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1. Remove Your Shoes Home Sign - The Seacats: Rainy

Take Shoes Off Sign
Remove Your Shoes Door Sign 

New The Seacats: Rainy Remove Your Shoes signs! Bright and cheerful and perfect for your front door! You can purchase them here.

_______________________________

As a reminder, you can always view our sales and DAILY DEAL and reach our site through these other websites as well:

WashYourHandsSigns.comPremieSigns.comCHDSigns.com and CarSeatSigns.com!

0 Comments on Remove Your Shoes Home Sign - The Seacats: Rainy as of 8/22/2014 3:29:00 PM
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2. ‘Nightingale and Canary’ by Andy Thomas

Australian artist Andy Thomas specializes in creating ‘audio life forms’: beautiful abstract shapes that react to sounds.

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3. New York is Getting a Floating Library

New York City is home to many amazing libraries and this fall the city is getting another. The Floating Library is a pop-up library that will open on the Lilac Museum Steamship at Pier 25 on the Hudson River.

Artist Beatrice Glow has curated the collection, which is made up of books focused on the arts. The boat will be docked from September 6-October 3, 2014 and will include reading and exhibition space.

Here is more about the project from the website:

The ship’s main deck will be transformed into an outdoor reading lounge to offer library visitors a range of reading materials from underrepresented authors, artist books, poetry, manifestoes, as well as book collection, that, at the end of the lifecycle of the project, will be donated to local high school students with demonstrated need. Ongoing art installations include a Listening Room that will feature new works by six sound artists in response to literature, site-specific paper rope swings, The Line, by Amanda Thackray, andLeading Lights by Katarina Jerinic in the Pilot House. (more…)

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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4. Lonely robot in window


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5.



Sketch from The Man Who Gave. A BDillustration original.

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6. Calvin, Look Out!

Calvin, Look Out!
Author: Jennifer Berne
Illustrator: Keigh Bendis
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Children
ISBN: 978-1-4549-0910-1
Pages: 32
Price: $14.95

Author’s website
Buy it at Amazon

Calvin the starling is having trouble reading, and when he trips over a chair in the library, he asks Mrs. Readalot what’s going on. She suggests he might need glasses. A quick visit to the eye doctor confirms her diagnosis, and Calvin has a new pair of spectacles.

Calvin is surprised that the other starlings make fun of him for wearing them. He brushes off their comments and heads into the woods, now able to see all the interesting things he’s been missing. After finding himself in unexpected trouble, Calvin comes up with a brilliant solution that has all his friends and family wishing they had a pair of glasses just like his!

Calvin, Look Out! features Calvin the bookworm birdie who first appeared in Calvin Can’t Fly. This adorable starling will have kids wishing they all had such nifty spectacles – or at least a pair of cool sunglasses.

Reviewer: Alice Berger


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7. Harts Pass No. 214

A little late in posting this week, but here you go. Shift that point of view now and again. Cheers!

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8. Win an iPod Touch and The Darracia Saga, by Michael Phillip Cash | Giveaway

Enter to win audiobook downloads of The Darracia Saga, by Michael Phillip Cash, and an iPod touch Space Gray!

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9. I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE! #IcebucketChallenge

Ok. Fine. I didn't volunteer. In fact, I may have gone kicking and screaming, and a little bit crying. I was nominated by Katie @ Mundie Moms. I unfriend you. I nominate Hannah, The Irish Banana, Martina Boone (Compulsion), Veronica Rossi (Under the Never Sky), Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse), and Elisa Johnston (my part-time reviewer, full-time friend). And here is the dreaded event . . .

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10. New Book Review!

My publisher, Immedium send this new book review of TreeHouse Heros and Forgotten Beast ^______^
"The magical artwork will draw readers in to this lusciously illustrated tale. The story focuses on possibly the last Zez, a magical creature from a far-east land, that is near extinction as forests have fallen, rivers dried up, and humans multiplied. Looking for a new unspoiled home she discovers the Treehouse Heroes—five children, each with different gifts (invisibility, shape changing, wind blowing, speed and strength) and their wise teacher. The Zez learns that General Moon, once a man but changed by his enchanted armor, has conquered all of the villages and driven out all of the Zez, leaving the towns in ruins. The Zez’s magic can help nature bloom again, but that’s only part of the solution. When the Zez is captured by General Moon’s men, the Treehouse Heroes track her to a tower in a rusted out town. Using their different powers, they rescue her and release the general from his armor causing him to disappear into smoke. The Zez, given back her freedom, continues her search leaving the village to do their part to resurrect their town. Children may enjoy this adventure and magical creature, but also get the point of personal responsibility for the environment."
- Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children’s Literature

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11. Ohio Pastor Urges Library to Pull Twilight Books

A pastor in Ohio has filed a complaint about vampire books in the YA section of his local library and asked that the titles be removed. Rachel Mead’s Blood Promise, Matsuri Hino’s Vampire Knight and Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series were all cited in his complaint.

Pastor Phillip Missick claims that the titles are “dark,” “sexual” and “dangerous for our kids.” ABC News has more:

Cleveland City Manager Kelly McDonald declined an interview but we have Library Director, Mary Cohn’s response to Missick’s complaint, as well as to a petition he had signed by a handful of local pastors. She noted only five percent of all the 1,500 titles in the teen section deal with occult, vampires and the supernatural, and then spoke to the mission of a public library saying materials should not be chosen or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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12. Today is the Day

Okay Princesses, today is "the" day. Get out your markers, if you haven't already, and Get to writing that love on your arms!

I know it might seem awkward to some, but it is a statement of love and encouragement...and this girl is in.

