105 Ways to Give a Book

Spring Break

Yeah, I know. I could have mentioned before now that I was taking off some time during spring break. But I wasn’t sure that I was going to back off the blog until the break started — with, incidentally, my ridiculous overnight trip in below-freezing weather to prove to the Girl Scouts that I can be certified to lead girls camping because my six campouts and four years as a leader are clearly insufficient in that regard. Yes, I’m still bitter. I needed two nights’ sleep to feel like myself again, and by then I’d decided to stay off the blog to focus on life chores for the week. Or maybe two weeks, I haven’t decided.

I picked up my glasses on Monday and am adjusting to my new look as well as clear vision. It came as a surprise, for instance, that the fuzziness on branches was actually buds of leaves. Who knew? Other than taking pictures of myself, I’ve been working on clearing out the clothes that have accumulated in the house. I think they are breeding, because it is the only explanation I can accept for the sheer quantity of T-shirts. In other news, the whole family went to see Sherlock Holmes last night — I’ll leave it for Bill to review — and we will see Diary of a Wimpy Kid tomorrow. Today is a trip to the library, Staples, and to Kohl’s — where I have the coveted 30% off everything coupon. I hear that it is supposed to warm up today and I couldn’t be happier, as you can tell by my expression.

Anyway, if you’re looking for great stuff to read, the March Carnival of Children’s Literature is up and full of goodies. Thanks to Tricia from Miss Rumphius for her work in pulling it together.

Also, Editorial Ass has a contest giving away a twenty-page critique to a random winner. Enter by posting the contest on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter. The contest closes today at 11 p.m. EST. If you’re not up to twenty pages on your novel yet, then you’d better start writing (she says, ending the post abruptly and not returning to the blog for some time.)

Booklights and Easter Books

I’m still not feeling that great as I recover from a cold, but the show must go on. Well, at least at Booklights, where I am sharing Easter books in a tradition generally associated with weddings. Namely, something old, something new, something borrowed, and something out-of-the-blue. Head over and give your favorite Easter books in the comments. Oh, and I share a bonus passage that should make the Passover observers among us smile.

I had a hard time finding good Easter books, seeing that the majority of them seem to be the holiday experiences of Dora, SpongeBob, Clifford, Curious George, Fancy Nancy, Elmo, Mickey Mouse, and Strawberry Shortcake. Blecch. As I browsed Amazon, I also couldn’t find a religious story that stood out as the go-to book on Easter.

Now at Christmas, I find the standard book/TV character holiday contingent along with a ton of good semi-secular stories that focus on Santa, trees, or gift-giving. But there are also many titles that focus on the birth of Christ, and do so in a way that make them good picture books, as well as religious books. I’m not seeing that with Easter books, and I’ve decided that from a step-back, story-telling, kidlit-reader perspective, Christmas has upper hand. I mean, there’s a baby, animals, and presents &3151; which sounds a lot easier to make into a children’s story than crucifixion and resurrection.

Come to think of it, there’s the same problem for Passover books, with the whole killing-of-the-first-born-child thing going on. Tough holidays to fictionalize. I guess. What do you think?

ABC Storytime: S is for...

Ugh. A head cold is rendering me fairly useless. Well, except in nose-blowing, where I am truly excelling. Need something written? Move along. Need someone to go through a box of tissues in a day? I’m your gal.

The Letter S

Book: Some Smug Slug, by Pamela Duncan Edwards

Rhyme: “Squirrels”
Wisky, frisky, hippity, hop
Up he climbs to the tree top.
Whirly, twirly, round and round
Down he scampers to the ground.
Where’s his supper? In a shell
Snappy, cracky, out it fell.
Book: Scaredy Squirrel or Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend, by Melanie Watt

Book: Silly Tilly, by Eileen Spinelli, or Silly Sally, by Audrey Wood

Song: “Shake My Sillies Out”
I’m going to shake, shake, shake my sillies out.
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out.
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out.
And wiggle my waggles away.

I’m going to clap, clap, clap my crazies out.
Clap, clap, clap my crazies out.
Clap, clap, clap my crazies out.
And wiggle my waggles away.
Book: Russell the Sheep, by Rob Scotton

Song: “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep”
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.

One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.
Book: Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie, by Norton Juster

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie opens today, and in tribute here is a review — of the book. Or more accurately, of the book about the making of the movie, brought to you by TeenReader.

