Monday, October 18, 2010

Music Video - Whip My Hair

This pop video from the nine year old daughter of Will & Jada Smith will have tweens rocking & whipping their dos throughout the day.

Genre: Pop Music

Interest Level: All Ages

Personal Thoughts: This song is cute and simple. I think that it will definitely be a hit to the Radio Disney crew as well as parents ::cough cough:: forced to listen to their kids' music in the car. I like that it is a unique pop song and not all about boyfriends and image - the song is simply cool.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Movie: Starstruck

Bieber, J. (Producer), & Grossman, M. (Director). (2010). Starstruck. [Extended Edition DVD]. United States: Walt Disney Studios.

Plot: Small town girl Jessica Olson goes to Hollywood with her family to visit her grandmother. Jessica just wants to avoid star watching while her sister has other ideas and wants to meet pop star Christopher Wilde. One night when her sister drags her to a club and tells her to stay in the car, Jessica has enough and decides to go to the club to tell her sister she is through with the ridiculous stalking adventure. On her way, she literally smacks into someone, that someone being Christopher Wilde. At once, Jessica shows her dislike of the heartthrob but fate just keeps throwing them together in Los Angeles. Will something come of these meetings? Or will Christopher deny his relationship with this small town nobody?

Genre: Drama, Romance, Music, Adventure

Interest Level: All Ages (G Rating)

Similar Titles: High School Musical

Personal Thoughts: This Disney Channel movie really surprised me – why? – it was actually good. I enjoyed this teen movie because it wasn't too over the top with ooey gooey teenage emotions. The bonus features are great for music fans who like singing along or watching music videos. I would recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys a good story.

漫画 MANGA: Leave it to PET: The Misadventures of a Recycled Super Robot

Sonishi, K. (2009). Leave it to PET: The misadventures of a recycled super robot  (Vol. 1, Katherine Schilling, Trans.). San Francisco, CA: Viz Media, LLC. (Originally published in 2004)

"PET's Haiku:
Recycling is good!
Protect the Earth and Maybe
PET will thank you too!"

Plot: A little boy named Noboru is shocked to find a little robot defending him against bullies. The robot's name is PET (poly(ethylene terephthalate)) and he was created after Noboru recycled a bottle a week earlier. PET keeps showing up just as Noboru is about to be injured by bullies or needs help – but for some reason whenever Noboru needs him, PET gives the wrong kind of help, leaving Noboru in the same situation he was in before. When Noboru's bike chain breaks, PET shows up with the intention to fix it – unfortunately PET is not equipped to fix bikes so he calls the only experts he knows – the recycling company. Will PET ever end up actually helping Noboru or  will he just keep causing trouble?

Genre: Comedy 

Reading/Interest Level: All Ages

Similar Titles: Happy Happy Clover, Chi's Sweet Home, Legend of Zelda

Personal Thoughts: I thought that this manga had a good message to younger kids and I like that it makes recycling fun. The addition of several colored pages gives the reader an extra little surprise. I would recommend this to those doing some sort of environmental study in school that focuses on recycling. At the end of the manga are bonus pages with some fun activities for kids to enjoy.

漫画 MANGA: Happy Happy Clover

Tatsuyama, S. (2009). Happy happy Clover  (Vol. 1, Kaori Inoue, Trans.). San Francisco, CA: Viz Media, LLC. (Originally published in 2006)

Plot: Clover is a bunny living in Crescent Forest along with other forest animals. These animals are not ordinary by any means because they can talk; Clover even goes to school! Clover's story begins with her making a new friend named Mallow, but her other bunny friends Shallot and Kale make fun of Mallow's looks, forcing Clover to stick up for her new pal. This friendly bunny and her friends go on many adventures while learning to share snacks and be brave in the face of danger. Join Clover and her friends while they stick together against a scary fox-monster or explore a haunted spring.

