Uncle Orson Reviews Everything
November 23, 2008
First appeared in print in The Rhinoceros Times
, Greensboro, NC.
Teachers, Comedy, and Children's Books for Christmas
The students at Eastern Guilford High School have gone through a lot in the
past few years. After the building burned down, they were shuttled to and from
temporary buildings and the Guilford Tech campus a few miles down the road.
Now they're looking at the new building reaching completion in April -- a
month before this year's seniors graduate.
But that doesn't mean you can't get a terrific educational experience there.
And a few days ago I had the chance to see a select group receiving exactly
Hal Bryant's jazz band meets during zero period each day -- that's right, the
period before first period. Starting at 7:45, somehow they manage to swing.
What I saw, though, was an after-school rehearsal the day before their
performance last Friday.
It's remarkable enough for a high school to have a jazz band. What a bonus
that they're actually good.
Good, but still learning. The piece they were playing when I came in felt a little
ragged, though I couldn't have put my finger on why. Then Mr. Bryant talked
to the drummer about holding back the tempo; the piece needed to have a kind
of rolling, lazy feeling to it, and Bryant talked and scatted his way through a
demonstration of what he wanted the beat to be.
The next time through, everything changed. I would never have known the
problem was in the tempo, but as soon as it was right -- or closer to it --
everything came together. Suddenly the tune made sense.
As I watched the rehearsal, I realized that these kids were working. Mr. Bryant
never wasted their time -- everything he said (including a lecture on the
importance of keeping mouthpieces warm during outdoor performances in sub-freezing weather) mattered, and when they followed his suggestions, they got
They followed his suggestions.
Anybody who has worked with high school students knows that this is not a
common occurrence. Especially when dealing with a bunch of kids who have
musical instruments that can easily drown out every word the teacher says.
And they are still kids -- there was plenty of noodling on their instruments
whenever he stopped them.
So he had to yell at them sometimes to be quiet. Except for one thing. He
Incredibly enough, Bryant's equivalent of yelling was to make no sound
whatsoever. He simply looked at the offending player and mouthed his request
for silence. The result? Silence.
You want to know how a teacher wins such complete respect from a bunch of
creative kids? And I mean tired kids after a long day at school?
They know that when they do what he says, they get better. How do they
know? When he gives suggestions to other players, they can hear for
themselves that they improve. He doesn't say "wonderful" unless it's
wonderful. In fact, what I most commonly heard him say was "better" -- but
only when it really was better.
This doesn't happen in every class, or even in every school, because -- let's face
it -- not every teacher really knows his subject, and not every teacher who
knows his subject is good at communicating it.
Mr. Bryant holds his students to high standards. No excuses -- either it
sounds good or it doesn't, and he expects them to get it right. When they do,
they sound great -- and they want to sound great.
The result is that instead of Bryant battling his students, trying to squeeze
some kind of interest or improvement out of them, this jazz band -- admittedly
an elite group to start with -- collaborate with him. They share a common
purpose, and so they get results.
Because I was reading A Nation of Wimps at the time -- an interesting book on
"The High Cost of Invasive Parenting" (I'll review it after I've finished it) -- I
couldn't help but wonder what it would have been like if all these players'
parents had been sitting around the room, waiting to "protect" their child from
"Mr. Bryant, why did you single my child out for criticism?"
Well, because he was the one entering a measure early.
"Doesn't it occur to you that your expectations are unreasonable?"
Everybody else entered at the right measure.
"How is he going to get a music scholarship to college if you damage his self-esteem by surrounding him with a climate of hostility and criticism?"
He'll get self-esteem the old-fashioned way -- listening to criticism and learning
how to do it right. By earning it.
"Let's see whether you still feel cocky about this oppressive learning
environment after I talk to the principal about it."
Of course that's dumb. When it comes to art, as with athletics, the degree of
achievement can't be fudged. Either you can hack it or you can't. No number
of parent-teacher conferences can turn a clumsy player into a good one --
whether in the basketball court or the concert hall.
Instead, the player has to work hard to achieve the best that's within his reach.
And ... shocking as this may sound ... even after all the hard work in the world,
some kids will still not be as good as other kids whose natural talent makes it
so they achieve effortlessly what remains out of reach to others.
That's how the world works. But when you have a terrific teacher and you're in
an ensemble that sounds good when it performs, it's ok not to be the star of the
team. You still get pleasure from doing your own part as well as you can. You
still earn legitimate pride from working hard and learning how to get hard
things right ... earning, along the way, a "better" from a teacher you respect.
