Be warned. This could be an ear-worm trailer.
Are We There, Yeti? by Ashlyn Anstee
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|Here's the link.|
If you are a young storyteller, between the ages of 7 and 17, you can register to tell at the Pennsylvania Youth Storytelling Showcase. Well, you CAN, if you live in Pennsylvania. If you are a not so young storyteller and you know of a younger tller who might qualify, let them know about this!
Here's what you do;
1. Pick a story you really like. Fairy tales or folk tales or original stories are best.
2. Learn how to tell it - WELL, without the book or any paper.
3. Make sure that your performance of the story is between 5 and 7 minutes long.
4. Get your parent's permission to perform in the PaYSS.
5. WITH YOUR PARENT'S HELP AND PERMISSION, fill out the registration form.
BIG HINT: If you want to tell a published story, for instance, Wimpy Kid or Diary of a Worm, you absolutely MUST get written permission from the publisher and/or author. Most publishers have a link on their websites for this kind of thing.
If you want to tell the story of the day your next door neighbor burned down the shed, you absolutely MUST get your neighbor's written permission to share the story. You must get written permission to tell any true story about another person from that person or, if that is not possible, from a family member of that person.
Whoa! Look at these illustrations. The book is about solving problems but the dioramas are want-inducing. Oh, if I could give a space to one of these pieces of art! Hmmm, but then, I'd have to dust it and worry about it and keep it out of the bright sunlight and make sure it has enough light and... No, this book will do.
|See what I mean???|
Patrice Kindl's A School for Brides was the inspiration for my 5 Things That Make Me Happy post.
Eight young women have been sent by their families to a school in Yorkshire, far from anywhere, to prepare for their eventual role as wives and mothers of gentility. The oldest is 19, almost an old maid. The youngest is 12. And they despair of ever meeting dashing, well-bred, financially secure young men of the appropriate social class.
Then a young man falls off his horse and must be rescued by these young ladies. (The old-young- gentleman-falls-off-horse-trick is well played here.) Luckily, he is well-mannered, titled and has lots of eligible friends.
Meanwhile, one of the girls is receiving ardent notes from an unknown admirer. The Baron's daughter is threatened by the return of her feared and truly despicable governess. And a necklace disappears!!
That's a lot of action conveyed to the reader in a most genteel and Austen-esque manner.
I had hoped that Robert, the extremely decorative footman, would be revealed to be the lost son of someone quite high in society. He is a foundling, after all. He seems happy where he is so perhaps we should just let him be.
Read the book. 'Nuff said.
1. Having a good book in the offing.
2. Reading that good book.
3. Knowing I have a pile of other good books waiting when this one is done.
4. Libraries - because all those good books won't last forever.
5. Bookstores. Sometimes a book is so good I want to OWN it.
Because it's all about the books, about the books. Start reading.
My brother built a pond on his property because he LOVES stone walls and running water - (but especially stone walls). So when I saw this evocative trailer I thought of him. Here's to you, second youngest brother - and to your water feature.
Who loves Stephen Biesty's wonderful cross section books? I do, for sure. Look what goes on sale this month. Check your bookstore and library for his other illuminating books, Visit his website for a slideshow of his illustrations.
This year's Summer Reading Club theme is "Every Hero Has a Story". And most libraries are using Superheroes to bring in kids. It's such a kid friendly theme!
Not all heroes are super heroes. Every one of us can be a hero - at least, sometime. Doing the small things like smiling at someone who smiles at you - even when you feel grumpy - can feel heroic sometimes.
On Wednesday, I will tell stories about Every Day Heroes at a local library. The audiences there are usually fairly young, so telling historic stories of heroes of the past may not work. I want the children to see that simple things - telling the truth, picking up trash, being kind - can make the world a better place.
I decided to search for "simple ways to change the world" online and I got a lot of things like:
1. Be present.
2. Be grateful.
3. Be kind to yourself.
Hmmm, explaining gratitude to a 4-year-old is hard. And these kids are as present as anyone can be.
But one simple action, Plant something, caught my attention.
So here are my 5 Simple Ways to Change the World:
1. Keep your own space clean and neat. (I don't follow this advice very well myself.)
The world space belongs to us all so this includes your house and your neighborhood.
