Storytime for Baby Birds

Update continued…

New Year’s Goal #4–  I will read 4 picture books a week to a couple of sweet babies who love books, or to a hatchling that is about to.

This one is easy–a given, in fact. Oh, and I’ve got the books all right…from the early days when I worked at a local bookstore and had an incurable possession problem. Alas, a few symptoms still linger. Afraid it’s cronic. There is no cure.

Little Chick’s Easter Surprise

Although the twins–Lily and Beckham are only about 14 months old, they still love to climb up on a lap–any lap, and have someone show them, page by page every picture, in any book.

Each Peach, Pear, Plum

But since they are still at that “board books only” phase, that severely limits the coolness and magic that Grammy can share with them…for now.

The Relative’s Came

When they are older and not so fascinated with how paper sounds–when it rips–just think of the possibilities…

“Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going To Sneeze”



Laura Charlotte


The Red Lion

The Seeing Stick

Whale’s Song

Beauty and the Beast


The Mitten

The Magic String


I could go on for days…but we’ll pause here…to anticipate.

Tough stuff–this patience thing. We’ll be brave.

Because any kind of magic is worth the wait.


The weatherman says we may have 6 more inches of snow–in some areas–by morning. I say…bring it.

What I really wish is that it would keep coming down for three days until snow covered up the door, the windows and maybe even the roof–with only the chimney sticking out—so just for a while, we wouldn’t have to go anywhere. I hope it happens in the dead of night sometime so that everyone is home and safe and warm.

Picture it. The first guy up would look out the window—which he couldn’t see out of because it is–as I said–covered with snow. He would say, “DUDE, I’ll have to stay home from school today.”

Then the next guy up would try the door and say, “It won’t open. Guess I can’t go in to work today.”

The next one up would say, “The snow is up to the roof. We better stay inside. I think we’re…snowed in.” Dun-dun-dun.

The all of a sudden we have hot chocolate, and Brocoli Cheese soup, and garlic toast just appearing, magically–from scratch. Board games come out, book shelves are studied, puzzles are started. We would have no choice but to stay inside and read and cook and play and snuggle together with…

a sweet smelling…

fuzzy headed…

…yummy baby.

And just how perfect would that be?

“Baby Chomp”
9lbs. 3oz.
21-3/4 inches long
January 7th, 2009  8:41 pm


New Year’s Goal #4–  I will read 4 picture books a week to a couple of sweet babies who love books, or to a hatchling that is about to.

Books to Christmas By

Because I think I know so much, I’d like to show you some fabulous Christmas books that are big favorites around these parts. Now, because I’m terrifically old, some of these books may take some focus to find. But if you’re interested…I’ll try to help.


1. “Silver Packages” by Cynthia Rylant

Daney-boy’s favorite. An Appalachian story of how kindness can change lives.


2. “The Bird’s Christmas Carol”

Really old and really worth the search. It’s one of those stories about taking care of each other that they just don’t write anymore.


3. Dance in the Desertby Madeleine L’engle

A mother, a husband, and a young son join a caravan to help them cross the desert to Egypt. If this book had no words–the illustrations are worth the read.


4. This is the Star by Joyce Dunbar

Along the lines of the “House That Jack Built” in composition. But the illustrations by Gary Blythe (Whale’s Song) are frame worthy. Seriously.


5. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

Mine came with an audio CD which is fun, but I would miss the illustrations. Very moving, healing book.


6. The Santa Claus Book

All I know is that my grown-up kids still love to read and laugh at this one. We’ve nearly worn our copy out. You’ll have to get this one from the library–or borrow mine. It has gone into the mysterious realm of “collectibles.”


7.  “One Wintry Night” by Ruth Bell Graham

Written by Billy Graham’s wife.  Take a few evenings to enjoy this one. They even made Christmas cards out of some of these. She begins the Christmas story from the creation of the world. Wonderful, perfect approach.


8. Countdown to Christmas by Bill Peet

Just silly enough to be a yearly family favorite. How can you beat a timeless line like, “A cool Christmas to all and a groovy New Year!” The library should have it.


9. The Christmas Carol by Lewis Carol

This is a great way to get your kids hooked on a classic. The illustrations–again–are worth the price. Just read it.


10. Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

We still love this one—couldn’t stand the movie–but the book remains one of our top favorites.

As you can see–I personally have a severe possession problem. But all you healthy people can most likely check these out at the library. That should keep your bedtimes busy until just about Christmas Eve. Woohoo!

