Archive for the ‘Special Days’ category

READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY

March 2, 2017

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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.

 

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

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

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

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If You Plant a Seed written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

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Something About Hensley’s written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco

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Because Amelia Smiled written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein

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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)

The Cow Stops Here

June 9, 2016

June is National Dairy Month. Since our recent move to New Hampshire, I’m missing Wisconsin and all of its delicious dairy products. I’m particularly missing the Farmers’ Market around the Capital Square in Madison. They do a bang-up job of celebrating Dairy Month. Since I couldn’t be there this year, I’m reposting one of the last times I strolled around the State Capital, taking in all the delectable sights.

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Mo-o-o-ve over! June is National Dairy Month, and Saturday the cows were out – Cows on the Wisconsin State Capital Concourse, of course, of course. Cows flaunted their “Dairy aire.” Got Milk? You betcha! White milk, chocolate milk, and strawberry milk were on the menu. There were hunka hunks of cheese and mounds of squeaking cheese curds. If you missed breakfast or lunch, grilled cheese sandwiches were making the rounds. For dessert or an anytime treat, I scream, you scream we all scream for ice cream and don’t forget the overstuffed cream puffs. The cows were doing their best to please. It was a dairy day overload. Follow me and see.

First stop — cows. I had a hard time getting close to the mooers. Those little kiddos wouldn’t let me in.

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A Close-Up Look

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That’s Big

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Milk mustaches were en vogue. Got Milk?

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There were all kinds of dairy treats – good for your teeth and bones.

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Say Cheese!

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Give the Man a Cream Puff!

It was an “udderly” satisfying day. So don’t forget to celebrate National Dairy Month. Drink a glass of milk today!

Want to know more about cows and dairy products? Check these out.

The Milk Makers by Gail Gibbons (Aladdin, 1987), Cows (Animals Animals)by Renee C. Rebman (Benchmark Books, 2009), Farm Animals Cows by Cecilia Minden (Cherry Lake Pub., 2009), Cows (Animals That Live on the Farm) by JoAnn Early Macken (Weekly Reader Early Learning Library, 2009), Ice Cream:  The Full Scoop by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House, 2008)

For Fun:  A Big Cheese for the White House:  The True Tale of a Tremendous Cheddar by Candice Fleming (Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) 2004)

WHEREVER YOU GO

May 19, 2016

My niece graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison this past weekend.

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We celebrated her success in a stadium filled with proud parents, relatives, and friends.

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I’d like to say the day was perfect, but that would be an understatement. The problem was the weather. It felt more like January than May. The temperature was thirty degrees, the wind was blowing between fifteen and twenty miles per hour, and the sky was spitting snow and sleet pellets. Not even keynote speaker Russell Wilson, a UW graduate and Seahawks quarterback, could warm the cockles of my heart.

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Despite the highly unusual weather, we were proud to see our niece graduate and embark upon the next steps to achieve her career goals. “On Wisconsin!”

So what do you give as a gift to a graduate? Money, of course, that’s always appreciated. But if you want to give a gift that’s from the heart, choose Pat Zietlow Miller‘s book, WHEREVER YOU GO.

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Eliza Wheeler‘s enchanting illustrations and Miller’s rhythmic text take the reader on a wondrous journey of roads that “bend, merge, zoom, climb, …” This book is perfect for graduates as they decide which road they will choose.

 

 

Earth Day – April 22

April 14, 2016

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Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd. We have been given a precious gift. To continue to enjoy all of Earth’s treasures, we should make it a point to celebrate Earth Day every day.

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970. Its founder was U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin. You can find more about the history of Earth Day here, and check here for some great Earth Day activities for families. Below are a few of the outstanding books that are ideal for parents and teachers to share with children in celebration of Earth Day. 

Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World written by Laurie Lawlor and illustrated by Laura Beingessner, Holiday House

Water Is Water A Book about the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin, Roaring Book Press

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

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.” ~Chief Seattle

S is for Save the Planet written by Brad Herzog and illustrated by Linda Holt Ayriss, Sleeping Bear Press

If You Spent a Day with Thoreau at Walden Pond written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Wendell Minor, Henry Holt & Company

Miss Maple’s Seeds written and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, Nancy Paulsen Books

“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” ~Evo Morales

 

Are You an April Fool?

March 31, 2016

april,bells,box,carnival,cartoon,celebration,cheerful,circus,clown,colorful,costume,crazy,day,entertainment,festival,fool,funny,gambler,green,happy,harlequin,hat,humor,icon,idiot,illustration,isolated,jester,joker,joy,man,medieval,party,people,s,smile,spring,vector,wonder

April Fool’s Day is tomorrow! Watch your back. Jokers will be on the loose.

The AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY defines fool in multiple ways. For April Fool’s Day, this is the perfect definition – one who has been tricked and made to look ridiculous – a dupe.

Good or bad, we are all fools in one way or another. Which of these quotes describes the fool in you?

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than speak out and remove all doubt.” ~Abraham Lincoln

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.” ~Benjamin Franklin

“To speak and to speak well, are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.” ~Ben Johnson

“Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.” ~Napoleon Bonaparte

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” ~Bertrand Russell

“There are two kinds of fools: those who can’t change their opinions and those who won’t.” ~Josh Billings

“Nothing fools you better than the lie you tell yourself.” ~Teller

“Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything.” ~Frank Dane

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There are songs about fools. Do these speak to you?

“The Fool on the Hill” The Beatles

“Everybody Plays the Fool” Aaron Neville

“Chain of Fools” Aretha Franklin

“Why Do Fools Fall in Love” Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers

“What a Fool Believes” Doobie Brothers

Stack Of Books, Taller clip art Let us not forget April Fool’s picture books to bring out the kid in you.

April Fool! Watch Out at School! written and illustrated by Diane deGroat, HarperCollins

April Foolishness written by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott, Albert Whitman & Company

April Fool, Phyllis! written by Susanna Leonard Hill and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler, Holiday House

Product Details

Barnyard Fun written by Maureen Wright and illustrated by Paul Rátz de Tagyos, Two Lions

Have a great April Fool’s Day, but remember …

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”~Alexander Pope

 


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