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Results 26 - 50 of 156,879
26. Picture Book Roundup - Darkly Funny Picture Books

A selection of darkly funny, mostly cautionary picture books.

 Share these funny gems with slightly older listeners who have a sense of humor; but spare your very timid or gentle-hearted ones - happily-ever-after is not guaranteed in these tales of comeuppance, justice served, just desserts, and cautionary advice.

If you're unable to view the slide show, visit it on Riffle Books [ https://www.rifflebooks.com/list/206136] where I occasionally create themed slide shows.

Books included in the list:

  • A Hungry Lion, Or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins 
  • How to be Famous by Michal Shaley 
  • Everyone Love Bacon by Kelly DiPucchio 
  • Jim: Who Ran Away from his Nurse and Was Eaten by a Lion by HIlaire Belloc 
  • This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen 
  • The Book that Eats People by John Perry

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27. The Day I Fell Down the Toilet - a bookwrap


Authored by Steve Turner

Illustrations by David Mostyn

Ages 7-12

Unwrapping a sample...

The day I fell down the toilet
Is the day I’ll never forget,
One moment I was comfort
The next I was helpless and wet.
My feet tipped up to the ceiling
My body collapsed in the bowl
In haste I grabbed at the handle
And found myself flushed down a hole.
One wave goodbye to the bathroom
And I was lost in the sewer,
Traveling tunnels and caverns
On a raft made out of manure. 
Then came the washing-up water
With bits of spaghetti and peas,
The filth from a local factory
And an undiscovered disease.
Drifting along in the darkness,
There was nothing to do but wait.
What would I say to my mum now?
What was it that made me so late?
Suddenly it was all over,
From the end of a pipe I shot
Into a part of the ocean
Where the rubbish was sent to rot.
Glad to escape from the tunnel
To leave all pollution behind,
I found a nice spot on the beach
Then started to bathe and unwind.
But bad things began to pursue me
They stuck to my feet and my hand
Wreckage was surfing the wave tops
And oil lay around the sand.
I figured the sewer was safer
For no one said sewers were clean,
I found the pipe that I came from,
And waded my way back upstream.
When I got home I was shattered
I was filthy, ragged and wet,
Rattling the bathroom door was Dad
Saying, ‘You off that toilet yet?’

About the book... 

This fun collection of zany poems will have kids giggling and laughing.  Steve Turner has penned over 70 poems using tons of playful words, wit and humour that remind you of Silverstein and Prelutksy.  His subjects include topics that are near and dear to kid's hearts such as:  sounds, naughty words, being bored, creation of the world, fireworks and snails just to name a few.  

Of course can you guess which poem is the all time favourite?  Yes, you guessed it, "The Day I Fell Down the Toilet!" Kids will roar with laughter at that adventure.  

He has included a variety of poems written in verses, a mixture of rhyme and some flowing with alliteration and similes.  They are lovely to compare and do a formal analysis of poetry, but the main ingredient is such plain entertainment and fun.  Their is a wonderful spirit about the book that taps into the little boy or girl that is tucked deep inside of each of us and that is why it works so well with the reader.  

The black and white comic pen art illustrations are spot on,  giving perfect visuals and added substance to the poems.  Here are a few  delightful tidbits to tickle your fancy:

*Wouldn't it be funny… this poem explores sounds and considers how life would be if they were related to other objects such as a cow going tick tock.

*It's raining cats and dogs… talks about the literal consequence of cats and dogs raining from the sky with the sound going from pitter patter to splatter, yowl and bark!

*Vegetables Strike Back… from a vegetables point of view not wanting to be baked alive with a jacket on or cutting the head off a lettuce.

*My Dad… is written in the style of a 'My Dad's Better than Your Dad' playground argument.

*Intercity Train…. A fast rhythmic, rhyming poem about the journey or a train and what happens as it goes by

*Who Made the World?... about a child asking their teacher about creation.

I know that you will love the whole vibe of the book from start to finish.  Sharing these wacky poems will delight both young and young.  Guaranteed. 

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28. Titan Books: Tarzan volume 3 -Tarzan Versus The Nazis

Tarzan - Versus The Nazis (Vol. 3)
The Complete Burne Hogarth Sundays and Dailies Library
Burne Hogarth

Dimensions: 324 x 246mm
full colour
Publication date: 17 April 2016 ISBN: 9781781163191
 RRP £29.99 BUY NOW


Following on from Tarzan in the City of Gold and Tarzan Versus The Barbarians, Tarzan Versus The Nazis is the third of four exclusive volumes authorized by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate, collecting the entire run of the legendary Tarzan comic strip by one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century, Burne Hogarth (with Don Garden).

Burne Hogarth and writer Don Garden produced some of the most acclaimed stories ever to appear in the pages of newspapers worldwide with the iconic character TARZAN!

You can see my reviews of the previous Titan volumes here:

Vol. 1 Tarzan In The City Of Gold


Vol. 2 Tarzan versus the Barbarians

A guide to collecting UK Tarzan comics that I posted is here: http://hoopercomicart.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/a-rough-guide-to-collecting-uk-tarzan.html

I think that the 1982 interview with Burne Hogarth included in this volume is very interesting.  Remember that Hogarth made his name and career off the whole Tarzan story. I write "the Tarzan story" for a very good reason.

