NEW NON-FICTION

Although this book was published in 1984, it deals with a very current issue– CLUTTER!


Dan Aslett has written a hilarious self-help book on decluttering. Clutter’s Last Stand is at turns sympathetic, sarcastic, and sadistic. Aslett takes no “back talk” when he tells the reader to get rid of something and has no sentimentality towards personal treasures. The cartoon illusions are excellent and tend to take the “sting” out of giving up your “stuff.” Judith Holmes Clarke’s cartoonish characters shout out this message, “It’s time to de-junk your life!”

The author gives tips on decluttering your home, your job, your mind, and your keepsakes. At the beginning is a Junkee Entrance Exam. My score said, “100-150 pts. The End is Near…You’re in trouble. Read Clutter’s Last Stand three times, gird up your loins and start de-junking ruthlessly.”

This is the ultimate self-improvement book. “This book will make you happier, freer, neater, richer, and smarter…it will solve more home, family, marriage, career, and economic problems than any book you’ve read.” I’m not so sure about the author’s claim here, but the book comes close!

SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS ON SATURDAY EVENING

Thanks, Carla, for the use of your illustration .

Saturday mornings on PWR (Powerful Women Readers) are reserved for recommendations of kids’ books, just like Saturday morning TV programming in the 50s and 60s (cartoons) was. Today’s recommendation is a whole series.

Gators are funny, and when they play detective, they become even funnier.

I found this particular 2020 publication in my Little Free Library and had a ball looking it over. John Patrick really knows what tickles kids’ funny bones. It is done as a graphic novel, and I’m glad I began with Book One. The illustrations are priceless and the word balloons are easy to follow. Any precocious 8-year-old could read it to himself, but a 5-year-old could appreciate the jokes as he was being read to. Even reluctant readers as old as thirteen are sure to enjoy the slapstick and even more subtle jokes and will enjoy following the plots.

I highly recommend this whole series after examining the first book, firsthand, and looking over the other books in the series online. It is a reader-starter for those who are independent, avid readers as well as those who prefer computer games to “plain old books.” Best of all–they are F.U.N.N.Y.

SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS ON SATURDAY NIGHT

Thanks, Carla for the fine illustration.

AGAIN, I’m late, but today is because I’ve been enjoying my out-of-town company and taking some time out to do fun shopping. Saturdays on PWR are like the TV programming on 50’s and 60’s Saturday mornings, reserved for the kiddos.

Today’s book is not something I’ve read, but something that showed up in my LFL that I want to read soon.

My LFL (Little Free Library) in my side yard.

This 1987 publication by Louis Sachar, described by School Library Journal as “unusual, witty, and satisfying” had me at the cover–

Louis Sachar is a fine writer.

This cover reminds me so much of the sixth grade boys I taught “back in the day” in my first teaching career. I remember the boy who wanted to “look in the girls’ bathroom” so badly that he removed the cover off the vent in the boys’ bathroom, crawled into the ceiling crawl space, and fell through, landing in a classroom in another “pod” when he explored the school from above. I am sure this is going to be a fun read.

RAE

SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS…

TODAY’S RECOMMENDATION IS AIMED AT MIDDLE SCHOOLERS

…ON SUNDAY MORNING

Late! Again! Please bear with me, for I have a wonderful author who writes for middle schoolers, and adults whose sense of humor has remained at middle school levels, including yours truly.

I RECEIVED A WONDERFUL GIFT IN THE MAIL!

This gift from a former student, Virginia, arrived in the mail a while ago. I could hardly wait to read the books and recommend them in Saturday Mornings for Children.
6 NEW KID’S BOOKS!
My favorite of the set!

Virginia Jones, a former online student whom I came to love as a friend as well as be impressed by as a student, sent me a set of books by a beloved children’s author in Britain, equivalent in popularity to of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series here in the U.S. Stationed in England, she calls me often to check on me and tells me about her latest academic adventures. She is an amazing individual and a good friend. She follows my blog, and when she told me about this British author, I thought I should feature Williams on my Saturday Mornings for Kids post. Never did I dream she would provide me with the means of doing so.

My sense of humor has never progressed beyond middle school, and for that I am not embarrassed, but grateful. This series made me laugh out loud at the “proper British tones” in which it is written and nearly choke at the outrageously funny illustrations. Here’s one from my favorite book in the box, Awful Auntie.

Awful Auntie herself, in all her “glory”

When I googled the author of this hilarious set of books, I discovered I already “knew” him from watching “Britain’s Got Talent” on TV. There, he is a judge for unusual acts trying to hit the big time in Great Britain. My estimation of this “celebrity” has now climbed sky-high after reading his books. Out of five stars, I would have to give this series a 6.

Thanks, Evin

SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS

Just as Saturday mornings’ TV programming was aimed at kids, full of cartoons and entertainment, Saturday mornings on PWR is aimed at kids of all ages, making recommendations of good books to read. Today’s selection is How to Prevent Monster Attacks, written and illustrated by Dave Ross. My copy, which was donated to my Little Free Library and has seen better days, was published in 1984 by Minstrel Books. It is chock-full of humor and wonderful drawings.

