I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. Share a meal, share a book, share a laugh, and share love!
Don’t eat too much, grab the Tums, go for a walk, and enjoy your life!
Peace and love to all! Happy Thanksgiving!Add a Comment
I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. Share a meal, share a book, share a laugh, and share love!
Don’t eat too much, grab the Tums, go for a walk, and enjoy your life!
Peace and love to all! Happy Thanksgiving!Add a Comment
Two more drawings from last week when I was feeling a bit fragile. (And yes, I'll be fine, which my mother wanted to know when she saw yesterday's two worried cat drawings.) I sometimes have this way of dealing with stress and melancholiness by staying up late and letting it build up to something very melodramatic... SO over-the-top theatrical that I have to draw it, and then I make myself laugh at how stupid I'm being.
That's a cat who shouldn't have drunk all those cups of coffee so late in the day. I used to be able to drink up to two pots of coffee before bed and sleep like a log. Weird, how my body won't let me do that anymore. But I could still drink two pots of tea and be fine.
Hey, some cheery news! At Thought Bubble comics festival in Leeds last weekend, the British Comic Awards were announced, and our NELSON book scooped this year's prize for Best Book! Hurrah!!! Thank you to our lovely publisher, Kenny Penman at Blank Slate, our editors Rob Davis and Woodrow Phoenix, and the 54 creators who made it happen. If you haven't read NELSON yet, do get a copy, it's a great read. (Details on the Blank Slate website.) I'm also a huge fan of the Hilda books by Luke Pearson, so get your hands on those, too.
And here are four of the NELSON creators! The four Fleece Officers briefly reunited for bubble tea. Our studio mate Ellen has moved back to New York (see her Brooklyn studio here) but she came to visit for Thought Bubble and the launch of The Strumpet, which she co-edits. Ellen, Gary and I all drew strips in NELSON and Lauren knitted a mini Nel Baker for the launch party (see her here!). Lauren's been busy with loads of fabulous projects lately, including a knitted version of Sarah Lund from The Killing and spending last week in Indonesia with Save the Children working the Craftivist Jigsaw Project. (Find out more over on her blog!)
The Fleece Station's Ellen Lindner, Lauren O'Farrell, Gary Northfield and me at Deptford's Panda Panda cafe
I was really sad not to be able to go to Thought Bubble; I definitely want to go next year. Here's the Vern that Rick Eades gave me there last time. Vern loved yesterday's sunset and scribbled lots of bad poetry and whuffled on his sousaphone while I worked on a book that doesn't include him in it. (He's slightly jealous.)
And a peek at Deptford Market, where my studio mates and I spotted Paddington Bear on our way to lunch. (Hello, Paddington!) He was lying face down in the rubble with his hat off, so I spruced him up a bit.
By Luisa LaFleur, The Children’s Book Review
Published: November 22, 2012
There have been many times when my kids have stumped me with questions about their surroundings or about how things work or about why things happen. They would ask simple questions like “why do planes fly?” or “why do you have to go to work?” that I had no idea how to answer without displaying my ignorance (about planes) or my frustration (about work). I wish that I had seen any one of the following books at those times; they would have saved me lots stress and my kids would have gotten some answers.
By Gilda and Melvin Berger
Reading level: Ages 7-10
Paperback: 48 pages
What to expect: Answers to intriguing questions; physiological concepts; age-appropriate information
Why Do Feet Smell? tackles some of the most common questions about our bodies—things that we have all experienced but don’t always know how to explain. It includes the answers to twenty questions such as: what’s a burp? where do freckles come from? what’s that stuff in your ears? and of course, why do feet smell? This handy paperback includes a glossary of reference terms and an index for finding information at a glance. Because of the simple explanations and colorful photographs this book is sure to be enjoyed by various ages–from the littlest pre-readers to more curious independent readers.
By Mercer Mayer
Reading level: Ages 0-5
Hardcover: 92 pages
Publisher: FastPencil PREMIERE
What to expect: A guide to what goes on at home, at school and at work.
