Saturday, April 26, 2008

Books Made Into Movies

The following is a list of popular children's books that have been transformed into successful movies!:

* Alias Madame Doubtfire, Anne Fine - Mrs. Doubtfire, 1993
* Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll - Alice in Wonderland, 1933, 1951, 1966, 1985 ; Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 1972 ; The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland, 1987
* Anne of Avonlea, Lucy Maud Montgomery - Anne of Avonlea, 1987
* Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables, 1919, 1934, 1956, 1972, 1985
* The Apple Dumpling Gang, Jack Bickham - The Apple Dumpling Gang, 1975
* Aquamarine, Alice Hoffman - Aquamarine, 2006
* Arrow to the Sun, Gerald McDermott - Arrow to the Sun, 1973
* Arthur series, Marc Brown - Arthur's Missing Pal, 2006
* Le Avventure di Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi - Pinocchio, 1940, 2002 ; The Adventures of Pinocchio, 1936, 1996
* Babar the Elephant series, Jean de Brunhoff - Babar: The Movie, 1989 ; Babar: King of the Elephants, 1999
* The Baby-sitters Club series - The Baby-Sitters Club, 1995
* Bambi, ein Leben im Walde (Bambi: A Life in the Woods), Felix Salten - Bambi, 1942
* Because of Winn-Dixie, Kate DiCamillo - Because of Winn-Dixie, 2005
* The Magic Bed Knob and Bonfires and Broomsticks, Mary Norton - Bedknobs and Broomsticks, 1971
* The BFG, Roald Dahl - The BFG, 1989
* Black Beauty, Anna Sewell - Black Beauty, 1946, 1971, 1994
* The Black Stallion series, Walter Farley - The Black Stallion, 1979, The Black Stallion Returns, 1983
* The Book of Three and The Black Cauldron, Lloyd Alexander - The Black Cauldron, 1985
* Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson - Bridge to Terabithia, 1985, 2007
* The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss - The Cat in the Hat, 2003
* Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl - Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 1971 - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005
* Charlotte's Web, E. B. White - Charlotte's Web, 1973, 2006 ; Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure, 2003
* The Cheetah Girls, Deborah Gregory - The Cheetah Girls, 2003 ; The Cheetah Girls 2, 2006 ; The Cheetah Girls 3: Indian Adventure! (future)
* Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, Ian Fleming - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968
* The Christmas Box, Richard Paul Evans - The Christmas Box, 1995
* Clifford the Big Red Dog series, Norman Bridwell - Clifford's Really Big Movie, 2004
* Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, Dyan Sheldon - Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, 2004
* Curious George, H. A. Rey and Margret Rey - Curious George, 2006
* Danny, the Champion of the World, Roald Dahl - Danny, the Champion of the World, 1989
* A Day with Wilbur Robinson, William Joyce - Meet the Robinsons, 2007
* O dwóch takich, co ukradli księżyc (The Two Who Stole the Moon, Kornel Makuszyński - The Two Who Stole the Moon, 1962
* Dumbo, Harold Perl - Dumbo, 1941
* Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine - Ella Enchanted, 2004
* Eloise at Christmastime, Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight - Eloise at Christmastime, 2003
* Eloise at the Plaza, Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight - Eloise at the Plaza, 2003
* Eragon, Christopher Paolini - Eragon, 2006
* The Face on the Milk Carton, Caroline B. Cooney - The Face on the Milk Carton, 1995
* Frække Frida og de frygtløse spioner, Lykke Nielsen - Frække Frida og de frygtløse spioner, 1994
* Freaky Friday, Mary Rodgers - Freaky Friday, 1976, 1995, 2003
* From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E. L. Konigsburg - From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, 1973, 1995
* Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, Mary Mapes Dodge and Alice Carsey - Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, 1962
* Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh - Harriet the Spy, 1996
* Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 2001
* Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2002
* Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2004
* Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005
* Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2007
* Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J. K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (tentative)
* Heidi, Johanna Spyri - Heidi, 1937, 1968, 1993
* Holes, Louis Sachar - Holes, 2003
* Hoot, Carl Hiaasen - Hoot, 2006
* How My Private, Personal Journal Became A Bestseller, Julia DeVillers - Read it and Weep, 2006
* How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Dr. Seuss - How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, 2000
* How to Eat Fried Worms, Thomas Rockwell - How to Eat Fried Worms, 2006
* The Hundred and One Dalmatians, Dodie Smith - One Hundred and One Dalmatians, 1961; 101 Dalmatians, 1996; 102 Dalmatians, 2000
* I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith - I Capture the Castle, 2003
* I Want a Dog, Dayal Kaur Khalsa - I Want a Dog, 2003
* The Incredible Journey, Sheila Burnford - Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, 1993
* The Indian in the Cupboard, Lynne Reid Banks - The Indian in the Cupboard, 1995
* The Iron Man, Ted Hughes - The Iron Giant, 1999
* Johnny Tremain, Esther Forbes - Johnny Tremain, 1944
* Jumanji, Chris Van Allsburg - Jumanji, 1995
* The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling - The Jungle Book, 1942, 1967, 1994 ; The Jungle Book 2, 2003 ; Maugli, 1967
* Justin Morgan Had a Horse, Marguerite Henry and Wesley Dennis - Justin Morgan Had a Horse, 1972
* The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 1979, 1988, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 2005
* A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett - A Little Princess, 1917, 1939, 1975, 1986, 1995
* Little Women, Louisa May Alcott - Little Women, 1933, 1949, 1978, 1994
* The Littles, John Peterson - Here Come the Littles, 1985
* Madeline series, Ludwig Bemelmans - Madeline, 1998 ; Madeline: Lost in Paris, 1999
* The Marvelous Land of Oz, L. Frank Baum - Journey Back to Oz, 1971
* Mary Poppins, P. L. Travers - Mary Poppins, 1964
* Matilda, Roald Dahl - Matilda, 1996
* Midnight and Jeremiah, Sterling North - So Dear to My Heart, 1948
* Miss Spider series, David Kirk - Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids, 2003
* Misty of Chincoteague, Marguerite Henry - Misty, 1961
* The Neverending Story (Die Unendliche Geschichte), Michael Ende - The NeverEnding Story, 1984 ; The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter, 1990 ; The NeverEnding Story III, 1994
* Old Yeller, Frederick Benjamin Gipson - Old Yeller, 1957
* Ozma of Oz and 'The Marvelous Land of Oz, L. Frank Baum - Return to Oz, 1985
* The Patchwork Girl of Oz, L. Frank Baum - The Patchwork Girl of Oz, 1914
* Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren - Peppi Dlinnyychulok, 1982 ; The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, 1988
* The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg - The Polar Express, 2004
* Pollyanna, Eleanor H. Porter - The Adventures of Pollyanna, 1982 ; Hayat sevince güzel, 1971 ; Polly, 1989 ; Pollyanna, 1920, 1960, 1973 ; 2003
* Prince Caspian, C. S. Lewis - The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, 2008
* The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot - The Princess Diaries, 2001
* Punk Farm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka - Punk Farm, (future)
* Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Kate Douglas Wiggin - Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, 1917, 1932, 1938
* The Rescuers, Margery Sharp - The Rescuers, 1977 ; The Rescuers Down Under, 1990
* A Ring of Endless Light, Madeleine L'Engle - A Ring of Endless Light, 2002
* Searching for David's Heart, Cherie Bennett - Searching for David's Heart, 2004
* The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett - The Secret Garden, 1949, 1993
* A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket - Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, 2004
* The Sheep Pig, Dick King-Smith - Babe, 1995 ; Babe: Pig in the City, 1998
* Shrek!, William Steig - Shrek, 2001
* The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Ann Brashares - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, 2005
* Spiderwick series, Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black - The Spiderwick Chronicles (future)
* Starik Khottabych, Lazar Lagin - Starik Khottabych, 1956
* Storm Boy, Colin Thiele - Storm Boy, 1976
* Stuart Little, E. B. White - Stuart Little, 1999 ; Stuart Little 2, 2002 ; Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild, 2006
* The Stupids series, Harry G. Allard and James Marshall - The Stupids, 1996
* "Toomai of the Elephants", Rudyard Kipling - Elephant Boy, 1937
* Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson - Treasure Island, 1920, 1934, 1950, 1972, 1990 ; Muppet Treasure Island, 1996 ; Treasure Planet, 2002
* Tuck Everlasting, Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting, 1981, 2002
* T*Witches, H. B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld - Twitches, 2005
* Undercover Cat, Gordon and Mildred Gordon - That Darn Cat!, 1965 ; That Darn Cat, 1997
* The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle and Doctor Dolittle's Circus, Hugh Lofting - Doctor Dolittle, 1967
* The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby, Charles Kingsley - The Water Babies, 1978
* We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, Hudson Talbott - We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, 1993
* The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin - Get a Clue, 1997
* Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls - Where the Red Fern Grows, 1974, 2003
* The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame - The Wind in the Willows, 1983
* Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne - Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore, 1983 ; Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, 1968 ; Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree, 1966 ; Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too!, 1974
* A Wish for Wings That Work, Berkeley Breathed - A Wish for Wings That Work, 1991
* The Witches, Roald Dahl - The Witches, 1990
* The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1910 ; His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz, 1914 ; Wizard of Oz, 1925 ; The Wizard of Oz, 1939 ; Ayşecik ve Sihirli Cüceler Rüyalar Ülkesinde, 1971 ; The Wiz, 1978 ; The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, 2005
* A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time, 2003
* The Yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings - The Yearling (film), 1946
* Zathura, Chris Van Allsburg - Zathura, 2005
* Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, Marilyn Sadler - Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, 1999

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Prince Caspian

In light of all the advertising for the new Chronicles of Narnia Movie, Prince Caspian, I looked up what some of the differences were between the popular book and the new movie. These are some differences according to Ben Barnes, the star of Prince Caspian:

"In the book Caspian is evidently a lot younger than me, and blonde. It says he’s got blonde, curly hair. But it also says his race is descended from Pacific islanders and pirates so why you’d have a blond kid from that I’m not quite sure, so they went down that route and decided to make him kind of European and swarthy and piratey, so that is necessarily different. I think also because there was a good period of a few years between making the first and second, the kids have obviously grown up. William Moseley is now 21, and the thing the book says about Caspian’s age is that he’s about the same age as Peter and because of the tension we’ve built into the story between those two characters it’s important they were about the same age. I’m 26, but on screen me and Will look of similar ages.

