Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Circling the Tree

(Note to Santa: Please remember to take the toys out of the package and make sure they work before delivering them on Christmas Eve.)


Our tree is up! Underneath the tree my son's Geotrax Christmas train makes its rounds. He received the train last year as a present from Santa. Santa must have forgotten to do a final quality check because he delivered a non-working train - a dud! Those elves need to do a better job making the toys! Luckily my son didn't seem to mind in the least and played with it manually. Oh, to be a innocent young child, glad for all gifts, even non-working ones! Even so, a few weeks later Santa had a new, working train delivered to our home. We're enjoying watching and listening to it chug around our tree this year and hope it continues to work year after year after year.


Find more of this week's Wordless Wednesday (or Wordful) posts at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2011 Goodreads Choice Awards: Vote for your favorites!



Choice_logo_90x107

2011 Goodreads Choice Awards: Best Picture Books
Vote now for your favorite books!

Are you a Goodreads member? Don't forget about the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards. There's only one more day to vote in the final round! ( Voting ends November 30. )

This year's picture book list includes several great titles. We've read seven out of the 10 books and reviewed three. (* titles we've read)

Cat Secrets by Jef Czekaj
Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes *
I Want My Hat Back by J. Klassen *
Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld *
Blackout by John Rocco *
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith *
Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg *
Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party by Melanie Watt
Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator! by Mo Willems *
When I Grow Up by Al Yankovic and Wes Hargis

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Time!! Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper - Book and CD Set Review

What savory foods are you preparing for Thanksgiving? Any recipes made with pumpkin? Pumpkin pie is a perennial favorite at our fall gatherings, but this year we're also experimenting with something new -- pumpkin soup!

Why pumpkin soup you ask? We just finished reading and listening to a cute story all about pumpkin soup.

Pumpkin Soup - Book & CD set by Helen Cooper, read by Kathleen McInerney. Macmillan Young Listeners (August 2009); ISBN 9781427207401; 32 pages; paperback and CD
Book source: Review copy received from publisher

Is there such a thing as too many cooks in the kitchen? Duck, Cat and Squirrel enjoy making pumpkin soup together. Each animal has his own specific task -- Cat slices the pumpkin, Squirrel stirs in water and Duck adds the salt. Happy with this set-up, they cook up delicious batches of pumpkin soup. But one day Duck decides to take a turn at stirring the soup and ends up stirring up a mess of trouble instead. Luckily friendship reigns and the trio eventually sort things out. Soup makes everything better, especially when prepared together with thoughtful, sharing friends!

Cooper's Pumpkin Soup won the prestigious Kate Greenaway medal in 1998. The illustrations of the animal friends and surrounding woods are top-notch and completely adorable. Cooper doesn't scrimp on the details. Readers who look closely are awarded with little treats like pumpkins on the china, a pair of tiny bugs that watch the story unfold and other interesting carvings on the furniture. It's worth a re-read just to have a chance to stare that the pictures! The book is the first in a trilogy, preceding A Pipkin of Pepper and Delicious!

Pumpkin Soup is a book that's a lot of fun to read-aloud. The liveliness, drama and pacing of the text also makes it the perfect choice for the audiobook format. Kathleen McInerney skillfully uses her voice to play up the dialog between the friends and bring life to the characters. She even makes slurping noises! Early on in the book, readers learn that the animals like to perform music and the audiobook background tunes add to the musical flavor already alluded to in the book. We did notice a few differences between the written and spoken text (trudged is trotted in the book and the narrator substituted the word pleased for happy), but the changes didn't detract from the listening experience. Also, for those with beginning readers should be aware that this audio version does not include page turn signals. It's not a big deal for us, but I know those page turn signals matter to some listeners.

We had read Pumpkin Soup together in the past before we received the review copy, so it was especially interesting to hear it narrated by a professional. After listening to this audio, I think I need to work a little more on my own read-aloud performances! Now that my daughter is able to read herself, she loves following the words, discovering new words and learning the correct pronunciation of those she does not know. It's great for her to have the chance to listen to skilled narrators use voice inflection and other narration tricks. Her enthusiasm for audiobooks rubs off on her little brother, too. Listening to audiobooks is an activity that both my kids can enjoy together, at home and in the car.

