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1. Monday Poetry Stretch - Haiku Sonnet

Hello all! I'm back after a bit of a hiatus and hopefully am in the swing of things now that we are in week 2 of the fall semester.

The haiku sonnet is a form developed by David Marshall, an English teacher and writer living in Chicago and blogging at Haiku Streak. Essentially, this form combines four haiku with a final two-line “couplet” consisting of seven and/or five syllable lines.

You can read some examples of David's work at Haiku Sonnet. While his poems don't rhyme (as haiku do not), I'm thinking I may attempt to include rhyme in my stretches.

So, there's your challenge. I hope you'll join me this week in writing an haiku sonnet or two. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.

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2. Employment law: Post-Brexit

The Leave vote in the EU referendum presents several potential challenges for employers which are of far more immediate and practical importance than speculation about the future direction of employment law in a post-EU environment.

The post Employment law: Post-Brexit appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. RIP Gene Wilder: Children’s Literature’s Avatar

Consider, if you will, the life of Gene Wilder.  Since his death, many people have been doing precisely that.  It makes me happy, but since I’ve harbored a not-so-secret crush on the man for decades (a quick search of this blog will back that up) I felt it necessary to point out that for all that he was a great actor, he was also, and often, key in bringing to life various famous children’s literary characters.

The most obvious of these was, of course, Willy Wonka.  Without Wilder’s mad genius, the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory could never have been the wonder that it was.  A brief hat tip to Gene there:

Mr. Wilder also portrayed The Fox in the live adaptation of The Little Prince.  Though not as odd as Bob Fosse’s Snake, it’s still a mighty peculiar role.

Some would then forget but Mr. Wilder also portrayed the Mock Turtle in a made-for-TV adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

In his honor, then, allow me to post all the funny links related to Mr. Wilder and his roles as I can come up with.


 

First up, long before wrote the picture book Let Me Finish, Minh Lê created this stellar little post about a reality show called The Sweet Life.


 

I loved it when he was portrayed as one of the many American actors in this faux montage Celebrating 50 Years of American Doctor Who.

Admit it.  He would have been glorious.


 

Next up, one of my favorite How It Should Have Ended videos:


 

This other little gem came up not too long ago:


 

And in parting . . .

YellowBrick

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4. Behind-the-scenes: How new picture book PIRASAURS! was created, with insights from author Josh Funk and illustrator Michael Slack

Back in May 2013, I posted an interview with Celia Lee, an editor at Cartwheel Books / Scholastic, and Celia invited Inkygirl readers to submit manuscripts for a limited time; apparently Celia received over a thousand submissions (!). A couple of years later, I met Josh Funk at nErDcampMI and found out that he had sold one of his picture book manuscripts to Celia as a result of my Inkygirl post, and it was being illustrated by Michael Slack.

I'm thrilled that PIRASAURS! is launching this week from Cartwheel/Scholastic. You can find out more about the book at the Scholastic page about the book, Josh Funk's Pirasaurs! page (where you can also find lesson ideas, reviews, links to other interviews and more), and the trailer below:

I asked Josh Funk how PIRASAURS! got created, and here's what he told me:

On February 27th, 2013 at 2:53 in the morning, I woke up. I don't remember what I was dreaming of. I don't remember what I watched on TV the night before or what I ate for dinner (or late night snack). I do know that I sent a text with a single word to myself:

pirasaurs

Ok, maybe that's not a word (yet). But it was a single string of letters. And I knew what to do with them.

Over the next two days, I furiously wrote a story featuring pirate-dinosaurs and a slew of other characters. It was my first time using internal rhyme (rhymes within a single line of text) and I had a blast with it. It turned out to be sort of a concept book. There were a bunch of crazy characters. The ending didn't really make all that much sense. But about 40 hours later, I had a full first draft that was ready to be sent to a critique group.

Here is the opening section of the 'Concept Book' version of Pira-Saurs!

I brought the manuscript to my critique group twice over the next three months, and while much of the manuscript was tweaked, the opening Pira-Saurs! section stayed pretty much the same.