So that’s obviously different and the characters are that bit older and I think that obviously the main difference in the stories is that in the second one the magic has been drained from the land of Narnia. There’s a human who’s driven by his lust for power and ambition who’s usurped the thrown and become a dictator and he’s a human villain which is more scary than a magic one in that you’re turning people to stone, you’re killing them. And he’s trying to repress the Narnia race which was flourishing to an extent in the first one, there are fewer cute beavery type creatures, Mister Tumnuses and things. You do have Reepicheep but even he’s quite viscious. That’s the main difference between the films, and obviously there are other little necessary changes – the action really does fuel the drama in this second film, more so film than book but the film is a different type of story: the first was a Christmas fairytale, this one is a summer blockbuster. There are no changes that jar with me as a childhood fan of the books so hopefully they won’t jar with too many other people."

There is also a picture of him!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Secret Garden

I LOVE the movie version of Secret Garden! Many times we read books and then watch the movie and it is hard to like the movie, because we imagined the characters a certain way as we read the book. An exception to this would be The movie the Secret Garden. It adds even more to the book! I love the characters and everything is beautiful from scenery to costumes. Here is a montogue of scenes to a song that I think fits PERFECTLY!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stinky Cheese Man Quiz

Here is a quiz I found on QuizTrivia

1. Who is the first character you meet in the book?

a. The Little Red Hen
b. Stinky Cheese Man
c. Jack the Narrator
d. Chicken Licken

2. Where does Jack the Narrator live?

a. Fairy Tale Forest
b. Unlikely Creek
c. Fairly Stupid Valley
d. Enchanted Mountain

3. In the first story, what REALLY hit Chicken Licken on the head?

a. a piece of The Frog Prince's Story
b. a piece of the Introduction
c. a piece of the Table of Contents
d. a piece of the Title Page

4. The second story is entitled "The Princess and the _______

a. pea soup
b. bread thief
c. glass shoes
d. bowling ball

5. What did the really ugly ducking grow up to be?

a. we don't know because he was forgotten because the Tortoise and the Hair (yes, it's spelled right) invaded and took over his story
b. a really ugly swan
c. a really ugly duck
d. he didn't grow up, he was eaten by the Giant who ran loose from Jack's story

6. What did Goldilocks smell?

a. oatmeal porridge
b. peanut porridge
c. chocolate porridge
d. tomato porridge

7. Which character(s) attempted to make their own story? It goes like this: "THE END~of the evil stepmother~said 'I'll huff and snuff and~ give you three wishes.'~The beast changed into~seven dwarves~happily ever after~for a spell had been cast by a Wicked Witch~once upon a time."

a. The Little Red Hen
b. The Giant
c. The Tortoise and the Hair (correct spelling)
d. Chicken Licken, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, Henny Penny, Cocky Locky, Foxy Loxy

8. Who is "the girl who really blew it"?

a. A witch named Gretel
b. Snow Rapunzel
c. Cinderumpelstiltskin
d. The Empress who had no clothes

9. Who wakes up the Giant near the end of the book and then gets swallowed by him?

a. The wolf from "Little Red Running Shorts"
b. Jack the Narrator
c. The Little Red Hen
d. The Stinky Cheese man

10. Which character is on the back of the book and what are they doing?

a. Jack the Narrator sleeping and dreaming about how his book will make millions
b. The Stinky Cheese Man crying because nobody in the book would chase him on account of his smell
c. The Giant picking his teeth and rubbing his belly after just eating a hearty snack
d. The Little Red Hen complaining about how nobody will buy this book


1. a
2. a
3. c
4. d
5. c
6. b
7. b
8. c
9. c
10. d

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dick and Jane

In class the other day Dr. Robinson read a little bit from Dick and Jane. She began to describe how much picture books have changed since the "Dick and Jane" days. Later on the same day in one of my other classes my professor referenced the Dick and Jane books again. I wanted to know more about these books so I "googled" them and here is what I found:

"Dick and Jane were the main characters in popular basal readers written by Dr. William S. Gray and published by Scott Foresman, that were used to teach children to read from the 1930s through to the 1970s in the United States. The main characters, Dick and Jane, were a little boy and girl. Supporting characters included Baby (or Sally), Mother, Father, Spot the dog, Puff the cat, Jack the clown and Tim the teddy bear. They first appeared in the Elson-Gray Readers used in the 1930s. The books relied on sight reading (or "whole word reading") and repetition, using phrases like, "Oh, see. Oh, see Jane. Funny, funny Jane," and they ignored phonics. For this reason, they came to be used less and less as studies supported phonics as a more effective method of gaining literacy.[citation needed]

The simple but distinctive illustrations for the books were done by artists Eleanor Campbell and Keith Ward.

Black characters and characters from other races and cultures were not introduced until 1965, when Dick and Jane books were already declining in popularity. In 1955 Rudolf Flesch criticized the Dick and Jane series in his book, Why Johnny Can't Read, and the push for multiculturalism, and stronger presentation of other races and cultures was partially a reaction to the cultural homogeneity of the series.

First editions of the books are now worth as much as two hundred dollars. The books were reissued in 2003 by Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) and over 2.5 million copies were sold, but this time the publishers had warned against using them to teach reading to children. Related merchandise, such as shirts and magnets, also gained wide popularity, particularly among people who had never been exposed to the original series but were familiar with catch phrases like "See Spot run!"

The title of one of the books, Fun with Dick and Jane, inspired a 1977 film of the same title, and its 2005 remake." (Wikipedia)

Apparently these books are now worth anywhere from 100-600 dollars! I have also attached a picture of them!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

100 Best Childrens Books of the 20th Century

This is a list compiled by an outside source of the 100 Best Childrens Books of the 20th Century. It is arranged by Author. Book!

Enjoy! Just for fun I counted how many I had read and it was only 10!

Adams. Watership Down
Ardizzone. Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain
Averill. The Cat Club
Babbitt. Tuck Everlasting
Banner. Ant and Bee and Kind Dog
Bemelmans. Madeline
Bishop. Five Chinese Brothers
Boston. Children of Green Knowe
Brown. The Runaway Bunny
Brown. Goodnight Moon
Burton. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Burton. The Little House
Cannon. Stellaluna
Carle. Very Hungry Caterpillar
Clark. The Poppy-Seed Cakes
Cooper. The Dark is Rising
Dahl. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Daugherty. Andy and the Lion
D'Aulaire. Ola and Blakken
De Brunhoff. L'Histoire de Babar
Dickinson. A Bone From A Dry Sea
Du Bois. Lion
Du Bois. The Twenty-One Balloons
Eager. Half-Magic
Enright. Thimble Summer
Estes. The Moffats
Ets. Mister Penny
Farjeon. Martin Pippin in the Daisy Field
Fenton. Penny Candy
Field. Hitty
Fitzhugh. Harriet the Spy
Flack. The Story About Ping
Freeman. Corduroy
Gag. Millions of Cats
Garner. The Stone Book Quartet
Hale. Orlando Buys A Farm
Hamilton. The Magical Adv. of Pretty Pearl
Heide. The Shrinking of Treehorn
Henry. King of the Wind
Heyward. The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes
Hoban. Bedtime for Frances
Holling. Paddle-to-the-Sea
Jansson. Finn Family Moomintroll
Johnson. Harold and the Purple Crayon
Keats. The Snowy Day
Konigsburg. Throwing Shadows
Langton. The Diamond in the Window
Lawson. Ben and Me
Leaf. Wee Gillis
Leaf. The Story of Ferdinand
L'Engle. A Wrinkle in Time
Lenski. [The Small Transportation series]
Lindgren. Pippi Longstocking
Lionni. Little Blue and Little Yellow
Lionni. Frederick
Lovelace. Betsy-Tacy
MacDonald. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Mahy. Memory
Mayne. Earthfasts
McCloskey. Blueberries for Sal
McCloskey. Burt Dow, Deep Water Man
Milne. Winnie the Pooh
Milne. When We Were Very Young
Mosel. Tikki Tikki Tembo
Munari. The Circus in the Mist
Newberry. Herbert the Lion
Newberry. April's Kittens
Norton. The Borrowers
Oakley. The Church Mouse
Paterson. Bridge to Terabithia
Paton Walsh. Unleaving
Pearce. Tom's Midnight Garden
Pullman. Northern Lights/Golden Compass
Ransome. Swallows and Amazons
Sandburg. The Wedding Procession of the Rag Doll and the Broom Handle
Sendak. The Nutshell Library
Sendak. Where the Wild Things Are
Seuss. Green Eggs and Ham
Seuss. Horton Hatches the Egg
Sleator. The Angry Moon
Slobodkina. Caps for Sale
Speare. Witch of Blackbird Pond
Steig. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
Stong. Honk the Moose
Streatfeild. Ballet Shoes
Sutcliff. Knight's Fee
Taylor. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry!
Thurber. Many Moons
Tison. Barbapapa
Tolkien. The Hobbit
Travers. Mary Poppins
Ungerer. Crictor
Vipont. The Elephant and the Bad Baby
Ward. The Biggest Bear
Wells. Max's Breakfast
White, E.B. Charlotte's Web
White, T.H. The Sword in the Stone
Wilder. The Long Winter
Zindel. The Pigman
Zion. Harry the Dirty Dog

Friday, April 18, 2008


After writing my last blog I began to reflect on how almost all the books we have studied in Children's Literature are deep. Charlie Anderson, one of my outside readings , on the surface, looks just like a cute book about a cat named Charlie. But, as you continue to read you realize that the book eases into the issue of divorce. We see Charlie handling living at two different houses.

