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1. IBBY Review: Paperboy by Vince Vawter

Paperboy by Vince Vawter (Delacorte Press, 2014)

I Am Not My Disability: Outstanding Books For and About Young People with Disabilities

Every two years, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) chooses outstanding books for and about young people with … Continue reading ...

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2. Pan Tadeusz Museum

       Adam Mickiewicz's Pan Tadeusz is, of course, the great(est) Polish epic poem, and they've now opened up a museum dedicated to it, in Wrocław, the Muzeum Pana Tadeusza.
       Looks pretty fancy; see also, for example, the Radio Poland report, Museum dedicated to Polish literary classic.
       And if you're tempted to dip into the Mickiewicz in preparation for a visit, the dual-language Hippocrene Books edition of Pan Tadeusz, with the translation by Kenneth R. MacKenzie, looks like a handy volume; don't bother with their publicity-page (the world's least impressive publicity-page for a book ?), but get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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3. Stone Tablets review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Wojciech Żukrowski's Stone Tablets, a 1966 Polish novel -- set in 1950s India, no less -- that's only now appearing in English, from Paul Dry Books.

       (I was amused when I realized that I've actually read a work by Żukrowski before -- his Nieśmiały narzeczony, in a German translation (Der schüchterne Bräutigam) in a flimsy little East German paperback in Aufbau Verlag's paperback 'bb'-line that I picked up and read in the mid-1980s.)

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4. 9 Books for When You Are 9

9 Books for When You Are 99 books for when you are 9

Nine is a really rad number, and a really rad age. And here are nine great books that every nine-year-old totally MUST read! From wacky to wild, these books will take you on some seriously awesome adventures.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Middle school is full of drama — just ask Greg Heffley. After his mom forces him to keep a diary, he starts writing down all the (really hilarious) misadventures and happenings from his school year. Greg and his BFF Rowley get into all sorts of sticky situations that will keep you laughing until your sides hurt. Middle school may be full of drama, but, man, the drama is funny!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Nine is the BEST time to start reading Harry Potter (though I strongly believe it’s never too late, even if you’re 119). Harry has had a miserable life so far, losing his parents when he was just an infant and being raised by his dreadful aunt and uncle, but things are about to get pretty magical in his world. When he finds out he’s actually a wizard, he is whisked away to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where all kinds of life-changing adventures await him.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Pippi is the new girl in town, and boy, is she wild! She may have no parents, but she DOES have a pet monkey and a pet horse . . . and a knack for living life freely. The sky’s the limit when it comes to Pippi, and her new neighbors Tommy and Annika are in for a whole lot of wacky surprises!

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli
There seems to be nothing the unusual orphan Maniac Magee can’t do: outrun dogs, untie impossible knots, hit a homerun . . . the list is endless. When Maniac Magee arrives in the town of Two Mills, he hopes to find a home, but it’s not that easy. The troubled small town is very divided, and tensions are about to reach a fever pitch. But Maniac Magee might just be the key to helping everyone find peace.

Time Warp Trio: The Knights of the Kitchen Table by Jon Sciezska and Lane Smith
When Joe and his two friends are transported back in time to King Arthur’s court by a magical book, they accidentally defeat the dreaded Black Knight and are mistaken for heroes by King Arthur’s knights. But what will they do when they are confronted with a (really gross) giant and an attacking dragon? And how will they get home?! This super-funny book will keep you guessing — and laughing — as the trio blunder their way from one adventure to the next.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Milo is really bored by everything, but that’s all about to change because a mysterious and magical tollbooth has suddenly appeared in his bedroom. Out of boredom (of course), Milo hops into his dusty old toy car, pays the toll, and finds himself driving directly into a wild, wacky world in which each adventure is even more bizarre than the last!

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Hugo, a young orphan living in the Paris train station, is an expert at staying invisible. But when he meets a most unusual girl and a mysterious toymaker, his life changes. Hugo finds himself thrust headfirst into a mystery that will force him out of hiding for the first time, and reveal more of his own secret past.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Nine-year-old Peter Hatcher has THE. MOST. ANNOYING. BROTHER. EVER. Little, two-year-old Fudge gets away with everything, including tormenting Peter’s pet turtle, Dribble. But one day Fudge’s antics go too far — will Peter ever be able to forgive him?

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to live in the wild? Sam Gribley is fed up with living in a cramped apartment with his parents and eight (Eight!! Can you imagine?) siblings in New York City, so he runs away to his grandparents’ home upstate. What he’s not ready for is the harsh wilderness living he encounters, but armed with the survival skills preparation and endless curiosity, Sam just might have what it takes to last the winter..

Which books from this list have you read? Which books do you think every nine-year-old should read? Share your thoughts in the Comments below!

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5. KIDS DESIGN - h&m

Regular readers will know I love to mooch around in the childrenswear departments and see what prints I can find. Here are some that I spotted in H&M last week from their Summer 2016 collections for babies and young children. Scroll down for a good overview or see more online here at H&M.

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6. Do Your Best Writing: Kick Down the Bumpers by Julie Falatko

Today's post is by picture book author, Julie Falatko.

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7. Celebrate National Geek Day! (Yeah, I Made That Up.)

Don't Panic FinalHappy National Geek Day! Why today? What’s so special about May 25th? Well, a long time ago, in 1977, Star Wars opened in 32 theaters! That’s when science fiction went mainstream! Yeah, there were Trekkies, but they were lowkey… there wasn’t a movie yet, and they mostly congregated at the Holiday Inn on weekends, along with […]

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8. फिल्म सिटी मुम्बई और एक यादगार अनुभव

फिल्म सिटी मुम्बई और एक यादगार अनुभव मोबाईल का क्रेज तो इतना है कि बस पूछिए ही मत … पिछ्ले दिनों मुम्बई में एक जानकार ने पता करवाया कि क्या वो कपिल शर्मा के कॉमेडी शो की शूटिंग देख सकते हैं स्वाभाविक है उत्सुकता थी पर सभी ने जाने से मना कर दिया कारण था […]

The post फिल्म सिटी मुम्बई और एक यादगार अनुभव appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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9. A tradition of classical architecture in California

Today, most people associate Southern California with images of palm trees, beaches, swimming pools, and the entertainment industry. If pressed to imagine an earlier era they might come up with “old” Hollywood, the Gold Rush, or even the mission era. But how much of the Golden State can be attributed to the ancient Greeks and Romans?

The post A tradition of classical architecture in California appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. Painting with Primaries

Our local school is building a Natural Playground, and they are holding several fundraisers. I was recently asked to be part of a Really Good Idea for a fundraiser, which I think would make a fun library program! The idea, which was hatched and hosted by the owner of our local craft shop, was this: local artists would each lead a classroom in painting a large 2-foot square painting which would then be auctioned off.
IMG_1399
I was happy to find out that I was chosen to work with the Grade Primary class (here in Nova Scotia that translates to Kindergarten). I went with a big flower for them to paint. I had them in groups of 3 — the painting had seven areas to be painted, and I had each group work on a section. I might be biased, but I love our painting the most. I love the colours and the freedom of expression that 4 & 5 year olds are unafraid to exhibit. I really didn’t paint much at all— I gave them tips, and once had to quickly grab a paintbrush from an over-exuberant artist who was about to turn the whole thing into a big smear.

I started in the classroom with a stack of books and talked to them about art in picture books.  I read Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales to them and we talked about the art in that book. Their teacher had been part of some workshops I did earlier in the school year, and she had them looking closely at the art in picture books, so this group of 4-5 year olds were pretty savvy about examining the pictures. We had a lively discussion about the art and how everyone can do art. I was impressed that they were able to determine the medium, and talk a little about shape and colour.

I love to combine literacy with art lessons, and this project – and a Caldecott honour book – allowed me to do that. We also did a really great painting which will help raise money for a playground that will further their learning in the great outdoors. IMG_1401

So— to turn this into a library program, you could buy several large canvases (you can get them for a pretty decent price at dollar stores these days). Draw the outlines on the canvases, and have your program participants paint them in, using acrylic paint (again, a fairly inexpensive investment at dollar stores). These could hang in the children’s area, could be donated for charity fundraisers, or you could auction them as library fundraisers. Add a few books on art and a few art picture books, and you’ve got yourself a fairly simple, low-cost program that kids will remember each time they see those paintings. Host an art show in your library and you’ve got another program that will draw in the families of the kids who did the paintings. Art and literacy. They make good companions.

The post Painting with Primaries appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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11. An elusive quest for a recipe for success in economic development

For some decades before the turn of the Millennium, the growth prospects for most of the developing world looked extremely bleak. Income growth was negligible and poverty rates were high and seemed stubbornly persistent. Some even suggested that the barriers against development were almost insurmountable as progress in the already rich world was argued to come about at the expense of the poor.

The post An elusive quest for a recipe for success in economic development appeared first on OUPblog.

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12. Yay, it's time for Donalyn Miller's annual summer #BookADay Challenge!

YAYYY! Donalyn Miller just announced the 8th Annual #BookADay Challenge on her blog.

Do read Donalyn's inspiring post above about why she started the Challenge, how to involve young readers, the various ways you can approach it. An excerpt:

"It doesn’t matter if you actually read a book every day or not. Dedicate more time to read. Celebrate your right to read what you want. Make reading plans. Share and collect book recommendations. Connect with other readers.The #bookaday challenge is personal, not a competition. Finish that series. Tackle that epic historical your mother gave you for your birthday (last September). Try audiobooks. How would you like to grow as a reader this summer?"

I will be mainly be posting my #BookADay reads on Twitter at @inkyelbows but will link to posts in my #BookADay archives.

Yes, I do read books the rest of the year! But I love the specific summer reading challenge as extra motivation. I've been working a lot of weekends and evenings in recent months, and I think it would be good to get out of that habit and do more reading instead.

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13. On the finiteness of the atmosphere

I guess the funniest thing I ever saw was a person driving down the highway in a Toyota Prius smoking a cigarette with the windows closed. It was like they were telling me, “I respect your atmosphere but not mine.” That got me thinking, does human generated, gaseous, atmospheric pollution actually make up a significant part of the total atmosphere, and can it possibly affect it?

The post On the finiteness of the atmosphere appeared first on OUPblog.

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14. MIA...WIP!

been MIA lately with this WIP...the new home page/*face* of the enchanted easel.

i'm a big believer in evolution as an artist. in the past couple of years alone, my style has changed/evolved into a place where i feel happy, at peace and comfortable...not to say that i won't keep pushing myself to be the best painter i can be but i am very much enjoying the new style my art has taken on. with that being said...

here are some peeks at the painting i am currently wrapping up this week. little bit of sakura blossoms (my favorite), little bit of nighttime (the insomniac that i am), a strawberry moon, some cotton candy clouds, a sweet little sleeping elephant (maggie) and myself, of course.

can't wait to share it in june (when of course i will have to redo the website and blog to match)!




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15. By hook or by crook

Here is a phrase whose origin seems to be known, but, as this does not mean that everybody knows it, a short discussion may not be out of place. I have such a huge database of idioms that once in six weeks or so I am seized with a desire to share my treasures with the public.

The post By hook or by crook appeared first on OUPblog.

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16. Angel Above the Sea

Fr. Seraphim Gascoigne’s Angel Above the Sea brings to life a frightening time and place in 20th Century history. Seen largely through the eyes of two disparate characters, the Japanese occupation of Shanghai holds many intertwining stories. Shanghai street urchin Tien Loi, searching for his sister, crosses paths with Sawabe Tomasu, an idealistic Japanese Imperial officer who is at heart an artist longing to return to his training in Paris.  City crimelords, occupying troops with corrupt officers, student resistance bands, and strange supernatural beings weave their way through the narrative. Western readers may be surprised to find a Russian Orthodox cathedral in the midst of the wartime chaos, where it stands as a haven for the street children and a jewelbox of beauty against the backdrop of death and destruction.  Preteens and young adults will enjoy following Tien Loi on his dangerous and meandering pilgrimage, encountering friends and foes,  close calls and mystical experiences. 

