All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small

I discovered the glorious James Herriot, when I was a girl.


I rediscovered him last week when I picked up his audio treasury for children.


James Herriot wrote about his work as a veterinarian in post WWII England.


His series are titled from a children’s poem by Cecil B. Alexander.


This week in our car we listened to an audio recording of James Herriot’s Treasury for Children read by Jim Dale.

Bonnie's Big Day

Bonnie’s Big Day

For the uninitiated, Jim Dale is simply the best audiobook narrator ever in the universe full stop.


For your read aloud pleasure, I leave you this pretty little poem that inspired this series.

Only One Woof

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

by Cecil Alexander


My favorite books to share with my kids are books with rich language, warm humor and evocative of nature.

James Herriot has all of this and more. His books are friends, you can get lost in them and they never wear out.


What kind of books can you return to like a friend? What is your cosiest read?

At the top of my to-do list this week, face to face with history

Brady and I had a date at the Gilbert History Museum to see the exhibit: Documenting War: The Kinnaman Collection


The exhibit runs until 12/31.  To see the exhibit, ask a docent to take you back to the locked gallery.


We had the place to ourselves.


Some of the items gave me goosebumps.


if you look closely, you can see the signatures of the American soldiers who captured this Nazi flag.


makes it less evil, and more intimate.

1231561_10202031285843904_94307217_oDr. Kinnamen’s collection was formed around the idea of the ordinary men who showed such valor.

sympathy letter to the mother of a lost soldier, from a friend who writes in his four page letter (on display) your son was "one of the closest buddies I had when I was overseas" and the shares his heartbreak(sympathy letter to the mother of a lost soldier, the friend writes in his 4 page letter (on display) your son was “one of the closest buddies I had when I was overseas”)

When you look at his collection. He succeeds.


The collection includes autographs from Abraham Lincoln, General Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Winston Churchill, Patton and many more.


I encourage you to visit this exhibit, and if you are nearby, buy a family membership. It’s a great value.


The Gilbert History Museum is the best way I know to let my boys get their hands on the past and imagine where we are going.

Thank you Dr. Kinnamen, for sharing your collection with us. You are always welcome to come to my library!


Those people don’t know it, but they are about to go to church

50 years ago today, the world’s greatest gospel singer, shouted “Tell them about your dream, Martin,” to the world’s greatest minister.

dr-martin-luther-king-jr-and-children-on-swingtoday is the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King’s incredible “I have a dream speech”

King Serving Chicken to Sons

On the 18th step down from the Lincoln Memorial you can see a small stone, inscribed “I have a dream” you can stand in the same spot MLK stood when he delivered his speech.


It’s easy to miss the stone. But is it possible to visit the Lincoln Memorial and forget the words of Dr. King?


Tell them about your dream velvet throated Mahalia Jackson shouted from the feet of the podium. At 12:01 in the speech, there is a pause as Dr. King set his notes aside, gripped both hands of the podium and sailed into eternity.


He’s improvising. He’s speaking from his heart, letting his spirit loose


Here we are 50 years later.


I have a dream.

Max 2013

Max 2013

My photo printing solution — and a free photo book for you

I want a low-cost way to print pictures of my students or favorite digital prints.

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I tried to print my Instagram pictures on Walgreens and Shutterfly but they did not size correctly. They looked terrible.

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My friend Crystal suggested I try Groovebook.


(use my coupon KENNEY25 if you want a free book)

This is my first Groovebook, I have a pen for scale. It’s 100 pictures in a paper bound book. I used her coupon, so my book was free.


Going forward, I’ll upload 100 pictures my phone using the Groovebook app and they’ll send me a new book every month. It’s a subscription service.


If you like Groovebook, use my coupon code KENNEY25 and get your first book free.


Each page is perforated so you can tear a picture out to share it. Awesome!

The quality of the pictures is surprisingly good for the low cost. I’m impressed. The paper quality and color is good.

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This is my niece and nephew. I saved the picture from my facebook feed and I’ll print it next month via Groovebook. So glad to have an easy way to get these family pictures!

Now I can take images and save images from my Facebook feed and print them easily. Use my coupon code and give Groovebook a try. Let me know how it works out in the comments.

Why I love that my boys play Minecraft

Minecraft is the best way I found to unlock the creativity that lives in my boys and let them go all the way.

make a pick ax out of foam core and colored markers

make a pick ax out of foam core and colored markers

It’s challenging and he’s learning a ton. My oldest boy spent hours on Minecraft Wiki and Youtube.  We learned a few things the hard way.


I learned that Youtube videos are narrated by teens and often woefully inappropriate. I learned to help the boys transition from the game when it’s time to put it away.

You can find minecraft crafts on Pixel Craft.

You can find minecraft crafts on Pixel Craft.

I studied the game. (Handy Minecraft Tips for Parents) Our language at home is encouraging, and it is no different with their gaming.  Because the games are the real education. We set up a server, We soaked up the infinite world.

We installed mods (modifications). Mods are like chasing a rabbit down a hole. Big learning curve there.

If I bring a book home and it has Minecraft on the title, it is picked up and read immediately. What are your thoughts about Minecraft?

How I’m setting up the library for the new school year

As Jane Austen nearly said in Pride and Prejudice,

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single child in possession of a good brain must be in want of a book….



Sometimes the best way to find a new book to read is to remember a movie that you liked,

Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted

Do you want this to happen to you?

Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday

I love Chris Van Allsburg’s artwork. It is glorious.



I’ve spent  hours adding new books to the collection for you,

by Roald Dahl

by Roald Dahl

I confess, I’m obsessed with David Macaulay right now.

David Macaulay

What would you like to see in our Readbox?