And then on May 20th, 2013, Debbie Ohi posted an interview with Celia Lee, editor at Cartwheel Books an imprint of Scholastic. Within a week, news had spread that a fancy Scholastic editor was accepting unsolicited submissions of picture books for ages 0-5. The funny thing was, Pira-Saurs! was the only manuscript I had that really fit the 0-5 age range. Most of the manuscripts I'd written fell more into the 5-8 area (although I personally believe that most of what I write is good for anyone between the ages of 0 and 92).

So, in late May, I sent Pira-Saurs! to the Scholastic offices in NYC via snail mail. I never sent Pira-Saurs! to anyone else. And then I went about my business, because at the time, I had no book deals, no agent, and really, I'd never received any positive feedback on anything I'd sent to an industry professional up to that point.

PIRASAURS! author Josh Funk with his editor, Celia Lee

And then on July 9th, my phone buzzed. I'd received an email with the subject "Pira-Saurs! for Cartwheel Books" and everything slowed down. I was used to getting email rejections, so when I saw that it was a writing-related email, I instinctively thought, "oh, well, another no." But a few more synapses fired and I realized that I'd only sent Pira-Saurs! to one person, and it had been snail mail. And why would an editor bother sending an email rejection to a snail mail submission? That just wouldn't happen. Could this actually be good news?

Yes! Celia Lee had found the manuscript and liked it! It wasn't perfect (yet), but she wanted to work on it before bringing it to acquisitions. The next ten days were a flurry of emails and brainstorms and waking up in the middle of the night with new lines and rhymes. And on July 19th, Celia thought the manuscript was ready to bring to acquisitions. Hooray!

Or not hooray? On September 5th, Celia wrote back that Scholastic was going to pass on Pira-Saurs! ... but, they editorial team liked my voice and writing style. Celia asked if I would write another story, this time featuring just Pirasaurs - and cut the rest of the slew of other characters. My answer was "Of course!

But all I had were those three stanzas. And I needed to create a whole story with a full plot and compelling characters. And as an unpublished, unagented writer, I felt I needed to strike quickly before Celia Lee forgot who I was. I frantically wrote a draft, shared it with a few critique partners:

Thank you, Paul Czajak for suggesting I add an adventure and Anna Staniszewski for pushing that I add a little heart. Within a week of rejection, I had sent Celia a brand new completed manuscript. We revised it over the next few days, and on September 19th (which happens to be Talk Like a Pirate Day), I handed it off to Celia to take to acquisitions again. I didn't hear anything until a month and a half later, I received an offer on Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast and subsequently signed with an agent. At that point, Celia mentioned that the editorial director and art director were trying to set up a meeting to discuss potential illustrators before taking to acquisitions. I was told this was a good sign. And by late January of 2014, 8 months after Debbie's interview, Scholastic offered to acquire Pirasaurs! And pretty quickly they found the perfect illustrator... Michael Slack.

Illustrator Michael Slack's creative space.

From Debbie: 

Illustrator Michael Slack worked with art director Patti Ann Harris, editor Celia Lee and designer Jessica Tice-Gilbert for Pirasaurs!

Michael says that he did a lot of sketches early on. "Pages and pages of dinosaurs, hats, swords, and cannons."

 

"Once I found the characters I did a few rounds of really loose thumbnails. After  I had the story pacing in good shape, I switched from pencil and paper to digital to create the sketch dummy. Ultimately I ended up with three different versions of the dummy. The final illustrations were digitally painted in Photoshop."

Thanks to both Michael and Josh for sharing about the process of creating PIRASAURS!

You can find out more about PIRASAURS! at the Scholastic website.

More about Josh Funk and his work at JoshFunkBooks.com.

More about Michael Slack and his work at Slackart.com.

------

For more interviews, see my Inkygirl Interview Archive.

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5. If You Care about American Indians... Keep abreast of Native news.

