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1. Ready to Burst review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Frankétienne's Ready to Burst, finally translated into English, by Kaiama L. Glover, and published by Archipelago Books.

       Though not much of his work has been made readily available in English, he remains quite well known -- see, for example, The New York Times' profile from a couple of years ago (which unconscionably puts a possessive apostrophe into his mouth where none belongs: "He admires James Joyce, and it shows. "Finnegan's Wake was like a crazy book, just like I write crazy books," he said."). He's also coming to New York to launch Ready to Burst, and will be at this weekend's Brooklyn Book Festival -- on a panel that includes high-wire man Philippe Petit and Geek Sublime-author Vikram Chandra.

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2. Photo





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3. ‘Rick and Morty’ Co-Creator Justin Roiland: “Fuck The Union”

The overworked and underpaid artists on Adult Swim’s "Rick and Morty" ratified a new labor agreement last week, and 'Rick and Morty''s co-creator doesn't like how it happened.

0 Comments on ‘Rick and Morty’ Co-Creator Justin Roiland: “Fuck The Union” as of 9/15/2014 10:24:00 PM
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4. My Zombies, Run! episode is live!!

I love all things zombie.  28 Days Later. 28 Weeks Later. That great book, The Girl with All the Gifts (you must read it!). And of course, The Walking Dead, which I've been watching since the first episode aired.  And then there's Zombies, Run!

Zombies, Run! iScreen Shot 2014-09-15 at 8.14.06 PMs a phone app that lets you run for your life from a horde of zombies.You can use it walking or on a treadmill, but I use it to run (until my recent ouchy knee, anyway.  Now I walk). You listen to a storyline (you're Runner 5 and you are sent out on various missions) that is interspersed with your own music. My favorite part is that you can turn on zombie chases that last for a minute. If you don't go 20% faster than you were before the chase started, then the zombies close in. Interval training, anyone?

But now I love Zombies, Run even more because I wrote Episode 43 in Season Three!

It all stared when I was listening to an episode about nine months ago. In the episode, the survivors (who are all English because the game is set and taped in England) had made contact with survivors in Toronto.  And the person they made contact with said that in the pre-zombie-apocolypse days, she had been a poet and novelist. Then she said her name was Margaret Atwood. I laughed out loud in the middle of my dead-quiet early morning neighborhood. I just figured Atwood was famous enough they could "borrow" her.  But the more the character playing Atwood talked, the more I realized it might actually be Atwood. When I got home, I googled and it was her!

Zombies Run TwitterSo I tweeted about it, and Naomi Alderman, who created the app and is a novelist in her own right (which is how she knows Atwood), responded and asked if I wanted to write an episode. You can see how long I took to respond.

But how do you write what is basically a radio play? It was tough! Nothing but dialog and maybe a few sound effects (mostly zombie moans).  If you want listeners to "see" things in their imagination, then one of speakers has to describe it. "Do you see that pine tree up ahead?" or "It's behind the zombie with the missing arm."

The other thing that made it had was that I was basically writing a mission that was about 50 missions ahead of where I was. There were references that needed to be woven in to events and people I didn't have any knowledge of. That's where Naomi came in.I did a couple of drafts, but she took the last draft and wove in the continuity.

The second half of Season 3 was released a few weeks ago, so of course I had to listen to my mission even if it was way out of order. You can't imagine what a thrill it was to hear my words being said by voices (Phil Nightingale as Sam Yao and Eleanor Rushton as Janine) that I would recognize anywhere.

If you would like to hear a teeny-tiny snippet, check out my website: http://www.aprilhenrymysteries.com (scroll down the page a bit)

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 7.45.16 PM

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5. Kidlit Online Novel Writing Class

Crafting the Kidlit Novel ​- Four Week Online Class

starts October 6, 2014

kamicroppedOne Bite at a Time: How Writing a Novel is Like Eating a T-Rex and Other Things That Bite Back 

With Children’s Authors

Kami Kinard and Rebecca Petruck

The idea of writing an entire novel can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be when you learn how to move in stages. Children’s authors Kami Kinard and Rebecca Petruck break down the elements of solid novel writing, beginning with the hook and on through pitch, character development, plot structure, and practical tools for writing through to the end. Though the focus will be on middle grade and young adult writing, the tools are useful for anyone who wants to complete a publishable work.

rebeccaNaNoWriMos! This class will organize your approach so you launch into November with a plan that will result in a novel-like construction and not simply 50,000 words.

Bonus Critique: Register before September 20, 2014 and receive a free five-page critique and 20-minute Skype session with Kami Kinard, redeemable within six months of the course’s completion.

In addition, you will be entered to receive a free written critique of the first chapter of your novel (up to 5 pages) from Agent Rachael Orr of Prospect Agency. 

You have the option of registering for the four-week class for $250 or the class PLUS a 25 page critique with a 60 minute telephone or Skype conversation for $350.

