It’s Monday – here are some books to read

gollywhopper 2Gollywhoppers is a toy company. They’ve been around for 150 years creating some of the best games and toys around. Last year they held The Gollywhopper Games and Gil Goodson was able to win the games, while also uncovering the untruths that had led to his father getting fired. This year’s games are surrounded by just as much excitement and intrigue as the contestants from all over the country answer questions, win races and solve puzzles until the hundreds of thousands of players become 10 and then 5 and lastly 1 – The New Champion. Cameron has an older brother, Spencer and a younger brother, Walker. He is most comfortable behind a video camera noticing the whole scene and zeroing in all the details. Seeing the world that way is settling, quiet and ordinary. There is nothing quiet about being chosen to participate in the Gollywhopper games. In fact, Cameron wouldn’t be if his brother hadn’t entered his name – hoping then that he’d have two chances to be chosen. It didn’t work that way and now that Cameron is part of the games part of him hopes he will finally do something that will be recognized and he’ll be more than Spencer’s weird brother. Of course nothing works out that easily in real life and it doesn’t work out that easily in books either. That’s especially true for Cameron when Spencer wins a “walk-in” spot in the games. Then Cameron has to decide what is more important – being a brother, being a competitor, or some of both.

gollywhopper 1gollywhopper 3I am looking forward to finding the reading the third in the series. They are exciting and fast-paced page turners.   I hope you’ll give them a try. You’ll be glad you did.

PS – for other books suggestions  check out the bookshelf sidebar.  They’re great too!

It’s Wednesday – here are some math problems to solve

numbersThere are three books in the Smell Like… series by Suzanne Selfors.  Smells Like Dog has 384 pages.  Smells Like Treasure has 432 pages.  Smells Like Pirates has 384 pages.  I’m on page 212 in the third book.  How many pages have I read altogether so far?  How many pages do I still have left to read?

(I have to tell you, I can’t wait to find out what happens to Homer, Dog, Hercules, Lorelei and Madame.  It’s funny and exciting.)

There are eleven books in the Magic Bone series.  Five of the books have 108 pages.  Six of the books had 123 pages.  When you have finished reading the entire series, how many pages will you have read?

Write your own math problem about your summer reading (or anything you can think of) and leave it in a comment for the rest of us to solve.

Happy matching!

It’s Monday – here are some books you might enjoy reading

Quinny and HopperI think I have found the first read aloud for 3E, Quinny and Hopper.  It’s about a girl, Quinny, who moves from New York City to the country in the summer between second and third grade.  Everything is different and Quinny isn’t sure she likes that at all.  From her upstairs window she notice a boy who looks to be about her age in the yard next door.  Maybe they could be friends?  Maybe this won’t be the worst summer ever?  Maybe… but things don’t always go smoothly; especially when you add two younger sisters for Quinny, two older (twins) brothers for Hopper, a grouchy neighbor with an opinionated niece, Victoria and an attack chicken named Freya.  I think you’ll like the characters and the action.  Leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Danger in Ancient RomeThe second Ranger in Time is out.  It’s called Danger in Ancient Rome.  This time Ranger gets called back to the world of the Colosseum.  He is there to help two boys who have been placed into servitude in gladiator training.  Marcus serves the master of the barracks and training grounds and Quintus must fight as a gladiator to earn his freedom, along with the right to return to his brother.  I am glad I didn’t live back then.  It seems like hard life and a very brutal time.  The research information shared at the end is enlightening.  It gives you a window into how authors research in order to write.  Where would you go to learn information for a story?

Hot Diggity DogsHot Diggity Dogs is the third in the Ready, Set, Dogs series by Stephanie Calmenson and Joanna Cole.  This time there are lost dogs to find, yummy hotdogs to try and a summer festival, Bark in the Park, to enjoy.  This is the perfect fun read for dog lovers!  Alexis, would want a necklace so you could play with Ethan?  Ginger I can imagine you doing the dance with “Fang” and “Spot.”  Can’t you?

What books have you found to enjoy?  Leave a comment to let us know what you’re reading.

PS The sixth IQ – Alcatraz is a unexpected and great ending to the series.  There were hints all along – but there were surprises all the way through.

PPS – If you’re looking for different suggestions, the books on the sidebar are all worth reading too!  Enjoy.

