All Aboard!!

amtrakRecently my Humans took a plane ride out to California to visit our Princesses (and their Mom and Dad). While they were in Califonia, they went on a train ride from Los Angeles to San Juan Capistrano. They all say that it was a really fun trip. Of course, I have no first hand knowledge of this as I did not get to go on this adventure.

In preparation for this train trip, the Mom Person got the Princesses a couple of train books. She learned about one of the books, Line 135, from Carter Higgins’s blog, Design of the Picture Book. It looked like just the right story and if Ms Higgins gushed about it, it must be a good one. We found the book online and when it arrived at our house, and we got to see it in real life, we were blown away as well. It is a rather unique look at the world. I’ll let you travel to Ms Higgins’s blog for an in depth dissection of the book. Just click on the blog title above. Here, I’m going to turn things over to some guest critics – My favorite reading buddies, The California Princesses –

IMG_3031They took this book on the train with them and were quite excited about the way that their trip mirrored the train trip in the book. In the book, a little girl is traveling by train with her Mom to visit her Grandmother. In the book, the Mom and Grandmother tell the girl that she is too small to know the entire world. But she knows better. They start in the big city surrounded by cement and skyscrapers. The train travels through big city, then smaller cityscape, then suburbia and out through the countryside. Through swamps and forests, along a river, into farmlands and finally to Grandma’s house.

The Ladybug Princess really liked the illustrations in the book. She liked that the train was the only color and everything else was black and white. She liked the houses. Some were regular houses and some were fantastical. The sights that the little girl saw in the book were very much like what the Princesses saw out their windows. ( The windows were the best part of the train!) Except she really wanted to see some of those strange animals that were in the book. No sign of those out her window.

IMG_3033The Noodle Princess says, about the book, that she liked when the bus went by and the train went by and she liked the houses and the trees and the mountains. And she knows the whole entire world!

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Line 135 seems to have been an excellent choice to take along on a train ride!
And here is all the important book information —

Line 135 by Germano Zullo
Illustrated by Albertine
Published by Chronicle Books in 2013

A big thank you to Ms Carter Higgins for discovering and sharing this fabulous book!!!

And now a little video of a Germano Zullo/Albertine creation – (I really have no idea what this is about, but it’s cute!)

I wish you wondrous adventures —


Rhythm

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Rhythm in the Glen

I’ve been dreaming of road trips, but alas, My Mom Person claims to have no time for such things right now. So instead, I’ve decided to take y’all on a road trip — to Glen Rose, Texas. My home town!IMG_2436 Glen Rose is in north central Texas about 90 miles southwest of the Dallas/Ft Worth area. It is the county seat of Somervell County, the 3rd smallest county in the state.

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Glen Rose is a smallish kind of town. There aren’t any big tall buildings like I see in Dallas. And we don’t have a lot of traffic. What we do have is an abundance of natural geographical and geological wonders. We get lots of tourists coming out to enjoy all the cool stuff that I live with all the time.  I’ve already told you about our fossils and dinosaurs. Dinosaur Valley State Park is a great place for camping, hiking, swimming, fishing and dinosaur hunting. Fossil hunters and dinosaur enthusiasts come from far and wide.

There are 2 rivers that converge in Glen Rose.

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Paluxy River

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dog party on the Paluxy

The Paluxy River, which is the one that runs past our place and the one that I play in, and the Brazos River, which is a bigger river and probably more well known. There is a famous writer who lives in Glen Rose, Mr John Graves, who wrote a couple of books about the area. He once took a three week canoe trip down the Brazos River before they built some dams on it, and then he wrote a book called Goodbye to a River. This is a most excellent book that I highly recommend! A lot of folks come to this area to enjoy our rivers. They bring canoes and kayaks and tubes to float in. There are some places in town where you can rent these things as well.

We dogs don’t need canoes or tubes. We can have a good time just splashing and swimming! And some people like these activities as well, but some folks like to have some kind of vehicle to propel themselves down the river.

