Monday, June 25, 2012

Non-Fiction Section...Complete!

by Stephen King
Pennywise the Dancing Clown
It didn't really take me almost two weeks to complete this portion of the challenge. I have actually been reading in other categories as well. I just choose to post once I have completed a section of the challenge. So today I am posting about the non-fiction titles I have read. Now, if you have read some of my previous posts (July 14, 2011 or April 27, 2001) you will find that I enjoy reading about circuses. I hate clowns, let me repeat that, I HATE clowns, they scare the dickens out of me (thanks to Mr. Stephen King and his wonderfully descriptive character Pennywise the Dancing Clown in my favorite of his novels, It!). I almost didn't add a picture of Pennywise because he creeps me out so, but then I thought you might have to go look for a picture of him to completely understand from where I am coming, so I did it for you! Be thankful, now I will be up all night because of this!

Anyway, I digress, I don't really know from where my love of circuses comes. I remember going to the circus a few times when I was growing up and then again when my son was small, but something about the life of the circus performer has always seemed to fascinate me. As I was browsing the shelves of the Mary Couts Burnett Library on the campus of Texas Christian University recently I came across a few circus books that intrigued me. I browsed through a few of the books on P.T Barnum, sideshow acts and trapeze artists, but settled down to read in their entirety Tom Thumb: The Remarkable True Story of a Man in Miniature and The Great Circus Train Wreck of 1918: the Tragedy Along the Indiana Lakeshore. Tom Thumb has always been a fascinating character to me. This book told the story of Charles Sherwood Stratton, who would come to be known around the world as General Tom Thumb because of his partnership with P.T. Barnum.

To be honest, I had never heard of the train wreck of 1918 and was interested in this story because it happened around the time my grandfather was born. In 1972 Warren Reeder wrote about the devastating train wreck under the title No Performances Today. Upon great requests for the original title, the local history librarian at Hammond Historical Society decided to write a new account of the devastation using newly discovered materials. The book was an easy one day read with a great deal of information (including photographs of the wreckage) about the unusual circumstances that combined to cause one of the largest circus train wrecks in history.

The Great Circus Train Wreck of 1918:
Tragedy Along the Indiana Lakeshore
by Richard M. Lytle

Other Goose: Re-Nurseried!! and
Re-Rhymed!! Childrens Classics
by J. Otto Seibold
The last book in this portion of the reading challenge has nothing to do with the circus. I have actually had this book on my shelf to read for sometime because it relates to the lessons I did with my students this past year in the library. I found my students were not familiar with nursery rhymes. So I spent half of the school year teaching my students a variety of the classic children's nursery rhymes including some of my personal favorites : Jack and Jill, Little Miss Muffet, and Jack Be Nimble. Since the other two books I read for this challenge were adult books, I felt it was only appropriate for my position as a children's librarian to include a children's non-fiction title and J. Otto Seibold presents Other Goose Re-nurseried!! and Re-rhymed!! Childrens Classics seemed to fit the bill perfectly (okay, laugh at my little joke please...I hope I don't have to explain it!).
Poster issued by Chronicle Books for
promotional purposes
At first this book kind of turned me off because I so love the original nursery rhymes, but as I got further into the book I found I was intrigued by the re-rhyming of these classics. I have enjoyed sharing other books by J. Otto Seibold with my students and their families, including Olive the Other Reindeer and Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf to name a few, but I was reluctant to share this book because so many of my students did not know the original rhymes. I believe the children would love this collection of re-nurseried re-rhymes once they had been introduced to the originals. I would not want the students to believe these were the rhymes of old, but enjoy them for the hilarity of the new. We know Seibold is extremely creative, which is evident from the title of this book, but I was especially intrigued by the manner in which he presents "The Grand Finale" as a collection of all of the character previously introduced in a wonderful version of "One, Two Buckle My Shoe". I truly believe this is the best part of the entire book!

No comments: