Sunday, March 9, 2008

Gnome Mobile and love of books

Did anyone watch this movie growing up? I loved it. What brought it to mind today was that since my Land Rover has been broken, I have been driving a rental car that looks a lot like the Gnome Mobile. Seriously. It has a very similar shape and is full of children, a dog, an elderly man, basketballs and backpacks and lots of dog hair. Lovely imagery, huh? I could show you a picture of my rental car, but I think using your imagination is much more fun, isn't it?

Our family dog, Annie, loves to ride in the car. She is so content to sit in the front seat and stick her head out the window, her ears flapping in the wind. We adopted Annie from DFW Lab Rescue this summer, and I can't say enough good things about that organization. They really try to match you with a dog right for your situation, and they work hard to find homes for these abandoned and/or just homeless labs. Most dog breeds have a rescue organization of some type, so next time you're looking for a pet, look them up! They usually require that you have a fenced yard and room for a pet (at least the larger breeds do).

I detoured a little off topic, didn't I? Back to the movie above. I grew up on a ranch and my parents choose not to have access to TV. Instead we read books and occasionally rented movies. I think this is a large reason why I read up a storm and prefer books over TV 90% of the time. That's not to say I don't like TV, I do, and I have a lot of shows I DVR (God Bless the DVR) and watch when I can. But there's something magical about books that the TV just can't compete with.

I've been trying to pass along my love for reading to my boys. It's was a challenge at first with my older son, Donny. He was slow to read and was more into comic books and/or graphic novels. I kept searching for books that were on subjects he would find interesting. I wasn't pushy, just consistent about sharing my love for novels and excitement about going to the bookstore. He's finally fallen in love with books and is an incredible reader! My younger son is just learning to read, and he loves for us to read to him. We usually get him to read to us now also, so he can practice reading.

What are both boys reading right now? Let me share.

Donny just finished reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret and is starting to read The Kingdom Keepers.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret: Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

The Kingdom Keepers: Thirteen-year-old Finn and several of his friends become holograms at Florida's Disney World and then find themselves literally pulled into nighttime adventures in the theme park. Ridley Pearson's fantasy (Disney Editions, 2005) is fast paced and technologically savvy. Finn and his friends make repeated forays after hours into the very guts of such Disney icons as Tom Sawyer's Island, It's a Small World, Adventure Mountain, and other rides both tame and wild as they lay siege to Maleficent, an evil witch whose minions are at work to destroy the Disney mystique. The kids hang out at the park looking for signs and signals that will aid them in their nighttime quest for securing Disney power. Their parents are mildly suspicious, but Finn and his pals are fast talkers, willing to face their nighttime nemeses alone, rather than bringing in adult forces.

Remy's favorites right now are Poor Puppy and Bad Kitty, along with Oscar and The Mooncats and Walter the Farting Dog.

Bad Kitty: This four-part alphabet book will appeal to youngsters who like their stories more naughty than nice. The tale opens with Kitty learning that her owners have run out of cat food and that her only options are healthy and nutritious edibles that run the gamut from Asparagus to Zucchini. She reacts by doing an A-to-Z list of mischievous things, like claw[ing] the curtains and hurl[ing] hair balls at our heads. When her owners return with food that ranges from An Assortment of Anchovies to Baked Zebra Ziti, Kitty realizes she must atone for her bad behavior with a final list of alphabetical deeds such as cleaning the cat box and washing the car.

Poor Puppy: The scrawny, supercilious feline from Bad Kitty is back and—quel surprise!—has no interest in playing with guileless, gangly Puppy, who appeared at the end of that title and takes center stage here. Poor Puppy, Bruel writes. Poor, poor Puppy. Poor, poor, poor, poor, poor Puppy! The book then becomes a counting/alphabet book to demonstrate that Puppy isn't really poor—in fact he has many playthings at his disposal: 1 Airplane, 2 Balls, 3 Cars and so on. But Puppy still wants to play with Kitty, and as he falls asleep, the book takes another trip through the alphabet—and through the world—as Puppy dreams of 26 fun activities and locales he'd like to share with his best friend Kitty: Apple Bobbing in Antarctica, Baseball in Brazil, Checkers in Canada, etc.

