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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1562 Blogs, dated 11/28/2012 [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 175
1. DESIGNER - jen moules

jen moules is a surface pattern designer and illustrator who specialises in textile home wares, wallpapers and greeting cards. originally from somerset jen now works from her studio in hampshire and draws inspiration from the surroundings. jen has a passion for nature and wildlife which is reflected in both her textile designs and illustrative work. she creates her products using a range of

1 Comments on DESIGNER - jen moules, last added: 12/1/2012
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2. CALENDARS - 2013

here are a few more 2013 calendars that have caught my eye recently. the first features beautiful stylised blooms by susan black. available now on etsy. below: kate thomas of the little things studio has created her calendar with a sun theme. called 365 days of sunshine its a riot of colour of texture. below: for their free downloadable calendar this year mibo have teamed

1 Comments on CALENDARS - 2013, last added: 12/1/2012
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3. DESIGNER - nina zulian

nina zulian is a graphic designer from brazil who is now based in amsterdam. nina was inspired by her travels, and all the colours and shapes she was seeing and so she began to paint, cut and paste, play with shapes and lines. nina is passionate about painting, art, textures, and patterns and loves to work with watercolor, pens and pencils, crayons, collage, ink and pixels. if you like the look

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4. What if James Bond crossed over to CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG?

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang had several connections to the Bond franchise.
It's first and foremost, based on a book by Ian Fleming. It was
produced by Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, and featured Gert Fröbe (Auric
Goldfinger) and Desmond Llewelyn (Q) in supporting roles. Roald Dahl,
who worked on the screenplay for You Only Live Twice and longtime Bond

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5. The Amazing World of Gumball.

Another new favorite in our house... The Amazing World of Gumball! Magnus loves it! Excellent show.
Here's a link to some superb concept/development drawings Sylvain Marc did few years ago for the show.

0 Comments on The Amazing World of Gumball. as of 11/30/2012 8:47:00 PM
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6. The Legend of Atticus Rex: Book 1: The Amulet – Dedicated Review

Dedicated Review

By Bianca SchulzeThe Children’s Book Review
Published: November 29, 2012

The Legend of Atticus Rex: Book 1: The Amulet

By Philppe de Vosjoli; illustrated by Santiago Iborra

Reading level: Ages 8 and up

Hardcover: 136 pages

Publisher: Advanced Visions Inc.; First edition (November 19, 2012)

What to expect: Fantasy, Family, Fears, Dogs

Where the Underworld meets this world— in a place where shadows lurk— good is forced to fight evil. Set in Roman Times, a young boy and his canine companion fight to bring safety to their family and fellow village people.

Like many children, Gabriel, the story’s young protagonist, has a fear of shadows. “Gabriel was in bed, lying perfectly still on his side, covered with blankets from head to toe. He focused on breathing quietly to avoid drawing the attention of the shadow beings.” When Gabriel is given permission to venture through the Crimson Forest with his Roman soldier father, Marcus, and their loyal pet, Nero, his fear of nighttime shadows becomes a reality. Forced to fight the Volgoths, sinister shadow creatures from another world, Gabriel and Marcus discover Nero’s connection to the Great Spirit Dog, Atticus Rex, who has the ability to vanquish the shadow creatures. A special keepsake the family has possessed for a long time, the Atticus Rex Amulet, turns out to be the key for summoning the Great Spirit Dog when darkness falls and the Volgoths come near. The combination of bravery and the protection that the amulet offers helps Gabriel to overcome his fear. Author Philppe de Vosjoli has well imagined his Roman setting and the imaginary creatures that exist in the worlds he has created in the first book of his trilogy, The Legend of Atticus Rex—Iborra’s rich color illustrations add depth too, along with the detachable Atticus Rex Amulet that can be removed from the intriguing book cover.

This is a daring page-turner for readers that are feeling brave and ready for a dark adventure—especially boys ages 8 and up.

Add this book to your collection: The Legend of Atticus Rex Book 1: The Amulet

For more information visit: http://legendofatticusrex.com

Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their works. The author of this book paid for this non-biased review. Learn more …

Original article: The Legend of Atticus Rex: Book 1: The Amulet – Dedicated Review

©2012 The Childrens Book Review. All Rights Reserved.

