KidPop News: Obama, Super Mario, and Literary Lions
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I think we can all relax -- It's just a picture book. It's called "Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters" and it features Barack Obama's tributes to 13 famous Americans, including Georgia O'Keeffe and Jackie Robinson. And Obama's got a lot of work cut out for him if he wants to beat the kid-lit numbers put out by the families of the last administration. Laura and Jenna Bush teamed up to give us "Read All About It," the story of a class clown who learns to love books. And Lynne Cheney churned out several hefty illustrated tomes (and, I believe, set a record for colon usage) --"America: A Patriotic Primer," "Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America," "We the People: The Story of Our Constitution," "When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots," and "A is for Abigail: An Almanac of Amazing American Women." So come on, Obama family -- start writing!
"Of Thee I Sing" will be released on November 16th from Knopf Books for Young Readers. It is illustrated by the wonderful Loren Long. The book can be pre-ordered now on Amazon.
Is There a Little Gray in Super Mario's Mustache?
Best Ways to Celebrate:
1. Revisit the game that started it all. The original "Super Mario Bros." -- in all of its 8-bit glory -- is available via download directly to your Nintendo Wii console. And it'll only cost you a mere $5.
2. Play the newest, greatest Mario game: "Super Mario Galaxy 2." Oh, what a long way that little plumber has come. The latest Mario adventure has stunning 3-D graphics and mind-blowing, gravity-altering gameplay tricks that will curl your big bushy mustache.
3. Listen to the iconic theme music played by a full symphony orchestra. I apologize if by merely mentioning the song, I've just made it stick in your head all day. But if you haven't heard the full orchestral version of it yet, you really should. The track will be released on Oct. 19th, as part of the CD, "Video Games Live: Level 2." But for now you can watch a performance on YouTube.
Worst Way to Celebrate:
1. Rent the 1993 live-action movie, starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo. The truly awful film's worst mistake was not the mind-boggling bizarre casting (including a hair-gelled Dennis Hopper as the saurian King Koopa) or the ultra-lame makeup and costumes; it was the way the producers took the vibrant and colorful world of "Super Mario Bros." and decided to portray it as a dark and bleak dystopian society. It's enough to make you want to jump on a turtle.
Ten Years of Libraries and Lions
Credit: WGBH/Sirius Thinking
Related: Time to Swipe the Page: More iPad Picture Books