Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dear Robyn, let me tell you about Gaston, a book you've probably already heard about...

I don't know how many of you have read our about page- (and before I publish this I should probably go read it and see if it still says this) but Robyn and I were pen pals before we started the blog. Actually, the whole blogging idea originally came up in a letter.

Anyway, back in the infancy of our blog we'd post to share books with each other (SHE HAD NEVER HEARD OF SPLAT!! Thank goodness I came back into her life!!)  So today, with that in mind, I have a little letter and book recommendation for my pen pal…except I'm not mailing it…or handwriting it…so I guess she's my keyboard pal?? (As usual, I digress!)

Dear Robyn, 
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty much totally out of touch with the happenings of the internet! And any trends and social information in general for that matter-- how long have thick dark eyebrows been the hip thing?

Anyway, all this stuff is going on and being written about and I seem to be waaaaay behind the times. WAIT!  I take that back-- I did see a whole lot of pointless nonsense about some dress…is it gold and white…is it blue and black…do I really even care in the slightest?

No! I do not!

I do, however, care about this little book,  Gaston by Kate DiPucchio.  Cute stuff, about dogs, great ending-- right up my alley!  But guess what, I think it's old news! See, I just checked and Danzel posted on it last JULY.

(Yes, I said July!  I don't know what's more embarrassing-- the fact that my library has it in the new section right now…8 months later OR the fact that I just saw her review right now…8 months later…EMBARASSING! Sorry Danzel!!)

And to make matters even more humiliating, it's posted again-- like three days ago on another site.  SO you, Robyn, are my saving grace! Maybe, just maybe you have not heard of this book yet.  Have you?

Here, I'll give you a peek…
  I'm particularly fond of the name Foo-Foo! That's perfect, don't you think? And Ooh-La-La is pretty great too. Anyway, as you can see these are Mrs. Poodles puppies. But, one of these thing is not like the others. (You should be reading that to the tune of the sesame song, I'm sure you did.) Don't worry though, Gaston does his best to be just as poodle-ish as his sisters, even if he has to work a bit harder at it.

Then one day at the park the Poodle family notices something strange…
There, I made that all court like for you-- but isn't the pic on the right where they're all lined up nose to nose so funny? Anyway, apparently something went awry at the doggie hospital-- it's switched a birth, the dog version!

But, you'll never guess (or maybe you will)-- they decide to switch so the puppies are with their proper breeds. It turns out you can't teach a young dog new tricks either…
I love how he's saying ick while he reads a book and drinks tea! And look at the poodles faces-- I mean it's such a simple drawing, but you can totally read the shock and disgust all over their faces.

Now, don't be worried they switch back and everything turns out swell (and there's a good little message about overcoming stereotypes.) But, remember how I said it had a cute ending? Well I pretty much adore this one SO I'm just gonna spill the beans. (Plus the rest of the internet has already seen it.)

Gaston and Antoinette grow up to fall in love and have puppies of their own! Love it, right?  And look how cute and cleverly mixed breed the puppies are! Adorable!!

Well Robyn, I hope it's new to you-- but, you know what-- I've had a change of heart. I think it's totally fine that this book has been talked about at least 3 times now on the book bloggers network (if that's a real thing).  I mean that dumb dress went viral and there was not cute story or fun illustrations with that.  At least this is useful and adorable information that's being repeated. Don't you think? Well, either way, happy reading!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Are You My Mommy?

Today I am introducing you to the MUST HAVE Easter basket board book of the year.  Are You My Mommy? by Joyce Wan.  Trust me.  Have you seen all of Joyce Wan's board books?  (You Are My Cupcake,  My Lucky Little Dragon,  We Belong Together,  Hug You, Kiss You, Love You ) They are all WONDERFUL!  The kind of board books baby can't get enough of… and at the same time bigger sibling can't resist either.

And this one!  Oh, this one has REALLY COOL (really well done) die-cuts.  I'm a sucker for a well done die-cut.  Does anyone else get really excited about die-cuts?  Because I honestly do.

Not to mention that this one is the classic 'looking for mommy' storyline.  What baby can resist that?  I mean it's just so darn relatable.

So yes, to wrap up.  You should get this book for your baby/toddler/yourself (that last one is meant for Whitney).

                                        -Happy early Easter basket preparations to you!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Never Mail an Elephant

Do you ever get book recommendations from your 4 year old?  Wait, let me rephrase that-- does your 4 year old ever tell you about a book that you really really want to go find? Mine does!

She came home from preschool (after a field trip to the post office) and told me all about a book where someone tries to mail an elephant! YES! I had to find this book-- do you all know my elephant love?

