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1. Grammar Checklist

This handy checklist will help you eliminate grammatical mistakes in your manuscript.


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2. LAST SEEN LEAVING by Caleb Roehrig \\ The YA Version of Gone Girl?

Review by Sara... LAST SEEN LEAVING By Caleb Roehrig Series: No Hardcover: 336 pages Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (October 4, 2016) Language: English Goodreads | Amazon Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories

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3. going deeper

There is, in fact, no master plan, but this is what is happening: I'm growing.

No, I'm not referring to the physiological impact of the morning oatmeal cookie (butterscotch!). I'm referring to my spheres of interest, the books I'm reading, the ways I'm paying attention to the news, the bravado I displayed when I buckled down to learn how to throw a clay pot on a wheel (to learn, not to master; hardly master), the expanding repertoire in the kitchen. Hisham Matar's The Return has taught me some of the history, geography, and politics of Libya (and disappeared dissidents). Rebecca Mead has taught me Middlemarch and George Eliot. Katie Roiphe has taught me John Updike, Maurice Sendak, Dylan Thomas, and James Salter (among others). Scott Anderson, with his glorious New York Times Magazine essay, has taught me the antecedents of contemporary Middle East. Viet Thanh Nguyen is teaching me, with his Pulitzer winning The Sympathizer, the Vietnamese experience of war.

The world is complex. The news requires perspective. Life is once. I'm going deeper.

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4. 10 Reasons to Celebrate Bilingual Books

Last year, we gave our 10 favorite reasons to read diversely. One reason being that we live in a diverse world, so why not the books that we read? Books help us see the world through someone else’s eyes, and in the case of bilingual books, through another language.

Here are our ten favorite reasons to read bilingual books!

Bilingual books…

  1. Teach us how to read in two languages.
  2. Celebrate the 22% of students who speak a language other than English at home.
  3. Develop strong critical thinking skills
  4. Keep our brains young, healthy, and sharp.
  5. Expose us to new ways of communicating.
  6. Make reading an inclusive activity for all students.
  7. Highlight the achievement of knowing more than one language.
  8. Encourage interest in other cultures and languages.
  9. Expand our vocabulary and lexicon.
  10. Bring readers together.

Lee and Low Bilingual Books Poster

Tell us why you read bilingual books!

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5. Para minha mãe

Minha mãe é uma menina 
de tranças loiras
olhos verdes
sorriso doce
coração carioca
onde não falta espaço
e sobra tempo
pra no silêncio do gesto
falar ao dia:
eu te amo!

Feliz aniversário, minha mãe,

Eliana Quintella de Linhares.

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6. GOLD.fish

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7. The importance of smell

The captivating scent of cakes and the compelling aroma of freshly brewed coffee attract you to a bakery in the morning. A male moth is flittering around, frenetically following the scent plume released by her female. What do these two phenomena have in common? Much more than we suspect, when we look at the molecular level. Imagine if we had a very powerful microscope enabling us to detect details

The post The importance of smell appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. Thank You, JK: A DreamWorks Artist Remembers The Studio That Katzenberg Created

Yesterday was Jeffrey Katzenberg's last day as head of DreamWorks Animation. What he created will never exist again.

The post Thank You, JK: A DreamWorks Artist Remembers The Studio That Katzenberg Created appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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Welcome to another session of Turning Pages!According to the PEW Research peeps, about 70% of people consider themselves religious in some fashion, whether through traditional Jewish, Muslim or Christian denominations or other neopagan practices... Read the rest of this post

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10. How to set up a blog in no time

How to set up a blog in no time WordPress Plugin इंटरनेट की महत्ता देखते हुए यही लगता है कि Blog आज के समय  की जरुरत बन चुकी है. हम बहुत काम ब्लॉग के माध्यम से भी कर सकते हैं … जैसाकि अपनी कला को दिखाना,  अपना बिजनेस प्रोमोट करना आदि बहुत से काम ब्लॉग […]

