Something going on this Friday??

July 19, 2007


So, apparently, there is some book coming out this Friday. Hairy Porter? Harry Petter? Something like that. I guess they expect a lot of copies to be sold..?

That’s right, it is the riveting final installment of Harry Potter’s Magnificent Adventures in the School for Wizardly Wonder (a.k.a. Deathly Hallows).

And, hey, all you Green Parents should be happy — it is being called the Greenest Book Ever. And just look at all the trees and resources they are saving! Scholastic’s US printings are creating this savings by printing on paper which is 65% certified ancient forest friendly. Err…

And we find out Harry Potter is dead! Dead wrong about just how green this book really is.

Is this really a case of The-More-You-Spend, The-More-You-Save? The resource savings is likely driven to such high numbers due to the sheer volume of books produced. But could you not also say that because of this volume, this book has the potential to also be the least eco-friendly book ever..? As TreeHugger points out, this book could also use more trees than any other book published this year.

(Read more @ EcoGeek, via

Maybe I am being a little too hard on them – I mean, Scholastic could be doing a lot worse. I am always happy to see company’s taking steps (every little bit helps, right?). But they could also have used 100% recycled paper, as per Ms. Rowling’s request(those of you in Canada are getting a much greener version of this book).
Still, your best bet is to get it from the library, or borrow it from a friend when they are finished reading (you may have to wait until Saturday morning to borrow one). If only there was an electronic version available. If only. Ahem.

Oh, yeah, apparently these books encourage kids to read and turns their souls over to Satan.

Father’s Day is Coming Soon…

June 12, 2007

… and this year, my early present is — GUILT.

You see, Friday was Library Day. I didn’t get to go, so it was just Ms. Kaz and our daughter (and our son, but he has no choice but to go where Ms. Kaz goes). They made some great selections, but the one I want to focus on today is Because Your Daddy Loves You, by Andrew Clements, illustrated by R.W. Alley.

Daddy BookMy daughter seems to be really attached to me lately. She loves her daddy. And so, Ms. Kaz thought this would be a great book for us to read together. And it is. The drawings are very nice, and the story is a nice story about how daddies love their little girls. The book is filled with incidents where the daddy could say ______, but instead does ______.

For example, the little girl’s beach ball floats away into the ocean. The daddy could say, “Didn’t I tell you not to play too close to the waves?”. But he doesn’t. Instead, he wades out into the cold water, hurting the little girl’s chances for a baby brother or sister, and retrieves the ball for her.

Or, when the girl wants a piggy-back ride up to bed. Instead of saying, “Oh, I can’t. I’m too sore because I am too old.” Oh, wait, that’s what I would say. Anyhow, you get the idea.

It is a very sweet book, but… It also builds up expectations in kids that their daddies will never say these things, and will always sacrifice for their kids. That’s just not realistic. Not without daddy having a breakdown.

But I do have to admit. A couple times since reading that book, when my instinct has been to tell my daughter, “not now,” or, “maybe some other time”… I’ve gone ahead and done what she’s asked.

(You can purchase Because Your Daddy Loves You at for just $16.00, hardcover. Guilt and Shipping are free.)

Book Reviews

June 1, 2007

I haven’t done a book review in a while… so here are a couple we are reading.

No More Water in the Tub by Tedd Arnold

My mother got us this book. It is an autographed copy. She is a retired teacher, so she has a million autographed books. Kids books, at least.

No More Water In The TubThis is a story of an older brother filling the bathtub for his little brother. He turns the faucet too far, it breaks off, the tub breaks free, then “out the door and down the hall [goes] William in his bathtub.” After causing all sorts of havoc in his neighbors’ apartments, we finally learn… well, I don’t want to ruin the ending for you.

My daughter likes this book because (1) it is long, and thus delays bedtime better, and (2) because she is just starting to get into rhymes. For a while there, it didn’t work (“Cat rhymes with frog!“), but now she is starting to get it (“Pig rhymes with… big!“).

I like it because the illustrations are nice, and, although they are a little corny, the rhymes are helping my daughter with, well, rhyming.

The other reason I like it is that there is a scene where a man is fixing a snack and the stove catches on fire. He yells something like, “Everybody run! The apartment is on fire!”. At this point in the book, my daughter says, “The roof! The roof! The roof is on fire!!”. I have no ideal whatsoever where she could have learned this from. Ahem.

Bambi by Golden Books

This book was given to my daughter by her previous daycare provider.

BambiIt is a nice, short story about a deer who would one day become king. The story follows his adventures as he and his friends grow up, fall in love, and have children.

Along the way, this unassuming prince helps rescue his friends from a forest fire which threatens to devestate his whole world.

Exciting, I know.

At the risk of ruining the ending, he saves the forest, becomes king, and he and his childhood friend (who became his sweetheart) have a baby fawn of their own.

