Take Away the A

Take Away A

When ML saw Take Away the A: An Alphabeast of a Book! by Michael Escoffier and Kris Di Giacomo book, she said, “I’m getting too old for these kind of books.” She thought it was a traditional alphabet book.  I assured ML, “It’s not an ABC book for preschoolers.  You have to be in 1st grade or higher to understand this complicated alphabet book.”

On each page spread, one letter is removed from a word to form another word.  When you take away the letter “b” from bride? The new word is ride.  More specifically, “the BRIDE goes for a RIDE.”  The illustrations comically portray phrases created.  For example, the bride is pictured riding a ferris wheel with her veil flowing in the wind.  The groom is in the chair behind her.  It’s unclear if she is running away or not.  I’ll leave the decision up to you.  Pay careful attention to the facial expressions before determining your answer.

I don’t want to give away too many of the clever subtractions; but ML loved the “the MONKEY makes MONEY.”  My favorite was “PLANTS wear PANTS”

Read this book.  Then, create your own word play.  My first letter subtraction attempt… “PLAY this game. No need to PAY.”  What’s yours?

The Mermaid and The Shoe by K.G. Campbell

Mermaid and Shoe


ML loves to draw mermaids.  I find them in her backpack, on her desk,and  all over her bedroom floor.  I even saw one when I peeked inside her messy school cubby.  When The Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell arrived, I knew I had to take it home.  A combination of watercolor and crayon pencil are used to create the enchanting illustrations.

The story itself reminds me of a certain fairy tale without the prince or wedding.  Instead, the young mermaid learns about herself on an exciting journey.

Campbell was born in Kenya and raised in Scotland.  He’s now living in California; so he’s eligible for the Caledecott award.  I’m adding this one to our mock list for 2015.  One word describes this book.  Majestic.

ML said, “I want to say goodbye to Donna Washington!”

Little Shiver

Yesterday, ML attended the 32nd Annual Storytelling Festival, a joint effort between the Wake County Public Library and Wake County Parks and Recreation Department, at a beautiful venue called Historic Oakview Park.

While I worked, ML’s babysitter carted her to a birthday party.  Then, brought her to the festival.  They arrived just in time for my break and to hear my favorite storyteller in the world perform… Donna Washington.

We ran into friends at the event.  They loved Donna Washington too.  I explained one of my goals for ML’s elementary career is Donna Washington performing at her school.  My friend’s on board.  Her daughter is in 4th grade.  We’ve got to get on the stick for this to happen before Amelia moves on to middle school.

And I have to get on the stick to learn the scary story, “Red, Red Lips.” I promised ML I would tell a scary story at her upcoming birthday party.  Watch Donna Washington’s version at Bookhive.  ML viewed it, gave the story a thumbs up, and asked to hear it again and again.

My version will be different.  In honor of ML’s eighth birthday, I’ll tell it in first person.  The main character?  An eight-year-old me.

Underwear Books

One Big Pair UnderwearUnderpants DanceLazy Daisyfroggy


ML is not alone. Most kids love books featuring underwear.  When One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld arrived at the library, I remembered my”Underwear Books” post in draft form.  After a post about poop a few weeks ago and Captain Underpants on Monday, it’s only fitting I share the underwear post.  I’m not giving summaries of the books, just a quick reason we love each book.

One Big Pair of Underwear by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Tom Lichentheld – A book about sharing and underwear.  I know.  Sounds gross; but it’s a funny way to talk about sharing with children.  A clever, delightful story which might result in a piggyback ride.  I know what your thinking.  “What does underwear have to do with piggyback rides?” Read the book, it will make perfect sense.

Underpants Dance by Marlena Zapf and illustrated by Lynne Avril – I cannot tell you our favorite part of this book.  It would spoil the ending.  Get it? ENDing?

Lazy Daisy, Cranky Frankie by Mary Ellen Jordan & Andrew Weldon – A chicken dancing in purple underwear.  Need I say more?

Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London and illustrated Frank Remkiewicz –  I consider this the classic underwear book.  ML loved it even before she wore underwear.


Trains! by Judi Abbot


Judi Abbot knows her audience well.  The back of her book Train! states, “For toddlers who LOVE trains, planes, cars and diggers!”  Toddler’s are obsessive, stubborn, and every once in awhile open to a new idea.  Judi Abbot captures what I refer to as the “first adolescence” adorably in this book about trains… an obsession many toddlers experience. ML did.

What was your child obsessed with during toddlerhood?


Louise Loves Art

Louise Loves Art

This summer, I learned a book called Louise Loves Art by Kelly Light would be published in the fall.  I’ve eagerly awaited it’s arrival.  Why?  ML said it best last night, “Hey that book’s about me.”  The L in ML stands for Louise; and ML loves art.

ML loved the book and compared it to her life several times.  “Louise has brown hair.  So do I.  Louise wears stripes.  So do I.”  I pointed out, “You don’t have red glasses.”  ML said, “Yes, I do.”  Then, ran to her room and brought back a pair of red rimmed sunglasses.  Halfway through the book, ML exclaimed,”Oh no.  I’m going to cry.  Louise’s brother ruined her artwork.  My brother destroys mine too.”

There’s more to this story than a girl who loves art and her annoying little brother.  I’m betting you’ll understand why Louise Loves Art is the perfect title for this book quicker than I.  It hit me hours later… right before I drifted off to sleep.  I feel a little silly it took so long.  My excuse… I was pouring over the illustations created by “many black Prismacolor pencils and Photoshop.”

Louise Loves Art is a masterpiece.  Looking forward to the next Louise book set for publication in 2015.

Captain Underpants – Number 1 in Most Challenged Book Category for 2 Years Running

Captain Underpants

This week is Banned Books Week.  For the past two years, the Captain Underpants books by Dav Pilkey have received the most challenges.  This series has been around for over fifteen years.  I’m curious why there’s a new found interest in keeping them off library shelves.

Admittedly, I’ve never read one.  It’s hard to find one on the library shelf.  Kids love them.  Recently, I noticed our copies were almost in shreds.  I requested new copies be ordered.  They went out like hotcakes as soon as they arrived.

Guess I need to get on the list for a Captain Underpant’s book…  see what all the fuss is about.

brown girl dreaming – A Miraculous Book

brown girl dreaming

I love novels in verse. One of the first I read was Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. Woodson’s new book, Brown Girl Dreaming, isn’t a novel in verse if you use Merriam Webster’s definition of a novel.    “An invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events.” Instead,  Brown Girl Dreaming is an autobiography in verse.  An amazing feat!

To be able to distill your life experiences into a book isn’t easy.  I know.  It took me three years to write my Wintergirls post, an account of one snippet of my experience with a postpartum mood disorder.  It was less than one thousand words.  Over one hundred and fifty interlocking poems about your life which will resonate with middle grade readers?  Inconceivable!  Until, I read this miraculous book.

Knowing I would want to refer back to poems which touched me, I marked pages with bright blue Post-it notes.  Twenty-two grace this book.  I had to restrain myself from marking each page.

First, a few things to know about me.  I grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia as a middle class, white girl.  Born in 1972, I don’t remember MLK’s marches, Freedom Fighters or the Black Panthers; but I do remember hearing racist comments and jokes as a child.  Admittedly, I did not face the challenges or heartbreak Woodson faced due to racism,  family members’ serious illnesses, and experiencing death of loved ones at an age much earlier than I.

However, there is one thing Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood and mine share.  The love and encouragement from family, teachers, friends and friends’ parents.  Some of the passages I marked resonated with me because I ate fresh vegetables from my grandparent’s garden.  I’ve walked dusty red clay roads.

