The Old Man is Snoring

Oh Joy Joy!! “I love a rainy night! It’s such a beautiful sight!” Actually it was a rainy day and it is now a clear, starry night. But it’s all full of joy anyway you look at it! It was a nice rain this afternoon. Not too stormy. Nice to walk in. The Mom Person loves to go walk in the rain and look at puddles. So that’s what we did today.

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There were plenty of puddles and plenty of good smells stirred up by the rain. We had a joyful jaunt!

And when we got back to the house we had a nice dry off and a few treats and storytime. The Mom Person chose a book based on one of her favorite rainy day songs that she sings all the time — It’s Raining, It’s Pouring! This book is by Kin Eagle and illustrated by Rob Gilbert. It was published by Whispering Coyote Press in 1994.

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Sure nuf, that old man is snoring away in his bed as the rain is pouring into his house and washing his bed down the river! Crazy old man! But this book has a lot more verses than what I know. After the rain is gone — “It’s cloudy, it’s breezy, the old man is sneezy.” Then, “It’s snowing, it’s blowing, the old man is growing!”. Then, “It’s warm out and sunny, The old man loves honey.” And on and on! And at the back of the book is the music for the song so you can play it on your piano or guitar or whatever!

I really liked this book! Mr. Gilbert’s illustrations are just right for the silly song. Now I have a picture for my head when the Mom Person goes to singing. I can picture that old man floating down my river.

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I hope you check this book out. I think you’ll like it.

And to go along with our rainy day — It’s Peter, Paul, and Mary singing “It’s Raining”

And Eddie Rabbit singing “I Love a Rainy Night!”

Now that’s one more book for me! 287 more to go! I wish you JOYFUL reading!

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Counting Goats

The Princesses came for a visit last week. They are a couple of wild girls! They live in the city and don’t get to come visit us in the country very often. The neighborhood where they live is a nice one and they have lots of friends, but they don’t have a pony or goats or chickens or woods to explore or a river to skip rocks in. We have all of these things here.

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The Princesses were quite taken with the goats. I have talked about the goats before. We have TWO Angora Goats. One black and one white. They are very talkative — Maaaaaaa! The Noodle Princess was quite intrigued with this.

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Because they liked those goats so much, we found a book called Let’s Count Goats! It’s a great little book by Mem Fox and illustrated by Jan Thomas. It was published by Beach Lane Books in 2010. It’s a rollicking good romp with goats. Both the girls thought it was super and wanted to read it numerous times.

IMG_0703IMG_0705The illustrations are really funny and show goats eating all kinds of things. Like beach umbrellas and suitcases and tables and airplanes! Our goats eat a lot of stuff that they shouldn’t, but I’ve never seen them eat any of those things! The tale opens with “Here we see a mountain goat frisking in the sun. And here we see a city goat going for a run. But can we count the SEASIDE goats? (I think there’s only one.)” And so it goes — with goats adding up in different scenarios. ( a nice big word!) And there are NO numbers in the book! You have to count them for real! The Noodle Princess, who is just a small wee thing, is just learning how to count and she was jumping right in to see how many goats were on each page!

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I think we give this book 4 paws and 4 hands up! Yay for goats! You should check it out!

Mem Fox has a nice website with all kinds of resources and information about books and reading and literacy.

Jan Thomas has a fun website with a list of her books and fun activities to go with them.

And here is a clip of Ms Fox talking about this very book! Let’s Count Goats!

And with this book added to my 2013 list, I have 288 more to go!

Bok! Bok! Chickens on the Loose!

We have chickens at our house. Chickens are strange creatures. I can never quite figure out if they are really bright or really not so bright. Whichever it is they are very loud and talkative! If they lay an egg, they want EVERYBODY to know about it. If they find a good feast of bugs or whatever, they want EVERYBODY to know about it. If they are just milling around, scratching around, they talk to themselves — a lot of mumbling. They even talk in their sleep! Fascinating!

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Now those chickens talk a lot, but I haven’t ever seen them read a book. But I have a couple of good chicken books for you. Both of them are old stories told in kind of a new way. One book features a really stupid, foolish chick and the other book features a really smart, wise hen. The 1st one is Chicken Little. This version of Chicken Little is by Rebecca and Ed Emberley. It was published by Roaring Brook Press in 2009.

IMG_0502IMG_0507IMG_0505As you can see, the illustrations are big and bright and bold. And a bit Crazy!

