What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Posts

(from educating alice)

Recent Comments

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing Blog: educating alice, Most Recent at Top
Results 1 - 25 of 496
Visit This Blog | Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Blog Banner
This blog is about teaching, my life’s work; literature, especially that created for children; history, especially as it is taught to and learned by children; Africa, especially Sierra Leone where I was a Peace Corps Volunteer; and other sundry topics as they come to my attention.
Statistics for educating alice

Number of Readers that added this blog to their MyJacketFlap: 17
1. A New Short Story from Philip Pullman and Some News about The Book of Dust

I was very excited to read about a new short story by Philip Pullman, featuring the nefarious and fabulous Mrs. Colter, that is being released today in the UK as an Audible.uk exclusive. Unfortunately and frustratingly “The Collectors” is not available in the US and Audible, when I asked, had no information as to when it would be. So for now we Americans have to make do with the below tantalizing excerpt read by Bill Nighy.

But wait, Pullman fans, there’s more; this in the Guardian article about The Book of Dust:

He said today: “It’s three pages longer this morning than it was this time yesterday, and … I’ll do another three pages today. It’s going steadily. But it’s a big book and it’s spreading out in the way I discussed, and I keep having to discover which ways are fruitful for the story to go in, and which are not. It’s a long process.”

Pullman promised: “I’m aiming to finish this next year. Then it’s a fairly lengthy process of editing. But I’m well on my way and proceeding steadily.”

Be still my heart!


0 Comments on A New Short Story from Philip Pullman and Some News about The Book of Dust as of 12/17/2014 6:50:00 AM
Add a Comment
2. Neil Gaiman Does Jabberwocky


0 Comments on Neil Gaiman Does Jabberwocky as of 12/14/2014 6:10:00 AM
Add a Comment
3. In the Classroom: This Blog’s on a Top Ten List!

Thank you, Teachability Lounge‘s Mary Graham, for including this blog among your “Top Ten Teacher Blogs.’  With all the blogs now out there, I sometimes wonder how many teachers read this one. After all, I’m pretty eclectic. So, I was thrilled with this affirmation.


1 Comments on In the Classroom: This Blog’s on a Top Ten List!, last added: 12/14/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
4. Corporate Storytelling

Andrew Linderman tries to teach people how to find that balance. A story coach, he works with companies including American Express, PBS and Random House, charging $1,800 to $3,500 for workshops and $500 to $5,000 for one-on-one training (less for nonprofits and start-ups). For $40, you can also take one of his two-hour classes,Storytelling for Entrepreneurs.

“The specifics of storytelling are relatively easy to articulate,” he said. “It’s the nuances that make a story distinct.”

Ah, Random House — the irony!  From “Storytelling Your Way to a Better Job or a Stronger Start-up.


0 Comments on Corporate Storytelling as of 12/13/2014 8:00:00 AM
Add a Comment
5. Ten (or so) Great 2014 Kid Books for Gift-giving

I have read and loved a ton of books this year; among my many favorites are the following suggestions for great gifts this holiday season.

1, For a book that will be fun for a wide range of middle-grade readers and is also a great book to read aloud as a family, check out Jennifer L. Holm’s The Fourteenth GoldfishThis deceptively spare book (comes in at just under 200 pages) packs quite a punch. It offers a clever take on a trope that is not unfamiliar in children’s books — that of an older person suddenly contending with being young again. In this case it is the protagonist’s scientist grandfather who gets to try teen life once again and his grumpy response is spot on hilarious. But mixed-in are warm and sensitive considerations of growing old-growing up, new-old friendships, familial love, the passion-pleasure of scientific research, and relationships overall. For more read my New York Times review.

2. A book that absolutely demands to be read aloud is B. J. Novak’s The Book with No Pictures.  The title says it true — there are no pictures at all. What there is is lots of silliness that is all designed to push the poor adult reading the book aloud into more and more awkwardness. And what kid doesn’t like seeing an adult put him or herself into the silliest position possible? While my 4th graders got a kick out of this one, I would guess it would be especially beloved (and demanded over and over) by younger kids. Novak plays with the whole methodology of reading aloud in a very entertaining and clever way.

3. A picture book that may begin as a book to read aloud, but will send young readers back to it to examine over and over on their own is Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s Sam & Dave Dig a Hole. Be forewarned, grown-ups, the ending of this one has a Twilight Zone, The Sixth Sense, Cabin in the Woods vibe where things-turn-out-not-to-be-quite-what-you-thought. After I read it to them, my 4th grade students went wild coming up with theories for this; my blog post featuring them is here.

