All Aboard!!

amtrakRecently my Humans took a plane ride out to California to visit our Princesses (and their Mom and Dad). While they were in Califonia, they went on a train ride from Los Angeles to San Juan Capistrano. They all say that it was a really fun trip. Of course, I have no first hand knowledge of this as I did not get to go on this adventure.

In preparation for this train trip, the Mom Person got the Princesses a couple of train books. She learned about one of the books, Line 135, from Carter Higgins’s blog, Design of the Picture Book. It looked like just the right story and if Ms Higgins gushed about it, it must be a good one. We found the book online and when it arrived at our house, and we got to see it in real life, we were blown away as well. It is a rather unique look at the world. I’ll let you travel to Ms Higgins’s blog for an in depth dissection of the book. Just click on the blog title above. Here, I’m going to turn things over to some guest critics – My favorite reading buddies, The California Princesses –

IMG_3031They took this book on the train with them and were quite excited about the way that their trip mirrored the train trip in the book. In the book, a little girl is traveling by train with her Mom to visit her Grandmother. In the book, the Mom and Grandmother tell the girl that she is too small to know the entire world. But she knows better. They start in the big city surrounded by cement and skyscrapers. The train travels through big city, then smaller cityscape, then suburbia and out through the countryside. Through swamps and forests, along a river, into farmlands and finally to Grandma’s house.

The Ladybug Princess really liked the illustrations in the book. She liked that the train was the only color and everything else was black and white. She liked the houses. Some were regular houses and some were fantastical. The sights that the little girl saw in the book were very much like what the Princesses saw out their windows. ( The windows were the best part of the train!) Except she really wanted to see some of those strange animals that were in the book. No sign of those out her window.

IMG_3033The Noodle Princess says, about the book, that she liked when the bus went by and the train went by and she liked the houses and the trees and the mountains. And she knows the whole entire world!


Line 135 seems to have been an excellent choice to take along on a train ride!
And here is all the important book information —

Line 135 by Germano Zullo
Illustrated by Albertine
Published by Chronicle Books in 2013

A big thank you to Ms Carter Higgins for discovering and sharing this fabulous book!!!

And now a little video of a Germano Zullo/Albertine creation – (I really have no idea what this is about, but it’s cute!)

I wish you wondrous adventures —


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National Dog Day

carygrant-teachingthedogtoreadWe just found out last night that today, August 26, is National Dog Day!! I don’t know exactly what that means – the Mom Person says that around here every day is Dog Day. And that may be true.


But we decided to celebrate by taking a bag of dog food and some treats to our local animal shelter.

Kathryn and Tammie do a great job at the Glen Rose Animal Shelter. They’re very good at finding homes for homeless dogs and cats. They like their job!!


We also got to go to Dairy Queen and get some Fries!!! We are truly lucky dogs!!

When we got home, the Mom Person got out a bag full of balls! We got to play catch and Hide and Seek and all those fun ball games. Whew! What a day it has been!

We have a book called 97 Ways to Make a Dog Smile. It’s a great book with some great ideas to make your dog happy. Like # 1 – Ear Noogies! What dog doesn’t like that?!  And #23 – Joyride in the car! #59 – Bobbing for treats in a pool or bucket! And my favorite – #9 – the Full Body Massage. Yessiree!

This book was written by Jenny Langbehn with photos by Pat Doyle. It was published in 2003 by Workman Publishing.

IMG_3052We’ve had a good Dog Day. I hope your dog has. Go out and PLAY!

For more info about National Dog Day you can check out the official website here.

To help you understand what your dog is telling you, here is a video about dog language –

And a Dwight Yoakum song from Sandra Boynton called I’ve Got a Dog –

Go have fun with your dog!!!!


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Saturday Surprise!

I got a big surprise in the mail on Saturday!! IMG_3047Ms Karin Naylor from Rosemary, Lavender and Thyme had a drawing and I was the lucky winner of one of her chicken paintings!!!! Isn’t she a lovely little hen? She has soft eyes. I haven’t figured out where I’m going to hang it yet. I’d like to hang it next to my bed, but the Mom Person is afraid I might drool on it too much. Moms.

IMG_3049So while we ponder the best home for Miss Welsummer Sis, you might want to visit Ms Naylor at her blog here. It’s a relaxing place to learn about chickens and gardening.

To see more of Ms Naylor’s artwork visit her other blog, A Little Corner of the Artist In Me. I think you will like what you find there!

