Monday, February 23, 2015

An Arctic Dream and A Really Tall Tale!

As we head into the last week of February, I look around and still see great piles of snow. This, of course, means lots of shoveling, lots of warm fires, lots of soup, and lots of seeds for our outside friends.


It also means a winter book and a really tall tale! The winter book I chose  to review is titled Polar Skater, and although it dates back to 2004, you can still get it through Bargain Books on Barnes and Noble's site for only $1.99. Quite thrifty for a book worthy of four to six year olds.

If you chose to read, Polar Skater, you will dream with a young girl who longs for a pair of skates. Once obtained, the true dreaming begins as she leaves the crowds behind and skates with the beasts of the arctic. An audience of seals, whales, snow geese and such, help her to embrace the freedom skating brings until it is time to once again join those she left behind on her skating journey.


The tall tale I chose,  an extreme tale if you wish, was about the ever so famous Pecos Bill. This particular story called Pecos Bill Tames A Colossal Cyclone, granted us insight into Pecos Bill's unfortunate ousting from his family's wagon and his subsequent rescue by a wolf pack. An emotion filled reunion with one of his long lost brothers, his training as a cowboy, and his wild ride on a cyclone are sure to further thrill the reader. And  the explanation of how the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon came to be, might even elicit a chuckle or two from the adult readers.


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, and the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015)! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, February 16, 2015

It's Cold Outside, But Warm Inside!

Like many of you in in the non-sunshine states, we here in Ohio are experiencing bitter cold. Yesterday the temperature hit negative eight, which meant time for a hot cup of tea poured from the little cast iron tea pot Bobby brought back from Japan. It also meant a nice fire in the fireplace.

 

Sitting in front of the warm fire, it turns out, is a perfect time to read. The first book I read was not only a great chilly day read, it was also perfect for Black History Month. It was a biography of Roberto Clemente the famous baseball player. Although told very simply for children, it was chalk full of interesting tid-bits. The book started when he was a small child living with his family in Puerto Rico and ended with his pre-mature death while on his way to offer humanitarian aide to  Nicaragua after a terrible earthquake.


The life depicted in-between was that of a passionate man who believed in hard work, helping others, and baseball. This book is perfect for children interested in both baseball and history as well as those looking for a good role model.

And since it is so snowy and cold in so much of the country right now, it stands to reason that I also chose a book about snow. It was called the Snow Globe Family and told a fun tale of two families. There is a large family that lives in a large house and on their mantle is a snow globe where an itsy bitsy family lives in an itsy bitsy house. Each family has similarities. Each family wants there to be a big snow so they can go sledding. To find out if these two families get their wishes, you will have to read it for yourselves!


Both books seem to be out of print, but used copies are available, or perhaps you can find them at your local library. Either way, they are both worth searching out.

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, and the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015)! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Finding Your Match and Forgiveness!

The past few weeks have found us trying to make changes in our eating habits. Additions of many more fruits and vegetables and mixed nuts for snacking has left us craving sweets a bit less. We also found a new family snack that each of us loves equally which is sweet potato chips by Simply Nature.


They are a perfect blend of low sodium, natural sweetness, and crispiness. They are a perfect match for our family just like Herman and Rosie are a perfect match for each other. Herman and Rosie are characters in a great book by Gus Gorden. They both love living in the big city, but sometimes they each find it a bit lonely. This story follows them on their daily routines and the journey they take before finding each other. This is a delightful read and I'm sure children between the ages of five and eight will adore it as much as I did.


I also enjoyed Three Bears In A Boat by David Soman. It's a beautiful story of admitting when you have done something wrong and forgiveness. It is the story of three cubs named Dash, Charlie, and Theo. When they decide to sneak some honey, they accidentally break Mama Bear's special blue shell. They decide to try and find a replacement and on the trip, they squabble about whose fault it was. An unexpected storm soon causes them to realize that each was partly responsible. So home they go to Mama who tenderly forgives them and gives them all hugs. Another great story for children between five and eight.


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, and the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015)! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Library Display,Valentine's Day, And Tracks In The Snow!

The painting is done, my hubby is home, but I've still been busy. I even managed to get to the library and set up the new children's display wishing everyone a great Valentine's Day. I also checked out the section of newly purchased books and was excited to see two books by illustrator friends of mine.



Since Valentine's Day is almost upon us, I decided the first book I would review would be a Valentine book. So what did I choose, you ask? Why, Kylie Jean Valentine Queen, of course. A few years ago I read Kylie Jean Rodeo Queen by Marci Peschke and I enjoyed it very much. So, it is no surprise that I love her latest Kylie Jean offering. Kylie Jean's dream is to someday be a beauty queen and she even has the wave down pat. But until that day arrives, she contents herself with being a Valentine queen.