4. Another favorite picture book of mine is one on the guy who invented the thesaurus, Jen Bryan and Melissa Sweet’s The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus. For kids who love words and book with illustrations full of words, look no further. This one is absolutely gorgeous and fascinating. For the end papers, illustrator Sweet replicated all of Roget’s original set of words! My blog review here.

5. One of the most lyrical and moving books of the year is Jacqueline Woodson’s National Book Award winning memoir Brown Girl Dreaming. Intertwining stories of her childhood in the South and Brooklyn, Woodson manages to bring a lens to race and racism, friendship, and what it is to grow into a writer and poet. One to give to an introspective young reader and emerging writer as well as one to read and discuss as a family.

6. Another memoir that probably would be great as an individual read is Cece Bell’s graphic novel  El Deafo, a moving and at times quite funny memoir of her youth. I’m planning to have my 4th grade class read it later this school year and am confident that they are going to love it. While Bell doesn’t shy away from issues dealing with her hearing loss, doing so with wit and a refreshing lack of self-pity, it is the search for a good friend that will resonate most with young readers.

7. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander is a powerful verse novel involving twelve-year-old African-American twins, both of whom are gifted basketball players. A student of mine last year who was serious about basketball and writing absolutely adored this one and I was thrilled to be able to get a copy signed for him by the author. The poetry is energetic and the story compelling — a sure-fire hit for a wide range of readers.

8. I was completely charmed by Dana Alison Levy’s The Misadventures of the Family FletcherThis episodic novel of a family of two dads and four adopted boys of various races is a delight. The boys are so real and their experiences funny, tender, and relatable. I’ve had it at school debating when to read it aloud to my class and am confident that it will be a success when I do. Here’s a quote from my Horn Book review: ”Levy provides a compelling, compassionate, and frequently hilarious look at their daily concerns. By book’s end readers will want to be part of (or at least friends with) this delightful family.”

9. For older children with a predilection for history, look no further than Candace Fleming’s The Family Romanov. Balancing the over-the-top lifestyle of the last Russian royals with firsthand accounts of the rest of the populace, Fleming provides a fascinating and highly readable version of this tragic story. Handsomely designed and full of photographs, this volume seems uncomfortably timely when considering today’s 1 percent, those who currently have the bulk of the world’s wealth.

10. Finally, I’m going to cheat and give you some more favorites without commentary that I’ve reviewed elsewhere:

Also at the Huffington Post.

 

 


4 Comments on Ten (or so) Great 2014 Kid Books for Gift-giving, last added: 12/13/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
6. Africa is My Home: My Visit to the Capitol City Public Charter School

During my time in DC for the Children’s Africana Book Award I was honored with an invitation to speak to the Capitol City Public Charter School fourth graders about Africa is My Home by An Open Book Foundation, a fabulous organization that describes themselves thus:

Founded by Dara La Porte and Heidi Powell, An Open Book Children’s Literacy Foundation was created to promote literacy among disadvantaged children and teens in the greater Washington, D.C. area by giving schools and students book and access to authors and illustrators. We excite children and teachers about reading and send every child home with a signed book.

I was so impressed and moved by the experience. Being a fourth grade teacher myself, it was delightful to speak about my book to a different group and population from my own students.  As I wrote in my earlier post about the weekend:

It was a really wonderful experience. The children were eager, interested, and had wonderful questions. I was most moved by two children from El Salvador. I sign my books “Never forget your home” and one of these two children spoke with tremendous excitement of returning soon to her home of El Salvador while the other came around to tell me privately that he would not be returning to his home of El Salvador because “bad things had happened there.” I told him that his home should be wherever he felt safe and happy. It was an important reminder to me — someone who has, for different reasons, no childhood place to call home —  that home is not necessarily where you originated.

I enjoyed too meeting and working with Janet Zwick of An Open Book Foundation who guided the children to read and discuss the book during my visit and generally (along with another wonderful person from the foundation and the school’s librarian) saw that the whole event went off without a hitch. (Even the fire drill didn’t cause a problem, believe it or not!) . Afterwards Janet treated me to a tasty pho lunch with some really wonderful conversation. Here are photos Janet took off the event. My great thanks to everyone involved in making this a special event for me. (The photos are courtesy of An Open Book Foundation.)

