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1. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, FeaturingRoger Duvoisin, Crockett Johnson, and William Steig

“It doesn’t pay to get too fonda /Your python or your anaconda.”— From Consider the Lemming   — From the endpapers of Donkey-Donkey   “There was a little little bird.”— From The Happy Egg(Click image to see spread with text and in its entirety)   Today over at Kirkus, I’ve got Valentine’s Day on the […]

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2. माता सरस्वती शारदा

 माता सरस्वती शारदा आप सभी को  बसंत पंचमी की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं … हे माता सरस्वती शारदा माता सरस्वती शारदा विद्यादानी दयानी दुःख हरिणी जगत जननी ज्वालामुखी माता सरस्वती शारदा हे माता सरस्वती शारदा विद्यादानी दयानी दुःख हरिणी जगत जननी ज्वालामुखी माता सरस्वती शारदा हे माता सरस्वती शारदा कीजे सुदृष्टि सेवक जान अपना इतना वरदान दीजे […]

The post माता सरस्वती शारदा appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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3. Best Friends Whenever Would You Rather

Best Friends Whenever Would You Rather

Are you a fan of Disney’s new show Best Friends Whenever starring Landry Bender (from Crash & Bernstein) and Lauren Taylor? They play high school best friends Cyd and Shelby, but when their cute neighbor Barry’s science experiment goes crazy, they find themselves able to time travel!

Would you rather . . .Best Friends Whenever

  1. Time travel back to see the day you were born OR forward to the day you get married?
  2. Have twin brothers like Shelby OR live in Peru like Cyd’s parents?
  3. Jump back in time to kindergarten OR forward to senior year in high school?
  4. Argue with your best friend OR argue with your sibling?
  5. Go back in time to stop the sinking of the Titanic OR stop the Civil War?
  6. Travel back in time to see your teachers as kids OR the olden days to see your great, great grandparents as kids?
  7. Travel back in time to see your parents as teenagers OR travel forward in time to see your future kids as teenagers?
  8. Have your best friend live with you for a year OR go away for a year with your parents?
  9. Be able to time travel OR do magic?

Give us your “best answers whenever” and let us know what you think of Best Friends Whenever in the Comments below!

-Ratha

 

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4. Eight new sites added to Great Websites for Kids

GWS logo

On behalf of the Great Websites for Kids Committee, I’d like to share our latest additions.  We’re happy to have some Spanish language sites to include this time, and wish to thank REFORMA for its assistance in providing us a representative.

If you missed our recent press release, the following are the newest sites added to Great Websites for Kids, the online resource featuring hundreds of links to exceptional websites for children.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics K-12  http://www.bls.gov/k12/home.htm      Bureau of Labor Statistics provides resources for students and educators on employment and career outlooks. Enjoy playing a game to understand a concept and use the resource section for school assignments all on one site!
  • Bystander Revolution   http://www.bystanderrevolution.org/ Search this site to find ideas about how to deal with bullying from folks who have been bullies, targets and bystanders.  Watch videos by subject and sign up to take your own stand against bullying!
  • Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius    http://pbskids.org/fetch/ruff/ Videos to help kids make good decisions about texting, sharing photos, and other media literacy topics.
  • Space Racers   http://spaceracers.org/en Kids can explore space through a series of videos, games and printable activities complete with NASA approved science.
  • PBS Kids Design Squad  http://pbskids.org/designsquad Kids can safely share their engineering ideas and sketches, and be inspired by how-to videos and real-world projects.
  • Virtual Museum of Canada   http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/about-vmc/   This online museum provides as diverse collection of online exhibits pertaining to Canadian hertiage. Virtual exhibits are provided by Canada’s museums, educational institutions and heritage organizations.
  • Disney Junior: Disney Latino (Spanish)  http://disneyjunior/disneylatino.com Interactive site with videos, games, princesses stories, and activities of popular Disney characters. It also includes links for smartphones applications. | Página interactiva con vídeos, juegos, cuentos de princesas y actividades de personajes populares de Disney. También incluye enlaces para applicaciones de teléfonos móviles.
  • Clic Clic Cuentos Interactivos (Spanish) http://www.cuentosinteractivos.org    Clic Clic Cuentos Interactivos is a fun interactive site that features imaginative problem solving and alternate versions of popular stories. | Clic Clic Cuentos Interactivos es una página interactiva divertida que contiene actividades de resolución de problemas y versiones alternas de cuentos populares.

We hope that you will find these and other Great Websites for Kids to be useful tools for you and your library patrons. Sites are searchable by keyword or eight classifications (Animals, The Arts, History & Biography, Literature & Languages, Mathematics & Computers, Reference Desk, Sciences, and Social Sciences). The committee works diligently to find and evaluate new sites, and to weed out previously added sites that haven’t maintained “great” status.

We can always use your help!

If you know of a great site that you would like to have us consider, please submit your suggestion via this link: http://gws.ala.org/suggest-site. If you find broken links, etc. on the site, please alert us to that as well. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Members of the 2015 Great Websites for Kids Committee:

  • Lara Crews, co-chair, Forsyth County (North Carolina) Public Library
  • Lisa Taylor, co-chair, Ocean County (New Jersey) Library
  • Emily E. Bacon, Yorktown (Indiana) Public Library
  • Ariel Cummins, New Braunfels (Texas) Public Library
  • Jill Eisele, Bellwood (Illinois) Public Library
  • Krishna Grady, Darien (Connecticut) Library
  • Joanne Kelleher, Kings Park (New York) Central School District
  • Elizabeth Saxton, Tiffin, Ohio
  • Alia Shields, Cherry Hill (New Jersey) Public Library
  • Sujei Lugo (REFORMA Representative)

 

The post Eight new sites added to Great Websites for Kids appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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5. Top 3 Mystery Novels set in London | Selected by Carina Axelsson, Author of Model Undercover: London

Mysteries and London go together like tea and cake or jeans and Converse. Although not all of my favourite English mysteries take place in London, many do. Here are three (okay, maybe a few more than just three) of my top mystery novels set in London.

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6. Day 12: “Trombone Shorty”

trombone shorty by Jonathan Mannion

Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews was a child prodigy who began playing the trombone at the age of four, a discarded trombone that was twice as long as he was tall. By age six he was leading his own money-earning band, and by ten he was a bona fide touring musician. Today, at 30 years old, he is a Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist, playing not only trombone, but trumpet, drums, organ and tuba with his current band, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue.

Andrews credits his singer-songwriter grandfather, Jessie Hill, and especially his bandleader brother, James Andrews, as significant influences. Of his brother James (also a trumpeter) he often asserts, “He taught me everything I know.” Young “Shawty” performed with many heavy hitters, including Bo Diddley, Wynton Marsalis, and Wycliffe Gordon, and he learned much about the craft of making music through their mentorship. Over the years, however, Andrews has blazed a distinctive path in the jazz world, fusing elements of modern rock and hip-hop to formulate a sound he calls “SupaFunkRock”.

At the same time he’s been forging innovative sounds, Andrews has also maintained his dedication to New Orleans, the city he says “raised him”, by working to preserve its musical traditions. He has established the Trombone Shorty Foundation “to preserve and perpetuate the unique musical culture of New Orleans by passing down its traditions to future generations of musicians.” The foundation sponsors two intiatives in particular: The Fredman Music Business Institute (providing top-level music industry training to high school students) and Trombone Shorty Academy (a partnership with Tulane University to provide musically gifted high schoolers with mentorship in various areas including reading and writing music, and performance).

In line with his mission to perpetuate New Orleans’ unique musical culture, Andrews has written an autobiographical picture book: Trombone Shorty. It’s the story of how a young Troy Andrews became Trombone Shorty, and how practice and persistence transformed a dream into the reality of being an internationally celebrated artist.

trombone shorty cover

Trombone Shorty—illustrated by Bryan Collier and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers—is a 2016 Caldecott Honor Book and winner of the 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award.

