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<<October 2016>>
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1. Baseball and Ben-Gay

1945 World Series

A young boy sat on the windowsill of his grandmother's Sheffield Ave. Brownstone, and watched his beloved Cubbies.

Binoculars in hand, and radio nearby, his view was unobstructed, straight down the first base line. Grandma would bring him a sandwich and ask for updates on the game.

The summer heat settling in the top floor apartment, coupled with an over-powering smell stinging his nostrils from his grandmother's "overuse" of Ben-Gay, made it imperative to lean as far out the window, as possible.

"Now, Kenny. Don't you fall," she'd warn.

A World Series appearance and win was always first and foremost on his mind.

The last Cubs pennant win was 1945; 7 months after he was born, so another pennant or series win was just around the corner.


It would be a lifetime before the Cubs would make it to another series. 71 years.

In case you're wondering, Ken isn't still sitting in the window of his grandmother's Brownstone, but he's just as excited now, as he was then, to see his team play.

It's been 7 decades for this long-suffering fan, but joy, along with relief, came flooding back.

Go Cubbies!

0 Comments on Baseball and Ben-Gay as of 10/25/2016 11:24:00 AM
2. Author-Illustrator Interview: Ambelin Kwaymullina on Justice, Hope & Her Creative Family

Sample chapter from Candlewick Press
By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

The second of a four-installment dialogue with Ambelin and Cynthia.  

Our focus is on the creative life and process, speculative fiction, diversity, privilege, indigenous literature, and books for young readers.

Yesterday, Ambelin spoke on ethics, the writing process and own voices.

We have children’s-YA literature and the law in common. That’s actually a pretty common combination here in the states. Why do you think there are so many people involved in both?

Well, I’ve had some of my law students suggest the law is so horribly dry that it drives people to being creative in order to escape its clutches (these are generally the students who are studying law because their parents thought it was a good idea).

But for me at least, I think the reason I studied law and the reason I write are the same. In both realms, I am seeking justice – and justice, in Aboriginal societies, generally equates to balance, not just between human beings but between all forms of life (and everything lives).

I write speculative fiction because I want to write about the possibility of defeating injustice; to write about the terrible things that were (and are) while imagining what could be.

The oppressive law I wrote about in the Tribe series divides people into three categories: those without an ability (Citizens); those with an ability (Illegals); and those whose ability is considered benign (Exempts).

This is not an invented law. It is based on the Western Australian Natives (Citizenship Rights) Act 1944, a piece of legislation that purported to offer Aboriginal people ‘citizenship’ by exempting us from racially-based restrictions that only applied to my ancestors in the first place because they were Aboriginal.

In the Tribe series, this law is ultimately defeated by an alliance of the marginalised and the privileged, and by a heroine whose power is to identify and sustain the connections between all life.

And in writing of connections, I am writing of something that is central to the law in Aboriginal legal systems where (at its broadest) law is the processes of living in the world that sustain the world.

You clearly articulate the impact of white privilege on writing and writers, noting the negative impact on the work of Native voices and POC voices. What would you say to those Native and POC writers who may find themselves angry, frustrated, hurt or discouraged by these dynamics?

First: it’s not you. Exclusion is not something you are inventing in your head and you are neither unlucky nor unworthy.

It helps in this context to form connections with other Indigenous writers as well as with writers of colour, LGBTI writers, and writers with a disability.

You are likely to hear stories of authors getting similar comments across different contexts (e.g: you’re not writing to the Indigenous experience … this story is too Asian … gay books don’t sell … we’ve already published a ‘disability book’ this year).

It matters to have a network of people with whom to share both the good and bad experiences; and perhaps most importantly, to understand that you are not alone.

Second, never forget how to laugh. Some of the comments I’ve listed above have been part of the experience of other writers that they’ve laughed about with me – not because these comments are not discriminatory and hurtful, but because laughter has always been one of the ways in which marginalised peoples have dealt with pain.

Third, define success in your own terms. We all know what ‘success’ is supposed to be in literary industry terms: book sales and/or critical acclaim (preferably both). I’m not saying we shouldn’t aspire to that. But I also think that if marginalised writers define our success solely in the terms set by an industry that consistently privileges white, straight, cis-gendered people who don’t have a disability, we are also buying into an underlying lie.

The lie is that if we can just prove we are good enough we will be treated equally. But once equality has to be earned, it is no longer equality.

So I think it’s important that each of us define success according to what matters to us – and for me, it’s being a person that my ancestors would be proud of.

Book sales wouldn’t overly interest them. But honouring who they were, and who I am; treating cultural knowledge with respect; helping other Indigenous writers whenever and wherever I can – these are the kinds of things they’d be concerned about.

Fourth: be hopeful. I am. I locate my hope in people, and there are many, many people working towards a world in which all voices have an equal opportunity to speak and all stories are equally heard.

I think change will come, and in the meantime, I’m proud to be a part of a global community of voices, marginalised and privilege alike, that are speaking out for justice.

While you don’t feel it’s appropriate for non-Indigenous writers to reflect your community in first person or deep third, you are open to them writing secondary characters. Why does your opinion differ depending on how centered the character’s perspective is in the story?

Ambelin's desk
I don’t think it’s appropriate for non-Indigenous people to speak as if they are Indigenous, especially given the operation of privilege which means that non-Indigenous voices will be heard in a way that Indigenous voices are not.

For me, writing from an ‘outsider’ perspective (so not in first or deep third) is to respect boundaries; to accept there are limits on what we can know of others and how we should represent others in our own work.

When I write of experiences of marginalisation not my own, I do it from an outsider perspective – reflecting that this is much as I can understand and that understanding may of course be wrong; I am not suggesting that I know what it is to see the world from an ‘insider’ view of a group to which I don’t belong. I think the spaces must be created for everyone to speak to their own worlds, and I want to be part of making those spaces a reality.

What advice do you have for non-Indigenous writers in crafting those secondary characters?

I think something you’ve said is the best place to start – you’ve spoken of the need for writers to read 100 books by Indigenous people before writing about us.

I agree. No one should be writing an Indigenous character without being familiar with Indigenous stories (not the ones told about us but the ones told by us).

It’s also important to ensure that any stories people are reading are ethically published because there is a vast body of Indigenous stories that were taken by anthropologists and others and are now in the public domain without the informed consent (or sometimes even the knowledge) of the Indigenous peoples concerned.

The easiest way to check that a story is appropriately published is to see who holds the copyright; where Indigenous peoples hold copyright in their own stories it is at least some indication that they control the text.

In addition to reading stories, I’d say, become familiar with representation issues. Engage with the online dialogue happening around representation and children’s literature as it relates to Indigenous peoples. There are no shortage of voices speaking in this space.

And finally: words spoken about marginalised peoples have a weight and a cost. But if you are not a member of that group, then it’s a weight that you don’t carry and a cost that you don’t pay.

So don’t measure the impact of your words by how they will be read by people like you. Measure them by how they’ll be read by the people you’re writing about.

How did you learn your craft as a writer and illustrator?

By doing! I have no formal training in writing or illustration. But nor do a lot of Australian Indigenous writers and illustrators, and we have been storytellers for thousands of years.

So to learn craft I look to the work of Indigenous writers and artists, both within Australia and elsewhere, as well as to the ancient teachings of my people.

What inspired you to direct your talents toward creating stories for young readers?

In my YA series, I was writing about a superhero, so it had to be about a teenager. I don’t believe grown ups have it in us to save the world, because we are spectacularly failing to do so.

But in the young I see all the hope for the future – they are more interconnected, quick to embrace new ideas, and passionate about fighting anything they perceive as an injustice.

They’re also more honest, especially the children for whom I write picture books. When they like a book, they write me lovely letters telling me how they sleep with the book under their pillow and begging me to write more. When they don’t like it they’re equally forthright.

People ask sometimes whether its difficult as an author to deal with bad reviews, to which I say: try writing for six-year-olds. Every once in a while, children send me letters about one or the other of my picture books that begin something like this: “My teacher made me read your book. I didn’t like it.”

I’ve had a few of these letters that went on for ten pages or more, and since that length is like War and Peace from a six-year-old, it means I’ve had kids hate my work enough to send me the child equivalent of Tolstoy.

Adverse reviews from grown-ups are nothing in comparison.

What was your initial inspiration for The Tribe series?

Sample chapter from Candlewick Press
My brother Blaze. He came up to me one day and said, “I’ve got an awesome title for a book. It’s called The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf.”

I said, “That’s a pretty good title – what’s the story?’

To which Blaze replied, “Oh, there’s no story. Just the name, and I can’t be bothered writing it so I’m giving to you.”

Having bestowed the title of the novel upon me, he wandered off, leaving me to start thinking about the story. (And for anyone who’s read any of the Tribe series, the character of Jaz is very like my brother Blaze).

What were the challenges—literary, research, psychological and logistical—of bringing the stories to life?

I think the primary challenge is this: in so many ways, I wasn’t writing fiction. A post-apocalyptic world is not a fantasy for Indigenous peoples; the colonial apocalypse has already happened and much of The Tribe series is drawn from Australian colonial history.