A few quotes from the bright blue Post-it noted pages of my book:

“And when we are called by our names
my grandmother
makes them all one
HopeDellJackie” (p.45)
My cousin’s lived across the street from my grandparents.  When I visited, I often heard Grandmommy say, “KristieKaraKendraKarmen.”

First they brought us here.
Then we worked for free.  Then it was 1863,
and we were supposed to be free but we weren’t

And that’s why people are so mad.” (p. 72)
Perfectly distills the savagery and injustice of the treatment of brown girls, boys, women and men.

“We will never taste the sweetness of a classroom
birthday cupcake.
We will never taste the bitterness of a battle.” (p. 164)
Woodson was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness.  Several of the poems allude to this experience.

stevie and me (p. 227)
Every librarian, teacher and children’s book publisher needs to read this poem titled “stevie and me.”  The reasons to let children read what interest them; and the need for diversity are stated elegantly.

There will likely be a riot at the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Chicago this winter if Brown Girl Dreaming does not win the Newbery Award.  If I can’t find someone to work for me October 22nd, I may riot.  Jacqueline Woodson is speaking within walking distance of my house.

The extra gem for me… it’s over 100 pages. For years, a teacher in the community requires her students read an autobiography of 100 pages or more. You read that correctly. An autobiography, not a biography. Finding one is like finding a needle in a haystack. Finding an interesting one… No comment. That is, until now. I’m not only recommending Brown Girl Dreaming for this assignment. I am forcing it into the hands of everyone I can. Adults and children.



Anna’s Heaven

Anna's Heaven

From September 11th until October 12th is an emotional time for me filled with heartbreaking and joyous anniversaries.

We all have varied memories from September 11, 2001. Mine was trying to get in touch with my mom from a payphone in a small village in France. When, I wasn’t able to reach her, I wasn’t concerned, knowing she wasn’t in NY or DC. The next day, I learned why I wasn’t able to get in touch with her. On September 11th, my mom was in the hospital for tests. Within a month, she passed away.

When Anna’s Heaven by Stian Hole arrived I knew it would be about death.  It was a busy day at the library; so I checked it out, put it in my bag and forgot about it.  Last night, I read it.  Actually, I read it, reread it, and read it again.  Then, I poured over the illustrations.  The description of grief… tears, gut wrenching heartbreak, laughing at funny stories about the deceased and smiling at wonderful memories… is the most accurate I’ve read.

“Today there’s someone in the sky sending down nails.  That’s not right, is it” Dad says.
“No,”  Anna whispers, “but tomorrow there might be strawberries with honey.”

This year on the anniversary of mom’s death, we’re celebrating the joyous occasion I referred to above. ML was born late one afternoon on October 9th.  It won’t be raining nails this October 12th.  Instead, like the illustration at the end of the book, it will be raining strawberries.  ML always requests a big bowl of strawberries to go with her chocolate cake.  This year she gets to share them with twenty plus friends.

We won’t read Anna’s Heaven on the day of ML’s party.  However, we will read it sometime in October and every year after.  From time to time, I picture mom in heaven.  Just like Anna’s mom she might be “doing some weeding” or “visiting someone” or “wearing her new dress” or “gone to the library.”  She may be shelling butter beans, making her home made rolls, planting flowers at the library, sitting around a table enjoying a good meal with her parents and brother, letting me help her make brownies, reading to me,or looking down and chuckling when ML gets sassy with me.

It doesn’t rain nails like it once did; but there are times it feels like a nail is scraping my heart.  Most recently when my brother and his family visited.  Watching ML and her cousins run to the doors of Duke Chapel.  Then, quietly enter.  Seeing them cuddled on our living room floor for their camp out.  Knowing mom would have spoiled them, and loved them, and spoiled them some more.  There’s no doubt that rainy weekend mom was smiling down on us.

I consider the illustrations in this book exquisite.  Others may not be comfortable with them.  It’s not your typical pearly gates or starry night sky depiction of heaven.  Neither is mine.

