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Archive for the ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ Category

10. Tiny Library
This blog is mostly reviews with a few giveaways. I enjoy the fact that most of the reviews are from books I am not familiar with, so this blog is great for tuning me in to books I might never have heard of otherwise.

9. http://irmasworldatuncg.blogspot.com/
Though technically not a book blog, per se, Irma’s World is the blog that is run by the fabulous librarians at the campus main library where I attended both college and graduate school- The University of NC @ Greensboro. I loved everything about this campus (which is why I elected to go to the same school for graduate school that I went to for college) especially Walter Clinton Jackson Library.

8. The Broke and The Bookish
These are the guys that host this TTT fabulous meme. In addition to several other bitchin’ memes (my favorite is Cocktail and a Conversation Wednesdays) these guys also post reviews of books I am either extreamly interested in reading or have already read. There are several contributors to this blog so the levels and genres of books reviewed is very varied. They also host several giveaways and they update often.

7. That’s What She Read
Okay, Okay, I will admit that I was first drawn to this blog solely for the awesome title. However, after exploring it for a while, I discovered that it’s actually a really gnarly blog! I love the layout and the header is TOO CUTE! I love her selection of books and she updates often,usually, every day.

6. A Room of One’s Own
Jillian is SUCH a great blogger. She is my blogger role model. The layout of this blog is not too overwhelming, but with enough graphics and words to keep you interested. This blog is slammin’ because Jillian is so involved (this is the blog/blogess that hosts the Classics Club that I am apart of. See tab at the top of this page for the page on that). In addition to The Classics Club this blog also has a ton of read-alongs and excellently written reviews.

5. Dead White Guys
I started following the DWG blog because I first started following Amanda on Twitter (I found her through Book Riot who she also writes for). This blog is so funny; I adore her writing style. Even though it’s mostly about, well, dead white guys (read: Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Poe, Dickens, etc.) it is so modernized mainly because of all the hilarious gifs and illustrations that she places in there that fit the posts so perfectly.

4. Roof Beam Reader
Well I had to include a dude on this list (because dude book bloggers are very few and very far between) and RBR is the best. I actually just looked at my list of blogs I follow and I don’t have any other dudes on there… Hmm.. Even if I did though, I’d still pick this one. RBR is cool because he is the fellow that hosted the Austen in August Reading Event I participated in last month. In addition to awesome reading events, RBR also has a beautifully laid out blog with quality reviews (I’m pretty sure I gathered from one of his tweets that he’s pursuing a PhD in literature).

3. Sarah Reads Too Much
This was the first book blog I ever followed. I don’t remember how I discovered Sarah (maybe I was reading reviews of a particular book one day and stumbled upon her blog) but I am so glad that I did. She offers great reviews of books I’m super interested in so I am always excited when she posts about a book I’ve not yet discovered. Plus, she’s awesome because she is going for her MLIS degree starting this fall and I wish her the bestest best of luck!

2. The Story Girl
This blog has possibly the best look to it of any of the blogs that I follow (book and otherwise). This blog offers great reviews of books I’m interested in and she participates in a lot of cool memes (she’s doing the RIPVII meme, too!) and, best of all, she loves Anne of Green Gables!

1. Musings of a Bookshop Girl
This is my favorite blog to read. I check it everyday for updates and I get really excited when there is one. Through this blog I discovered the RIPVII reading event. Ellie is an Englander who owns a bookstore with her mom- I. Love. That! Really awesome reviews of super cool books can be found at this blog and she participates in fun memes.

So, I hope I have lead you to discover some cool new blogs. It was so hard for me to pick just 10, there are so many blogs that I enjoy reading, but these are the 10 I wanted to share with my readers. Do you have any favorites that I need to check out ASAP?! Leave a link and I will look forward to discovering some new blogs of my own!

‘Til Next Time!

