What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in
    from   

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<July 2016>>
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
     0102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1562 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. BOOK - collage by lizzie lees

Designer Lizzie Lees has created a fun new interactive book packed with ideas and material for making collages. Called 'Collage Carnival' Lizzie invites the reader to create their own artworks and projects ranging from cityscapes and travel journals using holiday snaps, to glitter-filled cards for friends. Mixed in with hints and tips for getting started are pages that can be coloured, cut out,

0 Comments on BOOK - collage by lizzie lees as of 7/28/2016 3:19:00 AM
Add a Comment
2. Review of the Day: Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe

Radiant ChildRadiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat
By Javaka Steptoe
Little, Brown & Co.
$17.99
ISBN: 978-0-316-21388-2
Ages 5 and up
On shelves October 25th

True Story: I’m working the children’s reference desk of the Children’s Room at 42nd Street of New York Public Library a couple years ago and a family walks in. They go off to read some books and eventually the younger son, I’d say around four years of age, approaches my desk. He walks right up to me, looks me dead in the eye, and says, “I want all your Javaka Steptoe books.” Essentially this child was a living embodiment of my greatest dream for mankind. I wish every single kid in America followed that little boy’s lead. Walk up to your nearest children’s librarian and insist on a full fledged heaping helping of Javaka. Why? Well aside from the fact that he’s essentially children’s book royalty (his father was the groundbreaking African-American picture book author/illustrator John Steptoe) he’s one of the most impressive / too-little-known artists working today. But that little boy knew him and if his latest picture book biography “Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” is even half as good as I think it is, a whole host of children will follow suit. But don’t take my word for it. Take that four-year-old boy’s. That kid knew something good when he saw it.

“Somewhere in Brooklyn, a little boy dreams of being a famous artist, not knowing that one day he will make himself a KING.” That boy is an artist already, though not famous yet. In his house he colors on anything and everything within reach. And the art he makes isn’t pretty. It’s, “sloppy, ugly, and sometimes weird, but somehow still BEAUTIFUL.” His mother encourages him, teaches him, and gives him an appreciation for all the art in the world. When he’s in a car accident, she’s the one who hands him Gray’s Anatomy to help him cope with what he doesn’t understand. Still, nothing can help him readily understand his own mother’s mental illness, particularly when she’s taken away to live where she can get help. All the same, that boy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, shows her his art, and with determination he grows up, moves to Manhattan, and starts his meteoric rise in the art scene. All this so that when, at long last, he’s at the top of his game, it’s his mother who sits on the throne at his art shows. Additional information about Basquiat appears at the back of the book alongside a key to the motifs in his work, an additional note from Steptoe himself on what Basquiat’s life and work can mean to young readers, and a Bibliography.

radiantchild2Javaka Steptoe apparently doesn’t like to make things easy for himself. If he wanted to, he could illustrate all the usual African-American subjects we see in books every year. Your Martin Luther Kings and Rosa Parks and George Washington Carvers. So what projects does he choose instead? Complicated heroes who led complicated lives. Artists. Jimi Hendrix and guys like that. Because for all that kids should, no, MUST know who Basquiat was, he was an adult with problems. When Steptoe illustrated Gary Golio’s bio of Hendrix (Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow) critics were universal in their praise. And like that book, Steptoe ends his story at the height of Basquiat’s fame. I’ve seen some folks comment that the ending here is “abrupt” and that’s not wrong. But it’s also a natural high, and a real time in the man’s life when he was really and truly happy. When presenting a subject like Basquiat to a young audience you zero in on the good, acknowledge the bad in some way (even if it’s afterwards in an Author’s Note), and do what you can to establish precisely why this person should be mentioned alongside those Martin Luther Kings, Rosa Parks, and George Washington Carvers.