I just have to say, after writing that last post, I have not only had the privilege of being involved (tonight) in a box event to raise money for homeless at the church where I am youth pastor, but the other day I got to speak to a wonderful group of early college students.

We talked about not lying down and taking the crap the world has to offer anymore. About standing up and fighting back (in the biblical sense). About being who God intended us to be, fighters, evangelists, witnesses, missionaries in many fields (you don't always have to leave America by the way, every town needs Jesus).

Man, I just gotta say I loved every stinking second of it. I was so nervous, as I haven't done public speaking in a while, but wow. What a wonderful bunch of Christian youth. Just like the ones in our youth group.

I will try and post some pics of tonight's events online soon.

Everyone have a great day in the Lord Jesus Christ...and Behave for crying out loud.

Jae

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13. Reread #34 Out of the Dust

Out of the Dust. Karen Hesse. 1997. Scholastic. 240 pages. [Source: Bought]

I first reviewed Out of the Dust in March 2008. Out of the Dust is a historical verse novel that I likely would have avoided at all costs as a kid. It is set in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl and Depression.

Billie Jo is our piano-playing heroine. Life was hard enough for Billie Jo and her family BEFORE the tragic accident. Multiple crop failures in a row. Worry and doubt weighing down whole communities, and, not without cause. But after the accident, things are even worse.

Added to despair and doubt is anger and bitterness and regret. Billie Jo doesn't know how to talk to her father anymore. She doesn't know how to be in the same house with him. Things are just off between them. Both are suffering souls. Both have needs that aren't being met. Both need time to heal at the very least.

The novel spans two years, 1934 and 1935. These two years are very hard emotionally for almost all the characters. Out of the Dust is a great coming-of-age novel. I think I liked it even more the second time.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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14. Writing a Cumulative Picture Book: The Lake Where Loon Lives by Brenda Reeves Sturgis (plus a giveaway!)

Before we talk cumulative tales with guest author Brenda Reeves Sturgis, it’s time for a little blog business. The winner of EXTRAORDINARY WARREN is: 

SUSAN CABAEL!

Congratulations…and be on the lookout for an email from me.

Now let’s get to a LOON-y interview with Brenda…

lakewhereloonlives

Your newest book, THE LAKE WHERE LOON LIVES, is a cumulative tale (like The Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly), where each new scene builds upon the previous ones, all repeated in the text. What inspired you to write a cumulative picture book…and what special considerations does a writer have when writing such a story?

I didn’t set out to write a cumulative tale, but just set out to write what I heard in my head and in my heart.

I live on a lovely little lake in Maine and I am always elated when the loons come back to the lake in the spring. Their haunting hoots and wicked wails always leave me breathless wanting to hear more, and so when the story came to me as a gift in the middle of the night (which is my usual writing time). I just began writing, and writing and writing and what appeared was THE LAKE WHERE LOON LIVES.

In a cumulative story, each line builds and stacks on the previous sentence, and loon is written in rhyme so that made it even more challenging because every time I changed a word, the story would start to crumble and I would have to rewrite not only the sentence that I was revising but also all of the sentences before it, so that I would keep the right rhythm and meter.

I wanted to depict what a day in the life of a loon might be like, so I put in chicks, a fly, a fish that would snap at the fly, a boy on a dock that would give fishing a try, a cast, a struggle, and a splash and a swish, and then after a HUGE RUCKUS, the story starts to unwind where Mama Loon finds the SPOT on the lake that she loves best. She tucks her chicks in tight, and just like all loving Mama’s do, she reads her babies a goodnight story before she settles in with a nice cup of tea by her campfire.

LOON

Little did I know when I wrote it that the illustrator would illustrate LOON so totally different than I had pictured, and I am so very glad that she did. Because in this loon story mama loon LOVES to waterski, she is daubed white and black because her chicks used her as a canvas with Loon White waterproof paint. I think the illustrator, Brooke Carton did a fabulous job with her loose illustrations which compliment the tight text very nicely.

INNISFREE BOOK STORE, MEREDITH NEW HAMPSHIREI hope your readers will enjoy reading THE LAKE WHERE LOON LIVES as much as I enjoyed writing it. Islandport Press has been wonderful to work with, and they had a book launch for LOON at The Maine Audubon Society in May, and I’ve been busy with signings and events almost every weekend since.

Why are cumulative tales beneficial for young children?

Cumulative stories teach word repetition and children therefore know what to expect in the story, which then helps them learn languague and pick out familiar words. This enhances their reading abilities, making for a stronger student and a more confident learner. A cumulative story is a perfect tool to teach a reluctant reader.

Tell us about Islandport Press. How did you find them and why was this story such a good fit for their list?

I’d heard about Islandport for years, and when I started researching their books I saw that they were Maine-and-New-England-themed, so on a whim, I submitted to them on my own, then sent an e-mail to my agent Karen Grencik saying, “By the way, I submitted to Islandport!” She answered back, “GREAT, fingers crossed!”

I got the acceptance e-mail while sitting in the Biddeford Library. I went outside, sat on the curb and cried, because up until that point, I didn’t know if I got published on a fluke, or if I had any kind of talent or chance at another book at all. It was a wonderful process, and I am so grateful to Dean Lunt the publisher, and Melissa Kim my editor. They have an amazing marketing staff, they are kind and thoughtful and amazing to their authors!

Also, on the back of LOON, something I am most proud of is a nice blurb by author Chris VanDusen.

What’s next for you, Brenda?

TOUCHDOWN, after 7 years, after winning Smart Writers, after being rejected 50 times (not once because of the writing but because of the marketing “hook”) has become a finalist for the MeeGenius Author Challenge, and whoever wins will be awarded $1500.00.

