The boundaries shift and change as children grow with the winds of time.
Children's stories, fables and mythology open doors to both the real world and to the world of fantasy and imagination.
Fairy tales have been retold and endured through many cultures. Aesop's fables have been part of children's literature for over 2000 years.
This blog is dedicated to the power of story and the worlds of wonder and imagination that are the world of children's literature. And to therapy dogs, that help reluctant children banish fear of reading
The illustration from Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle
Litworld opens the doors of possibilities in life to disadvantaged youth through books, reading, mentors, and guidance.
LitWorld celebrated World Read Aloud Day on March 5.
Lit World is bringing literacy, books, and empowerment to underprivileged children in Ghana, ndia, Haiti, Kenya, Kosovo, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru the Philipines, Rwanda, Uganda, and the USA.
More than 793 million people are illiterate worldwide. Two thirds of these are women.
LitWorld places a special focus on young women and girls ages 10-14
"LitWorld’s strength-based model of social emotional learning fills a critical gap in education... LitClub and LitCamp curriculum cultivates core strengths that inherently exist within each child. The LitWorld 7 Strengths – Belonging, Curiosity, Kindness, Friendship, Confidence, Courage, and Hope – are ideas that are key to building resilience."
Barking Planet salutes LITWORLD and their founder and leader Pam Allyn for their wonderful work.
Gabriel's Angels...helping heal abused children in Arizona.
Pam Gaber and her therapy dog, Gabriel, began working together in 2000 in the Crisis Nursery, a shelter for abused children in Phoenix, Arizona. Gabriel had an immediate positive impact on frightened, withdrawn children. This was the beginning of Gabriel's Angels. During his 10 years of service as a Delta Society registered therapy dog, Gabriel visited over 5,000 abused, neglected, and at-risk children.
The organization has continued to grow since that time. Gabriel's Angels now serves 13,000 children a year through over 115 agencies through over 150 volunteer Pet Therapy teams. Teams visit each participating agency on a consistent schedule to build trust, empathy and respect in the children.
Here's a Link to a video that will take you into the world of abused children and the wonderful work accomplished by Gabriel's Angels' therapy dog teams.
This dog is a genius...
Mr. Peabody, the most accomplished dog in the world, inventor extraordinary, and his adopted son, Sherman, use their time machine for extraordinary adventures...
Dreanworks has a big hit, based on a dog as a parent to a mischievous boy and their travels on the winds of time...past, present and future.
Meanwhile, Frozen has earned over 396 millon dollars; and The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, has earned over 424,000,000 dollars.
Reworking the Hunger Games with a book and a movie sequel...
Here are excerpts from reviewers of the movie and the book...
Divergent was first published in 2011 and written by the then 22 year old Veronica Roth. The book made the best-seller lists the first week it was published in 2011 and has sold over 11 million copies. Like Hunger Games, it became a trilogy. Here is an excerpt from an insightful review by Susan Dominus, in the New YorkTimes
"...though Roth’s “Divergent” is rich in plot and imaginative details, it suffers by comparison with Collins’s opus. The shortcoming would not be so noticeable were there less blatant overlap between the two. Both 'Divergent' and 'The Hunger Games' feature appealing, but not conventionally pretty, young women with toughness to spare. Both start out with public sorting rituals that determine the characters’ futures. And both put the narrators in contrived, bloody battles that are in fact competitions witnessed by an audience. Even the language sounds familiar..."
Here are excerpts from incisive movie reviews by Manhola Dargis in the NY Times and Ty Burr in the Boston Globe...
…"Veronica Roth, who wrote the book “Divergent” and its two hot-selling follow-ups, tends to avoid mentioning “The Hunger Games,” but the similarities between these young-adult juggernauts are conspicuous in the extreme. “The Hunger Games” is a dystopian tale set in a postwar North America divided into 13 districts; “Divergent” is a dystopian tale set in postwar Chicago divided into
five factions. Each series pivots on a gutsy teenage heroine who fights to the death like a classic male hero..."
Here is the Link to read all of Ms Dargis review.
And here is Ty Burr's impassioned review;
“Divergent” is almost good enough to make you forget what a cynical exercise it is on every possible level. The original 2011 young adult novel by Veronica Roth — reasonably engrossing, thoroughly disposable — reads exactly like what it is: an ambitious young author’s attempt to re-write “The Hunger Games” without bringing the lawyers down on her head. The folks at production company Summit Entertainment are happy to turn the book into a movie because it allows them to crank up the franchise machinery that has worked so well for “Hunger Games,” “Twilight,” and the “Harry Potter” films, only without the bother of creating something fresh." Here is the Link to read all of Ty Burr's review:Globe
Here is the link to the action filled trailer for Divergent
Divergent sold $56 million in tickets for its first weekend...the YA market speaks!
