Showing posts with label stories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stories. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Review this: Take a Teddy Bear to Work Day!

Mark this date on your calendar, it happens every year on the 12th of October!  It's take your Teddy Bear to Work Day.

Now all of you who are in the younger years of their lives will find, taking your teddy bear to work day is really easy.  I know my Granddaughter has taken hers to school (her version of work) for the last 4 or 5 years.  How does she do this?  Very easily, after all the school books are packed into her back pack, Alfie (the wonder bear) gets the best seat on top with his head poking up and out of the top.  


If you are too old to do that, maybe a seating arrangement like this one above would be a good choice.  (picture from Pixabay)

Teddy Bears Make the Perfect Gift!


Teddy Bears have been a long time favorite gift for children and adults for years.  They evoke a return to childhood and all this is good.  I can remember getting little bears from my boyfriends and girl friends,  as tokens of friendship.  Their faces just seemed to say, "you are special to me!"


When you need some stress relief, grab your Teddy Bear and have a good talk, he won't tell anyone your secrets.


Teddy Bears are used to bring smiles to faces of children, when they are sick, tired, stressed (yes kids can stress), or just for no reason at all. Some children will latch onto their teddy bears without any prompting from mom or dad, while others will only grab onto theirs when it's bed time. No one is sure why that happens, but, I can tell you that when it does, it can be the cutest thing ever. My Granddaughter is so attached to her bear, that her parents went out and bought a second one exactly like the first one, just in case she lost hers. The problem here is that my granddaughter is quite aware that there is a second one in the closet, but it's not her Alfie! The closet bear has a name, "Hugo", but he will never be and will never replace Alfie!

Adult Fun in the form of taking your Teddy Bear to Work Day!


Take your Teddy Bear to work day, I'm sure was born of the need to relax  a little bit in the workplace. I know from my own experience, that our jobs have become much more stressful in the last 10 years. Everyone expects more work with the same hours to accomplish the days events. You just can't do that without adding stress. Put a teddy bear into the mix and maybe while you are working away, you can take a moment to smile and laugh about the bears who are gracing everyone's desks that day.  I am sure you will find bears that look like they have never been held and others that have bald spots on them (much like their owners).  Teddy bears that have been "loved to death" have that special look to them, they are flat where they used to be pudgy, their fur has become a matted mess and the arms and legs are probably resewn a few times over the years.  There is no doubt at all when you see them, that these bears have been through as much as their owners have over their life time.

My uncle has a bear, that is only about 6 inches high, that he thoroughly loved. While he was fleeing his country during the War, this was the only toy he was allowed to bring.  I think his bear became his confident, best friend and his reassurance,  while they walked at night making their way out of Germany and into Switzerland.  He has his own "Sound of Music" story and the bear had a starring role in his life.  Today, he owns over 50 little bears and they are his pride and joy.  He doesn't worry about anything else he owns, but always reminds me that when he is gone, the bears are all mine and he knows that I will take care of them.

It always amazes me that this one toy, that really doesn't do anything at all, like some of the fancy things available today, has lasted and won the test of time.

Did you know?


Teddy Bears got their name from President Theodore Roosevelt.  He was invited in the early 1900's(1902 to be exact) on a bear hunt in Louisiana.  Being a naturalist and a sportsman, he eagerly went on this trip. When they found the bear, it had been tied to a tree in order to make the kill easier.  Totally in disgust at how this bear came to be trapped, Roosevelt refused to kill it. Many a political cartoon came out of that encounter, but the Teddy Bear was the most important.

Since 1902, the Teddy Bear has been a favored toy of generations of children and continues to be one of the first gifts that a new baby receives.

Teddy Bears are quite collectible.  Many companies made bears that were numbered and tracked.  There is a whole lot of people who can tell you where a certain bear was made, what year it was made and how long production of a certain bear lasted.  People dress their bears and many a stories have been written all about bears.


Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Paddington Bear Tales, Teddy Ruxpin, Winnie the Pooh, and the more modern of the bunch the Care Bears, are all examples of how the much loved Teddy bears have been used in children's lives. There are TV shows, Movies, Operas, and lots and lots of books all featuring Teddy Bears.

