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You're Only Old Once! Dr. Seuss. 1986. Random House. 56 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: One day you will read in the National Geographic of a faraway land with no smelly bad traffic.
Premise/plot: An old man is "stuck" worrying at the doctor's office--or hospital--as various tests and procedures are done for his check up.
My thoughts: You're Only Old Once is definitely a picture book for older readers. Perhaps mainly adult readers. It is clever, in places, and overall I think it's a book worth reading. One example of the cleverness is the eye test or the "eyesight and solvency test" which reads:
HAVE YOU ANY IDEA HOW MUCH MONEY THESE TESTS ARE COSTING YOU?
Here's another favorite part:
Dietician Von Eiffel controls the Wuff-Whiffer, our Diet-Devising Computerized Sniffer, on which you just simply lie down in repose and sniff at good food as it goes past your nose....And when that guy finds out what you like, you can bet it won't be on your diet. From here on, forget it!
Have you read You're Only Old Once! Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is I Am Not Going To Get Up Today.
The Butter Battle Book. Dr. Seuss. 1984. Random House. 42 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: On the last day of summer, ten hours before fall...my grandfather took me out to the Wall.
Premise: Readers learn about Yooks, the "good" guys who eat their toast butter side up, and the Zooks, the "bad" guys who eat their toast butter side down. The book is a dialogue between a grandfather and grandson. The grandfather is essentially explaining the war--and the wall--to his young grandson. It ends on uncertain terms.
My thoughts: The Butter Battle book is a great example of a picture book for older readers. It is one of the books my seventh grade English teacher read aloud. I also remember her reading What Was I Scared Of? aloud to us! The Butter Battle Book is NOT anything like The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham. This isn't a happy-cozy story to read to preschoolers. There's nothing funny or amusing about war about escalating hostilities between two countries. The subject is serious, and, it's well-treated, in my opinion.
Have you read The Butter Battle Book? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is You're Only Old Once.
The New York Times reports that a space has been leased on North Michigan Avenue. The opening will take place in early 2017. The team behind this venture plan to install themed galleries, organize interactive exhibitions, host education programs, and put on special events.
Here’s more from the press release: “Showcasing the personal stories and literary works of diverse American writers, from Mark Twain to Dr. Seuss, the interactive, high-tech museum is expected to draw up to 120,000 visitors annually. The museum’s esteemed curating team and National Advisory Council are working closely with internationally renowned museum and exhibit companies in the museum’s development. AWM is also collaborating with 50 authors’ homes and museums around the U.S. – now AWM Affiliates – that will support its mission with author-specific knowledge and expertise and foster an exchange of ideas and experiences.”
Hunches in Bunches. Dr. Seuss. 1982. Random House. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: Do you ever sit and fidget when you don't know what to do...? Everybody gets the fidgets. Even me and even you.
Premise/plot: A young boy has a terrible time deciding how to spend his time that day. Readers meet dozens of creatures called hunches. One hunch, for example, might be telling him to PLAY OUTSIDE while another hunch is telling him he should do his homework, while yet another hunch is telling him to go to the bathroom. Every few minutes readers meet ANOTHER hunch with another suggestion of what James should be or could be doing with his time.
My thoughts: I like the idea of this one better than the actual book. Some days are like that, in my opinion. And the book is easy to relate to in a few places. (Like the nowhere hunch who has him walking in circles.) But overall, it wasn't a satisfying, enjoyable read. I liked it okay. But it didn't wow me.
Have you read Hunches in Bunches? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is The Butter Battle Book.
The Tooth Book. Dr. Seuss. Illustrated by Joe Mathieu. 1981. Random House. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: Who has teeth? Well...look around and you'll find out who.
Premise/plot: Readers learn a few things about teeth. Most of the facts that you'd expect are towards the end of the book. (Having two sets of teeth, taking care of your teeth, going to the dentist, etc.) The first half is just pure silliness.
My thoughts: I didn't expect much, and I didn't get much. It lived up to my expectations perfectly.
Have you read The Tooth Book? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is Hunches in Bunches.
Cathy Goldsmith has been named president and publisher of the Beginner Books line and the Dr. Seuss publishing program at Random House. She will report to publishing director Mallory Loehr.
