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Artist Chris Riddell has taken it upon himself to create illustrations for a Neil Gaiman poem called “Locks.” Follow this link to see a digital album with all 11 of Riddell’s artistic pieces.
According to Gaiman’s Facebook post, he wrote this poem for his daughter Maddy back when she was a toddler. It was later featured in his short fiction collection, Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders.
Click here to listen to Gaiman perform a reading of this poem. In the past, the two have collaborated on several of the United Kingdom editions of Gaiman’s children’s books. Earlier this year, Riddell illustrated an “artist’s creed” that Gaiman wrote in honor of the terrorist attacks at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine.
Happy Wednesday, YABC! Are our US readers ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow?!
Today we're super excited to celebrate the cover reveal for SOUTH OF SUNSHINE by Dana Elmendorf, releasing April 1, 2016 from Albert Whitman & Company: AW Teen. Before we get to the cover, here's a note from Dana:
Hey, YABC! I’ve waited for this day for so long, and now I finally get to share SOUTH OF SUNSHINE’s cover with y’all. I have so much love for this story and my characters. LGBT romances are so underrepresented, and I’m glad my book is finding a place in the world. The overall feel of the cover perfectly captures the romance and southern setting. The title treatment is absolutely gorgeous. And I’m so glad my publisher made the decision to put two girls on the cover. It’s done in such a classy way, and I couldn’t be prouder.
~ Dana Elmendorf (SOUTH OF SUNSHINE, Albert Whitman & Company: AW Teen)
Ready to see?
Scroll, YABCers! Scroll!
Here it is!
*** If you choose to share this image elsewhere, please include a courtesy link back to this page so others can enter Dana's giveaway. Thank you! ***
SOUTH OF SUNSHINE
by Dana Elmendorf
Release date: April 1, 2016
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company: AW Teen
About the Book
What is Kaycee willing to risk for the sake of love? And what will she risk for acceptance?
In Sunshine, Tennessee, the main event in town is Friday night football, the biggest party of the year is held in a field filled with pickup trucks, and church attendance is mandatory. For Kaycee Jean McCoy, life in Sunshine means dating guys she has no interest in, saying only “yes, ma’am” when the local bigots gossip at her mom’s cosmetics salon, and avoiding certain girls at all costs. Girls like Bren Dawson.
Unlike Kaycee, Bren doesn’t really conceal who she is. But as the cool, worldly new girl, nobody at school seems to give her any trouble. Maybe there’s no harm if Kaycee gets closer to her too, as long as she can keep that part of her life a secret, especially from her family and her best friend. But the more serious things get with Bren, the harder it is to hide from everyone else. Kaycee knows Sunshine has a darker side for people like her, and she’s risking everything for the chance to truly be herself.
To learn more about this book and see our review, go HERE.
About the Author
Born and raised in small town in Tennessee, Dana now lives in southern California with her husband, two boys and her tiny dog Sookie. When she isn’t exercising, she can be found geeking out with Mother Nature or scouring the internet for foreign indie bands. After her family’s needs are met, you can find her dreaming up contemporary YA romances with plenty of kissing.
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Five winners will each receive a signed ARC of SOUTH OF SUNSHINE (when available).
Entering is simple, just fill out the entry form below. Winners will be announced on this site and in our monthly newsletter (sign up now!) within 30 days after the giveaway ends.
During each giveaway, we ask entrants a question pertaining to the book. Here is the question they'll be answering in the comments below for extra entries:
What do you think about the cover and synopsis?
Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway:
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Cass Sunstein, a Harvard professor, has signed a deal with the HarperCollins imprint, Dey Street Books. Sunstein plans to write a book entitled The World According to Star Wars.
According to the press release, this book will feature “an exploration of George Lucas’s masterpiece as it relates to the arc of history, rebellions, politics, law, economics, fatherhood, and culture. Sunstein will demonstrate that the Star Wars series is all about serendipity and freedom — about the clouded nature of the future, the dismal failures of plans, and the inevitability, in our lives and our society, of ‘I am your father’ moments, which cast a new light on everything that has gone before.”
