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1. Scribble Kids France

Scribble Kids traveled to France and learned about art, history and culture!

Here are some of my students (with signed photo releases) working hard on their projects :)


Hard at work!

Working on a Rose Window

Coloring a ‘Rose Window’

We learned about the Eiffel tower and Post-Impressionism today and studied a painting by Georges Seurat of the Eiffel Tower, which you can see below.

Georges-Seurat-xx-The-Eiffel-Tower  Eiffel Tower, by Georges Seurat


We began our own Eiffel towers with a guided drawing in oil pastels.


Eiffel Tower Beginning Sketch

Then we added color mixing ‘dots’ just like Georges Seurat’s paint strokes. This created optical color mixing! Here are some of my student’s final art.. things got busy so I wasn’t able to photograph everything, unfortunately:


Eiffel Tower by Jeffrey, age 7

Eiffel Tower by Amelia

Eiffel Tower by Emelia, age 6

Eiffel Tower by Katie, age 7

Eiffel Tower by Katie, age 7

Eiffel Tower by

Eiffel Tower by Samantha

Eiffel Tower by Gabby, age 6

Eiffel Tower by Gabby, age 6

Eiffel Tower by Avery, age 6

Eiffel Tower by Avery, age 6



Eiffel Tower by Vivian, age 5

Eiffel Tower by Anne, age 6

Eiffel Tower by Anne, age 6



















We also worked on French poodles! Class was so busy I only got one photograph. Only half done here, but VERY cool!!

Poodle in progress

Poodle in progress

So cute and fluffy!


Here is the recipe the children sampled of French yogurt cake. It’s very easy to make.


French Yogurt Cake (Gateau au Yaourt)

Flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, lemon, Greek yogurt, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, butter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a standard (8 1/2 x 4 1/4″) loaf pan with nonstick vegetable oil spray.  Dust with flour; tap out excess.

Whisk 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tsp. baking powder and the kosher salt in a medium bowl.

Using your fingers, rub 1 cup sugar with the lemon zest in a large bowl until sugar is moist.  Add the yogurt, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla;   whisk to blend.  Fold in dry ingredients just to blend.

Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top.  Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes.  Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Invert onto rack; let cool completely.



The post Scribble Kids France appeared first on Scribble Kids.

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2. On Rereading Mark Twain's The Prince And The Pauper


Yesterday morning I awoke to ABC Classical FM, which had a film composer theme. The particular piece they were playing was an Erich Korngold violin concerto. Now, Korngold, like other composers best known for their film music, did other stuff - and the other stuff sneaks in themes from their movies. In this case, the tune sounded very familiar to me, because I'm a huge fan of this particular composer, and of film music in general. (When my younger brother was growing up, he and I  played a lot of film scores together and discussed them, and he saved his pennies - literally! -  to buy the music of a new movie called Star Wars. He still has the vinyl double album, which is labelled The Star Wars, though these days he prefers to play the CD) 

I spent most of yesterday trying to remember where I had heard that tune before and in the end, the "once upon a time, did it happen or didn't it?" flavour told me. It was from the 1937 version of The Prince And The Pauper, in which the title roles were played by twins and Errol Flynn played the role of Miles Hendon, the returned soldier who helps the young prince, even though he doesn't believe him. There have been other versions of the movie since then, including one with Oliver Reed as a very attractive Miles, Charlton Heston as the King and a rather-too-old teenage Mark Lester as the boys, and the Disney version with the dashing Guy Williams as Miles and Aussie actor Sean Scully as the boys. There has even been, though I haven't seen it yet(the joys of YouTube will fix that), a TV serial, with some accurate early music, judging by the bits I heard on YouTube. But that score for the 1937 version has to be the best. 

For one thing, it inspired me to go and download the book from Project Gutenberg, since I couldn't find my paperback copy. And I'm rereading it and loving it all over again. While the idea is unlikely, all the author asks us to believe, in the first chapter, is that it could have happened. And he takes the trouble to make it possible for Tom Canty, the pauper, to be accepted as the prince, if one gone insane. He can read and write and knows some Latin, because there's a priest living in his building, one of those thrown out during the dissolution of the monasteries. Father Andrew has taught him. He's not even dirty because he has discovered he quite likes washing.  And he has been playing prince in his mind and with his friends for a long time, so has had some practice. 

I suspect if Mark Twain was alive today he would be considered something of a lefty. Reading novels like this one, Connecticut Yankee and Huckleberry Finn makes me think that he had a thing about the class system and hated slavery. He doesn't just work it into the storyline, he stops and argues about it during each novel. Two of these three novels are written in first person, but even this one, which isn't, tells you what the author thinks. 

I love the gentle humour in all of them, though this one is the gentlest of the three - dreadful things happen in the other two, REALLY dreadful things which I won't go into here. Read them. 

