Saturday, February 27, 2010

Shutter Island

I will be the first to tell you that I'm not an avid movie goer. I'm typically not one to sit still for any length of time, and as the house lights dim, my mind is filled with thoughts of all the tasks that I could (and should) be spending the time on. That being said, I decided to venture out this weekend to see "Shutter Island," the newest Martin Scorsese film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which is based on the 2003 novel of the same title, by Dennis Lehane. As I had not yet read the book, my pick was based on the the various reviews and actor interviews that have been inundating the airwaves over the past few weeks.

I have to admit that I was not immediately taken in by the film. I found some of the initial dialogue difficult to hear, and the opening scene had the dim, flat look of a poorly made low budget horror film. As the movie continued, however, I found myself pulled into the plot's twists and turns, and the darkly sinister feel of horror/suspense movies of decades past (think Alfred Hitchcock, Vincent Price). Many of the scenes left me with far more questions than answers, though everything came together with an ending that, while I had my suspicions, was shocking none the less.

My only regret is that I had not read Lehane's book before seeing the film. While not knowing the story gave the ending more of an impact, I wonder what subtle details I would have picked up on if I knew what to be looking for......I guess there's something to be said for seeing a film more than just once. As "Shutter Island" (the book) was waiting for me on the holds shelf when I arrived at the library this morning, I think I'll take the opportunity to read it before viewing the movie a second time. It will be interesting to see how true to the novel Kalogridis' screenplay and Scorsese's interpretation of it actually is.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Recipe Picturebooks

Cupcake by Charise Mericle Harper, is a new picture book that would be excellent for dessert decorating events or birthday and friendship/teamwork story time units. Cupcake is vanilla and feels that she is "plain" until she meets candle who finds a way to brighten her up. It is a fun and humorous story as the cupcake and the candle try various objects to make her special. There is also a handy recipe for cupcakes. I would say about 90% of picture books about food now contain recipes. You can find them in our library catalog by searching for the keyword "includes recipe"

Here are some dessert picture book/recipe combinations available at the library:

Dog Biscuit by Helen Cooper

Mister Cookie Baker by Monica Wellington

Eight Animals Bake a Cake by Susan Middleton Elya

Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco

Peeney Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison

An Apple Pie for Dinner by Susan VanHecke

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lincoln Tells A Joke: How Laughter Saved the President and the Country by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer

There are many Lincoln biographies out there. One of my favorites is Chasing Lincoln's Killer and Manhunt by James Swanson. This delightful picture book shows another aspect of Lincoln, his humor. Through real quotes from eyewitnesses, this picture book weaves in jokes Lincoln told his friends and guests during his childhood and presidency. From his nonsensical poem, "Abraham Lincoln, his hand and his pen, he will be good but God knows when" to his marriage to his considerably shorter wife, Mary Todd, "Here I am and here is Mrs. Lincoln, that's the long and short of it" Lincoln learned the power of laughter. Whenever he had to give bad news or was pressed for information, he would tell jokes. I think this would be a great introduction of President Lincoln to a first or second grade classroom.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Change in policy

We love comments, that's the point of the blog, but lately we have gotten a lot of unpleasant spam. So, from now on, humans have to prove they're human by typing that annoying word shown in the box when you post. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Kay Hooper series are great fun!

I just finished the brand new Blood Ties by Kay Hooper. This is the 12th book in the Bishop FBI psychic series. I am hooked. The stories move quickly and keep you reading. The books are developed in groups of three and Blood Ties is the third in this group after Blood Dreams and Blood Ties. I went back and read the beginnings when I found Kay. Do you have to? No, but you will want to!