Ivy and Bean

[Today, Big Sis wanted to share her new favorite series with you.  She is crazy about Ivy & Bean, the fabulous chapter book series from Chronicle Books.  The books are written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall.  I'm a huge Ivy & Bean fan, too.  Even Little Sis joins us when we read aloud now.]

I really like the Ivy & Bean books.  They are fun.

Ivy and Bean are sneaky.  

Ivy is very imaginative.  She loves books and playing pretend.

Bean is wild.  Like when she makes the volcano.  [In Book 4, Ivy & Bean Take Care of the Babysitter, Bean convinces the neighborhood kids to pretend that the huge pile of dirt in Sophie W.'s yard is a volcano.  It's a crazy scene!]

Big Sis wants to point out that Bean has great taste in shirts.  Owls are a favorite of hers.  

So far, we've checked four books out from the library.  I can't wait 'til we get the next one!  I hope I get them all for my birthday.  There's a new one that comes out the day before my birthday.  And the button factory.  That's a cool way to do those buttons on there.  The video makes it look easy.

Oooo, I want the paper dolls, too.  

I think I'm more like Bean, but I like to read like Ivy.  I can be sneaky, but not as sneaky as my little sister.

If you're ready for chapter books, these are really fun chapter books.  They're easier to read than some of the other books.  Like Junie B. Jones.  I like Junie B., but the way she talks makes it hard to read sometimes.  I'll try them again later.  [She has trouble reading the Junie B. Jones books sometimes, because they are written in the first person, and she second guesses herself because of Junie's unique grammar and vocabulary.]

Ivy & Bean: No News is Good News word search, found here.

As soon as we're done reading all the books, I'm gonna start over again.  But I'll read them by myself.  We can find something else to read at bedtime.

[Now we have to make the Ivy & Bean cootie catcher from the website.  Woo-hoo!]

Daddy Said Okay...

...  when the girls and their cousins asked to cover our picnic table with Duck Tape.

My only real concern is that we are now out of Duck Tape.  We'll need more if they decide to finish the job.

This Is Dolly

I spent all afternoon making her.

The little daughter named her.

She is not stitched too well. 

Her dress is quite shapeless.

Her hair is quite thin.

But the oldest daughter exclaimed, "She is homemade, so she is perfect!"

Tonight, we read an old favorite.

Fanny by Holly Hobbie.  Little, Brown, 2008.

Tonight we read Fanny by Holly Hobbie - the real Holly Hobbie - all about a girl who makes her own doll.

Someday, my girls may be inspired to make their own dolls, too.

Books and Boxes and Busting Boredom

It's back in the 100s.  We had a short reprieve, but now it's hot again.

But I won't whine.  Nope.  We can play outside early and late in the day, and find some fine indoor activities to beat the heat.

Yesterday, the hubby went through the girls' shoes.  How is it that both my girls outgrew size 9 1/2 shoes in the space of two or three months?  I'm not exaggerating.  Big Sis started her 9 1/2s at the beginning of summer, then outgrew them by the time she started pre-K.   Now Little Sis has managed to outgrow the 9 1/2s we got her in May.  It's crazy.  Sooooo...  we hit Target yesterday, and restocked a bit on shoes.  Which meant we brought home shoe boxes.

Which meant,

"Mom?  Where's the glue stick?"

This kept them occupied for a couple of hours.  Seriously.

And while they did that, I made a pinwheel mobile.  I may not be much for sewing, but I love making paper pinwheels!  I have a Pinterest board for pinwheels.

(Of course I do.  Because I am a Pinterest addict and probably in dire need of help.)

Last night, the girls needed to work on their rooms.  We have a three bedroom, "mid-century modest" house (to borrow a phrase from Pam at Retro Renovation).  The two smaller bedrooms are very, very small, so one they share for sleeping (yay, bunk beds!) and one is their playroom.  Both rooms were looking bad, but the girls went above and beyond what we asked.  They cleaned their playroom closets.  

These closets were bad.  Overflowing.  Trashed.

And they fixed them.  They organized and arranged, and they did it well.

So today, I surprised them with lunch at our neighborhood indie bookstore & cafe.  Then we went to one of our favorite used bookstores and went to town!

The book-making book is a new book from the indie store.  I'll have more on that one in a later post.  We hit the jackpot at the used bookstore.  A whole stack of the Little House chapter books!  The three Molly McIntire books we didn't have!  Another Strawberry Moshi book!  Leo Lionni!

Even our mailbox was full of happy today.  Little Sis is invited to a birthday party (see the invitation above), and we got the latest issue of FamilyFun.

Once inside, Little Sis showed her Molly doll the new books.  (The doll was a gift from her uncle in DC.  She's a bit too little to sit still as I read her the books, although her attention span is getting better and better.)

Have you seen the Strawberry Moshi/MoshiMoshiKawaii books?  We have three now.  They're like the Where's Waldo? of adorableness.  In the US, they are published by Candlewick Press.  You can "like" them on Facebook and play on the computer, too.  (I haven't introduced the girls to the computer game yet.)  

Big Sis agreed to show off the books.

Where is Strawberry Princess Moshi? (Moshi Moshi Kawaii) by MindWave, Inc.  Candlewick Press, 2003.

So now we have new books to read, books to make, and games to play.  And if we need something else to do, there's always that doll quilt to finish...

Oz: The Great and Powerful

The trailer for the new Disney film Oz: The Great and Powerful has been making its rounds on the internet this week.  Have you seen it yet?

The movie is directed by Sam Raimi (Spiderman, The Evil Dead) and is described as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz.  I'm guessing, much like Gregory Maguire's Wicked, the movie uses some elements described in the L. Frank Baum books, but the story is mostly original.

I'm a huge fan of the Oz books, or at least the books by Baum.  (I haven't read any of the books written after Baum's death.)  I'm curious about the film.  I like the book Wicked (although I didn't care as much for the sequels), but I can't help thinking about Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, another reimagined version of one of my favorites.  I love Tim Burton's visuals, and love some of his movies (especially the earlier ones), but I really didn't care for his Alice.  And they so lost me with this part.  Sorry, futterwhacken(sp???) fans.

(Silver shoes - Oz.  Rabbit holes - Alice.  Oz and Alice may be mentioned on this blog aplenty.)

Knowing me, I'll wait to hear what others say about Oz before I make my way to the theater.  It isn't slated to be released until March 2013.

What do you think of the trailer?

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