Monthly Archives: June 2015

Swimming In Books

We English-speakers need to adopt the Japanese word tsundoku, which means “buying new books and letting them pile up unread on our shelves” (from an article on Open Culture via Mental Floss’ Facebook page). Tsundoku perfectly summarizes my relationship with new books – I acquire many more of them than I will ever be able to read.  The piles of books floating around my house are a constant visual reminder of this somewhat disheartening fact. While I find time to read a decent number of books, and having three young children certainly puts a damper on 16-hour reading binges.

Library books, and newly purchased books and graphic novels languish because some beloved and oft reread book calls attention to itself. The loudest at the moment is The Southern Vampire series, aka Sookie Stackhouse. Yesterday, I succumbed to its call and instead of reading one of the many books pictured below, am now starting to reread the series (but only the first 6 or 7 books – the quality noticeably tanks after that, coinciding with the premier of the TV show version). The fact that I have so many unread graphic novels is doubly sad because they don’t take very long to read. I have no real excuse as to why I haven’t read them yet.

lib bks to read

Languishing library books.

tbr bks 2

Neglected graphic novels.

tbr bks 1

Sidelined new books.



Storytime: The Beach

This was my last storytime before I take a summer storytime break. I will start again in mid-September. In the meantime, I’m running six weeks’ worth of science programming – three sessions for ages 2-5, and three sessions for ages 6-12.


to the beach ashman beach day lakin beach play
beach day llama sand

To the Beach! by Linda Ashman
Beach Day! by Patricia Lakin (family storytime only)
Beach Play by Marsha Hayles (toddler time only)
Beach Day by Karen Roosa (family storytime only)
Llama Llama Sand & Sun by Anna Dewdney (toddler time only)


“Waves at the Beach” (from Perry Public Library)
(Tune: “Wheels on the Bus”)
The waves at the beach go up and down, up and down, up and down,
the waves at the beach go up and down, all day long.

The crabs at the beach, crawl back and forth, back and forth, back and forth,
The crabs at the beach, crawl back and forth, all day long.

The lobsters at the beach go, snap, snap, snap;
snap, snap, snap, snap, snap, snap
The lobsters at the beach go snap snap snap, all day long

The clams at the beach will open and shut, open and shut, open and shut,
The clams at the beach will open and shut, all day long.

The jelly fish go wibble, wobble, wibble;
wibble, wobble, wibble, wibble, wobble, wibble,
The jelly fish go wibble, wobble, wibble, all day long


“Five Little Seashells” (from Perry Public Library)

Five little seashells sitting on the shore,
Woosh! went a wave and then there were four.
Four little seashells pretty as could be,
Woosh! went a wave and then there were three.
Three little seashells colored pink and blue,
Woosh! went a wave and then there were two.
Two little seashells sitting in the sun.
Woosh! went a wave and then there was one.
One little seashell looking so alone
I picked it up in my hand, and then I took it home.

1. Parachute Play – We played with my parachute and several beach balls.

2. Shells and Sand – I brought out some seashells and sand I found in our supply closet for the children to play with.

sand ed



Read Harder – May Progress

Yet another month filled with a lot of reading, but with very little of it counting towards Book Riot’s 2015 Read Harder Challenge. I need to make a list (or you know…look at the list I’ve already made) and read with a purpose. Too. Many. Books. Must. Read. All of them.

I ended up shuffling two of my husband’s books around to maximize categories he’s completed. I moved The Three-Body Problem from #12 Science fiction to #7 Takes place in Asia. A Canticle for Leibowitz now holds the #12 Science fiction slot.

With this shuffling, the three of us can lay claim to the group completion of two additional categories – #7 Takes place in Asia and #12 Science fiction. This puts us at a quarter of the way through the challenge. Go us!

Without further ado, our stats and books, color-coded to make it easier to know who read what:

Me 15/24 (3 in May)
My Husband 9/24 (2 in May)
Sophia 18/24 (3 in May)

#2 – Author over 65


Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith
Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith

#12 – Science fiction

alien 10 koch canticle

Universal Alien by Gini Koch
A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

#15 – Classic retelling


Cinder by Marissa Meyer

#19 – Translation


Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths by Shigeru Mizuki

#21 – Guilty pleasure


Hausfrau: A Novel by Jill Aleander Essbaum

#22 – Published before 1850

wuthering heights

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte


Storytime: Bugs


1 blueberry beetle bop bugs barner some bugs

One Little Blueberry by Tammi Salzano
Beetle Bop by Denise Fleming (read only at Family Storytime)
Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner (read only at Toddler Time)
Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi


“Bumblebee on My Nose” (from Small Town Story Time Lady)
(Tune: “Jingle Bells”)
Bumblebee, bumblebee,
Landing on my toes.
Bumblebee, bumblebee,
Now he’s on my nose.
On my arms, on my legs,
On my elbows.
Bumblebee, oh bumblebee,
He lands and then he goes!

