Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Happy Hump Day Haiku #Writingchallenge

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goldfish

by Angie Quantrell

 

crunchy goldfish swim

wet mouthful of cheese and salt

disintegrating

 

*Inspired by certain grands who love goldfish crackers, despite the spewing of soggy bits as they graze through a bag.

 

Haiku Challenge:

Do you love to write Haiku? Join me! I’d love to read your poems. Silly, serious, sage…one and all.

***Family friendly, please!

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H is For Haiku ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

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H is For Haiku, A Treasury of Haiku From A to Z

By Sydell Rosenberg

Illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi

(Penny Candy Books, 2018)

 

H is For Haiku is the lovely result of the imaginative, creative, and lyrical work of Sydell Rosenberg, mother of Amy Losak.

In honor of her mother, Amy Losak pursued the publication of her mother’s Haiku. Syd, one of the first members of the Haiku Society of America, dreamed of publishing a book for children focused on Haiku.

Haiku, a form of poetry, originated in Japan. Most readers recognize Haiku for the strict syllable count used for each of the three lines (most often 5-7-5) in a Haiku poem. Haiku is way to recognize the small things of nature and life-wonderful, amazing, poetic, and awe-inspiring.

“What’s most important about writing haiku is to focus on those many small moments we may overlook and make them special.” -Amy Losak

Beautifully illustrated, H is For Haiku brought a smile to my face with every new alphabet letter and corresponding Haiku. I enjoyed clever phrases, rich language, and observations of the natural life around us.

Well done, Sydell Rosenberg! Great job, Sawsan Chalabi! Amy Losak, I’m so glad you stuck with it and had H is For Haiku published. This book is a gift for us, if we but take the time to read and ponder.

KID KANDY:

Write Your Own Haiku Poem

1. Read H is for Haiku. Notice the clever words and illustrations. Both help tell the story of the Haiku.

2. Take a notepad and pencil outside. Spend time observing the nature around you. Focus on the small things you see. As you look, write down words that come to your mind. A parent or older sibling can help with this part.

3. Do you know what a syllable is? Clap your name. For me, I clap twice: An gie. 2 syllables. Practice with some other words.

4. Haiku is a poem with 3 lines. Each line has a certain syllable count: 5-7-5

5. Some people are not very strict with keeping the exact syllable counts, but it’s good practice as you learn the format for a Haiku poem.

6. Choose something you observed to be the subject of your Haiku. What do you want to say? Write down the words you want to use. Play with the words. Count out syllables. You can write ANYTHING you want in your Haiku poem.

7. Print your Haiku poem on clean paper. Add an illustration! Share it with a friend or family member! OR ME!!!

Here’s a silly Haiku I just wrote:

Upside down spider

Climbing, webbing, catching food

Don’t drop on my head!

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Hump Day Haiku

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Scone

maple icing treat

warm from oven, coffee too

yearning for a taste

 

Welcome to Hump Day Haiku!

Everybody loves Hump Day – Wednesday! Otherwise known as half the week is gone, we’re over the hump, and we’re so close to the weekend we can taste it.

If you enjoy Haiku, join in by sharing a Happy Hump Day Haiku.


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The Trouble with Texting

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Reading.

Forgetting to respond.

Thinking I responded. But didn’t.

Getting interrupted mid-text and wandering off.

Comprehending (or not) texting shortcuts and abbreviations.

Misunderstandings.

Autocorrect.

Hitting send too early.

Emojis that don’t mean what you think they mean.

Fat fingers.

Replying to the wrong person.

Once said, always said. Leaving a virtual paper trail.

Screenshots.

Cyber vs face-to-face relationships

 

In light of these snafus:

Read twice. Send once.

 

To me. Just do it. READ twice. Send once.

 


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Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night by Dee Leone – Picture Book & KID KANDY

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Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night

By Dee Leone

Illustrated by Bali Engel

(Sterling Children’s Books, 2018)

 

I won a copy of Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night from KIDLIT411. Thanks, Sylvia and Elaine!

Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night is the perfect bedtime – or anytime – read aloud! Peaceful rhyme tells the story of nature getting ready to go to sleep. Animals, plants, and other beauties prepare and nestle in for a good nights’ sleep. The illustrations, set in gorgeous deep blues and purples highlighted by nighttime light, perfectly match the winding down of the day.

I’ve totally enjoyed reading Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night. Now, on to share it with the littles in my life. Thanks for the beautiful book, Dee and Bali!

KID KANDY:

Nighttime Painting

Materials: watercolor paints, brushes, water, crayons, heavy paper

1. Read Nature’s Lullaby Fills the Night. Notice the colors used in the illustrations. What’s your favorite page (animal, plant, setting)?

2. Use crayons to draw a nature picture. Include the moon and stars.

3. Paint over the drawing with darker colors like purple, blue, and black.

Ta-da! You have your own nighttime illustration!


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Clay Tiles + Wood Benches = Fun for Kids

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Did you know that:

  • Dried-up markers make excellent painting tools when dipped in clay saucers of water?
  • Water color makers make pretty cool paintings on the clay tiles of a patio.
  • Chalk is another fun tool. Water, chalk, clay tiles. That’s it.
  • Dirt. Always fun. Anyplace. Dig out the gardening tools and construction toys.
  • Wood benches also make the perfect canvas for dried-up markers and water and chalk and water.
  • River rocks, those flat, smooth sorts that are so awesome to hold and touch, make wonderful stacking blocks. Add them to clay saucers to experiment with how they change colors. And paint them with chalk and markers.
  • Add some off-roading or construction vehicles for a different type of exploration.
  • Turn the tiles over. Bumpy road! (My tiles have ridges on the back.)
  • Cut fallen branches into logs for building. Birch trees are a personal favorite. My kiddos love peeling the paper off (extra fine motor practice) and I can use it for crafts. Or they can.
  • All of the above? Leave as is and let the rain or sprinkler wash away the traces. Or spritz the clay tiles and benches with water and TA-DA, clean, fresh canvases for more fun!

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So go ahead, enjoy those dried-up markers, clay tiles, rocks, branches, and benches. I love watching my grands explore, create, make a mess, and explore. Me? Not a care in the world since it all washes off.

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Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

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Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

By Dusti Bowling

(Sterling Children’s Books, 2017)

 

I won a copy of Dusti Bowling’s chapter book Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus from Literary Rambles.

What first attracted me to this book was the title. I could just imagine what type of events a cactus would stoically attend, though I knew the book was not about those fascinating plants.

What attracted me next were the characters and the setting. Having grown up in Arizona, I looked forward to reading a book set in the starkly dry and hot desert. The book has a captivating cast of diverse characters. I loved reading of friends Aven (born without arms) and Conner (spits at people when he eats) and how they manage their disabilities. The strength and courage of Aven compelled me to cheer for her and will inspire others who struggle with any type of disability. Family issues, a mystery discovered in an old out building, and facing ones’ own fears come together in a nicely written page-turner.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus is a great read for any young (or old) person. Compassion, understanding, and acceptance of diversity will develop as readers live alongside Aven and Conner. I found that Bowlings’ book gave me the viewpoint of someone living with challenges and how they faced daily life and difficult situations. Readers will see that they can do anything if they put their mind to it!

Well done and great read!


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The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke

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The Girl with the Red Balloon

Written by Katherine Locke

(Albert Whitman & Company, 2017)

 

Last fall, I won a copy of The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke from Natalie Aguirre’s Literary Rambles.

I immediately read The Girl with the Red Balloon. Who can not read a book with a tag that says The wall keeps us in. Magic gets us out.?

The tale is told of Ellie, a girl who visits the Berlin Wall Memorial during a school field trip. Ellie has family ties to World War II and Germany, as her grandfather miraculously escaped from a death camp. As Ellie considers the impact of that horrible time period, she notices a red balloon. Innocently, she grabs the string and is immediately deposited in East Berlin in 1988, where she is found by Kai, a member of an underground society. Ellie, Kai, and several others must work to figure out how and why Ellie was transported back in time when the purpose of the red balloons was to take death camp members over the wall and away from a certain terrible fate.

Much history is shared in the telling of this story. I loved the mixture of magical realism, history, teen relationships, family heritage, and mystery. Danger, high stakes, death, and good versus evil all blend together in this great story. Ellie is stuck in the past and must find a way to return to her own time. But this is complicated by magical developments and a budding romance.

Locke tells the story from different viewpoints, but the switch off is easy to follow as every chapter is clearly labeled with the point of view character. I had to focus a bit to understand the historical connections, but the book is well written and engaging.

The Girl with the Red Balloon is a great read for anyone who enjoys history hooked together with a bit of magic.

P.S. Look what comes out this fall!

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Reading for Pleasure

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How many of you read for pleasure? (“Me, me!” she shouts while waving her hand crazily in the air.)

A paper book? An e-reader story? A tale that lets you escape to a new land, new people, new problems? (Yes, please!)

Oh, the books we can read! Too many books, not enough time, right?

Consider this poem I wrote for a course:

This pleasure,

While reading,

Gives me a poetic mind.

Gobbled, devoured,

Digested words and tale.

Spit out to be

Read again.

Again.

And again.

Dissected, applied to life,

Reassembled with

New understanding.

Reading for pleasure;

A necessity as is

Air, water, food.

I pick up again

The feast of words

To consume the story

Each book tells.

 

Tell me, tell me please!

What book are you reading right now? What’s your favorite book? What chores have you neglected to read just. one. more. page? (…dishes, laundry, vacuuming, dusting)

I’d love to hear the tale of the words that let you escape.


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The Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky ~ Chapter Book Review

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The Countdown Conspiracy

Written by Katie Slivensky

(Harper, 2017)

 

Six kids. One Mission to Mars. All systems go.

So says the front cover of The Countdown Conspiracy. All systems go, but smoothly?

The Countdown Conspiracy is the story of six kids from around the world chosen to train for the first mission to Mars. Miranda Regent was stoked to be one of the selected few. Until she began receiving threatening messages. At the training base, Miranda worked with the other international ambassadors to learn necessary information and skills. Suddenly, Miranda finds herself the target of an attack on the training base, an attack that put everyone’s lives in danger.

I loved reading The Countdown Conspiracy! It is the perfect combination of adventure, mystery, tension, and relationships. Each chapter had me hooked and I consumed this chapter book in a very short time. When it ended, I was ready for the next installment.

Katie Slivensky did a great job in writing this book. Middle graders will enjoy the clean, exciting details and intrigue woven through the relationships and outer space adventures. The Countdown Conspiracy is a wonderful debut chapter book! Two thumbs up.

I won an ARC copy of The Countdown Conspiracy from Katie and Natalie (Literary Rambles). Thank you, Katie and Natalie! Great reading!

 

P.S. The Seismic Seven by Katie Slivensky is coming in June!