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Results 7,951 - 7,975 of 216,790
7951. An Attack On Readers, Not A Genre

As I may have said here at some point in the past, I don't respond to articles dissing children's or YA literature. These things appear nearly annually at a couple of well-known Internet publications as well as the New York Times. I believe their purpose is to generate controversy and publicity for the organization doing the publishing. Children's literature was experiencing a big ground swell of popularity during and after the Harry Potter years and YA is wildly popular now. Articles criticizing them are guaranteed to get a rise out of fans. The controversy ends up being covered on blogs and other Internet sites, sometimes in print publications. It's all great publicity for the writers and publishers of the original bash piece. They don't need to get any more from me.

Against YA, the most recent case in point, is a little different from the run-of-the-mill Look! Look! I'm-Saying-Nasty-Things-About-YA-And-What-Are-You-Going-To-Do-About-It? article. Usually these things come in the form of a review of a new book. The reviewer doesn't work in YA or child lit, has little knowledge of it, and says a lot of ignorant things that a whole bunch of people object to. Against YA is simply book shaming. Its author belittles readers for their choice of reading material.

As I was reading it, I was reminded of attitudes toward science fiction and some forms of women's fiction. A writer at io9 picked up on the same vibe. In Really? Are We Still Genre Shaming People For The Books They Like? Lauren Davis says, "This song-and-dance — saying that we should be ashamed of what we like to read — is a familiar one for fans of genre fiction." She continues, "This argument is a familiar one to anyone who has ever heard that serious literature can't contain spaceships or aliens or, god forbid, dragons... But as science fiction and fantasy are being taken more seriously, it seems that we need to find more targets for our elitist sniffing."

Personally, I don't believe the target in Against YA is the genre. It's readers. That's why it's particularly distasteful.


0 Comments on An Attack On Readers, Not A Genre as of 6/10/2014 7:57:00 PM
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7952. One Thing Stolen: First Galley Page

Chronicle Books and Tamra Tuller: They produce a beautiful book.

I didn't allow myself to start reading the galleys of my Florence novel until I pushed passed 35,000 words on my novel-in-progress.

Now I breathe. And soon I'll read.

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7953. Beach Book Festival 2014 Honorable Mention Awarded to Whale Poacher Children’s Book, A Sandy Grave by Donna M. McDine



TAPPAN, NY (June, 2014) – The winners, runner-ups, and honorable mentions of the 2014 Beach Book Festival have been announced. A Sandy Grave by Donna M. McDine and illustrated by Julie Hammond has earned honorable mention in the children’s book category.

Title: A Sandy Grave
Category: Chapbooks for Tweens
Author: Donna M. McDine www.donnamcdine.com
Illustrator: Julie Hammond www.juliehammondart.com
Hardcover ISBN: 9781616334543; 1616334541
Softcover ISBN: 9781616334550; 161633455X
eBook ISBN: 9781616334567; 1616334568 


About A Sandy Grave: The anticipation of summer vacation can put anyone in a great mood with the excitement of adventures to be had--especially at the beach. But what is a group of friends to do when they discover mysterious men poaching whale teeth at the beach?

What Reviewers Are Saying

“The book is an enjoyable read and makes children aware of poaching and illegalities associated with it. During times of dwindling marine life and plants, it is important to save them. This book teaches children to protect marine life and endangered animals.” ~ Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite Five Star Review

“A Sandy Grave is a good fast read for the individual reader or for parents to read to their younger children. It engages the reader and opens up a dialogue between parents and children on the many different issues in the book. Most of all, McDine shows that children can respect authority without fearing it and parents and those in roles of responsibility can respect the contribution that children can make to society.” ~ Reviewed by Rebecca’s Writing Services

About the Author: Donna McDine is a multiple award-winning children's author. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI and Family Reading Partnership. Learn more about McDine’s writing career at www.donnamcdine.com and www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com.
###

Full Media Kit, Headshot, Book Cover Art and more are available upon request.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multiple Award-winning Children's Author


Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist












0 Comments on Beach Book Festival 2014 Honorable Mention Awarded to Whale Poacher Children’s Book, A Sandy Grave by Donna M. McDine as of 6/10/2014 3:57:00 AM
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7954. Whale Poacher Children's Book, A Sandy Grave Awarded Story Monster Approval


I'm tickled pink to announce my whale poacher children's book, A Sandy Grave has achieved the Story Monster Approval award!!! 

