“A Blast From the Past”

My pig buddy, Bacon, is doing a special post on his blog today – Show and Tell. He asked all his friends to do a post about our favorite toys from our childhood. The Mom Person and I have been going down memory lane this weekend looking at pictures of my puppyhood. I was kind of a toy crazy pup, but I had a couple of favorites that I’m going to Show you and Tell you about.

This was my pony. It was one of my very first toys that was waiting for me when I arrived in Texas. I carried it with me everywhere. And I still have it today! 11 years later!

IMG_0352In the 11 years that Pony has been in my care, he has lost his brains along with his voice, and he just recently lost an arm to the Dogzilla pup. But he is still quite cuddly. I let him play with Dogzilla now and again. She likes him a lot, but is not quite so careful about him. I have to supervise their playtimes.

My other favorite toy in my younger days was an Orbee Ball from Planet Dog. My Mom Person had some tough dogs living with her – dogs who could chew through anything. She read a write up about Orbee balls that said someone had mowed over one with their lawnmower and didn’t even nick it! She decided that we needed Orbee Balls at the 7 Acre Wood! And that story about them proved to be true! They are tough as can be! My original Orbee is no where to be found these days. I think that it is probably somewhere out in those woods. But we have a couple of replacements that are just as fine. One even glows in the dark!

IMG_0349If you have pets or kids who are hard on their toys, you might want to try an Orbee. You can find them at Planet Dog HERE.

So there you have it! My Show and Tell, Blast from the Past, Favorite toys. Now you might want to visit Bacon over at his blog,Piglove! You might find some other fun toys from the past that might take you down memory lane!

Have fun remembering!
your friend and her Pony

Rhythm
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Wolves

wolfSomewhere way back on my genetic tree I am related to wolves. Those wild, misunderstood, much maligned (big word!) canines. Canis Lupis. Wolves. Some people say that dogs, Canis lupis familiaris, still have the brain and instincts of wolves. I don’t know about that. I’m a dog, not a wolf, and I’m quite proud and happy with that fact. I have no desire to hunt small critters. I don’t want to sleep outside in the cold. I’m quite happy working for and taking care of my humans and letting them provide me with all that I need. They do a good job of that. I like having a relationship with these humans. I find them fascinating creatures. Endlessly entertaining. For me, life is all about that relationship. For me,  life is good.

At the library this week, we read a book about wolves.

IMG_0249Wolves
by Emily Gravett
published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers in 2006
the book was originally published in Great Britain in 2005 by Macmillan Children’s Books
This is a fiction book, but it has some good facts about wolves.

This was an interesting twist on a book about wolves. It begins with a rabbit. A rabbit who goes to the library and checks out a book about wolves. The reader gets to read the book with the rabbit. Pretty clever. Our reading kids thought it was pretty funny. We see a fat, cute bunny with scary, gnarly wolves looking over his shoulder! But we learned a lot about wolves. Wolves live in packs and can live just about anywhere. At the Arctic circle where it’s frighteningly cold, on the edges of towns, and in the forests. They have really sharp claws! Yikes! My Mom Person keeps my claws nice and trim so I don’t go around scratching folks. Those wolf claws are a nightmare! Wolves have bushy tails and dense fur with fleas and ticks. Ewwww. I have dense fur to keep me from getting waterlogged and cold when I’m swimming. And occasionally my fur has harbored a flea or two. Wolves have BIG teeth! Much bigger than dogs. And very powerful jaws. That’s for crunching critters in the wild.

IMG_0248And the big question for our little cute rabbit is — What do wolves eat? Ahhhh, yes. What do they eat? I wouldn’t eat a rabbit. Not one with fur on it. But would a wolf? You’ll have to read the book and see. I will tell you that a collected GASP! came from my reading buddies.

This was a pretty cute book. All my readers liked it and we even read it a second time just to study the pictures a little more.

Wolves was Ms Gravett’s 1st published book and it got it’s start as a school project. In 2005 Wolves was the recipient of the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Nestle Children’s Book Prize.

