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Results 901 - 925 of 655,454
901. M is for Meditation - #AtoZChallenge

The word of the day is MEDITATION...

Quite some time ago I became interested in meditation and the benefits in practicing it on a daily basis would do for my mind, body and soul. Pleasantly I have had continuous positive results where it calms my mind and I approach most stressful moments and day to day tasks with ease and peace. I highly recommend the meditation CD’s of Dyan Garris. Her voice during the guided meditation sessions are calming and peaceful to me. I suggest that you visit Dyan's website and explore the samples of the mp3 recordings before purchase to ensure you feel a calmness with their voice too.

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I am interested in hearing if you currently meditate or that you may look into meditating. Your meditation sessions don’t need to be long, often times 10-15 minutes is all I need. I definitely comes easier the more you practice meditation. Good luck and thanks for visiting.
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Be sure to visit fellow A-Z Challenge 2016 participants!


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

Dee and Deb Off They Go Kindergarten First Day Jitters ~ December 2015 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2016 Story Monster Approved
A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review
Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Historical Fiction 1st Place, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review
Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Honorable Mention Picture Books 6+, New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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902. Forthcoming from the Library of Arabic Literature

       At her Arabic Literature (in English) weblog M. Lynx Qualey previews what's Forthcoming from the Library of Arabic Literature -- that's the NYU Press Library of Arabic Literature, and it looks like they're continuing to bring out a wonderful selection of titles. A lot here to look forward to.

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903. NYTBR Q & A

       At Poets & Writers Michael Taeckens has a Q & A with the editor of The New York Times Book Review, Pamela Paul.
       Not too much background-dirt, unfortunately -- she remains diplomatic about the inner workings -- but folks always seem eager for any glimpse into the NYTBR.

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904. Protecting Student Writing Time

My students won't become writers just because I want them to be writers. Writers need to wallow in new information, time to let all the words, ideas and questions wash over them, connect with their schema, and let the new information become their own.

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905. Science + Poetry = Trees

Here is the next installment in my series of science poetry tied to science-themed picture books. My graduate student, Amy Horn (in my "Poetry for Children" class) selected the focus on “trees” from the series of professional resource books, "Picture Perfect Science Lessons"by Karen Ansberry and Emily Morgan (and published by the National Science Teachers Association). Here are her three infographics centered around trees. The focus picture book pair is:
  • Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel
  • Be a Friend to Trees by Patricia Lauber
The poem that works perfectly with this book pair is “Leaves” by Douglas Florian from her book, Poetrees. Below is a graphic featuring all these books, followed by the featured poem, and then the Take 5 activities to accompany the poem along with a "bonus" poem, “Photosynthesis” by Marilyn Singer from The Poetry of Science. Enjoy!

Today is also Poetry Friday, so don't miss all the other wonderful poetry sharing hosted by Michelle at Today's Little Ditty. See you there! 

Science of poetry graphics created by Amy Horn
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Image credit: dialoguealumninews.wordpress.com

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906. International literary reputations

       At the PEN World Atlas Erica Jarnes has an interesting piece on 'the theme of 'reputation' with respect to non-Anglophone writers', World literatures and literary worlds (apparently originally published in In Other Words, but not freely accessible there).
       Well worth a read, and thinking about -- not least, for example, for such titbits such as that, looking at PEN Translates grants between 2012 and 2015:

We found that out of 34 titles submitted in French, 25 were by French writers and the remaining nine were by writers from Morocco, Algeria, Iran, Afghanistan, Canada and the Republic of Congo. But all 34 were acquired by UK publishers from publishing houses in Paris, who had acquired them from local publishers in the source countries where relevant; in other words, for the UK publishers in our sample, Paris seems to have been the gate-keeper of literature written in French, no matter where the writers themselves were from or based.
       That is shocking and embarrassing -- and suggests yet again how limited publishers' perspectives are -- that they are unable (for whatever reason) to make the effort to look further afield for themselves, and prefer instead to fall back on convenience, and on the herd-mentality of what everyone else is doing.
       Jarnes seems more optimistic -- but, much as I see the value of, e.g. the 'new high-profile Man Booker International Prize' I don't think it's "really exciting" -- indeed, translation-supporting-wise, I can't imagine anything more staid and old-establishment (as it's just-announced shortlist -- see my mention just yesterday -- again proves -- though I hasten to add: that's not entirely a bad thing (but it's certainly not an exciting thing, or something that will in any way shake things up)).

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907. Britain and the EU: going nowhere fast

A couple of years ago, I wrote about the consequences of David Cameron’s Bloomberg speech, where he set out his plans for a referendum on British membership of the EU. I was rather dubious about such a vote even happening, and even more so about the quality of the debate that would ensue. As much as I was wrong about the former, the latter has been more than borne out by events so far.

The post Britain and the EU: going nowhere fast appeared first on OUPblog.

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908. Poetry Timeline: Slither, Run, Crunch, Flap, Slurp, Aaaaa, Hooray!

Poetry School Visit photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Poetry School Visit photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Do you have poems swirling in your head?  Do you have one poem memorized that you share every day with someone new in the library?   Do you dress up during poetry month?  Have you created a poetree display? There are so many amazing fun things to do during poetry month!  This year, I switched up my school visits a bit and added a poetry timeline. The poetry timeline works great with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.

Below are two options for adding poems to your timeline-Movement: Day 1 and Historical Events.

Historical Events Poetry Timeline: Before your school visit, create your poetry timeline on a huge piece of colorful paper using makers or paint. Select a series of interactive poems that match up with a specific date. For example, Velcro by Maria Fleming invented in 1955. Start with a really really early date and end with 2016.  Add between 7-12 poems with a variety of dates. (This will change depending on your school group size and how much time you have.)

Sample Historical Poetry Timeline:
1753 Liberty Bell by Linda Sue Park in Amazing Places Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
1912 Fenway Park by Charles Waters in Amazing Places Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
1958 Art Kane’s famous photography Harlem, 1958 in Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photography by Roxane Orgill

Recommended Poetry Books for Historical Events:
28 Days: Moments in Black History that Changed the World by Charles R. Smith Jr.Shane W. Evans (Illustrations)
Amazing Places by Lee Bennett Hopkins (Editor), Chris K. Soentpiet (Illustrator), Christy Hale (Illustrator)
Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World by Jan Greenberg
Pritelli (Illustrations)Rutherford B.,
Who Was He?: Poems About Our Presidents by Marilyn SingerJohn Hendrix (Illustrations)
World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You’ve Never Heard Of  by J. Patrick LewisAnna Raff  (Illustrations)
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. By Carole Boston Weatherford. Illus. by Ekua Holmes.
Voices : Poetry and Art from Around the World by Barbara Brenner
Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems by J. Patrick LewisMichael Slack (Illustrator)

Day 1 Poetry Timeline:

Day 15 - walk, crack, dance, pop, and fly. photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Day 15 – walk, crack, dance, pop, and fly. photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Hold your school visit either in the classroom or wing/meeting space, use a white board or bring in big pieces of butcher paper.  Have the classroom or group select a day-Day 1, Day 22, Day 245, or Day 6,780. Have fun selecting the number.  Let’s start with Day 1.  Have the teacher assist with writing the poems on the timeline after you read them.  Students will select (yell out) where the poem will go and what time of day the poem should happen. For example, after reading the poem “A Smoothie Supreme,” students might select the poem to start at 6pm.  Write the poem and time on your timeline-6pm A Smoothie Supreme by Deborah Ruddell.  After-this is the best part! – read together and act out each motion-Slither, Run, Crunch, Flap, Slurp, Aaaaa (roller coaster noises while pretending to ride a roller coaster up, down and around.) Hooray, yells the group together.

Tell your group the name of the poem again and remind them what the action is that matches up with each poem and book.  This is a great way to introduce new poets like Deborah Ruddell, Julie Paschkis, Bob Raczka and more!  The poetry timeline creates interaction and movement.  You will be loud, be silly and be smiling.

 Day 1 Poetry Timeline
8:30 a.m. – Snake by Julie Paschkis (Slither-ssssss)
9:00 a.m. –The New Running Shoes by Fran Haraway (Run!)
11:00 a.m. –21 Things to Do with an Apple by Deborah Ruddell, (Crunch)
12:00 p.m. –A Bird in the Bird Feeder by Judith Viorst-Spring Haikus (Flap!)
6:00 p.m. –A Smoothie Supreme by Deborah Ruddell (Slurp!)
7:00 p.m. –Roller Coaster by Joan Bransfield Graham (Aaaaa!)
8:00 p.m.-Arrival of the Popcorn Astronauts by Deborah Ruddell (Hooray!)

