Stories Are Forever
"You know, we’ve got to quit worrying about the idea of books as a repository of stories. Stories are what are important. They could be oral. They could come on CDs. They could be television programs. It’s fascinating that when the iPad first came out, the initial marketing campaign had it linked with Winnie the Pooh. It shipped with a free copy of Winnie the Pooh. It was a marketing concept—we’ll get the “soft and fuzzy” to go with the silver, steel thing. The Android tablet—the Nexus—used Madeline and Curious George in advertisements last summer. But what they didn’t anticipate was that the most resistance to the idea to put children’s books and tablets together would come from reactionary parents. Even the most high-tech parents want their offspring to experience stories in the old-fashioned way. My point is that we shouldn’t get upset about stories and what they’re embedded in. Stories are what are important.
Stories have been embedded in a variety of devices. In the 19th century there was
something called toy theaters: these cardboard things you would cut out and glue, with characters and scripts. When I was growing up, there was the “View Finder,” a device to put this disc in and you would click it and see fairy tales and so forth in 3D, and we have pop-up books. We’ve got to get over the idea that stories can only be embedded in books and there’s some sort of natural link between them. Stories can be embedded in a lot of different things…"
Jerry Griswold...Author, Former Director of the National Center for the Study of Children's Literature and Emeritus Professor of Literature, San Diego State University; the above remarks are an excerpt from an interview in childlitunjournal
The Tea Party illustration is by John Tenniel. The photo is from Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.
"Translators of fairy-tale collections have always played fast and loose with the rules of their craft. The 'television and pornography' of an earlier age (as John Updike tells us), fairy tales migrated into the nursery during the nineteenth century, and no one objected when they were edited, adapted, bowdlerized, and cleaned up to suit the younger crowd. The Brothers Grimm did some of that tidying up on their own in six successive editions of the tales..." Maria Tatar in her New Yorker review of Phillip Pullman's Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm
The illustration of the Grimm's Robber Bridegroom is by John Gruelle
Stories Are Forever
Here is an excerpt from Maria Russo's review in the New York Times: "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..."
Stories Are for Children Everywhere
The Gift of Reading from Litworld
"We serve only the most underserved in the poorest communities around the world, from the United States to Kenya, from the Philippines to Haiti. We grow steadily, thoughtfully and mindfully, partnering with community based organizations that share our core values and also believe in a child’s humanity and in the power of “Be the Story” to change the world. These sites represent many different parts of the world, different languages, cultures and mindsets. We seek to prove that a creative, holistic approach to supporting a child through her academic and emotional journey to independence is possible anywhere and everywhere.
LitWorld believes that literacy is not a gift given just to some lucky ones, it is a fundamental human right that brings joy, economic independence, gender equity and a pathway out of poverty.
This holiday season LitWorld's goal is to raise $450,000. Reaching this goal will allow LitWorld to bring their programs to the places in the world that need them the most, and to deepen the work in existing locations. From the Za’atari Syrian refugee camp to the Detroit public schools, from Haiti to Nairobi, from Manila to Harlem to Pakistan, LitWorld can reach at least 20,000 young people in 2015 with joyful literacy programs that work across languages and cultures because they are universal and built from hopes and dreams that belong to everyone."
LitWorld now reaches underserved children in 14 Countries...Click this link for an interactive MAP
A Little Girl, A Therapy Dog and a Wondrous Event
Pet Partners, (formerly Delta Society), is a "non-profit organization that helps people live healthier and happier lives by incorporating therapy, service and companion animals into their lives."
"Pet Partners' therapy animal program trains volunteers and evaluates them with their pets so they can visit patients/clients in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice and physical therapy centers, schools, libraries and many other facilities. Over 11,000 handler/animal teams have been certified."
Pet Partners has very good video showing many people -- from kids with cancer to veterans and blind people -- benefiting from interaction with dogs and other animals. About halfway through, there is a more comprehensive and rather amazing true healing story of a critically ill little girl, Jordan, and an amazing therapy dog, Jenna. Here is the video link to Jordan's story.
The Story of the Hunger Game Continues with Mockingjay 1
Once again, teenagers are fighting with heartless, fascist-like rulers.
Hunger Games Worldwide revenue thus far is over 1.5 billion.
The film opens in theaters in most of Europe on November 19 & 20 and in the USA on November 21...
Here is a link for an advanced look: Mockingjay1 trailer
An update on the booming YA movie market...insights, review highlights, box office results and links to trailers...including Mockingjay1; the Hobbit, Battle of the Five Armies; the Maze Runner; Divergent; Into the Woods; and a special report on The Giver...as well as children's films, including Boxtrolls, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Paddington, Annie, and Hero of Color City.
