Monthly Archives: December 2008

…and for Christmas night

I borrowed this beautiful short story from Lucy Coats. No need to say any more.

Bad chocolate

You may feel I’ve got it in for chocolate, and it’s true that it tends to attack me, unless I’m feeling really good and it’s white chocolate, but I have nothing against it as such. Except possibly that heavenly smell when others near me are showing a lack of solidarity with my non-choccy state.

Hinter verzauberten Fenstern

But I do mind chocolate calendars, because they seem to have taken over. It’s like it’s not proper if it’s not a chocolate calendar for Advent. And I will not have my children brainwashed. (I know they are quite old, now, but it’s the principle of it.)

So, I’m with Cornelia Funke on this. Her Hinter verzauberten Fenstern is all about the effect chocolate calendars have had on the good, traditional calendars. Julia, the main character in this book, makes friends with the people in her traditional calendar, and she meets the baddie from the chocolate calendar castle.

All will be well in the end, of course, but you can’t be too careful. And I would like to know how Julia explains to her parents about popping in and out of the Advent calendar. At least her pesky little brother Olli can understand about “the other side”.

Three weeks ago, when I started on this book, I didn’t think I’d finish it. So I’m quite pleased, to be honest. Time for a translation, though. I think this would be a very good story for English speaking readers, too.

Christmas songs from Siobhan

It’s Christmas, so I hope Fiona Dunbar won’t mind a little borrowing from her blog. Anyway, I think Fiona might have gone away for Christmas, so perhaps she won’t even find out.

I’d only just “met” Siobhan Dowd when she died last year, so I didn’t know that she and her husband Geoff had a habit of recording Christmas songs and sending to people, but it seems they did. Also had no idea Siobhan had such a good voice.

Here is a link to where you can find their songs from the last few years.

Dustbin Baby on BBC1

I hope you watched Dustbin Baby on BBC1 yesterday? Daughter and I piled up the hankies and watched and cried. We were relieved the Resident IT Consultant wasn’t watching with us, because he would have cried the most. But don’t say I said so.

I haven’t read Dustbin Baby, and now I don’t know whether I should. It might change the impact of the film, in the wrong way. We’ll see.

Christmas wishes

Instead of sitting on my broom looking dreamy, not to mention rather blonde, I should be getting busy using the broom around the house. I have only just managed to shrink the towering book piles ever so slightly, and have done no cleaning at all. But then scrubbing floors wearing such a nice dress would be a shame, wouldn’t it?

Christmas 2008

Wishing all my lovely readers a Happy Christmas!

History of the World

I fit in the history of the world in my reading this week. It goes something like “Biff, Eek, Bash, Ooh, Take that, and Urk”. “Urk” is when someone dies, and it happens rather a lot. For the sensitive reader it may be worth knowing there are pictures of bare breasts, too.

History of the World

Sally Kindberg and Tracey Turner have done a comic strip history, in the vein of Horrible Histories, but different. In 80 pages they manage to cover everything from the Big Bang to Dolly the cloned sheep.

For someone like me who has great difficulty with the greater picture, this is so concentrated that even I can see it all at once. Almost, anyway. This could be a good place to start an interest in history.

It’s very funny, and I like the pictures by Sally. They also have comic style blurbs about themselves, and I like authors and illustrators with a sense of humour.

Book Corner

I grumble every now and then when the Guardian has little or no space for children’s books. I know that all the other stuff they write about in the Review section is tremendously important. But then, so is children’s literature, and I happen to believe that the Guardian is the right newspaper to provide wide coverage of books for future adults. Even the book blog has gone downhill. As someone who knows about these things said to me, “it’s as dull as ditch water and I don’t read it anymore”.

BUT, the Family section has had a weekly corner from Lucy Mangan on classic children’s books for some time. I don’t always agree with Lucy. But this is fine. I’m get a reminder of old books, and I’m learning about ones I’ve never read. And she is funny. I do like her comment on Little Women, about how there is a member of the March family for everyone; “Those who like dying, of course, can take Beth. And are welcome to her.”

Quite.