Monthly Archives: December 2012

Book Find! (Library Sale)

Aside from talking to your children, reading to your children is the most important thing you can do to strengthen language development, vocabulary and a love of reading, all fiercely important skills despite the looming robot takeover. Not to mention expanding their minds, sharing the visual feast that is the picture book and teaching the important of effective character voices. I am generally not a fan of ebooks, story apps etc for children because (in my opinion) reading children’s books is a live, face to face ordeal. Also I like the physical book in my hand, maybe with a couple of tears or crayon scribbles.

The problem? Buying them new is expensive. Those of you who know me know that I am slightly obsessed with buying things second hand SO what I am going to is document the additions I make to Jolene’s library over the next however long I keep blogging.  I realize that it is a privilege to live in an area that is bursting with high quality, used children’s books, but hopefully some of these ideas can be applicable in non college town communities.  My emphasis is on good children’s literature (original storylines, no branded characters, beautiful illustrations) and where to find it CHEAP. Cost is a big thing for lots of parents, but particularly for the young and single variety who don’t have those years of saving under their belt/ massive student loans. Heheheh…. SO yeah I’m going to experiment…part bargin bragging, part book reviews and we will see how it goes.

Here is my first place to find books! Library sales! This one was on the town green across from my house (we are very lucky and live across from our teeny town library). I spent 2.50 on 10 books, 25 cents each.

(Titles from L to R, top to bottom…)
Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones by Ruth Heller, Door to Door by Bernard Lodge, Animals Born Alive and Well by Ruth Heller, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by John Scieszka,The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, Curious George Goes Camping by H.A Rey, A Picture Book of Amelia Earhart by David A. Adler illustrated by Jeff Fisher, When I was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant illustrated by Diane Goode, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton, A Chair for my Mother by Vera B. Williams

If you are a member of your local library, they probably have a mailing list and can tell you about books sales to raise money for the library… (if you live across from you look out the window and see that there is a library sale)… otherwise maybe the library’s website? Also most libraries have discard piles of duplicates or old books, and often there is good stuff. Of course the regular old library is a great way to go, but I would love to build a collection so that I can be a little mini library of sorts.

My favorite book I found at the sale, and truly one of my favorite children’s books of all times is A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams.  It is about a girl and her mother (and the grandma! Woohoo lets hear it for  multi generational, single parent families!!)  saving up money  to buy a chair so that the mother sit down after her long shifts waitressing. The story is simple and the illustrations (watercolor I think) are just bursting with color.

A new book I discovered (also a Caldecott Honor book PLUS Reading Rainbow B ook) is When I was Young in the Mountains written by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Diane Goode. This one makes me nostalgic for a childhood I never even knew- pumping water, killing snakes, gettin baptized- all in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia (where, as it turns out, Cynthia Rylant grew up). The writing is honest and the pictures are haunting.

I am a little late posing this…I started writing it maybe a month ago in hopes of doing a series of posts BEFORE the holidays (according to my mom it is “picture book season”?)… so two days before Christmas is as before as I’m going to get. I am out of school for a whole MONTH, so I will have some time to catch up with everything.


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Remember Their Names: Sandy Hook Elementary

Charlotte Bacon, 6

Daniel Barden, 7

Rachel Davino, 29

Olivia Engel, 6

Josephine Gay, 7

Ana Marquez-Greene, 6

Dylan Hockley, 6

Dawn Hocksprung, 47

Madeline Hsu, 6

Catherine Hubbard, 6

Chase Kowalski, 7

Jesse Lewis, 6

James Mattioli, 6

Grace McDonnell, 7

Anne Marie Murphy, 52

Emilie Parker, 6

Jack Pinto, 6

Noah Pozner, 6

Caroline Previdi, 6

Jessica Rekos, 6

Avielle Richman, 6

Lauren Rousseau, 30

Mary Sherlach, 56

Victoria Soto, 27

Benjamin Wheeler, 6

Allison Wyatt, 6

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There’s No Perfect Time to Start Having Kids – The Atlantic

There’s No Perfect Time to Start Having Kids – The Atlantic.


“The tendency to see death, and therefore life, as impediments that can be removed through more optimal strategizing—that’s not feminism, per se. It’s late capitalism, or modernity, or the post-enlightenment, or whatever you want to call where it is we live now. The obsession with empowerment requires us to see our lives as things we tinker with and recalibrate and drive beneath us towards some perfect, ever-expanding nirvana of utility.”


This is a great little nugget, particularly for those of us who find ourselves unexpectedly parenting early in life (or late in life or in the middle of a high powered career or never parenting or really doing anything in a different order than we though we would, which is most things, because as it turns out, you can’t actually plan your life*. I am not for determinism, but from my experience so far, you have nooooooooo idea what is going to happen. For example, I might cease writing about my baby altogether because I have discovered how to repost stuff…


*I am busting out of that parenthesis.

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Remember Their Names: In Memory of Kasandra, Cherica & Others

Fellow young mother, aspiring educator, I will remember your name. Its time we honor the lives of victims of violent crime instead wringing our hands over how great the perpetrators were.

The Crunk Feminist Collective

I am sure that by now many of you know the name Jovan Belcher.  If you didn’t know his name (as I didn’t) before this weekend, you know it now.  He is the Kansas City Chiefs player who shot and killed his girlfriend before taking his own life on Saturday.  Headlines and news stories have focused on the tragedy from the lens of the perpetrator (including speculation of potential brain trauma, his involvement, as an undergraduate, in a Male Athletes Against Violence initiative, and his standing as an allstar athlete), in some ways dismissing or overshadowing the lens of the victim, who in headlines is simply referred to as “(his) girlfriend.”


Her name is Kasandra Michelle Perkins.  She was 22 years old, a new mother, and an aspiring teacher.  Her picture shows off a beautiful smile and her friends describe her as selfless, kind, and generous.  She was excited about…

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“Mothers of Intention “

Here is a link to a great great discussion on BitchMedia about “bloggers for whom writing on, responding to, and pushing back against the mainstream mommy-blog narrative is a top priority for a dialogue about race and motherhood in the blogosphere.” Yes YES! This is very interesting and is adding fuel to the general identity crisis I have been having around this blog ( meaning I dont have the time… or is it the attention span… to write about the more pithy aspects of motherhood and I am unsure about how much of my life/ my daughters life to share). 

This is GOOD. Lots of new blogs to read, thoughts to think while pumping breastmilk (always). Hopefully time will be more plentiful soon. 


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