Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas to All, Christmas, Holiday Cheer

It doesn't matter to me what holiday you celebrate, we all celebrate for the same reason. We celebrate all the Miracles our Creator brought forth for us. More than that, we celebrate love and family, friends and good times. We celebrate children and tradition.

The wish "Merry Christmas" has a universal meaning. It means I send you good wishes for joy and love in this holiday season, no matter what you believe. So Merry Christmas!

Bonnie Worthington
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train train boos for kids.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Follow the moon by Sarah Weeks is a sweet story about a baby sea turtle who’s instinct it is to follow the moon at birth to find it’s home in the water. Illustrator Suzanne Duranceau makes this sweet tale come alive, while the soft, rhyming lilt of the author rocks any toddler into quiet slumber.

As the tale unfolds, a little boy finds the newborn turtle on the beach and protects him from harm. There is a beach party in progress that evening, complete with a disco ball for the dancers, which confuses the newborn sea turtle, who in turn goes toward the party instead of toward the ocean. The little boy helps his new friend find his home in the ocean.

I liked this story for its beauty along with its message for respect for all life and life cycles.

Bonnie Worthington
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train train books for kids

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Charlie Hits It Big

I went to B & N the other day and immediately headed for the Children's section. I was drawn in by the darling cover for, "Charlie Hits it Big". Illustrations always pull me in and these are good. Charlie is a guinea pig who wants to be famous. He heads to Hollywood and finds a successful, fast paced life. This story has a heartfelt ending and is a charming, witty and beautifully illustrated book. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but, I am really into whimsy.

Mardell E. Alberico
Author, Perry the Pack Rat Series

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Perry the Pack Rat by Mardell Alberico, Good books grow great kids.

Perry the Pack Rat is an adorable character created by Mardell Alberico. I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Alberico this evening at a local Christmas Preview where we were both signing books at the downtown independent bookstore in our area, Lyon Books.

The Perry the Pack Rat stories are stories for kids that teach kids how to do things they might not know exactly how to do without a little help. The book I read was called Perry the Pack Rat Learns to Share. It was a great book about giving things to those less fortunate than ourselves. You can check out Mrs. Alberico's books at

Mrs. Alberico illustrates her own books and she is self-published. I encourage anyone who loves children to get check out the wordsofwhimsy website.

Bonnie Worthington

Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train train stories for children

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Turkey For Thanksgiving, Eve Bunting, Thanksgiving Traditions, Thanksgiving Feasts

This book by Eve Bunting is adorable. Even if your aren't an animal rights activist or a vegan, you are sure to love this adorable story about a moose family and their friends. Mrs. Moose decides she wants to "have a turkey for Thanksgiving" so Mr. Moose goes out to get one for her.

In the end, everyone learns, she meant to have one at her table instead of "on her table." A very cute Thanksgiving story

Bonnie Worthington
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Friday, November 14, 2008

Stellaluna, Janell Cannon, Fruit Bats

This cute little story of friendship and family is quite enchanting. Janell Cannon has a gift for writing about animals that aren’t thought of as cute and cuddly and making them likable. Stellaluna is like that. Stellaluna is the story of a fruit bat that is separated from her mother by accident and adopted by a family of birds. Stellaluna befriends the birds. The bird family teaches Stellaluna new things and Stellaluna teaches the baby birds new things. One night after a long day of playing with the birds, Stellaluna stays out late and is reunited with her mother. I love happy endings.

Bonnie Worthington
Author, Engine Ed’s Colorful Train

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Swing by Robert Lewis Stevenson

This poem is one of the sweetest poems I've read. It is by Robert Lewis Stevenson, who is one of the great poets of all time. He has a way of bringing very simple things to life like a buried treasure just found. It is short, so I will reproduce it here.

How do you like to go up in a swing
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
ever a child could do.

Up in the air and over the wall
till I can see so wide
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
over the county side.

