reading out loud


Sarah and I have about 15 minutes every morning to ourselves because out of the five children, her bus comes last.  With the remaining time, as we wait, I have been reading out loud to her.  We just finished this one.  We enjoyed it so much that we read it in the evenings, too.

Littles to the Rescue, by John Peterson.  Published in 1968, purchased from a library book sale.

dear rosemary wells


Dear Rosemary Wells,

I am a fan of yours.  A very big fan.  You see, I’ve been enjoying picture books with my various children for 19 years now and your books never get old.  They are always interesting.  They are “evergreen”.   We have read many of your books. Max’s Chocolate Chicken is a favorite, Bunny Cakes, and also Felix Feels Better. So many wonderful stories.

We have known of you for years, but we weren’t exactly die-hard FANS, yet.

You see, I never really stopped to realize what an amazing artist/author you were until the other day, when I found myself at the library, filling a bag of books for my children, who are in a summer reading program for their school.  They have to read and keep track of the number of books they complete and we carefully write the titles on a list in the cupboard.

My son Seth is 7, and Sarah is 6, so they need easier books to read.  Pictures books are perfect.

So yes,  I was at the library when I came to the “W” section (organized by the author’s last name) and realized….wow….Rosemary Wells has completed an amazing and prolific amount of work as a children’s author.  I showed my sixteen year old daughter the length of the row of YOUR books, each one thoughtfully written AND illustrated by you.  We were in awe and spoke of our love for your stories.  And at that moment, I became aware that I was a true fan.  So this is a thank you to you.  My oldest child is 19 years old.  There are a total of 7 children in our home.  And we have read your books all along the way.  They are a delight and charmingly creative!


My six year old, with the long blond hair, sat cross legged by my side this morning.  She still had sleepy eyes and had just eaten her toast for breakfast.  We took Time-Out for Sophie from the library bag and she read me every word, leaning over the pages with her hair dangling and getting in the way so prettily.  “Sophie” was a hard word for her to pronounce and remember.  We were very amused by the antics of Sophie.  She threw her macaroni and cheese on the floor two times!  And then she dumped the clean and folded laundry!  But Sarah just loved the fabrics of all those pretty clothes.  She carefully studied each one and pointed her finger at her favorites that *she wished she could have * (with a sigh).


Thank you for putting humor, detail, and beauty in your drawings.  I agreed that the purple polka dotted shirt would look very nice on Sarah.


Sarah thought it was funny that Sophie had her time-out at the top of the stairs.  She wondered what the brown wall was behind her.  You see, we have bookcases at the top of our stairs.  I told her that Sophie is a mouse and so she lives underground.  I’m not sure if she was satisfied by that answer but her silence said it was the end of the question and so we moved on to the next page, the part about Granny.  Sophie kept taking Granny’s glasses right off her face!


Wise Granny knew just how to put an end to Sophie’s nonsense….by putting HERSELF in time-out.  I thought to myself that yes, when MY children were being naughty to me, I would put MYSELF into time-out, too, just like Granny.

We turned the page again to see that Sophie was now in the tub and was in the process of squirting the bubble bath clear across the room.  The book didn’t say so, but Sarah knew that Sophie was headed for ANOTHER time out.

Then the book was over and she studied all the beautiful clothes that you drew for the end paper.

We read Shy Charles this week, too, and Noisy Nora.  Your wonderful books make me smile and the children like them just as much as I do.  We think you must be amused as you work on them, as well.  Happiness & joy all around.

Thank you, Rosemary Wells!  May you continue to create for many years to come!



I sit on the grass and watch the children jump into the pond.  They say the water is great and want me to swim with them.


Sarah got brave enough…yesterday!  Now she doesn’t stop jumping.  At the end of the day when she’s sitting snuggled up to me, I smell her hair and it smells so good, like sweet perfume and pond water.


they show off for mama’s camera


I find a tiny toad.

“Tiny toads are all over the place.  There were three on me yesterday.” ~Sarah, while swimming


I bought three bags of balloons the other day and they have been an endless source of amusement for the kids.  David likes blowing them up as much as big as they will get.  Then he plays with them until they blow up.  I was down at the pond when one of his balloons popped and it was so loud my heart leapt and I thought someone had shot a gun in the woods.  I went up to the house and the boys were laughing.  Ethan said it was as loud as a cannon.

