Can you spy the pets? Look through the hole in each page and see if you can guess the pets. If you like this, check out the other I Spy books by Edward Gibbs. Great fun for ages 2-5.
Snow is still on the ground but gardening is blooming in my heart. The month of March finds seed catalogs, gardening books, and over wintered herbs strewn all over my kitchen and dining room. The need is for spring!
My favorite gardening books for Ohio are authored by Tracy Disabato-Aust. Every spring I start a plant list for my garden from Tracy’s book, 50 High-Impact Low Care Garden Plants. The book has a little bit of everything from grasses to shrubs, but all are Ohio hardy and easy care. My favorite stand out plants are Bear’s Breeches, Variegated Aralia, Blue False Indigo, Bleeding Heart, and Hellebore. The Dragon's Eye Pine made the list this year but where to plant, the garden is getting full!
Cookies! Bear cub smells cookies while playing in the woods and finds a tea party set up with cookies to share. The hostess of the party arrives and has very strict rules about the tea party playing before any cookies can be eaten. Will bear ever get to eat cookies? A funny and sweet story for hosts and hostesses of all ages, but especially those aged 4-8.
No one is more surprised than Judd Foxman when his father passes away. Not so much by the death, but by the nonreligious patriarch’s last wish to have the family sit Shiva, a Jewish tradition that requires his mother and siblings to spend an entire week together under one roof. This wouldn’t be so bad if Judd’s family wasn’t so dysfunctional. As this group of unique characters are forced to spend time together old wounds are brought to surface and they are made to deal with issues they would have rather continued to ignore. The only family member not present is Judd’s wife who has been openly having an affair. As Judd unwillingly reconnects with his family and struggles to deal with the reality of his deteriorating marriage what results is a novel full of biting, albeit slightly dark humor with realizations about family life and love.
If you're looking for something to brighten your dreary winter day, pick up Pancol's first English-translated novel. The plot revolves around two sisters - Iris, a glamorous, rich attorney's wife and her plain Jane, bookish sister Jo. The story begins when Jo's husband empties their joint savings account and leaves her for his manicurist, who he runs off to farm crocodiles with in Kenya. Jo is left to pick up the pieces of her life and raise her two daughters, Zoe and Hortense, on the meager salary she makes as a 12th century scholar. Iris and Jo hatch the perfect scheme - Jo will write a medieval historical novel that Iris will take the credit for, thus giving Jo the money she needs and Iris the fame she craves. As in life, things don't go quite as planned and hilarity ensues. It's chick lit done up en Francais; humorous, quite charming and perfect to curl up on the couch with and escape to bright, sunny Paris, if only for a few hundred pages.
What could be more fun than rhyming robots playing in the snow on a winter's day? Kidbots ages 4 and up come join the snow fun in Snowbots by Aaron Reynolds!
A good book to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day is I Have a Dream illustrated by Kadir Nelson. The words are from Martin Luther King Jr's speech delivered over 50 years ago. Kadir Nelson is an amazing artist that has brought to life Mr. King and others that believe in equality for all peoples. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
January 8th is National Bubble Bath Day! Celebrate by reading about the rollicking adventures of a boy and his bathtub in “The Green Bath” written by Margaret Mahy and illustrated by Steven Kellogg. Bath time will never be the same! Recommended for ages 4 and up.
Ever wonder what it would be like to grow up with hoarders as parents? Kimberly Rae Miller dishes it all in this powerful coming-of-age tale about just that. We’ve all got that spot in our house that’s the place we put things that we’re saving for later because we know we’re actually going to use them. Right? Yes? Then months later we stumble across those same prized objects and pitch or donate them because, well, who has the time to do all the things?
Imagine, if you will, that messy place being your entire house and add in never throwing away anything on top of that and you’ll sort of get the idea what it’s like to walk a day in Kim’s shoes. She wasn’t able to ever have friends over and often had to conceal her parents messes and behaviors for fear of children’s services coming and separating her from them. Even worse, one house she and her parents occupied was so messy that it caught fire and they lost absolutely everything they owned. You’d think this would mean a fresh, clean start in a new, uncluttered home but that’s not case as things quickly start to pile up again. But don’t just take my word for it, read this engrossing title for yourself to learn all about what it’s like to be the child of hoarders. For tackling such serious stuff, it’s quite an enjoyable read but be warned as there are a few graphic moments (think bugs, messes, and even a suicide attempt) that aren’t for the faint of heart.
If you like this title, you should also check out the nonfiction book Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy Frost and the YA novel Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu.
Doctor Sleep is not a re-telling of Jack Torrence and the creepy Overlook Motel. The book works as a stand-alone novel, a bit of a sequel, but truly a new story with recurring characters from The Shining.
Starting with a summary of Danny and his mother's life over the past thirty five years, Doctor Sleep moves into the present where we find Danny coming to terms with his past; recovering from an abusive alcoholic father and fighting his own battle with sobriety. Doctor Sleep is a humane story with a twist, characters can read minds, see the future, and communicate telepathically. However humane, King's ability to scare the heck out of you is still powerfully strong!