Tag Archives: okay

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles tells the story of a man who lives on a coast far from anyone else. His mission is to find and fetch bottles from the ocean that contain messages and deliver them. One day he gets a bottle but he can’t figure out who it’s for. The hero’s journey is to figure out who it’s for.

The strength of this simple story is it’s muted illustrations which capture the wistful story.

Because the tone is melancholy and there isn’t much exposition about why the hero’s life is so sad, I’m not sure many children would enjoy it, but it’s a quick read with nice illustrations.

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Posted by on March 13, 2021 in Children's Lit


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The Complete Big Nate #4

Nate Great 4

I have fallen behind in my Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge so I was looking for a quick read. When I worked at the small library in my district we helped with youth and adult books and I saw that Nate the Great books were popular. I thought I’d get one to see what the fuss was about.

I accidentally got the The Complete Big Nate #4 ebook and it turned out to be 370 pages. Even though it’s a comic book, 370 pages were more than I bargained for. I did make it through.

Nate is a mischievous boy, who reminded me of Dennis the Menace, and the books show him aggravating his older sister, exasperating his teachers, and annoying the object of his affections, Jenny. Nate’s cute and rambunctious. Yet, I soon tired of the episodes and thought some of the jokes were aimed more at middle aged men, than younger audiences. I see the prime audience as boys in 3rd – 5th grades so the jokes about the divorced dad going to his high school reunion or putting on weight didn’t seem like they’d make kids laugh.

The drawings were cute and Nate and his friends were likable, while not unique. I feel if you read one Nate the Great, by Lincoln Peirce you’ve read them all.

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Posted by on May 6, 2020 in Children's Lit, fiction


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Don’t Make Me Think

don't make me think
To me, Steven Krug offers the feng shui of web design. When a site, ugly and inconvenient, ignores or rejects the principles in Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think, one’s qi or sense of calm vanishes. Not only sites with garish pages possibly designed 10 or more years ago offer bad feng shui, but the sites that are just a little inconsistent or whose designers wanted to flout conventions and come up with their own cutting edge placement for search boxes and buttons, make users perceive that several small things are amiss. Soon people move on to a competitor is that’s an option or get frustrated and put off their task till they feel more patient (as I had to several times with

Written for reading in one or two short sittings, Krug’s book offers designers, professional and non, clear advice on how to design a site that people can use without frustration or confusion. The book has a breezy, sometimes humorous tone, making learning easy. Krug practices what he preaches as the illustrations and layout enhance rather than distract.

I have read this book and others before. Rereading didn’t hurt because I could use a  reminder of principles such as:

  • Take advantage of conventions,
  • Break pages into clearly,
  • Create effective hierarchies,
  • Format to support scanning,
  • Innovate when you know (for certain) you’ve got a better idea,
  • Name every page, and more.

While many of these principles seem obvious, we know that they aren’t widely followed. Some ideas Krug offers, e.g. people don’t care how many clicks it takes to get somewhere as long as they don’t feel lost, may not be obvious though they are true and should be heeded.

Just as writers benefit by keeping Elements of Style close at hand while working on an important project, web designers ought to have Don’t Make Me Think near to remind them of best practices.

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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Library and Information Science, non-fiction


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