Saturday, September 20, 2008

What's Special About This Week--Sept. 22-26

September 22--Elephant Appreciation Day

There is so much information around about elephants that it is hard to narrow it all down. Try this website for an encyclopedia of elephant facts. The San Diego Zoo has pictures, video, and even a chance to hear a trumpeting elephant.

There are also many books in our library about elephants. Come look at all the elephant non-fiction books we have. One of my favorites is Elephants Can Paint, Too by Katya Arnold. With full page photos of elephants happily swinging paint brushes, this book tells a little bit about elephants who have been trained to paint plus some basic elephant facts.

If you are not in the mood for elephant facts, try some of these wonderful stories.

The Elephant's Child comes from Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories and may be my very favorite. The language is beautiful and the story is funny and exciting. You will want to go down to the banks of "the great grey-green greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever trees" just to see it for yourself, though you won't want to meet a crocodile or ask what he has for dinner.

Dr. Seuss has two elephant classics--Horton Hears a Who and Horton Hatches an Egg. As with any Seuss book, they are worth reading and re-reading many times.

When I was little the Babar books by Jean de Brunhoff always fascinated me. The copy we had was written in script so I spent hours amazed by the beauty of that script look before I could read it. When my children were growing up, I read the books to my girls. Because of these books, Celeste is one of my favorite names. Now you can read more about Babar and his family because Jean de Brunoff's son Laurent keeps writing a few more, though every few years I hear that he has decided to quit.

Michigan's own and much loved Patricia Polocco has abook with an elephant who is very different from Babar but just as enchanting. When you read Emma Kate you must decide for yourself if it is about a girl who has imaginary elephant for a friend or about an elephant who imagines a girl as a friend.

September 22, 2890--Bilbo Baggins' Birthday/Hobbit Day/Fantasies are Fabulous Day

If you would like to read Bilbo's biography and trace his family tree, here is the site for you.

Bilbo is almost like a personal friend to all of us who read and enjoyed this book when I was growing up. Be sure to read it before you read The Lord of the Rings trilogy. You will enjoy them all more this way.

"I am in fact a Hobbit, in all but size," J. R. R. Tolkien said about himself. He was a fascinating man who created an entire world right down to the language and script which the inhabitants used. He changed the world of fantasy. It is safe to say that Harry Potter and all the other fantasy stories that are so popular with Emerson students would be much different without the influence of Tolkien.

September 23, 1986--Rose declared to be official flower of the United States

It was on this date that the House of Representatives passed a declaration regarding the national flower. The Senate had passed the same resolution the previous year. In November of 1986, President Ronald Regan the proclamation that made the rose the official floral emblem of the United States. Be sure to stop and smell the roses today.

September 23, 1934--The Detroit Lions play their first game

While the Lions were not the first professional football team in Detroit, they were the first to stick around for more than a year or two. The official Detroit Lions site has a wealth of information on the history of the team as well as everything you might want to know about the current team.

September 24--Buy Nothing Day

What would it do to your piggy bank or to the national economy if you decided that for this one day you would buy absolutely nothing? What if everyone in the country made the same decision?

September 24, 1961--The Bullwinkle Show premiered on NBC

This was my favorite cartoon show when I was about 10. Just watching the trailer video on this website brought back great memories. (The link I offer you is to a site that is trying to sell you stuff. All you need to do is watch the trailer, get a good laugh, and move on.)

September 25--National Ask a Question Day

"There is no such thing as a dumb question."

But I have heard plenty of answers that were not very well thought out.

September 25, 1849--The nation's first state fair was held in Detroit

You've missed the state fair for this year. It was ran from August 22 to Labor Day. Next year you could be part of the crowd that has headed to Detroit every year since 1947. Prior to that year, the state fair moved to a different city each year. It was held in Ann Arbor in 1850.

September 26, 1985--Kalina becomes the first orca (killer whale) born in captivity at Sea World, Florida

Go here to see photos of Kalina. All of the whales who perform at Sea World have the stage name of Shamu, but behind the scenes they have their own names. If you want to watch the whales swimming in real time, visit the Shamu Cam,

September 26, 1580--Francis Drake completed circumnavigation of the globe

Francis Drake was a well known pirate before he became an explorer and the first British citizen to sail all the way around the world. Students have created this website of basic facts about Sir Francis Drake.


Jaya said...

I'll ask a dumb question at work tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

What is your favorite color, Linda?

Colorful dude