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1001. ALSC Member of the Month — Renee Grassi

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

1.  What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

ReneeI am the Youth Department Director at the Glen Ellyn Public Library in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. I’m relatively new to this position, having started at Glen Ellyn in June of 2014. Previously, I was the Head of Children’s Services at the Glencoe Public Library for two years, and was a Youth Services Librarian at the Deerfield Public Library for four years.

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

One of the many reasons I joined ALSC was that I wanted to participate and advocate for the profession on a larger scale. What I particularly love about being an ALSC member is that I have so many opportunities to connect and learn from children’s librarians across the country. I have always appreciated ALSC’s commitment to innovation in the field of children’s library service, and I am continually inspired by the work that we as an organization do to enrich the lives of children. Besides ALSC, I am also a member of PLA and am a member of the ALSC Library Services to Special Populations and Their Caregivers Committee.

3.  Cats, dogs, or Butterflies?

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t even have to think twice about my answer–cats, for sure! One of my favorite things to do is to volunteer at local cat shelters. When I lived in downtown Chicago, you would often find me at Harmony House for Cats taking care of and socializing with the kitties. In my spare time, I enjoy the company of my two feline family members—Sanchez and Gus.

4.  E-books or Print?

Both. As much as we are hurdling towards everything digital, nothing will compare to the experience a child has holding a book for the very first time. For us as children’s librarians, I think it’s all about the balance between both.

5.  How do you prepare for the start of a new school year?

When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for school to start. I was that kid who, mid-July, was just itching to go school supplies shopping, buy all of my notebooks and folders (and label them), and practice trying on my “first day of school” outfit. As of late, a new school year is synonymous with the end of Summer Reading. And as much as I just love Summer Reading and all of the exciting preparations that take place, there is nothing more enjoyable and therapeutic than taking all of the decorations down, cleaning off our desks, and starting fresh for the new school year.

6.  What do you love most about living and working in Illinois?

The librarian in me would respond by say that I feel so lucky to be in the company of countless incredible Illinois librarians, who continue to challenge and inspire me each day. We have strong support of libraries in this state and are fortunate to have such a fantastic Illinois Library Association as well. With Chicago being the epicenter of the American Library Association, we have the expertise of librarian leaders and powerhouses right at our fingertips. And the fact that the ALA Conferences always come back around to Chicago is pretty awesome, too.

The foodie in me would say one word: pizza!

7.  Are you a morning person or night person?

Night person, for sure. Some of my best ideas come to me at night, so I keep a journal next to my bed to jot them all down.

8.  Favorite tv show?

I have to choose one? Well, you will often find me tweeting about Glee, Parenthood, How I Met Your Mother, Sherlock, or The Big Bang Theory. And does the Tony Awards count? That’s like my Christmas.

9.  What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Chocolate. That was easy.

10.  What do you love about your work?

The variety. The challenge. The impact. The people.


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

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

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1002. Can the story goal change?

Question: Hello and thanks for you time. I am currently writing a teenage romance novel and the story goal is for the main character to get the guy she's

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1003. Why did Lois Leveen write Juliet's Nurse?

In the Atria NewsRoom, they are fascinated by all things books, especially hearing about how their writers got their inspiration.

Here’s a sneak peek at the story behind the story of Juliet’s Nurse from award-winning author Lois Leveen.

If you’re intrigued, you can preorder Juliet’s Nurse today, and have it waiting for you on September 23.

During the long period of writing a novel, you don’t know what compliments—or criticism—you’ll get once it’s done. And you definitely don’t know which will mean the most to you.

Now that Juliet’s Nurse is finally being read and reviewed, I’m especially struck by people who say they wish the book existed when they were in high school, struggling to slog through Romeo and Juliet.

Should I, a former university faculty member who spent over a decade earning degrees in history and literature, be offended when readers say Shakespeare just seemed too hard? Not at all!