In this latest installment of the beloved Little Monster series, author Mercer Mayer sets about explaining what goes on at home, at school and at work. The guide is split into three chapters and is quite comprehensive. In the home section, we encounter Little Monster and his family and get detailed explanations of what they do in each room in their home. The chapter also tells us what happens at Little Monster’s house during different seasons—in the spring, they clean; in the summer they harvest. The chapter on school sets out Little Monster’s daily routine—from waking in the morning and getting ready to arriving at school and how to behave during the day. The chapter on work illustrates different places to work—such as at the airport or in a newspaper plant—and the many varied professions that come together in those settings. The illustrations really get to the heart of the matter and provide further insight to the clever, age-appropriate language.
By David Macaulay
Reading level: 7-8
Publisher: Roaring Books Press (David Macaulay Studio)
What to expect: Illustrated explanations of how castles function and how jets fly. Age appropriate explanations.
These are the first two titles in what I hope will be a vast collection of books on how things work. David Macaulay has set about creating books on non-fiction topics in an illustrated format. Jet Plane: How it Works carefully illustrates a plane’s functions during taxi, take-off and landing as well as detailing the roles of the captain and explaining some of the mechanics. In Castle: How it Works, the reader is transported to the middle ages and sees how the castle walls repel enemies and protect inhabitants. The book details daily life within the castle as well as the architecture and function of the structure.
By Dan Green
Reading level: 10 and up
Paperback: 128 pages
What to expect: Age appropriate explanations of technological devices and how they function in our daily lives.
The Basher Science series aims to provide in-depth knowledge of scientific concepts through age appropriate language and character-driven illustrations. In Technology: A Byte-Size World! author Dan Green provides a handbook that outlines the progression from the wheel and axle to solar and nuclear power and most everything in-between. There are entries on the digital camera, the microchip, explosives and satellites, to name just a few.
Created by Simon Basher
Reading level: 7-10
Paperback: 20 pages
What to expect: Sticker book that illustrates the solar system, ocean life, rocks and minerals, the weather and other complex scientific concepts.
The Basher Science Sticker Book: Science that Sticks! provides younger readers with a visual description of planets and other celestial bodies in the solar system; the different geological formations found on planet Earth; and different meteorological phenomena; among other topics. The sticker book can be used alone or as a companion to the other books in the Basher Science series.
By Jerome Pohlen
Reading level: 9 and up
Paperback: 126 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
What to expect: A chronicle of the life of Albert Einstein; scientific experiments and explanations.
In Albert Einstein and Relativity for Kids, we are introduced to Albert Einstein and given an inside glimpse of his life and the scientific experiments that led to his ground-breaking discoveries. The book includes 21 activities and thought experiments that allow young readers to explore Einstein’s ideas and test his conclusions. The book provides insight and knowledge for the curious young scientist. Makes a great starting point for further discussion and exploration.
Original article: Kids and Questions: Books for Explaining How Things Work
©2012 The Childrens Book Review. All Rights Reserved.Add a Comment
Last week, Lily Hyde wrote beautifully here about the Mayakovsky Museum in Moscow, which led her swiftly to a discussion of the infinite diversions offered by the internet.
Of course the internet is fabulously valuable for writers. If you want to write a novel about the Fourth Crusade, you can discover apt details about weaponry and costumes within moments. If you want to send your character to Tasmania, there's no need to fork out for a plane ticket; you can just spend a few minutes on Youtube and you'll pick up enough local information to fill a chapter.
Then there are emails to answer, blogs to write, facebook pages to update, newspapers to read, movies to watch - not to mention the constant stream of observations and witticisms demanded by twitter.
But there is an alternative.
It's called Freedom. It costs 10 dollars, but you can download it and use it for free for 90 days.
Freedom is a little program which does one simple thing: it turns off your internet.
You give it a time. Twenty minutes, perhaps, if you want to do a short burst of concentrated writing and then look up the weather forecast. Or eight hours if you're determined to cut yourself off for the entire day.
