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J. H. Sweet
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West From Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915
West From Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915
by Laura I Wilder
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 6.89
83 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Much More Than a Collection of Letters, Sept. 11 2005
In addition to Laura's detailed letters to Almanzo describing her adventure, this book includes over thirty photographs featuring Laura, Rose, the Pacific Ocean (ships, beachgoers, etc.), San Francisco, and many scenes of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition including an air show and night-lit festivities. Though in black and white, this pictorial insight into what was behind the letters is wonderful.
The book also includes an introduction describing how and where the letters were found and a lovely description of San Francisco at the time of Laura's visit. The letters themselves beautifully showcase the art of letter writing: Along with Laura's vivid descriptions of the technological marvels of the expo, her words are full of charming details to make us smile such as the price of eggs, hat shopping, and her favorite foods of the expo. Laura' expertise in writing compositions, as described in the original Little House books, is very much evident even in these personal letters.
This book is a must have for Little House enthusiasts. Also recommended: On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles, and longtime Little House fan

Knitting The New Classics: 60 Exquisite Sweaters from the Studios of Classic Elite
Knitting The New Classics: 60 Exquisite Sweaters from the Studios of Classic Elite
by Kristin Nicholas
Edition: Paperback
18 used & new from CDN$ 1.58

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Exquisite Patterns, Thorough Instructions & More, Sept. 10 2005
I have been knitting nearly thirty years, since I was a young child, and I have never seen a collection of patterns this unique and beautiful. There is a nice assortment of designs for men, women, and children, ranging from easy to extremely challenging as far a skill needed to complete.
The designs are truly classic, intricate, artistic, and well balanced as far as style and form. The instruction grids and pattern piece drawings are very detailed, easy to understand, and precise as far as measurements. With lovely photographs and clearly stated written instructions, this book is very thorough. There is also a nice section of tips for knitters - equivalent yarns, how to read charts, figuring sizes, etc.
The patterns are not at all dated, and I don't believe they ever will be. In the same way I can picture my mother wearing these sweaters, I think they will be completely wearable fifty years from now, so the time spent in the creation of these treasures might well be appreciated when they are passed down to an ancestor, if the sweaters are well cared for, gently worn, and still in good enough shape.
My only problem with this book is that even the easy/simple patterns seem incredibly difficult. But I admit that I am intimidated by sweaters. I am more expert at socks, hats, scarves, and throws. Even recognizing my anxiety regarding sweaters, I do not think a beginner should attempt these patterns because it might lead to frustration and discouragement with knitting in general. I believe this book is more suitable for intermediate to advanced knitters.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles

The Story of Ferdinand
The Story of Ferdinand
by Munro Leaf
Edition: Hardcover
Prix : CDN$ 15.16
59 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Lovely, Timeless, Pacifism Message and More, Sept. 8 2005
This review is from: The Story of Ferdinand (Hardcover)
This is an enchanting and timeless tale, and is everything a children's book should be. The message is not simply one of peace and commitment to an ideal, but also one of basic karma and the need for all to follow the Golden Rule.
The Story of Ferdinand lets children know it is okay to stay true to their characters, and will encourage them to think their way out of situations, rather than muscle their way out. Ferdinand's peaceful and contented nature is something all human beings should all aspire to. Having been stung by many bees in my youth, mainly while traipsing barefoot through clover and accidentally stepping on them, I have great sympathy for our hero and the situation he finds himself in.
I recommend this classic for all ages and peoples, especially in our troubled times. It has a wonderful philosophy of life message; and even if readers choose not to apply the lesson to real life, the charming tale of Ferdinand is worth reading simply for its power to delight and entertain.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles

Scrooge (1970)
Scrooge (1970)
DVD ~ Albert Finney
Prix : CDN$ 15.04
23 used & new from CDN$ 8.41

