Tag Archives: stories

Friday Library Fun

It’s Friday.  I’d say TGIF if this really were my Friday but, working from home doesn’t really give one a true Friday.  Friday in our house, as you have probably read in the past if you’ve been following this infant blog, is story hour at the local public library.  I honestly think I look forward to it as much as the Daughter because reading is one of my most favorite things and my heart is so happy when my daughter shows her own love for a well-told story.

The library story hour started off with two great stories.

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

This story was great.  The repetition and addition of new sights and sounds made the kids all enjoy it that much more.  The little old lady does have some courage and in the end, the kids know that there is nothing to really be afraid of if we see it in a new light.  I have to say though, the scary pumpkin head…not so scary looking.  I personally thought it was kind of friendly looking.

We’re Going on a Ghost Hunt by Marcia Vaughan

“We’re going on a Ghost Hunt. We’re going on a Ghost Hunt. I’m not afraid! I’m not afraid!…”  This is like that old song we played in Girl Scouts, except instead of the bear hunt/lion hunt, we were on the search for a ghost on Halloween night while we were trick-or-treating.  I say we because after we read the story at story hour, the kids picked up some instruments and went on a ghost hunt, crashing cymbals, shaking maracas, and banging drums in the hopes of scaring the ghost out of the library.  Instead, the candy ghost left them all a lollipop and they were quite thrilled with their find.

As for our picks for this week’s bedtime stories:

Three By the Sea by Mini Grey

We had borrowed this book a few months ago and it’s a sweet story of three friends who live in a house by the ocean.  Once night a stranger washes ashore and tries to sell them something they don’t really need.  As the three friends drift apart because of the promise of something better, they discover what they truly are looking for and what they truly need.  A sweet story of friendship and the dangers of letting others influence your what you know in your heart to be true.

Cinder Hazel by Deborah Nourse Lattimore

A very cute new take on the classic Cinderella.  Lots of little giggles through this sweet tale.

Monsters Eat Whiny Children by Bruce Eric Kaplan

I picked this up because I was thinking about how the Daughter would eventually start hitting that point in the day where Sassy Molassy takes over my usually sweet and loving child.  Sassy Molassy is the Daughter’s alter ego and she does nothing but cry and whine.  This book is my (most likely futile) attempt at trying to curtail the whiny Sassy Molassy.  This is a very endearing tale though, about a monster who cannot decide how to cook the whiny children recently caught.

A Bedtime for Bear by Bonny Becker

A funny tale of two friends who decide to have a sleepover.  The only problem, as many moms and dads are aware, is that both have very different bedtime rituals.  Another fun read for just before bed – the Daughter really enjoyed it!

 

Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin

When the grouchy old man in the neighborhood notices that the birds he loves to watch and paint are fighting off a very clever family of squirrels (genius squirrels to be exact), he tries to stop them from stealing all the food.  That is until the birds fly south for the winter and he finds himself lonely.  Then the squirrels hatch a plan of their own.  Even a grumpy old man can appreciate a grand act of kindness.

I like to share our reading selections each week because I know there are so many stories out there.  Some are instant classics and others kind of quietly sit on a shelf just hoping that someone, sometime will just pick it up and read it.  Those books need to get some credit too.  Plus, I know I love getting good book recommendations, whether it’s a book for me or one to be shared.

Reading is so important and builds so many skills but most importantly, it allows kids to grow their imaginations.  If you have a child and that child asks you to read to them, try to make every effort to put down what you’re doing and read that book to them.  In the end, that is the memory that will stay with them.

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A Day at the Museum

Last Sunday, we went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.   I hyped the trip up to the Daughter as “going to the art museum to see the artwork that the Little Einsteins see.”  Luckily, that was enough to get her interested in going.  When we got there, we did have a mission.  My Mom is currently taking a course that required her to visit the museum and take a photo of a photo…don’t ask it’s a long and very bizarre explanation.  So, on our quest to the 3rd floor photography exhibits, we passed by this beautiful painting:

Antibes, the Pink Cloud by Paul Signac

This was in the same room as a few of Monet’s Water Lilies (my most favorite pieces of art ever), a few Van Gogh’s and some other wonderful Impressionists.  This one struck me though.  The colors were just so bright, my photo doesn’t do it justice.  I just loved the green sail too.  Something about that green sail against that pink cloud (I like to think it was sunset and the boat was going back to port for the day), just makes me happy.  I have seen pink clouds like that and they are beautiful.  This painting captured that beauty in a way I cannot put into words.

As we continued on, we found this painting:

Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple (?)
Fra Carnevale (Bartolomeo di Giovanni Corradini), about 1467

The daughter wanted to have her photo taken in front of it too.  I just found myself wondering what the conversations in this painting were about.  I could see the stories pouring out of the canvas before me and onto my notebook.  I also loved the light and the depth in this painting.  Renaissance painting is another favorite of mine for the richness of the colors, the crispness of the lines, and the simple way the paintings contain a whole story.

We continued on to the exhibit that Mom needed for her assignment and the Daughter and I walked around trying to see more things.  I was happy to find even more inspiring pieces.  I wish the Daughter hadn’t hit her threshold of art and that she didn’t feel the need to test out the reverberation of the rooms by shouting the word “echo” in each of the galleries.

I did get to see some pretty amazing pieces that made me stop to think.  Like this one (sorry – I forgot to snap the little placards next to the following pieces because I was so intrigued by them and then I also had a small child pulling me along):

Then there was this one – the photo doesn’t do it justice but it looked like people seen through a dirty window on a rainy day.

I think that I am going to use some of these as inspiration for some of my writing.  I took a few other pictures from the American paintings galleries.  As I write, I will share those paintings with you because they were interesting and just jump-started my imagination.

I love when the muses hit me like that.  It’s just so much fun and it made me realize that I don’t see enough art in person. It’s one thing to look at art online or on a postcard or on a print.  But to get up close, see the brush strokes, see the colors, see the lighting, there is something special in that simple act.

If you are up for the trip to Boston, check out your local library first.  We used our CLAMS card and got a discounted pass for two to the MFA.  It was a pretty spectacular discount – $7 per ticket.  The library pass is good for two passes and there is a one pass per family limit.  There are many great passes at your local library including the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Rhode Island, the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford, Heritage Museum and Gardens, and many others!  Check them out sometime and enjoy something new and different with your family!

Living on Cape Cod, there are many great art museums and galleries that we can visit and I think that I will make more of an effort to visit these and see what local artists have created!

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