POEM IN YOUR POCKET DAY IS TODAY! (print, clip,pocket and share!) Keep A Poem in Your Pocket by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers Keep a poem in your pocket And a picture in your head And you'll never feel lonely At night when you're in bed. The little poem will sing to you A dozen dreams to dance to you At night when you're in bed. So-- Keep a picture in your pocketAdd a Comment
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Blog: Children's Book Reviews and Then Some (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Blog: Gurney Journey (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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the Illustration website. Add a Comment
Blog: Constructions: joyce audy zarins (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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This article also appears at writersrumpus.com. While your book is percolating in your mind, in revisions or sketches, or under the scrutiny of your crit group buddies, you can explore ways to build your publishing credentials. Magazines and other media can be valuable, shorter-term ways to get your work seen. Here’s a more-or-less “out there” […]Add a Comment
Blog: The Children's Book Review (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Enter to win an autographed copy of Goddess Girls #13: Athena the Proud, by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams. Giveaway begins April 24, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends May 23, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.Add a Comment
Blog: PW -The Beat (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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There’s a pretty lively discussion of Comixology’s Submit program going on in the comments of this post. And while SUbmit seems to be a very useful thing, it seems taht a lot of books that are…submitted to the program are rejected on technical grounds.
In the above post I mentioned that I couldn’t easily find the guidelines on the Submit page but after asking around I am told that you can find the guidelines for formatting here. From looking at the page I can see that it’s still a little vague on some of the specifics, but the screen shots seem pretty clear. It’s also clear that just popping your comic into the pdf format is a crocodile infested riverbank of things that can go wrong to make the book unsuitable for Comixology.
I’m told an even more comprehensive and discoverable version of these specs will be provided in the future.
Submit art above by Shannon Wheeler.Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Chasing Ray (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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I have a deep appreciation for family food traditions. From my mother's side (Irish American) we don't have many. (The most enduring is easting Entenmann's Coffee Cake which I don't think really counts but we love it.) On my father's side (French Canadian) there are many because he was a great cook and my memere was as well (especially baking). But in terms of ethnic food, I don't know that anyone really sees something and yells "Oh, look! French Canadian food!" (If you can name any French Canadian food other than syrup right now, you deserve an award.)
About now you probably understand that I spent a large part of my childhood wishing I was Chinese, Mexican or Italian solely for the food.
All of this explains why when I received a copy of the picture book Pizza in Pienza by Susan Fillion, I was delighted by each and every page. It's a very simple story about a girl in Pienza, Italy, who takes readers through her day and across her town. Along the way she shares her love of pizza, ("Even while I'm eating spaghetti, I'm dreaming about the next pizza pie."), and her research into the history of pizza which, as we know it, comes from Naples, Italy. The story comes around to America, where the first pizzeria opened in NYC in 1905 and the final spreads show people enjoying pizza both in the U.S. and Italy which is all kinds of wonderful.
Everyone would like to be a member of the ethnic group that invented pizza, don't you think?
Fillion both wrote and illustrated Pizza in Pienza and the illustrations are large and colorful, with a folk art feel. The story reads as a picture book travel essay and the dual text, with a single line on each page in both English and Italian, fits well in this narrative design. In the final pages the author includes a pronunciation page, a history of pizza and a recipe for Pizza Margherita (including the dough).
This is a decidedly quiet book but it provides a nice lesson about a well known topic while introducing a foreign country in a very accessible way. (That's the part that will appeal to folks looking for educational reads.) For me, it was quite reminiscent of all those delightful Italian memoirs for adults (paging Frances Mayes). It's one of the better ways to bring Italy home to kids and it will likely also spur them to appreciate their pizza even more which is always a good thing. Call this one a nice delightful and tasty trip for younger readers. :)Add a Comment
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It’s Author Interview Thursday! Woohoo! Are you ready to rumble? Yes? Good. Then let’s get right to it. I came to know our featured author through Sherrill S. Cannon who was on the hot seat a few moons ago. She’s the author of the popular Rachel Racoon and Sammy Skunk series. In the build up to this interview, I discovered that she has a rich knowledge of conservation and a passion for nature. This passion is revealed in all her books and readers of her books will not only be entertained by her stories but will come away with a better understanding of the world around us. I’m so glad she’s chosen to spend some time with us today, so please join me in welcoming Jannifer Powelson.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the first time someone complemented you on something you had written? I have enjoyed writing since I was a young girl, though I decided to major in biology in college. However, since I follow the age-old adage and write about what I know, I’ve incorporated much of my biology background into my books. I don’t remember the first time someone complimented me on my writing, but I’ve had several lovely comments about my books. When children tell me Rachel and Sammy books are their favourites, it means the world to me!
What can a reader expect when they pick up a book written by Jannifer Powelson? Whether you read my children’s books or my new mystery novel for adults, you can expect to read and learn about nature.
There seems to be a theme around nature and animals that runs through your books. Can you tell us if this is intentional and where that stems from? I grew up on a farm, where I spent much time working and playing outdoors. My fondness for nature and conservation started early. I majored in biology in college, and I work as a conservationist.
Your most recent book ‘When Nature Calls’ is a departure from your other kidlit books as it’s a full length novel. Can you tell us about some of the challenges you encountered while writing this book?
I really enjoyed writing When Nature Calls. Since it was my first novel, I learned a lot along the way. I had to work on fleshing out some of the characters and making things fairly believable. I self edited this book several times before, during, and after a professional edit. It was much more challenging to edit and proof a novel in comparison to a shorter children’s book.
How do you handle bad reviews?
I have tried to develop a thicker skin. When you write books you put your heart and soul into them. When they are published, you open yourself up to criticism. I know not everyone will enjoy my books; you can’t please everyone. I try to remember that for any negative review, there are plenty of positive reviews to counteract the effects of a bad one.
Since my children’s books are educational, I use the books as part of educational programs about nature. The books are for sale during these events, and they seem to sell well in conjunction with programs. I target my marketing efforts toward nature centers, state and national parks, museums, and, botanical gardens, as well as many small town businesses that are willing to stock books by local authors.
You own the publishing firm Progressive Rising Phoenix Press with your business partner Amanda Thrasher. Can you tell us how you juggle being a publisher and a writer?
Sometimes it’s hard to find the time for everything. Amanda and I divide up the workload so we can both have time to focus on our books. Progressive Rising Phoenix Press is growing quickly, so there is much work to do. Often times our own books must wait until we have completed work on another author’s book.
What were some of your favourite books as a child?
I loved to read Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mysteries and also enjoyed reading books by Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume as well.
I’m still learning to write dialogue well. I try not to turn dialogue into monologue. I avoid writing dialogue that is too long or cumbersome. I attempt to get inside the characters’ heads and pretend like they are having a real conversation, so it sounds more natural.
What book or film has the best dialogue that inspires you to be a better writer and why?
