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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: dogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 568
1. Fascinating facts about man’s best friend

Dogs have historically performed many roles for humans, such as herding, protection, assisting police, companionship, and aiding the handicapped. The tale of "man’s best friend" is a lengthy and intimate history that has lasted for thousands of years, and transcends modern cultural boundaries. Canines appear as poignant characters with symbolic meaning in mythological stories, famous works of art, and religious texts.

The post Fascinating facts about man’s best friend appeared first on OUPblog.

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2. कुत्ते की जानकारी और मनोरंजक खबर

कुत्ते की जानकारी और मनोरंजक खबर एक article के सिलसिले मे मैं pet dogs , dogs food , कुत्ते की नस्ल ,कुत्ते का खाना के बारे पर गूगल पर सर्च कर रही थी. Labrador  के बारे में पढा फिर पढा कि कुत्ते  की स्पेनी  Chihuahueño सबसे छोटी नस्ल है और इसका नाम  मेक्सिको के चिहुआहुआ […]

The post कुत्ते की जानकारी और मनोरंजक खबर appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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3. Sit, Stay, Read: Kids & Canines Learning Literacy Skills Together

Girl with dog

The canine volunteers at Sit, Stay, Read visit classrooms in some of Chicago’s most troubled neighborhoods. The elementary school students they meet often juggle more responsibilities than most kids their age, so learning to read can seem like an extra chore.

“If you feel stressed about reading, like some of our little guys do, reading to a dog makes them feel more comfortable, more ready, and more open to the experience of reading,” says Kate McIlvain, Program Director at Sit, Stay, Read.

That is why volunteer dogs like Tilly come to classrooms and listen to students read. The canine companions enjoy any book, but dog-themed titles like Go, Dog, Go or Because of Winn-Dixie are popular choices. Tilly is happy to give her undivided attention and doesn’t mind if her reading partner stumbles on a word or two. Experiencing that kind of support and unconditional love while they read helps kids build confidence in their own literacy skills.

Often they’re having so much fun interacting with their new furry friends that they forget they’re learning.

“We’re really excited that we get to bring our program into schools and provide additional support on top of what the teachers are already doing to help make a fun, safe, comfortable, caring learning environment for our kids,” says Kate.

When the school year ends, Sit, Stay, Read holds a “Keep Reading Celebration” at every school they visit. At the party, the kids receive books and school supplies to bring home to encourage them to continue building their literacy skills throughout the summer.

Boy with dog

This year, thanks to support from long-time First Book partner KPMG, Sit, Stay, Read was able to use the First Book Marketplace to increase the number of books that kids took home over summer break.

Unfortunately, the dogs can’t go home with the kids, too. But they will always remember their four-legged reading buddy and the excitement and the confidence-building they felt reading with them every time they pick up their books.

 

Sit, Stay, Read was able to receive books through First Book’s partnership with KPMG & KPMG’s Family for Literacy – a unique employee engagement program featuring volunteer opportunities, book distributions, celebration events and fundraising efforts that provide books for First Book programs in KPMG communities. If you work with children in need, you can access books and resources for your classroom through the First Book Marketplace.

The post Sit, Stay, Read: Kids & Canines Learning Literacy Skills Together appeared first on First Book Blog.

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4. Pretty Minnie in Hollywood

Pretty Minnie in Hollywood. Danielle Steel. Illustrated by Kristi Valiant. 2016. Random House. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Minnie is a white, long-haired, teacup-size Chihuahua.

Premise/plot: Minnie and her owner live in Paris, France. Francoise (the child owner) and Minnie travel with the Mom to Hollywood to hand deliver a beautiful, glamorous dress to an actress for a movie. Most of the 'plot' of this one focuses on the trip there and back. While in Hollywood, Minnie gets her big break and stars in a movie of her own.

My thoughts: Could the cover of this book possibly have even more glitter? I didn't think so. The plot is what it is. It isn't horribly creative or clever or new or unique or compelling. More frivolous and predictable and obnoxious in a cutie-sweetie-pie way. Now, if the book had been a super-sweet story about a cat instead of a dog, would I feel differently? Maybe. But I don't see a cat dressing up and following directions. That would have been a whole different story. Several pages might have even been spent on trying to get the cat into traveling bag.

I was unimpressed with the writing of this one. But what slightly saves it are the illustrations.

Text: 2 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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5. June -- The Sky Opens, Kids, Books, Movies, and Dogs

 

                 Jack-beanstalkCoverOpenPages

 

 

Overcoming, Defeating, and Conquering -- The Giant(s)

Five thousand years ago, people were telling the story of a boy who overcame the ogre.

Ogres are all powerful, huge, and devour people --  much like giants.

In nineteenth century England, the boy, now known as Jack, became famous through chap books and story books. He was outwitting and killing giants.

And in our era, the giants have returned...this time through the movies.

The story that was told around campfires before the bronze age has endured through time, and continues to be told and even seen around the world -- in 3D movies with music and sounds.

Tales of wonder, indeed.

....................................

Fairy Tales Have Ancient Origins

From Africa and Asia to Europe and the Americas, anthropologists continue to uncover information about our past and our Celticcultural history. Recently, Durham University anthropologist Dr Jamie Tehrani, and folklorist Sara Graça da Silva, from New University of Lisbon, made a breakthrough in the world of wonder tales. Here are excerpts from an informative article about their discoveries written by Allison Flood in the Guardian.

"Analysis showed Jack and the Beanstalk was rooted in a group of stories classified as The Boy Who Stole Ogre’s Treasure, and could be traced back to when eastern and western Indo-European languages split – more than 5,000 years  ago. Beauty and the Beast and Rumpelstiltskin  were found to be about 4,000 years old. A folk tale called The Smith and the Devil was estimated to date back 6,000 years to the bronze age..." 

"The author and academic Marina Warner, who has written a history of fairytales, called the paper 'fascinating'. 'What’s interesting to me is it shows how deeply this creative power of the imagination lies in the human being, how it’s about making sense of your world by inventing narratives that resist its difficulties..." - 

Here is a link to the article by Allison Flood in the Guardian.

Here is a link to the original article, published by the researchers, in the Royal Society Open Science Journal  The photo is of the Celtic Janus Stone, Boa Island, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

.................

Tales of Hope

MilletPeople have always needed hope. Life was a constant struggle in the early days of fairy tales. Life expectancy was less than thirty years.

Fairy tales, with their happy endings, gave people hope. They helped people to cope with the wars, hunger, disease, poverty and religious conflicts that characterized their lives.

Fairy tales, tales of wonder, told of struggles to survive, of finding light in the darkness. They told tales where a brave boy, using his wits, could overcome evil forces, and destroy the ogres and giants.

Through the eons of time, stories of this boy were tales of hope. 

The illustration is by Jean Francois Millet 

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Jack, A Quick-witted Cornish Farm Boy

JackTwoHeadsGiantKillerJack and the Gyants, published in 1708, was an immediate success and initiated a variety of tales where Jack, through quick-witted chicanery, good luck, and violent death overwhelms many giants. He also achieves wealth, and a noble wife. "An immediate success, Jack and his giants were frequently alluded to in familiar terms by eighteenth century writers lilke Henry Fielding, John Newberry, Dr Johnson and Boswell, and William Cowper...When Jack tales were rewritten for refined sensibilities in the 18th and 19th centuries, the cruelty of their gory killings disappeared...Jack became an earthy Everyboy, and the Giant a geographically unlocalizable married oaf, reachable only by the magic of a bean that grew endlessly heavenward."

Ruth B. Bottigheimer -- The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales

..................

English Fairy Tales-Joseph Jacobs

EnglishFairyTalesJosephJacobs" 'Who says that English folk have no fairy tales of their own?' Jacobs asked with a rhetorical flourish in the preface to English Fairy Tales (1890)...These collections were the British answer to Perrault in France, and to the Brothers Grimm in Germany, aiming to capture an oral tradition before it died out and to reveal that the British could pride themselves on a powerful, imaginative native lore...

'This book,' he wrote of English Fairy Tales, "is meant to be read aloud and not merely taken in by the eye' "...

Jack and the Beanstalk was one of the tales included in Jacob's book.

from Maria Tatar, The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales


..................

BruegalTalkingThe Tellers of the Tales

..."The tales came to the tellers from other tellers, or they read tales, digested them, and made them their own. Indeed, we always make tales our own and then send them off to other tellers with the hope that they will continue to disseminate their stories..." - 

Jack Zipes, The Forgotten Tales of the Brothers Grimm,  in the The Public Domain Review  

The illustration is a detail from a painting by Peiter Bruegal

...................... 

Centuries of Oral Tradition

Greek"Our version of the 'Iliad' was composed toward the end of what we assume were centuries of oral tradition — the 'Iliad', like the 'Odyssey' and other oral poems, had a genetic ability to reproduce itself, changing with each recital, picking up new details even as old ones were discarded, but always remaining recognizable. Almost nothing material in the poem can be traced with certainty to the Mycenaean Greeks.."  William Logan in his NY Times review of ‘Memorial,’ Alice Oswald’s Version of the ‘Iliad’ 

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SpiderMamanLoiseBourgeoisFantasy Is True

"For fantasy is true, of course. It isn't factual, but it's true. Children know that. Adults know it too, and that's precisely why many of them are afraid of fantasy. They know that its truth challenges, even threatens, all that is false, all that is phony, unnecessary, and trivial in the life that they have let themselves be forced into living. They're afraid of dragons, because they are afraid of freedom."

Ursula Le Quin(The Language of the Night) as quoted by Terri Windling's Myth and Moor

The sculpture of Spider Maman is by Louise Bourgeois

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Castle In The Mist

CITM-blog size-382KBDo you think that it is possible for dogs to stop a war?

Author Robert J. McCarty has created a charming fantasy-allegory that can be read and understood on at least two different levels.  Children will enjoy the story about dogs who come from another planet to help people on earth.  But under the surface are the important messages of friendship, love, loyalty, and how to overcome evil with good.”  The same things are true as the story continues in Castle in the Mist.  The book is well written and easy to read.  It will keep you turning the pages to find out what happens next..." 

From a review by Wayne Walker -- Stories for Children Magazine, Home School Book Review, and Hone School Buzz

The illustration from Castle In The Mist is by Stella Mustanoja McCarty

 .....................

GiantGameThrones3Before the Coming of Civilized Man.

"John Matthews writes in Taliessin, Shamanism and the Bardic Mysteries of Britain & Ireland (1992) that giants are very common throughout British folklore, and often represent the "original" inhabitants, ancestors, or gods of the island before the coming of "civilized man", their gigantic stature reflecting their otherworldly nature. Giants figure prominently in Cornish, Breton and Welsh folklore..." from Wikipedia  
The illustration of the giant is from Game Of Thrones
 

 
 .......................

 
National Rifle Association (NRA) Adds Guns to Fairytales.

Maria Tatar, in her Breezes from Wonderland blog, has joined those protesting or questioning the NRA's insidious
NRAWOLFpublication of revised fairy tale violence. In the NRA's versions, both Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel use rifles to destroy their enemies. Tatar's post is entitled, I Finally Net Some Fairy Tales I Do Not Like. 

 John Schwartz  interviewed Ms Tatar for an article he wrote about the NRA in the NYTimes. Here's an excerpt:

"I got in touch with Professor Tatar, because how often do you get an excuse to talk with a professor of Germanic folklore and mythology? She said that one of the problems with these gun-toting, sanitized tales was that they missed the point of Grimm. Success in fairy tales, she explained, comes down to more than tight shot grouping. 'They are very much about problem-solving, using your wits and courage to get out of trouble,' she said. 'Unfortunately, because they take up very basic cultural contradictions and are supremely malleable, they can also be harnessed for almost any purpose. The Nazis recast Little Red Riding Hood as the innocent Aryan victim of a Jewish wolf.' "

The illustration is by Henry Justice Ford

................... 

Nyt-logo

 

Untold Damage...

The New York Times posted a report on children killed in the USA from Gun Deaths in 2015

ChildfuneralPhilTownsend36 age 12 and under

23 age 13-17

Children Injured/wounded by guns in the USA in  2015

36 age 12 and under

77 age 13-17

Here is a link to the article: Untold Damage,

The photo is by Phillip Townsend/WFAA

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Breezes from Wonderland

Cersei-lannister-game-of-thrones-43Once again, I have had a very rewarding visit to Maria Tatar's blog. Currently, in addition to her criticism of the NRA's gun-toting fairy tales, she writes about the impact of story, fairy tales, and animated film in a complex family situation..."It’s a film that ends up animating us, rewiring our brains and rearranging our senses.  And it lets us look inside the minds of others in compelling ways–suddenly we see what they see, feel what they feel as we discover how the symbolic helps us navigate reality." 

Her current blog also has fascinating and provocative insights on women, Game Of Thrones. our fairy tale heritage, and the outrageous graphic violence of TV and film..."Our on-screen entertainments rarely replay real-life anxieties. Instead they haunt us in ways that are often errant and unpredictable. In a culture that has renounced the ideal of beauty, the beautiful dead woman of Edgar Allan Poe’s fantasies may now have moved into middle age..." 

The illustration is of Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

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The New Yelodoggie Book Is Coming

What do others think when they see Yelodoggie?

CatloveIs this really a dog?

If so, why is Yelodoggie  yelo?

Yelodoggie must find the answer. 

This is the story in the new book.

Yelodoggie is a creation of C.A. Wulff.
Here's a link to Wulff's Yeloddoggie  paintings.

Here's a link to her Up On The Woof website. Wulff is the author of wonderful books about dogs

 ..................

CtWrevisedCoverKindleAmazon Review of Circling the Waggins by BrittdogPub

..."The book is filled with funny animal stories... The book also includes many sad times when one pet after another made the sad journey to the Rainbow Bridge. I highly recommend this book to animal lovers. You will definitely laugh and cry. You may even learn a few things about animal care and the treatment of various health issues pet owners often face. I enjoyed this book so much that I am now reading another of this author's pet tales." 

Circling the Waggins is also an Amazon Kindle Book

 

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PirateThePitBullKids, Books, and Dogs

Here is a link to a touching 30 second video  reaffirming the hope engendered by the human canine bond...Every Thursday, Jacob, a 6-year-old boy with autism brings a small mat to the Carson Animal Shelter and sits down in front of Pirate the pit bull's cage to read to him. "If I read to the dogs, they will come out of their cages and find homes," says Jacob.

 

.................

BFGGood Giants, Bad Giants, and a Young Girl


Stephen Spielberg,
the gifted director of films ranging from Schindler's List to Indiana Jones, and The Color Purple to Saving Private Ryan, has a new film, the BFG, opening on July1. The man who gave us E.T., has now made a film based on Roald Dahl's book, the BFG (the Big Friendly Giant). Disney, a co-producer with Amblin Entertainment and others, will distribute the film in 3D. The writer is the late Melissa Mathison, who also wrote E.T..

Here's a wikipedia link regarding Dahl's book,the BFG. 

Here is a link to the trailer for the BFG. 

 

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Movies That Are Good For The Soul

BFG GirlGiantHandStephen Speilberg
was interviewed by Manhola Dargis of the New York Times. Here is an excerpt from a Speilberg reply:

" My only advice — and I don’t have a studio, I have a very small company — is that there needs to be a good balance of crowd-pleasers and movies that are good for the soul, that get us to dwell in the aftertaste of an experience that is so far-fetched or out of the box, but three days later we realize that we saw something that might change our lives..."

Here is a link to this excellent Manohla Dargis  interview with Stephen Speilberg

................................

Disney has announced that Gigantic is coming in 2018... a 3D musical loosely based on Jack and the Beanstalk. The story includes a young girl giant inspired by Gulliver's travels. (More news on this next month)

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SaveTheChildrenlogo
 
Do They Have Hope ?
I don't know the answer. But they certainly have experienced the painful wrath of the Ogre. He sits in Aleppo and does't care about their pain. He keeps destroying more lives and creating more pain.

RescueChildAleppBehaelHalebiAnadoluAgyGettyImagesT
his is a link to a video of children from war ravaged Syria who tell us what they have experienced. It is a moving experience to witness this brief (2:18) video. It is frustrating and sad to know that this continues.

It was produced by the wonderful Save The Children organization. The following information is from their website:

Approximately half of the 19.5 million registered refugees globally are children and youth. Their number is growing dramatically as a result of escalating crises in places where violence, persecution and conflict are uprooting entire populations.

Children and families are fleeing out of fear for their lives and embarking on perilous journeys. Many hope for the chance of a better life and the opportunity for asylum. But while they are on the move, they are extremely vulnerable...

  • Here is a link to their website. Save The Children
  • Photo by Behal Halebi Anadolu, Agy/Getty Images

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Kidlit_central 
The Society of Bloggers in Children’s and Young Adult Literature 

WeWishForWingsLucyCampbellScottishI 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...".

The illustration of "We Wish fof Wings" is by Lucy Campbell

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WCDogsheader9

1000-DOG-ARTICLES-1-242x242Congratulations to Nancy Houser, Sandra Marquiss, and Marita Megan on their 1,000 blog posts dedicated to helping dogs and dog lovers. Here is an excerpt from their website based in their home and rescue center in Wilcox, Nebraska...

"We’ve created WayCoolDogs.com about seven years ago, in March of 2009, with the purpose of helping dog owners understand their dogs better so they can provide quality care for them.

We have worked very hard ever since to provide you with the best information about dog health, dog insurance, breeds, the latest in dog research, dog worms, military dogs, therapy dogs and lots of how-to articles on many other topics!

