Thursday, November 26, 2009

What We're Reading November 26

Well, we’ve pretty much wrapped up our reading from our large haul from the library a couple of weeks back. It’s a good thing too as the books are due back on Saturday. Normally this would be a good opportunity to get more books while returning the old ones, however, I am singing in the Westben Theatre’s concert of The Wind In the Willows on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, so the library trip will have to wait until next weekend.

Last weekend I was so very fortunate and excited to have performed two wonderful concerts and a dress rehearsal as part of the Westben Festival Chorus along with the Youth and Teen Choruses. Of course, the highlight of the performances has been the narration of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In the Willows by Canadian Stage and movie actor, Tom McCamus. We are truly honoured to share the stage with him and the creative, expressive talent he delivers through his resonant, baritone voice.

Since my little Book Elf has been through all her library books, she has begun to reread the Chronicles of Narnia. I think she is currently in the middle of Voyage of The Dawn Treader.

I’ve also read all the library picture books to my preschoolers, so have gone back to my personal collection. This week our theme has been winter birds. One of my choices for a circle time book was Without You by Sarah Weeks (one of my preferred children’s storybook authors) which is a story about fatherly love and Emperor Penguins. This story also appears in song format on one of my much loved children’s cd’s put out by Ms. Weeks called I'm An Animal.

I'm thinking that we will be looking for the Wind In the Willows on our library trip next weekend.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What We're Reading This Week: November 19

Still going through the stack of library books from almost 2 weeks ago.

The Elf is particularly enjoying Mythology: The Gods, Heroes and Monsters of Ancient Greece (having a heck of a time finding a good link for this one) written by Dugald Steer under the pen name of “Lady Hestia Evans”.

It is from the so- called "Ologies Series" put out by Candlewick Press and is a unique and cool book with fun flaps and pockets, maps and genealogical tables and Greek mythology galore.

It even contains a pop up Pandora’s box.

A pop-up Pandora's box which I automatically reached for and opened up before I even realized what it was!

Book excerpt, “ Now you’ve done it! You couldn’t resist opening the box, could you? Now you know how Pandora must have felt.”

This book was sought out as a follow up and out of interest stirred by the Percy Jackson and the Olympian Series we were reading a few weeks ago.

Picture books we enjoyed this week included:

Me, well for myself I read the Secret Life of Bees by Sue Kidd Monk and I just loved it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What We are Reading This Week , November 12

This past weekend I took my little elf and her friend to the library. It has been a while since we’ve been and so we really went nuts!! We took out about 30 books between the two of us!
Usually we only take out about 5 each, but I guess we were trying to make up for library withdrawal. And of course, I took a few books out for the children at the daycare, too.

So, here is the list of what we have been reading this week since our backbreaking trip home from said library.

The Elf has read:

  • Ramona the Brave
  • Ramona the Pest
  • Ramona and Her Father (all by Beverly Cleary)
  • Magic School Bus. In the Time of The Dinosaurs
  • MSB, Explores the Senses by Joanna Cole.

My daycare children (as well as the Elf) enjoyed:

  • Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp by Carol Diggory Shields and wildly illustrated by Scott Nash
  • On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
  • Berenstain Bears on the Moon by Jan and Stan Berenstain

We also borrowed The Glow in the Dark Night Sky Book by Clint Hatchett, illustrated by Stephen Marchesi. Besides the fact that “Night” is our theme at the daycare this week (hence the Night theme in the above picture books), I thought that here at home we could use the “late autumn” constellation map when we are out next Tuesday night (November 17-18 , 11:00 pm until 4:00 am) to witness the Leonid Meteor Shower.

I’m still not sure whether to have the Elf up so late to witness the shower or not. It is a school night and it is getting much colder. But she is eight now and interested in all things celestial, so it might be worth letting her sleep in and go to school late….
I will likely get her to bed early and wait to see if the night is clear enough and we get a good show before deciding whether or not it is worth waking her.

Another book that I took out was Hana’s Suitcase by Karen Levine. It was winner of the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children, the Silver Birch Award and the National Jewish Book Awards. I read it alone and cried.

The Elf knows certain things about war. She knows that war is not a nice thing. She knows that countless people die in war. She knows a little about the Holocaust. But I don’t think I’m ready for her to read this book yet. Because once you know such horrible truths about the world, it changes you… and I’m not ready for that yet. When she’s a little older, it will be a good book to read.

I am thankful that we are fortunate enough to live in a place where she gets to hold onto her childhood longer than many children in the world who are living through war now. And my heart goes out to those Mamas and Papas who must endure the cold and brutal reality of having more than just the loss of childhood innocence to face.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What We Are Reading This Month

Whoa! Where did the month of October go?


How is it possible that it is November 5th and it was SNOWING this morning?

Ah well, as I begin to slouch into hibernation mode, perhaps I will actually spend more time blogging!!

And of course hibernation mode is also the perfect excuse to read even more books.

What have we been reading?
Well, at daycare it has been a continuation of the fall theme with Theo LeSeig’s Ten Apples Up on Top, Tomie DePaolo’s My First Halloween and The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis which, with it’s refrain of “ 'round and 'round across the ground, makin’ a thumpin’ , bumpin’ sound”, has become my new favourite rhyming, fall picture book.

Here at home in the past month we have devoured the first three of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series written by Rick Riordan. They are, The Lightning Thief, The Sea of Monsters and The Titan’s Curse. These New York Times #1 best-selling books are packed with adventure and Greek mythology which is what we will be investigating more of on our next trip to the library. Needless to say, the next books in this series are now on the Christmas Wish List!!

My 8 year old is an avid reader and she reads well. Of course this is wonderful news, but as a busy,working, multi-projects on the go mom, it is sometimes difficult to keep up with her voracious appetite!! We enjoy reading together, but more and more often she is going on ahead to finish reading the books on her own. In her own spare time. Of which (I keep explaining to her) she has considerably more than I do!

And now, the dishes are done, laundry is folded and put away, the dinner plan is in action, the blog entry has been written... I’m off to curl up with a hot cup of tea and some well earned spare time to read the last few chapters of The Titan’s Curse.