Happy March! & This Week in Reading

Look!  It's staying organized!  It's staying organized!

But I concede, we probably have too much stuff...

It's nice to be able to do a Friday reading post again.  I'm not in any plays and we've been snowed in!  Hooray for reading time!

What We Read

Magic Tree House #1: Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne.  Random House Books for Young Readers, 1992.

Big Sis was starting to tire of Junie B. Jones - she loves Junie B., but hadn't read anything else in a while! - so she checked this one out from the school library.  We actually owned a copy I scored at a used bookstore warehouse sale, but she didn't know that.  She started it on her own, then decided her little sister would like it, too, and asked if we could read it at bedtime.  Sure enough, both girls loved it and are excited to check out book 2!  (I scored several Magic Tree House books, but not book 2.)

Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska.  Lerner Publishing Group, 2012.

This picture book is a stunner.  It isn't so much a book about the concept of infinity, as about what the idea feels like to a young child.  Indeed, Hosford uses real quotes from children describing infinity.  Swiatkowska's illustrations take the book to a whole new level.  This was a perfect stuck-at-home-in-a-blizzard kind of book.  It's a wonderful springboard to your own question-and-answer session with your kids about what infinity means to them.

King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bently, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.  Dial, 2011.

I checked this one out after reading Whitney's post about it on Pen Pals & Picture Books.  I read it on my own and intended to read it to the girls.  I love books about playing make-believe!  But I passed it off to their daddy instead.  Something about it struck me as the perfect daddy read.  Sure enough, he came back to the family room to tell me, "That King Jack book was really great!"  So there's an endorsement from Mr. B.

What I Read

Wish You Were Eyre (The Mother-Daughter Book Club) by Heather Vogel Frederick.  Simon & Schuster, 2012.

I started this series when I was still employed at my old bookstore job, and now I've seen it through to its conclusion.  This isn't my favorite series in the world.  The neat conclusions always seem too fantastic to me.  But I love the concept.  A group of girls and their mothers in Concord, MA spend a year reading a classic book (or series), exploring the stories and the authors, surprised to see how the books may apply to their own modern lives.  They're easy, light reads, and a pleasant way to introduce classics to younger readers.  As you may have surmised by the title, this book finds the girls reading Jane Eyre, one of my all-time favorites.

What We're Reading

The BFG by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake.  Originally published in the US by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1982.  Ours is a Scholastic book club edition, published by arrangement with the current publisher, Puffin/Penguin.

We're not very far into this yet, but I'm loving it!  I'm not certain about the girls yet.  I'll keep you posted.

Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser.

Big Sis is tackling this one on her own.  She tried it late last year, but it was still a bit difficult for her.  Now she claims to have no trouble with it at all!  I'll have to borrow it from her.

And yes, we're still reading this book, and this book.  And we're ready for book 3 in this series.  And I'm reading this book, and this book, and I'm about to start this book...

Other Stuff We've Enjoyed This Week

Felicity: An American Girl Adventure

It was the only American Girl movie we hadn't seen, and Mr. B scored the DVD for cheap at Big Lots.  I have to admit, I love these movies.  The heroines are smart and resourceful, and the stories are educational.  I wish they would make more, especially featuring the minority Girls.

Songbook - Cat Doorman

Cat Doorman (aka Julianna Bright) is a musician I saw featured on Apartment Therapy last month.  The bright CD cover art called out to me, but I didn't want to purchase anything without hearing it first.  When the CD finally hit Spotify, we gave it a listen.  It definitely passed the test!    It's a joyful album, and I've happily downloaded it (LEGALLY, always) since for our collection.  And check out some of the other cool Julianna Bright posts on AT:  I love this wizard scroll craft and her daughter's room is one of my favorite AT room tours ever!

Tomorrow is Saturday, March 2nd:  Read Across America!  Celebrated in conjunction with Dr. Seuss's birthday, there are events all over the US.  If you can't make it to an event, read something Seuss-ian or download your own activities!  (I always loved the Read Across America event kits we received at the bookstore every year.  I love reading Dr. Seuss books aloud to kids.)

So that is our week around here, beyond talk of snow and missed school.  We wish you all a Merry Weekend!  Happy Reading!

