Library Haul {2}

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I’ve been twice to the library since the last of these posts. And apparently I’m not doing very good at paying attention to my piles of books because I had not one, but TWO books out that didn’t get returned on time (that includes the one I just found today… and the library is closed today…. which I also just found out…. *sigh*….)

Anyways, moving on…

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ABC Dream by Kim Krans
Oh my goodness, gorgeous illustrations. But… it’s an alphabet book, so there’s not *that* much story line, but the pictures, beautiful.

Before Morning by Joyce Sidman
Basically a wordless story about a little boy who’s mom has to leave to go to work, before morning, but eventually gets snowed in and is able to return home and spend the day with him instead. Illustrations are sweet. Personally I find wordless books almost harder to “read”, but the kids really liked looking at the pictures.

This is Our Baby, Born Today by Varsha Bajaj
Sweet story about the beginning of life. (This was one I returned last week, so I’ve already managed to forget… but I think it was of all the animals welcoming baby elephant to the world.)

The Uncorcker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas
About a man who’s job is to uncork all the bottles that wash up on the shore of his particular beach. Love the illustrations.

Why Christmas Trees aren’t Perfect by Dick Schneider

The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola
So, I actually had never read this one before, and we’re big Tomie fans over here. And it pops up in everyone’s list of “must have” Advent/Christmas books. So this year we managed to read it {albeit after the feast day, but, whatever}. I liked it well enough. I think the kids missed the fact that the people playing Mary and Joseph for Las Posadas was THE Mary and Joseph, but it was still cute and they enjoyed it.

The Very First Christmas by Paul L. Maier
A boy is wanting a true story for his bedtime story, so his mother tells him about the very first Christmas. This is interspersed with his questions and her explanations, which could actually be a good addition to the story. And nicely satisfy a curious child. I only thought it went a little over the kids head.

Lulu’s Birthday by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
The kids are talking with Grandma (Lulu) and trying to come up with a good idea for her birthday party. They think and talk about all the fun things they did over the summer trying to come up with something. A sweet story about Grandma and grandkids and family.

 

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These would have been good if my kids had been a but older. They have to do with math, measuring, and Roman Numerals. They weren’t any of them stories per se, but they presented the concepts in a visual way that I think would work better for kids *slightly older* than mine

How tall, How Short, How Far Away by David A. Adler

How Long or How Wide? a Measuring Guide by Brian P. Cleary

Fun With Roman Numerals by David A. Adler

Also on the return pile:
Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor (again… in English this time) and a handful of Disney storybooks and random other twaddle-type books that I try to return as soon as possible. 😉

 

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Library Haul

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Apparently there’s a link up, where you list out your “library haul” for the week. I think I tried to do this a few years ago, but I never got past doing it the first time. I feel like I should be blogging something, but I’m not really sure what exactly, so books it is for the moment. {Also, I went looking for said linkup and couldn’t find an active one, so maybe they’re taking a break for the season? No matter, I’ll just do this on my own, I’m good with that.}

Note this is what I picked up last week. I figure, now that we’ve spent a week reading them, I could give my “yay” or “nay” for the book. Also to be noted, I stopped by the library again this afternoon while I was out running errands and picked up yet another pile. While checking out that pile, the librarian noticed the illustrations of one of the books which prompted me to confess that “yes, that’s the reason I have too many books”, to which he of course replied that “there’s no such thing”. I rephrased and said I just didn’t have enough bookshelves. Hence my weekly piles of books from the library 🙂

Anyways…

I should probably just be honest and say that I started this post a few weeks ago (you know, all the stuff above…) So now, I returned some of the pile today and am thinking it may be easier for my brain dumping to list the books I return.
Also, I noticed while going through the books, I’m not going to bother mentioning the ones I didn’t particularly like.
Oh, also, these posts (should I actually make more of them in the future) will probably be mostly kids books/picture books, so if that’s not your thing then feel free to pass.
Last thing, promise, I didn’t think to take many any pictures so this is straight up list for you all. Falls into the category of: not-what-you-expect from my blog. 🙂

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting
Mr Moose goes looking for a turkey for thanksgiving. Cute.

