Introducing the Octopus… and Tolkien Week

September 23, 2013 at 11:42 pm (Education, Events, Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Weekly Low Down on Kids Books and Adventures in Homeschooling with an Octopus and Tolkien…

Squissy2-103x160Title: Squishy the Octopus

Author: Mary Reason Theriot

Illustrations: Zoie Mahaffey

The last few weeks have been exciting.  With the start of fall and the new school year and kiddo turning three in October, we’ve been diving more heavily into “school time.”  There was a video floating around on facebook, courtesy of the Libertarian Homeschooler or maybe Practical Homeschooling – not sure which, dealing with the camouflage abilities of the octopus.

The video we watched (Where is the Octopus?) is here: http://www.sciencefriday.com/video/08/05/2011/where-s-the-octopus.html.

Add in discussions of legs, all things regarding the prefix “oct,” and an a event where Mary Reason Theriot debuted her children’s books, we’ve had quite a big week!

Authors Mary Reason Theriot and Jennifer Theriot at Good Books in the Woods during their Fall Festival

Authors Mary Reason Theriot & Jennifer Theriot

Theriot is quite a popular novelist on Amazon.  Living in Louisiana with her husband and daughter, she avidly writes spooky thrillers with a southern twist that only the home of the Cajun seem to be able to offer.  But most recently, with the aid of her extremely enterprising daughter, she’s branched out and started writing children’s stories as well.

In Squishy the Octopus, a little octopus with a big anger management problem learns to control his temper with the help of his other sea creature friends.  On various pages, like in the video above, Squishy changes color.  My own little kiddo got really excited when this happened, “Let me see the picture!” she’d exclaim, “What color is he now?”

Unrelated to sea creatures, but highly related to our homeschooling life, is the fact that this week is Tolkien week.  September 21st was the 76th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  An day that was celebrated with the first annual Fall Festival at

Archie Rocks Acoustic, little Theriot and my own kiddo in the garden at GBITW.

Archie Rocks Acoustic, little Theriot and my own kiddo in the garden at GBITW.

Good Books in the Woods.  There was a costume contest, a toast to Tolkien, Mary Reason Theriot doing a book signing, Aoristos portraits being drawn and more.  It was a pretty neat event, which we wrapped up at home with the kiddo indulging in a long time favorite The Lord of the Rings cartoon (the 1978 one, we have it on VHS… and yes, we still use our VCR).

September 22nd (yesterday) was Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ birthday! They were born in different years, but on the same day! Something, I suppose, only truly geeky Tolkien fans care about.  So this week is Tolkien week.

I may work for Half Price Books, a company I absolutely adore for so many reasons, but I spend a good chunk of my spare time at Good Books in the Woods.  It is definitely my home away from home these days.  My kid plays in the garden and with the toybox set up in the kids section while I absorb the ambiance of a house taken over by books.  If my husband ever let me, the inside of my house would look exactly like Good Books…

 

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Exposure is Everything

November 17, 2011 at 2:57 pm (In So Many Words) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

My whole life I have been enthralled by the world of books.  As a child, I was an avid reader the school librarian could not keep appeased.  I lived in the worlds of Laura Ingalls, L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and more.  Although I went to college to study business, as soon as I was out I sought a position in a bookstore; my dream was to run the literature section, and I did.  I worked there for some years, fully stocked up my home collection, became the inventory manager, but then had a baby and so left the company.

We have 17 overflowing bookshelves in our house and books stacked on every available end table in between.  I have been gathering up children’s titles throughout my pregnancy until now for my daughter, preparing for a lust of the written word comparable to mine.

People keep warning me that she may not want to read, she may not like it like I do.  They keep telling me I cannot force my child to enjoy my hobbies.

I am not forcing her.  I am making the written word available.  She sees books everywhere, she sees people enjoying books everywhere.  In addition to our own collection that we read from every day, we visit the public library for group readings and she sees people outside her family unit gathering to enjoy a book.

My daughter is one year old, and already she often chooses Eric Carle over a stuffed animal.  She brings me Rainbow Fish and expects me to read it aloud while she sorts her blocks.  It seems sometimes as though she is not actually listening, just sorting her belongings, until I stop reading and she looks up and points at the book.  My daughter sorts through her picture books and flips through the pages, she even has her own little cushioned rocking chair she climbs into to do it.  She rocks and pretends to read while I lounge and read in our library in our house.

My daughter loves books, and I am both amazed and proud.  I implore the world to make books available to their children from a young age.  Read aloud to them, they cannot help but be interested and thirsty for stories and knowledge.

Get Your Kid Started!

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