Saturday, July 27, 2013

{Project 101} Weekly Library Challenge: 1 Duck (on a Bike), 2 Lost Souls and 3 Cups of Tea -- What We're Reading Now

What are we reading now? Let me get you caught up as I think we're two weeks behind on sharing -- so I'll have two books for Tots and/or Preschoolers and two books for adults, which loosely connect to the travel theme I shared last time.

As my life gets busier, and I juggle the demands of our production company, our 2 little ones and, lately, hit-and-miss internet, I am finding that Project 101, my Weekly Library Challenge to share one book the boys love from the library for that week and one book I have been reading, really feels like a challenge now. The main challenge is keeping up with a weekly post about it as I write about other things too, along with the challenge of reading 1 book a week. Some weeks it is easy. Other weeks, it is pretty tough. Still, I am enjoying the journey and hope you enjoy it too. One of my favorite things is getting book suggestions from all of you, so always share what you are reading too! 

That being said, I love the library books the boys enjoyed over the last two weeks: Round Is A Tortilla: A Book of Shapes by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and, the classic, Duck On A Bike by David Shannon -- the huge hit this week! 

As a non-Spanish speaking mother whose husband is fluent (and whose extended family lives in the Dominican Republic), I love bilingual books and/or books that introduce Spanish words to children. Not only does, Round Is A Tortilla: A Book of Shapes do that, but, as the title suggests, it prompts learning of shapes and shape explorations. 

You can go on a shape hunt around your house or neighborhood. You can have a snack focused on different shapes: grapes (circles), tortilla chips (triangles), square crackers or toast, etc. Wild Thing loves pointing out that the mountains surrounding our home look like triangles! Oh - and we've learned a lot about octagons, thanks to Stop signs! 

Duck On A Bike by David Shannon ranks up there as one of the favorite library books we've ever checked out. Both Wild Thing and Caterpillar absolutely love it. My favorite moment with the book came last Saturday, when we rechecked it. As I organized all of the books in my library bag, my husband and the boys sat on a bench outside of the library, and he read them the book. Lovely.Typically as we read, the boys each wave and say hello to the animals along with Duck. Then, they also make whatever animal sound in response. I love our active reading experience. We also added Duck to our Bicycle Bin for some extra fun too!

It's not the best photo, but you can see more of our bin here!
As for what I've been reading, two weeks ago I shared books that reflected my travel book obsession allowing me to experience far-flung places from the comfort of my own home. The two books I'm sharing this week relate to that theme a little bit -- one more than the other. 

As a filmmaker, I enjoy reading books that have been made into films. I like to see how the two products differ based on their mediums. Sometimes, I realize that the subject and story really needed to be a book. At other times, I find myself appreciating the job the filmmaker did to stay true to the book, but translate it to a visual medium. The best is when I find myself appreciating them both in their own ways, as was the case with this book.

Through Wild Thing, I acquired an interest in bees. What I enjoyed the most about the book was all of the additional insight into bees that I gained. Complex and beautiful creatures that provide so much for our ecosystem and can, as Sue Monk Kidd shows, teach us so much about life. The book follows two lost souls on their journey to find a new home. It also allows you to travel back in time. Sadly, recent events have shed light on the continued racial strife and racism still present in the U.S. today. As I read, I thought of how much has and has not changed since the 1960s (the story is set against the backdrop of the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited racial discrimination at the polls). As I raise multi-ethnic children, my hope is that we can make more progress in creating a society (a global society) of equality. There is much to be done to get there. 

The other book I recently finished is a book that inspired many to support the author's work in Pakistan and Afghanistan to build schools. Unfortunately, recent investigations and reports point to the fact that much (if not all) of the book is fabricated and that the non-profit organization has a questionable financial record and has not built as many schools as it claims to have supported. I am grateful to Adventure Bee for bringing this to my attention. Clik here to watch the 60 minutes segment that lays out, quite clearly, the problems with the book and the questionable practices of the non-profit.

You might also like: 
Project 101: Books That Inspire
Too Many Toys by David Shannon

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