Jumanji through the Years

Jumanji is one of those films I watched as a child only because it regularly played on TBS. It’s a weird movie that I enjoyed for no particular reason, other than that it has an intriguing premise that was fun to reenact with friends.

Adapting picture books into movies is always an interesting process. Picture books aren’t plot-focused so making a movie adaptation is more about representing the “essence” of the book than it is about retelling the story. Chris Van Allsburg’s premise is simple: Judy and Peter play a board that brings each challenge to life within their home. Though startled by animal stampedes and thieving monkeys, the kids have no problem powering through the game and winning. Continue reading “Jumanji through the Years”

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Though I was familiar enough with the Origami Yoda series (and a big enough Star Wars fan) to recommend it to elementary aged children looking for funny, age appropriate books, I had not read any of the books until recently. I’m only halfway through the series right now, having read The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Darth Paper Strikes Back and The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee. And, happily, I not only still recommend the series after reading it, but have a desire to read other Tom Angleberger books.

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Chesapeake cares | a special Christmas delivery

Holiday cards in front of Christmas tree

Be blessed. You are loved. You are not forgotten. Residents of a local senior living facility heard these and similar words firsthand through a special Christmas delivery orchestrated by Chesapeake Public Library employees, Rhonda Porter and Arlice Mitchell. “I wanted to bring some holiday love and cheer to them so they know they’re not forgotten,” Rhonda said, and came up with a plan that would connect the seniors to their community in a festive and fun way. Over the course of several weeks she set out blank Christmas cards and pens at the checkout station and invited customers to sign them and write messages; then she and Arlice arranged a special visit to the center.

Rhonda sitting at table filled with holiday cards
Rhonda poses with some of the Christmas cards

During their visit, they lead the residents in a sing-along of Christmas favorites like “Jingle Bells,” “Away in a Manger,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” some even inspired enough to dance along. Arlice gave out books she had collected and wrapped up like presents. When they handed out the cards, however, some teared up. “I’m going to cherish this,” one resident said as she hugged her card, and some admitted this was the first card they had received this season. All in all, Rhonda and Arlice delivered 35 cards with over 450 signatures and well-wishes from the Deep Creek community—and over 450 reminders that they are indeed not forgotten.

Want the Chesapeake Public Library to come to you? Complete an outreach request!

More “A Christmas Carol” Adaptations

Plenty of classics get multiple adaptations, but A Christmas Carol is somewhere in a realm of its own. There are hundreds of film, radio, TV, theater and parody adaptations. (And probably more beyond what I saw on the Wikipedia page.)

The trend continues in 2017. Not only is there a new movie about the story, but there is a new YA retelling of A Christmas Carol as well. Moviegoers this year might see The Man Who Invented Christmas, and YA readers might read The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand. How do these new versions stack up against the rest? Neither is a direct retelling, so for once, the story feels semi-original!

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From a Certain Point of View

Though most other Star Wars books published this year were written as build up to The Last Jedi, From a Certain Point of View sets itself apart, not only because it is a celebratory anniversary book, but because it focuses on events the reader already knows. This short story collection retells the original Star Wars movie from the perspective of characters with minimal (or no) screen time in the movie. Though many of the short stories were great reads for a Star Wars fan, these are the ones I consider the best: Continue reading “From a Certain Point of View”