It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

It’s about that time again!  Yes gardening time:)  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love, Love, LOVE to put my toes in freshly tilled soil.  Oh My Gosh!  LOVE.  IT.  Bring on the tomatoes!  Bring on the squash!  Bring on the okra!  More on that later…since we’ve not started actually planting anything yet.  Until then, I’ve decided to share some of my all time favorite books about gardens and gardening

Enjoy,

That Book Mama

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0-4 Years

I Like Vegetables – By Lorena Siminovich  A beautiful board book with bright colors and a bonus…touch and feel!  This is the perfect gardening book to start your little one off right.  Each page has a few words and a different picture to touch.  For sure one they will want to read again and again.

A Garden Of Opposites – By Nancy Davis  Again, with bright colors and few words, this book is perfectly simple.  Opposites never looked prettier.

Up, Down and Around – By Katherine Ayres  It’s the story of a garden from beginning to end.  Tells all about how some veges grow up and some grow down while others grow around and around.  By the end, I’m ready to eat some and so are the characters in the book:)

Counting In The Garden – By Emily Hruby  I’m just gonna say it…not the best cover art.  This is a perfect example of not judging a book by the cover.  Once you get past the cover though, amazing!  Flowers and vegetables and worms, oh my!  Love it!

Eating The Alphabet – By Lois Ehlert  This book does nothing but make me want a snack.  It flows through the alphabet with colorful illustrations of fruits and vegetables good enough to eat.  I’m not gonna lie, some things I’ve never tried.  I think if it makes me want to try something I’ve never had before then surely other folks would feel the same:)

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5-7 Years

Over In The Garden – By Jennifer Ward  Rhyming Song, Yay!  This book could actually be read to younger children but I’ve put it in an older category because it has a fact section in the back.  Count your way through the garden and see a whole slew of insects along the way.

The Gardener – By Sarah Stewart Through a series of letters, Lydia Grace tells the story of her going to live with her uncle in the city until her parents can get on their feet.  Lydia Grace was growing up during the time of The Great Depression and during that time everyone was well…depressed.  She was determined to make her Uncle Jim smile and by her actions, she made his world a little brighter.   Truth time…I teared up.  Excellent book!

And The Good Brown Earth – By Kathy Henderson  This book actually starts in the fall and tells the story of a grandma and a grandson who tend to the garden patch all year long.  Having a garden is a lot of work but in the middle of all of that work, there’s always time to play.

The Ugly Vegetables – By Grace Lin  When a little girl and her Mom start their garden, they look around and see that their neighbors are doing the same, with one exception.  Everyone else was planting flowers and they were planting Chinese veges.  The little girl was rather disheartened when she saw that their garden wasn’t as pretty as the others.  Once it was time to gather some veges and make some soup, everyone wanted a part of the ugly vegetables.  Recipe in the back, Hooray!

Strega Nona’s Harvest – By Tomie dePaola  Strega Nona is well known for her magical way with the garden.  She always has plenty of food for her family come harvest time and this year was no different.  …except for some reason she keeps getting vegetables at her front door and has nowhere to put them.  What is she to do?  Why help people out, of course.  Great story about sharing and caring.

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Skippyjon Jones At It Again

I’ve just finished the newest book in the adventures of Skippyjon Jones the Siamese cat, Skippyjon Jones Snow What by Judy Schachner was a hoot!  Skippyjon has all sisters and when they want to have Mama Junebug Jones read them the story of Snow White, Skippyjon retreats to his room, takes himself deep into a world of his own imagining and becomes Senor Skippito the Chihuahua.

Once in his alternate land, he learns of a girl chihuahua that has been cursed by a witch and needs to be kissed.  His first words when he learns of this?  “I’m not kissing SNOWbody!”  Being he brave knight that he is, he battles dragons, wears tights and even gets his lips frozen to ice while trying to save Snow What.

Pick it up!

If you like this book, there are several more in the series and they are just as funny.  Each come with a cd of the story read by the author.  Hi-larious:)

That Book Mama

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Pink Princess…But Wait, There’s More

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I love, Love, LOVE, Shannon Hale!  Can I just be honest?  At first, I really didn’t like her newest book.  (gasp) …I know…but listen.  I’ve just finished The Princess In Black and I’ve now decided that it is a great book for beginning readers!  I think I was hoping for her normal, “can’t put it down, princess who don’t mess around” book.  When I really think about it though, this book is just that except on a lower reading level.  So, I stepped out of the box and took a second look at the book.  I’m glad I did because I will for sure recommend it frequently.

Princess Magnolia (dressed in all pink…of course) is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower, when she is called away to tend to some irritating monsters.  By secretly becoming “The Princess In Black”, Magnolia jumps on her faithful unicorn/horse in disguise Blacky and gallops away to fight off the monsters that are plaguing the kingdom.  While Magnolia is out fighting off monsters, Duchess Wigtower is convinced there is something suspicious going on.  With short chapters and vivid illustrations, this book is a great find for a beginner reader that is transitioning over into “the big stacks”.  I’m tellin’ ya though, once your reader hits about 5th grade reading level, pick up The Goose Girl and Princess Academy.  They are excellent choices!