Poetry Timeline Popcorn photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Poetry Timeline Popcorn photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

Have fun with each timeline by adding illustrations-markers, pencil drawings or cut-out magazine collages.
You can also create a seasonal poetry timeline-fall, winter, spring and summer or theme poetry timelines-Sports, Animals, Food-so many options.
For more poetry ideas, explore past Poetry Paige ALSC blog posts.
Please share your school visit ideas and photos below (especially, if you dress up during poetry month.)





The post Poetry Timeline: Slither, Run, Crunch, Flap, Slurp, Aaaaa, Hooray! appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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909. Protecting Student Writing Time

My students won't become writers just because I want them to be writers. Writers need to wallow in new information, time to let all the words, ideas and questions wash over them, connect with their schema, and let the new information become their own.

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Cary, NC
Monday, May 9, 2016 7-8:30 PM
Author Appearance and Signing

Barnes&Noble, Cary Commons
760 SE Maynard Cary, NC 27511
I'll be in North Carolina for a family event, and I thought, why not hang out with readers? I'll be signing Flamecaster and all my other novels. Hope to see you there!

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911. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Hervé Tullet

“Eeeek! We better leave on tiptoe . . .”(Click to enlarge spread)   In honor of National Poetry Month, I have my favorite new poetry title over at Kirkus today. That will be here soon. * * * At the end of March, I talked here with Hervé Tullet over at Kirkus, and I’m just […]

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912. Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks by Skila Brown, illustrated by Bob Kolar

One thing that still surprises me is how much little kids are fascinated by sharks. Shark books in my library are always checked out - even more so than dinosaur books. In light of this, I am truly surprised that Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks written by Skila Brown and illustrated by Bob Kolar is the first book of its kind I have encountered. Happily, Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks is a treat to read, both for Brown's playfully informative shape poems and for Kolar's colorful, watery illustrations that handsomely capture the (often beautiful) subjects. I don't usually include so many illustrations from a book in a review, but Brown's range of shark subjects and Kolar's illustrations are so fantastic, I wanted to give you a really good idea of all that Slickety Quick has to offer.

Wisely, and with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor, Brown kicks off Slickety Quick with a poem about the great white shark - in the shape of that distinctive fin.  Thirteen species and their poems, along with brief facts, follow and their variety might surprise you.

Brown's poems are as dramatic as her subjects and very fun to read out loud, especially the poem about the hammerhead shark for two voices, above. The pages of Slickety Quick are so fun to pore over and readers are sure to learn about sharks without even realizing it!

On his website Kolar mentioned that he loves creating the end pages of his books and this is where I realized I had reviewed a book illustrated by Kolar back in 2011 and, tickled by the end pages, I included them in my review of Nothing Like a Puffin by Sue Soltis. And, I also realized that I had reviewed Skila Brown's unforgettable debut novel in 2014! A verse novel set in Guatemala in 1981, Caminar tells the story of a young boy caught between the military government and guerillas fighting against it.

Nothing Like a Puffin


Source: Review Copy

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913. An Authorial Bookstore

Books and BooksYou may have seen the piece in Publishers Weekly. Judy Blume, Bookseller, it was called.  When I saw the title I just assumed it was just about one of those events when authors go into bookstores and take over for the employees for a day.  Instead, what I found was that Ms. Blume opened up an independent bookstore with her husband as recently as two months ago and she helps run it regularly.*

Ms. Blume is hardly the first author to go into the bookstore business.  Just off the top of my head I can come up with bookstores owned or started by Louise Erdrich, Ann Patchett, and Jeff Kinney.  In fact, I was at an author dinner a little less than a year ago and the booksellers there were talking about Kinney’s store.  Some had applied to work there, but hadn’t gotten the job.  It was apparently the place to be.

It’s interesting to look at the state of the independent bookstore today.  For the first time in years they’re doing well.  In 2015 alone, 61 ABA (American Bookseller Association) stores opened up with 16 sold to new owners.  Used bookstores are making a comeback.  Even evil Amazon is trying to open up physical locations, in the wake of the death of Borders.