Then you're divorced from the internet.
It's just you and your computer.
Perhaps you use Freedom already. Many writers do. I saw it thanked in the acknowledgements of Zadie Smith's new novel, for instance.
Or perhaps you don't need it.
Perhaps you write in a hut on a mountantop.
Perhaps you write with a typewriter. Or a pen and paper.
Perhaps you have willpower of steel and never feel a twinge of distractability.
But if you're feeling a terrible addiction to the internet - if you're reading this, for instance, when you should be writing - then I can recommend Freedom.
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If you're looking for an awesome gift for your son, make sure and enter this great giveaway!
Because this is as close as I can get to having Runner tattooed across my face.
I love this design because it pretty much sums it all up. Succinct. To the point. For once, the runner/writer who is forever using TOO many words is able to embrace brevity.
Runner is splashed across our personality in more ways that we probably even realize.
If you are a runner you know it. You don’t need it tattooed on your face because it shines through without it. But let’s admit, it’s still a pretty cool idea…so wear the shirt and save yourself the painful needle time.
This is the NEWEST addition to my personally designed running shirt line! And perfect time for the holidays, no? Screened on white, American Apparel 50/50 tech tee. Check out all of the designs and get yours today…then go get your run on!
1) If you could get one word tattooed across your face what would it be?
2) What is one way runner is splashed into your personality?Add a Comment
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Today I'm very thankful for all of you. It's because of all of you that my blog is still up and running today. As a little something special for you, I've saved one of my very favorite companies for today's gift idea.
Gift Idea - Mikarose
Mikarose is a clothing company that's aim is to bring modest yet fashionable clothing to women across the country. They concentrate on dress wear, but also have some really cute shirts and skirts.
always have a really hard time finding dresses that actually go to my knees. And usually if I find one that does, it's oh so low in other areas. Then I discovered Mikarose. The dresses looked cute and like they would keep me covered up, but I was worried about the length and the fit.
I shouldn't have worried! I went with the olive green Avery dress, and I was very impressed.
Details: The Avery is a great basic dress that every woman should own. The collar adds business appeal, and the short sleeve allows a relaxed feel. The belt flatters your waist line and the silver buckle matches the buttons. This dress is complete with 2 useful pockets in the front. Show off your strong feminine side in the Avery. Belt shown in picture is included.
GOOD NEWS: Ame Dyckman’s BOY + BOT is a FINALIST in the Best Picture Book category for the 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards!
One day, a boy and a robot meet in the woods. They play. They have fun.
But when Bot gets switched off, Boy thinks he’s sick. The usual remedies—applesauce, reading a story—don’t help, so Boy tucks the sick Bot in, then falls asleep.
Bot is worried when he powers on and finds his friend powered off. He takes Boy home with him and tries all his remedies: oil, reading an instruction manual. Nothing revives the malfunctioning Boy! Can the Inventor help fix him?
You helped Ame make the finals, let’s help her WIN! It’s so good, it even inspired a teacher to make a Bot Hat for Ame’s school visit.
Final round voting is now open, and runs through Tuesday, November 27th.
Here is the link to use to vote for Ame. Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy!
Thank a family member, friend, or colleague for a small kindness they've extended to you. While a text message or an e-mail is nice, a handwritten note or live conversation (i.e., in person, via Skype/Facetime, or on the telephone) is even better.Add a Comment
I don’t write, illustrate, publish, or edit picture books. I don’t work in a bookshop or belong to a school library marketing team. So what do I do then? I read. I read. I READ.
I read thousands of picture books every year. I’m always searching for the next best picture book. When I find *that* picture book, I feel compelled to promote it during my annual road trip, purchase copies for strangers, blog and tweet about it, feature it on a #kidlit sticker, and encourage every child who enters my school library to add it to their to-read list.
