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1. Mother’s Day Breakfast In Bed Ideas

Happy Mother's DayMake a Mother’s Day Breakfast!

With Mother’s Day this weekend, have you thought about what you are going to do to show your mom how much you love and appreciate her? If you still haven’t got a clue, here’s an awesome plan that you, your siblings, and your dad can do for the ultimate Mother’s Day gift from the heart.

On the menu is a classic breakfast of toast, eggs, strawberries, and any other cereal or yogurt you know your mom loves. What makes this breakfast uber-adorable is the heart-shaped toast and strawberries. Here’s how to make them:

Heart toast

photo credit: jenifoto/iStockphoto

1. Heart-shaped toast with egg
Ok, so here’s where art class might come in handy. Grab a piece of toast and use a butter knife to cut out a big heart shape in the center. Have a grown-up help you turn the stove to medium high and add butter to a non-stick pan. Place the bread with the cut out heart on the pan and slowly crack an egg into the middle of the heart shape, making sure the egg whites fill out the area. Cook as desired, either on one side or flip to get both sides cooked.

Strawberry hearts

photo credit: talitha_it/iStockphoto

2. Heart-shaped strawberries
Have you ever noticed that strawberries look like hearts? They could make the cutest fruit garnish to top off Mom’s favorite bowl of cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt. To do this, hold the strawberry so that the flatter and wider side faces you. Have a grown-up help you cut the leafy stem off in a v-shape. Then carefully slice the strawberry down the middle, in the opposite direction of the v-shape, so that the strawberry looks like a heart.

Make sure you do a few trial runs first to perfect your technique. Also, don’t forget to wake up a little early that day before Mom wakes up so you have time to prepare. She’ll love waking up to a big breakfast surprise made by YOU.

Let us know YOUR good ideas for Mother’s Day!

-Sandy

 

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2. Featured Review: Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano

About this book: John "Smoke" Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn't the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke's new home...

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3. Shiphead


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4. Medieval flock. #100daysofoilcrayon #the100dayproject 17/100...



Medieval flock. #100daysofoilcrayon #the100dayproject 17/100 #matsbootcamp2016 #medievalmotifs #lisafirke



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5. Captain America: Civil War

It's a bit of a strange thing to say, but I might have liked Captain America: Civil War better if it were a less good movie.  When films like The Dark Knight Rises or Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice deliver rancid political messages wrapped in equally rancid plots and characterization, the reviewer's job is made easier.  We can point to how a failure to recognize the actual complexity of a

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6. Squirrel

Me:  Check out paragraph 2 of this press release I just got—

May 5, 2016, Mount Laurel, NJ: Four of the leading independent comic book publishers have come together with Groupees to offer fans a low cost entry into the world of original storytelling from some of the leading names in graphic fiction!

This cross-publisher pay what you want “Bundle of Independents” features approximately $300 worth of books by some of the industry’s greatest creators from Garth Ennis, Greg Rucka, Duane Swierczynski, Andy Diggle, Howard Chaykin, Peter Milligan, Andy Diggle, Jim Starlin, Jae Lee, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Tim Seeley, Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, Brian Wood, Rick Remender, Joe Hill, Sam Keith, Charles Soule, Cullen Bunn, and more!

brilliant editing, guys

Scott: that’s so embarrassing

Me: ALSO

The all-men lineup. Lower in the press release you learn that one of the items in the bundle is Saga. 

Why on earth wouldn’t you mention Fiona (and BKV for that matter) in your summary???

Scott: that’s insane.

But you know what? They didn’t mention Darwyn Cooke, either. Or Bryan Lee O’Malley, Walter Simonson.

Poorly done

Me:

badly done emma

Scott: what a perfect expression

Me: He’s the Mr. Knightley to the Emma actress you looked up the other day, the one I knew SO WELL

from, you know, Emma

Scott: yes

He’s Sherlock

Me: Also Edmund from Mansfield Park

Scott: yes

Me: You realize this is why nothing gets done in modern civilization

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7. Sneak Peek: You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour + Giveaway (US Only)

Hi, YABCers! Today we're super excited to present a sneak peek from David Levithan and Nina LaCour's YOU KNOW ME WELL, releasing June 7, 2016 from St. Martin's Griffin. Check out information about the book below, the sneak peek, and a giveaway! YOU KNOW ME WELL by Nina LaCour, David Levithan...

