“The Insomniacs” by Karina Wolf


This book recommendation is for my always traveling and always jet lagged husband, and for anybody who has ever had trouble getting on schedule in a different time zone.

Everything changed for the Insomniac family when Mrs. Insomniac took a job across the time zones. Adjusting to a life on another continent wasn’t easy. When it was time to work and study, the Insomniacs wanted to sleep. When everybody else slept, the Insomniacs were ready for action. They tried everything, from drinking milk, meditating to counting to a thousand, but nothing helped.  Finally, the Insomniacs got tired of fighting off their nocturnal habit and decided to embrace it. As they started exploring the night world, they noticed that the night was teeming with life and exciting things to do. From moon bathing, to eating nightshade vegetables, the Insomniacs discovered that perhaps waking up after sunset might suit them after all. One can always study and work remotely. 

What a wonderful celebration of the night! I guess, one can expect nothing less than a great nocturnal story, if the author’s last name is Wolf, right? I think it is the first book about night that is not sleepy or dreamy. It is energizing, actually.  Is it the lunar energy perspiring through the book? And then one must not forget the grotesque pictures by The Brothers Hilts: so dark and mysterious.  Who would think it was the artists’ picture book debut?

To sum up, if you and your little ones should be sleeping now, hope you are having good dreams. But if you are not, because you can’t, stop wasting your energy on tossing and turning. Follow the Insomniacs. Use the energy of the moon. Discover a night owl in you. Have a good night!

“The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!’ by Mo Willems

I always knew that the gift or reading would open a totally new world for my son, I just didn’t know it would be the world of … fast food.

The other day, as we were driving by (note: not driving thru) a house of Big Mac & Co, my six-year-old suddenly asked. “Mommy, when can we go to this M [si:] Donald’s restaurant?” As a language purist I was ready to correct him, but the food purist in me had won and I just beamed with pride. Viva ignorance! As long as it lasts. I know that no later than in high school, he will learn more the pronunciation of junk food.

His interest in the snazzy billboard content and his questions about the fast food menu (“Are tacos  from Taco Bell are as good as yours?”)  made me think about the curious little Duckling from “The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!”

Pigeon finds a hot dog. He just can’t wait to eat it, but here comes a curious duckling with never-ending questions about the treat in the bun… “Would you say that it tastes like chicken?”  Will Pigeon get to enjoy his hot dog? Will the clever duckling finally taste the hot dog?

Just like other books from the Pigeon series, “The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!” will make you giggle on every page. The pictures and dialogues entertain every time you read this book. And you do want to read it over and over again.

By the way, unlike the duckling, my son prefers his hot dogs with ketchup. And unlike the Pigeon, I am not going to let my little duckling outsmart me. We will keep driving by, not driving thru.

“Tickle Monster” by Jossie Bissett

Yes, I know, I said I wouldn’t be writing for a while. And I meant it. Yet somehow, as soon as I verbalized my frustration,  I felt some overpowering need to challenge myself. I am not a person who gives up. I am not a person who can’t. Where there is a will, there is a way, after all. And so, I’ve  magically been finding both an inspiration and a way to fit my blog into my days again.IMG_0889

The book I’d like to recommend today is meant to both entertain you and tire you out. From wiggling and giggling.

A monster that is not scary? That can only be a Tickle Monster from Planet Tickle. Tickling is his greatest talent and when he visits you, no part of your body is safe. From your “adorable footsie” to “boney knee” and “little tum-tum”, Tickle Monster won’t stop tickling you until he is exhausted from fun and laughter.  There will be only one thing left to do before he leaves…

In order to find out what it is, you need to read this hilarious story, filled with amusingly inventive expressions and so brightly and whimsically illustrated by Kevan J. Atteberry.

Reading and writing about monsters reminded me of a bedtime conversation I had with my son (2.5 y/o) the other night.

Konrad: “Mommy, I want more milk.”

Me: “You’ve had enough milk. It’s time to sleep.

Konrad: “I want more.”

Me, trying to be clever: “I can’t bring you milk. There are monsters in the kitchen.”

Konrad, after a bit of thinking: “There are no monsters there. Monsters are only on TV.”

Me, feeling guilty for adding to my son’s nightmares: “You’re right. Monsters are only on TV.”

Konrad: “Go bring the milk then!”


“How To Cheer Up Dad” by Fred Koehler


A little tribute to Dads and a great gift of read-together for Father’s Day and every day!

Little Jumbo’s dad’s day wasn’t up for a good start.  First it was the raisins rain that threw him off,  then a fight over a bath and brown overalls. Little Jumbo suggested a time-out for dad. Well, it was Jumbo who got one instead. He decided to think of a way to cheer his dad up. Between a trip to the park and ice-cream store, fishing and reading books, dad’s mood’s improved indeed. Thanks goodness Little Jumbo knows how to cheer up his dad, because a cape cut out of the curtain won’t do the trick…

Enjoy the story and have a great Father’s Day!

More inspired thoughts….

In 2006  Katie Melua released her album, “Piece by Piece”.

IN 2007 I left Europe for America and I wrote this:

Piece by Piece

I’m selling my past

on ebay

for a bunch of cheapy Euro tears….

Box by Box

I’m shipping my past

on a boat

sacred secrets of my Euro years…

Trash or art?

Like murky Van Gogh

and snazzy Matisse

in one frame agony and bliss

painted by moments

selected by

the only witness

  of my sin-nocent story

my memory…

There will be new cars in the life to start

There will not be Me-at-42 Louizastraat

Inspired by an inspiring quote… Have a great day!

As read on Twitter…

“I didn’t understand that if I stopped trying to recapture the past, there might be a future waiting for me.” THE BOOK OF UNKNOWN AMERICANS

As I wrote in my poem…

In the Presence of the Present

No time for the Past

High time for



Emotions opened the door

To tears

And incoherent hush.

I hugged my Past

And finally it felt

So wrong…

Guilty but free

I locked the door behind.

In the presence of the Present

The Past is in the past,

And nothing compares to the future.