother.  But when he goes missing, big brother will go all the way to the moon to find him. Humorous take on sibling rivalry, but somehow didn’t fancy me nor my trusty sidekick.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Egg Drop Soup

Egg Drop
By Grey, Mini

Egg Drop is a cautionary quirky tale about an egg that wants to fly, ignoring aerodynamics. After plunging from Very Tall Tower, he soon realizes he falling, not flying.  (Don’t despair, it doesn't go to waste.) The fact that chickens can't fly throws a wrench into the moral of patience here, but this tragic eggy tale is still humorous in a dark sort of way. 
"Eggs don’t fly, it’s going to be egg drop soup!" - Little Critic
Yum, great idea! Yet again, a children’s book has led to a food craving. - CR

I have always associated egg drop soup with Chinese cuisine, but just learned it’s found in many cultures.  In fact egg drop soup was a common dish during the Depression Era.  - See Clara, a 91 year old cook and great grandmother tell delightful stories from her childhood and prepare meals from her era.

The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon
By Grey, Mini

A kooky extension of the rhyme in which the dish ran away with the spoon. So what really happened after the dish ran away with the spoon? They went to vaudeville to be performers, but end up doing hard time, 25 years in prison to be exact. Illustrations kept bringing little reader back into the story, although she didn’t get most of the book.  Ho-hum towards this read - CR

Traction Man meets Turbodog
By Grey, Mini

Ever thought about what your child goes through when you throw away something dear to them? Traction Man and Turbo Dog show you, in this comic book inspired story.  Scrubbing Brush, Traction Man’s loyal sidekick is tossed into the trash bin. So after trying out the new Turbo Dog, Traction Man isn’t impressed and searches the depths of the smelly underworld to find his lost companion.  Shades of Toy Story, lots of detail, a book that’s fun to read over and over!
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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Quacking About Books

By Bunting, Eve

In 1992, a flotilla of bathtub toys fell off a container ship in the North Pacific.  Were they ever found you ask?  Well… just follow along the adventurous and mostly true story of Ducky!   Yes, I’m partial to books that take to real life situations and this favorite never gets old.

“Mama I want a duck bath with lots of bubbly duckys.” -  Little Reader 
So now where to find ducks, and lots of them?

Hopefully pear duck salad will suffice for now!
Lettuce on a plate
Pear half on top, outside up
Cheese triangles on top of the pear & two triangle cheese feet

Sadly thousands of children experienced duck loss, but these ducks have been valuable to science in the study of currents.

A Pig is Moving In!
Fries, Claudia

Some neighbors assume their new neighbor is going to be too sloppy.  When spills and other mishaps start to occur, they try to put the blame on pig. But, they soon learn their preconceptions are incorrect.  A great example at what happens when we are too quick to judge others. Delightful read aloud, and we found another best book!

Let's Do Nothing!
By Tony Fucile


This F section romp read inspired giggly questions from the Little Critic.  In this story, two boys decide they have done everything and decide that maybe they should do nothing. But doing nothing is very hard to do.  Just try it!

Children Make Terrible Pets
By Brown, Peter

A comical role reversal.  Lucy the bear finds a small boy in the woods and wants to keep him as a pet.  Momma bear advises, "Children make terrible pets," but Lucy promises to take care of him.  And indeed, they do not.  The illustrations are sweet and the words are cartoon text bubbles. “If I sing underwater it’s going to make bubble words.” - Little Reader
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Monday, October 3, 2011

Eggcellent Romps

Tillie Lays An Egg
By Golson, Terry Blonder

Tillie is unlike the other six chickens on her farm.  She doesn’t lay eggs in the nesting box like the others, but instead wanders the farm and lays them in unusual spots. The photography and light text makes this modern farm tale a top read.  Favorite part was spotting Tillie’s egg in each setting.  “That silly chicken keeps loosing her eggs!” – Little Reader

Little Pond Farm really does exist. See what the hens are up to today!

Hank Finds Inspiration
By Frazier, Craig

An abstract story about a snake who visits the big city looking for inspiration. Hank the snake inquires many people where they get theirs, and eventually finds his is close to his own twisty shape.  Delightful illustrations throughout, but the ending wasn’t all that great. 

The Most Perfect Spot
By Goode, Diane

A sweet charming story told in an older time setting.  A little boy and his mother search for “just the perfect spot” for a picnic. After persevering mishaps of galloping horses to rain showers, they finally find it back at their apartment.  There is a surprise with this new Spot! 
Heartwarming illustrations, flowing words, and depicting how to keep a positive attitude makes this a five star read.  – Another defined writer

The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster: A Tale of Picky Eating
By Flaherty, Alice

A funny explanation of how the Loch Ness Monster came to be.  A girl traveling to Scotland does not like oatmeal, and so she throws it out the window of the boat every morning. Nessie, a little baby sea monster eats all the tossed out oatmeal and gets bigger and bigger, and viola the Loch Ness monster is born.  A little long, but great for the picky and not so picky eater in all of us.
"Do giggly oatmeal monsters live at our beach?" - Little reader

Meerkat Mail
By Gravett, Emily

When Sunny the meerkat decides it's too hot in the Kalahari Desert he decides to pack up and go visit relatives.  But nothing seems quite right, and soon realizes there’s no place like home.  The engaging hook is that it’s told through a series of postcards that you flip open to read. 
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