Recent Reads

Books I’ve recently read ~

Image result for eat what you watch bookEat What You Watch: A Cookbook for Movie Lovers, by Andrew Rea – from the Binging With Babish

AND

Movie Night Menus, by Tenaya Darlington and Andre Darlington

Sometimes when we watch a movie atImage result for movie night menus book home or with friends, we’ll try to pair food with it somehow. We watched a good share of the series Babylon 5 with friends, and did a fair job either sharing a dish from the movie or at least tying our food to the episode through some sort of pun. I’ve recently started a Short Story and Movie Night social group – everyone reads the short story ahead of time, then we all watch the movie based on that story together. We talk about what we liked and didn’t like of each, we compare and contrast the story and movie, and we’re generally just having a good time hanging out.

 

Image result for just my type simon garfieldJust My Type, by Simon Garfield – I love books about stuff, written for the Everyperson. I have a mild interest in design and typography, so this seemed like a great book for me. Turns out, I could have used about 100 fewer pages. Each chapter is basically about one font and its history, and how it’s related to a few others, how it developed over time, a bit about the person/people who developed it, other things going on during that period that may have contributed, and so forth. After about 8 chapters, though, it just got to be too much for me. As much as I liked it, I just couldn’t finish it.

 

Side note: Every time I saw the cover on my nightstand or even thought about the book, I could hear this song in my head:

Happy Birthday, Ezra Jack Keats!

Ezra Jack Keats wrote some of the most beloved children’s books – The Snowy Image result for snowy day keatsDay, Whistle for Willie, Peter’s Chair, A Letter for Amy, and more. He’s been gone since 1983, and his books are still used in classrooms and library storytimes all over the country.  He wrote and illustrated children’s books, illustrated adult books, painted murals, and helped design camouflage patterns while serving in the army. Did you know he also created backgrounds for the original Captain Marvel comic?Image result for ezra jack keats

From the entry on Mr. Keats in Wikipedia: “One of Keats’ signature story elements is that the children in his books are consistently challenged with real problems that are recognizable to young readers; in solving them, the characters learn and mature.”

Watch this video clip of Ezra Jack Keats making art with Mr. Rogers.

You might also want to check out the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, dedicated to bringing multiculturalism and diversity to children’s literature.

 

Snowmageddon!

For the second time this year, Portland is experiencing SNOWMAGEDDON!

Do not fear – Division92 Little Free Library has you covered!  Go for a short walk, enjoy the snow, catch some flakes on your tongue, make a snowball or two, look for wildlife tracks – and stop by to find a new-to-you book. Get home, build yourself a little nest, make a lovely warm beverage of your choice, and snuggle in for the rest of the snow storm!

Sorry to be posting this a bit late in the day, but folks! That snow ain’t going anywhere! It’s only gotten heavier since daybreak! I’ll be putting more books out shortly!

Short Stories/Short Edition

I ran across a piece a few months ago about short story dispensers, made and distributed by the French company, Short Édition. Yes, short stories dispensed by a machine – for free. You can choose between stories that take about 1 minute, 3 minutes, or 5 minutes to read.

After tucking away the bookmark to that article somewhere safe, I promptly forgot about it till today.

I looked up the company’s website. You don’t even have to find a dispensing machine to read the short stories – you can read them on the website if you want, or even have them emailed to you!

I’d love to find a dispensing machine in person. Unfortunately, there’s none near me. I checked the map pretty carefully. And what little travel I’ve got planned so far doesn’t take me near any machines either.

If anyone is interested in a short story machine, they’re looking for hosts- looks like it could possibly be a good bit of advertising for a business or organization as well. They can help customize the collection of stories to fit your purpose too – feature local-ish authors, have a hotel dispense bedtime stories, a school or youth-oriented business/organization could feature children’s stories, and so on. You’ll have to go to the Public Library Association’s website for specifics.

Image result for short edition dispenser machine

It also looks like Short Édition is working on how to have English-speaking authors be able to submit their work for consideration – watch the website for more information.

 

disclaimer – I have no affiliation with Short Édition or any of it’s machine hosts. I just think this is an awesome idea, and I hope more organizations will choose to host these or something similar. 

Image result for short edition dispenser machine

On the Magic of Reading Aloud

When I was little, both my parents read to me. They even read in a couple of different languages that they were fluent in. I had a couple of children’s books in French, which my mom read to me. My dad read us a couple of children’s books in German and in Russian. When I was in early elementary school, I liked when the teachers read stories because they would show the pictures, they would alter their voices slightly to indicate different characters and moods. Even when my fourth grade teacher read A Wrinkle in Time, with hardly any pictures, she still made it interesting. When I hit sixth grade and my teacher read aloud, I came to hate it. There were no pictures anymore. She read straight off the page – no inflections, no animated intonation, just boring. And I could read for myself much faster than I could listen to her read. Blah.

Skip ahead to me working in various child care settings. I *love* to read stories with little kids. I worked in a variety of child care settings for the better part of 15 years. I now work in a county-based special education preschool program as a speech-language pathologist. I do a ton of stuff with children’s books. The fact that I can write a lot of these books off for work on my taxes helps out enormously, as good-quality picture books are pretty much my crack habit.

Even better, my partner is happy to read these picture books to me sometimes at bedtime. He does voices and everything!  Once in a while, when we’re feeling up to the commitment, we’ll find a grown-up book for him to read over several nights. We rarely do this on consecutive nights due to our schedules, so it can take us a long time to finish a book. But even when it’s a grown-up book, he’ll do inflection and intonation to make it interesting. And we’ve found we’ll talk about the book the next day or two as well, so it makes for some good conversation. It’s one of my favorite forms of “together time” with him.

As we head into the holiday week, here’s a suggestion for when your flight is delayed, or you just can’t possibly watch any more football. Get a book and read out loud.

But don’t just gather the kids and the grandkids.

Tonight, beloved children’s book author Kate DiCamillo shares her humble opinion on the universal and age-defying magic of listening to a shared story.

Check out the video

(you can also read the transcript here)

Whose Boat is This Boat?

One of the teachers I work with gave me a present the other day. whose boat.jpg

Whose Boat Is This Boat? Comments That Don’t Help in the Aftermath of a Hurricane is a picture book made entirely of quotations from President Donald Trump in the wake of Hurricane Florence. It is the first children’s book that demonstrates what not to say after a natural disaster. This book is not currently in the Division92 little free library – I just had to share it, as it’s so silly.

From the publisher Simon and Schuster’s webpage:

On September 19, 2018, Donald Trump paid a visit to New Bern, North Carolina, one of the towns ravaged by Hurricane Florence. It was there he showed deep concern for a boat that washed ashore. “At least you got a nice boat out of the deal,” said President Trump to hurricane victims. “Have a good time!” he told them. The only way his comments would be appropriate is in the context of a children’s book—and now you can experience them that way, thanks to the staff of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Proceeds from sales of this book go to charitable organizations that support victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

This book is not currently in the Division92 little free library – I just had to share it, as it’s so silly!