And read this one. It has inspired quite a lot of other stories, check out the cultural references in Wikipedia to start with. I personally think there's a touch of this theme in The Prisoner Of Zenda, though the hero is not a pauper, and that has its own inspirations, such as the movie Dave, in which the Rudolf Rassendyl character has to pose as the US President, who has collapsed suddenly. 

But read the Mark Twain book. Read it. I have seen someone on Goodreads give it a one star rating because they don't like that "Shakespeare language". But that's only the dialogue,the rest is not ye olde English, and even so, it's easy enough reading. I would say any child who reads well and enjoys historical adventure could handle it. I know I did. 

So read it and play some Korngold music while you read!

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3. Getting ready to head to SDCC!!

Fine me at SDCC Small Press with lots of SDCC Exclusive Goodies!!  

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4. ALSC Member of the Month – Sharon McClintock

Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just a few questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Sharon McClintock.

1. What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?

Photo courtesy of Sharon McClintock

Photo courtesy of Sharon McClintock

I’ve been a Children’s Librarian for 15 years at the Mountain View Public Library in Mountain View, California. I present a baby storytime called Mother Goose & More, preschool storytimes, school age class visits and a 3rd/4th grade reading club named READ Quest. I coordinate our Parenting speaker series and recently started a Rubik’s Cube Club. I love providing readers’ advisory and reference service as well as managing our Parenting and Children’s Music collections. Not long ago a friend asked me what my dream job would be. I answered honestly, “I’m doing it!”

2. Why did you join ALSC?

I joined ALSC to benefit from the experience and knowledge of my colleagues around the country, and get inspiration from conferences, online courses and the ALSC Blog. Just last week I created a Kids’ Choice display that I read about on the blog in a post by Abby Johnson, and I took an excellent online course on Storytelling with Puppets last year. ALSC does so much to advance library services to children, including early literacy initiatives and the Youth Media Awards; I want to support and be a part of it.

3. If you could be on a reality show, which one would it be?

Dancing with the Stars! When I can, I join some of my librarian friends who get together regularly to watch this show and it’s so entertaining. I love dancing, and I’m looking forward to planning some preschool dance parties with a colleague this year.

4. If you could enjoy a dinner conversation with any author – living or dead – who would it be?

If I could fudge a little on “author” (though he did write some books for children and parents, he is much better known for his TV show) I would choose Fred Rogers, no question! His kindness, his wisdom, his incredible talent for explaining the most profound concepts in the simplest terms, have been a professional as well as a personal inspiration to me. He always encouraged and lifted up those around him, and he inspires me to do the same. Though I’m sure I often miss the mark, he is always there as a role model for me.

5. What’s the last book you recommended to a friend?

I recommended the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith to a friend who is visiting Botswana soon. I love those books, and am so happy that we now have a children’s version — the Precious Ramotswe Mysteries.

6. Favorite part of being a Children’s Librarian?

I adore children’s books and music and learning new nursery rhymes for storytime. But more than that I care about the children and parents I work with and love helping families create happy memories.

7. What is the last song you sang?

We sang Baby Shark in storytime yesterday, after reading Nick Sharratt’s brilliant Shark in the Park! Everyone, adults included, got a kick out of both!

8. What do you love most about working at your library?

Our staff is fantastic — kind, creative and very supportive. Once, someone in our Customer Services group said to me, “we’ve got your back.” What a lovely thing that was to hear, and I feel that support from my colleagues every day.

9. Who is the last person you said thank you to?

This morning I thanked an incredible volunteer who has helped me with our 3rd/4th grade reading club for the last several years and will be joining us again this summer. His name is Benson and he also happens to be my next door neighbor! I have wonderful teen volunteers who help with this program, but it’s so nice to have another dedicated adult in the room, as well.

10. Favorite age of kids to work with?

If I had to pick a favorite it would be toddlers. They are so cute and so affectionate. I’ve gotten some hugs from toddlers that I will never forget!


Thanks, Sharon! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature!

Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for our ALSC Monthly Profile? Are YOU brave enough to answer our ten questions? Send your name and email address to alscblog@gmail.com; we’ll see what we can do.

The post ALSC Member of the Month – Sharon McClintock appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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5. Kids Art Russia

Kids Art Russia lesson!

Today we learned about Russian architecture and ‘onion domes,’ as depicted in St. Basil’s Cathedral.


We used sharpie markers on watercolor paper to make our drawings permanent. Then we added watercolor paint and salt. The salt separates the water in a beautiful pattern. They turned out SO original! This technique is always a parent favorite, and the kids always love to paint.

Here are some examples of our final art:

Onion Domes by Katie, age 7

Onion Domes by Katie, age 7

Onion Domes by Vivian, age 5

Onion Domes by Vivian, age 5

Onion Domes by Emilia, age 6

Onion Domes by Emilia, age 6

Onion Domes by Jeffrey, age 7

Onion Domes by Jeffrey, age 7

Onion Domes by Samantha, age 7

Onion Domes by Samantha, age 7

Onion Domes by Anne, age 6

Onion Domes by Anne, age 6


We also sampled some delicious Russian Tea Cakes and I’ve included the recipe below. These are easy to make with kids!