Good luck, Brenda! And thanks for giving away a copy of LOON to our blog readers. 

Comment below by August 29th or a chance to win! And feel free to ask Brenda questions about cumulative stories or her work.


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15. YALSAblog Tweets of the Week: August 22, 2014

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between August 22 and August 28 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.

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16. Rousar Review of Watercolor Video

Many thanks to Darren Rousar, (painter, teacher, author, publisher, and expert on sight-size methods) for the fun review of "Watercolor in the Wild" on the Studio Rousar blog.


In case you missed seeing me attacked by a baby miniature horse:
"Watercolor in the Wild" HD download: (Credit Card) 
"Watercolor in the Wild" HD download: (Paypal)
"Watercolor in the Wild" DVD: (NTSC, Region 1) 

And what's a feature without a Bonus Feature?

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17. Maine Mountains

 
Sorry for the slow updates. It's been busy here at the moment with work and I'm also trying my darndest to soak up every last bit of Summer. Here's a pattern I drew a few weeks back, inspired by childhood's spent camping up in Northern Maine. I miss listening to loon cries and campfires more than you can possibly imagine.

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18. August -- Enchantment and Reality, Kids, Books and Dogs

 

 

              My-Neighbor-Totoro-Fishigonatreebranch

 

 "The authors of books for children enchant us with clarion calls that transport us to desinations in the mind, turning us into adventurous hunters, even when we are sitting still, not moving an inch." -- Maria Tatar, Enchanted Hunters,The Power of Stories In Cildhood

My Neighbor Totoro (illustration above) is from the enchanted world of the great Japanese story teller and film director, Hayao Miyazaki.

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Tim-BurtonQueen-s-Alice-In-Wonderland"When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast" -the Queen in Alice In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

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Newly Discovered Fairy Tales are Coming

TurnipPrincessLost, but now found,  Franz Xaver von Schönwerth's trove of fairy tales have been translated by Maria Tatar, and will be available as the Turnip Princess at the end of February, 2015. 

Here's the informative announcement on Amazon :

"With this volume, the holy trinity of tellers of fairy tales—the Brothers Grimm, Charles Perrault, and Hans Christian Andersen—becomes a quartet. In the 1850s, Franz Xaver von Schönwerth traversed the depths of the Black Forest and scaled the heights of the Bavarian Alps to record fairy tales, gaining the admiration of even the Brothers Grimm. Most of Schönwerth’s work was lost—until a few years ago, when a researcher unearthed thirty boxes of manuscripts in a municipal archive in Germany.

Now, for the first time, Schönwerth’s lost fairy tales are available in English. Violent, dark, and full of action, and upending the relationship between damsels in distress and their dragon-slaying heroes, they bring us closer than ever to the unadorned oral tradition in which fairy tales are rooted, revolutionizing our understanding of a hallowed genre."

In 1885, Jacob Grimm said this about von Schönwerth: "Nowhere in the whole of Germany is anyone AthurRackham_sleeping1BriarRosecollecting [folklore] so accurately, thoroughly, and with such a sensitive ear." The collection includes versions of Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rumplestiltskin and tales completely new to us.

The translator, Maria Tatar teaches folklore, children's literature, and German cultural studies at Harvard University. She chairs the Program in Folklore and Mythology.  Among her books are two that I can recommend witout reservation: Enchanted Hunters, the Power of Stories in Childhood and The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales. Her blog is Breezes from Wonderland. Ms Tatar lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The illustration for Briar Rose (Cinderella) is by Arthur Rackham.

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 “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”...Albert Einstein

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The Doors of Enchantment

The Brothers Grimm, J.K. Rowling, and Linda Woolverton all have something in common...they have reached the hearts and minds of millions of children (and adults) around the world.

Linda Woolverton 

LindaWoolvertonWoolverton is a master of reinterpreting stories, staying true to the essence of the original, and transforming them into remarkable movies. She also guides her scripts -- maintaining their integrity and originality --  through the multiple processes and inputs that are part of theatrical movie making. Few writers, female or male, have had the ability to do this successfully. And Linda Woolverton's films are both creative and as well as box office successes. 

In a candid interview with Aaron Couch in the Hollywood Reporter regarding the writing of Maleficent, Ms Woolverton said that even after rewriting the script a 100 times, she still choked up when she came to the kiss scene where Maleficent awakens the sleeping Aurora. I don't know if this was a true manifestation of passionate involvement in the script, however, when Couch asks her other questions in this and in her Indiewire interview (below), she is disarmingly candid and straightforward. 

What were some of your big challenges when you were approaching this? 

The biggest challenge was how to make a villain into a protagonist. How on earth was I going to justify that this woman would curse a baby? (Laughs.)  

Where did that motivation start? 

We based this on the Disney movie, not the fairy tale. I was looking at that scene, and I had done some research, and the biggest surprise is that she's a fairy, not a witch. I've always wanted to do a dark fairy Maleficent-Wings2story. Then I watched that scene where she curses the baby, and I'm thinking "well if she's a fairy, where are her wings?" Suddenly it was "boom. Lightbulb. Oh! It's the wings!" Then I worked backward from there to create the Stefan relationship. (for those who haven't seen the film, Stefan's horrendous behavior unleashes the dark side in Maleficent).

Adapting Fairy Tales for a New Generation

I found fascinating insights into Ms Woolverton and her work in an excellent interview by Susan Wloszczyna in Indiewire . Here are brief excerpts:


SW: "
Did turning a villain into the central figure in Maleficent present a greater challenge? There is a
reason that she is often ranked high among the popular villains in Disney lore. Even Angelina Jolie, who never warmed to the princess characters, has said the evil fairy was her favorite with her wicked sense of fun and serene elegance. 