Read the first chapter now on Amazon's First Look feature. 

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17. Flora and the Peacocks by Molly Idle


Molly Idle is the brilliant creator (and choreographer) of the first two books about Flora, an expressive, if not always graceful, little girl who seems to find herself frolicking with birds of all shapes and sizes. Flora, in a swimsuit, swim cap and flippers, has danced with a flamingo. Flora has skated with a penguin. Now, in Flora and the Peacocks, Flora faces her greatest challenge - dancing with not one, but two peacocks.


For this dance, Flora has a fan and two elegant partners. As with the first two books, clever flaps change the plot of these wordless picture books with just a flip. Flora's fan and the tails of the peacocks flip and flap to change the tone as the three try to orchestrate a dance that leaves no one out. 





As you might expect, there are jealous moments, frustrating turns and even some stomping off stage. But, Flora and the peacocks find a way to dance together by the end of the book, which culminates in a magnificent gatefold that opens to a huge 18 by 33 inches. Besides being gorgeously illustrated, all three of Idle's Flora books are examples of masterful design and paper engineering that make these stories so readable and memorable. It's hard to capture all of the magic of the Flora books in words. Happily, Chronicle Books, the publisher of these excellent books, has made a book trailer!


Source: Review Copy

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18. RICKSHAW GIRL the Play Pedals to the Finish Line

Last Sunday was the closing show of the Bay Area Children's Theater's adaptation of RICKSHAW GIRL. I was sad to bid farewell to the cast and crew, but the memories of their artistry bringing my story to life will uplift and sustain me for years to come. My thanks to one and all, with deep gratitude for this marvelous privilege. I know it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a writer.

From left to right: Amit Sharma (Cast/Tabla), Emily Alvarado (Naima), Director Vidhu Singh, Salim Razawi (Saleem), Ariel Irula (Mother), Pankaj Jha (Father), Sonali Bhattacharya (Music), and me. Missing: too many to list, but I must mention Radhika Rao (Rashida/Rickshaw Painter) and Aditi Kapil (Playwright). 
Meeting an author is kind of scary.
I found a Facebook status written by someone I didn't know who took her daughter to the show. Her words were encouraging as my friends and family can't really be trusted for an impartial response.
"Was amazed today at Bay Area Children's Theatre's production of RICKSHAW GIRL. I think it was my absolute favorite show of the season which is hard to say when I loved them all! We had not read the book before and didn't know the story so it was beautiful to discover such a treasure! It was so nice to see Holly engaged with a story so unfamiliar, and we loved the Bangla songs and the Tabla music! We were lucky to be blessed to meet the author of the book who was in attendance at this final Berkeley performance ... We are looking forward to next season already!"

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19. British Eccentricity on show at Chelsea

If Heath Robinson were alive today, he would probably feel right at home in the Harrods British Eccentrics Garden. Spinning trees, shrubs that bob up and down, a flower border rotating around an octagonal folly, window boxes repositioning themselves and a roof that tips its hat!  

Diarmuid Gavin the brains behind the garden excels at the unconventional. In 2011, he designed a garden which he suspended 82 ft in the air!  In 2012, he recreated Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree, see previous post here. This year he pays homage to English cartoonist William Heath Robinson. “I like to have a bit of fun and try something new,” he explains.    

Heath Robinson best known for his cartoons of fantastically complicated machines died in 1944, but his madcap inventions have never been forgotten. To describe something as Heath Robinson is to portray something complicated in a funny way which is not particularly practical. The British Eccentrics Garden may not be practical, but it is certainly funny.