There is no one particular book that influences me. I love reading and really enjoy various cozy mystery series. Even though I read for pleasure, I still pay attention to the details that make a great book, such as believable characters and storylines, descriptive settings, and interesting twists and turns. Toy Story or Shrek? Shrek movies have grown on me over the years.
Though Illinois is not normally on everyone’s ideal vacation list, there are several pretty areas to explore. Check out the unglaciated Northwest corner that is hilly and scenic. Southern Illinois contains the Shawnee Forest, and the northern and central portions of Illinois have some beautiful prairie remnants. I try to imagine what it looked like two hundred years ago, before the endless acres of lush prairie were converted to other uses. Of course, you’ll want to check out Chicago and Lake Michigan too.
You grew up on a farm with lots of animals. Can you tell us about an unforgettable experience you had with one of the farm animals?
Though working with livestock is always very interesting, I can’t single out a single event. Many animals have their own unique personalities, just like humans, so observing and experiencing animal behaviour can be entertaining at times. One experience that is very vivid in my mind took place during my wildlife research days as a graduate student. I worked with raccoons but also encountered other animals. One day when letting a skunk loose from a live trap, it became very agitated and sprayed me in the face. Since most of the skunks I accidentally captured were even tempered, this was quite a surprise. Rachel Raccoon and Sammy Skunk characters are derived from my research experiences.
What can we expect from Jannifer Powelson in the next 12 months?
I plan to get busy working on the second book in The Nature Station Mystery Series soon, An Unnatural Selection.
Website - www.janniferpowelson.com
Twitter - @JCPowelson
Any advice for authors out there who are either just starting out or getting frustrated with the industry?
Whether you are writing a book or trying to market your work, keep your “to-do” list up to date, and try to tackle a few action items every day. Thanks for being with us today. I have to agree with your last statement because little drops of water do make a mighty ocean. Jannifer made some insightful remarks in this interview and we’d both be delighted to hear your questions or comments. Simply leave your question or comment and remember to share with the social buttons below.Add a Comment
Blog: Manga Maniac Cafe (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Running away from home was never Chloe Kowalski’s plan. Neither was ending up the target of killers, or having her body change in unusual ways. She only wanted a vacation, someplace far from her crazy parents and their irrational fear of water. She only wanted to do something normal for once, and maybe get to know her best friend’s hot stepbrother a bit better at the same time.
But the first day she goes out on the ocean, strange things start to happen. Dangerous things that should be impossible. Things to which ‘normal’ doesn’t even begin to apply.
Now madmen are hunting her. A mysterious guy with glowing blue eyes is following her. And her best friend’s stepbrother seems to be hiding secrets all his own.
It was supposed to be a vacation. It’s turning out to be a whole lot more.
Skye Malone is the creative mind behind the Awakened Fate series.
She also technically does not exist.
Skye was born on May 17th, 2013 as the pen name of author Megan Joel Peterson, to give Megan an outlet for all the stories running around in her head. She writes paranormal romance and adventure, loves wolves and the ocean, and might just take over Megan’s life someday.
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Blog: Sharon Ledwith: I came. I saw. I wrote. (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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|A Celebration fit for a High Priestess|
Blog: Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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There, right behind me, is the jaguar.
He must have been following me!”
(Click to enlarge spread)
Last week, I chatted here with Dr. Alan Rabinowitz about his picture book, A Boy and a Jaguar (Houghton Mifflin, May 2014), illustrated by Catia Chien.
For those who’d like to see some art from the book, I share that here today.
Until tomorrow …
The jungle makes me feel more alive than I have ever felt.”
(Click to enlarge spread)
(Click to enlarge spread)
A BOY AND A JAGUAR. Copyright © 2014 by Alan Rabinowitz. Illustrations © 2014 by Catia Chien. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. Illustrations used by permission of the publisher.Add a Comment
Blog: OUPblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: *Featured, Earth & Life Sciences, Science & Medicine, amoeba, amoeba in the room, biology, life science, microbes, microbiology, nicholas money, philosophy of science, science, Add a tag
By Nicholas P. Money
The small picture is the big picture and biologists keep missing it. The diversity and functioning of animals and plants has been the meat and potatoes of most natural historians since Aristotle, and we continue to neglect the vast microbial majority. Before the invention of the microscope in the seventeenth century we had no idea that life existed in any form but the immediately observable. This delusion was swept away by Robert Hooke, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, and other pioneers of optics who found that tiny forms of life looked a lot like the cells that comprise our own tissues. We were, they showed, constructed from the same essence as the writhing animalcules of ponds and spoiled food. And yet this revelation was somehow folded into the continuing obsession with human specialness, allowing Carolus Linnaeus to catalogue plants and big animals and ignore the lilliputian majority. When microbiological inquiry was restimulated by Louis Pasteur in the nineteenth century, it became the science of germs and infectious disease. The point was not to glory in the diversity of microorganisms but exterminate them. In any case, as before, most of life was disregarded.
Things are changing very swiftly now. Molecular fishing expeditions in which raw biological information is examined using metagenomic methods have discovered an abundance of cryptic life forms. This research has made it clear that we are a very long way, centuries perhaps, from comprehending biodiversity properly.
Revelation of the human microbiome, the teeming trillions of bacteria and archaea in our guts that affect every aspect of our wellbeing, is the best publicized part of the inquiry. We are walking ecosystems, farmed by our microbes and dependent upon their metabolic virtuosity. There is much more besides, including the fact that a single cup of seawater contains 100 million cells, which are in turn preyed upon by billions of viruses; that a pinch of soil teems with incomprehensibly rich populations of cells; and that 50 megatons of fungal spores are released into our air supply every year. Even the pond in my Ohio garden is filled with unknowable riches: the most powerful techniques illuminate the genetic identity of only one in one billion of the cells in its shallow water.
Most biologists continue to be concerned with animals and plants, the thinnest slivers of biological splendor, and students are taught this macrobiology—with the occasional nod toward the other things that constitute almost all of life. Practical problems abound from this nepotism. Ecologists study things muscled and things leafed and conservationists worry most about animals, arguing for expensive stamp-collecting exercises to register the big bits of creation before they go extinct. This is a predicament of considerable importance to humanity. Consider: A single kind of photosynthetic bacterium absorbs 20 billion tons of carbon per year, making this minuscule cell a stronger refrigerant than all of the tropical rainforests.
Surveying our planet for its evolutionary resources, the perceptive extraterrestrial would report that Earth is swarming with viral and bacterial genes. The visitor might comment, in passing, that a few of these genes have been strung together into large assemblies capable of running around or branching toward the sunlight. It is time for us to embrace this kind of objectivity and recognize that the macrobiological bias that drives our exploration and teaching of biology is no more sensible than attempting to evaluate all of English Literature by reading nothing but a Harry Potter book. The science of biology would benefit from a philosophical reboot.
Nicholas P. Money is Professor of Botany and Western Program Director at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is the author of more than 70 peer-reviewed papers on fungal biology and has authored several books. His new book is The Amoeba in the Room: Lives of the Microbes.