That said, there is room for more.  There is ALWAYS room for more.  So it gets me to thinking.  What if every ridiculously successful author opened a bookstore too?  James Patterson, I would argue, already does a great deal of literary good.  Still, shouldn’t he have a bookstore?  Where is Carl Hiaasen’s in Florida?  Sherman Alexie’s in Seattle?  Why doesn’t J.K. Rowling have one in Scotland or Stephanie Meyer in Forks, Washington?

IBD logoThe world needs more independent bookstores.  Obviously these authors (some of them anyway) want to be writing.  Well, who’s to say you can’t delegate?  So come on, ridiculously successful writers!  Take that cash you made and pour it back into the community.  And carry good scones.  I love a good scone.

By the way, don’t forget that Saturday, April 30th is Independent Bookstore Day.  Let’s all go out there and give these folks great gobs of money, hand over fist.

*If you read the piece in PW, please identify the book she is hand-selling for two points.


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914. A Terrace in Rome review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Pascal Quignard's A Terrace in Rome, just out in English from Wakefield Press in a beautiful little pocket-sized edition.

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915. My Phone's Passe

My phone's passe and so it's slow
Which is annoying, as things go,
But even worse, the weather's wrong;
It gives me temps that don't belong.

My husband's phone says 39.
The radio agrees; not mine.
It told me 61 all day
And on that number it will stay.

My data storage has no room.
I can't take pictures - you'd assume
That it would be a cinch to fix
But yet, I'm stuck with no new pics.

I guess I'll cave and make the switch
And hope the new one has no glitch,
With speed that leaves mine in the dust
And weather I at least can trust.

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916. On Going to Bed Without Dessert - a food poem

On Going to Bed Without Dessert
Greg Pincus

My brain's full of sundaes and thick, creamy shakes.
My thoughts drift to cookies and pastries and cakes.
I'm thinking of donuts. My head swims with pies.
I see piles of candy when I close my eyes.
And pudding! There's pudding in bowls ten feet deep.
I guess Mom was right - sugar's why I can't sleep.

Happy Poetry Friday once again. This week's roundup is over at Today's Little Ditty thanks to Michelle. There's always great stuff every week... and it's National Poetry Month so you really have no excuses not to visit. (Cake image, by the way, courtesy of the generator at RedKid.Net)

If you want to get all my poems (and only the poems) emailed to you for freeee as they hit the blog, enter your email address in the box below then click subscribe!

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917. Poetry Friday - Spain

I'm still reading Auden, so today I'm sharing a poem he wrote after making a visit to Spain during the Spanish Civil War.

by W. H. Auden (1937)

Yesterday all the past. The language of size
Spreading to China along the trade-routes; the diffusion
     Of the counting-frame and the cromlech;
Yesterday the shadow-reckoning in the sunny climates.

Yesterday the assessment of insurance by cards,
The divination of water; yesterday the invention
    Of cartwheels and clocks, the taming of
Horses. Yesterday the bustling world of the navigators.

Yesterday the abolition of fairies and giants,
The fortress like a motionless eagle eyeing the valley,
The chapel built in the forest;
Yesterday the carving of angels and alarming gargoyles.

Read the poem in its entirety.

If you haven't been here before, or haven't been following my National Poetry Month project, here are the posts from this week. Feel free to poke around. I'm particularly excited that today's entry for World Art Day falls on Poetry Friday, a day where we also celebrate art.

9 - Name Yourself Day
10 - Siblings Day
11 - Week of the Young Child
12 - International Day of Human Space Flight
13 - National Scrabble Day
14 - International Moment of Laughter Day
15 - World Art Day

I do hope you'll take some time to check out all the wonderful poetic things being shared and collected today by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes at Today's Little Ditty. Happy poetry Friday friends!

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918. Friday Feature: Stricken Free Today Only!

Only one immortal can save them, and only one mortal can stand in his way...

FREE Today Only!
STRICKEN (The War Scrolls #1)
New Adult Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Released: March 8, 2016

It took only four months to bring the angels to their knees…

With a virus ravaging the fallen angels on earth, mankind’s symbol of love and hope is at risk of extinction.

Centuries ago, a group of angelic warriors known as The Fallen risked everything to save themselves and carve a future for their kind. Hope slips away as The Fallen and their kin are cut down by an ancient menace, LaMorte Nera—and no one saw it coming.

