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1. Poetry Friday: Wiseguy (A Found Poem)





Athlete of cross work

Lover of up-and-down

Word wonder 2 briefly


Not Done




My source for this found poem was Merl Reagle's last crossword for the Washington Post. I solved it with a heavy heart:




Read the Post's nicely done obituary. And don't miss the movie they mention, Word Play.  Bonus points if you can find the Simpsons episode Reagle starred in, as himself. 


All of my Poetry Sisters are in with Found Poetry today, too. Check them all out here:



Poetry Friday is hosted today by  

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2. ‘Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos’ Hopes to Crack Open the American Market This Weekend

Starting today, 'Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos' will screen in Spanish with English subtitles for the first two weeks of its U.S. run.

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3. ALSC Member of the Month – Angela Hubbard

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, Angela Hubbard.

Photo courtesy of Angela Hubbard

Photo courtesy of Angela Hubbard

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

I’ve been with the ALSC office since May, which seems like just yesterday, and I am thrilled to be to go-to person on the ALSC team for projects and partnerships. In addition to sharing information with our partner organizations, I promote our members’ Día activities throughout the year and manage grant opportunities like Curiosity Creates.

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

My background is in elementary teaching and early childhood advocacy, and I have always been amazed by librarians’ ability to—simply put—do SO much for such a broad range of people. ALSC seemed like the perfect fit because of my passion for education and my desire to make sure that all children have the opportunity to experience the joy of wandering through row upon row of books in the welcoming setting of their local library.

3. Would you rather bring a lunch from home or eat out at lunch?

Oh, from home, hands down. First off, I eat little tidbits of things throughout the day… a yogurt here, a few grapes there… so I pack a lot in my lunch. I also LOVE to garden, so right now everything we make at home is packed with fresh tomatoes or zucchini. There’s nothing tastier than food made fresh from the garden, in my book.

4. E-books or Print?

I am still very much a print person. I don’t knock e-readers for others, but I remember what I read much better when there is actual page turning involved. I also like that I can give (print) books to friends after I’ve read them. Have they added that function to e-readers yet… digital re-gifting?

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

I’m going to go with something completely within the realm of possibility… I would have the superpower of making the subway train run express to and from the station of my choosing. Ahhh what a glorious commute that would be!

6. What’s your favorite season?

Photo courtesy of Angela Hubbard

Photo courtesy of Angela Hubbard

Summer is my favorite, although we really only have two here in Chicago, so that’s not a very difficult choice! Since summer is filled with streetfests, playing sports and gardening, it beats shoveling crusted over snow any day!

Did I mention that I love gardening?

7. What do you love most about working in the ALSC office?

Working in the ASLC office allows me an opportunity to hear about some of the awe-inspiring work our members are doing all over the country. I especially love getting the chance to know our members through their committee work and figuring out ways to amplify their impact.

8. What’s your favorite form of exercise?

I prefer to exercise by playing team sports. Volleyball is my favorite, followed by softball and dodgeball. Yes, we actually have adult dodgeball leagues in Chicago… because Chicago is awesome and you should move here.

9. Favorite age of kids to work with?

This is a tough one because each age has its charm, but I would have to say the three to five year old range is my favorite to work with. I love how quickly they grow and make connections at that age. I haven’t worked with children under three yet, but I’m sure the rapid development is even more amazing in the birth to three range.

10. What do you think libraries will look like fifty years from now?

I’m sure technology will change some content formats and delivery systems, and perhaps the architecture will have entered a new era, but fundamentally I think the library will still look as magical as it always has. There will be an enormous amount of information available and people of all walks and stages of life will be tucked into reading nooks here and there, asking an occasional question to the librarian who probably remembers them from the last time they were in and suggests something else they might find interesting.

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

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

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

The post ALSC Member of the Month – Angela Hubbard appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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4. Best Selling Young Adult Books | August 2015

Check out our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult list from The New York Times.

