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1. Hand and Hand Anti-Bullying Club

Make a difference!Join the Hand and Hand Anti-Bullying Club

Bullying is such a big problem for kids, so we started a club to help you deal with it. Go to the STACK Back Message Board and tell us your stories of being bullied. If you don’t want to go into detail you don’t have to. We are here for you though.

My story: I’ve been bullied almost every year in school. I was tired of it and needed to do something about it. My best friend Layla and I created this organization to help people like us. This is for YOU GUYS.

Join us here!

Rowan, Scholastic Kids Council

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2. Classroom Slice of Life Story Challenge: Day 5 of 31

Thinking about how to structure your Slice of Life writing? This post may help. And welcome to Day Five!

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3. L.A. Times Book Prize finalists

       They've announced the finalists for the 35th annual L.A. Times Book Prizes.
       Some interesting works -- and a lot of categories. I have some of these, but none are under review at the complete review at this time.

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4. Portrait of Henry Smookain, as told by Hairy Tell Tall ~ from the Ancient Region of Hairiness

The Ancient Region of Hairiness is a fictional place where everyone is loved, nurtured, adored and respected when little and throughout their lives, which in turn results in a land filled with delight, true wildness and extreme contentment. Oh, plus everyone and thing is hairy, whiskered, bearded, or both (even the pigeons).


ancient hairiness details

Filed under: finding norway, flying, love

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5. Day 5 of the March SOLSC! #SOL15

It is day five of our 31-day writing challenge. Are you having fun yet? What feels easy? What feels challenging? Please share your thoughts when you leave the link to your slice of life story.

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6. Bookselling in ... Russia

       At Russia Beyond the Headlines they offer an English version of Kira Latukhina and Pavel Basinsky's Rossiyskaya Gazeta article, finding that The Russian book industry is at a crossroads.
       The bleak situation:

"Book distribution networks have been ruined in recent years," Alexei Varlamov says. "The situation is even worse in the regions, where publishing a book is the same as publishing it for yourself. As a result, almost all literary engagement is restricted to our two main urban centers: Moscow and St. Petersburg." The problem is complex and can only be resolved with a complex approach that extends beyond the Year of Literature. Money must be invested into maintaining and reviving regional as well as central bookstores, otherwise a significant portion of the country faces being cut off from this important cultural marker.
       Given the abject failures of the Putin regime in managing ... well, pretty much anything, things do not look promising.

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7. the kitschies awards and the black tentacle!

Happy World Book Day, everyone! I've already seen one costume tweeted by Rebecca Mascull of her daughter Poppy, dressed up as Oliver from Oliver and the Seawigs. So fab, GO POPPY!

Last night we celebrated 'the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic'. I've blogged in the past about The Kitschies awards, but last week I was surprised to get a special request from organiser Glen Mehn to come to the ceremony to accept their Black Tentacle award. Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman won it last year, so I was more than surprised! Here's Glen presenting, and Anne Perry, who started up The Kitschies with her partner, Jared Shurin, painting names on the tentacle trophies. (She made the trophies but didn't know who was going to win this year so she painted the names on the spot.)

One of the great things about The Kitschies is that they have a special award for book cover artwork, such an important part of making books awesome. The winner of this year's cover award - The Inky Tentacle - was Glenn O’Neill, for Tigerman by Nick Harkaway (who coincidentally won The Red Tentacle back in 2013).

One of the highlights of my evening was meeting these two illustrators, Jim Kay (who won the Greenaway for A Monster Calls and is currently illustrating the new Harry Potter covers), and up-and-coming DAPS; the two of them gave a great presentation and were just so... goshdarn NICE. I hope to see a lot more of these dudes in the future.

I didn't win The Black Tentacle for a book, it's more a judges' discretion general sort of award for 'outstanding contribution to geek culture'. And it gave me a chance to talk about the #PicturesMeanBusiness campaign, which I feel really follows the work Malorie Blackman's been doing with the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. Getting into the book business can take a long time and it can be extremely difficult to make a living at it. Which can make it very elitist, since people with family money, or who are supported by earning partners have a huge advantage. That's tragic for books, because it means we hear a lot less from single people, and people who can't afford to be fully competitive by illustrating or writing full-time.

There are a lot of reasons for this elitism that need tackled, but the most clear-cut way I've spotted is by calling for illustrators to be recognised for their work. It's something everyone agrees with, in theory, but illustrators still get left out in awards listings, when writers show off their new book covers, in the media. And one of the reasons for this is faulty META DATA, a current buzzword in the business. When publishers submit information about their books that gets used by everyone else, a lot of time the illustrator (and translator) information is missing, or isn't provided in a useful way by the data sources. (For example, on Neilsen BookScan you can search the entire sales figures of a writer but not of an illustrator. So trade media such as The Bookseller magazine don't credit illustrators with having any effect on sales, because they don't have the figures.)

