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 all 1540 Blogs)

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

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 Posts from All 1540 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. Current Scratch: Join Us, NANOWRIMO, Awards, Texas Book Festival, Opportunities, & for Pure Enjoyment

Howdy, folks! Hope you're all busying yourself like squirrels this fall, gathering hearty ideas for projects, current & future. Did you wrap a project up this summer? Does it sizzle with perfection? If so, be brave and submit it! *Check out two new opportunities for submissions below*


JOIN US


Our next Schmooze: Sell Your Books! Sage Advice from Molly Blaisdell and others. Join the discussion on Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 10 a.m. in the College Station Barnes & Noble. A brief summary of news from the SCBWI Summer Conference will follow. Those who have time will go out to lunch as well. Come early for a gentle critique starting at 9:30 a.m. Bring 5 copies of 5 double-spaced pages to share.

LOCAL

Illustrator event! Join SCBWI-BV, as we attend a free lecture featuring James Gurney, author of the Dinotopia series. This is sponsored by The Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) at Texas A&M University. A treat for your inner artist. We will meet on Thursday, October 23 at 5 p.m. for a bite to eat (details to come) and then head over to at 7 p.m. to Geren Auditorium at the College of Architecture on the A&M campus for the lecture. Email me if you are interested! (molly@mollyblaisdell.com)

"James Gurney is the artist and author best known for his illustrated book series Dinotopia. He specializes in painting realistic images of scenes that can’t be photographed, from dinosaurs to ancient civilizations." (jamesgurney.com) 

Pick up the Pace!—A Workshop with Agent Jodell Sadler of Sadler Children’s Literary
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014 at A& M United Methodist Church, College Station, TX
Story pacing can make the difference between a “nice try” rejection and a publishable manuscript. Whether you’re working on page turns in a 500-word picture book or end-of-chapter cliff-hangers in a 50,000-word novel, Jodell Sadler has tips and tools to help pick up the pace. Join SCBWI Brazos Valley for a day-long workshop focused on pacing and strong writing skills.* Registration fees are $125 for SCBWI members and $150 for non-members. Whether paying by check or credit card, please register through the event website.

In addition to the workshop, attendees may submit pages/portfolios for critique. Only eight slots are available with Ms. Sadler, and the face-to-face meetings will be scheduled in the morning on Sunday, Nov. 9. A fee of $45 is due at registration, and submissions** will be due (postmarked by) Oct. 15.

LOCAL

Teen & Middle Grade Authors event. Larry J. Ringer Library in College Station: On Saturday, November 8, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m., and Sunday, November 9, 2-4 p.m., Teen & Middle Grade Authors: Teen and tween aspiring authors and adult authors who write for teen and middle grade audiences, talk about your books and about other teen and middle grade fiction, book signings allowed. Contact Kendra at kperkins@bryantx.gov or (979) 764-3416. More info about this event here. *If you would like to be a featured author and have books signed at this event, please contact Kendra Perkins at the email address above.


STATEWIDE

SCBWI Austin Chapter: Fall Workshop-Research for Fiction, Non-fiction and Historical Writers.Date/Time: 9/13/ 2014, 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Laura's Library, 9411 Bee Cave Rd., Austin, TX
More info here.

Non-Fiction for New Folks Retreat (NF4NF) -- For fiction writers wanting to try nonfiction writing, nonfiction writers who are new to the genre, and experienced NF writers in need of encouragement, instruction, and inspiration. (not an SCBWI event but may be of interest to our members)Date/Time 10/9 -10/12

Location: Hill Country University Center, Fredricksburg, TX
More info here.


NANOWRIMO

Do you have an idea brewing? A character or two who refuse to let you rest at night? No worries, here's a challenge just for you. National Novel Writing Month comes in November! Check out the site for details.


AWARDS
Check out the 2014 Longlist for National Book Award for Young People's Literature.


TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL
Coming to Austin on Oct. 25 & 26. 2014's List of Authors.


OPPORTUNITIES
Highlights' new fiction contest is just around the corner! This year's theme is Mystery Stories!


Submission Guidelines for APPLESEEDS magazine, ages 6-9.


Literary Agent Lana Popovic is currently building client list.


And another one! Literary Agent Genevieve Nine.


WRITING A SERIES?
Here's a great Writer Unboxed blog post about why (benefits & strategies) authors need to write a series.


AND FOR PURE ENJOYMENT
A Ted talk with award-winning children's author Mac Barnett Why a Good Book is a Secret Door.


The views expressed here are my own, and not necessarily those of the SCBWI.









0 Comments on Current Scratch: Join Us, NANOWRIMO, Awards, Texas Book Festival, Opportunities, & for Pure Enjoyment as of 9/22/2014 3:50:00 PM
Add a Comment
2. Gouache

Having fun with Gouache for the first time in a bit.

