Mom and Me Reviews: The Real Mother Goose

I grew up being read to out of this book as well. When I found we had it at the library I became SO excited!

First Line: “Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep, and can’t tell where to find them;”

Summary: All of the mother goose nursery rhymes you grew up with (or your kids will) are included in this book alongside beautiful illustrations.

Ratings:

                Maggie: *Did not participate*

                Conor: 5 stars

                Mama Lala: 5 stars

Their Thoughts: Conor opens the book repeatedly to the “Humpty Dumpty” and “Hey Diddle Diddle” Nursery Rhymes. He carries his board book version at home around. I think we found our favorite.

My Thoughts: I grew up being read to out of this book as well. When I found we had it at the library I became SO excited. My kids like it so much we actually found a board book version of it for Conor to have, and a regular picture book version for the family library. I am so happy we all get to share this memory.

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mama Lala Reads: Scritch Scratch

Image result for scritch scratch lindsay currie
Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie

First Line: “If someone had told me yesterday that I’d be spending my Saturday morning in the aisle of a stuffy bookstore searching for ghost stories, I would’ve told them they were nuts.”

Summary: Claire is the daughter of a ghost-obsessed writer slash ghost tour bus owner. She hates that. She is a scientist and doesn’t believe in that phooeoy. That is, until she is forced to help her dad on the bus. When the ghost follows her home she is forced to face facts she would rather not. To top that off, she’s also has a school science fair to prepare for, a middle school she has to prevent from finding out about her recent outing (hello, rumor mill), and a best friend who might be moving on. Middle school is rough, but ghosts are worse.

Ratings: 8 out of 10

                Once again I read this book alone. No kiddos. It’s too long for the little’s consideration, and it’s a bit scary for the bigger of the two. Perhaps this should be more of a “Mama Lala Reads” blog, as I’m reading these books for my kids, but not always to. Anyhow…

My Thoughts: As an adult who remembers all too well how hard middle school was, I cried. It was a good cry, though. A “I finally can approach this with understanding” cry. I, too, had a friend who moved on without me. I acted much like Claire. Unfortunately, life isn’t like the books, and our ending didn’t turn out like this book’s ending for Claire. Then again, I’ve never been haunted quite like Claire has, and I count that a blessing. This book definitely gives the creepies. It’s a great read for all those creepy kids out there… and their parents too. It addresses real life issues like divorce, friendship, and *gasp* crushes, all while entertaining the reader with a plot line a bit more theatrical. For the cherry on top, it has a historically accurate thread as well.

All in all a great read. Points only discounted for giving a too perfect wrap up. Life isn’t pretty, and sometimes endings have to be a little ugly, too (twelve year olds don’t know how to work out those kind of relationship issues.)

Happy Reading my friends,

Mama Lala (Chelsea)

Mama Lala Reads: Maya and the Rising Dark

My Thoughts (SPOILERS): This book makes me want to research. I know I’ve heard of the Orisha before…

First Line: “T- minus five days.”

Summary: There is magic in this world, and the rest, and nobody knows it. One day Maya watches the color drain from the world, and wonders if she is going crazy. Then her dad disappears– literally– and Maya knows something is going on. When the truth is revealed to her, she knows she must go save her father.

Rating: 4.5 stars! I know something about this book must not be perfect, but I cannot think of it!

My Thoughts (SPOILERS): This book makes me want to research. I know I’ve heard of the Orisha before, I believe it is an African folklore, but i want to KNOW. I want to compare these characters to the Gods they are based on. I want to dive deep into the mythology.

A little warning, I wanted to read this book with my daughter, who is 9. I’m a little glad I didn’t. Some kids could handle this book at that age, and others would have nightmares. I’m not sure which side my girl would land on, and that is why I’m glad I didn’t share. The villain is quite creepy, and he can kill you in your dreams (which is why I was timid to share with my young one).

All in all, it’s a wonderful book, just be sure your creepy kid won’t get nightmares before you bring it home to them.

You can check it out at the library via the link above. Hope to see you soon.

Happy Reading my friends,

Chelsea (Mama Lala)

A Universe of Fun in the Children’s Department

Hello, Friends!

Its Chelsea again– Lala the Library Lady. Today I’m here to tell you about some new fun going on at the library.

Last semester I started a weekly blog post titled “Mom and Me Book Reviews”. It’s been fun sharing my nightly book choices with both my children AND each of you! For those of you who haven’t read one of these, the process goes a little something like this: My I read a book to my kids. A lot of nights this means just my oldest, because my 18 month old isn’t ready to cooperate for bedtime books yet. She tells me what she thinks of the book, and I tell you. I also tell you my “mommy” opinion of the book, because that matters too! I can like a book and not think it appropriate. I can also think something is a good book, but not enjoyable. All of that is explored in our book reviews.

