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Archive for November, 2008

paper-bag-princess

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert N. Munsch (pictures by Michael Martchenko) is a short picture book containing a determined heroine. Elizabeth had it all: she was beautiful, had expensive clothes, and she was going to marry a handsome prince. That is, until the day the dragon came. The dragon had the temerity to burn up everything she had and carry off Prince Ronald. Elizabeth is annoyed. The only thing that she can find to wear is a paper bag. Undaunted, she goes after that darn Dragon. What happens next is both clever and funny. Yes, once again, my favorite part of this book is the end. I actually cheered a bit. Nope, I’m not going to tell you what happens. The art is simple, yet cute. I liked it, but it’s not the sort of thing that I would frame. Elizabeth is a heroine that will particularly appeal to young girls. If I were prone to giving out stars for ratings, I would give The Paper Bag Princess three out of five stars for a light, enjoyable story.

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Splat the Cat

splat_the_cat_jacketSplat is about to start cat school, and he isn’t exactly busting at the seams with joy. Hiding under the covers seems like a palpable alternative, but his mom won’t hear of it. It’s time to get up, time to get dressed. Poor Splat! But wait! Splat can’t go to school, he doesn’t have any socks. Oh well, he’ll just have to wait till tomorrow, right? Wrong. Silly Splat, cats don’t wear socks. Better get moving Splat, you don’t want to be late for school. And Splat isn’t, of course; his mom makes sure of that. Splat’s teacher, Mrs. Wimpydimple, welcomes him to class. So do all the other students. Maybe cat school won’t be so bad after all. Mrs. Wimpydimple teaches them all about cats: how clever they are and how quick; how they climb trees and drink milk and chase mice. Wait a minute! What was that last part? Climbing trees? No, no, no. That part about chasing mice. Why would cats do a thing like that? They just do. But… Nevermind that, it’s time for lunch. So Splat opens his bright yellow lunchbox and out pops Seymour, his pet mouse. A mouse! The other cats screech, and Seymour is on the run. This wasn’t at all what Splat had anticipated. But cats will be cats, right? Well, yes. Unless something unexpected happens to make them see that cats can be friends with just about anybody, even a mouse.

If you like Splat the Cat, don’t miss Rob Scotton’s other books.

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Last Minute Turkey Help

So, Uncle Joe, the amazing turkey carver, isn’t coming to Thanksgiving this year! You need to learn to carve the Turkey quick!  May I suggest YouTube?

Here is one video from Cooking .com — it ends with a very beautiful presentation:

For more Thanksgiving help The Food Network has lots of last minute ideas and so does Epicurious.

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Another Monday, another couple of Trailers for films that came from books. If you know about any other new trailers for films that are based on books, please let me know.

Angels & Demons Trailer:

Coraline Trailer:

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Five Fun Twitter Things

Twitter is a micro-blogging site that asks the question “What are you doing?” and allows you to post short (140 characters or less) answers to that question. Simple, yes? The more you look at Twitter, though, the more you learn you can do with it. Here’s a little that I have discovered so far –

Posts on Twitter are known as “Tweets.” Following the tweets of multiple folks provides you with an informational feed that can include everything from what your best friend had for lunch to news reports from major events. You can comment on what folks say by replying to them thusly “@fremontblog I totally agree.” (Yes, fremontblog is this blog’s account over on Twitter.) In this way your informational feed can become a conversation. You can use Twitter to alert folks to updates on your blog, ask questions of the world at large, report on events as they are happening, tell people about a cool site that you’ve found, and even indulge in a bit of haiku.

In addition, here are Five Fun Things You Can Do With Twitter:

1. There are people on Twitter who tweet as characters such as: Darth Vader and The Crew of Serenity (Mal, Kaylee, Simon, River, Jayne, Inara, Zoe, and Wash. ShepherdBook seems to have disappeared, sadly.)

2. There are all sorts of “official” informational feeds. Try: BBC (or BBCScotland, BBCWales), sfearthquakes, USGS, NASA (and CassiniSaturn, MarsRovers, MarsScienceLab, LRO_NASA, spaceweather, LunarOrbiter, APOD, the list goes on…), CNN, and CNN Breaking News.

3. There are also fun feeds, like TwitterLit that will post the first lines from random books. (KidderLit is available for Children’s books.)

