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Showing posts from March, 2019

The Log Driver's Waltz

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I was so excited when I saw they had made a picture book version of the Log Driver's Waltz. I grew up listening to the playful, whimsical song from the 1979 original short film, and I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book. The story is about a young girl whose parents want her to marry someone respectable and well-to-do - a doctor, a merchant, or a lawyer - but she is in love with a log driver, who woos her with his talent for dancing - a talent he has developed driving logs. It is a charming, lighthearted story that brings history to life. Jennifer Phelen has outdone herself with the illustrations. Her style combines elements of the 1920's - both city and country - and the 1970's, when the original film was created, and the pictures perfectly match the style of the song. There are some precious details that add an extra sweetness to the story, like the log driver checking his reflection in a waterfall before the dance. While this picture boo

Maid

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   Stephanie Land almost broke my tear ducts with her memoir. Maid is a crucial, desperate, important installment in showing that people in poverty are some of the hardest working, least appreciated, most disadvantaged people in our society. The next time I hear someone say people in poverty are lazy, I hope I can recommend this book to them.    Maid : Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive    Stephanie Land is a single mother struggling to escape domestic abuse, to keep custody of the child her partner never wanted but fights her for at every turn, and to provide enough for her daughter so they can at least survive. She narrates a messy, belittling, dehumanizing journey of food stamps that never provide enough food, homeless shelters that can't offer proper shelter, and low-income housing that could be ripped away at the merest threat of a $50 emergency.    "Struggling to make ends meet" is probably the most passive, deplorable, understatement o