Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
On Friday, I took my children to visit the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. As soup was the feature of Foodie Friday, I couldn't resist taking the photo (no flash of course) you see here of them admiring Andy Warhol's cans of soup. My favorite moment in the museum was when they spotted a Jackson Pollack painting and shouted, "It's the painting from Olivia!" Of all the amusing things that happen in all of Ian Falconer's Olivia books, our favorite is when she recreates a Jackson Pollack painting on her wall at home. We all enjoyed the Van Gogh exhibit. How can you not feel good standing in front of that starry night? My daughter lectured us all about Van Gogh's application of paint and choice of subject. Clearly the art program at our local public school is excellent!What fascinated me was that all three kids seemed physically drawn to Jasper Johns' Map. It is an eye catching work, but I'm curious as to what exactly is so attractive about it to my children. Maybe it's that they recognize the subject matter, a map of the United States. Maybe it is the use of bright. primary colors. Who knows? Unbeknownst to them, I recently checked out Bob Raczka's gorgeous picture book The Art of Freedom: How Artists See America and had it in my car. Once home from Manhattan, we looked at the book. They were so excited to see Map on the cover and recognize it from our museum visit. I had gotten the book because of what it says about America in simple text, statements such as "America is sacrifice," "America is immigrants," "America is native peoples," and "America is a work in progress." Each statement is accompanied by a piece of artwork. That last definition, for example, faces Gilbert Stuart's famous unfinished portrait of George Washington. My original intention was to read the book and discuss it with my kids in light of the recent presidential election. It turned out to be a nice book to read after a trip to a museum as well. It is beautiful and would make a great gift for a child or a teacher of art or American history.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
There is so much interesting information and humor in The Big Book of Girl Stuff that my daughter is reading sections that might not usually be of interest to her because she doesn't want to miss out on the laughs. While I cannot figure out a rhyme or reason to the organization of the sections, they all have good information and liveliness in common. A few of these sections are "Babysitting," "Fun Stuff to Do," "Sports," and "Slang." Proof that the book never takes itself too seriously is in the quotes which open each section, such as Gilda Radner's "I base most of my fashion taste on what doesn't itch" at the beginning of the section on fashion. Of course there is gross out humor in the "Ick" section which is good. That should not be reserved only for books marketed to boys.
On a personal note, there are two more things that made me happy I checked this book out for Hayden. First, she recently stopped reading and excitedly ran to ask me,"Do you know the meaning of the word blogging? Do you want to know?" I did know, but pretended I didn't as I was so touched that she was enthusiastic to share something from her book that she thought would interest me. I also like the fact that there is a section on nicknames because the author is not the only person who likes trivia. One of the best bits floating around in my brain is that there was once a Viking warrior nicknamed "Ivan the Boneless." This book gave me the reason to share that with my daughter and now you.
I can't say enough good about this fun book for tween girls. It really is, as I learned from the section on slang, a "sherbitt."
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
I am suffering a serious case of eater's remorse and parental shame. I overindulged on my children's trick or treating loot and on a bag of Heath bars I picked up for 50% off at Target two days after Halloween. In case you did the same, and need food for thought rather than food in thighs, here are some calorie free chocolate indulgences.
1. Max's Chocolate Chicken by Rosemary Wells. This book featuring Max of Max and Ruby fame is not just for Easter time and is fun for 2 to 5 year olds.
2. The M & M Brand Counting Book by Barbara Barbieri McGrath is a fun little board book for 3 to 7 year olds that could work well in a classroom.
3. Also great for classroom use is any one of Jerry Palotta's books which combine chocolate treats and math skills, such as his Hershey's Milk Chocolate Weights and Measures.
4. Curious George Goes to the Chocolate Factory by Margaret and H.A. Rey. You know it's going to be fun from the title.
5. Hot Fudge by James Howe is an easy reader from the Bunnicula and Friends series. This is a cute little whodunit for emerging readers ages 5 to 8.
6. The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling is a retelling of the story of King Midas where everything a boy touches turns to chocolate. This is a good chapter book for 8 to 10 year olds.
7. The granddaddy of all chocolate books is, of course, Roald Dahl's magnificent Charlie and the Chocolate Factory!!!!
(For more list fun, check out anna over at http://www.abdpbt.com/ who got me started with the Monday lists.)