Vote It Up: Book Blip

January 23, 2010

And now a word from our sponsors . . .

Oh, I wish. But I will plug two things (for lack of better descriptor) of which I am currently enamored: The PBS cartoon "Word Girl" and Better World Books.

Word Girl is my nearly-6-year-old daughter's new obsession, so I sat down to watch with her this morning. What I discovered was that I was laughing more than she was. The plot is catchy enough: 8-10 year-old girl, Becky, tries to help bumbling dad along with, of course, her pet monkey, Bob; but, Becky gets distracted and called away by very silly villains. At this point, she turns into Word Girl, complete with mask, costume and cape (the monkey turns superhero too). The villains Word Girl must contend with are grammar and spelling-challenged. Case in point: The Butcher was trying to rob a store when Word Girl interrupted; The Butcher (whose power is throwing heaps of raw meat and kielbasas at his enemies) calls Word Girl his nemenesiss, attempting the word "nemesis," to which WG slaps her forehead and just mutters, "It hurts." The show is witty, snarky, original and charming, plus it teaches words like nemesis, contrary, and exquisite. My daughter will start talking like a thesaurus any day. Oh yeah, and the theme song starts like this: "Word up it's Word Girl." C'mon, that's awesome!

Up next, Better World Books. BWB is a great online resource for inexpensive, new and used books. All proceeds from sales go to fund a global literacy organization. The company works with libraries to rescue scrapped books from the landfill and also buys books from online customers. They donate the proceeds from these sales to partner organizations, such as Lousiville's own The National Council for Family Literacy and Invisible Children, to help with global literacy initiatives. All books are shipped FREE OF CHARGE and all packaging uses carbon offset methods, so the environmental mission of the company stays intact. Check them out. I just bought Shalom Auslander's memoir The Foreskin's Lament for $6.00 total. Hardback! The only hitch is that it will take up to two weeks to arrive, but I'm in no hurry. I have other books on the list waiting on my shelves.

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