Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ms. Suzy Reads | One for Big Kids, One for Little Kids

Greetings, gentle readers! With the cooler weather upon us, I'm finding quite a bit more time for reading, which is always a great thing, right? So today I share two books -- one that gripped me from the first page, and one that is a very old favorite.

So imagine a large, foreboding tree -- planted so close to a big house that its limbs have grown into the walls -- a tree with axe handles embedded in it from past futile attempts to destroy it. Now imagine the family living within the house -- all powerless to resist the tree's temptation -- and slowly withering under the tree's spell.

What's the tree's spell? Well, of course I'm not going to tell you. But I will tell you that you 9-14 year olds will be simply spellbound by Jonathan Auxier's The Night Gardener: A Scary Story. And I will tell you this: this ghost story-fantasy-adventure all rolled into one is a page-turner from the very beginning. You'll meet orphan siblings Molly and Kip and hold your breath as Molly starts to figure out the secret of the old tree. That's all I'm going to say. Just read it...if you dare!

I stumbled upon one of my favorite storytime books a few days ago: Don Freeman's beloved classic Corduroy. This is the story of a stuffed bear who has lived far too long on the shelves of a department store, waiting to be chosen by a little boy or girl. When Corduroy realizes he's missing a button, he goes on quite the adventure to find it. Why, just think of all the adventures a little stuffed bear could have in a big department store!

Corduroy was first published in 1968, but it's in no way outdated. The illustrations perfectly capture Corduroy's wonderment and awe as he discovers many new things. 

My favorite illustration is this one. Again, I'm not going to tell you what happens, but I promise you'll love this as much as I do. 

So there you have it, friends. Just a couple of recommendations perfect for this stay-in-the-house weather.

Happy reading!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Just Life | Macarons

A few weeks ago, a wonderful patron gave me a present. It was a basket. Inside there was a mysterious box. 

I opened the box and I came face to face with these lovely macaroons. It was one of the most rewarding presents I have ever received.

That box was a treasure chest full of edible jewels. I ate one. It was caramel with sea salt and it was unbelievably delicious.

I saved the rest to share with my daughter. After work, I picked up my daughter and showed her the box.

" Macaroooooooons." she screamed. 

So, while driving home, we ooohed and aahed and we ate one macaroon after the other.

We ate the entire box in just a few minutes with the exception of one macaroon with red topping. 

We thought it was red velvet and my daughter wanted to save it for last.

Then my daughter bit into it. " Oh, mom, it is hot."

The last macaroon was covered with chili powder. We laughed and giggled about it all the way home.

By the way, those macaroons were from a local shop called Bon Mange in Stockton at 2819 W. March Lane, Suite A8. Tel 209-910-0505. 

Since the Holiday season is right around the corner, how about checking out some French cookbooks to spice up your holiday table.

You can find these books at your local Library at no cost:

Simple French cookery : step by step to everyone's favourite French recipes

The little Paris kitchen : 120 simple but classic French recipes

My French kitchen : a book of 120 treasured recipes

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha