Best Board Books

The thing is, when Beez likes a book, sometimes we have to read it a lot. A lot a lot. I take it this is normal, but some of them are easier to stomach than others — sometimes I even try and steer towards one of them over another. I tried reading poetry or longer books (whatever I happen to be reading for fun), and it’s ok, but the thing is, she likes the pictures. So, a short list of some board books that we like enough not to mind repetition too much. I think these are books that really could belong in any library. (Board books are sturdy and the pages are easy to turn.) Also, these are my favorites from the ones that she likes. If it was best board books according to the toddler, it would be a somewhat different list.

Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton
Moo, Baa, La La LaFun! We love the dancing pigs. Sandra Boynton’s quirky sense of humor really works. This one is simple and easy to read and understand, I think.

But Not the Hippopotamus also by Sandra Boynton
But Not the HippopotamusAlso fun, with that trademark humor and art.

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Anita Jeram
Guess How Much I Love YouSweet and cute.

Potty by Leslie Patricelli
PottySo far no luck, but hope springs eternal. To be fair we haven’t really tried to potty train…yet.

My Friends by Taro Gomi
My FriendsThis might be my fave. The art is so good, and the text is too. It’s falling apart from how much we’ve read it. I think I might buy another if it ever really comes apart; it’s that good. I also think I want it in Mandarin. And I hear there’s an English/Spanish version too.

I have to mention one more thing: a custom board book. The day care asked us to put together a little book of photographs for our kid because they said that infants and toddlers like having a book that’s theirs, about themselves. They didn’t care if it was a board book, or if you just printed a regular photo book, or even if you printed some photos and stuck them to a page — they’d laminate and hole punch or whatever to make a book (also probably the sturdiest). But one of the teachers mentioned Pint Size Productions which prints custom board books. Pricey but irresistable. I should imagine that other companies print them too, but anyway, this is the one we used and considering they are printing a thick one off photo board book, I guess it costs what it costs. We have no regrets — she loves her book.

Any suggestions are welcome too!

Only a Semi-Abandon Blog

I don’t mean to not post! I just don’t get around to it.

So instead of writing, I am:

  • Rewatching Star Trek: TNG on Netflix. Actually Leaf started it a year ago? And I thought it was a good idea! So yeah, rewatch. Season 1 wasn’t so great…like it hadn’t hit its stride and was a bit uneven. I think so far the second half of the second season has been on an upswing. Recently, we’ve met the Borg! “Q Who” was a Borg and Q episode, together! I was excited. Edited to add: Ben mentions that Star Trek: The Next Generation is also available (and in HD) on Prime Instant Video. I fell asleep last night after like 1.5 episodes!
  • Other shows I recommend watching: Orphan Black, The Wire (available on Amazon Prime), and Daredevil (fun, I thought, but not deep?).
  • Read Uprooted by Naomi Novik, which was so good. It’s fantasy, fairy tale style. Reminded me a little bit of Robin McKinley? Which is a good thing for me, since I enjoy Robin McKinley books very much.
  • I keep telling people about Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel because it was great. Post apocalyptic science fiction, but different. Not grim, but rather hopeful in a way? And I loved the “survival is insufficient” quote. Really resonated with me.
  • Hanging out with baby. What can I say, there’s much attention required.

Obvs. in no particular order. :D And there’s probably more but honestly my brain is not super high functioning right now. I mean, even when compared to normal.

Ranking Every Episode of Every Star Trek

Some superfan, Jordan Huffman, ranked every episode of every Star Trek series ever. Seriously. I can’t speak to this, since I’ve only watched The Next Generation completely (but at least one episode of every other Star Trek except the animated series) but holy cow what commitment. In my opinion, TNG was the best, but if you’ve never watched any episodes, and start from season 1, there was a lot more inconsistency. It hit its stride by season 2 or 3 though. I think this is true in general of most shows? I mean, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a great TV series, and still it took a little bit for it to get amazeballs.


So I read a couple of the books that are going to be in the Tournament of Books. So far, I started The Son by Philip Meyer which I like so far but haven’t gotten through yet. It’s almost like I’m not in the right mindset or mood or whatever for it, which isn’t anything against the book. Also, I started it then got busy and then kind of lost the thread, so I will have to look back into it. I finished The Dinner by Herman Koch, which I liked but didn’t love. And I finished Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell which was good! I still like The Fault in Our Stars better but it was cute and fun. I think other people are going to or already have read all 16 or 17 books, but nope I won’t be doing that! Still gonna follow it, but not reading every book. :)

On Healthcare Costs, And Why They’re So High in the United States

John Green of VlogBrothers talks about why American healthcare costs are so high. It’s really fast and well done and features facts and graphs. The articles and posts he links to are worthwhile reads as well.

By the way, John Green is also the author of The Fault in Our Stars, which is a pretty damn good book which I would recommend to pretty much everybody. Maybe not the people who don’t read, or don’t like fiction, but everyone else, including those of you who read less than five books a year. :)

Sacrifice: Do Not Like

This past weekend I watched Sacrifice, available on Netflix streaming — being sick is good for something! Except when it’s not, because it wasn’t very good.

Sacrifice (趙氏孤兒 Zhaoshi Guer which could translate more literally to Zhao Orphan) is based on a thirteenth century Chinese play about a general, Tu Angu, who frames and kills his rival in the local ruler’s court, Grand Councillor Zhao Dun and his entire family, including his son General Zhao and daughter-in-law, the sister of the local ruler. *SPOILERS, but dude it’s an old story full of what are now cliches only they were maybe new back then.* Continue reading

Roger Ebert: Still Got It

When Transformers came out, we actually rather liked it. I mean, you have to turn off your brain entirely, but sometimes that’s just perfect for a hot summer afternoon. And okay, it was a little too much like a two hour long GM (or some car company, I forgot) advertisement, but well… overall brainless good fun. When we heard that there was going to be a sequel, we weren’t sure if we were going to see it, figuring, “Only if it gets good reviews or word-of-mouth or something.” Today I read Roger Ebert’s review. Totally damning! He calls it a “horrible experience of unbearable length” and says that “this isn’t a film so much as a toy tie-in.” It’s not that I read Ebert’s reviews always, although he is generally good, whether I agree with the review or not. Usually I just check Rotten Tomatoes, but I was browsing around and well, this one was so excellent. I’m going to guess the movie isn’t worth seeing, but the review is full of vitriolic splendor.

We did see Up finally this weekend, in 3D, which is the new popular thing, I guess. I don’t know if the 3D was a big deal to this movie — it was nice, but it didn’t particularly seem important. I would say that Coraline was a better experience in 3D than Up. I liked Up, I just think it would probably have been fine either way. Anyway, wow what a tearjerker! If you told me that Jodi Picoult or Nicholas Sparks or some other such writer wrote the original story, it wouldn’t’ve surprised me! I thought the movie was good though, especially the silent montage, which I cried through. I was warned, and I’m warning you now, all the people who read this who haven’t seen the movie (what is that, 0?), but honestly if you are at all prone to crying in a movie, well, you’ll probably bawl. So go watch, and bring tissue. By the way, Ebert liked it too.

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