Music to My Ears

Posted October 24, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Life and Family

Tags: , , , , ,

I love a piano,
love a piano
I love to hear somebody play
Upon a piano, a grand piano
It simply carries me away

~From Irving Berlin’s “I Love a Piano”

I’ve always loved music – especially piano music. The downside of my love of music is I can’t carry a tune, and I never learned to play the piano well. The upside is our daughter has a talent for playing the piano.

This past Monday, our beloved piano that had a special place in our home for twenty-seven years moved out of our house and into our daughter’s new home.

Old Home

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The downside of giving the piano to our daughter is a big empty space in our great room. The upside is the piano will once again have loving hands that will make it sing.

New Home

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I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing our granddaughters follow their mother’s musical talent and learn to create sounds that will be music to my ears.

This book will put a song in your heart and be music to your ears when you read it.

bear and piano

The Bear and the Piano written and illustrated by David Litchfield is a captivating story of a bear cub who finds a piano. Over the years, he learns how to play the piano and charms his woodland friends with his music. One day a man and his daughter hear the bear playing and invite him to come to the big city. The bear had always dreamed of learning more about music and “to play bigger and better than before.” He finds leaving behind his forest friends is difficult, but the city calls to him. The bear becomes a famous pianist, winning awards and playing for crowds who give him standing ovations. But one day he realizes with all that he has accomplished, there is something missing. David Litchfield has written and beautifully illustrated this touching tale of fame and lasting friendship. It’s a must-read book.

Goblins, and Ghouls, and Ghosts, Oh My!

Posted October 17, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Board Books, Holiday Books, Picture Books

Tags:

Halloween is quickly approaching. Get your family in the mood for some yummy treats with these BOOks.

Picture Books

monster academy

Monster Academy written by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple and illustrated by John McKinley, The Blue Sky Press, 2018.

Creepy

Creepy Pair of Underwear! written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017.

Pigs

Pug & Pig Trick-or-Treat written by Sue Lowell Gallion and illustrated by Joyce Wan, Beach Lane Books, 2017.

pomegranite

The Pomegranate Witch written by Denise Doyen and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, Chronicle, 2017.

stumpkin

Stumpkin written and illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins, Antheneum Books for Young Readers, 2018.

old lady

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything written by Linda Williams and illustrated by Megan Lloyd, HarperCollins, 2019.

teeny tiny

A Teeny Tiny Halloween written by Lauren L. Wohl and illustrated by Henry Cole, Persnickety Press, 2016.

Board Books

blue truck

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Jill McElmurry, HMH Books for Young Readers, 2016.

Bat

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat! written by Lucille Colandro and illustrated by Jared Lee, Cartwheel Books, 2017.

mouse

It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse! written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, Balzer + Bray, 2019.

 

 

 

Sea Cow or Manatee?

Posted October 10, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Author/Illustrator, Picture Books

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Is it a sea cow or a manatee? Find out when you read This Is a Sea Cow written and illustrated by Cassandra Federman.

sea cow

A second grader is given a homework assignment to write about a marine mammal she likes. The student chooses a sea cow and proceeds to write facts and draw illustrations. She begins by comparing the sea cow to a land cow. Cassandra Federman’s clever illustrations show the sea cow – who prefers to be called a manatee – using speech bubbles to clarify the facts written by the student. With each page turn, readers see the sea cow’s hilarious personality come to life as the sea cow continues to dispute some of the facts and comparisons the second-grade student is writing and drawing.

This book bursts with clever commentary, interesting facts, and some fascinating back matter. Cassandra Federman has created a delightfully funny book that will hook readers from the beginning.

Beginning Lines that Hook a Reader

Posted October 3, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Picture Books

Tags: ,

When it comes to writing, first lines in a book are important. You only have so long to hook a reader before they may decide to choose another book.

Here are some books that hooked me with their first lines.

hey water

Hey, Water! written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis

First lines:

Hey, water! I know you!

You’re all around.

This playful and informative book gives readers a look at the importance of water.

marshmallows

Most Marshmallows written and illustrated by Rowboat Watkins

First lines:

Most marshmallows don’t grow on trees

or come from storks

or even Mars.

This tasty book is a clever take on life according to marshmallows and how to be true to yourself.

crumugeon

The Unbudgeable Curmudgeon by Matthew Burgess and illustrated by Fiona Woodcock

First lines:

How do you budge

an unbudgeable curmudgeon

who really refuses to budge?

So how do you deal with someone who is a bad mood? You try all sorts of things in this rhythmic tale that takes readers on a bad mood-good-mood journey with a slight twist at the end.

star eater

Nova The Star Eater written by Lindsay Leslie and illustrated by John Taesoo Kim

First Lines:

Nova can’t stop eating. A munch here. A gobble there. A crunch, crunch, crunch.

If you love space, you’ll love reading about Nova’s humongous appetite for stars. But when Nova gulps down the sun, panic ensues.

Check out these books and see if you agree with me.

 

 

 

 

 

Raising Readers

Posted September 26, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Reading

Tags: , , ,

Starting from the womb and beyond, reading to your children is a perfect way to get them hooked on books. To create a reader, be a reader. Studies have shown reading to your children helps develop speech and language skills, comprehension, vocabulary, concentration, listening skills, and imagination. Reading is a great way to forge family bonds, to teach children about the world around them, and to develop empathy toward others.

The library is a perfect place to check out books without spending money. You can read…

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In a hat

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On a mat

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Under a chair

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In a crate

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On a deck

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On a rainy day

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With your younger sister

You can read anywhere!

So, set aside a special time each day, gather your children together and…

READ.

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MAKING A FRIEND Tammi Sauer’s Way

Posted September 19, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Picture Books

Tags: , , , ,

More than anything, Beaver wants a friend, but he doesn’t know how to make one. Things always seem to go wrong. Readers will fall in love with Tammi Sauer’s adorable book, MAKING A FRIEND, that has delightful illustrations created by Alison Friend.

friend

When “an idea fell from the sky” (snow), Beaver goes to work, making a friend. Raccoon happens along, and soon Beaver and Raccoon are working together to make a snowman friend. But something is missing. Pizzazz! Beaver and Raccoon add just the right accessories to create a snowman with pizzazz. Reader’s will love the end result as much as Beaver and Raccoon do. They celebrate their success, but when the snowman doesn’t say anything both are disappointed in their new friend. That’s when they realize that they had fun making a snowman, but the best part was making friends with one another. Clever repartee between Beaver and Raccoon along with bright and colorful illustrations make this story of friendship a perfect book to add to your reading list.

 

BEAR CAME ALONG

Posted September 12, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Picture Books

Tags: , , ,

If you’re looking for a story that has hilarious illustrations and is a delightful tale, BEAR CAME ALONG is the book for you!

bear

Richard T. Morris’ raucous cumulative story begins with a river that “didn’t know it was a river” until Bear comes along and falls into the river. Morris keeps adding animals to Bears’ adventure – Froggy, Turtles, Beaver, Raccoons, and Duck. Until…their adventure takes a turn for the worse. In several wordless spreads, the reader sees what looms ahead for the unlikely crew of animals. LeUyen Pham’s colorful illustrations are addictive. Kids will love the animal antics and their facial expressions as they cling to one another and brave the approaching disaster. And all this happened because “the river came along.”

This is a story of friendship and fun that happens when you’re least expecting it. It’s sure to entertain everyone!


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