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1. A Yummy THANK YOU from the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels!

Thank you for sharing TLA 2016 with us!
Thank you so much to all those who stopped by to see us at TLA! We adored sharing our TLA reception with you! Congratulations to the winner of the custom Sweethearts cake, Robbi Lenox of Cimarron Elementary in Galena Park ISD, who celebrated her birthday at TLA and was able to share the cake with some friends. Also a huge thank you to our cake illustratrator Akiko White


The cake!


Sweethearts with the cake!
(L to R: Jessica Lee Anderson, Cory Putman Oakes, Akiko White, P. J. Hoover, Jeanette Larson, Bethany Hegedus, Christina Soontornvat, Nikki Loftin, and Carmen Oliver)



Akiko White with our cake winner, Robbi Lenox!

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2. STORYWRAPS: Oh my! Open Mic Wednesday

STORYWRAPS: Oh my! Open Mic Wednesday: Open Mic Wednesday by... Me!!! Today I had a day that defied all reason.  I had a cable service man come o... Read the rest of this post

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3. हाय मोटापा -वजन कम करने के उपाय

हाय मोटापा -वजन कम करने के उपाय आमतौर पर छरहरी काया हम सभी को पसंद होती है पर यह सोच कर वजन कम करना बहुत मुश्किल है इसलिए डर के मारे वजन कम करने का सोचते ही उनके पसीने छूटने लगते हैं.. या तो जिम जाना शुरु कर देते हैं पर वहांं से भी धबरा […]

The post हाय मोटापा -वजन कम करने के उपाय appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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4. Author Interview: Donna Gephart on Lily and Duncan

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations
ajudd@penguinrandomhouse.com

From the promotional copy of Lily and Duncan by Donna Gephart (Delacorte, 2016):

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade.

Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse.

One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.

How would you describe your body of work for young readers? Are there themes you frequently revisit, and if so, what about them fascinates you?

I write for the lonely child I was when I visited the Northeast Regional Library in Philadelphia, looking for a friend inside the pages of a book. I often write on the themes of loneliness and feeling like you don't quite fit in. My books broach difficult topics, like bullying and grief, but always, always conclude on a hope-filled note.

Congratulations on the release of Lily and Duncan! What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

Thanks! I write about the genesis of both Lily's and Dunkin's story in the author's note at the back of the novel. Lily's story stemmed from an unforgettable documentary I saw about a trans girl, and Dunkin's story emerged from a promise I made to our older son, who deals with bipolar disorder.

What was the time between spark and publication, and what were the major events along the way?

I saw the documentary that inspired me to write the novel in 2012. Recently, I was looking through my mountain of notes for the project and discovered that in 2012 I had written the ending of the novel . . . and that ending remains unchanged from the version that comes out May 3. It took all the time in between to figure out how to get to that ending — lots of research and deep thinking.

Would you elaborate on your research process?

I spent years researching this novel — talking to experts, watching documentaries, reading books, articles, memoirs and novels, etc.

How did you approach balancing the characters as joint heroes of the story?

This novel is told in alternating perspectives from each of the two characters. I had such familiarity with the mental health piece of this novel that I needed to remind myself to make Dunkin's story as strong as Lily's. When a reviewer recently said Dunkin's story almost eclipses Lily's, I know I have succeeded.

In this dual narrative, each character has a unique voice and tells their story from that very personal perspective. I felt this was the best way to get readers inside the heads and hearts of each character as they navigate very difficult terrain in their eighth grade lives.

What were the other challenges (literary, logistical, emotional, etc.) in bringing the story to life?

This was a difficult story to write because of the emotional intensity of each character's journey, but it was a story I felt strongly needed to be told to help encourage empathy and understanding and end stigma.

What advice do you have for authors in approaching stories with similar elements?

It's important to research thoroughly and tell the emotional truth. And don't forget the humor. Humor has a way of shining light in the darkest of places.

Your co-protagonists are in eighth grade, and the book is marketed to ages 10+. This developmental/literary category sometimes gets lost between middle grade and YA. 

Why should we pay more attention to tween-agers and books that reflect them?

Tween-agers deal with some difficult issues before the adults in their lives are ready for them to do so. I've already had teachers and counselors from elementary and middle schools tell me that students from their schools were transitioning. I know when I was teaching writing to young people, these tween-agers were dealing with some very difficult things that most adults would never have imagined.

It's important that these books be available for those young readers who need them — which is all young readers, to increase empathy, understanding and kindness.

The more we know, the better we do.

What do you do when you're not reading or writing?

Taking long walks, jogs or bike rides in nature always renews me. I love coming across wild turkeys or peacocks strutting around. And I enjoy cooking (and eating!) creative vegan meals. One of my favorite YouTube channels is Cheap, Lazy Vegan.



