A very bookish Christmas

Molly’s first ever advent calendar

Originally uploaded by beccaplusmolly

I seem to have lost a little of my Grinch now & am feeling a bit more in the spirit of Christmas. Helped in part I think by having some time alone to shop for presents.

A few weeks back I had taken myself to our local op shop to buy stocking fillers. My children’s stockings are huge, handmade by a family friend for each child at their first Christmas. On a limited budget second hand was the sensible option, plus it fulfilled my new shopping ethos: local, handmade or recycled.

Today I had something else in mind so I headed to Next Page Please, our local independent children’s bookshop. I didn’t have any specific titles I wanted but Maria, who owns the shop, is full of bookish information & happy to share suggestions for different age groups & interests. This makes it an enjoyable experience rather than a chore.

For Molly I selected: A Colin Thiele boxed set which includes two classics – Storm Boy and Magpie Island. I also chose Utterly me, Clarice Bean by Lauren Childs. Whacky kids & animals are high in Molly’s areas of interest.

Jacob, who is almost four, is keen on the tools of early literacy and fantasy play so I chose I spy with my little eye by Edward Gibbs, & Taming the sun: four Mãori myths by Gavin Bishop. I love Bishop’s illustrations, his renditions of our indigenous mythology & I’m sure Jacob will too.

Pete is a transporter, everywhere he goes he likes to have a trolley, a pushchair, a wheelbarrow or a car. He’s two years old so the illustrations are as important as the textual story. I think that Bruiser by Gavin Bishop & My 1st car was red by Peter Schössow will be just perfect.

There are also some second hand books for the stockings. These were found at our op shop & the local Sunday markets. I heard it in the playground by Allan Arlberg, These Islands: NZ verse collected by Gwenyth Jones & The Wednesday Wizard by Sherryl Jordan for Molly. Real life nightmares edited by Pat Edwards for Jacob (who also enjoy scary tales). For Pete who sometimes struggles with sleep I found a lovely copy of Mem Fox’s book Time for Bed.

James, my husband, will also be getting a book. I won his present from @FlyAirNZ on Twitter! It’s a hardback, colour book of the Artwork from the Tintin movie, signed by the creative team including our own Richard Taylor from WETA Workshop. I know he will love pouring over this alone & with Jacob who is a new Tintin fan.

I did sneak in a couple of gifts for myself today from a secondhand stall at the markets. James is insisting that I wrap them. So two summer dresses and two pairs of shoes will be waiting for me on Christmas Day. I’m sure that someone else in the family will buy me a book or two. *hint, hint*

If the heavy rain that’s been drenching Auckland this last week doesn’t stop  we’ll spend the days following the 25th recovering from over-eating & enjoying our new books.

I hope you have a happy, bookish Christmas too.

Better laugh or I’ll get grumpy

cheeky lizard

Originally uploaded by beccaplusmolly

I just wrote an hour long post on my challenges, goals, dreams for the year ahead. & then I accidently closed the unsaved window and all my work was lost.

Instead of raging around about it I’m choosing to laugh at myself.

Yes it’s 2011 and things are going to be a little different. I’m trying new things, changing the way I do things, learning new skills and I want to have fun.

There’s Playcentre, a skills group for dealing with my anger & grief, my Course 3 assignments, 2 reading challenges, book reviews, poetry, photography plus my three beautiful children, my husband & my mum & our dog to be taken care of. It’s going to be busy.

But first there’s some serious holidaying to do! (See you in February)

Hanging out with old friends

my beloved is a an audio reader – pod casts and audio books are the way he keeps up with the world of ideas. he also reads online – blogs and other websites of interest.  the world of print he dips into occasionally but overall he finds it too slow.  Given this he is incredulous when he sees me re-reading books. Why would you re-read??

i talked it over with my book nerdy friends whilst wondering if perhaps i was a little strange or just plain lazy with all the re-reading that i do. but no, we were in consensus re-reading is booklover heaven.

like hanging out with old friends some days you do need to re-read all your susan cooper the dark is rising quartet or michael ondaatje in the skin of a lion. the words, the style and the syntax are wonderfully familar. they lull you into a sense of bliss.

on the days when you’ve only had five hours sleep or the kids are ratty and sick a book you’ve read before provides you with companionship and stimulation but not the pressure of a new discovery.  and if you’re like me and can’t remember every book you’ve read word for word but just remember that you enjoyed it then it all comes as a pleasant surprise and then a oh now i remember…