2. Speak the truth. Hmmm, this is never as easy as it seems. People use their words so cleverly. Use YOUR words for good.
3. Smile. Yep. That.
4. Plant something. Grow something. In a can on the windowsill - caring for a living thing is good
for you and the plant will clean the air around it.
5. Keep the peace. It is so tempting to be hurtful when we feel down or when someone is hurtful to us. If we can't find a way to bring peace to our attacker, we should just walk away from them. I am talking about every day attacks, not life threatening events.
There you go. Johnny Appleseed, Wangari Maathai, Elzeard Bouffier are all heroes who planted trees. I think at least one of them should make it into my program. I'll let you know how it goes.
Windmill Dragons :A Leah and Alan Adventure by David Nytra is a celebration of the imagination in detailed black and white. Leah tells Alan a story that starts with windmills that turn into dragons. Suddenly, Leah and Alan are fighting these monsters. A giant chicken, St. George, a trick with a bit of string and a man-eating boat lead Alan and Leah on a wild adventure. Just wait until you see what caused all the ruckus.
Nytra adds an illustrated bibliography of sorts to help his readers understand some of the literary references in this wild and crazy comic book.
The Suspended Castle : a Philemon Adventure by FRED. OK. Philemon and his adventures make me itchy. But if you enjoy the surreal, you will love Philemon. Back in the 1960s, Philemon fell down a well and into a land that was shaped like an "A". With the help of Mr. Bartholomew, Philemon got back to France.
Now, Mr. Bartholomew is so bored, he wants to return to his life on a letter in the middle of the ocean (on a globe - you know one those spinning things? I told you - surreal! Or maybe it was on a map.) Thank goodness, Phil's Uncle Felix knows what to do. You see, he just gets Phil to inflate this seashell....
Well, Bartholomew and Phil both end up on the dot on the letter "i" and from there it just gets wilder and crazier - with owls that turn into lighthouses and whales with oars and mutinies and buccaneers who sail the skies in wooden pelican bills - or something - and of course, the suspended castle from the title.
The artwork is colorful and suitably cartoonish. The last two pages gives a bio of Fred (Frederic Othon Aristides) and background on his inspirations for this story.
I will just list the titles of books I've read this week.
Flunked by Jen Calonita. Fairy Tale Reform School?
Ruddy Gore by Kerry Greenwood, a Miss Phryne Fisher mystery - for adults. I love the PBS series and the books are, well, almost as good - and occasionally better.
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones. With a title like that, how could I resist?
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall. Well, finally, here's a family that I can love as much as Hilary McKay's Casson family and without as much worry. The Penderwick parents are a bit less scattered than the Casson parents.
More on these and on the last two TOON books in my stack.
I have been telling stories and having so much fun in the last two weeks that I have not had time to post here. I promised you TOON reviews and with the Eisner Awards recently announced, I must comply.
TOON will NOT be left behind. They have produced Little Nemo's Big New Dreams, edited by Josh O'Neil, Andrew Carl and Chris Stevens. Poor Little Nemo! He's been having incredibly active dreams since 1905 when his comic strip was first designed by Windsor McCay.
Each double page spread of Big New Dreams offers a Little Nemo Slumberland adventure as envisioned by a different graphic artist. Most are paneled but some are simply large illustrations that still manage to tell a story. Little Nemo is clearly identified in each story but the artists' styles vary widely.
I can imagine so many different ways to use this colorful book - besides just reading the stories.
Well, I have another telling event this evening and need to prepare so stay TOON for my next TOON review and a possible GIVEAWAY!
NOTE: This post is political and personal. It is not about books, or storytelling, or crafts. It IS about change and my thoughts on all the change that is going on right now in the Untied States.
A week and a half ago, a young man sat with a Bible study group for an hour and then killed nine of the members. He chose this group on purpose. He had a plan. Suddenly, the hatred, obstinacy, and irrational craziness that many Americans subscribed to since an African American became president was exposed for what it was. Racism. Bigotry. Cruelty. Evil. Fear.
1. The Confederate flag has been demonized - rightly so. It should never have been flown on public land after the Civil War. (Private rights are another thing.) It's just a piece of cloth, but it's significance in the war against equality is now clear.
