Saturday, June 30, 2007

Reading with Babies, Toddlers and Twos

What a fun find!! I am always looking for ideas for moms with younger children and this is SUPER!! Reading with Babies, Toddlers, and Twos by Susan Straub is an excellent book that gives parents ideas of books and activities to do with their young children. She has chapters like: Choosing the best books for your baby or toddler, Reading Aloud ~Making it Up, Making Reading "Sensational", Nursery Rhymes~Poetry~Songs~Finger Play, and a lot more! What a great book to use as a guide for "choosing, reading and loving books together"!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Baptism

Where have I been?? I have not heard of Shelia Moses before but this book was wonderful!! The Baptism is about a twelve year old boy living in the back hills of North Carolina. Now that he is twelve, both he and his twin, need to be baptized. SO - they are going to sin all they can the week leading up to the baptism to get it all out of their systems!!! I love the whole idea, as I'm sure that's how many 12 year olds view this "rite of passage". But I also liked the way Moses gives you a very good feel for how the blacks lived in that time period - having just come out of slavery. It is a fast read, as it only covers the week before they are baptized, but what a week it is!!! I WILL be reading more Shelia Moses!!

Big Bug Surprise

Remember THIS post??? Julia Gran is WONDERFUL!!! Her new book, Big Bug Surprise, leaves adults and kids chuckling - and you CAN'T BEAT that!!! Prunella knows EVERYTHING about bugs but no one wants to listen....until a swarm of bees invades the classroom and Prunella is the only one that knows how to get rid of them!!! It's hilarious and OH SO CUTE - the illustrations are superb!!!! This is one of my new favorites!


AND - don't miss Julia's website - it's a treat!!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I Love it When You Smile

Sam McBratney has done it again!!! I Love it When you Smile is a wonderful read for kids. Little Roo is not having a good day and Mother Kangaroo is trying everything she can to change that AND see Little Roo smile. What will make Little Roo smile??? You have to read it to find out!! I read it to my 2 year old and by the end, even she was smiling!! It's a great read!

Book Crush

Nancy Pearl, a librarian, has written a great book that helps parents, teachers, and even kids, themselves, find book suggestions on topics or themes. When I first cracked open Book Crush, I thought it was a wonderful idea! It is broken up into three sections, Easy Books, Middle Grades, and Young Adult. Then, within those sections, you can choose genres that you most like to read or a topic that sounds interesting and Pearl makes suggestions on those topics. A great reference tool!!! Perfect for the teacher or parent that asks for suggestions of what their child/student may like to read.

Austenland

Shannon Hale is a teen author that I thoroughly enjoy - Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets... so when I saw her adult novel, Austenland, was coming out - I was the first one with my name on it!! AND - she didn't disappoint!! This was such a fun novel!! (Of course, it doesn't hurt that I am a HUGE Jane Austen fan too!) The main character, Jane, gets a trip to Austenland, as a gift. Austenland is a resort where people go to re-enact and live out life in the time frame of Austen's novels. It's such a fun idea - they have to dress, eat, and act like they are living in that time period. Jane is skeptical, but secretly wishes to find her "Mr. Darcy". After spending three weeks in Austenland, Jane must decide which man, if any, are her Mr. Darcy. It was a fun novel - fast paced and entertaining!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Mistress's Daughter

I started reading A. M. Homes' The Mistress's Daughter because I had heard it was about adoption - that gets me hooked every time!! And it is - the author is born to a mistress and is given up for adoption - it is not until much later in the author's life that her biological mother contacts her and thus begins the search for more information regarding her father, mother, and extended family. I thought that the insight that Homes gives to those that are adopted was wonderful - I enjoyed reading how it felt for her, being adopted. My favorite quote:


To be adopted is to be adapted, to be amputated and sewn back together again. Whether or not you regain full function, there will always be scar tissue.

However, that was about all that interested me in this book. The main portion of the book was spent on Homes finding information on her past, and frankly, less of that would have been enough for me. People very interested in genealogy may find this much more interesting, but it just didn't keep me going. I did finish the book, but it sure seemed to drag for me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Nineteen Minutes

Just finished up one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult. Her latest book Nineteen Minutes is all based on a school shooting. I think it is relevant for our time - AND relevant because I think it is such a real problem when kids that are picked on incessantly, and consequently, struggle with feeling not worth anything! I so felt for Peter in this story - the boy that was teased, taunted, physically hurt, and it all started right off in Kindergarten when his brand new lunch box was thrown out the bus window EVERY WEEK. I hate kids picking on other kids - I absolutely HATE it, but they do - they choose a weak or "different" child and that picking goes on constantly - I saw it and I still see it. So - that's the story - one child so ostracized that he takes to a shooting rampage in his school as his greatest act of revenge. The only thing I didn't like about the book??? It is over 400 pages - when I get to the end of a 400 page book, I want it to feel worth it - this one seemed to rush at the end, throw in a "somewhat" convincing ending, and be done. I'm still not sure that what happened had any strong "reason" for happening ~ it just wasn't convincing enough. I do love Picoult for her twists and turns though - she is great at that!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Library Elf

Once in awhile you just see something that is SO good that you just can't help but pass it along!!! SO - here it is!!! Library Elf is a great idea for library users - you go and create your free account (well first see if your library is listed - if not, just see if they can add it!!!) then start listing all of your family's library cards. THEN, they will send you emails whenever items are due, overdue, or if you have a hold ready. HOW CLEVER IS THAT?!?!? I just couldn't stand it and wanted to share it with all of you!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

My Cat Copies Me

The new favorite picture book at our house??? This is it!!! My Cat Copies Me by Yoon D. Kwon. First of all - who would not love this adorable asian girl and her very clever kitty!?!? But beyond that - we are having fun watching the little girl think of things for the cat to copy and the cat think of things for the little girl to copy. Hmmm - makes us wonder if our cat copies us!?!?! Very cute and sure to be a winner!!

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Wednesday Wars

Gary Schmidt has done it again - The Wednesday Wars is a superb read!! I think I slowed WAY down at the end just so it wouldn't end!! Holling Hoodhood is a seventh-grader that you just can't help but love. He has all the hard knocks a seventh grader could have and yet comes out on top!! He is a class act - he learns to enjoy Shakespeare AND can wear yellow tights with feathers on the butt and still show his face in school the next day. All set in the backdrop of the Vietnam War. That is what I love about Schmidt - you are transported back just by reading his novels. He is a wonderful author and I fall in love with his characters every time! If you haven't read it already - Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy is another of Schmidt's novels that makes my top favorite list!

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