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Viewing: Blog Posts from All 1562 Blogs, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 901 - 925 of 664,056
901. Submitting, Then Getting an Agent

If you choose to submit on your own before getting an agent, what do you need to consider?

http://kidlit.com/2010/01/11/submitting-on-your-own-then-getting-an-agent/

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902. AHOY!


Introducing . . . narwhalandjelly.com the o-fish-al NARWHAL AND JELLY website!

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903. Review of the Day: Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina

juanalucas1Juana and Lucas
By Juana Medina
Candlewick Press
$14.99
ISBN: 978-1-7636-7208-9
Ages 6-9
On shelves now

Windows. Mirrors. Mirrors. Windows. Windowy mirrors. Mirrory windows. Windows. Mirrors. Sliding doors! Mirrors. Windows.

In the world of 21st century children’s literature, diversity should be the name of the game. We want books for our children that reflect the worlds they know and the worlds they have yet to greet. We want them to see themselves in their books (mirrors), see others unlike themselves (windows), and have a way to get from one place to another (sliding doors). To accomplish this, all you have to do is publish a whole bunch of books about kids of different races, religions, abilities, persuasions, you name it. Great strides have been made over the last few years in the general consciousness of the publishing industry (the publishers, the librarians, the teachers, and even the parents) even as teeny tiny, itty bitty, itsy bitsy tiptoes have been made in terms of what actually is getting published. Much of the credit for spearheading efforts to bring to light more and more books for all children can be given to the We Need Diverse Books movement. That said, our children’s rooms are still filled with monumental gaps. Contemporary Jewish characters are rare. Muslim characters rarer still. And don’t even TALK to me about the state of kids in wheelchairs these days. Interestingly enough, the area where diversity has increased the most is in early chapter books. Whether it’s Anna Hibiscus, Lola Levine, Alvin Ho, or any of the other new and interesting characters out there, there is comfort to be found in those books that transition children from easy readers to full-blown novels. Into this world comes Juana Medina and her semi-autobiographical series Juana & Lucas. Short chapters meet universal headaches (with details only available in Bogota, Colombia) ultimately combining to bring us a gal who will strike you as both remarkably familiar and bracingly original.

juanalucas4You might think that Juana has it pretty good, and for the most part you’d be right. She lives in Bogota, Colombia “the city that’s closest to my heart” with her Mami. She has a good furry best friend (her dog, Lucas) and a good not-so-furry best friend (Juli). And hey, it’s the first day of school! Cool, right? Only nothing goes the way Juana planned. The whole unfortunate day is capped off when one of her teachers informs the class that they will be learning “the English” this year. Could anything be more unfair? Yet as Juana searches for sympathy amongst her friends and relatives, she realizes that everyone seems to think that learning English is a good thing. Are they crazy? It isn’t until an opportunity comes up to visit somewhere fantastic, far away, and English speaking that she finally takes what everyone has told her to heart. In a big way.

I love, first and foremost, the fact that the emotional crux of this book is fixated on Juana’s detestation of learning “the English”. Now already I’ve heard some commenters online complain that Juana’s problem isn’t something that English-speaking children will identify with. Bull. Any child that has ever learned to read will know where Juana is coming from. What English speaker would fail to sympathize when she asks, “Why are read and read written the same way but sound different? How can I know when people are talking about eyes or ice when they sound about the same? And what about left hand and left the room? So many words, so little sense”? Some kids reading this book may have experience learning another language too. For them, Juana’s complaints will ring true and clear. That’s a key aspect of her personality. She’s sympathetic, even when she’s whining.

For all that we’ve seen books like Juana’s, Lola Levine, Zapato Power, Pedro, First Grade Hero, Sophia Martinez, and a handful of others, interestingly this increase in Latino early chapter book is relatively recent. For a long time it was Zapato Power or nothing. The change is great, but it’s significant to note that all the books I’ve mentioned here are set in the United States. American books set in South American countries where the kids just live their daily lives and don’t have to deal with civil wars or invasions or coyotes or drug runners are difficult to find. What makes Juana and Lucas so unique is that it’s about a child living her life, having the kinds of problems that Ramona or Ruby Lu or Dyamonde Daniel could relate to. And like Anna Hibiscus or The Great Cake Mystery I love books for younger children that go through daily life in other present day countries. Windows indeed.

juanalucas2Early chapter books are interesting because publishers see them as far more series-driven than their writers might. An author can crank out title after title after title to feed the needs of their young readers, always assuming the demand is there, and they can do it easier with books under 100 pages than above. Juana could fit the bill in this regard. Her personality is likable, for starters. She’s not rude like Junie B. Jones or willfully headstrong in the same way as Ramona, but she does screw up. She does complain wildly. There are aspects of her personality you can identify with right from the start. I’d be pleased to see more of her in the future, and young readers will undoubtedly feel the same way. Plus, she has one particular feature that puts her heads and tails above a lot of the competition: She’s in color.