Or perhaps you just want to read some dog stories, like the one of Jerry Mathers and his hero dog Ron Ton Ton."

Here's a link to WayCoolDogs

..........................................


NorthernLightsIllustrationBearWhy do you think it's so important that young people read?

For the same reason that I think it's important that they breathe, eat, drink, sleep, run about, fool around, and have people who love and look after them. It's part of what makes us fully human. Some people manage to get through life without reading; but I know that if I'd had to do that, an enormous part of my mind, or my soul if you like, would be missing. No one should be without the chance to let their soul grow.

Phillip Pullman in the Guardian. The question was asked by Luke, 13 years old.


The illustration is from Pullman's book, Northern Lights.

..................................                        

 "I would not, for any quantity of gold, part with the wonderful tales which I have retained from my earliest childhood or have met in the progress of my life." -- Martin Luther
.............................
 
PODLogo


CITM-blog size-382KBWe have free reader copies of the Planet Of The Dogs series for therapy dog organizations, individual therapy dog owners, librarians and teachers...simply send us an email at planetofthedogs@gmail.com and we will send you the books. 

Our books are available through independent bookstores, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell's and many more.

The Planet Of The Dogs series (including Castle In The Mist, and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale) is also available in digital format at..Barnes & NobleAmazon, Powell's, KoboInkteraScribd, and Tolino.

Librarians, teachers and bookstores ..You can order the Planet Of The Dogs  series, through Ingram with a full professional discount. 

To read sample chapters of the series, visit PlanetOfTheDogs 

 The illustration from Castle In The Mist is by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty
 
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Sunbearsquad-logo
If you see a dog in trouble or encounter a lost dog and you are uncertain as to what to do, you'll find the information on Sunbear Squad..."Transforming animal lovers into welfare defenders with knowledge, tools, and inspiration."
 
 
 
......................
 
"Ever wonder where you'd end up if you took your dog for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash?" -- Robert Brault
            ........................................................................................................ 
 

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6. I Didn't Do It

I Didn't Do It. Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest. Illustrated by Katy Schneider. 2010. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

I Didn't Do It is a picture book collection of dog-themed poems. Or perhaps I should say puppy-themed poems. If you're thinking it's adorable, you're right. It is. Now, I love cats more than dogs. But the illustrations and poems combined got to me, I must admit!

The poems include:
  • "Shhh...I'm Here"
  • "No Name"
  • "Rules"
  • "What I Don't Like"
  • "What I Like"
  • "I Didn't Do It"
  • "Rain"
  • "What Did I Do??"
  • "Big"
  • "Pretty Puppy"
  • "She Flies"
  • "One Thing, One Time"
  • "Puppy Dreams"
  • "Every Night"
If you've got a reluctant poetry reader who happens to love dogs, this may be an excellent 'exception' to the rule. I love it when books surprise you. I do think there are plenty of exceptions when it comes to books.

The poems are written by a mother-daughter team. Patricia MacLachlan you've heard of most likely. I've read a lot of her books for younger readers. Though I didn't know she wrote poetry. Plenty of MacLachlan's books reveal a love of animals.

I really enjoyed the illustrations. Some spreads I love more than others. But overall, a very cute book.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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7. War Dogs

War Dogs. Kathryn Selbert. 2016. [April 2016] Charlesbridge. 48 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Rufus's best friend, Winston Churchill, is a busy man, but most days Rufus and Winston share a walk.

Premise/plot: Essentially, War Dogs is a picture book biography of Winston Churchill during the Second World War told from the point of view of his poodle, Rufus. The book has plenty of Churchill quotes throughout. These are set apart from the main text, and are easily identifiable. One of the quotes is:
The road to victory may not be so long as we we expect. But we have no right to count upon this. Be it long or short, rough or smooth, we mean to reach our journey's end. August 1940
My thoughts: I loved, loved, loved, LOVED this one. War Dogs would definitely be more of a picture book for older readers than a story you'd share aloud with preschoolers. But. I think picture books for older readers are important and necessary, and can be quite LOVELY. I do think that picture books can be for everyone--people for all ages. So I'd definitely recommend this one. It would be a great introduction--picture book introduction--to the Second World War, and to Winston Churchill in particular. So if you're a history lover or a dog lover, you should definitely consider picking this one up!!!

I love the text. I love the illustrations. I love how each quote is sourced. Not all picture book biographies show their work when it comes to research. This one does! (Can you tell that I tend to love research myself!)

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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8. April -- Alternate Reality, Books, Kids, Movies, and Dogs

 

      HogwartsJimKay
    

Alternate Reality

Harry Potter isn’t real? Oh no! Wait, wait, what do you mean by real? Is this video blog real? Am I real if you can see me and hear me, but only through the internet? Are you real if I can read your comment but I don’t know who you are or what your name is or where you’re from or what you look like or how old you are? I know all of those things about Harry Potter. Maybe Harry Potter’s real and you’re not.” 
― 
John Green

The illustration of Hogwarts is by Jim Kay

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Opening the Doors to Wonder

Töölö Buds2015-april 097Wonder comes in many forms.

Harry Potter swept the reading world and opened the doors to a greater audience. The success of the Harry Potter series renewed broad-based respect for fairy tales. 

From the first book and beyond, J.K. Rowling created an alternate world that readers could relate to. People young and old are drawn in to these robust stories and their engaging, fully developed characters. As with the classic stories from the past, the characters, imaginative twists and turns of the stories, and the fully realized details, combined to enable readers to believe in the magic of an alternate reality. The seven Harry Potter books created an enormous worldwide audience. And provided the substance for wonderful films. 

Adults have also become fans of the books and movies, creating a record breaking "crossover" market. And the phenomenon continues to grow...

Click the photo for spring wonder.

................

Contact With The Lives Of Others

HarryHermioneHogwartsOminous"Rowling's books, by arousing curiousity and establishing contact with the lives of others, even if they exist solely within the confines of a literary work, enable children to develop capacities that readily translate into real-life experience. JkRowling never shies away from the great existential mysteries: death and loss, cruelty and compassion, desire and depression. Harry is anything but sheltered from the evils of Voldermort...he is destined for greatness even though he also posseses the weaknesses, failings, and vulnerabilities of all humans."

Maria Tatar -- Enchanted Hunters -- The Power of Stories in Childhood

......................

Harry Began On A Train

HarryPotterPhilosophersStoneBarryMoserJK Rowling: I was going on a train from Manchester to London and I was looking out of the window at some cows, I believe and I just thought: "Boy doesn't know he's a wizard - goes off to wizard school." I have no idea where it came from. I think the idea was floating along the train and looking for someone and my mind was vacant enough so it decided to zoom in there.

Stephen Fry: And you played with the idea in your head…

JK Rowling: Exactly! From that moment I thought: "Well why doesn't he realise he's a wizard?" It was as though the story was just there for me to discover and I thought: "Well his parents are dead and he needs to find out they're wizards" and on we went from there. 

From a Stephen Fry Interview with JK Rowling

The illustration, from the Philosophers Stone, is by Jim Kay.

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Hermione...an empowered young woman

HermioneSoulful"Throughout the Harry Potter Tales, Hermione emerges as the beneficiary of three centuries of girls' book identity. At times the plucky youth, at times the serious student, at times the foolish lover, at times the tomboy, at times the blossoming maiden -- taken together, all these aspects of her personality make her the heir to everyone from Jenny Peace in Sarah Fielding's The Governess, to Jo in Alcott's Little Women, to Alice in Carroll's Wonderland, to all the girl guides, or "new Women" or adventuresome or studious females who fill the range of popular writing well into the twentieth century."

From Seth Lerer writing about Theaters of Girlhood, Domesticity, Desire, and Performance in Female Fiction in his book, Children's Literature, A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter 

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“I wrote a strong female character with brains”

- J.K. Rowling commenting on Hermione in a video conversation with Daniel Radcliff

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Finding the Right Wand -- an adventure in an alternate reality

First, you go to Diagon Alley where Ollivanders is located..."Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C...

A single wand lays on a faded purple cushion in the dusty window."

You will be helped by Mr. Ollivander, a very old man, who remembers every wand he has sold -- and to whom he sold it.

NewHarryPYou will be measured in many ways by a tape measure that works on its on while Mr Ollvander explains that, "Every Ollvander wand has a core of powerful magical substance...We use unicorn hairs, phoenix tale feathers, and the heartstrings of dragons. No two Ollivander wands are the same..."

You may have to try many wands before you have the right one.

It seems you don't choose the wand, the wand chooses you...

The fully imagined detail in the Harry Potter books plays a major role in their appeal. The fascinating story of Harry finding the right magic wand takes place in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone when Hagrid takes Harry shopping on Diagon Alley, and introduces him to the the world of wizards.

The illustration of Harry and Hagrid in Diagon Alley is by Jim Kay

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An Alternate Universe

 

Forbidden ForestCentaurs..."J. K. Rowling has created a world as fully detailed as L. Frank Baum’s Oz or J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, a world so minutely imagined in terms of its history and rituals and rules that it qualifies as an alternate universe, which may be one reason the “Potter” books have spawned such a passionate following and such fervent exegesis...."

From the book review by Michiko Kakatani  of Harry potter and the Deathly Hallows in the New York Times

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Stories That Opened My Mind

HarryOwl"There are hundreds upon hundreds of reasons for one to fall in love with the world and characters J.K. Rowling created in the Harry Potter series, the aforementioned being among them. For me, these are the stories that opened my mind to the wonderful world of books, novels and novellas, making them very near and dear to my heart..."

From the BookNerd on her Wonderful World of Writing blog

 
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An Older Harry Potter 

...Harry is called back into active duty when evil powers return in force... a new book and a play (opening in London) based on the book - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child -- are on their way, arriving in late July. They are based on a story  by J.K. Rowling. Here are two links for more information: Pottermore and NPR

FantasticBeastsWhereToFindThemCoverWizardry Before Harry

The Wizard World in 1920's USA is the setting for a new movie,starring Eddie Redmayne... 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in the UK in November 2016... The book about Fantastic Beasts was used as part of the curriculum for young wizards in the Hogwarts classroom. There will be two sequels...all written by J.K. Rowling. 


Support For Children
 
LogoBetterJ.K. Rowling spends time and money on helping people...In 2004 she founded Lumos...'No child should be denied a family life because they are poor, disabled or from an ethnic minority. Lumos works to support the 8 million children in institutions worldwide to regain their right to a family life and to end the institutionalisation of children."

Among the many other charities she supports are:Book Aid InternationalCatie Hoch FoundationChildren with AIDSDyslexia ActionGingerbread...

JKRowling2Who Is J.K. Rowling ?

For the real J.K. Rowling, or as close as we will probably get, I suggest the Oprah Interview... Engaging, interesting,  and with some excellent documentary scenes woven in...Also, her candid, heartfelt, Harvard speech.


Alternate Reality 

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows  

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Nyt-logo

The N.R.A. Reimagines Classic Fairy Tales, With Guns

Liam Stack wrote this disturbing article. Here are excerpts...

"The world of make-believe can be a scary place, but never fear: Thanks to a series of reimagined fairy tales published online by the National Rifle Association, classic characters like Hansel and Gretel are now packing heat.

FairytaleGunsNYTThe group has published two of the updated tales on its N.R.A. Family website in recent months, entitled Little Red Riding Hood (Has a Gun) and Hansel and Gretel (Have Guns). The stories have outraged advocates of gun control, but their author, Amelia Hamilton, a conservative blogger, has called them lessons in gun safety...

In the N.R.A. version, Little Red Riding Hood sets off through the forest to visit her grandmother, just like in the original. But the Big Bad Wolf did not scare her this time, because she “felt the reassuring weight of the rifle on her shoulder.”

When the wolf approached her, “she shifted her rifle so that it was in her hands and at the ready.” He fled in fear...

Dan Gross, the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, agreed, calling the stories “a disgusting, morally depraved marketing campaign.” He said in a statement that the stories were in poor taste in part because nearly 50 children and teenagers are shot each day in the United States, and suicide by gun is a leading cause of death among children over the age of 9..." 

Here is a link to read all of this disturbing article:FairyTaleGuns

The photo of a boy with a Barrett rifle at a meeting of the National Rifle Association in St. Louis in 2012. is by Daniel Acker for The New York Times

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Syrian_refugeesJordan

 Save The Children

Save the Children works in 120 countries, including the United States, and has helped more than 166 million children — including more than 55 million children directly. Here are excerpts from the story of one child...

Omar said, 'We have to be here very early in the morning because the tankers arrive early, so I get here at six in the morning and leave late at night so I that I have time to collect as much fuel as possible'..."

Omar was a good student and loved school; he dreamed of becoming an architect. His life is now about survival.

Here is a link to read all of Omar's painful story: Omar

Top photo, courtesy IRF; bottom photo, courtesy Save The Children.

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Hobbit2BookCoverImportance of Children's Books for Most Adults

"But children's books are extremely important. Most adults don't read many books and if they do it will probably be some form of popular fiction. So a children's classic may be the last, or in some cases, the only, piece of serious literature they have read. As such these books are very influential and so I think it is our responsibility to consider them as seriously and carefully as any other great literature." 

From a Guardian article by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Alison Lurie ,  professor emeritus of literature and writing at Cornell University, and author and editor of a multitude of children's books.

 
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HarveyTheDog
A Classic Video....Harvey the Dog

 

 

 


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The Planet Of The Dogs....An Alternate Reality

Here are excerpts from Chapter One of the book...the story of how dogs came down to Planet Earth to help people...

"Far out in the sky, on the other side of the sun, is the Planet of the Dogs. Dogs have always lived there in peace and happiness.

PlanetOfTheDogs-frontcover-jpg-388x600There are country dogs and city dogs. They live in places like Shepherd Hills, Poodletown, Retriever Meadows, Muttville, Hound Dog Hamlet, Biscuit Town, and Shaggy Corners... 

Dogs talk to each other in many ways. They woof, bark, and howl. They use body movement, face licking, smiling, and tail wagging. Dogs can hear what other dogs are thinking. And they always tell the truth...Dogs are very good at sleeping, taking naps, and waiting for someone they love...

Dogs have no worries on their planet because there are no dangers there. There are no bad dogs, no hungry animals, and no mean people. There is plenty to eat, lots of time to play, and all kinds of schools for the puppies to learn interesting things about their planet and each other. It’s a wonderful place to live.

Here is a link to read Sample Chapters of the Planet Of The Dogs series. 

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 This is the world of Yelodoggie, created by author and dog advocate, C.A. Wulff.

  All dogs, deep in their heart of hearts, are yellow. Because yellow is the color of light and joy and happiness, and these attributes are the true essence of dogs. Here is a link to Wulff's Etsy shop where you can see more of these delightful original watercolor paintings and prints celebrating dogs. They make a wonderful gift...

      YeloDoggieStrip

  

 

 

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Alternate Realities from Finland

Leena Krohn, a highly regarded writer in Europe, wrote one of my favorite books, Tainaron. I was gratified to see that LeenakrohnMikaelBookJoshua Rothman, in the New Yorker, wrote that her newly published book of collected fiction was among  " The Books We Loved in 2015". Here is an excerpt:  

"I also found myself hypnotized by Leena Krohn, a Finnish writer whose collected stories and novels, rendered into English by many different translators, have just been published as a single volume, Leena Krohn: Collected Fiction.” Broadly speaking, Krohn is a speculative writer; one of the novels in the collection, for example, consists of thirty letters written from an insect city. (“It is summer and one can look at the flowers face to face.”) Krohn writes like a fantastical Lydia Davis, in short chapters the length of prose poems. Her characters often have a noirish toughness; one, explaining her approach to philosophy, says that when she asks an existential question, “life answers. It is generally a long and thorough answer...”

Here is the link to read all of Joshua Rothman's New Yorker review.

Photo by Mikael Böök. 

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Movies

Under The Sun...two realities

A compelling 5 minute report on DW tv news about a little girl in North Korea brought me a reminder of the power of film. Vitaly Mansky, the producer/director, has made a very poignant film about the life of Zin Mi (the little girl) in both the real world and the manufactured world of North Korea. 

Here are excerpts  from an informative article by Carmen Gray in the Guardian...

UnderTheSunZinMiVitalyMansky2"A new film on life in North Korea has caused a diplomatic row after the director used officially sanctioned shoots to demonstrate how the state manipulates its people.

Authorities are said to have tried to prevent screenings of Under the Sun, a film that follows a North Korean girl as she prepares to celebrate the Day of the Shining Star, the birthday of former supreme leader Kim Jong-il...The film reveals how government representatives seek to construct an image of an “ideal” family, capturing the hectoring of officials as they tell the Koreans what to say, how to sit and when to smile.

“I wanted to make a film about the real Korea, but there’s no real life in the way that we consider,” said Mansky, who spent a year in the country filming. “There is just the creation of an image of the myth of a real life. So we made a film about fake reality.” 

Here is the link to the trailer for Under The Sun

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ZootopiaZootopia: 

"Credit the Disney folks with making what could have been a lecture on stereotypes into one of the more amusing animated kidflicks of recent vintage. When you consider that this is the same zip-ah-dee-doo-dah studio that once made Song of the South ... well, let's just say Zootopia suggests we've all come a long way"...Bob Mondello, NPR

Here is a link to the trailer: Zootopia

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WitchTheFamilyDinnerThe Witch, a low budget (one million dollars), independent production, continues to find an ever-growing audience (over 30 million dollars)...

