Tag Archives: children’s lit

Finding Time to Blog

Finding Time to Blog

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden to-do list grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells, and pretty maids all in a row.

Is your to-do list like mine? It just seems to get longer and longer, and at the end of the day I can only cross off one or two things. And I’m not even writing down the things I need to do every day, like filling and emptying the dishwasher, making dinner and doing laundry!

My never-ending to-do list

Every once in a while, when a friend learns that I write a blog, they ask, “Where do you find the time?”

I really don’t have an answer to that question. I wish I had a set writing time; a time when I sit down and just write. I write when I have a few minutes here and there. If the kids are watching T.V., I try to write. Or when they are at school, I try to sneak some writing into my day. I publish my posts at odd times and on different days. I’m never consistent. I’m always “working” on a new post. That doesn’t mean I’m sitting at the computer all day, typing away furiously. If only I had the time! No, I just walk around in the grocery store, thoughts about my next post swirling around my brain, taking up the space that’s meant to remember to buy MILK. Usually, those posts sound much better in my head than they look written down.

The reason I make time for my blog is because it has become one of my passions. And so I was delighted to get together for a cup of coffee with one of my friends last night to talk about my passion: blogging. She is an author and a middle school teacher; please go check her out! Her new blog is here: AJ Cattapan, and you can also find her on Twitter: @AJCattapan. AJ and I are both avid fans of Anne of Green Gables; so I was quite jealous when I discovered that AJ’s header was a photo she had taken on Prince Edward Island!

The laundry is still not folded, but now…I can cross off “Blog Post” on my to-do list. What’s on your list? (Please add “Go follow AJ!” 😉 )

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Book Nook: Storytime with Tomie dePaola!

A Book Nook is long past due here at Lemon Drop Pie! I’ve written about Tomie dePaola before, as he is one of my favorite authors and illustrators. When I was teaching second grade, his book The Art Lesson was in our reading series. After reading The Art Lesson, my second graders would each write a letter to Mr. dePaola, and I would mail them to his publisher. A couple of weeks later, we would receive a class set of bookmarks and a personalized letter from Mr. dePaola. My students loved hearing back from a real, live author!

Tomie dePaola is still writing and still drawing, and he’s still connecting with children in the classroom. All you have to do is read Tomie’s blog, and you will see pictures drawn by children who love his books. (I was even mentioned once in Tomie’s blog — I have gushing book nerd potential.)

Through Tomie’s blog, I found a wonderful resource for parents: Barnes and Noble Storytime. During January, you can hear Tomie dePaola read his book, Strega Nona. Other months have featured authors such as Jan Brett (The Mitten) and Judy Viorst (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.) Just click “See More Storytime Videos” under the video of Strega Nona, and you can view other books read by the authors or a celebrity reader. Here’s Ana Gasteyer reading Olivia, written by Ian Falconer.


(If you are reading this post in your email, click to Lemon Drop Pie to see the video of Olivia.)

The girls have watched Strega Nona a couple of times now, and if you visit us, you just may hear someone saying “We must protect our town from the pasta!” in a dramatic voice. I would also be remiss if I did not mention the lastest honor Mr. dePaola has received: the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award! Congratulations, Mr. dePaola, from this gushing book nerd!

Book Nook: Bedtime Stories

There’s a reason moms and dads call the hours between 5 and 7 p.m. the “witching hours”. If your household is like mine, that just when the kids are too tired to behave. Instead of being quiet and sleepy, they get wild and start running, in circles, around the house.

We have a bedtime routine we follow to help those sleepy heads calm down and get settled for sleepy time. Of course, reading books is part of the equation. Here are a couple of books we found at our local library.

The Baby Beebee BirdThe Baby Beebee Bird by Diane Redfield Massie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The baby beebee bird is a new addition to the zoo…and the other animals are annoyed! But why? The little beebee bird is so small and cute! The very first night of the beebee bird’s stay, he is up all night singing his song. “Beebee bobbi bobbi! Beebee bobbi bobbi!” Will the other zoo animals ever get some sleep? All the zoo animals, from the lion to the giraffe, hatch a plan to make the beebee bird stop singing at night. With pictures by one of my favorite illustrators, Steven Kellogg, this book is great for bedtime or for any time!

When the Moon Smiled: A Bedtime Counting BookWhen the Moon Smiled: A Bedtime Counting Book by Petr Horacek

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A wonderful bedtime book, When the Moon Smiled also teaches counting. Not only that, but children are also introduced to some nocturnal animals. With its adorable crayon and watercolor illustrations, this book is a great addition to a child’s bedtime routine!

View all my reviews on Goodreads. To read other reviews from other book lovers, visit Little Sprout Books by clicking the button below!

Book Nook: Bedtime Dragon and a Puppy

One Drowsy DragonOne Drowsy Dragon by Ethan Long

Emmy asked me to read this library book to her every night this week! One very tired and crabby dragon, (which reminds this mama of herself) can’t go to sleep because all the other dragons are making too much noise! This adorable counting book is also a great bedtime book.

This week, I am adding a new feature to Book Nook: Lily’s Pick! Lily wanted to use her “blog name,” so she introduces herself as Lily in the following vlog:

Lily’s Pick: Biscuit and the Little PupBiscuit and the Little Pup by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

When I asked Lily to pick a book from the bookshelf to share with my blog readers, this is the book she choose. Biscuit books aren’t designed to make parents love them, but they are written to make children proud of reading by themselves. Biscuit and the Little Pup is a great book for a beginning reader. Lily has just started to read some sight words, which makes this a great book for her. I just love the last few seconds of this video.

Next Friday, join me for Emmy’s pick! To read more children book reviews, please click on the button below to visit Little Sprout Books.

Book Nook: Library Lion

When we go on long car trips, we would not survive without our books on CD! We go to the library, and check out a few to keep us occupied as we drive. One of our favorite books on CD is Mr. Putter and Tabby Take the Train by Cynthia Rylant, read by John McDonough.

On our last trip, we discovered a new favorite. This book has beautiful illustrations and a wonderful story, and we loved listening to the CD as our minivan cruised on the highway.

Library LionLibrary Lion by Michelle Knudsen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When Mr. McBee comes running to tell Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, that there is a lion in the library, she doesn’t blink an eye! As long as he follows the rules, why shouldn’t there be a lion in the library? Mr. McBee is not at all happy with this arrangement, but the children are delighted!

Lion becomes a regular visitor and helper at the library. But what happens when Lion breaks the rules?
View all my reviews

For more children’s book reviews, visit Feed Me Books Friday at Little Sprout Books by clicking the button below!

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