Friday Shelfies and Some Link Love

Happy Friday, one and all! Normally, I try and share what we've been reading on Fridays. Alas, I don't have much to share just now. I can't believe this "Winter Reading" post is already two weeks old, but there you have it. I'm still reading Cold Comfort Farm, and loving it, but I'll share more when it's finished. Big Sis has started The Spiderwick Chronicles, and Little Sis is working on a Magic Tree House title.

Remember my giant book mess from the other day? My organization project is done, at least as far as books go. This poor cube bookcase was buckling in the middle, under the weight of everything on it. I relieved the congestion quite a bit, but it involved making more room/moving things around in the girls' rooms, as well as my bedroom bookcase. I think it turned out all right.

If you want to see some "before pictures," check out my bookshelf tour on Melissa's blog.

I thought I'd take a cue from Melissa (and Darcy, and half the other bloggers I read) and do a Friday link post. I spend way too much time on the computer, you know. It's way more fun than laundry. Stupid laundry.
  • This post, over at one of my favorite blogs, is one of the most beautiful things I've read in a long time. Read it. It's so precious.
  • I've been suffering from a bad case of wanderlust for a while. I would love to find some beautiful woods to wander through. I do love my plains, but I don't get enough hills and trees in my life.
  • I love bubble tea. Perhaps I'll try to make my own!
  • This is one of my favorite snacks right now.
  • One of our favorite fall and winter breakfasts is overnight slow cooker oatmeal, thanks to this blog. It began last year, when we made this to enjoy on Christmas morning. Since then, we've made this recipe a few times (Mr. B's favorite), as well as this one (my favorite). We made the Christmas oats with homemade oatmeal this year - yum.
  • I saw somewhere that Bonnie Christiansen passed away this week. We loved her picture book biography on Nellie Bly, posted about here.
  • Mr. B made me watch this on YouTube the other day. It's a trip!
  • Remember this post about my little Baconator? Well, Little Sis has her share of fans among my real-life friends. So many of them have posted this article on my Facebook, it's hilarious. Of course, my vegetarian self has no intention of attending this, but Mr. B might be able to take her.
  • The Academy Award nominations were announced this week. I didn't see many movies this year, as usual. I really want to see Selma, especially now with the Martin Luther King, Jr. 3 day weekend. It's rated PG-13 because of violence, some strong language and racial slurs, and a small subplot about infidelity. I'm still considering taking Big Sis to see it, though. I think she's mature enough to handle it.
  • Speaking of Oscars, what about the lack of love for The Lego Movie? We loved that movie! However, I really, really, really want to see Song of the Sea  (selkies!!!!) and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.  Living where I live, it's clear I will not get the opportunity to see either of these films on the big screen. Princess Kaguya will be out on DVD and Blu-Ray (with English voice-overs) in February, while Song of the Sea will be out in March.

My mother and brother will not be bringing us a dog today. They've caught my stepdad's sickness, and are staying put in Oklahoma. Sigh. Perhaps next weekend I'll take the girls down there. We shall see. I'm taking them to see an original kiddie production of The Wizard of Oz at the children's theatre tonight, and Little Sis has her best friend-from-school's birthday party tomorrow. We decided she should introduce her buddy to her favorite buddy books!

And of course, Sunday they shall suffer through the NFL Championships. Go Pack!

Merry Weekend! Happy Reading!

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Little Miss No Name as "The Little Match Girl"

Poor Little Miss No Name. She's such a sad little waif, in her burlap dress and ruined hair. Even without her tear, she's rather pathetic. Little Sis loves her dearly, and the burlap dress was exchanged for prettier clothes almost immediately.

Little Sis was game for a photo shoot, though. Little Miss No Name reminds us of  The Little Match Girl, from the Hans Christian Andersen story. Especially if you see her in her original box. (Scroll down on this post at Modern Kiddo - look at the box!) We didn't have a lot of snow to work with, but we made do.

A little campy of us, I know. She makes such a sweet little waif. And don't worry - Little Sis wrapped her in a blanket as soon as we were done taking pictures.

"The Little Match Girl" is such a sad tale. I know many parents shy away from it, as its ending is just too much. [If you have never read the original, click here.] I first read it to Big Sis several years ago, when we checked out The Annotated Hans Christian Andersen from the library. Andersen did not see the ending as tragic, by the way. Read the last annotation on the tale at SurLaLune Fairy Tales. 

