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Hooray for Baby Monkey!!!

26 Apr

At book club on Monday night, we couldn’t say enough good things about Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin.

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Publisher’s Summary:

Who is Baby Monkey?

He is a baby.

He is a monkey.

He has a job.

He is Baby Monkey, Private Eye!

Lost jewels?

Missing pizza?

Stolen spaceship?

Baby Monkey can help…

if he can put on his pants!

Baby Monkey’s adventures come to life in an exciting blend of picture book, beginning reader, and graphic novel. With pithy text and over 120 black and white drawings accented with red, it is ideal for sharing aloud and for emerging readers.

Hooray for Baby Monkey!

OK, the whole pants thing is just too cute, and just saying the word “pants” made all the book clubbers gush.

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Here is the lowdown.  The book is divided into five chapters, each a case that Baby Monkey has to solve. Each case follows the same pattern, making it an exciting and easy to read beginning chapter book.

The authors have included a hilarious bibliography and index, sure to keep adults just as intrigued.

And, just because it is too good not to include, here are the creators, talking about Baby Monkey:

 

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Two of my favorite things

22 Jan

Unsurprisingly,  two of my favorite past-times are knitting and reading. A perfect stormy day in the Pacific Northwest combines the two – I can knit while listening to an audiobook!

This rainy weekend, I spent a little time not knitting, but reading about fans of my two favorite past-times.

Baabwaa & Wooliamwritten by David Elliott and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, is an amusing tale that shows the power of story.

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Publisher’s Summary: Baabwaa is a sheep who loves to knit. Wooliam is a sheep who loves to read. It sounds a bit boring, but they like it. Then, quite unexpectedly, a third sheep shows up. A funny-looking sheep who wears a tattered wool coat and has long, dreadfully decaying teeth. Wooliam, being well-read, recognizes their new acquaintance: the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing! The wolf is so flattered to discover his literary reputation precedes him that he stops trying to eat Baabwaa and Wooliam. And a discovery by the sheep turns the encounter into an unexpected friendship.

The book is funny, and, in this time of entrenched  beliefs opposite sides of a great chasm, it offers an intelligent way to bridge the gap.

Missing

9 Jan

My dryer is on the fritz.

It’s been going on for a while, now, but the ones digit disappears from the timer. I don’t know where it goes, but it has always come back.

Until now.

Missing 

Have you seen this missing digit?

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DOB:  September 2006

Age: 11.5

Gender: Neutral

Eyes: Red

Hair: None, I faithfully clean out the lint trap after every load

Last seen: About 2 weeks ago, in my kitchen

Whirlpool agents have been contacted.

 

 

Merry Christmas

24 Dec

Yesterday, I laughed out loud listening to an NPR episode in which people tell scary stories they were told about kids who tried to catch a peek of Santa.

I laughed, too, reading The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Cale Atkinson.

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Publisher’s Summary: Santa has a problem. This kid? Harold? Santa doesn’t think he’s real. He WANTS to believe in Harold–after all, Harold is one of the most magical parts of Christmas. Getting Harold’s letters, eating the cookies he leaves out, feeding his carrots to the reindeer… what would Christmas be without that? But Santa’s just not sure. Some of his friends are telling him they think Harold’s not real. And the Harold that sat on his knee last Christmas looked AWFULLY different. Santa comes up with a plan to find out once and for all if Harold really exists… with hilarious consequences.

This was a fun twist on that time in a child’s life when they start questioning Santa’s existence. Maybe it will help prolong childhood a little longer.

I think I’ll go watch Miracle on 34th Street.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

 

A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt

29 Oct

Yesterday afternoon, the lobby of the Newmark Theater was buzzing with treasure hunters. Scurvy Sam’s 4-Story Treasure Hunt was the pre-show activity for the Oregon Children’s Theatre‘s production of

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I went because one of my students plays Tall Boy in the production, which is excellent.

I’d read the book years ago to second graders and wondered exactly how they would pull off the multiple scene locations. Brilliantly, as it turns out. The set design was simple and versatile as the ship unfolded and got turned into a variety of locales where Judy and Stink were looking for clues.

The play ran an hour which was perfect. I loved seeing my student on stage, but the entire cast was great. All the kids were extremely talented and Scurvy Sam kept the adults laughing.

 

The little boy siting next two me was almost as much fun as the play itself. He really got into it, laughing and squealing at all the right parts.

If you have a young person, I highly recommend taking them to see this production. Heck, subscribe to the whole season. If this production is any indication, they will all be excellent.

Retelling Beowulf

5 Oct

Yesterday, on bus duty, I spoke with a parent who surprised me by telling me she was a member of SCBWI (The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and was writing a book base on Hindu mythology. There  are many books that incorporate various mythologies or retell epics in a modern setting. Not all of them manage to include the humor as effectively as Grendel’s Guide to Love and War.

 

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Publisher’s Summary: Tom Grendel lives a quiet life—writing in his notebooks, mowing lawns for his elderly neighbors, and pining for Willow, a girl next door who rejects the “manic-pixie-dream” label. But when Willow’s brother, Rex (the bro-iest bro ever to don a jockstrap), starts throwing wild parties, the idyllic senior citizens’ community where they live is transformed into a war zone. Tom is rightfully pissed—his dad is an Iraq vet, and the noise from the parties triggers his PTSD—so he comes up with a plan to end the parties for good. But of course, it’s not that simple.

One retaliation leads to another, and things quickly escalate out of control, driving Tom and Willow apart, even as the parties continue unabated. Add to that an angsty existential crisis born of selectively reading his sister’s Philosophy 101 coursework, a botched break-in at an artisanal pig farm, and ten years of unresolved baggage stemming from his mother’s death . . . and the question isn’t so much whether Tom Grendel will win the day and get the girl, but whether he’ll survive intact.

 

 

Frog Log Dog

27 Sep

As you might know, I am a sucker for anything basset hound related. So, when I saw the newest book, Dog on a Frog,  by Kes and Clair gray and Jim Field, I was hooked even before I cracked the cover.

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Amazon Summary: “You know the rules,” said cat. “Cats sit on mats, frogs sit on logs, and dogs sit on FROGS!”

“Well, I’m changing the rules,” said the frog.

In this hilarious sequel to Frog on a Log?, frog decides that he does not want to sit on a log, and he definitely does not want a dog to sit on a frog! So he changes the rules. Now, dogs sit on logs, and cats sit on gnats! But what will frog decide to sit on now?

 

Originally published in Britain, the US cover has been translated from the original British.

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It is a sequel, of sorts, to Frog on a Log,  in which the eponymous frog wants to shake up the animal world and sit where he wants. Animal rhymes ensue.

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Amazon Summary: A read-aloud story that will have kids rhyming around the house!

“It’s very simple, really. Cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, mules sit on stools, gophers sit on sofas, and frogs sit on logs.”

Each animal’s designated seat rhymes with that animal’s name. “It’s not about being comfortable,” explains the cat. “It’s about doing the right thing.”

The frog does not want to sit on a log. Doing his best to find an alternative place to sit, the frog asks the cat a litany of questions. For every answer the cat has, the frog has another question–until the frog finds out what dogs sit on!

Peppered with catchy rhymes, FROG ON A LOG? shows young readers that every animal has a special place to sit. With rhymes that are reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’s beginner books, FROG ON A LOG? is a fun, educational read-aloud story that helps teach phonics!

 

 

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