5 Oct 2010


A bit of a mixed post of week-end newspaper stories - some may leave you amazed, others may well have you fuming and, hopefully, some will have you smiling

Just a quickie: According to The Guardian ........

"The Queen's chandelier-dusting bill came to a total of £96,000 last year."

"The American author Jonathan Franzen might justly be called a perfectionist: his latest opus, FREEDOM,* took nine years of painstaking effort to complete inside a spartan writing studio - and is now being widely acclaimed as a modern masterpiece.
So it is particularly unfortunate that, thanks to an apparent mistake by his type-setters, the version published in Britain has been found to be littered with errors.
In a highly embarrassing move, the publishers were forced to offer to exchange thousands of copies after Franzen revealed that the UK edition of a novel dubbed 'the book of the century' is based on an early draft manuscript, and contains hundreds of mistakes in spelling, grammar and characterisation." - Rowenna Davis and Alison Flood, The Guardian. (FULL ARTICLE)

* Click HERE to view Book Quoters post on this very book.

I think I may have been tempted to keep a copy of the 'flawed' book instead of exchanging it - who knows in years to come it may well prove to be a good investment and be worth more than the revised original.

WARNING : This next article may well leave you annoyed.

Parents!  Be wary of cultural snobbery.

"Which parent hasn't done it - and not felt guilty? Your child asks to be read a story but you want downtime. So you compromise with a child-friendly DVD and cuddle on the sofa, trying to ignore the voice in your ear whispering that books are best.
But according to Desmond Morris, anthropologist and author of THE NAKED APE, that nagging conscience can now be silenced.
Television, he claims, can be better for preschool children than books.
'If parents favour book-reading over watching a film, they're making a mistake' said Morris, whose new book CHILD looks at the development of the preschool toddler. 'It's unjustifiable cultural snobbery.'
'Reading to your child from a book only gives verbal imput,' he added. 'If it has a good script, musical imput and uses creative visuals, a good feature film provides three media for imagery. Films can be better than books.'"" - Amelia Hill, The Guardian. (FULL STORY.)

I'm not going to rant and rave too much, after all DVD's etc do have their place BUT, in my humble opinion, to suggest they can be more beneficial than books is rubbish. Click to the full story and tell me what you see when you look at that toddler standing alone, eyes glued to the screen. Perhaps I'll give Morris's book a miss and put on a DVD instead.

It wasn't so much the story that caught my attention as the photograph that accompanied it.

"It is an annual race that pits furry dragons, giant farmyard animals, oversized birds and pirates against one another.
For more than a decade the Mascot Grand National has been a keenly contested fixture on the sporting calendar, featuring representatives from football clubs across the country.
But this year's race has been marred by a bitter row that threatens to deal the event a terminal blow" ...... to find out why click HERE. - Jasper Copping, The Sunday Telegraph. *

It could be said that this group of record breakers didn't take things lying down ....... mattresses - lying down, get it?

"North folk had a spring in their feet (on Sunday) after smashing a world record .... for human dominoes.
The attempt, undertaken by a Newcastle firm, saw 400 mattresses toppled - beating the current record set by a team in America.
Mr Waters, sales and marketing manager said 'We didn't have the turnout we were hoping for so we had to improvise. The first two rows that toppled then had to pick up their mattresses and run around to join the end." - Vicky Robson, the Sunday Sun. (click HERE for full article AND video of the attempt.)

* Held on Sunday, you might like to know that the winner was Barnet football club's Mr Bumble.


chitra said...

Nothing can replace the books. If the child is glued to the TV what happens to the eyes and skin and I have also read that they lose concentration in studies.

readerbuzz said...

Lots of fun and cleverness in every corner of your blog.

And, PLEASE Mr. Morris...are you kidding? TV better than books? Please!

Vivienne said...

TV will never replace books. In fact in household, it is most definitely the other way around. I don't watch much TV at all.

The Queen needs to get her feather duster out and dust her own blooming chandeliers. What a waste of tax payers money!

BookQuoter said...

Thanks for high-lighting my Freedom quotes. I am like you, I would like a copy of the flawed book too!

A piece of information from the American Academy of Pediatrics' television viewing guideline, not a quote, but the gist:

No television nor video watching AT ALL for children less than 2 years old, and no television at all in the rooms of any child less than 18 years old!!!

And that's how I really feel about that one!!

brandileigh2003 said...

I see nothing wrong with videos, but only in moderation, and DONT replace books.

Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Jen Daiker said...

I'm a new follower!!! hi! *waves*

I have to say the kitty widget you have on your blog is super fun! The first one I've seen I'll be back just to have him watch me move my mouse around... :)

Boonie S said...

