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Link in case the video doesn't load.
[ETA: Ag, I can't make the embed code work, so click on through to USA Today.
Ah. Now that I've taken the time to, you know, READ THE ARTICLE: The song is from from Frog Trouble which is all-country, all the time.
AND HOLY COW, DWIGHT YOAKAM IS ON IT.
Pardon me while I go and buy the hell out of it.]
[ETA REDUX: Okay, so really I only care about Dwight and Ryan Adams and, to a lesser degree, Alison Krauss. But I'm buying it anyway, because Dwight.]
From Open Culture:
“For a millennium the space for the hotel room existed – undefined,” pronounces Lynch at the top of each chapter. “Mankind captured it and gave it shape and passed through. And sometimes when passing through, they found themselves brushing up against the secret names of truth.” All of Hotel Room‘s episodes play out in one such space in particular, number 603 of New York City’s Railroad Hotel. Each visits it in a different era, though, in typically Lynchian fashion, the hotel’s ageless maid and bellboy exist outside of time.
First drafts usually contain the words anybody can write. Revision is the key to crafting writing that sounds just like you.
I didn’t post my usual rambling post yesterday, so here it goes today!
I’m working from home this week, working to get an article completed and ready for submission. I’ve got to clear my mind and my ‘to do’ list so I can concentrate on what I need to get done.
I’ve been stalling.
My mind was struck by wanderlust forever ago and I think of writing in small European city where I can visit markets for fresh meats and cheeses and sip hot beverages at a bistro while working late. Or take a long afternoon walk in a tropical hillside to refresh my thoughts after hours of working. These four walls aren’t working for me right now!
I’ve found other, short projects that might get me started.
It doesn’t help that I’m writing about places in YA lit! Or, does it?!
Around this time of year, I work with Zetta Elliott to complete a list of YA fiction books written and published by African American authors. So, far I’ve identified all of 22 books. We do typically identify books that were missed throughout the year, however, that’s a frightfully small number.
Dr Jonda C. McNair release the current edition of Mirrors and Windows newsletter which features informational texts and a profile of author/illustrator Steve Jenkins. I’ve placed the pdf in Google Drive to make it available, however if it is not accessible, email me at crazyquilts at hotmail dot com and I’ll be glad to forward a copy.
A completely separate publication that came out this week is Windows and Mirrors: Reading Diverse Children’s Literature by Dr. Sarah Park Dahlen in the online publication Gazillion Voices.
Despite the statistics, today’s diverse children have more options to see their experiences reflected in children’s literature. White children, too, have many more opportunities to learn about experiences other than their own. In this essay, I primarily (but not exclusively) discuss Asian American children’s literature to highlight principles for meaningful multicultural content, as well as point out some of the persisting problems, with the ultimate goal of encouraging you to pick good books for young people, especially during this coming holiday season. Given that 3,000-5,000 children’s books in many different genres for a range of reading levels are published each year, I hope to provide you with some principles and guidelines for critically evaluating children’s literature and thinking about our role in supporting and promoting diverse, high-quality stories for all young people.
I recently wrote about the impracticability of expecting students to express their desire for books with characters of their own ethnicity. This is anecdotal statement is something I hope to research further. Why are some young children able to indicate an interest in a book based upon the race of the character while others are not? How and when do children develop racial awareness? My interest deepened when I read an article shared by @WritersofColour on Twitter. The article written by @hiphopteacher posed a much more reflective analysis into why children of colour are less likely to write about their own ethnicity.
In her essay ‘Playing in the Dark’, Toni Morrison argues that “the readers of virtually all of American fiction have been positioned as white.” (Morrison 1992:xiv) We might ask if the same is true of children’s literature and how that might affect children’s relationship to story-writing.
All in all, giving the young people in your life a book (or books!) written by authors of color this holiday season sounds like a gift worth giving. It would be a great time to donate books by authors of color to your local school or public library, too. Young adult books perfect for giving can be found on my annual booklists and books for all ages of children can be found on the BirthdayPartyPledge.
Teachers and students will equally appreciate learning apps for those tablets Santa places under the tree this year. Consider these 10 (mostly free) apps for documenting learning.
#NPRBlacksinTech continues on the Tell Me More blog through 20 December. The series is well worth following because there are continuous ‘day in the life’ posts giving readers insights into real life experiences of Blacks in technology. This is so valuable to young people who need to see real life role models! This linkwill take you to the postings on Twitter and you do not have to have an account to read them.
I have another recent post which lists young adult literature from South Africa. In looking at the list you may wonder why J. L. Powers was included as the only non African on the list. Reading her recent post will help you understand why.
… my classmates and friends were the children of recent immigrants or immigrants themselves–some documented and some undocumented. Migrant workers followed the power lines next to our house to go work in the chile fields of southern New Mexico. I witnessed firsthand the injustices of our economic system that encouraged migrant labor, did not pay migrants sufficient wages to support their families, and made it necessary for those who did bring their families to live in our country in poverty and without the protection of legal rights despite working back-breaking jobs every day. These were people I knew. These were people I went to school with, young men I had crushes on, girlfriends I shared secrets with.
I’ve been getting a lot of blogging done in the past week, however that trend isn’t going to continue. BFYA makes its final selections at ALA Midwinter in January and I have more books to read than I have days to read them. No, I will not be blogging much at all! I will take a break on 21 January for Cookies and Cocktails with my sister. Hopefully, the weather will be mild enough for me to drive over to spend the day cooking, eating, drinking and making merry!
You may remember that my word this year is ‘courage’. I have a better understanding of this virtue and I’ve become more aware of times when my courage fails me. I’m more unwilling to let myself be a coward. I’m a bit more likely to speak up, lean in and move forward. Yet, I still struggle with picking up that phone. I don’t know what it is about the phone, but using it takes a special kind of courage for me!
I’ve found several people including writers and publishers who are going to write about courage in a series that will appear here beginning 21 December. It’s definitely something you won’t want to miss!
For now, I have some researching to do!
“From caring comes courage.”Lao Tzu
Filed under: Me Being Me
Tagged: Birthday Party Pledgedge
First things first: this cover art does Rebel Heart such a disservice. So much so, in fact, that despite my EPIC LOVE for Blood Red Road, I put off reading this, the sequel, for what, over a year?
I understand that the publisher wants, naturally, to bring in more readers. And I understand that Beefcake sells. BELIEVE ME, I DO. But this cover is selling a somewhat generic contemporary sexy Western.
And Rebel Heart is not that. I'd put it in the Western family, yes. And there are sexytimes, yes. But although Saba's love for Jack is the driving force behind many of the decisions she makes in the book, the sexytimes themselves are few and far between, and are certainly not at the forefront. And a contemporary, this is not: those new, off-the-rack clothes Mr. Model there is wearing? No. The people in this world are lucky if their clothes come fourth-hand, and oftentimes, they are pulled off of dead bodies. And finally, Jack—assuming that's supposed to represent Jack—is hardly in the book at all, as the majority of the story is about Saba trying to find him.
I understand that generic sells—otherwise it wouldn't become generic, right?—but I find it sad that this series, which is SO special and such a standout in terms of voice and character and world and action and romance and plotting, didn't get treated as such by its own publisher.
WOW. I... my feelings about the cover were a tad more passionate than I realized. I apologize for the rant, I just... UGH.
ANYWAY, THE BOOK. It works as a sequel—it begins shortly after Blood Red Road ended, with Jack headed to the Lost Cause to give Molly the bad news about Ike, while Saba, Lugh, Emmi, and Tommo head out across the Waste towards Big Water, which is (they hope) safe as well as being a land of plenty—but Young gives enough backstory that new readers will catch up quickly.