IMG_3082 IMG_3144 IMG_3139 IMG_3138 IMG_3127 IMG_3079 IMG_3072 IMG_3130 IMG_3109 IMG_3106 IMG_3100

0 Comments on Africa is My Home: My Visit to the Capitol City Public Charter School as of 12/6/2014 9:01:00 AM
Add a Comment
7. All Lives Matter

“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that’s wrong with the world.”
—DR. PAUL FARMER, Chief Strategist & Co-founder, Partners in Health

Ebola was on the US media radar when a tiny number of people came to this country with the illness. There were government officials saying that anyone who had been anywhere near the affected countries would be quarantined. Fear-mongering was rampant here and not a whole lot of compassion. And when those sick individuals either recovered or died, interest waned. Although the disease has not. It continues to rage in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. Yet for too many Americans, those African lives don’t matter.

Tack that on to Ferguson.

Add on the Eric Garner decision.

The above quote from Paul Farmer says it all.


1 Comments on All Lives Matter, last added: 12/5/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
8. Africa is My Home: 3 Reasons why children’s books about Africa matter

Monica Edinger, author of “Africa is My Home, A Child of the Amistad,” is a former Peace Corps volunteer who began writing children’s books during Sierra Leone’s Civil War. “Sierra Leone and its people were being represented in the media in this really horrendous way,” Edinger said.

She felt it was important to share stories that showed there was more to Sierra Leone than conflict. “Real stories, about real people, make a big difference. But unfortunately that isn’t the standard narrative in children’s books.”

From this article celebrating the Children’s Africana Book Awards.


0 Comments on Africa is My Home: 3 Reasons why children’s books about Africa matter as of 12/3/2014 3:47:00 PM
Add a Comment
9. NCTE

I had a terrific time at NCTE. It was the third of four trips for me this November. First was DC for the Children’s Africana Book Awards followed by FILIJ in Mexico. The final one starts tonight when I head to Rome, Italy for Thanksgiving. (Unlike the others, this is for pure personal pleasure.) But back to NCTE. I arrived Friday evening in time to take a quick jaunt around the exhibits before heading off to a dinner. The National Harbor Gaylord Resort had the requisite light show, but it didn’t seem quite as over-the-top as those at the Opryland Hotel where I spent several unforgettable NCTEs (unforgettable not in a good way, mind you). Well..except for its nightclub, the Pose Ultra Lounge and Nightclub where I felt I’d wandered into something from the 60s, maybe a James Bond movie? There were a few people at the glittery bar, a few more moving about singularly alone on the dance floor, and some absolutely blasting music. I’m afraid I didn’t last long.

I was up bright on Saturday starting for the ALAN breakfast where I was thrilled with Andrew Smith‘s speech. This was followed by a signing of Africa is My Home at the Candlewick booth. I always assume no one will come so it was wonderful when quite a few did show up. I then wandered the exhibits some more meeting many friends as I did so. Lunch was with a Dalton colleague and then the afternoon involved more networking until my session with Susannah Richards and Peter Sis. A small, but enthusiastic audience made it a very agreeable experience. After another lovely dinner with various publisher and book creator friends, I was abed at a reasonable hour and home by midday Sunday. A pleasant, if brief NCTE for me this time around.

B3DoaWcCIAADANYIMG_2142

Signing my book for last year’s Caldecott winner, Brian Floca.

B3IP9q6IYAAhpL-

With my fellow presenters Peter Sis and Susannah Richards.

B3FYaKoCIAEIBRC

Looking at art for Laurel Snyder’s forthcoming book with John Schumacher.


0 Comments on NCTE as of 11/25/2014 4:30:00 PM
Add a Comment
10. Give Your Teddy Bear a Treat

I’ve been following the activities of Oxford’s Story Museum ever since Philip Pullman took me to see it a few years ago. Now I see that like many other museums they periodically offer weekend sleepovers, but theirs are unique in being for toys not people. Their latest teddy bear sleepover will be the weekend of December 6th. If you are in the vicinity (and I’m sadly not) and have an eager teddy bear (along with its human companion who will have to drop off and pick up, of course)  the details are here.

Here’s what happened during their last teddy bear sleep-over:


1 Comments on Give Your Teddy Bear a Treat, last added: 11/24/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
11. NCTE

I’m off to NCTE later today and will be presenting tomorrow with Peter Sis and Susannah Richards on “CROSSING THE LINE: STORYTELLING THAT INTEGRATES FACTS AND ARTIFACTS”  at 4:15 at the Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor 13.  There will be pictures, information, chatter, and fun — I’m sure. Still not so sure? Here’s the official annotation:

Grappling with texts is a healthy and productive way to satisfy many of the Common Core standards for reading and writing. Authors find stories in history and use their storytelling to develop context for history. In this engaging and conversational session, Peter Sis, Susannah Richards, and Monica Edinger will share different approaches to telling historical stories visually and textually.