Till I look down on the garden green
down on the roof so brown
Up in the air I go flying again.
Up in the air and down,

--Robert Lewis Stevenson

This is such a sweet poem about a child's ride on a swing.

Bravo Mr. Stevenson

Bonnie Worthington
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Monday, November 3, 2008

Raccoons and Ripe Corn, by Tim Arnosky

This book struck me as a little odd. I guess it seemed odd to me because it was the story about some raccoons that went into a cornfield and feasted on a farmers corn. The raccoons managed to destroy a good portion of the farmers crop, stuffed themselves and left. It seemed like a story about vandalism, and that was all there was to the story. There wasn't really a conclusion to the story. We never got to meet the farmer or find out how he felt about or what he did about the invasion. We never found out what happened to the raccoons after their big raid on the corn field. Did they get a stomach ache? Did they go eat dessert? The reader is pretty much just left hanging. I wondered what the point was to the story. Has anyone else read this book?

Bonnie Worthington
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, Fall, Harvest Stories, Fall Stories

This was a cute harvest story about a woman who lives with her cat companion. She dislikes pumpkins because when she was little, that was all her family had to eat. Now that times are better, she stays away from pumpkins, until one day, a twist of fate made her change her mind.

While driving past her yard, a truck full of pumpkins ejects one onto the street in front of her house after a big bump, and it breaks all over her yard. Later, she finds herself with an entire crop of pumpkins, with which she makes as many pumpkin goodies as she can think of. Then she invites the entire neighborhood over to delight in her cooking.

She and her kitty have so much fun sharing the pumpkin goodies, she changes her mind about pumpkins and plants more for next year.

I love happy endings, don't you?

Bonnie Worthington
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein, trees, children's books,

This story touched me deeply because I love trees. Not only that, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein has a wonderful moral.

The book immediately touched me because it spoke of a tree's love for a boy and a boy's love of the tree he played with hour after hour, day after day, year after year. The book personified trees. I've always been partial to trees and their very realistic quiet wisdom. I'm a walnut grower and share a wonderful, enchanted time-space reality with some amazing trees that give and give to me every year.

This is a story about selfless love. Bravo Shel. This is a beautiful story! I highly recommend it!

Bonnie Worthington
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Train books, books for kids, story telling, Engine Ed

Hey! Get Off Our Train, by John Burningham

This is a very fun book. In it, a boy goes on a make-believe train ride with his dog. Their trip takes them around the world and they encounter many animals, some of which are endangered species. Each animal magically shows up on the train, and the boy and his dog order them off the train. When they do, each animal pleads his case as to why they should stay on the train. By the end of the story, there is quite a fine gathering of animals.

My son and I both liked this story because it helps teach about ecology and endangered animal species.

Bonnie Worthington
Author, EngineEd's Colorful Train

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Shel Silverstein, Poetry, Boys and Reading, Poetry for Children

I started reading chapter books when I was four years old, imagining myself putting on a show with Annie Oakley, sleeping on a bed of pine needles with the Boxcar Children, and traveling in a wagon with Ma and Pa Ingalls. When my boys were born, I couldn’t wait until they were old enough to enter magical fictional worlds . . . and I was devastated when they were uninterested. They’d spend hours with a snake encyclopedia or guide to rocks and minerals, but my attempts to engage them in Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh were met with yawns. And then my older son received a copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends for his 6th birthday. Thanks to Shel Silverstein and his perfect imagination, we read and laugh together nightly. To say that his poems are funny or interesting merely scratches the surface. Shel Silverstein had a gift for giving voice to topics that roll around silently in most kids’ brains and are dismissed by adults. Silly topics like belching (Rudy Felsh), scary topics like getting sucked down the bath drain (Skinny), and important topics, like how we’re all alike inside (No Difference). His poems address these topics without condescension, preaching, or advice—they have just the right amount of humor and irony. And though they seem silly at first, they often touch upon a deeper truth about how kids feel and think. A great example is the poem What a Day, which describes how it feels to have the weight of the world on your shoulders—a feeling many adults incorrectly assume is reserved only for grown-ups. Uncle Shelby writes: What a day/Oh what a day./My baby brother ran away/And now my tuba will not play./I’m eight years old and turning grey/Oh what a day/Oh what a day. Indeed. I highly recommend this book, as well as his other poetry collections (A Light in the Attic, Runny Babbitt, etc.). I like to think of the poems as small bridges across the generation gap. Not only will you laugh, you’ll also remember what it’s like to be a child. And, if you’re like me, you just may find that the poems mirror your dreams and desires for your children. As Mr. Silverstein says: Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child/Listen to the DON’TS/Listen to the SHOULDN’TS/the IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS/Listen to the NEVER HAVES/Then listen close to me—/Anything can happen, child/ANYTHING can be.

