Tag: holiday

  • Krampus, Saint Nicholas and Santa

    A collection of facts about Santa traditions around the world

  • The Tricksters by Margaret Mahy Young Adult Novel Study

    The Tricksters Margaret Mahy dark cover

    The Tricksters is a young adult novel by New Zealand author Margaret Mahy, first published in 1986. Mahy wrote many stories for children, but The Tricksters seems to be one frequently talked about in scholarship circles, alongside The Changeover and The Haunting, which both won The Carnegie Medal. The Tricksters is a rare example of the new female mythic form, in which a main character (often femme, sometimes not) thinks and feels their way through a problem rather than leaving home to go on a journey and fight a bunch of opponents.

  • The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame Analysis

    A man in the shape of a Mole’s body feels a yearning which can only be fulfilled by entering the most transgressive parts of his own psychology, externally represented by the Wild Wood. On his journey, he meets other men, each driven by their own secret (and not so secret) passions.

  • The Annotated Night Before Christmas

    “The Night Before Christmas” is an alternative title of the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (controversially) by a guy called Clement Clarke Moore. The poem was first published anonymously in 1823 and only later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837, the start of the Victorian era. A Dutch migrant called Henry Livingston might be the true author. We don’t know.

  • U.F.O. In Kushiro by Haruki Murakami Short Story Analysis

    “U.F.O. in Kushiro” is a short story written by popular contemporary Japanese author Haruki Murakami. English readers first had access to the story in 2001, when it appeared in an issue of the New Yorker magazine. It was republished in 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami devastated northern Japan. Safe to say this is considered a […]

  • Holidays and Camping In Art And Picturebooks

    Rudy Wendelin (1910-2000) Smokey Bear campers

    Scholars who study holidays and tourism classify holidays into five broad types. Which type(s) do you prefer? And how are holidays commonly depicted across children’s literature?

  • The Children Stay by Alice Munro Short Story Analysis

    the children stay

    “The Children Stay” is a short story by Alice Munro, published in the collection The Love Of A Good Woman (1998). It’s very difficult to write empathetically about women who leave their husbands and children for another man, especially when it’s purely lust driven rather than depicted as ‘pure love’. This is because mothers are…

  • Dead Calm Film Study

    Dead Calm movie poster landscape

    Sometimes horror movies are even more terrifying when read metaphorically. In Dead Calm, the story of a husband and wife at sea with a murderous intruder is bad enough, but what if the murderer doesn’t exist? Dead Calm is a well-executed but outdated psychological horror, adapted in 1989 for film from a 1963 novel by…

  • Symbolism of the Beach in Australian Literature

    Sydney convict art beach

    There are a great number of natural landscapes in Australia apart from beaches yet the beach has somehow become iconic.

  • Up At A Villa by Helen Simpson Short Story Analysis

    “Up At A Villa” is a short story by Helen Simpson, opening her 2011 collection In-flight Entertainment. This is a lyrical short story full of symbolism. Cover copy tells us to expect work a la Alice Munro. Of all the stories here, the images in “Up At A Villa” are most reminiscent of Munro —…

  • In-flight Entertainment by Helen Simpson Analysis

    In-flight entertainment

    “In-flight Entertainment” is a short story by Helen Simpson, published in her 2010 collection of the same name.

  • Tomorrow When The War Began Questions

    Tomorrow When The War Began

    The following are some resources I used with New Zealand high school English students some years ago during a novel study of Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden. Posted here in case anyone still finds this useful. How many wars has New Zealand been involved in during the last 50 years? The Cold…