Challenge!

Call me crazy, but I decided to start two other reading challenges. I’m going to try and make the books I read count towards all three, but sometimes that just won’t work. Why, do you ask? A coworker of mine is doing Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge and we’ve compared some notes. Once I started looking at that challenge I realized I could easily fit in many of the books I’ve already read. Also, planning out the challenges got me out of my reading rut (for now at least).

Where does the third challenge come from? I frequently peruse the Modern Mrs. Darcy website and realized it wouldn’t be much extra reading to add her challenge into the mix. So there you have it. I now have three spreadsheets* going in my Google Drive and I think I’m having more fun trying to place (and find) various books in the challenge than I am actually reading the books! Hopefully the excitement will keep going.

Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge (my spreadsheet here)

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge (my spreadsheet here)

PopSugar Reading Challenge (my spreadsheet here)

*someone in the Goodreads PopSugar Reading Challenge group shared their spreadsheet and I used it for all my reading challenges. I wish I could take credit for this, but my spreadsheet skills are not so great.

Baby Storytime: 19

Opening Song

Action Rhyme:

Open Them, Shut Them

Book:

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Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Song:

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

Action Rhyme:

“These are Baby’s Fingers”

These are baby’s fingers (touch child’s fingers)

These are baby’s toes, (touch child’s toes)

This is baby’s belly button, (touch child’s tummy)

Round and round it goes! (gently tickle child’s tummy)

Feltboard:

“Tiny Tim”

Shared Book:

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Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton

Action Rhyme:

“Round and Round the Garden”

Round and round the garden, (make a circle in child’s palm)

Goes the teddy bear.

One step, two steps, (fingers walk up child’s arm)

Tickle you under there. (tickle child under arm)

Round and round the haystack, (make a circle in child’s other palm)

Goes the little mouse.

One step, two steps, (fingers walk up child’s arm)

Into his little house. (tickle child under arm).

Feltboard:

“Five Green and Speckled Frogs”

Book:

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Let’s Count Goats! by Mem Fox

Closing Song

Heartwood Hotel: A True Home

A friend of mine from grad school posted on Instagram that she was approved for a NetGalley copy of Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan and I decided I had to try as well. I am so pumped about the third installment of Crazy Rich Asians! Anyway, once I got into NetGalley (it had been a while) I poked around and found a few more books that might fit into my goals of 1) reading more juvenile books this year and 2) could fit the PopSugar Reading Challenge checklist. One of which is Heartwood Hotel: A True Home by Kallie George.

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The story centers around orphaned mouse Mona who finds herself carried away in a storm and finds refuge in a fantastical hotel called Heartwood Hotel. Readers meet sweet woodland creatures (like Mrs. Prickles the cook, Tilly the squirrel maid and owner Mr. Heartwood the badger), go on brave adventures with Mona, and learn about Mona’s family and past.


One Goodreads reviewer compared Heartwood Hotel to The Wind in the Willows, and while I see his point, I disagree. Mostly because the writing and characterizations are lacking. While Heartwood Hotel is no The Wind in the Willows it is a sweet and enjoyable read. I foresee those who like Critter Club and Puppy Place and The Saddle Club snapping these up. The fact that the book is an ARC and already a “book one” tells me publishers are also seeing the connections.

Baby Storytime: 18

Opening Song

Action Rhyme:

Open Them, Shut Them

Song:

“Itsy Bitsy Spider”

Book:

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I’m Dirty by Kate McCullan

Feltboard:

“Tiny Tim”

Action Rhyme/Tickle:

“Let’s Go Riding in an Elevator”

Let’s go riding in an elevator (hold child in front of you on lap)

Let’s go riding in an elevator.

First floor, (at first floor start to lift child up, raising a bit at each floor)

Second floor,

Third floor,

Fourth floor,

Doooowwwwwwnnnnn!