The monster in the window seems as engrossed in the boy’s book as the boy is.

My favorite chapter is Chapter 5, “How to Defend Against Monster Attacks.” It gives illustrated advice like, “Garlic will keep vampires away…Unfortunately, it will keep most friends away too,” and “To stop Frankenstein-monster attacks, carry a needle and thread. That way you can offer to sew on any loose parts. (Then stitch his feet together.)

This is a delightful book for any youngster old enough to make fun of monsters through junior high. It is guaranteed for a laugh.

Thanks, Carla for the loan of the meme.
Thanks, Evin

SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS

Just like Saturday mornings (from 6:30-9:30 a.m.) when TV programming was reserved for kids’ cartoons, Saturday mornings on PWR are reserved for recommendations for kids’ books.

THANKS to Carla from Carla Loves to Read for the image.

Today’s read is Rachel Renee Russell’s series “The Misadventures of Max Crumbly.” Russell is the author of the well known “The Dork Diaries,” and is a very popular author with 5th through 8th graders in the U.S. and in other countries. The book I read is book three of the series, but the author kindly gives us in a sparse two sentences what happened in the first two books, so it works as a stand alone.

Funny! Funny! Funny!

The illustrations in this book are only superseded by the text on the humor scale. It is a fast, zany read with a plot that makes the reader laugh out loud and chuckle like a crazy person. Whenever Max thinks “MY LIFE IS OVER,” which he thinks frequently during the novel, something comes along and makes everything all right.

Max’s message to his readers is simple. “…just remember, if Erin and I can become superheroes and make the world a better place…

SO CAN YOU!

Just hang in there! and KEEP YOUR HEAD ABOVE WATER!

YOU GOT THIS!

FOR REAL!”

SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS

Just like television programming back in the 50s and 60s, this blog reserves Saturday mornings for kids. Today, I wish to feature a series that has been around since I was a kid–The Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series.

Two of the books are in my Little Free Library in my yard right now.

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is described in the book as being, “very small and has a hump on her back… When children ask her about the hump, she says’ Oh, that’s a big lump of magic.’ ” “The children are all very envious of the hump because, besides being magic, it is such a convenient fastening place for wings.” The children of the town are her friends, and she leads them on many adventures throughout the series.

For example, Mrs.Piggle Wiggle’s Farm deals with Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s attempt to straighten out Fetlock Harroway, the town’s spoiled child and bully, who rules the roost at his house. Finally, he gets so bad that he is sent to Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s to be “cured of faults,” something Mrs. Piggle Wiggle has done for many boys and girls in her town. The results are hilarious.

Betty McDonald, the author, writes in a captivating, gentle style that will have kids and those who read to them chuckling together.

SATURDAY MORNINGS FOR KIDS

“The Arthur series “is today’s recommendation for both boys and girls ages four through eight. Arthur Read (Yes, “Read” is his last name.) is an anthropomorphic aardvark created by Marc Brown. For the girls, Arthur has a little sister. He is a good Big Brother. Himself eight years old, Arthur addresses the fears of eight-year-olds like asthma, dyslexia, cancer and diabetes. Family issues like taking turns, being kind, controlling anger, etc. are also dealt with.

One of my favorites is Arthur’s Eyes, dealing with eye checkups and getting glasses.

Arthur’s adventures include writing a story, meeting the President, and his eyes, ears, nose (another favorite), and tooth (about loosing a baby tooth).

A friend gave me multiple copies of Arthur books, which I not only put out in my Little Free Library, but shared with teacher wannabes in my classes for their classroom libraries.

Arthur has been made into a PBS TV series as well.

PICKY EATERS by S. J. Higbee: A Review

One doesn’t think of a dragon as a picky eater, but one doesn’t think of a dragon as a grandpa either, does one? This delightful story by blogging friend and Starblind series author, S.J. Higbee is so much fun to read. She had me at the beginning lines when the grand-dragon, Castellan thought his grandkids/dragonets were up to something and “tip taloned across” the cavern where he was babysitting them. Sammy Jo, the dragonet queenling reminded Castellan of his departed wife, she was so much like her grandmother, and she had inherited the skill/gift of time travel as had he. Her father, Rondell, in Castellan’s opinion, “the waste of skin and scales who ended up with [his] daughter,” Emmy Lou provides much humor as the beleaguered son-in-law in the story.

Such detail is given to the dragons’ lair (for example, as Higbee describes Emmy Lou’s “sleeping mound” of golden coins as “chinking as she settled down” for a nap after an energy expending adventure of traveling in time), and the characterization of each of the dragon characters is exquisite. I know from comments and conversations on her blog Brainfluff that dragons are one of her favorites, and she certainly does them justice in this story.

This is a rollicking read for all ages and members of the family. I highly recommend it. It is available in paperback from Amazon and may be available on Kindle as well. Proceeds from the sales go to National Health Charities. UK