In the beginning, Chicken Little is bonked on the head by an acorn. We get the sounds in Big, Bold words BONK! EEP! “Oh my goodness, oh my gracious!” he exclaimed. “The sky is falling!… I must run for my life!” And he does — He runs into Henny Penny and knocks her off her feet – BONK! AWK! And so it goes. Running into all the other barnyard birds until they run into Foxy Loxy who invites them into the big dark cave (his mouth!!) to rest. And in they go! And then in a big fold out spread he SNEEZES them out!

It’s a silly, fun romp and everybody comes out fine in the end!

This is a fun, fun, crazy book. The kids loved it! (There were some words that were a little tough for them) But I loved hearing them make the sounds and laugh!

You definitely need to check this one out!

The 2nd book is The Little Red Hen. This version is by Jerry Pinkney. It was published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2006. This is a very different story. The illustrations are soft and realistic. The hen in question is wise and clever.

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This is the story of a hen who finds some interesting seeds and asks the other animals what they are. The dog tells her that they are wheat seeds and if she plants them they will grow into wheat for baking bread. She asks for their help and they all decline. Through the whole process of growing and harvesting and milling and baking, no one wants to help. But when it comes time to eat it, they all want to join in! And the wise hen tells them too bad! Yay for her!! This is a quieter read, but a pleasant one. I really like the illustrations.

You should check this one out as well!

Ed Emberley has a great website with lots of fun activities!

Here is a video interview with Jerry Pinkney.
And a link to his website.

And to end this romp through the chicken yard here are the Muppets Classical Chickens!

Farmyard Beat!

I have another good read aloud book for you! Farmyard Beat by Lindsey Craig and illustrated by Marc Brown ( of Arthur fame ). It was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2011.

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The best thing about this book is the illustrations. They are paper collage, quite colorful ( so I’m told ), and crazy funny. I LOVE the pictures! The story begins with a chick hatching out of an egg saying “peep-peep-peep!” This leads to a barnyard full of animals that make a lot of racket and can’t sleep “because they got that beat!”

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The chicks can’t sleep—they go peep,peep,peep and wake up the sheep who go TAT! TAT! TAT! (whoever heard a sheep go tat, tat, tat?!), and that wakes up the cat who goes PUUURRR! MEE-OOOW! and you get the picture. Lots of movement and noise making. But some of it doesn’t make sense — like sheep going tat, tat and cows going swish,clank. I never heard a cow clank! There’s lots of repetition and Rhythm in the wording. It helps reinforce the words which is a good thing with little kids.

IMG_0463I’ve heard a lot of good reviews for this book. It’s a happy book and provides for some serious singing and dancing. It might be a good addition to a preschool farm unit. You could talk about sounds that farm animals make. It would go along nicely with “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”. And what do farm animals really do at night anyway?  It would be fun to make farm collages. Like I said, I do LOVE the illustrations!

Here’s a link to a farm theme lesson plan with some interesting ideas —

And a link to a really cute chick made from an egg carton!

And the Muppets doing Barnyard Boogie with all the animal sounds!

Now you can go visit Susanna Hill and all the other great PPBFs!

Play With Your Dog!!

Wednesdays are Detention Center nights! Joy,Joy! One of my favorite events! These are pretty special guys at this place. They’re learning all the right ways to take care of a dog and train us by being nice to us. I like that part. The being nice to us means lots of petting and brushing and treats! Usually we spend time playing games and doing training exercises. But tonight the boys made tug toys! Braided fleece tug toys!

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And it would be nice if all these toys were for me! But all of these toys will be going to one of our local animal shelters. When a dog is adopted it will get to go to its new home with a nice, soft, boingy tug toy. Isn’t that nice of these boys?!

Now we might not have gotten to bring the toys home with us, but we did get to try some of them out. We had to make sure they could pass the real dog test. More JOY!

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And of course all the toys passed!

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You do know that you should be playing with your dogs?! Playing with your dog is a JOYful activity! For you and your dog!

I’d like to share a couple of books with you that might get your creative playfulness jumping.

The 1st book is Play With Your Dog by Pat Miller. Published by Dogwise Publishing in 2008. Ms Miller is a renowned trainer who has written many books about training. In this book she talks about dogs and play. She believes that playing with your dog helps to build a strong relationship between the two of your. Play also helps to develop social skills and provides mental and physical exercise. Play With Your Dog has chapters on what play is to a dog, body language dogs use when playing, types of play — dog/dog play and human/dog play. Ms Miller talks about children playing with dogs and how NOT to play with a dog. There are quite a few references at the end. All in all, this is a very fine book!

