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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1553 Blogs, since 2/23/2008 [Help]
Results 6,526 - 6,550 of 513,713
6526. We Are Dead Stars


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6527. Author Tracey Baptiste on The Jumbies

The stories about jumbies were part of regular conversations when I was growing up. People talked about La Diablesse and douen and all the other, as if they’re walking down the road or lived at your neighbor’s house. They were very much alive to me, even though I knew they were probably just stories. And I also read and listened to fairy tales, which were just as scary, but they were also in books that were so beautifully illustrated, and I felt like all the kids who grew up hearing jumbie stories got cheated. Where were our fairy tale books? Where were our beautiful illustrations? I figured I’d have to make those books myself.”

* * *

Over at Kirkus today, I’ve got a middle-grade novel on the mind. I talk to author Tracey Baptiste, pictured here, about her newest novel, The Jumbies (Algonquin, April 2014), a book unlike any other you’ll read this year.

That link will be here soon.

Until tomorrow …

* * * * * * *

Photo of Tracey taken by Latifah Abdur Photography and used by her permission.

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6528. Where do I live? Finding a Home for Puberty Books


Where should I live?

Certain collections are associated with a little bit more parental angst than others, and books about puberty, changing bodies, and human sexuality often seem to fall into this category. Some parents see their value and appreciate their inclusion in the collection, while others are aghast that a children’s library would carry such material.

While librarians agree that books dealing with these topics are important to own in a collection, the trickier subject of where these books should live often pops up, usually after a child has checked out a book with a puberty or human sexuality theme their parent is less than thrilled about. Do we keep these books in our offices and only offer them to those who ask, or is that censorship? Do we file them with the rest of the books and deal with whatever fallout may come as it happens, or are we inviting an unnecessary headache?

What about me?

What about me?

At my library, we use a two-fold solution. There is a collection in the Children’s Library called F5 Parents. The Parents collection contains a “best of” selection of parenting books, such as Raising a Digital Child and Your One-Year OldIt’s also home to a group of picture books we call “Special Topics” that parents can check out to facilitate conversations with their children about issues such as new babies, potty training, adoption, illness, and human sexuality. The younger human sexuality books, such as Hair in Funny Placeslive here, as do books designed to be shared between a parent and a child, such as It’s Perfectly Normal

Meanwhile, our Kids Self non-fiction section, which debuted Fall 2013 as a part of our non-fiction reorganization, holds the puberty and human sexuality books that are squarely aimed at the 10-14 year-olds who are experiencing these changes, such as The Care and Keeping of You and Will Puberty Last My Whole LifeThis allows kids to browse for books they might find helpful, while providing parents with a dedicated place to go for the same topics.

Where does your library keep the puberty books? Do you believe librarians should be cognizant of parental feelings on the subject, or check books out to children who want them regardless of potential parental objections?

The post Where do I live? Finding a Home for Puberty Books appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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6529. What it was like to win the Oregon Book Award

I’ve been up for the Oregon Book Award three times. The first was in 2004, for an adult novel called Learning to Fly. I didn’t win, but I was sitting next to Heather Frederick, who won the Leslie Bradshaw Young Adult award for the The Voyage of Patience Goodspeed, and I got to hear the little gasp you make when you win.

In 2011, Girl, Stolen was up for the Leslie Bradshaw, but I had a lot more on my mind that night. I had been asked to speak about another finalist for the same award: my friend Lisa Wolfson, who had written a wonderful book called Flash Burnout under the pseudonym L.K. Madigan. Six weeks earlier, she had died after a brutal and short fight with pancreatic cancer. I sat in the green room and hoped I could do Lisa justice. I spoke about her, and then took my place in the audience. In one pocket, I had an acceptance speech for me, and in other one for her, because her husband had asked that I accept the award on her behalf if she won.

They announce the winners by reading the first paragraph of the winning book. I was so wrought up that when they started reading the first paragraph of Emily Whitman’s Wildwing, I actually thought for a few seconds that it could be either my or Lisa’s book.

This year, the Body in the Woods made the sort list. When I thought about the four finalists for the award, I was sure that any of them had a better chance than I did. My book seemed too commercial. An hour before we left, I typed up a few words, printed them out and taped them on a 3X5 card. To be honest, I worried far more about the dress I was wearing. It had been designed by a friend on a fit model that took me a pair of Spanx and a pair of Spanx pantyhose to approximate. The days where I wear makeup, Spanx, and heels are very few.

