Love, Laughter, and Life

The Writing Life of a Woman Who Might Be Missing a Few Brain Cells


Bunny’s Book Club – Picture Book


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!


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!


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!


Book Study in an RV


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


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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Storystorm Day 22: “The Best Ideas Pop Up” by Keith Allen

by Keith Allen As a kid, I loved building things out of cardboard, whether it was a spaceship for the very first mission to Saturn or a fortified castle to keep out the fire-breathing dragons. That…

Source: Storystorm Day 22: “The Best Ideas Pop Up” by Keith Allen

This is much more sophisticated than the pop-up books I used to make for my son out of lawn mower catalogs and construction paper. Way to go!

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Storystorm Day 18: “Bake it Up, Shake it Up” by Veronica Bartles

by Veronica Bartles When Tara asked me to write a blog post for Storystorm about Inspiration, I knew this would be my Finest Achievement Ever. I’m so excited to share with you my brilliant, awe-ins…

Source: Storystorm Day 18: “Bake it Up, Shake it Up” by Veronica Bartles

Mentor texts? Fractured fairy tales? I want to do one of these! Love it!

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Storystorm Day 13: “The Mock Caldecott Awards” by Colby Sharp

by Colby Sharp One of my favorite things to do with my students is a Mock Caldecott unit. Each year, my friend Mr. Schu and I select 20 books for the study. Mr. Schu posts the list on his blog with…

Source: Storystorm Day 13: “The Mock Caldecott Awards” by Colby Sharp

Teachers! This is a great idea to do with students. Librarians, you could probably adjust and do the same activity. Readers – who wouldn’t want to be in on the decision making for the Mock Caldecott Awards? Pick me, pick me!

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School’s First Day of School ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

This is the perfect book for back-to-school!

by Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

School’s First Day of School

By Adam Rex

Pictures by Christian Robinson

(Roaring Brook Press, 2016)

School was new.

He was so new that he didn’t realize children would soon come pouring through his doors. Gasp! Janitor was his confidant and friend and tried to tell him things would be great.

But School was anxious.

And the children came to school. Some were bored (that hurt School’s feelings), some cried and were afraid to stay at school (School was that bad?), and School even had an accidental fire drill the first day!

Would School enjoy being School?

I LOVED this story! Who would have thought about first-day-of-school-new-building story from the viewpoint of the school!

Funny, imaginative, and realistic. School’s First Day of School will lighten the hearts of all readers.


Draw a Picture of Your School

Materials: paper, pencils, markers, crayons

1. Use the pencil to outline your school. Maybe you go to a huge elementary school, a small private school, or homeschool. Whichever type of school you attend, draw a picture of it.

2. Decorate your school. Maybe you could name your school, or print the name it already has on the top of the building.

3. Share your picture.

How do you think School felt before the first day? How did the boys and girls feel about going back to school? How do YOU feel about going to school?

I love school! Now that I am a writer and I work from home, I don’t get to enjoy the first day of school as a teacher. I miss school! But I hope to visit again soon and read books with my favorite people – the students.

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The Typewriter ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

What a vibrant cover!

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

The Typewriter

By Bill Thomson

(Two Lions, 2016)

There are not many words to read in The Typewriter, but oh, what a story they tell!

Three children out riding bicycles discover an old-fashioned typewriter on the back of a merry-go-round bee (the merry-go-round is not working). Fascinated, they place the typewriter on the ground and start to type out words. Very few words.

That’s because each word that is typed instantly becomes reality.

Beach. Ball. Ice Cream. Crab…

Each word does not come to life in the size one would imagine. Some are much larger. Imagine what would happen if a crab the size of an elephant appeared?

The children discover the ways of the typewriter and finally decide enough is enough.

I was enthralled by the illustrations and story line of this simple yet complex picture book. Readers will be surprised and enchanted as they read The Typewriter.


Typewriter Exploration

Materials: an old typewriter (the kind with a ribbon, not a printer), paper, crayons

Hint: Borrow an old typewriter or find one at a thrift store.

Welcome to old-fashioned computers!

1. First, you have to roll a piece of paper between the rollers on top. Turn the knob on the right side to advance the paper.

2. Now you are ready to type words or write a story. Start by typing your name.

3. Explore what each key does. Can you find the shift key? Punctuation marks?

4. To go to the next line to continue typing, you have to advance the paper again with the handle on the right side.

Fun, isn’t it?

5. Try typing single words like in The Typewriter. Use your crayons to illustrate your own story.

Dog. Cat. Cactus. Bee. Rain. Lightning. Car. Wind. . .

Anything could happen!

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Mother Bruce ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

Funny and adorable book!

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

Mother Bruce

By Ryan T. Higgins

(Hyperion, 2015)

I’m sure you’ve heard of Old Mother Goose. Or you’ve seen a goose trailed by a parade of her goslings. This is not a story about Mother Goose.

Or maybe it is. Except Mother Goose is a he, not a she. And his name is Bruce. Bruce is a bear.

Bruce jumps from the frying pan and into the fire of motherhood after the goose eggs he had collected hatch on the stove while he is gathering firewood.

Bruce, Mr. Grumpy himself, does everything he can to get rid of the goslings. But alas, he is stuck being Mother. Bruce.

Mother Bruce is funny and clever. I loved it!


Play Bear, Bear, Goose

Have you heard of Duck, Duck, Goose?

This is the same game, only the one who is IT should tap others on their heads and say “Bear, Bear, Bear, Bear, . . . Goose!” The goose should chase IT around the outside of the circle until he/she reaches the empty spot and sits down. Then goose becomes IT.

Bear, Bear, Goose is an outdoor (or a gym) game. So invite those friends, make a big circle, choose someone to be IT, and have fun!

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Little Red Gliding Hood ~ Picture Book & KID KANDY

Doesn’t that title sound vaguely familiar?

Little Red Gliding Hood

Story by Tara Lazar

Pictures by Troy Cummings

(Random House, 2015)

Little Red’s skates are worn out and ready to fall apart. Without her trusty skates, she won’t be able to visit Grandma every Sunday. But the upcoming skating competition first prize is a pair of brand new gold skates!

Little Red is a great skater, but she doesn’t have a partner. Everyone else is matched up, but who will Little Red find to join her for the competition?

Fairy tale characters and stories abound in this fractured tale. Readers will laugh and enjoy the antics of Little Red and her friends as she finds an unexpected partner. Dare we say the bad guy turns good?

Delightful text and imaginative illustrations come together to make one great picture book. Both adults and children will love Little Red Gliding Hood.


Make Up Your Own Silly Fairy Tale

1. Choose a favorite fairy tale. Think of the characters and the problems they encounter in the story.

2. Now, choose one thing to change. You can:

– change a name

– change the problem

– change the setting (where the story takes place)

– add new characters

– mix two fairy tales together

3. Make up your own fairy tale.

4. Tell your new silly fairy tale to a friend or a sibling. Did they laugh?

Storytelling is fun, isn’t it?