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1. Wordless Wednesday!



Hey, it's Wordless Wednesday, one of my favorite memes that I discovered on Comedy Plus, one of my favorite blogs. Wordless Wednesday is fun and a great way to meet new friends. If you wish to participate just publish a photo that conveys a message without using any words.

After you've posted your photo add your name to the link list on Sandee's blog, (Comedy Plus) where you can also copy the Mister Linky's Code and paste it below your photo.
Have fun and thank you for visiting A Nice Place In The Sun.







Thanks, again for visiting, I appreciate you. :)

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2. Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton

| Storytime Standouts

Shh! We Have a Plan written and illustrated by Chris Haughton

Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton
Picture book published by Candlewick Press

When four friends, armed with three nets, set out to capture a beautiful, red-plumed bird, all goes well until the smallest friend alerts the the ruby bird that something is afoot. Giggles and laughter will accompany a read-aloud session of Shh! We Have a Plan. This is a book that will appeal to children – especially “youngest” children – as well as adults. The repetitive text will have youngsters ‘reading along’ quickly and repeated building of suspense will encourage children to make predictions about whats will happen next and the final outcome.

Bright, bold, dramatic illustrations are a highlight of this captivating, humorous picture book. A key to the storytelling, observant readers will note the eyes and the posture of the smallest friend in the cover art – he is definitely up to something!

Shh! We Have a Plan is the sort of story that parents and teachers will quite happily read again and again. It is great fun!

Chris Haughton won the 2015 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award

for new illustrator with this picture book. The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for Illustration was established in 2001 to recognize and encourage emerging talent in the field of children’s book illustration.

Shh! We Have a Plan at Amazon.com

Shh! We Have a Plan at Amazon.ca



Storytime Standouts - Raising Children Who Love to Read

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    3. I Found a box of Parrots on my doorstep.

    A big box of shiny new books landed on my doorstep. Memoirs of a Parrot is the fourth "memoir" book, written by the very talented Devin Scillian and published by Sleeping Bear Press.

    "Yay, new books!"

    When I read that a parrot would be the main character, I had to choose an African Grey parrot. I have fond childhood memories of my grandpa and his African Grey, named Chico. I chose a Hyacinth Macaw as the other parrot in the story. Mostly because of the color. I live in Ohio and Devin Scillian lives in Michigan, so it just made sense to use Ohio State (scarlet and grey) and Michigan colors (maze and blue). Plus, my wife's family is from the state up north (we're a "blended" family).

    A drawing that I did in High School of my grandpa and his parrot, Chico.

    Also, the main character (human) in the story plays a ukulele. I said, "hmmm, I need to get a ukulele (as reference) and begin my career as a ukulele rock star". Then I met Emily Arrow, a true ukulele rock star, so I bought one. Now I need to start practicing my ukulele licks.

    "Hey, I think that I need a ukulele."


    Anyway, you must take a look at Memoirs of a Parrot. It's got parrots, ukulele players and a very funny story.

    End papers from Memoirs of a Parrot.

    Thank you, Heather Hughes, Felicia Macheske and Sleeping Bear Press

    Now, back to the drawing board. -Tim

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    4. Hot Topic’s BoxLunch Brand Butterbeer Kit & Give Away!

    As many fans may know, Hot Topic has been a Harry Potter partner for eons. Okay, maybe not eons, but they have been a place for fans to purchase official Harry Potter merchandise since Harry Potter became a “hot topic” many years ago.

    Recently, Hot Topic has started a new brand and initiative called BoxLunch. With only a handful of stores around California and Texas (though, more are coming soon!), Hot Topic’s new brand caters to a slightly different audience than their normal Hot Topic stores. BoxLunch sells similar pop culture merchandise as their Hot Topic parent, but through a partnership with Feeding America, with every $10 a customer spends, BoxLunch helps provide a meal to a person in need.

    If there isn’t a store near you, visit the BoxLunch website and “get some–give some.” BoxLunch sells men and women’s apparel, accessories, home decorations, Funko Pop! figures, and more.

    To support HotTopic with their new initiative, Leaky is taking part in a BoxLunch give away! Hot Topic and BoxLunch has generously donated a Marauder’s Map trow pillow, Deathly Hallows mini bag, and a $50 gift card! To be put in the running to win one of these fantastic Harry Potter prizes, be the first to answer the following questions correctly. Honesty Policy: try to answer all the questions without cheating–like googling the answers all the questions. Email your answers to catherine@the-leaky-cauldron.org.