4. Need a timer to remind you of something in half an hour? Send a direct message to timer. Need a weather forecast? Send a direct message to Forecast.

5. Search Twitter with Twitter Search. See what people are saying about a certain topic, or see what the current poplar topics are. In Advanced Search mode you can even look at tweets by area, ones from a certain person, and even ones with a “Positive Attitude” (a.k.a. 🙂 ).

So, there you are. A web 2.0 update for your Friday. If you encounter any more cool Twitter feeds or features, please let me know.

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Thursday Thirteen #46

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving (and I have the day off) so you folks get the Thanksgiving thirteen this week instead. Have you ever marveled at the sheer variety of books with Thanksgiving in the title? No? Well…now you can.

The Thanksgiving Thirteen:
1. Thanksgiving 101 : celebrate America’s favorite holiday with America’s Thanksgiving expert by Rick Rodgers

2. Thanksgiving : an American holiday, an American history by Diana Karter Appelbaum

3. Thanksgiving at Obaachan’s by Janet Mitsui Brown

4. The Thanksgiving beast feast by Karen Gray Ruelle

5. Thanksgiving Day at our house : Thanksgiving poems for the very young written by Nancy White Carlstrom ; illustrated by R.W. Alley

6. Thanksgiving crafts and cookbook by Nancy Hathaway ; with ill. by Hannah Berman

7. The Thanksgiving Day parade mystery by Marion M. Markham ; illustrated by Dianne Cassidy

8. Thanksgiving mice! by Bethany Roberts ; illustrated by Doug Cushman

9. Thanksgiving night : a novel by Richard Bausch

10. The Thanksgiving table : recipes and ideas to create your own holiday tradition by Diane Morgan ; photography by John A. Rizzo

11. The Thanksgiving visitor ; A Christmas memory by Truman Capote

12. Thanksgiving in the White House by Gary Hines ; illustrated by Alexandra Wallner

13. The Thanksgiving ceremony : new traditions for America’s family feast by Edward Bleier

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Why do some books become classics and others pass into oblivion? Even winning a prestigious award, like the Pulitzer Prize or the National Book Award, does not guarantee that years from now, when you are long gone, people will still be reading your books. And yet some books just seem to stand the test of time; they become “classics”. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite classic books:mansfield_park_jacketthings_fall_apart_jacket
*Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
*To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
*Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
*Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
*Eugene Onegin by Aleksandr Pushkin
*Persuasion by Jane Austen
*The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
*Howard’s End by E. M. Forster
*The Old Arcadia by Philip Sidney
*Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
*A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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Social Studies Fact Cards are a series of research resources designed for quick reference for students in grades 4 through 8. The topics covered are those California, United States, and World topics included in the social studies curriculum in California.  For the past years, printed Social Studies Fact Cards have been used extensively in our libraries to help students collect information about California missions, American Indians, explorers, presidents, states, countries, early civilizations, and other topics in social studies.

Do you know you can access them from home, too?  Just go to the the Alameda County Library’s website www.aclibrary.org and click on the “Kids” tab under the banner to go to Kid’s Place.  After you are in Kid’s Place, click on Homework Help and you will see “Social Studies Fact Cards On-line” under “Encyclopedias and other special on-line information sources”.  You will be asked to enter your library card number to access the database.

The Fact Cards database is very easy to use.  From the home page, click on the big category first and you will get a list of topics.  Just click on your topic and your are there.  Here is how the database looks:

fact-cards-1

 If you need further assistance, you can visit your local library.  The librarians there will be happy to help you.  Good luck with your projects/reports!

 

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Last week I posted a huge list of books that are being made into films in the next few years (or at least, that’s the current plan.) So, now I’m following up with three trailers for those upcoming films. Which of the upcoming book adaptations are you the most interested in? Personally, I’m most excited about Twilight and Harry Potter #6, but Inkheart looks mighty interesting.

Enjoy!

Confessions of a Shopaholic:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:

Inkheart:

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film.jpg

Here is the November update on the current status of the “books to film” projects that have been mentioned on this blog to this point. I will try to do this once a month in order to follow each film until it reaches DVD. Please remember that release dates are subject to change, and that sometimes “Announced” films never get made.

If you have any news about an upcoming book to film adaptation, please comment and let me know.

The current “books to film” list:

1776: In development with a release date sometime in 2009.

