SHHHH! This is a library!

Take a stroll with me down memory lane ….

I remember when I was a youngster in school and whole classes would get turns going to the library to read or study. That experience was usually a little nerve-racking for timid little me. I was always so afraid I would accidentally make a noise, perhaps by dropping something or whispering too loudly to the person next to me. Those were the days when libraries were quiet places.






Decades later I used to take my children to the town library to borrow books. It was a small library then with that heady smell of old books, new books .. books, books, books. And it was so nice and quiet. I taught my little girls that we were not to talk out loud in there, even if it was only the librarian with us at any time. A library is a quiet place.

Now, let me tell you about my experience when I was in town for an afternoon one day last month.

After leaving my little Meyya with the groomer I had time to myself, so I decided to walk to the library. I had with me a list of books that I wanted to look for, hoping to borrow a few to see what’s new. When I walked into the library the first thing I noticed was the woman at the counter talking – loudly – to the two librarians.  hmm  I made my way to the children’s section where I attempted to find a book, any book, on my list. Over came a young mother and her little lad. She sat at a computer and began using it while her little guy wandered restlessly around looking at books, calling to her about them now and then, until finally he found a big book – somewhat advanced for him – which he brought to his mother. He asked her to read to him; she said no, she was busy but find one she would enjoy reading to him at home. She didn’t think he would like that one. (I privately wondered why he wouldn’t like it at home if he liked it there in the library. He seemed to want to learn about what it contained. ) She, in a normal speaking voice, proceeded to try to discourage him from choosing that book. He whined. loudly.

Both librarians were still busy so I finally gave up trying to locate any of the books on my list and sat at a table to read the novel I’d brought with me. Next thing I knew, the woman who was still at the counter called across the room to her friend to ask her something, and it continued. Oh my. Frustrated and annoyed I packed up my things and left, not finding out if they even have any of the books I was interested in borrowing.

My next stop was the bookstore. As soon as I walked in I felt my annoyance melt away … in the peaceful, quiet atmosphere.  *sigh*  That’s what I missed in the library. It didn’t have to be quiet in the bookstore and didn’t stay that way, but it was just so pleasant and peaceful. I was delighted to find two children’s books I’d heard about, one I read right there and reviewed on April 28, the other I purchased and will review next week.

Tell me, have you found a difference in your libraries, too? What’s happened to “Shhh, this is a library!”?

Perhaps this sign would make a difference:

quiet in library





I’ve noticed that many people don’t seem to know what to do with silence! They have to have noise of some kind, or don’t understand the lack of ‘loud’ is perfectly wonderful. What’s your opinion?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)


Happy Mother’s Day


to everyone who is a mother by birth, adoption, guardianship … in name, or heart, or spirit, or memory …

everyone who has loved a child …

I send you hugs and many blessings.


Thanks for reading and … Creative Musings!  :)

Book Review: The Story of Gar – by Syr Ruus

The Story of Gar
Book: The Story of Gar
Author: Syr Ruus
Publisher: etc. Press Ltd., 
Date: 2014
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 166
Price: $20.00
My Rating: A fascinating story 
that's different and sweetly 



I was delighted to be gifted a copy of The Story of Gar by Syr Ruus. Having read both of her first two novels – Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart  and  Devil’s Hump – which I have also reviewed here, I was eager to find out what marvellous tale the author had written this time. I was not disappointed. 

The Story of Gar is about a young mother looking for a new home for herself and her three small children, a man who is alone and likes it that way, a family of crows also uprooted from their home. We are given the interesting view of life seen mostly from the perspective of one young crow in particular. At first notion it may seem a curious plot, however, you really should read this book! Syr Ruus has woven a story that pulls the reader in, holds one’s attention, and thrills with her storytelling.

This book is really about relationships and interactions – people with people, people with nature. The young family is needing a new life, and the man  who helps them finds his life changing – for the better – because of them. His gift to them brings a whole new dimension to everyone’s life.

The Story of Gar is a novel that a young person would enjoy. There are a couple of tastefully handled places more for mature readers, small sections that can easily be skipped over and not ruin the story should a parent/guardian prefer the younger reader not read them.

A portion of this novel was awarded the Joyce Barkhouse Award by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

The Story of Gar was shortlisted in the Ken Klonsky Novella Contest (Quattro Books, Toronto.)

If you want to read this book it can be obtained directly from the author. Please write to her at: syr(at)eastlink(dot)ca 

You can find The Story of Gar listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Book Review: Frankenstink! Garbage Gone Bad – by Ron Lightburn

Frankenstink! Garbage Gone Bad

Book: Frankenstink! Garbage Gone Bad
Author/Illustrator: Ron Lightburn
Publisher: Tundra Books
Date: March 10, 2015
Genre: Picture Book for ages 4-8
Pages: 32
Price: $19.99 CD; $17.99 US
My Rating: an excellent environmental adventure young readers will enjoy



Frankenstink! Garbage Gone Bad is written and illustrated by Ron Lightburn of Nova Scotia, Canada. I was privileged to meet Ron at his book signing in April and was delighted that he personalized a copy of Frankenstink! for me and one for my grandson. Although my grandson is almost ten I know he will enjoy this book – which I am giving him for his birthday in June, if I can wait that long!

First of all, look at that cover, shown above. It glows in the dark!

Frankenstink! Garbage Gone Bad.back cover<– And look at the back cover shown here.  Isn’t this impressive?







