Diversity in Children’s Book Part ONE

We started class on Thursday, April 20, 2017, with our professor saying that she was proud of our class. For the rest of the class, we did about 20 different books with certain topics. The following are the books and their respective topics as following:

  • “Adrift” for Global Warming,
  • “The Lorax” for Sustainability,
  • “When the sky breaks” for Natural Disasters,
  • “Johnny Tracker and His Adventure” for Agriculture,
  • “13 Reasons Why” for Self-Care,
  • “You’re Old Only Once!” for Old age / Senility,
  • “It’s So Amazing” for Pregnancy,
  • “Tango Makes Three” for Sexuality,
  • “Chocolate Me!” for Racial Diversity,
  • “Malala Yosafza!” for Human Right,
  • “My Name is not Isabella” for Gender Equality,
  • “Separate is Never Equal” for Human Rights,
  • “A Piece of Home” and Family,
  • “The Goodbye Boat” for Death,
  • “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” for Religion and Spirituality,
  • “Poncho Rabbit and the Coyote” for Immigration,
  • “If You Take a Mouse to a Movie” for Holidays,
  • “The Cat and the Hat” and Ethics for Behavior, and
  • “Engineering: The Riveting World of Buildings and Machines” for Science.

4/18 Class

Today in class we started with a presentation on toy story. Toy Story is a computer animated film made by Pixar Animations. The movie is about toys that come to life when humans are not present and focuses on the relationships between the toys themselves as well as the humans who own them. The main characters in the film are Woody, Buzz, Andy, Mr. Potato Head, and Dinosaur. The voices of these characters was also discussed. Tom Hanks was the voice of Sheriff Woody and Tim Allen was the voice of Buzz Lightyear. Toy Story is now considered one of the best animated films ever made, it received huge praise from critics and was the highest earning film on its opening weekend. The film was so successful they made two sequels: Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.

After they finished presenting, we all presented out puppet presentations. The first group that went did a French book and had French music playing in the background. The next group that presented was my group. We narrated the book Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman. The story is a retelling of the Brothers Grimm tale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Snow, Glass, Apples was written from the point of view of Snow White’s stepmother, the Queen. However, in this version, Snow white is not a beautiful, kind princess. Instead she is an evil creature who killed her own father. The queen narrates the story through flashbacks. Even though the characters are completely different a few things remained the same. After our group finished our puppet presentation about 3 more groups went. Each presented their short stories and then the class ended with a reminder on teacher evaluations.

Toy Story

In class, we finished the puppet show presentations. Before, my partner and I presented the last PowerPoint on Toy Story. The reason we chose this movie is because it was our favorite as we were growing up and it is still one of my favorites today. We provided background information like how the release date was on November 22, 1995. This was actually surprising to me because I had no idea the first movie came out before I was born. While researching, I also learned that Toy Story was the first fully computer animated movie which led to many different companies becoming interested in the technology that was used to create the movie. We also mentioned the different awards that this movie won. Rotten Tomatoes gave this movie 100% which is EXTREMELY rare. TIME magazine also included the movie in the 25 all-time best animated movies. Toy Story also received 3 Academy Award nominations for best original screenplay, best original score, and best original song for “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” Toy Story also received a Special Achievement Academy Award and two Golden Globe Awards for best motion picture and best song. The movie was also inducted into the National Film Registry for being culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant. Two other films were made. Toy Story 2 came out in 1999 and Toy Story 3 came out in 2010. A fourth film is set to come out in 2019 and I am very excited to see it. We also mentioned the Disney on Ice: Toy Story. I actually got to see Toy Story on Ice along with several different Disney on Ice shows and I thought it was the coolest thing to see how they acted it out while on ice skates. I also added in the different attractions at Walt Disney World. I have visited Disney World every year with my family since I was three years old. Along with the rides, they also have the characters walking around the park at all times and it still makes me excited to see them! I actually have a scrapbook from the first time I went to Disney World and I have pictures with all of the characters as well as their “autographs.” You can always find Buzz Lightyear walking around in Tomorrowland because it is a space themed portion of the park and Woody and Jessie are usually hanging around Frontierland.  I have also found out that there will be a “Toy Story Land” that will be designed to make people feel like they are tiny. Everything will be oversized, there will be a Slinky Dog roller coaster, and there will be a giant claw game. I can’t wait for all the new Toy Story developments.

