Month: October 2018

Oct 31

One Halloween. Two Halloweens! Ah, ah, ah!

Holidays, Personal 1

Greetings Bookworms,

You may recall that last year I (very predictably) dressed my tiny 2 month old baby up as a penguin. This year I had every intention of dressing Sammy up as a dinosaur. I had a costume and everything. But then I saw this and I couldn’t not buy it. Especially given that my kiddo is such a big Sesame Street fan.

One piece of candy…

Two pieces of candy!

Ah, ah, ah!

Our neighborhood has a tradition of doing a little parade the Saturday before Halloween. It’s not really a parade, per se, it’s more just the neighbor kids taking a stroll and stopping to get candy from participating neighbors. We get TONS of trick-or-treaters on actual Halloween, most of whom come in cars from other places. I LOVE that our neighborhood is such a popular spot (it feels like a Disney movie the night of), but it means that it can be tough to pick out your neighbor kiddos in the crowd, especially if they’re wearing masks and stuff. The little parade allows me to see the kids I actually know in their costumes in broad daylight which is so much fun. Plus, Sammy is really too young for trick-or-treating (and had to ride in the wagon because walking is not a skill he’s quite mastered yet) so it’s a great opportunity to give him a little taste of Halloween fun. He managed to fish a KitKat out of his pumpkin bucket and gnaw through the wrapper before I knew what was happening, so CLEARLY he had a great time.

Happy Halloween, y’all!

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Oct 19

Kid Lit with My Kidlet: Halloween 2018

Kidlit with my Kidlet 5

Greetings, Bookworms!

‘Tis the season for pumpkins and candy, so I thought I’d share a few of the seasonally appropriate books I’ve been reading with Sammy lately. My son has a very impressive library, and, like his very impressive wardrobe, it has little to do with my own shopping. We’ve got some very astute children’s literature aficionados in our orbit who like to spoil the young sir. As a result, Sammers literally has entire stacks of books dedicated to different holidays, and Halloween is one of the best represented.

I LOVE Halloween. Always have. Of course, my love for it never evolved past a child-like infatuation with costumes and trick-or-treating. I abhor haunted houses (jump scares are the actual worst), and don’t much care for horror movies or literature (though there are some exceptions). I just want to hand out lots of candy while wearing a giant pajama onesie that doubles as a costume while I watch Hocus Pocus for the fafillionth time. Thus, books aimed toward young children hit the sweet spot of everything I love about Halloween. It makes for magical bedtime reading. Here are some of my (and Sam’s!) current favorites:

ONE: 10 Trick-or-Treaters by Janet Schulman, illustrated by Linda Davick. This one is Sammy’s favorite. It’s an adorable rhyming countdown book in which Trick-or-Treaters are frightened off one by one (that sounds like it might be scary, but it isn’t at all. It’s just cute. It’s very clear to the reader that all the things startling the children are either benign or just people in costumes.) When they get down to 2 Trick-or-Treaters, there’s a scene with a person in a mummy costume coming out of an elevator that makes Sammy giggle. Why that particular illustration appeals to him, I do not know. But who can argue with a delighted 1 year old? And why would you want to?

TWO: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. This one is MY favorite. It isn’t strictly Halloween related, which is good because I’ll be reading it year-round. A witch on her broom keeps adopting animals to adorable effect. The rhymes are such fun, and the illustrations are so cute. I actually saw a cartoon version of this before we got the book- it must have been on PBS Kids because where else would that sort of thing happen? Anyway, it’s delightful for parents and kids. Fabulous to read aloud!

THREE: Little Vampire’s Big Smile by Rose Von Feder: In this super cute little book, a young vampire looses his tooth while bobbing for apples at a Halloween party (let’s just ignore how unhygienic that activity is. I’m not even super skeeved by germs and ew.) It all ends well of course, when the Tooth Fairy (who is a bat, duh) delivers a gold coin and a new tooth to our dear Bertie. This book is exceptionally appropriate at the moment for my child whose canine teeth have just erupted. (It’s a bit ridiculous, really. Of all the things my child could have developed early, it’s teeth. He’s got 16 teeth at not quite 14 months. Probably why he’s not walking yet. Teething is distracting, yo.)

