Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Deadline Extended!!!! A Delightful Giveaway! Getting Young Children Ready for School? “Bailey” Makes It Fun and Adventurous!

This is such a great offer and the winner did not respond with mailing details so the deadline is extended until  Saturday, September 17th.  Enter now - there is a great chance to win.

  You must be a resident of the US or Canada to enter. It’s a good getting ready for school – or preschool – activity to read a book about going to school. I recommend Bailey by Harry Bliss as the perfect choice. It is a delightful, funny book. In an interview, Harry Bliss had this to say, “It’s really a dance, trying to pair up the text with the art, not simply illustrating the words, but to move the story forward visually.”

That philosophy comes forth in this book. Whether Bailey is showing off his math skills with drawing bones on the blackboard, creating a work of art with his tail, giving a presentation about a famous dog, Fala, or dealing with missing the bus this book will make you smile. It is both a visual treat and a funny story about everyday life – going to school.

Harry Bliss is a well known cartoonist and children’s book author/illustrator. His adult work has appeared on the cover of the New Yorker and in the New York Times. He brings the same fundamental gift of humor to his children’s works.

I received a copy of Bailey to review and Zach, my two year old grandson, and I have been enjoying it. He isn’t going to school yet, but he did get to do some back to school shopping which included items like crayons.

Bailey is a newly published, delightful hardcover picture book recommended for children ages 4-8. Based on my experience, younger children will enjoy having this book read to them also. The publisher is Scholastic and they always feature excellent children’s books. The book is available in book stores now and at – see below to order.

This video gives a good preview of Bailey.

I am a big supporter for having books with themes about real life experiences. Years ago, before my children were going to take their first airplane trip I bought an excellent picture book about taking your first airplane ride. We read it for weeks before the trip, during the flight and when we got home. The kids were captivated as they could identify with the experiences in the book. In the Spring, my daughter had a book entitled Seashore Baby that we read to my grandson, Zach in preparation for our summer vacation at the shore – and he enjoyed reading it during and after vacation. I bought a book, Swimming is Fun, about a little girl, Anna, taking swimming lessons at an indoor pool and the experiences were almost exactly like ours at the Y with Zach when he had his first lessons this Spring – including peeking under at the changing room next to us. He enjoys that one too.  I tease him about not peeking under the changing room.

Reading books with young children is certainly one of life’s pleasures. I love reading books with Zach and doing children’s book reviews on this blog. I am so happy to be able to also offer this giveaway on my blog.

Giveaway Details
I like to make my giveaways simple. There is only one thing to do to enter and an opportunity for an extra entry.

1. Leave a comment by Thursday, September 1st, 2011 before midnight.

Tweet about this giveaway and let me know that you did with a comment here – will count as a second entry. Or,

Like The Grandma Chronicles on Facebook

That’s it. I’ll use to pick the winner and I’ll post it here on September 2nd. If you enter, be sure to check back on September 2nd. If you win, you will need to email me your mailing information.

You must be a resident of the US or Canada.

I hope you enjoyed this review and please do enter to win. This is an amusing book that any young child will enjoy.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Rhythm of Grandparenting This Summer

In the summer the rhythm of our family life makes some changes. We have a cabin at a small lake community in the New Jersey mountains and my husband, Hugh, and I try to spend as much time as possible up there. It’s cooler and less humid, there’s no TV, we read books and love to socialize with our summer community family. We frequently have a Friday to Monday weekend – sometimes longer. So…. Family dinners at home are on Tuesday night instead of Sunday. Date night babysitting is on Wednesday rather than Friday. Laundry day is Thursday and grocery shopping seems to get done more frequently in smaller bites.

One of the pleasures of living in the northeast is the experience of changing seasons. One of our pleasures this summer is seeing Zach, our grandson, grow to love our summer place. Fran and Zach have been coming up on Mondays and Zach has established his own routine. Last week he jumped out of his car seat and ran to me with a big smile. This, as all grandmothers of young children know, makes you the happiest person in the world at that moment. But – he clearly had his own agenda and wanted to pursue it before the adults had any ideas of their own about what to do first. He started walking and soon I knew he wasn’t headed to the lakeside beach area – he was headed to the area where a bunch of ride on toys, balls and basketball hoop were available for communal use. Most of these have been outgrown by some older child but left here to be enjoyed by all. Zach went right over to the fenced in area where they are kept neatly and said open, open until his trailing grandmother complied.

So finally we were done with playing on ride-ons, basketball and hitting a large light weight ball with a bat and now he was ready for the beach. No need to lead him – he knew the way and greeted his relaxing mother and Pop with a big smile.

Pop’s turn. Zach loves to jump off the dock into a shallow area and be caught by his Pop. Pop loves this too. Grandma had her turn at relaxing and enjoying the conversation mostly about her grandson. Lunch called and so back to the cabin we went. Again Zach knows the way. He’s two – and I’m beginning to think he is not the kind of person who will ever get lost. He seems to have an innate sense of direction.

Zach already knows that Grandma will always have a treat – but one approved of by his mother. He had hardly entered the door and he started to ask for strawberries. And of course, 1,2,3 - grandma put out a plate of bite size strawberry pieces. He enjoyed lunch and found the cache of toys I keep at the cabin. Then he let us know he had to use the potty and wanted Pop to help him.

Fran and I then took Zach to the tennis court and I got a child’s racket from the common area. Zach loves sports and especially hitting a ball with a bat or racket. When this was done, we went back to the beach and after a snack – more strawberries – he LOVES strawberries – and another potty trip it was time to head home and nap in the car.

When you have a two year old around a hot summer day isn’t going to be a slow, lazy day but it sure is enjoyable.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

FREE Opportunities at the US Tennis Open - Great Day for the Kids

As summer winds down wouldn't it be nice to have one big, exciting outing with the kids - especially if it didn't cost too much.  How about free - even better. The US Open will be held at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY from August 29th through September 11th.  I have enjoyed my several trips to the first week of the Open and loved seeing the top players play - sometimes up really close at the smaller venues and sometimes seeing someone who later became the darling of the tournament such as Melanie Oudin play in the third round.

But there is a lot of action in the week before the Open officially begins and here are a couple of great opportunities for kids.  During this week there are the "qualifying rounds" for players who don't have a high enough ranking to automatically be able to enter the Open.  Future stars are playing in the qualifying rounds and some of them may even make a mark this year.  On Tuesday, August 23rd, the Open will have FREE admission for everyone.  That's right - absolutely free.  Well, you do have to pay for parking or train/subway fare to get there.  The whole Center will be open and there will be special events. 

This is an amazing opportunity for young tennis fans. Many of the qualifiers will be young people and this will be exciting for the kids too. You can buy one of those big green balls that kids use to have players sign as they leave the court.  Young children - and even older ones - love getting autographs.  That is part of the fun.  And the outdoors food court will provide the opportunity for a treat or lunch.

That isn't all.  There is another fun event at the Open that is FREE! On Friday, August 26th, the USTA will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the most people hitting a tennis ball with a racquet at 9 am at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Hundreds of people are expected to come out and join US tennis star Mardy Fish as they attempt to join the record books. This event, which is co-hosted by the USTA and Wilson, is free, open to the public and fans are encouraged to come and be a part of this amazing event.

If you are a tennis fan, consider making this a day with your grandchildren.
Visit the US Open official site and check out everything about the tournament - the best in the world! Our favorite day to attend is Thursday of the first week - that would be September 2nd.  If you'll be going that day - sorry it isn't a free day - let me know.  I'd love to meet you.