Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sassy Cow Creamery - Bug

Where milk comes from (click to see Flickr notes)

Sassy Cow Creamery - Bean

Trip to Sassy Cow Creamery, 16 September 2008

A cow (click to see Flickr notes)

Pipes and tanks

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wisconsin Sheep And Wool 2008 - Bug

Bug's impressions of the sheep and wool festival, with added Jedis (click on picture to go see notes and label on Flickr)

A sheep

Wisconsin Sheep And Wool 2008 - Bean

A sheep

A ball of roving

A wool snake (I don't have a clue!)

A sheep herding dog

Dyed fiber

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Books for Pre-readers to "Read"

Bean has been a little jealous of big brother learning how to read and demanded that I teach her to read. Since she only knows a few of her letters, she just isn't ready, but we did find a solution that makes her happy. Books with no words! She "reads" them by describing the pictures on each page.

by Barbara Lehman

The Surprise
by Silvia Van Ommen

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Portside Pirates by Oscar Seaworthy

A fun book and it includes a CD with a song version of the main text. It also has several pages with interesting pirate facts!

Tomie De Paola

We ran across a biography of Tomie De Paola in our Pebble Books and he has the greatest illustrations. We have taken out a few of his books and are enamored! We have read Strega Nona, Tony's Bread, and Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile. We will most certainly be reading more!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nancy Drew

A couple of months ago, Kitty Daddy rented the new Nancy Drew movie from the video store*. Just for kicks, I put one of the original Nancy Drew mysteries on hold at the library. I figured that we would read a few pages, get bored with it, and move on. Boy, was I wrong. We have been reading a chapter a night, sometimes two, occasionally another chapter or two during the day. We are about a third of the way through our third Nancy Drew book now. Nancy Drew has even found her way into Bug's imagination and stories. When we went to the Alpaca Festival, he was carrying around a program and telling everyone he met how he was reading it and it was called "Alpaca Adventures" and how the alpacas met Nancy Drew. Apparently, the mystery novel junkie gene has been passed on!

* Quick and dirty movie review: Meh. Longer version: it was a cute movie, but didn't have much to do with the original series, other than a little good natured fun-poking.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Eager Reader

Since Bug developed a sudden interest in letters and sounds, I figured that starting to read wouldn't be too far behind and it turned out that I was right. Developmentally, he has approached this milestone the same way as he always does. While he has loved having books read to him since day one, he resisted anything to do with reading with his trademark stubbornness until he decided it was time. Just a couple of months ago, he knew most (but not all, and not necessarily in the right order) of the alphabet song. Now, he is actually sounding out words and reading on his own. We have the first set of Bob books out from the library. He has read the first nine books all by himself. There are only three more in the first set, so I guess that means I had better get the second set on our hold list!

Monday, March 24, 2008


I can't believe we read the whole thing! A very interesting book for anyone who like transportation, with great pictures and lots of facts. But it is also 240 pages, with quite a bit of text. We originally checked it out from our branch library, renewed it twice (a total of 12 weeks). Then several weeks after we returned it, we picked it up again at another branch (we've had this copy since 11 Jan). We didn't really spend the whole time reading it, the interest level waxed and waned, but it was best in smallish doses anyway.

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Yellow Elephant

Poems by Julie Larios, Illustrated by Julie Paschkis

We love this book! It is a book of children's poetry. Each poem has an animal and a color and a striking illustration on the facing page. Today, we checked it out for the third (maybe fourth) time (not counting multiple renewals).

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Canterbury Tales

A few weeks ago we found a retelling of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in the kid's section of the library. Never having read the original, I can't speak to the quality of the retelling, but the were a fun read anyway. I may have to find a copy of the real Tales and muddle through the Middle English to satisfy my curiosity.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Another body book!

Actually, Daddy had this one on his hold list, but we kind of absorbed it into our own reading!

