Monday, July 22, 2019


I love this uncomplicated view of the joys of a farm in the middle of summer. The words and images are buoyant. Bonus: A great lesson in the parts of the day, heralded by the sun, from dawn to dusk.


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Tardy is such a cool word

I picked up this book because I could be the protagonist, Totally Tardy Marty. (haha) I get knee deep in whatever I am doing and I have a hard time transitioning to the next thing. I also like to finish what I have started (and clean up afterwards) so these proclivities can really set me up for failure! I loved that Never Late Kate actually strikes up a friendship with Totally Tardy Marty. And who knows what Never Late Nate's future might hold? A very terrific page in this book is the final one which lists 5 tips that can help with tardiness. Overall, I liked the use of the word "tardy". This is from a French word from the mid 16th century! (Also, I have been falsely accused that I arrive late so as to "make a grand entrance" and "shine a light on myself." Nothing could be further from the truth. I find it painful to walk in late to something that has already begun but I am always grateful that I was not in a car accident racing there, sigh.) *I just have too much life to live and be involved with!
Totally Tardy Marty

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Fairy In A Dairy

A little wordy for a picture book, yet when I read it aloud to an audience the terrific illustrations fascinated them and the eagerness for a happy ending helped them to stick with it. Cow as heroine is a favorite for me. I read this during JUNE DAIRY MONTH and enjoyed many chuckles during it. Satisfying and well structured! The reader feels superior because they are pretty sure they know what is going on. Still they want to know if the mayor and sheriff will figure it out, too. Fun! (You will be hungry for a dairy product after this story!)

Apology & Forgiveness

I loved the concept but not the layout. The first half of the book are the apologies and the second half of the book are the responses. So the reader is flipping back and forth to see how the apologies were received. I think the format would have been more inviting if the apology and the response were side by side. Both the apologies and responses are wonderfully unique and sincere. A favorite pairing is one where a girl apologizes to her sister for physically hurting her and her sister responds by saying, " I am still pissed off at you." What could be more realistic?! Still marveling over this book and how to utilize it with students or have it as a model for conflict resolution in some way. Wouldn't it be a wonder, especially on the world stage, if people made it a habit to exchange poems of apology and forgiveness? We can dream!

Monday, June 10, 2019

A book that pays tribute to Van Gogh's starry night!

This lovely picture book starts with a quote from Van Gogh: " I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." I love this sentiment for today, the FIRST day of our summer reading program, A UNIVERSE OF STORIES. Denise Fleming, the author & illustrator of the book, emulates the style of Van Gogh's paintings on each page of this book.
Just as the title foretells, cow has lost her "moo" and travels around to find who has it so that she can swap for "cluck".

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Outstanding April 25, 2019!

Thanks to Scott Langteau, homegrown talent, who has written another amazing picture book containing a very important message. This one, BULLIED, is aimed toward middle schoolers. In the book, two bullies named Billy and Bella Bully grow up regretting their negative actions. In fact, in the hopeful ending of the book, they actually turn themselves around as adults. 6th grade students acted in a Reader's Theater production of the book at the Muehl Public Library on Thursday, April 25, 2019. Scott autographed a copy for the library...his words are touching and wonderful! "Note to ourselves...always be ourselves...and always be KIND doing it." Scott gave me permission to freely share the Reader's Theater of the book that I crafted available @:!Aq1NKa7hMQU17H8jU...

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A late review (from January)

You hardly ever see books for children anymore where someone is eaten unapologetically! This is a wonderful exception. Princess Justina Albertina is spoiled, rude, and ungrateful. The story leads to a wonderful ending where PJA gets exactly what she deserves! (I used this book in January to think about how we could be kinder in 2019.)
Princess Justina Albertina