Thrifting Gold!

This weekend I was invited by a new friend to go to the next town over to shop. She’s a certified book nerd, and maybe a hoarder, but I’m not saying that’s a bad thing.

We went into a pawn shop that had what was essentially a thrift store in the basement. After looking at two rooms of Knick-knacks and kitchen items we found a room full of books!! There were some really old ones that we had to peak at:

And then a few that are probably from my childhood:

I know my family owned this book. I should have bought it. If it is there the next time I visit, I’m grabbing it!

I bought a few books for my school,

Look! A new Eric A. Kimmel!!

I also bought a book that I had as a kid, it’s in rough shape but it’s worth it:

I was so excited about finding this! I remember doing every one of these tricks.


Chief Lelooska

When I went to the thrift store the other day, I actually found a second treasure (not just the Little Golden Book treasury.) The second treasure was a book of Native American stories from the Pacific Northwest.

Chief Lelooska was an accomplished storyteller and artist, and his books are gorgeously illustrated in his tribe’s style.

The book caught my eye because I had just read Raven by Gerald McDermott to my second grade classes.

McDermott’s story is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the traditions of the Pacific Northwest. Chief Lelooska’s stories are not long, or complicated. They are perfect for children.

I do not yet have Lelooska’s other book but I think I can pick it up online.

Men and women like Lelooska are cultural treasures that are fading from our modern lives. I would love to find a storyteller from this area, Dakota or Lakota, to come and share this style of storytelling that is ancient and yet so different to the majority of Americans.

You can learn more about Lelooska at this site.

Little Golden Books

Though I struggle sometimes to know if I am living out my purpose in life, I have never questioned one thing: I am an unapologetic book nerd. That is something that will never waver or change, so I just have to stay true to myself.

I may also be a book nerd with the power to see into the future. Why do I think such crazy thoughts? Because today I was building my wishlist for school and decided I should own the collection of classic Little Golden Books. They aren’t expensive and some actually come in library binding. I have never before thought that I should add these to the collection, it just struck me as important today.

Well, I just got done at the thrift store and you are never going to believe what I found!

Not bad for $2.00!! It has a ton of great stories in it, including:

It also has a lot of stories from the 80s, like Sesame Street stuff and Looney Toons. I wish it had The Shy Little Kitten, Scuffy and Tootles, but I’ll take this collection as meant to be for me.

What is a librarian?

I have thought for a long time now that I was truly meant to be a librarian. But what is a librarian? It’s not even about the stereotypes of the stodgy old librarian versus the sexy young librarian. I’m wondering if I’m deluding myself about the direction I’m going. Classroom management isn’t my strongpoint and knowing where books are in the stacks and which ones are perfect for each child might not be enough to make up for it. Knowing each of 400-500 children’s names doesn’t make up for not being a real teacher. I do not rule my Library with an iron fist. I try hard to work with my coworkers instead of against them, but again, does that make me what I need to be to truly provide for my students?

This is a time of year when many people reevaluate their lives. Maybe it’s time to admit that I wandered off the path that God laid out for me.

365 Days!

I can’t believe I did it, but I managed a post every day for the last year! I didn’t want this post to go up without a book, so I started searching on the Internet Archive. I don’t know how the search “New Years Day” brought up Rocky I but I don’t regret reading this great story!

Rocky is a Christmas miracle alpaca. He was born premature, his mother didn’t have enough milk for him, and she wasn’t interested in him at all. Rocky gained his name by fighting through all of the odds stacked against him though, and thanks in part to his owners and in part to a foster mom, he made it.

The story ended after Rocky was able to start nursing from a foster mom who was also rejected by the herd. The book hints that there will be a second book, but I could not find it online. In fact, I could not find much about AlpacaKing farm online either. There are magazine articles and newspaper columns, but no website. I really wanted to learn more about Rocky’s life.

The authors note at the beginning of the book was very informative. I did not know that alpacas have been pushed to the brink of extinction twice by man. I learned a lot about these fuzzy guys and I can’t wait to learn more. I don’t have any alpaca books at school, so I’ll need to correct that.

I might not write every day of this year, but don’t worry, I’ll still share all the gems I come across.

Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!

Winter break is almost over. We go back to school on Tuesday, and it just never seems to be long enough of a break. But I do count myself lucky, I wasn’t assigned to read War & Peace over Christmas break like Charlie Brown.

I’m sort of confused. I always figured Charlie was a third or fourth grader. I’m pretty sure most adults would struggle with War & Peace, let alone a nine or ten year old.

Charlie’s life is further complicated by Peppermint Patty’s New Years Eve Party. She has decided boys will invite the girls and and us extremely obvious in her clues that he should ask her. (Why didn’t she make it a Sadie Hawkins dance and ask him?)

