I actually feel accomplished today! I signed up for all of my benefits for the new job, read 3 books (though one was a picture book and one was a short little 111 pg, fun book) and saw a movie. I guess it's my last hurrah before heading off into the real world on Monday. So here are a few more reviews.
Shaun Tan's The Arrival may be the most beautiful book I've ever seen. Tan is an illustrator/author that I learned of through Carl. Carl highly recommends The Red Tree and I haven't picked it up yet because I haven't been able to find it. Eventually I'll pick up a copy through Amazon. The Arrival is a 128 page picture book that tells the story of an immigrant. It could be the story of any immigrant going to any new land, but it happens to be the story of a man heading off to a bizarre yet beautiful world that is so unfamiliar to anything that we know of today to set up a home for his wife and child. The food, the creatures, the jobs, the way of life, the way of travel...it's all new and bizarre and told beautifully through Tan's haunting, sepia toned artwork. Each villager that he meets has their own story of how they came to the land and what they left behind. What Tan presents is an homage to every migrant that's ever traveled to a new world and set up a new life for themselves. The story is told through pictures only - no words, and no words are needed. This is a beautiful book and I can't help but feel that every family should have a copy on their bookshelf.
The next book is the first in a series. It's the Edgar & Ellen series by Charles Ogden, written for young adults/children and the first book is Rare Beasts. This book was such a delight to read :) It's like A Series of Unfortunate Events (which I never really got into) meets Tim Burton. Edgar & Ellen are mischievous twins who live in a town called Nod's Limbs in a dreary, towering house. All of Nod's Limbs is considered the "good side of town" except for the block that Edgar & Ellen live on...that would be the "bad side of town" thanks to them. Their parents left on "vacation" a while ago and never returned and they are now left to themselves with the only adult around being the creepy groundskeeper. Edgar and Ellen both have pasty white skin and black hair plastered to their heads and where their red and white striped footie pajamas all the time. Their favorite past time is basically torturing each other, but when Ellen is about to slice her brother open with a pendulum after finding him in a game of hide and seek, they decide that they are bored with their normal games. So of course, they go to aggravate their one eyed hairball of a pet named, well...."pet". Pet is watching his favorite TV show that's talking about exotic animals and the twins get a wonderful idea. If they could find their own exotic animals to sell, they could make tons of money to buy things to wreak havoc on the town with! So they kidnap all of the town's pets and do a little altering of them and try to resell them as....Rare Beasts. This looks to be a great series and very light but fun reading. There are 4 books out in the series so far and I'll be picking the others up. Edgar and Ellen are also Target's Halloween mascots this year! So I'll probably go out tomorrow and buy the halloween DVD special that's for sale there as well as the pop-up book (I love pop-up books!)
And finally, I saw an absolutely amazing movie tonight! Finally, Across the Universe was released here. For those who don't know, it's a musical focusing on the Vietnam war era and features over 33 Beatles songs sung by the actors throughout the movie. This movie was just phenomenal, and if it's playing near you...go see it! I've never gotten goosebumps so many times in 2 hours. It's beautifully done with so much emotion, power and meaning put into it and I was just amazed at the genius put into this movie. It was visually stunning and one of those movies that you just get lost in. I could see this movie 10 more times in the theater and I'm sure it would still bring waves of emotion over me each time. Check it!