Click this link to register and read more: http://www.kidlitwritingschool.com/crafting-the-kidlit-novel.html

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, How to, Middle Grade Novels, writing Tagged: Agent Rachel Orr, Crafting the Kidlit Novel ​, Kami Kinard, online writing class, Rebecca Petruck

1 Comments on Kidlit Online Novel Writing Class, last added: 9/16/2014
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6. Sarah and Katie by Dori White

The other day I mentioned I’ve been meaning to write a post about the 1972 middle-grade novel Sarah and Katie by Dori White. THIS IS NOT THAT POST. This is purely a curiosity itch I can’t wait to scratch. I took my query to Twitter, too, and…crickets. Now, ordinarily the merest mention of any book on Twitter, let alone a childhood favorite, garners zillions of immediate and enthusiastic responses. People love to talk about their childhood books.

Which leads me to believe that no one I know either on Twitter or here has heard of this book!

Can this be? Am I alone in my Sarah and Katie mini-obsession?

Sarah and Katie by Dori White

Illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman, you guys. It was a Scholastic Book Clubs book; I’m sure that’s where I came across it.

Anybody? Bueller?

This book haunted me. I don’t remember what age I was, maybe eleven? Story of two best friends, sixth graders, in Depression-era Oregon. Thick as thieves, a regular Betsy-Tacy pair, but the arrival of a new girl in their midst doesn’t work out quite as well as when Tib shows up. (Then again, B-T and Tib were around six in that book. Big difference between six and twelve. Trios are much trickier, at twelve.) The new girl is dazzlingly beautiful, a cloud of red curls, glamorous, dazzling, a wee bit manic; and everyone including Sarah is smitten—except Katie, who sees through Melanie’s stories. Ring a bell? No? There’s a play, and of course Melanie gets THE PART, and she’s amazing in it, she’s this incredible actress, but that too sticks in Katie’s craw…

And the whole scene when they go to Melanie’s crummy apartment, and she’s playing it up, lady of the manor, lavish, starletty…until her mother comes home and suddenly she’s TOTALLY CHANGED—clothes, hair, voice, manner. All meek and humble. And Katie’s like I KNEW IT!

What haunted me about it was the disturbed and disturbing tone, the undercurrents caused by Melanie’s deception. And the idea, which must have been new to me then, that a girl could so thoroughly fool people, could fool even her own mother. And the gradual realization, handled so deftly by Dori White (as I noticed when rereading it last year for the first time in maybe two decades), that there was a deep longing and desperation behind Melanie’s actions, that she wasn’t just someone you could slap a Bad Guy label on. Katie awakens to this slowly, painfully, and she brought me right along with her. The only other children’s book I remember experiencing that same awful poignancy—almost a sense of guilt—was The Hundred Dresses.

Okay, so now I sort of have written the post I was thinking about, I guess. But really what I want to know is, have none of you heard of it?

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7. "George Orwell worried about information control, whereas Aldous Huxley thought it was more likely..."

“George Orwell worried about information control, whereas Aldous Huxley thought it was more... Read the rest of this post

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8. More herbs, good news, and some knitting

I was tempted by some more herbs - Bay Leaves and Oregano. So I did drawings of both. I am really enjoying doing these. I like the size (5" x 7"), and the soothing quality of the subject matter. And they smell nice!

Fresh Bay Leaves



Fresh Oregano


I used Polychromo colored pencils on Fabriano Artistico paper for the whole series. I thought it was important to have them all look and feel the same.
Prints, and some of the originals, are available in my shop.

I'll be doing notecards too, but have hit a minor snag. The nice card stock I ordered won't go through my Epson printer - boo. I can't figure out why, since I have other card stock that's, to my eye and hand, the exact same weight, which goes through fine. It must be something in the finish. Whatever it is, the printer either refuses to take the paper and flashes lights and has a fit, or just spits it through un-printed, then prints the image on the sheet of cheap bond that's queued up behind it. Baah! So I will now have to make lemonade somehow out of this batch of lemons (250 sheets of it!), which I think may end up being hand made knitted cards or something. I'm sure I'll figure something out. Meanwhile, I have to find more of the paper I already have that the printer does like, which will go with the envelopes . . . oh, the trials and tribulations of being a 'do-it-yourself' art maker and etsy shop owner!


In happier news, I just found out that two of my pieces have been accepted into the UArt Open 2014 art show! Berry Tart, and Molasses Cookie will be going in to be framed tomorrow, so I can meet the final 'deliver the art' deadline. I'm pretty happy. This is a nice regional art show sponsored by University Art. The art will all be on display in their Redwood City store. Both of these pieces were done with colored pencils on paper.


Berry Tart


Molasses Cookie



And then, you know (or do you?) that I also do a bit of knitting, and have a little shop on etsy here
I was excited to learn that someone who bought several pieces last week will be using them in a production of "Annie" in New York! (no, not on Broadway, but still)

These are some of the pieces that will be in the show:




There was a little bit of drama with the post office not getting them there when they were supposed to - I paid extra to get them there overnight, but they didn't, and whoever was in charge of the package didn't think it was important to scan in any tracking info for a whole day, so we were dying a little, wondering where everything went! But then they got there the next day, in time for the show, so phew.

