Kidsmomo Podcast #38: “The Boy Who Lived”

December 7th, 2010 by

With the new Deathly Hallows movie finally in theaters, there’s been tons of recent Harry Potter mania around the world. But sadly, no new HP books. [insert wail of despair here]

Luckily, there are other options for devoted Harry fans — and we’ve got them covered in our latest podcast, all about Harry Potter withdrawal. You’ll meet Olive, Percy, Charlie, Sophie, and Josh, plus hear why we’re wild about Harry!

    Download the MP3 (11 MB) 

  • Not just another boy with a wand — aka our mystery book series revealed
  • More magical missions — aka our picks, plus a review from YOU (The Shadows, Percy Jackson, and The Alchemist)
  • Our overwhelming, irresistible, undeniable, extreme, immense, and perhaps excessive love for Harry Potter

Also, don’t forget: next up, we’re celebrating the countdown to 2011 with a special month-long theme dedicated to new beginnings! So check out our New Beginnings booklist. Plus, keep an eye out for a couple KidsmomoMos before the year is done: our review of the new Narnia movie and an interview with the creators of the Joey Fly, Private eye graphic novels!

— Karen and Nancy

A Chance to Imperious Harry Potter?!

December 5th, 2010 by

We’ve read the books. Watched the movies. Listened to the stories on CD. Discussed the series at length. Even visited the theme park! How else can we showcase our love for Harry Potter?

Well, I got myself an early Christmas present…

The LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 video game!

Now, just so you know: I’m a reader, not a player. As in, I’m not a huge video game player. For instance, here is a video of me trying to get LEGO Harry to go up the stairs:

This went on for about three minutes.

When I started up the game, of course I wanted to play as Harry Potter! But… the video game follows the book plot and Harry’s magical powers aren’t exactly fine-tuned in Sorcerer’s Stone, so in the first level I had a lot of fun switching between Hagrid (with his pink umbrella) and Harry.

In video games, they have mini-movie scenes called “cut scenes” which move along the plot — in this case, the plot of Harry Potter! Look how cute baby Harry is:

And yes, that’s from a cut scene where (LEGO) Hagrid and Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall deliver Harry to the Dursleys!

I haven’t had a chance to play through the entire game, but I’m pretty excited to get to know Diagon Alley and Hogwarts brick by LEGO brick. And when I’m done, I’ll just add it to to my Harry Potter shrine…

— Nancy

Nancy’s Harry Potter collection is pretty modest, but that’s because she’s trying to hide the crazy.

Meet Nancy »

Harry Potter Mania Continues!

November 27th, 2010 by

Well, it’s been a week since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 blessed the big screen, and surely there’s been plenty of Thanksgiving family time, food comas, and football to keep everyone busy since then. And yet… Harry Potter mania continues!

The Internet is still abuzz with news and commentary related to the movie and the books. Check out some recent reports since the movie’s release:

Photo from NYDailyNews

Looks like there’s a new train line that goes straight from Manhattan to Hogwarts! At least, that seems to be the wish of some HP fans in New York, who added a “9 3/4” sticker to a subway sign, as reported by New York Daily News. (Funnily enough, I actually got out at this subway stop when I went to see the movie!)

Photo from Cake Wrecks blog

Some wizards in the kitchen have combined two of my very favorite things in the world: Harry Potter and baked goods! Check out this round-up of amazing HP-themed cakes over at the Cake Wrecks blog. (Nancy, now you know where to order my next birthday cake.)

Photo from Moviefone's blog

Merlin’s pants! I can’t believe the pain some super dedicated fans go through to wear their HP devotion on their sleeves. Get it? They wear it on their sleeves because these are Harry Potter tattoos! Ha ha ha ha! I’m hilarious. Anyway… check out this photo gallery at Moviefone’s blog.
And some Harry Potter fans are hoping to make a permanent mark not on their skin, but on the world. Founded in 2005, the Harry Potter Alliance is a not-for-profit organization that supports human rights related and other causes that Dumbledore and the Order would be proud of. As they say on their website, the HPA “fights the Dark Arts in the real world.” (Don’t you just love that? It makes me shiver a little.)

With the release of the new Harry Potter movie, the HPA is now taking on their biggest fight yet: the Deathly Hallows Campaign. In the nine months between now and the release of the final HP film, the HPA is asking Harryheads around the world to join them in their fight against seven real-life horcruxes (to be revealed in monthly announcements). The first one is the “Starvation Wages Horcrux,” which the HPA is fighting by sending around a petition and asking Harry fans to sign — and get their friends to sign too.

Check out this video about the HPA’s Deathly Hallows Campaign (including a reenactment of the Battle of Hogwarts!):

And there you have it: a round-up of continued Pottermania even as the movie release date becomes history. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m almost done listening to the audiobook of Deathly Hallows for the third time.

— Karen

Karen is sad she missed the wizarding duel in New York the night of the movie release. Luckily, she has nine months to get ready for the final film in July. Homemade Hufflepuff costume, anyone?

More about Karen »

Deathly Hallows Part 1 Movie Review

November 24th, 2010 by

Raise a glass of Butterbeer, because Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 has finally hit theaters! And it made a whopping $125 million over opening weekend (we assume the money was quickly converted to Galleons and is now being stored safely at Gringotts).

Did the film deserve to make that much? Did it live up to the hype? And most importantly, did it live up to the book? Watch our video review to find out!

(PS – If you’re on the go — say, scouring the countryside for little pieces of Voldemort’s soul — don’t worry, you can still listen to our review. Just download the audio.)