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7. Pinoy Book Blogger Meetup

Who: Book Bloggers (and hey, blog readers too)

What: Hanging out. Coffee. Food and whatever. Oh yeah, books!

Where: Meeting in front of Fully Booked - Greenhills

When: Saturday, Dec. 22 at 4:30 pm

Why: Why not?

My husband and I are visiting the Philippines for Christmas. I am so happy I'll be seeing my family! But it's also a chance to see part of my favorite online community, the book bloggers and their readers. You don't have to be a YA blogger (any book blogger is welcome) and you can be a YA reader too.

We'll probably meet and then find somewhere with food/coffee... whatever. Yep.

I do speak Tagalog, so.... yeah. I might be a little rusty. We'll see.

Please tweet #PinoyYABloggers and let people know about it.

If you think you will be attending, leave a comment/link or tweet @frootjoos.

If you're a Stateside Pinoy blogger and you can't come... leave a link anyway, haha!

3 Comments on Pinoy Book Blogger Meetup, last added: 12/21/2012
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8. Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson (ages 6 - 12)

Be kind. Be present. Act the way you want to be treated.
These are all messages we try to share with our children, our students, ourselves. And yet do the lectures work? How do we help our kids see the impact that their actions have?

Jacqueline Woodson’s picture book Each Kindness struck me the moment I read it, with quiet intensity and searing honesty. Find a quiet moment to read this book and then share it with your class, your children, your friends. This is the book I'll be giving as a holiday gift to every teacher I know.
Each Kindness
by Jacqueline Woodson
illustrated by E.B. Lewis
Nancy Paulsen / Penguin, 2012
ages 6 - 12
available on Amazon and at your local library
Maya is the new girl, arriving in the middle of winter to a new school. The teacher sits her next to Chloe, but Chloe won’t look at Maya or return her smiles. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her gang, they reject her. One of Chloe’s friends calls Maya by the harsh nickname “Never New,” because she always buys her clothes at the secondhand store.

Woodson tells this story from Chloe’s point of view, keeping the reader focused on Chloe’s perspective. We can feel the uncertainty that Chloe has, not feeling a connection to this new girl. But we also see the hurt it causes as Chloe walks away from Maya time and time again.

As Tasha Saker writes at Waking Brain Cells in her review of Each Kindness, “Woodson does not pull back on her message here.  She speaks directly to the sort of bullying that groups of girls are best at, ignoring and dismissing.  Readers will immediately feel for Maya, who has done nothing at all to earn the scorn of the girls, except wear the wrong clothes.”

Woodson takes this situation a step farther, not providing the easy resolution of a happy ending, but showing what happens when Chloe realizes the hurt she’s caused and cannot undo it. With a simple, nonjudgemental discussion, the girls’ teacher talks to her class about the way we impact one another.

“The next day, Maya’s seat was empty. In class that morning, we were talking about kindness. Ms. Albert had brought a big bowl into class and filled it with water. We all gathered around her desk and watched her drop a small stone into it. Tiny waves rippled out, away from the stone. ‘This is what kindness does,’ Ms. Albert said.

Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world.’”
Each Kindness is an intensely powerful book, one that will send ripples out to your classroom. Ask your students if it seems real to them, if these types of situations really happen. Ask them what they think about the ending. Do they like the way that Woodson leaves it? Why do they think she chose this ending?

I hope each one of us can think about the small actions we can take and how these ripple out across the world. Share a small smile with a student across the room; give an unexpected compliment; set aside a special book and tell a student you were thinking just of them -- it’s amazing how far each kindness can travel.

Images shared with permission of the publisher, copyright E.B. Lewis. This post was originally shared on NerdyBookClub, a wonderful community of folks committed to celebrating the joy of children's books. The review copies were kindly sent by the publisher, Nancy Paulsen and Penguin Books. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

1 Comments on Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson (ages 6 - 12), last added: 11/30/2012
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9. ¿Has visto a María?

Sandra Cisneros ha escrito una hermosa fábula ilustrada para adultos sobre la pérdida de un ser querido y la posibilidad de renovación que ofrece esta experiencia difícil.

