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Friends not only figure out how to work out conflicts, they also encourage each other and grow together. The Story of Diva and Flea is a delightful new chapter book that is going to have huge appeal, and at its heart it's a wonderful story of friendship.
The Story of Diva and Flea
by Mo Willems
illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
Disney Hyperion, 2015
Your local library
*best new book*
Diva has lived at the same building in Paris for as long as she can remember, loyally guarding the front courtyard. "She took her job very seriously," making sure that everything is safe. But she is a very small dog, and just a little nervous.
|"If anything ever happened, no matter how big or small, Diva would yelp and run away."|
When alley-cat Flea wanders past Diva's building, flaneur
-ing as he does through the streets of Paris, Flea is fascinated by the little dog. Unfortunately, Flea also finds it very funny when Diva yelps and runs away. This happens day after day, until Diva has had enough:
"Then one day Diva didn't yelp or run away. Instead, she looked right at Flea's big face and asked, 'Are you trying to hurt my feelings?' Flea had never thought about it like that."
Right from the beginning, readers know that Diva and Flea are completely different: one lives in the world of humans, the other explores the streets of Paris on his own. But it's this moment--when Flea realizes that he's hurt Diva's feelings--that the story crystalizes and captures readers' interest. Flea apologizes, and their friendship develops from there as the two learn from each other.
With Flea's encouragement, Diva ventures out beyond the gates of her courtyard. It is scary for nervous little Diva, but she learns to trust Flea and be brave. I'd love to talk with kids about what helps Diva take these steps. How do friends support one another? How have they encouraged a friend?
I loved learning about the friendship behind this creation, how Mo Willems started with the idea of a story but then reached out to Tony DiTerlizzi. Enjoy watching this video where they share the story behind the story:
Please complete the rafflecopter below to enter for a chance at winning one copy of The Story of Diva and Flea
and a DIY friendship bracelet kit. The giveaway will run from Tuesday, October 6th until Wednesday, October 14th.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Illustrations ©2015 Tony DiTerlizzi. The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher, Disney Hyperion. Giveaway open to US addresses only. Prizing is provided by Disney Publishing. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books
The relationship in dysfunctional families between kids and parents isn't something often directly discussed in YA novels, but this one, from the first paragraph, is all about what happens when a kid is accustomed to taking care of a parent.... Read the rest of this post
Something AMAZING is about to happen, and if you are a writer, it's going to make your life much easier.
One of the VERY first posts that I wrote for Adventures in YA Publishing way back in 2010 when this blog was new was about an incredible website that I had found with an incredible tool for writers to help create richer, more realistic stories: The Emotion Thesaurus. It was this brilliant resource that let you choose an emotion and find the right body language, visceral response, or internal reaction to help express what a character was feeling or doing in response to a particular situation. Then the site owners, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, added to the site to make it better and better. They added a Setting Thesaurus, a Character Thesaurus, a Weather Thesaurus, and a whole collection of helpful tools.
Fast forward a couple more years. Angela and Becca published the Emotion Thesaurus in book form. Then they added two volumes of the Character Thesaurus. They racked up awards and sales so fast you'd have said it wasn't believable if you hadn't seen it. And now, working with one of the developers behind SCRIVENER, tomorrow they will unleash One Stop For Writers™
, a brand new website. It will not only have The Emotion Thesaurus fully realized and searchable online, but all the other thesaurus as well. All in one place. Here's what you get:Read more »
I've made very few of my own personal creations this year; partly because I am still struggling to recover my creativity after the awful, life changing events of 2013. *Warning* This is an old post that some people who don't know what happened may find upsetting, but I've put it in, as this is to some extent my personal blog and anyhow, it's been 'out there' since it happened.Grief doesn't just stop once the initial agony subsides; it continues to send out ripples and in my case, this has meant a rather grey no-man's land as far as inspiration goes. Bit of a problem when your only income is creatively based.
So I have been busy flogging whatever I can on eBay, to pay the bills. Once upon a time, this wasn't such an issue, but my circumstances now mean that anything which doesn't bring in an income has to be forfeited in favour of things which do. But I have cobbled together a few things. Just to keep my hand in.
These odd looking beasties - 'Hawses' - were a bit of a self indulgent experiment and a move away from my mainstream cute style. If nothing else, it was good to try something different.
The rest has been more familiar work. I've fiddled about unsuccessfully with different ideas, including the 'Teddy Bear of Doom'. One of the most difficult things I have ever attempted, shown here at halfway stage. Limbless, unloved and a bit wistful. Little blighter.
On another note, my kits have found their way to Berlin, via the gorgeous AMODO shop - I feel as if I have gone international, albeit in a very small way!
But sadly, a squirrel and a simple circus bear have been pretty much the only finished work so far this year.
I continue to weather things out and as always, try to look on the bright side. Despite everything that has happened, and some recent health issues, I have so many blessings in my life and count them every day.
Can you believe it’s less than 120 days until Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2016!
As time continues to speed forward, the MCCBD planning team continues to create amazing opportunities to get multicultural children’s books into the hands of teachers, librarians, parents and young readers. We are also continuing our quest of shining the spotlight on the many diverse book authors out there as well.
Our 2015 event was wildly successful and thanks to 9 co-hosts and 2 Co-founders, many sponsor and a ton of review bloggers, the event generated 26 million social media shares over a span of 7 days during the Multicultural Children’s Book Day celebration. In 2016, we expect far more of a reach, response and success… and here’s why:
- For MCCBD 2016, we have a very special Classroom Reading Challenge planned that will target and engaged 200 classrooms in reading diverse books. (More details to come!)
- We are adding more Co-Hosts who will bring with them a significantly enhanced social media reach.
