Monthly Archives: February 2013

WWW Wednesdays – February 27, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

– What I’m currently reading 
The Lying game #4 - Hide and Seek by Sara ShepardThe Lying Game #4: Hide and Seek by Sara Shepard. I’m half way through and it’s still a guilty pleasure.

– What I recently finished reading
Die Trying by Lee Child. I just couldn’t put this book down and I felt it was better than the first Jack Reacher book, simply based on that reason. To me, a great book makes me want to keep flipping the pages, no matter the story or the topic. Jack Reacher is a mysterious and fascinating character. I really enjoyed following his train of thought, and his decision-making and deductive skills. I don’t want to give away the story, so I’ll just say I learned a lot about how the FBI and the various government branches work together (or not). I’m looking forward to reading more Jack Reacher books.

– What I think I’ll read next
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, which is based on the true story of a gorilla who lived in a cage inside a circus-theme mall in Washington State.

My kids’ bookshelf

Chloe And The Lion by Mac BarnettWhat they’re currently reading
Chloe And The Lion by Mac Barnett. Mac, the author of this book, fires Adam, the illustrator, over their differences on what should happen to Chloe. Then Mac hires another illustrator, who somehow reiterates what Adam previously said. So Mac decides to hire Adam back, but there’s a slight problem. Mac made the lion eat Adam and now, he’s not sure how to get him out… This hilarious story will probably make it to my top favorite children’s books of 2013. My kids can’t have enough of it and they ask to read it again and again.

–  Z Is For Moose by Kelly Bingham. This is another favorite read at our house right now (we’ve been very lucky with our book selections recently). Moose, is very eager to play his part in the alphabet book Zebra is putting together, until he reaches the page with the letter M and realizes he’s not on it. What happens next is the result of a very disappointed moose and quite a messy alphabet book, until Zebra finds a spot for Moose after all.

Big Chickens by Leslie Helakoski– What they recently finished reading 
We’ve enjoyed several books by Leslie Helakoski all around the same theme… big chickens! Each story follows the same recipe: the chickens enjoy time in the chicken coop but one of them wants to explore and spread his wings. Soon the rest of the chickens follow and they all get in trouble. Funny illustrations to go with adventure, peril, courage, and happy ending – what more could you ask for?
Big Chickens
Big Chickens Fly The Coop
Big chickens Go To Town

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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Goofy Monday: How about some duel immersion?

I received such positive feedback for my Goofy Monday post last week, I’ve decided to aim at making it a regular feature on my blog. I don’t know if this will be a weekly or bi-weekly feature, as it will depend on the amount of materials I can gather. Fingers crossed!

My little guy is turning five today, so I’m making the birthday boy the star of this post. He’s quite a funny guy.

Last night, as we were reading books, he reached over, gave me a big kiss and said this:
“I love you very much! I’m in love with you. And I’m not going to have girlfriends for a very long time.”

Haha, you’ve got to love a boy turning five! When I told him I didn’t expect him to have a girlfriend until he was 25, his brother came to the rescue and said he can have one when he’s a teenager. I can’t wait…

Last week we went to Michael’s, the arts & craft store, to take a look at the Easter / Spring decorations. That’s where my son spotted something very interesting on the shelf. He grabbed the item, took a serious look at it and exclaims:
“Look, Mama, it’s a chicken pooping Easter eggs. I’ve wanted one for soooooo long, and it’s finally here!”

The pooping chicken – it’s every kid’s dream come true.

Goofy Monday: chicken pooping Easter eggs

Goofy Monday: chicken pooping Easter eggs

A few days ago, my kid decided to accessorize his fingers. He proudly showed the result as he said:
“Look, I’ve got a super long finger nail!”
Coming from a kid who bites not only all his finger nails, but also his toe nails, I think he’s got quite a sense of humor. And look, he can use his new finger nail as a toothpick.

Goofy Monday: super long finger nail

Goofy Monday: super long finger nail

I’ll end this post with an example of the dangers of homophones. I offer lessons in French and English to students here and there, and I’m listed on a tutoring website. That’s where I recently found this request from a parent looking for help for her child:

“I need someone to help my kindergartener with her homework. She’s in a duel immersion school, English and Spanish.”

It made me wonder what a duel immersion school is. If Harry Potter learns about wizardry at Hogwarts, do you learn to duel with swords and pistols in duel immersion school?

Or do you learn to duel with words, Spanish or one side, English on the other?

Or maybe that’s simply where the immigration debate in the US has brought us today. Duel immersion: the hidden danger of immigration…

How would you explain duel immersion?

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Forward

Today I’m participating in the WordPress weekly photo challenge twice: once here and the other on my photography website, so feel free to hop over and view my selected photos.

As a parent, I have a lot to look forward to. I’m looking forward to my son’s birthday party tomorrow.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Forward to a birthday party

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Forward to a birthday party

I’m looking forward to more thank you notes when I bake yummy food with my kids. Oh, and I’m also looking forward to teaching my son how to spell “chocolate” correctly. ;-)

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Forward to chocolate chip cookies

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Forward to chocolate chip cookies

I’m looking forward to more great reading over the next few weeks.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Forward to great reading

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Forward to great reading

And I’m looking forward to showing my kids how beautiful the world around them is, especially when they take a closer look. This is what we spotted this morning by the school: morning dew and leftover raindrops from yesterday’s heavy rain. Nature is so pretty.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Forward to beautiful nature

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Forward to beautiful nature

WWW Wednesdays – February 20, 2013

WWW Wednesdays

Sorry, I missed last week’s WWW Wednesdays update. It’s not because I didn’t read any books – I sure did! – but simply because I couldn’t find enough time to write about them. And this week’s Wednesday update is one day late for the same reason. But hey, now you get to read about the really cool books we’ve enjoyed these past couple of weeks. There are some really good ones in there…

By the way, did you notice I created a new header for my blog? I’d love to hear what you think of it.