"The Witch is a scary movie and a serious one, because it lure us into the minds and the earthly domains, of those who are themselves scared, night and day, that they have forfeited the mercies of God. It takes an original movie to remind us of original sin..."  Anthony Lane in his New Yorker review.

Stacy Schiffin wrote an excellent article, relevant to this movie, on The Witches of Salem, also in the New Yorker. Here is an excerpt..."In 1692, the Massachusetts Bay Colony executed fourteen women, five men, and two dogs for witchcraft. The sorcery materialized in January. The first hanging took place in June, the last in September; a stark, stunned silence followed. Although we will never know the exact number of those formally charged..."

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“Both Rowling and Meyer (Twilight series), they’re speaking directly to young people. … The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”- Stephen King

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 Circling the Waggins by C.A. Wulff

Cover_ctw_vers2What happens when a group of the most irascible, insane, and ridiculously un-adoptable pets known to man end up being permanent residents in an animal rescuer's home? Challenges abound and chaos reigns! 

Here are excerpts from author Tim McHugh’s review…

"Circling the Waggins is a heart-felt and moving story of two women's quest to heal and nurture a wide variety of animals.  C.A. Wulff poignantly captures the complex personalities of the mice, dogs, and cats that inhabit her wilderness home as well as the humorous chaos that ensues as they all try to coexist.  It is by turns a roller-coaster  ride of animal rescue, as well as a keen reflection on the frailty of all life and the healing power of love and letting go."   

 Tim McHugh, is author of Ivan! A Pound Dog's Views on Life, Love, & Leashes 

  
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Dogs Open the Doors to Healing at Good Dog

Good Dog provides therapy dog services to people in health care, social service, educational and community GoodDogfacilities, and at disaster sites around the country. Its highly-trained and fully-certified volunteer teams each consist of a human handler and therapy dog.  Good Dog focuses on work in the four divisions of Education, Health Care and Wellness, Research, and Disaster Response. For more on the work of these divisions, click here.

As the largest certifying animal-assisted therapy organization on the East Coast of the United States, Good Dog currently operates in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and at disaster sites around the country. Good Dog focuses on work in the four divisions of Education, Health Care and Wellness, Research, and Disaster Response."

Here is a link to the Good Dog Foundation Video

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Turning Your Pet Into a Therapy Dog

by Jane E. Brody, Personal Health writer for the New York Times

Here is the link to read all of this fascinating and informative article by Jane Brody: Personal Health

The illustration is by Paul Rogers

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        BP Header

POD-The bear-blog sizeWe have free reader copies of the Planet Of The Dogs series  for therapy dog organizations, individual therapy dog owners, librarians and teachers...simply send us an email at planetofthedogs@gmail.com and we will send you the books

Our books are available through independent bookstores, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell's and many more.

The Planet Of The Dogs series is also available in digital format at

Barnes and NobleAmazon, Powell's, KoboInkteraScribd, and Tolino.

Librarians, teachers and bookstores ..You can order the Planet Of The Dogs  series, through Ingram with a full professional discount. 

To read sample chapters of the series, visit PlanetOfTheDogs 

 
The illustration from Planet Of The Dogs is by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty

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Meeting A Dog

Sunbearsquad-logoIf you see an injured dog or a dog in trouble , from puppy mills to poison, Sunbear Squad can help you. Sunbear Squad is a leading source for information and guidance in dog rescue and care. Here is an excerpt from their site about meeting a new dog(s)...

"In the western world, we are taught at an early age to greet new people by approaching them with upright posture, looking directly into their eyes and offering a hand to shake or squeeze. It becomes second nature to us, so as a result, many of us animal lovers greet every living thing–except bugs–using those same “good manners...

We must UNLEARN that set of social rules to avoid frightening dogs, cats, and other animals, who will perceive full-front posture, staring, and outstretched arm as rude and threatening (unless they were very well-socialized with humans during the crucial developmental period).

In other words, polite human greetings are bad manners for greeting dogs and cats! In fact the two greeting languages are almost all completely opposite...Here is a link to read all of this article: Meeting A Dog.

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“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ― Will Rogers  

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9. March- Reality, Fantasy, books, kids, movies, and dogs

  

           Songofthesea-moore-a

In A Dark Wood

"In the mid-path of my life, I woke to find myself in a dark wood," wrote Dante in The Divine Comedy, marking the start of a quest that will lead to transformation and redemption. Likewise, a journey through the dark of the woods is a common motif in fairy tales young heroes set off through the perilous forest in order to reach their destiny; or they find themselves abandoned there, cast off and left for dead. The road is long and treacherous,  prowled by ghosts, ghouls, wicked witches, wolves, and the more malign sorts of faeries....but helpers also appear on the path: wise crones, good faeries, and animal guides, often cloaked in unlikely disguise. The hero's task is to tell friend from foe, and to keep walking steadily onward..."

 
From Myth and Moor, Terri Windling's Blog. The illustration, from Song of the Sea, is by Tomm Moore

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Lost In the Woods 

Tuusula april 2014 027 (1)We have all been lost in the woods at some time in our life either literally, metaphorically or both.

Being lost in the woods, where there is no clear path to follow, and the light is fading, is a serious and frightening matter.

Wild beasts, dangerous people, and invading armies cannot be seen in the dark forests. But they are there, in the mind of the author, the teller of tales, the animator...and in the mind of the child, until the story or myth finds light, escape and salvation.

So it was in a tale told, in 1805,by 12 year old Henriette Dorathea Wild, to the Brothers Grimm: Hansel and Gretel

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Hansel and Gretel, The Impossible Tale

HanselGretlTheodrHosemannI have always found this to be a dark and disturbing tale. It deals with war, famine, abandonment, fear, cannibalism, a witch, dark forces and death in a rather overwhelming confluence. And the central characters are children who must experience and deal with these problems.

Moreover, in Hansel and Gretel, the line between reality and fantasy is often blurred.

Fortunately, as is the custom in the tradition of fairy tales, escape from the darkness, salvation, and a happy ending offer relief from the darkness.


Abandonment 

HanselGretelWitchHanselCage ArthurRackhamBut what about mother? Mother in various versions of this tale tends to be heartless, self-centered and uncaring. The Grimms, in their seventh edition, transformed the cruel mother into a cruel stepmother.

The father, despite having regrets, remorse, sadness, and love for his children, is nevertheless a partner in his wife's dark scheme of abandonment. 

'No, wife,' said the man, 'I will not do that; how can I bear to leave my children alone in the forest?—the wild animals would soon come and tear them to pieces.' 'O, you fool!' said she, 'then we must all four die of hunger, you may as well plane the planks for our coffins,' and she left him no peace until he consented. 'But I feel very sorry for the poor children, all the same,' said the man."

Fear and loss of hope...a mirror to the past.  

                                                                                                                                            The top illustration is by Theodor Hosemann; The lower illustration is by Arthur Rackham

Survival 

"Determined to find a way back home, Hansel and Gretel survive what children fear more than anything else: abandonment by parents and exposure to predators..." - Maria Tatar writing in her wonderful book, The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales.


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The Return of Hansel and Gretel


H&GRunnibgMattoti
 
Over the centuries, the classic story of Hansel and Gretel has been reinterpreted in books, films, TV, ballet, theater, popular song and opera.
 
In 2014, Neil Gaiman and Lorenzo Mattotti published a stunning new version. The illustrations envelop the story. And Gaimen, in his brilliant retelling, creates a masterful balance between fantasy and reality.
 
Here is an excerpt that sets the background and tone for the story that follows:
 
"War came, and the soldiers came with it -- hungry, angry, bored, scared men who, as they pushed through, stole the cabbages and the chickens and the ducks, The woodcutter's family was never certain who was fighting whom, nor why they were fighting,, nor what they were fighting about. But beyond the forest, fields of crops were burned and barley fields became battlefields, and the farmers were killed, or made into soldiers in their turn and marched away. And soon enough the miller had no grain to mill into flour, the butcher had no animals to kill and hang in the window, and they said you could name your own price for a rabbit." 
 

H&G TheyLived HappilyEverAfterThis is the setting -- famine and the aftermath war --  for this fairy tale of abandoned children. Gaimen's decision to spell out the chaos and hunger that overwhelmed the woodcutter and his family, is the impetus for all that follows.

This is a fairy tale, and therefore has a happy ending. The children return home to a great embrace by their father who had been searching for them every day in the forest. Mother has died for reasons "no one alive can say". However, "the treasures they had brought from the old woman's cottage kept them comfortable, and there were to be no more empty plates in their lives."

 

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The Human Condition
 
"Written with a devastating spareness by Neil Gaiman and fearsomely illustrated in shades of black by Lorenzo Mattotti, the newest version of 'Hansel and Gretel' astonishes from start to finish...Their rendition brings a freshness and even a feeling of majesty to the little tale. Some great, roiling essence of the human condition — our fate of shuttling between the darkness and the light — seems to inhabit its pages...

 
H&GLorenzo Mattott.jpg4...It would be a monstrous thing to do, to kill our children,” the father says. “Lose them, not kill them,” the mother replies. In the Grimms’ original version... both parents agree that the children must be sacrificed. Then came later editions in which the mother alone is heartless. By the mid-19th century it was a stepmother who ordered the father to get rid of the children,...  Gaiman’s middle ground strikes just the right note of horror — a mother who would kill her children seems infinitely worse than a stepmother who makes the same calculation, yet having both parents plotting to off their offspring pushes the brutality too far toward hopeless despair rather than delicious terror....

The insights above were taken from Maria Russo's review of Hansel and Gretel in the New York Times
 
 
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AlbertEderfeltWomenOutsideChurchRuokolahtiThe Oral Tradition

An insight by Angela Carter reminds us that fairy tales, tales of wonder, connect us to the world of our ancestors...

"For most of human history, 'literature,' both fiction and poetry, has been narrated, not written — heard, not read. So fairy tales, folk tales, stories from the oral tradition, are all of them the most vital connection we have with the imaginations of the ordinary men and women whose labor created our world.”   Angela Carter



The painting of Finnish country women talking after church is by Albert Edelfelt

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Surviving in a Hard World

"The Grimms are in our blood. The fairy tales of 'Cinderella', 'Hansel and Gretel,' "The Fisherman and His Wife," 'Rumpelstiltskin' and dozens of others have become the common currency of our imagination. The cottage and the castle, or the forest or the mountain, have become the houses for our fears... 

Makovskiy_vladimir_peasant_children_1890... "We come to realize just how many of the Grimms' 'Tales' were about the family. These are stories of parents challenged by rural poverty, of husbands and wives fighting over who's in charge, of craftsmen who, for all their skill, cannot reshape their worlds. The 'once upon a time' here is a time of fishermen who get no fish, of shoemakers too poor to purchase leather, of unsuccessful millers and subsistence woodsmen. Many of these stories are tales of failed fathers who must make devilish deals to keep their children or, at worst, send them away.

And in those children, we may find true heroes. 'Hansel and Gretel' is really a fable of ingenuity: finding the pebbles or the breadcrumbs to mark the path home, or taking advantage of a witch's vanity to push her into an oven."

Seth Lerer writing about Phillip Pullman's book, Fairy Tales from the Brother's Grimmin the SF Gate. The painting of a peasant family is by Vladimir Makovsky
 
 
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30 sec adhorizBlogFeb2016How to Change the World in Thirty Seconds is dedicated to all of the individuals and groups who devote their heads, hands, and hearts to improving the world for companion animals.
You are all, every one of you, my heroes -- C.A. Wulff
 
"This is probably the best "how-to" book I have ever seen. It is written in a very conversational manner while being extremely educational. Along with giving step-by-step instructions on how to use each advocacy tool, Cayr gives some background on each website, organization, and group... She walks you through the necessary steps and gives tips..." 
 
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 Variations on Hansel and Gretel
 
There have been countless books,an enduring and respected opera by Engelbert Humperdinck, and a plethora of popular manifestations of Hansel and Gretel, Here ar two of the latter...celebrity photography and the world of fashion from Vogue magazine; and a song and video, Out Of The Woods, by the award winning Taylor Swift.
 
Hanselgretel-lady-gaga-andrew-garfield-hansel-gretel1The opera is performed by college theater groups as well as National Opera Companies of Holland, Wales,and England as well as the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
 
Vogue Magazine, in anticipation of the Met production, published an extensive Hansel and Gretel photo shoot by Annie Leibovitz. The witch was played by Lady Gaga and Hansel and Gretel by actors Andrew Garfield and Lily Cole.
 
 
 In her video,Taylor Swift, alone in an exotic and rather threatening woods, runs and sings her hit song, Out Of The Woods...the woods are alive, wolves are in pursuit. and the snow covers the world as she  sings  "Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we in the clear yet? Are we in the clear yet?..
 
The photo is by Annie Leibowitz for Vogue.. 

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"The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless."
 Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Kidlitosphere_central

POD-Daisy&Bean-blog sizeKidLitosphere has helped many readers find their way to these pages. Here is an excerpt from their home page...   

"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."  Here is a link to Kidlitosphere. 

The illustration from Planet Of The Dogs is by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty 

 

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An Enchanting Tale

Here are excerpts from the review of Planet Of The Dogs by Wayne Walker...

RjwithYogi reading PODbook"Did you ever wonder how dogs came to be man’s best friend? I’m sure that there is some historical explanation, although it may be shrouded in the mists of prehistoric times. But in your mind’s eye think back to those times and just imagine for a minute that there is a planet far out in space on the other side of the sun that is inhabited by intelligent dogs that live in peace and happiness. As the book opens, the dogs learn that there is trouble on Earth. Bik, the greedy leader of the warlike Stone tribe of Stone City, is planning to invade and conquer the peaceful people of Lake Village and surrounding Green Valley...

Author Robert J. McCarty has created a charming fantasy-allegory that can be read and understood on at least two different levels. Children will enjoy the story about dogs that come from another planet to help people on earth. But under the surface are the important messages of friendship, love, loyalty, and overcoming evil with good. 

Stella Mustanoja McCarty’s black-and-white shaded drawings are delightful companions to the text. Two sequels are now available, Castle in the Mist and Snow Valley Heroes: A Christmas Tale. Barking Planet Productions supports therapy dog reading programs across the country with book donations. Both old and young, especially dog lovers, will find Planet of the Dogs an enchanting tale."

Wayne Walker reviews for Stories for Children Magazine, Home School Book Reviews, and Home School Buzz,

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Arriving At Truth

"So I believe that we should trust our children. Normal children do not confuse reality and fantasy -- they confuse them EmperorsNewClothesmuch less often than we adults do (as a certain great fantasist pointed out in a story called 'The Emperor's New Clothes'). Children know perfectly well that unicorns aren't real, but they also know that books about unicorns, if they are good books, are true books. All too often, that's more than Mummy and Daddy know; for, in denying their childhood, the adults have denied half their knowledge, and are left with the sad, sterile little fact: 'Unicorns aren't real.' And that fact is one that never got anyone anywhere (except in the story 'The Unicorn in the Garden,' by another great fantasist, in which it is shown that a devotion to the unreality of unicorns may get you straight into the loony bin.) It is by such statements as, 'Once upon a time there was a dragon,' or 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit' -- it is by such beautiful non-facts that we fantastic human beings may arrive, in our peculiar fashion, at truth." 

Reprinted by Terri Windling in her blog, Myth and Moor -- From The Language of the Night by Ursula K. Le Guin

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Light in the Darkness

Crying childrenThe damaged lives and suffering of children and their parents in today's war-torn world affect us all. The International Rescue Committee provides help to children in over 20 countries. Here are excerpts from their website 

"Currently 20 million children and adolescents are uprooted from their homes either as refugees or internally displaced persons. In order to respond to this, the IRC promotes the protection and development of children and youth, from the earliest stages of an emergency, through post-conflict and recovery....
In over 20 countries, the IRC’s community-based, participatory and holistic children and youth programs include:

GirlBrotherRefugeesSyriaJeffJMitchellGetty IRC provides counseling and services to young people who have experienced disease, abuse, exploitation or loss and separation from their families.

IRC “child-friendly spaces” provide the youngest victims of war and natural disaster with a safe place to play, participate in structured activities and to heal from trauma and loss while rebuilding a sense of normalcy.

The IRC trains educators, constructs classroom, and supports schools that are attended by hundreds of thousands of children.

We provide skills training to young people who have had their education or careers interrupted by war or natural disaster. More than half of those who receive such training are girls...".

Here is a video about the vital work of the International Rescue Comittee 

Here is very moving video... A Syrian Refugee Mother's Plea

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Fairy_mounds_by_erynlasgalenphotoart-d73uy5sTill the moon has taken flight...

"Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand.
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand."

 From The Stolen Child by William Butler Yeats 

In 1988, The Waterboys, an Irish Musical Group set the The Stolen Child to heartfelt music. This was followed by a version with the lilting voice of the Canadian singer, Loreena McKennit

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Trying to Reach Home

The illustration that greets you at the top of this blog is from Tomm Moore's movie folktale, the Song Song of the SeaTommMooreof the Sea, an amalgam of Irish folklore and Moore's imagination. Here are excerpts from the Guardian's 5 Star review: 

"A gorgeous, almost painterly tale of two siblings trying to reach home, but waylaid by witches, owls and faeries...This superb Irish animation from the director of 2009’s The Secret of Kells is a treat; an enchanting and very moving 'family film'. Once again, the story is rooted in Irish folklore, with selkies, giants and faeries slipping in and out of a tale of a vanished mother, a grieving father, and two lost but resourceful children trying to make their way home." 