There’s this moment in the film Basquiat when David Bowie (playing Andy Warhol) looks at some of his own art and says off-handedly, “I just don’t know what’s good anymore.” I have days, looking at the art of picture books when I feel the same way. Happily, there wasn’t a minute, not a second, when I felt that way about Radiant Child. Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Do you know what one of the most difficult occupations to illustrate a picture book biography about is? Artist. Because right from the start the illustrator of the book is in a pickle. Are you going to try to replicate the art of this long dead artist? Are you going to grossly insert it into your own images, even if the book isn’t mixed media to begin with? Are you going to try to illustrate the story in that artist’s style alone, relegating images of their actual art to the backmatter? Steptoe addresses all this in his Note at the back of the book. As he says, “Instead of reproducing or including copies of real Basquiat paintings in this book, I chose to create my own interpretations of certain pieces and motifs.” To do this he raided Basquiat’s old haunts around NYC for discarded pieces of wood to paint on. The last time I saw this degree of attention paid to painting on wood in a children’s book was Paul O. Zelinsky’s work on Swamp Angel. In Steptoe’s case, his illustration choice works shockingly well. Look how he manages to give the reader a sense of perspective when he presents Picasso’s “Guernica” at an angle, rather than straight on. Look how the different pieces of wood, brought together, fit, sometimes including characters on the same piece to show their closeness, and sometimes painting them on separate pieces as a family is broken apart. And the remarkable thing is that for all that it’s technically “mixed-media”, after the initial jolt of the art found on the title page (a full wordless image of Basquiat as an adult surrounded by some of his own imagery) you’re all in. You might not even notice that even the borders surrounding these pictures are found wood as well.

radiantchild1The precise age when a child starts to feel that their art is “not good” anymore because it doesn’t look realistic or professional enough is relative. Generally it happens around nine or ten. A book like Radiant Child, however, is aimed at younger kids in the 6-9 year old range. This is good news. For one thing, looking at young Basquiat vs. older Basquiat, it’s possible to see how his art is both childlike and sophisticated all at once. A kid could look at what he’s doing in this book and think, “I could do that!” And in his text, Steptoe drills into the reader the fact that even a kid can be a serious artist. As he says, “In his house you can tell a serious ARTIST dwells.” No bones about it.

How much can a single picture book bio do? Pick a good one apart and you’ll see all the different levels at work. Steptoe isn’t just interested in celebrating Basquiat the artist or encouraging kids to keep working on their art. He also notes at the back of the book that the story of Basquiat’s relationship with his mother, who suffered from mental illness, was very personal to him. And so, Basquiat’s mother remains an influence and an important part of his life throughout the text. You might worry, and with good reason, that the topic of mental illness is too large for a biography about someone else, particularly when that problem is not the focus of the book. How do you properly address such an adult problem (one that kids everywhere have to deal with all the time) while taking care to not draw too much attention away from the book’s real subject? Can that even be done? Sacrifices, one way or another, have to be made. In Radiant Child Steptoe’s solution is to show Jean-Michel within the lens of his art’s relationship to his mother. She talks to him about art, takes him to museums, and encourages him to keep creating. When he sees “Guernica”, it’s while he’s holding her hand. And because Steptoe has taken care to link art + mom, her absence is keenly felt when she’s gone. The book’s borders go a dull brown. Just that single line “His mother’s mind is not well” says it succinctly. Jean-Michel is confused. The kids reading the book might be confused. But the feeling of having a parent you are close to leave you . . . we can all relate to that, regardless of the reason. It’s just going to have a little more poignancy for those kids that have a familiarity with family members that suffer mental illnesses. Says Steptoe, maybe with this book those kids can, “use Basquiat’s story as a catalyst for conversation and healing.”

That’s a lot for a single picture book biography to take on. Yet I truly believe that Radiant Child is up to the task. It’s telling that in the years since I became a children’s librarian I’ve seen a number of Andy Warhol biographies and picture books for kids but the closest thing I ever saw to a Basquiat bio for children was Life Doesn’t Frighten Me as penned by Maya Angelou, illustrated by Jean-Michel. And that wasn’t even really a biography! For a household name, that’s a pretty shabby showing. But maybe it makes sense that only Steptoe could have brought him to proper life and to the attention of a young readership. In such a case as this, it takes an artist to display another artist. Had Basquiat chosen to create his own picture book autobiography, I don’t think he could have done a better job that what Radiant Child has accomplished here. Timely. Telling. Overdue.

