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1. DESIGNERS - by may

BY MAY is a new brand created by Swedish designers Johanna Örn and Maria Bergström. BY MAY will feature unique home interior products with focus on pattern design, colour and a variety of materials. They recently exhibited at Formex 2015 in Stockholm showcasing their new silicone Polygon Place mats and Watoji Notebooks where Scandinavian pattern design meets traditional Japanese bookbinding. 

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2. Book Blogger Hop - 1/30 - 2/5

 Question of the Week:

Do you ever get comments from authors when you have posted or tweeted your review?
My Answer:

Oh yes.  I love it when I hear from the author either in a comment, in a tweet, or in an e-mail.

Authors appreciate what we have to say, and they want us to know it.

I have gotten comments from a number of authors.

What about you?  Have authors been in touch?








 




















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3. Bella and the Bulldogs

BELLA AND THE BULLDOGSAre You a Bella Fan?

Bella is a head cheerleader at her middle school until her life takes an unexpected twist. Her rifle-like throwing arm takes her from the sidelines to becoming the starting quarterback in Nickelodeon’s newest live-action comedy series, Bella and the Bulldogs. Bella Dawson (played by Brec Bassinger) is a confident, caring, and talented teenager who suddenly finds herself fulfilling a lifelong dream. But she also has to navigate the world of her teammates Troy (Coy Stewart), Sawyer (Jackie Radinsky), and Newt (Buddy Handleson), without losing her two best friends, Pepper (Haley Tju) and Sophie (Lilimar) from the cheer squad.

BELLA AND THE BULLDOGS

Photo: Jim Fiscus/ Nickelodeon

Are you a fan of the new show, Bella and the Bulldogs? Let us know in the Comments.

-Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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4. Wollstonecraft: The Case of the Kickstarter Project

JORDAN STRATFORD is a producer, author, and screenwriter. Stratford launched the idea for the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency series on Kickstarter, where the response was overwhelming enthusiasm.

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5. 50 States Against Bullying: WASHINGTON

The thirty-fifth stop on the 50 States Against Bullying campaign brought me to Washington. I got to my hotel Wednesday night, and when I looked out my hotel window the next morning, it looked like it would be a beautiful day.


But really, any day where I get to speak to students is a beautiful day!


Did that sound too cheesy? Well, too bad! Because it's true.

I entered Chinook Middle School and saw #ReasonsWhyYouMatter notecards in flag-formation.


The 7th and 8th graders filled the gym, and it was fascinating to compare the students with faculty at this school. The students had so much energy! They'd listen closely and quietly, but then laugh so easily it could take a while to bring the noise down again. Which made it fun for me! And the faculty? They were just as energetic. I don't know if they all do jumping jacks between class periods or what, but they're doing something right here.



Then I had a few hours before a signing at University Book Store, so I went to the EMP Museum, which has the best pop culture exhibits of any museum I've seen. They had an entire Nirvana exhibit, which included several recognizable Cobain sweaters.


Walking through the Sci-Fi rooms, every time I rounded a corner I thought of a different friend who would have geeked out over what they displayed. Like David Bowie's clothes and wig from Labyrinth!


But the area I was most excited to explore concerned horror movies.


They had one of those stick thingies from The Blair Witch Project...


...a panel of dials and levers used in many classic movies, like Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein...


...and a zombie suit from Michael Jackson's Thriller video, which was probably my introduction to horror.


But the scariest prop was still that wig over in the Sci-Fi room.


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6. Book Beginnings - 1/30/15


*Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.  *Taken directly from Rose City Reader's Blog Page.

***************
This week's book beginnings comes from THE POCKET WIFE by Susan Crawford:



"The ambulance is still miles away when Dana awakens to the near dark of evening.  It wails ribbon-thin in the smog over the highway as she opens her eyes where she lies sprawled across her couch in a suburb of Paterson, a stone's throw from Manhattan but a different world entirely."

THE POCKET WIFE is a thriller with exquisite descriptions.

I am enjoying the book. My review is scheduled for March 17.  

I like to have things done early.  :)

What are you reading?
 






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7. Why I Can Never Benefit From Groupie Groups

Literary crushes and book boyfriends--they're a thing. I was kind of stunned when I first heard about them a few years ago. Various bloggers would carry on about their book boyfriends, a popular one being Mr. Darcy, that narrow-minded stick-in-the-mud, from Pride and Prejudice. Crushes, I always thought, were sort of shallow, not something anyone would admit to. Especially crushes on imaginary people. Especially if you were an adult.

But book people do enjoy them and do like to talk about them, and writers can talk about theirs in Special Features that will get shared on social media and everyone will love reading it. And I will never be able to be part of that because I don't do crushes particularly on imaginary people.

And when I like a really terrific character I don't crush on them, I want to be them. But not Mr. Darcy. And not Elizabeth Bennet, either. Jane Eyre, okay. Jo Bhaer in Little Men, not Jo March in Little Women. I wanted to be Sherlock Holmes when I was a kid. Not so much now.