Anyone who’s ever tried to teach Shakespeare to adolescents, as I have, knows how daunting the language and style can be for teens and twenty-somethings (and, um, maybe for their parents, too). But grappling with unfamiliar language and difficult concepts is an important part of learning. As an educator, I’m happy to have any book or tool or lesson plan I can use to make that difficult part easier. So it’s no surprise that teachers and school librarians are already ordering it, even though Juliet’s Nurse isn’t a YA novel; it’s written for adult readers.

Yes, I wrote Juliet’s Nurse for readers who, whether they loved studying Romeo and Juliet or hated it, haven’t read Shakespeare’s most famous play in years. Because it’s written from a twenty-first century sensibility, it helps readers make sense of what was happening in Romeo and Juliet, and particularly how it affects the nurse, who as a mother-figure to Juliet is hardly a minor character. The nurse has the largest number of lines after the title characters, and Juliet actually speaks more of her lines to the nurse than she does to Romeo. 

So if you’re looking for a book-to-school special (after all, your house may be a touch quieter now that the kids have somewhere else to be all day), try Juliet’s Nurse, the novel-lovers way to brush up your Shakespeare!

Learn more about Juliet’s Nurse: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Juliets-Nurse/Lois-Leveen/9781476757445

Download the Reading Group Guide: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Juliets-Nurse/Lois-Leveen/9781476757445/reading_group_guide



Award-winning author Lois Leveen dwells in the spaces where literature and history meet.  Her work has appeared in numerous literary and scholarly journals, as well as The New York Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Bitch magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, and on NPR.  Lois gives talks about writing and history at universities, museums, and libraries around the country.  She lives in Portland, Oregon, with two cats, one Canadian, and 60,000 honeybees.  
Visit her online at LoisLeveen.com and Facebook.com/LoisLeveen.

Juliet’s Nurse by Lois Leveen is on sale September 23, 2014

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1004. Free Fall Friday – First Page Guest Critiquer – Kudos

Below is a double page spread from A LOVE LETTER FROM GOD that Laura Watson illustrated.


I received a wonderful update note from Laura Watson who was featured on Illustrator Saturday last year. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/illustrator-saturday-laura-watson/

Here’s what Laura wrote:

“I wanted to thank you again for the wonderful profile you did on me last fall. It led to at least one awesome job, that I know of, and tons of great exposure. Thank you so much!”

“I have a couple of recent projects that are now printed:

Farm Friends for I See Me! Inc. Personalized Children’s Books (http://www.iseeme.com/my-farm-friends-personalized-book.html#Tab-A-2 ) and A Love Letter from God by P.K. Hallinan (for Ideals Children’s Books.”

“I’ve also been working on projects for Capstone, Orca Books (in Canada) and a couple of self-publishing clients too. This has been my busiest year ever, so far. Just pausing to catch my breath and update my portfolio, etc. this week.”

Laura, congratulations on all your recent successes. I’m so happy I contributed to a good year.


Donna Taylor launch two blogs with week. Thought you might like to check them out. She has some give-a-ways on both blogs that you may like. They end Sunday night at midnight. 

http://writersideup.com and http://2creativitycookbook.com

Rachel_Brooks_LPA_photo_17781343_stdAgent Rachel Brooks from the L Perkins Agency has agreed to be September’s First Page Critiquer.

Before joining the L. Perkins Agency, Rachel worked as an agent apprentice to Louise Fury. In addition to her industry training, Rachel has a business degree and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in English from Texas A&M University-CC.

WHAT RACHEL LIKES: She is excited about representing all genres of young adult and new adult fiction, as well as adult romance. While she is looking for all sub-genres of romance, she is especially interested in romantic suspense and urban fantasy. She is also on the lookout for fun picture books.

She’s a fan of dual POVs, loves both print and ebooks, and has a soft spot for marketing savvy writers.

Below is the September picture prompt for anyone who is inspired to use it for their first page.

