Monthly Archives: May 2015

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary: Feyre hunts in order to provide for her poverty stricken family; one day while Feyre is out hunting she shoots a gigantic wolf and sells the skin. Later that evening a faerie barges into Feyre’s household and informs her that the wolf she killed was actually a faerie. As retribution the faerie (Tamlin) declares that Feyre must live out her life in the land of the Fae. Feyre is displeased to leave her family and fearful of how they will fend for themselves. Eventually she learns to live with (and even enjoy) the world of the Faes, becoming closer with the high faerie Tamlin and Lucien. The faeries of this land are forced to wear masks due to a blight that is destroying Tamlin’s kingdom. Feyre discovers that she is the one who can put a stop to the infection and ultimately put an end to the reign of an evil faerie, Amarantha. In order to save the world of the Fae and release them from this curse Feyre must fight for her life, her love and complete three challenges.

Review: I was slightly hesitant to read this book because I loved “Throne of Glass” and was nervous that this book wouldn’t be as good but Sarah J. Maas pushed my fears aside! I loved this book!! Maas has created yet another strong relatable female character. Feyre is an amazing character; she’s strong, witty and has faults. She second guesses her own actions but is strong enough to keep pushing through the obstacles. While Feyre is very fleshed out Tamlin and Lucien were a little more one-dimensional. I would at times mix these two male faeries up; they are both strong brooding males with troubled histories and it took me until about half way to really grasp which one was which. I wish these characters had a little more behind them, I would have loved to have been given a greater insight. My favorite character, by far, was Rhysand. Rhysand, the hot and dangerous type, had his own secret agenda. Feyre and Rhysand (who doesn’t appear until later in the novel) are the main reason why I enjoyed this book so much. These two characters were presented with so much emotion that you couldn’t help but be enthralled with them. A lot of the small players in the book all seem to have stories to tell as well (Alis, Nesta, etc) and I would love to hear them (hopefully in the next book?!?). Maas really has a way of creating unique characters with a lot of layers.

Now that I’ve declared my love for the characters lets move on to the plot. This is a relatively fast moving book, the plot goes quickly and smoothly. The transitional period between locations was often brief and overlooked but it didn’t really affect the quality of the book. I was also thrilled that A) there wasn’t a love triangle and B) there was no instalove. Feyre’s feelings for Tamlin seem to grow somewhat naturally (and slightly stockholmie but I’ll forgive it). The first half of the book there is a lot of build up- introduction to the history, the lands and the characters, but the second half was a lot of action- love, betrayal and challenges. There are a lot of intricacies in this book and I’m sure if I read it again I would notice something I missed the first time around. I will give a slight warning to teens who are interested in reading this title or librarians who are going to suggest this book: there are sexual encounters and they are somewhat graphic, this book does go beyond sweet kisses and gentle making out and might even be considered “new adult” instead of “young adult.” The sex scenes are few and far between but they are there so be wary of recommending this to someone who is not ready (or has parents who aren’t ready) for this type of action. I highly recommend that libraries have this book in their collections, this book is perfect in the hands of people who love fantasy, faeries, mystery and a strong female character

I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SECOND ONE!!!

*please note that I received an advanced copy of the book from NetGalley

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Storytime: Moon and Stars

Moongame by Frank As

How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers

Kitten’s First full Moon by Kevin Henkes

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a large copy of Moongame by Frank Asch, I have never used it before and was a little apprehensive because it is a little lengthy. I decided to give it a shot and would shorten it if need be. I shouldn’t have had any fears because the children were entranced by this book, I’m not sure if it was the words, the pictures or just the rarity of a large oversized book, but either way it worked perfectly and it went really well with our guessing game!

Craft

I usually end storytime with a craft but today we did it first since we wanted our moons to dry. We painted with moon paint (mixed flour and white paint to make a chunky textured mixture). First I drew a circle with a white colored pencil on black card stock. I passed out different colored star stickers and had the children put the stars all around the circle. Once they were finished I scooped out some moon paint into the middle of the circle and using a paint brush the children spread it around. I didn’t just want to give the children free reign of the paint because I was just imagining a ton of paint all over the pictures and it never drying. Once their circles were painted they took water bottles and different sized bottle caps and pushed them into their moon to make craters. I was nervous that this would be a chaotic mess but again I was wrong to worry! When the paint dries it has a really cool texture.

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All you need for moon paint!

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Moon Guessing Game (Flannel board)

Since I knew the children wouldn’t all finish at the same time I had a game ready for those that were done and washed up to play. I had 5 numbered clouds and hide a moon behind one, the children then guessed what number the moon was behind. Our flannel board is on wheels so I wheeled it around to hide the moon. The kids yelled out numbers and really enjoyed it but by the end I had a few troublemakers trying to come around to see what I was doing, luckily by this time everyone was done with the craft and we could start reading.