Imagine your surprise if you found yourself walking through this garden;



I agree with Diarmuid this garden sums up everything that is wonderful about Britain.  You don’t have to be mad to live here, but it certainly helps! This is British eccentricity at its very best.


William Heath Robinson pictured at his desk in 1929 via 

How about you – love it or loath it?

If you enjoyed this post, please share it.

Tweet: March House Books - British Eccentricity on show at Chelsea #bookblogs #fbloggers #bbloggers via @MarchHouseBooks

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20. Buying Time to Make Good Art

© Disney, DuckTales

© Disney, DuckTales

Crowdfunding isn’t a new idea, but we haven’t spent much time discussing it here at Pub Crawl– and I think it’s becoming increasingly relevant to writers today who have more options than ever to publish their work.

Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have been around for more than seven years, and by far have become the best known way to finance projects and products by appealing directly to the consumers who want them. In comparison to the old standby of PayPal donations, and its many limitations and hassles, if enough people are interested in your Kickstarter project, you will raise enough money to hopefully deliver on your promises. But if you don’t have enough support, your proposed project usually goes away quietly.

Many authors have successfully used Kickstarter to self-publish books, using the funding to hire editors, proofreaders and artists; distribute them in print and electronic forms, and even market them. Considering one of the largest hurdles for self-published writers is spending the money to make their books as polished and professional as traditionally published books (or perhaps even more so), this is a fascinating and exciting way to get work out to readers, as well as promote books before they’re released.

Slightly newer to the scene is Patreon, which has quickly become “the world’s largest crowdfunding site for artists and creators” since it was established in 2013. In a nutshell, Patreon allows people to provide ongoing support to an individual–not necessarily for a particular project–through a monthly commitment of as little as $1. As implied by its name, it’s evoking the old patron model of enabling creative work, while offering supporters incentives like exclusive content, early access, and sometimes even a voice in what work gets produced.

(Another site that has recently appeared is called ko-fi, basically an online tip jar that lets fans buy you a cup of coffee with the click of a button, perhaps more as a sign of appreciation than a viable, continuous income stream.)

Essentially, what all these crowdfunding services offer is a way for fans to buy time for creators to make more of the thing they enjoy, and let them know their work is valued and in demand. As a writer with a job and a toddler, a sink full of dishes and piles of dirty laundry, I often must be picky about what projects I sign up for and prioritize the paying work — contracted books and stories — over the shiny ideas I want to play with, or the unpaid blogging I might want to do. So getting “paid” by patrons to write a fun short story that I may not be able to sell (or the novel I may not be able to sell, yikes)  has a certain appeal. My friend N.K. Jemisin recently launched a Patreon that will allow her to quit her day job, the dream of many a writer, so far attracting more than $3800 in less than a week as of this writing.

The simple fact is most writers can probably produce more if they only had more time, and 40+ hours a week is a lot of time.

As more writers I know create Patreons with a wide range of success, I’ve been thinking more about this phenomenon. (Interestingly, as far as I can tell, not many YA writers have embraced Patreon, but it seems to be gaining popularity in the science fiction and fantasy community, of which I am also a part.) The truth is, I personally have a difficult time separating the idea of crowdfunding from charity, even though intellectually I know that people are buying something they want or rewarding you for something only you can provide. Part of me also imagines this as creating yet another array of deadlines and expectations and obligation to your supporters, who are basically making an investment in you and your work. You have more time, but on some level you’re also more accountable, potentially to dozens if not hundreds of people. How much do you ultimately owe them for helping make it possible?

But I am also aware that one of my hangups is the fear that I won’t get much support, or that I’ll be “competing” with all the other Patreon creators out there for the same dollars. Who needs an additional metric for comparing their own success to that of others? And before you remind me that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, and that writing and publishing isn’t really a competition, allow me to suggest that this isn’t an entirely irrational consideration. I think a solid fan base is essential to a successful Kickstarter and Patreon, so your newer writers, less published writers, and debut writers probably won’t benefit from them as much — or at all.

