Monday, April 20, 2015

What the Cubs are Reading: April 20

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.  Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers have adapted it to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books. Since I recap what I'm personally reading each month with Modern Mrs. Darcy, for this linkup I post what Abby (almost 5) and Ellie (2.5) have been enjoying.

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The Usborne Book of Fairy Tales  
by Stephen Cartwright & Heather Amery. January 2005
Read my full review here. Do you ever wonder why some kids pick certain books and just love them so much that they ask you to read them every. single. day. for weeks?? This is one of those books in our house. At least it's a collection of stories, so we can get by with only reading one or two different ones each day. :)


Little Loon and Papa by Toni Buzzeo. May 2004
Ellie affectionately calls this one the "peep peep where's Papa??" book. Little Loon can't figure out how to dive the way Papa does, and he eventually gets sick of diving lessons and swims away when Papa isn't looking. But the world can be a scary place without the comfort of a parent close by.


The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. 
Originally published in 1902. This edition 2013.
Abby received this one last week from DPIL (I'm so sad! She only has one more month until she's 5 and stops getting monthly books!). It's been fun to introduce a "classic" to my kids. 



Just a Mess by Mercer Mayer. 1987.
The Little Critter books were some of my absolute favorites as a kid. Anytime I see them at garage sales or used book sales I grab them up. Little Critter can't find his baseball mitt, so his mom tells him he should clean his room... 


Check out what others are reading in today's linkup!



I am an Independent Consultant with Usborne Books & More. Purchasing books through the link(s) above will pay me a commission. Usborne Publishing Ltd. has no connection with this blog and does not sponsor or support its content.

This post also contains Amazon Affiliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Usborne Review: The Usborne Book of Fairy Tales

The Usborne Book of Fairy Tales 
by Stephen Cartwright & Heather Amery
96 pages. Hardcover. 

From Usborne: "Enjoy these traditional fairy stories and charming stories about princesses with your beginning reader. These delightful picture-book editions have padded covers, two levels of text and charming Stephen Cartwright illustrations throughout. Share them today! This combined volume contains the following titles: Cinderella, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, and Three Little Pigs."

My thoughts: Often our kids know the stories of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty only because of Disney. But long before they were made into movies, fairy tales were passed down through generations. This book tells 6 famous stories in a non-commercialized way. Beware, they are the real stories -- the big bad wolf in the Three Little Pigs gets cooked in a pot of water, and Red and Granny get gobbled up by another wolf. My girls and I read through all the stories in one setting the first time, and they both told me their favorite story was Goldilocks.






I am an Independent Consultant with Usborne Books & More. Purchasing this and other books through the link above will pay me a commission. Usborne Publishing Ltd. has no connection with this blog and does not sponsor or support its content.

I would love to help you earn free books through a Home or Facebook Party, or even have you join my team and share these books with others! Contact me via email if you are interested at thelionisabookworm at gmail dot com. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Usborne Review: 1001 Animals to Spot

1001 Animals to Spot
by G. Doherty
32 pages. Hardcover. 

From Usborne: "Teeming with animals to find, count and talk about, this bright picture book provides hours of puzzle-solving fun. It also helps develop basic word and number skills. The busy scenes bring to life different habitats from around the world. Children will delight in finding all kinds of familiar and exotic animals -- from lambs on the farm to armadillos in the rainforest."

My thoughts: There are a whole bunch of 1001 things to spot books by Usborne, and this is one I chose for Ellie's Christmas gift last year. We've taken it on car trips for something to keep the girls occupied, and Abby has lately wanted to have it with her to look at when she lays down for rest time.

One of the things I love about looking at this with my girls is that it's teaching Ellie one-to-one correlation. I can help her touch with a single finger each animal as she counts it. My sister-in-law who works in a kindergarten classroom has said there are kids who come into her class in the beginning of the year who still don't grasp this important concept.

There are 13 scenes of animals, plus a few other seek-and-find activities. Ellie's favorite page is "In the ocean" and Abby's is the "Children's farm".






I am an Independent Consultant with Usborne Books & More. Purchasing this and other books through the link above will pay me a commission. Usborne Publishing Ltd. has no connection with this blog and does not sponsor or support its content.

I would love to help you earn free books through a Home or Facebook Party, or even have you join my team and share these books with others! Contact me via email if you are interested at thelionisabookworm at gmail dot com. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Quick Lit: April 2015


My goal for this year is to read 36 books - 3 a month - after only finishing 24 last year. I'm slightly ahead of schedule, with 12 books completed so far in mid-April. Here's what I've finished in the last month.


