Posts Tagged ‘change of seasons’

Write a Review Wednesday: Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox

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 Roslyn Rutabaga and the Biggest Hole on Earth. With today being Groundhog Day, it seems fitting to review Sterling Publishing‘s Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox (age 3+), written by Susan Blackaby and illustrated by Carmen Segovia. I have to thank Derry at Sterling Publishing for my review copy.

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It’s Groundhog Day and Brownie steps out her door to be greeted by her dreaded shadow. As she laments another 6-weeks of waiting, with none of her friends around, Brownie is knocked over by February Fox, who is trying to eat her for breakfast. While Brownie holds off February Fox from snacking on her, the two look for signs of Spring, enjoy a snack together and make arrangements to spend time together the next day. Maybe the next 6-weeks of Winter won’t be so bad after all.

We are all familiar with the Groundhog Day shadow ritual. Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox is a great book about celebrating the day with kids. I’m personally a big fan of seasonal book but Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox also has a nice discussion angle. The two animal friends looking for signs of Spring is also a great opportunity to discuss the differences in the seasons and what to look for in the Spring. Kids will enjoy making their own Spring discoveries outside and adding to the discussion about other Spring signs.

I love the use of colour in the illustrations too, grey and white mainly, mimicking the cold of winter, with splashes of red (the fox, Brownie’s scarf, flowers poking out of the ground). Even if Groundhog’s Day has pasted, Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox is a great book to read throughout the month of February.

You can add a copy of Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox to your personal library by visiting your local bookstore or Sterling Publishing. For other great books for kids, read through the previous Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Write a Review Wednesday: A Flock of Shoes

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 Mummy Mazes, A Monumental Book. With the colder weather setting in, this week’s book by Annick Press, A Flock of Shoes (age 4-7) written by Sarah Tsiang and illustrated by Qin Leng seems fitting. I have to thank Joanna at Annick Press for my review copy.

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Abby Loved her sandals. All summer she walked and skipped and jumped in them. Abby and her sandals were inseparable. One Fall day while swinging, Abby’s sandals flew off her feet and just kept flying, heading south along with other sandals. Her mother bought her brand new boots but they weren’t the same as Abby’s sandals, which she missed very much. Eventually Abby started to really like her boots. All Winter she stomped and kicked and ran in her boots until one Spring day her boots hopped aboard a train heading North. But as her boots left for colder weather, Abby’s favourite sandals returned.

I don’t think I’m alone as a parent when it comes to convincing my kids to switch from Summer clothes into Fall clothes. Summer sandals have been a particularly touchy point with my 3-year old. My daughter enjoyed wearing her sandals so much; they are easy for her to put on and so many great memories are attributed to them. A Flock of Shoes was perfect to read. Sarah Tsiang does a wonderful job depicting just how connected a child can be with a piece of clothing and Quin Leng‘s watercolour illustrations compliment the warmth of the story. The story of summer shoes needing to go away somewhere warm is a delightful way to look at seasonal items. My 3-year old daughter loved the story and loved Abby and her shoes. Whether my daughter will give up wearing her sandals is another story

You can add a copy of A Flock of Shoes to your personal library by visiting your local bookstore. For other great books suggestions for kids, read through some of the past Write a Review Wednesday posts.

Bundle Up Books, guest post

Even though Fall has arrived my kids have a hard time letting go of their love of summer, their summer wardrobe and dressing habits specifically. Now that November has hit, the real cold has started to make its way here too. Like it or not, out come the mittens, hats and scarves, If your child is a little reluctant to put on the warm wear, then you might be interested in my November book post, Bundle Up Books, at No Time for Flash Cards.

You can find my book reviews every first Saturday of the month over on No Time for Flash Cards. I hope you’ll pop by and check out some great books to share with your kids.

Maybe this rainy day won’t suck completely

There’s something about waking up to a gray, wet, drizzly day that puts my kids in a not so pleasant mood. First no one wants to get out of bed and who can blame them. They’re full of excuses ‘my head hurts’, ‘I’m too tired’, ‘it’s not a school day’, ‘I won the lottery and don’t have to work’ (oops, that last one was mine).