     

    1. Who causes the most mischief at Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry?

    2. Not completely without loyalty, to which two students did [Answer to Question 1] show respect for during Dolores Umbridge’s attempt to control Hogwarts? (“Give her hell from us…”)

    3. What is a Skiving Snackbox? What four types of candies are included?

    4. What trick did the Weasley Twins play on their Auntie Muriel that got them written out of her will?

    5. What product does the following slogan belong to? “Ruin a gentleman’s day by making his hat fly away!”

    6. What is the “Dungbom Rule” that Ron wrote? In which of Harry’s textbooks did he write it?

    7. What candy did the Weasley Twins drop for Dudley to eat, and what was the affect?

    8. What trick did Harry, Ron, and Hermione play on Crab and Goyle in their quest for Polyjuice Potion ingredients?

    9. What spell did Draco use to capture Harry when the Inquisitorial Squad captured members of Dumbledore’s Army?

    10. What did Peeves chase Dolores Umbridge with as she fled Hogwarts?

     

    In the meantime! Miss tasting that yummy Butterbeer at the Harry Potter parks? Or can’t go to the parks because they are too far away? Check out BoxLunches new, and available for a limited time only, Butterbeer kit!

    More information on purchasing a Butterbeer kit can be found here, on the BoxLunch website.

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    5. BoxLunch Store’s Butterbeer Kit & Give Away!

    There is another Harry Potter publishing and merchandising partner coming to brick and mortar stores across the country!

    BoxLunch is here to “get some” and “give some”. With only a handful of stores around California and Texas (though, more are coming soon!), the new store caters to a slightly different audience than other Harry Potter merchandise retailers. BoxLunch sells similar pop culture merchandise as seen in other stores, but also, through a partnership with Feeding America, with every $10 a customer spends, BoxLunch helps provide a meal to a person in need.

    If there isn’t a store near you, visit the BoxLunch website and “get some–give some.” BoxLunch sells men and women’s apparel, accessories, home decorations, Funko Pop! figures, and more.

    Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 11.12.47 AM

    To support BoxLunch and their new initiative, Leaky is taking part in a BoxLunch give away! BoxLunch has generously donated a Marauder’s Map trow pillow, Deathly Hallows mini bag, and a $50 gift card! To be put in the running to win one of these fantastic Harry Potter prizes, be the first to answer the following questions correctly. Honesty Policy: try to answer all the questions without cheating–like googling the answers all the questions. Also, please retweet or repost BoxLunch’s post about their new Butterbeer kit (see below)! Email your answers and links to your retweets/reposts to catherine@the-leaky-cauldron.org.

     

    1. Who causes the most mischief at Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry?

    2. Not completely without loyalty, to which two students did [Answer to Question 1] show respect for during Dolores Umbridge’s attempt to control Hogwarts? (“Give her hell from us…”)

    3. What is a Skiving Snackbox? What four types of candies are included?

    4. What trick did the Weasley Twins play on their Auntie Muriel that got them written out of her will?

    5. What product does the following slogan belong to? “Ruin a gentleman’s day by making his hat fly away!”

    6. What is the “Dungbom Rule” that Ron wrote? In which of Harry’s textbooks did he write it?

    7. What candy did the Weasley Twins drop for Dudley to eat, and what was the affect?

    8. What trick did Harry, Ron, and Hermione play on Crab and Goyle in their quest for Polyjuice Potion ingredients?

    9. What spell did Draco use to capture Harry when the Inquisitorial Squad captured members of Dumbledore’s Army?

    10. What did Peeves chase Dolores Umbridge with as she fled Hogwarts?

     

    In the meantime! Miss tasting that yummy Butterbeer at the Harry Potter parks? Or can’t go to the parks because they are too far away? Check out BoxLunches new, and available for a limited time only, Butterbeer kit!

    More information on purchasing a Butterbeer kit can be found here, on the BoxLunch website.

