‘St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning’ – A Special MONDAY Look at this Book!

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, but since today is St. Patrick’s Day we wanted to share our favorite book on a Monday rather than a Tuesday this week!  Here it is:

 photo 2

Today’s great book: St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Jan Brett (1980, Clarion Books)

Teacher Website:  http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/readers_guides/bunting/

The Illustrator’s Website:  http://www.janbrett.com/index.html

Time to Read: short and sweet; March 17 was made for this book!

Summary:  from the back of the book…”Come and join Jamie Donovan as he creates his own St. Patrick’s Day parade and proves that he is big enough to climb Acorn Hill!”

Best Quote from the Book:  “The sun jumped up like a firecracker from behind the mountain.  ‘A happy St. Pat’s to you, sun,’ Jamie shouted.  The words made a great shimmer of sound in the emptiness.”

Our View:  This books has always seemed like an old classic to me.  It has that wonderful Jan Brett illustration to accompany the gracious, kindhearted text of Eve Bunting – and there is lots of green on every page to put you in that St. Patrick’s Day spirit.  The other aspect of the book that we like is how we watch the little boy figure out a way to become part of the grand celebration of the village.  There is just no way to consider a book like this as just a story for the holiday.  It is so much more and so beautifully told.


Father Knows Five 2-14-14

*Every Friday we serve you an “a la carte” style list of 5 unique videos, articles, ideas, etc. from all kinds of locations. (If you are viewing this blog through your email subscription, please follow the link to our website to view all videos.)  See you next week…

1.  Lemony Snicket interviews Kate DiCamillo – two of our favorites authors in one place at one time!  Their books are treasures.

2. Famous Books Recreated By Babies – the pic below is our favorite:


3.  Valentine Gifts for Booklovers! – incredibly wonderful ideas no matter what day of the year it is.


4.  Infographic: The Oxford comma debate – a cool and very brief history of the contentious little comma, and arguments for both sides of the fight.

5.  An Interview with Eve Bunting – to honor our family’s favorite Valentine children’s book, The Valentine Bears, which we reviewed on Tuesday.  There are so many Eve Bunting books in our secret book room!

‘The Valentine Bears’ Tuesday’s Look at this Book!

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, and give you a unique “recipe for fun” this week over on our Book Cook page.

 photo (2)

Today’s great book: The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting with illustrations by Jan Brett (1983, Scholastic)

The Author’s Website:  https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/contributor/eve-bunting

The Illustrator’s Website: http://www.janbrett.com/index.html

Time to Read: short and sweet; bedtime or anytime

Summary:  from the back cover – “Mr. and Mrs. Bear always missed Valentine’s Day because they were hibernating.  But this year they share a wonderful surprise.”

Best Quote from the Book:  Mr. Bear hugged her.  “You thought I could sleep through just about anything, didn’t you?” he boomed.  “Well, I fooled you.  Happy Valentine’s Day!”  He pulled a box from under his pillow.  “I’ve had these here all along.”

Our View:  Simply put, this one will steal your heart.  I bought this to read first to my wife and then to my daughters.  That it was written by one of the great children’s authors of this century, Eve Bunting, and illustrated by one of the great children’s artists of this century, Jan Brett, means this is a priceless treasure.  They outdid themselves and created a timeless classic that should be in every classroom and read among every family.

Remember to visit our Book Cook page for the recipe – Honey I’m Home!  – created by the kids to accompany this particular book.

‘A Turkey for Thanksgiving’ – Look at this Book!

* Every Tuesday we introduce you to a favorite book from our secret book room, and give you a unique “recipe for fun” this week over on our Book Cook page…


Today’s great book:  A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting with illustrations by Diane de Groat (1991, Scholastic Inc.)

Time to Read:  short and sweet with great friends and lots of kindness and humor and even a bit of mistaken identity; great for bedtime or anytime

Summary:  from the back of the book…”Everyone has turkey for Thanksgiving, and Mrs. Moose wants one too.  So, Mr. Moose and his friends set out to find a turkey for dinner, but Mr. Turkey has other ideas.”

Best Quote:  “It’s even nicer to be AT your table and not ON it…Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.”

Our View:  The last pages of this book are such a nice surprise to a person reading it for the first time, so we won’t give away the plot other than in that best quote above.  This is among the most creative of the Thanksgiving books in our collection.  We have quite a few, but this one remains special and is a grand reminder of that favorite part of this holiday season – gathering with family and friends and making the most of that time together.  Friends are everywhere in this book and working together and laughing together and sharing a meal together are the centerpiece of this grand Thanksgiving table.  As a student teacher, I read this book to my second-graders and they enjoyed it so much they decided to create a reader’s theater-style play from it.  We had sound effects people and actors and costume designers and props and one illustrator, Daniel, a little boy who found his talent as he was drawing all of the wonderful backdrops that the children would end up using to tell their story.  It was such a success that they ended up making tickets and posters for the entire elementary school, who came in shifts with friends and family and administrators to see the wonderful performance.  That is the power of a little book!  Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Remember to visit our Book Cook page for the recipe – “Turkey’s TrailMix” – created by the kids to accompany this particular book.