Big Hero 6 (Disney), opened November 7 to very good reviews ... "Agreeably entertaining and brilliantly animated"... and ticket sales. It looks like another popular kid's movie has arrived. Here is a link to the trailer: Big Hero 6. Disney also produced Maleficent this year.
DreamWorks Animation will bring Santa Claus to Malls
The following excerpt is from an article by Brooks Barnes in the New York Times
GLENDALE, Calif. —" For months, DreamWorks Animation has been working on a prototype for a product it hopes will change how the world’s children meet Santa each Christmas. Code name: DreamHouse.
At shopping malls that buy in...Santa Claus will sit inside a 2,000-square-foot “cottage” with walls that are essentially giant video screens. Children will go on a virtual sleigh ride with Shrek before meeting Santa. No more waiting in line; appointments will be made by app..."
Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale
This is the true story of how the dogs saved Christmas, told for the first time in many years. It begins like this...
"It was a few weeks after Christmas when all the troubles began. It had been a lovely day in
Santa Claus Village with the winter sun sparkling on the snow. Most of the elves, after enjoying a fine dinner cooked by Mrs. Claus, had gone to the workshop to continue cleaning up and to begin making plans for next year.
Santa, sitting in his favorite chair, had dozed off to dreamland when he was suddenly awakened by Tulip, the elf lady. “Santa! Santa! Wake up! Two of the reindeer are gone!”
This was how the troubles began. And they continued to grow -- missing reindeer, stolen sleds, winter storms – until it seemed there could be no more Christmas. It was then that Daisy, Bean, and the dogs who would become known as the Snow Valley Heroes arrived in Santa Claus Village…"
To read more and to read reviews, click here: Snow Valley Heroes
The illustrations are by Stella Mustanoja-McCarty for Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale
Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, Volume 3 in the Planet Of The Dogs Series, is published by Barking Planet Productions. We also publish C.A. Wulff's books for dog lovers and dog advocates.
If you are a librarian or teacher using therapy dog reading programs, we will send you complimentary copies of the Planet Of The Dogs Series. Therapy reading dog owners and organizations may also obtain complimentary books. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Dogs certainly can’t read, but they can help students develop critical early literacy skills. With insufficient funding, overworked teachers, and crowded classrooms, many low-income Chicago students are not getting the help they need to set them up for success. That’s where everyone’s best friend—dogs—can step in. Enter Sit Stay Read, a Chicago non-profit that brings dogs into the classroom to increase students’ confidence and skills and generate excitement about reading. The organization was founded ten years ago by Mary Ellen Schneider and Sarah Murphy, two dog lovers who wanted to make a difference in the lives of Chicago’s at-risk students..."
Stories are Forever
“Our plan is to begin with the children. They are more open to trust, love, and learning new ways than adults. We will go to Planet Earth and work with the children…” - Miss Merrie, Queen of the Dogs in Planet Of The Dogs
The photo is of Rose, Susan Purser's therapy dog, reading to a friend
The Book of Life...an animated film
Critics Consensus (from Rotten Tomatoes): "The Book of Life's gorgeous animation is a treat, but it's a pity that its story lacks the same level of craft and detail that its thrilling visuals provide..."
Manohla Dargis, in the NewYork Times, agrees with the Concensus: "The director Jorge R. Gutierrez, who shares script credit with Doug Langdale, has a far stronger visual sensibility than story sense. “The Book of Life” instantly pulls you in with its eye-poking palette and amusingly exaggerated character designs that with a few touches, telegraph entire personalities..."
See for yourself- here is the trailer: Book Of Life
A Classic Story for All Ages
The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
From Slate...Included in a list of "12 Classic books that will change your life" is this wonderful description...
"The Little Prince is a novella written by a French aristocrat, poet, writer and an aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It tells about curiosity, beauty, love, and loss, seen from innocent eyes of a little Prince who lives on a little planet and is in love with a rose. Little Prince is the most read and most translated book in the French language. It was ranked as the best book of the 20th century in France. The book is translated into more than 250 languages and dialects and Braille. Over a million copies are sold per year worldwide. It is one of the favorite books for children and adults. “Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.' ”
The dogs in the photo, Scooter and Bear, live in the northwest and belong to dog lover Kaitlin Jenkins. Both dogs are adopted. We knew Kaitlin, originally, through her personal blog, She Speaks Bark.