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8. The ideal conditions for writing a book? Lari Don

Every time someone asks me how the new novel is going, I say the writing’s going fine, apart from all the things that get in the way. If only I could get a clear run at it, I say, I could have this book written in a month.

But I never get a clear run at it. And things always get in the way.

a week in which I did not get a lot of writing done, due to life happening
What gets in the way? School holidays. Leaking roof at the back of the house. Exam leave. Orthodontist appointments. Leaking roof at the front of the house. Promoting other books. And that’s just this month.

So I write in the gaps. In the moments of peace and quiet in the hurly burly of life. At night. Early in the morning. At bus stops. In staff rooms.

And I say, if only I could get a clear run at it… And I dream of the ideal conditions for writing a book.

Then I remember that I have never written a novel under ‘ideal conditions’. That every book I have written has been scribbled down around dentist’s appointments and ballet exams and minor household disasters. And that every book but the very first one has been written around author visits and promotional events.

So despite never writing under my vision of ideal conditions to write - long stretches of peace and quiet to think and to gaze at lovely scenery, while supportive but not intrusive people quietly provide healthy meals at regular intervals then clear up afterwards – despite that, I have already written six novels. (And more than a dozen other kids’ books.)

So perhaps I’m already writing under ideal conditions for making up stories. After all, what is currently getting in the way of my writing? Events (the roof!) and people (my wonderful family).

And what are my stories about? Events (the plot) and people (the characters).

So perhaps I need to be surrounded by, distracted by and infuriated by the messy and noisy business of being a human being, in order to be able to write.

Perhaps ideal conditions of peace and quiet and calmness would be far too sterile to inspire me.

Now, I must go and text the roofer, and while I’m waiting for him to get back to me, I’m sure I can write another few lines of that fight scene…



Lari Donis the award-winning author of 22 books for all ages, including a teen thriller, fantasy novels for 8 – 12s, picture books, retellings of traditional tales and novellas for reluctant readers. 


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9. PLAYTIME PARIS - gabriela larios

Another exhibition opening this weekend is Playtime Paris where designer Gabriela Larios will be showing her portfolioin the Crea tif. Space. From 31st January - 2nd February Gabriela will be exhibiting some of her latest designs, prints and illustrations for the children’s market, created and hand painted in her home based studio in London. Many of them inspired by Gabriela's love for picture

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10. Guest Post and Giveaway: Lily Dalton, Author of Never Surrender to a Scoundrel

Lily Dalton is celebrating the release of Never Surrender to a Scoundrel!  She stopped by the virtual offices to share a guest post, as well as an excerpt from her latest book.  There is also a giveaway you can enter!

Five Things Dominick, the Spy, Doesn’t Leave Home Without by Lily Dalton

  1. A silver cheroot case, which contains not only his favorite Burmese cheroots but a small set of specialized tools useful for all manner of circumstances, such as prying open locked boxes filled with secrets, and enabling one to make a fast escape when imprisoned against one’s will.

  2. A fashionable cane sword walking stick–which with a flick of his wrist, converts into a deadly dagger.

  3. An onyx ring that conceals within its hinged lid, the Secret Service intaglio he uses to certify his clandestine reports before they are delivered to the Home Office.

  4. His scars. Concealed by his clothing, they accompany him everywhere, reminders of past missions, and proof of his loyalty to his monarch and country. However, as a spy, he will never discuss the circumstances by which those painful badges of honor were earned.

  5. A Rundell, Bridge and Rundell pocket watch, recently given to him by the Prince Regent, in recognition of his heroism and bravery.

 

About NEVER SURRENDER TO A SCOUNDREL:

A Reckless Desire . . .

Lady Clarissa Bevington is in trouble. A reckless indiscretion has left her with two choices: ruin her family with the scandal of the Season, or marry Mr. Kincraig, the notorious scoundrel mistaken as her lover. Desperate and disgraced, Clarissa vows to love and cherish a veritable stranger, a man whose eyes smolder with danger-and undeniable desire . . . 

An Unexpected Arrangement

As an agent for the Crown, Lord Donovan Blackmer has spent the last two years guarding Clarissa’s grandfather from an unknown assassin while disguised as the rakehell Kincraig. His mission may now be over, but his duty has just begun. Salvaging his beautiful, impetuous wife’s virtue will cost him his fortune and his position as an officer-but it might save him from the ghosts that haunt his own past. When their marriage “in name only” leads to exquisite seduction, Donovan must risk the only thing he has left to lose . . . his heart.

About Lily Dalton:

Lily Dalton grew up as an Army brat, moving from place to place. Her first stop after relocating was always the local library, where she could hang out with familiar friends: Books! Lily has an English degree from Texas A & M University and after graduation worked as a legal assistant in the fields of accident reconstruction and litigation. She now lives in Houston, Texas, with her family. When she isn’t at work on her next manuscript, she spends her time trying out new recipes, cheering on her favorite Texas football teams and collecting old dishes, vintage linens and other fine “junque” from thrift stores and flea markets.


