Monday, September 15, 2014

Picture Book Picks of the Week

My Pick

Title:  Chester's Masterpiece
Author and Illustrator:  Melanie Watt
Review:  This is probably the funniest picture book I have ever read.  It had me laughing out loud right in the middle of the library.  Samuel put down the toys he was playing with and sat down with me on the floor in the book aisle and we read it together.  It's so funny.  Seriously everyone needs to read this book.  Adults will love it.  Kids will love it.  Chester is quite a character.  Imagine my delight when I turned back to the bookshelf and discovered that there was a whole series of Chester books!  We took them all home with us of course and enjoyed every single one of them.

Sam's Pick of the Week

Title:  Dinosaur Roar!
Author and Illustrator:  Paul and Henrietta Stickland
Review:  We had a lot of favorites this week, but when I laid out a bunch of the books and asked Samuel to choose his favorite he didn't even hesitate.  "Dinosaur Roar" wins for sure!  When I asked him what his favorite page was he said, "All of the pages!"  The book is simple, rhyming, and catchy.  No wonder Samuel likes it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Things I don't post on Facebook

I value honesty, but when it comes to facebook I sometimes feel like I'm lying somehow because I mostly seem to be post the happy positive things in my life, thus deceiving people that my life is all sunshine and roses.  Well I just want everyone that I am not perfect and neither is my life.  I certainly have my ups and downs and I usually tend to document the ups and avoid the downs.  But today I'm going to allow myself to be vulnerable.  Here glimpse of the not so happy things in my life right now.  I'm not looking for pity.  I'm just trying to be honest.

I don't post pictures of...

  • My parking ticket
  • My son, Sam, throwing a fit when he can't watch Dragon Tales
  • The pee puddles my dog Ginny leaves on the kitchen floor.
  • Selfies of me shaving my mustache in the bathroom mirror. (yes I grow a few hairs on my upper lip)

I don't post statuses like:

  • I HATE football season!!! I just want to watch movies and play games with my husband, but he is having an affair with football (particularly with the OU Sooners.)  Can you blame me for getting jealous? 
  • I seem to spend half my life looking for things. I feel like I have Alzheimer's or something. Yesterday I found my camera in the kitchen food cabinet and the book I'm currently reading in my underwear drawer!  I cannot blame Sam for these misplacements.
  • I wish I wasn't so addicted to facebook. It's pathetic the way I hover over the computer waiting for people to like or comment on my stuff.
  • The other day Samuel knocked a little two year olds toys away from him just to be mean and make him cry. I just wanted to walk away and pretend he wasn't my son. 
  • Sometimes I feel unreasonable contempt for the world and everyone in it.

Whew!  Glad I got that off my chest!  This post is a bit of a downer so let me just say that most of the time I love my life and I love my family and I love this mad, crazy world we live in.  I just want everyone to know that I have my moments.  We all have them.  That's what makes us human.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Picture Book Picks of the Week

 My Pick of the Week

Title:  Joseph Had a Little Overcoat
Author and Illustrator:  Simms Taback
Review:  This book is terrific.  The story is about a Jewish man whose overcoat gets old and worn so he turns it into a jacket, then vest, etc, etc.  It inspires one to be resourceful while simultaneously learning about Jewish culture.

Sam's Pick of the Week

Title: Looking for a Moose
Author:  Phyllis Root
Illustrator:  Randy Cecil
Review:  Samuel wants me to read this book over and over again.  I wouldn't mind only this book gets me all tongue tied!  I was reminded of Dr. Seuss's "Fox in Socks."  Otherwise it's great!  The illustrations are unique and eye catching, and obviously kids love it.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Morning Tranquility

Prisms in the window
Rainbows on the floor
Dishes on the counter
From the night before.

Muffins in the oven
Coffee in the pot
Sleepy kitten nestled
In a sunny spot.

Tulips on the table
Friendly smile at me,
And outside on the porch
Sings a chickadee

With slippers on my feet
And curlers in my hair
I grab a book of poems
And curl upon a chair

Peace is hard to come by
But it is often found
In the morning sunrise
And dewdrops on the ground.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Picks of the Week

I've moved on from the "R" section of the library to the "S's".  Here are mine and Sam's two favorites from this week.

My Pick
Book Title: Where's Walrus
Author & Illustrator:  Stephen Savage
Review:  This wordless picture relies fully on it's illustrations.  Usually I like picture books that I can actually read aloud, but this one is the exception.  The walrus is so incredibly adorable and the illustrations are so simple and unique that I can't help falling in love.  

Sam's Pick of the Week

Title: There are Cats in this Book
Author & Illustrator: Vivian Schwarz

Review:  Utterly delightful interactive book .  Inside the book are three adorable cats who tell the kids things to do like “turn the page!” or “Open the box.”  Samuel just could not get enough of this book!  The book is cleverly written in a style similar to a cat’s behavior, distracted and playful.  It’s perfect.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Picks of the Week

My husband, son, and I have recently moved to Champaign, Illinois where my husband is pursuing his Ph.D in economics.  One thing I absolutely love about this city already is their public library!  I am certain I have never seen so many picture books in one place my entire life.  I was in heaven.  Starting with the "R" section I brought home 16 picture books for this week's reading.

I decided to do a weekly picture book review of gems I find at the library every Monday.  Each week I will feature my favorite and Sam's favorite.  I hope you'll enjoy.

 My Pick of the Week

Title:  Michael Rosen's Sad Book
Author: Michael Rosen
Illustrator: Quentin Blake (the same guy who illustrates Roald Dahl's books)
Review:  I would say this is more of a picture book for adults rather than a children's book.  The book is about the author's struggle after the death of his son.  It is so beautiful, so simple, and so incredibly sad.  I actually started crying right there in the library.  I have never known a picture book to affect me so powerfully.  When I am not the poor person I am now I will certainly be buying this book to add permanently to my collection.

Sam's Pick of the Week

Title:  Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
Author: Sherri Duskey Rinker
Illustrator: Tom Litchenheld
Review:  This is a story about trucks going to bed.  What little boy wouldn't love this book!  The illustrations are adorable and it is written in perfect rhyme.  I can certainly see why it was a #1 New York Times Bestseller. 

Thanks for reading!  I would love to form some kind of community where every Monday we share reviews of terrific picture books.  Come share your favorite picture books with me.  The more people on board the merrier!   

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Football Practice

As I waited to pick my sister Shelly up from soccer today I watched the high school football team practice, and was inspired to write this poem.

Dirt smeared jerseys the color of piss
stretch over bowling ball deltoids.
Chunky legs are packed tight into grass-stained leggings.
Let the putrid mass of sweat 
and physical colliding of bodies begin!

Photo courtesy of the Colorado Springs Gazette