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Tuesdays are hard for me. We have faculty meetings on Tuesdays which keep me at work up to two hours late add that to my 30 minute commute and any errands I have to run and the mess that I-77 leading into Charlotte becomes in the afternoons, then you’ll understand why it’s all I can do to eat a dinner and then fall asleep with the fork still in my mouth. My TTT will most likely come more and more on Wednesdays and usually a week later than what they are doing over at The Broke and The Bookish. (*note, I started this post on Wednesday night and I came into my office to look up a menu for a local Greek restaurant and discovered that I had never finished the post (a impromtu tennis game pulled me away mid-post Wednesday night) and so now you’ll see just how late I can be…)

I have read 69 (I know, right, that number seems so small) since I started Bookjackets in January 2011. Picking out ten favorites was harder than I thought that it would be! I started by circling the ones I loved and then I had to compare them up against each other and give them ratings based on things like “characterization” “plot” “readability”, etc. to get it narrowed down to the following ten:

10. If You Want Me To Stay by Michael Parker, Read February 7-8 2012, 5/5 Stars
I read this book for a program I was involved in at the local public library. The program involved a group of us reading the same book about some aspect of North Carolina culture and then inviting in a guest lecturer to discuss the book and the themes and the history of NC with us. This was my favorite book from the series.

9. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen, Read February-March 2011, 4/5 Stars
This was another book that we read for the same NC Culture series, but I had read this one about a year before the series actually started. When my dad gave me a nook color for my 26th birthday this was the first book I read on the e-reader. Read more about that adventure here.

8. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, Read April 2011, 4/5 Stars
I read this book over spring break my first year of working as a librarian in public schools. I was back in my favorite town, Greensboro, NC where I had gone to college and graduate school and where my boyfriend was still in college and I loved the feeling of being “home” and I associate that feeling with this book. I also loved the book, it is a good mystery and our sleuth, Flavia De Luce, is such a scamp I dare you not to love her instantly.

7. The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games, Read November 2010, 5/5 Stars
Catching Fire, Read in April 2011, 5/5 Stars
Mockingjay, Read in May 2011, 4/5 Stars
Read about my love for this series here.

6. The Weight of Silence/These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf
The Weight of Silence, Read in July 2011, 3/5 stars
These Things Hidden, Read in July 2011, 5/5 stars
I read these over the summer after my first year in public education. I had greatly disliked the first place I worked at and I was in the process of quitting and moving to a new place of employment. I was having a difficult time telling my uber-scary boss that I was splitting, but these books were such a good escape for me at the end of the day, I truly value them for helping me get through that rough time.

5. Bossypants by Tina Fey, Read in April 2012, 5/5 Stars
Just. So. Damn. Funny. And honest. I love Tina Fey. She is my celebrity crush. She is so beautiful and funny and smart and nerdy and I want to be her. I loved this book because it was purely Tina Fey being open and honest about what it’s like being a woman working in a man’s world.

4. The Reeducation of Cherry Truong by Aimee Phan, Read in in late January/Early February 2012, 4/5 Stars
I received a ARC of this book from St. Martin’s Press and I wanted to do a good job of reviewing it, even if I disliked the book. This was the first time I had been asked to review a book for the blog, so I knew I couldn’t blow it. I ended up loving the book and I was pretty pleased with the review I put out. Read the review here.

3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, 5/5 Stars
I. Loved. This. Book. Read about how much I loved it here. I even voted it my #1 book of 2011!

2. A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash, Read in July 2012, 5/5 Stars
This is a more recent read. I had been hearing a little bit about it and I knew I wanted to read it because I love local authors and books set in my state. I was in love with this book from page one. Read my review here. Also, my book club has chosen to read this one in January 2013 and I’m hoping to get Cash to Skype with us, he tweeted me that he would!! Read the review here.

1. Becoming Odyssa by Jennifer Pharr Davis, Read in February 2011 , 5/5 Stars
Again, I am super partial to local authors and Jenn Pharr Davis is one of my favorites! This is the story of a gal who sets out to thru-hike the entire AT by herself and she accomplishes her goal and tells us about all of the incidents she survives in this awesome book. This is a fun read and an encouraging read. I recently saw that there is a new book out by her husband, Brew Davis, that chronicles the hike that landed her the world-record of the fastest thru-hike of the AT which she did in an amazing 46 days!

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I know, I know, I missed it again! This school year is already kicking my butt (literally, I fell down the stairs at school today like a ding-dong!) so I just didn’t have the strength Tuesday or Wednesday when I got home to update and do my TTT post even though I already had it rough drafted out on notebook paper. So, here it is, two days late, my TTT for the week of 814/12:

Romances that I believe would survive this crazy real world we live in:

10. Alice and Charlie from American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.

           
image from socionix.com

I was a big fan of the former first lady at one time. She reminded me a lot of myself. I guess I still am a fan, somewhat. I don’t care at all for her husband. I did care a great deal for this book though. It’s a fictionalized account of the relationship that blossomed between Laura and George, including all the gory details of a car crash caused by Mrs. Bush herself as a teenager. Having loved Sittenfeld’s first novel, Prep, I bought this one with the same expectations. However, this is a very different breed of book than Prep, though I did end up enjoying both. I do think that Charlie (George) and Alice (Laura) would have made it it reality, because..well… they did!