I tied four water balloons for Seth as I wrote this blog post.  (He can’t tie them and Sarah can’t blow them up.  I’m still needed. LOL)


Shooting hoops on a summer day.


my boy and my boy only


Let’s just stare at this one for a few minutes.  Can you even???????


I took this one through the window at the school.  The graduates were waiting in the cafeteria and all the guests were waiting in line for the doors to open to the gym.


Rich and I sat on the left hand side on bleachers with Caleb, Seth, Sarah, David, Tessa, Emily, Grace, and Jacob.  We were thankful to have enough tickets for the whole family to watch Ethan graduate but I doubt the little kids were thankful because it was a long and pretty boring night for them.


Zach is Ethan’s red headed best friend.  They were even in the same Kindergarten class.


Caleb is also one of Ethan’s best friends.  They were friends for years before he and Grace started dating.  He looks pretty serious in picture but then we yelled his name and he smiled.


The young men wore blue robes and the ladies wore white.


*Zach receiving his diploma. (He is attending college this fall).

The graduation began at 7pm and went on for approximately two hours while we were sitting squeezed together on the bleachers.  It was kinda funny.  Rich was uncomfortable the entire time…too hot and the bleachers were too hard and his hip was hurting and then Sarah got on his lap and the face he made as she explained she had to sit there because she was “too squished” was so funny…….

David and Caleb coped by reading books.  Aren’t they so handsome???


We sat right behind the family of the Valedictorian which was exciting (to me).  His speech was very well done.


Caleb receiving his diploma (he is going into the Coast Guard this summer).


Ethan waiting for his turn to get his diploma and my heart was bursting.  He wore cowboy boots and decorated his cap with the American Flag.  (one of the girls did the very same thing, boots and flag).  Very fun.




I stood up with my camera to take pictures while Rich and the kids all cheered as loudly as they could for our E.


This is one of my favorites of the night…Ethan clearly in the middle of the photo leaving the room with a classmate on his arm.  The kids were all so happy.


I managed to get through the crowd in my very high horrible heels and found Ethan drinking chocolate milk at the reception.

We got a phone call from the school this morning saying they had Ethan’s class ring in the office (he didn’t even know he had lost it).


Ethan and Mitch


My daughter Grace with her boyfriend, Caleb.


Ethan with his girlfriend, Tessa.


Jacob and Ethan


Ethan and his Dad


Ethan and his Mom.


Ethan and all of us.

(Incidentally, earlier that evening while we were still home, Grace got Sarah ready while I was getting ready and we ended up all three matching.  The next day the same thing happened, we all three ended up wearing yellow shirts without even planning it.)


Ethan and his little sister, Sarah Joy.  Sarah is wearing a dress that used to be Grace’s.

All in all it was a very exciting night.  We left as soon as we could.  My feet were killing me and Ethan went to a party that the school arranged through “Safe Grad”.  He stayed up all night and slept until 11 in the morning the next day.

I didn’t cry or even feel like crying.  But I had a headache and was buzzing with emotion regardless.  My mind could only hold the essentials; “Ethan” and “Graduation” and “taking photos”.  I was so embarrassed because I met a man and his wife in line before the graduation…we introduced each other and everything….by the end of the night I introduced myself to them AGAIN.  And the lady said, “Whatever you are drinking, I’ll have some, too.”  Which was rather rude but it just goes to show that I was in tune to my boy and my boy only.


Today is the first day of summer vacation.  It is sunny but oddly windy.  Caleb and Seth were invited to a friend’s house for a morning of play.  I drove them there and then took the girls with me to the thrift shop where we spent three dollars on an aquarium (for nature studies at home) and a bag of books (for summer reading).  Also today:  David made homemade funnel cakes fried in oil (Aunt Colleen’s recipe), I made a double batch of blueberry muffins, Jacob and Emily took Sarah for a canoe ride on the pond and they threw bread to the fish.  I saw a pair of cardinals and ate three wild strawberries.  David had stomach ache by this afternoon so he is taking his second bath (he thinks maybe he ate too many funnel cakes but refused Pepto Bismal).  Ethan is at his girlfriend’s house, Grace is at Caleb’s house, Jacob is at work, Emily is also at work, and the three youngest are now watching Zootopia after begging me all day.

Oh my word, I am in my room typing this and I could hear the dog whining at the door to the house but I didn’t think anything of it and guess who just came in, and it’s only 4pm!!!

