So You Want to be a Writer
*NEW* Treska Trivia - A Slice of Life
Treska feeling so grown up as she gets a manicure from Kevin.
A French manicure - no
Treska feeling so grown up as she gets a manicure from Kevin.
A French manicure - no less.
 
This is so cool.
This is so cool.
 
How do you like my new nails?
How do you like my new nails?
 
Off to the manicurist. But not just any manicure for Treska, she wanted a French manicure.
 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
fix-itduck61tae98+vrl._aa240_








Fix-It Duck (Board book)
Written and illustrated by Jez Alborough

Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Publishers
ISBN-13: 978-1933605302
$7.99
Ages: 1-8

Fix-It Duck is no ordinary duck. He means well, but whenever he is near—LOOK OUT! Bad luck seems to follow this duck. When a drop of water falls into Duck’s tea—that’s bad luck. When Sheep’s window won’t close—that’s bad luck. Sheep’s jeep’s flat tire is bad luck, too. But, when Sheep’s house rolls into the pond, that’s the toughest luck of all.

Fix-It Duck doesn’t seem to mind, though. He’s oblivious of the havoc he leaves in his wake. He’s a jolly guy and only wants to be of help to his pals. But a friend like Fix-It Duck can be a little hard on a friendship. Sheep, Goat, and Frog sit on the shore of the pond looking devastated as Fix-It Duck, with hammer in one hand and tool kit in the other, plunges into the water to fix Sheep’s upended, soggy mobile home, which is mobile no more! Thanks to Fix-It Duck!

With a simple drip of water in a teacup, a lot of duck bad luck, some funny rhyme and a brilliant palette, Jez Alborough created a very funny book. And though I love Fix-It Duck, if I ever see him heading to my house, I am going to pull my blinds and lock my door tight. Sorry Fix-It Duck! I’m calling Handy Andy, my favorite fixer-upper.

Look for a complete review of this book at Smartwriters

Read more...
 
My Family Album
My Little Sis, Suzanne
(aka) Sanner
My Little Sis, Suzanne
(aka) Sanner
 
My sister, San (Suzanne) and her husband, Rob.
My sister, Sanner (Suzanne) and her husband, Rob.

She's the baby in the family.
I wish she wouldn't keep getting so old.
Krystil and her husband, Mark
Krystil and her husband, Mark

This is my niece with a southern accent
. . . a real Southern Belle.
 
 
*NEW* Treska Trivia - A Slice of Life

HOP ON to the STATEN ISLAND FERRY

 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
63694





GORILLAS
Written by Meish Goldish

Publisher: Bearport Publishing Company
ISBN 13: 978-1-59716-369-9
ISBN 10: 1-59716-369-4
$23.96
Ages: 6-12



When I think of gorillas, I think of wild, jungle beasts. My guess is that most folks do, too. Gorillas are massive animals. Some males stand as high as six feet and weigh as much as six hundred pounds. That’s a lot of gorilla! Though gorillas are intimidatingly huge and look rather fierce, most gorillas are peaceful, non-aggressive animals, unless provoked, of course.

They live in the lowland rain forests or mountain cloud forests of central Africa. Gorillas live in family groupings much like humans and they are very social creatures. In Meish Goldish’s book, entitled Gorillas, you can learn so many facts. He tells how Diane Fossey, an American zoologist, studied gorillas for nearly eighteen years. She went right into the jungle and did just what the gorillas did. She scratched her head, beat her chest, made their sounds and even ate the same foods they ate . . . like leaves and twigs. Gorillas also eat rotten wood and small animals, but I bet that Fossey didn’t go that far. I know I wouldn’t . . . even in the name of science. But, she did gain their confidence, which allowed her to study these giant mammals.

Goldish tells how Binti Jua, a gorilla who lives in the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois, saved a three-year old child who fell into her cage. He tells how Bongo, a Columbus Ohio Zoo gorilla, grieved when his partner, Bridgette, died and how he cared for their young son, making the infant’s bed of hay each night. Goldish also writes about how Koko, a gorilla who lives in the San Francisco Zoo, learned sign language using (ASL) American Sign Language. She can sign more than 1,000 words and understands more than 2,000 words.