0 Comments on Gouache as of 9/22/2014 4:00:00 PM
Add a Comment
3. Learning about Mars

Our newest Mars explorer, NASA’s Maven satellite, has successfully arrived at the red planet and begun its orbit! It takes a very long time to travel from Earth to Mars, even at the speed that a rocket travels. We launched this satellite 10 months ago, and it has been hurtling toward Mars ever since. This weekend the satellite fired its thrusters——basically jamming on the brakes——so that it would be captured by the planet’s gravity and settle into orbit around Mars. It all went flawlessly, and now the satellite will study Mars’ high atmosphere, collecting more data as we try to piece together the story of the history of the Martian environment—- what is there today, and how it has changed over time. This story has captivated scientists for centuries, and I continue to be fascinated as we learn more and more about my favorite planet (other than Earth, of course!).....which reminds me of a funny story.My eBook PLANET MARS has been updated twice since 2010 because we are learning so much from the rovers that are studying its surface. The second update happened while our sound producer was in the studio, recording the narration for the book. My phone rang, and Dan, the producer, said: "The Curiosity Rover landed yesterday, and I’m just about to record your book. Don’t you want to add a page about Curiosity?" Of course I did. So I quickly did some research, wrote a page and found a photograph to illustrate it, and the new audio was recorded that same day. Now, THAT is what I call up-to-date!These days I am working on a new book about Mars, which will be the third installment in my Shipmate’s Guide to Our Solar System series. It won’t be done til sometime next year, but I can give you a preview of the cover:

Add a Comment
4. Behind “BoJack Horseman” With Its Creator and Supervising Director

"BoJack Horseman" creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg and director Mike Hollingsworth speak with Cartoon Brew about the making of the show, its dark but sincere tone, and the lighter side of bestiality.

0 Comments on Behind “BoJack Horseman” With Its Creator and Supervising Director as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
5. How to Plot Your Way to the Best-Seller List

best-selling-author-wpWorking on a book? If your ambitions run beyond merely getting your manuscript published to making it a best-seller, you’ll need to start planning before you’ve written your first word. And we’re not talking about planning out your plot. To climb onto the best-seller list you’ll need to be a one-stop shop of writer, marketer and promoter.

Keep in mind however, that what you’ll be selling is not your book, but yourself. It’s your success in getting people to follow you, rather than your title, that is the key to sales:

This may seem a bit counterintuitive, but aggressively pushing your current title in lieu of promoting your personal brand as an author — is an ill-conceived plan that can actually stunt book sales. Literary mega-stars like Stephen King and John Grisham have a built-in fan base that buys every book they release, almost automatically. And that, says [author Tim Grahl], should be the goal of every writer — particularly those who have aspirations to write in multiple genres or cover various topics.

For more advice, including how to build your base, read: 6 Steps to Becoming a Best-Selling Author.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Add a Comment
6. Book Review: The Friend Who Got Away edited by Jenny Offill and Elissa Schappell

From Goodreads:
Losing a friend can be as painful and as agonizing as a divorce or the end of a love affair, yet it is rarely written about or even discussed. The Friend Who Got Away is the first book to address this near-universal experience, bringing together the brave, eloquent voices of writers like Francine Prose, Katie Roiphe, Dorothy Allison, Elizabeth Strout, Ann Hood, Diana Abu Jabar, Vivian Gornick, Helen Schulman, and many others. 
Some write of friends who have drifted away, others of sudden breakups that took them by surprise. Some even celebrate their liberation from unhealthy or destructive relationships. Yet at the heart of each story is the recognition of a loss that will never be forgotten. 

From stories about friendships that dissolved when one person revealed a hidden self or moved into a different world, to tales of relationships sabotaged by competition, personal ambition, or careless indifference, The Friend Who Got Away casts new light on the meaning and nature of women’s friendships.  
Written especially for this anthology and touched with humor, sadness, and sometimes anger, these extraordinary pieces simultaneously evoke the uniqueness of each situation and illuminate the universal emotions evoked by the loss of a friend.
Writing
Done well across the board.  I enjoyed each story and identified with so many of them.  There's a good range of styles and stories, which I think will lend a broad appeal to various readerships.  There's something for everyone represented here.

Entertainment Value
Obviously, this is probably going to appeal to a mainly female audience, although there are a few stories that cross genders and sexualities.   Within the female demographic, however, I think there's going to be a broad range of readers who will find the topic interesting and who will be able to identify with the subject matter.

Overall
I thoroughly enjoyed this one and think it would make for great book club discussions.  I personally identified with the idea of a female friendship lost and grieved in the way that one might grieve the end of a romantic relationship and spend years wondering what might have been.  My personal friend who got away is someone I haven't spoken to in years, but who I still think about and wonder how we could have saved the relationship.  

0 Comments on Book Review: The Friend Who Got Away edited by Jenny Offill and Elissa Schappell as of 9/22/2014 5:38:00 PM
Add a Comment
7. Success Writing Prompt

Writing promptWriting Prompt: What would you do if you knew you could not fail?What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

Add a Comment
8. Banned Books Week 2014

banned books week 2014 Banned Books Week 2014

It’s Banned Books Week! From The American Library Association’s website: “Each year, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.” Based on 307 challenges, here are the top ten most challenged books of 2013.