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Image Credit: Scanning electron micrograph of amoeba, computer-coloured mauve. By David Gregory & Debbie Marshall, CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0, via Wellcome Images.
Blog: GottaBook (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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J. Patrick Lewis and Georgia Heard poems for you, I present theme-by-coincidence: poems that are about poetry! Maybe it's my "day after Shakespeare's birthday" tribute? Or maybe, as before, it's just two great poems shared a year part. You be the judge....
The Poet of the World
J. Patrick Lewis
"How ho-ho-hum has the planet become!"
Cried the Poet of the World.
"I must sonnet the wind, sestina the sea."
Then he dipped his pen and he swirled
Out a poem where braves become braver, and knaves
Wander under a vinegar sky,
And a Duchess receives purely innocent thieves
Who are normally camera-shy.
"The heroes are villains, the geniuses mad!"
So he spun them a roundelay.
"All the people who live in the Ivory Land
Would be happier villanelle gray."
Then he thought, "I must metaphor girls in gold
And simile boys in blue."
He looked up from his Book, and he said, "I forgot,
Which character are you?"
©2009 J. Patrick Lewis. All rights reserved.
From A Countdown to Summer: A Poem for Every Day of the School Year – Little, Brown, Ethan Long, illustrator
(click here to see the original post and comments)
In September, small poems lay
still and silent inside your hearts.
If you listened carefully,
you might have heard
the quivering of wings.
In January, from the corner
of your eye, you could have spied
a flutter or two –
poems slowly unfolding,
delicate silken wings.
In April, poems began to appear everywhere!
Rainbow wings beating, flapping,
hovering over desks, hanging
from the ceiling, tips of noses, tops of heads.
It was difficult to get any work done!
Now, your butterfly poems
fly free. You fold the memory
into your hearts. Poems --
small butterflies raised, watched,
let loose into the world.
©2010 Georgia Heard. All rights reserved.
(click here to see the original post and comments)
Yesterday we had poems from Nikki Giovanni and Charles R. Smith, Jr. Tomorrow... Julie Larios and George Ella Lyon.
Please click here for more information about this year's edition of 30 Poets/30 Days, including how to follow along. Add a Comment
Blog: Manga Maniac Cafe (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Please give a warm welcome to Kristin Miller this morning! She has a fab-o guest post to share, so grab a snack and enjoy. For a limited time, you can snag a copy of Gone with the Wolf for only .99!
Hi, Kristin! The helm is your, so please make yourself at home.
I’m so happy to be at Manga Maniac Café today, sharing with you a little bit about Gone with the Wolf!
In the Seattle-set paranormal novel, Drake Wilder is a CEO Alpha werewolf who enjoys being in control. He has given up the search for his Luminary (his one-true love), and is completely, obsessively, focused on work. Enter carefree bar owner Emelia Hudson, who demands to know why Wilder Financial has come up with the deed to her bar. Something’s not right, and she is determined to figure out what it is.
Only from the second Drake and Emelia meet, he knows she is his fated mate. Naturally, she’s shocked to learn the truth at first, but as they fall in love, she realizes there’s more to Drake than a wolf in business clothing.
The transition from enemies to lovers wasn’t easy. Luckily, I got the chance to talk with Emelia about her journey to happy-ever-after. She let me in on a few secrets of the werewolf lifestyle, and has agreed to let me share them with you. (Isn’t she a sweetheart?)
Tips from Emelia Hudson on how to date a werewolf:
Don’t be afraid to be yourself. He’s a werewolf, not a monster. He’s just like every other man you’ve dated…only he can shift into a wolf. Be yourself, and judge him for who he is, not what you think he is.
Don’t suggest going out on a night when there’s a full moon. Born werewolves turn when they’re angry (but can control the shift), while “turned wolves” shift at every full moon. If you’re dating a werewolf and you go out on a full moon night, chances are he can control his primal urges. But would you really want your date distracted by the pull of the moon, rather than focused on you? Take it from me: you wouldn’t.
Let your date be a gentleman. Let him pull out your chair and pick up the check. Werewolves want to protect and care for their women. By all means, buck the system and fight to do things for yourself. But when it comes down to it, males in the Seattle Wolf Pack want to do things for you. They want to treat their women like the Queens they are. If you find one willing to treat you that way, by God, let him.
Never, ever, steal food from his plate. He won’t bite you, but um, he might nip at your hand as you’re pulling it back. Seattle Wolf Pack men love their steak.
Thanks again to Manga Maniac Café for letting me and Emelia visit!
About the book:
CEO and alpha werewolf Drake Wilder has given up the search for his one true love. When he discovers that she’s a secretary in his company, Drake’s primal instincts kick into overdrive.
What he wouldn’t give to have her fingers rake over his body instead of the keyboard…
Free-spirited bartender Emelia Hudson wants nothing more than to make her Seattle-based bar succeed. But when profits decline, she slips into a dress suit and secures a nine-to-five. After learning that her bar has become property of Wilder Financial, Emelia is determined to get some answers.
Two can play the ruthless business game. If only her attraction to the boss wasn’t so intense…
When Drake’s twin brother senses that Drake has found his match—and now inherits their father’s billion dollar estate—he hatches a plan to take Emelia out. Drake vows to protect her at all costs, but he might have to pay with his own life.
About the author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristin Miller has had a passion for language and literature her whole life. Born and raised in northern California, she often made up stories about faraway places and edge-of-your-seat adventures. After graduating from Humboldt State University, Kristin taught high school and middle school English, married her college sweetheart, and had two beautiful munchkins. In 2008, she took time off from teaching to raise her children, and started writing while they napped.
She is the author of dark and gritty paranormal romances for Avon, light and snarky paranormal romances for Entangled, and is venturing into the sassy world of contemporary romance. Most of books include take-charge alpha males and independent women; all of them contain love that moves mountains.
Find more information about Kristin and upcoming titles on her website: kristinmiller.net
Like her on Facebook: facebook.com/AuthorKristinMiller
Follow her on Twitter: twitter.com/KM_Miller
The post Guest Post – Emelia Hudson’s Tips for Dating a Werewolf appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.Add a Comment
Avenida Cerro del Agua 248,
Col. Romero de Terreros,
Del. Coyoacán, AP 20-626
México, DF, CP 04310
(0155) 5658 7999.
de la Cultura
y los Servicios de la UAS
Casa de la Cultura
Teófilo Noris 517 Norte,
Antonio Rosales 435 Pte.,
Culiacán, Sinaloa, CP 80000
(01667) 716 1046.
