Thursday, May 24, 2007

Noah and the T-Rex

One morning Noah said to his mother, "Today I am going to build an enormous T-Rex dinosaur."
"Right here in our little house?" asked his mother.
"Yes," answered Noah, "right here in the middle of our little house."
"Will we be safe?" asked his mother.
"Don't worry, Mother," said Noah, "if he is scary, I will save you.
If he sees you, I will cover his eyes.
If he chases you, I will step on his toes.
If he jumps on you, I will sit on his tail.
And, if he wants to eat you, I will take out his teeth!"
"Thank you, Noah," said his mother. "You are very brave and I know that I will be safe with you."
So, brave Noah carefully opened a big box, took out the pieces, and began to build an enormous T-Rex dinosaur right in the middle of his little house.
The End.

Noah is the grandson of Dragonwings staff member and proud grandmother, Joanne Kennedy.
The giant T-Rex can be built from a floor puzzle available at Dragonwings.

Try this game challenge.

Here is a set-up of Labyrinth, one of my favorite games. See if you can create a path for each marker to its chosen "treasure". This isn't an interactive gameboard, so you will have to visualize your moves. This is good practice for the game, because you have to visualize all of your possibilities before you move the tiles. As in most games, once you make a move you can't take it back!

How the game works: the rows of tiles that can be shifted are marked by arrows along the edge of the game board. You shift a row by pushing it with the extra tile from one end until a tile slides off of the other end of the row. You can use the extra tile vertically or horizontally.

To get you started, here is how the red marker can get to the mouse in one move:
Find the second row up from the bottom right-hand corner, using the extra tile in a vertical position, imagine shifting the row from right to left until your tile is all of the way in, and the end tile on the left is pushed off the board. Now trace your path to the mouse.

Once you find the mouse, try each of the other markers. There is a treasure card next to each one. Using the original set-up and the original extra tile, try to make a path from each marker to its treasure in one move. I will post the answers above. Good luck!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Summer Books

Look what's coming this summer...

I've been reading like crazy getting to know the new books coming out this summer. Here are some of my favorites.

Ranger’s Apprentice Book Three: The Icebound Land by John Flanagan

Will and Evanlyn are now captives on a wolfship, bound for Scandia and a life of slavery, while Halt and Horace are battling their way north to rescue them. I have loved Flanagan’s characters since the first chapters of Book One; they are brave and resourceful with a sense of humor that is endearing. Their friendship bonds are deep, and in this book, they are all Will has left in the world.

Summer Ball by Mike Lupica

After meeting Danny Walker in Travel Team, we know that he is a passionately talented basketball player despite his small size. A year later the thrill of being national champions has worn off, and at basketball camp Danny and his friends meet old rivals and big kids with ambitious plans, who want to knock Danny out of their way. Even though I’ve never been a sports fan, I devour Lupica’s books without stopping to breathe.

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

A distant war in Vietnam casts a long shadow across the world to Holling Hoodhood’s hometown, where he is struggling to understand Shakespeare, girls, teachers, friendship, and the gods of baseball. Every time Holling is in another nearly unbearable predicament, like wearing yellow tights and tail feathers on stage instead of meeting Mickey Mantle, things seem to go from bad to worse. This book is a winner.

Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record
by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall

(first chapter book)
Ivy loves books and science, Bean loves adventures and action; when these two best friends put their heads together to set a world record the results are hilarious. This is the third book in a series full of mishaps and mischief.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Curious George Picnic Party
Saturday, August 18
Reservations $10

Join us for a Picnic Party and meet our special guest Curious George! We'll have stories, games, crafts, and banana snacks. Each child will receive a Curious George book, a kite, and a photo with Curious George.
This event is planned as a sit-down party with decorations and party favors. Parents are always welcome and always free, but will not have a chair at the tables. Reservations are a must for this event. It will be offered at two times - 10:00 am and 12:00 pm on Saturday August 18. To make a reservation call 715-256-9186.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Dear Harry, Please don't go...

Dragonwings has lots of plans for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this summer, but first, doesn't it make you sad? It's like having your best friends move away... forever.

And knowing that some characters are going to die is very worrisome, because what if it isn't just minor characters or bad guys? Most people that I talk to at Dragonwings, think it will be Harry and Voldemort. I know that's likely, but this story is not turning out the way that I hoped.

I wanted Dumbledore to retire, but continue to live in his tower, advising Harry, Ron and Hermione, who after some exciting adventures confronting Voldemort and his followers, would return to Hogwarts, where they would take over running the school and expand its activities to include defeating the Death Eaters once and for all.

Unfortunately, I've never had a chance to meet J.K. Rowling and share my great plot ideas with her. If I didn't know that she had the arc of the story planned out from the beginning, I would have thought that she had written herself into a corner, and wouldn't be able to extricate herself without offending nearly all of her readers. But, the truth is, she is brilliant, and I'm looking forward to reading every one of these last pages of Harry's saga.