Ms Gravett is a fascinating young lady – you can find out more about her HERE and HERE.

A rather nice interview with Ms Gravett can be found at Kids’ Book Review HERE.

You can find out more about wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center HERE.

the Barkpost has an article with a list of differences between dogs and wolves. Interesting.
Psychology Today
has an interesting article about differences as well.

And here is a fascinating video about how wolves affect the world around them –

I wish you a howling good weekend!
Your wolf cousin
Rhythm
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World Giraffe Day

world giraffe daySaturday, June 21, the longest day of the year, has been designated as World Giraffe Day. A day to raise awareness of giraffe conservation. You can find out more at the Giraffe Conservation Foundation HERE.

Giraffes are pretty unique creatures. They have very long necks, even though they have the same number of vertebrae as a human person. Those bones are just really big! And even though those necks are really long, they’re too short to reach the ground!!

We have a facility here in Glen Rose, Tx called Fossil Rim Wildlife Center that is devoted to the conservation and preservation of endangered animals. It is a drive through park where you can see various animals in a natural environment. There are giraffes at Fossil Rim that will come visit you in your car. Giraffes are not on the endangered list, but their populations are unstable and are a concern. Fossil Rim is involved with the Species Survival Plan for giraffes and keeps a breeding herd. I did a post about Fossil Rim some time ago. You can check it out HERE.

So, in honor of World Giraffe Day, I have a beautiful book for you –

IMG_0254Zeraffa Giraffa
by Dianne Hofmeyr
illustrated by Jane Ray
published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books in 2014
this is a historical fiction book suitable for K and up

This is an incredibly beautiful book. Exquisitely detailed watercolors and a Rhythmic, lyrical text turn the tale of a small giraffe’s journey into magic. In 1824, a Great Pasha in Egypt decided to send a gift to the King of France. His choice for the perfect gift was a giraffe. Hunters were sent out to capture a baby. A young man was assigned as the baby’s caretaker. A journey to Paris was planned.

IMG_0255Zeraffa traveled by boat up the Nile river, across the Mediterranean Sea, up the coast to Marseilles, France. People in Europe had never seen a giraffe before! Zeraffa made for quite a spectacle and people came from far and wide to see her. After their long boat ride, the giraffe and her caretaker, Atir,  had to WALK 550 miles to get to Paris!! The entire trip took 2 1/2 years! That’s one long trip!! Whew! At the end of this book is a factual, historical write up of the story. You must check this book out!

And to go along with the picture book about Zeraffa, there is a non-fiction, adult type version as well.

img003Zarafa
A Giraffe’s True Story, from Deep in Africa to the Heart of Paris
by Michael Allin
published by Walker and Co. in 1998

My Mom Person read this one to me long ago. It is a truly fascinating tale. You can listen to an NPR interview with Mr Allin HERE.

You might also be able to find this interesting tale of raising a giraffe in Africa –

img005The home of the Melville’s in Kenya where they raised Daisy and established a giraffe sanctuary was turned into a hotel where you can stay and breakfast with giraffes! You can find out more about it HERE.

Another fun book about giraffes, with lots of interesting facts and information is

img004I hope that you can find a way to celebrate World Giraffe Day. If you happen to be in Texas you can come out to Fossil Rim and learn all about giraffes and even feed some! If you can’t make it to Fossil Rim, I’ll bet your local zoo might have some giraffes to visit. And grab one of these books and get carried away!

For your viewing pleasure —

Enjoy your weekend! and feed a giraffe! Or go view a giraffe. Or draw a giraffe. Or write a poem about a giraffe. Or pretend you’re a giraffe.

Your library friend on safari
Rhythm
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What’s a Liebster?

Ms Lorian Lipton at DogDaz (a blog all about life with her dogs Louise and Sofie and their cats – the Zoo) has honored me with an award!!! A Liebster Award!

liebsteraward_3lilapplesNow, I’m not sure exactly what a Liebster is so I looked it up. It seems that Liebster means beloved. That’s a nice thing. I also found a couple of fine ladies who put a lot of time and energy into researching the origins of this award. You might want to visit Lorraine Reguly at Wording Well and Sopphey Vance at Sopphey Says to find out more about the history and the rules. Basically it’s a way to connect with kind of new blogs or blogs without a big readership. A way to connect. That’s the key!