Anne_Belov_Ellie_and_edmond_and_pandas 100 r  copyThe above illustration was sent in by Anne Belov. She was featured on Illustrator Saturday http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/illustrator-saturday-anne-belvo/ She works in oils, egg tempera, and works with printmaking.

Here are the submission guidelines for submitting a First Page in April: In the subject line, please write “September First Page Critique” or “September First Page Picture Prompt Critique” and paste the text in the email. Please make sure you include your name, the title of the piece, and whether it is as picture book, middle grade, or young adult, etc. at the top.

Plus attach your first page to the email. Please format using one inch margins and 12 point New Times Roman font – double spaced, no more than 23 lines. Send to: kathy(dot)temean(at)gmail(dot)com. Remember to also cut and paste it into the body of the e-mail, plus attach it in a Word document.

DEADLINE: September 19th.

RESULTS: September 26th.

You can only send in one first page each month. It can be the same first page each month or a different one, but if you sent it to me last month and it didn’t get chosen, you need to send it again for this month. Of course, it doesn’t have to be the same submission. It can be a first page from a work in process or you can use the picture prompt above.

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: Agent, authors and illustrators, inspiration, Kudos Tagged: Anne Belov, Donna Taylor, First Page Critique, Free Fall Friday, L Perkins Agency, Laura Watson, Rachel Brooks

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1005. Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Only With Books (and No Pinning)

Here’s a new game I’ve just thought of: close your eyes and grab a book from your shelves, any book, and then write a brief commentary about it. Or a long one, if you like. I’ve got so many books in my review stack, and so many others (the backlist and midlist titles I love to champion) waiting in my mental queue for some loving attention from me—books I mean to discuss or celebrate or simply wax nostalgic over. (Sarah and Katie, you guys. FOR FOUR YEARS I’ve been planning a Sarah and Katie post. The cover’s been sitting there in drafts staring mournfully at me all this time.)

All those plans create pressure, and pressure, I have found, is the enemy of blogging. So I’m thinking about making a game of it, a game with a challenge built in. I do like a dare. :) Will I find a few words to say about any book I pluck off the shelf? I suppose I’ll have to allow the caveat that if it’s one of Scott’s books and I know nothing at all about it, I can choose another. And I might need to impose some mild rules upon myself about mixing up the shelves, since our books are sorted into a rough order and I could easily stack the deck by reaching for the favorites on the bookcase next to my desk.

Want to play along? Feel free to chime in below, or on your own blog (and share the link, if the latter). If there’s enough interest I could make a Mr. Linky for it, but I wouldn’t promise to host a linkup on any kind of regular schedule, because promises are pressure and see above. Unless maybe a Mary Poppins kind of promise…when the wind changes

All right, here I go, getting up and squeezing shut my eyes. A bedroom bookcase, since that’s where I am now, but not the one by my desk.


Okay, that was harder than I expected. It’s tricky to get close enough to make a grab without either walking into the bookcase or peeking at the lineup on the shelf you’re reaching for. I might have to enlist a child to help with future random selections. But I did nab a title, and here it is:


The American Frugal Housewife by Lydia Marie Child. Now, this little book may have had an unfair advantage over all the others because I happen to own two copies of it. They live side by side on a shelf, alongside my Blue-Back Speller. Both books were indispensable to me during the writing of the Charlotte books. A lot of the meals Martha cooks come right about of Frugal Housewife (“Dedicated to Those Who Are Not Ashamed of Economy”). Originally published in 1833, this was THE go-to book for housewives, covering everything from recipes to housecleaning to general life advice such as the essay on “How to Endure Poverty.” Mrs. Child was the home management guru of her day, sort of a Tightwad Gazette meets Flylady meets Ina Garten. She’s perhaps best-remembered today for her poem, “Over the River and Through the Woods.” But I think her real genius shines in her foodie writing. For example:


If your husband brings home company when you are unprepared, rennet pudding may be made at five minutes’ notice; provided you keep a piece of calf’s rennet ready prepared soaking in a bottle of wine. [Blogger's interjection: I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY.] One glass of this wine to a quart of milk will make a sort of cold custard. Sweetened with white sugar, and spiced with nutmeg, it is very good. It should be eaten immediately; in a few hours, it begins to curdle.

