A Look At A Book 10

IF“Not So Tall For Six” by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Frank W. Dormer.


Meet Kylie Bell, the not-so-tallest one in the first grade. Kylie Bell may be small, but she never lets size get her down. Nope. Kylie Bell is brave.


But when that bully-boy Rusty Jacks slithers around her like a half-starved rattlesnake, what is Kylie Bell to do? Can she keep hold of her courage, not to mention her good manners?


The author Dianna Hutts Aston states that as a child she was afraid of clowns, ducks, and oral reports. Since then she has learned that no one is born with courage. As Kylie Bell finds out, courage takes practice.


Take a fresh and funny look at bravery in this heartwarming story.

A Look At A Book 9

IMG_0878All the Huffles are fast asleep, except for poor Jack.

He heard a noise that rocked the floor.

He heard a noise that shook the door

Jack heard . . . a SNORE!

IMG_0879Just who is making such a racket? Unable to sleep, Jack and his dog go searching. It must be Mama Gwyn, whose huffs and puffs set her curlers spinning, but when Jack wakes her up . . . the snore ROARS on!

IMG_0881And so it goes with Baby Sue, the twins, Papa Ben, even the farm animals. At last the Huffles follow their ears toward a surprising culprit.

IMG_0882This fun-loving rhyming tale of a sleepless night will cause many giggles, as well as rousing kids to chime in at the refrains. An amusing must-have book for every family, because, well, everyone snores. (Yes, even you!)


A Look At A Book 8

“Me And My Cat” by Satoshi KitamuraMy Cat Cover

A witch’s curse leaves Nicholas in the body of his cat, Leonardo, and the cat in the body of Nicholas.  Surprised at first, Nicholas adjusts to his new physique, especially the addition of WHISKERS!Whiskers

In the beginning he’s just glad not to have to go to school, but then he tries out his new skills of leaping and climbing . . . with disastrous results!  He even starts to have a fascination with litter boxes and goldfish!

Cat Acts

Meanwhile, his cat, Leonardo, in Nicholas’ body, comes home from school through the cat door.

Crawling In

Mother becomes very concerned about nicholas and his odd behavior or is it really Leonardo?  Oh, it gets very confusing and oh so silly!

Poor Nicholas and poor Leonardo. By bedtime, everyone is exhausted!

The witch comes back to remove the curse, saying she has placed it on the wrong person. Sorry . . .

The next day all is right again.  Nicholas is himself and Leonardo is purring as he should be.  But at school, something is wrong.  Oh no!  The teacher is on his desk, scratching and licking his shirt and curled up to take a nap!

This book is such a silly good romp into imaginative play!  It gives every child the chance to pretend to be not only someone else but something else.  A chance to look at what others do all day.  A chance to make messes they don’t have to clean up.  A chance to try on new attitudes and thoughts . . . but only for a little while.  After all, as the book teaches, there’s nothing better than being yourself.

Overnight At Granny’s

“Finally”, my 7 year old grandson Mac says. “Finally, I get to spend the night at your new house.”

“I know”, says I. “Why has it taken so long?”

“I don’t know.” he replies. “I just don’t know.”

Well, I’m not quite sure either, but it probably has something to do with not being able to find sheets for the bed, not having a functional kitchen for months and not being able to walk through the house due to towering columns of boxes. You know, moving issues! We’ve had them for several months. Yuck!

But now, things seem to be improving. I have a stove! Yeah! The washer and dryer work! Yeah! There are pathways throughout the house! Yeah! So I’m ready for grandchildren to come for sleepovers! Yeah!

Having a kiddo spend the night is so much fun for Gramps and me. We love spending one-on-one time with each child. The conversations, the sharing, the snuggling, it’s all special and unique with each child each time.

When Mac comes over, he first makes all the requisite visits with Gramps to the camper, the truck, the garage, the backyard – all the boy places. The two of them have imaginary games they play each time in each area. For example – while in the truck, they pretend they are driving to an imaginary town they have named “Noodle, Texas”. They talk about what they see, the road they are on, who will be there when they arrive. They laugh and carry on like two old friends. Then it’s off to the camper for the imaginary camping and fishing time. And on and on until all the familiar places have been visited and enjoyed. It’s all great fun! It happens every time! And no girls allowed!

We always try to spend some time outside with Mac when possible. That can be construction work in the sand box, gardening (he has his own tools!) or simply walking around the neighborhood observing whatever might be happening.

Mac loves to cook, so he is a big helper in the kitchen. Of course, we try to have his favorites for dinner and he always sets the table for us. What a sweet boy!

After dinner is LEGO time or maybe a board game. Whatever it is, we are usually on the floor with Mac – lots of touching, giggling, smiling and high fives!

Before going to bed, there’s shower, brushing teeth, PJs and don’t forget, reading time. Gramps has read to Mac at bedtime since he was a baby and even though he can now read for himself, he still loves being read to. So three books, four funny voices and two snuggly bodies later, it’s off to bed.