Thank you Ms Naylor!!!!

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Electrical Light Show

Today’s lesson is all about electricity! You might remember that we got an up close and personal side of electricity the other night. It can create VERY LOUD noises!

Our resources for today’s lesson come from our local library. They did not have a lot of books to choose from. As a matter of fact – these are the only three books that they had in the children’s section!

IMG_3042img426We have the Dorling Kindersley/Eyewitness Book – Electricity by Steve Parker. It was published by Dorling Kindersley in 1992. There are a lot of Eyewitness Books on a lot of different subjects. They are fabulous books! Lots of great pictures and simple text that even a dog can understand. This book tells me that I can look at this book and listen to someone reading it and I can understand it because I have little electrical currents running through my brain! Electricity seems to be all about atoms and electrons and things being attracted to other things and swapping electrons. It’s all a little over my head. I do know that in the winter time I am always getting shocked! I must be very attractive. And those transformers that gave us so much trouble? They are there to transform the voltage coming from the power stations to a lower voltage so we can use it in our houses.

img427The next book we looked at was the Magic School Bus Gets a Bright Idea – a Book About Light by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen. It was published in 1999 by Scholastic. That Ms Frizzel and her Magic Bus are a real trip! This book is not exactly about electricity, but it is about light. And to get light we need electricity. (Except for the sun, and candles – which we used the other night.) In this book the kids visit an old theater and travel down a big funnel on the bus that turns them into light! They learned how light travels in straight lines until it bumps into something. That’s how we get shadows and reflections. At the end of the book is a fun project that you can make to create a ghost!

img425The third book is When Charlie McButton Lost Power by Suzanne Collins (THE Suzanne Collins of Hunger Games fame)and illustrated by Mike Lester. It was published in 2007 by Puffin Books. This is a really cute book written in RHYME! I love stories written in rhyme! This story is about Charlie McButton whose world is all about video games. One day a bolt of lightening strikes an electrical tower and he loses all the power at his house. Just like our BIG BOOM! But poor Charlie doesn’t know what to do with himself with no electricity. He goes kind of crazy and yells at his little sister which hurts her feelings something awful. Then he feels bad and decides to make it up to her by playing with her. The two of them (and the dog!) have a wonderful day and Charlie realizes there is more to life than electricity!! A GREAT lesson to be learned!!


And to top things off, here is a GREAT light show for your entertainment! —

Have a good day and spread some JOY!

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The Big Boom!!

It was a dark and stormy night. Well, not really. It was a quiet, clear night. The Dad Person who dispenses treats had gone to bed, the Mom Person was on the computer typing away on something, I was asleep on my bed next to the Mom Person’s desk so that I could keep a half eye on her every move. I was having a really nice dream where I was floating down a river full of tennis balls – IMG_3555

Then SUDDENLYboom 2   And BLACK!!!! Pitch black.

The Mom person let out a squeal and said “Transformer.”

transformer02I didn’t know if that meant that the Transformers were attacking the house or what, so I stayed really still and watched the Mom Person groping around in the dark looking for a flashlight. It was kind of humorous. When she finally found one she went outside to see if the “transformer” was blown to smithereens and to determine if we were in any danger of going up in flames. Evidently not – on either count.

And where was that Dad Person? I went to check – he was still safe and sound and fast asleep.

The Mom Person called the Electric Company and a man came out to check things out. He figured that a snake had gotten up on that electrical pole and shorted out a fuse. So he looked all around for a dead, fried snake. Nope, no snake. So he went to his truck and got a big long pole and stuck it way up in the air and retrieved some kind of thing off of the transformer. He put in a new fuse and went way back up there again with that pole and very carefully put it back in place and SUDDENLY – boom 2  Man oh Man. And now another transformer across the road was gone! The man said he’d have to try that again! I thought he was crazy, so I went in to go to bed with the Dad Person who was still sound asleep. I thought he was the only one with any sense on this night.

IMG_3037I was just getting into a nice snooze when – SUDDENLY – all the lights were back on! Just like that! I guess that man figured it out. What a night!

Well, today was library day, so we had to check out some books on electricity. I’ve learned more about that shocking subject than I really need to know, I think.

IMG_3042I learned about the history of the discovery and taming of electricity. I learned all about how it gets to our house – from a power plant thru wires into that transformer and then to our house.

electricityIsn’t that amazing?! I also learned from Ms Frizzel and her Magic School Bus about light and how shadows are made. Fascinating!