We sat in the audience next to a dapper older man. I asked him what he was there for and he said, “I’m getting the lifetime achievement award. In other words, I’m old.” I told him it was better than getting an in memoriam award. I asked his name, and realized I was sitting next to the legendary writer and writing coach Tom Spanbauer, who has fostered so many other writers through his critique group and workshops.

The Leslie Bradshaw Award was one of the first announced. And when I heard the word “Alexis” – my main character – I jumped to my feet right away, instead of waiting decorously for the passage to be read to the end. Afterward, I was offered champagne in the green room and congratulated in whispers next to a sign warning that voices carried.

It was a magical night, made even more so when Tom, from the stage, asked his partner to marry him.

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6530. SURTEX 2015 -ashley lotecki

Ashley Lotecki is a Canadian surface pattern designer and illustrator who loves to create quirky and whimsical designs. Ashley's work will be debuting at Surtex this year where she will be represented by Cultivate Art Collective in booth 222.

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6531. The Choose Your Own Adventure Book Club (Adventure 1)

My book club has been meeting for over a year now and we've tried lots of different methods for choosing our books.  When we first started and we didn't know each other as well, we just let one person pick each month.  As we got to know each other better, we started just tossing ideas around.  Then we participated in a six month experience as Book Club Girl ambassadors and chose a book each month from a pool of available titles provided by Harper Collins.

All experiences were good, even when we didn't like the book, but we realized that while we'd discuss the group read for a bit, we spent the majority of our time just talking about everything else we'd been reading.  We have fairly diverse tastes, but there are places of overlap for all of us, so we'd spend hours at each meeting (our meetings are EPIC in length) just talking about books.

We decided after finishing Book Club Girl that we were all feeling pressured in our reading and guilty when we didn't get the assigned book finished.  I should mention here that we are also all in our local FYA Book Club chapter, so we were working with two required books each month.  I'm also in a church group that meets weekly to discuss a book we choose together and of course I've got review commitments here.  It all added up to less enjoyment of the books because we felt pushed to read them.

HAVING to read steals joy, so we came up with a plan.  We'd each brainstorm a list of reading prompts/themes and write them on slips of paper.  Then we'd put them all in my lovely Tardis cookie jar.  Each month we'd choose one prompt and could read anything in any genre that fit that prompt.  At book club we'd just discuss whatever we chose that month as appropriate for the prompt - along with anything else we've read that is amazing.

And so begins the tale of the Choose Your Own Adventure Book Club.  I'm going to post each month what our prompt was and what we each chose, because I'm proud of how clever we are and because it makes for a great book list.  For our inaugural month, we chose "Guilty Pleasures."  Here's the list of what we read:

I spent the entire month waffling between Lace by Shirley Conran, about four elegant sophisticated women living it up in the big city, written in the 80's, and, I was assured, full of scandal and reality-defying escapades,

and Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll, a continuation of Pride and Prejudice that I've heard is absolutely bawdy and terribly written.

Unfortunately I wound up reading neither, since I spent a huge portion of the month with my niece and nephews and just ran out of time and energy for reading something racy and poorly written.  Rest assured, I will still read both of these in my own good time.

Rachel chose For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund.  She's a huge fan of Persuasion and Jane Austen retellings, so this was right up her alley - especially since she thought it was set in space.  It is actually not at all set in space, but she did like it enough to take the second book in the series home with her from my shelf and I've added both books to my TBR list.

Courtney read The Duff  by Kody Keplinger.  We had a book club outing to see the movie and she enjoyed it enough that she decided to indulge herself with a read of the novel, about a teenage girl who struggles with her feelings for a boy who referred to her at one point as the DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend.  It's a YA Contemporary and everyone who had read it seemed to be in agreement that it's awesome.

Halina's guilty pleasure was a reread of a book called Gamer Girl by Mari Mancusi.  She'd read it and loved it, but wanted to try it again to see if it lived up to her memory.  It's about a manga fan who is an outcast at school, but finds herself falling in love in an online game similar to Warcraft.  It's earned a fair share of single stars on Goodreads, but Halina loved it anyway, which made it the perfect guilty pleasure.

