#Friday Reads- The Handmaid’s Tale

So, I really really wanted to like this book, and maybe I would have it I had not listened to it rather than read it in paper form. I remember reading Margaret Atwood, the Cat’s Eye in college and liking it. For some reason I had a hard time focusing on this story and when I was able to focus I was so saddened and horrified of all these women had to go through.

I struggle writing reviews of books I don’t love. I envision the author and the people that were inspired by the book and who am I to say different? Maybe I just wasn’t in the right space for the specific genre or character. Possibly listening to the audio doesn’t provide the same meaning as sitting and reading the book. I imagine the hard work and dedication the author put into the story and becoming published.  Although it may be silly I simply cannot stop reading a book even if I’m not in love with it. The eternal optimist within me is reminded that sometimes a fantastic story doesn’t truly begin until 100 or 150 pages.

I was reading a post the other day from a fellow literary blogger @libbyvine and she talks about giving herself permission to stop a book and pick up another. You can check out the blog by clicking on Confessions from a wannabe librarian.

Does anyone else struggle with putting aside a book once you’ve started? Do you push through or are you ok with swapping out? I’d love to know!

Happy Reading!

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I Sing You a Song

“I sing you a song my little one my little one. I sing you a song forever I love you. I sing you a song my little one my little one angels are watching above you I love you.” ~Sing You a Song by Curtis King

If you walk into our house you will most definitely hear music. It may be children’s songs on Keegan’s iPod, Quinn playing the piano or listening to classical tunes or the eclectic mix of Dan and I. Some of my favorite children’s board books are lyrics of songs.

Here are two of my favorites:

 

Snuggle Puppy and Hush Little Baby

These are two that whenever I come across them I am immediately transported back nine years ago to the wee hours of the morning rocking my boys and singing the songs of these two fantastic books. Whenever a new baby is born these are my go to books.

Snuggle Puppy  is a fun and catchy little song that expressed the love of a parent and a little puppy. As all of Sandra Boynton’s books the images are colorful and popping. For years after finding this book my boys were affectionately called my very own snuggle puppies.

Moving on to my ultimate favorite board book- Sylvia Long’s Hush Little Baby. I was introduced to this book by my amazing Aunt Kim. This book isn’t the traditional Hush Little Baby Song. The tune is the same however the lyrics focus on nature and the beautiful gifts around us. Although it’s been several years since we’ve brought this book out I am still enchanted by the mother’s lullaby showing her baby rabbit the evening sky, a shooting star and cuddling up into a quilt. If you have not had the opportunity to hear this beautiful nature based lullaby I highly recommend you go out and get it! Or if you’re having a baby invite me to your shower and you know it will be the gift I bring.

Happy Reading & Singing

 

The Apostrophe

Today’s will begin a weekly series posting on a book that either I have/am reading myself or have read to the kids. Here’s the first of many Friday Reads.

 

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As a lover of language I was so excited to come across this children’s book this week called Greedy Apostrophe: A Cautionary Tale.  This is a cute story told from the perspective of a group of punctuation marks and the important jobs they are given. The story personifies the commas, exclamation points, periods, and question marks in a light yet grammatically accurate way. The protagonist, the apostrophe is causing all sorts of mayhem which illustrates the confusion between the possessive and plural forms. My nine year old was especially excited as this has been a focus in his language arts class recently. We both agree that this would be a great supplement to use within the classroom.

The story concludes with the greedy apostrophe showing up, making his mark in places he does not belong and makes confusion of weather a word is plural or possessive. It’s a fun way to show how important the apostrophe is and where it is placed can completely change its meaning.

And just a little background here’s Wikipedia’s definition of the apostrophe:

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The apostrophe ( ’ or ‘ ) is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritical mark, in languages that use the Latin alphabet or certain other alphabets. In English, it serves three purposes:[1]

  • The marking of the omission of one or more letters (as in the contraction of do not to don’t).
  • The marking of possessive case (as in the eagle’s feathers, or in one month’s time).
  • The marking by some as plural of written items that are not words established in English orthography (as in P’s and Q’s). (This is considered incorrect by others; see Use in forming certain plurals. The use of the apostrophe to form plurals of proper words, as in apple’s, banana’s, etc., is universally considered incorrect.)

I hope you get the chance to take a look at this great book and please share your favorite fictional stories that teach about grammar?

Happy Reading!

 

A Reason to Believe-

As part of a blogging course the assignment is to write via a prompt. The prompt for this post is A Reason to Believe.