Each of the books we have read this year also has a deeper meaning. All the way from The Princess Goblin to Where the Wild Things Are. Coming into this class I definitely did not expect that, but I now understand why. Children at a young age are soaking up everything they are learning. Children learn at a very fast rate when they are young. Therefore, it makes sense that they would write books for them with deep meaning.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Charlie Anderson

First, I have to say I HATE cats. So, I don't actually know what intrigued me to pick up this book, because it has a cat on the front of it! However, it was such an adorable story. It is about this little cat named Charlie. He lives a the house of these two little girls. However, every night he ventures over to another house where he is named Anderson. One night the girls can't find Charlie so they go looking for him through the woods. They approach the house where Charlie is, but the people there say that he is Anderson. Both of the owners find out what is going on, and they laugh. The families decide to call him Charlie Anderson and they allow him to go back and forth between the houses!

I love this book because it addresses the issue of divorce in a soft kind of way. Just like the little girls, Charlie Anderson lives at two houses. The book talks about how at each house he is loved, but it is different at each house.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

google search

One of my favorite things to do when I have spare time is to "google" things! So I decided to complile a list of the first few books that popped up when I just decided to google "children's literature". The results may suprise you!:

1. The Cat in the Hat
2. Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone
3. Barba Azul
4. The Duck in the Gun
5. Large Letters for Little Ones
6. and Tango Makes Three
7. Hearts of Stone (which isn't even a children's book)
8. Mandy Sue Day
9. Great Boy Stories
10. I am on Duty Today

These results honestly made me laugh! I saw the first two, and thought "Well that's typical." Then, I only recognized one of the other books. I expected the most popular books to pop up, but I was suprised to find I was wrong!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Giver

"Someone has
walked into a fast-food place with an automatic weapon and randomly killed a
number of people. My daughter stops talking and waits while I listen to the
Then I relax. I say to her, in a relieved voice, “It’s all right. It was in
Oklahoma.” ( O perhaps it was Alabama. Or Indiana.)
She stares at me in amazement that I have said such a hideous thing.
How comfortable I made myself feel for a moment, by reducing my own
realm of caring to my own familiar neighborhood. How safe I deluded myself
into feeling. {...} When Jonas meets The Giver for the first time, and tries to comprehend
what lies before him, he says, in confusion “I thought there was only us. I
thought there was only now.”
In beginning to write The giver I created – as I always do, in every book
– a world that existed only in my imagination – the world of “only us, only now.”
I tried to make Jonas’s world seem familiar, comfortable, and safe, and I tried
to seduce the reader. I seduced myself along the way,. It did feel good, that
world. I got rid of all the things I fear and dislike; all the violence, prejudice,
poverty, and injustice, and I even threw in good manners as a way of life
because I liked the idea of it.
One child has pointed out, in a letter, that the people in Jonas’s world
didn’t even have to do dishes.
It was very, very tempting to leave it at that.
But I’ve never been a writer of fairy tales. And if I’ve learned anything
through that river of memories, it is that we can’t live in a walled world, in an
“only us, only now” world where we are all the same and feel safe. We would
have to sacrifice too much. The richness of color and diversity would disappear
feelings for other humans would no longer be necessary. Choices would be

This is an exceprt from Lois Lowry's acceptance speech when The Giver won the Newberry Award. After hearing Dr. Robinson talk about it I knew I just had to go read it.

I remember reading The Giver as a fourth grader. I HATED it; it scared me to death! Honestly, I don't even know if I finished it because it began to give me nightmares. Now having reread it, I find that interesting. Why was I so scared of such a seemingly "perfect" world? Nothing was scary about it. Now I realize why was different. It was uncomfortable and nothing like my little tough, fourth grade life.

That is exactly what Lowry is talking about here. She almost made this world normal. I am so glad she didnt. It wouldnt be the same kind of story at all.

Not only was the book 10 times more amazing this time around, but I finally got it!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I LOVED this book. It is my favorite picture I read this year. It is a story about a little girl. Her name is Chrysanthemum (like the flower), and she HATES it. Everyone teases her at school, and she really wants to change her name. However, her parents love it, they think it is the most beautiful name ever. She, however, does not think this is true. That is becuase the people at school syas mean think like "Let's pluck Chrysanthemum" or "Can we smell you Chrysanthemum?". One girl also annouces that Chrsyanthemum's name is 13 letters long, and the girl points out that that is half the alphabet. Chrysanthemum wilts,SHE HATES HER NAME!! That is until her music teacher announces that she has an interesting name, too, Delphinium. Delphinium also says she is going to name her future daughter the most beautiful name she hads ever heard, Chrysanthemum. Then Chrysanthemum FALLS IN LOVE with her name.

This is such a heartwarming story, and anoyone can relate with the main character! It is adorable!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Teaching Reading

I know this is not a teaching class, but I learned something very cool I wanted to share that I learned in one of my classes. We are learning the Workshop approach to teaching reading. This is a sample schedule of readers workshops:

8:00-8:15 Readers' Workshop: Short read aloud with a mini lesson

8:15-8:25 Independent Reading/ Teacher Confers with students one on one

8:25-9:05 Independent Reading with Independent Work/ Teacher meets with three different guided reading groups.

One group goes from 8:25-8:40
Second from 8:40-8:55
Third from 8:55-9:10

9:10-9:15 Share Out with the whole class

The cool part comes at the very beginning. It is called "INTERACTIVE READ-ALOUD". What happens is the teacher opens the class with a book. As she reads she makes "connections" and encourages the students to as well. When students make these connections it helps them to remember the book better.

For example: If the page says "Sally walked her dog as she ate a popsicle. Rusty, the dog, kept trying to lick her popsicle." Then I could make the connection when I used to eat popsicles with my siblings on hot, summer days. My dog would always try to eat mine and I would get really mad at him.

See, this would help me with comprehending the book more, because I could remember this specific part of the book, but also the book as a whole.

This thought just popped in my mind because we will start reading picture books soon, and I now read them totally different after hearing this method!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears

One of the picture books I read was Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears. I LOVED this book when i was little and so I reread it and created this crossword puzzle!! Have fun with it!

Friday, April 04, 2008

High School

I was so excited to hear we were reading The Hobbit in this class! I had the most amazing teacher in high school, for English IV, but it also doubled as a dual credit class for college. My professors name was Dr. Holt. He was so smart and LOVED literature. One of the required books for the semester was The Hobbit, and I can not tell you fully in words, how much of a Tolkien fanctic Dr. Holt was. He knew everything about Tolkien's work. Studying the Hobbit under Dr. Holt was like having the book come alive, and many days I thought "Dr. Holt's real name must be J.R.R. Tolkien" because it was as if the author was teaching our class. The most awesome part about it was that at the end of the year, Dr. Holt let us pick any book we wanted to read. Unanimously, our class, decided on The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Rings, because we knew it would be so interesting. There is nothing liek reading a book and knowing all the underlying things the author threw in, and Dr. Holt seemed to know all of those little secrets. I will never forget this amazing experience and class.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Newbery Award

I have already researched the Caldecott Award in a previos post and so now I think it's time for another award given for Children's Literature! "The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children of the American Library Association (ALA) to the author of the outstanding American book for children. The award has been given since 1922. Together with the Caldecott Medal, it is considered the most prestigious award for children's literature in the United States. It is named for John Newbery, an 18th century publisher of juvenile books.

The Newbery Medal was designed by Rene Paul Chambellan in 1921 and depicts on the reverse, an author giving his work (a book) to a male and female child to read." (Wikipedia)

