Wednesday, June 17, 2009

school's out

Last day of school and we escaped before Swine Flu struck our wing. (The fifth graders were not so lucky...)

I wanted to kick off the summer with a quick reminder about area reading programs.

Barnes and Noble's program offers a great selection of books as a reward. Your child can pick one after reading eight.

The program at Arlington Public Library gives the kids a harmonica after they read 15 books (for younger kids) or 10 (for older kids). I'm sure your own local library has a good program as well.

Speaking of libraries, my friend Susan, a children's librarian at Arlington Central, is now blogging for PBS. This week's post features a bunch of tongue twisters -- a fun way to start the summer!

new books, new playlist

A mixed playlist this time, welcoming two new books to bookstores and libraries everywhere.

The first, Fritz Danced the Fandango, is by my friend Alicia Potter, one of the first people to make me love Boston, Mass. This is her first published kids book, though there are more in the pipe! It's about a lovely little goat, looking for a new herd because his old one doesn't like his clippety-clop.

The second, Itty Bitty, is by Cece Bell. (If you read this blog at all, you know her already.) Itty Bitty is a small dog trying to turn a big, cavernous bone into something that feels a little more comfortable. Small dog, big color.

And so, the playlist:

Fandango by the Steve Miller Band. (Okay, this is the only one I could find off the top of my head, aside from the ZZ Top album, which doesn't have a song by the same name. And apparently no one has created a youtube video with Steve Miller's Fandango in the background, so you'll just have to get a tiny snippet off of Amazon, or go raid your vinyl.)

Fandango by Herb Alpert. You know Herb from seeing Whipped Cream and Other Delights in thrift stores across America. This is earlier Herb.

Some authentic flamenco music from Camaron de la Isla

It's not the Fandango. It's "Hokey Pokey" by Dan Zanes and Father Goose (one of the "and friends" from Dan Zanes and Friends, but also an entity unto himself). You can find this tune on the Family Dance album.

She Bought a Dog by Southern Culture on the Skids. Argh, I wish I could find this on youtube so you could hear what a glorious song it is! It's on our family car jams, SCOTS at their finest and funniest, I think. From the Too Much Pork for Just One Fork album.

Rufus Thomas, Walking the Dog. (For a real treat, check out his version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm, the best version ever recorded. Bar none.

Hound Dog. But we'll go with Big Mama Thornton's version here. (Sorry, Elvis. I love ya, but...)

We are Monkees obsessed in our house this month (thank you, Netflix!) so here's "Gonna Buy Me a Dog."

(Trying to keep it happy and clean, so we'll stay away from Neil Young's "Old King" and Snoop's "Doggie Dog World".)


I promised Annie at Bookstogether that I would post a few pictures from this year's garden. I tend to do my gardening early, because by the time the heat and humidity and mosquitoes are out there, I usually let everything go to pot. (That doesn't mean I don't plant tomatoes and cukes: We LOVE tomatoes and cukes. It just means they don't get watered so well by the time we hit July.) Here are a few pics from June 1. I may update later in the season when the corn is higher, unless I am once again defeated by chipmunks. So far, they've gotten most of my squash.