humor

Book Review: Bunnicula by Deborah & James Howe

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bunniculaBunnicula: A Rabbit-tale of Mystery

Written by Deborah & James Howe

Illustrated by Allan Daniel

Published 1979

Ages: 6-9, 128 pages

Genre/Topics: Humor, Mystery

The fun and adventure begins when the Monroe family returns from the movie with a new family addition – a rabbit. The family agrees to name the bunny Bunnicula, since it was found at the movies while watching Dracula. However, two family members are hesitant about Bunnicula – Chester the cat and Harold the dog. We learn about Bunnicula from Harold’s perspective. Chester believes Bunnicula really is a vampire and with Harold’s reluctant help they discover more about Bunnicula. Bunnicula has fangs and stays awake at night. Is Bunnicula really a vampire? Humorous events occur as Chester is determined to prove that Bunnicula is a vampire.

I loved Bunnicula! I really did laugh out loud as Harold described the weird events happening in the house since Bunnicula arrived. The reader learns about Chester’s mischievous behavior and Harold’s family loyalty. The book is mysterious without being scary. Readers will be curious about Bunnicula and want to know more about Chester and Harold’s adventures. There are additional books in the Bunnicula series. I highly recommend Bunnicula for a fun read!

 

Do You Doodle?

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Do you pick your pen/pencil/marker/crayon then grab any nearby paper to just quickly doodle? I know I do. It might be on ‘junk’ mail, receipts, newspapers, post-its, envelopes, or even personal stationery. What exactly do your doodles look like? (I’m talking about drawing people.)

I’m half way between thinking and not thinking as my hand glides across the page creating different doodles. My doodles usually look like shapes or flowers. Perhaps I just write my name in different scrolls or prints.

Can you doodle without a pen? I think it’s a little different, but the mindless action can still take place. You can add lines, shapes, colors, and different fonts to doodle on your computer.

Everyone’s mindless doodles are slightly different. What do you do during a mental break between thinking and not thinking? Those ‘doodle moments’ can spark your next project or interest. So go ahead and grab that pen and paper to doodle away!

Writing 101 Challenge: To Whom it Concerns

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Prompt: ‘Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. Pick a word and write. For an extra twist, write the post in the form of a letter.’

I used the book China Dolls by Lisa See. (I just finished, so a review may soon follow.) The word I picked was ‘street’.

Dear Street,

Thank-you for the mostly pleasurable bike ride this morning. I can tell you need to freshen up a bit, since the holes weren’t fun. I know it’s not your fault. You take the stress and demands from cars, construction sites, and even teens skateboarding every day. I also know that it’s the city who needs to shape up and help keep you looking beautiful. When my bike coasted on your smooth pavement it was such a delight! I’ll try to remember that feeling the next time a street is bumpy. I never know what the next street may look like.

Keep Strong & Beautiful!

Caroline

Caroline Rambles: Toothpaste & Cough Syrup

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If you know me, you know I have many random thoughts that I share. Although, for some reason people don’t like when I share these important thoughts. Perhaps you’ll find them humorous.

So I’ve recently been a little sick and this morning I woke with a terrible cough. It was time for some medicine. I opened the medicine cabinet to many overwhelming choices. I decided on just a basic cough medicine that supposedly tasted like pineapple. It didn’t. Unfortunately, I used all the portion and wouldn’t have enough in 4-6 hours. I went on a trip to my local Target for other items too.

Before I could travel down the sick aisle, I needed to buy more toothpaste. It always amazes me that there’s a whole aisle dedicated to just toothpaste! Do I want extra whitening, cavity protection, fresh breath, foaming sensation, or a sensitive choice? One item caught my eye: ‘Be Adventurous’. I’ve recently become slightly more adventurous. (I just enjoyed a delicious hummus sandwich.) So I picked up this ‘adventurous’ toothpaste to discover a new flavor: chocolate mint. Yes, you heard correctly, chocolate mint. Now, I’m a chocolate lover but I’m not sure it belongs in my toothpaste. However, there’s still a fresh mint taste. I decided it was too adventurous. Finally, price won the battle decision. I bought a two pack for the price of one with all the perks. Score! Now off to get my cough syrup.