Goldsmith has been with the company for nearly four decades. Prior to this appointment, she served as the vice president, associate publishing director, and art director of the Golden Books and Doubleday Young Readers imprints.
Here’s more from the press release: “Cathy follows the path forged by Theodor Seuss Geisel (a.k.a Dr. Seuss) himself, who was President of Beginner Books at Random House from 1957 until his death in 1991. Cathy fondly recalls the days when Ted, as everyone called him, would hand-deliver his completed books to the Random House office and read them aloud to staff gathered together in a conference room.”
Oh Say Can You Say. Dr. Seuss. 1979. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: Said a book-reading parrot named Hooey, "The words in this book are all phooey. When you say them, your lips will make slips and back flips and your tongue may end up in saint Looey!"
Premise/plot: A book of silly tongue-twisters.
My thoughts: Not nearly as fun as Fox in Socks. Though I did like the one about bed spreaders and bread spreaders. Also the ones focused on Christmas like "Merry Christmas Mush" and "But Never Give Your Daddy a Walrus." Here's how the Merry Christmas Mush one goes: "One year we had a Christmas brunch with Merry Christmas Mush to munch. But I don't think you'd care for such. We didn't like to munch mush much." So I liked it, but, didn't really, really like it.
Have you read Oh Say Can You Say? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is The Tooth Book.
I Can Read With My Eyes Shut. Dr. Seuss. 1978. Random House. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: I can read in red. I can read in blue. I can read in pickle color too.
Premise/plot: The Cat in the Hat is back in Dr. Seuss' I Can Read With My Eyes Shut. In this one, he's showing off--classic Cat style--about how great a reader he is.
My thoughts: I enjoy this one very much. I do agree that "you have to be a speedy reader 'cause there's so, so much to read." With such fun and silly phrases as: "You can read about anchors. And all about ants. You can read about ankles! And crocodile pants!" this one is just a delight.
Have you read I Can Read With My Eyes Shut? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is Oh Say Can You Say?
Would You Rather Be A Bullfrog? Theo LeSieg (Dr. Seuss). Illustrated by Roy McKie. 1975. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: Tell me! Would you rather be a Dog...or be a Cat? It's time for you to think about important things like that.
Premise/plot: The narrator asks readers a long series of questions. All questions are silly--or at the very least playful--but some are sillier than others. Some questions are about which animal you'd rather be. Others are about inanimate objects like...would you rather be a ball or a bat OR would you rather be a door or window.
My thoughts: First time reading this one. Honestly I'm not sure I have a decided opinion on it. I certainly liked it better than I thought I would. But I had low expectations in mind. I wasn't expecting it to be a great find, something I'd been "missing" in my life. It was fun in its way. And I think I liked it well enough. Perhaps it will help me remember the difference between rather and whether.
Have you read Would You Rather Be A Bullfrog? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
Please Try to Remember the First of Octember. Theo LeSieg (Dr. Seuss). Illustrated by Art Cumings. 1977. Random House. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: Everyone wants a big green kangaroo. Maybe, perhaps, you would like to have TWO. I want you to have them. I'll buy them for you... if you'll wait till the first of Octember.
Premise/plot: All your dreams and wishes will come true...on the first of Octember. "You'll get all that you want. You just write out your list. Everyone has an Octember First list. Write slowly now! Don't break your wrist.
My thoughts: Dare I admit I want to write an Octember First list?!?! I had low expectations for this one. I didn't think it would be much of a book. But I really ended up liking it. If you haven't read it yet, you should!
Have you read Please Try to Remember The First of Octember!? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is I Can Read With My Eyes Shut.
It only takes a couple of beautiful autumn days and the holiday season suddenly feel so much closer. Readers are not wasting time getting into the holiday spirit: this month, our best selling picture book from our affiliate store is the delightful rendition of E.T.A. Hoffmann's Nutcracker, illustrated by Maurice Sendak.
