Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"First The Egg" by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Suggested Book:

This book has won a couple of children's books awards, and is currently a 2008 Caldecot Honor Book.

Suggested Pattern:

Woolly Nest Ornament by Marie Mayhew

Marie sells a kit on her site - you have to email her for the details.

Reversible Chicken/Egg pattern located in Craft:06 by Anna Hrachovec

(Thanks for the tip, Michelle)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White

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Book Description (from Amazon): In his classic and beloved novel, E. B. White tells the memorable story of Wilbur, a little pig who becomes famous with the help of his clever friend Charlotte and their chatty animal neighbors. As the runt of the litter, Wilbur struggles to survive from the very beginning. Fern fights her father, Mr. Arable, to raise Wilbur and nurse him to health. Fern succeeds and Wilbur moves to the Zuckerman farm, where he learns the true meaning of friendship from the wise grey spider Charlotte. When it becomes apparent that Wilbur is being well fed for a reason, Charlotte and Wilbur are determined to foil Mr. Zuckerman's plans. With the help of Charlotte and her "terrific" webs, Templeton the rat, and other colorful barnyard friends, Wilbur becomes the prizewinning pig of the County Fair and the most famous pig ever.
Lessons of friendship, loyalty, and truth bind this story together and show readers that friends come in all shapes and sizes.
Illustrations by the artist Garth Williams bring to life these lovable characters. He is also the illustrator of E. B. White's Stuart Little.

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(Photo by Rebekkah Kerner)

"The Sweet Smell of Christmas" by Patricia M Scarry

I know this comes a little late for the past holiday season, but you can always put this in your knitting queue. I had this book when I was little and now read it with my daughter. She loves the scratch and sniff aspect of this book.

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Book Description (from Amazon):

Christmas is almost here! Little Bear can smell it—and so can you! The air is filled with the aroma of gingerbread cookies, minty candy canes, the piney Christmas tree, and yummy hot apple pie. Celebrate the holiday season with this classic Golden storybook which includes six scratch-and-sniff scents.

Suggested Pattern:

I suggest you pair this book with the following:

  • An Orange
  • A Gingerbreadman Cookie
  • A Candy Cane
  • Hot Cocoa Mix
  • Fun Fur Kitschmas Tree by maryse roudier (Free Knitting)

(Photo image © 2007 by maryse roudier)

For you secular types:

Book Suggestion:

A Solstice Tree for Jenny by Karen Shragg (Author), Heidi Schwabacher (Illustrator)

Book Description: From Booklist (Ages 5-8) There are a number of things wrong with this book--among them, the drippy title. But there's virtually nothing around like it, and the unique point of view is its strength. Jenny, and her parents, who are archaeologists, have never before been home during the holiday season. Now that they are, Jenny notices for the first time that her house is not decorated; her parents don't celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza, and she doesn't understand why. The text is purposive, but nevertheless the conversation rings true as Jenny's secular parents explain their beliefs. Jenny is particularly insistent to know whether they believe in the "same good things" as the neighbors. Her mother says that they do, but they don't believe a god created the world. "We think we can be very good people and know what is right to do and not do without having to follow rules that some people believe were written down long ago by their god or by important people in their religion." Throughout, Jenny's parents are sympathetic to their daughter's feelings, and Jenny's questions are thought provoking. Still, she wants a celebration, and when she suggests a winter solstice holiday, her parents gladly agree. Most secular families aren't so strident as Jenny's about holiday observation, but children who are raised without religion will be glad to find a book that mirrors their experience. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

"I'd Really Like to Eat A Child" by Sylviane Donnio and Dorothee De Monfreid

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Book Description (from Amazon): Oh, growing up is so hard! There's so much you want and so much you can't do yet. Little Achilles is a crocodile who decides one morning that he's grown beyond his diet of bananas. "Today, I’d really like to eat a child," he tells his mother. She reasons with him: "What an idea!...Well, children don't grow on banana trees, only bananas do, and that's what I have for breakfast!" But Achilles won't be swayed, not even by sausage or cake. And when he happens upon a girl child by the river, it looks like his culinary dream might come true...

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"Penguin" by Polly Dunbar

Suggested Book:

Book Description (from Amazon) - A quirky new tale from a rising talent — in which a bossy little boy receives a surprising comeuppance. When Ben rips open his present, he finds a penguin inside. "Hello, Penguin!" he says. "What shall we play?" But Penguin says nothing. Even when Ben tickles its belly, sings a funny song, does a dizzy dance, stands on his head, sticks out his tongue, and resorts to increasingly rude and drastic measures, Penguin makes no response. What will it take for Penguin to say something — or for Ben to understand what Penguin has to say? Fresh, spare illustrations bring whimsy to this wonderful tale, in which a silent Penguin turns marvelously eloquent and a little boy finally gets his heart’s desire.

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I have two nephews that I have difficulty finding boy-friendly projects for. I stumbled across this hat which could be paired with a great set of mittens.
Suggested Books:

Any Spiderman comic book/graphic novel

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Monday, January 7, 2008

"Duck Soup" & "Duck at the Door" by Jackie Urbanovic

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Book Description (from Amazon)
Max the duck is cooking up an amazing soup. But what's this? A feather floating in the soup! And where's Max? Brody the dog, Dakota the cat, and Bebe the bird race about in their hilarious search for the missing Max. But remember, sometimes things just aren't as they appear.
Book Description from School Library Journal: Kindergarten-Grade 3—When his flock migrates south for the winter, Max opts to stay behind—and quickly regrets it. Luckily, Irene and her pets live nearby in a cozy house, so the quirky duck makes himself right at home for the season, and proves to be a bit of a pest. Just when everyone has had their fill of Max's favorite TV shows, blanket hogging, and experimental cuisine, spring arrives, and he leaves to reunite with his flock—and, naturally, the entire household feels his absence. Urbanovic's animals, with their expressive, engaging facial features, take center stage in the open, cheery illustrations. They're detailed without being busy, and nuanced without being at all fussy. Great fun for storyhours.—Catherine Threadgill, Charleston County Public Library, SC Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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(Photo from

(Photo from DigKnitty Designs website)