Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Clementine - by Sara Pennypacker

"Here is a secret good thing: Sometimes I like journal writing at school because I can remind myself of things I might forget when I'm a grown-up. Like that I plan to smoke cigars. And I do not plan to get married. Cigars, yes; husband, no. What if I forget these things?"

Okay, this book? The one that's written for kids, like, less than a quarter of my age? It TOTALLY RULES. I scarfed through half of it between Bloor Station and Coxwell, and finished the rest between Coxwell and Dundas West on the way home. If you have a child anywhere from 5 -10 (publisher says 4-8 yrs.), they should read this book. Actually, never mind the kids, you should read this one for yourself first.

Clementine (Hyperion Books for Children, 144pgs, release date Sept. 2006) is an hilarious, Ramona Quimby-style precocious third-grader. How can you not fall in love with a kid who thinks the most beautiful words in the world are found on labels in the bathroom, and names her pets accordingly (Laxative, Mascara, fluoride and Moisturizer)? The book details a week in the life of Clementine and opens up with her best friend Margaret asking for "help" with an emergency haircut. As you can imagine, hijinks ensue. I love the energy of this character, and the black and white illustrations by Marla Frazee convey it beautifully.

Sadly, Sara Pennypacker appears to be website-less. However, I have found a few other books she has written, and plan to pick them up post-haste. I encourage you all to do the same!

Thanks for the book, Alexis! Off to read my second "Mini Book Expo for Bloggers" assignment, "the Big Why" by Michael Winter who, incidentally, has a travel blog for his current book tour. Hope the book lives up to the interesting-ness of the author...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Summer Reading Scheme

The ever-lovely Kate recently alerted me to a super-fantastic plan hatched by her friend Lex (who was cool way before the hatching of said super-fantastic plan. She publishes everyone's favourite guide to the city - Cheap Eats Toronto!).

Lex recently attended Book Expo Canada and brought back more books than you can imagine. And instead of letting 'em collect dust over the summer, she's decided to host a mini book expo for bloggers - Claim it. Read it. Blog it.

Visit Lex's site, and peruse the list of remaining titles. Leave a comment with the book you'd like to read, and Lex will mail you the book - the only catch is, within a month you have to post a review on your blog, or send a review to Lex to post on hers. It's the honour system, people! Make me proud!

Catch you later...I'm going to look at the books...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Honey, what's that weird buzzing sound?

During the 50s and 60s, Toronto Hydro disguised some of their neighbourhood substations as bungalows. That's right - those reclusive next door neighbours you may never have seen were quiet for a reason. THEY DON'T EXIST.

Check out BLDGBLOG for the full stories and some excellent photos. I love the idea that these buildings are Toronto Hydro's idea of generic, blend-in-able Canadiana, and I would REALLY love to know what the actual neighbours thought/think.

Check here for an address list of all the houses in the GTA (scroll down to "Schedule C"). Road-trip, anyone?

Monday, June 12, 2006


"Raffi wants kids to have a better world, launches book, CD"

"Impossible samba, improbable rumba ... dancing in your junglehood," he raps while breaking into slow, syncopated hip-hop moves to a surprised audience of one. "All grown up and on the go, tune into the global radio."

FYI - this is SO on my birthday list. Can you even IMAGINE how mind-blowingly AWESOME it will be to hear Raffi try to RAP? Never mind seeing the "slow, syncopated hip-hop moves". I need to take a moment...