Friday Favorites: Favorite Children’s Novels

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tessa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Favorite Children’s Books

Let’s travel back to the past for a moment, shall we? Let’s step into 7-year-old Lindsey’s shoes, a little girl with long hair because she longed to be the blonde version of Pocahontas. A little girl who loved Peanut Butter more than life itself and named her dog after the friendly ghost, Casper. A Lindsey who sang at the top of her lungs at every opportunity and who had a thing for Barney. What was this version of Lindsey’s favorite books?

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

purplecrayon

7-year-old Lindsey would tell you all that she liked the book because her favorite color was purple, but 22-year-old Lindsey recognizes the wit she possessed years ago. This book is an advocator of creativity and imagination. We watch Harold create a world with his mighty purple crayon, drawing dragons and moons, pies and one-tree-forests. Little Lindsey had a magical soul even then and she recognized a fellow patron in Harold. This book is the kind that you need to be reading to children, especially the way people are constantly entertained by technology nowadays. It’s nice to remember how brilliant a child’s mind is when all you give them is  a crayon.

 

 

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

sidewalkends“If you are a dreamer, come in,

If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,

A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer…

If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire

For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.

Come in!

Come in!”

7-year-old Lindsey would pull this book out when she wanted to be reminded that anything was possible. It was a perfect book for reading aloud also with fun rhymes that seemed to flow from the tongue.

7-year-old Lindsey didn’t want to read about boring, ordinary things, she wanted to read about a polar bear in the fridge or diamond gardens. It was a fantastic tale that amused adults but stayed with children like a well-kept secret and it remains a favorite of mine to this day.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

threelittlepigs

If you tried to suggest a story of the classic, “Three Little Pigs“, 7-year-old Lindsey would just roll her eyes at you and exclaim you’ve got it all wrong. If you want the real story, she would say, then you need to read this book. The wolf is actually innocent, and that last little pig framed him! Little Lindsey would happily argue with you all day about the logistics of the story and I think that’s my favorite part of this book. It inspires critical thinking and debate. It teaches perspective and logical arguments to children. To this day I’ll still argue that the pigs had it coming all along.

Those were the three books that stick out most in my childhood. They made life a bit more magical and for that I’ll always be grateful.

What were your favorite books as a child? What would you draw with a purple crayon? Who do you think is innocent: the wolf or the pigs? Share below and happy reading!

Friday Favorites: Favorite Way to Save Your Spot

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tressa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Favorite Way to Hold Your Spot in a Book

There comes a time when a reader must put down their book. I know, shocking but true. For example we have to put down our book when we drive to the bookstore. We have to put down our book when we are on the computer online shopping for books. Lastly we must put down our book so that we may sleep and dream…about books.

So how do we keep our spots? If you have a memory like mine then there’s no way you’ll be able to remember what spot you left off of– or where you put your keys. So what do you do? Well, good news– there’s plenty of options.

bookmark

You can use an actual book mark. I compare these to collectors items; we bookworms collect them but never actually use them. I currently have a bundle stashed all over the house but whenever I need one so I can put my book down I can’t find them. If a rarity happens and I actually find one it doesn’t stay in my book for long as I’m always forgetting where I put it when I take it out of my book. I told you, bad memory.

dog-earringSome people dog ear their page. Yes, its true and we should just acknowledge that truth. If they CHOOSE to do it to their book then we can’t really judge them as it is their choice. If you aren’t familiar with the bookish term dog-ear it means to bend the corner of the page so that you can easily find your spot. If you prefer this method I promise I won’t judge, just don’t ever think about doing it to my books!

open bookYou can just leave the book open. I find myself guilty of this one quite often, especially when it comes to paperbacks. It’s so easy to say that you’ll be gone just a minute and then one peanut butter sandwich and a million potato chips later you return to your aching book. I don’t particularly like this method as it often leaves creases along the spine which just get worse over time. However, that doesn’t stop me. I’m a monster, aren’t I?

cover sleeve

My favorite method is to use the cover sleeve. The downfall is that this only applies to hard backs but I read many of them so I use it quite often. Its quite handy  as you don’t have to look for it like a book mark as it’s right there on your book, surprise! Also, the book suffers no physical damage during the process. Everybody wins– you, the book and your memory! Oh happy day!

Of course you can always try the old never stop reading trick. I’ve heard that it’s 99% foolproof in keeping your place and you can’t beat statistics like that, nosiree.

What’s you favorite way to hold your spot in a book? Share it below and happy reading!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tessa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Favorite Closing Lines

I felt it only right to share my favorite last lines in novels since last week I shared my favorite opening lines. So here goes!