Strange thing is, they don’t mention much about the happy Grandmother (Bambi’s mother) at the end. I can only assume she is baking cookies, or some other grandmotherly thing.

(You can purchase No More Water In The Tub at for $6.99)
(Bambi is available for just $2.99 at the same place)

Little Miss Manners

January 24, 2007

We’ve always worked hard to develop good manners in our daughter.

For the most part, we’ve been pretty successful. We frequently get, often without prompting, a “please”. We tend to get a lot of “thank you”. We get an, “excuse me” when she burps (and an, “excuse you” when we burp). We even get a lot of “excuse me” when we’re talking, and our daughter wants to say something.

I’m very proud of my daughter for being so polite.

However, lately, manners have made reading certain books a real chore.

zaxTake for example, The Sneetches, by Dr. Seuss. Particularly, the stories, The Zax, and What Was I Scared Of. The Zax, for those who are too lazy to click the link aren’t familiar, is the story of two stubborn, uh, Zaxes, one who always goes north, and one who always goes south. Well, of course these two run into each other, and neither one will move out of the way. A nice lesson, no?

Well, I get a few pages in, reading in my totally awesome Zax voices, and I get a, “No, no, Zax! You’re supposed to say excuse me! Don’t bump into each other! You’re supposed to say excuse me!” Of course, she expects me to talk as the Zax… what can I say? I can’t agree to say, “excuse me” because then why bother reading the rest of the story? I can’t be rude and refuse to say, “excuse me”. I’m lucky if I get to finish the story.

In What Was I Scared Of, there is a… uh… some kind of Seussian creature who runs into a pair of pale green pants (just pants, no person inside), and is repeatedly frightened until he(?) one day discovers that the pants are afraid of him. Then they become friends. Again, a few pages into the story, I am hit with, “No no! Don’t be frightened! He’s friendly! Don’t be frightened! You be friends later on!” Okay, not necessarily manners, but does still kind of kill the story.

Okay, one last example. We picked up a small “Vintage Disney” book in the dollar bin at Target called, The Clock Cleaners. It features Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck attempting to fix up an old clock. Of course, as the always do, they screw it up. In the end, Minnie Mouse yells at them. Thank goodness it is at the end! At least with this book, I am pretty much done reading by the time I get the, “No no, Minnie! Don’t yell at Mickey and Donald, all right?!?”

So, reading may be a bit difficult these days, but I am very happy with her manners.

[You can buy your own copy of The Sneetches at, and teach your children some manners, for just $11.96]

Tuesday Quickies

January 9, 2007

Just a few small items I thought I would lump together:

  • My daughter has a stuffed rhinocerous from the John Lennon collection. Okay, I actually bought it years before we even thought of having kids. Anyhow, the other day, she was pretend sleeping with it, and I asked what she had. She told me it was a, “Rhinosaur.” I asked her rhinosaurs’ name, and she told me, “Baby Rhinosaur!”
  •  Tonight, my daughter cut me a little more slack with the defintions. Today was, “What jealous mean?” After just two times of me saying, “it means when someone has something you want,” she seemed to be satisfied.
  • Also tonight, as we were reading and getting into bed, she told me how she didn’t like germs. “We don’t like daddy’s germs”, “We don’t like mommy’s germs”. Even, “We don’t like Marshall and Rascal’s germs!” (Marshall and Rascal being our cats)
  • Also tonight… my daughter obtained a new fear. I had to repeatedly reassure her when she stated: “Nobody will get me”, “Nobody will get my blankie”, and “Nobody will get my friends” (“Friends” being her lovies)
  • A week or so ago, we were playing in the playroom, and she was having me do the Sylverster McMonkey McBean (from the Sneetches … you know, Star-Belly Sneetches and Plain-Belly Sneetches) voice, and putting stars on various stuffed animals’ bellies. She handed me a little toy airplane and said, “here, you can stamp with this.” I was stamping stars away with this little toy airplane, and started to say, “now I should remove the stars and make you –” It was then that I realized what she was telling me. I could use it to make … plane-belly Sneetches. I was amazed a 2 1/2 year old could come up with this.
  • Speaking of amazed, my daughter utilized a thought process I don’t recall her using before.. we were making popcorn (it was daddy-daughter night), and she said, “I like popcorn!” Thinking about it some more, she said, “I like popcorn better than pancakes!” I am not sure she has even compared two things, declaring one better than the other before. I don’t know if this is typical for her age, or not, but I was impressed!
  • And speaking of the Dr. Seuss book, The Sneetches … you know you are a parent, and especially a parent who reads too many Dr. Seuss books, when you co-worker is telling you about a meeting which has, “too many Daves” to keep straight and you tell her, “Did I ever tell you about Mrs. McCave, who had 23 sons, and she named them all Dave?”


1 Sentence Book Reviews: A Trip to the Library

December 11, 2006

We went to the library recently, and picked up a couple gems*

Hand, Hand, Fingers ThumbHand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins, Illustrated by Eric Gurney

A book about a Woodstock for beatnik monkeys.

