Tag: Children's Books

Seven Things I Love (6-28-2021)

Sorry to miss last Monday – I was traveling. It’s gonna be a busy summer! Hope you had a nice week.

  1. 1. This Documentary about Beatrix Potter – The 45-minute documentary is wonderful and is made even more so by its host/narrator, Patricia Routledge.
  2. Dame Katherine Patricia Routledge is a well-known actress in Britain, particularly famous for her role as Hyacinth Bucket (Hyacinth pronounces it Bou-quet) in ‘Keeping Up Appearances‘ (one of my favorite British comedy series.) Routledge’s acting roles are too numerous to list here. She has been a star on stage, screen, and television for nearly 70 years.

2. This New Show on HBOMax, Starstruck – It’s a good indicator when I binge-watch an entire series in a single evening that a show is good. When I keep thinking about it for days after and talk about it with multiple people, well, that’s a sign that it’s excellent and this series definitely falls into the “excellent” category!

Not only that, it could have been written especially for me – London, Indian leading man, sassy, hilarious, normal sized leading lady (though I’m sure they will refer to her as being “plus-sized” when they write about the show), did I mention LONDON!!! Swoon, swoon, and swoon!

3. This Podcast, ‘You’re Wrong About’ – The podcast has been around since May of 2018 so I’m a little late to the party (it was named one of the ten best podcasts by Time Magazine in 2019) but the topics they discuss are varied and most are historic (albeit more current history). Two journalists, Michael Hobbes, who writes for the Huffington Post, and Sarah Marshall, who is currently working on a book and whose work has appeared in Buzzfeed, The Believer, and The New Republic, review a specific media event and try to explain how the public was misled or came to misunderstand what really was happening/happened. For each podcast they bring in experts to include in their discussion on the topic.

A few episodes I’ve listened to so far – the Anti-vaccine movement, the Electoral College, O.J. Simpson, Tuskegee Syphilis Study and all five episodes they did on Princess Diana.

4. This Artist’s WorkAnna Hoyle‘s work makes me happy. I was drawn to her work for obvious reasons, the faux book covers and piles of books are fantastic. Not surprisingly, Hoyle is Australian. People from Australasia (Australia, New Zealand and some of the surrounding islands) seem to have the greatest sense of humor! The details are what make it so marvelous.

This is my favorite so I bought this print. I get to look at it every day. It speaks to me. I’m not sure what the message is exactly but it speaks to me nevertheless.

5. This Street Art – I was in my hometown of Dubuque last weekend. Over the past five years there has been a surge of street murals popping up in the downtown. As you can see, they are quite remarkable.

‘Ada Hayden’ by Gaia
‘Bird Dog’ by Werc & Gera
‘La Pachamamam Ama Dbq’ by Luis Valle
‘Redemption’ by Gaia (left side)
‘Redemption’ by Gaia (right side)
‘Automate’ by Gaia
RBG by Luis Valle

6. This New Collaboration Between Diverse Dining and CityTins – For my fellow Menopause Broads and anyone else following me who lives in the Milwaukee area…

I have been a fan of CityTins for years. The female-owned company was co-founded by Christin Cilento and Tara Laatsch in 2009. They had the brilliant idea of using those wonderful bar coasters as a way to promote local restaurants. The way it works is you buy a tin full of at least 20 different coasters. Each coaster is worth $10 off from the place that the coaster advertises. Tins are worth minimally $200 but once you’ve used three coasters you’ve paid off the cost of the tin.

The benefit to the restaurants is that it gets people in the door and maybe even gets new customers. I know that when I buy a tin I tend to try all the places (admittedly, I go to my favorites or places I’ve been first.)

I hadn’t heard of Diverse Dining. It “creates a space for people of different backgrounds and cultures to come together to remove barriers, engage in meaningful conversation, and foster togetherness through food, fun, and friendship.” I can’t think of a better program for a time when we, as a country, need to work harder on diversity and anti-racism.

There are different themed tins for you to choose from. I’m definitely getting a Diversitin and a Milwaukee Tin. There are restaurant tins for Madison, Lake Country, and Fox Cities. There is also a special “Staycation” tin for Cedarburg. They make fabulous gifts!

