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Goodnight iPad (a modern bedtime tale) & We Give Books

Two things to share tonight.  🙂  One is the We Give Books website/program.  It’s simply too awesome NOT to share.  And the other is a book we stumbled across while there.

Goodnight iPad screenshot from We Give Books

"Goodnight iPad" screenshot from the We Give Books website

We Give Books is an incredible website where you can read new, classic, and popular Penguin Books titles to you children…  for free.  That’s right.  FREE.  We only discovered the site this afternoon and have already gone through seven titles that were brand new to us (the girl loves the Ladybug Girl books).

You can sign up for free (there’s that word again) using your FB or Twitter account, or the old fashioned way by filling out a form.  Then you choose a campaign to support…  which is where We Give Books gets even better – yep.  Better than free!  Can you imagine?  What happens next?  Just pick out a book and start reading.  When you get to the end, a button will show up that says “give a book”.  Click it.  Know what that means?  It means a book has just been donated to whichever campaign you chose to support.

Check it out!!!  Seriously!

We Give Books –

Now while you’re there, you have to look up “Goodnight iPad”.  It’s way too freakin’ awesome.  A parody on the classic bedtime story “Goodnight Moon” for those of us who are plugged in.  It really is fabulous, and, no joke, it had my husband and I laughing out loud as we attempted to read it to the kid.  😉

So, there you go!  Two fabulous discoveries!

Now get reading!

Aphrodite and Isis – Two Goddesses of Love

We’re laying in bed, snuggled up together.  She eating a bedtime snack of applesauce.  Me reading our nightly chapters.  We’re on page 140-something of Aphrodite the Diva (one of the Goddess Girls books by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams).

Aphrodite is holding a contest for the mortal girls of Greece, when Lily-Ann exclaims “Hey!”

“Hey what?” say I.

“There can be two Goddesses of Love!  Aphrodite is the Goddess of love for the Greeks, and Isis is the Goddess of love for the Egyptians.  They don’t have to fight, they can both be the Goddess Girls of love!”

“Oh my goodness!”  I marvel at her wit, “You’re right.  I wonder what will happen next in the book.  Do you think they might figure that out?”

“I don’t know momma.  Keep reading!”

Seriously, is there anything more cool than the aha moments of a clever four year old?

A page or so later we read how Aphrodite is confiding in Ares, about how she feels about her part in the Trojan “incident”.  When another lightbulb goes off:  “Mom!  We’ve read about Odysseus before, in another chapter book.”

“That’s right, he fought in the Trojan war.  We’ve talked about him a few times, haven’t we?”  She nods her head enthusiastically.  “It’s neat when we meet the same characters in different books, isn’t it?”  She grins and nods again.

Lily-Ann asks “Do you remember the Trojan horse?” the wheels obviously turning, making connections.  Then she giggles over the brilliance of Odysseus and the lack of foresight demonstrated by the Trojans.

“I do.”  I smile at her and give her side a little tickle.  “Should I keep reading?”

“Yes Mom.”

We settle back in for some more cuddles and read on.

goddess girls bookmark - showing the covers for books one through six


Is it any wonder this is my favourite time of day?    🙂


The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

I imagine I’m not the only person who recalls with fondness a copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that didn’t feature the likenesses of child actors on it’s cover.  Just the same, it’s this new cover image that adorns the copy I’m now reading to the wee girlie.

Last night we finished the last book in the Fairy Blessings series by Suzanne Williams (which I’ve mentioned here previously), and I thought it might be time to take on something a little weightier…  but still within the fantasy realm that the girlie so enjoys.  So I found a copy of the classic novel by C.S. Lewis at our favourite library branch.

We’ve only just begun reading it tonight, but have found ourselves FIVE chapters in.  That puts us roughly a third into the book.  The girlie was asking for the sixth chapter, but I promised her we’d continue it tomorrow.

I have to admit, I don’t recall it being so difficult to slug through when I was younger.  Mind you, back then I wasn’t reading it aloud.  While it’s relative easy language flows within the mind, reading it aloud is a little clumsy at times.  The children’s voices favour language simply not used today, so I find myself translating slightly here and there to a more modern english.