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    6. #839 – Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

    Jacky Ha-Ha Written by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein Illustrated by Kerascoёt* Jimmy Patterson Books    3/21/2016 978-0-316-26249-1 380 pages    Ages 8—12 “Hey, bet I can make you laugh! “With a name like Jacky Ha-Ha, that’s what I was born to do! You could say I am an expert on wisecracks, pranks, gags, and …

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    7. There Was An Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight

    There Was An Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight. Penny Parker Klostermann. Illustrated by Ben Mantle. 2015. Random House. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

    First sentence: There was an old dragon who swallowed a knight. I don't know why he swallowed the knight. It's not polite! There was an old dragon who swallowed a steed that galloped around at a terrible speed. Oh, how the dragon wished it would stop, that clippity, clippity, clippity clop. He swallowed the steed right after the knight. I don't know why he swallowed the knight. It's not polite!

    Premise/plot: A rendition of "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly" starring a fire-breathing dragon...

    My thoughts: For the record, I just have to say that I loathe "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly." It is not a story or song that I particularly enjoy, and definitely not one that I like to see copied, adapted, parodied endlessly by other writers. But you might notice the five stars I gave it. Why? If I don't "like" the original, and if I usually don't like other renditions?! Because this one is fun, lively, and delightful. Half the book focuses on the 'old dragon' swallowing stuff--a knight, a steed, a squire, a cook, etc--and half the book focuses on the 'old dragon' burping all that stuff back up. Or does he?!

    The text works--for me--because the rhythm and rhyme of it work. It is crucial for me to have it; it is that certain something that makes a book decidedly good. A picture book without a proper working of rhythm and rhyme, a natural flow--though not overly forced or it becomes embarrassingly unnatural and awkward--is just sad. A good picture book text should flow naturally enough that any one should be able to read it aloud easily and comfortably. Some books require a good amount of practice and experimentation and energetic effort to get the "reading aloud" just right.

    The illustrations also work well for me. I love them. The illustrations were quite detailed and expressive. I loved the last spread.

    Overall, I'd say this one was quite satisfying.

    Text: 5 out of 5
    Illustrations: 5 out of 5
    Total: 10 out of 10

    © 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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    8. How To Dress A Dragon

    How To Dress A Dragon. Thelma Lynne Godin. Illustrated by Eric Barclay. 2016. Scholastic. 40 pages. [Source: Review copy]

    First sentence: If you have to dress a dragon, you must be prepared to catch him as he flies by. You may have to tickle-tackle him to the floor and give him belly kisses.

    Premise/plot: A boy demonstrates for readers HOW to dress a dragon. It isn't an easy task certainly!!!! The book is quite informative. Dragons LOVE underwear, but, hate shirts and pants. (Good thing they like capes, shorts, and hats!)

    My thoughts: I love, love, love this one. So silly. So funny. So quirky. (Its endpapers are underwear!) It just had me at hello from the very start. I think I "knew" how good this one would be based on the cover alone.

    Text: 5 out of 5
    Illustrations: 5 out of 5
    Total: 10 out of 10


    © 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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    9. Dexter, My First Crush...Do You Remember Your First Crush?





    Hello, and welcome to Tuesday's Question. I have a Doctor appointment out of town today, so if I do not respond to your answers today, I most certainly will tomorrow.  Thank you, Sandee of Comedy Plus for you wonderful answer to last Tuesday's Question and thank you Ann of Snap, Edit, Scrap.   for yours.

    Please, if you have the time, read Sandee and Ann's answers to Sibling Rivalry they're simply fabulous and thanks to both of you for participating. I appreciate you.

    Okay, this weeks question is:  

    Do you remember your first crush?   Alright, I'll go first...

    My first crush was on a boy named Dexter who sat next to me in the third grade and he was fascinating. Dexter had action figures hidden in his desk and maps he drew of oceans, rivers, mountains and streams.                                                                                                                                                                                        


    I loved it when our classroom was full, because I could pull my desk close to him and ask him questions, although he never answered me.                                                        

    He smelled like nickels and could draw Charlie Brown as well as Charles Schulz from the Peanuts cartoon. - Or, at least, I thought he could.-

    I think he drew Charlie Brown because our third grade teacher's voice was reminiscent of the adult voices in the Peanuts television specials, but to me all teachers sounded the same. My teachers shared the muffled inflections of grown-ups, "bloc, bloc, bloc, bloc...with a "Good morning children, you sure look bright-eyed and bushy tailed today."-An introduction that made me feel like like a rabbit.-

    Our teacher's name was Mrs. Keysler, and she wore cat-eyed sixties style glasses with a chain that jiggled when she walked, so she could clear a path for herself down a crowded hallway of children- Mrs. Keysler had power.-

    I drove poor Dexter crazy most of the year, but he was a good sport, because if the tables were turned,  I would have requested a different desk.  But, he had a way of ignoring people, especially me. I asked him stuff like, "

    "What did you have for breakfast today?"

