Monday, December 29, 2008

See you on the other side

BookMoot is going off to do family/wedding things this week so I will see you all on the other side in 2009.

(But BookMoot, you are in a blogging void anyway so why bother even mentioning this?)

Well, I have just finished listening to an astounding performance in audiobook-ness. (I can do important Christmas/wedding thinking while listening to a book, I just can't read text and simultaneously drive or shop or write.)


Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy

Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady

by L. A. Meyer, narrated by Katherine Kellgren

Katherine Kellgren's performance as Jacky Faber, the heroine of this tale of high adventure, is a narration tour de force. Mary Burkey at Audiobooker named Blue Tattoo one of Audiobooker’s Choice: Great Youth Audiobooks of 2008. It also eaerned a 2008 Odyssey Award Honor. Kellgren joins Jim Dale, and Nathaniel Parker in the pantheon of youth audiobook readers.

Meyer's story is a sort of Oliver Twist meets Charlotte Doyle meets Horatio Hornblower.
In order to survive starvation as an orphan on the mean streets of London, Mary Faber becomes "Jacky" and signs on to the crew of HMS Dolphin as a ships' boy. She thrives as part of the Royal Navy. Standing fast under fire and as part of a boarding party, she earns the title Bloody Jack. She must keep her sex a secret but that becomes harder with each passing day.

Curse of the Blue Tattoo could be "the rest of the story" if Charlotte Doyle had not returned to the sea faring life. Jacky Faber meets Sarah Crewe from A Little Princess.

Jacky, newly promoted to midshipman, is booted off the ship when it is discovered that she is a girl. With her share of the Dolphin's prize money, she is enrolled in the Lawson Peabody School. Here the future wives of diplomats, congressmen and even presidents of the new republic are schooled and trained. She strives to understand the social conventions of 18th century Boston and learns school girls can be more dangerous than pirates.

I'm dialing up all of Kellgren's audiobooks, asap.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Video: Winter Wonderland

Can't stop clicking the play button...
Half the views of this video are from me and entling no. 1

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Born to Read

Born to Read by Judy Sierra; pictures by Marc Brown, Knopf 2008

Judy Sierra is fast becoming a preacher-in-chief for literacy and reading. Her
Wild About Books follows a bookmobile-driving librarian to the zoo where she introduces the animals to books and they fall in love with reading.

She teams again with Marc Brown to evoke the pleasures, the benefits and the rewards of reading in Born to Read.

A baby named Sam can read his name painted on his crib, "That's me! he thought. "My name is Sam. I'm born to read. I know I am." (I loved the dragon mobile that hangs over his crib.)

Classic titles such as, Pat the Bunny, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Cat in the Hat overflow Sam's bed and room as they are are read to him by his mother. Same reads everywhere and any time. Brown even tucks one of his own Arthur the aardvark books under Sam's arm when the boy is called on to confront a giant that is rampaging through town. Sam's love of reading saves the day and predicts a bright future for him.

Hopefully, children will recognize the books featured in the story. Sierra's rhyming text is very enjoyable for out loud reading and her message about the importance of reading is for children AND their parents to hear.

If you, as a parental or grandparental unit, do NOT know what books should be on a baby's book shelf, you would do well to start with the list above. Throw in a Mother Goose and make reading to your little one a priority and part of your daily routine.

(English) (Spanish)
My Shining Star by Rosemary Wells (BookMoot-ed here) is another book to share with parents about the importance of reading to children and preparing them to be successful in school.

These books put me in mind of that grand Richard Peck poem, Twenty Minutes a Day. I always loved reading this powerful bit of poetry to parents especially this line:

Remedial? Gifted? You have the choice;
Let them hear the first tales
In the sound of your voice.
Read in the morning;
Read over noon;
Read by the light of
Goodnight Moon.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Spock does not know how dangerous being a librarian can be.

Sometimes librarians lose it.

Classic Sesame Street and Cookie Monster visits the Library

Then sometimes they just deal with the problem.

Then there is the quintessential, Marian.
Robert Preston is the only Harold Hill for me.