Gifts From The Sea

Just finished up Gifts From The Sea by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock.  Wonderful little historical fiction children’s book!

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Quila lives on an isolated island with her father, who is the lighthouse keeper.  Keeping ships safe from the rocky edge of their island was a full-time job.  Quila never liked to see what would wash up after a shipwreck.  She made it a habit to avoid any debris.

One particular day, she was down at the shore and saw that a tied up mattress had washed up.  she became curious and pulled it ashore.  Inside, tucked safely away, was a little baby girl.  After that, Quila’s life was completely turned upside down.

Based on actual historical events, Natalie Kinsey-Warnock weaves a beautiful tale that you won’t want to put down.

Recommended for ages 9-12

If you like this book, be sure to pick up her other books.  She also writes historical picture books. Hooray!

Enjoy,

That Book Mama

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Horse Reading – Gotta Have It

My little Farmgirl has been reading up a storm this summer.  She came to me the other night in tears and clutching a book in her arms.  I took one look at her and knew something was wrong.  I asked her if the ending was sad and started to explain that, that happens sometimes.  She proceeded to tell me that the reason she was upset was because she had finished the book and was worried that there wouldn’t be another one in the series.  That’s my girl:)

She is reading the Canterwood Crest series so I asked her if she would write a review over the first book for me.  She was excited to do so…we will see if she’s this excited when it comes time to do one at school…  Anywho, here it is.  Farmgirl’s first book review:

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“Canterwood Crest books are the best horse books I have ever read!  The first book in the series is called, Take The Reins.  They are by Jessica Burkhart and they are about horses.  Sasha moved into Canterwood.  She rides horses and goes to school there.  She saw this guy, his name is Jacob and he loves her.  There is also a guy named Eric and he likes her too.  So, she is stuck between two guys and on top of that she has to plan a Winter Ball.”

Sounds to me like a typical love triangle:) I’m going to say that this book should be recommended for ages 8-12. 

I’m sure we will have more reviews to come from our girl so stay tuned!

That Book Mama

Green Beans And New Potatoes MMMmmmmm

It’s summertime and with that comes gifts from the garden! One of my very favorite meals to have in the summer is Green Beans and New Potatoes.   Nom, Nom, Nom…I’m drooling right now just typing this.  It’s basically a one pot meal that takes very little time. Hooray! Who wants to cook in the blazing heat anyway? Not me! Here’s a simple recipe to tickle your taste buds. You’re Welcome:)

Green Beans and New Potatoes
Baby Red Potatoes (about 3 lbs)
Ham Pieces (about 2 lbs)
A “mess” of Green Beans (about 1 1/2 lb)
Medium onion (chopped)
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients, except salt, into a large pot and cover with water.  Boil for about an hour or until green beans and potatoes are fork tender.  Before serving, test and see if salt is needed.  Sometimes the ham is extremely salty so no additional salt is needed.  Voila!

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Enjoy!,

That Book Mama

Ivan, His Story Lives On

Talk to me about books for 5 minutes and I’ll probably tell you about my love for audio books.  Being a Mom and finding time to read as much as I want is a real challenge.  Like seriously…then insert audio books into the picture.  Long Commute + Audio Book = Happy Mama!

Now, I read all across the board.  Juvenile to YA to Adult books. However, in the summer, I have a copilot with me.  For this reason, book selections are taken from the juvenile section.  Not a problem at all!  This summer we’ve picked several great books and one of them was, The One And Only Ivan by:  Katherine Applegate.

photo 1 (18)Told through his point of view, Ivan tells the story of his life from inside the Exit 8 Big Top Mall.  Ivan has lived in the mall the majority of his life and his days are pretty much the same.  He has made friends with Stella the elephant and Bob, a stray dog.  Watching tv, talking to his friends and having people visit his cage is a normal daily routine, but then something magical happens.  Ivan discovers his love for drawing and painting.

Ivan is an artist.  He often wonders why people can’t figure out what he’s drawn.  Honestly, I’m sure lots of artists feel the exact same way.  When he isn’t drawing, he is talking to Stella.  He worries about her because she isn’t well.  They also can sense that something is about to change.  Then, in pops Ruby, the baby elephant.  I can just see her!  She asks a billion questions a minute and is totally adorable and innocent.

Even with the story having funny parts and the animals being such characters, there’s still a lesson to be learned.  Ivan is in an enclosure with no access to the outside world.  He’s been living in basically a box for years.  Stella is very sick and her owner seems not to care.  Bob was a puppy that was dumped and ended up at the mall.  It creates a ton of opportunity to talk to your child about proper animal care.  Great, great story!

After reading the Author’s Note at the end, we found out that the book was loosely based on a true story.  I then found the book, Ivan:  The Remarkable True Story Of The Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate.  It is a simple nonfiction book that tells Ivan’s story.

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Pick them both up!  You totally won’t regret it!

Enjoy!

That Book Mama

P.S. You may want to grab a tissue, just in case:)