When Pigasso Met Mootisse

My big little brother, Walker, is a pretty laid-back, unassuming kind of fellow. Rather quiet. A listener rather than a talker. I’ve never, ever heard him bark. Whine and snore, but never bark. He happens to be an artist. An artist of great renown around these parts. He paints abstract things using his tail and his feet and puts all his happy thoughts into his work. On occasion he has done exhibitions at school and art club meetings and once at the hospital.

I have talked about Walker and his painting before. You might remember. Or might not. You can see more HERE and HERE and HERE.

boys and walker may2011 011Sometimes when he visits a classroom he takes some art books with him to share and encourage some artsy conversation. We recently came across a great book by Ms Nina Laden (who wrote the great book The Night I Followed the Dog)!!!

IMG_2416When Pigasso met Mootisse
by Nina Laden
published by Chronicle Books in 1998

a fiction book suitable for kindergarten and up

Themes – art, friendship, conflict resolution

It begins –
There once was a young pig named Pigasso. While the other piglets rolled in the mud and played games, Pigasso painted. He painted anything and everything, and in a most unusual way.

This is a tale of two artists – a pig named Pigasso who painted in a “most unusual way” and a bull named Mootisse who painted “big, bold, bright pictures.” They both became very famous in their communities. (Much like my Walker.) They became art superstars and everyone wanted their paintings and their photographs and all that stuff that seems to come with being famous. They both decided they needed to get away and find a peaceful place to paint. They ended up finding farms right across the street from each other!!! And they became good friends.

IMG_2417But after awhile they started getting in fights over their work! Criticizing and complaining and calling each other names. (I’ve seen friends at school do this to each other. A very sad thing. 😦 ) They put up a fence right down the middle of their road! Silly artists. Then they began to miss each other. They got lonely. But they were pig-headed and bull-headed and couldn’t bring themselves to kiss and make up. But they did resolve the problem in a most unique way! With paint! Artwork really can speak volumes. And you will have to SEE how they resolved their differences when you check out this book!!!

This tale is kind of a caricature of two REAL artists – Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse and at the end of the book there is a brief biography of these two. I’ve seen quite a bit about Mr Matisse in the media lately with books like henris scissors and

matisse. Those would be some good books to read along with this one.

After reading a bit the kids in the class got to do some painting of their own! They did some fingerpainting, kind of like Walker, and kind of like Mr Pigasso and Mr Mootisse!!

IMG_2336They sure had a great time!!!! And I don’t think there was any fighting!

For a list of PERFECT PICTURE BOOKS and accompanying resources please visit Ms Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog HERE!

Now it’s your turn! Go out this weekend and let your feelings fly! Paint a masterpiece!!
Your tail waggin’ friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

Advertisements

Edmund Pickle Chin

I’ve got a fun little book to share with you today!! It’s a true story about a lucky little donkey who was rescued from a bad place and carried off to a wonderful place called Evermay Farm. Evermay Farm is a Heart Place that was established by Susan April Elwood to provide a safe, happy home for abused animals. This lucky little donkey was the first of many to arrive.

IMG_2271Edmund Pickle Chin
A Donkey Rescue Story
by Clara Bowman-Jahn and Susan April Elwood
illustrated by Lynne Bendoly
published by eTreasures Publishing in 2014

based on a True Story!

It begins
The frightened donkey snorted and shivered.
Whenever anyone came near him, he would back away. Not so long ago he was treated poorly and he was confused.

We took this book to school with us and my readers fell in love with Edmund Pickle Chin. Is that not a funny name?! It seems to fit him though. The kids liked that this tale was based on a true story about a real donkey. Ryan particularly liked the cover with that happy donkey face, and wanted to read it himself to the class.

Copy of IMG_2300That was certainly alright by me!!!! And he did a fine job with it, too! This is the story of Edmund Pickle Chin and his transition from shy, scared, confused donkey to happy, self-assured ambassador for the farm. It took a lot of time and patience for Ms Elwood to win his trust. But she seems to be filled with love and patience. Ryan is a farm boy and he knows about patience and earning the trust of an animal. When other animals started arriving at Evermay, Edmund knew how to make them feel welcome. The kids really liked how kind Edmund was, taking care of the goats and rabbits and ponies that came to live with him. This is a story all about big hearts and being kind.