7. This Toaster Museum – TOAST! People that know me will understand my excitement at finding out there is a toaster museum. You know how Tom Hanks is obsessed with typewriters? I think that is fairly common knowledge, right? Well, I’m about that obsessed over toast and toasters. (Though admittedly I don’t have the money or space to have dozens of antique toasters in my home.) Still, looking at this takes my breath away.

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Seven Things I Love (6-14-2021)

  1. 1. This Happy Baby Penguin – though I disagree with what the person wrote on the post. I don’t believe that a baby penguin can ever be too excited for cuddles!
  1. 2. This Impersonator – Mary Elizabeth Kelly’s expertise is as a “mouth impersonator.” When you watch the video you’ll see what she means by that. Visit her Instagram – she has so many videos and each one is more amazing and/or hilarious than the next.

3. This Tweet for Pride Month – Genius!

4. This Little Guy – He is going to be famous someday!

5. This Video on How ‘I Spy’ Books Are Made – I’m too old to have enjoyed ‘I Spy’ books as a kid (obviously) but having been a children’s librarian for 12 years I was able to live a second childhood and appreciate many things that most people my age only know about if they had kids (which I suppose most do.)

I’m sure, like me, those familiar with Walter Wick’s work have never given a single thought as to what goes into making one of his books. I had NO IDEA – just wow!

6. This Beaded Art Installation by Liza Lou titled “Kitchen” – “The 168-square-foot installation, a monument to unrecognized women’s labor, started off as a riff on Pop Art, as seen in the razzle-dazzle brand-name cereal boxes and cleaning products scattered throughout the scene. But over the years of making the work, Lou became increasingly activated around feminism and started to see beads as a metaphor for the female experience: ‘small, pretty, diminutive, decorative — those sorts of things that are kind of pejorative that we have around femininity, around women,’ she said.”

It took her five years to complete it. Absolutely gorgeous!

[Found on Hyperallergic]

Liza Lou, “Kitchen” (1991-1996), glass beads, wood, wire, plaster, and artist’s used appliances, 96 x 132 x 168 inches (collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London)
Liza Lou, “Kitchen” (1991-1996), glass beads, wood, wire, plaster, and artist’s used appliances, 96 x 132 x 168 inches (collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London)
Liza Lou, “Kitchen” (1991-1996) (detail), glass beads, wood, wire, plaster, and artist’s used appliances, 96 x 132 x 168 inches (collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, image courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London)

7. The Statue of Liberty’s “Little Sister” – France is sending us a gift again, a second Statue of Liberty! This one is 1/16th the size of the original, weighs almost half-a-ton, and will stand on Ellis Island opposite her “Big Sister.”

“The statue symbolizes freedom and the light around all the world,” said Olivier Faron, general administrator of the CNAM (Conservatoire national des arts et métiersIn English: National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts). “We want to send a very simple message: Our friendship with the United States is very important, particularly at this moment. We have to conserve and defend our friendship.”

[Found on CNN]

The value of freedom is central to the new Lady Liberty statue. Credit: CMA CGM Group

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Seven Things I Love (3-22-21)

  1. 1. This VACCINATED Menopausal Broad – pardon my hair, I forgot to fix it before the photo. You can’t see it but I’m both a little teary-eyed and overjoyed.

Not surprisingly, I’ve been reading everything I can on the vaccines and post-vaccine life and I found this excellent article in the Washington Post. WashPo has a paywall, so you may not be able to read it but here’s my favorite part, where the authors, Emily Heil and Tim Carman, talk about keeping a coronavirus budget. I think it’s a brilliant idea:

“There’s no such thing as zero risk, and nothing is 100 percent risky,” says Leana Wen, a visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and contributing columnist at The Washington Post. “It’s a spectrum.” She has long urged people to think about their risks as expenditures from a “coronavirus budget,” and says the budgets of those who have been vaccinated just went way up. “You still have to think about how to spend it, and if your priority is seeing grandchildren and going to church, then maybe you’re not going to restaurants all that often.”

With encouraging headlines, springlike temperatures and our collective covid fatigue at an all-time high, it might be tempting to throw caution — and another round of takeout — to the wind. But experts agree that now is not the time to lower your guard, but instead to maintain your vigilance so we can return to something like normal by the fall.

From: ‘As vaccinations increase, you may want to dine indoors again. Here’s what to consider.‘ by Emily Heil and Tim Carman; Washington Post, Mar. 19, 2021
  1. 2. This Photograph of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs – I became obsessed with the Crystal Palace dinosaurs after reading the children’s book ‘The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins‘ by Barbara Kerley (illustrated by Brian Selznick). The book won a Caldecott Honor Medal in 2002 . I was still a Children’s Librarian at that time. It has everything I loved – London, the Victorian Era, paleontology/innovation/science and the illustrations are fantastic. Here’s a video of a reading of the book that is charming.

I thought – it would have been amazing to be there then and see the dinosaurs in person. Honestly, I didn’t realize they still existed until a couple years ago. I learned many moons ago the Crystal Palace had burned down, twice I believe, so I assumed that nothing had survived. But the dinosaurs did and I got to see them in May of 2019! Here are a few of my photos… (the guy in the photo is my London pal Rob.)

2. This Story about the Golden Tickets in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate FactoryCharlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl was my all-time favorite book as a kid. I’m not sure if I’ve already told this story but one year, I think around when I was in second or third grade, I got a hold of a copy of the book. I read it and loved it so much that I re-read it over and over and over again. Around the twelve time my Mom started getting a little concerned that I was so obsessed with just one book so she bribed me with my first Nancy Drew book. That wasn’t such a bad thing, it led to a whole new world of my favorite teenage sleuth, but I always loved Charlie and his family and Mr. Willy Wonka.

I also loved the movie with Gene Wilder. To me he will always be the one and only Willy Wonka. I was actually excited when I first heard that Tim Burton was going to give the book a try and that Johnny Depp was slated to play Wonka, but I think I’ve spent to many years visualizing the candy maker as Gene Wilder.

I stumbled across this story while searching for something else and thought it was very interesting. For fans of the story, it’s not a major thing but curious nonetheless.

For some reason the book originally had it say on the golden ticket that the visit was to in February but in the first movie they changed it to October. Here is a brief post on Roald Dahl Fans.com where the person who runs the blog received an email with a question about this difference.

Here is what it says in the book:

“And now, here are your instructions: The day I have chosen for the visit is the first day in the month of February…”

“The first day of February!” cried Mrs. Bucket. “But that’s tomorrow! Today is the last day of January, I know it is!

The person who runs the Roald Dahl Fans blog has one theory that I think is most likely/logical and that is that the filming schedule was from August to November and so it simply didn’t look like February outdoors (and it would have been too expensive to make it look like February back then.) I think that this is the most likely explanation but one has to wonder if there might be some other reason like, is October 1st someone’s birthday or anniversary?

3. This Instagram Post by 99 year-old Betty White – how is it that I have only just thought to follow Betty White now???? So many shows like this that I would love to watch – thank goodness they aren’t available to stream because I don’t have enough time in the day! (If you haven’t watched the Betty White documentary on Netflix yet I highly recommend it. Ill be posting my ‘Menopausal Broad’s Guide to Netflix’ soon, hopefully within the next week.)

4. This Number from the 1957 Movie, Funny Face – Pink has always been my favorite color. I’d like to think it would have been even if I wasn’t born a girl, but in the 60s in Iowa there were only two options – girl or boy – and it wasn’t kosher for boys to like pink. Having said that, you just know that at least half of the guys in those white painter jumpsuits wish their suits were pink too. But they still look like they’re having fun! Aren’t the clothes fabulous?

5. This 360 Degree Van Gogh Painting – you may want to actually visit it on Facebook to so you can make it bigger.

6. This Website that Lets You Create Your Own Bayeux TapestryThe Bayeux Tapestry is made up of seventy-five scenes depicting events leading up to the Norman Conquest in 1066. It has a very distinct style and has been studied in depth (in fact they even know that there are 93 penises, not all belonging to men, included in the art piece.)

Here’s my first attempt…

And here is an artist named Andrew Swainson’s clever version of the Bayeux Tapestry in a tribute to Monty Python…

Andrew Swainson’s Pythonesque take on the Bayeux Tapestry
Photograph: Andrew Swainson/Monty Python

7. These “Personless Protests” in Myanmar – human ingenuity knows no bounds.

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