He wants to go to dance class, go to the party and read the book. I have to give him credit, he really tries. He takes the book to dance class but it doesn’t turn out well. Everyone else is gearing up for the party and he’s stuck with an unrealistic homework assignment.

Charlie decides to go ahead and invite a girl, but it’s the little red haired girl, not Peppermint Patty. She never responds to his invitation so he takes the book to the party.

The problem with taking a book with 1,100+ pages is that you’re going to get bored. So now it’s way past your bedtime and you’re bored out of your mind. Poor Charlie Brown; he’s asleep on the back porch and misses the biggest moment of his life:

The icing on the cake is that he only gets a D- on the report. Good grief, Charlie Brown.

Years ago, I worked as a nurses aid in a rest home where we used walkie talkies. One of the guys gave everyone nicknames, because they were shorter than our real names. He was “Goose”, the guy he worked with was “Maverick”, a girl with the last name McClain became “Shirley” and I was called “Little Red-Haired Girl From Charlie Brown.”

Happy New Year!


We are enjoying a visit from friends who love to browse flea markets and thrift stores. This is the only time my husband and daughter will go to those types of stores with me. I always see a lot of things I want, but I have to pass them by. Here are some of today’s Ones That Got Away.

It seems Johnny Lion was a series by Edith Thacher Hurd.

I loved reading Dennis in the Sunday comics. I am sure I read more than a few of his comic collections too.

This was one I really wanted. The book was $8 and the dust jacket was badly torn…but I still hope to become a circus clown one day when I grow up.

My husband pointed out the Gumby book. He had to quote Eddie Murphy’s Gumby from Saturday Night Live,

I’m Gumby, dammit!

My friend and I saw a vintage Paddington Bear stuffed animal too.

I might be wrong, but I think I had this Little Golden Book.

You know I’m a sucker for Sesame Street.

I wanted every book in this booth!

I think if I had to pick, I’d get Here, Kitty. So cute!

But the star of the day want a book–I know, it’s shocking. I finally found a vintage ceramic Christmas tree!!!!!!!!!

Sid the Squid

A lot of us spend a long time finding a job that is the perfect one for us, and most of us have tried out more than a few. Today’s story is about a squid who is determined to find the perfect job too.

Sid is a squid with a mission. He wants to be useful and so he travels to the city to find himself the perfect job. David G. Derrick, Jr.’s story has many funny mishaps as Sid tries out careers.

But, even cooking isn’t quite perfect:

Sid is ready to give up, but then he sees a whale struggling in a net.

Sid realizes that he is meant to help with animals and gets a job at the aquarium.

It works out perfectly, and all because he never gave up.

This book would be fun to read to kids when they are learning about community helpers. I am trying to match curriculum with the teachers, so I’ll have to watch for it to come up.

Frederick’s Fables

I know I’ve written about Leo Lionni before, but I just have to show you today’s Thrift Store Score:

I’m really excited, so many of my favorites are in this collection, and some that I’ve never read. Included are:

I know that I need to read The Biggest House In the World, Geraldine, the Music Mouse, In the Rabbitgarden, Theodore and the Talking Mushroom and The Greentail Mouse.

Brother Hugo and the Bear

Sometimes I get asked questions that are hard to answer. If I know about the topic, I try to tell the kids what I know. Sometimes, I don’t know enough, so I honestly tell them that and offer to help them look it up. Then other times, the answer is just hard to explain. A student asked me why some books have a giant letter starting a paragraph.

I explained that it was a fancy way of writing that goes back to the time before machine printed books. Sometimes the letters and margins were even decorated or illuminated by the men who copied the books by hand. Yes, I explained it, but there was nothing to show them….until I remembered the story of Brother Hugo and the Bear.

Brother Hugo is a medieval monk who has borrowed the letters of St. Augustine, but cannot return the book because a bear ate the it, the words were so sweet to him.

The Abbot says Brother Hugo must borrow a copy of the Letters from another Abbey and then make a copy to replace what he lost. So Brother Hugo must travel to the other Abbey, explain why he must borrow the book and keep it safe from bears as he travels home to begin the long task of copying the text.

This layout shows great examples of the illuminated drop caps and it explains the process of making every single element of the book.

The book even mentions using a sharp pen knife to scrape away mistakes. The kids were blown away by this plethora of information.

Finally, he has finished the copy, within the season of Lent, and so he must return the original to the other Abbey. He is worried about that awful bear, but his Brothers give him poems and sermons on parchment to feed to the bear. When he has run out of parchments, Brother Hugo must face off with that word-hungry Bear once and for all.

It looks promising, but once you turn the page, you see that the bear ate the book anyway. The kids laughed at this turn of events, though they felt bad when the realized that Brother Hugo would have to repeat the whole process again.

This book is really a treasure. It could be used for studies on medieval Europe, or in an art class — these monks were truly amazing — or just for fun.