IMG_2273We really liked the illustrations. That Edmund sure has a winning smile!! At the end of the book there are a few real pictures of the real Edmund and some of his friends at Evermay Farm. You can find out more about Evermay Farm at their website HERE.

One of the authors, Ms Clara Bowman-Jahn has a fine blog of her own that you can visit HERE. She does book reviews and writer talk. You might want to go visit!

You can find out more about the illustrator, Lynne Bendoly, HERE on Ms Bowman-Jahn’s blog.

Did you know that donkeys are used as guard animals to take care of sheep and goats? There are lots of sheep and goats around where I live and most of those herds have donkeys that stay with them and watch out for predators like coyotes and mountain lions. We have some donkeys that live with our neighbors and visit us over our fence. They don’t have any sheep or goats. Just us to visit with.

IMG_2387Here’s a little lesson all about donkeys —

Spread some kindness today and keep smiling!
Your wagging, smiling friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

Safe and Sound

Yesterday was National Seeing Eye Dog Day. We celebrated this day by visiting a third grade classroom and educating them a bit about guide dogs. Most of the kids in Glen Rose know something about working dogs from knowing me and Walker. They all know our tales of being guide dog pups in training. All the kids who knew me as a pup have moved on to college now. I’m into another bunch of young folks altogether! New ones to educate.

Copy of IMG_1536So we took Electra along in her official coat that says she’s a guide dog pup. We took her coat off while in the classroom so the kids could pet. No petting allowed when in coat! Just like a working dog in harness! NO PETTING! And we took a great little book about a working guide dog to help us tell our tale.

IMG_2353Safe and Sound
by Beth Finke
illustrated by Anthony Alex LeTourneau
published by Blue Marlin Publications in 2007

Theme – Guide dogs

This book is suitable for all ages, young and old. 3rd grade was perfect!

It begins –
Look at me! See the harness strapped to my back? I’m called a Seeing Eye dog. The harness is my uniform, and whenever I’m wearing it, I’m working. I guide my partner, Beth, where she needs to go.

This is Hanni’s story of her job keeping Beth safe in a world full of obstacles. Traffic, crowds of people, holes in the sidewalk, garbage cans, tree branches. Whew!!! It’s a crazy world out there and a guide dog must be ever vigilant!

IMG_2356This book presents a great picture of what it’s like to be a working dog. It’s about the job at hand, but the story is also about the relationship between Beth and Hanni. How they had to learn to trust each other because both their lives depended on that trust. How that trust was the foundation for a deep love. It’s a lovely tale.

At the end of the book there are some factual notes from Hanni about her life from pup to working guide dog. And some notes from Beth about how she became blind from juvenile diabetes and what life is like as a blind person.

There is also a list of references for further reading.
This book is also available in Braille. To learn more about Braille visit this website HERE. You might learn how to write your name in Braille!

The Learning to Give website has some good ideas for ways to use this book in a classroom. You can visit them HERE.

We had a great discussion in our classroom about how working dogs help their handlers. What senses the dogs use to do their job. You could let kids pretend they were blind and try to maneuver around the classroom. And then let someone else be their guide dog.

If there is a guide dog school near you, you might pay them a visit. Maybe even volunteer! Southeastern Guide Dogs has puppy hugging days. And volunteers come in to walk the dogs that are in training. You can find a list of guide dog schools HERE. This is the website for the National Federation for the Blind. You can find out more about blindness there as well.

For more about juvenile diabetes visit HERE.

This is PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY. For a list of more Perfect Picture Books visit Ms Susanna Hill’s blog – you’ll be glad you did!!

A guide dog faces all kinds of obstacles! —

Have a Safe and Sound weekend!!!
Your friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

 

National Seeing Eye Dog Day

img431Today, January 29, is National Seeing Eye Dog Day. A day to recognize the JOY that is a working guide dog. A seeing eye dog becomes the eyes for someone who cannot see. They become an unbeatable team!