2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 My Favorite Flawed Hero, Sept. 8 2005
This review is from: Scrooge (1970) (DVD)
I have read A Christmas Carol several times; and though this is a musical, I do not think it takes away at all from Dickens' classic story. Rather, I believe it is a wonderful tribute to it. Ebenezer Scrooge is one of my favorite literary characters of all time; and Albert Finney brings him to life perfectly, making the miser loveable and sympathetic throughout. As in the written work, I love Scrooge both before and after his epiphany. I was especially touched by his feelings of abandonment at being left at school for Christmas in his youth, and the deep regret he experiences over the breaking of his engagement to Fezziwig's daughter.
Tiny Tim is well cast in this movie. He has a beautiful voice and touching expressions, and is perfect in size, tiny, which is not the case in some other film versions.
Leslie Bricusse's song lyrics are every bit as wonderful as those written for Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The costuming, scenery, and props are very lavish and beautiful, adding to the richness of the story. The DVD version is perfect in this respect with good color and clarity.
The story is wonderfully staged in five acts (Introduction, Past, Present, Future, Conclusion), the first four building perfectly to the final, which is every bit as heartwarming as the conclusions of It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street. It is impossible not to smile as Scrooge buys out the toy store, purchases other gifts, wipes the slate clean for his debtors, and makes charitable contributions. His transformation from miser and loan shark to a genuine Father Christmas is absolutely beautiful.
When I was growing up, we always decorated our tree on Christmas Eve; and I remember watching this movie many years in a row during that family tradition. I recommend this as a yearly family Christmastime movie, but it is also wonderful to watch at other times of the year, especially to cure a blue funk because it has the power to warm viewers all the way down to their toes.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles

Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)
Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)
DVD ~ Lucille Ball
Offered by screenlinepd
Prix : CDN$ 38.85
18 used & new from CDN$ 8.02

2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very Close to My Heart, Sept. 8 2005
This review is from: Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) (DVD)
My parents went to see this movie on their first date and soon after blended two large families together, much in the same manner as the Beardsleys and Norths. I am extremely grateful to the tellers of this story for inspiring my parents to marry, thus giving me the best mother in the world.
Though this is a comedy, and bits of it are truly hilarious, it is not overdone and focuses well on important family issues. Lucille Ball is very much not Lucy in this film, and is the perfect blend of serious and funny. Many of the younger actors are very recognizable despite their youth including Tim Matheson and Tracy Nelson who, due to her smile and other facial features, is easy to spot as the approximately three-year-old Jermaine.
The dual narration, assembly line lunch making, industrial laundry chores, military-like logistics for bathroom sharing, and grocery shopping for an apparent army are all interestingly staged. The movie also includes a nice variety of settings including the crowded house, bar, aircraft carrier, clinic, navel base, school, commissary, and hospital.
This is an uplifting family story and a wonderful Christmastime feel-good movie, though it is fun to watch all year round.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles

Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Tree Grows in Brooklyn
DVD ~ Dorothy McGuire

3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Preserves the Integrity and Flavor of the Book, Sept. 8 2005
This review is from: Tree Grows in Brooklyn (DVD)
Though a bit fast-paced and somewhat similar in style to a stage play, this movie very much brings Betty Smith's characters and their plights to life and does not leave us wishing they had treated the written work with more care. My mother was born and raised as a city girl, and her descriptions of growing up in Philadelphia remind me of this portrayal of life in Brooklyn. I very much envision a reflection of many things my mother described about her childhood in this movie. For example, that some children she grew up with had never seen a cow. A parallel of this exists in the film when Francie writes about going to see cotton fields. The longing behind this is very similar to the stories my mother related to me.
The opposites attract theory is wonderfully done in this story, and I ache for Dorothy McGuire's character, and her struggles, especially her iron will to do what is right for her family's survival. The conflict of Pipedreamer versus Realist is well balanced, so that we are not judgmental of either's actions. The interplay between the characters leads nicely to the heart wrenching loss of one and the anguish of the other over what could have been done differently. The devastating effects of alcoholism are featured in this film, but in contrast with a strong element of hope. Also, the reality of the numbers of children born at home and the infant mortality rate of the time period are also presented, but not stressed so overwhelmingly as to take away from the happiness of the new additions to the family and the positive direction of their future.
Joan Blondell's portrayal of Aunt Sissy is my favorite part of this movie. She is charming, funny, steadfast, quirky, and absolutely perfect.
What is interesting about this film in comparison to the book is that only about two-thirds of the family's story is told. I would definitely recommend reading the novel if you want to know about Francie and Neeley as far as their careers after graduation, and what happens to the rest of the family. The book also goes into much greater detail as far as the extent of the struggle with poverty and the multitudes of families who experience similar situations. For those who enjoy this movie, I also recommend I Remember Mama.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles

Mrs. Dewinter
Mrs. Dewinter
by Susan H Long
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
40 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 étoiles sur 5 An Interesting Sequel, Sept. 8 2005
Mrs. deWinter is well written and an interesting read, especially for fans of Rebecca who want to know what happens to the family. Though I would have preferred some happiness in the lives of the characters created by Ms. Du Maurier, I believe this author did preserve the dark and moody aspects of the original novel. I read most books I like more than once, but I likely will not read this again because I prefer happier books. However, this story is believable as far as what happened to this family and their acquaintances, and the information is worth knowing. I did enjoy reading this book and definitely recommend it. I especially like the fact that we still do not know, and never will, Mrs. deWinter's first name. This preserves the continuing mystery surrounding this fascinating woman and the course her life has taken.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles

Mrs Piggle Wiggle
Mrs Piggle Wiggle
by Betty MacDonald
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 7.25
98 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is the Best Teacher, Sept. 8 2005
This review is from: Mrs Piggle Wiggle (Paperback)
I read my copies of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books to shreds as a child, and I still love to reread the stories today. The books contain valuable lessons for children; and though some are more magical and fun than others, all are well done with regards to capturing children's attention in a unique manner and making them want to improve themselves by fixing their own problems. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is truly a brilliant and clever teacher, using extremely creative teaching techniques in presenting values, morals, and good habits for children to emulate, develop, and strive for. This book, though not particularly subtle as far as the lessons it tries to impart, is fantastic with regards to children learning something from their storybooks.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles

Pippi Longstocking
Pippi Longstocking
by Astrid Lindgren
Edition: Paperback
Prix : CDN$ 7.59
116 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 One of the Greatest Female Characters Ever Created, Sept. 8 2005
This review is from: Pippi Longstocking (Paperback)
It was very empowering for me as a child to read Pippi's adventures. Her independence, common sense, strength, resourcefulness, and compassion were a tremendous inspiration to me and continue to be very commendable qualities. I don't believe much was lost in the translation of these books because the storytelling flows superbly and is exciting, engaging, and enduring. As a youngster, my favorite elements of these stories included Pippi's hoard of gold, pet horse, physical strength, fantastic adventures, and red hair. As an adult, I am drawn to the heroine's wisdom and goodness of spirit. For adults who read Pippi as a child, I recommend a revisit to her world for a fresh view of her character as well as delightful reminiscing. This is terrific reading for all ages both girls and boys.

J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles

Silver Surfer Masterworks Vol. 1
Silver Surfer Masterworks Vol. 1
by Stan Lee
Edition: Hardcover
15 used & new from CDN$ 60.92

5.0 étoiles sur 5 Wonderful Addition to My Collection: A True Masterwork, Aug. 4 2005
As a longtime Silver Surfer fan, who didn't managed to keep very many issues over the years, I am delighted to find a collection such as this. I am not at all disappointed with my purchase, but will have to struggle a bit to limit my reading of this to just a few times so that I can keep it in pristine condition.
The art of this collection is exquisitely beautiful, as always with Silver Surfer stories. "Masterworks" is truly an appropriate title because both the art and storytelling are masterful, treating Stan Lee's greatest character creation (in my opinion) with the loving care a masterpiece deserves.
The stories in this book very much embody the true essence of Silver Surfer and everything that is wonderful about his saga. Please excuse any gushing in my descriptions, but I am sure that many other female Surfer fans feel the same way I do about this amazing character.
Having read the six stories in this book without pausing, I am once again mesmerized and awed by the many exceptional qualities of my favorite superhero: self-sacrifice, insight, humanity despite not being human, kindness, trusting nature, sensitivity, the ever-cool surfing the solar winds skills, quick thinking, ability to look at the big picture, amazing speed, no apparent Achilles heel (other than a trusting and kind nature), purity of motives and spirit, no human flaws such as greed and pride, compassion, tremendous power, etc. Also, his expressions are often incredibly endearing; for example, frequent expressions of surprise and delight, which contrast nicely to his normal stoicism. The unique and engaging villains are also an interesting element in these tales.
The morals and values present in these stories are highly significant. I believe kids should definitely be encouraged to read them. Parents striving to raise decent human beings, and the heroes of our future, would do well to encourage this pursuit because the lessons in this book are well worth learning.
J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles, and Silver Surfer fan

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