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Showing posts from February, 2010

What My Children Are Reading This Week

This week, we got the last three Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems from the library. We absolutely love this series, as I discussed here.

We also picked up Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Willems. C has been reading that one this week. Actually, we have some friends visiting this weekend, and C has been reading some of Willems' books to them each night before bed. It's pretty cool to see your kid reading bedtime stories to other kids! This is a cute book about a pigeon trying to convince the reader to let him drive a bus, after the driver has told the reader at the beginning not to let him. The kids all seemed to enjoy it.

M picked out another cute book called Little Red Riding Pooh, which is obviously an adaptation of the Little Red Riding Hood story. In this one, Pooh is on his way to grandma's house, and Tigger is the strange looking wolf. It's a much gentler version of the story, with Tigger posing as Grandma because he wants the honey Pooh is carryi…

Book Review: Elephant and Piggie Books by Mo Willems

We have officially read every single one of Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie books. We picked up the last three at the library on Tuesday, and C read all three of them that night. Can I tell you how much we love these books? C only has to read for 10 minutes each night, and after reading the first two books, he was up to 12 minutes. But he still insisted on reading the third one that first night we had them.

With this series, Willems has captured everything an early reader book should be. Simple words and sentences. Lots of repetition. Clear illustrations with plenty of clues for an early reader, but not a lot of distractions. And most of all...the stories are fun! Funny, even. Enjoyable. They make my kindergartner want to turn the page. They make him laugh. They make him exclaim: "Watch what Piggie's going to do!" as he turns a page. They make him want to read.

Each of the eleven books in this series features Gerald, an elephant, and his best friend Piggie, who is, a…

Book Review: First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader

When the newly elected president's daughter is kidnapped from her private college dorm, he calls on ATF agent Jack McClure to work with the Secret Service to find her and bring her home. McClure is unknowingly thrown into the middle of a political war as the outgoing president tries to use the kidnapping as an excuse to take down a group that opposes his agenda and ideals.

First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader is a fast-paced thriller, featuring a whole cast of unique characters, from political figures to street thugs. There are many twists and turns throughout the entire novel, which make it exciting and hard to put down. I was constantly trying to figure out who the "bad guys" were, changing my mind every few chapters. I have to say I never actually figured it out until moments before McClure did. It was definitely a page-turner all the way to the end.

Through flashbacks that are smoothly incorporated into the story, we get a deep understanding of McClure's past and…

Awards: Honest Scrap and Prolific Blogger

Mummazappa at The Book Nerd Club has graciously given me The Honest Scrap Award. Isn't that lovely? You should check out her blog ~ she has some great book reviews on there!

The rule of this award is that I have to share 10 honest things about myself. So here goes...

1. I am completely addicted to caffeine. I drink about a half pot of coffee and two Coke Zeros every day, and I don't feel right if I miss any of it.
2. I'm afraid of heights.
3. I love the ocean and wish I was able to make it there more than a couple times a year.
4. I'm a professional marketing writer and editor, and use my blogs to write about things I actually care about.
5. I've been a Northerner living in the South for almost nine years now, and I'd never go back.
6. I'm not a big fan of young adult books, despite their popularity these days.
7. I read and enjoyed Twilight, but never read any of the others in the series. There are just too many other books I'd rather read.
8. I am NOT…

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Good Monday Morning! Thanks for stopping by! We took a trip to South Carolina this past weekend. It was fun but it's nice to be home. I didn't manage to finish a book last week, but I got close!

Currently reading:
First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader ~ I'm very close to the end, but just couldn't finish it last night.

Reviews written last week:
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
What My Children Are Reading This Week:
Star Wars: The Clone Wars by Tracey WestLuke Skywalker's Amazing Story by Simon BeecroftAlphabet Rescue by Ashley WoodUp next:
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Trotter
Last Snow by Eric Van Lustbader

This meme is being hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books, so hop over there if you'd like to see what others are reading too.

What My Children Are Reading This Week

We got back to the library this week and picked up a few new books. C has now gotten into Star Wars (books and toys ~ he hasn't seen any of the movies or TV shows yet). So we picked up a few books for him.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a chapter book that I picked up at Target, not the library. We've been reading it to him this week, but I figure it's a good one to put on his bookshelf so we can reread it, and eventually he can read it once he's able to read at that level. It's based on the television series The Clone Wars, which he hasn't watched, but he's enjoying it. The book is split into a few different sections, and each section is made up of several chapters. C is really enjoying it and I haven't been able to convince him to let me finish James and the Giant Peach since getting this. I personally want to know what happens to poor James and the insects that are floating on a peach over the ocean!

Luke Skywalker's Amazing Story is a DK Readers bo…

Book Review: My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

Asher Lev is a Hasidic Jew growing up in Brooklyn in the 1930's and 40's. His father works for the Rebbe and travels extensively, helping Jews around the world. His grandfather worked for the Rebbe's father before him. His family is entrenched in the Hasidic community. But Asher is born with a gift. A gift of art. He is an exceptional artist at a very young age, and it is all he cares about. His schoolwork suffers for it, as does his religious education. And it forms an immense gap between Asher and his father, leaving his mother struggling in the middle.

