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1. Google’s Spotlight Stories Unveils Trailer For Interactive ‘On Ice’ Short

The film is directed by Shannon Tindle, who also came up with the idea for Laika's "Kubo and the Two Strings."

The post Google’s Spotlight Stories Unveils Trailer For Interactive ‘On Ice’ Short appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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2. shape challenge aliens

They come in peace. (Click here to see other #ShapeChallenge drawings.)



I was really taken with these #ShapeChallenge drawings by kids; in some ways, they're more proficient than mine, in their bold use of colour and pattern. @MrsJTeaches, who tweeted them, explained that she had the kids look at the shapes for two minutes and think about them, then spend ten minutes drawing inside the shape and ten minutes drawing outside it. What a great way to pace them! (She said that, if she doesn't do that, they just tend to colour inside the shape.) I'm packing away that tip for future use!



These would make amazing abstract tapestries.







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3. Happy Birthday, Matthew!

I hope you have a fun day!!

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4. Happy Blogiversary Indeed!

It's been eleven years of blogging for Tanita and me. Can you believe it? I went diving into our archives and found a few fun tidbits from our blogging past, in honor of our Feb. 24th blogversaryThree years in, I posted a cartoon of THE TWO OF US in... Read the rest of this post

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5. Fans Petition For a Permanent Terry Pratchett Statue in England

terry pratchettEmily Brand, a fan of Sir Terry Pratchett, has launched a Change.org petition. She hopes to encourage the city council of Salisbury to install a permanent statue of the late fantasy fiction author.

Prior to his passing, Pratchett resided in this English town for more than two decades. So far, the petition has drawn more than 7,000 signatures.

Some of the supporters behind this project include Pratchett’s family and Pratchett’s longtime friend Neil GaimanBBC News reports that “a spokeswoman for the family said he would ‘undoubtedly’ have found the amusement ‘in almost any statue.'” Gaiman wrote a post about this venture on Facebook and encouraged his followers to sign the petition.

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6. Google Experiments With “Unprintable” E-Books

Google Creative Lab in Australia has teamed up with London-based publishing company Visual Editions to create Editions at Play, a new digital bookstore featuring “books that cannot be printed.”

These experimental new titles are designed for mobile phones. Here is more from the Visual Editions website:

Editions At Play is a website aimed at book lovers, tech geeks and design peeps. We sell unprintable books that you can read on your phone. It’s a response to the world of digital books, e-books, enhanced e-books, and online PDFs. Because quite frankly we believe readers deserve more. So why not make digital books that are more bookish. And more delightful. And even magical.

The store launches with two new titles: Entrances & Exits by Reif Larsen which is set inside Google Street View; and The Truth About Cats & Dogs by Joe Dunthorne and Sam Riviere.

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7. Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante (a Maggie Hope Mystery #5) by Susan Elia MacNeal

It's Christmastime1941 and the United States has been at war for just a few weeks.  Elated that they will finally have an alley in their fight against the Nazi war machine, Winston Churchill and his entourage, including John Sterling and David Greene, has just arrived in Washington DC after a long, harrowing Atlantic Ocean crossing dodging Nazi submarines and rough seas.

Naturally, because Churchill needs hope, he has also brought along Maggie Hope, one of his Special Operations Executives cum typist.  And it doesn't take long for Maggie to get involved in a murder mystery.

Eleanor Roosevelt's temporary secretary Blanche Balfour hasn't shown up for work, didn't even call in, and now, the President's wife is worried about her.  Churchill volunteers Maggie to help Mrs. Roosevelt because "she's an excellent secretary and helpful in all sorts of...situations."  Which is good, since the two women discover Blanche's body in her bathtub with her wrists slashed when they arrive at her apartment.   Quick thinking Maggie anonymously telephones the police, and noticing a notepad, wisely takes it with her.  Back at the White House, Maggie softly rubs the notepad with a pencil, revealing what looks to be a suicide note from Blanche, except that it isn't her handwriting.

The note claims that Mrs. Roosevelt made unwanted advances at Blanche, trying to kiss her, which, of course, the First Lady denies vehemently.  But the suicide note is only a ruse designed to turn people against the Roosevelts and discredit them., thereby jeopardizing their wartime support.  There are those who are also very unhappy with Mrs. Roosevelt's interfering in the upcoming execution of a young black Virginia sharecropper, Wendel Cotton, for killing a white sharecropper.  The First Lady and Wendel's lawyer, Andrea Martin, believe his trial was a sham, consisting of 12 white men who could pay the $1.50 poll tax.

But why would anyone want to besmirch the Roosevelt's using the Wendel Cotton execution as their fodder?  Trust me, it isn't for the obvious reasons.