The Wimpy Kid Movie DiaryThe Wimpy Kid Movie Diary, by Jeff Kinney, talks about the process of making a movie, starting with the earliest discussions, to the casting, and through the entire filmmaking process. While Kinney comes in with little quips and lots of cartoons, overall the book is more interesting than funny. The best thing, from my perspective is the main point: It’s hard to make a movie. Being involved with our short films so much, it drives me crazy when people dismiss the hours of work it takes to make even a short film. Most people just don’t get it.

However, we don’t judge books based on how much we agree with them. I feel that this book still embodies the “Wimpy Kid” style without the wimpy kid story. You can tell that Kinney is enthusiastic about the topic, and his writing conveys the subject in a way kids will understand. He also focuses heavily on the actors for Greg, Rowley, and the other child characters. These actors allow kids to relate to the book, as well as the process of filmmaking. It also helps that the actors are actually the right age range for these books and the characters they are portraying. Brilliant concept, Hollywood.

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary explains the “glamorous” process of filmmaking to kids, and they don’t even know they’re learning (an overly-clichéd and often inacurate statement that I feel truly is relevant in this case)! I think that this will be a very enjoyable movie, if not Oscar-worthy, and the book itself is a fun, quick — and yes, educational — read.

MotherReader here. I also read and enjoyed the book. TeenReader has it spot on when she says that the value of the title is its detailed description of filmmaking in a way that is accessible and interesting for kids. Or really, for adults too, because I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a book that shows the amazing amount of work that goes into making a movie. I know from experience in our own smaller-scale capacity that it takes an entire day to shoot about five minutes of film. Speaking of which, we’ve just signed up for another 48 Hour Film Project for the weekend of May 1st. Bill would hate it, but I kind of hope we draw Musical.

Review copy provided by publisher. Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

ABC Storytime: R is for...

Um, I don’t really have an introduction, but a Happy St. Patrick’s Day wish seems in order.

The Letter R

Book: Duck? Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, or Rabbit Ears, by Amber Stewart

Fingerplay: “Five Little Rabbits”
Five little rabbits sitting by the door.
One hopped away, and then there were four.

Four little rabbits moved under a tree.
One hopped away, and then there were three.

Three little rabbits drinking morning dew.
One hopped away, and then there were two.

Two little rabbits resting in the sun.
One hopped away, and then there was one.

One little rabbit isn’t any fun.
He hopped away to find the others,
and then there were none.
Book: Rattletrap Car, by Phyllis Root

Book: Rain Drop Splash, by Alvin Tresselt

Song: “Rain, Rain Go Away”
Rain, rain, go away.
Come again another day.
Little Rosa wants to play.
Rain, rain go away. (Repeat with other names.)
Book: Ruby the Copy Cat, by Peggy Rathman, or Ruby’s Wish, by Shirin Yim

Song: “Ram Sam Sam”
A ram sam sam
A ram sam sam
Guli, guli, guli, guli, guli
Ram sam sam...
Book: Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, by Mo Willems

Alternate Books: Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney; Hello, Robots, by Bob Staake; How to Hide a Crocodile and Other Reptiles, by Ruth Heller

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Alice in Wonderland

FatherReader here. While I share a degree of MotherReader’s enthusiasm for children’s literature — and have been thrilled to make a few friends in the kidlit world — my bailiwick is more in the area of film (as both a viewer and a successful independent filmmaker, so long as you aren’t too strict in defining “successful”). In any case, it’s rare that I feel I have any particular insight to offer here (and after today’s entry, you may very well concur). But she thought this might be an opportunity to provide a little crossover commentary — specifically, some thoughts on Tim Burton’s latest, Alice in Wonderland.

If ever there were a pair of creative minds well suited to work in conjunction, they would be Lewis Carroll and Tim Burton. That’s not to say that Burton’s film is by any stretch a “faithful adaptation” of Carroll’s work, but more that Burton’s sensibility is uniquely appropriate to interpreting Carroll’s off-kilter imaginings. The film (which is positioned as more a continuation of the Alice stories than a direct adaptation) does fall prey to some of the same flaws that have afflicted earlier works — treating Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There as though they were a single narrative, combining the Queen of Hearts and the Red Queen into an amalgam character, and so on. In fact, one could argue that it owes more to past adaptations than to the original books — though from a filmmaker’s perspective, there may be more to be gained by tapping into our collective memory of the stories than by adhering closely to the stories themselves. Which goes to illustrate the overriding truth of filmmaking (and the bane of literary purists everywhere): For good or ill, filmmaking is a director’s medium, not a writer’s.

