The Winter of the Witch

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden is the conclusion to the Winternight Trilogy.

Moscow has been badly injured through flame, fear and deceit. It’s people are restless, it’s king is enraged, and it’s unseen guardians are withering. Vasya finds herself alone and unmoored after the events of the night before, so when a priest, guided by a wicked daemon, sets a mob on her, there is no one to help her but herself.

Torn between two worlds and determined to save them both, Vasya will embark on a journey that will alter her forever. She will battle nightmares and uncover truths she never would have suspected.

Will Vasya be able to save both the worlds she so cherishes? Or will the knowledge she gains about Morozko, Russia and herself be enough to break her?

I enjoyed this series a lot. Even though it has a lot of fantastical elements it is so steeped in lore and tradition that is has a very folky feel. Although, I still maintain that the first book was completely satisfying on it’s own and any reader could stop their and be perfectly content. I liked the series but I loved the first book.

This book is, in my opinion, all about Vasya’s transformation; her coming into her own. In the first two books, she is just a girl with a drop of magic in her blood. But in this book she becomes a force to be reckoned with. Although, she calls on others for help, she does not depend on them as she did. It’s something I don’t think I even realized until this book, but you can see “story” Vasya will become to the people of Moscow.

We learn more about the unseen world in this book and we interact with their characters more, instead of just the Bear and the Winter King. I loved learning Morozko and the Bear’s backstories and finding out the secrets in Vasya’s blood as well.

Overall, this was a really nice series. This one get’s 4 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

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Kingdom of Copper

Kingdom of Copper is the second book in The Daevabad Trilogy.

Nahri’s life changed forever when she summoned Dara, a warrior and djinn with a mysterious past. Her return to Daevabad as the last Nahid healer, signaled a period of change for hidden world of djinn, marid’s and magic.

But when Dara is slain by Prince Ali, the city is thrown into turmoil. All Nahir’s knows is that she must protect her people and the home she never knew she had. But her efforts are constantly thwarted by a the violent king of Daevabad and it might just take all of Nahir’s willpower just to keep herself alive.

Meanwhile, Prince Ali has been exiled for defying his king and father. He is thrown out of Daevabad and is forced to deal with the repercussions of his battle with Dara on his own.

Five years later, at the turn of the century, unrest is brewing and the fate of Daevabad sways in the balance.

Phew! This was a monster of a series to get back into after a year. I vaguely remembered what happened and that I really enjoyed the story but there was so much I forgot, which made it really hard to get through the first few chapters. There is quite a lot going on and the politics of the crown and the city could be hard to get straight at first.

One thing I really like about this book though, is that you just don’t know who to root for. Nahri seems like the best choice because she is well meaning but she is also naive in ways. Dara is such a tortured soul but also blinded by loyalty and his feelings. Ali, you want to like but his “blind fanaticism,” in the words of his father, causes him to rush into things. I even rooted for Nahri’s husband/Ali’s father (name?) by the end. All of this really makes me wonder just how this series is going to turn out.

I’m going to give this one a high 3.5 stars. And I almost recommend waiting to read the whole series until all three are out, unless you are a fantastic re-reader–which I am not.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Seasons Window Display

Hi Guys,

I finally had time to do a display that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time! We have four beautiful windows, two on each side of the entrance to our children’s room, which are just perfect for a four seasons display. And because the weather has been super wonky lately, I thought it would be the perfect time for it.

For a display with a lot of pieces, this wasn’t actually all the complicated. For each of my seasons I had the same land marks but in the seasonal colors and characteristics.

Winter: We have our snowy scenery, snowman and all.

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Spring: Spring showers, may flowers and a bunny too!

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Summer: Summer is probably my least exciting. Summer sun and flying kite fun!

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Fall: Can you tell fall is my favorite season. Falling leaves, scarecrows and pumpkins… Oh my!

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Again, a lot of little pieces here but pretty simple shapes. This is a display that can definitely be reused, in piece or in whole. And it’s one I am going to leave up for a while!

That’s all for now!

-M-

Baby Storytime: 2/11/19

Hi Guys, I tried to incorporate a lot of LOOOVE into my baby storytime this week!

Here is what we did this week:

  • Hello Rhyme – Clap and Sing Hello
    • This is a new hello song for me so we will see how it goes. I created a flip-chart with “hello” on one side and “goodbye” on the other. Same words, just sub hello/goodbye.
  • ASL Baby Signs – LOVE / HEART / KISS51ycfx-zxrl._sx474_bo12c2042c2032c200_
    • I’ve decided that for the babies, instead of teaching them a rhyme in sign language, that I am going to start teaching three vocabulary words each time. I generally use Baby Sign Language.com to check my signs.
  • Song – Skinnamarink by Six Little Ducks
    • A song that ends with “I love you!” and has simple movements everyone knows.
  • Board Book – Snuggle Puppy! By Sandra Boynton
    • I reserved my boardbooks too late so instead of a Valentines Day one, I went with this fun one by Boynton. I pass out a copy to each caregiver and child to help promote one-on-one reading.
  • Rhyme – 1, 2, 3 Little Hearts
    • IMG_1235This is to the tune of ten little Indians. I may or may not teach the ASL sign for “heart,” when we do it.

