Monday, May 8, 2017

Reflecting ....

So here in the west coast of the US of A, it is still the 8th and I have sometime left for the day to spillover into the next one. I thought about writing this reflections post for the past week but just could not get to it at all. So now, here is my attempt at the reflections post.
Thank you to all of you A to Zers who visited me regularly and encouraged me, with your kind comments, to keep going with the challenge; and for being part of a wonderful community.
Thank you to the organizers as well to keep it going for so many years now (though it is my first year here, definitely know this is a commitment) and looking forward to many more in the future (I am already coming up with ideas for themes for future AtoZs).

What do I feel about the challenge:
This was my first year participating in the AtoZChallenge, and I was also participating in another one alongside this. I have to say I enjoyed it - enjoyed the challenge of coming up with the theme (at the very last minute of April 1st which was when I discovered and joined the challenge), and then with posts for each letter and somehow ensuring it mapped to my theme! And the best part of the challenge that I enjoyed  - the discoveries - of wonderful new blogs (and so many yet waiting to be discovered). 

Here are my posts:
Theme_1 A3 B4 C5 D6 E7 F8 G9  Day9 H10 I11 J12 K13 L14 M15 Day16 N17 O18 P19 Q20 R21 S22  Day23 T24  OneMore U25 V26 W27 X28 Y29 Z30

What I have learned: 
  • I can do it!!! I discovered that participating in challenges kept me going and ensured I posted every single day, no matter what..
  • Plan ahead, schedule my posts (did not do this but for the future) so I can spend my time discovering great new blogs and reading wonderful posts and commenting

What I plan to do next:
  • Write another post, post-reflections post - 
    • Complete the AtoZ Bingo card (better late than never!) -- i might have filled a few of the squares already but since I discovered this part of the challenge very much towards the end, I plan to go back in the next few days filling this card up :)
    • List out favorite blogs and posts discovered 
    • Have a few themes planned and ready; and posts planned too (maybe)
    • Visit blogs discovered in the challenge regularly going forward

And for May, I decided to keep going by starting another challenge for myself - #31DayChallenge - and I am at day 6 now (a little delayed)  - The Day 6 Challenge asks you to answer the question - Why do you blog? 
As I mention in my 'About the Blog' post
This is my spot/space for my R&R – this could easily mean the traditional ‘rest and recreation’ or my little twist on the traditional ‘Recreation and Relaxation’ or my very own ‘Raving and Ranting’
and the wonderful challenge and joy in writing; and community. 

The Super Saturday Post of Children's Book Week, 2017

For Day 5 of the 31 Day Challenge, it is a day later than it should be - but again, as it is still  Children's Book Week, I am picking five of my favorite Children's Book Blogs for the Day 5 Challenge which asks to pick three favorite blogs - here they are:

Ms.Yingling Reads - A book review blog for middle grade books  and 'aimed at librarians and patrons of school libraries', the books on this blog have appealed to me many a time and get added to my favorite books!

Teach Mentor Texts - Another book review blog for children's books of all ages which also hosts a weekly meme that I participate in as regularly as I can - 'It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right just might discover your next “must-read” book!'

Vintage Children's Books My Kid Loves - Well, the name itself drove me in when this webpage was returned in  a search result for some random search regarding children's books a couple of years ago and I recall loving that post on this blog (though not the exact search content or post). But since then, I have returned to this blog many times to check out new posts.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Fun Friday Post of Children's Book Week, 2017

Just before the day ends, here is my post for the day 4 challenge31-Day Challenge -  share a favorite quote. As we are also celebrating  Children's Book Week this week, and my posts for Friday were initially planned to be anything-fun posts, and for me, one of the things that is fun to do, reading, so here I share a couple of quotes - about reading; and from children's books - to cover all of them!!

 “She read all sorts of things: travels, and sermons, and old magazines. Nothing was so dull that she couldn't get through with it. Anything really interesting absorbed her so that she never knew what was going on about her. The little girls to whose houses she went visiting had found this out, and always hid away their story-books when she was expected to tea. If they didn't do this, she was sure to pick one up and plunge in, and then it was no use to call her, or tug at her dress, for she neither saw nor heard anything more, till it was time to go home.” Susan Coolidge, What Katy Didthis quote is perfect for me, as my parents said exactly something similar to friends and relatives while visiting them and actually would ask them to hide the books so I would socialize, not be lost in a book! 

