Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Who Would You Like to Have Thanksgiving Dinner With?

In the spirit of Thanksgiving I have put together a bracket of my favorite families from books, movies and tv shows to determine which family I would most want to spend Thanksgiving with. For me the winner is...the Gilbreths from the book "Cheaper By the Dozen." Who would you most want to break bread with on Thanksgiving day?



The Weirs - Freaks and Geeks
Bluths - Arrested Development
The Starks - Game of Thrones
Hills - King of the Hill
Belchers - Bob’s Burgers
Pritchetts- Modern Family
The Sopranos - Sopranos
Crawleys - Downton Abbey


Dashwoods - Sense and Sensibility
Joads - Grapes of Wrath 
Bells - The Crossover
Cratchits - A Christmas Carol
Finches - To Kill a Mockingbird
Gilbreths - Cheaper by the Dozen
The Marches - Little Women
Boatwrights - The Secret Life of Bees


Portokalos - My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Tenenbaums - The Royal Tenenbaums
Von Trapps - Sound of Music
Sycamores - You Can’t Take it With You
Hoovers - Little Miss Sunshine
Corleones - The Godfather
Grants - Nebraska
Orefice - Life is Beautiful

Childhood Favorites

Weasleys - Harry Potter
Ingalls - Little House on the Prairie
Buckets - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Darlings - Peter Pan
Incredibles - The Incredibles
Burns - Rescue Bots
Kusakabes - My Neighbor Totoro
Robinsons - Swiss Family Robinson


Friday, November 13, 2015


Today I want to talk about a very special book.

Title: Roxaboxen

Author: Alice McLerran

Illustrator: Barbara Cooney

Ages: 4-7

Opening: Marion called it Roxaboxen. (She always knew the name of everything.)

What it's About: A group of kids discover a piece of land covered in rocks, cactus, and old wooden boxes and then turn it in to their own magical world.

Why I LOVE this Book: Some of my fondest memories from when I was a little girl include exploring outside, finding a special place, and making it my own. My friends and I used to gather juniper berries, Strip bark from the trees for bacon, and create little campfire pits. We would spend full afternoons in these places, pretending to be orphans, pioneers, native americans, etc. It was bliss. So when I discovered this book that captured so well that magical world of untethered childhood play I was nearly jumping up and down with excitement. I couldn't wait to go home and read it to my own 4 year old son.

Create Your Own Roxaboxen

1. Hook up with a buddy or group of friends. These sorts of adventures are far more fun if you have a team to share them with. Each child bring new ideas to the table and it's wonderful to watch them learn to work together.

2. Find a special place, it could be in your very own back yard, or where you can immerse yourself in nature and let creativity run uninterrupted.

3. It's okay to bring supplies from your house. Empty flower pots, yarn, boxes, cloth, all these things can be useful when creating your own special place.

4. Utilize nature's resources! Gather sticks to make fences. Collect wild berries, leaves, and bark for food. Nature is full of potential tools and elements for pretend.

5. Step back and allow the kids to do the work. As parents I know it's tempting at times to take over, but it's so important to allow the kids the freedom to come up with their own ideas and carry them out themselves. Help them if they ask for it, and throw out ideas if they are having trouble coming up with their own, but let this be their place, not yours.

6. Have fun!

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Best Picture Books Of All Time!

Happy National Picture Book Month! I am so happy to discover there is a whole 30 days devoted to celebrating the world I've immersed myself in for the past 3 years. Picture books are my life! Just ask any of my co-workers at the library. They'll tell you that at the end of every shift I'm walking away with an armful of picture books. I currently have 72 checked out, and they're sitting on a shelf in my 4 year old's bedroom just waiting to be opened. Every night Samuel and I snuggle up and step into the worlds created for us by Mo Williams, James Marshall, Maurice Sendak and hundreds of other brilliant children's book authors and illustrators. I may forget to have him brush his teeth or change him in to pajamas, but I never neglect to read him his bedtime stories. It's the most important ritual of my day.

In honor of National Picture Book Month I would like to share with you our top 10 favorite picture books. These are the books that threw us into fits of giggles, or caused an unexpected burst of emotion in me as I tried to wipe away the tears before Samuel could see. These are the books that I can recite word for word. These are the books that made me want to be a children's book author/illustrator in the first place. They are my haven, inspiration, and delight. They are the best of the best, and I hope you'll enjoy them too.

Samuel's Top 10

1. Tin - Chris Judge
2. Sneeches and other short stories - Dr. Seuss
3. Rhyming Dust Bunnies - Jan Thomas
4. There are No Cats in this Book - Vivian Schwartz
5. No David! - David Shannon
6. Bedtime for Mommy - Amy Krouse Rosenthal and LeUyen Pham
7. Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site - Sherri Duskey Rinker
8. Room on the Broom - Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
9. Hooray for Hat! - Brian Won
10. Go Dog. Go! - P. D. Eastman

My Top 10 

1. A Story, A Story - Gail E. Haley
2. The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein
3. Julius the Baby of the World - Kevin Henkes
4. Heckedy Peg - Audrey and Don Wood
5. The Mitten - Jan Brett
6. Home - Carson Ellis
7. Are You My Mother? - P. D. Eastman
8. Ernest the Moose - Catherine Rayner
9. No Fits Nilson - Zacharia O’Hara
10. The Eleventh Hour - Graeme Base

What are your favorites? What are the books that you loved as a child? What are the books that your own kids pull off the shelves over and over again? Please share!