Michael Jernigan_Brittani-web

Michael Jernigan and his guide dog Brittani

It all started with a serendipitous intertwining of a few forward thinking individuals. A lot of veterans came away from the terror that was World War I, blinded and in need of assistance. A school was set up in Germany to train German Shepherd Dogs to assist these veterans. An American lady, Ms Dorothy Eustis, happened to be in Switzerland and learned about this German school. She was so impressed that in 1927 she wrote an article for “The Saturday Evening Post” about these “seeing eye dogs.” And she began her own training school. In America, a blind man, Mr Morris Frank was read the article by his father and he decided that a seeing eye dog was just what he needed! He contacted Ms Eustis to see if he could come train with her and receive one of her dogs. He promised to come back to the United States and teach others.

morris-frank-and-buddy-2In 1928 Buddy, the German Shepherd, became the first seeing eye dog in the United States and Mr Frank was the first blind person in the US to use a seeing eye dog! And in 1929 The Seeing Eye Guide Dog School was established in Nashville, Tennesseee. In 1966 the school moved to its present location, Morristown, New Jersey. It is the oldest existing guide dog school in the US.

I came from a Guide Dog school, myself. Southeastern Guide Dogs in Palmetto, Florida.

img338That ultimately was not my destiny, but we stay connnected to the school and continue to raise pups for them. Our little Dogzilla, Electra, is one such pup. And we also like to educate folks about guide dogs.

jolly last day 004This is our friend Mr Allen Preston and his guide dog Jolly doing a presentation at our school. Jolly was a pup that we raised for Southeastern Guide Dogs and ultimately for Mr Preston.

For more information about Guide Dogs visit The National Association of Guide Dog Users website HERE.

For more information about blindness visit the National Federation of the Blind website HERE.

To find out what day to day life is like for a working guide dog team visit Jo and Wiley at their blog Daily Life of a Guide Dog HERE.

Find out more about Michael Jernigan HERE and HERE.

And here is Mr Morris Frank in his own words —

I hope that you will do a little research today and learn what you can about Seeing Eye Dogs and the kind of difference they make in a blind person’s life.

Wishing you a day of thankful independence!
Your friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

 

The Legend of Dust Bunnies

I LOVE my mail lady!!! Sometime before Christmas she brought me a slew of mail!! And some of that mail was books!! She must really like me. But the books weren’t really from the mail lady. She was the go-between. The books came from friends far and wide. Well, I don’t think the friends are particularly wide. Anyway, I received The Legend of Dust Bunnies from Ms Michelle Eastman. Annie’s Special Day and Edmund Pickle Chin from Ms Clara Bowman-Jahn. And Latke, the Lucky Dog from Ms Sue Heavenrich. Aren’t I the lucky dog?!!

IMG_2307We put all of these fine books in my school book bag this week and shared them with my friends at school. Now, I’ll share them with you!

Today I’ll tell you about the Dust Bunnies!! We happen to have quite a colony of these critters at our house! I thought I knew all about those Bunnies!

IMG_2285The Legend of Dust Bunnies
by Michelle R. Eastman
illustrated by Kevin Richter
published by Byway Press in 2014

My readers learn about “blurbs” in their reading classes. The blurb on the back of this book reads –
Join the Dust Fairies on their messy nighttime adventures, and discover how one misfit fairy uses his talent to create something legendary. His story will have families looking at dust bunnies in a new light and may actually give kids an excuse NOT to clean their rooms.

My readers were sure ready to find that excuse!!

It begins –
The Legend of Dust Bunnies
began long ago,
in a house just like this one,
and here’s how it goes ….

Well, let me tell you! This tale is enlightening! Did you know that in the dark of night, little fairies fly into your house and scatter dust and crumbs and grime all over?! I knew it wasn’t me!! They seem to have a grand ole time flitting around your house spreading stuff for vacuum cleaners to scarf up!

IMG_2282But what about those Dust Bunnies? Well, according to this legend, there once was a Dust Fairy named Artie who didn’t like spreading the crumbs around. He liked to collect hair and fur and lint instead. The other Fairies made fun of him. He was kind of like the Rudolph the Reindeer whose friends wouldn’t let him join in any games. So Artie decided to gather all his fiber goodies and make his very own friend. And – Voila! – a Dust Bunny was born!