Macmillan Audiobooks for Young Listeners offers several other titles for children including Snow by Uri Shulevitz, Shrek by William Stieg and James Herriot's Treasury for Children. I'm hoping to bring home a few more of Macmillan's audio titles soon for my kids to enjoy.

Related Links

Helen Cooper - Website

Macmillan Audiobooks for Young Listeners

❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ ❧ In the Kitchen: Making Pumpkin Soup ☙ ☙ ☙ ☙ ☙

We felt a little hungry for pumpkin soup after reading this story. The Pumpkin Soup paperback version provided with the CD did not include a pumpkin soup recipe so I turned to other blogs for suggestions. The most enticing recipe I found was one on Brown Eyed Baker that includes apples (although The Pioneer Woman also recently published one that looks delicious, too). While it was tempting to try a recipe made out of an actual pumpkin, I had a few older cans of pumpkin in my cupboard that I wanted to use in a recipe, so I opted for Pumpkin Soup with Apple & Spices recipe.


It turns out the book was a bigger hit than the soup. While my husband and I thought the recipe turned out OK, after one bite our kids refused to eat it! I can't say I can completely blame them. I didn't like pumpkin-y foods when I was a kid either -- not even pumpkin pie!

Let me know if you have a to-die-for pumpkin soup recipe you think we'd enjoy. I'd like to give pumpkin soup another try sometime. Our house did smell delightful while we were making the soup!


I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Family Storybook Treasury - Review and Giveaway

With Christmas fast approaching, everyone is on the look-out for great gift values. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's The Family Storybook Treasury is without question one of this season's best children's book deals. The recently released keepsake treasury includes eight familiar picture books and eight poems. But what makes this storybook collection a truly unbeatable value is the accompanying bonus audio CD of all the stories and poems!

The Family Storybook Treasury with CD: Tales of Laughter, Curiosity, and Fun. HMH Books (October 2011); ISBN 9780547612218; 304 pages
Book Source: Review copy provided by publisher

Both my kids have been sick lately, so we've had quite a bit of time to peruse this large 304 page, 10" x 10" book of stories and poems. The hardcover book offers a really nice selection of titles, and it appeals to a broad age range of kids, from toddlers to elementary age.

Picture books included in this treasury:
Curious George and the Firefighters by Margret and H. A. Rey
Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh
Lyle Walks the Dogs by Bernard Waber, illustrated by Paulis Waber
Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw, illustrated by Margo Apple
Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
The Great Doughnut Parade by Rebecca Bond
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
The Family Storybook Treasury is destined to become a cherished addition to home libraries. It would also make a great gift for teachers! Inside the shiny gold cover are several beloved and classic characters. My kids instantaneously recognized Curious George, Martha the talking dog and those five silly monkeys that are always getting into trouble. The text of each of the picture books is unabridged and the illustrations are just as one would expect. All the titles chosen for the volume work wonderfully as read-aloud books and the print size and reading levels vary with each title and poem.

Colored paper divides the book sections, making it easy to thumb through the pages to locate the stories. Two page, illustrated poetry spreads also divide each of the stories. The book contains the following poems:

Illustrated Poems:
• "The Cheetah" by Douglas Florian
• "The Egret" by Calef Brown from Soup for Breakfast
• "Caterpillar" by Nikki Grimes (illustrated by Javaka Septoe)
• "Song of the Water Boatman" by Joyce Sidman (illustrated by Beckie Prange)
• "Tree Horse" by Kristine O'Connell George (illustrated by Kate Kiesler)
• "Robert's Four At-Bats" by John Grandits
• "The Sphinx Ain't All That" by Adam Rex
• "Lying on the Lawn" by Bob Raczka (illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds)
Like I said, one of the best features of this treasury is the audio CD. Narrated by several individuals, the recordings are high quality. The narration is often accompanied by corresponding background music. Although the audio does not include page-turn signals, the CD is still a nice tool for young children, especially beginning readers. Audio books help children expand their reading comprehension. My daughter has already listened to the audio twice and has not had any problems following along. Her favorite story is one she's never read before, a humorous cumulative story, The Great Doughnut Parade. My son enjoys Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. I especially like that the book includes a few poems. Poems tend to get overlooked by parents but early exposure to poetry is such an important component in a child's development and helps with both language and writing skills.

