Game Fest:What Would You Do?

What exactly is Game Fest? Well, at my library…it’s a monthly program I try to hold that teens, preteens and kids at heart can play the gaming systems that my library owns. Summer is a little different, we have Game Fest once a week to keep the kids busy and to expend some of their energy. Continue reading

Advertisements
It’s the German in me

It’s the German in me

I’ve always felt a little off living in the U.S. and never could quite understand what I was missing. I never liked the same type of music everyone else did. Sure, there were some things I liked that were the same. Mostly the popular stuff, but I would dig deeper and find unique and interesting things that weren’t “normal” to the part of the country that I was living in.

I ate differently. People would always talk about all these restaurants. I hadn’t been to any of them! I didn’t even know there were that many around! My mom cooked every day of the week except for Friday, leftover night. And Saturday, take out night (which was usually fast food). Occasionally we went out to eat at a sit down restaurant on Sundays if someone had a birthday or if we had visitors, but that was it. I didn’t know there were 10 different types of chicken places to try. And when someone tried to take me to a “German” restaurant and I didn’t like any of the food. They would be so mad. Why didn’t I like the food? It was the stuff I always talked about. And I would think…this stuff isn’t German. This stuff is crap!

My friends loved my mom. Any time they stayed over they would leave with more than what they came with. My mom would always have “goodies” in the house. Too much for us to eat. She still does. Anytime I talk about friends and their families she still gives stuff for me to give to their kids. Gummies, treats, apples it really didn’t matter. Whatever she could find to give to them to take home.

kaub_germany

Kaub, Germany 2010

This trait really struck me the other day. I never noticed, but I do this now with people. I don’t necessarily give people goodie bags when they come over, but I make sure people have things. I take care of them. I want to make sure they are fed. I used to think this was strange, but I really just think this is something that all German’s do to people that they care about. It’s how they show that they care. German’s are known for not showing much emotion. Lord knows that the most emotion I got growing up was yelled at. (Sorry, mom!) But I never went without. My friends never went without. Nor my neighbors.

I know growing up, I picked this up. And I know for damn sure that people have used me for it, too. There was a time I would get SOOOO angry when I didn’t see it until it was too late. But now…I don’t know. I just think, I would rather be the kind of person that gives and cares about people then doesn’t. If that shows too much of my “German-side” who cares. I would rather be too kind than too mean or too shallow or too…whatever. It’s taken me a few years to figure that out, but I’m glad that I did.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Rena

Music is Life

For most of my life I have always had any sort of music device on me. Whether it was a tiny Barbie boom box, over-sized headphones, a real boom box, sitting in front of the stereo playing vinyls with my dad, tape player, Walkman, iPod, car stereo, computer..you name it. I have to have my music. I even played the alto, bass and tenor saxophone in school. Until recently I forgot about my love of music. Where did my music go? Continue reading

My First Day

Today was my first day as a librarian. True, I’ve worked at the library for almost 11 years now…9 years at this library in particular. But it’s different when you go from being a circulation clerk to Librarian. After 2 1/2 years with my Master’s of Library Science, I got the job! After many years of being told that this of that was holding me back. I got the job. After being told that I would have to go outside of the state to get a librarian job, because no one in this state would hire me. I got the job.

I GOT THE JOB!!

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs getting here. And I’m sure I’ll have even more on my journey. But what I will not do is give up. Because I have learned that my persistence wins!

My first day today, I got a little girl not even 6 years old to color me a coloring sheet. Just for me. I kept it. It’s on my desk at work. Is it perfect? No. But I told her it was awesome and we fist bumped (and blew it up). Right now…I’m fist bumping life! And like that coloring sheet, I’m not perfect and I don’t want to be!

I’m excited about this new journey in my life. Hoping to blog more. Books, library life, PCOS and more. Here’s to persistence, not being perfect and having fun doing it.

Auf Wedersehen!

