Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Heart Herge

I'm thinking February is going to be about all the people I heart at the library. After all, I don't love books - I love the ideas, the information, the art, the protagonists and yes, even the antagonists - I love what books hold inside the cover. Don't get me started on all the music and movies and cookbooks. Oy!

Right now I'm enjoying 10 minutes each morning sipping coffee with Snowy (he is on my mug up there) and learning about the man who brought him to life. My personal opinion: it is sooo much better than the movie.

In the evening, Snowy and I meet up again with Arielle and share some decaf tea and read this and this. My mom sent us a gift tin of tea ~ it has been the sweetest way to end our day. Are you thinking Valentine's gifts? Me too.

Who do you heart at the library?

xoxo Michele

Monday, January 30, 2012


What a weekend. I'm still in recovery mode. The sun has barely set on my husband's birthday and the final few hours before the Math Fair tomorrow, which you know I'll be blabbering about sometime this week. Picture a shrieking nine year old girl with a hot glue gun stuck to her fingers. Yep - that was my Sunday. 

My inbox had multiple emails today from dear readers asking for some of my favorite read alouds - I hope you know how much joy this brings me. While reading is subjective (and should be), there are a few authors that should be on everyone's read aloud list. Here are five that my children ask for repeatedly - and I have chosen authors that have written five or more books so you have plenty to choose from.

1. Edith Nesbit - She gets children and adults. We miss her characters terribly after finishing a book, like distant relatives that filled our house with merriment and left way too soon. The Treasure Seekers and The Wouldbegoods were my son's fave. Mine, too.

2. Rudyard Kipling - Have you read The Jungle Book aloud? Heard the sounds of the forest flow from your lips as your children hang on every word? Kipling is magic. Want something a little more advanced? Try Kim.

3. Gerald Durrell - Non-stop laughter from beginning to end. And yet we have learned so much about flora and fauna through his autobiography/novels. My Family and Other Animals was a must read that inspired this.

4. Robert Lawson - His writing is dreamy perfection. 

5. Maira Kalman - I'll be doing an entire post on this author in February. Her nickname should be Peter Pan, because she makes us fly.

This list doesn't begin to scratch the surface. Please consider following me on Pinterest where you'll find many more of our family's favorite read alouds. And I'd love to follow you back for ideas and inspiration. Flying is even better with friends.

Who are some of your favorite read aloud authors?

xoxo Michele

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Week of Wonder: The Links

New read for Book Club.

Scooch over, Phineas and Ferb - John has a new library interest.


For when I don't feel like reading.

Listening to this while giving the guinea pigs a bath. We're swooning.

I <3 this Fashionista.

Making appetizers from here for Super Bowl Party.

This post has me wanting to move all my furniture around and buy new rugs.

She makes me hungry 2 share.

He has the award list.

Rumor has it this is a must read for local college Freshmen. And me.
 Hope your weekend is full of wonder ~ visit your local library. 

xoxo Michele

Quote source: erhondeau

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Girl's Book Club

A neighborhood friend of my daughter's started a book club for girls. Let's just say it totally rocks. They chose this perfection of a classic to get started:

If you haven't read this aloud with your children (ages 2nd-5th grade is best) pick it up today at your library. Jean Craighead George's website is a wealth of knowledge, too. While at the library, look for this companion piece:

Hermiones live at the library. 

xoxo Michele 

Want to know who inspired J.K. Rowling? Click here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Rocket greets my husband with enviable enthusiasm every time. And even though he puts me to shame, I never tire of watching this nightly reunion. Or finding new books on man's best friend at the library to share with my family.

My purpose for this blog is to share the beauty of our public library system. The enthusiasm I have for reading (especially aloud with my children) is boundless. 

Have you found some fantastic dog books at the library? Please share.

xoxo Michele

Monday, January 23, 2012

Young James Bond

Nick dreams of playing for Coach Pete someday. But at night, when he climbs into bed and opens this book series, he is Bond. Young James Bond.

This boy is going places - sometimes without ever leaving his bed.

What adventure will the library take you on today? 

xoxo Michele

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chinese New Year

Arielle is "Ya lie" in Chinese

We count it a blessing to learn about other cultures with a simple swipe of our library card. 

Want to learn Mandarin Chinese? Click here if you live near Charlotte, NC. If not, your local library most likely has a Mango Languages program; it's free with your library card.

What The Rat Told MeFantastic read aloud for the entire family.

The Star Maker - Great for grades 3rd-6th.

Lang Lang - Don't wait for a holiday to discover this genius.
You can find more on our smoochie piano hero here.

Everyday is worth celebrating at the library - would love to hear what you've discovered lately at your local library.

xoxo Michele

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Week of Wonder: The Links

Just finished this series. Hurry up, movie!

Adore this photo.

Listening to this cd.

She always has awesome library recommendations

Just started this book. Thank you, Tammy.

Moved by this post. And this one.

Watching this as a family. Because my daughter cherished these books.

Arielle and I have fallen in love with May B

So happy I found this writer. 

Picked up this book at the library after reading this post.

Baking love with this book.

Loving this challenge. Thrilled this bloggy friend  joined us.

Reading this for book club. It took effort to get through the first 150 pages, but worth it. 

Effort. All worthwhile pursuits require it, and I have decided to embrace effort like a cherished friend. What required effort in your life this week?

xoxo Michele

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Library Lessons

The sweetest neighbors gave us their piano at Christmas. Our daughter is psyched at the prospect of lessons, but a tsunami of regret washes over me as I remember being her age; my blazing red John Thompson's piano book battered and bruised from me drop kicking it all the way to my piano teacher's house each week, wishing I could be one of the many children in my neighborhood playing tag or riding bikes or, well, doing anything other than P@!#ANO.

