Daily Archives: August 2, 2013

friday finds: whatever you are, be a good one

Echoing thoughts expressed here, and here, and also my own thoughts about my desire to make a conscious effort to make thoughtful purchases of things that are lasting (timeless, enduring), that are beautiful, that support efforts or causes or people (especially people) that I admire, and that support the ultimate mission of our family and our home, I found this print by Julia Rothman to be a delightful reminder of so many of those thoughts. (You’ll also appreciate the idea of Help Ink.) I think it helps curb the appetite for acquiring as well. Is that thing, that object, really the best that it could be? If not, then it’s probably not worth it. And if it is, then buy it without guilt, and use it and love it like mad for as long as you are able.

It’s not a bad way to look at anything, and I’ve found us doing this more and more as a family – with good results I think. For example, we often travel out of town for weekend trips to visit family, and when we are making those trips we are passing through some very rural areas. Years ago we pretty much stopped settling for the few fast food options that were sprinkled around highway exits, and started searching for better places, even if they were a little bit off the beaten path. (This has become so much easier to do with expanded cell phone coverage and smart phones – although my well worn copy of Let’s Go! Italy worked nearly as well.)  I suppose one way to look at travel (or food) is that it’s something you want to get to, and through, as quickly (and cheaply) as possible. I prefer to look at it as an opportunity to have the best.lunch.ever. Or at the very least, a good one.

(story)time: You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You

I’m quite overdue on some book reviews around here. I’ve actually got several post started (as in, the title written, and then the draft saved) but I somehow never seem to get back to them.  I had to laugh at the last two comments where friends said they needed to go back and check their archives to see what they may or may not have written about their New Year’s Resolutions because Hey!  That’s me.  I’ve written here for so long that I sometimes forget what I’ve written and have to run a search in my own blog to make sure I’m not repeating myself. I do repeat myself a lot, and I’ll blame it on my advancing age and complete inability to maintain more than one train of thought in my head at a time. Another friend mentioned a funny story of E’s from long, long ago, and it rang a bell, but apparently not loudly enough, because I knew that it had happened but I couldn’t remember the context.  I strained my brain for about two more seconds, and then ran a search for it on my blog. Thank goodness I type at least some of this down.

Side note: If you are looking for old book reviews, they are all here, in the sidebar:

And this leads me back to this (story)time because I first searched to make sure I hadn’t talked about the books I plan to write about over the next few weeks.  All good, except for “The Day the Crayons Quit”.  That book gets two posts, and rightly so.


You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You” by Mary Ann Hoberman is one of those perfect, perfect books for newer independent readers that still like to be read aloud to. The book is full of several rhyming short stories that are meant to be read back and forth between two people. Both readers pick a color to read – purple or pink – and they read the blue lines together. 

This book was always a favorite for E and her dad – but honestly, I loved listening to them read it just as much. It’s sort of like a miniature play with the different lines. And the rhythm of the lines is so good that is has a very sing-song quality to it. Even when E was a newer reader, I think this really stretched her word recognition because of the rhyme structure and the back and forth nature of the dialogue.  Each short story is two pages long so the whole story and the various lines are laid out in front of you. No matter the subject of the story, each one ends with a reading theme, and the last lines (in blue) always read together “You read to me, I’ll read to you.”

Hoberman has many different themed books along the same line, and we have a couple of them, plus we’ve picked some up from the library occasionally.

Her other rhyming stories (particularly the musical ones) have always been big hits with the girls as well. “There Once Was a Man Named Michael Finnegan” rotated through our library bag many times. It’s been a few years since we’ve read it, but I think we’re overdue picking it up again at the library for F. I think I can even sing some of the lines still. We also have some of her other singing rhymes on a CD with matching board books – perfect for long car trips with little ones.

All of these books are great for pre-readers through accomplished ones. I read “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You” tonight to F, and it sounds just fine even when read by one person. But the sweet spot for these books is a new reader that you want to encourage to read aloud at home. Sometimes that’s just a lot more fun if you’ve got someone to read along with you.

Find these titles at your favorite local independent bookstore. Happy reading!