Monthly Archives: August 2017

Book Review: Pirates in the Library – by Nadia Ali

 

 

 

 

Book: Pirates in the Library
Author: Nadia Ali
Illustrator: Jake Tebbit
Publisher: Star Bright Books
Date: November 30, 2016
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-8; Pre-school-3
Pages: 40
Price: $16.83 hardcover
My rating: a delightful story to encourage interest in the 
library

Pirates in the Library by Nadia Ali is a delightful story to encourage interest in the library, starting with that title.

Ms. Benitez, the librarian, thought of a way to get people interested in visiting the library. She sketched out a treasure map, made copies of it, and stacked them on her desk by an open window. The map was the Dread Pirate Dewey’s decimal map and showed how to find his treasure. 

A storm came up and out the window blew many of her maps! Out on the wild waves was Captain Jake, and one of Ms. Benitez’s maps stuck right on his face.  Of course, once he saw what it was, he was determined to find the treasure.

Fierce Captain Jake, his bold pirate crew, and their parrot too, came looking for the treasure. Ms. Benitez happily welcomed them, warning them not to shout or squawk, but to be quiet, and then directed them to rows and rows of “treasure.” Captain Jake was aghast that there were no rubies or diamonds or doubloons! Only books! Many books. When he realized all his crew had disappeared Captain Jake suspected the Dread Pirate Dewey had captured them, but then he found them all reading books about things that interested them, such as … cooking, navigating by the stars, learning to take charge, biographies, fiction, sports, and even the parrot was looking at a book of pictures of birds.

At the very end of the story … well, that’s funny, too. You’ll have to read it for yourself.

The fabulous illustrations for Pirates in the Library were created by Jake Tebbit and add depth to the story. The way Nadia Ali told the story is entertaining, with repetition in such a way that adds to the humour. 

Pirates in the Library is an enjoyable book for children and the adults who read to them. In the back of the book is the Dewey decimal system – which shows how it is worked out. Also, the end pages are fun with maps and X marking the spot where the treasure can be found.

You can find Pirates in the Library by Nadia Ali on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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The Writer’s Diet test

Do you wonder about your writing, if it’s strong enough, if you’re over-using some words, if your grammatical usage is up to par?

Here is an automated feedback tool called The Writer’s Diet test that will give you immediate feedback about your writing. You simply insert a sample of your writing – 100 words up to 1000 words – and find out where you might have to improve. The categories of the report are: lean, fit & trim, needs toning, flabby, heart attack. 

I tried the test with a sample of 233 words of a post I wrote in June. The result is that my verbs usage was in the heart attack range … (yikes!); my usage of nouns, prepositions, verbs/adverbs was in the lean range for all of them; my use of it, this, that, there was just into the fit/trim range. It seems I have to trim down my overuse of verbs, which will be challenging.

If you give it a try I hope you’ll come back and let me know … what did you discover about your writing? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂 

Quote by children’s author Anna Dewdney

It is going to be a very busy week as final things fit into place for the big wedding on Saturday, September 2. It hardly seems possible that our youngest daughter is being married! If I slacken off here the next couple of weeks, please excuse me.  

Today is Sunday and I want to leave you with some things to ponder.

Anna Dewdney was a children’s book author whose Llama Llama books delighted children and adults. Here is a quote by Anna.

She said, A good children’s book can be read by an adult to a child, and experienced genuinely by both. A good children’s book is like a performance. Reading with children makes an intimate, human connection that teaches that child what it means to be alive as one of many beings on the planet. When we read a book with children, then children — no matter how stressed, no matter how challenged — are drawn out of themselves to bond with other human beings, and to see and feel the experiences of others. It is this moment that makes us human. In this sense, reading makes us human.”

Do you have any thoughts on this?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. – Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

Book review: Two Speckled Eggs – by Jennifer K. Mann

 

 

 

 

Book: Two Speckled Eggs
Author/Illustrator: Jennifer K. Mann
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date: April 22, 2014
Genre: children's picture book; 5-8 yr; K-3
Pages: 32
Price: $14.99
My Rating: a wonderful story about enjoying being oneself

Two Speckled Eggs, written and illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann, is a story to encourage uniqueness, showing it’s okay to not follow the crowd.

Ginger was having a birthday party to which she wanted to invite all the girls in her class at school – all except Lyla. Lyla smelled like old leaves all the time and she didn’t talk much. Ginger thought Lyla was weird. But, Ginger’s mother wisely said to invite Lyla too or she could invite none of them. Ginger invited Lyla, too.

Lyla was the first guest to arrive at the party. — Here’s where you begin really appreciating Jennifer’s illustrations, because you see what Lyla’s interests are and how she sets herself apart. — When all the other girls came they started playing the party games. Ginger soon began feeling disappointed. The other girls didn’t play any of the games right, but kind of took over and did things their own way. When it came time for cake, all the girls, except for Lyla, were fussy and thought they didn’t like it so wouldn’t eat any. They left Ginger and Lyla sitting at the table while they ran off to play. The two girls start to connect when a funny thing happens while they are enjoying cake together.