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There are also two lakes in the county for fishing and boating activities. I understand that they provide for some pretty good fishing. I’ve never been on a boat before. I’ve tried some fishing in my river. I hear that it’s supposed to be a relaxing, meditative kind of activity, but those fish are too quick for me and that makes for a stressful, frustrating kind of activity.

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Big Rocks Park on the Paluxy

Along with the water enthusiasts and the rock hounds and the camper folks, we get a lot of bikers riding through the area. The motor kind and the pedal kind. There are some really tough hills that challenge the best of them. There is a ranch called the Solavaca Ranch that has created some trails for mountain bikers and they have BIG events several times a year. In the fall we have the Paluxy Pedal for those bikers who prefer riding on the roads. Participants have a choice of distances to ride from 29 mi. without “the Wall”  up to 80 mi. with “the Wall”. I’ve not ever seen that Wall, but by the time those bikers pedal past our house they’re looking pretty tired.

barbarosaThe Wall (2)[1]

The Wall – google image

solavaca ranch

Solavaca Ranch

And then there are the golf courses! We have 2 courses to choose from if you are into golf. I don’t play golf myself, my Mom Person says golf balls are too small for me to play with. So I can’t tell you a lot about our golf courses except that they are very popular. There are LOTS of golfers in Glen Rose!

I think that pretty much covers the local activities available for the energetic folks. But I’ve got a lot more to tell you about! Later —

For your reference if you’re ever out this way – some useful links —

Glen Rose CVB
Visit Glen Rose website

Rhodes Canoe Rental
Low Water Canoe Rental

Squaw Creek Reservoir
Wheeler Branch Reservoir

Squaw Valley Golf Club

And a clip about that book – Goodbye to a River

And another of Mr John Graves himself –

Going Traveling

I’ve been in a traveling mood. We do some traveling most every day. Going to the Big City. But I know all those routes and I’m ready for some adventure.

We have a couple of books in our home library that are about animals on adventures. I’ve been pawing through these books and daydreaming. Wondering why my Mom Person isn’t more adventurous.

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buns travels

Buns Travels Across America is about a rabbit who travels to a whole bunch of fun places all across America. A rabbit! The book was done by David Love and his rabbit, Cottonpaw. It was published by Cotton Tale Press in 1992. It’s got some great pictures of Buns the rabbit at the Statue of Liberty and Niagra Falls and the Grand Canyon and the Alamo and the beach! Even in Hollywood! (I’ve been to Hollywood!  – in Glen Rose, Tx) —IMG_2253  But I haven’t been to the REAL Hollywood! That Buns is one lucky rabbit! And this is a pretty good book. Besides all the nice pictures of a cute rabbit, each picture is accompanied by a little history lesson. A fun way to learn some good stuff! And Buns has a website the you might want to visit here to learn more about him and his travels.

joe and sallyJoe and Sally : A Long Way From Home is a book about penguins who travel all over the world! But these aren’t real penguins. They’re like great big toy penguins. Now isn’t that funny! This book is the creation of Willy Puchner. It was published by Penguin Books (where else?!) in 1993.

Mr Puchner found Joe and Sally in a craft shop in Vienna. For 3 years they traveled together all over the world. Joe and Sally sometimes traveled in a box with lots of padding. They sometimes traveled by car or in a backpack. They always had 2 people to carry them around. This is a really comical book because Joe and Sally really look like 2 tourists admiring the sights. Joe even has a camera around his neck! A word of warning though, there are a couple of pages of rather risque photos from their visit to Paris, so I don’t think the book is appropriate for kids. There are pictures of the penguins at various beaches around the world. They visit Thailand and Egypt, where they are pictured with the pyramids and the Sphinx. They visit London, and Paris, and New York, Italy and Germany, but not Hollywood. It is a fun travelogue and I can imagine that the people who helped Joe and Sally enjoy their travels had a very good time with it all.

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So, Walker and I are wondering where we would like to go on our travels. To foreign lands? Or somewhere closer to home? Big City or hiking in some woods? Or lounging on the beach? Maybe you could tell us of anything interesting where you live?

And maybe we’ll go to the library and find more books that fill the imagination.