Lily’s SM:

@LilyDalton

http://www.lilydalton.com

http://facebook.com/LilyDaltonAuthor

Buy Links:

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1u0GMan

BAM – http://bit.ly/1ycV8Za

B&N – http://bit.ly/1ImG8wa

IndieBound – http://bit.ly/1DQU4fi

GooglePlay – http://bit.ly/1xVJiDW

iTunes – http://bit.ly/1y69D2o

Kobo – http://bit.ly/1C0fftP

Excerpt:

He set the nightshirt back on the bed, and spoke over his shoulder.

“I think it’s time you returned to your room.”

He spoke the words without passion. She could only assume he’d had enough talking and wanted her to leave. The night air chilled her skin, and she wrapped her arms around her waist for warmth. She felt rebuffed by him. Stung. Her husband, the man with whom she would spend the rest of her days, did not have the slightest interest in spending a moment more in her company.

She knew she ought to calmly say ‘Very well then, I bid you good night,’ and quit the room, but she feared with a certainty that if she opened her mouth and attempted to utter a single syllable, her voice would falter and reveal the confused tumult of her emotions.

Not because she cared for him. Of course she didn’t. Clearly he did not care for her.

They’d been thrown together, and no amount of wishful thinking or good intentions would create a spark between them, when such a spark was never intended to be. She blinked away tears. Foolish tears! As if he had hurt her, but he hadn’t.

It had just been a long day, and a long night before that, and she’d made a terrible mess of everything, and she hated Quinn. And perhaps still loved him. And she was lonely. So very lonely and frightened of what the future held.

So instead she nodded jerkily, her chin outthrust, and turned on her slippered foot to escape into the dark dressing closet, taking care to close the first and the second door firmly behind her. Miss Randolph reclined in her sleeping gown and robe on the chaise with her book open and steepled across her forehead, snoring, which was just as well because Clarissa could not face the woman’s questions or her pity.

She doused the lamps and, in darkness, with only the scant light from behind the fire grate to see, crawled into bed and lay on unfamiliar sheets, her mind tangled with thoughts of… Mr. Blackmer.

Suddenly, the door swung open, and a shadow moved toward her, stealthily and swift, with only the faint white swath across his hips visible in the night. She recognized Blackmer instantly and desire ignited inside her. He crouched above her, breathing hard, his skin still damp and the tight flex of muscles in his shoulders darkly illuminated. The scent of the soap from his bath filled her nostrils. Her pulse raced, her heart near exploding.

“You,” he growled deep in his throat. “Are my preference.”

A second later, he kissed her hard, pressing his thumb against the side of her jaw, commanding her lips to part while his tongue boldly entered and teased. She gasped for breath, stunned into half-senselessness…and surrendered, her mouth opening fully to accept each deep, possessing stroke.

He gave a husky groan. His large hands caught hers by the wrists, pinning her to the mattress. She squirmed beneath him—but with no intent to escape.

Moments before he had dismissed her coldly, and made her feel invisible and unwanted and yet in this moment, he revealed his true feelings, ones he’d tried to conceal. She knew without a doubt that her husband desired her. Something about that made her weak, and—

His mouth moved to her cheek…her neck, leaving her skin hot and awakened wherever his lips touched. Sensations she’d never experienced spiraled up from inside her, delicious and achingly sweet, awakening a need in her body and rendering her unexpectedly wild.

God help her, she didn’t understand, but she wanted him as well. The moment he released her hands she moaned and seized his shoulders, sliding her hands upward over his neck, finding unexpected appreciation in the powerful contraction and flux of his muscles beneath her palms. He exhaled, filling her mouth with his breath, and sucked her bottom lip—

Only to groan and twist away.

No. She reached, her hands trailing over his shoulders and his arms, desperately wanting more. More of his kiss, and his warm, firm skin. And yes, for him to ravish her so she would forget—

Then nothing.

The bed creaked, relieved of his weight. She heard his sharp exhalation of breath–a laugh, perhaps?

“Good night then, Mrs. Blackmer,” he murmured.

Silence filled the room.

“Good night,” she answered breathlessly.

He crossed the room, disappearing into the dressing closet, gone the way he had come. She heard the door close.

After a long moment of silence, Miss Randolph’s voice came from the direction of the chaise. “Well that was rather thrilling.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Guest Post and Giveaway: Lily Dalton, Author of Never Surrender to a Scoundrel appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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11. Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun - 1/30/15

Feeling Beachie
Love this meme....I hope you can join in the fun.  

Each week, Feeling Beachie lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs.  
The statements:
  1. Did you ___ the ____
  2. Sometimes you really need to _____
  3. If I were able to_____, I would___
  4. Different ways of_____makes_____
My Answers: 

1. Did you ever think the time would come when you would say you wish you were a certain age again?

2.  Sometimes you really need to step back and move out of a conversation.

3.  If I were able to be taller, I would like that.

4.  Different ways of thinking makes the world interesting.











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12. Perfect Picture Book Friday - The Name Jar

Happy Friday, Everyone!

What a crazy week, huh?  All I can say is, no one in my neck of the woods is going to pay any attention to whatever the weather person says next!

But they better listen up to the Weather Hog!