Here is the basic plot guideline to Tarzan comic stories:

#1 -Tarzan fights an animal and kills it.
#2 -Tarzan kills and animal.  No reason -things were just going that way.
#3 -Tarzan is feared by superstitious natives because he is The Great White Ape. And that's code for          "Tarzan is a White man therefore superior to the uppity blacks."
#4 -some princess or white woman goes all gooey-eyed over the great hunk.
#5 -Tarzan kills an animal....he hasn't done that in a few panels so....
#6 -Tarzan finds a lost city or empire.....jeez, they ever heard of maps or basic "how not to get lost"?
#7 -Tarzan gets captured and leads a revolt.
#8 -Tarzan gets to kill an animal.  Donna Barr said it "Tarzan movies are just animal snuff films" and            that says it all.

Take away the constant animal killing and you have three plots.

I mean, he comes across a fella about to fight a very badly drawn T-Rex type critter and thinks: "Dinosaur...supposed to be extinct a hundred million years ago!" then "KREEGAH! TARZAN BUNDOLO!" and he gets all stabbie and snuffs the dino.   Also, Tarzan seems to go from being quite intelligent to  not that bright.  I mean, he was born and raised in the jungle, right? So at what point did he get to read about dinosaurs and their extinction?

Oddly, #1-8 above sums up the whole Hal Foster and Burne Hogarth newspaper strips. I decided to re-read the collected books and at one point (it was 0300 hrs) fell asleep and the pages of the book flipped and when I woke I continued reading until I realised the woman who had gone all googly-eyed over Tarzan looked different!!  I also started realising even more just how casually Tarzan killed animals -oh and "His" apes were different from ordinary gorillas....?
Burne Hogarth.jpg
Above: Burne Hogarth at the 1982 San Diego Comic Con
Unsavoury.  Even the UK reprints -in Tarzan Super Adventure Quarterly- followed this theme.  A white hunter-guide "only" wanted to lead his party of businessmen to shoot a rhino but, you guessed it, the natives were getting uppity again! So Tarzan goes along to ensure the white guys get to kill their rhino...I like the whole lost cities and fantasy type of stories and whereas comics should have been educating kids that animals were not just there to kill for fun, they were saying "They are wild animals -it's our right to kill them".

Now bearing this in mind and getting back to that 1982 Hogarth interview: you see, Hogarth said he would never want to draw super heroes such as Batman, Superman and Spiderman.  He told George T. McWhorter, the interviewer and former Curator of the Edgar Rice Burroughs  Memorial Collection at the University of Louisville: "They follow a rather sterile formula which seems to rule out any character development" to which a rather fawning McWhorter responded "Exactly".

I actually read that several times. Hogarth points out that he'd never gone to Africa nor studied the flora or fauna but made up jungle settings as he went along and so inspired a couple of generations into believing so much fantasy was real.  Africa, even at the time of these strips, had been filmed and photographed but I guess to keep the story going and add the right elements, Hogarth did what Burroughs did -made it up.  But most comic creators do that. But, with the greasing of ego by McWhorter, we get to see that Hogarth was actually quite into himself -it may explain why some veteran comic artists, such as John Buscema, did not like Hogarth.

"They follow a rather sterile formula which seems to rule out any character development"-that had to be ego because by 1982 Marvel Comics was recognised for the fact that it was heavy on characterisation and story-telling.  It seems Hogarth thought comic books beneath him because his statement -there's more in the book- shows he had not read any. Tarzan cannot be called heavily characterised.

But these strips are lovingly cleaned up and presented in nice sturdy books with equally sturdy pages; you are not going to accidentally tear a page while turning it. For students of comic strip/book history -and remember that Hogarth's worth was still being reprinted in Tarzan comics in the 1980s (and probably still is somewhere) as well as art and, of course, the Tarzan fans of which there are many, these books are "must haves".

It is interesting to see Hogarth's work and then look at the other artists linked to Tarzan.  Hogarth drew the 'Tarzan' Sunday page  from 1937 to 1945 and then from 1947 to 1950.  

Before him, and often forgotten, was Hal Foster though he is mainly known for Prince Valliant.  Titan has not released a volume covering Foster's Tarzan which is a pity, though 1970s UK Tarzan comics did reprint the work. 

Above: Hal Foster.  Below -an unmistakable Foster Tarzan page.
Jesse Marsh drew Tarezan for Dell/Western up until 1964 when he handed over the reigns. Marsh is a name hardly mentioned in comics today -orknown- yet he drew a huge number of Tarzan comics.
 Above: Jesse Marsh.  Below: A Marsh Tarzan page.
Marsh handed over the art chores to Russ Manning.  Manning later produced Tarzan strips solely for Europe -these were not published in the United States.  I'm not sure whether they have been collected though I do know Dark Horse in the US has produced a Jesse Marsh collection as well as a Hal Foster collection.
 Above: The legend that is Russ Manning.  Below a Manning Tarzan page.

Then we come to the modern masters of Tarzan comics. Joe Kubert needs no introduction to comic fans.
 Above: Joe Kubert and, below, a Kubert Tarzan page.

"Big" John Buscema was no Hogarth fan but his Tarzan comics are still legendary, even if no one seems to be chasing back issues -even Kubert's work tends to be ignored these days.
 Above: John Buscema c. 1975 and, below, a page of his Tarzan work -one of the few titles he actually pencilled and ink himself.

So there is a very long Tarzan history in comics and if you can get the Marsh book(s) you have a lot of the1950s-1964 covered.  The Hal Foster collection will take you right up to Hogarth.  And Hogarth is the artist most associated with the character and these three volumes from Titan Books are well worth getting.

