East Texas Book Fest

We had a big, big, busy weekend! Whew! The life of a working dog! We went on a bit of a road trip to Tyler, Texas, about 3 hours from our home in Glen Rose. Because —- we were participating in

The East Texas Book Fest!!

img436This was our first experience with a book festival. And it was an experience for sure! There were 65 authors there sharing their books and their writing journeys. There were library people and storytellers and newspaper people and photographers and kids!! — Lots of kids! and one other dog! Elvis. A gentlemanly Golden Retriever who also visits libraries.

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I painted our table cover! The illustrator of my book, Paul Howell, joined us for the day. He drew lots of pictures while sitting at our table.

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I got to help out at storytelling time. They had the best pillows. It was just like being at school.

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We provided some coloring pages for the kids, and another author provided tiaras! That’s my buddy Makenna with the big smile! She shared her tiara.

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But then we met Mamma Nellie who gave me my own tiara! Mamma Nellie’s daughter, Annette Bridges wrote a pretty funny book called The Gospel According to Mamma. Those two together are a pretty crazy pair! You can find out more about Ms Bridges and her books at her website here.

We got to meet lots of authors with some very interesting stories. Writers are really nice folks! And they like to talk a lot!

We met some newspaper folks, too. Ms Vanessa Pearson was quite interested in Paul’s story and wrote an article that was in the Tyler Morning Telegraph on Sunday!

We sold quite a few of my books. And the Mom Person purchased several books from other folks. Lots of books changing hands. One book that the Mom Person particularly fell in love with is put out by the Stephen F. Austin University Press. The book is a visual interpretation of a Wallace Stevens poem called Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. It is “imaged” by Corinne Jones and is a stunning book. A simple “culmination of sensation.”

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You might notice some of my drool on the cover. It’s that luscious! The SFA Press table had some really fine books that the Mom Person was drooling over. I had to pull her away from there!

We also met Elvis, as I mentioned. At the end of the day we were two tired pups!!

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For your listening pleasure — Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

All in all, it was a very fine day! I hope you had a fine weekend as well!
Happy trails to you all!
Rhythm

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Drivin’

We went drivin’ at the library the other day. In a big rig! Our buddy C picked out this cool book about a truck driving dad.

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The book is titled DRIVE and was written and illustrated by Nathan Clement. It was published by Front Street in 2008.

C loved this book! I wasn’t quite into it. It was all about BIG. Big soft illustrations that were kind of hard for me to make out. But after the 2nd and 3rd reading, it all made sense to me. A little boy tells the story of Dad going off to work before the boy wakes up. The 1st page has a picture of a giant alarm clock and a kid’s head with a BIG truck outside the window. Dad drives to work. He drives at work. One picture is a close up of Dad inside the truck. It’s just his arm on the gearshift. We see Dad driving down the highway saying hello to other cars. He fills up with gas and drives home to play ball with the boy. Like I said, C loved this book. His favorite part was when Dad stopped at the truck stop for dinner!

So then we read a book called Truck Stop by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by Melissa Iwai. It was published by Viking in 2013.

IMG_2142This story was also told by a little boy. But this boy’s family owned the truck stop where the truck drivers came to eat. The truck stop family got up before the sun, just like the truck driver Dad. They drove to the truck stop to make breakfast for all the truckers. The same truckers came every morning. It was like a big family. They all knew each other and looked out for each other. There was even a girl driver! They all drove different kinds of trucks and had different stuff for breakfast. I liked this book best. It is full of happy people. Happy people taking care of each other.

Have you ever been to a truck stop? Have you ever been in one of those big trucks? I’ve been to a truck stop. They are full of lots of interesting smells and friendly people. I’ve never been on a big truck though. We have a lot of them always coming through our town. They make a lot of noise.

But if you like trucks, you should check out these books. They are both pretty unique.

Mr Clement has a great website with videos and activities and a look at how he does his artwork! Check it out here.

And Ms Iwai has some fun things on her website as well!

And here’s a little trucking music for you —

Be safe while you’re driving out there! And say Hi to the truckers!

Mammoths on the Move!

Well, we’re getting back to our regular routine around here. We might go back to West this week sometime, but for now we’re home. Home is good. It’s nice to have a home. I’m still worried about all those dogs and cats that don’t have homes anymore. It seems that bit by bit they’re finding their people though. That’s a good thing. There are a lot of people doing some very good things for those folks in West.

Here in Glen Rose, we’re back to books! And our own school! And our own library! And on the menu for today — Mammoths!!!! On library night the boys picked out a real whopper! Mammoths on the Move by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus. It was published by Harcourt, Inc. in 2006.

