Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #492: Marriage

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The home is the child’s first school,
the parent is the child’s first teacher,
and reading is the child’s first subject.
–Barbara Bush

Margaret Susan Got Married

When Miss Margaret Susan got married
& became Mrs. Peggy Sue,
she, who had been a cosmopolitan traveler,
became a domestic goddess,
defined & deified as such by her husband,
her conversation sparkling like the windows,
her cooking nourishing like the rain.
When she gave birth to Suzy & Margie,
she taught them all she had learned
from the days she had backpacked her way
through the lands of her lineage.
She read to them about all the places she’d been,
told them about all the places they’d go,
& what wasn’t in the books,
she could fill in.
She taught them that there was a time to travel,
a time to stay home,
& a time to bring home with her;
now was that time.
And when her husband saw her
under the Tuscan sun & the Parisian moon,
he saw her in a different light.
He saw that he had fallen in love with a woman
who wasn’t all she was because of him
but of all that had come before him.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 492

 

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Book Review: Fox the Tiger

Foxy tiger

As part of my Post-K Summer Reading Boot Camp:
https://sarahleastories.com/2019/06/08/post-k-summer-reading-boot-camp-2019
 

Fox the Tiger is a collection of sweet, colored-pencil drawings accompanied with a simple message:  Admire traits in others while remembering that you have traits others admire.   

This book used four of my favorite animals in children’s literature:  foxes, turtles, rabbits, and squirrels, as well as two things my daughter loves:  race cars (she actually likes monster trucks but close enough) and robots.  

The squirrel at the end was sweet, though I would’ve liked a tiger (what the fox wished/pretended to be) to make an appearance and show his appreciation for one of the fox’s traits. However, it’s pretty cool that the squirrel saw the exact same qualities in the fox as the fox did in the tiger.

The repetition may seem tedious (and less fun than Dr. Seuss), but this is necessary for an “I Can Read” book; if there are different words on every page, such would make memorization difficult.  

My daughter enjoyed this one, and so did I, which is the Holy Grail of children’s books.  It’s like “The Dating Game” when a woman’s looks choice and personality choice belong to the same man.

A great choice for early readers!

Suggested activity:  My daughter loves robots, and you can build robots out of practically anything:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/154318724707880806.  There is a lot you can do with old cereal boxes, aluminum foil, and baby food jar lids.  Although it would be fun to build the real thing, if you’re on a budget, this is a great way to get your children interested in robotics, which blend technology and creativity.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36590352-fox-the-tiger

Book Review: Jerome by Heart

Jerome

As part of my Post-K Summer Reading Boot Camp:
https://sarahleastories.com/2019/06/08/post-k-summer-reading-boot-camp-2019

When I saw the cover, I was not excited to see what was inside because the illustration was terrible. Why is the city all coated in an orange dust like the post-apocalyptic world of WALL-E?

Though I know boys often hero-worship other boys who happen to be charismatic (not merely polite to their parents), it just came across as creepy.

Then there were these quotes:

“Dad’s voice is like sharp fish bones in my hot chocolate.”

“I forget my mom and dad.
I think only about Jerome.”

“From now on, every day is for Jerome.”

“…feel protected by Jerome’s two eyes.”

And how does Jerome hide his eyes in his shoelaces?

Raphael talks about how Jerome doesn’t play rough. Isn’t it normal for boys to roughhouse rather than hold hands? Girls hold hands, boys roughhouse.

His mom concedes that Jerome is charming, but that’s not good enough for Raphael; he’s upset that she doesn’t seem to notice how warm his smile is.

Raphael’s parents sounded like they were sick of hearing about Jerome (other goodreads reviewers mentioned that Jerome may have been imaginary, which I don’t doubt), probably because they believed their son was obsessed with him. Their son comes across as the kind of boy who, when he gets older, will kill his parents so he can be with Jerome.

This book was not a sweet story of friendship but of one boy consumed with another. Jerome has other friends but Raphael doesn’t seem to. A lot of children have best friends, but this took it to a whole new level.

I generally come up with a suggested, coordinating activity, but I never want to see this book again. I’ve tried finding an appropriate book on friendship between boys but so many of the books on friendship are about animals or use inanimate objects as the main characters, so I am open to suggestions.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36283196-jerome-by-heart

Book Review: Black Bird, Yellow Sun

Black bird

As part of my Post-K Summer Reading Boot Camp: https://sarahleastories.com/2019/06/08/post-k-summer-reading-boot-camp-2019/

Black Bird, Yellow Sun, is like a poor-man’s Eric Carle. This is down there with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, which is one of the worst kids books ever–in words and pictures. I try to keep in mind that I can’t expect (nor should I expect) a striking narrative for an early board book. However, the words are large and contain repetitions of blends (e.g. bl for black, sn for snake, etc)–great for early readers. That said, the illustrations are quite bad–the rocks don’t even look like rocks but gray blobs. The bird isn’t a character but rather, just some random bird who coexists with a worm (also random). If you don’t like this (and even if you do), I highly recommend Little Owl’s Day and Little Owl’s Night (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20307476-little-owl-s-day?from_search=true). The Owl books are the charming, narrative versions of the stark bullet points of Black Bird.

BBYS is one of those books you’d give to your child to play with and look at but not add to your library where they might actually last for the grandchildren.

Suggested activity: Use this book as a scavenger hunt guide (i.e. have your child look for pink flowers, gray rocks, et cetera).

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35793019-black-bird-yellow-sun

Post-K Summer Reading Boot Camp 2019

Hannah (1)

Many moons ago, I read a blog post that we only have 18 summers with our children, and then they are gone.

So I wanted to do something different with my daughter this season–something besides spending lots of time in the pool, making (and helping her meet) educational and life skill goals, and taking weekenderly (just feeling Shakespearish here) field trips to various places (e.g. museums, the beach, free family events, et cetera).

I searched for a list of books to start my own post-kindergarten summer reading program and found this list of “notable” children’s books of 2019: http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncb

Being a fan of goal and to-do lists, this was it for me.  There are 37 books on the list, and because I will be reading them multiple times (in addition to her favorites), this is plenty.  I had originally planned on coming up with an activity pertaining to each book, but that was just a bit too ambitious for me.  I’ll save that for next year.

After every reading, I will post a review of the book.  If I can pry any thoughts out my daughter, I will include those as well.

My daughter’s at the age where she is just starting to learn to read; I want to make reading and the love of doing so a tradition that will become a legacy.