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1. Negative 15 degrees Celsius


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2. MAISONS DU MONDE - modern copper

My Maisons du Monde features are carrying over from last week. One because we had a day off to focus on the Sock Design Contest and two they have so many lovely things to see. The French based retailer was founded in 1996 and celebrates it's 20th birthday this year. It has nearly 200 stores in France with a further 69 across Europe including Italy where I came across them. There philosophy is

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3. It's Banned Books Week!

And this year's focus is on Celebrating Diversity. Click the banner to learn more about BBW, read articles about why diverse books are commonly banned, and find some titles that some people would rather you didn't read - and go read them!

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4. Sparkin Is On His Way!

Hi all,

Thank you for checking in with me now and again. Good news. My writer, Cindy, presented my story to several agents and publishers last week. WOOHOO! They are interested. This makes me just that much closer to flying in for you to read about me.

World . . . here I come!

Sparkin, the Wind Rider.

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5. Monday Mishmash: 9/26/16


Happy Monday! Monday Mishmash is a weekly meme dedicated to sharing what's on your mind. Feel free to grab the button and post your own Mishmash.

Here's what's on my mind today:
  1. Only One Week Until After Loving You Releases!  I can't believe October 3rd is almost here! 
  2. Editing  I'm finishing up a client edit this week in time for a new one on October 1st.
  3. Two Work Days With Extended Hours  This week my daughter has student council and chorus after school, so thus begins my longer work hours on Tuesdays AND Wednesdays. 
  4. 2017 Publication Schedule  I'm going to be releasing books every two months in 2017. Stay tuned for more information on that this Wednesday.
  5. Fall!  My favorite season is here! I love the smell of fall, specifically the smell of October. October has been my favorite month all my life. There's something special about it.
That's it for me. What's on your mind today?

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6. Jedi Academy: A New Class by Jarrett Krosockza, 176 pp, RL 4




Jeffrey Brown authored the first three books in the Jedi Academy series, two of which I enthusiastically reviewed here. This trilogy is HUGELY popular in my school library and a fantastic alternative to Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Before that, Brown wrote a trilogy of Darth Vader, a comics series that imagines Vader's life as father to Luke and Leia. Brown's new series debuted in August and features prehistoric siblings Lucy and Andy as they deal with typical kid stuff while also being filled with scientific information and facts about pre-history. 



Jedi Academy was too good to let go, and quite smartly, Scholastic has tapped Jarrett Krosoczka, author of the Lunch Lady series of graphic novels. Jedi Academy: A New Class finds young Victor Starspeeder making a midyear transfer from the Jedi Academy at Obroa-skai, where he has had a series of mishaps to the Jedi Academy at Coruscant. Victor decides that he is going to start keeping a journal of his time at Jedi Academy because that is what his father, who died when Victor was a baby, did.

The Jedi Academy has its own challenges, starting with Christina, Victor's big sister, who already goes there. She tells him in no uncertain terms that once they are at school, they are strangers. Navigating the new school on his own, Victor is swayed by Zach, and older student, who turns out to be a bully and a prankster with his own agenda. He also gets stuck with Artemis, an asthmatic kid in a black hooded cloak who just might be a Sith. Victor tries to make friends, impress a girl, and get his special project on the planet Endor completed while also trying to stay out of trouble and keep Zach from getting him kicked out.


Krosoczka hits all the right notes in Jedi Academy: A New Class, continuing and updating features that Brown introduced in the first three books like handwritten notes between characters, school schedules and pages from the school newspaper, including an advice column by Ms. Catara, the school guidance counselor who is also a Gungan. Krosoczka also creates a couple new twists, including the Galaxy Feed, which is a social media type feature that pops up on a tablet like device, and a page of comic strips that look at classics like Family Circus, Peanuts and Garfield through the lens of Star Wars. I especially liked, "Huttfield," in which Jaba the Hutt is the lazy, food loving star of the strip.