The post How to set up a blog in no time appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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11. सोशल नेटवर्किंग और हमारे सोचने का तरीका

 Click n listen hindi  audio of 2 min & 8 Sec about  “Social Networking Sites and our thinking”. सोशल नेटवर्किंग और हमारे सोचने का तरीका Click n listen hindi  audio of 2 min & 8 Sec about  “Social Networking Sites and our thinking”. सोशल नेटवर्किंग और हमारे सोचने का तरीका मनोरंजक, प्रेरक ऑडियो, एक जागरुक […]

The post सोशल नेटवर्किंग और हमारे सोचने का तरीका appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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12. The Underground Abductor

The Underground Abductor. (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #5) Nathan Hale. 2015. Abrams. 128 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: It is time to hang this spy! Are you sure? Can't we get one more story out of him first?

Premise/plot: Nathan Hale sets out to prove that America isn't perfectly perfect, and, that America has in fact "taken part in some truly horrible, despicable, abominable, atrocious, downright evil acts." He speaks, of course, of slavery. And in this graphic novel, he tells the story of Harriet Tubman (aka Araminta Ross). It's an intense story without a doubt. He speaks of her growing up in slavery, the abuses she faced, the challenges she overcame, her marrying a free man, her decision to run away, her decision to run back into slavery. For it became her mission to travel back and forth between North and South saving slaves--escorting slaves to safety, to Canada, in fact. All via the "underground railroad" of abolitionists. Some of this information I was familiar with, but, some was new to me. For example, I was not aware of her head injury perhaps leading to her narcolepsy. I had no idea of her visions either!

My thoughts: I am so glad I discovered this series. I really have enjoyed reading these books practically back to back. I would definitely recommend all of the books in the series. I hope it is a very LONG series.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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13. Back through the Prickle Hedge

As an ex-bookseller, one of the things I miss is helping to reconnect people with “long lost” books. I still get the occasional request for help, and always enjoy the buzz of pointing someone in the direction of a book that has eluded them for years. This request from a couple of years ago was a little different;

When I was little my Mother used to read me a poem called "Through the Prickle Hedge" I found out after much searching that it was written by a lady called, Marion St. John Webb and that you are listed as someone who stocks her books so my question is this "How can I find the words to this poem" as I have forgotten all but the first line.

The Littlest One Marion St John Adcock Webb
Luckily, I recognised the poem and had the very book in stock. It’s from The Littlest-One by Marion St. John Adcock (Webb). It took but a minute to photocopy the words and send them by return mail. I wrote a blog post about it (here) and quickly received more requests for copies of the words. I was happy to oblige and continued copying and sharing until…disaster struck…the book sold. 

In hindsight, I should have shared the entire poem on my blog while I had the chance, but hindsight is a wonderful thing. Having found the book again, I can now do what I should have done then. I don’t sell books any more, but that doesn't mean I can’t share some of those in my collection. I hope you enjoy these words as much as I do. Some of the spelling might seem a little odd, but it is exactly as it appears in the book. 

Through the prickle hedge by Marion St. John Adcock (Webb)

While all the grown-up people sat an’ talked upon the lawn, we scrambled through the prickle hedge – and one of us got torn. 

And out into the lane we went, an’ passed the willow tree, Aunt Matilda’s child’en, Mr Peter Dog, an’ me.

Sue, Barbara and Tony Flitney with Peggy the dog
Me (the Littlest One), my sister Sue, brother Tony and Peggy our dog. 

We’d played about the garden all the kind of games we could, and so we went along the lane an’ down into the wood. But jus’ as we had got inside an’ one of us looked round – a little girl we didn't know had followed us, we found. 

Her hair was black an’ straggly, an’ her dress was old and worn, and she on’y had one stocking on, and that was very torn. 
And who she was, and where she came from, none of us could tell; and when we stopped and stared at her, she stopped and stared as well.

And one of Aunt Matilda's child'en shouted "Hullo, Kid" but she never answered anything, but stood and stared, she did. 
And Aunt Matilda's child'en said "perhaps she is a witch. Let's make a fire and burn her, like they used to, in this ditch!"

