Book Reviews – a few children’s books



Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Rating: 5/5

Another amazing children’s book! Julián is a little boy who wants to dress up like the beautiful women he sees on the train. His abuela is shocked but helps him transform into a stunning mermaid. A feel-good story about difference.

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Book Review- 180 DAYS: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents

180 Days

180 DAYS: Two Teachers and the Quest to Engage and Empower Adolescents

by Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle

Rating: 4/5

From the publisher: “180 Days represents the collaboration of two master teachers-Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle-over an entire school year: planning, teaching, and reflecting within their own and each other’s classrooms in California and New Hampshire. Inspired by a teacher’s question, “How do you fit it all in?” they identified and prioritized the daily, essential, belief-based practices that are worth spending time on. They asked, ‘Who will these students be as readers and writers after a year under our care?'”

180 Days tracks Kittle & Gallagher’s thinking across the course of a school year, from planning, to execution, to reflection. I appreciated the way they made their thinking visible and offered ideas for why thinks worked, or didn’t.
In 180 Days, Kittle & Gallagher argue that daily reading and writing practice leads to stronger students. They achieve this by having 10 minutes dedicated to reading at the beginning of each class day, 10 minutes of daily notebook writing, a short mini lesson and then time to create for the rest of the period.
My main criticism of the book is that it relies very heavily on independent student choice, of text and assignments. For a lot of us working in education, that simply isn’t the reality.
My biggest takeaways were:

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Christmas in July

Since I wasn’t blogging last Christmas, I wanted to share the first of my two Christmas dresses! This was made with stretch velvet from Cali Fabrics and the post below was originally published on the Cali Fabrics blog.

It’s always hard to find a good dress for the holidays. You want it to be stylish, but not too avant garde. Comfortable but not frumpy.

This year I took matters into my own hands and made the best holiday dress ever. Okay, so maybe it’s not the best ever but I still think it is pretty darn great.


I used Vogue 9253 – a kimono sleeve dress with a deep V-neck. It has two options for length, maxi and midi. The pattern also features a tie sash.

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Sometimes I like to be Khaleesi

I am Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.


October 2017 was the first time that I’ve sewn my own Halloween costume and I have to say, I’m hooked!

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Two (more) Lodo Dresses

A very short post today!


After I made my first Lodo dress, I just couldn’t stop! I needed at least two more…..

Here is one made of heavy weight knit from Stylemaker Fabrics.


I love that this one is so easy to wear with so many colors. I can pair it with nude, brown, black or maroon — a real help in winter when I need to wear a big cardigan or boots!

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