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1. POETRY FRIDAY: End of Summer






Well, the hot days of summer...and endless hours of freedom are coming to a close for school-aged children. On the first day of school each year, I presented my students with little booklets of end-of-summer and back-to-school poems. For this Poetry Friday, I am posting some of the poems that I included in those booklets

Here is the first stanza of Eve Merriam’s poem  Leavetaking:

Vacation is over;
It's time to depart.
I must leave behind
(Although it breaks my heart)

Click here to read the rest of the poem.


Now
by Prince Redcloud

Close the barbecue.
Close the sun.
Close the home-run games we won.
Close the picnic.
Close the pool.
Close the summer.
Open school.


Here is the last stanza of Judith Viorst’s poem Summer’s End:

And all the shiny afternoons
So full of birds and big balloons
And ice cream melting in the sun are done.
I do not want them done
.

Click here to read the rest of the poem.


Here is the first stanza of Bobbi Katz’s poem September Is:

September is
when yellow pencils
in brand new eraser hats
bravely wait on perfect points–
ready to march across miles of lines
in empty notebooks–

Click here to read the rest of the poem.


From Aileen Fisher’s poem The First Day of School:

I wonder if my drawing,
will be as good as theirs.

I wonder if they'll like me,
or just be full of stares
.

Click here to read the rest of the poem.

**********

My granddaughter Julia is really enjoying her summer this year. She is learning how to swim...and loves jumping into the pool! 




**********


Heidi has the Poetry Friday Roundup at My Juicy Little Universe.


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2. August excerpt: What Is a Dog?

9780226127941

“Why Do Village Dogs All Look Alike?”*

Of the billion dogs in the world, three-quarters of them look as much alike as do the individuals of any other species.

A few years ago we asked a Navajo shepherd what a Navajo sheepdog looked like. He said, “A Navajo sheepdog is not too big and not too small.” To us the Navajo sheepdogs were identical in size and shape and color variations with the sheepdogs of Sonora and the village dogs in the mountains of Venezuela or the ones we worked with in eastern and South Africa or saw in India and China.

That is true of the majority of dogs in the world—they are not too big and they are not too small. One of the most fascinating details about that 85 percent of the dogs in the world that control their own reproductive life is: they all look alike.

The similarity between the pigeon world and dog world continues. Pigeons, in some sense, all look alike. The pigeons in the Mexico City dump fly and look just like the pigeons in Trafalgar Square, like the pigeons in Istanbul, like the pigeons in Central Park, like the pigeons in Milan. Wherever you go, the pigeons in the park look like the pigeons in every other park.

No two pigeons are the same, of course. No two pigeons are exactly the same color or size or shape. At the same time, they all look pigeon-like. They have an essence that evokes pigeons. “I know one when I see one.”

It is true for every species. The chickadees at our feeders all look very much alike, and it takes practice to see the little differences that distinguish them. They all can get into the bottle feeder as far as we know. The same is true with blue jays and squirrels. The squirrels are intriguing because around here you sometimes see a black one or a brown one, but it still looks like a squirrel. At one time we lived on a small island of nesting seagulls. After a few years, we could distinguish the boys from the girls because of subtle differences in their head shapes.

All wolves look alike. But the wolves also show small variations of a neutral monotone. It could be that wolves vary more in coat color than squirrels do. Thus, a pack of grey wolves (Canis lupis) might have mostly gray animals except for an anomalous white one or black one. In some regions, the wolves are mostly white. Right now there seems to be an increase in frequency of black wolves in Yellowstone National Park. Color variations appear in certain subspecies of the gray wolf: the red wolf (Canis lupus rufus), the Arctic wolf (Canis lupus arctos), and the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi). Yet even with a color difference, they still look like wolves. (Taxonomists are confused about which scientific name to give to some of these wolves, but they recognize the essence of wolf in all the variations.)

