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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Desert Isand Disc Day 1H: Africa Addio, South Subdivision

Day 1H: Africa Addio, Round One

Day 1H Start

…and finally, the south subdivision:

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Sleepy Kittens (2010): “Wow, this is garbage. You actually like this?”

Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, Sleepy Kittens (LB Kids, 2010)


photo credit: Barnes and Noble

“It was accidentally destroyed. Maliciously.”

If you (a) liked Despicable Me and (b) have kids—maybe even if you don’t—then it should go without saying that you probably need a copy of this (it’s the book, complete with kitten finger puppets, that Gru reads to the girls at night). If you’ve seen the movie, you know the whole book, but so what? It was wonderful in the movie, it’s wonderful IRL. What are you waiting for? ***

Peek-a-Boo, I Love You! (2009): The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants

Sandra Magsamen, Peek-a-Boo, I Love You! (LB Kids, 2009)


photo credit:

There is a possibility that kids exposed to this book will be extra-disappointed when they get to biology class.

Very cute lift-the-flaps animal book with a preponderance of heart designs; this one’s all about the illustrations, and they’re lovely, childlike without being childish. Very nicely done for the pre-lit set; we got to this one a bit later, but I’d say it would work just fine for the nine- to twelve-month-old range and up. ***

Thomas the Tank Engine’s Hidden Surprises (1999): Is That a Boiler in Your Pocket, or…?

Josie Yee (illus.), Thomas the Tank Engine’s Hidden Surprises (Random House, 1999)


photo credit:

But what I really want to know is, what’s hidden behind that creepy smile…?

A lift-the-flaps book that holds the bean’s attention, in part because the flaps aren’t the center of the page, as they are in most of the books of this type he owns; there are little side flaps and suchlike that provide a refreshing change of pace. Another Thomas book that will go better with kids who are already fans of the series, but for them, it’s worth checking out. ** ½

Cecil the Pet Glacier (2012): The Iceman Cometh

Matthea Harvey, Cecil the Pet Glacier (Schwarz and Wade, 2012)

photo credit: Goodreads

The glacier’s resemblance to soft serve is, I presume, not coincidental.

I am a heap big fan of Matthea Harvey’s poetry, so when I found out she’d written childrens’ books, I immediately hit my library’s website and put one on hold. And I was… surprised. It’s a lot more, for want of a better word, traditional than I expected it to be. Well, aside from the fact that Ruby’s would-be pet is a chunk of ice. But that fits in well with her family (trust me on this), and allows Harvey to slip in a bit o’ learnin’ here and there about a subject that doesn’t normally get much play in the average pre-lit story. (The story line actually put me in mind of Emily Jenkins’ wunnerful-wunnerful Sugar Would Not Eat It more than once; I’m sure this link was strengthened by the fact that the equally wunnerful-wunnerful Giselle Potter illustrated both books, and between the two of them she’s found herself a lifelong fan.) For kids—and parents—who are fond of things that are a little off, or more than a little off, this book is going to be pure balm for the soul, and when the kids are older enough (for I have little doubt this one will hang around much longer than the usual pre-lit book in the family reading list) to start thinking about books in terms of authors, and asking you “hey, what else is out there by Matthea Harvey?”, you’ve got yourself a perfect way to say “here, let me read you a poem from a book called Pity the Bathtub in Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form.” *** ½

And Now, for a Word from Our Sponsor: ME

If you’ve been bored enough to peruse the right-hand menu, you know I am the (lack of) brains behind XTerminal. Well, XTerminal is half the brains behind Ebola Is the Savior.



You pretty much need everything on the Compulsion Rites bandcamp page. (There should be at least one XTerminal release up within the next week or so, and F.C., the Mailbomb Solution three-tape set that’s #2 on the Best Albums of 2012 list, is already up. With a bonus track!) But start here.

Desert Island Disc Day 1H: Africa Addio, West Subdivision

Day 1H: Africa Addio, Round One

Day 1H Start

In the West subdivision, we have…

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Fat Girl Dances with Rocks (1994): Dance for the Kid with the Phone Who Refuses to Dance

Susan Stinson, Fat Girl Dances with Rocks (Spinsters Ink, 1994)

photo credit: Amazon

Would that be bigneous, mesomorphic, or sedendentary?

I spent the last eleven days of 2012 and the first eleven days of 2013 first in the hospital, then in a rehab center, fighting a nasty-though-not-life-threatening case of cellulitis. When you are not a fan of cable, and watching Netflix on a laptop screen gives you fits (when we had a 21” TV, I watched movies on my 23” computer monitor instead), you get time to read a lot of books that have been on your TBR stack forever. And so I finally found myself getting round to Fat Girl Dances with Rocks, which I think had been sitting on my shelf for something like a decade at that point. I’m not sure it’s anything new, anything pushing the envelope, but that’s not always necessary; it’s a very nicely done coming of age tale about a teenaged girl who goes looking for something—she’s not entirely sure what—and ends up finding herself.

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Berberian Sound Studio (2012): “Forget the reel. I just need to scream. All right?”

Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012)

photo credit:

I like this lobby card a lot better than the one the Capitol has up–it’s much closer to the giallo style the movie aims for (and achieves).

I saw Berberian Sound Studio in a 110-seat theatre. It was a Wednesday matinee, so I expected a light crowd, but I was one of four people in the seats. The conclusion I had reached by the end of the film was that there were one hundred six people who had had the chance to catch a Wednesday afternoon matinee of Berberian Sound Studio and didn’t, and there are one hundred six people in this world who are worse for the experience. To make it short: if you are at all a fan of movies, even a casual fan, you can simply forget the actual plot of the film: this is a study in fascination, an endlessly-interesting look at film composition during the golden age of giallo.

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Desert Island Disc Day 1H: Africa Addio, Midwest Subdivision

Day 1H: Africa Addio

Day 1H Start

And we go on to the midwest subdivision, which gives us…

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