Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day 2013

Happy Earth Day! Unfortunately we have no lovely paintings of the earth to show you, or us running barefoot in the grass.... My son came home from school with a stomach bug so we spent our evening watching Reading Rainbow re-runs camped out on the couch. I hope you had a wonderful day enjoying our beautiful earth (not camped out on the couch with a sick child). Have a great day!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Charlotte Zolotow's In My Garden

 Since tomorrow is Earth Day, I wanted to share a book about nature. To me nature is the earth. Last night we had a picnic at a local park, then we did some star gazing. It was a beautiful spring night in the desert. I am trying to learn how to take pictures of the night sky with my camera, unfortunately, I need a whole lot more practice so no pictures here. Anyway, on to the book....


In My Garden by Charlotte Zolotow is a beautiful book that is illustrated by one of my favorites, Roger Duvoisin. The story is about a little girl and what she loves best during each season in the garden.

"In the spring what I love best in my garden are the birds building nests. Of course there are other things I love in my garden-red tulips like a patch of fire under the pear tree, violets and hyacinths and daffodils."

The story is simplicity, and the illustrations are divine. This book reminds me of a time when all children played outside. They experience seasons in the out of doors, the picking of wildflowers, the discovery of worms and bugs, the collecting of rock, and the climbing of trees.

So for Earth Day, lets take our children outside, plant a tree, plant a garden, find worms or bugs, or hunt for rocks or shells. Or just take your shoes off and run barefoot in the grass with your child. Experience nature, and hopefully our children will have an appreciation of our earth and take better care of it than we have.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We Finally Read Knuffle Bunny

Confession....we just read Mo Willems Knuffle Bunny for the first time last week. I know... We have quite a large collection of vintage books and I seem to forget that there are a ton of wonderful new books waiting for our discovery.

My son is absolutely crazy for this book. He has asked for it to be read to him about a dozen times now. In case you haven't read it yet, it is about a little girl named Trixie who runs an errand with her father. During that errand something tragic happens to Trixie, she loses her Knuffle Bunny. Poor Trixie, she tries very hard to convey to her father that she has lost her Knuffle Bunny. In a way that only babies know how, but to her dismay, her father doesn't understand her. Fortunately upon reaching home, Mom notices that Knuffle Bunny is missing, so ensues a mad rush to go and find her. It is a wonderful story, and I love that real pictures are used for a backdrop against the characters. I can't believe that it has taken us so long to read it.

When I was a little girl I had a pink and white crocheted cat named Boo Boo Kitty. I got her in my Easter basket when I was about six. Her and I were inseparable for years. I still have her.

My son is not attached to any particular stuffed animal or blanket. I constantly carried him in my Moby Wrap when he was a baby and he mostly sleeps with us, so I think this is the reason why he has not formed any of those kind of attachments. He has been very attached to me, though as time goes by, he is showing more and more independence.

My sister and mother both warned me about carrying him all the time, but for us anyway, I think giving him the love and attention he needed as a baby has helped him to become the independent three year old he is today. He still loves to snuggle and cuddle, but now it seems that it is I who needs the cuddling, not him. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nature Walk at Goldwater Lake

On Saturday we took an hour and a half drive north to the town of Prescott located in northern Arizona. Earlier that morning we packed up our red cooler with delicious drinks and food for a picnic lunch in the mountains. We left at about ten thirty in the morning and arrived at about noon. We visited some good friends of ours for about an hour then headed our car up Senator Highway. We decided to stop and eat at Goldwater Lake. The winds had picked up as the afternoon progressed, so after a quick lunch of sandwiches and corn chips with bean dip, we headed for a hike around the lake.

It was a beautiful day. I dipped my toes in the lake, and of course it was freezing. Some of the trees were starting to bud, and others were still bare. My son loved throwing rocks into the lake. We only hiked about halfway around the lake as my son was getting tired.

