November 30, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday - First Snow (And Some Other Odds And Ends!)

Well, you guys are in for it today!

After several brief (for me) posts in a row, I've used up my ability to be short-winded and I have so much to tell you today I can't even believe it.  I'll try to be succinct :)

First, my Perfect Picture Book, because I like that to be at the top on Friday.

First Snow
Written & Illustrated By: Kim Lewis
Candlewick Press, 1993, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8

Themes/Topics: kindness, helping others, friends, pets, farm life, beloved toy, loss

Opening: "Wake up, Sara," whispered Mommy.  "Daddy's not very well today.  I'm going to feed the sheep on the hill.  Would you and Teddy like to come?"

Brief Synopsis: To help Daddy, Mommy and Sara and Sara's bear, Teddy, go up the hill to feed the sheep.  It's a long climb, and while they're up there, the first snow of the year begins to fall.  Hurrying to get home before they can't find their way, no one notices that Sara's beloved Teddy has been left behind.

Links To Resources: The Working Sheep Dog (video), Sheep Herding Demonstration (video), Fun Sheep Facts For Kids, Facts About Border Collies Talk about what you could do for someone that would be nice or help them in some way.

Why I Like This Book:  I love that whole story takes place because Sara and her mom are trying to do something nice for Daddy.  As they hike, you can feel the steepness of the hill, the cold air, the first tentative snowflakes followed by the real snow.  For children who may never have been out in the real country, the book gives them a taste of it.  The sense of wanting to get back to their cottage pulls the reader along, but on the whole it's a fairly quiet book.  The art is gorgeous.  It's drawn in colored pencil and the little cottage where Sara's family lives is so warm and inviting, and the vistas of the English hills so lovely it makes you want to step right into the pages of the book.  The sheep are beautiful, the border collies exceptional.  But maybe the thing I love most about the book is the understanding it shows between a child and her pet.  It is not Mommy or Daddy or Sara who recovers Teddy :)

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Next, two things that kind of go together.  When Beth asked to interview me about Perfect Picture Books I was happy to do it to raise awareness of this resource that we all work so hard on (and because Beth is nice and I like her :)) but I never in a million years expected the kind of response we got.  So I wanted to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful comments.  They meant so much to me.  I really can't find words to tell you how much... which is bad for a writer!  But it was an unexpected gift for which I am truly grateful, and it just makes me value this wonderful community even more.  I wasn't kidding when I said I was going to print out that post and stick it on my wall to read on days when I feel low :)  So thank you.

In the same vein, Randy over at Author In Training very kindly gave me the Addictive Blog Award.
In addition to linking back to him (and I hope you'll go visit him if you haven't because he does great writing prods and is currently writing a YA novel that you get to read a bit of every Friday and just has an all around great blog!) I am supposed to list 10 blogs I am addicted to.  But I can't list only 10.  Especially after being reminded Wednesday of just how wonderful you all are.  So consider yourselves all recipients, and feel free to take the award badge and post it on your blog!

The next item I wanted to mention is that tomorrow, December 1 (a Saturday so I don't post) marks my 2nd Blogiversary!!!  I can't believe it's been 2 years.  I have had so much fun here, getting to know you all and dragging you into all my hair-brained schemes!  Anything that's good about this blog is good because of you, so please give yourselves all a big pat on the back and a round of applause!  Some confetti would be nice, too.  And of course, I think we should serve Something Chocolate, even though it's not Wednesday :)  I would also like to give you A PRESENT!  Of course, I'd really like to give you ALL a present, but I don't have the resources, so two (that's 2!) lucky random commenters today will receive a packet of 5 assorted hand-drawn greeting cards by our own superbly talented  Tracy Campbell!  Here's a little sample:
copyright Tracy Campbell 2012 used by permission

copyright Tracy Campbell 2012 used by permission

copyright Tracy Campbell 2012 used by permission
Aren't they gorgeous?  Please click on the link to her blog and explore and you can see many other cards!