Maybe one day they'll do a Foster collection?  Never know.

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29. Titan Books - Powers: The Secret History of Deena Pilgrim

Powers: The Secret History of Deena Pilgrim

Brian Michael Bendis  and Neil Kleid

Dimensions: 198 x 130 mm

Paperback: 320pp

Publication date: 15 March 2016

ISBN: 9781785651281



The Secret History of Deena Pilgrim, starring the fan favorite character from the comic series, is the story of a cold case that reopens when evidence from a new murder points back to Deena's own family tree. Pilgrim is forced to investigate her family's sordid past in law enforcement and must turn to her estranged partner Walker for help.

or if you want more:

Ever since she could walk, Homicide Detective Deena Pilgrim followed in her father’s footsteps. A man with a badge, Waldo Pilgrim surrounded himself with what Deena believed to be the cream of the crop when it came to serving and protecting. These days, Deena won’t discuss her father or the life she left behind in Atlanta years ago, a life before she partnered with Christian Walker to investigate homicide cases in a city where perps and victims boast incredible, dangerous powers. Now, nearly a decade of bringing Powers to justice has broken down Deena’s resolve, along with the walls she erected long ago to protect herself from prying eyes. Walls that kept her from a past best left alone, and from those determined to get close and bring horrible, heartbreaking memories to the surface once more.

But when a cold case reopens a series of unsolved murders that point back to Deena’s family tree, she is unavoidably reacquainted with a former boyfriend with ties to both sets of killings, along with her sordid past. Forced to question the choices, decisions, and steps she’s taken in life, love, and career---including her long-standing partnership with Walker, a former Power whose secret history intersects with Deena’s own---Detective Deena Pilgrim must bring a killer to justice and, in doing so, hopefully come to terms with the kind of cop she wants to be . . . assuming that she wants to continue being a cop at all.

Written by Powers cocreator Brian Michael Bendis and novelist Neil Kleid, The Secret History of Deena Pilgrim is the first-ever prose story set in the world of the award-winning, critically acclaimed comic book series by Bendis and artist Michael Avon Oeming. Powers tells the stories of human police officers attempting to solve crimes in a world inhabited by superheroes and supervillains. In January 2015, the Playstation Network debuted it as its first-ever hour-long scripted programming, featuring characters and plots from the comic book series.

On this I'm lost.  Know nothing about it and reading over 300 pages of prose just ain't going to work. It seems that some people purchased without first finding out what the book was about.  I've found three people who've purchased the book presuming and not doing anything normal like, say, finding out what they were buying, so were "Very disappointed. Not a comic book" and "I presumed this was a graphic novel".


So, I'll let you have the quotes and hope you at least know what you are thinkiung of buying!

"Like the comic? Like the show? What’re you waiting for? Buy the damn book or Deena comes and breaks your arms. There’s a reason we love the character―in every medium. ―Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of The President’s Shadow

“[Brian Michael Bendis] is - and has been, for many years - Marvel's chief ambassador for converting moviegoers into comic readers.” ―Vulture.com on Brian Michael Bendis

“Brian Michael Bendis' 'passion resonates with fans'” ―The Washington Post on Brian Michael Bendis

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30. ALSC Member of the Month – Chelsea Couillard-Smith

Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just a few questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Chelsea Couillard-Smith.

  1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?
Photo by Sara Pinnell, courtesy of Chelsea Couillard-Smith

Photo by Sara Pinnell, courtesy of Chelsea Couillard-Smith

My official title is Senior Librarian in Collection Management Services, but what I actually DO is select all children’s and teen print materials as well as audiobooks, e-books, and e-audiobooks. My library is a 41-branch city/county system that includes the city of Minneapolis, and in addition to materials selection, I get to work on lots of other collection-related projects, too. I’m so fortunate to have a job that allows me to focus on the collection, and I absolutely love my work! I’ve been with HCL since June 2015, and prior to that, I spent 4 years as the Youth Materials Selector for the Sacramento (CA) Public Library.

  1. Why did you join ALSC? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?

I joined ALSC right out of graduate school because I was just starting out as a youth services manager, and I knew I would need the support and resources that ALSC provides. What I didn’t expect was to find such a wonderful community of amazing peers and mentors who have really helped me find my place in ALA and in the library profession. I’m currently co-chairing the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee, and I’ve previously served on the Public Awareness and Newbery Award committees (shout out to FLORA & ULYSSES). I’m also a member of YALSA and the Intellectual Freedom Round Table.

  1. If given the opportunity, would you prefer to be on American Ninja Warrior, Hell’s Kitchen, or The Amazing Race?

I’d love to be on The Amazing Race! I really enjoy traveling, and it would be fun to see all those amazing places in such a unique way. A college classmate (and rugby teammate) of mine actually won a couple of years ago, so I’ve been thinking lately that it might be time to put together a librarian team!

  1. What’s the last book you recommended to a friend?

For a co-worker’s baby shower, my Dad wanted to gift a book that the baby could grow into, so I suggested WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON by Grace Lin. It’s such a gorgeous book, so it makes a great gift. But I also like that it’s both a great read aloud (for a younger child) and a great independent read for a broad age range.

  1. What forms of social media do you use regularly?

I use Facebook mostly because it keeps me connected to my personal and professional worlds, but I dabble in Twitter, too, and I try to use Goodreads regularly. I can’t find the time to add anything else!