There are those who love Burton’s style, and those who abhor it, though for the most part Burton doesn’t often polarize audiences; many find his films enjoyable but are neither enthused nor repulsed. (MR probably falls somewhere in the middle of the latter group — though she was clear that she had no desire to see Alice; while she enjoys the occasional weird-ass picture book, she’s a little more conventional in her movie choices.) I lean toward the fan side of the equation, but several of his films I find merely entertaining. I thought Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands were brilliant, but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory somewhat less inspiring. I loved his Batman films at the time of their release (there are no doubt blackmail-worthy photos floating around somewhere), but find they don’t quite hold up over time. (We will studiously avoid any mention Planet of the Apes, which bears no sign of being a Tim Burton film at all.)

But Burton is certainly a visionary — in the sense that all of his films (with the exception of the film-that-shall-not-be-mentioned) bear his indelible imprint. And in this regard, Carroll’s work would seem to be an ideal jumping-off point for Burton’s particular brand of lunacy. In fact, one can imagine Burton embracing the maxim “We’re all mad here” as his own personal mantra. So the question — from a filmmaker’s perspective — becomes not whether this outing brings Carroll’s vision to the screen, but whether the inspiration of Carroll’s writing serves Burton’s vision. (That said, this audience being a more literarily-minded group, I certainly welcome your thoughts and counterarguments in the comments.)

In that regard, I would answer affirmatively, arguing that Alice stands along with Edward Scissorhands as absolutely emblematic of Burton’s oeuvre. While it may not be possible to translate Carroll’s linguistic brilliance into any other medium, Burton uses that language to at least emulate the feeling of being in a dream world — where things make a vague sort of sense, but remain just bizarre enough to be confusing. Criticisms that Burton takes what shouldn’t make sense and provides too coherent a narrative (providing very clear objectives for the characters, interweaving the “Jabberwocky” poem more explicitly into the main story arc, and the like) may have some merit, but I for one found myself suitably disoriented throughout.

Unlike writing (editorial assistance aside), filmmaking is a collaborative medium, though in this case the director’s hand remains evident across the board. The casting — in terms of both the selection of appropriate actors and the consistent direction of performances — is pure Burton. Johnny Depp is delightfully batty as the Mad Hatter, Mia Wasikowska provides an ideal blend of youthful innocence and post-adolescent defiance to Alice, and Helena Bonham-Carter positively steals the show as the Red Queen/Queen of Hearts — and that’s saying nothing about the stellar turns by Stephen Fry and Alan Rickman as the Cheshire Cat and Blue Caterpillar respectively (of all the performances, I felt only Anne Hathaway’s as the White Queen fell a bit flat). The exaggerated design — while certainly paying homage to John Tenniel’s classic illustration (and Disney’s animated work) — is straight out of Burton’s gloriously askew imagination. And the story — aforementioned coherence notwithstanding — very effectively illustrates Burton’s themes on balancing responsibility and individual choice (and the benefits of a healthy dose of madness).

In all, I found the film eminently watchable, and imbued with far greater intelligence — in no small part thanks to the genius of the source material — than most popular entertainment. The 3D effects are not merely a gimmick (though there are certainly a few “3D shot” moments), but serve the larger goal of immersing the viewer in the dream-like world of Wonderland (or “Underland,” as it’s more properly dubbed in the film). And though it does take substantial liberties with Carroll’s stories, it hardly appears to desecrate the spirit of the originals.

But let’s not leave my word as the final determination — chime in and add your own thoughts. If we get a particularly lively conversation out of it, I may tackle Guy Richie’s more explicitly revisionist Sherlock Holmes.

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Gotta Keep Reading

I’ve been seeing this video all over, but hadn’t slowed down to actually watch it. But this morning I did, and it actually made me a little bit teary. Not because it’s sad or even that explicitly moving, but because these kids will remember making this video for a long, long time, and I’m inspired that there are teachers and principals who would take the time to create an experience that just might make a difference.

