Jenny Hodges. Tampa Librarian. Book Lover. Slow Runner. Weight Watcher. SharePoint Wife. Mom to Irish Triplets. Living and Traveling in the Autism World.

13. November 2015 10:39
by jennifer

The Best Kids Books for Thanksgiving

13. November 2015 10:39 by jennifer | 1 Comments

I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday, other than my birthday. Wink  Thanksgiving is the time for me to remember everything that I am thankful and grateful for.  Topping the list is always my family. My husband, my kids, my mom and aunts, my sister and her family, and my big yellow dog.

Every year, beginning the week before Thanksgiving, I read a Thanksgiving book to the #TampaTrio. I read funny books, serious books, books about Turkey's, books about Squanto, and here is my list of the top Thanksgiving books for kids.

10 Fat Turkeys is a silly silly story and one that I have been reading aloud for at least 10 years. It's so funny to try to watch my kids act out some of the antics that the fat turkeys do! The noodle dance is a favorite!!

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie. These old lady who swallow something books are favorites in our house and I have them for every holiday! In this version, the old lady swallows the pie, and then proceeds to swallow a whole squash, all of the salad, and the entire turkey! It's such a fun story!!

Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne has Jack and Annie whisked back to the first Thanksgiving in 1621. They meet Squanto, mess up the first Thanksgiving meal, but quickly learn the meaning of the word "community" and everything works out fine. This is a longer book than most of the others I read aloud (92 pages) but split up over a few days and it's an easily accomplished read-aloud.

I added a new book last year Pinkalicious: Thanksgiving Helper and the kids and I all really enjoyed it. It's a great story about being thankful and trying your best. And it has a unicorn on the cover. Enough said.

Hands down one of my favorite picture book series is The Bear Books by the fabulous Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. In this story Bear has come up with the perfect way to say thanks—a nice big dinner! When Bear decides to throw a feast, his friends show up one by one with different platters of delicious food to share. There’s just one problem: Bear’s cupboards are bare! What will Bear have to contribute?? You'll have to read the story to find out!

The Great Turkey Race is a silly story about 3 turkeys who all want to be Thanksgiving dinner...but they don't know what it means to be Thanksgiving dinner! They have a contest to see who will win the honor of being the Thanksgiving's a fun story with a happy ending!

Dav Pilkey. You just can't go wrong with him and this is a great story. The day before Thanksgiving, eight boys and girls take a field trip to a turkey farm. They have fun playing with eight exuberant turkeys but are shocked to learn that Farmer Mack Nuggett plans to kill all the turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners. So the children decide to smuggle all the turkeys home.

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving book??

9. November 2015 11:21
by jennifer

2015 Kia Soul Review

9. November 2015 11:21 by jennifer | 0 Comments

In Late October I arrived home from work on a Tuesday night to find this waiting for me in my driveway, a 2015 Kia Soul!! It was close to 10pm, so I didn't take much time to really look over the vehicle.  It was the week of Halloween, so the #TampaTrio decided to name the car "The Boogeyman" because 1)it was Halloween, and 2)they thought the color looked like a booger. What can I say? They are kids.  It was a very warm, very foggy morning when the kids and I left the house to head to school, and the fog just added to the Halloween theme! I drove The Boogeyman to work and back on Wednesday, but Thursday is when I put it to the "true" test. I drove it down to St. Pete to chaperone Haley's field trip. What a ride it was!   I set the GPS and away I went. It was great!! I knew where I was going as I have been down there quite a lot of times, but I always get turned around when I attempt to head back home, so the GPS was so nice to have and I didn't get lost once!! Winning!! The drive was so smooth and I opened the giant sunroof and just cruised down over the bridges, enjoying the sunshine. I wasn't able to get a photo of the sunroof but here's a stock photo from Kia and you can see how HUGE this thing is! Now the sunroof is actually in two pieces and I could only figure out how to open the roof on the first piece. The retractable cover for the second half did work, but then I couldn't figure out how to actually open the sunroof, so I'm not sure if that second part actually opens, or if it's just supposed to remain closed and the backseat passengers can just gaze up at the sky, but not feel the wind on their face. The Kia got pretty decent mileage for my drive down I-275, averaging just a bit over 25 miles per gallon. Not bad considering the PEP that this vehicle had! It was very very responsive. It was also quite comfortable for the 5 of us and James did not bump his head when we went over the speed bump in the Publix shopping center!    It also had a really large trunk area which came in handy when I had Friday off and needed to go grocery shopping and take Ronin's STEAM parade costume to him at school. Everything fit in the cargo area perfectly with lots of room to spare!   Overall I really really liked this vehicle. I liked it more than I thought I would. It was a super fun vehicle to drive, I loved all the features (seat warmers AND seat coolers!!) the radio/speakers were fantastic, and the kids and I may have blasted the music on more than one occasion  This was the second Kia vehicle I have had the opportunity to review and I have to say I have been quite impressed with the Kia brand.  Thanks for reading!

6. November 2015 08:39
by jennifer

What I'm Reading

6. November 2015 08:39 by jennifer | 1 Comments

This week I started and finished Those Girls by Chevy Stevens. Holy smokes, what an intense read. 3 sisters, very close in age (15, 16, 17) are not living a great life with their father who is an abusive drunk. One night they take matters into their own hands, and then end up running away. They wind up in a small town, with their truck broken down, no money, no food, and it's not looking good for them. They find work as ranch hands, and a few days later their life gets turned completely turned upside down. They already had a rough life, but holy smokes do things ever take a bad turn for them. I found myself saying more than once "oh my god those poor girls." I read this book pretty quickly and have now started on a fascinating book! Troublemaker by Leah Rimini.  Growing up on the Gulf Coast of Florida I am familiar with Scientology and its famed HQ in Clearwater. But wow...the story that Leah paints about her formative years with Scientology and the Sea Organization (Sea Org) is really quite disturbing. I'm about half way through the book now. Leah has just started working in Hollywood and is conflicted between what goes on her daily work/professional life and what happens when she goes to the Scientology center. It's really an interesting story, and one that I highly recommend.   What are you reading???