Thursday, June 27, 2013

Judy's Book Review #9: Slugs In Love

Another non-Disney!  This one is super cute too.  We read Slugs In Love by Susan Pearson and illustrated by Kevin O'Malley.

(What is this book about?)  It’s about slugs making signs so they know where they are.  And they wanted to meet each other sometime.  They were thinking that super bad because they never meeted each other.  All the other snails knew her but the next snail didn’t.  

(What is your favorite part of this book?)  It’s when they started to knew each other.  And the next slug wrote it on the sign so it would stay but it rained so they made it (strange gurgling sounds).  But they wrote something on the hat and it said, “What are we doing?  I don’t know what you look like or what you are.  Are you a slug or a giant human?”

This is the part that got me serious.  It’s this, that these slugs met each other.  But they said, “No.  I don’t know what she looks like.”  

(Is this a happy story or sad story?)  Happy-sad.  Because they never met each other and then they did.

Judy was much more excited about taking this photo.  

Judy's Book Review #8: Pony Mysteries: The Clue in the Clubhouse

Judy chose a book that wasn't a Disney adaptation.  It's a cute little Scholastic Reader intended for older, more independent readers, but we had fun with it.  This book is Pony Mysteries: The Clue in the Clubhouse by Jeanne Betancourt and illustrated by Kellee Riley.
(Why did you choose this book?)  Because I never read it before, and I never knew it before or found it before.  
(What is your favorite part of this book?)  It’s when they found the cutest kitty and the pony and friends to play with and they can make bracelets and play with their kitty and stuff.  
(What is this book about?)  It’s about clues.  They’re looking for the problem that happened.  Well, first they lost their kitty, second they lost their horse.  Very very second they lost the keys.  
(Was there anything that made you sad in this book?)  Well of course let me find it.  They lost the keys and they were super sad.  And there’s something else that made me sad.  They didn’t find the other keys.  
(Was there anything that made you happy?)  Yes.  The cute little kitty’s eyes and smiley face.

Judy was irritated with me for requesting a picture.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Why my butt is soaking wet, or a day at the lake.

Today I took the girls out to beautiful Navajo Lake to visit with my Uncle Jim and Aunt Kathy while they took a few days on the houseboat relaxing.  I packed a bag with swimming suits, snacks, a book, and Gatorade.  It was going to be a comfy, easy day of relaxing and visiting with two really awesome people.

We arrived at the lake and ran into Jim and Kathy in the parking lot, so that was nice.  All of us walked the long journey from the parking lot to the marina together, and my girls were being cute as ever.  I noticed that the lake was lower than I'd ever seen it, and Jimmy pointed out that he'd never seen the launch ramp curve to the right as it did (and he's been going to the lake for like 40+ years!).

We decided to pick up the shared pontoon boat so that we could take a cruise out on the lake later.  We all hopped in, and I was able to swiftly untie the boat (due to some awesome clips).  Yay.

After parking the pontoon boat (where I deftly tied the back rope to the dock), we went into the houseboat to enjoy the cool air and visit with each other.  I shared the letter that their daughter sent to my family from her summer camp, and we ate some sandwiches and watched the girls play together.  We talked about current events, and decided to skip taking the boat out because there was an unexplained light on when we drove it to the houseboat.   After a while, my girls became restless, so I had to head home.  Jimmy offered to drive us to the loading dock so he could take the pontoon boat back to the slip.  We reloaded our bags and put the girls in.  As the boat started up, Jimmy noticed the mysterious oil light wasn't on, so he suggested a quick drive around the lake.  We took short trips up each of the three rivers and marveled again at the newly exposed rocks that people were leaping off of (and almost onto) just last summer.

Then Jimmy took us over to the dock.  As we approached, I asked Jimmy if he wanted me to catch the boat on the dock.  He said sure.

Now, I must interject.  I have been going to this lake for literally my entire life, and I have helped with boating launches and docks for most of that time.  I'm no expert, but this ain't my first rodeo either.  That's why Jimmy didn't hesitate to give me the responsibility of catching the front of the boat and tying off as he pulled in.

So.  I began to make my way to the outer edge of the pontoon boat.  I hesitated, and decided that since I was wearing shorts with loose pocket openings, I should put my phone and keys on the table, lest they fall out of my pocket while I was over the water moving from boat to dock.

