Happy Weekend

And the weekend is here.  The weather is warm and tomorrow promises to be warmer.  Mr. B plans to start cleaning out the backyard shed, I plan to go through the girls' clothes, Big Sis has rehearsal for Aladdin Jr., and I'm sure Little Sis will be making mud pies while Daddy works on the shed.  And at 5:00, we'll take a time-out to gather 'round the old telly to watch the first NCAA Final Four Men's Basketball game.  

I don't have a bracket.  I don't watch basketball often at all.  Whenever a Kansas team does well in any sport, I root for them.  When it comes down to the wire, that means I'm cheering on K-State in football or KU in basketball.  But something cool happened this year.  Our hometown team from my alma mater, the school where Mr. B and I met doing theatre, our team is in the Final Four for the first time since 1965.  For any of you from a big basketball town, you may be used to this kind of thing.  But we're the underdogs.  Today, everywhere I went, the city was a sea of black and gold.  Employers encouraged their employees to wear their Shocker garb.  The kids and staff at Big Sis's school wore their Wu Shock t-shirts, or whatever black and gold they could come up with.  Big Sis, who really doesn't care about this stuff, found herself wearing her WSU shirt twice this week:  today (see above) and a couple days ago.  Look how awesomely her daddy dressed her!  He layered her tee over a black dress with jeans.  Unfortunately, that was the day the temperatures started to swing upward, and she had to lose the dress as the day went on.  Too hot! 

 So if you don't have a team to root for, or if you just feel like being contrary to that college basketball fan in your life, root for the WSU Shockers tomorrow.  The pundits say they don't have much of a chance, but they've said that the whole tournament.  If you want a good read, check out this lovely blog post by Shannon Sutherland in The Huffington Post.  If you want more reasons why you should root for the Shockers, Buzzfeed has 24 right here.  (Oh, and if the Shockers win the whole tournament, Pizza Hut will reopen the first Pizza Hut and will give free pizza to the campus.)

In other news, Big Sis did an awesome job in her two performances of her first grade school musical, It's a Jungle Out There.  She had one of the main speaking parts, along with some of her very best friends! 

Little Sis didn't like the noise, as you can tell from the picture above.  Oh, my funny girl.  She loves to be silly and funny and crazy at home, but she is so surly and shy in public.  The girls had dance tonight.  I snapped this picture while we waited for her sister's ballet class to end.

Both girls got their recital costumes tonight!  (Big Sis gets a second one Monday.)  Little Sis loves hers.  We tried them on in the studio before we left, to make sure they fit.

Little Sis, by the way, is pretty much obsessed with The Mighty B on Netflix.  Bessie Higgenbottom is her hero.  During her playdate with her best friend on Wednesday, she formed a band called Pretty, Pretty Princesses and proved she knows all the words to "Running With the Rainbow Unicorns."  Meanwhile, I'm staying up late watching Powerpuff Girls on Netflix with Mr. B.  He's very indulgent.  That, and he likes Mojo Jojo.  The "Meet the Beat-Alls" episode is genius.

In book news, I finished a lovely book this week, the latest by Jerry Spinelli.

Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli.  Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2013.

 The first thing I thought when I finished Hokey Pokey was that this is another one of those books I really liked, but I wondered what younger readers might think of it.  It's about leaving childhood behind, symbolized by the magical, surreal world called Hokey Pokey.  Jack wakes up to his bike missing.  He knows it's been stolen by a girl called Jubilee.  You became aware of the fact that there are no adults in Hokey Pokey.  The landscape seems like a child's view of the Wild West.  Wild bikes are caught from herds, like wild mustangs.  There are references to strange things like "sleep monsters."  Spinelli doesn't make it easy.  I think any reader will be lost at the beginning of Hokey Pokey.  

 I first heard about this book via Rebecca at Sturdy For Common Things.  She loved it.  I loved her description of it.  Then another blog commenter said she hated it.  It's that kind of book.   It isn't perfect.  The plot is confusing and the symbolism may come across as trite or heavy-handed to the cynical reader.  The sentimental sap in me was caught up in it, however, and by the time I reached the poignant final chapter, I felt like I'd relived the summer days of my own suburban childhood.  It sucked me in.

For more on Hokey Pokey, check out this interview with Jerry Spinelli from NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday.  Or watch this video:

The girls and I are about two-thirds of the way through The Magic Half and we are loving it.  Twins, time travel, mean relatives...  I'll tell you more about it when we're through.  We have a huge stack of kids' poetry books checked out from the library.  Thanks to this post by Becca at Once Upon A Bookshelf and YouMustReadTheseNow!!!!! emails from Melissa at Julia's Bookbag, I have  All-Of-A-Kind Family sitting in my library bag, ready to go.  With summer coming, I should have time for more grown-up books soon!!!!


Merry Weekend, one and all!  Happy Reading!!!

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Rosie, I Love You

The Sign on Rosie's Door by Maurice Sendak.  Harper & Row, 1960.  Current edition: HarperCollins, 2002.

This is the Rosie I love.  Maurice Sendak's wonderful, imaginative girl playing grown-up, leading the neighborhood kids in play.  This is one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors and I don't own it.  I don't know why we don't own it.  We own the soundtrack to Really Rosie, the fabulous 1975 television special.  We watch the special on YouTube (it isn't on DVD), and we own the Nutshell Library.  I think Big Sis is getting to be the perfect age to read this this summer, though.  It's a very summery kind of book.  In fact, I think perhaps the lovely springlike weather today (yes, really!) is to blame:  I'm thinking about Rosie.