And Stephanie is a sucker for rock stars and Wuthering Heights retellings, so she read Catherine by April Lidner.  It's pretty much as it sounds - Wuthering Heights but with Catherine's family owning an exclusive club and Heathcliff as a rock star in the making.  She loved it and it also inspired a great discussion about coming to books (WH in this case) as a teenager versus as an adult and how that affects your reading.  Our conclusion was that the WH type story of obsessive love needs to be read as a fifteen year old girl to be seen as romantic - and that most of us who read it as fifteen year old girls full of angst and longing still love it to this day.

So that's the Choose Your Own Adventure Book Club list of guilty pleasures.  Stay tuned for next month when we'll be reading things from the prompt "Not a novel" - which would include anything from non-fiction to poetry to graphic novels to drama.  I've got quite a list going already!

  What's your favorite guilty pleasure read?

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6532. Tremor Terror

Tremor Terror


कुछ देर पहले मार्किट में एक सहेली अपनी छोटी बेटी के साथ मिली. वो जल्दी जल्दी बहुत सारी शापिंग कर रही थी. बातो बातों मे उसने मुझे बताया कि ये बिल्डिंग तीसरी मंजिल पर है अगर भूकम्प आ गया तो … इस लिए बस जल्दी जल्दी खरीद कर बाहर निकलना चाह्ती हूं . वही बेटी भी मुझे कहने लगी आंटी अब हम सब भी मर जाएगें.मैने अपनी खरीददारी बीच मे ही छोडी और उनके साथ बाहर आ गई. सबसे पहले बेटी को समझाया कि कुछ नही होगा. उसको साथ वाली दुकान से आईसक्रीम लाने भेजा और फिर सहेली को डांटा कि क्या कर रही हो… मासूम के दिल मे क्यों डर बैठा रखा है भूकम्प का. स्कूल भी नही भेज रही खुद भी आफिस नही जा रही आखिर कब तक. ऐसे में ध्यान बटाने की बजाय तुम डर पैदा कर रही हो.रही बात भविष्यवाणी की किसी को नही पता कि भूकम्प आज अभी आएगा या 50 साल बाद .. ऐसे मे डर डर के कब तक जीओगी उसने बताया कि सारा दिन चैनल पर भी तस्वीरे… मैने कहा कि फिर बदल दो चैनल, फिल्म देखो, सीरियल देखो, बाहर घूमों , फोन करो दस काम है कि नही कि बस सारा समय खबरे ही देखनी हैं. मेरा शायद बोलने का लहजा ज्यादा तल्ख हो गया था.

असल में, मुझे गुस्सा आया कि अपने साथ साथ बच्चे के दिल मे भी डर बैठा दिया है उसने… फिर मैं उन्हें अपने घर ले आई. बहुत सारी बातें की और बेटी से poems भी सुनी और उसने कागज पर पेड और फूल भी बना कर दिखाया फिर मैनें भी उसको अपने कार्टून दिखाए. जाते जाते उसके चेहरे पर स्माईल और सहेली के होठों पर थैक्स था… ऐसी बात नही है कि मुझे डर नही नही है पर मैने खुद को समझा दिया है और फिर ही औरों को समझा रही हूं कि डर के बैठने से कुछ नही होगा … इससे बचाव के तरीके पढो, समझो और दूसरो तक पहुंचाओ … होगा वही जो ईश्वर को मंजूर होगा…. !!!

The post Tremor Terror appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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6533. Ladislav Sutnar: Visual Design in Action – Reprint

Ladislav Sutnar

On Tuesdsay, Designers & Books launched a special kickstarter campaign to reprint Ladislav Sutnar’s now classic Visual Design in Action. Published in 1961, the book has been out of print for over 40 years and due to it’s limited production, scarcely seen in the open market. If the campaign is successful, production will begin immediately and the book will be available as soon as this fall. To aid in the production, Designers & Books has enlisted an amazing team including Steven Heller, designer Reto Caduff and publisher Lars Muller. To support their efforts, please visit the official Kickstarter page and soon. Early backer discounts are available, but limited.


Ladislav Sutnar

Ladislav Sutnar

Ladislav Sutnar



Also worth viewing:
Hulse & Durrell
Kelly Thorn
Gracia Lam

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Thanks to this week's Sponsor // Webdesigner News

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6534. What is Fear?