In no particular order:

1. “After all, tomorrow is another day.”– Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

When I read this I stared at in disbelief almost waiting for more words to appear. This couldn’t be the end I thought, how could it be, NOTHING was resolved! I was yelling at Scarlett to chase Rhett down, tell him how you really feel (something you should have done chapters ago). I was furious with the author for making me so invested in the story! I was rooting for Scarlett (even though I kind of hated her at the same time) to come to her senses, to wake up and realize Ashley was just a spineless wimp. She and Rhett were both so close to getting what they wanted and I just couldn’t believe the author had ended it like this, I couldn’t believe she would leave the readers hanging. Then I realized that she made me feel all of this with just one line…and I understood.

2. “In the meantime, she would just live.”– P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

This was the perfect ending. The author crammed everything our lovely protagonist had learned from her tragic circumstance and packaged it into a simple and clear sentence. “She would just live” resonates with the reader who had to watch as this woman stopped her life to mourn. She stopped her life and waited for her husband to come back and speak to her. Her life became revolved around these letters and she shut herself away from everything that would make life full again. This line tells the reader that she was done with that. Our heroine would be okay. She ended a complex story with a simple ending and it was genius.

3. “He loved Big Brother.”1984 by George Orwell

This line is horrifying. As a reader we spent a novel’s worth of time following our protagonist around as he strived for freedom and as he strived for love. We thought he was strong, that he was different from the rest. Even when he was taken in for questioning I thought that they would have to kill him to break him. Then we get to this eerie ending and find out just how easy it is to break a person. It was well done.

4. “A LAST NOTE FROM YOUR NARRATOR. I am haunted by humans.”– The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

What you need to know so that this line resonates with you is the narrator is death. Death tells us a tale of a girl living with her family in Nazi Germany– a place quite familiar to Death. You would think that Death being the narrator would be more creepy than likeable but Death has this compassionate persona that we never knew existed. What he sees take place during this time is tragic and horrifying. Death is rampant in the area but it is not death that is the worse thing that could happen to humans and that is what haunts our narrator and in turn haunts the reader. The author executed this quite well.

What are some of your favorite closing lines? Share them below and happy reading!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites 02I stumbled upon this meme at the adorable blog, Tessa’s Wishful Endings. Really it’s as simple as the name; you talk about a favorite book related subject on Fridays. It could be anything from favorite authors, books and genres to favorite reading spots, opening sentences and love triangles. Basically the world of novels is our oyster and with Friday Favorites, we can conquer it.

Friday Favorites #3: Favorite Bad Book/Movie Adaptations

I think that most of us are familiar with that feeling that comes with the announcement that one of your favorite books will be made for the big screen.Your heart starts to pound a little, you start taking short breaths as your mind starts moving at a frightening speed.

A dozen things are running through your mind: will it translate well, what if it’s like [blank] where it was absolutely horrible on film, but then again it could be like [blank] where it was really well done…(and then the most important question of all comes to you) BUT WHO ON EARTH ARE THEY GOING TO CAST?!!!

For me, there’s always more excitement than fear when I hear that a book will be made into a movie because I have a deep respect for cinematography. But I’ve seen some bad adaptations that left me walking out of the theater thinking “Why?” Everyone hates it when the movie completely ruins the book and everyone loves it when ‘the movie people’ (yes, that’s what I call them) get it right and bring the book to a new level.

But what about in between? What about movies that strayed from their novel companions but turned out to be great movies? How can it be some of you might be asking, well let give you my two favorite examples.

Ella Enchanted

The book version is a charming fairy tale. It was one of the first books in which I fan girled over a fiction character; the fiction character being Prince Char. He was so…so….so good at giving girls that feeling in their stomach. And the adventures Ella went on in this novel were so fun to watch: the boarding school, the ogres and of course her cinderella like ending. I was convinced that if ‘the movie people’ strayed from this story line then it wouldn’t be a movie worth seeing.

Well, ‘the movie people’ certainly did stray from the story line completely changing how the ending worked out and even had the audacity to add musical numbers. At first I was so angry. The book was so good and could have made a great movie so why did they stray? Then I watched the movie again and found myself actually liking it. It wasn’t the fairy tale I had come to love but it was a cute movie, full of funny scenes and although Char wasn’t quite the same he was certainly cute to look at. I came to value the movie for what it was, separate from the book and was all the happier for it.

Prince Caspian

I saw the movie before reading the book so granted my opinion might be a little biased. When I first saw the movie I thought it was good, but I assumed the book must be even better. Well I just recently read the book and I can’t believe how boring it was; literally no character development, no mystical journeys and no epic battle scenes. It was a huge disappointment which is a shame because the book had the potential to be something great.

After finishing the book I brought the movie out and watched it again and was amazed at how much better it was than it’s book companion. ‘The movie people’ made the story more realistic. If a new and an old king meet there is going to be some internal conflict no doubt. The movie included everything the novel left out; substance. From now on when someone wants to know the story of Prince Caspian, I recommend the movie not the book (something that could get me expelled from the book lovers club).

So those are my two favorite bad book/movie adaptations. What about you? Are there book/movie adaptations that were bad that you actually liked? Let me know so I won’t feel alone and happy reading!