  1. What’s your favorite thing to do when you are not working?

I love the outdoors, so when I’m not working (or reading), I’m probably hiking, camping, or biking. And this will be my first summer with a garden, so I’m looking forward to that new challenge.

  1. What’s the scariest book you’ve ever read?

I have a very low tolerance for scary stuff. I’m still haunted by a particular GOOSEBUMPS title I picked up as a kid that involved murder by decapitation (using a guitar string), and a “children’s” adaptation of DRACULA affected my sleeping habits until about middle school. Don’t even get me started on SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK!

  1. What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

Kate DiCamillo’s RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE has really stayed with me. She manages to keep the story so firmly centered on the girls and their emotions in spite of the chaos in their families. The most fun I’ve had recently was reading the second volume in Varian Johnson’s heist series, TO CATCH A CHEAT. I love the humor and the intricate plotting.

  1. Do you normally celebrate holidays? What’s your favorite?

I am a Christmas FIEND. I usually start listening to Christmas music in November because we have a house rule that I can’t start before Halloween. I love all the traditions: baking, selecting and wrapping presents, decorating the house, spending time with family. There’s a peacefulness to the season, one that comes from the cold and the stillness of Midwestern winters, I think, that really appeals to me.

  1. Do you remember the first book you ever read?

When I was 5 years old, my family spent about a year living in Lesotho in southern Africa. My parents were planning to homeschool me, so they made some books to teach me to read. I’m told that I read through all the books they’d made and demanded more, so they decided to send me to “real” school instead. I’d love to read one of those homemade books again!


Thanks, Chelsea! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature!

Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for our ALSC Monthly Profile? Are YOU brave enough to answer our ten questions? Send your name and email address to alscblog@gmail.com; we’ll see what we can do.

The post ALSC Member of the Month – Chelsea Couillard-Smith appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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31. Review: The Winged Histories by Sofia Samatar

Even as we reel from yesterday's Hugo nominees and impatiently await tonight's Clarke nominees, Strange Horizons has published my review of Sofia Samatar's second novel The Winged Histories.  I wrote about Samatar's first novel, A Stranger in Olondria, a few years ago, and was blown away by the beauty of its language, the complexity of its worldbuilding, and the nuanced view it took of the epic

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32. How Do We Develop a Writing Identity?

How can we help students develop identities as writers?

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33. Regarding Personal Interviews

Please understand that I have stated I no longer consider myself involved in the UK comics 'scene'.  I have had three requests for me to take part in interviews but I have never liked interviews.  I do not think I really need another long interview.

Firstly, I will have no say in how any interview, including my responses would be cut. No.  Secondly, I appreciate the offer but 24 questions requiring some lengthy responses is too time consuming considering there is no publication or web site that has arranged to publish it.

I have done two long interviews as well as a couple of printed interviews since the 1990s. On most of my sites you will find the interview by Phil Latter with me which is lengthy.  The QRD interview was recently posted on CBO.

I do not have the ego to want to do countless interviews. All you require is in the above interviews.

I will, however, gladly take part in interviews which are aimed to a non-UK audience whether in Europe, the United States or beyond!  Just ask. Sadly, the QRD interview seems to have created no reaction -but that's comics!

Again, it's not being snooty.  If I start jumping into interviews where I do not have a guaranteed final say in what is published I am certainly not interested. Also, I would be a hypocrite since I would be backing out of everything I have written and said in the last year.

If you can't find but need the interview links just let me know.

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34. The 2016 Progressive Poem is HERE!

It's been a little nerve-wracking to be the 27th poet to add a line to the 2016 Kidlitosphere Progressive Poem. I've peeked in on it a couple times a week since the first of the month, but I didn't want fall in love with the direction it was heading, knowing that the direction would certainly change. (And boy has it!!)

I'm glad I got a spot this year -- the schedule filled up fast! Here's who's added lines so far (and who will add after me):


1 Laura at Writing the World for Kids
2 Joy at Joy Acey
3 Doraine at Dori Reads
4 Diane at Random Noodling

5 Penny at A Penny and Her Jots
6 Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink
7 Liz at Elizabeth Steinglass
8 Janet F. at Live Your Poem

9 Margaret at Reflections on the Teche
10 Pat at Writer on a Horse
11 Buffy at Buffy's Blog
12 Michelle at Today's Little Ditty

13 Linda at TeacherDance
14 Jone at Deo Writer
15 Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme
16 Violet at Violet Nesdoly

17 Kim at Flukeprints
18 Irene at Live Your Poem
19 Charles at Poetry Time
20 Ruth at There is No Such Thing as a Godforsaken Town

21 Jan at Bookseedstudio
22 Robyn at Life on the Deckle Edge
23 Ramona at Pleasures from the Page
24 Amy at The Poem Farm

25 Mark at Jackett Writes
26 Renee at No Water River
27 Mary Lee at Poetrepository
28 Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

29 Sheila at Sheila Renfro
30 Donna at Mainely Write

The poem started off with some gorgeous images of birds and wishes, then the ocean and more wishes. A celebration of spring kept the spirit of the poem light in the third and fourth stanzas. In the fifth stanza, we took a short break from the earthly poem and rode Pegasus to the largest moon of Jupiter. The breeze returned with an offer for our speaker: "I give you flight!" What a gift! But the speaker suddenly gets cold feet in stanza seven, line one, at which point, Renee, in yesterday's line, "pushed her out of the plane."

