Monthly Archives: November 2011

Zuno’s Pick

Fairy tales go bad in The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. When princess after princess fails to notice the pea under the mattresses, the prince takes matters into his own hands and substitutes a bowling ball. Little Red Running Shorts races the wolf to her granny’s house and wins. Other stories like The Really Ugly Duckling, The Tortoise and the Hair, and Jack’s Bean Problem may send the Grimm Brothers spinning, but will bring readers a heaping dose of humor and reality. The wacky illustrations earned this book a Caldecott Honor medal.

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Cross Training

Satisfaction

Hot apple cider, warm pumpkin bread, Frito chili pie, turkey and cranberry sauce. I like the foods that come with fall. The wind begins to turn northerly, bringing cooler temperatures, brightly colored leaves, and foods that range from spicy to fruity. Psalm 104 reminds me that the food I eat, every day, comes from God’s hand. The writer of this psalm describes how even the animals go to God for their daily food. We’ll pick it up in verses 27and 28:

“These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.”

Think of the good things God has given us. We could survive on oatmeal and Brussels sprouts, but God gave us Honeycrisp apples, bright orange pumpkins, and, my personal favorite, the cacao bean. Yellow corn, snappy green beans, plump blueberries and luscious purple grapes round out a rainbow of interesting things to taste and enjoy. Eat a rainbow every day and thank the God of the rainbow for His faithfulness, His creativity, and His loving kindness that provides for our needs.

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Gayle’s Gable

Five gifts for his birthday: seaweed, a whistle, a metal brooch, a broken horse, and his sister’s scarf. A cloud hangs over him as he remembers his sister, Bethan, who disappeared four years ago on this very day. Yet, Gwyn’s grandmother, Nain, informs him it is time to give his gifts to the wind and to find out if he is a magician.

Is he a magician?

Can he find his sister?

Join Gwyn in his search  in Jenny Nimmo’s Snow Spider. The Snow Spider is Book One of The Magician Trilogy.

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Zuno’s Pick

Growing old has its challenges, but Mr. Putter and Tabby are not about to let their cranky legs and tail stand in the way of pear picking. Pink poodle underwear, a stick, and an old glove join forces to form a slingshot even David would long for. Though the pears prove elusive, Mr. Putter zings the day away, while kindhearted Mrs. Teaberry and her dog, Zeke do the back breaking work of cooking a juicy feast for Mr. Putter. Come sample the goodness in Cynthia Rylant’s Mr. Putter and Tabby Pick the Pears.

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Cross Training

(Your Name) and the King

Have you ever had a scene from a movie stick with you? There’s one from the movie Anna and the King that I just love. Let me set it up for you.

Anna arrives in the tiny country of Siam to teach the king’s children. She is ushered into court where she meets the king and is then introduced to her new students, the princes and princesses. As each child enters, they bow to their father, the king, and respectfully back up to find a place on the floor where they stay facedown to show him proper respect.  

One day the chief prince and Anna’s son begin fighting. The tiniest princess runs into the throne room, past the guards, past the court advisors and nobles, and straight to her father. She whispers in his ear and he immediately gets up and goes with her.

I love this scene because it pictures the relationship we have with our Heavenly Father. Father God is King of all and we should always give Him proper respect, but He is also our Abba Father (Daddy) and we can run to Him whenever we have need. Look at Romans 8: 15b, 16:

“…but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him, we cry ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.”

The throne room is always open to you.

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Gayle’s Gable

Susan Campbell Bartoletti’s Boy Who Dared presents the Holocaust from the perspective of a young German national, Helmuth Hubener. Bartoletti discovered Helmuth’s story while researching a book on the youth movement in Nazi Germany and offers his account in fictional form. Watch Helmuth grapple with the changing government and Hitler’s rise to power. Observe his struggle and the cost of standing true to his beliefs. This is a must read for young adults due to the unique point of view of a young man within Germany who finds himself caught by the  troubling storm of Hitler’s regime and Nazi Socialism.

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Zuno’s Pick

Lloyd Moss’s Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin introduces young readers to the orchestra. Each of ten members adds their own special shades and hues as author Moss and illustrator Priceman mix a magical, musical palette. Priceman received a Caldecott Honor for her instrumental color scheme. Brass, strings, woodwinds—which is your favorite? My daughter plays one of the instruments in the book. Can you guess which one?

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