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5. THE LOST GIRL by R. L. Stine \\ Oh the Nostalgia

Review by Jackie The Lost Girl  by R. L. Stine Series: Fear StreetHardcover: 272 pagesPublisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (September 29, 2015)Language: EnglishGoodreads | Amazon Generations of children and teens have grown up on R.L. Stine's bestselling and hugely popular horror series, Fear Street and Goosebumps. Now, the Fear Street series is back with a chilling new

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6. Erich-Maria-Remarque-Friedenspreis

       The biennial, €25,000 Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize -- awarded by the city of Osnabrück -- has a mixed but generally solid list of previous winners, and they've now announced that Syrian poet Adonis will get this year's prize (at the official ceremony in November).
       This choice has not gone over so well, as folks apparently don't think Adonis has been vocal, or vocal enough, about the situation in his homeland of Syria; indeed, as Kersten Knipp reports at Deutsche Welle: German peace prize for Syrian poet Adonis sparks outrage.
       The offical prize site already features a 'Stellungnahme' (official response) to the criticism on its main page .....
       It'll be interesting to see what follows. Oh, and I think it's safe to say you can strike Adonis from your Nobel-betting-form -- this should be sufficient to torpedo any chances he may have had.

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7. BEDDING - cotton on : kids

I seem to have been featuring plenty of children's bedlinen this week so I thought I would round things off with some Friday eye candy from Cotton On : Kids and 3 Suisses. We begin with the brand Cotton On : Kids which is a brand of Australian company Cotton On, who have stores all over the world. Here are some of their current designs that caught my eye with their bright colours and bold

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8. Prix Goncourt longlist

       Despite its small payout -- all of € 10 -- the prix Goncourt is the most prestigious French book prize, and they've now announced the fifteen-title-strong longlist. (Unlike most literary prizes, the Goncourt actually has three rounds before announcing a winner -- long-, middle-, and short-list, if you will.)
       The Goncourt can (or should -- Romain Gary proved otherwise, by submitting a title under another name) only be won once -- hence books by previous winners, such as Houellebecq's Submission, were not eligible.
       The one big name/title whose omission surprises most this year is HHhH-author Laurent Binet, whose La septième fonction du langage -- Barthes' death re-imagined as murder-mystery (among other things) -- didn't make the cut; Le Figaro sums up the generally very positive media-reactions to it as "c'est Feydeau chez les «sex-addicts» !"; see also the Grasset publicity page.
       Quite a few of the authors with titles on the longlist have had books translated into English, including Mathias Enard (e.g. Zone), Jean Hatzfeld (e.g. Machete Season), Hédi Kaddour (Little Grey Lies), Simon Liberati (Anthology of Apparitions), Alain Mabanckou (Broken Glass), Boualem Sansal (The German Mujahid), and Delphine de Vigan (Underground Time).
       The most ... intriguing titles seem to be Liberati's Eva, which I wrote about at some length a month ago (and a copy of which I now have; I hope to get to it soon), and Sansal's Orwellian 2084 (subtitle: La fin du monde); see the Gallimard publicity page.
       (The Sansal and the Binet I expect we'll see in English soon (i.e. two or three years); the Liberati ... I'm not so sure, but given the French enthusiasm so far we may well, too.)

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9. BEDLINEN - 3suisses

Our next range of eye candy comes from French label 3Suisses where you will find not some nice bedding prints for children but some interesting designs for adults too. As spotted online here.

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10. Your Elevator Pitch

86538827You are standing in an elevator and have two minutes to tell someone about your book. Today we’re going to talk about crafting that one-sentence summary, also known as a logline, a hook, or a one-sentence (elevator) pitch. This is not your book’s tagline!

What: About 25 words that capture your novel, memoir, or non-fiction book.

Why: To get someone interested in reading your book.

When to use it: The start of a query, or anytime someone asks you, “What’s your book about?”

What it does: A one-sentence summary takes your complex book with multiple characters and plotlines and boils it down into a simple statement that can be quickly conveyed and understood, and generates interest in the book.

What it should include:
→ A character or two
→ Their choice, conflict, or goal
→ What’s at stake (may be implied)
→ Action that will get them to the goal
→ Setting (if important)

Tips:
→ Keep it simple. One plotline, 1 or 2 characters.
→ Use the strongest nouns, verbs and adjectives.
→ Make the conflict clear but you don’t have to hint at the solution.

In your one-sentence summary, try not to pitch a theme. Pitch what happens. Examples of themes:

This book explores forgiveness.
This book looks at the thin line between right and wrong.
This book explores the meaning of independence, and asks if it’s really possible.