Usually books that contain an audio recording cost a little more. However, considering how many stories this treasury includes, this book is extremely affordable. The treasury has a $18.99 suggested retail price (which is a pretty good deal in itself) but it's available right now for $12.91 on Amazon! Snap one up for your family or favorite teacher this holiday season.


HMH has kindly offered to give away a copy of The Family Storybook Treasury to two (2) Brimful Curiosities' readers. 2 Winners!

For a chance to win, leave a comment relative to this post or answer the following question: Which story or poem in this treasury would you most like to read?
• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.
• Contest is open to US only
• Contest ends on Monday, December 5th, 2011 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winner will be chosen at random and sent an email notification.
Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4; please leave a separate comment for each entry):
1st extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
2nd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest.
3rd extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader

I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith - Book Review

The end-of-the-year lists have started cropping up. Just this past month The New York Times announced The 2011 Best Illustrated Children’s Books and Publisher's Weekly compiled the PW Best Books 2011: Children's Books. I like to keep a close eye on these early lists. It's possible the next Caldecott winner is among the titles mentioned. Don't believe me? Just look at the lists from the past few years and you'll see a connection.

Lane Smith's new picture book, Grandpa Green, made it onto both lists. His book gracefully tackles the subject of aging and intergenerational relationships. With unusually lush, green illustrations, it's simply a beautiful book.

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith. Roaring Book Press (August 2011); ISBN 9781596436077; 32 pages
Review Book Source: Copy from our local library

Grandpa Green captures important life moments in his garden, a horticultural memoir of sorts showing events and people from his past preserved in topiary. His great-grandson explores the lush trip down memory lane, stopping by all the carefully shaped trees and bushes and picking up the tools his great-grandfather has dropped along the way. A crying baby trimmed from a bush symbolizes Grandpa Green's birth, a carrot shaped topiary reminds everyone of his farming background, and a cannon and parachuters made out of plants represent his wartime experiences. "He used to remember everything. Now he's pretty old." Grandpa Green shapes his story plant by plant with his clippers, his most significant memories living on, flourishing and serving as a reminder, while adding new ones as he is assisted by his great-grandchild. Grandpa Green's legacy stands, ready to be passed down generation after generation.

Grandpa Green is the kind of book that affects people, young and old, in different ways. It's a poignant and interesting exploration of a life, and though Smith describes it as a fictional story, it seems deeply personal. Those with an elderly friend or family member or those with loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease will find it particularly touching. And even though the book tackles serious topics, there are plenty of touches of humor and playfulness that you'd expect from Smith like bunnies eating a topiary carrot and a reference to the Wizard of Oz. Both my daughter and son love to discuss all the detailed images found in the ink line drawings and painted foliage.

Minimal text accompanies the amazing illustrations. The story is told by the great-grandson as he wanders through the garden, connecting young readers to the story. It's not easy bringing up the topic of aging with children. My own children are lucky enough to see two of their great-grandparents regularly and while they love them dearly, it's hard for them to see past the wrinkles and gray hair, to understand the past and see how it intertwines with their own life. It's amazing how books like this help bridge the gap and give kids reasons to search out their own family stories.

