Saturday, December 22, 2012
FIGGIE HOBBIN is a collection of 13 children's poems written by Charles Causley and complimented with delicate line drawings of Trina Schart Hyman. I enjoyed the delightful random nonsense of many of the poems contrasted with the thought provoking introspect of others. Starting with I Saw a Jolly Hunter with its suprising ending each poem has a life all its own. The last poem in the book is the one from which the book gets its title. It speaks of the old King of Cornwell, tempted with all sorts of exotic dishes, who petulantly tells his servants to take it all away and bring him what he really wants--a humble dish of Figgie Hobbin. - pudding sweetened with a handful of raisins (raisins being "figs" and figs "broad raisins"). A lot like me... when I find something on the menu I like, I'm not likely to try anything else.
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CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS written by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett. Who knew that flipping pancakes on a Saturday morning could inspire Grandpa to tell his grandchildren such bedtime story! The wild tale was about the town of Chewandswallow where there are no grocery stores because the weather comes three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is always food and beverages. The rain is juice and soup, the snow is mashed potatoes, and the wind brings hamburgers and such. But this phenomenon is not all peaches and cream! The weather takes a turn for the worse, and brings disgusting things, like pea soup fog, and one one occasion nothing but stinky Gorgonzola cheese all day long. Finally, it becomes catastrophic as the portion sizes grow to massive sizes, and the entire island is crushed with a severe storm of food. The people of Chewandswallow escape on rafts made of huge slices of stale bread to a world where the sky doesn't bring food, grocery stores are handy and no-one ever got hit by a hamburger again.
After a good night kiss and a good night's sleep and the grandchildren awoke to see snow falling outside. But, somehow they had a different perspective on the weather.....
Myra and I enjoyed.
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THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko is a delightful story of Princess Elizabeth who plans on marrying Prince Ronald when a fire breathing dragon detroys her kingdom, kidnaps her beloved Ronald, and burns all her princess clothes. She can find noting to wear but a paper bag. She does not look the same but in the aftermath she proves herself to be a brave, smart and resilient young woman. Elizabeth follows the dragon and Ronald, and seeking to rescue her fiance. She plays on the dragon's ego to defeat him and rescues her darling Ronald. But Prince Ronald can't look through the paper bag to see the treasure he has in Elizabeth. He ungratefully orders her to go away and not return until she looks more like a princess. Elizabeth realizes that this narcissistic and selfish prince is not worthy of the love she has shown him. She leaves this shallow, conceited jerk never to return and lived happily ever after, we are sure.
Myra and I agreed, being a princess is fine but to be strong, resilient and smart is great! Having a man in your life can be wonderful but it is best to hold out for one who sees more than your outward beauty and recognizes and appreciates who you are.
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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES written and illustrated by Paul Goble combines vibrant artwork and a mature writing style to tell a "coming of age" story. This truly inspirational, Native American legend shows us that if we pursue what we truly love long enough and with all our heart we will achieve it. With each turn of the page we are taken along the path of this girl's passage from the security of family and village through the stormy, frightening, sad and exhilarating times leading her to the Independence of adulthood. Myra commented that the book took her through breath-holding emotions to a big, big smile as the girl who loved horses finally becomes what she loves.
Don't we all want to become what we love?
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THE PEOPLE COULD FLY by Virginia Hamilton is a fantasy of American Black folklore telling the story of slaves who possessed the ancient magic words that enabled them to literally fly away to freedom. With powerful illustrations of Leo and Diane Dillon on every page it depicts the heartbreaking human anguish and cruelty of slavery and the hope-filled striking beauty of freedom of those who found it in reality or only in their imaginations.
Isaiah and I shared this gripping and moving reading.
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