Only one immortal can save them, and only one mortal can stand in his way…

When Nephilim warrior Killian St. James sets out on a quest to find a cure, he and his blade-brothers discover nineteen-year-old Aubrey Carter—a human with a past as dark as it is mysterious—cowering in an abandoned house in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee.

The corrupted races are chasing her, and Killian is determined to find out why…

But neither he nor Aubrey are prepared for their attraction to one another, or for the frightening truths lurking in the shadows. The painful childhood memories Aubrey has buried hold precious answers. Answers that threaten to tear Killian's world apart.

With her life hanging in the balance, Killian must choose between the future of The Fallen, and the human girl he's pledged to protect.

Demons are rising, and this time they plan to win the war for dominion once and for all.

Get STRICKEN for FREE Today Only on Amazon!


Killian stepped forward, forcing her to tilt her head back to look up at him. He still seemed so big to her. He still overwhelmed her. But he didn’t frighten her anymore.

“You look tired.” She fought the urge to lift her hand to touch his gorgeous face.

“I am,” he said, the corner of his lips turning up in a half smile.


He stared down at her, his half smile slipping. A dizzying parade of emotions swirled through his eyes. She couldn’t read them all, but she understood enough. He felt as torn as she did.

“Will I remember you three years from now?” she whispered, her heart aching with the fear that she would forget him as she had so much else…and with fear that she would remember him. That she would survive this nightmare and he would haunt her for the rest of her days like so much else did.

“Do you want to remember me?” He took another step in her direction.

“I don’t know.”  She frowned, confused. “You make me feel like maybe the world isn’t so bad. Like maybe I’m safe with you. I don’t think I want to forget that.”

Killian tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and cupped her cheek gently in one big hand. “You are safe with me. I won’t let anyone hurt you, Aubrey.”

She stared at him for a long, silent moment. He’d promised before that he wouldn’t hurt her, but even then an unspoken fear had stood between them like a wall. A little voice whispered that if she got too close, he would hurt her as badly as the things in her past hurt. That voice had stopped whispering when he’d kissed her today, and wasn’t that odd?

“You hurt me today.”

He bowed his head, letting his hand fall away from her face. “I’m sorry.”

Her heart ached a little at the agonized way he said it. As if it shamed him to know he’d hurt her. As if, maybe, he cared more than he should too.

“Why did you?” she asked, not accusing, but curious. She wanted to understand him. No, she needed to understand him on some level she couldn’t even explain to herself. “You wanted me, didn’t you?”

His gaze sought hers, honesty shining from his angel-bright eyes. “More than you know.”

Aubrey took a deep breath, letting her lungs fill with air even as her heart filled with his confession. And just as quickly, the buoyant feeling vanished. “It doesn’t change anything, though, does it?” she whispered.

“Do you want it to?”

She hesitated for a long moment, unsure. And then her shoulders slumped, the breath she’d taken expelling in a long sigh. “I’m sorry.”

Killian gave her a sad smile and reached for her again. He swept a finger beneath her eye, collecting the teardrop she hadn’t even realized had fallen. “No apologies,” he whispered, bringing his finger to his mouth. He stuck out the tip of his tongue and lapped that single bead of moisture from his fingertip. “You owe me nothing.”

If that was true, why did she feel like crying?



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About the Author

A.K. Morgen is the Amazon Bestselling author of the Ragnarök Prophesies series. She lives in the heart of Arkansas with her childhood sweetheart/husband of twelve years, and their five furry minions. When not writing, she spends her time hiking, reading, volunteering, causing mischief, and building a Spork army. Ayden graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Psychology in 2009 before going on to complete her graduate degree in CJ and Law. She currently puts her education to use in the social services and CJ field. 

Ayden also writes New Adult and contemporary romance under the penname Ayden K. Morgen.

You can find her on 
Twitter, Facebook, or via her website at http://aydenmorgen.com.

*Want your YA, NA, or MG book featured on my blog? Contact me here and we'll set it up.

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919. The authors are coming!! The authors are coming!!!

Emily is just one of FOUR awesome children's authors at the KU Children's lit Conference

 This is the latest that I have ever gone in finishing my KU Children's Literature Conference booklist.  I am embarrassed at the lateness.  But it IS done - except for the inevitable addendum or addenda.  Maybe I'll skip those this year.  And you can find it here.