Another aisle dedicated to wellness. I can understand, because there’s so many different sicknesses. I found cough syrups, but was faced with more decisions. What kind of cough do I have? Does anywhere else hurt? Is there also mucus when I cough? I almost hope I cough at that moment to help decide which is best. I then pick up bottles to compare ingredients (drugs?) as though I’m a doctor. Ah, this one has this drug but if I’m in pain I need this drug too. Hmm, too many decisions. I then notice the ‘flavors’. There’s cherry, orange, tropical, and original. ‘Original’ flavor scares me. Does it mean the original gross flavor to make me more sick? The great news is that many are gluten free. I never even knew gluten was an issue in medicines. I finally decided I have a slight headache and stuffy nose so I went with the cold/cough. Oh, I hope I picked the right choice. I guess I’ll find out soon.

I hope my rambling thoughts didn’t annoy or bore you too much. I’m off to drink liquids and rest.

*Update: The original flavor does indeed make you feel more sick.

Book Review: Open Very Carefully by Nick Bromley

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book biteOpen Very Carefully: A Book With Bite 

Written by Nick Bromley 
Illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne 
Published February 1, 2013 by Nosy Crow 
Genre/Topics: Humor, Animals 
Ages 4+, 32 pages 

 

The book begins with the story of The Ugly Duckling, but then disaster occurs when a crocodile interrupts the story. The book challenges the reader to turn the pages very carefully, since there’s now a crocodile loose within the story. Throughout the book, the ugly duckling appears on the pages almost interacting with the crocodile. While the crocodile is in the book it eats letters and gobbles sentences. When the crocodile is asleep then a crayon is used to draw a tutu and bow, so it no longer appears scary. Finally, the crocodile eats through the pages until it leaves the book from an actual hole in the book’s back cover.

Open Very Carefully is a humorous book that connects the reader and book, since the writing continually asks if the book will still be read with a crocodile. There are also pages when the reader needs to shake the book to hopefully get the crocodile out. The end was especially fun, because there are holes where the crocodile ate pages and climbs out the back. The first time reading it could be fun to hide the back so it’s a surprise.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture#2

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Here’s a second inspiration for the weekly photo challenge culture. I saw this woman with her dog dressed in hot pink and thought it looked cute and humorous at the same time. She’s stylish and well dressed ready to go anywhere with her chic dog. I want to know more about this woman and where she’s taking her dog. It’s amazing how people relate to their pets in our culture. In this case the dog is more of an accessory. 

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View more culture photos: 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenge-culture/

 

Book Review: Al Pha’s Bet by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

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alphabetAl Pha’s Bet 

Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal 
Illustrated by Delphine Durand 
Published May 12, 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
Genre/Topics: Alphabet, Humor
Ages: 4+, 32 pages 

 

How exactly did the twenty-six letters form the alphabet that we know today? Well, it occurred long ago when a king announced that he wanted someone to arrange the twenty-six letters. A man named Al Pha made a personal bet with himself that he would indeed make the perfect arrangement for the letters. It started with A for his name then gradually everything seemed to naturally fall into place as he organized the letters. When his friend Jay came to visit HI J was formed. Near the middle Al became discouraged, but he told himself NO that he needed to finish. Finally, Al Pha presented his arrangement to the king who then sang the letters. Well of course the king asked Al if ‘this time won’t you sing with me?’ The king loved Al Pha’s letter arrangement and decided it would be known as Al Pha’s Bet.

I absolutely loved Al Pha’s Bet! The writing was fun and humorous with brilliant pictures to match the writing. The alphabet slowly forms on the pages as you read. After reading Al Pha’s Bet you’ll almost agree with how the letter arrangement formed. I’m sure children and even adults will laugh while reading this book.