So just for fun this year, will you take your Teddy Bear to Work?  I know that I will!




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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Review This! Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat

I don't know whether to say Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary, because each one of them would be correct. Curious George is still looking really good and he's only 75 years old! 


Curious George books have been making children happy for a long time.  They have been favorites of children since 1941.  Margret and Hans Augusto Rey were the author and illustrator of the books. They fled France, on home made bicycles, carrying the manuscripts for the first Curious George book with them. In those times, only H.A. Rey was credited with the work on Curious George because there were already a large number of children's books written by female authors.  Even then, marketing was everything and giving the credit to Hans, seemed to give Curious George more "attention".  As he (Curious George) became well known in the literature world of children, credit was given back to Margret and Hans was cast as the illustrator.

  



The original book started with George's capture in Africa by the man with the Yellow Hat. He takes George on a voyage to the 'Big City" where he will live in the zoo.

Much to George's dismay, zoo life was not for him and he escapes.  But George and the Man in the Yellow Hat (who never has a name) are reunited and thus begins all of George's adventures.

In 1947 George gets a job.  In 1952 he learns to ride a bike, in 1957 he get a medal and so his adventures are all about things that would interest and garner the attention of post war children.  Three more books would follow, George Flies a Kite (1958) Curious George Learns the Alphabet (1963) and Curious George goes to the Hospital (1966).  The years were full of changes and prosperity and relative peacefulness.  So the world as a whole was much more relaxed.  Stories of George and his antics were welcomed stories, read to children everywhere.

George and his "man in the yellow hat" are really almost like a father and son.  The man,  as he is referred to in many of the tales, takes George into situations where he will learn something new.  While the original Curious George was only made into 7 different stories, the publishing company adapted several of the Telefilm series into books edited by Margret Rey.  Most of these are out of print, but had been re-released with some new cover art. (For you collectors, keep your eyes open for these 1984-1993.)

A third series called the New Adventures of Curious George appeared in 1998, and still continues to the present day.  New illustrators continue the art work in the same vein as was started by Hans Rey. Children all over the world still seem to love Curious George.

Since his original release, Curious George stories have been made into  two  movie shorts.  He has been featured at water-parks, a Christmas film, and video games.  In 2010 Curious George was still being used for a live-action/computer-animated series.  Public Broadcasting Systems loves Curious George and you can still see him on their PBS channels.   To this day, there is still one toy store that carries everything "Curious George" and that is in Cambridge Mass.  If you get a chance, go for a visit, I'm sure that some childhood memories will be rekindled.


The Only Curious George Store , Cambridge Mass.
Photo credit: http://www.massvacation.com/


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Monday, January 11, 2016

A Treasury of the World's Greatest Fairy Tales Vintage Book Review

Adapted by Helen Hyman, A Treasury of the World's Greatest Fairy Tales and A Second Treasury of the World's Greatest Fairy Tales are both beautiful hardcover books filled with some of the best fairy tales. Both the text and the pictures were created by three brothers who created a publishing company in Italy under the name of Fratelli Fabbri Editori.

The stories are closer to the original story lines than they are the Disney versions. If you want to expose your children to fairy tales that are not defined by Disney, these books are worth considering.

Possibly more important to some individuals than the actual stories in this case are the detailed pictures. The images were so important to people who grew up with them that these books defined the way those fairy tales look in their minds. One reviewer says that for her they defined exactly what fairy tale princes, princesses, dwarves, ogres, and even some animals looked like.  Mommy B says, "The pictures are like paintings, not pen-and-ink cartoons."

Both of these treasuries are suitable for both girls and boys. They are not just princess stories but also include stories where the young male character is the hero.

Published in the 1970s and held dear by many adults who owned them when they were young, these treasuries are now out of print and in demand as people search for copies to share with their own families and with which to replace worn out volumes that they own. Unfortunately, the fact that they are vintage and out-of-print makes them slightly more expensive than the average new, modern fairy tale book.

