Sunday, July 31, 2005

More Kate DiCamillo news

It appears as though The Tale of Despereaux will be hitting the big screen, making this Kate DiCamillo's second book to be turned into a movie. (Third, counting her forthcoming novel--to be published in 2006--The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which will also be making the book-to-screen transition.) There aren't any details yet about the film, except that it is slated for release sometime in 2006. Despereaux is such an unusual book, I'm curious to see how well it will work in movie form.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie trailer

Haven't seen the trailer for the next Harry Potter movie? Go here to choose a high/med or low resolution to view. Great trailer that shows how much the kids have grown up over the course of the four movies, a bit of the showdown between the Triwizard Tournament contestants, plus a look at Harry's battle with the dragon--spectacular special effects. Mugglenet also has some behind-the-scene video footage to download here.

Personally, I can't wait to see what this movie will look like as book four has been my favorite so far.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Nap in a Lap

I picked up Nap in a Lap (written by Sarah Wilson and illustrated by Akemi Gutierrez) for my son's 2nd birthday. It quickly became a favorite read for both of us, and was perfect for settling my son down for his own nap. (He's 3 1/2 now and still loves it.)

"It's easy to nap tucked into a flap," the story begins. Using her imagination and a menagerie of plush toys, a little girl discovers the different places baby animals curl up for their naps. Accompanied by her puppy pal, she finds nappers "cradled in snow," "snoozled in sand dunes," and "hugged in a tree," just to name a few. In the end, the little girl and her pooch find the naptime spots that are just right for each of them.

The story is told in a lyrical rhyme that is fun to read aloud. Wilson makes clever use of sweet, comforting words such as snugged, cuddled, and cozied to describe the ways the animal youngsters are held while they rest with their mothers and fathers. Perfect naptime verse. Gutierrez' gouache illustrations are both colorful and soothing, not to mention adorable.

Speaking of Akemi Gutierrez, her latest book The Mummy And Other Adventures Of Sam & Alice was just released July 25th (2005). It's the first book she has both written and illustrated.

Harry Potter lithographs by Mary GrandPre

Limited edition Harry Potter art is up for sale at Storyopolis. There are seven pieces total. If you like Mary GrandPre's cover art for the Harry Potter series (United States version), you should take a peek at these. Her artwork is stunning, and I think her soft, colorful, and somewhat surreal style compliments Harry Potter perfectly. This one is from the Prizoner of Azkaban, I believe. Rescue of Sirius:

Mr. Husband and I are down to the final three chapters of book six. I don't know whether I'm more excited about finding out how this one ends, or sad that we're almost done and will have another long wait before book seven is released. And the last in the series, at that--boohoo!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet

This hilarious poem comes from a big blue book of poetry that became part of the family collection when I was a little girl. I'm not sure what the title of the anthology was, but it was probably my favorite book growing up. I remember tucking away with it and memorizing several of the shorter, sillier, and stranger poems it contained. But this poem in particular is one of my favorites, and easily the best version of Little Miss Muffet ever written. EVER.

The Embarrassing Episode of Little Miss Muffet
Guy Wetmore Carryl

Little Miss Muffet discovered a tuffet,
(Which never occurred to the rest of us)
And, as 'twas a June day, and just about noonday,
She wanted to eat--like the best of us:
Her diet was whey, and I hasten to say
It is wholesome and people grow fat on it.
The spot being lonely, the lady not only
Discovered the tuffet, but sat on it.

A rivulet gabbled beside her and babbled,
As rivulets always are thought to do,
And dragon flies sported around and cavorted,
As poets say dragon flies ought to do;
When, glancing aside for a moment, she spied
A horrible sight that brought fear to her,
A hideous spider was sitting beside her,
And most unavoidably near to her!

Albeit unsightly, this creature politely Said:
"Madam, I earnestly vow to you,
I'm penitent that I did not bring my hat.
I Should otherwise certainly bow to you."
Thought anxious to please, he was so ill at ease
That he lost all his sense of propriety,
And grew so inept that he clumsily stept
In her plate--which is barred in Society.

This curious error completed her terror;
She shuddered, and growing much paler, not
Only left tuffet, but dealt him a buffet
Which doubled him up in a sailor knot.
It should be explained that at this he was pained:
He cried: "I have vexed you, no doubt of it!
Your fists's like a truncheon." "You're still in my luncheon,"
Was all that she answered. "Get out of it!"

And the Moral is this: Be it madam or miss
To whom you have something to say,
You are only absurd when you get in the curd
But you're rude when you get in the whey.

Incidentally, Guy Wetmore Carryl was an American poet who lived from 1872-1903. Read more of his poetry here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Mercy Watson

Ooo! The first book in a new series written by Kate Dicamillo and illustrated by Chris VanDusen will be released August 23rd (2005).

A Publisher's Weekly review via Barnes & Noble has this to say about the first of the books, Mercy Watson to the Rescue:

"Newbery Medalist DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux) once again displays her versatility with this jaunty debut to an early chapter-book series. The tale stars Mercy, a pig with personality a-plenty-and a penchant for "hot toast with a great deal of butter on it." When Mr. and Mrs. Watson tuck Mercy into bed at night and switch off the light, their pet no longer feels "warm and buttery-toasty inside" and decides "she would be much happier if she wasn't sleeping alone." So she climbs into the Watsons' bed and dreams of hot buttered toast, until the overloaded bed begins to fall through the floor. Mercy's obsession prompts her to hop off the bed-her devoted owners convinced that she's gone to summon the fire department. Alas, the peckish porcine's single-minded pursuit leads her to the kind next-door neighbor and ultimately does prompt a call to the fire department-but not before a series of comical twists [...]"

I read The Tale of Despereaux a few months ago and fell head over heels in love with the book just a few pages in, so I'm looking forward to meeting DiCamillo's first character targeted for a younger audience. I'm loving the cover illustration, too. (Head over to for a little preview of Chapter One, plus the first illustration that goes with it.)