    He responded by looking at me like he wished I would miss a day of school. So, I finally quit trying to talk to him, although I still stared at him like a starving wolf would glare at a loaf of bread.

    Ordinarily, I couldn't take my eyes off Dexter, but one day he brought stiff competition. Dexter's brought a new whistle to school and it wasn't one of those toy whistles you get in a Cracker Jack box... no siree, Dexter's whistle was A + silver army grade whistle, and I was fascinated by it.

    He noticed me staring at it resting on the corner of his desk by his drawing pad, and to my surprise, he quietly picked it up and placed it in my hand, while Mrs. Keysler continued speaking in the background, bloc, beep, beep, bloc, blah…

    Anyway, I was holding the whistle Dexter put in my hand, plus, I was sitting close enough to him to touch his copper colored hair. I was in a trance, all of this was simply too much. So, I turned the whistle over in my hand, put it in my mouth, and blew it so hard a blast echoed forth like a trumpet.

    Every student shook their heads and covered their ears. The floor in the classroom felt like it bounced beneath the surface of the earth and hung there. -Which was followed by a few seconds of stinging silence.-

    Then, the mixed voices of my classmates began to fill the emptiness and they were all too eager to began pointing their index fingers toward the criminal. 

    That finger pointing thing, is such an annoying tactic among tattlers, whose goal in life is to retire as the teachers pet. I face felt hot from the stares, as the little self-serving informants fingers continued to point in my direction. I heard one little girl cry, “Oh, she is soo dumb!” and of course, I sat there horrified; my face flushed with humiliation.

    Humiliation is just one of an array of emotions I associate with the day I blew Dexter's whistle; it's also one of those funny to me now, not so funny then, experiences especially since my teacher made me stand in the back of the classroom the rest of the day with my back turned toward the wall.

    After that, Dexter looked at me with a cautious look for the rest of the school year and the girl who called me “sooo dumb” turned out to be one of my closest friends, years later.

    We never know what our children are going through in a day, or much, if anything, about their first crushes.

    My mother thinks to this day that I just blew a whistle in the middle of class for absolutely no reason that she can phantom. Do you know who your children are thinking about today?



    Mrs. Keyster




    Mrs. Keysters Third Grade Class

    I'm circled in purple, Dexter is in Blue, and the "Oh shes' so dumb friend" is circled in yellow.

    Our Close- ups:

    Me
    "Mean girl/closest friend"



    Dexter









    Thank you for visiting A Nice Place In The Sun. I appreciate it. Have a great day!

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    10. Happy Feline Friday!

    Happy Feline Friday! Steve of Burnt Food Dude started Feline Friday. A fun meme that is simple to join and fun to post.

    All you have to do is post a picture, drawing, cartoon, or video of a cat, then visit Steve's blog, go to the top of the menu bar and click on the Feline Friday Code.    
    Paste the code under your cat picture, add you name and link and join in the fun. It's a great way to meet other bloggers and see a variety of adorable cats and kittens being themselves. You can even post a photo of your own feline when he/she is not looking. :) Have a spectacular day! 




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    11. Skinnybones

    Skinnybones. Barbara Park. 1982/2016. 111 pages. [Source: Review copy]

    Did I enjoy reading Barbara Park's Skinnybones, a middle grade novel originally published in 1982? Yes and no. First, as is obvious, I am not the target audience for this one. I am not in elementary school. I am not a boy. My sense of humor isn't that of a sixth grade boy. Also, I have absolutely no interest in baseball, or, in reading books about baseball. I didn't exactly want to like Alex Frankovitch, the hero nicknamed Skinnybones. But. At times I found myself liking him despite his obnoxious, attention-seeking ways.

    Here are a few things you should know about Alex:

    1) He has played little league for a good many years, but, he is horrible, absolutely horrible at baseball. I'm not sure *why* he keeps playing baseball when he's so bad at it. Perhaps he *likes* playing baseball, or, maybe he likes being part of a team. Perhaps his parents make him stay in baseball. Maybe he's afraid that by not playing baseball the other boys will think him strange, different, etc.

