Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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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 While the term card catalog is out of date, library resources are still present and much easier to access.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?

 


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Storystorm Day 23: Interview with “Originals” Author Adam Grant

Back in 2010, Wharton Professor Adam Grant made a financial mistake that he still regrets—failing to invest in billion-dollar eyewear juggernaut Warby Parker when offered a pre-launch opportu…

Source: Storystorm Day 23: Interview with “Originals” Author Adam Grant

Originals? Creativity? Procrastination? Great talk about how generating lots of ideas increases the chances of finding the gems!


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5 Ways to Play the Hidden Mickey Game

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Can you spot the hidden Mickey?

My husband and I recently enjoyed an anniversary trip to Disneyland and California Adventure. We enriched our experience (and even discovered new areas of both parks) by playing the Hidden Mickey Game. Here are 5 ways to play the Hidden Mickey Game.

1. There is a Hidden Mickey Game? Check this off the list! Now you KNOW there is a Hidden Mickey Game. You can’t play if you aren’t aware of the game.

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2. Imprint your brain with the image of Mickey’s head and ears – very recognizable. There are also other full body images and side profiles of Mickey, but we spent our time hunting the head image. Train your brain to recognize this shape and you will discover it everywhere. Disney does this well.

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3. Go Mickey Hunting. Look at fine details of hotel rooms (especially at the resort hotels), decor, carts, rides, artwork…every scene you see is a possibility. Even before you get in the front gate, you can find Mickeys in the central plaza. Document your finds! When we got home and looked at the photos I took, they were mostly hidden Mickeys!

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4. Ask. Nearly every attraction or ride or area has an intentional hidden Mickey. We found cast members to be very knowledgeable and helpful in our hunt. Some told us exactly where to look while others gave hints. Some Mickeys are very easy to spot, others we searched and searched for on multiple attraction rides and could not see them.

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5. Buy the book! Yes, there is a book. I didn’t want to purchase a book, as I felt it was cheating. But I finally caved and grabbed it. There are so many planned Hidden Mickeys, but also others that can be discovered. The book is older, so some Mickeys are gone due to new construction. And new Mickeys are added every time they create new attractions or remodel or update areas of both parks. The book was a huge help. On the plane ride home, I went though it page by page and jotted down the date we discovered each Mickey.

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Extra Tip: Listen and watch. There are others searching out Hidden Mickeys. You can help each other once you are aware there is a game going on!

Adding the Hidden Mickey Game to our Disney adventure was fun, fun, fun! People looked at us as if we were a bit odd, but that only added to our excitement!

Happy Mickey hunting!


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The Curious Nature Guide

The Curious Nature Guide, Explore the Natural Wonders All Around You

Written and illustrated by Clare Walker Leslie

(Storey Publishing, 2015)

I first noticed the cover of this book while on vacation with some girlfriends in Coupeville, Washington. Hidden amidst a crowded display of books, toys, and souvenirs, the cover popped out and caught my attention. I wanted that book. But I resisted.

Fast forward to post-Christmas gift card shopping. As I perused my local Indie bookstore, Inklings, guess which book again popped out and grabbed my attention? Yes. The same book. And it was on a display of favs and book suggestions by staff.

I did not resist.

The Curious Nature Guide is a beautifully illustrated guide book written for children, teens, families, and others who love exploring the outdoors. I fell in love with this colorful edition.

I enjoyed this book so much, I used it as a reward. At the end of the day I would carefully read each page and inhale every photo, drawing, and illustration. Reading this book was almost as good as being outside.

While vocabulary will be difficult for young readers, they will love hearing it read aloud. The Curious Nature Guide contains nature information, suggestions of things to look for and do, maps, charts, plant labels, and more.

NO. It is not overwhelmingly encyclopedic.

The Curious Nature Guide is a nature journal filled with inspiration of both the exploring type and the creative sort. I want to go out and investigate the outdoors AND sit down with my art supplies and recreate what I find AND grab the camera to capture my nature.

Two thumbs up for The Curious Nature Guide, Explore the Nature Wonders All Around You.

Happy exploring!

I’d love to hear what nature exploring you like to do.