While I love that this series continues on (and I hope that, after another three books a new author/illustrator takes on this challenge) and am thrilled that I have more of these books to offer students, for me, Krosoczka's take on the academic world of the young Jedi lacks a bit of the depth, heart and humor that I found in Brown's books. But hey, I'm pretty sure I'm not the target audience for these books...

Source: Purchased

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7. ‘I Like Girls,’ ‘Louise en Hiver’ Wins Top Prizes at Ottawa

A surprising short tops Ottawa 2016.

The post ‘I Like Girls,’ ‘Louise en Hiver’ Wins Top Prizes at Ottawa appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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8. A History of my Archive in 10 Objects. No.3: Toothless Old Man, 1976

In part three of 10 objects from the archive of objects found in my dad's house, I'd like to offer this.

School project: Toothless Old Man. Pen & Ink. 80cm x 60cm, 1976
After the tentative steps of the Henry Hudson picture I worked on two other school projects before setting to work on this large piece, which proved to be the most experimental and successful of my school drawings in pure pen and ink. It was drawn from a randomly selected photo reference using a multi coloured pen and ink line technique - on the face and hat I used three separate pen nibs to switch colours and gradually build up the drawing in different coloured cross-hatching, the waistcoat was filled in by dabbing ink with sponge. It was a labour-intensive technique for such a large sized drawing, but proved a great success. Sadly many of the coloured inks have faded over time.

The image was the centre piece of my school's 1976 art show during the summer festival, and made it to the pages of the local newspaper - my first press appearance! Even my junior school headmistress came to see it. By this time I was absolutely determined to be an illustrator and had my sights set on art college.

After the show this picture adorned the walls of my parent's house for a few years before being consigned to the loft. The identity of the man in the photo I never knew!

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9. Raymie Nightingale, by Kate DiCamillo

I was a kid running wild and free in the 1970s, and I find myself intrigued with the fiction written these days that takes place during that time period. It's a convenient time period, for sure. By this I mean that technology hadn't yet tethered us to our parents, and I'm assuming that most kids were like my sister and I -- running around the neighborhood and beyond with friends and coming home when we got hungry.

Raymie is a girl who isn't really noticed much by her parents. Her father has actually just up and left with a dental hygienist and Raymie's mom is spending her time staring into space. Raymie finds some comfort in neighbor Mrs. Borkowski who seems to know everything and always has time to talk to Raymie. She has also hatched a plan to get her father to come home.

Raymie has decided that she will enter and win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire 1975 pageant. This will result in her picture in the newspaper. Her dad will be so proud of her, he'll have to come home. When Raymie tells her dad's secretary her plan, Mrs. Sylvester says Ramie just has to learn to twirl the baton as her talent.  This is how she ends up at Ida Nee's place for twirling lessons along with Beverly Tapinski and Louisiana Elefante -- two girls who couldn't be more different from one another.

Louisiana is a wheezy and delicate girl, prone to swooning, while Beverly is the tough talking daughter of a cop who swears that she's seen things. In between these two, Raymie Clarke is a steadfast girl just doing her best to understand others.

Over the next few days, Louisiana dubs their trio the Rancheros, and even though Beverly refuses to live by the moniker, it becomes clear that Louisiana often gets her way. As the girls search for Louisiana's beloved cat, perform good deeds, experience loss, and do a little breaking and entering along the way, they slowly reveal their worries to one another.  They become tied together by the brokenness that surrounds them.

As always, DiCamillo leaves poetry on the page. But this book felt different to me. I was talking to a colleague about it and I noted that it felt like it had a big dose of Horvath in the pages. Some have said the girls are too quirky and almost derivative. I disagree. When you look closely, kids are weird. And if they allow themselves to be honest with who they are, Beverlys and Louisianas and Raymies are completely reasonable. Trying to mend neglect with toughness or fantasy is innately human. I really enjoyed this quiet and quirky summery read. I do wonder at today's kids sitting with the 1975 setting. I'm interested in their feedback.

