Book Review: Goodnight iPad

As a child, one of the many bedtime stories I heard (and eventually read myself) was Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. The basic premise is a bunny who is going to bed and looks around his room and sees different objects and then says good night to them, including the moon outside the window.

Goodnight Moon was originally published in 1947 (Wikipedia). And though it still is beloved by many parents as they read to their children at night, some children may not connect to the book the way the parents did when they were younger. Now, there’s a parody for that.

Goodnight iPad tells a similar story of the bunny family at night. However, this family has so many electronic gadgets that the mother bunny cannot sleep. She says, “okay, that’s it!” and start’s saying goodnight to all the electronics…by tossing them out the window! She then tucks the little bunnies into bed and reads “Goodnight Moon” via flashlight.

According to the back of the book, the parody was written by Ann Droyd (get it?…android!), a pseudonym for an IRA/Children’s Choices winner who has written over 25 books. A quick visit to www.anndroyd.com and I found that Goodnight iPad was the first book in the parody series. There is another…If You Give a Mouse an iPhone! I may have to get that one too…

I love the book. I thought it was cute, however, some of my younger tutoring students did not think the use of digital devices was all the clever or interesting. Perhaps they had not read Goodnight Moon or maybe I’m too old and still fascinated by technology rather than it being everyday objects. Or most likely, it was just below their reading level. We all go through a “that’s for babies” phase. Perhaps I caught them in it.

You decide….On Ann Droyd’s website there was an animation of Goodnight iPad. Watch it below and leave your thoughts on the book in the comments below.

Good Eats: Teaching the Next Generation How to Cook

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday vacation. I spent a lot of time with family and friends relaxing and eating delicious food.

Speaking of food, I spent hours watching DVRed episodes of Good Eats. It stars Alton Brown and was on both the Food Network and the Cooking Channel. It is very entertaining (not to mention educational!) to watch. Alton Brown describes it best as a combination of “Julia Child, Mr. Wizard, and Monty Python” (Wikipedia).

Each episode focuses on a food and several methods and recipes to prepare it. However, the show isn’t just simply Alton Brown standing up there adding ingredients and whisking them together. Good Eats brings in the science of cooking with supersized props, field trips, 30 second lectures, and demonstrations. There are a multitude of actors in the shows, but those aren’t just hired actors, they are the production crew for the show. In fact, over the 16 season production run, every single person (with the exception of DeAnna, Alton’s wife) has appeared on camera in some form, whether it is a hand puppet, a supersized onion, a “family” member, or the Dungeon Master.

There are so many recipes that trying to remember it all can be confusing. There are now 3 books with recipes, techniques, and pictures from the set. Good Eats: The Early YearsGood Eats: The Middle Years (with bonus DVD), and Good Eats: The Later Years all can be bought at B&N or Amazon.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to find the DVDs available for purchase on Amazon. There have been some old editions that have popped up here and there, but the prices are astronomical. Thus, I have been DVRing as many episodes as I can. I don’t know how well that will work in a classroom environment. However, there is a beacon of light!

Recently, Netflix added 39 episodes of Good Eats to its collection, titled Good Eats: The Collection. It seems Food Network and HGTV did the collection thing with a bunch of their hit TV shows at the start of December 2014. But, as some of you may know, how long they will be available on Netflix is a mystery. I hope they add more soon!

But what if you don’t have Netflix? No worries, you can purchase individual episodes for $1.99 from Amazon (sadly, even prime members must pay!) A cursory glance through the seasons on Amazon appears that all episodes are available for purchase.

Here are a few scenes different episodes from Good Eats! To change the episode, click on the “playlist” button.