First thing next morning, Mac and Gramps are in the kitchen together, in their pajamas, making applesauce pancakes. It’s a longstanding tradition, not to be broken. Usually, they make more than enough pancakes, so we eat them all day long!

Having all these special activities , special foods and special routines is what makes sleepovers so fun. These things only happen at our house with us and become special because of their rarity and uniqueness.

Gramps and I adore these times because we have the kiddo’s full attention and desire to be with us. The conversations can be amazing! The cuddling is heavenly! And we are all relaxed. No one is leaving in an hour. We have lots of time to just “be” together. That’s the best of all!

A Look At A Book

What Makes A Rainbow?  by Betty Schwartz

Little Rabbit and his mother were sitting under a big flower petal. “Look!” said Little Rabbit. “It stopped raining.”

“Yes,” said Mama Rabbit. “Soon we’ll see a rainbow.”

“What makes a rainbow?” asked Little Rabbit.

“Red,” said Ladybug, gently closing her red wings. “You need red to make a rainbow.”

And so begins the search for all the colors of the rainbow. Each animal adds its favorite color and each page magically shows a ribbon of the same hue. The book ends with a large pop-up rainbow with all the colors in the right order, of course.

What a charming and innovative book this is! All children love books with “moving” parts and the magically appearing ribbons on each page would tickle anyone.

The illustrations are soft and colorful.  All the animals have sweet friendly faces (something I always look for). The pages are thick boards and easy to turn (nice for little hands).

Share this book with your little one and watch the magic appear! And it will – in the book and in the child!

A Look At A Book 5

“Memory Bottles” by Beth Shoshan

Nobody knows what Mr. McAllistair keeps in the colorful bottles which fill the shelves of his shed and sparkle with hidden secrets. “Memories!” Mr. McAllistair says concerning his shed full of bottles. “Each bottle holds exactly one of my most special memories. So when I’m old and I can’t remember things I just open a bottle and everything comes rushing back!”

Mr. McAllistair and his young friend spend the day reminiscing and opening bottle after bottle . . . red ones, frosted ones, tall ones, round ones, twisty ones, double ones, super-skinny topped ones. They laugh, they cheer, they travel through the years of Mr. McAllistair’s life. At day’s end there is one bottle left unopened. “What’s in that one, Mr McAllistair?” asks the boy. Mr. McAllistair leaps up, shouting, “TODAY! I’m going to save the memory of today in this bottle!”

What an absolutely charming book! What a sweet way to show how older people can share their lives, past and present, with the younger folk. And it also includes the younger ones enjoying that interaction. This book is one big, delightful tickle!

The book is not very long, only 24 pages. But the illustrations are grand and colorful. Mr. McAllistair’s memories are very touching and take the two from his childhood to his grandchildren. What a great story to share with your “grand” ones and remember your own best memories. There are many ways to store them, even if we don’t have bottles!

The last page shows Mr. McAllistair and his young friend together in the shed, after a wonderful day of sharing. The young boy says, ” . . . . and we fall back into the chairs laughing.” Isn’t that a fine end to a fine memorable day?

A Look At A Book 4

“101 Places You Gotta See Before You’re 12”  by Joanne Sullivan


There is an amazing world out there to discover and everything you need to start exploring is right here in this book. You don’t have to go far or plan a big, expensive vacation to see great stuff. In fact, some of the greatest places may be right around the corner or down the block. You can experience another country’s cuisine at a nearby restaurant, check out the hidden wonders of a nearby cave, or get the inside scoop on what really happens in the teacher’s lounge! The 101 ideas presented in this book are general enough to get you started, but you can choose your own specific destination.

This delightful tour guide is filled with more than 250 color photos, tons of fun facts, lists of popular and little-known sites, journal pages, and a souvenir pocket. There’s also a fold-out map of North America and 150 stickers, so you can mark and rate where you want to go and where you’ve been.

So, how about taking a trip to a repair shop, a farmers’ market, or a retirement home? Or better yet a waterfall, a ghost town, or a landfill? Now, try to find a kooky capital, such as Hidalgo, TX, the Killer Bee Capital of the World or the Sock Capital of the World in Ft. Payne, AL. What fun is that! The adventures are endless and inspiring!

And the information is, well, informative and very comical as well! For example: The Top 5 Reasons To Swim In A Swimming Hole

5 – Your hair won’t turn green from the chlorine.

4 – You’ll be sharing the water with fish.

3 – There’s adventure and surprise–what WAS that thing that just brushed up against me?

2 – No concrete scrapes on your feet.

1 – No adult swim!

You and your grandkids will find this book teeming with suggestions to open your world and expand your boundaries. It reminds us all to take a second look at the things close at hand as well as dream of the once-in-a-lifetime destinations. Now it’s up to you, my Sweeties–set off on your own exciting adventures with 101 ideas!