Ms. Nelson Read a Miss Nelson Book


I knew it would happen sooner or later at school.  So I refrained from introducing ML to Miss Nelson books and the vile Viola Swamp.

ML didn’t tell me when her teacher, Ms Wilson, read Miss Nelson is Missing!  However, she immediately told me when Miss Nelson is Back was read.  The teacher assistant in her class named Ms Nelson read it. She thought Ms. Nelson reading a Miss Nelson book was hilarious.  I considered it priceless.

ML asked, “Are there other Miss Nelson books?”  I responded, “I think so.”To my surprise there was only one additional book… Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. I commend Harry Allard and James Marshall for creating Miss Nelson and Viola Swamp.  Thirty years later they continue to resonate with children.  A roaring success.

MissNelson Field Day

Finally! Another Unicorn Picture Book I Like – Uni the Unicorn

Uni the Unicorn

Over a year ago, I wrote a post called “Finally!  A Picture Book About Unicorns I Like.”  This week a new book about a unicorn arrived at the library.  It’s phenomenal.

Uni the Unicorn:  A Story About Believing by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Brigette Barrager is spectacular in both the story line and illustrations.   Uni’s unlike other unicorns… she believes little girls are real.  She creates pictures of little girls, thinks about what it would be like to be friends with a little girl and dreams about playing with a real little girl.

The illustrations enchant.  Wish I could provide a more detailed description; but a girl saw me reading it at the library and wanted to check it out.  For once, ML won’t be the first child to read a new picture book arrival.

Dog Books to Honor the Stroller Puppies Team

Own Dog

Just in time for StrollerThon a new picture book about dogs arrived. Huh? Is that what you’re thinking? What do dogs have to do with a Strollerthon?  If I didn’t know ML and friends named their team “The Stroller Puppies,” I’d be thinking the same.  Not sure what a StrollerThon is, read my previous post “Do You Know What is a StrollerThon Is?”

The main character in I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein is an independent dog, who doesn’t need a person.   Then, one day a person follows him home.  Dog feels sorry for the man and adopts him.  Dog explains a few things about the challenges of keeping a person… “And you always have to clean up after them.”  ML loved this page with an illustration of humans dripping ice-cream and the dogs licking it up. ML added, “You always have to clean up after them in the best kind of way.”

ML’s artistic ability is far greater than mine.  She’s already surpassed me in her ability to draw and paint.  So we always read about the materials used for the illustrations.  Love the detailed description on the last page of this book.  “The illustrations’ line work was created using pen as well as a kids’ marker hacked to dispense India ink:  it was then photocopied onto watercolor paper.  The painting was done in liquid watercolor, with a hint of crayon on the dog’s muzzle.”  Talk about mixed media.  As you will see in the picture of their stroller below, ML and friends are experts in mixed media too.  Ribbon, wooden spoons, paint stick, markers, poster board, tissue paper and pipe cleaners were used to decorate the stroller..

While reading this book, I thought of a perfect way the team could tie in their dog theme with a baby theme.  Fill the stroller with dog themed board books. The girls loved the idea and placed a book on the big dog’s lap.  It’s hard to see in the picture below; but six puppies are sitting on big dog’s shoulder listening to him read.  They also included books designed by them.  The best title created was “Read Into the Puppy World.”

Saturday, ML’s team started the walk with a self-composed cheer:

Put your babies in the stroller.
Go! Go! Go!
Go! Go! Go!
Go! Go! Go!
Ready! Set! Go!

After a rollicking walk in the rain, ML’s team was awarded ribbons for “Best-Decorated Stroller.”  Do you agree with the judges?


The board books the girls chose for the stroller are pictured below.

Poky Little Puppy

The Poky Little Puppy by Jannette Sebring Lowrey and illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren – “One night a puppy, who is always late coming home, finds there is no dessert for him.”


National Geographic Kids Look & Learn: Dogs by Eva Steele-Saccio – An introduction to the world of dogs, including their physical characteristics and behavior.

