Tuesday, September 29, 2015

31 Days of NEW Kids Picture Books: 2015 edition

Last year I joined the 31 Days of writing challenge for the first time and enjoyed it so much I thought I'd try again this year. My local library has a section just for new books that have arrived in the last 6 months, typically published within the last year, so while I'm following the same format as I did last October, the content will be completely new!

I'd really love the accountability of knowing people are reading these posts so that I don't give up part way in... so if you're going to be looking forward to discovering NEW kids picture books every day with me, will you leave me a little comment? :)

This post will contain the growing list of books as I write them:

Day 1: Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa by Anna Dewdney
Day 2: S is for Sleeping Bear Dunes by Kathy-jo Wargin
Day 3: I Will Take a Nap! by Mo Willems
Day 4: Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy Story by Emily Arnold McCully
Day 5: Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats by Alicia Potter
Day 6: Templeton Gets His Wish by Greg Pizzoli
Day 7: Jack and the Beanstalk by Anna Milbourne
Day 8: Troto and the Trucks by Uri Shulevitz
Day 9: Ladybug Girl and the Best Ever Playdate by David Soman & Jacky Davis
Day 10: Good Night, Firefly by Gabriel Alborozo
Day 11: A Rock Can Be... by Laura Purdie Salas
Day 12: Woodpecker Wham! by April Pulley Sayre
Day 13: The House That's Your Home by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Day 14: Secrets of Winter: A Shine-a-Light Book by Carron Brown {GIVEAWAY!}
Day 15: I'm Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton
Day 16: Ask Me by Bernard Waber
Day 17: Ketzel, the Cat Who Composed by Leslea Newman
Day 18: Dilly Dally Daisy by Mark Fearing 
Day 19: Sunshine Brightens Springtime by Charles Ghigna
Day 20: Beautiful Hands by Kathryn Otoshi & Bret Baumgarten
Day 21: That's Not My Hedgehog... by F. Watt & R. Wells
Day 22: P. Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis
Day 23: With a Friend By Your Side by Barbara Kerley
Day 24: Izzy & Oscar by Allison Estes & Dan Stark
Day 25: Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin
Day 26: Where's Will? by Anna Claybourne
Day 27: Little Miss, Big Sis by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Day 28: Olga da Polga by Michael Bond
Day 29: Who Wants Broccoli? by Val Jones
Day 30: Wild About Us! by Karen Beaumont
Day 31: Final thoughts on this year's 31 days

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Lion's Tales: early September

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

1. School started the week before Labor Day for Rocky and Abby, and the week after for Ellie. As busy as it makes our days, I've been so looking forward to routine (though my home routine got quite disrupted; that'll be a point all of its own).

Abby is in 5-day, all-day kindergarten. She thrived on 3-day all-day preschool last year, but she's definitely struggling this year. She's had a number of "I miss you, Mommy" meltdowns, and has to get up at 6:15 each morning to ride in with Rocky. I drive her in once or twice a week, but then she gets only an extra half hour of sleep. There are definitely pluses and minuses to having her go to school in the system where Rocky teaches.

2. We weren't originally going to send Ellie to preschool yet (she just turned 3 the beginning of August). But as I was trying to figure out daycare for her the two afternoons a week I work in the church office, the lightbulb went on -- let's see if they have any openings in the preschool that's also run in our church. And they sure did! So even Ellie gets to go to school this year.

3. Our biggest news/struggle the last few weeks have been our cats. Over the years we've started getting more annoyed by them than enjoying them, and when one of them started peeing on the furniture over the summer we started thinking about finding them a new home. Then we discovered fleas in the house (the cats liked to sneak outside any time they saw the door open) and knew something really needed to change.

After talking to a number of people and putting out a couple of Facebook posts, we found a friend who was willing to take them on her little farm to see how they'd do as barn cats. We brought them over this week, and I think it will work out just fine!

So instead of enjoying some of the extra free time I've had during the week writing blog posts or reading, it's been spent doing extra laundry and daily vacuuming. Ugh. Hopefully things will be back to normal soon!

4. In my "spare time" I've done a little bit of canning. Growing up, I remember my mom having huge stockpiles of canned food on the shelves, and while I don't plan to have nearly as much as she did, I am experimenting with a little more each year. This year I made 8 pints of peach salsa, 18 quarts of tomato sauce, and 12 pints of zucchini bread. I hope to do applesauce soon too.

5. I'm considering doing the Write 31 Days challenge again this October (here is my list of posts from last year). I liked what I did last year, writing about brand new kids picture books, but I'm afraid it might not be as easy since I don't work at the library every day anymore. I suppose I could just check out all kinds of new kids books when the kids and I make our weekly trip. But maybe I want to do some different book-related posts. I don't know...

Any tips for getting rid of fleas in the house? Do you do any canning? What should I write about for 31 days?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Spoiler alerts are my #bookwormproblem

There are many books I feel like "everyone" has read except me. Last year I joined the YABMC because the first 7 months of the year were the Harry Potter series, and though it was a second- or third- or more-time read for many, it was a first-time read for me (I was part of the mindset when they came out while I was in high school that they were evil books...).

I LOVED them (Goblet of Fire was my favorite). But I'm sure many of my fellow book club members had a hard time not saying certain things and carrying on conversation without including spoilers. Then this was exactly the time when Rowling released the statements about regretting having Ron and Hermione hook up. Um... I hadn't gotten to that part yet. But I brushed it off as "I figured it was going to happen anyway." (at least no one told me who died in the end before I read the last book!)

Then last month in the YABMC we read Little Women. Another first-time read for me, though many people read it when they were kids. Now, if any of you in the club are reading this, please know I do NOT fault you for comments and conversations we had during this book! It's my own fault for reading it slowly (I'm still not quite done) and for not having read it sooner! But I did learn a few things about what would happen later in the book - and again have brushed it off as "I figured something like that would happen." 

So my #bookwormproblem of the month: being embarrassed about needing spoiler alerts when conversing about a book "everyone" else has already read. 

What book have YOU not read that it seems like "everyone" else has??

Linking up to Jessica's monthly #bookwormproblems! She's also the host of the awesome YABMC!