Look for a cameo from two (not) best friends!Add a Comment
Look for a cameo from two (not) best friends!Add a Comment
"He's moved on with his life."
"What life? I've been away."
Ahahahahahaha. Oh, Sherlock. Never change.
Also, and again: PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I HOPE THAT MARTIN FREEMAN DOESN'T HAVE THAT MOUSTACHE FOR THE WHOLE SEASON.Add a Comment
What do kids love more than making a huge, awesome mess? Nothing! Unfortunately, most kids aren’t allowed to dig in to paint, glitter, and glue at home on a regular basis. Thankfully, we have a library for that! With this in mind, I created a “Baby Rembrandts” art program for children ages 1-5 and their parents.
I set up everything in the room before kids and their parents began to arrive. The program lasted around one hour and had four art stations. I covered all the tables with plastic table cloth, pre-poured paint onto small plates, and placed all the materials on the tables. I kept all the paint on a high counter until we started to prevent eager artists from digging right in.
As parents and children arrived, I gave them a paper leaf to write their name on and tape to their shirt. This made it easier for me to address people I didn’t already know from storytime. After they made their leaves, everyone came to sit on the carpet and we read Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood.
After the story, I broke the group up into four smaller groups to go to the stations. I had 24 kids in attendance, and I kept friends and family members together. I told everyone at the start of the program that I would alert the group after 15 minutes had passed so that everyone could make it to every station, but nobody was forced to move if they weren’t finished. Then, I let them go to town!
The four stations I included were: Finger painted leaves and Indian corn (pictures of Indian corn and leaves on card stock) Pumpkin Sun Catchers (two pieces of contact paper with a pumpkin shaped outline and tissue paper pressed between) Movable Scarecrows (a scarecrow shape with arms and legs detached. They added arms and legs with paper fasteners so that they moved, and decorated) and a Library Mural (Large pieces of butcher paper taped to the table for everyone to collaborate on with paint. I changed this paper one time so that there was enough room for everyone to contribute.)
While I did alert the group every 15 minutes or so, most groups moved around at their own pace. I had baby wipes available to wipe off messy hands, and I had a bunch of oversized shirts that were available as smocks. Only a few kids wanted smocks, though, because I was sure to put in the program description that we would be getting messy. We also have a sink in our program room, which allowed little ones to wash their hands.
Overall, Baby Rembrandts was a huge success. This program had all fall themed crafts (it was held October 25) but it can easily be adapted for any season or no season at all. It was a great time, and I highly recommend it!
Our guest blogger today is Ellen Norton. Ellen is a children’s librarian at the White Oak Library District in Crest Hill, IL. When she’s not making messes with little ones, she likes going on outdoor adventures, cooking, and reading of course! Ellen can be reached at email@example.com
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.
If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birds flock together to travel south. Salmon swim upstream to spawn. Seals group together on land to mate and give birth. Some animals seek warmer climates, others a place to lay eggs. Whatever their purpose, they migrate in large quantities to get there.
On the Move: Mass Migrations explores some of the animal populations who migrate. In addition to short segments about these individual species, there are supplemental classroom materials provided in the appendix. Anyone who plans to cover this topic in class would find this book helpful.
Reviewer: Alice Berger
From Publishing Perspectives:
It’s not just the fact of censorship — it’s more the way the censorship works. Speak to any bookseller – and, sadly, there aren’t many in Doha – and they all tell you the same story. At the moment, retailers have to submit one copy of every title they receive to the Ministry of Culture for approval, even if the same book has already been approved for another retailer. It’s an Orwellian situation that is not without a comic side. “We’re still waiting for clearance for The Gruffalo even though it’s for sale elsewhere,” said Richard Peers-Weaver, Purchasing Manager of WHSmith, with a weary smile. “We have around 70% of our stock still tied up at the Ministry awaiting approval. It’s very frustrating, particularly when we have customers coming in and expecting to see certain things.”
If nothing else, click through to see the picture of the Doha skyline: it's VERY cool.Add a Comment
It started as a family Christmas card photo by photographer Per Breiehagen and his wife Lori Evert. In 2007, the Minnesota resident’s family dressed their adorable three year-old daughter Anja in traditional Norwegian clothing such as Stakk dress from Ål, where Breiehagen was raised, reindeer shoes from the Sami people in Northern Norway, and an elf hat and took a series of photos that would change their lives forever. Based on overwhelming positive feedback from friends and family who received the Christmas card, Breiehagen expanded the project. His vision was to stage scenes the evoked the traditional folklore of Norway that he had grown up listening to. In addition to Anja’s captivating costume, Breiehagen attempted to make the photos as authentic as possible. He took Anja to beautiful outdoor winter landscapes in both Minnesota and Norway. Anja posed with actual reindeer in Norway and held traditional Telemark skis from 1840 the Breiehagen had sought out to use as photo props. As the scope of the photos became more fantastic, Breiehagen incorporated digital compositing to create scenes of the “little elf” meeting a polar bear in Antarctica and other fanciful imagery that could not be created without digital enhancements. The photos continued to gain popularity and were featured in several holiday advertisement campaigns, including one for Chicco, a popular baby product brand.
The photos took on a new life this year when Breiehagen and Evert created the picture book, The Christmas Wish. The book tells the story of a little girl who lives “in a place so far north that the mothers never pack away the wool hats or mittens.” The girl longs to be one of Santa’s elves. One day, she sets out on a journey through the great Northern wild to find Santa. Along the way she is helped by several animals including a cardinal, reindeer, polar bear, horse and musk ox. She also has a chance to see the Northern Lights. Eventually, she does find the man in the red suit and he flies her home on his sleigh. The true charm and magic of this book are the stunning photographs. Some of my favorites include one of Anja placing a note on the door of the Norwegian Sauna announcing her departure to find Santa, the three year old girl curled up next to a polar bear napping, and Santa’s sleigh flying over snow covered hills taking Anja home. With careful staging and digital enhancement, the winter scenes are stunning, the animals are beautiful and the young girl in the traditional Norwegian garb is irresistibly cute. This story is one that is sure to captivate the imagination of children this holiday season and leave parents a bit awe struck as well.
Posted by: Kelly
From Open Culture:
“For a millennium the space for the hotel room existed – undefined,” pronounces Lynch at the top of each chapter. “Mankind captured it and gave it shape and passed through. And sometimes when passing through, they found themselves brushing up against the secret names of truth.” All of Hotel Room‘s episodes play out in one such space in particular, number 603 of New York City’s Railroad Hotel. Each visits it in a different era, though, in typically Lynchian fashion, the hotel’s ageless maid and bellboy exist outside of time.
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Ridley Scott has optioned screen rights to Fae, the young adult fantasy bestseller written by sibling authors Colet and Jasmine Abedi. The title was published last summer by Diversion Books and is the first in a trilogy. Protagonist Caroline Ellis reaches 16, a birthday that triggers the battle fated for centuries between the Dark and Light Fae, forcing her to confront who she is and discover whether her tumultuous relationship with Devilyn Reilly, who’s battling the power of the Dark within him, will destroy them both along with humanity.
(via Chrissy)Add a Comment
Now I know different. I know that all writers hear that voice. All of us. Here was my message to the 6th graders: All writers have an inner critic. Acknowledge yours. And KEEP WRITING.Add a Comment
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These projects and their teams are all attempting to address the need for greater diversity in the fiction available to young people in particular—for teens of all kinds to be able to ‘see themselves’ in stories—and as the main character, not just the best friend or minor supporting character who assists the straight white able-bodied American protagonist along their journey.
Publications like Kaleidoscope and Inscription, then, are not only useful in producing new material for the teen readers out there, but also in helping to raise awareness in the publishing community of the needs of young readers.
Happy Horse Healthy Planet provides phone and on-farm consultations on every equine topic includingAdd a Comment
...I wrote about Alyxandra Harvey's A Breath of Frost, which was a LITTLE bit confused and a LOT long, but overall, quite fun:
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Over the course of that night, she finds out that A) magic is real, B) she’s a witch, C) she’s suspected of being a MURDEROUS witch by D) a mysterious Order that has it in for her, E) everything she knows about her mother is a lie, and F) Cormac Fairfax, the jerk of a guy who broke her heart months ago knows all about all of it.
You don't usually put books in stockings but Kevin Guilfoile's A Drive Into the Gap is so reasonably priced ($6.95) and such a compact size (69 pages) that it fits perfectly into the stocking-stuffer category. It's also bloody brilliant, so a nice surprise to share with the reader in your life who likes books about fathers and sons, baseball, writing or heartfelt real-life mysteries. Special bonus if they know who Roberto Clemente was.
Basically, anyone who enjoys a good story which, in this case, also happens to be true.
I bought A Drive Into the Gap after reading Walter Biggins' review at Bookslut. It's about Guilfoile's father, who has Alzheimer's, and the mystery behind the bat that Clemente used for his 3,000 hit. It's also a bit about baseball, which Guilfoile's father worked in, and storytelling - especially about mythic moments - and about how Barry Bonds is a jerk. (I knew it!!!) (Okay this is only a couple of pages in the book but still, I KNEW IT!!!)