Here is a list of the
Year Author Book
2008 Laura Amy Schlitz Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village
2007 Susan Patron The Higher Power of Lucky
2006 Lynne Rae Perkins Criss Cross
2005 Cynthia Kadohata Kira-Kira
2004 Kate DiCamillo The Tale of Despereaux
2003 Avi Crispin: The Cross of Lead
2002 Linda Sue Park A Single Shard
2001 Richard Peck A Year Down Yonder
2000 Christopher Paul Curtis Bud, Not Buddy
1999 Louis Sachar Holes
1998 Karen Hesse Out of the Dust
1997 E. L. Konigsburg The View from Saturday
1996 Karen Cushman The Midwife's Apprentice
1995 Sharon Creech Walk Two Moons
1994 Lois Lowry The Giver
1993 Cynthia Rylant Missing May
1992 Phyllis Naylor Shiloh
1991 Jerry Spinelli Maniac Magee
1990 Lois Lowry Number the Stars
1989 Paul Fleischman Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices
1988 Russell Freedman Lincoln: A Photobiography
1987 Sid Fleischman The Whipping Boy
1986 Patricia MacLachlan Sarah, Plain and Tall
1985 Robin McKinley The Hero and the Crown
1984 Beverly Cleary Dear Mr. Henshaw
1983 Cynthia Voigt Dicey's Song
1982 Nancy Willard A Visit to William Blake's Inn
1981 Katherine Paterson Jacob Have I Loved
1980 Joan Blos A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal
1979 Ellen Raskin The Westing Game
1978 Katherine Paterson Bridge to Terabithia
1977 Mildred Taylor Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
1976 Susan Cooper The Grey King
1975 Virginia Hamilton M. C. Higgins, the Great
1974 Paula Fox The Slave Dancer
1973 Jean George Julie of the Wolves
1972 Robert C. O'Brien Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
1971 Betsy Byars Summer of the Swans
1970 William H. Armstrong Sounder
1969 Lloyd Alexander The High King
1968 E. L. Konigsburg From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
1967 Irene Hunt Up a Road Slowly
1966 Elizabeth Borton de Treviño I, Juan de Pareja
1965 Maia Wojciechowska Shadow of a Bull
1964 Emily Neville It's Like This, Cat
1963 Madeleine L'Engle A Wrinkle in Time
1962 Elizabeth Speare The Bronze Bow
1961 Scott O'Dell Island of the Blue Dolphins
1960 Joseph Krumgold Onion John
1959 Elizabeth Speare The Witch of Blackbird Pond
1958 Harold Keith Rifles for Watie
1957 Virginia Sorenson Miracles on Maple Hill
1956 Jean Lee Latham Carry On, Mr. Bowditch
1955 Meindert DeJong The Wheel on the School
1954 Joseph Krumgold ...And Now Miguel
1953 Ann Nolan Clark Secret of the Andes
1952 Eleanor Estes Ginger Pye
1951 Elizabeth Yates Amos Fortune, Free Man
1950 Marguerite de Angeli The Door in the Wall
1949 Marguerite Henry King of the Wind
1948 William Pène du Bois The Twenty-One Balloons
1947 Carolyn Bailey Miss Hickory
1946 Lois Lenski Strawberry Girl
1945 Robert Lawson Rabbit Hill
1944 Esther Forbes Johnny Tremain
1943 Elizabeth Gray Vining Adam of the Road
1942 Walter D. Edmonds The Matchlock Gun
1941 Armstrong Sperry Call It Courage
1940 James Daugherty Daniel Boone
1939 Elizabeth Enright Thimble Summer
1938 Kate Seredy The White Stag
1937 Ruth Sawyer Roller Skates
1936 Carol Ryrie Brink Caddie Woodlawn
1935 Monica Shannon Dobry
1934 Cornelia Meigs Invincible Louisa
1933 Elizabeth Foreman Lewis Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze
1932 Laura Adams Armer Waterless Mountain
1931 Elizabeth Coatsworth The Cat Who Went to Heaven
1930 Rachel Field Hitty, Her First Hundred Years
1929 Eric P. Kelly The Trumpeter of Krakow
1928 Dhan Gopal Mukerji Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon
1927 Will James Smoky the Cow Horse
1926 Arthur Bowie Chrisman Shen of the Sea
1925 Charles Finger Tales from Silver Lands
1924 Charles Hawes The Dark Frigate
1923 Hugh Lofting The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
1922 Hendrik Willem van Loon The Story of Mankind

As you can see many of the stories we read have won this award! It is very pretigious and these books become very well known!

There is a picture of the award!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Nancy Drew

I remember at the beginning if the semester Dr. Robinson told us how she LOVED Nancy Drew. I am sad to say I was a child of the popular days of Babysitter's Club and Goose Bumps. I feel as though I missed out on classics like Nancy Drew because I was trying too hard to be cool and fit in.

So this week at the library I picked up Nancy Drew, The Mystery at Lilac Inn.

"Nancy and Helen Corning (soon-to-be Mrs. Jim Archer) go to stay at historic Lilac Inn. The historic building and grounds are now being modernized into a local resort spot, by their friend, owner Emily Crandall. Strange happenings and hauntings occur, which threaten to spoil the opening. Nancy suddenly discovers a link to a wicked double, who is stealing items at River Heights stores, and who has misappropriated Nancy's charge cards. Emily's diamonds are stolen and replaced with fakes during a dramatic evening dinner party at the Inn, and it is up to Nancy to tie together her mysterious evil twin, the haunting, and an evil ex-felon her father prosecuted for forgery. Explosions and underwater attacks further delay progress in the case, as well as the suspicious actions of a new social director. Adding to the problem, a mysterious "shark" seen in the nearby Muskoka river. Nancy's solution captures not only the criminals, but unmasks her evil twin and an international espionage operation in her own backyard!" (WIkipedia)

I love who Nancy is. She is smart, witty, and so fun! She is one of those characters you fall in love with the minute you open the book.

A fun fact I learned was that the book was originally released in 1931, and the plot was totally different!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Shel Silverstein

Out of all the poets we have been reading in class, Shel Silverstein is my favorite! His sense of humor is hilarious. Even better than that though is the memories it brings up for me. My brother LOVED The Giving Tree more than I could even express in words. Growing up he honestly thought it was the coolest book ever! Then in middle school Shel Silverstein showed up again in my life. I used to participate in these speech competitions. I competed in poetry and prose and I used the Silverstein poem "Sick" for one of my competition. It won me first place many times, so I am VERY thankful for the warm-hearted poem. So in honor of Shel Silverstein I have written a poem about his life!

Uncle Shelby served in the U.S. Army,
He wrote for the Newspaper call Stars and Stripes.
He lived in Japan and also Korea,
Everytime people read his work they said oh my, oh mia!
Shel has also written alot of songs,
Everyone loves it, from children to moms!
He had two children of his own,
But sadly died of a heart attack in his home.

Kind of a morbid ending, but some good information none the less! :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


One thing I regret so much growing up is never being read poetry! My parents were wonderful encouragers of readers, but poetry was never really read to us. We had exciting stories and fun books, but never poetry. It is exciting that I have been given an opportunity to be exposed to these fun poems! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Child's Anthology of Poems and I can't wait to have this book on my own children's shelf. I can't wait to read these poems to my children. I felt like a little kid as I read these poems. I laughed at the silliest things, but they just made me REALLy happy!Sitting in class, I remember hearing Mrs. Robinson talk about how much her boys thought Boa Constrictor was HILARIOUS! I can't wait to have moments like this with my kids. I can't wait for them to fall in love with poetry.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Winter of Red Snow

Trying to figure out the next of my outside readings to pick, I began talking to my friend about books she loved when she was growing up. Her family is the most patriotic family I have ever met. Every Labor Day Weekend they have a family get together called "Yeah America". At Yeah America they celebrate America and freedom and our country's history. Therefore it is no suprise when she reminded me of the series of books called Dear America. These books are so neat. The Scholastic website describes the series of books as “Travel back to the earliest days of America through the diary pages of these courageous girls. Follow their amazing journey – as told by incredible authors – through the growth of our great nation.”

I found a list of all of the books in the series

TITLES (In order by historical chronology):

A JOURNEY TO THE NEW WORLD: The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, Mayflower, 1620 by Kathryn Lasky

I WALK IN DREAD: The Diary of Deliverance Trembley, Witness to the Salem Witch Trials, Massachusetts Bay Colony, 1691
by Lisa Rowe Fraustino
ISBN: 0439249732
Ages 9-12
203 pages

Deliverance Trembley lives in Salem Village, where she must take care of her sickly sister, Mem, and where she does her daily chores in fear of her cruel uncle's angry temper. But when four young girls from the village accuse some of the local women of being witches, Deliverance finds herself caught up in the ensuing drama of the trials. And life in Salem is never the same.

STANDING IN THE LIGHT: The Captive Diary of Catharine Carey Logan, Delaware Valley, Pennsylvania, 1763 by Mary Pope Osborne

LOOK TO THE HILLS: The Diary of Lozette Moreau, a French Slave Girl, New York Colony, 1763
by Patricia C. McKissack
ISBN: 0439210380
Ages 9-14
192 pages
April 2004

Lozette, or Zettie, is an orphaned slave girl who arrives with her French masters in New York Colony at the end of the French-Indian War. There, she must reconsider her loyalties when she is confronted with new landscapes, new conditions and new conflicts.

LOVE THY NEIGHBOR: The Tory Diary of Prudence Emerson, Greenmarsh, Massachusetts, 1774 by Ann Turner

THE WINTER OF RED SNOW: The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1777 by Kristiana Gregory

A LINE IN THE SAND: The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence, Gonzales, Texas, 1836 by Sherry Garland

VALLEY OF THE MOON: The Diary of Maria Rosalia de Milagros, Sonoma Valley, Alta California, 1846 by Sherry Garland

SO FAR FROM HOME: The Diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847 by Barry Denenberg

ACROSS THE WIDE AND LONESOME PRAIRIE: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell, 1847 by Kristiana Gregory

ALL THE STARS IN THE SKY: The Santa Fe Trail Diary of Florrie Mack Ryder, The Santa Fe Trail, 1848 by Megan McDonald

SEEDS OF HOPE: The Gold Rush Diary of Susanna Fairchild, California Territory, 1849 by Kristiana Gregory

A PICTURE OF FREEDOM: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia, 1859 by Patricia C. McKissack

A LIGHT IN THE STORM: The Civil War Diary of Amelia Martin, Fenwick Island, Delaware, 1861 by Karen Hesse

WHEN WILL THIS CRUEL WAR BE OVER?: The Civil War Diary of Emma Simpson, Gordonsville, Virginia, 1864 by Barry Denenberg

THE GIRL WHO CHASED AWAY SORROW: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl, New Mexico, 1864 by Ann Turner

I THOUGHT MY SOUL WOULD RISE AND FLY: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, Mars Bluff, South Carolina, 1865 by Joyce Hansen

THE GREAT RAILROAD RACE: The Diary of Libby West, Utah Territory, 1868 by Kristiana Gregory

