Toddler Thursday – A few of our favorite things

Do you have a small person that demands books and snacks and constant entertainment? I do. We’re usually safe as long as the books and the bunny grahams hold out. I’m sure we all have books in our collections that when brought to us, causes us to cringe and think “Oh gawd, not THAT one again!” You try to bargain but the tiny overlord is insistent. Nothing but this book will make him happy. What do you do? You take a trip to the library or bookstore and try to find something that you can tolerate to read 284364947 times in a row. I’m going to help you with that. These are toddler-approved options that you’ll actually enjoy.

Oh sorry, I’m not actually here today. I’m just going to share a few of my favorites.
Star Wars ABC
Star Wars ABC

We love Star Wars. What better way to start Junior’s nerducation but with phrases like “L is for Luke. Luke is a legendary Jedi.” and “E is for Ewok. Ewoks fight against the Empire.” See? You have the alphabet AND a basic understanding of Empire/Rebel politics. Also, it seems to be indestructible, which is a bonus with rowdy kids.

 

Let's Get Moving (My First)My First Things That Go

Another indestructible board book. I know, you’re thinking “But aren’t they all?” NO. No, they aren’t. I’ve seen my kid chew one to death with only three teeth. Who knows what he can do now with a full mouth. I digress. Kiddo loves this book. “Wow, truck! Wow, car! Wow, tractor! Wow, bike! Wow, choo choo! Wow, boat! Wow, airplane!” There’s a lot of wow factor with this one. I like it because it’s a DK book and has pictures of real objects instead of silly cartoons.

 

Tabbed Board Books: My First Farm: Let's Get Working! (TAB BOARD BOOKS)
We have the farm version of this book too. Again, the pictures are of real objects! Cartoons have their places, but not when I’m trying to explain that there really is a difference between a cow and a sheep. One of the cool things about this is the animal products are around the pictures of the animal. So for sheep it has a wool, a knitted sweater and a ball of yarn. I think the cow has butter and milk, chickens have eggs. There’s a section just for birds and another section for baby animals “Awww goat! NAAAAAAAAA.”

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Waiting On Wednesday: Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

“Waiting on Wednesday”  is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.
Due to be released August 14, 2012.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

Amazon says:   Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

The cover caught my attention, isn’t it fabulous? That’s not why I’m excited for it though. I’m a nosy person. It’s one of the many personality traits that make me an awesome librarian. I *like* looking for information and feeling like Sherlock Holmes. This is why genealogy is such a great hobby/source of fun money for me. Can’t find Aunt Frieda? I will. Or I’ll keep trying until I do. And.. who promises a trip to Antarctica for straight A’s? This could take a disturbing trip to my opinions on parenting and education and we just don’t want to go there. Let’s stick with the books. This one looks like it has potential. I’ve heard it described as a “beach read” though, so I’m not expecting anything really deep or meaningful.

What are you waiting on?

Trying New Things – Audiobooks

It’s always a good idea to try something at least once.

This week is going to be kind of hectic for me. I haven’t finished any books that aren’t part of a series (and I’m not going to review book 3 before the first two), I have a weird work schedule, and I’m getting ready to make a 6 hour road trip without the hubster or the kiddo. In preparation for the trip, I’m trying out audio books*.

I know. I used to think they were just for nice old ladies who needed their Harlequin fix. Not so, my friends!!

So I thought I’d start with a story I already knew, in case I hated being read to. My library is currently out of Harry Potter. They don’t even own one of the Kingkiller Chronicles. Ok. I can find something. I started to think that maybe I should have requested my audio books a few weeks ago. I didn’t realize there would be 40+ holds on Harry. I started to check for other things. There are a lot of fantasy books that I want to get into now that I’m really embracing my nerdy side. (I’ve always embraced it, but I’ve never dived into it like Thelma and Louise.)

My public library has ended their relationship with Overdrive (Hurray! For reasons that I might go into someday. If you’re curious, go visit Librarian in Black and find her many posts on Overdrive. Go ahead, open a new tab. There’s a link to her under Blogs I like.) Anyway, when they DID have Overdrive I accidentally checked out an audio book and never listened to it. I tried their new audiobook system because I was happy to see that I could download it to my iPhone. I’m a huge fan of listening to things as I fall asleep. Did it work? Nope. I encountered so many errors in so many different places. Suffice it to say that I deleted it after an hour of shaking my tiny fists in rage.

Really, sometimes it’s just better to go to the library and do it yourself. I went, I browsed. I’m already on the second disc of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. There’s No Way that I won’t finish this on my commute tomorrow. The total run time is only about 2.5 hours anyway.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
BBC Radio

This was originally recorded in 1978. Americans have a.. special relationship with BBC. They either love it or hate it and there are plenty of things for everyone to giggle about. The sound effects are very 1970s. Some of the voice actors are a bit difficult to tell apart. I thought Ford Prefect was having a conversation with himself but he was talking to Arthur Dent and Zaphod. I haven’t finished this yet, but I *love* Hitchhiker’s Guide and I’m really loving it, cheesy sound effects and terrible music and all. I know a lot of people aren’t fond of the newest film adaptation (Alan Rickman as Marvin! Zooey Deschenal as Trillian!) so they might like this a bit more.

