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!

A Valentine List of Books

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“I love you so much I really can’t eat, but maybe you’re hungry so sweets to the sweet.” – David Carter

Here is a list of some of our favorite children’s books that we have enjoyed as we celebrate this great holiday. They’re in no particular order:

1. Valentine Friends by Ann Schweninger (1988, Scholastic) – a very creative story of best friends, Buttercup and Lucy, and all of the wonderful ways they celebrate this holiday; it even includes a how-to on creating construction hearts as well as some great knock-knock jokes!

2. Arthur’s Valentine Countdown by Marc Brown (1999, Random House) – one of the best lift-the-flap holiday books and it stars Arthur!

3. Love Bugs by David Carter (1995, Simon & Schuster) – one of the best holiday pop-up books ever!

4. A Kiss For Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik (1968, Weekly Reader Books) – with illustrations by Maurice Sendak!

5. Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane de Groat (1996, Morrow Junior Books) – the title of this book alone makes it a must-have!

6.  Cranberry Valentine by Wende and Harry Devlin (1986, Aladdin Books) – our friend Rhonda Flint gave us our first “Mr. Whiskers” book and this series is among our favorites to this day.  The illustrations are classic works of art and Mr. Whiskers is hilarious in his quest to discover who is his secret admirer!

7.  Junie B. Jones and the Mushy Gushy Valentine by Barbara Park (1999, Random House) – this was among our first series of books with actual chapters and the Valentine story is among our top three favorites.  This is a kindergartner you must read all about!  Another great secret admirer story, mixed so well into the perspective of the kindergarten mind!

8.  Valentine Cats by Jean Marzollo (1996, Scholastic) – writer cats, artist cats, postal cats, and a few kittens thrown in for good measure!

9.  Emily’s Valentine Party by Claire Masurel (1999, Puffin Books) – our aunt Mary Elise bought this as our oldest’s first book with her name in the title.  Emily the rabbit is having a party for her friends and the reader joins in by lifting the flaps as she prepares for her favorite holiday.

10.  The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting (1983, Scholastic) – with illustrations by Jan Brett!  This is my personal favorite of the ten:  “Mr. Bear and Mrs. Bear always missed Valentine’s Day because they were hibernating.  But this year they share a wonderful surprise.”

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Happy Valentine’s Reading!!!

‘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.

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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.

I’m Lovin’ It

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If there is one holiday beyond Christmas that we celebrate big at our house, it’s Valentine’s Day. And in a house full of girls, finding new ways to celebrate such an event for nearly twenty years can be quite an endeavor. Thankfully, we take turns. Let me explain.

When our oldest daughter was five or six, I decided to surprise the girls with a prom. We moved all of the furniture out of the living room and turned it into a dance floor with snacks and punch and music, even a disco ball! We danced and laughed and quickly fell in love with the idea of turning Valentine’s into a holiday that we would not soon forget.

Since that day, we have transformed the rooms of our home into all kinds of things – the kitchen has been a secret garden (with long vines and gigantic flowers made of construction paper), a winter wonderland (with bags of sugar for snow!), a Star Wars movie scene (with a camping tent turned into the Millenium Falcon), an Italian grotto with live saxophone music and steaks shaped into hearts, and our kitchen table once became the Love Boat; our walk-in closet served as a mysterious bear cave; and our living room has been everything from a drive-in movie theater (with the two couches turned into a convertible car replete with a window speaker and concession food), to a Beach Boys-themed party with an ironing board surfboard and shark fins and blue paper for water.

Valentine’s Day is a big deal. We love the fun and the surprise of it all, but the memories continue to become the treasure.

This is why we look forward to dedicating this week’s writing to the holiday on Friday. Stay tuned for some great books and thoughts about the day. And whatever you do, celebrate big!