IMG_2286Now all the other fairies were really impressed with Artie’s little bunny. So, of course, they all had to have one as well! And now ALL Dust Fairies carry around their little bunnies while they’re spreading their grime! And sometimes Dust Bunnies get left behind. 😦 I guess those Dust Fairies aren’t too careful with their treasures. So, if you happen to find any Dust Bunnies around your house, you need to treat them with care! A Dust Fairy will be looking for it, and I don’t know what that Fairy would do if she couldn’t find her Bunny!

My readers liked this book a lot. First, we talked about what a Legend is. We had quite a discussion about that one. Is a legend true? The same thing as a myth? Fiction? or Non-fiction? We decided that a legend is a story that can’t be proven to be true, but is usually accepted as being true. We accept this legend as being true!! The pictures are pretty cool – bright and colorful. Those fairies are a bit wild looking! The tale is told in Rhyme – and I always like some Rhythm in my stories. And we are all going to be on the lookout for Dust Bunnies now!!

My Mom Person made a Bunny once. Not out of my hair that she collected, but from goat hair that she collected. She got a whole big pile of that goat hair (I think it’s called mohair). (We once had a goat named Mo. I guess his hair really was Mohair.) Then she washed that stuff and combed it and spun it on her spinning wheel and made some yarn out of it. And knitted it into a bunny!

IMG_5822I think that Artie used a little more magic than My Mom Person. There weren’t any spinning wheels mentioned in this story.

You can visit Ms Eastman at her website HERE and find out more about the Dust Bunnies.

The next time you pull out that vacuum cleaner – STOP! and THINK! about what might be under your bed – or couch —

And use that vacuum on your dog instead!

Your furry, hairy, vacuum loving friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

That Summer

There’s a word that I’ve been hearing a lot lately. A bad word. Cancer. It seems to be everywhere. There are two young people in our small town who are fighting courageous battles right now. I’m hearing of lots of prayer requests and prayer circles – sending lots of  loving energy into the world. My cousin, Romeo, has cancer. All of my special humans are having discussions about the best way to deal with this. And just today I found out that another canine friend has left us for the land of eternal tennis balls. Cancer. I suppose that everyone everywhere has a story to tell about Cancer. I have a book to share. A sad book, but a hopeful, uplifting kind of sad.

IMG_2287That Summer
by Tony Johnson
illustrated by Barry Moser
published by Harcourt, Inc. in 2002

Theme – cancer, grief, family, quilts

A fiction book suitable for 1st grade and up

It begins –
That summer began like always,
with hoots and shouts, all of us running
into the sun,
freed from school,
over the porch,
over the lawn,
down the hollows,
Joey and I ran
like there was no tomorrow.

For these two brothers, the summer begins like every other summer – fun in the sun!!! But soon they are faced with Joey getting sick. And then, too soon, they are faced with Joey dying. “What do you do when ….. your heart hurts with grieving?” You cry and you dream walk. And you start to cherish every moment.

The boys’ Gram starts a quilt. And Joey decides to make one, too. A quilt that will piece together all the things that he loves. An owl, a fishing pole, a lightening bug, a baseball glove. Throughout the summer, the two brothers and the family and their friends, find ways to capture JOY. Ways to cheat that bad word – Cancer. That word is never actually mentioned in the book. But at one point Joey loses his hair and his brother shaves his own head. The youngsters in our town who are doing their best to cheat Cancer are dealing with those kinds of things too.

IMG_2290In the end, Joey does die. He leaves behind some bursting hearts. But also a quilt – stitched with love.

My readers had a bit of a hard time with this book. Some of them know the kids at school with cancer and the story was a little too close for them. But it opened some avenues for talk – and that’s a good thing. It’s a beautifully poetic book with some incredible, emotion-filled illustrations by Mr Moser.

In my younger days I visited a Children’s Hospital. There were lots of youngsters there fighting their personal battles with cancer and other illnesses. I sooo admired those kids and their families. They are all heroes in my book.

You can find out more about Cancer issues HERE at the American Cancer Society website.
And there are some good links and resources at Kids Cancer Network HERE.

You might want to participate in a local Relay for Life event. You can get more information about that HERE.

HERE is a fun idea for a friendship quilt wall display. And another fun Quilt idea HERE at Teach Preschool.

