With it being a holiday weekend and one usually spent with family while enjoying the last days of summer, reviewing a children’s picture book seemed like the perfect book review post for today. Different Like Me is written by Xochitl Dixon and illustrated by Bonnie Lui.
One Fish, Two Fish… Today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Theodor Geisel would be 116 years old. This master of the creative word left us a treasury of stories for both young and old. From learning one’s ABC’s to recognizing that a person’s a person no matter how small to the possibility that a grinch’s heart can grow three sizes in one day.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Or so the song claims. I tend to agree, but also know that such expectation can often leave us wanting more. The wonder and magic of the season can get lost amid the running around, the shopping, the parties, the traveling. Not to mention wrestling with emotional disappointments, family drama, and personal loss. With so much riding on this season it is easy to let it drag us down when it seems like it should pick us up.
Whenever I say, ‘Santa Lucia,’ I can’t help picturing – and, frankly, hearing – Don Knots attempting to sing the traditional Italian song as Barney Fife in The Andy Griffith Show. So many other, better singers have recorded it, but for some reason, Knots’ is the version that sticks in my head.
However, that was not my first interaction with the celebration known as the Feast Day of St. Lucy. I first learned about the primarily Swedish holiday from Kristen’s Surprise, one of the books in Kristen’s American Girl series. Being part Swede and part Italian myself, Santa Lucia Day has become a holiday that fascinates me.
One of my favorite aspects of fall is the changing colors. I know I’m not alone, especially considering there are whole maps forecasting when peak fall foliage will occur. Mid-October is usually when leaves turn across central Wisconsin.
My husband loves beef stroganoff. I usually avoid it. Not because I don’t like it; I’m just allergic to one of the primary ingredients: mushrooms. So I embarked on a journey to find a delicious stroganoff that my husband would love and that I could eat.
In a time when we are all encouraged to practice self-care, whether as mothers, fathers, single, married, older, or younger, we are simultaneously pressured to find that nebulous ‘thing’ that helps each of us capture what will restore our weary souls. Then, if we do discover it, we must find a way to incorporate it into our lives. This task becomes all the more difficult when what feeds us is an allusive concept as easy to grasp as the fog on a rainy day.
Today I’m making an exception to the books I usually review. When a friend publishes a book, I always jump at the chance to help promote it. But when a friend publishes a book so poignant as this one, I have to share that book with everyone.
Living Lies is the debut novel by author Natalie Walters and first book in the Harbored Secrets series. Lane Kent and Charlie Lynch have both come to Walton, Georgia for it’s small town nature. But the town also harbors many secrets.
The Curse of Misty Wayfair, by Jaime Jo Wright, is a gripping split-timeline, romantic suspense novel about identity and family heritage. It follows two young women as they both grapple with the Legend, and ghost, of Misty Wayfair.