Category Archives: Bedtime Stories
Bedtime Stories: Avatar: the art of the animated series
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Avatar the Last Airbender: the art of the animated series by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino.
Before reading this book, you may have some homework to do. Specifically, if you have not yet watched all 54 episodes of Nickelodoen’s Avatar: the Last Airbender, then you’d better get cracking! Let me be clear: this is about the animated series, NOT—I repeat—NOT the M. Night Shyamalan catastrophe based on the cartoon.
So, as you all know, the cartoon is about Aang, the last Airbender, on a quest to defeat the Fire Nation who has overtaken the world through fear and violence. This book is for people who can’t get enough of Avatar. My kid is one of those people; so is my wife, come to think of it. Included is this book is a look behind the scenes at the art of the animated series. There are oodles of sketches, portraits of versions of the characters in different outfits, parades of all the different creature encountered in their world.
There are also a lot of interesting little stories included about the creation of the show and the response from the public. For example, did you know that the episode “Appa’s Lost Days” won the Genesis Award from the Humane Society of the United States in the category “Outstanding Children’s Programming”? Well, now ya know!
So set aside about 24 hours, watch the whole stinkin’ series (it’s for kids, but it’s pretty good!)
Bedroom Design: The Perfect Bench
Post by Erin Sears.
I love a good bench! Apparently, it’s not just me- designers are fond of them too. Benches crop up in all sorts of home design publications because they lend practicality and style to nearly every area of the home. Benches make for versatile seating at a dining table, they are essential in mudrooms and they even show up in bathrooms. Benches are the best!
I own a rather nice bench myself. It’s a whitewashed modern wooden bench that currently lives in my entryway. Not only does it look good, but it’s also functional. I use my bench to display found objects, hold stacks of magazines and even as a place to sit while putting my shoes on before heading out into the city. I recently embarked on a semi-nightmarish quest to find a new apartment and found that very few of the shoebox-sized places I toured could accommodate a bench near the front door. What to do, what to do? I’m not giving up my bench.
It occurred to me that one of the most attractive places in the home for a bench is at the foot of the bed! DUH! My bench could find a new and awesome home in my bedroom.
Here are some great examples of bedroom benches done right:
The simplicity of this whitewashed room is uber appealing. The wooden bench at the end of the basic bed grounds the space and gives it more functionality. Win-win.
This polka dot bench is THE star in a room full of stars! It works well with the whimsy of the bed and the acrylic legs keep the bench light and fun. It’s daring and makes you feel like you’ve walked in to a personalized, glamorous retreat.
For something a little more sophisticated, here’s a bench covered in the same fabric as the headboard on the bed. This bench ties the room together and makes it look custom, which also makes it look expensive and well planned. How smart! No wonder it was featured in House Beautiful. Bravo!
Source: House Beautiful
Two can be better than one! The double bench trend is here to stay. The exposed nailheads outline the shape of the base of each bench and the overstuffed seats invite use. From a design perspective, I think that it’s very smart that the color of the benches correspond with the bedding. Connectivity is important in any room. It creates flow that brings good energy to your space.
If you don’t own one already, I hope that you’re considering the beauty of the bench. As always, buy what you love and you won’t regret it. ENJOY!
Bedtime Stories: Unlikely Friendships
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Unlikely Friendships by Jennifer S. Holland.
What do a Rhodesian ridgeback and a pot-bellied pig have in common? More than just alliterative names, apparently. It seems they can become best buddies. Perhaps you have heard of Owen and Mzee, the grumpy tortoise and his little hippo buddy. And of course there is Coco the gorilla and his cat friend. But there are apparently all kinds of unusual animal friend match-ups out there! A lion, tiger and bear? Oh my! A baby oryx and a lion? Who would have thought?
This book tells the brief stories of 47 different unusual animal pairings. They are all sweet, some downright bizarre. Each story is short enough that you can read one or two, alone or out loud, as a lovely little icing on storytime.
Bedtime Stories: Ender’s Game
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.
One of the benefits of reading a science fiction novel, especially one which twenty-five years old, is that it is bound to come as a smallish paperback which means it is easy to hold in one hand while I read on my side in my bed. I have had several books eagerly awaiting my attention on my bedside table, but the others are all large hardcover books with huge pages; it’s simply too much of a pain to need both hands and to be propped up to read in bed!
This is probably the main reason I picked up Ender’s Game. A friend had once inexplicably given me Ender’s Shadow which is apparently the FIFTH book in the series, despite the fact I had never read the previous four. I brought it with me to Beijing on a trip, again, most probably because it was a smallish paperback and therefore quite portable. To be honest, I don’t remember anything about that book other than its length and its size.
I have heard lots about Ender’s Game; tons of people absolutely adore it. I’m not sure I would go that far. It was a good story and seeing these child soldiers in training, learning how to battle in zero gravity is interesting. And watching the mind of the genius boy Andrew “Ender” Wiggin as he figures out situations is fun to watch unfold. But there’s just so much cruelty, so much that is just cold calculation on Ender’s part…it kind of left a bad taste in my mouth. Until finally, towards the end, the kids stop being total jerks. Hooray! All told, it is a good and captivating story and Card is an engaging author. But I’m not rushing out to get the second in the series.
Bedtime Stories: Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem
Post by Mark T. Locker.
Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem by Mac Barnett. Illustrated by Adam Rex.
You know what is annoying? When parents make all kinds of unreasonable demands on their children. And what’s even worse than that? When they go making completely unbelievable threats like, “Do your homework or I’m sending you to the moon.” Or, “Don’t make faces or one day that face will stick.” In Twitters family, it’s always, “Billy, take out the trash or we’re buying you a blue whale.” Or, “Billy, eat your vegetables or we’re buying you a blue whale.” Which is of course a RIDICULOUS threat because nobody in his right mind is going to burden a kid with a real live, full-grown blue whale!
So, maybe Billy’s parent’s are in their right minds because what do you think Billy saw staring through his window one morning? That’s right: the giant eye of a blue whale. Not only that, but Billy couldn’t leave the whale at home; it’s his responsibility. And to make matters worse, his teacher was so excited by the whale’s presence he decided to devote the class to a study on cetology, when they were SUPPOSED to watch a movie in class. It wasn’t Billy’s fault, but the kids all blamed him.
Adam Rex and Mac Barnett have teamed up for another hilarious story. I am personally in love with Adam Rex and his attention to little details. Like the fact that Billy put the whale on a skateboard before trying to pull him up the hill to school on his bike:
It’s fun. It’s silly. It’s totally worth a read.