I picked up My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok after joining the Birth Year Reading Challenge. This book was published in 1972, the year I was born. I am so glad I chose this one. Potok's writing style is very easy to read. The words and the story flow smoothly as we watch Asher grow up and grow into a great artist. I felt entrenched in his struggle between staying true to his religion and community, and following …

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, you're supposed to share two teaser sentences from a random page in the book you're currently reading.
It took me all day to get around to putting my teaser up today. Here it is:
"Time is running out, sir." As he often did, laboring against the monolithic born-again tide of the Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor, Paull was trying to get the president to focus on reality-based decisions. "So far, E-Two has remained completely invisible, and as for the visible First American Secular Revivalists and other like-minded organizations who aren't radical--"

~ p19 of First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday again! I hope you had a great week. I finished a great book ~ although I haven't written the review yet. I didn't get many reviews done at all, actually. Maybe I'll do more this week! This meme is being hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey Through a World of Books, so hop over there if you'd like to see what others are reading too. Here's what I've been up to this week:

Book completed last week:
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok ~ review to come soon

Up next:
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Trotter
First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader
Last Snow by Eric Van Lustbader

Reviews written last week:
Sleep, Baby, Sleep by Marianne Cusimano Love
What My Children Are Reading This Week:
Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. SeussDancing Dinos Go to School by Sally Lucas and Margeaux LucasBaby Giraffe Learn Colors with MeVisit One Persons Journey through a world of Books to see what others are reading.

What My Children Are Reading This Week

This was the first in several weeks where we didn't go to the library at all. But we still found plenty to read! We're still reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl to C. With 39 chapters, and us only reading 2-3 per night, it takes a while! We're all enjoying it now. It's gotten much better than it was in the beginning.

C has been reading a lot. His homework assignment for his trackout period is to read five nights a week for at least ten minutes. So he's been reading even more than usual. One of the books he pulled out to read is Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss. This is a great beginning reader book. It uses a 75-word vocabulary, and C knows pretty much all of the words. So he can read it with little trouble. We're having to time his reading now, and it takes him 11-13 minutes to read this book. That's a long time for a 5 year old to be reading, but he really likes the book. He's always stopping to look at the pictures and talk about what…

Book Review: Sleep, Baby, Sleep by Maryann Cusimano Love

You've probably noticed that I love the New Books shelf at my local library. It's like a gold mine for finding great new books! And I had never noticed it until a few months ago. Anyway, on our last visit to the library, I found Sleep, Baby, Sleep by Maryann Cusimano Love sitting on that shelf. It looked like something M, who is nearly 3, would love. So I picked it up.

I'm so glad I did! This is an absolutely wonderful bedtime book. Each page features a soothing rhyme encouraging children to grow, climb, soar and dream. Here's one example:
Hush, baby, hush.
Growing can't be rushed.
Be always like the newborn foal
with whispered wind songs in his soul.
Hush, baby, hushIn addition to the soothing rhymes and wonderful messages about growing and experiencing life, this picture book is filled with soft watercolor illustrations that bring the story to life. Each rhyme relates the child's development to an animal, as you can see in the excerpt above, and the illustrat…

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, you're supposed to share two teaser sentences from a random page in the book you're currently reading.
Here's my teaser:
"That night, I found myself seated at my desk, shaking with rage. I sat in front of a blank sheet of drawing paper and felt the rage like a wild torrent inside me."

~ p240 of My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Good Monday morning! Hope you all had a great week. I certainly did not, but things seem to be getting back to normal now that the snow has melted and my son seems to have recovered from his stomach bug. I really hope to be able to relax and read each night this week. We'll see if that happens! Just in case you're wondering about the new image above, starting this week, this meme is being hosted by Sheila at One Persons Journey through a world of Books.

Currently reading:
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok ~ My first book for the Birth Year Reading Challenge!

Books completed last week (click links for reviews):
What Difference Do It Make? by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent
Illusion by Edmond Cheng

Other reviews written last week:
What My Children Are Reading This Week:
James and the Giant Peach by Roald DahlThere Is a Bird on Your Head (and other Elephant and Piggie books) by Mo WillemsMy Best Friend is Cinderella by Lisa Ann MarsoliUp next:
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jean…

Book Review: Illusion by Edmond Cheng

In the beginning, two people throw a person over the side of their boat, into Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong. Next, we find Thomas and his wife at home, living a happy life with few problems. Thomas is doing very well at work, and life is good. Until he gets a visit from his best friend's aunt, who tells him his friend's wife is cheating on him. She asks him to talk to his friend about this. But Thomas hesitates, and soon it's too late when he finds his friend dead.

Thomas ends up on the run from the police, while trying to figure out what is really going on. What is real and what is an illusion? Edmond Cheng weaves an intricate mystery in this 27,000 word novella, which appears with three other stories in Unearthed: An Anthology of Suspense. It is a complex, and somewhat confusing story, with lots of twists and turns. I felt like I never really knew the whole story, even at the end. But it was an interesting mystery that kept me reading.

The story is written in English, wh…

What My Children Are Reading This Week

The kids were out of school for a few days this week for the snow we got. But we did manage to stop at the library on Thursday morning to pick up a few new books.

We started reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl to C this week. I had wanted to get Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator because we just finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last week. But it was out so I decided to try a different Dahl book. The beginning of this one is pretty depressing, with poor James being sent to live with his cruel aunts when his parents are eaten by a rhinoceros. But we're up to the point where he's about to go into the peach, so hopefully things will be happier from here on out.

We also picked up a few more of the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. C really loves this series of early readers. And he's doing a great job actually reading them. When we were at the library, he sat and read one of them aloud to M while I was looking for some other books. And he got thro…