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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fall Into Monster Mania

That’s right, Halloween’s creeping into April, and it feels like fall around here.  We painted the kitchen red apple orchard, sowed our Gigantic Atlantic Dill pumpkin seeds, loaded Little Reader’s tote with spooky reads, and now brewing up some monsteriffic eats in the kitchen.  Tonight it’s a Frankenstein salad with Piggie Pot Pies, aka KFC’s “I’ll take TWO chicken pot pies.”  Yep, fall is most definitely the favorite season.  And although we look forward to our beach goin, slip-n-slidin, popsicle eatin, swimsuit wearin summer, it’s the 100  + temps and looming hurricane watches we dread. 
On A funny
Later that evening sitting at our monster motif dinner table, came a comment from the Peanut Gallery!   My middle nut child, “Ever wondered why the post office logo is like a book?”  Little Reader response, “Duh - it’s how people got books before libraries were born.”  The eldest child response, “This is mom’s doing with her crazy obsession with books.”  I’m not obsessed with books… hey let’s decorate the kitchen with the Little Red Hen or better yet, The Blueberry Pie Elf theme.  We could even expand book themes beyond the kitchen.  Okay, so I’m going to have to work on them on this one. 
See it’s a book!  

Lil’ Monster Reads

Brave Little Monster
By Baker, Ken

Afraid of things that go bump in the night!  One little monster can’t sleep because he’s terrified of the “evil” human children.   What could be more frightening than a little girl eating ice cream in your closet or a little boy coloring under your bed?  Cute, humorous, backwards read, that’s Little Reader approved.

If You’re a Monster and you Know It
By Emberley, Rebecca

Your little monster will love this, "If You're Happy And You Know It" whimsical picture book.   A “wiggle your warts” jamboree for younger readers with great re-read value.  “Can we read it again X 3?” - Little Reader  Mamma’s all monstered out.

Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli
By Hicks, Barbara

Any picky eaters in the house?  Like me, would you turn to a picture book for answers on how to get hem to eat their vegetables?  Stories need not be preachy, but fun, catchy, playful, with a bit of unnatural, or for a better word unusual.  Barbara Hicks does this with tractor eating monsters that refuse to eat their broccoli.    But as the story evolves, they become good little monsters.  A blue book best! 

Monster Goose
By Sierra, Judy

This funny but scary Mother Goose “spoof” keeps resurfacing at the library.  With stories like Mary Has a Little Bat and Werewolf Bo Peep, who wouldn’t want to re-visit these twisted tales over and over?   Probably wont get through all the rhymes in one sitting, we broke them up over a few days. 

By Stein, Mathilde

Mom’s aren’t supposed to invite monsters over for a sleepover, but what’s a boy to do with a mom that welcomes under the bed visitors?  A classic monster under the bed tale, with an ending that will have you cheering for one creeped out little pig.

The Not Too Scary Tales  

Piggie Pie
Palatini, Margie

Gritch the Witch needs eight plump piggies for her piggy pie.   And what a better place to find them than Old MacDonald's Farm.   But these clever piglets quickly disguise themselves to escape their pie demise.  Little Reader loved my scary witch voice and has put in a request for a piggy pot pie dinner.  Agreed, this scary silly read calls for KFC chicken pot pies! 

Skelly & Femur
By Pickering, Jimmy

A little bit of Tim Burton here.  Things begin missing in Skelly’s house, that is until they hear a noise in the attic.  We enjoyed the book all the way up until the end…  “A cheese machine?”  Little Reader I’m also confused by the ending, but at least we got a few skelly and ghostly giggles along the way. 

Creepy Things Are Scaring Me
By Pumphrey, Jerome

Do creepy things come out when the lights go out?  “Not for real monsters, just the ones that come inside our heads.” the Little Reader response. What an answer from such a little girl!  But in this story, one little boy isn’t convinced there’s no such thing as monsters.  A warm playful story reminding us that nighttime shadows are nothing to fear. 

What’s In the P’s?

The Very Ugly Bug
By Pichon, Liz

With its stupendous eye-catching pictures, this was the first read out of the bag.   An unattractive bug goes on a quest to conform, but discovers her uniqueness is her best asset.  A blue book best celebration of ugly!  But in compliance with Little Reader, that “croaks” (roaches) are the most grotesque creatures and we will not celebrate their ugliness.

By Prap, Lila

A delightful “daddy” read!  What do hippos, snails, and owls have in common?  They all have Daddies!  A rhyming cuddle time read that had Little Reader interrupting her dad, “Hey you do that to!”