We then started on the remainder of the puppet shows.  The first was a version of The Beauty and The Beast. This group used huge colorful stuffed puppets that reminded me a lot of Sesame Street characters.  The second group did a puppet show presentation on the Little Prince. This puppet show stood out to me because their group used a giant planet and rotated it throughout the show to indicate different parts of the story. The planet prop also reminded me a lot of the cover of the book. They were also the first group to play music during their presentation. My favorite presentation was the group that did their puppet show over Cinderella. They turned their puppet show into a street musical and came up with a rap. You can tell this group spent a lot of time on their show and I thought it was extremely creative and entertaining. They definitely thought outside the box when coming up with a way to present their show to the class. I really enjoyed this and I believe many of my classmates did as well. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the groups put on their puppet shows and I thought this was a great and creative way for us to learn more about these stories. These puppet shows required us to really focus on the story and come up with a way to portray this story to other people in our own creative way. I believed everyone enjoyed this project.

Toy Story and Puppets

Today I was very excited to go to class at I knew we would continue to see the Puppet show presentations that our class has been working very hard on to complete. Before the puppet shows started though, we got to see an amazing presentation on the movie Toy Story.  I have always enjoyed watching these movie presentations before class but was very excited to see this one as I have grown up watching Toy Story. In this presentation we were given background information of the movie, character analysis, summary on the plot, themes used, awards the film was given, and the impact the movie has had on people. Also, they showed a trailer on the movie. I loved how they incorporated this trailer because it had been a while since I had seen Toy Story and so it refreshed my mind on the storyline. I am also a very visual learner so this kept me entertained and engaged. The background information was very interesting to hear because before this presentation I was unaware on many facts behind the film. This includes that the budget for the film was $30 million but the box office earned $373 million from the film. I learned that the themes from this movie were friendship, perseverance, loyalty, and identity. I loved these themes because they are great lessons one needs to learn at an early age. The movie also has a rating of 100% on rotten tomatoes which is a very hard feat to achieve. After this film was created, many industries were interested in the technology that has been used for this film. Overall, I highly enjoyed this presentation on Toy Story and think the producers of it did an amazing job on it.

Next we shifted our focus to the Puppet shows. As my group and I had already performed the class before, I was excited just to sit back and observe the productions the other groups were to put on. The first Puppet Show for today was an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast by Jeanne – Marie Leprince de Beaumont. Some of the characters that were portrayed by puppets included the sisters, Beauty, and the Beast. They also had a narrator moving the play along. I liked how this group used giant stuffed puppets and background pictures. These puppets were very colorful and enhanced their visual display greatly. In the end of the play, the curse broke and Beauty and the now Prince lived happily every after. This group did a great job on their puppet show.

The next group to perform did an adaptation on the Little Prince. This group used stick puppets and had a grand background display that they had hand painted. I thought this background prop was very original and very cool. They also has soothing music playing in the background as their play went on. I very much so also enjoyed this play and think this group did an amazing job presenting the Little Prince through puppets.

After the Little Prince puppet show, a group presented Snowballs Apples which was an interpretation of Snow White. This group was very creative with their puppets and kept the crowd engaged by their descriptive script and imagery. This group was very prepared and it showed as the story progressed. I enjoyed watching it.

The group doing Brothers Grimm version of Cinderella was next to perform. I found this play very entertaining as they put their own spin on it and made it into a street musical. The narrator rapped the script the whole play. The puppets they used were also very creative. This group definitely spent a lot of time practicing their play.

Lastly, a group presented their adaptation of Juniper Tree. Their puppets consisted of paper bags that they drew on and added faces too. This group had an amazing script and keep the audience engaged the whole time.

All the groups did an amazing job displaying their stories through puppets. One can tell they spent lots of time practicing and preparing to get their puppet shows just right. I enjoyed watching every single group put their own twist on each story. These puppet shows has been able to bring out people’s creativeness and personalities. I am looking forward to the next class period as we will continue having groups perform these puppet shows.

