Hope vs. Giving Up

In chapter 31 of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Tom and Becky are lost in the underground cave system. The children try to keep their hope of being found but it dwindles the longer they are lost in the cave. Although Tom loses hope on occasion he doesn’t let the hopelessness overcome like Becky does. Becky gives up on being found and in essence on life itself. Tom never gives up. Even though the have no food and it seems likely they won’t be found, Tom keeps looking for a way out of the cave. In chapter 32 we learn that Tom’s refusal to give up is what leads him to find a way out of the gave.

Once the children are returned home the idea of hope vs. giving up is still in the time it takes for them to recover. Tom who didn’t give up on hope recovers from the ordeal within a couple days. However, Becky is still home recovering while Tom is out about the town.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Pink Monkey. Pink Monkey, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2015 <http://pinkmonkey.com/dl/library1/tomsawyr.pdf>


Mess Post (Right vs. Wrong)

In the right vs. wrong binary I’m messing with. Right versus wrong is supported by the idea that being right is associated with winning and rewards. In the scene on pages 22-24 Rollo and James are arguing about where to play the window ion the wigwam. Both boys think they are right and the other is wrong. However, Jonas comes over and points out that both are right and both are wrong. Rollo was right that it he had begun building the wigwam before James showed up so it was his. James was right that he did put time and effort into working on the wigwam also. Rollo was wrong because he did place any value in the work James did to help him. James was wrong in thinking that because he helped Rollo the final decision on where the window went should be his. When Rollo and James show they can be considerate of each other when Rollo’s half dollar is lost, Jonas solves their original issue by asking why they don’t make two windows. I think Jonas was giving them time to see that their disagreement was about their lack of consideration for each other and it’s not always about right or wrong.

Abbott, Jacobb. “Rollo At Play: Into the Woods.” Lydia Maria Child and the Development of Children’s Literature. Boston Public Library. Web. 8 December 2015. <http://www.bostonliteraryhistory.com/chapter-4/jacob-abbott-rollo-play-or-safe-amusements-boston-thomas-h-webb-co-1838>.




“Eenie, meenie, minie mo
Catch a tiger by the toe
If he hollers, let him go
Eenie, meenie, minie mo.”

This modern day nursery song seems innocent in its catching a tiger by the toe. However, just like Ten Little Indians, it has been changed over time. When I was a child it was catch a piggy by the toe. The original version of this song was catch a nigger by the toe.

Butler, Megan. “Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo: Racist Nursery Rhymes You Didn’t Know You Were Learning.” Madame Noire. Madame Noire, 29 October 2014. Web. 6 December 2015. http://madamenoire.com/484055/racist-nursery-rhymes/2/


Nathaniel Hawthorne [transcribed by Anne Higginson], Description of His Daughter Una

In this manuscript Nathaniel Hawthorne describes his daughter Una. He refers to her actions as “supernatural” contrasts them between “angelic and elfish” (Hawthorne, 1). Hawthorne uses light and dark imagery to reflect her positive and negative characteristics and behaviors. He contrasts her facial features with and without a smile to sunshine versus moonlight. He calls her bold and intelligent as well as ardent and calamitous. Hawthorne says his daughter usually displays the bitterness of an pre-ripened apple. However, he appears in awe of her actions, whether they be circumstances in which he has to punish her behavior or commend it.


Hawthorne’s Description of His Daughter reminds me of the character Maya Hart of the Disney television show Girl Meets World. Maya Hart, played by Sabrina Carpenter, is a middle school student who comes from a single-parent home. She has issues about her father leaving her and her mother when she was little and now having another family. She is the dark horse to her best friend, Riley Matthews, played by Rowen Blanchard, bubbly personality. Maya and Riley often find themselves in situations they are not sure they can handle. However, the situation usually turns into a lesson that helps them grow emotionally. I think Una and Maya have similar personalities. They both seem to be a bit pessimistic about life. But they also appear to want to see the more positive aspects of the world. I think both Maya and Una allow the people close to them to help them see the positive things around them.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Description of His Daughter Una.” Trans. Annie Higginson. Boston Public Library, Rare Books & Manuscript. The Trustees of Boston College, 2012. Web. 6 December 2015. http://www.bostonliteraryhistory.com/chapter-4/nathaniel-hawthorne-transcribed-anne-higginson-description-his-daughter-una


How to Read Children’s Literature: Hey Diddle Diddle

What a Reader Is Asked to Know

About Life

  •         What a cat is, what a cow is, what the dog is, what a moon is, what a dish is, and what it means for to jump, what diddle means, what it means to laugh, what it means to run.
  •         How unlikely it would be in real life for a cat to play a fiddle or a cow to be able to reach the moon.

About Language

  •         How to read in general, to understand english in order to comprehend the text, how to understand letter sounds.
  •         What the word sport means in the context of this rhyme.
  •         What rhyming is.

About Literature

  •         What a Nursery Rhyme is.
  •         That literature consists of both real stories and make believes elements and how to tell the difference between the two.

What a Reader Is Asked to Do

  •         To see and understand what they are reading.
  •         To process whether the text is supposed to be serious or just fun.

·         Understand that nursery rhymes have a type of melodic pattern and be able to follow that pattern.



Teletubbies was a popular British show that aired from 1997 to 2006. The idea was four alien toddlers named Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po who who spoke and behaved in a way human toddlers would. The show was full of colorful scenes with the purpose of capturing the attention of toddlers and help develop different parts of their brains. The first season of Teletubbies endured two million viewers per episode and earned the company producing it $800 million from merchandising sales.

The teletubbies were on top of the world until Tinky Winky, the purple teletubbie who carried a red magical bag, was accused of being gay. The actor who played Tinky Winky, Dave Thompson was fired and told that the producers disapproved of his interpretation of the character. How does carrying a bag make someone gay? What does an audience of one to four years know about being gay?

The idea that Tinky Winky had to be gay because he carried a bag to which some called a purse, and today would be called a man bag, is absolute something an adult would come up with. It isn’t something that toddlers would be aware of.

“Teletubbies.” Wikipedia. 25 August 2015. Web. 16 September 2015. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teletubbies

Crockett, Zachary. “The Outing of Tinky Winky.” Priceonomics. 6 October 2014. Web. 16 September 2015. http://priceonomics.com/the-outing-of-tinky-winky/


The Lion and the Mouse

A Lion lay asleep in the forest, his great head resting on his paws. A timid little Mouse came upon him unexpectedly, and in her fright and haste to get away, ran across the Lion’s nose. Roused from his nap, the Lion laid his huge paw angrily on the tiny creature to kill her.

“Spare me!” begged the poor Mouse. “Please let me go and some day I will surely repay you.”

The Lion was much amused to think that a Mouse could ever help him. But he was generous and finally let the Mouse go.

Some days later, while stalking his prey in the forest, the Lion was caught in the toils of a hunter’s net. Unable to free himself, he filled the forest with his angry roaring. The Mouse knew the voice and quickly found the Lion struggling in the net. Running to one of the great ropes that bound him, she gnawed it until it parted, and soon the Lion was free.

“You laughed when I said I would repay you,” said the Mouse. “Now you see that even a Mouse can help a Lion.”

A kindness is never wasted.

 Aesop. “The Aseop for Children: with pictures by Milo Winters”. (1919). Presented by The Library of Congress. Web. (n.d.) http://read.gov/aesop/007.html