Cindy A.

Knights of the Kitchen Table

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Jon Scieszka

If your son liked Magic Tree House, but thought it was a little tame--try The Time Warp Trio series. The boys in these time travel adventures are anything, but mild. In Knights of the Kitchen Table, Joe's uncle gives him The Book for a birthday present. They use it to travel in time. Joe and his two best friends battle physically and wits with dragons, knights, and Merlin. The boys are hilarious. When the black knight is attacking the boys, Fred jumps on the path and waggles his fingers teasing with the classic "Nyah, nyah." To solve the dragon and giant problem the boys trick them into fighting.

Cindy A., Circulation
 
 
 

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Richard Atwater

My boys and I read Mr. Popper's Penguins, a Newbery Honor Book, so they could go see the movie. It is a sweet story set in an innocent time. Mr. Popper is a seasonal painter. In his off season he dreams and reads about far away countries. He starts this season reading about the South Pole, saying to his wife, "I would much rather go there than read about it. But reading is the next best thing." As the story unfolds he is gifted with a penguin and then another, which have a family. It is silly and fun. It is nothing like the movie, which created great discussion at our house.

Cindy A., Circulation
 
 
 

Planet Earth (DVD)

Friday, July 1, 2011

My father gave me the full collection of Planet Earth and The Blue Planet for Christmas after he saw it and loved it. It has sat on the shelf waiting for me -taunting me with the number of hours I would need to devote to watching it. I am no where near done with Planet Earth, but now I'm stealing time from other responsibilities--it is Beautiful:. If you enjoyed March of the Penguins you will love this series. Don't get overwhelmed by the series, just pick a disc. The images of wildlife and their habitat are incredible. The narration tells a story of the animals that strikes a balance between strict documentary and great story telling.

Cindy A., Circulation
 
 
 

Something Borrowed

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Emily Giffin
Something Borrowed

I enjoyed Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin much more than I expected I would. I thought it would be a light summer read. It is, but it is very well written. I read when I was supposed to be doing other things, just one more chapter, and then I'll set it down. Many times I was tempted to turn to the end pages to find out what happens to Rachel, the main character. You see she has fallen in love with her best friend's fiancé. Will he leave Darcy to be with Rachel, will Rachel tell him to go packing, will Darcy find out? Loyalty, betrayal, following your heart, asking for and demanding for what you want and deserve--it's all there. This would be a fun book club read. I'm on hold for the sequel-Something Blue; it starts off where Something Borrowed begins with Darcy as the narrator--I can't wait!

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Cindy A., Circulation

Life as We Know It (DVD)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Life as We Know It (DVD)
I expected Life as We Know It starring Katherine Heigl to be a light romantic comedy. I saw it with the girls; we really enjoyed it, but it was fairly serious. Baby Sophie's parents die and name their best single friends as guardians--the two single friends they had set up on a blind date years before that ended before they even started the car to go to the restaurant. It is a cute movie and has humorous scenes like the classic "not knowing how to change a diaper." More than that, it was about these two people taking on a huge responsibility and falling in love with Sophie and each other.

Cindy A., Circulation

The Wizard Heir

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Cinda William Chima
The Wizard Heir
I enjoyed The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima even more than the first book in the series, The Warrior Heir. I appreciate that the teenaged characters who are gifted (warriors, sorcerers, wizards, etc.) are guided by responsible, involved adults. The stories are engaging and the world created is complete. Friendship, heroism, and courage are all played out in the present day with an old age magic shaping their lives. I would recommend this series to any young teen.

Cindy A., Circulation

 

 

Museum Adventure Pass-Howell Nature Center

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My family came to visit. So, like many people with visiting relatives, I took them to a local gem that I haven't been to in months. I used the Museum Adventure Pass system, that in the few years of it being available I haven't taken advantage of before. We went to the Howell Nature Center for a short afternoon outing. It suited us perfectly. The $4/adult suggested donation was waived by our pass.  The Nature Center has a short trail that let us see up close the native wildlife-though we stayed well back from the porcupine.

Those of us with a more stamina decided to explore the other trails. The older generation loved the beauty and quiet of the woods and meadows. The young set was thrilled by the challenges of ropes tied between trees to test their balance and coordination. I was spared the agony of my children taunting me to do the zip line as it was closed the day we went. We will be going back and my husband won't get off that easily. We are excited about checking out other Museum Adventure Passess this summer. What a great way to get a taste of what our area has to offer.

Cindy A Circulation

 

The Science of Disney Imagineering (DVD)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My boys and I have watched a couple DVD's in the new series The Science of Disney Imagineering. This past week we watched Energy, a few weeks ago we watched Newton's 3 Laws of Motion to help my 3rd grader prepare for his science test. It is an amazing series. The topic is presented by a fun young man and they use several rides at Disney parks to illustrate the topic. In Energy they use the Mad Tea Party spinning teacups to show how work is applied to an object and how energy conservation is demonstrated.

The series is designed for upper elementary, but it is a very fun way to see the topic in action. They also have two great additional items. There is a quiz covering the material. If you get the incorrect answer it plays the segment form the video as a review. They also include a try at home experiment-in Energy - it is how to make your own Newton's Cradle to demonstrate conservation of energy. My boys ask to see these DVD's numerous times-how often does that happen? You and your kids will learn a lot and have fun.

Cindy A. Circulation

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The Sign of the Beaver

Thursday, June 16, 2011
Elizabeth George Speare

The Sign of the Beaver is a Newberry Honor book every boy should read. Matt is left alone for months to protect the log house he and his father have built in the Maine wilderness in 1769 while the father goes to fetch the rest of the family. It is beautiful story of the strength of a young boy as he confronts the challenges of survival with limited resources. Matt is befriended by a local Indian boy, Attean, who teaches him the ways of his people in trade for teaching him English. Matt uses his copy of Robinson Crusoe to teach Attean English, in doing so he is challenged to think about his perceptions of the relationship between the settlers and the native Indians. The story is full of adventure to make it an easy read and full of depth for great discussions. It would also be a great read aloud book for a family as the imagery is wonderful.

Cindy A., Circulation

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The Memory of Water

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Karen White.

The Memory of Water by Karen White takes place on the banks of South Carolina. It is a haunting story of two sisters who were traumatized as children during a storm at sea with their mentally ill mother. Now they come together years later as adults to heal after one of the sisters takes her son out to sail in another storm. The water is not just the setting, it is one of the characters. You will taste the salt on your lips from the spray and smell the aroma of the pluff mud. You will hear the story from both sisters in color,as they are both artists.

Cindy A., Circulation

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