Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Our Snow Removal and Grandson Rules Day

It is not news that a massive snowstorm hit New Jersey on Saturday and left us personally with 25 inches of snow to clear.  This is what it looked out our front door. 

Another word would be lucky.  First our neighbor tirelessly for two days used his snow thrower and included us in his relentless work.  By Sunday afternoon we had only a few mountains to climb and conquer – the porch/steps, one car and the packed in driveway apron with snow from the snow plows.  I was out there making my way to the car when my daughter and grandson arrived.  Like angels from heaven.  Fran took the porch. Zach, equipped with his own snow shovel, took to the car and amazed me with his snow removal skills.  We all worked hard.  Then Pop made hot chocolate with whipped cream.  Hmmm.

Zach is 6 years old and I wanted to reward him for his work and I happened to have just the right thing thanks to my friends at LEGO.  A few months ago I went to a LEGO Star Wars preview.  
LEGO Star Wars Snowspeeder

In Grandma’s secret closet there was this – The LEGO Star Wars microfighters Snowspeeder.  That’s right – the Snowspeeder!  How perfect was that.  Zach was delighted and quickly assembled it added a little droid part and enjoyed playing with it.

We all settled down to relax and Zach was playing quietly by himself in the family room.  He came bursting into the kitchen and said,  "I made words and names with the letters!"  Zach had used the letters from the Appletters game by Bananagrams to spell  all these words and names.  He is in first grade.  I am impressed with his initiative to use the letters to  design his own game of making a word and then a name with the letters.

And that is our Snowy Day story.  What is yours?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Two New Picture Books Destined to Become Classics

Whether you are a fan of A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Blueberries fo Sal by Robery McCloskey, or another wonderfully illustrated timeless children’s book, isn’t it time to check out the classics in the making. We all have favorite children’s books.  I saved some of my children’s favorites and classics and have enjoyed sharing them with my grandson. My Grandma Chronicles facebook page has news feed for all sorts of Children’s books and I decided to find some special ones to recommend. I looked to the 2016 Newberry, Caldecott,and Coretta Scott King awards for books worth checking out.  I then checked Amazon reviews to see what actual readers have to say.  I chose these two picture books to recommend.  They both get high marks for writing and illustrations.  I think they will appeal to a wide age range and become favorites for reading together.  

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena

"Last Stop on Market Street," written by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson is the 2016 Newberry Medal winner for most outstanding contribution to children's literature, a Caldecott Honor Book and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book.  It has also received other prestigious awards.    I am particularly drawn to this book because it features a conversation with a grandmother and grandson. CJ would like to ride in a car instead of the bus and wishes he has things his family cannot afford. His Grandmother talks to him about the beauty surrounding them and the friends on the bus.  I think this one is destined to be an all time favorite and worth adding to your children’s library now.

"Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear," illustrated by Sophie Blackall and written by Lindsay Mattick is the Caldecott Medal winner for the most distinguished American picture book for children. It is the telling of a true story. During  World War I a veterinarian rescued a bear and she became a mascot for a group of Canadian soldiers.  Winnie inspired the fictional Winnie-the-Pooh.  This is the Number #1 bestseller in Amazon’s Children’s Literary Biographies category.  Amazon reviewers hail the writing and beautiful illustrations plus the bonus photographs of the “real Winnie.”  All Winnie the Pooh fans should have this book.