Oh, did I also mention that everybody in the room seemed to like each other?
It was a happy environment. Nobody throwing tantrums -- none of that silly
stuff that they let famous artists get away with. Everybody had a professional
attitude -- or at least as professional as you can reasonably hope for at the end
of a long high school day.
I'm glad a couple of my friends who play in the band invited me. It made me
jealous, though. I did not have Mr. Bryant, or anyone like him, in my high
school band experience. Which may be why I set aside my tuba and my French
horn after sophomore year and never looked back. It stopped being a pleasure
Whenever I'm going on a trip my wife provides me with a lifeline, in the form of
an itinerary of travel and events I'm supposed to attend. For years she's been
putting them in the perfect container -- a plastic folder from Century
Business Solutions. The back cover is stiff, solid plastic; the front is clear.
It's open on the top and the right side, with a thumb notch, so that papers can
be slid in and out easily.
But it holds the papers tightly enough that I've never had full-size sheets slip
out. (Even small papers, like business cards, only slide out if you hold the
These "Paperwork Arrangers" have become so indispensable that we were both
dismayed when she couldn't find them on the Century website.
Why would they discontinue such a useful product? Not that we bought that
many -- they hold up so well we keep reusing them, which means we weren't
giving them enough repeat business.
The closest product we could find on the Century website was the "ultra-bright
vinyl envelope," which was floppy, opened on only one side, and was nearly
impossible to see through.
So at that point my wife had no choice but to go in search of a replacement
from some other company.
Levenger and Jeffco both had similar products -- plastic envelopes open only
on the right side, with a stiff solid back and a clear front. Leventer calls theirs
a "briefcase folder"; Jeffco's is a "full cut tab file jacket with frost clear front."
The thumb notch on both is bigger than the Century paperwork arranger's,
and both are designed so that the folder is loose enough that you can slide
things out fairly easily -- though not as easily as we were used to. With only
one side open, the sides of the paper are bound to snag a bit pulling it out.
Since I often have to get papers out of my itinerary folders while standing at a
kiosk or a counter, holding a couple of bags and in a hurry to catch a flight,
snagging at all is a real drawback. But what choice did I have?
The Levenger folder feels and looks better, and it has two spaces, front and
back. But the clear plastic is so frosted it's markedly harder to read through,
making the Jeffco file jacket better for our purposes.
My wife was just about to place an order at the Jeffco site when she decided to
give Century Business Solutions one more try. Lo! the very product we'd been
buying for years was still there after all -- it was simply hard to guess how to
find it on a not-terribly-clear website.
This is why my wife is well known to be much smarter than me. I would have
thought to look again at the original site only after placing a large and
expensive order at the other company, waiting for it to arrive, and opening the
package. Then the better product would have leapt off the screen and shouted
at me about how obvious it was and only an idiot would have missed it.
If you carry a briefcase or a computer bag -- something with room enough for
an 9x12 envelope -- and you need to have an itinerary you can get to easily,
read through the cover, and remove things from quickly when you need to,
there is simply no better product, in my opinion, than the Century paperwork
arranger; but if that doesn't work for you, by all means give the Jeffco "file
jacket with frost clear front" a try.
Century paperwork arranger
Jeffco file jacket
Levenger briefcase folder
"Sing a Song of Sixpence" may be a silly children's song, but when John
Rutter's choir performs it, it's a marvel of musical humor and inventiveness. If
you don't know the music of John Rutter, you really ought to try -- well,
anything -- but a good start is the CD The John Rutter Collection.
Especially in the Christmas season, it's worth hearing "Angel's Carol" and
"Shepherd's Pipe Carol," which are part of my definition of Christmas now. But
the whole disc is a revelation about what a choir can be brought to do, given
the right voices, the right arrangements, and the right conductor.
Rutter won't make you forget conductor Robert Shaw -- but he brings
something beautiful and moving to every song he records.
And if you want to sample just a few of his pieces, go to Amazon and search for
the John Rutter Christmas Album. You can download individual .mp3s,
without any nonsense about digital-rights-management, for 89 cents each. Try
his versions of familiar carols, or go straight to one of the most beautiful
Christmas songs ever written, Rutter's own composition "Candlelight Carol."
I dare you to hear that cut and not want the whole album.
The comedy DVD Bananas advertises itself as "good clean fun" and "Appeeling
[sic] Comedy for the Whole Family." It even has a little icon saying "As seen on
TV," so you'll know that this comedy actually made the Big Time.
