Monday, May 30, 2016


Stick Cat lives in a 23rd floor apartment, next door to his best friend, chubby, ditzy, Edith. Stick Cat and Edith have scratched a hole in the bathroom wall, and every day Edith squeezes through to enjoy time with her best friend.  They especially love listening to music played by the piano tuner in the building across the street. One day, there is an accident, and the piano tuner's arms get stuck inside a grand piano. It's up to Stick Cat and Edith to rescue their friend. Lovers of STICK DOG, or CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS, or DIARY OF A WIMPY KID, are definitely going to love Tom Watson's newest creation, STICK CAT.

Review copy provided by publisher

Sunday, May 29, 2016

I LOVE CAKE- Tammi Sauer

Rabbit, Porcupine and Moose are friends. Rabbit is good at being boss, Porcupine is good at having fun, and Moose is just a big, bumbling, kind of a guy. On Rabbit's birthday, she invites her two friends to her house for a party. The friends jump on the trampoline, and play pin the tail on the chipmunk, then it's time for cake. The cake, however, seems to have gone missing. And Moose is covered in frosting in cake crumbs! Uh-oh!

A silly, joyful friend book the little guys are definitely going to love!

Review copy provided by publisher.

Friday, May 27, 2016


Earlier this week, on Field Day. EK is on the left.
I'm not writing much right now, but the first graders at my school sure are! They are doing a poetry unit, and every time I walk through their classroom, I get to hear a little poetry. Today I'm featuring the work of EK, one of our seven year old poets. Please notice the influence of Langston Hughes'  "April Rain Song" in the last line of each of her poems. 


Marshmallows are like 
a soft comfy pillow.

It makes your mouth 
feel like love.

They make me laugh 
inside my belly.

You can feel the warmth of fire
after you taste it.

And I love marshmallows.

-  EK

Flowers are like a beautiful butterfly
Their petals are like a velvet pillow.
They are like a fairy house,
Their seeds are as cute as baby hedgehogs,
And I love flowers!



I can hear the rain
tapping on my shoulder to get my attention
I can hear the rain singing
with the rustling leaves 
and the wind,

And I can hear it crying
when it has to let the sun out,

And the sun has a bright juicy smile. 

- EK

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Annabel (Annie) has just finished seventh grader. Her parents are both college professors, her mom is a helicopter parent who schedules every minute of every day. This summer, though, is going to be different. Annie has just finished a horrible seventh grade year, complete with fake friends and panic attacks, and has been promised a schedule free, demand free summer by her parents.

On her first day at their summer home, Annie meets California. California is staying with her grandfather, who is ill, on his farm.  Years earlier, when she was a teenager, California's mother had a falling out with her father and left the farm. California is convinced that if she can just find her mother's prize show ponies, who she believes are roaming somewhere on her grandfather's farm, her mother will return to the farm and resolve the relationship with her father. Annie agrees to help California with her search, and the two embark on an epic summer of adventure and friendship. When he summer takes an unexpected twist, Annie is forced to learn new and unexpected lessons.

People are comparing this book to BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA and WALK TWO MOONS. Definitely worth adding to a shelf of books about friendship or loss.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Poetry Friday

On Saturday, June 11, 2011, International Space Station astronaut Ron Garan used a high definition camera to film one of the sixteen sunrises astronauts see each day. This image shows the rising sun as the station flew along a path between Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Sun

Have you ever seen
in your life
more wonderful
than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon
and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again
out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower
streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance–
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love–
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure
that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you
as you stand there,
or have you too
turned from this world–
or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?
I love, love, love my work. Have loved it for a long, long time. Absolutely know that there is nothing I would rather do. And yet, at times (like right now), I wonder about the sanity of myprofession. When yet another piece of paperwork comes across my desk. When the district website, where I am supposed to enter data that is due on Monday, goes down for the umpteenth time in the last two weeks. When we have to give up another day of instruction to give yet another assessment that tells us something we already know. This poem, from Parker J. Palmer's website, spoke to me this morning about my place in the universe.
Violet Nesdoly is hosting Poetry Friday this week.