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20676. Emma Watson talks of her New projects in Video and ELLE

Emma Watson has been in Spain, promoting her new film projects–Regression and Beauty and the Beast. Emma will grace the covers of the ELLE Spain magazine for the October issue. In the magazine, she speaks of her work in the thriller, Regression. Some of the images from the October issue of ELLE Spain have made their way online. They can be seen here, and below.



Emma-Watson--Elle-Spain-2015--03 Emma-Watson--Elle-Spain-2015--01-662x862

In a new interview in Spain, she spoke out about Beauty and the Beast. The video can be seen below. It is the first time we have heard Emma speak openly about the film (though she said there is not much she is allowed to say). In the interview she said that there were new parts of the story that did not appear in the animated version of the film.

Thanks to SnitchSeeker for the heads up!

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20677. Harry Potter Memorabilia In Auction

This week, someone will own a piece of Harry Potter film history.  Prop Store, a source for movie collectibles, will be holding its world-wide live auction on Wednesday, September 23rd.  In August, Entertainment Weekly reported on the upcoming sale, and now, Moviefone and others have articles about it.  Nearly 500 items related to film production, including props and costumes for numerous franchises and cult classics, will be sold.  Three auction lots in the catalog this year are from the Harry Potter films.

The first item, #178, is a Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone movie poster signed by Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint.  The auction catalog says, “This poster was acquired directly from a crew member who worked on location with the key cast members on the film.”


The second item, #179, is a Hogwarts acceptance envelope with its wax seal (that may or may not have a letter inside).  It is one of the many envelopes in the scene where a tornado of owls and post swirls through the Dursley’s house.

Made from marbled-effect paper, Harry’s address is printed in green on the front of the envelope with the Hogwarts crest printed on the reverse. This hero envelope features an actual red wax Hogwarts seal rather than the many printed envelopes that were also used in the scene. The envelope remains sealed with paper seemingly contained within,” says the auction catalog.


The third lot, #180, is two scarves given to crew members on the sets of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  They are both in Gryffindor house colors and have embroidered logos from the respective films.  The Goblet of Fire scarf is in a color-block similar to Harry’s Triwizard Tournament uniform.


Wednesday’s auction will include a live webcast, and bids will be accepted in person, online, and by phone.  Will someone finally get a Hogwarts acceptance letter?

To see the full catalog of items for sale, see here.

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Jane Kenyon, on writing: Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by… Continue reading

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20679. How to Choose a Title: INFOGRAPHIC

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20680. Come meet me and other local Authors at the Local Authors and Artists Festival in Windsor this Weekend...

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20681. 2015 Vegas Valley Book Festival


The Vegas Valley Book Festival, now in its fourteenth year, is a celebration of the written, spoken, and illustrated word. The festival has networked together a community-wide consortium of cultural organizations and sponsors to offer “a one-stop shopping experience for literature” through a wide range of programs built around sharing resources, developing audiences, advancing the craft of writing, and sharing the joys of reading. This annual festival is the largest literary event in Nevada, drawing more that 10,000 attendees during the season. Since its founding in 2002, the festival has presented over 800 authors and speakers and has produced or sponsored over 500 events, sessions, readings, workshops, and book signings. The festival is free and open to the public.



Kenneth Kit Lamug – Author: A Box Story Kenneth Kit Lamug is a photographer, writer, filmmaker and illustrator based in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was born in Manila, Philippines and moved to the U.S. with his parents and siblings in 1996. His art and photography has been showcased in many exhibits throughout the world. Recently, his illustrations won first place of the 2011 Vegas Valley Comic Book Festival Badge Art Competition and 2011 Nevada SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Identity contest. His photography was also featured in National Public Radio, won the 2011 Best of Show for Black and White Art Night, and was a finalist in the 2010 Photographers Forum Magazine “Best of Photography” International competition. He is a regular contributor for Underneath a Juniper Tree, an online children’s literature magazine. He currently resides in Las Vegas with his wife and three boys. APPEARING 12:30-3 — HENDERSON LIBRARIES CHILDREN’S TENT

Dana Bullinger – Illustrator Picking Apples with Daddy Dana Bullinger is an artist who creates illustrations using paper. Her process begins with sketches of the illustration and color palette selection. The illustration then comes to life using a unique process of layering meticulously cut paper pieced together using glue. Dana illustrated her first picture book, Picking Apples with Daddy, written by Tawnya Shaw, available on Amazon. She lives with her boyfriend and cat in Las Vegas. Find out more about Dana on her website www.danabullinger.wordpress.com APPEARING 10-12:15 — HENDERSON LIBRARIES CHILDREN’S TENT

Jackie Carr – Author: Martyr, Patterson Reeling A Las Vegas native, Jackie Carr is the author of the sci-fi epic Martyr and short story Patterson Reeling. He is currently working on new material that is geared toward the science fiction, drama, and horror genres, with the primary audience of his works being that of young adult and middle grade fiction. APPEARING 10-12:15 — HENDERSON LIBRARIES ADULT AUTHOR TENT

Noriko and Don Carroll – Author/Photographer First Flight: A Mother Hummingbird’s Story Noriko and Don Carroll are a husband-and-wife creative team of photo-illustrators. They moved from New York City to Las Vegas in 2002, never expecting that their first project literally would come to roost on their own back porch. Together, Noriko and Don wrote and illustrated Happy Birthday, the Cat. Don is also the coauthor of Focus on Special Effects. APPEARING 10-12:15 — HENDERSON LIBRARIES ADULT AUTHOR TENT

