Archive for December, 2007

A few days ago, Fuse #8 posted a bit of news saying that Lotte Reiniger’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed was going to be shown at a theater in Brooklyn.  It made me so happy — as some of you may know from this previous post, I’m something of a shadow puppet enthusiast and a definite fan of Reiniger’s work.

Case in point: this past Saturday I did a shadow puppet production of Hansel & Gretel at my library.  I think it turned out rather cute, so I thought I’d share a few images with you.

The first show our hero and heroine (volunteer kids from the audience) talking to their father in the forest.


Here the kids look hungrily at the fabulous gingerbread house.


Lastly, the evil witch casts a spell on Hansel.  See that green glow?  That’s the magic spell.  Green is always the color of magic, right?


The more astute among you will see the great debt I owe to David Wisniewski’s Worlds of Shadow for this production.  If you’re interested in shadow puppetry, I highly recommend picking up a copy.

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This was how the holiday bake-o-rama turned out:


Not bad, if I do say so myself.  It wasn’t as complicated as it looks — all of these cookies came from the same batch of dough, believe it or not.  The orange cookies with the chocolate drizzle are what the spritz cookies turned into.  Delicious to the hilt; I sure hope my neighbors like ’em as much as I do.

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My library began its own blog, Storypockets, a few months ago, and they’ve recently begun a wonderful little feature that I’m going to present to you for this week’s video-o-rama.

See, the Children’s Department co-hosts this fabulous children’s author series called Black White, & Read All Over. About once a month or so, we have the pleasure of hearing a kidlit author or illustrator in our lecture hall. It’s always been fine and dandy, but THEN somebody got the BRILLIANT idea of asking these kidlit people to do a brief video for Storypockets. And lo, it is awesome.

I can’t post the videos directly onto this blog. But . . .

  • You can go here to see the always-ebullient Mo Willems give a rather straightforward pro-reading speech. Kinda like “Reading-Rainbow-Meets-Mr.-T.” It’s sideways because it was the first time we had ever used the camera. (Cough.)
  • If you liked that, then you can go here and see Paul Zelinsky reading a poem by Jack Prelutsky.

Finally, the requisite off-topic video du jour. A few weeks ago I posted a video about world peace and office supplies; today I post a video about world peace and canvas bags. Let me just say that I’ve decided that what my life really needs is an anthem button.

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Wanna know why?  It’s because of these, the Cookies of Doom:


I think that spritz cookies were invented by a particularly diabolical alien race to keep us busy and frustrated while they secretly take over the government.  Because I don’t think real, actual human beings can make these.  They defy the laws of physics.  And yet they are so cute that I always want to make them.  The little wreaths!  The sparkly flowers!  A pox on those aliens!

Granted, the culinary episode I just experienced involved a cookie press held together with Duct Tape, but this isn’t a solitary incident: every single stinkin’ time I’ve tried to make these kind of cookies, it JUST DOESN’T WORK.

How do you get the darn dough to stick to the pan?

Don’t say and ungreased sheet don’t say an ungreased sheet don’t say it . .  .

Because if you do use an ungreased cookie sheet, then you will need a jackhammer later on to get the darn things OFF the pan, leading to

1. Much noise and profanity in the kitchen, which is hardly befitting of a home with young, innocent children

2. Cookies that more closely resemble shrapnel and/or a pile of chicken feed than some delightful holiday sweet.

So, enough!  This is my last, very very last attempt to make spritz cookies.  CURSE YOU, foul calorie-laden packets of saccharine impunity!  I condemn thee to the Hall of Epicurian Horrors!

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