Much of it too is drawn from the experiences of my ancestors and that is why hope runs so strongly through the narrative. They held on to hope through hard, cruel times when all their choices were taken away from them.

Indigenous peoples are so often spoken of as victims and I certainly don’t wish to minimise the suffering and the multi-generational trauma inflicted upon us by the colonial project. But the very fact that the Indigenous peoples of the world survived determined efforts to destroy us demonstrates our great strength.

I think the ability to hold onto hope is part of that strength and its something I try to honour.

You’ve created several picture books with Sally Morgan. Could you tell us about your work together?

Ambelin with her creative family
So, Sally is my mum. I’ve also done books with my two brothers, Blaze and Zeke, and the four of us have written together as a family. We’re all authors and artists, and we always give each other an honest opinion – sometimes this results in one of us storming off (usually me or Zeke, we’re both excellent stormers).

Generally, once we’ve had a chance to think about the criticism we come creeping sheepishly back and agree that yes, actually, that particular portion of the narrative (which we were previously so proud of) does indeed need more work.

I think from the outside our working process probably looks chaotic; we all talk at the same time and over each other; generally, the person with the best story gets to hold the floor until they get boring and someone else interrupts. If you want a place in the conversation in my family, you have to be prepared to earn it.

What can your readers look forward to next?

I’m working on three YA novels right now, but the one I’ll finish first is a book I’m writing with my brother Zeke.

It’s a mystery with fantasy elements that’s told from the perspective of three Indigenous female protagonists. It’s been a difficult book to write in places because terrible things happen in it, but its ultimately a story about the power of young Indigenous women and how they find their way home.



I am thankful for this review for, "Heroes Beneath the Waves," with Deborah Kalb who now has her first children's book released. "Heroes Beneath the  Waves: Submarine Stories of the Twentieth Century", is written for the men who served, for families of submarine veterans to understand what it was like for  their love ones, and for students to understand war is not a game. My husband has two stories in the book. He never got to see the book as he passed away two day before the book was released.

0 Comments on DEBORAH KALB Q&A BOOK REVIEW as of 10/25/2016 8:46:00 AM
4. Cybils Speculative Reader: WHERE FUTURES END by PARKER PEEVYHOUSE

Welcome to the 2016 Cybils Speculative Reader! As a first run reader for the Cybils, I'll be briefly introducing you to the books on the list, giving you a mostly unbiased look at some of the plot.Enjoy! Synopsis: A year from today, Dylan will... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Cybils Speculative Reader: WHERE FUTURES END by PARKER PEEVYHOUSE as of 10/25/2016 8:54:00 AM
5. I Am A Story

I Am A Story. Dan Yaccarino. 2016. HarperCollins. 40 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: I am a story. I was told around a campfire, then painted on cave walls. I was carved onto clay tablets and told in pictures. I was written on papyrus and printed with ink and woodblocks, then woven into tapestries and copied into big books to illuminate minds.

Premise/plot: The story's autobiography. The concept of 'story' is personified and communicated in very simple, basic terms that readers of all ages can appreciate.

My thoughts: LOVED it. Loved, loved, loved, LOVED it. It's so simple yet so brilliant. Would recommend to anyone and everyone who loves stories and storytelling. It's not just for people who love books and libraries, but, for anyone who celebrates storytelling and communities.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total; 9 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

0 Comments on I Am A Story as of 10/25/2016 8:21:00 AM
6. Instagram: Finds from the Field – Sea Ranch Edition

Grain Edit Instagram

In this edition of Finds from the Field, we feature our trip to Sea Ranch – a modern housing community established in the mid-sixties along the Northern California coastline. Featured on and within several of these structures are supergraphics and icons by Bay Area designer Barbara Stauffacher-Solomon. In addition, she designed the logo which can be easily seen on the signage at the Sea Ranch Lodge and welcome center.


Grain Edit Instagram

Sea Ranch was designed by Moore, Lyndon, Turnbull, Whitaker and a significant smidgen of Escherick


Grain Edit Instagram

Super fun exit sign


See all of our Instagram finds here.


Also worth viewing:

Eye Sea Posters
Bulgaria Black Sea Resort Stamps 1972

Script and Seal Posters

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Thanks to this week's Sponsor // Foto Sushi

7. Inktober Day 25: Birds and Trees

Birds and Trees. Day 25 of #Inktober2016.

0 Comments on Inktober Day 25: Birds and Trees as of 10/25/2016 8:12:00 AM
8. महिला और समाज – भारतीय समाज में नारी का स्थान

महिला और समाज – भारतीय समाज में नारी का स्थान – हाल ही में हम महिलाओं से जुडे दो बेहद खास त्योहार गए. करवा चौथ और अहोई अष्टमी का. पर नेट पर तो मानों मजाक बनाने वालो की बाढ सी आ गई. बहुत ही ज्यादा मजाक बनाया गया. कुछ अच्छा भी लगा तो कुछ बुरा भी… महिला […]

The post महिला और समाज – भारतीय समाज में नारी का स्थान appeared first on Monica Gupta.

9. Coloring Page Tuesday - Halloween Story Time

     Halloween is Monday - are you ready? If you don't want to hand out candy, and you aren't a business, feel free to hand out my coloring pages instead! CLICK HERE for more Halloween-themed coloring pages!
     CLICK HERE to sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...
my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET - winner of six literary awards. Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

0 Comments on Coloring Page Tuesday - Halloween Story Time as of 10/25/2016 6:30:00 AM
10. The Great Antonio by Elise Gravel, 64pp, RL 2

The Great Antonio is Elise Gravel's loving tribute to Antonio Barichievich, the Croatian born strong man who was a Montreal fixture for many years. The Great Antonio is also yet another superb beginning reader from the fantastic TOON Books. Gravel begins this fanciful story of the life of this giant of a man speculating about his possible parentage and wondering about his childhood in Croatia. This may seem like an odd subject for a beginning reader, but Gravel tells Antonio's story with a playful tone that is immediately engaging.

To show readers just how HUGE Antonio was, she shows his clothes (a cat could sleep in his shoe, but it was quite smelly) and his eating habits. She also shows reader the various opponents he wrestled and the many enormous, heaving things he lifted and pulled.

 Antonio was larger than life and stories about him border on the unbelievable. Reading Gravel's author notes at the end of the book helped me get a perspective on this strange - for a beginning reader, anyway - story. Gravel shares that one of her favorite authors is Roald Dahl, who "got her interested in unusual people and animals," saying that she is, "attracted to anyone who is STRANGE or FUNNY." Growing up in Montreal, Gravel was very familiar with this strange and funny man. Like Sampson, Antonio had magnificent hair - long, thick dreadlocks that fell to the ground and were often used to pull buses. Or, Antonio would put metal in his braids and use them as golf clubs and more.

Gravel gives The Great Antonio the feel of a tall tale, speculating about his life and his feats but also respectfully sharing the stranger aspects of it. Near the end of his life, Antonio chose to live on the streets of Montreal, using a donut shop as his office. Gravel tells readers that, when he died, a mountain of flowers was left at his favorite table at the donut shop. Antonio himself may have created this air of mystery about himself, lending to his larger than life persona. In her author notes, Gravel shares that, after his death, many of his "wild stories" were proven to be true!

Source: Review Copy

0 Comments on The Great Antonio by Elise Gravel, 64pp, RL 2 as of 10/25/2016 5:00:00 AM
11. KIDS DESIGN - sainsbury's TU A/W16

Today I have some snapshots of the latest Autumn/Winter children's clothes at Sainsbury's. They retail their clothing under the brand TU and for Autumn Sainsbury's have brought us Owls, woodland flora and fauna, and ducks in the rain. For winter there are plenty of bear designs for boys, either camping style, skiing, or in woolly hats. For girls their are Scandinavian style birds. Here are my

0 Comments on KIDS DESIGN - sainsbury's TU A/W16 as of 10/25/2016 3:30:00 AM
12. PACKAGING - sainsbury's

Talking of Sainsbury's I noticed that they have recently repackaged their own label bakery products using repeat pattern designs. Just a little mention really but it caught my eye as I love to see pattern in use wherever it pops up.

0 Comments on PACKAGING - sainsbury's as of 10/25/2016 3:31:00 AM
13. पान मसाला खाने के नुकसान हैं या फायदे

पान मसाला खाने के नुकसान हैं या फायदे ये हमे ही सोचना है सिग्रेट पीते हुए हम वाकई ग्रेट लगते हैं या ये  सी ग़्रेड चीज है  … ये हमारी सोच पर है और यकीनन अगर हम अपने बच्चो से अपने परिवार से प्यार करते हैं तो हमें समझादारी से काम लेना होगा   है ना […]

The post पान मसाला खाने के नुकसान हैं या फायदे appeared first on Monica Gupta.

14. ‘Superhero’ by Kris Merc

Music video for Kool Keith x MF Doom's "Superhero."

The post ‘Superhero’ by Kris Merc appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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15. It’s Tuesday! Write. Give. Share.

It's Tuesday! Time to write, share and give!

