My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Grateful Wed and Book Reviews

You know how some days you wake up all grateful and lovely and the world beckons and all that crap? Well, I'm not really feeling that today. My head is KILLING me (darn those peanuts), and I just know I'm getting a sinus infection. But I know that on days such as these, I ESPECIALLY need to concentrate on my gratefulness. I hope you will please join in and list your own blessings as it just might be the thing I need to get on track this morning.
1. I'm very thankful for some new readers! Please continue to share this blog address with others. I especially appreciate the participation on Poetry Friday. I can hardly wait for this week.
2. I'm grateful for Jody's sweet comment yesterday. It takes a minute to comment, and she had a good suggestion and reminded me that I can't let this get in my head. I should do something, whatever it takes, to get me out of a slump.
3. I'm grateful that I began a new online course yesterday on picture book writing. It seems like it will be good.
4. I'm grateful that my new friend, Donna, has shared a new writing group with me, and although I can't go to their conference in November, I plan to plug in when I can. And I'm thrilled it exists!
5. I'm grateful that my dear husband trimmed the hedges, so I now have a great view of the water from my desk. How awesome is that? I also have a great view of the old cistern next door, which reminds me that people didn't always have indoor plumbing!
6. I'm grateful for healthy parents, children, and spouse.
7. I'm grateful for teachers and principals and all the people who devote their lives to children.
8. I'm grateful to have such a good-natured, hard-working husband who's also a great dad.
9. I'm so grateful for coffee and diet Coke. My cup overfloweth...
10. I'm grateful city for my Highlights check I received this week.

Wow, did that ever change my mood! You witnessed it, ladies and gentlemen, proof positive. Wow, I SO have nothing to complain about. Wendy Whiner has left the building.

Now for the delicious,fabulous world of book reviews. I'm a little behind on my middle school novels (as in I don't have any to read right now), and I've been doing these picture book studies, SO I'm going to recommend two of my favorite picture books to you today.

The first one is probably my favorite funny picture book. I just LOVE this book, and my kids do,too. The great thing is it's a Halloween book, so time is just right for reading it although we've been known to read it in July! THE HALLO-WIENER by Dav Pilkey (I know, I know, you're all applauding; yes, anyone who's met this book LOVES it)is one of those books that kids and adults both love. I never skip words or pinch two pages together in my fingers when I'm turning the page. Every word, every page is sheer perfection. The protagonist is a darling dauschund named Oscar. The kids mercilessly tease him calling him "weiner dog, weiner dog" which is hilarious to my kids. To make matters worse, his mother (who calls him 'her little vienna sausage') surprises him with a hot dog costume for Halloween, and guess who's the weiner in that hot dog? Oscar, of course. Despite his profound embarrassment, he doesn't want to hurt his mother's feelings (if you weren't in love with Oscar already, this seals the deal), so he wears the costume. Well, you can imagine what comes next. Read this hilarious, pun-filled story about belonging and embracing your own uniqueness, and see how Oscar saves the day. To be frank, this book's a wiener. Great for all ages. I used it to teach puns to 8th graders, and they loved it. Some of them went out and bought the book!

My next recommendation for today is PRINCE CINDERS by the ever-delightful Babette Cole. Occasionally, I come across a book that just screams an ideal audience, and this book is the perfect 2nd grade book (boys and girls,) but other ages like it, too. Someone told me they used it to teach about puberty in the 5th grade because his brothers were all muscley and hairy, but Prince Cinders hadn't begun to develop. Prince Cinders is not your typical prince. He definitely has issues that range from his super-skinniness to his cleaning responsibilities. His three hairy brothers (hilarious, hilarious, hilarious) make matters worse, as you can imagine, from his problems at the Palace ?Disco to his struggles with Bicepto Cream. The situation culminates at the Rock 'n Royal Bash where he meets Princess Royalpenny. When midnight comes, well, you can guess, but I'll bet you'll never guess what she brings door to door for him to try on! Check out this book. PRINCE CINDERS is guaranteed to crack you up. It's a good one to send with your husband for bedtime story time. You'll hear him howling all over the house.

Enjoy these two great stories today, and be GRATEFUL! I'm off to write, write, write using my secret technique B.I.C. xoxox

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