Archive for the ‘Special Days’ category

Smile!

June 15, 2017

Turn that frown upside down!

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Today is Smile Power Day!

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“Nothing you wear is more important than your smile.” ~Connie Stevens

Share your smile with the world today!

 

 

It’s National Best Friends Day!

June 8, 2017

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A friend is someone who is always there for you. That friend supports you, laughs with you, cries with you, gets mad at you, keeps your secrets, and always accepts you the way you are. Whether you’re near or far, today is the day to reach out and let your friends know how much they mean to you.

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” ~Elizabeth Foley

There have been numerous books written about friendship. Below you’ll find some of my favorites. Celebrate friendship by sharing one of these books with someone you love.

For the Younger Set:

frances

Best Friends for Frances written by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Lillian Hoban, HarperCollins

George

George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends written and illustrated by James Marshall, Houghton Mifflin

frog and

Frog and Toad Are Friends written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel, HarperCollins

cork

Cork & Fuzz written by Dori Chaconas and illustrated by Lisa McCue, Viking Books for Young Readers

otis

Otis and the Tornado written and illustrated by Loren Long, Philomel Books

rabbit

My Friend Rabbit written and illustrated by Eric Rohmann, Roaring Book Press

piggie

Elephant and Piggie: My Friend is Sad written and illustrated by Mo Willems, Disney-Hyperion

yoon

Be a Friend written and illustrated by Salina Yoon, Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children’s Books

frints

Best Frints in the Whole Universe written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis, Roaring Brook Press

Middle-Grade Favorites:

ivan

The One and Only Ivan written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao, HarperTorch

holes

Holes written by Louis Sachar, Yearling Books

anne

Anne of Green Gables written by L. M. Montgomery, Puffin Books

dresses

The Hundred Dresses written by Eleanor Estes and illustrated by Louis Slobodkin, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

web

Charlotte’s Web written by E. B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams, HarperTrophy

winnie

Winnie-the-Pooh written by A. A. Milne and illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard, E. P. Dutton

Happy Best Friends Day to the best of the best — my best friends!

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Earth Day 2017

April 20, 2017

“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world.” ~Gaylord Nelson

Gaylord Nelson, a popular political figure from Wisconsin, is the founder of Earth Day. He had the foresight to understand the need to protect our environment. On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans gathered to raise awareness about our environmental problems and demand that our elected officials see the necessity to do something about it.

This Saturday, April 22nd, we continue to celebrate Earth Day. The theme of this year’s event is Environmental and Climate Literacy.

Below are selected picture books to share with young readers to help them become more knowledgeable about our environment and to encourage them to take care of our earth’s precious gifts.

tidy

Tidy written and illustrated by Emily Gravett, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

watersong

Watersong written by Tim McCanna and illustrated by Richard Smythe, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

giant

The Lonely Giant written and illustrated by Sophie Ambrose, Candlewick Press

pond

Over and Under the Pond written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal, Chronicle Books

bag

One Plastic Bag: IsatouCeesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon, Millbrook Press

wangari

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter, Harcourt Children’s Books

green

What Does It Mean To Be Green? written by Rana DiOrio and illustrated by Chris Blair, March 4th Inc

garden

The Curious Garden written and illustrated by Peter Brown, Little, Brown Young Readers

lorax

The Lorax written and illustrated by Dr. Seuss, Random House Children’s Books

stew

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth written by Mary McKenna Siddals and illustrated by Ashley Wolff, Tricycle Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is Your Burning Question?

March 30, 2017

I know exactly what your burning question is:  Why is today special?

Today we celebrate Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen’s birthday. He was a chemist and the creator of the Bunsen Burner. You probably remember the Bunsen Burner from high school chemistry. It’s a gas burner used in labs, and it has a metal tube and with an adjustable air valve at the bottom. You might also remember singeing your eyebrows or hair if you got too close to the flame. Ouch!

Since this is also the end of Women’s History Month, I have the burning desire to celebrate Bunsen Burner Day and share a few more biographies of women who set the world on fire and made a difference in the field of science.

women in science

Women in Science:  50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World written by Rachel Ignotofsky, Ten Speed Press

Magnificent minds

Magnificent Minds:  16 Pioneering Women in Science and Medicine written by Pendred E. Noyce, Tumblehome Learning, Inc.

hidden

Hidden Figures Young Readers’ Edition written by Margot Lee Shetterly, HarperCollins

Marie

Who Was Marie Curie? written by Megan Stine and illustrated by Nancy Harrison and Ted Hammond, Grosset & Dunlap

ideas

Ada’s Ideas:  The Story of Ada Lovelace, the World’s First Computer Programmer written and illustrated by Fiona Robinson, Abrams Books for Young Readers

Picture books worth reading:

ada

Ada Twist, Scientist written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts, Abrams Books for Young Readers

rosie

Rosie Revere, Engineer written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts, Abrams Books for Young Readers

Hot stuff here!