Second to last (see? there's a light at the end of the tunnel :)), I wanted to let you all know ahead of time about a special PPBF.  At the suggestion of Pat at Children's Books Heal and Vivian at Positive Parental Participation, on Friday December 14, which is the anniversary of the date in 1954 that the UN General Assembly recommended there should be a Universal Children's Day, we are going to be doing our part to raise awareness of the plight of children around the globe and to promote the welfare of children in the world by posting books which focus on multicultural/multiracial issues, human rights, and/or children who have helped to change the world in some way.  For example, Pat plans to post the picture book version of The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.  Beatrice's Goat and Wangari's Trees Of Peace are other examples of books in this category (although they're already on our list.)  Please join us if you'd like to!  But of course, if you've already got a book in mind and would like to post a regular PPB that is fine too - all picture books are for children :)

FINALLY (here we are! this is the end!) I'm hoping to post the rules for the Holiday Contest on Monday.  Of course, that will depend on whether I make up my mind about what it's going to be by then :)  But here's hoping :)

That's it!  Go forth!  Run free!  Go see all the wonderful picture books that have been chosen this week!  And have a GREAT weekend! :)

(PPBF bloggers, please remember to add your post-specific link below!  And don't forget, 2 lucky commenters will win beautiful cards, and the winners will be chosen totally by random.org and not at all based on how nice the things you say about me or my blog are :))


Reactions:

63 comments:

  1. There's so much going on. I've been in hiding this week due to the end of the semester. Hmm. I'll need to take a break and visit all these posts I've missed. :)

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  2. delores @ thefeatherednestNovember 30, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    Happy second blogaversary. The Blogasphere is a better place for you being in it.

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  3. I like the message about caring in the book! The cards are AWESOME!

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  4. An early Happy Blogiversary to you. Saw Phyllis get her special pick today as a PPBF choice over at Beth's blog. A good choice indeed. And you choice sounds so sweet and kind.
    Love it!

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  5. Happy Blogiversary! You have lots of "news' on this post! Tracy's cards are beautiful; I enjoy her blog, too. How neat you're celebrating this UN Children's Day. And actually, my Nov 12x12 draft is one of those kinds of stories! I hope some day an editor will pick it up! Happy Friday!

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  6. Happy 2nd Blogiversary, Susanna! Leave it to you to give US a present. I like your PPBF choice - sounds wonderful. I like books that help us to feel and be part of another lifestyle. I remember going to milk the cows with my grandma and stepping from the whistlin' wind into a cozy barn smelling of hay, cows, and um...a..other things. :)

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  7. Happy Blog-iversary, Susanna! Thanks for this beautiful PPFF choice. I am ready for snow and Christmas books. I love this time of year.

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  8. Happy 2nd Blogiversary Susanna! Congratulations!

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  9. 2 years! Quite an accomplishment. I haven't figured out how to blog and write at the same time. And my blog is not nearly involved as yours! Do you have a secret?

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  10. Yay! My link is "sweet sixteen"! (I haven't been sweet sixteen for, um, a while...)


    Congratulations on your second blogiversary tomorrow, Susanna! I'm so grateful you started blogging, and developed such a delightful blog that has built such a wonderful community.


    A HUGE thank you from me to you for this week, and for the interview on Wednesday -- and wow, thank you to all the wonderful commenters. Reading what they had to say about you really warmed my heart as well. You ROCK, Susanna!


    Hope Phyllis enjoys her moment in the spotlight with my PPBF choice today. Give her a hug for me.


    The book you've highlighted today sounds wonderful. I know I'd like it.



    Finally -- what a wonderful idea for PPBF on the 14th. I had a book planned for that day, but I'm going to bump it up to the 7th, and find something that fits the theme. Kudos to Pat and Vivian!

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  11. What a wonderful post! So chock full of good things to know and learn. Congrats on your blogaversary! Can't believe it's only been two years.


    Love the sound of your book this Friday. I love quiet books that take you into the past and into another place.


    The Dec 14th celebration sounds good, too. I'm part of Amnesty International and will eagerly participate with a book that deals with Human Rights issues. The book I reviewed for today's selection is also a multicultural book dealing with an immigrant's trying to cope with a new country, America. I hope you will come and give me a visit. :)

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  12. Happy Blogiversary Susanna!!! :) So happy to share the writing/blogging journey with you!