Everything that I loved about Blood Red Road is here, and then some:
- Saba's voice continues to be outstanding, both in terms of her dialect and how she expresses herself: she's gruff and stormy; easily angered; from the outside, to people who didn't know her, she'd seem like an implacable, dangerous, often-terrifying person; but much of her anger comes from how deeply, how piercingly she feels things. She's not infallible, she's not selfless, and she doesn't always make the "right" decision... but it's totally understandable why she's become a legend in her own time, and it's totally understandable why, despite her every attempt to push people away, they keep coming back.
- Blood Red Road was about Saba trying to find her twin brother, Lugh, but now that she's found him, she finds that life can't go back to the way it was, that they can't go back to the way they were. And so, despite how much of this book is about Saba and Jack, a whole lot of it is about Saba and her siblings. It is, despite the post-apocalyptic world, the constant action and adventure, a story about family.
- It's also a story in which violence has long-term effects. Not just in that people die—and they do, which alarming regularity—but in that Saba is still processing some of the actions she took in the previous book: in particular, her very own "Kiss me, Hardy!" moment. Logically, she knows that she did the right thing—she gave Epona a clean death, rather than a long, lingering, rapey death—but as most of us know, logic doesn't help to stave off guilt.
- And then there's the world. It's harsh, it's gritty, it's mean—Young doesn't gloss over the hard facts of the kind of evil that people are capable of—but it isn't black-and-white. The villain, DeMalo, is a zealot, and his methods are absolutely revolting... but he's got a vision of making the world a better place. (Albeit just for certain people.) He's charismatic and passionate and smart, though, and it's understandable why Saba is A) drawn to him and B) tempted by his pitch.
- I do think that some readers will be irritated by the whole everyone-falls-in-love-with-Saba thing. But here's how I look at it: she's pretty much the Chosen One. Some people see her as that, even. So gaining followers—platonic and romantic—kind of comes with the territory. And the three suitors are representative of three different kinds of relationship: DeMalo looks at her as the Angel of Death, and he wants (possibly subconsciously) to tame her, to ultimately manipulate her into a subservient role; though Tommo has grown into a man, and a good one at that, he's not on Saba's level in terms of well, anything; it's only with Jack that she stands with as an equal, in terms of respect and trust in each others' capabilities. Jack loves her for who she is, not as a symbol, like DeMalo, and not as a hero, like Tommo, but purely for being Saba.
Um, so yeah. I guess you could say that I liked it?
Book source: Bought.
Working with tweens can be fun and also frustrating. My branch will have a large after school crowd of tweens but they’re not at the library to attend a program or hang out. Instead they are at the library to meet with a tutor, work on homework, or grab a book quickly before they rush off to their extracurricular activities. No matter how much we advertise programs to this age group, our attendance can sometimes be low. Or at least it feels low when we’ve put a lot of effort into planning a program that we hope will be a big success.
It’s hard to get caught up in numbers and statistics when it comes to programming. It’s also hard not to compare programs with each other. Sometimes I think about how we can get a group of 30 or more toddlers for storytime but I’m lucky if I can get a few tweens for a program.
But I can’t get caught up in measuring program success by numbers. Instead I focus on the stories. Like the middle schooler who came to every single Hunger Games program we provided last year, won the movie tickets in the giveaway, and came to the library this year and said “thank you so much for having those programs about The Hunger Games! They were my favorite and I met my best friend-and we’re still friends today and we met at the library.”
Or the tween who attended a recent program and was excited to win a set of books she hadn’t read yet.
Or the tween who gets excited to meet someone else who shares their interests when they thought they were the only one who liked Doctor Who, or Origami Yoda, or Cupcake Club.
When I feel down about tween programs and wonder what we could do better to reach this age group, I remind myself of all that we have provided for tweens and that we are successful. We are providing a place for tweens to come, meet other tweens, and participate in a program just for them-and that’s a success.
