Roaming Rosie Reads “Monsters Aren’t Real” by Kerstin Schoene {book review}

Roaming Rosie Reads

Monsters Aren’t Real by Kerstin Schoene is an enchanting picture book that my kids are absolutely in love with.

It’s 44 pages long, but many of the pages have no words at all, or only a few.  Wordless picture books are great for Little Ones.  Plus, the story is packed full of laughs, which always makes reading fun.

The book is about a monster who’s keeps hearing “monster’s aren’t real,” which leads him to wonder, “then what am I?”  He’s as big as a monster… as strong as a monster… so monsters MUST be real.  Right??

Monster's Aren't Real {picture book review}

Our gentle monster tries to prove that he’s real by attempting to scare people.  He says “boo” and he juggles cows, but nobody is scared.  He tried to spread propaganda via helium balloons and posters {my girls always giggle about the poster that’s upside down}, but nobody’s paying attention.

He gets sad and concludes that monsters aren’t, in fact, real.  But then another crazy-looking monster shows up {this one’s my 3yo’s favorite} and insists that they ARE real.

I often have to reread and reread and reread those last two pages.  My girls read them along with me, bursting into laughter every single time.

When the book is over, I always ask, “are monsters real?” and they shout, “NO!”

And then they laugh some more.

You can watch me reading the book in the video below:

And you can purchase the book from Usborne Books & More:

Monsters Aren’t Real

If you’re Little One is a big monster fan, they may also enjoy:

0000891_the_story_of_growl_300 0001053_300 0001065_300 0001129_300 0002493_jonathan_james_and_the_whatif_monster_3000004113_300 0005365_build_a_picture_monsters_sticker_book_300  0002477_300

Happy Reading!

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Roaming Rosie Reads “The Dog Who Loved Red” by Anitha Balachandran

Roaming Rosie Reads

The Dog Who Loved Red by Anitha Balachandran is one of my favorite Kane Miller picture books.

The illustrations are a bright and fun celebration of color.

The dog’s name is Raja and Raja loves red.  He even has “red radar.”  He chews on Mrs. Lal’s red shawl and Mr. Lal’s gray and red socks, but Raja’s favorite red thing to chew is the old red ball that he and his friend Champ play with.

The Dog Who Loved Red

But the red ball is lost.  Champ is sad.

Then Raja uses his red radar to locate their red ball in the neighbor’s backyard.  The neighbor, Mr. Mehta, doesn’t like dogs.  But Raja braves Mr. Mehta and his blue hose to retrieve the ball.

He’s quite the colorful mess at the end, which results in a bath for him and lots of laughs from your audience.

Kids love the adventurous story and there are a ton of colors mentioned for your Little Ones to find.

In the video below, you can watch me reading the book:

You can find The Dog Who Loved Red, and many other wonderful picture books at my Usborne site, Books With Rosie.

You can also watch other videos of me reading story books in my Roaming Rosie Reads posts.

A few more picture books that I love:

Bears Don't Read One Night in the Zoo Acorns and Stew, Too The Children Who Loved Books

Happy Reading!

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Letter G: Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids

FREE Printable Letter G Alphabet Activities Worksheets at RoamingRosie.com

If you’re new to our Alphabet Activities, please read the Introduction to the Alphabet Activities first!

Here are all of the printable PDFs for the Letter G.  They are free for home and classroom use, but please don’t sell or reproduce them.  Click on each link to download or print the worksheet.

G is for Giraffes Gazing at Gardenias

G is for Gorilla

G is for Grasshopper and Guitar

G is for Green Glitter

G is for Green Grapes

G is for Green Grass

And don’t forget to check out all of our Letter G Alphabet Activities!

Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest to see my latest posts!!

Have fun!

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Letter G: Alphabet Activities for Kids

Alphabet Activites for Kids:  Letter G {Learning the Alphabet with Roaming Rosie}

Welcome to Letter G Day!

If you haven’t read the Introduction to the Alphabet Activities, you should start there.

Don’t forget to check out the Letter G:  Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids, too!