Doggy Kisses

Doggy Kisses 123 by Todd Parr – “Meet ten colorful, lovable (and sometimes a little slobbery) canine friends in this kid-friendly concept book.”

It was a wonderful day for a fantastic cause.  So glad ML and friends were enthusiastic about the event.  When ML asked, “What is StrollerThon for?”  I explained, “Some mom’s have a hard time after they have a baby.  Each year, I’ll expand on this a little more.  It’s important for ML’s generation to learn about postpartum mood disorders in an age appropriate manner.  I’m proud to help break the cycle.  And thankful for my friends and women I’ve never met who are doing the same.

Will “Get the Scoop on Animal Poop!” Win the North Carolina Junior Book Award?

Scoop on Animal Poop

Recently, I set a goal to read all the nominees for the North Carolina Children’s Book Award… both the Picture Book and Junior Book Award.  I’ve read all the nominees for the Picture Book Award; and I’m not able to predict which book I think will win this category.

However, I just finished Get the Scoop on Animal Poop by Dawn Cusick.  Even without reading the other choices, I think it will win by a long shot.  The cover actually shows a longer title… Get the Scoop on Animal Poop!  From Lions to Tapeworms: 251 Cool Facts about Scat, Frass, Dung and More! along with the backside of a cow who has just pooped and gotten it’s legs.  I’m sure you are thinking gross.  However, ML and I can attest to the scientific accuracy of this photo.  We’ve seen this multiple times watching the cows on her grandfather’s farm.

Reading my comments above, some may consider this book distasteful, vulgar and objectionable. It’s not.  It’s a well written scientific account, where color photographs abound, about a subject children relish.  Although, I don’t suggest reading it right after eating.

A couple of quotes:

“Jellyfish have incomplete digestive systems, which means their waste comes out of the same place their food goes in.” p. 14

“To trick their prey, predators such as wolves, jackals and lions roll in the dung of a plant-eater before they go hunting.” p. 19

“The amount of splatter a bird’s feces creates is a matter of simple physics.” p. 29

“To mark their territories, hippos spin their tails around and around, when they poop, spraying their feces in all directions!” p.58

The most important thing I learned, I am probably not allergic to dust mites and cockroaches per se.  It appears their frass is the true reason I give myself allergy shots and have special covers for my mattress.  Next time I see a cockroach, I won’t scream unless I see it’s frass.

I must add this book to my previous Poop, Scat, Do-Do post.  Probably need to do a post on vomit.  Dawn Cusick just released a book called Get the Scoop on Animal Puke this week.

Nancy Knows by Cybele Young

Nancy Knows

ML and I savored Nancy Knows by Cybele Young.  A story about an elephant named Nancy whose trying to remember something important; but her mind is flighty.  It wanders all over the place… thinking of clothes, things from long ago, places to go and so much more.

The illustrations are amazing!  A sketch of Nancy is drawn on each page using graphite pencil.  Inside the outline, tiny sculptures made with Japanese papers abound.  Not just one or two tiny sculptures per page.  Numerous intricate sculptures.  I’m guessing over five hundred different ones throughout the book.

Our favorites include… the tricycle, the high heeled shoes, the hammock, the hot air balloons, the pacifier, the old fashioned camera, the guitar, the apples, the whisk, the snowflakes, the basketball hoop, the scooter and more.

Finally, Nancy remembers the important thing she’s forgotten.  She thinks of trees, a tire swing, balls, a bucket, a shovel.  Can you guess where she is supposed to be?


Gravity – An Amazing Book


Sometimes nonfiction books explain scientific terms in a boring way; not Gravity by Jason Chin. In 32 pages, and less than 70 words, Chin uses everyday objects from childhood to explain this concept.  Don’t just read the words.  Pay attention to the illustrations.  View the obvious.  Discover the inconspicuous. Only then, will you understand the magic of this book.