Enjoy,

That Book Mama

Snow Books For A Snow Day

Winter has decided to show up and it seems to be making up for lost time.  Snow always makes me want to put some comfort food on the stove and curl up with a good book.  I’ve decided to share some of my favorite children’s books about snow/winter.  Some of these jewels will warm your heart while others will give you a chuckle.  In no particular order, (except for the first one) here are my selections for you:

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1.  A Little Bit Of Winter – by Paul Stewart.  Hedgehog and Rabbit have been friends for quite a while.  Winter is coming and Hedgehog is about to hibernate.  Rabbit is pretty torn up about not seeing his friend for months on end.  Hedgehog doesn’t understand what the big deal is about winter so he asks Rabbit to save him some.  Hedgehog wants to know how winter “feels”.  After Hedgehog goes into hibernation, the sorry continues and shows how dull Rabbit’s life is without Hedgehog.  Rabbit figures out a way to save some winter for Hedgehog and the results are rather comical.  If you like this book, make sure to pick up, The Birthday Presents.  It is super cute too:)

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2.  Snowmen At Night – by Caralyn Buehner.  Have you ever thought about what your snowman does while you are snug in your beds at night?  Why, they have ice cold cocoa, play baseball and go sledding, of course.  The rhyming text in the story just flows and before you know it, the night is over and so is the story.

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3.  Waiting For Winter – by Sebastian Meschenmoser.  Deer tells Squirrel about winter which makes Squirrel determined to see what winter is really like.  He has to think of creative ways to keep himself awake and doing so, he wakes up Hedgehog and Bear.  Well, then they all have to start looking for snow and Hedgehog is the first to find a “snowflake”…it’s actually a toothbrush…  Totally funny!  Cracked me up!

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4.  Winter Is the Warmest Season – By Lauren Stringer.  This book tells all about how Winter is warm.  From drinking hot cocoa and wearing fuzzy boots to being read to in front of a warm cozy fire.  AAaaaahhhh makes me need a nap:)

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5.  The Lamb Who Came For Dinner – By Steve Smallman – Wolf was mad because he had to eat vegetable soup AGAIN!  Then, what does he hear?  A knock at the door and opening it, he finds a little lamb.  Of course, he lets the poor lamb inside but he can’t eat a frozen lamb so he has to warm her up.  After warming her up, feeding her and rocking her to sleep…we are only on like page 6.  Get the book.  Read it.  You’ll love it.  The end:)

Now go and get some fuzzy socks on and some co-razy tights, snuggle down and let the snow fly:)

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All Thumbs…Well Mostly

Drawing comes natural for some folks but for me…not so much.  I think that’s why I latched on to the book, Ed Emberley’s Fingerprint Drawing Book, by Ed Emberley.  I actually discovered this book about 15 years ago, before I even had kiddos.  I took it home, broke out my ink pads and went to town.  I COULD DRAW!  IT WAS MAGICAL!!  I feel like if I can gain confidence by adding some stick arms to a thumbprint, imagine what kind of boost it would give to a child.  The book is stuffed full of simple examples of what you could do with a fingerprint.

WARNING!  You can’t just make one:)

Also, if you enjoy the fingerprint book, Mr. Emberley has several other books that have simple drawings that you can recreate. Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book Of Weirdos and Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book Of Trucks And Trains

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Now get to drawing!

Supplies:

  • Ed Emberley’s Fingerprint Drawing Book by Ed Emberley
  • Ink Pads
  • Sharpie Marker

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This Totally Counts As Reading

Since the baby has been born, I’ve been starving for a book.   I know I could listen to an audio but I just can’t stay focused on one unless I’m driving my Mom van.  It is super hard to find time to read nowadays so I’ve devised a plan.  I’ve found, what I’d call, “bathroom readers”.  That’s right!  I’m taking bathroom books to the living room and even into the bedroom:)   Okay, it’s mostly pictures but they fulfill, for the moment, my need for books.  I’ve come up with a short list that will leave you breathless from laughter and also some that will keep you intrigued…if only for a short time:)

  1. I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets – Smith, Larry
  2. There I Fixed It: (No You Didn’t) – Cheezburger
  3. Postsecret Extraordinary Confessions From Ordinary Lives
  4. People Of Walmart:  Shop And Awe – Wherry, Luke
  5. F In exams – Benson, Richard
  6. Awkward Family Pet Photos – Bender, Mike
  7. I Could Pee On This: And Other Poems By Cats – Marciuliano, Francesco
  8. Passive Aggressive Notes – Miller, Kerry
  9. I Can Has Cheezburger? – Professor Happycat
  10. P.S. I Hate It Here:  Kids Letters From Camp – Falanga, Diane

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Lunch Lady Land

lunchLunch Ladies!  This series just confirms my theory that the lunch ladies always had something up their sleeves.  I always thought this, back in the day.  The series follows two tech savvy cafeteria workers as they fight crime in their school.  They have a spork phone for cryin’ out loud!  Anyway, whenever they see something suspicious they hit their secret hide out and hatch a plan.  Using the newest gadgets, they solve crimes and protect Thompson Brook school.  Super funny…and mysterious:)

P.S. You’ll want to start with #1 Lunch Lady And The Cyborg Substitute by: Jarrett J. Krosoczka