In any given area, the wolves tend to be the same size. From the far north to the east of the Mediterranean, they will grade in size from larger to smaller. A biologist would say this gradation is a cline, that the species follows Bergmann’s rule: it grades from a large animal in the north to a smaller size on the equator. Ecologist Val Geist once pointed out that the cline isn’t always perfect. Wild sheep also exhibit these clines. For example, the bighorn sheep (140–300 pounds, 3–3.5 feet) of the northern Canadian Rocky Mountains grade down to the smaller mouflon of the Iranian desert (90–120 pounds, up to 2–4 feet at shoulder height) with smooth coats. What’s noteworthy is that all those different “species” of sheep along the cline are interfertile from north to south—including domestic sheep. As with the dogs, the spot on the cline from which the domestic sheep evolved is difficult to pinpoint. The big gray wolves in the north are interfertile with all the other members of the genus, all the way to little jackals in equatorial Africa. The genus Canis appears to us to be a single species cline.

Free-ranging street and village dogs, also, tend to be bigger regionally in the north and up into the mountains, and smaller in equatorial regions. In Greenland, on Baffin Island, and over in the Hudson Bay area, the village dogs we have observed can weigh as much as sixty pounds, whereas equatorial dogs are basenji-like and weigh less than twenty-five pounds. With increasing latitude and altitude, dogs tend toward being rough coated.

So, if the village dogs range from twenty to sixty pounds and from smooth coats to rough, how could we say they all look alike? It is a good question. For us, the population density of dogs weighs heavily on our thinking. The farther you get from the equator, or the higher in the mountains, the fewer the street or village dogs. In the warm climates, the density can be substantial. When we want to study village dogs, our preference is to go south (toward the equator) rather than north. Those regional warm-weather dogs, all about the thirty-pound, lion-colored variety, are usually prevalent. This strongly indicates that the overall size and color of the local dog is an adaptation to the local geography, the climate, and the prey base—in other words, the niche in which they make their living.

Every once in a while we will see a report that scientists have discovered a new species of mammal. That means they have discovered a new shape in a population of animals that are sexually isolated from all other species (well, maybe sexually isolated, but not always). They name it with a Latin binomial indicating the genus and species. It might not be a bad system if the biologists stuck to the rules. many people contend that dogs and wolves are in the same species (Canis lupus lupus). The classification of any species should be mostly about biology/evolution but it can also be about beliefs, culture, politics, and numerous other factors. When a wild canid was first discovered in New Hampshire in 1944, after a lot of talk and measurements it was a classified as a coyote (Canis latran). The animals were bigger than the well-known western coyote (also of course Canis latrans). Barbara Lawrence and William Bossert at Harvard measured skulls of wolves, coyotes, and the New England canid and concluded that the New England animal was, although not exactly the same as the coyotes, closer physically to them than to wolves. Well, those of us who had studied with Professor Wood did not believe skull measurements to be accurate indicators of species, and our research, done later with our student, Michael Sands, revealed histologically (shape) that the sweat glands in their feet resembled those of gray wolves in Alaska and not those of western coyotes, although few people seem ever to have read that paper, published in the Journal of Mammalogy in 1976.

It was always suspicious that had the New England canid been classified as a gray wolf it would have fallen under the Endangered Species Act. That would have led to any number of management restrictions about how fish and game scientists in New England states could manage this population. We now have lots of these wild canids in this region. The discussion is heating up as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decides whether it is time to take the gray wolf off the Endangered Species list because its population is increasing. If the eastern coyote really is a gray wolf, then it is not rare and not endangered. Again it looks like whatever species it is, the discussion is more political than scientific.

Interested people have debated the ancestry of the dog since the late 1800s. Not only have wolves, jackals, or dingoes been suggested as an ancestor of dogs, but several people argued that dogs were the result of hybridization between wolves and jackals. There were astonishing theories about big dogs (breeds) evolving from the Chinese wolves. The Nobel Prize–winner Konrad Lorenz at one point suggested that some “breeds” of dogs descended from wolves and others from golden jackals. When we met him in 1978, he started the conversation by saying, “Everything I have written about the dog is wrong—but it was better that I discovered it rather than someone else.”

