The Books from August 15

We had some really fun books this week.  In fact, they were all good.  That's rather rare!  This week felt busy and we read a little less than is typical, but we still read plenty!  We started the week with the very fun A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee .  It was a cute little story about a man and his dog, a camping trip and a near-sighted bear.  Lots of fun, with great rhyming text!

 Next up is Jack and the Giant: A Story Full of Beans .  Again cute.  A fun little cowboy twist on Jack and the Beanstalk.  We really enjoyed how silly this was.  The pictures were fabulous and Jack was a great little hero.

Oh, Boxes for Katje .  I really liked this one.  So did Stella.  I know because she started using some of the names of the characters in her playing!  I was admittedly a bit out of sorts this week, but this one made me cry.  In a good way.   It's a story based on true events from after WWII.  Two little girls become pen pals and it affects both the Dutch Village, and American town of the children.  It was a sweet story that reminds you that there are good people in the world.  And also how you can repay kindnesses even when it seems as though you have nothing.

And last but not least, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic and Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle .  We read the first Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle book last week and loved it so much that we got two more this week!  I love these fun little chapter books.  I think they are ones I would eventually like to own.  In addition to being fun for both Stella and I, these are the first books to elicit the ever-so-special and much sought after exclamations of  "One more chapter please!" from Stella.  I love it! 


Summer Reading Program

Our Library joins with all the other libraries in the County for a Summer Reading Program every year.  This is our second year participating.  I love it.  Partly because I remember enjoying a similar program as a kid, and partly because it's fun, and partly because it's great incentive to read through the summer.  It runs from mid-June to mid-August.  It ended this week.

How does it work you ask?  Good question.  You record the books you read on a little card and every 5 books earns you a "dollar." Every 1-50 pages counts as a book (so a 125 page book counts as 3 books). They don't have to be library books to count.  You can also count e-books, or books you read at grandma's house, as long as it's the first time you read it. We don't get many longer books at our house yet. 

We earned, between Stella and Bruce, 33 dollars this summer.  I was pretty impressed by that.  I did a little math and figured out that 33 tickets equals 82.5 books read this summer (  (33x5)/2= 82.5  and I did that by hand not calculator).  F

There are prizes to buy with your dollars too.  They can get a snack for a dollar, or a trinket for 1,2,5,10, 15.  Or for 5 dollars they could pick a book from a collection they had on a table by the circulation desk.  I didn't give my kids many options, and held onto their dollars for them until last week.  Then we found the books and picked out 2 each.  They were excited to bring home books from the library to keep.  This week we counted up the rest of our dollars and Stella picked a prize and a book (she actually got two cheap little throw away books about My Little Ponies, not my first choice in reading material), and I picked out three books for Bruce. 

All told from the summer reading that we would have done anyway we "earned"  7 good books, 2 cheap books, and a large bouncy ball.  Not a bad summer! 

Do you participate in a summer reading program?


August 8 to 15

The books this last week were pretty good. There were a few that caught on a little later in the week.  And a few that we loved straight-away.  Like every week there were a few that we enjoyed but didn't love.

We read Country Fair .  It was strictly average.  I think it's just so outside their experience, and the book was not very engaging.  There was nothing technically wrong with it, but it was a book about the fair, not a story set at a fair.

We read Curious George and the Ice Cream Surprise . This was cute, in the manner of all Curious George books.  I do enjoy George and we liked this one.  It didn't quite make the top of the list though. 

We read I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories (Classic Seuss) by Dr. Seuss.  They were cute, clever stories.  Not his finest work, but still quite reasonable.  I think we only read it once.  We just weren't that into it, and with the other books we had this week, that was alright with me! 

We did love Fire! Fire! Said Mrs. McGuire 1st edition by Jr, Bill Martin published by Harcourt Children's Books Paperback .  Stella and Bruce both loved this one.  It was a very simple read, very rhythmic and it rhymed!  Stella had it almost memorized in 2 reads.  She could "read" it to Bruce after that.  That's a bonus in a book right now!  I liked the names and the fact that there were all types of women in all types of professions.

But our absolute favorite this week was Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle .  We had such a good time with this little chapter book.  Well, Stella and I did.  It was printed in 1947 and the traditional family values of the time are quite evident.  Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle cures all sorts of childhood "illnesses" for the childrens parents.  There is the "Never-Want-to-Go-to-Bedders" Cure and the "Answer-Backers" Cure, and several others.  Stella giggled and giggled at the antics of the children and the silliness of the cures.  I liked the idea that these are problems that need to be solved, and that the parents didn't tolerate the misbehaviors.  We learned a few new words, and just enjoyed cuddling up together to read this one.  It's on my highly recommended list!  We even picked up 2 more books in this series for this week!


August 1

Last week, there was no post.  We went to the Library. We brought home books, just like usual.  We took them back to the Library, and I got home and realized that I didn't have any idea what books we read.  Except for one.

Stella and I loved it.  The Mud Fairy .  Stella loved the fun book about a fairy earning her wings.  I loved the great story about doing what  you love, and what you're good at.  The story about the fairy who plays in the mud, with the frogs instead of with dainty little flowers.  If you have a little girl who is into all things princess-fairy-beautiful  I would highly recommend The Mud Fairy .

This week we had some good books too.  The favorite was Gabriella's Song (Aladdin Picture Books) .  I liked the rhythm and feel of this book.  The pictures were very good, they really added to the feel of the book.  It was a fun story about music, and how it is created and who creates it (guess who came up with Gabriella's Song). It's about the way that music is heard by different people and how music can make you feel, or see.  This was the one we came to over and over this week.

We also read and enjoyed Biggest Bed in the World .  It's a fun little story about a dad who needs a bigger bed so he has room to sleep with all the kids in the bed.  We read this one several times too!

I picked up a Maurice Sendak book called BUMBLE-ARDY .  What a strange book.  The rhymes were good and the pictures very good, but very odd.  It's the story of a pig who's never had a birthday party.  Odd, some of the pictures were too weird and we didn't enjoy this as much as I had hoped.

The Mud Flat Olympics .  Cute.  I enjoyed it.  The kids didn't care for it.  It was a little too old for them, I think.  It was a rather slow moving pace and it just wasn't quite what we had been hoping for. Not bad, in fact it was a good book, just not for my kids personalities and ages.

And finally, Tulip Sees America .  I really liked this one. But then I am a Cynthia Rylant fan. I wish the kids had liked it more.  Stella seems to attach herself to a book for a week at the expense of all the others.  If it had been a different week, this would have been nearer the top of her list.  I enjoyed the perspective of seeing the states from Ohio to Oregon in the eyes of someone who has never traveled before.  It was fun to have the author pick out one aspect that gave a feel for the State as a whole.  And in the whole upper mid-west to west, where I have never been, it was a neat book.  Excellent artwork, and a fun book all around.

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