And they laughed and started picking sticks, an' threw them in a pile, and kept on singing, "Burn old Witch!" an' shouting all the while. I whispered, "Not a really fire? Of course it's on'y play?" But they shouted, "Yes, a really fire! Don't let her run away".

Sue and Barbara Flitney
My sister is the tall girl in the centre. I'm on her left-hand side (right of the photo as you look at it). Sadly, I can’t recall the names of our two playmates. 

Then she pulled a nugly face at us, and said "You'd better 'ad. My mother is a Gypsy, and she'd be most awful mad. And if I call, she'll her me - she lives inside this wood."  

Aunt Matilda's child'en whispered "let us run away. We mustn't talk to Gipsies they'll steal you if you stay." But the little girl was watchin', and she said "Oh no, you won't or else I'll call, now what you going to give me if I don't?"

And all of us were quiet again. Then some thing made a squeak so we gave her someone's brooch. An' then we heard the bushes creak and so she took a coat, a hat, an' Mr Peter's collar. "And now," she said, "You mustn't tell you promise - or I'll ollar." Then Aunt Matilda's child'en cried "It isn't fair a bit!" And snatched their things away an' said "Come on, let's run for it."

An' all of us began to run as quickly as we could. And as we ran she started shouting, shouting through the wood. And some of us fell over - scrambled up, and on again. And the wood was full of creaking's - but at last we found the lane. On'y some of us were crying', and we kept on looking round; But the Gypsies didn't follow, and we couldn't hear a sound.

Back through the prickle hedge
Me with my Grandad and Aunt Gladys. Could that be the Prickle Hedge?

Till nearly home - we heard the grown-ups talking on the lawn, so we scrambled through the prickle hedge - and two of us got torn. And out into the garden jus' as quickly as could be, Aunt Matilda's child'en, Mr. Peter Dog, an' me. 

Disclaimer!  The photographs in this post are from my own childhood. I have no connection to Marion St John Adcock (Webb). The photographs are simply for decoration. I’m happy to say my sister, brother and I were not involved in any of the incidents in the poem, although we often got ‘torn’ while climbing through hedges. Furthermore, burning of witches is not something we recommend!  Have a fun week...

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14. #picturesmeanbusiness: publishing perspectives

Big thanks to Alastair Horne for running this #PicturesMeanBusiness interview on Publishing Perspectives:

You can follow Alastair on Twitter at @pressfuturist, and @pubperspectives. Big thanks to Declan Shalvey, over in the USA, who's been doing similar work for the #ArtCred campaign. If you're at New York Comic Con, be sure to support the talk he's giving. (@declanshalvey on Twitter.)

You can read more about the #PicturesMeanBusiness campaign at picturesmeanbusiness.com.

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15. The Five Building Blocks You Need to Make Great Art

Manelle Oliphant Illustration - illustration@manelleoliphant.com

Periodic Table of The Elements

What’s that called? That image up there… yes, I know this is a blog for artists but humor me.

It’s the periodic table, right? Right. To be even more precise it’s the Periodic Table of the Elements.

What are elements? Elements are things that help you build other things. The elements on the periodic table build pretty much everything. We can’t break them down smaller, and when you put them together, they make new things. For example, when the elements of hydrogen and oxygen combine they make water.

Ok, I’m done talking about science, but there is a point. Just like elements make the world around us, We also use elements to make pictures. They are the Elements of design.

The Elements of Design Are:

Line, Shape, Value, Texture, and Color.

Take a moment to think about any art you’ve ever seen. If you can think of a piece that doesn’t use one or more of these elements, I would think you were crazy. Because as far as I know, it’s not possible to make art without the Elements of Design.

Let’s talk about them now.


Leonardo Da Vinci used line to create this sketch.

Leonardo Da Vinci used line to create this sketch.

