The first in a series of digital ‘Flick Books’, Something Blue by C S Hughes, a Flick The Pages Quick! Book, is now available in the iBooks Store.
Something Blue, features a squishy blue monster that gets bigger and bigger, as you flick rapidly through the iPad pages. The images are accompanied by a rhyme, which, according to the author, is what might have happened if Edgar Allan Poe and Doctor Seuss got together and wrote a rhyme about a horrible blue monster. The book also takes advantage of the iBook’s media rich platform, and features animation, as well as various hidden ‘Easter Egg’ sounds, if pages are pressed in the right place. Although meant for 4 to 8 year olds, several parents have also been observed giggling at Blue’s antics.
…the victors, or so they say. I think we can argue that a lot of medieval history was written by the men. With the absence of women in government, or as ambassadors, or indeed anything other than the women’s career of being a mother and running a household, the history we can glean from contemporary documents written by women is limited to letters. This week I’ve been spending some time with Richard III and his wife, Anne Neville. There are only two full biographies on Anne Neville that I know of, and I have both. One is written by Amy Licence, the other by Michael Hicks. Each affords us a very different view of Anne Neville, with each using the same source material. I don’t need to stray into the “male historians are sexist” territory here, because it’s a blanket statement, and untrue in most cases. I have seen female historians waxing just as sexist as many of the male ones. But I think we can attribute many sexist stereotypes to the contemporary chroniclers. Anne Neville fits into a neat stereotype of a helpless and frail woman. The absence of any real documents pertaining to her is not only quite surprising, but it allows contemporary rumour and gossip to shape much of her later life.
This week my friend Jamie Adair discussed How Much Violence is Too Much on Game of Thrones. I was amused to hear that Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys, was covered with so much fake gore after shooting one scene that, during a break, she got stuck to the toilet seat. But I really don’t find Game of Thrones that violent. Too much sex, yes. But the level of violence in Game of Thrones is not enough to make me cover my eyes, I might have cringed once or twice, but it’s not like watching a Tarantino film. I lost count of how many times I covered my eyes when I was watching Inglorious Basterds in the cinema. Django Unchained wasn’t actually quite as bad (although I might have covered my eyes once or twice). It was the scalping in Inglorious Basterds that got me. That is what I consider really violent. In fact, looking at the inspiration behind A Song of Ice and Fire, which is largely French and English medieval history, the show is quite tame. It could, in fact, be far more violent. And it seems fans expect violence.
Today is Roald Dahl Day! I thought this would be a good day to show off the latest Roald Dahl in my collection, a 1978 impression of the first British edition of Fantastic Mr. Fox, illustrated by Donald Chaffin.
Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
First Published 1970 by George Allen and Unwin
Illustrated by Donald Chaffin
“In the hole lived Mr and Mrs Fox and their four Small Foxes.”
“Don’t get careless,” said Mrs Fox
“Great heavens! It was the barrel of a gun! Quick as a whip Mr. Fox jumped back into his hole.”
I should listen to my father-in-law more often. You know I missed out on tickets for the Sydney Opera House Game of Thrones event. So Dad told me George R.R. Martin and Peter Dinklage were doing a Melbourne show and because I couldn’t see anything about online I assumed he was imagining it. To be fair he told me he read 300 pages of Winds of Winter online, which actually meant the preview chapter that has been online for a year. But moving on, Craig had signed up for emails from The Wheeler Centre for something entirely unrelated, and got an email on Friday with a link to their Game of Thrones event. When he told me I admit I started shrieking at him to “buy tickets NOW”, and thankfully we did. Less than two hours later the whole event was sold out.