It's just a lovely little book, a quick but thoughtful read, and something different from standard stocking fare.
I also recommend some of the Field Notes notebooks as unexpected gifts. They are surprisingly addictive - you wouldn't think little notebooks would be so useful in the electronic age but they are. I love mine and use them to keep track of the different writing projects (big and small) that I'm involved in, as well as the standard daily "To Do" list.
Oh - and put some pens in the stockings! These are SEVEN YEAR pens and they are very reasonably priced and super cool. Pens are always good for the stocking. (I always put in scratch-off lottery tickets and coffee cards too.) (Oh and magnets which are always a good thing!) (And bookmarks!!!!) (And I buy an issue of a magazine that I think my husband would like but hasn't picked up.) (This doesn't fit in the stocking, but I put it underneath it.)
Hmmmm, what else? Oh - I also always put in Burt's Bees lip balm because, well, you can never have enough lip balm in the winter.
I love stocking stuffers. They make me happy. :)Add a Comment
From the Hollywood Reporter:
CBS Films has picked up the rights and acquired an accompanying pitch by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the duo wrote a slew of the Saw horror movies.
Melton and Dunstan will now write the script, which will use the horror folktale anthology as a jumping off point and incorporate some of the book's short stories, while concentrating on a group of kids who band together to save their town from living nightmares.
I would really, really like for it to be A) good and B) scary.
But... I can't say that I'm not extremely worried that it'll be a dud.Add a Comment
Looking for books for tweens? ALSC recently announced the release of a Tween Recommended Reads booklist, intended to engage and encourage tweens to read throughout the year.
The Tween Recommended Reads list includes 25 titles chosen specifically to appeal to tweens and to encourage them to read. PDFs of the booklist are available online in full color and black and white and are free to download, copy and distribute.
A big thank you to the 2013 ALSC School Age Programs and Services Committee who put together this awesome list!Add a Comment
As 2013 draws to a close, we give you our second-annual look at the scuffles, controversies, and feisty debates that have helped keep the literary world lively over the past year. Among this year’s conflicts, presented here in rough chronological order, a few themes emerge: clashes over the function of online literary criticism, questions about gender and literature, and struggles over who controls an artist’s legacy and fortune. A few of the items show what happens when closed-mindedness leads to controversy; others stand as proof that people are still engaged and passionate about the state of literature.
I can't help but notice that there's not much kidlit/YA stuff up there, and I KNOW that there must have been SOMETHING. There've been a lot of conversations about gender and about privilege, but I can't think of any out-and-out brawls.
I had such a weird year, though, that I'm probably forgetting stuff: remind me so I can revisit the dramz?Add a Comment
The story of the oldest known wild bird in the world. At 62+, she hatched a new chick in February, 2013. Read her remarkable story. A biography in text and art.
Once we finish a draft of a novel and start thinking about revising, there is hope. In her slim volume, Writing Past Dark: Envy, Fear, Distraction and Other Dilemmas in the Writing Life, Bonnie Friedman starts like this:
The happiest I’ve even been was departing before dawn to the bus station in Madrid. The tiny bread shop and the tobacconist were still dark. The wet pavement gleamed when a city bus heaved past. Ahead of me lay unknown towns and countrysides that matched names I knew only from a map, and a new friend who was herself departing just then from across Madrid clutching a plastic bag like mine that was filled, like mine, with an egg-and-potato sandwich and a tangerine. The world was doors opening in all directions. I felt free, and awake, and full of laughter. Writing has often been just like that for me.
It’s the feeling that we are at the top of our game and building on this solid draft, we can accomplish something unique, special, earth-shattering.
We need that hope at the beginning, or else we wouldn’t start. We know that it will be long and involved and at times discouraging to dig into this story and start messing with it. We know that the results are uncertain. We need that hope.
When Pandora opened the forbidden box, she released all the world’s evils. It sent the world into despair. But then, Pandora opened the box once more and found Hope waiting. Though Hope seemed weak, it was the strongest of the things released that day.
Optimism is a general outlook on life, or is based on positive thinking. Hope is an emotional response, in our case, the response to a specific task of recasting a story into a stronger form. It is based not on positive thinking: I know I can do this revision well. For me, it’s based on my hope that the writing process will come through for me again.
Despair has enough play in the life of a writer: witness the steady stream of rejection letters that we receive. It’s enough to send me into a writer’s block. But when I face my story, I forget all that. It belongs to the world of submissions and that’s not the world that concerns me when I?m revising. While revising, my loyalty is to the story, the characters, the language–what does this story need to come alive? How can I tell this now familiar story in the strongest way possible? I hope that the process will reveal the best way to tell this story.