2. The Supreme Court has outlawed housing discrimination - again - upholding broad discrimination claims.
3. The Supreme Court made marriage among all people - same sex, two sexes - a law in 50 states. This means people everywhere in the United States have the right to not be lonely anymore regardless of whom they love.
4. Our president delivered the speech of his lifetime when he delivered the eulogy for Clementa Pinckney - a speech that showed his intelligence, his confidence, his empathy, and his faith.
People were shocked into their senses again. Politicians had to admit that their party loyalty just might be counterproductive, if not downright anti-American.
The battle to be a better country is not over. Hate crimes are still being committed. The Equal Rights Act needs to come to fruition. But, my dwindling hope has rebounded. There are good people here - on both sides of the aisle.
Tough times when a person's favorite people move away. Sending texts to simply say "We miss you," gets old...to say nothing of annoying. So today, I took another tactic.
"This screen is empty/ no when, no where, no questions/ an expanse of gone."
The reply came line by line. "Memorial day.". " going to the pool soon". "Hope all is well, Mom.". " That's a haiku."
And so it continued. At one point I got this message. "I could do this all day.".
So could I.
Some more haiku texts: " I don't want to walk.". "But D-c- wants to walk there." " So walking it is."
"Not really walking." "Your dad is carrying you." "And he is tired."
My text haiku deteriorated after my first attempt.
I am finished now. My screen is dressed in letters. My heart is at rest.
When I was a youngster, I remember reading Mollie Whuppie in one of the many fairytale collections at the public library. I am a fairytale kind of person. Mollie Whuppie is a little short on sparkles and ball gowns and a little long on violence and greed.
I don't know why I like the story so much. It may be the archaic dialog between Mollie and the giant she torments. It might be that Mollie is an unexpected hero - the runt of the family, and a girl to boot.
When I figure it out, I'll let you know. I have to admit, I did not tell the original ending. That ending is a bit too gruesome for my tastes.
Today, I decided to share Mollie Whuppie with the sixth graders at Nazareth Intermediate School. My version has some (ahem) blood in it and there's lots of action. I guessed, correctly, that the guys would like it. What I didn't expect was all the questions the kids had during and after the story. One question that cropped up in three of the four classes was this. "How did the King know what the Giant had and where he kept it?"
Yeah! How did he know that? And why did he keep sending this tiny girl out to steal from the Giant? And why did the parents abandon the three youngest children and not the three oldest children - who might have a better chance of surviving?
And why did Mollie carry the treasures back to the King? Why not keep them for herself?
And why didn't those old time storytellers ask these questions themselves and answer them in the story? (My question.)
Perhaps Kings were such powerful people that listeners at the time thought Kings knew what everyone had and where they kept it. I bet that they felt that way at tax time.
And powerless people always like stories about small powerless people who prevail.
Now, about keeping the loot for herself, Mollie had to protect her sisters who might suffer at the hands of the King if Mollie "cheated" him.
As to abandoning the youngest rather than the oldest, I invite you to offer reasons for that.
In the meantime, these questions make great writing prompts and I imagine a comic book series about The Adventures of Mollie Whuppie. Although there are picture books out there starring Ms. Whuppie, she could be a superhero.
Mollie Whuppie, Unexpected Hero!!!
Your book trailer for the day!
|This graphic is the property of the Lehigh Valley Storytelling guild and was designed by Kutztown University students.|
Bless you, TOON, for the lovely box of new graphic novels! You publish some of the best highly illustrated kids' lit out there.
Written and Drawn by Henrietta, a TOON Book by LINIERS, is my favorite of this bunch. "A box of colored pencils is as close as you can get to owning a piece of the rainbow", Henrietta tells her cat, Fellini. Henrietta sits down to write and draw the amazing story of "The Monster with Three Heads and Two Hats." We see Henrietta's drawings and we see her reactions to her own imagination and the whole thing is fun and funny and delightful.
Flop to the Top!, a TOON book by Eleanor Davis & Drew Weing. Wanda is a Superstar and she knows it. When she goes online and posts a picture with her floppy dog, Wilbur, the Internet goes crazy. Wilbur is a HUGE hit. Wanda is not happy for his fame. Young readers will get a kick out of attention hog Wanda's disappointment and of Wilbur's response to fame and fortune. The ending is super cool, too.
Check back soon for reviews of my other TOON swag.