FOUR: Penguin and Pumpkin by Salina Yoon: OK, this isn’t strictly a Halloween book, it’s more fall, but I absolutely ADORE Salina Yoon’s Penguin books. They’re so sweet, and, obviously, PENGUINS. We actually do have a Halloween specific Salina Yoon title, Where’s Boo?, and while it’s adorable, it doesn’t have much of a story. That’s a thing with baby books. It’s important for babies to have access to simple books full of pictures and just a few words that they can get handsy with- bonus if there are sensory aspects, like in Where’s Boo? It’s just that they’re not as much fun for ME to read at bedtime, whereas Penguin has the most delightful adventures. I’d recommend ANYTHING by Salina Yoon for your little one, but Penguin will always hold a special place in my heart.

This list doesn’t even scratch the surface of our Halloween book stack, but since a lot of them fall into the sensory/flap lifting/not so much story category, I’ll keep it short. I may tackle those another day. I’m going to leave you with this pic of Sammers (and me) that was taken just after his first hair cut (cue Mom sobbing.) His hair was growing into a weird rat tail situation, and since it’s not 1991, I thought we should nip that in the bud. He’s wearing some sweet Halloween duds, though!

Photo credit goes to my husband, who, while he hates having his own photo taken, is an excellent documentarian of important moments. Also, I’m really not that blonde. There was some weird lighting or filter action going on here. And yes, that is Sam’s middle finger. That’s how he points at things. And pushes buttons. Social graces may not be his strong suit.

What are some of your favorite kid friendly Halloween reads, Bookworms?

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Oct 11

Educated by Tara Westover

Audio Books, Memoirs, Non Fiction 6

Hi Ho, Bookworms!

I keep thinking, “dang I should write about some books!” But then I get overwhelmed by the VAST backlog of excellent books I’ve read and not written about and I don’t know where to start. I just end up going on Twitter and talking about how much I love Sesame Street, which isn’t a thing anyone is interested in, really. Except Sammers, obviously. He’s a big fan of Elmo and Abby Cadabby. Yeah, yeah, I know screen time and babies, but it’s EDUCATIONAL. Which brings me to the actual book I want to talk to y’all about today: Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. (Look at that segue. I’m a walking Dad Joke.)

I don’t remember where I first heard about this book but I think what finally pushed it high enough on my TBR to actually read it was Alice and Kim’s excellent podcast. Admittedly I gravitate toward fiction as a general rule, but the premise of this sounded too good to pass up. Tara Westover wrote a memoir about her experiences growing up among survivalists in rural Idaho. She never attended traditional school, and spent her days prepping for the end of days or assisting her parents in their work. Her father ran a metal salvage junkyard among other odd jobs, her mother was a midwife and herbalist. Her father was exceptionally fearful of the medical establishment, so her mother’s herbs served the family’s medical needs for everything from colds to concussions. Hard to believe a child from this background would end up earning a PhD from Cambridge, but that’s exactly what happened.

The abstract sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? And yet it doesn’t describe how completely BANANAPANTS this book was. I realize that the whole point of the book was how Westover managed to go from absolutely no formal (or informal, really) educational instruction to a friggin PhD, but I have to admit to being sidetracked by the family’s response to medical emergencies. In fact, I tweeted some of my reactions whilst listening to the audiobook:

For some reason I feel the need to clean up my language knowing my son’s grandparents may read this.

Uh, spoiler alert?

As you can see, I was rather in my feelings about this medical situation. Here’s the thing. I know the medical establishment is not without fault, and I think that there are homeopathic treatments that are very effective that get overlooked in favor of pharmaceuticals. Essential oils may very well help with a myriad of things from headaches to teething to allergy relief. Just, you know, don’t rely on them to cure a traumatic brain injury, third degree burns, or replace vaccinations. And for the love. If you see exposed brain tissue, CALL 911.

I highly recommend this book. The closest read-alike I can come up with is The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (which is also excellent, review here), so if you enjoyed that? Educated is for you.

 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I may receive a small commission.*

 

 

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