Even if you don’t make the session (and, don’t worry, I’m not expecting you to), I hope to run into many of you over the next couple of days.


0 Comments on NCTE as of 11/21/2014 12:58:00 PM
Add a Comment
12. For Alice Obsessives

(Thanks to Michael Patrick Hearn)


0 Comments on For Alice Obsessives as of 11/21/2014 7:38:00 AM
Add a Comment
13. Learning About Africa: Ebola and Everyone

I want to live in a country that understands Ebola. I want to live in a world that cares about those dying from this terrible disease in West Africa. Nobody should’ve had to watch me ride my bicycle out in the open as politicians fed the public false fears and misinformation. I want to live in an America that reaches out to aid workers as they return from West Africa and says, “We loved and stood by you when you were fighting this disease. We will love and stand by you now.”

Me too. From Kaci Hickox’s “Stop calling me ‘the Ebola nurse‘”.


2 Comments on Learning About Africa: Ebola and Everyone, last added: 11/19/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
14. Learning About Africa: Ebola and Everyone

I want to live in a country that understands Ebola. I want to live in a world that cares about those dying from this terrible disease in West Africa. Nobody should’ve had to watch me ride my bicycle out in the open as politicians fed the public false fears and misinformation. I want to live in an America that reaches out to aid workers as they return from West Africa and says, “We loved and stood by you when you were fighting this disease. We will love and stand by you now.”

Me too. From Kaci Hickox’s “Stop calling me ‘the Ebola nurse‘”.


0 Comments on Learning About Africa: Ebola and Everyone as of 11/19/2014 11:08:00 AM
Add a Comment
15. FILIJ: Mexico’s International Children’s Book Festival

logo_filij

I am just back from participating in  FILIJ, Mexico’s International Fair of Children and Youth Book and I am just floored by the experience. Run by Conaculta, Mexico’s governmental agency for the arts, it is BEA, ALA, NCTE, and the National Book Festival all in one glorious ten day event with over 300,000 people attending.  You can get a taste in this photo gallery. They (this is translated by google so is probably not too great) wish:

to encourage the habit of reading among children and young people of Mexico; and bring together publishers, booksellers, distributors, librarians, teachers and specialists, in order to raise the quality and quantity of publications circulating in the Mexican market. Also aims to compare experiences, promote exchange with other countries and bring the public to national and international issues.

expositores

The festival was a vibrant place of tents full of books to see and buy, entertainments such as rock concerts and puppet shows, and tons of children and people eagerly enjoying books and stories. Among the events for professionals are a National Meeting for Booksellers (and, yes, the photo is of Laura Vaccaro Seeger and Neal Porter who participated last year), a National Conference of Librarians, an International Seminar (for 600 participants:) on the Promotion of Reading, and 5 hour Master Classes on Writing and Illustration.  There were also school visits, all sorts of performances (just wandering around I saw a puppet show and a rock concert), and a huge area of workshops for children. You can get a taste of the magnitude of the festival by looking at this brochure that includes a map of the festival as well as a listing of all the publishers and a schedule of events.

Even before I got to the festival grounds I had an inkling that this was a big event for all, seeing this poster for it in the city center:

IMG_2077

And once at the fair grounds I just enjoyed the energy. I was there only on weekdays, but am told you can barely move on the weekends.

IMG_2127 (There were so many tents full of books! This may look empty, but it is not. Just liked the Peppa painting on this particular tent.)

IMG_2126(This was a rock concert.)

IMG_2125

(This was a lovely cafe, but I’m afraid the warm orange of the walls came out rather dark in this photo of mine. In the back you can see one of the delightful posters that were all around the place. I believe there was a contest to get the commission to do these posters.)