Link to the Guardian review Song of the Sea. This illustration is also from Song of the Sea by Tomm Moore
 
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Movies
 
THE WITCH
This new film, inspired by events in Salem, has excellent reviews and is off to a very good start. Here are excerpts from the review by Mahola Dargis in the NY Times.  

"A finely calibrated shiver of a movie, “The Witch” opens on a scene of religious wrath. On a New England plantation,
WitchTheGirlLanternaround 1630, a true believer, William (Ralph Ineson), and his family are facing a grim assemblage. The setting is a kind of meeting house crowded with men, women and children, a congregation whose silence and unsmiling faces imply disapproval or perhaps fear. Whether they’re standing in judgment doesn’t matter to William, whose arrogant faith in his own notion of Christianity is as deep and darkly unsettling as his sepulchral voice...

Written and directed by Robert Eggers, “The Witch ” takes place in an America that in its extremes feels more familiar than its period drag might suggest. It’s set a decade after the Mayflower landed in Plymouth and tracks William’s family as it leaves the plantation to settle down alone at the edge of a forest. There, the family members build a farm, grow corn and commit themselves to God, a contract tested by a series of calamities that turn this story of belief into a freak-out of doubt...

What makes you and the movie jump, is that he stays inside the characters’ worlds and heads, all disastrously close quarters. These are people who fervently believe both in the Devil and in God, and for whom witches are as real as trees; it’s no wonder that their inability to tame the New World blurs with their fears..."
 
Here is the compelling trailer for the Witch
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A Tribute to Hayao Miyazaki
SpiriteAwatGirlGhostsTrainRideThe Essence of Humanity is a 17 minute montage of compelling moments from the wonderful films of Hayao Miyazaki.
Miyazaki said:"Creating animation means creating a fictional world. That world soothes the spirit of those who are disheartened and exhausted from dealing with the sharp edges of reality." Written and narrated by Lewis Bond. Here is a link:The Essence of Humanity  

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Inside Out Wins Both the Academy Award and the Golden Globe...

Apparently, this is a true breakthrough film from Pixar with great reviews and huge audiences of kids and parents...with a worldwide box office of over $850,000 before the awards.

Here is an excerpt from A.O. Scott's rave review in the NY Times: "

InsideOutGirl"The story takes place mostly in the head of an 11-year-old girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), who has just moved with her parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) from Minnesota to San Francisco. What happens to Riley on the outside is pretty standard: a dinner-table argument with Mom and Dad; a rough day at school; a disappointing hockey tryout. But anyone who has been or known a child Riley’s age will understand that such mundane happenings can be the stuff of major interior drama.

......... The achievement of “Inside Out” is at once subtler and more impressive. This is a movie almost entirely populated by abstract concepts moving through theoretical space. This world is both radically new — you’ve never seen anything like it — and instantly recognizable, as familiar aspects of consciousness are given shape and voice. Remember your imaginary childhood friend? Your earliest phobias? Your strangest dreams? You will, and you will also have a newly inspired understanding of how and why you remember those things..."

Here is the link to the trailer of Inside Out 

 
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I've Never Felt So At Home 

GUARDIAN, wrote an article in praise of libraries..."Libraries today are as fast as and more generous than any online bookshop"...here is an excerpt:

LibraryNYC1..."It turns out that, during my five-year hiatus, the convenience argument has expired. The New York Public Library system has made it fantastically easy to order any book directly from your computer. There is a phone app, and an app for downloading ebooks. The half-empty shelves are irrelevant given that you can put a hold on any book in the entire New York system and it will be delivered to your branch within days. This week, I went on a half-hysterical borrowing frenzy and ordered ...Then I took my kids to the children’s section upstairs, where there are play mats and huge windows and a librarian who is very cross, all of the time, particularly if you try to feed your child a snack without her seeing. After almost 10 years in New York, I’ve never felt so at home."

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Peasant womenFairy Tales and the Human Struggle

At their best, the storytelling of fairy tales constitute the most profound articulation of the human struggle to form and maintain a civilizing process. They depict metaphorically the opportunities for human adaptation to our environment and reflect the conflicts that arise when we fail to establish civilizing codes commensurate with the self-interests of large groups within the human population...."  Jack Zipes on The Art Of Storytelling Show

 

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 More Children in Crisis

ReformaChildLogoThe National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos & the Spanish Speaking

" REFORMA, established in 1971 as an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), has actively sought to promote the development of library collections to include Spanish-language and Latino oriented materials; the recruitment of more bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff; the development of library services and programs...

The recent arrival of over 70,000 children crossing the southern border into the United States has created an unprecedented humanitarian refugee crisis that compels REFORMA as an organization to act.The children, mostly Spanish speaking, are coming from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.  While recent news SanDiego ShelterKIdsInLibrarycoverage of this event has focused on legal, medical and emergency response to services, there are few if any news stories that demonstrate the social-emotional and information needs of these children and families.  A view of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities shows children waiting in large storage like facilities with no activities to occupy the children’s minds through learning and play while they are being processed.

  With no knowledge of where they are going or if they will reach their families in the United States, REFORMA has implemented a project,Children in Crisis, to solicit donations, purchase and deliver books for these children.  We are soliciting children's books in Spanish to be delivered to the children in the detention centers in and to the shelters and group homes around the country where these children are sent after being processed.  In the second phase of the project we will be coordinating backpacks that will contain books as well as paper, pencils, erasers, crayons and a writing journal for children to use in their journey toward their destination..."  

Here is a link to learn more: Reforma Website. The Reforma photo is of a library visit by Hispanic shelter children.  

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ADW_logo1

Assistance Dogs of the West, Santa Fe , N.M., has won a $5,000 grant from the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) for their wonderful work with therapy dogs.

Here are excerpts from their site:

Assistance DogsWestSF-studentDogsStudent Trainers

"Simply put, we teach students to train dogs to help people. Since 1995, more than 2500 student trainers in New Mexico have taken part in the ADW Assistance Dog Student Training program, the largest of its kind in the world. This work strengthens relationships, builds skills and nurtures empathy among young people, the dogs they train and our clients..."

Warrior Canine Connection


Warrior Canine Connection™ (WCC™)
 teaches warriors with combat injuries how to train service dogs for other veterans with disabilities. The dogs are trained to provide mobility support and to offer constant, non-judgmental, healing companionship to minds and bodies ravaged by war.

 Here is an excerpt from the Planet Dog Foundation Site with a succinct overview:

Assistance DogsWestSF-'Assistance Dogs of the West teaches students of all ages to help train service dogs and provide dogs to people with physical, psychological,

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10. The Trouble with Cavapoos, by Stella Dutton | Dedicated Review

Stella Dutton has composed a rhyming tale about the trials and tribulations of living with Cavapoos. These lovable scamps are a mix between Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Poodles and are generally gentle and very smart.

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11. February- The Uses of Enchantment...books, kids, movies, and dogs

     BelarusAlexandraSoldatova    
The photograph of a Belarus bus stop is by Alexandra Soldatova


Enchantment takes many forms in wonder tales.

Metamorphosis and transformation are part of life.

In an instant, a girl, a boy, or even a powerful a prince may be transformed into a swan, a frog, a fox, a bird or a bear.  

And then, there is the beast...  

Beauty and the Beast
 
BeautyBeastAngelaBarrett3For a young woman to confront a beast is an experience of fear beyond words. In a time when dark spirits, witches and the devil himself acted on humans, both powerful kings and lowly peasants were vulnerable to transformation. Beauty and the Beast, is a rather incredible tale about a prince turned into a beast. And he will remain a beast until he marries. It will take an extraordinary woman to overcome her fear and revulsion and offer herself in marriage to the Beast...
 
Beauty and the Beast is an incredible story and a fascinating read. This story of fearful enchantment is not, however, for young children.
 
It was originally written in 1740 as a book, La Belle et La Bete, by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.  
 
The version rewritten in 1757 by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, and published in a magazine for proper young women, is the most widely known version today. It is much shorter than the original, and was especially relevant for its readers in its exploration of love and inner beauty.The story has inspired countless books, plays, and films. 
 
 
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Love, Fidelity, and Civilité
 
The following excerpt, by Terri Windling, taken from her Journal of Mythic Arts, provides insights into the relevance of Beauty and the Beast to the real life experiences of women. In her fascinating article, Windling also provides in-depth analysis and history of this classic fairy tale as well as the many variations inspired by the original.
 
The Journal of Mythic Arts, "(JoMA) is sponsored by The Endicott Studio , a nonprofit organization dedicated to literary, visual, and performance arts inspired by myth, folklore, fairy tales, and the oral storytelling tradition." 

BeautyAnd TheBeastangelaBarrett2"De Villeneuve was part of the "second wave" of French fairy tale writers (Madame D'Aulnoy, Charles Perrault, and other salon fairy tale writers comprising the "first wave" fifty years earlier). When she sat down to create Beauty and the Beast (a novella–length tale first published in La jeune ameriquaine, et les contes marins), she was influenced by the work of "first wave" writers, by the story of "Cupid and Psyche" in Apuleius' Golden Ass, and by the various Animal Bridegroom legends of folklore. The story she came up with was uniquely her own, however, and addressed issues of concern to women of her day. Chief among these was a critique of a marriage system in which women had few legal rights — no right to chose their own husband, no right to refuse the marriage bed, no right to control their own property, and no right of divorce. Often the brides were fourteen or fifteen years old, given to men who were decades older. Unsatisfactory wives risked being locked up in mental institutions or distant convents. Women fairy tale writers of the 17th & 18th centuries were often sharply critical of such practices, promoting the ideas of love, fidelity, and civilité between the sexes. Their tales reflected the realities they lived with, and their dreams of a better way of life. Their Animal Bridegroom stories, in particularly, embodied the real–life fears of women who could be promised to total strangers in marriage, and who did not know if they'd find a beast or a lover in their marriage bed."

The two illustrations, above, of Beauty and the Beast are by Angela Barrett. 
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Conversations with the Beast

Dinner in the Castle



BeautyBeastWalterCrane1"Go ahead and eat, Beauty",  said the monster,"And try not to get bored in this house, for everything here is yours, and I would be distressed if you were to become unhappy."
 
"You are very kind", said Beauty. "I swear to you that I am completely pleased with your tender heart. When I think of it, you no longer seem ugly to me."
 
"Oh, of course," Beast replied. "I have a tender heart, but I am still a monster."
 
"There are certainly many men more monstrous than you," said Beauty. " I like you better, even with your looks, than men who hide false, corrupt, and ungrateful hearts behind charming manners."
 
Metamorphosis
 
"Beast opened his eyes and said to beauty...'the thought of having lost you made me decide to starve myself to death. Now I will die happy for I have the pleasure of seeing you one last time.'  

BeautyAnd TheBeast MercerMayer'No, dear Beast, you will not die,' said Beauty. 'You will live and become my husband. From this moment on, I give you my hand in marriage, and I swear that I will belong only to you. Alas, I thought that I felt only friendship for you, but the anguish I am feeling makes me realize that I can't live without you.'
 
Scarcely had Beauty uttered these words when the castle became radiant with light...She turned back to look at her dear Beast, whose perilous condition made her tremble with fear. You can imagine her surprise when she discovered that Beast had disappeared and that a young prince, more handsome than the day was bright, was lying at her feet, thanking her for having broken the magic spell cast on him." 
 
The above excerpts by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont, are taken from  Annotated Classic Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar 
 
An annotated anthology of Beauty and the Beast stories is currently being edited by Marie Tatar 
 
The illustrations are by Walter Crane (top) and Mercer Mayer (bottom).
 
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An Ancient Story
 
More validation regarding the ancient origin of wonder tales, including Beauty and the Beast...
 
IrelandNewgrangsSara Graça da Silva, New University, Lisbon; and Jamshid J. Tehrani, Durham University; have published a new study exploring the origins of folktales in the Royal Society Open Science Journal.This is a new open journal publishing high-quality original research across the entire range of science on the basis of objective peer-review."The researchers for this study utilized innovative methodology and computer applications.Here is an excerpt:
 
 
_NewgrangeSoneCircleMoonlight..."For example, two of the best known fairy tales, ATU 425C Beauty and the Beast’ and ATU 500 ‘The Name of the Supernatural Helper’ Rumplestiltskin’) were first written down in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries [43]. While some researchers claim that both storylines have antecedents in Greek and Roman mythology [44,45], our reconstructions suggest that they originated significantly earlier. Both tales can be securely traced back to the emergence of the major western Indo-European subfamilies as distinct lineages between 2500 and 6000 years ago [2,3], and may have even been present in the last common ancestor of Western Indo-European languages (figure 4).
 
The photos are from Newgrange, a neolithic monument built 5,000 years ago in Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland.
 
Thanks to Heidi Anne Heiner and Sur La Lune where I first read about this study.
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Fairy Tales and the Civilizing Process
 
OrigFolkFairyTalesGrimmAndrea.3"At their best, the storytelling of fairy tales constitute the most profound articulation of the human struggle to form and maintain a civilizing process. They depict metaphorically the opportunities for human adaptation to our environment and reflect the conflicts that arise when we fail to establish civilizing codes commensurate with the self-interests of large groups within the human population. The more we give into base instincts – base in the sense of basic and depraved – the more criminal and destructive we become. The more we learn to relate to other groups of people and realize that their survival and the fulfillment of their interests is related to ours, the more we might construct social codes that guarantee humane relationships. -- Jack Zipes on The Art Of Storytelling Show
 
 
The Frog Queen illustration, by Andrea Dezso, is from Jack Zipe's book, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm. 
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 “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities.” 
― Maya AngelouPoems 
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WRADProjectPearlPartner
 
 
LitworldWRAD16logo-webWorld Read Aloud Day is February 24, 2016
 
 LitWorld empowers children worldwide through reading and the power of story.
 
World Read Aloud Day continues to grow and is now celebrated by over one million people world- wide.The following is from the LitWorld website...
 
 "World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries thanks to people like you who participate and spread the word across the globe!"
 
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2 Doghead 1.457 by 1.573 inchesPlanet Of The Dogs POD-Daisy&Bean-blog size
 

The Planet Of The Dogs  takes place long, ago. There were no dogs on planet earth. Invaders and outlaw tribes were an ongoing threat to farms, villages and towns where ordinary people lived.

Dogs came down to Green Valley from their own peaceful planet to help people. Using their courage, intelligence and their great love of humans, the dogs were able to help good people in myriad ways: rescuing lost children; bringing comfort and healing to the old and the lonely; guarding homes and farm; and finally, overcoming the invading warrior tribes and bringing peace to the land...

Reviewer Wayne Walker in Stories for Children Magazine:..." Author Robert J. McCarty has created a charming fantasy-allegory that can be read and understood on at least two different levels. Children will enjoy the story about dogs that come from another planet to help people on earth. But under the surface are the important messages of friendship, love, loyalty, and overcoming evil with good..."

 Read Sample Chapters of the Planet Of The Dogs series.

The illustrations from Snow Valley Heroes and Planet Of The Dogs are by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty
 
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Action and Compassion...An exciting video posted on Facebook by the Logical Indian...a dog, carried along turbulent waters, is rescued... for compassionate people and for all dog lovers...a dog rescue video

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Beauty and the Beast and Disney
 
BBeastEmmaWatsonPosterDisney is producing a new live action, 3-D, musical film version of Beauty and the Beast for release in March 2017.
Emma Watson
plays beauty. From the trailer, it looks like there are lots of special effects and plot additions. Music from the Disney hit Broadway musical version will be included. The Broadway version was written by Linda Woolverton, the writer also responsible for the very engaging, Maleficent . However, she is not the writer of this 2017 movie version.
 
We can only hope that Beauty's fearful journey of transition will not become a sugar coated, overwrought romance.
 
Here is the link to the trailer of the version that will open in 2017 .
 
 
Disney's 1991 animated film of Beauty and the Beast
 
I haven't seen this version. Therefore, I have posted excerpts from two recognized authorities.
 
Excerpts from two divergent opinions: One, by the respected Terri Windling, author of highly regarded children's BBeast1991Posterbooks and recognized as an expert on children's literature (Myth and Moor blog, the JOMA archives...Nonetheless, I found myself disturbed by the film — by the broad liberties the Disney Studio took in changing classic elements of the tale. This leads to the question of where precisely should one draw the line between use and abuse of fairy tales in creating art for modern audiences. It is a question that particularly concerns those of us interested in myth, folklore, fairy tales, and the ways they are used in contemporary arts.
 
Here is a divergent opinion by respected film critic, the late Roger Ebert,...  "The film is as good as any Disney animated feature ever made - as magical as “Pinocchio,” “Snow White,” “The Little Mermaid.” And it's a reminder that animation is the ideal medium for fantasy, because all of its fears and dreams can be made literal. No Gothic castle in the history of horror films, for example, has ever approached the awesome, frightening towers of the castle where the Beast lives..".
 
Disney Power, Enchantment and Myopia
 
DisneyCinderellaFor many years, Jack Zipes has written about, and documented, Disney's usurpation and corruption of fairy tales. Here is an excerpt...
 
"Our contemporary concept and image of a fairy tale have been shaped and standardized by Disney so efficiently through the mechanism of the culture industry that our notions of happiness and utopia are and continue to be filtered through a Disney lens even if it is myopic...myopic has continued to dominate both reality and utopia."
 
 
 
Jack Zipes, The Enchanted Screen, The Unknown History of Fairy Tale Films (2011); Zipes has co-edited with Pauline Cahill and Kendra Magnus-Johnston a new book, Fairy-Tale Films Beyond Disney, International Perspectives. 
 