Here's the poem:

A squall of hawk wings stirs the sky.
A hummingbird holds and then hies.
If I could fly, I’d choose to be
Sailing through a forest of poet-trees.

A cast of crabs engraves the sand
Delighting a child’s outstretched hand.
If I could breathe under the sea,
I’d dive, I’d dip, I’d dance with glee.

A clump of crocuses craves the sun.
Kites soar while joyful dogs run.
I sing to spring, to budding green,
to all of life – seen and unseen.

Wee whispers drift from cloud to ear
and finally reach one divining seer
who looks up from her perch and beams —
West Wind is dreaming May, it seems.

Golden wings open and gleam
as I greet the prancing team.
Gliding aside with lyrical speed,
I’d ride Pegasus to Ganymede.

To a pied pocket, the zephyr returns
blowing soft words the seer discerns
from earthbound voyage to dreamy night,
The time is now. I give you flight!

Yet I fear I am no kite or bird–
I lift! The world below me blurred
by tears of joy. I spiral high 

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35. Best Friends for Frances

Best Friends for Frances. Russell Hoban. Illustrated by Lillian Hoban. 1969/1994. HarperCollins. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: It was a fine summer morning, so Frances took out her bat and ball. "Will you play ball with me?" said her little sister, Gloria. "No," said Frances. "You are too little." Gloria sat down and cried. Frances walked over to her friend Albert's house, singing a song: Sisters that are much too small To throw or catch or bat a ball Are really not much good at all, Except for crying.

Premise/plot: It was easy for Frances to dismiss Gloria as an unworthy playmate, but when Albert (and later Harold) dismiss Frances, well, Frances learns that sometimes a sister can be a friend--a best friend. It's summer and Frances loves to play with her friends. One day Albert rejects Frances because it's his "wandering" day. And the next day, Albert and Harold reject Frances because she's a girl, and girls can't play baseball as well as boys. But Frances is not to be stopped. Even if it means playing with her little sister, she'll show Albert what is what! If Albert wants a no-girls-allowed club, then she'll start a no-boys-allowed club.
"Do you want to play ball?"
"All right," said Gloria.
"If any boys come, they can't play," said Frances, "and I think I will be your friend now."
"How can a sister be a friend?" said Gloria.
"You'll see," said Frances.
"For frogs and ball and dolls?"
"Yes," said Frances.
"And will you show me how to print my name?" said Gloria.
"Yes," said Frances.
"Then you will be my best friend," said Gloria. "Will it just be today, or longer?"
"Longer," said Frances. (20-21)
My thoughts: I do like this one. But Frances isn't always nice in this one. Then again neither is Albert. Or Harold. The only one that is nice all the time is Gloria.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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36. Transforming Ideas into Reality

As I attended the North Carolina Library Association’s (NCLA) Executive Board Meeting this past week in Black Mountain, NC at the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, (https://www.blueridgeassembly.org/) I was struck by the passion of my colleagues from across the state who are committed to improving the lives of our library patrons and communities by brainstorming new ideas to encourage change. As Vice Chair/Chair Elect of the Youth Services Section of the NCLA, I’m excited to see how these ideas bring growth and new possibilities. It makes me consider how ideas are able to move beyond the planning stage to become fully fledged concepts, whether these ideas take root as a project within our individual libraries or grow to strengthen the existing work of our professional associations. Passion, people, and purposeful promotion are all necessary to take those valuable ideas beyond board room discussions and move them into practical implementation within our communities.

How do we get those lightbulb moments to turn into reality? (Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

How do we turn ideas into reality?
(Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

The Power of Passion

As we all face more and more commitments, it is critical that our efforts are targeted to the services that truly matter. When we are passionate about an idea, we are more likely to stay connected to ensure its successful implementation. Self-motivation is key to develop our passion into a purpose. This passion is necessary to ensure new concepts move forward from an individual’s idea to an organization’s goal. Passion appears to be at the heart of our successful initiatives, such as evidenced by our LibrariCon attendance. LibrariCon is our Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center’s annual anime/graphic novel/sci-fi mini convention featuring anime viewing, panels and forums, Artist Alley, Chibi Corner, Manga Lounge, Cosplay Runway, and more. As we prepare for its 10 year anniversary celebration, this event has evolved into a destination experience for our customers due to the passion and dedicated commitment of library staff and volunteers.

The Need for People

Working with people help our ideas to soar (Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

Connections with people help our ideas to soar.
(Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

No matter the passion, great ideas need a team of people to make them a reality. Whether it’s a committee coordinating a conference or introducing a new service to a pre-existing summer reading program, it is necessary to bring more staff on board to assist with the details of any project. Internally, our system’s recently formed Youth Services Advisory Council (YSAC) serves as a forum for members of Administration and Youth Services Managers to discuss current issues in our field and to form sub-committees on various projects to ensure ideas are reviewed. Through staffers’ commitment to move youth services forward, we have developed innovative ideas to enhance our children’s summer reading program, have planned early literacy centers at our branch locations, and have streamlined festival programming.

Purposeful Promotion   

All the ideas in the world won't be realized without purposeful promotion (Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

Promotion develops individual ideas.
(Image provided by Thinkstockphotos.com)

Promotion and purpose go hand in hand in ensuring the best ideas are strengthened and receive necessary support when evaluated. It’s necessary to examine our current projects to guarantee our library’s mission and vision are best supported by our current work. Sometimes the need to create new ideas helps to ensure our library’s goals remain relevant as our communities’ needs change. When we realized some of our families would appreciate a twist to the traditional story time routine, youth services staff developed a vibrant partnership with our local parks and recreation department to combine movement with stories and music. Advertised by word of mouth and through our system’s internal Community Relations Department, this vibrant series of story times has become a valuable addition to our busy programming schedule, successfully served by strong promotional efforts.