Have you seen the movie? Leave a comment with YOUR review! We’d love to hear your responses to the seven questions we answered in our review:

  1. So… what did you think of the movie overall?
  2. What was your favorite part of the movie?
  3. Was there anything you didn’t like about the movie?
  4. Which scene were you most excited to see? (And did it live up to your expectations?)
  5. Is there anything in the movie that’s not in the book that you really enjoyed — or disliked?
  6. Will people who haven’t read the book enjoy this movie?
  7. How are you going to stay sane until Part 2 comes out?

Book Trailer: Charlie Bone (Children of the Red King)

November 17th, 2010 by

This book trailer for the Charlie Bone books was originally the Mystery Book Theater video for our Harry Potter Withdrawal theme. For more on Charlie Bone, check out our “The Boy Who Lived” podcast.

Imagine a British boarding school for kids with magical powers. Sound familiar? Well, we’re NOT talking about the Harry Potter series! These kids don’t need wands and spells; they’ve all got their own special gifts — from moving things with their minds to shape shifting. And our hero, well, he’s got an interesting way of traveling… Find out more in our video for Jenny Nimmo’s Charlie Bone books (aka the Children of the Red King series).

Harry Potter Mania: The Next 7 Days

November 11th, 2010 by

As you might have noticed from our theme announcement earlier this week, Karen and I are gaga over all things Harry Potter — so much so that we’re devoting an entire month to it! And so has the rest of the world.


So here are some suggestions on how YOU can celebrate the awesome, magical, magnificent wonder of Harry Potter(ness):

Thursday, November 11 to Sunday, November 14:
The ABC Family channel will be playing the previous Harry Potter movies and airing two exclusive clips from Harry Potter 7 Part 1. The first clip will debut during Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on November 11 (that’s tonight!). The second clip will debut on November 12 during Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The two scenes will then air throughout the rest of the weekend. (But if you can’t be glued to your TV, you can always wait for the clips to show up online. 😉 I sense some upcoming book-to-movie comparisons and dissection of the clips….)

Saturday, November 13 to Sunday, November 14:
The Quidditch World Cup in New York City! Now an equal-opportunity sport available to Muggles like ourselves.

Monday, November 15 (4 days left):
Prepare for the upcoming premiere by heading to the store Hot Topic, where they’ll carry HP-themed items. Or, make your own costume (here are my tips for Luna Lovegood).

Tuesday, November 16 (3 days left):
Construct a fort of your Harry Potter books and other Harry-Potter-like series. Hide inside fort and literally surround yourself with Harry Potter.

Wednesday, November 17 (2 days left):
Quick, take down that fort! What were you thinking, making a fort?! You need to re-read the series! It’s only about 4,224 pages, no big deal.

Thursday, November 18 (1 days left):
Start the day with 10 jumping jacks, a balanced breakfast, and a big smile. Try to subtly incorporate as much Harry Potter into your day-to-day life as possible. For instance:

Teacher: [Your Name], what is the answer to math question 6?
You: Psh, that’s easy. As my personal hero, Hermione Granger would say, 310.

Mom: Honey, could you set the table, please?
You: Sure, Mom! Ha ha, can you imagine if we were the Weasleys? There’d be an awful lot more dishes!

Your Friend: Hey, what are your plans for tonight?
[crickets chirp, awkward silence…]

(Maybe this last one wasn’t so subtle.)

12 AM Midnight, Friday, November 19:
Make sure your eyes don’t blink for the next 150 minutes.

— Nancy

Nancy is pretty bummed that she and Karen won’t be watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 together. Despite putting it on their calendars literally one year ago, it just wasn’t meant to be. Like Neville and Luna. Give it up, Neville + Luna shippers.

More about Nancy »

Beyond Hogwarts: Other Books for Harry Potter Fans

November 9th, 2010 by

With Deathly Hallows: Part 1 coming out this month, you’d better believe it’s time for some serious Pottermania! But as much as the new movie makes us want to dress up in robes and draw lightning bolts on our foreheads and party with other Harryheads, the upcoming release of the film is also kind of sad… because it’s the beginning of the end of an era, and a reminder that there are no more Harry Potter books for us to enjoy.


But never fear! Kidsmomo has conjured up a list of other books for Harry Potter fans. Because Diagon Alley may be closed for business, but there are still more worlds to explore…

Fantasy Series for Harry Fans:

  1. The Books of Elsewhere (Book 1: The Shadows) by Jacqueline West (Karen’s pick)
  2. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan (Nancy’s pick)
  3. The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott
  4. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
  5. Ranger’s Apprentice by John Flanagan
  6. Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
  7. Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
  8. Septimus Heap by Angie Sage
  9. Molly Moon by Georgia Byng
  10. Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist by R.L. LaFevers

More Boarding School Adventures:

  1. Malory Towers series by Enid Blyton
  2. Boy by Roald Dahl
  3. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
  4. Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson

(And here’s a printable version of our “Beyond Hogwarts” booklist, for you to take to the library or bookstore — or to send to Flourish and Botts as an order form.)

If you’ve read any of these, send in your book review. Or send in a review of a book or series that you would recommend to a Harry Potter fan.

UPDATE 12/7/10: We revealed the answer to our Harry Potter Withdrawal Mystery Book Theater in our “The Boy Who Lived” Podcast, so take a listen if you want to know the answer. Or just tune in if you want to hear Karen and Nancy gush over the Harry Potter series. We really could go on and on and on… and on.

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