Thursday, June 28, 2012

Doug, My Brand New Puppy - A Silly Poem for Kids

Today I got a brand new puppy.
His name is Doug.

He likes to run and is a little jumpy.
He ate a bug.

The bug made him sick and he threw it up.
There on the rug.

I let him out to rest since he's just a pup.
Instead he dug.

He ate my flowers, but I still love my dog.
Gave him a hug.

Howled through a bath, now sleeping like a log.
All nice and snug.

Copywrite CM Dixon June 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Shhh! This is a library, right?

This topic came up last week, and we didn't realize how controversial it is.  Someone was complaining that our local library is too loud.  We aren't talking about a study library here.  Just a regular library where people go to check out books and movies.  We understand that some people may need to use the library to get away, and there are study rooms and quiet corners if needed, but should people be shushed in libraries?

To us it seems friendlier when people are meeting, laughing, and talking in the library.  Others see the library as a refuge and want a peaceful quiet environment.

Since this started we have been surprised by the variety of opinions. Sounds like we need a poll!  Please answer the poll on the right sidebar.  It will close the first day of July and we'll publish the results.

If clicking a button just isn't enough to get your thoughts off your chest in regards to this controversial topic then feel free to leave a comment defending your opinion.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Food on a Stick - A Silly Carnival Poem

Funnel cakes
Lemon shakes
Ice cream cones
Grilled rib bones
Elephant ears
Draft root beers
Sheboygan brats
Chicago red hots
Pronto pups
Ice cream cups
Supreme Tacos
Loaded Nachos
Shaved ice
Pizza slice
Grilled chops
Cherry pops
Giant pickle
Blue Popsicle
Deep fried cheese
Enough... please
I think I'm sick
From food on a stick

Copywrite CM Dixon June 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Justin Roberts - Our Top Five Favorite Songs

photo credited to
© Todd Rosenberg 2010

What do you do when the kids are tired of reading? Dance! Sing! Go a little crazy with Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players!
Today’s review isn't about a children's book or about a children's author, but instead is about our favorite children's musical act.  If you read our blog posts you know we love good rhyming and Justin Roberts is definitely a rhyming master.  You and your kids are missing quite a treat if he isn’t on your playlist.  Justin Roberts and his band, The Not Ready for Naptime Players, make frequent appearances in the Chicago area, but I don't know if they are as well known in other parts of the world.  The rest of world doesn't know what they are missing if that is the case.

I imagine everyone has listened to quite a bit of children's music and let's be honest; most of it is fairly painful if you are over five years old. Justin Roberts is different from most due to his ability to create really good music that just happens to have kid friendly lyrics.  Our kids are grown, but we have Justin Roberts on our playlist and he remains in heavy rotation. I can't imagine anyone listening to Fire Drill or Snow Day without being pulled back in time to their school days.

Our top five favorite Justin Roberts Songs:

1. Pop Fly - What does a kid in the outfield think about while playing tee ball?

2. New Haircut – Complete with hair stuck to the free lollipop.

3. Fire Drill - Filled with sublime rhymes and anxious single file walking.

4. Snow Day - We can't listen to this without remembering sitting by the radio waiting for our school to be announced.

5. Never Getting Lost - A little sad, but very sweet.

Don't take our word for it; here is a New York Times review of Justin Roberts.

Visit Justin Roberts’ site and support this indie musician who really gets how kids think. He sings to them, not down to them, and parents will be pleased to listen to good music for a change.
Do you have a favorite song or children's musician?  Leave us a comment about them and we'll have a listen.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dad is Great - A Silly Poem

I love my Dad because he's just great,
Even when he says, "Sit up straight!"
He is an expert at giving others directions.
Weeds don't survive his front lawn inspections
Sometimes he's mad when he gets home from work.
One time he told Mom, "My boss is a jerk!"
I couldn't stop laughing because that was so funny!
Mom frowned and said, "We don't say that word, Honey."

 On weekends he likes to say, "Let's grill some meat"
He cooks way too much food and we sit down to eat.
Sometimes he falls asleep in his chair.
He complains a lot about losing his hair.
He knows almost everything there is to know.
In the winter he goes with us to play in the snow.
He takes care of us and tells me I'm smart.
When something is broken he takes it apart.
I will love him forever and always be glad,

That I am lucky enough to have a great dad.

Monday, June 11, 2012

LARF - A Bigfoot Picture Book

You can buy LARF on Amazon here.

Are you familiar with the BFRO (Bigfoot Research Organization)?  They are the people on the 'Finding Bigfoot' show on Animal Planet, and it is a completely crazy show.  It is also one of our guilty pleasures.

