The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

For anyone who promotes books to children, this is a video worth sharing.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) award winning author/ illustrator William Joyce and Co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a new narrative experience that harkens back to silent films and M-G-M Technicolor musicals. “Morris Lessmore” is old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.

“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” is one of five animated short films that will be considered for outstanding film achievements of 2011 in the 84th Academy Awards ®.

Film Awards Won by “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore”
To date, “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” film has drummed up fans all over the world taking home the following awards:
· Cinequest Film Fest: Best Animated Short
· Palm Springs International ShortFest: Audience Favorite Award
· SIGGRAPH: Best in Show

Class Novels – make them a positive reading experience

Seeing as it’s the start of the school year and that 2012 is the National Year of Reading, I thought it would be a good time to talk about making the class novel a positive reading experience.

A couple of years ago I was visiting a school when an enthusiastic English teacher asked me if I could suggest new ways to engage students studying a class novel. Following on from this, I did a talk on New Ways To Present Class Texts at a 2010 VATE (Victorian Association of English Teacher’s) Conference.

At the time it struck me that the getting the most out of the class novel isn’t just about the teacher. It’s about collaboration between teacher, parent/caregiver and student.

As an author and parent, I want my kids to feel inspired by their class novel. I want them to learn about the book and how it was created; to help them gain an increased understanding of the way it was written and the themes and topics covered.

I think there’s a lot that parents/caregivers can do to help this process, and the first thing is to read the novel ourselves so that we model good reading, and that we’re in a position to have informed and insightful discussion about the book within the family.


Accident Prevention and Playground Sets

When it comes to playground sets safety must come first. Wood swing sets are your wisest choice because they are simply more durable than plastic or metal. They are rooted into the ground, they don’t fall over easily, unlike metal swing sets that become giant rockers after a winter or two and they don’t snap and break like plastic. In fact both metal and plastic can develop seams and cracks that you cannot see and that can eventually break.

Yet another thing to consider is that wood can support a lot of weight, and that means it can support the weight of growing children. Even adolescents can’t resist swinging off the trapeze on wood swing sets. Wood swing sets have triple joints and also bolts that often slide completely through the wood in a way that is embedded. This means that if something does happen to compromise the structure the bolts will still keep the lagging structure together. Your child is not in danger of collapsing and falling like they would be if they were standing at the top of a plastic or metal set.

Another thing to consider is that wooden swing sets are not made of toxic materials. Plastic materials give off gas fumes that can be toxic, especially in really hot weather.

A big part of accident prevent is choosing playground sets that are age appropriate. The great thing about today’s wood playground sets is that you can assemble them in components that suit your child’s age. To have fun your child does not have to go up a ten foot metal ladder and risk a fall. You can get a five foot slide that attaches to a fort-like or tent-like enclosure that is lower and offers less of a drop should your child slip.

Yet another way to prevent accidents is to make sure that any swings on the set are at least 22 inches apart. This prevents them from clashing with each other when two children are swinging on the set at once.

Quality playground sets have guidelines that tell you what components are appropriate for what age. For instance a climbing wall is more suited for a kid over age seven rather than a toddler. Tire swings suit ten-year-olds better than little seats with bucket swings.

Finally, it is a good idea to make the area beneath playground seats a bit softer by placing it in a “bed” of cedar chips or shredded rubber. Make a rule that the area must be kept free of any clutter, such as branches, skateboards and toys, as a falling or slipping child might risk injury.
Author: Todd Leavitt

The laughter of children is like music to a parent’s ears. This is why Tree Frog Swing Sets builds quality wood swing sets and playground sets to give children more fun and enjoyment.