One of the rules of this award is that I have to answer some questions posed by Ms Lipton. So here goes!

1. What is your favorite hiding place?
I guess that depends on how you interpret that question. I like to hide my tennis ball under the bookcase or under a storage chest. My humans have a hard time finding them there.

IMG_4068I like to hide myself behind the curtains by the big glass window/doors. Then I can watch the world outside and no one can see me.

IMG_30672. If you could talk to your Human for 5 minutes in their language, what would you say?
That’s an easy one! My Mom Person and I speak the same language! We talk all the time! She’s a pretty good listener. The Dad Person speaks pretty good dog as well. He plays a good game of hide and seek!

3. What is your most favorite food?
I don’t know that I have a favorite. I am rather fond of french fries and banana chips.

IMG_24814. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
There’s no place like home!!!!

IMG_49765. Do you have a hero?
I think that my Mom Person is my greatest hero and my biggest fan. She’s my Wonder Woman!

img0026. Do you have a bedtime?
HA! That’s a funny one! I wish I had a bedtime. I wish the Mom Person had a bedtime. I have a hard time getting her to go to bed so that I can get some good sleep.

7. What makes you laugh?
Life makes me laugh! 😀 Except when the Mom Person up and leaves. 😦 But then JOY, JOY when she returns!!!  😀 Life is Good!

IMG_44378. What do you do that makes others laugh?
It seems that most everything I do makes people laugh! I guess I’m a real comedienne!

IMG_02969. Does anything scare you?
Snakes!!!!

IMG_0161
10. Do you know how to dance?
Do I know how to dance?! My name is Rhythm! Yes! I can sing and dance – and I love to sing and dance!  🙂

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Now the rules say that I am supposed to nominate 10 blogs to pass this award on to. But it’s hard to choose. So what I’d like to do instead is ask you to comment after this post and tell me some random fact about yourself. Then visit Ms Lipton and her little Zoo by clicking HERE.

Then look over at my sidebar and find the section that lists Friends in the Neighborhood and stop in to visit some of these folks. They are all good, friendly folks. You might find some humans and you might find some canines. It will be a treasure hunt!

Thank you Ms Lipton for including me amongst the beloved! I certainly love visiting your zoo!

I wish you a week full of beloved friends and family!

img219Your Liebster friend
Rhythm
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The Adventures of a Chicken

IMG_0010

We recently got some new baby chicks. They came in the mail. Little baby chicks chirping in the box. It must have been quite an adventure for these tiny things. I wonder what they were thinking in that box. With my big eyes and nose staring at them.

I happen to like chickens. (I like to EAT chicken!) But right now I’m talking about real live chickens that chirp and squawk and have feathers. Feathers do not taste good.

IMG_0011

I like to watch real live chickens strutting around and doing their pecking  and digging  and flapping. I find them amusing. I often lay in the shade of a nice tree and watch them scratching around in the dirt or chasing a grasshopper and I wonder what kinds of things they might dream about. What kinds of imaginations can be found in those tiny brains?

There happens to be an amusing little book by Kate DiCamillo about a chicken with a big imagination.

IMG_0129Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken
by Kate DiCamillo
illustrated by Harry Bliss
published by Joanna Cotler Books
(an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers)
in 2008
Fiction

Suitable for 1st grade and up

Themes – chickens, adventure, “There’s no place like home.”

Louise is a plump white chicken with big eyes and a big imagination. She looks like any other chicken on her farm. But she happens to have a real longing for some adventure. So one day she heads out in search of some. She finds LOTS of adventure. Maybe more than she bargains for. She has a scary time on a pirate ship, a heart stopping adventure with a circus, and a narrow escape from an exotic bazaar. Through all of her adventures she exhibits great naivete and is blessed with the greatest of luck! She also finds that she misses her cozy home and longs for her sister hens.