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  13. Hurray for your blog-anniversary #2! Hurray for this lovely picture book you reviewed...will you take me there? It sounds like a place we'd all like to be. :) The resources/activities look great also! Hurray for the Addictive Blog Award...yes, I agree...your blog IS addictive. ..in an oh so nice way! :) I'll hop over to Randy's blog tonight. Hurray for PRIZES...and hurray for Tracy Campbell's AWESOME cards...she is so very talented! Hurray for your upcoming holiday writing contest! And lastly, hurray for celebrating the rights of children everywhere...thank you, Susanna, for mentioning the Universal Children's Day idea for the December 14th PPBF.'
    So...hip hip hip hip hip (is that enough hips) hooray!!!!!!!!!

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  14. I think I know one of them...she doesn't sleep. :) :) :)

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  15. This is such a great community! In the comments on my PPBF today, Pam Courtney suggested a wonderful activity for Punxsutawney Phyllis readers, so I've added it to my post.

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  16. The book sounds wonderful. I will have to check it out. And happy blogiversary to you! =)

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  17. Enjoyed your book selection -- such a touching story! The beautiful cover alone draws you into wanting to read the book.

    WhooHoo for your 2nd blog anniversary. Your blog is a kind of hub for many of us. Great community! And, so very generous of Tracy Campbell to donate such beautiful hand-made greeting cards.


    And thank you for encouraging the other bloggers to consider reviewing a book for Universal Children's Day! Vivian wrote such a lovely post on the subject -- it just seemed like a natural thing for us to participate in. And all books celebrate children!

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  18. Happy blogiversary, Susanna. There's so much to cheer about in this post.


    Love the idea of us rallying around Universal Children's Day. And I have a book in mind if the library has it.


    What happens to Teddy???

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  19. Happy 2nd Anniversary, Susannah!



    Tracy's cards are gorgeous . . . and that book sounds precious.

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  20. Thanks, Nancy :) And if you don't happen to win, you can get cards from Tracy at her blog/website. I've seen a bunch of them and they're beautiful, and the card stock is very good quality. I'm giving some as gifts to family and friends.

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  21. Thanks you, Joanna! I'm glad you have a book in mind... I haven't made a choice yet! :) And since the giveaway is less obvious in the comments I will tell you that the border collie realizes Teddy was left behind and brings him very gently and carefully back to Sara :) as any good dog would :)

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  22. Glad you like the book Pat! I'm a big Kim Lewis fan. I love her art... and I love dogs :) Thank you for the blogiversary wishes. I am so happy and grateful for everyone who gathers here. Tracy's cards are really lovely, and I highly recommend them as gifts (for yourself or others :)) if you don't happen to win them! Looking forward to our special PPBF day - thanks for the suggestion!

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  23. Thank you so much, Susan! And I hope you like the book! I find Kim Lewis's work so appealing :)

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  24. I will have to come back and check it out! I was there early. But I'm always interested in great ideas! :)

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  25. Thanks so much, Kirsten! And me too! I especially love the first snow. We've already had ours... and our second... and we're supposed to get some more tonight. But it's so beautiful and peaceful, isn't it?

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  26. Phew, that's a relief! ;)

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  27. Yes, Happy Second Blogversary! You deserved the award. Hope year three is even more outstanding...

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  28. :)






























    Joanna Marple wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    Phew, that's a relief! ;)


    Link to comment
    IP address: 74.73.241.51

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  29. Thank you so much, Jarm! You're very sweet :)

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  30. The story sounds great, Susanna. I'm not a dog person, particularly, but I do love Border collies. And happy blogiversary! That's a great idea for the 14th. I have a book in mind to review -- Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming. Have you read it? It makes me cry every time.

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  31. I can't wait to read it, Tina!

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  32. That is called a "study break" Stacy, and it is good for you :) Have some chocolate to go with it :)

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  33. Aren't they beautiful, Erik? Ms. Campbell is so talented! And yes, it's a lovely message and the book is very sweet.