9. Jacob Black and Bella Swan from the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer

        
image from fanpop.com

I choose Jacob over Edward because I am a huge member of Team Jacob (I’m wearing my Quileute Tribe shirt right now) but also because I believe that they would have ended up together in reality. After Edward hit the road, Jack in New Moon and Bella and Jacob became closer, I really believe that they would have stayed together in reality. Being abandoned and dumped the way Bella was, I just can’t believe she’d go back to him. Oh, well, at least Jake got a happy ending, too.

8. Marlena and Jacob from Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

    
image from wwhan12.wordpress.com

If you fall in love over any animal, especially an elephant, it’s just gonna last forevs.

7. Elinor and Edward from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

     

Maaaaannnnn, I wanted these two together the whole darn book. One was so shy and proper and the other was so bent on honoring his promises that they were willing to be apart if needed. Thank goodness it wasn’t needed and they got to be together in the end!

6. Gilbert and Anne from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery

   
image from fanpop.com

This movie was on television the other night and I got caught up in it again. It was the early one, where Anne moves to Green Gables and not the later one where she and Gilbert end up happily ever after, but it did get me in the frame of mind of how these two were so meant for each other and that’s why I just had to include them on this list, because honestly they would so have made it in reality!

5. Allie and Noah from The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

  
image from romanceeternal.org

Sweetest couple ever. And he wrote their story down. And then he read it to her. And then they died together. And then I cried.

4. Jamie and Claire from The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

   
image from outlandishobservations.blogspot.com

Even though this whole series is so totally unbelievable with the whole time travel thing and all, I still deeply believe that the love between Claire and Jamie would have lasted and would have survived whether in ye olden Scotland or in new modern England (or America, or Canada, or wherever in the world they find themselves).

3. Hermione and Ron from The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

  
image from fanpop.com

Upon my first reading of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone I knew that these two were meant fror each other.

2. Josephine March and Professor Friedrich Baher from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

   
image from tumblr.com

OF COURSE I would have one of the couples from Little Women on here and OF COURSE it would be my most favoritest gal Jo and her hunka hunka burnin’ love Prof. Baher! When I made my rough draft the other night, I originally had Laurie down as the other half of Jo’s forever heart, but then I started thinking about childhood friends and how they really rarely ever work out romantically in the end. Jo had to grow up and go out in the world and get a job and write her books and learn some more and THEN she could settle down and who better to do it with than Friedrich! This man could help her open her school and publish her books! I truly believe that they would have made it in the real world based on their relationship of mutual honesty and respect.

That’s right, there are only 9 couples on the list because as hard as I racked my noggin, I just couldn’t think of another couple to add on and I didn’t want to get sloppy by just picking some random couple (like Rhett and Scarlett. I honestly do not think that those two would have made it in the real world. Tomorrow may be another day, doll, but I think he’s gonna tell you to shove it again.) so I’m leaving it at 9. Who do you think I left off the list? Who do you think should have been left off the list?

‘Til Next Time!

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Inspired by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and The Bookish I present to you my list of the top-ten quotes from literature:

10. “Reality continues to ruin my life.” -Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

9. “I haven’t the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of perspective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.” -Naked by David Sedaris

8. “A person’s a person no matter how small.” Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss

7. “I have great faith in fools. My friends call it self-confidence.” -Edgar Alan Poe

6. “Lord! What fools these mortals be!” -A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare(?)

5. “If you live to be 100, I want to live to be 100 minus one day so I never have to live without you.” -Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

4. “Perhaps – I want the old days back again and they’ll never come back, and I am haunted by the memory of them and of the world falling about my ears. ” -Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

3. “You don’t understand me. I’m a teenager. I’ve got problems!” -The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

2. “Girls are so queer you never know what they mean.” -Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

1. “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” -Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Okay guys, so I really should have been giving credit where credit is due and linking up my TTT posts to an amazing blog- The Broke and the Bookish. These guys started the TTT meme and I will now be linking to their TTT picks and I will add my link to their site.

