Sunday, April 27, 2008

I wonder if Steve is freezing his bippy off in shorts on the golf course this morning. BRR!! We have all the windows open so the house is cold. I'm in sweats with an electric throw around me. I hate the cold!

I treat myself to a movie on Sunday a.m. when I read the NY Times. This morning it was The Last Mimsy. What an absolutely delightful children's movie. It must have gotten lost in all the hype about the Harry Potter and Narnia movies. It shouldn't have. The concept of a civilization in the future seeking help from the less corrupted past to save them by sending back Mimsy - a stuffed rabbit with such sophisticated computer code that current day scientists are stunned. Mimsy and the other "toys" that will be needed for a young brother and sister, Noah and Emma, to create the time tunnel to send Mimsy back with Emma's uncorrupted genetic code are found on a beach near Seattle and the story begins. And what a story it is. A whimsical touch is Emma finding a picture of Alice with Mimsy in a book about Lewis Carroll. Timothy Hutton plays their lawyer father who is as bewildered as their mother by the psychic abilities their children suddenly possess. The movie is based on a classic 1943 short story called "Mimsy Were the Borogroves". It has been reprinted in a collection of short stories, The Last Mimsy: Stories Originally Published as the Best of Henry Kuttner. I had never heard of this SF author until I just did the research on this movie. I may just have to look into this. I suspect the movie tie-in version of this reprint will have more readers than me wishing they had time to read Kuttner's more than 170 futuristic stories written under a variety of pen names, many of them with his wife. And who says movies take us away from reading? Many of us seek out books after we see a movie.

On a totally different genre note, I recently read the ARC for Rachel Vail's Lucky, a HarperCollins title that should be in stores on Tuesday. What fun! The cover art of a 40's looking green party dress got my attention, as did the words "Some girls have all the luck" on the front. Although the first book in a sister trilogy, it certainly stands alone. Phoebe is the self-centered daughter of a high powered broker mother and a teacher father. It is clear who wears the proverbial pants in this house! Phoebe and her friends who also live in their exclusive subdivision have decided rather than a small celebration for their 8th grade graduation, they are having a huge party that their parents are paying for, of course. All is going well until Phoebe's mother makes a bad decision and finds herself knocked from the top of her broker pedestal. Reality sets in when mother and daughter are gown shopping for Phoebe and the green gown is just what she wants, but mom's credit cards, one after another, are denied at the cash register. Will Phoebe have the strength to tell her friends that her family can no longer afford their portion of the party? Instead of being the one who supports her best friend Kirstyn when her life with "her crazy parents and no sisters" gets out of control, can Phoebe let Kirstyn help her this time? A charming chic lit title that will be devoured by Vail's already established bevy of young teen readers as well as those who discover her for the first time by reading Lucky.

When I see the name Meg Rosoff on the front of a book I think of her Printz Award Winning novel, How I Live Now, which I proudly predicted would win and did! I have yet to read What I Was, her new YA novel, but it is on my "gotta read" list. Rosoff also writes delightful children's picture books. Meet Wild Boars, published in 2005, was a hoot. She has again teamed up with illustrator Sophie Blackall and with their 2008 Holt title Jumpy Jack and Googily they are bound to have another hit. Jack is a snail who is very timid and afraid there may be a monster with two fingers on each hand and scary teeth and huge eyes around every corner. Googily (who just happens to have two fingers on each hand, big eyes, etc.) checks to make sure all is clear for his friend. But, Googily is afraid of something too and it may well be lurking under his bed. I snort laughed when I saw/read what it was as will every child and adult who interacts with this witty romp through childhood fears. Can't wait to read this one to the grandkids. This is a keeper in my own picture book collection.

All for today.