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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 18, 2001

... And the world laughs with you

Anthropologist and journalist Anne Scott, who was born in Hawai'i and reared in Asia and Europe, has gathered children's songs and rhymes from around the world for her new book, "The Laughing Baby." This $9.95 interactive volume for parents and their young children, offers everything from "Ladushki" — Russian pat-a-cake — to French peek-a-boo games to East Indian chants. Published by CelestialArts, it's designed to help put a baby to sleep. A limited supply is available at Borders Books, Music & Cafe.

— Beverly Creamer

Sting on Ally

Casting coups continue on "Ally McBeal." In the wake of the Robert Downey Jr. hiring comes news that Sting will portray himself in a sweeps episode on April 30, says executive producer (and sometime Lanikai resident) David E. Kelley. In the episode, Sting finds himself the target of a lawsuit that alleges his "emotionally and sexually suggestive" performance at a rock concert resulted in the marital breakup of two audience members. He turns to talented Boston lawyer Larry Paul (Downey) for help. Other "Ally" allies have included: Anne Heche, Barry Manilow, Chayanne, Marlo Thomas, Florence Henderson, Chubby Checker, Jami Gertz, Bernadette Peters, Rhea Perlman and Taye Diggs.

— Advertiser news services

Mu'umu'u on market

Michele Zane-Faridi, owner of Hana Hou in Hilo and sister of longtime textile and fashion designer Sig Zane, has just introduced her first original clothing. She has taken mu'umu'u designs from the '30s and '40s and reworked them in cotton lawn. The first two silhouettes will be out this week, in time for the Merrie Monarch Festival, with four or five more to follow. Initially the mu'umu'u will be available exclusively at her shop in Hilo.

— Paula Rath

One city, one book

It's not new: Buffalo tried it last year, Seattle in 1999. But encouraging everyone in a community to read the same book conjures up a social phenomenon displaced long ago by America's TV-obsessed culture: a collective literary experience. The Rochester, N.Y., choice this spring is "A Lesson Before Dying," a novel by Ernest J. Gaines that is set in a racially oppressive Cajun hamlet in 1940s Louisiana. The tale of a young black man wrongly convicted of murder and a disillusioned teacher who struggles to help him face death with dignity has become a springboard for debating literacy, the death penalty, civic engagement and sometimes thornier topics such as race relations. Thousands of people in this mid-sized city on Lake Ontario's southern shore have snapped up the book since January, when the community's Writers & Books group launched its annual readership drive, "If All of Rochester Read the Same Book."

— Associated Press