Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review- We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen


We Found A Hat  (5 star)

by Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press
Published October 11, 2016
Hardcover, $17.99
  • ISBN-10: 0763656003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763656003

My review: Intro

I ordered Jon Klassen's new book as soon as I could. I teach at the elementary level as a library media specialist. Ever since I received advanced copies of I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat I have been over the moon in love his writing. His untouchable gift to the reader is his simple text delivered through personification  by cute utterly adorable animals.  His brilliant illustrations show personality and hint at what each character may be thinking. (No thought bubbles needed).  How truly gifted he is. My students go wild for all his books and discussions abound at the end. This is not a read it once book, but will become worn through use.  My students participate and role play the text with such glee. It's an experience that Klassen provides my kids that is rare.

His new book:

So, I just received We Found A Hat in my mail. I ran to the doorstep and couldn't wait to hold his new book. Once again, it is stellar, fun, witty and ADORABLE. A story of two turtles who discover one hat. Problem: What should they do?  I'm never a spoiler in my reviews, so this one you have to read for yourself.  I am already thinking about the questions and lessons this story will bring to my classes in the next few weeks.

Jon Klassen has a talent for pushing kids buttons in a way that makes them think, laugh and enjoy reading.....again and again.  What more can we ask for? Highly recommended and a great discussion started.

In case you are interested Jon Klassen is on tour promoting his book. Details of an upcoming appearance at the Eric Carle Museum can be found here. 
Further info is on his blog. 



Saturday, October 8, 2016

Review- A House Without Windows

A House Without Windows
by Nadia SashimiWilliam Morrow (August 16, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 0062449680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062449689
  • Hardcover: 432 pages

Wisteria's Review

I must begin by saying that like other reviewers have noted: I also reread many chapters in this exquisite novel centered on the protagonist Zeba, a fiercely strong and unselfishly determined Afghan woman. 

Yusuf, a native Afghan male is a young and eager lawyer. He recently returned to Afghanistan after living with his parents in New York.  Yusuf hears about the case and meets with Zeba at the prison. Yusuf soon discovers to his dismay that Zeba is an uncooperative client. Yet, reluctantly she agrees to his representation in her defense.  However, in order to save Zeba's life he is confronted with the difficult task of uncovering answers, but for now he only has endless questions. 

As the story begins, Zeba a dutiful Afghan wife and mother is found near the lifeless body of her husband. The cause of death an obvious blow to his skull with a hatchet. Naturally, family and friends are horrified by the discovery. Zeba is naturally accused of murder as she is the only one in the yard with him.  She is taken to the woman's prison in Kabul, Chil Mahtab. Her children confused and helpless are whisked away to live with Zeba's husband's family.  

Nadia Hashimi is a masterful storyteller. Be prepared to be entranced with each page by her poetic prose and equally engaging plot that meanders as a  hurricane erratic and unexpected.   As a result, the writer skillfully enhances the readers curiosity. Hashimi obviously knows her novel's direction, but as a reader you have no idea what's about to unfold.  The suspense is relentless. 

Nadia Hashimi is a polished storyteller. I still yearn to reread passages. I still have thoughts regarding Afghan women and their lack of human rights, women's rights and substandard status. I can't help but compare and reflect on this culture's norms.  I cried many times, I ached for Zeba and the other women prisoners whose reasons for imprisonment are inconceivable. to me. 

Woman's rights throughout our country and the world are of great interest and concern to me. For that reason, I read countless books that depict women who suffer and are controlled by the male dominated society where ever they reside.   A HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS by Nadia Hashimi is by far  an exceptional novel.  Written with this author's heart, it is an emotionally satisfying and unforgettable read!

This book has melody, harmony and discord beautifully orchestrated from the beginning to its conclusion. I know I won't soon forget this story of Zeba and everyone's inner struggles to gain justice. 

I want to thank Lauren Lauzon from William Morrow for providing a copy of this book for my candid unbiased review. 

Other books by Nadia Hashimi
One Half From the East
When the Moon is Low
The Pearl That Broke It's Shell

~ Wisteria Leigh October 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Galgos Need Our Help

My Galgos, Jenson & Button: Their Story


Many of you know my passion for reading, but not as many know my passion for Greyhound rescue. I am a foster parent and have helped to assimilate many new off the track dogs as they transition from their only job they have known-that of a race dog.  I do not plan to write about the greyhound industry, track life or any other aspect of the sport. My job and my mission is to help retired sighthounds find a new loving home. I like to focus on the love and positive future ahead for this awesome breed. Many of you may have have heard that they prefer a life on a couch or soft big cushy bed. It is true!!   Hence the nickname: 40 mph Couch Potato.  