16. Fusenews: Moominlatte

Good morning!  I’d like to begin today by thanking the good people of Foundation 65 for allowing me to moderate a panel discussion last night with Duncan Tonatiuh, Grace Lin, Matt de la Pena, Janice Harrington, and Steve Sheinkin.  Foundation 65 has created this cool program where these authors are visiting every single child in the Evanston, IL public school system this week.  I helped kick it off, which was lovely.  In this image you’ll see me in a rare moment of not lolling all over the podium (there was no seat high enough for me to sit on, and my heels were killing me).



Travis just offered a fascinating look at the recently released Follett statistics of what children around the country are checking out.  It’s simultaneously unsurprising and disheartening.  If you’re into that feeling, check the list out here.


Gotta hand it to Bookriot.  When they came up with a list of 9 Kids Books That Should Be In Print, they did their due diligence.  No mention of Hey, Pizza Man, but otherwise impeccable.  I have a copy of Trouble for Trumpets of my very own, so I can attest to its awesomeness, and The Church Mouse should definitely find a new audience.  Well written, Danika Ellis.


Two Harold and the Purple Crayon related posts appeared around the same time last week.  The first was from The Ugly Volvo (a.k.a. my replacement for The Toast) called Harold’s Mother and the Purple Crayon.  The other was Phil Nel’s piece How to Read Harold in which he reveals the possible subject of his next book.  There are also some pretty keen links at the end.  Go to it!


This one’s neat.  Middle school teachers Julie Sternberg and Marcie Colleen have collected short audio clips in which storytellers share memories from their childhood.  They write,

“For each memory, we propose writing prompts for students as well as questions for classroom discussion.  Topics range from moments when storytellers have experienced bullying or been bullies themselves; to the first time they remember doing something they knew to be wrong; to difficulties in their home lives; to the effects of keeping secrets.  We hope each story helps kids think through issues that can be difficult to address but impossible to avoid.”

The site is called Play Me a Memory and contributors include everyone from Sarah Weeks and Kat Yeh to Michael Buckley and Matthew Cordell.  If you’re looking for writing prompts to share with kids, this site may prove inspirational.


This is neat:


It’s like fanart for a really recent picture book.  Cool stuff, Migy.


I know Dana Sheridan says that artist Aliisa Lee’s illustrations of classic folktale characters are “manga characters”, but I think the adaptations go a bit further.  These creations look particularly Pokemon-esque.  I could see me capturing one in a public space.  Couldn’t you?

Now for a double shot of espresso/adorableness:


Thanks to Marjorie Ingall for the link.


I outsource some of my knowledge of children’s literature to those better suited than I.  For example, if you were to ask me what the best Christian books series out there might be, I’d probably hem and haw and then excuse myself to the ladies room where I would attempt to climb out the window.  Author/illustrator Aaron Zenz, however, knows his stuff.  Recently he said that the best series is Adam Raccoon and that the books are now officially back-in-print.  FYI, Christian reader type folks!


Just the loveliest piece was written recently at the Horn Book by Sergio Ruzzier about his time looking at the work of Arnold Lobel and James Marshall at the Kerlan Collection.  And though I might take issue with the idea that Marshall’s humans were less charming than his animals, the piece is an utterly fascinating look at the process of the two men.


Daily Image:

And for our last image of the day, we turn once again to good old upcoming Halloween:


Reminds me of the time I went to the Dan Quayle Museum and saw the Fabergé Egg that showed him being sworn in as VP (<— all that I just said is true).  Thanks to Marci for the link.


0 Comments on Fusenews: Moominlatte as of 10/25/2016 1:06:00 AM
17. Monday Review: GEMINI by Sonya Mukherjee

This is one of the most gorgeous and effectivecovers I've seen. I love it.Synopsis: Clara and Hailey are twin sisters, and like a lot of sisters, they are closer than close one moment, but in the next, they get on each other's last nerve. Hailey is... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Monday Review: GEMINI by Sonya Mukherjee as of 10/24/2016 9:08:00 PM
18. Fun books to read for Halloween

Halloween is almost here and it's the perfect time to read a spook-tacular Halloween themed books.

Here are a few not too spooky Halloween books for our young readers:

Go away, big green monster! by Ed Emberely
Die-cut pages through which bits of a monster are revealed are designed to help a child control nighttime fears of monsters.

Does a cow say boo? by Judy Hindley
Children on a farm want to know which creature says "boo," and learn about animal sounds as they search. 

Room on the broom by Julia Donaldson
A witch finds room on her broom for all the animals that ask for a ride, and they repay her kindness by rescuing her from a dragon.

Otter loves Halloween! by Sam Garton
Otter and Teddy celebrate Halloween.

Big pumpkin by Erica Silverman

A witch trying to pick a big pumpkin on Halloween discovers the value of cooperation when she gets help from a series of monsters.  

The little old lady who was not afraid of anything by Linda Williams
A  little old lady who is not afraid of anything must deal with a pumpkin head, a tall black hat, and other spooky objects that follow her through the dark woods trying to scare her.

For our older readers looking for a scary story to tell in the dark:

Scary stories to tell in the dark by Alvin Schwartz
This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz's popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright.

In a creepy, creepy place and other scary stories by Judith Gorog

A collection of scary stories with unpredictable events and bizarre characters.

0 Comments on Fun books to read for Halloween as of 1/1/1900
19. Query Letters

There are some things you should NOT include in your query letter.


0 Comments on Query Letters as of 10/24/2016 8:09:00 PM
20. Breaking: Oscar-Winning Studio Moonbot Lays Off Employees After Possible Studio Sale

Moonbot is laying off employees in Louisiana, but might be growing even larger in Florida.

The post Breaking: Oscar-Winning Studio Moonbot Lays Off Employees After Possible Studio Sale appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on Breaking: Oscar-Winning Studio Moonbot Lays Off Employees After Possible Studio Sale as of 10/24/2016 6:56:00 PM
21. Bird Bath

While wandering some wooded paths
We witnessed warblers taking baths.
Some rocky croppings, they’d detected,
Had some dips where rain collected.

Several types of birds appeared
And waited ‘til the “bathtubs” cleared.
Taking turns, they each immersed
While those in waiting chirp-conversed.

The bathing birds, a’frenzied, flapped
As water droplets rose and slapped.
I couldn’t tell if all that preening
Was for show or simply cleaning.

Concrete jungle thoughts aside,
In New York City, we’re supplied
With lots of Nature’s hidden treasures;
Spotting them provides sweet pleasures.

0 Comments on Bird Bath as of 1/1/1900
22. Trusting God Through a Miscarriage (Part 1 of 2)

by Sally Matheny

Trusting God Through a Miscarriage
(photo by Pixabay)
Not even the startling, cold lubricant squeezed onto my belly could stifle my excited chatter.

I was on the verge of being the first one to hear a great secret—the gender of our third baby!

Earlier that day, I had taken our seven-and nine-year old daughters to a sitter. They wanted to go with me for my 12-week check up. I told them the following month’s appointment would be an ultrasound. I assured them they could go with me, and their daddy, to see the baby growing inside my tummy then.

Now, here I was, by myself about to hear the big reveal earlier than expected. Finding it difficult to locate the tiny baby with his stethoscope, the doctor asked how I felt about an ultrasound to see if I was as far along as we thought.

I happily agreed but told him he’d have to do another one next month because I’d promised my girls. Plus, my husband was out of town on business so there was no way he could get there in time to see today’s ultrasound.

So, I felt like I was special since I was about to receive some exciting news before everyone else. What a nice gift to receive after enduring three months of nausea!

“If I’m not as far along as we expected will you still be able to tell if it’s a boy or girl?” I asked.

“Maybe. We’ll see,” the tech said as she slid the probe around.

A few seconds later, she added, “There’s the baby.”

“Awww, it looks like it’s waving,” I said, noticing five, distinct, widespread fingers held in front of a profiled head and nose.

My heart pounded, waiting for her to tell me the big news. Boy? Or girl?
A few more swipes. She announces, “Okay. The doctor will be in to see you in just a minute,” as she leaves the room.

Odd. Maybe the tech isn’t allowed to say anything and has to wait for the doctor.

A few minutes later, the doctor comes in and repeats the same movements over my belly. It’s awfully quiet in the room until the doctor grunts a low and short, “hmm.”

I feel my enthusiasm fade in the dimly lit room. Something isn’t right.
Read more »

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23. Wildlife Photos by Mary Nida Smith


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24. 2017 VFX Oscar Contenders: From Most-Likely To The Outliers

Who are the likely contenders for a visual effects Oscar? And which films might surprise this year?

The post 2017 VFX Oscar Contenders: From Most-Likely To The Outliers appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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25. Monday Poetry Stretch - List Poem for Fall

A list poem is a carefully crafted list, catalog, or inventory of things. Robert Lee Brewer of Poetic Asides writes this in his article List Poem: A Surprisingly American Poem:
The list poem was used by the Greeks and in many books of the Bible. But two of the most popular American poems, Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” and Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” are list poems. So what is a list poem? 
Basically, a list poem (also known as a catalog poem) is a poem that lists things, whether names, places, actions, thoughts, images, etc. It’s a very flexible and fun form to work with.
What is it about list poems that makes them so accessible? Perhaps it's because the list is so ubiquitous in our lives. Everyone makes lists, so finding them in poetry is not unexpected and makes them seem familiar.

