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1. 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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2. 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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3. 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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4. Reading to Babies


The Friends of the Dallas Public Library recently started giving away copies of Read to Me by Judi Moreillon to new parents at the Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas. Read to Me encourages family members to read aloud to their children.  It’s a nice gift to welcome a baby to the community.

You can read the January 30, Dallas Morning News story about how the Parkland Health & Hospital System has partnered with the Dallas Public Library and the Friends of the Dallas Public Library to give babies born this year a copy of Read to Me, a board book about reading to babies and children.  The Dallas Morning News followed up with an editorial on February 2, congratulating the Friends of the Dallas Public Library for their efforts promoting early literacy skills that will help the children in the Dallas community.

Reading to Your Own Baby

For all the families who don’t own a copy of Read to Me, what tips can I, as a librarian, offer you about reading aloud to your children?

First of all, relax and have fun. The attention you are giving your child is making your child happy. You might think of yourself as a “bad” reader, but your child thinks you are a superstar.

Board books, those heavy cardboard books, are good for children 0-2 years of age. Board books are meant to be chewed, hugged, thrown and loved.  Chewing is normal. Babies test their world with their mouths.  That’s why publishers make books safe for babies to put in their mouths.

What should you read to a child? Infants and toddlers like books with photos of other babies. Your baby will probably pat the books when they like a face on the page. Infants will enjoy hearing your voice no matter what you read.

Older toddlers enjoy books about numbers, shapes, colors or ABCs. Rhyming books are a good choice too.

There is no rule that you have to read the whole book at one time. If your child gets up to run around, that’s okay. Books can be picked up and read at a later time. Or, if your child chose one of those really long stories and YOU are tired, you can just read one sentence or make up a story about the picture on the page. 

Now go read a book to your baby and have fun sharing a story together.

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5. 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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6. Wholehearted in One Direction

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I love all things Gretchen Rubin, writer and podcaster extraordinaire who’s an expert on habits and happiness. She reads extensively and daily shares a Moment of Happiness quote to “remind you to make choices in your ordinary routine that will boost your happiness.” Here’s a recent favorite:

Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation.
-W.H. Sheldon

Click through to sign up for my quarterly newsletter and you’ll receive a free printable from my novel, Blue Birds. Enjoy!

The post Wholehearted in One Direction originally appeared on Caroline Starr Rose

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7. 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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8. Psylocke Brandishes Her Katana in the New X-Men: Apocalypse Teaser

A new teaser was unveiled for the X-Men: Apocalypse movie during the Super Bowl. The video embedded above offers glimpses of Oscar Isaac as the primary antagonist and Olivia Munn as Psylocke.

Entertainment Weekly reports that other members of the cast include Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, and Alexandra Shipp as Storm. Bryan Singer served as the director for this adaptation project.

USA Today reports that the theatrical release date has been scheduled for May 27. Click here to watch the first teaser video. (via Maxim)

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9. 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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10. Chai Lights--February 8, 2016

  Shalom (that's "hello" in Hebrew) and welcome to YABC's newest column, Chai­Lights! In this column, we'll explore the best of contemporary Jewish­themed books for young children, middle graders, and teens.   The name of this column infuses the word "highlights" with a uniquely Jewish pun. Chai is the Hebrew word...

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11. ‘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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12. Happy birthday Carro


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13. Red nose

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14. 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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15. 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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16. 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 […]

1 Comments on Comics sales increase by 2.1 million units in five years, last added: 2/8/2016
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17. 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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18. 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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19. 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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20. Happy Birthday, Matthew!

I hope you have a fun day!!

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21. Miss Jane/Brad Watson: Reflections

I've written about Brad Watson here before.

I've told you the story—of how, through my first editor, W.W. Norton's Alane Mason, I began to hear this writer's name. How my dear friend Alyson Hagy, with whom Watson now teaches at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, has perpetuated the tales about his talent. How I have read his books myself, his essays, his interviews, and been grateful for the care he extends toward literature, the idea he seems to represent (and that he shares with Alyson) that, even today, in a world of quick and trending fiction, real literature rises.

Watson has a new book coming. It's called Miss Jane.

Friends, whomever you are, whatever you love, this one's for you. This one—the story of a young girl born with a genital difference in the early 20th century south—transcends all categories, will touch all hearts, will go down in history as a classic. I see no other way around it.

Inspired by Watson's own great-aunt, Miss Jane is the story of a child limited by her body and uncircumscribed by her heart. She discovers her own difference over time. She discovers it in parallel to discovering the beauty of things on the farm where she lives ("the burst of salty liquid from a plump and ice-cold oyster, the soft skins of wild mushrooms, the quick and violent death of a chicken, the tight and unopened bud of a flower blossom") and in the heart of the older doctor who treats her with kindness, adopts her as a near-daughter, and explains the facts of life—and the facts of her life—as simply as the truth allows. Jane will learn the art of aloneness. The art of forgiveness. The art of self-acceptance. She will have to starve herself in order to mask her terrible incontinence. She will have to say goodbye to a hope she has. She will have to live without physical intimacy, and yet—she will not live without love.

Watson's sentences are simpler here than they have been in his other work. His story streams. He takes the attention away from his own narrative self so as to give everything to Jane. It's the tenderness (without sentimentality) that I most admire here. The wait and the wrestling with the right scenes.

Paragraphs like these:

There were innumerable little faint trails her father said were game trails. Animal trails. Their faint presence like the lingering ghosts of the animals' passing. There was a particular little clearing she believed she had discovered, only her, filled with yellow sunlight on clear days, its long grass harboring primroses and wild sunflowers. A meadow she considered to be her very own, her place. The eyes of all the wild, invisible animals watching her. Time was suspended, or did not exist. She could linger there as long as she liked and when she returned from it no time had passed at all since she had stepped into the clearing and then awakened from it. That's what it was like.

The meadow did not exist if she wasn't in it.

Congratulations to Brad Watson. Congratulations to Alane, who, according to the book's acknowledgments, has waited a long time for this.

It was worth the wait.

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22. 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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23. 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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24. 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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25. चीन का मंकी ईयर

  चीन का मंकी ईयर चीन में मंकी ईयर मनाया जा रहा है सोचा कि क्यों ना आर्टिकल के साथ साथ  मंकी की फोटो भी ले ली जाए थोडा फील भी आ जाएगा …!! पर  शायद यहां के मंकी को मेरा फोटो लेना अच्छा नही लगा अरे बाप रे …. !!(जान बची सो लाखों पाए) […]

The post चीन का मंकी ईयर appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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