There are two pages at the end with more words.  (I did not include this in the word count mentioned above.) I consider it an afterword… “More About Gravity.” It was late so we didn’t read it. Whether you read it or not, make sure to turn to the very last page in the book.  Notice the illustration.  I guarantee you’ll chuckle.

A quote from the book jacket “As in his previous books, Redwoods, Coral Reefs, and Island, Jason Chin has taken a complex subject and made it understandable to young readers in this unusual, innovative and very beautiful book.”

I’m off work today; but Monday I’m checking out his other books.

Slumber Party: My Friend is Crazy

I’m a little upset with my friend.  My “go to” excuse for not having a slumber party with over three kids at our was our house is too small.  Not going to work now.  My friend’s place is the same size.

The first slumber party I remember attending was at Laura’s house.  Sometime that night, her mom threatened to pop us with a wooden spoon if weren’t quiet.  The next morning we watched Saturday morning cartoons.  If I remember correctly, it was the premiere of the Smurfs, September 12, 1981.  (Thank you Wikipedia for confirming this.) Laura’s birthday was in September; so I’m sure my memory is correct.

Can’t write a post without recommending some books.  Second graders still love being read picture books; and are proud of their ability to read chapter books.  I’ve included both.


What! Cried Granny:  An Almost Bedtime Story by Kate Lum and pictures by Adrian Johnson – This my favorite story to read to kids about a sleepover for two reasons.  One… it’s funny.  Two… it’s at his grandmother’s house.  For many children, spending the night with grandparents is their first sleepover experience.  “When her grandson Patrick arrives for his first sleepover, Granny’s resourceful efforts to provide him with a bed, pillow, and other necessities result in a sleepless night for both of them.”

Froggys Sleepover

Froggy’s Sleepover by Jonathan London and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz – The story line and illustrations in Froggy books are always funny and a delight to share with a group.  The stuff he packs for the sleepover are quite noisy.  The sleeping bag “sloofs” and the pillow “poofs.”  “Froggy is excited about his first sleepover, but a series of events sends Froggy and Max back and forth between their houses, until it seems they will never fall asleep.”  They finally fall asleep at 9 a.m.  Hoping this isn’t my friend’s reality.

Rabbit Robot

Rabbit & Robot:  The Sleepover by Cece Bell – Rabbit is looking forward to Robot coming over for a sleepover.  He’s written out a plan for the evening.  1. Make pizza.  2. Watch TV.  3. Play Go Fish.  4. Go go bed.  However, things do not go as planned.  A clever story deserving of the Theodor Seuss Giesel Honor it received.

Marigold Lake

The Critter Club:  Liz at Marigold Lake by Callie Barkley and illustrated by Marsha Riti – This is a perfect series for the birthday girl and friends.  They are animal crazy!  The Critter Club is made up of “Four best friends who band together to form a rescue shelter to save lost and lonely animals in their town. Amy, Ellie, Liz, and Marion each have different personalities and interests, but they all have one thing in common: a serious love of animals.” In book seven, “Liz is excited her three best friends are visiting her family’s cabin at Marigold Lake, but something seems to go wrong with every activity she plans.”


I can’t forget to mention Sleepover With Beatrice and Bear by Monica Carnesi.  I featured it a few posts ago.  Another great sleepover picture book.


We Met Jon Scieszka

Stinky Cheesefrank einsteinBattle BunnyTrue Story Pigs

In 1991, my good friend from college introduced me to Jon Scieszka books.  She was taking a Children’s Literature course for her degree in Early Childhood Education.  I’ve followed his career for over twenty years.  I consider him the father of the “Fractured Fairy Tale” subgenre.  I’m sure others penned these types of tales before him; but his book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs was the first I read.

Several months ago, I learned he was visiting our local bookstore on August 25th to promote his new book.  I hesitated for a second… 7 pm after the first day of school.  Might make our day extra crazy.  Sanity returned.  I thought, “Who cares?  Jon Scieszka doesn’t visit a bookstore half a mile from your house everyday.”