On shelves October 25th.

Source: F&G sent from publisher for review.

Professional Reviews:  A star from Kirkus

Share

0 Comments on Review of the Day: Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe as of 7/28/2016 2:27:00 AM
Add a Comment
3. The Price Of (State) Secondary Education

I've just started my new Western Chances applications for two young women in our Year 10 class. They are being nominated for leadership skills. I think I may have posted about Western Chances before, but not recently.

Western Chances is a scholarship aimed at students in the western suburbs of Melbourne, where a lot of kids have very little money and not much chance of going to university, apart from the TAFE colleges and small local universities. TAFE is fine, but what if you want to do medicine or engineering? At one of the bigger universities? In theory, everyone can go if they're willing to repay some of the debt once they get a job that will have enough income to do so. In practice, there are a lot of expenses you might not have expected, and even if you have a job at McDonald's to help with your share house, it may not be enough... And some have up-front fees; I remember a student of ours who got into nursing, but ended up taking a year off to work up the up-front fees.

And then there's the time before you go to university. This wonderful scholarship was set up some years ago by Terry Bracks, wife of a former Victorian Premier. (That's a state Governor for my US readers). It's not a government thing or it would have been long gone. It relies on donations to pay the staff and help get scholarships out to students who are very good at something but who just can't afford the costs of even a state education. I made a donation this year and last, taken from my inheritance of a few thousand dollars from my late friend jan howard finder(lower-case intended), who passed away a couple of years ago. Businesses do their bit and the staff, who are amazing people, get all sorts of goodies for their Western Chances scholars, as well as the money. I get phone calls from them offering a place in an engineering camp or a free camp of some other kind, and when one of my students said she was interested in events management, the lady I deal with said she knew an events manager who could help to mentor the young lady.

But here's the thing: kids change their minds. These two went for counselling from their teachers and were advised on the subjects best for them. And the girl who had planned on events management changed her mind and decided on teaching. Specifically Foods teaching. For that, she plans on doing a VET subject, Hospitality. Which will cost her $400. And probably a textbook.

And General Maths - $88 for the textbook and $200 for a special calculator.

And Business Management - if she does that as a VET subject, it will cost $200. The VCE version(I hope that's what she's planning) will cost less, but there's certainly a textbook involved.

And Health and Human Development(I'm not sure of how much the textbook for that will cost, but it's bound to be $70-80).

And Psychology? $108 for the text and workbook.

In some cases, second-hand books are possible, but not always. Psychology's textbook has changed, so this year books had to be bought new. Even if they can get them second-hand this year, there's still the workbook, which has to be bought new because you write in them.

How on earth do most kids manage? Not all the kids at my school are from poor families, but that doesn't mean they can afford all the textbooks, not to mention calculators (a good reason not to do maths! And now the Federal government is talking about making maths compulsory all the way through).

And kids who are doing the expensive practical subjects(VET) are quite often kids from poorer families.

The other girl is not as complicated as this one, but she too has some expensive subject choices. Maths alone will cost her $288 and she may need tutoring. I said I'd see if I can get her some money for tutoring - there's an inexpensive tutoring service in the area, but it would still be around $200 altogether for 20 sessions. I'm hoping that there will be free reconditioned laptop computers available this year - there wen't last year, which is why the boys I nominated were given the money and told to arrange their own. It worked out, but they had to agree to make that their scholarship gift for the year. It was too dear for anything else. They already have their special calculators, thank heaven!

I may have to say, "If we can't get a reconditioned computer, you'll have to make a choice."

I know that textbook authors do a lot of work and have to be up-to-date, but really, do textbooks have to be quite that expensive?

Ah, well, I think the young ladies might have to settle for help towards their needs; I just don't think I can get them money for the lot. It will depend on how many applications WC gets this year - and it is very popular.

This is one of those things I do when I'm not being a library and English teacher or writing books or short stories. The kids deserve a hand up! And a few hundred a year can make a huge difference.

