Posted tagged ‘Fall/Autumn’


January 30, 2012

I tell my classes that there has to be a conflict to have an interesting story.  I lied.  A HOUSE IN THE WOODS has no conflict, and it just became one of my favorite books.  True, not much happens.  Two pigs’ houses get broken accidentally by a moose and a bear, and together with some excellent beaver builders, they all build a new house that they can live in together.  Why do I like it so much?  The illustrations are beautiful;  it’s one of those books you just want to jump into so you can live there.  The expressions on the animals’ faces are humorous and expressive.  The fall scenery is gorgeous.  Everyone gets along. So, once in awhile it’s okay for a book to have no conflict, only cooperation and friendship, if it’s packaged this beautifully.  Everyone needs a cozy, feel-good story on their list of favorites.

Wildwood by Colin Meloy

December 2, 2011

Before winter and the Christmas season really set in, I want to tell you about the greatest book I read last month, Wildwood.  Set in the real city of Seattle and the fictional “wildwood” that is located across the river from Seattle, it is full of adventure, danger, colorful characters, and nail-biting suspense.  There are echoes of the “Narnia” books, but the author has put his own personal stamp on it and made it original.  There are beautiful pictures throughout the book, drawn by the author’s very talented wife.

The main character is Pru, a young girl who loses her nearly one-year-old brother one day when she’s babysitting.  One minute he’s sleeping in the little red wagon, and the next he gets carried away by crows! Very disturbing, but of course she sets out to find him, and of course the crows have taken him to Wildwood, which is the mysterious forbidden area across the river from Pru’s city. Children have been taught that it is a dangerous, uncivilized land, but Pru is a daring and loyal sister who will stop at nothing to get her brother back. What will she find when she gets there? Will she succeed in finding her brother, and why would crows carry him away in the first place? Read this beautifully descriptive fantasy if you are looking for a challenging and rewarding reading experience.

Addie’s Apple Doll

October 4, 2011

I always read THE APPLE DOLL by Elisa Kleven at this time of year to my second grade classes.  It’s a story about a lonely girl who finds friends after she shares her apple doll at school. She learns how to dry the apple in lemon juice, and the apple starts to look like a “grandma” or a “grandpa”.   The students are often interested enough to take home the directions for making their own apple doll, and SOMETIMES an apple doll will appear in the library the next week or so!  This morning, Addie in Ms. Lee’s class brought me her apple doll.  Here is Addie showing her doll:



Addie reported that she made the apple doll with her grandmother, and she sewed some of the clothes herself.  GOOD JOB, ADDIE!  Your doll is so cute.

The great outdoors

October 12, 2010

I hope everyone is getting out there and enjoying this beautiful fall weather we’re having.  One of the best ways to view the colorful leaves and feel the crisp air is to go hiking, and that’s exactly what I did this past weekend and the weekend before.   Here is a picture from the top of Goose Eye:

While I was hiking through the woods, I couldn’t help thinking about one of my favorite books, My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.  In this classic book, Sam lives in a hollow tree in the forest for almost a year and learns how to forage and hunt, make his own clothes from deerskin, and observe and “befriend” some of the animals of the forest.  What a great adventure!  Sam knew a lot more than I do before he left home to live in the wilderness, but I still think it sounds like a pretty awesome way to spend the summer.

Another excellent book about the great outdoors is Lost on a Mountain in Maine by Donn Fendler.   Of course Donn wasn’t having quite as much fun as Sam in My Side of the Mountain!  Donn got separated from his hiking group and spent many days alone, desperately seeking rescue.  My hiking group and I felt a little of Donn’s panic this weekend, as our hike took a little longer than expected, it was a lot colder at the summit than we thought it would be, and we found ourselves beginning the descent at almost 4:00.  There was ice on the rocks and we sure hoped we could get safely off the mountain before dark.  Luckily we did, and we all enjoyed a hearty dinner and a great sleep that night.   Next time we’ll start our hike a little earlier…

It’s the first day of fall!

September 21, 2009

Take a bite of a new apple, enjoy the crisp air, and dive into these picture books about fall.