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1. योग, मोदी सरकार और मन की बात

 योग, मोदी सरकार और मन की बात   Happiness is … योग, मोदी सरकार और जनता के मन की बात मन की बात नाम आते ही हमारे जहन में रेडियों पर मोदी जी के मन की बात का ख्याल आ जाता है …. अक्सर देखा गया है कि हम अपने मन की बात नही सुनते […]

The post योग, मोदी सरकार और मन की बात appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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2. Chinese investment in French publishing

       At Paper Republic Bruce Humes points out that Chinese media are reporting that Chinese publisher/media firm ThinKingDom (新经典文化) has apparently invested in (i.e. bought a chunk of) leading French publisher of east Asian literature ("des livres de l'Extrême-Orient", as they put it) in translation Editions Philippe Picquier; see also the (Chinese) reports at The Paper and, a bit more extensively, sina (and note the deafening silence in the European press -- I couldn't find anything in the French papers ...).
       As Humes notes, it's unclear just how much of a stake they've staked themselves, but this is an interesting move, with Philippe Picquier a relatively small boutique independent -- but a leading conduit for east Asian literature into European languages and with a first rate list (and, presumably, contacts). Worth keeping an eye on.

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3. getting ready for the big (clay) shows

In our tiny but (dare I say it?) much-loved house, there are two bedrooms, one kitchen, one place for me to work, two rooms full of books and a basement and then again a garage where my husband does his thing.

This is a view of the basement. This is Sunday morning, 7:50 AM, as my husband prepares for his first solo clay show, opening in early June at the Show of Hands gallery on Pine Street. Bill has dozens of pieces of extraordinary originality and craftsmanship being cued up for the show. This shape is but a very early iteration (trust me when I tell you it will look nothing like this when it is done).

Meanwhile, Bill and I will be down at the Clay Studio in Old City on Friday evening, for the Clay Studio National reception. The show, which honors "the best contemporary ceramic art being made in the United States now" features a collection of pieces culled from hundreds from across the country. One of Bill's architectural pieces will be on display.


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4. How Bad Do You Want It?

A Princeton University professor named Johannes Haushofer recently made news by publishing a "c.v. of failures," a public list of his rejections for graduate programs, jobs, fellowships, and publications. It's gone viral, as we all need to hear stories of others' failures to counteract social media's incessant celebration of others' success.

This year I've had my own share of professional failures. Here are a few:

1) rejection of a proposal for a new chapter book series from my publisher, after early encouragement

2) rejection of a proposal to speak at our Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, after I had been personally invited by one of the Co-Regional Advisers to apply

3) a SECOND "revise and resubmit" verdict on the same children's literature article from a prominent journal

4) disappointing spring royalties (reflecting disappointing sales) on several recent recent books

5) small audiences at the Children's Literature Festival that I attend every year in Warrensburg, Missouri.

I could add more, but I think I've made my point depressingly clear, or at least depressingly clear to myself.

So my question is, what do I do now?

One answer, of course, is try, try again. But "try, try again" isn't going to work if I just try the very same thing over and over again while expecting different results. We've all heard that as the definition of insanity. In other equally familiar words: "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what  you've always gotten."

Actually, for most of my career I've liked what I've gotten. I've never been wildly ambitious for fame and fortune. I just wanted to be able to do work I love, maybe even make a modest living doing it, and get to spend time with other fun, creative people who are also doing work they love. And I've been lucky enough to achieve those things.

But the world of children's book writing and children's literature scholarship has gotten increasingly competitive, with brilliant new, young authors and scholars joining their ranks. If I want to stay in the game, I'm going to have to step up my game. If I do what I've always done, I'm not going to be getting (even) what I've always got.

So now I have to decide: how bad do I want it? Do I want it enough to work harder than I've ever worked before? Do I want it enough to bite the bullet and accept that I need to (1) become a better writer; and (2) become a better self-promoter (rather than spending time complaining that kids thirty years ago liked my books just fine and that authors thirty years ago didn't have to have websites, Twitter accounts, or glitzy giveaways)? Do I want it enough to sit down, once this final semester of teaching ends, and seriously try to reinvent myself for the 21st century, now that we are already 16 years into it?