I'm doing the Snoopy Dance… 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Linda F. Radke, Five Star Publications, Inc.
Phone: 480-940-8182
E-mail: info@FiveStarPublications.com

Whale Poacher Children’s Book, A Sandy Grave Earns Story Monster Approval

CHANDLER, AZ (June, 2014) – The judges of the Story Monster Approved program, which recognizes accomplished authors in the field of children's literature have spoken, and A Sandy Grave by Donna M. McDine and illustrated by Julie Hammond has earned approval.   

Title: A Sandy Grave
Category: Chapbooks for Tweens
Author: Donna M. McDine www.donnamcdine.com
Illustrator: Julie Hammond www.juliehammondart.com
Hardcover ISBN: 9781616334543; 1616334541
Softcover ISBN: 9781616334550; 161633455X
eBook ISBN: 9781616334567; 1616334568 


About A Sandy Grave: The anticipation of summer vacation can put anyone in a great mood with the excitement of adventures to be had--especially at the beach. But what is a group of friends to do when they discover mysterious men poaching whale teeth at the beach?

About the Author: Donna McDine is a multiple award-winning children's author. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI and Family Reading Partnership. Learn more about McDine’s writing career at www.donnamcdine.comand www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com.
The colorful, kid-friendly Story Monster Approved seal attracts the attention of young readers much more than a sticker intended for adult scrutiny. Kids know when they see the Story Monster Approved patch it means children their own age enjoyed the book and are recommending they read it, too. How do they know that? Because after books pass the first round of rigorous judging – which is done by industry experts, the books are then judged by a panel of youth judges who must also endorse the books before they can receive the official seal of approval.
"Who better to judge children’s books than the children who read them?” explains Linda F. Radke, president of Five Star Publications, Inc., the same company that launched the Dragonfly Book Awards program, now in its fourth year. "Judging these books gives children a wonderful sense of importance and responsibility. Some of our judging coordinators have told us that students who usually don’t enjoy reading or have difficulty reading have gotten a much-needed boost due to their judging responsibilities and have requested to serve as judges again."
Authors interested in having their books considered for Story Monster Approved designation should visit www.StoryMonsters.com and download an entry form. Books are divided into the following categories with distinctions made between fiction and nonfiction: Preschool to Kindergarten, Grades 1-3, and Grades 4-6.

###

Full Media Kit, Headshot, Book Cover Art and more are available upon request.
<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]-->

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author

Connect with


A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist













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7955. Garbage

In the city, garbage must
Be tossed inside a chute,
Recycled items piled and wrapped
Or boxed or bagged, to boot.

You’re free to daily chuck your trash –
More often if you choose;
The room where garbage goes is cleaned
Each day by building crews.

But in the suburbs, things are done
In quite a different way.
Your trash is taken once a week
And folks think that’s okay.

It’s all what you’re accustomed to –
Each has both pro and con,
But when I take my garbage out,
I like it to be gone!

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7956. Playwright Competition for Undergrads: Bill Hallberg Award for Creative Writing

The East Carolina University English Department has created the Bill Hallberg Award for Creative Writing, a rotating genre prize open to undergraduate writers who attend universities in NC, TN, VA, and SC. This year, the award of $500 will be given for two one-act plays or a full length play.

A staged reading of the play(s) will be performed at East Carolina University with the playwright attending (expenses paid.)

Submissions must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from an instructor at the student's school.

DEADLINE: November 15, 2014. NOTIFICATION: January, 2015. PERFORMANCE: Mid March, 2015.

Send entries electronically to Robert Siegel:

siegelrATecuDOTedu (Change At to @ and DOT to . )

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7957. GOING OVER is the Gold Medal Winner of the Parents' Choice Awards, Historical Fiction

And I am flummoxed.

And INCREDIBLY grateful.

Oh my goodness.

Teresa DiFalco, Parents Choice Awards: How can I thank you?

The astonishing citation is here.

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7958. Jen Doll Responds to the Read YA Controversy with Thoughts About Nuance—

and this is one of the many things I love about Jen.

Jen's whole piece, on Hairpin, is here.

