Sunday, January 21, 2018

It's Monday!

        Visit Jen at Teach MentorTexts and Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders to discover books you'll love!  Thanks to Jen, Kellee, and Ricki who share so much with us by taking time to support this meme!

       Last week was warm, then yesterday we had more snow in one day than we've had in over a year, 5 or 6 inches! It was a lovely day to be home and for skiers up in the mountains, but perhaps not for those who had to work. Nevertheless, it is needed!  Happy Reading!
          It’s so hard to move, hard for everyone but especially kids who have to change schools. This time, it’s Lily and her sister who must face that first day at a “new” school. Neither feels very good, but their mom just thinks it’s first-day nerves. Sadly, it isn’t, so Lily spends the first recess with new kids and then throws up playing four square, some on Darby’s shoes, a girl that might have been a new friend.
           As the year moves on, Lily does become friends with Darby who lives on the other side of the lake where Lily has moved, but when Darby’s long-time friend Jill moves back from London, the days take on new flavors. Jill takes on her old role as the boss and getting the others in a lot of trouble. There are ghosts, name-calling, a nice teacher and a not-so-nice recess lady, and strains of friendships we adults may not always realize happens. Some fun comic illustrations (supposedly done by Lily, budding artist) add to the fun, ghost stories surrounding the lake and Darby’s house (being written down by her dad), and lots and lots of frogs add to the storyline. One thing I enjoyed was seeing the parent attitudes, some looser than others, but often with a humorous slant. Lily was talking to her mother about how much she hates this new place. Her mother claimed a wider perspective and said she knew things would get better. Lily thinks, “I don’t know why Mom thinks that I don’t have perspective. I learned it in art.” Another great thing is when Lily finally decides to make decisions for herself and even helps Darby make changes, too. It felt as if anyone reading it could gain from “her” perspective!  
          Often, making friends doesn't take long but learning to keep them while not agreeing on everything they want to do is a challenge. It’s also not easy to speak up when one just wants to crawl into a shell. With Lily’s strong first-person 
voice, Leslie Patricelli has written a book that will connect with young readers and work well as a read aloud. The story is for older elementary, maybe third through fifth.  Thanks to Candlewick Press for the arc!

 I wanted to share this wonderful and brief poetry by Myra Cohn Livingston before January ends. We have begun the year and this is a lovely picture book that celebrates all the months. Will Hillenbrand fills the pages with one highlight of the month, like a box kite in March, picnics in July.

Celebrating Three New Things

      Celebrating today with Ruth Ayres and others who share. 

         I'm sure that many of you are not ready to celebrate snow (or more snow) but today I woke to our first big snow of all the winter! It's been a strange winter, was 70 degrees last Thursday. Mostly I've been wearing light coats! It is a wonderful thing to have this moisture, and it's supposed to snow all day! 
       Saturday was a warmer day and two things filled my heart. He's off to finish his senior year at Swarthmore but emailed to say he wanted to have some time together before leaving. This is a former student with whom I keep in touch. We had a couple of hours to talk about what he's doing, thinking, what his plans for the rest of the year are and possibly future, too. We exchanged new ideas and book titles along with old memories. It's a beautiful memory added!

      And Saturday night, a party I've written about before! It was time for the FAVORITE THINGS PARTY. One former colleague hosts a gathering of many people from her life, some former colleagues, others from our book group, new ones to meet! We each bring five of our "favorite things", put our names in a drawing, and one by one our names are drawn and we end up taking home five favorite things from others! We ate and talked and laughed and caught up with those we only see this time in the year. One former colleague came from D.C. and it was terrific to catch up and hear about her life and her family. It is joyful to hear from each one to celebrate their favorite things and what they tell about their lives this past year. One is going to have a baby, one is taking time to discover more how to work her counseling degree into her work, two former students that I didn't have but knew, now grown up, came with one's mother. It's a group to celebrate!
       Wishing you and yours a wonderful week ahead full of times to celebrate!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Nature's Poetry Friday

            Kay McGriff at Journey Through The Pages hosts Poetry Friday this week! Among other wonderful poems, she's sharing a blessing for writers!

      One could be negative and say I'm stuck, or one could be positive and say I'm on a roll. Saturday and Tuesday I posted about the daily walks I've been taking and I shared pictures of my discoveries. Wednesday I shared a non-fiction picture book about the painstaking work done by a scientist in the field, this time, a "new" island off the coast of Antarctica. Time, curiosity, imagination all play a role in my quest, along with a love of nature.

       Then, after a couple of days of clearing shelves and rearranging my office, I found an old article I had saved from the New York Times, "Finding Zen in a Patch of Nature". It feels like a small extra "push" to keep going, see what more I can find and learn! 
        From this article: "You can live a perfectly happy life having never heard of Shakespeare, but your life is in some ways a little diminished because there's such beauty there. And I think the same is true of nature. Much of it is useless to us, and that's O.K. It's not true that every species that goes extinct is like another rivet off the plane and the plane's going to crash. We lost the passenger pigeon and the U.S. economy did not tank. But we lost the passenger pigeon and we lost some of this remarkable music made out of atoms and DNA."

"The Earth has its music for those who will listen."  George Santayana
on my walk to the library

Winter’s List

shadow tableaus

sunshine days
winding paths
wandering ways

patterned rocks
fallen cones
birds in flight
flutter zones

bits of snow
lots of freeze
grass rustles
in the breeze

rusty leaf
loss of fall
acorn stash
squirrel’s mall

rotting log
insects wait
hidden lives

time to see
outdoor fair
wonders wait
in open air

 Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

New Living Space, New Discoveries

art by Sarah S. Brannen
          Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  
From her and others, you will discover and want to celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!

                I don't remember who shared this book recently but I'm grateful I read the post, then ordered it immediately from my library. It is so interesting, a wonderful story of NEW earth, a new habitat to study. Thank you!

        Loree Griffin Burns begins the story with a young child reading with his mother. Immediately intriguing, the reader is not introduced to the volcanic eruption that spawned this new island near Iceland, but to the scientist/child who became an expert on it, especially about its insects. His name is Erling ├ôlafsson and when he was fourteen, a volcano nearby erupted and an island emerged. That island is eventually named Surtsey. Burns explains the background of the name and also shares that she will include Icelandic names and their pronunciations occasionally. Surtsey comes from the volcano's name, Surtur, the Icelandic God of Fire, thus "Surtur's Island". 

What I liked: 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Daily Slice Search

Join us on Tuesdays with the Two Writing Teachers and others who post. 


        I wrote about this same topic last Saturday, celebrating my daily walks. Yesterday was a grey day, full of snow in the morning and bitter cold. Luckily the sun did appear and my daughter and granddaughters came to spend the afternoon, just hanging out and visiting. It was a sunny day after all.
        This morning, still cold but I was determined to get out and continue my walks exploring the various parks within my neighborhood. There are many and this time, a short drive brought me to Crescent Park, a bigger park with a hill built in that I hadn't walked up yet. I make it a goal to look for beauty and surprise, and if I take the time to "look long" (see poem by John Moffat here) I do find something to love. This morning, I found, sometimes in my imagination!

a gathering

a place to sit