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There’s still a lot more winter to knit Pobble mittens January 4, 2012

Posted by flashlightblog in Imagination, Parents, Winter.
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Thanks to these wonderful people in cyberspace who helped to spread the word about our wintry campaign for knitting mittens like the ones Pobble wears in Pobble’s Way (written by Simon Van Booy, illustrated by Wendy Edelson):

Bev Qualheim – who wrote the original mitten pattern, Michelle Edwards, KRJuchem, Yvonne Jefferson, Basya Karp, Mary Nida Smith, Barb Hatch, and Barbara Gruener.

Midwest Book Review on The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister December 14, 2011

Posted by flashlightblog in Individuality, Parents, Play, Reviews.
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written by Linda Ravin Lodding, illustrated by Suzanne Beaky

The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister
Linda Ravin Lodding, author
Suzanne Beaky, illustrator
Flashlight Press/IPG
527 Empire Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9780979974694, http://www.ipgbook.com

The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is a paean to play, especially for kids. Well-meaning adults end up pressuring children to fulfill busy schedules of performance expectations without realizing that one of the most precious experiences only children will have is free time to play, experiment, imagine, and just be. Ernestine’s busy life should be fully satisfying, with sculpting, water ballet, knitting, tuba lessons, yodeling, karate lessons, and yoga. But something is missing, even though the Buckmeisters hire Nanny O’Dear to help keep Ernestine on schedule. Ernestine begins to look pale and tired. What Ernestine would really like to do is just spend some time playing ball outdoors with Hugo, her neighbor. Ernestine decides to schedule something new for herself. This alarms her parents, who are unable to find her at any of her exhausting, scheduled activities. Finally they find her on top of a big hill, just looking at clouds and inhaling, enjoying the view, with Nanny O’Dear. All adults gradually see the light, and though Ernestine continues to do some of her scheduled activities, sometimes she just plays! The vibrant, colorful illustrations help lift each page of spunky narration. The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister will appeal to overachieving kids of all ages, or 4-8.

Original review can be found here.

Take Time to Watch the Clouds July 17, 2011

Posted by flashlightblog in Parents, Play.
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Christine Louise Hohlbaum, author of The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World, warmly reviewed The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister on her blog.

“Take life by the scruff of the neck and shake it for all it’s worth!” That’s what my mama likes to say. But how can you grab life and give it a nudge if you don’t have any strength?

Play is the best way to access your scruff-of-the-neck vision.

This October, author Linda Ravin Lodding and illustrator Suzanne Beaky will release a most delightful tale of Ernestine Buckmeister, the most overbooked child on the planet. Her well-meaning parents assign her to daily afternoon lessons ranging from yoga to yodelling to knitting to karate. She longingly watches her neighbor Hugo bounce around his yard while she dashes from one appointment to the next (with the help of her nanny, aptly named Nanny O’Dear). One day she strikes all her time commitments to watch the clouds and discovers a whole new world of creativity in the park.

Once again Nature plays a central role in capturing our amazing imaginations. When the parents learn Ernestine has gone missing from one of her lessons, they attempt to track her down at each of them. By the time they end up in the park, they are frazzled. It’s a beautiful moment of realization that life can be lived to the fullest by simply being who you are.

The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is a  great power of slow read for kids ages 4 to 8 and the parents who love them.

Tree of Giving Book Drive and Our Youngest Fan May 22, 2011

Posted by flashlightblog in Book News, Monsters, Parents.
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SAAC Helps Willamette Tree of Giving Book Drive for Grant Community School

by Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. — Members of the Willamette University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) participated in the Willamette Tree of Giving Book Drive this year by donating books. A total of 80 books were provided to Grant Community School in Salem, Ore., as a result of the book drive.

All of the books were delivered to students and teachers at Grant Community School by Tree of Giving organizer Melissa Treichel, Hatfield Library access services manager, and by SAAC representatives Sarah McSweeney (SAAC co-president, cross country/track and field) and Alfredo Zuniga (men’s soccer).

Others attending the event were Alice French, Hatfield Library technical services specialist, and Judy Gordon, assistant athletics director and SAAC advisor.

In addition to delivering the books, the group from Willamette also displayed the books on tables for the fourth graders to see when they entered the library. After the Grant students enjoyed the books for a while, McSweeney and Zuniga gathered the students together and read I Need My Monster to the group, with much interaction during and after the reading.

The students from Grant also asked a variety of questions including:
Is college hard?
Does Willamette have separate teams for girls and boys?
Which sports involved Sara and Alfredo?

In addition, the Grant students called out the names of their favorite sports. Soccer and dodgeball ranked high on their lists.

The most popular books, which were donated in both English and Spanish versions, were the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Grant Community School’s librarian expressed her gratitude for the much needed donations to their library. In addition to the books, donations of hats, gloves and scarves were collected and delivered to Grant. McSweeney and Zuniga displayed a large poster which was signed by SAAC representatives, who included special messages about the power and joy of reading. SAAC members are looking forward to being sponsors of the Tree of Giving Book Drive next year.

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee was created to provide insight into the student-athlete experience at Willamette. SAAC members provide input to help the Athletics Department and Willamette University develop rules, regulations and polices that affect student-athletes.

Original article here.

Click on the pic to read more about our young avid fan of I Need My Monster.

Our youngest fan

Breakfast in Bed? May 8, 2011

Posted by flashlightblog in Holidays, Parents.
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To all the Moms out there: hope this ISN’T what you woke up to this morning.

Wishing you a relaxed, refreshing, and joy-filled Mother’s Day.

Emmy lets Mom sleep late so she can make herself breakfast! from I Always, ALWAYS Get My Way (Thad Krasnesky & David Parkins)