Because A Little Bug Went Ka-Choo! (Rosetta Stone) Dr. Seuss. Illustrated by Michael Frith. 1975. Random House. 64 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: You may not believe it, but here's how it happened. One fine summer morning...a little bug sneezed. Because of that sneeze, a little seed dropped. Because that seed dropped, a worm got hit.
Premise/plot: You never know what may happen with one little sneeze! Cause and effect have never been so much fun as in Seuss's Because A Little Bug Went Ka-Choo!
My thoughts: I love, love, love, LOVE this one. I do. It's always been one of my most favorites. It's just so funny. And I think it's one that just begs to be read again and again and again. Do you have a favorite scene?
Have you read Because A Little Bug Went Ka-Choo! Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is Hooper Humperdink...? Not Him!
Oh, The Thinks You Can Think. Dr. Seuss. 1975. Random House. 41 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: You can think up some birds. That's what you can do. You can think about yellow or think about blue...
Premise/plot: The narrator encourages the reader to THINK and to imagine. My favorite: "You can think about SCHLOPP. Schlopp. Schlopp. Beautiful scholopp. Beautiful schlopp with a cherry on top."
My thoughts: I liked this one fine. Of course, it has lots of silly rhyming. And the whole book is whimsical. And for those readers who can't get enough of Dr. Seuss, this one is worthy of reading. But. Is it a favorite of mine personally? Probably not. But it is good fun all the same.
Have you read Oh, The Thinks You Can Think? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is Because A Little Bug Went Ka-choo!
Wacky Wednesday. Dr. Seuss (Theo LeSieg). Illustrated by George Booth. 1974. Random House. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: It all began with that shoe on the wall.
Premise/plot: A young boy wakes up to an increasingly wacky world. The text reveals how many "wacky" things are on the page. Readers can try to spot them all if they like.
My thoughts: Very weird. Can't say that I really "liked" it. But I can see it appealing to a certain kind of reader. The focus is on finding the details in the illustrations. If you rush through the text without taking the time to examine each page closely and counting them up for yourself, it's a very dull read.
Have you read Wacky Wednesday? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is Oh the Thinks You Can Think.
Great Day for Up. Dr. Seuss. Illustrated by Quentin Blake. 1974. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: Up! Up! The sun is getting up. The sun gets up. So UP with you!
Premise/plot: Do you like getting up in the morning? The book is gentle prompting to do just that. "Up" being the prominent word of the entire book. But does the narrator himself end up getting out of bed? Read and see for yourself!
My thoughts: I liked the "twist" ending. I did. Overall, I liked this one fine. I didn't love, love, love it. But it's certainly an entertaining enough read.
Have you read Great Day for UP! Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is Wacky Wednesday!
There's a Wocket in my Pocket! Dr. Seuss. 1974. Random House. 30 pages. [Source: Review copy]
First sentence: Did you ever have the feeling there's a wasket in your basket?
Premise/plot: The narrator starts out asking a series of very silly questions. There's no doubt there's more silliness than actual plot to this one. Readers "meet" lots of fanciful creatures in, on, behind, up, and under common household objects in a special sort of house. The narrator warns: some are friendly; some are not.
My thoughts: I like this one. I do. It's one I definitely remember from childhood. And it's one I recommend parents read to their children. It's just a lot of silliness!
Have you read There's a Wocket in My Pocket! Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is Great Day for Up!
Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! Dr. Seuss. 1971. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: The time has come. The time has come. The time is now. Just go. Go. GO! I don't care how. You can go by foot. You can go by cow. Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now!
Premise/plot: The narrator REALLY, REALLY, wants Marvin K. Mooney to GO. But will Marvin K. Mooney be so obliging?
My thoughts: I liked it. It is definitely one of the catchier Seuss books. (Though not as fun or as silly as say Fox in Socks or Green Eggs and Ham. Still. There's something pleasant about it.) It's just FUN to say phrases like "You can go by foot. You can go by cow. Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now!" It just is.
Have you read Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is In A People House.
Tales of wonder usually have happy endings. They may have danger and darkness, forbidden places and strange creatures, witches and cruel magic...but wonder tales -- fairy tales -- do have happy endings...with very few exceptions. The journey may be fearsome, but salvation and awakenings occur in the end...and these stories endure forever.
Beauty, Horror, and Ignition Power...
