Will Smith (and his son Jaden) in New Movie!

Will Smith - Pursuit of HappinessWill Smith - Pursuit of Happiness

Will Smith stars with his son Jaden in Pursuit of Happyness... The Christopher Gardner Story - in theatres this Friday, Dec. 15th.

All I have to say is.... Wow....

Go see this movie... period.

And if you haven't read Chris Gardner's book, read it... period.

The Have a Good Day Café by Frances Park and Ginger Park

Mike’s parents own a food cart. Every morning they get up early and go to the city to sell food to hungry customers. When other food carts move onto the same corner Mike and his grandmother from Korea come up with a plan.

Eureka! Land in sight.

This week is the anniversary of the discoveries of two significant land masses. On December 13, 1642, Captain Abel Tasman of the Dutch East India Company first sighted New Zealand. In 1769, Captain James Cook landed and took possession for Great Britain. To read more on New Zealand, try Traveller's History of New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands by John H. Chambers.

On December 14, 1911, the South Pole was located and visited by Roald Amundsen. Although more has been written about Ernest Shackleton, his expedition to Antarctica was in 1914, a few years after Amundsen's discovery. Last Place on Earth is a book by Roland Huntford and then a film based on the rivalry between Amundsen and Scott who came one year apart to the Pole.

Long Live the French Language

Great news for people who, like myself, studied beaucoup de Francais (lots of French) in high school and college, and perhaps have lived to wish it had all been Spanish. Mais non! French is still the second global language after English, say Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoit Nadeau whose new book The Story of French recently was featured on The Diane Rehm Show. Learn more at the authors' website.

Here Be Monsters!

Welcome to the first adventure in Ratbridge, a town where there are boxtrolls, cabbageheads and Wild English Cheeses running afoot. The story begins with Arthur trapped in Ratbridge while collecting food for his grandfather. While in town, he stumbles upon an evil plot by Snatcher and his men to shrink monsters, and joins up with a band of rats and pirates from the Ratbridge Nautical Laundry to try to save the day.

Here Be Monsters by Alan Snow is a fabulous read and read-aloud for kids and adults who love fantasy enjoy the unordinary and extraordinary. Also, check out the website for screensavers, games and bios of all the monsters in Ratbridge.

Virtual Snowflakes!

snowflakesnowflake

Create your own virtual snowflake and make a difference. Popular Front, a website design company out of Minneapolis, will increase its donation to the Salvation Army based on the number of snowflakes created between now and the end of the year. Tis' the season for giving.

Dragons and destiny

Hitomi is a perfectly average high school student, aside from her gift for reading tarot cards. A magical accident involving a dragon sweeps her away to the hidden world of Gaea, where she falls into the company of Van, a boy prince with a mysterious past. There the dangerous Zaibach Empire is doing its best to conquer all the surrounding countries, and Van’s homeland is next on its list. Soon Hitomi’s ability to predict the future is a power that everyone wants to use.

In the ten years since it first aired in Japan, The Vision of Escaflowne tv series has become an anime classic. The Japanese language track features some of anime industry’s best voice talent. Maaya Sakamoto, who is now winning new fans for her recent performance of Haruhi in Ouran High School Host Club, had her first major role in Hitomi; she also sings the opening theme song.

Volume 1 (episodes 1-4)
Volume 2 (episodes 5-8)
Volume 3 (episodes 9-11)
Volume 4 (episodes 12-14)
Volume 5 (episodes 15-17)
Volume 6 (episodes 18-20)
Volume 7 (episodes 21-23)
Volume 8 (episodes 24-26)

The movie version of Escaflowne features the same voice actors but retells the story from the tv series from a slightly darker perspective.

Kid Bits - Journals, Hah !

Do you keep journals? Do you like to read other people's journals? Need to escape relatives and guests? Here are some goofy and good reads to fill the Holiday Breaks at home. Dear Dumb Diary series with 6th grade Jamie Kelly; Jack on the Tracks: Four Seasons of Fifth Grade; Amelia's Are-We-There-Yet Longest Ever Car Trip; and The Night I Flunked My Field Trip one of the Hank Zipzer, "world's best underachiever" series.

American Born Chinese & The Monkey King

Cleverly interweaving stories tell the tales of Jin Wang, a teen who meets with ridicule and social isolation when his family moves from San Francisco's Chinatown to an exclusively white suburb; Danny, a popular blond, blue-eyed high school jock whose social status is jeopardized when his goofy, embarrassing Chinese cousin, Chin-Kee, enrolls at his high school; and the Monkey King who, unsatisfied with his current sovereign, desperately longs to be elevated to the status of a god. Exploring issues of self-image, cultural identity, transformation, and self-acceptance American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang is a rare treat.

Give the gift of a good read!

Are you stumped on what to get your family members for the holidays? Try giving someone a book! NPR's All Things Considered has several recommendations here in the article "Book Selections to Nourish the Mind at the Holidays."

And while you're on NPR's website, check out their page of holiday recipes too!

Syndicate content