Everyone was cranky and defensive and argumentative around the breakfast table this morning (I forgot my karma exercise). It’s wet, we’re late, so now we have to drive which doesn’t impress anyone. Traffic sucks and it’s slow. We pull in beside the school and I stop the car. I sit without moving, deep breath. I try to dispel the negative energy that has built up in the few hours.

I get the kids out and walk to school. Another mom makes a comment on my rubber boots. A nice comment. A comment on how much she likes them. Nice. A smile appears. Thank you.

We make our way to the door. Kids are inside already due to the rain. I try to get the kids to run to catch the door before it closes, but of course tiny legs don’t move as fast as I’d like. A dad leaving the school stops and waits with the door open. He waits….and waits….and waits…until we finally arrive. Thank you.

Driving home with my two youngest I wait at the lights to turn on my street, wait for a large truck to turn first, hoping it moves before the streetcar unloads and chugs across the intersection in front of me. Too late, the street car closes it’s doors just as the truck completes it’s turn. What’s that? I can see through my rain spotted windshield the streetcar driver is waving me through! Thank you.

We’re almost home. I’m just about to turn into my driveway when a flood of cars appear from no where coming up the other way. As I stop and wait, cars stop and wait behind me, no where to go. Look at that. Some kind driver has stopped and given me enough space to turn into my driveway. Thank you.

The kids are in the house playing nicely together. I think, yes, I am, I’m humming a song. As I hum I check my email and there it is, the latest issue of the Yummy Mummy Club newsletter with my article at the top. Thank you.

Maybe this rainy day won’t be as bad as I thought.

Who are you?

There are many ways you can tell it’s Spring, beyond just the date on your calendar: your mailbox is full of flyers from real estate agents looking to list your home or sell you a home or both, construction crews seem to be doing road work along your everyday road routes, the ice-cream truck now parks outside your house just as you’re getting dinner ready and many other not so pleasant signs. Okay, I’m not a fan of Spring.

But there is one sign of Spring that isn’t terrible. I’ve noticed it recently, people emerging from their hibernation. I’m not talking about those people coming out of their house after being shut-in during the cold months. I’m talking those who’ve released themselves from the mobile caves: the hats and scarves and bulky snow jackets. I’ve seen a lot of them at the school yard. People, parents or caregivers I’m assuming, that have been reduced to descriptions by their winter attire like gray lump mom with the pink pompom hat or puffy blue dad or the multi-coloured peeker.

With outer layers stripped away I don’t recognize anyone. One parent tried to strike up a conversation in the school yard while waiting for our kids to be released. Her mouth was moving but I couldn’t hear anything because I was preoccupied with trying to figure out who she was. I held my hands up in front of my face like trying to frame something for a photo revealing only her eyes. Ah, multi-coloured peeker.

Spring. People look thinner, taller, happier. It’s like rediscovering everyone all over again. Nothing wrong with that.

I hate Spring

dead-raccoonOkay, maybe hate is a little strong, but Spring is my least favourite season. Summer is about ice cream, vacation, and warm sun on your face. Fall is apple cider, pumpkin pie and crunchy leaves under your feet. Winter is hot chocolate, fireplaces and snow angels. Then there’s Spring.

Spring means more coughs and colds and runny noses. The fluctuating temperature and weather patterns makes it hard to dress appropriately. It’s also much harder to convince my kids they should wear their winter jackets and hats. When they think I’m not looking they’ll unzip, but mother’s are ALWAYS looking.

Spring means the snow is melting from the backyard, uncovering the dead leaves, forgotten toys and let’s not forget the rotting raccoon sticking out from underneath the back shed.

Spring means I have to change my eating habits. That part of me that’s been hiding under bulky sweaters will now be peeking out from my T-shirts (and not in that flat tummy, pierced bellybutton kind of way).

Spring means I have to find new tricks to convince my kids to go to bed. Sleeping when it’s dark is easy, but trying to do it when the sun is up is damn near impossible, at least for my kids.

Spring means my desire to clean the house from top to bottom kicks in. I hate that. Thank goodness this feeling is short lived.

Now I’m not a complete pessimist when it comes to Spring. My two oldest kids were born in the Spring and that’s a good thing. But if you want to know the best thing about Spring, only thirteen more weeks until summer 🙂