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1. Self-Help Author: Robots Are Taking Over So Learn Animation Before It’s Too Late

If you want to learn a new job in 3 months that'll make you lots of money, this self-help author recommends animation.

The post Self-Help Author: Robots Are Taking Over So Learn Animation Before It’s Too Late appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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2. Becca's Top Ten Fictional Crushes...

From Becca's Shelves... Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & The Bookish. 
This week's topic is A VALENTINE'S FREEBIE, which means, of course, I am choosing to share my TOP TEN FICTIONAL CRUSHES. Because fictional crushes are basically the only crushes I have these days. In my opinion, Fictional Crushes are the only crushes worth having, and since V-day is unfortunately

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3. Review of the Day: The Sandwich Thief by Andre Marios

SandwichThiefThe Sandwich Thief
By Andre Marois
By Patrick Doyon
Chronicle Books
$14.99
ISBN: 978-1-4521-4659-1
Ages 7-9
On shelves March 1st

Injustice, that sweet universal quality, makes for great children’s books. Whether it’s a picture book or a young adult novel, if you can tap into a reader’s sense of unfairness you have yourself some children’s book gold. It’s the instantaneous gateway to identification. Adults too often forget how painful those early lessons about how the world is an unfair place feel. Children’s books tap into that feeling, while also giving kids a sense of hope. Yes, the world is a mad, bad place sometimes. But there are times when things work out for the best. And if its takes disgusting flavor balls in delicious sandwiches to reach that cathartic ending, so much the better. I wouldn’t argue that Andre Marois’s The Sandwich Thief is the greatest book on this subject I’ve ever seen (it could use a little work in the empathy department), but when it comes to tapping into that feeling of unbridled rage in the face of a cold, calculating world, this title definitely knows its audience.

There are upsides and downsides to having foodies for parents. On the one hand, they can seriously embarrass you when they overdo your school lunches. On the other hand, delicious sandwiches galore! Marin’s a big time fan of his mom’s sandwich constructions, particularly when graced with her homemade mayonnaise, but then one day the unthinkable occurs. Marin goes to take his sandwich to the lunchroom only to find it is gone! When it happens a second time on a second day Marin is convinced that a thief is in his midst. But who could it be? A classmate? A teacher? Everyone is suspect but it’s Marin’s clever mama who knows how to use her mad genius skills to out the culprit, and in a very public way!

SandwichThief2Writing a good early chapter book takes some daring. The form is so incredibly limited. It’s best to have a story that can be read in a single sitting by a parent, or over the course of several attempts by a child just getting used to longer sentences. In this book Marois sets up his mystery with care. There are lots of red herrings, but the author also plays fair, including the true villain amongst the innocuous innocents. The adults made for particularly interesting reading. For example, I loved the portrait of Marin’s principal Mr. Geiger, a man so rumpled and ill-fed you wonder for quite some time how he got his current position (he redeems himself at the end, though).

I like to tell folks that we are currently in a new Golden Age of children’s literature. This is, admittedly, a fairly ridiculous statement to make since few people can be aware of a Golden Age, even if they are already waist deep in it. Still, the evidence is striking. Never before have authors or illustrators had so much freedom to play around with forms, construction, colors, art styles, etc. It’s not a free-for-all or anything (unless you’re self-publishing) but ideas that publishers might have balked at twenty years ago are almost commonplace today. Take The Sandwich Thief as one such example. Here you have an early chapter book that draws heavily on the classic comic tradition. But speech balloons aside, artist Patrick Doyon makes every single page an eclectic experience. A French-Canadian editorial illustrator who had never made a children’s book prior to this one, in this book Doyon moves effortlessly between two-page spreads, borderless panels, sequential art, the works. You might be so wrapped up in the form that you’d miss how limited his palette is. Working entirely in orange, red, and black, Doyon’s talents are such that you never even notice the missing colors during your reading experience.

