Thursday, December 5, 2019

Replica by Lauren Oliver

Replica by Lauren Oliver was published in 2016, and I found this book in a local Little Free Library. This science fiction novel is two points of view in one book. One side is Lyra's story, a replica who lives at the Haven, a research facility that creates replicas or clones. Her life is limited and clones have no rights, limited education, and are considered an abomination. 

When you flip the book over, you get Gemma's story. She is rich girl who is teased at her high school for being a "Frankenstein". She's had a lot of health problems and surgeries. Because of her heart issues, she is unable to do much exercise and so she struggles with her weight. I like that a main character doesn't feel like she is popular or beautiful and is self-conscious of her body. 

They tell the same story, but no two people can ever be the same or see things the same. Their stories collide in this fast-paced novel that has constant danger for all the characters. This is the first book of a duo and both books are published. I need to buy the second book. 




Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Felipe and Claudette by Mark Teague

Felipe and Claudette by Mark Teague was published in 2019 and is a darling book that shows the importance of animal friendships.

Felipe and Claudette live in an animal shelter and on adoption day all the pets get adopted except for them. Felipe is a cat and Claudette is a crazy dog that barks, tears up her toys, runs in circles, and bounces against the walls. She drives Felipe crazy.

One day a man comes and adopts Claudette. He wants an active playful dog, but when he gets Claudette home, she does none of the things he is promised, so he brings her back because all she does is mope.

Claudette has missed her friend, Felipe, so another home must be found for both of them.

This book is sweet and helps children understand that animals can grieve and miss those they love - humans or other animals.

The pictures in this book are a lot of fun. Mark Teague is great at portraying emotions in his artwork.



Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Brandon Hart's donation allowed us to purchase  books for our NICU book project. My friend, Marla gave us her Scholastic coupon, which allowed us to get an additional twelve books. I appreciate their support of our project. Fifty-two more books will head to the NICU.




Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Mother  Goose  Bruce by Ryan T Higgins was published in 2015 and is an Ezra Jack Keats honor book. Recently Michelle Aikeen donated a copy of this book to the NICU, so I had to order one for my home library.

This book is wonderful and the illustrations are so much fun. This is the story of Bruce a grump of a bear that lives alone. He doesn't like anything, not sun nor rain, not cute little animals. He only likes eggs and he collects (steals) them from all over the forest. He doesn't eat plain eggs; he looks up fancy recipes on the internet.

One day he wants to make hard-boiled goose eggs drizzled with honey-salmon sauce. He goes to the forest to collect all the ingredients, but when he tries to boil the eggs, he fire goes out. While he's out getting more wood, the eggs have hatched and he has become Mother Bruce. "Bruce was the victim of mistaken identity."

Since he can't return the goslings, he tries to get them to leave him alone, but they have imprinted on him, and he is stuck being Mother Bruce.

The bear's expressions are wonderful as he deals with his four new babies. This is fun take on Mother Goose.

I also bought Hotel Bruce, and there is a whole series of books with Mother Bruce. Book buying never ends. There is always another cute book to bring home.



Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Potty Animals by Hope Vestergaard and Valeria Petrone

Potty Animals by Hope Vestergaard and illustrated by Valeria Petrone was published in 2010 and is one of the cutest potty books I've seen. The title page says, "Potty Animals What to Know When You've Gotta Go!"

Each page highlights one animal and the mistake they often make when going potty.

For instance, "Wilma tends to wait too long. She always keeps on playing. She doesn't want to lose her turn, or miss what kids are saying. So Wilma hops from foot to foot. She waits and waits and waits. And when it's time, she has to race . . . but sometimes she's too late!"

Wilbur the hedgehog doesn't wash his hands, Arnold the alligator has bad aim, Freddie the rabbit is afraid to flush, Helga the goose spends too long in the bathroom, Benji barges right in, Roxanne doesn't go before getting on the bus, Stanley pees outside, Georgie doesn't like to wipe, Farley doesn't close the door, and so on.

This is a cute and funny book that addresses all the things little kids need to remember when going potty even down to remembering to zip your pants. The illustrations are bright and colorful.






Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.






Monday, November 25, 2019

Treasures in my Little Free Library

One of the benefits of having a Little Free Library is that people leave amazing books inside. Two children's books were recently placed inside by an unknown benefactor, and my grandkids love both of these books. They will be residing here for now so that I can share them with all of my grandchildren.

The first book is I'm Not Afraid of the Dark by Helena Harastova and illustrated by Jakub Cenkl. This book was published in 2017 and has fun slider pages that are heavy duty so that children can play with them safely.

In this story, a little boy is afraid of the dark. He sees scary things, but when your child turns on the light by pulling the slider, he sees what is there isn't scary at all. By the end of the book, he decides he's no longer afraid of the dark.

The illustrations are a lot of fun, and it's a hit with all the grandkids.



The second book that was left is Press Here by Herve Tullet and was published in 2010. This book is incredibly interactive. The pages are sturdy and wipeable if fingerprints end up on them. This book asks you to press on the yellow dot and when you turn the page, you discover what your action has done.