Enchanted Hunters, The Power of Stories in Childhood by Maria Tatar, takes the reader on a wonderful journey through children's literature.
In the chapter entitled, Beauty , Horror and Ignition Power, she writes about the effect of wonder tales on the imagination of children, including the balance between the dark side and positive endings. Here are excerpts..."We rarely worry about the effects of beauty, but horror is another matter...with an allure all its own, horrorhas the power to frighten as well as to fascinate...how much do we want children to find in their stories and how soon?..."
Tatar then illustrates the idea of too much horror with "Hans Christian Anderson's'The Girl Who Trod On The Loaf', a tale that revels in torturing Inger, the 'girl' in the title." Tatar then writes, by contrast. of three classic tales where all ends well.
"By contrast,'Little Red Riding Hood', 'Hansel and Gretel', and 'Snow White' begin with the child as victim, but they end with the triumph of the underdog and the punishment of the villain. 'Children know something they can't tell; they like Red Riding Hood and the wolf in bed' Djuna Barnes once declared. Fairy tales and fantasy enact perils and display horrors, but they always show a way out, allowing children to explore great existential mysteries that are far more disturbing when they remain abstract and uncharted rather than take the concrete form of the story."
The illustration of Little Red Riding Hood is by Hermann Vogel.
The Defining Dynamic of the Fairytale
Amanda Craig,is an acclaimed British novelist, journalist, and children's book reviewer. The following excerpt is from her insightful review of Marina Warner's "OnceUpon A Time, A Short History of the Fairy Tale", in the Guardian
"One of the most interesting aspects of reworking fairytales is that it tends to be practised by idealists and reformers, whether devout Christians, such as CS Lewis, or socialists, such as JK Rowling. The defining dynamic of the fairy tale is optimism (as opposed to the tragic tendencies of the myth), but this has encouraged bowdlerisations from the dark and gruesome aspects of many originals – Dickens hated the way the illustrator George Cruikshank softened stories, the brothers Grimm tinkered to “excuse the men and blame the women”, and the ambiguity of the fairytale led to them being twisted into Nazi propaganda, with Little Red Riding Hood being saved from a Semitic wolf.
Happily, they have also been transmuted by modern feminism: Neil Gaiman’s striking novella, The Sleeper and the Spindle... conflates and subverts Snow White and Sleeping Beauty into a tale of female courage and choice..." Read it all in the Guardian
The illustration from Tom Thumb is by Warwick Goble.
Where the Light is Golden...
“October knew, of course, that the action of turning a page, of ending a chapter or of shutting a book, did not end a tale. Having admitted that, he would also avow that happy endings were never difficult to find: "It is simply a matter," he explained to April, "of finding a sunny place in a garden, where the light is golden and the grass is soft; somewhere to rest, to stop reading, and to be content.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Sandman, Vol. 4: Season of Mists
The Humane Society of Missouri helps more than 85,000 homeless, abused and unwanted animals each year. Here is their mission statement:
"Since 1870, the Humane Society of Missouri has been dedicated to second chances. We provide a safe and caring haven to all animals in need - large and small - that have been abused, neglected or abandoned. Our mission is to end the cycle of abuse and petoverpopulation through our rescue and investigation efforts, spay/neuter programs and educational classes. We are committed to creating lasting relationships between people and animals through our adoption programs. We further support that bond by making available world-class veterinary care, and outstanding pet obedience and behavior programs..."
"Wulff`s heartwarming storiesabout a household of misfit dogs, reminds me that family can include the four-legged variety, as well as the two-legged. Her simple affirmation that "My dogs are not perfect.... but they are perfect for me," guides the telling of these gentle stories. For dog lovers everywhere."
If you have not yet read "Born Without a Tail: the Making of an Animal Advocate" or "Circling the Waggins: How 5 Misfit Dogs Saved Me from Bewilderness", this mini ebook is the perfect introduction to the world of C.A.Wulff."Parade of Misfits" is only available in digital format.
C.A. Wulffis an author, artist, and animal advocate. She has volunteered in animal rescue for more than 26 years and attributes her love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs.
