Sep 28, 2009

Estelle Takes a Bath

I got this book on clearance right around my daughter's birthday.  It is adorable.  How something this cute would end up on clearance I don't know (maybe because it came out three years ago and I'm not cool enough to have heard about it until now). I was just thrilled that I lucked out and found it.  It is so funny.  There is one line that puts one of those big silly ear to ear grins on my face every time I read it without fail.  You should know, I read a book at least fifty or more times before I'm "allowed" to rotate it out of the bedtime story pile.  So for me to smile every time I read it is saying a LOT!  Plus, after reading this story I always have a strong desire to take a nice soak in the tub.  I'm always careful to listen for squeaks as I'm lying there with my eyes closed though.

The cover of this book is adorable and that is what first drew me in.  I can assure you that the rest of the pictures are just as enchanting if not more so than the cover art.  The illustrator Mary Newell Depalma does an excellent job of capturing facial expressions and action in this story.  She has done a lot of illustration for others books as well as written books of her own.  Her website is very fun and if you are a teacher or looking for fun ways to teach your own kids there are some links on her page that you might enjoy!

The author, Jill Esbaum, is also a very humorous fascinating woman.  She has a great website with a link to her blog on there as well.  If you have been lucky enough to have found this book already, than by all means, why didn't you tell me???  If not, then you need to get your paws on this one and read it to all your little rug rats (or mouses, whatever the case may be).  

Also if you'd like to know more about the author or some information behind the making of Estelle Takes a Bath than you should look at this blog entry by Cynthia Leitich Smith.  It was very fun for me to read especially since Estelle was originally a witch.  Y'all know I love witches especially since my first glorious, fabulous, not yet published:) book, Charlotte, is about an adorable little witch.  So go grab yourself a copy of Estelle Takes a Bath and enjoy!

(Why are you still reading?  I told you, go read Estelle Takes a Bath!  Oh, you don't have any kids to read them to?  So what!  You'll like it go already!)

Sep 22, 2009

As You Wish

I've been lucky to read really great young adult/teen novels lately. I have a hunch...and it's just a hunch...that this genre of books has to have a little extra excitement in it in order to draw in the age group they are meant for. I mean as a teenager are you going to sit at home friday night reading or go out with friends. After reading textbooks all day are you going to pick up a book or the XBOX controller? Well if the book is good enough it will be a tough call.

I was especially excited to get my mitts on this book
. As many of you know, I went to the Oregon Coast Children's Book Writing Workshop this summer. One of the editor's there read a chapter out of a book called Sisters Red. When she finished reading I was breathless, on the edge of my seat, and then Molly announces that it won't be out until early 2010. WHAT?!?! Talk about cruel and unusual punishment!

Well the incredible author of Sisters Red is also the author of As You Wish.
Jackson Pearce has a knack for suspence. Even when nothing was happening I couldn't quit reading because I knew something was about to happen. I polished this book off in three days. I finally took a nap today to catch up on all the sleep I deprived myself of so that I could see what would transpire in this book.

After finishing this book I've determined that my new motto is "As You Wish". Maybe if I grant enough of my family's wishes I will become a jinn and be able to spend peaceful relaxing evenings watching Caliban sunsets. I am hoping once I become a jinn I will also have the gift of selective invisibility and a smokin' hot body.

I've determined my three wishes would be:

Wish #1: For the return of my pre-marriage body.

Wish #2: More Money than I could spend (this would grant multiple wishes like an in home gourmet chef, a maid, three to four vacations a year, new wardrobe, ability to help whoever I wanted whenever I wanted)

Wish #3: For Ben to be an excellent dancer and for him to want to dance with me!

Just out of curiosity, what would y'all wish for if you had three wishes?

Sep 21, 2009

Thank You!

I would like to say a quick thank you to everyone who has been reading and giving me feedback on this blog.

To date I have heard back from two different authors, Garry Parsons and Sally Lloyd-Jones, which I thought was extremely cool. I tend to think that published authors live in a fancy office in front of a fancy word processor and have an errand boy run checks to the bank for them and bring them food because they are so-o-o busy churning out their next glorious work for us that they don't have time to do anything else. So I was amazed, aghast, agog to have received personal emails from these busy writing celebrities. Thank you for your time.

Thank you to David Greenberg, another writing celebrity, who has put up with endless amounts of mediocre work from me. (He hasn't even blocked my email address yet, can you believe it?! :))

I have gotten emails and comments from many of my followers. All of them have been encouraging, helpful, and appreciated. (As for what I think you all do all day...well the list is exhausting and endless and makes me feel like my life is a piece of cake in comparison.)

