Posts tagged ‘theater’

FAMILY FUN VACATION PLAN

Mommy Camp (For Dads Too) Plan the Best Summer Ever

Written by Barb Asselin

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Practical planning guide for moms, dads, grandparents, and caregivers. This planning guide is really for any time of the year that a family knows they will have to share together. The key is to do the research and plan ahead including both indoor and outdoor activities. Camp does not have to be sleep away, and vacations need not be expensive with hotels and airfare. Depending on budget, there are numerous ways to have a great time.

Some of the ideas included will be familiar to readers like going to the beach, building a fort, or picnicking, or visiting with family members. Others stress finding inexpensive community resources like local theater, museums and libraries. Families may visit local fairs, farmer’s markets and yard sales. Asselin includes many recipes for cooking in the kitchen and crafts like home-made play dough. Gardening and volunteering opportunities can be found in any neighborhood. While the author does not reinvent the wheel, she does a good job of presenting suggestions and then providing a template that the reader can download free to implement their own ideas after discussing with their own families.

Recommended for moms, dads, grandparents and caregivers who don’t want to spend another summer or school vacation faced with children who say, “I’m bored, what can we do today.?”

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TONGUE-TIED?

Ruby Lee and the Very Big Deal

Written by Nancy Buffington

Illustrated by Stephanie Mullani

RubyLee,pic

Ruby Lee is a fifth grade student who has just won a contest. The problem is the prize she had hoped to gain was not something she wanted; it was to deliver a speech about her town at the first event ever held to celebrate life in Ruby’s town. Her friends and family congratulate her, but Ruby is terrified. The only time she had appeared on stage at age six had been a disaster because she had forgotten all her lines! Ruby wishes she could vanish into thin air.

Great Aunt Alice comes to the rescue. Alice is a bit of an eccentric who is rumored to have been a somewhat successful actress way back when. One day while Alice is sitting under the tree in the backyard with her dog, Thumbelina, Alice reveals that she will share her Nine Secrets of Becoming a Star with Alice. Over the next week’s time, Alice gradually shares them. Here are the nine secrets:

  1. Be yourself
  2. Practice, practice, practice
  3. Don’t even try to be perfect
  4. What the audience doesn’t know won’t hurt them
  5. Take charge
  6. Give yourself credit
  7. Have fun!
  8. Get ready to do it again
  9. Feel the love

Alice boasts that she has worked with some of the greats of the acting world. One evening she drops a picture signed by Johnny B., which Ruby picks up and places in her pocket for good luck. The big day has finally arrived. Has Ruby been able to internalize her Great Aunt’s tips in her quest to overcome her fears? How will the big speech go over?

This book can be used a  guide for anyone, child or adult, who is afraid to speak in public. Ruby’s story is in the format of an early chapter book and is an entertaining read for young readers. The author, who was once just like Ruby, is now a public speaking coach. The cast of characters included at the end of the book is a nice little time capsule of acting greats at the beginning of this century and is a bonus for those interested in the theater and the movies. I recommend this book as an interesting chapter book that promotes self-confidence  for those who are shy. Children and adults ages seven and up will enjoy the read.

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REALITY OR ILLUSION?

Young Plato and the Cave

Written and illustrated by F.A. Chekki

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This is a wonderful and innovative book for children in middle grades and older. It serves as an introduction to one of Plato’s works, The Allegory of the Cave, as well as a bird’s eye view of ancient Greece and its importance to the Western world today.

At the beginning of the book, the reader meets the philosopher Socrates and his student, Aristotle just finishing a lesson. Portraits of Socrates and Aristotle are given as well as thumbnails of the poem which has Plato visiting the oracle in the cave to discern its mystery. Side by side with the allegorical tale, the author presents what he calls, “Bites” of Greek knowledge. These include the government of Athens, Mount Olympus and its gods, the Library of Alexandria, Greek education, the Oracle of Delphi, notions of Arete, and Greek architecture, Greek theater, art, religion, and geography. These small bites pack an abundance of material on each page.

The black and white pencil drawings of the allegorical tale are combined with humor to contrast nicely with the colorful photos of sculpture, paintings, and Greek artifacts. Students are introduced to a plethora of subjects in an easily digestible format. Teachers have an unlimited field of possibilities when using this book as jump off point of discussion for history, literature, philosophy, government, art and science. Any child age nine and older should be able to find an area of interest for further exploration. As a historian, I was impressed by the succinct but pithy descriptions and the well balanced text. Highly recommended to parents, librarians, teachers and budding scholars who want to learn about ancient Greece in a nutshell! I am confident that most readers will be encouraged to explore to learn more.

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