LAND OF THE BUFFALO BONES: The Diary of Mary Ann Elizabeth Rodgers, an English Girl in Minnesota, New Yeovil, 1873 by Marion Dane Bauer

MY HEART IS ON THE GROUND: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl, Carlisle Indian School, Pennsylvania, 1880 by Ann Rinaldi

MY FACE TO THE WIND: The Diary of Sarah Jane Price, A Prairie Teacher. Broken Bow, Nebraska, 1881 by Jim Murphy

WEST TO A LAND OF PLENTY: The Diary of Teresa Angelino Viscardi, New York to Idaho Territory, 1883 by Jim Murphy

A COAL MINER'S BRIDE: The Diary of Anetka Kaminska Lattimer, Pennsylvania, 1896 by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

DREAMS IN THE GOLDEN COUNTRY: The Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York City, 1903 by Kathryn Lasky

HEAR MY SORROW: The Diary of Angela Denoto, a Shirtwaist Worker, New York City, 1909
by Deborah Hopkinson
ISBN: 0439221617
Ages 9-12
188 pages

Angela and her family have arrived in New York City from their village in Italy to find themselves settled in a small tenement apartment on the Lower East Side. When her father is no longer able to work, Angela must leave school and work in a shirtwaist factory. She plays a part in the drama and turmoil that erupt as workers begin to strike, protesting the terrible conditions in the sweatshops. And she records the horrors of the Triangle Factory fire and the triumphs and sorrows of the labor movement.

VOYAGE ON THE GREAT TITANIC : The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, R.M.S. Titanic, 1912 by Ellen Emerson White

A TIME FOR COURAGE: The Suffragette Diary of Kathleen Bowen, Washington, D.C., 1917 by Kathryn Lasky

WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES AGAIN: The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer, New York City to the Western Front, 1917 by Beth Seidel Levine

COLOR ME DARK: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, The Great Migration North, Chicago, Illinois, 1919 by Patricia C. McKissack

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL: The Diary of Bess Brennan, The Perkins School for the Blind, 1932 by Barry Denenberg

CHRISTMAS AFTER ALL: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift. Indianapolis, IN, 1932 by Kathryn Lasky

SURVIVAL IN THE STORM: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards, Dalhart, Texas, 1935
by Katelan Janke
ISBN: 0439215994
Ages 9-14
189 pages

In 16-year-old Katelan Janke's first Dear America book, we meet Grace Edwards, a little girl growing up in the heart of the Texas panhandle, in the midst of the Dust Bowl. Fierce, dust-filled winds ravage the plains and threaten the town's agricultural livelihood, creating poverty and despair among Grace's neighbors. Will her family's farm survive?

ONE EYE LAUGHING THE OTHER WEEPING: The Diary of Julie Weiss, Vienna, Austria to New York, 1938 by Barry Deneberg

MY SECRET WAR: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck, Long Island, New York, 1941 by Mary Pope Osborne

EARLY SUNDAY MORNING: The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows, Hawaii, 1941
by Barry Denenberg
ISBN: 0439328748
Ages 9-14
156 pages

In her diary, 12-year-old Amber describes moving to Hawaii in 1941 and experiencing the horror of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE? The Diary of Molly Mackenzie Flaherty, Boston, Massachusetts, 1968 by Ellen Emerson White

I read the Winter of Red Snow and it was AMAZING. I brought it over to my grandparents house over Easter and I couldn't put it down. I felt like I was there. I felt like I was living the life of the family. Seeing the soldiers come in and out of my town and hearing bad news. I felt like I was one of the girls that at the age of 12 had to help take care of her little sisters, and help wounded soliders fighting for our independence!

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Library


I rediscovered the public library. I forgot just how cool it is! I went to go have coffee with a friend in Downtown Bryan, and wondered into the library. I came out with a library card and 6 books. I felt like a child in a candyshop. I stayed upstairs in the "Juvineille" section for over an hour. I read all sorts of books that I remember from my past. What I loved the most was the smell and the oldness of the books! Everything looked so worn in and it was like a haven for people who love reading!

On a lighter note, this reminded me of a Sesame Street skit called "No Cookies in the Library". I have attached it here. I hope You like it!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Ramona Quimby, Age 8

As I was trying to figure out the next outside reading I wanted to explore. I thought long and hard about what I loved when I was a child. Then I remembered Ramona! For some reason I always think of my sister. I imagined my sister as Ramona when I think about what she'd he like if she was real. She is sassy, fun, and oh so tough. Beverly Cleary is BRILLIANT at creating this "Ramona World". Kids LOVE her! I want to meet her!

A little insight into the book. It is the adventure o the first year that Ramona gets to ride the school bus to school. But, now that Dad is going back to college and Mom has to work full time she stays with Howie's grandmother after school. That wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for Willa Jean.

Remember when you were 8 years old and there was the snotty 4 or 5 year old who thought they knew everything. Well that is Willa Jean, and since Ramona is the know-it-all she doesn't like it at all! My favorite part is when Willa Jean make Ramona play "castle" and she is the princess which leaves Ramona to be the prince....

Monday, March 03, 2008

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Junie B Jones

This girl is HILARIOUS!! I never remembered reading Junie B Jones when I was younger. One of my favorite little girls in the world, though, was reading it to me the other day and I was literally cackling outloud. It was hilarious. Being a future kindergarten teacher, I was thinking how much I hope I have a student who is just like that. There are 28 books that follow Junie B.'s life throughout kindergarten and first grade. This excerpt shows a little bit of tiny Junie B.'s BIG personality.

Chapter 5: My Worstest Night Ever

It was my worstest night ever.

I didn't sleep any winks.

That's because I had to keep my eyes open. Or else the monster wouldn't stay invisible.

I heard Mother and Daddy go to bed.


Mother and Daddy didn't yell back.


"Go to sleep!" grouched Mother.

I smiled very relieved.

"It was good to hear your voice," I said real soft.

After that, Mother and Daddy got in bed. And they turned out their light.

Daddy started to snore.

"Oh no," I said. "Now he won't even be awake to save me if the monster comes."

I pulled Philip Johnny Bob out of my covers.

"I will save you," he said. "I will squirt water in the monster's face. Plus I will stomple him with my giant elephant feet. And so now you can close your eyes. And you don't even have to worry about that guy."

I looked and looked at him.

"Yeah, only here's the problem," I said. "You're not actually strong 'cause you just have fluffy in you. Plus also you can't really squirt water. And so who am I kidding here?"

Philip Johnny Bob stared at me a real long time.

Then he went back under the covers.

Just then, I heard feet in the hall.

It was monster feet, I think!

They kept getting closer and closer to me.

Then pretty soon they runned right in my room!

And guess what?

It was my dog, Tickle! That's what!

"Tickle! Tickle! I am so glad to see you! 'Cause now you can protect me from the monster! And so why didn't I think of this before?"

I pulled back my covers and patted for him to jump up.

"Here, Tickle! You can sleep right on my pillow! 'Cause Mother won't even find out about this!"

Then Tickle springed right up there. And he runned all around on my bed.

He put his head under my sheets and runned down to my feet.

"No, Tickle!. No! No! You have to come back up here! Or else how will you even protect me?"

I pulled him back up.

He put his paws on Raggedy Larry. And chewed his red hair.

"No, Tickle! No! No!" I said.

Just then, Tickle springed over me. And he landed on my elephant named Philip Johnny Bob.

He holded him by his trunk. And shaked that guy all around.

I saved Philip Johnny Bob just in time.

Then I pushed Tickle off my bed. And he runned out of my room.

Philip Johnny Bob was very upset.

I petted his trunk.

Also, I hugged Raggedy Larry.

Only too bad for me. 'Cause just then Raggedy Ruth fell right out of my bed. On account of the dumb sheets weren't tucked in anymore.

Me and Raggedy Larry peeked over the side at her.

"Get her, said Raggedy Larry.

"Yeah, only I I>can't/I> get her," I said real upset. "Or else the monster will grab my hand and pull me right under the bed."

I thought about what to do.

Then -- all of a sudden -- I picked up all my friends in my arms.

"We have to make a run for it," I told them. "We have to sleep with Mother and Daddy tonight. 'Cause we will be safe with them. Plus they won't even know we're there probably. 'Cause their bed is the size of a king."

I stood on the side of my bed. Then I jumped way out to the middle of the floor. And I quick picked up Raggedy Ruth.

I ran to Mother and Daddy's room.

They were sleeping and snoring.

"Shh," I said to Raggedy Larry.

"Shh," I said to Philip Johnny Bob.

Then all of us crawled down the middle of their bed. And we sneaked under their covers.

Only too bad for me. 'Cause Mother rolled right over on Philip Johnny Bob's trunk. And it waked her right up.

She turned on the light.

I did a gulp.

"Hello. How are you today? Me and my friends are sleeping here. 'Cause we didn't think you'd mind, probably."

Mother carried me back to my room zippity quick.

Then she leaned close to my ear. And she talked very scary with her teeth closed.

"Do... not... get... out... of... bed... one... more... time," she said.

And so guess what?

I didn't.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Alice In Wonderland

I thought it was so interesting this week in class, how we everything in Alice has such a meaning. I have been noticing this a lot about children's literature. Most of the stories I have heard before, but there is so much more to the stories than I ever knew! Alice in Wonderland has been portrayed in so many different ways, so I thought I would research them. I found out that even the way people thought Alice just simply looked vary so much! Here are some of my favorites I found:

First the one we all recognize, the Disney Alice. This is the picture to the top left. Honestly, this one creeps me out the least. It is happy and normal. The Alice I think of when I think of Alice in Wonderland.

