Fairy Bell (and Fizz)

July 9, 2014 at 9:20 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Fairy BellTitle: Fairy Bell Sisters: Sylva and the Fairy Ball

Author: Margaret McNamara

Illustrator: Julia Denos

Kiddo is on a Peter Pan kick.  We’re reading bits of Peter Pan every night before bed.  She’s watching the Disney movie as I type this.  A few months back she watched the ballet.

Not just Peter Pan, though.  She loves ALL things Neverland.  Jake & the Neverland Pirates is a huge favorite and she’s dying for the lego set.  I’m making her wait until her birthday.  Speaking of birthdays, the child wants a Neverland themed party.  She will dress as Tinker Bell, she says, someone must be Peter Pan.  Everyone else has to be a lost boy.  If we could get one of the grandfathers or uncles to be Captain Hook I think the girl might die of happiness on the spot.  She loves Captain Hook.  Also, she has an unusual amount of adoration for crocodiles and clocks.

So, naturally, when she saw a book at the library with a fairy she squealed, “Tinka Bell.”  Her “er” sounds don’t always makes it all the way out of her mouth.  She’s only three.  I explained that the book was about Tinker Bell’s little sisters.  She was blinded by fairy wings and shoved them in the library bag.


Or Neverland.

My daughter had to remind me of this on nearly every page.  I cannot express enough how disappointed she was…

Until the TROLLS arrived.

P1020485Apparently we are a troll-loving family.  Both me and my daughter loved The Three Billy Goats Gruff (my grandmother read it to me when I spent the night at her house and kiddo has her own updated version we read all the time).

She is fascinated by The Hobbit.  Mostly, I think, for the troll scene.  She has seen the live action movie, but she relishes the 1970’s cartoon.

And of course – we adore Fizz & Peppers.  I adore Fizz & Peppers and I think she loves it a bit because I do – but it is heaven.  And full of trolls.

P1020486Ultimately, she enjoyed the book, but decided she didn’t want to read the rest of the series yet.  At the end of the Fairy Bell ball story there is a blueberry birthday cake – and a blueberry fairy cake recipe.  So, naturally, we baked.  Oddly enough, we had freshly picked blueberries in our fridge… picked by M.G. King (the author of Fizz & Peppers!) and delivered to our house!

Another odd coincidence for this reading adventure… take a look at these chapters:


The books have nothing in common.  And somehow managed to have everything in common.  It was one of those reading experiences where we could not sit down and read one without thinking of the other. Note: Chapter three of the Fairy Bell Sisters book ends on that page.  On the next page begins chapter four.

Til the next reading adventure…




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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

March 2, 2014 at 11:37 pm (Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Dr SuessThis is an annual event at most Half Price Books stores. If you missed it this year, keep your eyes peeled for signage in your favorite store next year.

P1010171Oh The Places You’ll Go!

P1010181One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

There was also had a bowl of colored Gold Fish at the table with a pretty nifty sign of the book cover.  Each kid got a party bag with an HPB cup inside so they could scoop goldfish from the bowl.

P1010184My kiddo with The Cat in the Hat (Kevin Pickle)

P1010185 I think we were just as excited as the kids to take a picture with a real, live Cat in the Hat.

P1010187I got the idea for Truffula Tree Cupcakes on Pinterest.  It’s chocolate cupcake mix, icing dyed green with food coloring, I added dark green sprinkles for fun, and cotton candy on a kebob stick.  Do the cotton candy last minute, I tried to do it too soon and the humidity of Houston caused the cotton candy to crystallize and shrink.  We had to buy a second batch of cotton candy and redo it right before the party.

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Oh Miss Langstrump, you’re a hot mess

November 16, 2012 at 5:17 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Title: Pippi Longstocking(or Pippi Langstrump in the original Swiss)

Author: Astrid Lindgren

Growing up, I always loved Pippi Longstocking.  As of some time around 1993, I’m sure I had read all the books and probably seen all the movie adaptations to date.  I’d even won a costume contest dressed as her with my long hair braided around a coat hanger shaped to my head to keep the braids up and out.  I was one of the few kids that didn’t have to add big black dots to my face with Mom’s eyeliner when wearing costumes, because I was completely covered in huge distinct freckles anyway.  There was even one dead center on my nose, that I often imagined could be considered ‘potato shaped.’

Re-reading Astrid Lindgren’s stories to my daughter, however, I’m surprised that my own mother liked Pippi so much.  The girl is a hot mess.  All I keep thinking is what a rotten un-educated hooligan this child is… with absolutely no impulse control!  There’s been more than a few times I’ve thought about reaching through the pages and giving the fictitious rug rat a good old-fashioned spanking.  It makes sense, though, having only an absentee, pirate-like father who is supposedly king of cannibals and a mischievous little monkey as your only family, that you’d be outlandish and absurd; but sometimes while reading, I just want Pippi to calm down for two seconds and think while I catch my breath.

Lindgren had a lot of people feel that way when the book was first released.  I didn’t know this before this last week, but a lot of people in Sweden were not very happen about Pippi Longstocking being the latest craze.  Take the mentality of the parents of Junie B. Jones readers, and you’ve got a good idea of the Pippi drama back in 1945-1948.

Of course, in the end, I still like Pippi a lot – I can’t say the same for what I’ve read of Junie B.  I adore her red hair, her freckles, her fearlessness, the fact that she can lift a horse above her head, the fact that she has a horse to lift above her head.  She has circus talents to rival the world’s best, she’s spunky, and lives in an awesome house called Villa Vellekulla.  She saves children from bullies and burning buildings, and is all around pretty good-natured, even if she does unintentionally mouth off to everyone all the time and plan to be a full-fledged pirate when she grows up.

Pippi Longstocking is the first of a series and is perfect for beginning of the school year.  The story starts at the mid to tail end of summer and ends in November just in time for Pippi’s Birthday Party; so, if you read seasonally like I do sometimes, keep it in mind next school year if you have a kiddo starting kindergarten or returning for first, second, or third grade.  Pippi starts the story as a nine-year old and kids tend to enjoy reading about kids their own age or bigger.

I was a little late in introducing my kiddo to Pippi Longstocking this year, but not in the grand scheme of life.  She’s only two and very familiar, but we had a Pippi Longstocking and Pirates themed birthday party a few weeks before the concept and the character really sunk in for her.  She was still wrapped up in Babar at the time of the party and I didn’t know how to go about dressing my kid up as an elephant and getting her friends to do so too.  But we had a grand ol’ time wearing pirate clothes and pigtails…

Sister, Niece, & Kiddo

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