Best Books, Snow, and the Patriots

I’m not much of a football fan, but what I am a fan of is seeing things through to the end, determination, grit, and never losing hope or belief. For all those that watched The Game, the Patriots embodied all of these. (Sorry Seahawks fans).

For every New Englander that loves snow (I’m jumping up and down raising my hand!) we waited and waited, not losing hope, and finally got The Storm. Snow brings out the kid in me (which isn’t hard to do). I know so many people dislike snow, but I think it’s all about attitude and a willingness to embrace the kid inside. Oftentimes I’m the first one in the house to yell, “Snow day! Let’s get the sleds out!” I love the feeling of bundling up in layers, trudging up the hill, sitting atop that piece of hard plastic and letting go with a WHOOSH! Then, of course, there is snowman building, fort building, igloo building, snow wrestling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, animal tracking, and more. Snow is so much more than digging the cars out and praying you don’t slip on your way to work. Embrace it and you may find that there’s actually joy in that white fluffy stuff!

And that brings me to this year’s ALA 2015 winners. These are the children’s books selected as the best of the best. It would be impossible to put all of our favorites on this list, and there are always disappointments not to see them. But the books that have “made it” are well worth a read and well worth celebrating. More importantly from where I stand, I celebrate the authors (and illustrators) whose books have been given these prestigious awards because behind each of these books I know there was determination, grit, and seeing things through to the end. While there may have been moments of losing hope and belief, all of the other stuff won out. I have so much admiration for them, and congratulate each and every one of those authors and illustrators.

I struggle every day to hold on and keep my writing going. I lose hope often, but force myself to snap out of it and embrace the joy writing gives me. My son’s teachers are all about grit, and every time I help him with his homework and he gets frustrated it reminds me to have it in myself. How could I ever be a good role model if I gave up? I can’t and you can’t either.

What do you struggle with? How do you find your determination and grit? Please share!

In honor of Dan Santat’s Caldecott winning book The Adventures of Beetle: The Unimaginary Friend here is…

Life Lesson #17: Every day eagerly wait to be imagined by a real child. Together you can do the unimaginable.

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Click image to buy this book.

*Please visit my Parents Page for this month’s READ THIS! article on tips for helping children at home develop literacy skills, and a lifelong love of literacy.