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Morgan "classicgirl" RSS Feed (SW Florida)

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A Bear For All Seasons: A Kissenbear Family Scrapbook
A Bear For All Seasons: A Kissenbear Family Scrapbook
by Monica Stevenson
Edition: Hardcover
22 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Warm Fuzzies For Your Little One!, May 5, 2007
I chose this book for our niece's 3rd birthday, and her face just lit up when she spied the cover and started turning the pages! This adorable book is a visual treat, with its colorful photos of the teddy bear family through the seasons. Sure to be loved, a great picture book for small children!

Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers' Schemes
Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers' Schemes
by Lyn Mikel Brown
Edition: Hardcover
55 used & new from $0.01

38 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frequent errors ruin credibility of what could be a useful book, March 25, 2007
My main problem with "Packaging Girlhood" is the misinformation and contradictions. For example, I call your attention to page 169, in which the authors tell us that Molly's mother (of the popular American Girl book series) is dead (false), and then that "she simply isn't very present until the end of the book"....both in the same paragraph! When pointing out all the supposedly sexist faults of the American Girl books, they conveniently left out "Kaya's Hero", in which the title character is a female warrior! Did the authors just not do thorough research, or would admitting that spoil their agenda for the book? Wait a minute...they could have torn apart that book as well. The female warrior rescues a baby, and if you were inclined to believe the authors, being helpful and nurturing and even (horror of horrors) having maternal instincts means you are falling victim to society's feminine stereotypes. Those qualities would completely, in their eyes, cancel out the fact that she is a strong female character. They don't like stereotypes, but seem to propagate them at the same time...apparently you are not allowed be a multifaceted character. Lamb and Brown seem not to consider that a girl might like to play with a chemistry set AND enjoy Disney princesses.

Speaking of Disney, the impression I get from this book is that the entire point of the movie "Mulan" just soared over the authors' heads. The story is set in China, during at the very latest the 15th century (though probably much earlier). Yes, it is full of sexist stereotypes...true to the setting and the time. The point is that Mulan overcomes those stereotypes and shows society that a woman is worthy of respect. True...a four-year-old watching this on her own will probably not understand the context of the movie. But if you are the type of parent concerned enough to be interested in a book like this, I would guess that you are also the type of parent who would explain that the story occurs in a different time and culture when people had different ideas about women and girls, and that we know now those ideas are not true. The authors go on to point out that "Mulan's amazing feats dissolve in the presence of romance" (page 69). Now I've seen that movie probably dozens of times, and I saw no such thing occur.

Page 159 mentions "When little Yertle defies the tyrannical turtle king..." in reference to the Dr. Seuss story. It may seem trivial to point out that in the story, Yertle actually WAS the name of the tyrannical turtle king (you know, the TITLE character?)...but how can one be expected to take the rest of their claims seriously when such glaring errors are apparent?

There are plenty of other self-contradictions, such as painting the feminist mother in the movie "Ice Princess" in a negative light for insisting her daughter study physics at Harvard rather than pursue a skating career wearing skimpy costumes...therefore being "against the journey" of letting her daughter follow her dreams (page 90). But what would they have said had the mother insisted on the skating career instead of Harvard? Nothing very good, I'd wager. You can't seem to win with these authors.

They also seem to think that it's acceptable and "fun" for girls to have "the freedom to be wild, adventurous and outrageous" at slumber parties by "making up a persona and pretending to be that person online in a chat room" (page 252). That is an incredibly dangerous and irresponsible suggestion. On page 254 (I keep citing pages so you can see for yourself I am not making these quotes up), the authors brush off the idea of your child meeting an online predator as "very rare". I suppose it is, unless you happen to be one of the many children victimized by one. I guess a doctorate does not necessarily grant one common sense.

I do find it unfortunate that (if the book is correct) girls and women are so underrepresented in Caldecott Honor books. That is certainly a shame...but there are other options. Head over to the children's nonfiction section and grab a book about Eleanor Roosevelt, Ruby Bridges, or Sacajawea, for example.

