C is for Color

Panda Bear's Paintbox and The Color Kittens
Panda Bear’s Paintbox and The Color Kittens

These books are part of why I love color so much. Both books teach kids about mixing primary colors, and they also show the magic of painting and using your imagination. I read them many, many times.

Panda Bear's Paintbox by
Panda Bear’s Paintbox by Michaela Muntean

I was captivated by the idea that I didn’t need to start with all the colors to create something with all the colors. The paintbox doesn’t have any orange, green, purple or pink, I would worry at the beginning of the book. But every time I read it, I discovered along with Panda Bear how to make those colors.

The Color Kittens by
The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown

I loved to read along with Brush and Hush as they mixed their paints and found new colors for all the things they loved in their world. This book is fun and the illustrations are so cute and imaginative.

I was always playing outside as a kid, enjoying nature and all the colors around me–picking whatever wildflowers happened to grow, watching the birds in our yard, or following the different bugs, ants and spiders that I found.

In school, I loved art class. That was probably my favorite part of school when I was little. I loved organizing and coloring with my crayons. One thing I still love is the segment of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood in which he visits the Crayola factory to show us how crayons are made. I love listening to him narrate the process of how those “yella crans” came to be. I loved all the colorful animations in Sesame Street, especially the trippy rainbow pinball “counting to 12” song.

Of course, C is also for Cookie, and that’s good enough for me!

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

Cold Days finished, Skin Game out tomorrow

SPOILER WARNING for Cold Days

I finished Cold Days (#14 of The Dresden Files) and it was OK. It’s one of the longer books of the series, weighing in at 515 pages, so there was a lot there to love. The problem is, I didn’t love it. Bums me out to say.

There was a lot of ground to cover in this book. Harry, back from the dead, has to deal with belonging to Mab as the new Winter Knight. She’s got training lined up for him, a great big birthday party, and then his first assignment — to kill Maeve. The story centers on Harry trying to solve the mystery of what the adversary is, who’s affected, and who should be killed, all while he’s adjusting to the power he’s been given.

As the story unfolds, everyone he knows is surprised to see him alive and pissed at him for not getting in touch after coming back from the dead, and finally Harry realizes (again) that he could use the help of his friends. The book has lots of interesting tidbits about other characters and some about Harry’s past, but overall i didn’t love it.

I was disappointed with Harry’s “struggles” with the winter mantle telling him to hurt girls. As I understood it, those scenes were supposed to show him dealing with the consequences of his choice to become the Winter Knight, but that didn’t make them any fun to read. The message seemed to be that Harry is a good guy after all, and would never do a thing like that…although he totally could have if he wanted to. I thought the women involved who knew what he had just been thinking about in those scenes had somewhat strange reactions. As in, not much of a reaction at all. Especially not Molly, what was going on there? He said he wanted to “put her in her place”? That’s pretty dark. Anyway, that aspect of the book was disappointing, and took away from my overall enjoyment of it.

There was, however, some great stuff in Cold Days. I did really like Demonreach and finding out more about that character and island. I loved the scenes with Mother Winter and Mother Summer, and the parts with the Wild Hunt. Cat Sith was lots of fun and I hope to see him again. After waiting so long to see if Harry and Murphy get together, I was happy to see Harry take Thomas’s advice to not put things off until later and just go for it already. However, when we finally got to the end, I found that the conversation between Harry and Murphy was just kind of awkward. Crying and hand-holding? Um, I guess that’s the relationship we’ve been waiting for all this time?  I’m interested to see what becomes of it, and I’m excited for the release of Skin Game tomorrow. Something tells me it’s not going to be full of date nights for H&K and picnics with all the Dresden friends, but I’m looking forward to it anyway 🙂

Book spine poem: Scandalous summer

Here’s another book spine poem, this time using books that don’t belong to my children.

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The husband’s secret
The naked mom
Summer people chasing fire

I have only just started The Husband’s Secret, but I get the impression that it’s about a life-changing, world-shattering secret that rocks the lives of many people. Well, the book jacket pretty much says that verbatim so I guess it’s less of an impression I got and more of some words I actually read. Anyway I’m constantly guessing at what the secret is going to be, my imagination running wild with different scandalous scenarios. That’s what inspired the poem.

