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The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague – Book Review
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Book Review: It’s Monday Mrs. Jolly Bones by Warren Hanson
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Family Fun: Silverwood Park, St Anthony

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf by Mark Teague – Book Review

Around the time Mark Teague visited the Twin Cities on his promo tour for, The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf, we checked the book out from the library. The best part of Mark Teague’s books are the illustrations. The are big, bright, and engaging. The pictures alone will draw in your younger audience. The story is a slightly goofy version of the fairy tale, with enough grown up jokes speckled throughout the pages to keep adults amused.  

The Three Little Pigs and The Somewhat Bad Wolf

I love the illustrations in this book!

Some people do not like modern retellings of fairy tales that smooth away the rough (scary or violent) edges of the classic tale. If that’s you, you wouldn’t like this book. The Big Bad Wolf is only Somewhat Bad in this retelling and, in an ending reminiscent of a Raggedy Ann Tale, the pigs win him over with niceness and everyone agrees to live together in harmony. I think this retelling is okay. After all, if you want to be true to the classic tale, two of the three pigs get eaten and then the wolf is eaten by the third pig.

This book definitely passes my read over and over and over again test. The story is a simple, classic favorite. There is something about tales like this that read a little like a song. The reader keeps coming back to the same refrain. It makes a more enjoyable read for the reader and for the small child. The grown up jokes that he tosses in are just enough to make it amusing but not overwhelming. The illustrations really are the cream.

Where to find The Three Little Pigs and The Somewhat Bad Wolf

If you are interested in adding this book to your permanent collection, you can pick it up at most bookstores. It is also available through Hennepin County Library — where they will store it for you for free when you are done with it. I’m a huge fan of free book storage!

*If you purchase the book through our Amazon affiliate link below, Family Fun Twin Cities receives a small commission.

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf

Amazon affiliate link.

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Book Review: It’s Monday Mrs. Jolly Bones by Warren Hanson

It’s Monday Mrs. Jolly Bones
by Warren Hanson
Illustrated by Tricia Tusa
Available at Local Bookstores and Libraries

It's Monday Mrs. Jolly BonesIt’s Monday Mrs. Jolly Bones by Warren Hanson is an enjoyable book — both for the story and the pictures. In this poetic story, an unconventional old woman tackles the traditional weekly chores with a funny twist at the end of each chore.  The kids particularly like her bath in the toilet after cleaning all day on Wednesday. 

This book is suggested for ages 2 – 6. My audience was 1 – 8, and none of them really got the humor. The 8-year-old said Mrs. Jolly Bones and her friends were all weird. Which is pretty accurate. Despite this, I would rank this book high on the re-read scale.  It’s amusing to me, and that is important when it comes to re-reading a book. If I’m enjoying the book, the kids will enjoy it more, too. The story has nice cadence and a flow to it that make reading out loud easier.  It rhymes which also makes reading out loud easier since the reader can anticipate and memorize the lines with ease.

The illustrations tell the story all by themselves.  They add a depth to the story that could have been missing.  For instance, the expressions on the neighborhood faces as Mrs. Jolly Bones tosses her clothes out the window is priceless.  People who are only walking through the neighborhood look bemused, confused or scared.  Her neighbors, on the other hand, look unconcerned, angry or amused — as if they see this every week.  On days I don’t really feel like reading, we could study the pictures together and make up our own stories to expand on the poem.

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Family Fun: Silverwood Park, St Anthony

 

The Twin Cities is host to a wonderful park system called Three Rivers Parks. The parks are named after the  Mighty Mississippi River, the Minnesota River, and the Crow River.

The Three Rivers Parks System is primarily based in the western metro, but it is traveling south and moving east. Case in point: Silverwood Park is located in St. Anthony, east of the Mississippi River. Since St. Anthony is less than, oh, 5 miles, we have our own park basically in our backyard.

There are many parks in this park system.  Each park is unique and focuses on something different. Gale Woods Farm is an actual live working farm.  The Landing’s main objective is to teach history. The Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park is centered on the dam built between Brooklyn Park and Coon Rapids over the Mississippi.

 Silverwood Park - A Three Rivers ParkSilverwood Park is a smaller park. If you walk the perimeter of the park’s path, it’s probably only 3/4 of a mile, but in its smallness, it has many different ecosystems.  Its purpose is to explore the balance of nature and art.  In my estimation, this park is absolutely perfect. It is located on Silver Lake with woods, grasslands, marshy wetlands, lakeside property and a beautiful lawn to play on.    There are trails and a bridge out to an island.  On the island is a small shore to be able to wade into the water.

Silverwood Park - A Three Rivers Park
Throughout the park, there are random pieces of art work. With your mobile device, you are able to dial in for information on each sculpture as you come to it.  Without your mobile device, I can attest that you will think, “Oh.  Look at this thing……What is it?” It won’t detract from the experience, but you won’t have any idea what you are looking at!

In the woods, we came upon this. We called it a playhouse because we had no idea what it was. I am still trying to figure it out.

 
 
Silverwood Park - A Three Rivers Park

 

Silverwood Park - A Three Rivers Park

Whatever it is, the kids sure love it.  Unlike me, they don’t try to figure it out.  They just took it for a fun little play house and did just that. Played!

 

Silverwood Park - A Three Rivers Park

The thing that I loved the most about this park was that it had no playground equipment.  None!  You get to just play in the woods.  What can be more creative than just playing and exploring?  Whereas playgrounds can be lots of fun, so can nature.

Silverwood Park makes nature so much fun!

 

 

Silverwood Park - A Three Rivers Park

 

 

 

Silverwood Park - A Three Rivers Park

They have a few buildings on their property; some classrooms and a visitor’s center.  The visitor’s center has a coffee shop and a small gallery displaying different shows.

Another thing that Silverwood Park’s visitor’s center has is craft supplies for kids to help themselves to in the coffee shop/ gallery area.  A small table the perfect height for a preschool is filled with paper, crayons, and other art supplies.  Silverwood Park is serious in its mission of integrating art and nature.

They offer a calendar full of different activities for every age from preschooler to senior adult. Preschool classes (Doodlebugs) and family classes (i.e. Green Beans, Family Clay and Play, Paper+, etc), music classes, yoga classes, nature hikes (Walk with a Naturalist, Walk with an Artist). Silverwood Park is full of many different possibilities.

 

Silverwood Park - A Three Rivers Park

And the best bonus is no entrance fees or parking fees!

Silverwood Park
Hours: 5:00 AM–10:00 PM
Phone: 763.694.7707
Address:
2500 County Rd. E
St. Anthony, MN 55421


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