It’s Friday – have fun noticing

downy woodpecker fledglingI have loved this poem for a long time.  It inspires me to stop, look and see.  Yesterday I noticed a mama turkey with 14 chicks in a field, a mama pheasant with 6 babies crossed the road and 5 downy woodpecker fledglings feeding at our feeders.  (They’re as big as the parents but not as savvy about landing, holding on, finding the seeds.)  I’ve been looking around our yard.  Here are a few images of what I’ve noticed.  What do you see that brings you wonder?  Makes you smile?

oak gallsTo look at any thing,

If you would know that thing,

You must look at it long:

To look at this green and say,

“I have seen spring in these

Woods” will not do – you must

Be the thing you see:

You must be the dark snakes of

DSC04586Stems and ferny plumes of leaves,

You must enter in

To the small silences between

The leaves,

You must take your time

And tough the very peace

They issue from.

John Moffitt

It’s Monday – here are some books you might like

Cody and the fountain of happinessCody and the Fountain of Happiness by Tricia Springstubb begins: In this life, many things are beautiful: Marshmallows 100% on your spelling test Turtles, with their cute thumb-shaped heads But if Cody had to name the most beautiful thing in the world, it would be… The first day of summer vacation. Which was today. Today!

What will you do with your vacation? Cody appreciates ants, meets a new friend, looks for a cat, discovers her camp is closed and deals with changes in her family. It’s not always perfect, but there are many things to fill a life with joy and so begin a fountain of happiness. What happinesses is your summer filling up with?

the antimatter motorNick, you told me about Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor and you’re right. It is fun. Klink and Klank are great assistants. Watson is a good friend – though I’m not totally sure Frank appreciates him as much as he should. And T. Edison and Mr. Chimp are perfect villains. I think lots of kids in our class will enjoy the humor, the illustrations and the bits of science mixed in with the story. I’m off to the bookstore to get the second one today.

43 Old Cemetery Road is a series that I’ve been collecting and enjoying for the last seven years. The series tells the story of how three unlikely characters – Seymour Hope, an abandoned 11 year old, Olive C. Spence, the ghost of Spence Mansion and Ignatius B. Grumply, an author who just wants to left alone to write – come together to form a family of sorts that authors the very books you are reading. Told through a combination of letters, newspaper articles, pictures and texts, the story unfolds in a totally unique way full of puns and word play. In book 7, The Loch Ness Punster, the loch ness punsterSeymour inherits a castle in Scotland, the library launches a borrow-a-pet program and Garren Teed opens a new insurance company in town. Throw in a shady developer is named Macon Deals, an ancient tortoise named, Mr. Poe and messages from the Queen and you’ve got a funny story.

It’s Friday – hope you’re feeling great and having fun

goldfinch in the sun What have you been doing?  Isn’t it exciting to see the sun!

I’ve been for walks in Northwood Meadows.  I saw these and thought of our walks with Mr. Caron down the nature trail.oak galls




I’ve been working in our garden.  Right now all we have are greens – but they are yummy.  Soon there will be other vegetables too.cabbages in July

I visited the Fantasy: Imagine exhibit at the League of N.H. Craftsman gallery in Concord.  It is a small display with many different types of art.  The first piece you see is a carved toy of flying elephants.  It was created by Art Anderson.  There are masks and paintings and sculptures and even furniture.  One artist paints on silk and another made shimmering faces in clay.  One of my favorites were the figures carved by Laury Nichols.  I love their happy expressions and how some of the figures have acorn caps for hats.

art anderson piece

healthy hikerWhat are you creating?  How are you having fun?


It’s Wednesday – where have you been, what have you noticed?

goldfinch pair in the dogwood

I hope you have been enjoying SUMMER!  I haven’t been anywhere but North Hampton and Deerfield yet – but still I’ve seen some great things around our yard.

one of many The fireflies have been blinking outside the window above the long grass.  The chipmunks have been racing around the yard competing with the squirrels and birds to see just how many sunflower seeds they can get first and the barred owls have been calling from dusk to dawn.


partridge berry blossoms partridgeberryThe partridge berries are blooming and I realized there was a math problem there.  They always come in pairs and there are always four petals on each flower. While I was sitting in my green chair watching to birds and reading The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle, I counted 16 pairs.  How many flowers would that be altogether?  How many flower petals would that be altogether?


Can you find a math problem in your yard?

Post it for us to solve when you leave your comment.

Thinking of you every day!


Happy Summer 3E

Thank you for an amazing year!

It’s finally here – a little too fast for sure – but who says “no” to the opportunities vacation can bring – trying new things and having time to explore different ideas.  Do you have plans for the summer?  I am not going anywhere special, but I am going to try to go to one place every couple of weeks that is unusual  – like the Currier Art Gallery in Manchester or Blue Job fire tower in Stafford or the Thornton Burgess Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts.

On Tuesday night I went to the school board meeting and some 4th graders were there (well really 5th graders) telling about what they had done and learned by going to Star Island.  It made me really excited for you and what will come.  I know you will have a great time learning about New Hampshire next year.  Our state has some pretty amazing Wonders!