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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Oh, The Places We Want To Go!

Time has gotten away from me once again, Agh! It seems the closer we get to summer the busier things get.  When taking a break from working on my book series, kid activities, library romping, and backyard renovation I’ve perused the blog world.   Found it would be a lot more interesting if I were to start posting while camel trekking the Merzouga Desert, husky sledding in Lapland, or drinking vodka in an ice bar.  Seriously, when do people have the time, and not to mention the money to do this?  I guess if I wasn’t married with four kids, then perhaps.   I do travel to unimaginable places everyday, that’s in between the pages I’m speaking of.  No baggage claim or passports needed, just finding quiet moments in the day to quickly jet set off to some exotic local.   That’s all I need, well that and a finished backyard oasis to get me there. 

Is there that one place you have always dreamt of going?  For me, it's Japan and hope to have the experience of living there for a while someday. Where else where do you find bullet trains, sidewalk vending machines, crazy fashion, Zen gardens, high tech toilets, and don’t forget Sake?   This would make an awesome blog as I post from the pic above @ the Picture Book Library in Iwaki City, Japan.  There's no mention of husband here because he doesn't share my fascination with Asian culture.   This would be along the line of one of those Eat Pray Love adventures!
Back to the here and now.  Couldn’t be more happier that Easter is upon us and so is the end of the school year ;-)  Not to mention my Birthday is Easter Sunday, who has a baby on Easter?  We’ve romped and read all the bunny books out of the library over the last couple years so not reading Bunny books this time around.  I did manage to find a couple older kid Easter books and waiting for Amazon to come knocking.  The praying mantises should be arriving any day as well as our Atlantic Dill Pumpkin & Jack in the Bean Stalk Seeds  Maybe the praying mantis will hatch in route and greet the postal workers?  Okay I’ve been reading too many Judy Blume books this week.  Did you know their called praying mantises because their legs are positioned like they are praying?  And did you know the females often bite the heads off and eat the males after mating?  Ha, there’s a morning thought for you…  Okay, moving on. 

Most excitingly I have two completed children's books, and that makes it an official series :-)  Still hammering out the art work, but I’m just cranking them out.  My writing mind is on overdrive.  Can not wait for you to meet this amazing girl and you guessed it, it’s full of library adventure! 

Our Eric Kimmel Romps
Hear a story
Cactus Soup

This folktale where hungry travelers persuade the locals to share their resources is found throughout the world, but told in different variations. Cactus Soup is a Spanish version which takes place during the Mexican Revolution depicting cooperation and generosity.  Not as good as the other versions we’ve read, probably because were not big on Spanish language intermixed reads. 

I’m one for trying new and interesting foods, but until now never thought about cactus soup.  Our local HEB carries cacti in the produce section and the curiosity has got me.  We are going to make cactus soup!

Little Britches And The Rattlers
By Kimmel, Eric


You’ll find trickery cowgirls, rattlesnakes, Texas, and rodeos in this retelling of Little Black Sambo.  A hilarious tale where Cowgirl Little Britches is stopped by a rattle snake while headed for the rodeo, and is told she’s going to be ‘swallered’ up!  Will she make it to the rodeo and what about getting her clothes back from the rattler? 
In case you were wondering, Little Black Sambo was a popular but controversial book dating back to the 1920s.
The Adventures of Hershel of Ostropol

Witty conversational style read about how a poor man, Hershel uses his cleverness to get by in life.  I’ve read how some dislike the message this sends as Hershel never faces the consequence of his actions.  To me this could be a great conversation starter to approach this, but I  found it to be an adventurous great bedtime story.  I should mention this was not a one evening read but over a course of three days because of its length…
The Great Texas Hamster Drive

Never can we turn down a western themed book, I’m a Texan.  Here’s a funny tall tale about Slue Foot Sal, Pecos Bill's daughter and a herd of hamsters.  What harm can two hamsters do?  Well, when they multiply into the thousands a lot actually, and then it’s time for a hamster drive.  The word count above 1,500 may be too wordy for younger readers, but great for older cowboys and cowgirls.  
A Few Of The New

Extraordinary Jane
By Harrison, Hannah

Jane is an ordinary dog lacking the talent of his circus family.  As her owner tries to teach her new tricks, she soon realizes that Jane is perfectly extraordinary just the way she is.  Great tail, oops I mean tale with beautiful illustrations.  This new picture book author done good...  And yes, we are all special in our own way. 
By Heder, Thyra

Great story about family and how they rally together to help Little T overcome her fear of zoos.  The family tries to figure out what she’s afraid of by dressing up as different animals, which the pictures alphabetically take you through.  “This is an alphabet book for big readers like me!” - Little Reader.  She loved reading the pictures to guess the animals.  Plain and simple fun at its best. 
The Bad Birthday Idea
By Valentine, Madeline
As children we did not always get what we wanted, but did you ever go as far as this brother did?  All Alice ever wanted was for her big brother to play with her and what a better way than to ask for the birthday present that he wants.  But things get pretty bad for big brother Ben when the gift arrives, that is until he discovers what’s most important between brothers and sisters.  Perfect sibling rivalry read.  Watch The Trailer
Book Fair News: Aside from the Mind craft books, my reader found a new book series that’s become a new favorite.  Does anyone else manage to spend 65$ at these fairs?
Kiki: My Stylish Life
By Kyla May
It’s the tweenish cute diary-style that brought this into the purchase pile at the school book fair.    This book is part of the Lotus Lane Series and is all about fashion and BFF fun.  (With a new acronym on each page I’m glad they specified what they meant!)  Kiki lives on Lotus Lane and with her friends started a club, LLGC where they do girly makeovers, doggy pampering, and cupcake baking.  The doodles make it a quick read, but this is a great bridge from picture books to more fluent reader texts. 
Others will be diving into this week.      

http://www.amazon.com/Lotus-Lane-Coco-Delicious-Branches/dp/0545445140/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397579856&sr=1-1&keywords=coco       http://www.amazon.com/Lotus-Lane-Lulu-Glamorous-Branches/dp/0545445167/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1397579910&sr=1-5&keywords=lulu       http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0545445191/ref=s9_simh_se_p14_d0_i4?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=auto-no-results-center-1&pf_rd_r=0RRE408QVMGDYXJYNX4W&pf_rd_t=301&pf_rd_p=1263465782&pf_rd_i=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FLotus-Lane-Lulu-Glamorous-Branches%2Fdp%2F0545445167%2Fref%3Dsr_1_5%3Fs%3Dbooks%26ie%3DUTF8%26qid%3D1397579910%26sr%3D1-5%26keywords%3Dlulu 
I wanted to leave you with this amazing video for Easter.  This amazing love story is what it’s all about!   This 18 minutes could change your life or make a difference in someone else’s life.   Make it a family watch!
If you want to hunt tigers...you have to go where tigers are.
- Author Unknown
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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!
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.”
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