Wednesday, August 27, 2008

democratic/ Democrats ?

After being exhilarated by the Olympics on TV, now we have to sit through the political conventions before we can get back to normal television programming.
(Why we have conventions any more is beyond me. I can remember when the race for president wasn't decided until after several votes on the convention floor and many back-room meetings. But lately, the party's candidate is decided in the Spring and it's all over but the shouting (speeches) at the conventions in late summer and fall.)

But lately, I'm beginning to think the Democrat party has changed its name.
The party leader declared 'this Democratic" meeting open.

Isn't the party's name -- the Democrat Party?

How come in the past few years, so many people call it "the Democratic Party?" All over the media, pundits use the word "Democratic" instead of the word "Democrat" when talking about the Democrat political party.
(Hey guys, those Republicans aren't democratic, WE are.)

As a person who works with words, I find it offensive when people use words wrong.

Wow -- even Google is using it when linking to Democrat web pages -- probably because the web page writers put that word in the 'searchable terms' area of the page. Try it -- go search Democrat in Google and check out what the first few links are called.
First link -- The Democratic Convention
Watch live video of the Democratic National Convention in Denver!

I rest my case. They've changed their name.

Sorry folks -- democratic is a way of electing government officials - the way of democracy/ the democratic way. The United States of America has a democratic type of government.
The political party is the Democrat Party.


Monday, August 25, 2008

NF Monday -- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi and other party Recipes by Kristi Johnson. A Snap Book from Capstone Press, 2008. Available now.

It's the end of August and a young person's mind turns to -- SCHOOL? Actually, they're probably trying to think of new things for their favorite class -- Lunch.
What to pack for lunch?
Peanutbutter and Jelly sandwiches?
Crustless frozen peanutbutter and Jelly sandwiches?
how about Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi?

Raw fish? Yuck! (Sorry Yoko)
No -- really. The Peanut Butter and jelly sushi on the cover actually look like they'd taste pretty good.

This easy cookbook is perfect for young fingers. Step by step instructions create goodies suitable for slumber parties, anytime parties, and even school lunchbags. Photographs show ways to display your finished product. And there's even a sidebar for every receipe offering tidbits about the dish -- page 9 explains what's inside real Japanese sushi.

Especially helpful is the Tools Glossary which not only explains the kitchen tools mentioned in the book, but shows the young reader pictures of them. Neat!

Other titles in the series include:
Apple Pie Calzones and other cookie recipes
Banana Split Pizza and other snack recipes
Monkey Pudding and other dessert recipes
Oodle Doodles Tuna Noodle and other salad recipes
Wormy Apple Croissants and other Halloween recipes
(Just in time to help you plan your Halloween party)

This post was written for Nonfiction Monday. Head on over to Anastasia Suen’s blog and check out all the great posts highlighting nonfiction this week

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Day of the Dead is a Coming

Good Lord. Here I was hesitant to mention my Halloween book in August for fear it would be too early to do so, and over at La Bloga they're discussing Day of the Dead books. One is a really neat craft book.

The 8-year old and I saw a whole aisle of Halloween stuff on the shelves at our local grocery store.

Maybe Halloween has become like Christmas -- On second thought, no. We plan for the Christmas season for 6 months ahead and then recover from it for 6 months after. I can't see us doing that for Halloween. (I probably shouldn't mention that stash of leftover Halloween candy I finally tossed out with the Spring Cleaning.)

Anywho -- somebody's looking forward to Halloween 'cause shows a goodly lot of sales for the Halloween Book of Facts and Fun. Which means that next May I might see some royalties from it. Hooray!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Contest coming soon

In September I'll have a contest featuring my Halloween book. The prize -- copies of the book, of course. Watch this spot.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nonfiction Monday -- Healthy Snacks

Healthy Snacks by Mari C. Schuh. A Pebble Plus book from Capstone Press, 2006. Part of the Eating with MyPyramid series.

How can we entice kids to eat healthy snacks, instead of over processed, fatty ones? This book aims at the Kindergarten/ first grade new reader by using several sentences on the left and a photograph which bleeds all the way out to the edges on the right.
(Preschool teachers will have no problem using this for their classes, too.)

