No Wind of Blame

I first read a Georgette Heyer book because Lauren Willig, one of my favorite authors mentioned her Regency Romance books at a book signing. I enjoyed the book (can’t remember which one I read though), but it didn’t wow me like her Regency Romances do to others. Later on that year I discovered her mysteries because they have the most gorgeous re-release covers.

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Heyer’s mysteries take place in her present time, which is 1930s England. I have a new obsession with this time between the wars in England. It’s so glamorous, even with the depression going on. Maybe that’s because I only read about relatively well to do people in England in the 20s and 30s…

Back to the book. The Goodreads synopsis reads:Tragedy befalls the Carter family following an eventful visit from a Russian prince and a scandalous blackmail letter. The murder of Wally Carter is a bewildering mystery — how does one shoot a man crossing a narrow bridge without being near the murder weapon when it is fired? The analytical Inspector Hemingway reveals his unnerving talent for solving a fiendish problem.

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The murder doesn’t happen until well into the story, which drags the plot a bit, but also lets the reader get acclimated to the interesting array of characters. There is Carter’s wife/widow Ermyntrude who used to be an actress, married into money, and has admirers all over the county. She is prone to drama and excitement and everyone assumes Carter married her for her money. Then there is Ermyntrude’s daughter from her first marriage, Vicky. Vicky is a “bright young thing” and also prone to drama and manipulation. She tries on a new personality and outfit multiple times a day, but is very protective of her mother. Also at the house is Wally’s ward, Mary, who is Vicky’s opposite in almost every way. Lastly, there is the Russian prince, who may or may not be what he claims.
There are, of course, more characters than what I mentioned, but those four are the main ones. With the exception of Wally, our murder victim. But he’s boring. At the beginning I really disliked Vicky, but by the end, she was my favorite character. Perhaps the character matured throughout the book, or maybe she just grew on me. I can’t say I recommend this book if you have not read any Georgette Heyer, but if you have and are looking for a cozy mystery, go ahead!

Summer Storytime

This summer I am now in charge of toddler and family storytime. Add that with the increased amount of crazy going on at work between summer reading and other things, I’m afraid to say, my storytimes have been lacking.

Here are two storytimes for which I still have plans:

BUG STORYTIME:

Opening Song

Book:

Beetle Bop by Denise Flemming

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Song:

“The Itsy Bitsy Spider”

Flannel Board:

Down by the Bay

Book:

Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr

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Song:

“The Ants Go Marching”

Book:

Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas

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Closing Song

** For Family I replaced “Itsy Bitsy Spder” with a “Bug Hokey Pokey” (put your wings in, put your stinger in etc.) and added in  A Pet for Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold

GREEN STORYTIME:

Opening Song

Book:

Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack

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Flannelboard:

Five Green and Speckled Frogs

Book:

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox

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Flannelboard:

Tiny Tim

Book:

Don’t Squish the Sasquatch by Kent Redeker

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Book:

Little Green Peas by Keith Baker

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Closing Song

** Family Storytime: add in a Green Simon Says (if you’re wearing green do this, act like a green thing (turtle, frog, etc)), There’s an Alligator Under My Bed by Mercer Mayer

Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley

I saw this book pop up on several friends Goodreads shelves and I had to check it out after reading their glowing reviews. While I don’t read a lot of graphic novels, I got married in February so the subject matter was pertinent enough to my own personal experience to grab my interest.

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As for the actual book, I liked it and I didn’t like it. Knisley brings up a lot of points about marriage that I hazard to guess many people don’t even think about, like what does getting married do to a bisexual person’s identity? Does that part of their experience/identity go away because they chose to marry? According to Knisley, that’s what many people think, even if it’s untrue. She also touches on the cookie cutter nature of weddings and the sexist undertones (women changing their names, pledging to submit and obey, etc.). Taking all of this into consideration, Knisley and her fiance strive to create a wedding that is welcoming to all, fulfills their liberal/feminist beliefs, and represents them as a couple.

This is the part that bothered me. Knisley goes on and on about how the wedding industry demands so much of the bride– lose weight, buy this stuff for your guests otherwise they’ll hate you, do this and do that– and she talks about how she ignored that and made the wedding her own. Yet, she is still falling into the wedding industry hullabaloo, only Knisley is diy-ing it all herself. Don’t buy a bridesmaid dress– Have your friend make one! Don’t waste your  money renting out a barn for your large party– have your  mom build one!

I don’t know if I’m explaining this well, but it seemed like Knisley just added to what a “good bride (and groom)” should do in terms of weddings, instead of taking away the stress. The average person does not have connections to the art, carpentry, catering, and restaurant businesses, nor do they have as flexible a schedule, which allowed Knisley and her husband to create the unique DIY wedding of their dreams.

 

Summer Storytime

This summer we are majorly understaffed and as such I did not get nearly enough time to plan my storytimes. Some were still good, others were not so great. I did some analyzing of my storytimes and what is working and what isn’t, which I will share later, but for now I have Summer Storytime Favorites:

Go Away Big Green Monster! By Ed Emberly

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Monsters Love Underpants by Claire Freedman

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I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry

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Eeny, Meeny, Miny Mo, and Flo! By Laurel Molk

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Don’t Squish the Sasquatch! By Kent Redeker

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Can You Make a Scary Face?  By Jan Thomas

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One of the best things about these books is they appeal to kids and parents. I had more than one parent (interestingly, they were all dads) told me they did not expect to sit in story time and laugh and want to check out the book themselves. Specifically, I‘m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean and Monsters Love Underpants.

I also discovered that the hokey pokey (especially if you make it work with your theme) works really well with squirrely groups. It gets everyone up and moving and it takes up a decent chunk of time, while still working on literacy skills.