So I checked the library, no luck. But, I was not above getting my child to ask if she (I mean I-- no I mean WE) could borrow it from school.
It all begins with a little boy who wants to mail his cousin an elephant for her birthday. That makes perfect sense, right? I'd love it if someone mailed me an elephant for my birthday!!  Anyway, he needs some supplies (including and elephant-- HA!)
Then it's time to wrap the elephant up…
And (so funny) he has to get the elephant into the mailbox.  Of course, what goes in must come out.  That poor postman…
Anyway, despite all the effort, apparently this is not how you send an elephant to someone?? Our friend and the elephant are back to square one.
But never fear!  His cousin does get the elephant for her birthday and the way the elephant ends up being delivered, well it pretty much makes the book! I seriously love the ending!

My kiddo was right, it's a great book!  And if you want to make a whole theme of it, here are a few ideas…

Take a note from Cuteness' preschool teacher: field trip to the post office and go behind the counter. (In  the back you might just get to see the stamp on your very own mail get canceled!)

Thank your own mail carrier like we did here.

Take up stamp collecting (matching, comparing, etc.) like Robyn and Snoopy have done.

Also some other fun mail centered books…




Happy reading and happy mailing!!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Big Clifford or Little Clifford...

As you may remember there is not shortage of love at our house when it comes to Clifford. (Well, except maybe my dad-- he's sick of Clifford. I think one time when he came to stay he read every Clifford book we own-- that's like 30-- in 2 days. So yes, he OD'ed on Clifford.)

Cuteness, however, has not had her fill. She's on the major Clifford binge at the moment.  She's all about the show on Netflix.  Wait-- I have a rant about this!

I always have one, don't I?

Darn that Netflix-- when it's on the iPad it just starts up a new episode right after one ends-- it is impossible for me figure out when it's over so I can get her to turn. it. off. Please Netflix, change this! I am letting my child watch a show so I can get something done-- I do not want her to watch it all day and I do not want to sit there and watch the whole thing so I can make sure I know when it ends-- plus when there's two short stories that make up an episode how am I supposed to know if it's the end of the first story or the end of the episode??

ANYWAY, she loves the books too. (And guess what, I DO know how to tell when those end.) We've been reading a lot of them. A lot! So, after all this reading and watching, we've come across a question for other Clifford lovers-- which Clifford is your favorite? Big Clifford or little Clifford?
Curteness is 100% on team little Clifford. But I was kind of on the fence so I was weighing it out. You see, little Clifford is so cute, but he's so small. I mean it's adorable that he fits in your pocket, but he gets lost all the time, he takes a lot of care and he makes messes-- big ones!
Of course, big Clifford is sooooo big-- but he's easy to find. He doesn't go in the house (I'm calling this a positive and a negative.)  He does helpful stuff, like saving people.  I would totally feel safe letting my kid go alone anywhere with big Clifford.  But he makes really really bad messes. (And just imagine cleaning up after him…in the yard. YIKES!  That alone pushed me right over little Clifford's side!)  But he's a giant lovable dog. I mean Emily Elizabeth can ride him to school, that is pretty darn endearing! I don't know. I'm up in the air again. Any opinions either way from all of you?
While you're deciding, let me ask you this. Did you know there are Clifford chapter books?  I didn't. We were looking on the library website for a few more titles (because 30 isn't enough??) and I came across the chapter books. I think we may have to check those out too. (They aren't by the original creator of Clifford, Norman Bridwell, but I think we'll give one a try and see if we like them.)

Ha! As if right on cue, my dogs started barking!  I guess that's enough big red dog talk.  Time to go deal with little brown dogs.

Happy reading!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Fancy Nancy Tea Party

Do you ever feel drab?  Perhaps like winter is sucking all of the life out of you?  I have the cure.  Throw a Fancy Nancy Tea Party.  What?  You don't know how to get Fancy???  Nancy has ONE word for you, ACCESSORIZE!  Hats!  Beads!  Ruffles!  Tiaras!  Heals!  Flowers!  Parasols!

Now for the activities… Story time (of course) SOOO many books to choose from there's the original Fancy NancyFancy Nancy: Heart to HeartFancy Nancy: Tea for Two and Fancy Nancy: Tea Parties (to name a few).

And you mustn't forget the food.  Pink lemon aid, cucumber sandwiches, tiny cupcakes, heart shaped cookies, gummy bears, mints, mini marshmallows, pickles and olives (to name a few).

Then, it's time to DANCE!  Or shall I say promenade?  Put on some old time music, kick off those high heels and cut a rug.

 I am here to attest if you do these things that drab feeling you've had will disappear!