In the book Conversations With a Poet: Inviting Poetry into K-12 Classrooms (2005), written by Betsy Franco, the chapter devoted to the list poem includes this background and helpful information.
The list poem or catalog poem consists of a list or inventory of things. Poets started writing list poems thousands of years ago. They appear in lists of family lineage in the Bible and in the lists of heroes in the Trojan War in Homer's Iliad.  
Characteristics Of A List Poem
  • A list poem can be a list or inventory of items, people, places, or ideas.
  • It often involves repetition.
  • It can include rhyme or not.
  • The list poem is usually not a random list. It is well thought out.
  • The last entry in the list is usually a strong, funny, or important item or event.
Your challenge for this week is to write a list poem about fall, or Halloween, or something October-y. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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26. Rune Fisker

Rune Fisker

Rune Fisker’s illustrations are vignettes of a curious and surreal land. The blank and emotionless faces of his characters add a dose of mystery to his dreamlike landscapes full of leafy vegetation, flying household items, and geometric accents. By depicting just glimpses of each narrative, he creates scenes that are enticingly ambiguous and bound to spark the viewer’s imagination.

Rune Fisker

Rune Fisker

Rune Fisker

Rune Fisker

Rune Fisker


Also worth viewing:

Raúl Soria
Andrea Dell’Anna
Caitlin Keegan

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27. Second Printing!

A Family Is a Family Is a Family is going into second printing and I am so joy-filled I could be a drawing by Qin Leng!

While I'm here, could I ask a favour? We've been very lucky with reviews (stars from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly) but it would be nice to have a few more reader reviews up here if anyone has the time or inclination. Thanks!

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28. Guest Post: Author-Illustrator Ambelin Kwaymullina on Ethics, Process & Own Voices

By Ambelin Kwaymullina
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

The first of a four-installment dialogue with Ambelin and Cynthia. 

Our focus is on the creative life and process, speculative fiction, diversity, privilege, indigenous literature, and books for young readers.

I am an Aboriginal author, illustrator and law academic who comes from the Palyku people of Australia.

And I am an Own Voices advocate, by which I mean, I promote the stories told by marginalised peoples about our own experiences rather than stories told by outsiders.

I’ve written before that I don’t believe the absence of diversity from kids lit to be a ‘diversity problem.' I believe it to be a privilege problem that is caused by structures, behaviours and attitudes that consistently privilege one set of voices over another.

Moreover, the same embedded patterns that (for example) consistently privilege White voices over those of Indigenous peoples and Peoples of Colour will also work to privilege outsider voices over insider ones, at least to some degree.

The insider voices, of those fully aware of the great complexities and contradictions of insider existence, will always be more difficult to read and less likely to conform to outsider expectations as to the lives and stories of ‘Others’.

Insider stories can therefore be read as less ‘true’ or trap an insider author in a familiar double-bind – if we write of some of the bleaker aspect of our existence we’re told we’re writing ‘issues’ books; if we don’t we’re accused of inauthenticity.

I would like to think that as an Indigenous woman, I have some insight into marginalisation not my own. I have always thought that any experience of injustice should always increase our empathy and push us towards a greater understanding of injustice in other contexts.

But that does not mean my experiences equate to that of other peoples.

In an Australian context, I have said that I do not believe non-Indigenous authors should be writing Indigenous characters from first person perspective or deep third, because I don’t think a privilege problem can be solved by writers of privilege speaking in the voices of the marginalised.

And I apply the same limitation to myself in relation to experiences and identities not my own.

Ibi Zoboi recently wrote powerfully to the perils of the desire to ‘help’, noting that White-Man’s-Burdenism is not limited to White people. I run writing workshops for peoples who come from many different backgrounds of marginalisation, and as a storyteller, it is tempting to enact that instinct to ‘help’ into a narrative, to highlight the struggles of workshop participants in one of my own stories.

But between the thought and the action must come the process by which I determine if I am really helping at all.

So I ask myself, is the story mine to tell? The answer is no, of course; their stories are their own and their pain is not my source material.

The only way in which I would write from someone else’s perspective is in equitable partnership with someone from that group (where copyright, royalties and credit are shared).

This would not necessarily mean we each wrote half a novel. The other person may not write a word; their contribution could be in opening a window onto insider existence and correcting the mistakes an outsider inevitably makes.

I’ve had people tell me that this is the job of a sensitivity reader. But I am cautious about the boundaries of that relationship because I think there are cases where the input of an insider advisor infuses the narrative to such a degree that they are really a co-author and should be treated as such.

I don’t think the question is who wrote what words, but whether the story could have been told at all but for the contribution of the insider.

Someone once told me that I was restricting myself as a storyteller. I don’t believe I am.

I am acknowledging boundaries, but boundaries do not necessarily limit or restrict. Boundaries can define a safe operating space, for myself and for others, and respect for individual and collective boundaries is part and parcel of acknowledging the inherent dignity of all human beings.

I have begun co-writing a speculative fiction YA novel that is told from the perspectives of two girls: one Chinese, and one Indigenous. I am writing the Indigenous girl, and Chinese-Australian author Rebecca Lim is writing the Chinese girl.

The original idea for the story was Rebecca’s, but already it is changing as we each negotiate our own identities and experiences.

This is not a story that is restricted by boundaries; it is one that would not exist without them. In the writing of it, Rebecca and I are creating something that is greater than the sum of both of us – and in such stories, I see the future.

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29. बेड़ियाँ

उम्र के संग संग,
अड़ियल हो जाते है हम,
कल को पकड़कर,
कल तक ले जाते है हम,

बाँध देते है एहसास की नाव,
आँसुओं के समुंद्र तट पर,
बीत जाती है खुशियाँ,
तड़पते मन, झड़पते हट पर,

खुद को ही अंधेरे में,
झोंक देते है हम सब,
खटखटाए जो मुस्कान, 
लगते है पल, कम तब,

बढ़ती उम्र के साथ,
बढ़ती जाती है उलझने,
न ढूँढ पाते है कोई दवा,
न दिख पाती है सुलझने, 

इन्सा की फ़ितरत देखो,
हैरत कर देती है,
गम का डर सताता है, उससे,
खुशियाँ जो देती है,     

पंख के नाम पर,
अक्सर मूक हो जाते है,
चाहते हुए साथ किसी का,
तन्हाइयों से चिपक जाते है,

गुस्से और हट को हम,
समझदारी का नाम देते है,
दिल जो बोले सच्चाई,
झूठ का उसको इनाम देते है,

आज़ादी की इस चाहत में,
गुलाम ही बने रहते है,
खुद को बाँधते है बेड़ियाँ,
दूजो का इल्ज़ाम कहते है |

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30. Top Children’s Literary Agents


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31. Writing from the Inside Out. . . Interview with Author/Illustrator Ken Lamug + Spooky Halloween giveaway

Dear friends,

There's a deliciously spooky Halloween treat waiting for you, but first the winner of last week's giveaway for The Stone and the Bowl by Bish Denham is: Rosemary Basham!! Congratulations, Rosemary! Last week's winner didn't claim her prize, so I pulled a new winner for Pamela Jane's Halloween or Christmas book using random.org. Congratulations to: Heather Sebastian! Thank you for including your e-mail address. I'll be in touch shortly.

NOW. . .Please join me in welcoming the mutli-talented, Author/Illustrator Ken Lamug. Learn about Ken, read his insightful interview about his writing journey and influences, and click on his links for a real spooky preview of his picture book and for lessons in illustration! Thank you, Ken, for your generosity in donating an autographed copy of your book, The Stumps of Flattop Hill. Ken hinted that he might have some extra treats for the winner! So please be sure to leave a comment for Ken for a chance to win!

Kenneth Kit Lamug is an author/illustrator based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He self-published his first children’s book which won a bunch of awards and fulfilled one of his lifelong dream. His most recent books include the macabre children’s fairytale, The Stumps of Flattop Hill (One Peace Books) and the parenting parody book, HURTS LIKE A MOTHER (Doubleday). He has contributed to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s “Tiny Books of Tiny Stories” and many other publications. Ken has also worked in movies, comics and his photography has been showcased internationally. When he’s not making monsters in the basement, he enjoys other hobbies like working.

The Stumps of Flattop Hill is a macabre tale of a little girl who enters the town’s legendary haunted house in the face of fear. A dark tale for children in the tradition of the Brother’s Grimm, it calls to mind the provocative illustration style of Edward Gorey. Scary and entertaining, this book challenges the idea of what children’s books can be.

The Stumps of Flattop Hill received the Literary Classics Seal of Approval 2016


How did you come up with the storyline?

The Stumps of Flattop Hill was a small idea that started with a rhyme. I didn’t really have a firm idea, so I stowed it away. Then one day, while on a family vacation, we drove past a town called Flat Top (California) and for some reason that name sparked the idea for the story. I was rhyming and thinking of the possibilities all the way to San Francisco.