Avenida Cerro del Agua 248,
Col. Romero de Terreros,
AP 20-626, CP 04310,
(0155) 5658 7999
de la Coordinación
de Difusión Cultural
de la UNAM,
Zona administrativa exterior, núm. 2, edif. C, piso 3, C. U.,
Coyoacán, CP. 04510, DF,
(0155) 5622 6240, 5665 0419
Antonio Rosales 435 Pte., CP 80000,
(01667) 716 1046
AYUNTAMIENTO DE GUADALCANAL
Concejalía de Cultura
C/ Plaza de España, 1
41390 GUADALCANAL (Sevilla, España)
Indicando expresamente en el sobre: “Para el II PREMIO DE POESÍA ANDRÉS MIRÓN”.Asimismo se admitirán envíos por correo electrónico al e-mail email@example.com plicas se remitirán en el mismo correo en un archivo aparte.
Blog: Mattias (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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According to writing lore there are two types of writers – pantsers and planners.
Pantsers write by the seat of their pants. Well, not literally. Most use pens, pencils or sometimes a keyboard, but you get my meaning - they start a story with a general idea of where it's going and then just make it up as they go along.
I am not a pantser. I am a planner. Before I start a story I can be found brainstorming and note-taking and mind mapping and all other kinds of plannery things. Next, I sit down and write a complete outline, chronicling the story from beginning to end.
Then, and only then, when the outline is done, I make myself a cup of tea, break out the biscuits and start to write.
The idea of making it up as I go along brings me out in a rash. No, don't ask where. You don't want to know.
Seriously, even the very thought of it is giving me the heebie-jeebies right now. It's probably due to the fact that I come from background of writing licensed fiction. Whether I'm writing Doctor Who, Skylanders, Angry Birds or whatever I need extensive outlines to get stories approved before I can start work. I've just got into a habit, which I can't seem to break. Try as I might, my mantra is always:
It's not to say that my stories don't adapt over time. Sometimes the outline needs changing as I work and I am flexible. Again, I have to be when writing licensed stuff. You never know when the licensor is going to throw a curveball when approving a story and you often have to be able to move quickly to make things work.
But when it comes to writing my own stuff the outline is always there; my constant companion, letting me know that everything is going to be all right and I really do know what I'm doing, honest guv.
This is why I am about to launch into a process that on many levels scares me silly. Tomorrow, my latest interactive e-book hits the Fiction Express website.
|Snaffles the Cat Burglar, |
scaring author Cavan Scott silly!
School children all over the country read the chapter and vote for their favourite option. I get the results of the vote on Tuesday and write what the pupils decided would happen next. Chapter two is published on the Friday, ending with another three options, and the entire process starts again.
It's the second story I've written for Fiction Express. The first was The Gloom Lord at the end of last year, and I found the entire process absolutely fascinating and utterly TERRIFYING!
There was no way I could plan, not really. Yes, I had a general idea of where the story was going, but I was handing the power over to my readers and having to – you guessed it – write by the seat of my pants, depending on what they chose every week. Most of the time I was completely shocked by the decisions they made. There was no way to predict how the vote would go.
I admit, this is a rather extreme way to get over my fear of pantsing, but it's an extremely effective one. The Gloom Lord taught me to 'go with the flow' more when writing, letting the story lead me rather than the other way around. With Snaffles, I'm aiming to take it one step further, throwing in even more random possibilities that will keep everyone – including me – guessing until right to the end.
I think I know what's going to happen to our feline felon, but I can't be sure.
Hopefully, I'll come out of the other end without reducing myself to a gibbering wreck. Or find myself covered in an unsightly rash. I'll let you know - but don't worry, if it's the latter I won't be posting photos.
He's written for Doctor Who, Skylanders, Judge Dredd, Angry Birds and Warhammer 40,000 among others. He also writes Roger the Dodger and other popular characters for The Beano but has yet to buy a black and red striped sweater. It's only a matter of time.
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Blog: Utah Children's Writers (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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|This is my daughter Areli with her perfect pet, Midnight. She's my constant source of inspiration. |
Disclaimer: at least she hasn't brought a hyena home. Yet.
Blog: Guide to Literary Agents (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day! My choice for a poem today is “The Problem Is With Semantics,” by Tammy Foster Brewer (yes, my wife!). If you want to learn more about Poem in Your Pocket Day, click here. If you want to read even more poems by my wife, check out her collection No Glass Allowed.
For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Tell It to the (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles include: “Tell It to the Hand,” “Tell It to the Judge,” “Tell It to the Six-Foot Bunny Rabbit,” and so on.
Free up your poetry with constraints!
Learn how putting constraints on your poetry through poetic forms, blank verse, and other tricks can actually free up your poetry writing skills and enhance your creativity in Writer’s Digest’s first ever Poetry Boot Camp. It will include a one-hour tutorial, personalized Q&A on a secure “attendees-only” message board, feedback on three original poems, and more. Click to continue.
Here’s my attempt at a Tell It to the Blank poem:
“Tell It to the Search Engine”
Prepare for the blood moon
7 dead babies found in home
Bear drags woman from garage
Hundreds fall ill on cruise ship
Weird new trend in plastic surgery
Naked exercise scandal
What ’80s really looked like
Bus crash kills 36 in Mexico
Gun kills people in Kansas City
Kid killed playing video game
Politicians track poll numbers
4 ways to cheat on sestinas
9 creatures that shouldn’t exist
DIY fashion ideas
When the world will end
Poll: Nobody cares anymore
Today’s guest judge is…
Kristina Marie Darling
Kristina is the author of 17 books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and a forthcoming hybrid genre collection called Fortress (Sundress Publications, 2014).
Check out her collaboration, Music For Another Life, with Max Avi Kaplan (BlazeVOX Books) by clicking here.
Her awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Poetics at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo.
Learn more here: http://kristinamariedarling.com/.
Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!
Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He spends way too much time on search engines and in databases. Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.
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The Austrian State Prize for European Literature, which they've been handing out since 1965, has a pretty solid list of winners -- pretty much an all-star roster of Eurtopean writers --, and they've announced that the 2014 prize will go to Ljudmila Ulitzkaja (i.e. Людмила Улицкая, i.e. Ludmila Oulitskaïa, i.e. Liudmila Ulítskaya, i.e. Ludmila Ulitskaya ... oh, for god's sake ...).
The only Ulitskaya title under review at the complete review is Daniel Stein, Interpreter; The Big Green Tent ("An absorbing novel of dissident life in the Soviet Union" -- sigh ?) is due out late this year from Farrar, Straus & Giroux; pre-order your copy from Amazon.com.
Blog: Manga Maniac Cafe (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Fantasy, Guest Posts, Guest Post, Young Adult, Add a tag
I invited Cassandra Rose Clarke, author of The Wizard’s Promise, to share 5 reasons her heroine Hanna would find real life adventures not quite as fun as the adventures from her favorite stories -
Hanna’s Top 5 Reasons for believing adventures aren’t all they’re cracked up to be:
1: They’re kinda of boring. Anyone who has ever gone on a long road trip could testify to this. Most of us have seen National Lampoon’s Family Vacation, right? (Or Disney’s The Goofy Movie, another excellent road trip movie). So we think road trips are going to be all roadside attractions, wacky hijinks, and a chance to Overcome Some Odds. In reality, you’re sitting in a car for eight hours, feeling vaguely queasy from car sickness, and driving down a super highway where apparently no human has ventured in the last twenty years. Hanna goes through the same thing, except instead of a highway, she’s on the ocean. Imagine a cruise ship without any of the tasty food or planned activities. Pretty dull indeed.
