These links are very, very cool
My local library allows me to download audio books. For free. From their website. Which I can put on my Mr. H's iPod. The selection is a bit limited but, dude, free audio books! I am currently listening to this book only when I go running (I need the motivation lately!). Not the best book in the universe but a fun listen.
Mr. H and I have discussed almost this exact concept in the category of "businesses that would be so cool to run." It makes me so happy someone is doing it. Now if anyone is selling a mobile sawmill in Sacramento....
Bookscout is the new blog of a new-to-me but not new blogger. It's about....books. Specifically, children's books. I posted a question in the comments section looking for chapter book ideas for Biscuit and the author, Andrea, sent me a totally amazing, personal reply* which was so much more than I would have expected. How are the people of the internet so incredibly talented AND generous?
New Dress a Day is a totally amazing, addictive blog. Thanks, Amy, for the link. Consider me obsessed. So obsessed in fact that I totally copied her idea and refashioned two garments last weekend. Imperfect but oh so fun. Oh, and let me just note how totally impossible it is to take self portraits without a tripod and timer. I really should have taken 5 seconds to set up properly. Oh well.
Up first, what appears to be an embroidered top to an Indian Punjabi suit. Long sleeves, loose fit, slits up the sides to my hip bones. I cut off the sleeves and some length. Sewed up the slits and made a shift dress using some of the excess material to make a belt. One giant orange button and it was done in about 40 minutes. That neckline is great, isn't it?
Wow, these are awful photos! Anyway, next up, a shirt dress made of seersucker that was too big and too short. I cut it off at the armpits, sewed up the front where the buttons are and stitched in several rows with an elastic bobbin thread to cinch the waist. In a perfect world I would have stitched a few more rows but I ran out of bobbin and had to run out the door. Ideally I would have also centered the buttons and moved away from the BBQ before taking the "after" photo.
*here is the reply Andrea sent me. Amazing, no?
Thank you for saying hello! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you; my inbox got REALLY backed up there for a bit, and I'm only now getting everything under control.
I hope you found some great books for your daughter, and if not, I hope I can be of help! The transition from picture books to chapter books at bedtime can really exciting, but it also has its difficulties--namely, finding something you both can enjoy. Chapter books are much more of a commitment than picture books; it's can be hard to find a balance, as you've already discovered with Stewart Little, and A Little Princess. Your daughter will probably love Junie B. Jones; most girls absolutely adore them. Adults, on the other hand... well, adults do not. There's was an article in the NYT a very (VERY) long time ago about the controversy over the Junie B. books, and this post at Oz and Ends has some great insight into things. Also, one of my very favorite book blogs The Diamond in the Window, shared her two cents about Junie in this post (closer to the end). She also does a 'We Recommend' feature which is definitely worth checking out.
As far as sassy female heroines go, I am a Ramona girl through and through. Clementine is also grand. I love Pippi Longstocking, especially the Lauren Child edition, which has great big beautiful illustrations. (Always a plus!) The Mrs. Pigglewiggle books are perfect for that age, as are the Betsy-Tacey and All of a Kind Family series. If you're looking for books that are just a touch less wordy and heavier on the illustrations, the newish chapter book series, Ivy and Bean, about two girls who are unique and sassy and fun, is wonderful. So is Kate DiCamillo's Mercy Watson series--all about the hilarious antics of a family and their pet pig. (She is a Newberry award winning author, so you can't go wrong with those.)
There are so many more and I'm sure I will blog about them eventually, but I hope this helps as a start. Once again, thanks for visiting book-scout and saying hello! Happy reading!