The work around here continues to be colored by my knee. Apparently you don’t just have ACL surgery and then hop up the next day to do the hustle. It takes six months before that can happen (and then another six months of intensive dance lessons from Leif Garrett). And so, two weeks (and change) later, I am off crutches, but still in the giant knee brace, which renders me slow (and on stairs, slower).
So I’m still sleeping in the library off of our living room (note: this is an actual room; I’m not sleeping in the Little Free Library). Which makes it really hard to put the books back on the shelf, so the library floor is now taken up entirely by a mattress and huge drifts of books.
We put the bathtub (tiny tiny bathtub) in our upstairs bathroom-to-be (tiny tiny bathroom-to-be). Progress!
Zuzu likes to take the camera and take 48 photos of toys she wants from a catalog, 22 photos of her feet, and 14 super-close photos of her own face. Dave swears she looks exactly like me in this one:
And here’s one where she doesn’t look so serious:
And with this post I further cement my role as The Blogger Who Isn’t Afraid to Show Her Messy House or Her Crusty Children.
You know how sometimes you just kind of randomly grab books at the library, and don’t really screen them until you get home? Sometimes I do that and get weirdos that I quietly hide back in the library bag. And sometimes I get books like Dear Flyary, which are so cute and silly and surprising (and sometimes I use the word “sometimes” too much). This book is the diary (or, well, “flyary”) of an adorable alien named Frazzle, and it takes a moment or two to get your head around Frazzle’s galactic vocabulary, but author Dianne Young does such a brilliant job of writing it just on the edge of comprehension. Ok, that doesn’t sound like a compliment, but what I mean is, she uses alien words, like “noteymaker” for an instrument, that are foreign enough to sound strange, but close enough to be understandable, so the whole reading does seem like you’re reading another language, but it’s a language that you somehow are able to speak. Listen to my review — I read a few sections, and you can get the idea of what I mean!
Plus, look at how cute Frazzle is with his one giant eyeball!
You can see information about this episode here, or you can get it right in iTunes here. Enjoy!
When the book Unusual Creatures: A Mostly Accurate Account of Some of the World’s Strangest Animals by Michael Hearst showed up in our mailbox, Henry (my nine-year-old) yelped with delight. He’s obsessed with animals, geography, and weirdness, so this book seemed tailor-made for him.
However, he’s apparently working through a cynical period, so, after looking through the book for a few minutes, he said, “Yeah, I wish there were more animals I didn’t know about.” Well, excuse me, Mr. Know-it-All (note that I didn’t say that out loud; seems like sarcasm breeds cynicism, yes?).
Well, the book looked pretty cool to me, but I left it on the table and walked up to my room in the attic to fold laundry.
Over the next hour, Henry probably burned 1000 calories running from the dining room to the attic to relay amazing facts. “The hagfish can make enough slime in five minutes to fill five 1-gallon jugs!” “The blue-footed booby’s nostrils are permanently closed!” “A baby echidna is called a puggle!” “The star-nosed mole is the fastest-eating mammal!” “A platypus bill is not recyclable!”
So it turned out he liked Unusual Creatures after all. And why not? Every page is a new wacky animal, complete with drawings, biological classifications, and geographical locations (with map). Some pages have crazy facts, some have poems, some have a list of multiple choice questions, and some have lists of facts that all seem ridiculous but are under the heading “True or True?”
This book can be very silly (see above: poems, and the fact about a platypus bill not being recyclable), and that makes it even better. The only thing that might make this book even better would be if there were photos of the animals, but there’s a pleasing, old-school-textbook feel to the drawings, and it definitely gives the animals a nice continuity. Really, I don’t see how you could go wrong with a book about incredibly bizarre animals, all of which are real, with a bunch of crazy facts about them.
You know how they say that, for instance, every 3-year-old has OCD? Or that, if you met an adult who acted like your 4-year-old, they’d be clinically insane? I think all 8-10 year olds think they’re trying out for some kind of Jeopardy/Trivial Pursuit Quiz-a-thon. So, basically, if you have a 4th or 5th grader to buy a book for, this is the one you should get. They’ll love you for it.