Search results for 'LOST. FOUND'

Lost. Found.

30 Dec

Lost. Found. written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Matthew Cordell (2015)

Lovely new story with only two words. The story is told through the illustrations and the lost/found pattern even the youngest readers can pick up on quickly. Bear has a long red scarf which he loses in the woods. It is found by two raccoons who end up losing it over a game of tug of war. The scarf is then found by a series of forest animals who end up losing it. When the wind eventually blows the scarf into the middle of the meadow all of the animals fight over it and tear it to shreds. With nothing but red yarn left, the animals gather it all up and sit in a circle as the bear knits a new scarf, longer and thinner than the first so that everyone can share it while sitting around a campfire.


Kids and parents will fall in love with Bear and his new friends. Learning to share  is so much better than fighting and tearing apart. The art work gives so much for you to feast your eyes on. The details are in the drawings. I would love to hear a little one tell a story using the pictures. Storytelling and vocabulary building are so important to reading development. This is the perfect book to engage a child’s own story.

Do you have older kids who would like to learn how to knit? Try one of these methods.


Finger Knitting 


Toilet Paper Roll Knitting (featuring Lost. Found.)


Knitting with Straws 


Teaching Kids to Knit 

Imperfect Gifts for Thanksgiving

21 Nov

Last July, my mother took a bad fall from the top of the staircase. She spent her birthday in the hospital. Luckily no bones were broken, but she had severe cuts and bruises and her dementia worsened significantly. Mom had to give up her license and her home. This has been an emotional ride for the whole family. Thankfully, mom doesn’t need to be alone through this, she has children and grandchildren and great grandchildren who love her dearly. Mom is living with my sister and brother-in-law who have made her feel welcome and needed. She spends many hours a week watching a digital picture frame of photos from her past and retelling those memories to everyone who stops in for a visit. In cleaning out her house, I passed heirlooms on to the family. One thing I kept for myself was her set of knitting needles. There are many things mom can’t do anymore, but knitting is something she can do. And teaching me to knit is one of her new tasks.

22291344_2014584645484208_4380399781917116534_oIn September, I was thrilled to meet funny man and Caledecott Award winner, Dan Santat. I was moved to tears hearing the back story behind his newest picture book, which he authorstrated.  In addition to getting my copy signed by the legendary surly asian guy, I also got a beautiful tote bag. That bag has become my knitting bag. I’m proud and happy to have a reminder that mom can still teach me something new literally ‘after the fall’. Like Humpty Dumpty, mom was able to pick herself back up (with lots of help and support) and move forward in her life. She is an inspiration to me and I know I’ll never read this story without thinking about her. IMG_7800

AFTER THE FALL written and illustrated by Dan Santat (Roaring Brook Press, 2017) That famous egg Humpty Dumpty takes the famous fall. But what happens when all the king’s horses and all the king’s men put him back together again? He’s patched up but not quite the same. Not only can’t he climb back up the wall to sit and do his favorite thing, bird watching, he can’t even climb up to the top bunk and ends up sleeping on the floor. The wall haunts him. Now even bird watching mocks him. He faces the wall every day. And little by little he works up the courage to climb back up. What happens when he does? Humpty Dumpty cracks again… and he flies away. Humpty Dumpty is the most beautiful bird in the sky.

So fast forward to today, two days before Thanksgiving and I count my blessings, always counting my family first. With mom’s help I have knit four scarves and one baby blanket to give my grandchildren for Thanksgiving. Today was such a gorgeous sunny day, I took pictures of everything outside to show off the rich colors.




If you look closely, you’ll see all the imperfections. But I hope you also see the love. The first two scarves have the most mistakes. Each one was ‘ripped’ and restarted more than once. There were a lot of dropped stitches and uneven edges. But I eventually mastered the simple garter stitch, casting on, binding off, and adding a new skein of yarn to a working project.  I finished them both off with pom-poms using up the leftover yarn and adding a bit of both colors mixed with white so each granddaughter would have a piece of her cousin’s scarf in her own. The next two multicolored pastel scarves are for the two older granddaughters’ younger sisters. The yarn was dyed like this and I bought a giant skein so I didn’t even have to add another ball to finish each one. By now, I was able to whip these up in a couple of days. Then the big challenge came. I learned to combine the knit stitch with the purl stitch and a slip stitch and followed a simple herring bone pattern using two different balls of yarn at the same time to make a car seat/stroller blanket for my youngest grandchild and first grandson… the little prince. Wow, after the scarves I thought I was up for something different. This was a little more than I had bargained for. Not only was I losing track of the pattern, I had trouble keeping my tension even, so one end of the blanket is much wider than the other end.

The scarves and blanket are ready to give my precious grandchildren. They’re not perfect, but then neither am I . So when my little ones are wrapped up in soft colorful yarn, they’re also wrapped up in my love. And because I am who I am, no gift is complete without a book. No, no one got my signed copy of AFTER THE FALL. But I did find three books featuring knitting to give each family.  Sadly, I mailed off the baby blanket this morning without a book picture, but you get the idea.





