Things that Make Me Happy Today

Ok, the news has been really really depressing lately. Rather than spending my time ranting about it when so many other people have already covered everything I might say many times over, I’ve decided to post some links! These are things that made me smile today. So go look at them and smile too!

Ava’s artwork posted today over at The Ward-O-Matic is wonderful, and the comments about it are so cute! I loved how she did the lettering on the artwork, it is just priceless!

Literary critisism on Carroll’s poetry from a child as told by Bitch. Ph.D on her blog is just great. Kids point out the most wonderful things, and then proceed to baffle their parents. And if you haven’t read “The Walrus and the Carpenter” from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll recently, do so. It’s a fun poem.

I don’t normally read this blog, but a link from something that I do read (I forgot which blog it was, sorry!) sent me to this great Daily Kitten post. It’s about a kitten (who is adorable, by the way) that thinks it is a dog. I know what a dog who thinks it is a kitten is like (read: Gracie), but I’ve never thought about what a kitten who thinks it is a dog is like! And cute pictures are always good, right?

For some free fun, go play dress-up at Legacy Designs. It is a great paper doll site that lets you dress up the paper dolls online! My favourite of their newest batch is the Gay 90′s doll.

Those are the things that made me happy today. I may do random posts like this more often because cute happy things deserve to be linked to more! Go look at happy things!

Sorceress Announced!!!!

I’m totally jazzed. He-Man.org just reported that the third wave of Masters of the Universe “staction figures” (statues that are remarkably like action figures with little to no action) has been announced. It will be released next spring sometime and will be made up of Tung Lashor (blah), Manteena (ok) and SORCERESS!!!!!! Yay! I’m so excited. I was sure we were going to have to wait forever for a female figure. And Sorceress is awesome. I’m going to get her. I wasn’t totally sold on the idea of “staction figures” to begin with, but I have Hordak and I have to admit, he’s pretty damn cool. He looks really creepy. I look forward to getting Sorceress. I only *hope* that they make Marlena. Then I would just be in heaven. But they probably won’t. At least not for a very long time (and they will probably lose interest or run out of money before that). Anyway, here is the picture from He-Man.org (click on it for a bigger image). More images can be seen on their front page.

Serenity Discussed at ComicCon

Go read about it, it’s really funny! I’m excited for Serenity to come out! Yay!

Book: The Little Island

The Little Island
Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Leonard Weisgard
1946

This is a charming book. It’s simple and yet full of complicated concepts. There isn’t really a plot, per say, but the text is a lazy poem about a quiet little island. It is well written, as most of Brown’s books are, and even though there isn’t much plot the book is enjoyable to read. It makes the reader feel like they are on a quiet, relaxing vacation. The book does touch on some pretty big philosophical ideas, but none of them are pushed very much and the reader is only required to think as much as they want to. Few books manage that.

The pictures are equally wonderful. They share the text’s lazy pace and feel. They have bright, vibrant colours and show an island teeming with life. Each page feels like a painting that might grace the walls of a vacation home on Cape Cod.

This book is wonderfully well put together and it is completely obvious why it won, and deserves, the 1946 Caldecott award. I highly recommend this book (especially for summer) and plan to buy this book myself sometime!

Book: Make Way for Ducklings

Make Way for Ducklings
Robert McCloskey
1941

This is an absolutely adorable book. It is the 1941 Caldecott Medal winner and absolutely deserves that honour. The story is sweet and simple, about a pair of ducks finding a proper place to raise their ducklings. They choose a park in Boston. The writing is simple, but wonderful to read. You can’t help but like the ducks and want to help them (like the policemen in the story do).

The illustrations are just great. They have a sketch-like quality gives the pictures a charm that more fleshed out illustrations might have lacked. There are a few pictures near the beginning of the book that particularly intrigued me. They show the duck pair flying over the landmarks of Boston. The details in the famous landmarks are so well done and I instantly recognized them. They were wonderful.

This is a true gem of a picture book. I definitely recommend it and fully intend to add it to my collection when I get the chance!

Interesting WOTC Program

Wizards of the Coast has recently (in the last year and a half or so) begun publishing two new young reader series – the Kights of the Silver Dragon and the New Adventures Dragonlance Series. I’ve read some of the Knights books and generally enjoyed them, although the range of authors means a range of quality that I’m not entirely happy with. The first on, Secret of the Spiritkeeper by Matt Forbeck, was excellent and I would certainly recommend it if you like fantasy (and even more if you like Dungeons and Dragons, but that isn’t necessary).

Anyway, they just announced a program for librarians and teachers around these books. The program is designed to encourage kids who don’t like to read to do so. WOTC is calling the program “Adventures for Reluctant Readers” and is using the idea that simple adventure stories are usually what reluctant readers latch onto first to develop the program. It sounds very interesting, but (as is usual for them) WOTC hasn’t really given much information about it. You can read about it on the Mirrorstone announcement page. I am very interested in the program and pleased that WOTC is doing it, but I would really like to know more about it. They are offering it free to librarians and teachers, but they don’t give many details. Hopefully more information will be released about the program soon.

Voice of Aslan Announced!

Disney confirmed that Liam Neeson will be the voice of Aslan in the upcoming movie of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe! I’m very happy they finally announced who was doing it. I think Neeson could be really good. Obviously, I can’t really form too much of an opinion yet, but I’m excited and look forward to it. James Earl Jones would have been the perfect choice, but barring him, I think this could be good.

Origins Videos

Ok, I forgot to post this link and I really meant to. The guys made a video using pictures taken during our trip down and our trip back from Origins. They had a camera set up in the windshield of the van taking a picture every five seconds as we traveled. A camera beeping every five seconds gets very annoying. Luckily, my Shuffle largely drowned it out most of the time. Anyway, the video is kinda cool and I promised I would post a link to it. The train in the video home is particularly disturbing (especially when you remember that we were driving at 75 mph or so and there are something like 24 pictures per second of video). The videos and some more explanation can be found on Ben’s webiste, monkeysushi.net. Go check it out, it’s amusing and fairly short.

New Additions to Wish List

Wish List

I started a page for my wish list of books. It’s here. This list is still very much in the works and is by no means complete. I will keep working on it as time passes and will update it when I get books and when I see new ones I want. This is more for my reference than anyone elses, but you are perfectly welcome to check it out! This list is just books and is alphabatized by author’s name for ease of finding things (unlike Amazon wishlists). And, yes, I am aware it’s random. This is me, what did you expect?

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