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1. Meadow castle. 12/100. #100daysofOILCRAYON #the100dayproject...



Meadow castle. 12/100. #100daysofOILCRAYON #the100dayproject #oilpastels #lisafirke



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2. April Reflections

Stand-Out Books Read in April 2016
  1. Churchill: The Power of Words. Winston S. Churchill. Edited by Martin Gilbert. Da Capo Press. 536 pages. [Source: Library]
  2. War Dogs. Kathryn Selbert. 2016. [April 2016] Charlesbridge. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
  3. No Other Will Do. Karen Witemeyer. 2016. Bethany House. 368 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  4. Persuasion. Jane Austen 1818/1992. Knopf Doubleday. 304 pages. [Source: Bought]
  5. C.S. Lewis at War: The Dramatic Story Behind Mere Christianity. Focus on the Family Radio Theatre. Tyndale. 2 Discs. [Source: Library]
  6. Much Ado About Nothing. William Shakespeare. 1599/2004. SparkNotes. 256 pages. [Source: Bought]
5 Places Visited in April:
  1. Texas
  2. Bath and London (England)
  3. Russia
  4. Pakistan 
  5. Ecuador
Picture books:
  1. Absolutely One Thing. Lauren Child. 2016. Candlewick. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. Bedtime for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Garth Williams. 1960/1996. HarperCollins. 32 pages.
  3. A Baby Sister for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 1964/1992. HarperCollins. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  4. Bread and Jam for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 1964/1992. HarperCollins. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
  5. A Birthday for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 1968/1995. HarperCollins. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
  6. I Didn't Do It. Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest. Illustrated by Katy Schneider. 2010. 32 pages. [Source: Library]
  7. War Dogs. Kathryn Selbert. 2016. [April 2016] Charlesbridge. 48 pages. [Source: Library]
  8. Beatrix Potter and the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig. Deborah Hopkinson. Illustrated by Charlotte Voake. 2016. Random House. 44 pages. [Source: Library]
Early readers and chapter books:
  1. Eva and the New Owl. Rebecca Elliott. 2016. Scholastic. 80 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. A Bargain for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 1970/1992. HarperCollins. 64 pages. [Source: Library]
  3. Best Friends for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 1969/1994. HarperCollins. 32 pages. [Source: Library] 
  4. Frog and Toad Are Friends. An I Can Read Book. Arnold Lobel. 1970. HarperCollins. 64 pages. [Source: Library]
Contemporary (General, realistic) fiction, all ages: 0
Speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, etc.) all ages: 0

Historical fiction, all ages:
  1. I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster. Lauren Tarshis. 2016. Scholastic. 112 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Mysteries, all ages:
  1. Murder in the Museum. John Rowland. 1938. Poisoned Pen Press. 250 pages. [Source: Review copy] 
  2. Death in the Tunnel. Miles Burton. 1936/2016. Poisoned Pen Press. 232 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Classics, all ages:
  1. Persuasion. Jane Austen 1818/1992. Knopf Doubleday. 304 pages. [Source: Bought]
  2. Much Ado About Nothing. William Shakespeare. 1599/2004. SparkNotes. 256 pages. [Source: Bought]
  3. Doctor Zhivago. Boris Pasternak. Translated by John Bayley. 1957. 592 pages. [Source: Library]
Nonfiction, all ages:
  1. Churchill: The Power of Words. Winston S. Churchill. Edited by Martin Gilbert. Da Capo Press. 536 pages. [Source: Library]
  2. I Am Malala. Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick. 2014. Little Brown. 240 pages. [Source: Library]
  3. Death by Food Pyramid. Denise Minger. 2014. 292 pages. [Source: Library]
  4. Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight--and What We Can Do About It. Harriet Brown. 2016. 304 pages. [Source: Library]
  5. Eat Fat, Get Thin. Why The Fat We Eat Is the Key to Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant Health. Mark Hyman. Little, Brown. 400 pages. [Source: Library]
  6. A Big Fat Crisis by Deborah Cohen. 2013. 272 pages. [Source: Library]
  7. Stuffed: An Insider's Look At Who's Really Making America Fat. Hank Cardello. 2009. 272 pages. [Source: Library]
  8. Secrets from the Eating Lab. Traci Mann. 2015. 272 pages. [Source: Library]
Christian fiction:
  1. No Other Will Do. Karen Witemeyer. 2016. Bethany House. 368 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  2. No Graven Image. Elisabeth Elliot. 1966. 267 pages. [Source: Inter-Library-Loan]
  3. C.S. Lewis at War: The Dramatic Story Behind Mere Christianity. Focus on the Family Radio Theatre. Tyndale. 2 Discs. [Source: Library]
Christian nonfiction: 
  1. Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation. Joel R. Beeke & William Boekestein. 2013. Reformation Heritage. 108 pages. [Source: Bought]
  2. God's Word, Our Story. Learning from the Book of Nehemiah. D.A. Carson and Kathleen B. Nielson, editors. 2016. Crossway. 208 pages. [Source: Review copy]
  3. Know the Creeds and Councils. Justin S. Holcomb. 2014. Zondervan. 183 pages. [Source: Bought] 
  4. 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know By Heart. Robert J. Morgan. 2010. B&H Publishing. 288 pages. 288 pages. [Source: Bought]
  5. Looking for Lovely. Annie F. Downs. 2016. 208 pages. [Source: Review copy]    
  6. Experiencing the Trinity: The Grace of God for the People of God. Joe Thorn. 2015. Crossway. 144 pages. [Source: Library]
  7. The Pursuit of Holiness. Jerry Bridges. 1978. NavPress. 160 pages. [Source: Bought] 
  8. Why Bother With Church? Sam Allberry. 2016. Good Book Company.  [Source: Borrowed]
  9. Jesus Without Borders. Chad Gibbs. 2015. Zondervan. 240 pages. [Source: Library]