Julia Cheiffetz, an executive editor, negotiated the deal with Sarah Chalfant of the Wylie Agency. The publisher will release the book in May 2016.
The CW has unveiled a new trailer for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow series. The video embedded above offers glimpses of a group made up of heroes and villains from The Arrow and The Flash television shows.
Here’s more from The Wrap: “The newest trailer delves deep into the backstories of each of the team members and their adventures through time. Darvill’s character, Rip Hunter, gets particular focus as he’s the man who assembles the eight-member team in order to stop Vandal Savage (Casper Crump), a supervillain who takes over the whole planet unless they go back in time and stop him.”
The cast includes actors Arthur Darvill as Rip Hunter, Franz Drameh as Jay Jackson, Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold, Victor Garber as Dr. Martin Stein, and Caity Lotz as Sara Lance. The premiere episode is scheduled to air on Jan. 21, 2016. (via Tor.com)
By: Terry Hooper-Scharf,
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So, I'm guessing the Purple Man is the baddie here?
By: Leda Pingas,
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By: Diana Hurwitz,
Blog: Game On! Creating Character Conflict
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I have to thank Simon and Garfunkel for this post which was inspired by their song Homeward Bound.
The lyrics go: “I wish I was homeward bound. Home, where my thought's escaping. Home, where my music's playing. Home, where my love lies waiting silently for me.”
Hopefully, his love isn’t lying there silently because she is dead. If so, it would place the story in the mystery or horror category.
For most, the word “home” conjures warmth and belonging, especially during the American holiday of Thanksgiving. Home can be a place where Dick finds nurturance and love. It can be the place where he feels safe in a world gone mad.
Home can be a place that he longs to return to, a situation he longs to build for himself, or a place he needs to run from instead of to.
What kind of place do your characters call home? What lies in wait for Dick when he gets there? Home can remind Dick of all the things he lost or never had. Family get-togethers may be bitter rather than sweet. If a story problem forces Dick to go home, the game begins.
What if home is full of ghosts, personal demons and the walking dead, either literally or figuratively? Home can be full of mildly or severely dysfunctional people. If Dick’s family home or hometown is filled with addicts and felons, then it isn’t the cheery Hallmark scenario everyone imagines.
Going home can be psychologically or physically damaging. Can he tell anyone what home is truly like for him? Not necessarily. Shame is a huge motivating factor. It may keep Dick from telling anyone just how bad home really is. Even if Dick tells, he might be mildly rebuked for being so hard on his nearest and dearest. Surely it can’t be that bad? Except, it is. When his coworkers are rushing home, eager for the weekend or his schoolmates returning home at the end of school term, it can fill Dick with dread.
Coming from a family with something to hide places Dick in a precarious position. Even if he is brilliant and has a laudable talent or amazing skills, he has to be careful to not allow the spotlight to veer in his direction. It might startle the cockroaches from his past and make them frightened, which can make them dangerous.
Home can be a trigger for a recovering Sally. Most characters long for home. If going home puts Sally at risk for a relapse, it may not be the best place to visit. If the dysfunction that exists there is the thing that made her get high or drunk in the first place, the trigger will always be there, waiting like a land mine to blow up in her face. Sally may have to avoid home as much as she craves it. She will have to find a way to build her own home and that is not an easy thing to do. What if Sally feels more at home somewhere else? As much as her friends or other family members may like her, she isn’t really part of their home. Will they make room for her? Can they? Should they? To what extent?
Home can be full of actual ghosts or zombies. That places the story in the paranormal realm. Can Jane tell anyone? Maybe not. If she has to deal with the paranormal element at home while trying to live a normal life outside of it, Jane has serious conflict. Keeping a secret becomes a prison whether Jane is hiding that her Dad is a serial killer or a faerie King. How far is she pushed? Who could she tell? Who would believe her? How could she prove it? Her life is in danger either way.
