Winnie

You are probably familiar with a bear named Winnie-the-Pooh. I have grown up with Mr Pooh Bear. My family are all great fans. I, myself, think that he is the greatest philosopher that ever lived! Or didn’t live. Whatever. He is one wise bear!

IMG_2366Well, did you know that the Winnie-the-Pooh in the books was inspired by a real life bear? And did you know that there is a book about this real life bear?! Well, My Mom Person, bless her heart, has presented me with a copy of this book as an early Valentine gift! Isn’t that something?!

IMG_2369WINNIE
The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
by Sally M. Walker
illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss

published by Henry Holt & Co. in 2015

a non-fiction picture book suitable for anyone who loves Winnie-the-Pooh!

themes – Winnie-the-pooh, bears, animal rescue, military, World War I

It begins –
When Harry Colebourn looked out of the train window, he couldn’t believe what he saw: a bear at the station! The train’s stop would be short, but Harry had to get off and see the bear for himself.

Harry is a young soldier going off to training camp in Quebec during World War I. He is also a veterinarian and will be with the veterinary corps taking care of horses. The bear is a small brown orphaned cub that is up for sale. Harry buys the bear for $20.00 and hops back on the train taking the little thing with him. He names the bear Winnipeg because that’s where his company is from and Winnie becomes the company mascot. She goes everywhere with the soldiers and even sleeps under Harry’s cot!

IMG_2371When the war across the Atlantic starts to get worse, Harry’s company has to ship out to England. Winnie ships out with them. But when the war continues to get worse and the company is called to the front lines in France, Harry decides to leave Winnie with the London Zoo. She was so sweet and friendly that she soon became a favorite with London kids. One in particular, a young lad named Christopher Robin, was particularly taken with the little bear, so his father, Mr A.A. Milne, took him often to visit. Christopher Robin decided to rename his own Edward Bear, Winnie-the-Pooh. And the rest is history, as they say!

A special bonus in this book is the endpapers. They are real photographs of Harry and Winnie and Christopher Robin and Mr Milne. Fantastic!! At the end of the book is a kind of epilogue about Harry and Winnie after the war and a bibliography and links to some interesting videos.

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Winnie was an American Black Bear. You can find out more about black bears HERE and HERE.

After reading this book about Winnie, the natural thing to do would be to read some Winnie-the-Pooh. And not those Disney books. The REAL Winnie-the-Pooh!

And to help you get in the mood here is Mr Milne himself reading from his very own book!

Now you might want to venture over to Ms Susanna Hill’s blog to check out today’s list of Perfect Picture Books. You’ll be glad you did!!!

Β May you have a tiddly-pom weekend full of wonder!
Your friend
Rhythm
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The ABCs of Oliver Jeffers

A is for AWESOME
B is for BOUNTIFUL
C is for CREATIVE GENIUS

I have GREAT Admiration for Mr Oliver Jeffers, a Brilliant Picture Book Genius Extraordinaire. His Cleverly Crafted stories are Dynamically Engaging Fables Garnished with Handworked Illustrations that take the reader on Journeys Keenly Loaded with Multitudinous Novelities Offering Peeks into Quirky Realms where you must STOP and THINK Until you realize the Veritable Wonders that eXist in these Yarns from “The Jeffers Zone!” Whew!!

I present to you Mr.Jeffers latest tome –

IMG_1815Once Upon an ALPHABET
short stories for all the
Letters

by Oliver Jeffers

published by Philomel Books in 2014

suitable for ALL ages
this is a BIG book – 112 fabulous pages!

Themes – The Alphabet!!!

It begins –
If words make up stories, and letters make up words, then stories are made of letters.
In this menagerie we have stories, made of words, made FOR all the LETTERS.

A
An Astronaut

A is for an Astronaut named Edmund who is afraid of heights. Oh my.

This book is exactly what it claims. Very short, quirky stories for each of the letters of the alphabet. All of the stories can stand on their own, but they also intermingle with each other. They are all quite humorous. Some in a rather dark way. A little reminiscent of Mr Edward Gorey. Some in an “oh my!” kind of way. Some you have to stop and think about. Ponder for a bit. You can’t read this book just once! You have to go back and read it again and again. It is a Veritable Wonder!!!!!

IMG_1819I think everyone, young and old should have to write sentences using all the letters of the alphabet. And write your own stories with all the letters of the alphabet! It makes you appreciate all those letters just a little bit more!

