What a winter we have had in central Ohio! Spring is finally here according to the calendar! Celebrate by checking out “And Then It's Spring” by Julie Fogliano and award-winning artist Erin Stead. A boy and his dog are tired of brown winter and they dig and plant seeds. They wait and then wait and then finally it's spring and everything is green and colorful! Great for ages 4 and up.
ACHOOO! Poor Bear has a terrible cold and is tired and grumpy. Bright-eyed, cheerful mouse has come to help his friend get better. Bear and Mouse will make even someone with a bad cold want to laugh. A fantastic read aloud for all ages.
Can you spy the pets? Look through the hole in each page and see if you can guess the pets. If you like this, check out the other I Spy books by Edward Gibbs. Great fun for ages 2-5.
Snow is still on the ground but gardening is blooming in my heart. The month of March finds seed catalogs, gardening books, and over wintered herbs strewn all over my kitchen and dining room. The need is for spring!
My favorite gardening books for Ohio are authored by Tracy Disabato-Aust. Every spring I start a plant list for my garden from Tracy’s book, 50 High-Impact Low Care Garden Plants. The book has a little bit of everything from grasses to shrubs, but all are Ohio hardy and easy care. My favorite stand out plants are Bear’s Breeches, Variegated Aralia, Blue False Indigo, Bleeding Heart, and Hellebore. The Dragon's Eye Pine made the list this year but where to plant, the garden is getting full!
Cookies! Bear cub smells cookies while playing in the woods and finds a tea party set up with cookies to share. The hostess of the party arrives and has very strict rules about the tea party playing before any cookies can be eaten. Will bear ever get to eat cookies? A funny and sweet story for hosts and hostesses of all ages, but especially those aged 4-8.
No one is more surprised than Judd Foxman when his father passes away. Not so much by the death, but by the nonreligious patriarch’s last wish to have the family sit Shiva, a Jewish tradition that requires his mother and siblings to spend an entire week together under one roof. This wouldn’t be so bad if Judd’s family wasn’t so dysfunctional. As this group of unique characters are forced to spend time together old wounds are brought to surface and they are made to deal with issues they would have rather continued to ignore. The only family member not present is Judd’s wife who has been openly having an affair. As Judd unwillingly reconnects with his family and struggles to deal with the reality of his deteriorating marriage what results is a novel full of biting, albeit slightly dark humor with realizations about family life and love.
If you're looking for something to brighten your dreary winter day, pick up Pancol's first English-translated novel. The plot revolves around two sisters - Iris, a glamorous, rich attorney's wife and her plain Jane, bookish sister Jo. The story begins when Jo's husband empties their joint savings account and leaves her for his manicurist, who he runs off to farm crocodiles with in Kenya. Jo is left to pick up the pieces of her life and raise her two daughters, Zoe and Hortense, on the meager salary she makes as a 12th century scholar. Iris and Jo hatch the perfect scheme - Jo will write a medieval historical novel that Iris will take the credit for, thus giving Jo the money she needs and Iris the fame she craves. As in life, things don't go quite as planned and hilarity ensues. It's chick lit done up en Francais; humorous, quite charming and perfect to curl up on the couch with and escape to bright, sunny Paris, if only for a few hundred pages.
What could be more fun than rhyming robots playing in the snow on a winter's day? Kidbots ages 4 and up come join the snow fun in Snowbots by Aaron Reynolds!
A good book to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day is I Have a Dream illustrated by Kadir Nelson. The words are from Martin Luther King Jr's speech delivered over 50 years ago. Kadir Nelson is an amazing artist that has brought to life Mr. King and others that believe in equality for all peoples. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
January 8th is National Bubble Bath Day! Celebrate by reading about the rollicking adventures of a boy and his bathtub in “The Green Bath” written by Margaret Mahy and illustrated by Steven Kellogg. Bath time will never be the same! Recommended for ages 4 and up.