July 14th, 2010

What Would Grammie Read?

My 9-year-old granddaughter is having a good reading summer! She’s already finished a couple of books on her list for school. She’s also discovered some series that she loves—The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries books are her top favorites. I’m thrilled that she is discovering the pleasure of reading more than ever before.

I haven’t read any current books for 9-year-olds, but it seems like Angelina’s favorites help kids to laugh at their not-so-perfect lives. Learning to laugh at yourself is a good life skill. I’m not sure I had that ability at 9. But I am remembering with joy some of the books I curled up with at that age…

– Trixie Belden series by Julie Campbell Tatham
Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart LovelaceTibbs
– Nancy Drew & the Dana Girls by Carolyn Keene
Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary books have stood the test of time. They are still on reading lists. The Betsy-Tacy books were very cozy and Midwestern—truly nostalgia item these days. Nancy Drew is still around, but completely updated. I don’t think Trixie and the Dana Girls have crossed the generations, but I’ll always have a warm spot in my heart for girl heroes investigating clues in winding staircases!

Who warmed your heart when you were “summer reading?”

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July 7th, 2010

Don’t Make Me Turn This Car Around!

Family vacations are the stuff of great memories—but the truth (at least in my family) is that sometimes, the logistics don’t always work out as planned…and often, chaos ensues.

A saving grace for car travel with kids is definitely music—and plenty of snacks. While we can’t stock you up with Cheezits and juice boxes, the library can supply you with some way cool tunes (for both kids and parents) for your upcoming family vacation. Remember School House Rock!? It’s much easier to learn the totally confusing process of how a bill becomes law if you sing along to “I’m Just a Bill.” Also, “Three is a Magic Number” is completely true—I’m not a math whiz, but, who knew? Not to mention it’s a sneaky way to keep your kid’s brain turned on even if they’ve tuned out of school for the summer. CCPL offers a variety of kids music that fits any mood and teaches many lessons—even if you’re just a kid at heart.

A short list of this blogger’s favorite kid-friendly CDs available at your local library:

Fraggle Rockin’—Make sure to check out “Wemblin’ Fool” and “Sweet, Sweet Little Treat” on this Collection

Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Radiohead is cool even if you aren’t a baby! Also available in Coldplay style

They Might Be GiantsHere Come the ABCs and Here Comes Science—warning, parents: have coffee before listening

Trout Fishing in America—Their CD Big Trouble is sure to please both kids and parents, as recommended songs include “I Think I’ll Need a Bandaid” and “What I Want Is a Proper Cup of Coffee”

Elizabeth MitchellYou Are My Sunshine and You Are My Flower; beautiful, folksy, and absolutely essential to happy car rides

Sarah Lee Guthrie & Family—Yep, that would be Arlo’s daughter and Woody’s granddaughter, and she’s got the family talent for artistry; Go Waggaloo is brilliant, combining family standards like “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain” with new gems like “Cuz We’re Cousins.”

The Innocence Mission—Soothing and beautiful, you’ll find a lovely collection of songs on Now The Day Is Over…what better way to end it than listening to “What a Wonderful World”?

Let us know how you (and your kids) cope with beach traffic…crank up the music, tune out the stress, and chill out!

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