I’m pretty sure you know what a line is. We use them all the time. Lots of times we use lines to make shapes. Lines can be hesitant, beautiful, bold, straight, curved, sketchy, and much more. Read more about line by clicking here.


As I said, lines can make shapes, but you can make them in other ways. Take a paint brush and blob it on your paper. You’ve just made a shape. Lots of times we think the shapes with names, triangle, circle, square, oval, etc. But there are also shapes that don’t have names. These shapes are part of the elements of design too.

The way you choose to design your shapes can have a huge impact on how your art looks. Let’s face it; some shapes are just more interesting than others.


Value is how light or dark something is. Think of a black and white movie or a grayscale image. The reason you can still tell what is going on is because of the values. Values tell us a lot of stuff, where the light is coming from, where forms change direction, if it’s a sunny or overcast day, and lots of other things.

When I see paintings that aren’t working, it’s usually because there is a problem with the values. I’ve written some other articles about value. Read this oneor this one. 


Monet used Heavy Brush Strokes created paintings with Real Texture.

Monet used Heavy Brush Strokes created paintings with Real Texture.

Texture is how something feels, rough, smooth, furry, slimy, etc. and texture can be real, or implied.

Real texture is really there. Like the texture of the paper, or the ridges and bumps created from brush strokes.

Implied texture is texture you only show in your picture.  For example, if you paint a tree trunk, and it looks rough but actually isn’t if you touch it, that is implied texture.

You can learn more about texture in this article on chrisoatley.com 


Red, Yellow, Blue, etc. Right? Right… The thing is it doesn’t just stop there. Every color has a value, temperature, and saturation.

I’ve created a worksheet to walk you through the different aspects of color and show you ways to use them. You can download it free when you sign up for my mailing list.  Click here to sign up and Get The Color Worksheet.

The Elements as building blocks

By now you I hope you see how the Elements of Design make up the pictures, sculptures, and other art we see. If you want to work more with them, I’ve created a downloadable worksheet so you can get to know them a little better. You know, make friends and stuff. I hope you enjoy it.

Download Elements of Design Worksheet (0)

The post The Five Building Blocks You Need to Make Great Art appeared first on Manelle Oliphant Illustration.

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16. Use Guided Reading Levels to Find the Perfect Books on the First Book Marketplace

Book Relief high school girl readingUse Guided Reading Levels to find the perfect books for every child you serve. Thanks to the feedback from our community of educators, First Book Marketplace users can now utilize our Advanced Search tool to find books with Guided Reading Levels (GRLs). GRLs are great for both students and educators.

Here’s why: 
GRLs help educators:

  • Assess the fluency and reading level of each child
  • Track student progress over time
  • Organize school and classroom libraries so that educators and kids can access the best-fit books for every child

GRLs help students:

  • Find books at their level of confidence
  • Develop the skills they need to read increasingly challenging books
  • Discover books they will love to read again and again

Watch the short video tutorial below to learn more about how to the First Book Marketplace’s Advanced Search to find books by GRL:

If you’re an educator serving kids in need, click here to register to receive brand-new books for the children you serve for free or low cost.

The post Use Guided Reading Levels to Find the Perfect Books on the First Book Marketplace appeared first on First Book Blog.

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17. Of Productivity Commissions And Parallel Import Laws

On National Bookshop Day, I went to my local bookshop and bought yet another cookbook! I wished the staff a happy National Bookshop Day and they gave me this.

If you haven't seen it, it's a collection of articles by our best known writers on the subject of something that is going on now, an attempt to destroy our local publishing industry.  Don't believe me? 

Here's a quote by Richard Flanagan, author of Booker-winning novel Narrow Road To The Deep North, from the Productivity Commission's report.

Okay, a bit blurry, but what it says is that the local publishing industry is wasting all those people who could be better employed in other industries, and is thus doing horrible things to the economy. Huh? It's successful, it's employing lots of people(25,000 at this stage) who are paying taxes, unlike some billionaires, buying things, building homes, thus employing more people, and this is wrong? I don't get it. 