If  you were to look up the word fear it would be defined as,"an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat."  So I ask you, what is fear?  Fear may mean to you failing a test.  Fear may symbolize an animal that always gets you to panic when you think of it.  For example, the fear of spiders is known as arachnophobia.  Some people are afraid of planes and go into a hysteria filled with trepidation whenever they are on a plane.  People worry about their family and fear for them when they are not well. 
However, sometimes, people welcome fear with open arms.  How many of you love to open up a good Stephen King novel and read it at night?  Sometimes we choose to watch a scary movie in order to get a good thrill.  I, personally think it is exciting to watch it at night. 

If the idea of fear is associated with an unpleasant emotion, then why do we welcome it in our home; on our television and our novels.   I guess as long as we use fear as a fictitious fun escape with the sole purpose of entertaining ourselves, then we can see fear as a unearthly fantasy.  As FDR said, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

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6535. SURTEX 2015 - betsey cavello

Betsey Cavello will be showing new designs at Surtex next month in booth 238.

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6536. This Changes Everything, Part Two

coverartClimate change is happening right now and it is only going to get worse unless we take drastic steps immediately. Yesterday was the bad news portion of Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything. Today is the small ray of hope.

It is entirely possible to make the switch to 100% renewable energy for the entire world by as early as 2030. We have the technology to do this, what is lacking is the will and the money. The free market as it currently functions will not get us there nor will our politicians. What needs to happen, Klein says is a mass social movement. She believes it is the only thing that will save us now. There are precedents, remember the Arab Spring? The US Civil Rights Movement? The Women’s Movement? Granted, none of these brought about a complete revolution, but they made an impact and perhaps a world-wide social movement could take hold and save us all.

There are places where it is already beginning. Klein calls the movement “Blockadia.” Currently much of it exists in areas where people are trying to protect land from being fracked. In the United States and Canada there are arising coalitions between indigenous peoples and their traditional opposition: ranchers, hunters, large farming operations. There is also a growing movement begun in Totnes, UK called Transition Town. It is a community led project to build resilient, sustainable communities.

Then there is the divestment movement that seems to be growing rapidly especially among universities. Divestment is about large institutions getting rid of their investments in fossil fuels. Yes, someone else buys the shares when they are sold, however, the more places that divest, the more public awareness it gets, the more unacceptable it becomes to make money from fossil fuels.

The bad news is there is nothing we can do alone that will make a difference. The good news is that together we can make change happen. Klein understands the difficulty in this:

For most of us living in postindustrial societies, when we see the crackling black-and-white footage of general strikes in the 1930s, victory gardens in the 1940s, and Freedom Rides in the 1960s, we simply cannot imagine being part of any mobilization of that depth and scale. That kind of thing was fine for them but surely not us — with our eyes glued to smart phones, attention spans scattered by click bait, loyalties split by the burdens of debt and insecurities of contract work. Where would we organize? Who would we trust enough to lead us? Who, moreover, is ‘we’?

The key to it all is a change of mindset. We much let go of our extractivist thinking that allows us to believe we can take and take and take, that we can control and dominate nature. There must, as Klein says, be a “fundamental shift in power relations between humanity and the natural world.” We must give up taking and dominating and become caretakers focused on renewal and regeneration.

It won’t be easy, if it were, we would have changed our ways already. But it isn’t impossible and we shouldn’t give up. One of the great things about a mass movement is when you start to feel overwhelmed and like your work isn’t making a difference, you are surrounded by people who can help bolster and renew your spirit. So find a local group already active in your area, or if there isn’t one, start one. Talk to your neighbors, your friends, they probably feel the same way you do and are just waiting for someone to light the fire. You could be the spark that gets it going.

Filed under: Books, Nonfiction, Reviews Tagged: climate change

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6537. SURTEX 2015 - paper & cloth

Never one to be missed at Surtex is the excellent Paper & Cloth studio who will be in booth 743.

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6538. Great Read Alert: Falling For Alice YA Anthology!

Out Now: Falling For Alice YA Anthology, Celebrating 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland

Denise Jaden, along with four other authors, are celebrating their unbirthday of their new Alice-in-Wonderland themed anthology with you! To celebrate these five new YA stories, she's giving away an entire BOX of great YA fiction to one lucky winner on her blog!

She's honored to have her story among some amazing other authors, including Dawn Dalton, Shari Green, Kitty Keswick, and Cady Vance. You will love all of their stories!

Here's a little bit about the anthology...

New Alice. New Wonderland. New stories ​to love.