Rena

Book Review: Tuesday by David Wiesner

tuesday

Title: Tuesday

Author: David Wiesner

Illustrator: David Wiesner

Publisher: Clarion Books

Published Date: 1991

Source: library

Buy It: Amazon B&N

Goodreads Summary:

David Wiesner received the 1991 Caldecott Medal for Tuesday. In the years that followed, he went on to receive two more Caldecotts, and Tuesday went on to sell half a million copies in the United States and to be published in a dozen foreign countries. Now, with remarkable advances in the technology of color reproduction, the original artwork for Tuesday is being reproduced anew, for an edition even more faithful to the palette and texture of David Wiesner’s watercolor paintings. The whimsical account of a Tuesday when frogs were airborne on their lily pads will continue to enchant readers of all ages. Continue reading

Book Review: Rumpelstiltskin by Paul O. Zelinsky

rumpelstiltskin

Title: Rumpelstiltskin

Author: Paul O. Zelinsky

Illustrator: Paul O. Zelinsky

Publisher: HMH Books

Published Date: 1986

Source: library

Buy It: Amazon B&N

 

Goodreads Summary:

David Wiesner received the 1991 Caldecott Medal for Tuesday. In the years that followed, he went on to receive two more Caldecotts, and Tuesday went on to sell half a million copies in the United States and to be published in a dozen foreign countries. Now, with remarkable advances in the technology of color reproduction, the original artwork for Tuesday is being reproduced anew, for an edition even more faithful to the palette and texture of David Wiesner’s watercolor paintings. The whimsical account of a Tuesday when frogs were airborne on their lily pads will continue to enchant readers of all ages.

My Thoughts:

Fairy Tales. Who doesn’t like a fairy tale that doesn’t have a happy ending? And one where you don’t have to give up your child in the process. BUT…a child was given up. The Miller gave up his daughter in the beginning. This stupid miller wanted to impress the King and basically sets his daughter to get killed if she can’t spin straw into gold. What kind of father does that to their child? No wonder this poor girl gives anything to stay alive. But to give a first born? And to marry the man who threatens to kill you? Yeah, I don’t know about all that. Feminism and all that has been around too long for me to be okay with that. I would have bargained for my freedom before I would have married a man, even if he were the King, that kept threatening to kill me. I just don’t see the appeal in all of it.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Rena

Book Review: Chato’s Kitchen by Gary Soto

chatoskitchen

Title: Chato’s Kitchen

Author: Gary Soto

Illustrator: Susan Guevara

Publisher: Puffin Books

Published Date: September 22, 1997

Source: library

Buy It: Amazon B&N

 

Goodreads Summary:

Chato can’t believe his luck. Not only is he the coolest low-riding cat in East L.A., but his brand-new neighbors are the plumpest, juciest, tastiest-looking family of mice to move into the barrio in a long time. So Chato and his best friend, Novio Boy, get out the pots and pans, the tortillas and the beans–everything you’d need for a welcoming feast, except for the main dish, and the guests of honor. Of course, in Chato’s mind they are one and the same thing.

But the mice are bringing a surprise guest of their own, who may be more than a cool cat can swallow.

My Thoughts:

Chato thinks he is slick. He sees the new mouse family move in next door and thinks, “Dinner!” But he is mistaken! He cooks up a scheme to invite to the mouse family over for dinner. But wait! They have a dinner guest too! And he’s a dog! So much for the mouse dinner!

What I really liked about this was the description of the actual cooking of all the food. Plus, I don’t think the cat was actually going to eat the mice. Why would he have made all that food? To fatten them up? They were already fat. Who knows?

Auf Wiedersehen!

Rena

 

 

Book Review: George and Martha by James Marshall

GeorgeMartha

 

Title: George and Martha

Author: James Marshall

Illustrator: James Marshall

Publisher: HMH Books

Published Date: September 11, 1974

Source: library

Buy It: Amazon B&N

 

Goodreads Review:

Two lovable hippos teach the meaning of friendship in five separate vignettes: “Split Pea Soup,” “The Flying Machine,” “The Tub,” “The Mirror,” “The Tooth.”

My Thoughts:

George and Martha are “just friends.” They learn a lot from each other. Like not to lie to each other. That they like to be in each others company. Not to peep on each other while the other is in the tub. U.G.L.Y. you ain’t got no alibi, you ugly. And George the founder of the gold grill.