I will say that this book has plenty of useful advice for the novice...discuss with your child the stereotypes in images and sound the media is bombarding her with and offer alternatives, but perhaps I am just too involved in my daughters' media intake already to fully appreciate it. Much of it is simply common sense...there is not much in this book that is news to me. I will finish reading it, as I am open to new ideas (hoping for any at this point)...and then perhaps donate it to the library, where some parent who has no clue about what their child watches or listens to might find it useful.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 29, 2010 6:39 PM PST

The Young Reader's Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet
The Young Reader's Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet
by Adam McKeown
Edition: Hardcover
31 used & new from $0.01

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SPARK AN INTEREST IN SHAKESPEARE!, November 21, 2005
A satisfactory introduction to the Bard! We borrowed this from the library and it captured my 12 year old daughter's interest--which is saying a lot, as she usually doesn't share my affinity for reading. I also borrowed the 1967 Romeo and Juliet movie, and after she read a scene in the book, we would watch that scene in the movie with the Elizabethan English (I was hoping to forge a connection between the original text and the simplified version in this book, as well as make it come alive for her). She loved it, and couldn't wait to see what happened next! The illustrations are practically identical to the characters' costumes in the movie, as well. I gave it 4 stars because I thought it took a few unnecessary liberties with the original play, and because for me, much of the charm of Shakespeare is the flowery language (which is minimal in this version), but for the most part it remained true. Hopefully, this will show my daughter how enjoyable Shakespeare can be, and give her a good head start for when she studies his works in school. Recommended, and inspired me as well--to pick up the original play to have handy on my bookshelf!

Child's Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles, and Made Us Laugh and Cry
Child's Introduction to Poetry: Listen While You Learn About the Magic Words That Have Moved Mountains, Won Battles, and Made Us Laugh and Cry
by Michael Driscoll
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.92
142 used & new from $0.98

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE CREME DE LA CREME!, January 7, 2004
This must be the ULTIMATE introduction to poetry for kids! More than a mere anthology of some of the most popular works (from spooky to silly), it includes a rundown of the features and format of several different types of poetry, along with brief bios on the poets themselves (from classic to contemporary) that will interest just about everyone. Not only that, it also includes a glossary of poetic terms and techniques, AND a box on each page with quick definitions of more difficult words or phrases (which are highlighted) at a glance, so kids (and adults!) can read and enjoy without having to flip to the back of the book constantly. Often, the poems include a short historical explanation, so when reading one can envision the verse in context. All done in a kid-friendly, fun and lighthearted way, with colorful and humorous illustrations! To top all that off, it comes with a CD so you can listen as you read; or as I do, pop it in whenever just so the kids can listen and imagine while coloring, etc. The CD is soothing and delightful at bedtime for the kids, too.
I believe my daughters, ages 10 and (almost) 6, will be entertained and inspired by this book for many years to come. Hopefully, it will spark an interest in kids to seek out further works of the poets included in this amazing introduction, discover others, and perhaps even create some poetry of their own!

Life Is Killing Me
Life Is Killing Me
Price: $5.99
44 used & new from $0.77

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WELL WORTH THE WAIT...THE BOYS FROM BROOKLYN ARE BACK!!!, June 18, 2003
This review is from: Life Is Killing Me (Audio CD)
While perhaps lacking ever so slightly the passion of their earlier efforts, "Life is Killing Me" is nonetheless an awesome, solid album. The music of Type O Negative is always a treat for the senses, and this release does not disappoint. Peter, Josh, and Kenny sound great as always, and I'd even go so far as to say Johnny's drums sound better than ever. "I Like Goils" is absolutely hilarious and ROCKS! (More fast songs like this please!) My other favorite off this CD would probably be "The Dream is Dead", a heartwrenchingly beautiful song. Josh's keyboards and Kenny's guitar shine especially on "A Dish Best Served Coldly"...great lyrics too. Check out the cover of "Angry Inch" hear the lyrics delivered by Pete Steele is priceless! I could wax poetic about this CD for pages, but these are merely highlights. Just buy it already and hear for yourself!