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The 2nd book is See Spot Sit by one of the Mom Person’s favorite, favorite writers Carol Lea Benjamin. Published by Skyhorse Publishing in 2008. This is kind of a picture book dog training manual. The subtitle is 101 Illustrated Tips for Training the Dog You Love. Now doesn’t that sound fine?!  The chapters include — How to Have a Happy Dog, Good Manners Last a Lifetime, The ABCs of Dog Training, PLAY it Safe, and Good Times, Fun, and Games. The book is full of happy illustrations that make this a fun book to read for anyone.

So I think you should check these books out and go have some fun with your dog!!

And here are some links if you want to make your own tug toys!

How to Weave a Braided Tug Toy from HGTV
Michael Rosen
Richmondpetlovers.com

I Know a Wee Piggy

We had some strange weather here today! Big boy Cisco woke everybody up early this morning when he heard some big claps of thunder. Then we went outside and found everything white and icy! It was kind of snow but not quite.

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There were some REALLY good smells out there. Made me feel like wallowing! Now I smell good too!

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Then I wanted to go down to the river, but the Mom Person said No Way! She thought it was too cold!  She’s kind of wimpy sometimes! So we played some ball instead —

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Then we got to go to school and read with some kids!  What a great day!

We read a great little book about a wallowing pig!  That’s the word for the day — wallow! This book is called I Know a Wee Piggy. It’s by Kim Norman and is illustrated by Henry Cole. It was published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2012. It is a book about color. And about the cutest, happiest little pig ever!

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It starts out — “I know a wee piggy — who wallowed in BROWN. Upside down, he wallowed in BROWN.” Then he goes on to wallow in all the other colors – white and pink and red and yellow and gray and orange and more and more. He has a wallowing great time!

This was a fun book to read. Besides the cute pig and the wallowing messes, it has lots of repetition. It’s kind of like the 12 days of Christmas song where you go back and repeat all you did before. So we got to say wallow A LOT! Fun, Fun!

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My friend E really liked this book. He thought it was silly fun. And I liked hearing him read it! And Mrs. B thought it would be a good book to give to somebody with a new baby.

Ms. Norman and Mr. Cole both have really nice websites that you can visit by clicking on their names above. I recommend a visit!

So 4 paws for I Know a Wee Piggy!

Your should check it out!

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Reading can be such hard work sometimes!

292 books to go!

Bad Apple!

Sunshine and her brother, Will, came to the library to visit us. They have been coming to read with us for a long time. When they first started coming, Sunshine couldn’t even read and now she’s reading chapter books! This evening she picked a funny book to read to us. It was called Bad Apple, A Tale of Friendship by Edward Hemingway.

IMG_0360 Bad Apple was published by Putnam Juvenile in 2012. It’s a pretty simple book and appropriate for ages 3 and up. The book is about Mac, an apple, and his strange friendship with Will, a worm. It starts with Mac taking a stroll through the rain. He falls asleep and when he wakes up there is a worm coming out of his head. This kind of freaks me out. Sunshine thought it was funny. Mac and Will become very good friends. They dig in the dirt together and fly kites and play games. But the other apples in the orchard start taunting (Sunshine’s word!) them and calling Mac rotten and a bad apple because he shouldn’t be friends with a worm! Will feels bad for Mac and leaves. But then Mac is very lonely without his worm so he goes to find Will. In the end he decides it’s better to be a “bad apple with his friend, than a sad apple without him.”

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Sunshine liked this book. She thought Mac was really cute. She also thought that the story was a good one to show how you should stand up for your friends even in the face of bullying. And those things are true. The illustrations are really cute. And the storyline is a good one. But I couldn’t get passed the worm coming out of Mac’s head! It was just a little too creepy for me.  So I just give this one 2 paws. Sunshine gave it 4.

So maybe you should check it out and see what you think!

For your Monday morning pick me up here is Scooter from the Muppets singing a worm song “There’s a New Sound“! EnJOY!

293 more to go!

Clap Your Hands!!

This is a JOYOUS, Clap your hands, dance a jig kind of day!  We just had 2 full days of glorious rain with NO thunder! My buddy Cisco is happy about that! The grass is happy. The river is happy. The water tank is happy. The fire department is happy. A JOYOUS day!

And to go with the JOYOUS day I present to you TWO JOYOUS books!  The 1st one is a fun, interactive, get your body moving book called Clap Your Hands! by Lorinda Bryan Cauley. It was published in 1992 by The Putman & Grosset Group. It is suitable for all ages. The illustrations are full of life and laughter with funny animals all dressed up along with kids romping through the book in a kind of follow the leader game. This book is meant to be read out loud and it is meant for kids to be up and moving. And kids do need some fun, active, wiggle time to wake up their brains! Each page offers a different instruction from Clap your hands, stomp your feet to rub your tummy, pat your head. From stick out your tongue and touch your nose to close your eyes and count to four. Silliness and fun is what it’s all about!

