Thursday, February 28, 2008

100 Best Children's Books

[Edited - Wow, I just looked at the published entry. That red sure is eye-popping! If it bugs you, you can always highlight the text before reading for a more soothing grey color. Sorry!]

Found this information at the Christian Writer's Marketplace blog.

The following list was compiled from an online survey of educators (NEA, I guess) in 2007. Children's book writers (or would-be writers)would do well to make a point to read all of these.

(I am bolding the ones I KNOW I have read and putting a question mark after the ones I am not sure about. My choices for must-reads will be in RED. Then I will be making a point to read the others, well - most of them.)

1.Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
3. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
4. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
5. Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
6. I Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch
7. Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo ? (I know I watched the movie and I THINK I read it.)
8. Oh! The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss
9. The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
10. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
11. Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
12. Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco (I'm not a big Polacco fan. It's the art. Bleh)
13. The Cat In The Hat by Dr. Seuss
14. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
15. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
16. The Mitten by Jan Brett
17. Crunching Carrots, Not Candy by Judy Slack
18. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willlems
19. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (Nope, and not going to either, lol)
20. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
21. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
22. Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
23. Corduroy by Don Freeman
24. Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
25. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon (This was a favorite of Emily's, so I've read it LOTS!)
26. Tacky the Penquin by Helen Lester
27. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
28. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
29. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
30. Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type Doreen Cronin
31. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
32. Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
33. Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
34. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
35. Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
36. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (I made David read this, but I haven't! How sad is that! lol)
37. Piggie Pie by Margie Palatini
38. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
39. The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone (LOVE THIS!)
40. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (wow, she has a lot of books on this list!)
41. A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
42. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
43. From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
44. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
45. Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli ?
46. Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
47. Olivia by Ian Falconer
48. The BFG by Roald Dahl ?
49. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
50. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (This was a recent read-aloud.)
51. The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
52. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
53. Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel
54. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
55. Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
56. Bunnicula by James Howe
57. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
58. Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom DeLuise (Dom DeLuise? Really?)
59. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes (I just sent this one away on paperbackswap!)
60. Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
61. Frederick by Leo Lionni
62. Frindle by Andrew Clements
63. Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel (James just read this.)
64. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
65. Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen
66. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
67. Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss
68. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
69. I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt
70. Is Your Mama A Llama? by Deborah Guarino
71. Jan Brett’s books
72. Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin Jr. ??
73. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
74. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
75. Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
76. My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett
77. My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss ?
78. My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (David adored this!)
79. No David! by David Shannon
80. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss (I love Seuss!)
81. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
82. Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch
83. Swimmy by Leo Lionni
84. The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
85. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Warner
86. The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (I can't believe I've never read this series!)
87. The Empty Pot by Demi
88. The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop
89. The Giver by Lois Lowry
90. The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
91. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
92. The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown
93. The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements
94. The Napping House by Audrey Wood
95. The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau
96. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
97. The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack
98. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
99. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
100. The Wide-Mouthed Frog: A Pop-Up Book by Keith Faulkner

Saturday, February 16, 2008

IMDB Top 250

I've been poking around on IMDB and found out that they have a list of the 250 top rated movies.

I thought it would be interesting to peruse the list. Many foreign films are listed and I don't see many of those, but here are a few of the highly rated movies I have actually seen.

#8 Empire Strikes Back
#9 Casablanca
#11 Star Wars
#12 Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Yes! Cha-ching!)
#17 Raiders of the Lost Ark
#19 Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Ooh yeah!)
#29 Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Completing the trilogy!)
#31 It's a Wonderful Life (I adore this movie!)
#33 The Matrix (If you haven't seen it, you ought to! Several times, if necessary, to comprehend it!)
#50 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (WHAT?! lolol This movie does NOT belong on this list!)
#55 The Shining
#63 Saving Private Ryan
#64 Forrest Gump (I do NOT see the appeal of this movie. Sorry!)
#85 Amadeus
#89 The Prestige
#91 Jaws
#99 Braveheart
#102 Batman Begins
#103 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
#108 Return of the Jedi
#109 Wizard of Oz
#113 Back to the Future
#114 Fargo
#115 Ratatouille (Is this the first animated movie on the list? Ratatouille? For heaven's sake!)
#118 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
#127 The Green Mile (just watched this last weekend!)
#132 Ben-Hur
#134 The Sixth Sense
#138 Platoon
#142 The Incredibles (Oh now, come on! This was WAY better than the rat movie.)
#143 Finding Nemo (Fishies are cuter than rats, aren't they? And the sea turtles! Come on!)
#152 Princess Bride (Inconceivable!)
#156 Crash
#164 Gandhi
#165 The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
#174 Gone with the Wind (Way down at #174???)
#178 Into the Wild (Who is doing this rating anyway???)
#181 Groundhog Day
#189 Toy Story
#198 Glory
#204 Spartacus
#206 Lion King
#222 Big Fish (hated this!)
#224 Toy Story 2
#226 A Christmas Story (I don't see the appeal here either.)
#229 Mystic River
#250 Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (Jen, I can see you fuming from here!)

I didn't mean to do the whole list! I couldn't stop myself. Maybe I should go to bed!