That's right!  Only 3 more days until GROUNDHOG DAY!  And you know what THAT means, right?

PHYLLICELEBRATION!!!

Some awesome Phyllis-lovers have already put together their poems for Phyllis, ready for Monday's special post, but if you haven't heard about it and want to join in, hop over HERE.

And now, for today's Perfect Picture Book which has nothing whatsoever to do with Groundhog Day, winter, snowpocalypses, etc. but is still an excellent book which I highly recommend! :)

Title: The Name Jar
Written & Illustrated By: Yangsook Choi
Dragonfly Books, 2001, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: acceptance/tolerance, fitting in, feeling different, multicultural diversity (Korean-American), being the new kid, names

Opening: "Through the school bus window, Unhei looked out at the strange buildings and houses on the way to her new school.  It was her first day, and she was both nervous and excited."

Brief Synopsis: Unhei's (pronounced Yoon-hye) first encounter with her American schoolmates leaves her feeling uncertain about her name, and different from everyone else.  Her name is difficult to pronounce.  Kids make fun of it.  It sets her apart.  How much easier to be Amanda, Laura, or Suzy!  So when she enters her new classroom, she tells the teacher she hasn't chosen her name yet - she'll let him know next week.  All through the week, her classmates fill a name jar with suggestions they think she might like.  But in the end, she is not Amanda, Laura or Suzy.  She is Unhei.  And she comes to realize just how special that is.

Links To Resources: Classroom Activities for The Name Jar; teaching tolerance with The Name Jar; more teaching resources for The Name Jar; make your own Name Jar.

Why I Like This Book:  This book is beautifully written, clearly communicating Unhei's acute agony over having a name that's different from everyone else's which is just the tip of the iceberg of being and feeling different.  She just wants to fit in.  But she also loves her Korean family, the Korean market that feels like a little piece of home in this strange new world, and her Korean heritage.  She knows the history of her name - how her grandmother and mother went to a name master specially to get the perfect name for her - Unhei, which means "grace."  She doesn't want to let go of that.  It takes a special friend to help her see that Unhei is who she is and should be.  A great choice for any child who is having trouble fitting in, or to help children have more understanding of a friend or classmate who might feel that way.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and GET READY FOR GROUNDHOG DAY!  WOO HOO! :)


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13. Relief: The Kirkus Review of One Thing Stolen

“Rivetingly captures the destructive effects of mental and physical illness on a likable, sweet-natured teen.”—Kirkus Reviews

Something very bad is happening to 17-year-old Nadia.Ever since her family relocated to Florence for her father's sabbatical, she's been slipping out at night to steal random objects and then weave them into bizarre nest-shaped forms she hides from her family, and she's losing her ability to speak. The first section of the novel is related by Nadia in brief, near-breathless, panicky sentences that effectively capture her increasing disintegration. Switching smoothly between entrancing flashbacks of her promising past—"It was so easy, being me"and her painful, confusing present, which includes visions of a "fluorescent" boy with a pink duffle, real or imagined, Nadia relates her story in fragments. Her parents, remarkably slow to realize Nadia isn't just having trouble adjusting, finally contact wise, nurturing Katherine, a doctor, for help. The narrative switches to the voice of Maggie, Nadia's beloved friend and soul mate, who joins the family in Italy to help Nadia and to find the duffle boy, whose existence—or not—has become critically important. It is he who narrates the final brief section. With Nadia's jumbled personality slipping away, the change of narrative voice is especially disquieting, offering few guarantees of a happy outcome. Disturbing, sometimes unsettling and ultimately offering a sliver of hope, this effort rivetingly captures the destructive effects of mental and physical illness on a likable, sweet-natured teen.

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14. The 11 explorers you need to know

The list of explorers that changed the way we see the world is vast, so we asked Stewart A. Weaver, author of Exploration: A Very Short Introduction, to highlight some of the most interesting explorers everyone should know more about. The dates provided are the years in which the explorations took place. Let us know if you think anyone else should be added to the list in the comments below.

