Friday Reads


Wow.  This is my 400th post on Silver Shoes & Rabbit Holes.  Happy Friday indeed!

So remember how I said I wasn't going to do much reading for the next few weeks, because of my play? Yeah, two holds came into the library immediately following that post.  Two holds for which I was on two long waiting lists, and both books were only available for two weeks at a time.  Of course, I had to read them!

But first, Big Sis wants to review her new favorite series for you.

She asked me to tell you that she knows there are two glaring
grammatical errors in her note, but she "wrote it in a hurry!"

These are the two books she read on her own this past week.

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912;
I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
by Lauren Tarshis.  Scholastic, 2010 and 2012.

"I like the I Survived books, because I learn something and it feels like I'm in the book.  There is are always some scary things in them, but it's always better in the end.  I think there they're my favorite series." - Big Sis, age 8, second grade.

She devoured these books!  We first came across I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912, when we were cat-sitting for friends this fall.  Their son had left it on the kitchen table, and she was intrigued.  We had already read the Magic Tree House book about the Titanic, and she has a beginning reader nonfiction title, too.  She kept scanning the shelves at school, but it was always checked out.  Then two weeks ago, hooray!  It turned up on a cart of books to be shelved.  She had already decided to read the San Francisco Earthquake book next, as it was another event she was familiar with through the Magic Tree House books.

We received a Scholastic Reading Club order form from her teacher yesterday.  I always order online instead of by check, because the teacher earns more free stuff that way, and you can access all of the available items, not just the books in your class's particular catalog.  We found a set of 7 I Survived books and another title that were available online only, and the newest book was in the fourth grade catalog. Stories about historic disasters may not scream "Valentine's Day!," but I know they will be appreciated.  ($20 for nine books!  Hard to beat that!)



Now for the rest of what we read...

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
by Mo Willems.  Balzer + Bray, 2012.

We love Mo Willems.  I mean, who doesn't?  We actually gave this book as a birthday gift, right after it came out, because we knew it would be awesome.  Over a year later, and we just got around to reading it ourselves!  Such a funny book!  I read it to the second graders in Big Sis's class yesterday, as it seemed fitting after two weeks of Fairy Tale Comics.  I'm sure many of you have already read it, but if you haven't, just know that it's very cleverly written and laugh-out-loud silly.  Bonus:  HarperCollins is awesome about posting event kits and printable activities on their website, and there are plenty for this title!

No book trailer for this one, but apparently there is (or will be?) an animated version.  Here is Mo Willems recording the endpapers for the animation.  (Yes, the endpapers.)



We also read....

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013.

Another one we were a little late getting to, although not that late.  This gem has been all over the internet, and I knew we needed to check it out.  This is a beautifully illustrated book, as we meet Mr. Tiger, who feels out of place in his world of formal, well-dressed animals, walking on two legs.  He decides to go a little wild, walking on four legs, roaring, perhaps even - gasp! - shedding his clothes.  He heads to the wilderness, where he can be his wild self.  The wilderness is lonely, though, so he returns home.  Lucky for Mr. Tiger, the rest of the animals are starting to explore their own wild selves, too.  We love Peter Brown - Children Make Terrible Pets is a favorite - and this one did not disappoint.




And what did I read this week?

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy
by Helen Fielding.  Knopf, 2013.

I know there are plenty of Bridget Jones detractors out there, but I loved the first two books.  They made me laugh.  I have happy memories of reading them along with one of my best friends, roaring over the Colin Firth interview in the second book.  So yes, I was excited to read this one.  What can I say?  I laughed.  (Out loud.  A lot.)  I cried.  



And I finally got my turn at this one...

Allegiant by Veronica Roth.
Katherine Tegan Books, 2013.

I had already caught whiff of the ending, but it was still painful to get there.  Oh, teen dystopian novels, I do love you so.  I'm looking forward to Divergent the movie, even if I get stuck seeing it at home a year later.  By the way, Big Sis has now seen the movie version of The Hunger Games - she begged, we discussed, we watched - and she is in love with it, and can't wait until she can read the books.  I told her she can read them in a few years.  I may let her try the City of Ember books this summer, though.  Post-apocalyptic kiddie books: they do exist!  And now, I must direct you to this very funny article at Book Riot.  I guess I will never overthrow a dystopian society.  I'm too old (#1).  However, I do have a weird name (#5)!  




So...  what are you reading?  What have you read lately?  

Merry Weekend.  Happy Reading!  



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Instagrammin'

While Little Sis was in dance class:  Big Sis reads
I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912.  I read
Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy.

It is cold.  It is windy.  It is busy around here.  Here are a few pictures I shared on Instagram over the course of the last week.

Mr. B finished putting the living room back together!  He moved
the console record player to this room.  I hope to get
the girls' rooms into photographical shape, but
I fear this may never happen.

Big Sis went to a birthday party.  Little Sis and I went to The Donut Whole.
She had a doughnut.  I had an avocado boba tea.

Then we drove around Historic Midtown and picked out some
favorite houses.  (Here is the Aley House, the Wey Mansion, and the
Skinner-Lee House.)

I successfully completed a crown braid on Big Sis.

Big Sis glued googly eyes to a Band-Aid.  No, she wasn't hurt.

And from my personal Instagram:  Little Sis had her turn at
Star Student of the Month for her class.  I love the reason
given for her achievement:  "for showing compassion
to her classmates."

I have a reading round-up for you tomorrow!  Yes, I did read a couple of books that needed to be returned to the library.  Plus, Big Sis shares her new favorite series with you, and I will show you what I read to the second graders this week!


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Mystery of the Gate Sign

Mystery of the Gate Sign by Margaret Friskey, illustrated by Katherine Evans.
Childrens Press, 1958.

Here is one I barely remember from childhood.  This was one of the stack of books at my grandma's house, and we would read it when I would stay the night at her house on the weekends.  I assumed it was a garage sale find, but now that I see the year, I think there's a good chance this might have been one of my dad's books.

Mystery of the Gate Sign is one of several books by Margaret Friskey to star Rackety Rabbit and his quiet brothers, Hush and Shush. According to Friskey's obituary, she was inspired to write early reader books after her son threw up a copy of Dick and Jane, declaring it "stupid."  It's a clever beginning reader. Doesn't every child go through a phase where they declare, "I know how to read!," only to be caught guessing or memorizing?
















The illustrator, by the way, is Katherine Evans.  Remember The Littlest Angel?  She illustrated the first edition of the book (not the one I have).  Her art is sweetly old-fashioned.  I love her little bunnies among the flowers.




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A Spot of Tea


It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the girls are out of school.  I put some library books on hold for the occasion, but I wasn't notified that they had arrived until closing time last night.  Of course, the library is closed today, too.  We will read our MLK books tomorrow instead.

Today, the girls had a little tea party.  Mr. B bought a set of four china cups and saucers at a garage sale yesterday.  He cut out little cheese and butter sandwiches, and made a fruity herbal tea.


As you can see, they put on pretty dresses, and conversed politely.  Little Sis informed Big Sis that, no, she doesn't like to stick her pinky out as she sips, thank you very much.


We had no flowers for this bud vase, so Big Sis improvised with some tissue paper.  Clever girl.



Ah, peace.  


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