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review 2014-10-07 18:37
Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past - Paul Cude

Paul Cude has written a superbly amusing, fantasy novel, Bentwhistle the Dragon, about a wondrous dragon world existing below the present human one. Peter, Richie and Tank are the main dragons in the story who take on human form to infiltrate our supposedly superior, friendly world. We discover secret passages between each world, learn everything there is to know about those fascinating dragons, and take comfort in the fact that they are actually protective of humans and not those bad-tempered, treasure-greedy, nasty reptiles we meet up with in most children's books.
This is a delightful and educational adventure -- everybody should make it a point to learn the authentic facts about these lovely creatures --  for children and adults alike.

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review 2009-01-01 00:00
Nauru One Hundred Years Ago: 3. Games and Sports - Alois Kayser Nauru.Reading this volume was a little like reading Hoyle's for Natives in that its purpose is to document the many rules of games and sports played in Nauru both before and at the beginning of the 20th century. This historical document, written by a missionary, could be jocularly retitled Throwing Sharp or Heavy Objects at People and Birds, because that is what most of these games and sports entail. At least 80% of the games are merely variants on the idea of throwing a sharp stick at someone/withstanding having a sharp stick thrown at one. Several entries conclude with a statement that the game was banned by the government because there were too many injuries. When I read about games where people routinely lose eyes, I tend to agree with that stance. The elaborateness and length of some of the games suggests both more religious/symbolic underpinnings than those Kayser describes, a lot of time on the community's hands, and perhaps a human compulsion to gain status through dominating another person or animal. No matter which explanation is correct, this was fascinating to read, and I'm glad I was neither an islander nor a frigate bird in Nauru.
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