Gone Fishing: Ocean Life by the Numbers
The title of Madison author and illustrator David McLimans' new environmentally themed counting picture book is meant to be taken literally. It features 20 different marine species - many of them, including the Mediterranean monk seal and the great white shark, in danger of extinction. Each eye-popping black, blue and white illustration of a sea creature, curled or angled to depict a numerical shape, includes vital information about its habitat and endangered status. The "Diving Deeper" and "Ocean Facts by the Numbers" sections provide additional details for older readers. McLimans, who received a Caldecott Honor for 2006's Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet, makes environmental awareness fun and easy for both parents and kids.
Hundred Acre Wood Haunt
Walt Disney Video
The latest incarnation of Winnie the Pooh debuted on "Playhouse Disney" last year in the form of My Friends Tigger & Pooh. This DVD shows off the more robust animation that brings many of the original recurring characters vividly back to life, along with two new pals: redheaded 6-year-old Darby and her dog, Buster. The DVD features three two-part episodes that, despite this collection's title, have little to do with Halloween - and are far from spooky.
They do, however, reinforce the importance of being grateful for what you have, the power of reason, and how to overcome a fear of lightning. It's worth watching with the kids just to hear the catchy theme song, penned by Jellyfish's Andy Sturmer and sung by former Letters to Cleo singer Kay Hanley.
Thanks to Halloween, October is the busiest month of the year at local St. Vincent de Paul stores. The outlet at 1309 Williamson St. has gained the reputation as a low-cost, high-impact Halloween headquarters. Since August, the menswear department has been relocated and replaced with rack after rack of fancy worn-once children's costumes, as well as countless vintage housedresses, shoulder-padded tops, plaid pants, hippie rags and elaborate formalwear. For $10 or $15, parents and kids can create their own imaginative outfits while supporting Dane County's busiest food pantry. A fringed dress, denim shirt, cowboy hat and boots create an instant cowgirl. A pair of khakis and matching top, coupled with a safari hat and backpack, and you're a zookeeper, imperialist explorer or Dr. Livingstone. "Usually, people have some sort of an idea what they want when they come in, but it's vague," store manager Diane Smith-Melloy says. "I think there's a lot of inspiration out on the floor." For more ideas, visit the Halloween page at svdpmadison.org.