"The old ones have a little more leaning toward the books," Lila says, "and I like the music better. But this one is funny and fun." It took me half the movie to get over myself and admit that my 8-year-old daughter's right, but she is. If A. A. Milne started to roll over in his grave when Heffalump was released, he took a quick peak, yawned, and went back to resting in peace.
Understand that for me, A. A. Milne sits with Shakespeare, Melville, and Austen in the pantheon. It's hard to entrust him to Disney. And there are problems. First, Milne's Heffalump existed only in the imaginations of his characters. Making it real robs the story of its essential meanings (but American films never trust us to imagine anything).
And why didn't the writers find a way to use Piglet's, "Help, help, a HerribleHoffalump! Hoff, hoff, a HellibleHorrilump! Holl, holl, a HoffableHellerump!"? Oh, well. At least they use a trifle of the mistaken identity theme (Lila's favorite part, when Pooh and Piglet catch Rabbit and Tigger, thinking them to be a Heffalump).
But the movie is relentlessly charming, with a cute, British kid voicing the Heffalump and Brenda Blethyn doing the mother. It's a genuine, G-rated, six-and-under movie --- "a little little-kiddish," as Lila said --- perfect for my younger kids (5 and 2). I liked it, and so did my wife and Lila, but one viewing was certainly enough. And at 68 minutes, it's over right when you hope it will be.
--- Lila and Adam Wilcox
This week for families:
Belly Laugh RevueCool Kids at GCC. Thurs, Feb 17. GCC, One College Road, Batavia, 7 p.m. Free. 585-637-3984, www.generationcool.biz
Biz Kids Camp Tues-Fri, Feb 22-25. Ages 14-18, Tay House, CobbsHillPark, 85 Hillside Ave, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Free. 428-7371
Brighton Memorial Library Stories for pre-K: Mondays 10 a.m.; for toddlers: Mondays 10:30 a.m.; for families: Thursdays 7 p.m. | Through Feb 25: Alice B. Wilson Literary Awards Contest, for Brighton residents grades 6-12. | 2300 Elmwood Ave, 784-5300 Ceramics Class Mon-Fri, Feb 21-25.Ages 5-10.$75.GeneseeWaterwaysCenter, 149 Elmwood Avenue, 10-11:30 a.m. Register. 328-3960. www.geneseewaterways.org
Crafty Day Tues, Feb 22. Barnes & Noble, 3349 Monroe Ave, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 586-6020
Draw & Discover Saturdays through Apr 16. Corning Museum of Glass, 11 a.m., 607-974-3306, www.cmog.org
Fiddlers Three Thurs, Feb 24. Barnes & Noble, 3349 Monroe Ave, 10 a.m. 586-6020
Great American Magic Show Mon, Feb 21. Brighton Library, 2300 Elmwood Ave, 11 a.m. Free. Register. 784-5300
Interrupting VanessaSat-Sun through Feb 20. Big Theatre for Little People, recommended ages 5-12, Geva Theatre, 75 Woodbury Blvd, Sat 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., Sun 1 and 4 p.m. $9-$12. 232-4382, www.gevatheatre.org
Jungle Jog T-Shirt Design Contest through Feb 28. For kids up to 12 years old, theme: black bears. Mail to SenecaPark Zoo, 2222 St Paul St, 336-7213. www.senecaparkzoo.org
Kids' Party Sat, Feb 19. Minett Hall, DomeCenter, 2695 E Henrietta Rd, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $1, kids free. 334-4000, www.domecenter.com
Open House Wed, Feb 16. HillelSchool, 191 Fairfield Dr, 6:30-8 p.m. 271-6877
PJ Storytime with Ann-Marie Fri, Feb 18. Barnes & Noble, 3349 Monroe Ave, 7 p.m. 586-6020
Pie Eating Contest Thurs, Feb 24. Adams St Community Ctr, 85 Adams St, ages 6-14. Register by Feb 22, 428-7266
Ping-Pong Tournament Wed-Thurs, Feb 23-24. Edgerton Community Ctr, 41 Backus St, ages 8-16. Register by Feb 18, 428-6769
Preschool Workshop Thurs, Feb 17. For ages 2.5-5, art project, story, tour, MemorialArtGallery, 500 University Ave, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. $17. 473-7720
Reptile Show with the Reptile Guys Wed, Feb 23. Henrietta Public Library, 455 Calkins Rd, 10:30-11:30 a.m. 359-7092