Ever wondered why zebras are black and white or why lions have manes? For inquiring minds, this silly and factual book puts animal misconceptions to rest, fourteen to be exact. You may also want to break this one down into a couple reads.
Animals Speak

What do animals say in other languages, is what’s asked in this innovated picture book.  With a look across the globe, how does a pig sound?  The answer and many more can be found as Prap highlights many different species and languages.  Good idea, but would like to hear a story about different animals trying to understand one another.  Yes, I should write this! 
I’ve heard that birds have different dialects or sound pitches indigenous to where they live. Not sure if there’s any validity to this, it’s from the mouth of one of my nut-job university professors, but interesting nonetheless.

Patricia von Pleasantsquirrel
By Proimos, James

An odd story about a princess, Patricia von Pleasantsquirrel on a search for her princessdom.  Don’t let the great name and purple hippos fool you.  How did this disjointed text seriously get on the shelf?

Some of our new and a Blueberry Elf book to.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sink your Teeth Into This

Dental romps, a tiny visitor, a pink tooth pillow, and a fairytastic new book is how we celebrated the loss of Little Reader’s first wiggly tooth.  And today we have another wobbler, but yet we’ve already romped all the tooth reads.  I’m surprised how few really good books I could find on tooth fairies but thanks to my new favorite place, (Amazon) I’m filling in the caps -  I mean gaps.

A stormy twister mess also came to visit last evening knocking down trees, fences, mailboxes, and like Charlie McButton left us without power and unplugged.  At least the kids enjoyed their day off boogie boarding in the front yard.  But not to worry, the garden is somewhat still intact.  Will clean it out today and map out where we are going to add on. 

Thinking about an everything blue garden. And on my search for blue things, I found the strangest plant, which sent me on a most unusual garden tangent.   I can’t elaborate just yet!  (See Contest Below)   This garden is giving me so many wonderful writing ideas, just need to get them down before I forget them all.  In fact one of my favorite romps is about a … What, you thought I was gonna give away the answer!
So I just ordered the seeds for this odd, rather phallic, not so typical, hot weather garden plant. I will send a package of seeds to whoever can guess this first.  What am I?  

Friday’s the big day!  What could be more exciting than drilling and filling on a root canal?  Not my idea of toothy fun, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  It’s my B-Day tomorrow and Little Reader has assured me a Coraline garden surprise. “Hey she has the same name and blue hair – and you love the color blue.” Although, it’s actually Caroline, I remain polite when people call me Coraline.

This is one of the best movies, and I just received a copy of Coraline, by Neil Gaiman thanks to one of my readers.  Wonder how I could replicate a garden like this?  My next blog: Caroline Makes Coraline’s Garden.  

Tooth Pics
Yes, the tooth fairy is an avid reader.

Mabel the Tooth Fairy and How She Got Her Job
By Davis, Katie

Floss before reading.  So how did this whole tooth fairy thing come in to play anyway?  Believe it or not, she was once just an ordinary fairy with dental problems.   And thank goodness she turned things around, becoming the world-famous Tooth Fairy. How?  Well, the answer can be found at your local library.  Light-hearted intentions, encouraging brushing teeth.  “Mama, what do vampires use to brush their teeth?"  Little Reader
I think this is a joke, but I don’t have the answer.

Dear Tooth Fairy
By Durant, Alan

This adorable, PINK, interactive book guarantees pearly white smiles with its pull out letters, charts, and a coin from the tooth fairy. Written in dialogue, a little girl worried about her tooth gets encouragement from the tooth fairy through letters.  This was a gift from our fairy visitor, and Little Reader wants to know what kinds of books she gives to boys.   A best first loose tooth story for girls.

The Tooth Tree
By Heller, Nicholas

An imaginative story about not believing in the tooth fairy. When Charlie didn’t believe, he buried his tooth in the backyard to see what would happen. And just like in Jack and his magic bean, a gigantic snake tree grows and begins devouring all his things.  But thanks to the checkered shirt tooth fairy, all is saved.   A lot of tooth fairy books are geared towards little girls, and this one is a better boy read. 

Nice Try Tooth Fairy
By Olson, Mary

When a little girl wants her tooth back to show her grandpa, the silly tooth fairy can’t seem to get back the right tooth.  No those teeth belong to a hippo, elephant, alligator!   Will she ever find the right one?

The Tooth Fairy Meets El Raton Perez
By Laínez, René Colato

A Spanish tooth fairytale twist.  Who took the tooth from under Miguelito's pillow, the tooth fairy or El Raton?   I’m usually not a fan of multicultural books, but the concept of team work and friendship comes together impressively in this vibrant colored story.  Though, not a Little Reader favorite.

