Sunday Afternoons, Alone Time, and a Nature Book Giveaway!

Sunday was another bright and beautiful day! And we had plans to visit my dad and stepmom out in the “country”. They live about an hour and a half from us, in a small town in Michigan. The cute type of town that has antique stores, a small local hardware, a toy store, a tea shop, and a other little boutique shops lining the four streets of downtown. My stepmom had invited us out, asking if Billy could help my dad with a few projects around the house, and threw in the promise of a meal – and that she would watch Wyatt so I could wander the downtown for some alone time. We would have gone despite the promises, they are family, and family helps family. But, I couldn’t pass up the call of some time shopping by myself either.

The drive was easy and pleasant, and we pulled into my dad’s driveway about noon. We piled in the house, the scent of bubbling soup on the stove greeting us as we walked through the door. Their house has a room with a wall of windows that I am in love with. I would 100 percent be sitting there summer or winter, looking out into the yard over tea or a glass of wine in the evenings, coffee in the morning. I can never have enough windows or light. We went in and visited a bit, then Billy headed off with my dad, and I kissed my kiddo goodbye and headed out for some shopping.

I am not a huge shopper by nature – but I don’t mind a turn around an antique store. I can spend some time in one, just marveling over the things being sold. Little teacups, pieces of furniture, old photos and paintings and clocks and watches and jewelry and wooden boxes – well, you know. I love to look at the old photos and wonder about the people in them, what were their lives like, how did their photos end up for sale. I always look at the books, and usually buy one or two.

As it was Sunday, half the stores were closed. But that didn’t stop me. I had the streets to myself. The stores to myself. I just wandered through happily looking at the wares, picking things up, imagining. Listening to the conversations of the people who worked there. (Sadly, one woman had just lost her dog the night before.) And I even purchased a few small things, although quite a few objects were calling my name. One of my friend’s is all about antiques – her whole house is pretty much all antiques and is insanely gorgeous. One day I will do a photo tour of it as it doesn’t seem real. But anyway, she has a talent for finding perfect pieces. I am not that person, but I will spring for some things that catch my eye. My style is more eclectic/boho than antique but it is still fun to putter about.

I liked both of these pieces but left them in the store. But I am loving that little bench and I feel like I need it in my kitchen. I have a library card catalog in my kitchen right now that I want to move to the basement to our art area to fill with art supplies, and a little bench might be nice there instead. And I have no idea why I liked that small chest of drawers – it just appealed to me. But, I wasn’t buying furniture Sunday. I was more about enjoying the look around and the time.

I did buy a few little things though.

I have always loved Gwen Frostic, and whenever I spot her art or books in the wild, I buy them. One of my favorite things that I did this year was visit her old art studio in northern Michigan, so when I saw that they had two of her books of art and writing, I knew that I was buying them. And one is even signed! Then that little sugar and creamer set was just adorable, with its pastoral scene. And only eight dollars for both pieces, which to me seemed like a deal!

After perusing the shops, I strolled the streets, which were peaceful.

Before I knew it I had explored the whole downtown – ending at the Tecumseh Brewing Company. I contemplated having a drink outside but decided not to this time, and opted to head back and see how the kiddo and grandma were doing.

Kiddo was doing wonderful – when I walked in he and my stepmom were enjoying a small picnic on the floor of raspberries and blueberries. He was perfectly happy and content. Grandma had given him ice cream as well, and they had a good time throwing “snowballs” (the plush version). The three of us hung out for a while before being rejoined by Billy and my dad, and we sat down to a delicious lunch of tortellini bean soup and sandwiches. I love that soup! I make it all the time but mine is never as creamy as Shellie’s. I think I need to let it simmer longer. Or something.

Before we knew it, it was time to head back home. It had been a great day visiting and we are planning on going back soon. It is much nicer to see them in person these days!

And now – the giveaway!

If you read here, then you might know that I love John Lewis-Stempel, a British nature writer. I am in love with his work and my husband has gifted me through the years with his books as Christmas gifts. And as my birthday is next week, I am going to make like a Hobbit and gift a copy of The Private Life of the Hare – it is a short read about hares, and is simply gorgeous as well! To enter just drop a comment below and make sure I have your email address. Winner will be picked at random and contacted via email. Sadly, only U.S. only for this giveaway this time. Giveaway ends November 15th at midnight – the night before my birthday! And if you just want to comment but not enter that is cool too! Just let me know!

