Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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With You Always, Orphan Train Book 1 by Jody Hedlund

By Angie Quantrell

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WITH YOU ALWAYS, ORPHAN TRAIN BOOK 1

By Jody Hedlund

Bethany House, 2017

 

I was gifted a copy of WITH YOU ALWAYS, ORPHAN TRAIN BOOK 1 from Jody Hedlund.

Set in New York City, 1857, Elise found herself an orphan with younger siblings. Befriended and helped out by Miss Pendleton, Elise and her remaining family took a room in a renovation-in-progress future home (instead of living on the streets). As circumstances changed and the need arose, Elise took a seat on an orphan train and headed out to work far from the city.

Danger, disaster, determination, foreboding, friendship, and romance fill the pages of WITH YOU ALWAYS. Before reading this book, I had not heard of orphan trains, but was fascinated to learn how they were used to gather orphans from the city and send them out into surrounding areas to work and become a part of new families. Some orphans had good experiences, but not all.

I loved the writing and setting. Hedlund did a fantastic job of building up characters and tensions between those characters. The events felt very realistic, both in the feeling of New York during that time period and the new situation and location Elise lived and worked. Hard work and a growing spark between Elise and Thornton fill the pages of this book.

WITH YOU ALWAYS is a very good read. Well done, Jody Hedlund. Thank you!

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TRAINS DON’T SLEEP ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

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TRAINS DON’T SLEEP

By Andria Rosenbaum

Illustrated by Deirdre Gill

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017

 

I won a beautiful autographed copy of TRAINS DON’T SLEEP from KIDLIT411.com. After our family success last November with my birthday trip to The Polar Express train ride (it was my birthday, after all – I love books and Christmas!), I knew this train book was sure to please my train-loving grands! I was right.

TRAINS DON’T SLEEP tells the tale of many different working trains. Trains don’t rest, but chug and pull to carry people, goods, and animals. The story begins while families sleep and trains wake the day with their bustling work. As the day goes on, the trains continue their work in all sorts of environments like big cities, plains, mountains, and forests. Tucked into bed, families go back to sleep while the trains keep racing towards the next brand new day. This picture book makes a great bedtime read-together.

What I loved about this rhyming story is the train vocabulary! Readers will enjoy the rhythm of the words and hear language specific to trains. Fluid gorgeous illustrations perfectly compliment the tale of trains. A picture glossary identifies different trains and train-related fixtures.

If you know a train lover, share TRAINS DON’T SLEEP and see how quickly it becomes a favorite.

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KID KANDY

Here are some fun train activities you can do with your family.

*Visit a train museum.

*Play with train toys and cover the floor with tracks and make-believe adventures.

*Stand in a line. Show each person how to hold a hand on the shoulder of the person in front of him or her. Use the other arm, hand, and feet to shuffle and move like a train. Make sure to chug-chug-choo-choo!

*Dig out the markers, crayons, and paper. Draw train tracks, engines, and rail cars. Add your favorite scenery.

*Flatten play dough and use toy trains to make train tracks across the dough.

*Take a ride on a train!

 


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How to Use Goodreads

Source: How to Use Goodreads

I love Goodreads, but I have only the barest understanding of how it works. And, according to this post, I know just a sprinkling of things that one can do while visiting Goodreads! Now there is no excuse.

Thank you, Marcia Strykowski, from Writers’ Rumpus! http://Www.writersrumpuus.com


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Library Culture

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I spend time at the library. MUCH time.

Because I love books. The smell, the feel, the sight, and the anticipation of opening the pages and jumping into an adventure pull me in. Every. Single. Time.

So I live, I mean visit my library. Actually, I patronize nearly all of my libraries, the ones in the Yakima Valley. Plus I have connections with other libraries not in my area, which is perfect when I need resources or just want to snoop and see what is out there.

Really you can’t lose when you visit the library. Free books! Free help, internet, bathrooms, AC (or heating), gathering place, information, friends…The library is community.

In my much library time, I’ve noticed several different groups frequenting the hallowed halls of bookdom.