SandwichThief3Sadly, there are some aspects to this brand new book that feel like they were written twenty or thirty years ago (and not in a good way). When identifying the potential thieves in his classroom, Marin falls back onto some pretty broad stereotypes. We’re in an era when body acceptance makes old-fashioned fat shaming feel downright archaic. With that in mind, the identification of one student as “Big Bobby” whose “main hobby is eating” is particularly unfortunate. Add in “Poor Marie” whose mom lost her job and can’t afford to eat, and you’ve got yourself an odd avoidance of sympathy. Another reader of this book mentioned that the villains is of a similar lower-socioeconomic level, which is questionable. There are also a couple insults like “Numbnuts” floating about the text that will pass without comment in some households and be a major source of contention in others. FYI.

Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustrated Children’s Literature, French Language, Marois and Doyon’s first collaboration is for any kid that comes in looking for a fun read with a mystery component. With its classy format and striking cover it may even appeal to the Wimpy Kid contingent. Hey, stranger things have happened. It’s a true bummer that the book dumps on so many people along the way but it may still appeal to any kid who craves a little justice in the world. Particularly if that justice comes with the taste of chalk-textured cat pee.

On shelves March 1st.

Source: Final copy sent from publisher for review

Like This? Then Try:

Professional Reviews: Kirkus

Other Jackets:

It can’t really compare to the English language version, but the original French cover is pretty cute too:

SandwichThiefFrench

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4. Author Margaret Forster Has Died

Author Margaret Forster has died at the age of 77, according to a report on BBC.com.

The award-winning novelist, known for Hidden Lives, Georgy Girl, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, and a biography about Daphne du Maurier, succumbed to cancer on Monday in London. BBC has more:

Forster died on Monday morning at the Marie Curie Hospice in north London.

Confirming her death, the couple’s daughter Caitlin Davies wrote on Twitter: “Our lovely mum Margaret Forster died this morning. Her books will live on.”

Born in 1938, Forster attended the Carlisle and County High School for Girls and then won an Open Scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford.

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5. The Thunder Maker, by Suzanne Rothman | Dedicated Review

The Thunder Maker is a tale that explores the power of sound and learning to speak words of kindness, including knowing when to apologize.

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6. SOL Tuesday & 3 Weeks Until the March Challenge Begins

When you're writing a slice of life, it can be about something ordinary. Please don't wait until something extraordinary happens to you to share a slice of life story here. That's not what slicing is about. Sharing the ordinary is more than okay... it's what slicing is all about!

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7. #822 – Chuck and Woodchuck by Cece Bell

Chuck and Woodchuck Written & Illustrated by Cece Bell Candlewick Press    3/08/2016 978-0-7636-7524-0 32 pages    Ages 4—8 “When Caroline’s classmate Chuck brings a woodchuck to show-and-tell, Woodchuck is so funny, their teacher says he can come to school every day! Woodchuck is friendly to everyone, but he’s especially sweet to Caroline. He gives her Chuck’s hat …

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8. Scanning the Backlist (5)

I always wait way too long between these posts, especially since it's a feature that I really enjoy working on.  Here's the latest round of backlist titles I'll be reading based on books I reviewed and enjoyed on the blog:

It's been a year and a half since I read and reviewed The Farm by Tom Robb Smith, and I'm still itching to get to his backlist title Child 44, which has been out for a while and begins his Leo Demidov trilogy.
Child 44 (Leo Demidov, #1) 
Stalin's Soviet Union is an official paradise, where citizens live free from crime and fear only one thing: the all-powerful state. Defending this system is idealistic security officer Leo Demidov, a war hero who believes in the iron fist of the law, but when a murderer starts to kill at will and Leo dares to investigate, the State's obedient servant finds himself demoted and exiled. Now, with only his wife at his side, Leo must fight to uncover shocking truths about a killer--and a country where "crime" doesn't exist.

I loved S.J. Watson's Before I Go to Sleep and enjoyed the more recently released movie adaptation of the book, so I want to include his latest book, Second Life.  It's not technically backlist since it was released after Before I Go to Sleep, but it's been out for a while and one I discovered when searching for his backlist.

Second Life: A Novel
...She loves her husband. She's obsessed by a stranger. She's a devoted mother. She's prepared to lose everything. She knows what she's doing. She's out of control. She's innocent. She's guilty as sin. She's living two lives. She might lose both ...