That is but THE TINIEST SAMPLE of Mrs. Child’s wisdom, and I could write for hours about this book and its sweeping influence—oh what a doozy of a selection I wound up with for this first go! Actually, I have written a lot about it already, ages ago, when for a time I was doing a recurring “Mrs. Child’s Wise Advice” series here, entirely for my own amusement. Those quotes are a hoot. (“EGGS.—To prove whether they are good or bad, hold the large end of the egg to your tongue; if it feels warm, it is new; but if cold, it is bad.”)

Scott’s waiting for me to finish, so I’ll leave it at that!

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1006. Enjoy the Little Things


Butterfly | I think she is kind of cute.

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1007. Zee Dummeeee

Getting there and confident. Can't wait to finish the dummy and send it off..... a little bit more.
Showing it to critique group this weekend for feedback.....................yes!!

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1008. Book Blogger Hop - 9/12 - 9/18

 Question of the Week:

What books would you want to read again for the first time?

My Answer:

I normally do not re-read books, but if I were to choose to re-read one book from this year, it would be THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION. I LOVED it.

I also wouldn't object to re-reading DELICIOUS by Ruth Reichl.  Great read. 

What books would you re-read? 

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1009. Little Activity Here For The Next Few Weeks

I'm on vacation most of the rest of the month. I'm hoping to do a couple of Time Management Tuesday posts so I can finishing blogging the overwhelm. Otherwise, OC is resting.

I'm hoping to read a lot of the on-line material I've bookmarked these last few months or more. I'll be tweeting about that and posting responses to my reading at my professional Facebook page. Every few days, I'll be posting about our stops for biking at my personal Facebook page. You're welcome to follow me at any of those places.

That is, of course, assuming I can get on-line wherever we are. In my experience, that doesn't always happen the way it's supposed to.

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1010. Fellowships for Artists and Writers: Vermont Studio Center

Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellowship & Other Fellowships for Writers

34+ Fellowships Available at Vermont Studio Center's October 1st Deadline!

The Vermont Studio Center is excited to announce 34+ fellowships available at our October 1st, 2014 deadline, including the Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellowship for emerging women writers and 25 merit-based VSC Fellowships open to ALL! 

For a complete list of fellowships and eligibility requirements, go here.

Apply online.

t (802) 635-2727 x295 f (802) 635-2730

For more information, please visit our website.

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1011. A Letter to WILDLIFE by Fiona Wood

Review by Becca   First off, I want to send Andye a HUGE thank you for having me here on Reading Teen! I've become quite the regular here on Reading Teen, which is fabulous! But if you haven't seen one of my reviews yet, I'm going to review Wildlife a little bit different than others. I'll be writing a letter to the book, saying what I did/didn't like, similar to how I normally review

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1012. A New Trailer For The New Walt Disney Biopic ‘Walt before Mickey’

If you didn't like the Disney Company's make-believe version of Walt Disney in "Saving Mr. Banks," fret not, an independent company has now produced their own fantasy Walt biopic: Walt before Mickey.

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1013. Girl Meets World Interviews

Rowan Blanchard in Girl Meets WorldGirl Meets World Cast InterviewsIntroducing COREY FOGELMANIS & PEYTON MEYER!Girl Meets World

photo courtesy Disney Channel

Is there a book that you would recommend to a middle school kid?

Corey: Well, I really love Harry Potter

. Harry Potter is, like, literally my favorite.
Peyton: When I was in middle school, I read A Series of Unfortunate Events
. I loved those ones. I loved those, so I think that’s one of my favorite book series.

What advice would you give to a kid who is being bullied?
 Tell someone right away.
Peyton: Yeah. Same. Don’t let it affect you, and go straight to an adult.

