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“Get your Cotton Candy! A token a fluff!” the man in the red-and-white-striped suit yells, though he doesn’t need to raise his voice as he walks the fairway; the Ladies and Gentlemen flock to him wherever he is. His completion is the midget peddling popcorn, and his brother, Six of Poles, who sells roasted peanuts. Of course, he sells more Cotton Candy than the combination of both his rivals.
Cotton Candy, after all, is the food of the gods. In World Circus you can live your entire life eating nothing else. Though your tastes may change for a moment, craving the saltiness of fresh popped corn, or the earthy meat of the peanut, you will always return to the main staple.
During periods of being “flipped”, the stomach won’t grant the sweet floss access to touch its lining, allowing only raw flesh from a fellow member of World Circus inside. Then with the blink of an eye, the condition rights itself, and the patron craves nothing else but Cotton Candy.
The children who come to the Circus, swarm around him, jumping and reaching for the delectable treat. Gripping the white, paper cone, their faces disappear behind the bright pink or blue fluff, before they giddily scatter inside World Tent to watch the show.
Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Chuck!
Characters I drew for a children's story so many years ago and it is filed, with all the other stories I have written over the years. The yellowing of my drawing pad. (c) by Mary Nida Smith
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I promise, at some point I'll go back to writing about things that aren't superheroes. Though that would require Hollywood to stop blasting superhero stories at us in such close succession (I haven't even written anything about the second season of Daredevil, though you can get a sense of the existential despair it plunged me into from the thread starting at this tweet). Coming at the end of
Memorial Day weekend is upon us and we can’t think of a better way to remember and celebrate than with some of our award-winning books!
Teachers- Looking for a way to talk to your students about war this Memorial Day?
Parents- Trying to make your kids understand the importance of remembering those who gave their lives for our country?
We have some great titles that will get your kids interested and help them understand the great sacrifices made by our men and women at arms, what really makes someone a hero, and the impact of war on a level they can relate to.
Set during the ’60s with the Vietnam war going on and World War II popular in the media, Japanese American Donnie Okada always has to be the “bad guy” when he and his friends play war because he looks like the enemy portrayed in the media. When he finally has had enough, Donnie enlists the aid of his 442nd veteran father and Korean War veteran uncle to prove to his friends and schoolmates that those of Asian descent did serve in the U.S. military.
A biography of Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian who was one of the six soldiers to raise the United States flag on Iwo Jima during World War II, an event immortalized by Joe Rosenthal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph.
Through rhythmic words, photos, and original art, this collection of poems about children throughout history focuses on their perceptions of war and how war affects their lives. A great way to introduce the topic of war into discussion with your children and the ramifications they may not have considered.
For some insight from the author, take a look at this interview with Eloise Greenfield. Purchase the book here.
Be sure to leave comments below on how discussions about war went in your classroom or with your own children; we’d love to hear from you!
Summer time is right around the corner! You may want to imagine the sun, sand on the beach, and fun doing outdoor activities. However, the dangers of tornado season continues on. In the United States, tornado season typically occurs from March through June depending on the region. The South and the Midwest are the areas where tornadoes occur the most often. Other countries around the world also endure these storms such as South Africa, Argentina, China, and the United Kingdom. Our book Tornado Tamer takes on the re-imagining of the tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes” where a weasel weaver tricks a whole town into believing an imaginary cover can protect them from tornadoes. Though it is a hilarious situation within our book, tornadoes are a serious danger in real life. Tornadoes can go up to 300 miles per hour and can last up to 1 hour. The wind speeds alone can cause a lot of destruction including the loss of homes, businesses, and the lives of people and animals. To keep you informed and aware, these safety tips are important to know what to do in case the need to use them arises.
Before a Tornado:
Practice tornado drills to know what to do in case one comes.
Listen to local news or radio outlets to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings.
Pick a safe room in your home or nearby building. Preferably a room that is underground without windows. An example is a basement.