- We have hired Susan Raab of Raab Associates to do our PR for six weeks leading up to January 27th, Multicultural Children’s Book Day
With the 2015 event, we had 150+ blogs participating in and each blogger was matched with an author or publishers. These bloggers received a multicultural children’s book to review on their blog. They day of the event (1/17/2015) everyone linked up their blog post on a Linky on the MCCBD site to create a giant reading resource for parents, teachers and librarians. We expect the number of participating review bloggers to grow this year.
As you can imagine this creates a very special opportunity for authors of multicultural children’s books to get their books in front of their target audience; parents, teachers and librarians. Our Author Sponsorship option is a very affordable way for authors to gain visibility before and after this growing event and also get their books into the hands of review bloggers.
Benefits for our Author Sponsors include:
- A 300x 300 image of your book cover, book description in the form of a 300 word blog post, and links to your site from our special Authors/Illustrators BlogRoll Page.
- 2 Tweets and one Facebook update directing readers to the blog post on the MCCBD blog that is highlighting your book(s) and information.
- The opportunity to supply 2-10 books to review bloggers to review for MCCBD 2016.
But wait! We thought we would throw in an extra perk for those authors wishing to lock in an Author Sponsorship before November 30th!
Any author who purchases an Author Sponsorship between now and 11/30/15 has the option of submitting TWO guest posts on the MCCBD blog! One post will be published before 1/27/16 and the second will be published on a pre-determined date after the MCCBD 2106 celebration is over. All guest posts must follow our guest post guidelines, but it is an excellent way to continue receiving visibility for their published works.
Our Author Sponsorships are a very affordable $65 and sign-up is as simple as going HERE and choosing the Author Sponsor option. Again, it’s a very effective way for author’s to get recognition and raise awareness for their diverse children’s books.
We’d love to have all multicultural children’s books author participate (all genres!) and together we will continue to be the voice championing diversity in children’s books!
Please direct questions and inquires to Project Manager Becky Flansburg at Becky@AudreyPress.com
The post The Scoop on Multicultural Children’s Book Day Author Sponsorships! appeared first on Jump Into A Book.
By Meg Wiviott
for Cynthia Leitich Smith
History is filled with horrible, frightening events. Still, history needs to be taught. Finding a gentle way to tell a tragic, truthful story is something for which I seem to have a knack.
Kristallnacht, Auschwitz, and death marches are not the usual stuff of books for young readers. Finding an age appropriate manner to tell the story is a trick.
Honesty is the only way to tell any story, but especially an historical one. A writer must be respectful of the history and the characters. This requires that the writer not impose her twenty-first century sensibilities on a different time. I always start with truth. I do not dilute it. I do not dumb it down. But how is that done for young readers not yet ready to face some historic horrors? I have found that giving the reader space, distance, room to digest the truth works best.
For Benno and the Night of Broken Glass
(Kar-Ben, 2010), I used a cat. Benno is a child-like, innocent, unbiased observer. He gives readers the emotional space to witness history from a safe place, allowing readers to take in what they can.
In Paper Hearts
(McElderry, 2015), verse gave me that same emotional space. Poetry is all about metaphor. The use of white space, illusions, and elisions allow a writer to be honest without being blunt. The poetry allows a reader to take in only what he or she is capable of understanding. On subsequent readings, the reader should be able to take in more.
Both techniques allow for a gentle way of telling a horrendous truth. Simply because a story is terrible and filled with hatred, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be told. In fact, it probably mean it needs to be told.Cynsational Giveaway
Enter to win one of two signed copies of Paper Hearts
by Meg Wiviott
(McElderry, 2015). Author sponsored. Eligibility: one U.S. only, one international. From the promotional copy:Amid the brutality of Auschwitz during the Holocaust, a forbidden gift helps two teenage girls find hope, friendship, and the will to live in this novel in verse that’s based on a true story.
An act of defiance.
A statement of hope.
A crime punishable by death.
Making a birthday card in Auschwitz was all of those things. But that is what Zlatka did, in 1944, for her best friend, Fania. She stole and bartered for paper and scissors, secretly creating an origami heart. Then she passed it to every girl at the work tables to sign with their hopes and wishes for happiness, for love, and most of all—for freedom.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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, Arts & Humanities
, Aliens & Strangers
, Anna Strhan
, For the love of reason
, Lois Lee
, Recognizing the Non-religious
, Recognizing the Nonreligious
, Reimagining Secularity
, religious belief
, Add a tag
Throughout much of the last century, the idea that we inhabit a somehow disenchanted modernity has exerted a powerful hold in political and public debate. As the political theorist Jane Bennett argues, the story is that there was once a time when God acted in human affairs and when social life, characterized by face-to-face relations, was richer; but this world then ‘gave way to forces of scientific and instrumental rationality, secularism, individualism, and the bureaucratic state – all of which, combined, disenchant the world’.
The post For the love of reason appeared first on OUPblog.
Yesterday was moving day at my father's house. After so many months of packing and renovation, the big truck came. I snuck away from the activities for two beautiful hours in the afternoon to celebrate the release of The Art of Gardening
(Timber Press) by the gardeners of Chanticleer. (And then rushed home, changed back into grunge wear, and began again the unpacking of boxes.)
Readers of my blog and books know that Chanticleer has served as backdrop for many of my musings, both nonfiction (Ghosts in the Garden
) and fiction (Nothing but Ghosts
). (Indeed, my Inky story about this fabled landscape is featured in Love: A Philadelphia Affair
.) But as a writer I merely bear witness. I do not know the names of most things, do not capitalize upon the folds in the earth, do not walk the garden every day looking for the ebbing away and the new opportunity.
Bill Thomas and his gardeners do. They make these now 48 acres (the garden is growing) glow, season after season, with their plants, their sense of purpose, their artistry. You'll find their winter projects—clay pots, wood furniture, metal work, hand rails, sculptures—in among the blooms. You'll hear them talking about ways to preserve the biodiversity of soil and to optimize microclimates, not to mention the secrets still stashed in the greenhouse.The Art of Gardening,
featuring photographs by Rob Cardillo (who once took this photo of me
on a rainy Chanticleer day for what has become an award-winning magazine), is subtitled "Design, Inspiration, and Innovative Planting Techniques from Chanticleer." Its authors are the gardeners themselves, with Bill Thomas editing the overall narrative and Eric Hsu providing the captions. The history and vision of Chanticleer is represented here, as are design strategies, reports on experiments, and a planting list.
