We are the sandcastles.
Life is the sea.
In the end each wave strips everything away.
I had a dream on Sunday of a giant cloud of fire spreading on the horizon- like a pyroclastic cloud- but fire. I could see how fast it was travelling and I knew we had to find shelter but of course there is none. But what is interesting is how real the vision was-considering I haven't seen anything like it really.
Like when I was about 4 having a dream of waking up and going to the front glass door and seeing the skeleton of a horse walk up stop and look at me then keep going- but very real and I remember it still,
I think I might have sleepwalked as a child which could explain why walking to the door was so real- doesn't explain the dead horse or how I could know what its skeleton looked like.
Or when I was twelve- a dream of a nuclear strike on a city- I and everyone killed but transformed into points of light in a kind of 'out of phase'/'out of plane' view of the destroyed city- and these strange creatures hoovering up the 'souls'. But they were not angels or devils,not a religious vision - but weird sort of energy vampire things that fed on suffering or life energy- like parasites that provoke war in our world so they can feed.
But again very real. (Unlike the usual sort of dream which I normally sabotage mid dream by realising they're not real.)
I'll post some more work in progress.
Possibly once I finish these last books I can rebuild my web presence, my blog, and my social life as I have neglected my friends and people I'd hoped to befriend as I've staggered to the finish line the last 8 months.
Actually sometimes when I'm drawing in public people ask if I was always good at it. Having found the drawings of mine that my mother had conscientiously hoarded the answer is "No", and possibly "never", but a constant has been the drive to keep going. that seems to be all there is.
It looks like it was all good until about 5 yrs old .........then this patch until now. When I start my own stuff again I will try to regain what I lost when I was 5
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Blog: What You Want to Read (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Picture Books, Add a tag
Although it might not feel like it, spring is here. One of my favorite springtime stories to share is Fran’s Flower. In this story, a little girl finds a plant and decides she wants to make it grow. Unfortunately, she decides it needs food and feeds it a piece of cheeseburger, some spaghetti, ice cream and even a chocolate chip cookie. Of course, this doesn’t help the plant grow and fed up with the flower she throws it out the door. Once outside, the flower gets all the things it needs, and it grows! The colorful illustrations add to the fun. Before you start planting, share this one along with The Carrot Seed by Krauss.
Posted by: Liz
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Blog: TWO WRITING TEACHERS (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: independent writing projects, informational writing, mentor texts, non-narrative writing, nonfiction, Add a tag
If you’re planning to launch independent writing projects in your class during the final weeks of school, then you’ll most likely have several students who might want to write a book about a… Read MoreAdd a Comment
Blog: educating alice (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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While I can’t show you Robert Byrd‘s gorgeous interior art for Africa is My Home, I can show you the cover in the following book trailer. (And if you are at BEA, do stop by the Candlewick Press booth for a more comprehensive look or, even better, come to my Thursday 3:30 signing of F&Gs of the complete 64 page book.)
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Blog: SCBWI Gauteng (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Workshops, Rankin. Joan, Illustrating courses, Illustrating, Add a tag
On 9-10 May 2013, we had a fantastic workshop facilitated by Joan Rankin. We each received a file containing a number of exercises. On day 1 we drew with pencil. We shared and discussed the work. And worked some more! Joan inspired us with her "Hat story". To be continued ....Add a Comment
We are excited about the upcoming IBBY Regional Conference in St. Louis, October 18-20, 2013. Early bird registration ends June 16. Please spread the word so people can save $35-$40 if you are a member or non-member. The line up of general session speakers is quite amazing and includes: Ashley Bryan, Pat Mora, Katherine Paterson, Siobhan Parkinson, Peter Sis, Klass Verplancke, Mem Fox, Jacqueline Woodson, Bryan Collier, Gregory Maguire and more. Conference details and registration/hotel information can be found at: http://www.usbby.org
This month we wanted to share information about children’s book awards in Canada. Here are some of the highlights from the 2012 Canadian children’s book awards.
The Governor General’s Literary Awards are given by the Canada Council of the Arts. A text and illustration award is given each year in both French and English. The 2012 recipients:
Children’s Text Winner
Nielsen, Susin. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen (Tundra)
Daigle, France. Pour sûr (Éditions du Boréal)
Children’s Illustration Winner
Maclear, Kyo. Virginia Wolf. Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (Kids Can)
Gravel, Élise. La clé à molette (Éditions de la courte échelle)
The Canadian Children’s Book Center awarded six major children’s book awards in 2012.
TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award: Kent, Trilby. Stones for my Father (Tundra)
Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Côté, Geneviève. Without You (Kids Can)
Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction: Vande Griek, Susan. Loon (Groundwood)
Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People: Cayley, Kate. The Hangman in the Mirror (Annick)
John Spray Mystery Award: Mills, Rob. Charlie’s Key (Orca)
Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy: Collins, P. J. Sara. What Happened to Serenity? (Red Deer Press)
The most recent recipient of the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children is: Pearson, Kit. The Whole Truth (HarperCollins; awarded April 2012).
This content originally appeared in an email from USBBY to Edith Campbell.
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Via I'm pointed to Debra Kamin's report in The Tower, which claims that The Greatest Living Hebrew Writer Is Arab.
No, it's not an exposé revealing that, say, Amos Oz is actually Arabic (whatever that might mean ...); rather, she's making the claim for ... Sayed Kashua.
Second Person Singular-author Sayed Kashua is certainly an interesting young writer (emphasis on the young -- he has three books under his belt, but writing-wise still a long way to go), but let's be clear: he's not anywhere near the top of the Hebrew-writing pantheon. Like nowhere close (there are a lot of really good Hebrew-writing authors.)
Still, I do really like hearing this:
I have a very strange feeling that my fourth novel will start in Hebrew, and then it will turn into a mix of Hebrew and Arabic, and it will end with Arabic.That could be something ..... Read the rest of this post Add a Comment
Laurie Thompson. The illustration above is just a very early preliminary sketch, it should be interesting to see how it looks six or eight months from now! Display Comments Add a Comment
The Guardian prints an edited version of Atiq Rahimi's keynote speech to the Edinburgh World Writers' Conference which I mean(t) to point you to -- but they note that 'the full transcripts of all the speeches' are available at the Edinburgh World Writers' Conference site and I can't believe I've never seen this trove.
Yes, there's not just Rahimi's speech in full but, for example, all the keynote speeches on The Future of the Novel, and sure I'd like to comment on the Rahimi and some of the others but who cares what I have to say -- if you haven't seen this stuff just dive in there -- a holiday weekend is approaching in the US, right ? well, this seems a good site to explore in that time -- I think that's what I might be doing.
I haven't been able to find anything about who started Lucky Penny Day, or why.
Which leads me to realize that creating these "national days" is a pretty serious free-for-all. CLEARLY WE NEED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT AND COME UP WITH SOME NEW ONES.
Anyway, despite the dubious nature of this "holiday", I shall point you back to my old post about Jennifer L. Holm's Penny from Heaven anyway, because I'll use any old excuse to highlight a good book:
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My affection for Holm's characters just sort of crept up on me—I hadn't realized how much I cared about them until Something Bad Happened and I found myself crying.
The story itself starts off quiet and lightly comic: Penny tells the reader about her various family members and has some adventures with her cousin Frankie. She does mention the fact that her mother hardly ever talks about her father, and never talks about the circumstances of his death—that in itself was enough to alert me to the fact that there was Rough Stuff Ahead.
Blog: Great Kid Books (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: ages 5-8, ages 8-12, Common Core IRL, science, picture books, Add a tag
Our children are fascinated by the world around them, soaking up information about so many different things. I clearly remember how excited my daughter was to learn that birds, snakes and crocodiles are all oviparous, or egg-bearing animals. We can foster this sort of enthusiasm by reading aloud picture books that delve into different nonfiction topics. As the Common Core standards state in ELA Standard 10,
"Children in the early grades (particularly K–2) should participate in rich, structured conversations with an adult in response to the written texts that are read aloud, orally comparing and contrasting as well as analyzing and synthesizing, in the manner called for by the Standards."Lucy Calkins develops this idea further, writing in her Curricular Plan for the Reading Workshop,
"One cannot stress enough the importance of reading aloud. You will want to read aloud to teach children discipline-based concepts that are integral to social studies and science.You’ll also read aloud to create a sense of community and to show children why people love to read. And you’ll read aloud to teach children vocabulary and higher-level comprehension skills. As you conduct a read-aloud session be sure that it includes opportunities for accountable talk." grade 2, page 6Common Core IRL: In Real Libraries, we would like to suggest two excellent nonfiction picture books all about frogs that we like to read aloud to students. These books will have different language and text features than those we provide to children to read independently. They might use more figurative language, longer sentences, higher vocabulary. But they will engage students, laying important background for their own reading, and lead to many discussions about these interesting animals.