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8. Interested In Vintahge Toys?

 A new event but, sadly, can't go.  But looks like it could be fun. Look for Warp Zero on Face Book!
nnnnnnnnnn

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9. Throwback Thursday

From Do You See What I See? —“Up and down lines pull me up, up, up with them, until I feel as tall as a steeple and as taut as a stretched rubber band. I think of lofty trees, a lighthouse rising above the sea, a rocket soaring high into the sky, noble kings in […]

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10. Playing with crayons. #oilpastels #sennelier #100daysofoilcrayon



Playing with crayons. #oilpastels #sennelier #100daysofoilcrayon



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11. Diversity 102: Ageism in Children’s Literature

diversity102-logoToday we are pleased to share this guest post from LGuest Bloggeribrarian and Diversity Coordinator Laura Reiko Simeon on ageism in children’s literatureWelcome, Laura!

Super Grandpa by David M. Schwartz was inspired by the true story of Gustaf Håkansson, who in 1951 at age 66 won a 1000-mile bike race in Sweden after being banned from entry on the grounds that he was too old. Before reading this inspiring tale to my elementary-aged students, I asked them to say the first words that came to mind when they heard the word “grandpa.” Some of them were positive to be sure (kind, gentle, loving, cheerful), but most were far less so: slow, bent, broken down, tired, sleepy, weak, cane, and, ahem, smelly! Of course, they cheered for Super Grandpa and were deeply indignant that he wasn’t even officially allowed to try to race (given how often children are forbidden from doing things on the basis of age, I suspect the injustice of this resonated on a personal level)!

However, I couldn’t stop thinking about their initial responses to the word “grandpa.” As I began to pay closer attention, I noticed that a significant number of picture books about older people seemed intended to help children come to terms with their grandparents’ Super Grandpa by David M. Schwartzdeath or mental deterioration. I also observed that older people were often shown as lonely, objects of pity, or cantankerous and vaguely alarming. The AGHE Book Award for Best Children’s Literature on Aging encourages “positive portrayals of older adults in children’s literature” to help counteract this, but is unfortunately not yet very well known.

Surveys of children’s literature confirm my impressionistic observations, but also offer reason for hope. Edward Ansello’s groundbreaking 1977 study found that the three adjectives most frequently used to describe old people in children’s literature of the time were “old,” “sad” and “poor.” In J.B. Hurst’s 1981 survey, older adults were referred to as “nice” or “wise” in three of the books sampled, but in the remainder were described as “funny, small, little, grumpy, lonely, poor, and weak.” In a 1993 study, Sandra McGuire wrote that, “The literature is almost void of older people; frequently fails to fully develop older characters; often focuses on illness, disability and death; and gives children little to look forward to as they age.” Jessica L. Danowski‘s survey of picture books published between 2000-2010 found that the elderly were disproportionately portrayed as white (77%) and male (60%), and that they comprised only 5.6% of all characters. On the bright side, however, the portrayals overall were positive in nature, and most frequently showed older adults who were physically active.

As increasing numbers of people live healthy, vibrant, active lives ever later in life, we need more of these types of picture books that reflect the true gamut of roles older adults play in our society. Given the reverence and respect shown to elders in many cultures, diverse literature is a natural place to look to fill this need.