Her final words are a sweet, right challenge:
So read, read Y.A., read adult literature, read blog posts, read magazines, read your box of Cheerios in the morning. Read all you can and want to read, acknowledging the easy and unchallenging and the difficult and complicated, and form your own opinions, trying to add a little room for nuance and understanding and openness in all that you do. That’s the best you can do as a reader, a writer, and a human.
And how honored am I to have Going Over included among works by Markus Zusak, Nina LaCour, Andrew Smith, Cammie McGovern, Laurie Halse Anderson, Sherman Alexie, Aaron Hartzler, E. Lockhart, and Matthew Quick on Jen's "10 Contemporary Y.A. Books That Made Me Think (and That I Loved)."

0 Comments on Jen Doll Responds to the Read YA Controversy with Thoughts About Nuance— as of 6/10/2014 7:45:00 AM
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7959. Agent Looking For Writers

Madeleine_clark_literary_agent

Madeleine Clark: After working for several years in the editorial department at Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Madeleine Clark joined Sterling Lord Literistic in 2011. Madeleine was born in London, but raised in Virginia. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill., Madeleine is an unabashed anglophile, so some of England has rubbed off on her. She lives in Brooklyn.

Interested in: Madeleine is interested in commercial and literary fiction as well as narrative nonfiction. She is drawn to realistic YA, literary thrillers, novels that can believably introduce a bit of fantasy/sci-fi, and books that draw heavily from their environment whether that is geographical or cultural.

How to submit: If you have a manuscript that seems to fit what Madeleine is looking for, you can email her at: info (at) sll.com with “Attn: Madeleine Clark” in the e-mail subject line. For fiction, please send a synopsis and the first three chapters or a 50 page sample. For nonfiction, send a detailed proposal. Cover letters should be in the body of the email but send the actual submission as a Word document attachment.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Agent, opportunity, Places to sumit, Young Adult Novel Tagged: contemporary/realistic fiction, fantasy, Madeleine Clark, Sci-fi, Sterling Lord Literistic

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7960. Call for Submissions: Siren

Siren is an online zine looking for artists of all genres who create new, edgy, and experimental work. We want work that pushes boundaries, that surprises in terms of structure and content, that provokes a visceral response. We want to be shocked. We want to blush. We want art that is provocative, raw and beautiful. We want art with wings, teeth, claws.

We welcome submissions from artists of all genres. This includes, but is not limited to, poets and writers of all genres, audio/visual and graphic artists, video and film makers, dancers, performance and spoken word artists, musicians, installation and fine artists, and photographers.

The submission deadline for our summer issue is June 30, 2014. To submit, send an email to:

sirenwebzineATgmailDOTcom (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

with the type of submission and your last name in the subject line. Please include your contact information, a short bio, and your submission in the body of the email.

Our guidelines are as follows:

Poetry – 3 poems max. 
Prose – 1500 words max. 
Audio/Visual Media – 3 to 5 minutes max. 
Visual Art – 3 images max.

As an online zine, your work will be free to all who visit the site. You retain all rights to your work. For more details, please visit our website.

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7961. Book Group Skype Visits for A BIRD ON WATER STREET

I just did a Skype visit with a book group in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Hi Michelle Moran (host and owner of the best restaurant in Blue Ridge - Harvest on Main), Pam, Gail, Louisa, Sheila, Louise, and Carol Crawford (my host for the Blue Ridge Writers Conference). It was great to talk to you all! Carol is 2nd from left Michelle is 3rd, and I think Pam is second from the right. I'm not sure who is who otherwise, but I sure did enjoy saying "hi"!

     I'm happy to do 20-minute Skype visits (or Google Messages visits - or whatever your preferred tech) for free with your book group too - give me a holler! elizabeth at dulemba dot com

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7962. Giveaway of Cozy Food


This book combines food and mysteries.  Who can't love that?

The author is offering two e-books for an international giveaway.

Giveaway form is below the post.
 
************

What happens when 128 cozy mystery writers get together to do a cookbook? You get more than 220 recipes that are as diverse and interesting as an amateur sleuth’s day job.

Regional recipes come from every part of the United States and England — a couple find their way from Australia and Italy, too — and from diverse times. 

There are recipes from people looking to keep gluten out of their lives, eat vegetarian, or make a treat or two for their furry four-legged friends. And yes, there are recipes that appeal to the sweet tooth, lots of them, in fact.

