Monday, June 29, 2009

Book Sharing Monday 29 June

We are dog fans in this house, so when I saw this new picture book featuring that noble animal and then noticed it was by one of DS (11)'s favorite authors, I had to check it out.

All three kids enjoyed hearing this tale of a new king who was the pickiest eater in the world (hmm, now who does that sound like? Oh, yes, two of my three children), and the dog who got to eat foods that the chef traveled 'round the world to find to tempt his royal highness.

Much of the book's appeal is in the unique, lovely illustrations by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher--definitely children's book artists I will be on the lookout for from now on. The two of them have collaborated on more than thirty children's books to date.

In addition to The King's Taster, Canadian author Kenneth Oppel has also written Airborn, Skybreaker, and Starclimber, which trilogy DS (11) recently devoured (our library has them in the YA section). Oppel has another series for younger readers (9-12 years, according to Amazon) that features bats as the main characters (Silverwing, Sunwing, Firewing, and Darkwing), as well as several other stand-alone chapter books and picture books.

Book Sharing Monday is hosted at Serendipity.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New science & music special on PBS

The Music Instinct is being broadcast this weekend here in New England. Check your local PBS listings for more information. I'm especially looking forward to hearing what David Rothenberg has to say about birdsong.

Rothenberg has written several books, including Why Birds Sing: a Journey into the Mystery of Birdsong, and the recent Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound. The author-musician also has seven cds released under his own name.

The Music Instinct also features slightly more mainstream musicians such as Yo-Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Book Sharing Monday, um, Tuesday?

I can't believe three weeks and a day have gone by since I first joined my fellow bloggers on a Book Sharing Monday. I don't know where the time goes, except that I am finally, after eleven years, catching up on some much needed sleep!

Tonight we read an old favorite--all three kiddos have enjoyed this one, and the four-year-old still requests it. He used to have it memorized, we read it that often. Wish I had thought to record his toddler-ly interpretation of it.

"In the tall, tall grass. . ."

"Crunch, munch, caterpillars lunch!"

And so it goes throughout In the Tall, Tall Grass, by Denise Fleming. Fleming has written other gems as well, such as In the Small, Small Pond, The First Day of Winter, and Beetle Bop. See below for more!

Book Sharing Monday is hosted (note to self: on MONDAYS) at Serendipity.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Summer TBR Stack

No photo this time, but I hope to make it through a few more of these than I did of my spring stack.

Current reads:

The Quiet Girl, by Peter Høeg

This book club read is not my usual fare, yet so far I'm enjoying the strange flavor.  Høeg also wrote Smila's Sense of Snow, which I didn't read, but vaguely remember seeing on screen and not loathing.

Among all the suggestions given me by wonderfully helpful colleagues via forums on Choralnet, Evoking Sound is the most easily digested and most immediately helpful of the several books I got from interlibrary loan to evaluate.  Now if I can just get through its 300+ pages of jam-packed information!  Jordan has several DVDs that are going on my wish list.

Choral Charisma, by Tom Carter

Tom has been personally helpful via email with a couple of musical issues I've had in the past, and his book gives excellent advice about creating a safe learning environment for singers, amongst a host of other helpful suggestions.

Since I first read The Thin Woman, I've never failed to be entertained by Cannell's British amateur sleuth, and this latest in the series has been fun so far, though this is my "read to sleep" book so I have to confess I haven't gotten very far yet.  Have been very, very tired, as is evidenced by my lack of blogging (late nights are blogging time for me).

The Well-Trained Mind, Third Edition, by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise

Haven't read the book cover-to-cover since first discovering it years ago, so am giving the new edition a go now.  Am reading the section about preschoolers and feeling guilty that DS (4.5) hasn't gotten the attention he deserves.  Ever hear of trickle-down homeschooling?  I'm hoping that listening to the other two (DD - almost 8! and DS - 11) recite lists of verbs, etc. will mean that he will magically acquire all he needs up until the time I can actively homeschool a third child without losing my sanity.

On deck:

To counterbalance The Well-Trained Mind. ☺ Or complement it, I suppose I could say.

Feeling the need to carpe diem again.  

No Mind Left Behind by Adam J. Cox or Smart but Scattered, by Peg Dawson

Executive function as it relates to kids.  Getting organized, staying focused, and controlling emotions.  Hmm, there might be something in here for me, too!

Touchstone, by Laurie R. King

A stand-alone novel by the author of The Beekeeper's Apprentice and all the subsequent adventures of its spirited protagonist.  The latest in that series is The Language of Bees, which I highly recommend, though, why, Dear Author, oh, why did you leave us hanging so?

Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon

At some point this summer, I'm finally going to give in and read this paramount piece of escapist fiction.  If you need me, I'll be in 18th-century Scotland.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Book Sharing Monday

The McElderry Book of Greek Myths, retold by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Pep Montserrat is a new favorite of ours.  The illustrations are extraordinary.  At the beginning of each of the twelve myths, there is a full page illustration like this one, at the beginning of "Pandora's Box":

And interspersed throughout the stories on every page
 are other illustrations, like this one, from "Prometheus":

It's a beautiful book that we are heartily enjoying during read-alouds this week.  My eleven-year-old keeps snatching it when we're not reading it out loud and reading ahead, which is a pretty good recommendation in and of itself.  ☺

Book Sharing Monday is hosted at Serendipity. Come join in on the fun!