*This excerpt has been adapted (without endnotes) from What Is a Dog? by Raymond Coppinger and Lorna Coppinger (2016).

***

To read more about What Is a Dog?, click here.

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3. Got Milk?

I saw an ad for a brand-new fridge.
It made me jealous - just a smidge,
For every time its doors do close
(Which happens often, I suppose),

It snaps a photo, which is sent
Right to your phone and it is meant
To help you out when at the store
In case your memory is poor.

You low on milk? Your butter gone?
Your cheese used up? Rely upon
Your phone and fridge to let you know
The aisles to which you need to go.

A written list? That's so passe.
Technology will lead the way
And take us to the very brink
Of where we'll never have to think.

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4. Puddle Jump !

It's here! It's here! It's here!

Puddle Jump Collective : 13 children's book author / illustrators combining forces to showcase art, discuss craft, collaborate, and contribute to the kidlit world.

We'll blog, share projects, and splash often.

I'm honored to be one of the lucky 13.

This rain-loving girl skipped to the front of the line
for the our very first project -
a collaborative Puddle Parade.

Author/illustrator Lorian Dean is next up
to combine my rainy girl with an entirely new character and set up,
which she will post, and tag another illustrator to follow suit.
I can't wait to see what transpires.

I hope you'll join us as we journey into the big pond.


Jump!










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5. cornell collective podcast

Hey, I was in a podcast with Margaret Dunlap, Paul Cornell and John Scalzi (edited by Dave Probert from Geek Planet Online)! You can listen to us chat about what we do over on the Cornell Collective website.

Cornell Collective

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6. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 211 - 8.25.16


Guardians of the Arctic. Resolved. Defiant. And in steadfast opposition to the changes they don't fully comprehend.

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7. खाना खाने के तरीके

खाना खाने के तरीके Diet tips या खाने के तरीके हम जहांं भी पढते हैं सतर्क हो जाते हैं पर खाना खाने के और खाना  digest करने के तरीके ऐसे कभी नही पढे होंगें .. आज जब अपनी सहेली मणि के घर किसी काम से गई तो परेशान थी कि खाना कैसे खाऊं… ओह… मैने […]

The post खाना खाने के तरीके appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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8. Family Stories

How use a family story as a basis for your historical fiction middle grade or young adult novel.

http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/writing-historical-fiction-based-on-a-family-story

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9. Cover Art!


Always exciting to see the final cover come together on a new project! And in this case, my first board book with the good folks at Sasquatch's Little Bigfoot imprint. On sale in February 2017!

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10. have you ever daydreamed about improving your lettering?

So, where has all that time gone, huh? The last time I posted anything here my lettering course, over at Sketchbook Skool, was just about to start. Now, over a thousand students and nearly month of daily classes later, we're coming up to our final week. I hope all of those of you who signed up have learned lots and keep on playing with lettering. I know I'll keep pushing and pulling and squashing and stretching my lettering because there's just so many places to take it. Interesting in expanding your lettering? You can learn how to do this kind of stuff. Or interested in pushing your drawing for that matter, there are loads of brilliant courses at Sketchbook Skool. Right, I have a few more tricks up my sleeve for the final week...

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11. Pasadena Loves YA 2016

Hi everyone! Just popping in for a quick post about Pasadena Loves YA. Our friend Jane Gov who is the teen librarian at Pasadena Public Library (Central Branch) has organized this event for the past couple of years, and we're really looking forward to seeing everyone there again!

What: Pasadena Loves YA is a free teen book festival presented by Pasadena Public Library

Where: Pasadena Public Library - Central Branch, 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91101

When: Saturday, Sept 17, 2016 from 12-4 pm. First 300 attendees get free tote bags, so get there early!

