Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in review

Here are a few things I did this year:
1.  Made 5 can see pictures here, here, here, here, and here
2.  Bought an iPod.  I have had it since July and the verdict is still out.  I use it mostly to listen to music.
3.  Learned how to swim, thanks to my friend Greta
4.  Hosted Camp Clair
5.  Completely read 67 books (this includes novels and adult nonfiction but ...not children's picture books)
The ones I would highly recommend include The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, Gifted Hands, In the Land of Blue Burqas, How Children Succeed, Unseduced and Unshaken by Rosalie de Rosset, Heidi, and Lit!
6.  Bought a state park sticker and have been exploring Minnesota

What did you do in 2012?  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Children's Book-A-Day Almanac

I picked up Children's Book-A-Day Almanac by Anita Silvey at the library and it is a goldmine of information about children's literature.  For each day of the year, Silvey chose a book to write about.  Some are classics-The Hobbit, Goodnight Moon, and Pippi Longstocking.  Others are more recent-Duck on a Bike, Esperanza Rising, and Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.  She includes a summary of the book and interesting facts about the author or book.  After looking through it this afternoon, I  made a list of more than a dozen books that I have not heard of and will look for at my library.  I recommend this book for any teacher, librarian, or parent looking for new books to share with children.     

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

give a book

Not done shopping for every one yet?  Don't know what to give this year for Christmas?  No matter who you buy for, a book makes a great gift.  You might think that it wouldn't be a gift for everyone as everyone isn't a reader.  But even reluctant readers (adults and children) find value in books when the topic is relevant.  Here are a few recommendations for a variety of ages and reasons.
Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones is a new picture book with brief rhyming text and wonderful pictures.  This book is short enough for a preschooler but a good story for older children too.  It would make a nice addition to any family's collection of Christmas books.
Animal Tracks of Minnesota and Wisconsin by Ian Sheldon would be a good book for children and teenagers interested in the outdoors.  The book shows what different animals tracks look like and the size.  The illustrations are realistic drawings, but are not in color.   
Critters of Minnesota Pocket Guide is another book about animals.  This small book has information about each animal alond with a color photograph.  This book would is good for anyone from ten and older. 
Paper Made! by Kayte Terry is a book for a crafter.  Anyone who likes making things with paper would like this.  There are ideas in here for making books, decorations, and gifts of all kinds from paper.  I made a wallet out of Tyvek with the directions in this book.

If you need more ideas, click on any of the titles listed below to see what I wrote about these books. 

Nonfiction for Adults
Gifted Hands by Ben Carson
Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison
The Veggie Gardener's Answer Book by Barbara Ellis

Novels for Adults
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club by Wanda Brunstetter

Novels for Children or Adults
Charlottle's Web by E. B. White
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Picture books
Penny and Her Doll by Kevin Henkes
Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke is a book I read recently.  If you like or don't like to read, this book is written for you.  It isn't long (less than two hundred pages) and is divided into two parts-A Theology of Books and Reading, and Some Practical Advice on Book Reading.  The first part is a compelling argument for reading books.  Of course, if you like to read, that would not be necessary but is still worthwhile.  I never thought about books and theology as linked unless a person was talking specifically about the Bible.  The second part is good for both avid readers and those who find reading a chore.  Topics covered include the benefits of reading fiction, reading together, and raising readers.  If you are not a reader, I suggest reading at least the first part to consider why a person should read books.