I've seen 47 of the top 250 movies rated at IMDB. That's not even 1/5. If they didn't count the foreign language films, I bet my ratio would be higher.

Ok, to my pillow I go!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

DVD Storage

If you keep your DVD's in something besides the original cases, would you comment here and let me know what?

We don't have a lot of DVD's, but I long for something that takes up less space and is easier to use than the stacks of DVD's on top of the bookcase.

We have tried CD storage cases before for our CD's and they didn't prove durable. I don't want to invest in something that won't endure a bit of rough treatment. After all, I do have four kids.

Friday, February 01, 2008

January Reads

Oh, I have read TWELVE books in January! Go me! What have YOU read lately?

The Martyr's Song
by Ted Dekker 01/01/08
Good - Inspirational
A small group of bitter soldiers stumbles upon a peaceful Bosnian village at the end of WW2 and the villagers are put to the ultimate test.
I've been reading every Dekker book I can find! This one is part of a loose series and it is the one that is the basis for all the others.

ttyl by Lauren Myracle 01/02/08
Good - Young Adult
Told completely in instant messages, 3 teen girls explore the world of 10th grade and friendship.
Saw this book at the library book sale and it intrigued me, since I have been instant messaging friends for years now. I found it really amazing how one could "get" the personalities just from the instant messages! I really enjoyed this book. (By the way, it took place in Atlanta.)

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer 01/07/08
Good - Young Adult
Bella is in danger and Jacob and Edward must team up to protect her, but who will she choose?
This is the third book in the Twilight series. I'D PICK JACOB. ;-)

T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton 01/11/08
Good - Suspense
Kinsey's neighbor Gus is the victim of a sociopathic private nurse.
Better than the "S" book, I think.

ttfn by Lauren Myracle 01/14/08
Good - Young Adult
Again told completely in IM, this novel follows the junior year of Angela, Zoe, and Maddie.
This is the sequel to ttyl. Angela, Zoe, and Maddie have a wild junior year. I really wouldn't recommend this to teens, although I found it an eye-opening insight into what teens are thinking and doing. I do realize it was written by an adult though. There is a third book I have not read yet.

Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke 01/19/08
Fair - Mystery
Hannah must find the killer of the stingy department store owner who was playing Santa Claus on the night of his death; there were 3 novellas by different authors in this book but I only read the Fluke novella.
Although I enjoy Hannah and her mystery-solving, I just find this series a bit bland lately.

Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom by Ursula Nordstrom 01/20/08
Good - Non-fiction
Ursula Nordstrom is regarded as the single most creative force for innovation in children's book publishing in the US during the 20th century. She worked with authors and illustrators like Margaret Wise Brown, Maurice Sendak, Louise Fitzhugh, Shel Silverstein, E.B.White, H.A. And Margret Rey and many many more.
This was a very long book and most of it was fascinating! Nordstrom wrote one children's novel - The Secret Language, which was one of my favorites growing up. Emily is reading it now, so I googled to find out if she had written any others and found out she was a prominent children's book editor! Check out the list of some of her writers and illustrators! If you are interested at all in children's literature, I highly recommend this book! (Oh, by the way, she HAD written only one other novel - a sequel to The Secret Language. However, she burned it and it was never published!)

Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich 01/20/08
Good - Mystery
Diesel turns up around St. Patrick's Day and Grandma Mazur finds a bag of money that was already stolen by a little guy who thinks he is a leprechaun.
This was quick and funny! Whets my appetite for FOURTEEN!

The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky 01/24/08
Good - Fiction
A man is hit by a car – who is driving, the mother or her teenage daughter?
Interesting premise, but very preachy toward the end.

Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe by Todd Wilson 01/24/08
Good - Non-fiction
A homeschooling dad of 8 wrote this book to help homeschooling moms realize the lies they believe about themselves and how to combat them.
Short book, quick read, but thought-provoking. I am leading a moms study at co-op based on this book.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards 01/29/08
Fair - Fiction
A doctor delivers his own twins during a blizzard and gives up his daughter because she has Down's Syndrome, but tells his wife the baby is dead.
This book tried very hard to be sophisticated, but missed out. By the end I was very bored and could have cared less about any of the characters.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon 01/31/08
Excellent - Historical Fiction
RE-READ Claire and Jamie settle on a mountain and their daughter Brianna finds love - 4th in the Outlander series; I listened to the audiobook.
Oooh, listening to Davina Porter read Gabaldon is one of the things I enjoy the most in life! This took a LONG time to listen to. It was 39 compact discs, if you can imagine! I listened on the way to work and back home so it took a couple months. But she does the accents! And she is so expressive! And Gabaldon's writing is just so darn INTERESTING! She does tend to wax rhapsodical about scenery though - leaves, for example, can be described in detail. This I can skip when reading the book, but it makes me roll my eyes at times when listening. But these eye-rolling times are few and far between, and mostly just when I am wondering what in the world ever happened in that cliffhanger the last chapter ended with! Just one note, Gabaldon is R-rated reading. So, although I do recommend it, it isn't for those who prefer squeaky clean fiction.