A Mom Who Loves to Read and Write

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Phonics, Books, Books for Kids, Reading to Children

My mother was a remedial reading specialist for many years. I grew up helping her prepare activities for her classrooms. She always taught to many learning modalities and when teaching reading, she celebrated phonics.

As I work in classrooms today and help children learn to read through interactive games on the computer or in the books I write, I always remember my mother and her commitment to teaching phonics. When I asked her what a word was, her consitent reply was always, "Sound it out." To this day, I consider phonics the number one way to teach children to read.

Bonnie Worthington
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Parent's Read to Your Children, Books, Parenting

I don't have a particular favorite book, but I do have thoughts on how important it is for parents to read to their children from a very young age.

I have 4 girls of my own and thus exposed to several parents who some read to their kids and others who have never. I have known parents who promote more TV, than books and education etc. For the last 13 years I have been watching children as mine grow up and looking at other on how they bring up children. Not to say I'm doing anything right, or that any other parent is wrong, that's not my point here, its just an observation on children behavior, about kids that have a parent reading and bonding with the child vs those who use the TV as a sitter till bed time.

Christopher Koster
Billy Goat Soaps

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Magic Tree House #13, Vacation Under the Volcano

I enjoy this entire series. The Magic Tree House series is a neat way for kids to learn about history and geography and have fun reading too. The stories always start out with the main characters, Annie and Jack going to the tree house and it flies away on an educational adventure. These books, written by Mary Pope Osborne, have 10 easy chapters and are best suited for kids ages First grade to fourth grade.

Vacation Under the Volcano takes the kids to Pompeii, Italy and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius during the days of the Roman Empire. They are on a mission to save a sacred scroll. It's fun, adventurous and highly recommended.

Bookmom, Bonnie Worthington
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Children's Hour

The following is a contribution from Mr. Cal Worthington

My favorite Chidren's story really isn't a story at all. It is a poem. My favorite poem in all the world is called the Children's Hour by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This story is so touching. It is about a Grandfather, who while in his study reading, is aware that his precocious grandchildren are plotting and planning a happy, surprise attack on him. He is aware that they think is doesn't know they are coming down the staircase to ambush him. The poem is told from the Grandfather's point of view. I would like to reprint the entire poem here, but for brevity's sake, I will just include the last three stanzas and leave the blissful discovery of the rest of the poem up to you. The poem ends like this:

"Do you think, o blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!
I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.
And there will I keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!"

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Being a father and grandfather myself, I cherish this poem and all the sweet moments in life, just like it, that I have had.

Cal Worthington
Auto Dealer

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Catwings Return

This adorable tale by Ursula K. Le Guin is a short, 5-chapter book that for young readers (or parents who like to read to kids). I thought it was delightful.

The story is about two magical, cats who can fly, who take off on an adventure to the old alley they used to live in. During their visit, they stumble upon a little kitten in danger of being injured by a wrecking ball. The cats, in their attempt save the kitten are briefly reuinited with their birth mother, and find out that the kitten is their sibling from a different litter. In the end, the two traveling cats, (Harriet and James) take the kitten home to their farm in the country. It's a cute book with a happy ending.