Updated November 16:

And the winner is….Deb from Readerbuzz!!

What Wyatt’s Reading – Halloween Edition

It’s been too long since I have written a post about the books Wyatt and I have been reading, that are not school related! I always have piles of books checked out from the library, and when I go in to pick up just one or two instead of twenty the librarians are always in disbelief. That only happens though when I have just been in and picked up a big ol’ stack.

We have been reading so many Halloween picture books this month that are amazing. All of them. The illustrations, the story, are all just wonderful. I am adding a few to my have to purchase list, which I try to keep tight but when it comes to Wyatt I sort of go crazy. This kid really loves books, just like his mom.

Wyatt has decided he really likes ghosts these days – the cute ones that is of course. These were all super fantastic awesome. How to Make Friends with a Ghost was written like a guide book, and Wyatt and I enjoyed the “Ghost Anatomy” page as Wyatt is very familiar with that from our nature studies and animals. Just never for a ghost!

The Little Ghost Who was a Quilt – well, this one tugged at my mama heartstrings a little. This little ghost is a quilt, not made from sheets like everyone else he knows. Which makes him slower and not really able to keep up with his friends and family who zoom around everywhere. The end is happy though and shows how being different is ok, which I absolutely loved as a message.

Gustavo the Shy Ghost is another one we both loved. We read this actually the same day that we watched Coco, and they went really well together. Gustavo loves to play the violin, and is so shy it is hard for him to make friends. The illustrations are gorgeous and the ending made us both smile.

Mr. Pumpkin’s Tea Party is adorable and suitable for younger kids as well – it is a counting book with not so scary illustrations. Plus, a tea party!

Alfred’s Book of Monsters was a fun one, and also involves a tea party! I loved the Victorian feel to this book, and the illustrations were amazing. However, I did like this one more than Wyatt. I think maybe because when I was a kid, my cousin and I used to write and illustrate our own monster books. I did the writing, and he did the drawings. So the idea of a Book of Monsters was sort of nostalgic to me. We watched a lot of Scooby Doo…

Hardly Haunted is another book about embracing who you are, even if you are a house that is haunted. Don’t try to change for anyone, people will like you for who you are, is such a great message, and I love that it is wrapped up in this cute little haunted house story.

The Little Kitten had Wyatt saying oh no mom! He was feeling a little anxiety about the cats in the book, but no worries, all is well that ends well. This was a sweet little story – be sure to look at the last illustration, through the window.

Of all the books that we read though, this was hands down Wyatt’s favorite. Because underwear are hilarious. Especially glowing ones. I should have known that he would love this one the best, as Creepy Carrots is another favorite of his. Creepy Pair of Underwear is one we are definitely adding to our home collection!

What Halloween picture books have you enjoyed?

Snowy Reads for Snowy Days

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Well. We got snow. We haven’t had much all winter so when we had a winter storm warning last night, forecasting 10 inches for our area, I really didn’t believe it. This morning we woke up to an all white landscape, snow piled deep and high around, covering everything in its cold beauty. Since we had school yesterday on President’s Day, I declared today a snow day! We spent the day reading and painting and baking bread and playing! Although not in the snow since Wyatt’s boots were in his dad’s car, at work. I think we deserve a break, we have been working hard since Christmas. A day off on a snow day is just what we need!

I always love to read books that fit the season and my mood and in the wintertime we read so many books about snow and winter, and I wanted to share some of our favorites!

First, picture books!

Snow by Sam Usher: A little boy and his grandfather spend a snowy day together, and I remember the impatience of trying to get out into the snow first thing that the little boy feels quite well. Isn’t a snowy day just so exciting, especially when you are a child?

Little Owl’s Snow by Divya Srinivasan: Little Owl is a favorite around here! We started reading Little Owl books when Wyatt was just a year old. In this book, Little Owl experiences wintertime, and how some of his friends hibernate for the winter. He begins to miss them but his mom assures him that he will see them again in the spring.

The Snow Dancer by Addie Boswell: Some of the books on this list are just beautiful, and this is one of them. Sofia loves the silence and beauty of snow and on a wintry day heads out to enjoy these wonders. (free for Kindle right now!)

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: This book is classic. Peter is excited to see the snow when he wakes up in the morning and the book follows him through his day in the snow.

Sugar Snow by Laura Ingalls Wilder: This is a picture book based on one of the chapters in Little House in the Big Woods, and one of my favorites of all. Maple Sugaring time!

Pete the Cat Snow Daze by James Dean: Wyatt loves Pete the Cat. And so do I! I love his attitude that it’s all good. Pete loves a snow day, but can there be too much of a good thing?

Sneezy the Snowman: Wyatt was gifted this book and we love it! Poor Sneezy just can’t get warm – and then when he does, he gets too warm! A cute read that will make you laugh. (free on Kindle Unlimited right now)

Snow Falls by Kate Gardner: Such a wonderful, quick read! We loved the bright colors in this one – it is rare to see read a winter book with such hot pinks and bright purples.

The Snow Rabbit by Camille Garoche: This book is gorgeous, with its 3D paper-cut illustrations. There is no text to this one and the story is told through the pictures. It is the story of two sisters that begins with them looking out the window at the snow. One goes out and makes a rabbit out of snow and brings it in to her sister who is in a wheelchair. It of course melts, and then the two of them go out. The rest is magical… Wyatt loves this book because he always gets excited when he sees characters in a wheelchair, like he uses sometimes.

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner: We love this whole series, but this one in particular. The characters go about their day with various animals living over and under the snow all around.

Snow by Cynthia Rylant: This is probably my favorite on the whole list. There is a line about how snow reminds us that nothing last forever, only memories, and it gets me every time.

Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper: Another gorgeous book about the wonder and beauty of snow, and about taking time to enjoy life.

I also have some favorites of my own!

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden: This book is an enchanting tale of magic and winter, set in the cold wilderness of Russia.

Winterwood by Shea Earnshaw: Another book that is a tale of magic and winter and witches. Just not set in Russia but in the woods of Fir Haven.

City of Thieves by David Benioff: This book is an absolute favorite of mine, for all time. It is so amazing. I feel like I can’t do it justice honestly in a short review so I will just say this book makes you feel everything. The publisher sums it best by saying ” a captivating novel about war, courage, survival — and a remarkable friendship that ripples across a lifetime.”. (and set in winter in Russia..) My husband listened to this one on audiobook, and it became one of his favorite books as well.

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell: This one is middle grade but I love it. Beautiful writing, setting, exciting, sad. So very good. (and set in winter in Russia…maybe I have a theme..)

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater: So, I think this is an unpopular opinion maybe, but this is my favorite series by Steifvater. It is a quiet, and makes me think of cold days, with just the sounds of the radiator heat to break the silience. I think it is very atmospheric and well, has wolves. (ok so how many with Russia? 3. How many with wolves? At least 2)

Frostfire by Amanda Hocking: Because I love a good YA paranormal fantasy and Amanda Hocking is one of the best at that genre, in my opinion. This one involves magic and changelings which was a cool change.

And then, the ones I have added to my TBR this month!

I hope I gave you some ideas! And if you have any favorites you like to read, let me know!!

Homeschooling: Bee Week!

This week was bee week! I was really looking forward to this one. I might say that about all of them though, as I am the one who really picks the themes…

This week we had some great activities, and great books, including our new read aloud of Winnie-the-Pooh! We started Sunday by going in search of bee hives – I thought I knew where one or two were but they turned out to be empty this year.

On Monday we started with the letter H, for honey and hive, played a memory match vocabulary game, talked about the different types of hives, and “created” a hive out of Honeycomb cereal. Oh and snacked on some honeycomb cereal with drips of honey on it, which was as sticky as it sounds.

