Archive for the ‘Books & Music’ Category

This past week, a monster stalked the streets of Ansonborough.

Standing nearly 20 feet tall and possessing the fury of 20,000 papercuts, the Bookzilla loomed over Gaillard Auditorium, growing ever powerful through the donations of Charleston residents to the Charleston Volunteers for Literacy’s tutoring program.  For each $5 donation, another appendage was added to the creature.

Obviously, from the size of the thing, Charleston was more than happy to feed the beast.

We’re off to the land where Bluegrass grows later today to partake in my father’s wedding, Jean Farris, UK/USC football game, and Keeneland.  How I miss this time of year in my home state.


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Is your child’s copy Goodnight Moon looking a little lonely over there on the shelf?

Are you looking for a more recent Carmen Sandiego-type of geographically inclined reader for your kids?

Are you sick of Twilight? I am, although it really has nothing to do with this post.  So. Sick. Of. Twilight.

If you are in the market for a well-illustrated, well-conceived children’s book, you might want to think of punching a ticket with Christopher Cub on his traveling escapades through southern Africa.

Around the World with Christopher Cub is a partial travelogue for children and partial heartfelt ode to the country of Zimbabwe written and illustrated by talented Summerville-based authors/graphic designers Dan and Maria Cordrey, who also happen to be good friends of mine.  The story follows the exploits of a bear from North Carolina named Christopher and his wildlife friends on a trip to unlock the mystery of Zak Zebra’s missing stripes.  Along the way, the reader is introduced to the wonderful natural and built environment of Zimbabwe through the use of some very creative, descriptive rhyming stanzas and colorful illustrations completed by the authors themselves.  The couple has just started diving into a schedule of book readings at local stores and schools, each of which has concluded in a warm reception.

Apparently, Dan has concocted different voices from each of the characters in the book, giving the readings much more life.  My request to be spoken to as Zak Zebra last night at a friend’s going-away party was quickly ignored, however, which is understandable.

I can’t mention enough how individually, and collectively, talented the authors of Christopher Cub really are.  Both have honed their faculties through time spent in foreign places.  For Dan, that would mean his native Zimbabwe, where he masqueraded as a professional tennis player before moving stateside and pursuing a career in medicine.  For Maria, that would mean some strange land-locked place named St. Louis, Missouri, which I hear has a large brewery and an old baseball player who performed backflips when he emerged from the dugout to play shortstop.  Sounds like a wild place.

In addition to their first foray into the world of written word, Dan and Maria are both accomplished graphic designers who have been active in the Charleston community and various cities in the Southeast.  I have also learned over the past couple of years that Dan is good at literally anything he does, be it golf, tennis, speaking with a British accent, Wii bowling, illustrating children’s books, growing a beard, or gaining admittance to a competitive CRNA school (he disgusts me, seriously.)  Thus, I was not surprised at all when I read Christopher Cub for the first time and was extremely impressed, as was our mutual friend Doug, whose nose was buried in the book during trivia night at Yo Burrito recently, rendering him absolutely useless for 3 questions.

I would highly recommend adding Christopher Cub to your child’s library.  Check out the link provided above for details.

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