If punning the word "appealing" with "peel" (as in "banana peel") is a sample of
the level of comedy, this DVD might as well have put "incompetent amateur" on
In some ways, what's inside is even worse: "guest host" Chonda Pierce and
much of the surrounding material is so smugly Christian that it makes me
cringe and shrink from the screen, saying (or thinking), "You really said that?"
I get the same reaction from gay comics whose "humor" consists of being smug
about how "inside" and cool the comic and the gay audience are, compared to
those who don't belong.
Some black comics are that way about being black, and some Jewish comics
about being Jewish. Only Jewish and black comics have had a lot more
experience with it, as a culture, so even that "inside" elbow-nudging stuff is
But whether it's well done or clumsy, it's always exclusive and self-congratulatory. And when it's clumsy, it's unintentionally ironic, because it
demonstrates how little there is to self-congratulate about.
Can't there be Christian comedy? Of course. But it won't be funny until it
stops defining itself by what it's not. When the biggest selling point of a
comedy DVD is that it's not dirty and that the whole family can watch, it leaves
me with the feeling that the DVD contains what's left over after all the dirty bits
are taken out. Basically, the floor sweepings of comedy.
Here's the sad thing. Thor Ramsey, the comic whose work is showcased on
this DVD, is actually talented and funny. You don't laugh at his cleanness,
you just laugh at his jokes. He doesn't spend his time congratulating himself
and his audience about being better and cleaner and more godly than the
pagans who go to Chris Rock and Dennis Miller performances.
Here's a clue to would-be Christian comics. Sure, you might be scrupulously
clean in your comedy, but that's not a point you yourself should be promoting.
Does Jerry Seinfeld promote himself as "the clean alternative"? He doesn't
work blue, but that's not the selling point: The selling point is that he's smart
and funny, so you not only laugh, you also get smarter while you listen to him.
When you stress that your act is "for the whole family," the unspoken phrase
"at least" is always tacked on to the front. This act may not be as funny as
others, but at least it's for the whole family.
So, oddly enough, I do give a passing grade to the DVD -- because Thor
Ramsey himself (but none of the surrounding material) is worth paying some
attention to. The guy has talent.
It's just a shame that he has so little faith in his own skill and his own material
that he allows himself to be packaged in such an apologetic-yet-boastful way.
Don't shrink your audience, Mr. Ramsey, by surrounding yourself with
markers of smugness and apology. Just do your act. People will notice that
you're clean. If you joke about it, they'll even notice that you're Christian.
But if you put in bits that drive away non-Christians, as well as Christians who
don't like the tacky "God-talk" of Evangelical television preachers, what are you
accomplishing? Isn't the point of being Evangelical that you reach out, as
Jesus did, to the publicans and sinners?
Be clean and Christian in your comedy -- but leave the door open for everyone
to enter. Then, if you're very very good, you might even elevate their taste and
make them cringe and shrink, not from you, but from the comics who can't get
a laugh without a dirty joke or an f-word.
It's easy to find Christmas gifts for the kids who live with you.
OK, maybe not easy -- budget can constrain you from pleasing a teenager who
only wants a car or the nine-year-old who only wants a horse; allergies might
keep you from properly gifting the kid who wants a dog or a cat.
(If only kids wanted goats for Christmas, at least you could keep the lawn
But at least you know what they already have and the kind of thing they're
likely to like.
What if you're a grandparent or an uncle or aunt, and the kids you're buying
presents for are absent? Sure, you see them once or twice a year, or even once
a month -- but because you don't live with them, it's hard to guess what might
When I was growing up, my dad's parents gave us all new pajamas every
Christmas. Yeah, it wasn't the most thrilling present under the tree -- but we
were all growing and we needed the jammies. And when we wore them, we
thought of Nana Lu and Grandpa.
Many other grandparents give money -- but to me that seems like giving up.
Though I have to say, I remember very much as a child that gifts of a dollar or
-- was it even possible? -- five dollars were greatly appreciated. It meant a trip
to the toy or hobby store to buy something that I could never have afforded
with my allowance alone.
Inflation has hit -- a dollar was worth something when I was a kid, but now
you can't buy anything with much less than a five. (Remember: When I was a
kid, a Milky Way or Three Musketeers cost a nickel; single-size Tootsie Rolls
were a penny. Yes, Virginia, once upon a time there really was penny candy.)
So I don't reject the cash option out of hand.
If you want to give something rather than a shopping trip, you have to start
asking the parents for ideas. And that's fine. Find out about the kid.