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10. A former child soldier prosecuted at the International Criminal Court

It’s easy to assume that only ‘evil’ people commit atrocity. And it’s equally easy to imagine the victims as ‘good’ or ‘innocent’. But the reality is far more complex. Many perpetrators are tragic. They may begin as victims. Victims, too, may victimize others. These victims are imperfect. Some victims survive – and some even thrive – because of harm they inflict.

The post A former child soldier prosecuted at the International Criminal Court appeared first on OUPblog.

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11. Suiting Up for the Worlds Collide Gala…


This upcoming Friday, I’ll be suiting up to join my colleagues at Mirror World Publishing for a much anticipated event! The Worlds Collide Gala will be celebrating Mirror World Publishing’s new partnership with Adventure Worlds Press and all the 2016 book launches!

If you’re in the area, please join us at 7pm Friday September 30, 2016 at Sho: Art, Spirit, and Performance 628 Monmouth Dr, Windsor, Canada for a night to remember. You can meet several of the authors, along with myself, my publisher, and the team behind Adventure Worlds Press, listen to some readings, win some prizes, enjoy the cash bar and light refreshments, music, and participate in the Q and A afterwards.

As a part of Culture Days in Windsor, this event is free and open to everyone to attend. For more information, or to RSVP, please head over to our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1186485788080361/

Also, a reminder that I have a GoodreadsGiveaway still going on until September 30th for a chance to win Book #1 in my MG/YA time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis. If you haven’t read the first book, please consider entering for a chance to escape to the past and have a blast before Book #2 The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret comes out on October 17th!

Here’s some more information about the Worlds Collide Gala:


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12. दो पंक्तियाँ

किनारो सी है यह ज़िंदगी, खुशियाँ छूकर गुज़रती है,
हवाओं सी आती है हिम्मत, किरणों सी बिखरती है || Dr DV ||







लहर सी टकराई तू, मैं किनारो सा मौन रहा, बरसी बारीशों सी , न जाने मैं तेरा कौन रहा || Dr DV||







प्रचंड सागर में, एक नाव का सहारा था, ऐसा ही शायद कुछ, वो रिश्ता हमारा था || Dr DV ||








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13. MMGM Links (9/26/16)

Before I get to this week's MMGM link, I just wanted to say a quick sorry if anyone tried to catch me at the OC Kids' Book Festival yesterday.

I was there for my 1:00 signing and got to chat with some of you, but I know I also said I'd be speaking on the Tween stage at 3:20--and I thought I was. But when I got to the stage, it listed someone else in my timeslot. And I spent the next hour getting led around to different stages by different volunteers and none of them were right and no one seemed to know where I should be. So, long story short, if you were looking for me and couldn't find me, it wasn't for lack of trying. And hopefully we can meet at one of my upcoming SoCal events.

Anyway, on to MMGM!

- Bookish Ambition is spreading some love for BEHEMOTH. Click HERE to see what they thought. 
- Randomly Reading is cheering for A BOY NAMED QUEEN. Click HERE to see why. 
- S.A. Larsen is giving a sneak peek at one of the characters in MOTLEY EDUCATION. Click HERE for all the fun.   
- Andrea Mack is spotlighting ONE FOR THE MURPHYS. Click HERE to see what she thought.  
- Justin Talks Books wants everyone to visit THE KINGDOM OF OCEANA. Click HERE to read his review!
- Got My Book is talking about the audiobook for THE BRONZE KEY. Click HERE to see what they thought. 
- Patricia Tilton at Children's Books Heal is championing APPLESAUCE WEATHER. Click HERE to read her review.
- Completely Full Bookshelf is raving about RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE. Click HERE for their take. 
- Susan Uhlig is seeing stars for ALL FOUR STARS. Click HERE to see what she thought.
- Jenni Enzor is spotlighting FRAMED. Click HERE to see why. 
- Greg Pattridge is feeling FRAZZLED. Click HERE to read his review.
- Rosi Hollinbeck is reviewing--and GIVING AWAY--UNBOUND. Click HERE for all the fun. 
- Jess at the Reading Nook has a guest post from author M. Tara Crowl. Click HERE to check it out.  
- Tara Creel is sharing her favorite Spooky Reads. Click HERE to see what they are.
- Michelle Mason is inviting everyone over for THE SLEEPOVER. Click HERE to read why. 
- Carl at Boys Rule, Boys Read! wants to know WHO WOULD WIN? Click HERE to read his feature. 
- Shannon O'Donnell is back--and planning a weekly MMGM again. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week.  
- Karen Yingling also always has some awesome MMGM recommendations for you. Click HERE to which ones she picked this time.  
- Joanne Fritz always has an MMGM for you. Click HERE to see what she's talking about this week  
- The Mundie Moms are always huge supporters of middle grade. Click HERE for their Mundie Kids site. 

