Ten, Nine, Eight

ten_nineBang, Molly. Ten, Nine, Eight. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1983.

The day has been long and we are ready for bed.
It is after dinner and after bath.
We are both exhausted from the day’s aftermath.
We need a story before you lay down your head.
Scanning the bookshelf for a story or two,
We spy a book that we think will do.
We hop on the bed and snuggle up close,
This book begins with 10 little toes.
With Molly Bang’s Ten, Nine, Eight,
I don’t have long to wait.
As we  count down from ten to one,
You fall asleep as the day is done.

In 1984, Molly Bang received a Caldecott Honor award for this charming counting book.  When I was browsing my bookshelf for a new book to share, this one leapt into my arms.  I hadn’t read it in some time.  I had forgotten what a lovely book of grace and comfort it is.  It made me remember snuggling up and reading a drowsy child to sleep.

Molly Bang

Ten things to know about Molly Bang

  1. She was born in Princeton, New Jersey and went to public school in Baltimore.
  2. While waiting to get into graduate school to study Far Eastern Studies, she got a job as a translator for a Japanese newspaper. For this job, she traveled the United States. She reported on the Apollo missions and sat in the press box to watch the first landing mission to the moon take off.
  3. She has 2 master’s degrees in Far Eastern Studies, one from University of Arizona and one from Harvard. She decided a life of the scholar was not the job for her.
  4. She worked for the Baltimore Sun as a reporter, again another job that was not for her (she was fired).
  5. She always wanted to write and illustrate books.
  6. She started by retelling and illustrating folktales.
  7. She spent time in Bangladesh illustrating documents for UNICEF.
  8. She wrote a book called, Picture This: How Pictures Work, which explains the structural principles that all artists use to make their pictures emotionally powerful. It is used as a text-book in some art programs.
  9. Her concern about American children’s lack of understanding of science, prompted her to team up with Peny Chisholm, Professor of Ecology at MIT, to write a series on how sunlight affects the earth.
  10. She thinks it is very important to read to children. (I do too!!!)

For more information on Molly Bang, you can visit these websites.

Lucy Daniels Center Interviews Series with Molly Bang


Happy Valentine’s Day


  • Kraus, Robert. How Spider Saved Valentine’s Day. New York: Scholastic, Inc., 1985.
  • Brown, Margaret Wise. The Runaway Bunny.  Illustrated by Clement Hurd. New York: HarperCollins, 1942.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!  Today I offer you two different stories for your pleasure.

The first is by Robert Kraus.  He gave us a spider for a hero.  In How Spider Saved Valentine’s Day Spider and his friends Lady Bug and Fly are excited for Valentine’s Day.  They attend Public Bug School No. 1. They have valentines for everyone in their class.  They each got one for their teacher, Miss Quito. As the Valentine’s Day festivities begin, they discover that they have forgotten valentines for the two caterpillars that sat in the back and slept all day.  Oh, No! What will they do?  Read this book and see how Spider saves the day!

Spider is brave and thoughtful.  This silly series is so much fun to read.  I think this is a terrific book to read to your young Valentine.

The second book is not specifically a Valentine’s Day, but it is a story of true and constant love.  I adore this book, The Runaway Bunny! Every time I read it I am completely charmed. This book is a verbal hide and seek between the mother bunny and her little one.  She lets her little one know that wherever, he/she roams Mama will always be there.  She will always love her little bunny. You can tell how much they care for each other.

If you become a bird and fly away from me,
said his mother, I will be a tree that you come home to.


Mama Bunny is loving and patient.  She is a role model that can be hard to live up to. I can remember some long, long days, when my girls were giving me grief.  My patience was in tatters.  I really wanted to sell them to the gypsies (not sure they would be taken).  Have you had one of those days?  On those days I took a deep breath and thought of this book and how much I really loved my little ones. We sat down, cuddled up and read this book.  It was good for all of us. After all as the little bunny said:

Shucks, said the bunny, I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny.

To you and to all your wonderful little ones, Happy Valentine’s Day.


My Five Senses

Book cover of my five senses by AlikiAliki. My Five Senses. New York: A Harper Trophy Book, 1989.

It makes me thoughtful when I peruse my bookshelf these days.  I haven’t had small children under my care in a long time.  While I am thankful that my girls are grown and on their own, I do miss having a good story and a snuggle of an evening with one of them.

I bought this wonderful book about our senses for a class I taught a long time ago.  I needed a book to read about our senses.  This was an excellent choice at the time.  It is simply illustrated.  It had good concrete examples.  It also made a connection about how we use all our senses together.  Here is an example.

When I laugh and play with my puppy,
I use four senses.
I see, hear, smell, and touch.

If you need a book to explain the senses to your child you might consider looking for this one.

Here’s a poem I wrote to celebrate the wonders of our senses.

I Love to Use My Senses

I love to use my eyes to see,
The world is wide and full of mystery!
I love to use my nose to smell,
Although sometimes it works too well!
I love to use my tongue to taste,
I never let chocolate ice cream go to waste.
I love to use my fingers to touch,
Smooth, rough, hot, cold, prickly, but not too much!


There aren’t any extensive online biographies about this prolific artist and author.  I have enjoyed her works for many years.  If you want to know a little something about this author, you can visit these websites.

January 2017: Reading Report from North, Central Texas

Stack of BooksGreetings and Salutations!  It hard to believe that the first month of 2017 has already passed. The holidays are over and things are back to what passes for normal around here.


He has been reading at tome by Kim Stanley Robinson in paperback as opposed to his Nook.  Except for a couple of scientific inaccuracies, he has enjoyed this book.

  • Robinson, Kim Stanley. 2312. New York: Orbit, 2012.


School has started again so Sarah has been very busy.  Here is her reading list for this month.

  • Harkness, Deborah.  A Discovery of Witches.  New York: Penguin Books, 2011.
  • Budewitz, Leslie.  Assault and Pepper.  New York: Berkley Prime Crime, 2015.


For some reason I seem to have been busy as well.  I don’t feel like I have read enough this month.  Here’s my list.  You will notice a slight overlap with Alexis.  We were reading The Complete Father Brown Stories  at the same time, but different editions.  It is lovely when we can discuss the books we have both read.

  • Alexander, Lloyd. The Prydain Chronicles.  – See my January 30, 2017 blog on this series of 5 books.
  • Roberts, Nora.  The Island of Glass. New York: Berkley, 2016.  This is the last book in her Guardians Trilogy.  I reread the first two books in the series and finished this one up after the first of the year.
  • Chesterson, G.K.  The Complete Father Brown Stories.  Herefordshire, England: Wordsworth, 1992.


She is as always a prodigious reader.  Her list regularly eclipse all others in the family.  She frequently blazes a trail that one or the other of us follows.  It is always enjoyable discussing new books with her.

  • Carson, Rae.  Walk on Earth a Stranger.  New York: Green Willow, 2015
  • Carson, Rae.  Like a River Glorious.  New York: Green Willow, 2016.
  • Elrod, P.N. The Hanged Man. Tom Doherty (TOM), 2015.  I am reading this book right now.
  • Elrod, P.N. (editor). My Big, Fat, Supernatural Wedding. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2006.
  • Koval, Mary Robinette.  Without a Summer. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2013.
  • Koval, Mary Robinette.  Valour and Vanity. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2014.
  • Marillier, Juliet.  Dreamer’s Pool.  New York: ROC, 2014.  This one is in my stack to read!
  • Marillier, Juliet.  Tower of Thorns New York: ROC, 2015.

Happy 2017!  Keep calm and read on!