It's a lovely compilation, celebrated on a gorgeous day that also marked the unveiling of the grand new path that winds up toward the Chanticleer house and (at this particular moment in time) makes the hover above the ground feel airbrushed with a color that is not quite pink and not quite purple.
Huge congratulations to the Chanticleer gardeners (and Rob) whose artistic spirits are so well captured here.
I've been very busy with various books, games and new projects.
I will adding to the blog throughout the next few days with updates from earlier in the year and ending with some recent artwork.
Hello Tiger! The second title in my touch and feel/sound book series,
Lot's of things to touch and feel and of course plenty of funny jungle sounds!
By: Laura Benson,
#Emeralds is coming #Nov16th #TrihnsStory #AStormIsBrewing #IsWalkingAwayEasy #AllThatGlitters @authorkalinde
Author KA Linde is also giving away a $10 gift card on her Facebook
page! Go there
Also, don't forget to add EMERALDS to your Goodreads account!
Blog: The Leaky Cauldron
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, Featured News
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Today, October 6, Bloomsbury is publishing the first illustrated edition of the Harry Potter books–Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is hitting shelves in stores near you. As a part of publication celebrations, illustrator Jim Kay agreed to participate in Q&A sessions with major Harry Potter news sites, calling it The Great Big Harry Potter Fansite Interview. The Leaky Cauldron was honored with the opportunity to be apart of this event.
The Leaky staff came together to create and ask Kay four specific questions that we thought fans might like answered, and questions that Kay had not yet answered in previous interviews or Q&As. Jim Kay took the time, between drawing illustrations for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, to answer two of each site’s questions, and send never-before-seen images from Philosopher’s Stone. Please see the images and the interview below!
The Great Big Harry Potter Fansite Interview
Were you influenced by previous Harry Potter illustrators/the films or did you veer away from both?(Alwaysjkrowling.com)
I’m a huge fan of both the books and the films. I thought the screen adaptations were a wonderful showcase of the best set design, product design, costume, casting, directing and acting their disciplines had to offer. I knew from the start that I’m competing to some degree with the hundreds of people involved in the visuals of the film. I remember watching the extras that come with the movie DVDs a few years back, and wondering how on earth you’d get to be lucky enough to work on the visuals for such a great project. To be offered the opportunity to design the whole world again from scratch was fantastic, but very daunting. I’d like to think that over the years lots of illustrators will have a crack at Potter, in the same way that Alice in Wonderland has seen generations of artists offer their own take on Lewis Carroll’s novel. I had to make it my version though, and so from the start I needed to set it apart from the films. I’ll be honest I’ve only seen a few illustrations from other Potter books, so that’s not been so much of a problem. I love Jonny Duddle’s covers, and everyone should see Andrew Davidson’s engravings – they are incredible!
What was the most important detail for you to get right with your illustrations? (Magical Menagerie)
To try and stay faithful to the book. It’s very easy when you are scribbling away to start wandering off in different directions, so you must remind yourself to keep reading Jo’s text. Technically speaking though, I think composition is important –the way the movement and characters arrange themselves on the page – this dictates the feel of the book.
What medium do you use to create your illustrations? (Snitchseeker)
I use anything that makes a mark –I am not fussy. So I don’t rely on expensive watercolour or paints, although I do occasionally use them – I like to mix them up with cheap house paint, or wax crayons. Sometimes in a local DIY store I’ll see those small tester pots of wall paint going cheap in a clear-out sale, and I’ll buy stacks of them, and experiment with painting in layers and sanding the paint back to get nice textures. The line is almost always pencil, 4B or darker, but the colour can be a mixture of any old paint, watercolour, acrylic, and oil. Diagon Alley was unusual in that I digitally coloured the whole illustration in order to preserve the pencil line drawing. I’d recommend experimenting; there is no right or wrong way to make an illustration, just do what works for you!
Because each book is so rich in detail, what is your personal process when choosing specific images?(The Daily Snitcher)
I read the book, then read it again and again, making notes. You start off with lots of little ideas, and draw a tiny thumbnail illustration, about the size of a postage stamp, to remind you of the idea for an illustration you had while reading the book. I then start to draw them a little bigger, about postcard size, and show them to Bloomsbury. We then think about how many illustrations will appear in each chapter, and try to get the balance of the book right by moving pictures around, dropping or adding these rough drawings as we go. With Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Bloomsbury were great in that they let me try all sorts of things out, different styles, concepts. Some I didn’t think would get into the final book, but everyone was very open to new ideas. There was no definite plan with regards to how the book would look; we just experimented and let it evolve.
(McGonagall is from Telegraph’s photos)
Given the distinct split of younger vs. more mature readers of the series, how do you construct your illustrations so that they can appeal to both audiences at once? (Mugglenet)
The simple answer is I don’t try. I think only about the author and myself. You can’t please everyone, particularly when you know how many people have read the book. I don’t think good books are made by trying to appeal to a wide audience. You just try to do the best work you can in the time given, and respect the author’s work. Most illustrators are never happy with their own work. You always feel you want to try more combinations or alternative compositions. You are forever in search of that golden illustration that just ‘works’, but of course it’s impossible to achieve –there will always be another way of representing the text. Effectively you chase rainbows until you run out of time! You get a gut feeling if an image is working. I remember what I liked as a child (Richard Scarry books!). Detail and humour grabbed me as a nipper, and it’s the same now I’m in my forties.
