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Reviews Written by
Chara "charasketchnbc" (Eastern Tennessee)

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Alice in Wonderland (Full Screen)
Alice in Wonderland (Full Screen)
DVD ~ Tina Majorino
Offered by OMydeals
Price: CDN$ 62.94
12 used & new from CDN$ 1.45

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It may not be the REAL Alice, but..., Oct. 30 2007
...I have come to enjoy it for its own good qualities.

True, they did kind of muff it up by making Alice's adventures underground into a learning experience where she realized she did not need to be afraid of performing in public. However, the characters were hilarious. The White Rabbit was a bit boring, but the others seemed to play their parts to the hilt. I especially liked the Caucus Race scene, Pat the Irish gardener and his friend Bill, and the Mock Turtle. Of course, the Mad Tea-Party scene deserves mention as well. Tina Majorino with a British accent is odd, but I suppose it was seen as necessary.

The musical numbers are delightful.

If you don't expect this to be a re-telling of the actual "Alice" story, it is not too bad. I did not care for it the first time I saw it, as it is a little weird, but my kids have come to like it, too--even after having read the original.

Drawing With Children 10th Anniversary Edition
Drawing With Children 10th Anniversary Edition
by Mona Brookes
Edition: Hardcover
11 used & new from CDN$ 74.18

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond expectation, Jan. 28 2005
As an artist I was delighted to discover the first edition of this book--and more delighted when the second edition came out, with its inspiring section on teaching children with special needs. The before-and-after illustrations of students' work are most convincing; they're what I usually show people first of all when describing the Monart method to those who aren't familiar with it.
I have used these guidelines in introducing both children and adults to the wonderful world of drawing, which Ms. Brookes clearly shows is available to virtually anyone who wants to learn--not only to those who already have "talent." I especially appreciate her pre-drawn warm-up exercises, and her chart of the five basic line/shape elements that are used in all drawing. Permission is given to photocopy these pages directly from the book; alternatively, one may reproduce them by hand (they're very simple) and then copy the hand-drawn versions.
Some three- and four-year-olds might be able to do the exercises and projects shown here; in fact, Ms. Brookes has samples of work from children as young as this. For teaching school age youngsters and up, however, it is definitely a good choice as a resource. It also works great with adults, who are sometimes more nervous and embarrassed about making mistakes and being laughed at than children. I particularly enjoy seeing adults who decided years ago that they just can't draw, producing lovely works of art after having just a few simple lessons right from "Drawing with Children."

Going Postal
Going Postal
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Hardcover
37 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars The ignoble hero accomplishes an impossible task, Jan. 15 2005
This review is from: Going Postal (Hardcover)
"Going Postal" presents a wonderful picture of a condemned criminal who, given a second chance at life, uses every (unsavoury) skill at his command to survive till he can escape back to his wicked habits--er, do some good in the world after all.
This should be read back-to-back with Pratchett's "Night Watch," which features a NOBLE hero accomplishing an impossible task. I will warn you, however, that for a certain type of mind, Pratchett's writings can quickly become addictive.

A Northern Nativity
A Northern Nativity
by William Kurelek
Edition: Hardcover
13 used & new from CDN$ 4.06

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One-of-a-kind view of the birth of Christ, June 7 2004
This review is from: A Northern Nativity (Hardcover)
There is a blend of spiritual, surreal, emotional and artistic aspects in Mr. Kurelek's "dream" series, illustrating how it would be if Jesus were to be born in different settings in the farth North instead of the historical Bethlehem. Canadians should buy this book for their American friends and relations, especially (but not only) those with young children. Though seen through distinctly Canadian eyes, these visions have universal appeal.

Best of
Best of
Price: CDN$ 15.00
31 used & new from CDN$ 1.28

4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing change from the usual teenaged singer, March 20 2004
This review is from: Best of (Audio CD)
My first exposure to Charlotte Church was in a friend's home. She put on "Voice of an Angel" and said, "Listen to this singer. There's a secret here and I want you to guess what it is." I listened, intrigued, for several minutes and then guessed, "Is it a boy soprano?" My friend told me I was close. "It's a girl," she said, "but she recorded this song when she was only 13."
Having myself begun voice training at a very early age with an ambitious middle-school teacher who thought I had unusual potential, and therefore knowing the kind of discipline that must go into developing any natural gift, I was charmed by the clear, sweet quality of Charlotte Church's voice. In fact, I must have talked about her a lot over the next few months, because my own 13-year-old daughter bought me "Prelude" for Christmas. It was one of my favourite gifts that year and I played it over and over until the rest of the family began dropping gentle hints that they'd like to hear something else...
Her voice has certainly matured as shown in, for example, "All Love Can Be" from the "Beautiful Mind" soundtrack. However, my all-time favourite (so far) would still have to be her rendition of "Psalm 23" which appears on the "Voice of an Angel" CD. If "Prelude" had "Psalm 23" instead of "Habanera," which to me does sound a bit unnatural (if, admittedly, well-executed) sung by such a very young girl, I'd be even more satisfied with this recording.

Aunt Isabel Tells A Good One
Aunt Isabel Tells A Good One
by Kate Duke
Edition: School & Library Binding
Price: CDN$ 22.32
5 used & new from CDN$ 22.32

5.0 out of 5 stars Even adult writers will enjoy this book!, March 11 2004
Several years ago I got this book from our public library to read to our two small children and two others we were babysitting at the time. I don't know whether the children or I enjoyed it more, but later when I went back to borrow the library's copy again, I was disappointed to find it no longer available.
A month or so later, the children and I were invited to visit another home-based daycare in our neighbourhood for the afternoon--the "library lady" was coming for an hour of stories and games. At the end of the visit, she pulled out a stack of discarded picture books and said she was going to give them to the daycare moms, as the library no longer needed them.
"Thank you," I said, "but I'd better not take any--our family already has a lot of books." I suggested that the other mother keep all of them. However, as we walked toward the door I suddenly spotted "Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One" in the pile. I walked back, pointed, and said, "Well actually...can we have THAT one?" Thus we ended up with a copy of our own.
This book would be excellent for teaching ANYONE how to create a story. I'd never seen the process explained so clearly, so concisely, and so humourously. When I write my first book, I'll probably get "Aunt Isabel" out and use her for a template.

Double Decca: Handel Messiah
Double Decca: Handel Messiah
Price: CDN$ 15.97
31 used & new from CDN$ 8.95

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lighter and quicker version of The Messiah, Nov. 28 2003
This recording was featured in a book club we belonged to many years ago. Our children were very young at the time and apparently we played this album so much that when our son was in about grade 3, he told a teacher that The Messiah was his favourite piece of music.
I grew up with The Messiah (my parents both being trained musicians) and had had my "favourite" parts before hearing this recording, but I quickly acquired several new preferences. One is Gwynne Howell's rendition of "The Trumpet Shall Sound."
This is a "lighter" recording than many, with fewer instruments and a slightly livelier pace. It took some getting used to from what I'd been familiar with as a child, but now I prefer it over the heavier and more traditional versions.

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