Photo tweeted by @EwaSR

There are many other ways we'll need to encourage diversity, but this particularly battle seems manageable, something we could actually achieve in the next few years if book people get behind it. For #PicturesMeanBusiness, we're challenging

* Data providers to update their software, making sales figures searchable by illustrator (and translator), and not hiding them in a second optional tier of information.

* Publishers to fill out ALL the data, including illustrator and translator, not just the mandatory field for the writer.

* Writers and Publicists, when announcing your new book cover, let us know who created it! When you tweet images by your illustrator, tag them, and when you use their artwork on your website, be sure people can see who made it.

* Illustrators: get on Twitter! The publishing world loves it, and it's much easier to credit you if you have a profile with your website link in it. You never need tweet, but set up this profile so people can link easily to you. (Everyone else, if illustrators aren't on Twitter, find creative ways still to mention them!)

Big congratulations to the other Kitschies winners! The Invisible Tentacle (for Natively Digital Fiction) went to Kentucky Route Zero, Act III, by Cardboard Computer; The Inky Tentacle (for Cover Art) to Glen O'Neill for Tigerman; The Golden Tentacle (for debut novel) to Hermione Eyre for Viper Wine; The Red Tentacle (for novel) to Andrew Smith for Grasshopper Jungle.

My husband, Stuart, snapped these photos with Hermione Eyre, and Kitschies judge (previous Red Tentacle shortlister and hatted writer of reknown) Frances Hardinge. Listening to Frances describe books was like its own work of art; she speaks like beautiful writing, it's amazing.

Photo tweeted by @natalielaverick

Big thanks and congratulations to all the hardworking Kitschies team, judges, shotlisted creators and winners! You can see more tweets from the ceremony on #TheKitschies hash tag and find out about the shortlisted books on The Kitschies website. Here's a last little peek at The Black Tentacle and Jim Kay with previous Red Tentacle winner Patrick Ness.

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8. कार्टून … हैप्पी होली

The post कार्टून … हैप्पी होली appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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9. The Beekle Experience

beekleAs a member of the 2015 Caldecott committee, making “the call” to Dan Santat on the morning of February 2 was such a thrill. The good folks at ALA make it possible for you to experience it HERE. Once the announcements of the Caldecott awards were made public, the Internet buzzed. One of the first things I saw online after the announcements was this short video from Dan Santat. It melted my heart. I was running on adrenaline, very little sleep, and home-made ginger cookies at this point, and that little clip just really got me. Dan Santat’s first Tweet of that day was “I’m so bummed the Patriots won the #SuperBowl last night. My whole day is ruined.” I immediately thought, “The guy is funny!” You can follow him on Twitter @dsantat. When I got back to my hotel room, I saw this amazing craft from This Picture Book Life blog. It inspired me to create my own Snow Beekle once I got back home.

When I was home I really dug in to read the Caldecott news. There are several interviews that will give you more about Dan Santat, like this one from Publisher’s Weekly, this one from NPR, this one from Dan’s local station in Pasadena, and this one on the 7 Impossible Things blog. And there’s this fun podcast from Picturebooking.

So, there’s a lot of Beekle love out there, and it is well-deserved. This year’s Caldecott medal book is one that you can share at preschool storytime. There’s already a craft you can make (with preschoolers I’d use frosting scribblers instead of Sharpie marker to make the face because you know they are going to want to eat it). You can use The Adventures of Beekle, the Unimaginary Friend with older groups, too. It is a seemingly simple book, but so much is going on. Embedded in this story is the archetypal Hero’s Journey: Beekle leaves home on a quest, heeding his call to adventure. He leaves his normal world and ventures out into the unknown. He then experiences trials in that world: he is looking for something, and searches valiantly. Once Beekle finds what he is looking for, and has bonded with his new friend, he can return, and do the unimaginable. For more on the Hero’s Journey, and how Beekle relates, try this link.

Photo by Angela J. Reynolds

Photo by Angela J. Reynolds

Look closely at that art! Each section of the journey is denoted by color and slight style changes, and fits the pacing just right. Look for the color yellow to tell you that change or something significant has occurred. Look at the emotion on our hero’s face when he meets his friend. Explore those end pages. Take that dust jacket off and revel in the lovely board cover underneath. Find the joy in this book that so many young children do. And don’t forget to look for the Beekle Bum – that image gets noticed every time I share this book in storytime.
Have fun with this book, and if you have more ideas on how to use it in storytime or in the classroom, share in the comments!