Say no more, Meish Goldish has convinced me that gorillas are intelligent, sensitive, and caring animals. But, he also frightened me. No, not of six hundred pounds of gorilla, but that the gorilla species has become endangered. There are only about 740 gorillas alive today. Now, that’s a scary thought! Poachers encroach upon gorilla habitats and capture and kill them for their meat, called bushmeat, and they use their body parts for souvenirs. That’s an even scarier thought.

You can see these gentle beasts in their natural habitat in the Bwindi Forest National Park in Uganda by booking one of their many safaris. If you can’t go in person, then click on Gorillas to view a video by Tanya Petersen to see gorillas doing what gorillas do. Me? I’ll be going to the Erie Zoo in a few weeks and heading straight to the gorilla exhibit to see Samantha—the Queen of the Zoo.

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
Read more...
 
My Family Album
 
*NEW* Treska Trivia - A Slice of Life
This is the Staten Island Ferry. 
The Staten Island Ferry is just about the 
only t
This is the Staten Island Ferry.
The Staten Island Ferry is just about the
only thing in life that is FREE.
I know! I KNOW! I could hardly believe it, too!
A few years ago it cost 50
 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
12263843





LOVE THE BABY
written by Steven L. Layne
illustrated by Ard Hoyt

Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.
ISBN: 1-58980-392-
$15.95
Ages: 0-5

                                       “Help me love the baby!” “Help me love the baby!”  Everybody said it. Mama said it. Papa said it. Even Nana said it. Can you believe Nana said it too? Little Rabbit was happy when Baby came home from the hospital. Who wouldn’t be? Little babies are pretty exciting, especially when you’ve waited for nine months for that little brother or sister to arrive. Most children think  - instant playmate! But when Baby came home from the hospital on that day that the flowers were blooming, Little Rabbit realized that the Baby was no playmate – no playmate at all! He couldn’t do anything - unless you counted crying. He did that plenty well. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, Mama and Papa and Nana, yes, even Nana, gave Baby all of their attention. So what would you expect? How could Little Rabbit love the baby? Jealousy abounded! Frustration swelled! Anger overwhelmed! His world turned upside down when his new baby brother arrived.

I’m the oldest of four younger siblings, so I am an expert on sibling rivalry. My world turned upside down four times, so I understand exactly how Little Rabbit was feeling. You would think I would have gotten used to it, but I didn’t – well . . . not until the last baby arrived. I was a lot older too, already thirteen, when my youngest sister, Sanner, came home from the hospital. I think my maternal instincts were in place by then and I loved having her around – still do! I think Little Rabbit’s tender instincts were aroused when late one night no one heard Baby crying – but he did. When he tiptoed into Baby’s room and tummy-tickled him just like Mama had tummy-tickled him when he was a baby, and when he sang the scrub-a-dub song to Baby and Baby sang along, and when Little Rabbit read his very favorite book to Baby and Baby fell softly to sleep, Little Rabbit knew he didn’t have to pretend anymore. Little Rabbit knew that he really did love the Baby! And what’s more – he knew Baby loved him, too.

Look for a complete review of this book at Smartwriters.com

Read more...
 
*NEW* Treska Trivia - A Slice of Life

This is a work in progress.
Treska visited us for two weeks and we did photo shoots everywhere.
You can expect to see a lot more here soon, but I wanted to open up the page before she went home.



So come back soon! Come back often!



There is a lot more to come. See you again!

 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
grandpa-book-cover


GRANDPA FOR SALE
written by Dotti Enderle and Vicki Sansum
illustrated by T. Kyle Gentry

Publisher: Flashlight Press
ISBN-13 9780972922586
ISBN-10 097292258X
$15.95
Ages 4-8

For five hundred dollars, Lizzie imagined the exquisite tree house she could buy. For one thousand dollars, she could buy a small boat with her own name engraved on both the front and the sides. Imagine -- the S. S. Lizzie!

As Mrs. Bradley Larchmont the Third raised her offer to buy Lizzie’s Grandpa, who was sleeping peacefully and unaware (or maybe not so unaware) on the old Louis XVI settee in Oldman’s Antique Store, Lizzie’s mind went crazy -- a new Lavender Dream Bedroom Set for five thousand dollars, her very own ice cream shop, with every flavor ever made, with chocolate chips, and sprinkles and hot fudge for ten thousand dollars. It was mighty tempting, but Lizzie said, “No Deal!”

