Photo Challenge #21 / All’s Well

IMG_9043“A Family of Geese” / Theme: All’s Well

A little about this photo…

This is a little family of geese living in a pond near us. There are five goslings. See how Papa stands alert? Making sure the human with the big black “Canon” isn’t going to come any closer. He’s making sure that “all’s well” with his little family.


THIS WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is posted every Saturday. Please join me in posting your own photos with #2019picoftheweek

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Quick Pick Reviews #14

bad-kitty-uncle-murrayBad Kitty Vs. Uncle Murray // by Nick Bruel

Genre: Lower MG, Contemporary (2010)

My Thoughts: This book is part of a series that gets its beginning from an ABC picture book called Bad Kitty. In that book, it introduces a character called Uncle Murray in a tiny little cameo. He’s so memorable that he ends up one of the main characters in this book! There’s just something very fun about Uncle Murray.

For me, one of the best parts of the book was Uncle Murray’s “Fun Facts”. I actually really enjoyed these facts about why cats get scared and how they react to situations that startle them. It’s a nice little addition to all the silliness and slapstick humour.

I absolutely LOVE how this book leads us directly to the next book in the series. (See below.) [4 Stars]


bad-kitty-babyBad Kitty Meets the Baby // by Nick Bruel

Genre: Lower MG, Contemporary (2012)

My Thoughts: Bad Kitty is back… The book begins where the last book left off. We get to meet the baby! Very cute story. I love how Bad Kitty is positive that that the baby is a New Puppy. (Oh no! Not another puppy!) And then when the neighbourhood kitties arrive, they conclude that the baby is a New Kitty.

But perhaps my favourite part is when Bad Kitty’s owners talk to her about why the baby is so similar to her and Puppy. [**SPOILER] Especially on the adoption front. [End SPOILER]

And Uncle Murray gets a little cameo with his “Fun Facts”. In this book, they discuss ways to rescue cats from being stuck in a tree. (Hint: You’re NOT supposed to call the fire department, Uncle Murray!) [4.5 Stars]


Quick Pick books are always recommendations. (If I don’t recommend the book, it’s not a Quick Pick!)

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

Photo Challenge #20 / Delightful

IMG_8930“Fun at the Fairground” / Theme: Delightful

A little about this photo…

This is a little (permanent) fair ground near to where I am currently staying! While I don’t need to go on the rides anymore, I do make associations of delight with images like these. This particular photo reminds me of trips to the carousel whenever we’d visit my grandmother when I was really little. And those memories are pure delight!


THIS WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is posted every Saturday. Please join me in posting your own photos with #2019picoftheweek

Why I Re-read Books

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I’ve heard that a lot of people refuse (or just don’t) re-read books. I’ve never understood this. I agree that there ARE books I will never re-read.

Here are three reasons why I re-read books all the time.

Reason #1 – Books are Friends!

Books (to me) are kind of like friends. When I find a good book, just like when I find a good friend, I want to send time with that book. And yes, that means a re-read.

Reason #2 – Following the Clues

I get more out of the book each time I read it. There are things I miss the first, second, even third time I read a book. Sometimes it might have to do with my own age or situation (at the time when I am reading). But I often find new little insights when I re-read books. Perhaps it’s just a little in-joke put in by the author. Or set-up that later pays off in the climax. These are what make re-reading worth it.

Reason #3 – An Enjoyable Read

I know I’m going to enjoy the book. This is especially true if I’ve already read and re-read this book multiple times. I know this book will be a good one. I’m not going to want to throw the book across the room because the author didn’t live up to their promise of writing a good book. I already know it’s a good book!

Note: This post has been brought to you by the Swallows and Amazons series (by Arthur Ransome). I was first introduced to these books in a Children’s Literature course I took at university. And I loved them. There are some I love better than others. But I recently picked up Swallowdale and Winter Holiday to re-read. 🙂


YOUR TURN…

Do you re-read books? Do you re-read often? What are your favourite books to re-read? Let me know in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

Photo Challenge #19 / All in a Row

IMG_8825“From Here to Forever” / Theme: All in a Row

A little about this photo…

These street lamps seem to go forever! This is a new housing development on the outskirts of the city. No houses yet, but the street lamps are all set. I quite liked the look of them. Especially against that beautiful blue sky!