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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3. How Bad Do You Want It?

A Princeton University professor named Johannes Haushofer recently made news by publishing a "c.v. of failures," a public list of his rejections for graduate programs, jobs, fellowships, and publications. It's gone viral, as we all need to hear stories of others' failures to counteract social media's incessant celebration of others' success.

This year I've had my own share of professional failures. Here are a few:

1) rejection of a proposal for a new chapter book series from my publisher, after early encouragement

2) rejection of a proposal to speak at our Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, after I had been personally invited by one of the Co-Regional Advisers to apply

3) a SECOND "revise and resubmit" verdict on the same children's literature article from a prominent journal

4) disappointing spring royalties (reflecting disappointing sales) on several recent recent books

5) small audiences at the Children's Literature Festival that I attend every year in Warrensburg, Missouri.

I could add more, but I think I've made my point depressingly clear, or at least depressingly clear to myself.

So my question is, what do I do now?

One answer, of course, is try, try again. But "try, try again" isn't going to work if I just try the very same thing over and over again while expecting different results. We've all heard that as the definition of insanity. In other equally familiar words: "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what  you've always gotten."

Actually, for most of my career I've liked what I've gotten. I've never been wildly ambitious for fame and fortune. I just wanted to be able to do work I love, maybe even make a modest living doing it, and get to spend time with other fun, creative people who are also doing work they love. And I've been lucky enough to achieve those things.

But the world of children's book writing and children's literature scholarship has gotten increasingly competitive, with brilliant new, young authors and scholars joining their ranks. If I want to stay in the game, I'm going to have to step up my game. If I do what I've always done, I'm not going to be getting (even) what I've always got.

So now I have to decide: how bad do I want it? Do I want it enough to work harder than I've ever worked before? Do I want it enough to bite the bullet and accept that I need to (1) become a better writer; and (2) become a better self-promoter (rather than spending time complaining that kids thirty years ago liked my books just fine and that authors thirty years ago didn't have to have websites, Twitter accounts, or glitzy giveaways)? Do I want it enough to sit down, once this final semester of teaching ends, and seriously try to reinvent myself for the 21st century, now that we are already 16 years into it?

I don't know. Part of me wants to. Part of me doesn't.

Part of me thinks that writing is what gives my life its deepest satisfaction so that I should do whatever I need to do to hold onto it as long as I can - clinging not just to writing, at home, alone, for myself, but to being part of the world of writers, to belonging in that world. Another part of me thinks that the idea of putting myself out to pasture, after 35 years in harness, is not a completely terrible thing, especially with two little granddaughters to cuddle, one already here and one set to arrive in another three weeks.

I think the bigger part of me wants to try better, try harder, try fresher, try smarter. The pasture isn't going anywhere; it can wait for me a little longer.

Either way, whether I continue to flourish and thrive in this business is going to depend on how badly I want it, and whether I'm willing to back up my wanting with working.

