photo by Angie Quantrell
Yakima Valley, WA
by Angie 4 Comments
NOTE: We hiked the Columbia Hills State Park Hike the weekend before COVID-19 lock-downs. Even then, people on the trail were distancing and loud murmurs of impending disaster made everyone uneasy. I’m posting this now, in August 2022. Trail conditions are MUCH drier and hotter. I imagine rattlesnakes, ticks, sunburn, and dehydration are all the rage right now. I’m not going to personally check that out though. Prepare well!
Spring is the time to enjoy hikes along the Columbia River Gorge.
We hiked about 4.5 miles of the Crawford Oaks trails on Highway 14, on the north side of the highway near Horsethief Lake. I say spring and fall because there is only sparse shade on the service road headed up to the head of the canyon. Once you reach the ridge view trails and grasslands, well, all you have is grass, sagebrush, and weeds. No shade.
But. You have fantastic views! We could clearly see Mt. Hood, The Dalles, and up and down the Columbia River. While warm in the canyon, once we hit the top of the hills, the wind was blowing Goldendale-style. Good thing my hat has a neck band for holding it on. This kept us cool, but the sun was in full force.
One very cool thing we saw was the waterfall. You can hear it from the parking lot and on the way up, as you hike beside the stream and cross it to get to the trails. I doubt there is much water flowing in late summer and fall. The water attracted all sorts in winged (and annoying) insects. Butterflies, horseflies, and beetles. Birds were plentiful and filled the air with chattering, squabbling, color, and entertainment. One of my favorites has always been meadowlarks. We heard several singing their beautiful song as we hiked. Jays, magpies, a bald eagle, and numerous sparrows added to our enjoyment.
Squirrels darted all over the canyon area and chittered loudly at we hiking intruders.
All in all, it was a beautiful hike. While we did not see snakes, I know rattlesnakes will become an issue as it warms up.
This is a great hike right now. OH. We were about two weeks too early for the lupines. That is going to be one beautiful show.
Necessities: sunblock, hat, sunglasses, ample water, good shoes
The trailhead has one of the cleanest port-o-potties I’ve seen, plus a shaded picnic table. Trails are well marked.
Braver Than Brave
written by Janet Sumner Johnson
illustrated by Eunji Jung
Capstone Editions, 2022
That’s what I keep calling this delightful picture book about a young girl who must find her own kind of courage to ride the BIG one like her older brother and friends.
Thank you to Janet Sumner Johnson and KidLit411 for sending me a copy of Braver Than Brave!
There are so many reasons I enjoy this book. The message is wonderful for young children. The setting is fun, the characters are just right, and the problem-being brave enough to do something scary-is perfect for ages 3-5 who face an amusement park full of new experiences (in life and at actual amusement parks). And let’s not overlook the fact that Wanda is adorable!
Congratulations, Janet and Eunji!
Why I LOVE this book:
~the amusement park setting is fun and facing BIG rides is a common fear and experience of most children
~colorful, action-filled illustrations
~back matter that shares more about being brave
~a chicken exit (own it!)
Back Cover Blurb:
Go forth and be brave!
Not Yet, Yeti!
Written by Bethany V. Freitas
Illustrated by Maddie Frost
Clarion Books, HarperCollins Publishers LLC; 2022
Thank you, Jena Benton and Maddie Frost, for sending me this lovely copy of Not Yet, Yeti! I love Yeti, all the bright colors, and the theme of starting school. Yeti and his first day of school speak to my former-preschool and kindergarten teacher’s heart!
Be sure to visit Jena’s blog to read the original post, Simply 7 with Maddie Frost & GIVEAWAY: NOT YET, YETI! You can find Jena and Maddie on Twitter.
Why I Love This Book:
~the fun story
~the going-to-school-for-the-first-time theme
~learning new things
~the encouragement to try again, because you might not get it right the first time, and that just means “not yet, Yeti”
~big, colorful illustrations
~Yeti! I mean, just look at him!
~the friends Yeti makes (too adorable)
I would definitely read this book the first day of school! Congratulations, Bethany and Maddie! Thanks for introducing me to Yeti, Jena!
Look at the little cubbies and friends!
Yeti learns about the importance of patience and perseverance as he uses growth mindset on his first day of kindergarten.
It’s Yeti’s first day of school and there are so many new things to try! Maybe he can’t do everything he wants to do perfectly just yet, but his supportive teacher and helpful classmates are there to remind him that he can always try again.
Yeti’s journey to achieving his goals highlights the importance of nurturing a positive self-image and a growth mindset in early learners. With gentle humor, expressive illustrations, and a lovable protagonist, this simple and effective story is a perfect teaching aid for both parents and educators alike.
by Angie 2 Comments
Reach for the Stars
Written by Emily Calandrelli
Illustrated by Honee Jang
Godwin Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2022
Thank you, Kathy Temean at Writing and Illustrating, author Emily Calandrelli, and illustrator Honee Jang for sharing this beautiful book, Reach for the Stars! Thank you for sending me a copy to read and share. Congratulations!
A heartwarming picture book, Reach for the Stars shares the wonder and amazement of the natural world and all that is in it. Calandrelli leads readers through the growing up and exploring years in the life of a young girl, all the while encouraging readers to be amazed and to dream the big dreams about life. Jang perfectly captured the beauty and imagination of the story. Reach for the Stars is a lovely book to read to inspire, inform, and enjoy.
Why I Love This Book:
~ beautiful illustrations, dreamy and imaginative
~ the wonder and awe about the natural world the author and illustrator share throughout the story
~ the fun of reading the story in rhyme
~ the natural world is amazing, and that appreciation and respect for learning about and exploring more is front and center in this book
~ science! STEM. Girls in science!
~ the encouragement to readers to dream big, explore, and follow your dreams
From Emmy-nominated science TV star and host of Netflix’s hit series Emily’s Wonder Lab Emily Calandrelli comes an inspirational message of love and positivity.
From the moment we are born, we reach out. We reach out for our loved ones, for new knowledge and experiences, and for our dreams!
Whether celebrating life’s joyous milestones, sharing words of encouragement, or observing the wonder of the world around us, this uplifting book will inspire readers of every age. A celebration of love and shared discovery, this book will encourage readers to reach for the stars!