Friday, December 14, 2018

Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock

Emma and Julia Love Ballet by Barbara McClintock was published in 2016, and I love the diversity is shows. McClintock's illustrations are absolutely beautiful and she shows ballerinas of all colors. The author was inspired by the amazing Judith Jamison whom she saw dance on stage. 

This story follows Emma, a young red-head who loves to dance, and Julia, an older Black professional ballerina. The story is simple and shows their day. Emma gets to go see Julia in a performance later that night. 

This book includes the magic of going to the theater to see a live performance. If you love dance, you will like this book. I love that the dancers are both male and female as I have a son who loves dance. I also love that all colors of people are included from pasty white, glow in the dark people like me, to people with beautiful dark skin, and all the colors in between. 




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.

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

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Dark Pond by Joseph Bruchac

I can count one Joseph Bruchac to write stories that combine Native American lore with good writing that keeps me interested.

In The Dark Pond that was published in 2004, Armie senses something strange in the dark pond in the forest. Something is terrorizing the animals and even humans in the area. Armie has a gift with animals; they seem to trust him.

Armie turns to the tales of his ancestors to help him find a way to fight the creature and keep his own life. He learns that he must also rely on others - something hard for him to do.


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, December 10, 2018

Dracula by Bram Stoker

I finally read Dracula by Bram Stoker. This horror novel was first published in 1897.

At first, I thought the story was a bit disjointed, but all the characters end up coming together. Dracula, is a vampire, and he is all evil. He makes people think he is a wealthy count and is able to convince some to do his bidding by taking control of their minds.

This story gave me the creeps, in a good way, while the characters tried to figure out why loved ones are getting sicker and sicker. The story is told using journal entries and letters. Now I understand references to Renfield in other works. He is an interesting character, and I would have loved to see more of him in the novel.

I liked the science part of the story. The friendship between Mina and Lucy is genuine and helps build the story.

Dracula is a good villain, but I find that I prefer the Creature from Frankenstein more because of the psychological aspects of him. Dracula is bad all the way through, but Frankenstein's creature is more of a puzzle, more of a product of his upbringing.

Dracula is worth reading, and I can see why it's become a classic.



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, December 7, 2018

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige was published in 2014, and in my mind is Dorothy: the Horror Years.

This book is pretty gruesome and not for the faint of heart. If you thought the Wicked Witch of the West was bad, you haven't seen anything yet. We all know the story of The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum. We know who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, but in Dorothy Must Die, everything is turned around. Dorothy is the great and powerful, and as always absolute power, absolutely corrupts.

Amy Gumm, another girl from Kansas, must find a way to remove the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion, and Dorothy from power before they destroy Oz completely. In this version of Oz the wicked witches may be her only allies. The magic of Oz is being stolen and causing everything to crumble.

This book turns OZ on it's head and shows what happens when people allow power to corrupt them.



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, December 3, 2018

Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn and Mark Buehner

Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn and Mark Buehner is part of the Snowmen series and was published in 2005. This book is fun to read because it is told in rhyme. In all of the Snowmen picture books, the snowmen go on an adventure but they make sure to get home in time before their creators awake.

"They're all back in their places
When Christmas Day starts,
But these folks made of snow
Have a glow in their hearts.
Their smiles are more tender,
Their eyes softly shine,
As the snowmen dream dreams
of their Christmastime."

One of my grand childrens' favorite things about all of the Caralyn and Mark Buehner books is that Mark includes hidden pictures on every page. This feature makes the books interactive and even more fun.




Michelle brought over a board book for our NICU book project. She's always thinking of our project.


We received another box of Christmas books and board books from Liam Gregory's wish list. Each of these books will include a book plate with Liam's name. Thank you to his friends and family for continuing to support our project in such a big way. 



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 28, 2018

The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman and Gris Grimly

The Dangerous Alphabet by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Gris Grimly was published in 2008 and is the latest addition to my ABC book collection.

Neil Gaiman writes picture books the same way he writes all his other books - interesting and engaging. In this story, two children take a boat ride under the city or on an amusement ride - it could be either - and in their travels, they find many dangerous items.

This book is fun to read because it contains rhyme and rhythm. The illustrations are wonderful to look at. There is a lot going on without them being cluttered. Gris Grimly did an excellent job on the art.






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 27, 2018

Beowulf by Stepan Petrucha and Kody Chamberlin

Recently, I found a graphic novel of Beowulf by Stephan Petrucha and Kody Chamberlin at one of my local Little Free Libraries. I've not read Beowulf before, so I thought this would be a good way to introduce myself to it. 

Kody Chamberlin is the artist, and his pictures are strong and visually interesting. I enjoyed the story and think this would be a great addition to anyone's library, especially if you have teens in your home. 




We received more books from Liam Gregory's wish list and more are on their way. Thank you to Liam's family and friends for continuing to support our project. These books will all have book plates with Liam's name. 

Angela Jensen donated these cute board books. Thank you for supporting our project. 

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 24, 2018

The Lennon Factor by Paul Young

The Lennon Factor by Paul Young was published in 1972. I found this book at a book swap, and it isn't one I would have come across otherwise.

This book is presented more like a piece of art. The paper is thick, creamy, and of high quality. The font looks like each page was typed out on a typewriter. Punctuation and the arrangement of the words on the page make this book read like poetry.

This is a quick yet powerful read, written during a time of social upheaval in America.