Dear Parents, Teachers, and Librarians,

If you care about American Indians, you're likely aware of what is going on in North Dakota. You may have read David Archambault's opinion piece in the New York Times on August 24th. He's the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. He began with this:

It is a spectacular sight: thousands of Indians camped on the banks of the Cannonball River, on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Our elders of the Seven Council Fires, as the Oceti Sakowin, or Great Sioux Nation, is known, sit in deliberation and prayer, awaiting a federal court decision on whether construction of a $3.7 billion oil pipeline from the Bakken region to Southern Illinois will be halted.
The decision to say 'no' to the Dakota Access Pipeline is one that matters for Native people and for anyone whose health will be at risk when that proposed pipeline leaks. As the people who are gathering there and elsewhere are saying, this is about water. We all need it. The people of Standing Rock are taking action to protect their rights, and everyone's water. With each day, I see resolutions from tribal councils who declare that they stand with Standing Rock. I'm also starting to see resolutions from entities that aren't Native.

You may have friends, or your children may have friends, who aren't where you are in terms of knowing that we're part of today's society. Far too many people think we no longer exist, and far too many think that if we wear jeans and drive cars, then, we aren't "real" Indians. They don't know what "real" Indians are!

American citizens don't dress like George or Martha Washington, but that doesn't mean we aren't "real" Americans. Somehow, there's this idea out there that if we don't live and dress exactly like our ancestors did, we can't possibly be "real" Indians. That's bogus. There's also this idea out there that Native people have high cheekbones. Or glossy black hair. Dark eyes. That's not accurate, either!

I hope you'll follow the news and tell others to follow it, too, but I also want you to make sure that the books you give to your children and students are ones that don't frame us in narrow, stereotypical ways. Check out, for example, this response from elders and leaders,  to a story at the New York Times that was clearly biased.

If you want to get your child or students a book that accurately depicts someone of the Great Sioux Nation, pick up Joseph Marshall's In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse. The main character in the story is a blue-eyed Lakota boy, on a road trip with his grandfather. It's a winner. 

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6. TBR Monday: Diverse Reads and Long-Awaited Sequels

Yep, you guys. I went to the library again! Whee! That one on the top left? It's by Mariko Tamaki, who has also written a number of wonderful graphic novels for kids and teens.Top right: the final (I think) book in the Dream Thieves series, which is... Read the rest of this post

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7. “Clown”: The KL-series pauses for a while

Those who have followed this series will remember that English kl-words form a loose fraternity of clinging, clinking, and clotted-cluttered things. Clover, cloth, clod, cloud, and clout have figured prominently in the story.

The post “Clown”: The KL-series pauses for a while appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. A new (musical) direction for healthcare?

Most would agree with the idea that music can have a powerful hold over us—our thoughts, feelings, and movements. Given this, how might music help measure thoughts, feelings, and movements in a way that allows professionals in healthcare improve client treatment? The music therapy profession seems to be experiencing a surge in developing data-measuring tools that incorporate music in the client assessment.

The post A new (musical) direction for healthcare? appeared first on OUPblog.

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9. Is undercover policing worth the risk?

The recently published ‘guidelines’ on police undercover operations prove to be just ‘business as usual’. The guidelines consist of 80 pages in which a new ‘alphabet soup’ of abbreviations describes each of a set of roles to be fulfilled by officers of given ranks.

The post Is undercover policing worth the risk? appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. THE FINNIGAN EFFECT: A Guest Post by Mary T. Wagner

Writing has been an essential part of my life for as long as I’ve been an adult. I’ve written for newspapers, magazines, and courts of law. Who knew that now—as both a grownup and a grandmother—writing about a kitten would let me channel my “inner child” with such total abandon?!



I can’t claim to have been one of those writers who “just knew” from the time they could read that they wanted to write and to create their own stories. 

To the contrary, I buried myself in books as a child and was quite content to immerse myself in the stories that others created—first all books I could find about horses; then mysteries featuring the teenaged American sleuth Nancy Drew; and finally “regency romances” which usually featured a very difficult hero and a plucky damsel who won his heart by the last chapter. Quite often carriages and castles were involved. I grew up with a great vocabulary…and very little to show in the way of my own imagination!