Sweet Tooth
By Palatini, Margie

Stewart wants to eat healthy, however his sinister confection craving tooth wants nothing but sweets…cookies, candy, cake.  But when the tooth falls out, it becomes the tooth fairy's problem.   “Today my loose tooth is an IHOP tooth, and it wants pancakes.” - Little Reader

Gone With the Wand
By Palatini, Margie

Bernice Sparklestein’s wand has fizzled, so now what will become of this fairy Godmother?  Thanks to her zany BFF’s Edith B. Cuspid and Tooth Fairy Second Class, she finds her magical powers again.  Little Reader not a hit, but recommend this for older elementary readers due to word choice and length.  

Tooth Be Told,
The not so good romps

Sparkley the Tooth Fairy
By Casey, Mary

Martin and the Tooth Fairy
By Chardiet, Bernice

Toyin Fay
By Wilkins, Verna Allette
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Julia, My six word story, & Then Some

Spent the morning with a Lassi and the book Julie and Julia, by Julie Powell.  Not with the adorable Lassie collie we loved so much, but a refreshing yogurt-pistachio smoothie -   Thanks Lucinda ●  Back to the book, wow look at the similarities of what Julie did to what I’m doing!   Well, kinda!  She worked her way through Julia Child's, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by cooking all 524 recipes and blogging about this feat. And I’m working my way though the Bell Whittington Library by reading all 4,513 children’s books, and also blogging along the way.  Yes, it’s a story about finding sanity in structure, but her self- indulged, repetitious hatred for conservative family values, and crude approach is completely opposite to myself.   Your right, I wouldn’t want to be stuck sitting next to her going anywhere.  So I’m not boning a duck this evening, but maybe lobster tails! 

The one and only Julia Child.
What an amazingly unique person she was!  

And lest we forget, it’s National Library Week!  SB made a sweet treat and Little Reader a thank you picture to celebrate our library. I also submitted a six word story at http://atyourlibrary.org/.
"Romping the library changes the scenery." - CR

Marvelous M Romps & Then Some
Sort It Out
By Mariconda, Barbara

Hence the title, a little mouse sorts his treasures into different categories at the end of each day.  A cute Children’s Choice Award filled with playful pictures, rhyming riddles, and activities at the end.  A great re-read and plans for a stuffed animal sort are underway.

The Monster Returns
By McCarty, Peter

This sequel to “Jeremy Draws a Monster” is all about imagination and friendship.  Just when Jeremy thought he got rid of the monster forever, "The Monster Returns!"  But not to fear, he knows just what to do with his drawings that come to life.   A delightful & surprise ending.
I seemed to follow the story more, with Little Reader giving more attention to what kind of monster picture she was going to draw later.  “Let’s make scary monsters for our garden.  Mine pink, yours blue!” 
Inside the Tortoise Shell
By Mondy, H. Carter

Ever wondered what goes on inside a tortoise’s shell? See for yourself inside this imaginative turtle world.  Engagingly poetic, eye-popping, bringing giggles to all.  Little Reader saw the impossible logistics of this and thinks being a turtle would be boring.

Dragon Pizzeria

By Morgan, Mary

What child doesn’t love pizza, dragons, and fairytales?   A creative story where two dragons decide to open up a pizzeria and deliver to various nursery and fairytale characters in fairytale land.  Fun to read and match the different fairy tales to their pizza toppings.

The Boy Who Was Raised By Librarians

By Morris, Carla

I can relate to spending so much time at the library as a young child, that you might say it was my second home.   To Melvin, his quest for knowledge takes him to the library everyday where three librarians Marge, Betty, and Leeola are always there to help and inspire.  Best quote, “He wanted to know a little...no...alot about everything. He was curious. And the library is a wonderful place to be if a person is curious.” A most enjoyable read and I’m going to inquire with the library if they’d let Little Reader and I sleep over. 

& Then Some

Sunday Chutney
By Blabey, Aaron

The eccentric Chutney is always moving around the world following her Dad’s jobs.  But despite her transient life, she’s positive, confident, and good at making new friends, though she admits to sometimes being a little lonely.  I can’t put my finger on what bothers me about this book. Perhaps it’s the choice of words or a deliberate oddness that seems forced. 

But not to end on this note!  “What is chutney?” - Little Reader
And looking for a six year old answer, guess what popped up on the Kindle? Coconut-Cilantro Chutney & Shrimp Masala. And after a quick trip to HEB and two hours in the kitchen my best meal yet evolved. Delish & yummy!  Though my side kick turned up her nose to this Indian faire, and chose a Happy Meal with ketchup chutney instead. 

When Charlie McButton Lost Power
By Collins, Suzanne

I had no idea that Little Reader and the teenagers were reading books by the same author. Suzanne Collins wrote a picture book before the Hunger Games.  A rhyming tale about being unplugged, not by choice and learning the joy of make-believe play.   I admit going on a “mad quest for batteries” once or twice, but were still stickin’ to our make-believe world.

Nostalgic fun, something new, and a little blue

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