Kate Racculia's Bellweather Rhapsody enchanted me when I read it in 2014 and I was pleased to check Goodreads and find that her backlist title This Must Be the Place was already on my TBR.

This Must Be the Place

The Darby-Jones boardinghouse in Ruby Falls, New York, is home to Mona Jones and her daughter, Oneida, two loners and self-declared outcasts who have formed a perfectly insular family unit: the two of them and the three eclectic boarders living in their house. But their small, quiet life is upended when Arthur Rook shows up in the middle of a nervous breakdown, devastated by the death of his wife, carrying a pink shoe box containing all his wife's mementos and keepsakes, and holding a postcard from sixteen years ago, addressed to Mona but never sent. Slowly the contents of the box begin to fit together to tell a story—one of a powerful friendship, a lost love, and a secret that, if revealed, could change everything that Mona, Oneida, and Arthur know to be true. Or maybe the stories the box tells and the truths it brings to life will teach everyone about love—how deeply it runs, how strong it makes us, and how even when all seems lost, how tightly it brings us together. With emotional accuracy and great energy, This Must Be the Place introduces memorable, charming characters that refuse to be forgotten. 

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9. स्वच्छ दिल्ली अभियान

… और वो मर गया स्वच्छ भारत अभियान हो या Swachh Bharat Mission… देश की राजधानी दिल्ली को देख कर ही दिल बैठा जा रहा है… जब दिल्ली का बुरा हाल है तो और राज्यों की क्या कल्पना करेंगें हम !!! – BBC प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने 2 अक्तूबर 2014 को स्वच्छ भारत मिशन की […]

The post स्वच्छ दिल्ली अभियान appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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10. Webcomics Alert: Downton Crabby by Rina Ayuyang — SPOILERS

Confession. I have never seen an episode of Downton Abbey in my life. But many of the rest of you have. So be warned, here there by spoilers in this new webcomic by Rina Ayuyang entitled Downton Crabby, a follow-up to her previous PghPolka. Like I said SPOILERs, but if you want, go to the rest of Rina's blog for recipes and more comics. MM, chestnut filled mochi!

1 Comments on Webcomics Alert: Downton Crabby by Rina Ayuyang — SPOILERS, last added: 2/9/2016
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11. Book of the Year Awards in Iran

       I can't seem to be able to find any mention of local fiction winners, but in the Theran Times they report Asghar Farhadi's collection wins Iran's Book of the Year Award (that would be in the screenplay category), where they also mention some other category-winners -- including best literary translation, which was for Borges' correspondence-collection, Cartas del fervor (which, oddly (?), doesn't appear to have been translated into English yet ...).
       And in the bibliography category: "the first award went to List of Published Translated Books" -- which actually sounds like fascinating reading (at least to me -- what gets translated (and published) is enormously revealing, and even more fun in Iran, where there is no inhibiting adherence to copyright convention(s), so multiple translations of the most popular titles are not uncommon).

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12. Gung Hey Fat Choy!!!

"the lucky one"
6x6 acrylic on canvas
©the enchanted easel 2016
here's to 2016 and the year of the monkey! this is beautiful little Mei Lin. she comes to bring good fortune with her lucky mandarin orange

PRINTS (AND OTHER GOODIES) FOR SALE THROUGH THE SHOP LINKS HERE...also, the ORIGINAL PAINTING is AVAILABLE. message me here if interested.

"the lucky one" is sized at 6x6, acrylic on canvas. what a lovely little addition she would make to your home, bringing good fortune and happiness along with her.

{hey, i was working on her when my man Peyton won the SB yesterday so she is lucky for sure! :)}

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13. African literature

       At okayafrica Siyanda Mohutsiwa writes that I'm Done With African Immigrant Literature -- fed up with the so widespread African writing (and writers) that are (and emphasize the) beyond-continental. (Note, however, that, as is sadly almost needless to say, Mohutsiwa's 'Africa' is only the sub-Saharan sort; the Arabic- (and occasionally French- and some other languages) writing northern part not really figuring in this (or most) discussion.)
       She's exaggerating slightly for effect, but has a point -- and for all the African literature under review at the complete review, I would love to see more local(ized) stuff too (but that goes for most regions, as it's often not the most (locally) popular stuff that gets translated, even from places such as France, Germany, Spain, etc.).
       If nothing else, the article is a nice reminder of the Pacesetter novels, and even if they're no longer on the shelves at Botswana Book Store, you can find them at that online site -- or at what should always be your first online destination for African books, the Africa Book Centre.