I'm off work today after a sleepless night; if you work in an office you can sit at your desk and try to focus, but not when you have kids to teach. It's not a job you can get away with being tired. The kids know when you're faking it.

So, off to rest a bit.


0 Comments on The Price Of (State) Secondary Education as of 7/28/2016 12:25:00 AM
Add a Comment
4. How India can motivate Pakistan to prevent cross-border terrorism

As the new year dawned on 1 January 2016, six heavily-armed men crossed through a marshy section of the Punjab border from Pakistan into India. Disguised in Indian Army fatigues, they commandeered first a taxi, then a small SUV, eventually covering the approximately 35km to reach the Air Force base at Pathankot. There, they cut through […]

The post How India can motivate Pakistan to prevent cross-border terrorism appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on How India can motivate Pakistan to prevent cross-border terrorism as of 7/28/2016 3:41:00 AM
Add a Comment
5. Scientific method and back pain

Do you have back pain? Statistics show you likely do. Or you have had it in the past or will in the future. Back pain can be a million different things, and you can get it an equal number of ways. Until you've suffered it, you don't realise how disruptive it can be. Trying to fix back pain is a superb way to make people understand the power of scientific method and how to use it.

The post Scientific method and back pain appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Scientific method and back pain as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
6. living this life new

More and more, I am becoming me.

It took me this long to get here.

Fewer and fewer things in this house. A miniature car, bright orange. No more of that corporate work that bound me to this desk from 3 AM, sometimes until 10 PM, sometimes, work that made me less than pleasant (but only sometimes, I think, I hope). Only the books I want to read twice or three times in the house, and the ones I buy now are the ones I want, not the ones I feel an obligation to.

The work I do is the work I want to do. Reading the middle-grade books that carry the grown-up wisdoms. Reading the memoirs that I will teach. Profiling the people and places that inspire me, like Elisabeth Agro, say, who has revolutionized crafts in my city. Talking to other writers in real ways about the real work we hope to do.

I lived decades measuring my life by what I thought of as "real work." I was, I boasted to myself, making the correct sacrifices. I am trying on something new. Living my life as measured by my passions. I don't know how far this will go. But I'd be so mad at me if I didn't try it.

0 Comments on living this life new as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
7. THREE TRUTHS AND A LIE by Brent Hartinger \\ Maybe Mildly Inappropriate For Average YA Reader?

Review by Sara... THREE TRUTHS AND A LIE By Brent Hartinger Hardcover: 288 pages Publisher: Simon Pulse (August 2, 2016) Grade Level: 9 and up Language: English Goodreads | Amazon A weekend retreat in the woods and an innocent game of three truths and a lie go horribly wrong in this high-octane psychological thriller filled with romantic suspense by a Lambda Award–winning author.Deep in the

0 Comments on THREE TRUTHS AND A LIE by Brent Hartinger \\ Maybe Mildly Inappropriate For Average YA Reader? as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
8. Heroes Beneath the Waves

http://www.facebook.com/submarinestories

0 Comments on Heroes Beneath the Waves as of 7/27/2016 7:57:00 PM
Add a Comment
9. digital stickers 2016

selfportrait - mixed media - 2016

0 Comments on digital stickers 2016 as of 7/28/2016 4:43:00 AM
Add a Comment
10. Was Anton LaVey serenading Satan in his cover of “Answer Me”?

Anton Szandor LaVey was the most outspoken and most notorious apostle of Satan in the twentieth century. On his life before founding the Church of Satan in 1966, LaVey liked to spun wild tales, but he did actually work as a professional and semi-professional musician in the carnival circuit. The High Priest of Satan was fond of bombastic classic music in the Wagnerian mould and popular tunes from the thirties, forties, and fifties, the period in which he himself had been young.