As Mrs. Larchmont raised the money for Lizzie’s Grandpa, her offers became more and more difficult for Lizzie to refuse. Lizzie was torn as she imagined all she could buy with that money. But when, through gritted teeth, Mrs. Larchmont said her final offer was fifty thousand dollars, Lizzie dug in her heels and insisted that Grandpa was not for sale. After all, what fun would a tree house, a boat, or even an amusement park be without Grandpa there to enjoy it with her. I have to agree with Lizzie. There is no amount of money to replace a grandpa.

I remember when I was in college; I lived with my grandparents in McKeesport, Pennsylvania for two months, while I waited for a dorm room to open up. Although the commute was fifteen miles to Pittsburgh every day -- each way, via walking, bus, train, and then more walking, I loved it! It was a great time! Living with my grandparents was the best!  My grandpa, I called him Poppy, treated me like a princess. (So did my Gram!) There is nothing like a grandpa . . . and I have to say it again, “There is no amount of money to replace a grandpa,” . . . or a Poppy either.

In Grandpa For Sale written by authors, Dotti Enderle and Vicki Sansum and illustrated by T. Kyle Gentry, Mrs. Larchmont certainly figured out that Lizzie’s Grandpa was not for sale, but I can’t help but wonder if she ever realized that money cannot buy everything. It can’t buy health or friends. It can’t buy which way the wind blows, or when the sun shines. And as Paul McCartney and John Lennon and the Beatles sang so many years ago, “Money can't buy me love!” But the even greater music in Grandpa For Sale was the sound of the cash register on the last page when Lizzie pushed the big red button– Ding!  NO SALE!

HEY, did I see a twinkle in Grandpa’s eye?

Look for a complete review of this book at Smartwriters.com

Read more...
 
My Family Album
MISSING ZAC
September 14, 2007

Dear Holen,

 It is with much sadness I write this. I am so very, very sorry. Uncle David and I feel for you deeply. We only knew Zac for a short time, but we were happy that we did. Please know that we love you very much--always have! holen & zac

I know you are a strong young woman (jumping in your car and heading out to New Orleans to reconstruct the city after Katrina's devastation) and now you must be strong again to pick up the pieces of your own fractured and fragmented life and reconstruct them . . . over time. And, it will take time. Keep your fond memories of Zac close to your heart and near in your mind. They will help you through this unbearable and unbelievable time.

I was going to send flowers, but thought you might be able to use money instead. I did, however, buy a small bunch of red carnations, which I placed in front of my fireplace in Zac's memory. Though I was not able to come to California to be with you, I wanted a constant reminder of the nightmare that you are
zac experiencing. The carnations keep you in our constant memory. It's my little way of being a part of your life so far away.

If you ever want to talk or want to come stay with us for a while to help ease you over this huge hurdle in your life, please call me. You are welcome.

With so much love,

Aunt Donna & Uncle David

 
*NEW* Treska Trivia - A Slice of Life
Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid. Treska is a cool kid!
 
My Family Album
    
turkey
hthanks
 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
9781404831032




Harriet Tubman Hero of the Underground Railroad
written by Lori Mortensen
illustrated by Frances Moore

Picture Window Books
978-1-4048-3103-2
$17.95
Ages 5-9


Everyone loves a hero! Someone to look up to! Someone who can do superhuman things! Someone who accomplishes deeds that you wish you could!

Superman was a hero, a comic book hero, created by Siegel and Schuster in 1938. Mighty Mouse came on the scene only four years later, in 1942, with the imagination of I. Klein. Mighty Mouse’s refrain, "Here I come to save the day," brought hope to many a distressed cartoon character. As a child I loved Nancy Drew. She was my hero. I couldn’t get enough of her. She was self-confident. She was feisty. She was courageous and brave and honest and independent and strong. She wandered haunted mansions and traveled deep, dark tunnels to find truth; and I read every book I could l lay hand to. Rosa Parks was a hero in 1955. She changed the way our country viewed black people. Her refusal to give up her seat on a bus resulted in a Supreme Court ruling, which said that segregation on buses was unconstitutional.

Harriet Tubman was a hero, too, and Lori Mortensen and Frances Moore give readers a glimpse into her world as they depict the timeline of Harriet Tubman’s life in their very touching, yet poignant book titled, Harriet Tubman Hero of the Underground Railroad.