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4. The Written Word

If I couldn’t read, I’d be lost indeed
For each day a hefty share
Of my hours awake I spend, no mistake,
On my couch or reading chair.

I will read the news and may, too, peruse
A subscription magazine
But a novel’s where, if it’s penned with care,
All life’s worries won’t intervene.

When I leave my lair, I do not despair
For I travel with what I need.
On a bus or train, I need not refrain;
With some skimming I may proceed.

If my eyesight failed, I would be derailed
For to listen, I couldn’t condone
‘Cause my soul is stirred by the written word,
Which is something I always have known.

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5. Chinese investment in French publishing

       At Paper Republic Bruce Humes points out that Chinese media are reporting that Chinese publisher/media firm ThinKingDom (新经典文化) has apparently invested in (i.e. bought a chunk of) leading French publisher of east Asian literature ("des livres de l'Extrême-Orient", as they put it) in translation Editions Philippe Picquier; see also the (Chinese) reports at The Paper and, a bit more extensively, sina (and note the deafening silence in the European press -- I couldn't find anything in the French papers ...).
       As Humes notes, it's unclear just how much of a stake they've staked themselves, but this is an interesting move, with Philippe Picquier a relatively small boutique independent -- but a leading conduit for east Asian literature into European languages and with a first rate list (and, presumably, contacts). Worth keeping an eye on.

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6. Certain Songs #522: Prince – “Endorphinmachine”

Prince The Gold Experience Album: The Gold Experience
Year: 1995

After Sign o’ the Times, I had another Prince blackout, finally checking back in with 1995’s The Gold Experience.

Of course, I didn’t ignore Prince completely: that was impossible for any lover of music. And from 1988 – 1995, his music was only slightly less omnipresent despite — or because of– his ongoing battles with Warner Bros and antics like changing his name to an emoticon or writing “slave” on his face while performing in public.

And I don’t know why I decided to check back in with The Gold Experience. I guess I was just curious again. Which, in retrospect was good timing: The Gold Experience had a bunch of terrific songs, jams like the funky rap “P Control,” the wistful “Dolphin” and the foot-stomping “Endorphinmachine.”

Opening with a big rock riff that circled back upon itself while being powered by cowbells, “Endorphinmachine” turns out to be one Prince’s most clever fucksongs.

You’ll believe in somethin’ before this night is through
Press one for the money, press two for the dream
And get ready for somethin’ that you’ve never seen
The Endorphinmachine

And when he follows a wah-wah guitar solo with a breakdown rap which slams back into the main riff which stops again so Prince could scream “yeahhhhhhhhh” I suddenly remembered just how much fun Prince can be when he’s jamming a shitload of musical styles together in the service of fucking you all night long.

There’s also a now-chilling spoken word moment at the end of the song where a female voice intones “Prince esta muerto. Prince esta muerto.”

Of course, it had everything to do with the Warner Bros fight, and it’s quickly followed with “Long Live The New Power Generation” in Spanish.

At the time, it didn’t even cross my radar, because in 1995, it was obvious that Prince — no matter what he wanted us to call him — had too much life to ever die.

“Endorphinmachine”

“Endorphinmachine” performed live on French TV, 1994

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

The post Certain Songs #522: Prince – “Endorphinmachine” appeared first on Booksquare.

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7. Tony, Tony, Tony, Tony, Tony

Several years ago, I tuned into the Tony awards telecast eager to find out whether Ragtime was going to beat The Lion King. (It didn't.) I made my new boyfriend watch the whole thing with me, even though he didn't care at all about the results. The next day at his work, his colleagues were talking at lunch about what they had watched on television the night before. "Anyone watch the World Cup?" someone asked. Several people had. "How about the NBA Playoffs?" Again, a lot of murmurs of agreement. My boyfriend said, "Hey, did anyone watch the Tonys?" Dead silence.

I've always loved that story because I think it's a fairly good representation of the Tonys in popular culture. They have a very limited audience- you have to physically go to New York and see the original productions. You really can't tell who is going to win Best Choreography if you listen to the cast album. This is completely different from the Oscars, because you can see the nominated movies anywhere.

Also, that boyfriend is now my husband, and I still make him watch the Tonys with me every year. 

This year, I'm particularly excited to find out how Hamilton will do at the Tonys. Let's start with this question: How many Tonys can Hamiltonactually win?

It's eligible for the following 13 categories:

1. Best Musical
2. Best Book of a Musical
3. Best Original Score
4. Best Orchestrations
(These four categories can only be won by new musicals).