LW: It was very difficult to turn a villain into a hero and yet keep her a villain...I had to figure out what
MaleficentandChildpossibly could have happened to her to make her want to hurt an innocent baby. Something that would equal that act. In the animated movie, she had no wings. She just threw her robes open like wings. I thought, 'Is that it? Did someone take her wings?' They stole her soul and her heart had to turn cold. I knew that was the right answer. We depicted it in a way that is horrible, yet you can tolerate it and still feel it. Angelina does a great job in portraying her anguish. 

SW: Yet some critics are simply interpreting her need to avenge as simply the act of a woman scorned.

LW: That is part of it. She did love him.

SW: This is a PG film. Was there concern that this scene and a few others might be a bit much for young children?

Bambi'sMotherWe really didn't think that so much. It is wings, nothing that any of us have. We didn't cut off her legs. We killed Mufasa in The Lion King. We killed Bambi's mother. The world is an intense place. Storytelling helps children to be strong. Hansel and Gretel is about eating children. Fairy tales have never shied away from that..."

Among Linda Woolverton's achievements: Beauty and the Beast (1991) including the Tony Award winning stage musical version; co-writer of the Lion King (1994), for film and stage; Alice In Wonderland (2010), directed by Tim Burton; and, Maleficent (2014). Maleficent has currently grossed over $739,000,000. Here is a lnk to the trailer that focuses on Maleficent's wings: Maleificent

 Ms Woolverton's next Disney film is her version of Lewis Carrol's Through the Looking Glass.

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PuppiesNatlPuppyDayMarch23

August 26 is the 10th annual National Dog Day. Founded in 2004 by pet lifestyle expert and author Colleen Paige. National Dog Day was created to celebrate dogs of all types, from the mutts to the purebreds, the companion animals to working dogs. It is hoped that the day will encourage dog ownership of all breeds and embrace the opportunity for all dogs to live a happy, safe and ”abuse-free life.”

National Dog Day is against BSL (Breed Specific Legislation). Dogs should not have to lose their lives
because of the atrocities they have been forced to endure at the hands of man. It’s a reminder to adopt from rescues or shelters where millions of dogs are euthanized each year because they are unwanted.  And if you must buy, instead of buying from pet stores, backyard breeders, the internet, newspaper ads and puppy mills, buy only from a verified reputable breeder.

People who are not dog owners are encouraged to donate $5 to their local shelter on National Dog Day.

In celebration of this wonderful recognition of dogs and what they mean to us in our lives,

Barking Planet Productions is offering four titles FREE for KINDLE on August 26.

4covers

You can pick up your copy of Planet of the Dogs, Castle in the Mist,

Parade of Misfits, and Circling the Wagginsby clicking the titles.

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WCDogsLogoChildhood Cancer and Canines

Among the array of many fascinating Dog related articles on Way Cool Dogs, Nancy Houser has posted regarding developments in the latest studies of the effects of dogs on children with cancer. Over 13,000 children in the USA are diagnosed with cancer annually. Here is an excerpt:..

..."The latest Vanderbilt University clinical trial on dog therapy-childhood cancer is accompanied by a grant from Thompson, to determine whether therapy dogs actually help young cancer patients. Saliva from the dogs are tested in addition to testing of the children, in order to track the dog-patient relationship.

According to Medical MedScape, 'It really promises to be a landmark study,' said John Payne, chair of the board at the American Humane Association, which is running the trial, with funding from the Pfizer Foundation and Zoetis..."

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Litworldbanner


Banner-litclubsandlitcampsI believe the work done by LitWorld  in bringing the gift of reading to disadvantaged children around the world is wonderful. I highly recommend a visit to their website. Meanwhile, 
here is an excerpt from a message by LitWorld founder, Pam Allyn:

 

"...We started LitWorld with a small LitClub in Kibera (A Nairobi slum), and since then, LitWorld has grown to countries, cities, and towns around the world. The LitClub – a safe, nourishing space for reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing – is our model for what the world should look like: a promise to all children that their voices can and should tell the future..." 

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Littleprince


And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” 

― Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Little Prince

 

 

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ECADlogoECAD and the Planet Dog Foundation 
 

Imagine being a woman unable to communicate with your service dog to the point where you have lost the independence that you had once gained with your dog.
 
ONI - A New Development
 

ECAD5The Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) has made a grant to Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities ECAD, a multi-faceted service and therapy dog organization, to pursue the development of an imaginative solution to the problem caused by speech problems and service dogs. This innovative pilot project is called Operation New Initiative (ONI) and will use iPads and Tablets to communicate with the service dogs.
 
ECAD has a perfect candidate, Lois, for their beta effort. Lois is "a 60 year old woman who, because of the effects of Muscular Dystrophy, has such weakened vocal chords that she can no longer verbally communicate with her service dog. The goal is to train and place the first successful dog through ONI with Lois, to enable her to go back to the independence she once knew."
 
ECADPDF statement: "Operation New Initiative will explore the use of modern technology (i.e., iPads or Tablets) to enable adults and children who have impaired verbal abilities, or who are non-verbal due to Autism, to communicate commands to service dogs via images that are sound activated on the iPad. The Plant Dog Foundation grant will fund the acquisition of the iPads and the software necessary, and the training of instructors to train the dogs to respond to commands generated on the tablet.
 