Created in ink and watercolor, Medina illustrates as well as writes her books. This art actually puts the book in a coveted place few titles can brag. You might ask if there’s a middle point between easy books and, say, Magic Tree House titles. I’d say this book was it. Containing a multitude of full-color pictures and spreads, it offers kids the comfort of picture books with the sensibility and sophistication of chapter book literature. And since she’s already got the art in place, why not work in some snazzy typography as well? Medina will often integrate individual words into the art. They swoop and soar around the characters, increasing and decreasing in size, according to their wont. Periodically a character will be pulled out and surrounded by fun little descriptor tidbits about their personage in a tiny font. Other times sentences move to imitate what their words say, like when Juana discusses how Escanilberto can kick the ball, “hard enough to send it across the field.” That sentence moves from his foot to a point just above his opponent’s head, the ball just out of reach. I like to think this radical wordplay plays into the early reader’s enjoyment of the book. It’s a lot more fun to read a chapter book when you have no idea what the words are going to pull on you next.

juanalucas3The writing is good, though the conclusion struck me as a bit rushed. Admittedly the solution to Juana’s problems is tied up pretty quickly. She won’t learn, she won’t learn, she won’t learn. She gets to have a prize? She studies and studies and studies. So rather than have her come to an understanding of English’s use on her own, an outside force (in this case, the promise of seeing Astroman) is the true impetus to her change. Sure, at the very end of the book she suddenly hits on the importance of learning other languages and visiting other places around the globe but it’s a bit after the fact. Not a big problem in the book, of course, but it would have been cool to have Juana come to this realization without outside influences.

As nutty as it sounds, Juana and Lucas is a bit short on the “Lucas” side of that equation. Juana’s the true star of the show here, relegating man’s best friend to the sidelines. Fortunately, I have faith in this series. I have faith that it will return for future sequels and that when those sequels arrive they’ll have a storyline for Lucas to carry on his own. With Juana nearby, of course. After all, she belongs to the pantheon of strong female early chapter characters out there, ready to teach kids about life in contemporary Colombia even as she navigates her own trials and successes. And it’s funny. Did I mention it’s funny? You probably got that from context, but it bears saying. “Juana and Lucas” is the kind of book I’d like to see a lot more of. Let’s hope Ms. Medina is ready to spearhead a small revolution of early chapter book international diversity of her very own.

On shelves now.

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904. Australia in three words, part 3 — “Public servant”

‘Public Servant’ — in the sense of ‘government employee’ — is a term that originated in the earliest days of the European settlement of Australia. This coinage is surely emblematic of how large bureaucracy looms in Australia. Bureaucracy, it has been well said, is Australia’s great ‘talent,’ and “the gift is exercised on a massive scale” (Australian Democracy, A.F. Davies 1958). This may surprise you. It surprises visitors, and excruciates them.

The post Australia in three words, part 3 — “Public servant” appeared first on OUPblog.

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905. you're like Manchester, you've got Strange Ways

This is the drawing that I made with all the tools that I took out with me in my last blog post. Well, I say 'all of the tools' but obviously I just mean one pen, one bottle of ink and one sketchbook. I must say I was overwhelmed by the response to that post, and to how many people related. I assumed it was just me. It's a comfort to know I'm not alone. Perhaps we could set up a support group?
Anyway as I said, this was the drawing I made on that day. The sketchbook is really difficult to photograph as it's so long. So here's the top, middle and bottom, of the Midland Hotel, Manchester, in bite size chunks. If I'm honest, it's really quite difficult to draw in too.
Top
Middle
Bottom
I made this drawing while out with Manchester Urban Sketchers. It's a building I love. A big ornate hotel in the city. It has everything I like to draw. It's a strange thing, I'd say that Modernism and even Brutalism is possibly my favourite style of architecture. But, I just cannot draw it. I have no desire to draw it. When it comes to drawing I want the exact opposite. I want twirls galore. The Midland has that.
I made the drawing in around two hours on a bench across the road from the hotel. It's getting freezing out there on the streets now, so I retired to the library to finish it off. I'm guessing that with winter approaching a whole new set of 'things to take on a sketchcrawl' are about to trouble me. I should just give in and drag a trolley around.
And in case evidence is needed as to quite how awkward this book is, here we are at the end of the session, look I can't even hold it.