 

The Buzz on Trombone Shorty:

“Where y’at?” Troy Andrews, aka Trombone Shorty, opens his book with this phrase, letting readers know that it’s New Orleans parlance for hello. In this stunning picture book autobiography, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Andrews shares the story of his early years growing up in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans. Andrews desperately wished to emulate the musicians in his family and those he saw performing all over his city, so he and his friends made their own instruments out of found materials, played in the streets, and marched with bands. When one day he found a battered, discarded trombone bigger than he was, Andrews finally had a real instrument to play, and he practiced day and night, acquiring the nickname Trombone Shorty from his older brother. The moment Bo Diddley pulled Andrews on stage to play with him during the New Orleans jazz festival was a turning point, and he hasn’t stopped performing since. Collier’s beautiful watercolor, pen-and-ink, and collage artwork picks up the rhythm and pace of Andrew’s storytelling, creating an accompaniment full of motion and color. Each spread offers a visual panoply of texture, perspective, and angles, highlighting the people and the instruments. Andrews’s career is still on the rise, his music gaining an ever wider audience, and this title will be an inspiration to many. VERDICT Coupled with a selection of Trombone Shorty’s music, this work will make for fun and thoughtful story sharing. A must-have.”— School Library Journal

 

“This well-told and exquisitely illustrated story of a musician with a steep career trajectory will inspire young readers to pursue their passions, despite the challenges.”— Kirkus, Starred Review

 

“If a fairy tale were set in New Orleans, this is how it would read.”—Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

 

Learn more about Trombone Shorty:

His Website

An Interview with Vibe Magazine

 

 

 

 


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7. Switch by Ingrid Law, 368pp, RL 4



In 2009 Ingrid Law's debut middle grade novel, Savvy, won a Newbery Honor. I absolutely fell in love with the book that introduced the amazing Beaumont family and their special, supernatural abilities that surfaced exactly on one's thirteenth birthday, to the world. You can read my review here. And, as much as I loved Savvy, I am embarrassed to say that I did not read the follow up sort-of-sequel that came out in 2010, Scumble. Scumble featured a cousin of the now grown-up Mibs, who narrated Savvy as an almost thirteen-year-old, and I wanted more of the Beaumonts. Happily, Switch, this new, second sequel to Savvy does feature the Beaumont family again - and some new friends.

At the start of Switch, which begins ten years after Savvy ends, we meet narrator Gypsy Beaumont, a few months after her thirteenth birthday. Ten years on and the Beaumont household is a little different. The three oldest siblings have moved out. Mibs is twenty-three and engaged and Fish is married. Samson, the broody, reclusive six-year-old from Savvy now has his own savvy. Samson can turn invisible and, while he is invisible, he charges up like a battery, "giving him a storehouse of inner strength he could pass to other people with a touch." Then there is Tucker, the almost-eight-year-old baby of the family who wants to be big like everyone else so that he can have a savvy of his own. Even without her new savvy, the ability to see glimpses of people's pasts and futures, Gypsy is having some growing pains. Once a free spirited kid who loved to dance, twirl and put flowers in her hair, Gypsy has begun to question herself after her former best friend censors her.

But, for the Beaumonts, an even bigger censor - or buzzkill - is headed their way. Mrs. Beaumont's father, the beloved Grandpa Bomba, has passed away and his empty room is about to be filled by the narrow minded Grandma Pat, Mr. Beaumont's mother. Mr. Beaumont is the one family member without a savvy and his mother has always disapproved of his wife and their offspring, or the "fiendish horde of rabble-rousers," as she refers to them. Grandma Pat's neighbors, the Drs Kim, have let Mr. Beaumont know that his mother is suffering from Alzheimer's and can no longer live on her own. Grandma Pat is such a mean old sourpuss that breaking the news that she'll be moving in with them seems to throw the family into a swirling savvy-storm after which everyone's savvies switch. The perfect Mrs. Beaumont is now clumsy, instead of becoming invisible, Samson now bursts into flames and instead of seeing the past and the future, Gypsy finds that she can now stop time. Most surprisingly, little Tucker now has the ability to explode in size when he's upset, like the Stay Puft Marshmallow man, only to be shrunk back with candy.