Next, is the scary Alice. This is the what I would imagine when people describe the Alice in the "drug world" of Wonderland. Frankly, I wouldn't want to come in cantat with this Alice.

Last, there is my favorite. It is is the right hand part of the post. I call her "Pretty Alice". This is the Alice I would want to be and the Wonderland I want to visit!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Here Is a fun quiz I found regarding literature for older children! I only got a 6/10, but hopefully you can do better!

"Ten questions about literature for children ages 10 - 18."

1. This book is about the plans of a mother to marry off her five daughters. Only two of her daughters are /happily/ married by the end of the book. It takes place in England, in the early 1800's.

'Merchant of Venice'
'Pride and Prejudice'
'Tale of Two Cities'
'Jane Eyre'

2. An orphaned goes through a difficult childhood. She then becomes the governess of a French child, and falls in love with the child's guardian. When she finds out he was already married to a mad woman, she runs away, only to return later and fall back in love.

'The Red Pony'
'Jane Eyre'
'Crime and Punishment'
'Catcher in the Rye'

3. A red-haired orphan goes to live on Prince Edward Island with a brother and sister who live on a farm. She has a very large imagination and a quick temper. This book is about her as she grows up.

'Crime and Punishment'
'The Pearl'
'Anne of Green Gables'
'Great Expectations'

4. An orphan (yes, another) goes to live with her uncle, of whom she is afraid of. She finds a crippled cousin, a boy who loves nature, and a locked-up garden.

'The Secret Garden'
'The Magic Mountain'
Summer of my German Soldier'

5. This book is about a boy who goes on a journey with several 'good guys' and several sailors-turned-pirates to find a buried treasure.

'A Journey to the Center of the Earth'
'Huckleberry Finn'
'Treasure Island'
'Rip Van Winkle'

6. This book is about a group of rabbits who leave their warren to find a new life. It includes an escape, a plan to find some doe rabbits, the escape from a dangerous warren, and the rest of their struggles

'The Tempest'
'Watership Down'
'The Twelfth Night'
'The Moonstone'

7. This trilogy is about a quest to destroy the One Ring which has evil power. It takes place in Middle Earth, among many amazing creatures and people.

'Journey to the Center of the Earth'
'Lord of the Rings'
'The Black Arrow'

8. This is a book about a boy from another planet, as he explains his journeys to other planets (including Earth), and shares wisdom with a human he finds on Earth.

'Silas Marner'
'The Odyssey'
'The Little Prince'

9. This is about an English schoolgirl who was born in India and is later sent to London to go to boarding school. Her father goes off and is thought to have died. The book tells about her life at boarding school and afterward.

'Jane Eyre'
'Silas Marner'
'A Scandal in Bohemia'
'The Little Princess'

10. A young boy in an early American town gets into all sorts of mischief. He finds criminals, gets lost in a cave, and whitewashes a fence (big clue!).

'The Mill on the Floss'
'Treasure Island'
'The Hound of the Baskervilles'
'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer'


1. This book is about the plans of a mother to marry off her five daughters. Only two of her daughters are /happily/ married by the end of the book. It takes place in England, in the early 1800's.

The correct answer was 'Pride and Prejudice'.

2. An orphaned goes through a difficult childhood. She then becomes the governess of a French child, and falls in love with the child's guardian. When she finds out he was already married to a mad woman, she runs away, only to return later and fall back in love.

The correct answer was 'Jane Eyre'.

3. A red-haired orphan goes to live on Prince Edward Island with a brother and sister who live on a farm. She has a very large imagination and a quick temper. This book is about her as she grows up.

The correct answer was 'Anne of Green Gables'.

4. An orphan (yes, another) goes to live with her uncle, of whom she is afraid of. She finds a crippled cousin, a boy who loves nature, and a locked-up garden.

The correct answer was 'The Secret Garden'.

5. This book is about a boy who goes on a journey with several 'good guys' and several sailors-turned-pirates to find a buried treasure.

The correct answer was 'Treasure Island'.

6. This book is about a group of rabbits who leave their warren to find a new life. It includes an escape, a plan to find some doe rabbits, the escape from a dangerous warren, and the rest of their struggles

The correct answer was 'Watership Down'.

7. This trilogy is about a quest to destroy the One Ring which has evil power. It takes place in Middle Earth, among many amazing creatures and people.

The correct answer was 'Lord of the Rings'.

8. This is a book about a boy from another planet, as he explains his journeys to other planets (including Earth), and shares wisdom with a human he finds on Earth.

The correct answer was 'The Little Prince'.

9. This is about an English schoolgirl who was born in India and is later sent to London to go to boarding school. Her father goes off and is thought to have died. The book tells about her life at boarding school and afterward.

The correct answer was 'The Little Princess'.

10. A young boy in an early American town gets into all sorts of mischief. He finds criminals, gets lost in a cave, and whitewashes a fence (big clue!).

The correct answer was 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer'.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

As I sit here, trying to study for my test, I decided to "Google" Ever After and see what I could find. I ran into some pretty neat stuff.

First, some fun trivia from the Internet Movie DataBase:

1. The portrait of Drew Barrymore's character (which is painted by Leonardo Da Vinci in the film) is actually modeled after another Da Vinci Work, "La Scapigliata".

2. In actuality, Da Vinci's Mona Lisa was painted on wooden panel, making it quite impossible to roll up into a tube.

3.The glass slippers were made by Salvatore Ferragamo.

4.At the start of the film when the Brothers Grimm are talking to the queen about the many different versions of the Cinderella story they mention that in some versions the slippers she wears to the ball are fur rather than glass. This refers to Charles Perrault's version of the story, which was the first to introduce the glass slipper (which in French is "pantoufle de verre"), and how some people believe it was actually an misinterpretation of the words for a fur slipper (pantoufle de vair).

5.When Danielle is swimming in the lake, she is using the inverted breaststroke. It is a stroke that was popular in medieval and Renaissance Europe, but is rarely taught today.

6. As depicted in the film, the real Leonardo da Vinci kept the Mona Lisa with him all the time until his death.

7. King Francois I of France (called Francis in the movie) bought the Mona Lisa for 4000 ecus.

The next set of information I found incredibly entertaining:
GOOFS! These are parts of the movie they messed up on!

Anachronisms: When Danielle is returning Maurice to his wife, you can see a watch tan line on the arm of a female peasant.

Factual errors: When the Prince saves da Vinci's Mona Lisa, it is rolled up in a tube. But the Mona Lisa is painted on wood, and cannot be rolled.

Factual errors: Prince Henry of France in fact married Catherine de Medici, a member of the Italian nobility.

Anachronisms: Prince Henry exclaims that Danielle is to marry a Belgian. This was Rodmilla's excuse as to why he would never see her again. But Belgium didn't come into existence until 1830. It was constructed as a buffer zone between France and Germany to prevent them from going to war so often. Before 1830, what is now Belgium was made up of regions which were repeatedly occupied by several European kingdoms. One region might be part of France while another was part of Spain and so on, but it wasn't a country as such yet. The name Belgium is derived from a tribe of Gauls which roughly lived is this region during Julius Caesar's conquests of Gaul. He wrote, Of all Gauls the Belgians are the bravest (De Bello Gallico, book I, 1.3). So in the 16th century there weren't any Belgians, ancient or modern-day.

Continuity: Danielle is whipped on her back for her behavior but then a few days later at the ball we see her back and there are no scars.

Factual errors: At the time Leonard De Vinci was brought to France, Francis was married to Queen Claude De France and Henry was barely born (his birth-date is 1519). After Claude De France died from exhaustion in 1524, King Francis went to marry Eleanor of Austria in 1529.

Anachronisms: The ages of King Francis I and Prince Henry, as well as references to Cartier's voyages to America, would set the movie in about 1540 (when Prince Henry was 21 years old). However, the movie also depicts Leonardo da Vinci coming to France at the invitation of King Francis. In fact, Leonardo came to France in 1516 and died there in 1519, the same year Prince Henry was born and 15 years before Cartier first sailed to North America.

Continuity: When Rodmilla is talking to Danielle the morning after the ball, in shots from behind her it looks like her arms are at her sides, but from the front her hands are on her hips.

Anachronisms: While trying on the courtier's dress, Danielle says her stepmother buys presents for her stepsister like she has "money to burn." However, in Danielle's time, currency consisted of precious metals and stones, which would (if possible) be melted rather then burned. It wouldn't be until centuries later that there would be such a thing as paper currency, which could be burned.

Continuity: Near the end of the movie, Henry sits down with Danielle to try on a slipper. When it shows Danielle from the front, her hair is pushed behind on her shoulders. But when it shows her from the side or the back, her hair is separated and pulled forward on each side.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: Various words, such as "philanthropist" and "management," that did not exist at the time are used. It can be assumed we are hearing a modern English translation of what the characters were actually saying.

Anachronisms: Henry gives Marguerite chocolate at the tennis game. Although the Spanish had brought back cocoa from New Spain, it was not used in France until the 18th century (200 years later), and when it was, it was drunk with vanilla. Solid, edible chocolate like we have today has only been around for about one hundred years.

Continuity: The angle of the slipper when Leonardo sets it before the prince after Danielle flees.

Continuity: Gustav steals and wears the uniform of a palace guard who is more than a head shorter than him, yet the uniform seems to fit perfectly.

Continuity: Danielle's arm when she and Prince Henry are kissing at the ruins.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Prince Henry comes upon da Vinci's carriage being robbed one of the gypsies yells out "The royal guards!" Prince Henry is then shown looking over his shoulder to see the guards quickly approaching on horses. He rolls his eyes and is heard saying "I can't believe this," but his mouth doesn't move until a moment later.

