Wednesday, October 12, 2016

A Vampire Is Coming To Dinner! 10 Rules to Follow

A Vampire is Coming to Dinner! 10 Rules to Follow by Pamela Jane, illustrated by Pedro Rodriguez. Price Stern Sloan/Penguin Group USA, 2010.

Mr. B cleaned our bedroom this week. Little Sis likes to relax in there when she doesn't like what we're watching on TV (football, Veronica Mars, etc.), and her favorite pastime is to draw. Under mountains of papers and sketchbooks, he unearthed this book, a favorite from when the girls were little. It's one of those cute, inexpensive holiday titles, but when I saw it new at the bookstore, it was one I just had to buy.

It's about the size of a board book. The premise is very simple: a vampire has invited himself to dinner! There are 10 rules of vampire etiquette. When you unfold the page, you see the little boy doing the exact opposite of each rule. It's cute and silly, and the illustrations are fabulous, which is probably why Little Sis had it among her art supplies. Unfortunately, this little book is out-of-print, although used copies are very cheap via Amazon.

The last rule involves letting the vampire nap. When you open to the last page, there's a surprise -

Yes! An adorable pop-up!

Follow along with Silver Shoes & Rabbit Holes on FacebookBloglovinInstagram, and/or Pinterest!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Leave Me Alone!

Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol. Roaring Brook Press, 2016.

Autumn is sweater weather, and scarf and hat weather, right?  For the old woman in Leave Me Alone!, it is time to prepare for winter by knitting. Knitting, knitting, knitting, for "She lived in a small village in a small house...with a very big family."

"But it wasn't getting done."

Her grandchildren are fascinated by her knitting, or at least the balls of yarn.

Finally, the old woman reaches the end of her tether.  She must leave the village.

Isn't this the perfect fall scene? I want to go to there.

She tries the forest, but the bears are as bad as the kids.

 She scales a mountain, but the mountain goats want to eat her yarn. She climbs the mountain to the moon, but the little green men won't leave her alone, either!

What's an old woman who needs her privacy to do but travel through a wormhole to a deep void in space?

Okay, this book is rather hilarious, right? 

When she is finished, she comes back and passes out homemade sweaters to the grandkids.

Do you knit? I learned to knit (basic garter stitch) for a play in college, but I didn't even learn to cast off until many years later. I am not a good knitter. I have trouble "seeing" the work I have done, and I cannot pick up a dropped stitch to save my life. Big Sis wants to learn so badly right now. The artistic director/choreographer of The Nutcracker said something about the dancers knitting scarves for the homeless while they wait for their turn to rehearse. I don't know if she meant it (she is a knitter, though), but it definitely sparked something in my daughter!

Imagination Soup did a cool post on teaching children to knit a couple year ago,  and I found this video on the Martha Stewart website. A search for "knitting kits" in the toy section of Amazon yields tons of projects for knitting (and crochet, weaving, and assorted needlework).

Of course, somewhere I have a sack of yarn. Now if I can only find a matched set of knitting needles. Did I mention it's been years since I last tried to knit?

Wouldn't this book be a sweet gift for a young knitter-to-be? Perhaps paired with Extra Yarn?

Follow along with Silver Shoes & Rabbit Holes on FacebookBloglovinInstagram, and/or Pinterest!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Gorgeous New Fall Picture Books

Fall is officially kicking into gear here in south-central Kansas, so it's time for beautiful fall picture books! I've seen several new books this year, but these are the two my library had on hand. Lucky for us, they are both gorgeous, and worthy additions to any home collection.

Bella's Fall Coat by Lynn Plourde, illustrated by Susan Gal.
Disney Hyperion, 2016.

First of all, check out these endpapers! I am such a sucker for beautiful endpapers.

This book is so sweet. Little Bella is so excited to go outside and play. Her Grams tries to tell her that her coat is too small. "No, Grams. This coat is my favorite. You made it for me, and I want to wear it forever!"

Grams tries to say something more, but Bella is already out the door! First, she plays in the lovely fall leaves, bringing some to her Grams, who helps her preserve them with an iron and wax paper.

Grams tries to talk to her again about her coat, but Bella runs outside, this time to pick apples. She brings some to Grams, who makes an apple tart. Once more, Grams brings up the coat, but again, Bella whooshes out the door, this time to "fly" with the geese.