When you think of all those manufacturing industries moved offshore because this government and the ones before it let them go, what do they have against an industry they don't subsidise and don't support, which is still doing nicely, here and overseas? Because they don't subsidise it, apart from a few grants via the Australia Council and even those have been slashed by the current government. 

"Productivity" basically means "do more with less." In this case, it's "do nothing. Overseas books are better and we can get the readers onside by telling them they will get cheaper books." 

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, here it is. We currently have a law in place that prevents us from having huge piles of overseas books dumped on us. The deal is that the publisher has to make the books available in an Australian edition within fourteen days of overseas release. Otherwise, the booksellers could buy huge lots of cheap editions from the US or Britain - cheaper for them, anyway - and some of those books are by our local authors, who would get paid less in royalties  for the overseas editions of their own books.  That's while these still exist; overseas publishers don't want to take our books till they've proved  themselves here. 

I remember, early in my writing career, when a friend went to the UK to see overseas publishers, who just weren't interested in anything from the colonies. Looks like that time might come back.

When they did this to the music industry here some years ago, it wreaked havoc. Our musicians have never recovered. 

There is territorial copyright at present. Most countries have it. Check that paperback book in your bag and you'll see a statement about it. Once that's gone, it's gone. The end of territorial copyright all but wiped out the publishing industries of countries, such as New Zealand, which surrendered it. 

Books over there, by the way, have gone up in price, not down. 

And for what? Even if you do resent paying more for your own stories, you can always buy online. 

But this isn't all. They want to scrap the current copyright system, for something they call "fair use". Fair to whom? "Fair use" in this country means that you can photocopy 10% or one chapter of a book, whichever is more, to use in study. The new U.S. version of "fair use" means something else altogether. 

If this happens, the current copyright term of seventy years after the author's death would be reduced to fifteen or twenty years after publication. After that? If you've visited this blog before, you'll know how I feel about piracy. But it would no longer be piracy, it would be legal. 

For those writers who make their living from this, royalties are their pension, their superannuation, and something to leave to their families. Now? The politicians are sneering at the very idea. How DARE these writers want to leave an income to their children! 

What if someone walked into Mr Turnbull's mansion and ordered him to vacate it because he'd had his fifteen years in it, time to give it away to anyone who wanted it? Hey, why not divide it into flats for young families? How would he react to that? 

What if you walked into a furniture workshop and told the carpenter that they shouldn't expect to keep the work of their hands and certainly not expect to leave the business to their children? The furniture should be given away to anyone who walked in? 

Just because writing is made up of ideas you can't touch or hold doesn't mean it should be free to anyone who wants to steal it. 

And so I'm asking you, if you read this, if you care about Australian stories, to do something. 

If you live here, write to your Federal MP. Write to your State Senator. Tell them how you feel and hint, if you feel strongly enough about it, that you're thinking carefully about your next vote. 

Here is a link to help you.

While you're there, sign the petition if you haven't done so already. 

If you don't live here but still care, and want stories from Down Under in your life, publicise the issue. Feel free to embarrass our politicians. Tweet this post or look in Twitter under #saveozstories and retweet. 

And - can you comment below to let me know if you've done any of the above? I get many hits on my posts, but rarely a comment and I never know whether they've had an effect. 

Thank you! 

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18. Coming soon...

They say some people match their dogs.
I wish I had a dog so I could know what I look like.
I so often enjoy looking behind the camera at the world.
For an upcoming project, I was asked to make a kid portrait of myself. 
A selfie? A sketchie? A skelphie?

I approached it the same way I approach a new character. 
Sketch a zillion bundle of possibles,
then hone in on who that character is.
So.. who am I?

What do I look like anyway?
What do I feel like?
What would I look like if I combined me now
with some of my favorite things from childhood?
Books. Overalls. Sunshine. Rain.
Puddle boots.
This is the girl I settled on. Bookish. Hopeful. Happy.
Not afraid to get messy.

Here's to finding your happy self this week, my friends.

