Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


8 Comments

It’s Not Just Rubber Stamping

6DCE0150-4C90-4223-BE83-E3EE429A5B27

We LOVE getting together to play with our toys. Some call it making messes, but we call it fun. And you can’t create and make rubber stamped cards without the creative process, and that means messes are made. Also mistakes, but we use mistakes as opportunities to be even more creative with our oops.

1523A5C5-B6B6-4303-B0E2-8989F8A81E34

It’s not just rubber stamping.

It’s crafting

E99182AE-37C8-499B-8777-EF59423CE8FC

chatting

applying (or ignoring) theories of art composition

FD553B83-49B6-4BB9-A6E6-BCCC86A4C74A

using our imaginations

sipping tea (or coffee or a special dessert drink)

648D07A4-9A5E-4F99-A160-7430AF24744B

solving world problems

singing the oldies, sometimes badly and off-tune (me, always with the wrong lyrics)

02E109F9-1291-48C4-8FF4-035955110901

sharing life

telling stories

D3DF7558-26F4-48E1-B54F-A3A34193B0F2

listening to music

keeping cats off the table

9F11B79D-4DDB-470C-B2BD-8F36F353C556

playing games

getting older

72E609EB-B7ED-4F01-BE4C-7D5D3434559C

sharing resources

enjoying fine literature (or just literature on a CD)

B732D983-F7CC-48BE-9FF9-7037B5D2081F

making goals

going for walks

9A774B91-B6DC-4B24-8213-EAC0DD08F0DEbuilding from each other’s ideas

paving the way to send snail mail messages to friends and family

36AA1EE9-667E-408A-B0D3-54133D15B799

making gifts to share

eating too much

0DA4FC29-EC44-49F3-A78E-BBE8624C9BC8recycling (saving rubber stamps from the landfills and reusing paper and craft items down to the tiniest scraps)

storing memories (and collectively attempting to recall long ago events)

F942FA1A-EA2A-4CD5-8906-BFA570D0EEDB

visiting friends

and building love.

 

Completed card totals for this trip: 76

Friends involved in this weekend: 7


2 Comments

Haiku Moment: coffee with friends

BE13EB1D-ECBF-45E2-AE58-90E38762F1AB

steaming black, sip, chat

sable dunked, savored, enjoyed;

coffee with good friends

 

coffee with friends by Angie Quantrell

F8DA4F6D-55CB-41F7-B519-46AB446E1CB9


Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Making Their Voices Heard, The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe by Vivian Kirkfield #TBT

AD2B5748-8F1B-4075-8B0B-CA7D73F7FAA2

Now, I know this Throwback Thursday only goes back to last fall (October), but look at the beautiful book I received in the mail from Little Bee Books! I thought I would share the cover and a few inside pages again. Just because.

70DC0DBF-4BC6-4B9C-8D70-79F4F8A582ED

You can read the original posts (throwbacks) by clicking the links below.

Book Report: Making Their Voices Heard, The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe by Vivian Kirkfield

Author Vivian Kirkfield Interview

***The Giveaway mentioned in the Author Interview post has concluded.

436D7735-16E6-4DCE-9332-067450692456

About Vivian Kirkfield (Author)

Vivian Kirkfield’s career path is paved with picture books. From shelving them in a children’s library and reading them with her kindergarteners, to writing them, her goal has always been to help kids become lovers of books and reading. She is the author of many picture books including: Four Otters Toboggan: An Animal Counting Book; Pippa’s Passover Plate; From Here to There: Inventions that Changed the Way the World Moves; and Sweet Dreams, Sarah. Her parent-teacher guide, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is a valuable resource for child-care facilitators. Vivian lives in the quaint New England village of Amherst, New Hampshire, where the old stone library is her favorite hangout and her ten-year-old grandson is her favorite Monopoly partner.
Visit Vivian’s website.

About Alleanna Harris (Illustrator)

Alleanna Harris has been drawing for as long as she can remember. As a little kid, she would draw on every page of her mom’s legal pads, her notebooks at school, and on the programs at church. She graduated from the University of the Arts with a BFA in animation with honors, and it was during this time she realized her love for illustration. Alleanna finds inspiration in the beauty of everyday things. She seeks to create images that are immersive, rich in color, and have a sense of warmth. She lives in New Jersey. Find out more about her at alleannaharris.com.