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Book Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

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24hr bookstoreMr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore

Written by Robin Sloan 
Published September 26, 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre/Topics: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Books, Technology
288 pages 
 

Three Word Book Review: Fun, Humorous, Mysterious

Clay Jannon recently lost his job as a web designer for NewBagel Company. He’s searched online for jobs with no luck until he stumbles upon a simple help wanted sign outside Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore. It actually is open 24 hours and Jannon works the night shift when hardly anyone enters the bookstore. However, Jannon begins to notice something strange because the individuals who do enter don’t exactly buy the books instead they trade books after giving him unique cards with codes. These individuals and books are so unique that Mr. Penumbra tells Jannon that he cannot read them and must keep a detail log of each individual down to their coat buttons. Jannon is now very curious and attempts to uncover the truth with his friends and technology. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a fun book that makes you think about how today’s technology with ebooks mixes with paper books. Which book version will you read the book in?

Sour Patch Kid vs. Gummi Bear

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I destroyed some of my taste buds while eating sour patch kids. You know the candy that begins tart and sour then changes to sweetness. (Of course, you also can’t forget the annoying commercials with the weird sour patch kids who are ‘sour’ to begin with then their behavior turns ‘sweet’ at the end.) Sure it wasn’t a terrible taste or too unpleasant, but it took awhile before I tasted the sweet taste. Finally, I felt happiness when my taste buds were relieved and I tasted the sweetness. I love gummi bears, so it made me think about how those candies compare to life.

Are you more of a sour patch kid who’s ready for challenges (tartness) to then enjoy pure pleasures (sweetness) in life? Or are you always a gummi bear who doesn’t feel the desire to boldly face challenges and instead are already satisfied with the present circumstances? At times, roles need to be adjusted. Sour patch kids may need to step back to enjoy life now instead of striving forward. Gummi bears may need to taste the tartness and prepare for struggles. Of course, the bag  mixes and we’re both sour patch kids and gummi bears whether we like it or not. So, which do you identify yourself more: someone ready to conquer the tartness or someone who loves the soft sweetness now? Explore the full range of  ‘taste’ in life: sweet, salty, bitter, and sour.

If you’re always a sour patch kid, don’t worry taste buds grow back in about 10 days. It’s a misconception that each taste is in a separate region of the tongue. Ah, perhaps our ‘tastes’ in life mingle together with challenges and pleasures at the same time. Here’s more information about the fascination of taste buds:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste_bud

http://kidshealth.org/kid/talk/qa/taste_buds.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breaking Dawn Invitation

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I knew the day would come that sooner or later I’d post about the Twilight series. Let me start by saying that I’m not a ‘Twihard’. Yes, I’m a fan of the ‘other’ group that’s too often compared with Twilight which is the Harry Potter group. The difference between the two is another post. However, those Twihards should know that I read the entire series. As a teacher, I’m glad I did since a third grader really shouldn’t be reading the final book. However, I’m not going to forbid a student from reading it.

I’m a fan of fandango, which is a movie website that provides movie information, previews, and movie sale tickets. I buy most of my tickets through fandango, since I can print the tickets at home. Well, I opened my email and saw a fandango invitation to Bella and Edward’s wedding. I suppose if you’re a Twihard this is exciting news, but I thought it was a little humorous. Yes, that’s exactly my type of wedding. I love a wedding where the bride agrees to marriage in exchange for more intimacy and to become a vampire. That could be a fun first kiss as husband and wife. (Yes, I know the bite doesn’t occur then.) Perhaps Jacob will attend and object to the marriage between a senior citizen vampire that sparkles and a girl who dreams to have ‘fangs’. I wonder if there will even be wedding cake, since vampires don’t eat. Oh, I forgot they’re ‘vegetarians’. Of course, one line they’ll have to change: ‘As long as you both shall live‘. Hmm, there may be a problem if both will soon be dead. So, I guess until another gorgeous vampire that sparkles more than Edward flashes near they are stuck with each other. Can you imagine divorce court between vampires? Drama is good, so I need to decide how to check my response card to attend or not.