And some more quotes from children's books I had shared in an earlier post along with other quotes.

"Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well.  Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life become a beautiful success, in spite of poverty."
“I've got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”
Louisa May Alcott, LittleWomen

“Nothing comes from nothing, Thieflet; no story comes from nowhere; new stories are born from old--it is the new combinations that make them new.”
Salman Rushdie, Haroun And The Sea Of Stories
“People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but that doesn't stop you from having your own opinion.”
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

And one of my favorite quotes (and my Pinterest byline!)
Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you. – Dr.Seuss

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Travel Thursday Post of Children's Book Week, 2017

As I continue my 31-Day Challenge, here is my post for the day 3 challenge - write a review. As we are also celebrating  Children's Book Week this week, and my posts for Thursday were initially planned to be travel posts, the review of these children's books covers just all of this perfectly! 

A Search-and-Find Book
by Carine Laforest, illustrated by Lucile Danis Drouot

A Search-and-Find Book
by Carine Laforest, illustrated by Stephanie Mackay

A Search-and-Find Book
by Anne Paradis,  illustrated by Lucile Danis Drouot

Additional info for all three books:
Chouette Publishing
City Monsters
Children's Fiction , Travel
Pub Date 16 May 2017

Our thoughts: These three books are a part of a series of travel books for children and what wonderful books they are!!! This series is a really cool concept making it fun for kids to learn about places to visit and interesting sights to see in a city while looking for monsters in each page of the book! Each page of the book mentions an attraction with an interesting fact or two about it; and your job (well, actually your child's!) is to find the many monsters lurking on that page (but I competed with mine to find them; and I also need to say, none of my kids are little anymore at fourteen and eleven!!). The monsters are definitely hiding well so it takes some time to find all of them; the number of monsters on each page is helpfully pointed out by the host monster (pictured on the cover as well) at the bottom of the page. 
The illustrations are bright, colorful, and fun while also being depicting the landmarks and attractions pretty accurately so that children can use that to recognize the real deal when visiting the city.  And I am sure that kids will enjoy pointing out the attractions they have already visited on books they are reading.
And the message that I think we can all take from these books - When (and where and how) cute little comic book monsters have fun exploring the city, we can have fun too -  so let us get out and explore!!!  I cannot wait to explore - the cities; and also more of these books. 
I just wish that these books could have had a few more pages listing a few more attractions, to make them lots more fun.

A couple of comments on each one of these three:

San Francisco - well, this one is easily my favorite given we live in the San Fransisco Bay Area (in San Jose). Each attraction is a loved one; and many of them visited often; but we still have at least one spot mentioned in this book that we need to visit (and thanks to watching Full House, that attraction has moved up our list of pending attractions to visit; yes, the Painted Ladies)

New York - again, familiarity made the heart grow fonder here - having visited New York twice now (though over a decade ago), the landmarks were ones I could identify with and bring back memories; next up, visit them with the kids. And make sure we mark off all the spots in this book! 

Chicago - one city we have not visited yet, but now I have a list of attractions handy with me for when we do plan our trip to the Windy City!! 

Reread factor: 5/5
Reading level: Ages 3 - 7 (but older kids and adults will also enjoy these books!! Using myself and my kids as an example here)
Rating: A+ (and looking forward to the rest of the series)

Disclaimer:Thank you to NetGalley for sending me a digital review copy of these books reviewed today. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Wednesday of Children's Book Week, 2017

Today got more busier than I thought it would be, and with some more work pending, decided to spend just sometime to get my post in for today, to keep my daily blogging habit for now; so here is my Day Two of that 31-day Challenge - Post the Story behind my blog name. 
So I already have that story in my 'About the blog' page but here it is in this post
My R and R Space - my blog -This is my spot/space for my R&R – this could easily mean the traditional ‘rest and recreation’ or my little twist on the traditional ‘Recreation and Relaxation’ or my very own ‘Raving and Ranting’.

And my Children's Book Week part of this post:
My Pinterest board of Children's Book Week posters of yore and other Children's Book Week memorabilia