Bees and Puppets

Class began with the last movie presentation on Bee Movie by Murel Baxley. They started with the background information. It was released November 2, 2007 by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Paramount Pictures. Simon J. Smith and Steve Hickner directed the Bee Movie. The move had a $150 million budget, and they ultimately ended up making more than $287 million dollars. We were then able to watch the trailer. The presenters gave our class a short summary of the plot beginning when Barry befriending Vanessa. The overall jest of the movie consists of Barry finding out that the humans are selling honey that bees are producing. He files a lawsuit against honey industry to get the honey back. The bees win the lawsuit and get honey back. Bees don’t have to work anymore and stop pollinating the flowers. Barry and Vanessa successfully bring the flowers back to NYC and order is restored. Barry B. Benson is voiced by Jerry Seinfeld in the movie. Barry recently graduated college and is about to enter the workforce. He is curious to see the entire world, ambitious, infuriated by honey industry. Vanessa Bloome is voiced by Renee Zellweger. She is a florist who tries to help break barriers between the humans and bees. Other characters in this movie include Martin and Janet, Ken, Adam Flayman, Ray Liotta, Layton T. Montgomery.

There are three common themes in the movie we discussed in class today. The first theme is that everyone and everything has a purpose—bees no matter how small they are have a big impact on the world. The second theme is the theme of David vs. Goliath—the bees (David) are able to beat the big industry (Goliath) in the lawsuit. And the third and final theme is that working together can make things easier—when the bees work as a team to pollinate the flowers and produce the honey it worked a whole lot easier. The presenters also mentioned an interesting controversy over this movie though. Some students have claimed to come to DreamWorks in 2000 with the name of Beebylon, but the DreamWorks claimed it was too childish. DreamWorks rejected the plagiarism claims and there is not much more evidence at this point in time to figure out what more there is to the story.

After the final movie presentation, the first puppet presentations started today. The first play was Little Red Riding Hood by Roald Dahl. There was a narrator and each of the actors represented a number of different characters. There was Little Red Riding Hood, grandmother, the wolf, the house, and a gun. The wolf beat LRRH to her grandmother’s house and ate grandmother up. So when LRRH showed up at grandmother’s house, the wolf was then dressed up pretending to be LRRH’s grandmother. LRRH noticed that her grandmother had lots of fur and even a tail! But when she called the wolf out for this he said he was going to eat her anyways, but instead LRRH pulled out a trigger and shot the wolf. A couple weeks later came LRRH walking through the woods, but this time she was wearing a big fur coat.

The second puppet presentation today was on the Three Little Pigs also by Roald Dahl. There was a house, pig, and wolf. The wolf blew down the first pig’s straw house and gobbled him up. The second wolf’s house was made of twigs. The wolf asked to come inside but instead blew his house down and the wolf gobbled him up too. The third wolf made his house of bricks. The wolf wanted to eat him too, but instead said he would bring dynamite that night. The third wolf called (on a puppet telephone) Little Red Riding Hood to come help. LRRH then came and actually killed the pig to make her a pigskin purse!

Finally my group actually presented. Our presentation was based off Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from the Classic Fairy Tales. Our group worked hard together to make this puppet theatre presentation. I enjoyed getting to look back and reflect on the different versions of Snow White. We decided to base our presentation off of the version that was most similar to the one we remember from growing up. Lindsey and I had a great time going to the store and picking out the supplies for the puppets. Neither of us would consider ourselves artists or very creative by any means, but we made it work. We decided to make the dwarfs on gloves in order to allow one person to be all seven dwarfs since we have a limited number of actresses. It was a lot harder to make the puppets than I thought it was going to be, but I am glad Lindsey and I had a great attitude about it and were able to get it done. We collaborated together to decide what part of the story we wanted to highlight in our short presentation, and then Lyndsey and Maggie did a great job creating the script. Overall I am so proud of everyone’s hard work. In class I had the two gloves of the seven dwarfs we created, Lindsey was Snow White and the mirror, Lyndsey was the narrator, and Maggie was the step mom and prince. My perspective on our performance is probably very different from an observer, but all I can say is that at least it was fun!

There was an additional presentation on the Little Prince. Their puppets were very impressive using Popsicle sticks for the prince, bird, and a number of the other characters. All of the presentations today were out of this world! I was so impressed with everyone’s hard work. It is evident people had put a lot of time and effort into not only the scripts, but also creating their own puppets. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to dive back into these fairy tales and to see all the student’s different takes on the stories. It was a very light-hearted class today, which I thoroughly enjoyed!


Puppets and Bees

With the end of the year quickly approaching, most classes tend to get rushed and stressful. However, in our class on Thursday, we were able to have a rather joyful time.