Mr. Colby Sharp attended children’s literature expert Anita Silvey’s session during the NCTE Annual Convention. He tweeted:
Anita Silvey succinctly sums up how I feel about children’s books. (If you’re not familiar with Anita’s work, you MUST follow her Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac.) Most of you reading this blog post are hard at work creating one of the most remarkable things on the face of the earth. Your picture book could change the way a child looks at the world, turn a dormant reader into an avid reader, and even win the coveted Caldecott Medal.
I am thankful my second through fifth graders (150 students) have checked out over 5,000 picture books during Picture Book Month. Treasures that have not circulated in over two years are taking a much-deserved trip in a child’s backpack. I get goose bumps whenever I spot a fifth grader checking out a book he loved in first grade. He usually hugs it and says, “I love this book.” I always pretend the book smiles and whispers, “Hey, I love you, too.”
I wish I found a magic wand in my mailbox with the following note attached to it:
Dear Mr. Schu,
Thank you for supporting and believing in picture books. This colorful wand allows you to send five 2012 picture books to everyone hard at work writing and illustrating picture books. I know you will select books that will inspire individuals to “create the most remarkable thing on the face of the earth.”
Thanks for all you do for picture books.
BOY + BOT. Written by Ame Dyckman. Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. Random House, 2012.
HELLO! HELLO! Written and illustrated by Matthew Cordell. Hyperion, 2012.
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS! Written and illustrated by Jeff Mack. Chronicle Books, 2012.
Z IS FOR MOOSE. Written by Kelly Bingham. Illustrated Paul O. Zelinsky. HarperCollins, 2012.
THE THREE NINJA PIGS. Written by Corey Rosen Schwartz. Illustrated by Dan Santat. Putnam Books, 2012.
I cannot wait to share your picture book with my students.
Happy reading, writing, and Thanksgiving!
John Schumacher (aka Mr. Schu) is a teacher-librarian at Brook Forest Elementary School in Oak Brook, Illinois. John graduated from St. Xavier University with a Masters in Teaching and Leadership and from Dominican University with a Masters in Library and Information Science. He has taught English in Seoul, South Korea, and is in his ninth year at Brook Forest. John serves on AASL’s Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, the Monarch Readers’ Choice Selection Committee, and the 2014 Newbery Committee. He was a judge for School Library Journal‘s 2011 Trailee Awards and recently became a FableVision Ambassador. In his spare time (ummm…what’s that?) he reads, travels, and blogs at Watch. Connect. Read. John is a 2011 Library Journal Mover and Shaker.
Mr. Schu is giving away not ONE, but TWO books: HELLO! HELLO! and Z IS FOR MOOSE! Two winners will be selected in one week. Just leave a comment to enter (one entry per person). Good luck!
Well, I'm back in town after visiting family in Prescott, AZ. We had a great time and kept very busy. We started out in Tucson visiting the Pima Air & Space Museum, then drove down to Sahuarita and took a very thorough five hour tour of a decommissioned missile silo complex at the Titan Missile Museum:
|Double Trouble cranberry bog|
By Jennifer H. Kertis (Flickr) [CC-BY-SA-2.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
|Richard Tevor, 8 years old. 5 years picking cranberries. Theodore Budd's Bog at Turkeytown, N.J. |
This is the fourth week of school in Philadelphia and the people will stay here two weeks more.
By Lewis Hine (1874-1940)U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
For a low-consuming environmentalist, I’m surprisingly obsessed with good design. Since buying my apartment, AKA the one space I can have some control over, I’ve become doubly so.
My apartment is sparsely decorated and I don’t buy anything that I don’t need, that isn’t relatively environmentally friendly, or that I don’t think will stand the test of time. But then, most good interior design is about simple elements used well and streamlining.
I follow Megan Morton’s exploits online and now, having received her book in the post, in print. Morton is something of a rock star in Australian interior design worlds—she’s eminently talented and impossibly nice. The two combine to see her work sought after and we fans hang on her every design and word. She’s generous in giving away good design advice as well, and Home Love is no exception. It contains veritably impressive hints delivered in discrete, dive-in-then-dive-out themed sections.