Movies inspire mock weapons for 8-12 year old girls
Toy makers have begun marketing a more aggressive line of playthings and weaponry for girls — inspired by a succession of female warrior heroes like Katniss, the Black Widow of “The Avengers,” Merida of “Brave” and now, Tris of the book and new movie “Divergent” — even as the industry still clings to every shade of pink...
The premier of the movie “Divergent” this weekend is only adding to the marketing frenzy
around weapon-wielding girls. A Tris Barbie doll, complete with her signature three-raven tattoo, is already for sale on Amazon...
All of this is enough to make parents’ — particularly mothers’ — heads spin, even as they reach for their wallets. While the segregation of girls’ and boys’ toys in aisles divided between pink and camouflage remains an irritant, some also now wonder whether their daughters should adopt the same war games that they tolerate rather uneasily among their sons...
Five Hundred New Fairy Tales and a "harsher dose of reality"...
The headline and the article that appeared in the Guardian proclaimed that 500 new fairy tales had been discovered in Germany... a collection of fairytales gathered by historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth that had been locked away in an archive in Regensburg for over 150 years.
This was in March 2012. However, I was unaware of the discovery that these tales existed until I recently read the following in Maria Tatar's children's lierature blog, Breezes from Wonderland
"Returning to blogging after I finish translating The Enchanted Quill, an anthology of nineteenth-century fairy tales collected by Franz Xaver Schonwerth. Once you read these stories, you will abandon any ideas about the literary transmission of fairy tales–these are tales in the raw, not cooked to suit the tastes of the literate..."
Reading this led me to read Ms Tatar's New Yorker article entitled, Cinderfellas: The Long-Lost Fairy Tales,
Here are excerpts from this informative and compelling article::
"Bavarian fairy tales going viral? Last week, the Guardian reported that five hundred unknown fairy tales, languishing for over a century in the municipal archive of Regensburg, Germany, have come to light. The news sent a flutter through the world of fairy-tale enthusiasts, their interest further piqued by the detail that the tales—which had been compiled in the mid-nineteenth century by an antiquarian named Franz Xaver von Schönwerth—had been kept under lock and key. How astonishing then to discover that many of those “five hundred new tales” are already in print and on the shelves at Widener Library at Harvard (where I teach literature, folklore and mythology) and at Yale, Stanford, and Berkeley.
Schönwerth—a man whom the Grimm brothers praised for his “fine ear” and accuracy as a collector—published three volumes of folk customs and legends in the mid-nineteenth century, but the books soon began gathering dust on library shelves...
Schönwerth’s tales have a compositional fierceness and energy rarely seen in stories gathered by the Brothers Grimm or Charles Perrault,..Schönwerth gives us a harsher dose of reality than most collections..."
Here is the link to read more of this fascinating and informative article: Tatar
The illustrations, from the top down, are by Warwick Goble, Arthur Rackham, and George Cruikshank.
I don't want to mislead our blog readers about non-violence in a violent world. But perhaps in our Planet Of The Dogs series they will see something of the possibilities for non-violence in the "real" world, as the dogs, with their unconditional courage, loyalty, and cleverness overcome invaders, swords, and warriors on horses...and bring peace to the land.
Newgrange- where time stands still
Newgrange rests on a hill in Ireland.
It was in place 3000 years before Christ, a thousand years before Stonehenge, and 500 years before the pyramids.
In Ireland, it is known as a Thin Place...
Author Bonnie McKernan writes of Thin Places on her blog..."where time stands still, beauty enthralls, the bigger picture is glimpsed...
Do you remember that stretch of road or river or mountainside you immediately felt a connection to? A place where the draw was so visceral it elicited a feeling of peace and excitement concurrently? It might have resulted from sensory delights like the sun on your face, fresh air in your lungs, a spectacular view—or from a scene that stirred your imagination or recharged your faith. However this attraction defined itself, you were thoroughly transfixed, wanting to stay longer and feel more.
Early Celtic Christians once called such experiences thin places, where the veil between the natural world and spiritual realm seems especially transparent—where time stands still, beauty enthralls, the bigger picture is glimpsed… where one feels closer to an omnipresent God..."
In a future blog, I will write more of Thin Places and the myths, folklore and fairies of Ireland.
Here is a link to see a brief National Geographic video on Newgrange.
The importance of children's books in opening the mind to the door of life and the world of imagination is beyond measure. The importance of a dog in the life of a child is also beyond measure. It was from thoughts like these that the Planet Of The Dogs Series evolved. Read Sample Chapters at: Planet Of The Dogs
Fairy tale legends often have a timeless quality...