Who’s a dream co-star from any past Disney show that you guys would want to work with?Peyton: Selena Gomez.
Corey: Ok. I think I want to work with Demi Lovato. I love Demi Lovato.

Corey, do you think kids have the power to change what’s going on in the world?

Corey: Oh, I definitely think that kids can do that because kids are our future generations and if we start young, we get into the habit. Everybody has the power to change the environment, but I think it’s really important that kids start young so they can build that habit up and then teach their kids.

Do you have an unusual talent that would surprise people?

Corey: Well, it’s not really unusual but I do sing and I tap dance. I’ve been tapping for about three years. I can also do this. [moves his eyebrows up and down one at a time]

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1014. Apocalyptic stories (link)

From Tor.com: My Favourite Apocalypses, ...

Here's a list of apocalyptic novels and stories.  I remember A Pail of Air--good story.

And, ahem, there's my post-apocalyptic novel, Strike Three.

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1015. Be a Changemaker Blog Tour

Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters  by Laurie Ann Thompson Simon Pulse/Beyond Words, 2014 ISBN: 1582704651 Grades 7-12 The reviewers received copies of the book from Blue Slip Media. Teens interested in making a difference in their communities (or even across the globe) will find Be a Changemaker inspiring and practical. Thompson has created an in-depth, step-by-step guide of

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1016. Prometheus #1 Doesn’t Ask The Big Questions

23594 Prometheus #1 Doesnt Ask The Big Questions

By Matthew Jent

Prometheus: Fire and Stone #1

Script: Paul Tobin

Art: Juan Ferreyra

Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot

Cover: David Palumbo

Variant Cover: Paul Pope, with colors by Shay M. Plummer

Genre: Sci-Fi/Movie Tie-In


Last year, Dark Horse announced they were rebooting their licensed Aliens and Predator comics, launching the first Prometheus series, and tying them all together in a shared universe. That shared universe has arrived with Prometheus: Fire and Stone #1, to be followed by three more Fire and Stone series for Aliens, Predators, and Aliens vs. Predator, respectively. Each series will run four issues, and will conclude with a single, double-sized wrap-up issue.

Reaction to the Prometheus film was divided. It stands at 73% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, which is a little surprising. Most folks I’ve talked to personally hated the movie, especially fans of the Alien series. But for me, it was a return to form for the series (and universe) launched by Ridley Scott’s initial Alien film in 1979. Prometheus, the film, had retro space suits paired with modern moviemaking sensibilities, themes of cosmic dread and cosmic creation, and questions about where are we going and where we have been. It was majestic and daring science-fiction, populated with compelling characters.

I loved the movie, and I was ready for more.

Prometheus, the comic book, captures the look of its motion picture predecessor, but the first issue isn’t clear about what questions this story is asking. The film wondered where humanity came from, and how its characters  would react to the answer. Fire and Stone introduces a new ship (the Helios) and a new crew (including salvagers, documentarians, and an android) who are en route to Moon LV-223, the setting for Prometheus the film. Most of the crew thinks they’re looking for a crashed ship, which the reader knows is the Prometheus of the title. Angela Foster, the Helios’s captain, knows that Peter Weyland himself was aboard Prometheus, and presumably died on LV-223 seeking Engineers, who he believed were the creators of mankind. Angela wants to complete Weyland’s mission.

But why? Captain Foster announces her intention to find answers to one of the many cameras aboard the Helios, but we don’t know why it matters to her. It’s true that Fire and Stone is simply the first issue of not only a four-part series, but also of an entire line of shared-continuity books, but in the first act of Prometheus the film, we understood that Elizabeth Shaw, played by Noomi Rapace, had a belief in God that was sometimes in opposition to her scientific beliefs. Meredith Vickers, played by Charlize Theron, was a Weyland Corporation representative there to enforce the rules even as she clashed with David, Michael Fassbender’s android, who chased after human affectations and modeled his speech patterns after Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence of Arabia.