I know a lot of people have questioned whether this is a book for adults or for children. In our experience, Grandpa Green is for both. It's one my daughter has picked up on her own numerous times to stare at the illustrations (she noticed the cannon before me!) and because of the easy text, read herself and ask questions. It's even one my preschool-aged son likes (mostly because of the train and airplane images.) It's a book my family, our entire extended family can connect to because, no doubt, we all have or have had our own Grandpa Greens in our lives. Read the book together with children, linger over the fine illustrations, and encourage them to ask questions about their own great-grandparents, grandparents and family history. And, if you're like me, you'll find yourself profoundly touched as well, perhaps even a little watery-eyed.

Related Links:
Lane Smith - Author/Illustrator Website
"Q & A with Lane Smith" by Sue Corbett - Publisher's Weekly
"Going Green with Lane Smith" by Julie Danielson - Kirkus Reviews
"A Garden of Memories" by Jennifer M. Brown - School Library Journal



Book Talk Tuesday


Browse more book posts at Little Sprout Books' Feed Me Books Friday, Book Sharing Monday at Smiling like Sunshine, What My Child is Reading at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns, The Lemme Library's Book Talk Tuesday in addition to Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word.

I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Scholastic’s Holiday Gift List for Kids

The Scholastic Book fair has arrived at our school! I know I'm excited and so are the kids at school. I'm the chair once again this year so I've been extremely busy getting the fair organized and finding volunteers.

The other day while I was setting up some of the tables, I heard one little boy happily exclaim, "Look at all the Star Wars books! Awesome!" Yes, the fair is an awesome smorgasbord for book lovers. And for many of the area kids, it's likely the only time they get to see such a large array of books for purchase. Now I'm not saying that the selection of books at the fair is superb, but at least the fair does provide kids with some exposure to new books.

Since I'm not going to have a lot of time to blog right now, I thought I'd share with you Scholastic's preditions for the the most popular new titles this holiday season. I'm interested to find out what titles will be popular at our fair. Have you helped out at a book fair this year? What titles were bestsellers?

Scholastic’s Holiday Gift List for Kids:
(Click here for full list)

Picture Books

  • 10 Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr., illustrated by Lois Ehlert (Simon & Schuster)
  • Can You See What I See? Toyland Express written and illustrated by Walter Wick (Scholastic)
  • If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond (HarperCollins)
  • The Man in the Moon written and illustrated by William Joyce (Simon & Schuster)
  • Pinkalicious: The Princess of Pink Treasury written and illustrated by Victoria Kann (HarperCollins)

Transitional Readers and Chapter Books

  • Clementine and The Family Meeting by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Marla Frazee (Disney Hyperion Books)
  • Fly Guy: Fly Guy vs. The Flyswatter! by Tedd Arnold (Scholastic)
  • Magic Tree House: Dogs in the Dead of Night by Mary Pope Osborne, illustrated by Salvatore Murdocca (Random House)
  • Rainbow Magic: Magical Holiday Boxed Set by Daisy Meadows (Scholastic)
  • Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers by Dav Pilkey, George Beard, and Harold Hutchins (Scholastic)

Middle Grade Fiction

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney (Abrams)
  • The Heroes of Olympus, Book Two: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (Disney Hyperion Books)
  • The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 2: A King's Ransom by Jude Watson (Scholastic)
  • War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (Scholastic)
  • Wonderstruck written and illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)

Young Adult Fiction

  • Crossed by Ally Condie (Penguin)
  • Inheritance by Christopher Paolini (Random House)
  • Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion Books)
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxed Set by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic)

Nonfiction

  • How Cool Is This: An Up-close, Inside Look at How Things Work (DK Publishing)
  • The Hugo Movie Companion: A Behind the Scenes Look at How a Beloved Book Became a Major Motion Picture by Brian Selznick (Scholastic)
  • Lego Harry Potter: Building The Magical World (DK Publishing)
  • Lego Star Wars Character Encyclopedia (DK Publishing)
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not!: Special Edition 2012 (Scholastic)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Winnie the Pooh - DVD + Blu-ray Combo Pack Review

Like many children growing up in the 70s, I thank Disney for the introduction to the timeless, classic children's book character Winnie the Pooh. My brother and I listened to our Winnie the Pooh vinyl record and followed along with the accompanying storybook over and over and over. I still can sing the Winnie the Pooh theme song from memory. It's a sweet as honey tune that sticks in your head, one you never forget.