The post Was Anton LaVey serenading Satan in his cover of “Answer Me”? appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on Was Anton LaVey serenading Satan in his cover of “Answer Me”? as of 7/28/2016 5:33:00 AM
Add a Comment
11. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 200 - 7.27.16


Some MAJOR inspiration here from the cover of Kwame Alexandar's THE CROSSOVER. No polar bears in this story -- and far from it in fact -- but its an amazing book for your summer reading list, and Kwame is an incredible advocate for student writers and readers all over the world. As a book quite literally built around basketball, it might seem pretty far removed from the Arctic ocean and polar bear country, but in certain North Slope Borough schools, basketball is where its at. As a coach, father, and sports fan, this book also had a special resonance, and it won a Newberry Award in 2015 so there's that. Enjoy!

0 Comments on Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 200 - 7.27.16 as of 7/27/2016 7:07:00 PM
Add a Comment
12. आईए रिश्वत दें – ऑडियो

क्लिक करिए और सुनिए 2 मिनट और 26 सैंकिंड का ऑडियो आईए रिश्वत दें – ऑडियो जहां मोदी जी बार बार कह रहे हैं कि न खाऊंगा न खाने दूंगा रिश्वत दूंगा न लेने दूंगा और अरविंद जी भी यही मिशन ले कर चले है कि इसे बंद करवाना ही प्राथमिकता है तो फिर मैं […]

The post आईए रिश्वत दें – ऑडियो appeared first on Monica Gupta.

Add a Comment
13. drawn-selfportrait on printed-drawn-selfportrait

s.p. remastered - scanned and redrawn - (mixed media on paper)

0 Comments on drawn-selfportrait on printed-drawn-selfportrait as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
14. Take A Look Inside Taschen’s Massive Disney Animation Book

Take a first look inside Taschen's ginormous Disney art book!

The post Take A Look Inside Taschen’s Massive Disney Animation Book appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on Take A Look Inside Taschen’s Massive Disney Animation Book as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
15. TABLEWARE - engel

Engel is a small company based in Amsterdam founded by Sabien Engelenburg. It began when Sabien created colourful bunting for her daughter's birthday and now features all kinds of party products including this fabulous bamboo tableware. Sabien teams up with a variety of enthusiastic designers to create the ranges which can be bought online in the Engel store or purchased wholesale by retailers

0 Comments on TABLEWARE - engel as of 7/28/2016 3:19:00 AM
Add a Comment
16.


Many thanks to Matt Bieker and the Reno News & Review for this generous spotlight.


Cool enough for school

A local middle school teacher is also an author. Two of his dozens of books are on their second release.

By  


This article was published on .

Add a Comment
17. Artist of the Day: Amanda Baeza

Discover the art of Amanda Baeza, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day.

The post Artist of the Day: Amanda Baeza appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on Artist of the Day: Amanda Baeza as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
18. 002 digital stickers -

mixed media - digital collage

0 Comments on 002 digital stickers - as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
19. ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ is “Intense” and “Ritualistic”

Reviews of Cursed Child have been dominating muggle news, and the Cursed Child Twitter page have not been ignoring the love.

Following our pervious article on the review snippets that the @HPPlayLDN Twitter page has been sharing, we’re covering a few more of the newest reviews and photo releases from the Cursed Child website to get you excited for the Cursed Child official opening and script book release in just a few days time!

24 new photos of the play have been released, and SnitchSeeker have compiled them into an article here. In an effort to ‘keep the secrets’, some have been omitted in this article, so check out Snitchseeker’s gallery here for more.

Unsurprisingly, Time Out describe the play as “intense” and “ritualistic” as a result of Steven Hoggett’s ‘startling movement direction’. Judging from the captivating air of the Harry Potter soundtrack, and the latest Fantastic Beasts trailer, it’s hard to believe that a play – being so involving and close to the audience – would be any less enchanting!

@HPPlayLDN posted this review, with a photo of what appears to be students swooshing their robes, potentially jumping, or perhaps disapparating? Take a look below:

The play’s composer, Imogen Heap, was commended for her ‘light-synths harmonies’ by The Radio Times: 

CC_Orlando_screenshot_Imogen_Heap

Photo from Pottermore

The Times also praised Christine Jones’ set design, which, judging from previous sneak peaks (which you can view here) is well deserved!

