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Three Mortal Instruments in 4 Days

Ah, yes well I have watched these titles go in and out of the library for months, and I have never had an interest in reading them. I think it was the covers that put me off, I don't know, but then, I read the synopsis of the Clockwork Angel, and boy do I want to read that.
I was unaware that these books came before the new title. So, crap, now I had to read these before Clockwork Angel comes out (I already have it on pre-order from my local bookstore). And next week is finals and MOCKINGJAY (and we know I will not do ANYTHING until the 3rd Hunger Games book is complete-including sleep).
I managed to read all three in four days! Not too shabby considering I started Thursday night and had to work all day Friday (rotten work, getting in the way of reading, again).
Here's the thing about this series:
Somethings were really driving me crazy (I almost gave up several chapters into the first book). The overuse of the word "denuded", I mean really. The overuse of the description: It looked like a painting by Bosch.
But, I had this same reaction to the Sookie Stackhouse books, and just like them, by the end of the first book I was HOOKED. Hooked. I did not eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom (until I could not hold it anymore). I just read.
The second book was even better. Clare does something more writers should do-she writes side characters with fully believable details and back stories. None of them are one dimensional.
I love Magnus Bane. I love Simon. I love Raphael.
I especially love Luke.
HOOKED, I tell you. When I read someone compared these books to Harry Potter, I blanched, but I think I know what they mean. When you read them the outside world disappears.
Man, I hope Clockwork Angel is as good. I hope Bane is there (he's what, 700 years old? He just might).
I think that these books should be placed into the hands of anyone who reads the Sookie Stackhouse books, because, as the Philadelphia City Paper called them "literary crack", these books qualify as well.
And for anyone who gave up after a couple of chapters, pick them up again. I promise they get better, and THEN they get really good.


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How to Make a Sharknado for Your Shark Craft

I have had an insane amount of fun this summer, but I always try to do something for Shark Week. This year I called it Shark Lab and we are making three crafts I have never done with the kids before.

But for ME, I wanted a Sharknado.
Inspired by this post, and I tried several different dish soaps and NONE of the tornadoes looked as good as they did in this lady's posts. She must have magic soap, but it really works!

Then I went to three stores to find either plastic sharks that would be light enough to float and not just sink to the bottom of the jar and/or shrinky dink material (make my own damn sharks!) Both hunts were fail, so I made them myself using  a template I cannot find again. Sorry.

 I flipped the images, cut them out, glued them together and then book-taped the hell out of them! Presto, waterproof.

The jar needed I made a small label with
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Teddy Bear Storytime

Tonight's storytime followed the same format I use for all of my day storytimes as I have temporarily suspended my idea of doing storytime in reverse in order to get the kids sleepy. They only seem to run out into the library to pick out movies and books and the effect is lost. So here is what we did tonight.

Our theme was teddy bears, but our night storytime is always wear jammies, bring a lovey, and low action.

My opening song is Hello Bubbles which I learned from Read Sing Play here. BTW this woman is a storytime goddess and I have picked up many great ideas on her blog.

Story the 1st: The Red Hat by Lita Judge

 Why? Because I want to get across to my kids that books do not always have to have words in order for us to "read" them, and I want to give pre-readers a chance to feel proud they finished a book on their own. I plan to try to read or highlight at least one wordless read for the next couple of storytimes.

Flannel Board: Ten in the Bed
I used a modified versi…