5. Best Direction of a Musical
6. Best Choreography
7. Best Scenic Design of a Musical
8. Best Costume Design of a Musical
9. Best Lighting Design of a Musical
10. Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
11. Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
12. Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
13. Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
(These nine categories can be won by either new musicals or revivals- which means the field is much larger for these awards.) 

The current record is held by The Producers, which won 12 Tonys and was nominated for 15. The Producers won every single category for which it was nominated, which is a rather incredible acheivement. The three nominations that The Producers didn't win were in the acting categories because multiple actors from the show were nominated for the same category. The one category it didn't win, is also the only one it wasn't nominated for:  Leading Actress. 

The Tony Administration committee has ruled on eligibility for certain parts in Hamilton, and whether they belong in the Lead or Featured Actor categories. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom, Jr.  and Phillipa Soo will all be considered in the Lead categories.

If Hamilton gets nominated in all thirteen categories- then it is within striking distance to go for the record. The Producers only had three eligible performer categories, but with the decision to put Phillipa Soo as a Leading Actress, Hamilton now has all four performer categories available.

Also, don't be surprised if it receives more than thirteen nominations. Hamilton is likely going to have the same problem as The Producers. If multiple actors get nominated in the same category (which I would expect), it won't be possible for Hamilton to win all of its nominations. 

How many possible Tonys could Lin-Manuel Miranda personally go home with? If he was nominated for every available category andhe won all of them, I see four Tonys on the list above that could wind up on his mantel. Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical and Best Orchestrations (which he collaborated on). The award for Best Musical is given to the producers- and he didn't produce the show. But the possibility of seeing the same person win both the composing and writing awards and an acting award and an arrangement award- that is a phenomenal and exciting possibility.

I have an image in my head from when Norah Jones won so many Grammys in the same night that she could barely hold them all. I keep thinking about this picture every time I think about what a photo of Lin at the end of the Tonys might look like. 

In The Heights was nominated was for 13 Tonys and won 4. Lin-Manuel Miranda was personally nominated for two: Best Score (which he won) and Best Actor (which he lost). (As a footnote, I'll mention that In the Heights was also nominated for Best Sound Design, a category that no longer exists.) But Hamilton is a whole different ball game. It's a hit, it's a hit, it's a palpable hit. A crazy lottery, standing room only, sold out forever hit. A show doesn't have to be a monster hit like Hamilton to win Tonys, but it doesn't hurt. 

For me, a lot of the drama is going to be in the Actor categories. Ignoring the other shows for a moment- if it was a match-up between just Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) and Leslie Odom, Jr. (Burr)- who would win? (Oh, the irony, given that the show itself is a matchup between Hamilton and Burr.) Common sense probably tells us Lin, but I have to say that Leslie was show-stoppingly phenomenal. 

What about the Featured Actors? The ensemble work was all exceptional and it is difficult to rank one above another. If I absolutely had to, I would say Daveed Diggs (Lafayette/Jefferson) and Chris Jackson (Washington) were truly standouts. So was Jonathan Groff (King George III), even through he was only on stage for a few moments. Okieriete Onaodowan (Mulligan/Madison) was also terrific, but there may not be enough room in the nominations. 

On the actress side, both Phillipa Soo (Eliza) and Renee Elise Goldsberry (Angelica) were outstanding, so I'm glad they won't have any other competition in their categories from within the show, unless Jasmine Cephas Jones (Peggy/Maria Reynolds) gets nominated as a Featured Actress.

We can't ignore those other shows forever. Here's a listof eligible new shows that will be vying very hard not to be shut out.

The Tony nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 3 and the Tony Awards will be on Sunday, June 12.

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]-->
Wait for it.

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8. Brodka - Horses (Official Video)

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9. Artist of the Day: Eva Vilhelmiina Eskelinen

Discover the art of Eva Vilhelmiina Eskelinen, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day.

The post Artist of the Day: Eva Vilhelmiina Eskelinen appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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10. Claudia Kane - Einstein (Official Video)

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11. Brain Dr. Business Card Sculpture

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12. "Captain America: Civil War" Cast In London (No Scarlett Johansson?)







According to one person on the Marvel page:  

"I hate that it's coming out over there (UK)  this weekend . Internet will be full of spoilers and will ruin it for us here in America... Honestly though how does a movie called captain AMERICA not release in America first ?" 