Tuesday, we continued working on the letter H and vocabulary, did some sorting and pattern work, and started our fun counting book, complete with little wooden bees. In the afternoon we set up a pollination creation garden, where Wyatt created a little garden (inspired by our Monet’s waterlilies art from pond week) and I filled two of the flowers with powdered Tang to “bee” the pollen. Then we dipped a paintbrush in water, and used it to transfer the pollen from flower to flower. It turned out really cute!

Wednesday was such a sticky hot day, and not from honey but from humidity (another H word!) We did some table work, planted some seeds to grow a pollinator garden, then made homemade honey playdough, which was really fun. Wyatt loves to pretend bake and cook (and really help bake) so this activity was a hit.

Thursday I reserved for music and reading and poetry exclusively. It was a fun day! We listened to Flight of the Bumblebee, talked about the waggle dance that bees do to tell the other bees where to find flowers, and read some poems and rhymes. Friday we were going to make honey soap but decided to save it for Saturday when Billy could participate. So look for that update on my Instagram!

Next week we are going to take a little break, but then resume again the following week. Wyatt missed a month of school or so with the COVID shutdown and I didn’t start working with him right away, so we are going to keep working over the summer, with small breaks.

Resource Roundup!

Twig and Moth – Collection of Bees

Fun with Mama – Bumble Bees

Mrs. A’s Room – Bees Mini Unit

Preschool Discoveries – Bees

Books Read:

(This section contains Amazon and Usborne affiliate links)

This week I went crazy with the book buying. I love love love our copy of Winnie-the-Pooh and I wanted it to be a special one. If you were going to pick just one or two books though, I would go with Why Do We Need Bees? and Follow that Bee. Although Are You a Bee is really good too!

Bee by Britta Teckentrup || Summertime in the Big Woods || Why Do We Need Bees || Follow That Bee || Are You a Bee || Honey || Winnie-the-Pooh

Other Media Consumed:

Scout and the Gumboot Kids – The Case of the Buzzing Sweet Maker (Season 1, Ep 1)

Caitie’s Classroom – Bees

Maddie Moate – Beekeeping with Maddie Moate

And that is about it! It was a really fun week, filled with so many good reads! I feel so much more knowledgeable about bees myself now! If you have any questions about the materials I used or how I adapted them, let me know. You can comment here or send me an email!

My Sunday-Monday Post

My Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Last week was such a great week – we went on a mini-vacation to Holland, MI for Wyatt’s fifth birthday, and we really needed the time away. It was pretty perfect! We had some good food, visited some new trails and nature center, and did some shopping. If only vacations could last longer right?

Read Last Week:

So I received Girl Can’t Help It from the author and started it last week – and I am loving it!! I hope to finish it up soon.

I can’t get into The Starless Sea – I have tried and failed and when you start avoiding reading because you really aren’t interested in the book you have, then you know it is time to quit. I am not going to quit forever on this book though – I am going to try again in the fall. Sometimes I do better with books depending on the season. So – I am just putting this on hold for a bit.

Reading This Week:

I’m going to finish up Girl Can’t Help It, then I have a few books on my nightstand and Kindle calling my name. I will probably start at least two of these three this week.

Summer Hours at the Robbers Library – I love a book that has offbeat and quirky characters!

Booked for Trouble – I enjoyed By Book or by Crook so much I need to keep reading! (Amazon..)

Wild Thoughts from Wild Places – I am doing pretty good reading nonfiction. I am slow but sure! Lol.

Posted Last Week:

Our Family UK Dinner

A Family Mini-Trip

Currently… March

Watching:

We are still watching Doc Martin. We finished up Locke and Key, which for me was a slow start but then I ended up loving it. We are also watching Frankie Drake and Hometown.

What Wyatt’s Reading – Valentine’s Day edition

I have been reading to Wyatt since he was in his isolette in the NICU, day 2 of his life. I would read The Poky Little Puppy, and then Billy started reading him The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss, through the little porthole window. And we have never stopped reading to him. I have shelves and shelves of picture books, so many that I had to start offloading my own book collection. But it is something we have always done together and we all love. I recently started reading every night to Billy and Wyatt, and not just picture books. Wyatt knows now, and around that time of night, asks for me to read. I love that he already loves reading and books as much as I do! This month we have read a wide variety of books, but of course we focused on Valentine’s Day! Holiday books are awesome! Here are a few of our favorites..