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5. How To Be A Pirate

How to Be a Pirate. Sue Fliess. Illustrated by Nikki Dyson. 2014. Golden Books. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Ahoy, landlubber! Come with me. Board me ship upon the sea! Not a pirate? Don't know how? Ye can learn to be one now! Come in closer--I don't bite. A pirate ye shall be tonight!

Premise/plot: The title says it all, this book "teaches" how to be a pirate.

My thoughts: I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. I like the rhythm and the rhyme of it. It gets that part right at least!!! The plot is simple enough, and, in a way it's predictable enough. There is just something joyful and fun about this one.
Rules for pirates?
Let's just say...
ye can throw all the rules away!
No more toothpaste!
Farewell, bath!
once ye choose the pirate path.
Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out 5
Total: 8 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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6. I am Jazz -- A Community Read Aloud

1st graders explore the cover before
reading. Photo by S. Chapman
Last Thursday, my entire school took part in a school wide reading of I Am Jazz, a picture book about Jazz Jennings.  Students from the 4s to 8th grade all read the book aloud and had discussions about different things ranging from the idea of "you are who you are", to being supportive allies, to bathroom politics.  The classroom conversations were all different based on the age of the students and the amount of information they brought to the rug. The high school library curated a collection of books featuring LGBTQ youth, and pushed out information from the Human Rights Campaign.

I am reminded time and time again, that my school is a pretty special place.  Yes, 4 year olds can talk about what it means to be transgender, as can 7 year olds, 10 year olds and 17 year olds. There are different entry points to these discussions and different directions that they can take.

Our community read aloud came about because of the Human Rights Campaign surrounding the cancellation of a read aloud of the book to support a transgender student in in Mount Horeb, WI.  From the HRC website -

       “Transgender children and youth are being targeted by anti-LGBTQ lawmakers and hate groups,” ... “Now, more than ever, they need to hear from adults who support and affirm them and help others understand who they are. And that can be as simple as sitting down for story time and opening a children’s book.”

Oftentimes teachers and librarians shy away from having discussions or sharing books that may provoke a reaction from some of the community.  It is important to realize that by not sharing stories about all people, whole segments of our communities are silenced.  As has been stated again and again in the We Need Diverse Books campaign, books are windows and mirrors.  And when young readers don't ever see themselves, they often feel lost and alone.

So if you've been avoiding booktalking or reading aloud certain titles, just dive in and do it. Chances are someone in the audience will breathe a huge sigh of relief, and others will have their eyes opened.

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7.


"Once the Pink Lady faced her fears she became stronger, wiser and more yes, fashionable!" Thanks so much Kate Thacker! Facing your fears helps you to move forward with strength, courage and wisdom. It's been inside of you all along! Working on myself and my dreams. It may be a while, but know that I'm thinking of you all!! Be good!

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8. Random Blog Topics

sketching washi

Guys, I need you to help me get back in the groove. 🙂 Where did my daily blogging mojo go? How about you hit me with some topic suggestions in the comments. Doesn’t have to be kidlit or homeschooling related. Any old thing you’d like to hear me yap about. Sort of like one of those Instagram daily drawing challenges. What’ll it be?

(As I write this, I’m reminded of five or six advice-seeking emails that have been awaiting replies from me for way too long. Embarrassingly long. A lot of the questions in those emails would make good post topics, but a thoughtful response takes time, and time is what I’m short on. But some quick off-the-cuff remarks on subjects you suggest here—surely I can swing that.)

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9. My tweets

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10. Oh my! Open Mic Wednesday




Open Mic Wednesday by...





Me!!!



Today I had a day that defied all reason.  I had a cable service man come over to check out and tell me why my internet was not playing nice. 

Two hours later......  


After rewiring the cable, which had been shredded by the way, and diagnosing my modem as dead (which it was) he gave me his analysis. He showed me the evidence right under my nose then with my permission he went for it.  He rolled up his sleeves and he got on it.  I helped him thread new cable down to the basement and beyond and while we were at it we ran new cable down there for the t.v. too.  Oh my!   I was a cableman assistant for my morning!  :-)  How fun!

He replaced my modem and gave me a really cool faster one, and he connected the the PVR downstairs to the recorder upstairs .... and guess what?  ALL FOR FREE!!  Hurray it's a good day!!!

I would not let him go before I knew all the iPads in my house, and my desktop iMac was working correctly because I know how that works.  It works perfectly when the expert is here and when he's gone and it's your turn to use them....nothing works!!! He was so kind and gracious and helped me install new passwords from the modem into all my techie tools.  He was patient and explained everything to me as step-by-step we got everything up and running again.  (Notice I said "we" got it going... I was a great help I am sure!) What an amazing experience but alas ...  I have no book review today for you.  So sorry.  I left two videos for you to check out and I will review that author's work tomorrow for you.  I hope I am forgiven.  