What if Dick returns home and finds it markedly changed? He can return from college, a trip abroad, or from living on another coast or planet. What if it isn’t what he remembered? Dick may have a hard time reconciling the idealized version of home with the reality. How do the changes make him feel? Have things improved or gotten much worse. Has the town been invaded by trolls? Maybe Sally and Jane don’t remember things in quite the same way. Maybe Dick is forced to face a completely different “truth” about the way things were. The story can review all the things he thought he remembered and offer a completely different twist.
A fully drawn hero has both a home life and a work life. It’s important to give your reader a glimpse into both. It is unbalanced when we are presented with characters that are never at home or never at work. We don’t need to see every little thing they do at either location, but it helps to understand them if we see how the character operates in both worlds. They are defined by how they navigate the tricky waters both inside and outside the family.
For more on crafting conflict to create tension, pick up a copy of Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict available in paperback and E-book.
By: Jerry Beck,
Blog: Cartoon Brew
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The cover has been unveiled for Kate Elliott’s forthcoming book, Poisoned Blade. According to the NOVL blog, the story for this project will serve as a sequel for her 2015 young adult novel, Court of Fives.
We’ve embedded the full image for the jacket design above—what do you think? Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has scheduled the publication date for Aug. 16, 2016.
To help fans cope with the wait, Elliott has written a companion novella entitled Night Flower. The publisher will release it as an eBook on Dec. 08, 2015.
By: Vicky L. Lorencen,
Congratulations to Buffy Silverman! You’ve won your very own copy of Kris Remenar’s debut picture book GROUNDHOG’S DILEMMA. I’m so happy for you! This adorable book will be available in early December, so I’ll pre-order your copy and have it sent your way quick as a bunny on Red Bull.
Bushels of thanks to everyone who visited Frog on a Dime and offered such kind, encouraging comments for Kris. You’re the best! Honest. Cross my heart, hope to die, stick my finger in my nose, I mean, pie.
P.S. Pssst. Buffy, please send me your mailing address and I’ll whisk your prize to you as soon as its available.
By Kris Remenar, Illustrated by Matt Faulkner, Charlesbridge Publishing
Though the groundhog and crocus creep into their holes
It’s Spring, and the almanac shows it;
Though a polar wave over the continent rolls
It’s Spring! And we don’t care who knows it!
~ Robert J. Burdette, “March,” c.1888
Who can resist a mysterious old English bookshop? The scent of them and the mysteries they hold.
Submissions Welcome. If you’d like a fresh look at your opening chapter or prologue, please email your submission to me re the directions at the bottom of this post.
The Flogometer challenge: can you craft a first page that compels me to turn to the next page? Caveat: Please keep in mind that this is entirely subjective.
Note: all the Flogometer posts are here.
What's a first page in publishingland? In a properly formatted novel manuscript (double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point type, etc.) there should be about 16 or 17 lines on the first page (first pages of chapters/prologues start about 1/3 of the way down the page). Directions for submissions are below—they include a request to post the rest of the chapter, but that’s optional.
A word about the line-editing in these posts: it’s “one-pass” editing, and I don’t try to address everything, which is why I appreciate the comments from the FtQ tribe. In a paid edit, I go through each manuscript three times.
Before you rip into today’s submission, consider this checklist of first-page ingredients from my book, Mastering the Craft of Compelling Storytelling. While it's not a requirement that all of these elements must be on the first page, they can be, and I think you have the best chance of hooking a reader if they are.
Download a free PDF copy here.
Were I you, I'd examine my first page in the light of this list before submitting to the Flogometer. I use it on my own work.
A First-page Checklist
- It begins engaging the reader with the character
- Something is happening. On a first page, this does NOT include a character musing about whatever.
- The character desires something.
- The character does something.
- There’s enough of a setting to orient the reader as to where things are happening.
- It happens in the NOW of the story.
- Backstory? What backstory? We’re in the NOW of the story.
- Set-up? What set-up? We’re in the NOW of the story.
- What happens raises a story question.