What do you think about crowdfunding creative efforts? Have you supported any Kickstarter or Patreon campaigns? What would get you to donate your money to support a writer beyond buying their published work?

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21. An interview with Katherine Langrish: British author, storyteller, and folklorist

Katherine Langrish is an award-winning author of children’s and young adult historical fantasy. Her meticulous research, gorgeous prose, and instinct for a good story have won her many fans around the world. Since 2009, Katherine has been the creator of the outstanding blog Seven Miles of Steel Thistles where she shares her thoughts and fascinating […]

The post An interview with Katherine Langrish: British author, storyteller, and folklorist appeared first on Cathrin Hagey.

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22. Dr. Noize Presents... Phineas McBoof Crashes The Symphony - a musicwrap



A tale bristling with zany humour in a glorious symphonic setting

Dr. Noize presents...

'PHINEAS McBOOF CRASHES THE SYMPHONY'

A FUN-FILLED, TWO-ACT MUSICAL FOR FAMILIES

with

GRAMMY WINNING OPERA STARS NATHAN GUNN & ISABEL LEONARD & THE CITY OF PRAUGE PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA







Unwrapping...










"Phineas McBoof Crashes the Symphony"

Release date:  July 15, 2016

Ages: 8+


Running time:  Act 1 (CD #1) 74 minutes
                          Act 2 (CD #2) 77 minutes




Media Buzz...


"Agenda Recommends - This enormously silly CD is perfect for little ones... But it's also educational!  Like Peter and the Wolf  but more fun, this wildly danceable story-album introduces kids to musical instruments, styles, and composition." - New York Magazine/ Vulture



Unwrapping the fun...


Four years after the last Dr. Noize album comes the third installment in the award-winning Phineas McBoof series.  It is a full-length, two act musical about the symphony, friendship and purpose, for adventurers of all ages. It will be released July 15, 2016. Previous Dr. Noise albums include Grammaropolis (2012), The Return of Phineas McBoof (2011), and The Ballad of Phineas McBoof (2010).  

This is a screw-ball musical comedy, complete with fast, zany repartee, where the leading characters have over-the-top dramatic ranges that will mesmerize both young and old.  The plot, which could be an offspring of Monty Python, is backed by the full forces of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Kyle Pickett, playing a brilliant score whose colourful orchestrations is match by the integrity and sophistication of the musical material.  


Everyone will adore the album's colourful characters as they find themselves engages in a dramatic, mysterious, high-stakes tale of love, friendship, commitment, and self-improvement in which Phineas learns that the real purpose of striving for great art is to share moments, dreams, and emotions with friends.  Along the way Cory Cullinan embeds into this  musical adventure valuable information about orchestration, instrumentation, music history, Beethoven, sonata form, popular song structure and more, illustrated through the rich detail of the musical composition itself.

The CD features: What Kid's Want,  The Bunny Hop, Movin' On, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 A Song, Beethoven's 5th Symphony, the Title Track and many,many more!



Phineas McBoof is available at Amazon, CDbaby, and iTunes

Check out Doctor Noise website at:

www.doctornoize.com



About Cory Cullinan...


Cory holds degrees in Music and Political Science from Stanford University, where he graduated with Distinction and Honors.  During five years as a high school music teacher in Silicon Valley, Cory conducted youth choirs to major awards and taught a music history elective that became so popular it was made a required freshman course.  In 2010 he released The Ballad of Phineas McBoof, and the rest is history!



Awards and accolades by Doctor Noize...

*Parents Choice
*Doctor Toy
*Grammaropolis was a Top 10 hit son on Sirius XM's Kids Place Live




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23. Review: Harmony, USA by Lewis Bryan

Title: Harmony, USA
Author:  Lewis Bryan 
Publisher: BookLogix
Publication date: April 22, 2015
Stars: 4

Summary: Harmony, USA, the quintessential, idyllic small town, is full of beauty and simplicity. But behind the scenes of this neatly kept town lies a killer, and once you begin to peel back the layers, Harmony has secrets upon secrets. 
Everything you convinced yourself is good and pure about small-town life is challenged. One by one, the secrets of Harmony are revealed. You must decide what is right, as you believed it, and what is justice. 
Will those who have done evil ever pull themselves away from the darkness, or will their past consume them forever? 
Harmony lays in the balance.