Here is Nathan Bransford’s simplified formula for a one-sentence pitch: “When [opening conflict] happens to [character(s)], they must [overcome conflict] to [complete their quest].”

Examples of one-sentence summaries:

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
• A boy wizard begins training and must battle for his life with the Dark Lord who murdered his parents. (Thanks Randy Ingermanson for this one.)

→ Character=boy wizard
→ Conflict=battling the Dark Lord
→ Stakes=his life
→ Setting=none
→ Action=http://www.rachellegardner.com/feed/wizard training; avoiding the same fate as his parents

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
• In the south in the 1960s, three women cross racial boundaries to begin a movement that will forever change their town and the way women view one another.

When Faith Awakes by Mike Duran
• Chaos is unleashed on a quiet coastal town when an unassuming crippled woman raises a young boy from the dead, unlocking a centuries-old curse.

Medical Error by Richard Mabry
• Identity theft becomes fatal for a patient and puts a young doctor’s reputation and medical practice in jeopardy.

Chasing Superwoman by Susan DiMickele
• A successful attorney and mother of three battles discrimination, exhaustion, and a clueless boss while balancing a career, a family, and a life of faith.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. Leave your one-sentence summary in the comments.

The post Your Elevator Pitch appeared first on Rachelle Gardner.

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11. Friday Feature: Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager


NEXT DOOR TO A STAR by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Genre: Young Adult



★ SYNOPSIS ★

Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte.

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.
Cliques. Back-stabbing. Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…Next Door To A Star?


Excerpt:
The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new, because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities.

Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered.

Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me. You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations—like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain. I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was—making me feel like a blob in comparison—but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing. But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer was going to be different.


Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

Buy links:


Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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12. Compassionate law: Are gay rights ever really a ‘non-issue’?

On his recent visit to Kenya, President Obama addressed the subject of sexual liberty. At a press conference with the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, he spoke affectingly about the cause of gay rights, likening the plight of homosexuals to the anti-slavery and anti-segregation struggles in the United States.

The post Compassionate law: Are gay rights ever really a ‘non-issue’? appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Poetry Seven Write Found Poems

I haven't quite decided how I feel about found poems. I did a lot of reading while trying to find just the right source. I tried mining historical documents, but the language was already embellished in many ways and while I tried to create something new, using such beautiful language felt like a bit of a cheat. Ultimately I decided to look for plainer language and perused cookbooks, travel brochures, and classic educational works.

The pieces I'm sharing today are made from highly redacted text. After retyping and justifying each excerpt, I blacked out sections until I had my poems. You will need to click on the images to enlarge and read them. (Just in case you are wondering how to read these, scan from left to right, top to bottom.)

When I posted the poems to the Padlet that Laura created for this month's efforts, I realized that together they actually told a story, so that's the way I'm sharing them here. The first two poems were created from excerpts of the book How We Think, written in 1933 by John Dewey. (Poem 1 from p. 10-11. Poem 2 from p. 109.) The third poem was created from the introduction and directions found in a recipe by Jamie Oliver. That recipe is Monkfish Wrapped In Banana Leaves With Ginger, Cilantro, Chile, And Coconut Milk

WHEN KINDRED SPIRITS MEET
(a short story told in found poems)

A man ...
finds his love ... 
 and sparks fly.
Poems ©Tricia Stohr-Hunt, 2015. All rights reserved.

You can read the found poems written by my Poetry Seven compatriots at the links below. 

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Linda at Teacher Dance. Happy poetry Friday friends! 

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14. "Octobriana: The Underground History" launches!

After yesterday's major downer I decided to read a book that had arrived and that I had been looking forward to. ....
 
John A. Short
Kult Creations http://kultcreations.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/october-fest-octobriana-underground.html
16 x 24 cms
Perfect bound
116 pages,
b&w and colour illustrations plus photographs
UK £9.99     Eur  £11.99  Outside Europe £13.99


'Octobriana: The Underground History' by John A. Short, published by Kult Creations is a numbered, signed, book - limited to just 300 copies... 120 PAGES LONG. LAVISHLY ILLUSTRATED. 

It contains the full story behind the original book that introduced the cult communist superheroine to the world. It also features a full breakdown of all her uses and appearances since - in comics, movies and audio drama... From 'The Adventures of Luther Arkwright' to the David Bowie and Billy Idol connections. 

