Posts from the ‘travel’ Category

TRAVELING IN STYLE

Molly Mouse Visits The Seaside: One small mouse expanding her horizons

Written and illustrated by Melinda Kinsman

This book is the newest addition to the adventures of The Top of the Wardrobe Gang, a group of talented and proficient stuffed animals. In this tale, Molly Mouse receives a letter from her Uncle Lee and cousins to come and visit them in their lighthouse by the sea. Always up for an adventure, Molly makes travel plans. When she encounters difficulties traveling with humans, Molly discovers a travel agency that caters to mice where they can travel in luxury on buses, trains, and ships.

Molly describes her journey. She learns many new facts from her waiter. Finally, she arrives at the lighthouse where she celebrates time with her family by playing on the beach, watching sailing ships race, learning how to fish, and even spotting a whale offshore. Molly is sad to see her vacation end, but she is happy that her Uncle and cousins plan to visit her soon.

The adventure doesn’t end here. There is a bonus section with puzzles, mazes, and games for readers to enjoy. This book will be particularly enjoyed by readers ages three through six but is appropriate and enjoyable for any reader.

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#LittleMissHISTORY #virtualreality #SANSAR #INTERVIEW with Bernhard Drax

I recently had the opportunity to present Little Miss HISTORY  in animation. Thanks to Silas Merlin, who created the avatar, the character has come to life.

  • Little Miss HISTORY insists, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” On the day of our birth, we become a character in history because each of us has an opportunity to create our story and place our mark on history.

 

  • As we stand here in the twenty-first century, technology allows us to immerse ourselves in history. In 2003, Linden Lab launched a program called Second Life. Its users, who are called residents, use this technology to create virtual representations of themselves. These avatars can explore the virtual world, socialize and participate with other residents in a group or individual activities. Second Life has its own virtual currency that allows residents to create, shop, and trade virtual property with one another.

 

  • In 2014, Linden Lab announced a plan to develop a new virtual world. Content creators began working on the program named Project Sansar. The platform was released in “creator beta” to the public in July 2017. Users create 3D spaces where people can create and share social experiences such as watching videos, playing games, and having conversations. Participants are represented by avatars they create. These avatars contain speech-driven facial animations and motion driven body animations.

 

  • Sansar supports virtual reality headsets but can also be accessed with Windows computers. The program is free to use, but like Second Life Sansar has its own economy. Users can buy and sell their virtual creations with the Sansar dollar.

 

  • HOW DID LITTLE MISS HISTORY GET INVOLVED IN VIRTUAL REALITY? A few months ago, I was approached by Bernhard Drax to appear on his Book Club Radio podcast. When I heard that Little Miss HISTORY would have an opportunity to appear in virtual reality, I jumped at the opportunity.

 

  • Via “draxtor”..and media for all! Drax and his team now offer audio-visual storytelling for many media platforms. Bernhard Drax studied audio engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles and music at the Hochschule fur Musik and Theater Munchen. He is an expert in user-created content in Virtual Reality. His award-winning mixed reality documentary series “The Drax Files: World Makers” is just one of his many video series featured on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/user/draxtordespres

 

I invite you to join us in a discussion about books, education, and history, past, present, and future!

 

Check out Little Miss HISTORY’s journey into virtual reality!

 

If you would like to read the entire interview on the podcast, please go here:

https://wp.me/p485L9-1N9

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATURE’S BEAUTY

My First Summer in Sierra

Written by John Muir

Published by Digireads.com

This book is a travel diary written by John Muir, in the summer of 1869. After the Civil War when John Muir returned from Canada, he secured a position with Carlo, a shepherd who was moving a herd of 2500 sheep up to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Muir, who loved nature and the Yosemite region, jumped at the chance to join the group as a naturalist. He would document the journey, the wildlife, and the scenery along the way.
Readers read Muir’s recollections which are sometimes verbatim details, but also feel the emotion in his voice as he describes the grandeur and majesty of his surroundings. Muir’s love and appreciation of life forms in their natural surroundings come through as he excitedly reports his discoveries. This edition includes maps, drawings, and sketches. For those who appreciate the beauty of the planet, but cannot trek 9,000 feet up into the Sierras, one learns to appreciate the wildlife, the majesty of the sequoias, and the beauty of its pristine waters. Recommended for nature and travel lovers.