  1. Pytheas of Massalia, 325 B.C.E.: The first known reporter of the arctic and the midnight sun.
    The Greek geographer sailed out of the Bay of Biscay and did not stop until he had rounded the coast of Brittany, crossed the English Channel, and fully circumnavigated the British Isles. Pytheas was an independent adventurer and scientific traveler—the first, for instance, to associate ocean tides with the moon. Whether he made it as far north as Iceland is doubtful, but he somehow knew of the midnight sun and he evidently encountered arctic ice. Even conservative estimates give him credit for some 7,500 miles of ocean travel—an astounding feat for the time and one that justifies Pytheas’s vague reputation as the archetypal maritime explorer.
  2. Abu ’Abdallah Ibn Battuta, 1349-1353: The first known crossing of the Sahara Desert
    The greatest of all medieval Muslim travelers was a Moroccan pilgrim who set out for Mecca from his native Tangier in 1325 and did not return until he had logged over 75,000 miles through much of Africa, Arabia, Central Asia, India, and China. He left the first recorded description of a crossing of the Sahara desert, including the only eye-witness reports on such peripheral and then little-known lands as Sudanic West Africa, the Swahili Coast, Asia Minor, and the Malabar coast of India for the better part of a century or more. His journeys included some high adventure and shipwreck worthy of any great explorer.
  3. Zheng He 1405-1433: China’s imperial expeditions
    The “Grand Eunuch” and court favorite of the Yongle Emperor of China, Zheng He led seven formidable expeditions through the Indian Ocean. The first voyage alone featured 62 oceangoing junks—each one perhaps ten times the size of anything afloat in Europe at the time—along with a fleet of 225 smaller support vessels, and 27,780 men. With the admiral’s death at sea in 1433, the great fleet was broken up, foreign travel forbidden, and the very name of Zheng He expunged from the records in an effort to erase his example. In 1420 Chinese ships and sailors had no equal in the world. Eighty years later, scarcely a deep-seaworthy ship survived in China.
  4. Christopher Columbus, 1492: God, gold, and glory in the discovery of the Americas
    Lured by flawed cartography, Marco Polo’s Travels, the legends of antiquity, and the desire for title and dignity, Columbus weighed anchor on August 3, 1492, in search of a westward route to China and resolved, as he said in his journal, “to write down the whole of this voyage in detail.” From the Canaries, the seasoned navigator picked up the northeast trades that swept his little flotilla directly across the Atlantic in a matter of 33 days. The trans-Atlantic routes he pioneered and the voyages he publicized not only decisively altered European conceptions of global geography; they led almost immediately to the European colonial occupation of the Americas and thus permanently joined together formerly distinct peoples, cultures, and biological ecosystems.
  5. Bartolomeu Dias, 1488: The first European to round the Cape of Good Hope
    For six months, Portuguese commander Bartolomeu Dias battled his way south along the coast of Africa against continual storm and adverse currents in search of an ocean passage to India. Finally, unable to do much else, Dias stood out to sea and sailed south-south-west for many days until providentially around 40° south he picked up the prevailing South Atlantic westerlies that carried him eastwards round the southern tip of Africa without his even noticing it. The Indian Ocean was not an enclosed sea; it was accessible from the Atlantic by way of what Dias fittingly called the Cape of Storms and his sponsor, King João of Portugal, named the Cape of Good Hope.
  6. James Cook, 1768-1779: The Christopher Columbus of the Pacific Ocean
    James Cook did not in any sense “discover” the Pacific or its island peoples. But he was the first to take full measure of both, to bring order, coherence, and completion to the map of the Pacific, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and to disclose to the world the broad lineaments of Polynesian cultures. His voyages set a new standard for maritime safety and contributed decisively to the development of astronomy, oceanography, meteorology, and botany and to the founding, in the next century, of ethnology and anthropology. They also did much to integrate Oceania into modern systems of global trade even as they stimulated a fondness for the primitive and the exotic.
David_Livingstone_statue,_Princes_Street_Gardens_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1777108
“David Livingstone statue, Princes Street Gardens” by kim traynor. CC-BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
  • David Livingstone, 1856: The first European to transverse sub-Saharan Africa from coast to coast
    Born in a one-room tenement in Scotland, this most famous of 19th century explorers had gone to Africa as medical missionary in 1841, but Livingstone’s wanderlust ran ahead of his proselytizing purpose. His sighting of the Zambezi river in June 1851 encouraged a vision of a broad highway of “legitimate commerce” into regions still blighted by the slave trade, and one year later he returned to explore its upper reaches, with the indispensable guidance and cooperation of the indigenous Makololo and other tribes. In May 1856, after years of harrowing travel, he became the first European to traverse sub-Saharan Africa from coast to coast
  • Nain Singh, 1866-1868: The first cartographer of the Himalayan Mountains
    Starting in the winter of 1866, Nain Singh began a two-year trek across the Himalayan Mountains. Known to his British employers as “Pundit No. 1,” Singh surveyed the height and positions of numerous peaks in the Himalayan range, and many of its rivers during his 1,500-mile trek. Recognized by the Royal Geographical Society on his retirement in 1876 as “the man who has added a greater amount of positive knowledge to the map of Asia than any individual of our time,” Singh provided Western explorers the tools to navigate on their own, rather than to rely on local guides.
  • Roald Amundsen, 1910-1912: The winner of the ‘race to the South Pole’
    During his three-year journey through the Northwest Passage beginning in 1903, Roald Amundsen learned to adapt to harsh polar conditions. The Norwegian learned to ski, appreciated the essential role of dogs in polar travel, and adapted to some native Inuit practices. Above all, learning to think small—in terms of ship size and crew—and to travel light , helped him beat his rival explorer, Englishman, Robert F. Scott to the South Pole by over a month. Scott, who considered Amundsen an interloper with a passion for chasing records, died with his four-person crew eleven miles short of their food depot.
  • Alexander von Humboldt, 1799-1804: Enlightenment scientist and romantic explorer of Latin America
    A Prussian geographer, naturalist, and explorer whose five-year expedition through Latin America cast him as a “second Columbus.” Humboldt confirmed the connection of two river systems, the Amazon and the Orinoco, and is most noted for his attempt to climb Chimborazo, then mistakenly thought to be the highest peak in the Americas. A crevasse stopped his team just short of the summit, but at 19,734 feet, they climbed higher than anyone else on record. Sometimes reviled as an example of the explorer as oppressor, one whose travel writing reduced South America to pure nature, drained it of human presence or history, and thus laid it open to exploitation and abuse by European empires, Humboldt has more recently been recovered as an essential inspiration of modern environmentalism.
  • Leif Eriksson (Son of Eirik the Red), 1001: Northern Europeans’ discovery of America
    Bjarni Herjolfsson accidentally triggered the European discovery of America in about 985 when he was blown off course while en route from Norway to Greenland. His adventure stirred an exploratory spirit in his countrymen. Fellow Norseman Leif Eiriksson had no known destination in mind when he set out across the North Atlantic in the year 1001. He sought something new, found it, occupied it, and then returned to tell others. While his journey from Greenland to the “new world” occurred roughly five hundred years before Columbus, it was not immediately celebrated in print and made no lasting cultural impression. Still, Leif’s landfall in “Vinland” led to the first attempt at a permanent European settlement in the Americas at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland.
  • Featured image: “Hodges, Resolution and Adventure in Matavai Bay” by William Hodges. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

