Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Raggedy Ann: A Thank You, Please, and I Love You Book

Raggedy Ann: A Thank You, Please, and I Love You Book by Norah Smaridge,
illustrated by June Goldsborough. Golden Press, 1970. (This edition, 1978.)
 Characters created by Johnny Gruelle.

Stop me if you think I've blogged about this one before.

Okay, don't stop me.

Because I know I've blogged this one before, a long time ago, the weekend of Little's Sis's 5th birthday party. I read it to her friends at that party. The book was mine, when I was even younger than that. I loved it sooooo much. 

You see, I wanted very much to blog about something today, Valentine's Day, but I don't have any new books that fit the theme, and I don't feel like walking you through the Valentine boxes I crafted for school, especially since they were inspired by much more complicated projects I found on Pinterest. (You can see ours on Instagram, if you would like.)

So here I am, with shadowy pictures of a charming oversized Golden Book from the 1970s. I hope you enjoy.

Isn't it sweet? Aren't the colors gorgeous? It actually reminds me of the house I lived in when I was very, very young. We had brown, orange, and gold flower-print wallpaper in the kitchen, and I wore a lot of primary colors.

When we moved to our next house, we had a white rotary wall phone, much like Andy's. Our appliances were Harvest Gold! Sadly, that was in 1981, so we may have been a little behind on the times.

This is my favorite picture in the whole book.

My great-grandparents in Oklahoma had a Siamese cat. I always thought she somehow made it into this book.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Happy Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day, when we pretend a big rodent can actually predict the weather. (Tee hee!) According to NPR this morning, Punxsutawney Phil did, in fact, see his shadow, so we are in for six more weeks of winter. Staten Island Chuck, however, is supposedly much more accurate, and he did not see his shadow. I know we hit record high temperatures over the weekend - it was in the 70s, in January! - but today is only supposed to be 36. I just want snow. Sigh.

If you're looking for Groundhog Day books, Scholastic put together a decent list. The NEA has an activities list for teachers, which you could probably adapt for home use.

Perhaps you'd prefer some music? I thought I'd find a couple of songs my babies loved when they were tiny. Here is Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell performing their version of the old folk tune "Oh Groundhog," from their album Catch the Moon

Big Sis's first favorite TV show was Jack's Big Music Show on Noggin/Nick Jr. One season 2 episode, "Groundhog Day," guest-starred Jon Stewart as a weather guy, chasing an escaped groundhog. One of the music videos was called "I Hog the Ground," performed by Steve Burns (from Blue's Clues!) and Steven Drozd (from The Flaming Lips). (See here.)

But of course, the first thing that pops in to my mind when I think of Groundhog Day - and especially Punxsutawney Phil - is Bill Murray.

If you're a streamer, it's currently on Hulu for subscribers, or it can be rented via multiple services. I have the DVD somewhere, but I'm lazy - Hello, Hulu!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Secret Garden (Little Golden Book)

The Secret Garden (A Little Golden Book) by Frances Gilbert, based on the novel by
Frances Hodgson Burnett, illustrated by Brigette Barrager. Golden Books, 2017.

I ordered a book for myself this week! Yes, it's a Little Golden Book. It will sit proudly on my old cast-off LGB spinner rack.

(Because deep down, I am still a small child.)

The girls and I love Brigette Barrager's illustrations. Little Sis, my unicorn-loving artist, especially adores Uni the Unicorn and Florabelle. Meanwhile, I have a soft spot for The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett's novel about surly, spoiled Mary, newly orphaned in India, sent to live at her uncle's Yorkshire estate. A mysterious uncle, a boy who talks to animals, a sickly cousin, a secret garden?! It's been a favorite of mine since I was 10 years old.

So when Brigette Barrager began posting illustrations from a new Little Golden Book version of The Secret Garden on her Instagram, I raced to the computer to pre-order it!

Storywise, most of the main plot points of the novel are there. We meet Mary on a boat bound for England. (As it is a book meant for small children, the nastier aspects of Mary's life in colonial India are omitted.)