You can find the KUCLC's website here, too.  Show up early (7:30 to 8:30 am) on Saturday if you haven't pre-registered.  The cost is ONLY $50 for a day of children's book fantasticality!  This year Kutztown hosts Daniel Kirk, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Emily Arnold McCully and Jonathan Bean.

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920. Looking for information: How to focus on quality, not quantity

Solving complex problems requires, among other things, gathering information, interpreting it, and drawing conclusions. Doing so, it is easy to tend to operate on the assumption that the more information, the better. However, we would be better advised to favor quality over quantity, leaving out peripheral information to focus on the critical one.

The post Looking for information: How to focus on quality, not quantity appeared first on OUPblog.

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921. NPM Celebrations - World Art Day

April 15th is World Art Day. Celebrated on Leonardo da Vinci's birthday, this day is designed to promote all forms of art and serve as a reminder that art is a symbol of free expression, multiculturalism, tolerance, and peace.

This is a good day to celebrate individual artists in poetry, as well as poetry about art. For last year's National Poetry Month project on poetic forms, I tackled Ekphrastic Poems and highlighted a number of poems inspired by works of art. For today's post I'd like to highlight the work of three poets, Margarita Engle, Carole Boston Weatherford, and Carmen Bernier-Grand, all of whom have written numerous poems about men and women in the arts.

Margarita Engle
The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano (2006), written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Sean Qualls, is a biography in verse that uses alternating points of view to tell Juan's horrific and beautiful story. His first owner allowed both his parents to buy their freedom and she promised he would be freed upon her death. However, Juan Francisco remained a slave after Dona Beatriz’s death. Here is one of the early poems in the book.


Three hundred pesos, is it a lot?
I like to imagine that I already have enough
     to buy them all
     mother, father, unborn brothers and sisters

     what it would be like
     to buy yourself
     and wrap yourself up in a package
     and walk away
     carrying yourself
     under your arm
     like a book

     how it will happen
     in just a few years
     on the day
     of her death
     doesn't she wonder
     how it feels to know that all I need now
     is a swift ending for her
     in order to make a sweet beginning for me?

Poem © Margarita Engle, 2006. All rights reserved.

The Sky Painter: Louis Fuertes, Bird Artist (2015), written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Aliona Bereghici, is a collection of poems about the life of Louis Agassiz Fuertes, the man known as the father of modern bird art.


When I am fourteen, I finally
have the chance to paint my first
brightly colored bird,
a red crossbill
with a funny beak.

I use a pen to sketch the outline
and watercolors to fill in the feathers.
Then I try adding more details
with ink, but my painting
starts to look muddy.

If I want to be a bird artist,
I can't get discouraged.
I need to practice.
I have to draw, draw, draw!

Poem © Margarita Engle, 2015. All rights reserved.

Drum Dream Girl (2015), written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Raphael Lopez, is a book length free verse poem inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga. Born in Cuba in the 1920s, she was drawn to drumming, a tradition which did not include women. Here is an excerpt.

At home, her fingertips
rolled out their own
dreamy drum rhythm
on tables and chairs ...

and even though everyone
kept reminding her that girls
on the island of music
had never played drums

the brave drum dream girl
dared to play
tall conga drums
small bongó drums
and big, round, silvery
moon-bright timables.

Poem © Margarita Engle, 2015. All rights reserved.

Carole Boston Weatherford
Before John Was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane (2008), written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Sean Qualls, is a book-length poem that explores the influence of music on Coltrane's life long became he became famous. He listened closely to the world around him and exercised and amazing gift for hearing and creating music. Back matter includes information about Coltrane's life and work, as well as a list of some of his most well known recordings.

Before John was a jazz giant,
he heard hambones knocking in Grandma's pots,
Daddy strumming the ukulele,
and Mama cranking the phonograph.

Before John was a jazz giant,
he heard steam engines whistling past,
Cousin Mary giggling at jitterbuggers,
and Bo-jangles tap dancing in the picture show.

Poem © Carole Boston Weatherford, 2008. All rights reserved.

Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century (2014), written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Raul Colon, is a lyrical picture book biography of the African American opera singer.