If you would like to join in the MMGM fun, all you have to do is blog about a middle grade book you love on a Monday (contests, author interviews and whatnot also count--but are most definitely not required) and email me the title of the book you're featuring and a link to your blog at SWMessenger (at) hotmail (dot) com. (Make sure you put MMGM or Marvelous Middle Grade Monday in the subject line so it gets sorted accurately--and please don't forget to say what book you're featuring) You MUST email me your link by Sunday evening in order to be included in the list of links for the coming Monday. (usually before 11pm PST is safe--but if I'm traveling it can vary. When in doubt, send early!) (Also make sure the post you send me is a new post, not one from earlier in the week. I try to keep the content fresh)

If you miss the cutoff, you are welcome to add your link in the comments on this post so people can find you, but I will not have time to update the post. Same goes for typos/errors on my part. I do my best to build the links correctly, but sometimes deadline-brain gets the best of me, and I'm sorry if it does. For those wondering why I don't use a Linky-widget instead, it's a simple matter of internet safety. The only way I can ensure that all the links lead to safe, appropriate places for someone of any age is if I build them myself. It's not a perfect system, but it allows me to keep better control.

Thank you so much for being a part of this awesome meme, and spreading the middle grade love!


*Please note: these posts are not a reflection of my own opinions on the books featured. Each blogger is responsible for their own MMGM content and I do not pre-screen reviews ahead of time, nor do I control what books they choose. I simply assemble the list based on the links that are emailed to me. 
SaveSave

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14. The Nature Center

Wooded paths with fallen trees
And sunlight dappling through
Provided us with such a lovely
Sunday thing to do.

Deer were munching leaves and barely
Noticed us pass by,
While squirrels scampered from the ground
To branches way up high.

As Henry jumped from stump to stump
(The playground kept the theme),
I made his sister giggle
(Which is every Nana’s dream).

Although I am a city gal,
The forest has its charms,
The better to appreciate
With grandkids in one’s arms.

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15. Writing: A Path to Become an Intentional Educator

What if there was a way to build in opportunities to reflect, in writing, about my teaching right in the place where the lesson plans reside? And what if that place could also offer daily inspiration and opportunities to set positive intentions for the week ahead?

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16.


I am so looking forward to the movie, " Hidden Figures". It inspired this little piece for the cover of the fall issue of SCBWI. The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. SCBWI.org. If you are interested in learning about how to write or how illustrate children's books you want to start here.

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17. Five questions for Oxford World’s Classics cover designer Alex Walker

Judging a book by its cover has turned out to be a necessity in life. We've all perused book shops and been seduced by a particularly intriguing cover--perhaps we have even been convinced to buy a book because of its cover. And, truly, there is no shame in that. It takes skill and artistry to craft a successful book cover, and that should be acknowledged.

The post Five questions for Oxford World’s Classics cover designer Alex Walker appeared first on OUPblog.

