Monday, December 3, 2012

Magic Mondays - Miniature Magic and Memes



Miniature Magic: This is not about miniature towns, furniture, or food (though I love those too and could look at them for hours as well!) but this is about a ‘Nutshell Library’.

'Nutshell Library' is a collection of four books by Maurice Sendak - consisting of Chicken Soup with Rice, Alligators All Around, One Was Johnny, and Pierre.

I saw that this item had many good reviews on Amazon (did not read them at that time) and ordered them for my then five-year-old daughter. When I received the books, my first thought – oh, Nutshell in this case means small, tiny and I was a wee bit disappointed, thought about returning the books. Then my little one saw them, got excited about the little books, and so I opened them – and what a treasure house it is!
My daughter now has read all the books repeatedly and I think my favorite of the lot is Chicken Soup with Rice and well, Pierre. They are perfect to take with you everywhere – my daughter carries them in her own little bag and perfect for sharing when there are friends around – there are four books in this library.

This is miniature magic, teetotaciously!
 Rating: A+
Reading Level: ages 4 and up
Re-read factor: 5/5
Some more miniature magic in Thimble Summer: A thimble is tiny but it can be magical; can change a whole summer for an adventurous, plucky nine-year-old with a mind of her own and a rich imagination!

I picked up Thimble Summer in an effort to complete my many reading challenges. I am so glad that this was my choice after researching so many books. This book is written and illustrated by Elizabeth Enright.

‘Thimble Summer’ tells the story of Garnet – she is now on my list of girl-heroes (which include Jo from Little Women, Anne Frank, and more). The story almost tells like a journal Garnet might have kept of day-to-day happenings at the farm – if it had been just that, it might have been a dull read – but Garnet has wonderful misadventures, which make this book so much fun. The joys, innocence, and adventurous spirit of a childhood in a world where it was safe to talk to strangers and hitchhike as well, where county fairs were looked forward to, where neighbors were part of the family, and kids found entertainment in a bus ride and at the library.   (I grew up in such a place and enjoyed that freedom – today I would worry about my little ones doing the same – of course, the world today is a different place than in the thirties where this book is set)

Garnet finds a thimble at the beginning of a hot, dry summer, and she thinks it must be magic! Sure enough, things start to happen – good things – rain, a new barn, an unexpected addition to the family, and more fun adventures for Garnet. She has a nice family (in her own words), and friends as well as neighbors who care and these relations are portrayed in their daily interactions in the book.

The descriptions of farm-life are so vivid, the style of writing so beautiful that the reader is drawn into this farm in the 1930’s and will want to read through the book once started. The author’s illustrations are simple but lively. I love that Garnet is not a girly-girl,  indeed, she is a girl who wears sailor-pants, helps with nailing the shingles on the roof, and we watch her first shaking her fist at the sky to let down some rain and bid her good bye as she turns handsprings on the pasture.

Overall, a great read if a little dated though this is a minor issue and the only real issue I had with this was references to Garnet’s friend being fat repeatedly while the illustrations show a normal girl.

Some lines from the book:
“It makes me sleepy to think so far back.; more than seventy years ago, think of that. Was I the same person? Sometimes it seems as if it had all happened to somebody else”  - Grandmother Hauser to Garnet and Citronella as she tells them tales of long ago. Pg 29
‘It was hot. Heat trembled over the shining road.’ Pg 77 
‘It had been one of those dull, dull days when nothing interesting happens and everything goes wrong. It was the kind of day that you stub your toe a lot and you lose things, and forget what it was that your mother asked you to get at the store. ‘ Pg 55
‘She was so happy, for no especial reason, that she felt as if she must move carefully so she wouldn’t jar or shake the feeling of happiness.’  Pg 135

Rating: A
Reading Level: ages 8 and up
Re-read factor: 4/5 (I would reread the book – especially, some parts of it, a few times more)



For What are you reading? @Book Journey
Completed reading:
Thimble Summer (digital eBook borrowed from OpenLibrary.org - reviewed in this post)
Journeys on the Silk Road (review copy sent by publisher - reviewed here)
Noisy Poems for a Busy Day (digital RC - review coming next Monday)

Currently reading:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Secret of the Nagas by Amish (Personal copy - this has been waiting for me to get back to page 98))
Fairies at Bedtime (Digital ARC - almost done)
Two and Twenty Dark Tales (Digital ARC  - almost done - skipped a couple of the stories that did not capture my interest)
A Duke's Promise: A Forgotten Castles Novel by James Carie (this book is part three of a series, I did not read the others, so that could be the reason this book is dragging a little for me)
Will You Please be Quiet, Please? By Raymond Carver (digital eBook borrowed from OpenLibrary.org)
Shakespeare on Toast by Ben Crytal (digital RC - a brilliant book but the bard awaits patiently to be perused)

Next on my list to read:
Mainly books to complete as many of my challenges as I can.


This week at Musing Mondays over at Should Be Reading, the question asked is:
How do you organize/store your books? Do you go through them often? Or do you pretty much just shelve them and then leave them alone until you need them? 
A: I am a bit of a messy person! But I do love my books and I organize them by publisher/author so similar looking books by the same author are placed together. I do not organize them alphabetically but aesthetically:)
The kids' library gets reorganized more often than mine since the books in my shelf are either well-loved ones or the ones that have been on my TBR for ever so nothing gets messed up too much. The kids' library is a different story however and once every 2-3 months, when I see the books all over their shelves, I pull them all out and reorganize.

This week's new meme:

Monday Mingle over at Tough Cookie Mommy - This is a place for networking:) So please link up and follow other blogs on this blog hop/linky on Google Friend Connect, Facebook, or Twitter. Today also happens to be TCM's birthday - so happy birthday! So here is my first attempt to mingle at Mingle Monday.

I had also planned to participate in Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie, but will start from next week.

NaBloPoMo:
Monday, December 3, 2012
What do you consider yourself a "pro" at?
I consider myself a 'Jack-of-all(well, not all, but definitely a few)-arts' rather than a pro at any one. I often find myself with my fingers in many pies:)


10 comments:

  1. Very cool sounding book. My 8 year old is obsessed with the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. He just reads them over and over and over again. Hey, at least he's reading.

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    1. thank you.. yes, my son loves the wimpy kids series as well, but right now he is hooked on to all the rick riordan series.. and whatever(well, with some exceptions!) gets them reading works for me...

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  2. Great review, sounds like quite the array and a pro, hmm my rhyming display? haha The small book idea is an interesting one too.

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    1. thank you, Pat...love reading what you write..and no rhymes here today:(

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    1. thank you.. am enjoying it.. I have read almost all of Jane Austen's other works but not this one:)

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  4. I'm trying to finish up challenges this month too--all those books I didn't quite get to in the first 11 months of the year! Good luck with your goals!

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    1. haha.. same here.. now i am wondering what i did those 11 months.:)

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  5. Thanks for visiting my blog. I love to read. I have stuff this morning, but I started perusing your reading challenges and that looks like something I might like to participate in next year. How fun!! (I read Pride and Prejudice every year... it's one of my all-time favorite books) I like Cheryl's comment... I am pretty sure that would be me. I read a lot of fluff, but reading 9 Classics might be challenging. HA! Following back!

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    1. next year, fewer challenges for me.. :)

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