Hello! Cauli Le Chat here. I'm the official roving reporter for Mooresville Public Library, in Mooresville, Indiana. My blog is especially for my kid readers. I hope you have fun following what's going on at our favorite public library.
Dream Big, Little Pig! by Kristi
Yamaguchi (illustrated by Tim Bowers), is a wonderful early readers' book that
adults and young children will enjoy reading together. I've blogged before(maybe twice) about this book on my grown-up blog, but we have an updated book
trailer, so let's have another look.
Whiskers & Rhymes, by Arnold Lobel (HarperCollins, 1988) is a cat-lover's delight. Recommended for readers ages 4 and up, it is the kind of early readers' book that you youngsters will read yourselves (or your folks will read to you), and then, when you're grown-up, you will read aloud to your children, and, years later, to your grandchildren, and, even more years later still, to your great-grandchildren. It is witty, funny, engaging, and simply wonderful.
Guess what? Savvy, MPL's new Young Adult Librarian, has made a book trailer that will tell you all about this charming book. As book trailers go, Savvy has created a wonder to behold.
Just Click the Image Above to Play the Book Trailer
When Scowl-Face, who is one of Cauli Le Chat's minions, was a little boy, he learned the different names of the 50 American states. It was an exciting time, because, not too long before, there had only been 48 states when Scowl-Face was born. Fifty seemed like a really large number to remember, so his kindergarden teacher told him to try distinguishing the states by shape. "Remember that certain states look like things," she suggested. So Scowl-Face gave it a try. Most of the states looked like boxes to him, so that didn't really help much. Still, there were the distinctive shapes of Michigan, New York, Florida, and Texas. As best as he can remember, here are the things Scowl-Face associated with these states' shapes.
Michigan looked like a mitten. (Well, the bottom part, anyway.) The top part looked like the paper hats the cooks wore at the Frisch's Restaurant to which his parents occasionally took his brother and him to eat, about eight blocks from his house. (The "Big Boy" sandwich is still his favorite hamburger, ever.)
Florida looks like a pirate's peg leg. Specifically, Long John Silver's, in the novel Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, which Scowl-Face read much later in elementary school, and for which my Library has made a book trailer.
New York looked like a pork chop. Ooooo-kay.
Texas looked like a T-Bone in a T-Bone steak.
Whatever he may have thought the other states looked like is lost to history.
Map of Michigan
This Michigan memory thing was pretty straightforward. Definitely, the lower peninsula looks like a mitten. Left or right hand? Doesn't it depend upon which way the hand is facing (front or back)? Anyway, the mitten memory trick worked, because he always got Michigan correct when he had to do geography worksheets in First Grade.
I remembered all this when the Crumbacher family, who participate in my Library's Homeschool Group, took moi along on their trip to Michigan. Four Great Lakes touch Michigan--Lake Michigan, of course, is on the mitten's westerly side, while Lake Superior is on the upper peninsula's northern side, with Lakes Huron and Erie touching the mitten's easterly borders--but the beautiful lakes and forests inside the state are often stronger attractions for tourists looking for a peaceful weekend destination. There is much to enjoy there, so I was quite excited about our trip.
My favorite part of the journey, however, was swimming at the hotel pool where we were staying. (The Lady With the Red Hair, who is another of Cauli's minions, says that her children always enjoyed the hotel pools more than anything else on their vacations. Ask Scowl-Face what he remembers about his family's vacation to Colorado when he was six years old, and he will tell you swimming in a motel pool someplace in Kansas.)
Swimming is super-fun and wonderful exercise, and I got to use these amazingly cool goggles. I could see underwater without getting my eyes wet! It was just like being a fish (or, as Cauli would say, a "swimming dinner"). My Crumbacher special correspondents and their cousins (remember, we omit first names to preserve family privacy) helped moi put-on the goggles.
My Crumbacher Special Correspondents
Put On the Goggles For Moi
"Flat" Cauli I, Deep Sea Diver
My Hat Always Stays On
Ready to Swim Some Laps
Another highlight of the trip was the hot tub. This was sooooooo relaxing! The water was wonderfully warm, and it swirled around, which loosened our muscles while it simultaneously invigorated us. It was perfect after swimming in the pool.
We all had a terrific time! Many thanks to the Crumbacher family for taking moi along on their Michigan adventure.
On December 23, 2011, Cauli Le Chat, "Flat" Cauli III, and minions visited Christmas at the Indianapolis Zoo. It was a three-part series in Cauli's Cat's Eye View blog for grown-ups, and Cauli talked about the trip in this blog, too. To read about it in this blog, click here. For the story in her grown-ups blog, click here and here and here. But not all at the same time!
Guess what? I beat them all to it! I visited Christmas at the Indianapolis Zoo on December 7, 2011, with the Brewer family, who participate in my Library's Homeschool Group.
It was a beautiful night to see all the colorful holiday lights strung throughout the zoo. Many were in the shapes of wild animals. My chief Brewer correspondent (remember, we omit first names to preserve family privacy) had our picture taken standing in front of some of those lights.
Click Photos to Enlarge, or "Bigify"
Guess what else? The Brewer family took me to see the reindeer.
