And the Winner is…

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. Now, there is another winner for Division II but I didn’t read most of those books. I almost read all of Division I and I am not surprised at all that Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library won.

It’s a great book, my review here, and the interest I saw in the library was amazing. Congrats Chris Grabenstein!

Second Place goes to The Fourth Stall (my review here) and Third Place goes to Summer of the Wolves by Polly Carson Voiles (which I did not read).

I need to start reading next year’s nominees now!


Mo Willems

My husband and I were in New York for a big family event last week. So before the rest of his family arrived we went to the New York Historical Society Museum and Library for the Mo Willems exhibit. It was amazing!


The exhibit started with Willems’s early work with Sesame Street and Cartoon Network. It then moved to the first Pigeon books and early Elephant and Piggie. We watched a movie on the process involved in creating a Mo Willems picturebook.

I loved hearing about he uses text almost as another character–the change in font, size and color changing how the words are read. That aspect is my favorite of all his book. We also learned that Pigeon is drawn simply so children can easily emulate the drawings. I love it!

The exhibit did a great job of appealing to children and adults. If you’re in the area I highly recommend visiting. The exhibit runs through September 24.

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I came across my current Popsugar Reading Challenge title while shifting the audiobooks at work. I knew about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries youtube videos when they were super popular a few years ago. I even tried watching them once when I was sick back in the day, then forgot about them.

Not anymore! The book, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, is exactly what it sounds like– Lizzie Bennet’s diary. The same Lizzie Bennet from the Lizzie Bennet Diaries youtube videos. It’s even narrated by the same actress! In the book we delve deeper into Lizzie’s thoughts and backstory. For example, we have a better understanding of why she’s doing the videos and how she feels about her family situation.

I started watching the videos again on Friday and I’m almost done! It’s been really fun listening and watching around the same time, so I can remember what the book said about the situation and compare it to the video portrayal. The website, Pemberly Digital is also super interesting. You can follow the story (in this case, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries) through the videos and then also through various ancillary social media posts, like Jane’s Look Book or Kitty’s twitter feed.

If you haven’t yet, check out the videos here. Next I’m going to watch the March Family Letters. I love Little Women!

Bubble/Bath Storytime

Opening Song

lyrics found here

Bubble Action Rhyme:

A small bubble (make a circle with your hands)

A medium sized bubble (make a larger circle with your hands)

A great big bubble I see (make a large circle with your arms)

Now let’s count them, are you ready?

1 –2 – 3  (make 3 circles again)

POP!  (clap hands loudly once)

Source: Sunflower Storytime

The Treasure Bath by Dan Andreason


Tiny Tim Feltboard


I had a little turtle, I  named him Tiny Tim.

I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim.

He drank up all the water, he ate up all the soap.

Now he’s sick and bed, with a bubble in his throat!

source: childhood

Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure by Derek Anderson


Activity: Blow Bubbles

I had a bottle of bubbles and we took a “wiggle break” and blew bubbles. So much fun!

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems (shortened)


Closing Song

lyrics found here

Maud Hart Lovelace Roundup Round 2

Voting ended last Friday (8th) but the winner isn’t announced until April 23rd, so I still have time! Since my last post I crossed two more off the list.

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

I kind of wish I’d read it instead of listening, since I missed out on all the awesome illustrations. However, the audio is read aloud by Neil Gaiman himself, so that makes up for a lot. It’s a great story about time travel and imagination, as told by the father who went out to get milk for his children’s cereal.

The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander

The Fourth Stall certainly kept me on the edge of my seat! I’m torn because I want to like Mac, and sometimes I did, but mostly I didn’t. He makes for a great narrator however, and I really liked the gangster/noir vibe the audio book had. I didn’t notice the noir feeling as much when reading as opposed to listening, but that’s probably because the narrator did such a great job with the stereotypical inflections and stylizing when speaking. However, the narrator gave Vince a very NYC/New Jersey accent which doesn’t fit with the Illinois location.

Not my personal vote for the Maud Hart Lovelace winner, but I can see the appeal.

2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge

Popsugar is a great resource for book recommendations and workout ideas (I’m know there is more, but that’s why I use the site). When I saw that Popsugar had a reading challenge I knew I must participate. I’m trying to get friends and family to join me as well.

Since I was still trying to read all the Maud Hart Lovelace nominees, I had a lot of crossover. But I’m excited to start reading adult books again soon! I’ll update my progress, but so far I’ve read y books fitting these categories. I’m trying to not use a book for more than one category and also use adult and YA books, or at least longer juvenile books.


Currently reading: I Feel Bad about My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron for “a book that’s under 150 pages” and The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick for “a book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy.”