Ingrid Law is one of the few kid's book authors I can think of who writes a great road trip novel, and Switch is definitely another one of them. Mrs. Beaumont, Gypsy and Tucker hit the road, with Samson driving, to pick up Grandma Pat in Evergreen, Colorado, with Mr. Beaumont following a day behind in a moving van. Upon arrival, they discover that Grandma Pat is worse off than they realized and that the fifteen-year-old daughter of the Drs. Kim, Nola, is the only person she is pleasant to. To make things worse, Gypsy had a vision of the future before arriving in Evergreen that showed Grandma Pat in a dusty old ball gown, a tiara and snow boots perched atop the clock tower of a very old building. Gypsy saw her own hands reaching out of the building to save her, but does not know if she succeeded. From the moment they reach Evergreen, Gypsy spends every minute trying to decode the vision and keep Grandma Pat from getting to the top of that tower. 

Law throws a whole heap of crazy things between Grandma Pat and that clock tower on a snowy night - like two car crashes, a blizzard, a pimply bully, a fellow named Del who has the same birthday as Gypsy (and Grandma Pat) and is not affected by her time stops (allowing him to say things like, "You and I appear to have an unmoving minute on our hands,"), make-up makeovers, Volcano Laverne's Hawaiian BBQ and Waffle House, a stollen kitten, a long-ago Winter Formal and a lost love. All this plus the switched savvies of the Beaumonts and it is definitely a wild, crazy, wacky ride - and Law's charming colloquialisms, made up words like "Sardoodledom" and everything I loved about Savvy comes rushing back to me.

And, as with Savvy, Switch is about family sticking by each other, even when you want to run away from someone like Grandma Patrice. Near then end of the novel Gypsy asks her Momma why she thinks their savvies got switched up. Mrs. Beaumont replies, "Maybe, sweetheart, when faced with a situation we can't change, we find extraordinary ways to change ourselves instead." This could be the tagline for the novel itself. When faced with the challenge of caring for a loved one, especially a less than friendly loved one, the Beaumonts changes themselves to meet the challenge. And that's what family does.




Source: Review Copy


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8. Pottercast #256 “The 8th Book”

That’s right, ladies and gentleman, after a long and earned-filled wait, your Pottercast withdrawals are over! Pottercast is BACK! The gang is back and discussing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

The release of the “eighth story,” and now “the eighth book,” has stirred up a lot of conversation and debate. In the latest episode of Pottercast, Melissa, John and Frak give their thoughts and opinions on Cursed Child, its form as a play versus a book, the publishing of the script (or “book”), and the relevance of Cursed Child not being solely written by J.K. Rowling.

Of course, one could not get away without talking about the many Pottermore revelations that have occurred as of late, so there’s a little extra thrown in there about additional Wizarding World content in addition to Cursed Child.

Pottercast episode #256 is available to download through iTunes, here. In order to download the new episode, please subscribe to Pottercast! It’s great to be back!

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9. Watercolour Workshop: Less is More!


As part of my residency, I ran another of my empowerment workshops recently, working with the academics at the Morgan Centre. My merry band of would-be sketchers were all given a free set of watercolours at the outset and, although we did do some playing around with them during our very first meeting, I have noticed that most people aren't really using them. Not surprising - I know some very seasoned sketchers who are still terrified of watercolour.


So, I thought we would do some work with paint, to get them more familiar with how it feels and to discover some of the simple but effective things you can do. 

For people to feel comfortable, it is vital that these workshops are fun and that results are acheivable. I need people to not only learn useful techniques, but to enjoy the session sufficiently that they are inspired to give things a go when they are on their own, with the SCARY blank page.



First of all, we used wet paper and explored simple mark-making methods, introducing watercolour to the page, but then leaving it alone, letting the water take it off to interesting places, resisting the urge to scrub and mix. 

Then I asked people to see if they could see an image in the blobs and squiggles. The challenge was to use as few drawn marks as possible to turn the splodges into something. Love these funky birds:


Next, we played a game in pairs, where people took it in turns to add a mark to a shared painting, building up images which were initially abstract, but waiting for the suggestion of something representational to emerge. It's fun because people sometimes have different ideas of where it's going. You can choose to cooperate with your partner, or you can subvert their ideas as you see them emerging and deliberately take it off on a different track.


