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Beautiful Creatures By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I know everyone else in the world read this one awhile ago, and it did come in for me (3 times) at the library. I think I was put off by the size. Anyway, I have finished Beautiful Creatures.
It took the library getting it in ebook to do it. Two more bonus points for the ereader- I can't really "see" how big the book is, and no wrist strain from holding that bad boy over my head while I read in bed.
In this story, we have poor stuck Ethan and wild and crazy Lena. Mix in some Southern Gothic, some rabid cheerleaders, some creatures of the night and two pinches of sparkle. I liked the story. I liked Ethan. I loved Marian the Librarian. I did not love this book, and I didn't expect too. I thought it was good for a debut novel.
I had some problems, but they were minor. I was confused while reading: the wording was a little awkward and I was thrown out of the story. I am not the type to go through a novel with a fine tooth comb, I read for pleasure. However, I really dislike when this happens. The part that sticks out the most for me was this confusing scene in which Ethan helps his dad over to friends? and then is climbing on a crypt? hanging off an angel statue's ankle? How did he get from here to there? Were they that close? I think I could have used a map.

Another problem, Lena's family is well kind-of, loser-ish. They are the forces of good (of light), but they can't tell they have a baddy in their mist, they are easily distracted, and no one will talk to anyone else. Despite this, we have the greatest library in existence, complete with reference librarian at the ready, but we focus on one book and one book only (one that is not even IN the library). Hello, did no one think to grab "Castors for Dummies"?

As for the "originality" of the story, let me shed some light: The scene in which the wet snow hits Lena is a cleaned up (literally) version of what happened to Carrie in Stephen King's Carrie. The lollipop-sucking bad girl is very, very similar to Neil Gaiman's goth "Death" in the Sandman Chronicles. Marian the Librarian is a complete steal from The Music Man.
All of that aside, I like the escapism of the story. Let's face it, I am willing to give up a lot for a good story. If I gave up on the Sookie Stackhouse books after the first one (and, ho, boy, is that BAD), then I never would have gotten to good parts. I want to read Beautiful Darkness because I have hope that this is all going somewhere (besides Carrie-like prom incidences). I have faith.

Also, a note, I have not included any programing ideas because I was so frustrated with my camera. I have been looking for a good deal (I didn't want to get rooked again. Take that! Vivitar). I have finally found the holy grail for user-friendly, affordable cameras and it is on its way to me. I promise a bundle of craft and programming related posts just as soon as I can, including plans for the 5th Annual Family Holiday Party craft ideas and how my teens play Trivia Club-Holiday Edition.


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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
"Sharknado" bookended with some fancy orange chainsaws and voila!

One Sharknado for the parents to play…

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…