I'm doing some more knitting, trying to get a few more things in the shop for the holidays. Now its actually starting to be real knitting weather (well, actually it was 103 here again this past weekend, but its September at least, and the cool crisp weather will be starting soon - I hope!) 

I also have a 'Fall' illustration piece on the board that started out being done with watercolors, which may now be started over with colored pencils. Its funny - I've been doing so much colored pencil work that going back to painting feels awkward to me. I will of course share when its finished, whatever medium it ends up being done with.



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9. Share a slice of your life.

Last call for Slice of Life t-shirts. Remember, all of the proceeds from the sale of the shirts will benefit the Pajama Program.

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10. Hot Chicks!

Hot chicks new2 450So, I think I can safely say that today, I was one hot chick!

Anything over 75 degrees is too hot for me. So let’s just say today’s weather topping off at 109 really ruffled my feathers!

I don’t want to count my chickens before they’re hatched, but IS IT FALL YET?!!


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11. Last Stop*

A nine year-old girl and an Uzi,
When combined in a singular breath,
Is a set-up for certain disaster,
Which in this case, resulted in death.

At a shooting range in Arizona,
While her parents recorded the scene,
The instructor stood next to their daughter,
A scenario they called routine.

But the weapon was too much to handle
And the bullets flew out of control.
What began as the thrill of a lifetime
Took a somber and sorrowful toll.

For the girl killed her shooting instructor
And must live with that thought evermore,
But the guilt should reside with her parents,
Whose stupidity’s hard to ignore.

Yet the blame must be shared with the venue,
Putting guns in the hands of a child
And there simply is no explanation
That could help things to be reconciled.

*the name of the shooting range

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12. Terzanelle: Poetic Form

What do you get when you mix two super popular Italian poetic forms, specifically the terza rima and villanelle? The terzanelle, of course!

It combines the lyricism of the terza rima with the repetition of the villanelle to make a powerful one-two punch in only 19 lines. The traditional stance on the terzanelle is that the lines should be written in a consistent iambic meter, but there are plenty of contemporary terzanelles that just aspire to keep the lines a consistent length throughout.

Here’s the rhyme and refrain order for the Terzanelle:

A1
B
A2

b
C
B

c
D
C

d
E
D

e
F
E

f
A1
F
A2

*****

2015 Poet's Market

2015 Poet’s Market

Publish Your Poetry!

Learn how to get your poetry published with the latest (and greatest) edition of Poet’s Market. The 2015 Poet’s Market is filled with articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry, in addition to poet interviews and original poetry by contemporary poets.

In fact, it has an entire section covering various poetic forms.

Plus, the book is filled with hundreds of listings for poetry book publishers, chapbook publishers, magazines, journals, contests, grants, conferences, and more!

Click to continue.

*****

Here’s my attempt at a Terzanelle:

“Big A”

The hardest thing to do is remember
what I just did and what I want to do.
I can still recall that one December

when both the moon and snow surrounded you
like a whisper. Am I losing my mind?
What I just did and what I want to do

vanish completely as soon as I find
the answer. The question a question mark
like a whisper, “Am I losing my mind?”

I’ve never felt comforted by the dark,
but I still remember that winter night
the answer, the question, and question mark

unraveled beneath the frozen moon’s light
like there was something worthwhile to forget,
but I still remember that winter night

in the park in the dark when we first met.
The hardest thing to do is remember
as if there’s something worthwhile to forget.
I can still recall that one December.

*****

roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market, Writer’s Market, and Guide to Self-Publishing, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

Ever since college, he’s loved learning and fumbling around with new (to him) poetic forms, whether it’s the shadorma, paradelle, or triolet. When he’s not messing up another sestina or other traditional form, he’s bound to be making up forms to fit the poems he writes.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

Find more poetic finery here:

 

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13. Lyrics

I have a problem.  I long for days with no to-dos in them - just puttering.  I like puttering.  BUT - but, I have so many things I want to do.

One of the things I want to do is write more song lyric-y poetry.  I even want to write more songs.
So I signed on to a FB group that challenges the members to write one song a month using a prompt suggested by members of the group.  And by write, the group doesn't expect a handwritten score that can be played by a quartet.  No, all the group wants is a YouTube, or an mp3, or an iTunes of the song.  Your phone can record the song, even.

Except my phone can't.  And after the first three or four months, I stopped trying.

Here are the prompts I missed:
one perfect day
an antique photo in a shop
tattoo
something to love about everyone
glimmer

I decided to cheat!  I decided to roll all those themes into one song.  Here are the lyrics I wrote:

 On a perfect day, one spent with you,
I chanced upon a scene
Of an old farm house in a dusty frame
So gray it was almost green.

And you smiled as if you had a thought
You had to keep from me
You bought me that dusty frame
Since that old house spoke to me.