Story Time. If I pull up and the lot is full, I know it’s story time. Stories, songs, games, crafts, and fun times for the kiddos be going on. During the summer, libraries gain a larger audience in the form of kids and adults on break. Reading incentive programs keep readers involved and active with the printed word.

Computer Users. In the olden days, there were no computers. Period. But patrons can now log on to banks of computers to research, read, and check email. Library users can even log in with personal computers and use the internet free of charge (at least at our libraries). Electronic resources are available for check out and the card catalog can be searched from the comfort of home. While the term card catalog is out of date, library resources are still present and much easier to access. One of my favorite library features is the ability to reserve books from home and pick them up when they arrive at the nearest library.

Homeschoolers. The homeschool population is growing. I see homeschool families return to the library on a regular basis. Wonderful resources and reading materials are ready for the picking, so why not?

Book Clubs. What better place is there to have a book club than the library? Our library sometimes hosts a community read with a local author. Most times, the author does a guest visit where readers can meet and greet. Special programs are provided for different age groups, complete with authors, books, and activities.

Study Groups. High school and college students are often working collaboratively around large tables at the library. The library design has planned for this activity by including both small and large tables and seating areas which are perfect for meeting and working.

Retirees. These folks have it going on! Unlimited books to read, books on CD to listen to, computers to use, help on hand if necessary, and interactions with others make the library the place to be.

The Homeless. The library is free and climate-controlled, provides restrooms and drinking fountains, and offers multiple forms of entertainment and resources. While I’ve noticed several incidents of improper behavior, most of the homeless patrons seem to enjoy library benefits without causing any trouble.

Teachers. Yes, teachers, the library is an invaluable resource! During my teaching years, I made weekly trips to check out and return books. Lots of books. I became quite good at gleaning themed picture books (both fiction and nonfiction) for my students. In fact, there was one librarian who watched my shelf and request list so she could make her own book list.

Writers. I fit into several of the above groups, but the writing group is the closest fit. I regularly research different topics and locations around the world. I research picture books and check out stacks of them for my studies. I even haul my computer to the library and set up camp on one of the bigger tables when I need to work on deadlines. Love my library!

Readers. Of course. Why else? Book addicts. Adventurers. Researchers. Learners.

As the plant in the above photo illustrates layers of leaves, stacked and connected by a network of roots, libraries also connect information to people, layers of knowledge spread through the network of libraries – full of words.

I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card. ~ Laura Bush

 


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Bunny’s Book Club – Picture Book

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Bunny’s Book Club

Written by Annie Silvestro

Illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2017

 

Early this spring I won a copy of Bunny’s Book Club and have fallen in love!

As an advocate for children’s literacy, I love any book that entices young readers to jump into the world of literature. Bunny’s Book Club hits the sweet spot.

Who doesn’t want to be a part of a secret club? A library club? Anyone who LOVES books, that’s who!

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Bunny loves books and allows his imagination to run full reign as he listens to books being read aloud during outside story time. When summer ends Bunny is left with no other option. He has to figure out a way to get to all of those books.

Bunny finds a unique entrance to the library, where he ‘checks out’ books and reads to his heart’s content.

One by one, Bunny’s friends come looking to find out where he has been. And slowly, Bunny’s book club is formed.

Readers will love the enchanting illustrations and engaging story found in Bunny’s Book Club. This is the perfect picture book for librarians, teachers, and parents to read to young readers. Older readers will want full control of the pages.

And who knows? Maybe somebunny will begin their own book club!

Thanks, Annie and Tatjana, for such a lovely book. Hugging my book!

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What great summer reads have you discovered?

P.S. I just discovered that I’ve already blogged about this lovely picture book. I just can’t help myself!


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Book Study in an RV

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Towers of picture books fill the RV. Places to sit are scarce. Tensions run high as we juggle in order to sit. Who will best survive the picture book project – him or her?

 

A Haiku

Space so in demand

but research is required;

Will the table hold?

 

A Haiku about Read for Research Month

by Angie Quantrell

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Bunny’s Book Club

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Look what came in the mail!