An immigrant grandmother turns innovator in Frances and Ginger Park’s The Have a Good Day Cafe. Tired of her family’s leaving her at home while they go out to run their hot dog stand, Grandma declares, “I did not travel ten thousand miles just to stay home and rest my feet day after day.” Observing that the stand is suffering from competition from other vendors, she and her grandson come up with a plan to differentiate themselves by selling her Korean specialties, leading to an upsurge in business. This is an enterprising woman who isn’t about to let the grass grow under her feet!

interior spread from The Hula Hoopin' Queen
from The Hula Hoopin’ Queen

You’re never too old to be a hula-hooping champion, or so proves Miz Adeline in Thelma Lynne Godin’s The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen, set in a gloriously diverse New York City neighborhood. After Kameeka gets distracted while running an errand, her mother is unable to make a birthday cake for their beloved elderly neighbor.

Far from being a pitiful recluse or a crotchety old scold, Miz Adeline is popular and high-spirited. Her friend and hula-hooping rival Miss Evelyn is no slouch either, and the two older women breathe life into the party! Godin handles this skillfully, making hula hooping something that forges a bond across generations rather than turning Miz Adeline into a “bizarre and comical” old person, another common stereotype.

In A Morning with Grandpa by Sylvia Liu, Mei Mei learns tai chi from her grandfather, Gong Gong, and in turn teaches him some yoga. The ebullient little girl struggles to achieve the fluid, deliberate grace of tai chi, while the older man has a bit of trouble with some of the more challenging asanas. Together they have a ball, laughing and encouraging one another, each doing their best while trying something new. It is a charming portrayal of a playful, loving intergenerational relationship.

from A Morning With Grandpa
from A Morning With Grandpa

In Holly Thompson’s touching The Wakame Gatherers, biracial Nanami heads out into the surf collecting seaweed with Gram, her white American grandmother visiting from Maine, and Baachan, who is part of her multigenerational household in Japan. Neither woman speaks the other’s language, but they are bound together by their love for their granddaughter and a spirit of open-mindedness. In this lovely story, two women who lived through a world war that pitted their countries against one another now embrace new cultural experiences, from trying new food to embarking on trans-Pacific travel.

Books that help children come to terms with the loss and bereavement, as well as distressing medical conditions, are certainly necessary—but these tragedies can afflict the young and middle aged as well the old. Greater diversity in picture book portrayals of the elderly benefit readers of all ages.


 

Laura SimeonThe daughter of an anthropologist, Laura Reiko Simeon’s passion for diversity-related topics stems from her childhood spent living all over the US and the world. An alumna of the United World Colleges, international high schools dedicated to fostering cross-cultural understanding, Laura has an MA in History from the University of British Columbia, and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington. She lives near Seattle where she is the Diversity Coordinator and Library Learning Commons Director at Open Window School.

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12. TGIPF: Thank Goodness It's Poetry Friday!

Welcome, poetry friends! I'm happy to host Poetry Friday once again right here. Jump to the bottom and link your post below courtesy of Mister Linky. Meanwhile, Mother's Day is coming up, so I thought I might take a moment to share some poetry resources for celebrating the moms and grandmoms in our lives-- and other women who are special to us. So, in that spirit, here is a list of 10 of my favorite books of poetry about mothers. (You can find many more in my Poetry Teacher's Book of Lists. FYI)

Diverse Poetry Books about Mothers

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What better tribute for a mother, aunt or grandmother than a well-chosen poem? Poets have given us words with which to honor the women in our lives in many poetry books in picture book form or in novels in verse or in anthologies of poems by many poets. 
  1. Atkins, Jeannine. 2010. Borrowed Names; Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters. Henry Holt.
  2. Grimes, Nikki. 2015. Poems in the Attic. Ill. by Elizabeth Zunon. New York: Lee & Low. 
  3. Holt, K. A. 2015. House Arrest. San Francisco: Chronicle.
  4. Lewis, J. Patrick. 2005. Vherses: A Celebration of Outstanding Women.Mankato, MN: Creative Editions.
  5. McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. 2011. Under the Mesquite. New York: Lee & Low.
  6. Mora, Pat. 2001. Ed. Love to Mamá: a Tribute to Mothers. New York: Lee & Low Books.
  7. Smith, Hope Anita. 2009. Mother: Poems. New York: Henry Holt.
  8. Thomas, Joyce Carol. 2001. A Mother’s Love: Poems for us to Share.New York: Joanna Cotler.
  9. Wong. Janet S. 1999. The Rainbow Hand: Poems about Mothers and Children. New York: McElderry.
  10. Yolen, Jane and Heidi E.Y. Stemple. 2001. Dear Mother, Dear Daughter: Poems for Young People.  Honesdale, PA: Wordsong/Boyds.
Plus, I hope you'll also indulge a plug for the many poems about mothers in The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations, including the poem that Janet Wong wrote especially for Mother's Day. (And yes, that is my own mom and holding me as a newborn in the photo!)

