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Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Noggin by John Corey Whaley Travis died five years ago.  Now he’s alive again.  But not the same and nothing else is the same either.  Travis’ head is now attached to a different body, a healthy body, one not dying of cancer.  You see, when Travis was dying of cancer, he and his parents took a huge risk and had his head severed from his body and frozen.  Now Travis is one of two survivors of the cryogenic procedure and he has returned to the same home, the same parents, the same friends, but not the same life.  His girlfriend is now engaged to someone else.  His best friend who had admitted he was gay just before Travis died is now dating a girl and about to move in with her.  His mother can’t look at him without crying.  And Travis’ room which used to be his haven now is sterile and hotel-like.  But Travis is the same except for his body.  It was as if he closed his eyes and reopened them.  So what is a guy to do?  Well, he still has to finish high school, get his driver’s license and of course try to regain the girl.  But nothing is simple when you are on a completely different timeframe than everyone else!

Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Noggin by John Corey Whaley Travis died five years ago.  Now he’s alive again.  But not the same and nothing else is the same either.  Travis’ head is now attached to a different body, a healthy body, one not dying of cancer.  You see, when Travis was dying of cancer, he and his parents took a huge risk and had his head severed from his body and frozen.  Now Travis is one of two survivors of the cryogenic procedure and he has returned to the same home, the same parents, the same friends, but not the same life.  His girlfriend is now engaged to someone else.  His best friend who had admitted he was gay just before Travis died is now dating a girl and about to move in with her.  His mother can’t look at him without crying.  And Travis’ room which used to be his haven now is sterile and hotel-like.  But Travis is the same except for his body.  It was as if he closed his eyes and reopened them.  So what is a guy to do?  Well, he still has to finish high school, get his driver’s license and of course try to regain the girl.  But nothing is simple when you are on a completely different timeframe than everyone else!

Filed under families friendships humor science fiction

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Review: Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root

Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Betsy Bowen Prairies used to cover vast swaths of the United States, but are almost entirely gone now.  In this nonfiction picture book, young readers are invited to create their own small prairies at home.  Root offers ideas for what native prairie plants should be planted first and then ties each plant to a type of wildlife that will arrive along with the plants.  Butterfly weed invites monarchs to your yard.  Asters and rough blazing star bring even more butterflies.  Toads, birds, mice, bumblebees, and more may appear in your little garden.  And who knows, if lots of people plant a little prairie, eventually we may have prairies back across the nation.

Review: Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root

Plant a Pocket of Prairie by Phyllis Root, illustrated by Betsy Bowen Prairies used to cover vast swaths of the United States, but are almost entirely gone now.  In this nonfiction picture book, young readers are invited to create their own small prairies at home.  Root offers ideas for what native prairie plants should be planted first and then ties each plant to a type of wildlife that will arrive along with the plants.  Butterfly weed invites monarchs to your yard.  Asters and rough blazing star bring even more butterflies.  Toads, birds, mice, bumblebees, and more may appear in your little garden.  And who knows, if lots of people plant a little prairie, eventually we may have prairies back across the nation.

Filed under gardening habitats nature prairies

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africaisdonesuffering:

Women in Africa and the Diaspora: “Why Brown Girls Need Brown Dolls”

There have long been debates regarding Disney’s lack of diversity and further, the lack of diversity in dolls for children of color. While reading an article on this subject matter, I came across a comment that made me raise a brow.  A reader commented: “The color of these characters is not a big deal. Kids watching won’t see any difference if no difference is highlighted. They will grow up thinking anyone can fit into these roles.”

I’ve seen the sentiment expressed in this comment numerous times in an effort to brush off a call for diversity as “overreacting.” There’s this prevalent myth that kids do not see color. That they grow up colorblind not understanding race relations, but personal experience and social research has proven otherwise.

