Not Just for Kids

I Love a Good Book

by Ariel Brumbaugh, Junior Reporter


At the Munro Wood Gallery, I listened to a wonderful reading of Crocodiles, Camels and Dugout Canoes. We looked at original illustrations of the story as we listened. We heard thrilling stories of adventurers and past heroes.

This book was eight episodes of exciting stories and true adventures. Here are the adventurers and the places they explored:

I really liked the stories because they had such meaning. They made me think about what it would be like to be an adventurer. You can almost put yourself in their place. I recommend this book if you like comedy as well as adventure. Not only is the story funny; the pictures are comical, too, and they give you a good image.

A favorite story of mine was the Arctic adventure of August Andree.

In it, The Eagle, a majestic balloon was cut lose. The three men on board took a deep breath and they were aloft. Cheers came from below and The Eagle was gone. The journey took them across the Spitzbergen Archipelago, 450 miles from the North Pole. Their goal was to be the first to cross the North Pole.

Their first problem was when the draglines that steadied the balloon came unhooked. Their second problem was when their balloon became covered with ice and began to slowly sink. It fell towards the earth, and the crew had no choice but to land. Everyone was in the depths of despair until the joyful moment when August Andree caught a polar bear. Many bears were shot and the three lived well.

Thirty three years later a ship came onto the island and found a canvas boat full of supplies and two skeletons, both fully clothed. They found a third a little farther from Andree's last camp site. They found rolls of exposed film and some silk.

Unbelievably, the film could still be developed. But they held no information on how the three crew members died. For a very long time nobody could figure out how the three died. They had fire, clothing and meat. Then, in 1950, a doctor read the diary entries of Andree. All of the symptoms Andree described - cramps, fever, muscular pains, diarrhea and boils - told him that the three had suffered from trichinosis. Then he recalled that Andree mentioned the crew had eaten raw polar bear meat. They had eaten to live, but actually they ate and died.

A favorite phrase of mine in the book described Mary Kingsley, another famous explorer. "It is at these times you realize the blessing of a good thick skirt," said Mary Kingsley after she crashed into a cleverly concealed leopard pit, 15 feet deep and lined with 12-inch ivory spikes. "I should have been spiked to the bone and done for," she explained. "Whereas here I was with the fullness of my skirt tucked under me."

I also have exciting news! The author and illustrator, Bo Zaunders and Roxie Munro, announced that another book about famous explorers is on the way. These stories will have to do with aviation or flying. We can all look forward to more wonderful illustrations and funny stories.

Artist Roxie Munro grew up in Shady Side and went to Shady Side Elementary, where she read every book in the library. She graduated from Southern High. Now she lives in New York. Writer-artist-photographer Bo Zaunders is Roxie's husband. This is his third book.

See the original, large size illustrations for Crocodiles, Camels and Dugout Canoes thru Oct. 4 at Munro Wood Gallery, 45 West St., Annapolis. noon-5 Wed-Sat 11-7; Sun. Noon-5: 410/990-0880.

Get your copy of the book Crocodiles, Camels and Dugout Canoes at the Gallery or your local bookstore.

All Maryland Loves a Good Book

This school year, put books at your list's top.

Reading is the best way to get smart. So say our own governor, Parris Glendening, his wife Mrs. Glendening, and our lieutenant governor, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

To prove their point, the governor and two dozen of his best friends stopped by elementary schools in every county this week to read books. Thursday, Sept. 24 was Reading Across Maryland Day.

But books are friends for more than a day. They'll be your friend for your whole life.

So the governor has asked you, especially, to be part of Reading Across Maryland. You'll have to read 10 or more books over the school year.

Last year, elementary school kids all over Maryland won their Reading Star certificate by doing just that. All together, young Marylanders read more than three million books. Now you can help top that mark.

Read alone, read with a friend, or ask a grown-up to read to you. If they say they're too busy, remind them that the governor says "It is important to motivate children to open a book and instill in them a lifelong love of reading."

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VolumeVI Number 38
September 24-30, 1998
New Bay Times

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