My husband and I believe very strongly in taking full advantage of Chik-fil-A’s Cow Appreciation Day, so on Tuesday we dressed up as cows–twice–in order to obtain free chicken.


Go big or go home.

We enjoy costume themes, so this year we were city cow and country cow (Aristocattle and Cowntry Bumpkin, specifically) for lunch.

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And high society cows for dinner. I particularly enjoy the disparity in facial expressions in this one.

These two bovines are headed to Boston next week (my husband has a week-long teacher development thing at Harvard, and I’m joining him for a few days), so with any luck I will have further adventures to relate after that.

In the meantime, here’s my review of Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s new book, A Branch of Silver, a Branch of Gold:

I  am in love with Stengl’s characterization. While there were many aspects of this book that I savored (it’s certainly the best retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses that I’ve ever read), the characters were my favorite part. Heloise is brilliant, and the interactions between all of the characters are incredibly lifelike. The contradictory nature of the love-hate bond between the sisters was spot-on, and even the character who initially seemed relatively bland (Evette) turned out to be multi-faceted and intriguing. I confess, as a result of my love for the characters and their interactions, I preferred the parts of the book that dealt more with the character development/Near World and less of the sections that dealt more with allegory/Faerie. As with Golden Daughter, there were a few parts that felt wordy to me–I liked the more pared-down prose of Starflower or Dragonwitch–but my affection for the characters easily carried me through the slower parts. I ate this door-stopper book right up in just a couple days and couldn’t put it down!

Speaking of books, there are a couple days left on the giveaway for The Battle of Castle Nebula, so don’t forget to sign up!