Bug is still a big fan of body books. Maybe he'll be a nurse like his daddy! This one was a wonderful book---lots of fun! First of all, it isn't a cookie cutter version of all the other books (i.e., two pages on the skeleton, two pages on muscles, etc.). It has some stuff that is more in-depth and glosses over some of the stuff that is in all the other books. But the best part is the little people crawling around the pages and doing things and making comments. Too funny! Also some cool stuff about the history of medical care and medical technology. We'll give it as many thumbs up as we can find!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


We have almost finished reading Space: exploring the moon, the planets, and beyond by Olivier de Goursac. We have enjoyed it, mostly because it is an interesting topic, not so much because it's a wonderful book. The book isn't bad, just not great. I'm sure we will be looking for more space books in the future.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

We <3 Pixar!

Since we are watching The Incredibles for the ten zillionth time since Christmas, I thought this would be timely. We really like Pixar movies. And, unlike some kid flix, "we" actually includes me. We actually own four of them: The Incredibles, Cars, Finding Nemo, and Ratatouille. We have watched Cars so many times that I think I have it memorized, and, oddly enough, I still don't mind watching it again. May I confess? I am madly in love with Guido. Peet stop? And the soundtrack is very cool, too!

I think what I like best about the Pixar movies is that they are fun and engaging and the kids love them, but they are also clever and sophisticated enough to keep adults engaged. Granted, not that watching movies over and over is the most incredible intellectual stimulation, but when we "watch" movies, the volume is usual pretty low and Bug and Bean just keep playing (they are both building lego creations right now). I am trying to reduce the amount of time the boob tube is on, but I object less to TV as background noise than I would if they were sitting slack-jawed on the sofa.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Capstone Press

A word of explanation about the silly pie charts on the left. I have been a voracious reader since I learned to read and often go on kicks where I read everything an author I have enjoyed has written. Apparently Bug is going to take after mama. Last spring, we picked up a pile of bug books and ocean life books from the library and several of them were Pebble Plus books, which are published by Capstone press. Bug loved them. I liked them, too. They have big colorful pictures on the left page and a few lines of text on the right page. They are designed for beginning readers, so they are a VERY QUICK out-loud read and we had quickly checked out every one we could find at our branch library. We could go through the stack (a dozen or more books) in very little time, so we read them every day. Pretty soon, when Bug decided he needed a little "quiet time" he would haul the whole stack up to the bedroom and "read" to himself. Very cute. He would page through them, study the pictures, and paraphrase the text from memory. After renewing a bunch of them, I went online and found a list of all the Pebble Plus books so we could get some new ones from other libraries to make parting with the originals less painful. So I am keeping track of which ones we have read in a spreadsheet. There are four subject areas: Science, Social Science, Health and the Human Body, and Animals.

Finding these books and placing holds, we stumbled on the Pebble Books (same publisher, different series) and started reading them. They are smaller, tend to have shorter, easier text, and come in a wider variety of topics. While I don't like them as much as the Pebble Plus, they have been pretty cool when we want some books to go with an activity (like going apple picking last fall, for example).

Between the two, we will often put a half a dozen or so books on hold each week, so we always have a selection of our "star books" on the library shelf. (That's what we call them as most of them have a star on the spine as part of Capstone's logo.)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Good Knight

We had one of these out from the library a while back (Take Care, Good Night) and thoroughly enjoyed it. We had a whole bunch of stuff on hold, so we didn't check out any of the others right away. However, with working on getting the kids outfitted in medieval dress-up, I was looking for some knight books and ran across these again. We have Happy Birthday, Good Knight, Get Well, Good Knight, and Take Care, Good Knight out from the library right now and Good Night, Good Knight is on hold. Cute pictures, fun stories...what's not to love?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Welcome to What's Up?

I have decided to start a separate blog for the stuff the kids and I are up to. I'll still post the fun stuff on my regular blog, but I wanted a place to keep track of some of our favorite books and topics.