Books, Review, Homeschooling, Story Telling, Poetry, Library

How Robin Saved Spring :: Book Review

When it comes to children's books, I find my favorite books tend to be the classics. As a preschool and elementary school teacher, I was exposed to the latest books, and although there were many wonderful new books, my top 10 still would have been the tried and true.

I find even today, as I peruse the books at Barnes and Noble, I find myself comparing books to the classics like Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, Blue Berries for Sal by Robert McCloskey, and The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. So, when I find a new book that I love, I am thrilled to share it with other people.

The other day I meet How Robin Save Spring written by Debbie Ouellet, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli. It is your basic pourquoi story, answering these questions, along with many others; why do bears hibernate in winter, why do caterpillars spin cocoons, how did the skunk get a white stripe on his back, and not only why do robins have red breasts, but why do they fly south for the winter. Although the answers are a bit contrived and are not part of traditional folklore, the story is engaging and the illustrations are sweet and vibrant.

The story opens with Lady Winter refusing to reliquish her hold on the world. Sister Spring is due to wake up at any time, and Lady Winter knits a magical white blanket and keeps Sister Spring in a deep sleep. Robin witnesses the whole thing and enlists the help of the woodland inhabitants to try to wake up Sister Spring. In turn, each animal is foiled by Lady Winter and is punished for their attempt. Finally, Robin outsmarts Lady Winter, but he too must pay a price.

I will happily share this book with my grandbabies... can I give it better praise than that :) I won't go so far as to say I think this book will become a classic, but if you're looking for a new seasonal book, this one is well worth a look.

BTW... See that little bit of flower garland in the top photo? I'll be sharing the tutorial for it tomorrow ;)


Puddles and Ponds Preschool/Kindergarten Curriculum

UPDATE: Puddles and Ponds is now available online.

I have received many emails from readers asking for a summer unit to go along with the Seasonal Curriculum Units I have already created. I am happy to announce that we have now added a new unit Puddles and Ponds to our Free Homeschool Companion Guides.

I am still working on the printable PDF version (and updating the older units) but in the meantime you can use the unit by copying the pages and pasting them into a word document.

Puddles and Ponds Schedule & Book List
Puddles and Ponds Activity Guide
How to Use Puddles and Ponds

I hope you enjoy our latest additional to our Homeschool Companion Guides Pre-School/Kindergarten Seasonal Series.

Update on Little Lady's W.I.P.

Last day of January already... yikes! It's been a busy week, but I have made time to work on the new sweater for the Little Lady. I shared a link to the pattern last week... a lovely sweater knit in 1 piece. I've finished the back, one sleeve, and half of another. Cruisin' :)

I was going to make a skirt to go along with the sweater, but Michelle suggested I make the adorable reversible pants found in Anna Maria Horner's book Handmade Beginnings.

Aren't these sweet?

It's hard to see in the photos, but the yarn I'm using in the sweater has flecks of brown and green. I hit my stash and was able to come up with fabric to make 2 pairs of reversible pants that will look wonderful with the sweater.

So, the plan... finish the sweater this week... sew the pants next week... then I'll be taking to train to Wisconsin for a week of playing with the Little Lady. Can hardly wait :)

Crafts Through the Year Giveaway from A Child's Dream

EDIT: This giveaway is now closed. The winner will be announced 1/28/2012. Thank you A Child's Dream and to everyone that entered :)

EDIT: Oops... failed to mentioned, awesome Debbie will ship overseas, so EVERYONE is invited to enter :)

I read all the time, but my favorite times to indulge in a good book are in the dead of winter, curled up by a blazing fire, or while off on summer vacation, near the water, without a care in the world. So... whether you are bundled up here in the northern hemisphere or lounging on a beach in the south hemisphere, this is the perfect time of year for a book giveaway!

Debbie, from A Child's Dream, was kind enough to donate, what has become one of my favorite crafting books. I was given Crafts Through the Year by Thomas and Petra Berger for Christmas. I have other books by them, and have found inspiration in them all. I especially love this book because it takes us through a whole year of crafting delight for you and the wee ones in your life.

The book is divided into seasons. There will undoubtedly be some crafts that you already are familiar with, but others that may be new and inspiring. Here are just a few of the projects you will be able to make.

Crafts Through the Year
is a MUST have for anyone that has wee ones in their life or is influenced by the seasons, and wants to surround themselves with natural beauty. So... what do you need to do to enter? Simply wander around A Child's Dream and let us know what other books you'd like to add to your library. Make sure you look through all of the sections. There are books hither and yon throughout the shop. You won't want to miss looking at any of them!

The contest runs from today, Tuesday, January 24 through Friday, January 27 at 9:00 p.m. EST. Then, a name will be drawn at random. (The lucky winner has 1 week to contact us with a snail mail address or a new winner will be selected.)

In order to make everyone a winner, A Child's Dream is offering everyone a 10% discount on anything ordered from January 24 thru January 29. That's 2 days after the contest is over... in case you are feeling extra special lucky and want to see if you win before you place an order :) Simply type in WEEFOLK in the coupon code to save 10%.

Trust me when I tell you... you want, nay, NEED this book :) And Thank you so much, Debbie, for this wonderful giveaway. Good luck to one and all, now scurry over to A Child's Dream and check out their awesome books! (Oh, yes, be sure to look at all the other cool stuff in her shop, too :)

A Bird in Winter Quickie Review

This is definitely a "quickie" book review, but I wanted to get something up before people considered buying this book.

The other day I mentioned that I ordered the book A Bird in Winter: A Picture Book Inspired by Pieter Bruegel The Elder, by Helene Kerillis and Stephane Girel, I'm sad to say, this isn't a book I'd recommend. Although I think children would enjoy the the rather simplistic style of the illustrations, the story was not to my liking. There is a harshness to the story that I think children would find unsettling. Also, I found the characters to be flat. I think in general I felt like they took a potentially interesting story and rushed it, making me feel unmoved in the end.

I can't remember where I originally read about it, but they gave it glowing reviews, and I had high hopes for the book. Checking on Amazon now, I noticed it was not rated and no one has written a review. I realize this isn't an in depth book review, but many people buy books we mention, and I didn't want this one included on our list :(    

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