Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


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Book Review: With Great Power, The Marvelous Stan Lee by Annie Hunter Eriksen and Lee Gatlin

With Great Power, The Marvelous Stan Lee, An Unauthorized Biography

Written by Annie Hunter Eriksen

Illustrated by Lee Gatlin

Page Street Kids, 2021

Ka-POW! Sending thanks to Annie Hunter Eriksen, Lee Gatlin, and Kathy Temean for sending me a copy of this super picture book about Stan Lee, the comic book hero icon!

I enjoyed reading Kathy’s feature on With Great Power, The Marvelous Stan Lee, An Unauthorized Biography. You can read her post here.

This fun picture book is filled with engaging history, colorful action scenes, and plenty of comic book feel. I thoroughly loved reading more about Stan Lee. If you love comic books and super heroes, you’ll want to read this one! THWACK!

What I Loved About This Book:

~ fascinating information about Stan Lee

~ detailed, comic book feel of the illustrations

~ fun and engaging read

~ inspirational story

Amazon Blurb:

Every superhero has their origin story: a radioactive spider bite turns ordinary teen Peter Parker into Spider-Man, wealthy Tony Stark escapes captivity by building his Iron Man suit, scientist Bruce Banner survives gamma rays only to transform into the Hulk.

For Stan Lee, it was books of adventure, monsters, and magic that helped him transform from an ordinary boy to a superstar superhero creator. At first, reading these stories was a pathway to a world bigger than his family’s tiny apartment in New York City, but it wasn’t long until Stan was crafting his own stories, creating comics professionally when he was still just a teenager! Still, writing wasn’t exciting when the heroes were always the same: strong, perfect, and boring. Stan had a revolutionary idea. What if anyone―even an ordinary kid―could be a superhero?

Discover more about the life of the Cameo King, known to many for his appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how he revolutionized comics with this vibrant introduction bustling with action, humor, and references for fans new and old. ‘Nuff said!


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Christmas Card Ideas: Stamping with Friends Doubles Ideas AND Resources!

Here are some Christmas card ideas to help you get started. I suggest creating together with at least 1 other friend, possibly 2 or 12. Share resources (stamps, inks, papers, ribbons, etc.) as you chit-chat, and those ideas will just fly off your stamp pads!

Plus, it’s great fun to visit as you labor away on your cutting, coloring, and works of art.

Stumped? Just glance at what’s on the table or in the hands of your co-conspirators. Or scroll Pinterest or stamping-related websites. Stamping magazines are also full of completed cards for inspiration.

Stamp, cut, color, glue, and glitter. Add embellishments. Ta-dah!

Christmas greetings are ready to go.

The hardest part is trying to figure who gets which card. Or, in our case, how can we give up our FAVORITES? That is always a challenge.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas season!

P.S. Thanks for the inspiration, Alyson and Renee!


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Haiku Moment: forest popcorn

wet drippy wander

way off road and tummy growls

pop forest popcorn

forest popcorn by Angie Quantrell

photo by Angie Quantrell

Oak Creek Road, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Pacific Northwest

NOTE: This is not really popcorn, though it looks as if popcorn grows on trees, er, shrubs. I’m not sure if it’s edible. Do not eat this popcorn!


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Blackout Poem: pretend

I’ve been wanting to try a blackout poem for quite some time. And then I found this falling apart, old copy of Pippi Longstocking and decided to give it a try. The thinking and imagining is quite different when one is removing words instead of adding them. It’s a fun challenge!


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Haiku Moment: beach house for sale

Ocean Shores, August 2021

summer fairy house

make-believe play at the beach

move-in ready pad

crash! whoosh! boom! a storm

thunders through, rearranges-

fixer upper sale

Ocean Shores, October 2021

beach house for sale by Angie Quantrell

photos by Angie Quantrell, Ocean Shores, WA


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Haiku Moment: frog prince

wanted: frog to kiss

why are you hiding from me?

lips coming your way

not interested?

maybe I don’t need a prince

just a froggy friend

frog prince

by Angie Quantrell

Yakima Valley, WA


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Haiku Moment: feast

unplanned garden guest

wood and wet quench appetite

feast, tiny world king.

feast by Angie Quantrell

photos by Angie Quantrell, Yakima Valley


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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: Squish, Squash, Squished by Rebecca Kraft Rector and Dana Wulfekotte

Squish, Squash, Squished

Written by Rebecca Kraft Rector

Illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte

Nancy Paulsen Books, 2021

As the oldest child in a family of 4 children and 2 parents, I can relate to being squished in the car. And squabbling and fighting about it, especially over who gets a window seat. (This was before the time of cell phones, electronic games, and movie viewing options many children have now. Back in the dark ages. We had a car. A station wagon car. With fold up bench seats in the way back, but that was usually full with the family dog and picnic lunch stuff.)

I digress.

I won a copy of Squish, Squash, Squished from Rebecca Kraft Rector through Kathy Temean’s blog, Writing and Illustrating. You can view the original post to learn more about Rebecca and Dana here. THANK YOU, Rebecca and Kathy!

Squish, Squash, Squished is such a delight to read! I loved the problem (squished in the back seat), the characters (adorable cuties with their no-nonsense mom who takes extreme-but fun-measures to stop the bickering), and the imaginative cast of characters who hop in for a ride. The words are just perfect with plenty of language and word-play, and the illustrations are the icing on the cake.

I suggest this book for anyone who has bickering children in the backseat, anyone who has children (or is a child), those who love fun word-play and stories, and creative minds who believe animals can do the things they do in this book.

Why I Love This Book:

~ told in the style of It Could Always Be Worse, the escalating drama is wonderful

~ I love the word-play and sing-song silliness

~ fun cast of characters, a mix of people and animals (love it)

~ adorable setting and the perfect illustrations to make this picture book of the magical sort

~ while not preaching about keeping it quiet in the backseat, readers will get the hint that it could always be worse . . .

Living in an RV, I sometimes drift into the theme of being squish, squash, squished, but I better hush-mush or my hubby might invite in some passers-by…


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Book Review: Nibbles, A Green Tale (RE: A Green Way to Get Rid of Dandelions)

Nibbles, A Green Tale

Written and illustrated by Charlotte Middleton

Marshall Cavendish Children, 2009

I have so many wonderful memories of the guinea pigs we loved during my years of teaching preschool. Our mama gave us hours of delight as we watched her lead her trail of babies around the room. Rustling plastic bags brought squeals demanding whichever “greens” we had brought. Both preschoolers and my family members loved snuggling and playing with these cuties.

Imagine my delight when I saw Nibbles, A Green Tale at the library! Nibbles is obviously a guinea pig, one who loves dandelions. With our current pasture-wide crop of dandelions, I couldn’t wait to read this picture book. If only I could borrow a city of dandelion-loving guinea pigs and let them camp out in the pasture for a week or two. That would take care of the clouds of white seeds.

Why I LOVE this book:

~ guinea pigs! Wheet, wheet!

~ guinea pigs who eat dandelions

~ guinea pigs wearing clothes!

~ a fun story of how one guinea pig rescued dandelions from becoming extinct

~ a green strategy to solve dandelion problems (though the sheer number of them needed to clear a pasture…)

~ adorable illustrations

~ wonderful story and characters

There is a sequel to this book, Nibbles: Another Green Tale. I can’t wait to track down a copy.