  1. Captain Underpants (series) by Dav Pilkey
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. Looking for Alaska by John Green
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. Bone (series) by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

Here’s how the Horn Book reviewed 2013′s most challenged children’s and young adult books.

captain underpants Banned Books Week 2014The Adventures of Captain Underpants: An Epic Novel and sequels
by Dav Pilkey; illus. by the author
Intermediate     Blue Sky     124 pp.
09/97     0-590-84627-2     $16.95

Best friends and fellow pranksters George and Harold create a comic book superhero, Captain Underpants, and hypnotize their school principal into assuming his identity. Clad in cape and jockey shorts, Principal Krupp foils bank robbers and a mad scientist until the boys “de-hypnotize” him. Written in a tongue-in-cheek style and illustrated with suitably cartoonish drawings, the story is consistently laugh-out-loud funny. PETER D. SIERUTA
reviewed in the Spring 1998 Horn Book Guide

absolutely true diary Banned Books Week 2014star2 Banned Books Week 2014 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie; illus. by Ellen Forney
Middle School, High School     Little     232 pp.
9/07     978-0-316-01368-0     $16.99     g

The line between dramatic monologue, verse novel, and standup comedy gets unequivocally — and hilariously and  triumphantly — bent in this novel about coming of age on the rez. Urged on by a math teacher whose nose he has just  broken, Junior, fourteen, decides to make the iffy commute from his Spokane Indian reservation to attend high school in Reardan, a small town twenty miles away. He’s tired of his impoverished circumstances (“Adam and Eve covered their  privates with fig leaves; the first Indians covered their privates with their tiny hands”), but while he hopes his new school will offer him a better education, he knows the odds aren’t exactly with him: “What was I doing at Reardan, whose mascot was an Indian, thereby making me the only other Indian in town?” But he makes friends (most notably the class dork  Gordy), gets a girlfriend, and even (though short, nearsighted, and slightly disabled from birth defects) lands a spot on the varsity basketball team, which inevitably leads to a showdown with his own home team, led by his former best friend Rowdy. Junior’s narration is intensely alive and rat-a-tat-tat with short paragraphs and one-liners (“If God hadn’t wanted us to masturbate, then God wouldn’t have given us thumbs”). The dominant mode of the novel is comic, even though  there’s plenty of sadness, as when Junior’s sister manages to shake off depression long enough to elope — only to die,  passed out from drinking, in a fire. Junior’s spirit, though, is unquenchable, and his style inimitable, not least in the take-no-prisoners cartoons he draws (as expertly depicted by comics artist Forney) from his bicultural experience. ROGER SUTTON
reviewed in the September/October 2007 Horn Book Magazine

hunger games Banned Books Week 2014 The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Middle School, High School    Scholastic     374 pp.
10/08     978-0-439-02348-1     $17.99

Survivor meets “The Lottery” as the author of the popular Underland Chronicles returns with what promises to be an even better series. The United States is no more, and the new Capitol, high in the Rocky Mountains, requires each district to send two teenagers, a boy and a girl, to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a reality show from which only one of the twenty-four participants will emerge victorious — and alive. When her younger sister is chosen by lottery to represent their district, Katniss volunteers to go in her stead, while Peeta, who secretly harbors a crush on Katniss, is the boy selected to join her. A fierce, resourceful competitor who wins the respect of the other participants and the viewing public, Katniss also displays great compassion and vulnerability through her first-person narration. The plot is front and center here — the twists and turns are addictive, particularly when the romantic subplot ups the ante — yet the Capitol’s oppression and exploitation of the districts always simmers just below the surface, waiting to be more fully explored in future volumes. Collins has written a compulsively readable blend of science fiction, survival story, unlikely romance, and social commentary. JONATHAN HUNT
reviewed in the September/October 2008 Horn Book Magazine

stone a bad boy can be good for a girl Banned Books Week 2014A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl
by Tanya Lee Stone
High School     Lamb/Random     227 pp.
1/06     0-385-74702-0     $14.95     g
Library edition 0-385-90946-2     $16.99

“Stupid / humiliated / foolish / stung / heartbroken / pissed off / and a little / bit / wiser.” High school freshman Josie sums up how she feels after falling for an only-out-for-one-thing senior, and she isn’t alone. The three (very different) teen girl narrators in this candid free-verse novel form a chorus of varied perspectives on how a “bad boy” — the same boy for all three — causes them to lose control before they even realize what’s happening. Stone’s portrayal of the object of their (dis)affection is stereotyped, but the three girls are distinct characters, and she conveys the way the girls’ bodies and brains respond to the unnamed everyjerk in electrically charged (and sexually explicit) detail. Finally returning to her senses, Josie decides to post warnings about her ex in the back of the school library’s copy of Judy Blume’s Forever…because “every girl reads it eventually.” Others add their own caveats in a reassuring show of sisterhood. As this scribbled “support group” illustrates, even the most careful and self-aware among us sometimes gets bitten by the snake in the grass. CHRISTINE M. HEPPERMAN
reviewed in the January/February 2006 issue of The Horn Book Magazine

looking for alaska Banned Books Week 2014Looking for Alaska
by John Green
High School     Dutton     237 pp.
3/05     0-525-47506-0     $15.99      g