Oscar and The Mooncats: A cozy tale about a cat who learns that there's no place like home. Oscar the cat loves his boy. He also loves to climb way up where he can see everything. He jumps onto the fridge, onto the bookshelf, and onto the roof of the garage, but if he jumps just a little higher, his view would be out of this world. With the mightiest leap of his life, Oscar makes it all the way to the moon. Oscar makes some new friends there.

Walter the Farting Dog: Walter, a fat gray dog with an apologetic look on his face, comes home from the pound with two children. He has incurable gas, and his family decides to take him back. The night before he is to go, Walter sadly devours "the 25-pound bag of low-fart dog biscuits the vet had prescribed for him, which had made him fart more.... A gigantic gas bubble began to build inside him." Wouldn't you know, two burglars break in, and Walter's liability becomes his asset.

My husband is currently reading John Grisham's new novel, The Appeal, and I'm reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

What are you currently reading? Have you seen the movie The Gnome Mobile?

For those of you who don't read or aren't reading anything currently, what's in your Gnome Mobile?

And, for those of you who aren't interested in any of those questions, you need to see this weird new fish from Antartica and how can you make it through your day without hearing about this? If I never make it as a writer, then I can always go into that new profession.


tui said...

"The Intervention of Hugo Cabret" sounds amazing. I'm going to have to see if the local library has that one!

I'm reading "Haunted" by Chuck Palahniuk, love his stuff. Though I doubt he's everyone's cup of tea. He's got one hell of an imagination...


Rhea said...

Thanks, Tui, for stopping by. I'll have to check out "Haunted."

Kiera said...

Hi Rhea,
I just barely finished reading The Pillars of the Earth and I LOVED it! It was gritty yet beautiful at the same time. I love the medieval time period. I'm fascinated with how people used to live their lives...I just started reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. I'm doing Oprah's little (or shall I say big) web class. I hoping to be "awakened"!! Have you heard of good reads. It's a website where you can add friends and share the books that you are reading with others. I just barely joined. It's at Check it out! Then add me as a friend.
: )

Rhea said...

I haven't heard of Good Reads. I have visited Selfari before though, and I think it has a similar premise.

Thanks for sharing what you've been reading! I'll have to check them out.

Rhea said...

Oh, also, is a great book search engine. I think you put in books or authors you like and then it shows you other books and authors you would like based on that. Try it!

CrystalChick said...

So great to get your boys interested in reading such great books!
Never saw the Gnome-Mobile but those cuties were in Mary Poppins and I loved that flick! :)
Nothing exciting in my ride lately and the cord to my iPod has a short in it, so I'll be bummed 'til I get to the electronic store.
I have a couple basic photography books that I've been browsing through lately.

KP said...

those are totally the two kids from Mary Poppins!!

Maeglin said...

Hi RHea!!

Greetings from Spain.
I´m a friend of ANDROMACA,Emyn Arnen´s writer. Like both I am LOST FAN. I enjoy watching FRIENDS too. My favourite books are those written by JRR Tolkien. Actually Iam reading CONSTANTINOPLA (Actually Istambul), a historical book about Bizantinum Empire created by Isaac Asimov father of the Sci-Fi Literature.I didn´t kown the film that you write here. Sorry if my english isn´t very good.
Great blog.

See you Rhea.

Rhea said...

Sorry to hear about your iPod Crystalchick. Hope you get a new cord soon. Those are the kids from Mary Poppins, I was wondering why they looked so familiar.

Good to see you, KP!

Nice to meet you, Maeglin. Your English is great!

Jen said...

I tend to confuse The Gnome-Mobile with Darby O'Gill and the Little People. I watched both as a child--I remember being intrigued and disturbed!

We watched a lot of tv when I was little--but somehow I still had a voracious appetite for books.

I just finished the first 3 books in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer (I couldn't put them down).

I'm perpetually working my way through Sherlock Holmes (Doyle's complete works).

I think that over Spring Break I'll read the books behind the movie The Golden Compass.

Rhea said...

Hi, Jen! I do remember the Darby O'Gill movie as well. I could see how you could confuse them.

I want to read the Twilight series at some point, I've heard they're good.

I've never read Sherlock Holmes (I don't know why) and I think I would really like those.

I have read the Golden Compass series but it's been a while. Haven't seen the movie yet though.

Thanks for coming by!