Monthly Archives: August 2012

Zuno’s Pick

Sci-fi fans will love this easy reader by Jane Yolen in Commander Toad and the Big Black Hole. Frog puns and wordplay abound in this deep space adventure. Commander Toad and his crew discover a black hole. When something long, pink, and sticky appears and begins to pull the ship, the crew of the Star Warts hop to it. Lt. Lily’s gun has little effect. Old Doc Peeper’s tries a huge tongue depressor, but the ship stays stuck. Will the ship be toad-ally consumed by an E.T.T., an Extra-Terrestrial-Toad? Not while Commander Toad and his secret weapon are on board. Jump over to the library or your favorite bookstore and check out Yolen’s Commander Toad and the Big Black Hole.

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Cross Training

Sea Song

We’re heading for the beach this month and I can’t wait.

Sea. Sand. Crabs. Boogie boards.

 I love the ocean. The wind and waves remind me of God’s great strength and lead me to praise Him. Psalm 96 calls us to praise Him too. This psalm not only calls on every nation to praise God, but every part of creation as well. Check out this part of verse 11 (NIV): “let the sea resound, and all that is in it;”.

Picture the sea and everything in it giving praise to God. Dolphins leaping and jumping for joy. Whales blowing spray high into the air. Octopi waving all eight legs. Toothy sharks, slippery eels, colorful coral. Prey and predators alike, now focused on one thing: the Father.

Will you join them?

What is your favorite sea creature and how do you think they will praise God?

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Gayle’s Gable

I ran across Erin Hunter’s Power of Three: The Sight and picked it up out of curiosity. I discovered that Erin Hunter is not one author but three and they have written several Warrior series, with Power of Three being the latest. The Sight is the first novel of this series. The novels center on several tribes of cats living in the wild. An author note mentioned Hunter’s interest in astrology and standing stones, so I was curious to see if this came through in her(their) story. The ancestral cats, the Star Clan, contact certain members of the tribes, usually the medicine cat. Other than that, the story focused on relationships between the tribes and happenings within a particular tribe. Survival, outside threats, and conflicts between tribes serve as common themes and storylines. Are any of you familiar with the various Warrior series? Let me know what you thought.

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Zuno’s Pick

Cowgirls and their horses share a special relationship. They work together and play together. Cowgirl Kate ‘s horse Cocoa has a chocolate coat and a mane and tail the color of caramel. That’s a sweet ride for any cowgirl as the two work the ranch, count the cows, and finally bunk down for the night. Be sure to pack your saddlebag with Erica Silverman’s Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa. What color would your cow pony be? Palominos are my favorite.

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Cross Training

“Zuno, Come!”

My dog Zuno is a white Labrador retriever. He likes to run and take naps. He likes people food and rawhide bones. He comes when I call.

Unless it’s bath time.

Then, he runs.

Bath time requires a chase and a firm hand during the bathing process before Zuno finally “escapes” and shakes off every drop of water he can. It doesn’t matter that he was dirty and smelly. Nor does he care that his fur is soft and silky now. He fights against the bath every time.

As much as I laugh at Zuno for his bath time behavior, if I look closely, I find myself doing the same thing. When God calls with blessings and things I like to do, I respond quickly. When it’s time to deal with my own dirt and stink, well, sometimes I run too. God tells us in Psalm 32:8-9 (NIV):

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding, but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”

I would never allow Zuno to stay smelly and dirty. His ears could get infected and I don’t really want him in my lap when he smells. Keeping him clean helps him stay healthy and keeps us close together, but Zuno doesn’t understand and he doesn’t come willingly.

I know better.

So God reminds me that He’s doing what’s best. The smell and dirt of sin need to go, whether it’s a stinky attitude of pride and me-first or dirty thoughts of judging someone else. God wants me to be spiritually healthy and He wants me close to Him too. Those around me benefit too when my spirit is soft and silky-clean like Zuno’s fur and I benefit from renewed humility.

So, when God deals with some of your stink or dirt, don’t make Him chase you down for a bath. Come willingly and draw close to Him, even at bath time.

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Gayle’s Gable

Twists and turns fill this Amazon adventure as Jake Lansa joins his father on a jaguar expedition in Brazil. Roland Smith’s list of characters vary as much as the rain forest creatures around them. Flanna—Jake’s father’s girlfriend that he neglected to mention. Silver—the mysterious boat owner who is a little too eager to help them. The man with the scar—people get hurt when he’s around. Jake’s father searches for jaguars, but Silver seems to be searching for something else and when armed men appear in the camp, Jake finds himself caught in the middle. Explore the rain forest this summer with Smith’s Jaguar.

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Zuno’s Pick

Tucker Mouse’s love of coins has trapped him in the shoeshine store. How will Harry Cat convince Papa Bellini to open the door? Harry to the Rescue! by Thea Feldman is marked as a Level Two reader and is based on the classic, The Cricket in Times Square, by George Selden. Related stories include Tucker’s Beetle Band, Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse, and Chester Cricket’s Pigeon Ride.

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