A collector of famous last words, teenage Miles Halter uses Rabelais’s final quote (“I go to seek a Great Perhaps”) to  explain why he’s chosen to leave public high school for Culver Creek Preparatory School in rural Alabama. In his case, the Great Perhaps includes challenging classes, a hard-drinking roommate, elaborate school-wide pranks, and Alaska Young, the enigmatic girl rooming five doors down. Moody, sexy, and even a bit mean, Alaska draws Miles into her schemes,  defends him when there’s trouble, and never stops flirting with the clearly love-struck narrator. A drunken make-out session ends with Alaska’s whispered “To be continued?” but within hours she’s killed in a car accident. In the following weeks, Miles and his friends investigate Alaska’s crash, question the possibility that it could have been suicide, and  acknowledge their own survivor guilt. The narrative concludes with an essay Miles writes about this event for his religion class — an unusually heavy-handed note in an otherwise mature novel, peopled with intelligent characters who talk smart, yet don’t always behave that way, and are thus notably complex and realistically portrayed teenagers. PETER D. SIERUTA
reviewed in the March/April 2005 Horn Book Magazine

smith  out from boneville Banned Books Week 2014Bone: Out from Boneville and sequels
by Jeff Smith; illus. by Jeff Smith and Steve Hamaker
Intermediate     Scholastic/Graphix     140 pp.
2/05     0-439-70623-8     $18.95

When greedy Phoney Bone is run out of town, his cousins, Fone and Smiley, join him. Fone makes friends with a country girl, her no-nonsense gran’ma, and a dragon; Phoney must contend with ferocious rat creatures who are led by a mysterious “hooded one” and who want Phoney’s soul. This graphic novel (originally published in comic-book form) is slow paced but nevertheless imaginative. MARK ADAM
reviewed in the Fall 2005 Horn Book Guide

Are you reading any banned books this week?

share save 171 16 Banned Books Week 2014

The post Banned Books Week 2014 appeared first on The Horn Book.

0 Comments on Banned Books Week 2014 as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
9. Kathy Reichs Preview

We hope to see you next Monday, September 26 at the Columbus Museum of Art for an Evening with Kathy ReichsKathy Reichs web! Beginning at 7:30 p.m., Reichs will be discussing her bestselling crime series that acts as the inspiration for the hit T.V. show, Bones. Dr. Temperance Brennan (also known as Bones) is the heroine for this 17 novel series that works to solve seemingly unsolvable cases. In her newest novel, Reichs takes Dr. Temperance on a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina to find the connection between two murders on opposite sides of the country.

While general admission tickets for this event are sold out, we do have limited availability in an overflow seating area at a discounted rate. Please call 614-464-1032 x.11 for more information and ticket availability.

As a gesture of respect to our authors and guests, the event will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. with no admission allowed past 7:45 p.m. We thank you for your understanding on this matter.


Add a Comment
10. Poetry Blogger’s Collection Becomes a Bestseller

chaser of the lightTyler Knott Gregson’s new poetry anthology has become a bestseller. The collection, entitled Chasers of the Light: Poems from the Typewriter Series, has appeared on the hardcover nonfiction lists at The Chicago Tribune and The Wall Street Journal.

Gregson regularly posts pieces for the “Daily Haiku on Love” series and the “Typewriter Series” on his blog. The book features poems exclusively from the ”Typewriter Series.” Since launching his blog , Gregson has amassed 259,000 followers on Tumblr, 184,000 followers on Instagram, and 31,000 followers on Twitter.

Here’s more from The Wall Street Journal: “According to the publisher, there are 50,000 copies in print, with more in the works. Soon, the book will be sold at the women’s clothing chain, Anthropologie. The author’s social-media audience—heavily skewed toward young women—was important for Perigee, which last published a book of poetry four decades ago.”

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Add a Comment
11. BOBBEE BEE: GET THE SHIRT, READ THE BOOK, AND WATCH THE MOVIE!!!

Get the New Black and Green BOBBEE BEE THE HATER TEE-SHIRTS with his favorite
motto of
"No GUNS, No GANGS, No DRUGS"
Every child deserves one:
Sizes: ONE SIZE
Cost: $25.00 Send Checks and Money Orders to:
Eric D. Graham
Post Office Box 172
Magnolia, North Carolina 28453
graham_34_99_2000@yahoo.com

0 Comments on BOBBEE BEE: GET THE SHIRT, READ THE BOOK, AND WATCH THE MOVIE!!! as of 9/22/2014 5:58:00 PM
Add a Comment
12. Instagram of the Week – September 22

A brief look at ‘grams of interest to engage teens and librarians navigating this social media platform. This week we explore “theme of the day” posts, contests, and good old #libraryshelfies.

Have you come across a related Instagram post this week, or has your library posted something similar? Have a topic you’d like to see in the next installment of Instagram of the Week? Share it in the comments section of this post.

[<a href="http://storify.com/mdarling/instagram-of-the-week" target="_blank">View the story "Instagram of the Week - September 22" on Storify</a>]

 

Add a Comment
13. Fairy dresses for Fairy Magic Monday


Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 4.47.48 PM

fairymagicmondayMy new deck includes several fairy dresses cards, so it got me thinking about proper attire for fairies.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.39.59 AM

photo copyright Fairy Nana Land from her Etsy Shop

I found this fabulous dress created by fellow fairy, Fairy Nana. This one is insanely cool. Did you see that tutu! I need to save up for my Halloween costume and everyday wear. There’s lots of sizes – children to adults – and there isn’t a shortage of wings. Check out her Etsy shop here.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 11.53.38 AM

photo from Stuff You Can't Have blog copyright Catherine Mcever

My fairy research led me to this great blog of creations by Catherine Mcever. Catherine, you’re mind is crazy fun and I love it! Check out her fairy frocks and Wings Shop brochure on the section marked Evidence of Fairies on her blog.

