The Wide Mouthed Frog is My Hero

For the past year I’ve focused on my travel blog – The Library Lady Travels. But recently my husband started writing children’s books which got me thinking about my blogging roots.  I think it’s time to revisit the Library Lady Writes – so here goes!

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I used to love reading to my children. I’d pull out the books I’d brought home from the library, they’d gather their blankets and teddy bears, and crawl into my lap for storytime. Unfortunately, those children – who are now in their 30’s – are too busy for storytime anymore. But all is not lost because now I can read to the grandchildren! Being the Library Lady I have accumulated quite a collection of children’s books over the years, and I’d like to share some of them with you.

The Wide Mouthed Frog

By Keith Faulkner and Jonathan Lambert

This book wins hands-down as a storytime favorite. With its bright illustrations and fun pop-up animals, it’s a treasure. I guarantee Frog’s adventures will have your children laughing out loud.

As frog visits his neighbors, blue feathered bird, and furry brown mouse,  he brags about his very wide mouth. All is well until he happens onto a big green alligator.
“I am a wide-mouthed frog and I eat flies,” he tells the alligator. “What do you eat?”  The alligator says, “I eat delicious wide-mouthed frogs.”
Wait for it – wait for it – there’s a big SPLASH . . . the surprise ending is delightful and your kids will want you to read it again and again.

Another thing I like about this book is how durable it is.  Pop-up books often have a short shelf life especially in the library, but this is made of sturdier stuff which is good as little hands can’t help but reach for the colorful pop-outs.

Saturdays and Teacakes

By Lester L. Laminack and Chris Sonpiet

This book about a boy and his grandma will steal your heart. Every Saturday the boy hopes on his bike –  faithful friend in tow – and travels to grandma’s house, where he mows her lawn. While he’s there he and grandma bake teacakes, work in the garden and sit on the porch swing relaxing and enjoying tomato sandwiches.  Not much action in this little gem, but that’s the appeal. It’s a gentle, joyful tribute to days gone by and an inspiration to grandma’s who love spending time with their little ones.

I can’t review this book without a serious nod to the illustrator Chris Sonpiet. His artwork is always amazing, but in Saturdays and Teacakes, it’s over the top.  The magnificent illustrations in this book would be worth the purchase price even without the sweet story.   Luckily we get to enjoy both. Don’t miss this “sit in Grandma’s lap” favorite.

The Princess and the Pig

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 by Jonathan Emmert / Polly Berantene

Fans of Peppa pig will also love this crazy tale of mistaken identity.

What happens when a baby princess is accidentally exchanged for a piglet?  I dare you not to laugh as the families of both babies try to cope with this unexpected turn of events. In this spoof of a fairy tale, almost everyone lives happily ever after.
Moral,  of the story: a princess can be something of a pig, but a pig cannot be a princess.

Come with Me

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By Ashley Wolff

When a boy picks his favorite from a new litter of puppies he tells her about the adventures they’ll have when she’s old enough to come with him.  Come with me Pumpkin, down through the meadow; down to the sea . . .

In a series of whimsical watercolors, author and illustrator Ashly Wolff take readers to a boy’s favorite places in his seaside town. He and Pumpkin listen to the seals barking on the rocks, look for hermit crabs and starfish in the tide pools, and stop for cookies at the bakery. When the wind blows across the Pacific it tickles their ears – “Oh Pumpkin I can’t wait until you can come with me”.

Whether you live by the sea or just dream of doing so you’ll love this book.  Share it with the little and the big people in your life.

One thing I look for in a children’s book is a story that’s fun for the child as well as the adult who’s reading to them. Each of these books meet that criteria, and I hope you’ll enjoy them all.

Book illustrations courtesy of the Amazon Book store.

Sell Your Writing – Face to Face

SEO Keyword Density: Writing 1.6%, Freelance Writing Business 9%, Freelance Writer.9%, Writer .8%

492034302-170x170Tell Them What You Do – It’s  a Good Thing

Well, that was embarrassing.  I shake my head as I contemplate my failed attempt at describing my freelance writing business. I had just bumped into a long lost friend at the mall and she asked what I was doing these days.
“I’m a freelance writer,” I replied with confidence.
“Really, so what do you write?”
Here’s where I dropped the ball.  “I um, write articles . . . and blog posts.”
“Oh,” she said. “What’s a blog?” (I know; my friend needs to get out more.)