Click on the invitation and it will take you to Twilight’s homepage on fandango. If you’re a Twihard this is old news.


Do I want to be a bookworm?

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I thought of the word ‘bookworm’ with affection. I mean worms aren’t very harmful and tag along the word book and it should be cute. I was curious about the word’s origin. Well, the exact origin wasn’t clear but I thought the results were interesting. Normally, when definitions are given in a dictionary the first entry is most commonly used followed by other definitions. It was the order that I thought was funny. Bookworm is basically used in two definitions: a reader and an insect that feeds off book paste.

Webster’s New World College Dictionary:

noun

  1. any of a number of insects or insect larvae that harm books by feeding on the binding, paste, etc.
  2. a person who spends much time reading or studying

American Heritage Dictionary:

noun

  1. One who spends much time reading or studying.
  2. Any of various insects, especially booklice and silverfish, that infest books and feed on the paste in the bindings.

http://www.yourdictionary.com/bookworm

Both dictionaries provide two definitions for the word bookworm, but the order is different. Which defines bookworm better as a reader or an insect that eats books? I suppose you could look at it that a bookworm is a reader who devours and eats books as though they were dessert. Luckily, the term bookworm used as a person who enjoys reading doesn’t destroy books. There isn’t exactly one type of  ‘bookworm’  insect, instead it is various insects that eat the book’s glue which ultimately wreck them. Here is information about the bookworm as an insect:

http://www.unesco.org/webworld/ramp/html/r8820e/r8820e03.htm

I am a bookworm. For play, I bury myself in the corners of libraries and read.
– Robert Littell

Bookworm Pictures & Coloring Pages 

What’s the message inside your fortune cookie?

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I got this idea from a prompt after I published a post and I thought it was fun idea. Everybody looks forward to the end of a Chinese meal at a restaurant when the fortune cookies arrive at the table. It’s silly, but there’s a hidden mystery when we hope to read something good with luck, success, love, or money. However, did you know that fortune cookies have nothing to do with being Chinese. I know from personally being there and never once given a fortune cookie after my meal. Instead, it supposedly originated in California. Read more about its history from the links below. So, what does your fortune say? I’m not even sure what it means if you receive an empty cookie with no fortune.

*You shall live a long and fulfilling life. *

*Look and you shall find love.*

*Your meal containing MSG will haunt you later.*

*Look no further, your life at its present state is where it will be.*

*Examine a mirror, there may be something in your teeth.*

*Be careful not to initiate a disagreement with a loved one.*

*Leave a generous tip and you will be great.*

*Love  your enemy as your friend.*

*Be careful, danger is ahead.*

*The thing you are dreading is fast approaching.*

*Take a trip and escape your life’s demands.*

*Look to the stars for guidance.*

*Try take out Chinese next time.*

*Smile more, it may make lines but it improves your mood.*

*Remember to say please and thank you.*

I’ve never made fortune cookies, but here’s a recipe I found that could be fun to try.

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons water
Prep Time:
15 Min
Cook Time:
10 Min
Ready In:
25 Min

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper. Have fortunes ready to go on small strips of paper.
  2. In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites and sugar on high speed of an electric mixer until frothy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and stir in melted butter, vanilla, almond extract, water and flour one at a time, mixing well after each. Consistency should resemble pancake batter. Spoon the batter into 3 inch circles on the prepared baking sheets. Leave room between for spreading.
  3. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges begin to brown slightly. Quickly remove one at a time, place a message in the center, and fold in half. Fold the ends of the half together into a horse shoe shape. If they spring open, place them in a muffin tin to cool until set.

Now you can find fortune cookies at parties, fundraisers, weddings, holidays, or even as creative invitations. Here are some pics with jazzed up fortune cookies for different occasions. Check out the website for even more unique fortune cookies.

http://www.ladyfortunes.com

Brief history of the fortune cookie:

http://www.fancyfortunecookies.com/Articles.asp?ID=148

http://www.chinese-fortune-cookie.com/fortune-cookie-history.html