Stephen Murray – Author Chapel of Eternal Love: Wedding Stories from Las Vegas Author Stephen Murray was born in England, raised in Southern Africa and has travelled throughout the world. The software company owner shares some poignant, heart-wrenching and humorous, fictional stories of couples who tie the knot in a Las Vegas wedding chapel in his novel “The Chapel of Eternal Love: Wedding Stories from Las Vegas.” APPEARING 10-12:15 — HENDERSON LIBRARIES ADULT AUTHOR TENT

Paul Papa – Author It Happened in Las Vegas: Remarkable Events that Shaped History and others. Paul W. Papa is an American storyteller who has lived in Las Vegas for more than 20 years. He started his writing career as a security officer for the historic Sands Hotel & Casino. It was through documenting the numerous activities that occurred on the hotel property that Paul developed a love for writing true stories about uncommon events—the tales of America. In Paul’s books you will find fascinating stories that are uniquely American, presented in a way that makes them both engaging and informative. When not at his keyboard lost in an intriguing tale, Paul can be found on the trails of Bootleg Canyon riding his mountain bike, hiking around Red Rock Canyon or on the waters of the Colorado in his kayak. APPEARING 12:30-3 — HENDERSON LIBRARIES LIBRARY ADULT AUTHOR TENT

Katie Salidas — Las Vegas Native, Katie Salidas is a Jill of all trades. Mother to three, wife to one, and slave to the craft of writing, she tries to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Author of the Immortalis series, Chronicles of the Uprising, and various other paranormal works; wiring is her passion, and she hopes that her passion will bring you hours of entertainment. http://www.katiesalidas.com APPEARING 10-12:15 — HENDERSON LIBRARIES ADULT AUTHOR TENT

Morgan St. James – Author A Corpse in the Soup (Silver Sisters Mystery Series) and Bumping Off Fat Vinny, among other fiction and non-fiction titles. A frequent speaker and panel member at conferences, writer’s groups and events she currently has fourteen books in publication. She currently resides in Las Vegas, with her husband and Dylan the Dog who rules the household. She is on the Board of Writers of Southern Nevada, and belongs to multiple writers’ groups. She has written over 600 published articles about the business and craft of writing. Her columns in Examiner.com were so well received that she wrote Writers’ Tricks of the Trade, as a helpful handbook for writers at all career stages. APPEARING 12:30-3 — HENDERSON LIBRARIES ADULT AUTHOR TENT

Danielle Wagasky – Author Living a Beautiful Life on Less: The Blissful and Domestic Guide to Food, Fun, and Finances Danielle is a self-proclaimed budgeting diva, who has learned through experience how to make frugal living work. She started her blog, Blissful and Domestic, in 2009 as a way to document her frugal journey. Little did she know it would turn into a labor of love, where she shares daily tips and tricks to help people learn to create a beautiful life on less. She continues to share this knowledge through teaching others how to budget in her community and at church. She lives in Henderson, Nevada with her Hubby and two redheads.


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20682. NEW SEASON - orla kiely

This graphic owls pattern forms part of the new bag designs for Orla Kiely's Autumn Winter 2015 collection. Also new is a graphic print using her initials 'OK' in repeat. Her inspiration for her AW15 fashion collection is a studious preppy look inspired by the film Love Story and images of 1970's students on campus' and in yearbooks. If you are in London from today or until Thursday you can

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20683. Torill Kove On Winning A Norwegian Honor, Her Next Film, and Personal Identity

The Montreal-based animator is accruing recognition for animated films that make audiences think and feel across geographical boundaries.

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20684. ‘Half Wet’ by Sophie Koko Gate

We are all born as wet as a banana, around 75% water.

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20685. Rupert Grint supports Fighting Cancer through “World’s Biggest Coffee Morning”!

Like many of those in the Potter Universe, Rupert Grint is a big supporter of charities. This time he is showing support for those battling cancer, by contributing to a charity event called World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. The charity’s website states:

Catch up over a cuppa, enjoy some gorgeous treats – and the money you raise at your Coffee Morning will help us make sure no one has to face cancer alone. Sign up for your free Coffee Morning Kit, filled with everything you need to host a brilliant get together.

According to the site, last year’s fundraiser brought in over 25 million British pounds. You may sign up and donate to support the cause on the charities website. If you are in short supply of baking ideas, Rupert Grint has come to the rescue. Rupert showed his support by contributing a recipe to the site’s baking ideas. The recipe for Rupert’s Stem Ginger and Dark Chocolate Biscuits can be found on the website, here.


They look delicious.

The Ice Cream Man recommends doing so while watching the Celebrity Taste Makers episode starring Rupert Grint.

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20686. Our Heroes Are Fallible And So Are We

One of my favourite TV writers, Sarah Dollard, recently wrote some beautiful writing advice, which is applicable to all kinds of writing. Go read it!

I want to bring particular attention to this:

Be critical of film and TV, even the stuff you love . . . If you want to be a truly good writer, you can’t have sacred cows. If other people think an episode of your favourite show is sexist or racist or short-sighted in some way, hear them out and consider their point of view. You can enjoy a piece of media while also acknowledging its shortcomings. However, if you hold your favourite writer or producer above criticism, then you’ll likely fall into the same traps as they do, and you too may alienate or hurt people with your work. Accept that no one is perfect, not even your hero. Accept that no one’s writing is perfect, even if it’s hugely entertaining; we all have unconscious hang-ups and prejudices, and many of us write from a position of privilege. One of the best things you can do as a writer (and a person) is to listen to the way other people receive stories.