I received this middle-grade/juvenile book as an Advanced Reader ebook through NetGalley (that's my Kindle in the photo above!). It's "release date" is actually today. I was drawn to the adventurous cover of Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin when it came out last year, and enjoyed Shurtliff's telling of the old fairy tale. Again in Jack, the author takes a relatively short story and adds characters, wonderful development of those characters, and sub-plots to the original tale. Jack is a typical teenage boy who can be a bit of a troublemaker, but longs to live up to his name - he was named after his great-great...great-grandfather Jack the Giant Slayer. I loved the message that came across: troubles are not always what we assume based on what little knowledge we might have. I also loved noticing the connections between this story and Rump, though the books can easily be read separately. I've heard the next book will be Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood and I can't wait!


Champion by Marie Lu
Book 3 in the Legend Trilogy - I'm reading these as part of the Young Adult Book & Movie Club. After what I said about Prodigy last month, I wasn't sure how the end of the story would go. In fact I wasn't even sure if I wanted to start this one right away after finishing Prodigy (since Champion is the April-read in the book club). But I did, and I finished it in something like two days. And I'm glad I was alone when I read the ending because I seriously cried. It's been a long time since I cried from a book. I won't say anything else about the plot, but I do think it was a great conclusion to a lot of conflict. So if you weren't a fan of Prodigy either, be sure to finish the series.


The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst
"Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul? Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God..." In the midst of deciding whether or not to leave my job at the library, I heard about this book and borrowed it from a friend. WOW. There was so much quotable material in every chapter I wanted to underline (though I refrained because it wasn't my book!) and I posted almost daily on Facebook the things that really stuck out to me. This is definitely going on my list of books I actually want to buy someday -- which is something that doesn't happen often (I'm usually a read-it-once kind of girl).



Did not finish:
At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
When I was done with the Legend series and wanted something lighter to read, a few people suggested the Mitford series. The first one was available through Overdrive from my library, so I started it. And I just could not get into it. I really tried. I got just about half way through before giving up and moving on. I really wanted to like it, since it's a bestselling series and so many people I know have read and loved them. But overall I think my biggest issue with it was that I didn't feel any sense of major plotline, or conflict that needed to be resolved. I felt like each chapter was practically a stand-alone short story. A few were obviously intertwined together, but I figured by halfway I should have some sense of the overall direction the book was going, besides "life in a small town". Sorry friends! I really really did try!!



Linking up today with Anne at Modern Mrs. Darcy.


This post does contain Amazon Affiliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Lion's Tales: April 5-11

This weekly recap is where I blog about anything and everything from the past week. Could be about books, my kids, my garden... Random things in my life that don't fill enough space for their own post!


1. We enjoyed our Easter Sunday last week. The day started early, as Rocky and I led music at our church's Sunrise Service at 7:30am! The girls went in their pjs, then while the youth group served breakfast we got them dressed in their pretty outfits. After the regular morning service we loaded up in the van, picked up Rocky's sister and her husband, and traveled about an hour away to have Easter brunch at a "fancy restaurant" (as the girls called it) with Rocky's dad and stepmom.


2. It's been Spring Break around here, so Rocky and Abby have both been home all week. I took the girls to the library one morning to see the yo-yo man (a performance I'd arranged before I left), and we've tried to let Rocky have some away time too (or at least downstairs in the office time). It was REALLY nice to not need to rush off to work at some time every single day. It was a little taste of what summer break will be like!


3. Abby and I got a little excited this week as we started talking about her birthday. She'll be 5 in about 6 weeks, and while I threw her a couple parties in her younger years, I don't want to get into the habit of doing a big themed party every single year for both her and her sister. But age 5 is pretty big, so we talked and she decided she wants a My Little Pony themed party. We snuggled on the couch and looked on the computer for awhile...
Poor guy. Even our two cats are girls. :) I hope I'm not too ambitious, but I started crocheting a birthday present for Abby. I made a monkey for our nephew for Christmas that took me about a month, so we'll see.