Let me start with experience:

During thanksgiving break, my 6 year old sister convinced me to play dolls with her. While brushing her doll’s hair, my sister said “Her hair is not like mine. She has white people’s hair.” Caught off guard by her statement, I asked “What do you mean white people hair Kelly?” At first she hesitated to respond but after a few minutes, she replied “Her hair is straight, not like mine.”  My 4 year old brother quickly followed “Yeah, and she’s not brown like you either.”

My sister’s comment proved that even at this young age, she noticed the differences in her doll baby and in herself. She noticed that her doll’s hair is straighter, that it has a small sharp nose, a skinny body. She noticed that her doll is white and that she is brown. Most importantly, she noticed that those characteristics listed all belonged to white women.

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(via yahighway)

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You do not even have to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you and be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
Franz Kafka

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Review: The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp

The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie Girl power is celebrated in this picture book that turns the princess role firmly on its head.  Princess Sue has been lingering in her castle for over 100 years, waiting for her prince to come and rescue her.  Just as she is about to lose it, her prince appears on horseback and whisks her off.  But just as Sue thinks that she is heading to freedom, the prince arrives at his castle where Sue is given her own tower filled with dresses and shoes and informed that she shouldn’t even be thinking of adventures.  But Sue refuses to give up on her dreams and when she sees a fearsome dragon flying nearby, she gets a clever idea.

Review: The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp

The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie Girl power is celebrated in this picture book that turns the princess role firmly on its head.  Princess Sue has been lingering in her castle for over 100 years, waiting for her prince to come and rescue her.  Just as she is about to lose it, her prince appears on horseback and whisks her off.  But just as Sue thinks that she is heading to freedom, the prince arrives at his castle where Sue is given her own tower filled with dresses and shoes and informed that she shouldn’t even be thinking of adventures.  But Sue refuses to give up on her dreams and when she sees a fearsome dragon flying nearby, she gets a clever idea.

Filed under dragons gender roles princesses

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Review: The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat Join Beekle, an imaginary friend, who is so special that no child seems to be able to even imagine him.  He waits and waits along with the other imaginary creatures, but he is never dreamed of by a child.  So Beekle does what no other imaginary friend has ever done, he heads out to find his child in the real world.  He finds himself in a big city, filled with grey people and lots of adults.  Luckily, he spots a bright familiar color and shape and follows it to a playground where he thinks he can find his special friend.  But they don’t come.  Beekle climbs a tree to see if he can spot his friend, but still no one comes.  Beekle climbs down, then a small girls gestures for him to get her paper out of the tree.  And on that page…  Well, you will just have to imagine it for yourself or get this charmer of a book to read and find out what happens next.

Review: The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat Join Beekle, an imaginary friend, who is so special that no child seems to be able to even imagine him.  He waits and waits along with the other imaginary creatures, but he is never dreamed of by a child.  So Beekle does what no other imaginary friend has ever done, he heads out to find his child in the real world.  He finds himself in a big city, filled with grey people and lots of adults.  Luckily, he spots a bright familiar color and shape and follows it to a playground where he thinks he can find his special friend.  But they don’t come.  Beekle climbs a tree to see if he can spot his friend, but still no one comes.  Beekle climbs down, then a small girls gestures for him to get her paper out of the tree.  And on that page…  Well, you will just have to imagine it for yourself or get this charmer of a book to read and find out what happens next.

Filed under adventures childhood friendship imaginary friends imagination

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Review: Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward

Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Steve Jenkins Told in rhyme, this book explores the many different ways that birds create nests for their eggs and babies.  The jaunty rhyme is accompanied by informational text on each species and their habitats and nest building style.  Bird species range from penguins to falcons to flamingos.  There are also more unusual birds like weaverbirds as shown on the cover of the book.  …

Review: Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward

Mama Built a Little Nest by Jennifer Ward, illustrated by Steve Jenkins Told in rhyme, this book explores the many different ways that birds create nests for their eggs and babies.  The jaunty rhyme is accompanied by informational text on each species and their habitats and nest building style.  Bird species range from penguins to falcons to flamingos.  There are also more unusual birds like weaverbirds as shown on the cover of the book.  …

Filed under birds eggs nature nests