Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Odds and Ends - A Bit of Reading-Related Randomness

I'm up to my eyeballs in grant writing and paper grading. No new news really, just some random links and thoughts I want to share.

Number 1 - A few weeks ago a commenter told me she'd found my blog through another site. That site led to another, and another, and after being led down the rabbit hole I eventually found myself at the amazing site Making Books with Children. I signed up for the monthly newsletter and found my very first issue to be real gem. In the October issue, Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord shared her idea for a sticker poem book. Here is an excerpt from the newsletter introduction.
This month's book used the side panels from a grocery bag for the pages, a plastic piece that came with a purchase of a pair of socks and an elastic for the binding, and candy wrappers, fruit stickers, and the left over sticky paper from red and green dot stickers that were left over from jurying at the Newburyport Art Association to decorate the pages. The poem was inspired by the fruits the stickers were on.
The book in the newsletter is a variation of her stick and elastic band book. You will find many terrific book projects here. If you are looking for a project to do at home or in your classroom, this is a site you won't want to miss!
**NOTE - Susan also has a series of videos to take you step-by-step through the process of making some of these books.

Number 2 - Today in the Guardian blog is an article entitled The Misery of Chain Bookstores. I feel Charlotte Higgins' pain, really I do. The comments are almost as entertaining and thoughtful as the article. Here's a fine example.

It has all become depressingly polarised, viz. the following:

1. I went to a Waterstone's the other day looking for some Thomas Hardy. Any would do: I was in a bad mood, and wanted only to remind myself that it could be worse.

There was none. I am a mild-tempered woman and disinclined to shout, but when I queried this with the pleasant but ignorant four-year-old on the till, her apologetic shrug (she simply had no idea why their not stocking Hardy was even vaguely odd) raised in me the desire to launch myself over the till and batter her to death with a copy of The Little Book of Calm (or whatever).

2. The following day I ventured into a local independent bookshop. The woman on the till gave me a protracted up-and-down sort of look, apparently established (wrongly) that I was not one of life's readers, and ignoring my smile returned to her newspaper. I panicked, picked up a Nabokov I didn't want and a Dostoyevsky I already had, and returning to the till found myself greeted with an icy expression since she was on the phone and reluctant to be disturbed. God help anyone that went in there to pick up a nice PD James to read in the bath. I suspect she'd actually spit in their faces.

Someone lend me one hundred large and I promise I'll open a big, shambling, pleasing, cosy bookshop that stocks everything from Sir Philip Sidney to Doris Lessing. There'll be armchairs. And cake! And neither ignorance nor judgement! And probably a marmalde cat.

Number 3 - Normally I don't talk about what a great mother I think I am, but I'm still reeling from the Saturday afternoon matinee of High School Musical 3 that I dutifully took my son to see, so brag I will. In a theater filled with screaming and swooning tweens (and yes there were a good number of boys in the room), the best part of the experience was the amazing behind-the-scenes look at Coraline. February 2009 no longer seems so far away. Here's a nice clip. Did you know they're making this in 3-D?

1 comment:

  1. Wow I love that book making site. Thanks for the links!