ML’s book club read The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales for their second meeting.  I drove four girls from the club to the event.  With the windows rolled down, they were singing at the top of their lungs some pop song out the window to the high school guys playing basketball at our local park.  I love second grade girls.  Free as can be, not worrying about what others think.

That’s what I love about Jon Scieszka too.  He didn’t follow the conventions of children’s literature in the nineties.  All you have to do is read The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales.  This book includes the words stupid and ugly.  Various fonts and different sized text are used.  Common these days; but rare last century.

I love the timelessness of his books.  I am confident his new series will continue this trend. Frank Einstein and The Anti Matter Motor is the first book.  Five more books to come. “Frank Einstein loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination, and definitely unusual.”  The series  “takes readers from Matter to Energy to Humans to Life to Earth and on through the Universe – from the smallest objects (atoms) to the largest (the cosmos).” (Quotes from Frank Einstein’s website.)

When we meet authors or illustrators, I always purchase a book to be autographed.  ML chose Battle Bunny.  I stood in line while she and her friends perused the children’s books.  Each girl begged me to buy them a Rescue Princess book.  I said, “I’m not buying any more books tonight.”  In unison, they begged, “Please, please, please.”  I told ML, “You’re welcome to use your money to buy the book and share it with your friends.”  She did.  I asked Jon Scieszka if he could “Battle Bunny” it.  Not sure what this means, check out mybirthdaybunny.com.  I know I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover; but I am princessed and fairied out.  Want to “Battle Bunny” a book, print up a copy of Birthday Bunny, get out your pen, and go to it.

He has so many other great books for kids, especially boys.  I featured his Time Warp Trio on the Series Fiction for Elementary School Boys post. I can’t wait to read some of his Guys Read books.  I discovered them a few days before the event.

Finally, here’s proof we met him.  After, I told him about ML’s book club reading The Stinky Cheese Man, he started calling them “The Stinky Cheese Club.”











How We Spent Our Labor Day Weekend


Last week, I featured How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Mark Teague. Today, I share How We Spent Our Labor Day Weekend.

We had a Lice-A-Palooza. A term I learned from David Shannon’s book Bugs In My Hair! I’ve already shared a post on the book. You can read about my first lice experience as a mom here.  I held a minor role. My friend diagnosed, called someone to treat ML, bagged up stuffed animals, and washed multitudes of loads of laundry.

I learned a lot this weekend.

Perspective: Even in my annoyance, I’m thankful and thinking of the mother and grandmother of the young man I featured in the post In Memory of a Courageous Athlete. They who would give anything to be combing lice out of Keaton’s hair.

No Shame Here: While in the shower rinsing out the olive oil with Dawn, ML was singing a new version of some pop song “You can tell everybody.  You can tell everybody.  I have lice.  I have lice.  I have Liiiiiiice!” Confused about the olive oil and Dawn? Part of a natural treatment my friend shared.

Mother/Daughter Bonding: Even at the craziest times, it can happen. Last night, we rubbed Cetaphil all over our scalps and hair. Then, put on shower caps and went to sleep. ML wouldn’t let me take a picture; but I’m pretty certain we’ll remember it for a long time.

I Have Supercool Friends: Lice discovered Saturday morning. Of course we had a friend sleepover with ML Friday night. I called the mom to let her know I thought ML had lice. I wasn’t sure. We decided the damage was done and she let her daughter stay the rest of the morning. Her husband is a very talented lice spotter. When he picked Louise up he confirmed my suspicion. I said, “You should start a lice discovery business.” ML informed me, “Louise’s dad already had a job.” But the next time, ML is scratching her head, we’re showing up at their house with $5 and chopsticks.

Facebook Keeps You Sane: At least in this instance, when you can’t leave the house because your washing machine and dryer are going nonstop. The advice and support I received was immeasurable.