In contrast, Fire and Stone’s characters sometimes reveal bits of backstory — the captain keeps her true purpose on LV-223 a secret, the astrobiologist has a mysterious illness, the documentarian is romantically involved with a member of the crew — but there are no compelling character moments in this issue. Even if Captain Foster’s job is to simply complete Peter Weyland’s mission, an implied “me too!” is not a very compelling character motivation.

But at least in the absence of rich characters worth investing in, Fire and Stone offers an interesting plot. After a one-page prologue set in the time period of the film, the comic jumps ahead to the year 2219, roughly 130 years after the Prometheus the film and about 40 years after the events of Aliens and Alien³. When the salvage crew of the Helios lands on LV-223 — though there is some uncertainty on their part if they’ve landed on the right moon  — they find a world that has been irrevocably changed by the events of the film. It’s different from the LV-223 we’ve seen before, but it’s still recognizable as existing in the Aliens universe. The Helios crew explores with even less care than their Prometheus counterparts, which will surely enrage the same segment of the audience who thought the Prometheus crew were crazy for taking their helmets off, breathable atmosphere or no. But this seems consistent with the Weyland-Yutani protocols (or lack thereof) for exploring new worlds that we’ve seen in the films. The characters make bad decisions, which leads to dangerous situations, which is another hallmark of stories set in an Alien universe.

Juan Ferreyra’s art is another high mark for the book. There are a lot of Helios crewmembers introduced in just a few pages, and their depictions remain clear and consistent throughout. The illustration and coloring styles (and the spacesuits) remind me of European sci-fi comics in the vein of Métal Hurlant. The colors in particular are crisp and bright, which is something I’ve come to expect from recent Dark Horse books. Once the Helios lands and the crew leaves the ship, the book reveals LV-223 mostly through two-page spreads, breaking away from the single-page claustrophobia of the scenes set on the ship, an effective way to pull the reader’s attention across the expanse of a strange and unexplored world.

Paul Tobin is the only credited writer in the advance review copy I received, but much of the press for this shared universe reboot talks about the “writers room” approach to all of the books. Tobin is joined by Chris Roberson on Aliens, Joshua Williamson on Predators, Chris Sebela on Aliens vs. Predator, and Kelly Sue DeConnick on the crossover finale issue, and as the group’s lead writer. Tobin’s Prometheus is designed to be “the warm, beating heart of all of these books,” according to AvP’s Sebela in an October 2013 interview with io9. Which might be true, but in addition to jumping the Prometheus story into the timeframe of the Alien films, the tone and atmosphere of this issue is much closer to stories about xenomorphs than the one we’ve seen about Engineers. “Why are we here?” is replaced with “Get out of there fast!” as the “beating heart” of this story’s engine.

That could be great news if you loved the Alien quartet of films and were disappointed in Prometheus’s ties to the series. But for anyone looking forward to Prometheus, the comic, carrying on the spirit of Prometheus, the film, it’s a disappointment.

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1017. a sweetly shy scarlet haired seamstress...

©the enchanted easel 2014
just about done!

here's a peek at some crops of my painting (in progress) entitled, "moonstruck"...featuring the very beautiful and bashful, sally from tim burton's masterpiece, the nightmare before christmas.

©the enchanted easel 2014

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1018. John Lasseter, Please Stop Flashing Photographers

A bit of advice to John Lasseter.

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1019. Call for Submissions: The Citron Review

Submissions link.

The Citron Review is now accepting submissions for our Winter 2014 Issue. The Citron Review is an online literary journal edited by alumni of the esteemed Antioch University Los Angeles Creative Writing Program.

We seek submissions of resonant beauty in the form of micro-fiction, flash fiction, poetry, and flash creative non-fiction. We accept submissions on a rolling basis. We encourage you to review our full guidelines on our website at The Citron Review before submitting via our submissions manager. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but it is expected authors notify us immediately if their work is accepted elsewhere.


