One important thing to think about at times of civil unrest is how to explain the situation to young people. Parents need to find a way to make sure their children understand why people are angry and how we have reached this point. It’s all very well and good doing anti-racist reading for myself but what about anti-racist reading lists for children? How can you possibly help a child come to terms with the idea of systemic racism and how it explains the death of innocent people? You don’t want to traumatise them or make them too fearful of society. However, you need to understand that people are protesting for good reasons. That the violence of the Black Lives Matter movement is different from the violence performed by police officers. So, I decided to check out some fiction intended for a younger audience. Just to see what’s out there.
I’m struggling to get in the reading mood at the moment. I don’t know whether it’s being in the house all day or if it’s just the stress of the current situation. Whatever it is, I’m back in the old routine of getting in from work and just binge watching Netflix or something. I think that’s why I’ve been so drawn to the books of my childhood. It’s the idea of reading something familiar and comforting. Plus, knowing that it’s going to be an easy read is certainly useful. Of course, it could also be evidence that I’m slowly regressing back to my childhood. I may still be working full-time but I’m pretty reliant on my parents these days. It sometimes feels as though I’m going back in time. Maybe I should be worried about returning to the books I enjoyed as a kid? Regardless, after reading The Worst Witch last week, I decided to start reading two Jacqueline Wison books I used to love. The first combined my love of history with my love of reading. I was obsessed with this book.
I don’t really remember buying this audiobook on Audible but I think it was one of the Daily Deals that sounded good. Or at least sounded like something that would be interesting. And I admit that it makes me something of a hypocrite. How many times have I declared that I’m finished giving psychological thrillers another chance? Possibly thousands. Yet, I continually get sucked in by them. I’m a mug who always ends up annoyed that she’s just finished another stupid book. So, I went into this never expecting it to be good but to be something that would be an easy listen. To be fair, it was a pretty easy read. I didn’t do a great deal of reading last weekend so I wasn’t sure that I’d finish this in time. But I managed it. I regretted it horribly but I managed it.
My Christmas film advent calendar has been full of some dicey films so far. You’d think I’d try and find the best ones to watch first, right? Nah. I don’t really like many Christmas films. Christmas films don’t seem to be held to the same standards as other films. There is an expectation that they are going to be cheesy and saccharine so nobody cares when there isn’t anything else to them. People are more willing to give a bad Christmas film a pass because it’s about Christmas. Not me. If a film isn’t well made or well written, I don’t give a shit if it’s full of snow and mulled wine. It’s not enough. Which is why I’m one of the seemingly few people who didn’t get all warm and fuzzy watching Nativity. In fact, it was on my list of Worst Christmas Films ever made. I just didn’t enjoy it. It made me cringe. The kind of film that thinks it’s funny just because it’s full of children.
You never really know what to expect from a film that makes headlines because of leaked photos showing a child actor in blackface. Good Boys caused a great deal of controversy when TMZ leaked photos showing one of the stand-in actors having been made to look darker-skinned. Seth Rogen apologised, obviously, but it’s a weird thing. In this day and age, why would anyone think it’s a good idea? Now, I’m not an expert but surely there are better ways of dealing with inconsistencies like this? For one thing, find someone who looks more like the main actor? There have got to be loads of kids out there who look similar enough to Keith L. Williams, right? Anyway, I guess it got the film noticed. Although, it’s a film that sees Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg producing a version of Superbad with kids. It was always going to get a fair bit of attention.
The first time that I saw the trailer for Detective Pikachu I thought it was a joke. I mean Ryan Reynolds voicing a Pikachu wearing a deerstalker? It was the stuff you normally find on that weird part of the internet. But it was real. And despite being utterly convinced that it would suck, I was kind of excited to see it. When I did, I wasn’t sure what to think. I reviewed it here but couldn’t quite get my point across. I liked it but I knew it wasn’t good. But it wasn’t even bad in a funny way. It was kind of confusing. So, when I found this novelisation, I wanted to find out if the added benefit of detail and description would add something to the story. I was hoping it would help us get closer to the characters and maybe make things a little clearer. Of course, I was also aware that this was a book recommended for children so I wasn’t expecting much.
As I mentioned on Tuesday, I was obsessed with Pokémon. I loved everything about it. And the first Pokémon movie was something that people my age will remember as having one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the history of cinema. I lived with a guy at university that definitely described it as the saddest films ever made but he also really loved the Hannah Montana movie. So, I’m not sure we can trust his opinion too much. I never quite went that far but it certainly stayed with you. And this year, Pokémon: The First Movie is celebrating its 21st birthday. Yep, the first ever animated Pokémon movie is finally becoming an adult. So, I decided it was definitely worth giving it a rewatch. Especially considering I’ve been pretty Pokémon obsessed since I watched Detective Pikachu. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve nearly bought a Nintendo Switch just to play Let’s Go Pikachu! At least the film would only distract me for a little over an hour. Read more
I don’t know who is in charge of creating the trailers for Joe Cornish’s films but he needs to have a quiet word. The first time I saw the Attack the Block trailer I absolutely hated it but, as a long-time lover of Adam and Joe, I wanted to give it a chance. The film was certainly better than the trailer made it seem. It was a fun play with a much seen genre and Cornish really made the most out of his younger cast. It was the film that introduced us to the great John Boyega and gave us yet more evidence that Jodie Whittaker was a force to be reckoned with. And look where they both are now. An ex-Stormtrooper and Dr Who respectively. Cornish has a talent of gathering a great cast and making things work despite appearances. So, when I first saw and hated the trailer for his second film, I couldn’t help but cringe at The Kid Who Would Be King. It just looked like a boring children’s blockbuster that made obvious jokes and wasn’t very exciting. But I had hope. And, let’s face it, it had to be better than some of the adaptations of the Arthurian legend, right? I mean there have been some stinkers.
I’ve had this book sat in my NetGalley account for a while now and, as I’m trying to get better at sending my feedback, I decided it was finally time to read it. This was one of those books that sounded like a really interesting read. I don’t tend to read much fantasy these days and I tend to particularly avoid fantasy for younger readers. It’s the kind of genre that can be done so well but, on the flip side, just be turned into a horrible stereotype of things gone before. There is a fine line between creating a brilliant fantasy world and just shoving a load of random letters together to get a magical sounding city name. But, despite my misgivings, I’m always willing to give the genre a chance and this one sounded interesting.