The idea of the exercise was to get people painting freely, but to keep it light-hearted and devoid of expectation. I wanted them to learn how the paint worked - what consistency to use, which colours reacted together well, the difference between working onto wet and dry paper - all this, without any pressure to create something successful.


Finally, I asked them to use the techniques we had learnt, to do a very quick watercolour sketch of an item of fruit or veg that I'd asked everyone to bring. I showed them how you can restrict where the wet paint is going to go, by creating the shape of your object in water first, then quickly introducing the paint while it's wet. This is my 10-second mango:



I asked people to use only 2 or 3 colours and to let the paint settle on its own, as before. Finally, to finish off with the minimal amount of line-work needed to make the object identifiable. This is my example apple and satsuma:



We suddenly ran out of time and everyone had to rush off, so I only got a photo of one person's painting, this gorgeous garlic. Quite a tricky thing to choose, particularly as an absolute beginner, but she did a fantastic job:


Everyone did really well. Their 'homework' was to go away and use the techniques in their sketchbooks over the next few weeks. My hope is that the workshop demonstrated that you can be quite free and easy with watercolour and still get quite dramatic results, by sticking to a few simple rules:

* Use water first to tell the paint where to go and to give you lovely marks
* Limit yourself to 2 or 3 colours
* Let the paint do its thing - don't fiddle and scrub!
* Less is more: you often don't need outlines


If you are afraid of watercolour, give it a whirl. You need plenty of clean water, a hairdryer to encourage the drying along and a good size brush, so you get enough paint down. Watercolour paper is ideal, but we only had ordinary cartridge paper books to work in and, as you can see, it was fine. So long as it isn't too flimsy. Have fun!

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10. Where the Conner/Palmiotti team will be at Long Beach Comic Expo –– and their latest Kickstarter

The other day we mentioned that the hugely popular team behind Harley Quinn of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti had imposed a sensible signing limit for shows, which makes sense because they are two of the busiest people we know. For instance, Palmiotti is currently running Kickstarter — his ninth—for a standalone graphic novel in […]

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11. Read or Ditch: INTO THE DIM by Janet B. Taylor

by andye I was really excited to get INTO THE DIM by Janet B. Taylor in the mail. I love books about time travel, and this cover looked really great. When I read the description and it takes place in Scotland, I was really intrigued. HELLO! Outlander for teens?? Yes! But there have been quite a few things as I've been reading, made me think that this book isn't going to be for me. The first

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12. Yomiuri Prize for Literature

       They recently announced the 67th 読売文学賞, with Furukawa Hideo's 女たち三百人の裏切りの書 taking the fiction prize.
       Furukawa is definitely someone to look out for: Haikasoru brought out his Belka, Why Don't You Bark ? a few years ago (see their publicity page, or get your copy at or Amazon.co.uk), while Columbia University Press is bringing out his Horses, Horses, in the End the Light Remains Pure shortly (see their publicity page, or get your copy at or Amazon.co.uk). (I have both, and should be getting around to reviewing them.)
       See also the (Japanese) Shinchosha publicity page for the prize-winning title, or the (English) J'Lit Hideo Furukawa page, which also has information about some of his other not-yet-translated titles.

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13. Book Review: The Evening Spider by Emily Arsenault

The Evening Spider
Frances Barnett and Abby Bernacki are two haunted young mothers living in the same house in two different centuries.

1885: Frances Barnett is in the Northampton Lunatic Hospital, telling her story to a visitor. She has come to distrust her own memories, and believes that her pregnancy, birth, and early days of motherhood may have impaired her sanity.

During the earliest months of her baby’s life, Frances eagerly followed the famous murder trial of Mary Stannard—that captivated New Englanders with its salacious details and expert forensic testimony. Following—and even attending—this trial, Frances found an escape from the monotony of new motherhood. But as her story unfolds, Frances must admit that her obsession with the details of the murder were not entirely innocent.

