Monster Trouble! by Lane Fredrickson, illustrated by Michael Robertson

Source: Sterling Children’s Books
Hardcover, 26 pgs.
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Monster Trouble! by Lane Fredrickson, illustrated by Michael Robertson, was a big hit.  Winifred Schnitzel has an active imagination and is fearless, even when monsters arrive in her bedroom.  Like my daughter, she loves Halloween, monsters, and ghouls, but what she doesn’t like is interrupted sleep.  She tries to ignore their noises and their distractions, but it’s of no use.  The more the monsters come and visit, the sleepier she is during the day.  She can’t even have fun.

While the immediate subtext for adults is that this child who loves monsters is having dreams that keep her from achieving full rest — they might be nightmares.  Parents can use this story to teach little ones about being strong and taking care of their nightmares with their imaginations.  Winifred uses a Monsters Beware book to lay traps, use smelly cheeses, and more to get the monsters to leave.  But the biggest weapon she has is her love for all that’s ghoulish.

Monster Trouble! by Lane Fredrickson, illustrated by Michael Robertson, has been read more than once, and my daughter adores the colorful “scary” monsters and the traps Winifred sets for them.  We were giggling as the monsters get trapped and outwit her, until finally she turns on the love.













The Colorado Kid by Stephen King (audio)

Source: Public Library
Audiobook, 4 CDs
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The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, narrated by Jeffrey DeMunn, is one of those mysteries that King does from time to time, bringing his readers on a journey through evidence and oddities in a case.  King’s use of small town, older journalists in a Maine town gives the story a rather low key quality, as they talk about the 25-year-old mystery of an unidentified man found dead.  The dead man has no identification on his body, but as they unravel the mystery of his identity, the case gets stranger.

These characters are in a small town that crawls with tourists in the summer and sometimes big city journalists looking for their big break in the headlines about small town freakish accidents and murders.  Those who live in the town look suspiciously at those from out of town.  What’s important here is not solving the mystery of the man’s death but the journey of uncovering the truth, even if cases are not neatly tied up.  DeMunn does a fantastic job in his narration, providing a local-sound drawl for these Mainers.

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, narrated by Jeffrey DeMunn, is a mystery that could leave some readers frustrated, either because of its conclusion or because the story is mainly two men recounting their efforts to solve a 25-year-old case in which an unidentified man is found dead.  However, like with many King novels, this one is more than its surface reading — it’s about the niggling feeling at the back of your mind to uncover the truth to find out why things happen they way they do, rather than make up a story that is plausible but not likely to be true.  Good journalists and detectives have this desire, this passion for uncovering facts.  King is paying homage to those who do their best to uncover the facts of unsolved murders and unexplained deaths.

About the Author:

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.









Guest Post: Writing and the Written Word

Around here, we’ve got a respect for the written word. Notice I said “written” word, not “typed” word or “T9ed” word or “voice to texted” word. We’re talking about the written word: that which you learned at school. This is the kind of writing that saw your little hands trying to mimic the smooth loops of your teacher’s cursive, or the neat, plain print your Mother used to address a letter. Handwriting has a special place in our hearts and our brains. And even though most of the words on this blog are typed in through a keyboard control surface, it’s handwriting which wins the day in our hearts and our homes.

Uni-ball is trying to take handwriting back for a new generation, one that no longer teaches cursive in schools and instead emphasizes technological forms of collecting and organizing words. For the college professor profiles in uni-ball’s new ad, handwriting is the most personal form of recorded communication, and it’s one that has a unique role in our society and personal development.

She makes her own students write with pens on paper when taking their own field notes. She thinks it facilitates learning and memory in a way that keyboarding does not. She also cherishes handwritten notes from her students, and keeps them forever. She also writes plenty of her own. It’s not just retro sentimentality. Handwriting is different than keyboard communication. It contains a personal nuance that is as differentiated as every individual’s fingerprint.

To keep handwriting alive, she used uni-ball pens. For ease of use and smoothness, uni-ball is unparallelled. It’s a writer’s pen, perfecting the form in a day when technologists would be tempted to call it irrelevant. But handwriting will always have a place, even as other communication forms evolve. There’s nothing like it for personal communication, for a tactile handling of a thought. To learn more about the pen click here, and perhaps try out your own uni-ball pens.

All the Words Are Yours: Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson

Source: Penguin Random House Hardcover, 144 pgs. I am an Amazon Affiliate All the Words Are Yours: Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson is a collection of haiku poems — though not all of them include references to nature — about love and all of its manifestations. This small collection, however, is just a […]

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (audio)

Source: Public library Audiobook, 6 CDs I am an Amazon Affiliate Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, narrated by Jeannie Stith, is an extremely disturbing look at the mindset of a teenager caught in the grips of anorexia.  Cassie calls Lia a wintergirl, a girl living between life and death with a beating heart but not […]

Mailbox Monday #343

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too. Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that […]

325th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 325th Virtual Poetry Circle! Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful. Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her […]

The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings by Anna Llenas

Source: Sterling Children’s Books Hardcover, 20 pgs. I am an Amazon Affiliate The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings by Anna Llenas is a wonderful use of paper art and color.  Imagine a gray scale world in which the monster is the only one in color, and his rainbow of color signifies that his […]