I use the story as a way of teaching compassion. For a gorgeously illustrated picture book version, I must recommend the one by the great Jerry Pinkney. [He talks about it here.] The setting is more American than Danish, and the crowds of people filling the pages make the invisibility of the little girl all the more heartbreaking.

My daughters love to watch old movies and cartoons, as most of you know. Here is the first film version, a British silent called The Little Match Seller, from 1902.

This animated short from Columbia/Screen Gems was released in 1937. It was nominated for an Academy Award, losing to Disney's The Old Mill. Little Sis loves this cartoon, by the way. Her daddy will leave the room if it comes on the TV.

And here is the 1954 live-action version by Castle Films.

If we'd had more snow over Christmas, I might have put together this post then. It's a bit depressing for a Christmas tale, of course, but that is when it's set.

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Lotte Reiniger Fairy Tales

Lotte Reiniger, at work in Rome, 1939. (via Wikipedia)

Lotte Reiniger was a true pioneer in the world of animation. Her paper cutouts were works of art, and truly magical when brought to life before the cameras. I know I saw some of her short films as a child. I assume they were on Pinwheel, as they filled much of the show with animated shorts from around the world, but I'm not positive. Her full-length silent feature film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, is sometimes shown on Turner Classic Movies, often as part of their Silent Sunday Nights. I loved it enough to buy it on DVD.

What I would love to own on DVD or Blu-Ray is a collection of Reiniger's fairy tale shorts. Until such a collection becomes available here in the U.S., I'm making do with what I can find on YouTube.

She made some silent fairy tales in her native Germany. For instance, Aschenputtel (Cinderella) from 1922.

Many of her most famous silent films were made in London, in the 1950s, under the banner "Primrose Productions." The British Film Institute has released a collection, which I would love to own, if it's ever released in Region 1 format.

The BFI has posted most of Jack and the Beanstalk on YouTube. It's missing the ending, unfortunately, but isn't the color beautiful?

The Magic Horse (1953) is spun-off from The Adventures of Prince Achmed.  About Prince Achmed, to quote Wikipedia:
The story is based on elements taken from the One Thousand and One Nights, specifically "The Story of Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Paribanou" featured in Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book.

Her version of Hansel and Gretel (1955) is much less grim than the Brothers Grimms'.

Däumlienchen is the German name for Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina, animated by Reiniger in 1954.


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Hello Again

I'm back! Sorry for my absence. My computer decided to die last weekend, and we had to wait for a replacement. I haven't had much to share, to tell you the truth. I spent most of the week crashed on the couch, trying to control my cough. The weather has been very cold and dry, except when it's been slightly less cold and drizzly.

Isn't the snow in that picture lovely? That was last Saturday. We had this cold, icy snow hit late in the day, which caused us to postpone a trip to Oklahoma. The girls went outside to play. Big Sis wore her red riding hood...

I stayed inside, watching through the window, sipping hot tea and reading.

We packed up our Christmas, and exchanged the Advent calendar for an art gallery. We assembled Lego sets: Ghostbusters and a treehouse.

Little Sis has spent quality time with her vintage dolls, including Big Sis's new old Love Me Linda.

I was supposed to be blogging about our new dog this week. Alas, as we were heading out the door this Saturday, my mother called to tell us my stepdad had a stomach bug, and they were afraid we might catch it. Mr. B took his disappointed girls to Freddy's for lunch, then we came home and unpacked. There were tears. The girls haven't seen their Nanny in a while, and they've been itching to take a trip.

I decided to take advantage of the mess our Christmas stuff left behind, and undertook a massive bookshelf reorganization project. There was dust. Much dust. Much coughing, too.

If you were reading this blog a couple years ago, you may vaguely remember my birthday post, where I said Mr. B was building me a Little Free Library? A month later, our neighborhood saw an uptick in theft and burglary, and it no longer seemed like a great idea. Since then, several more libraries have sprung up around town. Big Sis and I loaded a box with extra books, including many old galleys from my bookselling days, and drove around to six or seven of these little libraries, adding books to their collections.

I'm still trying to whip our house back into shape. I feel guilty taking time out to blog, to tell the truth. I made a much bigger mess than I meant to, but it will be great when I'm done. My mother and brother are supposed to bring our pup this Friday. Big Sis and I made paper snowflakes, and we're going to hang some fairy lights around our dark family room, to help get us through the rest of winter. I hope everyone out there is well. Praying January isn't getting you down!

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