To start off the class, my partner Max and I presented a powerpoint about The Bee Movie. The class learned that the 2007 DreamWorks animation film was a hit with a profit of over $100 million in the box office. The film, starring Jerry Seinfeld and Renee Zellweger, consisted of a bee named Barry finding his place in his colony. During this process he did the unspeakable. He talked to a human named Vanessa. On top of that he became friends with her. This friendship led to Barry finding out the injustice that Ray Liotta committed to the bee community by gassing them and selling their honey to make himself a profit. Out of outrage for his fellow bees, he filed a lawsuit against the honey industry and won. However, in the end Barry realized that bees need to keep making honey so that they could pollinate and keep the world full of beautiful flowers.

My favorite part of the presentation of the Bee movie was the part about the internets reaction to it. I loved doing the research and finding multiple spinoff videos that sped up the movie every time the word bee was said and so on. There were also so many memes with the characters in it. However the best thing I found was the relation of the bee movie and a popular kids television show iCarly. The theory was that Barry and Vanessa (the two main characters of the Bee movie) had a child and that child was Freddie Benson from iCarly. What put the cherry on top of this theory was that the actor who played Freddie Benson in the show confirmed the theory. However, its just speculation until the producers of the movie and television show confirm the news. Its something fun to think about though.

After the presentation ended we were in for a treat. We had our first puppet show! This show was an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s story Little Red Riding Hood. This show consisted of a narrator and multiple puppets made of creative pictures on sticks. The group added in a lot of cute rhymes and made sure to keep the audience on its feet. Although little red’s grandmother died in the tale, Little red escaped by bringing out a pistol from her knickers that was as big as her! Overall the show brought a lot of laughter and joy to the audience.

The second puppet show was my groups. We did Roald Dahl’s story Three Little Pigs. It paired perfectly with the first show that we watched. However this time the wolf took the form of a decorated brown paper bag and was trying to eat poor innocent pigs. The first two pigs in the story were quickly eaten by the wolf because of their lack of sensible building materials. However, the last pig was smart enough to ring up his good friend Little Red Riding hood. In the end we found out that it was not the smartest decision though, because after Little Red took care of the wolf, she turned the pig into a purse! This show tied together modern sayings and technology to add a fun twist to an older tale.

The third show was a rendition of Brothers Grimm’s version of Snow White. This group also used some fun paper bags for their characters. Like the first group, they had a narrator who told the story while the characters said a couple lines here and there. The show told us the classic tale but added in some funny lines here and there. It even ended on a happy note with the evil Queen running into the woods to die. But my favorite part of this show was the seven dwarfs made of white gloves.

To end the class we had a puppet show of The Happy Prince. This started dazzling stick figures made of felt. After discussing the story so many times in class it was nice to see it played out for us. The group did a great job performing! Even though the story is a sad one, the group managed to bring some laughs to the crowd by proclaiming the change in season while throwing up fake snow. They also made sure to lighten the mood at the end by having God place the Swallow and the Happy Prince in the garden of paradise for eternity.

Overall, class on Thursday was a great time had by all. It makes me excited to see what we have in store for us with the rest of the semester!

Bee Movie and Puppet Shows

In today’s class, we started with a discussion over a few housekeeping issues. We are nearing the end of the semester, which means that grades are going to post very soon. Class participation and respectfulness are going to be factored into final grades. Also, the course evaluation is open and should be filled out as soon as possible and with as much honesty as is possible.

Following this discussion, we had a wonderful presentation over Bee Movie. The presenters described a few facts about the movie, such as the fact that it was released in 2007 and made $287.6 million dollars in the box office. Next, they reviewed the plot of the movie, which is as follows: Barry B. Benson is a bee who has just graduated from college and is about to begin work as a worker bee in the colony. While he is out with the other bees, he meets Vanessa Bloome, a florist, after she saves him from being squashed by her boyfriend. He speaks with her and thus breaks the rules of the colony, but they become friends regardless. After Barry has been out in the human world, he realizes that humans are making a large profit off of the honey that he and his fellow bees make and is angry about it. He and his fellow bees file a lawsuit against the big honey companies, which they win. After winning the trial, the bees have no jobs due to a honey stockpile, and therefore, honey production stops and the flowers have no way to get pollenated. This creates an environment in which the flowers are rapidly dying. Barry and Vanessa begin a journey to save the flowers, and in the end, all is well. The day is saved by Barry the bee (and eventual bee lawyer) and Vanessa!