Before turning each page, you or the child will do what is asked. This book is fun and delightful and is a big hit with my grandchildren. The pictures are all dots, and you will see just how much fun dots can be.





I've really enjoyed my Little Free Library. We are charter number 88672. You are welcome to find us on the map and come take a book or leave a book.

An anonymous benefactor donated twelve board books to our project. These are just the right size for little hands. Thanks for the books.





Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows was published in 2008 and is a great middle grade tale of magic and time travel.

Miri is sandwiched in between two sets of twins. She has older twin brothers, and younger twin sisters, so she often feels left out. Her family buys an old home, and one day when Miri has been sent to her room for hitting her brother with a shovel (he deserved it, but she shouldn't have used a shovel), she finds the single lens from a pair of glasses. She peeks through this lens and is transported to another time. She is still in her room, but a girl named Molly says it is her room and believes that Miri is a fairy who has come to save her.

Barrows got the sibling rivalry down well. Their arguments and fights are realistic. I grew up in a large family and sometimes the fights can get a bit intense. I also found the mother's reactions realistic.

There were some issues that I thought would end up being plot holes, but Barrows filled in all the gaps. There were scary parts, but not too scary for middle grade. I would have loved this book when I was in elementary school, and I'm excited to share it with Callie and Kayana.




Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.





Tuesday, November 19, 2019

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman was published in 2018, and I'll bet this will be used in many classrooms as a read aloud. 

The illustrations by Kaufman were based on her daughters school that celebrates diversity. She created a poster to use at their school and other schools. This poster is on the back of the dust jacket. When Penfold saw this poster, she was inspired to write the words to this book. 

I love the message of inclusion in this story. Thanks for recommending it to me, Michelle. 

"Pencils sharpened in their case. 
Bells are ringing, let's make haste. 
School's beginning, dreams to chase.
All are welcome here."

"No matter how you start your day.
What you wear when you play.
Or if you come from far away.
All are welcome here."

"In our classroom safe and sound.
Fears are lost and hope is found.
Raise your hand, we'll go around.
All are welcome here."

The story covers a school day and life outside the school where all are welcome.



Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Bennett Cerf's Pop-Up Limericks

Bennett Cerf's Pop-Up Limericks was published in 1967 and this 52 year old book is in great condition. Every so often, I come across a treasure at the thrift store. I only paid 55 cents for this book.

The limericks in this book are cute and the pop-ups all work.

"A mouse in her room woke Miss Dowd.
She was frightened, it must be allowed.
Then a happy thought hit her:
To scare off the critter,
She climbed down from her chair and meowed."

 "There was a young lady of Crete
Who was so incredibly neat,
that when rising from bed
she stood on her head
To make sure of not soiling her feet." 

This book is out of print, but it's so cute.


Angela Jensen is a consistent supporter of our book project. I'm excited for the babies to get these books. Giggle, Giggle, Quack is such a fun book. Thanks, Angela.                                   


Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers was published in 2006, and I was lucky enough to find a copy in a local little free library. This book even has a bite mark cut out of the back the cover as part of its design.

Henry is a little boy who loves books so much that he eats them. He finds that when he eats books, he becomes smarter. His brain absorbs whatever knowledge is in the book.

He starts eating more and more books with an unfortunate result. The pictures depicting the result are fun. He learns that he can read books and still gain knowledge without any bad side effects.

This book is a must have for the book lover in your life.




I  received another package from the family of Liam and for whatever reason, these packages seem to come on the day I need them most. These darling board books came from Jason and Lori Krause.


Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Mutt Dog by Stephen Michael King

Mutt Dog by Stephen Michael King was published in 2005 and is a tender story about a homeless dog.

"In the city lives a dog who belonged to no-one. He had to be brave, and fast, and smart, just to survive. He ate whatever he could find. And looked for a new place to sleep every night."

"Go Away, you Mutt!"

In his travels, he tries to find a home, but things don't look hopeful. This story has a sweet ending and the pictures are just right for the text. If you have a dog lover in your life, they will like this story.



Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Where Will You Go, Ricky Jo? by Tom Murdoch and Marina Veselinovic

Where Will You Go, Ricky Jo? written by Tom Murdoch and illustrated by Marina Veselinovic was published in 2018. The author, Tom Murdoch, recently sent me two copies of this book for our NICU book project.

I like the size of this book. It's about 8 inches by 8 inches. This book is a well made hardback with heavy pages which will help it last longer.

The illustrations are cute and colorful, and the story takes the reader on a dream adventure.

Ricky Jo goes to the shoe store, the park, the ocean, a farm, and the mountains. He rides on a firetruck, an airplane, and a horse. The story is fun to read as it has rhythm and rhyme.


Thank you, Tom, for sending books for the littlest of readers.

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Under a Red Sky by Haya Leah Molnar

Under a Red Sky by Haya Leah Molnar was published in 2010 and is the autobiography of the a young girl in Post War Communist Bucharest.

I haven't read about a book about this particular part of the world during this time frame, and I found the story interesting.