Dr. Seuss’ ‘What Pet Should I Get?’
By MARIA RUSSO,in the NY Times. MS Russo writes an appreciation of the incredible Theodore Seuss Geisel, his wonderful books, and the new-found book, What PetShould I Get? Here's an excerpt...
"First, though, the book itself: It features a round-faced brother and sister — his close- cropped hair is bristly on top, she has a long, wispy ponytail — who enter a pet store excited about the prospect of taking a new animal home. 'Dad said we could get one./ Dad said he would pay,' the boy exclaims. Inside, they confront a head-spinning lineup of choices. Also, they don’t have much time — their mother has told them to be home by noon. A few pages into their predicament and again toward the end, the words MAKE UP YOUR MIND charge across the top of a two-page spread, each held aloft by a different invented Seussian creature — floppy-limbed, scruffy-coated, oddly proportioned, jubilantly weird. On one of those pages, the boy sums up the book’s central point in a deceptively innocent lament: 'Oh, boy! It is something to make a mind up!' ”
Here's a link to a delightful and informative Dr.Seuss Today Show report on the new book, Theodore Geisel, his widow, his personal assistant, and his publisher.
"To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks."
“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”
“We'll be Friends Forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet. Even longer,' Pooh answered.”
“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
The illustration is by Earnest Shepard. ...................
Rescuing Wonderful Shivery Tales
This is the title of Marina Warner's excellent and inclusive article in theNY Review of Books . Warner writes about contributions to the world of wonder tales and children's literature by Jack Zipes, Philip Pullman, Peter Wortman, and Maria Tatar. In the case of Tatar, she concentrates on her work in introducing, translating, and annotating the Turnip Princess, the tales collected by Franz Xaver von Schonwerth.
Here are excerpts from this informed and insightful article:
"Jack Zipes has long been a staunch advocate of fairy tales and their proper study since his book Breaking the Magic Spell (1979) issued a devastating blast against the wishful thinking of mass entertainment and shook the staid and soporific scene of folklore studies. To interpret the tales he has combined Marxism, feminism, cultural materialism, and even—for a short period—evolutionary biology. He has stirred readers with a similar passion for his material, while attacking the use of literary fantasy in movies and television to camouflage moral manipulation. Writers whom he admires—Jane Yolen, Terri Windling, and above all Angela Carter—and the films informed by their work have supplied countermodels to the sins of the dream factory.
In the epilogue of the new critical collection, Grimm Legacies, Zipes, drawing on the work of the philosopher Ernst Bloch, once again argues that fairy tales are best understood as utopian thought experiments. When the peasant crushes the ogre, the poor lad finds justice; persecuted by malicious relatives, the kind sister gets her due, the courageous girl saves her beloved siblings or lover...
Zipes is on a lifelong mission, as ardent as the Grimms’, to bring fairy tales into circulation for the general increase of pleasure, mutual and ethical understanding..."
The illustrations for the Grimm's Hansel and Gretel and King Thrushbeard are by Arthur Rackham.
FOR YOUNG FANTASY AND ANIMAL LOVERS EVERYWHERE
By Don Blankenship, educator and reviewer forGood Books for Kids . This is an excerpt from his review of Castle In The Mist...
"This is the second book in the Planet of the Dogs series and I must say I enjoyed it, cover to cover. This work can be read as a sequel to Planet of the Dogs, an ideal situation, but can also be read as a stand-alone with no loss to the flow of the story. This read is suitable for children of approximately eight years and up as a reader, or can well be read to children much younger. Adults will love this one also; I know I did, but then I have my fare share of kid still in me...
The art work by Stella Mustanoja McCarty is of the same high quality that we found in the first book in this series (and we find in the sequel to this book also), and is a delight to theeye. These are a series of black and white drawing, probably enhanced by the use of charcoal, which fit the text perfectly. When you bring a skilled artist and writer together that know children and know their dogs, then you know you are in for a treat."
Read sample chapters of Castle In The Mist at our website: Planet Of The Dogs. The photo, above, of the boy, Chase, and Rose, the therapy dog, are by Susan Purser. Susan and Rose bring hope and caring to many people, of all ages, from young readers to the ill and the aged.