Bookmom, B.W.
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It's Hard To Be Five

This was a book I wasn't so crazy about. Most of the moms I talked to didn't really like this book either for many of the same reasons I have, however; some moms were neutral. The book seemed like it should have been titled, It's Hard to be the Mom of a Five Year Old Like This One.

The book is about a boy who is turning five, who fights with his siblings (including food and juice fights) and really doesn't have such a good go of being five. It seems like a lot of negative vibrations going out that don't have to. Why put thoughts like that in a child's head, when life for many five-year-olds is really great? The book seemed messy, the font is jagged and the graphics seem messy. It didn't really seem to have a very positive theme like so many children's books do.

One mom I know said she related to the book because that is how her life is. So there are probably many people who don't dislike the book. I wouldn't purchase it as a gift or choose it for my child. The book is by Jamie Lee Curtis.

Bookmom, B.W.
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Puppy Place, Scout

This fun book is about a German Shepherd puppy, Scout, who learns all about becoming a search and rescue dog. Scout is number 7 in the cute series Puppy Place by Ellen Miles where every puppy finds a home. The Peterson family is a foster family for puppies. Charles and Lizzie, the main characters, are active in finding Scout a home.

Meg, a friend of the Peterson family has a grown German Shepherd dog named Casey who is a veteran search and rescue dog. Meg teaches Charles and Lizzy some dog training tips. The childrren get their classroom to sponsor Casey which means they contribute to her upkeep, like vet bills, equipment, and food. Soon, Casey goes on assignment far away. Meg keeps the kids in the class updated via email. I won't give away the ending because its a fun read. It's a great story that all children will love because everyone loves a puppy.

Most puppy place books have ten small chapters. These books are suitable for parents to read

Bookmom, BW
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Children's books, Patriotic, American History, Founding Fathers, Independence Day

The Story of America's Birthday is a short, and nicely illustrated children's board book by Patricia Pingry that tells in simple language, the story of America's Independence from King George and England. It's not supposed to be a detailed, (or even historically accurate) account, but gives a general overview of why Americans celebrate the 4th of July. It's general purpose is to help generate conversation about that important day in American history, so that children can begin to feel the importance of freedom, as we are truly one of the only "free" countries in the world. It is designed as a general overview to hopefully generate a curiosity about country and our freedom.

Overall, I think it carried off it's intended goal.

Bookmom (BW)
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Train books, books for kids, telling time, Engine Ed

Tell the Time with Thomas, by Christopher Awdry and Ken Stott is a cute train book that uses the characters from the Adventures of Thomas the Tank Engine. It's purpose, besides that of entertainment of kids, is to teach time. It has a built in clock that shows up through the cut-out on each page for readers to set each time the page turns and tells a new time on Thomas's schedule. It is a good book for young children just learning to read and tell time (probably through the second grade). My favorite part about the book is the cut-out clock. It makes the book interactive. Nice touch

Bookmom (BW)
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Counting books, chilren's stories, ladybugs, bedtime stories,

Ten Little Lady Bugs, by Melanie Gerth is the very first story my son fell in love with. He loved this book so much he would take it to bed with him. Ten Little Lady Bugs has adorable illustrations with a rhyming story about ten lady bugs that disappear, while all the while they are all gathering with their friends at home. It is a hardback book with cardboard pages for little ones from 0 through about age 5-6. It's a delightful story to read to a young child. Enjoy.

Bookmom (BW)
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Becoming Me;A Story of Creation

This book by Martin Boroson and Christopher Gilvan-Cartwright is an insightful book about creaton. The illustrations are brilliantly colorful. The content is thought provoking, yet very easy to understand for the little ones. It is told in the first person and my favorite line in the book is...."But as soon as I became you, you forgot that you were me." It is published by Skylight Paths Publishing in Woodstock Vermont.

I liked the connection the authors made between human-kind and God.

Bookmom (BW)
Author, Engine Ed's Colorful Train