My husband!!!  so happy!

Gotta go.  Bye!

thoughts about brother ass

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We are composite creatures, akin on one side to the angels, on the other to tom-cats.

It is a bad thing not to be able to take a joke.  Worse, not to be able to take a divine joke; made, I grant you, at our expense, but also (who doubts it?) for our endless benefit.

Man has held three views of his body.  First there is that of those ascetic Pagans who called it the prison or the “tomb” of the soul, and of the Christians like Fisher to whom it was “a sack of dung,” food for worms, filthy, shameful, a source of nothing but temptations to bad men and humiliation to good ones.  Then there are the Neo-Pagans (they seldom know Greek), the nudists and the sufferers from Dark Gods, to whom the body is glorious.  But thirdly we have the view which St. Francis expressed by calling his body “Brother Ass”.  All three may be–I am not sure–defensible; but give me St. Francis for my money.

Ass is exquisitely right because no one is his senses can either revere or hate a donkey.  It is a useful, sturdy, lazy, obstinate, patient, lovable and infuriating beast; deserving now the stick and now a carrot; both pathetically and absurdly beautiful.  

So the body.

There is no living with it till we recognize that one of its functions in our lives is to play the part of the buffoon.

The fact that we have bodies is the oldest joke there is.

CS Lewis, in The Four Loves

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Isn’t it a relief to have a proper view of oneself?  And to laugh at oneself?  It is akin to the times when the children and I are sitting around the living room, watching TV, and little Seth says, “Wait for it, wait for it….”  and before I am properly aware of what’s happening so I can stop it, out comes a giant toot from Seth’s bottom and loud laughter from his siblings.  I try to pretend to be affronted, but I too am laughing and have to admit that the laughter is good.

We have inner treasure (our souls) in an outer jar of clay (our body).  Our outward self is dying (our bodies), but our inward self (our soul) is being renewed day by day.  We are like both angels (our soul) and tom-cats (our body).

I have spent lots of time over-valuing my body; my appearance, my health.  These griefs are “common to man” and will never go away completely.  But reading Lewis’ thoughts released me from some of the pressure, pressure that I put on myself as an at times, vain woman.

With Lewis’s wisdom in mind, I have a choice; I can sometimes laugh.

(St. Francis himself took a much harsher view.  Although he referred to his body as Brother Ass, he treated it (his body) cruelly in an attempt to punish and/or “tame the beast”, so to speak.  He grieved the “ass”, and had a hard time tending his body with compassion, much less with actual laughter.)

WHO CARES about appearances and perfection?  Well, we all do to a certain extent.  But if we “go further up and further in”, we realize that yes indeed it is true; beauty is in the soul, and not in the body.  It may be that our body is beautiful for a time, but not if you hang around it for very long.  It will most certainly “toot”, produce strange smells, do strange things, & drive you crazy.

Doesn’t it feel good to laugh about it?

From now on I want to teasingly say to myself when I get caught in a depressing reminder that thing are going downhill bodily speaking despite my best feeding and nurturing, “Oh brother Ass, you donkey, you” and put it on a lower level of seriousness and higher level of comedic relief.

If I hear a loud sound coming from one of my children, I would like to say, “Brother Ass is in the room, I see.”  But alas, I am not comfortable saying “ass” as it is mainly used as a curse word these days.  I tried it with my oldest son Jacob the other day and he turned around and said in confusion, “What?”   Frankly, I don’t need little Seth running around saying “brother ass” at school …… so I guess I will use the other word, which is Donkey.

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Take good care of your Donkey self today, with a healthy dose of laughter, and remember your soul, which is everlasting and renewed day by day by the grace of Jesus.

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.  2 Corinthians 4:16

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.  2 Corinthians 4:7


blown away by grace (book recommendations)


More than anything, my mind is opened up and my soul is refreshed by the written word.  This list of books is for any of my friends here who like to read and would benefit from a good dose of grace.

Call the Midwife, series by Jennifer Worth

At the age of twenty-two, Jennifer Worth leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar Lond’s East End slims.  The colorful characters she meets while delivering babies illuminate a fascinating time in history.  Beautifully written and utterly moving, Call the Midwife will touch the hearts of anyone.  ~From the back of the book

Those who perform a service well must do so without judgement.  The women in this book who serve their community as nurses and midwives do so in a way that will leave you breathless because they value and learn from those they serve.  These are stories of true need, heartache, and love.  Squeaky-clean Christians would do well to read these messy-beautiful humble stories that will make you laugh and cry.

