Books about Reading and Libraries

Posted September 13, 2011 by cathyso3
Categories: Literature

Tags: , ,

Last Week, Anita Silvey’s Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac posted a piece on The Library written by Sarah Stewart and illustrated by David Small. I love sharing this book with my library students at the beginning of the year because of its rhyming text and charming illustrations.

After a long summer away from school, I like to reenergize students’ attitudes about books, reading, and the library. 

Below are some other great books I use for preschool through second grade and the reasons why I like to use them.

I Took My Frog to the Library is a great book because students can identify animals and the illustrations are lots of fun.

Baby Bear’s Books promotes the love of reading and spending time with family.

Book! Book! Book! is a fun way to imitate animal sounds as each animal tries to convince the librarian they want a book to read.

In the book, We’re Going on a Book Hunt, bears are in search of a book. Students not only learn how to choose the right book for themselves and how to take care of them, but they also can be an active participant by doing the motions as the book is read to them.

Library Lion has beautiful illustrations along with a special lion that learns to follow the library rules, but shows others that sometimes rules are meant to be broken.

Librarians want students to be Wild About Books. So why not add a bevy of wild animals that want to learn about reading and books?

Stella Louella’s Runaway Book is a cumulative story about a missing book that’s due at the library by five o’clock. Adding to the adventure are the clues given about the missing book. Who knows what book it is?

Thoughts of a scary library and librarian in The Librarian from the Black Lagoon can rev up excitement for reading.

On Friday I’ll share books that I use with my third through fifth graders. Do you have suggestions?

It’s Teddy Bear Day!

Posted September 9, 2011 by cathyso3
Categories: Special Days

Tags: , , ,

It’s Teddy Bear Day! Don’t waste a minute. Get your favorite teddy and give it a hug. I know which one I’ll be hugging today. It’s Pooh, of course. I love Pooh, but I also have a warm place in my heart for Paddington Bear.

It’s so easy to bare your soul to a cuddly teddy bear.  Bears listen well. They don’t talk back. And they give unconditional love and comfort when needed.

A friend of mine gifted me with the book Positively Pooh: Timeless Wisdom from Pooh by A.A. Milne.

It’s a delightful book that includes quotes from A.A. Milne’s Winnie-The-Pooh with “decorations” by Ernest H. Shepard. (Don’t you just love the word decorations?) The quotes offer encouragement and are timely words to live by. “Some of the best fun in life is free.” It’s a perfect book for anyone – especially those who love Pooh.

Give a teddy bear a hug today!

Other Classic Bear Books:

Little Bear by Elsa Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak (Harper Trophy, 1978)

 Corduroy by Don Freeman (Viking Juvenile; 40th anniversary edition, 2008)


Lilly’s Big Day in Curacao?

Posted September 6, 2011 by cathyso3
Categories: Classic Books

Tags: , , , , , ,

On our last evening in Curacao, an island in the Caribbean, the hotel we stayed at hosted a wedding expo. I’m not in the market for weddings, but it was interesting to see what they had to offer. Curacao is a beautiful place for a destination wedding, but I have to admit the wedding expo, which was staged outside, was not to my taste.

The one person I thought would absolutely marvel at the expo was Lilly from Kevin Henkes’ book Lilly’s Big Day.

In this book, Lilly’s teacher is getting married, and Lilly is convinced that she is going to be the flower girl. Lilly practices every day, and when she finds out her teacher has chosen his niece, Ginger, to be the flower girl, Lilly is devastated. Mr. Slinger, being a kind and understanding teacher, tells Lilly she can be Ginger’s assistant. Lilly hopes something will happen so Ginger won’t be able to be the flower girl. To Lilly’s dismay, Ginger is ready and willing until it comes time to walk down the aisle. With a smile on her face and her head held high, Lilly saves the day by carrying Ginger down the aisle.   

As I wandered around the expo, I could see Lilly slowly making her way down the aisle with the sound of the surf in the background.


I could see Lilly dancing around the colorful inflated shapes,

 and lounging on the pillows,

or finding the perfect diva style chair to let everyone know she is an amazing flower girl.  

Whatever the case may be, I think Lilly should take a trip to Curacao and show them how to do a wedding “Lilly style.”