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  34. Thanks, Angela! And yes, as predicted Phyllis is getting a swelled head from being featured on Beth's blog and she is parading around the house demanding maple syrup in the large teacup with the strawberries on it :)

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  35. Thanks so much, Delores! I really appreciate that! It is better for having you, too :) We've got a nice thing going, haven't we, with all these lovely folks? :)

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  36. Oh, gosh! I hope so too!!! Then we can feature it on PPBF and say we knew you when your famous book was a baby manuscript :) Happy Friday to you too - although I guess it might be Saturday where you are :)

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  37. POSTED FOR TRACY at http://tracycampbell.net/blog/

    It's no wonder you had so many of your followers comment on Beth's blog, you're kind and helpful just like today's PB themes and topics states. The cover art for this book makes me feel warm and cozy. Colored pencil is an art form, and one day I plan on trying this wonderful medium.

    And you deserve the Addictive Blog Award, especially as you've it awarded to all your faithful tribe. Of course, I'm going to nab it. Thank you! And I'll be sure to check out Randy's Author in Training blog.

    I'm blown away that you've showcased my greeting cards! :-D Thank you so much!

    I can't wait to see what you come up with for the Holiday Contest!

    As you know, I can't comment directly on your blog, nor can I read any comments (boo hoo),
    so if you would post my comments, I'd appreciate it.

    Happy Blogiversary! :-D

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  38. Thank you, Tracy! And you are most welcome for the card showing - they are really wonderful and I want everyone to have a chance to get some! :)

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  39. Thanks, Laura! And I know it! - there's something about farms and barns especially that is so wonderful. I spent half the morning taking care of the horses today, and it's so peaceful and pleasant. Now, if anyone could just explain to me why I have NO PROBLEM mucking out stalls and sweeping the barn but will leave the vacuuming of my house go for ages... :)

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  40. Thank you so much, Darshana! I always think that everyone's blog has been around way longer than mine, but I think there are a whole bunch of us in this group that started around the same time. Funny, isn't it?

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  41. I wish I did! I'm afraid I work more than I should and sleep less than I should :) But I love my blog and everyone who comes to visit, and I love my writing which is where this all came form to begin with, so I just muddle along and do the best I can :)

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  42. I think what you meant to say was you WILL be sweet sixteen in 13 days :) Thanks for the congrats, the warm wishes, all your support and enthusiasm, and for your lovely post which didn't just make my day, it made about 6 months worth of days :) Phyllis is behaving predictably. She is marching around in her tiara demanding that we address her as Queen Phyllis :) And yes, didn't Vivian and Pat have a great idea? I'm very excited about it! Now if I could just think of a good book to showcase for it.....!

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  43. Glad you enjoyed the post, Clar! nd I loved your selection for today - I have been to read it and I left a comment - I hope it posted properly! I'm looking forward to the 14th - I think it was a great idea Pat and Vivian had and I'm glad we have such a great way to celebrate it.

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  44. Thank you, Coleen! And the feeling is mutual - I look forward to your posts which usually make me smile (except every now and then when they're serious and then they make me think deep thoughts :))

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  45. "Sweet Fifty-six" just doesn't have quite the same ring to it...


    You are SO welcome for all of those things. Phyllis is such fun! She'll calm down. In a month or two...

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  46. Golly, Viv, I feel like we should have a parade now! :) Thanks for all the cheering! :) The book is lovely - I hope you'll get a chance to look at it, or one of her others - I find her art so appealing! Randy's blog is great. he is so imaginative and clever - he can make a great pitch/jacket blurb-type-idea out of ANYthing! I wish I could be so creative! And thanks for your great idea about Universal Children's Day - I think this is going to be a great way to celebrate children and raise awareness of those less fortunate and learn about different cultures and lifestyles. I hope lots of people will do it and we'll get some great titles on our list!

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  47. Thanks, Carrie! And no, I have not read it. I will look forward to getting all weepy when you post it! :)

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  48. Well, at least it as a "6" in it :) And Phyllis will certainly not calm down... Groundhog Day is right around the corner... she's just getting started :)





























    Beth Stilborn (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    "Sweet Fifty-six" just doesn't have quite the same ring to it...