I don't know. Part of me wants to. Part of me doesn't.

Part of me thinks that writing is what gives my life its deepest satisfaction so that I should do whatever I need to do to hold onto it as long as I can - clinging not just to writing, at home, alone, for myself, but to being part of the world of writers, to belonging in that world. Another part of me thinks that the idea of putting myself out to pasture, after 35 years in harness, is not a completely terrible thing, especially with two little granddaughters to cuddle, one already here and one set to arrive in another three weeks.

I think the bigger part of me wants to try better, try harder, try fresher, try smarter. The pasture isn't going anywhere; it can wait for me a little longer.

Either way, whether I continue to flourish and thrive in this business is going to depend on how badly I want it, and whether I'm willing to back up my wanting with working.

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5. It's Live!! Cover Reveal: Curse of the Moon by Beth Trissel + Giveaway (Intl)

Hi, YABCers! Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for CURSE OF THE MOON by Beth Trissel, releasing May 4, 2016 from Wild Rose Press. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Beth: Hey guys! Beth Trissel waving to the gang at YABC! I'm psyched to...

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6. Horse Equestrian Training Business Cards - Tri-fold

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7. Students, students, students...


The end of April marks the end of the teaching period at the University of Manchester, so each of the academics I have been shadowing for my residency has been doing final lectures in their modules, preparing their students for end of year exams. As this also means that my chance to sit in on lectures has therefore come to an end, I wanted to make sure I sketched what was left.


So, both last Tuesday and Wednesday, I sketched a 2-hour session, filling up another book. I have had so much practise now at speed-painting people, I have got more and more confident at just diving in. Most of the work I am doing at the moment involves 'drawing' with paint, only using line-tools after some watercolour is down, to pull things into focus and define details where necessary.


My added confidence proved very handy on Wednesday as, to add an extra frisson of pressure to the lecture, I also had a professional film-maker there, recording me in action. Earlier this year, we put in a bid to the university, asking for some money to make a film about the project, both to show at the July exhibition and at various subsequent academic presentations. We just found out a couple of weeks ago that we got all the money (hurrah!), but of course, we now have a very short time to get all the necessary filming done, not to mention all the time it will take to edit things together.


Anyway, we have now made a start. And luckily nothing went embarrassingly wrong with the sketches from the session!


As well as footage of me in action, we are going to be filming interviews with lots of the other academics who have been involved, getting the sociological perspective on the value and interest of the work. We began though, with a quick interview with me after the Wednesday morning lecture had finished, talking about how I choose what to include in the sketches, how I decide where to place things on the page, the degree to which I incorporate the verbal content of the lecture etc.

Here's how the sketchbook looks as one continuous piece:



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8. alma y la isla

   


Alma llegó del mar...

Este año he tenido el placer de ilustrar Alma y la isla, de Mónica Rodríguez, XIII Premio Anaya Infantil y Juvenil de Literatura. Y la magia, la realidad, el dolor y la poesía que están presentes en este relato.

En palabras de Mónica: Alma son todos esos niños –y adultos– que tienen que abandonar su tierra, su familia, todo lo conocido, arriesgando cuanto tienen, incluso la vida, para alcanzar una tierra en la que esperan recuperar su dignidad y en la que no siempre lo consiguen.
...........
Alma y la isla by Mónica Rodríguez, has won the XIII Anaya prix this year, and I had the pleasure of illustrating this story a few months ago. The tale talk to us about Alma, a black girl who comes by the sea, and the story is a reality framed in magic and poetry. Here are some images from the book.







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9. Genius - Movie Trailer

Seldom do editors get the appreciation they deserve, but they do in the new movie about Thomas Wolfe and his editor Maxwell Perkins. Looks interesting! Click the image to watch the trailer and learn more about the movie.

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10. Spotlight on Falcon Flight by Azalea Dabill, Plus Giveaway!

