Little Free Library in the Snow

December 19, 2012

I am still so excited about our Little Free Library.┬áIt’s been over four months, and I still sigh contentedly whenever I see it. Plus it’s looking extra festively adorable right now.

Little Free Library in the snow | World of Julie

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CATEGORIES: books

Christmas Tree

December 18, 2012

Starting to snow. Finding the tree.

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CATEGORIES: holidays
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These are the consequences of diminished electronic usage

December 14, 2012

So, remember how I was hollering with love for Matthew Cordell’s HELLO! HELLO! last month? I have given this book to people, forced it on people, talked about how much I love it.

But you know what happens when you turn off electronic devices? I’ll tell you. Your kids have no idea how electronic devices work. Will this make them look like wingnuts in today’s society? Time will tell. My kids might look like wingnuts anyway.

Since we have been repeatedly reading Hello! Hello!:

  • Ramona asked me to help her turn on the Etch-a-Sketch.
  • The girls were pretending holiday cards were laptops. Ramona, while “looking for games” started to lick the “laptop.” Because I’m always tasting my computer and looking for games?
  • We got an old typewriter out of the basement.* The kids used the typewriter to write such messages as “we will take over email” and “twitter is now ours” (as well as “raw eggs are good” and “gummy bears are chasing me” so I’m not sure how much we can trust their world domination plans).

* We continue to give our children some kind of modified 1970s upbringing, between pencils and typewriters and our regular showings of Get Smart and Kung Fu. Plus I got them a vintage Spirograph for Christmas. I really hope we’re not harming them by withholding modern conveniences like Justin Bieber.

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CATEGORIES: books, Julie

New Review: Nighttime Ninja

December 12, 2012

This book! It’s like a thriller! For kids! Perfect, perfect tension (and a lot of it). Zuzu’s eyes get impossibly large every time we read this. There should be more picture books that are this frightening, with such satisfying conclusions, I tell you! Lots more!

I review it today on Brain Burps.

Also today on Brain Burps: Katie interviews two authors, Jim Averbeck and Dashka Slater. It’s a good thing I sometimes let reviews write themselves for a few days in my head, since I was mentally working on reviews of both of the new books by these two (Averbeck’s Oh No, Little Dragon! and Slater’s delicious Dangerously Ever After). They are great books and I’m really looking forward to hearing this interview (and I’m glad I didn’t take the time to write and record redundant reviews).

You can find out more about the podcast here, and you can listen directly by clicking here.

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CATEGORIES: books

Fart Brain

December 6, 2012

“Eli, who’s that for?”

“I haven’t decided yet. But I have some pretty good ideas.”

fart brain | World of Julie

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CATEGORIES: Eli
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Ivy + Bean: 9 Books of Awesome

December 4, 2012

This post should have been written months ago. For months I’ve been thinking about how much I love Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows, about how consistently hilarious all the books are, and about how Sophie Blackall could illustrate anything and I’d love it (she has taken this to heart and illustrated Craig’s List ads for us).

At the beginning of September I received a review copy of Ivy and Bean: Make the Rules, which is book 9 in the series. Here’s the deal: I was confusing this series with something else. I can’t figure out what I was thinking of, but for some reason I thought this was a series of insipid frothy “we hate boys” girlishness. I’M SORRY. I was completely wrong.

I gave the book to Zuzu. I said, “Here, you’ll like this,” because she’s going through a phase where she picks way-out-of-her-age-range chapter books at the library, based solely on girls and sparkles on the cover, and then carries them around possessively and pretends to read them.

She wanted me to read her this one. This was when I couldn’t really walk, so I figured I might as well read it, since I was stuck on the couch anyway.

Ivy and Bean Make the Rules starts off with Bean’s older sister Nancy getting ready to go to Girl Power 4-Ever Camp, which, of course, totally cemented my wrong preconceived notion that this was a book about lip gloss and how much fun it is.

But then. Well. Something happened. The book started to get funny. Really funny. Then my boys came home from school, and we all squished onto the couch and read the whole darn book, stopping occasionally to laugh really, really hard. See, what happens is, Ivy and Bean make their own camp, Camp Flaming Arrow, which is loosely based on the informational sheet about Girl Power 4-Ever Camp that Bean’s mom pulled out of her purse, and by the time we got to the chapter where they practice first aid, and one of their campers, being a doctor, says, “One-twelve over five in the plexercarpaloo,” we were smitten. In love. We wanted way more Ivy and Bean.

And so, now, every time we go to the library I grab all of the available Ivy and Bean books like I’m getting the last Tickle Me Elmo on the day after Thanksgiving. And then we read them over and over.

And this morning, something happened that made me realize I just had to write this post already. Zuzu, Ramona, and I walked to our local bookstore to get gift certificates for teachers, and right after we went in, Zuzu started screaming, and she grabbed my arm and pulled me to the back of the store, pointed at the Ivy and Bean paper dolls, and said, screamingly, ‘I NEED TO HAVE THAT.” (And then I did a terrible thing: I bought them, and now won’t let her have them until Christmas.)

If something with book characters on it makes my kid SCREAM with excitement, like she’s seeing whatever boy band people are screaming about these days, well, then, I need to tell you about it.

One last word of book recommendation love from me: there need to be more series like this. I can’t think of any chapter book series besides Clementine and Ivy and Bean that thoroughly captivated all of my kids, from the 2-year-old to the 9-year-old. It’s not an easy thing to do. And Clementine and Ivy and Bean are amazing, amazing books. And luckily for us there are five Clementine books and nine Ivy and Beans, so just reading and rereading those should take us a while.

(There are other series like Invisible Inkling that the boys and I love so much, and I realize this is a RIDICULOUS thing I am asking for: a chapter book that will entertain humans from age 2 through adult. I just get all excited about the ones that do.)

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CATEGORIES: books