    The post The 11 explorers you need to know appeared first on OUPblog.

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    15. No Landscape but...More 3/5 Challenge Art

    Here are a few more of my early illustrations, moving between whimsical and more realistic.





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    16. Laureate for Irish Fiction

           They've announced that Anne Enright has been named the inaugural 'Laureate for Irish Fiction' -- selected from 34 nominees (including William Trevor, Edna O'Brien, and John Banville, among some other pretty big names).
           It's a three-year gig, and she:

    will be expected to continue her work as a creative artist. In addition, over the course of her term, Anne Enright will spend one semester at University College Dublin and one semester at New York University.
           It also pays out €150,000 over the three years, which sounds pretty good, too.

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    17. Friday Feature: Crow's Rest by Angelica Jackson





    Avery Flynn arrives for a visit at her Uncle Tam's, eager to rekindle her summertime romance with her crush-next-door, Daniel.

    But Daniel’s not the sweet, neurotic guy she remembers--and she wonders if this is her Daniel at all. Or if someone--or something--has taken his place.

    Her quest to find the real Daniel--and get him back--plunges Avery into a world of Fae and changelings, where creatures swap bodies like humans change their socks, and magic lives much closer to home than she ever imagined.

    Coming out May 12 through Spencer Hill Press.

    Check out the trailer!



    Find the book on Amazon, B&N, and Goodreads.

    In keeping with her scattered Gemini nature, Angelica R. Jackson has far too many interests to list here.
    She has an obsession with creating more writing nooks in the home she shares with her husband and two corpulent cats in California's Gold Country. Fortunately, the writing nooks serve for reading and cat cuddling too.
    Other pastimes include cooking for food allergies (not necessarily by choice, but she’s come to terms with it), photography, and volunteering at a local no-kill cat sanctuary.

    Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Photo Galleries  |  Blog  |  Website

    Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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    18. Rotten fish and Belfast confetti

    Winston Churchill’s Victory broadcast of 13 May 1945, in which he claimed that but for Northern Ireland’s “loyalty and friendship” the British people “should have been confronted with slavery or death,” is perhaps the most emphatic assertion that the Second World War entrenched partition from the southern state and strengthened the political bond between Britain and Northern Ireland.

    Two years earlier, however, in private correspondence with US President Roosevelt, Churchill had written disparagingly of the young men of Belfast, who unlike their counterparts in Britain were not subject to conscription, loafing around “with their hands in their pockets,” hindering recruitment and the vital work of the shipyards.

    Churchill’s role as a unifying figure, galvanising the war effort through wireless broadcasts and morale-boosting public appearances, is much celebrated in accounts of the British Home Front. The further away from London and the South East of England that one travels, however, the more questions should be asked of this simplistic narrative. Due to Churchill’s actions as Liberal Home Secretary during the 1910 confrontations between miners and police in South Wales, for example, he was far less popular in Wales, and indeed in Scotland, than in England during the war. But in Northern Ireland, too, Churchill was a controversial figure at this time. The roots of this controversy are to be found in events that took place more than a quarter of a century before, in 1912.

    Then First Lord of the Admiralty, Churchill was booed on arrival in Belfast that February, before his car was attacked and his effigy brandished by a mob of loyalist demonstrators. Later at Belfast Celtic Football Ground he was cheered by a crowd of five thousand nationalists as he spoke in favour of Home Rule for Ireland. Churchill was not sympathetic to the Irish nationalist cause but believed that Home Rule would strengthen the Empire and the bond between Britain and Ireland; he also saw this alliance as vital to the defence of the United Kingdom.