I'm sure you can see where this is going.

I even said, "Just in case.  You never know."  And we all chuckled.  I then stepped on to the front deck, and grabbed the mooring rope.  I gripped it tight and began to step out toward the dock.  Jimmy was already in neutral and coasting gently toward the dock.

Another interjection.  I was wearing regular sunglasses and not my spectacles.  But I felt frames on my face, and therefore trusted my vision.

I'm really sure you know where this is going.  (If you don't, you might want to work on your prediction skills.)

So.  I put my foot down.  But I didn't put it on anything.  I stepped hard off the boat and directly into water.  As I told my sister, my God complex is getting out of control.  I continued to hold on to the rope, and I landed directly in the lake between the boat and the dock.  I watched the water cover my glasses and gripped the rope to pull up.  I could hear my Aunt Kathy say, "She's under the water!"  And Jimmy replied, "I know she's under the water."

I quickly surfaced, and remembered that the most dangerous place to be is between a boat and a anything else.  So I pulled myself to the edge of the pontoon and around to the front.  I was trying to shout to let Kathy, Jimmy, and my shocked girls know that I was ok.  Jimmy was maneuvering the boat away from the dock and Kathy was trying to keep eyes on me.  I finally got out a squeaky "I'm ok.  I'm here."  It sounded terrifying, because my sinuses were so full of water that I couldn't breathe and speak at the same time.  I just wanted to reassure them all that I was fine.

So, I gave everyone the ok nod, and began swimming to shore.  Edie was shouting, "Mommy!  You all wet!"  I got to the shore, and stood up, soaked, from head to toe.  I had never put on my swimming suit.  I was fully dressed, and drenched.  Kathy met me on the dock with a towel, and we laughed and looked me over to make sure that I was ok to drive home.

I had to take the time to use my embarrassing experience as a teaching moment for my girls.  "That's why we always wear boat coats.  That's why we don't stand up on boats.  That's why swimming lessons are important."  And also, that's why you always empty your pockets when standing over water.

So, today started out mundane, and ended with a SPLASH!

Good night all.  I'm here all week!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Judy's Book Review #7: Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmations (Little Golden Books)

Here comes another review of a Little Golden Book adaptation of a Disney movie.  This time it is Walt Disney’s 101 Dalmatians (Little Golden Books) adapted by Justine Korman and illustrated by Bill Langley and Ron Dias.  

 Too many dogs hundred.  Um.  This day there was a lovely girl.  There’s a hundred puppies sleeping and playing until they found the girl from the high school girl from the high school class.  She smokes smoke in the house.  And the boy was playing the piano not doing smoke in the house.  The mom and dad dog were going like, “Wraw, wraw?”  What is going on here?  Until this girl smoked on the puppies.  Three puppies.  Until the the spies came in, one straight spy and one big spy.  Even this happened really sad.  The puppies were frought at their new home.  The mom dog was sad and so was the dad dog.  They were sleepy and they’re tired and they wanted to go home so bad.  The barks went like this, “Howl, howl oooooo a ooooo!”  Can you spell “a ooooo”?  Cool.  And this little doggy was so cute and this big dog was going like, “Growl”.  Till a cat wake him up and a horse.  You gotta hurry, some dogs are captured.  (Animal noises) We must save them.  And the cat looked over the window until they saw the 40-60-100 dogs so they sneaked quietly into the window and they got all the puppies out of there.  One puppy was still in and not really dead.  And this time the biggest girl was there and she went like, “Where are those spotted rats?”  (Judy begins acting like Cruela De Vil).  This time the mom and dad came they bited the leg, they bited the arm, even they bited the neck.  And this day the puppies escaped when the mom and dad bited everything.  Once the doggies were saved.  And that’s all I knew.  All of the other pages are nothing that I knew.

She insisted in being a goofball for the picture.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Judy's Book Review #6: Walt Disney’s Lady and the Tramp (Little Golden Books)

Again, I let the girls pick out whatever books they wish to read (or have read to them).  This trip, Judy picked all adaptations of Disney movies.  They are all Little Golden Books, and Jason was shocked to see those gold spines come from the library.  There are treasures everywhere, if you just look.  

