This Week In Reading

Meet Jenny.  We have two cats (officially), an old Siamese named Katie and my Jenny girl.  Here you see Jenny with my current reading material.  I still have my usual stack, but I'm working my way through my library check-outs now.  The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesy is a modern retelling of one of my favorite books, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.  Jane Eyre is a book I've re-read several times, in addition to seeing most film and television adaptations.  I am only on chapter four, but I like it so far.  The story is very familiar, although the names, settings, and details are different.  I wondered if I could get into a book that, despite these basic changes, tells a story I know inside and out.  At this point, it has my attention.  And for all I know, the plot may veer off in new directions.  It's still early.

And here is the book I finished earlier in the week:  The Diviners by Libba Bray.  I have Melissa at Julia's Bookbag to thank for pointing me to this one.  There is so much to say about The Diviners...  Where should I start?  The main character, Evie O'Neill, is everything one loves in a 1920s flapper character:  brash, young, irreverent, witty, naughty.  But Evie is more than she seems.  She also has the power to divine the past by touching an object.  And this power comes in handy when a series of murders begins, terrifying Jazz Age New York.

Evie is so much fun.  The story?  CREEPY.  The killer is true evil incarnate, and as the book continues, characters surprise you by not being what you expected them to be.  It's the first book in a new series, so don't expect a pat resolution, either.  

This was a perfect October read for me.  I stayed up until three AM reading, not only because I was enjoying it, but also because I had the heebie-jeebies so badly, I needed to know how it ended!  If I didn't know that night, I knew I would lie in bed, haunted by all the horrible what if?s.  

Take some time and explore the official website.   Check out The Diviners Radio.  I'm excited to read more.

Big Sis is zipping through the Junie B. Jones books.  We read the first one together several months ago, then we discovered Ivy & Bean and Junie B. was put on hold.  Now she's back to Junie B!  She's reading them on her own.  The second book in the series was read at home, and a later book (#11) at school.  (Her teacher doesn't want them to take their library books home, since she has problems getting them back.  They have free reading time every day, though!)  Now she's on to Book 3 at home and Junie B., First Grader (at last!) at school.

I'm still reading Three Tales of My Father's Dragon (the middle book now!) and On the Banks of Plum Creek to the girls at bedtime, along with a neverending stack of picture books.  Little Sis also talked me into reading the first book in the Molly McIntire American Girl series to her.  I have a couple ideas for some Molly-related projects, although the Dust Bowl weather outside is making me think we should be looking into the 1930s (Kit Kittridge!) instead. 

This picture was taken at four PM.  The orangey sky?  DIRT.

So we hope to do more reading this weekend.  And we have a Daisy Scout Halloween event.  And I'm in an F. Scott Fitzgerald readers' theatre.  And I'm going to a Scentsy party.  And I'll probably be hunting down a techie to figure out why the domain I purchased from Blogger isn't working.  

Merry Weekend!

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Pumpkin Patch Field Trip #1

Ah, the annual preschool excursion to the pumpkin patch.  My fourth, and now my last, since Little Sis will join Big Sis at her elementary school next year.

We have a tradition on the morning of our pumpkin patch trip.  I step outside, declare the temperature fine for a sweater or light jacket, head to the preschool, head out to the pumpkin patch -

only to find the wind has picked up, the clouds have moved in, and it's suddenly much colder. We even had sprinkles.

I love pumpkin patches. 

We made a good haul.

 This pumpkin patch has a great playground, a zipline, a petting zoo, and a giant slide.  Little Sis did not care.  She did not want to play.  She did not want her picture taken, either.

She did want hot chocolate, however.  And I wanted kettle corn and a hot chocolate in coffee.

We passed this vehicle in the parking lot.  Someone has a great sense of humor.

Next week, I get to go to a different pumpkin patch with Big Sis's class.  Hooray for multiple pumpkin patches!

Tell Me, Mr. Owl

I love finding old forgotten treasures at the library.  So many of the Golden Age picture books in our library system, though, are categorized as "Decorative Arts" or "In Storage" and are not available for check out.

Tell Me, Mr. Owl by Doris Van Liew Foster, illustrated by Helen Stone.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co, Inc., 1957.

One I lucked out in finding was this odd Halloween title.  The smudgy illustrations held a certain odd appeal, and I loved the spooky, vintage-style Halloween costumes.  The text is strange, full of weird references such as "Weenky Days" for trick-or-treaters.  We found an old library copy used on Amazon.  It was missing that wonderful dust jacket, but it needed a good home!

(Poor book.  It wasn't checked out very many times at this particular library.)

The boy of the story asks Mr. Owl about all the strange noises he hears that night.  First, the noises are mundane sounds such as a black cat and a scarecrow, but soon they turn out to be costumed folk with names such as Silly Miss Nilly and High Joe.

Finally the owl asks the boy about a large group of costumed kids.  The boy replies they are Weenky Days, and describes trick-or-treating.  They follow the parade to a house, where the Weenky Days go inside for a Halloween party.  The owl and boy watch from a window.

 Then they bid each other farewell, and we see a picture of a nice peaceful town.

But on the last page...

In searching Amazon for a listing to link to, I noticed there are some related books, Tell Me, Little Boy and Tell Me More, Mr. Owl.  More to explore...

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Imagination Movers Rock-O-Matic Tour

If you ever get the chance to see
Imagination Movers, live in concert,

Take your kids.  Take someone else's kids.  Go, have fun.

If you don't watch TV, if you're tired of reruns, if the show holds no appeal...

remember:  these guys are real musicians.  
It's all about the MUSIC.

The Movers go out into the audience.  They interact with the kids.
They make moms and dads get on their feet with the kids.
They may surprise you with a Blink-182 song for an encore.

An official Imagination Movers LED glowstick!  

My quiet one.  

Kyle and Rich drum war!

This child thought she might have outgrown them.
They were her 4th birthday party theme.
She LOVED this concert.

Very happy Movers fan!

Link Love:

Obsessive Halloween Nostalgia Disorder: A Disney Halloween/Disney Halloween Treat

I wasn't planning on giving all my Monday Nostalgia Disorder posts over to Disney.

I think next week's post will be different.

But I loved these!  The Disney Halloween specials were second only to the Disney Christmas specials when my sister and I were growing up.  Some aired on network television, some were Disney Channel exclusives. According to Wikipedia, Disney's Halloween Treat, with it's talking Jack-O-Lantern narrator, came first.   A Disney Halloween, released the following year, consisted of re-edited material from the first special, along with portions of Disney's Greatest Villains, hosted by a Magic Mirror played by Hans Conried.

I think we had one of these taped off of television, and the other we would rent from the video store.  It's all jumbled up in my mind.  But I remember them - and their theme song - so well!

Currently, this version is the only one available in its entirety on YouTube.  Luckily, it's also embeddable.

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