Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


Leave a comment

Haiku Moment: fire

A16350E1-FAA8-44EF-9317-BEAC82D14FEC

blaze of summer’s last

fling; scarlet burns in sunlight

leaves aflame with light

 

fire by Angie Quantrell

 

Photo credit: Angie Quantrell, November 2019, Columbia River State Park, Washington


Leave a comment

Haiku Moment: fall passion

F605A002-72AF-44A0-A972-56FBFAEE2F2B

colors scream intense

vibrant, exploding passion

swan song before cold

 

brilliant gemstone hues

garden offspring demand gaze,

dried promise for spring

 

hastily comes foe

winter breathes down our neck, quick!

capture fall passion

 

fall passion by Angie Quantrell

EE563B23-1EF4-44D8-8028-D19A742ED876

Souvenirs of the long summer growing season. Just like that-blink-and cold winds usher in the end of heat and beginning of cold. Get out today and store fall beauty in your mind’s eye to save for the dark cold snowy white and gray days of winter.

6D6E907F-AED5-414B-B908-F6F19EA7DCB8


2 Comments

Picture Books of the Moment: Gage & Autumn Picks

F5460636-EB49-4B27-811E-B9569B74699C

Meet Gage (3 going on 4) and Autumn (2 going on 16). Gigi is also featured above, all 3 of them enjoying a Babybel cheese break.

Preschoolers have discerning tastes and interests. I’d like to add that both of these magnificent grands are eloquent, opinionated, book afficionados. Here are their current favorite picture books. And why I think each has preschool staying power.

ED2B23FC-2461-4195-A025-A29FB4053E0B

“Again!”

This remark nearly guarantees a great picture book. They should call it the AGAIN Award. SPOILER ALERT: Both grands love Peter and his adventures in the snow, though Gage is convinced the snowball did not melt, but is in fact, tucked beneath Peter’s chin as he sleeps. Don’t believe me? Look at that page. The background white section looks exactly like a snowball. They both love the snow adventures.

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

Simplicity of text, universal preschool and young reader experiences, nature focus, playfulness of a child’s day in the snow

8A366B7D-8055-40BA-8FA7-53D3E18F90D7

Froggy and his silly antics keep Gage and Autumn glued to the story. They love me to read this to them as they eat lunch. They love jumping to the conclusion before I even get there. The laughing portions of the book have great child appeal.

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

Humor, age-appropriate excitement and desire to enjoy life, Froggy’s disregard for reality (hibernate in winter), repetitive language

891EC5DB-E976-422D-BA31-6DB4AD50047E

Of all the books we read, this one surprises me. Not that it’s a bad book, but, you know, she dies at the end. Despite that, Gage LOVES this book. He knows the ending and he loves how the old lady gets larger and larger. I always use a sing-song voice when I read it, so music complements the retelling. Who knew?

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

Illustrations, musical options, repetitive, cumulative, silly, full of exaggeration, contains extra details that can be shared as readers mature

9BDA2475-FB4E-456A-8C9B-E4C069BC1EF6

This book was a hit the very first time I read it, with both Gage and Autumn. They love memorizing the story and retelling it themselves. I did hear that older brother, Donavyn, was purposely saying the wrong thing as she was reading to herself. This made her very angry! (This might have happened with the next book instead…). Preschoolers love reading about the caterpillar.

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

Nature aspects of change, life cycle, eating, growing, overeating; days of the week; interesting pages and features like holes and different-sized pages; simple text and easy to recall story; classic picture book tale

F0CD1B65-52DE-4B8C-8721-9657FEF9783B

This was one of the first books I dug out to share with Gage and Autumn. They loved it and immediately memorized the pattern of text and wanted to read it alone. This book is easy to figure out by simply turning the pages. The bright colorful illustrations help readers retell and enjoy the story.

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

Predictable, patterned, colorful illustrations, teaches colors, simple text, imaginative (blue horse?!), fun to read, readers enjoy being in control and being the ‘teacher’ as they read

67CF677E-3AF5-4491-B57E-D68CEBF9A7F3

Anything with a flap is award-winning for preschoolers. This simple book has repetitive text and involves visual and textual clues to use to guess the answer. Fill-in-the-blank reading is lots of fun and both Gage and Autumn love shouting the answers. Animals, flaps, mystery! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taped this book back together.

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

Lift the flaps, simplicity, animal connections, emotions, cause and effect, thinking skills to figure out which pet is best

0A87771B-0405-40D8-90AC-4D396AB694D7

Three words: Hug, Bobo, Mommy. Who says you can’t tell a story with only 3 words? Everybody knows about hugs and mommy’s. Gage and Autumn love this book because of the mommy factor. Mommy’s are important and it would be horrible if she went missing. All the animals work together to help Bobo. So many good things in three words and great illustrations.

Why I think this book deserves the AGAIN Award:

The mommy factor, hugs, friends, helping, simple text, universal needs and desires, family, being lost and getting found

Introducing the AGAIN Award. You heard it here first, friends.

Let’s find other books that deserve the AGAIN Award. For in those beloved books, we will find the joy of reading and the shared experiences of lap time.