Praying for snow…

The Bald Kid’s Frankenstein

abcd 006

Nothing beats a good book. Everybody knows that…

Our family book club finished the Chocolate Touch last week, and promptly moved on to Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Ewwwww…Not so sure how I’m feeling about that. Perhaps I’ve shared with you my sentiments on severed body parts. And now, the fact that some nutty guy has sewn a bunch of them together, hooked up some jumper cables to the dead dude and has him stomping around scaring people doesn’t make me feel any better. I know, I know…I haven’t read it yet, so how can I possibly judge? Right?


Yeah, well, maybe I haven’t read the book, but I have seen the movie. Ok, not the real movie, but the Abbott and Costello version and that’s good enough for me. The monster does have some pretty cool boots but the stitches in his head really creep me out. And his eyes…why doesn’t he open his eyes? If he did, maybe he could put his arms down and walk like a normal…ummm…dead guy and not draw so much attention to himself.

Ok, I admit it. I’m stalling. But I have good reason to. It all stems from the fact that Frankenstein and I go waaay back. Back before most people reading this were even born.

Yeah, I’m that old.

Copy of Scan10037

Anyway…so I have this big brother, right? My sister and I share a room with him and he has a few strange hobbies.

1. He collects bugs, and moths and spiders and pins them to a styrofoam block…sometimes while they are still kicking. Vile.

2. He saves dead things in the patio freezer–like an old owl and a huge tarantula because someday, he’s going to be a taxidermist and he wants to be ready, so he’s saving up. Disgusting.

3. He has a thing for building toy models. Not car models, or plane models, ohhh nooo. The only kind he is interested in are the monsters. He has Dracula-with blood running down his face. He has Wolfman-with his dirty, pointy teeth. He has Creature from the Black Lagoon–with green and silver claws. All very, very nasty.

But the dumb model that really kept me awake at night, the one that I couldn’t take my eyes off when I was in the room alone, the one that looked like he was gonna swagger right off that ledge and pinch me in the neck with his creepy out stretched hands, was Frankinstein. Of course he was carefully arranged on a shelf right across from my bed. The better to see him with.

Photo from IMDB

You know, I wasn’t stupid. I knew it was a silly piece of plastic, glued together and painted by my morbid brother…Igor. But the thing that got me, that kept me wondering and tossing in my little seven-year-old sleep, was the fact that my brother…Boris, loved to tell me that someday when he had enough money, he was going to go down to the hobby shop and buy a motor. He was going to put that motor in old Frankie-boy’s back and bring him to life where he could promptly take good care of any annoying little sisters that might happen along. No jumper cables needed. Listen, my brother was Vlad the Impaler so, yeah, I believed him. OK maybe I was stupid.

At any rate, what it boils down to is that Dr. Frankenstein’s monster and I are not pals. Not even close. But I’ll read the dang book, because it’s Rhen’s tough-guy choice and I want to be a sport. So it better be good. But when it’s my turn to choose, you better believe, I’m gonna make them all read Little Women or something so girly that their toenails curl up.


Because nothing beats a good book. Everybody know that…

Forced obsession…

My son-in-law has suggested that we start a family book discussion group, and since that is one thing we all have in common—loving and being surrounded by wonderful books—we took to the idea immediately.  We are each so different in our reading styles and tastes that the possibilities are endless. For instance, Jacob reads science fiction (Orson Scott Card, Jordan), April is more into contemporary novels (Jodi Picoult, Tan), Jillian loves the classic love stories (Meyer, Alcott ), Rhen votes for the spooky reading (Shelly, Stoker–not the really freaky stuff that mom vetoes… :] ) and Lyndi and I would rather read childrens’ literature than adult any day (Catling, Hale, respectively) although we are huge Meyer fans as well. For this very reason, it was fun to imagine how this would turn out.

So first he had us each submit 3 titles: (1)-book we have read that we think others should read; (1) book we haven’t read but have wanted to; and (1) book that is totally out of our preferred genre, but might be interesting. We emailed him our choices which, he then randomly chose 3 which we voted on. Oh, and we weren’t allowed to tell each other what books we submitted….although, sometimes it was obvious.

The three we voted on were: Magnificent Obsession–by Lloyd C. Douglas

The Chocolate Touch–by Patrick Skene Catling

Ender’s Game–by Orson Scott Card

In the end Chocolate Touch won. It was a quick read–being a middle grade novel so everyone but Rhen has read it already. I guess the other two books will go back into the “pot,” and we’ll draw and vote again after we discuss this one at our official book chat on Saturday night. It is actually pretty fun to see all these different types reading a simple kids’ book—and being a good sport about it. I can’t wait to see what we are assigned in the next draw. That’s right…FORCE me to read. Ha ha…



What book have you loved and would like others to read?

What book do you plan to read next?

What book is totally not what you normally read, but might be interesting?