Tag Archives: Cynthia Rylant

www Wednesdays – June 29, 2011

WWW Wednesdays

Today is my birthday (if you’re curious to know how old I am, I suggest you read last year’s post on Turning 40 and do the quick math) and I’m planning to bake my own birthday cake as part of my 101 in 1001 challenge, so I’ll make this post quick. Sorry but a chocolate cake should always take priority!

The Remains of the Day by Kasuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day by Kasuo Ishiguro

My bookshelf

– What I’m currently reading
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (a Japanese British writer). I’ve never seen the movie inspired by this book and I’m struggling with main character’s spoken style and tone (the book uses the first-person narrative). But I know it’s meant to be that way. A “perfect” English butler, oblivious to the life going on around him, emotionless, uptight, borderline asocial. I keep wondering, how does someone grow up to become this type of person? Will he ever turn around and see the light, smell the roses? And that’s why I keep reading the book, because I’m a hopeful person.

– What I recently finished reading
Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson. This is the diary of a mother for her new baby, with a tragic twist, intertwined with another story about a woman and her lover. I hate to admit the story is predictible, but you can’t help but feel the same joy and pain as the characters as they go through life. As a mother, I found some parts quite heartbreaking, making me think of what I really want my children to remember from me, and making sure I tell my kids every night that I love them.

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (a Japanese American writer). I’m so glad I stumbled upon this book at the library – this is a great story! In the early 1950s, a Japanese family is forced to move from Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, with only 32 Japanese out of 4000 residents – the ultimate minority. Younger sister Katie narrates this story about her mother, father and older sister Lynn. Unfortunately Lynn gets sick and the whole family is hurt emotionally, physically and financially. Even though this book is considered “youth literature”, I recommend it to anyone looking to read a lovely, touching story about growing up.

– What I think I’ll read next
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom. I feel everybody else in the world has read this book except me, so it’s now waiting for me on my bookshelf.

My kids’ bookshelf

Can I play, too? by Mo Willems - Elephant and Piggie series

Can I play, too? by Mo Willems - Elephant and Piggie series

– What they’re currently reading
Lots and lots of Mo Willems!!! We’re big fans of Mo Willems and got the opportunity to see him in person almost a year ago. We haven’t read Mo for a while so I got a whole bunch of his books at the library, since they are so entertaining, often hilarious and great for early readers. Our favorites of the Elephant & Piggie book series are:
I Will Surprise My Friend (this has to be one of the funniest children’s books ever!)
Can I Play, Too? (this one is a close second – BOINK!)
There Is a Bird on Your Head
I Am Invited to a Party!

– What they recently finished reading
Mr Putter & Tabby Spill the Beans, Mr Putter & Tabby Spin the Yarn, and Mr Putter & Tabby See the Stars, by Cynthia Rylant. Wonderful, funny, touching books both preschoolers and their parents will enjoy reading. And if you’ve ever wondered how many bean recipes you can come up with, Mr Putter & Tabby Spill the Beans has the answer for you.

– What I think they’ll read next
I’ve got lots of books requested at the library but they don’t seem to be moving very fast, so I’m not sure which books I’ll replenish our stock with yet.

What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share? Feel free to share below. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a birthday cake to bake.

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WWW Wednesdays – June 22, 2011

WWW Wednesdays

Welcome back to WWW Wednesdays! The kids have been doing a lot more reading than me this week and we’ve discovered a few great books to share.

My bookshelf

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson– What I’m currently reading
I just started reading Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson last night. I was very tired and needed the sleep but it was hard to put it down. I can’t wait to find out how this story turns out.

– What I recently finished reading
Earlier this week I finished Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. Although it was easy to read, entertaining and informative, it seems that Pollan spends more time telling us what not to eat, rather than what to eat. Probably because nobody really knows what the “perfect” diet really is, since food and its thousands of nutrients are so complicated to understand. What did I get out of it? Eat a reasonable amount of foods, go for variety and simple ingredients, and make sure to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Voila!

I also read Vol de Nuit (Night Flight) by Antoine de Saint Exupery in a couple of sittings. As a French native, the only other St Exupery book I’ve read so far is Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince), one of my very favorite books, so it was great to read more of this wonderful, poet-in-prose author. This book gives great insight on what it was like to work for the airline mail courier L’Aeropostale in the late 1920s, as St Exupery did himself, including flying at night to compete with mail services by ship and train. A very chilling story about bravery and humanity.