What: Meet 19 young adult authors, listen to panels speak about various topics, and get your books signed! Book sales by Vroman's Bookstore. Helping hands provided by Bridge to Books. Find out more at pasadenateenbookfestival.com and follow @pasadenalovesya on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook! No ticket is necessary but we'd love it if you could RSVP here. The official hashtag = #plya16 (you can also tag = #pasadenalovesya)

Who:

Josephine Angelini (Witch's Pyre)
Frank Beddor (Crossfire)
Elizabeth Briggs (Future Shock)
Julie Buxbaum (Tell Me Three Things)
Cecil Castellucci (Stone in the Sky)
Tobie Easton (Emerge)
Dana Elmendorf (South of Sunshine)
Charlotte Huang (Going Geek)
Kerry Kletter (The First Time She Drowned)
Eric Laster (#Static)
Aija Mayrock (The Survival Guide to Bullying)
Shannon Messenger (Let the WInd Rise)
Marisa Reichardt (Underwater)
Robin Reul (My Kind of Crazy)
Robyn Schneider (Extraordinary Means)
Evelyn Skye (The Crown's Game)
Ingrid Sundberg (All We Left Behind)
Thomas Voorhies (The Giant)
Nicola Yoon (Everything Everything)

What a lineup, right? There will be giveaways and some refreshments, too!

Just a few pointers:

  • Parking - Parking can get a little hairy! There's metered parking on the street and a time limit on the lot, but if you park next door at University of Phoenix you should be fine (and it's covered!). Just don't park in any reserved spaces. There are also 2 public parking lots in walking distance. 
  • Books - You may bring books from home. Is there a title you can't live without? Better bring it--Vroman's will have the latest from each author, but supplies will be limited. Of course, supporting our indie bookstore partner with purchases will be greatly appreciated, and will help ensure they'll be back next year with more books!
  • Food - There aren't any places to buy food in the library during the event, and while there are sometimes refreshments, we tend to run out. We highly recommend bringing a picnic lunch, snacks to munch, and something to drink (coffeeholics, I'm looking at you! the nearest Starbucks is at the Paseo Colorado). You can also eat in most of the spaces such as the auditorium, the story room, and the patio--just make sure to keep the library clean!
  • Autographs - Signings and panels will be in the same room--you should be able to listen to the next panel while waiting in the signing line. We will have volunteers armed with Post-Its and Sharpies if you want your book personalized.
  • Tickets - No tickets are necessary, but we'd be grateful if you would RSVP at the Facebook event listing. It would also be awesome if you could share the post with your friends!
  • Social Media - We'd love to see your photos and tweets on social media! Make sure you tag them #plya16 and #pasadenalovesya so they make it to both this year's and the continuing tag feeds. We'll be publishing a quick guide to all of the authors' Instagram and Twitter handles next week, along with the schedule, so you can plan your day!

Any more questions? Head over to pasadenateenbookfestival.com or message pasadenateenbookfest at gmail dot com. We'll do our best to provide answers!

See you on September 17th!

~Alethea

(cross-posted at Kid Lit Frenzy)

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12. Furthermore, by Tahereh Mafi

To be honest, I was first drawn to this book because of the gorgeous cover. Who wouldn't fall for the jeweled toned rich hues suggesting autumn evenings wrapped up in cashmere? Then I noticed the girl, front and center oddley white except for a hint of a blush on her cheeks and gold toned eyes. I was curious.

Furthermore joined me on my journey upstate to my summertime reading retreat.  It's August pub date meant it wasn't the first book that I read, but I kept eyeing it as I pulled others from the shelf.  Clocking in at 393 pages, this is not a slight read, but once I started it, I put it down only to sleep.

Alice, almost twelve, is filled with anticipation for Ferenwood's annual Surrender. She is anxious for life to change, because frankly Alice's life hasn't been so easy lately.  Not only is Alice considered odd, even by Ferenwood's magical standards, her father is still missing.  Alice's father is the one who really cared for her and understood her despite her differences from everyone else in Ferenwood. He indulged her and listened to her. And now it was only Alice, her three little brothers and her mother.