¿Has visto a María? es un libro breve en formato ilustrado cuyo lenguaje sencillo podría fácilmente confundirlo con un libro para niños. Sin embargo, es una historia para adultos, en especial para todo aquel que haya sufrido la pérdida de un ser querido.

Traducido al español por Liliana Valenzuela, esta conmovedora historia explora los sentimientos de pérdida, duelo y recordación que la autora experimenta tras la muerte de su madre. Inspirada por hechos reales, la historia se inicia con la visita de su amiga Rosalinda, acompañada de su gata María, la cual desaparece apenas llegan a la casa de Cisneros.

Había sido un largo viaje por carretera y, según le cuenta su amiga, la gata había chillado todo el camino. Cisneros recién había perdido a su madre, experiencia que entreteje al relato desde el comienzo.

"Yo también tenía ganas de chillar y largarme", escribe. "Mi mamá había muerto unos meses antes. Yo tenía cincuenta y tres años y me sentía como una huérfana", relató.

Cisneros describe ese sentimiento de abandono y desolación como "un guante abandonado en la estación de autobuses". Pero ahora que su amiga ha perdido su adorada gata no le queda más remedio que salir de la casa donde se había refugiado durante meses y lanzarse de lleno a la búsqueda.
Las amigas recorren el vecindario de arriba a abajo, colocan volantes y les preguntan a todos si han visto a la gatita blanquinegra. La búsqueda resuena con el deseo de la autora de encontrar consuelo por su pérdida y de recibir algún tipo de respuesta al dolor que la acompaña.

La manera en que Cisneros intercala su pena es sumamente conmovedora, como cuando pasan por una casa donde afuera se mecía una mujer tejiendo algo morado. La autora recuerda que su madre solía tejer unas bufandas muy feas "que nadie se quería poner".

"En ese momento quise tener una de esas bufandas feas, y la nariz me empezó a cosquillear", escribe.

A medida que avanza la búsqueda, vamos recorriendo el vecindario de Cisneros, un entorno verdaderamente diverso tanto en arquitectura como en herencia cultural.

Según la autora, parte de lo que se había propuesto con este libro era también dar a conocer su barrio en San Antonio (Texas), un lugar que muchos asocian exclusivamente con sus mansiones históricas sin apreciar las otras casas más modestas y pintorescas que comparten la zona. Cisneros contactó a su amiga la pintora chicana Ester Hernández para que participara con ella en el proyecto de ilustrar el vecindario donde la historia toma lugar. Hernández captura con su pincel la riqueza visual del vecindario, con sus personajes típicos, el pastor, la viuda, las niñas colgando de un columpio y también los excéntricos de extraña vestimenta y los que se niegan a abrir la puerta. Las ilustraciones parecen contar una historia paralela, la del vecindario y cómo todas estas personas, por el mero hecho de estar allí, ayudan a que la autora supere su pérdida, aunque ni siquiera lo sepan.

Este hermoso libro revela lo imperecedero del amor y la capacidad de renacer que esconde cada pérdida.

0 Comments on ¿Has visto a María? as of 11/30/2012 8:39:00 PM
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10. Gift Idea - Zumba Fitness Core

Besides movies and family play time, we also use our game systems for serious exercise.

Gift Idea - Zumba Fitness Core the Xbox Kinect or Wii gaming Systems

My husband and I have played a couple of the Zumba games, and we've enjoyed all of them.  So far they've all had fun music and engaging choreography.  Zumba Fitness Core is a little different in that it is the first video game in the Zumba line that focuses strictly on the abs.

About -PARTY YOUR ABS OFF™ in Zumba® Fitness Core as celebrity Zumba® instructors guide you through routines set to a range of current chart-topping hits, era classics, exclusive re-records and genre-blending fusion tracks that together with new Zumba® original songs, deliver 33 dance styles—the most diverse range included in any Zumba® Fitness video game to date. Choose from 45 different pre-set classes or customize your workout to suit your specific preferences. New fitness features include both nutrition and lifestyle tips, plus personal and community goals you can work toward to keep motivated. With multiplayer support for up to four players on Wii™ and two on Kinect for Xbox 360, players can throw a dance-fitness party in their living room.

