Archive for the ‘ Classic Books ’ Category

Get Your Cupcakes Ready for ‘The Great Gatsby’

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

You’re seeing The Great Gatsby this weekend, right? It’s Mother’s Day, so you should be taken on a golden horse-drawn carriage if you wish. You should eat all of the Milk Duds you please and stay out way past your kids’ bedtime. This is what I might do considering how much I love F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic book that comes out with my boyfriend Leonardo DiCaprio tomorrow.

If you can’t make it–or even if you can–check out these Gatsy-inspired cupcakes. Book Expo America’s Book Bliss and The Huff Post Books teamed up to make these book-inspired desserts. I’m going to suggest The Great Gatsby at my next book club–but only if we agree to serve these chocolate yummies.

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What Would Dr. Seuss Tweet?

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Dr. Seuss‘ birthday was Saturday, and last week, my kids celebrated at school for Read Across America. Wacky Wednesday was my personal diggity. My son tried to wear socks on his head, but the logistics baffled him in the end. I won’t even try to describe Crazy Hat Day.

I’ve been meaning to post about it for days–DAYS–but I’m a little behind. My husband just returned from a work trip in London; I endured the drama of an ongoing emergency root canal; and my three kids are taking turns barfing. I’m posting this now because I’m probably next.

I’ll forget about all of this in a week–or five.

But I’ll never forgive myself if I don’t post about the amazing Dr. Seuss. Reader’s Digest just passed along these quippy tweets. What would Dr. Seuss would Tweet if he were still alive (see suggestions below)? Honestly, I don’t think he’d have a Twitter account. He’d be way too busy on Instagram.

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Kid Books: ‘Amelia Bedelia’ Turns 50–and She’s as Fun as Ever

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Can you believe it? Amelia Bedelia turns 50 this year. But honestly, she looks exactly the same, as you can see at the left. HarperCollins just released a special edition of the original book by the late Peggy Parish complete with the simply adorable illustrations by the great Fritz Siebel.

I wondered if my kids, ages 5, 7 and 7 (twins), would like Amelia Bedelia, or even get her. So we read her antics last night. I had a blast reliving this childhood favorite that my mother, a first grade teacher, often read to me.

Just a refresher: Amelia Bedelia shows up at Mr. and Mrs. Rogers’ house in her maid uniform, eager to get started on her first day of work. The Rogers’ give her a list of tasks, and then they drive away in their green car. First thing, Amelia Bedelia makes a lemon meringue pie as a sweet surprise. Then she consults her list.

“Change the towels in the green bathroom,” she reads. So, of course, she gets out her scissors and starts cutting them up wondering why Mrs. Rogers would want to change them. My children giggled. “That’s not how you change towels!” my 5-year-old son said. (He added, “That’s not respectable,” but I’m not sure if he knows what that meant.)

We went on to find out that Amelia Bedelia dusted the furniture by putting something like baby powder all over it, and she “dressed” the chicken in nice green boy clothes. “You’re not supposed to do it like that!” my 7-year-old said. “It’s a good thing Amelia Bedelia baked that pie,” she added. Yes! I was elated that the kids understood Amelia Bedelia‘s literal-mindedness, and, even better, they found it just as funny as I did.

“I think Amelia Bedelia is a really good girl, and she’s very nice,” my daughter said. “She’s kind of silly, though!”

This special anniversary edition includes gems of Amelia Bedelia history in the back, including information about Peggy Parish’s inspiration: her third grade students. I liked the timeline on the last page that shows how Amelia Bedelia has been drawn from 1963 to 2013.

Good news: There are new Amelia Bedelias, too. The author’s nephew has been writing the books since Parish died in 1988. This month, Herman Parish released the first chapter books about Amelia Bedelia when she was a child. In Amelia Bedelia Means Business, her ever-patient parents tell her that a new bicycle will cost “an arm and a leg.” Amelia Bedelia decides she doesn’t want to give up her limbs for a new set of wheels, and more chaos ensues. Another similar title Amelia Bedelia Unleased was also released. These books are geared to ages 6 through 10.

If you haven’t checked Amelia Bedelia out in a while, she’s a real treat. Not a piece of candy! I mean she’s just as delightful and fun as ever.


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Will You Watch Les Miserables or The Hobbit This Weekend?

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Victor Hugo’s great classic novel Les Miserables has been adapted to stage and screen more than 80 times, so you probably have heard of Cosette by now. I adore the sad story, and I blew through a box of tissues when I saw the musical on Broadway. I have not read Hugo’s epic book from 1862, and I probably never will. That thing is 1,488 pages long.

I’ll see the new movie instead. I want to watch Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Russel Crowe sing and emote. They’d better make me cry, dang it. I hear they deliver. This movie has a best picture nomination at the Golden Globes, and the Oscar buzz is building–especially for Hathaway. See the Les Miserables trailer at the end of this post.

I plan to see Les Mis this weekend because we have a sitter on Saturday. Unless my husband reminds me that it’s his turn to pick the flick after Breaking Dawn Part 2. Boo. He’ll choose Skyfall. Or, help me, The Hobbit.

I know I read The Hobbit as a kid, but the only thing I remember is Bilbo, and something about furry feet. And then, of course, there’s The Lord of the Rings that famed author J. R. R. Tolkien wrote next. Those movies rocked. I hear that’s not the case for this first of three Hobbit movies. After all, the children’s book is only 300 pages, so how is Peter Jackson making it into a trilogy? If I had read better reviews, I would’ve tuned in to find out.

Will you watch Les Miserables or The Hobbit this weekend–or at least once they come out on DVD? Better question: Which movie would you prefer? What about your husband?

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Be a Hit This Thanksgiving: Study ’97 Ways to Make a Baby Laugh’

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Does your Thanksgiving include babies? Yours or someone else’s? I will be hosting seven children on Thursday, and my nephew is a baby. So today, I’m reading the brand new version of 97 Ways to Make a Baby Laugh. My kids just started elementary school, so I’m rusty. I want to go beyond toe tickling and peek-a-boo. I want to make Luke laugh so hard that he pees in his diaper.

I adore the beautiful photos of almost 100 toothless smiles, and I especially love this suggestion from the book:
“The Scamooch
Using the knuckles of your index and middle fingers, lightly press against Baby’s ribs while jiggling your wrist. Just before doing so, say, ‘Somebody’s gonna get a Scamooch!’”

And what if I can get my mother-in-law to do this?
“With Baby watching, have Mom or Dad or more agile members of the family lift a soccer ball from the floor using nothing but their heads.”

Little giggles are pure, sweet love. And playing with a bundle of joy can get you out of conversations that involve politics. Besides, if there is one thing to be thankful for, it’s a happy baby.

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