Friends…what are they good for? A lot. Just don’t try to look at them naked.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Rena

 

 

Book Review: The Bossy Gallito by Lucia M. Gonzalez

bossygallito

 

Title: The Bossy Gallito

Author: Lucia M. Gonzalez

Illustrator: Lulu Delacre

Publisher: Scholastic en Espanol

Published Date: June 1, 1999

Source: library

Buy It: Amazon B&N

 

Goodreads Summary:

There was once a bossy little rooster, un gallito mandon, who was on his way to the wedding of his uncle the parrot, su tio el perico. Until he gets dirty and demands everyone help him become clean again. A very funny book in English and Spanish that will delight both adults and children.

My Thoughts:

Hi, I’m an asshole rooster and I think I’m better than everyone else. I’m going to eat this corn I found in the mud and I know that it’s going to make me dirty, but I don’t care. Damn, I’m dirty now. You must make me clean. You. No? You! Hurt the first person that wouldn’t help me! No? You! Hurt the second person that wouldn’t help me! No? You! Hurt the third person that wouldn’t help me! Oh, look here’s my best friend, the sun. He’ll help. Hey, bff. Could you please do something about these plebs not doing as I command? Yeah? Thanks! Bam!

I get it. He finally said please. But that asshat is well…an asshat to everyone he meets. And then he finally says please and gets his way? Uh? No! Go to the damn wedding with a dirty beak you assbutt(spn4ever!). Definitely talk to your kids after they read this.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Rena

 

 

Book Review: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

BarkGeorge1Title: Bark, George

Author: Jules Feiffer

Illustrator: Jules Feiffer

Publisher: Harper Collins

Published Date: June 3, 1999

Source: library

Buy it: Amazon B&N

Goodreads Summary:

Bark, George,” says George’s mother, and George goes: “Meow,” which definitely isn’t right, because George is a dog.

And so is his mother, who repeats, “Bark, George.” And George goes, “Quack, quack.”

My Thoughts:

George “aka Hermione’s magic bag of tricks” doesn’t know how to bark. Or does he? He just has a problem of swallowing other beings whole and then sounding like them. So that vet has to put on his longest and best latex glove to get those damn animals out of him. And he goes and swallows a damn human. George is going to be put down for this. He crossed the line when he swallowed a human. Although…I wonder what the experience was like IN his stomach. That human could totally make a fortune writing a book about his harrowing experience being swallowed whole by a puppy and then being made to say “Hello” every time someone told him to bark. AND the owner of George could totally make this a thing. Like a circus thing, but totally a thing. I wonder if the being gets fed when George eats or if they slowly die of starvation down there. I guess that would definitely need to be in the book by the first human experience. Food for thought.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Rena

Book Review: Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

dragonslovetacosTitle: Dragons Love Tacos

Author: Adam Rubin

Illustrator: Daniel Salmieri

Publisher: Dial Books

Published Date: June 14, 2012

Source: library

 Buy It: Amazon B&N

Goodreads Summary:

This scrumptious New York Times bestseller has a whole lot of kick!

Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.

The award-winning team behind Those Darn Squirrels! has created an unforgettable, laugh-until-salsa-comes-out-of-your-nose tale of new friends and the perfect snack. Continue reading

Book Review: Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman

godoggo

 

Title: Go, Dog. Go!

Author: P.D. Eastman

Illustrator: P.D. Eastman

Publisher: Random House

Published Date: January 1, 1961

Source: library

Buy It: Amazon B&N

 

 

 

Goodreads Summary:

Reading goes to the dogs in this timeless Beginner Book edited by Dr. Seuss. From big dogs and little dogs to red, green, and blue dogs, dogs going up and dogs going fast . . . who knew dogs were so busy? And laughter will ensue at the repeated question “Do you like my hat?” Like P. D. Eastman’s classic Are You My Mother? Go, Dog. Go! has been a go-to favorite for over fifty years, leaving audiences of all breeds wagging their tails with delight.
Continue reading

Book Review: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

pigeondrivebus

Title: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Author: Mo Willems

Illustrator: Mo Willems

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Published Date: April 1, 2003