Well, tough tits. You see, people in the US fill the internet with spoilers and much more that ruin it for people not in the US for previous film premiers.   "Waaaaah!" all you want. Don't go on the internet until its released in the US then or ignore any postings about the film. Spoil brats.

According to Marvel


See the Cast & Crew of Marvel's 'Captain America: Civil War' Travel the Globe
Iron Man gives the 'Iron Lady' a makeover to celebrate 'Captain America: Civil War,' out May 6!


UPDATE 4/26: Both teams have landed in England for the London London premiere of Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War"! The cast kept it civil though as they celebrated the event, and you can see all the photos from the action directly above, with more galleries from past events below!

There are more photos over at the Marvel site.

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13. Horse Equestrian Training Business Cards - Tri-fold

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14. Do You Know Emily Arrow?

I recently discovered Emily Arrow! It was one of my best recent discoveries for sure!  Maybe you have too. It seems that I have come across her work a few times over the last few weeks and I have become a huge fan! I remember watching her Water is Water video during our Mock Caldecott study. I had a small group of girls who learned the hand motions and had a blast with the book and song. But I didn't pay much attention except that I loved the song and was amazed that someone could create something like this around a book! Then I discovered her Be a Friend video and then researched to see what else she had out there!

If you didn't discover her work during Caldecott season, maybe you discovered it when you saw her new amazing Louise Loves Art video on Mr. Schu's blog this week!  As Colby Sharp said on Facebook:


Or maybe you discovered her because you celebrated Poem in Your Pocket Day last week and there is nothing better than her song to celebrate the day.   (We like the one with the Motions Guide--it has become a class favorite in the last few days!)


Before I introduced her songs to my class this week, I created an Emily Arrow Padlet for my students so they could easily get to each one of the videos. I knew they would want to know how to find all of her videos as I knew they would fall in love with her work just as I did. They are mesmerized and inspired by every single video. We started off with Be a Friend. I hadn't been sure which video to show first , but when one of my students came unknowingly dressed perfectly for Be a Friend,  how could we not start by watching Emily Arrow's Be a Friend video first?  Then, of course, they wanted to watch every one of her videos!



 I love Emily Arrow's work for so many reasons. First of all, it is pure joy.  The songs are happy and joyful.  This week, Emily Arrow brought so much joy to our classroom.  We are in testing season and we needed a few pick-me-ups after a few tiring mornings. I shared the Emily Arrow videos I discovered and could not believe the happiness in every face as they watched and played along. Just as I did, they became instant Emily Arrow Fans!

But the songs are not merely fun and happy (although that alone would be enough!) But the books Emily chooses to interpret in song are books that have powerful messages for readers.  They give our young readers another way to look at a book.  I love that my kids can think differently about a book because of Emily's songs.

I also think that these inspire a kind of creativity that I hadn't thought of. love that kids are already thinking about creating their own songs. Some are thinking about the videos and how she creates those.  We have a few Makerspaces at our school and no one had thought about making a song. Emily Arrow inspired a few that making a song is something they might like to try. Emily Arrow has brought huge possibilities to our classroom.

I purchased her new album (Emily Arrow Storytime Singalong) on iTunes and added it to our classroom playlist.  We have cleaned our classroom this week while singing along to The Dot Song (we are partial to the version with the motion guide!), Poem in Your Pocket and Max the Brave.  These songs are perfect for all ages.

So, my recommendation, if you are looking for more joy in your life...if you want your students to see things that are possible with books, music, video, play... if you don't want to miss anything new that Emily Arrow creates, you should :

Follow her on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter (@hellowemilyarrow)
Visit her blog.
Subscribe to her Youtube Channel.

If you don't know Emily Arrow, go get to know her now!



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15. Eka Kurniawan Q & A

       In The Jakarta Post Stevie Emilia has a Q & A with Eka Kurniawan (who recently made a splash in English translation, with Beauty is a Wound and Man Tiger).
       Among Kurniawan's answers: re. his favorite author he singles out:

If I have to mention only one, it's Knut Hamsun ( the Norwegian author who won the Nobel Prize for Literature ). His works convinced me to become a writer.
       And as far as 'social media' (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) go, he says: "Don't like any of them."

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16. Featured Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

About this book: Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell...

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17. April Showers: The Sweet Rain of Books

Hi, folks. Today I'm putting my writer hat aside and my creative hat too. I'm placing that reader hat on my head. Here I'm going to talk about something I don't chat about much.  I love to read. I read every day of my life. I mark off the days to a book I want to read is ready to be published. My live revolves around stories, true and fiction. There is nothing that waters my life more than books.