So let's say you find out that a particular grandchild or niece or nephew is a
reader; what then? You know the age and gender of the child. The parents
have told you roughly what reading level he or she is at: picture books, chapter
books, children's or young adult books.
Remember that while girls will usually read books with boy heroes, few boys
will ever touch books about girls -- even swashbuckling pirate girls. It's sad
(There are exceptions. When I was a kid, I made few distinctions like that,
because basically I read books the way those leaf-sucking trucks that drive
along the streets in the autumn suck leaves. If it was there, I read it, leaving
my eye-tracks on anything with letters on it.)
But you're still left with the quandary: How can you tell which books a kid will
think are good?
The short answer is: You can't. From the earliest years of being read to by
Mommy or Daddy, kids have their own tastes and differ from each other on
many of their favorites.
But the long answer is: You can improve your odds of giving a book that kids of
that age will love by (a) asking people who have kids that age and sex what
their kids love, or (b) reading reviews and lists of highly recommended
Or you can ask a friend or relative who is an expert on children's books. For
instance, I have one librarian friend who has been a judge on the committees
that choose the Caldecott and other awards in children's literature. We have
long taken her recommendations seriously. And no, I won't tell you her name.
You have to make your own librarian friends.
I also pay close attention to what my sister, Janice Card, says -- because she
has worked for many years as the children's-book buyer for the Brigham Young
Most college bookstores are repositories for textbooks and souvenirs bearing
the college logo. The BYU Bookstore is all of that -- but it also has a selection
of adult and children's books rivaling any of the bookstores in town. And their
children's department is and always has been a marvel of completeness and
Each year, Janice creates, for her customers, a list of the best new books for
children under twelve (though a few of the books might also please older kids).
There's not room in this column (somebody has been writing way too much in
this space) for me to print the whole list. But I can put the list up online, in
the version of this column that appears at the Rhinoceros Times and Hatrack
Go to http://www.rhinotimes.com and http://www.hatrack.com to find that
list. Then print it out and take it to the bookstore with you. Or keep it open in
one browser window while you shop on Amazon.com or another online
bookstore in another.
Following Janice Card's recommendations greatly increases your odds of giving
a gift that will be enjoyed long after the wrapping paper has been thrown away
and the toys have broken and the videogames have been played and taken
back to Gamestop.
CHRISTMAS GIVING LIST 2008
Compiled by Janice Card
BYU Bookstore Children's Book Buyer
To get the BYU Bookstore discounts mentioned here, you can order from their
Selected Sale Titles for Winter & Christmas:
50 CHRISTMAS THINGS TO MAKE & DO by Usborne. EDC Publications. 9780794518370,
$9.99 (40% off). Individuals or families with the slightest creative interests will enjoy
this little spiral bound book full of crafty and artistic activities for the holidays.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Including "A Christmas Tree" -- by Charles Dickens,
illustrated by Robert Ingpen. Penguin. 9780698400856, $25.00 (30% off). 192 pages. Australian
artist Robert Ingpen has provided lovely illustrations for these classic stories.
Add this version to the dozens you already have, and buy one for a gift as well.
THE GIFT OF THE MAGI by O. Henry, illustrated by P. J. Lynch. Candlewick Press.
9780763635305, $15.99 (30% off). Here is a classic Christmas story with Lynch's beautiful
art. A nice companion book for THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF JONATHAN
A MAGICAL CHRISTMAS by Claire Freedman, illustrated by Gail Yerrill. Tiger
Tales. 9781589258280, $12.95 (30% off). Sparkles enhance each page of this lovely little book
showing a mouse community enjoying all the fun activities and love that go
along with winter and Christmas.
Selected Sale Titles:
APPLE PIP PRINCESS (Original Fairy Tale) by Jane Ray. Candlewick. 9780763637477,
$16.99 (30% off). Here is a getting-back-to-nature original fairy tale that will help
readers appreciate the beauties of nature and the difference trees, birds, and
natural things can make in a manmade world.
FANNY by Holly Hobbie. Little Brown. 9780316166874, $16.99. (30% off). Fanny wants a Connie
Doll, but her mother refuses to get her that glitzy glamour girl, so Fanny
decides to make her own Connie doll. When she finishes her creation she
decides that Annabelle is a more fitting name. Can Annabelle stand up against
Fanny's friends' Connie dolls?
FOGGY FOGGY FOREST by Nick Sharratt. Candlewick Press. 9780763639211, $12.99 (30% off).
Sharratt has created a unique picture book that makes his pictures look foggy.