Because every word is the truth. We do not write in a vacuum. We write about the real world while living in the real world. That’s true whether we are writing about zombies or vampires or high school or genocide or butterflies or all five. Our words have effects on other people.

We need to be mindful of the history of the genre we write. For example, I’m watching Fear of the Walking Dead because I love zombies and will watch anything with even the slight possibility that a zombie might show up. Fear is a spin off from The Walking Dead. One of the biggest criticisms of that show is how few black people there are. There were hardly any black extras either, which is particularly weird given that it’s set near Atlanta which has one of the largest African-American populations in the USA. You would think that the creators and writers of Fear of the Walking Dead would be aware of that criticism. Yet the only named characters killed in the first two episodes were black. Seriously? You couldn’t kill a white named character? You couldn’t let one black character survive?

They ignored the history of their particular franchise and the broader history of US TV where black characters have always been treated as disposable. What were they thinking? They weren’t. They sat inside their blinkered world and wrote from there. Don’t do that.

Critiquing the things we love can also give us insight into the failings of our own work. As Sarah says “listen[ing] to the way other people receive stories” gives you a richer understanding of how our stories can be read and of what stories can do.

I wrote about the racism in my own work three years ago. I would write a very similar post if I were to write it today. It is essential to know as much as we can about our genre and its pitfalls when we write. Otherwise we’ll make the same mistakes.

I write YA. It’s a genre that in Australia, the UK and the US is overwhelmingly about white, straight, middle-class teenagers and overwhelmingly written by white, straight, middle-class authors. The blind spots of my beloved genre are many. This is why we have organisations like Diversity in YA founded by Malinda Lo and Cindy Pon. They have a whole section where they look at the statistics on diversity in YA. I highly recommend checking it out.

All too often white writers who create POC characters expect to be congratulated for having made the effort and do not deal well with criticism of those characters. We forget that POC writing POC get criticism too.1 Have a look at the criticism African-Americans get for not representing their community in a positive way and for not writing uplifting books.

We must also remember that diversity is not just about who is represented in the story and on the covers of those books, which, yes, is deeply important, but also about who is writing and publishing the books. Having most of the POC characters in YA written by white authors is not a huge improvement.2

Everyone gets criticised. No writer is perfect. Jane Austen couldn’t write a satisfying ending to save her life. Her books just end, people! So annoying. Georgette Heyer was a racist, anti-semite, full of horrible class prejudices. If she were alive today she’d be embarrassing the shit our of her fans on twitter every day. She and Rupert Murdoch would probably be besties.3 I still think Heyer’s one of the best comic writers of the twentieth century.4

TL;DR: Read Sarah’s wonderful writing advice. Our writing heroes are fallible so are we. We must know the history of what we write. Listen to how other people respond to stories. Just listen!

  1. Our own communities often judge us the most harshly. As an Australian the most vehement criticism I get of my books with Aussie characters and Aussie settings is that I’ve gotten them wrong. Aussies don’t talk that why! Why do you misrepresent your own people? Are you actually Australian?
  2. I speak as a white author who has written African-American, Aboriginal Australian, Hispanic American and Chinese-American main characters. I know I’m part of the problem.
  3. Although she may have been appalled by him being a vulgar colonial.
  4. I just can’t read The Grand Sophy any more.

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20687. #738 – When a Dragon Moves In Again by Jodi Moore & Howard McWilliam

When a Dragon Moves In Again Written by Jodi Moore Illustrated by Howard McWilliam Flashlight Press        9/01/2015 978-1-936261-35-2 32 pages        Age 4—8 “If you build a perfect castle, a dragon will move in, followed by. . . a baby?! Preparations are in fll swing o welcome a new family …

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20688. Encouraging Families to Play Outside

During the summer, libraries are a destination for families to play, learn, and escape the heat, but what about those beautiful sunny days when no one wants to be inside? This summer at the Fayetteville Free Library (FFL) we offered a new early childhood program simply titled: Play Outside. Families with young children were invited to join us in our library’s green space for free play fun. Our library does not have its own playground; there are no jungle gyms or climbing equipment, just an open, grassy field lined with trees and bushes. With a few new toys and some repurposing of old ones, we were able to turn this empty space into a rich outdoor play environment for a few hours each month.

play outsideOur play outside program featured a sand table and a water table that we made by borrowing two large plastic storage bins. We grabbed some plastic ocean animal figurines that adorn our children’s non-fiction shelves and brought those outside with us to play with in our “ocean.” We also incorporated many large manipulative toys including beach balls, bucket stilts, hop-along balls, jumping sacks, hula hoops, and a parachute. We also created a large seating area with picnic blankets, board books, sidewalk chalk, and bubbles. While our supplies were simple, their uses were varied and complex. One young child gave the toy fish “baths” with a bucket, while another built a sand castle, pretending to be at the beach. Two children enlisted parents and peers to play parachute games, and the group worked together to keep the beach balls in the air. On the picnic blanket, a mother read to her baby, while her preschooler drew pictures with chalk, next to them. As families moved organically from one activity to another, they connected with other families. Parents chatted and shared information about upcoming community events and new friendships were forged among the children. As the facilitator of the program, I also had the chance to have on-on-one conversations with parents and kids alike, and received valuable feedback on library programs and services.

