Archives for September 2017

Our October Booklist

Our theme for this month is

Fall Leaves

Here is a booklist to take to your local library.  It’s full of our favorite books including my latest find – and what a find it is.  Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow.  Please find this book and experience the beauty of the illustrations as you enjoy a walk through the woods.   All of our activities on TheFirefliesClassroom.com will be based on this book.   Join us!

CLICK HERE

Favorite Books & Enchanted Attics

Favorite Childhood Books and Enchanted Attics

By Gil Moegerle

September 26, 2017

Why, when we were children, were attics magical? Why did they trigger our imaginations the moment we stepped through those creaking doors or, better yet, as we pulled down that hidden ceiling door, climbed that folding ladder and our eyes pop up above those rafters? Surely, we thought, mysterious and glorious adventures awaited. We were certain inside that dusty trunk over there were amazing artifacts from olden days. And what about this old wardrobe mom and dad hauled up here when they got a new one? Surely treasures grander than any pirate’s resided behind those old doors.

The stairs leading to my enchanted attic…

Granddad Moegerle, Pop Pop we called him, had an attic. We walked up wooden stairs in the living room to reach it. To the left was a partially finished guest bedroom where we slept during sleepovers. Straight ahead was a bath. Then there was that door to the right that called to me. Behind it, a stand-up, unfinished storage attic. I remember asking once if I could sleep in there instead of the guest bedroom. Why? Mystery. Adventure.

That’s why, many years later, I partially finished the attic of my condo, then built a model railroad layout the entire length of the place. Because I knew that saying to my grandchildren, “Want to go up in the attic?” is about as magical as a grandpa gets…

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Miss Rumphius

Author and Illustrator: Barbara Cooney

On a balmy day in Bath Maine, in July 1989, a soft-spoken woman with a snow white braid winding through her hair, became my friend. Her name was Barbara Cooney. Several of my teacher friends and I were attending a small conference of authors and illustrators.  Ms. Cooney was among them, exuding a presence of gentleness. When sharing her books with those attending, she would most often quote entire passages by heart, and with such enthusiasm and feeling that those of us listening sat in complete awe. Among those books was Miss Rumphius.

The story of Miss Rumphius is based on Ms. Cooney’s great-aunt.  Beginning as young Alice living by the sea, then traveling all over the world, and finally becoming “the Lupine Lady,” Miss Rumphius never forgot the admonition from her grandfather as a child. “You must do something to make the world more beautiful,” he had told her.  Planting a small garden of her beloved lupines by her house by the sea, she wonders just what that could be.

I have several reasons for choosing this book as one of my favorites. Having personally met the author was, of course, special.  That I adore fresh flowers in my home all the time and delight in the “Lupine Lady’s” act of  beautification – yes! But perhaps most of all is the root of the story; the grandfather’s admonition to make the world more beautiful. Why?  Because I can hear my own dear mother saying to me and my sisters as we were growing up, “Girls, always leave a  place better than you found it!” But that is a story for another time. . .

Please go buy some flowers, put them in a prominent spot, and just enjoy their beauty. Then curl up and read this lovely book and thank Miss Rumphius for making the world a little more beautiful.

Mary Byrne Kline

 

 

 

HURRICANE (Irma)!

The hurricane is over but the clean up continues at our house (Orlando, FL).

While taking a break from picking up tree limbs and pieces of the house which have been scattered about the yard, I decided to go through the stacks of books scattered about the house.  Actually, I was looking for any excuse to abandon my outside duties!   Somewhere in book stack #11, I came across this book and thought I would introduce it to those of you who don’t know about HURRICANE by David Wiesner.

In this book, two brothers share experiences that go along with a hurricane – all which will be appreciated by any child whose home was in the path of Irma.   The story is a safe re-creation of the storm and a gentle tool for talking through fears associated with experiencing a hurricane.

As they awaken the next morning, they realize the damage that has been done by the hurricane.  “The next morning only one elm tree was standing near the corner of the yard.  The day before there had been two.  The downed tree was lying across the neighbor’s lawn.”

To these brothers, the fallen tree looks like a jungle as it lay on its side.  As they begin climbing through their beloved tree, it goes from a jungle to a fierce pirate ship and then spaceship.   They grow to love this fallen tree even more as it launches their imaginative adventures.  However, one day they hear chainsaws and see that men are cutting up their new imagination playground…

If you are following us on Heritage2Legacy and want to preserve the memories your family created as you lived through Hurricane Irma, this would be a wonderful book to purchase as one of your H2L Christmas memory books.

You can purchase it here.

By clicking on this link and ordering the book, you are supporting Liz’s Legacy.  (I think we get $1 for every 5 books ordered…;0 but every little bit helps.   Whatever you order on Amazon, if you go through this link, the proceeds will go to Liz’s Legacy and there is no additional cost to you.    Thank you!

Deni