    Churchill Side Image
    Winston Churchill As Prime Minister 1940-1945 by Cecil Beaton, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

    Loyalists were outraged. Angry dockers hurled rotten fish at Churchill and his wife Clementine as they left the city; historian and novelist Hugh Shearman reported that their car was diverted to avoid thousands of shipyard workers who had lined the route with pockets filled with “Queen’s Island confetti,” local slang for rivet heads. (Harland and Wolff were at this time Belfast’s largest employer, and indeed one of the largest shipbuilding firms in the world; at the time of the Churchills’ visit the Titanic was being fitted out.)

    Two years later in March 1914 Churchill made a further speech in Bradford in England, calling for a peaceful solution to the escalating situation in Ulster and arguing that the law in Ireland should be applied equally to nationalists and unionists without preference. Three decades later, this speech was widely reprinted and quoted in several socialist and nationalist publications in Northern Ireland, embarrassing the unionist establishment by highlighting their erstwhile hostility to the most prominent icon of the British war effort. Churchill’s ignominious retreat from Belfast in 1912 was also raised by pamphleteers and politicians who sought to exploit a perceived hypocrisy in the unionist government’s professed support for the British war effort as it sought to suppress dissent within the province. One socialist pamphlet attacked unionists by arguing that “The Party which denied freedom of speech to a member of the British Government before it became the Government of Northern Ireland is not likely to worry overmuch about free speech for its political opponents after it became the Government.”

    And in London in 1940 Victor Gollancz’s Left Book Club published a polemic by the Dublin-born republican activist Jim Phelan, startlingly entitled Churchill Can Unite Ireland. In this Phelan expressed hopes that Churchill’s personality itself could effect positive change in Ireland. He saw Churchill as a figure who could challenge what Phelan called “punctilio,” the adherence to deferential attitudes that kept vested interests in control of the British establishment. Phelan identified a cultural shift in Britain following Churchill’s replacement of Chamberlain as Prime Minister, characterised by a move towards plain speaking: he argued that for the first time since the revolutionary year of 1848 “people are saying and writing what they mean.”

    Jim Phelan’s ideas in Churchill Can Unite Ireland were often fanciful, but they alert us to the curious patterns of debate that can be found away from more familiar British narratives of the Second World War. Here a proud Irish republican could assert his faith in a British Prime Minister with a questionable record in Ireland as capable of delivering Irish unity.

    Despite publically professed loyalty to the British war effort, unionist mistrust of the London government in London endured over the course of the war, partly due to Churchill’s perceived willingness to deal with Irish Taoiseach Éamon de Valera. Phelan’s book concluded with the words: “Liberty does not grow on trees; it must be fought for. Not ‘now or never’. Now.” Eerily these lines presaged the infamous telegram from Churchill to de Valera following the bombing of Pearl Harbor the following year in 1941, which, it is implied, offered Irish unity in return for the southern state’s entry into the war on the side of Allies, and read in part “Now is your chance. Now or never. A Nation once again.”

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    19. 2015 Mock Newbery discussions at Emerson, part 7: OUR WINNERS! + GIVEAWAY!!!

    It's been an exciting journey with our students, reading and discussing what they think the most distinguished books for children have been in 2014. My students know their voices and opinions are valued--and that's made a huge difference to them. But even more than that, they've had a great time sharing their ideas with each other.

    As a special celebration, I'm hosting a giveaway of one of these titles of your choosing. Please see below for full details!


    The winner for the 2015 Mock Newbery at Emerson School is The Crossover, by Kwame Alexander. 

    Students passionately argued that The Crossover was not just a book they loved, but the writing distinguished and distinctive. They shared examples about the characters, the plot and the language. Students from all sorts of different backgrounds connected to the themes and language in The Crossover. This is not just a sports book, but rather a book that operates on a multitude of levels. I think most of all, they responded Kwame Alexander's voice, in the way he both riffed on rap style but also wove deeper issues that made kids pause and think.

    We celebrated three honor books that all received more votes than the rest of the titles. The three honor books for 2015 Mock Newbery at Emerson are:
    The Swap, by Megan Shull -- a book that resonated emotionally with many students, because it captured some of the inner and social pressures kids feel today. The followed the complex plot, and found the voices clear and consistent. I especially appreciated the nuanced gender roles -- some typical for boys and girls, some less expected.
    The Snicker of Magic, by Natalie Lloyd -- students responded to the lovely language, the heartfelt themes and the magical fantasy in Lloyd's debut novel. They understood how hard it was for Felicity to move every time things started to get tough for her mom. They could feel how important words were to Felicity. And they could see Felicity growing throughout the story.
    The Fourteenth Goldfish, by Jennifer L. Holm -- it was wonderful to see how students responded to the layers of science, fantasy and family. There was just the right amount of depth to draw students in, but never overwhelm them. That balance takes incredible skill; Holm creates thought-provoking situations without making readers feel like they're being led into a discussion. Our readers responded to the humor, the heart and the love in this story.

    Will any of these win the 2015 Newbery Medal? We'll all find out on Monday, February 2nd when the winners are announced in Chicago at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. You can follow the live webcast here early Monday morning.

