Book Review: Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

dragon slippers

This book was a hit!

Kid read the whole book in an afternoon, and was completely absorbed.

Kid: “It was awesome! The beginning was OK, but when the girl met the dragon, things picked up tremendously. In this book, a girl named Creel was sent to a dragon by her aunt in hopes to have a knight rescue her, and save her family from poverty. Creel bargained with the dragon hoping to get gold, but instead got a pair of slippers. She goes off to look for her own money in the king’s city by doing embroidery, and finds out the slippers are actually quite special.”

rating: 8/10

Pileated Woodpecker

On our walk home, we spotted this beautiful woodpecker. This was the closest we have ever gotten to one, so we watched him hunt insects for quite awhile. It was amazing how far he swung his head back and forth.. It was comical.

Afterwards, we came home and read about them. We liked this informative page, it is clear and outlines everything easily.

And this is a much better video we found online where you can actually see the grubs this woodpecker is eating.

Sharing mundane tasks with children can help them to find joy in such things.

I am a big advocate of finding ways to not be a nag, and getting children to do their cleaning duties has been a big fail in succeeding with this task. Recently I noticed my youngest son working harder and faster to clean if I am helping him and chatting with him. Could it be that easy? Maybe it is variant depending on the child, but if I offer to help Kid clean his room if he helps me with the kitchen, he happily accepts. Not only that, but he works hard. A couple of times he would stand around and talk while I cleaned, but after a little reminder of our deal, he would work diligently again.

This experience made me think about the time I lived with room-mates in my early twenties. Whenever I had to do a mundane task such as organizing my (usually messy) room, I would ask one of them to come in and sit on my bed and keep me company. We would talk and the chore would be far less painful. Sometimes I would invite my musician friends to come over and play for me while I cleaned, and I would feed them dinner and make them tea. Either way, it was worth it to have company during such a task.

These days, a few moments alone to clean my room is a pleasure. I had forgotten the way I used to be. Seeing Kid’s response to family cleaning together reminded me of those fond memories of making cleaning a social event. Our house is now much cleaner, and we have more time to talk one-on-one.

llew clean room

Kid always enjoys being in his room more when it is tidy, but struggles with understanding the organization  part. I enjoy this time with him, and take pleasure in the fact that I am teaching him a worthwhile lesson. I have known plenty of hoarding, messy adults to know that organization is not a common skill. Why not do it at an early age and get the habits formed? Someday I know he won’t need me to help him, maybe he won’t even want me to. And when he leaves home, maybe he will ask his mates to come over and lend him some company too.



While camping, we came across these interesting shapes in the rocks. They were everywhere. “Fossils! Trilobites!”, Kid shouted as he ran around pointing at them all.  During campfire, he taught me how they used to be very deep on the bottom of the lake. I couldn’t believe that some of these are from millions of years ago, and that our landscape has changed so much that we can now walk along the rocks at the lakefront and find such beautiful relics.

“Check out the horseshoe crab when we get home,” he said “and then you can see how they haven’t changed much at all over the years!”

Three paintings

There is a little gallery in the town nearby that does art lessons for kids. I love the way this particular art teacher guides them step by step, but encourages them to find their own style.

These three paintings are what Kid has brought home from the last few classes. bird in tree kid painting

Cardinal in Tree


water reflections at sunset kid

Water Reflections at Sunset


forest kid painting

Three Trees

Dragon Breath by Ursula Vernon


This book was a hit with Kid. He read it and then went out and got the next one from the library very enthusiastically. He likes how every page or two there is a drawn picture. Though he has tolerated the books without the pictures, he does much prefer the ones with some visuals. Kid says this book is very surreal and fun with lots of adventures.