Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New From Cyber Kid: Nightmare at the Book Fair and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Hey, guys, this is the great and powerful CARLMAN coming to you again with a couple of comments from our old friend cyber kid 303:

Hi, this is Cyber Kid again. I just read "Nightmare at the Book Fair" by Dan Gutman. You may have read some of his "My Weird School" books or some of his sports books like "Jackie and Me." They are all good. Back to "Nightmare at the Bookfair"...In this book, Trip Dinkleman is in the library moving some books in a crate when he drops it on his head. He wakes up in a carnival and is in a scary story, like in a book. This happens again and again, with him living through the stories in different books. The different situations are funny, scary, adventurous, and so on. I don't think the books he lived in are real books, but they were very interesting stories. I won't tell you how it ends, but it'll make your mouth water...or not!

My mom MADE me read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving. The story was bad (because it was a love story) and I didn't understand half the language in the book. My mom thinks it is a good way to work on and improve my vocabulary(no!!!!), but no one talks like that anymore. Nothing was scary about it no matter what you might hear. We even watched a 1999 RHI Showcase Hallmark Entertainment production of Sleepy Hollow starring Brent Carver, but it was lame. Mom promises the Tim Burton version of Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp will be better and scarier. I hope so!

Well done, cyber kid! The CARLMAN appreciates honesty! The Nightmare at the Bookfair really does sound good. All you guys are telling us about some interesting books. How will I ever find time to read them all??? You make them sound sooo good.

But would you believe it----I'm reading The Legend of Sleepy Hollow now! I hate to disagree with such a faithful friend like cyber kid, but I'm enjoying it. But then, the great and powerful CARLMAN has been traveling time and space for many eons and has had the opportunity to learn the vocabularly and ways of people long ago. AND I'm reading an illustrated version (I'll talk about it below) To most boys, though, that old language is SO unfamiliar that it's almost like something from a foreign country. No wonder you couldn't enjoy it. That's why we don't usually recommend old, old books, even if they're good. Like Treasure Island. It's one of my all-time favorites and, to my mind, the greatest pirate story ever written. But I have a 14-year-old nephew who HAD to read it for school. The language was so old that he almost couldn't read it and I had to look up a study guide to help him get through it. You can't enjoy a book that way. We want to recommend only things we think you'd like.

Having said all that, however, let me recommend this one particular version of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. This one's GOOD!!! It's richly illustrated by Gris Grimly--so richly illustrated that it's almost a graphic novel. The pictures are funny when they should be and spooky when they ought to be. They've left Washington Irving's original language in here, but they've cut it so it doesn't drag and there's more room for these great pictures. The pictures of Ichabod Crane dancing are too funny to believe! I'd recommend it to anyone--the pictures help the old words make sense, though you will still need a dictionary. But I'd especially recommend it to those of you who love great illustrations, think you're advanced enough to handle old-style language and unfamiliar words, or know someone (like an adult) who's really good at reading aloud. THIS version would be fantastic to listen to while seeing the awesome illustrations. (BTW, cyber kid, the CARLMAN may be great and powerful but he is nothing compared to the amazing cosmic powers of MOM and DAD. You were wise to listen to your mom and read that book! And I bet your vocabulary DID improve. The CARLMAN has strode the galaxy long enough to know that MOM and DAD ususally know what they're talking about!)

Well, I won't do this often. I like to talk about books you'd like. PLUS, I was in 8th grade before I had to read it for school, so I had more vocabulary and background. PLUS, I had seen the old Disney animated version, so I already knew the story. Have you guys seen it? No? Well, thanks to the miracle of You Tube, you can! In four parts, that is. It's about 35 minutes long, all together. Take your time, get in a comfortable spot, and enjoy! Can't think of anythiing better for Halloween!


Sydney Student said...

Thanks for including these clips, I am a fan of the Disney version of Sleepy Hollow and was good to see it again. Makes it easier to understand the harder original text too.

Carl said...

Glad you liked it. Wasn't the "Horseman" scary? I think we know who it really was, though. Did you like the song that Bom Bones sang about the Horseman? I'm trying to learn it!

Carl said...

Glad you liked it. Wasn't the "Horseman" scary? I think we know who it really was, though. Did you like the song that Bom Bones sang about the Horseman? I'm trying to learn it!