There is something to love about everyone
You whispered that night in our bed.
That old farm looked like a promised land
to that farmer when he wed.

There is something to love about everyone
Was your mantra from then on.
That farmer’s work,  or my strange love
for a place that was long gone.

That frame is safely packed away
with the other things you left
When you knew that your time on earth was done
and I found myself bereft.

And your mantra I’ve etched into my skin
A glimmering tattoo
There is something to love about everyone
Because I once loved you.

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14. "Der kleine Lord" ist da!



Ich freue mich sehr, dass ich für den Ellermann Verlag nach "Peter Pan" einen weiteren wunderbaren "Klassiker zum Vorlesen" illustrieren durfte, diesmal "Der kleine Lord", nacherzählt von Angie Westhoff.


Cedric und der Graf


Hier ist eine kleine Einleitung zur Geschichte:

Ein Klassiker der Weihnachtszeit: Endlich auch für die Kleinen. Eines Tages erfährt der kleine Cedric, dass er ein Lord werden soll. Doch im fernen England hat es der kleine amerikanische Junge erstmal schwer: Sein Großvater ist ein alter Griesgram und verbietet obendrein der Schwiegertochter, bei ihnen zu leben. Zum Glück erweicht Cedric mit seiner unbekümmerten Art schon bald das Herz des Grafen. Ob es jetzt allen gemeinsam gelingt, eine fiese Hochstaplerin zu überführen?

Eine der herzergreifendsten Geschichten der Kinderliteratur nacherzählt für Jungs und Mädchen ab 4 Jahren.


Schuhputzer Dick


Viel Spaß beim Vorlesen!

This year I got to illustrate another children's book classic for Ellermann Verlag, "Little Lord Fauntleroy" , retold by Angie Westhoff (the first book I illustrated for Ellermann publishing house was "Peter Pan"). I hope you will enjoy reading it!







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15. Hermione Would You Rather

Hermione illustration by Mary GrandPreWould You Rather Be Hermione Granger?Hermione’s

adventures!

Would You Rather . . . 

  1. Fight a mountain troll OR a Dementor?
  2. Go to the Yule Ball with Victor Krum OR Ron Weasley?
  3. Be the smartest kid in the class like Hermione OR the “chosen one” like Harry?
  4. Have a cat like Crookshanks OR a rat like Scabbers?
  5. Be in Ravenclaw OR Hufflepuff? (If you couldn’t be in Gryffindor!)
  6. Learn spells from Hermione OR learn practical jokes from Fred & George?
  7. Use a Time-Turner to take extra classes OR just take the normal amount of classes?
  8. Have a scar on your forehead OR crazy-frizzy hair?
  9. See Hermione marry Ron OR see Hermione marry Harry? (even J. K. Rowling has mixed feelings on this one!)

Leave your answers (and birthday wishes to Hermione!) in the Comments below!

Ratha, STACKS Writer

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16. Recently Received

100 Years of Swiss Design on grainedit.com

 

The mailman has been good to us this week and we’ve received an impressive list of titles. Included are new books from Lars Muller, Princeton Architectural Press, Laurence King, Chronicle Books, Rizzoli, Thames & Hudson and Nobrow. See all the goodies after the jump.

 

 

 

100 Years of Swiss Design on grainedit.com

100 Years of Swiss Design on grainedit.

100 Years of Swiss Design on grainedit.com

100 Years of Swiss Design on grainedit.com

100 Years of Swiss Design on grainedit.com

100 Years of Swiss Graphic Design
Edited by Christian Brändle, Karin Gimmi, Barbara Junod, Christina Reble, Bettina Richter, and Museum of Design Zurich
384 Pages / 8.7″x 12.9″

100 Years of Swiss Graphic Design takes a fresh look at Swiss typography and photo-graphics, posters, corporate image design, book design, journalism and typefaces over the past hundred years. With illuminating essays by prominent experts in the field and captivating illustrations, this book, designed by the Zürich studio NORM, presents the diversity of contemporary visual design while also tracing the fine lines of tradition that connect the work of different periods. The changes in generations and paradigms as manifested in their different visual languages and convictions are organized along a timeline as well as by theme.

Available at Amazon, Lars Muller, and your local book shop.

 

 

Grafica Strada by Louise Fili

Grafica Strada by Louise Fili

Grafica Strada by Louise Fili

Grafica Strada by Louise Fili

Grafica Della Strada: The Signs of Italy
By Louise Fili / Published by Princeton Architectural Press
264 Pages / 9″ x 6.5″

For more than three decades, renowned graphic designer and self described Italophile Louise Fili has traveled the cities and countryside of Italy cataloging the work of sign craftsmen in whose hands type takes on new life with a tantalizing menu of styles. Classical, eclectic, or Futurist; in gold leaf, marble, brass, wood, wrought iron, enamel, ceramic, or neon; painted, carved, inlaid, etched, tiled, or stenciled, the creative possibilities are endless. Grafica della Strada is Fili’s photographic diary of hundreds of Italy s most inventive restaurant, shop, hotel, street, and advertising signs.

