Book Lists

Ok, so I work in the children’s department of Barnes and Noble most of the time. This means that I get interesting questions like “I need a book for a seven year old girl obsessed with the weather channel. Can you suggest something?” I finally decided that I was going to write down my suggestions and what the customer or I find in the store for some of these questions and post them here (mostly for my own reference, but also because it could be interesting to other people). These lists now have a page of their own in the Books section of the site. I will also post lists or additions as blog entries as they are added. Here are tonights two new lists!

Books for kids who recently became big brothers/sisters

A Baby Sister for Frances by Russell Hoban, illustrated by Lillian Hoban
Angelina’s Baby Sister by Katharine Holabird, illustrated by Helen Craig
Arthur’s Baby by Marc Brown
Big Sister Dora by Alison Inches, illustrated by Dave Aikins
The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby by Stan and Jan Berenstain
The Berenstain Bears and Baby Makes Five by Stan and Jan Berenstain

~~~

Books with no words or easily covered words

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg
Dinosaur! by Peter Sis
Window by Jeannie Baker
The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt, illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi

If you have any suggestions for any existing list (or if I missed your favorite or your child’s favorite or something) I would love to hear about it! Post suggestions in the comments please!

My age?

Cute quiz found on Viv’s blog. I only act two years younger than I really am! I’m 24, for those of you who wouldn’t know.


You Are 22 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view – and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what’s to come… love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You’ve had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You’ve been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

What Age Do You Act?

Gaming Updates!

Ok, a bunch of NPCs have been added to the page for my current D&D game. That game should end tonight, so hopefully there will only one more update for that page (perhaps with a plot summary and wrap-up).

There is also a new link on the sidebar to replace the one to the D&D page, it is Role Playing Games and goes to a page with a link to the Prophesies and Choices page as well as the wiki for Michael’s new Shackled City campaign that I am playing in. The wiki is cool and constantly updated, so it’s worth checking out if you are at all interested.

Katrina Relief for Children

I haven’t posted anything about the news lately because everyone else pretty much has it covered. However, I do want to post something now about the Katrina relief effort that Michael and I are contributing to.

SCBWI is putting together comfort packages for children who have been displaced by Katrina. Each kit will have two age appropriate books in it (picture books or chapter books/novels) as well as a stuffed animal or toy, a flashlight and a toothbrush/toothpaste set. Most of these children have lost everything and anything that we can give them will help them get through this (especially for young children this can make a big difference). They are accepting donations of new or like-new books, new toys and stuffed animals and money for the other needed supplies. The address to send things to is:

SCBWI Katrina Relief
8271 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Michael and I ordered several books from Amazon and had them sent to the above address. If you can, pick out some of your favorite children’s books or simple toys and send them!

There are children heroes too. The first story to make me cry outright was this one about a six year old boy who cared for six other children, including his five month old brother, and got them to help. That is one amazingly brave and responsible six year old. I hope that somebody writes a picture book about him, he deserves it and other kids deserve to hear his story. I hope he gets one of the relief kits.

Wedding Pictures

As I mentioned, I got married on August 13. There are now lots and lots of pictures online at Random Dialogue with more on the way. Some of them are just beautiful. There is a great one of the whole bridal party around bench that looks just great. The girls look beautiful in their dresses (I loved the color and style – it looked good on all of them and really stood out). The guys all look dashing in their tuxedos. What is it about tuxes? I don’t know any guys who don’t look good in them!

The gardens made a wonderful backdrop for the wedding and it really shows in the pictures, especially the formal ones and the ceremony ones.

We are planning on scanning some of the pretty cards and drawings we got from the reception (we had cards and crayons instead of a guest book). I think those are great and will provide another link when they are up. And there is one amazing drawing that is unsigned, so I would like to know who drew it!

Anyway, go look at the pictures, they are wonderful. Even I admit I was beautiful that day! And I’ve never seen pictures of Michael looking so happy!

