Monday, May 29, 2017

Picture Book Review: Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, Scholastic, New York, 1963.
Here is a Caldecott Medal winner for best picture book of the year.  This book has some truly marvelous pictures.  In the middle of the book are six pages, three pictures back to back with no words of the wild thing rumpus.  The pictures are imaginative, fantastical and very well done.

Book Review: The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket

The Grim Grotto: A series of Unfortunate Events Book the Eleventh by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Brett Helquist, Harper Collins, New York, 2004.
These books increase in intensity as the go along.  This on we almost lose Sunny, who ingests a poisonous fungus, and only when Violet, Sunny and Klaus working together are they able to come up with an antidote.  Again our heroes orphans are in trouble through out, this time in a submarine.  And again they are betrayed by people the think should be on their side, and stand up to the evil Count Olaf.

Movie Review: ***^The Circle (2017)

This is a movie with an all str cast in my mind, but didn't quite hit the mark.  It stars Tome Hanks as Bailey, CEO of a mega giant computer company, and Emma Watson, as Mary, new employee.  Annie (Karen Gillan) helps recruit her, and over the course of the movie sees Mary move up while she moves down. This company is a bit different, in that the philosophy is that the company sort of owns you, and they are able to actually do this through their cameras, and computer soft ware.  They know everything there is to know.  When this goes wrong, and Bailey's boyfriend (Ellar Coltrane) ends of driving off a bridge as a result, the tide turns.  Ty (John Boyega) is an important character.  He developed the soft ware, but is not pleased with how it is being applied.  Mary and Ty decide to do something about it.
Sheri and I went to this movie.  Sheri thought it was great, except for the ending as it didn't really end.  It has that eerie feel to it which is popular.  Sheri thought the company it was portraying may have been Apple.  It was in the Bay area, with a large circular campus.  Apple is finishing their circular building in Cupertino, and is also in the Bay area.  I was not so enthusiastic about the film.  I think these stars could have done more.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Children's Picture Book: Me First

Me First by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger, Scholastic, New York, 1992.  This is a delightful story about a little pig who always insists on being first.  He is also insisting on being first for everything, including getting on and off the bus, in the meal line and going down the slide.  However he gets in trouble when he says he will be first to care of a sand witch (he had heard sandwich) and got himself into trouble caring for the little witch all  day until he learns his lesson.
This reminds me of a time I volunteered at school, just as someone  was vomiting.  Guess who got to help clean up the vomit.  The pictures of the pushy little pig are very well done.

Musical Review: Newsies

No I did not see this live, but I came home and was told to watch it via Amazon.  Man was this a fun ride.  The Disney musical adds some characters which really adds to the story.  It also turns the story from being about just the Newsies, to a children's crusade in general.  And the sparks were there between Jack Kelley (Jeremy Jordan) and Katherine (Kara Lindsay.)  I was waiting for the love song, and it didn't disappoint.  My son and his wife sang this a couple years ago in a Broadway Review.   (They weren't yet engaged.)  Music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Jack Feldman. This is a show my kids have loved since it appeared on television so many years ago.  The girls have taken their turns dressing up as Newsies.  I know Natalia, Ty and Miranda have seen a live performance in Seattle.
This is a great sho and I have really enjoyed it.  It leaves you feeling good.

Picture Book: The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck by Beatrix Potter

This is a delightful little story about a duck who insists on sitting her own eggs.  The duck's pride almost gets the duck eaten by the sly fox who offers his back shed for the sitting on the eggs.  However, Jemima had told a dog what she was about, which sparked an investigation and in the end saved Jemima, although they were the worse for wear for their efforts.  Jemima was allowed to sit some eggs, but proved to not be a very good sitter as only a few eggs hatched.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Book Review: Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Charlie and the Great glass Elevator, by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1972.
This is the continue sage of Charlie and the Chocolate factory.  Where do our eight persons go after being picked up by the elevator, Charlie's parents, grandparents, Charlie and Mr. Wonka.  They of course travel to space to the new U.S. Space Hotel.  However at the hotel the meet pernicious knids.  The barely escape with their lives.
This is a cute story.  It gets really exciting when Mr. Wonka is battling against the knids.  This is a strange being that likes to eat others.  They are lucky the elevator is knid proof, otherwise they had been goners.  In all this fuss, Wonka and the elevator have to rescue a ship traveling to the hotel with guests.  It seems pretty dicey for a moment.
A cute theme is, can Willy Wonka get the three grandparents out of bed so they can help Charlie in the Chocolate factory.  They don't want to.
There is a part of this book that paints Dahl in a negative light.  This is when he is making fun of Chinese in the voice of the U.S. president.  He makes a couple jokes at the expense of the Chinese.