4. My biggest news of the week is that I signed up to become an Independent Consultant with Usborne Books & More. You can read more about it through the "Usborne" link at the top of the page (or by clicking this link). I've been considering it for awhile, and after leaving my library job we thought it would be a good idea to have a little extra income here and there. When it comes to any "direct sales" or "home-based-business" I hear people say you need to be passionate about the product or you will never be a good salesman. Well I think I'm a little passionate about kids books... :)







Monday, April 6, 2015

What the Cubs are Reading: April 6 AND April #bookwormproblems

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.  Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers have adapted it to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books. Since I recap what I'm personally reading each month with Modern Mrs. Darcy, for this linkup I post what Abby (almost 5) and Ellie (2.5) have been enjoying.
AND since this particular Monday is April 6, that's the day for Jessica's monthly Bookworm Problems linkup! Click here to see what other problems bookworms like you are having this month!

(Woo-hoo, two linkups in one post! All of you visiting from one of the linkups, be sure to click through and check out the other awesome one! :) 

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My #bookwormproblem for the month? I want the kids' bookshelves to look like this:

But most of the time things look like this:

I'm really glad that they love books so much, but how is it that 1) we've obtained SO many books in the last five years and 2) they always seem to end up EVERYWHERE??

Here are some of the girls' favorites this week:

Amelia Bedelia's First Field Trip by Herman Parish. June 2011
I remember loving Amelia Bedelia books as a kid, and thought it was neat that Parish has started making bigger, colorful picture books about Amelia's earlier years as a kid in school. She still has the quirkiness that we all know and love, and my own kids are learning the real meaning of phrases we understand and take for granted. Abby chose this one at the library last week, she has a field trip coming up soon that I will be able to go on with her (now that I'm done at the library! I've missed the others she's had this school year) and she is absolutely thrilled I can go.


The Golden Egg by A.J. Wood. February 2000.
This was a gift from a baby shower before Abby was born. I'm pretty sure it's the book that initiated my love for good rhyming kids books. Little Duck goes looking for a golden egg, encountering many animal friends and eggs of other colors. It has flapped pages to look behind, and I think the ending would make any woman smile.


The Story of Easter by Patricia A. Pingry. Board Book edition February 2011.
I got this book for the girls a year or two ago to help explain Easter to them in an extremely simple way. I'm sure by next year we'll be moving on to something more in depth (we've been reading the Easter story from the Jesus Calling Bible Storybook at dinnertime), but they have been asking for this one every night since they knew it was Easter week.


Read to Tiger by S.J. Fore. August 2010
This is one of many many books we've received from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library (hey that's part of the reason we have SO many books -- each girl gets one in the mail every month!). I sometimes feel like the boy in the story, trying to read while someone keeps interrupting.


Have you read any of these? How do you teach your kids to put their books away??



This post does contain Amazon Affiliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!


Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Lion's Tales: March 29-April 4

This weekly recap is where I blog about anything and everything from the past week. Could be about books, my kids, my garden... Random things in my life that don't fill enough space for their own post!


1. I finally made it to the last day of my library job on Wednesday. The month really did fly by (I put in my notice on March 2, my last day was April 1). I was able to lead one more morning of storytime, which the new gal was able to be at with me. Then she and I talked through a bunch of stuff and I showed her where things are. Over the last month I've been creating a Word document with all sorts of info about programs and pictures and where to find things and links to posts on my blog about past programs... It might have been 3+ pages of overkill, but I know when I started the job almost exactly two years ago I started with nothing. Literally, nothing. The gal before me left in a hurry and files were deleted from the computer and I started from scratch. So I wanted to make this transition as easy as possible -- and I think Kristen appreciated it: "Thank you SO much for all of this! You and I think a lot alike." :) I'm so excited for you Kristen! You're going to be great!!

2. I've gotten an extra workout in my other (and now only) job -- I work 8 hours a week for my church as the Communications Coordinator, doing things like emails and website and making the weekly bulletins. On Wednesday night after a meeting (while we were also there at praise band practice), our pastor headed home on his motorcycle and hit a deer. Thankfully he only ended up with some scrapes and a broken clavicle. It was a scary night, and I was busy sending emails and posting Facebook updates to get our congregation praying. Then Thursday evening, when we were getting ready for our Maundy Thursday service, the pastor's wife fell and also had to go to the ER, and she ended up with a broken foot. What a crazy week!

3. I launched a Facebook page for my blog this week. In addition to posting links to my blog posts, I'll be posting fun book-ish pictures and links I come across, asking questions, and just including things that probably aren't worthy of a whole blog post in and of themselves. Hop on over and like the page today to join in the fun!

4. Last Saturday I mentioned we were heading to the boys basketball state finals that my husband's school was playing in. They didn't win (the team they played has won something like the last 3 of 4 years of finals...), but it was a GREAT time for Rocky and me. We were able to get a babysitter and left early, so we could walk around campus and reminisce for awhile. This was where we met, 13+ years ago!