The post The Beekle Experience appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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10. The Room review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Jonas Karlsson's small workplace novel, The Room.

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11. Haven't I seen you someplace before? Dueling covers of paper cutouts


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12. Illustration Friday: Reflection

There's nothing like the love between a girl and her -- wait, what the who?!

Remember the Snailtropolis from the last post?  When I panned out, I discovered what had caught the snail's attention.  I feel bad for those snail wranglers.  

On a separate note, my house is slowly being stripped for parts under my very nose!  I discovered several curious holes in my window screen recently.  I had no idea how they got there.

And then a few days ago, I heard rattling at the window and saw a couple of birds pecking at the screen.  Oh my goodness!  Birds were clipping little squares from my screen!  Maybe they had their own little windows to cover, though you'd have to wonder why they'd want to keep bugs out.  I mean, that's lunch right there, flying through the window.  It's even better than delivery, because you don't need to tip.  I did a little research and, appropriately enough, the little culprits responsible for this are called House Finches.  Pffft.  House Filchers is more like it.  

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

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13. HOMEWARES - cordello home

Cordello Home is a brand all about 'design, pattern, colour' and bringing it to life on everyday homeware products.  Their patterns are all created using the iconic heart symbol and the name Cordello was born out of two Italian words Cuore (heart) and Modello (pattern).  The company's founder Kate Shaw is a lover of all things Italian - especially the sense of style. The Cordello Home

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14. Pubslush Foundation Gives $10K Grant to NaNoWriMo

The Pubslush Foundation revealed a new grant for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

The $10,000 prize will be used to fund future literacy initiatives, including NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program. The financing comes from Pubslush authors that have donated a percentage of their campaign budgets to fund literacy initiatives.

“We’re thrilled to receive such generous support from Pubslush,” Grant Faulkner stated Executive Director of NaNoWriMo. “We believe that everyone has a story to tell, and that everyone’s story matters. This grant will help fuel NaNoWriMo’s creative revolution so that more people can realize themselves as creators.”

Pubslush has also official partnered with NaNoWriMo to promote its crowd funding platform to NaNoWriMo participants.


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15. Victoria Jamieson and Roller Girl

The issue of friendships ending was certainly central for me, and it was the concept I was most interested in exploring in the book. Although the details of the story are different, the heart of the issue—the pain of a slipping friendship—was from my own experience.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I have a back-and-forth with author-illustrator Victoria Jamieson, pictured here, about her first graphic novel for children, Roller Girl, which will be on shelves next week — and which is really good.

That link will be here soon.

Next week, I’ll have some art from the book, as well as some early sketches and such.

Until tomorrow …


Photo of Victoria taken by Herminio Jacome and used by permission of the author.

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16. DESIGNER - ali benyon

Designer Ali Benyon is originally from the UK but is now based in Australia where she has just released a new product collection. The fabrics for the new range have all been designed by Ali, with some printed by Spoonflower and others screen printed and made in Australia. Items available include make up/toiletry bags, purses, fabric mirrors, cushions, tea towels and soy wax candles. Note books

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17. Review – After Ghandi: One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance by Anne Sibley O’Brien and Perry Edmund O’Brien

After Gandhi: One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance, by Anne Sibley O’Brien and Perry Edmond O’Brien (Charlesbridge, 2009)

After Gandhi: One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance
by Anne Sibley O’Brien and Perry Edmond O’Brien
(Charlesbridge, 2009)

An extraordinarily powerful and … Continue reading ...

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18. DESIGNER - ailsa lishman

Ailsa Lishman is a recent graduate from Manchester School of Art where she studied a BA (Hons) in Textiles In Practice. Ailsa specialised in printed textiles using a a combination of screen printed and digital techniques to create her designs. She loves to play around with mark making and abstraction to create fresh and exciting surface pattern prints. Ailsa recently completed a three month

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19. Book Bloggers

How to approach book bloggers to review your book.


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20. Best Selling Kids Series | March 2015

Holy books, Batman! The Batman Classic series is this month's best selling kids series from The Children's Book Review's affiliate store.

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21. Book Review: Texts From Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg

From Goodreads:
Hilariously imagined text conversations—the passive aggressive, the clever, and the strange—from classic and modern literary figures, from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Wakefield.