From ​the modern Alice dumped in the Aquarian ​Age of the late sixties, to the ​present day Alice, tormented by body image and emotional issues, to the Alice of the future, launched forward through time and space, FALLING FOR ALICE offers five fresh takes on ​Lewis​ Carroll’s classic tale. For 150 years, people all over the world have fallen under Alice in Wonderland’s spell. ​Now, follow five Young Adult authors down the rabbit hole to discover Alice like you’ve never seen her before. One thing is certain—this is not your mother’s Alice.

And if you have not seen it yet, here is the book trailer...

Here are a few places where you can purchase the anthology:

Or ask your local bookstore or library to bring in a copy. Follow these five authors down the rabbit hole, and happy reading!

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6539. SURTEX 2015 - jane dixon

Jane Dixon will be showcasing her bold but sophisticated designs at Surtex in booth 739. Jane's previous clients have included Crate & Barrel, Vera Bradley and Target.

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6540. विदाई

ज़िक्र ना करो उसकी बेवफ़ाई का,
पानी भी ले गया वो तराई का,

पल पल जलते रहे याद में हम,
एक आँसू ना बहा उससे जुदाई का,

निकाल फेका मक्खी की तरह उसने,
जो बनाते थे कभी स्तंभ चारपाई का,
वादें किए ज़ालिम ने सैकड़ो हज़ार,
हल्का सा डर भी ना था खुदाई का,

ज़िंदगी बाँटने चले थे हम प्यार में,
एक पल भी ना जिया अंगड़ाई का, 

इस कदर सॉफ किया था सपनो से,
इनाम मिल रहा हो जैसे सफाई का,   

घुट घुट कर मर रहे थे हम 'साकी',
हुस्न मना रहा था जश्न विदाई का ||

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6541. NPM Project: Jumping Into Form - Writing Poetry

On this last day of the month I thought I would wrap up this year's National Poetry Month project by highlighting books that focus on form and the writing of poetry.

When I was in high school I wrote free verse, largely that's all I really knew. While I recall writing the occasional haiku as a English assignment, I was never instructed on how to write poetry. Oh, how I wish I had been! Poetry can be so much fun to play and puzzle with. Trying to make your ideas and favorite words fit into a structured form can be a daunting task, but one that gives much satisfaction upon its completion.