Source: library

Buy It: Amazon B&N

Goodreads Summary:

When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! But you’ve never met one like this before. As he pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the book, children will love being able to answer back and decide his fate. In his hilarious picture book debut, popular cartoonist Mo Willems perfectly captures a preschooler’s temper tantrum. Continue reading

Book Review: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault

chickachicka

 

Title: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Author: Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault

Illustrator: Lois Ehlert

Publisher: Beach Lane Books

Published Date: January 1, 1989

Source: library

Buy It: Amazon B&N

 

Goodreads Summary:

The 26 characters in this rhythmic, rhyming baby book are a lowercase alphabet with attitude. “A told b, and b told c, ‘I’ll meet you at the top of the coconut tree'”–which probably seemed like a good idea until the other 23 members of the gang decided to follow suit. Lois Ehlert’s chunky block illustrations show the luxuriant green palm standing straight and tall on the first page, but it begins to groan and bend under its alphabetical burden. First the coconuts fall off, then (“Chicka chicka… BOOM! BOOM!”) all the letters also end up in a big heap underneath. A very simple board-book version stops there, but this original text goes on to introduce the helping hands of the 26 uppercase “mamas and papas and uncles and aunts.” (Baby to preschool) –Richard Farr Continue reading

Book Review: Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan

lollipopcover

Title: Big Red Lollipop

Author: Rukhsana

Illustrator: Sophie Blackall

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Published Date: March 4, 2010

Source: Library

Buy It: Amazon B&N

Goodreads Summary:

Rubina has been invited to her first birthday party, and her mother, Ami, insists that she bring her little sister along. Rubina is mortified, but she can’t convince Ami that you just don’t bring your younger sister to your friend’s party. So both girls go, and not only does Sana demand to win every game, but after the party she steals Rubina’s prized party favor, a red lollipop. What’s a fed-up big sister to do? Rukhsana Khan’s clever story and Sophie Blackall’s irresistible illustrations make for a powerful combination in this fresh and surprising picture book.
Continue reading

Book Review: Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager

ivyinbloom

Title: Ivy in Bloom

Author: Vanita Oelschlager

Illustrator: Kristin Blackwood

Publisher: Vanita Books

Published Date: April 1, 2009

Source: Netgalley

Buy It: Amazon B&N

 

Goodreads Summary:

Ivy in Bloom captures the weariness of a young girl tired of a long winter. “I stare out the window,” she says on the first spread of brown and gray, “looking for birds or flowers / or even warm showers / but I don’t see any such thing.” But then Spring comes when “March is out of breath snow melting to flowery waters and watery flowers spring rose from its wintry rest.” And Ivy’s “heart dances with daffodils.” As these words also dance across each spread, Ivy’s world erupts into a riot of color.

Ivy in Bloom introduces the poetry of Dickinson, Longfellow, Browning, Wordsworth, Frost and others. Excerpts from their writings, as seen through Ivy’s eyes, will open up poetry as a way for children to express their own feelings about the changing of seasons. This book includes longer excerpts and brief bios of each author. Continue reading

Book Review: Cooper and the Big Apple by Camille Cohn

cooper_cohnTitle: Cooper and the Big Apple

Author: Camille Cohn

Illustrator: Riley Cohn

Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group

Published Date: October 13, 2015

Source: Netgalley

Buy It: Amazon B&N

Goodreads Summary:

Cooper the cat is purrfectly content with his life in Texas. So when his best friend Jennifer tells him they’re taking a trip to New York City, he’s not really sure what all the fuss is about. But, like a good friend, he embarks on the new adventure with her.

Jennifer takes Cooper to climb the Statue of Liberty, to visit the Stock Exchange, and to attend a Broadway musical, and to see many other New York City landmarks. At each new location, Cooper realizes the Big Apple is not what he expected and even more than he imagined! Continue reading

Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

ember_tahir

 

Title: An Ember in the Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Publisher: Razorbill

Published Date: April 28, 2015

Buy It: Amazon B&N

 

Goodreads Summary:

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. Continue reading