24 November 2008

Oral History at Dayton Art Institute

This is a recording from the Dayton Art Institute "A Grand Day at the Museum", 23 November 2008.

19 November 2008

testing audio recording

I was trying out the digital recorder that we may use for an oral history project. See if you can hear the poem.

04 November 2008

What's on My Desk November 2008

Wheels and Axles to the Rescue by Sharon Thales. Children's Nonfiction Grades K-3. DONE.
I hadn't thought about wheels and axles in a few years, so my knowledge was pretty rusty. I don't know that I remember all the science in this physics book, but the pictures were good.
Inside, Outside, Upside Down by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Children's Fiction ages 2-3. DONE.
This very simple and funny book shows the meaning of these words: inside, outside, upside down, right side up, off, and on.

Cookie's Week by Cindy Ward and Tomie dePaola. Children's Fiction ages 3-6. DONE.
This is a funny, silly book showing things what went wrong in Cookie the Cat's week. We have all had one of those weeks! The ending is just right. I don't know of anyone who would not get a chuckle out of this book. I don't buy very many books, maybe four a year (some of which are used), but am tempted to buy this for someone I know who has a black and white cat named Cookie.

Clifford Goes to Dog School by Norman Bridwell. Children's Fiction ages K-3. DONE.
I think we have all heard of Clifford the Big Red Dog and this is another hit in the Clifford series. My audience asked for more Clifford books.

Assistant by Bernard Malamud. Adult Fiction. DONE.
I am reading this for a Jewish literature book discussion. This is the first in the series that was originally published in English and is set in America. In my estimation, this book is WAY easier to read than the others we have read so far for this reason.
Here are some examples of library scenes. Two of the characters use the library extensively.
page 59:
"Ida said he ought to take some time off, but he answered that he had nowhere special to go and stayed in the back, reading the Daily News on the couch, or flipping through some magazines that he had got out of the public library, which he had discovered during one of his solitary walks in the neighborhood".
page 93:
"Frank, dressed in his new clothes, hurried to the library, about a dozen blocks from the grocery. The library was an enlarged store, well lit, with bulging shelves of books that smelled warm on winter nights...It was a pleasant place to come to...". Then the characters read books and magazines and quietly talk, using it as a gathering place.
page 104:
"Even at her loneliest she liked being among books" and more.
page 106:
Back to the library for books.
"To help him prepare for college Helen said he ought to read some good novels, some of the great ones." They get them at the library.
page 114:
They go to the library again.
page 134:
Stereotypical librarian:
"Frank went every third night to the library and there she was. But when the old-maid librarian smiled knowingly upon them, Helen felt embarassed, so they went elsewhere". The librarian lives vicariously.
Good library public relations: poor man uses public library for education and entertainment.
This 1957 book would make a good "compare and contrast" to 2008 book The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears, which also features a poor grocery store employee disillusioned by the American dream and lusting after a woman he knows he shouldn't have.
Dora Saves the Snow Princess by Phoebe Beinstein and Dave Aikins. Children's Fiction grades 1 -3. DONE.
This features the Dora the Explorer character from television. It reads like a classic fairy tale until we find that Dora was reading a story, then she has to jump into the book to rescue the Snow Princess. The plot then becomes a standard Dora plot - follow the instructions and map to get to the end. There is some interaction with the readers "Now flap your arms like a bird". I was a little confused, but my audience wasn't since the book was set up like one of the television episodes.
Wonder Pets Save the Dinosaur by Josh Selig. Children's Fiction ages 2-4. DONE.
This features Linny, Tuck, and Ming Ming, too from the television show. The plot was so simple it seemed like it was missing something, but it gave an excuse to sing the Wonder Pets theme song about rescuing animals in trouble.
Key to Rondo by Emily Rodda. YA Fiction, ages 10 and up., fantasy. DONE.
Cousins are drawn into the world inside their family music box when their dog is seized by the Blue Queen who rules Rondo, the music box land. This is highly imaginative, and I find that I relate to the less adventurous cousin who didn't want to go on this adventure. I would recommend this fantasy book to audiences from 10 to adult.
Trucktown Smash! Crash! by Jon Scieszka, David Shannon, Loren Long, and David Gordon. Children's Fiction ages 2-6. DONE.
Jack and Dan are two mischieveous trucks that like to smash and crash. They do find an outlet for this energy, but I don't like that they never said they were sorry to those they bothered.
Clifford Visits the Hospital by Norman Bridwell. Children's Fiction ages 4-6. DONE.
Clifford sure is a cute puppy. Even though he isn't supposed to visit the hospital and causes some trouble, everyone ends up smiling in the end because he is just so lovable.
Apples by Gail Gibbons. Children's Nonfiction. Grades 1-3. DONE.
This is a boring book that would be good for report writing, but not very interesting for casual reading. It is very straightforward and factual. The painted pictures are much better than the text.
Tough Trucks by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker. Children's Fiction. Preschool. DONE.
Happy animals show us the kind of trucks that they drive and features of each kind of truck. There is a brief glossary and picture in the back telling us the parts of the truck.
Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas and Shannon Stirnweis. Children's Nonfiction grades 3-6. DONE.

01 November 2008

Here's a good title

I have not read this book, yet, but I think it is a good title. This is much better than some one-word-titled book like "Ghost" or "Cars" or "Malice".

I don't need to describe it here because the author has already done so.