Thursday, April 30, 2015

KidzKorner: The Sixties

I just finished reading Stephen King's novel, 11/22/63.  It made me nostalgic for that decade so I decided to find some children's books written then.  I'll do the little kids this week and the older kids next Thursday.  Hope you enjoy them!

Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats

Keats' simple style tells us about a little boy with a new baby in the house and how he feels when his parents paint his furniture pink!

May I Bring a Friend? by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

This is a royal parlor full of laughs as a little boy brings his friends to visit the king and queen.

The Knight and the Dragon by Tomie Di Paolo

An unusual pairing for a fight in this book!  The knight is shy and has to study dragon fighting in the library and the shy dragon has to comb through his ancestor's thing to find out what to do with a knight!

The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack

Ping is a naughty little duck who stays too long away from his master's boat and he doesn't want to be the last one who gets a little whack with a stick so he stays away and has quite an adventure.

That's a blast from my past for your little ones.  Enjoy and until next week, keep on reading!

Monday, April 27, 2015

11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King


When this book was recommended to me for book club I wanted to read it very badly...until I saw it was 850+ pages long.  Feeling a little overwhelmed, I started.... and I couldn't put it down.  I would say it was one of the best books I ever read.
The hero, Jake, in modern times, poses as George, and travels back in time to try and stop the shooting of JFK.  There are all kinds of twists and turns and many characters to keep track of and JFK is not the only one Jake/George has to save.
I could give you a synopsis of the book but I enjoyed the ride and I want you to do so too.
This story provoked a lot of memories for me and gives a clear and well presented picture of the early sixties.  You really feel like you get to know Jake/George in spite of his two names.  The supporting cast is interesting and well fleshed out.
Try this book if you lived in the sixties but especially if you didn't.  King did a lot of research and although this is a novel there are a lot of historical references that make the story seem so very real.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

KidzKorner: Do You Believe in Magic?

Every now and again you have to read something magical.  Really.  Here are some suggestions for the experience.

Half Magic by Edgar Eager

When a family of children find an unusual coin, they learn that it has magic powers that well, just don't work the way you would think.  Their adventures lead them to a little man who changes their lives.

Twig by Elizabeth O. Jones

This is a story of the magic of the imagination.  Something we sometimes forget we have but is so necessary to remember.

Waiting for Magic by Patricia MacLachlan

The magic of communication with animals is the crux of this book.  A young child can communicate with the pets his mom brings home and they can too!

Emma and the Blue Genie by Cornelia Funke

What's more magical than a genie?  And who wouldn't want to help him find his nose ring?  I know I would!

So abracadabra, find some time and read about magic and until next week, keep on reading!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spirit Within Club by Sahar Sabati


This was a nice little book that had messages of hope and acceptance in it for preteens.  The group of friends each had their own problems and were able to face them and overcome them with the help of understanding adults and one another.
The drawings were simple but charming and added to the story.
The author made her characters come alive by putting them in realistic situations and having the kids have normal reactions and feelings.

This is a book that I would recommend to anyone with a child who is in the preteen stages.  It is a guide to acceptable behavior and kindness toward others that isn’t preachy.

You can find the book here:Amazon

Monday, April 13, 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

KidzKorner: Up in the Sky

If you look up there is so much to see!  Here are a few books about things in the sky.

Early Bird by Toni Yuly
This little bird is up nice and early.  It is a great book to learn action words.

Stars by Mary Lyn Ray

What would you do if you could have a star of your own?  Here are some ideas.

Many Moons by James Thurber
The princess is ill and thinks she can't get well until she owns the moon.  Can anyone help her?

Clouds by Anne Rockwell
With simple text, Rockwell shows how clouds can help us predict the weather.  No TV needed!
This week, look up in the sky once in a while.  You never know what you might see.  Next week is Spring Break for me so I'll see you on April 23!  Until then, keep on reading!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Nothing But Horses by Shannon Kennedy


Sierra works hard at Shamrock Stables that her family owns.  She carries a lot of responsibility and expects others to tow the line.  That is how she ended up in group therapy where she is trying to learn to deal with people who annoy her by being lazy or irresponsible or just plain stupid.  She has no time for the regular teenage things like a steady boyfriend or outside activities.
We meet Sierra at Christmas time where she is surrounded by a loving family and a great group of friends.  She has concerns about her mother who is dating Dave, the local animal protecting agent.  Dave is really good and kind but Sierra worries that her mom will break his heart and dump him for one of her usual young cowboy types.
During the break, Sierra’s grandfather helps her to transfer to Lincoln High where all her friends attend and she is able to get a full basketball scholarship.  The coach, who should be ecstatic to have a girl with her skills, finds her lacking and gives her a really hard time.
Sierra is generally happy at her new school though but gets thrown when her English teacher gives her an assignment to follow her passion and refuses to let her project take place at the farm.
Life is changing for Sierra but can she change with it?

I really like this series.  Sierra’s story was engaging and realistic.  She is not perfect nor is her family but they really try and support one another.  She has a wonderful relationship with her younger sister that I can never read enough about.
There is a lot of detail about riding and the care of horses that would captivate any young woman who loves horses.  It was a little too much for me.  I would have liked more story about Sierra and her group of friends.  That is just personal preference and the details certainly took nothing from the story.
If you have a horse lover in your life, I can’t say too much about this series.  It is enjoyable and instructional at the same time.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chapter and Verse

I have neglected the older kids for a while now so today I am looking at chapter books and some poetry for kids of all ages.  The chapter books are definitely for older children but use your own discretion.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
This is the classic story of a girl, a pig, a spider and the meaning of friendship.

Bridge to Terabitihia by Katherine Paterson
Two friends build a world of their own until reality tears it apart.  A story of friendship and heart break.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
A young boy searches for the meaning of his father's final message.

Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne
Poems that will make you wish we could all stay six forever and ever.

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Fun and funny poems that really appeal to kids.  My kids introduced me to this one and I'm so glad they did.
So, cuddle up this week with  a chapter book or some verse and until next week, keep on reading.