Rosie is fun.  She loves to pretend and she wants the world to pretend with her.  I love how the book lacks a definite plot.  It's just a couple of days in the life of these neighborhood kids one summer.

This book is at the top of my very long personal wish list.  (You can browse inside the book here.)

You can listen to Tammy Grimes read the audio version.

And Really Rosie is on YouTube, too.


Do you have one of those books that you love dearly, but for some reason, you don't have a copy of your own?  Maybe something you check out at the library over and over again so often, you forget you don't have it on your shelf?

 By the way, there are a lot of great animated clips of children's books on YouTube.  I have a playlist, if you're interested.

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Holly Hobbie's Nursery Rhymes

Holly Hobbie's Nursery Rhymes by Holly Hobbie.  Grosset & Dunlap, 1977.

April is National Poetry Month!  I plan on featuring numerous poetry books for kids this month, but I thought I'd start with one of the latest additions to our personal library.  The first poetry most children are exposed to are nursery rhymes, and something near and dear to me as a child was the art of Holly Hobbie.  I recently purchased a couple of books from Becca's Once Upon A Bookshelf store on Etsy.  While they were supposedly Easter gifts from Mr. B and me to the girls, I'll admit that this one was as much for me as it was for them.

This lovely book contains more than your typical nursery rhymes.  Although no author credit is given, I did spy some Christina Rosetti, for example.  And of course, the illustrations are to die for.  For anyone wondering why I didn't save this for an Obsessive Nostalgia Monday post, Holly Hobbie just doesn't fit my criteria*.  I've never forgotten about Holly Hobbie.  I wasn't allowed to - I still had the same pink Holly Hobbie wallpaper in my bedroom until we moved from my childhood home when I was 18 years old!  And although I was sick of that wallpaper, I still loved Holly Hobbie.  My dolls were long-gone, my Holly Hobbie bedding was gone, but the memory of the art lingered on.  When Big Sis was a year old, I bought her Halloween costume from One Step Ahead.  She was a little sick that year, poor doll.  Little Sis wore it for Halloween the day before her first birthday.  

Holly Hobbie for Halloween!  Halloween 2006 and 2008.

Sigh.  They're so cuddly and small here!  (By the way, our doll was a gift for Little Sis that year.  My mom gave it to her early, so she could carry it on Halloween.  Big Sis was Raggedy Ann that year, and she already had a doll to carry.)

For more classic Holly Hobbie goodness, be sure to like the official Facebook page and follow Holly Hobbie on Pinterest.  The images are posted by the American Greetings corp., and you may also find some Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake goodies there, too.  You can check out the newfangled made-over Holly Hobbie at her official webpage, too, but she makes me sad.  I like the Blue Girl better.

I have a Holly Hobbie Love pinboard, too, of course.  If you love Holly Hobbie, be sure and check it out.  I've found some awesome stuff.

Back to National Poetry Month.  If you are at all interested in incorporating some poetry for kids into your lives, may I suggest the Poetry Foundation's children's page?  There's also a list at Scholastic that's worth checking out.

Looking forward to the rhymes, rhythms, and words of April!

*Obsessive Nostalgia Disorder Monday:  Where I pay homage to those weird things from the past that I've mostly forgotten about, but their memories have haunted me as an adult.  I tend to obsess about things I can't remember well, but know I loved once upon a time.

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Our Easter

Our Easter was sunny and breezy, a bit chilly in the morning then warmer in the afternoon.  It was appropriately spring-like!  (Of course, yesterday barely hit 50 degrees before disintegrating into sleet.  That's Kansas!)

Here are a few snapshots from our day.

The Easter Bunny filled the baskets (hello, Hello Kitty stuff!) and left a book to share.  We hunted eggs in the beautiful churchyard, then went inside for services.  We came home, I finished making dinner, and my grandma, sister, and niece joined us.  We hunted eggs in the backyard.  Then Mr. B came home from work.  (All the men worked Sunday - my husband, my daddy, my brother-in-law...)

And then I got very sleepy, and collapsed on the couch with a bag of Laffy Taffy to watch some NCAA Basketball.  I don't normally care about basketball, but I wanted to see who would be playing my alma mater next week - GO SHOX!

Winter weather has returned.  We're leaving our Egg Tree up for a while.  It's our "Spring Egg Tree" now.

I am linking up to the Easter Parade Blog Party, courtesy of the wonderful Audrey Eclectic.  Better late than never!  If you're still in an Eastery mood, be sure and check out the other blog posts!  xxxooo

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Candy For Lunch

Seriously.  I cannot believe the amount of candy we wound up with yesterday.  Add it to the remains of our Valentine's Day stash, and our poor candy bin on top of the fridge was overflowing.

So?  Big Sis is getting this for lunch.

It's finally April.  Easter in March just feels so strange.  I can only think of one thing to like about this year's Easter in March:

In the Peep's wrapper:  turkey sandwich.  Skittles wrapper: cheddar cheese.  Tootsie Roll wrappers:  gherkin halves.  Easter eggs:  walnuts and Craisins.  The yogurt's just yogurt.

The fact that the next day is ApRIL FoOl'S dAy!!!

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Happy Easter!

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