Sweet redemption found me in section 786 of our local library. What once seemed like torture is now a source of relaxation. 

Our family calls them library lessons - a delightful, painless way to learn at your own leisure. 

How will the library nurture you today?

xoxo Michele

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Crows. I see them daily, yet give them very little thought. Then our local children's librarian, Bev, recommended the book Wildwood as a read aloud with my 11 year old son and I've thought about little else since. Who knew crows could be so interesting? Intelligent?

This book has transported us on an unexpected and stunning journey of learning about birds. In the first chapter,  the main character keeps referring to The Sibley Guide to Birds - and guess what? Our library has these books. Well, technically we have them at our house right now. Amazing, I tell you. 

This great read was written by the singer and songwriter of the Decemberists and beautifully illustrated by his wife. It is 541 pages of unforgettable wonder.

While I am not interested in making this blog about book reviews, I am hoping to show how one book can lead to unexpected discoveries. This expedition wouldn't have been possible without our children's librarian - I don't think I would have found this book on my own - it wasn't even on my long list of future read alouds. And of course it enticed me pick up this cd of a band I adored back in my early twenties.

Please share - what have you picked up from the library lately that lead to accidental, glorious learning? 
xoxo Michele

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Little Candles

Children are little candles, good deeds in a weary world. So are libraries. They carry my favorite books that introduce Shakespeare to young children. They also carry one of my favorite teacher/authors, Rafe Esquith.

Rafe uses Shakespeare to light the fire in the children that he influences, and if you're a parent, so should you. Start at the library, and watch your little candle's passion for the classics ignite into a flame of knowledge.

Which Shakespeare classics are your favorite?

xoxo Michele

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sharing Stars

Share it. Together we can change how others see the library. 

xoxo Michele

Friday, January 13, 2012

His Dream, Her Dream

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
 Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 
                                                             ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

The library has everything your children need to make this holiday more than just a day off from school. And if your daughter is like mine, she will request books that allow her to teach her students about a man that had a dream. That one day his children would be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. You can find materials from the library here.

It is Arielle's dream for all children. Including her class below.

Have a great weekend.

xoxo Michele

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why I Love My Job

Being taught how to use Mac Photo Booth by a three year old: priceless.

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love My Job:

10. Coffee takes a backseat to imagination as the habitual stimulant.
9.   Laughter rules, serious totally drools.
8.   Our sad conversations are frequently sung to the tune of "Don't Cry For Me              
      Argentina" and our happy talks to "I'm Coming Up So You Better Get This 
      Party Started".
7.   We roll with a tricked out red squeaky stroller. Don't hate us.
6.   Hair and makeup are optional, and mixy-matchy outfits of the stretchy 
      variety are always in fashion.
5.   Nap time. Need I say more?
4.   Open mike moments are spontaneous and surprisingly entertaining.   
3.   Party Lunch hour involves bibs, sippy cups, singing frogs and dancing fruit.
2.   Hugs - not handshakes - rule our world.
1.   Reading is a top priority so library visits are often a daily highlight. 

Do you love your job? What are your top ten reasons?

xoxo Michele

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

May B.

"There is nothing like loving children. There is nothing like loving books. 
To experience the two together is a gift indeed." 

I'm swooning over this author already. I follow Read Aloud Dad and today was so inspirational I just had to share. You can read an interview with Caroline Starr Rose, discover her newly released great read, May B., and enter a giveaway. Best Bonus: She shares her top 10 read alouds; they are not to be missed.

The best part? I was able to put this awesome book on hold at our local library today. That means the superheros over at the library knew what I would want before I did and had it ordered and ready for me. 

Get to know Caroline Starr Rose, Read Aloud Dad and your local librarians - your children will shower you with smooches (if not now, definitely in the future).

xoxo Michele

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hideously Balanced

Oh how I heart this book. Very rarely do I imagine there could be people out there that aren't in love with books (and the library) the way I am. I'm quite self-centered that way. Sorry. But this book helps break it down for me.

Warts! Now we are talking her language.

The entire book is this hideously awesome. I promise. And when you add the movie and cd and cookbook...well now you are just down and dirty ogreish.

This beautifully heinous material is available for those of us that have found the magic of the library, and those that are still searching (don't give up).

xoxo Michele

An extra treat!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Read A Fever

The swooniest part of being sick? Having this precious boy read to me each night. He stopped by his library at school and picked out new books, brought them home and doctored me with love. 

John's picks:

City Dog, Country Frog (My personal favorite)

He would make a great librarian. Or for that matter, a great doctor.

Thank you so much for all the well-wishes! 
My inbox has never been so full of thoughtful friends; so happy to be back.

xoxo Michele

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Slaying The Fever Dragon

I haven't felt well since New Year's Eve. A low grade fever dragon has blown into my life; apparently it has unpacked a suitcase and decided to stay for awhile. So please forgive my absence as I slay the dragon with rest and more rest.

Of course I'm still reading; a little bit of this - which prompted me to want to re-read thisOh, and I'm thoroughly enjoying this after reading these

Hope to be back to normal by this weekend.

xoxo Michele 

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, Old Reads

You've got to love a town that has this type of sign made for it's library. Davidson has made signs with divine toppers for other important town landmarks, you can see them here, but this is my favorite.

This year I plan to read a lot more classics, starting with her. She moved over 12 times by six years of age. She grew up calling Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Thoreau neighbors and dear friends of the family (she may have had a secret teen crush on one of them). Her own personal story is as fascinating as the books she wrote. These books will give you the entire, remarkable scoop. Jennie has extended an open invitation to her Louisa Challenge in 2012 - hope you'll join us!

That arrow above is pointing to an endless treasure of borrowed beauty. But here is the best part: you get to keep the knowledge.

Where are you beginning your reading journey in 2012?

xoxo Michele