Tag: Children's Literature

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.

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

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

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

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.

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Seven Things I Love (3-8-2021)

Happy International Women’s Day!

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 8: An International Women’s Day march, led by the Bread and Roses group, takes place in downtown Boston on March 8, 1970. The march advocated rights to abortion and equality in work opportunities. (Photo by Don Preston/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
  1. 1. This Couple, Annie Kampfe and Cliff Donnelly, Who Built a Miniature Mid-Century House Based on the Homes They Grew Up In – who doesn’t love miniatures and someone who put this much into the details of a Mid-Century home – I mean, it really would be every kids dream house, right?
ANNIE KAMPFE and CLIFF DONNELLY of Leewood, Kansas

2. This DoorDash Commercial – I don’t know about you but there is something quite comforting about the idea of being roomies with Cookie Monster. Yeah, he’d make a mess when he ate, yeah, you’d have to hide the cookies, but how cute is he sitting there on the sofa, reading next to Daveed Diggs?!?!

https://youtu.be/J8uXvfKjax4

3. This New(ish) Television Series, Resident Alien – based on a comic book series, Resident Alien takes a fairly common premise – alien invasion – and turns it upside down. In the SyFy series (which stars Alan Tudyk, most famous for his role as Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne in Firefly, though I also love his ‘Steve the Pirate’ in Dodgeball: a True Underdog Story, one of my all-time favorite movies) is an alien who crash lands in Colorado while on a mission to actually destroy planet Earth. In the crash he loses some of the equipment he needs to destroy earth because it’s winter and it gets buried in the snow, somewhere on a rather large mountain.

Without alien equipment he has to go old school and look for it by walking around and digging, which he knows could take weeks. He decides he will need food and shelter and luckily finds a remote home on the lake. Not so lucky for the homeowner, it isn’t abandoned. The alien kills the man and disposes of his body in the lake but also takes the human’s form in case he’s noticed while searching for his lost equipment.

Soon after though a murder occurs in the nearby town and the victim is the town’s only doctor. The people in the town need someone to help them with the autopsy and guess who is the nearest doctor, yep, the guy the alien killed and transformed himself into.

What is most hilarious I think is that there are a couple kids in town who can see through the facade. I can’t remember what the explanation was – I just took it as being something like in the Polar Express and why kids could still hear the jingle bell. At first there was only one boy who could see him and the alien decided he was going to have to murder the kid. But the kid was a bit more of a challenge than he anticipated.

Anyway, it’s an excellent show! The first episode was a little slow but it has only gotten better and better.

You can watch the trailer here. OR if you really want to get drawn in, here are the first 7 minutes.

ALAN TUDYK as the Alien and Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle

4. This COMPLETELY FABRICATED Series Called Tiny Secret Whispers‘ that Seth Meyers Has Been Gushing Over on His Show for the Past Three Weeks – Sorry Stephen, but Seth has officially become my favorite late night host. His impressions, his banter with his staff, long running jokes like the Thorn birds, the Sea Captain and now this. It’s sheer brilliance and it keeps his audience tuned in every night.

5. These Waterproof Notepads, Aquanotes – I’ve found that I think most clearly in the shower. I suspect it is because there is no distractrations. I’ve tried for several years to find the best way to keep track of my thoughts and ideas. I moved in an Alexa. I bought a waterproof recorder, a few different ones actually. But nothing worked because everything that I bought required me to then take transcribe what I dictated and that was a pain. I finally found these and they have been the best solution. They keep me from rambling (as we know, that is my tendency) and then I can rip off the page, take it to my desk and get it all taken care of without having to listen to a recording first. They are a little pricey but after you buy the first pencil/pad set for $9.75 you can get refills, 3 pads for $26, so it’s a little over a dollar less per pad.

6. This Response from LeVar Burton on the Decision by Seuss Enterprises to Discontinue Publication of Six of Their Titles – Who is better qualified to speak on this topic than Mr. Reading Rainbow himself (and of course ST:TNG’s Geordi La Forge)? You should watch the entire interview and listen to his full reply. It’s exceptional.

“Actually, I think that, in the general sense, once you know better, it is incumbent upon you to do better, and that’s exactly what Seuss Enterprises is doing here. They are being a responsible steward of the brand and they looked at these six titles and determined that in the light of today, they really don’t fit with the values that we’ve all come to know Dr Seuss for. Look, all of our heroes are human; they are all flawed. It’s one of the things I learned from Gene Roddenberry, one of my storytelling mentors. Gene was a guy who had this great vision, but he also wanted all the women in short skirts, so our heroes are flawed.”

-LeVar Burton on CNN’s Full Circle

7. This Website that Drives You Around Most Major Cities of the World – called Drive and Listen, the website will make you feel like you are sitting in a taxi in one of over 50 cities in the world. You can choose whether you want to include street noise (why wouldn’t you?!?) and a local radio station. Unfortunately you don’t get to choose the radio station but that only makes the ride more realistic.

London, UK
Paris, France
Havana, Cuba

Word of the Day

I came across a great list of female related words (most of which I will be using in the future so I’m not going to include the link.) I’m starting with this one. The root of the word, vir-, is Latin for man, such as in the word virile. Don’t you find it interesting how one definition is a nagging shrew and the other is strong, heroic woman?


Quote of the Day


Have a lovely week!

Seven Things I Love (2-8-2021)

1. This Stonehenge Made Out of Ice (called “Icehenge”) – okay, so THIS is so AWESOME! And it turns out this was done by a friend of mine’s husband (along with a couple other guys.) How amazing is it! They didn’t do it this year because of COVID and I guess because it’s too cold but I told her to let me know if they do it next year because I want to see it in person. How did I not know about this?!?!

Five friends (Drew McHenry, Kevin Lehner, Quinn Williams, Alec Seamars and Patrick Shields) from Wisconsin created an amazing Stonehenge out of ice on Rock Lake, near the city of Lake Mills.
This photo was taken in 2015.

2. This Teacher – I mean, how cool is this? Teachers are way too underappreciated and definitely UNDERPAID.

3. These EXQUISITE William Morris Designs – I love, love, love the octopus. It’s so steampunk! (Steampunk is one of my many obsessions.) I can’t believe Morris created such a design but it’s really his!!! (Thanks Ann.)

4. These Children’s & YA Books on Body Acceptance – man, if only books like these had been available when I was a kid.

5. This TikTok Environmental Science Enthusiast Known as the Black Forager – she’s adorable.

6. This “Cover” of ‘American Pie’ by Home Free Featuring Don McLean – thanks to my brother Michael for bringing it to my attention. So wonderful!!!

7. This Video of Ryan Reynolds Learning about Ice Sculpture – Ice Sculpture is super cool (and rather intimidating!) Every single time I watch a video of him I only love him even more (and when it’s of him and his wife Blake Lively, ❤️ both of them, they’re so cute!) BUT, it’s not surprising, after all, he’s Canadian.


Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Today’s quote is from a series called ‘Dead Feminists Broadsides’ which have been gathered together in a book titled Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color. I am will post other broadsides in the future but I thought I’d start with Harriet Tubman in honor of Black History Month. You can purchase postcards of all (I think) of the broadsides and there are a few broadsides that you can still actually purchase. Also, there are some lovely mini-broadsides for a few “unofficial” members of the Dead Feminists broadside series. Personally, I would love to have them ALL! Click on the image below to go to the website.


Have a Wonderful Week!