My bookshelf

Die Trying by Lee Child– What I’m currently reading
–  Die Trying by Lee Child. This is the second book in the Jack Reacher series and I can’t put it down! I read Killing Floor, the first in the series a few weeks ago and I just realized I never posted my review, so here it is below.

– What I recently finished reading
Killing Floor by Lee Child. After reading A Wanted Man and liking it, I wanted to go back and read the very first book in the Jack Reacher series. And boy, was I smart to do that. It was excellent! I love the writing style, the story, the mysteries, the Jack Reacher character, his reasoning and deductive skills, and his coldblood behavior when it comes to saving his life and the lives of others. I am hooked and I’m looking forward to slowly reading every single book in the series.
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen. This book is my first experience with Carl Hiaassen and it won’t be my last. Chomp is a young adult novel people of all ages will enjoy. I myself found it very entertaining in many ways. Chomp deals with a lot of subjects in under 300 pages: reality TV, environmental issues, family, financial stress and abuse, just to name a few. Hiaasen takes a big bite of fun at reality TV, which he reveals is nothing but real. Derek Badger is a phony copy of the late and wonderful Steve Irwin, and he had me laughing at every scene he’s in. I enjoyed the bond between middle-school aged Wahoo and his father and seeing how much they work hard to support each other through their hard times. If you’re looking for an entertaining read that will make you question what you see on TV, this is the book for you. I’ll definitely be adding Hoot to my to-read list now.
Coma by Robin Cook. A few weeks ago, I mentioned this story looked familiar. Well, I don’t think I read the book before but I sure saw the movie! I remember seeing it on TV in the early 80s and being really freaked out about the story.
Let me start with a few flaws I see in this book:
1) Being Robin Cook’s first novel, it could have used more thorough editing. I’m not sure why it didn’t. Also, the first third of the book was a little too slow paced for me. The editing could probably have fixed that too.
2) Some of the underlying themes seem outdated today, almost 40 years after the book was written. Woman doctors are a lot common today and I doubt there is as much sexism as described in this story. How do I know? I’ve watched plenty of ER and Gray’s Anatomy’s episodes, so I’m fully qualified. ;-)
3) The main character is very stubborn and determined to figure out what is going on in the hospital. I can’t imagine a medical student blowing off her residency on the very first day to investigate a couple of unsuspicious coma cases.
That being said, this story is riveting and I couldn’t put the book down when I got to the last third. The issue the book tackles with is still very relevant today and it put some very chilling thoughts in my mind.

– What I think I’ll read next
The Lying Game #4: Hide and Seek by Sara Shepard. I can’t wait to read this book, although I know there are probably four more books after this one before the story ends (talking about milking this series all the way to the bank…). Sutton is the narrator and the peculiar thing about her is, she’s dead, and she doesn’t remember who killed her. Her long-lost twin sister somehow appears in Sutton’s town and people mistake her for Sutton, so she plays the game along to try to find her sister’s killer. This is a real nail biter (although I have a pretty good idea who the killer is by now) and I love this guilty pleasure.

My kids’ bookshelf

Nightsong by Ari BerkWhat they’re currently reading
Nightsong by Ari Berk. My kids LOVE this book and I bet it will appear on my top favorite children’s books for 2013. If you have young children, you HAVE to read this book with them. It’s a wonderful story about becoming independent and confident as you start flying on your own. The text is very poetic and the illustrations are simply magical (see below). Chiro, a young bat, feels nervous about flying on a very dark night without his mother for the first time. His mom advises him to rely on his “song” to find his way around and not go past the world he knows unless he’s sure he can make his way back. This is what his mom tells Chiro before he leaves:
“Sense is the song you sing out into the world, and the song the world sings back to you.”
Here’s Chiro singing her song to view the world in front of her. Just beautiful.

Nightsong by Ari Berk

Nightsong by Ari Berk

On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole. I love how this book shows children what little positive changes they can make around them, and how these changes will multiply once other people follow their lead. After they move into their new house on Meadowview street (without any meadow in sight), Caroline and her parents decide to stop mowing their lawn and encourage wildflowers to grow. Many birds and animals start visiting their yard and neighbors follow Caroline’s lead until the whole street lives up to its name. What a great message to give our kids!

Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini– What they recently finished reading
–  Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini. We’ve read this book before and we enjoyed it a lot, so we had to get it from the library again. Moose thinks he has all of the Christmas preparations taken care of, until his family points out he forgot the Christmas tree. And there are no more trees left in town. Oh my, where will Santa put the presents? Moose isn’t about to let his kids down and you can probably guess from the book cover how Moose will save the day, or rather Christmas night.
Moosekitos: A Moose Family Reunion by Margie Palatini. Moose plans the perfect moose family reunion but it doesn’t turn out quite as he expected. Everyone seems to be going off on their own instead of spending quality time all together. With a little help from mosquitoes, Moose may just get the family reunion he’s been hoping for.

– What I think they’ll read next
I don’t know but I’m sure it will be good stuff. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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