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Mikeharvey



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 3360


Location: Lancashire

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:21 pm    Post subject: Examination In Children's Literature  Reply with quote

Question 1.  Given the opportunity which of the following would you
                  rather do? Give entirely subjective reasons for your answer.

              A. Help Jo, Amy, Beth and Meg prepare a surprise party for
                  Laurie.
               
              B. Sail down the Mississippi on a raft with Huck Finn and Tom
                  Sawyer.
             
              C. Do some gardening with Mary, Colin and Dickon.

              D. Go swimming in the lagoon with Peter, Wendy, John,
                   Michael, the mermaids and the Lost Boys.

              E.  Play croquet with Alice and the Queen.

              F.  Go with Christopher Robin and Pooh to visit Owl.

              G. Have a picnic with the Railway Children.

              H.  Go on a shopping expedition in the Emerald City with
                   Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Lion and Toto for gifts
                   to take home.  

              I. Go boating with Mole, Ratty and Toad.

              J. Play Quidditch with Harry, Ron and Hermione.

              K. Sail on the Hispaniola to find treasure with Jim Hawkins and
                  Long John Silver.

                 




Last edited by Mikeharvey on Thu May 27, 2010 2:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a three-hour exam last week on Professional Awareness and this is far more challenging. I can rule out horrid Alice immediately, and have preconceptions about both Little Women and The Wizard of Oz as being alternately anodyne and saccharine which I can't be bothered to change at the moment, so that narrows the field. Mr Toad, Peter Pan, Secret Garden - all fine, but not a big part of my reading. Which leaves Huck Finn, the Railway Children, the Hundred Acre Wood and Hogwarts. I think I'll rule out Huck Finn with some regret on the basis that the society he lived in would not be the most comfortable to my modern sensibilities. The Railway Children are lovely, but if it's the ones in the book rather than the film I may not get William Mervyn, which is a major point. And how dare I choose Harry Potter over the Milne characters I've loved all my life? But I think that's what I'm going to do. I'm not so keen on the Quidditch, but the fun, the cheekiness and the camaraderie, teenage temper tantrums aside, would carry me through. I'd love to try some of the food and drink in Hogsmeade too, if a trip there is in the offing.


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Chibiabos83
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I now see your last-minute Stevensonian addition, but that does not alter my decision. A fun story, but I have no great emotional attachment to it, probably because of it not having been a book I read in childhood.


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Evie
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Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the reason I love the Harry Potter books is that I would have *loved* to have gone to Hogwarts.  I wouldn't want to play Quidditch, but I'd love to with with Hermione, cheering on Harry and Ron!

None of the others appeal remotely, even though I love some of the books.

Chibiabos, I still don't understand your hatred of Alice - two genius books, which I only read in adulthood (as I did Wind in the Willows, also a genius book) - full of amazing language and brimming with inventiveness, and not afraid of being unpleasant, which life is.  It's not really that I can't understand someone not liking them, but I can't understand *you* not liking them!  It was the same with Catcher in the Rye - I felt so sure it would be your kind of book, that I was shocked to realise you didn't like it!  Just goes to show that reading tastes are hard to predict.


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Chibiabos83
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I could explain rationally why I have such a strong resistance to Alice. I've only read the first book, and the knowledge that the second one contains the godawful Jabberwocky is enough to keep me away from it perhaps forever. I certainly don't mind its unpleasantness. It's more the nonsensicality of it that bores me. I don't dislike the whole book - I remember liking the more sedate bits, those featuring the Mock Turtle for instance - and I don't always object to whimsy, but somehow the combination of elements leaves me entirely cold. Still, nice to have a blind spot. I sometimes wonder if my raving about how everything's so utterly spankingly beautiful wears others out.


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Chibiabos83
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And the fact that I've come around to Catcher after all those years suggests maybe all hope is not lost.


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MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'll be bound for the Mississipi! Though a visit to WOL isn't too far behind.



