Tag Archives: Portland

Ten

26 Jan

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Hervé Tullet is simply brilliant. So are his books and the colors he uses.In 10 Times 10, Tullet counts to 10 in 10 wildly eccentric ways. Entries include a single hand that ends up, progressively, with 10 fingers; a face with three noses, four eyes and five mouths. All in all, this is a fun way to explore numbers with young readers.

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Here’s another group of 10. 10 Little Monsters Visit Oregon, written by Rick Walton and illustrated by Jess Smart Smiley, explores some of the most unusual and interesting things about Oregon and what it has to offer.  Humorous poems  are paired with factual text about each Oregon location. Although the text is fun, the illustrations didn’t really work for me. This would be an additional purchase for a classroom studying Oregon. Better books on the topic would be Larry Gets Lost In Portland  by Michael Mullin and John Skewes (for younger readers)

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or  B is for Beaver  by Marie and Roland Smith, for older readers.

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The Cure for Dreaming

31 Oct

My father hasn’t been to the dentist for decades. I was a teenager when I asked my mom about this. She told me that he hadn’t been to the dentist since the time he went to one who didn’t use anesthetic because he hypnotized his patients. Apparently he wasn’t able to hypnotize my father and ended up turning Dad of dentists forever.

So imagine my delight when I found out that Cat Winters’ new book,  The Cure for Dreaming, involves dentistry and hypnosis!

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Last Saturday I went to her launch party at Powells’ Books in Beaverton, where she gave background to the story, read a bit, and gave us insight into her inspirations and future projects. Of course I got a copy of the book and had her sign it.

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The story takes place in Portland, Oregon. It is 1900 and Olivia Mead, the protagonist, is a suffragist, much to the chagrin of her father, a dentist. He has a mesmerist hypnotize the rebellion out of her. Rather than doing so she becomes able to see people’s true natures, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud.

You can watch this segment of Oregon Art Beat where Cat talks about her book and the research that went into it.

Happy New Year

1 Jan

I didn’t stay up ’til midnight last night and I haven’t made any resolutions. I did however have root beer floats and watched my sister watch the end of Season 3 of Downtown Abbey. I had already seen it and enjoyed seeing her reaction. She knew something big happened, but, like most of us, didn’t see that ending  coming.

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This is my last day with my company. We’ve shopped and explored various corners of Portland, the coast and the Gorge. We have all been sick with a cold or some variation thereof. We were fortunate in that, although it was grey the entire time, there was almost no rain. Alas, there was no sighting of the elusive Mount Hood. I am posting one here, just to prove that it exists.

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Once my company has gone, I have a stack of books to read and a couple of knitting projects to work on before going back to work on Monday. The family is not returning home directly. They have a basketball tournament in Stratford, Ontario and won’t get home until Sunday night. I think I get the better part of that deal.

So far today, I think  we only plan to go to the movies. We are deciding between Philomena, Catching Fire,  and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  

Wishing you all a very Happy 2014!

Pig Tales from Portland

29 May

I don’t really think this is a trend, but I have come across two novels by Portland authors that feature porcine characters. One is for young adults, one is for younger readers. Both are worth reading.

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Poison, by Bridget Zinn, is funny. As I was reading it, I thought about how few YA fantasy novels are funny. The heroine, Kyra, keeps coming to the wrong conclusion. Her pig, Rosie, just smiles dreamily at her and loves to snuggle, when she’s not following the scent she’s supposed to be tracking. The Princess and heir to the throne is outspoken. On top of all this good stuff, Zinn creates a world of potioners and poisoners, people who fight with chemistry. As I finished the book, I was thinking that, although the problem came to a conclusion, it would be great to read more about this world Zinn created. But I can’t, because Bridget Zinn passed away two years ago of colon cancer at the age of 33.

On a happier note, the main character of  The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz, is Flora, a piglet on a mission.

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She is not content wallowing on the farm and longs for adventure. when she escapes from her pen, she discovers the world of sled dogs and decides it is her destiny. When Fate lands her aboard a ship bound for the South pole, she assumes she is to be a sled pig, although he reader quickly realizes that Flora has come to the wrong conclusion.When the ship  is wrecked and all seems hopeless, an unexpected heroine emerges. Can you guess who it is?  Young readers will love this tale of adventure and reaching for your dreams.

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