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Home on the Range

Well, the marketing was very successful. Lila was dying to see Home on the Range, and maybe I was excited, too. It seemed goofy, with intriguing voice talent, and then there was the hoopla about it being the last, hand-drawn Disney animated feature.

            As Grandpa Jack Wilcox might say, it's "harmless flapdoodle." But that's sad for a feature that brings to a close an era that included art as grand as Pinocchio. Fans of the hand-drawn grandeur of that film, or that of Hiyao Miyazaki's contemporary films, will be disappointed. In those films, our eyes get to linger over the spectacular drawing and painting; here, we have the editing pace of MTV. It might as well be CGI.

            At first, Lila said it was great, but didn't have much to add. She said she liked the songs (two sung magnificently by k.d. lang, one by Bonnie Raitt), but pressed to recall any just five minutes after the film ended, she couldn't. And later she opined, "It's cute, but if I owned the video, I wouldn't watch it very often."

            Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Tilly, as the heroine cows, sound like they recorded their "repartée" in separate sessions. And the writing generally falls flat (the film's first joke is a lame one related to breast implants).

            Half an hour in, I finally laughed when Tim McGraw yodeled the "Flight of the Valkyries" and the "Ode to Joy." Wait for the video, rent don't buy, and let the kids watch without you.

--- Lila and Adam Wilcox

This week for families:

Barnes & Noble GreeceStorytimes Every Wed, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., every Fri 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.330 Greece Ridge Center Dr, 227-4020

Barnes & Noble Pittsford stories every Wed 9:30 and 11 a.m., every Fri 7 p.m. | Crafty Day, Tues, Apr 13, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. | 3349 Monroe Ave. 586-6020

BizKids Registration Wed-Thurs, Apr 7-8. Entrepreneurship course for city residents ages 14-18. 428-7371

Brighton Memorial Library StorytimesEvery Mon 10:30 a.m., toddlers; every Mon 11:30 a.m., preschoolers; every Tues 7 p.m., all ages; every Wed 3:30 p.m., ages 5-7; Every Thurs 7 p.m., families; Every Fri 10:30 a.m., ages 2-4. | 2300 Elmwood Ave, 784-5300

Dinosaur Egg Hunt Party Sat, Apr 10. For kids ages 2-10, ChooChoo's Express, 5138 W Ridge Rd, 12-5 p.m. Tix: $8. 352-4422

Early American Folklore Sat, Apr 10. For ages 5-7, Holland Land Office Museum, 131 W Main St, Batavia, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.Tix: $2. 343-4724

Easter Egg Hunt Sat, Apr 10. Webster Kiwanis Club, Webster Recreation Bldg, Ebner Dr, 10 a.m. 233-8534

Easter Egg Hunt Sat, Apr 10. Media Play, 3333 W Henrietta Rd, 9 a.m. 292-5700

HenriettaPublicLibraryAfterschoolstorytime, Thurs, Apr 8, for grades K-3, 4-4:45 p.m. | Model airplane workshop, Mon and Wed, Apr 12 and 14, ages 10 and up, 2-4 p.m. | Sing-along songs, Tues, Apr 13, ages 4 and up, 10:30-11:15 a.m. | 455 Calkins Rd. 359-7093

Make a Fast Friend Wed, Apr 14. Meet former racing greyhounds and their owners, Irondequoit Public Library, 2180 E Ridge Rd, 7 p.m. Free. 336-6060

Month of the Young Child Events Mon-Fri, Apr 12-16: YMCA Splash Week, various locations. 546-5500. | Tues, Apr 13: Chuck's Tuneful Tales, Irondequoit Public Library, 3-4 p.m. | Tues, Apr 13: A Taste for Play, activities for kids, parent info, Marketplace Mall, Hylan Dr, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Free. | Tues, Apr 13: MonroeCounty Legislature Proclamation, 39 W Main St, 6 p.m. Free. | Wed, Apr 14: ToyResourceCenter Open House, Lincoln Branch Library, 851 Joseph Ave, 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Free.

Phillis Wheatley Community Library Storytimes Every Thurs. For preschoolers, 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way, 10:30 a.m. 428-8212

Preschool Family Workshop Thurs, Apr 15. For ages 2 1/2-5, art project, story, tour, Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Tix: $15. 473-7720 ext 3056

SenecaPark Zoo Book and Beast, Wed, Apr 7, 11 a.m. Free with admission. | Family Fun Night, Wed, Apr 7, 6-8 p.m.Tix: $35/family. | ZooCamp, Mon-Fri, Apr 12-16, morning (9 a.m.-12 p.m.) or full-day (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) sessions. Tix: $30-$45 per session. | 2222 St. Paul St.Tix: $5. 467-9453

Strong Museum Spring Break Week, Mon-Fri, Apr 5-9 and 12-16, entertainment, crafts, activities, in conjunction with Berenstein Bears and Where the Wild Things Are exhibits, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. | One Manhattan Square, 263-2700, www.strongmuseum.org.

Information on museum exhibits can be found in the calendar's Museum section.

Homegrown kitchen help

I was banging around the kitchen preparing the family meal, when the thought occurred to me that I no longer had to bear the sole responsibility for our family meal planning and preparation.

            Our two daughters began helping in the kitchen as soon as they were old enough to stand on a chair without falling off. They requested favorite meals, and later, browsed through cookbooks and offered suggestions as we did our weekly meal planning. When they wanted to bake cookies, they needed my help less often, until this past Christmas season, when our 11-year-old made several kinds by herself and even did a passable job on the cleanup.

            Because of their interest and ability in cooking and baking, it seemed reasonable that each could be responsible for planning and preparing one meal per week. I made the suggestion and they happily agreed.

            As we finish up the first month of our new meal prep routine, the kitchen is running smoothly and we all benefit. The girls have another opportunity to see that the work they do is meaningful and important. I have a little more time to do the work that is meaningful to me. Then, on the weekend, when it's Dad's turn in the kitchen, we get a delicious reminder of who is the real gourmet cook in the family.

--- Marjorie SangsterRolleston

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