We have the XBox Version, and we have quite a bit of fun doing it for our nightly exercise routine.  We usually stick to the low and medium intensity songs because we're not that in shape.  The other day our girls tried the high intensity swing and it didn't look too bad so we thought we would give it a try.  I'm not going to lie, it was rough.  It was crazy fast, and it completely wiped us out.  It was fun, but we'll put that one on the side burner for a few more weeks.

To Buy - Zumba Fitness Core retails for $39.99 and can be purchased at retailers nationwide.

We've played both the wii and XBox version of a Zumba game, and I have to say that they are both fun.  The main difference is that with the Wii version, you have to wear a belt around your hips and with the Xbox you need the kinect.  The kinect version is my favorite  because its fun to watch the avatar mimic my movement, and its easier to tell when I'm off.  Love them both though.

I received a product to review from the above company or their PR Agency. Opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own - I was not influenced in any way. I received no monetary compensation for this post. 

1 Comments on Gift Idea - Zumba Fitness Core, last added: 11/30/2012
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11. Review and Giveaway of SANCTUM

I have been excited to review for you SANCTUM by Sarah Fine. Honestly, I wasn't sure how Fine would deal with the issue of suicide, which is ultimately what this book was about. But she creates characters and a world that are both intriguing and so real that I was sucked in from the get-go.

The Blurb from Amazon:

"My plan: Get into the city. Get Nadia. Find a way out. Simple."  A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos’s best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance – hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures.

But Lela isn’t just anyone – she’s determined to save her best friend’s soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife.

What I love about this book: There really is so much to love about Fine's writing. She brings a unique twist on Heaven and Hell, which allows readers to look at the tough issue of suicide and rape in a different light. Her characters are real people. Nadia ,who is bogged down in the pressures of our society to be perfect. Lela, the "bad girl" who struggles to get her life on track despite no support from home. And yet despite these girls differences, how much they need each other to survive.

What makes this book unique: The concept of this book blew me away. Fine created a whole new world to set her story in, including characters such as Mazikins (demons). This allowed her to deal with issues teens face today by taking readers away from their own world and reliving those same conflicts in a fantasy setting.

Why you should read it: The romance, oh the romance. Malachi is hot, hot, hot. Do I need to say more?

My favorite line: "Either you're a Mazikin, and I will destroy you, or you are ready to go before the Judge and get out of this city."

Stalk Sarah Fine on her website or Twitter.

I'm also giving away my ARC to one person who comments below. Giveaway open to North American residents. Ends Dec. 9th.

12 Comments on Review and Giveaway of SANCTUM, last added: 12/6/2012
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12. John Lewis snowman remodelled as children's book | Books | guardian.co.uk

Nosy Crow And The John Lewis Snowman

from The Guardian:

A loving snowman, concerned his beloved snowlady might be feeling the winter chill, is daunted by nothing in his quest to find her a scarf, hat and gloves. We have all - well, more than two million of us, anyway - seen John Lewis's latest Christmas ad, and now we can read the children's book as well.

Independent publisher Nosy Crow pulled out all the stops to create a children's book based on the story - snowman is made, snowman realises lady love is cold, snowman crosses hill and dale to make sure she's wrapped up warm - in the days after the ad was first aired on 9 November. Told using images from the advert and a story in verse written by the publisher's managing director Kate Wilson, The Snowman's Journey will hit John Lewis stores on Saturday.

The Snowman's Journey

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13. Notable Children's Books of 2012 - NYTimes.com

Notable Children's Books of 2012 - NYTimes.com

This year's notable children's books -- the best in picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction and nonfiction, selected by the children's book editor of The New York Times Book Review...

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14. Scholastic Helps Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Make_a_differenceScholastic Helps Schools and Libraries Devastated by Hurricane Sandy

When Hurricane Sandy hit, lots of classrooms and libraries were flooded. If you have ever dropped a book in the bathtub, you know that water destroys books, so many places had to throw away all their ruined books! Scholastic announced that it will donate one million books to schools and libraries and is working with the nonprofit Kids in Distressed Situations, Inc. to help distribute books to the schools and libraries in the hardest-hit areas of the tri-state region that need them the most. 