  Today we're putting a spotlight on Azalea Dabill's novel, Falcon Flight. Read on for more about Azalea, her novels, an excerpt, plus a giveaway!     Meet Chronicle Book One: Falcon Heart! Murder, sacrifice, vengeance ... compassion and an adventure beyond fear. Slavers steal first­daughter Kyrin Cieri from medieval Britain and...

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11. The Jungle

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12. Pony cottage. 13/100 #100daysofOILCRAYON #the100dayproject...



Pony cottage. 13/100 #100daysofOILCRAYON #the100dayproject #oilpastels #lisafirke



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13. Brain Dr. Business Card Sculpture

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14. Eka Kurniawan Q & A

       In The Jakarta Post Stevie Emilia has a Q & A with Eka Kurniawan (who recently made a splash in English translation, with Beauty is a Wound and Man Tiger).
       Among Kurniawan's answers: re. his favorite author he singles out:

If I have to mention only one, it's Knut Hamsun ( the Norwegian author who won the Nobel Prize for Literature ). His works convinced me to become a writer.
       And as far as 'social media' (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) go, he says: "Don't like any of them."

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15. Artist of the Day: Eva Vilhelmiina Eskelinen

Discover the art of Eva Vilhelmiina Eskelinen, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day.

The post Artist of the Day: Eva Vilhelmiina Eskelinen appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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16. April Showers: The Sweet Rain of Books

Hi, folks. Today I'm putting my writer hat aside and my creative hat too. I'm placing that reader hat on my head. Here I'm going to talk about something I don't chat about much.  I love to read. I read every day of my life. I mark off the days to a book I want to read is ready to be published. My live revolves around stories, true and fiction. There is nothing that waters my life more than books.

I'm not a high brow reader.  I occasionally read a book that is called literary fiction, but most of the time, I like children's books and genre fiction, most of all historical, historical romance and science fiction.  I occasionally binge on non-fiction.  I have had entire decades devoted to mysteries and thrillers.  I never like horror. I like the classics and read one or two a year. I read a few fantasies every year too. Occasionally, I just like an author and I read every thing they have ever written.

In books, I have lived thousands of lives. I faced thousands of problems. I've inhabited the lives of  so many and I am so much more this.

 I feel like I've survived the Battle of Talavera in 1800s Spain, and at the same time, the intrigues of Russian noblemen is the times of Peter. The history of the Netherlands for thousands of years boils in my blood. I've seen the pyramids built and inhabited huts with my fellow slaves. I lived in the bogs of Ireland thousands of years ago struggling against my harsh gods. The stories of ages inhabit my soul.

I've felt Mr. Darcy's pride and Elizabeth Bennet's prejudice. I've been with Jane and heard Edward's mystic cries through time and space.  I've survived bombings while working with my true love.  I've been broken to shards and found love with someone also as broken as me. I've missed huge swaths of life, frozen with fear, and found the fortitude to love again. So many stories.

I've traveled to the far reaches of the galaxy. I've fought aliens, terra-formed planets, and discovered the ruins of ancient species. I've been sold into slavery and been rescued by an intergalactic cop. Apocalyptic nuclear winters, jungle green worlds, the harsh conditions of Mars, I've lived in a myriad of unique environments, survived, thrived and sometimes died. Like the intense electromagnetic radiation of the sun, the heart of all life. Speculative stories have transformed me.

I've sat on the bones of dead children waiting for rescue from a white mouse. I've had my memories stolen from me and forged a new life. My puppy fell out of an airplane once! Oh, one of my best friends is spider and I might be some pig. I care too much and call it love.  I've opened my heart and believe that someone will come. I am stronger than I think, and I may not belong in the zoo but there is a place for me.  I like your hat, I understand the price, and know stories are light in this dark, dark, world.

Books water the soul. They expand horizons and open my eyes to the distance shores.  They encourage me to be more, to accept myself and others, and believe in happiness with good things beyond the bright light of last moments on Earth.

Pick up a book and read till your heart is content!

