Monday, August 31, 2009

The Spin on Garden Spiders

We've been staying at my folk's house for a week now. It's the same home I grew up in as a child and I am reminiscing about all the fun times I had playing in the wonderful big backyard, rescuing bees from the pool, feeding the anthills sugarcubes and admiring spider webs glistening with dew in the early morning.

Author Ginger Wadsworth's latest book release Up, Up, and Away just arrived in my mother's mailbox and my son (who loves spiders)immediately snatched it from my hands and ran to the sofa to read it for us. I knew he would love this one.....especially the part where the spider "bites her prey with powerful jaws and sucks up juicy beetle guts or sips fly stew." EEEEeeewwwww!!!! ;) Ginger Wadsworth knows just how to hold a little one's attention.

The story teaches us garden spider facts
while following a little spider who searches for a home of her own. While there are a few moments that may be a little tough for a small child to grasp, (when "a brother crunches a sister for lunch" or when the mother spider "ties the egg sac tight, then dies")they are true to life and nature. These are important moments to take advantage of allowing us as parents and teachers to discuss the natural cycle of death and new life.

Patricia J. Wynne's illustrations are beautiful, bold and colorful. She depicts the Zipper Spider aka the Banana Spider of the South. We had lots of these in our garden in Virginia. I haven't come across any in So. Cal yet. They have bright yellow and black markings on their abdomens and spin silky webs with thick white zig-zags down the center.
Here's the wonderful trailer:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Smile Baby Smile

Yikes! I know it's been a while since the last post....with a combination of new baby, our big move out west, school starting, Nancy and the bookstore, and a new book release for October, but we are still reading books to our kids daily and my mom just gave me a new book for the baby that I absolutely adore. Smile Baby Smile by Moira Butterfield with illustrations by Rosalind Beardshaw.
Little S is now 4 weeks old and I'm not sure when most babies start smiling, but my mom was able to coax the first smile out of him. I didn't believe her until she started talking to him and I saw him smile! It really wasn't from gas! It was a big wide open mouth smile. I tried to take a picture of it, but each time was too late. Here's his debut picture with the start of a grin that later turned into a smile.
This is the story of a little family just like ours, where baby makes 5 (big brother, little sister and baby brother). When baby starts to cry, everyone in the family try all they can to make him smile again. A song, a game and even a drive in the car don't work. "Then the baby did a funny burp... and then the baby... smiled!"

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Louds Move In

As I write this, Steve is apartment hunting in L.A. and I know that he will find just the right place for our family to move into. Yesterday he called and said he had found a cute place... EXCEPT that it was upstairs from an old lady. That won't do (our 6 year old son likes to stomp and jump and run) unless............ we do as the "Louds" do!

My fave children's librarian, Sarah gave me the big thumbs up at checkout for The LOUDS Move In. She said to be sure to read it in my best Jersey accent ( oooo I wish Steve were here:)
I read that the author, Carolyn Crimi got the brilliant idea to write this book after hearing a very LOUD family of four choosing a movie at Blockbuster. She thought "Oh my gosh, I am so glad I don't live next to that LOUD family."
All the neighbors on Earmuffle Ave. engage in silent, solitary hobbies (pin cushion collecting, watching a goldfish ...) and hardly speak to one another. When the Loud family moves in, they are friendly and welcoming as well as loud, funny and a little chaotic.
The quiet neighbors start off disliking the Louds, asking them to leave and then come to miss the family and their friendliness when they are away. When the Louds return, they are happily welcomed back.
The neighbors change of heart brings a nice ending to the book and is very heartwarming.
Regan Dunnick's illustrations capture the emotional feel of the characters with the Loud family's happy, wide, open mouths and the quiet neighbors with closed mouths -until the end.
This is a fun, feel-good book about reaching out to accept and appreciate others and letting a little bit of noisy friendship into your life. I hope it will encourage young readers to keep an open mind about others and not to prejudge.
I also hope our new neighbors will be kind and accepting.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Sweet Print

I bought this print today for you Nancy as a bookstore/house warming gift to hang in the New shop. I LOVE this artist, Emily Martin and can't wait for her to have some childrens picture books out someday. Her style is soooo dreamy and sweet.
Congratulations to you and family as well. These really are exciting times!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lullaby for Baby

This is such a lovely musical collaboration- I thought I would post it for Kim's new baby. Enjoy!
Slumber My Darling Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma.