Tag Archives: Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West

WWW Wednesdays – May 30, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan– What I’m currently reading
Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him by Luis Carlos Montalvan and  Bret Witter. I’m about a third into it and have learned how Tuesday was trained to be a service dog from Day 3 of his life. I’m now learning about Montalvan’s time in the Army and his service in Iraq. He sure doesn’t have many nice things to say about military generals and the politics behind this war in general. Quite an interesting, first-hand perspective. And yes, that’s the real Tuesday on the book’s front cover. Doesn’t he look like the coolest dog?
 
– What I recently finished reading

Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West. After reading the hilarious and delightful Gone With a Handsomer Man, this book was a little disappointing. The main character is supposed to dig up some unknown information about her family’s past but by the end, nothing discovered was that earth-chattering. This is still an entertaining read, but not West’s best.
 
 – What I think I’ll read next
A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron, the sequel to his bestseller A Dog’s Purpose. I loved the first book so much, I can’t wait to read this one!
 
My kids’ bookshelf

Wow! Ocean! by Robert NeubeckerWhat they’re currently reading
Wow! Ocean! by Robert Neubecker. The latest release in Neubecker’s Wow! series is EXCELLENT! This time Lizzy and her little sister go around the world’s oceans, where they meet lots of underwater sea creatures (all are labeled so you get to see different types of whales, turtles, seashells, etc). We love it and I think this is the best one in the series.
Secret Agent Splat! by Robert Scotton. Scotton’s newest Splat adventure features a search for disappearing wooden ducks. I love Rob Scotton’s sense of humor and my kids can’t get enough of this story.
Mr Putter & Tabby Spill the Beans by Cynthia Rylant. We’re re-reading the Mr Putter & Tabby books since they’re one of our favorite series. In this one, Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby attend a cooking class with Mrs. Teaberry and her dog Zeke  to learn 100 ways to cook beans. It doesn’t take long for the beans to spill! I love Rylant’s writing style and the hilarious illustrations always are a perfect match.

What they recently finished reading
That Pesky Rat by Lauren Child (famous for her Charlie & Lola books and TV series). A brown street rat longs to be someone’s pet and have his very own name, so he asks the pet shop owner to let him post a for-sale sign. Lucky for him, an old man with extremely poor eyesight is interested in buying this “cat” (it sure read like cat on the sign!).
Goldie and the Three Hares by Margie Palatini. As Goldilocks runs away from the three bears, she falls down a rabbit hole and hurts her foot. The family of hares tries to help her but Goldie happens to be quite a demanding, borderline obnoxious, guest they can’t wait to get rid of.
Spot It!  and Spot It Again! by Delphine Chedru. In both books created by a French illustrator, kids have to find the animals hidden in colorful patterns. Both my kids love these books, even though you’d think they’re too old for them. I think it’s because everything is very well hidden, small, and hard to find.

– What I think they’ll read next
We have so many books from the library to still read, I’m sure we’ve got lots of good reading ahead of us. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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WWW Wednesdays – May 23, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

Mermaids in the basement by Michael Lee West– What I’m currently reading
I’m still reading Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West. I’ve been busy working on several projects at night and I’ve had little time to read. The book’s font size is also a little small for me, which doesn’t help with the reading speed.
 
– What I recently finished reading

Nothing new since last week. :-(
 
 – What I think I’ll read next
Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him by Luis Carlos Montalvan and  Bret Witter. With almost 600 five-star ratings on Amazon, I have a feeling this book is quite special. It tells the true story of a decorated U.S. soldier who came back from Iraq physically and emotionally injured, and how a golden retriever helped with his recovery. Tissues, please…
 
My kids’ bookshelf

Wild & Woolly by Mary Jessie ParkerWhat they’re currently reading
Wild & Woolly by Mary Jessie Parker. Wild, a bighorn sheep, and Wooly, a ranch sheep, decide to try each other’s lives for a day but find out they prefer their own after all. At the end of the story, I love asking my kids which sheep’s life they’d prefer to have and why. It gives me great insight on their thinking patterns and personal tastes.
–  Little Monkey Lost by Keith DuQuette. Little Monkey is bored and decides to find adventure in the jungle. There he meets nine different kinds of monkeys who teach him fun new things. The end of the book features many facts about the New World Monkeys pictured and my kids like sharing the names and facts of each monkey type.
The Birdwatchers by Simon James. “When I go birdwatching, things happen,” Grandad says. After hearing so many stories about birdwatching from her grandfather, Jess decides to join him one day. By the end of the day, she’s had the opportunity to seen plenty of birds, including a pair of dancing penguins! A very sweet story teaching respect about nature.

What they recently finished reading
Dinorella : A Prehistoric Fairy Tale by Pamela Duncan Edwards. What a wacky and funny story: imagine Cinderella but featuring dinosaurs. And I hope you don’t have a problem enunciating the letter D because this book is full of Ds! As in, “Dinorella is dying to go to the dance, but her dreadful stepsisters, Doris and Dora, declare she’s too dowdy and dull.” Fairy-Dactyl to the rescue!
I Dream of Trains by Angela Johnson. This is the poignant story of the son of a sharecropper who dreams of leaving Mississippi on a train with the legendary engineer Casey Jones and his black fireman Sim Webb. My kids are a little too young to grasp all the concepts in this book (slavery, cotton picker, the great migration, etc) but it was a great introduction. I also had no idea who Casey Jones was until then, but the last page of the book gives a lot of information about him and the themes in general, so this was a good lesson for all of us.

– What I think they’ll read next
I got so many books from the library this past week, you wouldn’t believe. I’m sure there’s some good stuff in there! What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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WWW Wednesdays – May 16, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

Mermaids in the basement by Michael Lee West– What I’m currently reading
Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West. So far I’m enjoying it, especially since I have no idea where the story is going.
 
– What I recently finished reading

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. What a wonderful book, mixing  words, detailed pencil illustrations, even a few photographs so well. What a beautiful story, where strangers find out they’re all connected in one way or another. What a great mystery to be solved, piece by piece, just like the gears of the automaton Hugo tries to fix. And what great homage to the history of cinema. I recommend this amazing works of art to all children from 8 to 99.
 
 – What I think I’ll read next
My to-read bookshelf is almost empty so I’ll have to see if something new arrived at the library or if I need to pick a book from my own collection.
 
My kids’ bookshelf

Stuck by Oliver JeffersWhat they’re currently reading
Stuck by Oliver Jeffers. We LOVE this book as it is simply hilarious! Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree, so the boy tries to knock it down by throwing increasingly larger and more outrageous things. You’d think when he grabs a ladder, and later on a saw, he’d finally use them right. But no, he keeps throwing them up the tree!
Bedhead by Margie Palatini. This book is for anyone who’s ever had a bad hair day, and forgot it was picture day…
Bad Boys Get Cookie! by Margie Palitini. The Bad Boys are back! Wolves Willy and Wally try to satisfy their sweet-tooth craving by chasing down a runaway gingerbread man. Unfortunately they try to attract it by dressing up as Hansel and Gretel, only to run into a witch in front of her gingerbread house who offers them to come inside for some sweets. Very funny!

What they recently finished reading
I’d like to recommend a few books for the younger crowd (age 2-4) we recently read because we really liked them, even though my kids are getting too old for them.
Jazzy in the Jungle by Lucy Cousins. In this book full of die-cut pages, the jungle animals help Mama JoJo find her baby lemur Jazzy.
Wow City! and Wow School! by Robert Neubecker. We’ve read them before so this was a request for seconds (probably thirds). In Wow City! Izzy takes a trip to the big city with her father, and in Wow School! she starts her first day at school. In both books, a yellow dog is hiding somewhere in the picture on every spread. My kids just requested Wow America! again and I just saw that a brand new Wow Ocean! is coming out tomorrow. I’ll have to check my library for this one…

– What I think they’ll read next
I ordered a whole bunch of early reader books so we’ll find out if they’re any good soon enough. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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WWW Wednesdays – April 4, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

My so-called freelance life by Michelle Goodman– What I’m currently reading
Tonight I will start My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire by Michelle Goodman. I’ve read several books on freelancing as a professional writer already, but few of them were written by women, so this one could be interesting.
 
– What I recently finished reading
The Necromancer (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) by Michael Scott. This series just keeps getting better and this book was no exception. I can’t believe they haven’t made movies out of this series.
 
– What I think I’ll read next
Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West. I read Gone with a Handsomer Man a few months ago and loved it. It was definitely one of the funniest murder stories I’ve ever read, so I’m hoping this book won’t disappoint either.
 
My kids’ bookshelf

Max's chocolate chicken by Rosemary WellsWhat they’re currently reading
Lots of books with an Easter theme!
Max’s Chocolate Chicken by Rosemary Wells. We love Max & Ruby and this has to be one of our favorite stories. Max and Ruby go on an egg hunt, the prize for the most eggs gathered being a chocolate chicken. Max can’t find any eggs but he really wants the chocolate…
The Easter Bunny That Overslept by Priscilla and Otto Friedrich. Poor Easter bunny sleepts past Easter so he tries to distribute his eggs on Mother’s Day, the Fourth of July and Halloween. Nobody is interested until dear old Santa Claus manages to get him back on track.
Minerva Louise and the Colorful Eggs by Janet Morgan Stoeke. When she notices several unattended, colorful eggs, Minerva Louise decides to gather them and keep them warm. Can you imagine the surprise on the faces of the East egg hunters when they can’t find any eggs?

What they recently finished reading
Too busy Marco by Roz Chast. Marco the parrot is way too busy having adventures to go to bed. My five-year old and Marco share the same aspirations: they both want to be deep sea diver artist-inventors when they grow up…
Where Is The Cake? and Where Is The Cake Now? by T.T. Khing – two wordless books with many stories within the story. And only sharp eyes will figure out what really happened to the cakes in both books.

– What I think they’ll read next
I have no idea but the surprise effect is part of the fun.

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

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