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19. My tweets

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20. Book Review: Not Dark Yet, by Berit Ellingsen

Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen
Two Dollar Radio
ISBN: 978-1937412354
Fiction, 202 pages

I don't review a lot of books, but when I do it's because I really want to--I want to share something important and real that I think other writers and readers will enjoy and benefit from. That's why I'm  taking a look today at Not Dark Yet by author Berit Ellingsen, a writer who has enriched my world and inspired me to keep writing, keep striving, keep going, and always take the time to read a good book.

I first heard about Berit via Twitter, the best source I know for discovering books and authors I wouldn't usually have the chance to learn about. Thanks to so many bookstores disappearing from my neighborhood (three more have just gone bankrupt this past month), social media has become my primary source for literary browsing, and when I read a post about Berit and her collection of short stories: Beneath the Liquid Skin, I had to order the book, prontoNothing in my extensive reading life had prepared me for the power and originality of those stories, so naturally I couldn't wait to read her novel, Not Dark Yet. I don't think anything else I've read before or after can compare with either of these books.

Berit lives in Norway, and her work reflects a beautiful sense of place, an isolated starkness that is in direct contrast with much of my own experience. Even desert-y Albuquerque doesn't have the sharp, cold lunar feeling I get from her descriptions. Coupled with this strong geographic presence is a staggering sense of precision to every word she writes, an exactness that has me re-reading many of her sentences for the sheer pleasure of it. In many ways I consider her a "writer's writer" and after I finished reading Not Dark Yet I sat down with my journal to examine what it was that made me love this book so much. Here goes:
  • Setting. An unspecified future; a mysterious Nordic city; a world without clear boundaries, countries, or cultures: the world of Not Dark Yet is a mystery. Yet despite the deliberate masking of time and place, I don't think I read a a single description that left me wondering where I was, or what the characters were experiencing. As I read, I felt every needle of rain, every clod of mud, every veil of mist--and I was actually sorry that I couldn't live there--and this was a depiction of a world in chaos and dangerous change! I mean, what kind of skill makes an awful world attractive?
  • Characters. Main character Brandon Minamoto isn't your everyday protagonist (thank goodness). A complex near-loner with a troubled military history, Brandon is torn between the need to form relationships and the need to be true to himself. I sympathized with his plight every step of the way and was heartbroken when I had to say good-bye on the last page.
  • Plot. I hate plot-spoilers of any kind so I won't drop even a single hint, but I was hooked right from the beginning. I HAD to know: WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO BRANDON?? You'll have to read the book to find out, but his story arc kept me glued to my seat.
  • Writing Style. Oh, wow. There is a zen-like simplicity and clarity to Berit's voice and style that I admire immensely. Seemingly matter-of-fact and terse on the surface, each sentence builds toward the next, roiling on your sub-conscious like some menacing monolithic disaster threatening to change everything you know or believe is true. It's rare to come across so much power in a deceptively plain-spoken sentence, and I found myself constantly wondering how she managed to control it.
  • Subject Matter. I hesitate to call Not Dark Yet science fiction, but I can't think of another category that would fit as well. Sci-fi isn't usually my first choice when choosing a book, but when it goes in the direction of also being character-driven literary fiction, I'm a fan. Not Dark Yet is an excellent example of how to blend (and bend) genre distinctions to good advantage, and one I wish more books would emulate.
  • Metaphor. I've always been impressed with Berit's use of metaphor and symbolism. Whether the focus is on food, the weather, or just getting dressed for a holiday--each scene, story event, or snippet of back story is rich with added-value meaning and subtext.
  • Discussion Points. Which brings me to my favorite thing about this book: I could talk about it all day. It's a book that makes me think. Good literature should lead to great (and memorable) conversation, and I can't imagine anyone not having an opinion or strong feelings about what happens to Brandon and the rest of the cast. In other words, it's the perfect book club book--especially if club members enjoy digging deep and aren't afraid to not always agree on social issues, character motivation, or "what would you do?" if placed in Brandon's shoes. Strong stuff.
So with all that said, I think I have to read the book again. Not Dark Yet is quirky, original, and packed with secrets--the kind you can't wait to unravel and sit with for a long while after. I found the book extremely compelling and one that has stirred my curiosity and desire to learn more, write more, and even try my hand at some fan-art. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy an authentic book of ideas and a serious voyage of self-discovery. Five stars from me--six if I could!