Gracias, the Thanksgiving Turkey by Joy Cowley
An annual favorite. A boy is sent a gift of a turkey so he can fatten him up for thanksgiving… but… they end up friends (and being blessed by the priest after wandering into Mass).

Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant
Super cute. And so totally relatable for mama’s of littles in the winter. All the things to get ready to go outdoors, just to be out for a few (pages) then back in to undress because it’s cold :). Lovely illustrations too.

Nancy la Elegante {Fancy Nancy in Spanish} by Jane O’Connor
Well, we’re big Fancy Nancy fans over here, Kat picked this one up a few weeks ago because she insisted she could read it….

The Lost House by B.B. Cronin
A seek-and-find type book. Grandpa has decided to take his grandkids out to the park, but first he needs to find a few things. Every page is a different color. And just a little ridiculous. But fun 🙂

Sarah Laughs by Jacqueline Jules
The story of Sarah from the Bible. Picked it up as part of our Jesse Tree in Picture Books that I’m attempting this year. (I’ve managed to collect about half of the books, but a few I didn’t get, yet, so yay library!) I really liked this story. It was very sweet.

Tricking the Tallyman by Jacqueline Davies
Picked up to read with this Advent morning time routine.{Side note about the routine: it’s set up for three weeks worth of very simple activities, so you could probably still get it now and use a good portion of it before Christmas}. Liked well enough, not super exciting, but it was good for telling about censuses. This particular one was about the census of 1790 here in the US.

The Nativity by Julie Vivas
I really liked this retelling of the Nativity Story. The text is basically a simplified retelling straight from the Bible, but the illustrations are great! (Also picked it up on the recommendation of the Advent morning time thing mentioned above.) This is my first experience with her work, and will definitely be keeping an eye out for more.

Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope 
This was a comic-book type book that someone picked up. I didn’t read it (personally, I can’t stand to read comic books out loud), but the kids enjoyed looking through it.

20161205_114907-2The disaster-zone that prompted me to have that earlier conversation with my librarian about maybe, just maybe we have “too many books”.

Book Review: Spider’s Gift: A Christmas Story

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I know! Three months until Christmas and already I’m going to start talking about Christmas books. Because you all know I totally have a soft spot for children’s Christmas books. Actually, it’s pretty much an addiction, but… that’s another blog post 😉

Spider’s Gift: A Christmas Story by Geraldine Ann Marshall and illustrated by Rebecca Sorge was an absolutely beautiful story. As much as I love picture books (Christmas ones even more so), I rarely will have pieces of the story keep popping into my head for weeks after I read it. Not so with this story.

It’s set in the stable and tells the Nativity story from the vantage point of three friends; a cricket, a honeybee, and a spider. Each is contemplating a gift they will give to the new baby, but Spider can’t think of anything.

Then she hears one of the wise men say:

God can make miracles when gifts are given with love.

An opportunity presents itself, and Spider is able to use the only gift she can think of, her ordinary web, as a gift to save the newborn Baby Jesus.

A bit fanciful? Maybe. But I think the message it tells is solid. We are able to give our ordinary everyday gifts to Jesus and he can in turn use them to bring about miracles. And that the message I keep find floating around in my head, even weeks after I’ve read this book.

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I received this book from the Publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Book Review: The Day is Waiting

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The Day is Waiting. Illustrated by Don Freeman, words by Linda Zuckerman. Appropriate for any age child.

“What do you see when you look outside?” What are you going to do with it? What are you going to do with this day that has been given to you? How will you spend it? Will you spend it outdoors exploring? Visiting new places? Experiencing new things?

The truth is, you could do any of these. Sometimes you have to actually get up and go, and some times it just takes a little imagination.

This picture book, illustrated by Don Freeman, creator of Corduroy, is full of these imaginative things that one could accomplish in any given day, if only we’d take the time to experience them. The words are simple. I believe that they’re telling us, though, to seize the opportunities presented in any given day, even if it’s something as simple as going out to smell the flowers.

