Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wonder Woman: the ultimate guide to the Amazon Princess- Scott Beatty

I have to pay homage to my most frequently borrowed book at the library- Wonder Woman: the ultimate guide to the Amzon Princess by Scott Beatty.  I'm probably going on a baker's dozen at this point, and one of the clerks asked me why I just don't buy it.  I've wondered that myself actually.  I think it would ruin that split second euphoria when I run to the shelf to see if its there.  Childish, sure.  And I admit, owning it would be much handier when you need to know the alternate name for Paradise Island (it's Themiscyra).  But there's something about sitting at a library table with the book open, hoping someone chances by and wants to strike up a conversation about Wonder Woman's transformation since World War II.

My childhood hero even provided me with my Eureka! moment of the year...and it was only January 2nd!  Still, it will be hard to top.  I've decided the word "Amazon" is the new defining theme of my life.
a.)  As a woman of size, "Amazon" is my euphamism of choice
b.)  Anyone who knows me (well), knows that Wonder Woman has been my hero since I was three years old and sported Wonder Woman underoos in broad daylight, pulling my tricycle up the street by my golden lasso.  And...
c.)  I just became an official librarian, and Amazon.com is my go-to spot when I actually do purchase a book.

So there it is.  AMAZON, baby!  I need to DIY a t-shirt.  And ideas for some gold foil applique stars?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Halloween Tree- Ray Bradbury

Awesome, awesome, awesome!  I picked up this little treat right at Christmas time- don't ask.  It's Ray Bradbury!  You can't go wrong, no matter the time of year.  Isn't it crazy to think that he wrote the majority of his good stuff before most of us were even born??  Genius!
Before I get into this book, I have to mention my motivation.  Ray Bradbury comes in handy when I'm trying to help older relunctant readers find a book.  The Illustrated Man has just enough edge to keep even the "bad" kids interested.  Premise- a dude is tattooed by a WITCH (see?...I already have you), and at night his tattoos come alive and move around on  his body.  Good enough, I don't even need to go on, however, I would be doing you an injustice if I didn't mention that this tattooed man has a blank spot on his shoulder that you should NEVER gaze upon.  It won't end well for you.

So!  With that in mind, I knew The Halloween Tree was going to be a fast-paced, spooky thrill-ride, and I wasn't disappointed.  The language, rhythm, and macabre nature of the story makes me think no one other than Tim Burton should even attempt the movie.  The puerile pack of boys reminded me a little bit of a Goonies/Lost Boys mix.  And who was Mr. Moundshroud?  The Devil himself?  (I just like saying his name...Mound-shroud...open your mouth wide!)

The plot:  Halloween night, a group of middle school-aged boys go on an adventure back in time to learn all the different ways Halloween has been celebrated around the world.  It's very clever how Bradbury works in each boy's costume- one boy is a mummy and they witness ancient Egypt, another is the reaper, and they visit Druid Britain and Samhain.  It's a little dark, but there's nothing inappropriate in it.  My only caveat is that some kids won't get some of the outdated vocabulary (i.e. "he made water" means he peed).  I give this one my favorite fall drink- a great big spiced caramel cider with whipped cream.  Book and drink= delicious!