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RoomToReadSriLankaRoom to Read...bringing books to disadvantaged children

Over 9.7 million books were checked out from Room To Read Libraries in 2012. Here are excerpts from their website describing some of the outstanding work they accomplish worldwide:

"We envision a world in which all children can pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world.

To achieve this goal, we focus on two areas where we believe we can have the greatest impact: literacy and gender equality in education.

  We work in collaboration with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the life skills they’ll need to succeed in school and beyond."

Here is a link to the Room to Read Literacy Program

RomReadCambodiaGirls' Education

"Our Girls’ Education Program ensures that girls complete secondary school and have the skills to negotiate key life decisions. Our program reinforces girls’ commitment to their own education, works with girls to develop essential life skills and increases support for girls’ education among their parents, school staff, and communities."

Here is a link to the Room to Read website

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 The Dogs of Circling the Waggins Live Here

SnowCabin ArielThis is the home of author, blogger and animal advocate, CA Wulff. This is where she lives with her rescued dogs, writes her books, and helps people and dogs. She recently wrote on her blog, Up On The Woof, about her rescue work through the Community page, Lost & Found Ohio Pets on Facebook. The number of lost dogs, abandoned dogs, and rescued dogs is staggering.

Wulff has written two outstanding, practical, How-To books for dog (and animal) owners -- and for caring people who want to make a difference.


FindingFidoFinding Fido: Practical Steps for Finding Your Lost Pet 

Here is an Amazon Review:

"Would you know what to do if you found a stray pet? You might think that calling animal control would be the best thing for the animal - but you'd be wrong. Lots of food for thought in this book, including what to do if you find a stray pet, how to keep from losing a pet, and what to do if your pet is lost. The authors are donating all of the proceeds to ARME's Beagle Freedom Project, a group that rescues dogs used in laboratories."

 


CoverHTCWorld30secondsHow To Change the World in 30 Seconds: A Web Warriors Guide to Animal Advocacy 
Online

Here is an Amazon Review:

"This book not only offers a starting point for animal rescue but serves as a comprehensive resource book for animal rights advocates. C.A. Wulff has done the urgent heavy lifting here so that the heart and the hands of the rescuer doesn't have to be burdened or bound with the anxieties of not knowing where to begin...I whole heartedly recommend this book as a necessary tool to bring about change in the world."

Here is a link to Circling the Waggins...a memoir of the canine connection in real life.

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One of the reasons for JK Rowling's success was that she didn't give a fig for what people thought they wanted. They didn't know they wanted Harry Potter till she wrote about him. That's the proper way round.

Phillip Pullman

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Beauty and the Beast -- Variations in Books, Film,Theater and Song
 
BroadwayPosterBBeastThe variations on Beauty and the Beast are endless. Countless books, toys and games, Film andTV productions, CD and DVD offerings...and much of it is owned or licensed by Disney. This is, indeed, a manifestation of the culture industry.  

Disney's Broadway musical version, according to Wikipedia,
"ran on Broadway for 5,461 performances between 1994 and 2007, becoming Broadway's ninth longest production in history...The musical has grossed more than $1.4 billion worldwide and played in thirteen countries and 115 cities."
 
Here is an excerpt from David Richard's review in the New York Times: "It is hardly a triumph of art, but it'll probably be a whale of a tourist attraction. It is Las Vegas without the sex, Mardi Gras without the booze...You don't watch it, you gape at it, knowing that nothing in Dubuque comes close."
 
Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast
 
BBeastCocteauBefore there were any Disney versions, Jean Cocteau, French author, designer, artist, playwright, and film maker created a film, La Belle et La Bete (1945). It was based on the version by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Filmed in black and white, it was highly stylized and elegant.
 
The film was very well received by the critics -- Roger Ebert added it to his list of the Best 25 Films. Bosley Crowther, in the New York Times , 'called the film a "priceless fabric of subtle images,...a fabric of gorgeous visual metaphors, of undulating movements and rhythmic pace, of hypnotic sounds and music, of casually congealing ideas." '(Wikipedia)

The Cocteau film also directly inspired, among several other versions, an opera by Phillip Glass, a Fairie Tale theater with Susan Sarandon and Klaus Kinski, and an original song by Stevie Nicks.

Here is a link to the song, Beauty and the Beast, sung by Stevie Nicks

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NEADSlogo

“[I] went from fighting on the battlefield, to laying in a bed and having people take care of [me], back to being independent and doing everything on [my] own…”

 Chris Strickland, Age 22, Corporal, U.S. Army, regarding his Service Dog, Ruthie.

 

Mission and Services

"NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans provide independence to people who are Deaf or have a disability through the use of canine assistance.

NEADSChildNanDog

NEADS (National Education for Assistance Dog Services, also known as Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was established in 1976. Our Assistance Dogs become an extension of their handlers and bring freedom, physical autonomy and relief from social isolation to their human partners.Service dogs are provided free to veterans.

The Human Canine Bond- NEADS has trained over 1,500 Assistance Dog teams since 1976. NEADS is accredited by Assistance Dogs International, the internationally recognized governing body that establishes industry standards and practices. NEADS offers a wide spectrum of Assistance Dog services"

Visit their website: NEADS

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 “When I was a child, adults would tell me not to make things up, warning me of what would happen if I did. As far as I can tell so far, it seems to involve lots of foreign travel and not having to get up too early in the morning.”
Neil Gaiman, Smoke and Mirrors

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The World and Its Wonders

Maria Tatar, in her wonderful book, Enchanted Hunters, describes how reading ignites a child's mind and transports them to worlds of imagination and wonder. In this excerpt from the chapter entitled Theaters for
the Imagination,
she discusses how fairy tales -- wonder tales -- opened the doors to new worlds:

Readersmain_school7"The deep, almost visceral connection between childhood and wonder had what was once perceived to be a dark side. The child's innate curiosity about the world and its wonders was repeatedly demonized and linked with the evils of idle hands...The rise of the fairy tale created a tectonic shift in children's literature and revealed that something had been long off kilter. Fairy tales -- sometimes referred to as "wonder tales" because they traffic in magic -- opened the door to new theaters of action, with casts of characters very different from the scolding schoolmarm, the aggravated bailiff, or the dis approving cleric found in manuals for moral and spiritual improvement. Books were suddenly invaded by fabulous monsters -- bloodthirsty giants, red-eyed witches, savage bluebeards, and sinister child snatchers -- and they produced a giddy sense of disorientation that roused the curiosity of the child reader."

Maria Tatar, Enchanted Hunters, the Power of Stories in Childhood.

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MaryBaloghauthor
 
A Message for the Family
This is a message from Churchhill Falls Public Library in Newfoundland, Canada...
Posted  by author Mary Balogh on her FB page.
 
 
 
 
 
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   LookingGlassPanorama

Movies 2016

Alice returns May 27 in Tim Burton's Through the Looking Glass (Disney)...Much the same wonderful cast...Here is the delightful trailer 

Inside Out 2, A Pixar film that has a humorous, Judy Blume approach to the mind of a young teenage girl...Inside Out was a multiple award winner...here is the trailer link: Inside Out 2   

The Angry Birds Movie (Sony)...Inspired by the  computer game...Opens in May...Here is the trailer for The Angry Birds Movie 

The Jungle Book (Disney)...in 3D and Imax 3D...Opens April 15...Here is the fast action trailer for The Jungle Book

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Warners)...written by JK Rowling...a return to the world of wizardry...Opens Nov 18...set in the USA in 1926...here is the announcement trailer

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GoodnightMoonElegant and Deep 

"If I am a scholar, I am also a parent. To read to a child is to experience not just the pleasures of instruction or the warmth of entertainment, but the immense importance of quite simply reading...Even the most ordinary prose becomes mag

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12. One Two That’s My Shoe by Alison Murray

One Two That’s My Shoe by Alison Murray | Storytime Standouts

One Two That's My Shoe by Alison Murray, reviewed by Storytime StandoutsOne Two That’s My Show written and illustrated by Alison Murray
Counting Picture Book published by Disney Hyperion Books

A delightful, cheery picture book, One Two That’s My Shoe by Alison Murray will have tremendous appeal for toddlers, preschoolers and older children. Beautiful illustrations feature a lovely palette and direct readers to notice numbers and what is to be counted in each two-page spread. Very well-suited to a classroom or a library read aloud session, the illustrations are bold and large enough for a group to enjoy.

One Two That's My Shoe spread

Georgie Dog picks up one of Grace’s shoes and within minutes a chase ensues. Georgie jumps over three teddy bears and races past four wooden blocks. Soon after, he rushes outside and into the garden. Grace chases after him. This is a playful pup with a winning personality. He is clearly having fun until he encounters ten upset chickens.

One Two That’s My Shoe is a special delight and highly recommended.

Young readers may recognize Georgie Dog and Grace from Apple Pie ABC

Cut and Colour Georgie Dog from Ms. Murray’s website

One Two That’s My Shoe! at Amazon.com

One, Two, That’s My Shoe! at Amazon.ca



Storytime Standouts - Raising Children Who Love to Read

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13. #805 – The Good Dog by Todd Kessler & Jennifer Gray Olson

The Good Dog Series: The Good Dog, #1 Written by Todd Kessler Illustrated by Jennifer Gray Olson Coralstone Press      10/26/2015 978-0-9898085-0-7 96 pages     Ages 3—10 “When little Ricky Lee finds a puppy on the side of the road, he takes him home and names him Tako. Ricky’s parents say that they …

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14. #804 – The Story of Diva and Flea from Mo Willems & Tony DiTerlizzi

The Story of Diva and Flea “As Told” by Mo Willems “As Shown” by Tony DiTerlizzi Hyperion Books for Children    10/13/ 2015 978-1-4847-2284-8 80 pages      Ages 6—8 “Diva, a small yet brave dog, and Flea, a curious streetwise cat, develop an unexpected friendship in this unforgettable tale of discovery. For as long as …

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15. January -- Mysteries Have No Limits, Books, Kids, Movies and Dogs

                   RRHVogel


Why do wonder tales endure?

Is the harsh world of the Grimms more than a reflection of the past?

Does children's literature, in books and movies, bring the mysteries of the past into the present?

Can childhood stories open the doors of the mind to the present -- and the future?

The illustration of Little Red Riding Hood is by Hermann Vogel 

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Alone in the Forest 
 
RRHTreeWolf
 
Why has Little Red Riding Hood endured? A young girl, alone in the forest, disobeys her mother, strays from the path, talks to a wolf, and proceeds to a disastrous self-created ending...or one of many other endings.
 
This simple story, hundreds of years old, has been told and written in countless variations ranging from a morality tale and warning (as with Perrault in 1697); to the Grimm's version with a positive ending; to Angela Carter's breakthrough, The Company of Wolves; to a 42 million dollar Hollywood box office failure, Red Riding Hood, that apparently tried to ride the commercial success of the Twilight phenomenon.
 
 
 
 
The illustration is by Warwick Goble
 
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The Spirit of Little Girls
 
 "The characters in familiar fairy tales have a way of sinking deep into our psyches. Charles TerriWindlingLittleRRHDickens claimed Little Red Riding Hood as his first love, and felt that if only he could have married her, he would have known perfect bliss. Yet Little Red Riding Hood was changed through the years, diminished, punished, literally gobbled up. By knowing and retelling older versions of her story, and by re-imagining her in fiction and poetry today, we reclaim the spirit of girls everywhere who can face down the wolves in their lives, and outwit them."
 
These words come from author, scholar and artist Terri Windling, who wrote a most comprehensive and informative overview of Little Red Riding Hood from early times (before Perrault), to the present. Her article offers many insights into why this simple tale has endured. Entitled The Paths of Needles and Pins, this excellent article was published in her blog, the Journal of Mythic Arts Archives
 
Here is a link to read it all:  Journal of Mythic Arts archives.
 
The illustration of Little Red Riding Hood is by Terri Wilding.
 
 
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Trials and Tribulations  

Speed_goldenhood1When Jack Zipes wrote The Trials and Tribulations of Little Red Riding Hood (1993), he used the continued reappearance of the tales to provide a detailed social history of Red Riding Hood and to explore questions regarding the relationship of the tales to western culture, sexism, and politics. 

Zipes included versions of the tale by 35 authors, beginning with Perrault in the 17th century and culminating with Sally Moller Gearhart's "remarkable tale", Roja and Leopold, published in 1990.

Noting the rise in versions of the tale that deal with sexuality, violence, empowerment and gender, he writes, "I believe the issue of rape and violence in our society has taken on immense proportions. It is because rape and violence are at the core of Little Red Riding Hood that it is the most widespread and notorious fairy tale in the Western world if not the entire world...It is not by chance that most new and experimental versions since 1983 have been written by women and are feminist. The confrontations and situations that women experience in our society have compelled them to reflect upon the initial encounter between wolf and girl, that they may have heard, read, or seen as children."

 

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Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked, Sex Morality, And The Evolution Of A Fairy Tale

OrensteinWhen Caren Orenstein published her well received book in 2002, it stimulated renewed interest and offered fresh insights into the wonder tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Here is an excerpt from an article, Dances With Wolves, that she wrote for Ms magazine to introduce readers to her book... 

Little Red Riding Hood's Long Walk in the Woods

"Mae West, who mined the rich symbolic terrain of fairy tales, once famously quipped, “I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.”

These days the social and sexual messages of fairy tales are no secret. Feminists in particular have long recognized that fairy tales socialize boys and especially girls, presenting them with lessons that must be absorbed to reach adulthood.

But what exactly are those lessons? We tend to think of fairy tales as timeless and universal, but in fact they express our collective truths even as those truths shift over time and place.

Take the story of Little Red Riding Hood, for example — a tale we all know well, though not as well as we think.

Once upon a time, “Little Red Riding Hood” was a seduction tale..."

 The Mother Lode of Mother Goose
 
Maerchen-rotkaeppchen-DW- "In Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality, and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale, women's issues journalist Catherine Orenstein has hit the mother lode of Mother Goose, peeling back layers of literary embroidery to reveal the raw, primal tale within. Judging by the countless pop-culture spinoffs we see in advertising, film, music and cartoons, Red's story still reverberates with sexual danger and the irresistible lure of the forbidden.

It's a feminist writer's dream because it plays around with gender roles...",

The above excerpt is from an excellent review of the book by Margaret Gunning in January Magazine .

The illustration is by Walter Crane.

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Thought Provoking Presentations On Red Riding Hood

Via You Tube                RRHWolfBedGustavDore

Here is a link to Catherine Orenstein and Maria Tatar in a spirited presentation/discussion of Orenstien's Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked at the Cambridge/WGBH Forum.

 The Big Bad Wolf Reconsidered...A Girl, A Wolf, An Encounter In The Woods...Here is link to see Maria Tatar at the Chicago Humanities Festival exploring the evolution of the classic story of Little Red Riding Hood. She begins this engaging presentation with a full screen visual: A Girl, A Wolf, An Encounter in the Woods...and then asks, What Does the Story Mean?...
 
The illustration is by Gustav Dore. 
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The Company of Wolves

"An Uncanny, Hypnotic Force" wrote the esteemed critic and author, Roger Ebert  after viewing the film written by Angela Carter, The Company of Wolves. The film was based on stories taken from her book, the Bloody Chamber. 
Here are excerpts from his insightful review...
 
InTheCompanyofWolves"'The Company of Wolves' is a dream about werewolves and little girls and deep, dark forests. It is not a children's film  and it is not an exploitation film; it is a disturbing and stylish attempt to collect some of the nightmares that lie beneath the surface of "Little Red Riding Hood."

The movie begins in the present, but quickly enters the dreams of an adolescent girl. She dreams many variations on the same theme: That men may turn out to be wolves, and that little girls should never, ever, stray from the path through the  woods... 

The movie is based on a novel and a screenplay by Angela Carter, who has taken Red Riding Hood as a starting-place for the stories, which are secretly about the fearsomeness of sexuality. She has shown us what those scary fairy tales are really telling us; she has filled in the lines and visualized the parts that the Brothers Grimm left out (and they did not leave out all that many parts). The movie has an uncanny, hypnotic force; we always know what is happening, but we rarely know why, or how it connects with anything else, or how we can escape from it, or why it seems to correspond so deeply with our guilts and fears. That is, of course, almost a definition of a nightmare."
 
Here is a link to read the entire review by Roger Ebert
 
Here is a You Tube link to the trailer for the film...You Tube also has several segments of the film on their site.

“Is not this world an illusion? And yet it fools everybody.” Angela Carter
 
 

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Logo-guidedogs-hor-blue-520x110

Southeastern Guide Dogs
offers people with good eyesight a unique opportunity to raise their awareness and PFP-COVERunderstanding. After first receiving background information from a trainer, participants have the experience of walking blindfolded and being led by one of their trained guide dogs. This is one of several programs they run to raise awareness.

Here is a description from their website of their wonderful work:

"Founded in 1982, we employ the latest in canine development and behavior research to create and nurture partnerships between visually impaired individuals and extraordinary guide dogs. We serve more than 400 graduates across the U.S. and continue to place more than 100 dogs each year into careers benefitting people with visual impairments, and veterans...We provide all of our services free of charge and receive no government funding."

