Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Don't try this at home, please!

Amy reviewed I Ain't Gonna Paint No More in her last podcast. It's a favorite at our house, too. Sung to the the tune It Ain't Gonna Rain No More, it's the tale of a young artist who just can't resist painting his own body. That got me thinking of other tales of creativity and art gone amuck that perhaps even the most creative and enthusiastic moms would rather not deal with at home.....

An oldie but goodie is Robert Munsch's 1992 offering, Purple, Green, and Yellow, the story of how Brigid didn't ruin her life despite coloring herself with "super-indelible-never
ome-off-till-you're-dead-and-maybe-even-later colouring markers."
It has all the hallmarks of good Munsch storytelling: repetition; rollicking, rhythmic prose; fantastic circumstances within an contemporary setting, and an irrepressible protagonist.

A newer selection is Billy Tartle in Say Cheese by Michael Townsend. This one I was afraid to read to my boys. I read it anyway, but I was scared. (I should have been afraid to read Purple, Green, and Yellow but I was cocky. "I am so gonna try that," quipped my oldest when we read the Munsch classic at bedtime tonight.) Young Billy Tartle is off for a pre-school picture haircut. Knowing that he doesn't want another snoozer of a class picture, Billy decides that his new hair style should resemble that of Supermonkey, his cartoon hero. This would be, of course, a pink mohawk. Mom and barber conspire and Billy gets a normal haircut. Sigh. What's a highly imaginative and highly energetic boy to do? How will Billy keep the class picture from sliding into Super-Boringness? What will his teacher think? I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone; let's just say the gooey, juicy, sticky fun pops helped to make it Billy's Best Picture Day Ever! Oh, and have a beautiful day, because you are.

Haiku Monday

Thanks for the inspiration, Amy et al.

Two boys speak at once
Momma Momma Momma! Back
seat cacophony

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The person you need...

is Nanny McPhee. I loved this movie! Of course, I've thought Emma Thompson is a goddess for quite a while now. From her work in the movies Dead Again (obscure, but one of my favs) to Much Ado About Nothing and Love, Actually (Now which doll shall we give Daisy's little friend Emily? The one that looks like a transvestite or the one that looks like a dominatrix?) Did you know that she wrote the screenplay (and won the Oscar for it) for Sense & Sensibility? She adapted Nanny McPhee from the Nurse Matilda books by Christianna Brand.

"Once upon a time there was a huge family of children; and they were terribly, terribly naughty." How's that for an opening line? The first book, Nurse Matilda, is, in my opinion the best. While Thompson changed much of the storyline for the movie, separate incidents occur in both and the essence of the magical nanny is unchanged. Frighteningly unattractive, complete with warts and a snaggle tooth, Nurse Matilda/Nanny McPhee becomes lovelier each time children obey her. In the movie, there are 5 lessons to be learned: To go to bed when told, to get up when told, to get dressed when told, to listen, and to do exactly as you are told. Lesson 5 is a biggie at our house. I have to thank both Ms. Brand and Ms. Thompson for providing me with a fun way to encourage my own rapscallions to follow directions. By the third book, things seem a little formulaic, with the culminating dream chase, etc. but both the book and the movie are well worth the visit.

Did I mention that Colin Firth plays the father in the movie? No one said that mommies can't enjoy kid movies, too.