IMG_0131This was a really fun, swash-buckling book to read! It’s a big picture book with 56 pages. And it has chapters! Four! Each adventure is a new chapter. It also has some interesting words like fricasse and auditions and aerialist and “mon cheri” and mundane and coq au vin. There is some violence and some scary moments that make your heart beat a little faster. This story is anything but mundane! And it is hilarious! My readers loved it! We loved the story and the illustrations. Ms DiCamillo and Mr Bliss are quite an incredible duo!

My reader kids talked about what kinds of adventures they would have if they could. They all liked the idea of pirate ships. One wanted to go diving in the ocean with sharks! One wanted to race cars and one wanted to go on a safari. No one thought that they were brave enough to just leave home and go find adventure all on their own. They all thought Louise was very brave to do that. I just thought she was a little crazy.

There is an interesting interview with Ms DiCamillo on the Amazon page for this book. Visit it HERE. You’ll have to scroll down the page to find the interview.

Harper Collins has some teacher activities HERE.

Kids could make a paper plate chicken like these —

and take them on some adventures!

I leave you with a little entertainment – (I think that this is what my chickens do at night) —

Now skip on over to Susanna Hill’s blog HERE to check out the list of Perfect Picture Books that she keeps. You could make a reading adventure of it!!!!!

Be safe in all your adventures!
Your chicken loving friend
Rhythm

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Thunderstorm

DSCN0171Whew! We just had quite the exciting Monday morning! It was raining cats and dogs here. I was waiting for tennis balls to drop from the sky, but no such luck.  😦  It was quite nasty outside. The wind was howling, the thunder was barking, and the lightening was tearing up the sky. And the Mom Person was dancing and singing Yahooooo!!

We happen to have the PERFECT Book for a day like this! ANOTHER Arthur Geisert book!!

IMG_0183Thunderstorm
by Arthur Geisert
published by Enchanted Lion Books in 2013

This is another fascinating Arthur Geisert masterpiece! An incredible amount of detail is found in his hand colored etchings. The “story” follows a thunderstorm as it moves across the farmlands, almost minute by minute, throughout the afternoon and into the evening. We see all the havoc that is wrought on the landscape by this terrible storm. Lightening strikes and wind and even a tornado! We see the farmers trying to prepare for the coming storm and we see all the little critters in their burroughs under the ground and in the trees. Soooo many raccoons!!!! Aaacckkk! One thing that struck me while studying the pictues is that none of the people seemed at all distressed by all that was going on around them. They seemed to be just taking it all in stride. And after the storm moved on, all the neighbors gathered together to help out with clean up and repairs. There are no words in this book other than notations at the bottom of pages telling the time. And no words are needed!

IMG_0184For more about Mr Geisert and the making of Thunderstorm visit HERE.

And an NPR story about the book HERE.

Now Mr Geisert welcomes you to his studio! This video is a little long, but very amusing.

I wish you clear skies and bright mornings!
Your library friend
Rhythm
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Doodle for Google

I just discovered that Google has a contest every year to create a Google Doodle to go with a particular theme. For the 7th annual event, Google asked kids from grades K-12 to come up with an invention that would make the world a better place. They had 100,000 submissions!!!! The winner this year is 11 year old Audrey Zhang from New York.

You must see this, if you haven’t seen or read about it yet —

And for more about the contest —

https://www.google.com/doodles/doodle-4-google-2014-us-winner

There are sure some awesome, incredible young folks out there!!!!! Wow!

I wish you a Bright, Sparkling Monday!
Rhythm
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The One and Only Ivan

IMG_3871You may, or may not, know that I have a thing for gorillas. I have spoken of them on several occasions. I grew up with a pet gorilla that kept me safe at night, and I like to read books about gorillas.

I heard about this book, The One and Only Ivan, some time ago. It won the Newbery Medal in 2013. I heard about how fabulous it was and how sad it was. Recently I got to find out for myself. The Mom Person decided it was time to have a quiet sit down and read the book.

