Archive for January 2014

Man Vs. Bunny

January 30, 2014

My husband has bunny radar. The other evening at eleven o’clock in the far-below freezing temperatures, my husband asked, “Do you want to see a rabbit?”

My thought:  I want to go to bed!

On our back patio, in the dark and bitter cold, sat a rabbit. It wasn’t just any rabbit. My husband’s body language told me that rabbit was his nemesis. Before I could say goodnight, my husband was out the door chasing that furry critter away.

Rabbits have become an obsession with my husband. An obsession is never a good thing especially when it has to do with ridding the world – or at least our yard – of those hoppy little creatures. This fixation of his began several summers ago when a traveling band of bunnies moved into our neighborhood. Since that time, they do what bunnies do – multiply.

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! In the past, those rabbits have decimated our flower gardens. They’ve gnawed at our shrubs. And even though there’s a fence around our vegetable garden, the rabbits have discovered a way to secretly enter into a veggie paradise.

I reminded my husband of the Tale of Peter Rabbit and suggested he refer to how Mr. McGregor handled a similar situation. I even suggested he plant Creepy Carrots! to scare those bunnies away.

Then one day last summer, my husband discovered a nest of bunny babies in our yard. His decision to carefully move those bunnies to a place outside our yard transformed Mama Bunny into Battle Bunny!

It was all-out war between man and bunny. That bunny gnawed every bush she could find. She dug burrows around the yard, feasted on fresh vegetables, and left behind rabbit poop.

No fur ball was going to outwit my husband. He was out for rabbit stew! He swept away rabbit poop, put chicken wire around every bush, and bought rabbit repellent. We are now in the deep of winter and the bunny tale continues. My husband’s rabbit radar is up and running. Who will win?

Maybe my husband should plant a garden of books to quell his appetite for rabbit stew.

Rabbit Reading:

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002)

The Tale of Peter Rabbit written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter (Warne, 110 anniversary edition, 2012)

Creepy Carrots! written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012)

Battle Bunny written by Jon Scieszka: Mac Barnett and illustrated by Matthew Myers (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013)

Advertisements

Quirky and Unique

January 23, 2014

Kate DiCamillo is an immensely talented author. The Newbery Medal and a Newbery Honor Book are among many of the awards she has received. DiCamillo seems to have the innate ability to know exactly how to create a work that will suck readers into her story and keep them there until the very last page. No wonder she was chosen to be the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature!

I just finished reading Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, a chapter book, written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by K.G. Campbell. This book has received a lot of buzz. Could there be another award on the horizon for Kate?

photo (1)

The characters in Flora & Ulysses jump off the pages with their quirky uniqueness. There’s Flora, a cynic, Ulysses, a superhero squirrel, Flora’s mom who’s immersed in writing romance novels, Flora’s dad who is a bit odd, Mrs. Tickham, the next door neighbor, and her great-nephew, William Spiver, who says he’s suffering from temporary blindness. As the story unfolds, DiCamillo cleverly weaves plot and characters together to keep readers emotionally involved and longing for more. Comic book elements add to enjoyment of this skillfully written book that garnered starred reviews and became a New York Times best-seller!

The ALA Youth Media Awards will be announced on Monday, January 27. Will Kate DiCamillo do it again?

This Is About Nothing

January 16, 2014

Today is January 16. It’s Nothing Day. This is good because I have nothing to write.

unnamed[2]

When it comes to nothing, teenagers have cornered the market. They are nothing experts. Try asking a teenager a few questions.

“What did you do today?”

“Nothing.”

“What did you say?”

“Nothing.”

“What do you have there?”

“Nothing.”

As you can see, what a teenager says adds up to nothing. There’s nothing like a teen/parent relationship.

People do a lot of nothing. I admit. I’m guilty of doing nothing. If we’re not careful, nothing could become a national epidemic. If that happens, nothing would ever get done!

It would behoove us to talk about nothing. There are naysayers who would debate the fact you can’t talk about nothing. They’re wrong. Talking about nothing indicates you’re talking about something  which is nothing!

What have you learned from this post? Probably nothing, and that’s the way it should be. Everybody should know about nothing.

If you’ve got nothing to do, check this book out. Two friends, Mooch and Earl, find the best gift of all is nothing.

9780316114882[1]

The Gift of Nothing written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2005)

 

Don’t Let the Crayons Quit!

January 9, 2014

When crayons are new, they fit into a neat little box like soldiers in a row. Each crayon boasts its special color. Over time, some crayons get broken. Some get lost. Some lose their paper jackets. Some get used more than others. And some are hastily stuffed back into their boxes. Those bright new crayons can become a sad lot.

Crayons have feelings. If you don’t believe me, take a look at The Day the Crayons Quit written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. When Duncan opens his box of crayons, he finds letters instead of crayons. In the appropriate color, each crayon writes a letter to Duncan. Some are complaints, some are suggestions, and some are asking for his help. Duncan takes the letters to heart and comes up with a delightful solution that pleases all – even his teacher who gives him an A+ for creativity. The combination of Jeffers illustrations and Daywalt’s imaginative text makes for a truly fun reading experience.

photo

This book brings to mind another thought. In our efforts as parents and teachers to make sure every child fits in, we sometimes forget to think outside the box. Every child has unique qualities. It’s our job to encourage our children to develop their talents to the best of their abilities so they can add their special color to the world.

Don’t let the crayons quit!

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2014

Welcome to 2014

img_1518[1]

Cheers!


%d bloggers like this: