Monday, July 16, 2012

Old Bear

Old Bear is a wonderful picture book by Kevin Henkes. In this story, an older bear (we're not told exactly how old so he could be a senior or simply an adult bear) hibernates for the winter. As he sleeps, he dreams he is once again a cub in a magical world. At first it's spring where everything is purples, pink and green and where the flowers are huge enough for the small cub to take a nap in. Next, it's summer where the leaves turn into butterflies and the clouds rain blueberries! Then, it's fall and the world is yellow, orange, and brown (even the fish). Finally, it's winter again and the adorable cub looks out at a glittery world of snow. In case you hadn't guessed, this book has gorgeous illustrations full of vibrant color. Finally, the old bear awakens, yawns, stretches and looks outside. Other than his being full-grown, it's as though his dream of spring has come alive!

Definitely a fantastic picture book. Not only are there lovely colors, there's an exceptionally cute bear. Highly recommended.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Berenstain Bears' New Pup

I want a puppy! I want a puppy!

In The Berenstain Bears' New Pup, Mama Bear takes Brother and Sister to a local farm to buy fresh eggs (love the encouragement there to go natural :). When they near the barn, Brother spots a sign that says "Pups for Sale." Mama is naturally reluctant, but after much cajoling is convinced by the cubs' promises that they're take care of the cute little guy. Then the pup is placed in Mama's arms and wins her over in an instant. Home they all go. At home, the puppy is a typical puppy making little messes here and there. She even breaks all the farm fresh eggs! With a stern look, Mama says she's going back to the farm. After a moment of panic, she relieves the cubs' fears that her purpose is to return the pup--they simply need more eggs!

As usual, this was an incredibly cute story. No rhyming scheme, but a solid plot with good doses of humor. This book is perfect for young readers grades 2-3 and a read-a-loud for younger.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Edward's Overwhelming Overnight

Edward's Overwhelming Overnight is another book in the Edward the Unready series by Rosemary Wells. I'm still unsure what the point of this line of stories is other than assure kids that it's okay and normal to be scared of things. Though that's a positive lesson, I'd much rather the hero of the story muster the courage to overcome--perhaps not immediately but in time. The stories simply end with the kid returning to where it's safe, and thus showing no growth.

In this story Edward goes over to a friend's house during the day to play in the snow. He's a bit apprehensive, but is enthused to play with his friend and happily makes a snow bear! As they play, snow begins to fall, harder and harder. Suddenly, Edward learns the snow is too deep for his parents' to come and pick him up and thus he'll have to spend the night. Edward becomes despondent and cannot be soothed even by new pajamas or a chat with his parents. Apparently equally worried about being separated from this baby bear, Edward's parents dig out the car and make the treacherous journey to pick him up. Home at last with his parents, everyone is happy.

It's hard to describe but the ending to the story strikes me as most peculiar. Perhaps it's meant to show that parents worry too and the best resolution is an intact family hunkering down in a blizzard and ignoring the world (the last page is the family in bed reading a story as they ignore the phone). Somehow that just doesn't resonate with me. That being said, the illustrations are nice and the story is suitable for an early reader grades 1-2.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Quick Update - 37 Weeks

Sorry, no picture. I'm pooped after much much driving around today.

This morning I saw my regular OB provider. Everything's on track again--we're measuring exactly 37 cm in fundal height, which corresponds to the number of weeks we are to date. If you recall last time, at 35 weeks, a midwife measured us smaller at 33 cm. Now it could be user error by either individual, but yet again that makes me question why fundal height is the primary measurement to determine size per my health care insurance covers at this stage in the game as opposed to a 36 week ultrasound relatively common in the private sector. My regular provider suggested that the baby's position may had affected the measurement last time--the Blueberry was sunny side up (occiput posterior) last time but was facing my back ( occiput anterior) this morning, but I remain unconvinced.

Blood pressure and baby's heartbeat were all normal. At 37 weeks, the fetus is considered full term. Thus, he could come tomorrow or weeks from now. But we're definitely in the home stretch, at last.

In other happy news, my auntie arrived today! Though we're mostly set for baby's arrival, I'm sure I'll find many things for her to do. I also hope we have time to do some fun things pre-baby while she's here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Baby Bump - 36 weeks

In theory, we're in the home stretch with 4 weeks until our due date. The baby bump's getting so big. Hopefully the Blueberry's growing to a healthy but nice deliverable size.

Here are a few shots:


Oh dear...

Where did my toes go?!

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

It's July! Can you believe it? Only just over four weeks until the Blueberry's due date. I'm not naive enough to think he'll arrive on time, but I'm a big fan of countdowns so here's hoping.

Speaking of counting, today's book involves counting to ten. It also involves a fierce predator (snake) and cute prey (mice). In this story, ten little mice go out in the meadow to play. They know that snakes lurk in the meadow, but soon after playing forget and all take a nap. Meanwhile, a very hungry snake enters the scene. Despite being famished, the snake decides to collect the mice in a glass jar (most likely so we can count them). As he collects the sleeping mice, he counts them. Just as the last mouse is tucked away in the jar, the mice awake. Demonstrating that brawn isn't always best, the mice outsmart the snake and get away.

Though a truly simple tale, I enjoyed this story a lot. It provides a fair number of discussion opportunities as both mouse and snake fail to act rationally. The illustrations are simple but detailed enough to further the story. Suitable for early readers grades k-1.