 "Alice was beginning to realize that while she didn't much like Mother, Mother didn't much like her, either. Mother didn't care for the oddness of Alice; she wasn't a parent who was predisposed to liking her children." (p.10)

Because of her situation, the Surrender is more important to Alice than she can really say.  Ferenwood is a magical place, and everyone who resides there has magical gifts. The Surrender is the time when all the 12 year olds share their gifts upon the stage.  At the end of the surrender, only one child would be celebrated and given a task. The task is always an adventure of some sort and is rather secretive as well. This year there are 86 twelve-year-olds. Alice meeds to win the task in order to leave her home.

But Alice is odd, and she believes that in this magical world, her love of dance is her gift. After all her father always encouraged her to listen to the earth and to dance when she feels it.

Alas.

Alice's failure on the stage, however, is not the death knell for adventure. An acquaintance of hers named Oliver approaches her with a request. One that will bring her on the adventure of her life if she chooses to accompany him.

What follows is an adventure reminiscent of the Phantom Tollbooth, with a dash of Through the Looking Glass and a coming of age bent.  Furthermore is a place like no other. The orderly magic of Ferenwood is wild here, and the rules seem to change from town to town.  Will Oliver and Alice be able to find her father and bring him home?

This is a fantasy adventure that will keep readers on the edge of the page. Interestingly both Alice and Oliver are unlikeable at times for very different reasons which get slowly revealed as their adventure moves along. At first I was worried about the idea of Alice being white in the sea of color that is Ferenwood.  What did it mean? But it works in that it others Alice in a way but helps explain her own magic as the story unfurls. 

I enjoyed the voicey nature of Furthermore. Alice, though exasperating, is endearing as well. I was charmed by the chapter sections' headings as well as the fox! There is a cinematic aspect to Furthermore and I would *love* to see it on the big screen.

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13. My tweets

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14. Swiss Oscar Contender ‘Ma Vie de Courgette’ Unveils English-Subbed Trailer

A big hit at Cannes and Annecy, the Oscar-contending "Ma Vie de Courgette" now has an English-subbed trailer.

The post Swiss Oscar Contender ‘Ma Vie de Courgette’ Unveils English-Subbed Trailer appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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15. Sitting Health Risk

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/29/sitting-health-risks-_n_5692271.html

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16. खाने के सही कॉम्बिनेशंस की जानकारी

खाने के सही कॉम्बिनेशंस की जानकारी Information of right food combinations.  Healthy diet या खाना क्या खाऎ. उससे भी ज्यादा जरुरी है कि क्या चीज किसके साथ खाई जाए ताकि नुकसान न करे… आज मणि बता रही थी कि थायराइड के मरीजों सोया प्रोडक्ट्स, फूलगोभी, ब्रोकली एवं पत्ता गोभी नही खानी चाहिए. मेरे लिए जानकारी […]

The post खाने के सही कॉम्बिनेशंस की जानकारी appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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17. (Soon) Headed to the AJC Decatur Book Festival

Three years ago, I was there, at the AJC Decatur Book Festival, one of the happiest book events there ever could be. I arrived alone. I stepped into the hotel lobby and I wasn't anymore. Suddenly I was in the company of Jessica Shoffel and Doni Kay, who walked me to the Little Shop of Stories (the epicenter of this event), sat with me over tea, invited me to meet Tomie dePaolo (images of all that here), to have dinner with him later. The next day I took an early morning walk and discovered the tour de force that is Diane Capriola out and about, so we talked. I needed some shoes, so I bought a pair that remain my favorite to this day. A few hours later, I sat beside the very brilliant Stacey D'Erasmo (a writing heroine, truly) and, before a packed house, we talked about memoir and intimacy as if no one else was in sight. I found Nancy Krulick on the stage after that. A long conversation with the smart DJ MacHale was had in the ride back to the airport.

Two days I'll never forget.