Russian Tea Cakes (no nuts)

Butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, flour, salt

Ingredient List:

1 cup softened butter/margarine

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

optional – chopped nuts


How to Make Russian Tea Cakes:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2.  Mix butter powdered sugar & vanilla in a large bowl.
  3. Stir in flour, salt & nuts (optional). Mix & knead until dough forms.
  4. Shape dough into small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  5. Bake 12-14 minutes or until set.
  6. Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar.

(I did this part since they were hot!)

  1. Let cool completely.
  2. Roll in more powdered sugar & enjoy!

The post Kids Art Russia appeared first on Scribble Kids.

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6. life drawing

compressed charcoal on paper 35x50cm

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7. Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis

       They've started the 39th Tage der deutschsprachigen Literatur ('Days of German literature'), the annual festival around the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis, where authors read their texts out loud in competition (all broadcast on TV (and now, of course, also livestreamed)).
       They used to have good English-language information -- and even translations of the texts -- but they can't afford to do that any longer. Still, as you can see from the list of previous winners, a lot of soon-famous authors have passed this way: Wolfgang Hilbig, who you'll be hearing a lot more about this year, with the first English translations of his work (two books, no less) won in 1989, and other authors whose works have appeared in English in the past few years inculde Sibylle Lewitscharoff (1998), Inka Parei (2003), Uwe Tellkamp (2004), and Tilman Rammstedt (2008); 2011 winner Maja Haderlap's Angel of Oblivion is due out from Archipelago next year (see their publicity page).
       So probably worth paying some attention to.

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8. SQUIRREL GIRL Cosplay by BelleChere

This one is for Subzero. And his very long post ;-)

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9. Mulheres de Atenas, digam "OXI"

Dia 5 de julho (próximo domingo de quando escrevo) o povo Grego decide em referendo democrático se continua alimentando os parasitas do neoliberalismo ou se se livra de vez das amarras de um capitalismo ciclo-catastrófico onde cada crise marca o momento de acúmulo de bens, terras, recursos naturais, propriedades e tesouros das nações, nas mãos de um grupo cada vez menor e mais sedento de rapinagem.
O neoliberalismo corrói as democracias, invertendo a lógica do governo do povo e pelo povo. Leis, tratados, empréstimos e contratos, são feitos às portas fechadas, sempre prevendo o benefício de poucos e o sacrifício de muitos.
É nosso trabalho que constrói a beleza do mundo.
Nós não precisamos deles. Sem nós, eles não são nada.
Há mais ou menos uma década a Islândia se libertou, de forma não noticiada em nenhum jornal do mundo, destes mesmos abutres. E segue agora livre das crises e com um dos mais altos padrões de vida do planeta.

Torço pelo "NÃO", que no brabo dos gregos será "OXI"!!!

Veja aqui a revolução "silenciosa" da Islândia em um doc do português Miguel Marques.

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10. Friday Feature: My Tethered Soul

It’s been months since Zadie faced her sister’s Reaper, months during which she’s been under her mentor’s magical protection. But now that she’s turning seventeen, that protection is about to run out.

When dark forces lure Zadie to wander at night, she’s manipulated into committing unspeakable acts. With her friends and family at risk, Zadie must try to use her powers to break free from the Reaper’s grasp, or surrender to the Reaper’s Rite, which can only lead to death.


Swinging the door open, I held my breath. A few wire hangers hung on a rod, but otherwise it was empty.
Gavin stood and tapped his foot on the floor. “This floorboard is loose. Maybe there’s something under here. You know, like in The Tell-Tale Heart?”
I glanced at him over my shoulder. “Great, Gavin. That’s just what I need: a little scare to get me motivated.”
He let out a small laugh as he bent down to inspect the floorboard. While he prodded at it, I turned my attention back to the closet. It was deeper than mine was. More square than rectangular. Big enough to fit a large desk in. Stepping into the closet, I found a door to the right. Inside the closet.
That’s a strange place for a door.
This door didn’t have a knob, but a rotating handle. I ran my hand over the smooth metal of the handle, working up the courage to press down on it. The closet lit up as lighting flashed in the sky. I needed to find out what was behind the door, but I couldn’t seem to move my hand.
Just open it, Zadie. Swallowing my fear, I pressed the handle down and pulled on the door.
When my eyes adjusted to the lack of light, a set of stairs stood before me. Up to an attic, I presumed. Dull drywall flanked it, and a window at the top of the stairs let in a small amount of light.
I was about to turn around and get Gavin when another flash of lightning lit up the stairwell. Something glinted in the short blaze of light. A small, thin item halfway up the stairs.
My bracelet.
Was I here? I must have been. Why else would the bracelet be on the floor? What did I do here? Up here in the attic?
“Zadie?” Gavin called.
For a moment, I couldn’t speak. Swallowing hard, I forced sound to break free from my throat. “Just a second.”
“Where are you?”
Instead of answering him, I climbed the first step, focused on the bracelet. Was that what it really was? Or was my mind playing tricks on me again? The second my foot grazed the next step, the door slammed shut behind me.
“Zadie!” Gavin’s voice was muffled, and the handle jiggled. But the door remained closed.
I flew to the door, fighting with the handle and trying not to hyperventilate. Lightning flashed through the window above me. I banged on the door as Gavin called my name. And then, all at once, the temperature dropped.
My breath came out in a frosty mist. I spun and backed up against the door, my eyes searching. But the storm outside played with my senses. My thumb moved over my phone, and I held it up to light the stairwell. But as the next crash of thunder vibrated through the house, I started and dropped my phone.
The light from the window disappeared. Plunged into darkness, I crouched down and searched for my phone. Something moved at the top of the stairs.
It’s here.


