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review 2019-06-03 16:12
Watermelon or Doormat? You Decide
Watermelon - Marian Keyes

So I have all of the Walsh Family books in paperback. I haven't read them in years, but decided to take the first two for a whirl this weekend. And now I wonder if I read this years ago and liked Claire or what? Cause Claire drives me a bit insane in this book. And when you read about how she changes over the course of the series, she ends up being the Walsh sister I dislike the most (tied with Helen and her book, "The Mystery of Mercy Close"). So good things I can say, the re-read went by fast and I loved the change in Claire, but it didn't really stick though. The not so good things, I see more flaws in this one upon re-read. The Walsh family is kind of nasty and not supportive. I thought that Claire too easily caved and was sitting around waiting for a man to save her. Also the whole why behind James's affair read as unbelievable to the extreme. I also thought that her romance came out of nowhere and ultimately didn't work. 


"Watermelon" is the first book in the Walsh Family series by Marian Keyes. The first book deals with the oldest of the Walsh sisters, Claire. Claire is happily married to her husband James and living in London. She's expecting their first child any day now. When Claire goes into labor and gives birth to their daughter, James informs her that he's been having an affair and is leaving her for the other woman. 


Image result for head blown gif

So there is Claire days post-partum with no husband which causes her to return home with her daughter to her family in Dublin, Ireland. 


Most of the book deals with Claire depressed and upset (rightfully so) with wondering where did things go wrong with her husband. Keyes does a lot of switching between past events and the present day. I have to say that Claire was pretty much a mess. Her mother deals with the baby for the most part and the baby isn't even a thought I felt after a while. When Claire starts to feel tingles towards a man she meets I just hard sighed. And of course Claire's husband returns and I maybe sighed some more. So we get a love triangle which is one of the romance tropes I hate the most. 


The other characters in this book are not developed very well. Claire's mother kind of sucks and isn't that supportive of her daughter actually kicking her lousy husband to the curb. Her two younger sisters, Anna and Helen sound exhausting. I would have ended up slapping Helen and trying to smother her. She's nasty and everyone seems to excuse it cause's she's small and gorgeous. 


James was developed very well, but the real why behind the affair read as false to me. I scratched my head a few times because I couldn't remember that at all. James seemed to undergo a personality transplant that didn't work. Romance trope that I hate, make the guy who actually sounds awesome suddenly turn into a monster for plot reasons so heroine can be with the other guy. 


The writing was okay, I was mostly bored though with the book after a while. I realized it was because that unlike with most of my favorite re-reads, I wasn't enjoying this one that much and since I knew the ending I was wondering why it was taking Keyes so long to get there. This is a pretty big paperback that I have (it's over 400 pages) and I am wondering about donating it since there are other series that I like a lot more and I don't want to wait another 10 years before picking this up again. 


The ending was flat. I honestly wish that there had been additional conversations between Claire and James. Honestly I wish that Keyes had decided to focus in on them and not even bring in that other love interest. It was just a mess and the backstory of that guy had me sighing hard too. 

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review 2016-02-22 00:08
"The Watermelon Seed" By: Greg Pizzoli
The Watermelon Seed - Greg Pizzoli

This a short book with great pictures, which makes it great for younger grades. There are many onomatopoeias incorporated throughout the story. As a teacher I could use this to present or give examples of onomatopoeias. The story also shows how a charter talks and looks when he is scared. This could be used as a model on how to write the emotion fear. More ideas are available on the link below. 


Interest Level

Grades PreK - 2

Reading Level

Grade level Equivalent: 1.0

Lexile® Measure:180L

DRA: 14

Guided Reading: H



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review 2014-10-09 00:00
WATERMELON - Kate Hanney What a great book. The language is rough but realistic. Young Mikey's mother doesn't want him. The last "carers" were terrible. Now he has no where to go but for the group home. And things go downhill from there. School was okay but hanging with his new mate, Shane, is much more exciting. Shane is involved in some shady things. I love that the author paints Mikey with multidimensional hues. He isn't bad, but he makes some unwise decisions. He realizes they are unwise but then it's too late.

Highly recommended - new adult level novel.
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text 2014-09-17 21:58
Storytime - Food
Mouse Mess - Linnea Asplind Riley
Cheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting - Felicia Sanzari Chernesky,Susan Swan
Hungry Hen - Richard Waring,Caroline Jayne Church
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Eric Carle
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? - Jane Yolen,Mark Teague
Just Dessert - Polly Powell
The Watermelon Seed - Greg Pizzoli

Today, I had my very first storytime! I was a bit nervous about it, but everything went wonderfully and I think the kids had a great time. I decided to do a food theme because, really, who doesn't like food?! 