There’s no mystery about what happens when cozy writers get together. They bring the wit, inventiveness, and adventure found in their books right along with their recipes. 

************
Cozy Food: 128 Cozy Mystery Writers Share Their Favorite Recipes is now very real. It has more than 220 recipes that are as varied and interesting as an amateur sleuth’s day job and is filled with the wit, inventiveness, and adventure found in cozy mysteries. 

The recipes are introduced by their authors and linked to writer bios in the back of the book. You can look up a cozy writer and see which recipes are their favorites; they'll tell you what the recipe means to them. Or you can enjoy a dish and then link to the recipe's author's biography and books.

Even if you love cozies, I bet you can’t name 128 cozy authors, so either way you enjoy the cookbook, you're sure to find great new recipes to make and terrific new cozy authors to read.

************

Enter the giveaway here.

Contest ends on June 17.

Best of luck to all entrants.


0 Comments on Giveaway of Cozy Food as of 6/10/2014 6:49:00 AM
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7963. Call for Poetry Submissions: Women Made Gallery Literary Series

Theme: Boxes
Date: Sunday, August 3, 2014/ 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Place: 685 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL


We are seeking work that addresses the theme from any or all ways you can imagine, i.e. Container and contained, categories, black box, Cornell boxes, boxed in, outside the box, gifts and deliveries, Inclusion & Exclusion.

Selections will be made with an eye to assembling a program that represents a diversity of poets, styles, and approaches to the theme.

Selected poets MUST be available to read in person. Please send 4 – 6 poems on the theme ALONG WITH a 50 to 75 word bio, IN THE BODY OF AN E-MAIL to:

galleryATwomanmadeDOTorg (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

by June 15, 11:59 p.m.. We will make every effort to inform those chosen of our decision by June 30. Although we can't afford to pay readers, this is a great opportunity to sell books and read with other talented people in a very special environment.

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7964. Beach Book Festival 2014 Honorable Mention Awarded to Whale Poacher Children’s Book, A Sandy Grave by Donna M. McDine



TAPPAN, NY (June, 2014) – The winners, runner-ups, and honorable mentions of the 2014 Beach Book Festival have been announced. A Sandy Grave by Donna M. McDine and illustrated by Julie Hammond has earned honorable mention in the children’s book category.

Title: A Sandy Grave
Category: Chapbooks for Tweens
Author: Donna M. McDine www.donnamcdine.com
Illustrator: Julie Hammond www.juliehammondart.com
Hardcover ISBN: 9781616334543; 1616334541
Softcover ISBN: 9781616334550; 161633455X
eBook ISBN: 9781616334567; 1616334568 


About A Sandy Grave: The anticipation of summer vacation can put anyone in a great mood with the excitement of adventures to be had--especially at the beach. But what is a group of friends to do when they discover mysterious men poaching whale teeth at the beach?

What Reviewers Are Saying

“The book is an enjoyable read and makes children aware of poaching and illegalities associated with it. During times of dwindling marine life and plants, it is important to save them. This book teaches children to protect marine life and endangered animals.” ~ Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite Five Star Review

“A Sandy Grave is a good fast read for the individual reader or for parents to read to their younger children. It engages the reader and opens up a dialogue between parents and children on the many different issues in the book. Most of all, McDine shows that children can respect authority without fearing it and parents and those in roles of responsibility can respect the contribution that children can make to society.” ~ Reviewed by Rebecca’s Writing Services

About the Author: Donna McDine is a multiple award-winning children's author. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI and Family Reading Partnership. Learn more about McDine’s writing career at www.donnamcdine.com and www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com.
###

Full Media Kit, Headshot, Book Cover Art and more are available upon request.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multiple Award-winning Children's Author


Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Reader's Farvorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist












0 Comments on Beach Book Festival 2014 Honorable Mention Awarded to Whale Poacher Children’s Book, A Sandy Grave by Donna M. McDine as of 1/1/1900
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7965. Whale Poacher Children's Book, A Sandy Grave Awarded Story Monster Approval


I'm tickled pink to announce my whale poacher children's book, A Sandy Grave has achieved the Story Monster Approval award!!! 

