Thursday, January 18, 2007

Pleasantly pondering ponds

Posted by Picasa While Tiggie stays on storm watch, I'm getting in gear to go back to work.

Second gear...I can't get up a lot of speed on this, simply because I'd rather lounge around the house, sit by the fire, sip tea, and read a nice book.

It probably needs to be said: Librarians haven't actually READ every book in their library.

A lot of us take our best shot at doing so, but in reality, what we mostly do is read reviews.

The reviews are most often written by librarians, or subject matter experts. Evaluating children's books is heavily taught in children's literature classes.

Adult literature review is a bit more dicey.
Some of the reviews I have read have made me want to disinfect my eyes and brain. I won't go into detail.
Trust me, it is a weirder world out there in publishing land than I ever imagined.

I haven't been reading much lately. You can see my summer reads here
I've got about a half dozen editing books hanging around right now, as I need them as I edit my novel.

My favorite is The Elements of Style by Wm. Strunk Jr. and E. B. White (of Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web fame.)
It is a tiny 85 page book that is so enjoyable I laugh out loud while I read it.
Bernie had to tell me to settle down when I first read it on a plane flight.

At Christmas, Bernie gave me "Seasons of Woman's Life" by Levinson,(the famous author of Season of Man's Life, a book Bernie has found enormously insightful as a man.)
I haven't begun reading it yet, but he has.
He is amazed at what it has to say about women's lives.

I've had a book review on the side of my refrigerator for a year now.
"In the Land of Second Chances" by Shaffner.
The review says it's about a quilting circle, who have all joined because quote:

...we all wanted the same thing. We just wanted people to be pleasant to each other.

Yeah, me too!!!
One reason why I like the bloggers that I like.
They manage to be pleasant, and that is a good thing.

While I was a school and then a Children's Librarian I read children's books daily.
I would cheerfully vote for a law that required all adults to read a children's picture book daily.
All 32 pages.
All Children's picture books are 32 pages, except the few exceptions that prove the rule.

I came across a review the other day of the new children's picture book "Babies in the Bayou", (recommended for age 3 and up.)
Author is Jim Arnosky.

Now this review deserves to be read out loud in your best "talking sweetly with children's voice."
Go ahead, clear your throat, and start reading:

There are sharp-toothed alligators, hungry raccoons, tiny turtles and watchful ducks in the bayous, and they all have mothers looking after them.
Arnosky's green watery world looks calm until you take a closer look. The gators are eyeballing the ducklings, and raccoons munch turtle eggs.
Danger is all around for the babies of the bayou, but there's no sense of fear in the story, which introduces children to a swamp ecosystem where animals come and go.

Gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it!
Animals "come and go"? You mean get eaten?
Oh there's sweet dreams for you.

Back to my earlier blog about teaching to interest, I'm pretty sure most boys would tag this as a favorite read.
The turtle ate the baby duck?

If it wasn't so muddy, I would consider trekking down the way to our own bayou.
The one that I used to explore merrily, and occasionally waded around in on hot summer days.

After two years of this "ignorance is bliss" activities I encountered my first copperhead snake on the path, looking like a pile of dead leaves.
Someone was kind enough to point out that it is wise not to wander off the path through the underbrush because of the notable copperhead population in our area.

Then I spotted a coral snake. Gorgeous little thing, and Bernie says they have such small mouths they really can't do much harm (usually he says this as he is reaching to encouraging it to move along as I scream loudly...) They are quite deadly as well.

Laura first noticed the water moccasin slithering through the bayou waters.
Then the local newspaper reported about the female alligator with a NEST in our edge of the water.

I see jet skiers zooming through our bayou/lake all the time, and figured it was just fine to take a dip now and then, as long as I didn't get any water in my mouth.

Boy was I wrong about that.

Today would be a good day to go to the "pond" as the snakes and alligator would probably be nestled deep within the earth avoiding the cold.

On the other hand, perhaps it would be more pleasant to merely ponder the pond, and linger at home by the fire, until I have to head out to work.

What are you pondering pleasantly today?

And don't you think the men reading this will find all those links much pleasanter than us girl readers do?

Happy to help you learn guys.



Lovella said...

Tell Bernie that Terry's favorite line to me is "easy, easy". He uses this one regularly when I am on the verge of publicly emarassing him.
Ah, lovely photos of the wildlife in your parts, It's causing me to reconsider my roadtrip.
Oh, and I've begged my school teacher daughter-in-law if I couldn't please be her read aloud lady. I would dress up and all, however she assured me that high school students wouldn't think this a novelty.

Kate said...

I was thrilled on a dogwalk in Central Park many years ago to see a mother Mallard with 15 itty bitty ducklings trailing her in the lake. They were so tiny they had to have been just hatched. Sweet! Over the next few days we noticed the number of ducklings dwindled to about a half dozen. You see, they shared the lake with snapping turtles (as my dear doggie discovered not once but twice). It's nature. After all, turtles have to eat too. K Q;-)