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links for books, where I will make a small commission if you were to make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.

The Llama Llama series is one we read all the time, in all its forms. I of course love Llama Llama I Love You because of the relationship between Llama Mama and her little one. And Love From the Very Hungry Caterpillar is another one we love – but then, Wyatt loves the Very Hungry Caterpillar. This one is super cute and pretty simple too. Porcupining has been a favorite of mine for years, and I am always excited to read it to Wyatt around Valentine’s Day- it’s about a poor forlorn porcupine just looking for love. Will he find it? Read and find out! Hedgehugs is sort of similar in that prickly sort of way – I guess when you are a quilled animal hugging and finding someone to love you is difficult! These two are not technically Valentine’s Day but they are about love so I always read them to him this time of year. And then I picked up Snowy Valentine because of that adorable cover. I can’t tell you what Wyatt thinks of it yet, since it is actually his Valentine’s Day gift from us! I also found a read aloud of it online, if you want to check it out!

And since we are a bug loving family, Slugs in Love is another one that is fun. It must be love, when you love a slime trail. I LOVE reading The Ballad of Valentine, as it is set to the tune of Clementine. I dare you to try to read this without singing! Wyatt loves this one too, because, well singing. My little music loving boy.

Click, Clack, Moo I Love You , Love Splat, and Little Blue Truck’s Valentine are two more from some of our favorite character books. Love, Splat is another book from my past working in the library. ALL the kids wanted the Splat the Cat books, and Wyatt is no exception. I have to be honest, they are not my favorite but seem to be a hit with the under ten category. Lol. Wyatt loves all the Little Blue Truck books, and honestly so do I. They are pretty cute. I saw there is a Little Blue Truck Springtime that we haven’t read yet and I am kind of excited to read it! I guess I have a new type of TBR going… And Doreen Cronin’s books on the farm are always great too, and Click, Clack, Moo I Love You even has one of my favorite animals make an appearance – a fox. We read this one over and over!

How about you all? Any Valentine favorites? I would love to hear about them!

January Book Tallies

This month I tried something new – I started keeping track of different things related to my reading. I tracked the books I read, the books I read with Wyatt, the amount of money I saved using the library for the month, reviews I completed and ones that I need to do, and any type of challenge books read, so right now any nonfiction that fits with the nonfiction challenge I am participating in. So pretty simple stuff, and I kept track in an even easier way. A journal. I am a blank book fanatic so I have billions around the house, so I decided to use one just for this. It’s nothing fancy to look at, right now just little dot lists. Maybe as I get used to it I will get fancier but for now it is pretty straightforward.

So, looking back at my month, let’s look at books read.

Despite my reading slump, I managed to read six books! Not too shabby.

Out of these I reviewed Winterwood and The Secret Life of the Owl so far, in my post yesterday. I also read one challenge book, The Secret Life of the Owl!

Wyatt and I read 26 picture books together this month! Some of them more than once, I am not counting that! Lol. I did put together a post of our favorites the other day, if you are interested.

I am pretty excited about the money saved by using the library category. My library always puts it at the bottom of my receipt. I can’t really think of it exactly as money saved, since I wouldn’t actually be able to spend this money on books! But because of the library, we were able to read this many books and that is even more important. Without the library, our reading, especially for Wyatt since we go through so many, would be lower.

The total amount saved was…. $656.10. Isn’t that crazy!! On average our total for each visit was about $130.00. This number means so much to me, honestly. It shows just how important the library is to our lives. We would never be able to purchase this amount in books, especially in just one month; thank goodness the library exists! And for us, the library is such a part of Wyatt’s community. The librarians and clerks all know him, and if I stop in without him they want to know where he is. I went the other day to the library with my mom, and it brought back so many memories, of all the times the two of US went to that very same library, when I was Wyatt’s age. My mom has memories of going to that same library when she was a little girl, with her brother and sister. It’s a family tradition. One of the librarians has been there my entire life and has known me since I was a little girl. The clerk who checked us out has known me over 20 years. It is such a part of my history, and now Wyatt’s too. I love that I am continuing this tradition with Wyatt that began with my mom and me.