9D07B4DF-35A3-4338-A47C-6BCDC1444DAA

I hope you’ll find a copy of Making Their Voices Heard and enjoy it yourself.


4 Comments

Book Report: Winter Cats by Janet Lawler

F1DC253C-AC40-4139-90A4-1DB400F8FA40

Winter Cats

Written by Janet Lawler

Illustrated by Ela Smietanka

Albert Whitman & Company, 2019

 

I won a copy of Winter Cats by Janet Lawler from Writing and Illustrating, a blog by Kathy Temean, Janet Lawler, and Albert Whitman & Company. Thank you! I adore cats (and have one who believes she is queen of both indoor and outdoor realms).

There are so many new and wonderful books being released. I enjoy reading about them on a variety of blogs. Sometimes the blogs have giveaways. If one takes the time to read and comment about the new books, authors, or illustrators, your name is put into a hat.  On good days, your name is pulled out. And TA-DA, a shiny new book appears in your mailbox! I love shiny new books in my mailbox.

I encourage you to support authors and illustrators by learning about their work and searching for their books at bookstores and libraries, two of my most favorite places to visit.

73EE35FE-4CFC-41B9-9555-51D0A84A655F

Why I love this book:

~ Cats! I love cats. I’ve nearly always had a cat or two in my life. Right now I have a cat who adores her daddy (not me). But that’s a different story.

~ Winter! Winter is a favorite season for me. The snow, the holidays, the expectant hope of new life in spring.

~ The story is told in rhyme. This is a lots of fun to read aloud to young readers.

~ The winter activities are the same ones we enjoy, but in Winter Cats, the cats enjoy them. Too adorable!

~ Indoor versus outdoor cats. I love both. This is a good problem for a main character to have. When our cats were forced to be indoor cats for a short time, there was no joy in our lives. They were monsters! I am glad Willy was able to sneak out and enjoy the outside.

~ I appreciate the nature activities and the characters getting outside. Nature is a very important theme to me.

~ Friendship is a main theme for Winter Cats. Willy makes new friends while he is outside. He invites them home to visit. These friends are responsible and clean up their mess. What great guests!

~ The colorful winter blue illustrations are perfect.

Amazon Blurb:

Willy’s an indoor cat who dreams of becoming an outdoor cat, but his parents tell him that indoor cats and outdoor cats are different. When he sees the outdoor cats having tons of wintery fun, he decides to sneak out and join in! Willy and his new outdoor friends soon learn that labels are meaningless in the face of friendship.

So if you love picture books, winter, cats, or rhyming, be sure to check out Winter Cats.

4592DAD4-797E-40EB-8E5F-69670382BC72


Leave a comment

Book Report: Everything is Always Gonna be Alright, Durban Frankenshooze by Jamie McHone

Everything is Always Gonna be Alright, Durban Frankenshooze

Written by Jamie McHone

Illustrated by Walter Policelli

Mascot Books, November 5, 2019

 

Happy Book Birthday! Today is a special day for both Jamie and Walter as Everything is Always Gonna be Alright, Durban Frankenshooze is released to the world. Book birthdays are super important to book authors and illustrators. Cue the music, balloons, and confetti!

Chris Baker at Mascot Books sent me a review copy of Everything is Always Gonna be Alright, Durban Frankenshooze. I am happy to spread the word about this new release.

662EE1C7-8C54-4D4A-BE94-A1F605BC43A4

Book Blurb:

Durban is a bird with giant sneakers and wings so small he can’t fly. He’s tired of being made fun of by all the other flying birds, so he sets off on a journey to find out who he really is. Along the way, he meets Maudry, a smart and sassy female bird, and Wainwright, a grumpy worm with a short temper. Together, the unusual trio goes through thick and thin to discover what it really means to be yourself.

This zany tale of Durban Frankenshooze and his friends will help children begin dialogues about diversity, acceptance, and appreciation of differences, all while building vital language skills.