Thursday, April 2, 2015

Storytime: My Favorites

Age: 2-5 years
Time: 30 minutes + play and snack

For my very last storytime, I chose some of my favorite books and songs. I made it through without crying! The gal who will be taking my place was able to be there with me, which was so great for her to meet the kids and see what I've done!


1) I use the same opening and closing songs each week. Click here to see what I do.


2) Llama Llama Red Pajama - Anna Dewdney
I can pretty much recite this one without looking. It's always fun to be extra dramatic...


3) Song - Moon Moon Moon - Laurie Berkner
This one is still on the Music & Movement playlist, which we're scheduled to start in a couple weeks, so I wanted the kids and the new gal to see my motions (I started with the motions from Sunflower Storytime, and then changed a few).

Moon, moon, moon (form arms in circle over head) 
Shining bright (wiggle fingers like they are sparkling) 
Moon, moon, moon (form arms in circle over head) 
My night light (act like turning off a light) 
Moon, moon, moon (arms in circle over head) 
I can see (point to eyes)
Moon, moon, moon (form arms in circle over head)
You’re taking care of me (hands over heart) 

Look up, it’s the moon (point up with right hand and look up) 
Look up, it’s the moon (point up with left hand and look up) 
Look up, it’s the moon (point up with both hands)
Up in the sky (wave arms back and forth over head)
It’s big and round (make circle with arms over head) 
And I have found (thumbs to chest)
That it looks just like a pizza [lemon] pie! (make circle with hands in front of you, then take a bite)


4) Flannel - Shape Monster
My favorite generic flannel of all time. The youth gal before me did it when I was just a mom bringing kids to storytime, and I continued to use it throughout my two years.


5) If You Give a Mouse a Cookie - Laura Numeroff
For Abby's 2nd birthday party we did a theme around this book, we loved it so much.


6) Song – We are the Dinosaurs - Laurie Berkner
The best storytime song for getting kids of all ages (and their grown-ups!) up and moving.


7) Song & Rhyme Cube
Today the cube rolled I'm a Little Teapot, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Five Little Monkeys.


8) Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See? - Bill Martin Jr.
The kids' faces lit up when I pulled this one out. So many of them know it so well, but they love hearing someone new read it to them. This book taught my kids their colors, and I've used it throughout my Storytime for Littles this year. I like giving the animals different voices.


9) I use the same opening and closing songs each week. Click here to see what I do.


10) Playtime/Snack
I brought out the blocks and instruments for play, but none of the kids were interested. My director had bought cupcakes for my last day, and the kids just enjoyed them at the tables before giving me hugs and heading out.
What a fun two years this has been! I'm really going to miss these kids!!!



This post does contain Amazon Affiliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Goodbye March, Hello April

Goodbye March. Hello April.

Goodbye snow and cold. Hello grass and flowers.

Goodbye cabin fever. Hello playing outside.

Goodbye basketball (okay, yes there are still a few more days of Madness... :) . Hello softball and tennis.

Goodbye wool coat. Hello t-shirts.

Goodbye storytime kids. Hello my own kids.

Goodbye library. Hello home.



Monday, March 30, 2015

What the Cubs are Reading: March 30

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.  Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers have adapted it to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

Since I recap what I'm personally reading each month with Modern Mrs. Darcy, I'm going to post weekly what Abby (almost 5) and Ellie (2.5) have been enjoying.
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Rocky picked this one off the new books shelf at the library last week, as his Algebra class is talking about imaginary numbers. It was the Caldecott winner for 2015. Beekle is an imaginary friend who goes in search of a child to be his perfect match. I've heard my girls playing "I'll be Beekle, you be Alice!"


Fancy Nancy Pajama Day by Jane O'Connor. June 2009
We have a small boxed set of Fancy Nancy books, and this is the current favorite. Nancy encounters a dilemma when she wants to wear her elegant nightgown but her best friend wants her to wear their matching pajamas.


Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems. June 2011. 
We received this one for Christmas, and it makes my girls giggle every time. Of course giving Gerald a deep elephant-y voice helps the goofiness. I've seen Ellie paging through this one "reading" it out loud.


What's That Mittens? by Lola Schaefer. June 2009. 
One of Abby's current My-First-I-Can-Read books. I'm amazed at how quickly she's picking up words because of this series.


Check out what others are reading at today's linkup!



This post does contain Amazon Affliate links. Purchases you make help support The Lion is a Bookworm a little bit without changing the cost to you!