Sand Sculptures – Storyland

08/02/2014 at 4:58 PM (Art, Books, Photography) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I attended the annual sand sculpture exhibition in Frankston this year too which was themed after Penguin book titles for kids.

The sculpture below greeted me at the entrance letting me know I was entering Storyland.


As I walked around, I saw the sculpture below of Postman Pat and his van. Although Postman Pat started as a British animated television series for children, over 12 million books about him have been sold. Postman Pat is about the adventures of the postie as he goes about delivering mail.


Next there was a sculpture of Charlotte’s Web. It is a novel for children written by E.B. Williams and illustrated by Garth Williams. It is a story about a pig called Wilbur and his friendship with an intelligent spider called Charlotte.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

The sculpture below was unfamiliar to me but I thought the design was spectacular. It depicts the Flower Fairies, based on the books and illustrations of Cicely Mary Barker. The children in her illustrations are modeled on students who attended her sister’s kindergarten.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

I was familiar with the below sculpture as I had previously owned a Little Miss Sunshine T-shirt. The sculpture is a tower of Mr. Men and Little Miss characters. All of them have self-descriptive personality traits.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

Below is a sculpture of Where the Wild Things Are which was originally written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. If you’ve not yet read the book or seen the movie, it is about a boy called Max who retreats into a world of imagination after he creates havoc at home and is sent to bed.


The sculpture below is of Ferdinand, the bull. This bull prefers to smell flowers rather than fight. The children’s novel about him was written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

The next sculpture made me feel sentimental because I used to watch Angelina Ballerina cartoons having once been a ballet kid. Angelina Ballerina was created by writer Katherine Holabird and is illustrated by Helen Craig. It is about the adventures of a mouse who dreams about becoming a prima ballerina.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

The interesting sculpture below pays tribute to The Discovery of Dragons which is authored and illustrated by Graeme Base. It is written as a series of tongue-in-cheek letters from “discoverers” of dragon species in the world and features European, Asiatic and Tropical dragons.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

The picture below features several characters you might recognise from the books of Beatrix Potter including Peter Rabbit. He was named after a pet she used to have called Peter Piper.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

The quality of the picture below is not up to par so I apologise. It features the story written and illustrated by Eric Carle, about The Very Hungry Caterpillar who ate his way into becoming a beautiful butterfly.


Next we see homage has been paid to the tales of Pippi Longstocking, the children’s series by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Pippi is a feisty nine-year-old girl with unconventional ideas and superhuman strength who takes her neighbours on adventures.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

The sculpture I came to next brought Narnia to life through the medium of sand.  Here we see a representation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the fantasy novel by C.S. Lewis.


The next exhibit had me puzzled until the display informed me this showed Hairy Maclary. So it turns out New Zealand author Dane Lynley Dodd writes a children’s series about a fictional dog and his exploits against an opponent cat.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

The sculpture below portrays Jumanji. Before the movie, there was a book which was written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. For those not in the know, it is about a magical board game.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

The sculpture below should be easily recognisable to anyone who watched the cartoons about him. It shows Spot the Dog and his friends. The books about Spot were written by Eric Hill.


I loved the next sculpture because it showed a book I loved and adored as a child, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which was written by Roald Dahl. The story was inspired by the writer’s experience of chocolate companies during his schooldays.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

The next sculpture was interesting as it was based on a video-game rather than a book. I guess Angry Birds represents the childhood of the present.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

Fortunately the next sculpture was more in my element as it was based on a fantasy book loved by children and adults, the story of the bespectacled boy wizard, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. The level of detail in the caricature of the characters was amazing.


Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

Harry Potter

Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

Harry Potter

Copyright: Sarasi Peiris

Having seen the exhibitions for Toytopia, Creepy Crawlies and now Storyland, I can’t wait for the upcoming theme for the sand sculptures next April: Friends, Foes and Superheroes.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

07/28/2011 at 1:02 AM (Books, Movies) (, , )

I watched the finale of the Harry Potter film franchise yesterday…finally.  It really cut to the chase, starting with what we saw about Voldemort at the end of Deathly Hallows Part I. Then we see the trio making a deal with Griphook to break into Gringott’s to search the Bellatrix Lestrange vault for horcruxes. It is only when they make their way into Hogwarts through Hogsmeade, the battle we have been waiting for begins. My tear ducts let loose after Harry learnt the truth about Severus Snape and his patronus. The rolling credits were bittersweet – I wish they had not added the coda. To tell the truth, I wish J.K. Rowling had not added it to the book either.

Harry Potter has so many memories: squabbling with my sister about who was to read it first, waiting in line of about 50 people at Big W after a book release, reading the old books and watching the old movies in a row in expectation of the next film and more. Although the Deathly Hallows was split into two parts, the film seemed to skim over the plot, especially the significance of the horcruxes and the backstory made for Dumbledore. The quickness of those 2.5 hours at the cinema astonished me. But it seems to have pleased enough people to garner more box office sales than Twilight on opening day.

Harry Potter Deathly Hallows II movie poster

Nevertheless it had a satisfying conclusion for the eighth and final Harry Potter movie.  Hermione is quite cute when she pretends to be the Dark Lord’s cohort in crime, Bellatrix Lestrange. The Room of Requirement scene with FiendFyre could have done with better explanation. It looks like a potent and destructive fire but its importance is not identified to the audience. So if you have actually read the books, this film will make sense. Otherwise, it will leave you scratching your head and puzzled. When Aberforth bitterly mentions Ariana, you would wonder why unless you knew Dumbledore had dabbled in dark magic himself.  The war was poignant and the changes, which surprised me, were acceptable. But if you are uninitiated to Harry Potter, this will confuse you from start to finish.

Verdict? It’s still an enjoyable movie to watch as long as you have some background and don’t mind the changes. Anyone going to seek comfort from the range of creepy Harry Potter newborn dolls?

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