Tip of the Day: Be sure to check out Berit Ellingsen and her wonderful books. After all, to a writer it's love and reading that makes the world go 'round!

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21. Jim Crow redux: Donald Trump and the racial fear factor

Donald Trump’s mantra, to “make America great again,” plays on the word “again,” and is presumably meant to evoke among his supporters a return to an earlier, more bountiful, time. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, it all depends on what the word “again” means. According

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22. Coloring Page Tuesday - Baby's Pet Monster

     Wow. You guys went crazy over last week's image of the tiger, so I decided to give you another one of my crosshatch pieces. This is baby with his favorite monster. What color will you make him?
     CLICK HERE for more coloring pages!
     CLICK HERE to sign up to receive alerts when a new coloring page is posted each week and... Please check out my books! Especially...
my debut novel, A BIRD ON WATER STREET - winner of six literary awards. Click the cover to learn more!
     When the birds return to Water Street, will anyone be left to hear them sing? A miner's strike allows green and growing things to return to the Red Hills, but that same strike may force residents to seek new homes and livelihoods elsewhere. Follow the story of Jack Hicks as he struggles to hold onto everything he loves most.
     I create my coloring pages for teachers, librarians, booksellers, and parents to enjoy for free with their children, but you can also purchase rights to an image for commercial use, please contact me. If you have questions about usage, please visit my Angel Policy page.

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23. Verse of the Day

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, 
the truth, and the life: no man cometh 
unto the Father, but by me.

There's an old song by Point of Grace that I was listening to this morning in the car that has this verse in it and it's been on my mind all morning. Here's the link if your interested in listening to it also! 

Jesus is the way. No matter what your facing, He is able...

There's freedom in that....

Summer is officially over for us but here's a few fun photos that I took.

This was absolutely the best bundt cake I've ever had. It was from Nothing Bundt Cake. It was really rich and very moist. Super delicious!

We ate tons of Mexican food this summer while visiting the southwest.

I'm really trying to get back into a routine with the new school year started and lazy summer days over but it's a challenge. I find myself searching for anything related to "organization" on Pinterest these days. How about you?


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Dear Readers,

Our amazing guest, Author Kay Winters has a number of wonderful picture books with a school setting that you'll want for yourself, your classroom, and your favorite young readers, but first this very important announcement: The winner of a Franklin School Friends book by our friend, Claudia Mills is:
               ****JANA ESCHNER****  !!!!CONGRATULATIONS, JANA!!!!
(Jana, please e-mail me: claragillowclark(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address, to whom you'd like your book personalized by Claudia, and which book in the Franklin School Friend series you'd like to receive! Here's the list: Kelsey Green, Reading Queen; Annika Riz, Math Whiz; Izzy Barr, Running Star; Simon Ellis, Spelling Bee Champ; and Cody Harmon, King of Pets.)

This week's featured guest, Author Kay Winters, is also generously giving away one of her titles--Winner's Choice--in the comment contest. All you have to do is leave a comment for Kay for a chance to win. But, we also hope you'll share our BACK TO SCHOOL blog series with your friends! THANK YOU!

NOW. . .here's the lovely KAY WINTERS. . .

Back to School. . .with Author Kay Winters

It’s time! It’s time… for school to start again.
A magical time of year for most young children, and I have to confess, it always was for me as a kid and a teacher as well. As a writer, one of my favorite topics is school
I loved school! And now as an author I love school visits.