Imagine being whipped because a baby in your care cried! Imagine yourself as the caregiver and you, only five years old. Imagine life as virtually a prisoner, without bars, living on a plantation in the Deep South! Harriet Tubman didn’t have to imagine. That was her reality! That was her life. But when Harriet was about thirty years old, she escaped from her life of slavery - on the Underground Railroad.

You might imagine that Harriet would be happy enough to be free of the South, but she couldn’t forget the horrors of life as a slave. She also couldn’t forget her family, still enslaved by the masters of the great plantation. So Harriet returned to the south nineteen times more to lead 300 slaves to freedom, including members of her family.

Yes, Harriet was a hero. She was a super woman. She “came to save the day” for many black people. She was strong and brave and courageous as she traipsed through the darkness of night, mile after mile, leading - guiding her passengers (slaves) to freedom on the Underground Railroad. She paved the way for Rosa Parks, too. Yes, Harriet Tubman is a hero, but she is not only a hero of the Underground Railroad, she is a hero for all people all over the world. She made a difference!

Look for a complete review of this book at Smartwriters.com

Read more...
 
My Family Album

 This is my cousin Kathy's husband, Sam, with his dad, Ross. We just spent a very nice Thanksgiving afternoon with them.
sam-and-dad-2-jpg Ross kept telling me he was going to charge me for all the pictures I was taking of  him. I told him to put it on my bill.
 Alba is Sam's mother. She was in the kitchen a lot  She cooks a great stuffing! I just had to get her recipe . . . as if I'm going to cook a turkey.alba-thanksgiving.jpg
Okay, maybe I will tomorrow.
Here's Kathy!

She was  the overseer of today's  feast - And what a feast it was!

Turkey of course,
stuffing,
which I already said was Alba's specialtykathy-thanksgiving-2006,
mashed potatoes and gravy,
sweet potatoes, two kinds
and
two different kinds of cranberry dishes, too.
Can't forget the pumpkin pie.

Delicious dinner! Great company!

What more can you ask for?
This is Sam's sister, Maria, and her husband, Mike. David and Mike had a great time talking racing. Bet you thought I was going to say, "Talking Turkey!" They just ate a lot of that.

maria-and-mike-thanksgivinMaria and Mike are from the Pittsburgh area. So are Alba and Ross. For that matter . . . so are Kathy and Sam, and since I was born there and David and I both went to school there, I guess we are, too.
It's the Pittsburgh Conection. 
 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
conjunction

IF YOU WERE A CONJUNCTION
written by Nancy Loewen
illustrated by Sara Gray

Picture Window Books
1-4048-2385-9
$25.26
Ages 7-10


Conjunctions may seem like pretty insignificant words. You can’t get an image of them like you can with other words, like . . . baby OR teddy bear OR a warm summer day at the beach, BUT conjunctions play a very important role in our language.

They NOT ONLY join single words together, like . . . liver AND onions, BUT ALSO connect two sentences together. They join clauses, too, BECAUSE it sometimes makes a sentence sound better. NEITHER nouns NOR verbs could ever take the place of a conjunction, ALTHOUGH I’m sure they would like to. Conjunctions are like glue. They hold thoughts in sentences together.

You might think conjunctions are mighty helpful words AND you would be right. Though they are usually pretty small words, they are busy words with very long names -- Connector, Coordinating, Correlative, Subordinating. BUT, don’t let their names scare you. Just pick up If You Were A Conjunction written by Nancy Loewen and illustrated by Sara Gray. Ms. Loewen, with her fun sentences AND Ms. Gray, with her silly illustrations will make learning conjunctions fun.

Look for a complete review of this book at SmartWriters.com.
Read more...
 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
wholikessnowcover2006


WHO LIKES THE SNOW?
written by Etta Kaner
illustrated by  Marie Lafrance

Kids Can Press
ISBN: 978-1-55337-842-6
ISBN: 1-55337-842-3
$14.95
Ages 4 – 7


Snow tumbling from the sky
Flakes big and small.
I wonder why they’re whirling by?
I wonder where they’ll fall?

