The Children's Book Quote of the Day

Just another weblog

The Music of the Spheres December 31, 2009

Filed under: Chapter Books — Shanna @ 10:47 pm

“Well, you can sing for us instead,” said the Iron Giant.  “It’s a long time since anybody here on earth heard the music of the spheres.  It might do us all good.”

[. . .] Suddenly the world became wonderfully peaceful.  The singing got inside everybody and made them as peaceful as starry space, and blissfully above all their earlier little squabbles.  The strange, soft, eerie space-music began to alter all the people of the world.  They stopped making weapons.  The countries began to think how they could live pleasantly alongside each other, rather than how to get rid of each other.  All they wanted to do was have peace to enjoy this strange, wild, blissful music from the giant singer in space. (from The Iron Giant by Ted Hughes)

I’m never very big on New Year’s resolutions because I can never really think of anything important enough for all the hype surrounding the tradition.  But this year, a resolution has been growing in my heart.  This year, I resolve to spend more time quieting myself and dispelling the noise of this world so that I may hear the “strange, wild, blissful music” that comes from the heart of God.  Maybe if we would all spend a little more time listening to it, our world would be a more peaceful place.

Happy New Year!


One sure way to know when you’re not welcome December 30, 2009

Filed under: Young Adult — Shanna @ 4:33 pm

I mean, you’d think the titan lord would’ve learned his lesson eons ago when he was overthrown by the gods.  You’d think that getting chopped into a million pieces and cast into the darkest part of the Underworld would give him a subtle clue that no one wanted him around.  But no. (from Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan)

Some people just can’t take a hint, no matter how obvious it is to the rest of us.


Learning December 29, 2009

Filed under: Chapter Books — Shanna @ 6:19 pm

Claudia said, “But, Mrs. Frankweiler, you should want to learn one new thing every day.  We did even at the Museum.”

“No,” I answered, “I don’t agree with that.  I think you should learn, of course, and some days you must learn a great deal.  But you should also have days when you allow what is already in you to swell up inside of you until it touches everything.  And you can feel it inside of you.  If you never take time out to let that happen, then you just accumulate facts, and they begin to rattle around inside of you.  You can make noise with them, but never really feel anything with them.  It’s hollow.” (from From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg)

Kristi is having issues with spotty internet this week, and rather than neglecting her quotes, she asked if I would fill in, and I am very glad to do so.

I’ve been spending a lot of time working on applications for Ph.D. programs this week, and it is good to remember these wise words from Mrs. Frankweiler.  Learning isn’t just about accumulating facts; it’s about really knowing something and letting it become a part of you.  That’s when learning stops being a chore and begins to be fulfilling.  As a teacher, this is what I always hope to help my students learn.


A sound December 27, 2009

Filed under: Picture Books — Kristi @ 9:16 pm
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I was listening for a sound–a sound a friend had told me I’d never hear–the ringing bells of Santa’s sleigh. (from The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg)

As Jon, Benjamin, and I travelled through northern Missouri, we saw a train blast through the snow that was coming in sideways like StarWars stars and I thought of the Polar Express. I thought about one of my favorite themes in literature and in life: choosing to believe. And that led me to this quote about listening even when you don’t think you’ll hear what you’re listening for. Sometimes listening for God’s voice is like this. Sometimes you have to choose to believe.


Out of bed December 26, 2009

Filed under: Picture Books — Kristi @ 1:52 pm
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Little Brown Bear waited until he was certain that Mama and papa Bear were fast asleep. Then he jumped out of bed, packed his valise, and set off to find the geese. (from Little Brown Bear Won’t Take a Nap by Jane Dyer)

Sometimes I have to wonder why Benjamin is still so tired in the morning, and why he has sand in his eye. Has he been on an adventure to the seashore with the geese while we’ve been sleeping?


Today… December 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kristi @ 3:19 pm
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And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (from The Gospel According to Luke, Chapter 2, NIV)

This isn’t exactly a children’s book, but I hope you read it to your children.


The night before December 24, 2009

Filed under: Classics,Picture Books — Kristi @ 4:10 pm

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!” (from The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore)

I couldn’t decide on a single line, so I just used the whole thing–enjoy! By the way, there are many versions of this for kids, but I really love the illustrations by Jan Brett.