Now, let's see what poetry goodness awaits us at other lovely blogs! Mister Linky will gather all our posts below. Thanks for sharing!









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13. Watch ‘Courage the Cowardly Dog’ Creator John Dilworth Animate His New Film

He's documenting the animation process of his new film through a weekly video series.

The post Watch ‘Courage the Cowardly Dog’ Creator John Dilworth Animate His New Film appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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14. Sharp Edges: where I've been, where I'm going

I've been a blogger slacker; I confess. It wasn't meant to be this way.

But I've been rolling through and over rugged landscapes in these past weeks, and sometimes it's better to think and to do, rather than to speak.

But now I'm speaking:

Following thirty years of chasing projects in corporate America I am calling off the chase. I loved what I did, the people I met, the meaty, beautiful, complex projects I was entrusted with, the client projects that still sit proudly on my shelves. But in recent years too much has changed—a disheartening disrespect and disequilibrium has entered in. It's a demand and disappear environment out there these days. It's phones ringing after dinner with early AM deadlines, nights tapping away, and the next-day news: Whoops. Sorry. We were wrong. Didn't need that project after all. 

Didn't need you.

I have lived my life putting my family and friends first, my students second, my corporate clients second, too, and me a distant something. I would do it all exactly the same way again; I have no regrets. But going forward I know what I want, where I am happiest, what I must be, must have. More time with books. More time with people who write and read with noble purpose. More time spent beneath a blooming, bursting cherry tree, or on a farm, or by the sea.

More time being the me I need.

Not long ago, in New York, I sat with someone I have grown to love, the great editor, Lauren Wein. Later, writing to me, she wrote words that ricocheted through me. After so much frank unkindness from corporate America, after too much time spent in the claw and crawl of it all, I had this sudden sense of being seen.
  seeing you i thought again what i thought the other time---beth has such SHARP EDGES. in the very best way. your virtual presence is so much about generosity, encouragement, positive reinforcement--for other writers and artists, for your family, for your students. in person, the other side comes out. and it's equally compelling---it raises the stakes somehow, in the best way! it's still positive, lyrical, poetic Beth, but there's also a tension there--the sense of an oppositional pull. the bold, unexpected shoes to complement and subvert the elegant, basic black.
Being seen. How simple that sounds. How great the journey.

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15. Everland

Everland. Wendy Spinale. 2016. Scholastic. 320 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Everland is a dystopian, steam-punk retelling of Peter Pan.

If I was giving stars for premise, it would be five stars for sure. The premise is surely the most interesting and captivating thing about Everland. Gwen Darling is the heroine. Since a virus/plague killed off most--if not all--of the adults in England, Gwen is responsible for her younger siblings, Mikey, the youngest, and her sister Joanna. When Gwen is out scavenging one day, Joanna is kidnapped by the Marauders, the Marauders are led by Captain Hook, though Hook is just a nickname. His initials are H.O.O.K. Fortunately for Gwen, on the same scavenging trip, she caught her first glimpse of Pete and Bella. These two come to her rescue. Pete eagerly and generously. Bella with much protest and grumbling. Pete hopes that Gwen is truly IMMUNE, the one human on earth who is immune to the virus, the one whose blood or antibodies in the blood may hold the cure for saving those left alive. Pete takes Gwen and Mikey to the underworld--the underground remains of Everland, or London. She'll join the Lost Boys. Bella is the only other girl. Jack and Doc are two Lost Boys that seem to stand out from the rest.