I'm not a high brow reader.  I occasionally read a book that is called literary fiction, but most of the time, I like children's books and genre fiction, most of all historical, historical romance and science fiction.  I occasionally binge on non-fiction.  I have had entire decades devoted to mysteries and thrillers.  I never like horror. I like the classics and read one or two a year. I read a few fantasies every year too. Occasionally, I just like an author and I read every thing they have ever written.

In books, I have lived thousands of lives. I faced thousands of problems. I've inhabited the lives of  so many and I am so much more this.

 I feel like I've survived the Battle of Talavera in 1800s Spain, and at the same time, the intrigues of Russian noblemen is the times of Peter. The history of the Netherlands for thousands of years boils in my blood. I've seen the pyramids built and inhabited huts with my fellow slaves. I lived in the bogs of Ireland thousands of years ago struggling against my harsh gods. The stories of ages inhabit my soul.

I've felt Mr. Darcy's pride and Elizabeth Bennet's prejudice. I've been with Jane and heard Edward's mystic cries through time and space.  I've survived bombings while working with my true love.  I've been broken to shards and found love with someone also as broken as me. I've missed huge swaths of life, frozen with fear, and found the fortitude to love again. So many stories.

I've traveled to the far reaches of the galaxy. I've fought aliens, terra-formed planets, and discovered the ruins of ancient species. I've been sold into slavery and been rescued by an intergalactic cop. Apocalyptic nuclear winters, jungle green worlds, the harsh conditions of Mars, I've lived in a myriad of unique environments, survived, thrived and sometimes died. Like the intense electromagnetic radiation of the sun, the heart of all life. Speculative stories have transformed me.

I've sat on the bones of dead children waiting for rescue from a white mouse. I've had my memories stolen from me and forged a new life. My puppy fell out of an airplane once! Oh, one of my best friends is spider and I might be some pig. I care too much and call it love.  I've opened my heart and believe that someone will come. I am stronger than I think, and I may not belong in the zoo but there is a place for me.  I like your hat, I understand the price, and know stories are light in this dark, dark, world.

Books water the soul. They expand horizons and open my eyes to the distance shores.  They encourage me to be more, to accept myself and others, and believe in happiness with good things beyond the bright light of last moments on Earth.

Pick up a book and read till your heart is content!

Next week a new series starts. Exciting news! A guest blogger will usher in the month of May with Bloom! Excellent author Alexandria La Faye will be here! If you don't know her  books already, please check her out!!! Edith Shay! Strength of saints!  Strawberry Hill!  So many fab stories. www.facebook.com/alafayeauthorwww.alafaye.com, a@alafaye.com

Here is a doodle.



Here is a quote for your pocket. 

Stop being so fruitlessly busy and dream. Use your imagination. Reach out into the unknown and dream of how you can enlarge your experience and improve your mind and your soul and your world. Mary Balogh

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18. Sarah Connor - Kommst Du mit ihr

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19. The Jungle

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20. Tonight in Brooklyn: 1st Tromanimation Film Festival

Cult indie film production company Troma Entertainment is hoping that tonight's event will be the first of many animation festivals to come.

The post Tonight in Brooklyn: 1st Tromanimation Film Festival appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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21. Awake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Gracia Lam

Awake Beautiful Child by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Gracia Lam

| Storytime Standouts

Awake Beautiful Child written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal illustrated by Garcia Lam

Awake Beautiful Child written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Gracia Lam
Alphabet picture book published by McSweeny’s

In this fascinating picture book, Amy Krouse Rosenthal uses only words that begin with A, B or C to tell her story. The day begins as a young boy awakens and enjoys Apples, Bananas and Cantaloupe for breakfast before heading outside and finding Ants, Butterflies and Caterpillars. He later celebrates at a birthday party, explores a city and appreciates an artist. Older children will enjoy scouring debut picture book illustrator Gracia Lam’s detailed digital illustrations for an apron, bowling pins, binoculars, a castle, a cape, a church (and more!) that serve to broaden the appeal of the story and support the development of phonemic awareness

and alphabet recognition.Awake Beautiful Child spread

It is worth mentioning that Ms. Rosenthal and Ms. Lam do not limit the story or illustrations to the phoneme /K/, they also challenge readers to recognize the use of ‘C’ in words beginning with the /ch/ and soft ‘C’ sounds, as in church and city. the ‘A’ words that we detected use the short vowel sound.