I want to thank everyone for taking time out of their busy lives and daily responsibilities to help me create a better blog and also to help me in my dream to one day become a WORLD FAMOUS WRITER myself :).

Thanks to all,

Sep 18, 2009

Betsy B. Little

Her classmates all scattered
and started to squawk,
"With those legs and that neck,
just be glad you can walk!"

Do you have any little dancers in your midst? Mine just turned 5 and will use any excuse she can find to dress up herself and all around her and dance. After a full day of dancing my tired little princess loves having me read Betsy B. Little. It is a fun story about an unlikely ballerina who amazes everyone with her persistence and positive attitude.

Anne McEvoy definitely is not lacking in writing experience, she's written plays, and was the senior writer/editor for American Greetings, Inc.. This however, is her first children's book and I hope it won't be her last. I have learned some things about how hard it is to write rhyming stories lately and she does it superbly! I am curious to know how many revisions she had to go through to get her story to rhyme and flow so seamlessly. (But I'm afraid I don't want to be her friend if she is just naturally gifted and only had to write it once through! :)) It has very witty lines. In fact on every page there are lines that make me laugh. I had a really hard time picking which quote from the book to use. There were so many fun ones!

I love the colors and the humorous pictures.
Jacqueline Rogers did a great job of capturing little dancers/princesses hearts. My favorite illustration is...oh I can't decide! I love them all. I even love the bright pink cover with Betsy on it even though I still claim I am more of a tomboy than a girly-girl. If you need a gift for a little girl, buy princess things, and if you are sick of all the princess crap and want to give a more meaningful gift then here's your answer! Betsy B. Little, there are tiara's, tutu's, and lots and lots of pinks and purples (including a purple piano played by Miss Triano).

Please look for this book and read it to your little ones. I hope you will enjoy it as much as they will!

DISCLAIMER: This book is not just for girls. Both of my boys love me reading this to them too. There are lots of other little critters to enjoy and to fascinate young children who have never danced or dressed up before. And I have been informed that no real giraffes were harmed in the making of this story.

Sep 14, 2009

Old MacNoah Had An Ark

So if you know me at all you know that I love humor no matter what I have to endure to get it. (My husband's cheesy humor has tested those limits though.) I'm recommending this book not only for it's humorous attributes but for its wonderfully colorful art.

This is a very interactive, fun book to read. It is set to the tune of 'Old McDonald Had A Farm' and so my kids will even sing along with it or dance if they don't know the words. (Actually, little Joshy fell asleep while I was reading/singing this book to him the other cute!)

Some of you may agree, when singing 'Old McDonald Had A Farm', it is easy to get bored with it and I, personally find, I'm ready to move on after the first couple rounds. So I figured I would quickly tire of this book but it might be fun for a week. I have not tired of singing this version of the song. Especially because of fun lines like:
"And on that arc it got quite smelly, Ee-i-ee-i-O.
With a POO-POO here and a POO-POO there..."
You get the gist I'm sure. I think that is one of my kids' favorite lines too, since they get to say "POO" over and over and not get in trouble for it.

Even more enthralling than the amazing pictures or the original, cute take on this tired theme is what interesting and amazing people the author and illustrator are in real life. I had some other books that I wanted to comment on first but when I found out more about these people I decided to do this one ahead of the others.

The author, Sally Lloyd-Jones, is not only hilarious but extremely gifted. Both her website and her blog are very fascinating and fun to peruse. I highly recommend wasting some of your limited time in both places! You won't be sorry!

The illustrator, Jill Newton, has an awesome website full of fun pictures and an admirable list of other books that she has illustrated and that I can't wait to get my hands on so I can read them as well. (To my kids of course. What? Like I would really just sit and read kids books all by myself...I'm an adult after all! :P)

So please buy, check out from your local library, or borrow from a friend this book and enjoy as my kids and I have done!

Sep 11, 2009


So the first time I read this I didn't catch how witty the art work was or how cute the story is. I liked it because it wasn't too long that my almost two year old became restless and it had two dogs in it. One of the dogs is even multilingual and who doesn't love a dog that can speak in English, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Noobanese?

Now I've determined that one of the main reasons this book is dear to my heart is because it amuses me to read it AND Josh (my youngest), despite his limited vocabulary will say "Krong, krong!" when he wants to read it. He wants to read it all the time too!

All my kids love this book, so if you are looking for a fun, not-to-long-for-bedtime book, then try KRONG! by Garry Parsons. It even has a Noobanese translathon in the back! Woo-hoo!

Sep 9, 2009

"Don't Kill My Friend!"