Available at Amazon, PA Press and your local book shop.

Fifty Years of Illustration on grainedit.com

Fifty Years of Illustration on grainedit.com

Fifty Years of Illustration on grainedit.com

Fifty Years of Illustration
By Lawrence Zeegan / Published by Laurence KIng
384 Pages / 9⅞ x 7¾ ins

This book charts contemporary illustration’s rich history: the rampant idealism of the 1960s, the bleak realism of the 1970s, the over-blown consumerism of the 1980s, the digital explosion of the 1990s, followed by the increasing diversification of illustration in the early twenty-first century.

The book explores the contexts in which the discipline has operated and looks historically, sociologically, politically and culturally at the key factors at play across each decade, whilst artworks by key illustrators bring the decade to life.

Pre-order at Amazon, Laurence King or your local book shop.

 

Marimekko in Patterns

Marimekko in Patterns

Marimekko in Patterns

Marimekko: In Patterns
By Marimekko / Published by Chronicle Books
248 Pages / 8 11/16 x 11 in

Internationally beloved Finnish design brand Marimekko’s iconic patterns grace home décor, apparel, and accessories, and have informed and influenced tastemakers worldwide for over half a century. Richly illustrated with photographs and prints both classic and new, this vibrant volume offers a behind-the-scenes tour of the brand’s creative process. A colorful legacy is revealed, along with the innovative creators—from 1950s pioneers to twenty-first-century masters—who have shaped the company’s heritage and continue to make visual magic today.

Pre-order at Amazon, Chronicle Books and your local book shop.

 

Julia Rothman Book

Julia Rothman Book

Julia Rothman Book

The Who, the What, and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History
By Jenny Volvovski, Julia Rothman, and Matt Lamothe / Published by Chronicle Books
168 Pages/ 8″x10″

In the bestselling tradition of The Where, the Why, and the How, this offbeat illustrated history reveals 65 people you’ve probably never heard of, but who helped shape the word as we know it. Muses and neighbors, friends and relatives, accomplices and benefactors—such as Michael and Joy Brown, who gifted Harper Lee a year’s worth of wages to help her write To Kill a Mockingbird. Or John Ordway, the colleague who walked with Lewis and Clark every step of the way. Each eye-opening story of these unsung heroes is written by a notable historian and illustrated by a top indie artist, making The Who, the What, and the When a treasure trove of word and image for history buffs, art lovers, and anyone who rejoices in unexpected discovery.

Pre-order at Amazon, Chronicle books and your local book shop.

 

Collectors Edition by Stuart Tolley

Collectors Edition by Stuart Tolley

Collectors Edition by Stuart Tolley

Collectors Edition: Innovative Packaging and Graphics
By Stuart Tolley / Published by Thames & Hudson
288 Pages / 8″x 10.1″

This global survey brings together over 170 examples of innovative and inspired packaging from the worlds of music, book publishing and magazines that have been released as a collector’s, limited or deluxe edition.

Organized into four sections – Boxed; Multiples; Hand; and Extras – each example is accompanied by a project description and vital reference information about the format, materials and finishes used in the design, and the client, record label, publisher and designer behind the work. A broad spectrum of formats and genres is included, ranging from editions of albums by international recording artists to ultra-rare and expensive publications.

Available at Amazon, Thames & Hudson and your local book shop.

Maira Kalman book

Maira Kalman book

Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag: 31 Objects from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Written by Maira Kalman
48 Pages / 5.9″x8.3″

Maira Kalman’s exuberant illustrations and humorous commentary bring design history to life in this inspired ABC book that celebrates thirty-one objects from the Cooper Hewitt, in time for its long-awaited reopening. “A. Ah-ha! There you Are.” begins Maira Kalman’s joyfully illustrated romp through the treasures of Cooper Hewitt’s design collection. With her signature wit and warm humor, Kalman’s ABC book introduces children and adults to the myriad ways design touches our lives. Posing the question “If you were starting a museum, what would you put in your collection?”, Kalman encourages the reader to put pen to paper and send in personal letters—an intimate, interactive gesture to top off her unique tour of the world of design.

Pre-order at Amazon, Rizzoli and your local book shop.

In a Sense by Roman Muradov

(In a Sense) Lost and Found
By Roman Muradov / Published by Nobrow
56 Pages / 5.9″x8.3″

(In a Sense) Lost and Found explores the theme of innocence by treating it as a tangible object – something that can be used, lost, mistreated. Muradov’s crisp, delicate style conjures a world of strange bookstores, absurd conspiracies and wordplay. A surreal tale told in the mould of the best American comics.

Available at Amazon, Nobrow and your local book shop

 

 

Disclosure: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will add value to our readers.

