I forgot I had read this one already and brought it home from the library, both for my own enjoyment and to share with my partner, now also learning II forgot I had read this one already and brought it home from the library, both for my own enjoyment and to share with my partner, now also learning Icelandic. It was just as delightful a read the second time around.
Monsters calling each other "porridge head" or flinging insults like "you have a nose like a moldy sausage" always makes for a good time. (Especially when you know they will make up in the end.)...more
A nice twist--little monster is the trouble-maker here, fibbing about a gigantic Monster Mountain that he climbed, when really, he's afraid to climb eA nice twist--little monster is the trouble-maker here, fibbing about a gigantic Monster Mountain that he climbed, when really, he's afraid to climb even a tree. But it all works out in the end. ...more
I love this series! In this installment, the big monster gets the Monster Pox and is entertained and taken care of by his good friend little monster.I love this series! In this installment, the big monster gets the Monster Pox and is entertained and taken care of by his good friend little monster. Of course, he complains about pretty much everything, but is clearly enjoying all the attention. And when he gets better and little monster gets sick, it is his turn to return the favor. ...more
The little monster is sitting at home, reading and enjoying the peace and quiet when all of the sudden, there is a loud knock at the door. The big monThe little monster is sitting at home, reading and enjoying the peace and quiet when all of the sudden, there is a loud knock at the door. The big monster has come over, but little monster doesn't want to play with him. Every time they play, the big monster takes little monster's ideas, doesn't ever let him hide when they play hide and seek, crumples his beautiful pictures and ruins his markers, lies and says that the little monster has farted (when he hasn't!), and steals from his mother's purse. But the little monster doesn't have the courage to say anything to stop big monster's rampage...until he does.
This is an adorable story with a good message for kids, and the illustrations are fantastic. ...more
What a wonderful picture book! So simple, and yet it conveys such depth! The book is about Albert, a creative kid who briefly runs out of self-generatWhat a wonderful picture book! So simple, and yet it conveys such depth! The book is about Albert, a creative kid who briefly runs out of self-generated adventures on a rainy day, and begins to think about his place in the world. "If I'm in my house, and my house is in the street..." he begins to wonder, slowly moving outwards from himself until he finally reaches the universe. Which then begs the existential question: "what is the universe in?"
Lovely simple illustrations, too.
I read Albert in the Icelandic translation (learning the word "sjóræninggjafjársjóð," or pirate treasure, along the way) and was interested to find out that the author/illustrator, Lani Yamamoto has been living in Iceland for several years. ...more
On the advice of a friend, I checked the Icelandic/Danish/English translation of this Richard Scarry classic out of the library. I remember reading thOn the advice of a friend, I checked the Icelandic/Danish/English translation of this Richard Scarry classic out of the library. I remember reading this (in English, of course) when I was a kid, and now reading it again while I'm trying to learn Icelandic, I have a renewed appreciation for it. Some of the words are, I think, a little dated--I'm not just talking about the presence of TV antennas in the definitions--more words like "salt castor" instead of salt shaker or a "petticoat" being part of a little girl's dressing routine. But overall, the breadth of words is fantastic and the pictures are delightful. I even pulled this out the other day when I was working on a written assignment for class--I couldn't find the phrase for "to wash one's face" in a regular dictionary, but this one had it! ...more
