Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Haiku Moment: leek princess

Photo by Angie Quantrell

seeking light, water

face to the sun, wearing your

tiny fairy hat

buds tight with promise

urgency to bloom and seed

hello leek princess

by Angie Quantrell

Yakima Valley

Tales from My Garden


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Book Review: Whole Whale by Karen Yin and Nelleke Verhoeff

Whole Whale

Words by Karen Yin

Art by Nelleke Verhoeff

Barefoot Books, 2021

Thank you, Kidlit411 and Karen Yin for sending me a copy of Whole Whale! What a wonderfully huge and engaging picture book!

I follow several picture book and book blogs to keep up with what is going on in the book business. I love reading about new picture books and encouraging authors and illustrators. Several blogs share updates about agents, editors, and publishing houses, which is always interesting. And sometimes, to my joy, I comment on blog posts and my name is pulled from the hat and I win a copy! I have met many wonderful books (and authors and illustrators) this way. Plus, I’m keeping up with what’s happening in the kid book world. Win-win-win.

A recent post at Kidlit411 shared about Whole Whale and Karen Yin. Whole Whale is her debut picture book. What a splash! Be sure to hop over to Kidlit411 and read her interview.

Why I LOVE this book:

~ The book size is huge – just like a whole whale! 12 x 12 inches!

~ How do you fit a whole blue whale in a book? Can you? What a fun mystery for young readers.

~ Fun, rhyming language builds suspense

~ A catchy repeating chorus, “But can we fit a whole blue whale?”

~ A fun fold-out surprise at the end

~ The final page which lists all the animals in the book

~ Can you count 100? Fun, fun, fun!

~ A wide variety of animals, land, sea, and sky

~ Encouragement to make room for just one more

~ Fantastic colorful illustrations

Congratulations, Karen and Nelleke! What a fun book!

You can find Karen:

KarenYin.com (sign up for the Purposeful Prose Newsletter)

Twitter: @karenyin, https://twitter.com/karenyin

Instagram: @karensoffice, https://www.instagram.com/karensoffice/

Goodreads:Ā https://www.goodreads.com/karenyin

Karen sent me this book via Once Upon a Time, a bookstore in Montrose, CA. Thank you!

Monet was trying to help me post this review. Can we fit the big fat cat?


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Haiku Moment: peek-a-boo

what’s next door, beyond?

sentinel blocks me, but fails

peek-a-boo neighbor

peek-a-boo by Angie Quantrell

photo by Jamie Quantrell

Fort Simcoe Historical State Park, Washington


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Sunday Inspiration

Photo by Angie Quantrell

Yakima Valley


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Book Review: Pigs to the Rescue by John Himmelman

Pigs to the Rescue

Written and illustrated by John Himmelman

Henry Holt and Company, 2010

Who would you want to rescue you from certain peril? Be it a tractor breakdown, gardening mishap, or a broken shoe string? Pigs? That’s a great answer!

Our library is doing a thing now. They group like-themed picture books together, band them, and add a tag to tell you about the theme. I found this fun pile of picture books all about pigs! Of course I had to check them out. (They also group movies, if you liked this book you’ll love this one, and many other catchy groupings to, well, catch patron’s eyes. It works!)

Why I Like This Book:

~ Pigs! haha

~ Rescue pigs, not pigs that need rescuing, but pigs that do the rescuing

~ Rescue attempts that overshoot the mark, but truly are meant to be helpful

~ The farmer’s family, beneficiaries of the piggly help – their expressions!

~ Just a normal everyday family, going about life, having little problems – and BAM! The pigs race in to save the day (sort of)

~ The ending is funny and satisfying

~ Funny illustrations, humor, exaggeration

~ The helpful attempts of the pigs remind me of preschoolers trying to help mommy or daddy complete a task, totally adorable and sincere, but often causing more work to be done or creating mayhem along the way

This is such a great pig book. What is your favorite pig book? Oink, oink.


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The Egg Mystery

It started out innocently enough.

The day after Taylor, my son, mowed the pasture, I was playing my one-millioneth game of chuck-it with Ginger and she stopped to nose around up by the ditch. Usually NOTHING will keep her from her ball, but something smelled goooood. I went up to see, since she was ignoring me.

And rats. It was a broken egg, most likely crushed by the lawn tractor. This had happened once before, with a killdeer nest. The babies were so silent with fear, they flattened out and survived the blade. This egg was unhatched and didn’t survive. But when I looked closer, the shell appeared white, and the yolk huge. Not a killdeer egg. But what type of egg was it?

This past weekend, my honey was changing the sprinklers and found an egg. Right in the middle of the grass, tucked down low. I went hunting, and sure enough. A big-enough to be chicken, but not quite pointy on either end, with a tinge of green.

Same day, later, Taylor was weed eating the pasture edges and ditch bank. With his fans in tow (Donavyn and Autumn), they discovered 2 more broken eggs and 2 whole eggs, but none in a nest beside each other. Some on this side of the ditch, at least one on the far side. One of the broken ones could have been the broken one I found. Or not. Same type of egg.

Later, after dinner, I went walking the pasture. I found yet another egg, randomly laid in the middle of the pasture. That makes 6 or 7 eggs, not in a nest or placed close to each other. Chicken-egg sized but oblong rather than pointy, all with the slight greenish hue.

What a mystery! As often as the next door chickens come and eat our bugs (thank you, chickens!), one would think we should have an egg or two found in odd places. But though I often urged them to nest up and share, they all know where they live, and at the slightest hint of one of us, they go running home.

Which is good. Because. You know. Bird dog.

Pasture. Roaming neighbor chickens. Turkeys. Wildlife by the buckets. Hawks, magpies, the occasional heron, crows, ducks. I’ve been trying to think of the larger birds that could be possible wandering egg layers. There’s just no sense of why here, and there, and way over there??? The egg on the opposite side of the ditch sort of rules out chickens, as they would have to cross the water and they are not too motivated unless food is involved.

Here is one of the eggs, with my thumb to give an idea of size. Does anyone have any ideas? All day yesterday I was on high alert, watching for birds in that area. Zip.

The mystery continues.


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Sunday Inspiration

Photo by Angie Quantrell

Yakima Valley