Don’t Miss the Boat

Luckily, in this case, my lackluster response wasn’t a big deal, but it could have been. What if my acquaintance had been a potential employer or a friend of someone who was looking for a freelance writer. I’d have missed the boat. Here’s the thing about being a writer – word of mouth is important. And that day, my mouth wasn’t working.

So why did I stumble over my job description? Because I usually rely on my writing website  – that perfectly choreographed depiction of my best writing self.  Ideally, I don’t have to describe what I do, I simply link potential clients to my writer’s website, and shining examples of my craft pop up on the screen.

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Library Lady’s Favorite Books of 2019

I’ve been doing a lot of travel writing lately but feel it’s time to get back to my roots and write some book reviews!  I’m lucky enough to be a book-lover who works at a library, so I have plenty of opportunities to learn about great reads. As many of you ask me for book recommendations, here are some of my favorites for 2018.

Fiction Books

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Dear Mrs. Bird – A.J. Pearce

Set in London during WWII this book is about an adventurous young woman who takes a job as a war correspondent, or so she thinks, but when the dust settles, she finds herself working as an advice columnist for a women’s magazine. Emmaline can’t resist answering letters that her boss has deemed unfit, and so the fun begins.  Warm and funny, an eye-opening look at life during the bombing of England.

gentlemanA Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

The author takes us to Russia in 1922, where the aristocratic Count Alexander Rostov, has been condemned to death by a Bolshevik tribunal. Thanks to his popularity and social prominence his life is spared, but the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol Hotel for the rest of his life. As he adjusts to his new circumstances, we get to know this witty and elegant gentleman and the profound effect he has on those around him. (One of my favorites!)

indigoIndigo Girl – Natasha Boyd

Set in the 1700s, this is the story of Eliza Lucas Pinckney, a young Southern woman who must run her father’s plantation when he is called away.  To save the family from ruin, Eliza decides to grow Indigo, an unheard-of crop for that area.  With help from the plantation workers, she attempts this risky endeavor, but not everyone is on her side. Based on a true story. “Reader’s Choice” winner for Salt Lake County Libraries.

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Rosie Bear Retires

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Rosie Bear

As many of you know, this blog originated in 2013 as “The Library Lady and Rosie Bear”.  While I wrote adult book reviews and web content, my lifelong friend and teddy bear Rosie, focused on children’s book reviews and acted as an adviser on all things blog related.

At this time, I am sad to announce Rosie’s retirement. At the age of 61, she feels it is time to explore her options.  I can’t wait to see what fun plans this adventurous brown bear has in mind. Rosie’s parting words? “Read till your eye falls off.” Excellent advice for all.

As for the blog, it will continue without her (bearly) and in the future will be known as The Library Lady Writes.  For a humorous look at the world in general, book reviews, travel tips and whatever else crosses my mind, please continue to read and follow.  I’m grateful for those who have been with me all these years and hope to continue our acquaintance. Best to all!

Night of the Tarantula or, The Spider Transport Theory


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Is it Charlotte?

My son believes all creatures have the right to a long and happy life, and that even spiders who have wandered into the house should be gently transported back to the yard or garden from whence they came.

While I don’t always agree with this theory, I’m not entirely hard-hearted either. Largely due to repeated readings of Charlotte’s Web as a child, I’m willing to do my part to for the insect world and am happy to alert my son if a spider needs rescuing. I don’t intentionally step on ants, and I’ve been known to hold the door open and shoe flying things outside rather than resorting to more violent methods of dispatch. But even I have my limits, and these were sorely tested on the night of the tarantula.

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Cutting Cable

 

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We recently cancelled our cable T.V. subscription, and now get a wide variety of local stations with our rabbit ears antenna. Our favorite, “Grit”, features old westerns and lots of infomercials. We love the westerns, the infomercials not so much, but have found them to be exceedingly funny.