Frog SongThis gorgeous picture book explores eleven different frog species from around the world, from Australia to Borneo to Chile. Each spread focuses on a different species, with a wonderful illustration and an engaging description that focuses on one interesting aspect of that species. Guiberson uses descriptive text to hook readers:
by Brenda Guiberson
illustrated by Gennady Spirin
Henry Holt / Macmillan, 2013
read aloud: grades 1-3
independent reading: grades 4-5
Lexile 950 AD (adult directed)
your local library
"In Chile, the Darwin's frog sings in the beech forest. Chirp-Chweet! The male guards 30 eggs in the damp leaves for three weeks. When the tadpoles wiggle, he scoops them into his mouth. Slurp! They slither into his vocal sacs, where he keeps them safe and moist for 7 weeks. Then he gives a big yawn, and little froglets pop out."This book would work very well as a read aloud for 1st through 3rd grade, either to a whole class or a small group. Older children might love reading this as they explore different types of frogs, but I really see this as working best as a read aloud. Guiberson ends the book with an interesting summary of the different species, and a note about how frogs are in trouble from environmental pressures or pollution. I do wish that she included a map identifying where the different species live, providing that geographical context for young readers.
Teachers and school librarians will be interested in this helpful reading guide for Frog Song. Another book for reading aloud that would complement Frog Song is Hip-Pocket Papa, by Sandra Markle.
Hip-Pocket PapaSandra Markle and Alan Marks have teamed up to write several engaging narrative nonfiction books about animals throughout the world. These books follow one animal, telling the story of that animal's life. Readers can clearly identify the beginning, middle and end of the story, much like they do in fiction.
by Sandra Markle
illustrated by Alan Marks
read aloud: grades 2-4
independent reading: grades 4-5
Lexile 1060 AD (adult directed)
your public library
"Finally, the eggs hatch!The jelly surrounding them turns to liquid -- a birth puddle for the twelve teeny, tiny tadpoles, swimming up and out onto the surface of the forest floor. Her job done, the female crawls away. The male stays. He has an even bigger job to do."Alan Marks' detailed, realistic watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are perfect for showing to a whole group. The rich colors and close-up scenes draw readers into the forest setting, focusing close up on the tiny frogs and the miniature drama happening each moment. The only problem I had is really getting a sense of the true size of the frogs. Since narrative nonfiction books usually do not have text features like diagrams or labeled illustrations, readers must use the descriptive text to figure out this information.
Check out this preview of Hip-Pocket Papa available through Google Books:
Common Core Standards
Below you can see how standard 3 for reading informational text develops from 1st grade through 3rd grade, as students describe a process like the metamorphosis of a frog, or comparing two different frog species. Both of these books could be used to have students delve into a discussion about frogs' development, either examining the development of one species step-by-step, or comparing and contrasting different species.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.3 Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3 Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
Common Core IRL: In Real Libraries, we're focusing on frogs. Frogs are fascinating animals, from their amazing metamorphosis as they turn from tadpole to frog, to the sheer variety in their colors, habitats and sizes. Head over to these blogs to read about:
- Kid Lit Frenzy: frogs for our youngest children
- 100 Scope Notes: frogs for new readers
- Great Kid Books: frogs for middle grade readers
- The Nonfiction Detectives: frogs for upper elementary readers
Review ©2013 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books Add a Comment
Blog: Bookshelves of Doom (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Library Stories, Add a tag
I’m still operating on the same material budget I had when I took on the job as Hartland Public librarian in 2006. I don’t need to tell anyone what inflation has done to book prices, etc. since then. One of the first things I discovered when looking for better ways to build a collection was online swapping sites.
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Yesterday they announced that Lydia Davis wins the Man Booker International Prize 2013, as she becomes the fifth winner of this biennial would-be Nobel alternative, awarded: "to a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language".