Next weekend I return to Decatur, this time to sit on a Terra Elan McVoy moderated panel with writers Ami Allen-Vath and Alexandra Sirowy. The topic this time will be young-adult books. I'll be talking, specifically, about This Is the Story of You.

Word is that my dear former neighbor, Shirley, will be there in the audience mix. That, perhaps, one of my favorite rediscovered friends of high school, will be there with his literary daughter. I'm looking forward to you, Decatur, and I thank Chronicle Books and Lara Starr for making it possible for me to be there.

My event is here, should you happen to be in town.

Sunday September 4
2:00 PM
Teen Stage
Aftermath
Ami Allen-Vath, Alexandra Sirowy, Terra Elan McVoy
AJC Decatur Book Festival




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18. FALSE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT ALERT

A very kind reader brought something urgent to my attention today. Someone has created an instagram account for Print & Pattern that is not by me. They are posting pictures from this blog but not crediting any of the artists. Something I would never do. I would urge anyone following this account just because they believe it to be officially by the Print & Pattern Blog to unfollow it now, and if

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19. Poetry Friday: August by Mary Oliver

When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
this thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is
this happy tongue.

- August by Mary Oliver

View all posts tagged as Poetry Friday at Bildungsroman.

View the roundup schedule at A Year of Reading.

Learn more about Poetry Friday.

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20. Back to School - But Not for Me

This is the first week of school for the University of Colorado, where I taught for 22 years as a tenured professor in the Philosophy Department. It's the first week of school for DePauw University, where I taught as a visiting professor for six blissful semesters over the course of the last five years. It's the first full week of the new school year at Boulder Valley Public Schools, where both of my boys were educated from kindergarten to high school graduation. My two-and-a-half-year old granddaughter, Kataleya, had her first day at Sunflower Preschool yesterday (and our feverishly undertaken potty training held up under the stress!).

But it's not the first week of school for me.

Instead I've spent the week savoring every minute of a visit from a high school friend from New Jersey - actually, a friend from first grade on. In third grade, when I acquired the inevitable cereal-company-inspired nickname of General Mills, I founded an army to chase the boys at recess. Kim was the army's only other member, my reluctant but obliging private. For the last decade or so, we've enjoyed annual visits, me returning to New Jersey to connect with her when I was there for various writing-related events, she flying to Colorado for time in the mountains. On this visit, we spent one day at the Denver Botanic Gardens, one day at the "Women of Abstract Expressionism" and "Rhythm and Roots" exhibits at the Denver Art Museum (both excellent), and one day, the best day, up in Rocky Mountain National Park. What could be more fun than that?

And yet . . . it feels strange not to be going back to school myself, to be playing while others are working, wandering past paintings and waterfalls while others are finalizing syllabi and welcoming students. Maybe I really truly am retired now?

No. My own "back-to-school" frenzy will be observed the week after Labor Day, which is actually when school should begin, the way it always did when I was growing up in New Jersey (and where it still does, I believe, on most of the East Coast). That will the week of Kataleya's official start to preschool. That will be the week I leap into productivity as a full-time writer.

I will work hard on my new chapter book series idea, my THIRD this year, rebounding energetically and enthusiastically from my publisher's rejection of ideas number one and number two. I will revise and expand several scholarly children's literature articles and ready at least one and preferably two to submit for publication. I will read up a storm as a member of the Children's Literature Association's Phoenix Award Committee, which gives an award for a children's book published 20 years ago that did not receive a major award in its year of original publication but deserves one now.

So I am definitely going back to school, or at least back to work, on the day after Labor Day. There is still time for me to buy myself some new school supplies! There is still time to put on a red plaid jumper! And to sharpen pencils, and organize notebooks, and make "new school year" goals. Summer is lasting a bit longer for me this year than for my friends and neighbors, but in two more weeks, I'll be ready for the best school year ever.