It's not in the taller than wide easy reader format, though. It's in a wider than tall picture book format. Which means that our library has placed it in the nonfiction cook book area, not in the easy reader nonfiction.

Every photograph has kids eating healthy snacks -- even though the words don't specifically name them. For example, on page 5 the children are eating raisins and yogurt, with an orange in the table. But the words say,"Small healthy snacks help you grow strong." I recognize "ants on a log" on the cover, but nowhere does it tell you how to make that snack. (although -- all you have to do is look at it and you can tell that it's celery with peanutbutter and raisins.)

Since this series's purpose is to explain the 'new' food pyramid, it includes a picture of it with a suggestion to go to the government website for more information. Hmm, sending you to a website doesn't sound helpful, does it? Ah, the next page lists the food groups from the pyramid.

Does the author make a written connection between the pyramid and the rest of the snacks discussed? No. (although an adult can easily see which group each snack comes from. A teacher might extend this book by having the children guess which food group is represented on each page.)

The photographs are multi-racial, multi-generational, and I even saw a downs syndrome child in one.

Other titles in this "Eating with MyPyramid" series include:
Being Active
Drinking Water
The Fruit Group
The Grain Group
The Meat and Beans Group
The Milk Group
The Vegetable Group

More links to Nonfiction Monday book reviews can be seen here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What have we been doing?

Last weekend my sister and her daughter were in town. The 8-year old and I picked them up at the airport and took them home for crab cakes and corn on the cob. yummy. My niece was here to attend Oticon (sp) -- an Anime convention here in Baltimore -- with one of her friends. (I've learned this week that several of the teens from my library area also attended.) While the girls were there, my sister explored the downtown Baltimore Inner Harbor area with the mother of that friend.

Sunday the 8-year old and I toured the National Aquarium in Baltimore, then picked my sister and her daughter up from the convention. (Carefully avoiding running over strangely costumed conference goers leaving the convention.) We had delicious Gelato at a store in Fells Point (another tourist area of Baltimore more old-timey than the Inner Harbor) then took them back to the airport.

This weekend we do a similar thing with my daughter. She's flying in from San Diego on Sunday for a Pharmacy convention. (yes, in the same convention center) Except this this time I'll have both grandchildren with me. The 5-year old has just turned 6 and her Aunt wants to take her to dinner (Rainforest Cafe was the kid's choice) and give her some birthday presents. My husband will meet us there. Thank heavens he doesn't mind the Rainforest Cafe and all its noise. (jungle animals, don't cha know)

Once we return Aunt to her hotel in downtown Baltimore, we probably won't see her again -- because my work schedule conflicts with any off time she'll have from the convention. Too bad.

On the writing front, since I knew that I would be working on Saturday and with my daughter and grandchildren on Sunday, I put the finishing touches on my writing packet on my day off -- Friday.

What's a Writing Packet? Well, for the picture book Certificate group at Vermont College, it's 3 or more picture book manuscripts, an annotated bibliography of 25 picture books, a discussion of at least one 'craft' book (writing craft, that is), a discussion of the progress of my semester essay, and a cover letter describing it all with the above manuscripts attached. whew! Got it done and sent. Early. It was due Monday, August 18.

This packet was relatively easy to put together. Relative to what comes next. The next one will be harder -- because I'll have to revise most of these stories responding to the revision notes that come back and send them back to the Instructor.

Can I rest? no. This week I must revise that manuscript I had sent last Monday. It's due next Monday.
This schedule goes on and on until December. Wish me luck that I can survive this.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Olympics and Summer Reading Program news

There are only three more days left for the County-wide library's Summer Reading program. Saturday is the last day kids can turn in their list of 10 books read this summer and get their prize. (a book) Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers only had to read three. And the little non-readers can turn in a list of 25 books people have read to them. (and get a book and a pre-cut bee.) And the kids have been pouring in this week.

We have lists of 'completers' from each of the local schools decorating our Children's room. Plus pictures of bugs and butterflies all over the wall. The actual, factual butterflies are still on display, flitting around their little butterfly cage.

Plus -- we have our new wide screen TV out in the library showing the Olympics.