Now, I know that Judy picked these books because she already knows the general stories in them and she could "read" by looking at the pictures.  Some people may think that's cheating, but no more than being addicted to a Tom Clancy or Janet Evanovich series.  She's comfortable with the material and entertained by it, and that's enough for me.  

Judy and Edie both enthusiasticaly listened as I read Walt Disney's Lady and the Tramp, adapted by Teddy Slater and illustrated by Bill Langley and Ron Dias.  

I watched the movie but never read it so I wanted this book so bad.  The boy was looking at the tiny lick on the cheek it was a kiss from a girl but I didn’t know that she could wake the boy up in just 30 days.  I was getting so nervous.  Even the girl, Lady, was crying and I can’t believe all the dogs were going like this (squishes face up tight).  And there was this cute little tiny cutie baby; I love this baby.  It was smiling at the girl named Lady, until this mean lady came.  She brang to this house her cat, her ugly cats.  She hated dogs.  Even they scratched the goldfish, scratched the birdie and the dog was like woof woof woo woo woo.  And these bad cats were going everywhere (Judy gets on the floor and crawls around and babbles unintelligibly).  They was just about to scare the doggy like this, “MEOW!!”  Even she said, “Oh my little kitty cats, you’re my nicey cats.”  Pleh.  Gross.  I was getting so frustrated of this and the doggy was going to get so frustrated the doggy ran away like this but she was like, “I want to go home, I’m missing my family, the baby’s going to be so sad.”  (Judy breaks to allow herself to catch her breath.)  I was so frightened that the little beautiful doggy was going to die, but she didn’t and I was getting so sad, so so so so sad.  Then this moment some nice and these dogs were getting (?) by some person one was playing sarfat (her word for accordian, I guess) and one was playing guitar and they were making pasgetti, dog sketti for the dogs.  Even they kissed each other in the nose.  And they put a paw in the heart arrow.  And the doggy ran away.  (Judy begins mumbling).  And this moment a rat came to the baby’s room.  It was going to crawl across the baby and scratch the baby.  And the dog was the hero dog and it was, “Rawr!” and it ate the rat.  The man took the dog to the dog catcher and it stoled the doggy and put it in a trap.  Too late.  He was a true hero.  Then there was three girls that looked like their mom and one Scamp that looked like their father.  And the baby said, “This is your home after all.”

Friday, June 14, 2013

Judy's Book Review #5: Missing Mommy

The next review is for Missing Mommy: A Book About Bereavement by Rebecca Cobb.  I always let the girls pick out whatever books they want, and they usually base their decisions on the covers.  Judy asked about the title of the book and I told her it was Missing Mommy.  She wanted to read about someone missing their mom.  I didn't notice the book's subtitle until we came home to read it.  

I am not opposed to speaking about death with my children, and I believe in discussing it frankly.  Had I known the content of the book before checking it out, I would have read it alone before diving in with my girls.  I wasn't mentally prepared for the possible seriousness that this book would bring up at bedtime.  The book was frank and sweet and exactly how I would talk to my girls about death, but I'm just writing this as a warning.  Peruse the books before bedtime to be sure that you won't be having any heavy conversations while trying to put your little ones to sleep.  

Thankfully, Judy was understanding about the content, and she wasn't too sad or scared.  And this book is a perfect tool to introduce the concepts of death and sadness to small children in a frank and caring way.  Whether before or after a loss, I would recommend this book to parents.  

Now, onto Judy's thoughts!  

I thought the mom was going to live forever but she just died very long.  It mad me feel super super sad because the kid missed her mom super super bad.  I’m sad of it too.  But people have to die because their body doesn’t work anymore if they get very old.  And that made me super super sad.  I thought the kid was going to die, but the mom died, but I missed it because I found a stonekeeper (gravestone), and it had the mom’s name on it and the flowers died there and the girl noticed that she was dead.  The dad was sad and the little sister was happy she was actually happy.  She felt scared but she really wanted her mom really really bad and she got really angry.  She’s just pouting she wants her mommy super bad.  She wants to play with her, she wants to eat with her, she wants to snuggle with her.  And she kicked her train.  Maybe they want to know why kids moms and dads die.  (I asked Judy, "Is it good that we talk about what happens when people die?")  NO, the kids will want their moms and dads and grandparents really bad and if they grow by their self they will live with their friends and his mom and dad and live in the country.  This girl lost her mommy.  She won’t die until she is 50 old.