Southeastern Guide Dogs Have Received a PDF Grant

A Planet Dog Foundation Grant (PDF) of $5000 was awarded for the Paws for Patriots program conducted by Southeastern Guide Dogs. This program trains dogs specifically to work with veterans with visual impairment and/or PTSD. Approximately 100 dogs are trained and placed each year

Here's a link to their website: Southeastern Guide Dogs

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LogoHope for Refugees
 
Hands on help and hope...food, shelter, clothing, medicine...help for multitudes of refugee children and their families...2.9 million Syrian children live as refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq..As the conflict continues, desperation and the hope of finding a Syria-Refugee-family-in-Lebanon better future for their children finds many families on perilous journeys to Europe.
 
"The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. At work in over 40 countries and 25 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity and hope, the IRC leads the way from harm to home... The IRC is providing relief to millions of uprooted people in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Turkey, Jordan, Greece, and in the U.S..."
 
The photo of the Syrian family was taken in a refugee camp in Lebanon.
 
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WRADDhaka,Bangladesh
 
World Read Aloud Day is February 24, 2016
 
LitWorld empowers children worldwide through reading and the power of story. World Read Aloud Day continues to grow and is now celebrated by over one million people world-wide. The following is from the LitWorld website  
 
LitworldWRAD16logo-web
"World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their futures: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their stories.

World Read Aloud Day allows members of our year-round programs to invite more people into their literacy community and brings LitWorld’s messages to the rest of the world. World Read Aloud Day is now celebrated by over one million people in more than 100 countries and reaches over 31 million people online.

The growth of our movement can be attributed in large part to our network of partner organizations and “WRADvocates” – a group of reading advocates and supporters taking action in their communities and on social media and special thanks to Scholastic, our official 2015 World Read Aloud Day sponsor."

The photo was taken in Dhaka Bangladesh on World Read Aloud Day,2015

This link will take you on a wonderful 21/2 minute journey among the LitWorld children.

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Little Red Riding Hood--
Variations, Spinoffs, Bifurcations 

Little Red Ride Hood has been a source, an inspiration, for countless variations...from children's illustrated stories, to digital games, and from humor to music..

Whatever Happened to the Big Bad Wolf?...Here are excerpts from Pamela Paul's NY Times article discussing four illustrated books for young children wherein the wolf is no longer dangerous...

RRHSweetLittleWolf "Once upon a time, the Big Bad Wolf was a mighty fearsome fellow. In the folkloric tales of Aesop and the Grimms, he terrorized small children and other helpless critters. He blew down houses in Disney’s “Three Little Pigs,” and in “The Three Little Wolves,” a somewhat sinister Silly Symphony cartoon from 1936, after the Nazi ascent to power, he is saddled with a German accent...Perhaps he was due for a makeover. Four new picture books this year brush aside his surly past and sweeten him up for warmer and fuzzier tales, while still retaining a bit of bite..."



WoolfeThe Red Hood DiariesWoolfe - The Red Hood Diaries
...
From the  world of digital games, we have Woolfe the electronic age version of Little Red Riding Hood created by Wim Wouters. Here is a fearless young woman with great physical prowness, seeking revenge from Woolfe, the cruel and powerful business tycoon. The action takes place amidst exceptional graphics rendering a complex 19th century fantasy European city. 

Here is a link to see Little Red Riding Hood as a beautiful, powerful, strong, young womanRedHoodDiaries
 
 
The Little Girl and the Wolf - James Thurber, humorist, cartoonist and author wrote a condensed version of the ThurberRRHclassic story. In Thurber's "The Little Girl and the Wolf,"  Red Riding Hood is not fooled by the wolf pretending to be her granny:

"She had approached no nearer than twenty-five feet from the bed when she saw that it was not her grandmother but the wolf, for even in a nightcap a wolf does not look any more like your grandmother than the Metro-Goldwyn lion looks like Calvin Coolidge. So the little girl took an automatic out of her basket and shot the wolf dead.

(Moral: It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be.)" 

Here is a link to read all of Thurber's bifurcated short story of Little Red Riding Hood -- the same link will also take you to Roald Dahl's saucy, irreverent poem of Little Red Riding Hood from his book, Revolting Rhymes...And here is a delightful reading of his poem by Roald Dahl.
 
 
 
Cathy-Davey-LittleRedLittle Red is an original contemporary song by the talented Irish folk singer Cathy Davis...The lyrics in the song, "Ooh I wouldn't let him him", say it all. Here's a link to Cathy singing Little Red
 
Cathy Davis is a far cry from Sam the Sham (link) and the Pharohs, in their golden oldie song of Little Red Riding Hood.
 
Amanda Seyfried is also a far cry from Sam the Sham 
when she sings his song is a slow ballad...lyrics on the screen: Here's the link: Amanda

The top illustration is by Liz Pichon. The cartoon is by James Thurber. The photo at the bottom is of Cathy Davis.  

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Red Riding Hood in Hollywood

RRHMoviePosterThe critics had negative reactions to Hollywoodd's last attempt to reinvent Little Red Riding Hood. Here is an excerpt from the caustic review by  Mary Pols in Time Magazine. She entitled her review, Red Riding Hood: My, What a Ridiculous Plot You Have! "...A sexed-up, dumbed-down cross between the children's fairy tale and 'The Wolfman,' 'Red Riding Hood' is mostly a snack for tweens between meals of 'Twilight'...Was Red Riding Hood masterminded by a cadre of particularly silly eleven year-olds undergoing withdrawal from Twilight? That's the only excuse for a movie this dopey."

Here is another scathing review, this one by Roger Ebert

Red Riding Hood

RRHoodMovieGrandmasHouse"Of the classics of world literature crying out to be filmed as a sexual fantasy for teenage girls, surely "Red Riding Hood" is far down on the list. Here's a movie that cross-pollinates the "Twilight" formula with a werewolf and adds a girl who always wears a red hooded cape, although I don't recall her doing any riding. It's easy to imagine a story conference in which they said: Hey! Let's switch the vampires with a werewolf and recycle the theme of a virgin attracted to a handsome but dangerous hunk, only let's get two hunks!..."Red Riding Hood" has the added inconvenience of being dreadfully serious about a plot so preposterous, it demands to be filmed by Monty Python..."

Here is a link to read the entire Ebert review: Red Riding Hood
 
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POD-Stone castle-blog sizeNo One Had Ever seen a Dog

 Long, long ago...

There was plenty of space for people to settle and grow things. Many of the places where people lived were very beautiful. There were clear lakes and cool streams with lots of fish. There were fields and woods with game to hunt. And there were rolling hills and open plains with plants growing everywhere. Many people settled in these places of abundance and prospered.
 
And then, invaders came. Where once there had been harmony and friendship, there was now fear, anger, and unhappiness. Something had to be done -- but what could anybody do? No one knew it at that time, but help would come from the Planet of the Dogs..
                                       
 Read More: Sample Chapters of the Planet Of The Dogs series.
 
The illustration from Planet Of The Dogs is by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty
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Born Without a Tail: the Making of an Animal Advocate 

Bwtcoversamp_sm (2)Here is a heartfelt review of C.A. Wulff's memoir, Born Without A Tail, by Cherry Ophelia, that really gives an excellent sense of the reader's experience when visiting Wullf's world. Bob Tarte wrote a foreward in this revised and updated 2015 version of the book. 

"Normally, if a cat or dog dies in a book or movie, I avoid it. I have enough heartbreak with my real-life pets, I say.

Not so with C.A. Wulff's Born Without A Tail. Wulff tells the story of her real pets and their real lives Zoeyfenceand deaths for a real reason—to remember her special dog, Dillon (who is still alive in the afterword!), and to introduce readers to the realities of life as a pet rescuer. I was more than happy

to laugh and cry
with Wulff and her partner, Dalene, as they learn of dogs and cats they can’t turn away, visit an animal communicator for eerily accurate readings on each animal, and hunker down to keep their multi-species family together through life’s many bumps and turns. I finished Born Without A Tail in two evenings, and I’m sure it will be a rereading favorite for years to come.


... Born Without A Tail is a sincerely funny and heartfelt tale of Wulff’s pack. Wait until you read about how Gypsy helped herd the family cats, how Dillon made his objections clear when his small stature was discussed with a stranger, or how Troll preferred his takeout hamburgers—you’d be barking mad to pass up this book!"
 
Zoey, the dog in the photo, is one of Wulff's pack 
 
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Dog 1.26 by 2.173 inches

 

Winter Fun With Dogs...Many smiles for dog lovers in this compilation montage of dogs in the snow: SnowFrolic

The illustration is from Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, is by Stella McCarty

 

 

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Extending the Limits 

Alexandra Alter, in the NY Times, wrote a recent article entitled :Bedtime Reading, Written by a Robot Just for You. Here are excerpts from her article regarding an innovative use of technology that provides customized books for young readers and those learning to read. The links provide examples an more information
 
"What if you could use technology to fashion a story for each young reader and create a more sophisticated children’s book? Mr. Sharabi consulted two friends, a writer and a technologist, and they decided to try it themselves.

Lost NameIllustrationThey came up with a story about a child who has forgotten his or her name and goes on a journey to find it, encountering creatures and characters that provide clues. A boy named Sam, for example, will meet a squid, an aardvark and a mermaid, who each present him with a letter of the alphabet....

They tested the name Andrew first. It worked. Nearly four years later, their company, Lost My Name, has created illustrated books based on more than 150,000 names. More than a million copies of “The Little Boy/Girl Who Lost His/Her Name” have sold in 160 countries this year, including around 370,000 in the United States. “It’s an old-fashioned book, but with a lot of technology behind it,” said Mr. Sharabi, a 42-year-old former marketing consultant."

If you click on the image it will become clear. If you follow the links you will find information about a second book, based on similar technology, "The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home." It sounds intriguing.

Here is a link to a you tube video, about a little boy, that explains Lost My Name books in a clear fashion: I Lost My Name 

Here is you tube video about a little girl that also explains it all: Amber lost her name

Here is a link to read all of this article: NY Times

Here is a link to the Lost My Name website: Name 

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HandsRose.6pg

The Mysterious Human Canine Bond

A former teacher, Susan Purser, and her Australian Cattle Dog, Rose, have been very active as a therapy dog team for thirteen years in Sarasota, Florida. Here is an excerpt from a letter she sent me.


RoseBig4“I consider myself a facilitator…if my dog could drive, she would not need me. Rose seems to enjoy seeing people multiple times and developing a relationship with the people… She is a working dog by nature and she just loves these jobs.  I am constantly amazed at the doors that Rose opens…she goes to places I could never get without her…reaches beyond my reach, touches a person deeper than my touch.  The restless or agitated patient who is calmed by Rose’s touch...the child in the classroom who won’t settle down and get to work but when Rose sits by them, they quiet right down and the hyperactivity seems to dissipate.  The child getting excited about reading to Rose every week; they wouldn’t do that for me, but they do it for Rose.  Lying with a dying patient who will smile, close their eyes and stroke her with a peacefulness that is so precious…I know I could not enter that person’s space without Rose…it really is all about occupying part of someone else’s space for just a short time be it in a school, home or hospital...”

 “No matter who you are or why you do pet therapy, it is the dog that opens the door…doors that would otherwise be closed to a well meaning human…doors that are sometimes closed to family, friends, care givers and staff of facilities.  There is something very special about these canine creatures and they have been saving and comforting humans for thousands of years.  It is their touch or look that gives people that inner peace when their world is shrinking or spinning so fast they have lost control.  When doors begin the final closing, there is that one last smile, nod, a hand that reaches for a dog that allows some of them to say good bye and close their eyes in peace.”  

 
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  SunbearSqBigLogo

Sunbear Squad is a leading source for information and guidance in dog rescue and care. Here is an excerpt from their site about Sunbear --  the original inspiration for all the good work they do...


Who was Sunbear?...He was a young dog who died tragically of neglect in an empty townhouse in 2002 even though there were neighbors on both sides. Sunbear's highly-publicized case had a huge effect on humane laws in West Virginia, and his story inspires thousands worldwide to help save animals in distress today.Read his true story here.

 

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We have free reader copies of the Planet Of The Dogs series  for therapy dog organizations, individual therapy dog owners, librarians and teachers...simply send us an email at planetofthedogs@gmail.com and we will send you the books.  

Our books are available through your favorite independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell's and many more.

Planet Of Th

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16. NOT My Year in Photos!

Well!


I've been struggling to post a plethora of photos using my phone because that's where all my photos are! Blogger even has, as one of the photo sources, From Your Phone. It displays almost twenty photos, but my phone contains more than fifteen hundred photos! Clearly, I must research updating my blog from my phone.

Until then, Merry Christmas!
Avalon!
Danette Haworth

Alfie & Casey

Vicerys (How I've missed you!)




K

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17. Woof: A Bowser and Birdie Novel, by Spencer Quinn | Book Review

Woof: A Bowser and Birdie Novel is an awesome book and everyone should read it!

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18. #788 – Stay! by Alex Latimer

$50 Gift Certificate Holiday Giveaway Enter here:   Mudpuppy Holiday Giveaway  . Stay! A Top Dog Story Written & Illustrated by Alex Latimer Peachtree Publishers     9/01/2015 978-1-56145-884-4 32 pages     Ages 4—8 “Looking after Ben’s dog, Buster, is no walk in the park—Buster is messy, he is rowdy, he is EXHAUSTING! But Ben loves …

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19. Big Dog and Little Dog Getting In Trouble

Bog Dog and Little Dog Getting In Trouble. Dav Pilkey. 1997/2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Do you know Big Dog and Little Dog? If you don't, you should! Especially if you love dogs. (But also, even if you don't.) Big Dog and Little Dog star in a series of early readers. The stories are simple and funny. The illustrations are bold and bright. Overall, these books are just PURE PLEASURE to read.

Big Dog and Little Dog Getting In Trouble is no exception. This title is perfect for the series. (You do not have to read the books in any order. But my guess is that once you've read one, you'll want to read them all. Again and again and again.)

In this story, the trouble starts when Big Dog and Little Dog want to PLAY. Sounds innocent enough, right?! Well, then end up playing with the couch. And the title says it all, both dogs get in trouble!!!

I definitely recommend this series. The reading level for all the books, if I recall correctly, is Guided Reading Level D.

(Like previous books in this newly republished series, this book has activities at the end.) 

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on Big Dog and Little Dog Getting In Trouble as of 10/30/2015 3:07:00 PM
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20. November - Myths and Dark Deeds, books, movies, kids, and dogs

      US Fall 2012 159
  

 
In Days Gone By...
 
Oral tales, songs, and poems reflected the lives of the people. They were stories and songs of wonder and dreams. 

00018They were told and discussed around the hearth, the marketplace,the spinning room, and in the taverns --wherever people gathered.
          
They helped people to cope with the wars, hunger, poverty and religious conflicts that characterized their lives.
 
In the 16th and 17th centuries, Giambattista Basile, a Neopolitan  soldier, courtier and writer (1575-1632), collected and rewrote, in the language of ordinary people, 50 tales of wonder. 
 
They were called the Tale of Tales or the Pentamerone.
 
Tale_of_Tales_Poster_Italia_midNow, for the first time, several of these tales have been adopted into a landmark film, the Tale of Tales.
 
I have seen the film and found it uncompromising in reflecting the sensibility of the original tales. However, like the original tales, they are far from the simplified, romanticized, linear simplicity of Disney films.This, in turn, may be affecting the as yet incomplete distribution of Tale of Tales.
 
I found that the two reviews excerpted below offer insightful personal reactions to the film. They both came from viewings at the Cannes Film Festival.
 
Unnerving Even For Adults

TaleOfTalesMatteoGarrone3"Drawing on the rich and until-now unexplored vein of Neapolitan fairy tales written by Giambattista Basile in the early 17th century, Tale of Tales combines the wildly imaginative world of kings, queens and ogres with the kind of lush production values for which Italian cinema was once famous. The result is a dreamy, fresh take on the kind of dark and gory yarns that have come down to us from the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault, only here they're pleasingly new and unfamiliar. Starring Salma Hayek as a childless queen who is willing to do anything – absolutely anything – to conceive...

These fairy tales are certainly not aimed at children, though they will light the fire of many teens. Apart from a few moments of artistic eros — the first a shot of two court ladies consumed with passion for each other in a carriage; the second a post-orgy scene laced with naked, Felliniesque bodies — there is an underlying horror that is unnerving even for adults."  

 From the review by Deborah Young in the Hollywood Reporter. 
 
Gloriously Mad
 
"Matteo Garrone’s Tale of Tales is fabulous in every sense: a freaky portmanteau film based
TheTaleOfTales.2jpgon the folk myths collected and published by the 16th-century Neapolitan poet and scholar Giambattista Basile ... It is gloriously mad, rigorously imagined, visually wonderful: erotic, hilarious and internally consistent. The sort of film, in fact, which is the whole point of Cannes. It immerses you in a complete created world..."
 
From the review by Peter Bradshaw in the 

 Guardian

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bawdier and Crueler

 


TaleOfTales "The tales were probably intended to be read aloud in the 'courtly conversations' that were an elite pastime of this period...Lo conto (the tales) contains the earliest literary versions of many celebrated fairy-tale types -- Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and others -- that later appeared in Perrault's and the Grimm's collections. But Basile's tales are often bawdier and crueler than their more canonical counterparts." -- 
Nancy Canepa,The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales. 

 Here is a link to the Trailer: Tale Of Tales 

Here is a link to the 1894 translation by John Edward Taylor of the Tale of Tales (The Pentamerone) with illustrations by John Cruickshank. 

Except for the detail from a Bruegel painting, at top, all of the above images are from the Tale of Tales. 