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11. Illustration Friday: Danger

Danger, danger!  Hurry, we must hide from the bomber mosquito!

I overheard a conversation between my kids the other day.  They were reminiscing and giggling over their younger days when it was time to go to sleep.  Trying to stay still, the younger one would say, "I'm a rock."  And the older one would say, "Then I'm a stick."  Then they burst out laughing.

Have a safe and incredibly fun Fourth of July!

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12. U.S. Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz Attempts ‘Simpsons’ Impressions

Rule #1 for being U.S. president in 2015: Do good cartoon impressions.

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13. सैलरी डबल

cartoon sansad by monica guptaसैलरी डबल- एक बार फिर सांसदों की सैलरी का मुद्दा गरमा  गया है इससे पहले 2010 में वेतन दुगुना हुआ था. आम लोगों के अच्छे दिन आएं न आएं, लगता है सांसदों के तो आ ही जाएंगे। प्रस्ताव कहता है कि सांसदों की स्वास्थ्य सुविधाओं में उनके बच्चों के अलावा पोते-पोतियों को भी शामिल कर लिया जाए।

MPs’ salaries – Navbharat Times

फोटो शेयर करें जैसे-जैसे हमारे अधिकांश सांसदों के संसदीय बर्ताव और काम करने के तौर-तरीकों में गिरावट आ रही है, वैसे-वैसे सुविधाओं की उनकी मांगें बढ़ती जा रही हैं। बीजेपी सांसद योगी आदित्यनाथ के नेतृत्व वाली संसद की संयुक्त समिति ने कहा है कि सांसदों के वेतन को दोगुना कर दिया जाए। इस समय सांसदों को मासिक वेतन 50,000 रुपये मिलता है। बात यहीं तक सीमित नहीं है।

सांसदों का दैनिक भत्ता 2000 रुपए से अधिक करने और पूर्व सांसदों का पेंशन भी 75 फीसदी बढ़ाने का प्रस्ताव है। उल्लेखनीय है कि इससे पूर्व सांसदों के वेतन में बढ़ोतरी सन 2010 में की गई थी। बहरहाल, समिति ने कहा है कि सांसदों के लिए ऑटोमैटिक पे रिविजन की व्यवस्था हो ताकि समय-समय पर बढोतरी स्वयं होती रहे। 34 हवाई यात्राओं में 25 फीसदी किराए के प्रावधान से भी सांसद संतुष्ट नहीं हैं। समिति ने 20 से 25 फ्री हवाई यात्राओं सहित करीब 60 सिफारिशें की हैं। इनमें निजी सचिव के लिए प्रथम श्रेणी के एसी रेल-पास की मांग भी शामिल है।

सांसद ग्राम योजना के तहत कुछ भले न हुआ हो, आम लोगों के अच्छे दिन आएं न आएं, लगता है सांसदों के तो आ ही जाएंगे। प्रस्ताव कहता है कि सांसदों की स्वास्थ्य सुविधाओं में उनके बच्चों के अलावा पोते-पोतियों को भी शामिल कर लिया जाए। गौरतलब है कि अपने क्षेत्र में काम कराने के लिए प्रत्येक सांसद 45,000 रुपए का भत्ता हर महीने पाने का हकदार है। ऑफिस के खर्च के लिए भी माहवार इतनी ही रकम मिलती है।

कपड़े और परदे धुलवाने के लिए हर तीसरे महीने 50,000 रुपए मिलते हैं। सड़क मार्ग का इस्तेमाल करने वाले सांसदों को 16 रुपए प्रति किलोमीटर के हिसाब से यात्रा भत्ता मिलता है। लेकिन यह सब इन्हें कम लगता है। ऐसा लगना स्वाभाविक इसलिए है कि हमारे ज्यादातर सांसदों की नजरें उन लोगों पर रही ही नहीं जिनका प्रतिनिधित्व वे करते हैं।