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1020. #658 – You Are (Not) Small by Anna King & Christopher Weyant

You Are (Not) Small

Written by Anna Kangtop-10-use-eb-trans
Illustrated by Christopher Weyant
Two Lions             8/05/2014
Age 4 to 8           32 pages


“Two fuzzy creatures can’t agree on who is small and who is big, until a couple of surprise guests show up, settling it once and for all! Size all depends on who’s standing next to you.”


“You are small.”


Two funny, hairy purple and orange creatures square off and let the other know about their size:  big or small. The orange creature tells the purple creature that he is small. The purple creature responds that he is not small, but the orange creature is big. Orange denies being big, despite towering over the purple, who denies being small, despite barely coming up the orange creature’s waist. STOP! What is going on with these two? Don’t they see the obvious?

Nope, they sure do not. The big guy denies he is big, bringing in others just like him to prove his point.

You Are Not Small int spread 3

 “They are just like me.”

Huh? The little creature brings in others just like him and he, too makes the same point. This argument is not logical, but young kids will not care. Honestly, in my first read-through, which is always for fun, I didn’t give much to the faulty logic either. I doubt I even noticed it—laughing excessively, wiping tears from my sparkling eyes, and holding my laugh-cramped stomach. Then the interaction gets a tad intense. Voices get louder.

“You are all small!’
“You are all big!”

Each of the supporting groups has interesting reactions. At first, the purple creatures look on, one wide-eyed (love it), but the orange creature’s are less interested. One even rolls his eyes (love it, more). Ratchet up the tension and voices. Everyone is now involved. This plot, the characters, the twist at the end all make for a charming book no young child should be without.

Five colors and a white background make perfect illustrations for this story. The black outlining brings character and emotions to these hairy big and small creatures. Their rotund figures remind me of polar bears. I love the small dot eyes. The comical noses on these creatures are huge and terrific. Add in the mitten-like hands and these creatures are all thumbs and harmless. Oversized text compliments these terrific illustrations, which children and their parents will love—enough to read many successive times.


Whoa! What was that? Two huge feet— each foot half a page in width—and two legs, cut off before the knee, slam down in the middle of the lively argument. The green, hairy creature is humongous! Tiny pink creatures find their way down by way of yellow parachutes. Purple and orange creatures look up with varying interest; including a wide-eyed, purple creature and a glasses wearing orange creature with a content smile (love the small details). Many of the creatures on both sides are smiling. Combatant purple looks to his orange sparring partner, points to one pink creatures and says,

“See? I am not small.”

Misunderstood orange, wearing a big smile, points to the green creature that dropped in only moments before, and says,

“See? I am not big.”

Notice, there are no exclamation points in either statement. The two creatures have come to a conclusion. Both sides smile, one declares something, and off everyone goes, happy as if no argument ever occurred. Lesson: your size is relative to whom you are standing near. You can be both small and big!

You Are Not Small int spread 1

You Are (Not) Small has one of the funniest twists/lead-ins to a next book I have read in a while. Aside from the back matter telling us the author/illustrator team of Kang and Weyant are working on a sequel, the final spread gives it away. Kids will grab up the sequel as fast as the books hit the shelves. Pre-order the sequel now, well, if you could, but you cannot. What a shame.

Kids will howl at the twist, never having seen it coming until it hits. All readers, young and old, big and small, will adore this crazy book about size’s relative nature, be it of girth or problem. There is always going to be one bigger and smaller than yours.