What stands out immediately, of course, is that this is now the third time in a row that the prize has gone to a North American author (after Alice Munro in 2009 and Philip Roth in 2011), and that four of the five prizes have gone to English-writing authors (longtime -- nearly a quarter of a century -- US resident Chinua Achebe took the prize in 2007, and only Ismail Kadare bucked what became the trend, in 2005). Obviously, written-in-English fiction has a home field advantage, exacerbated by the fact that there have never been clear guidelines as to who should be eligible -- recall that in 2005 judge Alberto Manguel 'lamented' that they couldn't consider the likes of Peter Handke, António Lobo Antunes, Michel Tournier, and Christa Wolf, among others, because not enough of their books were available in English (see my previous mention), yet this year authors such as Marie NDiaye and Intizar Husain made the cut, more than two of either's books in English translation you're unlikely to find in any bookstore in the continental US (or insular Britain).
I think Davis is a fine choice, but the Man Booker International Prize obviously has a serious identity problem on its hands. This choice already makes it hard for them to keep their international credibility, at least internationally; one more time down this road and they'll lose any remaining credibility -- which isn't the kind of pressure that should be hovering over any literary prize. For all the whingeing that goes on about the Nobel-awarding Swedish Academy and its predilection for obscure, non-North American authors: from abroad, this has got to look considerably worse.
It was an interesting group of finalists, with seven of the ten authors with books under review at the complete review -- though not, regrettably, Lydia Davis (though I am a fan). I guess I really will have to finally get around to putting up a review of the marvelous The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis -- but go ahead and get your copy first (really -- it's worthwhile); see the Picador publicity page, or get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Note also that the winner's name was leaked -- a Times of India report (since removed, but originally here; remnants visible here) had the report about three hours before the official announcement -- I'm curious to hear what happened there.
Blog: Books 'n' stories (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Forget all blog-related "schedules". I will post what I want when I want. This week's KBWT is KBWThursday. (I was off doing something else on Tuesday.)
Barefoot Books has been one of my favorite publishers since they arrived on the scene. Their folklore anthologies are attractive and fun to read. Barefoot Books is committed to providing colorful books that provide children with access to diverse cultures and activities.
Visit their Kids page to download craft activities, watch videos and listen to stories.
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In Haaretz Zvi Bar'el reports (a bit melodramatically ?) that Egypt's songs of revolution have given way to a literature of despair.
A lot of the article focuses on the to-do around minister of culture Alaa Abdel-Aziz, rather than 'the literature of despair' (which I'd love to hear more about ...).
Blog: Bookshelves of Doom (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Capital-b Belief is something that I have immense respect for, but I’ve never felt like I’ve succeeded in completely wrapping my mind around it. Maybe it’s one of those You Know It If You Feel It things? But this book, despite the vastly different life experience that it depicts—...when I say we believe that Jesus is coming back, I don’t mean metaphorically, like someday in the distant future when the lion lies down with the lamb and there is peace on earth. I mean literally, like glance out the car window and, “Oh, hey, there’s Jesus in the sky.” There will be a trumpet blast, an archangel will shout, and Jesus Christ will appear in the clouds.— has come the closest to helping me understand something that I’ve spent years trying to grasp.
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Blog: Cartoon Brew (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Classic, The Violinist, Shorts, Allen Swift, Carl Reiner, Ernest Pintoff, Ernie Pintoff, Flebus, Mel Brooks, The Critic, Add a tag
The clip above is an animation-related outtake from the new Mel Brooks documentary Make a Noise which debuted earlier this week on PBS. In the clip, Brooks talks about the genesis of Ernie Pintoff’s Oscar-winning short The Critic:
This wasn’t the first time Pintoff had collaborated with a Jewish comedian. An earlier film he’d made, The Violinist (1959), featured the voice of Carl Reiner:
Neither of the shorts, however, can live up to Pintoff’s greatest collaboration with a Jewish actor—Flebus—the 1957 Terrytoons short that featured the vocal stylings of the inimitable Allen Swift.
(Thanks, Rogelio Enrique Toledo, via Cartoon Brew’s Facebook page)
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Blog: Janet Reid, Literary Agent (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Blog: Silver Apples of the Moon (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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You should all make sure you go.
Blog: YA Books and More (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Min is mad, but more than that, her heart is broken...
