孤狗黃金屋

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A lot of people from abroad have been searching for the news and articles about the Paolo Porpora painting called Flowers, accidentally damaged by a 12 year old boy a few days ago. People from Europe, the USA and even South America (Argentina, Brazil etc) have searched news about this incident. So I guess that the news is out all over the world. Hence, I decided to write one to tell them what Mark, a Taiwanese illustrator, said about the curator of "The Face of Leonardo, Images of a Genius" exhibition Andrea Rossi, in case they didn’t use Google Translate to read Mark’s blog post.

When the accident happened, Andrea Rossi didn't blame the boy for hitting the painting. Instead, he joking told the boy that he was the only Taiwanese person who touched this painting. If the exhibition organiser was only Taiwanese, would the little boy be completely forgiven? What touched my heart is that Andrea Rossi didn't want the media to write about this accident. He was worried that once it became world news, it would be difficult for any museum to consider lending artwork in Taiwan. I was speechless at Andrea Rossi's generosity and forgiveness.

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This month, our theme for story telling is Greece. I did some google research and found two books: I Wonder Why Greeks Built Temples: and Other Questions about Ancient Greece and You Wouldn't Want to Be a Greek Athlete!: Races You'd Rather Not Run. Both books are quite similar - they talk about ancient Greek's life, history, geography, art, sport, etc. The first book covers more topics, so I shared it with children.

這個月英語說故事的主題是希臘。我找了兩本跟古希臘文明相關的書,一本叫「我好奇希臘人為何要蓋神廟」,另一本則是「你不會想要當希臘運動選手」。這兩本書性質頗為類似,都是介紹古希臘生活、歷史、地理、藝術、體育等等。不過第一本涵蓋的層面更廣,所以我就決定跟小朋友們分享這一本。

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Last month we talked about the UK to kids in the library, and we also shared a few picture books written by British writers. One of the books I shared is called Pop-up London. This book is amazing, and I love it!

5月初的時候,我跟志工搭檔們再度介紹英國給圖書館小朋友認識。事實上去年我就介紹過英國了,只是這個國家是英語主要發源地,充滿歷史、文化及傳統,再怎樣也介紹不完。我這回要分享的就是一本超棒的立體書,專門介紹英國首都倫敦! 看完這本書之後,我整個人愛上這本書,超想擁有的啦!

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Arata Yumi 弓新2015 小提琴協奏曲之夜  

On 14 march, originally, I was expecting to hear Midori Goto playing the violin. However, when we arrived at CKS Memorial Hall, we learned that Midori Goto had to stay in the USA due to her health. In the beginning, I was sort of disappointed to learn that Midori Goto wasn't going to perform in Taiwan this year, but we still wanted to attend the concert. The violinist who substituted Midori Goto was a young violin player called aged Arata Yumi. He's only 22 years old, and he's a winner of several competitions such as Henryk Wieniawski International Young Violinist Competition in Lublin (2006), 1st Guadagnini Competition in Tokyo (2011), etc. 

今年3月的時候,我本來滿心期待要來聽著名的日本小提琴家宓多里演奏西貝流士:D小調小提琴協奏曲。不過,當我抵達中正紀念堂時,赫然發現當日宓多里因身體不適而無法來台演出。天哪~ 還挺令我錯愕的。主辦單位已盡最大能力向聽眾致歉,但是還是有些聽眾跑去退票了。既然人都到了,何不聆賞呢? 代打的是日本新秀小提琴家弓新。這算是意外的收穫吧。弓新很年輕,1992年出生的他,現年也才22歲 (足歲; 生日不明)。弓新曾囊括多項大獎,同時也是維尼奧夫斯基小提琴比賽有史以來最年輕得獎者。好吧,就讓我們來拭目以待吧!

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As some of you might know, the theme of 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition is New Zealand. Although the exhibition was held last month, I'm going to tell you which story book I shared with kids in the library.

今年的國際書展主題是紐西蘭。為了讓小朋友多加認識紐西蘭,圖書館也請我們這些志工今年再度分享紐西蘭童書。事實上我們去年就介紹過紐西蘭及紐國相關書籍,不過這次為了響應書展,再介紹一次也OK啦! 話說回來,紐西蘭童書相較於英美兩國童書,其實也挺難找的...

