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2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books Children

Get the Kids Back to School Ready with NatGeo Kids and a Safari!

I love NatGeo! They have the best books for kids who love nonfiction. If your little one doesn’t like to read or only likes to look at the pictures or will only read nonfiction, National Geographic has something for them. So here’s an idea, why not celebrate the end of summer with a Safari Party starring National Geographic books? Think of it as a bookclub with cake.

First grab these two books.

Hoops to Hippos: True Stories of A Basketball Star on Safari!

NatGeo Kids and a Safari!

This clever book is an easy to read chapter books that chronicles Boris Diaw’s journey to become an NBA player with his love of photographing animals.  It’s such a cute book and who doesn’t love the name Boris?

Then add

National Geographic Kids Animal Records

National Geographic Kids - Animal Records

This book has your name written all over it: the grossest, biggest, ugliest, fastest animals are all documented in this gem. The photos are so amazing (and gross) that your kids will return to this book forever! Who knew learning could be this fun?

Then, after you’ve collected these two books, pick some facts from the book, head out to the backyard and set up a safari for your young animal lovers.

Send kids on a scavenger hunt in the back yard. Have them find items that are:

  • smooth
  • scratchy
  • brown
  • blue
  • wet
  • cold
  • noisy
  • etc, use your imagination!

Kids can either collect these items in a paper bag or (even better) encourage them to draw these items as they find them in their natural habitat.  What’s more fun than sitting in the backyard drawing and coloring?

Teach kids how to use binoculars so they can see birds and bugs from far away.

Teach kids how to read a compass. Draw a map and have kids search for treasure (ok this is like a pirate but who doesn’t love pirates)!

Serve plenty of water and have lots of sunscream (as my little one called it) on hand because the jungle is sunny and hot. Also, be sure to discuss how we don’t want to interfere with these beautiful creatures in their natural habitats. This is a great opportunity to talk to them about preservation, conservation, and anything else you think is vital to keeping these gorgy creatures alive.

There’s always room for a teachable moment, right? While you’re at it, why not develop their budding photography skills like Boris did? You might not capture a wild dog like Boris did, but maybe you’ll capture that wild friendly pooch of yours doing something silly?

This is a safari everyone can enjoy and what a way to start back to school, right?

 

 

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Books resources

Graduation, Photographers, and Cookies. A Memoir. Sorta.

You might not know this, but my youngest graduated from high school in June!!! YAY!!!

How can someone so small grow up to be a high school graduate? It seems like just yesterday she was throwing a tantrum in her sweet little church dress or bonking her brother on the head with her plastic guitar.

Because we’re readers, it seemed fitting to incorporate cookies into her party. Books, I mean we incorporated books into the party theme: She’s One Smart Cookie! That allowed me to go through her collection and lay out books that she’s enjoyed over the years.

Would you like to take a look?

OnesmartcookieCollage

I think the photos turned out beautiful! Having a photographer at the house captured memories that I’ll cherish forever. The photographer was Sheri Luckey of Moments by Sheri.  Contact her on Twitter, email ([email protected]) or phone ( 267-277-3407).

I got to have all of my fave things on one day: sweets, family, and books!

 

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Blogging

Can’t Get to BlogHer? Try Philly HomeHer14!

PhillyHomeHer14.jpg

Eventbrite - PhillyHomeHer14

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resources

Friends and Sponsors and Hobbits

“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Ch. 1

Friends are like Hobbits. They like friendship, they like comfort, and they like to eat. You need friends in order to undertake adventures.  One such adventure might be blogging.  On my blogging adventure, I am much like a hobbit: I need friends to go on this adventure with me. Blogging is an adventure that you cannot do alone because you’ll need things.  Things that you can get from other hobbits or dragons or people or trolls.

I am grateful that I have two talented friends who help me on my adventure and I want to tell you about them.

BiffRendar Photography is one friend. Funbobby and I have known him since the 14th century.

Funbobby has provided me with the fabulous Unconventional Librarian header image, which I love,  like food. You can find his work at Society6. Check it out.

My other friend is Schang-Hai Gallerie’s owner, Barb Schang is a multi talented musician and exceptional framer.  She provides me with artwork and has framed some of my most prized possessions.  And she rocks as a guitarist.  You can find more information about her on Facebook.  She works with any price point. Show her some love.

I’d like to thank these two friends for taking this hobbit-like adventure with me and making the adventure more interesting.

There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

They are worth the looking.

And now it’s time for Elevensies!

Categories
Adult Fiction Clever Friends

Clever Heather reviews: The Divorce Girl by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg

I’d like to preface this fabulous review by introducing Clever Reviewer Heather. She’s one of my local besties and a really awesome reviewer.  Check it out!

Stark, poignant, tumultuous – all words that describe The Divorce Girl by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg. When I first glanced at the title I thought it represented a complete lack of creativity. But wait, before you cringe, I decided to give it a shot. After all, it is just a book. I can always shut it. I didn’t. I took it to the gym almost every morning, my only real downtime. The name is perfect. It sets the mood of this real to life story.

Many times throughout the pages I wondered if it was a real life story. We start in the young teenage life of a budding photographer, Deborah Shapiro, growing up in the unrest of a time when life wasn’t roses but everyone was searching for them. Her family in disarray, and ending in divorce, she resorts to seeing life through her camera lens. As a heartbreaking tale is spun, I find myself relating more with her mother than Deborah, the main character.

Deborah makes the choice to live with her father, choosing a life that leads to more heartache and pain than any kid should have to grow up in. She becomes a pawn in her father’s twisted game of life. Working a flea market, being along for the ride while immigration chases them, helping juvenile delinquents escape, she lives an excitingly dull life. Caught in lies of her father’s making, and feeling invisible to those around her, she sees no value in her life. This child woman is forced to run a house for her father, self-alienated from her mother. Her only outlet is photography class, and temple youth meetings, complete with a radical rabbi.

Finally, as we near the end of the book, she sees hope. She has a boyfriend who loves her. She has a plan to fast track her way to college – the chance to get out, to live her dreams, and take care of herself if her father signs his permission.

Will she ever see her mother loved her all along? Will she break free of the life her father has kept her prisoner to? Is her boyfriend really going to love her forever? Will she go to college or stay, stuck in her small town, an invisible person?

The last paragraph of the acknowledgements leaves you wondering just how much of this heart wrenching story is real.

I give this book 3 paws.

Unconventional Librarian 3 paws

 

So…whaddya think? Clever Heather is awesome, huh??? Here’s a little bit about Clever Heather:

In a normal week you can find Heather blogging about life at Real: The Kitchen and Beyond.

Growing up as the oldest of 7, and now being a wife and mother, homeschooling mama with a part time job and writing for two blogs, reading is her escape.

Her absolute favorite series of all time is Adventures in Narnia. About the only books she doesn’t devour are paranormal, sci fi, and self help books, although she has made exceptions in even those categories.

 

I love how Heather will make exceptions to her reading categories; isn’t that what the joy of reading is all about, finding something new??

So…go show Clever Heather some love on her food blog.  But DON’T lick the screen.  I’m just sayin…

Don’t forget to follow Heather on Twitter @heatherlm4 Tell her PammyPam sent ya!

Did I mention the author is the POET LAUREATE of Kansas?? How cool is that???

 

way.