But that’s enough for today. I’ll tell you about those books next time. For now, I’m going to go take a nap.

I thank Google for providing my graphics for this post.

What would we do without electricity? Something to contemplate —

To be continued ——


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Meet Gooney Bird Greene

It’s just about Back to School time here in Texas. Just a couple of more weeks and all the kids will have to be getting up early and sitting in desks and doing homework and taking tests and learning all sorts of new things.


And I’ll be doing the same. I’ll be listening to a lot of good books and learning new things and sleeping under desks and helping with homework.

Copy of CIMG4547A lot of kids will be going to school for the first time and maybe I’ll be able to help them adjust to the crazy routine.

Teachers will be putting together a list of good read aloud books. (I hope that ALL teachers will be doing this!) And this is where Gooney Bird Greene comes in. Gooney Bird Greene is the title character of a series of books written by Lois Lowry and illustrated by Middy Thomas. These books seem to be very popular in Glen Rose, but I don’t know if they are where you live. If not, you need to head to your library and check them out! These books are suitable for ages 6-9 and grades K-3.

IMG_2625Gooney Bird is a new girl in Mrs. Pidgeon’s 2nd grade classroom. She appears at the classroom door all alone, wearing pajamas and cowboy boots, carrying a dictionary and a lunch box and announces that she wants a desk right in the middle of the room because she “likes to be right smack in the middle of everything.” Gooney Bird is a very singular young lady. She LOVES to tell stories – and this is what these books are all about. Storytelling. How do you find excitement and intrigue in every day things? What makes a story good or bad? Through Gooney Bird’s storytelling you learn all about the elements of a good story. And vocabulary! Gooney Bird is always throwing in big words that the kids don’t know. They have to look them up in the dictionary. What great skills!

Each book is a new month and a new adventure with Gooney Bird and Mrs Pidgeon’s class. New things to learn about working cooperatively and being an independent thinker. And the school, Watertown Elementary, has a school dog! A St. Bernard named Bruno. I love these books!

I’ll leave you with an interview with Ms Lowry – an interesting lady –

Enjoy your last days of summer!

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This and That and Here and There

This is kind of a mish mash of book/blog stuff that I would like to address.

1. I have just celebrated my 1 year blogiversary (as they say). What a fun ride it has been! When the Mom Person first proposed the idea last summer I thought that she might be having heatstroke or something. I love doing things with her – just the two of us. But on the computer?! Who was she kidding?  But we’ve kind of pulled our act together pretty well and have discovered a new bonding experience. Now she hates to go anywhere without me because we might miss a blogging opportunity! Who knew that our lives would come to this?!

illustration by my buddy Paul Howell

illustration by my buddy Paul Howell

2. I recently was awarded the Versatile Blogger award from the very talented Caitlin at Now Caitlin is one versatile lady. She blogs about teaching stuff and how to make the perfect teacher gift and how to throw parties and how to make exotic drinks. (I guess you need those after a school party!) Anyway, Caitlin, I thank you for this honor. I try to be versatile, but I don’t know how well I achieve that goal. I’ll have to try even harder now.

versatile-award3. I found out today that one of our favorite local celebrities died yesterday. John Graves was a writer and champion of our local rivers. I talked about him in a post recently. You can read more about him and see a video clip here. He was 92 years old. He will be greatly missed – locally and in the book world. But he left quite a legacy.

Graves-obit-web-articleLargeI love this picture of Mr Graves. This was his dachshund Watty, the passenger, on his famous canoe trip down the Brazos River. You can click on the picture to read his obituary in the NY Times.

4. We listened to an interesting story on NPR today about Andrew Carnegie and his library endowments. I have been fascinated by this story for some time and I have a list of Carnegie libraries that I would like to visit. There are not a lot of them left. But if you are interested in this as well, here is a link to the NPR story.

15412v5. And now I’m posting a couple of pictures for Mike at Mike’s Look at Life. Mike is a photographer with a unique look at the world around him. He takes some absolutely stunning pictures that you should check out. He recently took an interest in some spotted donkeys that he had never seen before! Imagine that. So anyway, these are for Mike.


And for anyone who might be interested in these lovely creatures you can visit the website for the American Council of Spotted Asses here.

Now, I think that that about wraps up all of my loose ends.

I wish you a happy weekend!

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