“Can You Move with Me?” (from Small Town Story Time Lady)
(Tune: “Do Your Ears Hang Low?”)
Can you wiggle like a worm?
Can you squiggle? Can you squirm?
Can you flutter? Can you fly like a gentle butterfly?
Can you crawl upon the ground
Like a beetle that is round?
Can you move with me?

Can you flip? Can you flop?
Can you give a little hop?
Can you slither like a snake?
Can you give a little shake?
Can you dance like bee
Who is buzzing round a tree?
Can you move with me?

Egg Carton Bugs (from Preschool Powol Packets) – Each child received a cardboard egg carton to paint and decorate. It was messy, and they had a ton of fun!

bug 2 bug 1

Storytime: Butterflies


are you a butterfly butterfly butterfly don't worry bear

Are You a Butterfly? by Judy Allen (family storytime only)
Don’t Worry Bear by Greg Foley
Butterfly Butterfly: A Book of Colors by Petr Horacek


“There’s a Tiny Caterpillar on a Leaf” (from Storytime Hooligans)
(Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”)
There’s a tiny caterpillar on a leaf, wiggle, wiggle,
There’s a tiny caterpillar on a leaf, wiggle, wiggle,
There’s a tiny caterpillar, a tiny caterpillar, a tiny caterpillar on a leaf, wiggle, wiggle.

There’s a big fat caterpillar on a leaf, munch, munch, etc…
There’s a pretty butterfly on a leaf, flutter, flutter, etc…

Scarf Song

“A Butterfly is on My Toe” (from Mild-Mannered Librarian)
(Tune: “Farmer in the Dell”)
A butterfly is on my toe,
A butterfly is on my toe,
Hi-ho, just watch me blow.
A butterfly is on my toe

Other verses: A fly is on my nose ,my head, my ear, my elbow, my knee, etc..

1. Static Electricity Butterflies (from I Heart Crafty Things) – I prepped 12 butterflies and balloons, had the children rub them on their hair or shirts, and hold the balloons over the butterflies. The static electricity caused the tissue paper wings to flutter. It was a big hit with both storytime groups.


May Books

jewel emma alien 1 koch 9 rules break rake accidental duchess alien 2 koch alien 3 koch hausfrau 10 ways adore 11 scandals prudence alien 4 koch Untitled-3 alien 10 koch alien 6 koch ACOTAR

*The end of my semester marked a return to binge reading. The Alien series by Gini Koch was definitely a high point. I love that the main character is unrepentantly herself. I also like her music selection.
*Hausfrau – This book is my “guilty pleasure” for Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge. It is definitely a love it or hate it book. I’m on the love it side of the fence, but then I like stories that focus on a person’s psychological downward spiral. I will most likely end up buying it just to have it on my bookshelf because there are aspects of my life reflected in main character’s passivity and complacency.
*PrudencePrudence is the weakest novel by Gail Carriger I’ve read, but I liked the continuation of characters from her Parasol Protectorate series.  Some of the characters felt out of character (ha), such as Alexia and Conall, but I assume that’s because they are being presented through Prudence-colored glasses. I’m curious to see how this series develops.
*A Court of Thorns and Roses – I  love dark(ish) books with flawed, mouthy heroines. The tone reminded me of Cruel Beauty (another book I adore). This is the start of a new series, and I really hope a love triangle is avoided in future books. Why are there always love triangles?!

ms marvel 1 rat queens rat queens 2

*I decided to read Ms. Marvel, vol 1 because of all the buzz I’ve heard about it over the past eight months.  I like that she’s not your stereotypical superhero, I like that she has to sort out what she got herself into, but I didn’t connect with it. That being said, when my girls are a bit older, this is a comic I will put in their hands.
*The Rat Queens are still violent, crass, and awesome in the second volume. I like the development of both the characters and the plot. Can’t wait for the next volume!

westing game frankweiler bad beginning
ruby fairy amber fairy

*Bean enjoyed all three books we read in May. The Westing Game is one of my childhood favorites, and happily for me, Bean is now on board. I haven’t read Mixed-Up Files in close to 25 years, but I remembered liking it.  Bean and I agreed that it was a fun book even if aspects of it are a bit dated – how much things cost and the lack of security cameras everywhere. The Bad Beginning was the third book we read in May. I wasn’t crazy about it when I read it years ago, but thought Bean would like it. She did, but I told her that she’s on her own for the rest of the series.

*May also marked my first foray into reading chapter books to Bug. I gave her the choice of either The Rainbow Fairies series or The Magic Tree House series, and she chose fairies. While not the greatest literature in the world, they don’t make me want to gouge my eyes out when I read them. And Bug is really into them.