Tag Archives: children’s

Seeing “kids’ movies” without kids

“I want to see that movie!” I whispered to my sister as another preview lit up the darkened movie theater. 

Anna nodded and then muttered, “Lameeee!” at a stupid car commercial. 

It was pre-previews and I didn’t think we were being too loud. Apparently the woman behind us did, however. 

“PLEASE. Be. Quiet.” she hissed angrily. 

Embarrassed, we lapsed into silence and the movie began. I was feeling annoyed and wanted to hiss a few angry retorts myself, but I recognized we were probably in the wrong. Annoyance turned to sheepishness and I tried to be on my best behavior and not laugh too loudly in case it annoyed our neighbor even more. As the movie ended, the woman leaned forward and said something to Anna that I didn’t catch before grabbing her child (who was kicking the back of my chair) and walking out. 

I expected some grumpy comment but Anna just looked slightly baffled. “She said she was impressed that we came and saw a children’s movie without any children.” 

I don’t know if the lady was being sarcastic or not, but if only that poor woman knew! I’ve been to the movies four times in the past month: twice to see Moana and twice to see Sing and not once was I accompanied by a child. Some movies are just worth watching, regardless of their intended audience. So….take that crabby, ageist movie going lady! 

(Also, may I add, I CANNOT WAIT for the Lego Batman movie. I’m definitely seeing it in theaters too.) 


2016 Reading Challenge: My 5 Star Reviews, Part 5

The final 6! I read a lot of amazing books in 2016. 

Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers

In this intriguing book, Sayers tackles the “analogy” of God as Creator and takes a deeper look at what it means for humans, who create, to be made in the image of God. This was a good but very challenging read. I didn’t always understand the definitions or logic and often had to re-read passages. However, like with Chesterton, I came away with a greater understanding and desire to know more. Sayers’s approach to the Trinity is intriguing and it offers an interesting glimpse into the creative process. Overall, this book is definitely worth the effort. 

The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico 

At 48 pages, this is another charming children’s book that really stuck out this year. The Snow Goose is the story of a hunchbacked painter and a young girl who bond over a wounded snow goose. This book is surprisingly adult (not in content as much as depth) yet beautiful enough to read to children. Gorgeous art and an emotionally real plot. Though somewhat predictable, it is also sweet and noble.

For the Love of My Brothers: Unforgettable Stories from God’s Ambassador to the Suffering Church by Brother Andrew

For the Love of My Brothers picks up where God’s Smuggler ends and represents the expanded vision of Open Doors Ministry during/after the fall of communism. Though “dated” in some regards (I was age 3 and 5 respectively when this book was written and then updated), the book doesn’t feel obsolete. It was a great reminder of all God accomplished and continues to accomplish in the lives of believers across the world. Though I read a couple Brother Andrew books this year, I particularly appreciated this one because of my 2015 visit to Eastern Europe. 

Letters to Children by C.S. Lewis

Lewis received thousands of letters from children and this volume contains some of his answers. I found it immensely satisfying. Lewis’s letters are encouraging, instructive, and occasionally just about mundane things like the weather. There is a delightful amount about Narnia in this book. I love how often Lewis encourages children to write their own Narnia stories. He also answers lots of questions about the Narnia books (yay! More Narnia! Fangirls rejoice!) Even outside of Narnia, though, I was really surprised and impressed by how intelligently Lewis wrote to children. He peppers his letters with references to other books and texts. Truly worth reading and owning. 

The Revenge of Conscience: Politics and the Fall of Man by J. Budziszewski

An interesting  and challenging analysis of politics and Christianity. Budziszewski has two particularly intriguing chapters critiquing liberal and conservative viewpoints. However, the entire book is worth chewing over. I love his strong, pro-life arguments. Readable and worth the time, even if there are moments it feels “dated” and occasionally dense. One of those books I really enjoyed but I don’t expect most people to. 

Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer

It is very possible that I have lost all perspective and objectivity when it comes to Heyer. Even books I previously gave 3 stars I have been tempted to up to 5. I really, really love her writing and characters. While Beauvallet probably isn’t in my top 5 Heyer Reads, it is still pretty high up there. This is a grand, romantic, swashbuckling adventure set in the Elizabethan era. “Mad Nicholas” Beauvallet is a privateer and favorite of Queen Elizabeth who falls for a Spanish lady and determines to woo her, even if it means traveling through Spain where there is a price on his head. I was charmed to find the stereotypical Heyer characters out of their usual Regency setting and I liked the cameos from Sir Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth, and Mary Stewart. Not perfect but certainly charming enough to win my heart.

 

 


This Is My Home, This Is My School by Jonathan Bean

Sometimes, I take a break from chapter books and enjoy a good children’s picture book. This Is My Home, This Is My School by Jonathan Bean proved to be an excellent choice. After all, who doesn’t love a picture book about home schooling? The book depicts the life of a home school family, complete with a trip to the library. It does a good job showing the creativity and organized chaos that goes into an average day in a home school family. Quite fun! 


Miraculous Ladybug

After writing a contemplative blog post yesterday, I felt inspired today to write about something equally deep and thoughtful today. However, that was before I discovered Miraculous Ladybug. Hopefully you will bear with me because I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS TV SHOW I FOUND!!!!!!!!!!

