13 Words

Imagine my happy gasp when I came across this book in the school’s library. It was a cross between a sharp inhale and a ‘squee’! I am so excited that Lemony Snicket has branched out from his “Series of Unfortunate Events” books to write an AWESOME read aloud book called 13 Words. This book is an amazing introduction to some higher level vocabulary words. I hope he writes an entire series of books filled with more wonderful words. Some words are complicated and some words are just old favorites, such as ‘cake.‘Older students studying for the SAT could use this book to create pneumonic devices. (Am I dating myself? Is the SAT still a thing?) 

The story starts with a despondent bird sitting on a table. Later, his friend dog attempts to cheer him up by going to a haberdashery to buy him a hat. He finds a hat with lots of panache that is sure to please bird, but I won’t ruin the ending for you. This book is quite simply weird and wonderful. It would make a fun introduction to wonderful words for a classroom!  Check out more by Lemony Snicket @ www.lemonysnicket.com. Let’s not forget the lovely illustrations…


Maira Kalman’s beautiful and colorful paintings make this book not only interesting to read but fun to pour over. See more of her work at www.mairakalman.com.

PS- My borrowed copy of 13 Words smells like high quality gift wrap.



This book smells like fresh card stock- crisp,new. Me…Jane is a short and sweet little treasure that was written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell. It is the story of a young Dr.Jane Goodall observing her environment in England and dreaming of far away Africa. Her love of chimps started early when, at a young age, Jane was given a stuffed chimpanzee named Jubilee that became her constant companion. It describes Jane’s early quest for knowledge of animals of any sort and her first hand observations of exactly how eggs get outside of chickens.


McDonnell’s illustrations are utterly charming and accompanied by photographs of the woman herself.  It does not hurt to mention that it is a Caldecott Honor Book. This book is the perfect inspirational material for any little (or big) girls with big dreams.

“There are so many people who have dreamed seemingly unattainable dreams and, because they never gave up achieved their goals against all the odds, or blazed a path along which others could find and follow…They inspire me. They inspire those around them.”

Dr.Jane Gooddall