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The Sun, Moon and Talia...the original story of Sleeping Beauty.
 
Here is an excerpt from Basile's story of what later became a very different story, by both Perrault and the Brothers Grimm (Briar Rose). Written for adults in the early 17th century, it's a long way from Disney.
 
 
BurneJonesSleepingBeauty"So he (a young king) climbed in and wandered the palace from room to room, but he found
nothing and no one. At last he came to a large, beautiful drawing room, where he found an enchanting girl who seemed to be sleeping. He called to her, but she would not wake. As he looked at her, and tried to wake her, she seemed so incredibly lovely to him that he could not help desiring her, and he began to grow hot with lust. He gathered her in his arms and carried her to a bed, where he made love to her. Leaving her on the bed, he left the palace and returned to his own city, where pressing business for a long time made him think no more about the incident.

Briar_rose_Walter-Crane1But Talia, who was not dead, but merely unconscious, had become pregnant, and after nine months she gave birth to twins, as beautiful a boy and girl as ever were born. Kindly fairies attended the birth, and put the babies to suck at their mother’s breast. One day, one of the infants, not being able to find the nipple, began to suck at his mother’s finger. He sucked with such force that he drew out the splinter of flax, and Talia awoke, just as if from a long sleep. When she saw the babies, she did not know what had happened or how they had come to her, but she embraced them with love, and nursed them until they were satisfied. She named the infants Sun and Moon. The kindly fairies continued to attend her, providing her with food and drink, which appeared as if delivered by unseen servants..."

Here is a link to read it all: Sun, Moon and Talia

The top illustration is by Edward Burne-Jones. The lower illustration is by Walter Crane. 

.......

The Oral Tradition

BeautytheBeastCrane..."The tales came to the tellers from other tellers, or they read tales, digested them, and made them their own. Indeed, we always make tales our own and then send them off to other tellers with the hope that they will continue to disseminate their stories..." - Jack Zipes, The Forgotten Tales of the Brothers Grimm,  in the The Public Domain Review

 The illustration of Beauty and the Beast is by Walter Crane.

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 Inside Those Secret Forests, Caves, and Seas...
 

Pekka_HalonenPioneersInKareliaKarjalassa 
"These were the 'last echoes of pagan myths...A world of magic is opened up before us, one which still exists among us in secret forests, in underground caves, and in the deepest sea, and it is still visible to children...(Fairy tales) have existed among the people for several centuries.' And what we find inside those secret forests, caves and seas...(are) fairy tales full of families, full of parents who bequeath a sense of self to children, full of ancestors and heirs whose lives play out, in little, the life of a nation from its childhood to maturity."

-- Wilhelm Grimm quoted by Seth Lerer in his book, Children's Literature, A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter. 

Illustration from Pekka Halonen's painting, Pioneers In Karelia

 ...............

The TN Safety Spotters 

The TN Safety Spotters, dogs from Memphis, TN, are Deaf Therapy Dogs who travel the Mid-South with owner, trainer, and handler, Paricia Bell. All the Spotters are rescued dogs.


TN SZafetySpotters"TN Safety Spotter’s goal is to significantly reduce the number of dog bite injuries and fire deaths in children using deaf therapy dogs as educational tools and teaching aides in Fire Safety and Dog Bite Prevention programs...

"The Spotters visit schools, libraries, hospitals, Fire Stations, camps and special events"...they are an excellent example of a dedicated dog lover finding multiple ways to help children and adults through their therapy dogs. The fact that the latest scientific research shows 30% of Dalmatians are born deaf has not deterred Patricia Bell nor her dogs 

................. 

Who were the Snow Valley Heroes?

Did they really save Christmas? The question has been asked by children and adults for many years. And there have been many who tried to answer these questions.

Northern lights-397KBThe confusion and uncertainty is because the Snow Valley Heroes came from the Planet Of The Dogs long, long ago.This is the true story of how the dogs saved Christmas, told for the first time in many years.

"Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, represents the age-old struggle between good and evil, and the fight to save the Spirit of Christmas–told in a format children can comprehend.  My 10-year-old son was excited to see a new Planet of the Dogs book arrive in our mailbox..I give this Christmas treasure a rating of five stars."  -- Charyl Miller Pingleton, The Uncommon Review

For sample chapters, please visit our website: Planet Of The Dogs 

 

..............

We have free reader copies of the Planet Of The Dogs series  for therapy dog organizations, individual therapy dog owners, librarians and teachers...simply send us an email at planetofthedogs@gmail.com and we will send you the books.  

Our books are available through your favorite independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, SnowForest2Amazon, Powell's and many more.

Planet Of The Dogs is now available in digital format at

Barnes and NobleAmazonKoboOysterInkteraScribdTolino   

Librians, teachers, bookstores...You can also order Planet Of The Dogs, Castle In The Mist, and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, through Ingram with a full professional discount. 

To read sample chapters of the series, visit Planet Of The Dogs. -

 The illustration, above, from Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, is by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty.

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The Skies Have Clouded Over

Game-of-Thrones-Kayak-Easter-Eggs"Disquiet about fairytales has become rather more widespread...Dislike of shallow promises and easy solutions in times of war, eco-disaster and other horrors have grounded fairytales; the escapist stories have become lenses through which difficult truths are inspected. Children around the world continue to grow up with the magic of fairytales in books, and to relish the multiple ways they are adapted, updated and put on to stage and screen. But the “realisation of imagined wonder”, which JRR Tolkien saw as the aim of the genre, isn’t always bright and shiny any more; its skies have clouded over..."

From: How Fairy Tales Grew Up by Marina Warner in the Guardian

The picture is from the TV show Game Of Thrones

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Dark Dystopia 

DestructionFinalA Global Event HungerGames:Mockingjay2 is opening on November 18-20 worldwide after a premiere in Paris on November 9th. The first three Hunger Games films have grossed nearly two billion dollars. The films came from the Hunger Games book series by Suzanne Collins; over fifty million books have been sold.

This is another huge crossover phenomenon.

The Hunger Games films have also become an example of what Marina Warner refers to when she writes, "the escapist stories have become lenses through which difficult truths are inspected.

Mockingjay2 will see Katniss Everdeen on a quest to unite and liberate the citizens of war-torn Panem and destroy the evil President Snow. Hi-tech danger, mortality and moral choices are all part of the challenge.

Here is a link to the trailer for   Mockingjay2  

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Pan Has Crashed

The disappointing reviews discouraged me from seeing Pan. Here is an except of the NY Times review by AO Scott (whom I respect), and a review/analysis from the entertainment world by Brent Lang in Variety.

PAN Poster2015"Peter Pan, who flew through the air in a costume, was in many ways a prototype of the modern superhero. He has certainly been a lucrative entertainment franchise for a very long time, with durable merchandising potential, from feathered hats to peanut butter. All of which may help to explain the otherwise baffling existence of “Pan,” a hectic and labored attempt to supply the boy who never grew up with an origin story.

 The dominant emotion in 'Pan' is the desperation of the filmmakers, who frantically try to pander to a young audience they don’t seem to respect, understand or trust."  AO ScottNYTIMES; "

 

....

Peterpanprogramme_hultonarchivePan” was supposed to provide a fresh spin on the oft-told tale of the boy who could fly, but the pricey epic remained earthbound last weekend, opening to an anemic $15.3 million.

That disastrous start guarantees it will rank alongside other costly misses like “Jupiter Ascending” and “Tomorrowland” as one of the year’s biggest box office disasters. With an $150 million price tag, Warner Bros. could lose tens of millions on a film it hoped would kick off a new fantasy franchise.

When the dust settles and studio executives comb through the wreckage for clues about what doomed the adventure film, it appears that it will suffer from two fatal and seemingly contradictory flaws. “Pan” was both overly formulaic and too wild a deviation from J.M. Barrie’s beloved children’s classic to succeed." ,  Variety 

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The Hollywood Movie Meeting - How Movies Get Made

The following transcript was taken from a meeting of executives of a major Hollywood film company. The meeting is already in progress...

Executive #1: Should we produce this film?

Executive #2: Well, here's a Synopsis: It opens when the mother dies and the bereaved father, a merchant, remarries. His lovely daughter now has a cruel stepmother with two ugly daughters and they all abuse the girl. Her only friends are birds and a magic tree. That's act one. Now in act two...

Executive #3: What happens to the father? He just stands around while they abuse the kid?

Executive #2: He has to travel for his work. He's away a lot.

Executive #2: Act two better be good after that start.

Executive #1: I wanna hear Act two. I heard Disney made a lot of money with this.

Executive #2: In Act two we meet a handsome Prince who is planning a big party.

Executive #3: Why are we even talking about this if Disney already made it?

Executive #1: Maybe, we can  make some changes.

Executive#3: Changes? What kind of changes?

Executive #1: Maybe we can we change it to Christmas? We need a new flick for Christmas and at least this is based on a winner from the past. And we'll change the name...call it Cindy's Happy Holiday!

Executive #3: That's a helluva idea. What's next?

To Be Continued... 

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How to Change the World in 30 Seconds 
A Web Warrior's Guide to Animal Advocacy Online by C A Wulff 

Arielchange world3edAlthough you may want to help animals, you may not have any idea where to begin. Or maybe you think that you don’t have enough time to make a difference. This guide will offer practical steps to get started using dog advocacy as the focus and will explain how just thirty seconds a day on the Internet can not only make a difference, but can also change the world.
 
Here is a review..."Combining case histories with practical tips on how to use the Internet to advocate for dogs, Wulff's book is an inspiring, informative and highly useful volume that anyone who thinks dogs are worth fighting for should have on their shelf."
John Woestendiek, author of 'Dog, Inc.' and the website ohmidog!

Read sample chapters of How to Change the World in Thirty Seconds: Amazon
 
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An Outstanding Program: Therapy Reading Dogs for At-Risk Students!
 
BowwowlogoADA"Austin Dog Alliance Bow Wow Reading Dogs are non-judgmental certified therapy dogs who listen to at-risk students reading aloud.  The dog's handler has been educated on how to help at-risk readers learn to read. Many of our Bow Wow Reading dog volunteers are retired teachers or principals.
 
Here are the requirements for BowWow therapy reading dog handlers:
  • BowWowADA2Must enjoy children; Love to read!; Have a willingness to get to know the children, understand their challenges and remember small things about them; Have compassion for and sensitivity to the hesitant and reticent child; Patience with over-active children; Possess patience with repetitive reading of the same book; Have the ability to discern age with reading abilities and related activities; Are flexible and have the ability to 'go with the flow'; Are a retired teacher or principal or have attended a seminar on how to help at-risk readers."

Read more about this wonderful therapy reading dog program at Bow Wow Reading Dogs:

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Texas Textbooks: McGraw-Hill changes slaves to immigration workers in High School textbook

McGrawHillEducationHOUSTON — "Coby Burren, 15, a freshman at a suburban high school south of here, was reading the textbook in his geography class last week when a map of the United States caught his attention. On Page 126, a caption in a section about immigration referred to Africans brought to American plantations between the 1500s and 1800s as 'workers' rather than slaves. 

He reached for his cellphone and sent a photograph of the caption to his mother, Roni Dean-Burren, along with a text message: 'we was real hard workers, wasn’t we'..."

Read it all in the article by  and  NY Times Motherlode

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Beasts of No Nation 

The post that follows is about a book and a film outside the usual purview of this blog.
I have included it because of the subject matter, a young boy caught in the savage chaos of the real world today, and because it relates to the world of war, fear, and painful uncertainty of the past. Oral tales, that live on today as tales of wonder, originated in a hard world where ruthless power reigned and cruelty, superstition and hard times dominated daily life for most people.
 
BeastsBoyAnd so, I have posted below about a book, Beasts of No Nationby Uzodinma Iweala, and a movie made from the book, that tells the story of A Boy Soldier's Heart Of DarknessThis is the title of Simon Baker's book review of Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala. Here is an excerpt: 

"In a young child's life, few games can equal hide-and-seek: the excitement of crouching in a secret place as the pleasure of remaining at large vies with the thrill of possible discovery. The problem comes when a game like this turns serious -- when, say, the people you're hiding from want not just to find you but to hack you to pieces." 

Here is a link to read all of the NY Times Book Review by Simon Baker

The Movie Wants Us To Look At That Moment Square In The Face

"The movie holds on to a fair chunk of the book’s first-person narration, which is critical, because it establishes Agu as a character with his own thoughts and ethics rather than merely a shellshocked onlooker. There comes a moment when the boy has to cross the line
BeastsofNoNationfrom theory to action — from training to murder — and 'Beasts of No Nation' wants us to look that moment square in the face. It is awful, it has happened and is happening still, and for once you aren’t able to turn the page or switch to another channel. And then the movie invites us to wonder what happens to the child who is now a murderer. 'It is the worst sin, but it is the right sin to be doing,' Agu tells himself, but that lie doesn’t last. Before long, he is begging the sun to stop shining on this world."

It took courage and great commitment by the brilliant young American director Cary Fukunaga to make this film. Netflix has released the film simultaneously in theaters and on the Internet. Over 3 million viewers in North America have seen Beasts of No Nation since its release on October 16.

Here is a link to Ty Burr's review in the Boston Globe.

Here is a link to the t
railer for the movie: Beasts of No Nation  

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NYTMotherlodeparenting_post
 
 The Amazing Sesame Street
 
KJ Dell'Antonia, in a very informative NY Times Motherlode article, wrote about a very special new Sesame Street initiative  -- Julia, an autistic little girl. Here are excerpts:

Autismstorybookcover"Sesame Street got so many things right with its new character, Julia, an orange-haired girl with autism whose eyes never quite meet the reader’s. Introduced in a digital storybook available online and in print, Julia is described as an old friend of Elmo’s. When Elmo’s muppet friend Abby meets Julia, she is confused, and she has questions. Julia doesn’t talk to her right away, does that mean Julia doesn’t like her? Why does Julia get so upset over loud noises?

And then there are the things Abby doesn’t comment on — Julia knows every word to a lot of songs. She spins the wheels of toy cars over and over and over again, and flaps her arms when she is excited. She is a recognizably different (and recognizably autistic) without being overwhelmingly so… children with autism can find themselves in her, and children learning about the condition can start here.

Sesame Workshop based Julia on years of research, says Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s vice president of outreach and educational practices. “We wanted to demonstrate some of the characteristics of autism in a positive way,” she says. The choice of gender was also deliberate. “We wanted to break down some of the myths and misconceptions around autism. It’s not only impacting boys, but girls as well...”

 Here is a link to read all of this insightful article on Motherlode 
 
Here is a Sesame Street link to their many programs devoted to autistic and/or special needs children. 
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Sunbearsquad-logoHow to be a volunteer animal rescue transport driver...

"Over-filled animal control facilities or pounds euthanize an estimated 4 million dogs and cats each year...

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..."

Here is a link to read the rest of this informative Sunbear Squad article: Rescue.

And here is a link to sample pages of Deb Eades book: Every Rescued Dog Has a Tale: Stories from the Dog Rescue Railroad.
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"The more one gets to know of men, the more one values dogs."
Alphonse Toussenel
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21. B is for Bicycles, by Scott & Jannine Fitzgerald | Dedicated Review

Veteran bicycle shop owners Scott and Jannine Fitzgerald have penned a new alphabet picture book, B is for Bicycles, that is dedicated to promoting a healthy cycling lifestyle.

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22. #781 – A Dog Wearing Shoes by Sangmi Mo

A Dog Wearing Shoes Written & Illustrated by Sangmi Ko Schwartz & Wade Books    9/29/2015 978-0-385-38396-7 32 pages     Ages 4—8 A Junior Library Guild Selection “When Mini finds a dog wearing bright yellow booties, she wants to keep him. And who wouldn’t?! But a dog with shoes on must belong to someone, …

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23. Studying pets’ cancers may yield health benefits for humans

Initially tested in pet dogs with bone cancer, a new drug that delays metastasis now helps children with the same disease in Europe. The immune modulator, which mops up microscopic cancer cells, has not been approved in the United States, researchers say.

The post Studying pets’ cancers may yield health benefits for humans appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Studying pets’ cancers may yield health benefits for humans as of 1/1/1900
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24. December- Hope and Celebration, kids, books, movies, and dogs

  Thomas Nast Santa

 

Hope and Celebration - Light in the darkness, time out for happiness, wonder and magic.

Enter the world of tales told by people, of stories that live on. of tales of wonder, fairy tales.

Santa Claus, the man in the red suit stepping out of the chimney, comes to us from the talented Thomas Nast; his popular 19th century illustrations helped to popularize Santa Claus as we know him today.                                                                

                *************************************

              EnglandChildLaborDickens

Charles Dicken'sA Christmas Carol, and the power of story.

This book influenced the thinking of generations of readers, and transformed the spirit of the Christmas holiday. The transformation was guided by Dicken's passionate belief that the true Christmas spirit embodied caring and generosity -- especially for those less fortunate.

TinyTimchristmascarolJohnLeechA Christmas Carol was written with the passion born of his painful childhood as an impoverished 12 year old boy from a broken family.With his father in debtor's prison, Dickens was forced to leave school and work ten-hour days for six shillings a week under harsh conditions (the factory was home to multitudes of rats) in England's new industrial economy. 

Much has changed with the passing of time and the commercialism of the marketplace has brought an endless stream of marketing -- more games, toys and advertising -- to Christmas.

But the Spirit Of Christmas does live on.


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ScroogeJohnLeech“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” ...Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.

Scrooge Lives On...

