Friday, 28 March 2014

A Big Ball of String

A Big Ball of String

Written and Illustrated by Marion Holland
ISBN: 0-00-171318-3
Pages: 64
A Dr. Seuss I can read all by myself beginner book

A Big Ball of string is a fantastic book for the early reader.  It is written with simple phonetics and sight words, making it a great book for the child just starting to read.  It starts with a boy and a little bit of string, but it's not long enough to make anything.  He goes in search of more.  Mum has plenty.. but not that he can have.  Dad has plenty... but not that he can have.  When he finally finds some string he becomes sick and has to stay in bed.  This is where his imagination soars.  It is intriguing what a boy can do with a piece of string.  Each thing he does I can imagine any boy trying to do.  Hence, it actually put a small smile on my face. 

Give your child some string and then have them read aloud this book.  Then set them on a mission to do something with their string, hiding all objects you don't want them to use!
This book is a part of the "I can read it all by myself series".  Due to the phonetics and simple sight words I think this book will be enjoyed by most early readers.
As this is part of the Dr. Suess beginner readers series (yet not written by Dr Seuss) I thought I would add one of the quotes I like from his book "Happy Birthday to you".

Monday, 24 March 2014


Om-Kas-Toe - Blackfeet Twin Captures an Elkdog
Author: Kenneth Thomasma
ISBN: 978-1-880114-05-6
Pages 215

Both my children really enjoyed this book and so did I.  It is a long looking chapter book, but don't let that distract you as the print doesn't completely fill the page and there are plenty of illustrations to keep the reader interested.  The recommended reading age is 9-13 and I think they are right on track (keeping in mind everyone reads at different levels.  It may be harder for some 9 year olds, but keep encouraging and reading)

This is a story of Indian twins and their adventures as they grow from babies to young adults.  Om-kas-toe finds a raven which helps them through several trials.  They also discover the horse, which they haven't seen before.  They call it an elkdog and the reasoning behind this is in the story.  There are many Indian traditions told along with hunting and discoveries, all in story form. 

Om-kas-toe captured our imaginations and sparked an interest in the indians.

I found Om-Kas-Toe was available through Book Depository and it can also be sourced from Fishpond when available.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

This is poem I wrote for one of my poetry papers.  I really enjoyed writing this.  It was and the kids needed everything at once while the deadline loomed for this poem.  The repetition of certain words in the correct places was an essential component of the poem.  It made it difficult to write but in the end I really enjoyed it and it still puts a smile on my face. 

I am sure that many mothers can relate to this poem and I hope it makes someone else smile too.

In need of a maid

I still need to put wood on the fire,

And the kids are screaming for their tea,

Oh, I need a maid I can hire.

Phone rings in my ear, please pull out the wire,

Is it someone else needing charity?

I still need to put wood on the fire.

Date of the food in the fridge is about to expire!

Is a perfect home just fantasy?

Oh, I need a maid I can hire.

Iron, dust, vacuum – I’m starting to perspire,

Each job seems an enormity,

I still need to put wood on the fire.


My daughter whines of shoes she does desire,

Can’t anything be tax-free?

Oh, I need a maid I can hire.

I really need to retire.
Does anyone out there hear me?

I still need to put wood on the fire!

Oh, I need a maid I can hire.