Review: Harmony, USA by Lewis Bryan was an interesting book to say the least. You would not expect what happens in this little town. Bryan does a great job with the theory of small towns have their secrets. Harmony sure had plenty. Each page kept me intrigued to find out what happened. I myself am not a big fan of mysteries, I feel like you can pick out the killer in the first few pages. But Bryan’s mystery was one that was hard to break. He wrote it in a way that kept you interested yet you couldn’t name the killer. It took me till almost the end of the book to figure it out and I was still shocked at who it was. Although I did feel like focus of the book was not around the killer so much has around sexual assault. There was something that made me feel uncomfortable at times when every character had been sexually assaulted at some point or another. Regardless of that fact the book was extremely well wrote and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a fast yet good read. 

-Victoria

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24. Next Year's Readers: Three Next-In-The-Series



I believe in the power of series books.

I believe in the power of graphic novels.

Here are three next-in-the-series graphic novels that are on my TBR pile for the first week of June:



Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Alamo All-Stars
by Nathan Hale
Amulet Books, 2016

It was fun to sit and listen to a group of girls talk about the merits of this series last week. They are good readers and detail-oriented, so the amount of smaller-font text doesn't put them off. They each have a different favorite in the series, but none of them has read Donner Dinner Party yet (my personal favorite). They talked about how this is the kind of series where it's important to read the first one first so that you understand why Nathan Hale (the historic character) is telling all these stories (to delay his hanging). After that, you can read them in any order.

Thank you, Nathan Hale (the author) for making history fun and accessible!



by Judd Winick
Random House Books for Young Readers, 2016

This is book two. The first book in this series ended on such (SUCH) a cliffhanger that I can't believe I'm not reading this book right now. (And as I typed that, I just guilted myself into taking this copy to school for the last 8 days so that every child who groaned audibly upon finishing it will be able to read book two before going on to middle school.)

HiLo is my new favorite superhero. Read this series; he'll be your favorite, too!




by Mike Maihack
Scholastic GRAPHIX, 2016

I love graphic novels with strong female characters who are cast as adventurers and sheroes. Bring on Cleopatra, Emily (in Amulet), Claudette (Giants Beware and Dragons Beware), and Zita (Spacegirl).

Don't get me wrong. There's a place for Babysitters' Club. I'm just loving these strong, capable girl sheroes.


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25. Writer Wednesday: Protecting Yourself as an Author

Over the past several months, this industry has seen many publishers go south. I'm referring to them closing for various reasons and/or getting exposed for not paying their authors. First, let's be clear that I'm not going to name any publishers or speak ill of any either. The intent of this post is to simply inform authors and help them in seeking a publisher for their work.

One question that seems to pop up a lot in writer forums is how to know if you're signing with a "good" publisher. To be honest, sometimes you can sign with a great publisher and then that publisher is bought out, which changes everything. Other times you sign with a publisher that has good intentions but winds up going under. And other times still, things look great on the surface but there's another world happening behind the scenes and it's not good in the least. 

So what's an author to do? The best advice I can give you is to find out which authors are with the publisher you're interested in and then contact those authors to hear what their experiences have been like. I have people do this with me all the time, and I'm very honest about my experiences, both good and bad (and yes, there have been bad ones). Also, if you notice an author has left that publisher, find out why. Keep in mind that nondisclosure agreements might keep some authors from dishing the gory details, but that should also send up a red flag. Nondisclosure agreements are set in place for a reason. As a writer, you should question that reason.

Please, research and contact authors to find out what's really going on outside of the public eye. Protect yourself and your work.  


*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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