Planet Dog Foundation(PDF)
 
PlanetDogFoundationpdf-logo"PDF Has contributed over $1,000,000 to support: Therapy dogs. Service dogs. Search & rescue dogs. Bomb sniffing dogs. Police dogs. In fact, The Planet Dog Foundation celebrates all "working" dogs that are enhancing and saving human lives. They do this by supporting innovative, respected and effective non-profit organizations that work tirelessly to raise, train and place the dogs."

The funds come from Planet Dog, which sells high quality products (all guaranteed) to dog owners.
 
Many PDF benefeciaries have been featured in this blog. We salute PDF, ECAD and all the service and therapy dog organization who continue to make life better on this planet.
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Alice will dance in New York

 IChristopher Wheeldon's wonderful version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. 

WheeldonAliceBalletThe Joyce Theater Foundation and the National Ballet of Canada have announced that they will present the New York premiere of Wheeldon's Alice's Adventure in Wonderland . Set to an original score by Joby Talbot and with costume and set designs by Bob Crowley, the production of the Lewis Carroll classic is scheduled to run from Sept. 9 to 14 at the David H. Koch Theater in Lincoln Center. Mr. Wheeldon’s interpretation of “Alice” had its premiere at the Royal Opera House in London in 2011. A film was made of the original production.

Here is a link to one minute and thirteen seconds of this lauded reimagining of Alice

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Reimagined Fairy Tales in Early Annimation

This link will take you to Walt Disney's Little Red Riding Hood of 1922.  

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Therapy Reading Dogs...Children on the Road to Reading...Our Beginnings

Our invovement with therapy reading dogs has expanded to all kinds of therapy and service dog prograns and activites. It began simply, in 2008, when I learned about and became involved with teacher Julie Hauk and Pages for Preston



ClassroomSceneInThe PagesFofPrestonProgram"I am a third grade teacher in Sheboygan, WI, and I have developed a Therapy Dog Reading program for second and third graders at Longfellow Elementary School. The program's name is Pages for Preston, after my own therapy dog. We have read Planet of the Dogs during our reading time with the dogs and my students are absolutely enthralled with the book! I was in awe at their eagerness to learn about the characters and events in the story. Watching the students read about Miss Merrie and Lucy while reading to therapy dogs was a full circle moment for me."

This was the beginning of my awareness. Thanks to Julie Hauk, since starting with Pages for Preston six years ago, we have been supporting therapy reading dog owners and organizations with complimentary books, and by sharing their stories on this Barking Planet blog.

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  Hansel and Gretel are running through the woods...

Children can read the story of Hansel and Gretel and, if they visit England's Lake Country, they can see them running through the woods in Lancaster's Williamson Park.

Clare Brennan in a Guardian article wrote"Hilltop, woodland and lake are the perfect setting for HanselGretelWilliamsonPkLancasterZosia Ward's vivid retelling of multiple fairytales...Hansel and Gretel may get top billing at the Dukes' annual outdoor production, but they are not alone. Threaded through the main story are shreds from seven fairytales, three classic children's films and one nonsense poem. Part of the fun of this show is spotting these, as you follow the abandoned twins up hill, down dale and through mysterious, wooded glades...The setting is magnificent: a hilltop memorial, swards of grass, copses and a lake. During the interval, people sit and watch the sun slip into Morcambe Bay; it is a drama in itself..."

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Mary Laura Philpott wrote a warm family story in the New York Times:

And Then The Dog Died: Things You Can't Plan For When Planning a Move.

Here's an excerpt:

When planning my family’s move to Nashville from Atlanta, one of the things I put a lot of thought into was creating a sense of consistency in order to manage how much change and disorder our children would experience this summer. I read somewhere that children need to know they can rely on some things to stay the same, even when a big transition comes along. 

I know, I know. Makes about as much sense as a “birth plan,” doesn’t it?...Read it all: Philpott

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NYPLlogoThe New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will host a Sesame Street themed exhibition called "Somebody Come and Play.

SesamecastThis multimedia exhibit was organized to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the show and celebrate its 45 years of great success. It will run from September 18, 2014 through January 31, 2015. Visitors will not be charged an admissions fee.

Our experience at Barking Planet has been that NYPL creates wonderful exhibitions.

Also from NYPL, an invitation from librarian Elizabeth Bird..."NYPL's Children's Literary Salon is pleased to announce our next event on Saturday, September 6th at 2:00 p.m. 

Personal Passions and Changes in Nonfiction for Children and Teens 
Author, professor, speaker, editor and publisher by turns, Marc Aronson's love of nonfiction and his conviction that young people can read carefully, examine evidence, and engage with new and challenging ideas informs everything he does.  Join us for a conversation about the changing role of nonfiction for youth, and the special challenges and advantages of this one-of-a-kind genre.
 
This event will be held in the Schwarzman Building at 42nd Street and 5th Avenue in the Berger Forum on the second floor.  No reservations are necessary."

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UpOnTheWOOFHeaderAriel

C.A.Wulff  

We publish four books by C.A. Wulff. But...who is she, beyond living in a house in the woods Yelodoggiecircuitwith rescued dogs and a varying group of other saved critters during 25 years plus of multifaceted active pet rescue...

She is an accomplished writer, artist and animal advocate.  She has written three books about her true-life adventures living with an ever-changing house full of pets: Born Without a Tail, and Circling the Waggins, and Parade Of Yelodoggieporpoise_smMisfits. She has also written How to Change the World in 30 Seconds, A Guide to Animal Advocacy Using the Internet as a Tool; and Finding Fido, a handbook for dog owners who have lost their dogs or other pets.

Wulff also writes an Animal Book Review column for the Examiner, and the Cleveland Pets Examiner;  She is a contributing editor to the animal advocate organization AnimalsVote. Her dog news and advocacy blog is Up on the Woof. The dogs that here are from her yelodoggie art work: yelodoggie .  She is also an Associate Publisher of Barking Planet Productions. She attributes her love of animals to having been raised by Wulffs. I have no idea what she does in her spare time.

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  FSDSwimEventPosterFreedom Service Dogs of America celebrate their dog fun fund raiser-- the 7th Annual Doggie Plunge

1,000 DOGS PLUNGING INTO PIRATES COVE AQUATIC PARK 

Date and Time: September 6, from 9am to 3pm.

Pirates Cove 1225 West Belleview Avenue Littleton, CO 80120 USA


FSDSwimEventIf you are in Littleton, or anywhere nearby, take the 

 Doggie Plunge at Pirates Cove Aquatic Center. Take the plunge with hundreds of four legged swimmers living it up, splashing and smiling in the last of the summer sun! 

Throughout the day join hundreds of families enjoying food trucks, doggie activities and so much more!

 

This is a benefit for nonprofit Freedom Service Dogs of America, tickets $15...

"Freedom Service Dogs... enhance the lives of people with disabilities by rescuing dogs and custom training them for individual client needs. Clients include children, veterans and active duty soldiers, and other adults. Their disabilities include Autism, Traumatic Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Cord Injuries, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)."  Visit their website: www.freedomservicedogs.org

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Sunbearsquad-logo A dog is lying by the side of the road...What do I do? What are my options? I want to be helpful, but this is all new to me... For answers, examples, true stories and more, visit Sunbear Squad...Let the experience of compassionate dog lovers guide you. Here's the Link: SunbearSquad  -

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"To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring, it was peace." - Milan Kundera 

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19. In a Blink of the Eye

About a year ago I was driving down Rt. 58 to take my nephew for a check up at the doctor's. It had been snowing earlier in the week, but the roads were clear, except for some salt they'd placed in preparation for the next snow storm. I was hurrying along because I didn't want to be late for his appointment, and had decided not to take any of the girls with me because I didn't want to take the chance of running into bad weather with a car full of youngsters.

My mind raced with all sorts of thoughts, including the sadness of circumstances which seemed to have taken over my existence.

I kept telling the Lord that I gave Him permission to be in complete control of my life, was thanking Him for all He does. I heard Him say He was in control, and I kept talking to Him about how good it was to realize that I was NOT the one in charge. I made a bold statement of faith that day, and I suppose by what happened next, was expected to back it up with action.

I looked away from the road for but a moment. The blink of an eye: and in that blink my car began to fish-tail on DRY PAVEMENT... at forty-five miles per hour.

The car spun to the right, and I was almost over a cliff. Then to the left, and I nearly hit twenty feet of rock on the side of the mountain. It spun back and forth, doing several three-sixties, and half a dozen near misses with the cliff and the rocks.

"JESUS! JESUS! JESUS! JESUS!"

One second I was frantically scanning east (checking for traffic no less), and the next second I was facing west, absolutely amazed that no cars were coming from either way. All the while I screamed for the Lord to help me.

It was as if a tornado had come and was sucking me up into its eye.

My foot stomped the brakes so tight that I burnt rubber on the road in horrible swerving spirals, could smell the char-broiled tires... thinking at the same time that I couldn't be responsible for allowing harm to come to my nephew.

And just like that it was over.

The car came to a screeching HALT in the proper lane, facing the direction of the doctor's office.

JUST...LIKE...THAT...

I had a death grip on that steering wheel. My knuckles were white as the threatening snow. And my heart was pounding so violently I was sure I could hear it. My knees were knocking and my teeth were chattering.

"I told you I am still in control.", the Lord said.

"You didn't have to spin me in circles down the highway to prove it to me LORD."

The crazy thing is, not one single human being saw what had just happened. And even crazier than that, my nephew had been sound asleep and never WOKE UP until the car came to a complete stop.

"Aunt Jae?" I heard his little voice from the backseat.

I saw him rub his eyes in the rear view mirror. How could a kid so full of energy and opinion SLEEP through an ordeal so serious, unless there were angels in the backseat holding him?

I pulled over at the next open lot until I could gather up strength and then drove on to the appointment, the car acting kind of funny, and still smelling of burnt tire.

When I drove back toward home I searched and searched for tire marks. Not a single trace on the road. No evidence that it had ever happened, except that my brakes began to make a funny noise.

For days afterward, I was dizzy and had visions of being inside a whirlwind. It sounded like a train ripping through the side of a bridge... loud metal tearing in half... as if a tornado had literally torn my life apart. I couldn't think straight. Some would say I was suffering from post traumatic stress, but I say it was a spiritual awakening.

It took about three days for me to realize spinning around on top of a dangerous mountain, and not a scratch on us...was one of the wildest, coolest things that ever happened to me.

I hadn't thought about that scene until today when something threw me back into the eye of that same tornado. I found something that all but broke my heart.

What I saw shocked my husband, me and my three youngest children half to death. It frightened me. And when I returned home after ranting and crying and absolutely asking

"WHY GOD? WHY?"

I saw that whirlwind whipping in circles.

It was layers deep around me, and I heard that same screeching metal sound like the side of a steel barn being split down the middle. I stood inside the storm with my hands thrown up in the air just feeling so stupid. As if everything I have done to protect and raise this family has been for nothing. That storm left me helpless and alone.

But inside the eye of the storm God's hand reached out to me. He scooped me up out of my storm and held me. He didn't just gently touch me from above in the Spirit...he reached down and grabbed me up out of my hurt.

I was not the only one He took out of that earth-shaking twister.

He also plucked up my daughter, my son, my husband, and my other children.