Outside the festival,  I did a presentation on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to an attentive group of fourth graders at the Colegio Heraldos de México. They had prepared for my visit by watching both the Disney and Tim Burton’s movies, prepared questions, and created drawings and other decorations for my visit. The children’s English was fabulous — they seemed to follow my presentation with easy and asked thoughtful and carefully constructed questions. At the end I was surprised when they all wanted me to sign copies of Alice in Wonderland, personal autograph books, and paper.  So I did so as Lewis Carroll’s proxy! And then they gave me gifts — mostly chocolate, but also a book, and an amazing folk art clay statue of the Virgin Mary. They had never had an author visit before so it was a very big deal. For me too! My thanks especially to the Mexican Macmillan folk (among them Renato Aranda and Mariana Mendia – a fellow Alice fan ) who took care of everything beautifully.

B2QKxVIIUAAg6k5

B2QkizgCMAAMQOE

Afterwards we went to the Museo Frida Kahlo (La Casa Azul where I’d first been years ago) and then to a fabulous lunch on the Coyoacan Zocalo. I was moved by the candles for the 43 slain students, one of the many observations and demonstrations I saw while in Mexico City.

candles

We were also in Coyoacan one of the nights for a lovely dinner with local authors and publishing folk. While walking about we stopped at the Centro Cultural Eleno Garro, a fabulous bookstore in an historic building with trees inside and flying lit books in the children’s section.

IMG_2107

IMG_2110

My talk for the symposium, also on Alice, went very well. The 600 listeners were generous, attentive, and had some excellent questions. I had observed one of my fellow presenters, illustrator Serge Bloch, a few days before so was prepared for the experience of simultaneous translation, especially when the audience reacted a few beats late to anything amusing. This is a shot from the auditorium during Serge’s presentation which will give a taste of what mine looked like.

IMG_2098

 Over the week I was there I met so many interesting people (a complete list of speakers is here) and especially enjoyed chatting with Bart Moeyaert, Serge Bloch, and Gonzola Frasca. And then there were my follow-English speakers, the Australian writer John Marsden with his wife Chris, and the UK Chicken House publisher (and Harry Potter editor)  Barry Cunningham.  We spent our final day together visiting Teotihuacan and then enjoying a lovely leisurely lunch that included ant eggs and crickets. Quite tasty, I should say though I admit found it hard to put aside my cultural squeamishness.

My great thanks to Conculta for inviting me. Most of all my great, great thanks to Karen Coeman who put the whole thing together — she even showed up at 6 AM yesterday at our hotel to be sure we all made it off to the airport without difficulty. Her team included the fabulous Diego Sanchez Moreno and Orly Rosales as well as a committed and helpful group of volunteers who took care of everything for us.

 


1 Comments on FILIJ: Mexico’s International Children’s Book Festival, last added: 11/17/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
16. FILIJ: Mexico’s International Children’s Book Festival

logo_filij

I am just back from participating in  FILIJ, Mexico’s International Fair of Children and Youth Books and I am just floored by the experience. Run by Conaculta, Mexico’s governmental agency for the arts, it is BEA, ALA, NCTE, and the National Book Festival all in one glorious ten day event with over 300,000 people attending.  You can get a taste in this photo gallery. They (this is translated by google so is probably not too great) wish:

to encourage the habit of reading among children and young people of Mexico; and bring together publishers, booksellers, distributors, librarians, teachers and specialists, in order to raise the quality and quantity of publications circulating in the Mexican market. Also aims to compare experiences, promote exchange with other countries and bring the public to national and international issues.

expositores

The festival was a vibrant place of tents full of books to see and buy, entertainments such as rock concerts and puppet shows, and tons of children and people eagerly enjoying books and stories. Among the events for professionals are a National Meeting for Booksellers (and, yes, the photo is of Laura Vaccaro Seeger and Neal Porter who participated last year), a National Conference of Librarians, an International Seminar (for 600 participants:) on the Promotion of Reading, and 5 hour Master Classes on Writing and Illustration.  There were also school visits, all sorts of performances (just wandering around I saw a puppet show and a rock concert), and a huge area of workshops for children. You can get a taste of the magnitude of the festival by looking at this brochure that includes a map of the festival as well as a listing of all the publishers and a schedule of events.

Even before I got to the festival grounds I had an inkling that this was a big event for all, seeing this poster for it in the city center:

IMG_2077

And once at the fair grounds I just enjoyed the energy. I was there only on weekdays, but am told you can barely move on the weekends.

IMG_2127 (There were so many tents full of books! This may look empty, but it is not. Just liked the Peppa painting on this particular tent.)

IMG_2126(This was a rock concert.)

IMG_2125

(This was a lovely cafe, but I’m afraid the warm orange of the walls came out rather dark in this photo of mine. In the back you can see one of the delightful posters that were all around the place. I believe there was a contest to get the commission to do these posters.)

