Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Science-meets-symphony in ‘Northern Lights’ ]]> Lead story image

Summer in Chicago is an odd time to see the northern lights. We’re thousands of miles from the frigid northern lands where those dazzling, color-filled displays, also known as the aurora borealis, periodically light up the skies. This weekend the Grant Park Music Festival brings images of the northern lights to the warmth of a late summer night in Chicago. On Friday and Saturday the Grant Park Orchestra will give the world premiere of “The Legend of the Northern Lights,” a piece by composer Christopher Theofanidis for narrator, orchestra and accompanying video. Carlos Kalmar, the festival’s artistic director and principal … ]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 06:17:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: Dance tales have twists and turns ]]> Lead story image

Many years ago, I had, like so many little girls, a dream of being a ballerina. Needless to say, I didn’t have the body type, or, of course, the talent to achieve this goal. I have always loved to watch the grace and beauty that ballet brings to a stage, though. In “Frances Dean Who Loved To Dance And Dance,” by Birgitta Sif, Frances loves to dance. She dances all the time. When we see her in school, she is dancing with her fingers on the desk and wistfully looking out the window. Outside, she dances. On the park bench. … ]]> Sat, 20 Sep 2014 23:02:00 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: A lot about little ]]> Lead story image

Let’s look at some little things and at some things for little ones. I have trouble understanding that there are plants and animals that I can’t even see. Nicola Davies tells us about “Tiny Creatures — ­The World Of Microbes.” She begins by telling us that there are creatures so tiny that millions could fit on the antenna of an ant. The antenna would have to grow as big as a whale for us to see them. Now, really? Yes, I know, but I just wonder. Actually, they are not even plants or animals but a separate thing called microbes. … ]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 02:08:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: These tales are on the go, and in the know ]]> Lead story image

What would we do without modern transportation? Kay Winters gives us a look at how it used to be in “Voices from the Oregon Trail.” I had the pleasure of “finding” the western end, as well as living in Kansas. I truly marvel at how they did it. We join a group of pioneers, each one introduced and telling his or her own tale of the trip. Beginning with the son of the wagon train captain, we go on to meet a wife and mother who is reluctantly leaving her dead child. It is so hard to realize that they … ]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 02:08:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: Page after page of animal antics ]]> Lead story image

I love word plays. “Animal House,” by Candace Ryan, is chock full of them. We meet Jeremy in school, who tells his teacher, Mrs. Nuddles, that he lives in a gorvilla. Mrs. Nuddles doesn’t buy any of his stories. Not the one about the snailbox eating the class plant or the one about the shrewler gnawing on his Statue of Liberty project. She declares that it is time for a home visit. She can’t miss his house, as it is the biggest condoor on the block. We watch as Mrs. Nuddles is astounded at all of the weird animal creations … ]]> Sun, 31 Aug 2014 02:07:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: ]]> Lead story image

I have never done this before. If fact, I have been very careful not to, but this time, I just couldn’t resist. A third-grade teacher introduced me to one of the funniest read-a-louds for that age group many years ago. Bill Brittain’s “All The Money In The World” unfortunately is no longer in print. I investigated and it is available used (cheap, too!) at both Amazon and AbeBooks. In this delightful story, Quentin Stowe is an ordinary boy who likes to fish and bike and play with his friends. One day, he catches a leprechaun by mistake. This leprechaun, Flan, … ]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:09:07 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: These books present the facts of life ]]> Lead story image

Let’s face it: For us old-timers, sex education was often a difficult subject to discuss with our kids. Books help. I gave my son a book after our “talk” and he took it to school. It came back wrapped in plain brown paper with a note from the teacher. I wonder what would happen now. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley, is a classic. Specifically written for kids age 10 and up, the 20th anniversary edition is out, subtitled “Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health.” This uses a kooky bird and bee to help … ]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 06:14:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: Open up these clothes books ]]> Lead story image

How did pink become the color associated with girls, and blue the color associated with boys? I remember before a baby’s gender was known before birth that we had to be so neutral in buying for baby showers, but I have no idea where these customs come from. In “Puzzled by Pink,” by Sarah Frances Hardy, we meet sisters Rose and Izzy. Rose is into all things pink. Her birthday party is coming and she is doing it all in pink. Izzy, on the other hand, doesn’t share this love of pink and is not happy when Rose says that … ]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 06:33:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ All you need is love of the Beatles ]]> Lead story image