I don’t think we’ll pop into the rest of the series just yet, so likely in a few days we’ll be looking for another book.  Any recommendations?  Lily-Ann may only be three, but so far she’s enjoyed stories aimed at readers who are 8 – 12 the most.  And she is definitely drawn to a fantasy world… one full of fairy-folk, flying horses, and other mythos.

What are your favourite early novels, or your children’s favourites?  We’d love to hear from you.

Our second chapter book.

Reading with my dad is one of my earliest memories.  He used to sit beside my bed and read me some of the greatest stories ever written.  It’s where my love of books began.  I still have the copies of the Lord of the Rings trilogy that he read me all those years ago.  They are beat up pretty bad, and can barely hold in their pages…  but they are very well loved, having been read again and again and again.  I hope that one day my daughter will look back on our night time reads with the same fondness, and that it will inspire her to a lifetime of adventuring.

Lily-Ann and I finished our first chapter book on December 26th.  It was an adaptation of Tangled (the new Disney princess movie based on the Rapunzel fairy tale).  We found it in her school book order, and I figured we should give it a go.

On Tuesday we picked our current read.  I first consulted my most trusted group of writerly friends (the MomWriters, an email based group of women writers of which I’ve been a member for the last ten years).  I look forward to following up on many of their recommendations.  But this go round the girlie favoured the first book in the Fairy Blossoms series by Suzanne Williams, Daisy and the Magic Lesson.

So far, we have BREEZED through the first29 pages.  Its such an easy, flowing read.  And the characters are so personable, a group of nine year old fairies just beginning at Mistress Lily’s fairy school, what could be more delightful?  I have a feeling we’ll be sticking with this series for a while.

the next chapter

tonight's chapter...

I love getting mail…

I love getting mail, especially when said mail contains items beyond those of the paper variety.  Like today.  😀

Today I received a large envelope with a book in it.  It was a complete surprise, wasn’t something I’d ordered or was expecting.  So what a delightfully happy mommy it made me to find it sitting there, stuffed only half way into the mailbox.

Occasionally publishers or agents will send me “review copies” of their clients newest works.  Generally these are canine non-fiction or green/eco titles they hope I’ll have time to read and comment on.  It’s something I love doing, and fuels my passion for all things natural and all things dog.

Today I received a copy of Dr. Stanley Coren’s latest book.  I’ve long enjoyed his work, and the one weekend I had a chance to visit with him was a real treat.  Granted he LICKED me in front of a crowd of about 60 or 70 people that same weekend…  but if nothing else, I can say it was memorable.

Okay…  so it wasn’t as lewd as it sounds.    LOL

That weekend Dr. Coren and I were both working at a pet expo.  I was manning a booth about Service Dogs, specifically those used to assist people with psychiatric illnesses, and he was there as a keynote speaker.  He’d asked me to help with a demonstration, during which I was to be the trainer and he the dog.  So, as evidence of his delight with my behaviour, he licked me.  Honestly?  I’m sure my eyeballs popped right out of my head when he did it.

A completely unique experience in my adulthood (thank goodness).  😉

That explained, I really am looking forward to reading his newest work, Born to Bark.  It’s the first time he has delved into a personal relationship with one of his dogs.  So while I’m sure it will offer people an education into the complex interdependence we have with domestic dogs, I’m looking forward to the anecdotes and first hand experiences that Dr. Coren has shared with his beloved dog(s).

Born to Bark, by Dr. Stanley Coren

Now all I need are a few days with 27 hours each so I can ensure I’ve got the time to sit down and read it.  😉  Wish me luck!

Reading with Grams

On Library day, when we drive my sister Jewles home, we always head in for a visit.  Dad and Damon talk sports, Jewles and I hang out, and the wee girlie and her Grams read her library books.  🙂  It’s one of the many reasons I love library day.  It’s just a nice way to end a nice evening.

Lily-Ann and Grams, reading a book

Reading with Grams

Books Come Alive!

Dinosaur adventure at the childrens library

Live the Adventure – at your local library

Another capture from one of our many trips to the library.  🙂

Books are not babysitters…

watch your children

Signs signs everywhere are signs - Nikon D70

Taken tonight during one of our MANY trips to the library.  Books can be many things to many people…  but one thing they are not, is a babysitter.  Watch your children.  😉

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