Did you base any characters or items in the book on real people or things? (Leaky Cauldron)
Lots of the book is based on real places, people and experiences. It helps to make the book personal to me, and therefore important. The main characters of the books are based on real people, partly for practical reasons, because I need to see how the pupils age over seven years. In Diagon Alley in particular, some of the shop names are personal to me. As a child we had a toad in the garden called Bufo (from the latin Bufo bufo), Noltie’s Botanical Novelties is named after a very clever friend of mine who works at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. The shop called ‘Tut’s Nuts’ is a little joke from my days working at Kew Gardens; they had in their collections some seeds from the tomb of Tutankhamun, which were affectionately known as ‘Tut’s Nuts’. The imprisoned boy reaching for an apple in Brigg’s Brooms is from a drawing my friend did when we were about 9 years old –that’s thirty two years ago!
Which character was the most difficult to draw? (Harry Potter’s Page)
Harry, without a doubt. Children are difficult to draw because you can’t use too many lines around the eyes and face, otherwise they look old. One misplaced pencil line can age a child by years, so you have to get it just right. Also Harry’s glasses are supposed to look repaired and bent out of shape, which I’ve found tricky to get right.
What is your favourite scene you have illustrated? (Alwaysjkrowling.com)
That’s a difficult one. I’m fond of the ghosts. I paint them in reverse (almost like a photographic negative) and layer several paintings to make them translucent. I enjoyed Nearly Headless Nick. I really enjoyed illustrating the trolls too. Your favourite illustrations tend to be the ones that gave you the least amount of difficulties and I think Diagon Alley was nice for this reason. It was more like a brainstorming exercise, slowly working from left to right. My favourite character to illustrate is Hagrid – I love big things!
Are there any hidden messages/items in your drawings for the Harry Potter series? (Magical Menagerie)
There are, but they are little things that relate to my life, so I’m not sure how much sense they’d make to other people. I like to include my dog in illustrations if I can (he’s in Diagon Alley). I also put a hare in my work, for good luck. There’s a hare in A Monster Calls, and in Harry Potter. My friends appear as models for the characters in book one, and some of their names too can be seen carved on a door, and on Diagon Alley. There are little references to later books too, such as on the wrought-iron sign of the Leaky Cauldron. I do it to keep things interesting for me while I’m drawing.
How did you approach illustrating the Hogwarts Castle and grounds? (Harry Potter Fan Zone)
I really enjoyed doing this. You have to go through all seven books looking for mentions of the individual rooms, turrets, doors and walls of the castle, and make lots of notes. Then you check for mentions of its position, for example if you can see the sun set from a certain window, to find out which way the castle is facing. I then built a small model out of scrap card and Plasticine and tried lighting it from different directions. It was important to see how it would look in full light, or as a silhouette. Then it was a long process of designing the Great Hall, and individual towers. I have a huge number of drawings just experimenting with different doorways, roofs. Some early compositions were quite radical, then I hit upon the idea of trees growing under, through and over the whole castle, as if the castle had grown out of the landscape. This also gives me the opportunity to show trees growing through the inside of some rooms in future illustrations.
What illustrations in the book are you most proud of? (Leaky Cauldron)
Usually it’s the ones that took the least amount of effort! It takes me so many attempts to get an illustration to work, that if one works on the second or third attempt, it’s a big relief. There is one illustration in the book that worked first time (a chapter opener of Hogwarts architecture, with birds nesting on the chimney pots). It kind of felt wrong that the illustration was done without agonising over it for days, it didn’t feel real somehow, so I’m proud of that one because it’s so rare that I get an image to work first time! The only other illustration that was relatively straightforward was the Sorting Hat. Illustrations that come a little easier tend to have a freshness about them, and I think those two feel a little bit looser than others in the book.
Which book do you think will be the most challenging one to illustrate? (Harry Potter’s Page)
At the minute it’s book two! I think book one I was full of adrenaline, driven by sheer terror! Book two I want to have a different feel, and that makes it challenging to start again and rethink the process.
Is there a particular scene in the future Harry Potter books you’re excited to illustrate? (Harry Potter Fan Zone)
I’m really looking forward to painting Aragog in book two. I’m really fond of spiders – there are lots in my studio – so it’s great having reference close to hand! I’m hoping that by the Deathly Hallows we will be fully into a darker and more adult style of illustration, to reflect the perils facing Potter!
How many illustrations did you initially do for the book, and how many of those appeared in the final edition? (Snitchseeker)
There are stacks of concept drawings that no one will ever see, such as the Hogwarts sketches, which I needed to do in order to get my head around the book. Then there are rough drawings, then rough drawings that are worked up a little more, and then it might take five or six attempts for each illustration to get it right.
What house do you think you may have been placed in, aged 11, and would it be the same now? (Mugglenet)
I’d like to think it was Ravenclaw as a child. I was much more confident back then, and creative, plus they have an interesting house ghost in the form of the Grey Lady. These days I work hard and am loyal, so probably Hufflepuff.
Illustrating aside, what is one thing that you love doing to express your creativity? (The Daily Snitcher)
It’s difficult to say because for the past 5 years I have worked on illustration seven days a week, every hour of the day. A few years back I started to write, and I really enjoyed that, it’s far more intimate than illustrating, and I love going over the same line and trying to hone it down to the core of what you are trying to express. My partner makes hats, and I’m very envious. It looks like wonderful fun. We have lots of designs for hats in sketchbooks. I really want to get some time to make some. I’ve always been slightly torn that I didn’t go into fashion, but my sewing is terrible. I used to play guitar a lot and write little bits of music, but that’s difficult now because my hand gets very stiff from drawing all day! The funny thing is, if I did ever get a day off, I’d just want to draw!
This morning, J.K. Rowling invited all to check out the book and “see Harry Potter through Jim Kay’s extraordinary eyes,” and Pottermore also released their exclusive interview.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone–Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay, is now available from any book retailer near you (or online)! Happy reading and please let us know your impressions of the new version of the Harry Potter books–our favorite books!