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 12.02.06 PM

screenshot: Faery Tailor website

And finally, I found a Faery Tailor making Faery Haute Couture. English artist Emily Bazeley also makes dwellings and fairy furniture. She definitely is part fairy. Her website to browse is over here.

Part fairies that are artists are definitely creative and gifted with imagination, and of course, a heavy dose of Fairy Magic. I am so glad my search led me to these talented fellow artists so I have something to wear!

Fairy blessings,

designingfairysig

—————————————————————————————————————–

fairyFairy people! Check out my deck available for pre-orders now, and Fairy Beginner Healing class and Fairy Healing the Feminine class, both start September 26th, this Friday!

 


0 Comments on Fairy dresses for Fairy Magic Monday as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
14. The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter

During a recent weekend in New York City I had some time between brunch and a Broadway show. I was able to spend a leisurely few hours exploring The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter (curated by kidlit historian and frequent Horn Book contributor Leonard Marcus), an engaging exhibit at the New York Public Library.

The exhibit is a winding journey of children’s literature that follows its history from early readers such as Dick and Jane to the phenomenon of Harry Potter. As I wandered through the exhibit, the books on display led me down the memory lane of my childhood favorites. On one wall was Charlotte’s spider web, complete with her written words aptly describing Wilbur. An interactive component consisted of the author E.B. White reading aloud chapters from his classic novel, Charlotte’s Web. As I listened I was instantly transported back to my youth. Around the corner I found the original stuffed animals of A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the Pooh looking very worn and loved in a glass case.

winnie the pooh characters The ABC of It: Why Childrens Books Matter

from left: the original Eeyore, Tigger, Kanga, Piglet, and Pooh stuffed animals

Each turn I took throughout the exhibit brought me to another special book that had been meaningful in my childhood. I next encountered my all-time favorite character, Mary Poppins. It is well known that P.L. Travers was very protective of her beloved Mary Poppins and was less than thrilled with Disney’s musical version. While the magical nanny in the book is somewhat more bitter than in the “spoonful of sugar” movie, Julie Andrews will always be my vision of the character. P.L Travers’ own parrot head umbrella is on display next to a Mary Poppins doll. The interactive exhibit also includes video of a musical number from the movie.

A theme found throughout the exhibit is how the history of children’s books parallels the evolution of thinking on child development. As you go through the exhibit you find the works of such children’s literature icons as Margaret Wise Brown, Eric Carle, and Maurice Sendak.

great green room The ABC of It: Why Childrens Books Matter

the great green room of Goodnight, Moon

The books of these authors/illustrators speak to various aspects of children’s development. Society’s understanding of how children grow and learn is reflected in the stories created for them. “Behind every children’s book,” we read on the exhibit wall, “is a vision of childhood: a shared understanding of what growing up is all about.”

songs of innocence The ABC of It: Why Childrens Books Matter

illustrations from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence

The books in the exhibit reflect not only childhood, but also the times in which the books were written. One fascinating fact that I was not aware of: the book The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf was considered by some as political propaganda when it was published in 1936. I have always thought of it as a sweet story of a bull that didn’t want to fight — I had no knowledge of the controversy that originally surrounded it. Of particular interest to me was the section of the exhibit dedicated to censored books throughout the years, ranging from such popular titles as Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn to Judy Blume’s Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. The topic of censorship remains crucial as current books such as Harry Potter as well as perennial titles continue to be questioned and censored.

The exhibit, which closed on September 7th, offered a thoughtful tour of both children’s literature and societal conceptions of childhood.

share save 171 16 The ABC of It: Why Childrens Books Matter

The post The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter appeared first on The Horn Book.

0 Comments on The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
15. WD Poetic Form Challenge: Terzanelle

It’s that time again: time for another poetic form challenge. And, as you may have guessed, we’ll focus on the terzanelle this time around. Click here to read the guidelines on writing the terzanelle.

Once you know the rules for the terzanelle, start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column. (Note: You have to log in to the site to post comments/poems; creating an account is free.)

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on October 6, 2014.
  • Poets can enter as many terzanelles as they wish. The more “work” you make for me the better, but remember: I’m judging on quality, not quantity.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. Or just write a new terzanelle.
  • I will only consider terzanelles shared in the comments below. It gets too confusing for me to check other posts, go to other blogs, etc.
  • Speaking of posting, if this is your first time, your comment may not appear immediately. However, it should appear within a day (or 3–if shared on the weekend). So just hang tight, and it should appear eventually. If not, send me an e-mail at the address above.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to use your user/screen name, which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker. WD has a healthy circulation, so make it easy for me to get your byline correct.
  • Finally–and most importantly–be sure to have fun!

******

Win $1,000 for Your Poetry!

Writer’s Digest is offering a contest strictly for poets with a top prize of $1,000, publication in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market. There are cash prizes for Second ($250) and Third ($100) Prizes, as well as prizes for the Top 25.

The early bird deadline is October 1 and costs $15 for the first poem, $10 for each additional poem. Enter as often as you’d like.

Important note: This is separate from the terzanelle challenge. The Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards is open to all forms, styles, subjects, etc. So enter your haiku, free verse, and so on.

Click here to learn more.

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He loves reading poetry, writing poetry, and studying poetry–but he especially loves sharing poetry and is happy that Poetic Asides is a place that accommodates just that.

