Julia Reviews! – ‘Small Steps’

TitleSmall Steps: The Year I Got Polio
AuthorPeg Kehret
Year It Was Published: 1996
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Summary…from the back of the book, “Acclaimed author Peg Kehret has written the true story of the year when she was stricken with polio. At first paralyzed and terrified, she fought her way to recovery, aided by doctors and therapists, a supportive family, and loving roommates fighting their own battles with the disease, and plenty of grit and luck. With the humor and suspense that are her trademarks, Peg Kehret vividly recreates a year of heartbreak and triumph.”
My View: My big sister, Emily, bought this book when she was my age because she loved reading the mysteries and adventures that Peg Kehret was writing for kids our age.  After she read Peg’s biography, Small Steps, the author became even more important and she began telling our family more and more about this wonderful lady.  I am now also a big fan of the Peg Kehret series of books, especially books like Cages and Don’t Tell Anyone.  When my dad told me that there was a biography about the author (and we even had it!), I was excited.  I learned a lot about things I knew nothing about before, especially about the time in our country when polio was such a big topic.  My favorite story in the book is about how much Peg loved her doctor during the time she was in the hospital.  It is a very funny story!  All I have to say now is that readers will be hooked from page one.

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Bigfoot Lives!

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This past Valentine’s Day the girls surprised me with this wonderful story (my version even has illustrations) that they wrote about a character that we have laughed about and told stories and watched documentaries on for years.  I wanted to share it with you, as well.  Happy Wednesday!

BigFoot has big feet…to roam at Mitch Park and play hide and seek with the people.

BigFoot has big hands…to make big pancakes for his BigFoot daughters on Saturday mornings.

BigFoot has big ears…to listen to music while he’s taking a shower in the rain or a bath in the pond.

BigFoot has big eyes…to watch lots of movies during the summer at the Drive-In theater (he gets in for free!)

BigFoot has a big mouth…to smile at the children who come upon him in the woods (so they won’t be frightened!).

BigFoot has big hair…his beard trimmer ran out of batteries years ago!  

BigFoot has a big nose…to smell the yummy dinner his BigFoot honey makes for him each night after a long day of playing hide and seek with people. 

BigFoot has a big tummy… to hold lots of flavored water and coconut popsicles (and the occasional M&M.) 

But most of all, BigFoot has a very, very, very, very BIG HEART… to hold all the love given to him all year-round! 

The End!

Just Like That…

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We spent some time with my grandmother this past week.  Our 9-year old also spent some time writing her first book.  It is a creative and very mysterious story she has titled “The Unplayed Piano.”

For the past couple of years, there are really just two types of books that our daughter loves to read most – poetry and mysteries.  As she completes a chapter of this story she is writing right now, she reads it to her mother and sister and me after dinner and makes changes here and there as she reads it.  There are elements of humor and anxiety and excitement, but they all revolve around the sound of this mysterious piano music that only certain people in this family’s house are able to hear.  We don’t yet know how it will end, but the suspense is killing us!

Here is what I wanted to share with you about my grandmother and my 9-year old and this story.  I was in the kitchen working on a puzzle with my grandfather last evening when I heard the following conversation in the other room.  It went like this:

Grandmother:  “Honey, I have been meaning to ask you all week…how is your book coming along?  I was just thinking that when we finish dinner, you and I should sit together so you can read more of it to me.   I want to hear what happens with that piano.”

Julia:  “Really?”

Grandmother:  “Yes, I can’t wait.”

Julia:  “Then I can’t wait to read it to you.”

Just like that, no more than a 30 second conversation and a little girl is so encouraged, so surprised, and so happy.  And just like that, a little girl becomes an author.