(I love Mary's surly face!)

I took a few pics with my cell phone today, planning to post some on Instagram. Strangely, after I finished (but before I posted), I took a time-out to flip through the channels on SlingTV. Landing on TCM, what should be on but the 1949 B&W movie version, starring Margaret O'Brien as Mary and Dean Stockwell as Colin! It made for a nice distraction for the afternoon. Between headaches, grey but snowless weather, and sickening politics, cozying up for a movie with a couple of cats and my dog was just what I needed!

(I need a new camera lens, stat. The book is much prettier than my humble photos make it out to be.)

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

First Post of 2017

They told us to expect a major ice storm last week. It wasn't so big after all. But the trees were pretty!

Well, hello! How is 2017 treating you so far? I cannot believe it's been a month since I blogged. You know how if you put something off for too long, it becomes harder and harder to pick up again? I suppose that is what happened. That and sometimes Instagram becomes a bit of a distraction, although I don't update there as often as I should, either. (See here or here.) 

The last time I blogged was Christmas Eve. So... how was your Christmas? A long time ago, right?

Mr. B had to work until late that night, so the girls and I took my grandmother out to look at Christmas lights. Then we went to church, and left a nice cup of eggnog and a plate of "Forgotten Kisses" (chocolate chip meringue cookies) out for Santa.

Christmas morning was spent at home. Santa left some smaller gifts, and the girls unwrapped some new used Wii accessories from Mom and Dad. We Skyped with the uncles in DC, then my dad and grandma came over for a bit, before we all headed to my sister's for dinner. Bookish gifts included a Mysterious Benedict Society boxed set, a young readers' edition of Misty Copeland's autobiography (which went wonderfully with Little Sis's Misty Copeland Barbie!), and a few more Harry Potter-related items for Big Sis. Little Sis also received some awesome Labyrinth, My Neighbor Totoro, and The Last Unicorn - related items.

Between Christmas Day and New Year's, we headed down to Oklahoma to see my mom. We drove to Guthrie, just to see the lights in the old downtown area. We also took advantage of the fact it was not the weekend to actually eat in at Pops on Route 66! (It was yummy!)

 The rest of winter break was slower paced. Little Sis spent the night at her BFF's, so Big Sis and I saw a late-night showing of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. (Oh my gosh, I loved Fantastic Beasts so much!!!!) Mr. B got me a red Lodge enameled cast iron Dutch oven, so I started experimenting with bread recipes. Little Sis did exactly what Big Sis did last year, and used her Christmas money and some gift cards to get her ears pierced. New Year's Eve was spent at home with our usual spread of dips and cheeses, although my grandma did join us this year.

Since school started again, we've stayed pretty busy. Big Sis competed in Battle of the Books. Her team came in last, but they did not have as much time to practice and they actually did very well, considering! She is glad to have time to read on her own now. We have been applying to middle school magnets and special programs. I can't believe this is her last year of elementary! Little Sis and her bestie auditioned for the school talent show. We're making plans to sell Girl Scout cookies, too. A new semester of dance has begun, and the teachers have started talking about the Peter Pan-themed recital. Life keeps going!

I have books to share - I just need to make myself edit the photos! I hope everyone who reads this is well.

By the way, it's supposed to be 64 degrees today. You have no idea how much I miss winter.

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Night Before Christmas (Lisbeth Zwerger)

The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore,
illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger. Minedition, 2005.

As the Muppets sang, there's only one more sleep 'til Christmas! And it's the perfect time to show you another picture book version of "A Visit from St. Nicholas," aka "'Twas the Night Before Christmas!"

This one is illustrated by the amazing Lisbeth Zwerger, and was published the year Big Sis was born. It's a very small book, perfect for slipping into a stocking. My photos are mediocre to bad - did I mention the book is very small? - but I do so want to share it anyway!

I love the tall, big city dwelling. The tiny sleigh is especially enchanting next to it.

If you celebrate, then please, have a beautiful Christmas Eve night! 

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