Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Six Sheep Sip Thick Shakes and Other Tricky Tongue Twisters

Review by Tintin, age 8

Six Sheep Sip Thick Shakes and Other Tricky Tongue Twisters
Author/illustrator: Brian P. Cleary/Steve Mack
Publisher: Millbrook Press (March 2011)
Source: NetGalley

These tongue twisters are very twisty. First you have to stay still, you have to read it in your head, and then you have to say it fast, like sixsheepsipthickshakes, like that. The book is very good. It has funny stuff, like the line where there's Greek geeks playing basketball. There's also a funny one with a ghost guy. There are funny tongue twisters in this book, so I would recommend this book to kids who like tongue twisters.

LitLass's note: Six Sheep Sip Thick Shakes subsumes several tongue twisters, as well as instructions on how to make your own tongue twisters. Here is Tintin's tongue twister:

Tick tock clock, there goes Bartok. Walk tock tickery two, tick clock walk yock lock a mock.

Find it: Amazon

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Books of the Week: Chocolate Fever, Bone, The Earth Book, Planets

Here are our favorites from the past week:

Tintin, age 8

Chocolate Fever
Author/illustrator: Robert Kimmel Smith/Gioia Fiammenghi
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (1972)
Source: Public library

Henry Green eats a lot of chocolate, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When he notices brown spots spreading all over his body one day in school, he, his teacher, and the school nurse are baffled, until they notice the overpowering chocolate smell of Henry's spots. At the hospital, the doctor diagnoses Henry with Chocolate Fever, a never-before-seen disease caused by eating too much chocolate. Not wanting to undergo any treatment from a doctor he doesn't trust, Henry runs away and ends up going on an exciting adventure.

Tintin's note: I like when he feels better. My favorite part was when he ran away from all the doctors.

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound

Bone 2: The Great Cow Race
Author/illustrator: Jeff Smith
Publisher: Graphix (August 2005)
Source: Half Price Books

Fone Bone and his cousins, Phoney and Smiley, visit Barrelhaven while planning to get back to Boneville. After Phoney and Smiley fix the village's cow race in an attempt to get rich quick, the villagers find out and chase the Bones out into the forest, but not before giant, evil rats try to kidnap Fone Bone.

Tintin's note: I liked when Rose won the cow race.

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound

Johnny Boo, age 5

The Earth Book
Author/illustrator: Todd Parr
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (March 2010)
Source: ALA Convention 2011

Todd Parr teaches kids how to take care of the earth by offering simple suggestions, like using both sides of the paper and turning off the lights. At the end of the book is a go-green poster with 10 ways kids can help the earth. Number 10, "Put my underwear in the freezer when it's hot," is the favorite in this house, but now I have to keep checking the freezer to make sure my underwear isn't in there.

Johnny Boo's note: I like when it says I put my underwear in the freezer.

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound

Various books about planets and the sun: Space! Jupiter; Space! Mars; Space! Neptune; Space! The Sun; Space! Uranus; Space! Venus; Mercury; Why Isn't Pluto a Planet?
Authors: George Capaccio; Josepha Sherman; Ruth Bjorklund; Christine Taylor-Butler; Steve Kortenkamp

Johnny Boo's been learning about planets in school and insisted on getting these books (and no others) about planets. The Mercury book is the easiest to read, followed by the one on Pluto; the Space! books are geared more toward upper elementary kids, but Johnny Boo liked them anyway. And any books that keep him entertained the whole time I'm taking a shower and getting dressed are winners over here. Plus, now Johnny Boo knows he can't sing on Mercury, so he'll have to find another planet to move to if he doesn't follow the tips in The Earth Book.

Johnny Boo's note: It was great as usual. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Poem in Your Pocket Day 2011

Today was Poem in Your Pocket Day, and both boys brought poems to school. Tintin brought a poem by his late great-grandfather in his pants pocket and a poem by Jack Prelutsky in the pocket of his lunch bag. He gave them both to his best friend for his 8th birthday. Johnny Boo brought a poem about onions from Pizza and Other Stinky Poems.

While Tintin was looking through our poetry books to find a poem, he was inspired to write his own poetry. Here is what he came up with:

A Red Hat

I have a little hat.
It's red and I like it like that.
It's my favorite red hat.
My granny is wearing it.
I love my fanny hat.


I like me.
It's funny like me.
I yell and screech 'cause
I am a jeoparty-trot.


I groom as I seem.
But it has a little beam.
It is fun as though I need.
A little hug or kiss.
So I try to be nice.

I Go

I said I don't want to go but I have to.
So I stayed when Mom came back.
She asked why I was fat.
I was thrown into the garbage can.


I am so sad
That I am so bad.
I am mad
Because I am a lad.

Dr. Money

I am Doctor Money
'Cause I love money.


I won lots of candy.
My mom said I shouldn't.
But I did anyway.


