Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Custard and Company

 My soon-to-be-second-grader found my old copy of this book by Ogden Nash. She's been reading it at night before bed. No doubt she's been dreaming of porcupines, mustard, and dragons. 

The Butterfly Jar by Jeff Moss
I found this for my phone's Kindle app. If I can convince her to open it rather than that bird game, she might enjoy it, too.

Another book I'm quite enamored with lately is Poetry for Young People: Robert Frost, edited by Gary D. Schmidt and illustrated by Henri Sorensen. Illustrations that fit the mood and a short commentary at the bottom of each page help the young (or old) reader. I have my eye on finding more books from the series, especially the collections of Langston Hughes and William Blake.

For it seems better at bedtime, rather than dragons, for my daughter to count sheep.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On Writing

Reading these two books this summer has made me want to read more Frost and Faulkner, play more tennis, write more often, and drink more or less. 

The Writing Life by Ellen Gilchrist

Lit: A Memoir by Mary Karr

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Lately, I've been reading a number of books that are either set before, during, or remembering the Holocaust. Although these works are stories about the lost lives of this period, they are also stories about restoring hope. 

Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
An American journalist living in Paris begins researching a devastating event that most people, including her husband's French family, have wanted to forget. 

The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World by E.L. Konigsburg
A young boy uncovers the mystery of a stolen sketch. 

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman
At his grandson's wedding, a man discovers the woman he thought he had lost long ago in Prague.

The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons
A young woman flees Vienna and finds love and refuge in an English country house.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

So This Is Summer

I asked my 6-year-old to write down her goals for this summer. Since the water in the pool is hovering around 70 degrees, we decided to skip #1 (swim) for now and work on #2 (science experiments) and #3 (sew a book). Since my knowledge of science is about equal to my love of sewing, we went to the library.

Science Play by Jill Frankel Hauser
This book says it's for ages 2-6, but I do have a 3-year-old to entertain as well. And when the only supplies required for each experiment happen to be the ones I actually have in the kitchen,on the art shelf, or in the yard, I'm willing to give it a try. Seedy Sock Walk, Worms at Work, and Gooblek are all bookmarked for next week.

Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make by Amie Plumley and Andria Lisle
This fun, polka dotted book starts with a few basic lessons (how to thread a needle, how to sew a button), but my favorite is the "oops" section which has pictures of what might go wrong when sewing and explains how to fix it. In addition, the photographs of projects done by kids make each project seem more approachable. So far we have sticky notes marking the apple pincushion and doll skirt. If the authors can lead 30 kids through one of these projects, I hope I can handle helping one. 

If not, we may have to invest in some wetsuits. Or move back to Texas.