Present day: Abby has been adjusting to motherhood smoothly—until recently, when odd sensations and dreams have begun to unsettle her while home alone with her baby. When she starts to question the house’s history, she is given the diary of Frances Barnett, who lived in the house 125 years earlier. Abby finds the diary disturbing, and researches the Barnett family’s history. The more Abby learns, the more she wonders about a negative—possibly supernatural—influence in her house. She becomes convinced that when she sleeps, she leaves her daughter vulnerable—and then vows not to sleep until she can determine the cause of her eerie experiences.

Frances Barnett might not be the only new mother to lose her mind in this house. And like Frances, Abby discovers that by trying to uncover another’s secrets, she risks awakening some of her own.
Writing
It's always hard for me to figure out a way to review a book where the writing was fine and pleasant and easy to read, but not extra-spectacular without sounding like I'm damning it with faint praise.  In this case, there is nothing about the writing to turn a reader off, no glaring plot holes, issues with characterization or dialogue, or slow points.  It reads perfectly fine, but there wasn't anything about it to set it above other books in a similar category.  It was perfectly fine and enjoyable, but not something I'd gush over.

Entertainment Value
This, rather than the writing, is where the novel shines.  I loved the combination of historical fiction, ghost story, and modern mystery.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the characters and loved the way that Abby interacts with Frances through her journal.  I also enjoyed getting the inside perspective on Frances and what was going on in her mind as well as what she recorded in her journal.  It has a very New England gothic feel, which was perfect snowy day reading.  There were a few threads I honestly could have done without, but none that were so distracting that it took anything away from the novel. I completely enjoyed my read and found it hard to put down - and it even gave me a couple moments of the good kind of fear, which is hard for me to find.  I also loved the format of the book - the super short chapters and alternative viewpoints really kept things moving.

Overall
This is a great choice for fans of suspense/paranormal/thriller-lite.  Nothing hugely disturbing happens, no gore, nothing very dark, but there is a hint of the supernatural and a bit of creepiness that comes with any haunted house story.  It's not boundary pushing and I think most general readers would find it engrossing, but not upsetting in any way.  If women's fiction and gothic ghost stories had a baby, it would be this book.

Thank you to TLC for providing me with a copy to review.  Click here to see the other stops on the tour.


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14. Bottom's Dream - the cover

       So at the Amazon.com page (and Amazon.co.uk, etc.) they now have a cover up for the forthcoming-from-Dalkey Archive Press John E. Woods translation of Arno Schmidt's long- and much-anticipated (and long, and weighty) Bottom's Dream:

Bottom's Dream


       Hurrah ! (Also because this is yet another indication that the book will actually appear ... until I see it, I will harbor some doubts .....)
       Stark and simple, like most of the German covers -- but good to see John E. Woods' name and role prominently featured.

       Still a few months until it is (supposed to be) out -- but meanwhile remember: The School for Atheists is a great starter-Schmidt/preparation volume -- and, of course, for more Schmidt background, there's always my Arno Schmidt: a centennial colloquy (get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk).

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15. Will Genre Wars Ever End?

Even with the success of Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Game of Thrones and so many other genre books over the last years the genre wars are apparently still raging. The latest salvo has come from Kazuo Ishiguro. With the release of his book The Buried Giant (one of my favorite books last year), the criticism the book received for its fantasy elements came up in a recent interview.

Unfortunately, it seems this interview is behind a subscription firewall so I can only go by what the articles, mainly The Independent, report about the interview.

It seems what is getting folks up in arms is Ishiguro’s comments that educational systems have been for a long time focused on conformity and turning people into productive citizens to grow the economy:

Education’s task was to get pupils to abandon the fantasy that comes naturally to children and prepare them for the demands of the workforce.

Ishiguro suggests there is a reason why geeks, who as a group tend to read science fiction and fantasy, are in demand by big companies. The big companies are looking for creative thinkers and the geeks, not beholden to mimesis, are sought after people.

And perhaps that is true but I don’t think it is the whole story. I am inclined to agree with Charlie Ander’s thinking that Ishiguro has oversimplified just a bit because there is also the matter of math and coding skills to consider. I read SFF and have no problem thinking up all sorts of imaginative worlds and creatures, but Google is not going to hire me based on that and my mediocre html skills.

Still, the author of the Independent article gets a bit grouchy by declaring that while fantasy may be good to read, “life is more like bullshitty literary fiction” and he’ll put his trust in people who “think inside the box” to make decisions about how we live our lives.

Sigh.

Ishiguro doesn’t just talk about fantasy but all genre fiction and how it is not taken seriously, how it is just as valid a means of exploring human lives, feelings and relationships as “literary fiction” is. With that I am completely on board. That we even still argue over genre seems ridiculous to me. Good literature is good literature whether it is realist or fantastic, involves a murder mystery or a romance. It is convenient to use genre as a means to discuss books that partake of certain tropes and plot elements, but as a way to categorize readers or assess literary value? We really need to get over it.


Filed under: Books, Mystery/Crime, SciFi/Fantasy Tagged: genre wars, Kazuo Ishiguro

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16. A Book for Passionate Creators + a Giveaway

Have you lost your muse? Create Now is the kind of book you need to help you transform your creative process and get you inspired to write.

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17. found: some inspiration

My neighbor and fellow poet here in Maryland, Laura Shovan, celebrates her birthday month each year with a series of daily writing prompts.  She writes every day and invites anyone else so inclined to join her.  This February Laura has made a collection of intriguing found objects captured in photographs, and you can read her introduction to the project here.
 
I can almost never keep up with a poem a day in February, but I like to jump in when I can.  This week I wrote about these two found objects:

http://laurashovan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/mayr.jpg
stone face in the wood

             
lost not found | Day 8


bold white bruin man
where your boulder feet?
where your legs,
your stone torso,
your swinging arms?

they crash on
through the forest:
white columns of motion
can’t think what they’ve lost,
lost on the way
bare gash of narrow eye
bare slash of missing mouth

–Heidi Mordhorst 2016
all rights reserved


http://laurashovan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Simon.jpg
lotus seed pods
anthropology | Day 10

once thought to be
an elaborately carved musical
instrument used
only on the wedding day
of a woman born under
the eleventh moon,

it is now understood to be
a deliberately culled muscular
implement used
only on the winding way
of a man burned under
the oppressive soon

context is everything

                                                                   Heidi Mordhorst 2016
                                                                                          all rights reserved 
   
And because I do profess to write for children, I had a second go at this one with that audience in mind:

Making Sense

First it’s something to see–
almost black among the greens and yellows,
scalloped around the edges like
crayon clouds or flowers,
clouds full of black hailstones–
or it’s a leopard-skin jellyfish.

Next it’s something to hold–
not weighty like a microphone
or a metal shower head,
but light and hollow, not plastic
and not wood, part smooth
and part ridged and rumpled.

Now it’s something to hear–
take it by the curving handle oh!
is that a stem? and shake, shake
shake–those blackish beads or
beans or oh! they’re seeds!
they make a marvelous rattling!

~Heidi Mordhorst 2016
all rights reserved

And now, for Day 12, we have this "found object:"

snow moon full cream

http://laurashovan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/buffy.jpg
when somewhere
    water bound in ice
under the crust of the moon
when someday
    water breaks from ice
up to the dust of the moon
it mounds to this:
    canyons and craters
soft peaks of moon rock
     swirling and moist   
seas of
     clouds of vapor
     islands of nectar
oceans of
      sweet serenity
      tranquil fecundity
snow moon full cream
deep space

Heidi Mordhorst 2016
all rights reserved

It's rather freeing to just jump in, write it down, click it out...and interesting to see what comes of writing late when half asleep!  You can enjoy lots more poems (and some prose) about these found objects over at Laura's new blog, and I'll be giving her a break by hosting the project on Day 15, next Monday--but not before joining in the announcement of the Cybils Poetry Award winner on Sunday (with love)!

Kimberley has the round-up today at her blog...  find your way to some poetry objects over there!