Caveat: a strong first-person voice with the right content can raise powerful story questions and create page turns without doing all of the above. A recent submission worked wonderfully well and didn't deal with five of the things in the checklist.
Also, if you think about it, the same checklist should apply to the page where you introduce an antagonist.
Mackenzie /strong> sends a rewrite of his first chapter of Flipped. The previous version is here. The rest of the chapter follows the break.
Please vote and comment. It helps the writer.
“Bella is going to die tonight. Do you understand?” I said to Elliot, my accomplice, on the way to Bella’s house. “Do you hae the Spaghettifier?” I asked Elliot.
He replied with a “Yes.” He knew that if he hadn’t had it, then he would await the same fate as Bella (especially since we just got to her house). “How will we open the door?” he asked and I burst into laughter.
“We have a portable black hole, so it should be pretty easy.” I replied. I used the Spaghettifier We snuck up into her bedroom. It was big, beautiful, and obnoxiously bright. It was almost as obnoxious as her.
I walked up to her bed and found a carcass. I felt her neck, there was no pulse. I couldn’t see the rise or fall of breath in her lungs. She was a doornail. What a fitting time to die though, in the dead of winter, in the dead of night. Nothing stirred and there were no crickets chirping tonight. “How do you kill someone who is already dead?” I yelled. Then I understood why her death bothered me so much. “She didn’t deserve it.” I sobbed. “She did nothing to me. Nothing!” I yelled. I walked home alone with a heavy heart in the rain alone, so, so alone. I cried myself to sleep. I dreamed about what caused me to try and murder her
It was the big test… and I bombed it. I knew I wasn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, but I also knew that what I lack in left brain I make up in right brain. I was fine with this (snip)
Were you compelled to turn the page?
There are for sure some interesting things going on here, but ultimately I ended up on the confused side, and then the narrator starts to tell us about a dream. Little things got in my way—if it’s the dead of night, how come her bedroom was obnoxiously bright—if we’d been shown the lights were on or someone turned them on, okay, but that didn’t happen. I was willing to go along with the Spaghettifier as some kind of tool, but its name suggests children at play and not something involving a real death. So I'm not sure if I should take the reported death seriously. I’m going to assume that the “hae” instead of “have” is just a typo, though I guess it could be some kind of Scottish or Irish dialect.
For what it’s worth.
For what it’s worth.
Submitting to the Flogometer:
Email the following in an attachment (.doc, .docx, or .rtf preferred, no PDFs):
- your title
- your complete 1st chapter or prologue plus 1st chapter
- Please include in your email permission to post it on FtQ.
Note: I’m adding a copyright notice for the writer at the end of the post. I’ll use just the first name unless I’m told I can use the full name.
- Also, please tell me if it’s okay to post the rest of the chapter so people can turn the page.
- And, optionally, include your permission to use it as an example in a book on writing craft if that's okay.
- If you’re in a hurry, I’ve done “private floggings,” $50 for a first chapter.
- If you rewrite while you wait for your turn, it’s okay with me to update the submission.
Were I you, I'd examine my first page in the light of the first-page checklist before submitting to the Flogometer.
Flogging the Quill © 2015 Ray Rhamey, story © 2015 Mackenzie
. . . until I heard Bella yell “Kaliq failed his test! Kaliq failed his test!” so loud that I’m sure all of the city heard. This is pretty much all you can expect from Bella, the worst person I had ever known.
She kept yelling so, I thought had to shut her up. “Bella, what did you get on your test?” I replied. If luck was on my side she would act violent and be expelled, permanently. Then, she probably would still be alive.
Elliot, my wingman, diffused the situation before it would get out of hand by saying “You both scored horribly on your tests, okay!” He is a lifesaver… sometimes. All the other times though he’s just a pain in the neck, but, aren’t all brothers. Nobody ever fights here. There is no conflict of any kind here, so if anyone were to write a story about this city, it would have to be fiction. This city is like an old style clock because everything goes by like clockwork. The government is the face, the public are the gears. Eventually, I will be the face. Until then though, I’ll start spinning in the wrong direction to cause destruction, chaos, and to make everyone think in a new way because “we are all important”. Multiple people were preventing the fight. The government have a strict no violence policy or else you are kicked out of the city. Also, Bella probably didn’t want to get in trouble with the teacher either.