Science Saturday Sat, Feb 19. Rochester Museum and Science Center, 657 East Ave, 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. $5-$7. 271-1880, www.rmsc.org
Seneca Park Zoo Wednesdays, book and beast, 11 a.m. Hours: daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $5, $4 seniors, $2 kids, 2222 St Paul St. 467-9453, www.senecazoo.org
Seussical the Musical StorytimeFri and Wed, Feb 18 and 23. Barnes & Noble, 330 Greece Ridge Center Dr, Fri 7 p.m., Wed 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Free. 227-4020
Storytime and Craft with Ann-Marie The Magic Rabbit, Wed, Feb 23. Barnes & Noble, 3349 Monroe Ave, 9:30 and 11 a.m. 586-6020
Swimming Lessons Saturdays through Mar 21.Ages 7-13, various recreation centers and schools. Free. 241-4443
Tapping Your Feet to the KlezmerBeat Wed, Feb 16.Concert, Making American Music series, Strong Museum, 1 Manhattan Sq, 7:30 p.m. $15. 263-2701 ext 314
Tutoring Program through Sat, Mar 12.Ages 6-18.MonroeJunior High School, 164 Alexander St (Saturdays, 9:15-11:15 a.m.); FrederickDouglassSchool, 940 Fernwood (Saturdays, 9:15-11:15 a.m.); AdamsStreetCommCenter, 85 Adams St (Tues and Thurs, 3:30-5 p.m.); NorthStreetCommCenter, 700 North St (Tues and Thurs, 3:30-5 p.m.) Free. Info: 428-7888
Willow GirlbyCatskill Puppet Theater. Thurs, Feb 24. TYKEs, UpStage3 Theater, 875 East Main Street, 1 p.m. $8. 723-6080
Winter Break Art Week Mon-Fri, Feb 21-25.Ages 7-13.MemorialArtGallery, 500 University Ave, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. $50/day; $225/week. Register. 473-7720 ext 3056
Winter Break Camp Mon-Fri, Feb 21-25. Seneca Park Zoo, 2222 St. Paul St, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. or 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 336-7213, www.senecazoo.org
Winter Art Camp Mon-Fri, Feb 21-25. Ages 6-14, SchweinfurthMemorialArtCenter, 205 Genesee St, Auburn, 9:30-11:30 a.m. $12-$15 per class. Register. 315-255-1553, www.cayuganet.org/smac
Winter Fun Day Sat, Feb 19. YMCA Camp Arrowhead, 20 Arrowhead Rd, Pittsford, 1-4 p.m. 341-3234
Winter Fun Day Sat, Feb 19. HelmerNatureCenter, 154 Pinegrove Ave, Irondequoit, 1-4 p.m. 336-3035
To prevent sports injuries, growing teens have to learn a balance between pushing themselves too hard and not enough. They are growing and changing, so that balance point is shifting. Then there is the essential problem of being an adolescent: perspective. This next game or tournament always feels like the most important one, worth making an injury worse.
Most adolescents with sprained ankles, stretched ligaments in knees, shoulder tears, stress fractures, broken fingers and clavicles, and concussions are smart, passionate athletes. They are the kind of kid a coach wants on a team... perhaps too much so. They are the teenagers that are angry when told they cannot play until they have healed. Playing hurt does not bother them even though they are not getting paid. They don't understand that when they are hurt, they cannot compete.
Parents and coaches have to advocate for the balance. The keys to preventing sports injuries in our spirited young athletes are stretching, strengthening, and body awareness. Ideally, parents, coaches, trainers, and doctors should work together to help an athlete learn stretching and toning exercises with goals to meet before competition.
Strength training should come second because strengthening muscles and tendons tightens them, and lack of flexibility makes us injury-prone. Finally, the athlete needs to learn how to slide, jump, roll, kick, and throw in ways that minimize stress and strain on joints. This kind of body awareness usually comes only with physical rehabilitation after the injury. Helping kids feel smart about sports injury prevention is the ultimate goal.
--- Laurence I. Sugarman, MD