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Copy of IMG_0354Here’s a fun video from a group called Hullabaloo performing Everybody Clap Your Hands. And another one from the Mother Goose Club.
And a website all about handclapping games. Enjoy!!

The next book is another interactive, get moving JOYOUS book. But this one is all about dogs! It’s called Polly Molly Woof Woof, a Book About Being Happy by David Lloyd and illustrated by Charlotte Hard. It was published in 2000 by Candlewick Press. Candlewick Press sure puts out some nice books! This book is suitable for kids 2 and up. It’s all about sniffing and barking. Dogs having a party! It invites the reader to join in the fun and bark and sniff along.

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From the 1st page — “A funny thing happened on one lovely happy sunny summer day when Polly took Molly to the park.” Molly was happy and barked in a great loud voice. Woof! Woof! Woof! And when she met other dogs, they went sniff! sniff! sniff! and woof! woof! woof! They all had a great sniffing, woofing party and their kids all laughed a lot.  This book gets your imagination going, thinking about how different dogs might sound and sniff. And why do they all sniff each other?! Because that’s how we say “Hello!”

And here’s what a dog party looks like at my house —

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Here is a clip of Bret McKenzie and Kermit the frog singing “Life’s a Happy Song”
And then there’s this one Happy Dog!!

Now if you’d like to visit Susanna Hill you might find some more fabulous picture books!
A JOYous PPBF to you all!
And now I have 294 more to read in 2013!

Dreaming of the Deep Blue Sea

We visited Mrs B’s class today. It’s a joyous place to be on a cold, rainy day. She has the BEST floor pillows in the school! Maybe anywhere! Anyway, her class reads chapter books. And especially mystery chapter books. Mrs. B LOVES mysteries! She likes to read them herself and she likes for her kids to read them also. She believes that reading mysteries gets a brain working and thinking.

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Right now they are reading the Magic Tree House Book # 39 — Dark Day in the Deep Sea. This book series is by Mary Pope Osborne. The cover of this book looks pretty ominous with our 2 hero kids in the clutches of a creepy octopus! The class is only on Chapter 4, but already much has happened and the kids are getting hunches and coming up with predictions about what will be happening. So far the heroes Jack and Annie have landed on an island and then ended up on a scientific research ship that is searching for an endangered shell. The scientists are very excited because they have found a cousin shell of the one that they are looking for!

The kids are really enjoying this book so I’m hoping that they will read it quickly and I can find out what happens in the end!

The Magic Tree House books have activities at the end of the books that are helpful for discussion. And there is a Magic Tree House website. Be sure and check them out! I have a hunch that you will enJOY them!!

I’m Bugged!

Bugs, bugs everywhere!
On the floor and in the air!

Not really. Well, maybe. But the ones I want to talk about are in the books! Come take a look! We’ve got 2 for 1 today — My Daddy is a Doodlebug and Bugs in a Blanket.

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My Daddy is a Doodlebug by Bruce Degen is a read-aloud feast. Funny, funny pictures and made up words. “We both eat potoodle chips while walking through the zoo. ‘Cause Daddy is a foodlebug, And I’m a foodlebug too.” 40 pages of doodling and riding the caboodle car on the train, and padoodling their canoe, playing tagoodle, and reading fairytoodles before bed. All very silly and fun!
Mr. Degen is kind of a well known guy. He’s the illustrator of the Magic School Bus books! You can watch an interview with him here.

Bugs in a blanket by Beatrice Alemagna is kind of a board book. It has board covers but heavy paper insides. The illustrations are the thing with this little book. All the little bugs are fiber creations. Felting and needlework. And they are the cutest, happiest little creatures! They all live in a blanket on a bed at the bottom of the garden. Each bug lives in its own hole and has never seen the other bugs. For his birthday, Little Fat Bug decides to have a  party and invites all the other bugs. But when they all arrive everyone becomes rather disconcerted (a nice big word!) to find that they all don’t look the same! How can that be?!  Then they all realize that it is what it is and it doesn’t matter if they all look different. In the end, everybody has a fun time singing and dancing and partying together. The story here is a little bit large for such a small book. It falls a little flat for me. But the illustrations are so awesome that I find I love the book! I just want to hold on to it. You can watch a video of Ms Alemagna talking about this book here.

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These are 2  fine books to read out loud to kids. 296 more books to go!