I'm doing the Snoopy Dance… 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Linda F. Radke, Five Star Publications, Inc.
Phone: 480-940-8182
E-mail: info@FiveStarPublications.com

Whale Poacher Children’s Book, A Sandy Grave Earns Story Monster Approval

CHANDLER, AZ (June, 2014) – The judges of the Story Monster Approved program, which recognizes accomplished authors in the field of children's literature have spoken, and A Sandy Grave by Donna M. McDine and illustrated by Julie Hammond has earned approval.   

Title: A Sandy Grave
Category: Chapbooks for Tweens
Author: Donna M. McDine www.donnamcdine.com
Illustrator: Julie Hammond www.juliehammondart.com
Hardcover ISBN: 9781616334543; 1616334541
Softcover ISBN: 9781616334550; 161633455X
eBook ISBN: 9781616334567; 1616334568 


About A Sandy Grave: The anticipation of summer vacation can put anyone in a great mood with the excitement of adventures to be had--especially at the beach. But what is a group of friends to do when they discover mysterious men poaching whale teeth at the beach?

About the Author: Donna McDine is a multiple award-winning children's author. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI and Family Reading Partnership. Learn more about McDine’s writing career at www.donnamcdine.comand www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com.
The colorful, kid-friendly Story Monster Approved seal attracts the attention of young readers much more than a sticker intended for adult scrutiny. Kids know when they see the Story Monster Approved patch it means children their own age enjoyed the book and are recommending they read it, too. How do they know that? Because after books pass the first round of rigorous judging – which is done by industry experts, the books are then judged by a panel of youth judges who must also endorse the books before they can receive the official seal of approval.
"Who better to judge children’s books than the children who read them?” explains Linda F. Radke, president of Five Star Publications, Inc., the same company that launched the Dragonfly Book Awards program, now in its fourth year. "Judging these books gives children a wonderful sense of importance and responsibility. Some of our judging coordinators have told us that students who usually don’t enjoy reading or have difficulty reading have gotten a much-needed boost due to their judging responsibilities and have requested to serve as judges again."
Authors interested in having their books considered for Story Monster Approved designation should visit www.StoryMonsters.com and download an entry form. Books are divided into the following categories with distinctions made between fiction and nonfiction: Preschool to Kindergarten, Grades 1-3, and Grades 4-6.

###

Full Media Kit, Headshot, Book Cover Art and more are available upon request.
<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]-->

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author

Connect with


A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist













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7966. Review – The Croc and the Platypus

The Croc and the Platypus I commented recently on the Further Adventures of the The Owl and the Pussy Cat by Julia Donaldson and Charlotte Voake. Donaldson’s ineffable lyrical style does indeed take Edward Lear’s nonsense tale one step further and is a jolly expedition for the reader to navigate through. As you’d expect, it’s a very good picture book. Then I found an even better one.

Jacki HoskingWith ute-fulls of respect to Donaldson and Voake, Jackie Hosking’s and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall’s debut creation of The Croc and The Platypus is a very, very good picture book.

Fans of Lear’s will relish the lilting musical quality of Hosking’s verse as she transports us as effortlessly as Julia Donaldson through the Australian outback with as an incongruous couple as the Owl and Pussycat; Croc and Platypus.

Hosking is spot on with this ingenious retelling of a childhood classic however, somehow makes it feel much more loose and flowing and bizarrely, even easier to read than the original. Her narrative sings with a down-to-earth gritty realism but is delivered with Lear’s same congenial, nonsensical joie de vive. Hub caps ring and didgeridoos blow as Platypus and Croc ‘play up a hullabaloo…baloo.’

I love Hosking’s incorporation of recognisable Aussie icons; Uluru, tea and damper and lamingtons to name a few as Croc and Platypus trundle across the plains eventually camping under the Southern Cross after cleverly procuring their tent. For those not so familiar with ‘click go the shears’ terminology, there’s even a neat little glossary.

Extra applause must go to Marjorie Crosby-Fairall for her truly epic acrylic and pencilled illustrations. The outback is vast and engulfing as are the illustrations of this picture book with gorgeously generous helpings of full colour, movement and sparkle on every single page.

Hosking’s appreciation of, commitment to and finesse with the rhyming word are self-evident. She works them all to perfection in this richly Aussie-flavoured celebration about embracing unlikely friendships and sharing stellar moments with those closest to you whilst enjoying a good old Aussie road trip.