NEW COMIC STRIP ACTION - written by J.A. Short & illustrated in full colour by GABRIELLE NOBLE (and containing the Devil Woman's full origin story.) And with bonus new Octobriana illustrations by NEIL EDWARDS, HUNT EMERSON and VINCE DANKS . Fully painted covers by SIMON BREEZE. It's going to be REVOLUTIONARY! 

Is the book what I thought it might be?  Well, to that I have to give a resounding "NO!"  As I read through it and looked at the art and images I realised that it was far better than I expected. 

Having looked at the photo of Petr Sadecky I realised that I had met him in the early 1980s at a UK Comic Art Convention. Bearded and full of what the comic scene in then Czechoslovakia held for us and I even got a couple of Czech comics.  I got an address in Germany and....that was it. Reading Short's book I think that sums up Sadecky.

What Short has managed to do is dig out old articles and gather information that lets him cut through the whole Sadecky-Octobriana story which has a lot of twists and turns.  And information on the real Octobriana (or "Amazona") artists and their part in this story.  There is even a stripography of Octobriana appearances in comic strip and film format and more.

Octobriana is a character shrouded in a lot of confusion and more than a few bad rumours.  Short has written a book that has to be seen as the ultimate source-book on the subject and proves people can still write interesting and original books about comics.

And then there is the full colour origin story which really could not be much better and is pure Octobriana from start to finish!

10 out of 10 and highly recommended

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15. Dear Totally Clueless Nonfiction Author Me

In this series of posts, my fellow TeachingAuthors and I are writing letters to our earlier selves a la Dear Teen Me.  As I’ve thought about what to write, it is clear to me that the contents of such a letter would vary greatly depending on the phase of life I considered.   A letter to my teen self would be very different from a letter to my newlywed self, or to my busy young mother self, or my empty nester self, or my newly-divorced-after-being-married-my-whole-adult-life self. 


So the best approach for this assignment is to write a letter to the young woman I was years ago that decided to write a nonfiction book.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I had no idea where to start doing it.  And I had no idea how to finish doing it.   

But that didn't stop me.  

And I succeeded. 

So a letter to myself back then as I began what would become a long journey would go something like this:

Dear Carla,

You might not know what you are doing right now, but you will figure it out as you go. 

Trust your instincts as a researcher and as a storyteller. 

Think outside the box. 

Be fearless.

Don’t expect so much of yourself. 


From Your future self.


As I read back over this letter, I realize things haven’t changed all that much after all.  I still need to remember these things today.   

So maybe this is a letter to my past self, my present self, and my future self. 


Carla Killough McClafferty

Book cover of my first nonfiction book for young readers.
THE HEAD BONE'S CONNECTED TO THE NECK BONE: THE WEIRD, WACKY AND WONDERFUL X-RAY.
Published by FSG.


See the Dear Me letters of JoAnn Early Macken and Esther Hershenhorn. 




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16. Found Poem in The Scarlet Letter

Our poetry project for this month, cats and kittens, is to create a "Found Poem". This type of poem is drawn from text you find, or stumble over, in any context, that strikes you as rich in potential. Sometimes one can find irony, or humor, or surprising wisdom. Sometimes it's just fun. I happened to run across an old copy of Norton's Anthology of American Literature, vol. 1 on the library Free

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17. #728-9 Busy Baby Friends & Busy Baby Trucks by Sara Gillingham

combo covers
Busy Baby: Friends & Busy Baby: Trucks
(Touch Think Learn)
Written & Illustrated by Sara Gillingham
Chronicle Books      9/15/2015
978-1-4521-4188-6
978-1-4521-4187-9
10 pages      7” x 7”      Age 0—2

“Baby is a little nervous to see so many new faces, but with a turn of the swivel headpiece and a reassuring word, baby can smile and make friends! In the new Busy Baby series, busy babies can play and share with friends, or ride in a fire truck and cement mixer and meet each new adventure with a smile.” [press release]

Review
In Busy Baby: Friends Baby meets many new friends and must learn to smile. By turning the swivel headpiece from a frowning baby to a smiling baby, young children can determine how well the Busy Baby makes friends. In the second spread, someone wants to play the tambourine but Baby has a hold of it. Busy Baby: Friends asks young children to help the other kids and in the process make new friends. From sharing the tambourine to helping a new friend stand up, Baby is busy making new friends and learning to smile her way through the day.