play outside 2One of the great things about a program like this is that it’s easily customizable as there are no requirements except an outdoor space. Our program centered on a multipurpose open space and manipulatives, but other ideas include: wheeled toys, music and movement props, play houses, balance beams or stepping stones, flower or vegetable gardens, and much more. If your library doesn’t have an outdoor space, consider meeting at a local park or playground. But wait; can’t families just go to the park instead? We agree that families can and should still visit parks, but librarians who offer outdoor programs have a unique opportunity to bring their communities together to encourage a love of learning, nature, and a healthy active lifestyle. In fact, the Institute of Museums and Libraries (IMLS) has identified “improving family health and nutrition” as a national priority, because we know that children’s learning is inextricably linked to their health. Outdoor play encourages children to run, lift and carry things, to use their imaginations, and cooperate with other children. In fact a recent article by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) states that, “Children who regularly play outdoors tend to be fitter and leaner, develop stronger immune systems, play more creatively, have more active imaginations, report lower stress levels, and demonstrate greater respect for themselves and others (Fjørtoft 2004; Burdette & Whitaker 2005)” (Spencer & Wright 28). With all these benefits, I encourage you to give outdoor programs a try.

Do you already offer something like this at your library? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

(All photos courtesy of guest blogger)


Courtesy photo

Stephanie C. Prato is a member of the ALSC Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee. She is the Director of Play to Learn Services at the Fayetteville Free Library in NY. If you have any questions, email her at sprato@fflib.org.

The post Encouraging Families to Play Outside appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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20689. Titan announces SNOWPIERCER 3: TERMINUS

Snowpiercer by writer Olivier Bocquet and the artist Jean-Marc Rochette is a gorgeous thought provoking SF story about a world where the last of humanity is living on a train speeding across a frozen landscape. It was famously adapted into a film starring Chris Evans that in its overseas version was as smart as the […]

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20690. And to Whom Should I Reply?

I can never understand why so many writers have websites and/or blogs, but do not have their email address or a “contact me” link easily visible.

It’s a frequent source of frustration for me. Why would you bother putting yourself out there without giving people a way to contact you?

There are two circumstances in which I come up against this:

(1) I’m following links to various websites/blogs, find something I like and become interested in talking to the writer about whether they’d ever like to be published, whether they have an agent, etc… and there’s no email address.

(2) I want to respond privately to a comment someone has left on my blog, rather than put it out there for all the world to see. I’m interested in engaging in conversation. Yet when I follow the link to their blog or website, again, no way to contact them.

Listen, there’s a lot of dialogue going on out here on the web, and real connections are being made. If you don’t include a way for people to contact you directly, it says you’re not interested in making connections, that maybe you’re just interested in being heard but not interested in hearing from others.

You’re here to network, to learn, to communicate, and to create relationships. It’s not just about putting your blog or website up and commenting on others’ blogs. Let people know how to reach you, too. Just in case.

And by the way, the excuse that you want to avoid spambots getting your email address is so five years ago. You can encrypt or obscure your email address so that people can see it but spambots can’t. If you want, you can also create a separate Gmail or Yahoo address for public use. It’s free and takes 30 seconds.

So, if you have a website or blog, and if you’re leaving comments on others’ blogs, make sure you have your email address or “contact me” plainly visible.

If you’re one of those without contact info on your site—why not? Are you going to add it today?

Have a blog or website? Make sure people can find your email address or contact page!

Click to Tweet this.

The post And to Whom Should I Reply? appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.

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20691. Hogwarts Best Friend Personality Quiz

Harry Potter StampFind Out Who Would Be Your Best Friend at Hogwarts!

Can you imagine how awesome it would be to go to Hogwarts? (Minus the whole Voldemort thing, of course.) It would be amazing! The classes! The professors! The moving stairs . . . !

It is important to know what house the Sorting Hat would stick you in, but we’re overlooking the REAL Hogwarts question we should all be asking ourselves: who would be your Hogwarts bestie? Who would brave the hallowed halls and mysterious secret chambers by your side? Who would help you cram for exams, pull pranks, sneak midnight snacks, and graduate on time? When your letter finally arrives and you go on that magical journey that begins at Platform 9 3/4, you will be well-prepared knowing exactly which Hogwarts student you should be buddying up with. After all, having a best friend can make a world of a difference when starting a new school!

Answer these questions to find YOUR Hogwarts best friend!

  1. Which Hogwarts class are you most looking forward to? a) Care of Magical Creatures. b) Herbology. c) Transfiguration. d) Defense Against the Dark Arts. e) Alchemy.
  2. You are most nervous about . . . a) exams. b) bullies. c) rules. d) possibly not being the smartest person in your class. (GASP!) e) not knowing which of your 37 Yule Ball date invitations to say yes to.
  3. Your favorite Bertie Bott’s Beans flavor is . . . a) soap. b) grass. c) sausage. d) black pepper. e) banana.
  4. If you ran into Fluffy the Cerberus—a vicious three-headed dog–in a dark Hogwarts hallway, your first reaction would be to . . . a) feed it a treat. b) run away. c) cast a shrinking spell on it. d) play music for it, obviously. e) report it to the authorities.
  5. You would most likely get into trouble for . . . a) roaming the castle after hours. b) losing your homework. c) pranking another student. d) checking out an off-limits book from the library. e) Actually, you never get into trouble.
  6. You hope your patronus is a(n) . . . a) dolphin. b) giraffe. c) gopher. d) otter. e) bear.
  7. Your favorite potion is . . . a) Amortentia (a love potion). b) strength potion. c) Polyjuice potion (a potion that makes you look like another person). d) Felix Felicis (a lucky potion). e) Draught of Peace (a calming potion).
  8. Besides classes, what are you most looking forward to? a) Hanging out with mermaids. b) Exploring the library. c) Going to Zonko’s Joke Shop in Hogsmeade. d) There’s life outside class? e) Quidditch!
  9. Which house would you be sorted into? a) Ravenclaw. b) Hufflepuff. c) Gryffindor. d) Slytherin. e) It doesn’t really matter as long as you end up at Hogwarts!