अगर अपने आम वोटरों की जिंदगी पर, उनके जीवन की तकलीफों-चुनौतियों पर नजर डालने का वक्त इन्हें मिले तो शायद इनकी भी प्राथमिकता कुछ बदले। मगर, राजनीति का जो चरित्र बनता जा रहा है, उसमें इसकी संभावना तलाशना आकाश कुसुम तोड़ने जैसा ही हो गया है। ऐसे में यह उम्मीद भर जताई जा सकती है कि वेतन के साथ वे अपनी गरिमा बढ़ाने पर भी ध्यान दें तो बेहतर होगा। See more…

The post सैलरी डबल appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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14. Mini-Reviews: First Jobs by Merritt Watts and The Job by Steve Osborne

From Goodreads:
Steve Osborne has seen a thing or two in his twenty years in the NYPD—some harmless things, some definitely not. In "Stakeout," Steve and his partner mistake a Manhattan dentist for an armed robbery suspect and reduce the man down to a puddle of snot and tears when questioning him. In "Mug Shot," the mother of a suspected criminal makes a strange request and provides a sobering reminder of the humanity at stake in his profession. And in "Home," the image of his family provides the adrenaline he needs to fight for his life when assaulted by two armed and violent crackheads. From his days as a rookie cop to the time spent patrolling in the Anti-Crime Unit—and his visceral, harrowing recollections of working during 9/11—Steve Osborne's stories capture both the absurdity of police work and the bravery of those who do it. His stories will speak to those nostalgic for the New York City of the 1980s and '90s, a bygone era of when the city was a crazier, more dangerous (and possibly more interesting) place.
Nothing spectacular here, but solidly done.  I really appreciated reading the book from Osborne's voice and not from the voice of a ghost writer.  It meant that the book really captured his voice - I could basically hear the New York accent through the page.  It wasn't overly polished, but it sounded like the voice of a NYPD cop.

Entertainment Value
Osborne got started with storytelling on The Moth and you can see that storytelling is really where he shines.  I loved each anecdote and think I would have enjoyed them even more in audio format.  If you're a fan of podcasts like The Moth or This American Life or Story Corps, this is exactly the same kind of stuff you'll find there.  Anecdotes of personal life, told well, and reflecting Osborne's personality.

I think something about the format translates better when you can hear the storyteller speaking than just in reading, but this is definitely worthwhile in print format too.  I'll be looking up the author's stories and trying to find them in the Moth's archives so I can hear them as well.

A future mayor shining shoes, an atheist shilling Bible, a housewife heading to work during World War II, a now-famous designer getting fired - we all got our start somewhere. A first job may not have the romance of the first kiss or the excitement of a first car, but more than anything else, it offers a taste of true independence and a preview of what the world has in store for us. In The First Job, reporter Merritt Watts collects real stories of these early forays into the workforce from a range of eras and industries, and a diversity of backgrounds. For some, a first job is a warm welcome to the working world. For others, it's a rude awaking, but as these stories show, it's an influential, entertaining experience that should not be underestimated. This book transforms what we might think of as a single, unassuming line at the bottom of a resume into a collection of absorbing tales and hard-earned wisdom to which we can all, for better or worse, relate. Perfect graduation gift; Picador True Tales is a new series of books in which reporters select short, candid, as-told-to, first-person narratives, and curate them in fascinating anthologies. The stories you'll discover within these books will be by turns hilarious, wise, and heartbreaking.
Much like The Job, this book consists of persona essays from various people about the first jobs they ever worked - from the horrible to the inspiring.  Some have a better quality of writing than the others, but the true standout here is in the personal anecdotes, not in the writing itself.

Entertainment Value
Again, I'd highly recommend this to those who enjoy hearing personal stories along the lines of Story Corps or This American Life.  These are short and easy to read and have a pretty broad appeal.  And like a podcast, you can read just one at a time here and there or you can binge on them.

Worth checking out, especially if you had a terrible first job and can identify with some of the madness these people dealt with.  It's not something that I think people will be itching to get their hands on, but I think it's a pleasant diversionary read.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with copies of these titles to review!

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15. Brazil Kids Art

Brazil Kids Art lesson!

We learned about the country of Brazil, the Amazon rain forest and artist Romero Britto today.

We started off class learning about Romero Britto, a Brazilian Neo-Pop artist whose work really resonates with children. I’ve attached several examples here:

Romero Britto cat Romero Brito dancer

Then we created our own Romero Britto inspired art using crayola markers and black line work.

Flying Heart by Katie, age 7

Flying Heart by Katie, age 7

I Love Olivia, by Vivian age 5

I Love Olivia, by Vivian age 5

White Rabbit by Jeffrey, age 7

White Rabbit by Jeffrey, age 7











We also learned about the Scarlet Macaw and the Brazilian carnival.

Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw




We even made our own carnival headdresses!


The post Brazil Kids Art appeared first on Scribble Kids.

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16. Consult with Me in LA at the SCBWI Summer Conference

For the second year in a row, I'll be offering social media consultations at the big old SCBWI Summer Conference. If you're attending the event (and it's a great event), you can add me on just like you would a manuscript consultation. Last year, I filled up... but as of now, you can still sign up (until July 20th) as long as you're registered.