Genre: Comedy 

Reading/Interest Level: All Ages

Similar Titles: Chi's Sweet Home

Personal Thoughts: I thought that this manga was extremely cute. The characters will appeal to any girls wanting to get their share of fluffy animals for the day. The manga is published by an imprint of Viz called Viz Kids that is for the younger set of manga fans.

漫画 MANGA: Neko Ramen

Sonishi, K. (2010). Neko ramen (Vol. 1, Kristy Harmon, Trans.). Los Angeles, CA: TokyoPop, Inc. (Originally published in 2006)

Plot: Would you walk out of a restaurant if you saw that the chef was a cat? Tanaka-san was faced with such a situation when he walks into Neko Ramen, a ramen shop owned by Taisho…who just happens to be a cat. Tanaka-san ends up being a favored customer who remains with Taisho despite the cat's continued explorations into varieties of ramen and new recipes. Taisho has many ideas, some that succeed, and others that fail… miserably. Tanaka-san keeps coming back for more but whether that is to learn more about Taisho's past or to enjoy Taisho's ramen experiments - you will have to read to find out.

Genre: Comedy

Reading/Interest Level: Ages 12+

Similar Titles: Chi's Sweet Home

Personal Thoughts: This is a manga for cat lovers and foodies. The artwork is hilarious and the combination of long and short stories makes reading a breeze. I like the humor that Kenji Sonishi uses to tell the story of a ramen-making cat just trying to keep his business afloat. I think that this manga is a good read for animal lovers as well as fans of manga.

漫画 MANGA: Chi's Sweet Home

Konami, K. (2008). Chi's sweet home (Vol. 1, Ed Chavez., Trans.). New York, NY: Vertical, Inc. (Originally published in 2004)

Plot: A little kitten is separated from its mother and is found by a little boy and his mother. They take the kitten home to their "no pets allowed" apartment and find themselves trying to comfort the wayward kitten. The kitten on the other hand only wants its mother and continues looking for her. Soon though, the little boy named Yohei finds himself teaching the kitten where the potty is. Yohei keeps talking about going "chi" (pee) and repeats the word so much that the kitten ends up being named CHI. The parents can't help but decide to keep Chi around - though they need to work really hard at keeping the kitten a secret from nosy neighbors.

Genre: Comedy 

Reading/Interest Level: All Ages

Similar Titles: Neko Ramen

Personal Thoughts: This is a manga for cat lovers. The artwork is cute and all the pages are colored, adding more feeling to the story. Chi's adventures with her new family will make anyone laugh and those who have/have had cats will recognize many cat behaviors both amusing and destructive. This series is a must read for manga fans.

漫画 MANGA: Amazing_Agent LUNA

DeFilippis, N. & Weir, C. (2008). Amazing_Agent Luna (Omnibus 1, Shiei, Illus.). Los Angeles, CA: Seven Seas Entertainment, LLC.

Plot: Luna is a fifteen-year-old secret agent working for the US Government. While in France, Luna stumbles upon a secret meeting between nefarious villains, one being her arch nemesis Count Von Brucken, that leaves her warning her superiors of a possible evil plan. Soon Luna who was born in a lab and raised with military training finds herself in a scary situation – high school. Luna is enrolled in Nobel High and goes undercover along with her handlers who pose as her parents; their goal is to uncover Von Brucken's ties to Nobel High… and maybe have some fun like a normal teen! Can Luna continue to keep her identity secret while protecting the staff and students of Nobel High?

Genre: Drama, Adventure, High School Life 

Reading/Interest Level: Ages 10+

Similar Titles: xxxHolic, Tsubasa, DNAngel

Personal Thoughts: Though this manga was written in English it manages to feel like a true Japanese manga, though this could be due to the artwork by Shiei. The omnibus make look thick, but it is a quick read that leaves a reader waiting to see what happens to Luna and whether or not she can be a normal teenager or whether fitting in will be too hard for this spy-girl.