And for some info about canine Cancer check out 2 Million Dogs HERE. A few years ago, a young man had a dog with cancer and he decided to go on a walk to generate awareness for canine cancer. So he and his 2 Great Pyrenees dogs went on a journey from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts. And that journey has blossomed into a HUGE deal!!

And now after you’ve dried your eyes, you might want to go visit Susanna Hill’s blog where you’ll find a huge list of PERFECT PICTURE BOOKS and lots of resources to go with!

I’ll leave you with a song of hope from Mr Zach Sobiech –

I hope your tomorrows are bright and sunny!
Your ever hopeful and tail waggin’ friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

A Gift of Nothing

It’s almost Christmas!!! What will you be finding under your Christmas tree? Exactly what you always wanted? A surprise? Christmas is full of Wonder and Mystery. It’s all a little beyond my small canine brain, but I know that it’s a time of year full of excitement and activity. There is tension in the air all around. Some good and some not so good. The Mom Person always seems to be scurrying around here and there. The house fills with boxes and paper and gifts and cards and all kinds of Christmassy stuff all over the house. We see a lot more of the mail lady, bringing packages and more packages. It all makes my head spin. I want to tell everyone to slow down and chill!! Settle. Like my Mom Person is always saying to Electra. Just settle. Quiet.

I shared a couple of little quiet books with some 2nd graders recently. It was a nice quiet morning listening to happy voices. Both books are by Mr Patrick McDonnell. He, and the characters in these books are quite famous in the funny papers. You might have seen his comic strip – MUTTS. It’s a favorite around here. And Mr McDonnell has created several fabulous picture books as well. I have mentioned a couple of them HERE and HERE.

IMG_1953First book up is
MUTTS
A Shtinky Little Christmas
by Patrick McDonnell

Published by Andrews McMeel in 2012

This is a very small book – as you might can tell from the pictures. My Mom Person has a big thing for little books. This one is written much like a comic strip. It’s a story about the stars of the MUTTS comic strip, Earl – a dog, and his best friend, Mooch – a cat. In this tale, Mooch finds a new friend in the garbage can. A little lost kitty. They decide to call the kitty Shtinky Puddin and they go in search of the owner. When it starts to snow, they all three head back to Mooch’s house. Much mayhem ensues after this. They all get lost in a blizzard and found by SANTA!! Then the owner is found and rewards are rewarded and everyone lives happily ever after!

IMG_1954It’s a heart-pounding tale! With tension and mystery and OH My! what is going to happen?! All in this tiny little book! It’s all about being a good friend and taking care of each other. It’s a lovely tale with a big heart. A Christmas tale of giving and loving.

IMG_1950The 2nd book is
The Gift of Nothing
by Patrick McDonnell
published by Little, Brown and Company in 2005

It’s a special day. It might be Christmas, or a birthday, or Wednesday. We just are told that it’s a special day. And Mooch wants to give his best friend Earl a gift. But Earl already has everything that he needs. What do you get someone who has everything?! That can be a big problem.

IMG_1951Mooch decides that if Earl has everything – Mooch will get him Nothing! And he goes in search of Nothing, which is actually very hard to find! His pursuit is quite hilarious and profound. But eventually he gets a big box and fills it with Nothing and presents the present to Earl. Earl is quite surprised by all his Nothing!! So now they both have Nothing except their friendship. And that is Everything! I don’t think my little readers quite “got” this story, but they thought it was kind of funny and cute. I thought it was brilliant!!

So, you should go check out both of these little books and spend some of your holiday time doing Nothing with your family and friends. Taking some time to be still and quiet.

And here’s a little treat for you – It seems that The Gift of Nothing has been made into a play!! How cool is that! And if you happen to be in New York you can go see it at the Kennedy Center! Right now!!

Here’s a little preview for you –

 

 I hope that you find a bit of Nothing under your tree this Christmas!
Your wishful friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck. That’s an interesting word. Wonderstruck. The dictionary says it means – struck with wonder; feeling admiration, surprise, etc. I like this word. I don’t believe that I have ever been struck before. But I like the idea of being struck with wonder. I think that I am Wonderstruck over Mr Brian Selznick. His books fill me with admiration and surprise. We’ve been kind of on a roll lately with his books. The latest to cross our threshold is called Wonderstruck.