You can read all sorts of details about the consults courtesy of Lee Wind's posting at the SCBWI blog.  The short version is that the consult is designed to help you use your time online efficiently and effectively (and without stress, if possible). If you have unlimited time in your life, don't sign up. But if time, money, energy, and frustration levels are limited... this could be for you!

(In any case, by the way, if you're at the Conference, please say 'hi'!)

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17. Thomas-Mann-Preis

       The (€25,000) Thomas-Mann-Preis has been around for ages (well, in one form or another -- it's actually apparently only been the 'Thomas-Mann-Preis' one year (2008) and is currently officially the: 'Thomas Mann Preis der Hansestadt Lübeck und der Bayerischen Akademie der Schönen Künste') and boasts an impressive set of previous winners.
       They did well again this year -- surprisingly selecting an author who doesn't write in German, Lars Gustafsson; see, for example, the report in Die Welt. New Directions published quite a few of his works -- fiction and poetry -- but seem to have given up on him; too bad, there's a lot still unavailable in English, and he really is very good.

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18. ‘Dream Defenders’ Brings International Exposure to Singapore’s Tiny Island Productions

Tiny Island founder David Kwok talks about Discovery Family Channel's pick-up of "Dream Defenders."

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19. A Verbal Venn Diagram of My Summer 2015 List

All of the books on my Summer 2015 list have five things in common:

  • Friendship!
  • Diversity!
  • Strong Female Characters!
  • Multiple starred reviews!
  • They're out now!
And a sixth, I guess:  I'm very proud of them! Here are brief descriptions, and a list of some of their other distinct and shared traits.

by Bill Konigsberg

The author of Openly Straight returns with an epic road trip involving family history, gay history, the girlfriend our hero can't have, the grandfather he never knew, and the veyr prickly Porcupine of Truth.

The friends:  Carson Smith, Aisha Stinson

Shared traits with other books on this list:  Young adult; wildlife (symbolic); road trip; mystery; Internet searches; city setting (Billings, Salt Lake, and San Francisco); family

Distinct traits:  Contemplation of religion and God; improv comedy

by Cherie Priest
Art by Kali Ciesmeier

Best friends, big fans, a mysterious webcomic, and a long-lost girl collide in this riveting mystery, perfect for fans of both Cory Doctorow and Sarah Dessen, and illustrated throughout with comic art.

The friends: May (a writer in glasses), Libby (a glamorous artist, until she drowns ... and then maybe after)

Shared traits:  Young adult; mystery; Internet searching; street art; chase scene; fight scene; city setting (Seattle); fairy tale elements; YA debut of an adult author; ghosts; interior art; biracial main character

Distinct traits:  Hackers; printed in purple

by Megan Morrison

You know the hair, the tower, and the witch. But in the land of Tyme, that's just the start of the story . . .

The friends:  Rapunzel, of the tower, and Jack, of beanstalk fame

Shared traits:  wildlife (actual -- a frog); royalty; road trip; a chase scene; a fight scene; fairy tale elements; magic; over-the-transom submission (of sorts); big hair

Distinct traits:  Middle grade; debut novel

by Kate Beaton

The friends:  See title . . . if they can work it out.

Shared traits: wildlife (actual); fight scene; biracial main character; interior art

Distinct traits:  Picture book; castles; sweaters; farting

by Daniel Jose Older

Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world.

The friends: Sierra has an awesome group at her back: Bennie, Izzy, Tee, and Big Jerome

Shared traits:  Young adult; street art; chase scene; city setting (Brooklyn); mystery; Internet searching; family; fight scenes; magic; YA debut of an adult author; ghosts; over-the-transom submission; big hair

Distinct traits:  A completely heretofore-unseen form of magic in fantasy, deeply connected to its heroine's culture and imagination; a sweet and hot romance; tattoos

Thank you for checking these books out!

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20. Pick of the Week for DANGER and this Week’s Topic


It’s Illustration Friday!

We’re excited to announce this week’s topic, but first please enjoy the illustration above by Massimiliano di Lauro, our Pick of the Week for last week’s topic of DANGER. Thanks to everyone else for participating. We hope it was inspiring!

You can also see a gallery of all the other entries here.

And of course, you can now participate in this week’s topic:


Here’s how:

Step 1: Illustrate your interpretation of the current week’s topic (always viewable on the homepage).

Step 2: Post your image onto your blog / flickr / facebook, etc.

Step 3: Come back to Illustration Friday and submit your illustration (see big “Submit your illustration” button on the homepage).

Step 4: Your illustration will then be added to the participant gallery where it will be viewable along with everyone else’s from the IF community!

Also be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to keep up with our exciting community updates!