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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a lovely selection of things to do!  Much better than my real life option of doing a bit of ironing or gardening.

I love boating and swimming so it's between B, D I or K. (I also love shopping but I've had rather a glut of Dorothy through the ALW show on TV recently).

The idea of swimming with Peter Pan and the mermaids is delightful.
(I once encountered a manatee when I was snorkeling in Florida and it did look like a mermaid at quick glance.)

A trip down the Mississippi sounds fantastic but as Gareth pointed out the age that Huck and Tom Sawyer lived in wasn't the most congenial in the Deep South so I think I'll save up for a present day trip in a Mississippi paddle boat instead.

Boating with toad and ratty on the Thames on an idyllic summer's day (when we do have one) appeals to me.  I think it's between that and the Hispaniola.

If we have a "Barbecue summer" then it's with ratty and mole but if the summer is like last year then  I'm off to the Caribbean with Long John Silver.


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TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
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Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Despite Fletch’s best attempts in that episode of Porridge, those Little Women do very little for me. I did make a start on Little Women once, but didn’t get very far. I could be tempted to help prepare for the party, but only if I’m in charge of making the punch. (The punch I made for my 50th recently was absolutely bloody brilliant!) But I guess this isn’t that kind of party.

The Deep South at the time of slavery doesn’t appear too attractive, but the company of Huck does. (And I take it, Mike, it was Jim you meant rather than Tom drifting down the Mississippi on that raft!) But I’d rather enter the world of Tom Sawyer than that of Huckleberry Finn. If you’d suggested running off with Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn and Joe Harper to Jackson Island, then I’d have been more than tempted. But the world of Huckleberry Finn is not really a world I’d like to live in. I guess they’d have to paint me blue and put up a notice “Mad Arab on board – Harmless when not out of his head”.

I had to read The Secret Garden once when I was at school, and that’s a purgatory I don’t think I should have to go through again. Apologies to all Secret Garden fans, but there it is. I remember finishing it one Sunday afternoon when the film Beau Geste – starring Gary Cooper – was on television, and I was skimming through those last few pages at odd intervals, while actually watching the film.

I never read Peter pan, and, while I’m sure that Barrie’s book is far from the cloying confection that is the Disney film, it doesn’t really attract me too much.

I do quite enjoy the Alice books, but I can’t say I enjoy them enough to want to be part of them.
Winnie the Pooh I only encountered when I was reading the books to my children. Maybe it’s something you need to have grown up with: I didn’t get it at all. Sorry Gareth – (and others) – I found it twee and tedious.

Having a picnic with the Railway Children sounds quite attractive – although I do insist on the presence of Jenny Agutter and Sally Thomsett.

I haven’t read The Wizard of Oz, and, apart from the Somewhere Over the Rainbow scene (which is marvellous), find myself puzzled by the esteem in which the films is held. Not for me, I’m afraid. However, boating with Mole, Ratty and Toad does appeal. Once again, I encountered this book for the first time when reading it to the children, and, after my experience with Winnie the Pooh, was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Boating with these characters on a summer’s day sounds delightful, but even better would be joining Ratty and Mole when they are lost in the Wild Woods in the heavy snow, and finding hospitality at Badger’s warm fireside.

Harry Potter passed me by, but I have never been attracted by the boarding school genre – not even a boarding school for wizards. And that leaves the best option of all – joining Jim Hawkins & co aboard the Hispaniola. I’ve done so many a time in my imagination.




Last edited by TheRejectAmidHair on Fri May 28, 2010 10:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Chibiabos83
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now, if Little Women was genuinely like the Porridge version I'd start reading it this minute...

I certainly don't begrudge anyone not liking Winnie-the-Pooh, though I think Dorothy Parker goes too far. There are many factors that contribute towards the books meaning so much to me - those lovely Fraser-Simson songs, the BBC Alan Bennett readings (and surely nobody has ever read the stories better), and never having been exposed to the Disney version can't have hurt either. I draw the line at some of the poems, though, which do make me cringe.



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