Thursday, August 19, 2010

No book club, so bedtime stories instead

I missed book club tonight.  One of those rare occasions when the needs of my children took precedent over my personal need to chat about books, enjoy the friendship of my book groupies, and eat yummy food.  My husband (who works in professional theatre) had the audacity to have a show tonight!  How dare he!  And it corresponded with the being the first day of school -- so, instead of getting a babysitter -- I knew I needed to be home to make sure the kiddos were fed, read and in bed at a descent hour.

Since I haven't worked at the library for the past week, we delved into the stacks of picture books for our bedtime stories tonight -- and we picked out the family favorites:

Dirty Joe -- The Pirate, by Bill Harley illustrations by Jack E. Davis


Summary from B&N
The dreaded Dirty Joe and his piratical crew sail in search of the smelliest treasure ever: dirty socks! The rogues cheerfully pillage their way across the seven seas, until the day they run across another band of pirates-one led by the notorious Stinky Annie. Has Dirty Joe finally met his match?

This tale of pirate plunder will have your children giggling at the sight of dirty socks and pilfered underwear hanging from the masts!  It's especially important in our house because it features characters with the names of two of my children!  They hoot and howl when we mention them!


The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke


Summary from B&N
Violet is a young princess who wishes she could show the world that she is just as brave and strong as her brothers. But her strict father insists that she get married, and her brothers only mock her when she wants to be included in their fun. So Violet decides to use her intelligence and bravery to show everyone--once and for all--what she's made of. Disguising herself as a boy, Violet takes part in a knights' jousting tournament. When she wins the contest, she reveals her true identity--and wins the prize of freedom!

Oh, how I love a Princess story with a feminist twist!  This is my daughter's favorite.

Princess Pigsty, by Cornelia Funke


Summary from B&N
One morning Princess Isabella throws her crown out the window--it's BORING being a princess, she declares. When she steadfastly refuses to fetch her crown from the fishpond, her father, the king, puts his royal foot down. "Off to the pigsty with you!" he commands--and Isabella couldn't be happier about her punishment! Because while plain old princesses spend all their time primping and smiling and stifling yawns--yuckety-yuk!-- REAL girls get to peel onions, pick blackberries, and sometimes even sleep outside with the pigs.

Another great tale about an independent, original princess!

Finally, for the boys:

The Wildest Brother by Cornelia Funke

Summary from B&N
Brave as a lion, strong as an elephant, Ben is a fearless young boy. When it comes to protecting his big sister, Anna, nothing can stand in his way! Gallantly he spends his day battling moldy green ghosts, slime-belching monsters, and all sorts of ferocious beasts. But when the day is over and darkness falls, Ben suddenly doesn't feel quite so brave. Sometimes, he realizes, it's the big sister who does the protecting. Featuring Meyer's witty, whimsical artwork and Funke's deft balance of humor, emotion, and truth, this is the perfect bedtime read for rambunctious brothers and sisters.

Most brothers and sisters won't admit they are willing to take care of each other (at least in our house) but in this book, they do!

I've never read any juvenile fiction by Cornelia Funke, but if they are like her picture books, I'm sure I would love them!

As far as book club, I was supposed to read, Same Kind of Different as Me, by  Ron Hall and Denver Moore -- but once I knew I couldn't attend -- my copy got passed to another book club member, and it never made it back around. I know the buzz in our group that it was a GREAT book -- I hope I get a chance to read it sometime. 

Our next book club selection is:

The Sweet By and By by Todd Johnson


Summary from B&N
In his debut novel, Todd Johnson explores the lives of five Southern women who are unexpectedly connected to each other. While most of the action takes place in a nursing home, their stories never fall short of livelihood. Think of it as Steel Magnolias meets The Golden Girls.
I haven't heard much about this novel -- anyone out there read it?

Well, off to clean the kitchen, then to bed -- for it's a school day tomorrow!