Anachronisms: In the final scene where the camera pulls back from the castle, a car is visible on the road in the top left-hand corner.

Continuity: When Rodmilla is talking to Danielle, we see her hand on her chin. The next shot shows her hand on Danielle's face, while the next shot shows her hand on her own chin again.

Factual errors: The University of Paris, the first university in France, was fully established by 1200, not the late 1500s.

Anachronisms: When Danielle is putting on her dress to rescue Maurice, we see the zipper on the back of her dress.

Continuity: The prince picks up the same piece of chocolate twice when he is talking to Margrite.

Factual errors: Not only is the Mona Lisa made of wood but it is much smaller than shown in the film.

Incorrectly regarded as goofs: The term "franc" is used in the film, even though the currency of the time was the livre and the franc did not officially come into use until the French Revolution. However, the livre was colloquially referred to as the "franc" as early as the 14th century, although this usage did not gain widespread acceptance until the 1600s.

Continuity: After recovering from his fall during the tennis game, Henry sees that Marguerite is holding the ball. She stands behind an opening in the wall with some other spectators. He walks toward her, and a moment later we see Marguerite again, but this time she is on the same side of the wall as Henry, and there is a net over the opening.

Anachronisms: Utopia was written in 1516 and Da Vinci died in 1519, so how could Danielle have received that book as a child, then met Da Vinci as an adult?

Anachronisms: Throughout the movie it is obvious they are wearing footwear which have a left foot and a right foot, commonplace today. However this practice was invented by King George IV of England, who ruled from 1820 until 1830, much later than the movie is set.

Continuity: The leaves as Henry and the bad guy are falling over the cliff after rescuing the painting.

Continuity: When Henry and the bad guy slide down the cliff for the painting, two men fell down, but only one man pops up.

Continuity: After Henry asks Danielle to marry him, he picks her up and spins her around. Her hair is underneath his arms in one shot, and in the next it is not.

Continuity: When Danielle is climbing the hillside to look for the castle, you can see from the sky behind her that it is daylight. In the next shot the sky is much darker, as if it is nighttime.

Factual errors: King Francis of France constructed and lived primarily at the Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley, not not at the Château de Hautefort (though certain exterior architectural details were similar). Da Vinci was said to have designed the famous double helix spiral staircase that is central to the design of the château, though he died in the year construction was started. Interestingly enough, the symbol of Frani?ois I, the salamander, is seen many times throughout the film (eg on the tapestry behind the thrones in the audience chamber).

Continuity: When Signor DaVinci is preparing to walk on water, his "shoes" have the shape of a complete boat, including the keel. When he then falls into the water the bottoms of the shoes are flat.

Continuity: When Rodmilla notices the candlesticks are missing from the dinner table, the candles on the plate are very short, but in the next shot they are much longer.

Continuity: The King of France refers to Virginia Garcia's character as Princess Gabriella, but in the end titles, she is identified as Princess Gertrude.

Factual errors: It is stated several times that the prisoners were being shipped to the Americas. The French kept the prisoners "close at-hand" under the eye of the King, and sent only those the King could trust. This tactic was used to prevent any revolting with their colonies in America. It was the English that sent their prisoners to the Americas.

Continuity: When the gypsies grab Danielle, the gypsy leader and Henry fight. In one shot, the gypsy leader has leaves on his scarf. When they cut back to him, the leaves are gone. Then when they cut back to him a third time, the leaves are back.

Factual errors: In Italian, "signore" is only used as a general term. "Signor" is used with a last name. Often Da Vinci is called "Signore Da Vinci", and this is linguistically incorrect.

Continuity: When Danielle is being held by the gypsies, her headpiece is straight in one frame, crooked in the next, and straight again for the rest of the scene.

Continuity: During the wedding of Prince Henry to the Princess of Spain, after he decides to let her go she runs off to the short bald guy. In the background, Prince Henry can be seen removing his cape and looking to the side. In the next scene there is a close-up shot of him removing the same cape and smiling before running off.

Miscellaneous: Towards the end of the movie after Danielle has been freed from Pierre Le Pieu, Henry is shown running towards her. There is a mud splatter on his right pant leg above his boot. When he is turned around after Danielle moves to leave, the splatter is gone.

Factual errors: At the end the Grand Dame refers to her "great-great-grandmother's portrait". Given the approximately 250-year gap between Danielle and the Grande Dame, that comes out to about 62 years between generations. It's barely possible, and highly unlikely, that there would be that few generations between them.

Continuity: Marguerite's hair when giving the Queen back her necklace, it's VERY wavy in one shot then the next has very few waves, then when they are back at the house her hair has lots of waves in it again.

Continuity: During the tennis match after Henry falls into the crowd, his vest is filled with handkerchiefs from the Courtesans. The position and amounts of these vary in the next few shots.

Continuity: During breakfast, the morning Prince Henry steals the horse, Rodmilla is seen cracking the top off a boiled egg, asking why there is no salt at the table. When Danielle arrives with the salt, Rodmilla sprinkles a spoonful over a fully peeled egg in her bowl. In the next scene, she is scooping egg out of the shell of the original egg.

So we see, even a cute movie like this has is little secrets!!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Magician's Nephew

I am in the process of reading the first book in C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, The Magician's Nephew. I was reading up on the book and the author. I already knew that C.S. Lewis was a Christian and draws many parallels to his faith in his books. However, I do not think I realized what impact the simple children's books can have on people. Bethany Dillon is a beautiful singer and her song, "New" was written by her, but inspired by "The Magician's Nephew". The book it intriguing adventure, yet you get this picture of a beautiful world C.S. Lewis has created. Dillon carries this into her song. She uses nature and the Lord to inspire a beautifully written sonnet. My favorite line is "You take an ordinary day and turn it into flowers liek the month of May." I know Digory and Polly feel this when they discover the truth behind Uncle Andrew.

The lyrics to "New" by Bethany Dillon

What is this sun that conquers mountains
Singing over what has been asleep?
What is it that softens all my doubting?
It's you

Morning brings a hunger for new eyes
That have been covered by the hurt of yesterday
Who could create in me the vision of a little child?
It's you

You take an ordinary day
And turn it into flowers like the month of May
Yes you do
You see all my pain
You cry over it for hours till I'm new again
Yes you do

When I have been a victim of familiarity
When my heart has fallen into sleep
Healing is the voice that awakens me
And it is you

You take an ordinary day
And turn it into flowers like the month of May
Yes you do
You see all my pain
You cry over it for hours till I'm new again
Yes you do

You, you make me new...

Sunday, February 10, 2008


According to Wikipedia the Caldecott medal is "awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children published that year. It was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. Together with the Newbery Medal, it is the most prestigious American children's book award."

The 2007 winner of the Caldecott Medal was "Flotsam" by David Wiesner.

A quick synopsis: "On a seemingly ordinary day at the beach, a budding young scientist makes a fabulous discovery. A barnacle-encrusted underwater camera has washed up on the shore, holding a reel of film of fantastical images that no human eye has seen. Moving cities, an octopus in a lounge chair, a clockwork fish. And yet, there is one more secret, even more astonishing than these surreal scenes: the camera has journeyed not only through the depths of the ocean but through the past, hiding in its last photo a visual timeline of children from around the world."

I began looking up pictures from this book and they are BEAUTIFUL! I have attached a few. the look simply brilliant.

Another cool thing I found was this video. Houghton Mifflin put on a contest that was sort of a "trailer" to advertise the book. The one that won the contest is so well done, I couldn't pass up sharing it!

"In late 2006, Houghton Mifflin/Clarion Books participated in the first-ever Picture Book Video Awards, a program created and organized by The Book Standard/VNU Business Media. Students and graduates from top film and animation schools around the country competed to create a 60-second "trailer" for Flotsam, David Wiesner's newest picture book.

The winning entry was created by John Haller, a third-year student in the graduate film program at Columbia University. Produced by Bobby Miller, with animation by Willy Hartland and a voice-over by Sasha Friedenberg, the video gives life and movement to the detailed, gorgeous illustrations that won Wiesner his third Caldecott Medal." (Houghton Mifflin)

To view this video go to

Scroll to the bottom of the page and there will be a few links to view it!

Saturday, February 09, 2008


After reading Ella Enchanted, I decided I wanted to watch the movie! Then, I heard in class that it actually was not very good, so I looked it up online and read a little about it. I found out a few things:

1. Anne Hathaway is not at all how I pictured my Ella to be.

2. She sung all of her own song, but that added a very weird take on the story

3. I believe Dr. Robinson will appreciate this...Brunnhilda blames the "stupid Grimm Brothers" for "Jack and the Beanstalk", but the Jack stories are English fairy tales that the Grimms did not record.

I enjoyed the movie, and just to give you a little taste of it, here is a review of the show with Anne Hathaway, as Ella Enchanted, singing "Somebody to Love."

Thursday, February 07, 2008

George Cruikshank

George Cruikshank was born on September 27th 1792 in Bloomsbury, England. From the time he was born, he loved to draw. He drew caricatures with his dad all growing up. His first publication was in 1806. In 1810 Cruikshank's father passed away and he decided to continue on his legacy. He is probably best known for his political caricatures, where he pokes fun of the royal family. His drawings had huge success and he ended up working for well-renown authors such as Charles Dickens and Sir Walter Scott. However, Dicken's and Cruikshank's friendship came to and end after much controversy over who actually came up with the ideas behind the "Oliver Twist" story. When he did write, Cruikshank's goal was to expose sin and glorify God in children's stories. As Mrs. Robinson stated "It's our typical Cinderella, plus a sermon."

