Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Kathleen Celebrates Earth Day

I have a full schedule today. As usual reading and writing are front and center, kids and family at the heart. I have a book due to my publisher in a month, so I'll be working on that this morning. Tonight we kick off a new class at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. Conveniently enough it's called "Book In a Month," and we've never taught it before. I've never done it before, but I know how I would do it if I had to.

Oh, yeah. I have to. Should be an interesting trial by fire. I'll keep you posted.

Between the writing and the teaching, I'll be paying my regular "Book Nook" visit to my granddaughter's first grade class. Last time we read Library Mouse. The night before we'd made mouse ears for everyone out of pipe cleaners. The story is about a mouse who lives in the library and writes little books, so we also made blank books and handed them out to everyone, just as Library Mouse does at the end of the story. My girls love to make books. (The older one is helping me read. That's the little one looking this way.) That's exactly what I did when I was their age. (Actually a little older. These kids are way ahead of me.) My first fiction featured a girl who solved mysteries with her cat.

Today is Earth Day, so we chose a couple of books about critters. We'll do some masks first, and then we'll let the wild rumpus begin. We're also donating a book to the class library called It's Earth Day. I'm one tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie-at-heart Boomer who never forgets Earth Day. Ah, 1970. The year I graduated college. The year I got married. The year I started teaching two of the three R's. Full circle--back to reading and writing.

A big part of the legacy we bibliophiles give our children and grandchildren is surely born of the books we loved as children. Let's say we're giving a baby shower for a dear friend's first child or grandchild, and guests are to gift the child with 3 wonderful children's books. Which ones will you bring? I'll draw one name from today's comments and offer that person a book from my backlist--winner's choice.

I'm celebrating the birth of a new book baby. Sam Beaudry's due date is April 28, but I see that he's already in stock at Amazon. If you're of a mind to check him out, we'd love it if you'd take our sidebar link (right) to our Amazon shop, Reading In the Fast Lane. The first couple of pages are available on the listing. You can find a few more tidbits on my website. But here's the cover blurb:

Keeping the people of his Rocky Mountain hometown safe is Sheriff Sam Beaudry's top priority. But his quiet life suddenly comes under scrutiny when a young stranger shows up at the door of his mother's store, claiming that Hilda Beaudry is her grandmother.

Maggie Whiteside has never known a man like Sam--the kind a woman and her young son might truly count on. But their budding relationship will be put to the test when his past rides into town on a Greyhound Bus. Now Maggie must decide for herself who Sam really is. As for Sam, how much of his battered heart is he willing to risk?

This book is the first in a trilogy. One Cowboy, One Christmas follows in December.


Laurie said...

Two of my favorite children's authors:

Eric Carle - A Very Hungry Caterpiller, Brown Bear, Brown Bear
All of his books are colorful and easy to read.

Lois Ehlert -Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Color Zoo, OOdles of Animals

My kids also enjoyed Little Beaver & His Echo-Amy MacDonald
Making friends with animals not like himself.

lois greiman said...

Have you read them Cowardly Clyde? Oh, offense to your husband. But it was one of our favorites when the kids were tiny. Such a great book. Can't think of the author.

You're an amazing grandmother, Kathy. And a fantastic writer.

Congrats on the new book. It sounds wonderful

Kylie said...

How lucky your granddaughter's school is to have you as a regular, Kathleen!

I give each of my grandchildren a library of children's books when they're born. Staples of the library, besides the board books, are Where the Wild Things Are, The Monster at the End of this Book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Goodnight Moon, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Giving Tree, Jane Yolen's How Do Dinosaurs...books and all the Bear books (Bear Gets Sick, Bear Snores On, etc.) and (I'm too lazy to look up the author) If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Pig a Pancake, etc. ones.

Right now my one year old grandson's favorite is the Tails book and Baby Llama Mad at Mama. Last month it was the Puppies book.

Oh I also include Seuss. Lots of Seuss. My sons are thrilled to re-discover Go Dog Go in their sons' libraries.

Playground Monitor said...

You guys have already named the books I've given my granddaughter. But yesterday -- and shhhhh, don't tell -- my mom and I got her a book called "The Tickle Monster" and a pair of Tickle Monster Mitts. It's the cutest darned thing I've seen and just the perfect gift for her third birthday in June.

For much later on, I have an autographed copy of Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. My grandbaby was 6 weeks old when Meg spoke at RWA in Atlanta and I stood in line to get the book autographed to my brand new grandbaby. We can read it together and have tea parties.

Oh, I almost forgot the Sandra Boynton books -- Barnyard Dance, Pajama Time, Moo, Baa, La, La, La. Wonderful fun books.