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A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE INCIDENTS

The Frights of Fiji: (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions Series Book 1

Written by Sunayna Prasad

This is the first in a series of fantasy adventures for middle-grade readers. Alyssa is the twelve-year-old protagonist who lost her parents in an accident five years prior. Although her parents had named her Uncle Alex as her guardian, she is now living with her Uncle Bruce and his daughter, Hailey.

Bruce is a stern taskmaster; Alyssa lives a life of unending rules and drudgery. When magic becomes a part of her life, along with some strange-looking wizards and creatures, she believes there is the hope of escape from her plight. But then she learns that an evil wizard intends to capture her and remove Bruce from the picture.

Alyssa has been whisked away to Fiji where her situation goes from bad to worse. She is enslaved with several other children and forced to do the evil wizard’s bidding. Will Alyssa find a way to escape back to the United States and find refuge with her godfather?

There are many fantastical characters and a series of rather far-fetched incidents. Even though this book is a magical fantasy, some of the plot connections don’t come off as genuine.

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Gone, but not forgotten

The Yellow Suitcase

Written by Meera Sriram

Illustrated by Meera Sethi

Asha arrives at her grandmother’s house in India from California for her yearly visit, clutching her yellow suitcase. Each year Asha packs her suitcase with gifts for her grandmother and returns with little treasures that her grandmother has created for her. But this year the house is filled with relatives mourning her grandmother’s death. Asha struggles through her grief and becomes inconsolable until it is time to leave. She finds a wonderful gift that her grandmother has made for Asha just before she died.

This multicultural book is a colorful introduction to Indian culture and customs as well as a well-written book to help children understand the death of a close relative and the grieving process. Sethi’s hand-drawn illustrations are vivid and expressive. Perhaps the text could have been a bit larger, but the design of the book is clear and easy to read. Recommended for ages eight and older.

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BILLY AND BOB’S BLUNDERS

Lost in Lithuania and other funny stories

Written by Alex Goodwin

 

This is my first time reading a book in this series. Goodwin is a thirteen-year-old author with a wonderful imagination and a creative mind. Bob and Billy are two obese friends who decide that they must get in shape. They abruptly decide to enter a curling contest, even though they have no knowledge of the game. The friends discover a note that they have been fired from their jobs in San Francisco, so they hurry to board a plant to get back. Alas! Bob and Billy board the wrong plane and wind up in Lithuania. Now broke, they answer an ad for a job in a bakery for which they have no background and cannot speak the language. When the disgruntled patrons attack them, Bob and Billy flee for their lives and stumble across an abandoned castle where they become tour guides. The two tell a lot of lies, but they become quite adept at their profession. Determined to return home, at last, they are foiled when all their money falls through a hole in their baggage. So, they write to their uncle and secure employment, only to find they will be making aglets for shoelaces on an assembly line. And so, the stories go on… Will Billy and Bob ever make it back home to their jobs at the nuclear plant in Death Valley?

Goodwin writes crisp, catchy dialogue that is as hilarious as it is preposterous. He manages to weave a link between the short stories to create a cohesive plot. The tales are clean, good fun. Readers ages ten and older won’t stop laughing till the last line.

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IN SEARCH OF SOMETHING BETTER

The Magic Forest: The Secret of the Golden Egg

Written by Maya Sanders

Shu is a mythical creature with a horn in the middle of her head. She lives at the top of a tall tree and acts as the protector of the Urman forest. Together with her horse, Tu, Shu wanders the forest assuring that the weak are protected. One day, Shu awakes in a bad mood because she is no longer satisfied with her small, cramped home.

Shu has heard rumors of a golden egg that can turn into a castle, so she and her winged-horse friend seek out Yukka, a 1000-year-old viper who knows all. Yukka assigns Shu three tasks to complete before revealing where to find the golden egg.

On the journey, Shu helps Su find her lost comb, restores the confidence of the Firebird, Rukh, and learns that appearances can be deceptive. Children come to understand the importance of helping others and the necessity of keeping our own needs in check. The tale is an old Tatar folktale that combines magic and fantasy with lessons to learn for humans. There are a few color illustrations that make this book choice more appealing for beginning readers. Recommended for ages seven through ten.

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