*I think it should be audiobooks. Spell Check disagrees.

Toddler Thursday – The Pigeon Wants A Puppy by Mo Willems

Do you have a small person that demands books and snacks and constant entertainment? I do. We’re safe as long as the books and the bunny grahams hold out. I’m sure we all have books in our collections that cause us to cringe and think “Oh gawd, not THAT one again!” You try to bargain but the tiny overlord is insistent. Nothing but this book will make him happy. What do you do? You take a trip to the library or bookstore and try to find something that you can tolerate to read 284364947 times in a row. I’m going to help you with that. These are toddler-approved options that you’ll actually enjoy.

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! – Mo Willems

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!I’m sorry, what do you mean you haven’t had the joy of reading anything by Mo Willems?  That’s sad. Let’s make you happy by telling you about this book!

Pigeon wants a puppy. No, I’m sorry, that’s incorrect. He NEEEEEDS a puppy. RIGHT NOW. He’ll even water it once a month! “Everyone knows that puppies need plenty of sunshine and water!” What happens when toddlers and preschoolers don’t get what they want? That’s right, it’s tantrum time! Pigeon’s tantrums are always short lived and he never gets what he wants (for example: he wants to drive the bus) but this time is different. Puppies are quite a bit different than he imagined and he changes his mind. Now he wants a …

I love Mo Willems. He’s one of the first authors I recommend to parents of small people. His characters are endearing and true to the age group he wants to represent. He used to work on Sesame Street too!

Other awesome Mo Willems books:
Edwina: The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct
Elephant and Piggie (This is a series. They’re all awesome and we all learn something, like why we should share our ice cream or help our friends to be less sad)
Knuffle Bunny (another series!)
The Duckling Gets A Cookie?!
I know that’s a short list, but I’ve never read a Mo Willems book that *wasn’t* awesome. You’ll be happy with any of his books.

Once upon a time, I followed my husband around Barnes and Noble with a stuffed Pigeon, asking for hotdogs and puppies.
I didn’t know there was other stuff available! Matching games! Movies! Plushies! A backpack! Pro-reading propaganda like this as a t-shirt!

Waiting On Wednesday – Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio

“Waiting on Wednesday”  is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.

Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio.
Due to be released September 25, 2012.

Blackberry Winter: A Novel

Amazon says:   Seattle, 1933. Single mother Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and departs to work the night-shift at a local hotel. She emerges to discover that a May-Day snow has blanketed the city, and that her son has vanished. Outside, she finds his beloved teddy bear lying face-down on an icy street, the snow covering up any trace of his tracks, or the perpetrator’s.

Seattle, 2010. Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge, assigned to cover the May 1 “blackberry winter” storm and its twin, learns of the unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth. In the process, she finds that she and Vera may be linked in unexpected ways…

I really enjoyed The Violets of March and The Bungalow and I have no reason to think that this book won’t have the same slightly surreal mystery. Her support characters are usually very charming and I wouldn’t mind having them for my neighbors.

What are you waiting on?

Let’s get this party started!!

Hi!

My name is Adrienne and I’m sure you’ve figured this out, but I’m a librarian. I work for a small university in the Midwest. I love what I do but I don’t get to recommend books for fun very often. It’s much more likely that someone will want a book on a saint or physical therapy.

What do I like to read?

  • History and Historical Fiction – My background is in history. I do a lot of genealogical work and had a great experience working for the National Archives. I’m slowly making my way through “The Hemingses of Monticello”.
  • Southern Gothic – I really enjoy Sarah Allen Addison and Karen White. I could easily see myself moving south eventually.
  • Fantasy – “A Game of Thrones”, “Lord of the Rings”, anything by Neil Gaiman and so on. Right now I’m reading “World Without End”.
  • Sci-Fi – I think “The Hitchhiker’s Guide” would fall into this one. I’m a huge fan of Doctor Who and read things that are similar.
  • Memoirs – The more screwed up a person is, the better. “Sickened”, “Jesus Land”, “Driving With Dead People”. I *loved* “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened” by The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson.
  • Women’s Lit – This is a really vague category. I used to think of Women’s Lit as cheapie smut books and V.C. Andrews. Now I associate it more with books like “Far To Go”, “The Book of Bright Ideas”, and the authors Kate Morton and Kate Mosse.
  • Some YA Lit- Tamora Pierce and Garth Nix write beautiful books. I’ve started read the Mortal Instruments series recently as well.
  • Childhood Classics – I apparently didn’t read what everyone else read as kids, so now I’m making up for it. Beverly Cleary, “The Boxcar Children”, “The Rats of NIMH” and others.
  • Toddler Books – I have a toddler. I don’t think this requires any more explanation.

What don’t I like to read?

  • Romance – No thank you. I don’t care about anyone’s heaving bosoms. You will not find “Fifty Shades of Gray” on my To Read list.
  • Some of the classics – Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Charles Dickens. They make me weep with boredom.
  • Some YA Lit – I have no plans to read Twilight.

I will try to avoid reviewing books that are only available digitally, or only available through Amazon.