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14. Prepare Your Daughter Now for Her Wedding Day

by Sally Matheny

Pretending to be a Princess Bride
Photo by Pixaby
Is there a little princess twirling through your home? Perhaps she has difficulty choosing a wedding gown from the half-dozen glittering dresses in her closet. Days are filled with delightful giggles bubbling out as she waves from the top of the sofa...I mean, her horse-drawn, glass carriage. And you breathe in the moments. 

Then reality hits. Unless you have a fairy godmother, you wonder if you'll be able to make that future fairy tale wedding come true. Whether she's two or twelve,  begin preparing your daughter now for her wedding day.

The average cost of a wedding in the United States is around $30,000 according to valuepenguin.com. Manhattan, New York weddings average a skyrocketing $88,000 and Mississippi marriages glide around $13,000. Weddings in my home state of North Carolina typically fly around $28,000 but not so for my family.

Read more »

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15. The Children’s Book Review’s Book Trends | February 2016

The Children’s Book Review | February 9, 2016 This month, The Children’s Book Review‘s book trends show a great variety: Valentine’s Day books, winter books, giveaways, and some of our staple literacy articles. 10 Kids’ Book Trends on The Children’s Book Review … 1. Where to Find Free eBooks for Children Online The Children’s Book Review presents a guest post by […]

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16. Trip To Denver: The New Union Station


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


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

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


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


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






and includes a hotel...

                           

and several restaurants, listed here...


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


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



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17. The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, 86pp, RL 2


Priness Magnolia, Frimplepants, the Princess in Black and Blacky are back! And all my favorite things are in one place again - princesses, unicorns, masked avengers, and sumptuous feasts! In book three, we find Princess Magnolia and Frimplepants headed to brunch in the village with Princess Sneezewort. In anticipation of the soft rolls, cheesy omelets and "heaping platters of sugar-dusted doughnuts," the two have skipped breakfast. Just when the village is in sight, Princess Magnolia's glitter-stone ring rang - the monster alarm!


The Princess and her pony zip into a secret cave to become their super selves, the Princess in Black and her steed, Blacky, ready to fight monsters. And what monsters have emerged from the monster hole this time? A horde of hungry bunnies! Pham does an excellent job making these little purple puffballs cute and potentially menacing at the same time. These bunnies have grown tired of Monster Land, having nibbled all the monster fur, toe-nail clippings and lizard scales in sight. They have discovered the fresh green grass of the goat pastures and are not looking back!

At first, the Princess in Black is charmed by the hungry horde of bunnies, but when they eat up all the grass, a nearby tree and then begin nibbling on Blacky's tail, she knows she must pull out her best Princess in Black moves to take them on. 


It's touch and go for a while, but the Princess in Black always prevails! Sadly, she and Blacky arrive at the café just a hair too late for brunch - but not too late for brunch with Princess Sneezewort!


Don't miss the first two books
 in this fantastic series!





Source: Review Copy



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18. The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Iván Repila's The Boy Who Stole Attila's Horse -- available in a lovely little pocket-sized Pushkin Press edition, but packing considerably more of a punch than its size (and title) might suggest.

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19. Between the World and Me

cover artBetween the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a powerful and passionate book. As a white person in America, it was at times difficult for me to read. I found myself whispering I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry over and over. How do we make things different? What can I do? And at other times, reading the words of a black man talking about how white society does whatever it can to control his body and lets him know regularly that his body is not his own, I thought, yes, I understand from my place as a woman in a patriarchal society what it means for the culture and the law to always be trying to control your body. The control comes in different forms, but I too know what it’s like to walk down the street and be afraid. And so Coates’s book had the curious effect of making me feel guilt and sympathy and anger in repeated waves of various intensities.