...I wrote about Alyxandra Harvey's A Breath of Frost, which was a LITTLE bit confused and a LOT long, but overall, quite fun:
Over the course of that night, she finds out that A) magic is real, B) she’s a witch, C) she’s suspected of being a MURDEROUS witch by D) a mysterious Order that has it in for her, E) everything she knows about her mother is a lie, and F) Cormac Fairfax, the jerk of a guy who broke her heart months ago knows all about all of it.
...at the New Yorker:
As 2013 draws to a close, we give you our second-annual look at the scuffles, controversies, and feisty debates that have helped keep the literary world lively over the past year. Among this year’s conflicts, presented here in rough chronological order, a few themes emerge: clashes over the function of online literary criticism, questions about gender and literature, and struggles over who controls an artist’s legacy and fortune. A few of the items show what happens when closed-mindedness leads to controversy; others stand as proof that people are still engaged and passionate about the state of literature.
I can't help but notice that there's not much kidlit/YA stuff up there, and I KNOW that there must have been SOMETHING. There've been a lot of conversations about gender and about privilege, but I can't think of any out-and-out brawls.
I had such a weird year, though, that I'm probably forgetting stuff: remind me so I can revisit the dramz?
By: Betsy Bird
Blog: A Fuse #8 Production
(Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
, Book Art
, book jacket nattering
, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
, gingerbread ain't for wimps
, Harry Potter
, James and the Giant Peach
, Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Award
, Jarrett Krosoczka
, Jim Kay
, Latino children's books
, Philip Pullman
, The Witches
, Add a tag
Don’t you hate it when you’ve saved oodles of links for a Fusenews only to find your computer apparently ate them without informing you? Fun times. So if I promised some of you that I’d post something and then I didn’t, remind me of the fact. Clearly me brain is running on fumes.
- Stop. Before you go any farther I will show you something that will make you laugh. It is this post by my sister on making a particularly unique gingerbread creation. If nothing else the photos at the end will make you snort in a distinctly unladylike manner.
- Please remind me the next time I wish to garner outrage to simply tap Philip Pullman. The man has sway. Big time sway.
The SCBWI is proud to announce the winner and honor recipients of the 2013 Jane Yolen Mid-List Author Award. Congratulations to winner Eve Feldman, author of such works asBilly and Milly Short and Silly (Putnam) and Dog Crazy (Tambourine). Eve has been a children’s book author and SCBWI member for over twenty years. To learn more about Eve visit www.evebfeldman.com.
Two Honor Grants were also awarded to authors Verla Kay and Deborah Lynn Jacobs. Verla Kay is the author of Civil War Drummer Boy (Putnam) and Hornbooks and Inkwells(Putnam) among others. Learn more at www.verlakay.com. Deborah Lynn Jacobs is the author of the young adult novels Choices (Roaring Brook Press) and Powers (Square Fish). Learn more at www.deborahlynnjacobs.com.
- Gift giving to a young ‘un when you yourself are without young ‘uns? Well, this post A Message to Those Without Children is dead on. She doesn’t mention alternatives but I can: What about books instead? Board books! Give it a whirl, prospective gift givers.
- The most amusing part of this Harry Potter Swimsuit Line to my mind isn’t the content so much as it is the models they got to wear the outfits. Most of them don’t seem to have any clue what they’re wearing. However, #2 in the Snape dress model appears to have been cast solely for the part and #3 has the decency to look slightly embarrassed to be there at all. Thanks to Liz Burns for the link.
- Speaking of HP, we all knew that the covers of the Harry Potter books were being re-illustrated here in the States. But how many of us knew that the Brits were planning on releasing full-color illustrated books with art by Jim Kay? Does the name Jim Kay ring a bell for you, by the way? You might be thinking of the art he did for A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. That was a far cry from that cutesy Harry picture included in the article. Suddenly I can’t wait to see what the man can do with Dementors. Thanks to Ben Collinsworth for the link.