For the terzanelle, in particular, Robert appreciates its complex structure of rhymes and refrains that when done well make for a really enjoyable poem. He looks forward to reading through this batch.

Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic posts that rock here:

Add a Comment
16. 10 Clues Your Family’s Faith is Like a Fairy Tale

    by Sally Matheny 

    

    Once upon a time, there were parents who wished upon every shooting star for their kids to turn out okay. Shiny pennies were tossed into fountains and wishbones pulled, in hopes that their children would grow up to be joyful and productive citizens of the land. Imagine the parents’ sorrow and dismay when they did not.

     Is this your family’s philosophy? Are you sure? Check out these 10 clues to see if your family’s faith is like a fairy tale:






1.  Your children have no idea where the location of their Bibles. However, you keep your copy under the seat in the car, just in case you need it one Sunday.

2.  A Bible isn’t used at home for individual study or for a family time of devotions.

3.  Someone says a blessing before meals, but only when company is present.

4.  The only time you pray with your kids is at bedtime—when you remember—and actually, that’s your child praying her usual list.

Is Your Family's Faith Like a Fairy Tale?
5.  At Christmas, discussions are mainly about being good for Santa and about presents. At Easter, the focus is more about emptying a plastic egg than the miracle of Christ’s empty tomb.

6.  Quite often, your family chooses to attend to many things on Sunday, except church.

7.  When you do attend church, you focus more on what’s in it for you than how you can serve others.

8.  At home, there is more talk about reality shows than the reality of God, His love, and His will for your lives.

9. When sin occurs in your home it is often justified rather than dealt with it in a just manner.

10.  Family members’ speech and behaviors are vastly different outside the church walls.
      
     
     The true story is families are not living in a fairy tale world. God is real. And so is Satan. We can’t live out our days haphazardly, hoping our sons eventually turn into knightly men and our daughters don’t become damsels in distress.

      We live in a sinful world. How are you strengthening your family for spiritual battle? A fairy godmother is not going to show up and make your troubles disappear with the wave of a wand. It requires standing firmly on faith and living by the Sword of Truth. Gather your family and get back to basic training. Actively participate in a church that teaches and practices God’s Holy Word. Make your testimony real to your children.
     
     You either make-believe or you do believe in Jesus Christ. One belief leads to chaos and the other leads to a joyfully ever after.


     

0 Comments on 10 Clues Your Family’s Faith is Like a Fairy Tale as of 9/22/2014 4:54:00 PM
Add a Comment
17. Cartoon Network to Launch New Imprint at Penguin Young Readers Group

CN logoCartoon Network will open its own imprint at Penguin Young Readers Group.

Here’s more from the press release: “The new ‘Cartoon Network Books’ imprint will publish fun and interactive formats such as Mad Libs ®, original fiction novels and chapter books, Activity and Doodle formats, non-fiction handbooks, gift sets, and kits. The 2015 launch will feature books based on the hit shows Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe, followed by Clarence, the upcoming We Bare Bears, and the return of The Powerpuff Girls in 2016.”

The two organizations have been partners in publishing books based on the Adventure TimeRegular Show, and The Amazing World of Gumball TV series since 2013. To date, more than half a million copies of those books have sold in the United States market. What do you think?

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Add a Comment
18. Matt Mullins' credits on S.H.I.E.L.D (link)

Matt Mullins, martial artist, actor, and stuntman--and more, has been working on S.H.I.E.L.D.  Check him out on his filmography webpage: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1280538/?nmdp=1&ref_=nm_ql_5#filmography

(Thanks, Mina)

Add a Comment
19. John Sandford: Bonus WD Interview Outtakes

Few journalists find the level of success that earns a Pulitzer Prize, and few authors can brag that every novel they’ve written has landed on The New York Times bestseller list. Even fewer writers can claim both—but John Sandford can.

Before he began a decades-long career at the top of the thriller charts, the writer born John Roswell Camp was a successful journalist. His career included stints at Southeast Missourian and the Miami Herald, a place on the Pulitzer shortlist in 1980, and the Distinguished Writing Award of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1985. In 1986, Camp was awarded a Pulitzer for Non-Deadline Feature Writing for his St. Paul Pioneer Press article series chronicling the life and work of a Minnesota farm family. Around that time, he tried his hand at long-form nonfiction with two books, one about the paintings of John Stuart Ingle and another about plastic surgery. “Neither,” he says, “will ever be a bestseller.”

In 1989, he wrote and published his first two novels—Rules of Prey and The Fool’s Run. Each would spawn a successful series: Prey, featuring his iconic Lucas Davenport character, a loner detective with a womanizing streak; and the Kidd series, which follows a computer genius who doesn’t mind taking sketchy hacking jobs—as long as the money is good. In 2007, he launched yet another wildly popular series, Virgil Flowers, about a rough-around-the-edges cop who only does “the hard stuff.” To date, Sandford has sold more than 10 million copies of nearly 40 bestselling crime thrillers. This year alone, Sandford released three titles: the 24th Davenport book, Field of Prey; the 8th Virgil Flowers installment, Deadline; and his first young adult thriller, Uncaged, the start of The Singular Menace series co-authored with his wife, fellow journalist-turned-author Michele Cook.

The full WD Interview with John Sandford appears in the November/December 2014 Writer’s Digest. In these online exclusive outtakes, he talks about the series he never wrote, more about writing what you know, and the irritation of printed mistakes.

