Family Time: ‘WALL-E’ a great family film
Family Screening Room
Length: 103 minutes
Synopsis: After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL-E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet's future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL-E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets into motion an exciting and imaginative comedy. Joining WALL-E on his fantastic journey across the universe is a hilarious cast of characters including a pet cockroach and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.
Violence/gore rating: 2
Sexual-content rating: 1
Profanity rating: 1
Scary/tense-moments rating: 2
Drugs/alcohol rating: 1
Family Time rating: 1.5. “WALL-E” is another great summer movie for the whole family. The only thing keeping all the scores from being a 1 is that there is some action. But if your kids have watched any cartoons on TV, it won’t be anything new.
(Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
“No Talking,” by Andrew Clements
Ages: 9 to 12
The fifth-grade girls and the fifth-grade boys at Laketon Elementary don't get along very well. But the real problem is that these kids are loud and disorderly. That's why the principal uses her red plastic bullhorn. A lot. Then one day Dave Packer, a certified loudmouth, bumps into an idea -- a big one that makes him try to keep quiet for a whole day. But what does Dave hear during lunch? A girl, Lynsey Burgess, jabbering away. So Dave breaks his silence and lobs an insult. And those words spark a contest: Which team can say the fewest words during two whole days? And it's the boys against the girls. This funny and surprising book is about language and thought, about words unspoken, words spoken in anger and especially about the power of words spoken in kindness. It's Andrew Clements at his best -- thought-provoking, true-to-life and very entertaining.
Kids Kitchen: Asparagus and Potato Tart
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 pound asparagus spears, woody ends removed
8 ounces filo dough
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 large eggs
1 (8-ounce) container half and half
Pinch fresh nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put your potatoes into a pan of salted cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. At the same time, blanch the asparagus in a separate pan of salted boiling water for 4 minutes, and drain in a colander. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lay one sheet of filo pastry in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, brush with melted butter and allow about a 1-inch hang over the edge. Repeat until 5 layers thick. Put a clean, damp kitchen towel over the top and put aside.
Drain the cooked potatoes, mash them and add the grated cheese. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs and half and half and stir into your cheesy mashed potato. Add the grated nutmeg, season well with salt and pepper and mix together. Spread the mashed potato over the filo pastry, then bring up the sides of the filo and scrunch them together to form a rim. Take your blanched asparagus and line them up across the filling, making sure you cover it all. Brush all over with the remaining melted butter and bake in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serves 6. (www.letsallcook.com)
Play Inside: “Origin of Expressions”
Ages: 12 and older
If you enjoy word games and bluffing, you will enjoy “Origin of Expressions.” This game contains 300 expression cards, four pencils, a timer, score pad and four writing pads. Players have two minutes to read their card and write down the origin of the expression being played. You may write down the origin shared on the card, or make up one that seems like something your fellow playmates will believe. When the timer runs out, all sheets are turned in to one player who will read the expressions and the versions of the origin. Players will receive points for choosing the correct origin of the word and also by making up an origin that others choose as correct. This game ends up being very hilarious as you hear what your fellow players have come up with on some of these words. Sad but true, many times the made-up versions seem more plausible than the correct versions. This is a fast-moving and fun game for the whole family to enjoy. (www.familyreview.org)
Tip of the Week: Ideas to keep the kids entertained this summer
- Take a hometown vacation. Go to a local museum, for example. Check your newspaper’s entertainment listings.
- Pick some produce.
- Start a reading club.
- Record some memories. Arm the kids with a video camera to make family movies, or take pictures and create an online scrapbook that you can share with friends and family.
- Go around the world. Take a trip around the world without leaving your own home. Pick a different country or culture each week. Read books and create maps of the area. Wrap up your week of study by creating and enjoying a traditional meal from the region.
- Have fun! Don't over-schedule your summer. (ARA)
Pet Tip: Pet paradise
Don’t know what to do with your pet while you’re away on vacation? A new trend is pet hotels. Instead of having just a cage and a yard, these pampered pets get a private suite – essentially the pets receive the same amenities as those available to humans: treats, pool, etc. There also are Web cams so you can keep an eye on your pet. Some of the pet hotels open now or opening soon:
- Paradise 4 Paws, Chicago
- Pet Paradise Resorts, New Orleans, Houston, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Airpet Hotel, Portland, Ore., and Seattle
- Stay Pet Hotel, Portland, Ore.
- The Dog Mahall & Cats 2, Orlando, Fla.
- Now Boarding, Minneapolis-St. Paul
GateHouse News Service