On the writing side, I've turned in my first Vermont College picture book assignment and now am printing out the critiques. Revision is due in two weeks. (hmmm, that's also the first day of school for the 8 year old.)

Olympic fever has hit all over. The 8 year old stays up watching the Olympics every night -- until she simply falls asleep and we have to put her to bed. Even her day care/ summer camp is celebrating the Olympics this week and next. They had a parade of nations on Tuesday.

She was inspired by the olympics four years ago to begin gymnastics, which she continues taking today -- as a recreational sport. Although she was invited to try out for the junior team, because we both work full time, we just couldn't manage to get her to the 12 hours of practice a week necessary for team members. We do good getting her to her one hour a week.

She's fastinated by our Maryland swimmer, Michael Phelps. I'm hoping she watches his swimming technique so that when she swims on the swim team next summer, she'll be even faster than she was this summer.


Monday, August 11, 2008

What do Astronauts do?

What Do Astronauts Do? by Carmen Bredeson. Enslow, 2008. (part of the I Like Space! series)

Space expert Carmen Bredeson's latest book about Space Exploration -- this time for the youngest reader. Unfortunately, Enslow decided not to follow the typical early- reader size of book. (taller than wide) They used the more old-fashioned picture book shape -- wider than tall. This means that, instead of being shelved with the first grade readers in most libraries, they will be shelved in the general nonfiction.

Each double page spread discusses one topic, answering many burning questions about what an astronaut does. In five sentences -- they blast off. (Fun fact -- they wear diapers during liftoff!) The illustrations combine cartoons with actual, factual photographs.

What is it like in space?
How do they eat?
How do they go to the bathroom?

(Personal fact -- When my oldest daughter was in middle school, she wanted to write a report about the astronaut bathroom information -- but NASA wouldn't tell her anything. Kids want to know these things. Finally, Sally Ride came out with her book and there was a picture of the astronaut's bathroom. Yea! )

The chapter on this subject contains three sentences, along with an excellent photograph that answers that burning question about bathrooms in space for this modern generation.

Available now.

For more Nonfiction Monday blogs, click here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Who can get anything done when the Olympics are on? Not me.
Especially when there are so many Marylanders participating and winning medals.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Reviewing Books

From a lecture at Vermont College --

My notes say that Julie Larios said:
"A good review should inform, and educate, and also illuminate the work under discussion.
It should put the work in context of what has been done.
It should recommend.
It should judge.

I'll have to keep that in mind when I do my Nonfiction Monday reviews. -wendieO

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More Butterflies

The rest of the butterflies have emerged.
We now have five winners who guessed the correct day in my library -- and one person who guessed correctly on this Blog. Hurrah for everyone.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008


One butterfly hatched at 10:15 am today.
Only one person guessed today's date -- one of our teen volunteers at my library.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Nonfiction Monday -- Ummm Nope

I was all set to do a Nonfiction Monday review. I picked a book new to our library and brought it home and everything.

Turns out the book was published in 2006. I was going to give it a so-so review anyway, because it didn't quite meet the need I had intended it for, but 2006? One of my self-imposed rules for these Monday reviews is that the book be somewhat new.
Maybe I'll find a good one tomorrow and post it then.

Right now I've got to light a fire under the 8-year old and take her book away from her and get her to bed.
It's hard for me to do, because she has a summer reading biography assignment and she's in her bedroom reading my book -- To Fly, the Story of the Wright Brothers. But bedtime is bedtime.

And no, I'm not going to review To Fly, today either. It's a 2002 book. It received a lot of awards plus a nice shinny, engraved plate, so I'm happy with it. -wendieO

Friday, August 1, 2008


I apologize to anyone who tried to enter my butterfly guessing contest (see below) and couldn't get through. For some reason, that I don't understand, blogger blocked my blog. (I love alliteration, don't you? I guess blogger does too.

Is it offensive to talk about writing and butterflies and libraries and books? You tell me.

(If you can see this message, it means that blogger has unblocked me and you can begin guessing, again. Hint -- as of today, August 2nd, none of them have emerged.)

----I'm free! Unblocked!
In celebration, I invite all of you to mosey on over to Alice Pope's blog. She is at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' National conference in Los Angeles and is blogging about the sessions she attends.