Mallory Ortberg, the co-creator of the cult-favorite website The Toast, presents this whimsical collection of hysterical text conversations from your favorite literary characters. Everyone knows that if Scarlett O’Hara had an unlimited text-and-data plan, she’d constantly try to tempt Ashley away from Melanie with suggestive messages. If Mr. Rochester could text Jane Eyre, his ardent missives would obviously be in all-caps. And Daisy Buchanan would not only text while driving, she’d text you to pick her up after she totaled her car. Based on the popular web-feature, Texts from Jane Eyre is a witty, irreverent mashup that brings the characters from your favorite books into the twenty-first century.
The idea behind this is brilliant and the execution is perfect.  I don't really have just a ton to say about it other than that it's hilarious and made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions.  It reads super fast, so you can either devour it in a night like I did or you can read a few text conversations at a time.  If you're not already into books, you may not get most of the jokes as they all come from well-known works of literature.  I'd only hesitate to recommend this to those who are completely unfamiliar with all works of classic literature.  If you've read even one classic, I think you'll find this delightfully funny.

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22. Austin Kleon on the Importance of Attribution

"If you share the work of others, it’s your duty to make sure that the creators of that work get proper credit. Crediting work in our copy-and-paste age of reblogs and retweets can seem like a futile effort, but it’s worth it, and it’s the right thing to do. You should always share the work of others as if it were your own, treating it with respect and care."

"All of this raises a question: What if you want to share something and you don’t know where it came from or who made it? The answer: Don’t share things you can’t properly credit. Find the right credit, or don’t share."

Austin Kleon is the author of Show Your Work!, Steal Like an Artist, and Newspaper Blackout. The above quotes are from an older blog post of his (Credit is Always Due) that he shared via his weekly newsletter.

Thank you for this important reminder, Mr. Kleon. Some believe that students should be able to use media that is not licensed for reuse in projects that never leave the classroom. But I believe that we need to teach students the importance of using only that media which is licensed for reuse (plus giving proper attribution to the source) EVERY time they borrow from others. 

I want my students to be the MAKERS, not just the USERS, and as such, they need to use unto others' creations as they hope others will use unto the things they make and share in the classroom, in the school setting, and in the wide world.

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23. A Disappointed Letter to WHEN MY HEART WAS WICKED

by Becca WHEN MY HEART WAS WICKEDby Tricia StirlingHardcover: 192 pagesPublisher: Scholastic Press (February 24, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon "I used to be one of those girls. The kind who loved to deliver bad news. When I colored my hair, I imagined it seeping into my scalp, black dye pooling into my veins. But that was the old Lacy. Now, when I cast spells, they are always for

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24. Vietnamese literature abroad

       As I've often noted, the South-East Asian languages are among the worst-represented in translation (especially into English). In Viet Nam they apparently have been holding an international conference -- "attended by the local literati and over 150 international poets, authors, and translators from 43 countries and territories" -- trying, in part, to figure out what can be done about the situation.
       Coverage can be found in:

       Among the advice on offer:
Kazakhstani writer Bakhitkozha Rustemov stressed that a joint effort from the Government and relevant sectors and agencies, as well as national and ministry-level cooperation agreements, are needed.
       Ah, yes, relying on 'national and ministry-level cooperation agreements', that's the ticket .....
       Of course, there are some ... positive (?) observations: sure, Russian interest and activity is down since Soviet times, but, hey:
As many as 6 books by Vietnamese authors are scheduled to be published in Russian by 2016.
       Compare that to the US: the Three Percent database lists all of one work of Vietnamese fiction published in translation in all of 2014 -- Ticket to Childhood by Nguyen Nhat Anh (not, I'm afraid, a front-runner for the Best Translated Book Award) -- and none at all so far on the (admittedly still incomplete) 2015 database.

       Still, at least they seem to be trying to address the issue(s), and looking for ways to get the word/books out. Which seems more than local laggards Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Cambodia have managed to date ..... Read the rest of this post

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25. My Favorite Carle

Though I certainly have always respected Eric Carle's accomplishments (great museum, for instance), I can't say I was ever particularly taken with his work. The whole caterpillar business kind of escapes me.

However, this weekend someone asked me to read him Carle's Dream Snow. And now I know why Eric Carle is Eric Carle.

What a fantastic combination of story and image. Little bits of animals can be seen through barn windows. Later, the whole entire body can be found behind an overlay of snow. And then the Santa-type figure decorates a tree that lights up. (Or maybe there was music. I was kind of excited over this, and now I can't remember.) I think this book makes the best use of what some might consider gimmicks, the overlays and the music or lights, that I've ever seen.

Someone in our family was totally drawn into this book. I had told him I was looking for a cow book in his room. He asked for Dream Snow, pointed out the cow in the barn, and when we lifted the snow overlays, announced, "There's the cow" and then "There's the-----" whatever the next animals were. Yes, he is amazing. But this book should make it easy for all kids to be amazing.

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