Alice in Wonderland: This Tim Burton film is currently filming with a US release date on 5 March 2010. (Johnny Depp is apparently playing the Mad Hatter.)

The Amulet of Samarkand: In development with a theoretical release date in 2009.

Angels & Demons: In post-production and due in US theaters on 15 May 2009.

Atlas Shrugged: Status currently unknown, as the project has lost its director. Still listed with a 2009 release date, though.

The Bell Jar: In pre-production with a theoretical release date sometime in 2008.

The Boggart: In development. US theatrical release sometime in 2009.

Born to Rock: Announced with a release date sometime in 2009.

Carter Beats the Devil: Rumored to be coming to AMC in 2009.

Chocky: In development with a theoretical release date in 2010.

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian: DVD will be released in U.S. on Dec 2, 2008.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: In pre-production with a U.S. release date of 7 May 2010.

Cirque du Freak: In post-production, this movie is reported to include the first three books of the series. The U.S. release date is listed as “2009” but the release dates for Spain and Australia are in March 2009.

The City of Ember: Now in U.S. theaters.

Confessions of a Shopaholic: Due in U.S. theaters on 13 February 2009.

Coraline: In post-production. Due in U.S. theaters in February 2009.

The Cry of the Icemark: In development with a theoretical release date sometime in 2008. (I expect that this info will change at some point soon.)

Deal Breaker: Announced with a release date sometime in 2011.

Dean Spanley: In Post-Production with a UK release date reportedly 12 December 2008 (according to a kind commenter.)

The Doubtful Guest: In development. U.S. theatrical release expected sometime in 2010.

Dragonriders of Pern:
In development with a theoretical release date sometime in 2011.

Dune: (Yes, another version of Dune.) Announced with a theoretical release date in 2010.

The Eye of the World: In development with a release date in 2011.

Fahrenheit 451: Announced with a release date in 2010 sometime.

Far from the Madding Crowd: In development with a theoretical release date in 2010.

The Giver: In development with a 2011 release date.

A Great and Terrible Beauty: Announced with a theoretical release date in 2010.

The Great Gilly Hopkins: In development with a theoretical release date in 2010.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I: In pre-production. Due in U.S. theaters on 19 November 2010.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: In post-production with a US release date of 17 July 2009.

He’s Just Not That Into You: This film now finished with a U.S. release date of 6 February 2009.

The Hobbit: Announced with a theoretical release date sometime in December 2011.

Inkheart: Due in U.S. theaters on 23 January 2009.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: Announced with a theoretical release date in 2010.

Life of Pi: In pre-production (though currently on hold) with a theoretical release date sometime in 2011.

The Lovely Bones: In post-production. Due in U.S. sometime in 2009.

Magic Kingdom for Sale: Announced with a theoretical release date in 2010 sometime.

Marley & Me: In post-production with a Christmas 2008 release date.

Maximum Ride: Announced with a theoretical release date in 2010.

Monster Blood Tattoo: In Development. U.S. theatrical release sometime in 2010.

Neuromancer: In Pre-Production with a release date in 2009 sometime.

New Moon: In development with a release date in 2010.

Nights in Rodanthe: This film is currently in theaters.

On the Road: Status currently listed a “Unknown” on the IMDB with a theoretical release date still listed as 2009.

Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief: In pre-production. U.S. theatrical release scheduled for 2 July 2010.

Race to Witch Mountain: In post-production and due in U.S. theaters on 13 March 2009.

Ramona: In pre-production and due in U.S. theaters on

The Screwtape Letters: In pre-production with a theoretical release date in 2010.

Shantaram: In development and due in U.S. theaters sometime in 2011.

A Spell for Chameleon: In development with a theoretical release date of 2008.

Stargirl: Announced with a theoretical release date in 2009.

The Subtle Knife: In development with a theoretical release date sometime in 2009.

The Sword of Shannara: In development withe a theoretical release date in 2010.

The Tale of Despereaux: In post-production. Due in U.S. theaters on 19 December 2008.

Teen Idol: Announced with a theoretical release date sometime in 2008.

A Thousand Splendid Suns: In development with a theoretical release date in 2009.

Tintin: In pre-production with a U.S. theatrical release sometime in 2010.

Twilight: Due in U.S. theaters on 21 November 2008. Squee!

Uglies: Announced with a theoretical release date sometime in 2011.

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