A Reason to Believe

When I think of what this means to me I am immediately brought to the beginning of a new day. Each day offers a brand new start and has so many possibilities. An image that plays in my mind is a colorful sunrise coming up through the trees. No matter how difficult a day or period of time is- there is a reason to believe that things can and will change. There is beauty in nature, there is beauty in people, there is beauty in ourselves and our abilities.

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I think of all the difficult things in the world and how many people are struggling. I think of my beautiful children and all that I have in my life. I remember times in my teenage years when I gave my parents such trouble and heartache and how they never gave up on me.

Several quotes come to mind when thinking of a reason to believe…

 

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And a favorite-

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Trying to narrow it down to one reason seems utterly impossible. I have so many reasons to believe… So with each day, as the sun rises and sets I am reminded of all I have to be thankful for, all the beauty and I am a believer.

Healthy Living

I posted a few weeks ago about eating healthy and Talking About Junk Food and while I was at the library the other day I found two really great books that will further your reading on healthy living and healthy eating. This post falls perfectly in line with the culmination of a Clean Eating Challenge I embarked upon this past week. So as I work towards living a more healthy life it is so important for my kids to understand why healthy eating and living is not just important to me but to the world.

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The first book is called YUMMY! Good Food Makes Me Strong! This book goes through the day and provides some ideas of what healthy options there are foe each meal. This colorful book uses simple language and beautiful images of children making healthy nourishing choices. On each page there also includes a bit more descriptive informative tips that provide a deeper insight for parents or older children. One example is “Make your own pops using yogurt and fresh fruit purees. Check the sugar content in yogurt.” This book follows the guidelines of  My Plate.

The second, Healthy Kids  (A Global Fund for Children Book) is a beautiful picture book that shows images of children all around the world. This book explores the question: What Does it Take to Be a Healthy Kid? The story line is simple and would be great for preschool age through early elementary school children. One of my favorite parts of this book is the map at the end of the book. Throughout the story the photographs show children from many countries and while my eldest son Quinn and I were reading it we said we’ll have to pull out his globe and look at where all of these countries are. Well this book beat us to it and had a colorful map of the world and highlighted all the countries it displayed. Another nice thing about this book is it really talked about how things that may seem second nature to many of us can be quite challenging for others throughout the world and even in our own country. Clean water and a safe place to go to the bathroom were things my son never realized could be an issue for kids were brought to light through this story.

What are some of your healthy eating favorites? What does your family do to keep active and how to do you teach your kids this important lesson? I’d love to hear from you!

Have a happy and healthy week!

 

Spreading MLK’s words through picture books

I love how children’s books are really coming alive and teaching diversity to our children. As a young girl I grew up in a very small town that was mostly made up of white Americans. I honestly cannot remember any of the books I read at a young age even exploring cultural differences. I came to quite a culture shock when I spent my first year of college in New York City and I was one of only two white kids in my public speaking class.

This sparked a curiosity for me and I ended up spending much of my last few years of an undergraduate as an English major with a focus on African American Literature. I drew so much inspiration from my college professor and adviser Dr. Robin Dizard. I could diverge into a long topic on cultural diversity through picture books but I’ll save some more for Black History Month in February.

What I would like to focus on is Martin Luther King Jr. As we approach this day, also called Civil Rights Day (New Hampshire and Arizona). I urge you to spend some time with your children learning about this great man. Here are a few good books that we’ve been reading in my house this past week-

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And my favorite, a MUST read: As Good As Anybody

And in the words of Martin Luther King Jr…

 

My library card and I

What adventures we have together, my library card and I.

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I am a proud patron of four libraries; and yes I do frequent them all. My house is on the crux of two towns, that means two small rural libraries there. The third library card I have belongs to the town in which I grew up and spend much time in the summer. The fourth, and most recent library card I have is in the town in which I went to college and I currently work. This is the largest library of the four and the one I frequent the most.

I have to say there is something magical of walking through the literature rich aisles of a library. So many beautiful books, so many options, ideas and inspiration. Giddy with excitement, each time I walk in with such anticipation of what I may find. Even thinking of my next trip I get excited about the possibilities.

From the perspective of my two boys they are always excited about trips to the library not only to pick out new books but to borrow movies. We live in a very small town and we don’t have access to high speed internet (YET!). For us the library is now one of the only places that we can actually get movies. This is a huge excitement for my kids especially as we explore movies of my own childhood.

I always have thought one of the best jobs would be to work in a bookstore or a library. I am sure so many people share my enthusiasm for our local libraries and I just wanted to share the love for some of my favorite and inspirational  spaces!