Beastly & More Versions of La Belle et la Bete

I hope everyone enjoyed last week’s snow day & weekend!  While snowed in, I reread some more of Beastly, read Andrew Lang’s version in the Blue Fairy Book (Remember… That was a translation of the older, novella-sized “modern” tale) and previewed the 1946 French film (subtitled, of course) La Belle et la Bete.  Such different imaginings of an ancient tale!

How are you doing with Beastly?  Have you figured out who all the fairy tale characters are in the chat rooms (Mr. Anderson, BeastNYC, SilentMaid, Froggie, Grizzlyguy)?  Do you think the behaviors shown in the first two parts illustrates some rather “beastly” characters?


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Yes, we have Book Club on 12/23

I know it’s almost holiday recess, but we’re still meeting at 8:05am!  See you for one of the oldest modern retellings of Beauty and the Beast translated from Mme. Leprince de Beaumont’s French classic first published 1756.

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Beauty and the Beast

I am so excited to be reading folklore with you!  From Stone Soup back in Kindergarten, you know how much I love traditional tales and I hope you’ll find them equally intriguing.  Let’s dive in…


And since we’re starting Ancient Greece soon, this morning we’ll start with one of the earliest recorded Beauty-and-the-Beast-type stories, Cupid and Psyche.

Suggested Reading Timeline for Beastly by Alex Flinn

1/6: Part I

1/13: Part 2

1/20: Part 3

1/27: Part 4

2/3: Part 5

2/10: Part 6 (TBD: Beastly Movie After School???)

2/17: Wrap up discussion & What’s Next

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Reminder: Book Club Breakfast & New Book!

The bagels have been ordered so join us for breakfast to wrap up Miss Peregrine on Friday, 12/9!  Our chat will be based on our Book Discussion Guidelines.

For our next book, we voted to see Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast in theaters.  During book club, we’ll be reading different versions of this old tale.  For home, please locate a copy of the modern retelling, Beastly by Alex Flinn.  You can order a copy for free by calling your local library or online at

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Location, Location, Location and More Photos

Thanks for all the artist photos!  Keep applying those rules!  Today’s is “leading lines.”

If you’re keeping up with the Suggested Timeline, you’ll have read chapters 3 & 4.  What jumped out at me in these chapters is the distinct location in Wales, which is an ecosystem very unlike our own.  While author Ransom Riggs invented Cairnholm Man, it is based on historical finds.  I don’t know about you, but it reminded me of Otzi!  To learn more about peat bogs and bog mummies, check out this PBS link…

Based on our Book Discussion Guidelines, why do you the author chose this isolated island in Wales as the location?  Does it help us uncover any themes?


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Real Monsters & Ransom Riggs Photos in Google Drive

Morning Book Chat

Hopefully everyone has obtained a copy of “Miss Peregrine” and are following along the suggested reading timeline.  If you are, you’ll have already come across my favorite part of the book right in the prologue!  As a librarian who LOVES folklore (remember Stone Soup???), the following quote explains (to me) why our traditional folk stories have endured through generations…

“Grandpa had told him some of the same stories when he was a kid, and they weren’t lies, exactly, but exaggerated versions of the truth.” p.17

In “Miss Peregrine,” the main character rationalizes Grandpa’s unbelievable stories by making them a symbol for the real horrors in the world.  The “monsters” were the Nazi soldiers, their “peculiarity” was being Jewish during WWII, and their “miraculous powers” were that these orphans escaped the ghettos and gas chambers.

Let’s apply this idea to “Little Red Riding Hood.”  What do you think the wolf symbolizes?  What do you think the original storytellers were trying to warn audiences about?  Are there “real” wolves in the world?

Can you think of other examples in folklore?

Hands-On Activity:  Ransom Riggs-inspired Photos Now in Google Drive Folder

Check out last week’s “rule of thirds” photographs in the Google Drive folder.  Please use the techniques in Click It Up a Notch to take and upload this week’s compositions into the “limb chop” folder.

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Miss Peregrine’s Hands-On Project… Photography!

The author of Miss Peregrine, Ransom Riggs, was inspired by the flea market photographs he collects.  See his collection at

What makes a good photograph anyway?

Day 1:  Photography Basics

The Click it Up a Notch blog offers some “rules” of photography…

– Rule of thirds
– Limb chops
– Leading lines
– Fill the frame
– Negative Space
– Catchlights
– Backlighting
– Low light
– Window light

Let’s use our Macs and what we have in the library, from puppets and books to dark corners and bright windows, to create compositions applying these rules.  Using these guidelines, you’ll see an improvement in the pictures you take.

Next time… Special effects

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