You're a terrific grandma, Kathleen.


Betina Krahn said...

Ok, Kathy-- I was so charmed by that photo of you in your granddaughter's class! And pipecleaner mouse ears! You're such a wonderful grandmother!

It's so wonderful to see you living out your love with your precious girls. And passing on your love of learning to them and the kids around them. Lucky kids!

My favorite books for young kiddies are the Sandra Boynton books-- they rhyme and are such fun. I still have them floating around in my head. so I love the Dr. Seuss books-- probably because so many of them rhyme but also contain nonsense and common sense in equal measure. but one of my favorite books is "Never Tease a Weasel." Can't recall the author, but I'm looking for a copy for my grands. Great rhyming book with a moral. . .

Kathleen Eagle said...

Marilyn, aren't we lucky to be able to get those autographed books at conferences and trade shows? I keep thinking I'll keep them in a special place, but books don't like that. They jump into the jumble with their fellow books and jump up and down and say "Pick me! Pick me!"

Kathleen Eagle said...

Lois, I'm off to search Amazon for Cowardly Clyde! Did you ever see Clyde the Bear at the Bismarck Zoo? He was the largest Kodiak in--gulp, hate this word--captivity. He lived to be a very old bear. They got him a mate, but she wasn't a Kodiak. Named her Bonnie, of course. Clyde would have nothing to do with her. They should have named her Kathy.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Laurie, the girls still love Eric Carle. There's an Eric Carle called "Panda Bear Panda Bear, What Do You See" that he did with Bill Martin Jr. I just gave it to my good friend's daughter at a baby shower!

Maureen said...

Some of my favorite children books are:
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess

Playground Monitor said...

Love You Forever ::sniffle:: It's a wonderful book.

Marilyn I Am *g*

Kathleen Eagle said...

Love You Forever. Oh, dear. The first time I read it, I got all teary. And my kids were pretty young then. I'm beginning to realize how true it is--the time just flies.

Clicking over to Amazon again for more of these great titles.

Helen Brenna said...

Kathy - you are a wonderful grandmother. The girls are lucky to have you.

Most of our family favorites have been mentioned, but there's a Minneapolis author, Nancy Carlson, who writes wonderful self-esteem building books. I Like Me, is the one that immediately comes to mind. You're girls will love it!

Helen Brenna said...

Love you Forever. OMG. Sniffle is right!

Keri Ford said...

Awesome grandma!

1st choice: Before my boy could crawl, he would pull Dr. Suess’s Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? from the bottom of a pile of books. We’ve had to tape the cover back on twice he flips through it so much.

2nd choice: Next up would be Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic. My grandpa gave three of his grandkids each of Silverstein’s poem books (I was lucky enough to be one when I was really only his step-granddaughter). He went through each book and dedicated a poem to us, a “job” that we had to do. He passed away a few years ago from cancer, so that book is special to me and is safely kept in my hope chest. My son has his own copy.

3rd choice: I have a box set of Peter Rabbit books called Little Treasury of Peter Rabbit. They’re tiny, perfect for little hands. I remember looking at those books all the time when I was a toddler.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Peter Rabbit was Mama's favorite!

On Earth Day: Today's Strib celebrated Eagle Recovery. I'm concerned about the Endangered Species Act, which is always under fire from various special interests. The eagle is the first success story that comes to mind. We almost last them. Not only is it the national bird, the eagle was the poster child for the enactment of the Endangered Species Act back in the late 60's. Travel the MN-WI border along the river, especially in Nov and Mar, and your spirit soars with the sight. They're back!

Debra Dixon said...

Oh, Kathy-- My heart loves a good category romance and IN CARE OF SAM BEAUDRY feels like one for me. And the title of ONE COWBOY, ONE CHRISTMAS also hits my hot buttons for buying! That whole Kathleen Eagle thing does too. (g)

But...about books for baby's library...

LOVE YOU FOREVER, Robert N. Munsch

GOOD DOG, CARL , Alexandra Day

Baby sign language books-- We swear that is what created language faster in our great nephew. He communicated at a record early age and spoke early and complexly.

Debra Dixon said...

When Wendy McCurdy (editor at Bantam at the time) was having her first child, I sent her LOVE YOU FOREVER.

I got a note back...

Thanks a lot for MAKING ME CRY in the MIDDLE OF THE OFFICE.

M. said...

So excited to hear they're making 'Wild Things' into a movie! A little worried, too, in case the charm of the book doesn't translate.

My boys' school is taking everyone to see Disney's 'Earth' at the moveis to celebrate Earth Day, free of charge to the parents. Hooray!