What I think I’ll read next
Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata. I grabbed this book off the youth literature shelf at the library simply because I liked the cover but I have no idea if it’s any good. It won the Newbery medal, so it can’t be too bad! The inside jacket describes it as the story of two Japanese sisters who move to the Deep South, in Georgia, with their parents, so the premise looks interesting.

Flotsam by David Wiesner

Flotsam by David Wiesner

My kids’ bookshelf

What they’re currently reading
We’re been reading a lot of new books but they do have a few favorites, including Flotsam by David Wiesner. We’re big fans of Wiesner and this book doesn’t disappoint. This illustrator makes you understand why sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. By the way, if you haven’t read The Three Pigs with your kids, you’re missing out – it’s pure genius. Other new favorites include Chicken Butt and Chicken Butt’s Back by Erica S. Perl. What kid doesn’t like stories mentioning the word “butt” a dozen times? Very, very funny.

– What they recently finished reading
Skippyjon Jones and the Big Bones, and Skippyjon Jones in the Doghouse. We have the audiobook versions and it’s great to have Judy Schachner read her own stories to the kids. Especially because my tongue can never read a Skippyjon Jones book without messing up a few lines, and Schachner’s voice is so fun and entertaining. Holy frijoles!

What I think they’ll read next
Mr Putter & Tabby Spill the Beans, and Mr Putter & Tabby Spin the Yarn by Cynthia Rylant. We do have the books but the kids have been too busy with others to take serious interest in these two so far.

What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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WWW Wednesdays – a new weekly post theme

WWW WednesdaysOne of my fellow bloggers (thanks, Sharon!) picked up this weekly post idea from another blogger, who got it from another… and since I love books and reading, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon too. By taking part in the W… W… W… Wednesdays post theme, I hope to share answers to these same questions every Wednesday:

– What I’m currently reading
– What I recently finished reading
– What I think I’ll read next

As a mom, I thought it would be a good idea to share the books I read on my own, as well as those I read with my kids and think other young kids would enjoy. Our house hosts about 50 library books at any time, so I’ll share the best of them each time. Here we go!

My bookshelf

1) What are you currently reading? 

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
I should be done with this book today and it’s been very insightful. I’ve learned more about where our food comes from than I ever wanted to know, and how messed up the corn industry really is. This explains why there’s corn everywhere, from our food, to pet food, livestock feed, even car gasoline (ethanol, anyone?). I also learned that “organic” doesn’t always mean “mom and pop farm”, quite the opposite. While the author shares his personal experiences with food, he includes a lot of facts and research and doesn’t condone anyone for eating meat or some other questionable foods. If you want to know what’s really on your plate and your kids’ plates, this is a great place to start.

2) What did you recently finish reading?

Holes by Louis Sachar
What a great read! I’m buying a permanent copy for our home bookshelf, and I can’t wait for my boys to be old enough to read this book. This is what great writing looks like, and the kind of juvenile literature that will give kids (and adults alike) a genuine love for reading.

3) What do you think you’ll read next?

Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith
I had no idea the famous movie was a book first. Since most books are a lot better than the movies they inspire, I thought, why not try it.

Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride by Kate DiCamillo

My kids’ bookshelf

1) What are they currently reading? 

After I read The Tale of Despereaux on my own, I realized Kate DiCamillo has a series of books with attractive illustrations about a pig named Mercy Watson. So we’re currently reading Mercy Watson To The Rescue and Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride. My oldest loves these books and my youngest, who’s just over three, is now patient enough to sit through the whole story (the vivid images help a lot). I definitely recommend Mercy’s adventures to little ones!

Some other new favorites are Rita and Whatsit and the Fly Guy series by Tedd Arnold (great book series for early readers).

2) What did they recently finish reading?

Mr Putter & Tabby Pick The Pears by Cynthia Rylant

We’ve read most of the Mr Putter & Tabby collection by Cynthia Rylant. Our favorite picks so far are Mr Putter & Tabby Pick The Pears and Mr Putter & Tabby Paint The Porch. Both storylines along with their illustrations are simple hilarious. Where else can you see a pink squirrel and a blue chipmonk?

3) What do you think they’ll read next?

I’m not sure.I’ve ordered lots of books at the library and don’t know what’s coming next, but I hope for some more Mercy Watson.

What about you? What’s on your bookshelf or nightstand these days? Any books you may recommend for me or my kids?

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