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21. Poetry Friday with a review of What’s for dinner: Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World

For most of us humans, the process of getting our food is relatively simple. We go to a shop or a market and buy what we need. For animals, this process is more complicated. Food has to look for , which can take hours or days. If the animal eats meat, a prey animal needs to be caught and killed.

In this poetry title children will find unique poems that explore what animals eat. The sometimes 'ick' worthy poems combine humor and facts to give children an entertaining and educational experience.

What's for Dinner?: Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World What’s for dinner:Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World
Katherine B. Hauth
Illustrated by David Clark
Poetry
For ages 6 to 8
Charlesbridge, 2011, 978-1-57091-472-0
Animals spend a lot of their time looking for food. After all, if they don’t forage or hunt for their meals they will “croak,” and therefore “finding food / is no joke.” Some of the things animals eat might not seem at all palatable to us, but to them they are vital, and no doubt delicious as well.
   In this book young readers will see how animals of different species are connected through their need to eat. One of things that we humans forget sometimes is that all animals are part of a food chain. Perhaps we forget because we are at the top of our chain most of the time. In the poem Food Chain, we see how a butterfly gets eaten by a lizard, which gets eaten by a garter snake, which then gets eaten by a roadrunner. Every animal has a place in a chain, and every food item that they eat has its place as well.
   We may think that animals that eat dead things are disgusting, but in fact their dining choices serve a very useful purpose for the rest of us. The vulture for example, who is “No dainty vegetarian,” loves carrion, and this is a good thing too because if they didn’t disease-ridden dead bodies would be lying all over the place.
   Nighthawks and little brown bats both love to eat insects, and they have different strategies to catch their preferred dinners. Both animals hunt at night or in the early evening and they catch their meals on the wing, swooping, and in the case of the bat scooping, the insects out of the air.
   Some animals have come up with quite complicated strategies to get their food. When it is hungry the wood turtle goes around “Stompin’ its feet / and slammin’ its shell.” All the commotion causes worms to “pop up / to see who’s jamming,’” which is when the turtle eats the worms.
   Children who have a fondness for things that some would consider unsavory are going to love this book. The interesting thing is that a great deal of information is wrapped up in these poems. For readers who would like to know more about the animals mentioned in the book, the author provides notes at the back of the book that are packed with more facts. 

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22. Testament of Youth

Testament of Youth. Vera Brittain. 1933. 688 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: When the Great War broke out, it came to me not as a superlative tragedy, but as an interruption of the most exasperating kind to my personal plans.

Premise/plot: In 1933, Vera Brittain published her autobiography, Testament of Youth, which covers the years 1900 to 1925. Much of the book focuses directly on the Great War (aka World War I) and its immediate aftermath. During the war, Vera Brittain left her university studies (Somerville College, Oxford) and became a nurse (V.A.D.). She worked as a nurse in England and abroad. (I believe she nursed in France and Malta.) Many of her friends actively served during the war. And those closest to her--including a brother and a fiance--were killed. She wrote honestly and openly about how brutal and devastating the war was, about how the war changed her and there was no going back after peace was declared.

When the book is not discussing the war, it often turns to education, politics, and social issues. Vera Brittain definitely was a feminist. She had VERY strong opinions on women's rights. But she didn't just speak out and speak up about women. She also was a voice for the poor and working class. She saw a lot of injustice and wanted to change the world.

Vera Brittain loved to be a lecturer or guest-lecturer. She had a LOT to say, and wanted to be HEARD wherever she went. This wasn't always the case. She was unhappy with certain groups--or clubs--that didn't value women's opinions and treat women as intellectual equals.

Also of interest perhaps, Brittain shares her experiences as a writer--her journey to publication and her thoughts on the literary world.

The very last chapter is a relief--after spending so many chapters distancing herself from humanity by focusing on POLITICS and WORLD AFFAIRS--focuses instead on her deep friendships and ultimate marriage. She struggled a lot with the idea of marriage. Can she marry and still be a feminist? Can she marry even though she has every intention of staying a career woman? Can she marry even though children are the very last thing (almost) on her mind? She spent so long speaking out against marriage and traditional roles for women, that she is almost ashamed and embarrassed that she fell in love.