(Purchase this book for your little hippy for just $8.99 at Barnes & Nobles. Or, if you really are a hippy, just get it out of your local library. Commie.)

Tomie’s Little Mother Goose by Tomie dePaola

Tomie’s Little Mother Goose The author/illustrator of Strega Nona presents a collection of nursery rhymes which starts off with the following gem:

Old Mother Goose,
When she wanted to wander,
Would ride through the air
On a very fine gander.

(Purchase this book of “rhymes” at Barnes and Nobles for just $7.99)

* Honestly, though, I really like these two books. Especially the monkey one. It is a fun read, and, well, it has monkeys. Millions and millions of monkeys.

1 Sentence Book Review: Do Donkeys Dance?

November 8, 2006

do donkeys danceThis book teaches children which animals can and cannot do things such as standing on one leg, hanging upside-down from a tree, and bouncing, while failing to answer the fundamental question: Do Donkeys Dance?

(purchase Do Donkeys Dance, by Melanie Walsh at for just $15)

On Children’s Books

October 11, 2006

Something is wrong with me.

Maybe it is cynicism, I don’t know. But one thing about being a parent that I am still stuggling with is reading children’s books.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to do the voices and to try and figure out the cadence in Dr. Seuss stories, and love the silliness of many of the books. I even like the drawings in most of them. But I can’t help but get annoyed by the lack of logic in many of them. I know children’s books aren’t supposed to make sense. I can accept that on a very general level. It is the specifics that bug me.

Examples after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »

What we are reading: Oh, No! Not Ghosts!

September 22, 2006

[Kaz: sorry I’ve not had a lot of book reviews lately, but we’ve been getting good mileage out of the ones we already have.]

Oh, no! Not Ghosts! Oh No, Not Ghosts! by Richard Michelson and Adam McCauley is this year’s pick for a Halloween book for our daughter. I must say, it is far more fun for us to read than last year’s SpongeBob Spookypants (although, I do enjoy doing SpongeBob and Patrick voices).

Although, as you may have read in an early post about Elmo (and many, many of you apparently have – welcome, Elmo seekers!), you know I made a mistake you don’t make with a 2 year old, and that is to suggest the book might be a little scary. It isn’t. But it took me a couple days to convince my daughter it wasn’t.

The story is a quick read (3 minutes?), which is good for a two year old, and is fun. My daughter loves to read shout (okay, I encourage her to shout it) the “Not ____” parts of the book (Me, reading: “Ghosts?!? Oh, no! …” Daughter: “Not Ghosts!!”).

The drawings are fun (what do you expect when the illustrator dedicates the book to Maurice Sendak), and not too scary.

It was a good pickup. I’m glad I finally convinced my daughter to go with this one over the My Little Pony halloween book!

Now, we just gotta work on choosing a Halloween costume this year…

Oh No, Not Ghosts! can be had at for just $12.80.

What we are reading: Strega Nona

August 21, 2006

strega nona coverUsually, I kind of lovingly make fun of some the children’s books my daughter has. But I really like Strega Nona (by Tomie de Paola). And by sitting a writing this review, I learned something new myself. Turns out, this book was written in 1975. I’m not sure why it struck me as a newer book.

The illustrations are refreshingly different for a children’s book. At least compared to some of the other books she has. While some of the animals might be out of proportion in some of the panels, I am willing to forgive the book because it is also kind of fun to read.

Of course, it contains a bit of song or poem that Strega Nona (Grandma Witch) sings, which, like all good children’s books, you will find yourself reciting to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

And how can you go wrong with a book that has the line, “We must protect our town from the pasta” ??

Plus, the book is responsible for my daughter yelling, “string him up!” to bad drivers in traffic.

I don’t want to get in to too much more, so I’ll just summarize with: witch, big dumb guy, magic pasta pot, “the punishment must fit the crime”. The book should take you about 5 minutes or so to get through.

You can get it at barnes and noble for $7.99 []

1 Sentence Book Review: Weeble-topia

August 21, 2006

tooyIn Weeble-land, where pasta apparently grows in the ground, taxpayer money is used to pay public servants (Tooey, the fireman Fireturtle) to rescue children who climbed too high on playground equipment, retrieve balloons stuck in trees, fix traffic lights, and help water the “crops”.

Be annoyed by your own copy of Tooey to the Rescue for just $5.99 []

What we are reading: Dr. Seuss

August 8, 2006

Green Eggs and Ham One Fish Two Fish Not Getting Up

ABC Mr. Brown Can Moo Cat in the Hat

Lately, my daughter is into Dr. Seuss (quick fact: apparently, Dr. Seuss pronounced his name ‘soyce’).

This is cool with me. We had a few books, and my mother contributed a bunch more last time we visited. I have fun reading them, especially once I can get the cadence correct.

Some quickies after the jump…

Read the rest of this entry »