“Now and then in life, love catches you unawares, illuminating the dark corners of your mind, and filling them with radiance. Once in a while you are faced with a beauty and a joy that takes your soul, all unprepared, by assault.”  Jennifer Worth

(also a great TV series on PBS!)

Same Kind of Different as Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

Gritty with pain and betrayal and brutality, it also shines with an unexpected, life-changing love.

“I found out everybody’s different – the same kind of different as me. We’re all just regular folks walkin down the road God done set in front of us. The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or something in between, this earth ain’t no final restin place. So in a way, we is all homeless – just workin our way toward home”  Denver Moore

Grace for the Good Girl, by Emily P. Freeman

What would happen if we let grace pour out boundless acceptance into our worn-out hearts and undo us?  If we dared to talk about the ways we hid, our longing to be known, and the fear in the knowing?  Emily Freeman invites you to release your tight hold on that familiar, try-hard life and lean your weight heavy into the love of Jesus. ~from back cover

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, by David Johnson and Jeff Van Vonderen

No one should leave church feeling manipulated, controlled, shamed, or condemned.  But places of shelter and encouragement can become abusive if spiritual leaders begin to use their authority to meet their needs for importance, power, or spiritual gratification.  Here you’ll discover how to identify an abusive church and also how to break free from its destructive legalism.  Insightful, practical, and solidly grounded in Scripture, this book has what you need to recover a grace-filled relationship with God and His church.

Families Where Grace is in Place, by Jeff Van Vonderen

Here is a message about how God’s grace can transform relationship within a marriage and family.  The first step is learning the simple difference between God’s job and ours.  God’s part is to fix and change.  Our responsibility is to depend on the Holy Spirit, serve our families, and help to equip them to be all they can be.  ~back cover

Freedom From Performing, by Becky Harling

My aunt read this book and knew my heart needed the message, too.  I will always treasure her copy of the book that she gave to me, full of her underlines and notes.

For years, author Becky Harling lived for the rave reviews of others, until God directed her from performance-driving theatrics to a leading role as a grace-motivated follower of Jesus.  She only needed to be herself, and so do you.  ~back cover

Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis

The late Lewis, Oxford professor, scholar, author, and Christian apologist, presents the listener with a case for orthodox Christianity. This is definitely not the shouting, stomping, sweating, spitting televangelist fare so often parodied; Lewis employs logical arguments that are eloquently expressed.  ~quote from Michael T. Fein on

I love Lewis’ honesty as he writes in a logical way regarding Christianity.   The words he writes about “religious” people and their pride make me want to shout “Amen!”  There is good reason that this book is considered a classic.  I learned much from Mere Christianity at just the right time in my spiritual journey.

What’s so Amazing about Grace?  by Philip Yancy

Recommended to me by my friend Christie,  years ago.  This is one of the first books I read that showed me the practical ways grace is lived out.

In What’s So Amazing About Grace? award-winning author Philip Yancey explores grace at street level. If grace is God’s love for the undeserving, he asks, then what does it look like in action? And if Christians are its sole dispensers, then how are we doing at lavishing grace on a world that knows far more of cruelty and unforgiveness than it does of mercy?

“Having spent time around “sinners” and also around purported saints, I have a hunch why Jesus spent so much time with the former group: I think he preferred their company. Because the sinners were honest about themselves and had no pretense, Jesus could deal with them. In contrast, the “saints” put on airs, judged him, and sought to catch him in a moral trap. In the end it was the “saints”, not the “sinners”, who arrested Jesus.”  Philip Yancey

 101 Cups of Water, by C.D. Baker

My friend Kathy discovered this book a few years ago and bought me a copy.  It was a much needed dose of real grace for both of us.

For every time you’ve tried too hard, fell too far, or struggled too much, the refreshing cups in this book–or reminders of God’s infinite grace and mercy–will renew you like cool, clear water after a long, dry walk on a dusty, pitted, uphill road.

“I’ve been a believing Christian since childhood,” author C. David Baker explains, “but it’s my personal failures that have led me to the deep well of Grace.”

