PPBF: Max and Marla

Max&MarlaCoverAuthor/Illustrator: Alexandra Boiger
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 2015
Ages: 3-5
Themes: sledding, Olympics, friendship
Opening: Max and Marla are best friends.
Summary: (from Amazon) Max and Marla are best friends. And aspiring Olympians! With their eyes on the prize, they know exactly what it’ll take to reach sledding success: preparation, practice and perseverance. So when rusty blades, strong winds and difficult slopes get in their way, Max and Marla realize true joy lies not in winning but in friendship. Obstacles turn into victories!

M&M2I like this book because: it reminds me of the sledding adventures I had as a child, how persistent we were, wet mittens and all, and how the kids in our neighborhood enjoyed playing ‘Olympics’, though gymnastics was my chosen sport because CARTWHEELS! (I always wanted to play Nadia Comaneci). I love the simple palette, an array of cool blues and spots of cinnamon. Both characters are endearing, but my heart melted with little Marla asleep on the couch, ‘helping’ with the wax – “True Olympians never give up”!

M&M4Resources/activities: learn about different Olympic sports for winter or summer (don’t forget badminton – my favorite to play!); discover the difference between sleds and sleighs, and what makes them go (and why Max uses wax on his)at wonderopolois.org – HERE; investigate: do different cultures use different kinds of sleds? (I have a German one, just like the sled in the book!). I’ve wanted one like the following since I first saw the Swedish tv series, Pippi Longstocking:

KickSled

For existing PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE

M&MSpot

 

WIX: Rating of Olympic Proportions

So thrilled the wonderful volunteers at Rate Your Story, a free service, liked the badge I created for the Writing Wednesday Series.

Any writer can submit their work to be to be read by a published author volunteering to rate your story on a scale of 1-10. Only Rate Your Story’s interpretation differs from the familiar scoring method we all know from watching the Olympics: 10 is the lowest score. And when I say we, I mean the whole wide world – or almost. This makes the method universally acknowledged, which I find fascinating! Surely, you say, there is still someone out there who has never seen the Olympics live or broadcasted. Okay, but don’t exceptions prove the rule?

Baaaeeehhh! That’s the buzzer going off identifying the misuse of this English idiom, which, according to Wikipedia was taken from the medieval Latin legal principle exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis, or “the exception confirms the rule in cases not excepted”. Still confused? Well I used it in a ‘loose rhetorical sense’, pointing out the rarity of someone not having experienced the Olympics in some way, not that there is any established rule.

Quite a few Europeans agree that a truth is truer if it is sometimes false, all claiming that exceptions confirm the rule. German: Ausnahmen bestätigen die Regel; Dutch: Uitzonderingen bevestigen de regel; French: L’exception confirme la règle; Czech: Výjimka potvrzuje pravidlo.

Seems there are truths universally overlooked too!