Shared Book:

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Big Little by Leslie Patricelli

Action Rhyme:

“I am Big, Big, Big”

I am big, big, big (stretch hands to sides)

I am small, small, small (crouch down)

I am short, short, short (stay crouched)

I am tall, tall, tall (stretch up)

I am fast, fast, fast (roll arms (like during wheels on the bus) fast)

I am slow, slow, slow (roll arms slow)

I say yes, yes, yes (nod head)

And sometimes I say no, no, no (shake head)

*we had some older babies/toddlers, today, otherwise I would skip last two lines*

Shared Book:

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Red, Blue, Yellow Shoe by Tana Hoban

Closing Song

Library Happenings

I am waaaaaayyy behind. I started taking a class and work got nuts, and things just fell to the side. So, to catch up, here are two super fun programs I’ve been working on at the library, and one not so fun one.

Read Across America Day:

Way back in last May (I think) my library got new gates. I hung on to the giant boxes the gates came in because I figured we could make something from them. And we did! For Read Across America Day myself and some staff and some volunteers made puppet theaters out of the gates. We then had stations for kids and families to make Lorax, Fox in Socks and Thing One and Thing Two paper bag puppets. All were a big hit! Although Fox in Socks and the Things were the most popular.

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unnamed 2 I also had a super special Dr. Seuss storytime that even got filmed by a local news channel! One grandma in the audience said I was the best storyteller she’s seen, and she takes her grandchildren to almost all the libraries in the area. That definitely made my day!

I Survived the Library:

On Saturday, April 1, Natural Disasters struck the my library and our intrepid patrons learned How to Survive. The STEM program, inspired by the popular I Survived books, consisted of 5 five stations. Each station began with a reading of the first chapter of the corresponding book, and discussion about the character, what might happen, etc. unnamed

Stations included:

I Survived the Destruction of Pompeii, AD 79 where attendees learned about the parts of a volcano and created their own volcanic eruption with baking soda, vinegar and dish soap.

I Survived the Japanese Tsunami, 2011 where attendees learned about the 10 most destructive tsunamis in history and mimicked the effects of a tsunami on a fake beach made of corn grits, corn syrup, pebbles and water.

I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 where attendees learned about the ship, it’s lack of lifeboats, and tried to build their own unsinkable ships out of tinfoil.

I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, 1906 where attendees built their own cityscapes out of toothpicks and marshmallows on a base of jello-o and mimicked the effects of an earthquake, after learning about how and why earthquakes occur.

I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 where attendees learned about the varieties of sharks and took a trivia quiz on shark behavior.

**can you tell I copied and pasted this from my staff newsletter? I’m all about reusing.

Leadership Training:

As a somewhat new supervisor in my system (1 year, and 1 month at the start of the training) I was signed up for an Integrity in Leadership Training through my county. It’s really interesting learning about the different parts of the county and the various work my colleagues do. It’s also interesting to see how different these areas are (and similar in some cases) and how some managerial tactics might work in the assessor’s office but not in corrections, or how a strict dress code might be necessary in the attorney’s office, but not so much in the highway department.

Anyway, what I have found to be the most beneficial piece of advice from our trainer is this: follow your organization’s mission, and if you do that and work with integrity, you can’t feel badly if people get mad at you. As managers, and as people who work in the public, library managers are never going to please everyone (and as a people pleaser I struggle with this), but if we tailor our work to our library’s mission and work with integrity (treat our tasks, and our people with respect) we can go home knowing we’ve done a job well done and not get upset when people are mad.

This is easier said than done for me, again people pleaser here, but I’m working on it.

PopSugar 2017 Roundup

For reference, here’s the Popsugar 2017 Reading Challenge

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows

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I loved this book. It took me a moment to get into the swing of the story, what with slightly fantastical elements, but once I got there I was hooked! I’m being lazy and don’t want to write a summary of the plot, so I’m going to copy and paste the Goodreads plot summary:

The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England.   

If I were a better writer, this is what I’d want my book to look like. I am an admitted over user of parenthesis and I love all the snarky asides. I can’t wait until the other Lady Janie books come out! What will these crazy ladies come up with for Jane Eyre and Calamity Jane. My only complaint: I wish there was a little bit more romance between Jane and G.

I haven’t decided if this book will fit in book written by multiple authors, book about a mythical creature, or book with a character’s name in the title. I currently have it in character’s name, but it can fit so many slots, I’ll decide at the end of the year where it’s needed most.

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Lauren Willig and Beatriz Williams

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I downloaded this book the same time I downloaded Maybe in Another Life but I could not get into it! I read the first page a dozen times over the course of two weeks. It wasn’t until I checked out the large print version at work one day that I made any progress. However, once I made progress I was hooked.

New York Times bestselling authors Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig present a masterful collaboration—a rich, multigenerational novel of love and loss that spans half a century….1945: When the critically wounded Captain Cooper Ravenal is brought to a private hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, young Dr. Kate Schuyler is drawn into a complex mystery that connects three generations of women in her family to a single extraordinary room in a Gilded Age mansion.

Who is the woman in Captain Ravenel’s portrait miniature who looks so much like Kate?  And why is she wearing the ruby pendant handed down to Kate by her mother?  In their pursuit of answers, they find themselves drawn into the turbulent stories of Gilded Age Olive Van Alen, driven from riches to rags, who hired out as a servant in the very house her father designed, and Jazz Age Lucy Young, who came from Brooklyn to Manhattan in pursuit of the father she had never known.  But are Kate and Cooper ready for the secrets that will be revealed in the Forgotten Room?

The Forgotten Room, set in alternating time periods, is a sumptuous feast of a novel brought to vivid life by three brilliant storytellers.

This book requires its readers to suspend their disbelief, because the plot really is outlandish. But, that’s okay. It was just the right amount of romance and history and drama for me. Many Goodreads reviewers say they got confused about characters and who belonged to who. Maybe I read more multi generational or multi perspective stories than the average person, but I found keeping track of the plot and characters simple, once I got into the story.

Again, this book can fit multiple Popsugar categories: Written by more than one author, takes place during war time, and a book set in two different time periods. Again, I have multiple titles for many of these categories so I’m going to wait and see.

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann

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I’ve read many young adult novels in verse and many children’s poetry collections, but never (at least to my recollection) a young adult collection of poetry. For a book review article I wrote for April, which happens to be National Poetry Month, I read Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann. Each poem is based on a fairy tale and retold from the perspective of a teenager (usually teenage girl). Many of the poems focus on body image and weight and the ridiculous headlines found in teen (and women’s) magazines. One of my favorites is

Sleeping Beauty’s Wedding Day

After the kiss and the trip to the castle comes the

showering, shaving, shampooing, conditioning, detangling, trimming,

moussing, blow-drying, brushing, curling, de-frizzing, extending, texturizing,

waxing, exfoliating, moisturizing, tanning, medicating, plucking, concealing, smoothing,

bronzing, lash lengthening, plumping, polishing, glossing, deodorizing, perfuming,

reducing, cinching, controlling, padding, accessorizing, visualizing, meditating,

powdering, primping, luminizing, correcting, re-curling, re-glossing, and spraying.

No wonder that hundred-year nap

just doesn’t seem long enough.

I have to admit, I didn’t love all the poems and many were a little too angsty for my preference, but it was definitely interesting! Also, I love fairy tales.

I’m putting this collection in a Bestseller from a genre you don’t normally read. I’m not positive it was a bestseller, but it was included as a Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Poetry in 2014, which implies it was as popular/bestselling book of poetry.

Baby Storytime: 17

Opening Song

Action Rhyme:

Open Them, Shut Them

Shared Book:

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Quiet, Loud by Leslie Patricelli

Feltboard:

“Tiny Tim”

Action Rhyme/Tickle:

“Shoe the Little Horse”

Shoe the little horse (tap left foot)

Shoe the little mare (tap right foot)

But let the little colt,

Run free everywhere (bicycle child’s feet around and around)

Shared Book:

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Where is Baby’s Bellybutton? by Karen Katz

Feltboard:

“Five Green and Speckled Frogs”

Song:

“The Wheels on the Bus”

Book:

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Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Song:

“Row Row Row Your Boat”

Closing Song