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Lost in London
The Snow Queen
This 8 by 10 picture book is a humorous take on problem solving and helping others. Mich is a girl and Moose is, well, a moose. They are best friends and love snowy days. At the beginning of the book they show us all the wonderful ways they enjoy winter snow. Note: the child is not dressed for winter. As a northerner, I snorted at the picture of her with bare legs and no coat or hat making a snow angel. Point out to children that this is not reality and they do have to dress for the weather.
Anyway, Moose and Mich find someone who is not enjoying winter at all. Spinner the spider is unable to stick her web anywhere because everything is icy. Mich and Moose try to attach it to a dozen places, each more zany and imaginative than the last. At this point the author changed the writing style to rhyme. At first I thought this wasn’t necessary but on subsequent reads I realized it adds a sense of fun and adventure to the quest even though some rhymes are a bit of a stretch. At the end, they find the perfect spot for the web.
This book is a fun journey into silliness but can also be used as a jumping off point to learn about spiders. Where are spiders in the winter? Why don’t children see their webs anywhere?
The illustrations are cheerful and expressive. Some will make children laugh out loud. If you have a reluctant reader who has a taste for silliness, this is a book that will grab their attention.
These were my favorite books I reviewed in 2018. Click on the titles to go to the complete review.
It will give you insights into time that you never considered and strategies that will make your days more successful.
This is a robust and gruesome tale of a Spanish soldier, Abel de Santiago, a gifted sharpshooter, seeking revenge for the murder of his wife. Anything and everything horrible that can happen to this man, does.
Young Adult/Junior Grade Books
This will be a favorite with readers who love fantasy and unusual female heroes.
This is a 8X10 picture book that tells the story of a fascinating and unique individual, Elsa Schiaparelli. It begins in early childhood where we learned that Elsa was a disappointment to her parents because they wanted a boy and she wasn’t as pretty as her sister. This compelled Elsa her to examine the concept of beauty.
I knew I’d like this author the moment I read the dedication. Simple words with a powerful, important message.
This is a delightful picture book for the imaginative child. There are only a few words on each page; the detailed and intriguing gardens filled with secretive hidden fairies dominate.
This is a delightful picture book about missing a friend.My granddaughter found this book very engaging and loved the humorous bits as well as the emotional moments. Highly recommended.
Buy link http://a.co/d/0IgU5rc
Good Morning Snowplow! is a gently engaging and reassuring picture book about a snow plow operator clearing the streets at night while everyone else sleeps. It has a poetic rhythm with rhyming couplets and smooth cadence.
It begins with a snowplow worker leaving his home. He carries a small lunch box and is accompanied by a doleful looking brown dog. The worker carefully checks his machinery before moving the vehicle and then step by step begins his methodical, important routine.
The lines are beautifully poetic as the plow breakthrough obstacles.
“Waves of white curl off the blade.
In its wake, a trail is laid.”
As someone who has spent a great deal of time driving after dark through snow, I can connect easily with the text, but anyone who has never experienced a northern winter would feel as though they were sitting in the passenger seat.
I especially like that this book draws attention to an overlooked but essential job. Sometimes the snowplow worker is vilified instead of honored for his/her tremendously important work. Children should be taught to appreciate everyone who contributes to the safety and well-being of others.
The illustrations are an ideal match to the text. You can almost reach out and catch a snowflake. The muted colors and a dominant blue portray a silent winter evening perfectly.
I like that when the snowplow worker exited the truck to see what was happening, he kept his dog on a leash. Small details like that are important in children’s books.
One thing that struck me as odd was the necessary use of commas in parts.
“Goodnight, homes, and goodnight, cars.”
The words and the pictures worked together to slow the pace and give the other world sensation of a night job. Extra commas just seemed awkward.
All in all, this is a wonderful book to add to a child’s library. A different take on that fierce and fascinating season called winter.
This is another picture book in the series by Barbara Ann Mojica where a character named Little Miss History journeys to interesting places in the United States and around the world. She doesn’t just focus on history but also explores the environment, culture, and more. In this book she shares the factual and the mythic facets of the North Pole.
Children will be fascinated by some of the facts in this text. For example, unlike Antarctica the North Pole has no land mass. It also has no time Zone. There are a surprising number of living creatures in this frigid place. Kids who like to learn unusual information will enjoy this book.
No one owns the North Pole. Mojica examines the history and politics in a simple and informative way.
Mojica writes: “Sunrise and sunset come once a year. The North Pole receives six months of daylight and six months of darkness.” You will have to explain that this is not the same in the entire Arctic Circle. There, people experience months of Twilight where it is halfway between night and day. There is even some disagreement between scientists as to whether the North Pole has full darkness for 6 months and full light for 6 months.
Of course, since this is a picture book for small children, the inevitable question of Santa Claus will come up. Mojica talks about the various Saint Nicks through history and in different cultures without damaging a child’s belief.
The book ends with the one-page glossary of words such as indigenous and mammals.
Another fun and informative book that would make a great gift.
BUY LINK http://a.co/d/gWxCyP1
Check out my video with your child.
A Christmas wonderland made from Legos tells short visual stories while the music for We Wish You a Merry Christmas plays. Words appear on the screen. Then the music takes a more lively twist while the history of the song is revealed. Lego enthusiasts will be inspired to make their own winter town.
Notice that the carollers have the actual words to the song on the booklets.
Should such a little creature be called a DRAGONfly?
It should have a dragon’s name and I will tell you why…
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Variations on tradition rhymes about royalty.
This book has more ideas than you will ever possibly use for a party. There are chapters on making dolls, wands, books, wish boxes, and even fairy wings. Marsh gives details on preparing for the party, sending out invitations, food, cake, tablecloths and napkins, and even place cards. There is a whole section on games and activities most quite physically active.
Some of the creations require a great deal of effort and some are fairly simple. Many of them are quite beautiful and worthy of becoming a permanent keepsake.
Of course you can simplify everything and change things to suit your energy level, income, and needs. I used it as inspiration for a fairy night with my five-year-old granddaughter who was sleeping over. Here are some of the decorations we did using materials we already had and a few things from the dollar store.
Any physical activities outside were out of the question since we were experiencing a heat wave and it was excruciating hot at 9 pm. Instead we played table and word games with fairy themes such as “A fairy took from my house.” We did two rounds of took and two of left.
Our fairy door in the garden was too damp so we put one on the deck.
To see our decorations, games etc. check out this short video.