Quotes I like: "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man" (g.b. shaw).

"Quite obviously it is the responsibility of everyone to be involved in his society in some way if he wishes it to progress."

This book has no page numbers and is put together like a handmade book. It is out of print, but you can find it online for a good price.




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.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmak by Carmen Agra Deedy


The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Henri Sorensen was published in 2000. When I first heard of this story, I thought the story was true, but it is a legend, not factual.

However, this is a story about what would happen if we all refused to allow anyone to be discriminated against. If we all stood for kindness, caring, and love, we could have a better society.

The legend says that when the Nazis tried to make the Jews in Denmark wear the yellow star, the King of Denmark asked everyone in his country to wear the star. "If you wished to hide a star, where would you place it?"

The Danes wanted to be a country of Danes even if they worshiped different ways, so all the Danes wore stars to protect their Jewish brothers and sisters, and once again they were all Danes.

I like this book because it reminds us that we are all part of the human family and we must take care of each other. The illustrations by Henri Sorensen are beautiful.


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

Angie's NICU has a wonderful family who at least once a year donates books and other helpful items to the families staying in the NICU.

These books were donated in honor of Liam Gregory's wish list. I appreciate the generosity of Liam's parents, friends, and family. Thank you. All of these books bear a bookplate to honor Liam. 



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 12, 2018

There There by Tommy Orange

There There is Tommy Orange's debut novel and was published in 2018. I was lucky enough to find this one in a Little Free Library.

 In this novel, he tells the stories of several different Native people. All of their stories come together at the end of the book at a Powwow in Oakland. This book is about the power of stories, especially the personal narrative. One of the characters is gathering stories from Native Americans, and it is fitting to have his story as part of the novel.

The character development is really good. I liked that he made me feel like I was right there in the room with his characters. They seem like real people. I like that he shows what is it like to be Native in America and that each experience is different yet connected.

There are many quotes that I loved, but I didn't write them down because I listened to the audio version, which was wonderful because it had several different narrators. Each chapter is told by a different character and thus the story is woven together as characters step in and out of the story.

Although I didn't care for the ending of this book, I still think it is worth reading. I can't wait to see what Tommy Orange writes next as his writing is heartfelt and beautiful and often reads like poetry.




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.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Well: David's Story by Mildred D. Taylor

The Well: David's Story by Mildred D. Taylor was published in 1995, and it is a prequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. This 92 page book is the story of David Logan and his brother Hammer during a time of drought.

Their family has the only well in the area that hasn't dried up. All the people in their town are coming to use their water, but one family is racist and treats the Logan family badly.

As always, Taylor's writing is sublime. She puts the reader into the minds and shoes of her characters. I think this book holds up to current times as we have seen an increase in racist behavior in our country.

My only complaint with this story is that is isn't longer. This would be a perfect book to help a reluctant reader learn about the Jim Crow era and our nation's history of racism. If they like this book, they would be ready to read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and already be familiar with some of the characters. So, perhaps this little book is just the right length.


Michelle donated two Spanish books to our NICU book project.

Thank you, Michelle.



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 7, 2018

One Bear, One Dog by Paul Stickland

One Bear, One Dog by Paul Stickland was published in 1997 and although it is currently out of print, you can still find it for a good price on Amazon. This book is by the same author and illustrator as Dinosaur Roar, which is also a grand kid favorite. 

Aria liked this book because she felt like she was reading it. Each page has one, two, or three words on it, and the words go with the darling pictures of animals and insects that are dancing across the pages. At the end of the book, your child becomes a character in the book with a well placed mirror. Aria read this one twice. 



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 5, 2018

Flapstick by Jon Agee

Flapstick by Jon Agee is a play on words all the way through. This book was published in 1993, and my edition has heavy and sturdy pages, and each page has a lift the flap on it. 

There are ten ridiculous rhymes with flaps, such as: 

"The matador is rather tense,
He'll need a little luck. 
For after all he's up against
A great and mighty . . ."

At this point, you lift the flap and see what the matador will be fighting. The word here is duck that rhymes with luck, and hopefully for the matador, this duck isn't like the cute little bunny rabbit on Monty Python and the Holy Grail. 

This book is funny and fun to read. 




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.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Pouch by David Ezra Stein

Pouch by David Ezra Stein was published in 2009. Stein uses repetition  and common childhood fears to tell his story. 

A baby kangaroo is ready to leave the pouch, but each time he does, he meets a new and unfamiliar animal that sends him running back to jump into his mama's pouch. At the end of the story, he meets another baby kangaroo and both of them rush for safety. 

By facing their fear of the unknown, they each make a friend and gain a level of independence. Stein also wrote Interrupting Chicken




Michelle Horne, Olivia's pretty school (preschool) teacher, donated this book for the NICU. Thank you, Michelle. 


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, October 30, 2018

Click, Clack, Peep! by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

Click, Clack, Peep! by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin was published in 2015 and has the same humor and elements of surprise that all the other Click, Clack, Moo books have. The story is written by Doreen Cronin, and Betsy Lewin is the illustrator who draws all the fun pictures. 

In this installment, a new baby is coming to the farm and no one can get any sleep because Baby Duck will not sleep. All Baby Duck does is "Peep, peep, peep." Lewin draws the eyes of the animals looking very tired. Of course Duck figures out a way to get the baby to sleep, but it isn't going to make Farmer Brown happy at all. 




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.