A touch of color here and there gives the pages life and focus.
GREEN TIGER'S ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF FAIRY TALES by Green Tiger,
various illustrators represented. Green Tiger Press. 9781595832870, $24.95 (30% off). Beautiful
illustrations by artists from the past enhance these familiar tales. This is a
great gift for the collectors on your list.
HUG A BUG by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Dan Andreasen. HarperCollins.
9780060518325, $16.99 (30% off). Although this picture book is meant for the very young,
anybody of any age knows that hugs can bring happiness to others.
MOXY MAXWELL DOES NOT LOVE STUART LITTLE by Peggy Gifford. Schwartz
& Wade/Random House. 9780375839153, $12.99. (30% off) 92 pages. Assigned to read Stuart Little over
the summer, Moxy manages to carry the book around with her to the pool and
anywhere else she goes, but actually reading the book does not happen until
the last minute.
MOXY MAXWELL DOES NOT LOVE WRITING THANK-YOU NOTES by Peggy
Gifford. Schwartz & Wade/Random House. 7980375842702, $12.99 (30% off). 160 pages. Moxy is a pro at
procrastination! She must write her post-Christmas thank-you's but can't
bring herself to do it. She has to find an easier way. Reading these brief novels
will fill you with delight and chuckles.
ONE by Kathryn Otoshi. KO Kids Books/Publishers Group West. 9780972394642, $16.95 (30% off). Here is
a wonderful book of colors and numbers. But it is also a book about bullying
and befriending and standing up for yourself.
SNOW by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Lauren Stringer. Harcourt. 9780152053031, $17.00
(30% off). Different types of snow are described as a child and her grandmother
build memories together. Those who love snow will relate well to this picture
THE SNOW QUEEN, by Hans Christian Andersen, retold by N Lewis and
illustrated by Christian Birmingham. Candlewick Press. 9780763632298, $16.99 (30% off).
Although the text is wordy and maintains the feel of an old tale, the
illustrations are gorgeous and help move the story along.
SPLAT THE CAT by Rob Scotton. HarperCollins. 9780060831547, $16.95 (30% off). Splat is
worried about his first day of school. For comfort he brings along his pet
mouse, Seymour, hidden in his lunchbox. Splat learns many lessons about cat
do's and don'ts. Best of all, he learns that school is a great place to be.
SWORDS - AN ARTIST'S DEVOTION by Ben Boos. Candlewick Press. 9780763631482, $24.99
(less 30%). "Elegant" describes this history of warriors and swords through the ages
and from all over the world. Although this is a perfect choice as a gift for the
men on your list, you might be surprised at how many ladies might find this
book of interest.
THE WHEAT DOLL, by Alison L. Randall, illustrated by Bill Farnsworth.
Peachtree. 7981561454563, $16.95 (30% off). In Utah territory in the late 1800s, Mary Ann lost
her wheat doll and didn't find it until spring. This is a story passed down
through the years and then told to the author. (The author is signing her book
New Christmas Titles:
BABY ELF'S CHRISTMAS BOARD BOOK by Jane Cowen-Fletcher. Candlewick Press.
9780763632502, $5.99. Anyone would fall in love with this cute little elf as he discovers
the fun of Christmas and the love it inspires.
THE CHRISTMAS ANGELS, by Claire Freedman, illustrated by Gail Yerrill.
Good Books. 9781561486373, $16.95. Sparkling art and a gentle tale remind us that angels
attend us all the time, but especially at Christmas.
THE CHRISTMAS BOOK: How to Have the Best Christmas Ever, by Juliana
Foster. Scholastic. 9780545064439, $9.99. This is a family Christmas how-to that may be
more for adults than children, but there is plenty for everyone's tastes. The
index includes: How to Give a Party I & II, True Christmas Stories, Practical
DRUMMER BOY by Loren Long. Philomel/Penguin. 9780399251740, $17.99. Arriving as an
anonymous gift, the toy drummer boy accidentally is knocked into the garbage
and embarks on a series of adventures. He is faced by danger & loneliness, but
bravely beats his drum and hopes to be reunited with the child who loves him.
INTRICATE ORNAMENTS: 45 CHRISTMAS DESIGNS TO COLOR by Chuck
Abraham. Running Press. 9780762433308. $6.95. Anyone who loves to relax and color,
especially with colored pencils, will love getting in the Christmas mood by
bringing these designs to life in vivid color.
THE LUMP OF COAL by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Brett Helquist.
