Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Despite my love for cats, I adore birds. I just can’t put feeders out. That’s like saying, “Here, kitty, kitty! All you can eat buffet!” My Monet is a great hunter on her own, without my baiting traps for her.

So, I enjoy the birds that fly beyond her reach or call from barns, trees, and migration routes. She can’t get to those. In my car I keep a falling apart copy of a bird identification book. It’s amazing how many birds I can spot, research, and identify while my honey is driving over rivers and through woods. I’ve learned much about birds on our road trips.

After reading this post via Writers Rumpus, I discovered more bird books I need to read. Just in time for winter birding! I’m sending a big thank you to the authors, illustrators, and Kirsti Call (Writers Rumpus). Thank you!

Go check it out. You will learn a thing or three.

via Flying High with Gifted Authors Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple

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Book Report: Porcupine’s Pie by Laura Renauld

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Porcupine’s Pie

Written by Laura Renauld

Illustrated by Jennie Poh

Beaming Books, 2018

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I’ve never used Capri Sun in a recipe before reading this book.ย Yes, that has something to do with the adorable Porcupine’s Pie!

Porcupine is getting ready for Fall Feast Day. She checks her cupboard for ingredients for her famous Cranberry Pie and heads to the river to wash cranberries. Along the way she meets her friends who have famous recipes as well, but these friend are missing ingredients. By the time Porcupine gets to the river, circumstances have changed and she is no longer able to make Cranberry Pie.

Instead, once her friends arrive at her home, Porcupine makes a new treat, Friendship Pie (recipe included).

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Porcupine’s Pie is full of sharing, kindness, and friendship. I’ve wanted to read it since it was born, but had to wait for it to arrive at my library. (Let me tell you a trick: Most libraries have a way to request new titles. I LOVE this feature. I requested Porcupine’s Pie a few months ago. Now I have a brand new copy in my hands to enjoy.)

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I read Porcupine’s Pie with my grands the other day. My granddaughter immediately jumped up, ready to bake a Friendship Pie. But alas, their larder did not have all necessary ingredients. So Nana went shopping and last night we made Friendship Pie.

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Where does Capri Sun fit in? The recipe calls for cranberry juice (or a favorite juice). On the first night when we first looked in the fridge, there was a big container of apple juice. So Nana did not purchase more juice. ONE DAY later, when we prepped the recipe, the juice was all gone! That happens in families with three kids. The only similar ingredient to be found was Capri Sun. Well then. I can now say I’ve cooked with Capri Sun!

Porcupine’s Pie gets two thumbs up! Add this one to your fall/friendship/sharing themes.

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Book Report: Sophie’s Squash

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Sophie’s Squash

Written by Pat Zietlow Miller

Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

Schwartz & Wade Books, 2013

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My collection of potential Bernice squash

Meet one of my favorite fall books: Sophie’s Squash.

One day, Sophie falls in love with a butternut squash while shopping with her parents at the farmers’ market. And names her Bernice. While Sophie’s parents have culinary plans for the squash, Sophie adopts Bernice as her child and lovingly, protectively, and firmly cares for her new baby. Plans contradict each other as Bernice matures the way of other squash and Sophie’s parents attempt to put Bernice out of her misery. But Sophie remains committed to the relationship and cares for Bernice in such manner as dictated by squash. And then, surprise!

I won’t ruin it for you, but I love the ending. And the sequel, Sophie’s Squash Go to School, is just as much fun.

What I love: The VOICE of Sophie and the entire cast (even Bernice) is fantastic. I love her character. I adore fall books. I love stories relatable to young children. Everyone knows at least one kid who forms an odd yet endearing attachment to some random item. I love that about this book. I love Sophie and her commitment to Bernice.

Thanks to Pat for this copy of Sophie’s Squash in Chinese! How fun is that?!

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via One Writer’s Journey: Organization Optimization

This post by Beth Anderson gives excellent organizational tips for researching and writing for children. I’ve found myself stuck and constantly searching for that ONE piece of paper hosting important story information, so I definitely could use organization tips. Spiral notebooks just might be the trick.

Thanks, Beth!

*Beth’s book is pictured above. Can’t wait to read it!

 


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via School Visit Resources

Writerly Tip:

When I discover a blog post that I know will be very helpful, now or in the future, and need to keep the information, I often repost it to my blog. I’m not always good recalling which blog posted the article I want to revisit, especially when I only remember the gist. But when I repost to my blog and tag it for my categories, I can refer back to it as needed.

Plus, unlike a printout of the post, the live post gives me access to the live links. Instant gratification!

Thanks so much, Writers Rumpus!

Does you have any tips for organizing online resources?


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via Tuesday Debut – Presenting Laura Renauld!

Porcupine’s Pie

By Laura Renauld

Illustrated by Jennie Poh

Beaming Books, October 2018

 

Happy book birthday, Laura and Jennie! What an adorable picture book! I know I can’t wait to get my hands on it and read about Porcupine and friends. And I hear there is a great pie recipe at the end, so let me at it!

Congratulations!

Note to writers: This interview is chock full of information about the Laura’s publishing journey. I loved learning more about the process.


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Picture book or chapter book?

This excellent post provides great questions to consider if you are writing a picture book that just won’t come together or lends itself to longer text (chapter book). I hope this helps you as much as it helped me!

Thanks, Hillary!

via Is Your Picture Book Actually a Chapter Book? Five Ways to Find Out, by Hillary Homzie


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via Oliver: The Second-Largest Living Thing on Earth by Josh Crute & John Taesoo Kim

Oliver: The Second-Largest Living Thing on Earth

By John Crute & John Taesso Kim

Page Street Kids, 2018

 

This looks so adorable! I cannot wait to read it! Congratulations to John, John, and Page Street!


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Book Report: I Am NOT a Chair!

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I Am NOT A Chair!

By Ross Burach

HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2017

 

I Am NOT A Chair! is hysterical!

I love the simple but hilarious tale of a giraffe who is continuously mistaken for a chair by other jungle animals. He is extremely creative as he tries to educate others about their misdirected assumptions so he can stop being a chair.

Brilliantly colored illustrations add depth and life to the story and will attract young readers as they see life on the wild side (though recognizable as sort of like going to school). Well done, Ross Burach, in story telling through words and images.

This book is great for young and old readers.

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KID KANDY

Make a Chair

Materials: whatever you find in your jungle environment

1. Search your jungle.

2. Find interesting items that look comfy and sturdy.

3. Make a chair. Does it look like Giraffe? Or a different jungle animal, like a pillow monster or box creature? Give your chair a name. Have someone take a picture of you sitting on your chair.

4. Read a book while sitting on your chair. ๐Ÿ™‚

 


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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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