    2) He loves, loves, loves attention. If he can focus the attention in on himself and make others laugh, then, he'll do it--no matter the situation. He can be very inappropriate, very loud, very annoying. The kids sometime laugh, usually laugh, his teachers and parents--hardly ever.

    3) He hates one of his classmates and is in fierce competition with him. This is the focus of 90% of this book. The other kid, of course, is BRILLIANT at baseball.

    I am glad there are books like Skinnybones being published--or republished. I am happy to recommend books like this to their target audience!
    © 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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    12. Join Tara Lazar and S.britt Bantering About Normal Norman

    Picture book extraordinaire Tara Lazar and the frightfully creative S. Britt interview each other about Normal Norman (Sterling Children's Books, 2016), a laugh-out-loud book that explores the meaning of normal through the study of an exceptionally strange orangutan.

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    13. McBroom's Wonderful One-Acre Farm

    McBroom's Wonderful One-Acre Farm: Three Tall Tales. Sid Fleischman. Illustrated by Quentin Blake. 1985/1997. 64 pages. [Source: Bought]

    This early chapter book features three "tall tales" by Sid Fleischman. The three tall tales are "McBroom Tells the Truth," "McBroom and the Big Wind," and "McBroom's Ear." Here's how the first story begins: "There has been so much tomfool nonsense told about McBroom's wonderful one-acre farm that I had better set matters straight. I'm McBroom. Josh McBroom. I'll explain about the watermelons in a minute." I don't know about you, but this one had me at hello. I got the impression that the book would be funny and charming and quirky and unique. I wasn't wrong either!

    The first story explains how the McBroom family came to own a "one-acre farm." He bought, or thought he was buying EIGHTY acres. But he was tricked into buying an 80-acre deep bog. But the joke isn't on him, for as luck would have it, a "dry spell" reveals that the topsoil is so rich, it should be kept in a bank. All three stories focus on how wonderful-and-magical this farm is.

    I really loved all three stories. This one is a great book to share with young readers.


    © 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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    14. The Little Mouse Santi, by David Eugene Ray | Dedicated Review

    The Little Mouse Santi is an inspiring tale that teaches us that, with a little courage, we can all be whoever we want to be. It’s definitely the cat’s meow!

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    15. Turning Pages Reads: HOLDING COURT by K.C. Held

    Welcome to another session of Turning Pages! Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Jules Verity - whose last name does indeed mean "truth" can't stop herself from blurting the truth. All of it. All the time. The weird thing is, though, that she can't exactly... Read the rest of this post

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    16. Us and Books: We Ship It...

    This year AF and I were on the same judging panel - which has never happened before! There were some really interesting finalists this year; do stay tuned to find out what we - and the rest of our hep cat crew - chose for the YA Speculative Fiction... Read the rest of this post

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    17. I Resemble A Mouse On My Birthday


    Hello, is anyone there? I resemble the mouse in this image today. This past week, I've been in bed nursing a sinus infection and watching the ceiling swirl.  

    I think my bed is floating across the room, but I can barely lift my eye lids, so I'm not sure.

    The middle of my nose has grown an inch or two, my forehead resembles Frankenstein's, my eyes are droopy and red...I'm sorry, I'm sure you can relate, after all, I'm not the only person who has suffered from a sinus infection, it's just that viruses love me so much they overstay their visit.

    And, you know what? Today is my birthday. Yes, I'm thirty years old today. (A lie)
    Yes, I lived through my tender years and now it's time to celebrate.  I'm not going to let this virus stop me...No-Sir-Ree-Bob, not me, I'm getting out of bed so that I can resemble the image below instead...






     Then, get back in my bed...


    In closing, I want to thank everyone who participated in Tuesday's Question last week and let you know I will post your links and answers this coming Tuesday.

    Plus, I want to thank my loyal readers -you know who you are- for your patience while I was away. My cat, Simon will not post for me when I feel bad or I'm working offline, so I beg your pardon, and again, I appreciate you.

    Thanks for visiting and reading A Nice Place In The Sun.

    More posts coming soon...Cheers!