Next week a new series starts. Exciting news! A guest blogger will usher in the month of May with Bloom! Excellent author Alexandria La Faye will be here! If you don't know her  books already, please check her out!!! Edith Shay! Strength of saints!  Strawberry Hill!  So many fab stories. www.facebook.com/alafayeauthorwww.alafaye.com, a@alafaye.com

Here is a doodle.



Here is a quote for your pocket. 

Stop being so fruitlessly busy and dream. Use your imagination. Reach out into the unknown and dream of how you can enlarge your experience and improve your mind and your soul and your world. Mary Balogh

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17. Animal Bites: A Nonfiction Series from Animal Planet


I am always looking for good new nonfiction series that are accessible to my 3rd graders. I recently received a copy of OCEAN ANIMALS from the newish Animal Bites series from Animal Planet.  It looks like it will be a perfect fit for 3rd and 4th graders.

The book is filled with amazing photos so it will definitely attract readers--it is one they will pick up on their own. And there seems to be just the right amount of text on each page. Each page contains more than a few facts but not so much text that the book becomes overwhelming for young readers.

The book's text features are color-coded so readers are directed to a key on the Table of Contents page.  There are several categories covered in the book and the colored tabs alert the reader to which umbrella topic is being discussed on a page.  Topics like "Where They Live", "How They Live" and "Big Data" are some of the categories. There are also some pages that focus on one type of animal to get more information.

The book has a good progression so can easily be read from cover to cover over a few days. But the pages also stand alone so each page can be read alone and there are lots of mini lesson possibilities form the stand-alone pages.  This is a good series to use to share various ways to read nonfiction and the ways the various nonfiction text features are used to help share information.

There are a few other books in this series and I am anxious to see if my kids like them as much as i think they will. I definitely have plenty of series about animals but many of  my 3rd graders could read about animals every day and still want to read more! They are a sturdy paperback book so they seem like they will hold up well in a classroom.

The other books in the series include Polar Animals, Farm Animals and Wild Animals.

I'm excited to discover this new series!

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18. May is National Short Story Month

Stories and collections and publishers and authors will be discussed here and hopefully at many other sites during the month.

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19. लघु कथा – महिला दिवस- ऑडियो -मोनिका गुप्ता

  लघु कथा – महिला दिवस- ऑडियो -मोनिका गुप्ता Audio -Short Story – Monica Gupta नमस्कार कहानियों का संसार भी बडा अजब गजब होता है कभी हास्य कहानी दिल खुश कर देती हैं तो कभी कोई कहानी दिल के इतने करीब लगती है कि आखें नम कर देती है. आज मेरी लिखी कहानी  जो आप […]

The post लघु कथा – महिला दिवस- ऑडियो -मोनिका गुप्ता appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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20. The Written Word

If I couldn’t read, I’d be lost indeed
For each day a hefty share
Of my hours awake I spend, no mistake,
On my couch or reading chair.

I will read the news and may, too, peruse
A subscription magazine
But a novel’s where, if it’s penned with care,
All life’s worries won’t intervene.

When I leave my lair, I do not despair
For I travel with what I need.
On a bus or train, I need not refrain;
With some skimming I may proceed.

If my eyesight failed, I would be derailed
For to listen, I couldn’t condone
‘Cause my soul is stirred by the written word,
Which is something I always have known.

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21. Misadventures of Grumpy Cat

The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat and Pokey, vol. 1 Ben McCool, Royal McGraw, Elliott Serrano, Ben Fisher, Steve Uy. 2016. Dynamite Entertainment. 104 pages. [Source: Review copy]

I didn't enjoy reading The Misadventures of Grumpy Cat (and Pokey!), at least not as much as I was expecting to--wanting to. I hoped my love of Grumpy Cat would outweigh my dislike of comic books. That wasn't the case at all. The portrayal of Grumpy Cat didn't really live up to my expectations either. More often than not, my reaction to a comic was: so what?

I wasn't expecting the weirdness in the collection: a couple of ghost stories, a time travel story, an alien encounter, and one about ancient Egyptian mummies.

