Monthly Archives: April 2017

Book Review: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

“The Whole Thing Together” by Ann Brashares

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3-out-of-5-stars

Description: “Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.”

Review: I really struggled to read this book, I found it slow, confusing and lacking dimension. All of the interesting aspects of the story are briefly mentioned and are glossed over. The story felt like it was rushed.

This story is about a variety of personalities, how they cope with life and how they manage to live together. Due to so many characters it was difficult to keep track of who is who (sorry Mattie and Emma) and to feel connected to any of them. The characters and story of Ray and Sasha are more developed but I found the whole romance to be disturbing. Even though Ray and Sasha are not biologically related the budding romance between them creeped me out.

I wish the author cut the number of characters in half and gave them more details and focus. The characters had a lot of potential for growth but due to the overwhelming number of characters, all with personal struggles, I found it difficult to get to know them. A lot is mentioned and hinted at in the book but not much is flushed out.

While I will be purchasing this book for the public library I work at due to the author’s name (teens will still want to read it) I do not think I will personally recommend it to anymore.

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

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Storytime: Monkeys

Books

Kiki’s Blankie by Janie Bynum
Two Little Monkeys by Mem Fox
Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett

Bananas for Lunch
A fat little monkey had bananas for lunch
He peeled and he ate them (peeling motion)
Munch, munch, much (eating motion)

1 banana, 2 bananas, 3 bananas, 4 (count on fingers)
He ate and he ate but he wanted more

He peeled and he ate and he peeled and he ate
5 bananas, 6 bananas, 7 bananas, 8

He peeled 2 more and continued to munch
And before he knew it, he ate the whole bunch!

Itsy Bitsy Monkey
Tune: Itsy Bitsy Spider
The itsy bitsy monkey climbed up the coconut tree (climbing motion)
Down came a coconut and bopped him on the knee (tap knee)
Along came his mama, who kissed away the pain (blow kiss)
And the itsy bitsy monkey climbed up the tree again
Source: King County Library System

Five Little Monkeys
Five little monkeys jumping on the bed (hold up 5 fingers)
One fell off and bumped his head (tap head)
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said (phone to eat)
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” (shake finger)

(count down)

Way Up High

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Way up high in the banana tree
Five little bananas smiled at me (hold up 5 fingers)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (shake hands)
Down fell a banana (wiggle fingers down
Mmmm, it was good (rub stomach)

(count down)

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Storytime: Spring

Books:
“Spring is Here” by Will Hillenbrand
“Mouse’s First Spring” by Lauren Thompson
“Cold Little Duck, Duck, Duck” by Lisa Westberg Peters

Little Bear
Tune: Frere Jacque
(ask children and parents to repeat after you)
(this is a great song to do with a bear puppet!)

Are you sleepy, are you sleepy (yawn)
Little bear, little bear
Wintertime is coming, wintertime is coming
Very soon, very soon

Find a cave, find a cave (shade eyes and look around)
Little bear, little bear
Wintertime is here, wintertime is here
Go to sleep, go to sleep (put head on hands)

Are you sleepy, are you sleepy
Little bear, little bear
You wake in the spring, you wake in the spring
Little bear, little bear

Time to wake up, time to wake up (stretch)
Little bear, little bear
Springtime is here, springtime is here
Wake up now, wake up now

In the Spring
Tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb

Sway your arms in the spring, in the spring, in the spring
Sway your arms in the spring, a happy time of year

repeat with:
wiggle your toes
shrug your shoulders
stomp your feet

During the Spring
During the spring it often showers (flutter fingers down)
Or the sun shines for many hours (circle arms overhead)
And both are good for the flowers (cup hands and extend them up)

Ten Little Flowers
Tune: Ten Little Indians

1 little, 2 little, 3 little flowers (count on fingers)
4 little, 5 little, 6 little flowers
7 little, 8 little, 9 little flowers
10 flowers in the spring

Give them rain and lots of sunshine (wiggle fingers down and circle arms overhead)
Give them rain and lots of sunshine
Give them rain and lots of sunshine
So they’ll grow up tall! (reach arms up)

Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away
Mother duck said “quack, quack, quack, quack”
But only four little ducks came back

(count down)

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Storytime: Caterpillar/Butterfly

The group I have for this story time tends to run young. We started the story time by introducing the theme and going over how caterpillars turn into butterflies. This is a great time to introduce a non-fiction book by talking about the images. It was wonderful to see some of the children understanding the concept!

Books:
“Waiting for Wings” by Lois Ehlert
“Butterfly Butterfly” by Petr Horacek
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle

Two Little Butterfllies
Tune: Two Little Blackbirds

Two little butterflies sitting on a hill (hold up thumbs)
One named Jack and one named Jill (wiggle thumbs)
Fly away Jack, fly away Jill
Come back Jack, come back Jill

I’m a Caterpillar
Tune: Skip to My Lou

I’m a caterpillar, wiggle with me (wiggle body)
I’m a caterpillar, wiggle with me
I’m a caterpillar, wiggle with me
What’ll I be my darling

I’m a chrysalis, now sleep with me (whisper, put head on hands)
I’m a chrysalis, now sleep with me
I’m a chrysalis, now sleep with me
What’ll I be my darling

I’m a butterfly, come fly with me (soar around the room)
I’m a butterfly, come fly with me
I’m a butterfly, come fly with me
That’s what I’ll be my darling

Scarves
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Flutter, Flutter Butterfly
Flutter, flutter butterfly floating in the summer sky (wave scarves overhead)
Floating by for all to see, floating by so merrily
Flutter, flutter butterfly floating in the summer sky

Fly, Fly Butterfly
Tune: Skip to My Lou

Fly, fly butterfly (wave scarves while flying around the room)
Fly, fly butterfly
Fly, fly butterfly
Fly high up in the sky (wave scarves high)

(repeat)

Butterfly, Butterfly
Butterfly, butterfly dancing all around (wave scarves)
Butterfly, butterfly now you’re on the ground (lower scarves to floor)
In a tree you’re hard to see (raise scarves)
Now you’ve flown away (hide scarf behind back)
Butterfly, oh butterfly
Please come back some day!

Butterfly Colors
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The first to come to the garden bed
Is a lovely butterfly of brilliant red
Then in comes another and that makes two
Fly right in, my friends of blue
“The garden is fine, the best I’ve seen”
Says the butterfly of softest green
Our garden needs a sunny fellow
Fly on in, butter with wings of yellow
Little friend of purple, fly in too
The garden is waiting for a color like you
Orange, orange, we’ve waited so long
Fly right in, where you belong.
Butterflies, butterflies, you’re such a sight
Flying together – what a delight!

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