Yay yay yay I love to say YAY!!!
It is so fun so I have to say

Right after that he turned into H.P. Lovecraft and wrote the following:

The Angel of Death and 1 Other Story
by H.P. Lovecraft

Once upon a time there was a plain old house. Inside the house were very nice paintings. There were children sleeping in their beds. The next day the Guardians came. They captured all the people and made them as slaves. They worked all day long for the king named Culisvash.

One night God sent the angel of death to go fight and kill Culisvash. Then God, melech, and the slaves escaped.

The Game of Memories
by H.P. Lovecraft

Once upon a time there was a big boy who liked to play games. So one day he played a game of memories. When he was done he lost. Then his memories went away. So now he was stupid and crazy and never listened to directions.

Check out our post on Poem in Your Pocket Day 2009 at our other blog, Mother Is Not Concerned!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Word of the Week/Beezus and Ramona

It's time for our Word of the Week feature here at LitLad. Here's how it works: Every Sunday the boys and I read a book from which they pick their favorite-sounding unfamiliar word. They each write the word that night and we try to use it in conversation as much as we can throughout the week. According to The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, "the only words children learn having heard them only once are the words you wish you had never said in front of them."

This week's word is exasperated, an adjective meaning "extremely annoyed."

And we're reading Beezus and Ramona, in which it says about Beezus, "Right that very instant she was so exasperated with Ramona that she did not like her at all."

Beezus and Ramona
Author: Beverly Cleary
Originally published: 1955
Source: Public library

Beezus Quimby loves her little sister, Ramona, just not all the time. Four-year-old Ramona is often exasperating and uses her big imagination to cause trouble. Beezus wonders if they'll ever have a perfect relationship like the one their mother has with their Aunt Beatrice.

Today, April 12, is Beverly Cleary's 95th birthday. To celebrate, the boys wore Easter bunny hats, just like the one Ramona wore. Here's Johnny Boo:

And for Muffin Tin Monday, they took one bite from each apple, just like Ramona did (although they were a little hungrier than Ramona was, and had to finish a few of them off before we turned the rest into applesauce):

And just to show you how obsessed Johnny Boo is with Ramona:

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Books of the Week: Geronimo Stilton, Owen, George and Martha, Sticky Burr

This week we decided to record book commercials to get the boys more excited about sharing their opinions (they love looking at themselves). Here are our favorite books from the past week, with excerpts from our commercials:

Tintin, age 8

Geronimo Stilton: The Curse of the Cheese Pyramid
Author/illustrator: Geronimo Stilton
Publisher: Scholastic (February 2004)
Source: Half Price Books

Geronimo Stilton is one of the most popular series at Tintin's school library, and now it's popular with Tintin as well. In The Curse of the Cheese Pyramid, Geronimo is sent to Egypt by his grandfather, the founder of The Rodent's Gazette, to interview a famous archaeologist and learn about the new energy source he's discovered. The archaeologist takes Geronimo into Cheops's pyramid to show him the hieroglyphs that inspired him to come up with the secret ingredient for his new energy source. On the way to the pyramid, Geronimo learns about hieroglyphs and other Egyptian facts, but he also learns about the terrible curse that falls upon anyone who desecrates a pharaoh's tomb. Of course, Geronimo's archaeologist guide reveals that he in fact has desecrated a pharaoh's tomb. Can Geronimo find out the secret ingredient before the archaeologist gets hit with this curse?

Tintin's note: It was a great book and I liked how he went into the pyramid because that's so cool. I got to see the god of the pyramid. My favorite part was when that scientist guy tripped on a stone and then when he got up he didn't remember anything.

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound

Johnny Boo, age 5

Author/illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (September 1993)
Source: Public library

Owen is a lot like Johnny Boo. He's always with his yellow blanket (although Johnny Boo doesn't like to get his blanket dirty). But we don't have a nosy neighbor who tries to talk us into getting rid of Johnny Boo's most prized possession, and Johnny Boo's dad would never go anywhere near vinegar to put it on Johnny Boo's favorite corner. And Johnny Boo has already accepted the fact that he can't bring his favorite blanket to school with him. If he had had a problem with it, I know he'd forbid me from ever trying what Owen's mom did.

Johnny Boo's note: It was great and it was awesome. My favorite part was when Owen had his nightie [blanket] in his pajamas.

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound

George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends
Author/illustrator: James Marshall
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (September 2008)
Source: School library

We wrote about George and Martha six months ago. It's still a favorite.

Johnny Boo's note: It was really concentrating. I like when George peeks in on Martha.

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound

Tintin and Johnny Boo

Sticky Burr: Adventures in Burrwood Forest; Sticky Burr: The Prickly Peril
Author/illustrator: John Lechner
Publisher: Candlewick (2008 & 2009)
Source: Public library

Sticky Burr isn't like most of the other burrs in Burrwood Forest, and Scurvy Burr doesn't waste any time letting them know it. Adventures in Burrwood Forest is Sticky Burr's story, about how Scurvy and his friends chase Sticky out of the forest for not acting prickly enough and how Sticky ends up being a hero. In The Prickly Peril it's Scurvy's turn to tell a story. Once again he tries to get rid of Sticky Burr, and once again Sticky Burr comes back the hero. Each book has a song at the end, just right for beginning piano students.

Tintin's note: I like how they go on adventures. They're really cool adventures.  

Johnny Boo's note: It was a great book. It was ridiculous. It was kind of diaryish.

Find them: Amazon (#1, #2), IndieBound (#1, #2)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Word of the Week/Sparkle and Spin: A Book About Words

It's time for our Word of the Week feature here at LitLad. Here's how it works: Every Sunday the boys and I read a book from which they pick their favorite-sounding unfamiliar word. They each write the word that night and we try to use it in conversation as much as we can throughout the week. According to The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, "the only words children learn having heard them only once are the words you wish you had never said in front of them."

This week's word is lurk, a verb meaning "to lie in wait or to sneak, as though to frighten, annoy or attack," as Tintin is now doing just to hear his brother scream.

And we're reading Sparkle and Spin: A Book About Words, in which it says, "...while lurk and murk or moan and groan are just as dark as night."

Sparkle and Spin: A Book About Words
Author/illustrator: Ann Rand/Paul Rand
Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 2006)
Source: Half Price Books

Originally published in 1957 by Harcourt, Brace & World, Sparkle and Spin is a book about small words and big words and what they are, do and say. It tells us how words "teach us how to talk to one another." With retro graphics (modern in 1957) by the graphic designer who created the logos for ABC, IBM, UPS and others, Sparkle and Spin is an eye-popping display of words.

Tintin's note: I liked the big huge words like tintinnabulate. The back looks glittery.

Johnny Boo's note: It was great. I was impressed by sparkles.

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Books of the Week: Twisted Journeys, The World of Quest, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, My Neighbor Totoro

Here are our favorites from the past week:

Tintin, age 8

Twisted Journeys 4: The Treasure of Mount Fate
Author/illustrator: Jeff Limke/Clint Hilinski
Publisher: Graphic Universe (August 2007)
Source: Public library

The Treasure of Mount Fate is a choose-your-own-adventure graphic novel. You, the reader, are a hero in training who seeks the treasure rumored to be hidden inside Mount Fate. While on your adventure, depending on which path you choose, you meet dragons, spiders, a wizard locked inside a room for 900 years, stone soldiers, flesh-eating ooze, a genie, skeleton warriors, a water sprite, goblins, hairy beasts, and a sea serpent. I think that might be all. Tintin's already found the treasure, but he still has several more adventures to go.

Tintin's note: It was great. I liked it because it was an adventure book.

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound

The World of Quest, Vol. 2
Author/illustrator: Jason T. Kruse
Publisher: Yen Press (December 2008)
Source: Public library

Prince Nestor and his bodyguard, Quest, are on their way to the wise and boring Rocks to find information on the Dagger of the Way. To get there they must travel through a dangerous forest (a warning sign at the entrance says, "Remember: Limbs are a privilege") and fight off the Snarls sent by the evil Lord Spite. Along the way, Nestor and Quest become separated and Nestor meets a griffin who makes him sign an agreement to pay before he'll help. The graphic novel ends on a cliffhanger.

Tintin's note: I liked when Quest got punched by a hand because it was silly.

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound

Johnny Boo, age 5

A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Author/illustrator: Philip C. Stead/Erin E. Stead
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (May 2010)
Source: Public library

Amos McGee works at a zoo and befriends some of the animals there. He plays chess with the elephant, sits with the shy penguin, and reads to the owl, who is afraid of the dark. When Amos has to stay home and tend to his cold, he gets a surprise visit from his animal friends. The elephant plays chess with him, the shy penguin sits with him and keeps his feet warm, the owl reads to him, and the rest do their part to take care of him. The award-winning illustrations include recurring details throughout – the red balloon that catches up with the penguin, Amos's teddy bear and bunny slippers, and the little mouse and bird – that Johnny Boo liked to point out.

Johnny Boo's note: It was great. I like when he said, "Hooray! My good friends are here!"

Find it: Amazon, IndieBound
My Neighbor Totoro, Vols. 1-4
Author/illustrator: Hayao Miyazaki
Publisher: Viz Media (November 2004–February 2005)
Source: Public library

Move over, Lucy Pevensie. Johnny Boo's new crush is 4-year-old Mei. Mei and her older sister, Satsuki, move to the country with their father to be closer to their hospitalized mother. They move into a house haunted by soot sprites and soon find the friendly and magical Totoro. The books, which read from right to left, consist of stills from the movie and minimal text. These books have been carried around and read every day this past week.

Johnny Boo's note: I like the Totoro books because they're good and awesome. I liked when the soot sprites were on Mei.

Find them: Amazon (1, 2, 3, 4), IndieBound (1, 2, 3, 4)