Monday, October 16, 2017

A is for Aligator

As my basement reno draws closer to being finished, I grow excited. I can't wait to start decorating with all my bookish things like event swag, autographed books, and my letter project. Recently I purchased four letters from my local Jo Ann Fabric store along with some fifty cent books from the thrift store. My objective was to take the letters and cover them in bits of book pages and seal them with modge podge thus creating the word read. I have three of the letters finished, and they are even cuter than I imagined they would be.




Emily had a project going on this week as well. She had a teen church party to attend, so she made soft batch chocolate chip cookies from a recipe we found on Pinterest. The youth minister particularly enjoyed them!


And since I had two books in my reading pile about alligators, I decided that "A" would be the letter of the week. The first book, Dance is for Everyone, tells the story of an alligator who decided to join ballet class. The students become used to having an alligator perform with them and soon name her Tonya. Of course, there are problems that come with having an alligator in class, but creative ideas soon take care of those problems. The ending is particularly unexpected and the end papers are worth admiring.


The second book, Alan's Big, Scary Teeth, takes the reader on an amusing journey. Alan the alligator spends his days scaring the other animals in the forest with his big scary teeth. But Alan has a secret. His teeth aren't real. When Alan's teeth come up missing, he goes from be the scariest to being the most laughed at. To find out who took Alan's teeth, how he gets them back, and what he does afterwards instead of scaring everyone you are going to have to find a copy to read for yourself!


Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter  @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, October 9, 2017

New Things

This week since I didn't have all the farmers' market baking to do, I tried some new recipes out on my family. I made homemade garlic cheese bread sticks and apple cider pulled pork. Both were delicious, but the bread was extra good! I also found several new cookie recipes on Pinterest that I want to try this Christmas.


In addition, I finished canning pears, peeled, sliced and froze apples for fried apples this winter, and I am probably cooking apple butter as you read this. I certainly do love fall harvest!

And finally, I found an autographed book at the bottom of one of my piles that I had not read yet. It is titled The Little Ships and is a historical fiction picture book that I received when I attended Nerd Camp this summer. But don't let the words historical fiction fool you any, this book is based on the real life heroic rescue at Dunkirk.


I don't know about you, but I love autographed books, and although I wouldn't probably have gravitated to this book on my own, I'm glad it's now part of my growing collection. The Little Ships is a story of a boy in a fishing town fifty miles from Dunkirk England during WWII. His father and he, along with many other fishermen in their small ships, set sail for Dunkirk to ferry thousands of sailors to the navy ships waiting nearby. In all, 338,226 soldiers both French and English were rescued by the little ships. This amazing feat is brought to life by Louise Borden in a believable manner and the story is given depth with the muted water colors of illustrator Michael Foreman.

So my suggestion for all you history buffs, WWII enthusiasts, or just plain curious persons is to find a copy for yourself either from your library or at your favorite book store and get to reading!

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter  @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Three Cats, Three Books

The weather this past weekend was a bit chilly, but it didn't keep kids from creating a little art at the market chalk-a-palooza where I manage. I passed out chalk and caramel apple suckers to the kids and sold almost everything from my table making it a pretty stellar day. And while I love the market, I am glad it's behind me as I am looking forward to taking a little break from baking until the holidays.




Something else I did this past month was run a cross a blurb showing that September was designated as Happy Cat Month. And though we are a few days into October now, I thought it would be fun to share three cat books I read for the occasion. But before I do, I'd like to introduce you to our family's three cats, Max, Daisy, and Fluffy.

Max

Daisy
Fluffy
 Do you see the theme I snuck in there?  Three cats owned, three books read!

The first book I read was titled, The big Meow. The story tells the tale of Little Cat who has a big meow. A meow much bigger than the meow's of his peers, and one that causes the others to leave him out of all their fun and games. That is until Little Cat uses his big meow to save the other kittens from Bruno the bullying Bulldog.


The next title was a cute book called, Cat Skidoo. Cat Skidoo takes the reader on a journey as they follow two kittens who are curious and manage to get into lots of mischief. This book would be great for kids four to six and has some very fun illustrations to admire along the way.


And last but certainly not least since it was my favorite of the three books was Goyangi Means Cat. It is the story of a small girl from Korea, Soo Min, who comes to America after being adopted. Her new parents only know four words of Korean but they have a Goyangi or cat. The cat helps Soo Min adjust to her new home that is different from anything she has ever known. But one day, the cat slips out the door and, Soo Min and her mother spend the day combing the neighbor hood for the naughty kitty.


I loved so many things about this book. I love the story's depiction of how a child might feel in a new and strange place no matter how loving the adoptive parents are. I love that she finds comfort in the family cat. and I love how both the parents and Soo Min make effort to learn each other's languages. But most of all, I loved the illustrations by husband and wife team Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. What they created on the pages of this book was a tapestry of Asian characters and patterns that made me the Korean culture a bit more deeply.

Since all these titles are a little older, I suggest you check you local library first. If that fails, there are some used copies floating around and Goyangi Means Cat is readily available in both Kindle and Nook form.

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. Also be sure to drop by Literacy Musings Mondays for more great blogs as well as my personal website Fun With Aileen where you will find more on reading, writing, and my very own chapter and picture books. And finally, you can find me on twitter  @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.