Snow flakes, snowballs, snow angels, snow forts and snowmen, or to be politically correct snow people, make up the wonderful world of snow. When snow falls, it can turn the most drab looking neighborhood into a magical place – a winter wonderland. But what is snow? Fluffy white stuff that tumbles out of the sky . . . Yes! Slippery, "slidey" stuff that blankets the ground and makes it hard to walk . . . Yes!  But, it’s oh so much fun for children to play in. Oh so much fun for them to toss in the air and feel its wetness, its coldness on their faces, to feel it melt on their tongues. Snow can light up a night or it can turn the world silent, as flakes gently glide to the ground. It can rage - only as a blizzard can rage - and shut your world down.

Who likes the snow? That’s a good question. It can be answered in so many ways. Children like it. Skiers and snowboarders like it. Sometimes I like it, too, as I watch the flakes drift, swirl, dance through the air as they make their way from cloud to earth. As long as I can stay toasty warm behind double-paned windows with a fire dancing in the hearth behind me, then I like it. Some folks are not so fond of snow, and why would they be, as they inch along the highway at ten miles an hour or as they rub their aching backs after shoveling pounds of the heavy white stuff from their walks and driveways. That’s no fun.

WHO LIKES THE SNOW, written by Etta Kaner and illustrated by Marie LaFrance, examines all good reasons to like snow, but Ms. Kaner adds an extra dimension to her story by asking the “I wonder” questions. Questions that children everywhere are always wondering about. I wonder why it snows? I wonder what a snowflake looks like? I wonder where the snow goes when it melts? These are just some of the questions that are answered in this book. Lift the flap to find the answers to all kinds of snow mysteries and maybe you can think up a few  “I wonder” questions of your own. Go ahead try it. On the next snowfall, sprawl out in the snow, sweep your arms and legs back and forth and create your own personal snow angel. Then let your mind drift to the wonders of snow.

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters

Read more...
 
My Family Album
christmaslights06                                                          We traveled 16 hours to get to our Christmas destination. Seems like that's half way around the world, but we didn't even leave the country. Getting to Taos, New Mexico is no easy feat. With no direct flights, traveling becomes a real adventure. christmaspilot

We left our home at 10:00am. We'd heard of extraordinary lines this holiday season, but actually the airport was very calm with few people. Still, it was better to arrive early and not worry about missing our flight, which is what our friends did on Monday. To keep busy and to spread a little holiday cheer, I brought about 15 picture books and passed them out to children in the airport. (Publishers send me tons of books for possible review in my picture book review column, called Teacher's Pets on SmartWriters.com. This was a great way to distribute the books. What fun to watch the happy smiles!

Our flight departed on time at 1:30pm and arrived in Houston, Texas at 4:30pm. Because it was Christmas Day most vendors in the airport were closed--except for Pizza Hut which had a half hour line. We waited. We finally boarded our final flight to Albuquerque. You didn't think there was an airport in Taos . . . did you? Our son, Jared, picked us up and we made th 3 hour long trip through the mountains to Taos. We arrived about 2:00am. (4:00am EST) A long, long trip!
christmaslights06

We slept late the next morning, which was hard on Treska and Kaya, our granddaughters, who wanted to start Christmas all over again. They already celebrated their family Christmas on Christmas Day, but they christmastree09knew that Granny and Grandpa came bearing gifts, too. And they had some of theirs, which they made, that they couldn't wait to give.

So, after a
cup of coffee and a yummy breakfast burrito, it was time to rip off the paper and share the surprises. Soap and shirts, magnets and poems, and homemade knitted blankets were some of the presents. It took about three hours to unwrap all those gifts. As each person took a turn, the rest of us oohed an aawed and listened to the history of the origin of the gift. A whole lot of love was flowing around that room that morning.

christmaslights06
 
 
 David and Jared--having a quiet moment.       christmasdavidjared  Wechristmastreskakaya  love you, Mom.
christmaskayablanket  Kaya loving the new blanket her mom made.
       

christmaskierstenheart2Kiersten with a lavendar-filled heart Treska made for her.
David and Donna -- so happy together. christmasdonnadavid2 christmasfalko It's my size.

 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
Tudley Didn't Know
Tudley Didn't Know
 
 


TUDLEY DIDN’T KNOW
written and illustrated by John Himmelman
Sylvan Dell Publishing
ISBN: 0976494361
$15.95
Ages 3 – 8

Peter Pan believed he could fly. The Little Engine believed that she could pull the toy train over the mountain. Many people believe in a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and some folks believe in fairies. (If you believe in fairies, then clap your hands. I’m clapping and I hear a lot of other clapping hands, too.) Believe!