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    18. This weird thing about time racing past

    Chatting with a friend just now made me think: I am older than I expected to get. 
    When I was a teen looking forward to the millennium change in 1999 I was disappointed that I'd be an old lady, barely able to enjoy it. The millennium change was 17 years ago. I enjoyed it JUST FINE. Ahem. 

    What would my teen self think of me now? 
    She wouldn't approve of my short hair or my body, but she'd like my studio and work. 
    She'd want to be friends with my kids. 
    She would think today's Charlie is a nice old guy, and the Charlie I fell in love with in 1980 was romantic. 
    She'd like my dogs. 
    She'd think it's weird that I eat vegetables for breakfast. 

    She'd think it's cool but not groovy that I became friends with my siblings, 

    that I have so many good friends in my life today, 
    and that I'm this happy. 
    All of this makes me plan what I'll be like in 2046. 
    I'd better not disappoint me.

    Have you entertained your 17 year old self lately? 

    Or your 87 year old self?

    This is a page from my sketch-journal when I was 17.

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    19. Decisions, Decisions...



    Happy Saturday! One of my favorite movie moments, which for me, includes skillful dialogue, for example, in this film the line,

    "I can't swim!"  

    Scene from Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid 

    What is your favorite line of dialogue in a book or film?

    Thanks for visiting A Nice Place In The Sun.

    Have a fun Saturday Evening!







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    20. #807-8 – Belly Laugh Jokes for Kids – Belly Laugh Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids by Sky Pony Press & Bethany Straker

    Belly Laugh Jokes for Kids Belly Laugh Knock-Knock Jokes for Kids Written or Collected by Sky Pony Editors Illustrated by Bethany Straker Sky Pony Press     10/20/2015 978-1-63450-156-9 / 978-1-63220-437-0 138 (both)    Ages 5+ Why is it a bad idea to tell an egg a joke? “Because it might crack-up!” Knock, Knock “Who’s …

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    21. #810 – Squirrel Me Timbers by Louise Pigott

    January 21st is officially Squirrel Appreciation Day. To mark this solemn occasion, Kid Lit Reviews is pleased to bring you a feisty little squirrel destined to become a pirate. I just could not pass up telling you about Sammy on his special day. Actually, Sammy’s special day will be April 1 (no fooling), when his …

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    22. Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh | Book Review

    Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh, is an incredibly funny book—anyone who has ever felt like an outsider will certainly relate to Harriet.

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    23. What's The Most Outrageous Experience You've Shared With A Friend?



    This week’s Tuesday’s Question is: 'What's The Most Outrageous Experience You've Shared With A Friend?’ -Sorry, it's a week late-

    As stated in my last post, my computer, "Sam" was admitted to the hospital last Monday for minor surgery. I thought I'd have him home in time to publish a question by now, but that didn't happen. -As it turned out I had to pay a few costly repairs before Sam was discharged.- 


    I know it sounds goofy to name your computer, but I think I’m technologically advanced or maybe even a visionary, ‘cause Computer Technicians are beginning to remind me of doctors, which makes sense, seeing how computers are the twenty first century's version of the television set. 

    One of these days, we'll depend on our Computers Techs. as much as we do our Physicians and Veterinarians, so I decided my computer should have a name, gender, and a tons of personally.

    Anyway, that is why I’m publishing my weekly post, ‘Tuesdays Question’ so late in the day a week later, I'm sorry, I apologize for the delay and for missing my blogging buddies posts. -Thanks for your patience.-   

    Alright, with that out of the way, all you have to do is answer the following question and feel free to comment to each other. If you have a blog/website I will link your answers back to your blog/website. 

    Also, there is a possibility that your answer will be published in a separate post. This is something new, I used to post all comments, but now I've decided to surprise you. Either way, I will link back to your site.    

    Alright, if you haven't already left, here's this weeks question again: "What's The Most Outrageous Experience You've Shared With A Friend?" 

    Here are a few examples: Something you saw or experienced in public, watched on film, places you’ve been to visit, etc…

    The one person in the world who knows your outlandish, wild, free-spirited side is your best friend/friends.- Because they know and love you for who you are.-  

    For instance, when I was about thirteen and in junior high school, my best friends’ father referred to me as “Trouble,” instead of “Ann.”

    I think great friends find themselves in crazy situations because we share an unconditional love that encourages us to be ourselves. 