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Last month I spent some time looking for stories about Israel, as we had to introduce stories related to Israel to kids in the library. It was harder than I imagined, as there were few books about Israel in Taipei Public Library. At the end I finally found one: The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street. The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street is written by Ann Redisch Stampler, who is an American writer. Some of her picture books won National Jewish Book Awards, like: The Rooster Prince of Breslov, The Wooden Sword, Go Home, Mrs. Beekman! etc. Fortunately, this story - The Cats on Ben Yehuda Street - is very cute and I'm glad to have the chance to tell kids about it.

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Last Saturday, I went to a concert by a chorus called Formosa Singers. In the first half, they sang work written by British composers. The piano accompanist was on the stage, too, but she didn't play anything until the last two pieces, which were written by John Rutter. The director said that many British songs were written during the Golden Age. Since most British composers were traditional, no one could change their style. (I couldn't remember what the director exactly said.) The songs I heard in the first half were all about God, Jesus, the Virgin Mary. The only exception is that they included John Rutter's music, and the director said that it wasn't until the 20th century, British music had a change. I heard 2 songs from "Birthday Madrigals": "It was a Lover and his Lass" and "Come Live With Me and Be My Love".

上週六我去聽福爾摩沙合唱團的「英倫情懷」音樂會。原本我只期待上半場的英國傳統歌曲,沒想到其實下半場更精彩。(不知道是否跟low expectation有關?) 前半段的節目,幾乎是清唱。即使有鋼琴家坐在一旁,頂多就是彈一兩個音起個奏,合唱團團員就開始唱。過程中,幾乎每首演奏完畢,指揮就會稍微向聽眾敘述一下英國歌曲的背景,有助於我們了解其淵源。指揮說,其實這些英國作品大多數是在英國的黃金時期所譜成的。而英國作曲家多數都很傳統,即使有韓德爾等大作曲家想改變他們的風格,他們依舊維持傳統 (果然很英國...)。我聽完上半場,最喜歡的莫過於John Rutter所寫的兩首曲子。這兩首帶有濃厚爵士樂,相當輕快,有別詩歌風格的曲目。

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Last December, one of the volunteers shared two interesting books with children in the library where we served. One of the books is called Walk This World, which is a pop-up book, and the other one is called If You Lived Here: Houses of the World. Both books are educational and entertaining. Luckily, the children who attended this session were aged 8-10, so most of them recognised the cities and were able to tell us where those cities were. We went through New York (the USA), Pisa (Italy), the Middle East (we saw a mosque), Moscow (Russia), Paris (France), Sydney (Australia), London (the United Kingdom), etc.

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Last month, all of the English story telling volunteers had to tell kids about the USA. I thought that it would be easy to find books written by American writers. However, it took me about three hours to find two books which I liked a lot. One of the books, which is the book I want to talk about today, is called One written by a Japanese-American writer called Kathryn Otoshi.

這個月初我們的英語說故事活動主題跟美國有關。既然是月初的活動,我當然月前就得找故事書啦! 本來以為美國的圖書,那還不好找? 就沒特別擔心,沒想到當我一直在亞馬遜網站搜尋英語童書時,才發現其實要找到一本自己喜歡的英文童書還真的不是很容易。我竟然花了3個小時才找到兩本我覺得還OK的英語童書,其中一本就是我今天要介紹的One。這本書的作者是日裔美籍作家。不知道她是第幾代日本人,名字早已經是英文名字了。

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Last month I shared a story about Indonesia. In case you are not familiar with Indonesia, there are over 10,000 islands in this country, and what's more, there are Komodo dragons - large species of lizard. They can be as long as 2.5 meters, some "growing to a maximum length of 3 metres", according to wikipedia. From a video clip on youtube, Komodo dragons seem quite ferocious.

上個月我分享了一個印尼峇里島傳統故事。印尼雖然離台灣不遠,但是國人似乎對這個國家不是很了解。簡單來說,印尼是擁有全世界最多島嶼的國家 - 超過一萬座島嶼,很驚人的數字。(不過這也說明為何這國家基礎建設困境重重...) 除了島嶼重多,自然景觀跟物種也相當豐富,其中最有名的莫過於兇猛的柯摩多龍。為何叫柯摩多龍呢? 因為牠們體積龐大,通常長約2.5公尺,有的最多還長達3.1公尺,柯摩多龍不僅可以在陸地上爬行,也可在海水裡面潛水。之前我還在優吐看過一則柯摩多龍的短片,配樂用的是普契尼的公主徹夜未眠,在最激昂處,影像呈現的是柯摩多龍撕咬一隻鱷魚的血腥畫面,可怕指數叫我實在看不下去。

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