If you picked mostly A’s – LUNA LOVEGOOD
Your best friend at Hogwarts is the brilliant (but sometimes spacey) Luna Lovegood. You’re a creative and curious soul and you need someone who can keep up with your wandering mind. Luna not only keeps up with you, but she leads you into some very strange and exciting adventures! People whisper not-so-kind things about you two behind your backs, but that’s because they don’t understand what they’re calling “weird” is really just “wonderful.” Besides, you two have never cared at all about what anyone ever thought of you—you are completely lost in your own spectacular universe!

If you picked mostly B’s – NEVILLE LONGBOTTOM
You’re quiet and reserved, and you like your privacy. That’s why Neville Longbottom is your best friend. You two could spend hours reading in silence next to each other and be perfectly happy. You will love having long, thoughtful conversations about the fascinating things you’ve learned in class or read about in your free time. You don’t hold being loud and flashy against other people, but it’s not really your thing. However, when the going gets tough, you two aren’t afraid to stand up for each other—or yourselves! You both are brave and kind, and your friendship is steady, trusting, and warm.

If you picked mostly C’s – THE WEASLEY TWINS
You’re popular and you can’t help it! Obviously, when it comes to having a bestie, you could never settle for just one—that’s why your best friends are those famous, fantastic twins, Fred and George Weasley! You’re a gang that believes in having a good time ALL the time, even if it means getting into trouble. But no one ever stays mad at you long, because you are only ever causing a ruckus to make other people smile. What’s so wrong with that? And even if you seem to be silly 24/7, your loyalty and love are no joke. You’re fierce friends to the very end, whether it comes to standing up to a bully or facing off with He Who Shall Not Be Named.

If you picked mostly D’s – HERMIONE GRANGER
You’re a quick-witted genius and find yourself smarter than most people, so your best friend is—naturally—Hermione Granger. The two of you may argue sometimes, but you have too much respect for each other to ever stay mad about anything for very long. There’s usually some problem that other people need you to help solve, so it’s up to the two of you to combine forces and save the day (again). The very best thing about your friendship is that as much as you may complain, you are always 100% ready and willing to help each other and your other friends whenever it’s needed. The two of you inspire everyone around you to be more fearless and selfless every day!

If you picked mostly E’s – CEDRIC DIGGORY
You’re a genuine and pure person with a heart of gold. You don’t like to break the rules at all, but you have a very strong sense of right and wrong. You’re no trendsetter since you like to play it safe, but people are drawn to your open and honest personality, so you are very well liked by everyone. The two of you would spend all your time together playing Quidditch, eating pizza, and playing video games (or going on accidental adventures). You both value the little, everyday things in life, and that makes your friendship a solid, happy one.


Who is your Hogwarts best friend? Did you think you got the right one? What other Harry Potter character do you wish you could be friends with in real life? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

See ya,

En-Szu, STACKS Writer

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20692. Witness the Revenge of the Armor Hunters in the Pages of Valiant’s Unity

Valiant Entertainment has revealed one of the final story arcs for the publisher’s landmark team book Unity. A few weeks ago, the comics company announced that the series was coming to an end with issue #25. The new arc features the return of the Armor Hunters who were defeated at the end of a landmark […]

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20693. WILD CRUSH by Simone Elkeles \\ Excerpt

WILD CRUSHWild Cards #2by Simone ElkelesFile Size: 2017 KBPrint Length: 240 pagesSimultaneous Device Usage: UnlimitedPublisher: NLA Digital LLC (September 22, 2015)Publication Date: September 22, 2015 Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.  Goodreads | Amazon When the only girl you want is the one you can't have... Bad boy Vic Salazar breaks all the rules except one: Don't make a move on

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20694. New Projects - Illustrating Children's Books

New projects, a new blog, and back to College I go tomorrow for a new year. The exciting news? I have a whole year in which to work on illustrating for children, and it's all been accepted as part of my work for the course this year, so there's a lot of fun waiting to be had. Just pop over to my new site for a look and follow me there! Just click here: Mariana Black Illustration.




I've been working towards this dream for years now, so it's truly wonderful to be sharing this news for you. A lot of visualization and a lot of hard work ... and the possibilities are unlimited. Dream big. Cheers.


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20695. A new promo illustration for my agent. I especially loved...

A new promo illustration for my agent. I especially loved drawing the pug ;-)

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20696. Procreation

Procreation makes a nation
Populous and proud
But the kicker, it makes thicker
Every single crowd.

For each baby will, not maybe,
Take his rightful place.
Then each city, big or bitty,
Could run out of space.

Celebration of creation
Thus should be subdued
But there’s no braking baby-making
When folks are in the mood.

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20697. One Picture-Book Roundtable Discussion Before Breakfast #4: Featuring the Women of Finding Winnie

Sophie: “This was the last painting to be finished.
I felt a little bereft when it was all done.”

(Click to enlarge)


Back in the day, I used to do what I called picture-book roundtable discussions here at 7-Imp — in which the author, illustrator, editor, and art director/book designer would join me to give readers varying perspectives on one picture book title. I’ve only done three of these, though I really do enjoy them, and the last one was back in 2011. Wow. It’s been a while.

But I’m happy to be doing it again today with such an impressive book in the spotlight. That book is Lindsay Mattick’s Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall. It’ll be on shelves next month from Little, Brown.

