Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Dr. Seuss Week Let's Take A Peek

Mrs. Smiley's Class
Every class dressed up as Cat's in Hats.
This class looks amazing.

Some fun shots of Mrs. King's class in the library.

Cat In The Hat

We had such a great time with a visit from the Cat In The Hat.
On Monday, Dr. Seuss birthday, we dressed like cats in hats, enjoyed The Cat In The Hat sharing his infamous story. We even had birthday cake in honor of Dr. Seuss. On Tuesday, we had crazy sock day (Fox and Socks) and Wednesday we had Wacky Wednesday and dressed a bit wacky.

High School Visited

 On Thursday it was a lot of fun to have friends from the AHS come over to share Dr. Seuss books and activities with our students. Our K-1 kiddo's always enjoy visits from our high school friends.
We also, had our book fair delivered and set up thanks too many of the staff pitching in.
I am so very grateful to have such a dependable and flexible staff to work with.
I got sick and had to have surgery and in my absence many of my plans were carried out by my colleagues, who are simply amazing!!!

It would be a great time to share your favorite Dr.  Seuss book with your child.  

Book Review

The Night Circus was magical, mesmerizing and enchanting. The book starts out slowly laying the foundation to a beautifully written and truly magical story.

There are two illusionists, chosen at a young age to be bound to one another in a contest that will span their lives until one wins. They have been given no rules, other than that they must perform in some way. They have no idea how one wins, or what one must do to win. Their sponsors in the contest create the circus as the arena for their players. One will travel with it, the other will not. Their story is interspersed with the perspectives of several other characters within or affiliated with the circus, all of whom enrich the plot and provide a deeper look at the workings of the circus and those it touches.

I love the structure of this book. Too often a book with split narratives lingers too long on one or another of the characters, to the point that the reader forgets the other tale being told. Not with "The Night Circus". Most chapters are less than 5 pages long. Any character whose story you long to continue will return again soon.  Each is carefully constructed to yield more detail to the contest, the circus, or the sinister dealings of the competition sponsors. There are many two-page intervals designed to lead the reader through a tent or aspect of the carnival as if the reader were a patron on a tour (loved this aspect).
The romance is gentle and slow-burning.  The romance between the two illusionists is a motivator of events, not the event itself. By sparing us the gory details, the author creates a fairy-tale atmosphere for her love story, a theme alluded to by several of the characters throughout the novel. The reader never feels as if a character is fully revealed, but each has a magical quality nonetheless, like fairy tale characters. Morgenstern skillfully translates fantastical, fairy tale elements into a world where fairy tales are unexpected, and reality has taken hold.

The book begins in the late 19th century in post-industrialized England where the population has seen magic disappear in a haze of coal burning factories and speeding locomotives.  The author incorporates the 'seen it all' attitude of the people into her narrative.  These characters are mesmerized by a combination of magic and mechanics, illusions designed for their world. And yet, the novel never devolves into 'steampunk' silliness. There is an air of timelessness so that the circus can move from era to era untouched by the specifics of that time.

The novel approaches what could conventionally be called its climax about 40 pages from the end. But Morgenstern has created so many characters, so many different narratives to care about, that the resolution of the illusionists' contest has become simply one of many stories. I was grateful for the remaining 40 pages to tie together the other narratives intertwined with the illusionists' story. This was altogether a beautiful novel, and I was sad to see it end.  I wanted to travel along with the circus for awhile longer.

My next book is called Defending Jacob by William Landay.


Mug-O- Comfort swap through Chaotic Goddess Swaps. This one of my favorite swaps and my swap partner Melinda  was terrific.

Slant box swap was amazing and Rachel was my partner and I absolutely love everything I received.

Spring break is upon and I hope everyone that travels, has a safe trip and a good book for your spring break. I know I will.
Happy Reading,
Mrs. Shamhart