David poured his dashed hopes, broken dreams, haunting doubts, and paralyzing fear down that well and found all that’s collected here, all he, like you, needs for living with peace, joy, and purpose: cool cups of relief, comfort, revival, and sustenance.

Because Water Is Life  ~from book description

He Loves Me, by Wayne Jacobsen

My friend Hannah read this one first and sent it to me.  She knew I would benefit from Jacobsen’s words, too.

“So many Christians believe God’s love is fickle: when they sin, He turns away in disgust and anger. They vacillate between “He loves me” and “He loves me not” because of their behavior. That reasoning, writes Wayne Jacobsen, is as flawed as pulling petals from a daisy. Rather God’s love is sturdy, enduring, and undisturbed by people’s failings because God loves humankind not for what they do–but who they are. They are God’s beloved creation.”

Tattoos on the Heart, The Power of Boundless Compassion, by Greg Boyle

The latest book in my journey of discovery regarding God’s grace and love, this book was so gripping that I immediately sent a copy to a kindred spirit friend.  It blew us both away.  Why?  Because this man LIVES out grace.  The book he wrote is rich-full of his thoughts and stories as he works with and learns from the gangs in his neighborhood.

For twenty years, Gregory Boyle has run Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, the gang capital of the world. In Tattoos on the Heart, he distills his experience working in the ghetto into a breathtaking series of parables inspired by faith.

Arranged by theme and filled with sparkling humor and glowing generosity, these essays offer a stirring look at how full our lives could be if we could find the joy in loving others and in being loved unconditionally. From giant, tattooed Cesar, shopping at JCPenney fresh out of prison, we learn how to feel worthy of God’s love. From ten-year-old Lula we learn the importance of being known and acknowledged. From Pedro we understand the kind of patience necessary to rescue someone from the darkness. In each chapter we benefit from Boyle’s gentle, hard-earned wisdom.
These essays about universal kinship and redemption are moving examples of the power of unconditional love and the importance of fighting despair. Gorgeous and uplifting, Tattoos on the Heart reminds us that no life is less valuable than another.  


As I write about these books, I am struck by how they all came into my life at just the time I was ready to read them.  That’s God for you!  I hope that they are a blessing to you, as well.

Happy  Grace-Full Reading!

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty.  Zeph. 3:17

I want to read allllll the books


I would be most content

I dropped of David at school after an appointment and went to the library to return books.

I wandered the aisles and realized…..I wanted to read all the books.  I imagined being stranded and locked up, in a library and I didn’t mind the image.  So many books.  It’s amazing how many have been written, how many are contained at the library, free for the borrowing.

if my children


a stack of my own books by the bathtub

grew up


what we listen to in the car

to be the kind of people


reading in a coffeeshop

who think decorating consists mostly of


currently reading:

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


The Memoirs of Gluckel of Hamelin  This book is the published diary of a German Jewish woman who began writing it at the age of 44 in the year 1690.  She was compelled to write because her beloved husband had died and it gave her something to do during the long lonesome nights.  She had 14 children and she wrote the diaries for them.  In it, “She tells how she guided the financial and personal destinies of her children, how she engaged in trade, ran her own factory, and promoted the welfare of her large family.  Her memoir, a rare account of an ordinary woman, enlightens not just her children, for whom she wrote it, but all posterity about her life and community.  Gluckel speaks to us with determination and humor from the seventeenth century.  She tells of war, plague, pirates, soldiers, the hysteria of the false messiah Sabbtai Zevi, murder, bankruptcy, wedding  feasts, births, deaths, in fact, all of the human events that befell her during her lifetime.”

building enough bookshelves.

~Anne Quindlen

grace and books

A daughter may outgrow your lap, but she will never outgrow your heart. ~Author Unknown


She is in 10th grade and cheerfully talks about leaving right after High School.  

She wants to be in the military or go to Colorado for college.

Inside, my heart aches but I believe in letting the children go their own way, giving them freedom to make life plans.

In the meantime, my heart cherishes every moment with her.

On Saturday night, just the two of us went to Barnes and Noble to sit and read, sip chai tea, and journal.


After wandering the bookshelves, I joined her at a little round table to look through the stack of books I picked out.