My very first book that was published was Did You See What I Saw? Poems about School. It came out in 1996 and I am pleased to say…it’s still in print. The poetry book is stuffed with mentor poems which children can eagerly adapt and write their own. For example, Behind Closed Doors takes the idea of what happens when school is out.
                  The chalk talk?
                  The floor snore?
                  The computer tutor?

Children create their own version…not only using the classroom setting but imagining what happens to objects on the playground or at home, in their bedrooms or kitchens.That poem also lends itself to being a poetry troupe, with each child saying one line and performing it. Did You See What I Saw? Poems about School was a selection in the Scholastic book club.

My next school book was My Teacher for President, illustrated by Denise Brunkus, who also illustrated the Junie B Jones book. Junie B winds up in this book as well, and to my great surprise so do I! She drew me as the President. In this book, Oliver writes to a TV station to say he has learned at school about the President’s job and his teacher would be just right. With the current hub-bub over the election, teachers and parents will be talking even more than usual about the job of the person in the oval office. Anyone who is or has been a teacher can identify with…
My teacher goes to lots of meetings…
She’s always signing important papers…
She acts quickly in an emergency
She believes in peace.
In some schools, I have visited, they had a voting booth and students selected the teacher who would be a good president. In other schools, students picked a family member or friend and wrote about their favorite candidate. My Teacher for President, was also in the Scholastic Book Club.

My third book using school as the location is The Bears go to School. A bear came to our house! There I was setting the table for Sunday dinner, when I looked out the screen door and saw a big black bear stroll across the lawn heading for the neighbor’s blueberry patch. I began to wonder … what if he went to school?

In this picture book Pete and Gabby, two bear cubs, decide to visit that red building with all those yellow busses outside. After watching the custodian raise the flag, the bears placed their paws on their hearts, as their mother had taught them to do at the park where they lived. The bears sneak inside, visit the music room, the gym and the art room. My favorite page is where they go in the science room and free the animals from their cages. In the cafeteria, they create havoc and the fire alarm is sounded. Back to their park they go, til next time. This book was selected as a Teacher’s Choice by the International Reading Association.

My fourth book about school is This School Year will be THE BEST! Illustrated by Renee Andriani.
Children sit on the rug on the first day and share what they think. . .
                                            I hope I get the best seat on the bus!
                                            I’ll look really good in my school picture.
                                            We’ll have a chocolate fountain at lunch!

Many teachers use this book at the end of the year, as well as the beginning to ask, “What would make next year THE BEST?”

I have a 5th school book under contract from Penguin. My editor called and asked if I would write another school poetry book. I was delighted! The Principal Kissed a Pig is being illustrated by Patrice Barton. The publication date is yet unknown.

School has been a rich and interesting subject matter for me as a writer. During my frequent school visits, I see that although much has changed students still love…
being read to,
choosing their own books
and responding to literature through art, drama, science and math projects.

I think we authors should be cheerleaders for reading. And I hope whether you are an author, a mother, a father, a teacher, or a student
this School Year will be THE BEST!

Kay Winters was a classroom teacher, reading specialist and college instructor, as well as a language arts consultant for the American International Schools in Egypt, Nepal, India, Jordan, Greece, Israel and Italy before changing jobs to follow her dream and write for children. She specializes in picture books and chapter books, ages 3 to 12. She has appeared on CSpan Book TV and PBS.  Her twenty-two books have won numerous awards, and she has two books under contract. She is a frequent speaker at colleges, regional and national conferences for teachers, writers and librarians and loves doing school visits.

THANK YOU, dear Readers, for stopping by. Don't forget to check out Kay's website: www.kaywinters.com  for more info about her school visits and picture book titles! Be sure to post a comment for Kay for a chance to win one of her books. The winner will be announced next week.

Our next BACK TO SCHOOL featured author is the fabulous Jamie Michalak who will be sharing with us about her humorous duo: JOE & SPARKY from her early reader series with Candlewick Press. (I love Joe & Sparky!)

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25. Filler Chapters

Question: How do you fill in time between significant events? I have seen in this website that you should not use fillers to fill in time but without them

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