All the Things

My thoughts on art, life, books, and adventures. 

Blog Disclosure

I'm so glad you've come to visit! Here you will find my thoughts about art, life, writing, book reviews and home improvement adventures. I review books I love and have purchased (or checked out at the library) all on my own. I also receive books at no cost to me for...

Book ideas for Boys for Christmas Gifts

Book ideas for Boys for Christmas, Holidays or Birthday Gifts. This post is a copy of an adaptation of an email I sent to a friend in response to her request for help to find good books for her Nephew this Christmas. It is by no means comprehensive, but hopefully there is something here you haven’t heard before. I hope you find success in sharing reading with the boys you love!

The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill

The mostly True Story of Jack is another compelling, debut children's book. I seem to be reading a lot of these lately. There is a mystery that pulls you along from the very first page. I think that many younger readers will find this to be a little bit spooky and...

Rapunzel’s Penance

Tonight I went to the King's English Bookshop because 1) I wanted to support my local bookstore and 2) all the Hales were going to be there - you know the ones Shannon, Dean and no relation Nathan of Rapunzel's Revenge. 3) My daughter (munchkin #1) is totally in love...

Don’t Be Afraid Little Pip by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman

Little Pip is an adorable penguin who yearns to fly. Children may well recognize themselves in her stubborn refusal to try swimming. A fun lyrical adventure about trying something new for the first time. Filled with beautiful illustrations that bring summer and...

Cold Case by Julia Platt Leonard

Oz, the youngest son of a French-American widow, drives a bicycle around town and works to help run the family restaurant, Chez Isabelle. While his mom is off in France caring for their ailing grandmother, Oz and his older brother Dave have to deal with the scariest most intense period of their lives.

Gallop! A Scanimation Picture Book by Rufus Butler Seder

What a fun way to bring life to pictures through patented scanimation technology. The animals literally move across the page encouraging parent-child interaction and adding to any child’s wonder of the world.   Ours was a gift from generous ‘Uncle Charles’ who...

Dr. Seuss’s ABC

"Big A little a what begins with A? Aunt Annie's Alligator A A A" I couldn't resist and I just had to start the alphabet review books with Dr. Seuss's ABC. I love the rhymes, and zaniness of Dr. Seuss. This one comes with lots of alliteration and fun pictures I think...

Grace for President By Kelly DiPucchio Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

A book review of Grace for President by Kelly Dippuchio and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Grace Campbell learns about US presidents and is surprised to learn that a woman has never been president and then runs for class president. This book teaches about the electoral college and campaign process.

The Black Death- Pivotal Moments in History by Diane Zahler

Teachers and schools would greatly benefit from incorporating The Black Death into their curriculum. The pictures are engaging- artistic interpretations of the horrible suffering and gruesome realities of the Black Death. Zahler’s book focuses on the first great plague…

A True Princess by Diane Zahler

I have just returned spell-bound from Diane Zahler’s new novel A True Princess. Such beautiful stories are often described as enchanting, but I am seeking for a word more rich and lovely. Mesmerized. I have been mesmerized by the Elf King and have shivered in fear as Odin and his deadly hunters thundered through Bitra forest. Zahler has proven herself a master weaver of retold fairytales.

Greater Than Angels by Carol Matas

I love the fast-paced adventurous writing of Carol Matas. This book is no disappointment, opening with a Jew hunt by Germans with dogs. It gave me shivers down my spine. How she rescues the two unfortunate girls is hilarious and gives the needed comic relief to a book...

Princess April Morning Glory by Letitia Fairbanks

Princess April Morning-Glory by Letitia Fairbanks is full of beautiful hand calligraphy and watercolor illustrations. It’s like an illuminated manuscript resurrected from the Hollywood vaults. It is clear to see why it remained unprintable for so many years- especially since the original is produced on hand made paper with silver and gold leaf!

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

This book was a fun combination of fantasy and finishing school. Sophronia is growing up in a Victorian-ish era. The ‘ish’ is there because it’s also a world of vampires, werewolves and flywaymen. That threw me off for a bit, but once I figured that out, the rest was smooth sailing aboard the floating Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Except for the flywaymen attacks and the espionage. It was a quick, fast-paced read and I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

Onward: A Photobiography of African-American Polar Explorer Matthew Henson by Dolores Johnson

I first heard of Matthew Henson before at the Utah State History Fair (similar to Science fair, but with history) several years ago. A boy had created a documentary on Matthew Henson. Incredibly well-done documentary and a fascinating story of bravery in the face of...

Winter Lights by Anna Grossnickle Hines

I   In anticipation of Christmas, I selected one of my favorite books. Since it’s so cool and there is more than just Christmas about it, I really wanted to share it. One of my most recent hobby acquisitions is quilting and I was amazed, to say the least, at the...

Becky the Brave: A Story About Epilepsy by Laurie Lears, Illustrated by Gail Piazza

Becky the Brave: A Story About Epilepsy by Laurie Lears and illustrated by Gail Piazza is the only book I could find at either public library system in my area. I of course had to get my hands on it and within a week of my daughter's diagnosis we were able to check it...


by Aug 2, 2020

Blog Disclosure

I'm so glad you've come to visit! Here you will find my thoughts about art, life, writing, book reviews and home improvement adventures. I review books I love and have purchased (or checked out at the library) all on my own. I also receive books at no cost to me for...


Ripples, 2019 Photo by Patrick Sweeney I create to know what it is to be connected, to be understood, to give voice to quiet things. I source found and thrifted fabric remnants. This traditional evidence of women's work serves as the basis for many of my paintings. I...

It’s Not a Bad Thing to be a Feminist

It’s Not a Bad Thing to be a Feminist

"I think you might be a Feminist," my sister Cari said, and I laughed into my wireless phone. "No. I'm not a feminist. I just have a need to know women's stories. And I have such a hunger to know what God thinks of women. " I picked up my whining toddler, set him on...

Duck Duck Donkey

Duck Duck Donkey

Do you ever feel like you can't quite get your ducks in a row? I know I've felt a bit like a 'donkey' a time or two. This fun illustration will help you look at the bright side of life and remind you that it's okay to be different. D is for Different. And Donkey. And...

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