Well, this month we are taking “Mommy and Me Book Reviews” a step further. Starting this semester (January 18th) there will be a scavenger hunt and wiggle walk matching the book review theme!

Don’t know what a wiggle walk is? Let me tell you! It’s exactly what it sounds like– a walk meant to make you wiggle and move! Better yet, this made-of-chalk wiggle-walk is OUTDOORS so you and your family can do it any time during the week– day, night, library open or library closed. Each week new themed directions will be drawn on the sidewalk on the west side of the building by the parking lot. A “swirl” might suggest that you twirl, and an “line” might be a balance beam. The next week, maybe you’ll jump on all the stars or dash down all of the lines. Whatever it is, its sure to keep you moving, and sure to be fun!

The scavenger hunt will also be indoor/outdoor as much as possible. Some items may only be seen inside, but others will be visible from outdoors, so keep your eyes open for items matching that weeks theme!

Speaking of themes, stay tuned because each theme will be announced here weekly!

This week’s theme, is THE UNIVERSE. Keep your eyes out for stars, planets, sunshine and moons!

See you Monday for our this week’s book review!

Mom and Me Reviews: How to Write a Story by Kate Messner

Mom and Me Reviews: How to Write a Story by Kate Messner, Illustrated by Mark Siegel

How to Write a Story by Kate Messner

First Line: “Step 1: Search for an Idea– a Shiny one”

Summary: This book gives gentle encouraging instruction to young minds on creating stories. They may or may not be in book form. It is told as more than character arc– like “shiny ideas” instead of just a story idea. You want a “good” one.

Ratings:

                Maggie: 10 out of 10

                Conor: goo goo gah gah

                Mama Lala: 10 out of 10

Their Thoughts: “I dont know what about this story isn’t perfect!?” I like the illustrations. I like how it ixplains to us how to write a story so well.

Me: “You want to give it [writing a story] a shot?”

Her: “Mmmmmaybe. But, I’ll need that book again.”

My Thoughts: I love how simplified Messner made the complex task of writing a story. She took it from a mess, to an obtainable goal for children (and adults).

FYI: This is a new nonfiction book in or J (or elementary) section.

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack

Mom and Me Reviews: Prince & Knight by Daniel Hack, Illustrations by Stevie Lewis

First Line: “Once upon a time, in a kingdom far from here, lived a charming prince who was handsome and sincere.”

Summary: This is the story of a prince who is ready to marry, but cannot find a bride. He searches everywhere, but cannot find “the one”. When a dragon attacks the kingdom, he goes to defeat the attacker and meets his one true love– a knight.

Ratings:

                Maggie: N/A

                Conor: N/A

Guest Reader (Anonymous): unable to score

                Mama Lala: 7 out of 10

Their Thoughts:

“Where is this place, ‘Far from here’?”

“It’s going to be a girl. The Knight is going to be a girl and the girl is going to be the one the prince likes” (cue penetrating stare at me).

It took them a long time after the book was over to share their thoughts. Then they said, “I don’t know if this is appropriate for my age group.”

My Thoughts: I love the bright vivid colors of the illustrations. I enjoy that it starts with ‘Once Upon a Time’, and ends with ‘Happily Ever After’. I think the book was well-worded. I also think it caused the child to think about and even evolve their thoughts of being gay. They assumed things about the story, and it made them uncomfortable when it didn’t conform to their assumptions. It made them uncomfortable that it made them uncomfortable, too. I think that is why they believed this was “not for their age group.” All in all, I am glad I read them this story at this age, and not a younger one– or too much older. I wanted to confront these assumptions at a younger age. The topic had been discussed before, and they are in contact with people who are gay, so this was not a new subject– it was a new perspective, though.

FYI: This story contains LGBTQ+ themes, and may require discussion with your little ones on the matter.

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: Sometimes People March

First Line: “Sometimes Ants March”

Summary: Tessa Allen uses this book to explain the reasons people march (or protest) in terms your littles are more likely to understand. It does not argue that people should march, it simply explains why they choose to in as simple of terms as possible. For the older littles, there is also a reference at the end of the book listing which marches and protests are presented by the different illustrations, and what the main purpose of these protests were.

Ratings:

                Maggie: 9 out of 10

                Conor: Did not participate in this storytime

                Mama Lala: 10 out of 10

Their Thoughts: “I wouldn’t read this regularly. It’s not a ‘fun’ book, it’s a ‘life-lesson’ book. It’s a good book to know (of); read once. It’s about standing together, for justice.”