Maybe you can't donate a million books, but you can help too by making a donation of your own to the libraries of New York City whose children's books have been destroyed. If you have any new or good quality used children's books to donate, you can send them to:

Urban Librarians Unite
45-06 Queens Blvd. Suite 120
Sunnyside, NY 11104

You can even host a book drive and collect books to send. Let's all try to help the kids whose libraries lost all their books!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

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15. On the way to the forum - Cathy Butler

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to Turkey, to take part in a forum on Young Adult Literature. When I got home, I thought of writing a post on the city where I had stayed – the marvellous palimpsest that is at once Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul. I certainly saw many wonderful sights: Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque... but others have been there before me, and besides, I will need time to digest those memories, not least (oddly enough) because I forgot to take a camera. Probably it will be the little things that stay with me: the unexpected cats that roam the square between the mosques, a small child eating roasted chestnuts, the runic graffiti scratched into the marble of Hagia Sophia  by a bored Viking. Most haunting of all, the forest of floodlit pillars (many culled from abandoned pagan temples) that support the roof of the Basilica Cistern, next door to my hotel. Most of the pillars are plain and austere, but one is carved with tear drops: no one knows why, or where it came from. There’s a story in that, if one knew how to tell it.

But back to the Young Adult Literature Forum, which was attended not only by Turks but also by representatives from Germany, Sweden, Serbia, Spain and France. Some of these countries have long traditions of children’s literature; in others it is relatively new. Some have longstanding democratic traditions, while others have had oppressive or authoritarian governments. (There is, I note, a strong correlation between these circumstances.) It was interesting and salutary to find that the topic that excited most discussion was whether children’s literature should be used to instil moral “lessons” – a discussion that spilled over with seeming inevitability into one about censorship.

It’s easy to feel smug about such things. We like to think that in the anglophone world, at least, whatever those stern Victorians may have thought about using books as an instrument of instruction rather than of pleasure, we have learned better. Books should be interesting and fun, surely, rather than exercises in finger-wagging?

Well, maybe. Actually, while the language has changed, I suspect that many people still see children’s books as instruments of instruction, even if the instruction is in “emotional wisdom” rather than “moral lessons.” They still discuss characters and stories in terms of the ways they model behaviour for children, the examples they set. They still think of books as having a profound influence, beneficial or otherwise. Scratch a Guardianreader, find a top-hatted Victorian moralist.

Perhaps that is no bad thing. Books shouldbe capable of making a difference to their readers – yes, and of teaching them too. It would be sad if they became simply a way of stimulating a pleasant aesthetic sensation, or of passing a tedious hour between games on the X-Box. That children’s books are talked of in apocalyptic terms, and that they attract moral censors worried about children being “corrupted," is a testament to their power.  We may disagree with the censors’ analysis, but their attention is an enormous back-handed compliment. 

Viva didacticism!

35 Comments on On the way to the forum - Cathy Butler, last added: 12/18/2012
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16. Rubber Shoes: A Lesson in Gratitude / Los zapatos de goma: una lección de gratitud

By Gladys Elizabeth Barbieri.
Illustrated by Lina Safar.

Spirited Gladys Elizabeth is more than disappointed when her mother buys her the "ugliest" shoes in the world.  She devises a foolproof plan in hopes of destroying her ugly shoes.  However Gladys Elizabeth doesn't account for the sturdiness of her shoes and in the end learns a valuable lesson in gratitude.

Midwest Book Review: Volume 21, Number 11:  November 2011
"Rubber Shoes ...A Lesson in Gratitude/ Los zapatos de goma...una lección de gratitud" is a touching bilingual teaching tale about a girl who hates her new brown rubber shoes that her mother bought for her on sale. She hates them so she plots ways to lose or destroy them, but they are the invincible rubber shoes. Finally her mother takes her on a trip to donate the shoes to another little girl whose reaction to the rubber shoes is very different, leading to an epiphany of gratitude for our charming heroine. "Rubber Shoes" is a beautiful lesson in gratitude and humility for children ages 4-8, written in both Spanish and English and tenderly illustrated in gentle semi-anime style.

For more information visit  www.chuchosbooks.com

0 Comments on Rubber Shoes: A Lesson in Gratitude / Los zapatos de goma: una lección de gratitud as of 11/30/2012 8:39:00 PM
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17. [Must I Type Words Here to Spoil the Silence?]

