Sunday, April 09, 2006

This, that and the other

After eight weeks of rehearsals, G's school finally put on their spring play last night. I volunteered to help out with hair and costumes and backstage tasks, so I didn't actually see much of the performance, but the pictures look good. P, who was out front, said that G did a great job with her handful of lines, but it was hard to hear her in the audience. Of course, I could hear her perfectly because I was two feet away from her in the wings while she was talking, LOL. That girl is as cool as a cucumber when it comes to performing. A lot of the kids were fluttering bundles of nerves before they went on, but G never blinked, and when I asked her afterward if she'd been nervous, she said "Nah!"

In other news, here's the latest reading roundup from our house.

What G has been reading:

Science Verse, by John Scieszka and Lane Smith, the team that brought the world The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. She checked this one out of the library, but she enjoyed it so much that I bought her a copy to own. It contains such gems as:

Once in first grade I was napping
When I heard a scary yapping
Frightful word -- worse than a slapping
Worse than twenty T.rex roars.

Said our teacher, heartless creature,
"My class, you know, always explores
Ten full weeks of ... DINOSAURS


and:

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick.
Jack jump over the combustion reaction of 02 + heat + fuel to form C02 + light + heat + exhaust


This book isn't for everyone -- there are poems about evolution and the Big Bang theory -- but G loved it. She noticed that the dinosaur poem was a parody of "The Raven," which we read a couple of months ago, and tonight she got one of the questions on her BrainQuest cards because she'd learned the terms "consumer" and "producer" from the poem about the food chain. The only drawback is that she's been walking around singing "Precipitation, evaporation, precipitation, evaporation, precipitation, evaporation ..." for an entire week. Ah well.

Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Double Trouble Detectives, by James Preller. I don't actually know much about this one because she's read most of it herself, but it looks like one of Jigsaw's friends has opened up a competing business and has a bunch of high-tech spy equipment -- just the sort of thing G loves.

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, by Marcia Williams. She just brought this home from school yesterday (she checked it out of the library), and it looks great. The traditional story runs along the bottom of the panels, but the characters within the panels make funny comments, like Morgan LeFay telling people "You'll die and I'll be queen!"

What I've been reading:

Laura Ingalls Wilder Country, an overview of some of the people and places from the Little House books. I've traveled through prairie country before, and the photos in this book don't truly convey the atmosphere you experience there -- the constant whisper of the wind, the moving oceans of grass, the vast sweep of the sky overhead -- or the sense of total isolation and insignificance you feel. But they do come close, and I enjoyed the book, though I would have liked a bit more content .

The Rice Mother, by Rani Manicka. I finished this one two days ago, and I still can't decide whether I liked it or not. It did have some wonderful aspects, like its lavish language and its main character, Lakshmi, who started out as a young girl duped into a less-than-ideal marriage and ended up as an iron-willed matriarch. At the same time, there were too many points of view (Lakshmi, her husband, two or three of her children, a grandchild, a daughter-in-law and a great-grandchild all come to mind), which made the story feel jumpy, and I wasn't thrilled with the pacing -- the book covered sixty years in 400 pages, so one event would be described in great detail, and then you'd turn the page and a whole new generation would have been born and grown up. I think it's worth a try, though.

What G and I have been reading together:

The Rainbow Magic fairy saga continues; we've just finished the Weather Fairies series of books, and I'm contemplating whether I want to order the Jewel Fairies series from Amazon UK. G wants me to, but I'm getting a little tired of the adventures of Rachel and Kirsty. Either I'll have to take a break first, or she'll have to read them on her own.

The next book I'm planning to read with her is Pippi Longstocking -- P and I were telling her about it the other night, and she thought Pippi sounded funny. We went to Borders in search of a copy this evening, but they didn't have one. I'm hoping we can get it at Barnes and Noble tomorrow.

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