Monday, January 15, 2007

As I type this I am watching The Golden Globes and realize how few of the movies I have seen that they are highlighting. Haven't seen Dream Girls or Babel, but I have seen Cars! Can't you tell I teach children's and YA literature and am a gramma - I know kids' movies. And because of reading children's books I know who Georges Melies is - his name and his first first animated movie of a rocket hitting the moon were mentioned as the animated movie nominations were to be introduced. I knew this from reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selsnick, a very intriguing combination of narrative and line drawings, which really do tell their own part of the story, not just as a supplement to the text. Because the full page drawings tell so much of the story the book appears huge, Harry Potter size, but it really is a quick read and is quite fascinating. The concept of a young boy living in the walls of the train station and keeping all of the clocks going is quirky, but add the fact that he is working on an automaton and it becomes a true guy book. My brother the engineer would have loved this book - as a kid he took everything apart to see how it worked, but rarely put it back together again!

I was lazy this a.m. and finished Cameron Dokey's Before Midnight: A Retelling of "Cinderella". What an interesting retelling, with a father who is the wicked one for a change. The stepmother who arrives is his arranged bride, sent into "exile" with her two daughters to his home on the coast. A castle that he has not returned to since the night his wife died in childbirth, leaving after cursing the very spot his wife is buried and denying the child he leaves behind to be raised by the servants. Cendrillon is thought a servant by her new stepmother as she was not told her new husband has a daughter and Cendrillon does not change that misperception until much later in the tale. Cendrillon grows up with the baby boy Raoul who her father left with Old Mathilde, the healer who raises both children. Every year on their birthday they each wish for the same thing. Cendrillon wishes that what she plants on her mother's grave will not wither and die. Raoul wishes to know where he comes from and who his parents are. As we know, in fairy tales wishes do have a tendency to come true in the end, but not the way one expects. For those girls who love fairy tale retellings, this one will be swallowed in one gulp. :-) They will also love all the other titles in the Simon Pulse Once Upon a Time series.

Feels weird to sit here and not have Santas all about and Christmas lights sparking on the balcony. I took it all down today. The livingroom looks empty. Maybe I need to buy some heart lights to put out on the balcony for Valentines Day. Perhaps I will do just that when I get back from ALA Midwinter in Seattle.

All for tonight. Now to find the next book I am reviewing for Library Media Connection!