Am I indulging in false hope? No. False hope would be based on laziness, unwillingness to try. I approach revision with an open attitude and try to find ways to work with the story better. I use a variety of writing strategies to find new ways into the story. I may fail, yes. But my hope is based on process, work, past experience of struggling through difficulties in telling a story.
Here is hope: When I look at my story I realize that there’s one more thing for me to try. Hope sends me forward into revision.
I’m looking forward to the upcoming US release of Willem Sandberg: portrait of An Artist – a new new book from the Dutch publisher Valiz.
From the Publisher:
“After the Second World War, Willem Sandberg (NL, 1897–1984) transformed the Amsterdam Stedelijk museum into a dynamic centre for modern and innovative art and culture. He did this with exceptional creativity and in close collaboration with artists and architects. Sandberg had distinct ideas about heading up a museum for modern and contemporary art, about the importance of art, about dealing with artists and about his work as typographic designer, but also about social responsibility and community.
This book is based on interviews with Sandberg (from 1971 and 1981) and offers first-hand insight into questions such as: what does the task of museum director entail; how does art criticism work; what is the essence of being an artist; what does the ideal museum architecture look like; and what is the role of art and the museum in society?”
Pre-order a copy at Amazon.
Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.
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I love running, but what I DON’T love is running in the cold. Truthfully, I don’t harbor ANY fantasies for a white Christmas (or any day for that matter) for the sheer fact that running outside in the snow, in the cold, in the windy, etc. is not cool. Winter is pretty in a snow globe when when you’re a runner actually out there in that flurry…it aint pretty.
When winter comes around, I layer up, and then do all I can to manage the nose situation…
I present my latest Runner’s Strip Cartoon Movie Short: “Cold Weather Running”
I hope you’re packing tissues or hands are as fleet as your runner feet!
1) Would you rather run in the cold or the heat?
2) How do you stay warm and safe during winter?
3) Do you enjoy your white winters if you live in a state that typically gets them?
I didn’t post my usual rambling post yesterday, so here it goes today!
I’m working from home this week, working to get an article completed and ready for submission. I’ve got to clear my mind and my ‘to do’ list so I can concentrate on what I need to get done.
I’ve been stalling.
My mind was struck by wanderlust forever ago and I think of writing in small European city where I can visit markets for fresh meats and cheeses and sip hot beverages at a bistro while working late. Or take a long afternoon walk in a tropical hillside to refresh my thoughts after hours of working. These four walls aren’t working for me right now!
I’ve found other, short projects that might get me started.
It doesn’t help that I’m writing about places in YA lit! Or, does it?!
Around this time of year, I work with Zetta Elliott to complete a list of YA fiction books written and published by African American authors. So, far I’ve identified all of 22 books. We do typically identify books that were missed throughout the year, however, that’s a frightfully small number.
Dr Jonda C. McNair release the current edition of Mirrors and Windows newsletter which features informational texts and a profile of author/illustrator Steve Jenkins. I’ve placed the pdf in Google Drive to make it available, however if it is not accessible, email me at crazyquilts at hotmail dot com and I’ll be glad to forward a copy.
A completely separate publication that came out this week is Windows and Mirrors: Reading Diverse Children’s Literature by Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen in the online publication Gazillion Voices.
Despite the statistics, today’s diverse children have more options to see their experiences reflected in children’s literature. White children, too, have many more opportunities to learn about experiences other than their own. In this essay, I primarily (but not exclusively) discuss Asian American children’s literature to highlight principles for meaningful multicultural content, as well as point out some of the persisting problems, with the ultimate goal of encouraging you to pick good books for young people, especially during this coming holiday season. Given that 3,000-5,000 children’s books in many different genres for a range of reading levels are published each year, I hope to provide you with some principles and guidelines for critically evaluating children’s literature and thinking about our role in supporting and promoting diverse, high-quality stories for all young people.
I recently wrote about the impracticability of expecting students to express their desire for books with characters of their own ethnicity. This is anecdotal statement is something I hope to research further. Why are some young children able to indicate an interest in a book based upon the race of the character while others are not? How and when do children develop racial awareness? My interest deepened when I read an article shared by @WritersofColour on Twitter. The article written by @hiphopteacher posed a much more reflective analysis into why children of colour are less likely to write about their own ethnicity.
In her essay ‘Playing in the Dark’, Toni Morrison argues that “the readers of virtually all of American fiction have been positioned as white.” (Morrison 1992:xiv) We might ask if the same is true of children’s literature and how that might affect children’s relationship to story-writing.