Doggone it. Yet again I delayed posting my Fusenews a day and failed to mention Jarrett Krosoczka’s Joe and Shirl Scholarship Auction in time. Sorry Jarrett! Fortunately, the man is no stranger to auctions of every stripe. This past Sunday there was a big fundraiser for First Book Manhattan at Symphony Space. The actors involved were HUGE and Jarrett was the lucky guy who got to host (he even played Glowworm to Paul Giamatti’s Centipede).
As part of the fun, Jarrett created this cool art. The Dahl estate then signed off on it to be auctioned off to continue to benefit First Book. Like what you see? Then buy here!
Bidding ends on Friday at 5 p.m.
From Publishing Perspectives:
It’s not just the fact of censorship — it’s more the way the censorship works. Speak to any bookseller – and, sadly, there aren’t many in Doha – and they all tell you the same story. At the moment, retailers have to submit one copy of every title they receive to the Ministry of Culture for approval, even if the same book has already been approved for another retailer. It’s an Orwellian situation that is not without a comic side. “We’re still waiting for clearance for The Gruffalo even though it’s for sale elsewhere,” said Richard Peers-Weaver, Purchasing Manager of WHSmith, with a weary smile. “We have around 70% of our stock still tied up at the Ministry awaiting approval. It’s very frustrating, particularly when we have customers coming in and expecting to see certain things.”
If nothing else, click through to see the picture of the Doha skyline: it's VERY cool.
...have been announced, and Jim Smith's I Am Still Not a Loser won in the 7-14 category.
Click on through for the picture book winner and the shortlists.
I will, on occasion, get ideas for posts on this blog from friends and internet companions. Some of these ideas are good. Some of these ideas are unfortunate. And today’s idea? Top-notch fabulousness. It’s actually probably best suited for children’s librarians but the rest of you can stick around if you want. It is, after all, the brainchild of the daughter of a Newbery winner and her Newbery winning buddy. I kid you not.
For lo, little children, there is a fabulous school in Baltimore called The Park School. And at that school you will find what can only be described as the cream of the children’s librarian crop. This is because The Park School is serviced not only by Twig George, author and daughter of Jean Craighead George, but also by Laura Amy Schlitz, Newbery Award and Honor winner for Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! and Splendors and Glooms respectively. And they aren’t merely good writers. They’re honest-to-god GREAT librarians to boot. Laura recently sent me the following idea that Twig concocted and it’s so cool that I begged her to allow me to post the information here. As you’ll see, this is a program that would be easy to conduct in your school library or public library (or children’s bookclub for that matter) simultaneously benefiting both kids and great books in your collection that simply don’t get enough circ. But I’ll allow Laura to describe it herself:
“I wanted to tell you, as a fellow librarian, about a little program we’re doing at Park. It’s called the BROWSE-O-RAMA. It began as the brainchild of Twig George. Both of us (Twig does K-2 and I do 3_5) have noticed that children don’t BROWSE enough; they read series, or they ask for their parents or librarians to hand them books, and while the former is harmless enough, and the latter has it’s charm (why shouldn’t they get some personal attention from the librarian, for crying out loud?) we were worried, because BROWSING is an essential skill. You need to be able to go into a bookstore or a library and open books and read pages and scruff through and come out with the right book. (The Browse-O-Rama motto is ‘Sink your claws into the best book you’ve never read!’ (The song goes to the tune of Oklahoma)).