IMG_1934Wonderstruck
by Brian Selznick
published by Scholastic Press in 2011

suitable for grades 3-7

themes – deaf culture, museums, chasing your dreams

it begins –
(The book actually begins with several pages of illustration of wolves running toward the reader.)
The first text begins on page 16 –
Something hit Ben Wilson and he opened his eyes. The wolves had been chasing him again and his heart was pounding.

This is another really BIG book by Mr Selznick. 637 pages! Another really BIG mostly picture book that can be read in a short amount of time. I’ve noticed that a lot of my readers in 3rd and 4th grade like to check out BIG books. I think they like the look and feel of BIG books. But most BIG books are a little much for some of them to handle. Mr Selznick’s BIG books are delightful! Lots of great illustrations that are filled with story.

This book – Wonderstruck – is actually TWO stories being told at the same time! One in text and one in pictures! Both stories kind of parallel each other throughout the book, but then in the end they intersect. Ben Wilson’s story begins in words in Gunflint Lake, Minnesota in 1977. His mom has recently died, he doesn’t know anything about his father, and he is living with his aunt and uncle. He was born deaf in one ear.

IMG_1936Rose Kincaid’s story begins in pictures in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1927. She seems to be obsessed with an actress and has a scrapbook of stories and pictures about her. It turns out that Rose is deaf and unhappy. Ben gets struck by lightening and becomes totally deaf. Both kids run away from home and venture to New York City. Rose, in search of her mother and brother. Ben in search of his unknown father. Their lives intersect at the Natural History Museum. And that’s as much as I’m going to tell you!! You’ll have to solve the mystery yourself!

This book is a thrilling mystery filled with Wonder. The wonder of a museum and all that is in it. The wonder of the universe. The wonder of being deaf and learning to get along in a hearing world. The wonder of friendship. The wonder of finding yourself.

Mr. Brian Selznick is a Wonder.

Ben kept a treasure box full of wonders that he found around him. Rocks and bones and fossils, twigs, a baby tooth, a game piece, My Mom Person is a collector like this. She doesn’t have a special box – she just kind of makes little shrines all over the house. But I think that kids might like to make a treasure box like Ben’s. What kinds of things would go in your treasure box? Do you keep a box like this?

A trip to a Natural History Museum would be in order after reading this book. And a planetarium! I’ve been to a Natural History Museum. There were BIG animals behind glass that were kind of scary. They looked real, but they could sure stand really still! I’m sure that there is probably a Natural History Museum in your area. If you would like to learn more about the one in New York that is talked about in the book you can visit their website HERE.

HERE is a link to information and teacher resources about American Sign Language.

This happens to be Friday. Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday. It’s USUALLY PPBF. But today, Ms Hill is announcing the winners of her writing contest. So you might want to venture over her way and check that out.

This is a song that plays a big part in Ben’s story. It was his mom’s favorite song and Ben liked to pretend that Major Tom was his dad. The song is Space Oddity by David Bowie — I think that Ben may have been a little odd.

I hope that you find Wonder in this holiday season.
Your Wonderstruck friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

The Perfect Christmas

Well, The Great Thanksgiving Feast of 2014 has come and gone. I hope that yours was PERFECT. Lots of PERFECT turkey and carrots and sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Lots of PERFECT fun with your family and friends. Maybe a PERFECT game of tennis? or football? Full tummies and smiles on faces. PERFECT?

Well, as I said – that’s all come and gone. It’s history. It’s now time for —-

IMG_1850The Perfect Christmas
by Eileen Spinelli
illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi
published by Christy Ottaviano Books with Henry Holt and Co. in 2011

suitable for ALL ages!

Themes – Christmas, family, traditions

It begins –
Abigail Archer’s family
is perfect as can be.
They drive into the countryside
To chop down their Christmas tree.

Back around that PERFECT Thanksgiving time, I reviewed another book by Ms Spinelli titled The PERFECT Thanksgiving! You can check out that post by clicking on that title – right there! And guess what?! Ms Spinelli herself actually read my review! Wag my tail!!!! And she thought that I might ought to read the companion book – The Perfect Christmas! Of course I needed to do that very thing!! So she had her publisher send me my very own copy of The Perfect Christmas! Now isn’t that PERFECT?! What a nice lady, right?! I think that she deserves a standing ovation! I’m standing! How bout you?!