When planning the program, I pulled several potential books. They're all featured above, but here's the list anyway:


  • Mouse Mess by Linnea Asplind Riley
  • Cheers for a Dozen Ears by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky
  • Hungry Hen by Richard Waring
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen
  • Just Dessert by Polly Powell
  • The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli


However, while this list is quite long for a storytime, I only chose to read three of the books, because kids don't like to sit still for too long. I picked so many because my supervisor said that storytimes can be kind of unpredictable in general, especially our Wednesday morning group. This particular storytime is advertised as a "Family Storytime." This means that, while the target age is usually 3-4 year olds, we get a lot of 2 year olds and really any child is welcome, from infants up to school age children. Obviously, this time of year, the school age children are in school, so that makes things easier, but still - you never know who you're going to get. So, you pull a whole bunch of books and choose what to read based on who shows up. The books I ended up going with were The Very Hungry CaterpillarThe Watermelon Seed, and How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? 


To begin storytime, my supervisor always starts with a rhyme to get everyone in the "storytime mindset." With kids who are so young, this is important, and it's equally important that once you set a routine, you stick with it, so, even though I was running storytime today, I went ahead and did the rhyme, too. Our rhyme goes like this: 

Wiggle wiggle fingers

Way up in the sky

Wiggle wiggle fingers

Wave them all bye-bye

Wiggle wiggle fingers

Fold them in a ball

Wiggle wiggle fingers

Do not let them fall. 


And of course there are hand motions to go along with it. I like the concept of starting off with a rhyme like this, but to be honest, when I'm working in the field at a library of my own, I would probably choose something different from this. There are a LOT of really great "welcome to storytime" rhymes out there (just check Pinterest!) and I don't think this one really makes sense, mainly the "wave them all bye-bye" since it's at the beginning of storytime and no one's leaving, haha. But, the kids like it and this is the routine, so I did it. 


Next, I read The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This went very well - many of the kids had already read this book and they were able to actually help me tell the story, which was a lot of fun. 


After that, we did this song called the Bean Bag Rock. My supervisor does this song with almost every storytime group. She likes it because it requires the kids to get off of their carpet squares and get a bean bag from her, move around during the song, and then give the bean bag back, which not only helps get some energy out of them, but also helps with the development of important social skills. Every little thing counts with kids, no matter how inconsequential it may seem! The song we use comes from the CD Action Songs for Preschoolers (find it here on Amazon) and if you're interested in hearing the song and seeing it with a group that's similar to the one I work with, click here. As you can see, the kids LOVE this song and this is definitely a CD that I would like to use in the future. I used a library copy today, but I'm considering buying my own copy because I think it would be really useful for me to own.


So after we got all settled from that, we read The Watermelon Seed. This is a super cute story about an alligator who LOVES watermelon - until he swallows a seed and then thinks that a watermelon is going to grow in his belly. The kids thought this story was hilarious and we also discussed if having a watermelon growing in your belly is possible (of course, it isn't, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to terrify these kids, so I made sure to clarify that for them, haha). 


After that, my supervisor always has some sort of storyboard. Usually, it's a rhyme of some sort, but the kids were getting a bit antsy - we had a young crowd today - so I just took a felt ice cream cone and some felt scoops of ice cream and we counted how many scoops we could put on the cone and identified colors. Again, lots of fun, great learning activity for the kids, and didn't require a ton of attention. 


Finally, we finished with How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? In this book, Yolen asks if dinosaurs have horrible table manners - and then answers that they don't. The illustrations are great and the kids liked it a lot. But, again, they were getting antsy, so this was definitely a good stopping point. 


Usually, we end with rolling the song cube (basically a huge die with symbols for different nursery rhymes) and singing a song, but I forgot (whoops) so we went right into the craft: 



We made Very Hungery Caterpillar hats! I found this idea on Pinterest (original post here) and thought it was adorable. The kids were so proud of their creations and seemed to have a lot of fun with this activity.


I'm so glad my first storytime was so successful! I'm going to be doing two more in October and I'll be doing posts on those, too. I'm really excited about it - I can't wait to be a children's librarian and do this stuff every day!


If you're a parent and you've ever brought your children to storytime activities at your local library, what were some of the most memorable programs you've been to?  

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text 2014-05-06 16:17
Watermelon Summer in Kentucky
Watermelon Summer - Anna Hess


Watermelon summer: a romantic young adult adventure


 "At first, all I noticed was a sprinkle of lightning bug flashes here and there in the valley, beautiful enough to someone raised primarily in the suburbs who had seldom seen their glow. But that was just the cacophonous–tuning phase of the visual symphony. Within minutes, every lightning bug went dark…then they flashed all at once in a blinding show of welcome. Above, the Milky Way shone back with a more steady, but equally soul – wrenching light. For the record, this was the moment when I fell in love with Greensun."




it's romantic because she falls in love with the land. 


I like that



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