We used to hike a lot before our son was born and now that he is getting older we want to start taking him out more. I love to find books about nature to read aloud to my son and Steve Metzger's We're Going On A Nature Hunt is one of my son's favorites. It is a book about three children going on a nature hunt. Along the way they find flowers, a frog on a lily pad, worms and a few other things that will delight your child. Have you read any good nature books lately?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Play Matters and So Does Reading Aloud

Today's play was inspired by Inner Child Fun's homemade play dough recipe which can be found here. We had everything on had to make it, and my son played for over an hour. Our thanks to Valerie for inspiring another wonderful hour of play.

Children need play and lots of it. I love it when the stories we read aloud daily enter into my sons play.  Characters that might frighten him such as the big bad wolf  from Little Red Riding Hood or the giant from Jack and The Beanstalk. Listen closely and you will be surprised at the things your child will talk about as they play, things that make them happy, sad, scared or angry. It is interesting to see how they work their problems out through play.

Reading aloud is just as vital as play. It expands the imagination and opens up a whole new world that is waiting to be explored. You never know what time in history your child may visit, or the next new exotic place they might explore right from the comfort of your living room.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mama I'm Superman

It's funny how one thing can influence a child. A thing like watching a small snippet of Superman one night while eating dinner. You know the scene, reporter Lois Lane in her flirty yellow dress with matching hat getting ready to fall out of the helicopter as it teeters off the side of a skyscraper. She is barely hanging on by the radio when all of the sudden she starts falling to her death screaming all the way? Then lo and behold Superman comes flying in to save the day? Yeah, that scene...

I think my son was about two and a half when he saw that one five minute scene... But since then he has been obsessed with being Superman. This is what he wanted to be for Halloween last year, which was his idea totally, and I could not persuade him otherwise.

So my son will go through phases where he wants to be Batman (he has never seen it, so I have no idea where this came from) or he is Superman. I'm still not sure if this is a good or a bad thing?

Anyway, the other night he was standing on the couch looking just a cute as could be so I walked over to him and gave him a big hug and a kiss, just because. He crosses his arms, looks at me, and says, "don't kiss me Mama, I'm Superman." I look at him for a few seconds and replied with, "that's okay, even Superman loved his Mama."

Indeed he did.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales

Since yesterday was Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, I wanted to share James Caraway's illustrations from our 1952, Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales Wonder Book. This little gem contains three of Mr. Andersen's stories, The Emperor's New Clothes, Thumbelina, and The Little Mermaid.

Unfortunately this little book is now falling apart, I love vintage books, but they are sometimes so fragile that you may only get a few reads out of them before reading them becomes the thing that actually destroys them. So I hope you enjoy the illustrations as much as we do......

The Emperor’s New Clothes


The Little Mermaid

We read a lot of fairy tales in our house, do you?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Happy Easter 2013

This Easter was one of the best holidays I have ever had. We spent the day at my parents house celebrating Easter, planting in the garden, and just enjoying each others company. My son had a wonderful time hunting for eggs with his much older cousins.

I was looking at pictures of him from Easter's past, and it is just amazing to me how much he has grown. This year was loads of fun! He ran with the other kids, and I could hear squeals of delight as he found each egg.

I will miss him being the small baby that he was, but am enjoying watching him grow into a rough and tumble little boy. He was really excited about Easter this year and was already asking me the day after if the Easter Bunny was going to be coming soon.

So there were three books left in my son's Easter basket this year. The bad thing is I have laryngitis (again) and have not gotten to read the new books to him properly. (Laryngitis is a bad thing when you love to read aloud.) So we have whispered our new books.

Tasha Tudor's A Tale For Easter was the only Easter related book we received this year. As with anything Tasha Tudor related, it is truly lovely with it's simple story and old fashioned illustrations. My son did let me read this to him once on Easter night, but unfortunately it was quickly ousted for Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Litchtenheld which my son has been obsessed with ever since the first time we got it from the library after it first came out.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful Easter. I will try and post more soon as I have tons of wonderful books to share with you, and blog posts swirling around in my head with no time to write them down. Someday soon I hope. Until then... Happy Reading!