Updates of a Sort

I apologize for the lapse in blog posts. It has been a rough and busy couple of weeks and not only has my writing suffered, but so has my reading. Besides the political upheaval of the past week, my last remaining grandparent also passed away last week. On the way to my Grandma's funeral I began to feel ill and by that evening was in full-blown illness.Within 24 hours my voice was completely gone. Although, I think it is just a cold, it has left me feeling utterly drained. Add to that our annual trip to the Renaissance Festival and adoption stuff and there just isn't enough time or energy to do anything.

Now, I love to read and have used it as an escape for a long time, but when life gets super hairy, it is usually the first thing to go. Not because I don't enjoy it, but because I want to actually enjoy it without distractions. Nothing makes me happier than to sit on my porch in the fall with some hot tea, a blanket, and a good book. But if I don't have the time to do that, if all I can steal is a few minutes on the toilet or during lunch, I find myself shying away from it. I don't want to read with snatches of time.

Also, I am not sure what the future holds for this blog. Not that I want to quit writing here, but we are anywhere between weeks and months from getting a teenager in our home with the endgame being adoption. Additionally, I am planning on doing a bit more volunteering, hopefully with refugees. It's my answer to this insanity. My life is about to get a whole lot busier and I will be reevaluating things as they change.

Little Bot and Sparrow by Jake Parker Book Review

Little Bot and Sparrow by Jake Parker
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: September 27, 2016

When Little Bot is thrown out with the garbage, he finds himself in a strange new world. Fortunately, Sparrow is there to take him under her wing. Together, they explore the forest, share adventures, and learn what it means to be forever friends.

An odd little story with a big heart, Little Bot is one very confused and sad robot. I liked that Little Bot never meets a human, but rather experiences the world through the eyes of a bird. The illustrations are the real draw here though. Soft and beautitful, Parker makes great use of the spreads, pulling the reader in. A lovely story of friendship that is perfect for little ones on the lower age range of picture books. 

Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Riggins Book Review

Hotel Bruce by Ryan T. Riggins
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: October 18, 2016

Remember Bruce? The grumpy bear who ended up adopting a gaggle of geese? Well, Bruce is still grumpy, but he is also a dutiful parent and so he migrates with his goslings every winter, when he really should be hibernating. Bruce is tired. Which is why he is so upset when he returns home to find the mice have turned his home into a hotel. At first he just growls and grumbles, but when things get really crazy, Bruce flat out demands his home back.

I really love these books. Bruce has such a great personality, this grumpy bear with a not-so-secret heart of gold. Any bear who goes south for the winter with his geese children definitely deserves a medal. There is also a lot going on in these pictures. Just like in the first book there are so many wonderful little moments on every page. So much chaos. Beautiful fun chaos. A great sequel to Mother Bruce, kids are going to love this one.

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty Book Review

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
Illustrations by David Roberts
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Release Date: September 6, 2016

In the beginning Ada was slow to talk, but once she started, she was full of questions. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? Ada sees problems that need solutions at every turn. Everything is question just waiting to be answered and so, using the scientific method, Ada performs her experiments and gets in a bit of trouble too.

Another wonderful book by Andrea Beaty that champions both diversity and girls in science. Ada is like so many young children, full of questions and burning with curiosity. I also love Ada's family, who is mystified at first, but supportive in the way that every budding scientist needs. This is such a wonderful book with such a broad audience. I kind of which I had read this before I bought all my nieces and nephews their birthday presents.