Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg and Helping Kids Work Through Mistakes

beautiful oopsI first picked up Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg while shopping for a baby shower gift last year. Because I’d gone to an actual bookstore, I found myself thumbing through books I probably wouldn’t have noticed online. Beautiful Oops is a collection of mistakes turned into illustrations. A torn piece of paper, for example, becomes the toothy grin of a friendly alligator. Every time I see my children get angry about a mistake (especially in art), this book comes to mind. After a particularly frustrating discussion during an art project last week, I put together an impromptu activity around Beautiful Oops. Continue reading


Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

thick as thievesSince The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner is one of my all-time favorite books, I was beyond excited to find out that she would be publishing another book in the series this year. Thick as Thieves was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. The strange thing is, once I finally got a copy of the book from the library, it sat on my nightstand for weeks. I think I was afraid to start. What if it couldn’t stand up to the rest of the books I’ve loved for years?  Continue reading

Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery

emilyTrue confession time: I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables or any other of the Anne series by L.M. Montgomery. I grew up watching (and loving) the Megan Fellows version, but I have a weird thing about reading books after I see the movie. It’s not that I won’t do it, it’s just that those books never seem to make it to the top of my list without a push. I decided to dip my toe in the water with Emily of New Moon instead. Continue reading

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

ready player oneReady Player One by Ernest Cline was on my I-think-I’d-really-like-this list for over 6 months before a good friend gave me a copy for Christmas. Hurray! Then it sat on my bookshelf for another 6 months while I desperately read library books the week they were due. (There’s nothing like a looming due date to get me reading.) Last week, I finally sat myself down and started reading.

Wade Watts, like many of the people living in 2044, spends almost all his time online in a virtual reality simulation known as OASIS. He attends school online, hangs out with his best (and only) friend in a private chat room, and spends hours each day scouring the school’s comprehensive online library since he lacks the digital or real money necessary to travel between the worlds of OASIS.  Continue reading