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18. Critique Partners

Why is it so important to have someone else read your work-in-progress?

https://livibuglady.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/cps-and-why-you-need-them-meredith-ireland/

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19. Funny Social Media Cartoons – Twitter is best

East or West Twitter is The best Funny Social Media Cartoons – Twitter is best. सोशल मीडिया में सबसे पहले टविटर हमारा ध्यान आकर्षित करता है. मुहावरा पुराना हुआ कि लातों के भूत बातों से नही मानते… आजकल भूत लात हाथ से नही बल्कि सोशल मीडिया पर कुछ भी लिखकर मानते हैंं … मनोरंजन के […]

The post Funny Social Media Cartoons – Twitter is best appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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20. "Totem pole" will not appear in future printings of Robin Talley's AS I DESCENDED

On Friday, I read On Making Mistakes on Robin Talley's Tumblr page. There, she wrote:

Two weeks ago, my latest book, As I Descended, was released. One week later, I received an anonymous message from a thoughtful reader who’d just started the book. This reader, who’s Indigenous, noticed that I’d used the term totem pole in chapter 1 to describe where a character stood in her school’s social hierarchy ― in the sense of the phrase “low man on the totem pole.”
Talley's response to that reader was similar to the one I got from Sarah McCarry when I wrote to her about that phrase in her book (see her post), and the response I got from Ashley Hope Perez when I wrote to her about the phrase in her book (see my post).

In short: they listened.

Talley wrote that she'd shared that reader's message with her editor, Kristen Pettit at Harper Teen, and that the term will be taken out of future printings of the book. Here's the photo of the page that Talley posted:


The line is "Maria was almost as high up the totem pole as Delilah." I'm guessing that the book's title "As I Descended" is a reference to that totem pole. My guess is that Delilah is going to descend from a high point on the social status hierarchy.

The book itself has nothing to do with Native peoples. I haven't read it, so do not want anyone to think that this post is an endorsement of the book.

In her post, Talley apologized:
I profoundly regret that I used the term this way, and I apologize to any readers who have been hurt by it.
I shared Talley's Tumblr post, adding this:

Really glad to see another person speak up about this, and another writer and editor acknowledge its use as being wrong! Very glad it’ll come out of the next printings, too, and that it is all being made public for us to know! Thank you, Robin! 
A thought, though, about apologies. 
I get why people offer them. They’re a social grace. But sometimes, they carry some things that don’t work. They suggest that __ is hurt by the word that misrepresents their particular demographic, when maybe __ isn’t actually hurt. Maybe __ is just pissed off. Yeah, I know, being angry can be characterized as hurt. Still, though, saying someone of that demographic is the one who should be apologized to suggests they’re the only one who is hurt by the word, when I think everyone who doesn’t know it is a problem is impacted by it. 
Instead of “I profoundly regret that I used the term this way, and I apologize to any readers who have been hurt by it,” maybe something like (and yeah, I know, this is pretty audacious of me to tell someone how to apologize, but I think we’re talking about larger issues) “I messed up. I didn’t know I was messing up. Lot of us don’t know. Let’s not do that, ok, ourselves, anymore, ok? And let’s tell others about it, too.” 
On Twitter, I retweeted her "On Making Mistakes" tweet, and that I had a response to her post (crossing lot of social media platforms with this post!). Talley replied that she agrees with my points.



In brief:

1) A Native reader wrote to Talley.
2) Talley listened.
3) Talley wrote to her editor.
4) Talley and her editor are revising that line.
5) Talley wrote about this error, publicly.

Change happens, when we speak up, and when we listen. With more of this speaking up, and listening, I feel optimistic that change can happen.

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21. Genome editing’s brave new world

“O, wonder!/How many goodly creatures are there here!/How beauteous mankind is!/O brave new world,/That has such people in't!” Shakespeare’s lines in The Tempest famously inspired Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World, first published in 1932. Huxley’s vision of the future has become a byword for the idea that attempts at genetic (and social) engineering are bound to go wrong. With its crude partitioning of society, by stunting human development before birth, and with its use of a drug – soma – to induce a false sense of happiness and suppress dissent, this was the opposite of a ‘beauteous’ world.

The post Genome editing’s brave new world appeared first on OUPblog.