——————–

Also worth viewing…
2013 Book Gift Guide
Recently Received Books: April
Recently Received Books: May

Follow us on RSSInstagramPinterestWanelo,

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17. News and Notes

Michael Sedano

Being a shut-in means missing every poetry reading, art gallery opening, the Hollywood Bowl, and such normal activities as grocery shopping or gardening. The aftereffects of my double surgeries in July have mostly subsided now, and I am looking forward to getting out among 'em by the end of the month. There are so many events not to miss.

From Texas to California, this week's mailbag brings a handful of excitement.

Santa Barbara • September 27

The sixth season of the Mission Poetry Series kicks off on Saturday, September 27, at 1 p.m. in its new home at Antioch University Santa Barbara. “So Deep a Sound: Three Poets in Autumn” features Melinda Palacio, Michelle Detorie, and Blas Falconer. The reading will be held at Antioch University Santa Barbara • 602 Anacapa Street • Santa Barbara, CA, and is free and open to the public. Refreshments, complimentary broadsides, and poets' work for sale.


Houston • September 27
Arte Publico Press sends news of LibroFEST held at multiple locations across the city. Visit LibroFEST website for details.



Highland Park Los Angeles • September 28

Highland Park's Avenue 50 Studio hosts a pair of monthly readings, including the recently-held Bluebird Reading, and the upcoming La Palabra. Both series showcase emerging and established talent from diverse LA poetry communities. In addition to the spotlight readers, a lively Open Mic generates energy for the often SRO audiences. Parking in the rear is available.



Pomona CA • October 8

Move over, LA's westside. Make room for the westside of the Inland Empire, Pomona, where an arts community thrives, centered around the dA Center for the Arts.


Ventura County's Santa Paula • October 18

Magu's "the family car" always brought a spark to his eye when he talked about it. Now in the hands of a generous private collector, this show offers a rare chance to see Magu's masterwork in person. 

There's yet another special feature at the opening day celebration. One of Magu's sons plays with Conjunto Los Pochos, who will be joined by Los Fabulocos for musical festivities.



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18. Tim Tingle's NO NAME

In Removing the Word "Reluctant" from Reluctant Reader, Stringer and Mollineaux write that there are many reasons why teen readers choose not to read (p. 71):

For some youth, reading difficulties may be intertwined with factors such as cultural background, language barriers, learning disabilities, emotional disturbances, family disruptions, teenage pregnancy, fear of failure, and peer pressure. These problems may occur with other stressors such as school transitions, low self-esteem, poor time management, and depression.
In their work on the experience of Native youth in school, Tippeconnic and Fairchild write that over time, Native youth disengage from school. Among the reasons, Tippeconnic and Fairchild put forth is that Native youth don't see themselves in the materials they're asked to read.

Enter Tim Tingle's No Name. It is one of the new titles in the PathFinders series published by 7th Generation. Pitched for kids aged 12-16, it is about Bobby, a present-day Choctaw teen. His dad drinks. When drunk, he becomes abusive to his wife and Bobby. She leaves, and Bobby decides to run away. He doesn't go far, though, choosing to dig a hideout in his backyard.

People who are aware of the dysfunction of his home life help him and his dad find their way. One strength of No Name is that the way is real. Things don't get better overnight. That is a truth that children in similar homes know.

There are aspects of Choctaw life in the book, too. Tingle's story draws from a Choctaw story about No Name, a boy who also has a difficult relationship with his father. I especially like the parts of the story where Danny and his friend, Johnny, talk about the Choctaw Nation and water rights.

Danny and Johnny (who is Cherokee) play basketball. I think No Name has appeal to a wide range of readers. Those we might call reluctant, and those who are Native, especially Choctaw or Cherokee, and those who live in homes disrupted by alcoholism will be drawn to No Name.   

Earlier today I posted a bit of a rant over recent works of fantasy in which non-Native writers use Native culture as inspiration for a story that has little if anything to do with the lives of Native people today. Today's society knows so little about who we are! Works of fantasy just feed that lack of knowledge. Society embraces an abstract, disembodied notion of who we are, rather than us as people with a desire to be known and appreciated for who we are.

Gritty, real stories, of our daily lives in 2014 are too few and far between. We need more books like Tingle's No Name. Get a copy for your library. Choose your framework for sharing it: it is a basketball story; it is a realistic story of alcoholism; it is a story about the Choctaw people.   

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19. #661 – Pig and Small by Alex Latimer

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Pig and Small

Written & Illustrated by Alex Latimer
Peachtree Publishers                9/01/2104
978-1-56145-797-7
Age 4 to 8            32 pages
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“Pig and Bug just want to be friends, but their size differences are proving to be a BIG problem. Pig wants to play games—but Bug is too small to keep up. Bug wants to make things for his friend—but Pig is too big to appreciate the craftsmanship! Just as they’ve given up all hope for a friendship, Pig has an idea. Will it work? (Yes, it will.)”

Opening

“Before this morning, Pig’s nose had never squeaked—not even once.”