Mrs. Roosevelt's problem is the central Maggie Hope mystery, but there are other story lines making this a busy novel and these will be, I assume, expanded upon in future books.  There is the increasing/decreasing/increasing sexual tension between Maggie and John Sterling, who despite having adjoining hotel rooms, never seem to be able to get together.  And there is a storyline about Clara Hess, Maggie's mother and Nazi spy, and one about the effort the Germans put into building a rocket (a precursor to the eventual V-bombs the Nazis lobed at England in 1944-45?).  And now that the US is in the war, there is the more intense relationship between Churchill and Roosevelt.

There is also a nice bit about Walt Disney and his wartime propaganda.   No longer able to fly with the RAF, John Sterling has been developing a gremlin story, those pesky little creatures that plague the pilots on the RAF by sabotaging their planes and Disney is very interested in it (The Gremlins was Roald Dahl's first children's book.  Dahl was also an RAF pilot, and later posted in Washington DC.  His story was published in 1943 by Disney).

Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante is every bit as well-written and well-researched as the four other Maggie Hope mysteries, but I have to admit I didn't enjoy reading it as much.  I think it is because there was too much going on and not enough mystery.  On the other hand, I really enjoyed all the interesting people and pop culture bits that MacNeal included, maybe because the story takes place in Washington DC, a place near and dear to my heart and because I know American pop culture so well.  But, I will be glad when Maggie returns to Britain, where they seem to have better mysteries.

Oh, yes, in Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante readers get to finally meet the infamous Aunt Edith and, let me say, she is a trip.

MacNeal has touched on several themes that will definitely resonate with today's readers and, even though it isn't my favorite Maggie Hope, I still highly recommend reading this fifth book in the series.

This book is recommended for readers age 14+
This book was an EARC received from NetGalley

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8. Bob Shea’s Ballet Cat Collection Prize Pack| Book Giveaway

Enter to win a Ballet Cat collection prize pack! Giveaway begins February 8, 2016, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends March 7, 2016, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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9. Giveaway: The Defiance Trilogy by CJ Redwine (US Only)

Defiance, Deception, and Deliverance by  C.J. Redwine Release Dates: 8/28/12, 8/27/13, 8/26/14   About the Books Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to...

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10. N.Y. School Encourages Kids to Buy Books at School Store

Maspeth High School in Queens, NY is reportedly pushing students to buy books from its in-house bookstore, a practice that goes against state and city rules.

According to a report in The New York Post, the school encourages kids to buy specific editions of books and suggests that they buy them from the school book stores. The Post has the scoop:

New York Maspeth sells 45 different books, mostly for English, plus several for other classes such as social studies and chemistry. Prices start at $2 for Machiavelli’s “The Prince” and $3 for Dickens’ “Tale of Two Cities.” Six books cost $10 each, including “Brave New World,” “Black Boy,” and “The Great Gatsby.”

A spokesperson for the school claims that students are not required to shop in the school’s store.

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11. First Part of Gotham Stories Motion Comic Series Released

FOX, Warner Bros. TV, and DC Entertainment plan to release a motion comic series called Gotham Stories. According to Comic Book Resources, the creators behind this project intend to use this original story to connect “both halves of Gotham season two.”

IGN reports that the first installment, entitled Penguin’s Cold Surprise, introduces fans of this TV show to a new antagonist: Mr. Freeze. The video embedded above also features two more of the Dark Knight’s most memorable archenemies: Selina Kyle and The Penguin.

Gotham will return with a new episode set to air on Feb. 29. Who’s your favorite villain from the Batman universe? (via ComicBook.com)

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12. #STBAblogtour16 DAY ONE

Today kicks off the 2016 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour, a virtual book tour for authors and illustrators of this year's gold and silver medalists. Check back each day for new interviews, or wait until the end and read all the interviews at once! Find the entire blog tour schedule here.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2016



Ketzel the Cat Who Composed by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Amy June Bates
Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Younger Readers Category
At Ann Koffsky's Blog

Author Interview
Illustrator Interview



Serendipity's Footsteps by Suzanne Nelson
Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Teen Readers Category
At Bildungsroman
Author Interview


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13. Buzzworthy Books - Winter 2016

There are SO MANY amazing books hitting the shelves this winter. Which 25 are we buzzing about? Check out our list and be sure to enter to win one of the 8 books we're giving away! 1. THE SHADOW QUEEN by C.J. Redwine - 2/16/16  A dark epic fantasy inspired by the...

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14. The Church at the Movies

On Sunday I went to the movies,
A space that the theater now shares
With a church that was holding a service
On the second floor, right up the stairs.

As the clerk took ahold of my ticket,
I noticed the welcoming sign;
So a person who entered had choices –
See a movie or seek the divine.

There were mouthwash and mints in the bathroom
Which the church leaders sweetly supplied,
Though I have to admit I was baffled –
Would a gargle make virtue implied?

As I fixed on the coming attractions,
While relaxed on my faux-leather perch,
I supposed I was one of the sinners
To the worshipers up in the church.