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We live in the Land of the Dinosaurs. But I don’t know anything about Mammoths. Just that they’re kind of like hairy Elephants. But this book is awesome! It’s written in rhyme with a lot of repetition and alliteration. (I know about some of those big words! I listen in school!) It starts out with:

Fourteen thousand years ago
the north was mostly ice and snow.
But woolly mammoths didn’t care —
these beasts had comfy coats of hair.

Fuzzy, shaggy, snarly, snaggy,
wonderful, woolly mammoths!

The boys that picked this book out didn’t think that they could read it. But with all the repetition, before they knew it, they were reading like crazy! The story is about the mammoths migrating south for the winter. They encounter lots of hardships along the way. But by winter’s end they reach the south and the promised land! A lake to swim and splash in and trees and grass. And then they have to turn around and head north again!! The boys thought this was the funniest part! It was their favorite part of the book!

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The pictures in this book are fabulous. This is a picture of the babies playing in the water. A note in the book says that the illustrations are done in scratchboard and watercolor. I don’t know anything about scratchboard, but it sure makes for great effects! I think I want to find some more of Mr Cyrus’ work.

In the very front of the book, Ms Wheeler has included some factual stuff about mammoths and what science research actually knows about them. Not a whole lot evidently. But this book is informative and fun to read. Me and the boys highly recommend it!

Here’s an interesting video of mammoths. I don’t know how they did this. I didn’t know they had cameras back then. But it’s pretty cool.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3xS25MobIM

My Very Own Book!

Many years ago when I was a youngster and just getting started in my career as a Library Dog, the Mom Person and I wrote a story about my job duties. We had a conversation with some of the kids about different jobs that dogs have and what kinds of things were expected of me in my role as Canine Librarian.

At this same time, I started visiting the Life Skills classes at the schools. These are classes for kids with special needs so they can learn at their own pace in their own way. I love visiting these kids! One of my favorites was a high school boy with autism named Paul. He liked to draw pictures of me and play ball.(What more could a girl ask for?!)

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He was always drawing something. Draw, draw, draw. One day the Mom Person had the brilliant idea of asking Paul to draw pictures to go with our story! So with the help of his art teacher, Mr Haney, Paul went to work. It took him a long time to finish, but it was fun watching it all take shape.

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Then the Mom Person thought it would be fun to somehow publish it all! But she wanted to do it soon, before she lost touch with Paul and while I was still around! ( Dogs don’t live forever, you know!) She didn’t know anything about book publishing, but she found a company called Mill City Press that she liked and set the whole thing in motion — and now the book is here!

We had a book party this weekend to celebrate! Lots of friends and family came!

A great time was had by all!!

Reading With Rhythm, The Tale of a Library Dog, can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. And at our local libraries!!  Thanks for letting me share!

Let’s Go to the Library!

I’d like to take you on a tour of my library! The Somervell County Library in Glen Rose, Tx. Come on in. This is a Grand library, with lots and lots and lots of books. Even more than we have at our house! There are history books and cookbooks and how – to books and science books and gardening books and books just for fun. Everything under the sun!  And if you can’t find a book that you are really really wanting, the very fine ladies that take care of the library can find the book for you through another library! Is that smart or what?

These ladies are outstanding! They work so hard – helping people find books, putting books back on shelves, checking books out, checking books in. I give them 4 paws up!

The library has lots and lots of big windows so the sun can shine in. Sometimes it’s nice to just sit and watch the squirrels playing outside. My favorite place in the library is where all the picture books are. That’s usually where all the kids are, too!  They have some really cute chairs there that I don’t fit in.

Along with all the books, there are lots of computers at the library! Now who would want to look at that computer when there are all these books around?! But there are always lots of people sitting at those computers. I don’t know what they are doing. Looking stuff up or playing games, I guess. Sometimes I go visit  these folks because they just look too serious.

Me and Walker are the only dogs at the library. I don’t know if other libraries have dogs that come visit. I’ve heard that some libraries have cats! My Mom Person even read me a book one time about a library cat named Dewey. Crazy! Does your library have dogs or cats? Or maybe a kangaroo? I’ve never seen a kangaroo.

Libraries sure are great places to visit. You can sit and read, or do some research or your homework, or just come in out of the weather.  I think that libraries are about the only place that you can just go hang out in all day and never have to buy anything!! I love the library!!

These are some other library places you might want to check out —

American Library Association

Public Libraries

A History of Libraries

Going Beyond Survival in the School Library

Go check out your library!  And then tell me what’s so special about it!