    I'll be spending the weekend with my library "book friends", talking about favorite books we've read and new books we're looking forward reading this year. These four special books will certainly be ones I'll be sharing--because my students' excitement is contagious!

    GIVEAWAY: As a special celebration, I would like to send one of these titles to a classroom or school library as a way to share a love of books. Please fill out the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway rulles are simple:
    1. Giveaway ends Thursday 2/5 at 12am Pacific.
    2. Winners must be to the United States shipping address.
    3. Kids & parents may enter, and present the gift to a teacher or school library.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway


    I want to give a special thanks to all the publishers who supported our book club by sending review copies. It made our small adventure possible. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books. Thank you for your support.

    ©2015 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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    20. Mirror Gazing review

           The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Warren Motte's study of Mirror Gazing in literature.

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    21. Illustration Friday: Passion


    Ferdinand didn't understand why they liked to flail and scream like that whenever he wore his special hat, but he hated it with a passion.  So annoying.

    Just squeaking by the IF deadline with something quick.  Have a wonderful weekend!

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    22. Is Social Sharing the No. 1 Ranking Strategy? List of WordPress Plugins Just in Case

    What’s the number 1 online marketing strategy today? It’s social media sharing. Uh, well, maybe . . . most probably. Rumors and murmurings are filtering through the internet world insinuating that ‘sharing’ is now more powerful than backlinks. I did some research as to whether this is true or not, but couldn’t find any concrete evidence. But, if it’s not true yet, it probably will be the

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    23. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week,Featuring Edwin Fotheringham,Juana Medina, and Stephen Savage


    – From Doreen Cronin’s Smick!, illustrated by Juana Medina


     

    “Monkey screeched and turned to Duck,
    ‘Buddy, ol’ pal, are we in luck!'”
    – Spread (without text) from Jennifer Hamburg’s
    Monkey and Duck Quack Up!,
    illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham

    (Click to enlarge)


     

    – From Stephen Savage’s Supertruck


    (Click to enlarge)

     
    Today over at Kirkus, I write about the newest picture book from Michael Hall, called Red: A Crayon’s Story (Greenwillow Books, February 2015). That link will be here soon.

    * * *

    Last week I wrote about three new picture books, geared at very young children — Jennifer Hamburg’s Monkey and Duck Quack Up!, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham (Scholastic, February 2015); Doreen Cronin’s Smick!, illustrated by Juana Medina (Viking, February 2015); and Stephen Savage’s Supertruck (Neal Porter/Roaring Brook, January 2015).

    I’ve got art and preliminary images from these books below.

    Enjoy.



     

    Spreads from Doreen Cronin’s Smick!,
    illustrated by Juana Medina
    (click each to enlarge):


     



     



     



     



     

    Early Roughs from
    Stephen Savage’s Supertruck:


     






    Eight images above: Failed covers


     

    Final Art from Supertruck:


     


    (Click to enlarge)


     


    (Click to enlarge)


     


    (Click to enlarge)


     



     

    Older iterations of the title pages in
    Jennifer Hamburg’s
    Monkey and Duck Quack Up!,
    illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
    (click each to enlarge):


     






     

    Progression of a Spread
    from Monkey and Duck Quack Up!
    (click each to enlarge):


     

    Edwin: The only spread…that was changed fairly dramatically is Monkey on the boat doing activities. This began as a boat elevation cut-away that turned into spots of individual activities. There are four iterations: 1) cut-away view; 2) activities in color blocks (notice water slide and pool in right panels); 3) activities in color blocks, version two (pool becomes food buffet); and 4) final art with activities in bouncy bubbles (water slide becomes disco). In the final version, other characters (in silhouette) were added to make the cruise less like a ghost ship.

     






     

    Final Art (Without Text) and Cover from
    Monkey and Duck Quack Up!:


     


    “Up onstage, when it was time,
    they wowed the crowd with one great rhyme …”

    (Click to enlarge spread)


     



     

    * * * * * * *

    Illustrations from Monkey and Duck Quack Up! by Jennifer Hamburg. Illustrations © 2015 by Edwin Fotheringham. Used with permission from Scholastic Press.

    SMICK! Copyright © 2015 by Doreen Cronin. Illustrations © 2015 by Juana Medina. Published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Group, New York. Illustrations reproduced by permission of Juana Medina and the publisher.

    SUPERTRUCK. Copyright © 2015 by Stephen Savage. Published by Neal Porter Books, Roaring Brook Press, New York. All images reproduced by permission of Stephen Savage, pictured below.


    (Click to enlarge)

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    24. CARDS - jessica hogarth

    Designer Jessica Hogarth exhibited at Top Drawer in London recently and showcased a new range of greetings cards. Jessica is based in Whitby, on the North Yorkshire coast where the seaside often influences her work. She loves to hand draw her designs and then work them into stylish and bright colour schemes. Next week Jessica exhibits at the Spring Fair in Birmingham. and you can find her cards

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    25. Happy 100th Birthday, Disney Legend Bill Peet! (Gallery)

    Happy centennial birthday to Bill Peet (1915-2002) who was born in Grandview, Indiana exactly one hundred years ago today.

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