Southwest Virginia native Jamie McHone is delighted to share her very first children’s book with young readers everywhere! Although McHone enjoys animals, she does not have birds in her home in Blacksburg, Virginia. Instead, she has Rottweilers!

To set up an interview, reading, signing, or for information regarding Everything is Always Gonna be Alright, Durban Frankenshooze, please contact Chris Baker at chris@mascotbooks.com.

D53A6435-DC4C-41BB-BEB2-334CAF2FCAD6

What I liked about this book:

~ The names are super creative and fit each character and the problems faced by the characters. Clever and fun!

~ The issue of feeling unlovable due to personal characteristics-be it tiny wings, huge feet, needing glasses, or having thick eyebrows-is universal to humans of any age. Young readers will discover how Durban, Maudry, and Wainwright form a unique friendship and head out to explore the world and solve their “challenges.” (Really, they have fun together and learn to enjoy life in spite of their perceived physical shortcomings.)

~The vocabulary is wide and varied. Readers will be exposed to different words, idioms, and sayings. Stopping to discuss new ideas and vocabulary will enrich the story and reading time.

~While the story is told in a longer format and might not work for a read-it-all-in-one-session, it would be easy to break the story into sections for multiple readings. Older readers will enjoy reading this as a chapter book.

~I love the friends aspect of this book. Despite their differences, all 3 main characters find commonalities and learn to enjoy time spent together. They also make new friends as they travel on their adventures.

 

For a fun read, check out Everything is Always Gonna be Alright, Durban Frankenshooze.

525CDA3F-6143-447F-9039-3B0106E59F80

 


Leave a comment

Book Report: Badger’s Perfect Garden

E0C103C2-2FFC-42C7-B5E4-D0CAB81E7FE8

Badger’s Perfect Garden

Written by Marsha Diane Arnold

Illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki

Sleeping Bear Press, 2019

 

Welcome Badger’s Perfect Garden!

I read a blog post about this new picture book and checked my library for a copy. They didn’t have one yet, so I requested the addition. Here it is! I love being the first one to check out a new book.

Hint: If you see a book you want to borrow from your library but they don’t have it, most libraries have a way to suggest new titles. Spread the word. This really helps authors.

I love the imaginative setting of Badger’s Perfect Garden. I know I’m not the only one who remembers being a small child and creating tiny worlds of my own, places where animals talked and anything I dreamed up happened?

361C73BE-24F8-4BAF-BB14-A0E10898C860

Badger’s Perfect Garden seems to be an extension of my early childhood tiny worlds. I love Badger and his plans to plant the perfect garden. He’s been carefully saving seeds and has made plans to prep the soil and plant the seeds just so. Badger has great friends who help him with his gardening adventure. And then they wait. But a summer storm wreaks chaos on Badger’s dream garden. I love the rest of the story, but you’ll have to read it to find out. 🙂

I am Badger, with my perfect garden plans every spring. I’m not beyond experimenting to see what happens. I hoard seeds and plot where they would best grow. But every year, by the end of summer, my brilliant plans have exploded with choatic growth of every which sort. But still, I plot, plan, and dream. Just like Badger.

What I love about Badger’s Perfect Garden:

*Badger and his type A personality feel just like me. 🙂

*The friends and friendships in Badger’s Perfect Garden are wonderful. Badger’s friends live with him through his plans, disappointment, and story resolution. Who wouldn’t want friends who would be right beside us all the way? And help with the hard work of gardening?

*The setting is one of my favorites, imaginative and nature-based.

*The plans and what really happens encourages readers to go with the flow. Some things we just can’t control. Let go and enjoy.

*The writing is simple, easy to understand, and tell the story in the best way.

*The illustrations are colorful and just perfect for this picture book.

 

You can find Marsha Diane Arnold on Twitter @MarshaDArnold

I hope you’ll buy a copy of Badger’s Perfect Garden or check it out at the library. Great read!


1 Comment

Holiday Haiku – 25 Days of Christmas Haiku: love

6C460E29-700E-49CE-B10B-AC5F06B1FF4E

Christmas season, love

comes in many forms, marriage

but one; friendship too

 

love

by Angie Quantrell

 

 

0AC6D7BB-488E-40F3-9CA7-ED687394C2F7

Join me on a Christmas Haiku journey as I celebrate with words, thoughts, and photos that take me deep into my family’s Christmas traditions. Read more Christmas Haiku posts here.

