Serenity

The new year has begun. I see everyone making resolutions and talking about all the possiblities and hope that this new year has to offer. I don’t know about making resolutions, but I do have high hopes for my new year. This year that has just flown by like a jet plane has been a time of high energy thanks in part to our high-voltage Electra.

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Who ME?

In this coming year, I will be looking for some peace and quiet – some calm and SERENITY. Last year I was looking for SERENDIPITY, and I found it quite often. It’s a wondrous thing. But this year I’m taking that DIP out and looking for the calm in the storm. Electra will be leaving us at the end of February – going off to college at Southeastern Guide Dogs in Florida. She has been an amusing entertainment, but she makes me tired just watching her. There will be another pup coming home with the folks. I’m hoping with all my heart that it will come with the name SERENITY.

serenityThe dictionary defines SERENITY as the state of being calm, tranquil. What a lovely state to be in. That’s where I’m headed for the next year. However long that may be.

IMG_2802Mr James Taylor is the king of SERENITY. I often put his music on to calm Ms Electra –

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I hope you are able to enjoy some SERENITY in your new year!
Looking for the calm
Rhythm
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The Golden Rule

We recently had a note from our fabulous Aunt Chrissy who suggested we read a book called The Golden Rule. Our library didn’t have this book and we had to find it through the interlibrary loan service which is a fantastic thing. Anyway, this was all a good thing because The Golden Rule is a fabulous book. It was written by Ilene Cooper and illustrated by Gabi Swiatowska.

IMG_0819The book was published by Abrams Books for Young Readers in 2007. It is suitable for all ages. The theme is the Golden Rule, as in the title. Being kind and thoughtful to others.

The illustrations are exquisite. I don’t know what medium is used. I’m not very good with art details. I’m guessing maybe watercolors. But they take my breath away. Whew! It’s a simple story with a powerful message for everyone. A boy and his grandfather are taking a walk and see a billboard that says ” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. “What does it mean?” The boy wanted to know. “and why is it golden?”

IMG_0817And the Grandfather proceeds to explain in quite simple terms what that lovely “rule” means. He tells the boy that he must use his imagination and imagine himself in someone else’s  shoes. How does that new girl in school feel and what would make her feel better? He explains that this rule is found in all the world’s religions. Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and even Shawnee.

And how do you get the whole world to practice the Golden Rule? “It begins with You.”

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This book would be a good catalyst for discussions about helping others and being kind to each other. It addresses bullying and other cultures. As a class you might find ways to do community service projects or find some worthy cause to get involved with. It could fall in with Valentine’s Day and you could send notes to each other anonymously noting how special someone is.

We’re linking up today with Susanna Hill and Perfect Picture Book Friday. Check in with her for more fabulous picture books!

And a little song from James Taylor — Shed a Little Light!

Now y’all go out and be kind to someone today! And check out this book. It’s one to keep close to your heart! Spread Joy!! And Shed some Light!

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Carl’s Christmas

It’s Friday. That means the Mom Person is gone. The Big Guy With the Treats is gone. All gone. Gone to California.

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Romeo’s Dad Person will be here with us. And he’s a pretty good guy. He’ll do for awhile I guess. Aahhummm.

Well — it’s also Perfect Picture Book Friday over at Susanna Hill’s!

I’ve picked out a quiet Christmas book. Quiet as in no words. It’s a no words kind of Friday. I like picture books with no words. That way when we read them with kids, I get a new story every time!! The book I’ve decided to share is Carl’s Christmas by Alexandra Day.

IMG_5828It was published in 1990 by Farrar Straus Giroux. It’s a fiction book suitable for all ages. I’ve read this book with 2 yr olds and adults. And everybody has there own personal take on the story.

Carl is a rottweiler with some big responsibilities that he takes very seriously. His Big People are always leaving him in charge of the baby! And they sure have fun together while those adults are away! In this Christmas book, Carl and the baby do some Christmas wrapping and decorating then go out to see the town. They enjoy the Christmas windows, win a Christmas basket from a store, give to the needy, go carolling, then realize that they might be missing Santa!! They rush back home and sit and wait for the Jolly Guy. I won’t tell you the end tho!! Whew!!

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Carl is my hero. He’s always taking care of that baby and having great adventures while he’s doing it! Ms Day’s artwork is fabulous. Carl’s world just pops out at you. Reading these mostly wordless books gets your imagination fired up. Kids have to study the pictures to see what all is going on. They have to stretch their vocabularies. No words on the printed page is sometimes a very good thing.

Melissa Taylor at Imagination Soup has a great post about wordless books with lots of things that you can do with them. You should check it out.

And Carl has a website that you might find fun.

Check out more PPBF at Susanna Hill’s blog.

And I’ll end with a little James Taylor for my Mom Person so far away — I’ll be watching for her Everyday!