29 July 2010

Another Reason to Love the Library and State Parks!

Thanks to The Dreamer for this tip.

Free park passes for Michigan readers:
"Park & Read allows library card-holders the ability to "check-out" a one-day pass into any Michigan state park or recreation area in lieu of the resident daily motor vehicle permit. This $6 savings also provides free access to the more than 500 events taking place in state parks throughout the summer."
And if that is not enough... how about a list of parks with hammocks for reading: Click here for the list!

For the full list of Michigan libraries participating in the Park and Read Program, click here.

Remember, being a library patron pays in so many ways --check out this handy Library Value Calculator if you have any doubts!

28 July 2010

Oh, the Places You've Gone! Challenge

Summer is in full tilt here in Northern Michigan and we are busy, busy, busy traveling and visiting.

Sitges, Spain Click
Just returned from a trip to the Detroit Area, today Uncle Chris flies back to Europe with a stop in Vancouver, Uncle Jeff is in Japan and off to Russia next, Gena just got back from studying in China, Fredi is visiting from Italy, in a couple of weeks we'll visit with good friends from California and then we'll be off to see Auntie Margie in Cleveland. The Mom found herself reciting from "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss:

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own.  And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go. (Click here for more)
The Books for Walls Project wants to know more about this wonderful world and we want to learn from you. Where is the furthest place you've traveled from home? Tell us a story all about the trip.

27 July 2010

Reading in Silly and Unexpected Places

Michigan's Capitol Building in Lansing -for more click here, or plan a field trip -we hope to go back in the fall for the full tour.

On the way home from a weekend in the Detroit area we decided to check in on Jennifer Granholm our Governor. And The Sisters took a moment to to read! 

22 July 2010

OUT: Cupcakes IN: Libraries

First, imagine a scary thought: 
a world without libraries.

Now, imagine a world where libraries got their due:
all the funds they needed, 
all the recognition they deserved 
and well, became the new cupcake... 

Linda Holmes of NPR's Monkey See Blog eloquently lays it down in her recent post titled Why the Next Big Pop-Culture Wave After Cupcakes Might Be Libraries. I can imagine.

Linda's post led us to this video, while we aren't familiar with the Old Spice Campaign we dig what The New Spice does for libraries: watch it!

Help spread the message:
libraries can be Bigger than the cupcake!!

20 July 2010

Reading in Silly and Unexpected Places

Last week the Sisters came up with this fun idea: let's take photos of us reading in Silly (The Little Sister's suggestion) and Unexpected (The Big Sister's suggestion) places and invited our readers to do the same and we can post them!

This summer the Sister's have a special treat, our cousin Gena is here for the summer (interning at a local non-profit.) One night Gena showed the girls her new car's magic trunk -it has a handy little glow in the dark thing-a-majig that if you just happen to get closed in the trunk, you pull it and, voila, escape! Very fun stuff... well, the Sisters thought the trunk would be a good place to read... and indeed, it was!
The Big Sister reading Lloyd Alexander's "Book of Three"

The Little Sister reading "Corduroy" by Don Freeman
The Big and Little Sister invite you read in silly and unexpected places and share them with The Books for Walls Project -via a photo or a story!

16 July 2010

Inkheart Book to Inkheart Movie

How about a book about man who can make characters out of books come to life, simply by reading aloud?

Last Friday we watched Inkheart. It was one of those hot summer days when the A/C of our local video store called us to blow off Netflix for a night, and so we did and there we found Inkheart --as if it had been calling to us. I am glad we just grabbed the movie without The Mom's usual researching for reviews and ratings before we view a movie, the movie reviews are 50/50 and we may have skipped it. (Click here to read a NY Times review.) We grabbed it because it sounded good! The Big Sister says, "its exciting and scary -but not over the top and I wish it never ended!" The Little Sister agrees, "it's great! It's wonderful its not too scary its just  in the middle scary." The Dad "Inkheart was a movie for families even Dad's will love and actually stay awake through the whole thing." We highly suggest checking out the trailer --there are some scary parts: sinister mean guys from the Inkheart book come to life, a shadowy creature that while scary isn't over the top.

