Monday, April 30, 2012
Although it seems that every rhyme of this name is currently popular, Mia, Gia, Leah, Pia, and even Priya on the Big Bang Theory, when I was a kid no one had a name like mine.
Part of me loooved the name because it was different and kind of exotic sounding compared to the three Lisas in my class and the four Kathys.
But on the other side of the coin I don't think anyone pronounced my name correctly. Ever.
My name is different and I cannot say I was ever considered ordinary--and I do think names can have an affect on the way we are perceived, and possibly the way we think of ourselves.
The music teacher in my grammar school was Mr. Musik!
And I'm sure there are times when the name does not represent you at ALL--like Madonna.
Certain names do carry specific connotations. For instance Katherine is presumed to be more successful and possibly more wealthy than Brianna. And stars seem to corner the market on odd names. Read about the study here:
Right now the number one girl's name is Isabella, most certainly after the Twilight series, followed by Emma and Olivia. Jacob, another Twilight character, is the most popular boys name, followed by Ethan, and the ever-popular Michael.
I have heard some interesting names over the years: Moon Unit, Pilot Inspector, Dweezle, Apple, Hiawatha, Huckleberry, Minty, and Celery. And the list goes on and on.
Dea is unusual, but I never thought it was bad. I wonder how Blue Ivy, North West and Apple will feel about their names in a few years...I would love to ask them.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Would it be Judy Blume? Roald Dahl?
Nope. It was E.B.White. Our teacher told us about this special book, and it was SO special that we would not only read it, but we would go to Radio City Music Hall and see a movie about it.
I could not WAIT. I was bursting at the seams.
Charlotte's Web sounded fascinating! We had never read a book about a spider in school. We read about bad storms, fishing, sports, and war. This was new, sounded a bit creepy, and had the potential to be fun.
|I cried for a month.|
It was not fun.
It was written to appeal to adults.
Beautifully written, the story tells of a clever spider who keeps her new friend Wilbur from the slaughter house. And of course the spider dies at the end.
I am not saying every kids book needs to be filled with balloons, smiley-faces, and cookies, but they do not have to be like the early Disney movies where every child is an orphan, becomes an orphan, knows someone who becomes an orphan, experiences death, or is alone in the world.
I am also a bit befuddled why children's books are given more attention if they involve diseases, captivity against one's will, war, pain, or anything else that makes it exactly what a kid does not want to read.
I also think many of the so called "children's books" are not written with children in mind, but for adults to read who might be able to get them noticed for an award.
|Gimme a break...|
The librarian in my town recently told me that kids over five or six would think a book about a girl who believes in the Easter bunny is silly because they all know by this age that it is a fairy tale and they would not be interested.
Is this true?
If it is I feel a bit sad.
Maurice Sendack managed to take us to a dark and scary place filled with monsters, sharp pointy teeth, and moms that just don't understand in the book Where the Wild Things Are. No one died or came close to dying. The hero was not an orphan, and we did not weep at any point in the book. Roald Dahl entranced us with his beautiful tale of a candy-filled world of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. He even had a family facing hard times, stress, and aging, but the reader is never engulfed in a misty fog of gloom that so many kid's book leave us wrapped in.
|There is a wild one is us all.|
Childhood is a time of wonder, when a dark summer evening chasing lightning bugs can transport a child to a fairy tale world of an enchanted forest and magic.
Kids DO grow up so fast--I think we need more books that make kids smile and give them a sense of hope.
They will learn all about the dark stuff soon enough.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
With Easter upon us I cannot help but think how special the holidays become again when we have children. Something magical happens, and we become the fairies and elves we so fondly remember reading about as children, and create, even for a short time, a happy, wondrous and magical place for them.
During Easter we decorate and hunt for eggs, get together with family for meals, and wait anxiously for our baskets. This special time we spend with our kids is forever etched into their minds, and the tales of Peter Cotton Tail and the Easter bunny enchant them and fill them with excitement.
Easter books can be found with Disney characters, Spongebob, The Bernstein Bears or even Thomas the Tank Engine.
Excerpt from FRANCINE AND THE SUPER PET SPY BUNNY:
Francine was lying in bed before school and she began to wonder what the Easter bunny would bring her this year.
She waited all year for Easter, the lovely holiday at the beginning of spring that was filled with jelly beans, chocolate and egg hunts. She was having a daydream that she would find all the eggs in the hunt, and inside the eggs would be more candy than she could ever eat in her life.She was looking up at the ceiling, lost in candy-filled Easter thoughts hoping for five packs of colorful marshmallow Cheeps, a solid chocolate Easter bunny that was two feet tall, and a Chicky-Poop toy that laid jelly bean Easter eggs when you pressed on its back. (Pic of candy dreams please)
She got out of bed and looked at herself in the mirror.
“I am doing fine in school, I volunteered to clean up Clark Park TWICE this year, and I baby sat my brother on the night everyone else went to see the new vampire movie, Dawn. I am SURE I am going to get great things from the Easter bunny this year!” she said as she crossed her fingers.
Easter was Francine’s favorite holiday. She liked it more than Halloween. She even liked it more than Christmas. Because Francine liked candy more than anything in the world.
She liked Fizzy Bits, the candy that felt like carbonated soda in your mouth. She loved Chocolate Dogs because they tasted delicious and the wrapper barked when opened. Her very favorite candy was Super-Sweetie Firecrackers. This candy came in five flavors and when you bit into the crunchy, sugary outside, a tiny cloud of sweet and sour candy dust exploded inside your mouth. Francine loved the exciting adventure of each new mystery flavor, but she did NOT like it when she got the mango flavor. Francine sometimes wished she could have all the candy in the world. She also wished she would never get the bad flavors. She did not understand why candy makers ever used pineapple, mango, coconut, or pear flavors in candy. Yuck.
“Those flavors,” said Francine, ‘are NOT candy-worthy.
She tapped her chin as she thoughtfully stared out the window and proclaimed: “I wish there were candy rules….”
She took a deep breath and said loudly:
“Rule one. ONLY the best flavors should be used in every bag or box of candy.And rule two should be that every kid should be able to eat all the candy they want at Easter—and all their Easter wishes should come true.”