Bunny’s Book Club

Written by Annie Silvestro

Illustrated by Tatiana Mai-Wyss

(Doubleday, 2017)

Bunny’s Book Club is an adorable book about a bunny who loves books. Bunny LOVES books enough to find a way to get them from the library, though in a nontraditional way. Since I LOVE books, I sometimes feel like Bunny and stockpile books for later reading. A bag or nightstand without a book is dire indeed!

Not that I would go the same extremes Bunny did to get books. But I would love to enjoy a book club with my friends, hot tea, and mountains of books.

Thank you, KIDLIT 411 and Annie Silvestro! This is a beautiful book and I know it will be personally treasured and my grands will adore it. They might even try to borrow it for their own book hoards.

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Visual Learner? That’s Me

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It has recently come to my attention that I have strong tendencies towards being a visual learner. I think visually and that impacts the things I do and how I do them.

Take for instance, my desire to learn French. This is what initially made me consider my bent towards visual learning. I love the French language. I adore seeing text – signs, words, symbols, and books in French. But hearing is a part of language learning, and I realized I can’t really hear what is being said and understand the different words. I kept thinking to myself If only I could SEE the words, I’d be able to comprehend what was being said.

Visual learner, yes I am.

Another example that points towards my tendency to acquire knowledge through visual means or to impart something visually is the way I plan for teaching. In my classroom, my displays – bulletin boards, posters, learning centers, student work, general decor – are of the utmost importance. I can’t rest until the room is visually arranged and attractive.

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Some other habits I’ve noticed:

~ In the teaching plans I write, I nearly always include suggestions for visual impact – displays, table decor, posters, signs, and room arrangement. Rarely do I include hearing-only activities. Good thing to notice right? Now I can make sure to suggest activities that lean towards the hearing and doing types of learning.

~ Photographs. I love taking photos of everything thing I do and every place I go. These photos become a visual diary of my pursuits.

~ Instagram. I love this app! Pictures and text inform and delight my visual brain.

~Pinterest. Same reason. Pictures and visual clues. I don’t often read the original post or seek out the origins of the image. I glean by reading the pictures, and my imagination goes from there.

~ Reading. I LOVE reading, and reading requires visual skills. I’d be happy if I could live in front of a fireplace sipping hot cocoa and reading a great book while snow piled up against the eaves.

The visual learning list goes on.

Do you think you are a visual learner? Check out this post I found that lists 10 Characteristics of Visual Learners here. I’d say I nailed it!

Of the learning styles, which are you? Visual, auditory, kinesthetic? I’d love to hear. I mean, see your name and comment in print. Wink, wink.

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Hoping for spring flowers. But first, the snow must melt.


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Throwback Thursday: Old Words

Note: I originally posted this long, long ago on February 24, 2016. Hah! I know. It was only last year. But I do so love old books, newspapers, and things, I deemed it worth bringing into the future. And now I remember how much I miss my claw foot bathtub.

 I was preparing to take a relaxing bubble bath in my claw foot tub last night when I saw a wadded up log of newspaper on the floor.

 

The paper log was actually old newspaper. Old 1949 newspaper.

 

It was super dusty and fragile, so I didn’t undo it, but went ahead and enjoyed my bath, contemplating the sudden arrival of newspaper in the bedroom.

 

This morning, long after honey had gone to work, I noticed the newspaper had been carefully unrolled and somewhat flattened.

 

That was when I saw the date on the antique (or is it vintage?) Seattle Times. Sunday, March 27, 1949. Fascinating.

 

I do love looking at old newspapers, especially the ads. Odd, I realize, but the price comparisons between then and now are amusing and sad. The articles in this bundle also told tales of the times – fashions, comics, businesses, and even child rearing and feeding advice.

 

This was no ordinary newspaper. It was mystery newspaper that had been recycled to provide padding for an old wood and woven jute chair. We didn’t even know it was stuffed. Look at how creative folks were at repurposing way back before the word was even in use.

 

Now we know more about the chair (it is older than both of us) and the news of the day from several decades ago.

 

Words are valuable. No matter how old or in what format they are discovered.

 

What are some words that are valuable to you?