However, after drifting through my first year in college as an “undeclared liberal arts major,” I took a stab at newspaper journalism, relying on the occasional praise of others that I wrote well in my earlier school assignments to crack open the door. After sitting through my first reporting class, I was hooked. “That’s it, I’m home,” I thought, and I eagerly rolled up my sleeves to practice writing snappy leads and funneling facts into an “inverted pyramid style” of news writing.

I wrote for two major daily newspapers in succession, keeping my prose short and clear, aiming to explain things at a fourth-grade reading level. After I married and started a family, I switched to freelance magazine writing, indulging in more complicated sentences and words with three or four syllables. At the age of forty, I switched careers completely and went to law school, where my early newspaper training served me well in simplifying legal issues. And when I began my career as a prosecuting attorney for the state, I quickly found that putting my legal arguments on paper could be an advantage.

At every step of the way, writing had been a tool to wield, to explain, to persuade, to illustrate. And then friends talked me into starting to write a blog, “Running with Stilettos,” where I finally began to write just for me…and to write for fun!!

And then Finnigan showed up.

Every book starts with a small idea, but Finnigan the Circus Cat started with an even smaller kitten. My youngest son and his wife called from school shortly before they came home for the Christmas holiday. They’d just adopted a kitten from a shelter. Given that my ex-husband was deathly allergic to cats, could they park the wee little Finnigan at my house for a few weeks?

I jumped at the chance! My household already held two adult cats and a large dog, but there’s nothing cuter than a kitten as the saying goes, and that window of “tiny and cute” only lasts so long. 

 Finnigan was the tiniest kitten I’d ever seen away from his mother’s side. So tiny, in fact, that I quickly realized that the standard kitten chow the kids had brought home was too large for him to eat with his tiny teeth and I raced to the nearest pet store for special food that was almost as finely granulated as sugar. 


For the next few weeks, my kitchen resembled a circus act…literally. I had fenced off the kitchen to keep the dog in there so that he didn’t bother—or step on—Finnigan. And so when it was time to give the bigger animals their nightly treats, I stood in the kitchen like a ringmaster and pointed to the far side of the gate. The cats soared over the divider like lions jumping hurdles, while Finnigan perched on my shoulder like a pirate’s parrot. Dog treats and cat treats dispensed, Finnigan and I could retreat to the living room sofa for some quality time.

Inevitably, the new semester began and the kids went back to school, taking Finnigan with. But in another year, he was back at my house for a half year while my son and his wife studied in Ireland. By this time he had grown into a sleek young feline, with a narrow face, legs that seemed a little too long for his body, and a long tail that draped like a rope behind him. There was something about his coloring—smudges beneath his nose like a mustache; grey and black stripes that resembled a leotard—and his natural swagger that reminded me again and again of a circus performer strutting around a ring.


The “circus” theme was naturally never far from my thoughts, since one of my daughters is in fact a contemporary circus aerialist, and somehow the thought of a foundling kitten in a circus setting just stayed in my imagination. Eventually, in the swirl of selling my house, moving to another, and hitting my marks in court, I began to write “Finnigan the Circus Cat.” Writing the story was just the start of the project, however, as it developed that I also drew the pictures inside the book that start every chapter. Call it a confluence of poor timing, looming deadlines, and pure cussedness, but yes, I rolled up my sleeves and summoned the vestiges of the sketching I did as a child, and drew the pictures too!!!

What I DID NOT expect, however, after getting this first book into print, was just how much the fictional Finnigan would stay in my head as a constant source of happy thoughts! 



I confess to doing “double duty” as my print deadline for the first book loomed. I brought my drawing pad and pencils and photographs of the real Finnigan with me to a law conference as time was running out, and sketched pictures of kittens and mice to my heart’s content as I trained my ear toward lectures on grim subjects such as “lethality assessments” and “drug treatment courts.” I dutifully listened to presentations about evidence and witnesses…while Googling pictures of mice in cute poses. Who says you can’t multitask?




