Friday, January 13, 2006

Just about the beginning of a three day weekend, which means island roads will be busier than ever. Steve and I stopped to listen to the Mighty Whitey sing for a bit on the way home last night. He always has a story or two along with the music. Found out where the title of the song, American Pie, came from. The song is about Buddy Holly and the small plane that he went down in was named American Pie. Oh the things you learn from island troubadours! :-) Then one of the other local singers got up and sang some crazy song that is always sung at Italian weddings and wanted us to sing along - in Italian. Add to that a sing along to The Lion Sleeps Tonight. I was laughing so hard I was crying!

You know those books you just can't put down. I just finished one this morning. I was going to read for an hour - well, I read until I finished it. Tell Me What You See by Zoran Drevenkar is one of the most deliciously creepy books I have read in ages. It crawled into my head like the purple haired plant that grew out of the dead little boy's body in the crypt. If only Alissa hadn't fallen into that very crypt when she and her best friend Evelin where at the cemetery late at night visiting Alissa's father's grave. What possessed Alissa to open the tiny coffin and find the plant is weird enough, but the plant "convinced" her to pluck it from the dead boy's chest and then ingest it herself. As much as she tried to vomit it out, it was still there and changed what Alissa saw. No one else could see them, not even Evelin, no matter how hard she tried. Why did it have to be Simon, the ex-boyfriend stalking Alissa, that saw them? What did she do to him when he forced her to kiss him? Did she give him the ability to see them? Drevenkar pulls the reader deeper and deeper into this suspense filled supernatural/spiritual story of a German teenager grieving the loss of her father and the addition of a little brother to her new family. Let me tell you what I see - one extremely well written and translated YA novel that I am going to recommend to everyone I see who loves a creepy but well written read! I could feel myself shivering as I sat in the canoe in the middle of the ice filled river while Alissa and Evelin sought them out. Oh what a delicious shiver of anticipation it was!

Okay - creepy to the common place. Many of us grew up with Curious George or our own kids did. The movie came out in the theaters this month and the movie tie books hit the stores at the same time. My favorite of the three is Meet Curious George. The subtitle states: "A picture reader". To me it is a rebus book, with fun pictures of bananas, cars, taxis, yellow hats, etc. in place of the words, so early readers can read it themselves. Not that I love movie tie in books, but I am into any way to get kids reading, even it is about their favorite movie character, who may have been their dad's favorite book character as a child.

Now to work on writing an exam for the children's literature and materials course I am teaching this semester. I am so glad ECU uses Blackboard - I am such a fan of this easy to use online teaching software after struggling with WebCT.