Outside the festival,  I did a presentation on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to an attentive group of fourth graders at the Colegio Heraldos de México. They had prepared for my visit by watching both the Disney and Tim Burton’s movies, prepared questions, and created drawings and other decorations for my visit. The children’s English was fabulous — they seemed to follow my presentation with ease and asked thoughtful and carefully constructed questions. At the end I was surprised when they all wanted me to sign copies of Alice in Wonderland, personal autograph books, and paper.  So I did so as Lewis Carroll’s proxy! And then they gave me gifts — mostly chocolate, but also a book, and an amazing folk art clay statue of the Virgin Mary. They had never had an author visit before so it was a very big deal. For me too! My thanks especially to the Mexican Macmillan folk (among them Renato Aranda and Mariana Mendia – - a fellow Alice fan ) who took care of everything beautifully.

B2QKxVIIUAAg6k5

B2QkizgCMAAMQOE

Afterwards we went to the Museo Frida Kahlo (La Casa Azul where I’d first been years ago) and then to a fabulous lunch on the Coyoacan Zocalo followed by ice cream. I was moved by the candles for the 43 slain students, one of the many observations and demonstrations I saw while in Mexico City.

candles

We were also in Coyoacan one of the nights for a lovely dinner with local authors and publishing folk. While walking about we stopped at the Centro Cultural Eleno Garro, a fabulous bookstore in an historic building with trees inside and flying lit books in the children’s section.

IMG_2107

IMG_2110

My talk for the symposium, also on Alice, went very well. The 600 listeners were generous, attentive, and had some excellent questions. I had observed one of my fellow presenters, illustrator Serge Bloch, a few days before so was prepared for the experience of simultaneous translation, especially when the audience reacted a few beats late to anything amusing. This is a shot from the auditorium during Serge’s presentation which will give a taste of what mine looked like.

IMG_2098

 Over the week I was there I met so many interesting people (a complete list of speakers is here) and especially enjoyed chatting with Bart Moeyaert, Serge Bloch, and Gonzola Frasca. And then there were my fellow-native-English speakers, the Australian writer John Marsden with his wife Chris, and the UK Chicken House publisher (and Harry Potter editor)  Barry Cunningham.  We spent our final day together visiting Teotihuacan and followed by a lovely leisurely lunch that included ant eggs and crickets (at a restaurant with a lawn on one wall). Quite tasty, I should say though I admit found it hard to put aside my cultural squeamishness.

My great thanks to Conculta and Karen Coeman for inviting me (and to Betsy Bird for suggesting that I could do a good Lewis Carroll tribute). Karen Coeman is the person who put the whole thing together and did so splendidly with such poise no matter what. I last saw her when she showed up at 6 AM yesterday at our hotel to be sure we all made it off at various times to the airport without difficulty. She is a class act that Karen! Thanks to her team including the fabulous Diego Sanchez Moreno and Orly Rosales as well as that committed and helpful group of volunteers who took care of everything for us.

 


0 Comments on FILIJ: Mexico’s International Children’s Book Festival as of 11/18/2014 10:01:00 AM
Add a Comment
17. A Bit More about the BBC Forthcoming Adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

How would you sum up the show for viewers who are unfamiliar with the novel?

“It’s like a Jane Austen period drama but with magic and amazing special effects. It’s set at the time of the Napoleonic wars, in a version of England where magic once existed, long ago, but has since died out.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is the story of how magic returns to England, and the two magicians that bring it back. And what goes wrong.”

From this interview with the writer of the forthcoming BBC adaptation.


0 Comments on A Bit More about the BBC Forthcoming Adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
18. A Bit More about the BBC Forthcoming Adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

How would you sum up the show for viewers who are unfamiliar with the novel?

“It’s like a Jane Austen period drama but with magic and amazing special effects. It’s set at the time of the Napoleonic wars, in a version of England where magic once existed, long ago, but has since died out.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is the story of how magic returns to England, and the two magicians that bring it back. And what goes wrong.”

From this interview with the writer of the forthcoming BBC adaptation.


0 Comments on A Bit More about the BBC Forthcoming Adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
19. Writing “Authentic” Historical Dialog

My reasons for looking at dialogue in a different way were mainly because I was heartily tired of reading what I have taken to calling the Berlitz phrase-book approach to dialogue and character-thought. In the phrase-book approach all language is modern, except when specific words are inserted. Sometimes words from entirely the wrong language are used: Modern French instead of Old or Middle French for the Middle Ages, for instance. Get me after a drink or two and I’ll tell you which writers in particular get their languages wrong, but otherwise I shall mutter their names to myself, unhappily.