Back in “the real world,” there are any number of sobering subjects to ponder from the time I get out of bed. Bills, car maintenance, yard work. And let’s face it, on the job, the subject matter for a criminal prosecutor is rarely the stuff of laughter. 

But I find to my delight that as I drive around town (or—gasp--as I sit in court waiting for the next case to be called!), there’s a part of my brain that’s engaged with wondering what Finnigan and his friends are going to be doing next. Just how are they going to convince a pair of con men that a circus wagon is haunted? How exactly will Leroy, the larger of the two mice (and a gentle soul quite sensitive about his size,) impersonate a rat in the next book? Which of Aesop’s fables will I work into the conversation in the third book, and how will I stage a faceoff between a circus lion and one of the villainous neighborhood cats? 

I could go on and on…and in my head, I certainly do! But for me it’s not just academic. Because as I feel the “Finnigan Effect,” it’s always with the blissful memory of just how soft that real  kitten was, sleeping in my lap, when he was absolutely, totally brand new. 


Mary T. Wagner
Award-winning author of When the Shoe Fits(Essays of Love, Life and Second Chances), Heck on Heels, and more...

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 Thank you so much Mary, Finnigan is a delight. 

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11. Poverty: a reading list

Poverty can be defined by 'the condition of having little or no wealth or few material possessions; indigence, destitution' and is a growing area within development studies. In time for The Development Studies Association annual conference taking place in Oxford this year in September, we have put together this reading list of key books on poverty, including a variety of online and journal resources on topics ranging from poverty reduction and inequality, to economic development and policy.

The post Poverty: a reading list appeared first on OUPblog.

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12. The OWC Podcast: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride encounters prejudice, upward-mobility confronts social disdain, and quick-wittedness challenges sagacity, as misconceptions and hasty judgments lead to heartache and scandal, but eventually to true understanding, self-knowledge, and love. In this supremely satisfying story, Jane Austen balances comedy with seriousness, and witty observation with profound insight. If Elizabeth Bennet returns again and again to her letter from Mr Darcy, readers of the novel are drawn even more irresistibly by its captivating wisdom.

The post The OWC Podcast: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Effective hallmarks for teaching the Kodály Concept in the 21st century: part 1

To teach music effectively, we must know our subject—music. We must embody and exemplify musicianship.” (Elliott, Music Matters, 1995, p. 271). But how are we to communicate our musicianship to students in meaningful ways?

The post Effective hallmarks for teaching the Kodály Concept in the 21st century: part 1 appeared first on OUPblog.

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14. The not-so glamorous origins of American celebrity politics

“In America,” the filmmaker Francois Truffaut once wrote, “politics always overlaps show business, as show business overlaps advertising.” Indeed, as the Republicans and Democrats head into the fall campaign, the spectacle of celebrity politics will be on full display.

The post The not-so glamorous origins of American celebrity politics appeared first on OUPblog.

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15. Scenario analysis and political science

Scenarios are often mistaken for forecasts, expert predictions, or simulations. They are none of these. Instead, scenarios depict possible future states of the world by combining theory and story-telling in rigorous and resonant ways to facilitate creative thinking. The Geneva experience is not important because the financial crisis scenario happened to be prescient. Rather, it serves to illustrate how hemmed in our thinking about the future can be.

The post Scenario analysis and political science appeared first on OUPblog.

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16. Turning Pages Reads: THE LIGHT FANTASTIC by SARAH COMBS

Welcome to another session of Turning Pages!One of the uses of exploring new people, places, and things in fiction is to understand and normalize them. As I stated a few months back in my review of Marike Nijkamp's THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS, I struggle... Read the rest of this post

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17. Fusenews: Dem-o-gorgon or Dem-a-gorgon?

Morning, poppins!