2: They’re kind of uncomfortable. I think of it as the Bilbo Baggins effect. He had no desire to go on an adventure because he knows what they’re really about: getting dirty and not being able to eat regularly. Hanna doesn’t have that foresight, and so when she finds herself stranded on a strange island, without the right kind of money, she has to face the very real possibility that she won’t get to a hot meal or a cozy place to sleep that night. Throughout the book, Hanna gets soaking wet, freezing cold, and threatened with magic sickness—all as result of adventuring.
3: They’re kind of terrifying. Like most of us, Hanna’s ideas about adventures come from reading stories. It’s one thing to read about danger and derring-do—and quite another to experience it yourself. As with any proper adventure, Hanna finds herself in some terrifying, life-threatening situations, and that terror isn’t anything like what she expected when she was daydreaming about adventures back at home.
4: They reveal the truth about others. Hanna might have had some idea that adventures can tell you a little about yourself, but she had no idea that an adventure can also tell you so much about the people you’re adventuring with—both for good and bad. Her adventure reveals secrets about her apprentice master, Kolur, that she had never imagined; even his mysterious friend, Frida, slowly reveals parts of herself as the adventure wears on. But perhaps the biggest surprise is in Isolfr, the beautiful boy she finds swimming alongside the ship. He might seem cowardly at first, but through adventure she learns that he has his own particular brand of bravery.
5: They help you find your strength For Hanna, the promise of adventure was really the promise of getting out of her little village. She didn’t think much beyond that: not about the unpleasant aspects of adventure, and not about the positive aspects, either. Although Hanna had always practiced her magic at home, it’s not until she’s out on her adventure that she really begins to understand her full potential as a witch. Beyond that, though, Hanna learns that she can use her wits to survive, and that her fishing background wasn’t a waste of time, as she was so convinced of when she was back at home. She learns that her strength isn’t just about magic, but about all the other skills she’s picked up over the years. In short, she’s been training for this adventure her whole life.
About the book:
Hanna has spent her life hearing about the adventures of her namesake Ananna, the lady pirate, and assassin Naji. She dreams of the same adventures, but little does she know she is about to tumble into one of her own. Hanna is apprenticed to a taciturn fisherman called Kolur, and, during a day of storms and darkness, are swept wildly off course.
In this strange new land, Kolur hires a stranger to join the crew and, rather than heading home, sets a course for the dangerous island of Jadanvar. As Hanna meets a secretive merboy, and learns that Kolur has a deadly past, she soon realises that wishing for adventures is a dangerous game – because those wishes might come true.
About the author:
Cassandra Rose Clarke grew up in south Texas and currently lives in a suburb of Houston, where she writes and teaches composition at a local college. She graduated in 2006 from The University of St. Thomas with a B.A. in English, and two years later she completed her master’s degree in creative writing at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2010 she attended the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop in Seattle, where she was a recipient of the Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund.
Cassandra’s first adult novel, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, was a finalist for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award, and her YA novel, The Assassin’s Curse, was nominated for YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons and Daily Science Fiction.
Visit her website here
The post Guest Post by Cassandra Rose Clarke, Author of The Wizard’s Promise appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.Add a Comment
The New York Public Library has announced the 2014-2015 Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers Fellows -- a sweet deal offering: " a stipend of up to $65,000, an office, a computer, and full access to the Library's physical and electronic resources". They were selected: "from a pool of 288 applicants from 24 countries" and include Keith Gessen (for work on a novel, Russia) and Jordi Puntí (for work on a novel, The Century of Mr. Cugat, "inspired by the life of the musician Xavier Cugat").Add a Comment
Blog: Ellie McDoodle (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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On the RhyPiBoMo blog, an interesting question came up.
I am posting it with my answer, here, with a couple words and line breaks added for clarity.
Kristi said: I have a question for today’s guest, Ruth Barshaw. Is sketching something that one is just naturally good at, or can it be learned?
Hi, Kristi! I’ve read varying opinions on this, and have talked to some famous illustrators about it too. Though some will argue against it, I’m not alone in my firm belief:
Anyone can learn to draw well. It just takes time and lots and lots of concentrated effort.
Some people say that it also requires talent. I say no.
Some people claim I started higher on the “talented” level — that people who draw well are somehow born with a special knowledge, or even just a predisposition that sets their work apart.
I am not sure if that’s true or not.
I’m not an expert on brain studies, but I am a researcher and have dug deep into this subject a few times.
I don’t have any of my early childhood art.
I do not remember being told by anyone that I had special talent for art until I was in third grade.
By then I loved to draw, maybe as much as some other kids loved to run, or loved to play baseball — things I liked, didn’t practice much, didn’t *understand* how to do better, and so wasn’t much good at — and so didn’t excel at.
Lucky for me, my art ability was recognized by a couple of teachers who asked me to draw things for their bulletin boards.
I’d drawn one giant cartoon of Dennis the Menace for a group project and one of the other kids begged to take it home.
Third grade is the first I can recall of anyone wanting my art.
I remember working really hard in second grade to develop my art (and also to grow my hair long).
The working hard on art part, I’ve done ever since. (Growing my hair long is still an issue)
I see amazing art done by very young children.
Maybe they really are specially talented.
Or maybe they just have smart people in their lives who value art and tell the kids why what they did is special.
I believe it’s learning WHY that makes one a better artist. And, of course, repeated concerted effort.
If you want to read more about how to become a better artist, check out Betty Edward’s Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.
You’ll be astounded at her students’ growth in mere days.
But it shouldn’t be surprising: They have someone telling them how to see things differently, WHY certain things work and others don’t.
You can teach yourself how to draw.
You’ll learn faster with smart help.
Many years ago a friend told me she had decided artists and people with special arts talent (musicians, poets, even people who deliver great lectures) have that information/talent/predisposition whispered to them by the dead masters.
I was a little offended: does this diminish my own hard work at developing my skill?
How do we explain the talented artist who doesn't use their art at all, who wastes what appears to be a gift from above?
My friend's idea has spread widely. I've heard it many places.
I still don't buy it.
I still don't like the suggestion that I was born with something that others weren't, that what I have developed was whispered to me, that I am lucky instead of hard working.
(I realize her suggestion doesn't automatically equate to all of these; I am extrapolating. Probably proponents of the idea would say I am both lucky and hardworking.)
Brain science says once you think something, it's easier to think that thing later.
Confidence or the lack of confidence can build from your thoughts.
This is why people (like me) post affirmations on their mirrors and computer workstations: to repeat good thoughts, so they grow.
If you are rewarded for something -- if a teacher nods in approval, says something nice, tapes your paper to the wall for others to see, shares it with the class -- you learn to repeat.