1Busy Baby: Trucks may be the first introduction of trucks to a young child’s world. Baby is asked to fix a crack in the sidewalk using a cement mixer; help the community recycle, race the fire truck to a fire and rescue the injured; and tow a disabled car. Not all is work for Baby. There is also an ice cream truck in need of customers. Young children, especially boys, will love th is introduction into the world of work vehicles.

Busy Baby Friends_Int 1Each book is made of thick cardboard that will withstand falls and the occasional throw. Tearing a page is nearly impossible. The thicker pages also make it easier for little hands to turn pages. The easily cleaned glossy pages will take care of spills and blobs of peanut butter and jelly wipe off with a quick swipe, getting the book back to your child in a jiffy (no pun intended). The swivel headpiece—smiling on one side and frowning on the other—is also made of thick material and spills with ease. At first, spinning the head may be the most fun part of the Busy Baby Series (it was for me).

Busy Baby Trucks_Int 1I think young children and parents will adore the Busy Baby Series (Friends and Trucks). These books are a great way to help a young child learn how a smile can help one make new friends or turn a situation from grim to happy. The illustrations are made of geometric shapes and bright colors that will delight young readers. In addition to other children, animals add a nice touch of whimsy. Young children can learn as they listen to the story and play along.

BUSY BABY:  FRIENDS. BUSY BABY:  TRUCKS. Text and illustrations copyright © 2015 by Sara Gillingham. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

Purchase Busy Baby:  Friends at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksChronicle Books.
Purchase Busy Baby:  Trucks at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksChronicle Books.

Learn more about Busy Baby:  Friends HERE & Trucks HERE.

Meet the author/illustrator, Sara Gillingham, at her website:  http://www.saragillingham.com/
Find more board books at the Chronicle Books website:  http://www.chroniclebooks.com/

Also by Sara Gillingham

Love Is a Tutu - 2016

Love Is a Tutu – 2016

How to Grow a Friend - 2015

How to Grow a Friend – 2015

Felt Finger Puppet Board Books: On My Beach

Felt Finger Puppet Board Books: On My Beach

 

 

 

(reviewed here)

.

.

How to Mend a Heart - 2015

How to Mend a Heart – 2015

Snuggle the Baby - 2014

Snuggle the Baby – 2014

I Am So Brave - 2014

I Am So Brave – 2014

Highlights of Your Life: A Journal That Glows as Your Child Grows - 2014

Highlights of Your Life: A Journal That Glows as Your Child Grows – 2014

—and many more

.
.

.

.

.

.

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

.
Full Disclosure: title by author & illustrator, and received from Publisher, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Filed under: 4stars, Board Books, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Library Donated Books Tagged: Busy Baby: Friends, Busy Baby: Trucks, Chronicle Books, frowns, infants to age two, making friends, relationships, Sara Gillingham, smiles, spinning heads, Touch Think Learn

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18. Putting some colours in my cheeks

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19. BOOK LINKS: The Past through Poetry and Picture Books

You probably know that I'm a big fan of ALA's Book Links magazine and have been writing a poetry column for that publication for over a decade now. And now they're celebrating their 25th anniversary. Very cool! Here is a link to the September 2015 issue of Book Links. Click here.

My column this month focuses on poetry and poetic picture books that depict history and biography. I include an annotated list of two dozen wonderful books that are not-to-be-missed. You can read the entire thing here. If you'd just like a taste, here's an excerpt. 