Mattick is the great-granddaughter of Harry Colebourn, the World War I veterinarian who rescued a baby bear cub in 1914 — and named that bear Winnipeg (“Winnie” for short). It’s this cub that caught the eye of Christopher Robin Milne at the London Zoo and inspired the character of Winnie-the-Pooh.

Mattick’s story is framed with her, as a mother, telling her son Cole (named after Harry Colebourn) this family story. Her writing is superb. As the Publishers Weekly review notes, it strikes a “lovely, understated tone of wonder ….” Sophie Blackall’s illustrations are detailed and well-researched (as you’ll read below) — and they sing with a reverence for the subject matter. Oh, and lots of warmth.

Both author and illustrator, as well as Little, Brown editor Susan Rich and art director Saho Fujii, join me today to talk about the book, and Sophie shares some images and art too. I thank all these ladies for stopping by to give me and 7-Imp readers another glimpse into the picture-book process, and I turn the table over to them now.

* * * * * * *

7-Imp: What was your first impression or reaction to the Finding Winnie manuscript? (Lindsay, you can simply address the writing of it, getting the initial idea for it, etc.)

Lindsay (pictured left):

I first had the idea to tell my family story as a children’s book about a decade ago but then got distracted with other projects. When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I felt an immediate sense of urgency. (Dare I say panic?)

I remember sitting down with my laptop to write in a café in Costa Rica, and what came out first was the book’s now dedication to my son. While I didn’t know it at the time, that dedication would shape the narrative of what became Finding Winnie.

I was also very inspired by a book called Polar the Titanic Bear about a stuffed bear that traveled on the Titanic. I loved the way the story was intertwined with old photographs and material. I knew that I wanted to share our family’s amazing photographs of Harry and Winnie in the book to remind children just how real and beautiful this story truly is.


Harry Colebourn & Winnie


Sophie (pictured right): Susan Rich sent me a very winning email with the manuscript attached, and in spite of having made myself a stern promise not to take on any new manuscripts, no matter how tempting, I read it and it gave me goosebumps. As I wrote back to Susan, I lived Winnie-the-Pooh when I was young—I spent most of my childhood up a tree with my bear—and it was E.H. Shepard who made me want to be an illustrator in the first place. Winnie-the-Pooh was the first book I bought with my own money (a battered old edition), and I had just picked up Christopher Robin’s memoir the very weekend I received Lindsay’s manuscript, so everything felt meant-to-be.

That, and as Susan said in her email, the story was full of wonderful things to draw: a sea of white tents at the army barracks, a parade of ships crossing the ocean in 1914, The London Zoo. …



Susan (pictured below): I thought, “It’s meant to be!”

Like Lindsay, I am from Winnipeg, and the story of my hometown’s connection with Winnie-the-Pooh is in the air there. I went on to study Children’s Literature at McGill University and then at Simmons College, which often brought me back to the beautiful work of A. A. Milne and E.H. Shepard. Finding Winnie celebrates the incredible legacy of Captain Colebourn following his heart; the making of this book feels like the literary culmination of following my own.

Saho (pictured below): Winnie-the-Pooh was a bear!

I never knew Winnie was inspired by a real girl bear and how she came to inspire Alan Alexander Milne’s books. You don’t need to be a fan of Winnie-the-Pooh to read this book. I actually never read his books as a chid. (I grew up in Japan, and Winnie-the-Pooh was not as popular/known, as he was here in the U.S.). However, I immediately fell in love with Winnipeg, just as Harry and Christopher did.

I love true stories and learning about things I didn’t know through stories. This is one remarkable true story of friendship, love, and history that kids (and adults!) will definitely appreciate.

7-Imp: Describe a part of the Finding Winnie process that was challenging or surprising (or both).

Lindsay: Finding Winnie is my first children’s book, so the entire process has been new, surprising, and completely fascinating to me. It’s hard to explain, but this book has an element of destiny to it. Meeting Susan, who is also from Winnipeg, and finding Sophie, whose first book was Winnie-the-Pooh, are just two examples of the synchronicity that has surrounded this entire project. Right from the beginning, it has felt as though Finding Winnie is an adventure I was meant to have, a journey I was meant to take, a hundred years after my great-grandfather took his.

All in all, it has created magic in my life.

Sophie: Finding Winnie was, by far, the most challenging book I have ever illustrated. It took me over a year — a year in which I visited the archives of the London Zoo to see photographs and news clippings and the ledger in which Winnie’s arrival was recorded by the zookeeper in exquisite copperplate. I went to the War Museum and read soldiers’ diaries, and I traveled the road Harry and Winnie took to the city, past Stonehenge.


Sophie: “The original 1913 map of the London Zoo, which I used as a footprint,
before researching all the buildings. …”

(Click to enlarge)


Sophie: “There are lots of little jokes tucked in here.”
(Click to enlarge)



Final spread: “‘Is that the end?’ ‘That’s the end of Harry and Winnie’s story,’ I said.
‘But I don’t it to be over,’ said Cole. …”

(Click to enlarge)


Back at my desk, several things had me tied up in knots: the bird’s-eye view of the zoo, which involved researching period photographs of every building and cross-referencing those with a footprint map I had from 1913 (I would be looking at, say, the triumphal arch, which led to the giraffe’s exercise yard, trying to determine if there were two or three arches, as in the photographs I found it was always somewhat obscured by trees. Finally deciding on three, I was poised to draw it in, when I found in a tiny note elsewhere that the arch was demolished in 1911. Grr.); getting the train right (luckily, I share a studio with Brian Floca, who offered encouragement—I think I can, I think I can—and access to his library of train books); figuring out the parade of ships with the only existing color reference being a painting called Canada’s Answer [pictured below], an impressionistic interpretation of the crossing made some years after the event; and learning signal flags. (I snuck in a secret message.)