Illusions, costumes and lighting were also commended by The Guardian:

normal_cc_(5)

5011

 

Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione do a great job of conjuring audience nostalgia. The New York Times gives a shining review, saying the following of the talent of the cast and crew:

I reread “The Deathly Hallows” on the flight to London from New York, and I was amazed at how naturally what I saw on the stage seemed to flow from the page. Mr. Thorne, Mr. Tiffany and their movement director, Steven Hoggett, and set designer, Christine Jones, collaborated previously on the chilling adolescent vampire play “Let the Right One In,” and they are all expert in mapping the intersection of the uncanny and the everyday.

 Along with a team that includes Katrina Lindsay (costumes), Neil Austin (lighting) and Imogen Heap (music), Mr. Tiffany and his cast conjure the self-contained world(s) of Ms. Rowling’s books with imagistic wit, precision and, occasionally, stark terror. A convocation of wizards is evoked through the simultaneous swirling of black capes; an otherworldly, xenophobic and unsettlingly topical-feeling Fascist brigade materializes and multiplies out of yawning darkness; and staircases, bookcases and suitcases assume varied and miraculous lives that propel both themes and story.

normal_cc_(13) normal_cc_(11) normal_cc_(2)

Check out more reviews of Cursed Child here!

Add a Comment
20. A summer reading list

The sound of paddling pools, ice-cream vans, and sizzling barbecues means but one thing: summer is finally here. We caught up with four of Oxford University Press' most seasoned travelers to see which books they recommend for trips to Thailand, Cambodia, Germany, India, and France.

The post A summer reading list appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on A summer reading list as of 7/28/2016 5:33:00 AM
Add a Comment
21. A Closer Look at Newt’s Wand from Noble Collection

As we learned from our editors at SDCC 2016 and Leavesden Studios, fans, press and attendees were given limited edition Newt Scamander wands from Noble Collection. Eddie Redmayned lead a crowd in lighting up H Hall at Comic Con, as everyone said “lumos” with their Fantastic Beasts wands. He then show cased his wand for the Noble Collection event at SDCC.

With this, we get our first close up look at Fantastic Beasts movie merchandise, and most anticipated retail item. Georgia, snapped this picture of her wand.

(Click to enlarge the picture below.)

 

13639521_10154410999112082_1069064645_o

 

The box isn’t quite up to par with the other Olivander boxes from the Wizarding World theme parks and other Harry Potter Noble Collection wands. However, as new merchandise is released with the opening of the movie, we expect this simple cardboard box to be replaced with a more standard wand box. Perhaps they will keep the scaled background and the Fantastic Beasts logo.

Newt’s Wand is simple, wooden (like most wands), marked with scars and gashes. He does deal with many beasts, after all. The wood wand is a spectrum of light melting into dark. The end of the wand, at its base, we see that it is open, and an inside lined with shell.

Andrew Sims from Hypable posted on instagram:

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 5.18.35 PM

We know from previous Fantastic Beasts reports that Newts wand in Fantastic Beasts/Harry Potter canon is made of “lime wood, shell, bone and other elements.” The prop replica seems able to represent that description quite well.  Many of these first-look, tester wands from SDCC are being auctioned off on Ebay, but we are quite sure they will be available through Harry Potter channels in the near future!

Add a Comment
22. How to Create Balanced Screen Time in your Home

screen time

Over the past few years I’ve watched the screen debate evolve as families choose between having a “screen-free” or a “screen-filled” home. In our family we’ve carefully chosen what is watched on TV, what Internet sites can be accessed, and enforced a strict “no cellphone until you can drive” policy. Of course, every on-line safety precaution has been taken as well as placing a time-tracker on the family computer.

All of this is fine and good until schools and society started encroaching on my little domestic bubble. Our schools have chosen to embrace technology in a variety of ways from turning in term papers, taking tests, research, and in-school discussions forums.

Our children’s visiting friends come over to our house with a variety of electronic gadgets, and with them come their own rules. My first reaction was to say, “my house, my rules,” but then it dawned on me that the conversation that was not being had was the one about balance.

What does an electronically balanced family look like?

Technology, whether TV, computer, iPad, or cell phone, is a tool and a tool is only as good as the hand that guides it. That hand is only as good as the heart and mind that picks it up as well.

I decided I was tired of feeling like a “screen-cop” so I decided to sit down with my kids and come up with a set of guidelines that we could all agree to. I was really impressed with their perspective and how complete they were in coming up with guidelines for our family.

Guidelines for Screen-Time:

• Get On The Same Page: Begin the talk by discussing with your children why there needs to be limits and talk about computer and Internet safety.

• Priorities: Using computers, TVs, and electronic devices are wwwaaayy down on the priority list and can occur only after homework, music or sports practice, and family time. As one of my children put it, “screen time is a privilege and not a right.”
• Active Engagement: A point that is really important for my husband and myself is that screen time is often a passive activity. One of our Golden Rules of Home is that screen time must engage our children actively. Programs we value are Mindcraft (on our server), STEM computer activities which engage our children into building robots, airplanes, and creative computer games requesting kids to solve math problems, etc.

• Must Add Value: Whether watching a good movie, playing an iPad game, or texting on a cell phone, everything must add value our lives. Is my child learning something? Are they texting for a purpose such as directions or meeting times? Is the screen time

creating a problem solving moment such as building a STEM game? Is what they’re doing on the screen purposeful?

• Be Together: A wonderful way to connect with children and their friends is to set up a game night, and play along with them. We have a Wii and love to play the family-friendly games together. We add one half hour to our game nights so everyone gets a couple of turns and then we change the game to an off-screen one. It’s created a nice balance between on-screen and off -screen games.

• Cell-phones and Friends: Many of my children’s friends are now carrying cell phones. Before they come to our house, I make sure their parents have our land-line and cell phone numbers in case they should need to speak with their child. Near our front door is the cell-phone basket where everyone’s cell phones are turned off, placed inside, and not retrieved until it’s time for our guests to head home. I love this “electronics bin” idea I spotted on Facebook, but unfortunately I don’t know the source.

scree free ideas

• Laptops and Friends: Many friends have laptops and iPads and are usually surprised when they are asked to leave them on the shelf inside our front door. It may sound odd, but I feel I have a responsibility to make sure our kids cannot access inappropriate websites at any time. Balanced screen time applies to everyone who enters our home. After the first couple of times visiting, friends begin automatically leaving their computers by the front door or in their backpacks which, to me, shows great understanding and support.

The best guide that we’ve found for balanced screen time is to model the behavior we want to see. One of the most important steps in creating balanced screen time is for your child to watch you turn off your devices. By creating a balance in your own habits you will help create a natural model for your children to pattern their behavior after. We’ve been very conscious to do this in our own home and have seen similar screen usage results in our growing extended family.

One More Thing…

My Secret Codes, Mysteries and Adventures Activity PDF for kids will keep young minds percolating for HOURS with this screen-free activity!

Inside young super detectives will discover:

*19 pages of sleuthing fun for your family to enjoy.
*Use Pilot Frixion Pens and craft paper to create Invisible Secret Notes!
*Make I Spy Cookies!
*Discover a President of the United States who was a Master Code Creator!

This free activity guide is a great way to encourage kids to pull books off of shelves, discover the power of imagination and build a new excitement and anticipation for reading. Fill out the info below and grab your FREE copy. Enjoy!

secret codes

My free gift to YOU!

* indicates required




The post How to Create Balanced Screen Time in your Home appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

Add a Comment
23. My tweets

Add a Comment
24. Faculty Catch Up: Ruth Sanderson

Today I'm thrilled to have renowned author/illustrator, and Co-Director of the Writing and Illustrating Children's Books MFA and Certificate programs at Hollins University, Ruth Sanderson at dulemba.com. She has a fantastic new book to share...