    You are SO welcome for all of those things. Phyllis is such fun! She'll calm down. In a month or two...

    Link to comment
    IP address: 65.87.233.107

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  49. Ah, you know me well :)






























    Vivian Kirkfield wrote, in response to Laura Renauld:


    I think I know one of them...she doesn't sleep. :) :) :)


    User's website
    Link to comment
    IP address: 71.219.223.31

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  50. True. (regarding the "6") And what was I thinking? You're right about Phyllis (of course you are. You've lived with her all this time. You know what she's like. And Groundhog Day excitement will end, and she'll start planning for April Fool's Day. It never ends, does it?)

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  51. No, it really does not! She's an exuberant little marmot :)






























    Beth Stilborn (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    True. (regarding the "6") And what was I thinking? You're right about Phyllis (of course you are. You've lived with her all this time. You know what she's like. And Groundhog Day excitement will end, and she'll start planning for April Fool's Day. It never ends, does it?)

    Link to comment
    IP address: 65.87.233.107

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  52. Happy Blogiversary.
    The cover of First Snow looks so gentle and welcoming. Makes you want to go and do something nice for someone.

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  53. Thank you, Sandi! :) It is a lovely cover, isn't it? I wish you could see the little cottage on the first inside page - so sweet! And the story is such a nice one, especially if you like dogs :)

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  54. ha-ha...I think it's because the house doesn't show appreciation (and rarely does family)...but there is something about the presence of the animals-their vitality and warmth and presence. Of course--I only clean up after a dog, a cat, a rabbit and a bird (and the bird still tries to nip me) *sigh*

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  55. :) Also, people could technically help clean up after themselves :)






























    Laura Miller wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:


    ha-ha...I think it's because the house doesn't show appreciation (and rarely does family)...but there is something about the presence of the animals-their vitality and warmth and presence. Of course--I only clean up after a dog, a cat, a rabbit and a bird (and the bird still tries to nip me) *sigh*

    User's website
    Link to comment
    IP address: 98.209.120.72

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  56. Happy 2nd Anniversary!!! I love your blog!!!! It deserves lots of cake and candles and party hats and possibly a magician! Party! I know I'm a day behind!! I just had a busy Friday so I'm making my rounds this evening.

    Love the sound of First Snow. I will have to see if the library has it.

    I think posting books for Universal Children's Day is a great idea. I thought of one right off the bat...but, alas, it is on the list. I will have to see if I can come up with one. I don't have another one in mind, but a trip to the library may solve that.

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  57. Penny, you are a girl after my own heart who knows what's really important for a party :) Thanks for the wishes, and I'm so glad you like my blog :) I'm having the same problem with a book for Universal Children's Day... the one's that leap to mind have already been done! So, library or bust! :)

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  58. i like the look of this book. I'm partial to books with sheep and dogs and kids. Thanks for sharing this one. Congratulations on your anniversary and your award. i hope that you will be around for many more years and many more celebrations.

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  59. Love those cards!


    My daughter lost her beloved bunny when she was a toddler. It was accidentally left in the Walmart shopping cart when we had to leave the store without buying anything, because the line up was too long and my son was due home soon. Whoever found the cart abandoned in the clothing department never handed it into lost and found. :(


    Santa bought her a replacement a year later (when he found it in a store). She's almost nine and still has the bunny. :)

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  60. Happy Blogiversary! My what have you have created in those two short years.

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  61. Thank you so much, Lauri! :) But it's really because of all you lovely followers who come and make it fun :)

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  62. Aren't they beautiful, Stina? You could make Tracy's day by ordering some as a gift for someone. And Tracy is a Canadian too - so fewer postage issues :) What a sad/sweet story about your daughter's bunny! When we were kids my brother through my sister's stuffed dog out the car window on a steep winding road out west somewhere - never got that one back! And, hmm..., 40 odd years later she hasn't forgiven him for that! :)

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  63. Thanks so much, Rhythm! I thought you would like this book. You might also like Kim Lewis's other books. One is called FLOSS and is all about a dog :)

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