Monday, August 13, 2012

Painting pots with the tot

Rainy day, go away. Unless Daven decides to nap, that is. Then the rain can stick around.

We got a bit messy this afternoon when I got out the craft box. Daven immediately found the hot glue gun and started "shooting" me with it. But he quickly put it down when I asked if he wanted to paint.

Most of my acrylic paints are over three years old and a bit gloopy. But that just made it look more fun. At least that's what I'm going with.

We painted together which was a nice few moments together :)

Now, what should we plant in our tiny pots?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Book Review: Boy + Bot

One of Daven's current favorite things is robots. He loves to watch them on tv, play with bot bot toys and read books about them.

Surprisingly, our library doesn't have very many children's books about robots. A whole two of them came up on our last search of the catalog.

I was happy to come across Boy + Bot within the ebook section. We read it together as soon as I checked it out and downloaded it.

Ame Dyckman tells a story of a boy who finds a robot in the woods and they instantly become friends. When Bot's power switch accidentally gets turned off, the boy is very upset, thinking that the bot is sick. He brings the bot home to try to fix him.

After his attempts fail, the boy covers the bot up in his room and falls asleep. His parents open the door to check on him in the night and this trips the power switch on Bot.

Bot charges up, but finds that there is something wrong with the boy. Is he sick? He takes the boy home to try to fix him.

I won't tell the whole story, but I'm sure you can tell that there is a happy ending. It's such a cute book and I love the illustrations. Daven liked being able to "turn the page" on my iPad and was excited by the pictures of the robot.

This is Ame's first book and was published just this year. I hope that she continues to write for children. We've read through it a few times already today. It's a good thing I've got it out on a 21 day loan!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Book Nerd Moment

Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich, two of my current favorite authors
(Photo from the Today Show website)

(This post might be total nonsense if you aren't familiar with both book series)

I love both of these ladies and their literature.  Janet has her Stephanie Plum Series and Charlaine's most popular and lengthy series is, of course, the Sookie Stackhouse books.  I've read all of these and have been craving more.

I have in my head what I believe is a great idea.

Stephanie Plum lives in New Jersey and is a bounty hunter.  If you've read even the first book-turned-movie, this is old news.  What if she had to go out of town to catch a FTA and that person just happened to escape to Bon Temps, Louisiana?  There, we would find out that the criminal has paid off a group of supes or vamps to keep him safe from capture and Stephanie has to find and friend Sookie to help her navigate the situation.

The ladies could collaborate and write the book.  How awesome would that be?  Super-duper awesome, I tell you!  I feel like the two book characters have so much in common anyway.  They are both strong, independent women who are always getting into trouble and who can never decided and stick to one guy.  Plus, neither of them seems to have time to eat.  And what would happen if Sookie fell for Ranger?  DRAMA!

Wouldn't these two actresses be great together?  I know that I would not be the only person that would buy into this.  I could really be onto something!  I mean, there are all kinds of side movies for other series, like Alien V Robot Puppies on Planet Pluto, so I definitely think there would be merit for a movie after the book is finished.

The only question is - how can we make this happen?

If you like my idea, help spread the word - S&SBFFs2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Book Review: Reading Magic

According to Mem Fox, there are 3 secrets of reading:

1. Understanding print
2. Understanding language
3. Understanding how the world works

Without the combination of these "understandings", one cannot truly learn to enjoy reading.

But Fox claims that the solution is simple - read aloud to your child. The magic that she's referring to enjoying time spent with your little one sharing and reading books.

The big key here to the success of building the bridge to reading is...


Fun. Yep, it's not rocket science, although it is an element that can easily get pushed to the back burner when parents and teachers are faced with standards and deadlines. Make reading fun. Read their favorite book for the zillionth time even though you're sick of it yourself.

My own parents often speak of two different books that I would beg them to read over and over until it drove them absolutely nuts. One was a potty book and the other was a night time book. I remember my favorite part was when the giraffe got tucked into bed.

Not to sound uppity, but I was one of the better readers in my elementary school classes. Fox's theory would attribute the repetition of reading to becoming a good reader.

We all want our kids to be "top" learners and to avoid struggling with any subject or task. Of course, we can't avoid it completely (Try to convince me that I'd ever enjoy math), spending time reading and discovering books with your little one isn't exactly a sacrifice.

One reason that I like Mem is because I believe she would be an advocate for music education. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book,

"From songs, children learn words, sentences, rhythm, rhyme, and repetition, all of which they'll find later in the books that they read."

Take THAT, school systems across America who have cut music in favor of more "studious" subjects! But that is a whole 'nother issue in itself.

I enjoyed this quick read and would recommend it to any parent or teacher. Reading aloud might not solve all the world's problems, but it's a start!