Here is a synopsis of every single 'Finding Bigfoot' episode.

They say they are going deep into the woods to "research" a recent Bigfoot sighting.  They reenact the sighting with one of them pretending to be Bigfoot (normally Bobo, yes his name is Bobo). Then they wander around in the dark woods and hear nosies that they are convinced Bigfoot is making. Normally the noise is a thumping or splashing sound and one of them will say, "That's a squatch for sure." Then they will make "Bigfoot calls" and see if a Bigfoot answers back.  The Bigfoot calls are hilarious.  They usually split up into two groups and call back and forth.  One group will hear the other group's calls and confuse it with a real Bigfoot.

They have never seen a Bigfoot as far as I can tell, but they know a lot about them.  According to the BFRO, Bigfoot shuns contact with humans but is drawn out of the woods by crying babies, laughing children, rock music, and fireworks. I know, it makes no sense. Also, Bigfoot likes bacon. I am not making this up.  There were episodes where they would leave out bacon and jam in the dark assuring themselves that Bigfoot would stagger out of the woods going, "Mmmm. Bacon AND a jam session, how can I resist that?"

Some of our international readers may be really confused so here is the link to the show.  Bigfoot Show Link.   

So, as a watcher of this crazy show you can imagine how LARF, written and illustrated by Ashley Spires caught our eye.  It is a picture book about a very sweet Bigfoot.  He is a little lonely and assumes that he is the only Bigfoot on the face of the earth.  He sees an ad in the paper that "Bigfoot" will make an appearance so he disguises himself as a very hairy human and goes to town.

The sweet part of this book is how LARF frets about what he will say when he meets the other Bigfoot. He worries that they may not like each other, he worries that they will like each other too much, he worries that the other Bigfoot will want to move in, and finally he worries that the other Bigfoot might be a girl. Yikes!

This is a great book for kids because it teaches them that it is normal to be nervous when you meet new people. We loved how it was illustrated by the writer and the pictures are very funny.

This would be a perfect book to read to a child before the first day of school or some other event where they will have to interact with new friends.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  Also, watch that crazy 'Finding Bigfoot' show if you get a chance. It will make you laugh or at least shake your head in wonder.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Ultimate Free Book Event!

Washington, DC
Green Bay, WI
Seattle, WA
Lake County, CA
Fort Worth, TX
Peoria, IL

Okay, so what's up with the seemingly random list of U.S cities? (Go ahead, click on them to see the theme)

These are the cities that caught my eye when I googled "Summer reading programs for kids". We have two grown children now but we were very active library users when they were little and we continue to use our library. When the kids were little I would say, "let's go to where all the books are free!" We would pile in the car and everyone would come home with an arm load of new books.

So, summer is here and that means bored kids all over the nation. If you have a little one and haven't already researched it, take a look at your local library's Summer Reading Program. Where we live there are raffles, crafts, story times, and the librarians will help the children come up with a reading list if they aren't real sure about what they want to read.

We get a lot of international visitors to our blog so that got me to wondering, do other countries have summer reading programs at their libraries?

Around the Library World Tour!

Ireland - Many great looking libraries, but I didn't really see any special programs for Summer. However, there were quite a few children's programs.

England - check out this article on their summer program. It appears that England's libraries are nationally organized and all run under the same program? Interesting and very different from the U.S. where each local government funds and runs their own libraries.

Japan - Japan's main library is called "The National Diet Library". I am not sure what the name means, but it seems to imply that books should be a part of your daily nutrition. Nice way of looking at it. They have a very impressive children's library site on their website, but I don't specifically see a summer program.

Canada -The Vancouver Library is running the "Strange But True" summer program. Looks like a lot of fun!

When I sat down to write this post I didn't mean to go international but it was fascinating. Hope everyone goes to their library this week and takes part in the greatest free book event in the history of the world!

What are libraries like where you live? Do you have an interesting children's program? Drop us a comment and we'll share it with others via twitter. Happy Summer, Happy Reading!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I love Z's

When I think about the ABC's,
The words I like best all have Z's.

Why say overcast when you can say hazy?
Taking a break is not as fun as "bein' lazy".

Chewing cud doesn't sound good so cows go grazing.
They only eat grass and get so big! That's amazing!

Wandering around lost is only fun if you're in a maze.
Dead ends and backtracking until you're left in a daze.

Hot dogs are best when cooked on a fire that's blazing.
Doughnuts and cookies are all sweeter after glazing.

Animals who wouldn't normally live together do in a zoo.
If you have no musical talent you can still play the kazoo.

So, start using Z words to make your sentences buzzy,
And everyone will love you like a kitten (who is fuzzy).