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The Owl and the Pussy-Cat (A Whitman Tiny-Tot Tale)

Edward Lear's poem "The Owl and the Pussycat" has been a favorite of mine since I was very young. I don't remember anyone reading it to me.  Rather, I loved the Halas-Batchelor cartoon version, which often aired on Nickelodeon's Pinwheel.

Here is a short snippet.

When Big Sis was only a few months old, Mr. B and I drove her three hours east to Joplin, MO, to visit his family for Christmas.  Once it became clear that a nap was not going to happen, I moved to the backseat to entertain her.  In the end, the only way I could keep her from crying was to read our board book of Jan Brett's version of the poem, over and over and over again.  I had it memorized quickly.  

I love owls.  I love kitty cats.  I love my vintage discount books, like Whitman Tell-A-Tales (or in this case, Tiny-Tot Tales).  And I love, love, love "The Owl and the Pussycat."  (See Pinterest board here.)  

So of course, I love this tiny book.

The Owl and the Pussycat
by Edward Lear,
illustrated by Bonnie & Bill Rutherford.
Racine, WI:  Western Publishing Company, Inc., 1968.

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White Snow, Pink Hair

Our snow days have come to an end.  The ground is still white, but the girls have finally gone back to school. 

And it's about time.  They came home in the snow last Wednesday.  This Wednesday, they return!

We had one last hurrah at home.  The girls streaked their hair pink with "hair mascara," and we spent a while in the backyard, warming ourselves by the fire pit.  What a cozy way to spend a beautiful winter's day.

Picnic, anyone?

I think the gutter is about go...

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Brownie Scouts (A Little Golden Book)

Look at our sweet latest addition to our Little Golden Book display!  I was so excited to score this one.  Big Sis is a Daisy Scout, and we're in the last weeks of cookie sales around here.  Next year, she'll be a Brownie!  I meant to save this one to give her at her bridge ceremony, but with the snow and everything, I thought she might enjoy it now.

I was a Brownie in first, second, and third grades.  Daisies came into being after my first year of Brownies, and at the time, were kindergarten-only.  I have searched and searched for a photograph of me in my uniform.  I found a few of girls in my troop, but I'm not in the pictures!  My uniform looked like this one, though.  Isn't it cute?  But maybe not as cute as this one.  Big Sis's troop only requires the girls to have a vest or sash now.  The complete catalog for uniform pieces is here.  Big Sis is disappointed.  I think we gave my old uniform to a younger girl.  I would love to grab an old one off eBay for my Scout.

But enough!  I have to show off my book!  I scanned the first few pages, and the last page, too.  What I left out were several pages demonstrating crafts, a hiking trip, and cooking with older Girl Scouts.  The whole book is very sweet.  And I forgot all about the Investiture story, about the girl who looks in the woods for a Brownie, then looks in the pond and sees herself.  I remember acting that out at our evening ceremony in first grade.  Troop 222 - that was my troop.  And the promise has changed several times since the 1961 release of this book.

Brownie Scouts (A Little Golden Book)
by Lillian Gardner Soskin,
illustrated by Louise Rumely.
New York: Golden Press, 1961.

The Blizzard of Oz continues!  The girls haven't had school since last Wednesday.  Craziness.  I hope all of you are safe, warm, and comfortable!

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Snowed In

We call it The Blizzard of Oz.

School is cancelled again today.  All weekend, forecasters were predicting another 15 inches, on top of the 14.2 we received Thursday and Friday.  Now they say 5-8 inches, but with wind?  Ice?  No matter what, our city can't keep up with the road conditions, so it's better to stay in.  

I think Mother Nature looked at us and said, "Oops!  Sorry, Kansas!  I guess I missed you last year."

Some folks in town have built awesome snowpeople.  We tried.  We couldn't get the snow to pack.  


We're waiting for the next snowfall, then I think we'll try an igloo.

Good things about being stuck at home:
What's this?  Organization?

Project Playroom is complete!  For now...
Reading Time!  I'm finishing the last book in the "Mother-Daughter Book Club" series...
and the girls and I have started Roald Dahl's The BFG.  (Katie is not impressed.)
Nachos and My Little Pony Friendship is Magic.  Pajamas optional.

Bad Thing About Being Snowed In (Or Good - Depends on Your Perspective):
We still have cases of Girl Scout Cookies in our living room to sell.
And sometimes, it's really, really hard to resist selling them to yourself...

Big Sis was running a high fever last night, so I guess she'd be home anyway.

Now to tackle Mt. Laundry...

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