Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Review: The Crepe Maker's Bond

The Crepe Makers' BondThe Crepe Makers' Bond by Julie Crabtree

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three friends learn how to navigate the waters of 8th grade together. Maddie or M for short is the super smart one in the group but she's got issues at home. Her parents are divorced and her mom suffers from agoraphobia. M has been best friends with Ariel since preschool. They have shared a lot together over the years. Ariel has a great home life and wants to be the next Rachel Ray but has a lot of self-consciousness because of her bright red hair and large um, bosom. The newest member of their group is Nicki. Nicki is the sweet one but seems to have some secrets that M and Ariel just cannot seem to crack.

There definitely was a lot of melodrama in this story, but I had to remind myself that they are 8th graders, and well, 8th graders thrive on melodrama! The basic premise of this book is that M's mom is moving north during the middle of their 8th grade year and the girls are not ready for M to leave them. So the girls petition their parents for M to stay for the rest of 8th grade by living with Ariel and her family. M moves in with Ariel and they begin the longest sleepover ever. However, as promised with 8th grade girls, drama ensues. M and Ariel both get their feelings hurt but neither knows how to approach the other one. Things finally come to a head resulting in what could potentially be the end of M's and Ariel's friendship.

Throughout the book, Ariel shares her recipes. Some sound quite tasty but I have to be honest that I do have to wonder how an 8th grader would have come up with those!

All in all, this is a very clean book and an easy read about friendship.

Thank you NetGalley for this read.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Magic Storytime

Our Summer Reading theme this year is Myth, Magic, and Imagination so in keeping with that theme, we had a Magic themed storytime this week.  I was a little nervous that I would have trouble finding songs/action rhymes/fingerplays, but it all came together and we had a blast!


Family Storytime
There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Boot by Linda Smith

Magic Box  by Katie Cleminson

The Magic Hat by Mem Fox

Toddler Time:
I switched out There was an Old Woman for My Mommy is Magic  by Carl Norac

Songs/Action Rhymes/Fingerplays
Family Storytime:
Bingo - we were using our magic hands to make the letters disappear

Two Little Blackbirds - I used the extra verses as well

Toddler Time:
 Two Little Blackbirds

Poof! (Action Rhyme)
Poof! I'm an elephant big in size
Poof! I'm an owl with great big eyes
Poof! I'm a mouse squeak, squeak, squeak
Poof! 'm the best, I'm just me!

Magic Finger - Action Rhyme
Magic finger in the air
Magic finger in my hair
Magic finger on my hip
Magic finger on my lips

Chalk Story:
The Magician's Hat- I cannot find the book this came from.  My boss lent the story to me and I believe she copied it from a book a million moons ago.  It is a very simple story using simple drawings, which is great for me since my drawing skills are very lacking.  If you are interested in seeing it, let me know. I'll scan it into an email for you.

Magician's Hat
I used First Palette's idea.  I used their template for the stars and moons.  However, their instructions on how to make the hat were completely lost on me.  I definitely do not have a protractor at work! Instead, I used their birthday hat template.  This worked much better for me.  In order to simplify the craft, I skipped the brim.  I also hole punched two holes on either side of the hat and the kids used yarn to tie the hat on.  Super Cute!

Both storytimes are started with Open Shut Them and then closed with The More We Get Together

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Monkeys Storytime

Family Storytime:
I always open with Open Shut Them and close with The More We Get Together

Sock-Monkey Boogie- Woogie by Cece Bell

There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog  by Jennifer Ward

Flannelboard Storytelling:
I used THE BOBTAIL MONKEY, A TALE FROM JAPAN by Dianne de Las Casas.  I subscribe to her Storytime Connection newsletter and this story was in May's newsletter.  In the story, the monkey trades a razor (which I turned into scissors), wood, cookies, and a gong.  I printed all of those out in order to have something on the flannelboard.  This story also requries the audience to participate.  It was my first storytelling and I think it went quite well.  I'd like to incorporate more in the future.

 5 Little Monkeys Swinning in a Tree
5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. (I am always out of breath by the end of this one!  So.Much.Jumping! :)

Action Rhyme:
Monkey See, Monkey Do,
Little Monkey in the Zoo.
Monkey Monkey in the Tree
Can You Jump Around Like Me?
(swing tail, clap you hands, nod your head...)


Also taken from Dianne de Las Casas.  Only this time it was on her blog Storytime Connection.  Instead of cutting out all of the circles that Dianne has for her craft, I used google eyes.  Who does love those?!  The kids did add a craft stick to theirs, although we did not write I Love You on it.  With a large crowd, you sometimes have to limit the activity.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Review: Okay For Now by Gary Schmidt

Okay for NowOkay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh Gary Schmidt. Can I just tell you what a fabulous book that was?! Because it was. I have been reading an awful lot of young adult dystopian books these days and I get sucked into all of that pretty easily. And then I get my hands on your book and well, wow. What a breath of fresh air. Honestly, I just loved this book. I loved the narration. I loved the main character, Doug. I loved that Doug spent his Saturdays at the library. I loved that the librarian was a total stereotype of librarians - honestly, that makes me laugh everytime. I loved Lil. And most especially, I loved Mrs. Windemere.

This books was just so rich. There was SO much in there. The book takes place during the 1960s when America was fully entrenched in the Vietnam War. Doug's oldest brother is off fighting in that war. Doug's father is an absolute d-bag. He is physically and verbally abusive to everyone in the family. He's a drunk and he can not hold down a job because he thinks he knows better than everyone else. Doug's other older brother Christopher is a bully and loves nothing more than to make Doug's life miserable. Doug's mother loves Doug to pieces but she too is caught in the father's cycle of abuse and has no way to protect her youngest from him.

Doug's family is forced to move to upstate New York after his father loses his job. Here Doug gets a fresh start. It is here in Marysville, that he gets a shot at life. That is not to say that Doug does not encounter problems in Marysville, but at Marysville, Doug finally meets people who believe in him; who invest in him; who make him see that he can have a better life than what his circumstances say he can.

Honestly, this was just amazing. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll smile.

Thank you NetGalley for this amazing book.

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