The group also enlightened us to a few controversies surrounding the movie, but the most interesting part of the presentation was the discussion of memes and the internet’s fascination with this strange movie. There have been countless YouTube videos making fun of the movie and memes that make fun of the characters themselves. Despite these funny internet shenanigans, there is one that tops them all. There is a conspiracy theory that links the characters of Bee Movie with a few characters on iCarly, implying that Barry and Vanessa have a child and that child is Freddie Benson from iCarly. The actor who played Freddie ultimately “confirmed” the conspiracy via Twitter, but the jury is still out on the authenticity of those claims…

After this fabulous presentation, the puppet shows began. Today, four groups presented their shows, and there were laughs all around. First, a show of Little Red Riding Hood by Roald Dahl featured precious puppets made from popsicle sticks and paper. The characters went through their plot which featured the Wolf, Grandma, and Little Red Riding Hood herself. Though Grandma wasn’t so lucky, Red escaped with the help of a gun and a little confidence. This presentation got many laughs and was very well written and performed.

Appropriately, the next show was based upon The Three Little Pigs by Roald Dahl. In the same way, this presentation was wonderful. The puppets were made from paper bags and worked very well for the show. The show followed three pigs and their attempts to escape the Wolf with his huffing and puffing. His first two brothers were not so lucky, but the third pig was able to escape thanks again to Red and her gun. As with the first, this presentation was very funny and adapted well to today’s modern conveniences, as shown in the third pig’s cell phone.

Third, we were treated to a performance of Snow White by The Brothers Grimm. These were my favorite puppets, especially the 7 Dwarves in all their gloved glory. This story ended just as fortunately as The Brothers Grimm intended, which the death of the Stepmother. I believe, however, that the 7 Dwarves stole the show.

Lastly, there was a rendition of The Happy Little Prince. This group showed a great artistic ability with their puppets, and gave a great performance of this story. There was even a small change of season in this performance, shown by the throwing of paper and the exclamation “winter!”. The ending, however, was no happier than originally written. Both the Happy Little Prince and the bird died, despite their best efforts.

Today’s class was filled with laughter and a lot of fun moments. I am sure that the next round of puppet shows will not disappoint!

The Magic of Harry Potter–4/11

For Tuesday’s class, we started off with a presentation about Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The presenters talked about the first book and its movie adaptation, as well as the rest of the books, movies, and other spinoffs associated with “the boy who lived”. Since the seven original books have been published, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has opened in Orlando, Florida, and is set to open a second location in California very soon. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play written by JK Rowling about Harry’s children after the end of the seventh book, has been adapted for stage in London and is planning on touring around the world. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was first written as a one of the three books in Harry’s collection of Hogwarts library books, has been adapted as a movie which serves as a sort of prequel for what the wizarding world was like before the rise of Voldemort; there are several planned sequels for it in the future. Everyone in class has at least heard of or knows about Harry Potter, and millions of people around the world at least know about Harry Potter, even if they haven’t read the books or seen the movies. It’s incredible to see what a huge impact one book series has made on pop culture. I believe this is largely due to the themes that are represented throughout the series and the positive messages that they convey.

Some of the most important themes from the book we discussed were friendship, acceptance, and bravery. Several people in class chose the word “friendship” as the main theme, which I also agree with. I think the main reason why Harry is able to accomplish anything in the first book, as well as the rest of the series, is because he has Ron and Hermione to help him out. Their friendship helps drive the plot and actions of the characters; without Ron and Hermione, I don’t know if Harry would be able to accomplish as much or make it as far as he did later on in the series. I also think friendship goes hand in hand with the theme of “love”. Without James and Lily’s love for Harry, he would not have survived Voldemort’s attack; without Snape’s love for Lily, he may not have helped or protected Harry to the extent that he actually does; and without the love from Sirius, the Weasleys, Hagrid, Dumbledore, and the countless other adults in Harry’s life, his quest to stop Voldemort would have been a lot harder.

We also talked about the differences between the original British title, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and the American title, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and the different connotations between “philosopher” and “sorcerer”. I’d never really thought in much detail as to why the publishers decided to change the title for American readers. I thought it was possibly because Americans are more used to hearing “sorcerer” and associating it with magic and witchcraft, and wouldn’t really understand what a philosopher has to do with a book about young children using magic on a daily basis. However, we talked about the different meanings that these two words carry. A “philosopher” is someone who wants to know the answer to a questions and therefore goes out in the world to find that answer, whereas a sorcerer would make their own answer rather than finding one. I think both of these titles would be appropriate for the book, as we can see that during the book, Harry, Ron, and Hermione all use magic to escape the antagonists, but they are all clever enough to figure out what they have to do themselves; before they can use the magic, they much first figure out the best plan of action.

