Thursday, August 21, 2014

Growing TALL Sunflowers


It's COUNTY FAIR week here!  We somehow pulled our mess together and entered some produce last minute.  Our oldest son was most excited about entering the sunflower he bought the seeds for and planted.  Judging for the sunflowers is pretty simple, there are two competitions the TALLEST and the BIGGEST HEAD.  Well, our heads weren't too big but we had height.  Sure enough!  Snoop won for the tallest sunflower in the county.  I'm thankful for things that just work out.  Our garden is not fantastic this year; more weeds than garden plants.  Even our sunflowers didn't grow that hot- except for about five that were close together and really took off on a trip to reach the sun.  One woman at the fair made a comment that if you want your sunflowers tall you plant them close together (because they compete to reach for the sun) if you want a thick stalk and big head you plant them further apart.  It makes sense, but we didn't know that when we planted.  Yup, sometimes things just work out- I'm sure grateful for that!
Robyn

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Aesop's Fables by Charles Santore

Awhile ago I told you about a book I was swooning over after a trip to Barnes & Noble. Well guess what?!  I found it at my cool bookstore! Last week! When I wasn't even looking for it!  Wahooo!!  It's so lovely…
Illustrated by Charles Santore





Giant, vivid, gorgeous illustrations accompany each retelling, including a fantastic fold out for the tortoise and the hare! The fables (some classics and some that were new to me) are short and sweet, each taking up about a page next to the accompanying artwork!  It's really so lovely-- my images don't quite show you the true grandeur. 

It's the kind of book that begs to be purchased, you know what I mean?  Right from the shelf it calls out, "Take me home! Pour over my illustrations! Pass me down for generations!" Yes, there's a chance lots of books yell this to me, but this book-- THIS BOOK-- it's just a classic beauty! Charles Santore is some sort of illustrating wizard and I am under a spell and totally fine with it! So, so lovely-- did I mention that? It is!

Happy reading!
Whitney

Thursday, August 14, 2014

BRANCHES from Scholastic

At the beginning of the summer Scholastic sent us review copies of 2 different books that were scheduled for publication.  They are both illustrated early chapter books from a marketing campaign entitled BRANCHES (books that grow readers).  Eerie Elementary #1: The School Is Alive! (A Branches Book) by Jack Chabert and Dragon Masters #1: Rise of the Earth Dragon (A Branches Book) by Tracey West.

First of all, I can't tell you how cool my son thought it was to be one of the very first kids to ever read these books.  He was totally pumped about that!  Thank you Scholastic!  (Eerie Elementary was published in June 2014 and is available for purchase now.  Dragon Masters will available for purchase August 26th 2014.)

Secondly, he loved them both!  He actually read them aloud to me.  The stories were well developed and great for building his reading vocabulary.  He still likes reading books with pictures, so that helped keep him going til the end.

When I asked which was his favorite, he really couldn't decide.  Eerie Elementary is about a school that is ALIVE.  It has some mild creepiness and suspense.  Just right for a young child who likes a bit of the supernatural.  Dragon Masters was my favorite of the two.  A young farm boy gets chosen to be part of an elite group of dragon masters.  There's mystery and dragons and all kinds of fantasy along with mischief.  Both books are the first in a series of books to come.

There are lots of different kinds of books in BRANCHES, we're excited to look into other series as well.  You should check it out!
Robyn

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Coming soon to a theatre near you...

I always spell theatre that way, I can't help it. It's ingrained and according some grammatical wizard on the internet I'm all good, so I'm sticking with it.

Anyway, have you noticed that every single movie coming out is really a book remake these days?  Seriously, all of them-- adapted from books.  And of course being a book person I'm always torn…there's the total thrill of seeing one of your favorite books come to life before your eyes on the big screen and then the complete let down when the characters aren't cast as you imagined them in your head.  Which happens all the time to me!! I must have an overactive, non-Hollywood casting-ish imagination because they get it wrong sooooo often for me.  Am I alone?