Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's on My Nightstand - January

It's that time again when 5 Minutes for Books hosts the monthly carnival - Whats on Your Nightstand?  Click on over and see what everyone else is reading, or better yet, link up yourself and share with the rest of us what you are reading.  No blog is necessary.  You can always join in by leaving comments on what you are reading.


Each week, while I'm at the library, after I get my predetermined selections, I browse through some sections and pick a title or two purely based on the title and cover art.  This week, PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern caught my eye and once I read the back cover, I had to get it.  From the back cover.  
"Holly and Gerry are the kind of perfectly happy married couple that others envy.  Then, at the age of thirty, Gerry is diagnosed with a terrible illness.  Months after after Gerry's death, Holly receives a package of letters that he's left for her, instructing her to perform a series of unexpected tasks.  With the help of the letters - and her fun, quick-witted girlfriends and raucously endearing family that smothers, loves and drivers her crazy - Holly wobbles, weaves, and jokes her way toward a new life, even larger than the one that she's been force to leave behind."
What's Age Got To Do With It by Robin McGraw is one that I'm reviewing as an agreement with the publisher, Thomas Nelson.

The Revolution - A Manifesto by Ron Paul.  Although I can't remember why I requested this one from the library, but it came in so it's added to my stack.  :)

As much as I've had good intentions of doing so, I've never read anything by Dale Carnegie, so I picked up How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.  I do tend to worry too much.  I've done so my whole life, but then again.  Who doesn't?

If you haven't stopped by here before, I have three small children.  All born in 2005.  Our son was born in January and our twin girls were born in December of the same year.  All three of them are going through their stages in life - mostly at the same time.  I worry about being a good parent.  I recognize that bad kids are usually the product of bad parenting.  I also know that the "bad parents" are not usually "bad parents" on purpose.  So, in the pursuit of being a better parent, I've picked up Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leham.

I've thought about this book before, but never got it.  Then while talking with a friend of mine, she suggested that I get it.  So I did.

As I believed, this book is not about bad kids.  It's about being a better parent.  I've read through a few chapters and I'm anxiously waiting for Dr. Leman to cover topics that are specific to our situations, but we'll see.  Either way, I'm happy so far.

I LOVE our library and I use it to test drive some books before I buy them, so right now, I'm test driving Parenting Preschoolers with a Purpose by Jolene Roehlkepartain, Homeschool Your Child for Free by Laura Maery Gold and Joan Zielinski and Becoming the Parent You Want to Be by Laura Davis and Janis Keyser.

So, what's on your Nightstand?

Happy Reading!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Booking Through Thursday - Inspired

If you'd like to join in, click here.

"Since 'Inspiration' is (or should) the theme this week … what is your reading inspired by?"


My response:

Easy.  I love to read.  Books.  Magazines. Blogs.  Newspapers.  Reading is such a fundamental skill.

I wasn't always like this.

I didn't get much of a chance when I was growing up and didn't develop an interest until later in life.  I hated reading assignments in high school and never finished any of the assigned novels.  I'd skim through to get the "jist" of the story and listen to classmates' reviews just so when it came time for me to write my own report or written exam, I'd at least get a passing grade.

Now, with three little ones, just as my blog titles states, "Inspiring Book Worms" is what I'm trying to do.  I hope to instill in them what wasn't passed on to me or what I didn't grasp when I was young.

Thankfully I love to read now, they see me reading a lot and we read aloud stories most every day.

So what inspires you to read?

Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Search for Happiness

With all of the hoopla going on yesterday, I totally forgot that it was Kids' Picks Day over at 5 Minutes for Books.  I'm posting late, but that's ok!  Right?

Click on over to 5 Minutes for Books and check it out!  There is always an open invite to join in or follow along.  Either way it's a great way to see what other parents are reading to/with their children and what they have to say about the books and stories being read.  If you don't have children, but love to read...  Click here to view the other carnival themes that you can participate in or again, just follow along.  Avid readers must stop by!

Augustus and His Smile by Catherine Rayner (Ages 4-8) 2006

Grateful for the suggestion, I reserved this book from the library and it must be popular cause it took weeks for it to come in!

Right now we have a large stack of library books for the babes to pull their selections from and night after night, among the books I select for our story time, they make sure they tell me to get...

"...pitter-patter, pitter-patter, drip, drop, plop!"

Augustus the tiger was sad, he lost his smile.  Through the short, fun, story he searched...  through forests, seas, deserts and mountains - he even danced in the rain - only to find that his smile, was with him the whole time.

I love this story.  Inner happiness is the underlying story, but the journey Augustus goes on to find his smile has enough material to spark multiple conversations.  We'll be adding it to our permanent library.

Thank you Z-Dad for the recommendation!

Happy Reading!

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Monday, January 19, 2009

An Awesome Book!


That is the title of the book.  Yes!  An Awesome Book! truly is an awesome book.

The author hit the nail on the head and I was almost in tears for dreams lost and that my children's dreams will soon fade away.  It's a humbling reminder that we need to slow down in today's fast paced world.