How could I think like this though? I’ve been so violent and negative. I’m too in the moment. I should have listened to Elliot.
Elliot! Where is he? I left him in the house. He’s like a little child out there. He doesn’t understand the criminal world. He’ll never make it out alive! Like Bella. Like Bella. Like Bella. I have to save him because I have a chance. I don’t need two on my killed list.
I ran all the way to Bella’s house hoping I had slept in and everyone was working. He was asleep in Bella’s room. It was still there. How did she become it? Why haven’t we cured death? We, as a city, can do anything with science, but maybe science isn’t the answer to everything. The entrance to death though is unconsciousness and Elliot is unconscious.
I woke him up. As soon as he woke up and realized I was there he asked “Why are you here? Bella is dead. You don’t want to be caught.” I explained the whole story to him and he understood. He’s always been like that. The only one I could trust. I took him home after I sprinkled my DNA all over it’s bedroom.
At his home, we made a plan. “The funeral will be tomorrow,” I told him.
He said “Kaliq, you can stay at my house until the funeral, then you should get out of town. At 5 pm I will give you rations and you can sleep with me in my bedroom.”
I agreed and Elliot left for school. Tomorrow would be a big day.
In the early 1920s, author William Faulkner wrote a humorous play called Twixt Cup and Lip. The play is being published for the first time in the latest issue of The Strand Magazine.
Andrew Gulli, managing editor of the Strand, discovered the lighthearted work in in the University of Virginia’s Albert and Shirley Small special collections. The Guardian has more about the work:
Twixt Cup and Lip was written by Faulkner in the early 1920s, when the author would have been in his 20s. A one-act play, it is set in the apartment of a “well-to-do bachelor”, and sees two friends of around 30, Francis and Jim, each vying to convince the 19-year-old Ruth to marry them.
Who was dinosaurs’ favorite children’s book review journal editor? (sorry, Roger)
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The post DinoWriMo: Great Ladies appeared first on The Horn Book.
We will be celebrating Thanksgiving at my house tomorrow. It will just be Bookman and me. Since we’ve been vegan for over twenty years, we have created our own traditional Thanksgiving feast that does not center around turkey and stuffing and gravy. We make vegan enchiladas filled with tofu and vegetables and vegan cheese that we make from almond butter and other ingredients. On the side is brown rice and beans and tortilla chips.
We used to make these enchiladas several times a year but as they became our Thanksgiving feast we gradually stopped eating them at other times. Now it is a rarity to make them except at Thanksgiving. Because of this they have become something extra-special and we both start talking about them in anticipation as soon as the calendar turns to November.
We also have homemade pumpkin pie. The pumpkin was grown in our garden, adding an extra layer of satisfaction. Pumpkin pie is my most favoritest kind of pie. We used to buy graham cracker crusts but a few yeas ago Bookman learned how to make his own traditional pie crust and elevated our pie to even higher deliciousness.
While Thanksgiving is a great day for food, what makes it most special is sharing it with Bookman. Because it is just the two of us, it is a quiet, leisurely day. I keep him company while he is in the kitchen, read him poetry or silly magazine articles or just chat about this and that. It is one of the few days in the entire year that we give ourselves permission to not worry about chores or projects or errands, things that need to be done. Time is so often short and attention divided, to be able to give these things to the person I love most and also receive them in return fills my heart with joy and gratitude. That’s what Thanksgiving is about to me. It reminds me of how blessed I am and how much I truly have to be thankful for.
Allow me to spill some thankfulness on all of you. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, thanks for adding to my reading piles and lists, thanks for making this little part of the internet a fun and happy place, and thanks for your friendship and always being such kind and generous people. Whether or not you are celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, I hope your day is filled with love and gratitude and joy.