We subsequently found that Kaitlin is an evaluator and chief blogger (one of five) for PetParent where pet products are dog tested and evaluated against common sense criteria. It was there that we discovered an excellent -- free -- offering for pet owners, especially dogs...
petparent City Guides for Traveling with Pets
The photo is of Pittsburgh, one of 40 American cities covered in the PetParent City Guides for traveling dog owners. Traveling with pets can be difficult. PetParents City Guides provide pet owners with important practical information ranging from dog friendly hotels and dog parks to emergency pet care and dog friendly restaurants. And it's easy to navigate.
The 40 cities range from East to West, including San Francisco, San Antonio, Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia. In the words of the PetParent bloggers...
"Whether you’re looking to eat, play, live, or stay, PetParent City Guides has done the research for you!"
Who Is Yelodoggie ?What is Yelodoggie?
All dogs in their heart are yellow. Because yellow is the color of light, joy, and happiness and these attributes are the true essence of dogs.
Yelodoggie can be found on greeting cards, coin purses, mousepads, kids shirts,iphone cases, coffee mugs and more at Cafe Press
A Museum of Stories and more
If You Live in New England, and you care about children's books, here is a link to the Eric Carle Museum. in Amherst, MA. They have changing exhibits, active programs for kids, and kids theater events. Although I've never been there, I would very much like to visit, for any
museum that has a visit from Huck Scarry, the artist now bringing Busytown to the world, must be very special. In the words of the Museum: " Huck was visiting the United States from his home in Austria and was at The Museum to demonstrate how to draw all his favorite Busytown characters, including Lowly Worm and Huckle Cat on the big back wall in The Art Studio..." A visit from Busytown. Wow!
Among the many helpful articles on Way Cool Dogs was this one...
Behavior from a Well-trained Puppy
It is always an exciting moment when you bring a new puppy into your home for the very first time. Everyone is soooooo excited! However, this excitement can sometimes wear off quickly when you start to realize how much training you have to do in order to have a well-trained puppy to show off.
Remember: “If you want your puppy to grow into a well-behaved adult dog, then you need to start with a well-trained puppy first.”
Here are a couple of training tips you can use for new puppy behavior, avoiding any later incidents that may cost the puppy its happy home ...Here is the link to read it all: Way Cool Dogs
The illustration is by Stella Mustanoja McCarty from Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale
"Got me a blog. Got me a library job. And now I’ve got me a TV show. Sorta kinda."
These are the words of Betsy Bird, librarian and Youth Materials Specialist at the New York Public Library (NYPL) and a vital person in the world of Children's Lit. She is the co-author of Wild Things: Acts Of Mischief in Children's Literature and the founder, organizer and hostess of NYPL's popular (and free) Childrens Literary Salon. Her always lively Fuse#8 blog appears on School Library Journal (SLJ). Here is more from Betsy..
"The nice folks here at SLJ took a gander at that little Newbery/Caldecott pre-game/post-game show I created with Lori Ess last January ...and decided to give me a little airtime. Announcing the debut of Fuse #8 TV! Here’s the official description:
'Fuse #8 TV is a monthly webcast hosted by A Fuse #8 Production’s Elizabeth Bird featuring interviews with notable authors of literature for children and young adults. Recorded live online, it is made possible by Scholastic, Penguin Random House, Little Brown, Macmillan, HarperCollins, and School Library Journal.'
...Now for our first episode I wanted to start things off with a bang. So Travis Jonker was kind enough to help me relive the glory of our previous wordless conversation. After that, I decided to do something timely. I engaged Coe Booth (KINDA LIKE BROTHERS) and Kekla Magoon (HOW IT WENT DOWN) in a discussion ranging from women writing as boys, the “next” Walter Dean Myers, African-American women writers, and more. To see the results, click the link: Fuse#8 TV
The next Children's Literary Salon at the NYPL will be held Dec 3, 2014. The roundtable discussion topic will be: Funny Ha Ha: Humorous Books for Kids. Click here for more info: HaHa
There is a largely unsung group of dedicated animal lovers who are saving dogs as you are reading these words...Volunteer Animal Rescue Drivers... Sunbear has all the information on what is happening in volunteering, what it takes to qualify and more...here is an excerpt with a link...
"Each weekend in America, an army of volunteer rescue transport drivers deliver dogs and cats to safety in an organized relay of vehicles. Hard-working volunteer transport coordinators plan the logistics, organize the four-legged passengers, and provide support by phone continuously during the entire one- or two-day operation. Drivers sign up for relay "legs" via e-mail. They meet the previous leg drivers at an appointed time, transfer the lucky dogs and cats to their vehicles, and drive to the next relay meeting spot where the process is repeated until the destination is reached..."
To read the entire article follow this link: Rescue
"Whoever said you can't buy happiness forgot little puppies."-Gene Hill