Eva, the main character, does not know she is Jewish when the story begins. Her father was in a death camp during WWII, and she thinks he doesn't believe in anything. Her mother was a ballerina and now teaches dance. When they file for passports to go to Israel, her parents are fired from their jobs.

They live in an apartment with her Grandparents, Aunt, two Uncles, and their maid. Each family lives in one bedroom. If they move out of a bedroom, the Communist Party will assign another family to move into that bedroom.

They have to be careful what they do and say in order to avoid retribution by the Communist Party.



Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

These books were donated by Anne Corts. Every donation helps us keep this project going. Thank you, Anne. 

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

One of the books sent to the NICU by Liam's family is The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld. I believe Liam's grandpa sent this book. It was published in 2018 and has already won twelve awards. 

I posted several of the pages of this book because it could be used to help a child deal with a disappointment, a loss of any kind, frustration, grief, and help them learn to be empathetic. 



Inside the cover is a book plate letting the family who gets it know that it is from Liam. 


 A child builds a great thing and is happy about it.

 But something bad comes and destroys his creation.

The child is sad.

Several different animals come and try to tell him how he should feel and want to feel that big feeling with him.


But the child doesn't want to be told how he should feel. He needs to feel his own feelings.

The rabbit comes and cuddles up to him and listens. He doesn't tell him he should be mad, or get over it, or anything else. Rabbit just listens. 


And after the child gets all his feelings out and the time is right, Rabbit helps him rebuild. 

They say that those who read have more compassion. I love books that model good behavior without being didactic. This is a great book to add to your library. I know I will be purchasing this book for my own library.

It seems like when ever I am having a really hard day, I get a package with books from Liam's family. It makes me feel like Liam wants to come play in the books with me. This package arrived the morning after my sister passed away, and while it didn't make everything better, it did brighten my day and made me think about another angel in heaven whose family remembers him and brightens the world in his name. Thank you to the aunt or uncle of Liam who picked just the right day to send this package.

This books are so cute and just the right size for little hands. Each has a bookplate letting the recipient know that these are from Liam.


Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer was published in 2010 and is a well researched story. This story begins with high school students in Kansas who pick a history research project. Liz finds a short note about a woman named Irena Sendler who saved 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. She placed their names along with their new identities in glass jars and buried these jars under an apple tree, so their families could find them after the war.

Two other students join her on this project and they create a play based on what they find. The author had a big job in writing this book as he tells the story of these girls and the story of Irena Sendler. I'll admit that the parts about the girls are a bit clunky, but the story is so good, that I can look past it. The parts about Irena Sendler flow well. Her story is amazing.

With the help of many people she found homes for 2,500 children and provided long term finances for the families who helped. She risked and nearly lost her life by doing what she did. She was Catholic and had been raised that there are two types of people in the world: good people and bad people. Her father taught her that if she saw someone drowning, the drowning person must be rescued.

I liked the parts about the students because it shows how important project based learning is - the difference it can make in so many lives. This project came alive and did much to change the world for the better. I think this book is of value to teachers and to everyone who enjoys a good story that challenges us to be our best selves.

Quotes I liked:

"Anything you do to repair the world is heroic" (29).

"Irena called it Warsaw's Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - over crowding, poor sanitation, rodents, and malnutrition" (96). In speaking of the Warsaw Ghetto.

"The Hebrew Talmud and Kabbalah speak of 36 righteous people for whose sake God keeps the world alive . . .  In our blessed ignorance, we are encouraged to act as if we are one of them" (141).

"Irena felt the burden of her deadly knowledge - the devil's bargain she had made with Schmuel - save a few children, but don't alarm their parents. Doing wrong to do right" (172).

"She knew that if she survived the war, she would suffer for those she could not save, and this regret would shroud the rest of her life" (177).

"My dear Pani Sendler, I was born without fear, and without fear one cannot truly be said to be courageous. My mother, God rest her soul, said I had a congenital absence of good sense" (199).

"It is the great sorrow of our time that one cannot be humane without risking one's life" (199).

"Maybe everybody's world falls apart in one way or another, some more spectacularly than others" (325).

"I wanted to thank you  for starting to fix the world at the very moment it was breaking" (327).

"Only the dead have done enough" (343).

I purchased my copy of this book at a library sale for 50 cents, but it is pretty hammered, so I will buy a new one, as I will read this one again.



Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Teresa sent this book for the NICU.

Angie sent these books for the NICU.

As always, I appreciate every single donation we get to our NICU book project. Thank you, Angie and Teresa.

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.


Friday, October 11, 2019

Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick

Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick was published in 2016. This middle grade novel is about a girl, Claire, who is struggling to feel like she fits in with her friends. She's struggling in dance, and to top it all off, her father has a stroke. She is alone with him at the time and has to get help for him. 

I liked the way Sonnenblick handled the medical information in the story. My daughter had a stroke a few years ago, so I felt like I could connect with what was happening. 

I like the growth in Claire. She matured a lot in the course of this novel. I liked that Sonnenblick dealt with problems kids face in school along with issues they face at home and at dance. He wrote this little girl well. 





Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.