Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond is the newest book by the popular duo. Written in the same style as the other books, Mouse wants more than what he has and continues to ask for one more thing. I enjoyed this story more than If You Give a Cat a Cupcake or If You Give a Dog a Donut. For those of you who liked the other books or have children who do, this is worth picking up at the library or the bookstore.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
Long Way Gone is Charles Martin's newest book. It is the story of Cooper O'Connor, a gifted musician and a prodigal. Cooper is 18 when he leaves his father behind and goes to Nashville with hopes to make it big. Nothing turns out as he planned. The day he meets Daley Cross is the day his life changes, though that too, is temporary. This is a compelling story told from Cooper's point of view more than twenty years after the day he left home. The characters are well developed and seem like real people. The story of how difficult it is for a prodigal to go home was portrayed realistically. I did not enjoy this book as much as I did Water From My Heart, also by Martin, but it is worthwhile read and would be a good book club choice.
Friday, November 25, 2016
Jennifer Richard Jacobson the other day at the library. The story is told by eleven year old Ari. She and her brother Gage lived with Janna as their guardian. Gage is a nineteen year old who didn't want to live with Janna anymore, so Gage and Ari leave. But Gage doesn't have a job or a place to live, so they depend on friends. It seems like a realistic view of the difficulties of being homeless and trying to continue living a normal life. This book would be good to read and discuss with middle school or high school students. Though classified as juvenile literature, it is worth reading for anyone who works in a school system or with young people.
Saturday, November 19, 2016
So I made a few other things, including this placemat that uses Good Neighbors fabric from Connecting Threads. The back is some cute bunny fabric and scraps from my sister's stash. When I finished, I decided that I liked the back better than the front.
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Joan Hiatt Harlow is a novel which takes place in Chicago the week before the well-known fire of 1871. Poppy and Justin are about as different as can be but become good friends. Twelve year old Poppy survives by stealing. Justin is the son of a wealthy jeweler. Justin's family, especially his father, do not trust Poppy and a mistake made by Justin just makes it worse. This book is from the juvenile section of the library but I would not recommend it for younger children because of the themes of extreme poverty and mistreatment by adults. It would bring up some good themes for older students to discuss among themselves or with adults, though.
Monday, October 24, 2016
One thing I have done to make gift giving easier is to have a set thing to give to people on certain occasions. Gift giving for can be simplified by making part of the choice ahead of time. For baby showers, I almost always give some handmade bibs and a children's board books. For wedding showers, I make some potholders to give along with some custard cups with lids. The gifts can be personalized for the recipient, but much of the decision is done long before the need for the gift.
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Museum Day Live is next Saturday, September 24. Sponsored by the Smithsonian, you can get two free admission tickets to a participating museum. A few years ago, my Dad and brother took advantage of the promotion to go to the Mille Lacs Indian Museum in Onamia. I had not been there since I was in grade school, so it was worth going again. This year I am looking at the options of museums to decide where I want to visit. If you are interested in finding out which museums are participating near you, click here to go to the website. You can then put in your state or zip code to see what your choices are.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
My first completed quilt of the year. Finishing the quilt was one of my summer goals, so I pulled it out last week and got the binding done on Sunday. The warm colors contrasted with white ended up to be a winning combination. I haven't been quilting much in the last couple of years, so this one is a keeper to add to my personal collection. It should get some use this fall and winter.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Adam Rex and illustrated by Christian Robinson is a book just in time for the start of school. This book tells about the first day of school from a school's perspective. School has never had students in him before, so when the students arrive, he experiences all sorts of new things including shy students, lunch, and a fire drill. This is a good story to share with all ages of children who are going back to school, although it does not replace my favorite book for this season, First Day Jitters.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Pat Zietlow Miller is a book many children would enjoy. Sophie has two friends, Bonnie and Baxter, who are squash. She loves taking them everywhere, including to her first day of school. Since she already has two friends, she is not sure she needs to make any friends with her new classmates. By the end of the story, Sophie finds that other children can make good friends, too. This book can be read without reading the first one, Sophie's Squash, but if you can find both at your library, I would check them out together.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Friday, July 15, 2016
Tom Percival is the second book about friends Herman and Henry. Herman and Henry decide it is time to go on vacation. Since they do not have a lot of money, they end up going camping. Herman thinks it is great, while Henry finds it challenging. When Herman realizes this, he figures how to make it better for Henry so they can both enjoy the vacation. Like Herman's Letter, there are lift the flap notes. This is a good book to share with children this summer about friendship and camping.