All photos are from The Crafty Crow's site.  Head on over and enter to win a copy for yourself!!

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mixed Reviews

As books and movies go, I decided to read a book before watching the movie.  I don't watch many movies anyway, so, I guess I've always missed out...  on both ends.


At any rate, my debut, book before the movie was Marley & Me by John Grogan.

I loved the whole thing.  Not sure what to write about since it appears that everyone is writing/talking about it.  Overall this story has gotten rave reviews; however, I have read quite a few that are less than happy about it.  I agree, some of the dog rearing tactics used were not what I would have done and yet some are...

If you don't know anything about the book/movie, it's a man who loves his dog from when he was a child, who meets a woman who also loves her dog from when she was a child.

They get married.

Decide to get a dog of their own.

Life happens.

Are terrible dog owners, but do the best they can.

Start a family.

Make some poor decisions.

Live their lives.

Adore their family.

Adore their dog.

Move cross country.

Loose their beloved dog to old age.

Grieve.

Heal.

Get another dog.

Get better advice on how to be better dog owners.

Life goes on.

Have a great Day!

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Reminiscing with a Book of Nursery Rhymes

Over the Hills and Far Away by Alan Marks (Ages 1-6) 1994


A great collection of nursery rhymes.  All your favorites and then some.  First published in Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand in 1993, North-South books published it in the USA and Canada soon after in 1994.

Similar to the fingerplay book I talked about earlier, this is a wonderful book to share with your little ones and travel a bit back in time yourself.

This book, with it's beautiful watercolor illustrations and large print, is sure to please.

Happy Rhyming!

As a side note:  This photo of the cover clearly shows the Parents' Choice Award emblem; however, I have not been able to find proof.  My copy from the library does not have the emblem...  If anyone has any insight or know where I can verify, that would be wonderful!

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Enough Hound to Go Around

Madeline's Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans (Ages 4-8) 1953


After earning an Honors spot with the original Madeline in 1940, this story in the series earns Ludwig Bemelmans the 1954 Caldecott Medal and rightfully so as Bemelmans' rich colors bring his vivid illustrations alive.

Madeline is at it again, still not minding Miss Clavel.  Hopefully she will learn to heed Miss Clavel's warnings.  But alas, this time Madeline falls into the Seine and almost drowns.  A clever dog rescues here from certain death.  The girls bring her home and name her Genevieve, but all is not well, as there is just not enough hound to go around for these twelve little girls and a fight ensues.

Genevieve is then kicked out after an inspection.  Much sorrow goes around, but there is yet another surprise to be found.

Sure to please.  If you haven't already you should check out this and other Madeline stories.

Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bright Surprise

The Happy Day by Ruth Krauss (Ages 2-8) 1949


As a 1950 Caldecott Honor Book, I definitely see why.

The illustrations of forest animals hibernating through the winter and waking in the spring are all done in black and white.

The animals wake and emerge from their winter dens, they sniff the air and all start running.  All of the them.  The bears, the squirrels, the ground hogs and even the snails, ah yep, snails too, run in this story.

All arriving at the same time, they all stop, like an arrow to a bulls-eye, to sniff the first, bright yellow flower of Spring!

Since everything is in black and white, when we got to the last page and saw the bright yellow flower, the looks and smiles on our three's faces, was...  well... priceless.

Happy Reading!

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For the Tough Times

For the Tough Times:  Reaching Toward Heaven for Hope by Max Lucado

For the Tough Times is a quick read.  Only eight chapters long and if given a solid block of time, most will finish this book within an hour.  The chapters flow well together; you won’t want to put it down.

When All That Is Good Falls Apart is an excellent introduction.  Read your headline news, talk to your neighbor or see the number of businesses closing in your community and our Nation.  Good things are falling apart all around us and when that happens, we look for answers.

Here is a breakdown of chapters in addition to the intro to aid you in your search for those answers.

Chapter 1:  Where is God?
Chapter 2:  God’s Great Love
Chapter 3:  Eyes on the Father
Chapter 4:  Good Triumphant
Chapter 5:  The Bitter Taste of Revenge
Chapter 6:  In the Silence, God Speaks
Chapter 7:  In the Storm, We Pray
Chapter 8:  From God’s Perspective
Do It Again, Lord:  A Prayer for Troubled Times

The over-all tone of the book reminds us that it’s not about us.  We must remember that no matter how troubled our times are, we must trust in Him.

This is the first of Max Lucado’s works that I’ve read and look forward to others.

Brief and to the point, this is a good read and possible catalyst for study groups.  A bit larger than the average 4x6 note card, this book is small enough to take with you.  Not to mention it would be great as a gift or a permanent spot on your bedside nightstand.

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Memory Lane

Let's Do Fingerplays by Marion F. Grayson (Ages 2-6) 1962


According the Forward of the book, as written...
"Books of fingerplays have been few and fart between, and teachers and mothers, particularly, have been forced to tax their memories for fingerplays where a ready guide would be most acceptable."
These days we are fortunate to have vast resources available to us and I guess, back when this was written - it makes sense that a collection of this "theme" wasn't readily available.

