Rating: 5 stars
I asked Lorelei what sort of party she wanted for her birthday; she replied, "A princess party!" uber-enthusiastically.
Because I'm mean like that, I said, "No." Then I thought to myself, That was pretty mean. Perhaps I could soften my response a bit? I explained to her that I thought it was important to make the boys at the party welcome, and they might not be excited about a princess party. And then, because I know how to get under skin, I used her favorite word in my next argument: "Besides, everyone has princess parties. Let's have one that is unique." Her eyes lit up, and she got excited.
We decided on a garden party. Not just a fairies and tea party garden party, but a wear-boots-'cause-you're-gonna-get-messy garden party. We bought all our vegetables and set out the pots they needed to be planted in and helped the little gardeners (aka guests) plant our own garden. It was a lot of fun--I only wish that we had more to plant, because we had so many eager hands!
|Lorelei's twin cousins at the "reading center" at her party.|
Because I'm nerdy like that, we had "centers" when the kids arrived. Both Lorelei and Ben dig centers at school, and the concept has been super useful for me for playdates or just managing a long rainy afternoon with my own kids. We had a sidewalk chalk center, a painting rocks like ladybugs center, a bubble center, and...you guessed it! A book center.
This book was one of the garden-themed books we included. It is a fun book--a great rhyme--that asks kids what they do when they see a bug with a ton of questions. For example: "If you spied a centipede slithering by,/ would you reach for a stick? Run away? Start to cry?" The book ends by encouraging children NOT to stick bug in a jar for they are always happier out in nature. Thankfully Bono makes no mention of that horrible boys-always-do-it thing about burning bugs with a magnifying glass (shudder)!
The illustrations are plain and simple and great. It makes the kids giggle, and they can find some of the bugs mentioned in the book in our own yard and woods, which is always satisfying to me. Entertaining and educational? That's a good book in my mind.
Because I'm cheap like that, I bought our copy for 99 cents. That's the only downside to this book: it's out of print. But the one we found is in fantastic condition. (Confession: It was actually supposed to be a gift, but we liked it so much we kept it!) If you find a used copy, it might be worth grabbing it. But you can always get it the way we first found it: our wonderful library. And it's even cheaper than 99 cents.