The movie did its job it made us want MORE, later we hope to hit the library and pick up our reserved copy of Inkheart by Cornelia Funke which, thankfully, is a trilogy (click here to find a copy on www.worldcat.org.) We are excited to get start on the book, all Four of Us. We'll be sure to tell you whether the book is better than the movie!

Do you have a movie suggestion? Click here and tell us!

P.S. The Mom's two cents: "Just to see Helen Mirren riding a motorbike sporting goggles is enough to make this movie worthwhile and the three girls in the family all think Brendan Fraser has a lovely likeness to The Dad!"

15 July 2010

Connecting with the Library

First we would like to thank Interlochen Public Library for linking to our Just Hanging Around Contest on their homepage. What a lovely place to be!

When we launched the project back in April we decided that supporting Libraries would be one of our primary objectives. There is just something so sacred about the library and we want to support the continuation of such an important institution! On Thursdays we will explore the best ways to support our beloved libraries.

Connect with your kids at your libraryThis week check out Connect with Your Kids offered by www.atyourlibrary.org

Once there enjoy fantastic suggestions for things to do this summer like Hosting a Family Game Night, things just for kids like learning about Flags Around the World, or something the Four of Us want to do Create A Family Time Capsule!

Learn even more about the state of America's libraries with these online resources:

More next week! In the meantime, take The Summertime Book Challenge and get to know The Bean too!

Meeting a Famous Book Character!

Books for Walls Project Reader Maureen Anthony sent these photos to accompany her comment on The Favorite Character Challenge:

"I always loved Ramona and the Klickitat Street gang. Beverly Cleary could see the world through Ramona's eyes. Loved Henry Huggins, Ribsy the dog and the whole gang. Two years ago I visited Portland Oregon and I HAD to go to Klickitat street and to the Beverly Cleary park. There are statues of all my favorite characters. Here I am with Ramona."
Thank you so much for the photo Maureen, it really motivated us and now the Mom wants to plan a trip so that we can dance with Ramona too! For more on the Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden click here!

Take a moment to tell us your Favorite Book Character or a Good Summer Read. And thank you, Dear Readers, your participation in the project motivates and inspires us all!

14 July 2010

The Summertime Book Challenge

Click image to view full size.
It’s summer!   The season between spring and autumn, in the Northern Hemisphere from the summer solstice to the autumnal equinox, and in the Southern Hemisphere from the winter solstice to the vernal equinox.  What’s the current reading at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica or in South Africa where the World Cup Soccer matches were held, where it’s actually winter? For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, now’s the time for reading in those special places: while relaxing in the hammock, sitting in the shade of an apple tree with a glass of iced tea, or soaking in the rays on the beach!

Do you have a book, magazine, or genre you like to read for fun during the summer months? 

What about the Little and Big Sister and other “Books For Walls” young readers? Maybe it’s a Ranger Rick magazine that comes camping with you!  Or could it be a nature book about sea shells, butterflies on the wing, Petoskey stones, pirate or sunken ships - or a book you found on a vacation, at a nature center, or a relative sent from a science museum gift shop?

A favorite story which I bought for the Sisters in New Hampshire is "Blueberries for Sal" by Robert McCloskey, click here for more. A sweet story about a mother and little girl picking blueberries in Maine and their encounter with another mama and baby (bears)!  Mr. McCloskey wrote several other award winning favorites including “Make Way for Ducklings” and “One Morning in Maine."  His pictures as well as story line are endearing. My favorite quote of McCloskey’s is “I have one foot resting on reality and the other foot planted firmly on a banana peel.''  The NYT has a tribute to McCloskey’s life click here to read.

Now, for us older folks -is your choice a romance novel, a tale about a far-away place, a selection of Neruda poems, a re-read favorite, or a book recommended by a friend!

Ann Morrow Lindbergh
I have a re-read wonder on the top of my list: "Gift from the Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. 

The book, celebrating its 55th anniversary, has inspired over 3 million readers in 45 languages.  Walking on a beach has never been the same for me.  As Lindbergh saw, a shell can be a reflection and prayer on life.  Lindbergh wrote from a heart filled with adventures, love, and tragedies. Her inner strength brought her through and as she contemplates “…patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith.” Click here for more

Another read for me is "Caribbean Mystery" by Agatha Christi.  I simply enjoy Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot and a good mystery.  For those mystery buffs take a look-see at this website, there’s a “Christie Festival 2010” on England’s Riviera in Torquay.  Anyone been there?
Now share with us a favorite summertime book so that we might join you in reading your choice!

Please use the following format for your comment:
Title of Book, Author, the name of your Favorite book or genre. Why do you like this for summertime reading?

Brought to you by Kathy Daniels aka The Bean

13 July 2010

Introducing: The Bean

In any worthy endeavor there are cornerstones, essential pieces that insure a solid foundation. If you've been with us for while you may have noticed that the Books for Walls Project has become a cyber family of sorts, we are also a family in reality. Today we introduce you to The Bean, our trusty editor, a very strong cornerstone both of our family and of the Book for Walls Project.

Out from behind her book she is known as Kathleen M. Daniels or Kathy. The Sisters refer to her as "NaNa" (and in "Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, good bye" listen here if you need to!) and The Mom refers to her as "Mommy." We are all thankful to have her as part of the project, it simply would not be what it is without The Bean!

For now read, and enjoy, this Introduction to The Bean, in her words:

You may wonder, “why the Bean?”  When my children were young, my husband gave me this warm and cuddly light purple bath robe with a hood.  When I first arose with my robe on in the morning and shuffled to the coffee pot, our little ones thought I looked like a giant jelly bean!

Favorite Book: Hymn of the Universe by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and The Secret Garden by Francs Hodgson Burnett

Original Artwork by Kathleen M. Daniels 
Favorite Poem: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (Children's version with artwork by Susan Jeffers)

Favorite Genre: Historical Fiction and Spiritually Focused

Favorite Author: Geraldine Brooks and Joyce Rupp (current) and 
C.S. Lewis (over-all)

Favorite Place: My home, especially the garden

Favorite Restaurant: Anywhere with my husband, family, or friends where the main ingredient is love (from hearth & out-of-doors, to traveling & special places)

Favorite Food: Fresh Strawberries

Favorite Color: The glorious colors of the setting sun

Favorite Tree: Trees are majestic gifts. I have given names to a number of good “friends” like the huge wizened oak with many limbs reaching and bending (…"the kind you’d see in Narnia, Sisters.") The hollow cave at the base and the raccoon family in the crotch confirmed the name I knew it by: “Home to Many”!  All trees have wonder about and in them!

Musical Instrument: Music appreciation is my talent; piano music, my most loved form.  I remember my father playing Kinderszenen (children’s scenes) No. 7 - "Träumerei" (reverie).  Now, my husband is learning the piece! (Listen here)

Favorite Pastime:  Nana-time and gardening

Hobbies: Sketching & pastels, yoga, photography, and of course, reading.
Kayaking, walking, and tandem biking with my husband. 

Favorite MovieShawshank Redemption 1994 drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont. It is an adaptation of the Stephen King novella, “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption”.  The latter information about the novella’s author floored me, since I do not personally care for Stephen King’s work!

Favorite Time of Day: Sunset

Favorite Quote: "All shall be well.” – Julian of Norwich (14th Century, England)

What I like about the Books for Walls Project: The “Four of US Family’s” depth of creativity and clear passion for learning… hearing (feel like it is) what others say about the challenges and the enlarging red dots on the map!