On Saturday, I attended The Literacy Connection workshop with Chris Lehman. Wow! What an amazing day. I know I can't capture in words how amazing the day was but I wanted to share the highlights. If you have not had a chance to hear Chris Lehman or to read his books, I would highly recommend it. He is an important voice in literacy education and he shares his understandings generously. It was a great way to spend a Saturday in early October.
I am so lucky to teach in Central Ohio. Being part of the Literacy Connection and this group of teachers from Central Ohio who is passionate about literacy learning is such a gift. And so many of these teachers are Dublin colleagues. I feel lucky every day to learn with such an amazing group of people who care so much about what is right for kids. We always have a great time learning and thinking together.
I started my day picking up coffee at the brand new Starbucks that is only a mile or so from my house! I already love this Starbucks and the feel that I have when I walk in there. As busy as they were since they are newly opened, they didn't hesitate when I asked about providing coffee for the teachers. So happy to start all my days here, especially rainy Saturdays when it is still dark! Picking up the coffee here was the perfect way to start the day!
I always love the beginning of the day at these events. Reconnecting with friends and colleagues and having a few minutes to chat over coffee before the session begins is always important. Saturday morning there was so much energy in the room as we knew what a great day we had ahead of us. Lots of people had some time to chat with Chris and to each other.
And if you missed my tweet--Dublin librarian, Marisa Saelzler found the perfect dress for the event. A Lularoe dress that perfectly matches the cover of Chris's book, Falling in Love with Close Reading! (You have to zoom in to see the perfect fabric!)
The day started off with Peggy Oxley welcoming the crowd and introducing Chris. If you don't know Peggy, she is the woman who has run this organization for years. Her vision for teacher learning and how The Literacy Connection can support that is amazing.
And of course there were books! Cover to Cover came with so many great new titles. I showed some control and only bought a small stack. Some great new books that I am excited to share with my students soon.I can't possibly summarize all that I learned on Saturday, but the day was exactly what I needed when I needed it. Chris's whole message was perfect for early October. Chris gave us so much to think about. Here are some of the quotes I kept throughout the day--quotes that I will revisit over the next few weeks:
"Joy is grounded in good literacy."
"Reading closely is a very natural thing for our kids to do."
"Close reading is about discovering new meaning through looking at details."
"For close reading to go well, reading needs to go well!"
"In close reading you are trying to discover things you didn't notice before."
"If we are asking kids to close read, it has to be a text kids can read successfully by themselves."
"Our kids need access to a lot of books that they can read with strength and that they are interested in reading."
"Nothing's magic in education except your relationship with your students."
"If we develop a structure, it will become a habit which will lead to independence."
"The purpose of the structure is that we can make it more sophisticated over time."
"Young readers need a lot of time to talk and develop the oral language to talk about their thinking around ideas."
"Ultimately, good reading work is good life work."
"It is so important that we are really good kid-watchers. We need to see what our kids do well and build on that."
"Effective literacy instruction requires knowledge of what book levels require readers to be able to do to gain meaning."
Chris Lehman will be back for another day with The Literacy Connection in March. I can't wait to learn more from him then!
**On a related note, if you haven't been keeping up with all of the great work Chris is doing with The Educator Collaborative, I would go check it out. Great Think Tanks and all of the session from the September Gathering are archived and free. Lots of great PD by amazing people.
Question: My MC has a really dark/sad past. I hint at it vaguely a few times throughout the book. A while in, I finally explain his past straightforwardly.
by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi (Disney Publishing, 2015)
These duos, both Diva and Flea and Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi: true friends.
I love a good young chapter book, and this one is a real treat. Friends in Paris, small animals that shouldn’t be so sweet to one another, ribbons and shaggy hair and flâneur-ing.
From the publisher:
Diva, a small yet brave dog, and Flea, a curious streetwise cat, develop an unexpected friendship in this unforgettable tale of discovery.
For as long as she could remember, Diva lived at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France. For as long as he could remember, Flea also lived in Paris, France–but at no fixed address. When Flea flâneurs past Diva’s courtyard one day, their lives are forever changed. Together, Diva and Flea explore and share their very different worlds, as only true friends can do.
I’m so excited to bring you an opportunity to win both a copy of this book and a friendship bracelet kit, because all great pairs need to wrap their love on their wrists. This prize pack is courtesy of Disney Publishing.
Comment below by midnight PST on October 13th, which is The Story of Diva and Flea‘s book birthday, and you’ll be all set to celebrate your very best friend.
Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity).Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. The celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as garnering four Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, Let’s Go for a Drive! and A Big Guy Took My Ball!).
Tony DiTerlizzi, a number-one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, created the middle-grade series The Spiderwick Chronicles with Holly Black, which has sold millions of copies, been translated into more than 30 languages and made into a feature film. He won a Caldecott Honor for illustrating The Spider & The Fly, and in 2014 he teamed up with Lucasfilm to retell the original Star Wars trilogy in a picture book featuring artwork by Academy award-winning concept artist, Ralph McQuarrie. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife, daughter and dog, Mimi.
Giveaway open to US addresses only. Prizing and samples provided by Disney Publishing.
By: Priscilla Yu,
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Lawmakers around the country are rushing to enact laws that require providers to notify women if their screening mammograms find dense breast tissue. Meanwhile, clinicians remain at a loss concerning how to counsel such women.
The post Little progress in how to advise women with dense breasts appeared first on OUPblog.
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This has been quite a year for Cuba. Starting in January with President Obama’s announcement that the United States and Cuba will re-establish diplomatic and economic relations, followed by Pope Francis’s visit to the island earlier this month, Cuba has been under the global spotlight. Most recently, 21 September marked a new economic era for Cuba […]
The post Cuban cultural capital and the renewal of US-Cuba relations appeared first on OUPblog.
The newest list of actors joining the set of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been announced: Selma actress Carmen Ejogo, Gemma Chan from Humans and Mission Impossible / Transformers actor Jon Voight.