Tudley believed! Well not in fairies or the pot of gold, but he did believe in himself . . . or was he just naïve? Either way, his belief or his naiveté opened a whole new world to him.

Sometimes if you think you can’t do something – you can’t. BUT, put a positive spin on it, and you may find you can do just about anything you set your mind to. Tudley didn’t know that turtles couldn’t fly or hop or sing or make their tails glow. It never crossed his mind. And so he did fly and hop and sing and he made his tail glow, too, though his turtle friends shook their heads in amazement and disbelief.

Tudley made a lot of interesting friends – ones you might think a turtle wouldn’t have . . . I mean if a turtle really does have friends. There was a hummingbird, I have a particular fondness for hummingbirds, and so I was glad to see her in the story. There was a firefly and a tadpole and a frog, and even a katydid. Tudley helped them all when they found themselves in trouble. So it was no wonder that when Tudley found his world suddenly turned upside down, literally upside down, as he was trapped on top of a rock pile and didn’t know what to do, his friends were there to help him. Tudley knew how to help his friends, but he was at a loss to help himself, until his friends showed him how. He just had to believe in himself . . . and that’s what Tudley does best.

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
Read more...
 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
Palapalooza
Palapalooza
 
 
PALAPALOOZA
written by Daphne Skinner
illustrated by Jerry Smath
Kane Press
ISBN: 1-57565-163-7
$4.99
Ages 5 - 7


You’re a pal! or What a pal! – two great sayings – comforting sounds. Having a pal IS a comfort. It means having a special friend -- someone that really likes you. It means not being alone, though there’s nothing wrong with being alone, and I even enjoy it at times. But, for most Kiddles there is safety and comfort when being with a pal. It means being one of the gang, the group. It means having someone to do something with. It doesn’t matter what . . . climb a tree, swing on a vine, read a book together. It doesn’t matter what; it’s the “being” together part that feels good.

The kids in Palapalooza, written by Daphne Skinner and illustrated by Jerry Smath, knew that, too. They liked being together, but when January came around and all the holiday fun was over, it got boring. So, Carter and his friends decided to find something to perk up their days. They tried to invent a new holiday. They tried Pet Awareness Day and that was great fun . . . until it wasn’t – when the pets did not cooperate. Slobfest had great potential, too – eating with your hands, wearing dirty clothes, sleeping to noon, yep, great potential . . . until the moms brought it to a halt before it even began. Chocolate Fest! Now that’s my kind of holiday, but you can just imagine what went wrong there.

So, when Eva thought up Friendship Day – a day to honor her friends, Carter, Denzel, Meg, and George agreed. What a great idea to celebrate “Friendship” each year. Those friends really stayed connected. High Schools celebrate friendship with reunions every few years and I go to mine as often as I can, but wouldn’t it be fun to have grade school reunions, too -- or how about nursery school reunions? Can you imagine seeing your four year old friends all grown up and, well . . . acting like grown ups?

Friends are like your favorite childhood teddy bear. They may get old and raggedy, a little worn around the edges, but they are always there to love. My best friend and I met in Colorado just last month. It was like I had seen her yesterday, and we acted it, too – all giggly and talky, talky, talky. So, I’m all for a holiday called Friendship Day, and I think we should celebrate it every month.
“Where should we meet next month, Trish?”

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
Read more...
 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
Camilla Chameleon
									written by Colleen Sydor
									illustrated by Pascale Constantin
Camilla Chameleon
written by Colleen Sydor
illustrated by Pascale Constantin
 
 
CAMILLA CHAMELEON
written by Colleen Sydor
illustrated by Pascale Constantin
Kids Can Press
ISBN: 1553374827
$16.95
Ages 4 – 8

Cream of Tomato Soup, Cream of Broccoli Soup. . . Yum! Yum! M-a-a-a-ay-b-e Cream of Leek Soup, BUT, come on! Cream of Chameleon Soup or Cream of Pterodactyl Soup? You’ve got to be kidding. That’s a stretch . . . a playful stretch, a delightful stretch, a weird and wacky stretch. Yes, Camilla Chameleon written by Colleen Sydor and illustrated by Pascale Constantin is a fanciful stretch all the way to Camilla’s long . . . very, long hopscotch-playing tongue to her favorite soft drink, Fizzy Fizzy Make Ya Dizzy Rootin’ Tootin’ Root Beer.