A passion, people, and promoting for a purpose are all necessary to make our best ideas bloom into reality. What ideas have you been excited about seeing develop into fruition? What tips have you learned to make your concepts connect? Please share in the comments below!

The post Transforming Ideas into Reality appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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37. Celebrating Moms (and Grandmoms!)

There is no shortage of amazing picture books about mothers and grandmothers, but there is definitely always a need for more books that include mothers from different cultures and walks of life. If you’re planning a story time, display, or book list for Mother’s Day, include these books to reflect the diversity of your patron population:


(image taken from Donna Jo Napoli’s website)

With warmer days getting closer and closer, beach stories will soon be in high demand in no time. Hands and Hearts is not only a gorgeously illustrated story about a fun trip to the beach, but it also incorporates American Sign Language to tell this story of a mother and her young daughter  discussing their big outing.



Where do many families celebrate Mother’s Day? At grandmother’s house, of course! Full Full of Love  follows a large extended family as they enjoy a fabulous feast at grandmother’s house, which features lots of hugs and kisses in addition to the scrumptious dishes.

(image taken from Candlewick Press)


(image taken from HarperCollins Publishers)

Making cookies with mom is a treasured childhood memory for many, as is celebrated in Mama & Me.  Spanish words (the English equivalent is incorporated after the Spanish word is introduced)  are included in this warmly told and illustrated tale about a precious bond between a mother and her daughter.



(image taken from Scholastic)

A definite scarcity in picture book: mothers in wheelchairs or mothers that have physical disabilities. In Mama Zooms, we see a young boy who imagines that he has many adventures with his mother as they ride in her wheelchair.

What are your favorite picture books about mothers? Let us know in the comments!



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38. Author Chat with Mike Jung, Plus Giveaway!

YABC: Do you have a mantra that gets you through the drafting phase??   Mike Jung: I don’t have anything like a frequently stated mantra, but I do occasionally think of something a writer friend said to me when I was struggling to complete my first-ever attempt at a full manuscript: books...

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39. Book Review: See How They Run by Ally Carter

Title: See How They Run
Author: Ally Carter
Published: 2015
Source: Edelweiss

Summary: Grace has finally discovered the truth about her mother's death, but it was a lot more complex than even she thought. Secret societies and centuries-old conspiracies swirl around her as more disasters, both international and personal, loom ahead.

First Impressions: This took forever to get up and running but after that it was a pretty fast read. Still, it suffered from middle-book-syndrome. Too much left over from the first book, too many loose threads for the benefit of the third book. Agh.

Later On: I stick by my initial impression. Having read the first book a long time ago, it was hard to dredge up the details, and there were a lot of loose threads left waving at the end, clearly for the benefit of the next book. I was surprised that she killed off one character - I thought for sure he was going to stick around and be the third in a love triangle.

More: Book Nut

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40. The 2016 Hugo Awards: Thoughts on the Nominees

Some people must really enjoy losing to No Award. — Abigail Nussbaum (@NussbaumAbigail) April 26, 2016 I have to be honest, my first reaction to this year's Hugo ballot (and even before that, to the rumors of what was going to be on it), was to sigh at the thought of going through this whole thing all over again.  I'm tempted to just link you to last year's reaction post, because pretty much

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41. Featured Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

About this book: The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened...

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42. Featured Review: Girl Last Seen by Anne Greenwood Brown & Heather Anastasiu

About this book: Kadence Mulligan's star was rising. She and her best friend, Lauren DeSanto, watched their songs go viral on YouTube, then she launched a solo career when a nasty throat infection paralyzed Lauren's vocal chords. Everyone knows Lauren and Kadence had a major falling-out over Kady's boyfriend. But Lauren...

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43. Tarzan in TV Comic....

Above: TV Tornado cover by Don Lawrence

To answer a query by John schiltz: I know Don Lawrence at least drew Tarzan for TV Tornado though there was at least one other. Sadly I cannot find a sample of a TV Comic weekly Tarzan strip but if one can be forwarded (my TV Comics are no more) it might help identify who the artist was.

Don Lawrence drew the following stories:

 The Lionhunter - Barchak - Krauk The Crocodile - Bongi's Adventure - Wild Chagra - The Mighty Olombo - The Monster Of M'Tambi - Servant Of The Gods - Urogi - The River God - People On The Run - Bad Manu - You Little Monkey You - The Roar Of The Lion - The Power Of Water - The Elephanthunters - The Holy Mask - A Family Quarrel - The Jungle Queen - A Busy Day For Tarzan - The Secret Of The Lions - Captured - A New Leader - Elephant Walk - The Fish Thief - Chained - The Owigi Gold - Malubu - Poison - The Iron Elephant - Mask Of The Devil - Okopi's Sacrifice - Carnivore Plants - Sharing - The Deadly Eye - Aerobatics - The Black Gold

This is a Don Lawrence Tarzan page and it is, unmistakably, Lawrence!

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44. YA Mini-Reviews

I've been completely neglecting keeping up with reviews (and, honestly my reading as well).  I'm in a terrible reading slump that I just can't seem to break out of.  I sped through these YAs, not super impressed with the writing of any of them, but at least they finally caught my attention - enough so that I read them in one sitting each.