When I returned, I started writing down the idea and was even inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. The haunted house idea came from my childhood experience, where kids daring each other to enter a creepy house was not an unusual event.

I got to work and it all came together a few months later.

Did you like fairytales as a kid?

I grew up in the Philippines which was a melting-pot for many cultures (from Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Middle-Eastern, Western and others). Hearing stories about urban legends, & folktales was just part of growing up.

Grimm fairy tale stories that I read as a child were already westernized versions which were kid-friendly. I enjoyed reading them and watching them on television. The fantastical worlds and mysterious creatures fascinated me.

What really scared me though were the stories that kids would share around the neighborhood. We had monsters that stole babies from pregnant women, dark elves that would cast illness, or ghost that haunted our school hallways.

Those were real to me and has influenced my stories in many ways.

What was your artistic influence for The Stumps of Flattop Hill?

When I first saw some of Gorey’s books I was mesmerized by his technical precision. The detailed line work required a lot of discipline and patience, which was something I lacked at the time. But as I studied more of his books, I also fell in love with his dark humor. I felt that his stories were never straightforward, that something was hidden for the reader to interpret. His work ethic is also a great inspiration, producing over a hundred books is quite an accomplishment. A few of my favorites include, The Epipleptic Bicycle, The Willowdale Handcar and his most popular book The Gashlycrumb Tinies. These books are perfect examples containing the right amount of humor, macabre and mystery.

Another influence that I should mention is Tim Burton. His short film, Vincent, created quite an impression, along with his loose and dynamic drawing style. I was hoping to achieve that balance between Gorey and Burton in The Stumps of Flattop Hill.

How long does it take you to draw an image? How long to finish the book?

I found that planning a scene will often times take longer than the drawing process itself. Since I also have a regular job and a family, I can only dedicate so many hours in a day to drawing or writing. A typical drawing can sometimes be completed in a single evening or sometimes it can take more than a week. But planning it and thinking about the right image can take a long time and many trial and errors. The entire book took about six months to complete and a few revisions that occurred over a year's time. It’s always healthy to step back from a project and look at it at a later date with a fresh perspective.

What about the parents who do not want their kids to read spooky stories?

I can understand how some parents wouldn’t want their kids to read a spooky story. Maybe they don’t think their kids can handle it, but I also think we don’t give the kids enough credit in this regard. Of course, as parents we have to gauge what our kids can and cannot handle. But we should also take this opportunity to explain things and teach them.

The Stumps of Flattop Hill is not just a spooky story; there’s humor and there’s also a character who shows strength. But the ending of the book is open to interpretation.Even though an entire town feared the haunted house, Florence maintained a peaceful and happy expression in the end. Maybe it wasn’t all that bad after all.

What has been your experience with the publication of The Stumps of Flattop Hill?

My process has always been about finishing a book and then pitching it to a publisher. When I finished The Stumps, it made its rounds to the publishers through my agent (it took a little over a year).  But once it was picked up by One Peace Books, it has been quite smooth and most of the art and text were kept as is. They were easy to work with and very supportive.
Here are a few videos of Ken creating illustrations. The first link is the trailer for The Stumps of Flattop Hill. I came across it on Twitter and immediately invited Ken to be a guest on my blog. Thanks, Ken, for sharing your talent here. If you're drawn to spooky books and fairytales, you're going to love this eerie tale! Click on the link below:

Spooky Halloween Fairytale Picture Book Children's 


Click on the link below for a lesson in illustrating Edward Gorey style:


Click on the link below for a Pen and Ink drawing lesson:


One more time lapse lesson in drawing:

Illustrations from inside The Stumps of Flattop Hill:
REVIEWS of The Stumps of Flattop Hill:
 This is a book my kids would have dragged out of the box time after time, the one held together by sellotape and a shared love of things that go bump in the night. If there’s a small person in your life who likes delightfully creepy tales, give both of you a treat and buy them this. - Vulpes Libris

This book isn’t the type of children’s book such as The little Engine That Could or Green Eggs and Ham, all bright colors and a simple moral. It’s creepier and darker — both literally and figuratively — and ends more ambiguously than most children’s books. For the right kind of child — or an adult who remains young at heart — it may be just the right sort of book.
Las Vegas Review Journal (F. Andrew Taylor)

"Ken Lamug’s THE STUMPS OF FLATTOP HILL brings a long-overdue disturbance to the picture book arena. The cover alone promised me things that I was desperate for the story to keep.”
The Midnight Society

What are you working on now?
I’m always in the middle of a book project or doing research. I’ve just finished a 150 page wordless graphic novel. “Pedro and the Flea King” is about a boy who goes on an adventure as he tries to save the town from the king and his minions. It’s making its rounds looking for a publisher at this time. I’m also about to wrap-up an all-ages comic (titled Random Quest) which will debut in the fall for the Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival. With my down-time, I’m focusing on my children’s picture book projects, taking workshops and participating in critiques. Just trying to get better at the craft.
Learn more about Ken Lamug and his books:

Follow him on Facebook and Twitter:

Thanks, dear readers, for stopping by to leave a comment for this talented young man! As always, simply leave a comment for a chance to win! The WINNER will be announced on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28th. ~Clara

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32. Savaged Lands

Savaged Lands. Lana Kortchik. 2016. 292 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: It was a balmy September afternoon and the streets of Kiev were crowded. Just like always, cars screeched past the famous Besarabsky Market. And just like always, a stream of pedestrians engulfed the cobbled Kreshchatyk. Yet something was different. No one smiled, no one called out greetings or paused for a leisurely conversation in the shade of the many chestnut trees that lined the renowned street. On every grim face, in every mute mouth, in the way they moved – a touch faster than usual – there was anxiety, fear and unease. And only three teenagers seemed oblivious to the oddly hushed bustle around them.

Premise/plot: Natasha Smirnova's world is turned upside down by the Nazi's invasion of her hometown of Kiev in September 1941. Savaged Lands chronicles her life during the war.

My thoughts: I almost loved this one. I did. Why the almost? The love scenes were a bit too graphic for my personal taste. (I like things on the clean side). What did I love about it? The drama and intensity of it. The ugliness of war and the messiness of family life come together in this historical novel. I also thought the author did a good job creating complex characters. Not every single character perhaps. But the main characters certainly.

What did I like about it? The romance. The romance is both the novel's biggest strength and greatest weakness. It all depends on YOU the reader. If you love ROMANCE, if you love romance with DRAMA, with OBSTACLES, then you may love, love, love this one. It wouldn't be a stretch to say this one is more about a 19 year old girl falling madly, deeply in love for the first time than it is a novel about the second world war. If you love HISTORY more than romance, you might feel that too much emphasis is placed on her weak-in-the-knees, heart-pounding romance. Her life is practically unrecognizable, she's lost immediate family members, and all her thoughts are consumed in HIM. All the time it's him, him, him, HIM. (His name is Mark, I believe)

This one has plenty of tension and conflict. Is it good drama? or too melodramatic? I think again this is up to each reader. The conflict between Lisa and Natasha--two sisters--is very real and takes up a good portion of this one. Definitely gives readers something to think about as they keep turning pages.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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33. FIVE QUESTIONS with HAZEL MITCHELL, author/illustrator of “TOBY”


Welcome to the second installment of my “5 Questions” series. On a weekly or bi-weekly or completely random basis, I will interview an author or illustrator and focus on a specific book. In the coming weeks, we’ll spend time with Matthew Cordell, Jessica Olien, Matthew McElligott, Lizzy Rockwell and more. Why? I like these people and I love their books. Sue me. Today we get to hang out with Hazel Mitchell, who is as glorious as a glass of champagne at a good wedding. Drink deeply, my friends . . .



JP: Greetings, Hazel. Thanks for stopping by my swanky blog. I hope you don’t find the vibe too intimidating. I put up the tapestry just for you. The lava lamps have been here for a while. Because nothing says “classy” quite like a lava lamp. Sit anywhere you like, but the milk crates are most comfortable.


Hazel: Thanks, JP. This is certainly an eclectic place you’ve got here. Wow, is that a glitter ball? Next you will be wearing a white suit. Excuse me while I remove this stuffed meerkat from the milk crate . . . 

1c971b5bc7c4a067d09cad45ee38361cCareful with that meerkat, it’s expensive. Hey, do I detect an accent? Wait, let me guess! You are from . . . Kentucky?

No getting anything past you! Kentucky, Yorkshire, England. OK, just Yorkshire, England. I’m a late pilgrim.

We recently sat side-by-side at the Warwick Children’s Book Festival, where I got the chance to read your wonderful new picture book, Toby, and eavesdrop on your lively interactions with young readers. At times, alarmingly, you spoke in the voice of a hand puppet. So let me see if I’ve got this straight: Toby is a real dog, but not a true story, exactly? How does that work?

toby-realistic-sketchesYes, we did sit next to each other and it was a lot of fun to see you in action! I didn’t know you were eavesdropping, I’d have dropped in some of those Shakespearean ‘asides’ just for you. And I must watch that hand puppet voice, I even do it without the hand puppet . . .