The Croc and the Platypus has every reason to glow proudly alongside The Owl and the Pussycat, and dare I suggest outshine it. Croc and Platypus launch invite June 2014

Discover and rediscover all three books here. For those in Sydney around early July, make sure you don’t miss Jackie’s launch of The Croc and the Platypus.

Walker Books Australia June 2014

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7967. Is anyone really "able-bodied"?

In a recent post about diversity, I wrote: "No one is truly able-bodied: we have missing limbs or chronic illnesses or mental illnesses or even glasses or allergies or freckles or fat or some way our bodies or minds aren’t exactly like some impossible transcendent ideal."

I understand why some mistook this piece of my post. I dropped that in there without enough explanation, so please allow me.

Growing up, I viewed the world as two separate groups: the Normal people and the Handicapped people (that's the word used in my childhood). The Handicapped people were blind or deaf or in a wheelchair. And I wasn't. And I felt bad for them and determined I would never bully any Handicapped children if I ever met any, (though I never did--or at least, I thought I didn't).

As I grow older, I see such a fallacy in that way of thinking. I understand why our language has terms like "able-bodied" or "whole-bodied" and "disabled," etc., but I find that dichotomy isn't really truthful. Disability/Able-bodiedness isn't an either/or situation. It's a continuum.

Is it as difficult for a myopic person who must wear glasses to navigate the world as a person who is blind? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Is it as difficult for a person who is fair-skinned and must wear sunscreen and hats whenever in the sun to navigate the world as a person who has xeroderma pigmentosum? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Is it as difficult for a person with a bad knee who must wear a brace and hesitates on stairs as someone who is paralyzed from the waist down? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Our world is designed for the able-bodied and it's a mark of an empathetic civilization when we try to accommodate all abilities.

I'm not trying to diminish the difficulties and challenges people with disabilities face. But I am trying to normalize the idea of disabilities because they are normal. Some disabilities are undoubtedly more life-changing than others. But I think it might be healthy for everyone, even those who are considered whole-or-able-bodied, to recognize that they're on the continuum too. We all are. We all have challenges that separate us from an impossible ideal of physical and mental health. Recognizing that can help us to not just sympathize with those who have more physical or mental challenges than us us but actually get closer to true empathy. And an increase of empathy only makes the world better.

Once we get rid of the either/or way of thinking, then possibilities open up wider. A child with a disability won't feel as Other (because really, aren't we all disabled some way?) A person without a disability won't feel uncomfortable around someone who has one because aren't we all in some way? Readers who are considered "able-bodied" won't have a hard time relating to a character who is disabled because, again, aren't we all?

Our bodies and minds are so magnificent. So diverse. So unique.

In the same way, white and non-white is another really weird dichotomy. E.g., in the US so many of us are mixes of many different nationalities, ethnicities, religions, genetics. The idea of pertaining to a single race is getting blurrier and blurrier. In a few decades people will look back and find the whole "white" vs. "not-white" idea really weird.

What do you think? Is this line of thinking disrespectful? Is it even possible to change how we think about disabilities? How can we change our language to get rid of that dichotomy? What have I not considered here? I absolutely don't want the last word on this nor do I think I have all the answers. This is something I think about and would love to hear your thoughts too.

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7968. Raindrops And Memories

When I was about nine years old my grandfather said to me, "Ann, if there were a thousand people standing on a bridge with you, and one bird flew over, it's poop would land on your head."

I think about his words all of the time, but this phrase remains in the corners of my mind. (I cannot imagine why?)

There are so many words we remember from our parents and grandparents that never leave us, I can still hear their voices echoing in the recesses of my mind.  The other day, I passed by my grandmothers old property, where a new house has been built, and another family lives inside. I looked at all of the Azalea bushes, Magnolia tree, etc..but in my mind her house was there, along with my memories.

The new owners cut down the Pecan Trees, but I could still see them standing tall and proud, doing their job for the world. I also saw myself on her back porch digging around fifty year old gardening tools.

On the back porch there was a screen door leading out to concrete steps-

I loved to sit on the porch with my grandmother at dusk, and watch the moon travel toward the sky. I could not wait for the sun to go down, so I asked her again and again when the moon would come, and she'd say, "Be patient, the man in the moon is busy, but he will be here soon."