1 little, 2 little, 3 little hearts
4 little, 5 little, 6 little hearts
7 little, 8 little, 9 little hearts
10 little hearts and a kiss! 

  • Rhyme/Flannel – Six Little Valentines
    • This is one I learned from a colleague and it is a nice surprise when the animals pop out of the envelopes.

 

6 little Valentines were sent to my house,
The first one said, “I love you, From Mouse.”

5 little Valentines in my mailbox,
The second one said, “Be mine, Love Fox.”

4 little Valentines full of love,
The third one said, “You are sweet, From Dove.”

3 little Valentines just for me,
The fourth one said, “Be my honey, Love Bee.”

2 little Valentine’s mailed with care,
The fifth one said, “Here’s a hug, From Bear.”

The last little Valentine, from my friend Jay,
This one said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

  • Stretch – Little Heart
    • This is such a sweet rhyme, so I thought it would be wonderful to share with the babies.

I have a little heart, (place hand over heart) 
And it goes thump, thump, thump (pat chest three times) 
It keeps right on beating, 
When I jump, jump, jump (jump three times) 
I get a special feeling, when I look at you. (point to child) 
It makes me want to give you a hug or two. (hug yourself) 
Credit: The Best Kids Book Site 

  • Song/Sticks – Tapping on my Sticks by Kathy Reid-Naiman
    • I’ve never passed out rhythm sticks before but I have enough of them for my babies and thought I would give it a try.
  • Book – A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy 51lvwcalsql._sx456_bo12c2042c2032c200_
    • Who doesn’t love giving baby lots of kisses near Valentines Day?!
  • Lift – Hug Your Baby
    • This is another sweet one and a lift too! It goes to the tune of row, row, row your boat. I got this one from Jbrary but I switched out “bear” for “baby.”

Hug, hug, hug your baby  
Squeeze him very tight   
Hold him high and help him fly
Then hug with all your might. 

  • Lift/Bounce – Giddy-Up, Giddy-Up
    • I love bounces!!!

Giddy-up, giddy up ride to town (bounce babies on knees)
Giddy-up, giddy-up up and down (lift baby up and down)
Giddy-up fast (bounce quickly)
Giddy up slow (bounce slowly)
Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, whoa! (dip baby backwards gently)

  • Song/Shaker – Dinosaur Rock N Roll by Joanie Bartel
    • Shaker songs stump me. Please send some my way!
  • Song/Bubbles – Bubbles by Parachute Express
    • Kids love bubbles and they are great for strengthening the eye muscles that we later use for reading.
  • Goodbye Rhyme – Clap and Sing Goodbye
    • We end the same way we started.
  • Song – Clean It Up
    • Any good clean up song will work.
  • Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell by Music Together
    • I will always put this one on in the background as everyone leaves because I just love it!

How’d it go:

We started out with just two babies in this group–darn you weather!–but ended up with a good number. So I ended up readjusting a bit in the beginning and went back to my plan about halfway through. So we were a little frazzled but we definitely loved giving hugs and kisses in this loooove themed baby storytime!

That’s all for now!

-M-

Six Little Valentines

Hi Guys,

With Valentines Day coming up, I was looking for a good flannel board. A colleague of mine recommended “Six Little Valentines.” There are versions of this rhyme posted all over the place, but here is the one my colleague sent.

Six Little Valentines 

6 little Valentines were sent to my house,
The first one said, “I love you, From Mouse.” (Red) 

5 little Valentines in my mailbox,
The second one said, “Be mine, Love Fox.”  (Orange) 

4 little Valentines full of love,
The third one said, “You are sweet, From Dove.” (Pink) 

3 little Valentines just for me,
The fourth one said, “Be my honey, Love Bee.”  (Yellow) 

2 little Valentine’s mailed with care,
The fifth one said, “Here’s a hug, From Bear.” (Purple) 

The last little Valentine, from my friend Jay,
This one said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”  (Blue) 

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I made my envelopes by cutting out rectangles, triangles for the fold and a heart as my seal.

My animals, I just printed, laminated and then tacky glued some felt on the backside of the image.

Super easy! Although, I really have to press my envelopes over top of the animals to get them to stick, but it worked so I’m happy.