The second book I chose to review was influenced by the lovely piles of snow which lines every driveway in my neighborhood, and by the tracks I see in the fresh snow that adorns my front yard. It was called Who's Been Here? A Tale In Tracks. Two children go on a journey through the snow with their dog who finds a multitude of different tracks of passing animals. One set of tracks leads to an especially interesting critter.


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, and the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015)! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Day Late And A Gallon Short...

For those of you who noticed that my regular Monday post wasn't written until today, I apologize. It's been a crazy weekend. With Bobby away in Japan, I thought it was the perfect time to makeover our bedroom suite. Knowing that Bobby has a sensitivity to odors, I thought painting and varnishing while he was gone would be perfect. But since I had to wait for  my bedding to arrive before I bought paint, it was a mad dash to finish up in time, especially since he called to say he was coming home a half a week early.


In addition to the busyness, when I took Emily and a classmate to their bi-monthly home school classes at Mansfield Christian this past Friday, Emily left a light on in the back of the car. When I came out of school recess and lunch duty, my battery was dead. On a bright note, the service call to jump my battery was covered by my Hyundai warranty's roadside assistance.

But the piece de resistance this weekend was when I ran to the store to buy one more gallon of paint. The paint knocked over when I turned the corner and the lid popped off. You wouldn't even believe the number of gallons of water it takes in a three hour period to suck paint out of the carpet in the back of a car. Hopefully, you will never have to find out personally!


So, it's understandable that I didn't have time to review books as I normally would. However, Emily has been reading some Box Car Children mysteries. She received a set for Christmas that had the first four books, and she is enjoying them tremendously. Which just goes to show that, well written books never go out of style no matter how long has passed since they were first published.


She just finished The Yellow House Mystery this morning and as she read the last page she told me that she loved it and that it was her favorite so far. She then proceeded to tell me about the man who was told his wife had died in a fire trying to save their employer's horses. He was so grief stricken that he had gone on to live in the forest as a hermit. Unbeknownst to him, his wife was alive. For years she continued to serve the children's family faithfully but with an aura of sadness, always wondering where her husband had gone. I think what Emily loved best, was the happy reunion of the two. After all, who doesn't love a happy ending.
 
 
Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, and the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015)! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Time to Come Home

This past week while Bobby was in Japan, Emily and I  kept busy to keep our mind off of it. We made a snow woman. We went to cookbook club. And I canned some apple pie filling from the apples a friend gave me. I even sanded the top of an old cedar chest my mother-in-law gave me in preparation of giving it a new coat of urethane. All in all, a good week.

 
 

And half way across the world, Bobby was working, eating out with co-workers, and took a tour of Tokyo.







 
With all of this busyness, I still had time to read a book for review. The book I chose was How High Is The Sky by Anna Milbourne. It is the story of a curious little penguin who is always asking questions. HIs biggest question is how high is the sky. As he attempts to find out, he gets farther and farther away from home and his Mama. He decides to go back home and he also decides that the sky just doesn't end. This made me think of how far away Bobby is and how I can't wait until it is time for him to come home!

There is supposed to be a poster at the end of the book that shows his journey, but my library copy had been removed. This book was really enjoyable and I would recommend it for children five to eight.

 
Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, and the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015)! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Damaged Luggage and A Winter Wonderland

The saga of Bobby's trip to Japan continues. I heard from him for a few minutes when he called to let me know he had arrived safely. After he had time to sleep, he called me again before he left for work (Our morning is their night and so forth). Unfortunately, when he arrived at Tokyo, he found that the suitcase he had borrowed for the trip had been damaged.

I can only imagine how frustrating it must have been to try and drag luggage about with an entire ripped side all while trying to keep belongings from spilling out. Hopefully he won't let this minor set back sap the joy out of this experience.

Meanwhile, here in Ohio we have that lovely deep blanket of winter snow that was missing during Christmas. With that in mind, along with Bobby's trip, I chose two books. One about snow, and one representing Asian twins and the beautiful way they share everything

The first book is actually called Snow and is by the wonderful Cynthia Rylant. Snow is an absolutely and astoundingly beautifully written and illustrated book. She describes snow in amazing ways like the snow that falls at night and the snow that causes school children to be sent home. The snow that helps make memories. I seriously recommend this book for children and adults alike.
 

The second book I read was Ling and Ting Share A Birthday by author/illustrator Grace Lin. Ling and Ting are identical twins and it's their birthday. They share birthday shoes, they share birthday cake, they share a birthday wish, they even share their birthday gifts. But when they share most is an appreciation of each other. this book is perfect for children between the ages of five and eight and shares a very positive message.


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, the sequel, Return To Fern Valley, and the soon to be released Cooking In Fern Valley (fall 2015)! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.