I gotta make this weeks list a quick one, so it’ll just be a picture of the cover of the book and as always feel free to click the cover and purchase the book from IndieBound.org and beat me to reading it as this weeks list is The Top Ten Books I Feel As If Everyone Has Read Except Me!

10.

9.

8.

7.

6.

5.

4.

3.

2.

1.

So there you have it- ten books that I am sure every other reader in the world has read except me. These are all books that I do hope to one day read. I started Les Mis a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t the right time for me to read it so I had to put it down. I was enjoying it and everyone one of my friends on goodreads has given it 4 or 5 stars.Plus, I have to read it before I go see the play in Charlotte in a few months!

Are there any books on the list that you haven’t read either?
Are there any other books you have in mind that you think everyone has read but you?
Which of these books do I absolutely without a doubt have to read first?

{PS sorry the TTT is late AGAIN this week. I was actually camping in the woods on Tuesday and this is the first chance at a computer I have had all week. I currently do not have Internet at my apartment which makes updating regularly extremely difficult and cumbersome. However, I am moving (yay yay YAY!) on the 21st and the first thing I plan to do is order Internet so that I will be able to update more often and with more oomph to the posts. Thanks for bearing with an all pictures post today! I hope you are all having a great summer and are reading away! -V}

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Papa was a rolling stone, my son, where ever he laid his hat was his home -The Temptations

“There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.” -Harper Lee

This week I need to do a Top Ten Thursday instead of a Top Ten Tuesday. I’ve got A LOT going on right now. My mom is very sick and my dad has his hands full with taking care of her so I’ve been trying to help both of them and finish up the school year and find a new apartment in a new town to move to and read and rest from the last awful school year and blog and I’m just now getting to the blog part and I haven’t really done any of the other parts. So for this weeks TTT I decided to list my top ten favorite fathers in literature in honor of Father’s Day being last Sunday. (*note: links to the books will now be accessed by clicking the picture of the book. All links will be from IndieBound.org- be a part of the story*)

10. Dr. Murray from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. Publication Date: 1962– The missing, but brilliant, dad.

It has been a really long time since I’ve read this book, and I don’t think I fully appreciated it when I did read it so this is one that I will need to revisit. Dr. Murray isn’t really in the first book very much I discovered (and failed to even remember) after some researching. This is a really cool dad though, he’s a physicist studying space-time continuums who is missing and NO ONE, not even the freakin’ GOVERNMENT knows where he is (and you know how those guys know EVERYTHING).

9. Charlie Swan from the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. Publication Date: 2005-2008. The aloof dad.

The twilight saga hardback.jpg

I’ve said it before on this blog and I’ll say it again: I am a fan of Twilight. I am not sure if I am 100% a fan of Chuck Swan, father to Bella Swan-Cullen, Grandfather to Reneesme Cullen. Charlie is so distant from his daughter when first we meet him that he is awkward and it’s hard to believe he cares and actually wants her to live with him. Charlie develops the love I had hoped he would for Bella (and honestly, it was there all along, but dads can be weird most of the time) and has some touching moments with her, like at her wedding for example. One thing about Chief Swan that I can’t overlook is how he is so meek. He lets Bella fly out of the house and to ITALY without making much of a stink? He watches her become a vampire and yet doesn’t give it much thought? He doesn’t see her for almost a year and shrugs it off? Whaaaaaa? Overall, good guy, loving dad, I like him, but I don’t love him.

8. James Henry Alden from The Boxcar Children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Original Publication Date: 1924. The Grandfather Dad.

Though not actually a dad the grandfather in the boxcar children acted as a dad to the four boxcar children in Gertrude Chandler Warner’s AWESOME mystery series for children. After the death of the children’s parents, Grandfather steps in and cares for them. He’s wealthy, he’s kind, he’s patient, he’s full of advice, he’s not overly stern, he’s the worlds best grandfather! Too bad he’s fictional.

7. Matthew Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery. Publication Date: 1908. The adorable, adoptive, loving dad.

I promised you a few weeks ago when I did my Mother’s Day blog that I would touch on the awesomeness that is Matthew Cuthbert and here is where I do it. How awesome is Matthew Cuthbert? Let me count the ways:
1. He loves Anne at first sight. Sure he wanted, heck, NEEDED, a boy and ended up with Anne instead. He could have just left her at that train station, but you know that the thought never even entered sweet Matthew’s mind.
2. He had to put up with Marilla. Though she’s really a softy, she sure can come off as a mega b-i-t-c-h.
3. He is SO SHY! It might kill him to have to talk to anyone so he keeps to himself A LOT.
4. He’s Canadian.
5. He bought Anne that dress!
6-infinity. There are so many reasons to love this character, and I do!
(And yes, that is a picture of Richard Farnsworth who played Matthew PERFECTLY in the 1985 movie and not a cover of the book. Farnsworth did such a great job, I had to feature him. I’ll also do the same later in this post for Gregory Peck. See if you can guess which father from literature he played!)