Treasure Map--Grumpy Cat exerts a lot of energy in this one to set up Pokey for a trick: she buries a treasure map, pretends to be disinterested, refuses to cooperates, reluctantly agrees, dresses up as a ghost or two, etc. A "real" ghost ends this strip. I was less than enthused by this first comic.

Grumpy in HD--Grumpy gets Pokey and a dog into trouble with the humans in this one. It is about the remote control and how to "make" it work. It felt shorter and less annoying--which is a good thing.

Super-Pokey & Grumpy Cat in Paws of Justice--Pokey convinces Grumpy Cat to be his sidekick. Pokey having been inspired by watching superheroes on tv. There are costumes and everything. Can this duo prove heroic in the local neighborhood. This one is a bit over-the-top in a purely silly way. If I had to pick a favorite to like, it, might accidentally be this one.

Grumpy Cat Goes to Comic-Con--just one page, and, definitely one of the 'so what????' strips.

Cell Phone--Grumpy Cat and Pokey get into some trouble with a cell phone. At first Grumpy Cat was don't *try* to answer the phone, leave it alone, it's nothing but trouble waiting to happen. Then, she changes her mind when the human on the other end of the phone starts talking about bringing treats.
It doesn't end well for the cats.

Vincent Van Grump--In an effort to become famous, Grumpy tries her hand at singing, writing, and painting. Perhaps one of the better ones in the collection. At least it isn't otherworldly.

Grumpy Birthday to You--Grumpy Cat is grumpy about her birthday.

Detective Cats--Grumpy Cat and Pokey become detectives to solve a case--a case about missing food or missing treats or something like that. It was okay.

A Grump in Time--weird from start to finish and not in a good-weird way or a funny-weird way. Just weird-weird as in--so what????

Close Encounters of the Grumpy Kind--Pokey and Grumpy meet aliens. At this point I was ready for the book to be done already.

I Know What You Did Last Summer...I Just Don't Care--Fortunately there was just one more story. Unfortunately it was Halloween-themed. This one features the haunted house (again) and an Egyptian mummy-cat.

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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22. Meadow castle. 12/100. #100daysofOILCRAYON #the100dayproject...



Meadow castle. 12/100. #100daysofOILCRAYON #the100dayproject #oilpastels #lisafirke



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23. ‘Zootopia’ Overpowers ‘Ratchet and Clank’ Debut

The ninth weekend of Disney's "Zootopia" outperformed its new competition, "Ratchet & Clank."

The post ‘Zootopia’ Overpowers ‘Ratchet and Clank’ Debut appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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24. Tony, Tony, Tony, Tony, Tony

Several years ago, I tuned into the Tony awards telecast eager to find out whether Ragtime was going to beat The Lion King. (It didn't.) I made my new boyfriend watch the whole thing with me, even though he didn't care at all about the results. The next day at his work, his colleagues were talking at lunch about what they had watched on television the night before. "Anyone watch the World Cup?" someone asked. Several people had. "How about the NBA Playoffs?" Again, a lot of murmurs of agreement. My boyfriend said, "Hey, did anyone watch the Tonys?" Dead silence.

I've always loved that story because I think it's a fairly good representation of the Tonys in popular culture. They have a very limited audience- you have to physically go to New York and see the original productions. You really can't tell who is going to win Best Choreography if you listen to the cast album. This is completely different from the Oscars, because you can see the nominated movies anywhere.

Also, that boyfriend is now my husband, and I still make him watch the Tonys with me every year. 

This year, I'm particularly excited to find out how Hamilton will do at the Tonys. Let's start with this question: How many Tonys can Hamiltonactually win?

It's eligible for the following 13 categories:

1. Best Musical
2. Best Book of a Musical
3. Best Original Score
4. Best Orchestrations
(These four categories can only be won by new musicals).