We also had a short conversations about how appropriate Harry Potter is for children. There were a few people in class, even one of the presenters, who had not been allowed to read or watch the Harry Potter series as children, due to parental concern about the prominent role of witchcraft. I personally see nothing wrong with the Harry Potter books or movies. As we discussed in class, the main themes of the story include friendship, love, bravery, acceptance, and that goodness should always triumph over evil, among others. I think these themes are critical for young children, and should be taught at a young age so that children can grow to be king and accepting of everyone they come across. I do understand why some parents wouldn’t want their children to read the books, however. Yes, they do participate in witchcraft and do use magic on a daily basis. This may make some children think that they too should be involved in such things, which can lead to them trying to use witchcraft in a negative way to bring suffering or pain to others. However, the only characters abusing their magical abilities are the “bad” characters, antagonists such as Voldemort and Quirrel, and the three main characters, as well as their friends, classmates, and the adults in their lives, constantly talk about how terrible “he who must not be named” and his followers are, and that they should be destroyed. The use of magic in this series is not evil or demonic, like many people think; the use of magic is aimed at defeating the “bad guys” and bringing peace and love to the world. I think this series doesn’t pose any serious threat to young children.

Here’s to You Ms. Rowling – April 11

Today in class we had a presentation on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and we discussed many themes that are illustrated throughout J.K Rowling’s masterpiece novel.

The presentation covered many aspects of the wizarding world of Harry Potter. They began discussing Harry’s character development, and how each book pertains to one year in Harry’s life. Harry discovers his identity and becomes better acquainted with the wizarding world as his story progresses. Harry is locked in a constant struggle with his mortal enemy, Voldemort. (Until the end of the series). He has a squad of two best friend named Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley who help Harry with the burden of being “The Chosen One” and discover themselves just as Harry discovers himself. Harry, being an orphan has many wizards who attempt to influence him. Some of his positive influences are Dumbledore, a wise old fatherly figure; Hagrid, who is a jolly uncle figure  wants Harry to enjoy himself; and Professor Mcgonagall, who serves as a pillar of discipline to Harry and his classmates. Harry also has deceptive agents who appear to be helping him but are actually trying to hurt him, like Professor Quirrell who is actually a death eater and is hiding Voldemort under his turban. The presentation group also discussed the immense fame that Harry Potter has gained. There is candy, theme park rides, and a multitude of consumer items that are associated with the Harry Potter franchise. Harry Potter has even generated enough momentum to go beyond the seven book series and create movies like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 

At the end of the presentation the group was asked if there are any problems with a child  watching the Harry Potter series. The class responded no because Harry Potter helps expand the imagination of kids and teaches good lessons about friendship, deception, and discipline. However, J.K. Rowling created such an entertaining world that it is possible for children to become to immersed in the wizarding world and experience a disconnect from the real world. Kids that do this could start casting spells on people, and for someone who is spiritual, that is not acceptable and could be seen as strange by anyone.

The class proceeded to discuss the important themes throughout Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. An overwhelming majority of people put friendship, or something along those lines as the theme.  Harry, being an abused orphan, goes to Hogwarts and finds acceptance, love, and friendship for the first time in his life. As soon as the sorting hat shouted, “Griffendoor!” Harry’s life changed. Though he is very confused, he finds happiness in the wizarding world, an emotion that he has never truly experienced. His means of finding that happiness is finally being able to be surrounded by people who support him.

Another theme we discussed was identity. Harry, who has essentially been made a slave his whole life and lied to about his parents identity, had been robbed of his identity before he entered Hogwarts. As Harry learns more about being a wizard, he learns more about himself. The secondary characters also discover their identities, such as Hermione realizing her potential as the smartest student at Hogwarts.

Though characters find their identity throughout the book, I thought that deception played a large part in the procession of the plot. Harry is deceived by his guardians, the Dursleys, when they lie to him about how his parents die and attempt to get rid of the letters coming from Hogwarts. Harry never truly has control as he is trying out his new world, and figures throughout the book try to push Harry down a certain path. The main deception comes from Professor Quirrell who is housing Voldemort on the back of his head and attempts to lead Harry to his demise and gain the Sorcerer’s Stone for his master.