This was my first month collecting this information and it was pretty interesting! I am sort of excited to see where I end up next month!

Puddles and Pinecones

Over the weekend the weatherman predicted torrential rain storms, flooding, and then to top it all off, ice. Well, it did rain, a very drizzly cold rain that did do a little flooding, and raised the rivers and creeks a little bit higher. We had plans to stay inside and do fun things there for most of the day and night, but..we couldn’t resist a little splashing in puddles first!

Wyatt wears AFO’s – braces for his feet to help him stand stronger when he is working on walking and standing. We love his braces, they are great tools to help him. But they also make it hard to buy shoes and boots, boots especially, as we can’t really manipulate his foot into one with the stiff braces. But we found that Butler boots have enough give in them that they slide fairly easily right over the braces – so we ordered him a pair of bright cheery yellow boots, his favorite color, and perfect for adding some sunshine to a dreary day. Then it rained and we got our wish to go stomp around in the puddles!

The cutest little stomp and splash ever!

While we are all excited that we found boots that work with his needs, Wyatt is more excited about the fact that he now has gumboots like the character and kids on one of his favorite shows, Scout and the Gumboot Kids! This very morning while we were watching one before school (they are short and perfect for a moment like this!) Wyatt went and got his boots out and started putting them on, just like Scout and the Gumboot Kids. Gumboots are another name for rain boots, or wellies, whatever you want to call them, and this show is adorable, with nature mysteries presented by a felt mouse in his own little cardigan and gumboots. The episodes are short, with a quick mystery that includes clues, and a mindful moment, which I am hoping to incorporate more of into our lives. The talented Jessie Farrell also provides the music and song for these episodes, with lovely lilting tunes that are so catchy that kids don’t even realize they are learning as they are singing along. As a companion to the Scout series, there is also Daisy and the Gumboot Kids, and Daisy is a crafty little mouse full of ideas for nature crafts. We love these shows and I love the inspiration they provide, while teaching Wyatt about all sorts of things – caterpillars and butterflies, space, agates, trees, dinosaurs are some of our favorites!

Not only is this series on television, they are now a series of books published by Firefly Books! We were lucky enough to receive a set of four signed books before Christmas, and now that the holidays are over, we really have time to spend looking through them together and talking about what we read. These books are beautiful, with full page artwork that captures the eye and attention, as page-size photos of the characters that Wyatt loves, solving the mysteries on paper within a book! Each book also contains two pages of field notes that relate to the mystery, mindful moments, and a nature craft. There is so much within the pages to inspire creativity and learning! We have been having a lot of fun with them. We also received a cute little coloring and activity book, a signed CD of Jessie Farrell’s music for the show, and stickers!

Today we spent some time reading through the books a little after school – Wyatt likes to “read” them to me too.

After we read about bird feeders and butterflies, I had a book and craft set up in the other room waiting for us.

We read the book, The Wooden Timekeeper, and talked about conifer trees, pincones, and the rings on trees, and how when you count them you can find the age of the tree. Wyatt really liked playing with the pinecones and petrified wood the best.

I showed him the pictures in the book of the craft, and let him choose whether we made an owl, bear, or mouse. My sweet boy chose to make an owl, my favorite! It was a group effort, with him doing the gluing while I helped out with the placement and cutting. We had a great time reading and making this little owl together! And look how cute!

Scout and the Gumboot Kids and the series, both on television and the books by Firefly Books are such a great resource for kids to learn, and entertaining and cute to boot! (yeah, see what I did there..)

Thanks to Firefly Books for the wonderful gift of the books, CD and extra little fun things!

My Favorite Reads of 2019

Hey all! I can’t believe it is this time of the year already! Wowzer. I hope that you all had a wonderful holiday or at least a few great days in December.

I feel like I read some pretty great books this year! I don’t keep up on my Goodreads very well – I get about halfway through the year and forget, so I can’t give stats which is a bummer, because I love everyone’s stats posts. Goals for next year! I know that I read a lot of nature books, thrillers, some magical realism, cozy mysteries, and some romances. And probably some other things too! I also participated in Paris in July which was so fun, and also Nonfiction November, which was pretty spectacular. I feel like I have a great idea of what to expect of them both next year and I am looking forward to them both again.