The other two big challenges were the jacket and how to transition from the book-ending of the bedtime story, to Harry and Winnie’s story, to Christopher Robin — and Cole’s interjections throughout. We knew all along that we all wanted the drawings with Cole to evoke E. H. Shepard’s pen and ink illustrations, but how to design the whole so that they could be interwoven seamlessly? It was trial and error and a true collaboration until we got it right.

As for the book jacket, I’ll let Saho talk about that, but I think I sent her a hundred cover drawings (or at least ten). We were down to the wire, through the wire, way beyond the wire, to the point where we sent out the F&Gs with a placeholder jacket. And at the last second, Saho pulled out this glorious surprise, which I love to bits. It makes me happy every time I see it.


Sophie: “A few of the many cover attempts …”


Susan: Finding the right cover kept me up at night, but such things often do. It took the whole team’s dedication to keep at it and find a way to make it truly sing, and I am so pleased with the result. It even looks smashing as a teeny tiny thumbnail online. A feat!

Also, not so surprisingly, I discovered that Sophie Blackall is a mad genius. Her process as an artist is akin to method acting. I fear she nearly bought a bear.


Pictured above: The book’s final cover and what Susan describes as
“the handsome pattern” on a 1950 edition of


Saho: Keeping this book on the Fall ’15 list (along with other Fall titles) was the most challenging part of the process for me. We were moving offices, and I just stepped into the role of Art Director when I inherited this project from the former Art Director, Patti Ann Harris. Fortunately for us, the award-winning designer, Gail Doobinin, was designing the book at the time, and the project was well underway. This book is truly the team’s collective effort. Though we encountered some unexpected obstacles during the project, we managed to stay the course — and the result is a book that is beautiful and distinctive.


Sophie: “One of the joys of working with Little, Brown was the incredibly beautiful production on this book. It’s such a nice thing to hold in your hands. This is the case cover surprise under the jacket. The case cover was inspired
by E. H. Shepard’s endpapers.”

(Click to enlarge second image)


7-Imp: How did the finished book vary or evolve from your initial vision of the book?

Lindsay: Sophie! I remember camping out at bookstores and online for hours, looking at different illustrators. Finally, I came across Sophie’s book Missed Connections with its remarkable images. I went to the bookstore the next day to buy it, and when I read the introduction I knew Sophie would understand the heart of this story. I knew that she understood how a moment in time could change everything. And I knew she had the imagination to bring a single moment to life through an illustration. Sophie’s treatment has brought my story to life in a way I could never have imagined. Her work has captured the emotional moments in the book without sacrificing any of the historical accuracies, which she took great care to get right. I am still in awe and incredibly grateful she said yes!


Sophie’s very first Winnie sketches
(Click to enlarge)


Sophie: When I was pregnant, I spent hours imagining what my babies would be like, but once they were born I couldn’t remember my vision of them. They were just their dear, lumpy little selves. Similarly, I can’t remember my initial vision of Finding Winnie. I did, however, just read over my long email correspondence with Susan Rich. I have never worked this closely with an editor before, and it was an extraordinary experience. This book began with Lindsay’s family story (and what a story!), enriched by its framing as a conversation between parent and child. Susan edited it, which meant living with it, thinking about every nuanced word of it, seeing it before it existed. (I have said this before, but if ever an editor’s name ought to grace the cover of a book …)

And then, scene by scene and page by page, we talked it into being. Oh, and I did some drawing. And then Patti Ann and Gail and Saho leant expertise and ideas, and together we turned a pile of scribbled notes and sketches into a book.

I have culled a bunch of phrases from my emails to and from Susan. It more or less describes the arc of making Finding Winnie:

More sensible correspondence to come.

I’ve been looking deep into Winnie’s eyes. …

What a book we’re building! I am doing a jig.

I always have to remember that it’s not necessary to show everything.

Horses are more romantic and heroic and dashing than cows. …

Wait. … Did you already suggest this to me and I’m just feeding it back to you, pretending it’s my idea?

I write to you, cap in hand. …

… to ask for an extension.

It’s mostly working, I think, with the glaring exception of p. 14. …

I did so wish to be on time. Sorry.

The joy of painting, once the anxious sketching part is over, is a great incentive and reward.

We can go to final!

Crossing fingers, holding breath, muttering apologies. …

This is a beautiful jacket. Lethally appealing. Irresistible.

I think I’m almost pretty sure I like it quite a lot!

And there you go.


The photo of Harry and Winnie
that inspired the statues in Winnipeg and London


Susan: After being submerged in the project’s details, the finished book feels almost unreal to me now — like stepping back from a tiled wall and discovering that it’s a beautiful mosaic.

The most delightful transformation was seeing Sophie’s art printed on paper. It was glorious to see sketches, glorious to see them turn into paintings, and then come together as a book in design, but something truly magical took place in the printing. It is a delicious book.


Sophie: “Playing with type –
before handing it over to an expert”


Saho: Because I wasn’t involved in this project from the very beginning and also the layouts had already been created by the time I got involved, I didn’t have a specific vision for the finished book. However, the jacket still needed a lot of work, and it evolved quite a bit towards the end of the project. As the interior of this book came together, we thought the interior was so extraordinary that we wanted the cover to do the same.