We also discussed how competition creates opposite forces in the book. Competition between Griffendoor and Slytherin kids reflect the struggle between the benign and evil adults in the series. As Harry grows older, he becomes more involved in the adult struggle and eventually becomes the means to end that struggle.

Another interesting concept we discussed as a class was if Hogwarts is comparable to any school system. Many classmates agreed that Hogwarts is comparable to a boarding school system because the only people present are teachers and kids and everyone stays overnight. When someone goes to boarding school and are stuck in the same place for extended periods of time, they are going to try to discover a way to enjoy themselves and possibly get into some mischief. This is very comparable with the Harry Potter series, except their world is more magical. Curiosity is at an extremely high level when one is eleven years old, so if eleven year olds are in a magical world with only their friends, one would imagine that they would get into all sorts of mischief.

The Harry Potter series is truly masterful and has taught kids valuable lessons about growing up. As the books and movies came out, time passed and people aged. Most of our classmates aged with Harry Potter, so our generation can probably relate to him the best. The invaluable things Harry Potter taught everyone about growing up, friendship, fun, lying, and responsibility are something my generation should thank Ms. Rowling for.

The Wizardly World of Harry Potter – April 6

Today’s class started out with two presentations one involving paw patrol and the other being Tom and Jerry, followed by discussion about the novel and Harry Potter.

Paw Patrol being the first presentation, was interesting in the least, being one of the first animations that did not involve a movie but instead a series of seasons. Each of which depicted different episodes of a different incident all involving a similar theme in terms of rescue and action. The story revolves around a young boy named Ryder and seven rescued puppies, all of which have their own specialty in mission control and rescue. The show pertains to an audience aimed at younger kids, most likely to teach these young children about morals and what is the right thing to do given a situation that needs help.

The second presentation revolved around Tom and Jerry, which is nostalgic in the least when referring back to childhood memories. It was interesting to note the fame and popularity of this series, as well as the unique history behind the show itself. The show revolves around Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse, two individuals with a reverse role in what you could call chase and capture, along with the amusing entertainment it brings to the audience with the slapstick comedy. The history of this show was profound, introduced at various times throughout history, often in forms of rebooting, continuations, and new season. All of which did not succeed, as well as its previous ancestor. This goes to show how successful the series was and how it is still relevant to todays entertainment, years after it was introduced.

Moving on from the Presentations, was discussion about Harry Potter and the first glimpse into the world of Witchcraft and Wizardly. Discussion started talking about what the genre of the book was, most answers consisting of fantasy and adaptions of fantasy such as science fiction. This further dwelled into what were examples of this cross over, which included dragons. unicorns, as well as credit to actually people  such as Melin. One major characteristic of the genre of this novel included magic and the world of Magic, and how it relates to the character.

Harry as the main character at first glimpse seems to be a deprived boy who essentially is driven as a slave in the home of his own blood relatives after his parents were defeated by Voldemort, this is not until a letter arrives for him inviting him into the school of Hogwats for Witchcraft and Wizardly.

Harry in generally is further discussed in terms of personality and different traits that he has, essentially characterizing who he is as a person and his evolution into a timid shy boy who knew nothing of what he is capable of into someone of greater deeds and power. This was apparent when talking about reading the series of novels in different order and skipping certain ones such as the first novel. The first novel in general is very important, which is apparent when one wants to learn and know about the introduction into this mysterious world of magic and how it came to be.

The first novel as stated is essentially the most important due to the introduction aspect of it, in order to get a gist and a sense of the book and how it is made as well as the characters and important character development that occurs within the book.

Introduction of characters plays a major role in the first novel, as well as omens and the significance of them that could lead to foreshadowing events. One of which is apparent in the first scene with Harrys visits the Zoo and his encounter with the Snake and the ability to speak with the snake. One omen that foreshadows what happens in the future in particular the second novel in this series, as well as the end of the series for curious readers out there.

Overall the first few chapters gives the audience an insight of Harry’s life and how he got there, as well as what is to happen now that his secrets and his past are unraveled. This in turn will lead us to see how the character will progress through out the novel and what roles he will take on, as well as challenges he may face. All of which dictate under a world of imagination, magic, adventure, courage, and mystery.