Anna Cynthia Leplar's illustrations do a lot to make the sisters a bit cuter and more sympathetic. Snuðra og Tuðra not only look less feral in her draAnna Cynthia Leplar's illustrations do a lot to make the sisters a bit cuter and more sympathetic. Snuðra og Tuðra not only look less feral in her drawings, but generally more tidy and a bit older. But mischief is still afoot, and still with lesson-teaching consequences. This time, after their mother paints their room and their father gets them a big toy box, the sisters tear apart their clean bedroom in one day (just like the neighbor says they will). Too tired to clean up that night, they go straight to bed, only for Sunðra to wake in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and hurt herself walking over toy cars. (She doesn't make it to the bathroom, either, for double the trouble. I can now count "að pissa sig," or "to pee oneself" to my Icelandic vocabulary.) Tuðra had tried to get out of bed to help her sister, but also stepped on toys and fell over in the process, so they both learn their lesson and are moved to clean up their room the next day. Or at least, mostly clean up: what can't be easily put away gets shoved under the bed. But no one--not least the neighbor--can tell. ...more
Another entry in the Snuðra og Tuðra read-a-thon. This one was a little spotty plot-wise for me because it was missing some pages in the middle. But tAnother entry in the Snuðra og Tuðra read-a-thon. This one was a little spotty plot-wise for me because it was missing some pages in the middle. But the gist, as you might have gleaned from other S&T descriptions is that the sisters misbehave--they want a bike and don't get one and, I think, yell at their grandmother for eating one of the candy animals on their cake--but by the end they have learned their lesson and learned how to say thank you. ...more
My second Snuðra og Tuðra in Icelandic! I actually read this one twice--first along with the audio track and without a dictionary, and then again by mMy second Snuðra og Tuðra in Icelandic! I actually read this one twice--first along with the audio track and without a dictionary, and then again by myself, looking up words along the way. Reading through more closely I definitely needed to look a lot up and which helped me get a lot more of the exact phrasing, but I'm happy to say that I did understand most of what was going on during the first read-through.
When we meet the sisters in this book, they've grown quite a lot (one of the actual verbs used is "fitna" or 'become fat') and they need new clothes. So their mother says that she will take them into town for clothes and that they will be riding the bus.
The messy, disheveled sisters (Gunnar Karlsson's illustrations in the Iðunn editions always show them with dirt on their faces and torn knees on their pants) are so excited that not only do they run out of the house with their daily cod oil (taken every morning by most Icelanders!) running down their faces, but they also elbow everyone at the bus stop out of their way in their haste to get on. This includes three elderly women, a man with a cane, and a mother holding a baby. Once on the bus, Snuðra and Tuðra behave atrociously--lying down across multiple seats and rudely refusing to move for anyone, be it a pregnant mother, an old, stooped man, or an old woman who can hardly stand without shaking. (The interactions escalate each time--on one page, Snuðra calls the pregnant passenger "feita bolla," which means something like "fat ball." Later, Tuðra calls the old lady "ljota kerling" (ugly old lady) and tries to kick her.) Their mother is somewhere on the bus for all this (she gives her own seat to the pregnant mother, I believe, when her daughters refuse their own), but she sort of just lets the chaos proceed until the girls are ceremoniously pitched from the bus by the irate driver, who--I think--tells them that if they can't behave like human beings, they will be embarrassed. (That particular line was very confusing for me.)
As in the last S&T book, the sisters do eventually learn their lesson. This time, they decide to behave properly on the bus because their mother refuses to take them into town or ride the bus with them again, and they are eventually embarrassed that they are hardly covered by their small clothes (the button on Snuðra's pants pops off and flies across the room on one page).
There are several interesting things to me about this series. Firstly, there's a lot of interesting phrasing throughout, although I can't tell if this is the author's style or just the fact that I am very, very new to the language and language structure. The best example I have from this book is the description of the pregnant passenger. It says that "Þar kom inn ung kona með barn í maganum og smábarn á handleggnum." As far as I can tell, this means 'A young woman with a baby in her belly and a small child in her arms got on [the bus]." There's definitely an Icelandic word for "pregnant," so this wording stood out to me.