6. Sirius Black/James Potter/Arthur Weasley/Albus Dumbledore/Severus Snape/Remus Lupin/Hagrid from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. Publication Date: 1997-2007. The Harry Potter Dad(s).
The Coat of Arms of Hogwarts, featuring scarlet and gold Gryffindor colours with the mascot Lion, yellow and black of Hufflepuff with the symbolic badger, bronze and blue Ravenclaw colours with an eagle, and Slytherin green and silver with a serpent mascot.

 When the story opens on Harry in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s (or Philosopher’s) Stone we learn quickly that poor Harry is an orphan. Having lost both his parents to Lord Voldemort, Harry now is forced to live under the stairs with his awful aunt, uncle and cousin. During the series progression, however, Harry is able to have many characters step in as surrogate father figures to him. Each character offers something to Harry that the other’s can not. Sirius Black is Harry’s actual Godfather and James was his actual father. But all of the characters mentioned above were Harry’s fathers in some fashion.

5. Steve Miller from The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. Publication Date: 2009. The Dying Dad.

The Last Song was probably the last Nicholas Sparks book I read all the way through. I used to enjoy Sparks’ books, mainly because they are all based in coastal North Carolina which is where I am from and where I grew up. I loved that he used real places that I could actually recognize; it made me feel like I was actually a part of the story and the characters lives since I too had been to those locals! However, after this book I realized that all of his books are exactly the same. Exactly. The. Same. Start off with a dysfunction in a family, throw in a disease or an accident, add a death, and there is _____ by Nicholas Sparks. I wanted to include Steve Miller on my list though because he really is a good dad. He has to contend with a spoiled, selfish daughter and try to connect to a son and try to help a neighboring church all while dying. He does all of these things with grace. Sparks’ characters are generally ones that are good role models for the other characters as well as for the readers and Steve Miller (not the musician, I should have mentioned earlier) is no exception.

4. Robert “Bob” Quimby from Ramona and Her Father by Beverly Cleary. Publication Date: 1977. The fun dad.

 Ramona actually makes appearances in several of Cleary’s books, but I chose this one since this is the one where Ramona gets to connect with her dad after he looses his job. I can’t rave enough about all of the Ramona books in this series and this one is no exception. This book is awesome because it’s difficult to find one where a young daughter can connect with a father the way these characters do. The plotline from this novel makes an appearance in the movie Beezus and Ramona which came out in 2010.

3. Vladek Spiegleman from Maus by Art Spiegleman. Publication Date: 1980-1991. The survivor dad.

What makes mouse Vladek Spiegleman seem so real in Art Spiegleman’s graphic novels is the fact that, well, he is. Through the use of animation and storytelling Art is able to tell his father’s story of his father’s history as Holocaust survivor. The illustrations in Spiegleman’s novels tells more of a story than the actual written words. I’m not a very big fan of comics, but this one flows so smoothly and the story is so gripping that you find yourself reading it as if it were an actual novel.

2. The dad from Go The F*** To Sleep by Adam Mansbach. Publication Date: 2011. The frustrated dad.

I don’t think that this dad ever really reveals his name, but with the honesty given in this book about the sheer impossibility of getting a young child to sleep, we have to assume that the dad’s name is Adam and that he is writing from personal experience. The book is hilariously funny and honest and loving and I dare you to read it without laughing out loud, especially if you have ever been in that boat of trying to get a child to sleep who just wants one more glass of water and one more story. For an even bigger laugh, get an audio copy of the book read by Samuel L. Jackson.

1. Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Publication Date: 1960. The moral dad.

Not only is Atticus Finch my #1 dad in all of literature, but he is also my #1 character. Atticus is the person that I hope that I as well as everyone else in the world will grow up to be. Atticus is revered by people the world overand the group The Atticus Circle which is a group of LGBT Allies named their group after them. Atticus is a hero to everyone in the book and he is the reason that my first born son will be named Atticus. Again I elected to place a picture of Gregory Peck instead of the cover of the book. This picture is perfect- it shows Atticus in court next to the African American man that he is defending much to the chagrin of Macomb County, Alabama. Plus, I wanted to put in a picture of Peck’s Atticus because…well… LOOK at the handsome man!