We have free reader copies of the Planet of The Dogs book series for therapy dog organizations, individual therapy dog owners, librarians and teachers...simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the books.
Our books are available through your favorite independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell's and many more...Librarians, teachers, bookstores...You can also order Planet Of The Dogs, Castle In The Mist, and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, throughIngram with a full professional discount.
The illustration and book cover are by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty.
Pan In The Garden
"In many ways , modern children's literature remains an Edwardian phenomenon.This period defined the ways in which we still think of children's books and of the child's imagination. During it's few years, this age produced a canon of authors and works that are still powerfully influential in the field...Our default mode of childhood, if you like, remains that decade or so before the first World War; the time between the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, and the assassination at Sarajevo in 1914, the time when writers looked back over loss and could only barely anticipate the end of the old order"
In the chapter "Pan In the Garden",Seth Lerer, in his book, Children's Literature, A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter, writes of the impact of the Edwardian era on children's literature..."the years before the First World War in Britain and America were also years that socially and politically redefined childhood."
Children's books written in the Edwardian era are known, even today, by many children: The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett), Peter Pan (JM Barrie), The Wind In the Willows (Kenneth Grahame) and more.
The cover illustration is by Inga Moore.
"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." Albert Einstein
The illustration is from Miyazaki's Castle In The Sky.
Disney Got It Right in 2011-- After Previous Stumbles
According to Rotten Tomatoes, 90% of the critics (out of 127) liked the 2011 Disney production of Winnie the Pooh. Here is excerpt from the review by Michael DeQuina inMovie Report.
..."the writing team and directors Stephen J. Anderson and Don Hall make it work by never losing sight of the spirit of the characters, world, and Milne: imagination, innocence, and heaps of heart--best encapsulated by the bear's simple, moving gesture of friendship that so eloquently ties up the story, characters, themes and the enduring legacy that is Pooh."
Maine has an organization - EmBrace A Vet - that provides healing support with therapy service dogs. They also provide retreats for groups of vets and their families. This is from their site:
"Embrace A Vet is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing direct and supportive services to these Maine Veterans and their families living with PTSD and/or TBI. Besides helping to save the lives of our veterans by providing love and hope through a new canine 'best friend', we also save the lives of many of the dogs who we adopt from shelters."
Embrace A Vet is the recipient of a $5,000 grant for their Paws for Peace Program. This funding, from thePlanet Dog Foundation (PDF) will aid in the placement of 12 dogs with veterans in need,
Jessica Lahey,in the Motherlode section of the New York Times, wrote an excellent article on reading,literacy, and RIF. Here is an excerpt...
"Fortunately, Reading Is Fundemental (RIF), has been enriching children’s childhoods through thedistribution of free books since 1966, when the founder Margaret McNamara resolved to give books to the children of Washington, D.C., children who may not otherwise have the chance to own books. RIF delivered books into the hands of these children by way of their iconic Bookmobiles; magic vehicles of wonder that pulled right up to the schoolhouse door and invited children to select, and take home, books of their very own. In its first year, RIF gave 200,000 books to 41,000 Washington children, and by the time I stepped into my first Bookmobile in 1977, I was just one of 1.1 million children RIF served that year.
Literacy is a prime predictor of student success, as well as a range of economic and physical well-being. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly half of the adult population, or 93 million Americans, read at or below the basic level needed to contribute successfully to society. Adults below this basic level of literacy are far more likely to be unemployed and live in poverty, while individuals who achieve higher levels of literacy are more likely to be employed, earn higher wages, and vote in state and national elections"...
Here's a link to read it all: Motherlode
Go Ask Alice
AnthonyLane,in an effervescent New Yorkerarticle, wrote about Lewis Carrol, the Alice books, the world of nineteenth century Oxford,and several biographies in what Lane calls the Carrolllian maze. Here is an excerpt from this fascinating article... "Conversations about what is real, what is possible, and how rubbery the rules that govern such distinctions turn out to abound in the tales of Alice. Yet they are sold as children's books, and rightly so. A philosopher will ask how the identity of the self can be preserved amid the ceaseless flow of experience, but a child -- especially a child who is growing so fast that she suddenly fills the room -- will ask more urgently, as Alice does, "Was I the same as when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little a little different" Children, viewed from one angle, are philosophy in motion."