Today I rely on a varied collection of books while writing poetry. In addition to the "adult" books on poetry reading and writing, I often turn to books for children and young adults to help me think about form and process. Here are some of the books I use with regularity.
A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms (2005), compiled by Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Chris Raschka, begins with an introduction about poetic forms. It reads:
Why, you may ask, do poems have rules? Why 17 syllables in a haiku? Why 14 lines in a sonnet? The answer is: rules make the writing of a poem more challenging, more exciting. Think of a game you enjoy, like baseball. Imagine how much less intriguing the game would be if there were no foul line or limit to the number of outs in an inning. The rules often ask, "Can you do a good job within these limits?" Knowing the rules makes poetry—like sports—more fun, for players and spectators alike.
What follows are 29 poetics forms. Each form is accompanied by some kind of visual clue in the top corner of the page. For example, the page for couplet shows two birds on a wire, epitaph shows a headstone, and ode shows a Grecian urn. Once the form has been identified, readers find a short informational description and poetic example. Here's what you'll find on the page for Riddle Poem.
The beginning of eternity
The end of time and space,
The beginning of every end,
The end of every place. 
A riddle poem indirectly describes a person, place, thing, or idea. The reader must try to figure out the subject of the riddle. A riddle poem can be any length and usually has a rhyme scheme of abcb or aabb.
This volume not only contains many familiar forms, such as haiku, cinquain, acrostic and limerick, but also forms such as aubade, pantoum, villanelle, and double dactyl. At the end of the book readers will find a bit more background information on each of the 29 forms.
Getting From Here To There: Writing and Reading Poetry (1982, OP), written by Florence Grossman, is a book I pulled out of a discard pile years ago, but one that I still crack open. If you can find a copy, it would be worth your while to look it over. Here is how it begins.
Most people have never written poetry, yet most people, at one time or another. have had the vague sense of a poem lurking somewhere, something they had experienced that had to be told in a special way. This book is addressed to you if you have ever wanted to write a poem and did not know the place to begin, or if you have not trusted yourself because you thought you did not know the language of poetry. 
... And rhyme? Most beginning writers are boxed in by rhyme because they're busy thinking about the word that will rhyme instead of allowing words and ideas to bounce off each other. For now, forget about rhyme. Focus on rhythm. When you begin to listen to yourself, the poem will find its own rhythm. It will find its own length. Once you get rolling, the poem will assume a life of its own. It will tell you what it has to say.
This is book is organized into the following chapters: (1) Lists; (2) Then; (3) Things; (4) Signs; (5) Image; (6) People; (7) Clothes, etc.; (8) Sound/Silence; (9) Persona; and (10) Dreams and Fantasies. What I love is that in the introduction to each chapter, Grossman gives readers a perspective and an insight into writing poetry that is often profound. Here is an example from the chapter "Things."
Paper clips, rubber bands, a book of matches, these small things that go about daily business of their lives—most people would never think of them as subjects of poetry. But as walls have ears and pillows have secrets, each of these things has its own story. It has been places and done things. For the poets it's a matter of tuning in, of holding the spool of thread until we have heard what it has to say. Look long enough at a pencil and the poem will begin.
In addition to these insights, each chapter contains numerous example poems, thought prompts, and writing suggestions. The text ends with a section entitled Some Notes on Self Editing. There are 10 bulleted items here that are pithy and helpful. Here are a few.
  • What we are after here is honesty.
  • We all have our own words, words that we've carried around with us for years, words that we've tried on and we're comfortable with. These are the words of "our voice" that tell the reader someone has written this poem. Be true to those words.
  • Honest also means the exact word rather than the well-that-will-do word. Poetry is concise—no time to fool around with approximations. "The best words," says Wallace Stevens, "in their best order."
A Crow Doesn't Need A Shadow: A Guide to Writing Poetry From Nature (1994), written by Lorraine Ferra with illustrations by Diane Boardman, focuses on the "integration of our inner and outer landscapes. Through nature field trips, children and adults are invited to reflect on their personal place in the world." Sections of the book include: (1) Poetry Field Trips; (2) Building a Nature Wordscape; (3) Keeping a Nature Journal; (4) Other Explorations such as, finding a companion in nature, creating a landscape, colors in the natural world, dreaming up a place, nature in your hand, and more; (5) Anthology--a sampling of original poems by young authors; and (6) A Note To Educators (written by Mona Hirschi Daniels). The book begins this way.
Open the Door
An Invitation to Readers 
Over three hundred years ago, the poet Matsuo Basho said, "To learn about a tree, go to a tree. Basho was considering more than the scientific facts you learn about trees. He was suggesting that the creatures of the natural world speak a language, one perhaps different from yours, but one you can understand if you listen with your imagination. 
...Every chapter of this book, every poem, is a different door you can open to the natural world. Choose any of these doors, open it, and step quietly outside with your pencil, paper, and imagination.
In the section Creating a Landscape, Ferra shares a recipe poem by a twelve year old boy and guides readers through the process of writing their own. Here's an excerpt.
Look through a cookbook. As you read the directions for several different recipes, write down the verbs which tell you what to do with the ingredients. Make a list of about ten or twelve different verbs. Keep in mind that you probably won't use all the verbs you find. Be selective for your poem.

Some possible subjects might be a recipe for a cave, foggy morning, a bird refuge, a season or particular month, a moonlit field, a river, or a sunset. Once you decide on your subject, start listing some ingredients.
While there is no emphasis here on form, this is wonderful book for encouraging close observation, a skill so vital to the poet's craft.
Fly With Poetry: An ABC of Poetry (2000), written and illustrated by Avis Harley, uses the alphabet to organize 26 different poetic forms (two for the letter A and none for Y). Each page includes a poem written in the named form with information at the bottom of the page describing the form. Additional poetic forms are included in the end notes.

Leap Into Poetry: More ABCs of Poetry (2001), written and illustrated by Avis Harley, is a companion to FLY WITH POETRY that uses the alphabetic format to introduce a variety of poetic forms and techniques. Each letter introduces an arthropod in a poem that uses the stated form or technique. Facts about each animal are included in the end notes.
Write Your Own Poetry (2008), written by Laura Purdie Salas, is a book that provides a thorough introduction to the process and tools of writing poetry. There are chapters on poetic forms, language of poetry, imagery, point of view, meter and rhyme, and more. Jam-packed with sample poems, helpful tips and advice from poets, this is a comprehensive introduction to writing poetry.
Immersed in Verse: An Informative, Slightly Irreverent & Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet's Life (2006), written by Allan Wolf and illustrated by Tuesday Morning, is a how-to guide on becoming a poet for middle grades and young adults. The book begins this way.
Have you noticed how rhythm makes you move? How heave bass vibrates the door panels of passing cars? Have you noticed the colors of a rainbow? How the stench of fireworks burns your eyes? How you cold winter hands sting under warm water? To be a poet is to notice.
Poems are all around us, waiting to be written. The world teems with words, images, ideas, sights, sounds, colors, anecdotes, notions, and emotions. Just as water is the stuff of life to a fish, the world is the stuff of life to be a poet. all you need to do is dive in.
The book is divided into several sections, each color-coded for ease of use. Poetry & You offers readers a quick guided tour of poetry, nine habits of successful poets (such as get gonzo over words, write every day and play), a writing pledge and more you. Your Poetry Toolbox explains the tools of the trade, such as poetic devices and the anatomy of a poem. The Poet's Decisions delves deep into the process of writing, providing lessons on point of view, tense, form, playing with structure, revising and much more. Always Something to Write About provides ideas for journaling and writing prompts. The last major section, Ta Da!: Presenting Your Work is about reading, performing and publishing poetry. Liberally sprinkled throughout the text are examples and lots of poems from a range of poets.

One of my favorite sections is entitled Your Best Revising Tools. Having just spent a significant amount of time revising a poem, I can tell you how much these ring true. Here they are in abbreviated form.
  1. Time - It's very difficult to read a poem objectively on the day you wrote it. It's best to let it age—a day, a week, a month.
  2. An Audition - With poetry, there's no room for words that aren't pulling their weight. Make those words work for you. Make them prove they belong where they are.
  3. A Sense of Fearless Tinkering - Don't be afraid to take apart what you've done. . . . Take your poem apart and put it back together. Don't worry about the extra parts still on the floor.
  4. Highlighting the Poem's Golden Moments - Use a yellow highlighter to designate your poem's top three golden moments (be they a single work, a partial phrase, or an entire line) that are vital to the poem's life. . . . Once you've highlighted the poem's golden moments, examine the remaining words with a critical eye.
  5. Vivacious Vocal Cords - Poetry is ultimately a spoken art. . . . but it's also a great revision tool. It helps flag a poem's awkward phrases, blips, bleeps, and blemishes.
The book ends with appendices of selected poems and poets, as well as publishing resources for young writers.
How to Write Poetry, written by Paul Janeczko, is a Scholastic Guide that organizes the poetry writing process in easy-to-follow steps. The chapters on starting to write, writing poems that rhyme, and writing free verse poems all offer a wealth of information, sample poems, and "try this" suggestions. Different poetic forms are introduced along with checklists to keep writer's focused on important features. Includes an extensive glossary.

Poetry from A to Z: A Guide for Young Writers, written by Paul Janeczko, is a collection of 72 poems arranged alphabetically by subject. Also included are 14 poetry-writing exercises that show how to write specific types of poems and advice from more than twenty poets on becoming a better writer.
Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem From the Inside Out, written by Ralph Fletcher, is a good guide to writing poetry from the heart. Chapters deal with imagery, rhythm, crafting poems, wordplay, and more. Major poetic forms are defined and there is a section on ways to share your work. Interviews with Kristine O'Connell George, Janet Wong, and J. Patrick Lewis are included. A number of poems written by Fletcher are included as examples in these chapters.
Seeing the Blue Between: Advice and Inspiration for New Poets, compiled by Paul Janeczko, contains a collection of letters and poems by children's poets. Written to and for aspiring writers, this volume provides advice and inspiration.

The Place My Words Are Looking For: What Poets Say About and Through Their Work, selected by Paul Janeczko, is a collection of poems, advice, anecdotes, and recollections of 39 poets. Following their poems, poets describe their inspirations, memories, where they get their ideas, their writing processes, and how they go about translating their ideas in to poetic form.

If you are looking for additional resources on poetry writing, try these sites.
April may be ending, but that doesn't mean the poetry goodness must stop. I hope you'll revisit some of the posts from this month as you incorporate more poetry reading and writing in your classroom.

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by this month. It has been a joy sharing poetry with you.

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6542. SURTEX 2015 - milk & honey

Here are some more lovely Surtex flyers today. Starting with new studio Milk & Honey whose work will be making its debut with their agents creatif in booth 207. Whilst the team from Milk & Honey wont actually be attending the New York show themselves they say they cannot wait to see what reaction their designs will get.