That’s all for now!

-M-

In An Absent Dream

In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire is the fourth book in the Wayward Children series.

Lundy is a very serious girl. She loves rules and keeps to herself. Although, she is quiet and obedient, Lundy is lonely and doesn’t seem to fit. When a doorway opens to a world of logic, reason and most of all wonder, she doesn’t hesitate to enter. And so begins Lundy’s time in the Goblin Market, a place where fair value rules and every bargain has a cost.

I’m not going to lie, I’d totally forgotten Lundy’s part in the first book Every Heart a Doorway. But it didn’t really matter because each of the books that have been published after Every Heart a Doorway, is actually a prequel and only help to build up the series further. In fact, once McGuire decides she is done with these worlds, I’d love to go back and read that first book because now I will know all of the characters back stories.

In an Absent Dream was magical and bittersweet, just like McGuire’s previous books. It is about not fitting in and finding your true home. One of the things the Market values above all else is that everyone gives fair value. This was a really interesting thing to think about, especially when Lundy brings it back to world she was born to.

I also love Christina Rossetti’s poem, Goblin Market, so it was neat to read this book with the poem in mind, even though they are very different.

Even though I am fully satisfied with the story, I do sort of feel like there was something missing between Lundy and Moon. I needed a little more of a transition from Moon needing Lundy’s help to Moon’s finding her place in the market.

This series can literally do no wrong in my eyes. Each book is wonderful. They can be read by themselves or you can read them as a whole. Although, I would at least recommend reading Every Heart a Doorway, not only because it’s awesome, but also because it give a foundation for the doors.

This book gets 5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Baby Storytime: 2/4/19

Hi Guys,

Finally back to normal baby storytimes! Darn weather, sickness, etc.

Here is what we did this week:

  • Hello Rhyme – Clap and Sing Hello
    • This is a new hello song for me so we will see how it goes. I created a flip-chart with “hello” on one side and “goodbye” on the other. Same words, just sub hello/goodbye.
  • ASL Baby Signs – EAT / THANK YOU / MILK61z-53wzgfl._sy452_bo1204203200_
    • I’ve decided that for the babies, instead of teaching them a rhyme in sign language, that I am going to start teaching three vocabulary words each time. I generally use Baby Sign Language.com to check my signs.
  • Song – Roll Your Hands by Toddlers on Parade
    • This is a simple movement song that is slow and great for babies.
  • Board Book – 123 Counting Fun by Jonathan Litton
    • I don’t know why I don’t use more texture board books in my storytime, but I am going to give this one a try.
  • Rhyme – Fe Fi Fo Fum

Fe fi fo fum. (Touch each finger with thumb-one finger per syllable.)
See my fingers. (Hold up four fingers.)
See my thumb. (Hold up thumb.)
Fe fi fo fum. (Touch each finger with thumb again.)

When cows get up in the morning, they always say hello.
When cows get up in the morning, they always say hello.
And what do they say? Mooooooooo
And that is what they say.

  • Stretch – Fingers Like to Wiggle Waggle

Fingers like to wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle.
Fingers like to wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle.
WAY UP HIGH!
Fingers like to wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle.
Fingers like to wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle, wiggle waggle.
WAY DOWN LOW!

How else do fingers like to wiggle?
(wiggle on different body parts)

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  • Song/Scarves – Scarves On Your Laps by Johnette DowningThis is a great song with simple prompts for moving your scarves around.
  • Book – Get Out of My Bath by Brita Teckentrup
    • I LOVE this one and I thought it would be really neat to do it with the babies in our laps. Move them like you would move the book if you were reading it to them.
  • Lift – Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
    • We lift when we blast off at the end!

Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
If you want to take a trip climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Blast off!

  • Bounce –  I Bounce You Here

I bounce you here, I bounce you there
I bounce you, bounce you everywhere
I tickle you here, I tickle you there
I tickle you, tickle you everywhere
I hug you here, I hug you there
I hug you, hug you everywhere

  • Song/Shaker – Shake Your Shakers Slowly & Shake it to the East by Kathy Reid Naiman
    • Two quick prompted shaker songs.
  • Song/Bubbles – Took a Bath in a Washing Machine by Jim Gill
    • Kids love bubbles and they are great for strengthening the eye muscles that we later use for reading.
  • Goodbye Rhyme – Clap and Sing Goodbye
    • We end the same way we started.
  • Song – Clean It Up
    • Any good clean up song will work.
  • Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell by Music Together
    • I will always put this one on in the background as everyone leaves because I just love it!

How’d it go:

This one went well. My idea for the bath book only went so, so. But it was worth a try. I also totally forgot to do our wiggly waggle fingers. Other than that, fun was had!

That’s all for now!

-M-