Friday, September 23, 2005

I have Kenny Chesney's latest CD in front of me - Be as You Are. The songs are all about living in the islands. He isn't Jimmy Buffet, but they are fun songs. Had to chuckle at the one called Island Boy. At one point he sings "he's a stone throw from St. Croix". It may be more than a stone throw away, but it can be seen on a clear day. I think Steve is becoming the Island Boy he sings about! The locals on St. John say Chesney is pretty much a fixture on the island now and no one pays much attention to him. I have only been over on St. John a few times and I haven't seen him, but not sure I would recognize him. Anyway, the CD is fun to listen to. Was a birthday present for Steve from his daughter Monica, but I am the one who listens to it. Monica likes country music too - unlike her father. :-)

As I watch Hurricane Rita approach the Texas coast I have been trying to remember the name of the MS level novel I read about a 12 year old girl and a 14 year old Mexican orphan surviving the 1900 storm. It is Stolen by the Sea by Anna Myers. It is a solid addition to a collection as is Sherry Garland's The Secret Storm about a young teen who has already lost her parents to a hurricane and is trying to ride out the Galveston hurricane with her grandfather. I have a feeling both titles will be very popular in Texas and surrounding areas.

Taking us far away from the storm - to Iceland to be exact - I have to say I am not sure what I think of Gunnella's illustrations in Bruce McMillan's The Trouble with Chickens. She is an Icelandic artist who creates very stylized women, with very large bodies with legs like tree trunks. Since this book is intended for young readers I wonder if they would believe Icelandic women look like this or that Icelandic horses are as huge as the one depicted. The story is quite cute - the women can't reach the wild bird eggs so they bring chickens to the village. The chickens do everything with the woman and soon forget they are chickens, including laying eggs. The women start exercising - so do the chickens and soon they are strong enough to fly down and lay eyes in the nests on the cliffs. And the women are now strong enough to rappel down the cliffs to get the eggs. I think I would offer it to the art teach to use as an example of a unique illustrative style.