Fairy tales have been popular in cultures around the world for longer than we know. These stories are a source of enchantment for young children and remain embedded in our own childhood memories. And while I can always pore over great re-tellings of The Three Little Pigs or Sleeping Beauty, sometimes it’s fun to change it up a bit. Fractured fairy tales are re-tellings of these familiar stories but with character, plot, setting and point of view twists. This makes for some of the wittiest, most humorous books out there today for children.
Here are some of my favorites:
Waking Beauty by Leah Wilcox
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas
Fractured fairy tales are not only fun, but educational as well. Many teachers are now incorporating these stories into their curriculum to teach children compare and contrast skills, point of view, creative writing and more.
Looking for something a little more in depth? No worries, there are fractured fairy tales for tweens and teens in novel form.
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley
Ask your librarian for more recommended titles.
My lawn is pitiful. It’s got brown spots, bare spots, pretty purple weeds, and holes. I’m not very picky about lawns. I figure that some shade of green is good, even if it’s rye grass. I’m also a lazy gardener. There are several websites to go to, including Georgia’s own Walter Reeves. Books are also in great plenitude. I’ve not read them, yet. We even have DVDs such as Lawns in the Landscape. I hope between the website, the books below, and the DVD I’ll figure out how to make my lawn pretty instead of pitiful.
The Organic Lawn Care Manual by Paul Tukey
The Lawn Bible by David Mellor
Easy Lawns edited by Stevie Daniels (I think this is the book for me)
Melvil Dewey, author of the Dewey Decimal Classification System, tried to popularize several other unusual organizational schemes (he was an advocate of simplified spelling and spelled his last name ‘Dui’ for a time), but I don’t think he would have approved of shelving books by color. Of course, Mr. Dewey is not the boss of you (unless you are a librarian) and many people apparently prefer their shelves to look like rainbows. I’ve never tried this myself, but it’s better than the people who secretly hate books (usually decorators) and wrap them all in white. They look like the ghosts of books. Every time I see this, I think “Why do you even own a book? Why not skip the books and go straight to the wallpaper?”
Decatur’s own Blue Elephant Book Shop always has a soothing display of blue books in their front window, which to me shows an admirable and daring disregard for bestsellers. My current shelving scheme at home is ‘books that are too precious to me to go in the attic’ and ‘books that I put in the attic but miss and fret about’. How do you shelve your books?
The DeKalb County Public Library system is participating in the Metro Atlanta Solar System (MASS) project. Chris Dupree, a professor of astronomy and director of the Bradley Observatory at Agnes Scott College, created this project.
The MASS project is a scale model of the solar system. The sun is located at the Bradley Observatory plaza at Agnes Scott. The Decatur Library represents the earth. The project uses the same scale for both the planetary size and their distances from the Sun. The scale of the model is approximately 1:150,000,000. Want to know where the other locations are and more about the project? Check out this link to Agnes Scott’s web page.
Interested in learning more about the solar system?
The library has several books about the solar system. We even have the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Astronomy written by Chris Dupree.
Here are a few more you might want to check out.
Lives of the Planets: A natural history of the solar system by R.M. Corfield
The Planets by Dava Sobel
Infinite Worlds: an illustrated voyage to planets beyond our sun. by Ray Villard
The big S you see on DCPL programming is for Seniors. Yes, the library has programs geared towards senior patrons (though you don’t have to be a senior to attend).
We offer everything from Healthy Living programs to Senior Movie Times. Here is a sampling:
Here is a list of all our senior programs.
We usually recommend a book to someone because we like the story or the setting or because it’s funny, etc. The other night a patron recommended an audiobook to me because the reader was really good. Ed Sala’s reading of James Lee Burke’s White Doves at Morning was so compelling that this gentleman had come to the library to find more. The Library includes the name of audiobook readers in the catalog, making it easy to search for a favorite performer:
From the catalog page, select Sound/Video. From the first search box, select Audiobook Word(s) from the menu. In the second search box, enter the performer’s name.
AudioFile, a magazine devoted to audiobooks, has a Golden Voices list if you’re interested in finding more recommended readers or you might like one of Stephen King’s 10 favorite audiobooks. I personally recommend Flo Gibson’s reading of Persuasion by Jane Austen. On the page, Austen is amusing to me; but read aloud she is truly funny, with a wicked sense of humor and great timing. Have you got a favorite audiobook reader?
The 2009 Fall television season is starting which probably has little to do with books, the Library and real life in general. But this season I’ve noticed that at least two new programs are based on books ( “Hurrah! Relevancy achieved! Click “Publish”. Good night!”).
I was intrigued to learn that ABC is premiering a new show based on John Updike‘s novel The Witches of Eastwick. Also airing is a new CW show, The Vampire Diaries, based on books by L. J Smith (even though I probably shouldn’t mention this one because this book series isn’t in our catalog… sorry). But these shows make me curious about how many other TV shows were born from the pages of a book. I did some searching and discovered that Hollywood has a long tradition of mining literature for small-screen fodder…even nowadays. Books on television–who knew?
There are several shows I’ve considered watching but feel like I’d be at a loss because I’ve missed a few seasons. But perhaps I should try reading the book that the show is based on first. Using the library to bolster my TV viewing habits isn’t really as cheesy as it sounds, is it?
Maybe I could pick up Charlaine Harris‘ Southern Vampire Mysteries novels to see what the deal is with True Blood (I have a friend that I’m not allowed to speak to when this show is on). Or I can read Kathy Reichs‘ Temperance Brennan novels before watching the FOX TV show that’s based on them. But as I continue to read reviews and summaries of these shows I’m reminded that film and television shows are often loosely–very loosely– based on the popular books that they draw from. That said, maybe it’s better to simply enjoy the books separately from the TV shows inspired by them.
Still DCPL holds a wealth of Primetime-related materials, whether you’re reading books in their pre-television adaptation form or if you’re catching up on the continued stories of your fave TV characters long after their shows have aired. DCPL has several books based on two shows I liked: Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the prematurely canceled Sci-Fi series The Dresden Files. That, of course, brings to mind one great advantage that good old-fashioned books have over television–greater latitude and freedom to allow their stories to unfold.
Here are some really fascinating books on television in general. You can read these while you’re waiting for the Game of Thrones television series to commence (yep, the George R.R Martin classic is coming to a small screen near you):
Prime Time, Prime Movers by David Marc and Robert J. Thompson
One Nation Under Television by J. Fred MacDonald
The History of Television, 1880-1941 by Albert Abramson