THE GOLDEN KEY
by Ruth Sanderson

      Reading "The Golden Key" close to forty years ago instilled in me a profound desire to some day create pictures that illuminated this evocative text. Over the years, when people have asked, “If there was one book you’d like to illustrate, what would it be?” —my answer has always been "The Golden Key" by George MacDonald. I loved the story, and the version I had was illustrated by Maurice Sendak with beautiful, dream-like pen and ink pictures. There were only 6 plates in the book, however, and I wanted to do a fully illustrated version.
     After I became a working author/illustrator I tried to edit down the story to fit a picture book format, but it didn’t feel right. The story is simply too long and complex for a picture book. So my "dream project" was put on the shelf for thirty years.            
     In 2007 with Brian Selznick's Invention of Hugo Cabret I became aware that artists were challenging the standard format of books for children. A few years later when thinking wistfully about how The Golden Key could absolutely never be made into a picture book in this climate of shorter and shorter texts, it occurred to me that this very long story might be easily broken into chapters, as it alternates between the two characters' points of view. I also felt that 8-12 was a more suitable age group for this unusual story than that of a younger picture book audience.
     In contemplating the style and medium to use, I felt that scratchboard would be perfect to convey the story's mythic quality and dramatic light and dark imagery. In my spare time between other book projects In 2011 I started to create some of the key scenes that I wanted to include in the story. My favorite scene is Tangle descending the stairway into the earth, and I always felt this was like Persephone descending into Hades.
      I split the story into 9 chapters and created a dummy that paged out to around 224 pages, carefully planning room for over 45 illustrations. Some are wordless spreads, some are single pages, and some are vignettes that wrap around the text. I wanted to create the look of a fully illustrated novel. It is really a very long picture book for an older audience.
     One thing that will set my version apart is the fact that, as a picture book illustrator, I decided to add elements that were not expressly stated in the text, that would “expand” the story and add an interesting subtext. This subtext was created as I mused on the object and meaning of the golden key itself and the fact that MacDonald places the key in Fairyland. I have framed the story with wordless pictures, one before the text of the story starts and one right after it ends. I have always been intrigued by the fact that the golden key seems to magically appear at the base of a rainbow in Fairyland. I imagined that perhaps a fairy might be put in charge of placing it there. And perhaps that fairy might arrange for a particular person to see the rainbow and seek the key. Or perhaps in "flitting from place to place" lest anyone should find the key, she notices a boy with a spark of desire for something beyond our normal human grasp.
     Therefore, in the first illustration, before the text begins, the creatures in Fairyland watch the boy as he listens to his great-aunt's stories. One fairy is sitting on a tree stump with the golden key. I imagined her observing his spark of interest in the key.
      After showing a close-up of this conversation between Mossy and his great-aunt at the start of the text, I added another wordless spread with the fairy flying off with the key, implying that she was going to hide it for the boy to find.
      And sure enough, he could not resist dashing into Fairyland that evening when he sees the rainbow, a "grand sight, burning away there in silence, with its gorgeous, its lovely, its delicate colors, each distinct, all combining."
                 At the end of the story, in the picture where Mossy and Tangle climb into the rainbow in the distance, the fairy flies off with the key in the foreground, indicating that their story is over, but another story is about to begin. The final wordless illustration shows the fairy bringing the key back to the base of the rainbow in the forest, looking back toward the reader—an invitation for the next person to seek the key.
                 George MacDonald considered Fairyland to be a symbol of the imagination, and he invited each reader to interpret his stories after his/her own sensibilities. I invite readers to interpret my pictures in the same light. For me, imagination is the Golden Key.            

0 Comments on Faculty Catch Up: Ruth Sanderson as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment
25. Biblical Wives


I met TK Thorne at the 2016 Association of Jewish Libraries conference in Charleston, South Carolina. She is the author of Noah's Wife: 5500 BCE and Angels at the Gate, two award-winning novels about the wives of Biblical figures Noah and Lot. She also writes historical nonfiction about civil rights.

AUDIO:


Or click Mp3 File (15:53)

CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Support The Book of Life by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/bookoflife

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 




0 Comments on Biblical Wives as of 1/1/1900
Add a Comment

View Next 25 Posts