1927. Laurel, Mississippi.
The line between black and white
Was as wide as the Mississippi River was long.
All a black girl from the Cotton Belt could expect
was a heap of hard work—as a maid, millworker, or sharecropper.
Her song, most surely the blues.

Yes, the Mississippi Delta cradled misery,
but from day one, Mary Violet Leontyne Price
heard a different refrain—her mama, Katie, singing hymns;
her daddy, James, playing tuba for the church band;
the flock, greeting praise songs with hallelujahs.

Poem © Carole Boston Weatherford, 2014. All rights reserved.

Becoming Billie Holiday (2008), written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper, is a fictional verse memoir that tells the story of Holiday's life from birth through age 25. The poems carry titles from Billie’s songbook. The writing is tender and vivid, matter-of-factly portraying the ups and downs that dominated the singer's life.

How Deep Is The Ocean
Without the microphone
there would be no spotlight,
no band backing me
with bluesy swing.

My voice was too small,
barely an octave,
but the mic enlarged my songs,
let me hold listeners close.

With the microphone,
my voice was an ocean,
deep as my moods,
and audiences dove in.

Poem © Carole Boston Weatherford, 2008. All rights reserved.

Sugar Hill: Harlem's Historic Neighborhood (2014), written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, is a ryhming book length poem about the neighborhood so many artists called home. Referenced in the text are musicians, artists, entertainers, writers, and more.  Back matter provides additional information about figures highlighted in the text and illustrations, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Faith Ringgold, Zora Neale Hurston, and others.

Where the BEST and BRIGHTEST strive and shine
and STAIRWAYS lead right to cloud nine

Where grand TOWNHOMES lend river views
and parties swing to JAZZ and BLUES

and the NEIGHBORS smile at all they greet.

Poem © Carole Boston Weatherford, 2014. All rights reserved.

Carmen Bernier-Grand
Frida: ¡Viva la vida! Long Live Life! (2007), written by Carmen Bernier-Grand with paintings by Frida Kahlo, is a collection of 26 poems that capture Kahlo's strength in the face of adversity, her passion, and the poignant experiences that marked her life. Here is a poem describing an early event that shaped her life.

Hummingbird Wings

I am a wounded hummingbird
caged in my room for nine months
with polio, crippling polio.

Warm towels soaked in walnut water
ease the pain in my leg,
a thin, drying twig.

I hide in the walnut wardrobe,
put on a white sock,
another on top,
and another.
Is the right leg as fat as the other?

The cage opens.
Now I have wings.

Poem © Carmen Bernier-Grand, 2007. All rights reserved.

Diego: Bigger Than Life (2009), written by Carmen Bernier-Grand and illustrated by David Diaz,  is a collection of 34 poems about Diego Rivera that highlight the unmistakeable connection between his passionate, controversial life and his art. Here's a poem that describes his art.

Brimming With Mexican Light

As naturally as I breathe,
I painted in grand scale the colors of Mexico—
clearer, richer, more full of light than colors in Europe.

As naturally as I speak,
I painted in grand scale the music of Mexico
in markets, crowds, festivals—
Burning of the Judases, the Dance of the Deer.

As naturally as I sweat,
I painted in grand scale the workers of Mexico
in fields, mines, streets—
Indians carrying bundles of calla lilies.

A million public walls
wouldn't be enough
to paint all the beauty of Mexico.

Poem © Carmen Bernier-Grand, 2009. All rights reserved.

Picasso: I the King, Yo el rey (2012), written by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and illustrated by David Diaz, is a collection of 40 poems

"I Am God"

"God is really another artist.
He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the cat.
He has no style. He just keeps trying other things."
Picasso paints late into the night, an owl his only companion.

When Picasso emptied himself of painting, he draws,
when he has emptied himself of drawings, he makes ceramics,
when he has emptied himself of ceramics, he makes prints,
when he has emptied himself of print making, he sculpts,
when he has emptied himself of sculpting, he illustrates
when he has emptied himself of illustrating, he photographs,
when he has emptied himself of photographing, he writes poems,
when he has emptied himself of writing poems, Picasso paints.

An old wicker basket becomes the ribs of a goat.
A bicycle seat becomes a bull's head, the handlebars it horns.
Claude's toy cars become the head of Baboon and Young.
Picasso seldom titles his works.
Others do.
He has stopped signing his art.
What for? He knows who has done them.