“I say to you today, my friends, that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.”

“With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together,
knowing that we will be free one day.”

“And when this happens, when we allow freedom [to] ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands
and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: …”

“Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

(Click each spread to enlarge)


5 Comments on [Must I Type Words Here to Spoil the Silence?], last added: 11/30/2012
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18. WIP Wednesday - Collage...

One of the things I've done for some of the faculty of my workshops is handmade Thank You cards. It's been really fun to play with cut paper and collage (wish I had time to do this for *everyone*).

Steampunk polar bear! (cut paper and watch parts).

End papers and a small sewn-in signature for class members to sign....

Why can't I play with All The Media, All The Time!??

1 Comments on WIP Wednesday - Collage..., last added: 11/30/2012
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19. Runners, Let Us Issue Insincere Apologies to Our Legs

I’m a runner so I’m pretty sure my legs hate me. I take advantage of them, I use them more than they’d like me to. If you catch them on a particularly brutal day they may even try to convince you that we’re in an abusive relationship. Don’t listen to them though, because deep down they like it.

running legs

Sometimes those bugger legs stage a revolt.

To be honest my legs don’t even really have THAT much to complain about, I mean it’s not like they are Jordan McNamara’s legs or anything. Now THOSE poor stems are getting worked; don’t worry, at least McNamara’s offered an apology via Twitter:

“I cringe to consider what expletives my legs would use if somehow enabled to speak. Truly sorry boys!#ActualSincerityMayVary”

Do you think his legs accept? Do you believe they can even try to fool themselves into believing for just one second that this professional runner is in any way going to issue forth an apology that comes with a promise to not do the very same thing again? Well, if those legs are foolish enough to give themselves false hope than I really can’t feel bad for them. Neither should you.
run to endorphins
And you better not feel bad for your own ‘abused’ legs; I mean let’s be totally frank here: those legs complain but at the end of the day they LIKE it. Those legs were made for running, have become so adept at putting in the miles that they could function on autopilot. Heck, for many of those miles they do…us runners and our wandering minds.

That pair of running legs don’t just crave the excretion we put them through they are downright ADDICTED it. Their deep-rooted desire for those endorphins borders upon obsession, probably has crossed over to straight up obsession on more than a few occasions.

The onslaught of lactic acid that poisons them is a bittersweet thirst, one they struggle to swallow as quenched. They hate the taste BUT they crave the after-taste…the post-torturous rush of ecstasy, of times and goals satisfied.

True, sometimes even the aftertaste is a tough swig to swallow; running is wrought with highs and lows. You suck down the medicine of days filled only with mediocrity and the acrid taste of flat out despicable performances. Those epic fails sting and burn all the way through…but…
runner legs
…but they make the days when you suck down the bitter lactic acid and PUSH through until you are blessed, yes blessed, with the sweetest nectar of fulfillment worth it.

Runners, we can apologize all we want to those ‘poor’ legs after the fact, but they are just insincere apologies and any promises to relent are just as flimsy. We don’t plan on changing…and those sickly ‘abuse’ addicted legs wouldn’t have it any other way.

1) If you were to issue forth an empty apology to your legs, how would it read?
I’m sort of sorry that we seem to be heck-bent on this running.

2) Do you follow Jordan McNamara on Twitter? Umm, if not, go fix that now! :)

3) If you could give a ‘taste’ to the lactic acid what would it be? Then what would you assign the taste of fulfillment when following?
Lactic acid: Lasagna, bananas or meat loaf. Hate both and have funny stories as to why.
Fulfillment: Pop-Tarts…c’mon did you really expect something else? ;)

best running shirts

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20. KID REVIEW: Michael meets “Boy + Bot”

Michael and "Boy + BotYou can find friends in the strangest places.

Like when you’re collecting pinecones in your wagon.

A robot appears. You play. And, suddenly, you have a friend for life.

At least, that’s how it happens in Ame Dyckman and Dan Yaccarino’s Boy + Bot (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012).

This delightful picture book shows how Boy and Bot try to take care of each other, even when they don’t fully understand each other. And the illustrations showing that care are charming.

Today’s guest reviewer, Michael, was happy to make Boy and Bot’s acquaintance and share his thoughts on the book.

Take it away, Michael!