G is for Giraffe paper craft {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

For our construction paper letter, we made a giraffe with a letter G body, four legs with attached feet and a little head I had cut out.

I used a hole punch to make a bunch of “spots” out of brown paper, which was a lot of fun to attach.  One of these days I may even remember to buy and easier-to-use hole punch so my daughter can help me out with things like this!

G is for Guitars letter sorting paper craft  {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

For our letter sorting, I made two guitars, and my daughter placed the lowercase Gs on one and the uppercase on the other.

I later realized this would have looked better if I’d cut out the Gs as little music notes.  Next time.

G is for Green Glitter printable worksheet {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

Is there anything better than glitter?

Not if you’re a toddler/preschooler/anybody!

The supplies for this included glue and green glitter.  Easy + fun = awesome!

You can print the worksheet from my post Letter G: Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids

G is for Green Grass printable worksheet {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

For this I cut a bunch of small pieces of “grass” out of construction paper ahead of time, that my daughter attached with glue.

But later, I let her use her little scissors to practice cutting grass, which we used for a different project.

You can print the worksheet from my post Letter G: Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids

G is for Green Goo {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

It’s GOOOOOOOOO!

This stuff is great.  And boy, did my girls love playing with it!

It’s a little wet at first, but it dries out pretty quickly.  Either way, I don’t advise playing with it on carpet.

And you can store it in a closed container for awhile.  Depending on how much time they spend playing with it each time you take it out of the container, it might last a few weeks.

G is for Green Goo {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

The recipe is easy, although you may have to help your Little Ones squeeze out ALL of the glue.

You’ll need:

1.  8 oz. white glue {we used 2-4 oz. bottles of Elmer’s}

2.  1 teaspoon Borax {found in the laundry detergent aisle}

3.  food coloring {optional}

4.  water

First, empty the glue into a large bowl.  Add a tablespoon or so of water to the glue bottle and shake it well to help loosen the rest of the glue.  Pour that into the bowl, too.  Stir in some food coloring.

Mix the Borax with 1/2 cup warm water until dissolved, then add it into the glue and stir.

This will produce a slimy substance within a puddle of water.  Pull the goo out of the water and knead it a bit to squeeze out some of the excess water.

It’s pretty much done at this point.  A little more water will probably leak out as the kids start to play with it, so I suggest playing on a mat or plastic tablecloth or something similar the first time, to help catch the extra water.

We stored ours for a few weeks, playing with it now and then.  After a while, it became stiffer and pieces would break off that we could then knead back into it.  But my girls enjoyed both the slimy and stiffer versions.

G is for Green Glitter Goo {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

Green Glitter Goo is a combination of

1.  clear hair gel {from the dollar store}

2.  green glitter {sometimes available at the dollar store}

3.  a few drops of green food coloring {optional}

Mix up all that stuff in a plastic gallon-size freezer baggy {freezer bags are sturdier} and let the kids go at it.  We traced all kinds of letters and shapes in the goo.

It lasted quite a while, too, before I even worried about it leaking.  Just make sure no one jumps on it or anything, and it should last at least a few weeks, if not more.

G is for Gears  {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

They spent some time playing with their Melissa & Doug Caterpillar Gear Toy. 

While they were playing, we talked about how gears starts with the letter G.

G is for Gardening with Grandma {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

My girls do a LOT of gardening with Grandma.

Today we pointed out how all of those words start with G.

G is for Gnocchi with Garlic and Gruyere {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

For dinner, we made some Gnocchi.  I love me some gnocchi.

Anyway, since it was letter G day, we made it with Gruyere and garlic.

My girls like to help with shredding the cheese – at least for a minute or two – and also with using the garlic press.

G is for Gnocchi {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

Gnocchi with Garlic and Gruyere

Ingredients:

1 lb. gnocchi
6 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese
2 to 4 cloves pressed or diced garlic
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until smooth.
Add the garlic and let cook on low for a few minutes. Don’t let it burn because it will become bitter.

Add the milk and let it come just to a boil over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as it starts to bubble, stir in the cheese (except for a handful) and turn to low.

Cook the gnocchi according to directions in a separate pot. Once done, drain and stir into cheese sauce.

Place in a serving bowl and top with reserved cheese.

Note: the garlic taste is strong. If you don’t like garlic, you can reduce the amount or omit it altogether.

Here is the free printable PDF of the recipe:

Gnocchi with Garlic and Gruyere

G is for Ginger Spice Cookies {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

I loooooove spice cookies!

SO much awesome food at one time!

Anyway… we used my Norwegian Spice Cookie recipe, but added in some extra ginger in the form of ginger crystals.

I liked the taste of the extra ginger, although I’ll probably just stick to the normal recipe when I usually make them in the future.

If you want to add in a little crystallized ginger, crush it up a little and throw about a tablespoon or two in when mixing in the other spices.

And, as you can see in the photo below, we not only made traditional gingerbread men, but also some letter Gs with out alphabet cookie cutters.

G is for Ginger Spice Cookies {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

I’d love for you to share if you’ve done any of these projects with your little ones!

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest to see all of our latest crafts and recipes!

Have fun!

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Book Review: The Hidden Life of Wolves

The Hidden Life of Wolves

I had shared the video for The Hidden Life of Wolves on Facebook awhile back, but I just recently got a chance to read the book.

It attracted me from the first time I heard about it.  Wolves have always fascinated me.  I’ve always found them to be borderline magical and always wanted one as a friend and companion.  Even though they are wild {as the book reminds us} they are smart and their eyes are deep and their calls command the night.

Why do I love wolves so much?  I mostly attribute it to The Journey of Natty Gann, a movie released in the 80s that featured a young girl with a wolf as a traveling partner.  I don’t remember much about the movie, actually, but I remember the wolf.  I remember that the girl was going through unbelievably hard times, but I remember the wolf right there alongside her – and I wanted to be her because of that.

Maybe that sounds a little silly, but as a young child, I wanted to experience that beauty and that passion and that comfort up close.

Which has an awful lot to do with why I picked up this book the instant I caught those golden green eyes staring back at me.

And what a gorgeous book it is!

The photos are breathtakingly spectacular and are alone well worth the purchase of the book.  But there’s so much more, too.

The authors lived – day in and day out – with these wolves.  They were like family.  Like pack.

The book is a glimpse inside the personalities and habits of how these wolves lived.  How they played and hunted, how they reared and mourned.

I’m ashamed to admit that I’d had no idea that the wild wolf population was so terribly scarce.

Why have we been killing off wolves for so long?  Why have we driven them to near extinction?  Why do so many people hate them?  Is it because they are so like us?

Jim and Jamie Dutcher, the husband and wife team who wrote the book, have taken on a lifelong mission of helping this majestic cousin of Man’s Best Friend.  This effort grew from the beginnings of their incorporation into the Sawtooth Pack and blossomed into three documentaries, three Emmy Awards, and their groundbreaking nonprofit organization, Living With Wolves.  {You can also follow them on Facebook.}

They introduce us not just to the individual wolves of Sawtooth Pack, from the Alpha to the pups, but also to a history of the animal and its relationship with humans over many thousands of years.  They show us how these intelligent and compassionate creatures are so vital to our ecosystem, and how we can live peacefully side-by-side.

Truly, I think that everyone who has even a passing interest in animals or nature should read this book.

You can see a preview of the book in the video below, which includes glimpses of the stunning photography.

A portion of the proceeds of book sales goes towards helping wolves, but even if you decide not to buy the book, you should still pick it up and read it.  It will change the way you look at wolves.  It may even change you.

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Book Review: Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals by Dinah Fried

Fictitious Dishes:  An Album of Literatures Most Memorable Meals

I recently picked up Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals by Dinah Fried with the expectation that I’d soon be trying out some new recipes.

I was mistaken.

So my initial reaction to this book was one of disappointment.

But I was still intrigued, as I usually am with anything related to either novels or food {and this had both!} so I sat down and began to read it from the beginning.

I found the author’s description of her process to be quite entertaining, and I think I would have enjoyed hearing more about her story.  After all, she chose some books with which I was completely unfamiliar and some times she chose foods that I wasn’t able to identify or match to the descriptions.  So even though I enjoyed the tidbits of facts on each page, I would have liked a meatier {hehe} explanation.

There were a wide variety of books documented here, from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Secret Garden, pictured above, to others like Moby Dick, Lolita, and American Psycho.  I liked finding so many different titles, but there are so many, many more – endless, really – options for inclusion in a book like this, that I kind of found it too short.

I want to make sure that I stress that I really did like this book.  But I also want to stress that it’s a coffee table book, not a cookbook.  Gazing at the creamy chowder and crusty bread in the rustic setting of the author/photographer’s imagining of Moby Dick left me craving a warm soup to combat the dreary, rainy weather I could hear in my memory.

Which also made me realize that the book had accomplished its goals.  The author tells us that she hopes her work will “transport [us] back into fictional worlds,” and for the books we haven’t read, that her photographs are there to “offer a little taste of the stories.”

So not a cookbook.  An art book.  A photography book.  A recipe book, but not recipes of food.  Recipes of the subconscious lingerings that great books leave behind in us.

And once I understood the purpose of the book, I was able to devour it {snicker} with relish {I could do this all day…} and find amusement in the playfulness of the props and the colorful culinary interpretations.

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Book Review: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani:  a book review by Roaming Rosie

The School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani, is a fast-paced fairy tale {somewhat fractured} about two girls searching for their Happily Ever Afters.

But their Happily Ever Afters and their journeys to find themselves are not at all what either girl could ever have imagined.

And it’s fun to read.

It’s a middle-grade novel, written for ages 8 to 12, with the paperback at 544 pages long.

The story begins with two very different girls:  Sophie, a gorgeous wannabe princess who spends her days preening and dreaming of princes, and Agatha, a quiet loner who lives in a graveyard and has a cat named Reaper who leaves beheaded birds in her pockets.

Sophie and Agatha only entered a relationship because Sophie was trying to demonstrate how “Good” and charitable she was by befriending the homely outcast dubbed a witch by the townspeople.  This relationship, however, grew into a real {albeit somewhat unbalanced} friendship before the story even starts.

Their story starts for us as they are kidnapped by the elusive School Master and dropped into the School for Good and Evil.  Unexpectedly, however, Agatha is dropped into the School for Good and Sophie into the School for Evil. Both girls are certain a mistake has been made.

As the book progresses, we see Agatha continually and fiercely trying to protect and help her friend, as Sophie grows more and more selfish and angry.  And even though the characters keep showing us their true natures and showing the audience that maybe, just maybe, they’re in the correct schools after all, the book isn’t that cut and dry.

In between colorful school lessons of witches learning the correct way to cook children and princesses learning how to speak to squirrels, and in between competitions where princes try to discern which magical pumpkin is actually a princess, the children face some very dangerous and quite scary situations.  Which is – actually – very in keeping with the style of fairy tales.

But the point to all of these lessons and competitions and circuses and balls is that we learn that even the baddest of the Bad students have their good points, and even the Good students are perfectly capable of evil.

I rather enjoyed the book, and I was very happy with the way it ended.  Now, when I started reading it, I didn’t even know it was part of a series, but I was relieved to find that out, because when the book ended, I did want to know more of their story, even though it still would have functioned as a stand alone novel.

And it’s all done in a very entertaining way through a story that moves along at a good pace:  fast enough to keep kids and young adults entertained, but not so quickly that things get overwhelming or confused.  The language is intelligent, the imagery is vivid, and the story was creative.  I laughed … I cried … and I totally think everyone who is even remotely and mildly interested in fantasy and fairy tales should read it.  There isn’t anything in there that’s inappropriate for young kids, but I feel that adults will rather enjoy the tongue-in-cheek fairy tale references.  I absolutely plan to read the sequels.

You can see a preview of The School for Good and Evil on Amazon.

Happy Reading!

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