The Girl Who Fell
The Girl Who Fell by S.M. Parker
From Goodreads:
High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense and volatile relationship—by the new boy in school. 

His obsession.
Her fall.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and … terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.
Of the two abuse-themed books in this review, this is the one I had the highest hopes for.  I really appreciated throughout the first three quarters of the book that we saw Alec slowly begin his emotional abuse of Zephyr.  I've never been in an abusive relationship, but I saw several closely as a teen.  None of them were physically abusive, but all were damaging emotionally.  I had hoped to see that reflected in this book as opposed to a more violent and physical abuse.  It looked like things were headed that way, but the book winds up taking a more shocking (and unfortunately less believable) turn.  I still enjoyed the read, but I didn't find it as relevant as I had hoped to.

 After the Woods
From Goodreads:
Would you risk your life to save your best friend? 

Julia did. When a paroled predator attacked Liv in the woods, Julia fought back and got caught. Liv ran, leaving Julia in the woods for a terrifying 48 hours that she remembers only in flashbacks. One year later, Liv seems bent on self-destruction, starving herself, doing drugs, and hooking up with a violent new boyfriend. A dead girl turns up in those same woods, and Julia’s memories resurface alongside clues unearthed by an ambitious reporter that link the girl to Julia’s abductor. As the devastating truth becomes clear, Julia realizes that after the woods was just the beginning.
Another one that falls into the not-quite-believable category, but was still a delight to read.  This is one I didn't go into hoping for realism - I hoped for craziness and a fast pace.  And the book delivers on both parts.  The characters aren't necessarily memorable or deep, but the plot is a blast and I was kept guessing for a large portion of the book.  As a boredom/reading slump buster, it was perfect.
Tragedy Girl
Tragedy Girl by Christine Hurley Deriso
From Goodreads:
Of course Anne would be drawn to Blake. He’s good looking, he’s friendly, and they both bring sob stories to the table: her parents died in a car wreck, his girlfriend, Cara, drowned. Of course Blake would understand what she’s gone through. And of course they can help each other work through the pain. It’s like it was meant to be.

But just as Anne starts to feel she’s finally found something good in all the tragedy, she can’t ignore signs that something’s off. Her friends rarely let her be alone with Blake. Even those closest to Blake seem uneasy around him. And then there are the rumors about the death of Cara, whose body was never recovered. Rumors that suggest Blake’s pain is hiding something darker than Anne can even begin to comprehend . . .
This was in some ways my favorite of the three and in some ways the worst of the three.  It is absolutely and completely outside the realm of possibility.  It's like an episode of One Tree Hill.  I mean that as both a critique and a compliment.  I love some One Tree Hill.  But this is very similar to a world in which teenage club promoters meet and date Fall Out Boy.  I spent the entirety of the book texting my friends and laughing, but also being completely intrigued.  It's not super long and reads very very quickly.  Honestly, it's one of the best books I read last month in terms of how much I enjoyed the experience.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with copies of these titles in exchange for review.

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45. Henry


Dear Iva,
I couldn't be more sure.
But are you?

You'd give all that up for me?
For a life on this farm?
For a job at the school?

When I look at your face
in the photo you sent
I still can't believe it's true.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2016

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46. #IWearDenim Because I Support Other Survivors & I Know It Is Never a Survivor’s Fault For Being Raped.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#SAAM), and today (April 27) is #DenimDay. I’m wearing denim to show my support for other survivors, and to take a stand against our rape culture.

As an incest, rape, and cult survivor, I was frequently told by my abusers that the rapes I endured were my fault. That I wanted it, or asked for it, or somehow made it happen. But it was never my fault or my choice. And if you’ve been raped or sexually assaulted, it’s not yours, either. No matter what you were wearing. Rape is always the rapist’s fault.

Being raped is devastating enough. But on top of that, survivors often get shamed, blamed, told to keep quiet, told they are ruining the rapists’ life, or are not believed. Speaking out shouldn’t be so hard; being listened to and believed is part of the healing process. We live in a rape culture that blames and belittles survivors, sexualizes young girls and boys, and encourages denial. This deepens the emotional scars from sexual assault.

I hope you’ll join me in supporting other survivors, believing them, and speaking out when you hear jokes or attitudes that blame, shame, or silence survivors.

I speak out against rape culture and support other survivors through my books–writing emotionally and honestly from my experiences as an incest, rape, torture survivor–and through my online presence. I hope you’ll find your own way to speak out and help others. One way to start is to take the pledge.

If you need support, you can call, email, text, or chat:
Male Rape and Sexual abuse Survivors

#DenimDay #DenimDayAuthors #NoExcuses #IWearDenim #TakeThePledge
#WeBelieveSurvivors #IBelieveSurvivors #ISupportYou #Survivor

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47. Fusenews: I wouldn’t waste my time riding a bike

Hokey dokey.  Too much stuff here to cover very well, but try we shall.  Hold on to your hats, folks!  It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.


saltFirst off, you know how I was talking the other day about constructing the ideal educator website of children’s literature resources?  Well, this might have to be one of said resources I’d include.  Called Uncover the Past, the site is dedicated to “helping library and education professionals teach history through children’s literature!”  The booklists are particularly interesting.
Thanks to Rebecca Redinger for the link.