So, as I mentioned earlier, the premise gets five stars from me. Unfortunately, I found the world-building, the storytelling (narration, plotting), and the characterization to all be lacking.

The world-building seemed all-surface and not much depth. Like flimsy props on a set that could potentially be tipped over leading to disaster. I never once forgot myself in the story or got lost in the story. And that's what you want in fantasy: to be swept into a whole new world, to become absorbed in it, fascinated even. It isn't that the world created doesn't have potential or promise. It does. But I don't want potential-fulfillment, I want actual fulfillment. One thing that bothered me was the depiction of this "war" between England and Germany. The German bad guys--led by the oh-so-evil Queen that we never once meet--didn't come across to me as well-executed.

The narration was an almost for me as well. I really did not enjoy the alternating narrators. Chapters alternate perspectives between Gwen and Hook. If I had to have alternating characters, I'd much rather have gotten to know Bella or Pete or if it absolutely had to be a bad guy, Smeeth. Seeing Captain Hook through Smeeth's eyes would have likely been more entertaining than being stuck in Hook's head. Still, I think readers didn't get to know Bella enough, and, it would have been great to have alternating chapters between Gwen and Bella. It would have made for a lively, tension-filled read. Because Bella seemed fierce, strong, stubborn.

The plot itself was okay, but, it was the little things that annoyed me. For example, the "need" to represent pixie dust leading to the gold dust powder that somehow, someway enables all the characters to see in the dark. That's just one example of how the need to represent as many details as possible from Peter Pan led to a weaker story. That being said, the surprise introduction of Lily was very much necessary. Now that I think about it, LILY would have made a good alternate narrator. What I was not thrilled with was the "instant" romance between Pete and Gwen.

The characterization. I personally found it on the weak side. If the premise wasn't so strong, would anyone really keep reading? Or, would I have kept reading?! (That would be the fairer question). Gwen, Pete, Bella, Hook, all the characters really felt like paper dolls. Some readers prefer action-driven novels. Some readers prefer character-driven novels. I happen to prefer character-driven novels. And I like my action novels to have a certain depth to their characters. I think the best villains should be fleshed-out villains. Even though we were in Captain Hook's head, I never once really thought of him as being a developed character.

Think of LOST. Tons of characters, plenty of action and drama, plenty of tension and suspense, plenty of mystery. Yet what hooks me is the DEPTH of the characterization. Every single character is fully fleshed out--past, present, everything in between. You may or may not "like" a character. But every action, every word seems to come from within a character, staying true to that character. The same could be said of Once Upon A Time. And that show put a WHOLE new spin and then some on Peter Pan and Captain Hook!!!!

Would a rereading at some point persuade me to reevaluate this one, and "like" it more??? Perhaps. After all, such has occurred before. But I'm not eager to do so now.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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16. ‘Kaputt’ Tops 2016 Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film

"Kaputt" won 15,000 euros as the top pick at the 2016 Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film.

The post ‘Kaputt’ Tops 2016 Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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17. Guest Post: Greg Leitich Smith on Hapa Characters: Asian-White Biracial Representation

By Greg Leitich Smith
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

As with a lot of aspects of creative media these days, Disney movies have been criticized for their lack of diversity.

While such criticism is necessary, I think it’s important as well to give praise where it’s due and acknowledge things done right.

So I want to hand it to Disney for featuring resonant Asian-white characters in several of its recent animated movies, something you rarely see in any media.

The characters Hiro and Tadashi from "Big Hero Six;" Wilbur Robinson from "Meet the Robinsons;" and Russell from "Up" are all Asian-white (this in a field that's largely #whitewashedOUT, and note that all of these films were financially successful).

One of the things about these portrayals that I particularly liked, too, was that while the characters are clearly the products of their backgrounds, their ethnicities were not the be all and end all of their existences.

In other words, they are fully developed characters – persons – with individual wants and needs that have nothing to do with their heritage.

Being of German and Japanese descent myself, I tend to notice this sort of thing.