Filed under: Personal
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope that wherever you may be you have plenty to be thankful for.
Congratulations to Priscilla Alpaugh, for winning a signed copy of The Story I’ll Tell. Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing.
Pretend You’re Mine: A Small Town Love Story by Lucy Score continues to lead the Self-Published Bestsellers List this week.
To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top e-books in two major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.
If you want more resources as an author, try our Free Sites to Promote Your eBook post, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores post and our How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets post.
If you are an independent author looking for support, check out our free directory of people looking for writers groups.
Amazon Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of November 25, 2015
1. Pretend You’re Mine: A Small Town Love Story by Lucy Score: “Luke Garrison is a hometown hero, a member of the National Guard ready to deploy again. Strong, sweet, and sexy, he doesn’t have a girlfriend and doesn’t want one. When the wildly beautiful Harper stumbles into his life, though, he realizes that she’s the perfect decoy. A fake girlfriend to keep his family off his back until he’s out on another mission.”
2. Push by Joanna Blake: “I’m not just a high class escort, I’m a world class escort. My latest client doesn’t know who or what I am. I’ve been hired to take her innocence, give her an heir and steal her heart. I’m getting close. All she needs is just a little PUSH…”
3. Roommates by Erin Leigh: “Life is full of expectations. For Brady Coldwell it’s always been about the game. Hockey is and always will be, his life. His family sacrificed everything to get him here and he won’t let them down. He knows what’s expected of him.”
4. Undercover Love: A Billionaire Romance by Lucy Score: “Despite being smart, sassy, and driven, Ashley finds herself left out in the cold thanks to her fiancé Steve’s career. During a disastrous cocktail party, Ashley’s finds herself all alone after being ignored by Steve and humiliated by his ice queen colleague Victoria.”
5. Some Sort of Crazy by Melanie Harlow: “When a psychic tells Natalie Nixon her life is about to be upended by a mysterious stranger, she laughs it off. After all, she has everything she’s ever wanted—a successful bakery, the perfect boyfriend, and the keys to her dream house.”
6. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest: “On the evening of Sofia Claremont’s seventeenth birthday, she is sucked into a nightmare from which she cannot wake. A quiet evening walk along a beach brings her face to face with a dangerous pale creature that craves much more than her blood.”
7. The Lover’s Surrender by J.C. Reed: “Brooke Stewart, a realtor in New York, is sure of one of thing. She should never fully trust someone who has secrets. Especially when said bad boy is the sexiest man walking on earth. She is running away and has no intention of ever returning to him. But when a friend is killed and the one man she thought she would never meet again is accused of murder, she knows the story doesn’t add up.”
8. Shifters of Silver Peak: Mate for a Month by Georgette St. Clair: “One minute, city girl Eileen Pennyroyal is running in terror from a bear – so scared she even forgets that she can turn into a wolf. The next minute, she’s being rescued by the handsomest, rudest shifter she’s ever seen. Does Marcus even know how to speak, or does he just grunt when someone tries to make conversation?”
9. Box Set: The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod by Tracy Ellen: “Treat yourself, or gift your family members and friends with the perfect present of laughter and love this holiday season. Tracy Ellen is offering The Adventures of Anabel Axelrod series, Volumes I-V, in a special Holiday eBook Collection. The box set contains the full-length eBooks: A Date with Fate, Courted by Karma, In Love by Design, Adieu to Destiny, and Family & Fortune.”
10. The Dragon’s Surrogate: A Paranormal Pregnancy Romance by Angela Foxxe: “When Tasha applied to be surrogate mother for a wealthy client she was just seeking a huge payout for 9 months of work but she was set to get much more than she bargained for.”
Smashwords Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of November 25, 2015
1. Methods of Pulse Differentiation and Assessment 辨脉平脉法 Biàn Mài Píng Mài Fǎ by Stephen Bonzak & Tzu-Ying Chiang
2. Private Practice Preparedness – The Health Care Professional’s Guide to Closing a Practice Due to Retirement, Death, or Disability by Rob Reinhardt, LPCS, M.Ed., NCC & Anne M. “Nancy” Wheeler
3. Negotiating for Success: Essential Strategies and Skills by George J. Siedel
4. A Guidebook to Inks,Paints And Functional Inks by Robert Murray-Smith
5. Balancing the Equation by Yuri Marmerstein
6. Naturally Flawless: A holistic approach to clear skin by Andisheh Farahmand
7. The Generous Qur’an: An accurate, modern English translation of the Qur’an, Islam’s holiest book. by Usama Dakdok
8. Credo – Economic beliefs in a world in crisis by Brian Davey
9. Aesthetic Resistance Programming 3 by Justin Maguire
10. Supercapacitors 101 – A home Inventors Handbook by Robert Murray-Smith
By: Roger Sutton
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The Inker’s Shadow
by Allen Say; illus. by the author
Intermediate, Middle School, High School
Scholastic 80 pp.
978-0-545-43776-9 $19.99 g
This “patchwork of memories” (“and memories are unreliable, so I am calling this a work of fiction made of real people and places I knew”) sequel to Drawing from Memory (rev. 9/11) takes the fifteen-year-old Allen to Glendora, California, where he is enrolled in what seems to have been a distinctly mediocre military academy run by one of his (miserable) father’s old friends. That doesn’t go very well, and Allen soon finds himself, happily, enrolled in a regular high school, taking classes at an art institute in Los Angeles, and working part-time in a printing shop. Throughout, Kyusuke, Allen’s scapegrace comic-strip alter ego created by his revered Sensei, accompanies him in his imagination. Befitting adolescence, the tone here is sometimes sulky, even sarcastic, but, truth be told, Say can be so deadpan that it’s difficult to know when he’s kidding. The illustrations are a pleasing combination of watercolor cartoon panels — neat and nimble executions of the teen’s days — and black-and-white sketches that evoke what he was drawing at the time. Together, the two combine to provide an engaging and thoughtful view of the intersection of art and life.
From the November/December 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.
The post Review of The Inker’s Shadow appeared first on The Horn Book.
A veteran of Hollywood companies like Disney and Nickelodeon, Peilin Chou is the new exec heading up Oriental DreamWorks’ big plans for the future.
The post Peilin Chou Will Head Up Oriental DreamWorks’ East-West Creative Fusion appeared first on Cartoon Brew.
This week on hbook.com…
November’s Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book: world religions, natural history, medicine and diseases, space and space exploration, food and cooking
Love for Christopher Myers’s 2013 article “Young Dreamers.”
Reviews of the Week:
Out of the Box:
See overviews of previous weeks by clicking the tag week in review. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on our articles!
The post Week in Review, November 23rd-27th appeared first on The Horn Book.
When you create a language for your fantasy novel, you want it to sound as if it were real.
Two Mice. Sergio Ruzzier. 2015. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]
Premise/plot: Readers meet two mice and follow them through MANY adventures. The text is simple. And there is a definite pattern to it. One, two, three. Three, two, one. One, two, three. Three, two, one. And so forth. Because the text is so simple, in my opinion, most of the story is communicated through the details of the illustrations. For example, note the expression on the face of the mouse who only gets ONE cookie while his roommate gets TWO cookies. (The one with two cookies did get up earlier than the other mouse.)
My thoughts: I see this one as having again-again appeal for children. That is just my opinion or best guess. But there is something fun and playful and perfect about this one. I loved it. I really, really loved it. And the "really, really" was added after I read it several times. The first time I thought it was cute, it was good. But the third or fourth time through it was LOVE.
I loved everything about it. The jacket flap reads, "One house. Who lives there? Two mice. What's on their table? Three cookies. How many mice are needed for a big adventure? Two mice! You can go with them--it's as easy as one two three!" That has to be the best jacket flap I read this year. If a prize could be given for best jacket flap, this book deserves the win!!!
