Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Red Riding Hood Retold by Beatrix Potter

I've been researching Beatrix Potter titles for a craft project and that documentation has primarily gone on my craft blog. However, in my search for Beatrix Potter titles I came across Red Riding Hood retold by Beatrix Potter and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury.

I'm always interested in different versions of fairy tales and Oxenbury's introduction explains why she wanted to illustrate Potter's darker version of the tale. I grew up on the darker fairy tales and I was quite surprised to go to school and realize most children grew up with the more cleaned up versions of the classic fairy tales. I'd seen the Disney Cinderella but I'd also read the darker version with the sister's removing parts of their feet to fit in the shoes. What I didn't realize is most kids had never heard the darker versions. Even some of my teachers hadn't read the original darker tales and thought I'd made them up. I later found a copy of the book I'd grown up with and felt almost vindicated that I hadn't been crazy remembering the much darker versions.

For those looking for a happily ever after tale where Red Riding Hood learns her lesson about wandering off and not following directions from her mother, this is not the tale for you. This tale is about the true nature of a wolf. He is a predator and in this version a trickster and this does not bode well for Red Riding Hood. Oxenbury tries to indicate there will be justice at the end with her illustrations, but Potter let the wolf go with Riding Hood punished for not heeding the directions of her mother.

Many years ago I used to teach a traditional tales unit to fourth graders and I could see using this book as part of that unit. It shakes up the tale kids think they know and gets them to think about the story they think they know in a new way. However, for parents who see Beatrix Potter and think they'd like this for their nursery I'd get a copy from the library and look at it first. There are more younger child versions that would appeal to little ones.

Monday, August 2, 2021

American Heritage Museum's Military History Through the Ages

If you looking for a living history event in Massachusetts the American Heritage Museum next event is Military History through the Ages. They will be hosting a series of reannactment encampments from the Revolutionary War to Vietnam on August 7th and 8th from 9-5 each day. There will be a variety of presentations from differnt military groups but their camps will be open for you to tour during the event.

I've been to their WWII event and written about it here several times. The military camps are an amazing learning experience. Something that can't be matched from a book or movie. I've been to Revolutionary War encampments hosted by local reannactors at other sites and again the ability to see, hear, and ask questions about life for the people who where living at the time is a unique learning experience for adults and children both.

Along with the encampments the Museums will be open to tour as well during your visit. I've seen the cars, planes, and tanks several times now but the main museum was just opening during our last chance to visit. I'm looking forward to touring it this visit.

Admission for the Saturday and Sunday events are as follows:

$25 Adults | $20 Seniors/Veterans | $15 Children Under 12

Members, WWII/Korean War Veterans and Children Under 3 are Free – No ticket required.

You can purchase advance tickets or find out more about the event by going to the website here.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Think Christmas During the Back to School Sales

While many parents can't afford to put away stuff for Christmas in August other adults are looking for inexpensive ways to put away things away for children for Christmas. This time of year many retailers are putting out school supplies at amazing prices. You can find name brand art supplies like Crayola at cheaper than dollar store prices every where you look as the sale get quite competitive. Perhaps you aren't putting a child into school so why do you care?

Perhaps you do look for inexpensive little items to give out at Halloween for kids who can't have candy. I just discovered a neighbor's child with allergies and I'm thinking of alternatives for candy this Halloween so he doesn't miss out at our house.

I know others who want to give something at Christmas but money is tight. Art supplies at Christmas are always more expensive than they are during back to school season. If you know a child who likes crayons or markers this is the time of year to buy them. The name brands like Crayola are cheaper now than you will find the generic brands at Christmas.

Even adults have gotten into coloring these days and colored pencils and pens are often on sale as well. If you know someone who loves to color buy the supplies while they are on sale and it will make a nice inexpensive gift come Christmas.

My other suggestion is for adults who want to donate for toy drives at Christmas but may have limited funds to help. With the sales going on at back to school you can donate crayons, markers, and colored pencils with a limited budget if you buy them now and donate them during those holiday toy drives.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Newport Mansions Virtual Tour

I mentioned previously that I'd be keeping my eye out for free virtual tours being made available to the public.

One advantage to these tours is people who might not have traveled to these locations to vacation previously now have the chance to see at least some of what they were missing. Nothing beats in person visits but at least you can experience some of the sites you might never other wise visit.

You can find the link for the available tours here. Perhaps this will insprie more of us to visit these sites when we are more comfortable traveling.

Photo Credit Stock Images