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21. Theatre Review- Luck of the Draw

Title: Luck of the Draw
Writer: Michael Smith
Director: Matthew Dye
Performed by: Renegade Theatre Company and VF
Cast: Neil Brown, Claire Deards, Tom Hurst, Niven Willett, Grace J. Willis, Hayley White, and Zac Abbott 
Seen at: Duke Street Theatre
Review:  Six friends, getting ready for a night out, with Papa John's pizza, waiting for the lottery results, and plenty of alcohol. It's funny, it's dirty, it's crazy. But then there's an accident which throws suspicion into the group, and by the end, the night has gone horribly wrong.
I wanted to see this because I love the  Renegade Theatre crew, and this was being advertised as a black comedy, which is definitely my cup of tea.
The humour was just as good as I'd hoped. Yes, you can think badly of me at laughing at various parts of it, because, as I said on the night, the majority of jokes are centered around things that cause people to go to hell (the effect of sexual favours for animals on a career in TV, potential necrophilia, what appeared to be multiple stabbings whilst everybody panics (I'm not sure about that one, I was laughing too much)) but at the time, in context, with the characters and the delivery, it was perfect.  I also enjoyed the running gags- it's a menorah is probably one of Tom's greatest lines. 
The writing, despite the mild bigotry that came in-character from some, is excellent. It's sharp and funny. Relationships and characters are established really quickly. The cliffhanger before the interval is huge, and act 2 went in millions of directions, expected and unexpected, bringing in things you thought were throwaway lines but turn out to be very important indeed.  I didn't really enjoy Neil's philosophising in act 2, though, but the poignancy of the phone call was a poignant breather before...everything else. 
The cast was brilliant. Everybody was completely in character, and they complemented and interacted with  eachother like a real group of friends would. The improvisation especially was on point (I only saw one show, but I heard an usher saying he noticed some parts improvised. The Star Wars lines between Grace and Tom! Perfect!)
The set and tech is very different to Spring Awakening. It's just a mess. There's nothing else to call it. Reflecting Niven's personality totally, made with little details like a Katy Perry poster and a full book/dvd case where you sat close enough to be able to see some titles.   I love how completely versatile Duke Street Theatre is, and how well they transformed the space for Luck of the Draw.  

Overall: Strength 4.5, just a 4* to a fast, funny, filthy show that I wish I'd seen multiple times. 
Links: Company

*If I hadn't had other theatre reviews with ratings, this would have probably been a 5. However, the last two shows I reviewed with a 5 were on a level that transcended every single expectation and left me breathless in awe, so that's my standard of strength 5 theatre shows.  The problems of having a numerical rating system that you can't extend upwards!

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22. How (un)Smart Should a Writer Be?

How unSmart 3If you’ve been reading my deep travel tales, you’ll know how un-smart I am.

Count the times I’ve been run down on the road less traveled!

I was barely home from my travels in Africa and Asia when the gods pulled a U-turn and made roadkill of me yet again.

I was filming in the Canadian Rockies

I was shooting a film on the geomorphology of the high country. Think erosion. Even solid granite breaks up over time and washes to the sea. Everything disintegrates, including the human psyche.

Especially mine.

After an exhausting day filming on scree slopes above a chain of turquoise lakes and then debriefing the tapes over dinner with the sound tech we drove to Lake Louise to be closer to our next location. It was midnight by the time we found a tent site on the perimeter of a campground.

We pitched our tent and fell asleep.

I woke at dawn with rain drubbing softly on the sagging canvas.

I heard something else.

FuzzyWuzzyI crawled half out to peer around the tent—

Grizzly! Not six feet away from me.

Front paws on the picnic table, she sniffed our cooler, our food supply. Last night we had unloaded the jeep and then hastily secured one end of our pup tent to the table before passing out.

I’m sorry! I told you, I’m not that smart!

The bear took a second to fix me in the cross-hairs of her cold gaze.

I nudged Ken and whispered, “Grizzly.” He wanted to see. I shook my head furiously. He stuck his head out, withdrew, looked at me: “Three cubs.”

Worst case scenario. Now what?

Now what?

The tent collapsed.

The weight of the cooler and everything spilling out—bacon and steaks and yogurt, and bread, coffee, apples, raisins, nuts and milk and a week’s supply of Snickers Bars—it flattened the tent with us beneath it.

Four bears were sitting on us, eating. And not quietly, I might add.

While we lay still as death.

I thought of Fred.

Fred and I had played hockey at university. He was 6-3 and damned good-looking before he met the grizzly who left him minus one hip, a broken back, no scalp, half a face, and a chewed elbow, and those were just the physical injuries.

I was eroding inside, already.

I’d been here before, my life stopped dead in its tracks. (The cheetah comes to mind, remember?) My granite sense of self becoming “Fred,” I couldn’t muster the necessary thoughts to convince myself that life had meaning.

There was nothing left to obscure the fact that life has no meaning.

There was nothing left.

Hold that thought.