Viking has recently published (October 2015) a well reviewed book by Charles Lovett, The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge. For more information, visit his website: Charles Lovett


The above illustrations are by John Leech from the original A Christmas Carol.

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The Legend of Santa Claus

SantaThomas NastIN the USA, the legend of Santa Claus was greatly enhanced in the early nineteenth century by the poem, A Visit From St.Nicholas. 

The popularity of this story-poem, first published in 1823, continued to grow with the passing years. It was originally written for his children by Clement Clarke Moore.

Later in the century, popular illustrations by Thomas Nast, including Moore's poem, A Visit From St Nicholas, firmly established Santa Claus as a jolly, rotund figure in a red suit with a white beard. Nast's images of Santa and his red suit became accepted and remain the norm today.

 

The illustration is by Thomas Nast.

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The Fairy Tale Moves On Its Own Time 

"It all adds up to this: the fairy tale narrates a wish-fulfillment which is not bound by its
SecretoftheKellsTomm_Mooreown time and the apparel of its contents. In contrast to the folk tale, which is always tied to a particular locale, the fairy tale remains unbound. Not only does the fairy tale remain as fresh as longing and love, 
but the evil demons that abound in fairy tales are still at work here in the present, and the happiness of "once upon a time", which is even more abundant in the fairy tale, still affects our vision of the future..." 

The above insights into the role of fairy tales are from an essay written in 1930 by the German GerardDubois3scholar and philosopher, Ernst Bloch. I believe that the context in which they were written adds to their import. Germany in 1930 was in the grip of the Great Depression. Poverty and uncertainty had swept the land. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party were feeding on people's fear and rising in power. Bloch later escaped to the USA where he wrote his renowned three-part treatise, The Principle of Hope (1938-1947). 

The illustration from the Secret Of The Kells is by Tomm Moore. The painting is by Gerard Dubois.

 

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The Elves and the Shoemaker

ElvesShoemakerLucy-Crane1886Here is an excerpt from a fairy tale by the Grimm's that came to be a Christmas story. It tells of the elves who helped a hard working, but impoverished shoemaker and his wife ...they, in gratitude, surprised the elves at Christmas time.

"About midnight in they came, dancing and skipping, hopped round the room, and then went to sit down to their work as usual; but when they saw the clothes lying for them, they laughed and chuckled, and seemed mightily delighted.

Then they dressed themselves in the twinkling of an eye, and danced and capered and sprang about, as merry as could be; till at last they danced out at the door, and away over the green..."

Here is link to read it all: The Elves and the Shoemaker  The illustration is by Lucy Crane.

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The Saga Of Santa Claus 

SagaOfChristmasCoverWho is Santa? Where did he come from? How did the toy workshops get started? Where did all the elves come from and why did they agree to move to the wintry north and make toys for Santa? And how about the flying reindeer...where did they come from? These are among the many heretofore unanswered questions about the orgins of Christmas and Santa Claus.   

Now, at last, author Mark Couturier has written The Saga Of Santa Claus, a fascinating book telling the complete story of the ancient origins of Christmas and Santa Claus. For a comprehensive picture of this original book, check out the enthusiastic Amazon  reviews.

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 Kwanzaa 

"The year 2015 will see the 49th annual Kwanzaa, the African American holiday celebrated from December 26 to January 1. It is estimated that some 18 million African Americans take part in Kwanzaa.

KwanzaFamilyCelebrationKwanzaa is not a religious holiday, nor is it meant to replace Christmas. It was created by Dr. Maulana "Ron" Karenga, a professor of Black Studies, in 1966. At that time of great social change for African Americans, Karenga sought to design a celebration that would honor the values of ancient African cultures and inspire African Americans who were working for progress. 

Kwanzaa is based on the year-end harvest festivals that have taken place throughout Africa for thousands of years."...Kwanzaa ends with gift giving and a celebratory feast.

This post is based on a comprehensive article by Holly Hartman.

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Every Year...

XmasLightsonSheepChristmas Lights Moving Through the Hills...
A Holiday treat, and a wonder to behold, the moving lights are on hundreds of sheep, running in the darkness, guided by sheepdogs...this is a classic video...Here is the link: Moving Lights 

 

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  Penn Vet


Pdf-logo-whitePenn Vet Working Dog Center 
Philadelphia, PA is a recent recipient of a 
Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) grant. The goals of the Penn Vet working Dog Center are "national security, fields of detection work, canine health and performance, and to enhance that unique bond between humans and man’s best friend". The Planet Dog Foundation has awarded grants exceeding one million dollars to fund "the training, placement and support of dogs helping people in need." 

 

"The Penn Vet Working Dog Center is part of the University of Pennsylvania's School of PennVetVeterinary Medicine, and serves as a national research and development center for detection dogs. They work to train elite detection dogs to assist in medical research, national security, and finding victims of disasters. PDF has awarded a $10,000 grant in support of Punches, a female Labrador Retriever named in honor of Jack Punches, a victim of the attacks of 9/11. Punches is training to detect explosives, explosives residue, and post-blast evidence. Trained explosives detection dogs can also detect firearms and ammunition hidden in vehicles and containers, on persons, or buried underground." 

Learn more about Penn Vet Working Dog Center here. 

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 The Ghost Dog of Christmas Past

Here is an an excerpt from the dog lovers book, Circling the Waggins,  by CA Wulff. The dogs CtWrevisedCoverKindleseen in the ebook cover are the current residents of the cabin in the woods wherein this saga of a life with rescued dogs takes place. The book is a journey into the heart and mind of a dedicated pet lover who shares her experiences, concerns, and deep emotions with the reader.The setting is a cabin-home in a national park forest. The characters are several adopted dogs, cats, and, for a while, domestic mice -- and two compassionate women.

"I feel like we are haunted by the ghost dog of Christmas past. The Troll2season brings a million reminders of our Troll, a dog who had loved Christmas more than any other time of year. He would get excited at the first signs of holiday decorations, and his eyes would shine with a child’s wonder. On Christmas morning, he would race to be the first dog under the tree, to tear at the packages full of biscuits and rawhides. Each of the dogs would tear at a package, but Troll unwrapped with such gusto and fervor, that they would all abandon their presents to stand back and watch him, and then make off with whatever treats he had revealed." 

CA Wullf also created the cover for her book.

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NemoSnowjanuary-february2010

Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale

Review... Loved it… This delightful conclusion to the Planet of the Dogs series just caps off a wonderful tradition. The story is well suited to be read aloud to younger children and as chapter book for the older ones. All of your favorite dogs help rescue two of Santa's reindeer from the Evil King of the North. The story also imparts important lessons of cooperation and responsibility."   Mary Jacobs, Editor/reviewer Bookhounds  

Daisy&Nor-397KBWe have free reader copies of all the books in the Planet Of The Dogs series  for therapy dog organizations, individual therapy dog owners, librarians and teachers...simply send us an email at planetofthedogs@gmail.com and we will send you the books.  

Our books are available through your favorite independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell's and many more. They are also available in digital format at Barnes and NobleAmazonKoboOysterInkteraScribd, Powells, Tolino, 

Librians, teachers, bookstores...You can also order Planet Of The Dogs, Castle In The Mist, and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, through Ingram with a full professional discount. 

To read sample chapters of the series, visit Planet Of The Dogs. -

 The illustration, above, from Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, is by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty.

"What a truly wonderful and unique Christmas story for the whole family..." Don Blankenship,
Teacher, Reviewer for Great Books For Kids.

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 Singing One Of The Old-Time Carols

..."'I think it must be the field-mice,' replied the Mole, with a touch of pride in his manner. 'They go round carol-singing regularly at this time of the year. They're quite an institution in these parts. And they never pass me over—they come to Mole End last of all; and I used to give them hot drinks, and supper too sometimes, when I could afford it. It will be like old times to hear them again.'

'Let's have a look at them!' cried the Rat, jumping up and running to the door.

XmasMiceWInWIngamooreIt was a pretty sight, and a seasonable one, that met their eyes when they flung the door open. In the fore-court, lit by the dim rays of a horn lantern, some eight or ten little fieldmice stood in a semicircle, red worsted comforters round their throats, their fore-paws thrust deep into their pockets, their feet jigging for warmth. With bright beady eyes they glanced shyly at each other, sniggering a little, sniffing and applying coat-sleeves a good deal. As the door opened, one of the elder ones that carried the lantern was just saying, 'Now then, one, two, three!' and forthwith their shrill little voices uprose on the air, singing one of the old-time carols that their forefathers composed in fields that were fallow and held by frost, or when snow-bound in chimney corners, and handed down to be sung in the miry street to lamp-lit windows at Yule-time..."

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, Illustration by Ernst Shepard 

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Interview With Santa

This interview was conducted as part of a program to determine the truth behind the incredible story of Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale....

Santa-397KB Interviewer: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and clarifying things. 

Santa: I’m happy that the story is finally coming out. 

Interviewer: Is it a true story? 

Santa:  Absolutely. 

Interviewer: Why haven’t we known about it before? 


Santa:  I think it was lost in the mists of time…It took place hundreds and hundreds of years ago. 

Interviewer: Is it true that there was to be no more Christmas? 

Santa: I’m sorry to say that it’s true. Until the dogs arrived. 

Interviewer: The dogs? 

Santa: It was a surprise to all of us in Santa Claus village. None of us, and that includes all the elves, had even heard of dogs. 

Reindeer&Dog&Night-397KBInterviewer: Is that because you were so far North and rather isolated? 

Santa: Well, that and the fact that dogs has just started arriving on planet earth. Prior to that time, there had been no dogs on Earth. 

Interviewer: Really! Where did they come from? And how did they find you? 

Santa: They had started coming down to Earth from their own planet – the Planet of the Dogs. They came down to help people. Somehow, they heard we were in trouble, and one day, there they were, just like that...

 To read all of the Interview with Santa, click this link:  Interview with Santa 

 

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 Boyhood Memories

"One Christmas was so much like the other, in those years around the sea-town corner now, ChildsChhristmasWalesCoverBookout of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve, or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.

All the Christmases roll down towards the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged, fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find. In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen..."
Dylan Thomas, A Child's Christmas in Wales

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RefugeesDafurGPE

 Light In The Darkness 

"The Global Partnership for Education (GPE)  supports developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education, prioritizing the poorest, most vulnerable and those living in fragile and conflict-affected countries.

Established in 2002, the Global Partnership for Education is comprised of 60 developing countries, more than 20 donor governments, and international organizations, the private sector and foundations, teachers, and civil society/NGOs."

GPESince its inception, the Global Partnership has supported developing country partners to achieve remarkable and measurable results. For example, the number of out-of-school primary school children has been reduced from 56 million to 41 million in 2012. They have also achieved substantial improvements in gender parity and major increases in the number of girls completing primary school in countries where GPE has supplied support and resources.

Here is a link for more ot the remarkable RESULTS, from around the world (updates and photos), of  the Global Partnership for Education.

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 Movies

Hope in Dystopia in  Mockingjay: Part 2

Mockingjay2SymbolThis film is being seen by multitudes of people worldwide. Based on that fact alone, Mockingjay 2 is an important YA crossover film. It is a rather long, dark, viewing experience, executed with excellent acting and all the traditional elements of a very well done action movie. Mockingjay 2 also deals with issues of morality amidst the painful chaos of war.

Richard Lawson, in his thoughtful Vanity Fair review, considered the film's significance in these troubled times as well as the "entertainment" value of the film. Here are excerpts:

Mockingjay2"Mockingjay: Part 2 shows us, in rich and bracing fashion, the Hunger Games movies have been saying something all along—about the tragedy of youth (or anyone) in war, about post-traumatic stress disorder, about the ways we cede our autonomy to notions of comfort, to spectacle, to the easy lies of othering. The film makes these points in a far more clear-headed, more resonant manner than its source material. It’s a rare film adaptation that improves upon the original text, highlighting its crucial themes while streamlining and shaping the action into something legible and gripping...

The Hunger Games films...show us how good blockbuster movies can be. And they beseech us, in their earnest way, to be better, conscientious stewards of our own fraught and fragile world. That’s a useful message for anyone these days, young adult or not."

Here is a link to the article: Richard Lawson

Here is a link to the trailer: Mockingjay 2

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- in time for the Holidays

The Dark Side Returns Worldwide on December 18-19 in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D...just in time
Star-wars-the-force-awakensReyDaisyRidleyfor the Holidays. Disney executives expect a very happy holiday, anticipating box office records with this $200,000,000 million dollar film. Fans will find that Harrison Ford, Chewbacca, Jedi Knights and light sabers have all returned along with the Dark Side. In keeping with changing times, the good side also has an important female warrior woman, Rey. Played by newcomer Daisy Ridley, she is also a red hot pilot.

 Here is a link to Trailer #1: The Force Awakens

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Review: In ‘The Good Dinosaur,’ a Reptile Tends to His Human Pet

Manohla Dargis, the excellent NY Times reviewer, wrote a warm review for this latest Pixar production. Here is an excerpt... 

GoodDinosaur"Blink and you may miss the sly joke that sets 'The Good Dinosaur' on its enchantingly eccentric way. It begins with a near apocalypse 65 million years ago and an asteroid racing toward Earth. And while that’s around the time, more or less, that science hypothesizes the dinosaurs bit the dust, the wizards at Pixar have forged another creation story. Instead of crashing, the space rock zips past the big blue marble... "

Here is a link to read all of MS Dargis' review:  The Good Dinosaur

Here is a link to the trailer: Dinosaur

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What a wonderful worldHope and Celebration are here with music... 3 minutes and 40 seconds of joy from singing kids in many places...What A Wonderful World (Playing for Change) 

 

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WCDogsheader9All About Dog Love

Nancy Houser, on her Way Cool Dogs Blog, provides a wide variety of information on dog issues ranging from health care and nutrition to canine science and dog love. On a recent post, How To Love Your Dog, she wrote about many facets of dog love. Here's an excerpt...

PGI MontyyFourthGrade"How to love your dog by being a dog is something every dog owner should know about, as long as they do not continuously wag their tail!

And, whether your dog is a mischievous young puppy and full of bounding love, or an older dog that has been abandoned with very little  love— it won’t be too hard to play the part.

Loving your dog makes it easy to build positive and loving feelings for this furry friend,  choosing what is best to develop a better life.  Dogs who are loved not only feel safe, but secure and cherished.  But, recognizing if you love your dog does not mean a thing if your dog does not love you back."..The article continues, including a point by point section entitled"How to tell if your dog loves you back".

Nancy also includes information on fascinating MRI studies regarding a dog's love by neuroscientist Dr Gregory Berns. Dr Berns wrote a book titled "How Dogs Love Us". To learn more about Dr, Berns and his MRI dog studies, here is a link to his Ted Talk.

The photo is courtesy of the wonderful Paws Giving Independence therapy dog organization, Peoria,Illonois. Please click on the photo to enlarge and to see why it was chosen.


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5Kids in CampDuhok-Domiz 161
Children, War, and Hope


Thirty million children have been driven from their homes by war. In a touching and informed article on refugee children, Jake Silverstein --  in the New York Times Magazine -- writes of this devastating situation by telling the stories of three young girls. Each is from a different part of the world: the Ukraine, South Sudan, and Lebanon. Here are excerpts from this excellent article:
 
GirlBrotherRefugeesSyriaJeffJMitchellGetty..."Young as these girls are, they have already been asked to bear a profound loss. You can see it in their faces. They appear to be only half children, the other half having been matured ahead of schedule by trauma and displacement. They know what they should not. And yet, there is still that other half. They are still kids. Unlike the adults in the frame, who must be constantly aware of their dangerous ordeal, the girls, from time to time, might forget. If the moment was right, they might play a game...
 
That children, even under the worst of circumstances, are able to remain children supplies the world around them with the sense of a future, which is the equivalent of hope..." 
 
 
The photo of the five Syrian children was taken in the Domaz refugee camp in Iraq.The photo of the  young girl and her brother was taken in a Syrian refugee camp by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty
 
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Long Line at the Library? It’s Story Time Again

by Winnie Hu NY Times

BeatricePotterSnow"Story time is drawing capacity crowds at public libraries across New York and across the country
at a time when, more than ever, educators are emphasizing the importance of early literacy in preparing children for school and for developing critical thinking skills. The demand crosses economic lines, with parents at all income levels vying to get in.

Many libraries have refashioned the traditional readings to include enrichment activities such as counting numbers and naming colors, as well as music and dance. And many parents have made story time a fixture in their family routines alongside school pickups and playground outings — and, for those who employ nannies, a nonnegotiable requirement of the job...


Moomin-christmasLibraries around the country have expanded story time and other children’s programs in recent years, attracting a new generation of patrons in an age when online offerings sometimes make trips to the book stacks unnecessary. Sari Feldman, president of the American Library Association, said such early-literacy efforts are part of a larger transformation libraries are undergoing to become active learning centers for their communities by offering services like classes in English as a second language, computer skills and career counseling."

The illustration of the rabbits is by Beatrix Potter.The illustration of the Moomins is by Tove Jansson. 

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SunbearSqBigLogo Anna Nirva is the guiding light at Sunbear Squad,
a leading source for information and guidance in dog rescue and care. Here is an excerpt from their site about fostering dogs 

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25. #785 – Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream by Tom Watson

Look at all the falling snow. (Move your mouse right and left and watch the snow switch direction.) Virtual snow I can love. Real snow, not so much. What happened? As a kid I loved snow, played outside in the snow, was thrilled to see snow falling. Now, I groan. You might find yourself groaning …

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