All in all, giving the young people in your life a book (or books!) written by authors of color this holiday season sounds like a gift worth giving. It would be a great time to donate books by authors of color to your local school or public library, too. Young adult books perfect for giving can be found on my annual booklists and books for all ages of children can be found on the BirthdayPartyPledge.
Teachers and students will equally appreciate learning apps for those tablets Santa places under the tree this year. Consider these 10 (mostly free) apps for documenting learning.
#NPRBlacksinTech continues on the Tell Me More blog through 20 December. The series is well worth following because there are continuous ‘day in the life’ posts giving readers insights into real life experiences of Blacks in technology. This is so valuable to young people who need to see real life role models! This linkwill take you to the postings on Twitter and you do not have to have an account to read them.
I have another recent post which lists young adult literature from South Africa. In looking at the list you may wonder why J. L. Powers was included as the only non African on the list. Reading her recent post will help you understand why.
… my classmates and friends were the children of recent immigrants or immigrants themselves–some documented and some undocumented. Migrant workers followed the power lines next to our house to go work in the chile fields of southern New Mexico. I witnessed firsthand the injustices of our economic system that encouraged migrant labor, did not pay migrants sufficient wages to support their families, and made it necessary for those who did bring their families to live in our country in poverty and without the protection of legal rights despite working back-breaking jobs every day. These were people I knew. These were people I went to school with, young men I had crushes on, girlfriends I shared secrets with.
I’ve been getting a lot of blogging done in the past week, however that trend isn’t going to continue. BFYA makes its final selections at ALA Midwinter in January and I have more books to read than I have days to read them. No, I will not be blogging much at all! I will take a break on 21 January for Cookies and Cocktails with my sister. Hopefully, the weather will be mild enough for me to drive over to spend the day cooking, eating, drinking and making merry!
You may remember that my word this year is ‘courage’. I have a better understanding of this virtue and I’ve become more aware of times when my courage fails me. I’m more unwilling to let myself be a coward. I’m a bit more likely to speak up, lean in and move forward. Yet, I still struggle with picking up that phone. I don’t know what it is about the phone, but using it takes a special kind of courage for me!
I’ve found several people including writers and publishers who are going to write about courage in a series that will appear here beginning 21 December. It’s definitely something you won’t want to miss!
For now, I have some researching to do!
“From caring comes courage.”Lao Tzu
“Prancing With the Stars”
Why not hoof it on over here and check out what my fellow HoHoDooDa doodlers are doing today.
So, Thomas Nelson Page was apparently a Lost Cause-er. Gross. I’m glad I didn’t love Santa Claus’s Partner. I mean, it’s fine. It’s a nice, workmanlike Christmas story with no indication that the author was super into slavery. It just doesn’t make me want to read others of Page’s books, which is nice because I wouldn’t want to give Dead Thomas Nelson Page the satisfaction.
Also, while I’m not actually going to spend this review referring to the main character by Benedict Cumberbatch names, well…I want you to know that I could. Because his name is Berryman Livingstone, and if Butterfly Creamsicle is close enough for the internet, then Berryman Livingstone is, too.
I’m also not going to refer to him as Ebenezer Christmascarol, but that’s what he is. His Bob Cratchit is John Clark, his senior clerk, who has eight kids and an invalid wife. His Ghost of Christmas Past is himself.
Livingstone keeps all his clerks late on Christmas Eve mostly because he’s forgotten it’s Christmas Eve, but also because he’s an asshole. He doesn’t have that first excuse for stopping kids in the street from sledding or knocking over a beggar on his way home, and, you know, he doesn’t think he’s a bad guy, he’s just massively self-centered and thinks having a lot of money means he can do whatever he wants. So, again, an asshole.
Once he’s home, he has a bit of an existential crisis, brought on by a headache and no dinner and the realization that his parents were much nicer than he is. He gives himself a short guided tour of his past and comes out of it a better person, but before embarking on his new life as a decent person, he has to earn the approval of Clark’s daughter Kitty, who hates him.
Kitty is maybe six, and was probably my favorite part of the story — instead of being saccharine and cute and angelic, she’s just very, very serious in that way that kids often are. She gives the impression of taking Livingstone on trial, and not being terribly impressed with him. And it’s easy to sympathize — I wasn’t terribly impressed with him either. I did enjoy the way everythign fell into place for him at the end, though. There’s a bit where he realizes that he actually does have friends, he just hadn’t realized it because he was viewing everyone’s behavior through the lens of being a dick.
Basically, Santa Claus’s Partner ticks all the boxes — Christmas spirit, Unity of Christmastimes, small children, a faint whiff of romance. I just might have liked it more not knowing that the author was nostalgic for slavery.