Choosing Your Author Name

Posted September 2, 2011 by cathyso3
Categories: Writing

Tags: ,

An author’s name is important. You want your readers to connect your name to your writing. It’s part of creating your brand. There are many things to think about when you choose how you want your name to appear on your work.

Do you want to use your given name? Do you want to use a nickname? If you’re a female and married, do you want to include your maiden name? Do you want to disguise your gender by using initials instead of a first and middle name? Or how about a nom de plume?

It wasn’t hard for me to decide how I wanted my name to appear in print. Lots of people knew me only by my maiden name. Others knew me only by my married name. I’m proud of both names, and I’m also proud of being published. So I chose to use my maiden name and married name.

Recently, I was contacted through my author website by a long lost friend who recognized my first name and maiden name on one of my books that was being returned to a library. This person googled my name, found my website, determined I was the right person, and contacted me. If I had chosen not include my maiden name, I would not have had the delightful experience of reconnecting with a very special person.

When it comes to choosing the name you want to be connected with your writing, choose carefully and choose wisely.

Hot Times!

Posted August 30, 2011 by cathyso3
Categories: Special Days

Tags: , , , , ,

So what’s the hot news I mentioned in my Friday post? It’s Curacao. During my summer blog break, we vacationed in Curacao, an island in the Caribbean Sea near the coast of Venezuela.  And let me tell you, Curacao is hot, hot, hot! It’s so hot your skin sizzles like bacon frying in a pan!

Curacao, also known for its Blue Curacao Liqueur, has gorgeous blue water surrounding it and beautiful vistas. My husband, who likes to do things ahead of time, booked a tour of the island online before we left the U.S. The day of the tour we quickly found it wasn’t the Cadillac of tours. It was what I called, Pablo’s Killer Yellow Jeep Tour.

Pablo greeted us wearing a t-shirt and camouflage pants. We climbed aboard the canopied yellow jeep and sat down on hard bench seats, facing each other. We discovered there were no seat belts, the speedometer was broken, and the jeep was not the newest model around.

As we drove away from the hotel, we had a sneaking suspicion Pablo was secretly training for the Indianapolis 500. We sped through the streets of Curacao, screeching around corners, roundabouts, and up and down hills. We picked up a Dutch family of four and a newlywed couple from the U.S. Packed into the jeep, the full day tour began.

Pablo gave us instructions:  Keep heads, arms, and hands inside the jeep at all times. If he yelled ay yi yi, that meant to duck from trees and bushes, scraping the sides of the jeep.

Despite my misgivings, Pablo turned out to be an excellent tour guide. He spoke four different languages and was a wealth of information. He gave us the history of the island and the structure of the present government. We learned about the island electricity, the oil refinery, pollution, the water system, and why family members were buried on top of other family members.

He introduced us to local plants and animals and pointed out poisonous trees and bushes with thorns.

We got a first-hand look at the home and artistic work of Yubi Kirindongo, a well-known local artist

Pablo treated us to an off-road drive to see the sea from a different viewpoint and tour a bat cave. Record rates of speed were reached as Pablo splashed through muddy ruts and spun out on dusty ground. Disney Theme Parks have nothing on Pablo’s Killer Yellow Jeep Tours.

Lunch was at a local eatery. It was a time to find a bathroom and fortify ourselves for the afternoon tour. We were not disappointed. Pablo took us on a roller coaster ride through Christoffel National Park. During the day, ay yi yi rang out many times not only from Pablo as a warning about trees and thorn bushes, but from all of us as we hung on for dear life!

When the day was over, we were hot, sweaty, sunburn, bruised, and covered with Curacao dirt. It may not have been the Cadillac of tours, but Pablo gave us an in-depth tour of the island and its history. It was an experience we will long remember.

Some other highlights of Curacao.


Willemstad, Capital of Curacao

Tropical Drinks



I’m Back!

Posted August 26, 2011 by cathyso3
Categories: Avatar Friday

I’m back! My summer blog break is over, and I’m raring to go. I’ve got some hot, hot, hot news to share with you, but you’ll have to wait until Tuesday’s post. Don’t forget to tune in then.

Summer Blog Break

Posted July 29, 2011 by cathyso3
Categories: Uncategorized


We interrupt this blog for breaking news. “Humor Me” is taking a summer blog break. It will return at the end of August to continue to inform and entertain the masses. See you then!


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