I’m going to do that thing they tell you never to do in writing…quote Wikipedia for the description of the show. Miraculous: Tale of Ladybug and Cat Noir is:

“Set in modern-day Paris, the series focuses on teenagers Marinette Dupain-Cheng and her classmate and crush Adrien Agreste. When evil arises, Marinette transforms into her secret superhero persona Ladybug, while Adrien transforms into his superhero persona Cat Noir, using powerful objects known as the Miraculous. Oblivious to each other’s true identities, the two work together to protect Paris from the mysterious villain Hawk Moth, who covets and attempts to steal their powers by using his akuma, butterflies infused with black energy, to influence and transform everyday citizens into supervillains.

Yes, this is a children’s TV show about a superhero who has ladybug powers. But it is so fun! The characters are really creative and fun and the villains are zany and different. The show is set in France and uses CGI animation but you can feel the anime/Asian influence. The horrid/corny/fantastic puns thrown in each episode are entertaining on every level and the real chemistry between Ladybug and Cat Noir keeps the teenybopper drama at bay.

I really love Cat Noir. 

ladybug catnoir miraculousladybug miraculous on Instagram:

While this show is lighthearted and slightly formulaic, it brings originality and just good fun to a creative idea and I’ve enjoyed watching it in the same way I enjoy watching Barbie Life in the Dream House and Word Girl and Legion of Superheroes. Am I the intended age demographic? Nope! Do I enjoy every moment of it? Absolutely. 

miraculeuse coccinelle: miraculous ladybug fans:

The theme song is one of the best parts. I’ve had it stuck in my head all day. 

Check out the first ten episodes dubbed English here! – 

 

 


2015 Reading Challenge: My 5 Star Reviews, Part 1

Based on the vast number of good books I read this year, I have broken this post into three parts to help readability. As usual, books are not laid out in any specific way, but in the random order ordained by Goodreads (and myself!) See any favorites?

Enjoy!

Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched A Hundred Years of Federalism by Mark Curriden and Leroy Phillips

Rarely do you find biographies so readable and uniquely connected to everyday life. Contempt of Court covers the trial and lynching of Ed Johnson, an African American accused of raping a white woman in 1906. Despite strong evidence to the contrary, a judge found him guilty and sentenced him to death. The U.S. Supreme Court intervened and eventually went so far as to hold those connected to his lynching in contempt of court. This case was the only time the Supreme Court ever heard a criminal case. United States v. Shipp did more than decide one man’s guilt or innocence. It declared the Supreme Court had authority over a state criminal court case. This both reflected and launched a new age of federal involvement. Very worth reading.

Strong Poison (book 6), Gaudy Night (book 12), and Busman’s Honeymoon (book 13) by Dorothy L. Sayers

These are all books in the Lord Peter Wimsey series. To be honest, I love them all and if you haven’t discovered the brilliance that is Dorothy L. Sayers, you really need to. Her mysteries are intellectual and intriguing and Sir Peter Wimsey is wonderful. However, these three were my absolute favorites. (If you know the series, you’ll realize all these books involve Harriet Vane. She is fabulous.) What is great, though, is that they are all wonderful in equally different ways. Strong Poison involves a cold case, where the murder happened months earlier and now Sir Peter must piece together the clues. Gaudy Night takes place at Oxford and is very soul-searching and academic. Busman’s Honeymoon is everything a fangirl could want for the couple she’s been shipping for 6 books. Oh, so good. I want to go re-read them right now.

The Science of Success by Charles Koch

Easy to understand and filled with helpful principles, this is an “abbreviated” predecessor of Good Profit. It was designed for more internal use and that comes across. Certainly worth reading for a better understanding of Market Based Management and Koch Industries. There are lots of interesting stories and it really is a good grounding in MBM. However. Good Profit is now out. Go read that one.

The Queen’s Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner

If you want to be technical, only The King of Attolia (book 3) and A Conspiracy of Kings (book 4) got 5 stars from me, but the entire series is totally worth it. While the first book, The Thief, feels a little slow, it has a terrific twist at the end. Plus, the series picks up and gets better and better and BETTER. It has adventure, battles, romance, plot twists. The series will break your heart a million different ways, every one of them worth it. I can’t really give plot descriptions without giving something away, so just go read it already. (There are some mature themes, so I recommended for high schoolers on up)

Guys Are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti by Chad Eastham

Chad Eastham’s book Guys Like Girls Who… played an influential role in my life in high school. It was great reading him again. Guys Are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti is aimed at teenagers and talks about the different ways guys and girl function. It covers a myriad of topics like brain development, emotions, and relationships. Funny, serious, and easy to read, the book is a mix of stories, facts, and zany quips.  Even “outside” of the intended age group, I found it very helpful. Highly recommended, especially for teenagers.

Plain Kate by Erin Bow

A dark, twisted children’s book that breaks your heart but is eminently worth it. The story is very reminiscent of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale. “Plain” Kate is a woodcarver, left on the streets to fend for herself after her parents die. Her woodwork is beautiful, but many whisper that she is a witch. In order to escape the accusations, Kate makes a bargain with a mysterious man: her shadow in exchange for her heart’s wish. Gypsies, magic, and love all come to play in this lyrical story.

Disclaimer: I do not recommend this book to just anyone, and certainly not the intended age group. Plain Kate involves witchcraft, raising the dead, and sacrifices. While many of these things are treated in a negative light, I know many of my readers will not like it.