More Picture Books Reviewed

So, the last post where I linked to the Brevard County Library System — I found out you won’t necessarily see the pictures of the cover of each book if you are using a mobile device.  If you want to see them, try using a laptop or computer.

Here are a few more…

Mama Outside, Mama Inside by Dianna Hutts Aston, illustrated by Susan Gaber…just beautiful!  This is a great spring book!  Also, it is a nice book for siblings…where there might be a baby coming, a baby just here or maybe even for siblings who are a little grown…but need some reminding where we all come from and the love that goes into a family.  This book is a MUST!  Its illustrated so well and written in a fluid way that matches reality.  Very natural.  (there is a page where breast feeding is taking place…it is very modest and is showing how baby is fed and how Daddy helps Mommy by propping up her arm on a pillow…just a note in case there is any sensitivity to this.)  Get this one right away…put it on hold at your library if you can so it will be ready for you soon.  Enjoy!

Ok, so here are some of our ALL TIME favorites by Janet Morgan Stoeke.  A Hat for Minerva Louise and Minerva Louise at School.  We have been reading Minerva Louise books for a long time!  She is our favorite storybook chicken!  This Momma Jedi has a special voice for Minerva that our family loves!!  Minerva is a sweet and beautiful and very FUNNY chicken!!  There is a lot to enjoy with these books for all ages.  We even wrote to the author, Janet Morgan Stoeke a few years ago and she was kind enough to respond!  It was very exciting for us!

And sadly, another not so great review coming here for Clementine and Mungo by Sarah Dyer.  The storyline is cute and nothing is wrong with it.  The confusion starts with the cover (which you can see if you click the title in green.)  We cannot determine what type of creatures these are.  They are odd looking.  The sister never wears any clothing other than a tutu, which is see through, until bed time.  The brother never wears anything other than a shirt until bed time.  The sister bathes the brother before bed.  There are no parents present in the story.  Its just kind of strange.  Younger children might not notice any of these oddities and enjoy the story for what it is, but it was difficult for our family to enjoy the story with the wardrobe distractions.  Maybe your family will love it despite our reservations, if so, Enjoy!

That wraps it up for today!  Hope you are reading reading reading!!!!

Picture Book Review and Some Thoughts on Reading

Recent reads we checked out from the West Melbourne Library, Brevard County System (all links for pictures and book info are from the library site, just click the title in green to view book info and a picture of the cover):

Rufus at Work by Tory and Norman Taber is just delightful and lovely, great short read, awesome art with bright colors, patterns, shapes

Sheep Take a Hike by Nancy Shaw, Illustrated by Margo Apple is a nice read from a series of books of Sheep doing things, rhyming words, lots of action, nice illustrations; we have the Jedi read to us since he is old enough and we like him to have some of the fun too!  Short read.

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein offers a fun read, wonderful illustrations with lots going on, good bedtime story, medium in length, the Jedi ABSOLUTELY gets a big kick out of this one, multiple check outs on this one for us already!

Little Quack’s Hide and Seek by Lauren Thompson, Pictures/Illustration by Derek Anderson contains tons of cuteness here, great bright bright colors, good for a spring time read, pretty quick read, recommend for the baby, toddler and up depending on what your child still enjoys

Sector 7 by David Wiesner an ALL Picture book, very highly recommend, artwork is incredible, so much to see, so much to observe, tapping the imagination of the young and old alike, make up your own story, or just follow along the pictures…then if you like, make up your own fun watching some clouds on your backs in the grass—together!!!  AWESOME book!!

Exploring Continents, North America by Alexis Roumanis contains lots of wonderful information on the North American Continent in the text – nicely set up, not too much info all at once, while also offering a great visual experience through design/pictures.  Fantastic short read for elementary age students, maybe 2nd grade up.  More books in this series are available.  Good for research in Geography or Science too.

BILLY TWITTERS and his BLUE WHALE PROBLEM by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex is one of those every once in a while books that Momma just isn’t really in to.  There were great illustrations and lost of facts nestled into the story so you learn without realizing you were learning…but the story line left a lot to desire.  I hope it was just the mood I was in when we read it over the span of two days/two sittings.  I won’t volunteer to check this one out again though.  Nothing terrible or inappropriate for the kiddos, just not very exciting.

I’ve made a choice to be more vigilant about checking out picture books and reading them like we used to – regularly.  We have moved into an easy rhythm of reading a chapter book or two and listening to audios.  I do ongoing research and have determined we need to keep on reading picture books, for many reasons, including the following, but not limited to these:

  1. The Jedi still enjoys them
  2. Its an opportunity to see and appreciate artwork by many many many different artists and it encourages us to pursue our own arts, crafts, hobbies, etc. 
  3. Research shows that picture books are appreciated and that they assist with reading for pleasure (not just for assignments and test taking) and can be continued up into higher school levels than what is normally expected.
  4. We just plain love them!!  
  5. The variety is endless

So, keep on reading to your kids and with your kids and as an example to your kids … they will be great readers too and enjoy it.  As the Jedi’s Dad always says, “In a book, there is no limit to where your mind and imagination can take you!”


When factoring in how long a task will take…if one owns one or more cats, you must add in time for your cat to sit on top of whatever you are trying to accomplish and insist you sufficiently pet, stroke and love on it until it decides (typically hours later) to exit the area or you kick it off (at which point, if you have a Jimmy…he proceeds to the nearest item to CHEW on with mammoth sized fangs – the nearest item you will hear and see him CHEW on until you freak out and give him attention – positive or negative.)  That’s it for today…a Jedi lesson in Jimmy.


PS – we have in some cases, had to request the assistance of friends to do things such as splice wires (WIRES!!!!!) to repair the damage Jimmy has done.  Thanks Jedi Dave!


This is MommaJedi here.  The egg timer has just been set for 10 minutes to write freely, probably without too much time to edit.  I’ve poured the 2nd iced latte of the day.  We have “schooled” today.  First though, the young Jedi that we homeschool woke me as he does almost every morning.  Until this very moment, he has not asked for electronics.  Yesterday, he was instructed not to.  We are struggling in a lot of areas, one of them is the over use of electronics and the under use of our imaginations and creativity…but most important of all, the lack of building up in our relationships.  We can’t build one another up, we can’t support, know, encourage or bond to one another, unless we choose moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year…to invest into one another, to like one another, to share common interests, to be interested in each others’ interests and passions.  To do things together….to take tea, to eat meals, to eat snacks, to talk, to look at the rain, to exchange ideas, to do crafts/arts in each others’ presence, to look one another in the eye, to walk, to run, to just be together.  We are praying about how God would have us to change our use of electronics, how we might set up healthy boundaries.  So, there, I’ve talked that out.  The young Jedi has obeyed his MommaJedi and chosen not to ask.  Instead, he set up the coffee pot on his own – just by having watched MommaJedi do it so many times…so that Mammaw will have her coffee.  He then proceeded to make breakfast for him and I, as we were the only ones up at the time.  We ate together, it was lovely.  I had my quiet time, he played with his paper Star Wars models.  We talked a little, then we had some school time, which, by the way, was filled with beautiful moments of seeing God’s Hand and timing, beautiful golden nuggets of reminders of how He is with us, we are in His will, He is protecting us, guiding us, giving us His Heavenly wisdom and we are doing what is right in His eyes.  DaddyJedi got up and made us lunch, we ate together and finished up more schooling.  Now, as the two of them nap, I am with four minutes left to write out what I can and post it here, then off to make sure dinner prep is done, snacks are made for football practice, cooler gets packed, I change for my walk at the park, pack my papers for reading, meal planning, cafe specials, note taking, grocery list making and generally straighten up before we leave.  Maybe finish that load of laundry.  This is a hard and winter like time in our lives, there have been so many tragedies, crises, so much pain…only by God’s strength, grace and leading are we here today loving each other, savoring our marriage and our parenthood…this is a time for knowing our joy is only in The Lord, He is our provider, we are greatly loved and He is worthy of our praise!  We praise You our Lord, our only Sovereign Lord!

I’m going to wash the dishes…

Ladies (and any gentlemen) … I am going to wash the dishes – after I post this.  Today, I have had some thoughts and done a little research and I would like to share. In regard to options…in many situations there appear to be endless options and the fear of making the wrong choice(s) often propels me to paralysis faster than I can blink.  For example – Homeschooling…planners, books, schedules, ways to teach, curriculum, etc.  Who can possibly  choose?  Who can go to a curriculum fair, look over a curriculum website or catalog, read the various emails that come through – without freaking out because I might not have the right stuff to teach my child(ren)?  So, I just want to say this…trust God.  Ask Him daily what you should do, wait on Him to answer and guide you.  Be in His Word daily.  Then You will do what He instructs you to, buy what He instructs you to with what He provides to buy it with or He will just drop it into your lap in His timing and it will be amazing!  Sure, research is important, I’m not suggesting we don’t research…but when you feel overwhelmed, fearful and anxious about not doing the right thing…just pray, take a step back, a day or two off and breathe.  What you do by example, your child(ren) will learn from and this part of the process of life and learning will speak volumes to your child(ren) about how to trust God with every part of life and how to handle decision making.  God will show you what to teach your children, how to teach them, when to teach and He will provide all you need, every step of the way.


James 1:5-6 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, Who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Summer Reading

Reading is so super exciting to our family!  We love reading aloud, we love reading quietly, we love the library, we love books, magazines, audio books, we love all things reading!  Recently I came across a fairly new podcast called…The Read Aloud Revival Podcast.  The podcast itself is free, there is a membership side of it that has a small monthly charge for a whole bunch of great stuff, but isn’t required to get the podcast and all the show notes.  Today, I listened to the most recent podcast and I was totally amazed at all the great resources in it AND the links for them can be found in the show notes..such as, a downloadable summer reading program for free, book suggestions and summer reading guides.  Seriously, take the time to check this out…its a great resource for your family.  I listened while I changed the bed sheets and did some laundry.  Enjoy!  Read Aloud Revival Podcast #27, amongstlovelythings!