Board up windows if at your home and secure any items outdoors such as trash cans and furniture that can be picked up by the high speed winds.
Prepare a disaster kit for your home or car if travel is necessary: First aid kit, flashlights, food, water, and a battery-operated radio/television if the electricity goes out.
During a Tornado:
Go to the safe room that was chosen that is windowless.
Get under a sturdy piece of furniture such as a table.
Do not stay in mobile homes or cars because they offer minimal protection and immediately find shelter in a sturdy building.
If stuck in a vehicle, keep your head down with the seat belt on below the windows and keep yourself covered with your hand.
If stuck outdoors, find a low-lying area and lie flat away from roadways.
Stay away from damaged areas.
After a Tornado:
Check on others that are with you for injuries.
Use the phone only for emergency situations.
Stay tuned to news/radio outlets for updates and new information.
Stay inside until it is reported safe to come out.
Avoid power lines that were knocked down or submerged in water.
Use a flashlight to inspect your home or building for damages.
Stay safe out there and use these tips!
Find out more about tornadoes and other kinds of storms with these books!:
In this adaptation of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, Mayor Peacock declares he will hire a tornado tamer to protect the town. After a long search, Travis arrives to fill the position and this weasel has a plan. He will build a very special, transparent cover to protect the town. Travis’ magical cover is so transparent that only those smart enough and special enough can even see it. Mouse is doubtful, but his questions are brushed off. Months later, the cover has been hung and Travis has been paid a hefty sum, but a tornado is in the distance and the town is in its path. Will the magic cover protect the town?
Hurricane . . . just the word brings to mind the power of these natural disasters. Humans watch the news and know of impending arrival. We board up windows and gather supplies. We might huddle in our homes or go inland. Then we wait for the storm to arrive. But what do wild animals do? Do they know when a storm is coming? If so, how do they prepare? This book explains how nine animals sense, react, and prepare for a hurricane. Based on research or observations, the brief portraits are explained in simple, poetic language for children of all ages.
Cozy up for this great rainy day read! Prairie Storms gives you a front row seat to learn about a year of ever-changing prairie weather, and how the animals living in these grasslands adapt and survive in this harsh climate. Each month, read about a new animal, and learn about everything from how a prairie grouse can survive the January snows to how an earless lizards escapes the harsh, unrelenting drought of August. Told in lyrical prose, this story is a celebration of the great American prairies. See more about Prairie Storms at http://prairiestorms.com/.
Today on the YABC blog we are happy to sit down with author Beth Vrabel
and talk with her about her upcoming release, Camp Dork, which released
on shelves on May 3rd, 2016.
YABC: What surprised you most while writing your latest book?
I was surprised how much fun I had going back to...
Hate and outrage have defeated love and optimism yet again.
On Monday it was suggested that Marvel had a story trick up their sleeve that would steal the spotlight from DC's ramming-speed publicity blitz for its revamped universe and Rebirth #1.
A shocking!!! plot twist in Captain America Steve Rogers #1 that revealed Steve was really a Hydra agent all along seemed unlikely to unseat a wholesale rewriting of ten years of DC history, along with a shocking Alan Moore related plot twist.
But, today we have a genuine tweet storm and think piece blitz, all wrapped in a bow
Review by Jackie
The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter HapgoodAge Range: 12 - 18 yearsGrade Level: 8 - 12Hardcover: 304 pagesPublisher: Roaring Brook Press (May 3, 2016)Goodreads | Amazon
This is what it means to love someone. This is what it means to grieve someone. It's a little bit like a black hole. It's a little bit like infinity.
Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally.
It's been a few months, but I finally have some time to sit down and blog my having completed the Austin Distance Challenge (long course), sponsored by the Austin Runners Club. I'd done most of the events before, but decided to do the challenge itself (six races, culminating in the Austin Marathon), because I wanted to put more structure into my training for the marathon. I'd done several in the 90s, but this was my second of the century and I wanted to do better than my last one (2013).
