Sunday Post: Attraction – Why Libraries?

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!

Jake, at Time after Time, has a Sunday Post Challenge – today’s theme is ATTRACTION.

Attraction definition: A quality or force of someone or something that pulls others in.

Sunday Post: Attraction - Why Libraries?

Libraries are an amazing attraction.

For me, libraries are the best place to spend a couple of happy hours.

Are you interested in photography? The library has awesome books for you.

Do you want to find a recipe for a delicious Indian curry dish? Continue reading

Winners and a contest and Bravo Maurice…oh my!

The week has just FLOWN by!  Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others who contribute a picture book review and related resources for parents, teachers and children. 

Before we get to the picture book review, I need to let you know about:



Last month I offered to donate 25 copies of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking to libraries across the country and around the worldI am disappointed that there weren’t more entries, but I’m thrilled to be sending books to the twenty libraries listed below.  Please email me at and let me know if you would like to present the book to your library or if you’d like me to mail it to the library directly.  Also, several of those who nominated libraries said they’d like to do a review of Show Me How on their blog/website/newsletter.  Let me know if you still would like to do that…I’ll need your address in that case so I can send you a copy for yourself.  And, for those who do a review, if you don’t have a need for the book after you have reviewed it, I would really appreciate it if you would donate that copy to a family shelter or other deserving organization.  I’ll try to email everyone individually…and please forgive me if I spelled the library name incorrectly or didn’t have the city…and some of you did not give the actual library name.


  1. San Carlos Branch of the San Diego City Library, California (Michelle R.)
  2. Upper Perkiomen Valley Library, Pennsylvania (Erik N.)
  3. Bonney Memorial Library, Cornish, Maine (Heather N.)
  4. Lancaster Public Library, Los Angeles, California (Kirsten L.)
  5. Verona, New Jersey (Tracy B.)
  6. Maria Island Library, Deal Island, Florida (Nancy H.)
  7. Literacy Volunteers at the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library, Florida (Martha R.)
  8. Troy Public Library, Troy, New York (Gail T.)
  9. Gulf Gate Library, Sarasota, Florida Diana D.)
  10. Kalona Public Library, Kalona, IA (Hawkdad73)
  11. Rust Library (Clarike)
  12. Chester Library, Chesterfield Country, Virginia (Marcy K.)
  13. Old Colorado City Library, Colorado Springs, CO (Marylin W.)
  14. Wheaton Public Library, IL (Barb V.)
  15. Lee County Library, Cape Coral, Florida (Krista R.)
  16. ABBE Library, Aiken, South Carolina (Heidi A.)
  17. Scarborough Public Library, Maine (Kimberley)
  18. Maple Library, Canada (From the Pews)
  19. Barrington Area Library, IL (Sheila G.)
  20. Santee Library of the San Diego County Library System, California (Milka)

It’s also time to announce the winner of the April Positive Parental Participation Reading Challenge:

Congratulations, Milka at Perfecting MotherhoodA brand-new picture book will be on its way to you in the next few days!


I don’t know if any of you remember the Valentine Poetry Contest over at Marylin’s Things I Want To Tell My Mother.  Well, Marylin is having another contest for Mother’s Day.  Write an original Mother’s Day card to any mother you know.  I’ve entered with a verse I wrote for my daughter who is the mother of three-year old Jeremy…you can check out the post and enter the contest here.  Maybe some of you will be inspired to add an entry.

Are you ready for your picture book?


Bravo, Maurice!

Written and illustrated by Rebecca Bond

Publisher: Little Brown and Company (2000)

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Family, valuing one’s own unique qualities and strengths, careers, self-esteem


When Maurice is born, his family members are convinced that he will grow up to be like each of them.  His father, who is a baker, is sure that Maurice has the big hands needed to knead bread.  His grandmother believes that Maurice has a nose just like hers and is sure he will become a wonderful gardener.  As Maurice grows up, the members of his family make sure he has opportunities to try doing the things they love to do.  Will Maurice follow in the footsteps of someone in his family, or will Maurice discover a voice of his own?

Why I like this book:

What a beautiful story of a loving extended family!  Even though Maurice’s family members wanted him to love what they loved doing, they were thrilled and excited when they discovered Maurice’s special gift.  Young children should be encouraged to have all types of experiences.  The story shows kids that we each have special talents and strengths and that everyone is unique and wonderful!  This is a message parents MUST teach their children!

Related Activities:

It’s springtime!  Take a walk outside with your little ones and observe the budding trees and bushes and the tulips and daffodils blooming everywhere!  Maurice’s grandmother was an exceptional gardener and she encouraged Maurice to learn about planting. 

Gardening is a multi-generational activity and kids LOVE it.  Why not make a planter and help your children plant some herbs that can be grown indoors or outside and then harvested during the summer and used in your meals.



1.      Cut a clean milk container.

2.      Use self-stick shelf paper to cover the outside.

3.      Poke several holes in the bottom of the container.

4.      Fill ¾ high with gardening soil.

5.      Buy herb seedlings at the store or use seeds (parsley, basil, oregano, etc.) and plant in the soil.

6.      Set planter on a waterproof tray or plate.

7.      Water, set in a sunny spot and watch it grow!

Nice crafts using milk cartons here at DTLK.

Other crafts with milk cartons can be found here at eHow

And even more at Artists Helping Kids here. (The picture above comes from that website)

Kids LOVE to help in the kitchen and cooking and baking are two of the best activities you can do with them…builds self-esteem, develops better literacy skills and strengthens the parent-child connection!

Maurice helped his father bake bread.  Here’s a wonderful herb bread recipe from my book that you and your kids will enjoy.



You will need: 3 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 4 ½ tsp baking powder, 3 TB sugar, 1 Tb herb blend (oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary…your choice), 12 oz milk, a large bowl, and a 9×5 inch loaf pan greased.

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and herb blend.
  2. Stir in the milk.
  3. Turn the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes at 325 degrees.
  4. Turn out and cool on rack…delicious toasted or plain.

This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill.  Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.

I also wanted to add a link to an article of interest to every parent and teacher:

The public schools in our country have been slowly shrinking the block corner in the kindergarten…in some classrooms, it is non-existent.  Block play and play centers have given way to ditto sheets and computer centers…in the false belief that the earlier we try to teach children to read and write, the more successful they will be in school.  But of course, this was never true.  The article relates that the Journal of Pediatrics has just revealed a study that shows we need to CUT DOWN on ditto sheets and screen time (TV, computers, leapster, etc.) and BULK UP on block play and the old-fashioned puzzles, pretend play, etc.  I wish I could be happy to have my long-time argument in favor of PLAYTIME  as a social and academic learning tool validated…but I”m not!  I’m only sad, because I’m afraid the situation in the schools is not changing anytime soon.  It will be up to each parent to insure that their young children are getting enough playtime…if you need to get a gift for your child…buy a good set of quality wooden blocks!!!!!!