In Atlanta for Easter 2012, we visited the High Museum of Art. There was a “Picasso to Warhol” exhibit. I paid the extra money to enjoy some world famous art with ML. She flew through the exhibit; didn’t stop to take in the artistic elements of even one painting. “What a waste of money,” I thought.

On the flight home, I opened Sky Magazine. There was a picture of “Girl Before a Mirror” . . . the Picasso I barely glimpsed while trying to keep up with ML. In that crowded little airplane seat, ML turned to me excitedly, “MOM, That’s the painting we saw!”

Recently, we read The Museum by Susan Verde. Peter Reynold’s illustrations are magical. Children absorb information even when we think they aren’t noticing things. ML stopped me on page ten. She said, “Mom, that looks like one of the paintings we saw in Atlanta.” A sketch of a Picasso was on page ten.

I guess it was money well spent. Last night, I bought The Museum. More money well spent.


No books last night . . . Straight to bed! I mean it!

I’ve turned into my mom. I had to bite my tongue to keep the “exact” words said to me from flying out of my mouth. Let’s just say ML said “No.” disrespectfully a few too many times last night.

She really needed a bath. But sometimes discipline is more important than cleanliness.

That reminds me to pull out one of my favorite childhood books. The Little Boy Who Loved Dirt and Almost Became a Superslob by Judith Vigna. Maybe tonight will go better.

Like Mother. . . Like Daughter


I checked out the book Wacky Wednesday by Theo LeSieg at my elementary school alot. I probably read it 200 times as a child.

So I purchased a copy of it for my daughter. It’s her favorite book at the moment. Looks like I’ll be reading it 200 more times.

A bit of trivia to impress your friends. Theo LeSieg is another pen name for Theodor Seuss Geisel. Dr. Seuss is his other. If you spell LeSieg backwards, you get Geisel.

Children of all ages can enjoy fun games at Seussville.

Mom, “That’s a Trapezoid”

Today, I am focusing on shapes at storytime. ML didn’t preview the books. She’s way to advanced for them. Last November, she asked me to name a shape. In my kindergarten days, we called it a diamond. ML corrected me, ” Hello Mom. It’s a trapezoid.”

Yesterday evening, ML excaimed, “Wow. Look at that cool car.” The doors rotated vertically instead of horizontal. Like my description? I don’t know a trapezoid, but I can describe scissor-doors. I confess, the description is from Wikipedia.

A few miles down the road, ML said “When I buy a car, I am getting a Jaguar. Earlier in the day, she told me, “I am going to be a lifeguard for awhile. Then, I’ll be a teacher.” I explained, “Teacher’s can’t afford Jaguars.” Where did she learn about Jaguars, anyway?. We don’t know anyone that drives one. But we know alot of people driving minivans.

After reading Start Saving, Henry. We discussed her allowance and the Spend, Save, Donate plan. I asked, “What are you saving for?” Her response, “A Jaguar.”

A few minutes later, ML changed her mind declaring “I’m saving for college. I want to go to Duke and it’s expensive.” I didn’t burst her bubble, $1.25 a week for 12 years is $5475. Probably, won’t pay for a week at Duke in the year 2025.

Start Saving, Henry! I mean ML

ML’s room is finally clean! She promises to keep it clean all summer. All I have to do is give her $1.00 at the end of the summer. It would be a great deal for me. But now that ML can recognize the different coins and do math, I’m ready to start financial literacy. In our day, it was called allowance.

Getting an allowance, saving for things and giving to others is complicated. Recently, a mom asked me for a book on saving money. I didn’t know one off the top of my head. Luckily, I found the perfect book. It’s called Start Saving, Henry! by Nancy Carlson.

Also, I’m stealing an idea from my friend. 3 Jars with lids labeled: Save, Spend and Donate. At the end of the week, ML will receive her allowance. My only request; she add money to all three jars.

Now I just need to figure out her salary. Any advice on the going rate for a first grader’s allowance?

Worm Rescue

It rained hard a few weeks ago.  Soon after the downpour, ML and I went walking.  She declared herself a Worm Rescuer.  All worms found in the big puddles were gently moved to a safe place in the dirt.

It was the reminder I needed.  My worm themed storytime is soon and ML had not previewed the books.  We read Caldecott Honor book, Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni.  She thought it was better suited for a measurement storytime.  My math wise kindergartener didn’t understand 3 year olds are not developmentally ready to understand measurement.

Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas

All children get attached to certain books.  When ML was a toddler, I read Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert five million times.

Last Christmas, ML received a copy of Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O’Connor.  She wanted me to read it every night for months.  We did.  Until I hid it in late February.  Out of sight.  Out of mind.  I wasn’t trying to censor my daughter’s book choices.  I can only say splendiferous so many times.

Of course, Fancy Nancy didn’t leave our life.  ML the adventerous nature lover moved on to Fancy Nancy:  Explorer Extraordinaire.  Extraordinaire is much easier to pronounce than splendiferous.

When ML was upset  she didn’t receive a speaking part for the kindergarten play, Fancy Nancy came to the rescue.  I shared Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet.  Afterwards, we talked about her disappointment.  She agreed each person in a show is important.  At the kindergarten show, ML was on the back row doing her part.  Singing her heart out and smiling.

The Mosquitoes are Here

Tonight, I plan to share a classic with ML, Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears? by Verna Aardema.  Reading is so much more than sounding out the words.  With this story, I can test ML’s comprehension.  I’ll ask her to tell me about the chain of events.  If she’s really on her game, I’ll ask her to tell me the events in reverse order.

Truthfully, I am less concerned with why they buzz in ears.  I want to know an environmentally safe product that really keeps mosquitoes away.

Any thoughts?

A Tough Choice: Mustache Baby vs A Funny Little Bird vs This Little Piggy

Last night we read 3 recently published books.  They were all winners.

Mustache Baby by Bridget Heos won top spot with ML.  She wouldn’t let me return it to the library today.  On Heos website there are silly Mustache Baby games and craft ideas.  I’m seeing an impromptu mustache party at our house this summer.

I have read thousands of children’s books.  Many are variations on the same theme.  It’s refreshing to read a unique variation on the theme of self acceptance.  Thank you Jennifer Yerkes for your book,  A Funny Little Bird.  With simple yet magicial illustrations, it is on my short list for the Caldecott Award.  It honors the best illustrated book in children’s literature.

The third book was This Little Piggy by Tim Harrington.  It explores what happens if the other foot wants to be piggies too.  There is a free song that can be downloaded from the publishers website.  I look forward to using it in preschool storytime.

“What Is That?” Said the Cat

When ML started kindergarten last summer, I placed a basket of easy reader books in her room.  I wanted a collection of titles she could read herself.

This morning she brought me the book “What is That?” Said the Cat by Grace Maccarone.  “Look! It’s like the story we read last night.”   I was confused.

There’s a mystery box with the sign, “Do Not Open.”  Of course, the animals in the story can’t read.  They use various types of force to open the box.  Eventually, an alligator pops out.  The book she compared it to involved a family discovering a crocodile in their bathtub.

Learning is all about making connections.  It made sense to me . . . two books about reptiles hiding.