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.

Introduction to CMLT 3250 – 1/10/17

Today was the second-class meeting given that the semester has just begun. It was much more comfortable coming into class today because on the first day we were able to meet the other classmates and start learning everyone’s names. Being that we are still going over introductions, we mainly focused on covering the overview and basics of what the study of Children’s Literature entails.

To dive deeper on this matter, specifically, in class today we as a group looked over the Pamphlet on the Types of Genres of Literature for children. The categories include picture books, poetry and verses, folklores, fantasies, science fiction, realistic fiction, historical fiction, biographies, and nonfiction. My personal favorite types of children’s literature include historical and realistic fiction. I find these two types fascinating due to the illusion of reality in both the past and present setting while also adding elements of fiction that add to the plot. All of these elements together make the story more interesting. The authentic images within the stories intrigue me as a reader and keep me fascinated.

Another main focus during the class was the guide to book selection for the different ages of children. I learned about the characteristics of children during the different ages of their lives and the features of the books to coincide with the ages. For infants and toddlers, birth to 2 years, they explore the world with their eyes, ears, hands, feet, and mouth. Because of this, the features of the books they’re exposed to invite child participation, have brief and rhythmic text, and are colorful and sturdy. During the Nursery age, 2 to 4 years, these children understand simple concepts such as counting and the ABC’s. The features of books that match the nursery age have clear uncluttered pictures, simple concepts, present simple plots, have animal characters, and have melodic and lifting language. The next age category is Primary, which consists of children 5 to 8 years old. This is the age range that a child becomes an independent reader, has a vivid imagination, and starts demanding strict moral judgment. The book features during the Primary age category include eye-for-an-eye morality, strong friendships, present phase structure for books to read alone, and books that contain fantasy and realistic elements. After the Primary age group comes the Intermediate age group, which consists of children between the ages of 9 to 12. The age group of 9 to 12 books present realistic views of the world, develop strong characters, develop memorable plots, and stress growing up themes. The last age group which includes the ages of 12 years and up is called Advanced. Features of books in the Advanced stage for children include dealing with social and personal problems, showing the underside of people and society, and developing complex plots and strong characterizations.

The last activity done in class was in groups. We were handed children’s books that ranged in languages from English to Japanese and even Persian. My group specifically read two books: “Clifford the Firehouse Dog” and “Clifford the Big Red Dog.” The book we focused on in Group Discussion was the Firehouse one. This book introduces Clifford as a big red dog who lives with his owner Emily Elizabeth. The story then goes to show how Clifford attempts to help the local fire station but accidently messes up by rolling over items and messing them up. After this Clifford is sad but does not let his little mistake ruin the day. He rescues people from a burning house and Clifford ended up saving the day. The message of the story tells children that it is ok to mess up sometimes. It also introduces children to the basics about fires and fire safety. This book would fit best within the Nursery age group of 2 to 4 because it has an animal as a character, lots of pictures, and a simple plot. I really enjoyed reading and discussing these children’s books because it put into context what we just read in the pamphlet and I was able to apply the skills I just learned to determine which age group best fits my book.

Today was a very educational day as we looked over topics that we will be focussing on for the rest of the semester. I am very excited to start analyzing the readings as the weeks go on to get a better understanding of children’s literature as a whole!