In fact, the book jacket is a poster! How cool is that!

Frankenstink! Garbage Gone Bad.poster








Ron Lightburn is well established internationally as an illustrator, however, this is the first book he both wrote and illustrated. He told me it was a long wait until it was picked up by a publisher but it’s worth it.

Written in fun rhyme, Frankenstink! is the story of a little boy who would not clean up his room. He simply kept shoving stuff under his bed, until … one night it mutated into a huge garbage monster. Oh my! The monster was hungry for trash first and became more and more greedy. After devouring everything it could find to eat in the house, it moved on down the street to the neighbours’ garbage cans and beyond, growing bigger and smellier and nastier as it went.  I won’t give away more than that about the story, except to say there is a satisfying funny surprise ending.

The author’s descriptions along with his illustrations make this book an enjoyable environmental adventure. The gooey, oozy, garbage monster will have young readers eagerly turning pages to follow its progress.

Ron Lightburn wrote this book with a lesson in mind for children. He made recycling, composting, and cleaning up very memorable in an entertaining way through showing the experience of one young boy who refused to do them.  Released during the week of Earth Day, Frankenstink! Garbage Gone Bad is a wonderful book for children of all ages and ideal for the classroom. This book will appeal more to boys because of some of the words and creepy images the author included, but it will also appeal to girls who love a good story. And it’s simply a gorgeous book!

You can find Frankenstink! Garbage Gone Bad on my BUY THE BOOK! page.


Experience the power of BookBooks!

I think I’m back in fashion! You know, if you hold onto things long enough, they come back into trend?

Today I am sharing with you a You.Tube video .. an IKEA ad .. that is so well done. It’s both amusing and right on the mark. I hope you enjoy it.

Click here for the VIDEO and experience the power of bookbooks and join the revolution.

Now, what do you think? Are YOU back in fashion, too?  :)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 

Those wonderful kitchen gadgets! .. or .. Oops!

So far 2015 has consisted of family challenges – some of which I will mention later – but today I want to tell you about something that will probably – hopefully – give you a good laugh.

One of my daughters received a small microwave potato chip maker last Christmas, one of those fun little gifts added in. I was admiring the item so she gave it to me to take home to try, saying she would likely never use it. 

microwave potato chip maker

Late in January I decided to give it a try. The little gadget has a cutter on the top lid, a sharp blade that slices the potato very thin. Then the slices are set on edge into the slots in the bottom section and placed into the microwave. I used sweet potato and followed the instructions closely … as you will see.

I am going to share with you our exchange via texting. In order to maintain her privacy I had to photograph our conversation and then print it out, and then cut and paste because I just could not figure out how to crop it on my computer. (Sorry! A techie I am not.)

My words are in the blue bubble, my daughter’s are in the yellow one.

potato chip maker.1You can see she was very amused upset by my glowing report embarrassing confession. I think it helped to send the image of crispy potato chips dumped into my kitchen sink. (A microwave chef I am not!)

potato chip maker.4

Although the little dish didn’t look quite the same as when I started, I launched into making potato chips a second time. 

potato chip maker.2potato chip maker.5Here’s a close up ^

My last attempt still wasn’t exactly right but it was much even better than the two previous ones. (Notice below how yummy they look when not burnt to a crisp a little over-crisped.)

potato chip maker.3

And they were good. Here’s a better look.

potato chip maker.6

This is what the handy-dandy little gadget looks like now. *sigh* Still usable but it will never be the same.  :(

potato chip maker.7

Oddly, my daughter really didn’t want it back, nor did she want it replaced. I can’t imagine why! Now the little potato chip maker sits in a place of dubious honour in my cupboard awaiting the next opportunity to risk further disfigurement prove its worth.  mmm  I’m getting a hankering for sweet potato chips just thinking about it!

What wonderful gadgetry have you tried that didn’t quite work out the way you expected?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)

Book Review: The Day the Crayons Quit – by Drew Daywalt

The Day the Crayons QuitBook: The Day the Crayons Quit
Author: Drew Daywalt
Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers

Publisher: Philomel Books
Date: 1st edition June 27, 2013
Genre: picture book
Pages: 40
Price: Kindle $8.66; hardcover price varies from about $9.00 up
My Rating: A unique idea that makes a funny story for children to

Duncan is a little boy who loves to colour. One day he opens his crayon box to find – not crayons, but – notes from his crayons! It seems they each have filed a complaint with him, quit, and left home. Of course, each wrote the note itself so the words are in the colour of the crayon. Here are a few:

Pink crayon feels that it’s more of a colour for girls so isn’t used much. How many things are pink?

Red crayon feels it’s used too much.

Blue crayon complains about being used so much it’s become too short to see over the edge of the box.

White writes that it usually can’t be seen unless outlined.

Peach is embarrassed. It seems Duncan peeled its paper off so now it feels naked.

Yellow and orange are fighting  – something about the colour of the sun – so aren’t speaking to one another anymore.

Poor Duncan. What is he to do? You’ll have to read the book to find out what he comes up with to make them all happy. :)

This is a funny, well-written story young children should enjoy having read to them, and later learning to read themselves. This reader wanted to know what colour’s note would come next and what problem would be presented. The illustrations are cute and nicely done, with the crayons’ printing like a young child would do.

This book by Drew Daywalt was rated as Amazon Best Children’s Book of 2013.

You can find The Day the Crayons Quit on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  :)