Tag Archives: Mr. Spock

Going Wild

3 Jun

In 2014, Peter Brown’s Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, saw a tiger shedding his civilized clothing and dainty manners to GO WILD!

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In his first novel for middle readers, The Wild Robot, the opposite occurs.

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A robot is washed ashore on an island, after a cargo ship is wrecked. Accidentally activated by sea otters, Roz, the robot, begins exploring her environment where she is seen as a monster.  After an accident in which she kills a mother goose, she adopts the  gosling she has orphaned. In her efforts to be a good caregiver to the gosling she names Brightbill, she begins to make inroads into the animal community. Roz learns skills from the animals she encounters: care of goslings from a mother goose, house building from a beaver. In turn, she learns to love and becomes a vital member of the island community that she considers her home.

The book seems simple, but it really speaks to the heart of what it means to be human. Roz doesn’t fit in at first. She begins as “other”  but becomes an integral member of society because of the connections she makes with the island’s inhabitants. It reminds me of the fox from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince who wants to be tamed.

“No,” said the little prince. “I am looking for friends. What does that mean–‘tame’?”

“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. It means to establish ties.”

And later the fox says,

“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox.

So it is with Roz and the animals on the island. Ties are established and the “monster” is tamed.

Alas, the idyll is violently disrupted when robots come to the island, seeking the cargo that was lost at sea. The ending is more realistic than happily ever after, but I think it makes this story more powerful. As Mr. Spock once philosophized

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Live long and prosper, Roz!

 

 

He Lived Long and Prospered

27 Feb

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Leonard Nimoy died today at age 83. I was a fan of the original series, which I watched as reruns on weekends once we moved to a town that had more than one TV station. As Spock, he inspired the part of me that thirsted for knowledge. He was a man of many talents who, in addition to acting also wrote prose and poetry. But, he will be remembered as the incarnation of Mr. Spock.

Mt Spock said many things that got me thinking, such as “Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the en.”

One of my favorite Spock quotes is from The Wrath of Kahn:

Perhaps the low point of Nimoy’s career was The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. It is good for a giggle.

In the end, I prefer to think of Leonard Nimoy wise man who learned a lot about lite and was willing to share what he had learned.

 

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Whale Song

21 Apr

In my favorite Star Trek movie,  Star Trek IV The Voyage Home,  Mr Spock swims with whales.

And now, just to be funny, check out this Partridge family clip  Whale Song  and notice the similarity between Admiral Kirk’s uniform and the Partridge family’s outfits.

I posted these two clips because I have whale song on my mind after reading two books about whales.

 

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Ice Whale is Jean Craighead George’s last book. It was nearly complete when she died in 2012, so her children collaborated with the publisher to finish editing and have it published.

Here is the Goodreads summary: In 1848 in Barrow, Alaska, a young Eskimo boy witnesses a rare sight—the birth of a bowhead, or ice whale, that he calls Siku. But when he unwittingly guides Yankee whalers to a pod of bowhead whales, all the whales are killed. For this act, the boy receives a curse of banishment. Through the generations, this curse is handed down. Siku, the ice whale, returns year after year, in reality and dreams, to haunt each descendant. The curse is finally broken when a daughter recognizes and saves the whale, and he in turn saves her. Told in alternating voices, both human and whale, Jean Craighead George’s last novel is an ambitious and touching take on the interconnectedness of humans, animals, and the earth they depend on.

The novel shows how both whale and native American communities have changed over time. It would be a great book to read aloud when studying the Arctic or looking at environmental and cultural changes.

For younger readers, Following Papa’s Song by Gianna Marino might be more appropriate.

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This book is based in science but tells a story of a relationship between after & son. The illustrations re gorgeous reflecting the changing colors of the ocean as the whales dive deep. I also like the metaphor of calming down when we are lost and listening for papa’s voice to guide us back home. This book would be a great jumping off point for whale study.

 

 

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