M. said...

forgot to say: no need to enter my name, stopped by for fun *g*

Heather said...

I have a four-yr-old niece who loves books as much as her parents and aunt. I bought her Good Night, Moon when she was born, and a couple other favorites would include But Not the Hippopotamus (Sandra Boynton) and a more recent release, Bats at the Library (Brian Lies).

flip said...

Favorite books for very young children

Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Where the Wild Things Live by Maurice Sendak
I Love You Foever by Robert Munsch

My kids loved these stories. We read them over and over.

ForestJane said...

I normally lurk, but your topics have pulled me out of the woodwork two days in a row.

I'd try to pick books that I don't think other folks would, so there'd be no duplications:

Anholt, Catherine "Come Back Jack!" A girl is told to watch her little brother, who crawls into a book and through stories with characters named Jack, falling down the hill with Jill, up the beanstalk, etc.

Slobodkina, Esphyr "Caps for Sale" A peddler gets all his caps stolen by a bunch of monkeys. Kids love chanting with the peddler, "Give me back my caps!" and they adore the ending.

Kent, Jack "Caterpillar and the Pollywog" A caterpillar snootily tells everyone, "When I grow up, I'm going to be something ELSE!"

As a children's librarian, these are among my favorites to read aloud.

robynl said...

the Golden Books are so nice to give;
The Poky Little Puppy

A Children's First Bible or Bible in Pictures

I love the board books such as:
1 2 3 either one.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Poky Little Puppy! That was my little sister's favorite. I'd read it to her, and when I got to the end she's say, "Again!"

Debra Dixon said...

Hey, Jane!!!

Good to see you unlurking. We're glad to have you. :)

I'm very impressed. 2 days in a row!

Susan Shay said...

I read my oldest son so many books, we practically owned a library. By the time #2 came along five years later, #1 could read them to him.
Our fav? Where the Wild Things Are. Natch!
I told someone else I saw a high school band use that book for their marching competition one year. It didn't translate well, but I'll never forget it. LOL
Susan Shay

Janga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janga said...

I'm another drawn out of lurkdom by the subject. I love children's books, and I find special joy in sharing with the grands books their fathers loved. Some of those have already been mentioned, but two favorites are less well known. Nancy Willard's William Blake's Inn is marvelous, and the illustrations are wonderful too. It was both a Newberry Medal and a Caldecott Honor Book. Ann Ashford's If I Found a Wistful Unicorn: A Gift of Love is no longer in print, so our copies are doubly dear, tattered though they are. The grands and their fathers loved it so much that most of them learned it by heart. How can anyone not love a book with questions such as "If my rainbow were to turn all day / and wouldn't shine at all today, / would you paint it?"

Among my favorite books to give are Barbara Joosse’s Mama, Do You Love Me? and I Love You the Purplest. They each answer questions that I think most children have: Do you still love me even when I’m naughty? and “Who do you love best?” I especially like Joosse’s use of colors to explain how a parent’s love for each child is superlative and unique. And her language is wonderful:

“Why Max, I love you the reddest! I love you the color of the sky before it blazes into night. I love you the color of a leopard’s eyes when it prowls through the jungle, and the color of a campfire at the edge of the flame. A wide open hug. The swirl of a magic cape. The thunder of a shout.”

catslady said...

It's been a while and I had so many favorites - anything by Eric Carle, Goodbye Moon, and my all time favorite Once Upon a Potty -- Girl by Alona Franke

Debra Dixon said...

Janga-- Oh, I haven't seen that book or didn't realize I should pick it up. I love that.

This Friday night I have my 5 year old nephew and we always go to the bookstore.

flchen1 said...

A few more recent favorites--Leslie Patricelli's board books. My son's favorite is Yummy, Yucky.

Sandra Boynton's board books--we read The Going to Bed Book all the time! (Love her cute animals :))

Bedtime for Frances--Russell Hoban, Garth Williams. An oldie but goodie--again, one that my kids demanded we read repeatedly :)

Love, LOVE children's books!

Kathleen Eagle said...

I'm so glad we delurked some folks. Janga, it's back to Amazon again for the colors of love book.

Had so much fun with Where the Wild Things Are today. Now to draw a winner. I want to post with a picture of the kids and their masks.

Laurie said...

I forgot to mention Jan Brett!!
The Wild Christmas Reindeer, The Lost Mitten...

BEAUTIFUL illustrations and cute stories!

Richard Scary had a nice dictionary.

Berenstein Bears

EB White- Charlotte's Web, The Trumpeter Swan