Friday, March 23, 2012

Guy Friday-- Let's Put on a Show

Sullivan, George. Tom Thumb: The Remarkable True Story of a Man in Miniature.
Born in 1838, Charles Stratton was a healthy and intelligent baby, but one who was very, very small. His parents worried about him and his future, and when P.T. Barnum offered to put him in shows, under the name of Tom Thumb, they thought that this would be a way for Charley to be a productive member of society. Even though he started performing when young, and never received any formal schooling, he managed to be a well adjusted and happy person. Barnum provided him with opportunities such as traveling Europe and performing for royalty there, and these opportunities also allowed Charley to amass a great fortune. When he became lonely for female companionship, he was introduced to another Little Person, Lavinia Warren, whom he married and with whom he performed until his death from a stroke at a fairly young age.
Strengths: This is a beautifully illustrated book that tells not only about the life of an extremely popular performer in the 1800s, but also sheds light on the treatment of individuals who do not fall within the commonly accepted norms of society. I learned a lot from this book, and it was very interesting to read.
Weaknesses: I have a copy of The Great and Only Barnum, which is a great companion book to this, and it's hard to get students to read it, perhaps because of the length.

Maybe a display of "performers" might encourage some circulation. Do I have a little striped tent somewhere I can use to house the following titles?

I've been promising a Disney parody all week, but this was the best I could do. Apparently, The Lion King is the movie the students know best, but it came out in 1994, when my daughter was tiny and I was still keeping her away from screens of any kind.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho
Renew, renew.
‘Cause books are overdue
If you are done, get another one
Renew, renew.

Renew, renew.
If you’re well or have the flu
If it is lost please pay the cost
Renew, renew.

Renew, renew.
Don’t hide books with your shoes
With your conscious clear, read without fear
Renew, renew.

Renew, renew.
Ms. Yingling’s feeling blue
When we come back get another stack
Renew, renew.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Well done. You handed me a laugh.