Category: 6 comments

Reading Is Boring (Sometimes)

Sometimes reading to your kids is boring. There, I said it. We like the idea of the day ending with all of the annoyances forgotten as we cuddle on the sofa with our precious children, sharing our favorite books as they listen with adoring expressions on their well-scrubbed faces. But I know the reality is just as often pushing the laundry aside to make room for you and two kids who are still arguing over who got the biggest slice of cake — which apparently one child rubbed in her hair — while handing you the one picture book you can’t stand as the cat vomits a hairball at your feet.

Charming, huh?

There are many motherly myths that make us feel like we’re Doing It Wrong. And the ones that produce the most guilt are the ones that tell us how we should feel. Maybe you’ve heard how you bond with your baby at birth? It’s true that you might surrender to a warm rush of instant love and pure joy. Or you might be like me at my first child’s birth, wondering what you are going to do with squalling mini-person now. (Love came later.)

Certainly nursing your child is a magical experience, connecting you to the spirit of womanhood through all time. That is, assuming that you figure out the latching-on thing and you don’t mind leaking at inopportune moments and you don’t get infections or chafing. And even then you spend this most beautiful experience watching Oprah, or get so blasé that you open the door to the UPS man because you are NOT going to miss out on your Buffy the Vampire Slayer DVD’s just because Little Miss Sucks-a-Lot won’t FINISH UP ALREADY!

And while I was moved by how much my girls looked like angels when they slept, it was generally not a respect for all that was holy that caused me to thank God. It was more likely relief that I wasn’t going to miss yet another episode of Survivor.

So — reading to your kids. It can be a wonderful experience, a chance to slow down in the busy day and share something together. I dare say that often you will find it a nice thing to do. My point isn’t to tell you that reading to your kids is boring, but instead to give you permission to sometimes feel like reading to your kids is boring. Because when we as mothers set ourselves up to a certain expectation to how something Should Be, we can fail to work with How It Is.

Think of reading to your child less as a bonding experience and more like dinner. It could be prime rib or Hamburger Helper, but either way it’s important to eat. At reading time, the stars may align to make it a cozy tradition, or the day’s drudgery may make it another chore. And that’s okay.

While my goal was simply to validate less-than-blissful feelings about reading time, it would be cruel to leave without a little advice on banishing the boredom. Think about varying the routine in terms of the five Ws — Who, What, Where, When, and Why.

Who — If you can switch off on the reading with Dad or an older sister, go for it. You can even have a reading time where Junior reads to the dog as you let your mind turn to thoughts of George Clooney. Ah, Clooney.

What — Just because your child wants to read the same book again doesn’t mean that you have to do so. On days when you are more patient, you’ll be happy to chug through Little Sparkly Fairy Princess again. But reserve the right to say, “Not today, honey.” Look for good book recommendations or ask at the library to add some fresh books to your mix. You’ll be happier for it, I promise.

Where — If you always read by your child’s bedside or on the couch, take it outside. Or stop at the library or bookstore and read there. Change your surroundings just because you can.

When — I am a personal fan of bedtime reading because in my unorganized world, it was hard to forget to do it. The pajamas tended to tip me off. But if you’ve always reached your limit at the end of the day, make reading time in the morning or after lunch or before nap or whenever works for you. Here’s a thought: You can even change it according to what works that day, week, month or year.

Why — Well, this whole post has been about the why. You can read to your child because it is a beautiful way to connect while instilling a valuable skill. But on days when you’re not feeling it, you can still read to your child because it’s just a good thing to do. I’m sure that all the “perfect moms” would agree.

Check out more on today’s Share a Story — Shape a Future topic, Reading for the Next Generation, with Jen Robinson.

Booklights, Share a Story

Share a Story — Shape a Future continues today with a classics theme, which I’m taking over to Booklights with three classic classics. Come over and pick your favorite — if you can. And check out the linky goodness with Old Favorites, New Classics.

Keeping it short today so I can work on my own Share a Story post for tomorrow, “Reading is Boring (Sometimes).” Plus I’ve got to get outside and experience SPRING! I’m just going to stand on my lawn and watch that last bit of snow melt. I may bring champagne.

ABC Storytime: Q is for...

Back with ABC Storytime. As always, feel free to name your favorite letter Q books in the comments.

The Letter Q

Book: Little Quack, by Lauren Thompson

Song: “Six Little Ducks”
Six little ducks that I once knew,
Fat ones, skinny ones, fair ones too.

Chorus: But the one little duck
with a feather in his back,
He led the others with a
Quack, quack, quack.
Quack, quack, quack!
Quack, quack, quack!
He led the others with a
Quack, quack, quack!