The best news by far?  I can now post tomorrow's review faster and more efficiently (as the internet will now work) for you.  Hope you have an awesome day and be back here tomorrow for my take on the great kid's book,  "LET'S PLAY!"authored by Hervé Tullet.  See you then.







Follow me:  


*Instagram: Storywraps
*Email:  Storywrapsblog@gmail.com
*Facebook:  www.facebook.com/Storywraps
*Twitter: Storywraps@Storywraps1





I put hours of work finding the best kid's books to review for you each day.  If you enjoy visiting Storywraps and would like to donate something for my time and effort I would greatly appreciate it.

Go to the top of my blog on the right hand corner (above my photo) and please donate what you feel lead to give.  The amount you donate and the frequency you donate is totally up to you.  I thank you in advance for your support.  I love what I do and appreciate any amount that you may give so I can make our community even better.  Thanks a million! 



 
Read on and read always!


It's a wrap.

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11. Sneak Peek: Shining Sea by Mimi Cross + Giveaway (US Only)

Hi, YABCers! Today we're super excited to present a sneak peek from Mimi Cross's SHINING SEA, releasing May 24, 2016 from Skyscape. Check out information about the book below, the sneak peek, and a giveaway!     SHINING SEA by Mimi Cross Release date: May 24, 2016 Publisher: Skyscape ISBN: 978-1503935532  ...

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12. Just scribbling. #makeartthatsells #matsbootcamp2016 #lisafirke...



Just scribbling. #makeartthatsells #matsbootcamp2016 #lisafirke #medievalmotifs



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13. Tinker, Breathe, Create, Play

DSC_0966

I’ve written often about Valerie Geary around here, my critique partner I met when we both started blogging in 2009. We’ve seen each other through a number of manuscripts, a million emails about the writing life, and one glorious writing retreat that included mid-morning runs, lots of good conversation, and a bottle of wine I received when May B. sold (thanks, Helen Theriot!).

I don’t know how I’d keep chugging away without friends who understand this weird and wonderful process, who encourage me when I need it and let me do the same.

Here’s a recent exchange:

me: I’m tinkering with the new book. Very slowly. Long hand and then some typing. Two and a half hours gave me something like 200 words.

Val: Keep tinkering, friend. No rush, no urgency. Breathe, find small moments to create. These first few steps are so small and feel like they take us nowhere, but they are important to building a book. We’ll take bigger steps later on down the road. For now…play.

 

The post Tinker, Breathe, Create, Play originally appeared on Caroline Starr Rose

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14. Siggi Odds

Siggi Odds

Sigurður Oddsson, also known as Siggi Odds, is a designer and illustrator currently living in Reykjavík. Having grown up in Vancouver, Odds is highly influenced by Northwest Coast aboriginal art and its use of limited forms and colors. He is currently an art director at Jonsson & Le’Macks and has pursued numerous side projects such an interactive music composition entitled The Infinite String Quartet, collaborating on a line of quilts, designing album covers, and creating a series of posters using the phone app Doodle Buddy.

Siggi Odds

Siggi Odds

 

 

 

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Also worth viewing:

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Dock 57

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15. Hervé Tullet | MIX IT UP!

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16. My new picture book - Freesland Fresh Air: Teacupke´s Rose

    Here some pictures from my new picture book by Elena Folkerts.








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17. happy birthday, little sister!

We love each other, really, but we have odd ways of showing it.

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18. ‘Loop’ by Michal Socha

Never ending loops of people seeking to be ideal.

The post ‘Loop’ by Michal Socha appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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19. Hervé Tullet introduces Let’s Play!

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20. Giveaway: The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan (US Only)


THE TRIALS OF APOLLO: THE HIDDEN ORACLE by Rick Riordan In stores May 3rd   ABOUT THE BOOK   New series from #1New York Timesbestselling author Rick Riordan.   After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disoriented, he lands in New York City...

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21. Student-Writen Mentor Text: Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts

Before I engage students in any unit of study, I begin by surrounding students with what it is they will be studying. I place books of the genre being explored in book baskets,… Continue reading

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22. Aardman Sells Persil Laundry Detergent With A Short, ‘Monster Stains’

Aardman created the characters using household stains as color.

The post Aardman Sells Persil Laundry Detergent With A Short, ‘Monster Stains’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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23. Rabbits


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24. Featured Review: Night Speed by Chris Howard

About this book: Only those young enough can survive the pulse-pounding rush of tetra, a dangerous and addictive new drug that fuels a nine-minute burst of superhuman strength and speed. Alana West has been trained to use the drug so she can pursue the young criminals who abuse its power—criminals like...

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25. Small gang


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