What’s The (now) Nine-Year-Old reading this week?

Marc25

Our mostly-weekly survey of the tidbits that cross The (now) Nine-Year-Old’s desk (Happy birthday, The Nine-Year-Old!). This week, The Nine-Year-Old picks her favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder story, reviews the entire history of Snoopy’s wars with the Red Baron, and takes steps to counter the coming Vampire Bunny/Zombie Vegetable Apocalypse.

A sampling of this week’s books:

Little House in the Big Woods (by Laura Ingalls Wilder)
According to The Nine-Year-Old, if you are only going to read one of the Little House books, you should read this one.

Snoopy vs. the Red Baron (by Charles M. Schultz)
A wonderful collection of comics focused on Snoopy’s battles with the Red Baron. I’m looking forward to reading it myself, if The Nine-Year-Old will ever let go of it.

The Celery Stalks at Midnight (by James Howe, Illustrated by Leslie Morrill)
This month, The Nine-Year-Old discovered Bunnicula — the vampire rabbit who drains the life juices from vegetables, rendering them into shriveled white zombies who stalk the kitchens at midnight. The only way to stop a Zombie Veg is to stake it through the heart with a toothpick. The Nine-Year-Old has valiantly offered to assume this duty for our family.

A sampling of this week’s news:

Vanished! The surprising things missing from ancient art (National Geographic)
Why didn’t Homer use the word for blue, and why doesn’t Paleolithic art include plants?

The Making of the American Museum of Natural History’s Dioramas (The New Yorker)
If a museum is old enough, its very displays become a snapshot of history. The Nine-Year-Old and I noticed this on our first visit to The Field Museum here in Chicago. Its wildlife displays, while stunning, feel like relics from a previous era. This short post on the New Yorker website could just as easily have been written about the Field:

“The dioramas at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History—those vivid and lifelike re-creations of the natural world, in which the taxidermied specimens almost seem to breathe and the painted horizons seem to stretch for miles—are very much products of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century milieu in which many of them were created.”

Adorable Puffins Are Tougher Than They Look (National Geographic)
Puffins winter on the open ocean, but until recently, no one actually knew where.

Related Links:

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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