Min doesn't have a lot of friends, but the ones she does have are loyal and close, with Al being her closest friend. Between him and the avant-garde movies she loves, her life is really good. Until Ed Slaterton showed up....
She was "arty;" he was an athlete. She had a free-spirit; his was defined by his friends. Min was under the radar; Ed was the one girls wanted to be with and guys wanted to hang with. Her lifestyle was nostalgic; his was trendy. Both of them showed each other a new world.
It was a complete accident, their meeting. She searched for him, he handed her a beer (which Min poured out discreetly). They talked that night and soon, this led to another meeting, then another...and then they became a couple.
And everyone wondered why they were together. But Ed knew, with all of his heart, that Min was different and he loved the fact that she wasn't just another pretty face. Min was secretly, than openly, thrilled about being Ed Slaterton's girlfriend, even if it meant she had to sacrifice some things, including her favorite coffee shop.
But today, she wants no part of Ed. Nothing about him in her life is the cleansing she needs. So she takes everything they ever shared, including a:
oily kitchen towel....and so much, so many more.
They go in a box, along with her story of why they broke up.
The premise of this book is simple. Each chapter contains an item and the story that goes along with it in chronological order. Told from Min's point of view, the reader becomes entangled in her story and the curiosity quotient is raised of how, not especially why, Min broke up with him. But this book is unique in another very different way. Daniel Handler writes with dangling participles galore. It will take a reader to fine tune the voice in their head to follow the pattern his writing takes on, including the ever important comma pauses he uses. It is also because of his stylized writing that Min's character truly comes out, filled with emotion and packed with meaning. Handler also creates the town Min lives in and the world of film she loves, not with the branded names of coffee houses, Hollywood, and music, but with care, choosing imaginative names to convey the feeling each name evokes.
Simple book, intricate writing....two very different styles that compliment and run alongside the two main characters in this book that reflect Handler's writing. Interspersed throughout are deft, well-spaced illustrations of each item Min discards. Recommended for high school (9-12).
Sidenote: it has been a long time since I've read a book that was actually sewn. Also, this is a heavy book (literally, not figuratively) with glossy thick pages. Not your typical YA book, and one that definitely stands out.
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Blog: Cartoon Brew (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: CalArts, I Always Look Angry, Tom Law, *Promote Video, Student, Add a tag
CalArts student Tom Law has an idiosyncratic sense of design and movement, which comes through clearly in his graduation short This Actually Happens A Lot. The short attempts to find a visual solution for representing a character’s social anxiety and insecurity, which Law achieves by tweaking the rules of gravity. We featured Tom’s self-portrait timelapse piece I Always Look Angry in a 2011 installment of Animated Fragments.Add a Comment
As of November 20, 2012 (that is, Midnight Eastern Time tonight) I am closed to queries. I will reopen to queries January 7, 2013.
If I already have your work, you should hear from me by January 7. (That's the point of taking the break, I have to catch up!)
I'm sorry to say that I cannot respond to new queries sent during this time.
The exceptions will be: work that I've requested -- conference material -- client or editor referrals -- and people I actually know in real life. If this is you, please be sure you've said so, along with the word Query, IN THE SUBJECT LINE of your email. Otherwise, your query will be deleted.
For all other regular queries, please feel free to try any of my colleagues at Andrea Brown Lit, or else try me again in January.
Thanks again for thinking of me in regard to your work.
Wishing you all the best, and Happy Holidays,
Andrea Brown Literary Agency
Blog: Noblemania (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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In a 3/18/13 New Yorker “Talk of the Town” piece by Rebecca Mead resides this gem:
The books of Dr. Seuss, the pen name of Theodor Geisel, depend on what Donald Pease, a professor of English literature at Dartmouth, refers to in his biography of Geisel as “plausible nonsense.” “Children will grant you any premise, but after that—you’ve got to stay on the same key,” Geisel told one interviewer.
So much more could be written about this, but I don’t know that I yet have the experience to be one to do so. However, I’m shopping around a manuscript that may set me on that path. It’s a departure for me—picture book yes, nonfiction no.
It’s funny, too. I need some way to redirect the energy I am not putting into cartooning at the moment.
I hope to be able to elaborate here soon.
You—or someone—may be shocked… Add a Comment
Blog: Ooh La La Design Studio (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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