 Today’s reviewer: Michael

Age: 8

I like: Playing my video game — Xbox 360. Playing with my little sister, Micayla.

This book was about: A boy and a bot who got to be friends. The bot’s switch got turned off so the boy took him to his house and tucked him into bed. Then, the bot took the boy home and gave him oil and read an instruction manual to him.

The best part was when: Boy and Bot were having fun walking on the log.

I laughed when: Bot gave the boy oil.

I was worried when: Bot was taking the boy away. I didn’t know where they were going.

I was surprised that: Bot got turned back on when Boy’s parents opened the door.

Other kids reading this book should: Try to be friends like they were.

Three words that describe this book: “Want to play?”

You should read this book because: You will know what friendship is about.


Thank you, Michael!

Michael says he is friends with Ricky and Thomas. (Reviews from them are coming soon!) They like playing football and other sports together.

If you’d like to learn more about first-time author Ame Dyckman, you can visit her website and read this interview at Miss Print. Ame also tweets at @amedyckman.

If you’d like to learn more about illustrator Dan Yaccarino, you can visit his website and read this interview at Core 77.

And, finally, here’s a fun video trailer you can watch about the book.

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21. Amazing First Lines Webinar

Just found out about this Webinar given by Agent at Scott Treimel NY and Author (Girl Parts) John Cusick. Many of you already know John, but for those who don’t, John is extremely knowledgable and a great teacher. I discovered this after sitting in on a few of John’s workshops I organized while Regional Advisor for the New Jersey SCBWI. Now everyone can benefit from John’s expertise, no matter where you live and from the comfort of your own home. The price is right, too. It’s only $49. Thought you’d want to know, but it’s being held this Saturday, so not much time to decide.

A strong opening to your story is the difference between an enganged reader, and a reader who will move on to something else.

Those first few lines are crucial. They need to be razor-sharp, grounded in your story and your style, to ensure the reader is hooked. John Cusick, a literary agent and YA author, will show you how to grab your reader in a vise grip.

In LitReactor’s very first webinar, Cusick will use examples from young adult fiction, literature, pop culture, film, and television, to explore the craft of startling, intriguing, and unforgettable opening lines. He’ll teach you how to capture and hold a reader’s— or agent’s or editor’s—attention, interest, and excitement from word one.

The webinar will start on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST, and last for 90 minutes. Cusick will deliver a lecture and then take questions from students.

Students will also submit their own first lines, with the option of having them critiqued during the class. If you don’t want your first lines critiqued during the class, or there’s not enough time to get to yours, you’ll still get a personalized, detailed critique from Cusick within 60 days.

What This Class Covers

1) Why are first lines important?
• Establishing a relationship with your reader.
• Giving the reader a rule book for your world.
• Encapsulating the whole of your story in a single sentence or paragraph.

2) What a first line can do. How to:
• Grab attention with shock, intrigue, and the rule of “always…except!”
•Involve the reader with your world, your characters, your point of view.
• Leave the reader begging for more by employing the techniques of mystery, suspense, and humor.

3) Overheard in the Coffee Shop:
• How everyday conversations can teach us to write startling and intriguing first lines.

Goals Of This Class
• Learn how to write opening lines that grab your reader and don’t let go
• Learn to tell the difference between what works and what doesn’t
• Find useful examples of effective openings, not just in books, but in other mediums
• Build yourself a foundation on which to tell the rest of your story


Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: How to, opportunity, writing, Writing Tips Tagged: Agent at Scott Treimel NY, Author of Girl Parts, First Lines, John Cusick, Lit Reactor, Webinar

1 Comments on Amazing First Lines Webinar, last added: 11/30/2012
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22. A recent romp at the playground

These kids need to get out of my sketchbook. A recent trip to the playground proved to be fertile ground for inspiration:

0 Comments on A recent romp at the playground as of 11/30/2012 6:48:00 PM
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23. Christmas prep

©Jennifer Tolman

I have just about everything set up for Christmas. I've even done all my Christmas shopping online this year, how nice is that??