The Past through Poetry and Picture Books
by Sylvia Vardell
A lovely picture book can take us back to special childhood memories, but it is also a carefully crafted work of art with drama in every page turn. And when a picture book melds history and poetry, something unique emerges—a visual glimpse of people and times of the past, shared in powerful images and spare or lyrical language. Here we examine picture books that feature stories or people from history in poems and poetic language. These books offer a dual opportunity: introducing young children to touchstone moments of our human story, as well as invigorating that study of history for older students by using the visuals of the accessible picture book alongside the distilled language of poetry to heighten interest and understanding. The best historical and biographical picture books tend to be focused on one person or specific event; a story that can be told in the span of a few pages with illustrations that provide a visual window into history, portrayed authentically and accurately.
And here are some of the activities I suggest to accompany the books that are cited. (The link provides the Common Core State Standards for each activity, too.)
In the Classroom: Read the poems or story aloud first without illustrations to savor the language. Then, on the second reading, show the illustrations and discuss the differences in the experiences, such as how the poem looks, how it makes readers feel, and how the illustrator visualized each line, stanza, or the entire verse. Invite students to create a homemade book of original illustrations to accompany a favorite poem (one line per page) or the lyrics of a favorite song, or alongside found poems they create based on researching facts and details. This can help introduce young readers to longer, narrative poems or classic works available in picture-book format, such as Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”; “The Owl and the Pussycat,” by Edward Lear; “Casey at the Bat,” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer; and “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (or “’Twas the Night before Christmas”), by Clement Clarke Moore; and others in the Visions in Poetry series.

In the Classroom: Work with students to understand the setting of the book by looking up images for each locale in an atlas, via Google Maps, or other resources. Then challenge young readers to research what was happening in the world during this time, linking with relevant nonfiction picture books, reference works, and online resources. Using museum resources can add so much to children’s learning of historical content and reading of historical literature. Check to see what local history museums or children’s museums might have available where you live. Do they have personnel who can visit the classroom or library? Exhibits or materials they will loan out? It is also possible to access online resources, such as Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibits, featuring topics such as civil rights and Latino life, and “Today’s Document,” available at the National Archives online, which includes a visual image of an actual historical document. Also useful are the American Memory and Today in History projects, which have links at the Library of Congress online, which offers a wealth of information and visuals to supplement historical study.

In the Classroom: Sharing primary source documents, maps, time lines, and artifacts helps children visualize and conceptualize historical times through hands-on materials. Even audio resources can provide a connection with the voices of the past. For example, the American Rhetoric website offers an online speech bank with audio recordings, transcripts, and visuals for more than 5,000 important speeches. When children can hear, see, or touch the “stuff” of history, it becomes so much more real and memorable for them. Check out Jackdaws Publications, for primary-source materials that support the study of many historical eras. For a model of how to use primary sources and “do history” with kids, check out DoHistory, a website that “shows you how to piece together the past from the fragments that have survived.”

In the Classroom: Bring the historical period of a picture book to life through readers’ theater by inviting children to read bits of dialogue or narration aloud, by having them dress up and speak as the historical subject of the book, or by staging more elaborate dramatic skits. Connecting drama with history makes the people and places real to children through first-hand experience, almost like participating in a living history museum. In fact, Carol Otis Hurst provides helpful guidelines for involving children in creating and participating in their own informal living history museums (follow the links at http://carolhurst.com for more information). Another idea is to look for local reenactors who might want to share their experiences. Even local actors who perform in community or professional theater can be recruited as guests to share their insights on costuming, dialect coaching, and character research for historical dramas. Through one of these several avenues, children will be able to find some spark of personal connection with history and poetry.


Now, don't forget to join the rest of the Poetry Friday bloggers who are gathering at Linda's place, TeacherDance. See you there!






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20. Four myths about the status of women in the early church

There is a good deal of historical evidence for women’s leadership in the early church. But the references are often brief, and they’re scattered across centuries and locations. Two interpretations of the evidence have been common in the last forty years.

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21. Pick of the Week for WORK and This Week’s Topic

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Happy Illustration Friday!

We’re ready to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the wonderful illustration above by Eunbi, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of WORK. Thanks to everyone who participated with drawings, paintings, sculptures, and more. We love seeing it all!

You can see a gallery of ALL the entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:

OLD

Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the public Gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!

HAPPY ILLUSTRATING!

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22. Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself by Judy Blume, 376 pp, RL 4

I was nine when Judy Blume's only novel for kids set in the past was published. Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself debuted in 1977, sandwiched between Blume's better known novels for older readers, Forever and Wifey. Being just the right age in the 70s, I read the core cannon of Blume's books - Blubber, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Then Again, Maybe I Won't, Deenie and

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23. Beauty is a Wound review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Eka Kurniawan's Beauty is a Wound.