The message I get from this book is to simply “be” in God’s creation and to enjoy it. Sometimes I think we’re all a bit too rushed to enjoy things as they’re presented, and this is a very calming, relaxing, beautiful book to remember to just stop sometimes and take a little break.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Reading ’round these parts

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I’ve been feeling in a blogging slump lately. Not with the photo posts, there’s been plenty of those, and I have been trying to add little details of what we’ve been up to in those posts, so those of you that follow the blog to keep up with us should be somewhat in the know. But other stuff hasn’t been written about.

There are things that I’d like to write, but some days I feel a big lack of confidence in the writing department. Writing in and of itself isn’t something that comes easily to me (why start a blog then? I dunno.) But, I’m stubborn.

Anyways…. tonight I thought I’d share with you what reading looks like over here. We certainly do our share of reading. I realize this may not be how or why your family does read alouds, and that’s ok, this is what works for us.

When We Read:

I’ll admit, with the weather turning warmer (Thank you God!), we’ve been spending almost literally every spare minute out of doors. Which has lead to a slight decrease in the amount of time I’ve  been reading aloud to the kids. Most days we end up reading before bed, and somedays we read a few books in the morning.

What it Looks Like:

Generally speaking I mostly read without Zachary. I know, I know, start them when they’re young and all that… and I do think I’m going to start him soon, but… when I’m trying to read to the older kids and they’re all scrunched up as close as they can get, add in Z trying to grab and eat the book and it just makes it too much wiggly in not enough space (while trying to hold a book so everyone can see…). So, I usually leave him laying on the floor so at least he can listen. And honestly, sometimes if he’s tired and fussy, we just wait until he’s in bed.

If we’re reading picture books the kids all squish next to me, and take turns switching to sit next to me. Sometimes Karl still sits on my lap (not so much in the sticky weather) and that erases the “outside” person (not sitting next to me).

Jared reading

If we’re reading a chapter book, which doesn’t happen every day, (but, I’m *trying* to get it back to a more regular schedule) I usually have them spread out just a little. I have my limit for how much I can be squished by little people, they can be close, just not on top of me.

So far, with the chapter books, I haven’t had any issues with them getting antsy, but we haven’t tried more lengthly read-aloud times with those. I’ve found with the longer read-alouds it’s a skill to learn. With the picture books there’s a lot of starting and stopping and they’re usually pretty simple (and half memorized), but the chapter books I actually have to pay attention to and it’s a work out for my mouth. But, baby steps 🙂

Why We Read:

Way back a long time ago, I was complaining to my mom about one of the boys (I think it was John), not wanting to sit and read a book (I think he may have been just over a year?), she told me:

Well, you should have him at least finish the book before you let him get up and walk around, that way he learns how to finish something. He also learns how to sit still, because there will be times when he’ll have to sit still, and there won’t be a book, but he’ll already know how to do it because he’s had the chance to practice it.
{or something to that nature}

Now, when you’re expecting a, lets say 12-month-old, to sit still and listen to a book start to finish, be reasonable, don’t start with Blueberries for Sal. A shorter board book such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar would be much better option. I think sitting and being still is a learned thing, so if you’ve started reading to them young (and requiring them to sit still while doing so), they’ll get better at it. True story: I didn’t think it would happen, but now John (and Katherine) can sit indefinitely while being read to.

Another reason I read to the kids, especially before bedtime is the calming-down factor, for them, yes, but probably more for me. Usually by bedtime, my mama-tank is empty and has been running on fumes since about dinner time. So, needless to say, my mood from dinner time to bed time is usually a little on the short side.

But. When we sit down to read those last stories before bed I can feel the tension letting go. I’m still tired and I still need them to go to bed, but the shortness usually starts fading away. Which then leaves me free to tuck them in, say their prayers, kiss them goodnight and actually not be all flustered. And no, this doesn’t mean that every night is perfect, because there are definitely those nights where them asking for their 37th sip of water/fingernail cut/blanket adjusted/he’s talking/etc…. really gets to me. But, for those few minutes we’re sitting and reading, we’re able to just be without anything getting in the way.

And I know that, THAT is what they’re going to remember. Because I remember reading aloud with my mom and siblings when I was littler and those were some of the best times ever. {And I still wish my mom could come read aloud to me sometimes 😉 }

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Do you have any favorite read-aloud memories or stories? Do share!