Next up, one for the “how cute is this?” files.  I don’t know why the idea of Mary Blair tableware isn’t commonplace, but so far this is the first place I’ve seen it done properly.  Blair, as you may recall, worked as a Disney animator for years before becoming a children’s book illustrator.Take the survey and you might win a set of your very own.


Mmm.  Process.  Sweet, delicious process.  What’s better than watching an Art Director explain how they came up with a YA cover?  Watching an Art Director explain how they came up with a YA cover after considering LOADS of alternatives.  Chad Beckerman shows us how The Haters came to be.  I don’t usually do YA, but in this special case I am making an exception.  You bet I am.


auctionOo.  Auction. Now normally one wouldn’t have the money for such a thing, but this one’s special.  What we’re talking about here is a Refugee Benefit Auction, created by authors Shannon Hale and Mette Ivie Harrison.  100% of the proceeds go to Lifting Hands International, a charity that gets life-saving supplies directly to refugee camps.  As for the things you could get, they’re pretty fantastic.  My personal favorite?  A pole dance (or fan dance, they’re easy) performed by Shannon Hale and Daniel Handler.  “Negligible nudity assured”.  Oddly, this item has yet to secure an initial bid.  Would someone like to lend me $10,000?


The Fictional Book Characters Who Sparked Our Sexual Awakenings. Meh. None of these ranked in my book, but it’s interesting to see the fellers other gals were into.  And, happily, it reminded me of one of my favorite Toast pieces of all time: Things I’ve Learned About Heterosexual Female Desire From Decades Of Reading.


I think I’m the last one to link to the Alexander London piece Our Stories Are As Unlimited As Our Selves or Why I Came Out as a Gay Children’s Book Author.  A great piece and one that ties in nicely with the GLBTQ chapter of Wild Things.  Should we ever update that book, this is going in.


UndergroundAbductorOo!  Eisner Award nominees.  Love that stuff, I do.  And check it out!  Not only is Nathan Hale nominated in the Best Publication for Kids category (for The Underground Abductor, naturally) but he’s also in the Best Writer / Artist category as well.  He is the ONLY children’s book creator in that category, by the way.  Regardless of whether or not he wins, that is significant.


Travis Jonker. He comes up with so many good ideas.  Have you seen his Endangered Series, uh, series?  Well, it’s a great idea.  Series that once were strong but now are waning are given a close examination.  Cam Jansen was the latest to fall under scrutiny.  I suspect The Kids of the Polk Street School already hit the dust, but if not then this would be an ideal candidate for a future post.


Wow.  Two thumbs up to the ALSC board for voting to cancel the National Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina.  American Libraries Magazine has the scoop.  Thanks to Jules Danielson for the link.


How on this good green earth did I miss Rick Riordan’s letter to kids who are faced with the dire prospect of being shown one of the Percy Jackson movies in school?  I’ve seen authors dislike their books’ adaptations before, but nothing quite matches this.  Thanks to Monica Edinger for the link.


“With such a huge international variety of books and illustrators on display in Bologna, are there differences in illustration styles among individual countries?” Yep. Moving on.  Oh, wait . . . no, let’s dwell on this idea a bit longer.  Four German children’s book publishers were asked this question and they gave their responses.  The thing is, here in the States we’re seeing some remarkably high quality German children’s book fare on a regular basis and it’s GREAT!  I’d love this question to be regularly posed with folks from other countries as well.


The site Brightly has had a couple good articles up lately.  I liked 8 Surprising Facts About Your Local Librarian not the least because I knew the librarians quoted.  NYC pride!


Daily Image:

I almost never do images of books here for the Daily Image since it’s sort of a case of bringing coals to Newcastle.  But then I saw that one of my greatest picture readalouds, one of my core books, a title I’ve loved for years, is getting a sequel.  At long long last I have an answer for those kids who have been asking me, “Is there a sequel with the tractor?”


Yes, children.  Yes there is.  And life is good.


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48. It's Live!! Cover Reveal: Beneath Wandering Stars by Ashlee Cowles + Giveaway (Intl)

Hi, YABCers! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for BENEATH WANDERING STARS by Ashlee Cowles, releasing August 18, 2016 from Merit Press. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Ashlee: Thanks so much for checking out Beneath Wandering Stars! If you appreciate authentic love stories...

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49. Murder in the Museum

Murder in the Museum. John Rowland. 1938. Poisoned Pen Press. 250 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I really loved reading John Rowland's Murder in the Museum. It was a quick, entertaining read with filled with characters that you can't help wanting to spend time with.

The book opens with Henry Fairhurst happening upon a dead body at the British Museum--in the reading room. He speaks, of course, to the police inspectors--Inspector Shelley and (Constable) Cunningham--and they let slip that it was murder--poison, cyanide. While a bit shocked, perhaps, by the discovery, he's a bit thrilled underneath it all. Nothing like this has ever happened to him before--and the excitement of it, well, he doesn't want to let it go. He wants to help solve the case. They don't agree to this, not right away, of course. But as his volunteered tips prove useful on more than one occasion, soon, he's unofficially taking part.

The victim is a professor of Elizabethan literature, named Julius Arnell. His love of almonds--sugared almonds, I believe--did him in. That is where the poison was.

As I said I loved this one. I loved the mystery of it, the unfolding of clues and suspects. It was also a tension-filled read in many ways. There is more than one crime, for one thing, and readers see one crime in progress. It's a suspenseful read to be sure!!!

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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50. Video: Author-Illustrator Marla Frazee

From Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

Marla Frazee from Adam Goodwin on Vimeo.

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