Thursday, February 19, 2009

Baby Dragon by Amy Ehrlich

I have bountiful boxes of beautiful books in my little back workroom and going through the boxes is, of course, like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one. I came upon these two gems today as I was checking titles on the invoice. Baby Dragon (2008) by Amy Ehrlich and illustrated by the fabulous Will Hillenbrand. This book reminded me of how you feel when you read the classic Audrey Penn's The Kissing Hand; sweet on your Mom because you know she loves you every minute of every day; even when she's mad at you. The illustrations in this book are above average as you gaze back to the horizon, deep into the pictue and the mountain peaks. I can't wait to share this with all my little readers but first I will have to take it home to share with my own dragons to see how it makes them feel.
The other gem I found has some laugh-out-loud parts but ends on a very loving note. When Charlie McButton Lost Power (2005)by Suzanne Collins and illustrated by Mike Lester reminded me so much of my own home life as poor Charlie has a melt-down because the power has gone out. Ms. Collins has written this in great rhyming text and the illustrations together cause for laughter. I will not spoil the ending but the sibling relationship involved, well, we'll read it tonight and see if my 13 year-old can see himself in Charlie McButton!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

My step-daughter Kaylee gave me this lovely fat book for Christmas, telling me she had read it and liked it and now it was my turn. Here it is February and I am just beginning it. I'm intrigued by the title alone. On a kid lit note I received many boxes of books last week and was so excited to pull out the 4th Ivy and Bean book by Annie Barrows. J and I love this series and bonus: students also check it out so much that I have even ordered a second set. I also pulled out of the box The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, which I am very excited to read as well. While my dishes ran in my new dishwasher I finished the Friday Night Knitting Club and I cried even though I liked the female friendships plus the excitement of James/Marty and then wondered why we needed cancer to add to the chaos. I thought there was enough going on before she went to the gynecologist. I loved the relationship between Walker and Daughter, Dakota very much.

techno troubles

I have spent a week trying to upload a new 3-column template to no avail and once I did get it uploaded all my content was missing and I had to revert back to the old template. Even reverting is funky because my page elements are all messed up with my information flying all around the page. I am so, so frustrated when I look at other fabulous blogs and I want to be able to truly customize mine and can't get there. Do I truly have to understand HTML and be able to write it to change things around???
I have spent tons of times on tutorials and still not getting any satisfaction.

p.s. Happy Valentine's Day!! I got a new dishwasher:) Wow!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Poetry Friday

I have been working with poetry a little bit in the library and I found this great silly book by Kalli Dakos If You're not here, Please raise your hand. Students love this title, they think for a minute and then have this a-ha moment of "hey, that does not make sense!" Love it!
Here is my selection cuz I like to laugh just a little at Texas:)

They don't do math in Texas

Kate used to live in Texas.
I'd like to shoot her to the moon,
Or into another galaxy,
Whenever she says the word Texas.

"In Texas," Kate says,
"I was in the sixth grade,
Instead of just in fourth
Like I am here.

"In Texas the kids stayed up
All night watching television
Because school didn't start
Until four o'clock.

"In Texas we only did math
In Kindergarten.
Once we learned that
One plus one equaled two
We never had
to study math again.

Peace to Molly Ivins, of course.

New Books

I received a new shipment of books yesterday here at my school. Books that I had ordered just a few weeks ago so, for me, it was a little like Christmas or my birthday...opening the box, smelling the new book smell, opening the crisp covers!! Quite a few picture books were wonderful but I have been enthralled with two chapter books; Elvis and Olive by Stephanie Watson and Julia Gillian and the art of knowing by Alison McGhee. Elvis and Olive has a great cover and a great opening chapter. We meet two characters right away that are polar opposites yet new neighbors. Natalie is sad about it being the first day of summer; she misses school (yeah!) and Annie, on the other hand, looks like a boy and shows Natalie a dead bird within 5 seconds of meeting her. This book may be a fifth grade version of Ivy and Bean, which J and I read and loved last summer. I picked up Julia Gillian right after I relunctently set Elvis and Olive down and again was in love with the first chapter. I especially love that it is set in Minneapolis. I don't live there anymore but I love hearing familiar street names. I am now trying to figure out how to take these two chapter books home and read them around The heart of a chief, The sea of Monsters (yes, I finished The lightning Thief) and The Friday Night knitting club. Oh, and I must fit in some knitting this weekend as well as I have two friends waiting for washcloths. Funny, I noticed both these writers are from Minneapolis when I checked out their websites!!! Interesting.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Red Shoes by Eleri Glass

This book (published by Simply Read Books) made me want to go shoe shopping in a beautiful downtown boutique!! J and I read this several nights ago for story time and she, of course, wanted to read it again and again! She is, after all a shoe fanatic, a pint-sized shoe diva. When she was two she went for high heels at a Chicago shoe boutique, trying them on, toddling around on 2-inch red heels- not appropriate- like she was trying out for a role on Sex in the City! She is still that way and always wants the fanciest shoes so this gem of a book was right up her aisle. We both thought the words and illustrations were wonderful, especially "the red shoes are happy apples, waiting to be picked." The look on the shoe lady's face is priceless. This book deserves to be tried again and again!