Friday, March 25, 2016


Annotated 155 books in March - an average of 5 per day. (I had to bunch up a little to finish before Holy Week!) Her is the best of the best.

On loss
Daly, Cathleen . Emily's blue period
Epsom, Jo. Rabbityness.
Honecker, Stephen. Sally goes to heaven.
 Jeffers, Oliver. The Heart and the Bottle.
Long, Loren. Little tree
Moundlic, Charlotte. The scar.
Paschka, Chris. The purple balloon.
Shepherd, Jessica. Grandma
 Skofield, James. Bear and Bird.
Vigna, Judith. Saying goodbye to daddy.
Walsh, Barbara. Sammy in the sky.
Other great finds
Bean, Jonathan. This is my home, this is my school .
Header, Thyra. The bear report.
LaRochelle, David. Moo!
Levy, Janice. Papa gave me a stick
Pollaco, Patricia. Junkyard wonders and Aunt Crisp and the great Creek Dam Affair.
Rash, Andy. Archie the daredevil penguin.
Shaw, Nancy. Sheep go to sleep
Stewart, Melissa. Feathers not just for flying.
Teague, Mark. Pigsty.
Torrey, Richard. The almost terrible play date.



Friday, March 18, 2016

50 words

Homeless. Hungry. Help.
Homeless. Hungry. Help.
Mom, who is that man?
Why is he hungry?
I don't know.
Did he get food yesterday?
Where is his family?
I don't know.
Homeless. Hungry. Help.
Why is the man still there ?
He needs a little help.
I found a quarter!
 Bless you.

Prickly Subjects

I am tackling subjects that need words but kids often don't have them and parents are often to involved emotionally to help. This month I have studied (motivated by ReFoReMo!) a myriad of texts on divorce, death, grandparents and tried to find books on homelessness, hunger, hospice, miscarriage. Lots of lack of understanding of kids eye view and skating over the messier bits adults don't like. And I have completed writing:

on divorce - the process, not the "I have two happy homes" outcome
The day the animals arrived
When we were all human

death - loss does not end when the funeral is over
Grandma's Mincemeat Pie

Homelessness - questions with no answers
Homeless. Hungry. Help.

First Thursday is Pantry Day

In the works
divorce - How can this not be about me?
death - Grown ups say funny things at funerals
Alzheimer's - is he still grandpa
miscarriage - everyone is sad - what happened

Not a talking cow anywhere!


Friday, March 11, 2016

update on the month of research

90 books read so far!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mentor texts

There are a lot of books out there! The ReFoReMo collects useful texts from the mounds of sludge - that somehow got published! My list of the library reserves is lengthy again....

This week I looked at books on divorce - a much more common experience for young children than family death. Every single one I saw began after the family messiness was over! Two homes were established with cute rooms, favorite toys, fun fun fun with each parent every day. No remarriage or new siblings. No desire to be together on holidays. No weird parental behavior. Gaps to be filed with reality!

In Iowa I polled the grandblessings about favorite picture books. The 9 year old loves Patricia Polacco and the 6 year old gave me some great books just pulled off the shelf. They both loved Moo! by David LaRochelle. I'll read that to the Headstart kids next week and see if they are as excited!

5 books a day for 31 days! And some time for silliness, too.....

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Research month 1

Knowing that the last week this month is Holy Week (and I am a clergyperson) and I might be a tad busy, I am jumping in to the reading and analysis.

 I am currently working on my own manuscript on a child's view of the death of a grandparent and one on hospice
so my first week is devoted to picture books about loss. Yesterday I looked at 28 titles, all published since 2003.

Yes it was a multi-tissue session! Pictured is Munster, one in a line of beloved missed pets!

The best were Sammy in the Sky by Barbara Walsh (pet) and The Scar by Charlotte Moundlic  (mother).

Predictably there is some baaaaaaad stuff - bizarre art, kids who experienced every single reaction that adults predict they will with great speed and easy resolution, books with no emotion and some with too much. The role of God and heaven are all over the place!

I found none on: hospice care, euthanasia for pets, the unusual behavior of adults to the loss, customs and traditions of any culture other than white Protestant Northern American.