That is from this fascinating blog post: “Dialogue in Novels — a Medieval Experiment by Gillian Polack.” For those interested in how to balance the historical real with the contemporary reality — that is what your intended reader will make of it —this is very good stuff.


0 Comments on Writing “Authentic” Historical Dialog as of 11/3/2014 5:29:00 AM
Add a Comment
20. Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Awards Festival This Saturday

On Saturday November 8, 2014, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art (NMAA) in Washington, DC will host the 22nd annual Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA).  CABA was created by Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association to honor authors and illustrators who have produced exceptional books on Africa for young people.

Children’s Africana Book Awards Festival
Join Us!   11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday November 8, 2014
Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Avenue, Southwest, Washington, DC 20560
Free and Open to the Public   Registration is Requested

Hope to see some of you there!


2 Comments on Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Awards Festival This Saturday, last added: 11/6/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
21. His Dark Materials, the Television Series (Wishful thinking?)

The excellent news that Netflix is adapting Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events into a television series has me now dreaming that they or another forward-thinking company (HBO? BBC? Showtime?) will consider turning Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials into one. Please, please, please, please, please?


2 Comments on His Dark Materials, the Television Series (Wishful thinking?), last added: 11/6/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
22. Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Award Celebrations

I was so honored by the celebrations around this year’s Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA). These began with a Meet and Greet dinner at the venerable Bus Boys and Poets (a place I’d always wanted to see) where I met so many wonderful people, among them Ifeoma Onyefulu, a former winner of the award whose books I’ve long admired.

IMG_2065

The following day I spoke to a couple of 4th grade classes at the fabulous Capital City Public Charter School under the auspices of An Open Book Foundation. Here’s the description of what they do on their website:

Founded by Dara La Porte and Heidi Powell, An Open Book Children’s Literacy Foundation was created to promote literacy among disadvantaged children and teens in the greater Washington, D.C. area by giving schools and students book and access to authors and illustrators. We excite children and teachers about reading and send every child home with a signed book.

It was a really wonderful experience. The children were eager, interested, and had wonderful questions. I was most moved by two children from El Salvador. I sign my books “Never forget your home” and one of these two children spoke with tremendous excitement of returning soon to her home of El Salvador while the other came around to tell me privately that he would not be returning to his home of El Salvador because “bad things had happened there.” I told him that his home should be wherever he felt safe and happy. It was an important reminder to me — someone who has, for different reasons, no childhood place to call home —  that home is not necessarily where you originated.

Here are the books beautifully displayed before they were given out to the children.

IMG_2067

Saturday morning I wandered the Mall for a bit, having not done so in many years. I wanted most of all to see the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

IMG_2069

And then there was the actual Children’s Africana Book Award Festival at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. After being welcomed by the Curator of Education, Deborah Stokes, we were entertained by the marvelous dance and singing troupe, the Taratibu Youth Association. Harriet McGuire spoke about the Africa Book Project, a terrific initiative to get the award winning CABA books into the hands of African children. The amazing Brenda Randolph, president of Africa Access (which gives the award and who organized everything) spoke and board member Linda White gave the Read Africa Partner Awards.

Then we were given our awards. This was incredibly moving. Each book was beautifully introduced along with the creators who were there for the ceremony. (Not all of us were able to make it for one reason or another.) You can read more about all the winning books here. We were each given a beautiful certificate and then there was a lovely ceremony when we were draped with a kente-like cloth that had been woven by  the Ghanaian master weaver, Chapuchi Ahiagble.

IMG_2076

Here I am afterwards with fellow winners Agbotadua Togbi Kumassah, Anna Cottrell (translator and reteller of Once Upon a Time in Ghana: Traditional Stories Retold in English illustrated by Kwabena Poku ),  and A. G. Ford (illustrator of Desmond and the Very Mean Word written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams). Mubina Hassanali Kirmani (author of Bundle of Secrets, Savita Returns Home, illustrated by Tony Siema) was also there. There were many documenting all the events with photos, video, and interviews and when they are done and posted I will provide links.

IMG_2074

My great thanks to all who made this such a special experience for me, especially the members of the CABA Awards Committee: Dr. Meena Khorana, Dr. Patricia Kuntz, Dr. Lesego Malepe, Dr. John Metlzer, Ms. Brenda Randolph, Dr. Anne Waliaula, and Dr. Vivian Yenika-Agbaw.