Why I want to be a Regular Contributor: I believe in the Project!  Through the centuries, books have had a struggle from being banned to being burned… now another twist with the internet, downloadable books, kindle… not to mention, books being in competition with video games and cable TV.   Books continually need to be respected for their innate goodness and worth. 

Most of all, I treasure the value of reading being engrained in our youth as well as being rekindled in my life.  I also appreciate the wise use of the internet for global communication and cultural learning.

Finally, stories through books can heal and can keep a person or memory alive. 

Some of my ideas/suggestions/thought/hopes for the Project:  “Keep on keeping on!” (Maya Angelou)

My Favorite BFW's Challenge so farHaiku Challenge

Please add anything you would like the world of BFW's readers to know about YOU:

Haiku Myself!
Agape surrounds
Essence: good fail reach higher
Breathe hope eternal

Be sure to come back tomorrow, or sign up for Weekly Challenge delivery, 
because The Bean is offering this week's Challenge --it's a good one!!

12 July 2010

Just Hanging Around, The Contest

We offer you, dear readers, 
our first contest.
All you have to do is answer the following about this photo:

1. Name the City and State of this historic (hint, hint) building that this photo adorns.
2. Identify the photo by naming the movie from which it is taken.
3. Name the award winning fictional book that has print of this photo and details about the movie all within its story.

Stumped? Send us an email and we'll send you a clue!

Send us your answers (or clue requests) to info@booksforwallsproject.org. We will reward the first reader to get all three correct. For young readers all you have to do is answer one correctly to be entered in a children's drawing.
What are the prizes you smartly ask? First: the winners will gain the honor of being the very first winners of our very first contest! Second: each winner will get to pick from a list of fantastic prizes --many of which are related to the correct answers-- so we cannot list them without giving it away. We can tell you about one: original Books for Walls Book List Journals. These one of a kind, handmade journals are perfect for keeping track of books you are reading, witty passages and thoughts to share at Books for Walls! Soon we will have the journals for sale, too.

11 July 2010

We love our fans ;)

While it would seem possible to live simply on good books, the Four of Us balance our lives with good food.  

The Big and Little Sister have learned to love Asian cuisine (and to use chopsticks) thanks to The Fusion Restaurant in Frankfort, Michigan.

A few weeks ago Bobiesee, one of the Fusion's owners, told the girls that she overheard some customers talking about the project... the girls were giddy!

And then tonight we were taken to our table to find this:
We are glad that The Fusion Restaurant shares our love of good books and good food! If you are in Frankfort make sure to stop by The Fusion to enjoy delectable food with an amazing view of Betsie Bay and be sure to tell Bobiesee the "Books for Walls Girls" say hi!

08 July 2010

The Bean's Bedside Book List

This just in from The Bean! 

If you are wondering exactly who The Bean is we will let you in on a little secret --she is also known as Kathleen, Wif, Aunt Kathy, Nana, Mom, Mommy and Kathy, her full name is Kathleen Madge Maureen Horan Daniels.  Next week we will formally introduce you to her. AND we are happy to announce that she will be offering next week's Challenge!

And now these words from The Bean:
"What a great challenge! 

Just like Corduroy, the huggable bear, waiting to be loved, my books stand in "readiness" waiting to be soaked in. I, like many of you, read several books at once depending on my mood and interest at the moment. My books also display my pre-retirement trade as a career counselor along with my artistic and gardening avocations.
I was reflecting that 6 of these books were given or recommended to me by family or good friends who know me well. 
Another Country by Mary Pipher, PhD – almost finished; loved it as the post-its will tell. It’s the one in front minus the cover which I hope I can find.
Grand River and Joy by Susan Messer – about Detroit where I lived for 40 years.
Listening to the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality by J. Philip Newell 
Drawing Flowers & Botanicals by Diane Cardaci 
The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Hope and Peace for Jews, Christians, and Muslims by Joan Chittister, OSB, Murshid Saadi Shakur Chishti, and Rabbi Arthur Waskow
The Enneagram II: Advancing Spiritual Discernment by Richard Rohr, OFM
The Wisdom of the Wilderness by Gerald G. May
Landscaping with Native Plants of Michigan by Lynn M. Steiner
Sometimes, I just grab a magazine like the National Geographic, Sojourners, or RealSimple. Most stories (from compelling to curious, from educational to frivolous), pictures, and recipes are amazing.
Last but not least is my basket with the dictionary for new found words; along with post-its, pencils, and highlighters (if the book is mine, I definitely highlight and write in it!)"