We're Up For a Sleigh Ride, I'm Thinking
We also took the train ride, which went around many different parts of the zoo. It was completely different riding the train at night than during the day. The holiday light displays were beautiful, and there was a peaceful feeling in the air.
One of my favorite exhibits was the dolphin show. Cauli, "Flat" Cauli III, and minions were not able to see it when they visited, because all the tickets had sold out by the time they arrived. Thanks to the Brewer family, I was able to see the dolphins swimming around their pool, doing amazing acrobatic stunts that thrilled the crowd. Dolphins are tremendously smart, so they can learn many different stunning displays of their athletic abilities.
Christmas Tree (in Background) at
Monument Circle in Downtown Indianapolis
Afterwards, we visited downtown Indianapolis to see the world's largest Christmas "tree," which is actually the Soldiers and Sailors Monument decorated with lights. This has been a holiday tradition since 1962. The monument is 284 feet, six inches tall, which is only 15 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty.
I found this video on YouTube of the 2011 tree lighting ceremony. Click the graphic below to play the video.
While we were downtown at Monument Circle, we also stopped by the carriage rides. We got to pet some of the horseys that pulled the carriages.
We had a wonderful time at the Indianapolis Zoo and at Monument Circle. Many thanks to the Brewer family for taking me along on their adventures.
Let's revisit a classic children's story. Thanks to my trusty minions, we now have a book trailer for If You Give a Cat a Cupcake, by Laura Numeroff (Felicia Bond, illustrator). Like all of the books in this series, the story is funny and filled with surprising twists and turns. The pictures are wonderfully colorful and cute. It is a fabulous readaloud, which grown-ups will enjoy as much as preschoolers. It is also an excellent book for early readers on their own.
I recommend all of Ms. Numeroff & Ms. Bond's children's books in the If You Give ... series. They are adventures, proving that getting there is much more fun than merely reaching a destination.
by "Flat" Cauli I MPL Special Flat Feline Correspondent
Near the end of last November, while Cauli Le Chat was enjoying her Thanksgiving din-dins with her Library minions, I was working hard as a farmhand (or would that be farmpaw? Just asking) for the Freer family, which attends my Library's Homeschool Group.
The Freer family worked with Broadway Gal and Miss Jaymi during last year's Chicksoon Egg Hatching Program at my Library. (Cauli calls them chicksoons because the eggs were soon to hatch baby chicks.) Cauli blogged about the chicks quite a bit last March and April, and you may find those postings by visiting her grown-up blog and scrolling through the post menu (on the right side of the blog) listing each month's articles. We even had a promo trailer for the chicksoons. Want to watch it? You betcha! Just click the play button in the image below to start the video.
Broadway Gal had a special hatching chicks blog for last year's brood, which you should read. It's both interesting and informative.
But let's get back to my farmpaw work at the Freer family homestead. I had never visited a farm with livestock before, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. My Freer special correspondents (remember, we don't use first names to protect privacy) introduced me to the chickens, which Cauli would call "winged dinners." Some of these chickens were the chicks that hatched last year at my Library! So they're family (sort of), and you don't eat your family! Anyway, I'm a canned tuna-in-oil sort of flat feline.
I visited the chicken's nesting boxes, which were cozy and comfortable. You can see that I was just the right size to fit into one. This is where the girl chickens, called hens, laid eggs. You can imagine how many eggs there would be when hens were roosting in all of the nesting boxes.
Next we visited Darla the Donkey and the goats. I was expecting Darla to be a huge horsey-like critter, but she was shorter than a horse--just the right height for moi to ride on her back. I thought for a moment that the goats might take a bite out of moi--goats eat almost anything--but they just wanted to sniff and be friendly.
I was quite excited when we visited the hayloft. I was introduced to a couple of the six Freer farm felines. They were having a snack and kindly invited moi to join them. It was pretty tasty! Working on a farm builds a big appetite.
Then we climbed the Freer's treehouse. This was an amazing place, with a swing rope (just like George of the Jungle), ladders that I ran up and down (again and again--it was soooo much fun!), and two platforms from which to survey the surroundings from great heights. It was way-cool. I felt like an explorer. "Dr. Livingstone, I presume."
The Freer family had Thanksgiving dinner, which I truly enjoyed. When they showed me the turkey's wishbone, I was stunned. It was huge! I didn't realize turkeys were such large birds.
It was a special treat to watch my Freer special correspondents play piano and draw. I love listening to music, and I think drawing is one of the most amazing things. Both activities--playing a musical instrument or creating artwork--require imagination, talent, and hard work to develop the necessary skills. But what fascinates moi is that something beautiful is created out of the hands and minds of the musicians or artists.
My Freer Special Correspondent Guy-Dude showed me his Eiffel Tower made of Legos. We have Lego programs at my Library, so I knew that this would be something spectacular. When completed, it would simply tower over us flat felines! This is a great example of art in architecture. There is something quite satisfying about constructing a grand building or structure.
I had a wonderful time. Many, many thanks to the Freer family for hosting me over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was a learning adventure--my favorite kind--and I hope I can visit again to meet the other farm felines, chat more with the chickens, climb the treehouse ladders and swing rope, and enjoy more Darla the Donkey rides around the yard. If you have never ridden a donkey before, you don't know what you're missing.