While we all loved the image of Winnie hugging Harry’s boot, we were not sure if the background was as strong as it could be. The original background was very plain with just a suggestion of the ground. Then, we discussed adding grass, sky, branches, a butterfly, hills, soldiers’ tents. … I believe Sophie repainted the cover art at least three times! I echo Susan’s praise. Sophie is GENIUS!

After all those revisions, we revisited the cover yet one more time. This time, we decided to take a new approach and experimented with a bold graphic pattern and finally decided on the current diamond patterned background. We thought the diamond pattern was simple, yet eye-catching, and really helped Winnie and the boot pop.

I definitely speak for the group when I say that we are all very excited about how great this book turned out, and we have Sophie to thank for the stunning art and Lindsay for the incredible text — as well as Susan for her amazing edits. Team Winnie has a lot to be proud of!


(Click to enlarge)


Sophie: “The book had gone off to the printer when an eagle eye at Little, Brown spotted what none of us had noticed: I’d put the wrong Canadian flag! This scene takes place in 1914, but the maple leaf flag was only adopted in 1965. We were able to change it in the nick of time.”
(Click to enlarge)


The final version of the sea crossing, corrected
(Click to enlarge)


7-Imp: What’s next for you?

Lindsay: Last Fall, I worked with Ryerson University in Toronto to curate an incredible exhibition about my family history, called Remembering the Real Winnie: The World’s Most Famous Bear Turns 100. That exhibition will now travel to Winnipeg next Spring and, hopefully, soon to other cities around the world.

Besides Winnie, sharing family stories has always been something that’s particularly important to me. Having a son of my own has definitely cemented my desire to ensure the best of those stories and the characters behind them are passed on. Right now I am working on a new story to share another chapter in our family’s journey.


One of the final spreads: “Harry drove all the way to the Big City.”
Sophie: “A few people have asked me what that tall building is doing sticking up from London’s famously low skyline. It’s a church steeple in a village
on the southwest outskirts of the city.”

(Click to enlarge)


Sophie: I’m putting finishing touches to a picture book called A Voyage in the Clouds, The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 1785, written by Matthew Olshan (The Mighty Lalouche), which comes out next Fall from FSG. And I have a new series of chapter books with John Bemelmans Marciano, called The Witches of Benevento, coming from Viking next Spring!

Susan: It’s an exciting Fall! Besides Finding Winnie, I’m publishing One Today, Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem written for President Obama, magnificently illustrated by Dav Pilkey, who marks his return to picture books with this text. I am also just digging into a new Lemony Snicket picture book that will be great fun.

Saho: We are in the midst of the Fall ’16 list. We have many exiting books on this list, and I can’t wait to share copies of those amazing books with readers next Fall!

* * * * * * *

Pictured immediately above: A photo of Winnie and Christopher Robin in 1925 at the zoo. A. A. Milne watches them from above.

FINDING WINNIE: THE TRUE STORY OF THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS BEAR. Copyright 2015 by Lindsay Mattick. Illustrations © 2015 by Sophie Blackall. Published by Little, Brown and Company, New York. All illustrations used by permission.

Photos of Ms. Mattick, Ms. Blackall, Ms. Rich, and Ms. Fujii used by their permissions.

3 Comments on One Picture-Book Roundtable Discussion Before Breakfast #4: Featuring the Women of Finding Winnie, last added: 9/22/2015
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20698. Have you done “content marketing?”

Came across an article titled “4 Ways to Market Yourself as an Author and Writer.” We’re all pretty interested in that, right? The tips that M. Shannon Hernandez talks about using are:

  1. Blog Content
  2. Video Content
  3. Branded Images
  4. Podcasting

Shannon tells us that these are effective ways to build a bigger author platform. I’m sure going to give it some thought.

For what it’s worth,


© 2015 Ray Rhamey

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20699. Have You Seen My Monster? by Steve Light

Have You Seen My Monster is the charming follow-up to last year's Have You Seen My Dragon? by the very creative Steve Light in which a little boy traipses through the black and white city looking for his green dragon. As the boy counts things while dragon hunting, the objects he counts pop out in bright colors. Have You Seen My Monster follows a similar pattern and, while I thought the

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20700. Taking Recommendations

A combination of allergies and Monday brain has me staring at my computer screen with a rather blank expression on my face. Seriously, if you could see me you’d be concerned whether I’d gone zombie or something. But it came to me through the fog, that I have been thinking frequently about wanting to read some good nature books over the winter. I really like reading about nature when I am snuggled up indoors and it is bitterly cold and the world has turned to shades of black, white and gray. I’ve got lists of books too, but let me tell you, the lists have gotten so unwieldy I have no idea what to choose any longer. Proof that when there are too many choices a sort of paralysis sets in.

I don’t often ask for recommendations, but I am going to now in the hopes that your suggestions will help kick me out of my too many to choose from stupor. So here is your chance to make a recommendation and I know we all like to advocate for favorite books but are often hesitant to do it. But don’t hold back, lay it on me!

What I mean by nature book can be a broadly interpreted. It might be a science-y book on moss or a sociology/psychology/philosophy kind of book on coping with climate change or a travel through the jungle/desert/forest/arctic sort of book or it could be about a cabin on a pond and planting beans and watching ants or about a garden or a farm. You get the idea. Something to take my mind outdoors while my body is stuck indoors.

Winter might be a little way off yet, but it is never too early to start planning!

So, what’s your favorite nature book?

Filed under: Book Lists, Books Tagged: nature, recommendations

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