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906. Holy crap: toilet found in an Iron Age shrine in Lachish

In September, the Israel Antiquities Authority made a stunning announcement: at the ancient Judean city of Lachish, second only to Jerusalem in importance, archaeologists have uncovered a shrine in the city’s gate complex with two vandalized altars and a stone toilet in its holiest section. “Holy crap!” I said to a friend when I first read the news.

The post Holy crap: toilet found in an Iron Age shrine in Lachish appeared first on OUPblog.

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907. Dreamworks Offers $50 Million Settlement in Animation Wage-Theft Lawsuit

Disney and its subsidiaries like Pixar and Lucasfilm are the only companies who are still fighting artists.

The post Dreamworks Offers $50 Million Settlement in Animation Wage-Theft Lawsuit appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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908. The French Victory at Yorktown: 19 October 1781

The surrender of Lord Cornwallis’s British army at Yorktown, Virginia, on 19 October 1781 marked the effective end of the War of American Independence, at least in North America. The victory is usually assumed to have been Washington’s; he led the army that besieged Cornwallis, marching a powerful force of 16,000 troops down from near New York City to oppose the British. Charles O’Hara, The presence of the young Alexander Hamilton, one of Washington’s aides-de-camp, who led a light infantry unit in the final stages of the siege, adds to the sense of its being a great American triumph.

The post The French Victory at Yorktown: 19 October 1781 appeared first on OUPblog.

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909. It’s not exactly clear what the rules to Chunky Fun Time...


0 Comments on It’s not exactly clear what the rules to Chunky Fun Time... as of 10/18/2016 3:12:00 PM
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910. Inktober Day 19: Suburb Slant

Suburb Slant. Day 19 of #Inktober2016.

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911. There is a flag for every player. Number three looks like she...


0 Comments on There is a flag for every player. Number three looks like she... as of 10/18/2016 3:12:00 PM
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912.

Alfred is better today....chewed a bone.

0 Comments on as of 10/18/2016 6:24:00 PM
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913. Blessing and cursing part 2: curse

Curse is a much more complicated concept than blessing, because there are numerous ways to wish someone bad luck. Oral tradition (“folklore”) has retained countless examples of imprecations. Someone might want a neighbor’s cow to stop giving milk or another neighbor’s wife to become barren.

The post Blessing and cursing part 2: curse appeared first on OUPblog.

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914. you're like Manchester, you've got Strange Ways

This is the drawing that I made with all the tools that I took out with me in my last blog post. Well, I say 'all of the tools' but obviously I just mean one pen, one bottle of ink and one sketchbook. I must say I was overwhelmed by the response to that post, and to how many people related. I assumed it was just me. It's a comfort to know I'm not alone. Perhaps we could set up a support group?

Anyway as I said, this was the drawing I made on that day. The sketchbook is really difficult to photograph as it's so long. So here's the top, middle and bottom, of the Midland Hotel, Manchester, in bite size chunks. If I'm honest, it's really quite difficult to draw in too.
Top
Middle
Bottom

I made this drawing while out with Manchester Urban Sketchers. It's a building I love. A big ornate hotel in the city. It has everything I like to draw. It's a strange thing, I'd say that Modernism and even Brutalism is possibly my favourite style of architecture. But, I just cannot draw it. I have no desire to draw it. When it comes to drawing I want the exact opposite. I want twirls galore. The Midland has that.

I made the drawing in around two hours on a bench across the road from the hotel. It's getting freezing out there on the streets now, so I retired to the library to finish it off. I'm guessing that with winter approaching a whole new set of 'things to take on a sketchcrawl' are about to trouble me. I should just give in and drag a trolley around.
And in case evidence is needed as to quite how awkward this book is, here we are at the end of the session, look I can't even hold it.

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915. What Do ‘Shrek 5,’ ‘Hotel Transylvania 3,’ and ‘Boss Baby’ Have In Common?

