gfrancie: (Default)
At my son's preschool the theme going on is "families". It is a nice way for all the kids to get to know one another. Each kid has brought in a picture of their family and then they say who everyone is and with whom they live. As our preschool has all kinds of families. Younger, older, adopted, non-adopted, mixed race, hetero, and gay. As the librarian for the school I usually hunt down some books that coordinate with the theme de jour. (I think we are doing apples/Autumn next. Not surprising eh?)

Anyways so one of the great things is that there are a lot more books aimed at children that have two Moms or two Dads. There wasn't much out there for some time, but now there are some interesting offerings. You don't even have to be a family with gay parents to appreciate some of these books. But I am sure that it is nice to see some representation in the stacks.

Tango makes Three is about the famous penguin couple at the Central Park Zoo who adopted their own egg and raised their own little penguin. Yes even penguins have the issue of babies who need adopting due to neglect. Apparently the penguin couple started off with a rock and then the zoo keepers were curious to see how they might do with a real egg and now the happy family still live at the zoo. The illustrations are very sweet and OMG penguins.

The Family Book by Todd Parr is more of an introduction to the idea that all kinds of groupings of people can make up a family. Be it a Mom and a Dad, Two Daddies, Two Mommies or even single parents. (because the single parents need to be seen too) It has kind of wild colors and the illustrations are simple. The kids really enjoyed this book a lot. It's funny and the text is pretty simple.

Our Mothers' House is by Patricia Polacco (who is a favorite children's writer/illustrator of mine). It's the story of a family who raises their brood of adopted kids. (assorted races too) They live in Berkley, natch. It follows their life and traditions (and even when they encounter someone who doesn't think much of them) and how the kids grow up and have their own families.

If you have really little ones who are still into board books there is Mommy, Mama, and Me or Daddy, Papa, and Me. Both books follow the usual patterns of what goes on in any family.

Finally there is Uncle Bobby's Wedding. It is all about a little girl who is kind of sad her Uncle is marrying because she thinks he won't have time for her anymore but she learns that her Uncle and his new husband will still have time for her. It is cute.

There are a lot more books but this is a good beginning set for anyone looking for books for themselves or family/friends.
Now get out there and read!
gfrancie: (Margo Channing)
This comic artist did a couple of funny pieces on getting hooked on the Twilight books. (and she gives a great summary of the four books) I found it entertaining as I know many people who found themselves hooked on them. They are in many ways the antithesis of good literature, but that isn't why people read them. We don't need to go into any long discussions about these particular books as there are plenty of places that can handle that with a deft hand.
let's get into a long discussion about books and whatever. )
gfrancie: (Margo Channing)
A long-winded explanation of how I arrived at a book I enjoyed. It involves a journey through two other books. )

Yesterday in the post two fun things arrived. The latest issue of Gourmet magazine AND a package filled with jaffa cakes from [ profile] mockduck. Oh thankyouhankyouthankyou. We are happy bunnies at Chez Anglo-America. Senor Onion knows exactly jaffa cakes are just by looking at the packaging and he was begging for them immediately. When I had a cupboard open and he saw the boxes he began to weep and moan because I wouldn't let him have any. He also tried to steal other people's cakes. I owe you big.


Jul. 10th, 2008 11:42 am
gfrancie: (Margo Channing)
I finished A Perfect Summer last week. I absolutely enjoyed it and now I want to look for further books to expand upon the various subjects the author touched on. It doesn't go into super great depth but it is an inspiring book. "Oh I want to find out more about this and that and the other." What struck me was how the beginning of the 20th century was a significant evolving point for many working poor people. The idea that they deserved a decent life and shouldn't be held hostage to a certain situation was growing and blossoming. I suspect some of that came out of education becoming more widely available and other people saying, "You should have a decent wage and not work in such horrid conditions." The recognition of humanity! Something some people don't quite understand now. I think culturally people forget every so often about this idea.
Plus all the gossipy stuff about the aristocracy is deeply amusing.

Right now I am reading Snobs by Julian Fellowes. (he wrote the screenplay for Gosford Park) It is gently vicious. Not quite as cynical as... Thackeray but in that vein. Where no one is entirely good nor is everyone entirely bad but sometimes have a hidden agenda of which they are not entirely aware. But it never gets too bogged down and dreary. Fellows manages to venture into Wodehouse territory and keeps it light and kind. Obviously this is a book written by someone who is familiar with his subjects.

I need to look through my list of books and see what I ought to read next. Maybe something a little more distinctly American.


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