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The Little Engine That Could was a woman. Obviously.

8 Nov

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Awful Things: Babar the Little Elephant

20 Sep

Things I didn’t realize until just now:

Um… Babar and Celeste are cousins. I read this book over and over as a kid. but yesterday, I read it to my son and realized some things about The Story of Babar the Little Elephant. It has a number of weird/awful things happening in it – Babar’s mother gets shot by “vicious hunters,” we see a picture of a bleeding momma elephant, Babar is often grieving and cries when he thinks of her (omg heartbreaking!), he runs away and is taken in by a wealthy old lady who gives him anything he wants, his first order of business upon arriving in town is to cover his naked elephant body in a handsome green suit – but possibly weirdest/most awful of all is that he marries Celeste, his little cousin whom he takes in, buys fancy clothes, and ice cream for after she and her brother run away.

20130913-122918.jpgThis is kind of like my revelation, at age thirty, that Jack Tripper had to pretend to be gay around the Ropers so he could live with Janet and Chrissy. Wait. Right?? That was part if what Three’s Company was about, wasn’t it??

UPDATE: Yes. The internet agrees with me about Janet, Chrissy and Jack’s living arrangement.

Noveling

12 Jul

Scissors, tape, pink pen, paper scraps, post-its, the goddess, a cold 21st Amendment beer. Yes, I am listening to Moby, Play (’99)… What of it?

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Last Line: Where the Wild Things Are

8 May

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WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE “…and it was still hot.”

No matter what you do, momma loves you best of all. And also, your imagination knows no bounds. Never stop dreaming.

After his mom sends him to his room, Max sails off on a wild adventure only to return home “years later” to find his dinner waiting for him. “… and it was still hot.” It’s actually a longer sentence, but that last clause is the kicker.

Thank you, Maurice Sendak. R.I.P.

Meaningful Last Line: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

14 Apr

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ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY: “Even in Australia.”

Hey, things kinda suck everywhere. Ought to get used to it. Love, Mom

P.S. Nowhere is better than where you are. Live each day. Don’t wait.

A (totally not serious) Critique of Suess’ Marvin K. Mooney

9 Jan

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Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! is not one of Seuss’ best. It’s no The Cat in the Hat, it’s no One Fish, Two Fish, or even Hop on Pop. The basic story is, as the title suggests, a plea for this Marvin K. Mooney character to “please go, now,” yet, it’s never specifically defined where he should go or, perhaps more importantly, why the narrator is so insistant upon him going, thus begging the question, what is the occasion for the telling of this story?

Perhaps Mooney is being asked by the narrator to please go to bed, but it’s not explicit. I think the reader needs to know for sure, ground us in some sort of reality. It would change the whole tone and ultimate conclusion of the story and help define just how we are to feel for both MKM and the narrator. As it is, the narrator’s anger just increases with each suggestion on how exactly MKM could possibly get to where he should go, but this, to me is anger for anger’s sake and snappy writing (which Seuss does a good job at).

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It’s not rooted in anything I can understand. Is there some past between the narrator and Mooney that we should be aware of? He has to go. What of it? What’s a stake for Mooney, the narrator if he goes or does not? Would knowing that help round out these characters?

I do enjoy the suggestions the narrator makes for modes of transportation that Mooney may take to “go.” They range from the common, skates, skis, a hat…

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To the whimsical. (A Zumble-Zay.)

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But, still. This just isn’t doing it for me without knowing more about these characters. Overall, it was a quick read with lots of fun colors and some good potential characters to draw out from the narrative. Additionally, my 8 month old reports that the cover tastes good and is fun to bang with his hands.

Most Heartbreaking Line of All Time

14 Dec

In “Goodnight Moon,” the narrator enumerates the items found in the great green room of a little bunny-boy, only to then say goodnight to each one. Most of the things listed are tangible–kittens, mittens, a brush, a bowl full of mush, a creepy old lady knitting. But, after each thing is bid adieu for the night, this blank page and these stark, sorrowful words interrupt the pattern in a most heartbreaking way.

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Most Beautiful Line Ever Written

13 Dec

In this scene, Toad, paralyzed by the loss of his To Do list, can’t do anything. Frog joins him in a lovely show of friendship and compassion.

My heart aches; it’s so full.

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