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Tag / children’s literature

Join The Triumph: PBS’s “Arthur’s Perfect Christmas” Soundtrack

“What’s your favorite holiday movie?” asked Dania, as she tacked a paper snowman to the wall.

“Hm, I’d have to think about it,” Gwen demurred. So many good options to pick from. “The best Christmas films are the ones you watch when you’re younger. They’re family oriented. So should I account for that person bias when picking?”

“No, bias it up,” Dania replied. “Anyone can say, like Home Alone, I’m talking about personal favorites.”

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Follow The Leader: Universal Animation’s “Curious George”

Gwen barely remembered the Curious George movie. She remembered that she had seen it back in 2006, certainly. She had seen the two sequels, both direct-to-DVD fare that Hazel had enjoyed. She was tangentially aware of the TV show the film had spawned, and did recall the brief resurgence in bookstores of the original H.A. and Margaret Rey books, following the high-profile adaptation.

It was unexpected, then, that her adoration for the film would suddenly come flooding back into her when she rewatched it with Eleanor and Dania. The film –– a hypersaturated romp through the kindest iteration of New York imaginable –– never  concerned itself with the ludicrous nature of its own plot, instead making the smart choice to focus energy on the titular monkey, and his friend Ted (the books’ “Man In The Yellow Hat”).

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Feeling Spotty: Dodie Smith’s “The Hundred And One Dalmatians” and “The Starlight Barking”

It was relatively quiet in the apartment –– nothing but the tapping of keys as Gwen worked on her laptop, and the papery flutter of Eleanor turning pages in her book –– when the door to Dania’s room suddenly burst open. She stood, holding a copy of The Starlight Barking in one hand, and gripping the door frame with white knuckles.

Gwen looked up, and immediately grinned in anticipation. This face, this exact reaction, was precisely the reason why she had suggested the pair of books to her friends in the first place. While Eleanor hadn’t quite delivered, the expression now frozen to Dania’s face was more than enough.”

“So? How was it?” Eleanor asked, lazily.

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Joy Of The Chase: E.L. Konigsburg’s “From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”

The cover image, with the two photographed children standing at the steps of a pen drawing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was too iconic to be mistaken for any other. Dania’s heart skipped to see it in Gwen’s hands.

“The Mixed-Up Files” had been a formative book for Dania –– a testament to the power of art and history, the need to let facts affect you rather than simply accumulate in your mind. Since first reading Konigsburg’s book as a child, Dania had returned to it periodically. Each pass through Claudia and Jamie’s tale provided more details, including humor at the comparatively cheap prices in the New York of the 1960s.

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