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review 2017-03-09 04:22
All You Need is Love!
Plenty of Love To Go Around - Emma Chichester Clark,Emma Chichester Clark

Plum is back with an all new adventure in Plenty of Love to go Around by Emma Chichester Clark!  Life is pretty great for Plum, also known as the Special One by her humans, Emma and Rupert.  She is even adored by the neighbor children, Sam and Gracie.  Until the day that Binky arrives....

Plum cannot believe her eyes!  Sam and Gracie are now the very proud owners of a CAT!  She is certain that no good can come out of this new addition.  Especially when Binky begins to follow her everywhere.

What is this poor pampered pooch to do?  Is it truly possible to be friends with a cat?  Is there really plenty of love to go around?

I was very excited to read the second installment in the Plum series and I was not disappointed.  Clark deals with the complicated emotion of jealousy from an animal's point of view.  I found this found this fresh perspective to be very entertaining as well as educational.

The illustrations are whimsical as well as adorable.  I love how Plum's eyes are so expressive!  I also love that the illustrations are hand drawn.  I feel that more and more drawing is becoming a lost art.

I greatly enjoyed following Plum on her journey through jealousy.  Children of all ages will fall in love with Plum and Binky.  This would be a great story to read before adopting a second pet or for parents who are expecting another child.

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review 2017-03-06 03:50
Paws Up for Fuddles and Puddles!
Fuddles and Puddles - Frans Vischer,Frans Vischer

Prepare for adventures of the furry kind in Fuddles and Puddles by Frans Vischer.  Fuddles is a very fat  and spoiled cat.  He spends his days eating, sleeping and basking in the love of his family.  All of that changes when his family adopts a rambunctious puppy.

The family names the pup Puddles and he is completely enamored with Fuddles.  He follows Fuddles everywhere...including the litter box!  The poor stalked kitty can only get a break when the two are let outside to play.  

One day, Puddles takes things too far by eating Fuddles's food.  Fuddles decides to lay down the law.  Puddles soon learns to give Fuddles his space.  But what happens when the friend Fuddles didn't want becomes the friend that he desperately needs?

I simply adored this story from start to finish!  Being the proud fur mom to five dogs and two cats, I can definitely relate to the tensions that develop when a new pet is brought home.  The illustrations are gorgeously adorable.  I was quite surprised to see a two page spread illustration.  Vischer was able to beautifully convey an emotional scene through stunning illustrations.

I highly recommend this book to readers and animal lovers of all ages.  Anyone who has ever owned or fostered multiple pets will totally be able to relate to this fantastic tale.  The characters of Fuddles and Puddles are sure to enchant and delight both young and old. 

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review 2016-11-11 23:00
Count down to Birthdays
Only Six More Days - Marisabina Russo

In the book, Molly gets jealous of her little brother, Ben. He is planning his birthday and Molly is not enjoying all the attention being on him. She has a very negative attitude towards her brother throughout the entire book. At the end Ben gets two baseball cards, Molly's old roller skates, a gum rapper chain, and a letter. The letter is sweet from Molly and Ben feels special. In the classroom we would read this book and then talk about if my students have ever felt jealous of someone else. I would have the students talk about why they felt this way and something they could have done to change the outcome.

I would then have a birthday chart and we would fill this out together. I would write students birthdays on my chart and begin a countdown for everyone's birthday. The students would then get a sheet of paper where I could tell them how many more days until their birthday. We would start a countdown with helps students to learn to count backwards.

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text 2016-07-08 11:22
What I'm currently reading right now.
SATED: #3 in the Fit Trilogy - Rebekah Weatherspoon
Beyond Jealousy - Kit Rocha
Beyond Addiction - Kit Rocha
Beyond Innocence (Beyond, Book #6) - Kit Rocha

Will try to get reviews for these up soon.

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review 2016-01-17 09:09
A political tale of ambition and jealousy
Othello - William Shakespeare

Othello is can be a very painful play both to read and to watch. It is not that it is a bad play, no, it is a brilliant play - the reason that I say Othello is painful is because it is one of those plays that makes you squirm and feel really uncomfortable because it is doing what literature is supposed to do: hold a mirror up to life. The first time I read it in university it was painful and I thought that it was because at university you tend to overanalyse pretty much everything. However I have come to understand that there was nothing necessarily wrong with what my lecturers said, and in fact in the edition that I read I noticed that there was a long discussion of misogyny as it exists in Western Literature (namely because, as I have indicated elsewhere, it is the woman who actually holds the power over the man because it is the woman who seems to be able to pick and chose, where as the man simply has to put up with whoever says yes to him).



Anyway, in the years since I studied this play in English One, the more I read it the more painful the play becomes. Take for instance the two bedroom scenes in the play. In the first bedroom scene we have Othello and Desdemona passionately making love (though this was clearer in the Lawrence Fishburne movie than in the play), however in the second bedroom scene we have Othello killing Desdemona in a fit of rage fuelled by jealousy. It is in this scene that we realise that Othello has reached the point of no return. It is probably the most heart wrenching scene in the play because we know that Desdemona is innocent and we know that Othello has been played for a fool, but we also know that once he has committed this act that is it, there is no going back. In both of these scenes we see the emotion that fuels Othello: in the first he is fuelled by passionate love; in the second he is fuelled by jealousy.



When I read the introduction to this play I came to understand why this play was chosen with the other plays that we had read in English One. It was chosen because of the idea of moving from the centre, being civilisation, to the fringe, being the border fortresses. While Jacobean England was only beginning its expansionist push, there was still the idea that England, the centre, was civilised, while the colonies, being the fringe, were lawless. This is mimicked in this play (as it is in numerous other plays) with Venice being the centre and Cyprus being the fringe. This also brings up the idea that the centre represents peace while the fringes represent war. Even though the Turks had already been defeated before the action of the play begins, there is still this idea of the fringe being in a perpetual state or war, and while it may not be a war with flesh and blood enemies, it is still a war, a war not so much of ideas but rather a war between civilisation and barbarity, or a struggle between the rule of law and the rule of the sword.



Now, I probably should spend some time discussing the character of Iago, namely because Iago is the most important character in the play. Iago is the quintessential villain. In a way he could be the villain that many other villains are based upon. He is not evil, nor is he ruled by his passions, but rather he displays a cold and calculating reason. He is a deceitful man who is in full control of his mental faculties. Yes, he is a villain, but he is not evil, and the reason I say this is because evil, technically, has no purpose other than to spread pain and misery for the sake of doing spreading pain and misery. Evil is not inflicting pain for the sake of pleasure, that is madness, nor is it waging war against somebody for the purpose of your own advantage, that is ambition. No, evil, in and of itself, is doing such things for the simple purpose of doing it.



So, if Iago is not evil, why does he hate Othello? Well, in the story that the play is based upon, it is because of his desire of Desdemona and his anger that she married the Moor. What adds insult to injury is the fact that Othello is not even European. This is not the case in the play, but rather bitterness for being passed over for promotion. I myself have experienced that by simply seeing somebody given a promotion instead of me, particularly when that person seems to be competing with me and gloats because of his promotion. This is not the case with Othello because we know and can see that he is a very honourable person. Further, it is clear that Iago is racist, not racist in the sense that he hates Othello because he has black skin, but that he hates Othello because he is not Venetian. He is given a commanding role, and then Othello adds insult to this by making Cassio his second. The race issue can be a distraction, as some have said, because viewing this play in the post civil-rights era makes us focus more upon the racism aspect as opposed to the idea that Iago simply wanted Othello's job.



One of the things that went through my head while reading this play was the question of what was Iago hoping to gain through his manipulation of Othello, and I suspect that it has something to do with the issue of Othello not being European. This has been something that has existed for a long time, and that is the idea that we as humans have treated race in the same way as we see animals. I say this in a sense that a dog will aways act like a dog and a cat will always act like a cat: it is in their nature. However, the reality is that race is like a breed, so by using a dog as an example, it does not matter whether one is a Pitbull, or a German Shepherd, or a Poodle, they are still dogs and they all behave like dogs. However, the idea was that Europeans were civilised, and the other races were not, and as such it appears that what Iago is trying to do (and I could be wrong) is to prove that it does not matter how long Othello has been around Venitians, he is still a Moor and he will behave like a Moor, and as such I suspect that what he is trying to do is to expose the belief that once a barbarian, always a barbarian.



However, the catch is that what is being exposed is the base human nature. It is a shame that Shakespeare uses the Moor because to many of the people watching the play, they would have accepted that it is not surprising that the Moor, overcome by jealousy, reveals his barbaric nature. That simply is not true because it does not matter what colour your skin is there is still that base human nature that exists within us, that part of us that fights against the civilising force. If that were not true, why is it that a bulk (if not all) serial killers are white?



I also wondered whether Iago was overwhelmed by hate, and in answer to that question I have to say no. Iago is not ruled by his passion or his emotion because it is clear that he is clever, calculating, and manipulative. These actions require a sound mind that is able to think and to reason. His jealousy is based on reason, and that reason is that underneath the civilised exterior, Othello is a barbarian, and to expose that he needs to have all of his wits about him. Notice that throughout the play Iago is always seen as 'honest Iago' and it is not until his wickedness is exposed that he is correctly identified as a villain.


Thus it seems that the main theme that runs through this play is the question of civilisation verses barbarity. The Moor is a barbarian, a warrior at heart, and on the battlefield he is unstoppable, which is why he has been promoted to the rank of general, but it is clear that he does not understand the political battlefield. He does not see Iago manipulating him, but rather trusts him, believing that he is a friend. It is not that Othello is at heart a barbarian, but rather that he is innocent. In the end, it is Iago who is the barbarian, the one who plays upon other people's innocence, and his refusal to accept that a non-European can be a decent and honest man. In the same way, during the 19th century, it was the Australian Aboriginals who were called the barbarians, however the real barbarians were the English colonists who stole their land and murdered their birthright.



Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/444973208
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