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22. Monster Eating Cake. Original Art for Sale

Monster eating cake
Monster in the rain
Monster eating cake again

Original Doodle (and doggerel) by me!
Special Offer £24.99 Post Free
Pen and Ink and Watercolour
Size is 6" x 4" in 10" x 8" White Mount
Will be created especially for you. Each one will differ slightly.
Use the Paypal button below to purchase!

Picture of a monster eating cake
Buy now! £24.99 Post Free

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23. And the Winner of FULL OF BEANS is...

I'm happy to announce that, according to randomizer, the winner of the hardcover copy of FULL OF BEANS is...





Congratulations, Suzanne! Expect an email from me asking for your mailing address.

*   *   *

Next week, I'll be featuring a review of TIME TRAVELING WITH A HAMSTER by Ross Welford, and the week after, an exclusive Q&A with Ross, and a giveaway!




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24. Fusenews

Happy Fusenews day to you, guv’nor.  In today’s episode we tip our hat to a post last week that is probably my most popular of all time.  Who knew knitting needles could be such lightning rods?  In any case, on with the newz!


 

boywhodrewHow old is the picture book biography as we know it today?  Recently I’ve been thinking long and hard about what its purpose is, as well as its limitations.  Jacqueline Davies has thought longer and harder in some ways, though, since her recent post Writers and the Real Estate Market takes a very personal look at the choices she made when she wrote The Boy Who Drew Birds.  She makes some remarkably interesting points about content and format.


 

Boy, it must be hard.  Every year, without fail, Marjorie Ingall (Mamaleh Knows Best) scours the publishing world for great Jewish-centric books for kids.  The pickings are almost always slim, but once in a while you get some really good biographies. Picture book biographies (I sense a theme to today’s post) no less.  The first is of the current Ruth Bader Ginsberg bio in the piece Teaching Kids the Value of Dissent and the other Rich Michelson’s most recent bio in Leonard Nimoy’s Fascinating Life.  Great books.  Great write-ups.


 

Librarians.  We have one of those professions where it’s pretty clear that whenever we appear in the news, 50% of the time it’s not about something good.  Case in point, the recent news about a thrifty library cataloger who donated $4 million to his employer after his death.  His employer, however, was a university library.  So, naturally, $1 million of that is going to a football scoreboard.  Some folks are less than entirely pleased with that development.


 

I mentioned it last week but I’m mentioning it again today because it’s a darn good cause.  If you don’t know about why authors and illustrators alike (as well as celebs like Al Roker and Nicole Kidman) are painting piggy banks for auction, you should fill yourself in here.  A good cause and you get art.  The bidding just started yesterday, so don’t be left behind. And I know I won’t get it, but this is my own personal favorite piggy:

bruelpiggy


 

I already read this four years ago, but with the recent passing of Gene Wilder I saw it included in a Chronicle Books newsletter and just couldn’t resist putting it up again.  It’s Gene Wilder’s handwritten notes on the changes he’d prefer to the Willy Wonka costume he was initially given.  Ole blue eyes himself.


 

Daily Image:

Maurice Sendak was initially going to design that old movie Return to Oz?!?  Apparently it never happened but he did create a publicity poster for the ad campaign.  Not that it really looks like any of the characters in the movie (I’m working on a couple theories on who the guy on the far right is) but in terms of the book Ozma of Oz, it’s not terrible.

sendakoz

Many many thanks to J.L. Bell at Oz and Ends for this image.  Yet another old post from 2012.  I’m having that kind of a day.

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25. आप पार्टी समाचार – ब्रेकिंग न्यूज

आप पार्टी समाचार – ब्रेकिंग न्यूज  आज कल ब्रेकिंग न्यूज बनी हुई है कि AAP Party का विधेयक आज जेल गया.  आज मार  पीट  हुई आज स्याही फेंंकी गई … अरे भई जिस दिन कुछ नही हुआ उस दिन भी तो ब्रेकिंंग न्यूज बनती है .. कि आज कुछ नही हुआ .. आम आदमी पार्टी […]

The post आप पार्टी समाचार – ब्रेकिंग न्यूज appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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