Boy, Snow, Bird...Snow White for Adults
Helen Oyeyemi has transformed Snow White into a critically acclaimed book for adults that deals with timeless questions, identity and mystery. Here is an excerpt from a top flight reviewer, YVONNE ZIPP, fiction critic for the CS Monitor
As with her fairy tale counterpart, Boy Novak (a young woman) is fond of her own reflection.“Nobody ever warned me about mirrors, so for many years I was fond of them, and believed them to be trustworthy,” says Boy, who would gaze into them, kissing her reflection or setting two mirrors opposite one another to create an endless series of reflections.
Her daughter and stepdaughter have the opposite problem: Sometimes their reflection doesn’t show up at all.
All three women learn the ways that mirrors can lie during the course of the story, most of which is set in the 1950s in a fictional Massachusetts town called Flax Hill. The novel hinges on several plot revelations, which I am not going to spoil. This is one book where I would recommend you not read anything in advance, even the back cover: Just go buy it."
Illustration for the Grimm's Snow White by Walter Crane.
"Someday you will be old enough to read fairy tales again."- C.S. Lewis
Therapy reading dog owners, librarians and teachers with therapy reading dog programs...You can write us at email@example.com and we will send you free reader copies from the Planet of the Dogs Series.
Read sample chapters of all the books in the Planet Of The Dogs series by clicking here:Sample Chapters
Our books are available through your favorite independent bookstore or via Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Powell's, the Book Depository and...
Librarians, teachers, bookstores...Order Planet Of The Dogs, Castle In The Mist, and Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, through Ingram with a full professional discount.
"As a parent and a teacher, therefore, I argue for the continuance of books in an age marked by visual technology. There remains nothing like the feel of a book in the hand, nothing like the security offered by a book in the bed (an experience recorded in the West from at least the twelfth century)...If there is a future to children's literature, it must lie in the artifacts of writing and the place of reading in the home. To understand the history of children's literature is to understand the history of all forms of literary experience."-
Seth Lerer writing in "Children's Literature, A Reader's History from Aesop to Harry Potter".
National Puppy Day was March 23..."a day to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives. It’s also a day to help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills, as well as further the mission for a nation of puppy-free pet stores. While National Puppy Day supports responsible breeders, it does encourage prospective families to consider adoption as a first choice"...To read more, visit the site of Colleen Paige, who founded National Puppy Day nine years ago.
Circling the Waggins
Podcasting at the Children's Literary Salon
These fascinating discussions are lively, informative and free...This event will take place in the Stephen A. Schwarzman building (the main branch of New York Public Library) in the South Court Auditorium.
You should adopt from a dog pound — whether it is a nearby dog shelter or your local pound — as it is one of the best ways to acquire a new and loyal companion. Unfortunately, many people opt to purchase their dog from breeders or pet stores, which often get their dogs from puppy mills and other unlicensed breeders.
Many dogs in a dog pound remain homeless and are often put down due to overcrowding. If you’re thinking about getting a dog, consider the following reasons for adopting a mixed breed from a dog shelter or dog pound:
Mixed breeds are healthier dogs
Mixed breeds are, in general, far healthier and longer lived than purebred dogs. Many purebred dogs are prone to diseases caused by genetic vulnerabilities which have been aggravated through centuries of inbreeding. A mixed breed is far less... Read about all six reasons at this link: WCD
The illustration is by Stella Mustanoja McCarty from Castle In The Mist
The classic story of Mole, Ratty, Toad and Badger is told in 10 episodes and read by Bernard Cribbins. The reading is delightful, very British, and accompanied by music and sound effects. Lesson plans and discussion ideas for educators, home schoolers, and librarians accompany the audio readings.
Bringing the World of Reading to Kids
Wendi Huttner, a mom and a breeder/ trainer of Labradors, and Deborah Glessner, dog lover and retired librarian, organized and continue to guide Nor'wester Readers. A grass roots, hands on organization, Nor'wester is a vital part of their Pennsylvania community in bringing the world of reading to kids.
Here are some of the Nor'wester Canine Book Buddies, volunteer therapy reading dog teams participating in the Northampton Township Library program. Several Nor'wester Readers teams also volunteered at the Expressions Day Camp, a camp for boys and girls (age 4-18) with high functioning autism, Asperger's Syndrome, non-verbal learning disabilities, and other types of social challenges.
Free Worldwide Shipping of the Planet Of The Dogs Series
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“There is no psychology in a fairy tale. The characters have little interior life; their motives are clear and obvious.” Phillip Pullman in his Introduction to Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimmm
For answers, examples, true stories and more, visit Sunbear Squad...Let the experience of compassionate dog lovers guide you...free Wallet Cards & Pocket Posters, Informative and practical guidance...Visit SunBear Squad
"A man may smile and bid you hail
Yet wish you to the devil;
But when a good dog wags his tail,
You know he's on the level."