Then my brother, and his wife and their three children.

My sister and her family.

My mom, my step-dad and my uncle...

My daughter-in-law, my "adopted" child, and then even my sister's neighbor.

He REMOVED US from harm's way and set us safely down on the outside of the storm.

And as I observed the storm from the outside, instead of it going on all around me, I heard a puff of His breath..and it blew away just like a dandelion's seeds on a windy day.

Absolutely amazing.

The trials I have faced over the last few years have been so empowering. They have given me great strength and insight. And they have made me appreciate the Lord all the more. I have drawn near unto Him due to the obstacles I am constantly sprinting over.

The most wonderful part about all the horrifying events which take place ALL AROUND ME is that it isn't ME... it is just ALL AROUND me. Thank You Lord for the faith to stand in the eye of the tornado so regularly and not try to fight my own way out. You come and rescue me every time, and make another story for me to tell.

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20. Home, a bracelet and the Maasi

Maasi women (photo credit : D. Burrows)

Maasi women (photo credit : D. Burrows

Some of the joy of travel is when I return home and share the fun and stories with my friends and family.

On this trip though, it occurred to me that I really didn’t have a home to come back to. Not the kind of home that I had always had. This thought kept me traveling for much longer that I had planned and would take me around the world. It was in the space of time when I left the plan behind that I realized home is no longer a place, but resides in my heart. And the heart, while fragile, has an infinite capacity for love.

Some trips shape me. Some trips change me. Some trips transform me. Some trips have affected my family and friends. And sometimes, the stories I tell and the gifts I give have reached beyond those I know and love. Far beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

This is the story of the bracelet.

Wherever I was, whether in the countryside on the outskirts of Melbourne, trekking the Himalayas, in the jungles of Java or on the shores of the Bali Sea, I had my eye out for little treasures. Unique gifts I could bring back for friends and family. As I was backpacking through the world, portability was key.

In Kalibaru on the island of Java I found and purchased a handful of beautiful handmade bracelets. For the next sixty days they would travel with me all over the world. When I returned to the U.S. I gave one to my very good friend. She loved the bracelet so much she never took it off. It stayed on her wrist as she journeyed to Wales and then to Africa.

The bracelet (photo credit: A. Burrows)

The bracelet (photo credit: A. Burrows)

And it found its way to a little village in northern Tanzania where a tribe of Maasai lived. The women of the village made bracelets to help support their families. The Maasai women surrounded my friend when they saw her bracelet. The idea of using different-sized beads on the same bracelet never occurred to them. The type of beads captivated them. The way the bracelet fastened was a curiosity. This gave the Maasai women lots of ideas about bracelets and their future designs. My friend bought one of their bracelets and when she returned home, she gave the bracelet to me.

And through my friend and the bracelet and the Maasi women, my home just got a little bit bigger.

So often in life we think that the little things we do don’t matter. We discount our influence or even our own significance, at times. But the biggest things we do can be the smallest. A smile. A joke. A well-timed call. A small gift. A simple treasure. The little things your heart whispers can bring so much joy to the world.

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21.

I feel like falling on my knees and crying
until the rain stops.
Till the butterfly lands on your cheek
and whispers sweet words to tell you
that everything is going to be alright.
When you stand there in silence
and think no one hears you.
When you look up at the stars
and God's hand reaches out
and touches you
and close your eyes for a split second...
and you're dancing with Him
underneath your favorite tree
until the last leaf falls.
All these troubles
All the temptation in your life
tries to shield you
from really seeing God's plan for you.
He wraps His arms around you
and wipes every sad tear from your eyes.
When you feel you have no strength left,
but you keep pushing and pushing...
I sometimes feel as if
I am losing the people I care about the most.
Then I go back to that quiet place
under the tree
with every beautiful shade of fall color.
And He stands there with His hand stretched out,
saying,
"You are still a Princess to Me."

Stephanie R. Rankin














Stephanie is a 2010 graduate of East Davidson High School in Thomasville, NC. She is nineteen years old, and is an aspiring photographer. She has had her share of struggles, but continues to seek the face of God. She loves hiking, swimming, going to church, dancing, singing and ministering. She plans to pursue the career of veterinary medicine, but right now is enjoying the freedom of exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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22. Scenes of Hamlet—my husband's book of ceramics and still lives (now live on Blurb)

A few days ago I posted here about my husband's work as a ceramicist and photographer.

I can now share that exquisite work here. Bill made all of the pots, arranged, lit, and took the photographs, and designed the book, which he will soon be sharing with ceramics studios.

I, however, love the work so much that I have asked if I might share it with all of you.

The link to the Blurb book preview is here.

In a few weeks I'll be sharing Bill's new web site, which features this work, his 3D design work, and his photography.

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23. They Will Know Me by My Love


I have made many mistakes in my walk with Christ. Especially with my own teenagers. Sometimes patience eludes me. Sometimes I forget where I came from. And I forget that my teens are facing the same troubles, the same pressures, on a much higher level than I did growing up. I am sorry guys. Forgive me. Please help me to be a better mother to you. I don't want you going down that same path of destruction I was on. Sometimes I forget to show you the same mercy and grace the Lord shows me. I am forever sorry for those times.

Parents have a hard time reaching their children these days. Children are shutting down from the real world, and living within a screen. It breaks my heart. Please children, hear the voice of someone who has been there. Done that.

Wearing those razor blades around your necks will not make a fashion statement. It will show the true pain behind your mask of, "Everything is okay with me."

Cutting yourself will not make the pain go away. I promise you that. I know, because it never helped me. All the pain I caused myself and others. It just made more guilt.

