Author Archives: charlesprogers
Post by Tracy Kaler.
“I love mirrors. They let one pass through the surface of things.”—Claude Chabrol
Whether you love mirrors or not, you can’t deny that these popular accessories are both decorative and practical. Every home contains a few, and usually, a mirror finds its way into a bedroom, be it hidden on a closet door or covering a wall in plain sight.
Mirrors can add personality and quickly change the mood of a room. Let’s take a look at five bedrooms utilizing mirrors in different ways.
A mirror decorates the bed wall of minuscule London sleep space. According to the designer, failing to use mirrors is often a pitfall. We shouldn’t overlook the use of mirrors – a mirror can be your best friend.
This glamorous Dallas room uses decorative mirrors as subtle yet stunning pieces of art above the bedside tables. Notice the layers in this bedroom’s design and how well they work together.
Light, bright, and airy is the theme of this all-white bedroom in a Fire Island Beach House. Here, the mirrors give the illusion of a larger space.
A tiled wall mirror and mirrored wall sconce make a bold statement in this Raleigh bedroom. The mirror’s reflection is more interesting than both pieces.
A mirrored dressing table and coordinating wall mirror complete the shabby chic look in this San Francisco home, proving that mirrored furniture can be successful in any style bedroom.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi and Ron Barrett.
There are a surprising number of picture books that have been adapted into movies, with varying levels of success. We’ve seen a few Dr. Seuss books: The Lorax; Cat in the Hat; How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There is the unlikely adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. And we got not one, but two Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs movies. (Full disclosure: I’ve only seen the second one.) And from what I saw of it, it wasn’t that bad. But nothing will touch the original book of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs with its sparingly colored pen-and-ink images of massive doughnuts and orange juice rain.
I got this book from my grandfather when I was little and it instantly became a favorite. The story revolves around a wacky grandfather (not too unlike my own) telling the kids the story of the land of Chewandswallow where food falls from the sky. What a wonderful place it was! Spaghetti rains down for dinner, doughnuts roll in in the morning. But something goes awry. First the food is gross, overcooked, and bad. Then it becomes downright dangerous. Pancakes the size of a city block! Scary!
The pictures are forever emblazoned on my brain. Especially the pale faced kids eating their weight in cream cheese and jelly sandwiches.
This is a fun book and just writing the review makes me eager to go reread it to my son. It makes me a little hungry too.
Post by Tracy Kaler.
Last I heard, most folks think of February as the month of love. With Valentine’s Day falling on the 14th, we can’t help but plan dates, family get-togethers, and other social outings to celebrate with those closest to us.
Since the color red often reminds us of romance, passion, and love, there’s no better time than the present to starting dreaming in red. Though the boldness of red isn’t for everyone, these five sleep spaces show how a bright color can successfully be used in a private space. Get ready to swoon over these five romantic red bedrooms. Eat your heart out, Cupid!
This New York City bedroom boasts the right number of red accents in the most perfect shade of red. The space takes on a hotel-like quality with its crisp bed linens, chic décor, and uncluttered design.
Tiny and unassuming, this alcove in Paris offers little space for anything other than essentials, but the red wall and pillow shams add interest and punch to the barebones bedroom.
A fun wall covering from Anthropologie and a bold matelasse coverlet make this young adult room especially lovable. The pooch at the foot of the bed adds to the sweetness.
This bedroom in Aix en Provence provides the ultimate romantic escape. Silk, velvet, and an Aubusson area rug contribute to the luxurious French feel.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby.
Well, the ALA midwinter session came and went, and as we all know (at least those of us involved in libraries know) that means the announcement of several major awards for excellence in American children’s literature. The Newbery, The Coretta Scott King award, the Caldecott and the Printz to name a few.
I am always particularly interested in the Printz award, given for the best in new young adult novels written by Americans. Always thought-provoking and often challenging, this year is no disappointment. Laura Ruby has written a few books before winning the Printz for Bone Gap. But her earlier novels such as The Wall and the Wing are for younger readers and somewhat straighforward magical reading. Bone Gap is gritty, full of aches and love and turmoil and hope, much like real life. It’s also full of magic which, sadly, is less like real life.
Finn and Sean O’Sullivan are left to their own devices when their mother leaves her family in Bone Gap, Illinois for an orthodontist in Oregon who dislikes children. As teens, she expects they can look after themselves. Then one day, Roza shows up, injured, scared, and hiding in their barn. Only a year or two older than Sean, they take her in and give her the apartment in their home. When she suddenly vanishes, everyone in the small town believes she just decided to leave. But Finn knows what happened. He knows she was taken, but nobody believes him.
It’s difficult to summarize this book. It manages to tell the story in several timelines and from two different points of views, all without getting confusing or muddled. We learn how Roza came to America from Poland and we learn what happened when she shows up in the barn, but not necessarily in that order.
Dealing with teenage and adult subject matter, this book is better suited to the high school or adult audience but is not a story to be missed. Both disturbing and magical and lovely, the Printz Award has chosen a great novel to bear its medal.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
I am a big fan of fairy tales. The original 19th-century German tales, as recounted by the brothers Grimm, hold a lot of value to me. To be honest, I never knew that Into the Woods was a musical by Stephen Sondheim until the movie was released. I was intrigued as to what a fairy tale-themed musical might be like.
With an A-list cast including Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, and James Cordon to name a few, it showed a lot of promise. The story contains mix of several fairy tales that will be familiar to viewers: Cinderella; Jack and the Beanstalk; Little Red Riding Hood; and Rapunzel. Their stories merge as a poor childless baker and his wife make a deal with a witch. In exchange for several items, she will give them a child. Those items happen to include a golden slipper and a red robe. Each character finds him/herself headed into the woods for each individual purpose. And one by one they find each other and create a new story altogether.
I enjoyed this movie. It’s a good family-friendly sing-along-able movie with a mix of old stories and new. I only wish the movie had ended at what I assume was the intermission. I felt that everything was resolved nicely and that the second part only served to muddle the story. I found myself asking: why did that character do that? Why did that just happen? When did songs turn into people just singing what seems like regular dialogue?
Aside from that, I would watch it again. I’d probably turn it off at intermission. But that’s just me. If you are looking for a family-friendly musical that’s got a mix of humor, adventure, and tales we all know and love, take a trip Into the Woods.