OK, to the question: Yes, Toby is a real dog. I rescued him from a puppy mill situation back in 2013. He was so endearing and his journey from frozen dog to bossy boots captured my heart. I began drawing him, because that’s what illustrators do, and before I knew it I was weaving a story round him. But I didn’t want to feature myself as the owner in Toby’s story, that was kind of boring and I figured Toby needed a younger owner, one who children could relate to. So I gave Toby a boy who adopts him and a Dad who is struggling with moving house, looking after his son AND now a new dog. The fictionalized setting gave me lots of ideas and emotions to play with, but the stuff Toby gets up to in the book is taken from things he did in real life.


I can see it’s a work that comes from your heart. And by “see” I mean: I could feel it. A heartwarming story for young children living in a cynical age. The book is beautifully designed. I especially admire the pacing of it, the way you vary the number and size of the many illustrations. Please tell me a little about that decision-making process.


Thank you. I love that you say ‘feel.’ I wanted this book to be about emotions and feelings and bring the reader into the internal dialogue of the boy and dog’s fears and frustrations. Just small things you know, but life is full of small things that make up the big things. And again, thank you for your kind words on the design, working with Candlewick, my editor (Liz Bicknell) and art director (Ann Stott), was a joy. We did a lot of drafts at rough sketch stage and as the layout of the book evolved a lot of graphic novel style panels crept in and then the wide double-spreads to open out the story. I like how it flows. The choice of colors really adds to the story I think, moody blues and beiges that reflect the emotions and then brighter colours when things are going well. The boy and dog are connected by the colour red –- Toby’s collar and the boy’s sneakers. 

Oh, thank you, Hazel, for sharing those behind-the-scenes details. I appreciate seeing the black-and-white sketches, too. I think even when readers don’t consciously notice those subtle details, they still manage to seep into our unconsciousness. It’s fascinating how much thought goes into the work that most readers probably don’t think they see.





I like that your book doesn’t gloss over the challenges of owning a dog. It’s not always cuddles and sunshine. Why did you feel it was important to include the downside of dog ownership?

Because that is the reality of life and children are very capable of dealing with realities and working through problems. Sometimes it’s adults who want everything to be cuddles and sunshine, and try to save youngsters from the real world. Well we can’t do that, because it comes at us fast. I never get tired of seeing or hearing about a child responding to a book and saying, “Yeah, that happened to me,” or “I know that feeling.” It’s like you’ve been given a gift. 


I see that you live in Maine. You must get this question a lot, but why isn’t Toby a moose? Do you see many moose up there? Can we please just talk about moose for a little while? And what goes on in Maine? Do you eat lobster all the time? While reading Stephen King? Or do I have some misconceptions? How did you end up there?

Toby channels his inner moose at times, which is scary in a poodle. There aren’t so many moose around our way, but drive a little North and there is moose-a-plenty (that could be a good name for a snack?). 

Sounds delicious.

I once drove home from a school visit in the FAR NORTH at twilight (that was my first mistake), it was misty and I was driving down a road where I swear there was a moose every 5 yards. I drove 30 miles at 5 MPH. I got home after six months. These moose were SO darn big and SO close to the car I could literally see up their nostrils. Man, moose need help with superfluous hair.


Wow, you really did see up their nostrils. You are scaring me a little bit, Hazel. Eyes on the road. Speaking of scary . . .

Stephen King lives in the next town over, but you know, he’s a recluse. I eat lobster with lobster on top. Delish. When I moved to the US of A from over the pond I landed in the South. Then moved to Maine. I like the cold much better! (And the lobster).

Do you have ideas for any more Toby stories? I think readers will want more.

I do have more ideas about stories for Toby. But we will have to wait and see. Readers! Write to my publisher! 

I’m so glad you visited, Hazel. It’s nice spending time with you. I hope Toby enjoys a long and mischievous life in children’s books.

It’s been fun. Best five questions anyone asked me all morning. Thanks for having me drop by … oops … there goes a lava lamp!

Six bucks down the drain. We’re done here.


imanismooncvr_300-819x1024In addition to Toby, Hazel Mitchell has illustrated several books for children including Imani’s Moon, One Word Pearl, Animally and Where Do Fairies Go When It Snows? Originally from England, where she attended art college and served in the Royal Navy, she now lives in Maine with her poodles Toby and Lucy and a cat called Sleep. You may learn more about Hazel at www.hazelmitchell.com

TOBY Copyright © 2016 by Hazel Mitchell. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, Massachusetts

34. Rainy Day Sale

My mum used to tuck things away for 'a rainy day'. This was usually a pile of old comics or a book that she had picked up at a jumble sale, for when I was sick or if it was literally a rainy day. I've been saving my book toys for a rainy day, and that time has come. So everything I have left from my book 'Little Needle-Felt Animals' is up for grabs. I've tried to keep prices as low as possible, and there are small things -

 And larger things - 

I am often asked how I can bear to part with my work, and my usual answer is that I can't pay the bills or mortgage with a needle felt cat. I am pretty torn about selling these little friends, as creating them for my book got me through my darkest hours when I lost Andy. But they've decorated my studio for long enough, so I'm hoping at least some of them will find new homes. They're all available in a special sale section in my Etsy shop here. All come with signed name tags and a little certificate tag.

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35. Picture Book Monday with a review of They all saw a cat

So many of the world's problems arise because we think everyone thinks and sees things the way we do. We dare to think that they if they don't see things our way, then they are in the wrong. We forget that who we are - our life experiences and our background - hugely affect our perceptions.

This amazing picture book shows us how different characters all see the same thing in very different ways. Their viewpoints are startling, visually, and give us cause to pause. As we look at the artwork we are gently reminded to think about how we perceive our world.

They All Saw a CatThey all saw a cat
Brendan Wenzel
Picture Book
For ages 5 and up
Chronicle Books, 2016, 978-1-4521-5013-0
A cat, wearing a red collar that has a little yellow bell attached to it, goes out into the world with its whiskers ready and its tail in the air. The cat is seen by a child, a dog, a fox, a goldfish, a mouse, a bee, a bird, a flea, a snake, a skunk, a worm, and bat. One would think that they would all see the cat in the same way, but this is not the case.
   To the child the cat is a smiling, benign animal that is there to be patted. The dog sees the cat as a lean, mean looking creature. The goldfish, from its watery home in a fish bowl, sees a blurry shape with enormous yellow eyes. For the poor mouse the cat is a monstrous beast with yellow, slit eyes, huge claws, and sharp fangs. The bee, with its compound eyes, sees a pointillist cat, a vague figure made up of lots of colors. The bat, flying in the night sky, also sees a shape made up of dots, but the dots it sees are white in color.
   Every animal sees the cat differently depending on its perspective and its place in the food chain. The kinds of eyes and senses they have also determine what the cat looks like to them. How does that cat see itself?
   This wonderful picture book takes children on a journey into the imagination. It also presents them with the idea that different characters will see the same thing in widely different ways. We all view the world through eyes that are touched by our biases, interests, and backgrounds, and therefore we have to be sensitive to the fact that other people’s perceptions are not like our own.

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36. THE INQUISITOR'S TALE by Adam Gidwitz

The Inquisitor's Tale (Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog) by Adam Gidwitz, illuminated by Hatem Aly (Sept 27, 2016, Dutton Children's Books, 384 pages, for ages 10 and up).

Synopsis (from the publisher):  1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.
Join William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne’s loyal greyhound, Gwenforte . . . recently brought back from the dead. Told in multiple voices, in a style reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, our narrator collects their stories and the saga of these three unlikely allies begins to come together.

Why I recommend it: A medieval story that's still quite timely. It speaks volumes about the way we treat each other today. It's also one of the most unusual MG novels I've ever read. You'll find yourself so caught up in the story and so curious about where this is leading that you'll want to put off tasks and cancel appointments just so you can keep reading. (Not that I, coughcough, did those things...)

Favorite lines: There are so many! It's a very quotable book. Randomly picking one:  "William always admired the Italian boys' way of looking up from under their eyebrows that was either totally respectful or utterly disrespectful, and you could never tell which." (from p. 35 of the advanced reading copy)

Bonus: It's illuminating as well as entertaining. You'll learn a lot about thirteenth-century France. Adam Gidwitz spent six years researching this novel and it paid off beautifully.

Author's website

For another take on this book (and a fun interview with the author) visit Middle Grade Mafioso's post from October 3, 2016.

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37. MMGM Links (10/24/16)

I seriously don't know how we are now ONE WEEK away from LODESTAR. But it's happening. And my To Do list is officially EXPLODING.

So as a quick reminder, again--I'll do my best to keep up with MMGM over the next few weeks, but it's always tricky when I'm traveling (sometimes internet is spotty--or my itinerary is so crammed I don't have a moment to breathe, much less assemble links). So bear with me if it's a little bumpy around here. (And once again, if you haven't checked my events page to see if I'm coming to see you, go HERE)

Also, this is the final week to take advantage of the LODESTAR Pre-Order giveaway so make sure you don't miss your chance. For details, and the form you'll need to fill out in order to get your swag, go HERE.