Those fond childhood memories are one of the reasons I'm so excited that Disney has released an all-new, animated film based on the loveable bear all stuffed with fluff. The new Winnie the Pooh movie, first shown in theaters this summer, is now available for purchase on DVD and Blu-ray Combo pack. Amidst the flurry of new movie releases, including Cars 2 and the final Harry Potter film, Winnie the Pooh is a welcome and familiar return to the basics, a movie full of quiet humor and heartwarming charm.

On an ordinary day, Pooh sets out to find some honey but gets sidetracked and ends up helping out his friends. Pooh discovers that poor Eeyore has lost his tail and the all the friends -- Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Kanga and Roo -- engage in a contest searching for a replacement. The group suggests all sorts of silly and inadequate replacement tails including a cuckoo clock, accordion, and dart board but nothing suffices. While thinking of a way to win the contest, Pooh discovers a note from Christopher Robin but, unable to read it himself, he takes it to Owl. Owl misinterprets the note, “Gone out. Busy. Back soon.” With great concern, he remarks that Christopher Robin has been captured by a "Backson." The group then switches their focus on a way to capture the Backson, and Eeyore's tail eventually turns up.

Returning to the style of the original Disney Pooh featurettes, this new movie has that same hand-drawn animation look with the classic warm watercolor backgrounds. Additionally, the movie opens with live scene set, a view of Christopher Robin's bedroom filled with toys. But what I appreciate the most is the storybook narration and wonderful integration of the book pages into the film. The characters interact with the text; they climb on the letters and walk on the pages of the book while the narrator (John Cleese) talks. It feels exactly as if the story has come to life. And there's enough subtle humor to amuse adults as well as children. Some of the hilarious scenes come directly from Milne's book like one where owl says they must "issue a reward" and Pooh thinks owl is sneezing. I think the film brings something special to the bantering dialog, making it even more humorous than the original text.

In usual Disney fashion, the plot of the movie is inspired by books but altered with a Disney twist. The film retains all the elements of the book chapter "In Which Eeyore Loses a Tail and Pooh Finds One," but also expands on the idea, making the search for the tail into an elaborate contest, with a pot of honey as the prize. The Backson comes from “In Which Rabbit Has a Busy Day”, though Backson is much more of a monster in the movie. Parts of the Backson hunt remind me of Piglet and Pooh's attempts to trap a Heffalump in the book.

There are two unusual song sequences in the movie, "The Backson Song" and "Everything Is Honey" where the animation departs from the traditional. In the Backson sequence, the animation looks like Owl's chalk drawings. And the "Everything is Honey" sequence, done in all honey-hued, golden colors, was interesting but was probably my least favorite part of the film because it just seemed out of place, with a retro synchronized swimming quality. Overall though, musically the movie shines, and I adore Zooey Deschanel's version of the signature "Winnie the Pooh" song and the happy go-lucky end credits song, "So Long."

Share your favorite Winnie the Pooh characters with a child and revisit the world of the One Hundred Acre Woods with this lighthearted family film. And then, once you're done watching, crack open one of Milne's books to compare and contrast the storyline. Whether found in the films or the books, Winnie the Pooh is and will always be the perfect prescription to satisfy your own urge for a smackerel of something sweet.



Blu-ray Bonus Features: Unfortunately, unlike many Disney films, I'm a little sad to report that this film does not seem to include any sort commentary, a behind-the-scenes bonus feature I typically enjoy. However, the backstory behind the film development is briefly discussed in the Blu-ray Bonus feature, "Winnie the Pooh And His Story Too." Directors Stephen Anderson and Don Hall also introduce 5 deleted scenes. In addition there's a Sing-Along as well as two different bonus shorts, "Mini-Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: The Balloon" and "The Ballad of Nessie."