Down to the water they did go.
Wibble, wobble, wibble, wobble to and fro.

Home from the water they did come,
Wibble, wobble, wibble, wobble, ho-hum-hum.

(BTW, the tune is here.)
Book: Stella, Queen of the Snow, by Marie-Loise Gay, or Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen, by Cari Best

Nursery Rhyme: “The Queen of Hearts”
The Queen of Hearts,
She made some tarts,
All on a summer’s day;
The Knave of Hearts,
He stole the tarts,
And took them clean away
Book: Quiet! by Paul Bright

Song: “What Begins with Q?”
What begins with Q?
What begins with Q?
We all know.
We’ll tell you so.
What begins with Q?

Quack begins with Q…

Queen begins with Q…

Quiet begins with Q...

(This is song to the tune of “Farmer in the Dell” and can be used for any letter — but is probably never needed more than when you get to Q.)
Book: QPootle5, by Nick Butterworth, or Quick as a Cricket, by Audrey Wood

Alternate Books: I don’t know. You tell me.

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Calling Dad

Thanks for the responses to yesterday’s question about calling your mother — and I’d still love to hear from you if you didn’t get a chance to comment. I’m finding the answers very interesting, with my favorite one coming in via Facebook: “Often enough to keep her happy, but infrequently enough to keep me sane.”

A few people mentioned calling or talking to their fathers, and it made we wonder if it is an entirely different thing with dads. See, while I feel obligated to talk to my mother every week and apologize if I don’t, I never have the same sense about my father. They are divorced, so the calls are separate entities and completely different. I might talk to Dad a couple times a week for ten minutes, or maybe a thirty-minute conversation on a weekend. It’s happened that we haven’t talked for a couple of weeks and will spend an hour on the phone catching up. He calls me more, but since I can’t always talk, I call him back much of the time. It’s a very organic thing, without any guilt, obligation, or specific time investment. How about for you?

Like yesterday, I’m keeping the reading light here so that you can give your attention to the wonders of the Share a Story — Shape a Future blog tour. And while my questions may not be book-related, think of what they may add as writing prompts and character development.

Calling Your Mother

Question: How often do you call your mother?

Okay it has nothing to do with books, but I’m hoping that you’ll take the minute to answer the question. My friend was talking about her husband feeling the need to call his mother every week, and she thought that was too much. I admitted that I call my mom every weekend, and usually another day during the week as well. She was surprised I call so much, and yet I remember feeling like I was a bad daughter after talking to another friend who called her mom every day.

So now I’m curious: How often do you call your mother? Explanations are optional.

I’m also keeping today’s post short so that I can direct you to the beginning of the Share a Story — Shape a Future blog tour filled with interesting posts about reading, literacy, and beloved books. Check it out.

Poetry Friday: “Mud”

Apparently when almost three feet of snow melts within two weeks, you get a lot of mud. And you get that mud for an extended period of time that seems approximately forever. Not being used to this much mud, it’s been top of my mind — and bottom of my shoes — whenever I go outside. Mud. Mud. Mud.

For Poetry Friday, I found a poem that gives mud a positive spin — one that I will try very hard to keep in mind as I squish and squelch my way to school pick-up.
by Robert William Service

Mud is Beauty in the making,
Mud is melody awaking;
Laughter, leafy whisperings,
Butterflies with rainbow wings;
Baby babble, lover’s sighs,
Bobolink in lucent skies;
Ardours of heroic blood
All stem back to Matrix Mud.

(The poem continues here.)
Poetry Friday is hosted today at TeachingBooks

Booklights, Book Blogger Convention, and Digging Out

I’m anxiously awaiting the rest of Fuse#8’s Top 100 Children’s Novels as she finishes her move and arranges her Internet access. Four of my choices have already made the list, and I talk about them over at PBS Booklights. See them there and add your thoughts in the comments. I’m looking forward to the runoff between Charlotte’s Web and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, though I’m betting that the series factor to the Rowling books will split the votes, leaving Charlotte’s Web to take the number one spot. What do you think?