They will be joining Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander), Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, Dan Fogler and Samantha Morton on set, alongside director David Yates (director of the final four Harry Potter films).
Filming for Fantastic Beasts began in August 2015, following the 2014 announcement of the three-part film series. The film is set for release in November 2016.
About One More Kiss
ONE MORE KISS . . .
Betty Lindholm doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The banner advertising the new shipment of satin at her fabric store finally arrived and now the entire town of White Pine is up in arms. How was she supposed to know there’d be a typo? Now the entire town thinks she’s proclaiming “Satan is here!” Even the gorgeous pastor with his steel-grey eyes and sexy smile . . .
. . . IS NEVER ENOUGH
Pastor Randall Sondheim is always on the lookout for excuses to drop by Betty’s shop and gaze into her lovely blue eyes. The latest is her crazy sign-could that be a sign of something more? Sweet Betty brings out the best in him but it’s the worst in him, his dark secret tragedy, that worries Randall. Can this man of God conquer his own demons to win a match made in heaven?
Betty Sondheim studied the fresh-baked apple pie in her shopping cart and wondered what in the world was happening to her. The golden-colored filling looked rich enough to be called buried treasure, the way it was artfully folded under all that flaky crust. And the bottom of the tin was still deliciously warm: No doubt the pie had just been baked that morning by Arleen Raider, who had won White Pine’s most recent Fourth of July dessert contest. Even now, she caught a glimpse of Arleen behind the Lumberjack Grocery’s bakery counter piping frosting onto cakes, her experienced baker’s hands moving with graceful ease.
This pie was going to be delicious. Arleen’s pies were always delicious.
So why did Betty suddenly want to throw the whole tin across the room and never touch another bite ever again?
Audrey Callaghan rolled her cart next to Betty’s. “Get everything you needed?” her friend asked. The pair were picking up a few extra items for that evening’s Knots and Bolts recipe exchange. Betty would never bring a store-bought pie to a recipe exchange, but she would bring one home to her husband, Randall Sondheim.
“I just need to grab some cream of tartar, then I’m done,” she said. She eyed the pie warily as she spoke. Sometimes she and Randall had Arleen’s pies with their coffee in the morning, sitting in their sun-soaked kitchen and appreciating the fact that life was too short to always eat dessert last.
She took a breath as her heart thudded, thinking of Randall and how lucky they were to have each other. Arleen’s pies were more than just dessert—they were a symbol of all that was good between them.
Her stomach roiled and she nearly dropped the tin.
So why did she feel like what was good between them suddenly made her sick?
Audrey reached out and grabbed Betty’s elbow. “Are you okay? You look pale.”
Betty set the pie back down. “I’m—I’m fine. I just don’t think I should be buying this right now. We’re trying to watch our waistlines.”
She swallowed, hating the lie but not knowing what else to say. Because deep down was the sudden realization that maybe this wasn’t about pie at all. Maybe this was about something much more exciting. And terrifying.
She forced herself to smile at Audrey, whose lovely brown eyes were watching her carefully.
“You go on and check out,” Betty said. “Let me grab the last of what I need and I’ll meet you up front.” The two women were slated to return to Betty’s when they were done at the store, to prep their food for that evening. Betty was supposed to show Audrey how to make homemade strudel dough, though her brain felt so scrambled at the moment that she wasn’t sure how she could brown toast, never mind tackle anything more complicated.
“All right,” Audrey said hesitantly. “I’ll be right up front. If you’re not there in five minutes, I’m coming to find you.”
Betty waved her off. “I’m fine. Go get one of those Hollywood magazines you like and read about the latest plastic surgery fiascos until I get there.”
Audrey smiled and headed for the front. Betty pushed her cart away from the bakery section, telling herself she was making a big deal out of nothing. Right? The fact that she didn’t want the pie didn’t mean anything else was going on.
And yet there was a fluttering in her stomach that she couldn’t lock down. She clutched the top of the cart more tightly and steered it through the store, trying to get to the spice and baking aisle as quickly as possible. But her steps slowed when her eyes landed on the aisle with toilet paper and toothpaste and…something else.
She turned her cart and stopped in front of a small row of white boxes.
She gripped the cart until her knuckles were white. That couldn’t be it, could it?
It would explain the pie, anyway. And why couldn’t it be possible? She and Randall had started trying, after all. It’s just that it had only been…well, barely a few weeks. She’d figured that it would take months, maybe even years, since she was approaching her mid-thirties. But maybe her ovaries were as impatient as the rest of her tended to be.
She glanced around to see if Audrey was anywhere nearby. When the coast was clear, she grabbed one box—then another—and stuffed them into her cart under a bag of spinach.
She steered toward the front of the store, wondering how she was ever going to check out without Audrey seeing the tests. Not that she didn’t want to tell her friend. It’s just that their other friend Willa was pregnant and due in another few weeks, and she wanted Willa to have the spotlight to herself for as long as possible. And who knew if Audrey was trying now too, what with her recent marriage to Kieran Callaghan and the dazed-in-love look she wore most days.
Betty knew spilling news about babies and pregnancy could be complicated. Women had funny reactions to it all sometimes.
She took a steadying breath. Bigger than all that, though, was the fact that she wanted to tell Randall everything first. She wanted to pull her husband close and feel his strong arms around her, and have it be just their secret. For a time anyway.
If she even was pregnant.
It was a huge if. After all, everything she was feeling could be indigestion. Gas. Heartburn from all that spicy chili she made earlier in the week.
Audrey waved as Betty approached the check-out. Audrey’s wedding ring glinted under the bright store lights. Her shopping bags were resting on the floor by her feet. And now, standing next to Audrey, was her sister Casey, who’d just moved to town recently. Snow fell gently outside the windows facing the grocery store parking lot, blanketing the blacktop in white.
“Look who I found!” Audrey said, bumping her sister with her shoulder. “Looks like we’re all here trying to get ready for tonight’s recipe exchange.”