Yesterday, for the first time in a long while, I submitted a Video Sunday for your approval.  Trouble is, I may have failed to mention one of the most fascinating videos out there with a tie-in to books for kids, so I’d like to rectify the situation today.

kidpresidentThe title of the article read, ‘Last Week Tonight’: John Oliver Turned a 20-Year-Old Kids’ Book with ‘Startling Parallels’ to Trump into a Bestseller.  Naturally I tried figuring out what book they were talking about but I was coming up short.  Turns out it’s good old The Kid Who Ran for President by Dan Gutman.  That’s a title that is consistently on New York City public school reading lists every single year.  Wouldn’t be surprised a jot if that’s how Last Week Tonight‘s writing staff heard about it (some of them must have kids).  Glad to see it getting a bit of attention here and there. I won’t give away which candidate the “startling parallels” refer to (kidding!).  Thanks to PW Children’s Bookshelf for the link.


A Gene Luen Yang comic piece for the New York Times simply called Glare of Disdain?  Don’t mind if I do!


Horn Book came out with their 2015-2016 Yearbook Superlatives post once more.  Fun bit.  I wonder if they collect them throughout the year as they do their reading.


Tis the battle of the smarty-pants!  Who did it better?  Adam Rex and Christian Robinson at Horn Book or Jory John and Bob Shea at Kirkus?  The choice is yours (though Christian Robinson probably sweeps the deck with his magnificent “Black people are magic” line).


See how I’m going from a Horn Book post to a Horn Book / Kirkus post to a Kirkus review?  That’s why they pay me the big bucks, folks.  In any case, usually when I post a review on this blog I like to link the books mentioned in the review to Kirkus.  Why?  Because they’re the review journal that has the most free archived older children’s book reviews online.  Generally this is a good plan but once in a while it throws me for a loop.  For example, a reviewer of the original Nate the Great back in 1972 had serious problems with the title.  Your homework for the day is to read the review and then figure out what precisely the “stereotype” the book was faulty of conveying really was.  I’ve read this review about ten times and I’m still baffled.  Any ideas?


winniepooh01-768x512So I worked at NYPL for a number of years (11 in total).  Of those, I spent about five or six of them working in close proximity to the original Winnie-the-Pooh toys.  And in all that time I never knew them to look as good as they do right now.  Oo la la!  Goggle at that restored Kanga!  And a Piglet where his skin ISN’T falling off his body?  I don’t even know the guy now.  No word on whether or not the restoration yielded more information on the music box in Pooh’s tummy (or if it’s even still there).  Still, they look great (and appear to have a whole new display area too!).  Thanks to Sharyn November for the link.


Did you know that Cricket Media (which runs Cricket Magazine as well as other periodicals) has a blog?  I tell you this partly because I’m trying to contact someone at their Chicago location and so far my efforts have been for naught.  A little help?


Did you know there was a children’s book award for science fiction?  Yup. “The Golden Duck Awards, which are designed to encourage science fiction literature for children, have been given annually since 1992.”  And as far as I can tell, they may still be going on.  Check out their site here to see for yourself.  You can suggest books from the previous year too, so have at it, peoples.


So I give up.  Slate?  You win.  You do good posts on children’s books.  I was wrong to doubt you.  That post about how your son loves “bad guys” so you read him Tomi Ungerer’s The Three RobbersThat’s good stuff.  And the piece on how terrible the U.S. is at translating children’s books?  Also excellent.  To say nothing of all the other excellent posts you’ve come up with and researched well.  I doff my cap.  Your pop-up blog is a rousing success.  Well done you.


Question: How often has a documentary been made about a nonfiction children’s picture book about a true subject?  Once at least.


Saw this next one on the old listservs and figured it might be of use to someone:

I just wanted to pass along an opportunity that I’m hoping that you’ll hope promote for ALSC. Every year, we give away four $600 stipends for ALSC members to attend Annual for the first time. Applications are open now and are being accepted up to October 1, 2016. For 2017, Penguin Random House is including one ticket for each winner to the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet. Here is some more information.