The first race was the Run Free Texas 80s 8k (for those who don't think in metric, that's about five miles) up in Cedar Park. Naturally enough, there were a couple of DeLoreans, each outfitted with a flux capacitor. Time travel being what it is, they were obviously the same car but from different time periods. :-). The course was through residential neighborhoods and parks and had some rolling hills -- nice for a beginning of the season race.
Back to the Future!
The second race of the Challenge was the Run for the Water Ten Miler. The course was along Lady Bird Lake and up through Tarrytown and then back downtown, There were some great hills on this course and let me know I needed more hill work...And, ironically enough, it was raining. :-)
Rain and hills
Race three was the Decker Challenge, a half marathon in early December with a course around Decker Lake. It's notorious for hills and really bad weather. (The last time I ran it, it was in the 40s and pouring rain). If anything, last year, it was a bit too warm. The hills were pretty brutal, though.
My face when attacking the hills
But Santa was there!
After that, we had a month break until the Rogue Distance Festival 30k (about 18.6 miles) in early January. This one was fairly cold and probably my least favorite of the events. It was up in Cedar Park again and ran through residential neighborhoods which was fine. There was an issue with marking the course, though, so most of us got off track, which meant the mile markers were out of order so it was impossible to figure out a pace. (I think at some point, we were going in circles -- and ended up going about a mile farther than we should've.). Still, it was my longest run before the marathon and I was kind of glad it happened that way.
Yay! I'm done! :-)
With four events done, it was all downhill from there. Literally. The 3M Half Marathon starts up in the Great Hills area and runs a straight line down to downtown. It also has a swag bag filled with useful (and not so useful) 3M products.:-)
Leo checks out the swag bag
This one also started out pretty cold and way too early :-).
Before dawn, in the warm car before the cold race.
I really enjoyed this one, though, and it was a nice preview of many of the neighborhoods on the marathon route.
The piece de resistance, of course, was the Austin Marathon in mid-February. I like the course, but the first time I ran the Austin Marathon, it was all downhill, starting up north and snaking its way downtown. Now, there's a good bit of uphill until around mile 18. I still like the course, though, and it's not like the hills from the Decker Challenge or the Run for the Water races.
I was pretty happy with my time -- my second fastest of the century! I did it in under 4 hours, which had been my goal. Next year, I'll work more on speed, but this time, I just wanted to not have my quads seize up in the last two miles :-).
Running through UT campus
Made it! Best time of the century!
Anyway, thanks to everyone involved in putting on the races and the challenge itself: organizers, volunteers, emergency personnel, and all the rest! You keep Austin running!
(Via BoingBoing) There's some interesting camera work and sound design in this portrait of Hong Kong by filmmaker Brandon Li. --- If you like this, you'll also like his other film "Tokyo Roar," set against the poem by A.D. Hope.
Fried Pie Comics, a line dedicated to producing special variant covers for comic books, has been making a splash since it debuted in October 2015. They’ve produced collectible versions of huge titles titles including Dark Knight III #1 and Rick and Morty #14. Now, they’re hosting their first convention. Fried Pie Con will take place in Kennesaw, […]
“I look down at it and know without question: I love this world. But there’s something missing.” In the five years since DC Comics rebooted their universe through the Flashpoint event and New 52 line, the oldest major comics publisher in America has seen its fortunes fall. After being barraged with complaints about homogeneous artwork, constant […]
The Sykes-Picot Agreement, ratified on May 16, 1916, was a concord developed in secret between France and the UK, with acknowledgement of the Russian Empire, that allocated control and influence over much of Southwestern Asia, carving up and establishing much of today’s Middle East, along with Western and Arab sociopolitical tensions. The real reason for the divide? The region’s petroleum fields, and the desire to share in its reserves, but not its pipelines. Rachel Havrelock’s book River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line considers the implications of yet another border in the region, the river that defines the edge of the Promised Land in the Hebrew Bible—an integral parcel of land for both the Israeli and Palestinian states. With her expertise in the ideologies that undermine much cartography of the region (her book includes a map of the Sykes-Picot Agreement’s splitting of territories), Havrelock understands how the demarcation of influence was central to the production of very specific oil-producing nation states.