And here is a really cool traveling music video from Josh Ritter

Road Trip

Well, school’s out and I guess that means summer is here. And summer means travel for lots of folks. The virtual world is all about travel these days. The book bloggers are putting up lists of their favorite travel books. The kid bloggers are talking about keeping kids happy in the car. Ads for Disney World are everywhere! Summer means road trips and camping and family reunions and FUN!

Last week we visited Ms Julie’s 2nd grade class. We read a book called Road Trip. And we talked all about road trips. Most of the kids had been on them before and were hoping to go again this summer. Some of them took their dogs along! Nobody took their cat.

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The book Road Trip is by Roger Eschbacher with illustrations by Thor Wickstrom. ( I really like that name – Thor Wickstrom!) And I really like his artwork. These were some fun, happy travelers. Road Trip was published by Dial Books for Young Readers in 2006. It tells the tale of a family going on a road trip to Grandma’s house for a family reunion. A two day trip. It’s told in rhyme which is always fun to me. They start early in the morning and the kids soon get to arguing until Mom starts singing The Ants Go Marching. When they get tired of those ants they do the Hokey Pokey! Have you ever done the Hokey Pokey in the car? Crazy! They play lots of games in the car and even stop at a Truck Stop!! Just like the book Truck Stop! They stay at a motel and visit roadside attractions like Bunyan’s Hive. The class really liked Bunyan’s Hive! The reunion at Grandma’s is lots of fun — but then they have to drive back again. And it sure is nice to get home!!

The class really liked this book and gave it all thumbs up.

Now I’ve got a book list for you! If you’re going on a road trip with kids, they need entertainment. Trust me! I know! I’ve been there and done that. So this is a list of books that we have in our library at home that have some great stuff for entertainment.

fun on the runFun on the Run is by Joanna Cole (as in Magic School Bus) and Stephanie Calmenson. It’s illustrated by Alan Tiegreen. (That’s a good name – Tiegreen!) The book was published by Morrow Junior Books in 1999. It’s FULL of great games from word games to memory games to license plate games to geography games. It has jokes and riddles and songs! Like The Ants Go Marching and Oh Susanna and The Wheels on the Bus. Great stuff!

car songbookThe Family Car Songbook was researched and edited by Tam Mossman and has illustrations by Jim Wilson and Verlin Miller and Suzanne Clee. It was published by Running Press in 1983. It has 63 pages of song lyrics. It does not have The Ants or The Wheels on the Bus. It does have Oh Susanna and She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain and The Yellow Rose of Texas!! What more could you ask for?! (an interesting aside to this book. I couldn’t find much info on its creators. There is a Suzanne Clee who decorates fine china for Lenox. There are all kinds of Verlin Millers, but no artists that I found. But there is a website devoted to Jim Wilson. Not just one Jim Wilson but 100!) Check it out!

travel gamesThe Usborne Book of Car Travel Games is a little book by Tony Potter. It was edited by Jenny Tyler and has illustrations by Iain Ashman and Chris Lyon and Guy Smith. The book has no publishing info in it, but according to Amazon, it was published by E.D.C. Publishing in 1988. This book has games in it, but it also has car trip instructions. Like what things to take, how to read a map, how to keep a travel log. It has your usual car games, but also has some kind of board games in the book. It’s pretty cool for a little book.

cars and trucksAnd MY Favorite — Richard Scarry‘s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go. This book was published by Harper Collins in 1974. It’s been entertaining kids for a VERY LONG TIME!! And doing a good job of it. This book can keep a kid happy and engrossed for a VERY LONG TIME! This is a must have on a long road trip.

So now I’m ready to pack up and head out!!

IMG_2157Walker and I have packed our suitcase. We have our tennis balls, our favorite toys, brush, toothbrush, banana chips, my best pink blanket and Walker’s chewed up best raccoon. And our favorite books! Now we just need a place to go! Preferably some place with water. Maybe a good hiking trail. Walker wants a forest with lots of bark to chew on.

And here’s a little music to get you in the mood for the road —

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