We envision this picture book as a wonderful inspiration to young illustrators and writers. Great for classroom use, the clever take on the alphabet book genre could certainly be a jumping off point for children to create their own stories and illustrations using only two or three letters.

This is a picture book that will be enjoyed by children aged 3 and up but that has great potential for exciting older children and adults.

Awake Beautiful Child at Amazon.com

Awake Beautiful Child at Amazon.ca



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    22. Library Loot: End of April

    New Loot:
    • The Toymaker's Apprentice by Sherri L. Smith
    • Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains by Catriona McPherson
    • Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood
    • The Education of Ivy Blake by Ellen Airgood
    • The Runaway's Gold by Emilie Christie Burack
    • Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
    • The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry
    • A Lion To Guard Us by Clyde Robert Bulla
    • Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
    • Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine
    • The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby
    • Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
    • Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen
    • Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen
    • Pax by Sara Pennypacker

    Leftover Loot:

    • Peter Pan (Annotated Edition) Barrie
    • That's Not English: Britishisms, Americanisms, and What Our English Says About Us by Erin Moore
    • A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
    • Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
    • The Three Year Swim Club by Julie Checkoway
    • Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill by Sonia Purnell
    • Camille by Alexandre Dumas fils
    • I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Njood Ali
    • Until We Are Free: My Fight for Human Rights in Iran by Shirin Ebadi
    • Proof by Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones
    • Taking God At His Word by Kevin DeYoung 
                  Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries

    © 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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    23. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #481: Featuring David Litchfield

      It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means that here in 7-Imp Land I take a look at the work of an up-and-coming illustrator. Today, instead of a student, I’ve got a debut author-illustrator. David Litchfield’s new book, The Bear and the Piano (Clarion), was evidently inspired (in part) by the White Stripes’ […]

    0 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #481: Featuring David Litchfield as of 5/1/2016 2:31:00 AM
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    24. Book Review: On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

    Title: On the Edge of Gone
    Author: Corinne Duyvis
    Published: 2016
    Source: NetGalley

    Summary: On the eve of the apocalypse, Denise and her mom scramble to get to a shelter that will protect them (maybe) from the comet heading their way. Somehow, they luck onto a spaceship that plans to head for the stars. But can they keep their place?

    First Impressions: Ahh this was good. Denise felt so real.

    Later On: Like Duyvis's first book, Otherbound, this should have felt overstuffed, if we subscribe to publishing's prevailing mindset about intersectionality. A black autistic main character? With a trans sister? And a mother suffering from mental illness and addiction? (Not to mention it all takes place in the Netherlands, with Dutch characters.) But it works, oh how it works, and the reason it works is because these are details about their characters, not the plot. This is diversity in character building done right.

    The focus is on Denise's struggle to carve out a place for herself and her family on the generation ship. Sometimes the reason it's a struggle is because of familiar autism characteristics, such as difficulties with social cues, hyper-focus on specific things, and sensory overstimulation, and how all these are ramped up by stress. However, it's also a struggle because of the shipboard bureaucracy, her mother's issues, worry over her sister, and oh yes. The world is ending. Denise's autism neither causes nor stands apart from any of that.

    And finally, at the end, Denise finds her own place. She's not given it, she's not wedged in. She does things that are a challenge for her, she succeeds because of her own talents, and she earns her spot.

    More: Waking Brain Cells
    Disability in Kidlit

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    25. Sadie to be adapted

    This Is Sadie is to be staged by the New York City Children's Theatre, as announced by Quill and Quire this week. 

    This is Sadie is coming to the stage. The New York City Children’s Theater will produce a stage version of Sara O’Leary’s story of a little girl with a big imagination, set to premiere in 2018. The book has garnered universal praise for the gorgeous illustrations by Julie Morstad, its lovely text, and spirited protagonist.
    It's thrilling news, particularly as NYCCT has such an excellent mandate. 
    Our mission is to promote children’s literacy and social development through professional theater productions and arts-in-education programs. We reach children and their communities with a wide range of programming, including full-scale productions, small touring shows, interactive workshops and in-school residencies, and engage with them in traditional theater spaces, school auditoriums, classrooms and cultural venues in their neighborhoods.
    There have been lots of lovely surprises since This Is Sadie was published last spring, but this may be one of my favourites so far.  Really looking forward to seeing the production.

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