Saturday, July 2, 2016
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
In April I stopped by a state park and found out that this year is the 125th anniversary of Minnesota State Parks. To commemorate that, the parks have created a program to encourage using the trails. Individuals can try to bike, boat, or hike 125 miles in state parks or state trails this year. So far I am at 15 miles, all hiking. I hope to do some biking and canoeing, too. So far, I have been to some of the closer parks...Charles Lindbergh, Lake Carlos, and Sibley. I hope to get to Fort Snelling, Lake Itasca, Lake Maria, and Crow Wing parks soon. Click here to see more information about the program.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Whose Hands Are These? by Miranda Paul is a new book I got from the library this week. It is a book that I think most preschoolers or early elementary children would enjoy. There are pictures and descriptions of 11 different jobs. Children can listen to the words and look at the pictures to try to guess which job is being described. I plan to remember this book and share it with my kindergarten and first grade students next year. It reminds me some of Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do, but has a higher level vocabulary.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
A few years ago, I read an article about artist trading cards. They are mini works of art. On the back, you can write your name and the date. The cards are a way to show and trade your art. This is an activity I do some with my nieces and nephews. If you want to make your own cards, or get started on it with your children, all you need is two and a half inch by three and a half inch pieces of cardstock and some markers, crayons or colored pencils. I cut my own, but you can also buy pre-cut cards at art stores. This could be an unending summer project for your kids, or a fun activity to sit down and do as a family from time to time.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Charles Martin is the book I read this week instead of sewing, sleeping, and gardening. Charlie Finn is living an easy life in Bimini when everything changes. He is catapulted into a situation where he wants to help his good friend's son, but it isn't easy. Along the way, Charlie ends up in Nicaragua where things from his past show up in the lives of people he has begun to care for. This story of love and redemption is worth reading if you can put up with a somewhat lengthy introduction. There are plenty of themes in this book worth discussing with a friend or a group. Like many of his other books, it would likely make a good movie as well.
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Several weeks ago I got a Vivofit 2 through a wellness program at school. Since I walk to and from school most days, I was curious about what kind of numbers I would get on it. The days I do walk to and from school, I get about 12,000 steps in a day. Right now I am at over that already, and there is still more walking on the agenda. Do you have an step tracker? What is your average?
Monday, April 25, 2016
Jane Cabrera is a new take on the old nursery rhyme. The Old Woman has 10 children and 5 pets. The story tells about her feeding them, getting them places, mending clothes, fixing furniture, and loving them. I enjoyed the pictures and the new take of the adept and frugal Old Woman. It is simple enough to keep a preschooler's interest, but interesting enough to share with older children as well.
Monday, April 11, 2016
Lizzy Rockwell is a book to share with preschoolers or young elementary children. Rockwell writes and shows the different parts of plants that people eat. Like Lois Ehlert, she labels each plant that is shown in the pictures so the reader can know exactly what it is. This book is for beginning readers, and it is just right for a unit on vegetables or gardens.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Angela Dominguez is a picture book worth sharing with your children or students. Hugo is a bird who lives in Paris. He is afraid of flying, so when he meets a new friend, Lulu, who invites him to fly so he can see the Eiffel Tower, he creates excuses for why they cannot leave immediately. He procrastinates all day and when Lulu leaves at the end of the day, Hugo wonders what will happen. Bernard, an owl, teaches and encourages Hugo. When Lulu returns in the morning, Hugo is ready to go. I enjoyed the story as well as the pictures. Dominguez' work will be something I will keep a look out for when I am browsing children's books.
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Friday, February 26, 2016
Instead of looking for four prolific authors this year, I chose 44 of my favorite picture books and read those throughout the month. My students seemed to enjoy it just as well. What are your favorite picture books for kids?
Friday, February 19, 2016
Catherine Friend and illustrated by John Manders is a fun book. Jack the cat wants an egg so he can make an omelet. He decides to build a nest to attract a chicken which would result in getting the egg he wants. What Jack didn't count on was a chicken, a duck, and a goose all wanting the nest. Each lays an egg in the nest, but before Jack can figure out how to get the mothers off the eggs, they hatch. Children will probably enjoy this book because of the ironic ending...Jack ends up taking care of those three babies.
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Susan Meissner this week. In 1938, Audrey and Violet become roommates, then friends, while working in Hollywood. Both are looking for something more to their lives. As their friendship grows, they change in ways that neither of them could have guessed. The setting of the story also includes the filming of the movie Gone With the Wind, so if you are a fan of historical Hollywood or the movie, you would enjoy this story. I would not rank this as my favorite by Meissner, but it is worth reading and think it would be good for a book club, too.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Monday, January 25, 2016
Thursday, January 21, 2016
|Bryce Canyon National Park|
Another thing I noted while reading the information is that any fourth grade student in the US can get a free park pass for that school year. For information on that, see the website here.
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Friday, January 8, 2016
Eric Carle is a new book which could make the perfect gift for Valentine's Day. It is small (less than 6 inches by 7 inches) and brief. Each pair of pages has an illustration in classic Carle style along with a handful of words. It is an illustrated love letter written with metaphors. This is not going to replace my favorite Valentine's book (which is The Day it Rained Hearts), but I will definitely get this from the library each February to read to my students.