After I had prepared this post, I found that it was already posted by Maria Tatar on Breezes From Wonderland. Tatar has since added more about Alice including information about a new Annotated Alice by Mark Burstein and other news about 175 translations worldwide.
Here is a link to Grace Slick singing White Rabbit at Woodstock (August 1969)
The illustration of Alice is one of ninetytwo by John Tenniel for Lewis Carrol's books.
A Rose Is Not a Rose...
This excerpt is from a fascinating article by Marina Warner in the Guardian
"A fairytale doesn’t exist in a fixed form; it’s something like a tune that can migrate from a symphony to a penny whistle.
Or you can compare it to a plant genus, to roses or fungi or grasses, that can seed and root and flower here and there, changing species and colour and size and shape where they spring. But if the prevailing idea of an archetype gives too strong an impression of fixity, the picture-language of fairytale is fluid and shapeshifting: a rose is not a rose, an apple not an apple; a princess or a villain signify far more than what they seem. A dictionary of fairytale would look more like a rebus made up of icons: snow, crystal, apples, dark forests, pinnacled castles, mermaids, toads, giants, dragons, sprites, fair princesses, likely lads and crones.
The symbolism comes alive through strong contrasts and sensations, evoking simple, sensuous phenomena that glint and sparkle, pierce and flow, by these means striking recognition in the reader or listener’s body at a visceral depth (gold and silver; diamonds and rubies, thorns and knives; wells and tunnels). It’s an Esperanto of the imagination, and it’s available for any of us to use – in almost any medium..."
The painting of Sleeping Beauty is by Edward Burne Jones. The illustration is by Jennie Harbour.
The Society of Bloggers in Children’s and Young Adult Literature
I highly recommend Kidlitosphere as a source for anyone interested in children's literature.
The following is excerpted from their site...
Some of the best books being published today are children’s and young adult titles, well-written and engaging books that capture the imagination. Many of us can enjoy them as adults, but more importantly, can pass along our appreciation for books to the next generation by helping parents, teachers, librarians and others to find wonderful books, promote lifelong reading, and present literacy ideas.
The “KidLitosphere” is a community of reviewers, librarians, teachers, authors, illustrators, publishers, parents, and other book enthusiasts who blog about children’s and young adult literature. In writing about books for children and teens, we’ve connected with others who share our love of books. With this website, we hope to spread the wealth of our reading and writing experience more broadly...
KidLitosphere Central strives to provide an avenue to good books and useful literary resources; to support authors and publishers by connecting them with readers and book reviewers; and to continue the growth of the society of bloggers in children’s and young adult literature...here is a link to read more.
Welcome to our world.
The top illustration is of of Tom Thumb. The bottom illustration is of the Frog King.
There's magic, wonder, and exceptional animation here...I learned of this film, when I received this message from Joy Ward (author of exceptional dog books)..."There is an absolutely gorgeous animated movie out right now. It's Song of the Sea by an Irish team. Lovely story about o little boy and his selkie sister. Wonderful for everyone!"
The film reviewers have been uniformly enthusiastic. Here is an excerpt from Leslie Felperinin the Guardian:"Song of the Seablends Celtic legends, bravura design and animation, and intelligent storytelling that understands but never patronises young viewers, to create an exquisite and rewarding work ..." Here is a link to the trailer: Song Of The Sea
No Dark Deeds Here
This excerpt of the review by Jo Williams in the St Louis Post-Dispatch, sums up the Minions, a movie for the very young.
"If you’re old enough to read a movie review in a newspaper, you’re too old to fully appreciate “Minions.” Ditto if you’re old enough to read the menu at a fast-food joint, the height requirements at an amusement park or the price tag on a shiny yellow toy. This spinoff of the “Despicable Me” cartoons is like a pre-verbal version of “Inside Out,” all coos and colors and cute facial expressions. Tiny tots will eat it up like jelly beans. But what about their bigger siblings and baby-sitters? Will they be trapped on a sugar-rush cycle with no hope of escape?
