Monday, April 24, 2017

Children's LIterature: The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl

The Magic finger by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake, Puffin Books (Penguin Books), London, 1964.

This is a cute short story with the theme of putting ourselves in someone else's shoes.  In this case, a family is turned into duck, while the ducks take over their home, after they get carried away with their hunting.  This could be considered an anti-hunting book, but I interpret it to be not getting over ambitious, but to do things in moderation.  I probably have it wrong, but I think people should be able to hunt in its proper place.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Movie: ****The Bridge Over the River Kwai (1957)

This is one o those stories where sometimes the means don't justify the end.  In order to build morale of their men, the officers at a prisoner of war camp run by the Japanese with Allied prisoners, determine that they should participate in the forced labor required by the Japanese, but not only participate but do a good job.
At the same time, the Allies send a team to blow up the bridge being built by the prisoners.  In the end, these decisions pit Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness) against Shears (William Holden) one of the Allies who has come to blow up the bridge.  When Nicholson discovers the plot, he informs the Japanese, but then realizes his mistake.  "What have I done?  What have I done? he exclaims, as he depresses the plunger to blow up the bridge.  Classic scene.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Picture Book: Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! Dr. Seuss

Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! by Dr. Seuss, A Bright and Early Reader, Random House, New York, 1972.
This book is delightful, but most delightful because of the Dr. Seuss pictures.  He is using simple words, and sometimes a picture can carry the story better than words.  Such is the case here, us you look and wonder at some of the things Marvin could use to leave.  So just to see these pictures, this book is tremendous.

Movie Review: ***^The Teacher's Pet (1958)

This is a romantic comedy featuring Doris Day and Clark gable.  Gable plays James Gannon ,the newspaper man, who has come up through the business and is now editor of a large newspaper.  Day plays Erica Stone, a professor of journalism, who has asked Gannon to be a guest lecture for her class.  At at first declined, in a nasty letter.  However his boss insists he go, and after Stone reads the letter, he is too embarrassed to admit he wrote it, but is intrigued by Stone, and stays for the class, and even enrolls.  He becomes her best student.
As far as the romance goes, Gannon feels he has a competitor in Dr.  Pine (Gig Young) but in fact they are collaborating on a book.  There is some fancy competition between the two in terms of who can hold their liquor.
The romance goes well, until, as it always does, Stone discovers the deception.  Now these two people who like each other, must figure out how to get past this indiscretion.
This play is a bit short on comedy, but I enjoyed it, having been a journalism student for a time.
Another tid-bit, Day had first intended to be a dancer.  She does do some dancing in this movie with Dr. Pine.  

Friday, April 21, 2017

Picture Book: The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit, Beatrix Potter

The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter, F. Warne & CO., London, 1906.
This is how a rabbit, proud and haughty and selfish gets his high sailing tail blown off.  It always pays to be nice.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Picture Book: Appley Dappley's Nursery Rhymes, Beatrix Potter

Appley Dappley's Nursery Rhymes by Beatrix Potter, illustrated by Frederick Warne, Penguin Books, London, 1917.
This is a short and sweet rhyming story of a mouse.  However it also shows several other creatures, including a mole, guinea pig, rabbits and pig and sedge hog.  I think the line I like best is that the woman who lived in a shoe with such a large family must have been a mouse, or they would not have fit.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Picture Book Review: The Story of Miss Moppet, Beatrix Potter

The Story of Miss Moppet by Beatrix Potter, illustrated by Frederick Warne, Penguin Books, London, 1906.
This is the story of a kitten, and his interactions with a mouse.  The mouse learns that you should not get too close to the kitten; and the kitten learns that if you play with a mouse, it is likely to get away.