30 Second Book Review: The Witches Graphic Novel

If you know me, you know that Roald Dahl is one of my very favorite authors. You’ll also know that I LOVE graphic novels. When I heard that Witches was going to be adapted to graphic novel format, I just may have squealed with delight.

French illustrator, Pénélope Bagieu’s adaptation was published in September 2020. See my 30 second book review for my thoughts on her book.

Coincidentally in October 2020, HBO Max released a The Witches remake of the original 1990 film. It stars Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci and Anne Hathaway as the Grand High Witch. Although I didn’t hate it, I recommend watching the original if you prefer a movie that actually follows the the author’s original story. Besides, Angelica Houston makes a much more believable Grand High Witch.

Keep reading!

Butterbeer Showdown

Icelandic Harry PotterIMG_0775IMG_4931IMG_0810IMG_5187


This year for Spring Break, the Wilson Family is going to Florida to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  I couldn’t be more excited.  In addition to rereading the books, I have been thinking of other ways to get the kids excited.

IMG_0928This week, we’re having a butterbeer showdown.    For those of you that are not Potter Heads, butterbeer is a popular creamy butterscotch flavored drink that Hogwarts students often partake in at the Three Broomsticks on their weekend visits to Hogsmeade.  Authentic butterbeer can only be purchased at two locations in the muggle world: the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London (where the Harry Potter films were made) and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando.  We were able to visit WB Studios during the summer of 2013 and I remember that the butterbeer was absolutely heavenly.  What better way to prepare for our Spring Break trip than to attempt to recreate the deliciousness of butterbeer?

I started out by finding two recipes on Pinterest.

AP ButterbeerThe first (“Associated Press Butterbeer”) had a lot of ingredients and involved a bit of cooking.  We combined 1 cup brown sugar with 2 tablespoons water and brought it to a boil.  After reaching 240 degrees, we added 6 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup whipping cream and 1/2 teaspoon salt. After the sugar mixture cooled, we added 1/2 tsp rum flavoring.  For the topping, we whipped some cream and added 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture.  The result was a delicious rum flavored whipped cream.  The final step was to mix cream soda with 1/4 of the sugar mixture. O.M.G.  Can you say SWEET?  Yikes.  I could eat the whipped cream all day, but the butterbeer nearly made all of my teeth fall out.

IMG_0933The second recipe was much simpler.  We heated 1/4 cup butterscotch ice cream topping with 1 tablespoon butter in the microwave.  We added this mixture to 1 cup of club soda and stirred vigorously.  Although the recipe did not call for it, I couldn’t resist adding a few dollops of the leftover rum whipped cream.  This recipe seemed to watery.  If I had it to do over, I would have used cream soda.

The verdict:  Recipe #2 (made with cream soda) is the closer of the two recipes.

Stay tuned.  After we drink gallons of butterbeer during Spring Break, we will revisit these recipes and possibly add some others to help YOU create this delicious wizard concoction.

Until then… Have a magical Spring Break!





Coming Soon to the EPO Library…

IMG_9693It’s been awhile since my last post, but I haven’t forgotten about all of you.

In August, I accepted a position as the librarian at East Port Orchard Elementary School.  Since then, I have spent countless hours refreshing the library for my more than 500 students and haven’t found the time to blog… until now.  Actually, this is a celebratory post marking my survival of the first full week of school!  Yea!!

Knowing about how educational funding is tight (or non-existent) my very generous mother donated money to my school to devote to the school library.  I am delighted to say that her money has gone a long way.  We have a beautiful new solar system rug for story-time, some beanbag chairs for comfy reading, a lovely new spinning paperback stand and some colorful posters for the walls.  Additionally, I couldn’t resist buying some of my favorite books from the UK: the Horrible Histories, Horrible Science, Horrible Geography and Murderous Maths series.  I can’t wait to get them processed and circulating among my inquisitive readers!!

Take a look at the flip-o-gram I put together to display the new titles!

Thanks, mom!

(Now go get reading!)

Our Summer Project

ReadersFor Easter, Kai asked the Easter Bunny for her own YouTube channel.  She enjoys watching toy review videos and wanted to start creating some of her own.  I was a bit skeptical about having her create her own videos, so I tried to come up with a way that I could be involved in the process.  I suggested to her that we create videos together for a blog that Kai, Kiki and I could share.  Getting it started has become our summer project.

Our blog, Follow the Readers Book Club will post written and video book, app and movie reviews.  We have our blog and Facebook group set up and plan on posting some reviews soon.  At this time, we’re asking that you like and share our Facebook page (click to get to page) or start following us at our website: followthereaders.com

The girls will be sharing some of their favorite things and I’ll add some reviews on young adult and adult books, apps and movies.

Stay tuned.  We can’t wait to share what we’re reading, watching and playing this summer!