When Ginger opens her presents later, her favourite one was from Lyla who’d obviously put thought into what she wanted to give her. Ginger discovered that, even though Lyla didn’t care about being like everybody else, she was more fun and a better friend than all the other girls Ginger had thought she wanted to be around.

Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann is a story to which many children can relate. (And adults, too.) The illustrations are adorable and wonderfully expressive in their simplicity. In fact, the reader can appreciate the story just through the illustrations and not miss anything. It’s beautifully done.

Two Speckled Eggsand don’t you love the title? – takes the reader from the hopeful anticipation of a little girl, through her disappointment, and into the realization of a new and unexpected friendship. That friendship shows her it’s not a bad thing to be different.

You can find Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger. ♥

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Music video: Chris Hadfield singing with the Barenaked Ladies

I’m sure you know who Chris Hadfield is – the famous Canadian astronaut, and maybe you even know of the Canadian singing group The Barenaked Ladies – a male rock group so named to attract attention.

Below is a video of them all singing together while Chris Hadfield was still in Space. They also have a choir as backup. I hope you enjoy this.

If you were a member of a singing group what name would you choose to attract attention?

Thanks for reading – and listening.  And Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Quiz: What percent royal are you?

I have a confession. I’m feeling a little burned out with reading books for reviews and posting two a week. There’s a lot going on these days in my life – including our youngest daughter’s upcoming wedding in about two weeks! Yes, about 16 months ago she met the love of her life and it was an instant connection. They were engaged five months after that, and soon … my “baby” will be a married woman! I’ll share some about it here when that exciting weekend is over.

Alas, I’m not even getting to my own writing, and I have yet to come up with a new story draft for this month of 12×12. This week at home I’m trying to get refreshed and have not pushed myself to keep up with computer stuff. Part of that includes that I’ve started doing Zumba. (Dance exercise) I am not nearly active enough anymore, usually sitting too much at the computer. Apparently the saying now is “sitting is the new cigarette.” Yikes! Means that it’s unhealthy to sit too much. And we know it is. Anyway, Zumba is a fun and challenging workout, my body is complaining at doing what it’s no longer used to doing and I’m enjoying it anyway despite the ouches.

 

 

 

A few days ago my husband and I got away for a day to visit his sister and brother-in-law in their new house in the port town of Lunenburg, N.S. Wow! Gorgeous, and with a close view of the water and the tall ships anchored there for a few days on their sail to different ports. We took the short walk around town and my sister-in-law and I went into a little dress shop. Lo! and behold! I found a dress to wear to my daughter’s wedding! What a load off my mind that was. The following day I bought shoes to go with it, usually quite an ordeal but this time it was easy and painless. I’ll be able to show up at my daughter’s wedding after all. 🙂

Now, I have a quiz for you to do. As you read in my subject line, it’s to find out what percent royal you are. 😉  Just follow THIS LINK to do the quiz. Afterward I hope you will come back here to comment so I can know your quiz results. Here’s mine, silly but fun:

100%    You must be a long lost member of the royal family! Everyone bow down because we found the real Queen—and long may you reign! Now all you have to do is find your happily ever after…by reading ROMANCING THE THRONE!

I haven’t read Romancing the Throne. Have you? If so, should I? Did you like it?

SO if I’m 100% royal … where is my entourage? including someone to do the housework so I can write, and I’d like a chauffeur, please.  🙂 (laughing but .. wouldn’t it be nice…)

What are you doing this season? And … what percent royal are you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Book Review: Dear Santasaurus – by Stacy McAnulty

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Dear Santasaurus
Author: Stacy McAnulty
Illustrator: Jef Kaminsky
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press 
Date: October 1, 2013
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-7; K-3
Pages: 32
Price: $15.37
My rating: a fun and funny read

Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty is unlike any dinosaur book – or santa book – you’re likely to read.

Dear Santasaurus is a funny story about Ernest B. Spinosaurus, a young dinosaur who starts early in the year writing letters to Santasaurus. In fact, January 1 his first note is a thank you for his Christmas present – even though he already broke it. Every month he writes to Santasaurus, sometimes twice, and more in December just so he can try to be on the nice list.

 The notes also serve as his wish list which changes and grows throughout the year. In March, what starts out as a scooter, by April has increased to a Jurassic Turbo Scooter x9. In May is it a sea serpent blue Jurassic Turbo Scooter x9 and a raging raptor action figure. In June, it is now a Jurassic Turbo Scooter x9 with a working headlight, and never mind the raging raptor action figure – he now wants tar pit goo. Amusingly for the reader, Ernest B. Spinosaurus’s request gets more elaborate almost every month, and the bold creative illustrations by Jef Kaminsky add to the humour.

On Christmas Eve Ernest leaves a note for Santasaurus, just to remind him of the long list of features he wants his scooter to have. The description is so detailed (and changed) it’s quite funny.

The illustrations by Jef Kaminsky are very well-suited to the story, as Ernest B. Spinosaurus tries to do more nice things than naughty ones – a hard task for a mischievous young dinosaur to accomplish. Children will love the antics Ernest gets up to, and his attempts to convince Santasaurus he had good reasons for everything.

Children are sure to enjoy Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty. It’s a fun story for adults to read to them, too.

You can find Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