Forgive the quality and pose.  She really wanted to play in her swimming suit and not pose for another picture.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Judy's Book Review #4: The Loud Book

Edie actually picked out The Loud Book by Deborah Underwood and Illustrated by Renata Liwska.  But Judy enjoyed it all the same.  Apparently this book is a companion to The Quiet Book, so we will have to check out that one and review it at a later date.  

Again, Judy wanted to go on a page-by-page review of the book, rather than being directed by questions.  

 I liked it when he started to yell through headphone with a string so you can hear far away and close.  It’s like a phone, and it used to go everywhere and it goes like no yes no I don’t think so.  And I think this rabbit is trying to go to sleep but it doesn’t look very dark.  And it’s sleeping on the floor, I’m just going like wow.  The rabbit wants more popcorn and is going whoa whoa, and I can’t believe a bee is picking up a tool and the bear is picking up a car with 100 zillion animals inside it.  And the bear is going (scratches head).  The bear is saying of the others ... (unintelligible) but I don’t know what I see.  It’s just kind of grey.  I can’t believe it a firetruck is lifting a basket on 40 people in the air.  Are they having a carnival or something?  And everybody’s looking at this dinosaur it looks pretty short.  And this boy is this rabbit is lifting up up up.  But I can’t believe it everybody spilled their food and their drinks there’s not very many people on the other side.  Everybody’s getting wow wow.  He can’t clean out back right?  He’s cleaning out back while the kids are playing baseball.  They’re putting on a show, there’s flowers and I can’t even believe it.  And all of the others are (mumbling) wow wow wow. And rabbits can’t get wet.  Rabbits really can’t get wet, even porcupines.  Even I am getting redoubted.  Ok I’m all done on this page.  This is a long book mom.  I don’t hear any louds, because I think they’re thinking the tv loud.  Silly wolfs.  I’m so excited for bowling, I can’t wait for it, can’t wait for it.  (She covers her eyes).  I can’t look at the balls cuz I love balls that will make me go bowling.  Even a parade is so loud it goes like boom boom boo ba boo brum brum bo boo boo. And it looks like a sweet rabbit is crying because she wanted to have a sweet apple on a picnic but ants got all over it.  Poor baby rabbit.  Ok.  I can’t see the fiesta.  All of the guys here, I’ll stop now, these guys are making a band now and they go ding ding a ding ding yee haw I’m riding a horsie it’s going really fast I’m having so much fun yee haw yee haw ye ye ye yee haw.  Even these bears are telling a spooky story like once upon a time there was an evil witch turned into a gitch it could turn into anything it can put it’s hand underground and smash people and it can stretch out far far as ever as human.  I can’t believe what the rabbit is doing under the tent, it’s going like boo la la la.  Even big sisters snore really loud and I can’t believe it the brother can’t sleep.  And the rabbit had to sleep outside. That’s it.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Judy's Book Review #3: A Long Way Away: A Two-Way Story by Frank Viva

We read A Long Way Away: A Two-Way Story by Frank Viva.  This book is read vertically and in either direction to tell the tale of a squid-like creature traveling from space to the ocean and vice versa.  We did this review right after her previous one, and so to save a bit of time, I went back to using book review questions to get her going.  

On this side it looks like he is in earth and he thinks the moon is a ballon.  On the other side it looks like he’s in the fish resedint and in the ocean.  I liked it when he went from the ocean to space.  He looks like he is lost.  He has 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 arms together so that would be an octopus of course.  I think Rachel would like this book too because she has never never read this book. 

This review was cut short because Judy's sister Edith came roaring in screaming like a banshee.  She really wanted to read the book.  We've got a house (almost) full of bookworms.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Judy's Book Review #2: It's Time for Preschool!

Two nights ago, we read It's Time for Preschool! by Esme Raji Codell and illustrated by Sue Rama.  Since it had been a while since the reading, I told Judy to flip through the book to refresh her memory for the book review.  This time I did not prod her with any book review questions.  She was so excited to talk about the book that at times I had to tell her to slow down so I could keep up.  