Shagadelic, baby!

The post What Do ‘Shrek 5,’ ‘Hotel Transylvania 3,’ and ‘Boss Baby’ Have In Common? appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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916. Presidential Polar Bear Post Card Project No. 261 - 10.15.16


#inktober 2016 "Relax!" We can't afford to relax on Arctic protections... but these bears can take a little snooze now and then :) #wearethearctic #climateaction #saveourseaice #inktober

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917. Doing a little catch up on my #inktober2016 #sketch. So I did a...


0 Comments on Doing a little catch up on my #inktober2016 #sketch. So I did a... as of 10/18/2016 3:12:00 PM
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918. How Would...

How would it feel to be tall? To be rich?
To be bedridden, hungry or poor?
How would I cope with a limp or a twitch
Or a wheelchair to get out the door?

How would I live with no water or heat
Or with servants to tend to my needs?
How would I thrive with no friends I could greet
Or my talents thought worthless as weeds?

How would it be to be not who I know
As myself all the way to the core?
There’s no way to tell but I hope, even so,
I’d be me still – no less and no more.

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919. DESIGNER - kat uno

Kat Uno is an illustrator based in Hawaii. After working for about 6 years as a graphic designer for a government agency Kat decided to strike out on her own in 2015. She is currently represented by the Astound Agency and has been illustrating books for going on 2 years. Although her agency work is her bread and butter, Kat also really loves designing cute characters and patterns. You can find

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920. Plethora of Emotions


The plethora of emotions,
Sits in the mind,
Soaks the freshness,
Makes one blind,

The plethora of emotions,
Brings embarrassment,
Expectation for elations,
Gears up for harassment,

The plethora of emotions,
 Breaks one into pieces,
Microbial and sore,
As if writing a thesis,

The plethora of emotions,
Plays with your life,
You do useless things,
Walks at the edge of knife,

The plethora of emotions,
Tears you down,
Inspire you to rise,
To create a clown,

The plethora of emotions,
Digs for you, your fears,
The carcasses of mist,
Never ever clears,

The plethora of emotions,
Takes you for a ride,
Wild, lone & scary,
Traumatize your pride,
  
The plethora of emotions,
Cuts short your identity,
Makes you a slave,
Takes away your dignity. 

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921. KIDS DESIGN - abi hall

Since last being featured on Print & Pattern in September 2012 designer Abi Hall has been working with the team at Pink Light Studio in Seattle, licensing artwork for a diverse range of products, and designing collections for Moda Fabrics. You can see examples of licensed patterns and illustrations, as well as works in progress and sketchbook entries on Abi's website here. For the past few

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922. Free Kindle Book for Kids! Here comes the Boggler!

Prepare to be boggled, if you haven't been boggled before!

The BOGGLER, my rhyming kindle picture book for kids is free for a few days
(18th October - 20th October)

THE BOGGLER ON AMAZON.COM
THE BOGGLER ON AMAZON.CO.UK

OR CLICK ON THE BOGGLER BELOW:

A picture of a boggler waving

A picture of a boggler's house on top of a hill, with a boggler waving from the window

A picture of the boggler with his boggling bugle

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923. Intentional Talk with Writing Partners

Elevate the experience of using talk within your workshop with some tools.

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924. There is a flag for every player. Number three looks like she...


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925. Writer Wednesday: Coauthor Projects


Today's topic comes from Sheena-Kay. Thanks, Sheena-Kay!

"What do you think of coauthor projects and have you ever or will you ever do one?"

I fully admit that I'm crazy when I draft a book. Honestly, I'd feel sorry for whoever was brave enough to coauthor a book with me. Part of me really thinks it would be fun. I see authors who team up repeatedly to write together, and they appear to be having a blast. But then that other part of me thinks it would drive me crazy to relinquish control of the story and also to have to wait for someone else to get chapters back to me before I could continue.

There are definite benefits though. You have two audiences you are essentially merging. That's double one author's readership. So the marketing possibilities and the reach are greater than an author writing on his/her own. That part has always appealed to me, and I'm sure it always will. You also have someone to travel with to events to promote the book. I like the idea of having another author with me at book signings and speaking events. Furthermore, writing can be lonely at times, but coauthoring certainly isn't. So yeah, there are definite benefits to coauthoring.

Will I ever coauthor a book? Who knows? For now, I'll say I admire those who do.

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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