1) By the Book was interesting because in each chapter, a different literary person is asked several questions about books– their favorite book, what they are currently reading, what book they couldn’t finish, and so on.  I wrote down a few books that looked interesting.  2)  I find the story of Chris McCandless fascinating, so I thought I would browse his sister’s new book, The Wild Truth, which gave her own perspective of the tragic events.   All in all, I wasn’t interested in reading it in depth because it was more about her own life, rather than her brother’s.  3) Delicious Probiotic Drinks was great, and a book I will purchase through amazon.  4) A Room of One’s Own will be a book I borrow from the library.  5) Portraits and Profiles was a photography book with essays, well written and interesting.

“Whenever I read a passage that moves me, I transcribe it in my diary, hoping my fingers might learn what excellence feels like.”  David Sedaris, in By the Book.

“I like nonfiction books about people with wretched lives.”  David Sedaris

“…she is joyously healthy and undoubtedly eats an apple a day….”  Cecil Beaton, in Portraits and Profiles, writing of Katherine Hepburn


Eventually, we left our little table and went over to the children’s section to sit on the floor.  We sat for quite a while, enjoying each other’s company and the wonderful new books we discovered.  Grace especially enjoyed Nuts to You, and kept reading me parts from it while laughing.  The Dark, by Lemony Snicket, was adorable.  The Squirrel’s Birthday and other Parties by Toon Tellegen, was a darling new discovery for me,  a book that was written over 25 years ago by a Dutch father who told the stories to his daughter as she was growing up.  He eventually wrote them all down and it has become a beloved book comparable to Winnie the Pooh.  Wainscott Weasel was about a weasel in love with a fish.  Can you even imagine?  Mean Margaret contains a story with animals that talk, and a terrible toddler from a family with nine children.  It made me chuckle.  Mister Max was written by a favorite author of mine, Cynthia Voigt.  Roland Smith is a favorite author of Jacob, Ethan, and Grace.  He has written a couple of series of books that they liked very much.  It is sad that the boys have grown up in the midst of the series and have lost interest in how things are going for the characters in the books.  Mutation and Alcatraz are two latest books in those series.  Grace and I had a discussion about how “you are never too old to read a children’s book.”  And I thought of C.S. Lewis, who explained it so much better:

“Critics who treat ‘adult’ as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”  CS Lewis

One of the wonderful blessings of having children of all ages is that you are compelled to keep reading books for all ages.


After filling up our minds with books, we meandered over to Moes and filled up our tummies with nachos.

Talking all the way, my Gracie-girl and me.


book recommendations for kids, from a 14 year old avid reader


My daughter Grace has stacks of books in her room and I thought it would be fun to ask her to chose some of them as a recommendation to my blogging friends (and their children).   She is a very experienced reader and is also a writer.

I took pictures of her copies of the books and then asked her to tell me about them.  I typed down what she said.  Enjoy!


GRACE’S BOOK PICKS (more posts like this to come, as she has more that she wants to share with you.)

By the way, she has read them all more than once.



The Underneath, by Kathi Appelt

It’s a story about a cat.  The cat becomes friends with a dog and when the cat has kittens the dog and the cat raise the kittens together.  The owner of the dog was abusive and when one of the kittens goes out from underneath the porch he tried to drown it.  The mother cat saves it’s life, but in doing so she drowns, poor thing.  The book also includes many other animals, and told from the perspective of many different characters in the book.  The book is very well written and it’s a story about love and sacrifice.  If you are kind hearted will love this book.   I don’t think anyone who isn’t kind hearted would read books, but that’s just my opinion.  If you like animals you will like this book.  I did my first book report ever on this book, the summer I was about to go to public school for the first time.


The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles, by Julia Andrews Edwards

This book reminds me of the Narnia books.  There are three children and they go to visit the zoo.  When they are at the zoo they meet a strange old man.  This man introduces them to the land of the Whangdoodle, which probably has a different name but I don’t remember it.  He tells the children about this place because children have very good imaginations and they will believe almost anything.  To visit this land you need to use your imagination.  I got this book from Ethan and it was given to him by Mom and Dad, Jacob also read it.  I liked this book.  (laughs)  The younger girl, Lindy, reminds me of Lucy (from Narnia) who reminded me of myself.  And the two other boys, Ben and Tom, reminded me of Jacob and Ethan.  Our mother told us that she got this book for us because she said that we all had great imaginations and we would all be able to picture the great Whangdoodle in our minds.  (“did I really say this?”  “yes, you did”)  And because of this, we all attempted to draw it.  




The Fledgling, by Jane Langton

This story is about a girl named Georgie who claims she can remember being able to fly.   She tries to fly again but this doesn’t work very well, (laughs), poor Georgie.  No one in her family will believe her, and she meets a goose.  This goose is a goose prince, he teaches her how to fly.  I liked this book, I remember liking it but I don’t quite remember why.

“And whenever his customers brought their children into his bank, he would open the gate that separated his desk from the windows of the tellers and stroll up to the children, beaming, and pat their heads and hand them lollipops.  Some of the children would say thank you.  They were the good children.  Others would stop up their mouths with the lollipops and stare back at him sullenly.  They were the bad ones.  And then Mr Preek’s generosity would turn sour, and he would go back to his desk in solemn scorn.”  page 42


Young Fredle, by Cynthia Voigt

This book is about mice who live in a house and then one mouse gets out of the house quite by accident and finds himself in the world.  He ends up trying to survive chickens and raccoons and countless other things, while trying to get back into the house.  When he finally does get back, he tells all of the other mice stories about what he saw outside and because of this all the mice go to live outside.  I wanted to read this to David but that didn’t happen because he got bored.  There was a cat named Patches (we had a cat with that name once).  I liked it because it was about a mouse and I never read a book about a mouse before and he had to survive many animals that we wouldn’t think were dangerous.




Cryptid Hunters, by Roland Smith

The Cryptid Hunters is about twins named Grace and Marty who are both very smart.  Even though they are both smart, Grace is obviously smarter.  These two children are at a boarding school because their father is an explorer (I think).  Their mother was a photographer.  One day in school the twins are called down to the principal’s office and told that their parents were in a car crash and didn’t survive.  They go to live with their Uncle Wolfe (whom they didn’t know exsisted), who lives on an island.  He is an veterinarian and is trying to find cryptids.  Cryptids are creatures whose existence haven’t been proven, like Sasquatch.    The twins end up getting stranded in the Congo.  The main part of the story is about their adventures in the Congo.  I’ve read this book a lot.

“The turning point for the O’Hara family came when the twins were six years old.  Marty decided he wanted to catch a bear.  He and Grace dug a five foot deep pit in the back yard, covered the opening with brush, and caught their mother, who became as angry as a bear.  The twins didn’t understand why she was upset. They had not used the sharpened stakes in bottom of the pit which the instructions had called for.  (Marty wanted the bear alive for show and tell at school.)  While Mrs. O’Hara was in the hospital recovering from her injuries, she got to thinking about the direction her life had taken.  She missed her husband.  She missed her former independence.  But most of all, she missed the wild places her cameras had taken her to.  ‘If I’m going to fall in pits I might as well get paid for it’, she decided.  And soon after her release she took the twins and joined Mr. O’Hara in the field.  This did not work for very long.  Grace was afraid of everything that moved (and many things that didn’t).  Marty was afraid of nothing but ghosts, which he had only read about.  For the twins own safety the O’Haras decided that Marty and Grace should stay at home.  They hired a succession of live-in nannies to care for the children, but none of them lasted long.  One by one, these disgruntled women fled the house with hastily packed bags, shouting back at the twins’ panicky parents, ‘Your son is as wild as a hurricane, and that daughter of yours is just plain weird.'”

(I beg Grace to stop reading)

(she continues, but I stop typing)


The Fisherman, by Larry Huntsman

Dad recommended this book for me.  He told me that when he was reading it he kept thinking of me and how much I would like it.  So of course I read it.  It’s a Biblical retelling of the gospels, written in Simon Peter’s perspective about Jesus’ ministry.  I thought it was very interesting.  I’ve read it three times.



I liked it’s cover, it had a horse on it which is probably why I read it.

Tucket’s Travels, by Gary Paulsen

Francis and his family are on a wagon train when Francis gets kidnapped by Indians.  He escapes with the help of a one-armed mountain man whom he becomes good friends with.  He spends the rest of the book trying to get back to his family.  On the way he finds two children, Lottie and Billy, who’s parents  had died, so he takes them with him.  I’ve read this book a lot.  My favorite character is Lottie, because she talks a lot and never shuts up.  She talks about the most random things that pop into her head. (mom will tell you that I am like that with her, although I don’t talk like that to anyone else.  She has to listen to me and love me regardless.)   The book made me cry, it was very touching.