Sunday, July 15, 2007

Isn't he cute? This is one of the many crocs we saw while in Mexico. Makes you really wonder why anyone writes cute kids' books about crocodiles, such as Waber's classic Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile or DePaola's Bill and Pete. I loved to read the DePaola's books during storytime, but that was before I saw one up close. For a new title, go with Guji Guji by Chi-Yuan Chen - lovely story about a croc raised with a group of ducks and has to save them when his own kind decides they will be dinner. The other night we saw some nutcase on the National Geographic channel who made a croc form and crawled around with the crocs. Why do people do things like that? One look, from safely up above, via the view finder of my camera was enough for me. What a creepy deadly looking animal. Didn't help any when Steve told me about the ocean crocs off of Australia who can eat half a man in one bite. Okay - no beach visits to Australia in my future!
Steve is off to the golf course. He has been in his glory again with golfing since we moved here. So I have the house to myself for the day and an LMN Christmas in July movie marathon is on. I am in second heaven - I'm on my second movie already! :-) One of my favorites, One Special Night, with Julie Andrews and James Garner is on right now. Speaking of Julie Andrews, there were a lot of unhappy people who didn't get in to her speech at ALA. I didn't even try. But, I did go to listen to Judy Blume, who was very emotional as she spoke to the very people who love and protect her books in our collections. I have a soft spot in my heart for her because of the censorship of her Forever back in the early 90s that I dealt with in the Rib Lake SD, a small rural district in N Central Wisconsin, not so far from Wausau. I can't help but wonder if there are any copies of Forever left on the restricted shelf the school board created after I left the district. What the three administrators who went after the book didn't realize is that they shot themselves in the foot. Due to the exposure they gave to the book, including the Principal of the HS where the book had been in the collection since the 70s reading excerpts aloud at the basketball game to selective parents, bookstores were sold out and there were waiting lists at the libraries. The inflammation of the conservative parents in the school district got the relatively new to the district principal the exposure he wanted, but it also made Forever the most talked about book in the state of Wisconsin for many months. But, then again, censors are rarely logical in their thinking!
I recently read American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang, the latest Printz Award winner and the only graphic novel to have won this award to date. I wanted to have it read before I listened to his speech at the Printz reception at ALA. It sat in my suitcase unread as every free moment I had I slept to try to heal from the oral surgery! In some ways I am glad I waited - his speech was wonderful. It gave me the background knowledge of how he came up with the grossly stereotypical Chin-Kee, who offended at least a couple of Chinese American teens who addressed the book at a BBYA Teen Input session that I attended before the book was chosen for the award. I went into the reading experience was a great deal of respect for the author and what he went through to get this book published. Three stories lines (an ancient Chinese tale of the Monkey King, the trials of a modern day Chinese American teen who wants to fit in, and the obnoxious Chin-Kee) merge in the end, making it a fulfilling read. A gotta have for JH up. Yang was such a delightful speaker and the fact that he is a teacher was so evident in his comfort level when talking about teens.
This is my first posting in days as I am dealing with the vertigo again and it is taking all of my energy. The little I have left over I use for grading and just keeping my head above water with email and basic stuff that has to be done. I went to the doctor's again last Tuesday and she doubled the vertigo meds. and scheduled an MRI for this Tuesday. Hopefully they find something that can be "fixed" so I can get on with my life. I don't have time to be dizzy and exhausted all the time! On to grading, after I get a load of clothes in the washer. Life just keeps on moving forward, even when we can't seem to keep up with it.