Who are some of YOUR favorite dads in literature?

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Last week I started my list of my top ten children’s books. Now, on to the top five!

5. I’m As Quick As A Cricket. Author: Audrey Wood, Illustrator: Don Wood. Publication Date: 1989.


This book is on my list in the top five not because the story is overly memorable (it’s not) or because the illustrations are fantastic (they’re not) but because this was the first book that I ever read on my own. I remember I was four years old, sitting up in my bed reading with my mom and my dad and I told them that I wanted to read the book to them..so, I did. Of course they thought I had memorized the story and matched it up to the pictures so they kept skipping pages around and opening other books and viola! I could read! And I hadn’t stepped foot into a Kindergarten classroom. 3 out of 5 stars!

4. Officer Buckle and Gloria. Author & Illustrator: Peggy Rathmann. Publication Date: 1995.

This book is just fabulous! Another of my animal picks I love the loveable Gloria. The story is of a police officer who has a sidekick in the form of a puppy dog. The pair goes to schools all over town to present safety tips to the students. The best part of this book (besides the handy safety tips “never lick a stop sign in the winter!”) is the illustrations. Most of the story is told through the pictures. The reader gets to see what Officer Buckle does not- Gloria cutting up and getting some laughs. The story tells a valuable tell of friendship and honesty and it does that while also giving us a tickle. Plus, Gloria is SUPER cute! 4.5 out of 5 stars!

3. The Skippyjon Jones Series. Author & Illustrator: Judy Schachner. Publication Date: Since 2005. 


I can not express over the interwebs just how much I truly love, love, LOVE the Siamese cat who thinks that he is a chihuahua! That Siamese cat is none other than Mr. Skippyjon Jones. I could not choose one Skippyjon book to put in my number 3 spot so I’ll just gush all over this post about how great ALL the books are. Since 2005 Judith Byron Schachner has been blessing the reading world with her Skippyjon books and she’s now up to 11 books featuring the loveable troublemaker. The cat has an imagination as big as his ears and each of his books takes him on a rhyming rocket ride through different scenarios that he has imagined. If you want a silly book that will get the adults and the kids laughing, this is IT! 5 out of 5 stars!

2. The Zen Series. Author and Illustrator: Jon J. Muth. Publication Date: 2005 (Zen Shorts), 2008 (Zen Ties) , 2010 (Zen Ghosts)

So it was the whole “Zen” series that got me started thinking about my favorite children’s books in the first place (see last weeks TTT post).  I love everything about these books. I love panda bears, I love the messages that the book  relates to the readers about kindness and love and compassion, I love the beautifully exquisite watercolor paintings that Muth has done for the illustrations. When I worked in an elementary school library I did a whole unit on China, haiku, panda bears and watercolors using these three books. The children LOVED the story and they begged to hear each book again and again. This is a series of books that are timeless; they will be just as loved 100 years from now (though no one will have a CLUE what a panda bear actually is then) as they are today. These are books that adults and children can all adore. Each of the books in this series has something extra in it. By that, I mean that one book is filled with haiku poems and a panda is named “Koo” so whenever someone says hi to him it comes out “hi koo” or “haiku”.  Zen Ghosts is full of stories within the story. There is always something new and different to discover each time you read a book in this series. Great job to Jon J. Muth and if it hadn’t been for a sprightly redhead I met when I was a little girl then these books would have been numero uno on my list! 5 out of 5 stars! 

1. Madeline. Author & Illustrator: Ludwig Bemelmans. Publication Date: 1939.

When I was a little girl my mom read the story of Madeline to me and I fell in LOVE with this crazy girl! I had to have  everything Madeline after that. I bought and read (and re-read) all of the books, and watched the television show cartoon religiously. I even had a little Madeline doll that I carried everywhere with me and she had a yellow hat AND an appendix scar (because remember when she woke Miss Clavel in the night and gave her a fright and she said ‘Something is not right’ and she had appendicitis?!). Bottom line: I LOVE Madeline. If I ever have a daughter (or if I get a cat) I think I will name her Madeline and I will hope that she is as spirited as her namesake and I hope that she has red hair. A perfect 5 out of 5 stars!

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