Portraying Asian mixed-race characters as mainstream with idiosyncratic wants and needs is something I've striven for in my books.

My first novel, Ninjas, Piranhas and Galileo, pokes some fun at the “caught between two worlds” motif: Shohei O’Leary (one of three co-protagonists) is of wholly Japanese descent and has been adopted by parents of Irish descent. Still, he is first and foremost a kid who has to deal with his specific wacky parents.

By Blake Henry from Chronal Engine
In Tofu and T.rex, the protagonist, Hans-Peter Yamada (whose family owns a German delicatessen and butcher shop), has to deal with a vegan cousin who comes to live with them.

Although both Shohei and Hans-Peter are Japanese American, their ethnicity informs their background rather than wholly defines it (like their being Chicagoans informs their backgrounds rather than wholly defining them).

Similarly, the protagonist, Max Takahashi-Pierson, and his siblings in Chronal Engine and Borrowed Time (both Clarion) are, like Hans-Peter, hapa. They're Asian and white. (Their friend Petra is Mexican-German American.)

Max is focused on surviving encounters with Tyrannosaurus rex and surviving being caught between the contemporary world and the world of dinosaurs (literally),  as opposed to being "caught between two [ethnic] worlds."

This is all to say, when it comes to animated hapa boys: Good job, Disney.

Now about live-action kids, other identities-intersections, and hapa girls...

Cynsational Notes


Check out the educator guides for Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn, Chronal Engine and Borrowed Time. See also the Chronal Engine Activity Kit.

Greg is currently booking for fall 2016 and the 2017-2018 school year. Contact The Booking Biz to invite him to your event.

Greg uses the term hapa to refer to someone of biracial (Asian) heritage. He learned it from his mother, who is Japanese-American, originally from Hawaii.

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18. Poetry Friday -- Pigs


I visited four first grade classes (two visits -- two classes per visit) this week as the "visiting poet." One of the groups used the above picture as a prompt to start writing nonfiction poems. In my mailbox today, I found this:


And in this envelope was a whole packet of piggy poems! 
Here are a few:


The Pig

I am pink.
My nam is pig.

I am skrd you will
eat me.

I liv in a farm.
And I slep in
mod.

oink oink


(Stanzas!! And how about those pig balloons!!)



Baby Pigs

the pig are pink
they roll in mud
togther as a team
baby pig are piglets 
snort oink snort oink

(I like how this writer improved on the "oink oink" ending!)



Pigs Day

Pigs go
to the
mud to
dres up
in mud
to
celebrate
Pigs!
Day!

(never mind Cinco de Mayo...let's celebrate PIGS DAY!)



Little Pig

I am a pig I play in
mud and I have 2 broths
We play and play all day
but dowte get coos to me!
are I will get you dirty.

(please note the interesting contrast between 
the illustrations and the poem!)


Sylvia has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Poetry For Children.


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19. ALSC Award Confidentiality: Let us know what you think!

For decades many ALSC book and media award committees have observed time-honored confidentiality policies. The question has been brought to the ALSC Board: For research purposes, should there be a designated statute of limitations on these confidentiality policies?

That’s a big question to think about, and we want your input!  Please complete the following survey by Wednesday, May 18:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HVVWNRZ

Let us know what you think!

The post ALSC Award Confidentiality: Let us know what you think! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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20. Design, livros e capas

Além de autora de livros, 
sou formada em design e produção gráfica.
Abaixo uma coleção com alguns de meus trabalhos.
As artes usadas são minhas, 
assim como a maioria dos projetos.


Preparo o projetos, as artes e os arquivos para entrega nas gráficas, a partir de sua ideia original.



Também domino os recursos necessários para:

– restauro, alteração e retoque de fotografias;
– criação de logotipos / marcas / identidade visual;
– projetos de comunicação institucional;
– criação de projeto e diagramação de livros, apostilhas, cartazes, revistas, papelaria de sua empresa/escritório;
– criação de personagens "mascotes", para eventos, produtos, empresas;
– criação e diagramação de "Bíblias" para séries de TV, Cinema, quadrinhos – com elaboração de sinopse dos episódios, design dos personagens, descrição de universo de série, tag lines pra pitching de produção;
– criação de roteiros institucionais ou ficção;
– scriptdoctoring e leitura crítica de originais literários;
– criação de rótulos, banners, adesivos, camisetas, etc;
– criação de memes, quadrinhos, tirinhas.




Essa obra foi eleita a melhor do ano 
pelo Insituto Brasileiro de Genealogia:



Capa aberta:


Esta obra recebeu o prêmio "Altamente Recomendável" 
da Fundação Nacional do Livro Infatojuvel – FNLIJ:




Obra com arte, projeto e textos de minha autoria. Selecionado para o Programa Nacional Biblioteca da Escola – PNBE:




















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21. Happy Mother's Day

First off, I'd like to let everyone know that I am now offering critiquing services for picture book manuscripts. Picture books are my passion and I would love to help others polish up their stories and get them ready to send off to publishers. Click on my Critiquing and Design Services tab for more information.

But more importantly, Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there, especially my own mother and mother-in-law. My mom had a rough week last week but came through it like a champ. It's great to hear her talk about plans for the future and all the things she has to look forward to. My mom is a strong woman who knows who she is and has always made her children feel loved. We've had our differences in life but have always overcome them and become closer. Now that we have our writing in common, we have tons to talk about and constantly give each other encouragement. My mother has always had faith in her kids and never failed at giving us the confidence we needed to conquer our fears. I love you mom!

I admire my mom and also my mother-in-law. Even though neither she nor my own mom were crazy about my husband and I getting married, she has always welcomed me into her home and made me feel like a part of her family. Her love and support have been very precious to me and I am one of the lucky people who wouldn't trade my mother-in-law for anyone! I love you too, Vi!

Mother's are a special breed. Not everyone is cracked up to be one and even those that are mother's, may not do it well. But if you have love in your heart for your child (or pets, in my case) and they feel that love, than in my opinion that's the most important part of mothering. Even when my own mother and I disagreed or got in an argument about something, there has never been a moment when I doubted her love for me or my siblings. And that love has carried us all through some difficult times.


To all of us who are fortunate enough to still have our mother's, let's give them an extra big hug this year. And to those that have lost their mother's, blow a kiss towards heaven, I'm sure they're waiting for it!



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22. Gruff

gruff_robertabaird.72

Suddenly there was a huge roar.

‘Who’s that trip trapping over my bridge?

and out from under the bridge loomed the Troll.

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23.





Bienvenidos -  Benvenuti - Bienvenus - Welcome





 Ilustración Artística

Illustrazione Artistica

Illustration Artistique

Illustration Art

                                           

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24. Leafy Greens

Despite the fact that children
Keep increasing as to size,
If Ted Cruz had been elected
Every school’d be serving fries.

For while blasting Ms. Obama,
With her push for “leafy greens,”
Ted announced, that as first lady,
Heidi’d shake up those routines.

If obesity’s a problem
(And most experts say it is)
We should thank our lucky stars
That school lunch menus won’t be his.

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25. You Can Fly with the Weatherfords

When I was young and learned my father served in the Naval Air Corps during WWII, I became a voracious reader of anything and everything about the war, including the Holocaust, Pearl Harbor, Jackie Robinson, Rosie the Riveter, the WACs, and more. What I didn't find were stories about the Tuskegee Airmen. My young self would have been as thrilled as I am today with the release of an amazing poetry collection entitled You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Jeffery Boston Weatherford.

You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen is a collaboration between award-winning children’s book author Carole Boston Weatherford and her son, debut illustrator Jeffery Boston Weatherford. They have woven poems and scratchboard illustrations into a history in verse inspired as much by World War II newsreels as by modern day graphic novels. The project was nearly ten years in the making. With starred reviews in Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly, the book for middle grades is off to a flying start.

Here the mother-son/author-illustrator team interview each other.