New Dolls and Pixel Art!

Wow. It’s been forever since I updated with some new dolls. I been just a *little* busy lately. Anyway, today I have two new dolls and one piece of pixel art. Both dolls are really simple because I was just sort of getting used to dolling again, but I think that both of them turned out well. The first is Princess Aurora from Disney’s movie “Sleeping Beauty”. This dress is from a book cover (one of the Disney Princess storybooks, I think). The second doll is Kim Possible in her cheerleading outfit. The pixel art piece is a really pretty Dior purse that I love (but could never afford). Click on the dolls for their base sites. The purse was drawn by hand without a base.

Gracie’s Birthday!

Tonight we went to visit my parents and celebrate Gracie’s birthday! She’s four years old today. She got cake and ice cream to celebrate (that was exciting).

Here’s how Gracie looks now:

And here is how she looked when she first came home as a puppy:

Isn’t she adorable? For some scale, the fuzzy toy next to Gracie in the second picture is about six inches in diameter. Wasn’t she a tiny puppy? She’s a little bigger now (almost six pounds).

Comic Characters

I have added the Micro Hero pixel dolls of the seven founding members of the Justice League from the current television show to the Comic Character Dolls page. There are some more of this type of doll that will hopefully be added later.

Essays

I read a facinating musing on the blog Academic Splat! about the use of essays in teaching. The entry focuses on the use of essays in college classes (which makes sense, since Camicao is a college professor), but I think the concern stands for grade school, middle school and high school just as much, if not more. How many of us were taught to write the dreaded 5-paragraph essay, or worse, the 20-minute essay? Did you feel like you got much out of it other than a hatred for essay questions? I mean, even when the question was interesting (especially in college classes – which usually asked more interesting questions) being required to write a certain type of essay (determined either by actual guidelines or previous experience with what the professor/teacher wants) often made me lose all interest in the question itself.

I’m wierd and would sometimes write something different from a traditional essay because I liked the question so much and felt it deserved better than my horribly edited form essays, but that usually backfired in a poor grade or a confused professor. And it drove my grade school and high school teachers absolutely batty. I remember my favorite English teacher in grade school calling me in after a twenty-minute essay exercise because I had loved the question and so written something that (while still mostly an essay) bore no resemblence to the form asked for. I was livid. I loved that essay (now I don’t remember what it was about, just that I thought it was great and she was hung up on the stupid form). It makes me wonder what the purpose of teaching form is. I see that it is vitally important for papers intended for publication and such (and have gotten much better at traditional essays over the years), but how many people really ever intend to publish essays about anything? I do, but again, I’m a freak.

I don’t know. This is more of me being frustrated with the state and specifics of the education system. I feel that I have valid points, but I may just be crazy. I do realize that what I would design for an education system would never be accepted. I guess that’s ok. I can at least use my ideas to try and come up with ways to change the system that *might* be acceptable someday. That’s how change happens, right?

Book: Hindu and Sikh Wedding Ceremonies

Hindu and Sikh Wedding Ceremonies
Ramesh Chander Dogra and Urmila Dogra
2000

This was a fascinating book written by a Hindu couple living in Britain about the rituals and ceremonies in Hinduism and Sikhism that surround weddings and marriages. It was obviously written in English by non-native speakers, but everything was perfectly easy to read and understand. The book also has several colour and black and white photographs to help readers visualize what is being explained and show images of gods and goddesses. The book discusses historical viewpoints and the meaning behind each ritual.

I found this book fascinating. It has a definite Hindu bias to the writing (really only important to note for the Sikh passages) and the writers are obviously devout believers in the Hindu way of life and outlook. I found the various rituals and their meanings very interesting, but was a little frustrated that the book spent more time on rituals related to marriage or life after the wedding than on the wedding rituals themselves. I would have really liked more in-depth descriptions of the aspects of the wedding ceremony, which almost felt glossed over in parts of the book.

In general, I liked this book. It was very interesting. It wasn’t really what I was looking for, but it gave me some of the information I wanted. I think I’ll need to go looking for a better book on Hindu wedding rituals for a more in-depth explaination.

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