Posted in In my humble opinion..., Kids Book Review

One-liner Wednesday 4-26-23- Among the Hidden

There’s a gripping youth series of books that I’ve just started reading that- like 1984- sends an alarming warning on our possible futures. Now, more than ever, it seems less a fiction and more of a possibility.

“The Government justifies keeping everyone else in poverty because people seem to work the hardest when they’re right on the edge of survival.”
― Margaret Peterson Haddix, Among the Hidden

Posted in Kids Book Review, Writing Prompts

Weekly Smile- Rib-tickling Sleepover


My youngest granddaughter had a sleepover with me on Friday. She’s 8 1/2 and ever since she was a toddler, we’d lie in bed together during a sleepover and make up stories. (We have some great stories and characters that we’ve created through the years. Someday, I’ll share them with you.)
On Friday, we read her new book instead. She had already read it once but when we read the book together, she realized how extra funny it was! Having your Grandma laughing as you read is a real reason to crack up.
It quickly turned into a giggle fest because her new book is HILARIOUS.
Let’s put it this way. One character is a toothbrush who wants to be a dinosaur lawyer.
Did you read that twice?
Ridiculous is an awesome realm for the ‘sillies’!
If you know a kid between 7 and 10, I highly recommend this. Oh yes, read along with her for a BIG SMILE.

Trent’s World (the Blog) |
The Weekly Smile for the Fifth of April, 2021 #weeklysmile | Trent’s World (the Blog)

Posted in Kids Book Review

Kid Book Review-Loopy

I had mixed feelings about this story upon the first reading. The illustrations are wonderful but I thought the story was a little scary. Then I kid tested it. My three year old “guinea pig” listened with wide-eyed interest. Of all the books recently borrowed from the library, this one was her favorite.

I’m usually against lying to kids and using monsters and giants in order to scare them away from dangers but there ARE dangers that they cannot comprehend. This story made a big impression upon my little friend. It told about a child who forgets her favorite cuddle toy, Loopy, at the doctor’s office. The child goes through the shock of being without her toy and the worry about getting Loopy back. This journey through the child’s mind even visits the possibility of her making her own way, out of the house, to rescue poor Loopy. The author then places a few scary scenarios into play. The storybook child imagines Giants and spiders along with the danger of getting lost if she were unsupervised in the world. Finally, the story ends happily with Loopy being returned by the doctor who brings the toy home after hours.

My little friend talked about the story, and particularly the danger of going outside without permission, throughout the day. This is one fine lesson for a three year old. That age group is notorious for feeling as though they can do almost anything.

So, I have child tested and enjoyed this story and recommend it!

Loopy by Aurore Jesset …Illustrated by Barbara Korthues

Posted in Keeping Kids Creative, Kids Book Review

Mo Williams’ Pigeon Books

Katherine’s (age 6) favorite new book is one from a series of delightfully entertaining and easy to read children’s books. Kat is familiar with this series with some of them already in her own library.

The author/ illustrator combines humor and dialog very well. Katherine reads these books entirely by herself and enjoys making the characters real with her newly learned ability to interpret punctuation.

Pigeon gets very annoyed when he thinks a duckling got preferred treatment. He shouts and rants about wanting his own cookie until the duckling offers it to him instead.

My granddaughter read this story out loud to me a dozen times. She enjoyed adding the exasperated tone that Pigeon uses. Listening to the story as she brought it to life, made me chuckle on every reading. Katherine enjoyed my reaction and therefore, read it many times.

If you want a recommended gift for beginning readers, this series is a winner. “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” is one of Mo Williams‘ most famous stories but the series is all good and worth owning.

Posted in Keeping Kids Creative, Kids Book Review

Kids Book Review- Mrs. McTats and her Houseful of Cats

I had my granddaughter staying with me this weekend. We went to the local library and chose a few books for her to enjoy. We sat outdoors on a lovely Saturday and enjoyed the warm sun in the company of books.

My favorite of our choices was “Mrs.  Mc Tats and her Houseful of Cats”.

It had rhyming text. THAT always make reading fun. It was also very humorous. THAT also makes reading fun.

The artwork illustrations were very charming and gave the book a lot of character.

Mrs. Mc Tats has a ritual of leaving her cozy cottage each morning to go to market. After choosing  something to bring home for dinner, she repeatedly finds new cats scratching at her door. She welcomes them and names them. As the story develops, she ends up with twenty-five cats all with names starting with consecutive letters of the alphabet. The last letter begins the  name of a surprise 26th visitor at her door.

Katherine enjoyed the repeated sing-song rhyming and surprises. She especially enjoyed the illustrations. She read it almost all by herself, once she became familiar with the rhythm of the story.

As I read my own books, Kat read hers for much of our afternoon. I could tell that being a “reader” was giving her a lot of pleasure. I recommend Mrs. Mc Tats as a great” interest keeper” and a good beginning book for readers of 6 years old. I also recommend being a reader yourself and inspiring this joy in kids through example.

Posted in Keeping Kids Creative, Kids Book Review, Sideshows, Susan's Family Day Care

Consider Nursery Rhymes

The deficiency our  kids were having when it came to recognizing classic Nursery Rhymes was allieviated, some, when the movie Shrek came out. Thanks to that movie, kids are asking about Humpty Dumpty, and the gang, who remain frames of reference in our culture. Humpty Dumpty started as a political cartoon and still holds a message of which educated Americans are aware.

Laying a cultural education is a primary duty of preschool teachers and parents. I realized that one of my day care kids had never seen the Wizard of Oz by age 8. We made a date and watched it together. The same day care friend had a movie date with me at age 16 to watch, To Kill a Mockingbird.

There are icons in our culture that should not be overlooked. Subjects,themes and morals crop up in daily life and being familiar with them, makes one truly educated and “in the loop”.  Jack Sparrow, from Disney, reintroduced pirates to childhood. Lots of kids had no reference for them in the previous years.

If you are interested in the well-rounded and fanciful education of a young child, do consider the Mother Goose classics.

Posted in Keeping Kids Creative, Kids Book Review, Sideshows, Susan's Family Day Care

The Poppy Seed Cakes~ Kids Book Review

My mother stirred memories of my childhood favorite story books. This book came to mind right away. I loved the term babushka for the scarf  the old woman wore. Never forgot about it and it often is the first thought I have when I pursue an interest in another culture. If diversity and learning are important to you, sharing this lovely tale with a child is a perfect activity. This tale still gives me the “warm fuzzies”. (Thanks Mom!)