I’m apologetic for not mentioning the upcoming Book Blogger Convention in May. This is not — repeat, not — KidLitCon 2010, which will take place in Minneapolis in late October. It is, however, a fantastic opportunity to stretch your comfort zone and meet other book bloggers perhaps outside our wonderful kidlitosphere community. It is also now affiliated with Book Expo America, so registering for the conference gets you into BEA with a free press pass without having to convince BEA that you are indeed a book blogger, not a “Book Industry Professional.” The keynote speaker is YA Author Maureen Johnson, and you’ll see our peeps Betsy Bird of Fuse#8 and Terry Doherty of The Reading Tub on panels. Check out the Book Blogger Convention website for more information and to register.

I’m astonished how quickly February raced by, dumping me in March with piles of melting snow to navigate and stacks of books to review. And I still can’t find my Shutterfly 2010 calendar. Or for that matter, my living room floor. So excuse me if I’ve been less-than-present online. This too shall pass.

ABC Storytime: P is for...

I haven’t waxed poetic on Mo Willems since the October National Book Festival, where my daughter got to play Piggie on stage. (Watch it here at the twelve minute mark!) Perhaps being noted at BEA as his number one stalker to another author made me a bit more wary with regard to my attentions. Seriously, I could not have planned running into him at BEA, but try explaining that after three years’ worth of blogging adoration. (By the way, if you’re going to Book Expo America and want to meet up with other bloggers, make a plan. The place is huge, and “See you there” will not cut it.)

But my relative silence on Mr. Willems does not mean that I find him any less Mo-tastic. In just the past month, he subbed on a weekly comic strip (fulfilling his lifelong dream), put out a new easier easy reader in Cat the Cat (I haven’t seen it yet, but I’ve been very busy), won a Cybils Award (not my category — hold all accusations of favoritism), supervised the making of Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical at the Kennedy Center in D.C. (yes, I have tickets; no, he didn’t invite me personally), and still had time to draw on the walls with cool people (not me). So today, in tribute to a man who does more in one month than I can do in ten years, ABC storytime is devoted to Mo Willems’ books, which work amazing well with...

The Letter P

Book: The Pigeon Wants a Puppy, by Mo Willems

Song: “Puppy in the Window”
How much is that puppy in the window? (arf! arf!)
The one with the waggly tail
How much is that puppy in the window? (arf! arf!)
I do hope that puppy’s for sale.
(Yes, I changed “doggie” to “puppy.” BTW, the tune is here.)
Book: Time to Say “Please”, by Mo Willems

Song: “Please and Thank You”
Say please and thank you,
They’re called the magic words,
If you want nice things to happen,
They’re the words that should be heard.
Remember please and thank you,
’Cause they’re the magic words.
Use ’em in the morning, noon, and night,
’Cause it’s a great way to be polite!
Please and thank you,
They’re the magic words.
(Yes, it’s the Barney song. Sorry.)
Book: Pigs Make Me Sneeze, by Mo Willems

Fingerplay: “This Little Piggie”
This little piggie went to market.
This little piggie stayed home.
This little piggie had roast beef.
This little piggie had none.
And this little piggie went...
Wee, wee, wee all the way home.
(Use fingers or toes for piggies.)
Book: Time to Pee! by Mo Willems — or another Pigeon or Elephant & Piggie book if you want to go with the safer choice.

Alternate Books: If you choose not to go with the all-Mo storytime, here are a few other choices: Pssst! by Adam Rex; Mr. Pusskins and Little Whiskers, by Sam Lloyd; Pilot Pups, by Michelle Meadows; A Penguin Story, by Antoinette Portis

Feel free to add other favorite P books — or Mo adoration — to the comments.

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Nonfiction Monday: Moonshot

This weekend I spent far too much time on things that were not the things I needed to be doing, so I’m keeping today’s entry short and sweet so that I can (a) make the family room non-embarrassing, (b) get groceries before we start eating ramen noodles for breakfast, and (c) find my 2010 calendar — in March.

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
by Brian Floca
Atheneum Books, 2009

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11Moonshot is simply the perfect book for young readers interested in space travel and astronauts. The text is simple and slight — more verse style than prose — but covering the essence of this amazing event. The preparation of the astronauts, the countdown and liftoff, the stages of rocket separation, and the landing are all laid out in a way that is easily understood. The end pages give an enormous amount of additional information on both the spaceships and the journey itself. And of course, Floca’s wonderful illustrations bring the reader into each scene with their detail and beauty. While not taking home a Caldecott as some people expected, Moonshot has no shortage of awards and recommendations.

Nonfiction Monday is hosted today at Simply Science.

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.