“Hi Casey,” Betty said, trying to sound like it was a regular Thursday afternoon and she didn’t have two pregnancy tests shoved into the bottom of her cart. “You settling into town okay?”
“So far so good,” Casey said, looking like a carbon copy of Audrey—but with more beige in her wardrobe. She shifted the bags in her hands. “The job is great, and I’m unpacking slowly but surely. Audrey here tells me you’re teaching her to make strudel.”
“That’s just it,” Betty said, turning to Audrey, “I’m, ah, not feeling so hot, and I think you’d better just drop me off at home. Sorry about that, Audrey. We can do the strudel next week.”
Audrey nodded sympathetically. “It’s absolutely fine. Let’s get you into bed. You looked like you were going to pass out back there in the bakery.”
“Maybe you could pull the car around?” Betty asked, eyeing her items again. She didn’t want to put them on the conveyor belt in front of her friend. “I’d appreciate it.”
“Of course,” Audrey said. “I’m all checked out. It’s no problem.”
Audrey gave her sister a quick hug. “See you later, Casey.”
Casey opened her mouth to answer, then closed it sharply. Her golden-brown eyes widened and she swallowed visibly. Betty and Audrey followed her gaze to a nearby end-cap of cereal where a tall, broad-shouldered man was checking out nutrition labels. He picked up a box and frowned at the small print, the cardboard seeming small and flimsy in his massive hands.
Betty realized it was Abe Cameron, their local fire lieutenant.
As if he knew he was being watched, Abe turned around and spotted the cluster of ladies. He nodded and smiled at them, teeth flashing bright white. His gaze lingered for a few long moments. Was it Betty’s imagination, or were his eyes locked onto Casey’s?
Next to her, Casey stiffened. Nervous energy was radiating off her. There was a crackle in the air Betty couldn’t hear—but she could sure feel it. After a long moment, Abe broke the stare and turned away. But Casey’s eyes kept tracking on Abe, even as he pushed his cart away, down toward the frozen food section. And no wonder. His ass was gloriously tight and high as he walked along.
“Some view,” Betty said. “I bet you could bounce a quarter off those cheeks.”
Audrey chuckled. “Casey looks like she could watch him leave all day.”
Casey blushed so red, Betty swore she could feel heat radiating off the poor girl’s face.
“Next,” the cashier said, jolting them all out of their fireman reverie.
“I’ll get the car,” Audrey said, grabbing her bags and fumbling for her keys.
“I’ll join you,” Casey said, tearing her eyes away from the retreating form of Abe. “I’m all set here, too.”
Betty let out a small breath, watching them go. She unloaded her cart quickly, shoving the pregnancy tests on the belt between some clementines and oatmeal, her foot tapping out a steady rhythm on the floor. Now that the idea of being pregnant was in her head, all she wanted to do was to find out for sure—one way or another. Gray areas never sat well with her. Finally, she paid the cashier, then bundled everything into her canvas shopping bag.
Outside, Audrey pulled up to the front doors, and Betty dashed through the falling snow to meet her. She pulled the car door shut against the cold and kept her shopping bag clutched on her lap. Drive fast, she begged Audrey silently as her friend pulled away from the Lumberjack Grocery and toward home.
About Kim Amos
Kim Amos is a romance writer whose Midwestern roots run deep. You can usually find her hanging out in a state that borders the Great Lakes. She is married to an artisan ice cream maker, which is a dangerous complement to her enduring love for cheese. Learn more at www.kimamoswrites.com.
John M. Hagedorn’s The In$ane Chicago Way mines the secret history of the attempt to form a Spanish Mafia by Chicago gangs in the 1990s—including why it failed—in order to examine and contextualize our current potential to intervene in and reduce gang-related violence. Hagedorn was recently interviewed by Milt Rosenberg (podcast in full here), and submitted his book to the scrutiny of the Page 99 Test, both of which you can access online, including an excerpt from Page 99 below. And, if you’re in Chicago, you can catch Hagedorn in person at the Great Cities Institute (412 S. Peoria, Suite 400) on Monday, October 19th, at 2:30PM.
From the Page 99 Test blog:
The In$ane Chicago Way tells a heretofore unknown story of how Chicago Latino gangs tried to create a Spanish mafia and why they failed. In$ane explains how a coalition of Latino gangs, Spanish Growth & Development (SGD), was created by gang leaders to control violence, organize crime, and corrupt police. Law enforcement and even most gang members were not aware of the 10-year existence of SGD which ruled the streets from the Illinois prison system. SGD was not destroyed from outside by arrests but by an internecine war of the families, or rival groups of gangs. The book follows SGD from its origins to its bloody demise in an assassination of the steps of a peace conference.
Chicago’s mafia, the Outfit, was not an uninterested observer to these efforts. They worked backstage through their minor league team, the C-Note$, to influence SGD, particularly to control violence in order to safeguard profits. The book follows the exploits of the five principal C-Note leaders, who my Outfit informant called “Two Dagos, Two Spics, and a Hillbilly.” In order to infiltrate SGD, the Outfit had to overlook their Italian C-Note leaders and push forth a Puerto Rican, Mo Mo, as their de facto representative. Page 99 is a small glimpse into Mo Mo and why he became the Outfit’s choice as their covert liaison to SGD.
To read more about The In$sane Chicago Way, click here.
To read the Page 99 Test post in full, click here.
Shuck, Kim (Tsalagi, Sauk/Fox, Polish), Smuggling Cherokee. Greenfield Review Press, 2005; grades 7-up Smuggling Cherokee is full of powerful insight: part autobiography, part musing, part outrageous wit, and part punch-in-the-gut startling. Kim Shuck is a visionary: she knows who she is, what she comes from, and what she’s been given to do. Her poems are honest and passionate, and, without polemic, will shatter just about every stereotype about Indians that anyone has ever espoused: The man asks me,/ “Do you speak Cherokee?”/ But it’s all I ever speak/ The end goal of several generations of a/ smuggling project./ We’ve slipped the barriers,/ Evaded border guards./ I smile,/ “Always.” Some of Kim’s poems are tenderly, achingly beautiful: The water I used to drink spent time/ Inside a pitched basket/ It adopted the internal shape/ Took on the taste of pine/ And changed me forever. And for those who didn’t know, or didn’t care to know, the many faces of depredation: Who lost track of my ancestor Who didn’t cut deeply enough Into my great-great grandfather’s chest to kill clean. Wield it against others with equal skill. Will the boarding school officer come up? The one who didn’t take my Gram Because of her crippled leg. No use as a servant – such a shame with that face… Finally the shopkeeper’s wife Who traded spoiled cans of fruit For baskets that took a year each to make. Thank you, Faith, for not poisoning Blankets for each of you, Smuggling Cherokee, as with all of Kim Shuck’s poems, will resonate with Indian middle and high school readers. Students who are not Indian may not “get” some of them the first time around, but they will, eventually, if given the space to sit with them. Kim Shuck—a poet, teacher, fine artist and parent of at least three—teaches college courses in Native Short Literature, creates phenomenal beadwork and basketry, curates museum collections, teaches origami to young children as an introduction to geometry, grows vegetables, converses with trees, takes long walks, and meditates while doing piles of laundry. She won the Native Writers of the Americas First Book Award for Smuggling Cherokee, as well as the Diane Decorah Award for Poetry, she has a fierce and gentle heart, and I’m honored to call her “friend.” (Note: Smuggling Cherokee can be ordered from email@example.com. Discount for class sets, free shipping.)
By: James Preller,
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I’m posting this one for two reasons. First, Megan’s sweet reply, so simple and direct, surprised and moved me. That last sentence. And secondly, because I am frequently asked for “advice” and often fail to give a satisfactory answer. In this case, I don’t fail quite so miserably as usual and it included a notion that applies to a great many young writers I’ve encountered over the years — the idea of downshifting. I don’t have time for many exchanges like this, but I do what I can.
This begins, atypically, with my response. Megan, I’d guess, is 13 or 14, and she genuinely inspires to be a writer. This wasn’t a question of a student dutifully asking a question that her teacher would approve of. No, Megan wanted to send me her book and I was like, “Oh, please, don’t do that. Send me an excerpt.”
This is my reply, which she waited for patiently.
Greetings. I’m very impressed with your story, and I’m grateful for your persistence & patience.
I am wrestling with a deadline of my own, have a pile of unanswered letters, etc., so I hope you’ll understand that this will be brief, of necessity.
In general, I’m not a great advice-giver when it comes to writing. I’m not full of tips, largely because I’m still trying to figure it out for myself. The standard pieces of advice are still the best: Read widely, read often, & read with a writer’s eye; and write. You’ve got to write. Have a place where you can write, a crummy journal, anything. And try to write everyday. Don’t let all your best work be text messages.
The other thing that I really believe in is that you should trust your enthusiasms. If you are excited about a topic, an idea, a writer, a series of books, an activity — then pursue it. Don’t worry so much if it will be practical or publishable or realistic. Just try to find those things that get your heart racing. That make you happy. And trust that good things will come out of it.
As for your story, you are filled with many interesting characters and ideas. When I read, I know there is a lively mind at work here. An interesting mind. That’s very good to see. So many good, descriptive details. At the same time, your work reflects an inexperienced writer. That makes sense, because it’s true. You are young and inexperienced and you have not yet honed your writing muscles.
The one idea I want to convey to you is “downshifting.” Slowing down. You have enough ideas in here for a 500-page story, so all of it feels rushed, like you are in a hurry to get to the next thing, then the next, then the next. You need to slow down, add a beat, let each scene, each moment, have it’s own moment (if you will).
I loved the initial sense of the magical in the air that begins the story. The girl in the woods. (I didn’t like that she was trudging, especially after I learned that she was sent to give an urgent message; to me, that’s not a trudging errand, that’s running, exhaustion, resting, eating, running, and so on). It’s lungs burning, muscles aching. Then as readers, we are caught up in that feeling. There’s a deadline, a rush, and something important is at stake. We are eager to know why.
The visit with Corporal Hillson’s needs to slow down. Take your time. I didn’t understand why Hillson was telling Vivian all this. Why did he trust her? What was she doing there? I didn’t completely get it. His news is “extremely secret,” yet he blabs it to her. Why? You need to set this up better.
Next, almost as suddenly, she is in a cavern. That’s cool. The two girls. Again, slow down. Stay in the moment more, linger over the details, set the scene.
Good work, Megan. You have talent and, as I said before, a lively, inventive mind. You probably have more story here than you are fully capable of writing at this point in your life. Keep at it. Focus on individual scenes. Word by word, sentence by sentence. And also, write poems, write short stories, and keep writing.
You are already much more accomplished than I was at your age.
Dear Mr. Preller,
Thank you for your support. You have no idea how much this means to me. I will edit my story so that I do that. Thank you for your time. I would give anything to write like you.
|Charles Harold Davis (1856-1933) Evening, 1886 |
The Bruce Museum in Connecticut is holding a retrospective exhibition of American painter Charles Harold Davis
, who captured a range of moods of his native New England landscapes.
He studied with Jules Joseph Lefebvre at the Académie Julian and painted in the forest of Fontainebleau, later settling in Mystic, Connecticut.
|Charles Harold Davis, Change of Wind, c. 1927 Oil on canvas, 50 ⅛ x 60 ⅛ in|
Davis is best known for his exuberant cloudscapes, painted after his style shifted from Barbizon-inspired tonalism to a more painterly impressionist style.
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Haunted House Word Find From CrestBlue50
How many words can you spell using the letter in the words, Haunted House? Make sure the words are 3 or more letters or they don’t count. Here are 2 words to get you started. Leave your other words in the Comments!
H A U N T E D H O U S E