In a recent piece for Foreign Affairs, appearing a century after the Sykes-Picot Agreement, Havrelock writes about the potential for the region to remake itself, in the self-image of its peoples and their local resources:
The dissolution of oil concessions could hold the key to this transformation. Consider the Kurdish case. Following the Second Gulf War, private oil companies flocked to Iraq. Iraq’s national oil company reserved the right to pump existing wells with partners of its choosing, but local bodies such as the Kurdistan Regional Government were allowed to explore new wells and forge their own partnerships—a boon to the Kurdish economy.
Kurdish oil shares made all the difference when ISIS emerged in 2014. The largely effective Kurdish Peshmerga fight against ISIS owes to Kurds’ desire to protect not just their homeland but also the resources within it. Kurds harbor longstanding desires for autonomy, but their jurisdiction over local oil is a form of sovereignty—over resources rather than territory—that models a truly post‑Sykes–Picot Middle East. Because Sykes–Picot divided territory in the name of extracting and transporting oil to Europe, reforming the ownership of oil is the first step in dissolving the legacy of colonial administration and authoritarian rule.
Ideally, people across the Middle East should hold shares in local resources and have a say in their sale, use, and conservation. In an age of increased migration, this principle could help people inhabit new places with a sense of belonging and stewardship. Of course, local officials will still need to partner with global firms to drill, refine, and export oil, but such contracts will work best when driven by local needs rather than corporate profits. The Kurdish case proves that local stakeholders will raise an army where oil companies will not.
To read Havrelock’s piece in full at Foreign Affairs, click here.
“I do love the creativity and energy of children. My foundation, the Anyone Can Fly Foundation, is devoted to teaching children about the African American artists that have been left out of the historical canon.” * * * Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Faith Ringgold, pictured here. Tar Beach, her first picture […]
बहादुरी की मिसाल पायलट अमित सरकार को कोसना हो हमारी जुबान हाजिर है.. अंट शंट कुछ भी बोलते चले जाएगे.. चाहे मोदी जी हों या अरविंद जी किसी की कमी निकालनी हो तो पीछे नही हटते और कमिया हजारों निकालते चले जाएगें पर अगर किसी की प्रशंसा करनी हो तो जुबान लडखडा सी जाती है.. […]
My grandfather passed away last week. While he'd been in declining health, nothing was expected so soon and the news was a shock. Over the past few months, I'd been able to spend more time with my grandparents, giving me a wealth of memories and joy. I feel so very, very lucky to have had him in my life then and still.
As we've been taking care of things, I've been able to collect a few of his work tools. My grandfather was a civilian design engineer for the Navy, close to 30 years. I swear by his Eagle pencils and a small, homemade T-Square is quickly becoming my go-to for measuring.
And while I miss him profoundly, there's a joy and a connection that comes in giving his tools a new life.
Read the first chapter of the The Hunt by Megan Shephard below!
Meet Megan Shepherd!
Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. She is the author of the acclaimed young adult series The Madman’s Daughter and the forthcoming middle grade novel The Secret Horses of...