Very well laid out, the fingerplays are organized by category.  For example, fingerplays describing the child from head to toe is all together.  Here you'll find "Where is Thumbkin" or "This is the Circle that is my Head" - among others.  You'll find all or most counting fingerplays like "This Old Man" or "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" together with others of the same.

Not only that, the index is split into two sections.  One section alphabetizes the fingerplays by the first line.  Very helpful if you remember the first line and not the rest.  The other section of the index has them alphabetized by title.

Again, very well thought out planning.  There were several fingerplays I couldn't remember from when I was little that I found in this book and am excited now I can finally share them, as a whole, with my three.

Whether you search for this one at your local library, borrow from a friend or get something more up to date, you'll be sure to find something that will take you down memory lane.

Happy Reading!

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Expectations

The Little Red Hen by John Escott (Ages 4-8) 2003


A little red hen lives on a farm with a few friends.  One day she and her five chicks come upon some grains of wheat.  The little red hen decides it would be nice to be able to bake these into a loaf of bread.  Now, getting grains of wheat baked into a loaf of bread is lots of work.

First you have to plant the seed, harvest the wheat, mill the wheat into flour and then bake the flour into the bread.

Now each time a task was to be done, the little red hen asked for assistance from her friends, to each time they declined to help.  So the little red hen did everything herself.

Without giving away too much more, this is a wonderful story about hard work, the pay off and what you can expect from helping or not helping.

Happy Reading!

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Same Difference

I See, You Saw by Nurit Karlin (Ages 3-5) 1997


Two friends frolic and play as they have a feisty debate over what they "see" or "saw".  The reading level of this book reminds me of Dick, Jane and Spot.  Great book for a beginning reader.

Happy Reading!

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Putting it in Perspective

Babar Goes to School by Laurent de Brunhoff (Ages 4-8) 2003


Being a King is hard work, but when children proclaim that it is difficult to be a child, Babar is baffled and decided to live a day in the life of a child, again, since he doesn't recall it being so difficult.

Babar decided to go to school with the children one day and quickly learns that it can be difficult being a child.  Especially learning that he doesn't quite recall how to do a math problem correctly or getting scolded for talking to his neighbor at circle time....  even though he was just trying to help.

At the end of the day, Babar was quite tired and decided that it was much easier to be a grown up.

Happy Reading!

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Stone Soup

Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth (Ages Baby & Preschool) 2003


A wonderful story of three monks, while on a journey along a mountain, ponder what makes one happy.  As they continue, the come upon a village where everyone is only for themselves and definitely not happy.  Unknown by the monks, the village has suffered through famine, floods and war.

Once in the village, you would never know anyone lived there.  All of the people were closed up in their homes; doors locked, windows shut tight and homes were dark.

The three monks, Hok, Lok and Siew, decided to show the villagers how to make stone soup.  They started with their own, small tin pot and started to gather branches.  With the help of a inquisitive and brave little girl, the villagers were soon very eager to contribute to the soup as the monks talked amongst themselves of what would make the soup better.  Once a comment was made, someone would run home to bring back what was needed.

The villagers feasted on their soup and afterwards songs, stories and celebrations went long into the night.

That night, the villages realized how much they had to give and how much more comes back in return.  It's a wonderful story that shares unconditional love and gratitude.

Happy Reading!

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Berenstain Bears Clean House

The Berenstain Bears Clean House by Stan & Jan Berenstain (Ages 4-8) 2005


It is Spring, so the Bears decide to clean house.  They go from room to room.  One room has mostly Mama's things, another room has mostly Papa's things and, of course, Brother and Sister Bear have a room of mostly their things.

As they go from room to room, they quickly realize they simply have too many things.  So, from each room they decide to remove things and have a yard sale.

Unfortunately these things turn out to be someone's favorite and they re-think their yard sale idea.

It's a fun read and repetitious as they went from room to room and by the time we got to Brother and Sister Bear's room, my little ones were "reading" some of the same lines.  I loved the Berenstain Bears when I was growing up, so of course, I want to share with my little ones.  I'm sure we'll be sharing more.

Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Ants Go Marching

While my son and I were at the library today, we found this fun little board book.  It's a little sing a long to the tune...  you guessed it.


During story time his sisters loved it too, so we'll be getting more Wee Sing Board Books.

Looking forward to 'em.

Here is a quick link to learn more about this book and others in the series.

Happy Reading!

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Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

I'm so excited for 2009 cause The Support Your Local Library Challenge is underway!  We even have some books waiting for us at the library!  I encourage you to join in or follow along.  You can see our commitment here and here.  Not realizing that in doing so on both blogs, I've committed to 50 books...  With all of the children's stories, I'm sure that won't be hard to attain.  So in keeping with my Goals for 2009, I'll say at least 15 of those will be "for me".

I'll be "reviewing" each of them here.  Maybe by the end of the year or challenge, I'll learn how to do a proper review.  lol

Happy Reading!

Photo Credit:  Microsoft

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