Then there's the sort of hands-off parenting approach of the mother character. In the last book, she made meatballs and just let the girls' cousins eat all of them when S&T didn't come to the table when called. In this one, she lets her daughters wreak havoc in a public bus and eventually get all of them thrown off without even chastising them during the ride. (My mother would have killed me dead if I would have embarrassed her in public like these girls do their own mom--the whole bus is said to think "poor woman" when she has to leave the bus with her daughters.) But within the text and on the back cover description it says that the mother thinks that the girls "muni læra af reynslunni," which I believe means "learn from experience," which maybe indicates that this is some sort of larger parenting strategy? I wonder......more
Another one of my forays into Icelandic children's literature, Rikka og töfrahringurinn á Íslandi (Rikka and the Enchanted Ring in Iceland) by the fasAnother one of my forays into Icelandic children's literature, Rikka og töfrahringurinn á Íslandi (Rikka and the Enchanted Ring in Iceland) by the fashion/jewelry designer Hendrikka Waage has a bit of a muddy plot going in. In the first few pages, we're told that Rikka is a Sagittarius and has a red ring which is imbued with powers from planet Uni; her friend Linda is a Taurus and wants her own green birthstone ring. Then they run into their disabled friend, Dimitri, whose father is Russian and was born in Azerbaijan, and who works at the zoo in the summer, gets around using a wheelchair, and communicates using a chart of illustrated signs that he and other people can point to.
After this somewhat unnecessary diversion, however, Rikka and Linda take off to the Laugardalslaug pool to enjoy the hot pots. Then Rikka's magic ring, which has the power to transport the girls off on wonderful adventures, whips them off on a tour of All Things Awesome in Iceland. In the course of their day, the magic ring takes the girls
*To see the large-scale statues by Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir *To play handball and learn a little about Iceland's talented handball team *To ride Rikka's two Icelandic horses *To ride snowmobiles on Vatnajökull *To celebrate Icelandic Independence/National Day on June 17 at Þingvellir *To take a boat through the glacial lagoon Jökulsárlón *To eat delicious Icelandic food like lamb and lobster soup and drink Iceland's very clean, very healthy water *To fish for salmon *To see the giant lava formations of Öxnadal *To meditate on Snæfellsjökull *To get drenched at Geysir *To view Yoko Ono's Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey
And then they are spirited home again. The End. (It bears noting that they are accompanied by all manner of Icelandic creatures on their journey--puffins, elves, and Icelandic sheepdogs follow them gleefully through each new site...)
It's a cute book in some ways, and very earnest in its desire to both celebrate Iceland and also get kids excited about traveling (this was one of the intentions, per the book description), but overall it seems like the type of book meant for tourists and people visiting Iceland. So I wonder if there is actually an English version somewhere. The book is also apparently the first in a series--Rikka's magic ring takes her to Japan and India, and maybe some other countries, too.
Anyway, at the very least, I learned some interesting vocab--bókstaflega ("literally") and töfraorku ("enchanted energy/powers") and fatlaður ("disabled"), among others. ...more
I recently came across a CD of Snuðra og Tuðra stories being read by the author, but while the stories are simple enough, they are a bit difficult forI recently came across a CD of Snuðra og Tuðra stories being read by the author, but while the stories are simple enough, they are a bit difficult for me to understand without being able to look at the words as well. So I am hoping to borrow each of the ten books about these two sisters from the library, so that I can not only listen to the readings while I follow along, but also read through the stories with a dictionary as well.
This was the first of the Snuðra og Tuðra books that I was able to find. It's called, roughly, Snuðra and Tuðra Miss Dinner. The gist is that the sisters have no table manners. They are constantly distracted by their games and won't sit still and eat their dinner when their mother calls them to the table. To teach them said manners, their mother makes a huge bowl of meatballs (their favorite) and invites over their favorite uncle, aunt, and four cousins to share the meal. But when Snuðra and Tuðra ignore their mother's call to the table (their dolls have had a car accident and need to be attended to at the hospital), she doesn't save them any meatballs. To emphasize the lesson, they then also have to wait for their gloating cousins to be served rice pudding before they are allowed to have any. Luckily, the message gets across and shortly after, S&T teach their dolls a similar lesson in table manners.