“Hurry!” my husband called from down the hall. “They’re selling a flashlight that works even when it’s frozen in a block of ice. I bought two!”

Thankfully he was kidding, about the purchase, but not the product.

Remember Al Borland form the 90’s sitcom Tool Time? He’s hawking a hose that magically rewinds itself when not in use. Not only that but it won’t break, even when stretched between two large pickups pulling in the opposite direction!

There’s a cooler that folds down into a compact, easily portable form. In fact it’s so  lightweight that Grandma is shown dancing with one of these in each hand. Trucks are also featured here. This cooler won’t break even when RUN OVER by a large pickup.

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Gardener’s Remorse

 

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There’s a term for people who buy things then wish they hadn’t. It’s called buyer’s remorse. I believe there is a similar phenomenon associated with gardening. For want of a better term we’ll call it Gardener’s Remorse. This is the direct result of spending too many winter evenings drooling over sumptuous gardening books and technicolor seed catalogs.

The most basic manifestation of this malady is complete and utter loss of self-control upon entering a gardening store. All those frost-fueled dreams of picture perfect gardens rise up and rob you of common sense. Before you know it your arms are full of impulse-buy exotics, which while breathtaking in the South Pacific, instantly perish in their new home of say – Utah.

Alas, this is but one of the many symptoms of Gardener’s Remorse. Read on for cautionary tales which may prevent you from falling victim to:

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YouTube University

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I’ve been playing around with a new photo editing  system and have discovered you can teach an old dog new tricks. (I’m referring to myself, my dog Lucy would be offended if I alluded to her age). This first picture is an ad I created for a writing business I’ve lately been involved in.  I’ve also been making similir  promos for other people, and am having a lot of fun with it.PENTAX Image

Dr Mike 3

Now, the reason for this post is that I’ve recently discovered the wonders of youtube.  As I mentioned, I downloaded a photo editing system and  was really excited about what it could do, unfortunately I had no idea how to make it do those things. There was an instruction manual with the program but it was hopelessly complicated and over my head.  What to do?  Someone suggested you tube.

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Women Dancing

music-594955_640 What brings people of different cultures together? How does a roomful of strangers from countries as diverse as India, England, Ghana, Spain, and the US form a bond? Would your first guess be, women dancing? Not mine, but let me tell you why it’s true.

International Cruise

I recently had the opportunity to go on an international cruise and was fascinated by the variety of dress, language, and culture on board. I’ve always been a people person, but while I love making new friends, I’m a little hesitant to reach out when the cultural differences are so strong. Thanks to the language barrier, conversation isn’t always an option and you never know how this person with completely different life experiences might react to your overtures of friendship. So I continued to enjoy the diversity from afar.

Then one morning as my friend and I were sitting in the lobby, one of the crew members put on some catchy dance music. I noticed one woman at a table in the corner start clapping and nodding her head to the beat and before long she stood and began to dance in her little space. Others applauded and, encouraged, she moved out to the main floor and began to dance in earnest.

A beautiful black woman, she wore robes that suggested Africa, and danced in a flowing, almost ballet style. When the music ended everyone cheered. She grinned and motioned for her elderly mother to join her. This lovely senior citizen rose and made her slow but dignified way towards the front. And, though somewhat bent and arthritic, when the music started . . . she  busted some moves! The crowd went wild and more women joined them on the dance floor.

The Congo Line

The clincher was the Congo line.  When that started most of the women in the room joined in, and you’ve never so many glowing faces and smiling eyes. As the line wove it’s way into a circle, people took turns dancing through the middle, encouraged by the applause and support of the entire group. Even those who would ordinarily never dream of dancing in public found themselves having the time of their lives. We laughed and cheered each other on for almost an hour, until exhaustion set in and the crowd finally began to disperse.

After that, whenever we’d see each other on the ship we’d high five and grin. No words were necessary. It was, as my friend so aptly put it, a magical experience. What brings people of different cultures together? I think I know – music, dance, smiles, a shared love of connection, and the fact that we have a lot more in common than we realize. My new motto? Get up and dance!

Great Dance Music! http://talkaboutpopmusic.net/2015/05/16/lets-get-the-party-started/