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Living in the Moment

December 2012

See: Annie at Playhouse on the Square

12/27/12

See: Annie at Playhouse on the Square

If you haven't seen Playhouse on the Square's production of Annie, you still have a chance to catch this winning show. The popular musical, which tells how little orphan Annie outsmarts Miss Hannigan and meets her new family, billionaire Oliver Warbucks, runs through the last weekend of the year. The show closes Sunday, December 30th. The pay-what-you-can performance is Friday, December 28th, at 7 p.m. We had a chance to catch it before Christmas and loved the charming protrayals of Annie and her gang. If you've got grandkids and are looking for something special to do this weekend, treat the kids to live theater. You will have a ball.

Posted at 10:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

Read This: Dinosaur vs. Santa

12/27/12

Read This: Dinosaur vs. Santa

I will start out straight away by telling you that I am NOT inferring that dinosaurs are just for boys, but try as I might I can’t get either of my girls to get into dinosaurs! Though they loved the zoo’s Dinosaur exhibit this year, and the Convention Center’s too, this well-liked illustrated dinosaur character just doesn’t do it for them. A book out for the holidays is Dinosaur vs. Santa by Bob Shea (Disney Hyperion), which follows on from earlier “Dinosaur vs.” books and has our pint-sized hero battling various Christmas activities. Contrary to the title’s suggestion, Dino is not attempting to eat Santa, but is having a tough time with other holiday activities. With cries of “Roar! ROAR! Roar” Dino writes a letter to...

Posted at 10:34 AM | Permalink | Comments

Trying to Make Sense of Senseless Acts

12/18/12

Trying to Make Sense of Senseless Acts

Guest columnist Gregory Keer, a father, teacher, and writer, weighs in on the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. He wrestles with those feelings many of us have shared in recent days, trying to make sense of a senseless act. As hard as it is, the only way for me to sort through what happened in Newtown, Connecticut, is to put myself in the middle of the tragedy. Because I am a parent, I imagine I am the perpetrator’s mother, who looks at her son in the instant before he shoots her. I die before I can even think. I am a teacher, and I shudder at what those charged with caring for those children thought in their last minutes. I am a child in one of those first grade classrooms. Perhaps I have a fleeting blip of time to fear this man. Maybe I am the first to die,...

Posted at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments

Fabulous Finds: Gift Shop at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

12/14/12

Fabulous Finds: Gift Shop at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

We've been visiting some gift stores recently to see what's out there this holiday season for children. Here are a few fun things we found at the Brooks Museum. Handcrafted dolls by Maileg • $17.95 These sweet friends, called Leseelesamis, hail from Denmark and the creative design team at Maileg. These 6-inch fabric dolls are full of detail, from the velvet crown of the prince to the ballerina's tutu. They even rattle when you shake them. We think they're charming. Cherry Red Go Car by Kid-o • $13.95 We like Kid-o's chunky car design, especially with a handle that makes it easy to grip. Fabricated of durable plastic and soft rubber wheels, toddlers will enjoy zooming this car around. The museum store also carries books,...

Posted at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

Read This: Holiday Stories for Children

12/11/12

Read This: Holiday Stories for Children

It’s the most wonderful time of the year down at the library. We enjoy the Benjamin Hooks children's section, but all branches have recommended holiday books on display. We also browsed the shelves, as holiday stories have candy cane stickers on their spines. And librarians always have plenty of reading suggestions. Here are a few stories that score 5 out of 5 marshmallows in hot chocolate (my unofficial holiday scoring system). Christmas Soup by Alice Faye Duncan & Phyllis Dooley, illustrations by Jan Spivey Gilchrist (Zonder Kids)  On Christmas Eve, Mama is making her annual “Christmas soup” since the family is too poor for a big dinner. Her three children wish there was more to eat, eldest Jack complains, but baby Fannie decides to...

Posted at 10:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

America's Got Talent Auditioning in Memphis, Tuesday, December 11

12/06/12

America's Got Talent Auditioning in Memphis, Tuesday, December 11

Don't you love being surprised? By the colleague you didn't realize sings, or by that kid with amazing dance moves? If you have friends, family members, or children oozing with talent, come audition for NBC's popular hit series America's Got Talent. You could be in the running to win the $1 million grand prize. Show producers will hold auditions Tuesday, December 11th, at the Memphis Cook Convention Center (225 N. Main Street). Auditions run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. or until all contestants have been seen. Audition slots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up online at AGTauditions.com Dorian, a PR spokesman for the program, says producers usually limit their nationwide auditions to big cities. But this year, they're doing a bus tour...

Posted at 03:44 PM | Permalink | Comments: 7

Read This: This Is Not My Hat

12/05/12

Read This: This Is Not My Hat

A new children’s book came out in October that I have been recommending to anyone who will listen to give as a holiday gift or stocking stuffer. It could almost be a coffee-table book. This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press, 2012) is one of the funniest, most appealing children’s books I have seen in a while. For those of you who read Klassen's previous book, I Want My Hat Back, this is the perfect companion. The story itself is short and very simple; a little fish tells us that the natty hat perched on his head is not his, but that he stole it from a big fish that was asleep. This shouldn’t be a problem, after all, the hat was too small for the big fish. The little fish is going to hide in the plants so the big fish won’t find him...

Posted at 07:42 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1