Carole: When did you first hear about the Tuskegee Airmen?
Jeffery: I first heard about them when I was a young boy. We took family trips to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington and to Tuskegee Institute, Alabama where we toured exhibits about the Tuskegee University’s founder Booker T. Washington, botanist George Washington Carver and the Tuskegee Airmen. I always had dreams of flight.

Jeffery: Why did you want to write this book?
Carole: I first learned of the Tuskegee Airmen in a magazine article in the 1980s. I was so moved by their story that I saved the magazine. My literary mission is to mine the past for family stories, fading traditions and forgotten struggles. The Airmen’s saga is historically and politically significant. As a children’s literature professor, I knew of at least one historical fiction picture book and of several informational books about the Tuskegee Airmen. I felt that the story would lend itself well to a poetic treatment.

Carole: Tell us about your family’s military ties?
Jeffery: My great great great grandfather Isaac Copper fought in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War. He was one of 17 veterans who founded the town of Unionville on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. My mother’s father Joseph Boston Jr. served in World War II. He was a technical sergeant in the Army Corps of Engineers in New Guinea and the Philippines. My grandmother still has his uniform and medals.

Jeffery: Which poem was most challenging to write?
Carole: “Operation Prove Them Wrong” was by far the toughest to write. It was like plotting scenes for a war movie. I had to boil down Operation Corkscrew and Operation Diadem to a few lines that captured the battles. It might have been easier if I were gamer like you or at least a World War II buff.

Carole: You were a serious gamer growing up. Did your background as a gamer influence how you illustrated the battle scenes?  
Jeffery: Yes, absolutely. I had lots of residual visual references from battles across galaxies.

Jeffery: What is your favorite illustration from the book?
Carole: I like the one opposite the poem “Routines.” It shows a dogfight in which one plane gets bombed and explodes. The explosion is quite animated, like something out of a comic book. I almost want to add an action bubble: Boom!

Carole: Describe your creative process.
Jeffery: For inspiration, I viewed documentary photographs from the Library of Congress and National Archives collections. While researching picture references, I had some dreams of meeting Tuskegee Airmen. I also watched the movie Red Tails. For each illustration, I drew a graphite study to layout the composition. Once that was completed and approved by the publisher, I refined the image and transferred it to scratchboard. I used various nibs for different effects.
Jeffery with Airman portrait

Jeffery: What do you want readers to take away from the book?
Carole: I want them to be inspired by the courage and determination of the Tuskegee Airmen. I want them to understand that the sky is no limit if they are willing to prepare themselves, practice and persevere. The book aims to lift the ceiling off of young people’s dreams. 
P-51 Mustangs flying in formation over Ramitelli, Italy.

Did you know? The Tuskegee Airmen got the name Red Tails when their ground crew painted the tail of the P-47 red.

WWII by the numbers: Before the Tuskegee Experiment began, there were only 130 licensed African American pilots in the U.S.

Here's one of my favorite poems from the book.

Train Ride to the Clouds

All aboard for Tuskegee Institute,
where Booker T. Washington uplifted ex-slaves
and George Washington Carver 
is working wonders with sweet potatoes!

If Carver can make paint
from clay and plastics from soy,
then the school Booker T. founded
can surely make you a pilot.

If you did not believe that were true
you would not have packed your bag 
and boarded the train for Alabama
with a Bible and a box lunch from your mama.

If your faith were not vast as the sky,
you would never have taken this leap.

Poem © Carole Boston Weatherford, 2016. All rights reserved.

The poems in this volume are moving, vivid, and packed with information.  The poem in the Epilogue describes the race barrier breaking moments that came after the Tuskegee Airmen paved the way for integration of the U.S. military. The backmatter includes an author's note, timeline, and extensive list of additional resources and primary sources. 

You can find helpful teacher resources for this work at: https://cbweatherford.com/books/youcanfly/teacher-resources/

*****
My thanks to Carole and Jeffery for sharing their conversation and their work. You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen was released on May 3rd and is available now. Don't miss it!

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