About Me

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Jersey Shore, United States
In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Every once in a while, I do something right.

My girls attend a very small school. (Only 130 kids from pre-K to 6th) I know every single one of the kids, and they all know me. Nothing makes me happier than when I walk into a classroom, and the students start bouncing up and down, clapping and cheering. You see, I'm a little bit of a   mom-celebrity.
Jaybird a/k/a Celebru-Mom
Since I am a HUGE literacy nut, and I absolutely adore kids, I wanted to find a creative way to get kids excited about reading too.  But how? Then I thought, I'm no chef, but I love to cook and bake. A light bulb went off in my birdbrain and  I thought, why don't I combine all three of  my loves?  So I did. And voila, I gained the kids attention!!

Because my girls are only a year  apart, I have the repeat pleasure of  enjoying the same teacher, three years in a row.  So, the teachers also get to know me very well. And so far, I've been extremely fortunate that every one of  them has encouraged and graciously accepted the fact that from time to time, I like to barge in and take over their literacy blocks...

Last week, I baked 35 kitty cupcakes and read "If You Give A Cat A Cupcake" to my second grader's class. Afterwards, the kids and I got to talking. I was over-joyed to hear these kids actually remembered everything I have EVER read to them, all the way back to Pre-K!  They got jazzed up all over again, remembering it too.

"We love when you come Miss Jen! Remember that time in Kindergarten you read Skippy Jon Jones and made us all those nachos?" 

No, I'm old and forgetful, so I didn't really remember, but they sure did! That's when another kid started to reminisce..

"Remember when you read "Froggy Eats Out" and you made us all of those cool lily pads and frog brownies and we hopped all around the class ?" And then another...

"Member' that time you brought in all that "pisgetti" and we read Strega Nona? That was the most awesomest!"  This comment was followed up by a lot  of "Yeah that was the best!" (Which, made the Italian in me do a little happy dance...)

Of course,  listening to their little walk down memory lane made my  heart just about explode with glee.  I can't say it's always been easy, with my busy schedule and the harried life I lead. But hearing these kids express their excitement over what books they loved the most, (and to this day still loved reading) made all of my efforts worth it!  Every once in a while as a parent something awesome like this will happen and I start to feel like maybe I'm doing something right after all!

I have to ask, what was your favorite children's book?  And what made it so memorable? Was it the book itself or who read it to you?  

My favorite children's book was Tommie de Paola's Strega Nona. My Nona (Grandma) read it to me in Italian and English, and then we ate "pisgetti"  until I was about to burst...  No matter how old I get, I know I won't ever forget it!

16 comments:

  1. You are super mom to those kids!
    The Mouse and the Motorcycle is the one kids' book that really stands out in my memory. Not sure why. I don't even like motorcycles.

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    1. Oh, that's a good one Alex. My kids and I loved the Mouse and the Motorcycle!

      I'm no supermom...I'm just trying to do the best I can.

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  2. That is so wonderful of you. Those kids are all very lucky to have someone like you come and read and make it special!
    I have many favorite kids books, (I started collecting picture books before I even had kids!) But one of my favorite fairy tales was always Rapunzel, and it was because of who read it to me. An elderly woman who lived behind us would read it whenever I visited her and I will always remember her for it. :)

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    1. That is so sweet! Rapunzel is acted out a lot in my house. We put on long blond wigs and don our Ren Faire dresses; the kids really dig into the story when we play dress up.

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  3. That is completely awesome! Getting kids excited about reading and cool food is so great! That's a lucky school to have you there :)

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    1. Thanks Jemi. I'm so grateful for the teachers who have pretty much given me carte blanche! They rock.

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  4. That is so brilliant! Kids really love people who find creative things to do in the classroom. No doubt you will always hold a special place in their hearts! <3

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    1. I just hope they will remember the stories and continue to love reading!! That's my ultimate goal.

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  5. I want to be a super mom. Err, super dad. When I have kids.

    I think you hit the nail on the head. I honestly can't remember any of my favorite kids books. I only remember my mom reading to me, and that's more of a fond memory than anything.

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  6. Oh, I'm so not a super-mom! Honestly, most days I just scrape by. But I do try my very best. And I pray that it will be enough, and my kids will realize one day, if nothing else, I gave them my all.

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  7. You are made up of all kinds of awesome. Wow. The closest I've come to something similar is making green eggs and ham. :)

    My favorite book as a kid was some Richard Scarry book. I'd get lost in it for hours, finding all the little details in the pictures. That and I remember having a whole collection of Little Golden books.

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    1. Thank you Ilima! I loved Little Golden Books. Especially the one about the Pokey Little Puppy. The illustrations in those books are still so fresh in my mind, (after many, many years) I can picture them so clearly. I guess that says something about the impact pictures/words can have on a child!

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  8. What a wonderful idea! You're such a good mom. My oldest son and I have been reading The Magic Tree House Series at night instead of playing video games before bed (we read together when his little brother and sister go to bed, so usually he's had enough by then).

    Skippyjon Jones is one funny book. I read the one where he goes to Egypt, and I could hardly get the Mexican accent right. It was fun, though. :)

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    1. I try my best Em. That's all I can do! I read to my little one at night as well. The Magic Tree House Series is VERY popular right now. All three of my girls seem to really like those books, which is rare and impressive.

      SkippyJon Jones has always been one of my personal favorites. The idea of a Siamese cat pretending to be a dog, is so creative and gets my girls laughing every time! My Mexican accent needs help but it simply must be done while reading these books, LOL

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  9. That is awesome! What a great way to get kids excited about reading and creating wonderful memories. I hope I can be a cool mom like you. This past Saturday, I took my son to the library for their monthly Read to Dogs program. Yes, the kids can read to real dogs. My son was more concerned about petting and hugging them, but he's still only two. The older kids were doing very well reading to the dogs, and the dogs actually looked like they were paying attention!

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    1. My kids would be so into that! Animals and books? Two of our fav things in the entire world. What a great combo! I am a fan of that program already.

      My cat gets read to a lot. And I think she listens! Just the other day, I walked in on my daughter reading Pinkalicious, and the cat sitting on her bed, all ears, tail flipping back and forth listening intently, while she read it to her! LOL The Husband and I could barely contain our laughter. It was adorable :)

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