It started out small, but an annual salute to the Beatles in downtown Hammond has bounced to lofty heights with its British beat. Now in its ninth year, Beatles Fest draws large crowds after being born as a quaint indoor gathering in Northwest Indiana that attracted about 75 people. Organizer John Vezmar says last summer’s edition of the live-music blowout had an attendance of around 2,500. “Every year it just got bigger and bigger and bigger,” said Vezmar, president of The Blue Room Cafe and president of Hammond-based Vezmar Media Group. This year, a hefty slate of bands will roll … ]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 06:16:57 -0500 <![CDATA[ Summer symphony tunes swing from light classical to cinematic melodies ]]> Lead story image

Variety is the spice of life. It also is what drives the musical menu that will be served up by the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra at the South Shore Summer Music Festival. “My philosophy has been do what people have loved in the past and what people react to really strongly,” said Kirk Muspratt, conductor and music director of the orchestra. “It seems that over the many years, the people seem to love the mix that I’ve come up with — light classical, something that’s maybe Broadway or musicals. This year I’m going to do cowboy tunes.” In regard to … ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 06:23:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: Real books for a really wonderful world ]]> Lead story image

Let’s look at some nonfiction. I acknowledge that I tend to favor fiction, as I love a good story. But we need nonfiction to tell us about the wonderful world we live in. I have never been much for bugs and other crawly things but I was fascinated by “Behold The Beautiful Dung Beetle,” by Cheryl Bardoe. Somehow, the idea of living in and around dung (a polite term for poop or feces) does not appeal. These magical creatures use it not only as food but as incubators for their young. They come in two genres: rollers and tunnelers. The … ]]> Thu, 04 Sep 2014 06:46:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ Interesting books for kids ]]> Lead story image

Let’s look at some machines that we either use or depend on every day to move us and our stuff from place to place. Think about what it would be like to have to go back to humans and horses to travel. Mike Lemanski brings us a really neat look at “Planes, Trains. And Automobiles.” This oversized book is one giant fold out that can stand on its own. On the inside front cover, we look at “Humans and Transportation”with a simple timeline. Then we see all the kinds of transport that have evolved over the years. Each mode is … ]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 06:54:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hand: Have to hand it to the Hueys ]]> Lead story image

I have fallen in love with the Hueys. What can I say? These funny little egg-shaped creatures tell great tales. In “It Wasn’t Me,” by Oliver Jeffers, we learn that the Hueys usually get along. At least most of the time. Just like other groups, sometimes they don’t. One of these times, Gillespie comes across a little argument. When he asks about it, all of the “combatants” deny responsibility. We’ve all heard the “Not me” and “He started it” excuses. This goes on for quite a while as Gillespie watches and tries to make sense of it. Then he stops … ]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 06:47:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ A ‘Midsummer’ treat from Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks ]]> Lead story image

Chicago Shakespeare Theatre created Shakespeare in the Park to bring admission-free, family-friendly productions of the Bard’s plays to parks throughout the city. ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:04:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dan + Shay riding a tidal wave of success, but staying true to their music ]]> Lead story image

Dan Smyers of Dan + Shay is a real smart guy. A boy from Pennsylvania that was always good at math, Smyers attended Carnegie Mellon University as a finance major. He worked hard to graduate in three years so he could get back to his teetering career in Christian music. Today he seems to still know as much about numbers and branding as he does about singing and songwriting. It’s only natural to think he was the one who came up with the “plus sign” in the band’s moniker. “It was definitely a collaborative effort,” laughs Smyers, of the symbol … ]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 21:03:55 -0500 <![CDATA[ ‘Rock the House’ fundraiser for Valpo Memorial Opera House set for July 13 ]]> Lead story image

“The challenges of running a 120-year-old building are many, both fiscally and creatively,” said Scot PJ MacDonald, artistic director for Valparaiso’s historical Memorial Opera House. Built by the Grand Army of the Republic in 1893 as a commemoration to Civil War veterans, the Opera House served as a concert hall and Vaudeville stage in its early days. Familiar names were seen there, such as the Marx Brothers, John Philip Sousa and his band, Valparaiso native and Hollywood actress Beulah Bondi, and even Teddy Roosevelt on his vice presidential campaign trail. Later, Valparaiso’s Community Theatre Guild “acted as stewards of MOH … ]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 17:04:05 -0500