The story begins even before the title page. So DON'T skip past it. The story itself is wonderful and clever.
The illustrations are GREAT.
Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 10 out of 10
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
What sources of light do you recall from your favorite books? The team at solarcentre has created an infographic to showcase “Memorable Lights From Literature.”
The image features references to The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and The BFG by Roald Dahl. We’ve embedded the full piece below for you to explore further—what do you think?
In a recent post we asked for your local school and library Mock Caldecott lists, and several titles came up that we wanted to add to the Calling Caldecott conversation. Two of these are the subjects for today: Big Bear little chair by Lizi Boyd and The Moon Is Going to Addy’s House by Ida Pearle.
Boyd’s Big Bear little chair was named a NYT Best Illustrated book this year, along with others we’re discussing this fall (A Fine Dessert; The Skunk; Tricky Vic; Leo; Funny Bones). Here’s what the NYT said about Big Bear little chair: “This ingenious take on the ‘opposites’ book shows the youngest children that big, little and tiny are all in how you look at things. Using just black, white and a velvety gray, with a bit of red, Boyd’s delightful cut paper compositions juxtapose the large and the small in unexpected ways: a ‘big meadow’ is big because it’s full of small flowers; a ‘big seal’ towers over a ‘tiny castle’ that’s made of sand.”
It is an opposites book, but it also encompasses the concept of relative size (big, little, and tiny). So it’s clever-clever. And as you can see from the cover, it has a striking shape and an equally striking palette (red, black, white, and gray) with the promise of strong, eye-catching compositions. Each individual page is striking. The art is stylish; so is the book design. The juxtapositions (of large and small) are indeed unexpected. The gouache illustrations are sometimes delicate; sometimes bold; always beautifully composed. It’s easy to see why the judges chose this book for the best illustrated list.
But who is the intended audience? The interspersed bears’ story (in which two bears eventually get matched up with her appropriate chair —and with each other) is clearly for very young readers, but the “opposites” in the intervening pages are sometimes quite sophisticated in concept. See Big Elephant/little trick. “Trick”? That’s an idea, not an object — different from and more advanced than most of the other pairs (Big Moon/little star; etc.). Visually, the use of red is inconsistent. Red almost always spotlights the “little” item on each page, but not always. Crucially, it isn’t used for the first example, where we see a “Big Plant” and a “little cocoon.” On this page the red highlights berries on the plant, not the cocoon. For the rest of the first section, though, and into the next section, red will be used for the “little” item on each page. This wouldn’t be a problem in a book for sophisticated readers, but — see the young-ish interspersed bear-chair story…
The Moon Is Going to Addy’s House is not your typical, sleepy looking-at-the-moon story. This is, rather, an ecstatic, intoxicating experience: a bacchanal for the picture-book set. In tour-de-force cut-paper collages, Pearle uses a controlled riot of vivid colors and patterns to evoke intensity and emotion. The text is much less emotional; all the feeling here is in the illustrations.
The Kirkus review said that the book is “exquisite, electrifying, soothing, and soporific, brilliant in color”; that the landscapes “throb with vitality.” The use of bright pink and deep purple is unusual and intense. Some of the double-page spreads take one’s breath away with their sheer beauty: such as the one where a striated purple sky and pink moon above and their reflection below (in a body of water) are separated by a thin stretch of dark-brown road. Other illustrations capture that universal human sense of connection with the moon: such as the one in which the girl sees the moon reflected in the car’s rear-view mirror and feels as if she could catch it in her hand (echoes of Thurber’s Many Moons?).
But in some illustrations, it’s difficult to know where to look; and although the way the moon sometimes seems to jump around in the sky may be realistic, it can be disconcerting. The book’s horizontal shape sometimes works in its favor (as in the gorgeous spread mentioned above) and sometimes to its disadvantage: see the “Look way up high / and way down low” spread, where the “high” and “low” aren’t that different.
So. Will the Real Committee have these two (very beautiful) books on its radar? Do you?
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