Posts Tagged ‘a birthday wish’

Write a Review Wednesday: Lulu and the Brontosaurus

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed A Flock of Shoes. This week we’re looking at Simon and Schuster Canada‘s Lulu and the Brontosaurus (age 6 to 8), written by Judith Viorst and illustrated by Lane Smith. I have to thank Joanna at Simon and Schuster Canada for my review copy.

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There was a little girl named Lulu and her parents give her everything she wants. When they asked their daughter what she wanted for her birthday they were surprised by her request: I want a Brontosaurus for my birthday present. I want a Brontosaurus for a pet.

When Lulu’s parents refused to get her the Brontosaurus on her birthday, she packed a bag and left home in search of one. Along the way she sang this song:

I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna get
a bronto-bronto-bronto
Brontosaurus for a pet.

I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna get
a bronto-bronto-bronto
Brontosaurus for a pet.

On her journey through the dark woods Lulu encountered many ferocious beasts but she didn’t let that deter her. She just squeezed and bonked and jumped on the toes of the animals that stood in her way. The next day Lulu did find her Brontosaurus, or rather the Brontosaurus found her. The Brontosaurus was also looking for a pet and thought Lulu was ideal. Lulu started to regret her decision to look for a Brontosaurus and her mean behaviour toward her parents and the other animals. Lulu decided being a pet wasn’t a good thing and tricked the Brontosaurus so she could get away. As she tried to escape the woods she encountered the ferocious beasts she hurt earlier but this time instead of squeezing and bonking and jumping on their toes, she offered them a gift. The animals were happy, Lulu felt better and she made it home in one piece only to find someone waiting for her.

All three of my kids loved the story of Lulu and the Brontosaurus, as did I. As a parent I encounter the gimme’s often around birthdays and other holidays like Christmas. Lulu’s story is one we could all relate too, though we don’t give in to gifts like Lulu’s parents do. I liked how Lulu learned on her own that her selfish and mean behaviour wasn’t the best way to get what she wanted. The twist of having the Brontosaurus looking for a pet too was a great surprise (don’t tell your kids if you get this book). My 3-year old couldn’t help but sing Lulu’s song as we read the story. Even now the song comes out during free play; it’s very infectious and fun.

Lulu and the Brontosaurus is a light-hearted, fun read for those reading beginning chapter books. The book itself is an unusual shape and the story is a nice balance of copy and illustrations. The use of different font and font size help to create emphasis on Lulu’s song, which is sung throughout the story. The book also offers 3 alternate endings. You could read the story and choose an ending or read them all. My kids loved voting on which ending they preferred.

Visit Simon and Schuster Canada‘s site to read an except from chapter 1 or to see visually how the book looks inside.

You can add Lulu and the Brontosaurus to your personal library by visiting your local book store or visiting Simon and Schuster Canada. For other great book recommendations for kids, read through the previous Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Chicken, Pig, Cow want to go to your house (giveaway)

I’ve been very fortunate to have reviewed a number of great books for kids as part of my weekly Write a Review Wednesday post. But today isn’t about me, it’s about you or rather what I can give to you.

Recently I wrote a review on Ruth Ohi‘s wonderful picture book Chicken, Pig, Cow as well as her follow-up book Chicken, Pig, Cow On The Move, equally as wonderful. If you ever get a chance to hear Ruth Ohi read, you should. My oldest daughter and I had a chance to meet her recently at the Word on the Street festival. She is so energetic and enthusiastic and really talks to and involves her young readers in her presentation. It was so much fun (and I learned a thing or two as well).

So how is this post about you? In addition to the copies of both Ruth Ohi’s books for my reviews, my friend Joanna from Annick Press sent along two additional copies. That’s right, I have an additional copy of Chicken, Pig, Cow and Chicken, Pig, Cow On The Move. I know, pretty awesome!

So I’m offering both of these books together to you my blog readers, book lovers. And since my birthday is today, I’m feeling really generous and I will send these to anyone in Canada or the United States. If you would love to add both of these books to your personal library, leave a comment below telling me one of your favourite kids books (I’m always looking for new book suggestions). Don’t forget to leave your email address so I have a way of contacting you. I will accept entries until Monday, October 12, 2009 (midnight EST) at which time I will randomly pick a name. Good Luck!