My thoughts: It was REALLY long. Overall, I thought it was slightly uneven. It was at times quite fascinating and compelling, but, then at times it was also quite sluggish and boring. There would be pages that definitely kept me reading and kept me caring. I will say that the movie did a great job condensing the book and capturing the spirit of it. Not that the movie is 100% faithful to the book. (No movie is).

Quotes:
There is still, I think, not enough recognition by teachers of the fact that the desire to think--which is fundamentally a moral problem--but be induced before the power is developed. Most people, whether men or women, wish above all else to be comfortable, and thought is a pre-eminently uncomfortable process; it brings to the individual far more suffering than happiness in a semi-civilized world which still goes to war, still encourages the production of unwanted C3 children by exhausted mothers, and still compels married partners who hate one another to live together in the name of morality. (40)
I am inclined to believe that provincial dances are responsible for more misery than any other commonplace experience. (51)
Most of us have to be self-righteous before we can be righteous. (56)
How curious it seems that letters are so much less vulnerable than their writers! (124)
Even my work-driven uncle at the bank wrote a long letter, enclosing a fragment of philosophy which had recently come to England from the French trenches: "When you are a soldier you are one of two things, either at the front or behind the lines. If you are behind the lines you need not worry. If you are at the front you are one of two things. You are either in a danger zone or in a zone which is not dangerous. If you are in a zone which is not dangerous you need not worry. If you are in a danger zone, you are one of two things; either you are wounded or you are not. If you are not wounded you need not worry. If you are wounded you are one of two things, either seriously wounded or slightly wounded. If you are slightly wounded you need not worry. If you are seriously wounded one of two things is certain--either you get well or you die. If you get well you needn't worry. If you die you cannot worry, so there is no need to worry about anything at all." (306)
It seems to me that the War will make a big division of 'before' and 'after' in the history of the world. (317)


© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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23. मुस्लिम औरतें और बॉम्बे हाईकोर्ट का फैसला

(तस्वीर गूगल से साभार) मुस्लिम औरतें और बॉम्बे हाईकोर्ट का फैसला खुदा क्या वाकई लानत भेजता है मुस्लमान महिलाओ को दरगाह पर जाने से ??? कुछ दिनो पहले खबर पढी थी कि लखनऊ के ऐशबाग में ईदगाह में पहली बार महिलाओं ने पढ़ी नमाज!! ऐशबाग ईदगाह में पुरुषों के साथ तकरीबन पांच हजार महिलाएं शामिल […]

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24. busy little bee....

these last couple of weeks. working on multiple paintings at once. and that's just the way i like it. :)


for starters, i finally got around to finishing up this little red head beauty. along with some blue poppies, this is one of my favorites. i worked on a 4"x12" canvas...an odd size for me but i wanted to challenge myself, combustion wise. really liking the way it turned out. plus, it included two of my favorite things...red heads and blue poppies. rare beauties, indeed. i'll be sharing the finished piece next week. prints will be available then as well.

also, i've been thinking about doing a small series of mixed media animals for quite a bit. i have SO many art supplies in my home/studio well, it's like Michael's, AC Moore and Dick Blick in on humble little abode. from scrapbook papers to every kind of pencil/paint/pastel known to man....i figured it was time to stop staring at all of them and DO SOMETHING with them. below are some sneak peeks....



hopefully, emerging from all this creative chaos will be a cute series of fall themed animals. stay tuned....

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25. 10 facts worth knowing about the U.S. women’s rights movement

Today, August 26th, is Women’s Equality Day which commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, granting women the right to vote. This day reflects the culmination of a movement which had begun in the 1830s when rising middle-class American women, with an increasing educational background, began to critique the oppressive systems of the early 19th century.

The post 10 facts worth knowing about the U.S. women’s rights movement appeared first on OUPblog.

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