If you're rewarded for innovation, you will innovate more.
If you're rewarded for being quiet, for not coloring outside the lines, for drawing exactly the way you're told to draw, you might still grow up to be an artist but it'll take extra effort to push yourself to greatness.
If you're punished for doodling on your page margins, for designing varied but barely legible handwriting fonts on your school papers, for creatively mixing things a teacher thinks shouldn't go together, for ::sigh:: depicting things someone thinks you shouldn't (yeah, all that happened to me), it might stifle your art instinct. Or it might merely send it underground, where you work on it quietly but only share it when you think it's really ready. That's what I did.
I believe time (and science) will show that we are all born with an infinite palette of possibilities. We paint our own futures. The colors are dulled or brightened by other people's intrusive praise and criticism, but we can undo their efforts, remix and repaint.
WE decide if we'll be good at sports or art or science. Or all three.
Case in point: My youngest kid. She's an accomplished athlete. And a very skilled artist. She has won a scholarship for engineering, which means she's really good at math and science. (All As)
Of course she was born brilliant.
But she also had people in her life who helped guide and encourage her.
And she worked very hard to develop her little proclivities into admirable skills.
Everyone is born brilliant. Not every person has the cadre of encouraging family and friends. We ALL encounter disappointments and red herrings and false starts and obstacles, rising tension, conflict, villains.
We ALL have the ability to work hard.
We are the writers of our life stories.
We choose the happy ending.
We choose whether to succeed.
Blog: The Children's and Teens' Book Connection (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Author Interview, Paranormal books, Young Adult fiction, author interviews, Genevieve Crownson, paranormal fiction, Pump Up Your Book, The Children's and Teens Book Connection, The Soul of the Son, Add a tag
Genevieve Crownson graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelors of Science degree. A love of writing led her to pen her debut novel, The Soul of the Sun. This is book one in her highly anticipated trilogy, The Argos Dynasty. She currently lives in beautiful Charleston, SC with her family and beloved four-legged friends.
You can find her at www.genevievecrownson.com.
Where did you grow up?
My family must have had the gypsy gene, because we moved around a great deal when I was growing up. I was born in Maryland, but have also lived in Massachusetts and several different places in Vermont. Since I spent the majority of my time in Vermont I feel that was my childhood home.
When did you begin writing?
I began to write stories in first grade after I had my first writing assignment. I have been hooked ever since. In college I began to write full length novels and fell in love with the process.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I write whenever I can. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is. Inspiration can come anywhere, anytime. I have also learned to be flexible because I have a full time job. I’ve discovered how to make the most of my spare moments.
What is this book about?
Since the days of Ancient Greece the Argos Dynasty has kept a secret. A great healer and time traveler will be born of their blood. Their only clue to the healer’s identity is an ancient amulet as old as time itself. In a cat and mouse game fraught with peril, evil stalks them, watching and waiting tosee who has the ultimatepower. For only she who is called The Soul of the Sun can save the earth. If The Watcher discovers her identity first the planet could be destroyed.
What inspired you to write it?
I have always been inspired to write. I have this inner desire to go into worlds where anything is possible. This particular story, The Soul of the Sun, came to me in a dream as all of my novel ideas do. This dream was so real; I knew I had to write it. It has an important message of love, strength and power that I believe should be shared with the world.
I really love all of my characters, but if I had to pick a favorite it would definitely be Margaret. She holds a special place in my heart because she has pieces of my Grandmother in her. My Grandmother has Margaret’s strength, and that ability to see the good in everyone. She is the person I admire most in this world. Oh, and Margaret always wears red lipstick. That’s totally my Grandma.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
It was definitely bumpy! Publishing a book requires you to wear many hats. You need to learn how to format your books, make sure you have an amazing cover and all those little things you don’t think about when you’re writing your novel. When you finish your book it’s just the beginning. I have learned so much and every bump in the road has been worth it. I am now a published author, which is a dream come true for me.
If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
I don’t think so. Everything I have done up to this point has led me to where I am today. Dive in and take the plunge you won’t regret it. We only have this moment. Keep moving forward, and do what you can to make your dreams come true.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
My book The Soul of the Sun is available in both paperback and e-book on Amazon here:
What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?
I was given a fabulous piece of advice when I first started looking into promoting my work. First, invest in an amazing cover. The cover is what will draw people in. It will get them to pick up your book and take a second look. You need a cover that says I am a professional and I take this seriously. Second, even before you start to promote your book make sure you get it edited. That is so important. Make sure your book is the best it can be and the success will follow.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
Don’t give up. Believe in yourself. If you dream of being a writer do everything you can to make it happen. You can share your stories with the world. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams and love you. Live your life fearlessly. I strive to do this every day.
What is up next for you?
I am working on book two and three of the Argos Dynasty, the follow up to The Soul of the Sun. I think that you will enjoy where the story goes next. Stay tuned for The Power of Alchemy coming soon. I will post on my website as soon as I have dates for the release. You can find me at www.genevievecrownson.com
Is there anything you would like to add?
I just want to thank all my readers that have reached out to me and told me how much they love my book. I love all of you.
Title: The Soul of the Sun
Genre: Paranormal/Young Adult
Author: Genevieve Crownson
Publisher: Genevieve Crownson
Format: Paperback; Kindle
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Blog: A Fuse #8 Production (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Librarian Previews, Penguin, Summer 2014 librarian previews, Add a tag
There is a certain element of mystery that accompanies each and every librarian preview here in New York City. When the larger publishers gather the librarians to their proverbial bosom, those same librarians walk in with just one question in your mind: How long is this going to take? If you’re lucky you’ll be out by lunchtime. But with Penguin beginning their preview by providing lunch, the day was rendered simply more mysterious. Fortunately the answer to the puzzle lay on our seats. Each librarian was given a 48-page collection of PowerPoint slides for the event. 48 pages! The length of a slightly long picture book. That’s entirely doable! And indeed, for this particular preview I was pleased to discover that we’d only be covering a sampling of the books from each imprint. Bonus!
During the course of the event a photo was taken of the librarians and posted to Twitter that day. See if you can spot me in this shot:
If you said, “Why Betsy is the woman in white imitating a small ocean liner” you would have earned yourself a cookie. There is very little photographic evidence of my pregnancy this second time around. As such, this is one of the very rare shots in existence. Credit due to @VikingChildrens.
But enough of this silliness. Onward to the previews! As per usual I’ll just be reporting on the children’s fare, with the exception of the rare YA novel here and there. And, naturally, we begin with . . .
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
To be slightly more specific, we begin with Lisa Graff. Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff has, as of this blog post, earned itself four starred reviews thus far, unless I am much mistaken. Like all her other books out there, it’s a standalone. There’s something infinitely comforting about authors that aren’t afraid to write standalone novels. Heck, in this era of ubiquitous sequels it’s a downright relief, it is. In Absolutely Almost our main character goes by the name of Albie. He’s a good kid but he thinks of himself as an “almost”. You know. He does a lot of things . . . almost well. So what do you do when you’re just almost everything? Aye. There’s the rub. Set in NYC the book is apparently for fans of Wonder, Rules, Joey Pigza books, and Liar & Spy. An interesting assortment of connections, to say the least!