What Kiddle wouldn’t give their best lucky marble or their favorite hairclip or cherry lip gloss . . . or anything, for that matter to have Camilla’s characteristics . . . even for a day? I know I would have loved to be Camilla when my Mom called me to clean my brother’s room. YUCK! “Hmm, where’d Donna go?” my mother’d ask. “She was here a moment ago.” “Ha! Still am, Mom!” and I’d stifle a giggle. OR being Camilla would have been really cool on the nights my Dad announced we were having Stew, Bugs, and Onions for dinner. Double YUCK! We never did, but he always threatened. I wonder what kind of bugs he was going to cook. Poor bugs! Poor me!

Anyway, this book should be a warning to any Kiddle whose mother is going to have a baby. Beware! Keep an eye on the soup cans and . . . maybe add a little influence, if you can. Check the corner store. Look on the bottom shelf way, way in the back and maybe, just maybe, you might find Cream of Teddy Bear Soup or Cream of Kitty Soup or Cream of Whatever Soup. But, if you EVER find Cream of Frog Soup, please let me know. That’s my favorite. You can even see a collection of my favorite frogs at my website under tag label Phrogs FROGS Phrogs index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=18&Itemid=16

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
Read more...
 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
Water Beds
									Sleeping in the Ocean
Water Beds
Sleeping in the Ocean
 
 
WATER BEDS SLEEPING in the OCEAN
written by Gail Langer Karwoski
illustrated by Conne McLennan
Sylvan Dell Publishing
ISBN: 0-9764943-1-0
$15.95
Ages 3-8

Water Beds - Sleeping in the Ocean, written by Gail Langer Karwoski and illustrated by Connie McLennan is a bedtime story. It’s a scientific book filled with information about the sea and how animals sleep in the depths of the ocean. It’s a book that children will love to hear over and over again, and it’s a book that parents will love to read, as they lull their “little person” to sleep on the gentle waves of his dreams.

The ocean is a magical place – an underwater world so unknown to most people that it almost seems surreal. Yes, we play at its shore and we ride upon its waves on surfboards or motorboats. We skim across its blue surface on water skis and even dive below flipping our flippers pretending to be fish. But not many really experience the depths of the ocean – the beauty of the ocean far below the reaches of the sun. It is home to thousands and thousands of species of fish and plant life. Fish with names like Lanternfish, John Dory, and the Clown Anemonefish. Plants called kelp, there are whole forests of kelp, and phytoplankton and algae, which thrive in the oceans and are a crucial source of food for ocean creatures.

The ocean is a wild and peaceful habitat. It can be brutal with waves reaching a deadly force of more than 65 feet and speeds of 500 mph. It can be gentle and calming with its rhythmic ebb and flow as its waves lap against the shore. It can be downright serene if you don a wet suit and oxygen tank and flip off the side of a boat and push your life into the life of the ocean. The child in Water Beds does just that. He pushes his life into that of the ocean and he rocks gently in the tide, like a jug handle . . . just like the Northern fur seals. He bobs like a buoy next to walruses as they snooze in the briny sea. He floats with dolphins and glides next to orcas and yet he never leaves his bed. Then soon he is drifting on the gentle waves of his dreams – oh such sweet, peaceful dreams . . . and he sleeps in his own special way . . . in his own special bed.

NOTE: For full effect this book is best read in a warm, cozy, undulating, waterbed, but if you don’t have easy access to a waterbed – just pretend.


This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
Read more...
 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo
 
 
CINCO DE MAYO
written by Marc Tyler Nobleman
pictures by a variety of contributors
Compass Point Books: Let’s See Series
ISBN: 0-7565-0768-5
$14.95
Ages 6-9

The whole world has one – each year it comes around again and again and again. In Poland they call it Piàtego Maja. In Germany it is known as Fünfter Mai. The French say Cinquième de Mai and the Italians say Cinque di Maggio. Here in the United States, we call it the Fifth of May. For many countries it is just another day, but in Mexico, it’s called Cinco de Mayo and it’s a very important day in their history books. Marc Tyler Nobleman provides us with a glimpse into this festive holiday in his book entitled, none other than, CINCO de MAYO.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the battle of Puebla in 1862. The Mexican Army was small with little experience and few weapons, but they showed their true colors, green, white, and red, and their bravery when they defeated the French in an attempt to save their country from invasion.

