Saturday, July 18, 2009

Book Review (Audio): The 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith

I read a review of The 101 Dalmations by Sarah from A Library is a Hospital for the Mind so while looking for a book to download to my Ipod I came across The 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith, read by Martin Jarvis, and downloaded it using our library's Library 2 Go feature. On our trip to and from Kentucky we plugged it in and listened.

Book Description:
When the Dearly's Dalmatians have their first litter of puppies—fifteen in all—everyone is delighted. But their joy is shattered when the pups are kidnapped! The humans don't have a clue as to who the culprit is, but the smartest dogs in London are on the case—and on the trail of the fur-loving Cruella de Vil, who will stop at nothing to have a Dalmatian fur coat!

I have to say I really enjoyed this book. In some ways the Disney cartoon is similar, but there is more to the plot that makes the story even more enjoyable than the film. I asked my kids what they thought and they agreed that the book was better. I also really enjoyed the reader, Martin Jarvis. He does a great job of making each character come alive. I will definitely be adding this book to our personal library when I find a copy.

A final note: I couldn't help but have Disney's "Cruella De Vil" song rolling around in my head as I listened. So for fun here it is (You will need to scroll down and turn off the player):

Taking a Trip


We've been gone. Have you noticed?

We left last Saturday and flew to Wisconsin to have a 2 week visit with my parents.
We had a very full week last week. We went to church. Visited our all-time favorite restaurant--Culver's! We spent Monday evening with my brother, Brent, and meet his lovely girlfriend, Suzanne. We then headed out on Tuesday to Kentucky. Wednesday we went to the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Thursday morning found us up early and heading down the road to Dayton, Ohio to visit the National Museum of the United States Air Force. After many hours of looking and very sore feet, we piled back in the van to head back to my Mom and Dad's house. Friday found us sleeping in, and then Shade and I sneaking off to Culver's for him to enjoy a Cod Dinner and Custard Sundae. Then we headed on up the road to spend the evening with Brent and Suzanne. Saturday brought another early morning when we had to return Shade to the airport. The kids and I are spending another week here and will miss him!

As you can see we have been busy, but have been enjoying ourselves!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Book Review: The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattillo


While browsing the library catalog, I came across The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattillo. I realized that she is the author of Jane Austen Ruined My Life, which has been on my hold list for a month or two. Even though I don't knit I thought I would read it and see how it was.

Product Description:

Sometimes life has to unravel before you can knit it together…

On the third Friday of each month, Eugenie, Ruth, Esther, Merry, and Camille meet at the Sweetgum Christian Church to enjoy the two things that connect them: a love of knitting and a passion for books. Their camaraderie remains unthreatened until Eugenie, the town librarian, introduces an angry teenager into their midst. Eugenie also gives them a new reading list: the classic novels of girlhood that young Hannah has never read. Little Women. Pollyanna. Heidi. Books that remind the women of the hopes and dreams they have lost along the way.

With each click of their needles, the ladies of the Knit Lit Society unravel their secrets: A shadow from Eugenie’s past haunts the controlled order of her life. Merry’s perfect little family is growing again–but will she continue to feel her identity slip away? Camille dreams of leaving town but is bound by ties of love. And the sisters, Ruth and Esther, must confront a lie they have lived with for over thirty years.

As Hannah is reluctantly stitched into their lives, the women discover the possibility that even in sleepy Sweetgum, Tennessee, they can still be the heroines of their own stories.

When I read the book description (after I got the book) my first impression was that the plot was going to be similar to A Good Yarn by Debbie MacComber or A Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini. Yes, the plot was similar in that there are a group of women brought together by their love of a craft and about each individuals problems and blah, blah, blah. Even though the plot has been used in many books lately, I have to say that I really enjoyed The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society. With more of a focus on books (especially classic girls books)and the troubled teenager, Hannah, it made for an interesting story. I think stories like these are so compelling because of each character's real life conflicts and how each character deals with it. I look forward to reading the sequel, The Sweetgum Ladies Knit for Love.