Have you ever had an idea that just didn’t pan out?
After I had established a career writing fiction, I once had an idea for a series of books that would be based on the idea that a guy—an ex-cop—was a golfer who won a tournament and was invited to the Master’s Tournament. At the Master’s Tournament, a guy gets killed and the people who run the show want to kind of hush things up and find out what’s going on, so they get [this ex-cop, amateur golfer] to do that. So then all these rich golfers find out that this guy can keep his mouth shut, is a good investigator, and so the next thing that happens is that there’s a big scandal involving a Chicago basketball team. And my idea was to have a whole series of sports books.

I never wrote that—another guy did, actually—but the reason I didn’t write that was that I had never covered sports. I didn’t know what the inside of a pro team locker room looks like. I don’t know what jocks act like. I don’t know that stuff, but I know that about cops and judges and courts and detectives and farmers and doctors and medical stuff.

So it’s all about writing what you know.
Yeah, and it’s the same problem young writers face, and that’s that they don’t have that store of images in their head yet. Which they will get, but it takes a while to get that. It’s just a problem that they’ve got to deal with and that’s the thing that journalism gave me. …

One of the benefits, by the way, of being a reporter is that you go to places like courts, and you hear people when they’re testifying. They’re using these great big long sentences, and you’re typing and writing and trying to get it down exact because you’ve got television cameras and you’ve got other people [reporting], too. If you write out a quote, and everyone else picks up that quote and they’re all different from yours, your editor is thinking, You’re an asshole. You’ve screwed this up. So you have to work very carefully to write down the quotes, and that teaches you how people talk and the kind of language they use and when they screw things up.

If a person didn’t want to be a journalist first, how might they go about getting that “store of images” for writing?
When I’ve been asked in the past what I would recommend if a kid’s in college—and no one would ever take this advice—I would tell him to join the army. If you join the army you learn about weapons, you learn about a great swath of society, you learn about all kinds of people doing different kinds of jobs. In the space of two or three years, you get this intense education and learn about a huge variety of things that are useful to writers. An alternative would be to become a social worker or a cop for a couple of years. Any of those things will expose you to the kind of images that you need just simply to write.

Do readers ever send you feedback that you just can’t ignore?
There’s been a little, irritating controversy on my website about my knowledge of guns. I actually have a pretty extensive knowledge of guns because I grew up in the countryside in Iowa and I first shot a gun when I was probably four or five years old. But I made an editing mistake in a novel— I said that a particular kind of gun had a safety, which it does not. It’s a Glock. It does not have a safety on it. And it’s widely used by cops. What happened in that situation was that I was trying to fix a mistake. I had a [scene] where a guy took a Berretta—which does have a safety—from a dead cop. Later, I realized that that cop wouldn’t be carrying a Beretta, he would be carrying a Glock because that was the issue weapon for the Minneapolis Police Department. What I did was I went back through the book and I changed all the Berettas to Glocks. What I didn’t realize was that … I had a guy make sure that the safety was off on the Beretta. And so when I just changed Beretta Beretta Beretta to Glock Glock Glock Glock, I didn’t change the sentence about the safety. So then a lot of people wrote in and said I was an idiot because Glocks don’t have safeties.

I also once made a mistake [in a book] because I went through Arizona in the summertime. And in the book, [my main character] is in Flagstaff, AZ, in the wintertime, and I mentioned that it was hot. Well, Flagstaff has a ski area and it snows like crazy there in the wintertime and it gets very cold. That’s a mistake that I made because I did the location research, but I didn’t do the weather research. And when I shifted time periods from when I was there to when the book was [set], I made a mistake. All of my books, not all them that I know of, but most of them have some kind of mistake that I find really irritating. Usually it’s something very small, but the local people who live in that area will tell me about it.

It’s not usually anger. It’s just, “You know, you didn’t get this quite right.” And I always realize it instantly when they tell me, because I know that they’re telling me the truth! I find it very annoying when I make mistakes. I mean it really, really bothers me.

You have several hobbies. What, aside from art and archaeology, interests you?
I’ve been studying songwriting. … In my music study, I was reading a quote by Metallica. They had a song called “Ride the Lightning,” and it turns out it’s a quote from a Stephen King book about a guy who was about to be sent to ‘ride the lightning’—because he was being sent to the electric chair. So [King] picks up that line from a guy who’s a killer, and then Metallica picks it up [from King] and then puts it in a song, which is completely different from the book. It’s interesting how people are sensitive to language and how it works.


If you enjoyed these outtakes with bestselling novelist Lisa Scottoline, be sure to check out the feature-length interview—full of valuable insights about pulling off plot twists, changing directions with your writing, and much more—in the November/December 2014 Writer’s Digest.