This post is about the Galgo, a Spanish sighthound, who look very similar to what we have come to know as a racetrack English or Irish greyhound, but Galgos have different lineage.  They were once prized but now have become throw away (disposable) dogs for the most part. After one hunting season they are turned out to strive to survive solo.

I have two Galgos who were found together, alone somewhere living wandering the Spanish countryside. They had to survive as best they could and learned to protect each other with tenacious survival skills.  They became a bonded inseparable pair. They were always sighted together, but near impossible to lure to safety.  They feared human contact, but in the end, with the help of Mandy Simpson with Galgos del Sol and her tireless efforts and generous volunteers, they were finally captured. They were then flown to the US and arrived in the care of Greyhound Rescue and Rehabilitation in Cross River, NY.

There are many many  rescue groups throughout Europe and the United States dedicated to Galgo Rescue. This flight from Spain brought two special fosters who I soonI met. Their names were Jenson and Button. (girl and boy)

Once in my care........

They began to learn the ropes-so to speak: for example: they learned to climb stairs, easy for people, but a frightening challenge for a Galgo, who have no idea what it is like to live in a house. Now, when they head up or down the stairs, watch out.  It's a race to the other end and you wouldn't wand to be caught in the middle. Yikes!!

As time passed, everything was new to them. They had to learn not to be afraid of other animals, and people. Birds at the bird feeder, chipmunks, pet store critters, and the infamous mailman. Fortunately, sighthounds should be on leash at all times so the mailman is pretty safe.  Believe it or not they loved riding in the car, but hated walking in heavy traffic near trucks.

As for my neighborhood fauna, I'm not sure the squirrels in my yard will ever appreciate the sudden attack mode stance and fierce drive to lunge at them through the glass. Squirrels are like rabbits to them and a constant torment.

As an avid gardener, their ability to scare off hungry pesky deer who like to decimate buds just as they begin to bloom.  (Yes, deer are cute...but they can eat other things.)

When it rains, they still have an unbreakable habit of licking the puddles rather than their ever present water bowl.

They are catlike and will lick and kiss each other endlessly with sweet affection. These two are inseparable often wrapped in each others embrace on the same pet bed. It is a a priceless picture of cuteness.

As far as weather....they hate the rain, love the heat and literally shiver when the temperature drops below 60.  So, they love the pajamas, blankets, snuggling and laying in the hot sun. Come winter the woodstove is their friend.

So these are my two adorable Spanish Galgos, Jenson and Button who have given more to me than I will ever be able to repay.

Button  &  Jenson 
(tender time together)

Within the next couple of weeks, I will again take in a foster Galgo from Spain. I am very excited and will show you a picture of the newbie as soon as she arrives. 
Until then, please check out the non-profit Galgo and Greyhound Rescue Groups in you area and help in whatever way you can. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Can It Be a Year?

Has it really been a year since my last 

Bookworm Dinner post?


At last my year long journey has taken a turn back to the roots of my passion.....writing.

  • I have missed the daily/weekly posts to my blog readers. 
  • I have missed the time writing about one of my biggest passions, books. 
  • Something is indeed missing....Bookworms Dinner has been an empty plate too long. 
When you love to read, love the discovery of each new book, never want that incredible new book to end because it is that good, and know you will never have enough time in your lifetime to read all you want to that grows in all possible directions.... in what readers ofter call their TBR pile. Naturally, a reader will never reach the bottom of that pile-even a determined bookworm that pens this blog.

But, then again....who would want to. How would a bookworm survive when the books run out A dear friend of mine would refer to this fortunate dilemma in life as the glow of Joie De Vivre.

Dewy spider web.jpgBy the way, I never stopped reading. I have posted reviews on Goodreads and various other social media venues, but Bookworms Dinner like an old and dear bookstore was sadly collecting dust. Here's to a return, a renewal and a rebirth of my reading notes as they brush away this years cobwebs on this blog.

How appropriate that it should take place in the last few weeks leading to Halloween.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Disclosure: An uncorrected proof was sent to me with a request for an unbiased review.  This review is my honest opinion.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2016]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.