CD Review: Jack B. Nimble A Mother Goose Fantasy


I know this isn't a book, but I just had to share. I found Jack B. Nimble: A Mother Goose Fantasy sung and narrated by Bing Crosby at our local library. How can you go wrong with nursery rhymes and Bing Crosby? You can't!

This was a delightful CD. My children thoroughly enjoyed it. Bing Crosby tells the story of Jack B. Nimble and interwoven throughout the story is other nursery rhymes. The last three tracks on the CD is all the songs in music form only.

My favorite song on this CD was "For Want of a Nail". I was slightly familiar with the rhyme, but had never heard the song. It was a fun and very catchy tune. I found myself singing this throughout the day! Go here to hear a clip of this song and the others found on the CD. This would be a great selection for any child's music collection.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Book Review: Tumtum and Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall by Emily Bearn


I saw Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall by Emily Bearn in an email list I receive. I thought it looked like a fun book to read so I quickly put it on hold at the library.

Product Description:
Deep inside the broom cupboard of Rose Cottage, two mice live in great style.

Tumtum and Nutmeg lead cozy and quiet lives, secretly looking after Arthur and Lucy, the disheveled human children of the cottage, never dreaming that so many exciting adventures will soon find them. But when evil Aunt Ivy, a squeamish schoolteacher named Miss Short, and pirating pond rats threaten the safety of those they hold dear, the courageous pair will stop at nothing to save the day.

In three thrilling tales with charming illustrations in every chapter, Tumtum and Nutmeg--along with the valiant efforts of veteran hero General Marchmouse, Ms. Tiptoe's bouncing ballerina army, and a team of caged gerbils--prove that small-size mice can have world-size hearts.

Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall is really a 3 in 1 book. It is a compilation of Tumtum & Nutmeg, The Great Escape and The Pirates' Treasure that were released separately in Great Britain. The stories were enjoyable and cute with some memorable characters. My favorite story was The Pirates' Treasure. I think most children between 6-10 would really enjoy these stories. Also, check out The World of Nutmeg & Tumtum.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Celebrating the 4th

We celebrated the 4th by spending the day with my brother-in-law, Walt, and his family. We spent the afternoon grilling and eating. We then topped it off with awesome Rice Krispy treats made by my sister-in-law, Rachel, and strawberry shortcake and ice cream. Later friends came over and brought over some fireworks. Delani really enjoyed the fireworks. She clapped her hands and ohhed and ahhed. She really enjoyed the ones that sparkled alot, but when they got a little noisy she decided to lay down, pop her thumb in her mouth and ignore them! It was a good time had by all!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Messy Baby

Delani, in a spurt of independence, has decided she needs to feed herself using a spoon. Oh well, bath time!

Book Review (Audio): Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Galbreth & Ernestine Gilbreth Carey (read by Dana Ivey)


I first read Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth and Earnestine Gilbreth Carey years ago when I was a teenager. I don't remember if it was recommended to me or if I happened across it while browsing the library shelves. I thouroughly enjoyed it then and when looking for an audio book to download to my new toy, an Ipod touch, I came across this and remembered how I had enjoyed it.

Product Description:
No growing pains have ever been more hilarious than those suffered loudly by the riotous Gilbreth clan. First, there are a dozen red-haired, freckle-faced kids to contend with. Then there's Dad, a famous efficiency expert who believes a family can be run just like a factory. And there's Mother, his partner in everything except discipline. How they all survive such escapades as forgetting Frank, Jr., in a roadside restaurant or going on a first date with Dad in the backseat or having their tonsils removed en masse will keep you in stitches. You can be sure they're not only cheaper, they're funnier by the dozen.

Again, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has drama, suspense, it makes you laugh out loud and you may even shed a tear. You can't help but be drawn into the Gilbreth family and all their life. Dana Ivey does a fantastic job of reading this. If you listen or read it you will not be disappointed.


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