 

 

 

READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY

March 2, 2017

cat

One book, two books.

Old books, new books.

 

Some are short and funny, too.

Some are long like a size twelve shoe.

 

Magic happens in a book.

Turn the page and take a look.

read

 

Books can fly you to the moon

Just by riding on a spoon.

 

Happy, sad, or full of flair

Books can take you anywhere.

So …

Grab a book and grab a friend.

Read a book until the end.

 

It’s Read Across America Day!

Do you know what Dr. Seuss would say?

 

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.

The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

hats-off

 

Grouches and Kindness

February 16, 2017

Today, February 16, is Do a Grouch a Favor Day and tomorrow, February 17, is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. The two days pair up perfectly. We all know someone who is a grouch. It could even be you! Some days that grouch factor hangs around and you can’t seem to “shake it off” like Taylor Swift says.

More than ever, we need random acts of kindness. It doesn’t take much. A simple smile or a word of encouragement may be all someone needs. Kindness doesn’t cost anything. You’ll be richer for making an effort, and your investment in kindness will grow. So if you see someone who looks like they could use a smile, give them one.

Each kindness makes a grouch and the world a better place.

Check out these picture books that demonstrate the power of kindness. Read them. Share them. Live the message.

 

stick

Stick and Stone written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

kindness

Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis

 kiss

Plant a Kiss written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

rabbit

If You Plant a Seed written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

 hensleys

Something About Hensley’s written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco

 amelia

Because Amelia Smiled written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein

boy 

The Invisible Boy written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Patrice Barton

 

 

 

 

In Memory of One Special Veteran and a Tribute to Others

November 10, 2016

My dad was a member of what some people refer to as the Greatest Generation – those men and women who fought in World War II. He was a true patriot and a gentleman. He passed away five years ago, and I miss his quirky humor and wisdom every single day.

Tomorrow, on 11-11-16, we celebrate Veterans Day. I have posted this piece before, but I am posting it again with added information to honor my dad and all the men and women who have served in the military and those who continue to do so. We also remember those who bravely fought and sacrificed their lives to keep our country safe.

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My dad served in the Army Air Corps as First Lieutenant, navigating B-29 bombers and was a member of the 505thBombardment Group based on Tinian Island. He was there during the time Tinian Island served as the base for the Enola Gay, the B-29 aircraft that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

When we were growing up, he rarely talked about his service. I had the feeling he wanted to distance himself from those years. After my mother died, he began telling the family about his time served in the Army Air Corps. He especially wanted the grandkids to know the history of that period. Here are some of his experiences and memories.

My dad flew bombing missions and searched for survivors after B-29 bombers were shot down. He mined Tokyo Bay and Shimonoseki Strait. After the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, this is what my dad remembers hearing from a crew member of the Enola Gay:  “We dropped something. There was a big cloud. We got out of there!”

My dad’s last mission of the war was to blow up railroad yards. The first people to go home from the Islands were the mechanics. Those who were left behind had to maintain their own planes. My dad’s plane had to land in Hawaii to refuel. Good thing because it ran out of fuel on the runway!

After my dad passed away, we cleared out his house. We found a treasure trove of items from his military days inside his army trunk. Like my mother, he kept EVERYTHING! Those remaining members of the 484th Squadron might recognize some of the pictures I’ve included below.

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Navigation School Graduation Booklet

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Bracelet and Physical Record Card

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Love Letters Written to my Mother

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484th Squadron

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Radar Plotting Chart

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Realities of War

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War is nasty. We are fortunate to have men and women who are willing to protect our country from those who would destroy the freedom we enjoy. Remember to honor and thank all of our veterans today and every day!

If you know of anyone who served in World War II and is still alive, talk to them and write down their stories to preserve for future generations. The Veterans History Project is an excellent way to learn more about our veterans.

Here’s a great picture book to help young readers learn about America’s Armed Forces:  H is for Honor:  A Military Family Alphabet written by Devin Scillian and illustrated by Victor Juhasz (Sleeping Bear Press, 2011)


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