Some Kind of Eternal 1. Mira is an immortal. She will live forever, as long as she doesn't get killed, contract an illness, or grow old. She travels to the Eternal City in order to escape an age-old curse; otherwise she will die. 2. A 450-year-old vampire longs to leave Earth and become a god, but to do so he needs a bottle of special blood that is also being sought by Freemasons, Russian billionaires, and a Mayan king's ghost, at least one of whom wants the blood . . . to destroy humanity! 3. When Ninet promised Ramses her eternal love, she didn't mean being mummified alive after he died of the plague. He, unfortunately, did. Now she must escape across the eternally shifting sands with a camel and a cute waterboy (girl). Also, scarabs. 4. New nurse Javad Shah can't understand why Mr. "Bats" Linstall and Mr. "Superman" Chen are tampering with each other's wheelchair brakes and tossing nutrisweet packs at breakfast. As Javad talks to the other residents, he uncovers an old baseball feud that has the entire town in its grip. 5. It's a story as old as the hills, but instead of summarizing the plot I'm just gonna list the characters and their occupations. If you want to know what happens, let me know. 6. Lost in the Okefenokee Swamp, Trent stumbles upon the legendary Fountain of Youth. Now that he has an eternity to do so, he's sure to find his way back to civilization eventually. But can he do so before the alligators get him?
Original Version Dear Mr. Evil Editor: Oliver, a 450-year-old vampire, longs to leave Earth and become a god with no need for human blood, while Hugh wishes he could remember his hedonistic past. [You toss out the name Hugh as if we already know who he is. You need to add "Oliver's fellow vampire" or "Oliver's immortal servant," or "really old amnesiac."] Who was the beautiful woman who gave him his ruby necklace over two centuries ago? [If only I could remember who she was so I could finally send her a thank-you card.] [Usually when there are two main characters who are allies, they're working toward the same goal. Becoming a god and remembering who gave him his necklace aren't of the same order of magnitude. It would be like Superman and Batman teaming up because one of them wants to save humanity and the other wants to find his missing sock.] Together Oliver and Hugh journey deep underground to fight the ghost of a Mayan king, Russian billionaires, ancient vampires, and 33rd degree Freemasons looking for the same bottle of powerful blood. [Putting all that together in a list makes it feel like the book is a comedy. I'd drop the ghost, even if the ghost is the one who wants to destroy humanity. And we don't need to know the freemasons' degree.] [I suspect Oliver and Hugh didn't go underground to fight all these people, as you claim, but because the bottle of blood is there. If so, you can say "racing against" instead of "to fight."] Each wants the blood for a unique and evil purpose, the worst being the destruction of humanity. [You're only calling that the worst because you're a human.] Oliver and Hugh vow to find the blood to spare humanity, and transform into gods, [So, Hugh wants to be a god too. Perhaps that should be mentioned earlier instead of telling us he wants to know where he got his necklace.] but saving the lives of the women they love could get in the way. [Who are the women they love? Are they human? If Hugh's necklace woman was human, it's too late to send her that thank-you card. Why are the women's lives in danger? Are the guys planning to take the women with them when they leave Earth?]
SOME KIND OF ETERNAL is a 73,000-word paranormal novel. The glamorous life of a real German prince I knew a few years ago, [As opposed to a fictional German prince you knew.] Oliver von Anhalt, inspired this book. [Was he a vampire?] The poetry of Lord Byron, Edgar Allan Poe, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, as well as works of gothic literature from Ann Radcliffe to Elizabeth Kostova have greatly influenced me. Thank you for your time and consideration, --The title was inspired by a Sisters of Mercy song, Some Kind of Stranger, which makes me imagine a lonely vampire trying to make friends. I am not that attached to the title and don't mind changing it if asked to do so by a future editor (hopefully).--[Ninety-nine percent of those told your title was inspired by a song will assume the song is "Some Kind of Wonderful," by Grand Funk Railroad.]
Notes We can do without the necklace, as it's importance to Hugh isn't made clear. There's space enough in a query to provide more than five sentences of plot. And if you're low on space, feel free to cut the list of your favorite poets. Vampires Oliver and Hugh long to leave Earth and transform into gods; to do so they must drink the blood of Lilith, hidden deep underground centuries ago. But they aren't the only ones after the legendary phial of blood. Other vampires, Freemasons and Russian billionaires are racing to find the powerful elixir, all for their own evil purposes. That's your setup, and leaves plenty of room to tell us what the plan is, what goes wrong, what will happen if the guys fail, how their girlfriends figure in...