Update: We have a winner. Random.org has picked a winner and they have been notified. Thanks for your interest.

Today is the day

Happy Un-Birthday Surprise to Me

My husband and I aren’t very good at keeping secrets from each other. We’re not very good at keeping secrets at all. When we planned our surprise visit to Disney World in June for our son’s fifth birthday we were only able to keep it a secret because we could tell each other. We’d call each other or send texts with little messages about the trip. We were so excited.

So when my husband and friends in Michigan had a little birthday celebration for me on the long weekend it was a big surprise, especially since my birthday is a month away.

Did someone say party?

Did someone say party?

It started with an innocent suggestion: let’s visit some friends for the long weekend. It doesn’t take much to convince me to travel. And since it had been some time since we visited our US friends the whole request didn’t seem that odd to me.

Surprise!

Surprise!

There were Halloween decorations, balloons, noise makers (a favourite with my kids). And of course cake, a wonderful Disney themed cake (a huge cake). That wasn’t the best part. All parties have gifts. And this party was no exception. And boy what a gift. It turns out my husband and our friend have been working secretly to plan a trip for all of us to go to Disneyland to celebrate Halloween and attend the Halloween party October 31.

With my secret party planning friend...

With my secret party planning friend...

...and my secret party planning husband.

...and my secret party planning husband.

And of course that means visiting the Nightmare Before Christmas revamped Haunted Mansion ride. That last part, the revamped Haunted Mansion, that is one of the things on my ‘Must do before I die’ list. I hope this isn’t a sign of my impending demise. And did you know that the Haunted Mansion is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year and I’m celebrating my foeinvjsjhth birthday this year too. It’s like my destiny that I should visit California this year, though I don’t actually believe in destiny.

It’s not like I wast dreading this birthday but now I’m actually looking forward to it. And I’m giving you fair warning now that I might toss in the occasional post or tweet about Disneyland. Well, wouldn’t you if you were me?

So a happy un-birthday to me.


A Letter, 5 Years Later

Mr Man turns five

Mr Man turns five

So my son turns five today. I can’t believe it. Somehow this birthday seems to be occupying my mind. Maybe it’s because my son has started school and is exposed to influences other than me. Maybe it’s because he has the ability to do so much on his own. Whatever the reason, it has given me pause to reflect back on the last five years and think about the countless years that lay ahead.

Most people write a letter to their baby when it’s born, talking about their hopes and dreams for their little person. This is my delayed letter to my son:

Dear Son,

Has it been five years already? Our introduction was rough with stressful pre-natal tests and a pre-term diagnosis of kidney disease, but things turned around.

Five years doesn’t seem that long when you think of it. I mean you can count the years on one hand. If they were cookies, they wouldn’t be enough to fill your tummy. But so much can happen in five years; so much can change.

You went through your baby stage learning to roll, eat, talk and walk and bounded right through being a toddler and preschooler. You were a bundle of energy as a baby and you still our now.

I know there are times, quite a few it seems, when you drive me crazy. Like when you tried to climb on top of the two-storey clubhouse in the backyard, just to talk to our neighbour. Or when you give everyone in the school yard a hug, whether they want it or not. And let’s not forget tobogganing down the second floor stairs on a piece of cardboard.

Someone said the traits in our children that test our patience as a mother will be the traits in our children we will be most proud of as they grow into adults. That’s probably true. I look forward to seeing you as a lawyer arguing for the justice system, against the justice system, about the justice system. I can’t wait to see the amazing buildings you design as an architect that fight conventional design. I’ll be so proud (and freakin scared) as I see you perform amazing stunts in your first blockbuster movie.

But with all the loud, argumentative, stubborn, just plain boy behaviour you have a wonderfully sweet, soft side. You’re so affectionate and have the ability to make people happy even in their most blue mood. People can’t help but laugh at your antics and your own laughter is so infectious. I hope as we continue on this crazy journey together we can teach each other to balance the loud and the quiet, the adventurous and the peaceful, the laughing and the crying.

So yes we will still have our fights, probably more as you gain more Independence, but you will always be my Mr. Man. I love you so much and will keep telling you even if it does embarrass you in front of your friends.

Happy 5th Birthday Mr. Man. To this one and the many more that will unfold before us.

Love mom