The following fairy tales are included in the first volume of the World's Greatest Fairy Tales treasury:
  • The Ugly Duckling
  • Puss-in-Boots
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • The Wild Swans
  • Seven in One Blow
  • Snow White and Rose Red
  • The Frog Prince
  • The Three Little Pigs
  • Rapunzel
  • Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
  • The Three Dwarfs in the Wood
  • Prince Kamar and Princess Budur
  • Hans in Luck
  • The Three Musicians
The stories included in the second book, A Second Treasury of the World's Greatest Fairy Tales, are:
  • Cinderella
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Aladdin and the Magic Lamp
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Little Red Riding hood
  • The Lion and the Carpenter
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • The Seven Ravens
  • The Little Goldfish
  • The Little Tin Soldier
  • The Emperor's Nightingale
  • Thumbelina
  • The Three Hairs of the Ogre
  • The Pied Piper

A Few Closing Thoughts from Readers


"These fairy tale treasuries are filled with food for imagination and words to stretch your imagination even further." - R.S. Wentz

"There are two things that I really loved when I was growing up. One was the piano...and the other is this fairy tale book." - Unattributed

"These books...have got to be the best illustrated collection of fairy tales." - The Poisoned Martini

If you are searching for a copy of one or both of these books, it is noteworthy that you can find both of them available from private sellers on Amazon by clicking right here.

Do you have a children's book that you remember fondly? Perhaps one that defined forever how a character looks in your mind?

Happy Reading!
Brenda


Quick Links:

New, used and vintage children's books in my eBay store.
The Tales of Beedle The Bard Book Review.
The Pink Dress by Anne Alexander.
Controversial Anne of Green Gables book cover.


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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What do an Electric Snow Shovel and a Deep Fryer have in common?


A while ago, while the snow was still flying in the sky and falling to the ground faster than running water, my other half and I decided that now would be a great time to own our own Electric Snow Shovel. 

What actually happened, though, was not what I expected.

My husband likes to research anything that we are going to purchase to make sure that we are getting value for our dollars.  One of his favorite mottos is "Getting the  Biggest Bang for Your Buck!"  So with that in mind, I knew that I was going to be shoveling whatever white stuff the clouds were going to dump on me,  that day and probably the next.

Fast forward about three days: low and behold, my sweetie's favorite truck comes by with a delivery.  I was sure that it was my new and improved Electric Snow Shovel and my back, arms and legs were all doing the happy dance.

One big problem,  the size of the box and the dimensions of that same said box, were no where near what I would have expected for an Electric Snow Shovel!

Now we have a rule in our house,  that if the delivery truck comes, only the person that it is addressed to, is allowed to open whatever is in the box.

Well wouldn't you know it, he was out and I was in!  Darn,  I couldn't break our long standing house rule, even though my fingers, hands, arms and legs all said......."DO IT!"

A few hours go by and my sweetie finally makes it home.  I am waiting like a kid, who has the biggest secret and can't wait to tell the next person who crosses his path.

He enters the home and sees the  box in the middle of the living room and I with a great big grin on my face, look at him with great big puppy dog eyes and ask, "What's in the box?"

He grabs the box and takes it into his "man-cave" leaving me with this goofy grin on my face.  "I'll be right back" he says ever so coyly.

Well up the stair he comes in short order carrying not my new Electric Snow Shovel, but rather this lovely looking T-Fal Deep Fryer!

In my state of excitement and anticipation, we could now add total confusion.  Because I love this man, and he loves me, I let him explain.

Honey he says very coquetishly,  I got us something that both of us could use and neither one of us has,  I got us this lovely T-Fal Deep Fryer! 

T-Fal Deep Fryer

I just looked at him with total uncomprehension and said, "but I thought we were getting an Electric Snow Shovel?"  

He says ever so quickly, "honey, the Electric Snow Shovel isn't on sale yet, but the Deep Fryer was!

So I spent the rest of March and April of this year, shoveling by hand, while my sweetie was busy in the kitchen making Home made Fish and Chips.  Guess I will wait until the Snow Shovels are no longer needed to get mine.

Snow Joe, Electric Snow Shovel

Right now though,  I am thoroughly enjoying summer and the snow can wait until December at which time I am sure that I will be the owner of my very own Snow Joe Electric Snow Shovel.





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