My Thoughts: I love that Tessa Allen has put these complex issues into understandable chunks of information. She makes the issues relatable and simple. I also appreciate the list of protests in the back, and especially the page numbers listed alongside them. When Maggie asked me what a sign meant, I could explain it to her because of this!

FYI: This book covers many controversial issues, past and present.

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses

First Line: “She’s got a smile that it seems to me reminds me of childhood memories,”

Summary: In this storybook telling to the lyrics of Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine, a father and daughter bond over their love of music.

Ratings:

                Maggie: 8 out of 10

                Conor: Did not participate in this storytime.

                Mama Lala: 10 out of 10

Their Thoughts: It’s amazing that they put (the song) into words (storyform)! I think this isn’t for little kids– it’s for my age and older. Maybe more for the parents than for the kids. “It reminds me of a place that is beautiful, and keeps me warm and safe.”

My Thoughts: I love when artists of different genres work together. I’ve known this to be a wonderful song for, well, a very long time. It is easier to share that with my littles in this form– a storybook. Accompanying each line is a beautiful illustration, something to help them understand what it means.

FYI: Another great version of this to share with your children comes in song form! Check out the original, or the lullabye remake by Rockabye Baby!

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Mom and Me Reviews: One Little Bag

First Line: This is a WORDLESS book!

Summary: This book is difficult to summarize, as each reader finds a different story within the image. My daughter and I interpreted the story as this (SPOILERS!):

A Tree is cut down then driven to a paper mill. The tree is shredded, made into paper, and folded into brown paper bags. The bags are boxed then shipped to different locations. One bag is given to a father and son while purchasing a flashlight. It is reused as a lunch sack, and a LOT of other things. The boy grows up using and reusing his brown paper sack. He even takes it to college, where he meets a girl. They fall in love, get married, and have a baby. Now, the baby grows up with the brown paper bag. He takes it to his grandpa, the original boy’s father. They make memories together with it. They put new memories into the bag. Grandpa’s chair is empty now, maybe he died. They look at the memories the little boy made with his grandpa, stored in the brown paper bag. They plant a new tree in the old brown paper bag. Full circle!

Ratings:

                Maggie: 10 out of 10

                Conor: Did not participate in this storytime.

                Mama Lala: 8 out of 10

Their Thoughts: It would be easier to understand if it had words, but (I) like that it let (me) decide the story. I wish the grandpa didn’t die. I like that he grew up with (the bag), and he didn’t throw it away.

“Can we read it again, mama?”

My Thoughts: I love how my little loved this story. Her heart seemed to sink into the book. The author’s note at the end of the story was interesting, but I wish I hadn’t read it aloud to my daughter. It confused the story for her. She had trouble remembering which details were in the story, and which happened to the author.

FYI: There is the possibility of death as a discussion topic in this book.

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

Holiday Bags for Children at the Library

Happy Holiday from the Derby Pubic Library! Bring your youth to the library to pick up their very own holiday goodie bag.

We miss you.

There, I said it. Covid-19 has kept us apart, and that makes us sad.

We even missed out on our annual time with Santa at the park this year! No trains, crafts, or young smiling faces to greet us.

It’s just too much. We can give up the cookies and crafts, but those smiling faces is where we draw the line. So, come! We have a present for a few of you.

Come pick yours up (if you are between the ages of birth and 18) Monday, December 14th- Friday December 19th! There are a few goodies in there for you to enjoy, just from us to you. A way to say “thank you for being you, and thank you for coming to see us.”

Pick up is available at the Youth Services desk, or at the drive through. Bags are divided into age groups (Birth-2) Toddler Bags, (age 3-5) Preschool Bags, (K- 2nd grade) Beginner Reader Bags, (3rd-5th grade) Elementary Bags, and (6th-12th grade) Young Adult bags. We also have a limited supply of bags with Spanish (picture) books in them.

Toddler Holiday Gift Bag

“It touches my heart how excited he is about having his own ornament. He loves it! He keeps pulling it off the tree and showing it to people.” — Conor’s mom

Preschool Holiday Gift Bag

“See all this!?” — Amelia

Beginner Reader/ Early Elementary Holiday Gift Bag

“Look! We got two bookmarks!” — Evan Gustafson

Elementary Holiday Gift Bag

“I LOVE Junie B. Jones!”

Young Adult Bag

“I love everything in the holiday bags… My favorite think in the bag was the make-your-own-ornament because it allows me to get creative and it is easy to do.” — Anni

Hopefully you’ll enjoy your bag every bit as much as these young people did! See you soon!

Happy Reading my friends,

LaLa the Library Lady