Family Time: Let ‘Strangers’ remain a stranger
Family Screening Room
Rated: R (for violence/terror and language)
Length: 107 minutes
Synopsis: It was supposed to be a night of celebration for Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) and James Hoyt (Scott Speedman). But after leaving a friend's wedding reception and returning to the house, everything had collapsed for the happy couple. Then came a 4 a.m. knock on the door and three dangerous masked strangers enter their lives. The resulting clashes force the couple to go well beyond what they thought themselves capable of in order to survive.
Violence/gore rating: 5
Sexual-content rating: 3
Profanity rating: 4
Scary/tense-moments rating: 5
Drugs/alcohol rating: 4
Family Time rating: 5. “The Strangers” is definitely not a movie for kids. It fits the horror movie stereotype in that it’s maybe OK for older teens, but it could be a terrifying and graphic experience.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“Elijah Of Buxton,” by Christopher Paul Curtis
Ages: 9 to 12
After his mother rebukes him for screaming that hoop snakes have invaded Buxton, gullible 11-year-old Elijah confesses to readers that "there ain't nothing in the world she wants more than for me to quit being so doggone fra-gile." Inexperienced and prone to mistakes, yet kind, courageous and understanding, Elijah has the distinction of being the first child born in the Buxton Settlement, which was founded in Ontario in 1849 as a haven for former slaves. Narrator Elijah tells an episodic story that builds a broad picture of Buxton's residents before plunging into the dramatic events that take him out of Buxton and, quite possibly, out of his depth. In the author's note, Curtis relates the difficulty of tackling the subject of slavery realistically through a child's first-person perspective. Here, readers learn about conditions in slavery at a distance, though the horrors become increasingly apparent. A fine, original novel from a gifted storyteller. (Amazon.com)
Tip of the Week: Protect kids' eyes
- Wear protective eyewear. Do not substitute ordinary glasses for appropriate protection. Sports-protective eyewear is specifically tested to meet rigid impact standards.
- Know your eye-safety options. If you are not sure what protection works best, visit your eye doctor to see what is available.
- Add eye protection to other protective gear. If you are playing a sport that requires a helmet, consider wearing a helmet with full face protection.
- Take out contacts before getting in the water. Certain organisms present in the water can attach to contact lenses and can cause eye infections.
- Protect your eyes from the sun. To prevent eyes from being overexposed to UV rays, give your eyes a break by wearing sunglasses when you can. (ARA)
Kids Kitchen: Pineapple Pops
2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple (packed in its own juice instead of packed in syrup)
1 can frozen pineapple or orange-pineapple juice concentrate, thawed
Drain the can of crushed pineapple so all the juice runs out. Put all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl and mix them together. Spoon the mixture into the paper cups. Fill them almost to the top. Stretch a small piece of plastic wrap across the top of each cup. Using the popsicle stick, poke a hole in the plastic wrap. Stand the stick straight up in the center of the cup. Put the cups in the freezer until the mixture is frozen solid. Remove the plastic wrap and peel away the paper cup. Serves: 6. (Recipe from www.kidshealth.org)
Play Inside: “Word Sweep”
Ages: 10 and older
“Word Sweep” is the award-winning game where players try to identify three consecutive words from a Merriam-Webster dictionary. To play, one player reads a card containing the definitions of three words that appear consecutively in a Merriam-Webster dictionary. Another player tries to guess all three words to make a word sweep. If the word sweep isn't solved completely, opponents can steal the remaining words. Correct guesses advance players around the board to win. The game features more than 2,300 definitions in three difficulty levels. It is for two to four players or teams. The game includes junior rules, so it's perfect for either family or adult-only play.
Pet Tip: Help your dog survive fireworks
- Keep your dog indoors in a confined and secure area to help him feel safe and secure.
- Put a favorite toy or blanket with your dog for added reassurance.
- Calming products -- such as Comfort Zone, which releases a comforting pheromone -- can soothe dogs having trouble coping with stress.
- Keep the shades closed and turn on the TV or radio to drown out unfamiliar noise.
At the show:
- Keep your dog on a leash or in an animal carrier at all times.
- Do not leave your dog in the car -- they heat up quickly and can cause health problems or even death.
- Make sure your dog is wearing current identification.
- Make sure to bring some treats and water (as well as a bowl for the water).
- Know your dog's temperament. If your dog is not good with crowds, leave him at home. (ARA)
GateHouse News Service