And now, on to MMGM!

- Middle Grade Minded joins the MMGM fun with a review of DRAGON OF THE MONTH CLUB. Click HERE to welcome them to the group.  
- Jess at the Reading Nook is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--JOURNEY'S END. Click HERE for details. 
- Tara Creel has a review--with an interview--of IF THE MAGIC FITS. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Sue Kooky is whispering about THE WHISPERING SKULL. Click HERE to check it out.  
- Justin Talks Books is voting for THE KID WHO RAN FOR PRESIDENT. Click HERE to read his feature.  
- Patricia at Children's Books Heal is singing praises for THE MASK THAT SANG. Click HERE to see why. 
- Bookish Ambition is rooting for DISAPPEARING ACT. Click HERE to see what they thought. 
- Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is featuring NBA Star Amar'e Stoudamire's STAT series. Click HERE to see what he has to say. 
- Suzanne Warr is spotlighting INVISIBLE INKLING.  Click HERE to see why.   
- Got my Book has an audiobook review of THE CITY OF EMBER. Click HERE to see what they thought.  
- Completely Full Bookshelf is recommending WHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER. Click HERE to see why.  
- The B.O.B. has an epic list of Greek Mythology books. Click HERE to see what they are.
- Greg Pattridge is rooting for THE BEST MAN. Click HERE to read his review.
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--EDNA IN THE DESERT. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Heidi Grange is taken with TOOK. Click HERE to see why.  
- Jenni Enzor is championing THE TURN OF THE TIDE. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Sally's Bookshelf is sharing SCAR: A Revolutionary War Tale. Click HERE for her feature. 
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.  
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week  
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 
- Shannon O'Donnell is back--and planning a weekly MMGM again. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.   

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!

*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 

0 Comments on MMGM Links (10/24/16) as of 10/24/2016 7:56:00 AM
38. Sky wants to Visit Earth

The blue canvas is alive,
In search of a wife,
To complete his life,
Or to take a jibe,

A jibe at the destiny,
That spills the electron,
The electricity is drawn,
Leaving the rest to sanity,

 He looks from the top,
The world of desires,
Hidden umpteen fires,
Thinks of taking a stop,

But suddenly the circle,
Converts to an octagon,
As inert as the halogen,
The humanity turns purple,

The green army missing,
Nobody actually cares,
Nobody here dares,
Monotony ruling & kissing,

Oh! The back stabbing and pain,
He gets withdrawn instantly,
From the faces,weird and ugly,
And finally catches the local train,

Well the local isn’t so vocal,
He observes the creatures,
From such height those miniatures,
Doesn’t seem to be focal,

Oh! He spots them hiding,
Behind a green paper,
But environment tapers,
They weren’t law abiding,

And he crosses the barriers,
Touch the essence of elation,
Human calls it education,
Still confused, moving as carriers,

He looks around for freshness,
History doesn’t seem to amuse,
As the economy fails to deduce,
Confusion remains to harness,

What a world, he thought,
Everything yet empty,
Miniatures went to kempty,
Carrying a slot,

He calls his friends,
And they started crying,
Oh! Humanity started dying,
Incessant rain joins the trends,

Finally, he stitches confusion,
Pondering about his birth,
He remain above the earth,
Trusting his intuition. 

0 Comments on Sky wants to Visit Earth as of 10/24/2016 6:54:00 AM
39. Inktober Day 24: Aide-de-Cramp

Aide-de-Cramp. Day 24 of #Inktober2016.

0 Comments on Inktober Day 24: Aide-de-Cramp as of 10/24/2016 7:19:00 AM
40. Reminders About Small Group Instruction

Whenever I pull a small group for a lesson, there are some important guidelines I try to remember and follow.

41. Kate the Great and a Giveaway

Suzy Becker must be a ten-year-old girl disguised as a grown-up because she NAILS her adorable character Kate in her new book, Kate the Great: Winner Takes All.

Kirkus says: "A zippy little visit with a likable 10-year-old"

ZIPPY is the perfect word.

Reading this book gave me so many flashbacks and stirred up happy memories from my own childhood.

Like speaking ubbi dubbi. Anybody remember that? The kids on the TV show, Zoom, used to do it. 

Dubo yubou ububbi dububbi?

And the egg thing!

Someone breaks an imaginary egg on your head. Remember that?

From the book:

I sit on the edge of her other bed.  "I'll do the egg thing." After three imaginary eggs, I'm feeling very sleepy.


Do NOT read this book if you don't want to laugh because it is so dang funny.

You WILL laugh. 

A lot.

But the best, best, best parts of this book are the hysterical drawings and handwritten notes.

Here are some of my favorites:

Gene is the school bus driver

This book has kid-appeal written all over it.

Kate is definitely great. 

And so is Suzy Becker.

Because she's GIVING AWAY A COPY!!

Just leave a comment below by 10/27. (I'll also be asking for retweets on Twitter.)  

Kate the Great: Winner Takes All is the sequel to Kate the Great: Except When She's Not, published by Crown Books. Available in stores November 1. 

0 Comments on Kate the Great and a Giveaway as of 10/24/2016 6:42:00 AM
42. The Inspiration Behind The Milly’s Magic Quilt Stories

A Guest Post by Author and Artist Natasha Murray

I really enjoyed creating and illustrating these books and hope that children 5+ will enjoy Milly and Patch’s adventures.

Milly’s quilt is made up from fabric that once belonged to some colourful characters with stories to tell. Some of the patches are from her baby blanket. One night, Patch her pet rabbit appears on her bed and Milly discovers that if she holds her hand on one of the squares they are both transported to a magical land.

As a child, I enjoyed the TV cartoon series ‘Mr Ben’ and loved seeing where the changing room at the fancy dress shop would take him. This was really what inspired me to write these books. 

There have always been rabbits in my life and one named Napoleon, I loved dearly. She was a blue grey colour and we thought she was a boy until she had babies. Napoleon got sick once and I crept out in the dark and sat in a sleeping bag on a step near to her hutch with her in my arms and stayed there all night. I am glad to say that she recovered. If I had been allowed, then I would have had Napoleon live in my bedroom with me.

It’s always fun to look at drawings and work that you did when you were a child and some of my stories were strange and I wonder what was going through my head at the time. The idea for ‘Humbert the Lonely Giant’ came from a story I remembered writing when I was at secondary school. I have always loved reading and thought the library was an exciting place to be. I enjoyed fairy tales and especially loved Enid Blyton’s The Wishing Chair and The Faraway Tree in the Enchanted Wood.

I grew up in North London and lived near to a playing field surrounded by trees. My friends and I would make camps, hideout and live out magical adventures there. Make believe was always an important part of our lives. We also loved riding our bikes around the block at breakneck speed.

I now live by the sea and spend a lot of time writing, designing, daydreaming and thinking up new and exciting tales for all ages.

To view all Natasha's books please click here

Thank you very much Natasha it was fun to read about your childhood and the inspiration behind your stories. Barbara

 Natasha's mention of secondary school reminded me of a very long, convoluted tale I wrote when I was at school. In my story, the action took place in a series of ‘lost' tunnels and ghostly lighthouses, based almost entirely on books written by Enid Blyton.  After I married and left home, my mum had the very good sense to consign it to the dustbin. Had she not I might well be in trouble for plagiarism!

Did you write stories when you were a child?  Have you continued to write or is it just something you did at school?

0 Comments on The Inspiration Behind The Milly’s Magic Quilt Stories as of 10/24/2016 4:42:00 AM
43. आज की ताजा खबर क्या है – आतंकी खबरें

आज की ताजा खबर क्या है- एक समय था जब लाल बत्ती चौक पर अखबार वाले आज की ताजा खबर चिल्लाते हुए अखबार बेचने के लिए भाग दौड करते थे आज भले ही मीडिया, नेट सुपर फास्ट हो गया. पर न्यूज चैंल वहीं की वहीं अटके पडे…कहने को 24 घंटे का चैनल है पर खबर […]

The post आज की ताजा खबर क्या है – आतंकी खबरें appeared first on Monica Gupta.

44. Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans! by Gary Northfield, 288 pp, RL 4

I absolutely love the concept for Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans! by the genius Gary Northfield! If I had to nutshell it, I'd say, think Terry Deary's Horrible Histories meets 13 Story Tree House. Julius is a hilarious character living in a time period that makes for some crazy adventures. Northfield layers in the history, from using Roman numerals for the page numbers to giving characters Roman names, as well as the names of famous Romans, and using Latin and the historically accurate names for the fights, fighters, arenas and more that appear in this book. There is even a tutorial on how to read Roman numerals and a glossary at the back of the book!

Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans! begins in African plains at a watering hole, called the Lake of Doom by Julius, that he does not want to be at. Actually, the book begins with Julius schooling readers about what zebras are really like, burps and all. It stinks (an illustration shows a yak pooping in the lake) is "sooo boring!" and presents the constant danger of being eaten. Wandering off from the Lake of Doom and trying to outrun a lion, Julius and helpful but annoying warthog named Cornelius and . . . a lion.

Never fear, it's not as bad as it seems! The naive Julius hears talk of a circus and caravans, of juggling monkeys and bears dancing with ostriches and he gets pretty excited. Unfortunately, the circus he is going to is the Circus Maximus (well, actually the Colosseum) and he is going to be performing in it, not watching it. This is such a fantastic conceit and I really hope that kids take to this kind of mash-up of history and humor so that Julius Zebra spawns imitators the way Diary of a Wimpy Kid has.

Instead of losing his life to gladiators in the ring, in an effort to keep himself from becoming "someone's fancy carpet," Julius grabs a sword and saves his tail, winning over the crowd and the Emperor, Hadrian. Julius earns himself a spot in the gladiatorial championship in 30 days that will celebrate Hadrian's birthday. As the new "People's Champion," he will get to fight for his freedom, and fame and wealth. Julius, Cornelius and a gang of animals, including Lucia, a vegetarian crocodile, Pliny the mouse, Milus the lion, Rufus a giraffe and Felix, a gazelle, begin training for the battle and also for escape. I don't want to give away the ending, but there is a second book in this series...

Source: Review Copy

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45. WALL ART - kate banazi

Today's P&P posts focus on strong graphics - starting with the work of Sydney based artist Kate Banazi. Originally from London Kate studied at the prestigious art school 'Central St. Martins'. She creates striking screen printed works and collages featuring geometric shapes and lines that give an optical illusion of depth. In 2016, Kate was one of twelve artists, designers and architects

0 Comments on WALL ART - kate banazi as of 10/24/2016 4:12:00 AM
46. ILLUSTRATION - paul farrell book

Illustrator, graphic designer and print-maker Paul Farrell's debut book 'Great Britain in Colour', was published on 22 September by Boxtree and Pan Macmillan. The 166 full page colour illustrations are one years' work and the book was completed almost two years from the start. It is a personal journey full of memories and travels from the last 45 years or so. There are hidden gems, familiar

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47. It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10-24-16

Thanks to our dynamic hosts: Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kelle at Unleashing Readers. Head to either blog to find reviews as well as dozens of links to other blogs filled with reviews!

Books I Read This Week:

Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Benji Davies
Candlewick Press, 2016
32 pages
Recommended for all!

You know how all pictures books are great for reading aloud? Well this one seems to NEED to be read aloud. Teach reading? Then read this book to your students, no matter the age. Humorous, whimsical-eye catching art, and a perfect tie in to how stories are set up. My favorite page: when the octopus sits down to play the ukulele, "because music is good for the heart." 

Du Iz Tak by Carson Ellis
Candlewick Press, 2016
48 pages
Recommended for all!

I love a good mystery and a good puzzle, and this book is a little of both. All the text is told in a language created by author/illustrator, Carson Ellis; who, by the way, creates some amazing artwork.
I imagine myself sharing this story with my students, asking them to imagine what is being said. Are there patterns in the language? How does the text connect to the images? What do you think is being said? Curious and creative readers will enjoy!
I love the spider. Well, I detest spiders, but I love what the presence of the spider does to the story.

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press, 2016
56 pages
Recommended for all!

So it ends. The trilogy comes to a close as you turn the final page in this story. Remember the bear and the rabbit...and how the bear solved the problem of his hat being stolen? Some say smush, some say chomp, all agree, it didn't end well for the hat stealing rabbit. And remember the fish, that tiny hat stealing fish that brags about how clever and shifty he is. No remorse. Well, remember what happened to him? With thoughts of hat stealers getting what comes to them, readers will be delightfully curious about how two of the same creature will end this latest conundrum around one hat and two wanna be hat wearers. I mean, this thought will come to mind: Does that tortoise EAT his companion?! Or is that just me that thought that...?

I'm Currently Reading:

I have more books to read than I can make a dent in, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I chose this one based on its awesome title and fantastic cover art. Not ashamed at all! And much to my delight, I discovered by very own hometown featured in the first few pages! Thankfully I have yet to cross paths with the Evil Wizard Smallbone in real life...eek.

Thanks for visiting!

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48. Monday Mishmash 10/24/16

Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. NaNoWriMo  I have decided to officially participate in NaNoWriMo next month. I've unofficially participated in the past, writing a novel in the month of November, but since I have an adult mystery that needs to be written, I'm committing to doing this. Who else will be participating?
  2. Editing  I'm finishing up another client edit this week.
  3. Plotting  I have the research done for my adult mystery, but I need to flesh out my plot before NaNo begins.
  4. Fading Into the Shadows e-ARCs  e-ARCS for my YA paranormal (releasing January 16, 2017) Fading Into the Shadows are being formatted tomorrow! I'm so excited for this book. If you'd like to sign up for an e-ARC, you can do so here.
  5. Cover Reveal Signups  If you're interested in signing up to help me reveal the cover of Fading Into the Shadows on November 16th-18th, you can find the form here. This is a social media cover reveal, so you don't need a blog to participate.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

49. What Steven Universe Tells Us About Children’s Books and Libraries in Pop Culture


I’ve grown a bit fond of the Cartoon Network show Steven Universe lately.  Coming to it a bit late (I believe we’re on season 4 now, yes?) it took a Pop Culture Happy Hour episode to explain to me why the series was as groundbreaking and important as it was.  This is advantage of having a five-year-old.  When something like this comes up you can pretend you’re watching a new series for them when, in fact, you’re just curious for yourself.  If you’re unfamiliar with Steven Universe I’ll try to sum it up quickly: In this world there are superhero female characters called “Gems”. Steven, our hero, is half-Gem, half-human, which is unique. The show then proceeds to upset stereotypical notions of gender and love.

If you pay any attention to the New York Times bestseller list, you might have noticed this book on the Children’s Chapter Books list a week or two ago:


It’s a Steven Universe book.  There are a couple of them out there, written for kids to wildly varying degrees of competency.  This one I intend to read soon.  It got me to thinking, when I discovered it.  After all, children’s literature and Steven Universe fuel one another in a more direct manner.  The world of SU has television shows, movies, and bands that are unique and often very funny.  They also have their own literature.  For example, a common romance/scifi novel might look like this:


And children’s books are particularly interesting.  When Steven is banned from television for 1,000 years he finds that he really likes reading.  Two series in particular catch his attention: The No Home Boys and The Spirit Morph Saga.  I just want to take a look at these books because I’m always interested in how children’s books are portrayed in works of pop culture.


The No Home Boys series is written by Dustylegs Jefferson.  The original series apparently came out in the 1930s and was about two boys on the run, solving mysteries along the way.  Sounds a bit like The Boxcar Children meets Hardy Boys.  You might throw The Black Stallion in there as well, though, since there was also apparently a “disastrous graphic novel adaptation” of the book as well.  One of the characters on the show writes this review of it:

nohomeboys“Some fans turned up their noses at the new adventures of the No Home Boys. The old series was a down to earth travelogue – a gritty portrayal of growing up during the Great Depression. The new series was full of magic demons, talking animals and ninjas. Sure it didn’t have the same campfire charm, but the expanded “Hoboverse” had much more character development and backstory for readers to sink their teeth into.”

To me this sounds like what happened with more recent Black Stallion books, though the graphic novel adaptation throws it squarely into the Hardy Boys camp as well.  Whatever the case, I love the thought put into the series.

unfamiliarfamiliarThe Spirit Morph Saga is a bit different.  It’s a multi-book series about a girl who discovers that she is a witch, gains a familiar (a talking falcon named Archimicarus), and attempts to rescue her father, who was kidnapped by a one-eyed man.  Though some folks online compare the book to His Dark Materials, it bears far more similarities to Harry Potter and, in a strange way, Twilight.  An entire episode of Steven Universe is based on the fact that at the end of the series the falcon turns into a man and marries Lisa in a big multi-chapter sequence.  Connie, Steven’s best friend, is incensed by this.  It’s rather delightful to watch.


Alas, Steven was granted his television rights again (though the set seems to be destroyed on a regular basis) so no new book series beyond these two have come up recently.  There was, however, a trip to the local library.  It was pretty standard stuff.  A librarian was shushing the kids all the time.  Computers were minimal.  It looks like nothing so much as a library that has failed to get additional funding (which, considering the economy of Beach City, is not unbelievable).  Ah well.

Here’s hoping for more faux children’s books series in the future.  In the end, they say more about perceptions of children’s literature than anything else.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.



2 Comments on What Steven Universe Tells Us About Children’s Books and Libraries in Pop Culture, last added: 10/24/2016
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50. Announcing the Winner of the Children's Christmas Book: Operation Birthday Blessings

Congratulations, Janey G. from South Carolina! You've won a free copy of Angelika Martin's children's book.

I'll give Angie your full name as the winner from my blog. Go ahead and contact her on her website at http://www.jesseandbongo.com/contact.html. Contact her before the end of October so she'll have plenty of time to personalize your book for you.

Thanks to all who participated in the giveaway. I've got several more fantastic giveaways coming up soon!

I hope you all have a week full of joyful blessings and a peace that passes all understanding,


0 Comments on Announcing the Winner of the Children's Christmas Book: Operation Birthday Blessings as of 10/23/2016 11:15:00 PM

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