Orange Marmalade recently did a fun review of this book if you would like to see more HERE.

Mr Colby Sharp has some 3rd graders who actually interviewed Mr Jeffers!!! Check it out HERE!

Mr. Jeffers has a website with lots of fun activities and things to do. You can visit it HERE.

Today happens to be Perfect Picture Book Friday over at Susanna Hill’s. You might want to travel over there to see her list of Perfect Picture Books and all the fun resources to go with! You can get There from HERE!

Β And here is Mr Jeffers himself!

I wish you a Picture Perfect weekend
Your Library Friend who knows the Alphabet well!
Rhythm
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:) World Smile Day :)

world-smile-day-2013-poster2-176x233Today happens to be World Smile Day. Doesn’t it make you smile just to hear that?! World Smile Day was created in 1999 by the inventor of that ever present Happy Face, Mr. Harvey Ball. He decided that the world should devote a day each year to sharing smiles and acts of kindness. πŸ™‚

You can find out more about World Smile Day at their website HERE. πŸ™‚ They have lots of fun stuff to do. πŸ™‚

Walker and I did our part today by going to school and spreading our joy throughout the halls. We visited the office ladies and read with kids in the library.

IMG_3588I wish I could show you the big smiles on those kids faces! They know how to spread smiles and JOY! πŸ™‚

We also visited with the 4th grade class of one of my favorite teachers – Ms Beauregard!

IMG_3597She is always very kind to us — sharing her banana chips. πŸ˜€ We picked out a couple of books to share with her kids. πŸ™‚

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My favorite was Willy and Hugh by Anthony Browne. I have a real soft spot in my heart for Mr Browne’s work.

This book was published in 1991 by Dragonfly Books.

It is suitable for ages 5-9. Our 4th graders enjoyed it and My Mom Person, who is an adult, loves it!

Themes are friendship and kindness

Opening — Willy was lonely. Everyone seemed to have friends. Everyone except Willy.

Willy is a lonely little chimp with a very sad face. Wandering through the park, he passes lots of other apes who are playing and enjoying the day with their friends. Suddenly a huge ape, named Hugh Jape, (isn’t that GREAT!!) ran right SMACK into Willy. They were both quite startled and apologetic. And instantly became friends. When Willy’s nemesis, Buster Nose, tried to pick on Willy, Hugh stood up for his new friend. They went off together and had a fun day. They even visited the library where Willy read to Hugh. When Hugh was terrified by a spider, Willy moved the spider away. And they were friends happily ever after. πŸ™‚

Mr Browne has a unique way of bringing apes to human-like life. Their expressions are full of emotion. There is lots of humor in his work. From funny names to funny details in his artwork. Willy and Hugh visit the zoo and the picture shows the two of them standing outside the cage with a human family sitting on a couch inside the cage. πŸ™‚

The kids in Mrs B’s class were doing a project about feelings and being empathetic. We had to look that word up in the dictionary. It means being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. My Mom Person puts me in her shoes sometimes. She thinks that’s funny. But to be kind to someone is to put yourself in their shoes and be empathetic. Willy and Hugh did that when they helped each other. πŸ™‚ This is a great book to use as a jumping off point into a discussion about what it means to be a good friend. What are things that friends do for each other?

I hope that you go out and celebrate World Smile Day. It doesn’t take much. As Princess Reason in The Phantom Tollbooth says – “Whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way …. when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world … and whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in a pond.”

To find out more about chimpanzees and how you can help with conservation visit the Jane Goodall Institute HERE.

Ms Barbara Gruener is a lady who is all about smiles and kindness. She is a counselor at a school in Friendswood, Tx. She recently took on a challenge to do one act of kindness each day for 21 days! And I’m just asking you to do one day! She did an interesting post on her blog the other day about filling buckets. The comments were what particularly caught my attention — all the ways that people spread kindness and joy. You might check it out at Ms Gruener’s blog, Corner on Character.

Here’s a little video of Willy and Hugh made by “the Legends”, the Year 1 class of Warren Hills Primary School in Coalville — this is FANTASTIC!!

Think of ways that you can spread some JOY today! Spread Smiley Faces around your personal world! Let me know about what happens! Just SMILE!!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

And you might want to visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog for Perfect Picture Book Friday and find more wonderful books and resources to go with them.

Rhythm

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