Reading and Writing

22 08 2010

We read Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. I can’t review this book, because I didn’t get to finish it. We started reading it together, on the beach:

But Floppy enjoyed the book so much….

that he finished it on his own. So I didn’t get to read the ending. But I guess it must have been pretty good, at least according to Floppy.

He continues to blog, most recently about his lemonade stand, to which you can contribute, if you want to save the planet and/or receive a hand-drawn picture of a glass of lemonade.


Reading: On His Own

10 07 2010

Floppy can pretty much tackle chapter books these days. Can you guess what he is reading?

Here is a page close up to help you guess:

Still not sure? Here: I’ll show you.

It’s the Black Stallion! He requested the Coke — in its coveted 8 ounce glass bottle — as a reward for having read aloud several chapters to me. (“Please? My voice is dry.”) I think he looks like a Coke ad in this picture, actually.

Reading: Ozma of Oz

5 06 2010

Continuing through the Oz books, we finished Ozma of Oz. In this book, I find Dorothy’s bravery sort of jealousy-inducing and not very believable. She gets swept overboard from the ocean liner she was supposed to be taking to Australia, and ends up riding a chicken coop, very calmly, all the way to fairyland. It helps that she’s accompanied by a lone surviving chicken, who once reaching the fairy land of Ev begins to talk.

For reading aloud, giving the characters accents is lots of fun: Billina  the chicken is one part clucking and two parts Kansas farmgirl, Dorothy gets just a little flavor of Midwestern twang thrown in to tell her apart from Ozma, and Tik-Tok the mechanical man gets a clangy, singsongey robot voice.

My favorite part of Ozma of Oz, though, is Ozma’s lunchbox trees. When Dorothy washes up  on shore she hasn’t eaten in two days, but what is the first thing she should find but a tree on which is growing delicious ripe lunchboxes. Inside each ripe lunchbox (you can tell them from the unripe because the unripe are smaller, and tinged with green), lovely wax-paper wrapped sandwiches, fruit, and cookies are growing. Someday I plan to go to the land of Ev, collect a cutting, and plant just such a tree here on our rail trail, so anyone who is out walking can come have a bite.

Or maybe, like Amberlee, I’ll just start by growing cupcakes:

Reading: The Land of Oz

8 05 2010

We finished this quite a while ago, but I see I never blogged about it. It’s one of those stories that I suspect you couldn’t tell today. Instead of Dorothy, the human hero is a boy named Tip, who is enslaved by an evil witch. He rescues himself by stealing his tormentor’s magical life-giving powder and shaking it over a series of inanimate objects: a pumpkin-headed manikin he made to scare the witch, who immediate starts calling him “Father!”; a saw horse who becomes their steed, and a cobbled-together contraption made out of a sofa, tree branches, and a trophy head that serves as an indignant, undignified winged transport. So far so good. In the end, it is revealed that Tip is actually a beautiful princess, Ozma, whose identity and gender have been disguised even from herself by the witch’s evil magic. It works perfectly well within the story, but considering the brouhaha that ensued when J.K. Rowling said that Dumbledore was gay, I would bet money that a children’s fantasy with a transgender hero/ine couldn’t be published in the 21st century.  So much for progress.