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