Review

Poor Pig. His nose squeaked so much he even looked it up in a medical book. Squeaky Nose Syndrome is right after Squeaky Mouth Syndrome and before Squeaky Pants Syndrome. Wait, it isn’t there. There is no Squeaky Nose Syndrome. Pig examines his nose himself and finds the problem, which is not a problem at all, but a tiny bug. Bug is waving his arms—all four of them—trying to get Pig’s attention. Bug wants to be friends.

“Hello,” said Pig.
“Squeak, squeak,” replied Bug.

Pig and Bug start doing things together, but their friendship has problems from the start. What Pig likes to do—play board games, ride bikes, catch—was difficult and sometimes a wee bit dangerous for Bug, and what Bug likes to do—make things for Pig, Hide-N-Seek—was too small or too hard for Pig. They decide to part ways.

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I really like the illustrations by Alex Latimer. He also wrote and illustrated Lion vs. Rabbit (reviewed here), The Boy Who Cried Ninja (reviewed here), and Penguin’s Hidden Talent (sadly, not reviewed here). I love the simple lines and colorful characters that always shine with emotions. He also adds small details that I love and often find amusing. Latimer’s picture books use humor and situations to teach young children without seeming to send a message. In Pig and Small, size makes a difference for BIG Pig and small Bug, so they decide not to be friends. However, this is not the end of Pig and Small.

Pig turns to leave, after he and Bug decided to go their own ways, and the wind, blowing mighty hard, whips a newspaper at Pig, sticking it to his face. Open to the movie section—The Pirate, the Ninja, and the Invisible Dog—Pig realizes there are many things he and Bug can both enjoy. They go see the movie and have a great time. Bug . . . nah, I’ll leave the details between the pages. Do not miss the BIG finale.

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BIG Pig and small Bug decide size does not matter. There are many things the two interesting friends can do together that both enjoy. They enjoyed the movie and talk about it on the way home. There are museums, zoos, plays, and aquariums awaiting them. Size does not matter in friendships. Differences melt away between friends and they find ways to enjoy their time together.

Once again, Latimer’s soft, easy tones guide us to a new understanding of what friendship is about, or rather what it is not about—size. With kids back in school and the holidays approaching (much too fast), children have the opportunity to make many new friends. After reading Pig and Small, they will understand that size does not matter in friendship, or do friends need to have identical likes to get along and be friends. Friendship, as in life, is a compromise and differences should not matter . . . at least not to friends like Pig and Bug.

4

 

PIG AND SMALL. Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Alex Latimer. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.
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Pick up Pig and Small at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryPeachtree Publishersyour favorite local bookstore.
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Learn more about Pig and Small HERE

WIN PIG AND SMALL from Peachtree Publishers HERE

Meet the author and illustrator, Alex Latimer, at his website:   http://www.alexlatimer.co.za/

Check out what he has to say at his blog:   http://alexlatimer.blogspot.com/

Tweet him at his Twitter:   https://twitter.com/almaxla

Find excellent picture books at the Peachtree Publisher’s website:   http://peachtree-online.com/

Peachtree has a blog with occasional giveaways here:   http://peachtreepub.blogspot.com/

Also by Alex Latimer

The Boy Who Cried Ninja

The Boy Who Cried Ninja

Penguin's Hidden Talent

Penguin’s Hidden Talent

 Lion vs Rabbit

Lion vs Rabbit

Just So Stories

Just So Stories

The Space Race

The Space Race

 The South-African Alphabet  

The South-African Alphabet

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pig and small
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Copyright © 2014 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Picture Book Tagged: acceptance, Alex Latimer, children's book reviews, differences in people, friendships, Peachtree Publishers, picture books, Pig and Small, respect, size doesn't matter

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20. New issue of the Quarterly Conversation

       Issue 37 - Fall 2014 of the Quarterly Conversation is now available, with the usual variety of interesting literature under discussion -- well worth setting aside some time for.

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21. Why I'm a Happy Hybrid, by Jenny Alexander

Today we have very welcome guest post from Jenny Alexander, who continues the discussion started by Nicola Morgan and Diana Kimpton on self-publishing.

In recent posts, Nicola Morgan wrote: ‘Why I don’t want to self-publish again’ and Diana Kimpton: ‘Why I’ve switched to self-publishing’ -  and both of them made points I completely agree with. I’m like the characters in the supermarket ad - ‘I like this one... but I also like this one!’ I’m just delighted that now we have a choice.

I’ve got two books in the publication process at the moment, one with a traditional publisher and one that I’m publishing myself.

The Binding will be published by A and C Black, in February 2015.


 I like this one because:
  • I’ve got a brilliant editor who loves the book – which is very affirming!
  • I haven’t had to do anything except some light edits and help in choosing the cover.
  • A team of top experts have taken care of all the design so I know it will be a top quality product.
  • I’ve been paid an advance and will receive royalties.
  • In an increasingly competitive market, there’s still kudos in being traditionally published.
  • I won’t be completely on my own with promoting and marketing.
  • My agent will be taking it to Frankfurt, seeking foreign deals.
    Writing in the House of Dreams will be published by Five Lanes Press (ie me) on October 15th 2014.