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Book Report: Sophie’s Squash

D1B5A2E5-4861-45EA-AE27-01BC5AAE37E0

Sophie’s Squash

Written by Pat Zietlow Miller

Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

Schwartz & Wade Books, 2013

45391765-47AE-4DE3-B735-E319FF04A41D

My collection of potential Bernice squash

Meet one of my favorite fall books: Sophie’s Squash.

One day, Sophie falls in love with a butternut squash while shopping with her parents at the farmers’ market. And names her Bernice. While Sophie’s parents have culinary plans for the squash, Sophie adopts Bernice as her child and lovingly, protectively, and firmly cares for her new baby. Plans contradict each other as Bernice matures the way of other squash and Sophie’s parents attempt to put Bernice out of her misery. But Sophie remains committed to the relationship and cares for Bernice in such manner as dictated by squash. And then, surprise!

I won’t ruin it for you, but I love the ending. And the sequel, Sophie’s Squash Go to School, is just as much fun.

What I love: The VOICE of Sophie and the entire cast (even Bernice) is fantastic. I love her character. I adore fall books. I love stories relatable to young children. Everyone knows at least one kid who forms an odd yet endearing attachment to some random item. I love that about this book. I love Sophie and her commitment to Bernice.

Thanks to Pat for this copy of Sophie’s Squash in Chinese! How fun is that?!

54AADAD6-C38D-4682-B4DC-4F1577F27F26


4 Comments

Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: 31 October

AB96CD53-BA90-46FF-A837-E278B2215619

autumn’s pumpkin king!

here today, cooked tomorrow;

commence with slaughter

 

by Angie Quantrell

 

good-bye 31 of October, hello 1 November!

Besides pumpkin delicacies, what are you looking forward to in November? We’d love to read your haiku! Or just your comment. But you could write your comment in 5-7-5 syllable format! That would be fun. ­čśë Also, it would be haiku.

 


Leave a comment

Happy Hump Day Haiku Challenge: pumpkin

0BB00CBA-CDE6-4691-9CCD-3989E210D0D0

harbinger of change

fecund to bursting with life,

sleep cycle begin

 

pumpkin by Angie Quantrell

 

Pumpkins are some of my favorite fall sights. Add colorful falling leaves, the crunch and swish of piles swirling as I walk, brisk air, silver mornings, and bustling life preparing for winter’s rest. Autumn is the time to stock up, cozy up, and cuddle in to enjoy hot soup, warm drinks, and wild weather. Who’ll join me?

What signs of fall do you enjoy? Add your favorites in the comment section. Bonus points for haiku!

 


Leave a comment

Talk to Me Tuesday: Socks with Sandals?

AC11EFA4-8163-46F8-88DA-9FF45E91D1CC

See above official Nana bus work uniform when riding the rail between late summer and early fall. Near freezing temps in the morning, lovely 70’s in the afternoon. This is my AM solution, a perfect solution in my mind.

I know, I know. Wearing socks with sandals? A fashion faux pas on so many levels. We used to tease my daddy about wearing socks (white KNEE socks) with his sandals, a haute couture nod to blindingly pale flesh-colored knees and leg skin.

But sometimes, the toes just get too cold. The tennis shoes reside in the trunk, ever ready for a walk when out running errands, the air felt too cold to stop outside in the pre-dawn and put on sneakers, and I must quickly be on my way to perform Nana bus duties.

Socks with sandals won.

So. What’s your vote? YES for socks, NO for no socks. Bonus points if you admit to wearing socks with your sandals.


Leave a comment

Early Pumpkin Harvest

Safe and gorgeous

By Angie Quantrell @AngieQuantrell

I harvested 8 pumpkins this morning.

It’s August.

Harvesting pumpkins in August just does not sound right. Especially when it will be around 90 later this afternoon.

Not right at all.

Extenuating circumstances encouraged me to wade deep in the bristly pumpkin patch and knee high grass to grasp my favorite orange fall buddies. Er, I mean, signs of the season. Sure, I talk to my pumpkins. And those dratted slugs and squash bugs. I do admit to speaking kindly to my pumpkin pals. Not so much with the vermin.

Doesn’t everyone talk to their plants and garden inhabitants? No? Hmmm.

Slugs. They were eating HOLES in my pumpkins! I rolled one large pumpkin over and a huge spotted slug, probably 3-4 inches long when stretched out, was coiled comfortably in the blossom end hollow. UGH. Tiny little slime booger slugs were creeping all over as well.

Odd. Spring. Weather. We had the weirdest spring. That is all I can blame on the extremely early crops. It was very warm, very hot, and then very cold. Plants in my area don’t know what to do. Except grow.

Squash bugs. I’ve been so busy packing up the house, I missed recognizing the sign of yellowed leaves that indicated I had extra special garden pest visitors. Why, those┬áhungry little insects have moved right in!

Orange. These pumpkin babies were colorful and ready to visit my porch.

Snip, snip, tug, and off we went away from hungry mouths to the safety of shade and protection.

Fall (in August) here we come!

How is your garden growing this year?