    If love is the grandest gift ever bestowed upon mankind, then friendship is one of its finest ingredients-

    My answer: 

    When I was sixteen- In 1977- my father bought me a 1966 Chevrolet Malibu and boy could that car fly. To make a long story short, the city had just finished building a new interstate through Baton Rouge and we were more than happy to try it out, you know make sure it was safe for everyone else. 

    Oh, I've never told my son this story, especially when he was a teenager because you would not believe what we did. One of us would sit in the backseat directly behind the drivers seat, then hop on the interstate and punch the wheel to the floor, and I mean literally to the floor. 

    Then, when we got a steady speed going, we'd count 123 quickly and switch seats. In other words, if I was in the back, she would slide over to the passenger side, then I would jump in the drivers seat and continue driving. 

    Every time I remember us doing that I say a little prayer for us as well as our children who would have never been born if this prank among many others had ended in a bad way. Especially, since we took the future fathers of our children were one many of our trial runs. 

    Thank God for large and small miracles. 

    Alright, that's my outrageous experience shared with a friend, what is yours?  

      

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    24. What Make a Good Read in Fiction?

    Where I write books and book reviews. 
    Books I love to read.
    Today I was writing a book review (that you can read next door at my other blog, Victorian Scribbles) and it got me to thinking about what makes a good read in fiction. I read lots of books, and I review books in various genres, but the ones that stick in my mind seem to share certain characteristics, no matter what their genre.

    1. Some kind of a problem to be solved. Yes, "the story problem" that creates the story arc for the protagonist, etc. The plot. Still, reading it that way, it seems so . . . pedantic. For me, "plot" or "story problem" boil down to some kind of a puzzle or challenge that needs to be worked out--one that engages the reader as well as the protagonist. You really want to know how it will end. One of the appeals of a good mystery is that you find yourself hot on the trail, trying to solve it along with the protagonist.

    2. Interesting characters that can make me suspend disbelief enough to go along for the ride. For me, they don't have to be the p.o.v. character. Watson, purported teller of Sherlock Holmes tales, is the perfect filter to make me suspend belief regarding Sherlock Holmes's astounding mental and physical prowess, because Watson is believable, and he believes in his friend. Nick, in The Great Gatsby, pulls the reader into his awe of Gatsby so that a reader is invested in the outcome for this tragic figure. In The Lightning Queen, a YA novel about gypsies and Mexican-indians, the author, Laura Resau, makes us care about the dignity of both groups and their traditions, while pulling us into their world of fate and magic and healing through the eyes of two endearing characters.

    3. A reader learns something they didn't know, even though it's fiction. This is true in all of the above. But let me add Cara Black's Aimee LeDuc adult mystery series, where every new mystery is a free trip to Paris, and Kate Morton's novel, The Secret Keeper, where a reader travels back and forth in time to unravel a dying woman's story behind the mesmerizing event witnessed years ago by her daughter--a secret going back to World War II. Right now I'm reading a gripping middle grade novel by Julie T. Lamana, Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere, that takes a reader into the terrifying lead-up to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Many of us read about Katrina in 2005 when the storm hit New Orleans, but this book makes you live through it.

    4. Emotional involvement. I love a book that plays on my emotions, and all of the above books do that. A special emotional aspect I enjoy, though, is humor--witty humor, not slapstick. For me, one of the simple pleasures in reading is to find myself chuckling, or even laughing out loud. The Sherlock Holmes mystery I reviewed next door--Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Ruby Elephants--was one such book, but library shelves and bookstores abound with good, humorous fiction, and for those of you who write, I would advise you to find a way to inject a little humor in your story. It's almost irresistible to re-read a truly funny book.

    How about you? What do you find the most important elements in a good read? Can you tell me the titles of some good reads you think I (and others) might enjoy?

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    25. Awww Mondays

    Every Monday, Sandee of Comedy Plus  hosts, "Awww Mondays", a fun meme where all you have to do is post a picture that makes you say, "Awww" It's a great way to begin a new week and meet new friends.

    So, be sure to join us by posting your own "Awww Mondays" photo and adding your link to Sandee's post on Comedy Plus. 

    Oh, and here's the link to the Awww Mondays code  which is also listed on Comedy Plus along with a fabulous photo. Just paste the code under your post.

    The following picture is my contribution:








    Have a happy day and thank you for visiting A Nice Place In The Sun.  

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