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Bend and Stretch

Bend and stretch, reach for the stars (put arms in the air and bend side to side)

There goes Jupiter, here comes Mars (point in the air)

Bend and stretch, reach for the sky

Stand on tip-e-toe, oh so high! (stand on tiptoes and reach up)

Four Little Stars (Flannel board)

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I’m not sure why I put up 5 stars to take the picture, but you only need 4 stars…oops

Four little stars winking at me (wink or at least try)

One shot off (zoom hand out to side)

And then there were three

Three little stars with nothing to do (shrug)

One shot off

And then there were two

Two little stars afraid of the sun (circle arms overhead)

One shot off

And then there was one

One little star alone is no fun (shake finger)

It shot off

And then there were none!

Source: Preschool Education

Zoom Zoom Zoom

Zoom, zoom, zoom (rub hands together in the air)
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
If you want to take a trip (pretend to climb imaginary ladder up arm)
climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 (count down on fingers)
Blast off! (raise hands)

Source: Jbrary

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Outreach: Animals

This week I performed my first outreach at a school. I was asked to do two 20 minute story times for 18 preschoolers. I watched a former colleague perform an outreach story time but I had never actually done one myself. What I learned from my co-worker is that you cannot bring all of your props and that you have to do a scaled down version of your typical program (mine usually consists of at least one flannel board, musical instruments, scarves, bean bags, and music cds). All I brought with me was a few books and a puppet. I was nervous it wouldn’t be enough but the children were very engaged the whole time and one of the teachers told me she had never heard of some of these books and really enjoyed them. It was a great experience for me (even though I lost my voice after it oops).

 

Katie Loves the Kittens by John Himmelman

Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas

Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Is Everyone Ready for Fun?” was by far the group favorite, the children (and teachers) all stood up and pretended that they were standing on chicken’s sofa. While I riled them up with the jumping and dancing, the ending nap is perfect to calm the children back down. I have never used this book in a program before and I definitely plan on using it again.

 

Five Little Kittens

Five little kittens standing in a row (hold up 5 fingers)

They nod their heads to the children so (bend fingers)

They run to the left (move hand left)

They run to the right (move hand right)

They stand up and stretch in the bright sunlight (stretch fingers out)

Along comes a dog, who’s looking for some fun (make fist with other hand and move it slowly)

MEOW! See those five little kittens run (bring fist to fingers and hide fingers behind back)

(repeat)

Tommy Thumbs Up

Tommy thumbs up (raise thumbs up)

Tommy thumbs down (lower thumbs)

Tommy thumbs dancing all around the town (wave thumbs side to side)

Dance them on your shoulders (bounce thumbs on shoulders)

Dance them on  your head (bounce thumbs on head)

Dance them on  your knees (bounce thumbs on knees)

And shhh tuck them into bed (bring thumbs into fist)

(repeat while jumping up and down)

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Zoom, zoom, zoom

We’re going to the moon

Zoom, zoom, zoom

We’re going to the moon

If you want to take a trip

Climb aboard my rocket ship

Zoom, zoom, zoom

We’re going to the moon

In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

BLAST OFF

Source: Jbrary

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Book Review: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie

2.5 out of 5 stars

Summary: Sunshine is an adopted 16 year old who felt that she never truly fit in due to her close relationship with her mother and her love of vintage clothing. Sunshine and her mother move to Washington for her mother’s job but Sunshine feels ill at ease in their new home; the place smells damp and musty, she constantly feels a chill, hears noises and thinks the house is haunted. Her mother does not believe any of it,. Sunshine starts documenting the strange occurrences in hopes to convince her mother but when she shows her mother photographic proof her mom is unable to see it. Sunshine and her mother even have a haunting experience with the spirits but in the morning her mom is unable to remember it. Sunshine takes photographs of the ghost of a young girl who wants to play with Sunshine’s board games and stuffed owl. Sunshine notices that her mother is starting to act strange and she is unsure what is going on, all she knows is that the house is haunted and something isn’t right with her mom. No one believes Sunshine until she meets Noah; Sunshine and Noah start to document and research the haunted house. As they research the supernatural events they find out some interesting information about Sunshine, her mother, her family history and what happened in the house. The two must join forces to try and save the little girl’s spirit and to defeat the evil demon threatening her mom.

Review: I will start off by saying that I have never watched the YouTube channel, maybe I would have had a greater appreciation for the book if I had watched it first. I love a good horror/ghost story and was very excited by the premise of the book. The first half of the book is “creepy” (a word that is overused in the story) and has all the ingredients of a good haunting. I raced through the beginning of the book and was really excited by the character dynamics and the supernatural elements. Unfortunately, the second half of the book is anticlimactic and is more about Sunshine and her destiny than it is about the haunting. I found that things fell into place too easily, was too predictable and the creep factor wasn’t there any more. The second part of the book lost the element of surprise, which is what made the beginning so good. Ultimately, this is more a story about family and friendship than it is about ghosts and demons. I would recommend this book to teens who enjoy the YouTube channel and like lite paranormal stories, I would not recommend this book to hardcore paranormal/horror fans.

*please note that I received an advanced copy of the book from NetGalley

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