"I am God ... I am God ... I am God."

Poem © Carmen Bernier-Grand, 2012. All rights reserved.

Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina, written by Carmen Bernier-Grand and illustrated
by Raúl Colón, is a free verse biography of the Cuban dancer. In more than 30 poems, Bernier-Grand shares the achievements of Alonso, despite the difficulties that marked her life.

First Solo

Her feet hurt.
Her legs hurt.
Her arms hurt.
But ballet dancing
tastes better
than chocolate ice cream.

December 1932
     * * *
Alicia's first solo--
a bluebird spinning
and fluttering in a light,
airy flight.
A dance for Princess Aurora
who has been asleep for a hundred years,
and for the prince
who has woken her up with a kiss.

Poem © Carmen Bernier-Grand, 2012. All rights reserved.

I promised to highlight three poets today, but there is just one more book I must share.

Self-Portrait With Seven Fingers: The Life of Marc Chagall in Verse (2011, written by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen, is a collection of 14 poems (named for the art by Chagall) about the artist's upbringing. The text is paired with reproductions of Chagall's paintings, as well as a few photographs. In addition to the poems and images is a nonfiction narrative describing the events in the poems. Here are two poems from the book.

I and the Village

I hailed a milkmaid standing on her head
I saw a cow a-milking in a cow's head
I watched a peasant off to canvass tillage
I met the very universe in a village
I spied a blossom sprig, a tree of life
I loved Vitebsk in glory and in strife
I scanned a multitude of images, with mirror
I etched a dream and strove to make it clearer
I solved the riddle imagined by a child
I sketched a field, geometry gone wild
I knew myself, white lips, my face in green
I drew the cow's contentment in between

Poem © J. Patrick Lewis, 2011. All rights reserved.

The Flying Horse

There is no arguing with soldiers,
no pleading while wearing the yellow star.
There is only escape: on the rails, in the air,
on foot across the mountains, one by one by one,
leaving behind the camps where men in stripes
and women with shaved heads,
and the children—never forget the children—
rock to and for with G-d's name on their lips.
So you leave behind the bistros of Paris,
soldiers lurking in every corner of the city;
leave behind a lifetime of work,
paintings of Vitebsk on every wall.
But Death, that old leveler,
can find you wherever you go,
even on a sledge pulled by a rooster,
even as you rise into the darkling skies.

Poem © Jane Yolen, 2011. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me tomorrow for our next celebration.

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922. Friday Linky List - 15 April 2016

From PW: Bologna 2016: A Busy First Day as the Fair Opens

From MyNewsDesk: The laureate of the 2016 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is Meg Rosoff

From BoingBoing: What sound does this animal make? Google just got better at answering that.

From The Washington Post: Peggy Fortnum, artist who brought Paddington Bear to life, dies at 96

From BrainPickings (via PW): How to Handle Criticism: Advice from Some of the Greatest Writers of the Past Century

From Shelf Awareness: Malaprop's to Authors: Please Don't Boycott Us

Some Interesting Bologna Wrap-ups:
From PW: Bologna 2016: What Brings You Here? Five Non-Rights Perspectives on the Fair

From PW: Bologna 2016: Wrapping Up a Quietly Busy Fair

From PW: London Book Fair 2016: LBF Opens with Wind at Publishers' Backs

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923. THE PASSION OF DOLSSA by Julie Berry // Slow but Gooooood

Review by Andye THE PASSION OF DOLSSAby Julie BerryAge Range: 12 - 17 yearsGrade Level: 7 and upHardcover: 496 pagesPublisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (April 12, 2016)Audible Audio EditionListening Length: 11 hours and 42 minutesProgram Type: AudiobookVersion: UnabridgedPublisher: Listening LibraryGoodreads | Amazon | Audible I must write this account, and when I have finished, I will

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924. Profile: Mario Vargas Llosa

       In The New York Times David Streitfeld profiles Mario Vargas Llosa on Love, Spectacle and Becoming a Legend.

       (Seventeen of Vargas Llosa's books are under review at the complete review.)

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925. Profile: Ali Bader

       At Qantara.de Marcia Lynx Qualey profiles Papa Sartre-author Ali Bader, in When Fatima became Sophie.

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