THIS WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is posted every Saturday. Please join me in posting your own photos with #2019picoftheweek

Review: William S. and the Great Escape

william-s-great-escapeBook: William S. and the Great Escape (2009)
Author: Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Genre: MG, Historical (1930s)
Rating: 4 Stars

Basic Plot: William S. Baggett and his sister decide that it’s finally time to run away from home–away from an abusive father and a stepmother who doesn’t like them. And so begins the Great Escape. What makes it even harder… They decide to bring their little brother and sister with them to the safety of their aunt’s house. Along the way, they end up at the home of a girl they don’t know. She seems nice enough, but is she telling the truth when she tells them it’s not safe for them to continue on their journey?

WHAT’S COOL…

1) The “S” after William’s name stands for “Shakespeare”. And one of William’s coping mechanisms is to immerse himself in reading from his big book of Shakespeare’s plays. He even entertains his siblings with his dramatizations.

2) I liked Clarice, despite the fact that she was quite selfish at times. But she does keep things interesting. And I like how she affected the ending of the story. 🙂

3) There was a nice sense of suspense as the kids are traveling. Some good conflict added when they finally realize they don’t actually have their aunt’s address!

4) The little kids added a nice bit of conflict to the escape as well. I like that William and Jancy won’t leave without the little ones, even though they know they will just slow them down.

WHAT’S NOT COOL…

1) At times, I had to keep reminding myself that this is supposed to be set in the 1930s. There were references to Shirley Temple and everything, but I’m not sure I was fully immersed in time period as I should have been.

2) This book has the disadvantage of having to move away from William’s POV to explain what happened. And I found that a little… awkward. I’m not sure how she could have done it, though.

FINAL THOUGHTS

My rating is 4 Stars (out of 5) – Not as good as her other books (The Egypt Game, especially), but I did enjoy it. There’s a second book which I’m looking forward to reading… so, that’s definitely a positive.


YOUR TURN…

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

ARC Review: The Sound of Silence

sound-of-silenceThe Sound of Silence // by Myron Uhlberg
Release Date: May 1, 2019
Genre: MG, Memoir

**Note: I received a free copy of this title from the people at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

My Thoughts: What an interesting read! I found this book fascinating. The subtitle is: Growing Up Hearing with Deaf Parents. And that’s pretty much the book in a nutshell. The story takes place in Brooklyn in the 1930s and 40s.

This is not your typical middle-grade read, however. The book is not plot-driven and is episodic in nature. Basically, it’s a slice of life. One of my favourite scenes was when he teaches his classmates how to sign.

I personally really enjoyed this book; not sure how kids will take it, though. I would probably recommend it for older kids who are interested in memoir, and also the subject of deafness and what it means to be deaf.

My rating is 4 Stars (out of 5)

Photo Challenge #17 / Solo

IMG_8684“Violin Practice” / Theme: Solo

A little about this photo…

I captured this photo during the daily practice session. And I’m claiming it for the “Solo” prompt. She’s working toward having her solo in the spotlight…

P.S. I don’t play any musical instrument, so I’m always impressed when anybody can pick up an instrument and play a tune that is recognizable!


THIS WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is posted every Saturday. Please join me in posting your own photos with #2019picoftheweek

Photo Challenge #16 / Hands

IMG_8770“Easter Tradition” / Theme: Hands

A little about this photo…

Hands do so much, don’t they? Here they are, dying Easter eggs for tomorrow. It’s one of my favourite Easter traditions. (I also happen to love eating hard-boiled eggs.)

And it’s fun to share this tradition with the younger generations.


THIS WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is posted every Saturday. Please join me in posting your own photos with #2019picoftheweek