Monday, 3 January 2011

2011! Books!

Max and I are pottering around here, he's cleaned out the hamster cage and is going to finish cleaning out his Under-The-Bed-Drawer-of-Khazad-Dum as soon as he gets through a 'really good bit' in his book. I'm wiping up various sticky spots on furniture and windowsills, and changing sheets.

The rest of the family will be back in a week, suntanned and slightly injured: Sam was recounting his bruises and missing toenail to me over the phone last night. They've trekked in the rainforest and built fires and played with cutlasses and knives and eaten strange things, and even sounded more Trini on the phone.

I've been babysitting Schrödinger and Houdini, they ate up their mice on Thursday and Houdini shed his skin and they are perky. Schrödinger looks at me through the glass as if to say "PLAY with me?" Later I will catch Houdini and put him back in the big enclosure with Schrödinger... I had separated them to feed them, as per instructions. I'm pretty proud of myself for doing a good job of babysitting, though I'm really nervous about catching Houdini again. He's an escapist and doesn't like to be held the way Schrödinger does. What will I say to Chas if I lose his snake? I offered to babysit, otherwise Chas would have had to take the snakes to the reptile store for housing. I'll be glad when he gets back!

Much reading has been going on here lately.

Max is GLUED to the 'Percy Jackson' series. He's fallen over things because he's walking with his nose in the latest book. Silly Billy.

Sam has read Carl Hiassen's children's books, 'Hoot', 'Flush' and 'Scat'. In each story, a young person sticks to their beliefs and does something to help their local environment. These books will really suit adolescent and young teen readers, with some slightly risqué language (which thrilled Sam).

Another book which made Sam gasp in the very first page was 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time'. I finished this book quickly, and loved the realistic characters seen through the eyes of an autistic teen, who tries to find out who killed a neighbour's dog. A very touching story, I thought. Sam is not so sure.

We're all still addicted to everything Terry Pratchett, too... I don't know what we'll do when we've read them all, probably cry. And write to Pratchett professing our undying love. We've also been reading about electricity, and drawing, perspective and so on. 'How to Improve at Drawing' is one of those rare drawing books which made all the kids (including visitors) get out the paper and pencils, and draw quietly for hours. They have done some really beautiful work to add to our kitchen 'Wall of Fame'.

A strange book which I picked up at the library was 'The Lost Thing' by Shaun Tan. We all keep going back to this one, and asking one another whether it was a good ending? A sad ending? What does it mean? The illustrations are surreal and haunting and remind me of Salvador Dali, the story seems simple, but the drawings make it more a comment on modern life, government, loneliness??? Loved it, and might buy a copy to keep. 

More book reviews to come! And now, back to my pottering...

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