Now Mexicans all over Mexico, and even those living in the United States, join in the festivities of Cinco de Mayo. Dancers twirl in vibrant native costumes. Mariachi bands stroll the Zócalos, (the town squares), playing their guitars, violins, and trumpets with sounds of mambo, cha-cha, and salsa. They croon love ballads and folk ballads. Children delight in watching or marching in parades. It’s a time for all to enjoy the festivities and foods such as tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. It’s a time for all Mexicans to remember what it means to be Mexican. It’s a time for people to shout, “VIVA MEXICO!”

Reviewer’s Note:
Puebla holds a very special place in my heart, so it was really fun to review this book. In the summer of 2004, I was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Grant to study in Puebla, Mexico. For five weeks I was immersed in Mexican culture and language. I visited pyramids and historical archaeological ruins and I lived among the Mexican people and loved every minute of it. Before I learned of the grant, I had never heard of Puebla, but now, I can’t wait to go back. “VIVA MEXICO!”


This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
Read more...
 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
JOSÉ! Born To Dance
JOSÉ! Born To Dance
 
 

JOSÉ! Born To Dance
written by Susanna Reich
illustrated by Raúl Colón
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
ISBN: 0-689-86576-7
$16.95
Ages 5-8

José Limón was born to dance and like the CHIC recording of the late 1970s, DANCE, DANCE, DANCE, José did! Of course, Limón, born in Mexico in 1908 wasn't dancing the latest disco craze nor was he swaying to the more recent country song by Lee Ann Womack, I HOPE YOU DANCE. His dream wasn't realized until many years later when dance, dance, dance, became José's life, love, and passion.

As a child José dreamt of bullfighting. He dreamt of drawing and painting. His spirits soared as his fingers flew over the keys of his piano, yet his dreams remained out of reach and wanting. As a young man José left his childhood home in Los Angeles and set off for New York City, a city of hope and opportunity. He was filled with dreams of becoming a great artist. But night after day José scooped ashes and he hauled garbage and day after night he wandered museums studying the masters, Manet, Renoir, and Picasso, and he wondered what he could offer and again his dreams went unfulfilled. Then, José found himself at a dance concert and the fire in his soul was unleashed as he watched the dancers twirl on the stage, twisting and leaping through the air. José's passion for dance was unleashed, too and he went on to become one of the twentieth centuries greatest dancers and choreographers. Still today, José Limón's dream lives on in the dance studio that he founded, The José Limón Institute, located in New York City, which welcomes other dancers with dreams and passions of their own . . . yet to be fulfilled.

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
Read more...
 
Teacher/Book Reviewer
 
The Only One Club
The Only One Club
 
THE ONLY ONE CLUB
written by Jane Naliboff
illustrated by Jeff Hopkins
Flashlight Press
ISBN: 0-972-92253-9
$15.95
Ages 4-8

It’s scary feeling different . . . not monster scary, or falling out of bed scary. Not darn! I forgot my homework scary either. Feeling different can set you apart . . . maybe the rest of the kids won’t like you kind-of-scary or they’ll make fun of you kind-of-scary. But in The Only One Club, Jennifer uses her “different-ness” to her advantage and soon all of her classmates are looking for ways to show how they are different, too.

Together, author, Jane Nabiloff and illustrator, Jeff Hopkins provide a fun and comical vehicle for young readers to realize and acknowledge the differences of others, while they are encouraged to examine their own differences. Look at Niki and Nina. They are the “only” identical twins in Jennifer’s first grade . . . and no one has a gazillion freckles like Jonah McBride! Then, don’t forget Steven Whittier and his humongous teeth! Now, who can match that? Each of us is different, each in his or her own way, and so, in so many aspects, we all belong to an “only one club.” So, take a look at your own self and join a club, even if it is an Only One Club.

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters
Read more...
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Results 262 - 290 of 316
All contents copyright (c) 2002. Donna O'Donnell Figurski.
No content may be copied or reproduced in any way without the express permission of the creator.
Clip Art courtesy of GraphicGarden.com

Powered by 2-Tier Software, Inc.