Where would we be without our libraries?

"Libraries are an essential service in action, as well as an effective leveler of privilege and avenue of reinvention. As budget cuts affect more facilities, children will be the first to suffer."

The Dreamer sent us "U.S. public libraries: We lose them at our peril" from the La Times. We both felt moved to action --what do we do to make our precious libraries valued as they should be? Can we save them? 

The Big Sis, Little Sis and I headed right for our library the Interlochen Public Library and spent time there, it made us feel a little bit better. The new acquisitions aren't as many, there seems to be an element of change in the air, but the librarians still welcome us as if we are old friends. In a way we are. The girls have grown up wobbling as they carried their treasure up to the counter --first I would check them out on my card. Now we have three cards, three stacks and three smiles as we leave the library with our week's worth of inspiration and education. (Unless, the Dad joins us and then there are four cards, four stacks and four smiles.)

"The people who welcome us to the library are idealists, who believe that accurate information leads to good decisions and that exposure to the intellectual riches of civilization leads to a better world. The next Abraham Lincoln could be sitting in their library, teaching himself all he needs to know to save the country. While they help us get online, employed and informed, librarians don't try to sell us anything. Nor do they turn around and broadcast our problems, send us spam or keep a record of our interests and needs, because no matter how savvy this profession is at navigating the online world, it clings to that old-fashioned value, privacy. (A profession dedicated to privacy in charge of our public computers? That's brilliant.) They represent the best civic value out there, an army of resourceful workers that can help us compete in the world."

Read the whole article written by Marilyn Johnson, click hereTo learn more about Marilyn Johnson check out her website (click here) or read This Book Is Overdue! (click here to find it at a library near youbut don't try to take it out of Interlochen Library this week, I just reserved it!

Do you have a favorite library? A favorite Librarian? Tell us a story click here and visit Library Love Stories read our Library Top Ten. Take action to save our libraries: visit your local branch and tell them that you appreciate them --you may even feel moved to give them a hug (for a little inspiration, read The Poet's blog today, click here.)

06 July 2010

The Big Sister's Bedside Book List

Wings by E.D. Baker more
Sarah Bishop by Scott O'Dell more
The Boxcar Children #2 Surprise Island, #38 The Mystery of the Purple Pool and #8 The Lighthouse Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The Royal Diaries Series: Kristina the Girl King, Eleanor Crown Jewel of Aquitaine, Nzingha Warrior Queen of Matamba and Marie Antoinette Princess of Versailles more
High Rhulian (Redwall Series) by Brian Jacques
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
The Sailor Through History by Roger Coote
...If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War by Kay Moore
Elsie's Endless Wait (based on the book by Martha Findley)
Magic Tree House Research Guide #2: Knights and Castles by Will Osborne and Mary Pope Osborne
Poppy's Return by Avi more
The Alley by Eleanor Estes
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson

I have so many books beside my bed because we were selling our pop-up camper and the people who bought it gave us bags and bags of books --they homeschooled too!  In one of the bags was a letter from one of their younger daughters who also loved to read --I felt excited to get the letter-- we keep it up on the wall! (Sarah, Chrissy, Tanya and Rebekah posted at Where are you from?)

I always keep a stash of books in my bed because it is my favorite place to read!