Weekend Reading

The leaves are changing, the leaves are changing!  Fall is here!  So are clouds and storms and rain, but FALL.  IS.  HERE.

The biggest and best used book store in our town has three locations.  One of those locations is having an amazing warehouse sale this week.  Yesterday was the first day:  fill a plastic bag with all the books from the warehouse (the storage area behind the scenes) you can for $10.  Each day through Sunday, the price will drop some more, but $10 and having more to choose from sounded pretty good to us.

And wow.  I think we did well!

Don't worry.  I don't think the girls are ready for Love in the Time of Cholera.
Books in the store proper were not included in the sale, but we still took home a few more!

Leonard Weisgard!!!

Little Sis found this and sadly informed me that we did not have it home.  I thought about it, and yep, she's right!  How did we not already own it?  She got this, and Big Sis got a Judy Moody activity book (not pictured.)

On top of all this, a special package was waiting for us when we returned home.  We won a copy of Kevin Henkes's Sheila Rae, The Brave, from the blog Juggling With Kids!  A lovely group of bloggers had a Kevin Henkes-themed Summer Virtual Book Club blog hop that I enjoyed visiting.  We're especially excited about this one, as we haven't read this one before!  

On top of this bounty, we still have TWO full bags of library books.  Big Sis is re-reading the Ivy & Bean books all by herself.  (She's more than halfway through Book 2!)  I'm alternating between On the Banks of Plum Creek and My Father's Dragon at bedtime.  (I know it's taking us forever, but I wasn't home evenings during the run of my play.  Now that the play has closed - yes, it was a great run! - we should be able to finish these out soon.  Little Sis is anxious for me to start reading the Oz books!)  I'm working on the same books I mentioned reading the last time I did a Weekend Reading post.  And that's that!

What are you reading this weekend?  Or do you have something much more amazing planned?  And isn't fall wonderful???

And if it isn't fall where you are, tell me about that, too?

RIP Andy Williams

It isn't Christmas, but I'm posting this anyway.

1) In memory of Andy Williams, who just passed away. 

2)  I'm a Christmas geek.  My girls are Christmas geeks.  This one is a favorite.  More so than this one.

3)  This blog is about kids' stuff.  

But this isn't really a kids' song?

Well, no, although my kids love it.  "Happy Holiday" is an Irving Berlin tune.  But "The Holiday Season" was written by Andy Williams' mentor.  That would be singer, vocal coach, arranger, composer, and film actor Kay Thompson.

And ooooooooo, I just love Kay Thompson!  Because she gave us Eloise!

Rest in peace, Mr. Williams.  Here's one more for you.

Ruby Slippers

Especially when one friend has FOUR pairs.  


Big. Big brown. Big brown bear.

My old friend.

This is Big Brown Bear.  He's a bit worn out.  His stuffing is clumpy, the blacks of his eyes are chipped.  He is a well-loved bear.  He lives on a shelf, high up in the girls' bedroom.  When I watch a Toy Story movie, my thoughts turn to him and I feel guilty...  until I remember I'm watching an animated movie and that toys are not really alive.

This isn't really a nostalgia post.  This is about a book and toy that never really left.  

This was my favorite book as a small, small fry.  The Berenstains' B Book by Stan & Jan Berenstain, from the Bright & Early series by Random House.  It was first published in 1971.  My copy is a book club edition.  

It is also as worn and well-loved as my teddy bear.  Look at that poor, poor binding!

And this is where Big Brown Bear got his name.

I can quote this entire book.  "Big.  Big brown bear. Big brown bear, blue bull..."

There's blue bull!

"Big brown bear, blue bull, beautiful baboon..."

And alliterative chaos ensues!

The Berenstains' B Book by Stan & Jan Berenstain (A Bright & Early Book).  Random House Books for Young Readers, 1971.

I loved this book so much as a child.  I gave it to my little brother when he was born.  When I first started my old bookselling job, fresh out of college - putting that theatre degree to good use! - this was another book I looked up, hoping to find another copy.  Strangely enough, it was available...  and as a bargain book!

Copy number 2 is a reissue.  The new cover is from 1997, and the cute endpapers are replaced with generic Bright and Early papers.

But it's what's on the INSIDE that counts!

And see?  It was the same.
So a funny thing happened.  When I moved in with my husband, I left my new bargain copy behind.  Some years passed, Big Sis was born, and my mom and brother gifted me with old books and toys that had belonged to me.

However, my old copy was in such shabby condition.  I happened upon a nice book club edition at a used bookstore one day and couldn't resist it.  Then I found the bargain edition at my dad's, and now we have THREE copies!

One for me, one for Big Sis, and one for Little Sis?

Oh, and when I bought my bargain copy, I ordered the Berenstains' A Book and C Book (first published as C is for Clown) too.  I didn't even know those existed!

 Big Brown Bear is staring at me while I type this.  

I'm starting to feel guilty again.

Stupid Toy Story.

You can find The Berenstains' B Book on Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, or other sites for finding used books, or by enrolling in the Early Moments program, which is how I got my first copy!

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Obsessive Nostalgia Disorder Monday: The Ghost of Bath Toys Past

The girls found this little toy at my grandma's.  "Aww, Mom, it's so cute!"  "Oh, yeah!  That came with one of my Sea Wees."  "Your what?"  "A Sea Wee.  A little mermaid bath toy."

Wide eyes.  Much jumping up and down.

"I don't have any of the Sea Wees, girls.  They were thrown away."

Shocked faces.  "Why???????"

"Um, they were gross.  They had black mildew caked on their scalps under their hair.  It wouldn't clean off.  I threw them away."

What can I say?  Mildew grossed me out.  I didn't even know that was what it was called.  All I knew was that my Sea Wees developed a cake of black under their hair that kept getting worse and worse...

But until the day I threw them out, Sea Wees reigned supreme in the bath tub.

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