Sunday Salon: Children’s Books

Rekindling old interests perhaps – bought some children’s books during Border’s Ultimate Kids’ Collection week, with a “Buy-2-get-1-free for children’s books, music, movies and toys promotion.

Bought some Roald Dahl’s books:  “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, and its sequel “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator”, James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr Fox and E.B. White’s “Stuart Little”.  Love the illustrations inside and admired the artists for their ability in drawing freehand which seems so easy – just reading the story and immediately knows what to draw.  Got a copy of the full colour edition of “Charlotte’s Web” as well, attracted first by its watercolour cover then the pages inside, out of all the black and white versions.

Didn’t quite like Stuart Little’s ending.  Did he find Margalo and the two went on their own adventures?  It’s weird having a human family with a mouse as a son, but it’s interesting read nonetheless.  Think the few mouse I could recall from the literary world was Ratatoulle and Mr Jingles.  And now Stuart Little, and another one I just befriended – Despereaux.

Mr Fox story was also fantastic read, about how with his wits outsmarted the three greedy and loathsome farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean with some digga-digga-dig antics, saving his animal friends from starvation and enjoying a big feast in the end.  I like Mr Blake’s floor to ceiling shelves’ drawings in this book illustrating the enormous amount of geese, ducks and bacons filled to the brim, as well as the one on huge shed teeming with chickens.  Not just that, but also the tunnels and the big feast at the end with different animals sitting round a big table.  So impressive.

What came to my mind while reading about Mr Wonker’s Chocolate Factory was the Cadbury Chocolate’s TV ad, “Wouldn’t it be nice if the world is Cadbury…”,  with every single thing made of chocolate, even the people.  Wonder how they could break and eat everything except themselves, haha.  Oh yes, those songs by the Oompaloompas  on those mischievious children were interesting too, plus the moral behind.

I didn’t used to know about all these authors and books, now catching up on all the children’s stories.

Anyway,  just came back with another two – “Matilda” and “The Witches”.  Read from Amazon that the first was one of his last books, and the 2nd one which the grandmother character was based on the author’s mom – a tribute to her.  Hope I’ll be able to finish reading all Roald Dahl’s books to know more about him.

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Sunday Salon: May reads

Hmm…haven’t being writing anything in Sunday Salon since the last one I posted in March.  Have definitely been reading but slow in pace – not my own books but those from other side of the world which through Bookcrossing I got to read them.  If not for all these books that I have signed up, think I could be lazy sometimes reading my own.  And though this sharing by mailing has digress a little from the original Bookcrossing theme of leaving books in the public for someone else to find, but at least the books get read and journalled instead of being “lost” somewhere out there not knowing in whose hands the books have gone to.

Anyway, back to this sad read received from a fellow bookcrosser about an air-balloon tragedy in 1897, how a group of three Swedish explorers set off to the North Pole by air and never returned, only 30 years later in bones, as some parts of their bodies were being taken as food by Polar Bears.  I’m always fascinated in reading adventure stories about people participating in dangerous expedition, and admired their courage and determination to achieve their goals against all odds.  And for those who did not succeed, but ended up in injuries and deaths, I’m also amazed that their bodies could be so well-preserved by the cold climate, and looking at their faces just couldn’t help to wonder what was in their head at that point of time facing death in such kinds of unforgiving environments.

Another more delightful read also from bookcrossing was JK Rowling’s new fantasy book ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard’.  The stories are all very creative and interesting and I especially like “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump” and “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot”.  The first I thought was quite like the muggle world fairy tale “Emperor’s New Clothes” excluding the magic.  Just wonder will all these new magical short stories be make into a film as well.

Currently I’m reading “The Bookseller of Kabul” but in a snail pace.  Nothing to do with the book, it’s interesting but though slow at least it keeps me going because it’s a bookcrossing book and knowing I have to pass it on after I’m done.  And also reading other readers’ reviews make my day.

Sunday Salon: Mr Paddington came to visit

 Someone very polite came knocking on our door yesterday, wearing a floppy hat and carrying a battered suitcase filled with surprises.  He’d travelled all alone from Australia. Was so happy he visited before he goes off again to his next destination we spent the day chatting about his past, where he was originally from and also about the Brown family he stayed with.  He also talked alot about his Aunt Lucy whom he writes to everywhere he goes.  Wow, what an adventurous bear he is. Friendly too.

He brought along an audio CD with 4 stories inside, read by Stephen Fry, which I listened to during bedtime. I really enjoyed it, listening to the details over and over again. The reading was very clear and I like that he could differentiate his voice to represent different characters. I especially enjoyed listening about Paddington performing some magic tricks and another one about having his pic taken by a photographer behind a black box with curtain and him giving the latter a hard stare when he asked for more pennies 😛

This is my first audio book, and find it to be very entertaining indeed. When I feel tired reading word for word in a normal book, i could close my eyes and just listened to the audio instead. I find myself liking Paddington more than the Pooh bear now.