IMG_0159The One and Only Ivan
by Katherine Applegate
illustrations by Patricia Castelao
published by Harper in 2012

This is a fiction book based on a real gorilla. It’s the story of Ivan, a gorilla caught in the wild as a baby, who grew up as a pet wearing clothes and being treated as a human baby, then spent 27 years living in a cage in a shopping mall. Yes, 27 years. In a shopping mall. With no grass or trees or other gorillas. And not even a chance to go shopping!

The story is told in Ivan’s voice. This gives some real power to the tale. Ivan is a pretty easygoing fellow and doesn’t complain about the life that he has been given. He has friends in the mall circus – an elephant named Stella, a little homeless dog named Bob, and a little girl named Julia. Stella is an elderly elephant who performs in the mall circus every day. Bob likes to sleep on Ivan’s belly. And Julia is a budding artist who gave Ivan his first crayon. Ivan loves drawing and creating pictures. His keeper sells his artwork at one of the stores in the mall.

One day a new baby elephant arrives named Ruby. Ruby was taken from her home in the wild and brings new vision to the mall inhabitants. She causes Ivan to take a more realistic look at his surroundings and his life. This all leads to an interesting conclusion that I won’t tell you about – you’ll have to read the book!

IMG_0158This was a fantastic book! I loved hearing Ivan’s voice in my head. There were some sad parts in the book, but ultimately it was not a sad story, it was a story of hope and friendship and found joy. Ivan was a gentle soul with a big heart and great strength of character. He is my new super hero!

Everyone should read this book. Again and again.

The real Ivan lived out the last years of his life at the Atlanta Zoo. He died in 2012. He was 50 years old! You can find out more about him at the Atlanta Zoo website HERE.

Ms Applegate did an interview with NPR that you can listen to-or read if you prefer- HERE.

You can find out more about the book at the official The One and Only Ivan website HERE.

And a fun video brought to my attention by writersideup —

A book trailer done by librarian Julie Hembree –

I wish you a weekend full of joy and friends!
Your library friend
Rhythm

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Pigs From A to Z

photo 1The Mom Person took Electra/Dogzilla to her Puppy Kindergarten class the other evening. I don’t go along for these events. I’ve been there done that. BUT, they also went to my favorite shopping spot – Half-Price Books! Not fair!

IMG_0145This puppy does not appreciate a good book! But she was nice and brought me a surprise. A real treasure, in fact!!!!!

IMG_0149Another Arthur Geisert alphabet book!!!!! (You might remember that I recently did a post about another ABC book by Mr Geisert – Country Road ABC.) AND, this one is signed by Mr Geisert!!!!

To the student Friends of
Fairview Park Regional Library
Arthur Geisert
V / XVI / MCMLXXXIX

Is that not awesome?! I have no idea where that library is, but I’m sure glad the book found it’s way to our Half-Price Books! And I don’t know how Ms Electra managed to find this treasure – she says it smelled like pigs, so she thought it might taste good. Then she remembered that I liked that name. She might turn out ok after all.

Soooo –
Pigs From A to Z
by Arthur Geisert
published by Houghton Mifflin Co. in 1986

 This is a most incredible ABC book! Besides being an ABC book, it is a story and a puzzle! The story is about some little piglets building a tree house. Pigs building a tree house! Just imagine! In each illustration of each letter, there are hidden letters and hidden piglets. Each picture has seven piglets, five forms of the given letter, and one form of the letter that comes before and after the given letter. Sooo – for the letter R, there would be five Rs and one letter S and one letter Q. And they are all hidden in the fabulous detailed etchings created by Mr Geisert.

IMG_0153I had to concentrate really hard to find everything. Those little piggies hide really good! I tried to get Dogzilla to help, but she was more interested in looking for hidden cheerios in our blanket.

I hope that you can find this book and check it out! You’ll be glad that you did!

Now for some entertainment! I present — Nellie the pig!!

And a little more from Nellie —

Wishing you a week full of surprises and treasures!
Rhythm

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