 I think it has many stuff to play on or stuff to eat.  There’s a lot of teachers and kids.  There is blocks and painting and books time and you got to listen to the teachers and they're sometimes nice.  It’s like everything is going really really good and all of the kids are having lots of fun.  Cuz all of the kids are reprisited (I think she means represented, but I didn't want to stop her to ask.) and I’m just like wow.  It’s just super cool, it’s a super cool book I don’t know what to do with it.  I’m really really happy.  

I liked this part where the kids were going to preschool with everybody their parents and grandparents together and the kids go really good and the moms and dads are really happy.  They might get a sad at everything and all of the teachers are going to be sad because the kids are dreaming of seeing their parents.  I don’t know what they’re doing.  Then it’s bedtime and lunchtime and everytime.  They even have name badges and take off their backpacks and put them on a hook safety place, I’m just going like wow.  At preschool you’re gonna have to get ready for school, it’s like school right?

It gots a lot of stuff, I don’t know if the stuff are gonna happen.  You can create anything or play puppet stuff, you can make stuff out of real or pretend.  You can dress up like princesses, or princess dragons, or dragon police officers (these are actual examples from the text).  I’m going really wow on every single page.  The teacher has to read story time and you have to do ABCs and when the teacher says it’s circle time you got to circle up in every single place.  And  everything is really cool.  I’m so excited for this book.  I falled in love with it.  And there’s fall winter spring another spring.  I’m thinking the children are going like wow.  They’re getting happy and doing everything.  (She actually licked her fingers to turn the page).  

They’re sharing cupcakes and making funny faces.  And there's lunch time and when you have to sneeze cover your nose with a tissue and if you need to wash your hands then just wash wash wash.  I’m just so excited for my own class.  And all of the kids get to go to the fire station with the teachers and the kids have to be quiet they have giant backpacks and a hat and a hose and a loud siren and it’s only for rescuing.  It always gets so fun.  The children are thinking what the mom and dad and pets are doing and they want to see it but when it’s time to go they can see their mom and dad and pets again and they will be so so happy.  It’s going wow wow wow (here I paused typing to marvel at her excitement and Judy noticed).  You’re supposed to keep up remember.  And they’re already going to sleep dreaming about stuff.  Good stuff, can’t dream about bad stuff cuz it’s a nightmare.  Even they can see the baby sheep and they’re super soft and that is great.  And now they’re really playing with the teachers and making stuff with scissors and glue and paper sticks.  It’s really really fun.  I’m really really happy abour this book.  This book is amazing I tell you.  The kids are having so much fun.  It’s just so fun that they are really good at class.  When they spill something they clean it up and they get stuff where it belongs.  Now they're going home and they’re having more and more fun.  They had enough fun today, they need to rest.  The grown ups are happy again.  You got to go home when class is over and it’s really pretty cool.  I’m so proud of this book.  That’s it. 

Judy was so excited to be talking about a book again.  She really seemed to eat up the fact that I was typing her every word down, and she was flicking her hair back and forth.  I may have to do a video post of a review in the future.  

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Judy's Book Reviews: Monster Hunter

My daughter is participating in the local library's summer reading program, Dig Into Reading.  Although she is not quite "reading" yet, I read books to her and then we talk about them.  The reading program requires that the participants log their books online and gives the option for a review.  I decided to take our conversations and turn them into reviews for her.  

I had to prod her a bit with standard review-style questions, but all responses are hers.  Of course, I'm the typist, but I try to stay close to her sentence style and word choices.  

Below is her review of Monster Hunter by Justin LaRocca Hansen.  

"I thought it had one monster but it had more than just one. It just needed a bit more things but there was just more monsters than that. I didn't know it had that much monsters. My favorite part was when the boy was fighting the crazy fish monster and the fish had purple lips that were so crunchy and giant eyes. He flushed the monster in the deep darkness. This book wasn't that scary. It got a little scary. The slime was kind of scary. I didn't know there was a monster that had slime. I think my cousin Rachel would like this book."

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Farmington, NM, United States
Old enough to know better, young enough to change.