       With Indonesia the 'guest of honour' at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year we're seeing a couple of Indonesian works getting translated into English (a celebration-worthy rarity !), and the one-two punch of Kurniawans -- this one, and Man Tiger, also due out this month, from Verso; see their publicity page, or pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk -- is probably the most anticipated of these (though don't forget Leila S. Chudori's Home, coming from Deep Vellum ... pre-order your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).
       Beauty is a Wound lives up to the hype; I hope to see Man Tiger soon, too.

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24. Health inequalities: what is to be done?

The research literature on health inequalities (health differences between different social groups) is growing almost every day. Within this burgeoning literature, it is generally agreed that the UK’s health inequalities (like those in many other advanced, capitalist economies) are substantial.

The post Health inequalities: what is to be done? appeared first on OUPblog.

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25. Bring Out Your Dead (Reviews!): Today’s Feature – Wings by William Loizeaux

Leaving one library system to enter another can give one a sense of
déjà vu.  At least when it comes to weeding the books.

Back when the Donnell Central Children’s Room across the street from the MOMA had to weed down its books to fit in the new location on 42nd Street, we did some EXTREME WEEDING (I’m using capital letters to emphasize the extremity of the situation).  A lot of oldies but goodies fell by the wayside.  Then I moved to the Evanston Public Library system.  They are undergoing a big weeding project in their children’s room and lo and behold many of the titles I weeded back in the day were there on the carts, ready to be weeded yet again.

They are the same books because they were well reviewed in their time, maybe even garnering a couple awards here and there, but they didn’t have staying power. The elusive art of writing a book that stays in hearts and minds not just for a couple years but for decades on end is impossible to teach.

With these thoughts tooling about my brain I went over to my wiki of reviews (I need to update it with my recent reviews, but that’s neither here nor there) and looked at some of the old titles there.  I started posting my reviews when I started my blog way back in 2006, though I’d been writing them on Amazon for a couple years before that point.  And the books that were the cream of the crop since ’06 . . . well, some of them just don’t get mentioned by much of anyone anymore.  Remember Fortune Cookies by A. Bitterman or The Mailbox by Audrey Shafer?  Some of you do.  Others, not so much.

So here’s a bizarre idea for a series. I’m going to revisit an old review of an out-of-print book once in a while.  Not with any real hope of getting it republished.  More, just to shine a light on the fact that the sheer number of titles published in a given year often leads to hidden gems that stay that way.  Hidden.  And today’s lucky little number is . . .

Wings by William Loizeaux

Originally published in 2006, the book got a nice round roster of favorable reviews.

  • Booklist said of the art, “Shaded pencil drawings illustrate this graceful story with sensitivity and subtlety.”
  • SLJ said, “the story is both realistic and tender.”
  • Said Horn Book Guide, “The writing is deft, and the bird lore authentic.”
  • PW Annex said, “Bowman’s pleasing halftone illustrations augment the narrative’s emotional impact. “

It didn’t garner any stars but everyone seemed to really enjoy it.  It was author William Loizeaux’s first novel for children and he would later go on to write the also charming Clarence Cochran, A Human Boy.  I liked it very much and it would appear on NYPL’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing list.  And so, just because I enjoyed it, here is my old review for Wings, by William Loizeaux.

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In a February 8, 2006 edition of Christian Science Monitor, author William Loizeaux offered these thoughts on the “elastic” nature of the personal memoir: “memoir is the creation of a mind remembering. The writer recalls and reflects on the past and evidence gathered about that past. Usually, the more evidence the better, but as any memoirist will tell you, remembering is always a tricky business.” With memory such a tricky beast and literary scapegoats like James Frey to draw attention to the facts surrounding a person’s past, it’s seems safest to do as William Loizeaux has done and fictionalize an important moment in one’s past instead. You cannot be held responsible for what is and is not true when you produce fiction. Instead, if you happen to mention after the fact that such n’ so in the book really did happen to you, you’ll meet someone delighted with this startling piece of evidence. And that certainly beats the complete stranger that may take you to task over whether or not you really did, say, comb your hair counterclockwise on the 15th of November. Loizeaux, however, has gone even farther and has turned a small moment from his childhood into a children’s book. It could have been awful or patronizing or puffed up with self-regard. It could have been, but it isn’t. Instead, it’s a misleadingly simple tale of a boy and his mockingbird. A tale worth remembering.