    I like this one because:
    • I’ve had complete creative control.
    • I’ve set my own publication date and chosen my own sales channels.
    • I know it will stay in print for as long as I want it to'
    • I’ll earn a far higher royalty on units sold'
    • It’s felt completely empowering to be able to give it a chance.
    Before the self-publishing option was available, this child-of-my-heart book would have sat on my shelf, gathering dust. I know it’s of publishable quality because my agent was happy to represent it and the feedback we’ve had from publishers has been entirely positive, including such comments as ‘I found it gripping’ and ‘I read it in a single sitting,’ which is pretty good for a non-fiction book. The reason most of them gave for rejecting it was that the subject is ‘too niche for the market.’

    Because it’s hard to get traditional publishers to take on books which don’t have mass-market appeal these days, experienced authors are increasingly turning to self-publishing for their hard-to-place and out-of-print books and therefore the self-publishing route is becoming more respectable.
    Self-published authors can join professional societies such as the Society of Authors on the strength of their sales figures, and submit their books for literary prizes. Self-publishing is no longer always the second choice, and I won’t be looking for a traditional publisher for my second book about writing, When a Writer Isn’t Writing. Here’s a sneak preview of the cover.


    I definitely hope to go on being traditionally published as well, but it feels a lot less difficult and soul-destroying trying to sustain a writing career in such a sales-driven market now that I know everything I write which is of publishable quality will be published, because I can do it myself.

    Jenny's website is: http://writinginthehouseofdreams.com

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    22. Marian Schwartz profile

           Marian Schwartz was recently awarded one of the 2014 Read Russia Prizes, for her translation of Leonid Yuzefovich's "postmodern whodunit" Harlequin's Costume, and at Russia Beyond the Headlines Phoebe Taplin profiles her.
           Among the interesting bits:

    "Having translated about 70 books over the last 35-plus years, fewer than five of them, probably, have been at my initiative," she told the Moscow audience for the Read Russia Award Presentations. "I found, appreciated, and translated Harlequin's Costume on spec, convinced that it would find a publisher eventually."

    In the end, the book was finished only with help from a grant, and it was several years before Glagoslav published it in 2013.
           I haven't seen this one yet; it'll be interesting to see whether the trilogy now gets picked up by a larger publisher and takes off (maybe not, to judge by the post-award Amazon-sales-ranks -- still in the 1,000,000 vicinity at both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk ...). See the Glagoslav publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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    23. World of Payne on its way from Tom Sniegoski and Frank Cho

    As revealed at Comic Con, then reported in Comic Book Resources, Tom Sniegoski is writing World of Payne, which he co-created with Frank Cho. The story centers around a psychic private investigator named Lockwood Payne, who is actually a modern day sorcerer from an ancient society of witches and wizards and his strange misadventures in the world of the occult and unrealities. Along the way, he's helped by his ever-loyal and unflappable friend, Doctor Hurt, an urgent care doctor in the strip mall next door to Payne's office, and the beautiful Michelle, a witch-in-training.

    The series will be told in a hybrid format, mixing traditional comic book storytelling with prose elements. Look for the first volume, World of Payne: Book 0 - Ghost Dog, in Spring 2015. Check out these preview pictures! Click thumbnails below for full-sized images.


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    24. Book Spotlight: Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

    I’ll be focusing on graphic novels this week. Hope you enjoy it.

    seconds

    The highly anticipated new standalone full-color graphic novel from Bryan Lee O’Malley, author and artist of the hugely bestselling Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series

    Katie’s got it pretty good. She’s a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie’s life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all—but they don’t come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over:

    1. Write your mistake
    2. Ingest one mushroom
    3. Go to sleep
    4. Wake anew

    And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She’s also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms—and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it’s against the rules. But Katie doesn’t care about the rules—and she’s about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions.

    From the mind and pen behind the acclaimed Scott Pilgrim series comes a madcap new tale of existential angst, everyday obstacles, young love, and ancient spirits that’s sharp-witted and tenderhearted, whimsical and wise.

    Hardcover: 336 pages
    Publisher: Ballantine Books (July 15, 2014)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0345529375
    ISBN-13: 978-0345529374

    PURCHASE HERE!


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    25. The Bookbook

    Yeah it’s an add for Ikea but what an ad!

    What cracked me up most? “Notice something? No lag. Each crystal clear page loads instantaneously no matter how fast you scroll.” The bookmark feature is fantastic as is the color coded system for multiple users. And the share feature! But best of all, the voice activated password protection feature. Amazing!

    On a side note, does anyone know what that red fuzzy fruit in the bowl is?

    Please forgive the post today. Monday beat me. Actually, Monday was just fine. The public transit system beat me. I promise tomorrow I will have a review of How Should a Person Be. I’m going to go start working on it now.


    Filed under: Humor

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