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18. पानी पीने के फायदे

पानी पीने के फायदे अगर वजन कम करना है तो खाने के साथ साथ खूब सारा पानी पीना भी बहुत जरुरी होता है. डाइट प्लान का महत्वपूर्ण हिस्सा है पानी… आज मुझे अपनी सहेली मणि पर बहुत बहुत गुस्सा आ रहा है मेरा मन तो है कि उसे अनफ्रैंड ही कर दूं पर कर नही […]

The post पानी पीने के फायदे appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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19. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 83 - 2.10.16


Alas, the Supreme Court recently put the White House's carbon pollution limits on hold. Thusly, despite President Obama's best intentions, the hands of progress are currently tied...

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20. Worm Loves Worm – Perfect Picture Book Friday and Diversity Day

Title: Poet: Worm loves Worm Written by: J. J. Austrian illustrated by: Miike Curato Published by: Balzer & Bray, Jan 5th, 2016 Themes: celebration of love, marriage, wedding, worms Ages: 3-7 Opening: Worm loves Worm. “Let’s be married.” says Worm to Worm. Synopsis: A worm meets another worm and falls in love. One proposes; … Continue reading

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21. Cover Reveal: The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg

You know where I lived for eleven years of my New York City life?  Harlem. You know where no one, aside from Walter Dean Myers, ever sets a middle grade novel?  Harlem.  Greenwich Village, Brooklyn, even Queens get more love than Harlem in books for 9-12 year olds.  So you might understand why I’m happy a middle grade novel is set there at long last.  Today’s cover reveal comes via YA-author-turned-middle-grade-writer Elizabeth Eulberg.  Ladies and gentlemen I give you . . .

GreatShelbyHolmes

The quick and dirty:

Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen—always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes.

When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. The easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that’ll take both their talents to crack.

Elizabeth Eulberg was born and raised in Wisconsin before heading off to college at Syracuse University and making a career in the New York City book biz. Now a full-time writer, she is the author of The Lonely Hearts ClubProm & PrejudiceTake a BowRevenge of the Girl with the Great PersonalityBetter Off Friends, and We Can Work it Out. She lives outside of Manhattan with her three guitars, two keyboards, and one drumstick. Visit her online at www.elizabetheulberg.com and on twitter at @ElizEulberg.

So that is that.  The book is on sale September 6th  and is the first in a three book series. Thanks to Lizzy Mason and the folks at Bloomsbury for the reveal.

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22. Friday Linky List - 12 February 2016

From PW: 'A Long Walk to Water' Sells 1M Copies!

From The Bookseller: Google launches e-book 'experiment'

From SLJs Fuse #8 by Betsy Bird: Walking and Talking with . . . M.T. Anderson - have you seen these? They're very cool!

From PW: Is Amazon Opening More Bookstores? It's Hiring Booksellers. WOW. This is potentially huge news, and ripe for debate...

From PW: Angouleme Comics Festival Overshadowed by Gaffes, Protests Over Sexism - what a stink!

From The Guardian: Libraries saved me, now they need rescuing - Karin Slaughter - Go Karin!

From the Paisley Piranha Blog: F**k, fudge, frick, fug, flip, fiddlesticks... Dealing with swearing in children's book writing

At Sequential Art (via SCBWI British Isles): Comix Creatrix: 100 Women Making Comics - Exhibition at House of Illustration, London

From PW: Agate Unveils African American Children's Imprint - with books by my friend Denene Millner!

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23. Parka Blogs Art Tool Interview

Parka Blogs has published an interview about the art tools I use

Portable expedition rig for both painting and making videos. This kit fits on my belt or shoulder straps so that I can walk through any museum.
Folding Folding tripod stoolwith shoulder strap.
Lightweight tripod for video camera, Zoom recorder, or LED light, strapped to chair with bungie cord.
Paint rag tied to the outside to allow it to dry (looks a bit weird).
Belt pouch. Contains: pencils, brushes, water cup, gouache set, mini watercolor set, watercolor sketchbook, and LED headlamp.
Flip video camera replaced by Canon point-and-shoot now.

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24. Cairo International Book Fair report

       In Al-Ahram Weekly Nevine El-Aref reports on the recent Cairo International Book Fair, in Of books and bread.

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25. ‘A Brief History of Time’ by CraveFX

A comedic performance where past, present, and future realities overlap and interact in an environment where time has no start or end.

The post ‘A Brief History of Time’ by CraveFX appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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