I love the complexities of the English language! I find it lots of fun to play with words and see where the meanings take me. I love the sounds of poetry, and the silliness that comes when words are placed in different orders in sentences. A few books from VanitaBooks provide a humorous look at idioms, poetry, and participles. (more…)
Just after my daughter was born in 2012, a friend told me in all honesty that it takes a full two years to feel like yourself again after a baby joins your family. Well, it’s been just over two years, and I feel that is true: I’m finally starting to feel like myself again, in many ways.
One way is, of course, reading. I feel like doing it again! It is hard to find time, but I finally feel the draw back to books at the end of a long day. I have watched a lot of television in the past months. It’s easier. But I am grateful that I finally feel like reading again. (more…)
Beautiful illustrations tell the story of a creative flying mouse in Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse by Torbin Kuhlmann (North South books, 2013). When new mouse traps and an abundance of cats overrun the city where a clever (unnamed) mouse is living, he decides he must go to America for freedom. His creativity and insight help him build himself a plane, and he flies to New York.
This longer-than-normal picture book is a masterpiece of art. Gorgeous realistic paintings show the mouse in various stages of the story: reading a book, avoiding the mouse traps, drawing and creating airplanes, avoiding bats and owls, and flying through the sky into New York, where he is greeted as a hero. I loved the paintings, and although the story itself was cute, it was the paintings that made this book a delight for me. (more…)
Before the World Was Ready: Stories of Daring Genius in Science by Claire Eamer; art by Sa Boothroyd (Annick Press, 2013) tells the stories of a few scientists who had ideas that were not accepted. These scientists were correct, but the world did not accept their writing or the scientists lived before technology had been invented that would allow them to succeed in their own inventions. The stories told are fascinating, and the tone of the book is amusing and accessible to the middle-grade reader. (more…)
The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells (published 1897) is another fascinating science fiction look at the implications of a changing world of acceptance. The titular character in this story, Griffin, is an albino who had once studied medicine. Tired of being marginalized for his strange appearance, he undergoes medical experiments, ultimately succeeding in creating a formula for invisibility. He hopes that by being invisible, he can blend in with his environment, get back at those who have marginalized him, and seek power and glory by gaining access previously denied him. (more…)