So we decided to have a month-long Browsing Festival. Because I was doodling cats when we discussed it, Twig suggested that the cat could be the Browse-O-Rama mascot, because the cat is stealthy and curious, persistent and fastidious, good at sniffing and pouncing and curling up and purring. So we ordered cat tattoos, and made a big scroll called the Browse-O-Rama Wall of Fame, where distinguished browsers can sign their names and stamp the scroll with a paw print stamp. We started by having kids read wordless books (to sharpen observation skills and to slow them down) and then we searched the library for good covers and bad covers, for older books (because nobody ever looks inside our older books) for first sentences, alluring inside flaps…well, you can get the general idea. We plan to award particularly good browsers by painting their eyebrows with face paint, so that when they go home their parents will say, ‘What’s that gunk on your face?’ allowing the child the opportunity to say, ‘I BROWSE!’ Get it?
I tried one experimental class where the children leaped from cushion to cushion to Beethoven’s Fifth (Scherzo movement) and when the music stopped, they were to sit down on the nearest cushion and browse through the books on the nearest shelf. I have to tell you, this didn’t work too well. The energy that you use to leap from cushion to cushion is quite different from the energy you use to browse through books and I ought to have considered this. The children who got into pouncing were reluctant to browse, when the time came, and the children who became engrossed in browsing were disconcerted when the music started up and they were supposed to resume pouncing in time to the music. It wasn’t what you’d call a watertight assignment. However, nobody was hurt, and I greatly enjoyed watching them leap from cushion to cushion. It’s good to have a little chaos in the library from time to time.
Anyway, the thing that’s been surprising to Twig and me is, they are BUYING this. Two children told me they had dreams about the Browse-O-Rama! They are foaming at the mouth to have the cat tattoos (awarded to those students who could find the best and worse covers) or to sign the Wall Of Fame. And actually, they are browsing. They are taking out older books. They are finding stuff that they’ve never looked at before.
Our real aim was not to circulate older materials (though we’re for this, believe me) but to develop browsers–and I do think the children are more willing to take books off the shelf, really look at them, and consider something new and unfamiliar. We weren’t at all sure this was going to work, but I think it’s working, honest to Pete, it is.”
Betsy here again. What a great idea. As I may have mentioned before, in the public librarian sphere you could either do a whole program around this, or you could get your already existing groups to partake. For example, I used to run a children’s bookgroup for 9-12 year olds. It was a lot fun but I found that there were certain weeks where the kids would happily discuss the books for half an hour, leaving another 30 minutes for me to kill. My own solution had been to grab an array of new and old children’s books and to put them into brown paper envelopes. Then I’d tell the kids the titles and plots and make them guess if it was an old book or a new book. A lot of the time they’d want to check out the strange older titles, which made the entire exercise a kind of game in booktalking. Now imagine if I’d been able to do the Browse-O-Rama with them! I could have honed their browsing skills and given them some information they could carry with them through life.
Many thanks to Laura for the pictures. The one at the bottom here features Twig showing two different jackets of My Side of the Mountain (with the Wall of Fame in the background) and at the beginning of this post was the Browse-O-Rama sign. As Laura said of it, “I like it that the sign is tethered by a cast iron cauldron on one side (the cauldron is full of poems photocopied on brightly colored card stock) and a whale vertebra on the other.” The bookmarks seen here were designed by a 13 year old Park Student.
Thanks to Twig and Laura for the great idea. Now let’s turn those kiddos into some serious browsers!!
From the Hollywood Reporter:
CBS Films has picked up the rights and acquired an accompanying pitch by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the duo wrote a slew of the Saw horror movies.
Melton and Dunstan will now write the script, which will use the horror folktale anthology as a jumping off point and incorporate some of the book's short stories, while concentrating on a group of kids who band together to save their town from living nightmares.
I would really, really like for it to be A) good and B) scary.
But... I can't say that I'm not extremely worried that it'll be a dud.
It’s December – the time to ponder the best books of 2013, and to wonder which ones will receive the coveted awards of January.
It’s also time to come clean and admit the books still languishing on your TBR pile.
What book did you want to, plan to, or have to read this year … but didn’t?
Here are the two that I most regret not having read this year:
- Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell (Simon & Schuster)
- Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg (Scholastic)
So, now that I’ve made you (and me!) feel guilty, take heart – we have 21 days left until next year. Grab a book and start reading!