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24. The Templeton Twins Have an Idea, Book 1 By Ellis Weiner

5 Stars The Templeton Twins Have an Idea, Book 1 Ellis Weiner Jeremy Holmes Chronicle Books 232 Pages    Ages: 9 to 12 Back Cover: The Templeton Twins must use all their cleverness to foil kidnappers and blah, blah, blah, blah. They figure it all out in the end. Done. Jacket: Suppose there were 12-year-old twins, [...]

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25. PiBoIdMo Day 29: Timothy Young Hates Picture Books

Actually, I love picture books, but I do have a new book coming out next year called I HATE PICTURE BOOKS!. I’m going to tell the story of how I had the idea for this book, but I want to back up a bit first.

Ever since I was a kid, I drew pictures and made clay sculptures of little guys and strange creatures. They always had stories of who they were and what they were doing, but that was in my head. I was an artist—not a writer—and I always figured that a writer would come along and look at my work and they would say “That looks good, let me write down the story of what you drew.” I don’t know what happened to that guy because he never showed up.

About 6 years ago, I finally realized I was going to have to write my story ideas myself. I wrote down a bunch of my ideas and worked them into stories that I thought were good and put together some sample pages of the illustrations and I felt I was ready to go. I had the good fortune of meeting an author who set up a meeting with Heidi Kilgras at Random House. I showed my ideas to her and although she said some nice things about the books I was showing her, what she really liked was my logo. It was on the bottom of every page and she kept saying how much she liked it and finally she said she wanted to do a book that looked like my logo.

So now I had a challenge. I knew the style of the book, now I needed to find the story and the illustrations that work in that style. On the long drive home from New York I had a million ideas running around in my head… what kind of characters do I like drawing? …aliens….robots…monsters. OK, monsters, now I have to look for a story about monsters and why they are in the book. Suddenly the title came to me…”I’m Looking For A Monster!” The young boy I pictured in my head started telling me his story of his search for the perfect monster. Two weeks later I sent a book dummy to Random House and they picked it up soon after. If you’d like to see the original dummy, check it out here.

Later that year I sent Heidi a dummy for “They’re Coming!” She liked it and showed it to her acquisitions team. She came back saying they liked it, but they don’t want to follow one monster book with another. They asked if I had anything with dragons or dinosaurs.

Another challenge! A short time later I sent her outlines for “I’m Looking For A Dinosaur”, “Shadows On My Wall” and another with dragons. She liked “Shadows”, but marketing liked “I’m Looking For A Dinosaur”, which they acquired. (Why it’s not out is a long story for another day.)

So now I find myself either challenging myself or finding external challenges to come up with creative ideas. Most of the books that I have put out or am working on are in answer to those challenges. I’ve never gone back to the ones I thought were good picture books (although I might at some point if only to grab some nuggets out of them).

An idea sketch for SHADOWS ON MY WALL.

And the final version.

I promised to tell how I came up with I HATE PICTURE BOOKS!. I was at the NJ-SCBWI summer conference two years ago. I was on the faculty with some of the other authors in the KidLit Authors Club. I attended a couple of the seminars while there, including “Finding The Funny Stuff” with Audrey Vernick and Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. They were talking about parody (I love good parody) in children’s books and Olugbemisola made a very funny comment about Paddington Bear’s immigration status.

I started thinking about classic children’s books and this title popped into my head. I have to admit that I missed the rest of what they said in the seminar, because I was off…my character, a boy who is throwing away his books because he misinterprets them and then gets in trouble, was telling me his story. By the time I had driven home the next day I had the whole thing written in my head. I can’t wait until it comes out early in 2013. (Here’s a link to the publisher where you can pre-order it!)

Now I have to get back to the funny little bird who’s in the process of challenging me to tell his story.

Timothy Young is the Founder and Creative Director of Creatures & Characters LLC. He has designed toys, worked on animation projects, licensed characters, and produced picture books. Timothy is the author-illustrator of I’M LOOKING FOR A MONSTER, SHADOWS ON MY WALL, THEY’RE COMING, and I HATE PICTURE BOOKS!. Visit his creations at CreaturesandCharacters.com.

Timothy is giving away a signed book of your choice and an original pencil sketch. Just leave a comment to enter (one per person, please). A winner will be selected next week. Good luck!

10 Comments on PiBoIdMo Day 29: Timothy Young Hates Picture Books, last added: 12/1/2012
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