Archive for September 2017

Are You Puzzled?

September 28, 2017

For years, my family came from different parts of the United States to vacation together on Hilton Head Island for a week of family camaraderie and fun. During the day, people did what they enjoyed – walking on the beach, swimming, playing volleyball, shopping, golfing, reading, or simply relaxing. At dinner, we would come together as one big, noisy family and share our experiences of the day.

The one thing that was a constant each year was the presence of a jigsaw puzzle. It was set out on a table for anyone to test their puzzle skills. The goal was to finish it before the end of the week. It was an all-out effort by everyone.

We haven’t been to Hilton Head as a large family in years, but I still enjoy putting together jigsaw puzzles, and I’ve found some amazing ones.

Lois B. Sutton is a talented artist who creates detailed, colorful collages which are then made into jigsaw puzzles. (whitemountainpuzzles.com) Nostalgia, Americana, and vintage items are a large part of her subject matter. Her puzzles are challenging and a delight to put together to achieve the end result. At this moment, my favorite Lois B. Sutton puzzle is “Boston.” As pieces are put in place, you not only get a tour of Boston but a history lesson, too! Her puzzles are a great learning experience for the entire family. If you’re looking for some quality family time, try putting together one of Lois B. Sutton’s puzzles.

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It’s a Wonder!

September 21, 2017

 

Wonders

We’re All Wonders is a picture book written and illustrated by R.J. Palacio. It’s based on her award-winning novel, Wonder. As in her novel, the main character, Auggie, has a physical disability. On the first page, readers meet Auggie and his dog, Daisy. We find out immediately that Auggie is different. Even though he does things like every other kid, he is not ordinary. His mom calls him “unique” and “a wonder.” Because Auggie’s face doesn’t look like everyone else’s face, people stare and say things, which makes Auggie feel bad. When this happens, Auggie puts on his helmet, and with his dog, Daisy, the two blast off into their own world. They hope for better things because as Auggie says, “We’re all wonders!” R.J. Palacio tells the story with spare text that easily elicits an emotional response from readers. Her colorful illustrations invite readers to keep turning pages as they become part of Auggie’s story. I recommend this book for its themes of acceptance, kindness, and hope.

Get Ready to Turn these Pages

September 14, 2017

 

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If you’re looking for a book to get your toddler/preschooler moving, take a look at Lucy Cousins’ picture book, Hooray for Birds. This book is filled with bold, bright colors and invites the child to imagine he/she is a bird and do what the birds do. The fast–paced rhymes begin with a “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” in the morning and continue throughout the day until it’s time to say good night. Don’t be surprised if your little one insists you read the book again and again, and you’ll oblige because this book is fun for everyone!

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Bird, Balloon, Bear written and illustrated by Il Sung Na is quite the opposite of Hooray for Birds. This is a gentle story about finding the courage to make a new friend. The text is spare and the illustrations in the book are muted and soft with a fun double page spread. What makes this book special is it lends itself to cuddling together as you turn the pages to reveal how a friendship blossoms.

These two books are looking for a space in your library.

 

I’m Back!

September 7, 2017

I’m back from my Summer Blog Break, and what a break it was!

During my time away from this blog, we had family visits, anniversaries, a birth, and birthdays. It was a month packed full of excitement and fun.

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Anniversary Celebration

Probably the most memorable event was the untimely arrival of our newest granddaughter. She entered the world a bit early and with lightning speed. Mom and Dad had to pull alongside the road and call 911. Granddaughter number three presented herself as the ambulance pulled into the hospital. A great story to tell her in future years!

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Sweet New Arrival

Four days after that, we celebrated birthday number two for our twin granddaughters. Their new sister was the perfect gift for them. but they did enjoy cake and presents.

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Cake

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Presents

Life is noisier and a bit more chaotic than before, but it’s worth every precious moment.

Now I have one more reason to pick out “just right” books for future readers. Check in next week for new recommendations.

 


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