Go get You Are (Not) Small right now. Read it every night—you will do this voluntarily. Read it to the kids, if you want. They will love it as much as you will. Laugh every day. Cry every day (from laughing). Then, when the new book is announced, pre-order as fast as your small, uh, big, uh . . . just do it. Wonderful debut from this husband / wife team.  Up next: That is (Not) Mine  2015

YOU ARE (NOT) SMALL. Text copyright © 2014 by Anna Kang. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Christopher Weyant. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Two Lions, New York, NY.
Buy You Are (Not) Small at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryTwo Lionsyour favorite bookstore.
Learn more about You Are (Not) Small HERE.
Meet the author, Anna Kang, at her facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/YouAreNotSmall
Meet the illustrator, Christopher Weyant, at his website:   http://christopherweyant.com/
Find more picture books to laugh at the Two Lions’ website:   http://www.apub.com/imprints

Two Lions is an imprint of Amazon Children’s Publishing

An interview with Anna Kang 

Art: India ink and watercolor
Also by Anna Kang & Christopher Weyant
That is (Not) Mine  2015
you are not small
Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Children's Books, Debut Author, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Series, Top 10 of 2014 Tagged: Amazon Children's Publishing, Anna Kang, children's book reviews, Christopher Weyant, debut author, picture book, Two Lions

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1021. citations in fiction

Question: Am writing a longish short story, pure fiction. Hence acknowledging T.S. Eliot as the author of a couple of lines out of April is the cruelest

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1022. Ping and Po-Li....a Shiwu tale

Just began generating characters for Ping and Po-Li...(a shiwu tale) written by author that hails from the Emerald Isle, Audrey Moore. Very excited to be researching the asian backgrounds, animals and culture...so lovely and gentle and bursting with color. Will post more to come.

0 Comments on Ping and Po-Li....a Shiwu tale as of 9/12/2014 12:14:00 AM
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1023. Genre/Plot Question??

In do-over novels, like Before I Fall (Lauren Oliver) and If I Stay (Gayle Forman) authors put their protags through Groundhog-Day-like reruns to measure

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1024. Friday Feature: Into the Fire and Perfect For You Release Week SWAG Pack Giveaway!

I have two young adult novels that released on September 9th! Yes, two! They are both Ashelyn Drake titles. For those who don't know, Ashelyn Drake is my romance pen name. The first is a YA romantic fantasy called Into the Fire.
Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s life is a perfectly normal one until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is inexplicably drawn to him, but she’s not exactly complaining. Logan’s like no boy she’s ever met, and he brings out a side of Cara that she isn’t used to. As the two get closer, everything is nearly perfect, and Cara looks forward to the future.

But Cara isn’t a normal girl. She’s a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical phoenix bird, and her time is running out. Rebirth is nearing, which means she’ll forget her life up to this point—she’ll forget Logan and everything they mean to one another.. But that may be the least of Cara’s problems.

A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he’s determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family, once and for all.

Barnes and Noble

The second is a young adult contemporary romance called Perfect For You.
Seventeen-year-old Meg Flannigan isn’t very self-confident, but what girl would be after her sophomore-year boyfriend dumped her by making out with another girl in front of her locker? 

Now a senior, Meg catches the eye of not one, but two gorgeous guys at school. Sounds good, right? What girl wouldn't want to be in Meg's shoes? One cute boy happens to be her boyfriend, and the other? Well, he wants to be. And Meg? She's torn between Ash, the boy she's been with for nearly five months, and Noah who is pretty irresistible. 

But Meg is playing with fire. Pitting two boys against one another, even if she doesn't intend to, could end badly if she isn't careful. 


To celebrate the releases Ashelyn is giving away a SWAG pack that includes:
  • A flame pendant from Into the Fire
  • a phoenix button
  • a heart bracelet from Perfect For You
  • $5 Amazon Gift Card
You know you want to enter, so fill out the rafflecopter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to be a phoenix in the third and final installment of my Birth of the Phoenix series? Now you can be! Check out my Into the Fire challenge!

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1025. No More Bestselling Women’s Book Club This Year

Apologies to those reading along with us but alas, travel, deadlines, and sundry other things have crashed down upon Kate Elliott and I and we will not be doing the book club for the next few months. We hope to resume next year.

In the meantime you can find our discussions of the books we’ve already read here.

Thanks to all who’ve been taking part. We’ve learnt a lot.

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