This last week we have experienced an infestation of flies. We haven't had hardly any since spring and just this last week we had THREE at once in our house. They are annoying, unclean, multiplying, and did I mention, annoying!

So I was sitting down reading one afternoon while Josh was down for a nap and Sydney was at Nan & Pa's house. I was enjoying the still that

comes when you go from three children to one when Ryan starting freaking out.
"Oh no! Oh NO! Oh NO!"

"What Ryan?" I asked lazily.
Like the bad mother that I am, I was only half paying attention since I was slightly more interested in my book.

"A spider Mom!"

That got my attention!


"See, it's flying right there."

The word flying instantly calmed my nerves and reminded me that Ryan likes to call flies "spiders". So trying to defuse the situation as quickly as possible without having to get up or find my bookmark, I said, "Calm down it is just a fly."

"Bu-bu-bu-bu-but Mo-uhm it's on my star blanky!" (Poor Ryan has developed a stutter from spending most of his time around two very talkative females who rarely let him get a word in edgewise.)

Again trying to make the situation go away with minimal effort on my part I say, "Well why don't you share your star blanky with him? Maybe he's cold."


"Mom! I-I-I-I-I'm sharing my blanky with my new friend look!" Sure enough there was a fly sitting on Ryan's blanket. (I was planning to wash it that day anyway.)

Well problem solved and I get a gold star for being the MOST CREATIVE MOM EVER! Not so fast. Later that day I'd finally lost my patience with all flying, buzzing, filthy house guests and spread my hands apart poised to kill fly numero uno. When what should I hear?

"Mom! DON'T KILL MY FRIEND!" So I reluctantly retracted my leathal weapons and apologized for not realizing that this particular fly was Ryan's friend.

I thought this would pass and I could go back to swatting flies at will. However, not until today could I can finally relax in complete silence without a constant buzzing or tickle from a fly landing on me. Why? Because all t
hree flies have finally died of natural causes. Up until this point anytime Sydney complained about how scary the bugs were Ryan would say, "Sissy be nice, they're my friends." Or if Josh used one of the few words he knows, "NO!" and pointed at one of the flies, Ryan would say, "Not nice Joshy! That's my friend!" Or if Ben would unknowingly swat at one of them, Ryan would warn him, "Dad you can't do that! That's my friend, Dad!" I just plain knew better than to let him catch me trying to rid them from our house. Even one night this week, while we were eating dinner, Ryan looked up at the lights above the table where all three flies were waiting to swoop down and take a nibble and said "Look! There's my friends guys!"

All of you who know or are parents of tender-hearted children, be warned, 'bugs are our friends' is not a good motto to live by. Luckily Ryan doesn't know what Gemtek Pest Control does to all our other bugs :)!

(See Dad, there's two up there!)

Sep 7, 2009

Fairy Tale

I just read Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog in less than a week. With my never ending list of things to do, you'd think finding the time to finish a book in a week would be impossible. It turns out that if you don't do anything on your To Do List, you can definitely read a whole book start to finish in a week.
I did however, remember to:
1. feed my kids
2. change Josh's diapers
3. break up some fights between kids
4. ignore my poor husband a lot!

I was on page 66 when I decided to read the front inside flap to see what it was supposed to be about. Apparently if you liked Twilight you would like this book. For me that is kind of a reason
not to read a book. NOW HOLD ON...I know all you Twilight lovers are freaking out right now. Before you quit reading let me explain. I am sick of every book being compared to Twilight just so people will read it. I read all the Twilight series once or twice or three times maybe because I love Edward and want an Edward of my own. Reading other books with the hopes of another Edward always leaves me disappointed.

Fairy Tale for me was nothing like Twilight. It's a gem of it's own. I love it when you read the Author Bios and the Acknowledgments and interviews with an author and you can tell that they have a sense of humor. This author seems to have a lot of personality and a true gift for suspense. I would read and read and read almost out of breath just trying to get to a conclusion of a problem just in time for another problem to develop.

It starts out seeming like a fairly predictable story line. So I believe I can predict the outcome before I actually read about it. I found myself smuggly expecting to read a mediocre teen novel and move on with my life. Last night I had a dream and this morning I woke up and started reading only to find that my dream coincided with the newest challenge in the book. I realized at that point that I was addicted and needed to get a more exciting life of my own.

If you need a fun, easy, enjoyable break from reality I would recommend reading this. I did just check the authors website and she has another book coming out summer of 2010. It's called Sleepless. I look forward to another wasted week of my life then.

SIDE NOTE: Thank you to all of the people who have chosen to follow my blog!! I love you for it!