Emeril's There's a Chef in My Soup! Recipes for the Kid in Everyone
Emeril's There's a Chef in My Soup! Recipes for the Kid in Everyone
by Emeril Lagasse
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.40
292 used & new from $0.01

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FUN AND DELICIOUS...KICKED UP A NOTCH!, January 3, 2003
My 9-year-old daughter got this 5 days ago as a Christmas gift. She is interested in cooking and enjoys watching Emeril on TV, so I thought she'd like it. Wow! I think it is the most-used favorite so far of all her gifts! She's already made about 4 of the recipes,with another planned for tonight(I've borrowed it since then as well). They are easy to make and delicious, and I myself prefer it to Emeril's other cookbooks because, while the dishes may not be as sophisticated, the ingredients are usually things found already at home or are easy to pick up at the store (his "adult" recipes often call for more exotic things that are not always easy to come by outside Louisiana!). It also explains things more thoroughly. It is fun to spend time with her, "assisting"; and she's having fun and learning a lot at the same time. Often, it is difficult to get my daughter to sit still long enough to read a book...well, she pored over this one diligently the first night, reading the anecdotes and cooking tips (which are excellent too)! She is becoming quite the chef, and as a family we love the dishes she cooks(especially my very picky 4 year old)! They get a kick out of using the "Baby Bam" just like Emeril! Highly recommended!

DVD ~ John Amplas
Price: $159.99
9 used & new from $23.90

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars CULT CLASSIC, December 9, 2002
This review is from: Martin (DVD)
Wow. I must say I'm pleasantly surprised to find this movie on DVD, when I thought it would be out of print even on VHS. (NOBODY I know has ever heard of it.) I first saw this movie around 1986-87, while I was in middle school. A friend's mom rented the video, and though I just saw it that one time, I found it fascinating. It certainly left a lasting impression. Creepy, dark, haunting, somewhat comical, and very '70s. For a movie I've unsuccessfully inquired about for 15 or so years to be so unforgettable, it has to be good.

Bloody Kisses
Bloody Kisses
Price: $14.99
89 used & new from $0.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME! A MUST-HAVE!, November 22, 2002
This review is from: Bloody Kisses (Audio CD)
Type O Negative are one of the most sensual and dark bands to be found, and quite possibly my favorite. While I like October Rust the most among their brilliant albums, Bloody Kisses is essential as well, and a worthy start to your own personal Type O library. Pete's deep, erotic voice; Josh's eerie keyboards; Kenny's searing guitar; and Sal's thrashing drums are an intoxicating combination. You need to experience this album.

Difficult Questions Kids Ask and Are Afraid to Ask About Divorce
Difficult Questions Kids Ask and Are Afraid to Ask About Divorce
by Meg F. Schneider
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.64
117 used & new from $0.01

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for Tough Times, July 21, 2002
I spotted this book in the library and picked it up. As I began to read, I felt as if the authors knew my own 8-year-old daughter. I was very impressed. So many of the topics covered hit very close to home. It was very reassuring to read.

Getting There
Getting There
Offered by SaleTag
Price: $4.91
21 used & new from $0.72

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Olsen Twins soundtrack...with an edge!?, July 10, 2002
This review is from: Getting There (Audio CD)
As usual, a supercool mix of tunes everyone can enjoy...this time slightly more on the punk side! You have the awesome cover of "What a Wonderful World" by the late, great Joey Ramone. It also includes songs by Joan Jett and also by the Lunachicks. (All you riot grrls out there might want to check out albums by these artists if you haven't already!) There's a song by the Stone Roses that sounds a bit like the Byrds. Throw in a few more alternative-sounding songs, and you have a great album for your next road trip or party! I bought this for myself almost as much as my daughters. It's also a great primer for those interested in some good gritty rock n' roll roots rather than the current shallow teen fare. Very refreshing!

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