Some of my favourite pages/themes include (and I have to apologise for the dodgy accompanying images—I wanted to give you a sense of what I was talking about, but I was tired, I was eating chocolate on the couch. Eating chocolate on the couch took precedence over just about everything else, including getting a proper camera and setting the shots up well. Besides, I can’t make the images look too good lest you won’t rush out and buy the book for yourselves):
The rooftop conversion
(see image above)
It might be all those books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen throughout my youth, but I’ve always lusted after an attic. Imagine all the books you could fit up there. Me and the friendly neighbourhood possum could share it.
(see image below)
That bed! Those floorboards! Those vintage lockers! Enough said! If you find out where to buy them, please, please, please let me know. I am (and my sister is) sooper keen to find some vintage lockers. And then, once located, for someone to carry them up my two flights of stairs.
The bachelorette pad (see last image on the page)
You’ll have to especially excuse the slight blurriness on this photo. It appears that I can’t lick fingers and take in-focus photos. Suffice to say, in stark contrast to the milk chocolate I was consuming at the time of photographing, this apartment is white on white on a bit of cream with some sparkly bits thrown in.
There are entirely impractical furnishings that range from fun to comfy to decadent and there are no kids or partners in sight in this Sex and the City-worthy style. I mean, who doesn’t want a ceiling-to-floor pendant chandelier? It—and this apartment as a whole—is what I would have were I a slightly girlier girl.
Relax, it’s casual
Relax, it’s casual incorporates cups of tea and mood boards, packaging them up with plenty of sunlight. It’s the quintessential extra room that, through its casuality and warmth, sees surprisingly high traffic. I see it being a writing and napping room too, but then, I see everything as a writing and napping room …
I don’t pretend to know what wabi-sabi is (Morton’s text tells me ‘wabi’ means ‘lonely’ and ‘sabi’ means ‘rust’), but I will state up front that I love the (barely visible through my dodgy photography) raw-wood backboards and raw-wood bed frame as a whole. Fits perfectly with my simple, enviro-friendly ethos and aesthetic (and puts the Malm, my Ikea version of the same bed, to shame).
You can have tidy kids
Who’s talking kids? I’m talking me. Bunk beds and me, specifically. I’d argue that these are also the most adult-looking bunk beds I’ve seen in a while. Now, if you could just make them queen-sized, I’d take two.
A cheat sheet for partying
Because who doesn’t need one of those? The sheet contains some gems, too, not least:
As a reminder, it's November -- the month of Nanowrimo, U.S. Thanksgiving, and your local mall's favorite holiday, "Black Friday."
Many of us are spending time with family over turkey dinners while others of us are hiding in the closet, the attic, or the secret room under the stairs trying to keep typing away at that Nano novel despite the in-laws being in town. :) We're also running off to use that "Black Friday" discount to buy our critique-buddy's newest novel off the Barnes and Noble shelves. So, since we're all so busy, as announced last week, there will not be a new author interview on Writermorphosis until December arrives, and everyone can take a breath from Nano and begin pulling out their December holiday decor.I personally am off to Haiti to hang out with some kids there for Thanksgiving this year and will give an update when I return.
But no worries! You can still find great author advice on Writermorphosis this month.
Click on this week's "two more great interviews you may have missed," below:
Whether you and your kids have been to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, watched it on TV or just love big parades, you'll be interested in Macy's on Parade, a big colorful pop-up book about the parade that attracts millions of viewers each year. Check out the inside of the book, including a photo of one of the double-page pop-up scenes, view the cover, enjoy some parade trivia and learn more about the book when you read my review of Macy's on Parade.
(photo credit: Seth Tice Lewis)Add a Comment
Dr. Sketchy event in Sheffield. It was called 'Drawn of the Dead' and had a very spooky zombie theme.
This year I am going review the books I get for my Cybils reading in a brisk and timely fashion. I will not end up with a pile of guilt.