EXTRA YARN written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Balzer and Bray, 2012) In a black and white world Annabelle finds a box of colorful yarn. After knitting a sweater for herself, she uses   some of the extra yarn to knit a sweater for her dog, then her neighbor, and his dog, and her classmates, and her teacher but she still had extra yarn. It seems that tiny box had an endless supply of colorful yarn, so Annabelle knits sweaters for her mom and dad, and all the people (except Mr. Crabtree), and all the animals in her neighborhood. Then she goes around the world knitting and spreading bright colors over the otherwise drab scenery. An evil archduke offers Annabelle a million dollars for her box of yarn but she refuses to sell it, so he sends robbers into her room to steal the box. Unfortunately, when he gets the box it is empty. He curses her and throws the box out the window. The box finds its way back to Annabelle who still had enough extra yarn to knit a sweater for her tree.

LOST. FOUND written by Marsha Diane Arnold and illustrated by Matthew Cordell (Roaring Brook Press, 2015) Bear loses his long red scarf in the woods. It is alternately found and then repeatedly lost again by each animal who finds it. Eventually they all find it again in a clearing and in a struggle to claim the scarf for themselves they destroy it. But Bear has an idea, taking up all the loose yarn he teaches the forest animals to knit one extra long scarf that they all share around a campfire.

PENGUIN AND PINECONE written and illustrated by Salina Yoon (Bloomsbury, 2012) Penguin loves his new friend Pinecone and thinking he might be cold, Penguin knits him a scarf to match his own. Pinecone is still cold, so Penguin does the hardest thing… he helps him return home to the pine tree forest and leaves him in a pine nest to keep him warm. When Penguin returns he finds his friend has grown into something even greater.

Another great picture book is KNIT TOGETHER written and illustrated by Angela Dominguez (Dial Books, 2015). I wrote a post about it a few years ago. Follow this link for a quick review and some fun yarn activities you can do with your little ones too.

There’s more fun with LOST. FOUND and PENGUIN AND PINECONE on these pages.

*** If you got this far, please like, comment, or share. Thank you! ***



Lost Dog

20 Oct



Title: Lost Dog

Author & Illustrator: Michael Garland

Publisher: Holiday House

Year: 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3429-9

Summary: Pete, the dog, was on his way to his grandma’s house to give her a birthday present when he decided to get off the busy highway. Pretty soon he was lost. He got directions from the bear in the woods, the buffalo on the plains, the jaguar in the jungle, and the whale in the ocean. Soon he found Mutt Street and his grandma.

Literary Merit: Easy vocabulary. Phrase repetition.

Kid Appeal: What happens when a dog (pet) gets lost? Can he find his way home? What adventures could he have along the way?


Disclaimer: This book was nominated for the 2015 CYBILS Award in the Easy Reader category. This review is shared as part of the Round One Judging. It is solely my own opinion and not influenced by any other parties.

October 3 – World Smile Day

1 Oct

Happy Smile Day!

I love that when I type in one single word, SMILE, onto my library’s search page I get 1819 suggestions! Clap Along!


You Make Me Smile written and illustrated by Layn Marlow (2013)

This books makes me smile all over! A snowman tells the story of a child enjoying a special day, the first snow day of the year. The snowman anticipates the day before the snow starts to fall and while the child is getting bundled up. Finally the child builds the snowman, gives him a warm scarf and makes him smile with a small curved twig. And although spring is around the corner, the snowman promises that he will be back when the seasons pass and winter returns.


Happy Belly, Happy Smile written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora (2009)

Louie spends every Friday with his grandfather. Grandfather owns a Chinese restaurant, and Louie knows everyone who works there. One Friday, Louie sees his friend, Franklin, at the restaurant.  At the end of the meal, Grandfather opens his fortune cookie. It says ‘Happy food, happy belly, happy smile.’ Louie and Franklin put an orange slice in their mouths and give each other a huge smile.


I Love It When You Smile written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Charles Fuge (2006)

Little Roo was feeling grumpy. Nothing his mother did helped him feel better. She tried tossing him up in the air and tossing leaves over his head, but still he didn’t smile. Finally, his mother put him in her pouch to go home for lunch. But partway down the hill, Little Roo’s mother slipped in a mud puddle and got them both muddy from head to toe. When Little Roo saw his mother’s muddy face he couldn’t help but… smile!


Where’s Your Smile, Crocodile? written by Claire Freedman and illustrated by Sean Julian (2001)

Kyle the Crocodile woke up feeling grumpy. His mother sends him out to play hoping he’ll find his smile. Parrot tried to cheer him up with his silly noises. Orange Monkey tried to cheer him up with her silly faces. Elephant tried to cheer him up her noisy bubbles. But nothing worked. Then Kyle the Crocodile round Little Lion Cub sitting by himself. Little Lion Cub had lost his way home. So Kyle and Little Lion Cub go off together to find what they had lost. To cheer up the Little Lion Cub, Kyle made Parrot’s silly noises, Orange Monkey’s silly faces, and Elephant’s noisy bubbles. Little Lion Cub soon felt better. When they reached the deep purple cave, Little Lion Cub was even happier because they had found his home. And Kyle the Crocodile felt better because he had found his smile.


Smile! written and photographed by Roberta Grobel Intrater (1997)

This collection of adorable babies will make you smile too! Simple, rhyming lines and photographs of real smiling babies create a special boardbook for babies and toddlers and their parents.

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