As I look back, some books I just really liked. My list is sort of based on just what I actually really loved, whether it was a bestseller or not – just a book that I really couldn’t stop reading and wanted more of when I was done. So, that being said, here they are!

I can’t believe this is the first time I had ever read Anne. Now I love her to pieces. And The Wolf Wilder was so so good. If you are going to read it, read it when it is cold – and if you live somewhere warm, just turn that air conditioning way down! Lol.

My love for these two books is real. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating touched my soul, and The Wood I read first, and then read aloud to Billy and Wyatt over the course of this year, that is how much I loved it. John Lewis-Stempel is one of my very favorite authors to read and I am slowly making my way through his books.

I am pretty sure this is the first time I have had two graphic novels on my list! I absolutely adored Pumpkinheads, but what can you expect from Rainbow Rowell, but greatness, in my opinion. And Brazen – I picked this up on a whim at the library then read it cover to cover without stopping during Wyatt’s nap. I never reviewed it properly but it was seriously amazing.

These are three new to me authors – and I believe Luanne G. Smith and Glendy Vanderah are new authors in general! I loved each of these books for different reasons, but I can’t wait to read more by all of them. Read my review of The Vine Witch here, and Where the Forest Meets the Stars here. And hey I did review Brazen! A mini-one in the same post as Leaving Time!

Hands down my favorite book of the entire year. I am always a little skeptical of big best sellers for some reason, but when Gulfside Musings posted that she loved it, I gave it a shot. And I am so glad that I did. It was everything – nature and mystery and emotional. It was spectacular and I recommended it to everyone I know.

What Wyatt’s Reading – December

This is a very image heavy post, I apologize! We read like crazy this month! When I returned books to the library the other day, I could barely lift the bag, and this is with us going every week as well. I check out books for the month and also weekly, and rotate them out. The favorites we keep for the time, which is only one week longer than we are allotted (I of course renew those) and then some we read just once and they go back. And then of course our own well stocked library here at home contributes to our reading…. Anyway, I have listed here our favorites this month, some Wyatt’s, some mine, some both of us.

Wyatt is a big fan of the Duck and Goose books, as well as the Bear Stays Up books. I like the Bear Stays Up books too, they are cute! And I also like Duck and Goose purely because sometimes you need a quick fast read, and those are perfect for that. We also really loved Marion Dane Bauer this month, reading Winter Dance and The Longest Night quite a few times. I enjoyed Long Night Moon, and discovering different names for the different full moons and it was well done between the illustrations and text. Owl Moon is a winter favorite around here – this is one of the first books we ever bought Wyatt, and we read it to him all the time. And I have to admit, I checked out The Christmas Quiet Book as a hint to my child…. lol. An introvert raising an extrovert over here.

Jingle Bells and My Christmas Treasury are great reads for learning about how Christmas is celebrated in other countries, something I have loved since first reading about it in My Christmas Treasury when I was around Wyatt’s age. I actually had to buy that book used, I couldn’t find it anywhere! Bear’s First Christmas is just beautiful and a story of a bear waking up in the winter – it’s a long one but good. Wyatt loved Christmas Wombat and Merry Christmas from the Very Hungry Caterpillar, and I have to admit, I did too. I love A Homemade Together Christmas, about a family who opts to make their gifts that year. A very sweet story told in a very easily accessible way for kids. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree has been a favorite of mine for years, and Wyatt really liked it too. I love this tale of how one tree can make so many different families happy! Then Wyatt’s two stand out favorites this year – Little Christmas Tree and The Animals’ Christmas Eve. We probably read these two books a million times. The Animals’ Christmas Eve is about the stable animals remembering a long ago Christmas in Bethlehem, while Little Christmas Tree is well, about a Little Christmas Tree in the woods, and all the other flora and fauna in the woods. It is beautiful and glittery and has little lift the flaps.

Did your families read any good picture books this month? Let me know, we are always looking for more!