Nick found the bird standing in the center of the street looking like nothing so much as a circular ball of feathers. As it turned out, it was a baby mockingbird, alone and abandoned by its parents. After naming the little creature Marcy, Nick comes to care for the bird with a little help from his mother and his best friend Mate. Once she has thrived under his care, Marcy is able to offer Nick a great deal of comfort. She listens to his problems, whether they involve how his father died in the Korean War or the man who’s currently courting his mother. The book follows the two friends as they experience a whole summer together. But when a family trip means that Marcy and Nick must separate, the boy must learn how to let go of something he loves, even if that means losing it along the way.

Children’s librarians tend to eye adult authors that have crossed over into the world of kiddie lit with a wary skeptical eye. Adult novelists, after all, have proved time and time again that they are not always able to produce a believable title for children. Such writing often requires an entirely different set of muscles, and too often you’ll see these authors either going too far and creating something faux-childish or not far enough, creating a book of laughable complexity. Allow me to set your mind at rest in the case of Mr. Loizeaux. With an ease that is sure to infuriate his frustrated adult-authorial brethren, Loizeaux’s “Wings” reads as if it was written by a man who has been penning children’s books for years. He doesn’t speak down to his readers or insult their intelligence. His adult books have been described as having a “luminous clarity” and that same clarity is what makes him such a perfect children’s book writer. Nothing in “Wings” feels simplified. Just simple.

Nostalgia, should anyone ask, is very big right now. Peruse your local bookstore and you’ll see title after title set in 1950s or early 60s American. Sometimes this is because the author looks back on the political situation of the U.S. at that time and can draw parallels to the current administration. Sometimes it’s because they see the post-war era as a “simpler” time and they want to return to that moment, warts and all. But the impetus for Loizeaux to set his book then is neither of these. Rather, this is his story of what happened to him, personally, when he was growing up in the early 60s. The time period is not the focus here. It’s important to the story, sure, but it’s also incidental. Throw in some iPods and this book could just as easily take place today. But it didn’t. It took place in 1960, so that’s when it’s set.

A reviewer would be amiss if they did not happen to mention illustrator Leslie Bowman’s work on this book as well. With a title of this length (138 pages) the question of whether or not to even have an illustrator would have been difficult to figure out in the first place. You don’t want to drive off the older readership that would eschew “baby” books with pictures. On the other hand, if the artist is able to add something to the experience of reading the book, wouldn’t that person be an asset rather than a drain on the book’s reception by children and adults alike? It doesn’t hurt matters any that Ms. Bowman was undoubtedly the perfect artist to place alongside Loizeaux’s prose. Bowman’s work in the children’s book field has been sparse over the years, though not without praise (as with her work on “The Canadian Geese Quilt” by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock). Now, however, it feels as though she’s found the perfect fit. Images that look as if they were done in graphite are drawn in a realistic style. Marcy looks like a real mockingbird, white patched wings and all. The boys who raise and love her are crewcutted and haven’t a trace of cartoonishness to them. For this book, that was essential. I don’t like to consider what the alternatives could have been.

In his Christian Science Monitor article, Mr. Loizeaux had this to say, “At its best, a memoir combines hard research, an engaging narrative, the intimacy of lyric poetry, and the thoughtfulness of an essay.” He was, of course, referring to adult memoirs, but it’s not stretching the truth to say that this applies perfectly to “Wings” as well. You’ve facts on real mockingbirds provided in the back of the book in Loizeaux’s, “A Note On Mockingbirds” (though a source of some sort would not have been out of place). You’ve an interesting story that kids will want to know more about. You’ve the lyric poetry of lines like, “It’s hard to describe just how good this felt: to call something wild from out of the sky, and then to see her with her wings so wide.” And finally you have a sense of the thoughtfulness that went into the creation of the tale. “Wings” also performs the one act a book must fulfill to truly become a classic. It touches adults just as closely as it does children. Anything that can affect a person, regardless of age, is a thing worth remembering. A memorable children’s novel.

Notes On the Cover: Brilliant. Bowman’s a smart cookie and this is exactly the kind of picture that’s going to pull on children’s hands with the force of a strong animal-centric magnet. It also makes it perfectly clear that this is a “boy book”, or at least has a boy in it. Reluctant readers may prefer it for that reason. However you care to look at it, this is how a cover should be done. A nod of the head to Melanie Kroupa.

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