HarperCollins. 9780061574283, $12.99. Very few people would think of a lump of coal as
having much personality, but this one sure does. Where can you find true
appreciation in this world if you are just a lump of coal? Nobody takes you
seriously. But in this small book miracles do happen.
A PIRATE'S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Philip Yates, illustrated by
Sebastia Serra. Sterling. 9781402742576, $14.95. This is a must-have Christmas book
because it is such a delightful new take on the old classic by Clement Moore. It
is a super read-aloud picture book.
SANTA'S LITTLE HELPER by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Daniel
Howarth. Orchard Books/Scholastic. 9780545094443, $14.99. Snowball, a young bunny, is picked
up by Santa on his Christmas route. The little rabbit assists Santa as he
delivers gifts, then he is returned to his loving family.
ANGEL GIRL: Based on a True Story, by Laurie Friedman, illustrated by Ofra
Amit. CarolRhoda Bks / Lerner. 9780822587392, $16.95. The sparse text in this unique picture
book is full of the feelings of loneliness, drudgery and despair that came with
living in a Nazi concentration camp, but even stronger is the assurance of a
mother's love and the kindness of a young farm girl. This story of survival and
love will touch every heart.
FROG BRIDE retold by Antonia Barber, illustrated by Virginia Lee. 9781845074760,
$16.95. This Grimm Brothers' tale is nicely retold with artwork that takes the
reader to old Russia.
IT'S TIME TO SLEEP, MY LOVE by Eric Metaxas, illustrated by Nancy
Tillman. Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan. 97803128383718, $16.95. Brief, poetic text is accompanied
by such lovely artwork it will create beautiful dreams for a sleepy child or
LITTLE MOUSE'S BIG BOOK OF FEARS by Emily Gravett. Simon & Schuster.
9781416959304, $17.99. This inventive British picture book creator has already come
out with some winners (for example: WOLVES). Here is a book of fears that are
shared by a mouse and many others, and as usual, there is a surprising end to
PENGUINS by Liz Pichon. Orchard Books/Scholastic. 9780545022156, $12.99. A little girl drops
her camera among the penguins at the zoo. When she retrieves it the next day
she is surprised by some of the pictures that show up on her roll of film.
TWO BOBBIES: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, & Survival,
by Kirby Larson & Mary Nethery, illustrated by Jean Cassels. Walker Books.
9780802797544, $16.99. Truly touching, this tale of two animals rescued from the
aftermath of Katrina, helps skeptics to realize that animals are capable of love,
loyalty, and tender care.
SEBASTIAN DARKE: PRINCE OF FOOLS by Philip Caveney. Delacorte Press/Random
House. 9780385734677, $15.99. 338 pages. Ages 10 up. This is the first book of either a series
or a trilogy that follows the adventures of a young Elf-man who is trying to
follow in his father's footsteps as a court jester. He travels with his buffalope,
Max, who can talk and makes the most of it. He meets up with Cornelius
Drummel, a warrior of small stature, and Princess Kerin, who steals his heart.
Together this threesome overcomes evil.
SOMETHING WICKEDLY WEIRD 1: THE WOODEN MILE by Chris Mould.
Roaring Brook Press. 9781596433830, $9.95. 176 pages. Ages 8 to 12. Delightful black and white
illustrations accompany the text in this fun adventure tale of a boy, Stanley,
who inherits his great-uncle's estate, Candlestick Hall, on Crampton Rock, a
remote island filled with both the weird and the wonderful.
SOMETHING WICKEDLY WEIRD 2: THE ICY HAND by Chris Mould. Roaring
Brook Press. 9781596433854, $9.95. 174 pages. Ages 8 to 12. Daisy comes into the picture and
helps Stanley in his latest quest. These are clever, fast-moving tales to capture
any reader and hold them from beginning to end.
PINK PRINCESS TEA PARTIES by Barbara Beery. Gibbs Smith. 9781423604167, $14.99. 63
pages of delectable delicacies for the Pink Princess in your life. Although this
books is directed toward young girls, it is unlikely that princes or pirates could
resist these treats: cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, smoothies. This is a
companion book for other Beery titles: Fairies Cook Book & Mermaid Cook
ABC3D by Marion Bataille, Roaring Brook. 9781596434257, $19.95. Here is the alphabet as
you have never seen it before. Compact in size, but brimming with creative
letters that pop out at you. This is a collectors' pop-up book for sure.
Thank you for joining us here at the BYU Bookstore!
Happy shopping and happy reading to you all!
Happy Thanksgiving & Merry Christmas, too!