Yes, but … The mad scientists at Dreamworks have scrubbed this ’toon of anything that might scare or challenge the target audience"...
Several years ago, I read Deb Eades book, Every Rescued Dog Has a Tale, and first learned about the nationwide network of volunteers who are "rescuing dogs from certain deaths in kill shelters and then being driven by dedicated animal lovers to a new life in another state."
Deb Eades was one of these volunteers, and her book is filled with touching first-hand stories of rescuing dogs and driving them to a place where another volunteer takes over and drives the next leg of the rescue journey. Or, sometimes, actually driving the rescued dog(s) to their new home.
Sunbear Squad is a mainstay in dog rescue. Here is an excerpt from their site:
"Each weekend in America, an army of volunteer rescue transport drivers deliver dogs and cats to safety in an organized relay of vehicles. Hard-working volunteer transport coordinators plan the logistics, organize the four-legged passengers, and provide support by phone continuously during the entire one- or two-day operation. Drivers sign up for relay "legs" via e-mail. They meet the previous leg drivers at an appointed time, transfer the lucky dogs and cats to their vehicles, and drive to the next relay meeting spot where the process is repeated until the destination is reached..."
To read the entire article follow this link: Rescue
"All knowledge, the totality of all questions and answers, is contained in the dog." -- Franz Kafka, Investigations of a Dog
In A People House. Dr. Seuss. (Theo LeSieg) Illustrated by Roy McKie. 1972. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: "Come inside, Mr. Bird," said the mouse. "I'll show you what there is in a People House...A People House has things like...chairs things like roller skates and stairs.
Premise/plot: Is there a plot? Perhaps a slight one. A mouse is showing a bird around a people house. Each page is filled with words of things in a people house. But there isn't exactly a compelling story. It seems a random waste, in my opinion.
piano peanuts popcorn pails pencil paper hammer nails
My thoughts: Not a favorite. I didn't really like it at all. True, it's silly, especially at the end. True, it rhymes. But it doesn't seem as good as it should be if it's Seuss.
Have you read In A People House? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are.
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? Dr. Seuss. 1973. Random House. 47 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: When I was quite young and quite small for my size, I met an old man in the Desert of Drize. And he sang me a song I will never forget. At least, well, I haven't forgotten it yet.
Premise/plot: The narrator shares with readers what an old man shared with him when he was a boy feeling down. Essentially: no matter who you are, no matter what your problem, there is always, always someone who has it worse than you do. Someone can always be found who is 'unluckier' than you. This is of course written all in rhyme.
My thoughts: I liked this one. I've never read it before. But I definitely liked it. Here are a few of my favorite bits:
And poor Mr. Potter, T-crosser, I-dotter. He has to cross t's and he has to dot i's in an I-and-T factory out in Van Nuys!
And suppose that you lived in that forest in France, where the average young person just hasn't a chance to escape from the perilous pants-eating-plants! But your pants are safe! You're a fortunate guy. And you ought to be shouting," How lucky am I!"
Have you read Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is The Shape of Me and Other Stories
Latest published book …
EL PERRO CON SOMBRERO
You wrote it because …
In doing my school visits to promote my book series Scary School, I visited many dual immersion and spanish-speaking schools and saw the need for bilingual picture books that could be used to teach either English or Spanish to early learners.
The Shape of Me And Other Stuff. Dr. Seuss. 1973. Random House. 36 pages. [Source: Library]
First sentence: You know... It makes a fellow think. The shape of you the shape of me the shape of everything I see...
Premise/plot: The Shape of Me and Other Stuff is a "bright and early book" for "beginning beginners." It's a simple book about the shapes of...all sorts of stuff. Somewhat random, but, perfect rhythm and rhyme.
My thoughts: Not much of a story, but, pleasant enough overall. I like the illustration style.
Have you read The Shape of Me and Other Stuff? Did you like it? love it? hate it? I'd love to know what you thought of it!
If you'd like to join me in reading or rereading Dr. Seuss (chronologically) I'd love to have you join me! The next book I'll be reviewing is There's A Wocket In My Pocket.