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6543. Too similar to another story?

Hi, I'm almost done with my novel (85,00 words, probably gonna end up being 95,000). In my novel, one of the main relationships is between two brothers.

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6544. A Children's Bookplate

1918 book plate, from graphics fairy 2

1918 book plate, from graphics fairy
Sweet, downloadable bookplate from Graphics Fairy...

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6545. Learning From Ralph Fletcher: Teaching Authentic Information Writing

Two weekends ago, thanks to Bonnie Kaplan and the Hudson Valley Writing Project, I had the great pleasure of attending Ralph Fletcher’s presentation: “Making Nonfiction from Scratch: How Can We Give Students the Time, the Tools, and the Vision They Need in Order to Create Authentic Information Writing?” I knew it would be a great morning of learning ...

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6546. Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems, by Nick Cannon (ages 6-9)

What makes a great book for kids? I'd say it's a book that makes them want to read more, a book that makes them smile or wonder, a book that makes them think about it after they close the page. It's a book that inspires kids to create their own stories and feel the power of their own words. Neon Aliens Ate My Homework is a collection of poems from comedian, musician and actor Nick Cannon that did just that.
Neon Aliens Ate My Homework and Other Poems
by Nick Cannon
illustrated by Nick Cannon, Art Mobb, and more
Scholastic, 2015
Your local library
ages 6-9
*best new book*
Cannon shares a collection of poems that range from giggle-inducing to gross, thought-provoking to full of bravado, and this variety was very appealing to my students. They loved how one minute they were laughing about neon aliens eating up Nick's backpack to the next minute thinking about how they can believe in themselves and stand up to bullies who spread hatred. 

Throughout, Cannon shows kids the power of words -- the words they read, and the words they write or say themselves. He starts by honoring Shel Silverstein, still a favorite among my students. This lets us talk about the power of books, both their staying power (their kids might read these same books!) but also the escape that they can provide during difficult times.
"He changed my life with just his words.
The utmost respect is what he deserves.
He made me smile in my tough times,
He encouraged me to live life through my rhymes."
We were able to dig into some of his imagery and characterization, whether Cannon used it to inspire us ("SuperMom" below) or entertain us ("Pink Lunch Lady"). His poems resonated with my students. They understand how a mom can be "soft yet tough" and could see how his examples helped show this.
"She can multitask with lightning-fast hands,
And the brightest of lights shines wherever she stands.
She goes to work in the morning, conquers school at night.
She can read minds and knows how to break up a fight."
Today, my students especially responded to the poem "Haters." We talked about Cannon's message and the power of his words. We talked about what the imagery meant, how hate can melt away. These are all skills that the Common Core is asking students to do -- but here, we are taking a modern poem that speaks to their experience to show how meaningful it can be.
'Haters like to bully, but I will not waver.
Haters think they're tough, but I'm the one who's braver.
Haters are doubters, and I'm a believer.
Haters are cowards, and I'm an achiever.
One day when I'm older, living my dream,
I'll let that hate melt away, just like ice cream."
Seek out this book and the audio recording. You can hear Nick Cannon reading his poems, which conveys how heartfelt so many of these poems are. My experience is that 2nd and 3rd graders respond best to this collection, hitting the same sweet spot as Shel Silverstein.

Illustrations ©2015 by Nick Cannon, Art Mobb, and Morf; used with permission from Scholastic. The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher, Scholastic. The audiobook review copy was borrowed from our local library as a downloadable audio through Hoopla. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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6547. Bat-Winged Dinosaur Discovered

A bizarre new species of bat-winged dinosaur from China was announced yesterday in Nature magazine

The name Yi qi, (pronounced "ee chee") means "strange wing." The fossil, presented by by Xu Xing, et al., shows evidence of elongated rod-like bones extending from the wrist which would have supported membranous wings.

(Link to video) Although the pigeon-sized animal also had a feathery body coating, they functioned more to regulate body heat, like the fur of a flying squirrel or bat. Whether this Jurassic maniraptoran theropod used its wings to flap or just to glide is still unclear. 

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6548. Jack and Jill,DC 75th anniversary

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6549. Six Spins on Historical Fiction YA Novels

Young Adult novel writers are putting their spin on historical fiction, covering historical mysteries, contemporary historical reinterpretations, steampunk, historical romances, and more.

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6550. Luna crane, papa plane

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