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15. Bella Heathcote Lands Role in Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker Book Cover (GalleyCat)Bella Heathcote has been cast in the Fifty Shades Darker film adaptation. In the past, this actress has taken on literary-themed projects such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and The Curse of Downers Grove.

International Business Times reports that Heathcote will play Leila Williams; this character is the “former and mentally unstable submissive” of Christian Grey. E.L. James, the author of the Fifty Shades book trilogy, confirmed on the news on Twitter.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “this casting follows the announcement that Kim Basinger will play Grey’s Mrs. Robinson-esque first lover.” Both Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan have agreed to return to step into the roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. (via E! Online)

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16. The First Chapter

Here's a checklist to help you revise that oh-so-important first chapter.

http://annerallen.com/2016/01/how-to-start-novel-checklist-for.html

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17. correctdichotomy: (image credit to Dan Hoare on twitter) I ONLY...









correctdichotomy:

(image credit to Dan Hoare on twitter)

I ONLY JUST LEARNED ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF THIS MUSHROOM????? WHICH ERUPTS FROM AN EGG BEFORE UNCURLING HELLISH ARMS, EXPOSING ITS STICKY MASS OF SPORES TO BE SPREAD BY FLIES ATTRACTED BY THE SCENT OF ROTTING FLESH???

Admittedly, I am easily won over by all organisms that attract flies with the scent of rotting flesh. But the octopus stinkhorn (Clathrus archeri) also has tentacles, a freaky egg stage, and blackish goop, so it’s my favorite now.









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18. Giveaway \\ THE POWER by Jennifer L Armentrout #ApollyconOfficial

THE POWERby Jennifer L ArmentroutSeries: A Titan Novel (Book 2)Paperback: 344 pagesPublisher: Spencer Hill Press (February 23, 2016)Goodreads | Amazon With any great change, there is always strife, and the Covenant University has become the frontline between pure-bloods who want the Breed Order reinstated and the half-bloods who want the right to control their own destinies. Fate has other

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19. Comics sales increase by 2.1 million units in five years

The top 300 comics charts are out for January, and John Jackson Miller has his monthly analysis which reveals that graphic novels were heavily discounted in January, perhaps accounting for part of the fall in sales. He also points out something very important which I think a lot of people don’t remember – because they […]

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20. RICKSHAW GIRL on Stage: Order Tickets Now!


My novel for elementary-aged readers, RICKSHAW GIRL (chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the best books for children over the past 100 years), is pedaling to the stage in a wonderful musical adaptation! The Bay Area Children's Theatre will put on shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday from April 12 to May 22, first in San Ramon's Front Row Theater, next at the San Francisco's Children's Creativity Museum, and last but not least in Berkeley at The Osher Studio.

Here's the ticket purchase information: http://bactheatre.org/shows/RickshawGirl. If you want to say hello and get a signed book, I plan to be there at the opening shows in San Francisco (Saturday, April 16 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.) and the closing shows in Berkeley (Sunday, May 22 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.).

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21. Trip To Denver: The New Union Station


We headed up to Denver last week for  a little bit of business in the Capitol city...


Click HERE for video of train passing by coffee shop...

But when that was done, we stayed around for a couple of days. For one, to explore the newly renovated Union Station on the Northwest end of downtown...


Denver continues to add to their mass transit system, a sleek new hub between Union Station and the South Platte River in LoDo (lower downtown).


The old Union Station has been a anchor on the Northwest corner of the Sixteenth Street Mall...






and includes a hotel...

                           

and several restaurants, listed here...


Ate at the very hip Kitchen Next Door Community Pub for dinner...


and then came back the next day and had breakfast at Snooze, yup the 60's are cool again...



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22. New Legend of Zelda Manga to be Digitally Published

Link 200 (GalleyCat)A Japanese manga series based on the The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess video game will be released later this month. Readers will only be able to access this work through Shogakukan’s MangaOne app.

According to PolygonAkira Himekawa, the pseudonym of two creatives who choose to remain anonymous, has been credited as the writer and artist behind this project. In the past, this duo has produced manga based on three other Zelda games: Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and A Link to the Past.

Here’s more from Tech Times: “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is an action-adventure game from Nintendo that originally released in 2006 for the GameCube and Wii. The story follows the hero Link as he tries to save Hyrule from an evil parallel dimension. Many Zelda fans and critics often consider Twilight Princess as one of the best Zelda games ever made.” (via ComicBook.com)

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23. Red nose

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24. Palmiotti and Conner announce 5 book free signing limit

With the exponential rise in comics shows, and a corresponding rise in attendees, there's been a lot of talk recently about various pros imposing signing limits or charging for autographs at show, with the money often going to a charity. Popular con guests Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner have just made their policy clear.

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25. ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Maintains Top Global Box Office Spot For Second Week

Po was #1 in both the U.S. and China, but there are some reasons for concern.

The post ‘Kung Fu Panda 3’ Maintains Top Global Box Office Spot For Second Week appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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