I love the Mascot Grand National. That’s my kind of event!

All the best, Boonie

Bad Alice said...

Hmm. Very interesting about TV and children. Some of his claims I found intriguing and I agree with from experience, and others I find problematic. I do think there is a lot of snobbery about TV and children, but I thought there were studies done that showed that early viewing of TV was detrimental. Of course, those studies focused on TV before the age of 2. The article doesn’t mention any actual studies that this fellow has conducted.

The problem I see is that TV fills time that a child could spend interacting with a parent or with other children, whether through reading or some other active engagement. I don’t think that TV is completely passive – the brain must absorb and interpret oral language as well as visuals, but it is a very sedentary activity and has taken the place of physically active games and activities, which as that critic pointed out, are so important to sensory integration.

I do think that baby talk past the time when a child is a baby is counterproductive. I’ve heard that baby talk with babies actually helps them with language development. I think it’s silly with toddlers to carry on in a sing-song high-pitched voice using only simple words. They’ll let you know if you’ve used a word they don’t understand, which will help them make connections between the more difficult word and simpler ones. A language rich environment is important – both spoken and written.

I also heartily agree that a nursery environment is better for children than staying at home. Perhaps I’m justifying the necessity of putting my own children in them. Still, I’ve seen enough to know that children are social creatures. They love being around other children from a very early age. Even as a baby my girls would coo and smile at other babies. There’s no reason for parents and family to be the sum total of their world. My own social development was stunted from being stuck at home with my mom and no playmates nearby. So, I’m all for well-run nursery schools.

I also agree that toddlers should not be forced to be generous. They are not developmentally ready to understand the concept. It’s best to simply use distraction and redirection when a conflict arises over toys. As they get older, they begin to appreciate the social role of sharing.

R. Ramesh said...

i agree with readerbuzz: Lots of fun and cleverness in every corner of your blog.

GMR said...

Whoa...I think I'd be dusting my own chandeliars, thank you very much! On the book side...wow, that HAD to be embarrassing...though a copy I received for review recently of another title had me in SHOCK, AWE, and standing with mouth agape for about ten minutes after looking the the first few pages....yeah, they were THAT bad (littered with mistakes). On to the child and the DVD saga....I don't know that they are better for them and certainly not if you aren't there with them (they are NOT babysitters), but as an addition to keep them media diverse, I don't see the harm in them...but again, not OVER books. ^_^
...and finally a big smile at the last two entries...though can I borrow one of the mattresses? Could use a good nap.... ^_^

Deepali said...

I heard about the UK copies getting pulped, and that must have wasted a whole bunch of poor trees :(

Films can never never be better than books!!! Dear God, that toddler's mind is numb.

Gabrielle said...

Hmm I don't agree with the dvd thing! At least when you're reading with your child you're interacting!

I made a new blog, will you check it out?? http://musiclyricslove.blogspot.com

<3 Gabrielle

SG said...

I would keep the "error" book. It is a good investment for the future. Kids nowadays want computer. No books. No television. At least, that is what my expereince is.

Melissa Gill said...

I think I sounded off earlier on my reading vs TV theory, but I'll add that part of what reading to your kid exposes them to is that reading is a fun, enjoyable activity that stimulates warm feelings of pleasurable time. It's something that acts subconsciously as a comfort zone as kids get older and start reading on their own. It's what creates long term readers. They don't need that to become long term TV watchers.

Anyhoo-those mascots are hillarious. But what's a great sporting event without a huge controversy.

As always, thanks for sharing the news from over there.

Dorte H said...

Well, I haven´t taken Morris seriously for years so no shock there.

Kelly said...

Well, I DO favor books over videos, but I guess I can see the place for both. As my daughter always reminds me, not everyone learns the same way... some are audial, others visual, some tactile (plus some others I can't remember). I, for one, don't like to be read TO, but much prefer to do the reading, and not aloud at that.

Alyce said...

I'm thinking the queen must have a lot of chandeliers. :)

I think you should hold onto a flawed copy - they are always worth more in the long run.

Jenners said...

I heard that about the UK version of "Freedom." I can't imagine how things like that can happen!!! And if I had a copy, I would definitely hold onto it. I'm sure it will be worth something someday.

And I'm not sure I buy into the whole DVDs over reading thing either.

Evanne said...

Fun blog, please keep going. :)

purplume said...

Interesting stuff. OK I've silenced the guilty voice in me from when I was sick and babysitting my grandchildren and napped while they watched DVD's.

A book does however allow the child's own creative mind to interpret what he's hearing instead of seeing someone else's portrayal of it.