Daily Image:

Because I just cannot stop with the Stranger Things.  This one came via my friend Marci.  Look closely enough and you’ll see Will hiding in the Upside Down.

http://charamath.tumblr.com/post/148762797238/i-know-the-internet-is-full-of-stranger-things-fan

Thanks to Marci Morimoto for the link.

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18. Alcohol and tailgating at football games

Tailgating is a very popular activity associated with American college football games. Tailgating typically involves food and alcoholic beverages served from the backs of parked vehicles or associated equipment at or near athletic events. At large universities with Division I football programs, the football stadiums may hold upwards of 100,000 fans, sometimes with thousands of additional fans

The post Alcohol and tailgating at football games appeared first on OUPblog.

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19. The origins of political order

What importance do the civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean have for us? This question has been answered in different ways over the centuries, but for a long time the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome have been attractive as a baseline and a model, be it in economic, aesthetic, cultural, military, or political terms.

The post The origins of political order appeared first on OUPblog.

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20. The last -ism?

There has lately been something like an arms race in literary studies to name whatever comes after postmodernism. Post-postmodernism, cosmodernism, digimodernism, automodernism, altermodernism, and metamodernism rank among the more popular prospects.

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21. UK food retailing and the challenge of the ‘new retail’

And yet on exactly the same day that ASDA was confirming just how bad its sales position is, Amazon announced that it would open in early 2017 another fulfilment centre – its thirteenth – in the UK. Part—but only part—of the reason why Amazon needs more capacity is due to the initial success of its Amazon Fresh food delivery business which launched in the UK in July 2016.

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22. Want to support Mní Wičhóni Nakíčižiŋ Owáyawa (Defenders of the Sacred Water School)?

On Monday, August 29, 2016, I wrote about the Standing Rock Sioux and the actions they are taking to protect water. Thousands of Native people are gathering there, standing with them. Over one hundred other Native Nations and organizations have issued letters of support of Standing Rock.

Although most of what you see in the news is adults, there are children there, too. On Monday, people at the camp opened a school for the children. They named it Mní Wičhóni Nakíčižiŋ Owáyawa, which means Defenders of the Sacred Water School.

Among the Facebook pages that you should read to keep up with the school is that of Alayna Lee Eagle Shield. Below are links to her public posts.

She is posting many photos, but please do not repost her photos without permission. Because her posts are public, I believe you can share them on your own pages, but please ask permission to use the photos.


  • August 28, 2016: A photo of the daily schedule


  • August 29, 2016: A series of photos of the kids at the school, taken on Monday August 28. Note that it includes a list of supplies they need, but they've since received some of that and are working on a new list.


  • August 30, 2016 at 8:56 PM: More photos, and, an overview of Tuesday's activities that demonstrate this is an Indigenous gathering of people. Maori people are there, too. The children of the school were able to welcome the totem pole that arrived there yesterday from the Lummi Nation. 

This morning I had email with Joseph Marshall III, author of the outstanding In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse. He has been at the camp and will return there. He's taking copies of his book to the school and will ask about sending other books. For now, here's an option: The Standing Rock Sioux tribe's website has a link to donate to their work if you want to do that.

And if you're on Facebook, you can get updates on the Standing Rock Nation's page. 

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23. Celebrating 25 Books Over 25 Years: Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path

Lee_Low_25th_Anniversary_Poster_2_LEE & LOW BOOKS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and to recognize how far the company has come, we are featuring one title a week to see how it is being used in classrooms today as well, as hear from the authors and illustrators.

Today, we are celebrating Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path, an inspirational story for children of all backgrounds. A biography of the legendary Native American Jim Thorpe (1888–1953), voted the Greatest Football Player and Greatest Athlete of the Half-Century by two AP polls, focusing on his early childhood and how school and sports shaped his future.

Featured title: Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path

Author: Joseph Bruchac

Illustrator: S.D. Nelson

Synopsis: The biographymain_large of the legendary Native American, Jim Thorpe (1888–1953), focusing on his early childhood and how school and sports shaped his future.