Oops! Flapping her arms leads to a torn coat. Bella begs her Grams to mend it. Grams puts her to bed.

While Bella sleeps, Grams begins to sew. She is not fixing Bella's too-small coat, however.

When Bella wakes, it is snowing! She begs to go play, but first, did Grams fix her coat?

Bella's new coat is beautiful. She wants to wear it forever.

And what about her old coat? Go find a copy of this book! Lynn Plourde's story is a warm, sweet, cozy read. Lovely orange and red autumn jumps off the pages, thanks to Susan Gal's beautiful illustrations. So well done.

When I was little, the red and orange leaves were so special to behold. Kansas is not known for its spectacular foliage. There are trees, don't get me wrong, but here on the prairie, forests are not exactly plentiful. Yellow and brown leaves were always more common.

Now that I'm older, I appreciate the lovely yellow more. And that brings us to another new fall picture book, with a slightly different color palette.

Yellow Time by Lauren Stringer. Beach Lane Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster), 2016.

Happy dance! More fabulous endpapers!

This book is a celebration of everything autumn brings to the world outdoors: busy squirrels hoarding for the winter, migrating geese, happy crows, new smells.

"Everywhere fills with yellow. A symphony of yellow."

I love the details in the pictures, like the books in the wagon as the children gather leaves.

The children in this story preserve their leaves as well, this time between the pages of a thick, heavy book.

Lauren Stringer's text poetically illustrates everything special about the fall outdoors, just as well as her beautiful art. I want to hang some of the illustrations on the wall. That circle of children, for instance.

Today, while taking the girls to school, I spotted a few yellow leaves in trees. In a week or two, I hope to see more!

Any leaves changing yet in your neck of the woods? Do you save leaves in the fall, for crafts or just to preserve them? I have a Pinterest board called "Autumn Kids' Crafts & Stuff," as well as one called "Autumntime." Just in case you're interested!

Follow along with Silver Shoes & Rabbit Holes on FacebookBloglovinInstagram, and/or Pinterest!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Happy October!

Hooray for October! For autumn leaves and sweater weather and apples and pumpkins and firepits. For Halloween and thrills and chills and my youngest daughter's birthday. Of course, today we are under a very spring-like tornado watch(!!!), but the decidedly greenish sky is definitely spooky!

We kicked off the month with a trip to the annual Kansas Barn Sale, in Hesston. What started as a much smaller venture has turned into a gigantic endeavor and I'm so impressed with how smoothly it seems to run now. The girls and I always have a lovely time, even when our budget is tiny. This year, we came away with 10 mini pumpkins, a set of three decorative wire pumpkins, a bar of soap, a cute homemade fox pillow, and snacks.

As soon as we were settled at home, the girls started painting their pumpkins. I'm rather in love with Vanessa's painted pumpkins at A Fanciful Twist. Our paint wasn't as nice - heck, it was leftover from a few Doodle Crate projects, actually - but the pumpkins are cute. Little Sis's BFF spent the night, and painted a few, too.

Our branch tree has finally been redecorated! It's been in fairy mode since our Easter stuff came down. Mr. B promised me we wouldn't use the fireplace until after Halloween, so I was free to go a little crazy.

I got the cat and owl heads at a craft store last year. The doll head is one of Little Sis's "babies." Jack Skellington came from Walgreen's, and he will stay out through Christmas. I made the bottles last year. The troll and gnome were randomly chosen from my collection.

And of course, every year we string our reproduction Beistle die-cuts and vintage dime store masks across the cornice in the family room.

Out on the front porch, more Beistle hangs in the window, and our table is full of fun things, such as the wire pumpkins from the Barn Sale, and the cute Mason jar mummy lanterns we made last year.

I found the light-up house at my grandma's last year. It was my sister's and mine, growing up. The haunted house was a little $3 craft from Target.

This guy used to hang on a tree, but he's starting to fall apart. I moved him to the porch this year.

Look what I found in the backyard yesterday! Fall is here, fall is here!

I have a giant sack of fun checked out from the library this month. I will have a new Pediophobia post this year, and lots of books and activities share. Even a birthday party: Little Sis will celebrate with a party two days before her birthday, on Halloween Eve!

Welcome to October on Silver Shoes & Rabbit Holes!

Follow along with Silver Shoes & Rabbit Holes on FacebookBloglovinInstagram, and/or Pinterest!