Chasing the Milky Way by Erin E. Moulton
Next up? A little Moulton. Editor Jill Santopolo called her a “gorgeous under the radar” author. One must assume she is referring to her books, though I’m sure she’s quite cute. In this particular title two sisters try to take care of their mentally ill mom. A common theme this year, what with the near simultaneous release of books like Under the Egg. Lucy the eldest, however, can’t keep everyone safe. Ms. Moulton’s own mother is a social worker and took her daughter along on the job often enough that it made a significant impression. Authors Moulton was compared to included Jerry Spinelli, Katherine Paterson, and Sharon Creech. But no pressure or anything!
Brotherband: Slaves of Socorro by John Flanagan
If your library system is anything like mine then you have a devil of a time figuring out where to catalog John Flanagan. Is he Juv? YA? Well don’t expect the answers to come any easier. Penguin is planning on repackaging the first four books in the Ranger’s Apprentice series as well as the Brotherband books. Speaking of which, in this latest little novel, the Slaves of Socorro, editor Michael Green called it a “crossover episode” of sorts. Characters from the Rangers books and the Brotherband books are now banding together. It’s a fictional literary character supergroup! Expect already existing fans to be pretty stoked over the idea.
The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi
Ah. The first of the true YA novels to be mentioned here today. I might not have even mentioned it except that Jill, its editor, got so existed. “This is THE most important book I’ve ever edited”, said she. Hard to ignore enthusiasm like that. A love story set in the time of the Taliban, the book is by ABC Bureau Chief, Atia Abawi. Raised in Germany and the American south after her mother escaped Afghanistan during the Russian invasion, Ms. Abawi’s book has been getting blurbs from authors (Daphne Benedis-Grab, Trent Reedy, etc.) as well as folks in her own business (Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondant of NBC Andrea Mitchell, for example).
Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers
Now to switch gears as far as those gears will go. Oliver Jeffers is a tricky fellow to judge. I’ve loved some of his stuff (I maintain that Stuck is a modern classic for our times) and loathed others. I think it’s fair to say that Once Upon an Alphabet is going to fall a little more squarely on the love side of the equation. Jeffers tackles the alphabet on his own this time and isn’t afraid to break out the fancy words. Calling this, “Oliver’s magnum opus” the book contains little stories for each storyline. Here’s one example: “C: Cup in the cupboard. Cup lived in the cupboard. It was dark and cold in there when the door was closed. He dreamed of living over by the window so he’d have a clear view. One afternoon he decided to go for it.” I won’t spoil the ending of that one for you. Regardless, think of this as a lighter companion to books like The Gashlycrumb Tinies and the like.
Nancy Paulsen Books
The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall
Then we’re off to the Nancy Paulsen Books side of the equation. And can I tell you how goofy crazy my librarians are about The Baby Tree right now? I tell you, the cover of this book came up onto the screen and there were universal coos from the librarians in attendance. And why not? The whole where-do-babies-come-from niche is still fairly wide open. In this story a boy asks for some straightforward explanations of where babies come from, only to be met with a flurry of ridiculous answers from a variety of elders. It’s a pretty darn good second sibling book for the older set (the 4, 5, and 6-year-olds) out there. Definitely a keeper and one to watch.
Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear by Monica Carnesi
And speaking of keepers covering well-worn topics, let us now discuss hibernation. Or not. Totally up to you. Now you may think every possible hibernation book out there has already been published but that’s just because you didn’t realize that Sleepover with Beatrice and Bear was on the horizon. Carnesi was best known to me as the woman behind that rather lovely early chapter book Little Dog Lost a year or two ago. Nancy Paulsen calls her “our librarian author” so, y’know, right there. Occupational pride. In this story a bear and rabbit are buddies but soon it’s time for the bear to hibernate. Beatrice, the aforementioned bunny, decides she will hibernate too, though she’s not entirely certain what that would entail. As it turns out, bunnies are no good at hibernation but rather than turn this into one of those books where the bear wakes up in the winter and has a spiffing good time (those storylines always bug me for some reason) the solution to Beatrice’s problem is far more charming. Good stuff.
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer
Onward to Putnam and a book that I’m just going to have to read for myself if I’m going to figure it out at all. As you can see, it has one of those non-covers and poetic titles that publishers give books when they’re super excited about their literary award possibilities. And when they start bandying about the phrase “lyrical”, you know something’s up. In very brief terms it’s a girl with a dead mom story. Elaborated upon a bit, the girl in question is ripped from what she knows and is placed with a grandma she never knew well. In time she goes on a treasure hunt, believing that her mother, in whatever form, is behind it in some way. Basically, all she wants is for her mom to be the treasure at the end. Rife with clues, it reminded me of Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur or Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass. I’ll give it a go!
Dreamwood by Heather Mackey
This year carnivorous trees are quite hot. We’ve seen four different middle grade novels thus far with trees that have dark desires/appetites, and Dreamwood falls into that category. Don’t write it off as a mere example of hungry wood, though. No no, this one’s supposed to be pretty good. Set during the turn of the century in the Pacific Northwest, a girl’s father goes missing in the forest. So what else can she do but set off with a boy to find her missing father and maybe along the way find a cure for tree blight? One of my librarians who loves fantasy read it and gave it two enthusiastic thumbs up. For my part, I was just grateful that the words “eco-fantasy” were never used when describing it. Oo, I dislike that term!
Ninja Red Riding Hood by Corey Rosen Schwartz, illustrated by Dan Santat
I got name checked with this next book, which had me just knocking my brain try to remember the context. Perhaps it was another librarian preview in the recent past? Could have been. In any case, apparently when I saw the version of The Three Little Pigs by duo Corey Rosen Schwartz and Dan Santat I wondered out loud for all to hear why no one had ever done the same for Little Red Riding Hood. Enter the answer to my prayers (though I’ve no doubt they had the idea long before I did). Basically, this is the book for you if you ever wanted to see the wolf get the ever-loving-crap kicked out of him by a girl in a red cape.
Oh, and here’s a non-workplace safe fun activity for you: Google Image the term “ninja red riding hood” sometime and see what comes up. I was looking for a copy of the jacket of this book. What I initially found . . . wasn’t that.
All Four Stars by Tara Dairman
Finally, something light and frothy and VERY New York. I have witnessed firsthand the existence of the foodie child. They exist, often raised by foodie adults, so that they know the difference between flavors and can go so far as to distinguish between them for you. This, however, is not the life our heroine leads. She’s a foodie kid, sure, but her parents are fast food lovers. Still, the kiddo has prodigious talents so she gets hired to review a restaurant professionally. The catch? Her new bosses don’t know that she’s a kid, so she basically has to sneak to NYC and the restaurant in question on her own. Ms. Dairman is a bit of a foodie herself, though alas the book will not include any recipes. Ah well. The sequel is due out in 2015.
Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too by Anna Dewdney
There was a time when I wouldn’t have understood the lure of the Llama Llama Red Pajama world. But have a small child and your view of things changes. Say what you will about Anna Dewdney, the woman scans. Consistently and without fail. You can read a book of hers cold and come out looking like a pro every time. Since Llama Llama is the unofficial poster child of the single mama household, it was only a matter of time before the masses demanded a book along similar lines with but a daddy. Llama Llama’s best friend Nelly Gnu now gets her chance to shine in the sun with this latest title. Daddy Gnu, I should note, is a pretty darn good feller. He takes care of his kiddo and makes dinner to boot. This is hardly a novel idea, but it’s not like we see it in picture books as often as we might. Well played.
Starbird Murphy and the World Outside by Karen Finneyfrock
It’s a toss-up as to what I like more: The title of the book, or the name of the author? On the one hand, “Starbird Murphy” just feels right. On the other hand, who can resist a last name like “Finneyfrock”? The plot of the actual book is nice too. It stars a commune kid who lives entirely off the grid. This world is entirely normal to her, but eventually she must leave normal and travel into the city. Think of it as a girl version of Alabama Moon.
Brave Chicken Little by Robert Byrd
Now here’s a real beauty that deserves some of your time and attention. For the most part, big publishers eschew folk and fairytales. You want the latest version of Snow White and Rose Red? Get thee to a smaller company! But once in a great while a biggie will take a chance. Mind you, after reading this book I don’t think there’s anything the least bit chancey about Robert Byrd’s work. The ultimate cautionary fable gets a leg up in this updated look at the chick that went for the most extreme of explanations. It follows the usual storyline to a point, then diverges and allows the hero to come out triumphant. The moral of the old story was probably something along the lines of “don’t believe everything you hear”. The moral of the new story? “Don’t get eaten. Get even.” [This phrase, by the way, when you Google it appears to be the tagline of a popular Bear Pepper Spray. Just thought you'd like to know.]
Follow Your Heart: Summer Love by Jill Santopolo
One of these days, my children, my prayers will be answered and someone will republish those old Sunfire Romances where the historical girl had to choose between two hunky men. Them’s my youth! Until then, however, we have the next best thing. Something that sounds so obvious when I say it that I’m shocked SHOCKED that no one until now came up with the idea. Meet the Follow Your Heart series by Jill Santopolo (she edits AND writes because she is a Renaissance woman). Basically we’re talking Choose Your Own A Romance here. A girl has to choose between two boys and you help make that choice. I wonder if they’ll allow you to plug your fingers into the pages where you make the choices so that you can backtrack when things don’t start going your way (anyone else do that back in the day?). “The Bachelorette in book form” someone said. There you go.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (50th Anniversary Edition) by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake
Sweepstakes time. And really, was there ever a book better suited to a sweepstakes than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Because it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary, you’ve probably heard the rumors about the current Golden Ticket Sweepstakes. Well, it’s all pretty standard stuff. Before August 8th kids ages 6 and up can apply for this pretty cool prize. According to the site:
FIVE lucky winners will receive a Golden Ticket trip of a lifetime to New York City that includes:
- A VIP experience at Dylan’s Candy Bar
- Tickets to Matilda the Musical
- A year’s supply of chocolate
- A visit to the Empire State building
- A library of Roald Dahl books
- And MORE!
I love that they get to work in Dylan’s Candy Bar for a day. But how does one determine what a “year’s supply of chocolate” really consists of, I wonder. Hm.
In other Dahlian news, copies of Charlie are about to be published with golden tickets in the back of the paperbacks. Aw. There was also some mention made of the Miss Honey Social Justice Award which, “recognizes collaboration between school librarians and teachers in the instruction of social justice using school library resources.” Awesome. In my own life, I recently finished reading Danny, the Champion of the World for the first time in my life. I’m feeling pretty good about filling that gap in my knowledge now.
Grosset & Dunlap
The Whodunit Detective Agency: The Diamond Mystery by Martin Widmark, illustrated by Helena Willis
A good early chapter book is hard to find. And a good early chapter book from Sweden? Much easier to find now that Martin Widmark is being brought over to the States in book form. As a librarian of my acquaintance put it recently, this book apparently contains “A snappy little narrative that will have young readers saying, ‘I know who did it!’ right out loud.” Little wonder since the original books sold two million copies worldwide and the author is sometimes referred to as the “Children’s Agatha Christie”. Are you curious yet?
Ice Whale by Jean Craighead George
There are some authors that pass away and their posthumous novels go on and on and on until you begin to doubt that they ever died in the first place. Tupac Syndrome would be a good description of this. It tends to hit children’s authors quite often (see: Eva Ibbotson, Diana Wynne Jones, etc.) and was even mocked in a rather brilliant College Humor piece called I Think They’re Running Out of Material for New Shel Silverstein Books back in 2011. All that aside, we were assured that this final Jean Craighead George novel really will be her last. Two of her children finished it and I like that it has a kind of a Heart of a Samurai book jacket going on. Set in Northern Alaska (the same location as Julie of the Wolves, for the record) the book follows an Inuit boy who learns to bond with a whale. From the description it sounded like it would pair particularly well with Rosanne Parry’s Written in Stone from last year. And as Travis Jonker pointed out in his recent post 2014: The Year of the Whale, this book is just a drop in the ocean of a much larger trend.
Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman
Speaking of whales, here’s a book that gives them some full credit. I was so blown away by this title when I first read it that I immediately had to rush out and review it without considering how long it would be before it actually reached publication. Really, this is the book of the year for me. If you read no other picture book, read this one. It’s a stunner in the purest sense of the word. Really remarkable.
Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Raul Colon
And finally, a book that I would like right now please. Please. Right now. What’s that you say? It’s not coming out until August?! Well who made up THAT crazy rule? Look, I don’t care when it’s coming out, I would like to see this book in my lap pronto. I mean, first of all, it’s art by Raul Colon. I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention but the man’s been on fire this year. Have you seen his work on Baseball Is . . . by Louise Borden? Or how about the pictures in Abuelo by Arthur Dorros? Now we have 24 of his portraits in, what Penguin described as, “tawny golden tones”. Penned by 2012 California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, it covers the well known folks and the lesser know folks in equal degrees. Admit it. You haven’t seen anything like this before that came close to this level of quality. It’s going to be for the middle grade crowd too, so bonus!
And that, as they say, is that. There were plenty of other YA titles mentioned and even a guest or too, but I’ll quite while I’m ahead. Thanks to Penguin for the preview. Thanks to all of you for reading!
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Sylvia D. highlights “Welcome to the Science Lab” by Heidi Bee Roemer in her simple poem movie slideshow below. She even incorporates factual information alongside the poem text.
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