Luckily for me, I’ll be reviewing the audiobook version of Rooftoppers soon for a magazine, and I’ve got time to squeeze in Serafina’s Promise. How about you?
These projects and their teams are all attempting to address the need for greater diversity in the fiction available to young people in particular—for teens of all kinds to be able to ‘see themselves’ in stories—and as the main character, not just the best friend or minor supporting character who assists the straight white able-bodied American protagonist along their journey.
Publications like Kaleidoscope and Inscription, then, are not only useful in producing new material for the teen readers out there, but also in helping to raise awareness in the publishing community of the needs of young readers.
“A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with… Read More
Ridley Scott has optioned screen rights to Fae, the young adult fantasy bestseller written by sibling authors Colet and Jasmine Abedi. The title was published last summer by Diversion Books and is the first in a trilogy. Protagonist Caroline Ellis reaches 16, a birthday that triggers the battle fated for centuries between the Dark and Light Fae, forcing her to confront who she is and discover whether her tumultuous relationship with Devilyn Reilly, who’s battling the power of the Dark within him, will destroy them both along with humanity.
The Guardian's Best Of list lumps children's and YA all together, which I find vaguely irritating, but I SHALL SOLDIER ON.
Then again, I'm not sure if I can take this list entirely seriously, as it INCLUDES RANDI ZUCKERBERG'S DOT. (<--Full disclosure: I'm finding myself to be incapable of separating Zuckerberg's celebrity author status—but more especially, the truly obnoxious Closing Keynote that she gave at BEA Bloggercon—from my feelings about the book. Which is unfair to the book and to the list. Moving on.)
A few highlights! Jonathan Stroud's The Screaming Staircase, YESSSSSSSSSS. I'm sad it hasn't shown up on more lists, because it's such a super-fun read:
With that one sentence, he establishes the tone of the book as smart and slyly funny, while also promising plenty of spooky fun. By the end of the second chapter, he’d already completely delivered on that promise: Despite reading the book on a beautiful, sunny August morning, the atmosphere was so very creepy and the imagery was so DOUBLE-CREEPY that for the rest of the book, I had the whole goose bumps/chills combo going in spades.
Titles on the list that I REALLY WANT TO READ: Meg Rosoff's Picture Me Gone and Marcus Sedgwick's She Is Not Invisible.
Click on through for more, obvs.
It started as a family Christmas card photo by photographer Per Breiehagen and his wife Lori Evert. In 2007, the Minnesota resident’s family dressed their adorable three year-old daughter Anja in traditional Norwegian clothing such as Stakk dress from Ål, where Breiehagen was raised, reindeer shoes from the Sami people in Northern Norway, and an elf hat and took a series of photos that would change their lives forever. Based on overwhelming positive feedback from friends and family who received the Christmas card, Breiehagen expanded the project. His vision was to stage scenes the evoked the traditional folklore of Norway that he had grown up listening to. In addition to Anja’s captivating costume, Breiehagen attempted to make the photos as authentic as possible. He took Anja to beautiful outdoor winter landscapes in both Minnesota and Norway. Anja posed with actual reindeer in Norway and held traditional Telemark skis from 1840 the Breiehagen had sought out to use as photo props. As the scope of the photos became more fantastic, Breiehagen incorporated digital compositing to create scenes of the “little elf” meeting a polar bear in Antarctica and other fanciful imagery that could not be created without digital enhancements. The photos continued to gain popularity and were featured in several holiday advertisement campaigns, including one for Chicco, a popular baby product brand.