5. Best Direction of a Musical
6. Best Choreography
7. Best Scenic Design of a Musical
8. Best Costume Design of a Musical
9. Best Lighting Design of a Musical
10. Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical
11. Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical
12. Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
13. Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
(These nine categories can be won by either new musicals or revivals- which means the field is much larger for these awards.) 

The current record is held by The Producers, which won 12 Tonys and was nominated for 15. The Producers won every single category for which it was nominated, which is a rather incredible acheivement. The three nominations that The Producers didn't win were in the acting categories because multiple actors from the show were nominated for the same category. The one category it didn't win, is also the only one it wasn't nominated for:  Leading Actress. 

The Tony Administration committee has ruled on eligibility for certain parts in Hamilton, and whether they belong in the Lead or Featured Actor categories. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom, Jr.  and Phillipa Soo will all be considered in the Lead categories.

If Hamilton gets nominated in all thirteen categories- then it is within striking distance to go for the record. The Producers only had three eligible performer categories, but with the decision to put Phillipa Soo as a Leading Actress, Hamilton now has all four performer categories available.

Also, don't be surprised if it receives more than thirteen nominations. Hamilton is likely going to have the same problem as The Producers. If multiple actors get nominated in the same category (which I would expect), it won't be possible for Hamilton to win all of its nominations. 

How many possible Tonys could Lin-Manuel Miranda personally go home with? If he was nominated for every available category andhe won all of them, I see four Tonys on the list above that could wind up on his mantel. Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical and Best Orchestrations (which he collaborated on). The award for Best Musical is given to the producers- and he didn't produce the show. But the possibility of seeing the same person win both the composing and writing awards and an acting award and an arrangement award- that is a phenomenal and exciting possibility.

I have an image in my head from when Norah Jones won so many Grammys in the same night that she could barely hold them all. I keep thinking about this picture every time I think about what a photo of Lin at the end of the Tonys might look like. 

In The Heights was nominated was for 13 Tonys and won 4. Lin-Manuel Miranda was personally nominated for two: Best Score (which he won) and Best Actor (which he lost). (As a footnote, I'll mention that In the Heights was also nominated for Best Sound Design, a category that no longer exists.) But Hamilton is a whole different ball game. It's a hit, it's a hit, it's a palpable hit. A crazy lottery, standing room only, sold out forever hit. A show doesn't have to be a monster hit like Hamilton to win Tonys, but it doesn't hurt. 

For me, a lot of the drama is going to be in the Actor categories. Ignoring the other shows for a moment- if it was a match-up between just Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton) and Leslie Odom, Jr. (Burr)- who would win? (Oh, the irony, given that the show itself is a matchup between Hamilton and Burr.) Common sense probably tells us Lin, but I have to say that Leslie was show-stoppingly phenomenal. 

What about the Featured Actors? The ensemble work was all exceptional and it is difficult to rank one above another. If I absolutely had to, I would say Daveed Diggs (Lafayette/Jefferson) and Chris Jackson (Washington) were truly standouts. So was Jonathan Groff (King George III), even through he was only on stage for a few moments. Okieriete Onaodowan (Mulligan/Madison) was also terrific, but there may not be enough room in the nominations. 

On the actress side, both Phillipa Soo (Eliza) and Renee Elise Goldsberry (Angelica) were outstanding, so I'm glad they won't have any other competition in their categories from within the show, unless Jasmine Cephas Jones (Peggy/Maria Reynolds) gets nominated as a Featured Actress.

We can't ignore those other shows forever. Here's a listof eligible new shows that will be vying very hard not to be shut out.

The Tony nominations will be announced on Tuesday, May 3 and the Tony Awards will be on Sunday, June 12.

<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]-->
Wait for it.

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25. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #481: Featuring David Litchfield

  It’s the first Sunday of the month, which means that here in 7-Imp Land I take a look at the work of an up-and-coming illustrator. Today, instead of a student, I’ve got a debut author-illustrator. David Litchfield’s new book, The Bear and the Piano (Clarion), was evidently inspired (in part) by the White Stripes’ […]

3 Comments on 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #481: Featuring David Litchfield, last added: 5/1/2016
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