I did so many things, in the name of wanting to help people, that only made things so much worse in their lives. But God has given me a second chance. I am grateful. And that second chance (His name is Jesus) that He gave to me, He can give to anyone who wants to feel loved by a true father, parent, friend, Savior. I just had to say that today. He changed my life.

I LIVED at the bottom of the pit for so many years, looking up, feeling like every time it rained I was going to drown. Every time the leaves fell off the tree, I was frightened because the season of death was coming. Where life ceased, went to sleep, and so did my emotions. All I knew for so many years was pain and agony. All I knew was darkness and no hope of escape.

But Jesus took me away from that. He lifted me out of that hole I lived in and moved me to a much better place in my life. Where I could realize my parents DID love me. That my FATHER did love me. That I didn't need a man to prove I was worthy of love. I found myself in abusive situations over and again because I just wanted love so freaking bad. Jesus gave me that love I hungered for.

He gave me the courage to find my way out.

To chase my dreams of becoming a published writer. I may not have made a million dollars on my first book, but its IN PRINT! Not a failure...just STEP ONE.

I am not doing this anymore to see my name on books. I am doing it to see less names under suicide on the obituaries. Less untimely names on tombstones. And to see MORE NAMES in the Lamb's Book of Life.

Jesus helped me to realize that I am worthy. I am good enough. And now that my children are older, they are going through the same struggles I had.

Not sure if their father loves them.

Not sure if Mom loves them.

Not sure if they are okay, good enough.

I need to be there for them. And I intend to.

I am putting a stop right now to Satan's trap. In the name of Jesus Christ. I am taking back what the devil stole from my kids. From the children of others. You can't have these kids devil. They belong to someone much stronger than you. And if you try to take them away, HE will just show up at EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIME and snatch them back from you. So eat my dust devil. I am going out in the streets again, starting with the houses which hold MY OWN... AND I AM TAKING THEM BACK FOR THE KING.

I am starting by participating in an event I found on facebook.

It is an event where we can write LOVE on our arms between Friday November 12 @ midnight and November 13th 11:30 p.m. Join me in my efforts, for ourselves, and for the love of others. I love kids, teens, youth, young adults. I want to be there. I want to show my support. And I am going to. Because I know what it is to feel alone. To not belong. To feel unloved.







http://www.twloha.com/

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24. Risen: The Battle for Darracia, by Michael Phillip Cash | Dedicated Review

Risen is the third book in Michael Phillip Cash’s dramatic sci-fi trilogy, the Darracia Saga.

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25. 5 Quick Tips for Writing in Multiple Perspectives

Let's Get Lost coverWriting a novel from one unique perspective can be challenging enough for many writers, but writing a character’s story through multiple perspectives will multiply the challenges, but also the rewards. Adi Alsaid’s new novel, Let’s Get Lost (Harlequin Teen, 2014), is an excellent example of using multiple perspectives to effectively tell the story of one character’s road trip while also keeping the reader enticed and invested for the entire ride. Here, Alsaid offers five quick tips for authors who hope to do the same in their stories.

* * * * *

I’ve always been drawn to multiple perspectives, both as a reader and as a writer. And as a person! I like getting into people’s heads. That’s what I love about fiction, the ease with which we can slip into someone else’s thoughts. So when I write, I like telling a story from as many perspectives as the narrative will allow. With Let’s Get Lost, I thought it would be really interesting to tell a road-trip tale through the eyes of characters who are stationary, who are going through their own issues, their own lives, when a mysterious girl comes crashing in. Here are my tips for writing in multiple perspectives.

  • Differentiate the voices. The easiest way to fail at multiple perspective is to not actually have any. Don’t give characters the same sense of humor, the same vocabulary, the same sense of right and wrong. When in doubt, read the different perspectives aloud.
  • Start small. Instead of trying to encompass an entire character’s persona, zoom in on a detail. A simple desire, one thought, a bite of pasta, even. It’s a lot less intimidating to start with a bite of pasta than with an entire backstory in mind. The rest will build from there, and will probably feel more authentic for it.
  • Explore. If you’re writing from different perspectives, at least one of them is probably wholly different to your own. That’s not a challenge, it’s a chance to explore what it means to be someone else. A parking lot, for example, looks different to a woman walking alone in her twenties than to a woman trying to keep two toddlers from running out into traffic before she reaches the target. What would it be like to be a teenager living in a war-torn region? You probably don’t know for sure, but you have a chance to find out if you start with a small detail and then explore from there.
  • Keep it personal. Just because the characters are not like you doesn’t mean they can’t have pieces of you in them. In some way, they should care about what you care about. Or maybe they have the exact opposite beliefs, or they have courage that you don’t. Whatever it is, consider the personal connection the character has with you as you move forward. If you don’t connect with the characters on a personal level, your readers probably won’t either.
  • Connection. This one may not be for everybody. What I love most about books—reading or writing them—is the chance to connect to others, the idea that people have similar thoughts and experiences, even though they may not know it. Do this in your stories too. Make connections, subtle or otherwise. Make them pass by each other a minute or two apart. Have someone in common in their backstory without them being aware of it. It’s the beauty of multiple perspectives, you can explore human connection in ways that we may miss in real life.

Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City. He attended college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in class, he mostly read fiction and continuously failed to fill out crossword puzzles, so it’s no surprise that after graduating he packed up his car and escaped to the California coastline to become a writer. He’s now back in his hometown, where he writes, coaches high school and elementary basketball, and has perfected the art of making every dish he eats or cooks as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he has lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas and Monterey, California. A tingly feeling in his feet tells him that more places will eventually be added to the list. For more, visit www.somewhereoverthesun.com.

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