If you’ve read Story Structure Expedition, you’re familiar with how I recruited authors more eloquent than myself to do the heavy explaining through moments like this. Well, here we go again:

John Gray (The Silence of Animals), he sounds like he’s been under a grizzly’s picnic tablecloth:

“Accepting that the world is without meaning, we are liberated from confinement in the meaning we have made. Knowing there is nothing of substance in our world may seem to rob that world of value. But this nothingness may be our most precious possession, since it opens to us the inexhaustible world that exists beyond ourselves.”

That’s it! What every crisis has taught me.

If Mr. Gray moves over we can squeeze physicist, Alan Lightman, into this dilemma:

In our constant search for meaning in this baffling and temporary existence, trapped as we are within our three pounds of neurons, it is sometimes hard to tell what is real. We often invent what isn’t there. Or ignore what is. We try to impose order, both in our minds and in our conceptions of external reality. We try to connect. We try to find truth. We dream and we hope. Underneath all of these strivings, we are haunted by the suspicion that what we see and understand of the world is only a tiny piece of the whole.”

Lightman is describing the fictional protagonist waking up in the Act II Crisis.

At the heart of the story, heroes see the world as it really is.

Un-smart like me

I’m not saying I’m a hero, but I certainly have been serially un-smart. My talent for not being too smart for my own good has earned me the moral authority to enter the Act III of my life.

And now, writing from the perspective of the final act, I want to share with you some of my discoveries (however arguable they might be):

  1. The meaning of a human life is to realize—by whatever means possible—that nothingness is our most precious possession 
  2. The best fictional protagonists do just that
  3. Which aids and abets our own struggle to see the world as it really is
  4. And that’s why we read fiction
  5. And perhaps why we write it.


Behind the falling rain, low voices. The canvas was suddenly snapped back to reveal a uniformed park official standing over me with a rifle. He shook his head in dismay, or disdain.

I know, I’m an idiot, I’m sorry.

Mama lay in a heap, tranquilized, while her three cubs found refuge up a tree. Campers, soggy in the early morning rain, watched in disbelief.

I know, I know,  I’m sorry! It’ll happen again, I assure you.


Good writers—like good protagonists—are never too smart for their own good.

[POST SCRIPT: All this “meaning” business notwithstanding, I didn’t sleep well in a tent for a few years after that.]

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23. Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Tom Neely

























This week we celebrate the Popeye-obsessed, Metal-warped mind of Tom Neely! His new series The Humans, with his pal Keenan Marshall Keller, has become a sleeper hit for Image Comics and is the perfect vehicle for Neely’s action-packed, skull-rattling artwork!

I first picked up some of Neely’s comics(The Blot, Your Disease Spread Quick, a Melvins comic book) at San Diego Comic Con about 10 years ago and I have to say that his comics career has been one of the most interesting to follow. Tom Neely has shown great range & versatility as an artist, from creating the cult-classic underground series Henry & Glenn Forever with The Igloo Tornado artist collective to his time campaigning for, then drawing for IDW’s new Popeye series(a life long dream of his) and then his recent 228-page graphic novel The Wolf, a beautifully raw, bloody acid trip of a story!

With The Humans comic book Neely has(hopefully)found his long-term happy(biker-ape-loitation)home to stretch his ink brush arm in!

Neely earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the University of Tulsa & Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. He was born in Paris, Texas and now lives in Los Angeles, CA.

His 2007 graphic novel The Blot won him the Ignatz Award that year and was named one of the “Best Graphic Novels of the decade 2000-2010″ by The Comics Journal. He’s done many illustrations and album covers for the music industry including Green Day’s Demolicious, last year.

You can check out more of Tom Neely’s website here, and for fresh updates on The Humans go “like” the official FB page here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

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24. Minions Would You Rather

MinionsMinion Mayhem! Minions Would You Rather . . . 

We know you guys are big fans of the Despicable Me movies, and as you might know, the unofficial prequel Minions movie is hitting theaters July 10th! In the movie, we follow the minions in search of the perfect supervillain to work for before they met Gru. They try out Dracula, Napoleon, and the new character Scarlet Overkill.

Minions Operation GameAnd, this month only, if you subscribe to the STACKS Blast Newsletter you can enter for a chance to win a free Minions Prize Pack including the Minions Operation game and a Minions lunchbox! Subscribe here right now!

Now, get into the minion mindset, and let us know would you rather . . .

1. Be Stuart (one eyeball) OR Bob (small bald guy) OR Kevin (tall skinny guy)?

2. Be Dracula’s minion OR Gru’s minion?

3. Be able to understand “minion” OR speak 10 languages?

4. Be a supervillain OR superhero?

5. Battle The Incredible Hulk OR Darth Vader?

6. HAVE a sidekick OR BE a sidekick?

7. Eat bananas for a week OR watermelon for a week?

8. Have a dragon breathe fire on you OR a sumo wrestler sit on you?

Leave your answers in the Comments below, and let us know if you’re psyched for the movie!

-Ratha, Stacks Writer

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25. Trailer: ‘Top Cat Begins,’ Another Top Cat Film From Mexico

"Top Cat Begins" arrives October 9 in Mexico from Warner Bros. Pictures.

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