Saturday, May 26, 2018

Read the Book that changed me into a cat lover.

Mr. Puffball: Escape from Castaway Island is full of magic. It’s not just the slyly adorable artwork or the tongue in cheek narrative. The magic is in the details! Kids will read every word, not wanting to miss details like adding a bucket of butter for cake batter or the chattering of dolphins, written as “cute dolphin noises.” As a reformed cat-hater, (yes, Mr. Puffball brought me to the other side), I was sad to see the story end. Maybe cutie pie Pickles will carry on the adventure. I hope so!

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Rabbit Listened
by Cori Doerrfeld

Take a child’s ordinary catastrophe…
add a murder of crows…
an inquisitive chicken…
and a bunch of other animals…
(You’ll recognize them grownups in disguise.)
You’ll have a story about disappointment
and what it really takes to mend a heart.

#how to heal a broken heart

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Book Review on Loneliness and Friendship

Big Wolf and Little Wolf

by Nadine Brun-Cosme
Illustrated by Oliver Tallec

You don’t need anyone and no one needs you. Sound like anyone you know?

 Life is just as you like it, until, one day, a small blue dot appears on the horizon. It’s a little wolf, come to change your world. 

A parable on loneliness and friendship that shows how being alone can turn to loneliness.This picture book should be used in MG’s as well as elementary school.

PS That award you see on the cover is from ALA. It's a Notable Boooks Award!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

I had lots of fun with the Chautauqua Campers today! After reading about the jinni in Bogeyman 101, the kids wrote 2 great bogeyman stories. Here they are!

Once upon a time in Chautauqua there was a bogeyman named Crystal and if a person stepped on her head she would jump up and scare them. Salaman was a bogeyman who lived near the creek. Salaman liked Crystal very much.
They were not alone. There was also a lumberjack bogeyman named Axel. He haunted those mountain men who liked to tell stories about him. He also liked Crystal.  Axel had many bandages. Only his eyes, nose and mouth could be seen. He also didn’t like Salaman.
Salaman loved the night and he needed to be close to the water to keep his skin wet. Crystal lived at the top of Celo knob. Salaman could never make it all the way to the top to see Crystal without getting too dry. He only could get close enough to see how beautiful she glistened in the moonlight.
Salaman had to go through the forest to see her but Axel was always there trying to get him. One night Axel was bothering Crystal when a thunderstorm struck the mountain. Axel ran for safety. Crystal was afraid.
Salaman heard her cries. He ran as fast as he could. The rain kept his skin moist. When he reached Crystal a lightning bolt struck her. The colors that came from Crystal were more beautiful than 1000 rainbows. When she saw Salaman they fell in love. She used the power of the lightning to roll them to the creek where she lives to this day with Salaman. Axel was never seen again.

The End

By Whitney and Ric

The Chautauqua Legend

Once upon a time at Chautauqua there were many bogeymen. Also, in the haunted Chautauqua woods there was a cabin.
One bogeyman was made of rocks so he could hide himself by standing next to the mountain. His name was Rocker.
Another bogeyman was named Crystal. When she hid in the caves, people only saw a pile of crystal on the ground. They didn’t know it was a bogeyman. When they stepped on Crystal she sometimes pulled them down underground or she would pop up and haunt them.
There was a lumberjack bogeyman named Axer. He had a torn-up hat and a big axe. He had bandages all over his face except for his eyes, nose and mouth. He also had a torn-up coat and torn up shoes. His skin was ghost like. He haunted those who went out late at night and whoever told legends about him. Sometimes he killed with his axe. He thought he could never die, but since his axe was actually his heart, people could get rid of him.
The last bogeyman was the most powerful. He was a combination of a tengu and a jinni.
He traveled in a cloud of smoke so you couldn't see his red eyes. He haunted the people who lived in the Chautauqua cabin. Because he was made of smoke, he could sneak inside thorough cracks under the door and through the cracks in the windows. People knew he was coming when smoke came inside with a whistling noise. The, it was too late for people to save themselves, because as soon as they saw he smoke and heard the whistle, they turned into bogeymen, too.
No one knows, but there are other ways to kill this bogeyman. The children of Chautauqua knew of a bogeyman who was good. Her name was Good Crystal. Whenever bad Crystal popped up out of the ground, good Crystal sparkled and got rid of any bad bogeymen with her light, that was very bright.
The children of Chautauqua knew that Rocker the bogeyman was vulnerable. The children were very smart. They planted moss on Rocker so eventually, he would erode.

The End

Sunday, July 23, 2017

What if you lived in a world of deception and trickery? Depending on what you eat or drink, you could hallucinate, lose your memories or your mind. You can’t show your feelings, for you were born with a blank face. In fact, learning expressions is a luxury that only the rich can afford.  

However, since the underground Caverna rulers assassinate anyone who threatens their power, it’s better to be able to hide your feelings. Neverfell, though, was born with a face that hides nothing. With her face like glass, she’s a prize every ruling family wants. Will they kill her, imprison her, or manipulate her?
It may be rated YA, but I’d recommend for MG’s, too. It’s a detailed fantasy, a coming of age story, and after a slow beginning, a compelling read. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Murder’s Ape: the odyssey of an ape named Sally Jones, whose owner is accused of killing a  small time crook. This isn’t a fast paced who dunnit, so be prepared to meet many fun, funny and fascinating characters as the story meanders from Portugal to England to London to Egypt  to India. Sally Jones tells the story from her very intelligent point of view, which makes the journey unique and exciting. It’s an award winner in Scandinavia, and I can understand why.

Though listed as YA, it’s appropriate for MG’s.