May this Season of Light brighten your life and fill your heart with love.


Leave a comment

Book Report: The Three Rules of Everyday Magic by Amanda Rawson Hill

D480A5AA-C854-4F85-9BD5-27E4697DFDD6

The Three Rules of Everyday Magic

Written by Amanda Rawson Hill

Boyds Mills Press, An Imprint of Highlights, 2018

 

Believe. Give. Trust.

Those three rules of everyday magic are what give Kate hope over difficult life circumstances. From her Grammy, who is sinking into loss of memory, these rules are passed to Kate to help her deal with a fading best friend,  missing father, and stressful home and school life. Though Kate doesn’t believe in magic, she clings to the three rules to seek help with her struggles.

The Three Rules of Everyday Magic is a well-written, interesting chapter book by Amanda Rawson Hill. I loved the characters, situation, and real-life stresses faced by Kate and her family. Tough issues, like mental illness, memory loss, school, and friendship give this book a current world flavor. The music theme ties the components of the story together in a refreshing and believable way.

I recommend The Three Rules of Everyday Magic for upper elementary and middle school students, especially those who are struggling with home life and need someone with whom to identify.

Thanks for a copy of The Three Rules of Everyday Magic from Literary Rambles, Natalie Aguirre, and Amanda Rawson Hill. Thank you for sharing good literature for young readers.

 


Leave a comment

Book Report: Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners

3CEC998C-2078-441A-9A0B-3060BB2276C9

Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners

by Natalie Rompella

Sky Pony Press, 2017

 

What’s a girl to do when she is suddenly placed in a class WITH the hard-nosed teacher and WITHOUT her best friend and co-chef? The project they have been planning for years is swept off the table and the friends are paired with new partners.

Ana is devastated to learn she must partner with Dasher, a new kid from Alaska. All the new girl talks about is sled dogs. Worse, she has no culinary skills! Even worse, best friend Lily is paired with Via, another non-cook but super cool girl.

AND only Lily knows the truth about Ana. OCD dogs her every waking minute, leading Ana to obsess over germs and wash her hands to the point of cracked, chapped skin.

There are so many great things about Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners! I loved the characters and the middle school angst. The finer details of friendship, making new friends, OCD, school, projects, hobbies, teamwork, trying something new – all of these important issues play together in this engaging chapter book.

I learned new information about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and treatment for this disorder. I also learned many new things about racing sled dogs and creating unique recipes. Readers will find at least one thing to identify with through the characters in Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners. Readers looking for books about dogs, friends, cooking and creating, going to school, or OCD will love this book.

Two thumbs up for Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners by Natalie Rompella.

P.S. ACTUAL recipes are shared in this book, creations by the main characters.

02C7EA96-A1DE-4001-9129-31A99B161ED9

I won a copy of Cookie Cutters & Sled Runners after reading an interview with Natalie Rompella and commenting about her new book at groggorg.blogspot.com. You can read the interview here.


2 Comments

Will Stop for Pennies

0FDD5E4A-0671-4B21-BA05-C35E0424E176

I’m one of those people.

You know, the ones who dart out between cars to grab one penny. The ones who poke gum on a stick to secure a coin in a hole. The one who makes others fall over the top of her as she stops post-haste and bends over to get whatever coin catches her eyes.

I will stop for pennies.

Pennies don’t carry much value, except for making change. They are perhaps the least favorite coin due to the fact that you need 100 before you can even get a dollar bill. Or 25 for a quarter, 10 for a dime, 5 for a nickel.

I still stop for pennies.

No matter their size or value, small things are important.

A smile. A wink. A hug. A pretty rock from a grubby little hand. A ladybug on a sleeve. Flowering weeds clutched and given as a bouquet. A scribbled drawing. A gentle touch. A helpful hand. A peanut butter kiss. A wave. A friendly, “No, you go first.” A penny on the sidewalk.

I stop for pennies. And small things. For small things pile up like treasures until our cups and hearts run over. It’s the small things that count.

Go ahead. Stop for pennies.