Then, my grandmother would say, "Listen for the sound of crickets then you'll know the moon is on it's way." So I did- After which, the crickets began to chirp, and the moon slowly touched the dusty sky. 




I was so excited, I busted through the screen door, looked toward the heavens, and out of nowhere it began to rain. It wasn't a bad thing though, she let me run in the wet grass, while slivers of  rain ran down my face. That is, before the rain poured out of the sky like a thunderous cloud blanketing the moon ,earth and stars.  I did have many moments with my grandmother watching the moon and stars from her back porch..I was just giving you an example of my grandfathers words from long ago.

Now, I'm going to give you example from the here and now-  Within two days of last week, I don't remember what I was doing, but I was in a hurry so I didn't notice it at first. That is until I backed into a neighbors car in the parking lot.  After we called the police to make a report, I looked at my car, and guess what was on the drivers side window?  Yep, you guessed it, bird poop-

Then, days later, a friend picked me up to go shopping, and guess what was on the passenger side window? Right again, bird poop-   





(I suppose there is a reason the words of our love ones remain with us for a live time.)

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7969. Tweet of the Moment


Filed under: Twitter Messages

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7970. Every Child A Member - Damian Harvey

With so many libraries around Great Britain closing many people are looking for ways to increase library usage and to prove that libraries are as important and valued as we know them to be - rather than the soft target for cutbacks that the government seem to see them as. The recent trend of opening large, modern, inner city libraries such as the ones in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff is all very nice but not when it is at the expense of the smaller branch libraries which are extremely valuable. As a child my Mum took me to our local library every week to borrow new books - not something that would have been as easy to do had we had to travel further afield to visit the main library, and it's the same with children now. It can be hard enough getting children into libraries, however, here in Wales a new initiative was launched earlier this year to try and encourage all children to use their local library.

 
 
Welsh Libraries and Primary Schools have joined together to support children's reading and literacy by making Every Child A Member of the library, something that I can't help should have already been going on.

In a Welsh Government press release the Minister said: "The link between library usage and literacy levels is well documented - over 42,000 children in Wales took part in last year’s Summer Reading Challenge which ran in 245 libraries across the country.
"Those children that took part maintained or improved their reading levels and we are hoping to build on this by giving every child the opportunity to use their library to borrow books and access all the other services available to them.”
 

Initially, this opt out scheme is being trialled by the Gwent, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Powys and Swansea authorities but is planes for rollout across the country in the near future.

I was delighted to be asked to take part in the launch of the Every Child A Member initiative by visiting local libraries and meeting year four children from local schools, many bussed in from outlying areas. All the children received their new library cards and were then let loose to choose books to take home and read - as well as receiving a goody bag. As well as being able to talk about my own books it was great being able to read from and suggest books by other authors that they might like to read - John Dougherty's Stinkbomb and Ketch-up Face went down a treat.
Although many children were already members and keen users of the libraries they visited, there were many more that weren't. Some had never been to the library before. Will parents keep coming back to the library with their children? This has yet to be seen, but I can't help feeling that this is a late, but welcome start to getting children into the libraries. Without creating this link between children and libraries what hope is there for the future.

Damian Harvey
www.damianharvey.co.uk

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7971. Poetry Competition: Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest

This is our 12th year. Top prize for a poem in any style: $1,000. Top prize for a poem that rhymes or has a traditional style: $1,000. Total prizes: $3,000.

Both published and unpublished work accepted. Winning entries published online.

Submit poems of any length by September 30. 

Fee: $16 for each entry of 1-2 poems.

Judge: Ellaraine Lockie.

See guidelines and past winners at our website.

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7972. One Week In

One week into my post-professor life, I can already see that I'm going to need to think harder about how to structure my days.

When I was teaching at the university, I taught MWF and worked at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays: writing, reading, grading, occasionally connecting with friends. I always woke up on MWF with a sense of impending doom: teaching is like improv theater, where anything can happen, students can open their mouths and say anything, and you have to be able to deal with whatever comes your way with grace and aplomb. Even after more than twenty years of doing it, it was scary every single day to get up knowing that I had to do it yet again. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I woke up with eager anticipation as I beheld the meadow-like expanse of time stretching out ahead, all those blissful hours to fill however I chose to fill them.