I’m also trying like hell to finish Cold Days before Friday, when Jim Butcher will do an AMA on reddit! So excited for that and trying to get caught up beforehand. I know I can always read it later, this being the Internet, but it’s not the same.

Authors: Liane Moriarty, Brooke Burke, Elin Hilderbrand, Nora Roberts, and thanks to Stan at Sentence First for the idea.

Book Spine Poem: Dad is Fat

Came across book spine poems yesterday, thanks to Stan at Sentence first. Thought I’d try it out, too.

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Dad’s Book.
This little piggy
eating the alphabet!
some
more
MOST
What am I?
Dad is Fat.

I don’t have many books at my place currently. Most of them are in storage, and I often use the library for anything new. But, my children have a lot of books. These belong to them, except the last one.

Authors: Parragon Publishing, Hannah Wood, Lois Ehlert, Judy Freudberg, Sterling Publishing, Jim Gaffigan

Asparagus season is here! Plus thoughts on Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Fresh asparagus is a treat. I picked my own for the first time this week and loved it. I had never tasted asparagus raw. Such a tender texture and fresh notes of green bean and pea. It will be difficult to go back to dull, woody, out-of-season, grocery-store asparagus now.

asparagus1
It’s time to pick asparagus.

Last year I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. Until then, I hadn’t considered how or when it grew, and I found the author’s description of it fascinating. I imagined the reddish buds poking out of the ground in early spring, the root systems and clusters of sprouts, or the fern-like bushes that the unpicked stalks will become. Last year I missed the pick-your-own (PYO) season, and this week, after many months, it did not disappoint. Continue reading “Asparagus season is here! Plus thoughts on Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”

Ghost Story: Dresden Remixed

Warning, SPOILERS: for #13 of The Dresden Files, Ghost Story

Sometimes there’s a benefit to being so behind on things. I’ve had the luxury of reading the Dresden Files books whenever I chose, always knowing the next one was just a library trip away. I’m excited to be almost caught up, and to read Skin Game when everyone else does, but I’m also slightly worried about having to wait for the publication of the next installment. Especially after the cliff-hanger between Changes and Ghost Story. Continue reading “Ghost Story: Dresden Remixed”

Changes: Invasion of the children

Warning, SPOILERS: for #12 of The Dresden Files, Changes

I just finished Changes a few days ago. I have mixed feelings.

Part of me thought that as I was reading one day, Susan might show up with a kid. I didn’t really think much beyond that, because I was hoping it wouldn’t happen. Having a child is great. It changes your life in so many wonderful and amazing ways. But having a child is also a constant source of worry and anxiety. Usually this is low-grade worry about things that don’t matter much in the long run, but there are occasional spikes of real threats and worries that go along with them. Any parent who has read books or articles on parenting will be terrified into thinking that children are in danger every moment of the day (usually because of something the parent didn’t do or buy correctly). Mitigating this terror with the need to keep the kids safe and healthy can sap the energy out of even the most relaxed parent. But basically, you do the best you can and trust that everything will work out all right.

Harry, who is always dodging bullets of one kind or another, doesn’t need that kind of worry in his life. As a reader, I feel like neither do I. Continue reading “Changes: Invasion of the children”

Cramming before Skin Game

With roughly a month before #15 of The Dresden Files series, Skin Game, comes out, I’m trying to get caught up so I can read the new book spoiler-free as soon as it’s released. I started reading the series last year and was instantly hooked. As much as I try to pace myself with these books, they end up being much too fun and I compulsively read until they are over. Up to this point, I have had to request each book from my county’s network of libraries, which means I’ve had to wait a couple weeks until I could pick them up at my local branch. Next on my list is Changes, and much to my joy and simultaneous dismay, my library has the next three books sitting right there on the shelf, just waiting for me to pick them up and bring them home.

Three Dresden books at once.

Awesome!

Goddamnit! Continue reading “Cramming before Skin Game”