Related Links:
http://disney.go.com/pooh/home/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/WinniethePooh
Twitter: www.twitter.com/disneyanimation

(DVD Source: 2-Disc Combo Pack provided for review purposes by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. All opinions expressed are my own. I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Full to the Brim - Kid's Book Giveaway List (11/4/11)

Please check out my other "Full to the Brim" posts as well. Many contests are still underway. I *try to* publish "Full to the Brim" every Friday. If I missed your book giveaway, feel free to mention it in the comment section or send me an email. Thanks for visiting my blog and come back soon!

My giveaways:
Little Sports Series Book Giveaway - Ends 11/14/11
Razzle-Dazzle Ruby by Masha D'yans Pop-up/Moveable Art Book Giveaway - Ends 11/14/11

Book giveaways:
The Children's Book Review - Book Giveaway Ends 11/6
signed copy of Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book by Joan Holub
The Children's Book Review - Book Giveaway Ends 11/29
The Donkey’s First Christmas by S T Schroder
Wonder Baby - Book Giveaway Ends 12/12
National Braille Press Tactile Toy & Book Giveaway - Melissa & Doug puzzle and a print-braille picture book Noah's Ark by Jerry Pinkney, a print-braille Fun Facts About Noah's Ark book, and twelve delightful tactile illustrations depicting Noah's animals, the ark, and the flood
WonderBaby - Book Giveaway Ends 12/12
three Christmas Books from Seedlings
Kristi's Book Nook - Book Giveaway Ends 11/4
Introducing Limelight Larry by Leigh Hodgkinson
There's A Book - Book Giveaway Ends 11/6
Can You Survive - Jack London's Call of the Wild by Ryan Jacobson
Mymcbooks - Book Giveaway Ends 11/19
Garter Snake at Willow Creek Lane by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Anne Wertheim
Katydid and Kid - Book Giveaway Ends 11/16
All Together: Singing in the Kitchen
Literary Rambles - Book Giveaway Ends 11/12
ARC My Very Unfairy Tale Life by Anna Staniszewski (middle grade)
Project Mayhem - Book Giveaway Ends 11/10
The Death of Yorik Mortwell by Stephen Messer (middle grade)
Janet Halfmann - Book Giveaway Ends 11/5
signed copy of Fur and Feathers by Janet Halfmann
Teaching Authors - Book Giveaway Ends 11/4
autographed copy of The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth notes by Leonard S. Marcus
Baby Loving Mama - Book Giveaway Ends 11/14
3 Sandra Magsamen Board Books: I Love You, Little Pumpkin; Whooo Loves You? and I Ruff You
This Mama Loves Her Bargains - Book Giveaway Ends 11/6
American Girl: Cécile & Marie-Grace Boxed Set (includes all six illustrated books about historical characters Cécile and Marie-Grace)

Razzle-Dazzle Ruby by Masha D’yans Book Giveaways
There's A Book Ends 11/5
MomStart Ends 11/7
The Not So Blog Ends 11/7
Real Moms Real Views Ends 11/4
Lady and the Blog Ends 11/7
An Island Life Ends 11/5
Mommy Mandy Ends 11/4
The Children's Book Review Ends 11/14

Fish for more children's book giveaways at Lori Calabrese's Fish for a Free Book linkup each Friday

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Maze of Leaves and a Praying Mantis




Leaves, leaves everywhere (and still falling)! This spiral of leaves took a little while to make but my kids really enjoyed helping construct it. In fact, when I ran out of steam they continued to enlarge it by adding more leaves themselves. Great outdoor activity for the fall if you have the time!




My husband noticed this big bug on our downspout while grilling supper last week. This was the first time either of us had seen praying mantis in person. What an exciting find! Of course, the kids and a couple of neighbor friends had to take a peek as well. Upon closer inspection we noticed the mantis was injured. The end feeler portion of one of the middle legs was missing.

Find more of this week's Wordless Wednesday (or Wordful) posts at 5 Minutes for Mom.