Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My First Opera (With a Bit of Origami)










For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Favorite Children's Books I Didn't Find Until I Was a Grownup


I'm a children's librarian, so I thought I knew all about children's books. I read voraciously as a child. I became a teacher and tried to keep up with all the new books out for children. As a mom, I read what my kids read. I became a children's librarian in 2003. I became a blogger a few years later. I've been a Cybils judge almost from the start of the Cybils, reading and evaluating children's nonfiction picture books, children's picture books, children's easy readers, and children's early chapter books. I challenged myself to read all the Newbery books, and completed that challenge a few years back. 

But it wasn't until I joined the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up group at Yahoo that I had the opportunity to read the best of children's literature from all around the world. Happily, I've now read 555 of the 1001 books, including books from Australia, Chile, South Africa, France, India, and Japan.

Here are some of the amazing children's books I've read from this list. I think you will love them, too.


Ash Road by Ivan Southall


The Summer Book by Tove Jansson


Parvana's Journey by Deborah Ellis


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne


The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas


The Call of the Wild by Jack London


By the River by Steven Herrick


Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner


The Peppermint Pig by Nina Bawden


Redwall by Brian Jacques




How about you? What great books have you found in the last few years?



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sketch! The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life


I know you think of me as reader. And, of course, I am. 

I've been reading a little less lately. Instead, I've been spending lots of my time...oh my, how hard this is to reveal...how preposterous it sounds...how presumptuous...okay, here goes...instead, I've been spending lots of my time these days...sketching.


I love to draw. I've taken just-for-fun classes at the community college. My friend, her sister, and I took drawing classes one year from a private teacher with a group of elementary students (need I share that all of the elementary students were better...no, MUCH better...than I was?) One summer, my friend and I decided to meet together a few times a month and draw. I've kept a writing/drawing notebook since my twenties.

In January I received Sketch!: The Non-Artist's Guide to Inspiration, Technique, and Drawing Daily Life from the publisher.

And I started drawing.

Drawing.


A little every day. 


 
In my notebooks. 


During long meetings.

In the library.

 Sometimes adding a little color.


Sketch is the perfect book for the non-artist who loves to draw. We non-artists who love to draw need a lot of inspiration to get us over the hurdle of daring to draw. Sketch offers bucket loads of inspiration. We non-artists who love to draw need technique; we were never brave enough to take drawing classes at school. Sketch offers bucket loads of technique. Mostly, though, we non-artists who love to draw need to draw our daily lives. Sketch offers bucket loads of daily life drawings.


Reading Sketch! led me to seek out other good books about drawing: Drawing With Children...Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner...Cartooning for Kids...Mark Kistler's You Can Draw in 30 Days...Illustration School: Let's Draw Happy People...and even Danny Gregory's new Art Before Breakfast and Natalie Goldberg's Living Color.


And isn't that what good books do? Send you out into the world, in search of other good books?

I'd tell you more, but I really want to get back to my drawings. If you know of other helpful books for us non-artists, please let me know.



What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.


Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week.  It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! As part of this weekly meme Book Journey loves to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. 


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Former Church




For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Great Picture Book Biographies of Great Women





Have I told you how much I love children's picture book biographies? Well, I do. I love reading picture books about strong, brave people. I especially love reading picture books about strong, brave women. 

Here are some of my favorites:



Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman


Eleanor, Quiet No More


Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude is Gertrude


Mrs. Harkness and the Panda


Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America


Here Come the Girl Scouts: The Amazing All-True Story of Juliette 'Daisy' Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure


Me...Jane


What to Do About Alice? How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy


Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile


Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child






Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

My Reading Week (or Lack Thereof)



In the heady, book-a-day summertime, I forget the reading dearth I always hit at the end-of-winter-but-not-quite-spring. That's where I am now. A meeting or book club or yoga class every day after school and conferences and tournaments and carnivals and lesson planning every weekend leave little time for free range reading. When you get home at five-thirty every evening and it's already starting to get dark, you just want to eat a little supper and take a bath and go to bed.

All of which is to say that I didn't finish anything last week. I read little bites of Middlemarch and Redwall and Sketch and The Year of Reading Dangerously, but nothing I can write down in my reading log.

My mailbox, on the other hand, was full.

When I saw that I'd managed to accumulate over $250 at Amazon, I decided it was time to break down and start ordering some wish list books. So I did. I ordered fifteen books. So far, I've received Maira Kalman's My Favorite Things and Danny Gregory's new Art Before Breakfast, along with Literary Listography: My Reading Life in Lists and A Kid for Two Farthings and Doodling in French and The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert.

I haven't broken them open yet (I'm soooo good at saving) but I'm enjoying, for now, just looking at this huge stack of wish list books that are awaiting me.

How was your reading week? Have you read anything I should be reading? Does winter slow down your reading?


What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.


Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! As part of this weekly meme Book Journey loves to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. 


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Customer at the School Book Fair



For more wordless photos, go to Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy ReadsTo participate in Saturday Snapshot: post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken and then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at West Metro Mommy Reads.