1 Comments on Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Award Celebrations, last added: 11/10/2014
Display Comments Add a Comment
23. Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Award Celebrations

I was so honored by the celebrations around this year’s Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA). These began with a Meet and Greet dinner at the venerable Bus Boys and Poets (a place I’d always wanted to see) where I met so many wonderful people, among them Ifeoma Onyefulu, a former winner of the award whose books I’ve long admired.

IMG_2065

The following day I spoke to 4th graders at the fabulous Capital City Public Charter School under the auspices of An Open Book Foundation. Here’s the description of what they do on their website:

Founded by Dara La Porte and Heidi Powell, An Open Book Children’s Literacy Foundation was created to promote literacy among disadvantaged children and teens in the greater Washington, D.C. area by giving schools and students book and access to authors and illustrators. We excite children and teachers about reading and send every child home with a signed book.

It was a really wonderful experience. The children were eager, interested, and had wonderful questions. I was most moved by two children from El Salvador. I sign my books “Never forget your home” and one of these two children spoke with tremendous excitement of returning soon to her home of El Salvador while the other came around to tell me privately that he would not be returning to his home of El Salvador because “bad things had happened there.” I told him that his home should be wherever he felt safe and happy. It was an important reminder to me — someone who has, for different reasons, no childhood place to call home —  that home is not necessarily where you originated.

Here are some of the books beautifully displayed before they were given out to the children.

IMG_2067

Saturday morning I wandered the Mall for a bit, having not done so in many years. I wanted most of all to see the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

IMG_2069

And then there was the actual Children’s Africana Book Award Festival at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. After being welcomed by the Curator of Education, Deborah Stokes, we were entertained by the marvelous dance and singing troupe, the Taratibu Youth Association. Harriet McGuire spoke about the Africa Book Project, a terrific initiative to get the award winning CABA books into the hands of African children. The amazing Brenda Randolph, president of Africa Access (which gives the award and who organized everything) spoke and board member Linda White gave the Read Africa Partner Awards.

Then we were given our awards. This was incredibly moving. Each book was beautifully introduced along with the creators who were there for the ceremony. (Not all of us were able to make it for one reason or another.) You can read more about all the winning books here. We were each given a beautiful certificate and then there was a lovely ceremony when we were draped with a kente-like cloth that had been woven by  the Ghanaian master weaver, Chapuchi Ahiagble.

IMG_2076

Here I am afterwards with fellow winners Agbotadua Togbi Kumassah, Anna Cottrell (translator and reteller of Once Upon a Time in Ghana: Traditional Stories Retold in English illustrated by Kwabena Poku ),  and A. G. Ford (illustrator of Desmond and the Very Mean Word written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams). Mubina Hassanali Kirmani (author of Bundle of Secrets, Savita Returns Home, illustrated by Tony Siema) was also there. There were many documenting all the events with photos, video, and interviews and when they are done and posted I will provide links.

IMG_2074

20141108_125939 (3)

(I just found this photo by Monica Utsey who was honored along with her lovely younger son)

My great thanks to all who made this such a special experience for me, especially the members of the CABA Awards Committee: Dr. Meena Khorana, Dr. Patricia Kuntz, Dr. Lesego Malepe, Dr. John Metlzer, Ms. Brenda Randolph, Dr. Anne Waliaula, and Dr. Vivian Yenika-Agbaw.


0 Comments on Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Award Celebrations as of 11/18/2014 10:01:00 AM
Add a Comment
24. His Dark Materials, the Television Series (Wishful thinking?)

The excellent news that Netflix is adapting Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events into a television series has me now dreaming that they or another forward-thinking company (HBO? BBC? Showtime?) will consider turning Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials into one. Please, please, please, please, please?


0 Comments on His Dark Materials, the Television Series (Wishful thinking?) as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
25. Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Awards Festival This Saturday

On Saturday November 8, 2014, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art (NMAA) in Washington, DC will host the 22nd annual Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA).  CABA was created by Africa Access and the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association to honor authors and illustrators who have produced exceptional books on Africa for young people.

Children’s Africana Book Awards Festival
Join Us!   11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday November 8, 2014
Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Avenue, Southwest, Washington, DC 20560
Free and Open to the Public   Registration is Requested

Hope to see some of you there!


0 Comments on Africa is My Home: Children’s Africana Book Awards Festival This Saturday as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts