Twilight: New Moon Soundtrack (review)

51J8E1J81wL._SL160_ While I really enjoyed the Twilight soundtrack I really, really liked this one much better. Everything about the soundtrack was perfect for the movie – much more so than the first. The difference with this cd was that each song was either written directly for New Moon or can only be found on this soundtrack and was chosen specifically for the movie.

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Christine’s Guide to Holiday Gift Guides!

A few of my online friends have posted fabulous Holiday Gift Guides for their readers! I just wanted to write up a quick post and let MY readers know about them! I personally haven’t even really begun holiday shopping. I have no money and my son already has too many toys. But – I’m sure I will eventually buy him (and my husband) something – so better get prepared, right?

As I locate more of my friends’ guides I will link to them! So this post will hopefully be updated soon! Happy Shopping!

Sikulu and Harambe by the Zambezi River

I love to read to my son; and I especially love different takes on stories that I heard growing up. One such story I had the opportunity to share with my son is an African take on the Good Samaritan story from the Bible. This new remix is called “Sikulu and Harambe by the Zambezi River” written by Kunle Oguneye and starring Sikulu the Spider and Harambe the Hippo. I don’t want to go over the entire plot with you here because honestly, you can check the book out online by clicking here. But – I do want to say that this was a wonderful take on an old “classic” – I liked it as much as my son did. In fact, we read it three times in one day! My son is three – but a younger child would enjoy this story also for the simpleness of it (and the beautiful illustrations by Bruce McCorkindale). The older kids will appreciate the story – which is basically “be kind to others.” It’s a wonderful moral and a wonderful and cultural retelling. The book goes even a step (or two) further by even having a glossary of words used in the book. This is a great way for your children to learn more about life and the language of Zambia.

I had the awesome opportunity to ask Kunle some questions – so I would like to share a little about him, and also share his answers.

Kunle Oguneye was born and raised in Nigeria and began his career as a professional engineer and software developer. In the last few years he re-discovered his love for storytelling and decided to leave his job with technology and focus on writing and storytelling. Kunle and his family live in Washington State. “Sikulu & Harambe” is his first book.

Atomic-Mama: Why did you choose the “Good Samaritan” story as your first book? What are some other folktales that you might plan on writing?
Kunle: I didn’t choose the “Good Samaritan” story. I just wanted to write an engaging story from my childhood. It just happened that the story was very similar to the Good Samaritan story. I haven’t developed the new stories yet, but you can be rest assured that they will all have positive morals to them.

Atomic-Mama: What was your favorite book growing up?
Kunle: I had several favorite books. I also had a lot of favorite oral stories growing up. My favorite is why the tortoise has a cracked shell.

Atomic-Mama: What made you choose to switch to writing children’s books? Were your friends and family supportive of your leaving your tech career to move to writing?
Kunle: I just felt that African stories were no where to be found. Our history and culture is dying as the older generation passes on. It is my intent to preserve the stories and culture of African for future generations. Yes, my family and friends have been very supportive.

Atomic-Mama: What is the very best thing about writing for children?
Kunle: I get to meet different people and I interact with children. They are so excited when they meet an author and they are so energetic and excited about the future.

Atomic-Mama: How does the author and illustrator relationship work?
Kunle: We collaborated over the Internet. There was a lot of back and forth.

Atomic-Mama: What are you working on now?
Kunle: I’m promoting the book right now. I’ll be in Atlanta tomorrow, then Sacramento mid-week. I have a number of events in the Seattle area as well.

Atomic-Mama: Are you interested in speaking to teacher/librarian groups or to kids via school visits? If so, how can interested parties contact you?
Kunle: Definitely very interested in school/library visits. Interested Parties can contact me via our website at www.sikulu.com.

I want to thank Kunle for his time!! I look forward to reading more of his great stories!

You can purchase the book here.

OH – and I’ve got some awesome news too: YOU can win an autographed copy of this book!! Here is the information you will need:

Contest runs between October 26, 2008 and November 26, 2008.

Winner will be notified by blog post and will need to claim their prize by emailing me (Christine) with your name and address and the name you want the book made out to.

  • Leave a comment here on this blog post for 1 entry.
  • More ways to enter: Stumble the contest (1 entry), Twitter the contest (1 entry), Add to Kirtsy, Digg, Etc. (1 entry each). Let me know in the aforementioned blog post what you did.
  • Blogging about the contest on your blog will get you 5 entries.
  • Please also visit the Sikulu and Harabe website. Why? Because I said so and this is my contest!

Ready? Get set? GO! You have until 9pm est on November 26th to enter! Tell your friends!