Sunday, February 03, 2008


Max Lucado is one of the greatest Christian writers of all time. He writes for adults and changes hundreds of lives daily. But, he decided children need to hear the same stories adults do. He has now began writing children's books Lucado created the world of the "Wemmicks". In this world there are small wooden people, created by the craftsman, Eli. Punchinello is the main character in the Wemmick series. He learns lessons in each book, and they all come about because he visits his maker, Eli, and learns how unique he is!

I have read the first in the series, "You are Special". The Wemmicks go around everyday putting dots on eachother for bad things, and stars on eachother for good things. Punchinello only gets dots, some people even see that he only has dots, so they just put more dots on him. He begins to get discouraged and down because no one sees anything special in Punchinello. He meets Wendy, who has no dots or stars at all. She says nothing will stick on her. Punchinello asks how, and she tell him about Eli. Punchinello goes and starts to visit Eli everyday. Eli tells him, "You are special because I made you. You are special because you are mine!" Punchinello's dots begin to fall off! He learns that the dots, and even the stars wont stick if they don't mean anything to you. Punchinello learned that he cares more about what Eli, his maker, thinks of him, than others.

It's an amazing book about learning who God is and how much he cares about the people he has created. It also is a great lesson in not worrying about what others think of you. Not to mention Punchinello is the cutest thing ever!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Anne Sexton

Today I was so intrigued in class by a comment made when we were discussing "Donkeyskin". We were talking about the "Cinderella" character and people were shouting out adjectives to describe her. We heard "pretty", then someone shouted "blonde", the next person over said "blue eyes". Then Mrs. Robinson laughed in her unique giggle and said, "Sure, absolutely, Anne Sexton would hate her". I laughed and then found myself wanting to know more about this Anne Sexton lady. I know we had talked about her during our first discussion on fairy tales; I knew she was a feminist. However, I wanted to dive into who this lady was. The results were weird, but expected. I read her version of "Briar Rose", which is Sleeping Beauty. One person put it perfectly when they said:

"This poem does not empower the heroine in any way or make her any less passive or any more heroic than the Sleeping Beauty of the Grimms' story. What this poem does, as a feminist version of the fairy tale, is to draw attention to Briar Rose as a real person who is affected by the course of the story, rather than merely a beautiful object, a plot device which allows the story to progress. The poem draws attention to the tensions that develop within a woman when she is forced into passivity. It deals, also, with the terrors of incest and rape, in which a woman becomes a passive object, acted upon by a man, as often happens to women in fairy tales-- the presence of incest in the poem emphasizes the existence of this troubling aspect of fairy tales. Sexton's "Briar Rose" is a feminist telling of a fairy tale that brings out the complications and disturbing aspects of the tale and shows that the story cannot honestly end "happily ever after." It is a tale which raises questions and problems and forces the reader to think about the woman's role in the story." (

All of Sexton's interpretations of fairy tales discuss "what the woman is thinking, feeling, and experiencing. [Sexton believes that] is far more important than her appearance, and Sexton makes this clear by never once describing how the princess looks, but describing instead what happens to her."

In addition to her interpretations of fairy tales, I found it interesting that one thing Sexton is known her is her bluntness. In a time where it was unheard of she was not afraid to talk about real issues facing women. Many times she did cross the line, but she now stands out as one of the greatest feminine writers of all time.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Modern Day Cinderella

Okay, I'll admit, I am an absolute sucker for fairy tales. I love them. Today in class might have been my most favorite day ever! Cinderella! She's beautiful, the original "rags to riches" story, and she is oh so humble. She is everything I want to be when I grow up. If I could pick any story to have it would be her's. Today we looked at past Cinderella's and in the spirit of that I am going to look into a few modern day Cinderella stories.

First, A Cinderella Story. Starring Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. Hilary Duff's father passed away when she was young and she was left with her stepmom, Fiona. Fiona runs a diner and works Samantha to death. She is secretly text messaging an unknown person and they decided to meet in the middle of the dance floor at the Halloween Dance. It turns out the guy she is texting is the popular guy at school. They fall in love in a beautiful moment with Edwin McCain's "I'll Be" softly playing in the background!

Next, is Ever After, staring Drew Barrymore. I have not seen it, but the IMDB website says, "Ever After" is a wonderful, imaginative romance. It's a classic Cinderella tale with a simple storyline, set in 16th century France, and revolves around an independent young woman named Danielle. Although she works as a servant for her stepmother, Danielle is anything but weak and subservient. She is passionate and strong-willed, qualities that lead her to the French court, dressed as a wealthy courtier to save a man's life. There she meets Henry, the handsome Prince, who is jaded by his suffocating royal lifestyle. He is fascinated by Danielle and her thirst for life and adventure, and they fall deeply in love -- but the Baroness would do anything to keep them apart." Sounds amazing!

Finally, Enchanted. This is not necessarily a modern-day Cinderella, but it is a modern-day fairy tale. I will be honest I saw this about 2 months ago and I cried. It was AMAZING! The evil queen of the land does not want Giselle to marry her son so she sends her into the "real world" in NYC. The hilarious events that follow are so entertaining. Giselle sings a song to call all the animals, and rodents, grow birds, and cockroaches come filing into the apartment. Gisele learns that sadness brings a greater appreciation for happiness. And she learns what true love is, with a real man. It made me want to put on a pink tutu, trown on a plastic tiara and dance!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My Mother She Slew Me...

As I began to dig into my reading last week, I discovered we were going to be diving into Hansel and Gretel. I remember loving this story when I was younger, so, needless to say, I was very excited. Then as I read I became very disturbed by the "Mother Slew Me, Father Ate Me" stories. I was shocked as I reread the part about respected people like Tolkien saying it's "beauty and horror". I became intrigued by these gruesome fairy tales and read up on where they come from and why they are beautiful like P.L. Travers said. I saw it as a challenge. I am going to try to write one of these stories.

There was once a man and a women who were very much in love. She had long, flowing golden curls that bounced with every skip. He was handsome, strong, and many said his eyes could see your soul. They loved each other for many, many years. They travled throughout the world sharing adventures and meeting all sorts of friends. Every person that met them was envious of thier love for eachother. He loved her more than he, himself, thought he was capable of. She respected him, and have him the courage to fight an enemy they may come in contact with.
More than anything, she wanted to have a baby. She wanted to bring a son into the world so that he could grow into the man his father was. She gave birth to her son one cool, summer day and was glowing so brightly. She loved her family, it was all she ever dreamed of.
The first winter after her son was born was the most harsh winter even seen. Her gentle body did not have the strength to hold her over. She died that winter. He was never the same again. He never seemed to be strong or courageous. He cried himself to sleep everynight. Another wife came along, but it was not the same. He didn't love her the way he loved his first true love. And he was reminded of her everytime he saw his son.
The new wife noticed this and became very envious. She grew to resent his son. She never felt like she could become the women he truly loved. For this reason, she thought if she could just get rid of the child the woman bore then he would never think of his first wife again.
One day she could not take it any longer and she killed the boy. Immediately after doing this, guilt and sin came over her. She had to figure out something to do. She cooked up with boy's insides and thinly sliced the meat so that she could put it on a sandwich. The husband's dinner was ready as soon as he got home. They ate together but no one said a word.
The evil woman felt so guilty so she gather his bones and placed them in the ivory box on the fireplace that bore his mother's ashes. As she laid down to go to bed, the house shook, but it was as if her husband couldn't feel it. She screamed but no one heard it. The ground opened up before her and she fell into a black hole.
The husband never noticed her disappearance, because everyday two beautiful doves would come to his window. One would sit gentle and quiet, while the other one sang:

My Mother She Slew,
My Father He Ate Me,
The Evil is Gone Now,
We Are a Family Somehow.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Harold and the Purple Crayon

Right now I am on a Family Leadership Conference called Abbott. Each day we have been going to different businesses and learning how to run a company with core values and honesty. Today we went to the HEB Headquarters, Zachry Construction Company, and Overland Architecture Firm. After the time spent at the architecture firm we headed to lunch at an incredible Mexican Restaurant (we are in San Antonio so we have already had Mexican food two times!). There we sat at tables of ten and one of the partners of the firm sat at each table. We had a very unique man at our table. He graduated from Yale as an English major, then moved to the Ivory Coast to serve in the Peace Corps. Upon his return to the States he took online classes to get his MBA and began in the boring world of investment banking. Itching of boredom, he returned to school again and studied architecture. Now he works at the amazing architecture firm that created the Bonfire Memorial. After telling us that he challeneged us to not live a normal life. He talked to us about a book he read whe he was a kid called "Harold and the Purple Crayon". He told us about Harold, a young boy who has a purple crayon. Anything he draws becomes his life simply by drawing it. The architect related the discovering of the crayon to his discovery of the world such as going to Yale and servig in the Peace Corps; a time of discovery! Harold begins by just drawing boring lines; the architect related this part of the book to his investment banking stint (ha!). As the story continues Harold begins to draw all sorts of adventures and finds exciting things to fill his time. He draws a boat to get him out of trouble and draws a yummy snack when he can't take the grumbling tummy pains! The architect, like Harold, found adventure when to chose not to become complacent with "just drawing lines." He has found his true passion when he chose to pursue something beyond just where he was at.

Three things I love about this:

1. The fact that Children's Literature found its way into a "grown-up" conversation.
2. One thing the architect didn't mention was that while Harold had all these adventures, he found comfort when he drew his own house and his own bed!
3. The irony that 2 days before, in Barnes and Noble, I had picked up this book to read for this class because it looked cute. I never expected it to teach me a lesson like this! Even more ironically, I brought it in my backpack on the trip. Needless to say, as soon as I got back to the hotel, I picked it up and read it for myself!