Well, ok, now, back to the book!

The Perfect Christmas brings us the same families that we met in The Perfect Thanksgiving. The Archer family is still Martha Stewart PERFECT. Candles on the mantel and bowls full of silver balls! The narrator’s family is still eclectically PERFECT with macaroni reindeer and dented fruitcake tins! Abigail’s family enjoys PERFECT Christmas treats and sweets – they even have a poodle that eats on a PERFECT Christmas mat! While the narrator’s Christmas cookies would “bounce to Mexico”

IMG_1852Each family has their own unique style and traditions. And each family has their own version of a PERFECT Christmas! This little book shows, in a big way, that what makes Christmas PERFECT is the love that is shared with family and friends. That’s what it’s all about! A PERFECT Christmas book to share!!

My family is very much like the narrator’s family. A bit crazy. But PERFECT in all the ways that matter to them – and me! It’s a BIG family and they like to party and have a good time. They always have a theme for their get-togethers. They dress up and have appropriate food and gifts. I just wag my tail and laugh. My favorite part is the cookie bake. I get to help with clean-up! I love being a janitor!

IMG_1833What kind of traditions does your family have? Do you have a “real” tree that smells like the woods? Or do you have one that comes out of a box? Do you have fancy decorations that all match like Martha Stewart? Or do you have homemade macaroni reindeer? Do you sing Christmas songs? Do you go to church? Maybe you don’t celebrate Christmas at all!

If you are inclined to make your own PERFECT Christmas Cookies, HERE is Martha Stewart’s recipe!

And HERE is a link to some fantastic ornaments that you can make with the kids!

Whatever and However you celebrate – I hope it’s PERFECT in every way!

Whatever you might be doing this time of year
I wish you GREAT JOY!

JOYYour JOYful friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311

Giving Thanks

It is Thanksgiving Week. A time for giving Thanks! I have a lot to be thankful for, but right now I’d like to give a BIG THANKS to a couple of good blogging buddies.

Every now and then I receive awards for various things. I have been honored for my volunteer work, which I am honored to do. I have received certificates of appreciation from various facilities where I have visited to help patients and spread JOY. I have won some ribbons and some certificates for my grace in the Rally Obedience ring. And I have received a few awards from the blogging community.

IMG_1739I recently was blessed with The Lovely Blog Award from TWO of my blogging friends. I think this award is kind of a pat on the back. It’s nice to think that folks appreciate my attempts at beautification here in BlogLand.

0407c-onelovelyblogawardCricketmuse is a LOVELY blog devoted to books and reading and writing and sometimes other interesting musings. It’s a nice place to visit. I suggest that you do that. Visit. She would be happy to meet you. You can get to her home by clicking HERE.

The RoomMom is another LOVELY blog full of fun and helpful stuff for teachers and parents of students. She is a teacher and a parent and she is crazy busy doing all kinds of things!! Whew! You can learn a lot in her homeroom!! You can visit her HERE.

Now this award comes with some rules. I have kind of a hard time with rules. But I’ll see what I can do. I’m supposed to tell you seven things about myself. Seven impossible things before breakfast, I suppose!

Well —
1. I LOVE tennis balls!!!!!

hulen mall 2-08 0022. I was once a guide dog puppy in training.
img0103. I like to roll around in smelly stuff. The Mom Person does not like this.
IMG_09564. I LOVE TENNIS BALLS!

CIMG34745. I once ate a whole chocolate cake. The Mom Person did not like this either.

IMG_56196. I can read!
IMG_47307. I am ONE LUCKY DOG! With the BEST job in the world!

IMG_4763Now I’m supposed to pass this award along to TEN other folks. And this is where I run into problems. I don’t know how to CHOSE! So if you are reading this right now, KNOW that you are a LOVELY Blogger! And I LOVE visiting your blogs. And if you would like to tell me a few things about yourself in the comment part below, or if you might want to do your very own post about some personal trivia, that would be so FANTASTICALLY LOVELY!

Thank you again Ms Cricketmuse and Ms RoomMom!
I wish you all a LOVELY Day!!
Your friend
Rhythm
Copy of img311