On Saturday we went to discover what Blue Marble Books in Mount Airy is all about. It’s a converted row house- super charming- and they were having a literary festival. Lucky us!
They had authors doing readings every hour so we checked out two different stories. The first one was Will You Please Go To Sleep illustrated by Ron Cortes. (Do you remember the NY Times best selling Go the F*** to Sleep? Same author/illustrator, but this is a child-friendly version.) Quite predictably, the parents were more excited about this reading than the kids.
While we waited for the second story we went for a walk around the block. It was such a sunny day so there were lots of people out and about, visiting the co-op next door, or the coffee shop around the corner, or the antique/vintage warehouse across the street. Blue Marble Books is on the happiest (or most progressive) block ever!
The second story we got to hear was super interactive for the kids. I’ll have to update this post with the title and author of the book, but let me just tell you the reader was amazing. The book she read was about a train and it was written by her grandmother, but was never published all those years ago because publishers said they had no need for another book about trains. Interesting, no?
It was a cute book about choosing your own journey in life and all the kids got so into it. The woman leading the reading had each child volunteer for roles making various train sounds. Rachel was smartly paired with one of the older girls (5 or 6 maybe) and their job was to shake boxes of Good & Plenty to make the chugging sound of the train. (The older girl’s job was also to kind of keep Rachel…on task. A first lesson in mentorship and I’d say she did a good job!)
I was so impressed at this woman’s ability to keep everyone engaged. And I was maybe even more impressed with how well Rach followed directions. We had so much fun and we’ll definitely have to try going to more events like this.
Have you checked out any new places or events with your family recently?
Have you heard of The Happiness Project? It is a great book (also a blog) that I sort of bought myself for Christmas (as in, I bought it as a white elephant gift then stole it from the person who picked it first…ha!).
I’m not gonna go all grad school book review on you, but I will say this: this book is filled with super smart, unique insights on the concepts of happiness and how to achieve it. It’s very happiness is a journey, not a destination, and I kind of like that. But she also gives great commentary on very specific topics like money (does it buy happiness after all?) and clutter (how is how we keep our stuff related to our attitude?) and a whole host of other topics.
She talks a lot about being yourself, which is really speaking to me at the moment. For example, how many times do we deny ourselves a hobby that makes us happy, like reading kid lit (her example) or watching sports (mine), because we think it’s either “illegitimate” or that we are not the “type of person” who should take interest in such a hobby? Think of just how much happiness we are denying ourselves. She says, think of what you liked to do when you were 10. You probably still really like a lot of that stuff, and that’s ok. Do what makes you happy. Even if it’s reading comic books. Or watching trashy television. Or collecting coins. Tons of grown ups do these things, i.e. it’s possible to be a grown up and do what you love and be mature and/or legitimate and have fun, and guess what, that makes being around you more fun, which makes people want to hang out with you more often, which makes you happy too, whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert!
It’s a total game changer for me. I am not finished with it yet, but I am whipping right through it. My bag is like a library right now, to be honest. (How many books does a girl need to carry with her? I’m not going to read them all at once, right?) If I love any of the others as much as I love this book, maybe I’ll share thoughts on them here too.
- Princess of the Potty by Nora Gaydos
Just for a little inspiration. Rachel has loved this book for weeks now and is starting to warm up to the idea of using her own potty.
- Curious George and the Firefighters by H.A. Rey
A new favorite for our collection, thanks to Nana.
- Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
A cautionary tale, indeed. Do you love Mo Willems yet?
- Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
We don’t so much read our Madeline books as we pore over the beautifully quirky illustrations.
- Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year
Anne Lammott’s account of the first year raising her son. Funny, candid, and filled with good faith.
- Listography by Nathaniel Russell
This book is like a brilliant set of writing prompts. If you are a list-maker like me, this one is for you.
- Marley & Me
One of the few family-friendly selections in our dvd collection. I thought Rachel would disregard it from the beginning, but she is totally mesmerized by this dog and he holds her attention right up until the movie gets painfully sad. Then she disregards it. Perfect!
- Napoleon Dynamite
Rachel and Jim are in love with the dancing scenes.
- Alice in Wonderland
No description necessary, right? Best. kids. movie. ever.
- Elmo in Grouchland
The theme is don’t be greedy. The Sesame Street gang basically commits civil disobedience. The good guys win. Need I say more?
- The Help
Definitely a must-see movie, and now on my must-read list.
What are you reading and watching?