Tag Archives: Deck the Halls by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark

WWW Wednesdays – January 18, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

– What I’m currently reading
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. If you’re a fan of this book and the others that follow I apologize in advance if my comments shock you. I’m about a third into it and I’m finding this book a real drag. Sooooo slow, with such long, overdone descriptions of everything and barely a plot to grab my interest. And the writing style is extremely outdated. I doubt this book would get picked up by any publisher today without some serious editing. And on top of it all, Anne can’t shut up, as she rambles on and on for half of every chapter, following or preceding a temper tantrum. Gosh I hope it gets better…

– What I recently finished reading
Deck the Halls by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark. Fun and entertaining. As usual the good guys catch the bad guys and there’s plenty of suspense in between.

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. A mix of drama, sci-fi, autobiography and humor, all wrapped up in an absurd tale. This is not specifically my type of novels, but I enjoyed the writing style. So it goes.

– What I think I’ll read next
I’ve got a few books waiting on my bookshelf so I’ll have to check which one needs to go back to the library first before I make my pick.

My kids’ bookshelf

What they’re currently reading
Mr Putter and Tabby ring the bell by Cynthia RylantMr Putter & Tabby Ring the Bell by Cynthia Rylant. I’m so glad there’s finally a new Mr Putter & Tabby because we’ve read all the other ones. This new adventure is as hilarious and sweet as the rest.
All about Sam by Lois Lowry. My five year old read this book with his kindergarten teacher and he asked that we read it at home too. This is the story of Sam, his parents, and his sister Anastasia, from the first day he was born into his toddler years. Right now, we’re in the middle of the Terrible Twos…
My friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann. Rabbit’s got a lot of ideas and things tend to go wrong every time, but Mouse still lets him play with his airplane because they are friends. A great lesson about friendship and forgiveness.

What they recently finished reading
One by Kathryn Otoshi. Probably one of the BEST books on bullying, showing how it just takes one to make everyone count. It’s also a fun book on colors and shapes. I really like this book a lot, and my kids do too. I highly recommend it for kids from age 2 to 6.
Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld. Cloudette, the littlest cloud of them all, finds a way to do something big and important like the other clouds. A great message for little kids to find a purpose and make a difference, no matter their size.

– What I think they’ll read next
I picked up a very large bag of books at the library this afternoon. I had requested some of them ahead of time. As for the rest, my three year old and I picked them right off the shelves, so I hope we have some good ones in the pile.

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

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WWW Wednesdays – January 11, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

– What I’m currently reading
Deck the halls by Mary Higgins ClarkDeck the Halls by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark. It’s the prequel to The Christmas Thief, which I read a couple of months ago. I’m enjoying this guilty pleasure of light reading in between some heavier reading.

– What I recently finished reading
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson. This was quite an interesting book to read, with lots of materials and research data in less than 300 pages. But I think rather than using the subtitle “How finding your passion changes everything”, it should have been ” how some people found them passion and changed their lives.” This book is full of examples of famous (and less famous) people who found their passion early on or later in life, and what factors can affect someone finding their passion, or not. As a parent, I find it helpful as an observer to identify areas of interest in my children I may want to encourage rather than smother. But for myself, it doesn’t really tell me how to discover my own passions and find “my element.” I still recommend this book for the information it contains overall but the quest shouldn’t stop at the end of it.

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff. A little long but I didn’t guess who the real murderer was, so I liked the surprise ending.

– What I think I’ll read next
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I just picked it up at the library today and should be able to start it in a couple of days.

My kids’ bookshelfI want my hat back by Jon Klassen

What they’re currently reading
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. A bear searches for his missing hat until he remembers where he last saw it. The large font size makes it easy for young readers to read on their own and the story is very funny. I just can’t believe my kids haven’t figured out what happened to the lying rabbit at the end…
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. This is a Caldecott Medal Book winner and it really deserves the award, both for the story and the beautiful illustrations. On a very cold winter’s night under a full moon, a father and daughter trek into the woods to see the Great Horned Owl. My kids couldn’t wait to see if the owl would show, and the wait was worth it.
The Berenstain Bears Say Please and Thank You by Jan & Mike Berenstain. Sister, Brother, and Honey Bear practice using their very best manners in many different situations. A great book to teach or remind kids about good manners (saying please, thank you, you’re welcome, sorry, etc).

What they recently finished reading
Hippo and Rabbit in three short tales by Jeff MackHippo and Rabbit in Three Short Tales by Jeff Mack. Jeff Mack is a genius and really knows what makes little kids laugh. These three very short, super easy to read stories are just hilarious and my kids loved this book. Can you imagine what happens when a rabbit pushes a hippo on a swing? Not much, right? Now, just imagine what happens when a hippo pushes a rabbit on a swing. Wheeeeeeeeeee!
The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship : a Russian Tale retold by Arthur Ransome. Another Caldecott Medal Book winner, this is the story of the Fool of the World who, when the Czar announces he’ll marry his daughter to the man who brings him a flying ship, sets out to try his luck. On the way hemeets some unusual but also very useful companions. This book is pretty long so I recommend for kids over four years, but it’s very interesting.

– What I think they’ll read next
We just picked up a whole bunch of books at the library today, including some Richard Scarry’s and the brand new Mr Putter & Tabby Ring the Bell by Cynthia Rylant!

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

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WWW Wednesdays – December 21, 2011

WWW Wednesdays

Did you notice I revamped my blog yesterday? What do you think of the new look?

I was going to work on my “101 in 1001” update late last week when, one by one, each member of our family got attacked by the nastiest stomach bug. It looked like we had an exorcist visiting our home and working its anti-demon moves on all of us for several days. As a parent, there’s nothing worse than being sick as a dog when you have to take care of your kids (whether they’re sick or not themselves). We’re now recovering and finding the energy to get out of the house for fresh air. My advice to you: use hand sanitizer everywhere you go! That bug is NASTY.

My bookshelf

Between shades of gray by Ruta Sepetys– What I’m currently reading
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. A fascinating novel written by the descendant of Lithuanian refugees. In 1941, 15-year old Lina and her family are deported to a forced-labor camp in Siberia. I’m a third into the book and even though it’s definitely not a book to put me in the Christmas spirit (interesting to note it arrived at the library right after I finished Man’s Search for Meaning), I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next to Lina and her family.

– What I recently finished reading
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. A fascinating memoir of Frankl’s years spent in various concentration camps during World War II and his analysis of what makes man want to survive such atrocities rather than give up on life. As you read this book, or any book on similar inhumane situations (e.g. genocides, ethnic cleansing, slavery), it’s so hard to believe these still happen in so many places around the world, every day.

– What I think I’ll read next
Deck the Halls by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark. It’s the prequel to The Christmas Thief, which I just read a few weeks ago. Since it’s set around Christmastime I thought it would be a good change from the horrors of the concentration camps at this time of year.

My kids’ bookshelfThe Berenstain Bears save Christmas

What they’re currently reading
Lots of books with a Christmas theme!
The Berenstain Bears Save Christmas by Stan & Jan Berenstain and Michael Berenstain. A great story to remind our little ones what the true spirit of Christmas really. The Berenstain Bears help Santa Bear find it amongst the Christmas gone-crazy lights, shopping and overall holiday extravagance.
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas tree by Robert Barry. My kids LOVE reading this story. They’re amazed to see how one Christmas treetop that gets chopped because Mr Willowby’s tree is too tall can keep on giving a Christmas tree to so many families. A lovely Christmas story to read all together.
Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini. Papa Moose is taking care of all the Christmas decorations and preparations on his “check” list but his family makes him realize he forgot one crucial item: the Christmas tree. But Papa Moose is here to save Christmas!

What they recently finished reading
How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss. I’m not a big Dr Seuss fan (his over-the-top play of words using made-up words usually drive me nuts) but I’ll admit I really like this story, especially around Christmastime. We also watched the original How The Grinch Stole Christmas DVD based on this book and the kids liked it a lot (it’s about 25 minutes, just right for little ones).
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead. A very sweet story about an older gentleman, Amos McGee, who spends time every day with his animal friends at the zoo. When Amos finds himself too sick to go to the zoo, his friends decide to return the favor. 
Look! A book! by Bob Staake. By the author of  The Red Lemon (another great picture book), this is a great seek-and-find adventure picture book with rhyming text and lots of die cuts on every page to find hidden objects and characters. My kids liked reading this book with me and on their own.  
 
– What I think they’ll read next
There are a few books already waiting for us at the library so I’ll have to pick them up by the end of this week and see what great stories are waiting for us.
 
What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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