The photos took on a new life this year when Breiehagen and Evert created the picture book, The Christmas Wish. The book tells the story of a little girl who lives “in a place so far north that the mothers never pack away the wool hats or mittens.” The girl longs to be one of Santa’s elves. One day, she sets out on a journey through the great Northern wild to find Santa. Along the way she is helped by several animals including a cardinal, reindeer, polar bear, horse and musk ox. She also has a chance to see the Northern Lights. Eventually, she does find the man in the red suit and he flies her home on his sleigh. The true charm and magic of this book are the stunning photographs. Some of my favorites include one of Anja placing a note on the door of the Norwegian Sauna announcing her departure to find Santa, the three year old girl curled up next to a polar bear napping, and Santa’s sleigh flying over snow covered hills taking Anja home. With careful staging and digital enhancement, the winter scenes are stunning, the animals are beautiful and the young girl in the traditional Norwegian garb is irresistibly cute. This story is one that is sure to captivate the imagination of children this holiday season and leave parents a bit awe struck as well.
Posted by: Kelly
What do kids love more than making a huge, awesome mess? Nothing! Unfortunately, most kids aren’t allowed to dig in to paint, glitter, and glue at home on a regular basis. Thankfully, we have a library for that! With this in mind, I created a “Baby Rembrandts” art program for children ages 1-5 and their parents.
I set up everything in the room before kids and their parents began to arrive. The program lasted around one hour and had four art stations. I covered all the tables with plastic table cloth, pre-poured paint onto small plates, and placed all the materials on the tables. I kept all the paint on a high counter until we started to prevent eager artists from digging right in.
As parents and children arrived, I gave them a paper leaf to write their name on and tape to their shirt. This made it easier for me to address people I didn’t already know from storytime. After they made their leaves, everyone came to sit on the carpet and we read Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood.
After the story, I broke the group up into four smaller groups to go to the stations. I had 24 kids in attendance, and I kept friends and family members together. I told everyone at the start of the program that I would alert the group after 15 minutes had passed so that everyone could make it to every station, but nobody was forced to move if they weren’t finished. Then, I let them go to town!
The four stations I included were: Finger painted leaves and Indian corn (pictures of Indian corn and leaves on card stock) Pumpkin Sun Catchers (two pieces of contact paper with a pumpkin shaped outline and tissue paper pressed between) Movable Scarecrows (a scarecrow shape with arms and legs detached. They added arms and legs with paper fasteners so that they moved, and decorated) and a Library Mural (Large pieces of butcher paper taped to the table for everyone to collaborate on with paint. I changed this paper one time so that there was enough room for everyone to contribute.)
While I did alert the group every 15 minutes or so, most groups moved around at their own pace. I had baby wipes available to wipe off messy hands, and I had a bunch of oversized shirts that were available as smocks. Only a few kids wanted smocks, though, because I was sure to put in the program description that we would be getting messy. We also have a sink in our program room, which allowed little ones to wash their hands.
Overall, Baby Rembrandts was a huge success. This program had all fall themed crafts (it was held October 25) but it can easily be adapted for any season or no season at all. It was a great time, and I highly recommend it!
Our guest blogger today is Ellen Norton. Ellen is a children’s librarian at the White Oak Library District in Crest Hill, IL. When she’s not making messes with little ones, she likes going on outdoor adventures, cooking, and reading of course! Ellen can be reached at email@example.com
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.
If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Okay, so I found this Disney Babies series.
It's mostly comprised of titles like this:
Colors, ABCs, 123s, etc., etc.
You get the idea, right?
SUCH A STRANGE CHOICE, TITLE-WISE.
For a split-second, I thought that a library school had teamed up with Disney to create some sort of massively nerdy pamphlet. But, no. It's just a four-page book about putting things in order. For babies. CALLED SEQUENCING & CLASSIFYING.
If the other books had had adult-ish titles, I probably wouldn't have even noticed.
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"He's moved on with his life."
"What life? I've been away."
Ahahahahahaha. Oh, Sherlock. Never change.
Also, and again: PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I HOPE THAT MARTIN FREEMAN DOESN'T HAVE THAT MOUSTACHE FOR THE WHOLE SEASON.