From the day he was born, Jim Thorpe’s parents knew he was special. As the light shone on the road to the family’s cabin, his mother gave Jim another name — Wa-tho-huck — “Bright Path.”

Jim’s athletic skills were evident early on, as he played outdoors and hunted with his father and twin brother. When the boys were sent to Indian boarding school, Jim struggled in academics but excelled in sports. Jim moved from school to school over the years, overcoming family tragedies, until his athletic genius was recognized by Coach Pop Warner at the Carlisle Indian School.

Awards and Honors:

  • Carter G. Woodson Book Award Honor, National Council for Social Studies
  • Choices, Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC)
  • Teachers’ Choices, International Reading Association (IRA)
  • Best of the Best List, Chicago Public Library, Children & YA Services
  • Storytelling World Resource Award, Storytelling World magazine

Check out this interview with author, Joseph Bruchac, about Native American literature.

Resources for teaching with Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path:

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Discover other books like Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path with the Joseph Bruchac Collection!

Book Activities:

  1. Draw attention to the use of similes in the book. For example: Jim took to it all like a catfish takes to a creek. It made him (Jim) feel like a fox caught in an iron trap. Epidemics of influenza swept through like prairie fires. Have students try to write their own similes for other events or actions in the story.
  2. Ask students to explore the National Track & Field Hall of Fame (www.usatf.org ) or the Pro Football Hall of Fame (www.profootballhof.com ) and plan an imaginary trip there or enjoy a visual visit on the Web.

Have you used Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path? Let us know!

Celebrate with us! Check out our 25 Years Anniversary Collection

veronicabioVeronica has a degree from Mount Saint Mary College and joined LEE & LOW in the fall of 2014. She has a background in education and holds a New York State childhood education (1-6) and students with disabilities (1-6) certification. When she’s not wandering around New York City, you can find her hiking with her dog Milo in her hometown in the Hudson Valley, NY.

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24. Dive Into Reading with the Confetti Kids Activity Guide

Dive Into Reading! is LEE & LOW’s new line of early chapter books that focuses on supporting readers in each stage of their reading development. 

The Confetti Kids series follows a group of five children from diverse backgrounds living in a friendly city neighborhood, and each book follows a different character as they learn about friendship and how to navigate common childhood experiences.

Lily’s New Homemain_LILY_S_NEW_HOME_cvr_SMALL

Synopsis: Lily moves from a quiet suburb to an apartment on a busy street in the city. Lily worries that she’ll never fit in. As she and her parents explore their new, multicultural neighborhood, Lily discovers that sometimes change can be a good thing!

 

 

Want to Play?main_WANT_TO_PLAY_small

Synopsis: It’s a warm, sunny day, and the gang heads to the neighborhood playground to play. What should they play? Pablo comes up with a great idea: to play pretend. It’s a game that everyone can do easily. They can pretend to be archaeologists, astronauts, and explorers. There’s no limit to what they imagine they can be!

 

 

 

Explore these books and more with the FREE Confetti Kids Activity Guide and Lesson Plans available NOW on our website

 Emergent Content Themes and Strategies Covered:

  • community/communities
  • families
  • problem solving
  • reading and following dialogue
  • sequencing events
  • connecting personal experiences
  • summarizing and main idea
  • high-frequency words
  • characterization
  • compare and contrast

Here’s a preview of the types of engaging projects and activities you can find in the Confetti Kids Activity Guide:

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confetti guide page 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

confetti guide page 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can purchase a copy of Lily’s New Home or Want to Play on our website here.

veronicabioVeronica has a degree from Mount Saint Mary College and joined LEE & LOW in the fall of 2014. She has a background in education and holds a New York State childhood education (1-6) and students with disabilities (1-6) certification. When she’s not wandering around New York City, you can find her hiking with her dog Milo in her hometown in the Hudson Valley, NY.

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25. 11 facts about the modern peace movement

On this day on 28 August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech left an indelible mark on American history and the world. His universal cry for a more humane and united world became a source of inspiration for all.His speech and the Civil Rights Movement were an important part of the broader peace movement.

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