What I conveniently forgot, however, as I decided to move forward to this new stage of my life, is that while I was always happier on Tuesday/Thursday mornings, I was always happier on MWF evenings. It was so satisfying to come home at the end of a day of classes well taught (95 percent of the time they turned out just fine), stimulating conversations with students and colleagues, even meetings attended while scribbling poems on the back of the meeting agenda. I could cross off those days with smug self-congratulation. But so often I squandered my Tuesdays and Thursdays and had nothing at all to show by suppertime.

I'm in squandering mode right now, I fear. Last week I did have some delicious, long-awaited get-togethers with dear friends. I knocked off a few piddling work tasks: wrote a couple of short book reviews, faced some thorny issues for the upcoming Children's Literature Association conference, and packed up a few years' worth of manuscripts to send off the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota where my stacks of handwritten scribbles are archived. I lost two pounds - go, me! But I also strained my eyes at my old vice of Sudoku and felt at loose ends for hours each day.

Reminder to self: I did NOT leave my career as a philosophy professor to play Sudoku.

So I need a better plan. Luckily, I adore making plans. I'll schedule writing dates. I'll read Improving Literature. I'll take our little dog Tank on more walks. I'm consulting with my wonderfully creative friend, Cat, to find out how she fills her days. I'm going to talk to other full-time writers to find out the same thing.

Fortunately, this is only intermission. Or maybe a better analogy would be: I'm trying out the final act of the play in New Haven before taking it to Broadway, figuring out what works and what doesn't.

But I already knew that Sudoku doesn't work. Off to read Leo Damrosch's new biography of Jonathan Swift instead....


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7973. Kudos: Kirkus Review 2014 Nominees

darlenebeckjacobson:

Congratulations for the accolades. A wonderful selection of books!

Originally posted on Writing and Illustrating:

Last week, Kirkus Review put out a 27 page list of their 2014 Young Reader Book Nominees. They did a really good job of putting all the information about each one in an easy to use display. The link is at the bottom of this page. I took the books from the list that were written or illustrated by people I know for this post, but it is a great list to use to find books you might want to read.

Kudos to all my friends who made the list below:

SLEEPYHEADS by Sandra J. Howatt
Released: May 6, 2014
Reviewed: March 17, 2014

Kirkus StarSLEEPYHEADS
by Sandra J. Howatt, illustrated by Joyce Wan


“A superb execution of soporific shapes and sounds perfect for the bedside table. (Picture book. 2-6)


Sleepyhead readers explore a hushed woodland at dusk, where they discover animals nestled in their cozy places at bedtime. Read full book review >

TEA PARTY RULES by Ame DyckmanReleased: Oct. 3…

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7974. Diversity

I love this quote from author Kirby Larson SO much, and not just because she references me (but, um, shucks, thanks), but because I so totally agree:

Thinking about the diversity in children's books conversation: So glad it is happening! But worried that it might get narrowed to certain criteria. As a kid who grew up without much, I know I would have died and gone to heaven to read Barbara O'Connor or Frances O'Roark Dowell or Watt Key or Lois Brandt (Maddi's Refrigerator, due out in the fall) to find kids like me who bathed in gas station restrooms or didn't have enough to eat or always wore hand me downs. So write your story. Tell it true. Because there's a child out there for whom that story will be a mirror and an escape. A very important escape. And perhaps, perhaps, even a ticket out. That is what diversity in literature is all about.

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7975. Writing Competition: Autumn House


The 2014 Autumn House Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction Contests ​

Postmark deadline: June 30. The winner in each genre will receive book publication, a $1,000 advance against royalties, and a $1,500 travel/publicity grant to promote his or her book.

For our 2014 poetry contest, the preliminary judge is Michael Simms, and the final judge is Alicia Ostriker.
 
For fiction, the preliminary judge is Heather Cazad, and the final judge is Sharon Dilworth. 
For nonfiction, the preliminary judges are Michael Simms and Heather Cazad, and the final judge is Dinty W. Moore.

Congratulations to our 2013 winners:
Poetry: Danusha Laméris, The Moons of August
Fiction: Tom Noyes, Come by Here
Nonfiction: Adam Patric Miller, A Greater Monster
See our complete contest guidelines at our website.

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