Between the World and Me is a “letter” Coates wrote to his fifteen-year-old son. It is inspired by James Baldwin’s 1963 book The Fire Next Time, a book about what it means to be black in America. Certainly a great deal has changed since 1963 but so much remains stubbornly the same. I got the impression at times that Coates felt like nothing would ever change, that we will never see an end to racism, while at other times, especially when he was reflecting on his son’s life and experiences and how they have been different from his own, Coates seemed hopeful in a clear-eyed there is still much work and struggling ahead sort of way.

In thinking about the book and how I should read it and understand it, the best approach was to just listen. Don’t try to say, it’s not like that; don’t even think about suggesting things aren’t that bad. Don’t argue and critique or dismiss. Don’t compare my experience of oppression with his in order to determine who is worse off. Don’t go to an insensitive place and think, I have a black friend so I can’t possibly be racist. Don’t get defensive and definitely don’t try and claim I am not part of the system.

It is not always easy to listen, to refrain from Yes, but… I think I managed pretty well. Being open to Coates’s experience was unsettling at times. I caught myself thinking at one point when he was talking about slavery that my ancestors came to America after the Civil War, none of them owned slaves, my family had no part in it and can’t be blamed. But that is beside the point, isn’t it? While my ancestors may have had nothing to do with slavery they certainly reaped the benefits of a country made wealthy by the work of slaves. And they were definitely not immune from participating in casual and thoughtless racism.

It is hard to shut up and listen and not try to exonerate oneself, to think other people are like that but not me. When you grow up and live in a racist society, especially when you grow up and live with the privileges that come from white skin, you are not free from prejudice, I am not free from prejudice. And it hurts, I don’t want to be a “bad” person. And that is good. Because that is the only way we can move as individuals, as a culture, as a country, through prejudice to a society that is as free and equal as it imagines itself to be.


Filed under: Books, Nonfiction, Reviews

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20. YABC Book Haul - February 2016


This month the publishers of the world sent us ALL THE BOOKS! Enjoy the book haul. What are some of the titles you are looking forward to reading soon? 

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21. Music Monday - Come Thou Fount/If You Could Hie...

Really lovely cover/medley from Elenyi - 

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22. The Church at the Movies

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

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

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

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

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23. Book Valentine Would You Rather

heart4Be Mine, Book Valentine!

Cupid’s arrow is about to strike again on February 14th  — Valentine’s Day. To put you in a sweet mood, we are delivering a special Valentine’s book-based Would You Rather.

Would you rather . . .

  1. Have a Love Spell (so your crush falls in love with you) OR a Flying Spell so you can fly (away from crazy boys/girls who chase you)?
  2. Get a box of Bertie Bott’s earwax flavor jellybeans OR a box of chocolate frogs (from Harry Potter)?
  3. Marry a cyclops from Percy Jackson OR get stuck in a ship full of monsters?
  4. Kiss Slappy the Evil Dummy (from Goosebumps) OR The Vampire Chicken?
  5. Go on a romantic date with Fregley OR Patty (from Diary of a Wimpy Kid)?
  6. Survive a hurricane OR a shark attack on Valentine’s Day?
  7. Have your secret admirer turn out to be Voldemort (from Harry Potter) OR Darth Vader (from Star Wars)?
  8. Have your crush read your diary OR your teacher read your diary (from Dear Dumb Diary)?

Leave your answers in the Comments below, and let us know which book character you’d like to be YOUR valentine!

-Ratha

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24. VALENTINE'S 2016 - round-up

This Sunday will be Valentine's Day so with just  a few days left to purchase cards I have collected together a round-up of some of the designs spotted by P&P. First up are these beautiful and romantic designs from Noi Publishing. This sweet designs below are from UK card company - Stop the Clock Designs. These sophisticated and stylish designs below by Postco, Steph Baxter

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25. Being A Captain is Hard Work: A Captain No Beard Story | Dedicated Review

Ahoy! Captain No Beard and his crew are back. In the latest installment to Carole P. Roman’s award-wining series, Being a Captain is Hard Work, readers learn it’s okay to make mistakes, especially when you learn something from them.

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