Add a Comment
20. God's Child

Question: The setting is in Ethiopia and the book is being written in Amharic language. The novel is about a mom, who as pregnant teen was thrown out

Add a Comment
21. Review of Jack

depaola jack Review of JackJack
by Tomie dePaola; illus. by the author
Preschool Paulsen/Penguin 32 pp.
9/14     978-0-399-16154-4     $17.99     g

Farm boy Jack wants to make new friends and live in the city, which is exactly what he does in this minimally plotted book. On his way to ask the king for a house, Jack picks up a chick, a duck, a goose, a dog, etc., each one declaring its own interest in city digs, thus providing Jack with a community of ten new friends upon whom the king is happy to bestow a nice fixer-upper. While the lack of any conflict or obstacles means we aren’t that invested in Jack’s fate, young children will like the simple pattern of the story as well as the cumulating sound effects offered for each animal as it joins the merry band. DePaola dresses the journey in his most sumptuous colors, the carrot-topped hero and his ever-growing group of friends traversing a landscape of deep greens and grays and purple farmhouses to their new home, bright pink in the heart of the city. Storytime audiences will enjoy the trip as well as the sly cameo appearances by nursery-rhyme favorites such as Jack and Jill and Miss Muffet’s eight-legged friend.

share save 171 16 Review of Jack

The post Review of Jack appeared first on The Horn Book.

0 Comments on Review of Jack as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
22. The Noisy Paint Box


(I just sat next Mary GrandPré at a SCBWI book signing. Why didn't I get someone to take our picture? I am the dumbest blogger ever.)

0 Comments on The Noisy Paint Box as of 9/22/2014 5:10:00 PM
Add a Comment
23. CBTV: ‘Journey of Two’ by Joshua Mulligan

Two best friends wake up and start the day.

0 Comments on CBTV: ‘Journey of Two’ by Joshua Mulligan as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
24. The utter delight found in "Where My Wellies Take Me..."


Where My Wellies Take Me...
by Clare & Michael Murpurgo is one of those books that is so pretty and smart that I hesitate to do much of any kind of review because it's too hard not to lump the superlatives and make it sound impossible. I want to tell you it functions remarkably well as a poetry anthology, that Pippa's story of gentle outdoor adventure will appeal to kids and parents who enjoy a good jaunt and that Olivia Lomenech Gill's scrapbook style design and artwork is classic in all the best ways.

Oh heck. I love this book and I'm not afraid to just say tell you so.

The basic story is simple: Pippa sets off from her kind Aunt Peggy's on a trek through the countryside (hence the need to wear her wellies). She visits a local farmer, takes a ride on his horse, has a lunch, considers some birds, pigs and dandelions, plays Pooh sticks, spies a fisherman (and dwells on the end of life for a fish) and makes it back to the village in time to be crowned the unexpected victor of a race.

What elevates the book is the accompaniment of so many impressive poems from the likes of Ted Hughes, Rudyard Kipling, Yeats, Rossetti and more. The poems are often short, easy to understand and directly applicable to the text. The combination, with the great scrapbook pages and Pippa's story, makes this a lovely read and also a book to pore over for hours while studying the art.

Some books are treasures and Where My Wellies Take Me... certainly fits that standard. The very young will like Pippa a lot but I think it actually might reach best for the 6 & up crowd - 8 -10 year olds could be the best age of all. Really, though, it depends on the child. You'll know when you look at it if it fits for the explorer in your life. I hope it does.

Here are a couple of spreads from the Olivia Lomenech Gill's website:


Add a Comment
25. Blueberry Oatmeal Cobbler

Gluten Free Blueberry Cobbler

Hello readers! I’m sorry to have been M.I.A. I’ve been writing and sewing and all that good stuff, and hopefully I can share more about that soon.

In the meantime, here’s a dessert I made recently that was a big hit.

I like to go to pick-your-own farms, especially for apples, but since we couldn’t find a functioning apple farm, we went blueberry picking while in Western North Carolina over Labor Day. It was the end of the season—-slim pickin’s for sure—but still, the berries were delicious. We found the berry patch tucked in the hills. It had just rained, but the sun had come out, and though wet, it was such a gorgeous little spot.

I had planned to make a gluten-free blueberry pie from this book, but I ran out of energy for crust-making and just made the filling along with a half recipe of baked oatmeal. I then combined the two, and voila—blueberry cobbler sans gluten.

It had almost more of a pudding/ cake-like texture that was really lovely. The filling has the most surprising and wonderful secret ingredient: grated Granny Smith apple. Filling recipe here. At the time I actually didn’t have the tapioca, and it worked fine without it.

Baked oatmeal recipe here. I used gluten-free oats, halved the recipe, added some extra liquid, and did not soak overnight since I was in a hurry. When it was cooked, I roughly layered the still-warm filling with the baked oatmeal and baked (350, maybe?) until bubbly—not that long, maybe 10 minutes, tops.

Have you been reading anything good lately? I’ve been on such a memoir and nonfiction kick that I’m a bit worn out from it and have just started a novel called The Lonely Polygamist. So far, it’s hilarious.

On TV, loving the BBC’s Foyle’s War (WWII murder mystery) via netflix, and Borgen on DVD. Borgen is a Danish political drama featuring a female prime minister. Very smart and engaging, though it’s impossible to multitask while watching (due to subtitles and fast pacing).

Found a new podcast for writers: Narrative Breakdown with Scholastic editor Cheryl Klein. Really good, meaty stuff. Also found a mention of my easy reader, Slowpoke, in Books that Teach Kids How to Write by Marianne Saccardi. The author uses Slowpoke as an example showing kids how to slow down and notice the details they need to enrich their writing. Fun, eh? I’m honored.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a couple of quilts, but they’re slow-going. Nothing exciting to report. What’s new with you?


0 Comments on Blueberry Oatmeal Cobbler as of 9/22/2014 2:54:00 PM
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts