4 Stars Chase Danger, Super Spy: Pirates of Pineapple Island Chase & Lisa Olivera Adam Goodman 32 Pages: Ages: 4 to 7 ................... From Website: 7-year-old super-spies Chase Danger and Princess Ali Bali must think fast when they discover pirates have stolen Zalezgon’s magical pineapples. But that’s not all! Ali’s little brother Aiden has been [...]Add a Comment
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Blog: Kid Lit Reviews (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: 4stars, Children's Books, Digital Book, Interviews, Library Donated Books, Adam Goodman, Ali Bali, animals, baby, Cahse Danger Super Spy, Chase Olivera, cousins, flying, giant sharks, hang gliders, islands, Jack Tracksler, Lisa Olivera, Magic Fire Music Book, newborns, ocean, picture book, pineapple pizza, pineapples, pirates, pizza, princess, queens, rockets, ships, spies, surfing, sword fighting, volcano, Add a tag
Blog: Hazel Mitchell (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: sailing, illustrator, Hazel Mitchell, ocean, Isaac H Evans, lobster bake, sea, children's illustration, ships, Maine, illustrating, Add a tag
Last week I was really going to hit a new routine, go over those half finished dummies. Start a new outline, revise an old one. I was REALLY on track!
Then someone said, let's go sailing ...
Blog: OUPblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: majorca, sketching, yong, drawings, sailed, solomon, ships, A-Editor's Picks, A-Featured, Literature, Western Religion, 5769, folklore, Howard Schwartz, jewish, Jewish New Year, L’Shana Tova, Rosh Hashanah, spanich, Add a tag
Howard Schwartz is a Professor of English at the University of Missouri- St. Louis, his book Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism won the National Jewish Book Award in 2005. In his most recent book, Leaves From The Garden of Eden: One Hundred Classic Jewish Tales, Schwartz has gathered fairy tales, folktales, supernatural tales and mystical tales- representing the full range of Jewish folklore, from the Talmud to the present. In the excerpted story below, chosen by Schwartz to help us celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, we learn how a young boy’s talent can save the day.
Long ago, on the Spanish island of Majorca, a young boy spent most of each day at the shore, sketching the ships that sailed into the harbor. Solomon was a wonderful artist, everyone agreed. His drawings seemed so real that people wondered if the waves in his pictures were as wet as they seemed-or the sun as hot.
His father was a great rabbi who really preferred Solomon to spend his time studying, but Solomon would always slip away to the shore.
A few days before Rosh ha-Shanah, a ship arrived from the city of Barcelona. Solomon overheard one of the sailors talking to a local merchant.
“There’s news from Spain that will make every Jew on the island tremble.”
“What is it?” asked the merchant.
“The king and queen have decreed that all the Jews in the land must give up their religion and become Christian.”
“And if they refuse?”
“Then they must leave at once,” said the sailor.
“But what if they want to stay?”
“Then they lose their lives.”
Solomon was frightened. He didn’t want to leave his beautiful island. He ran home to tell the news to his father, Rabbi Simeon ben Tzemah Duran.
“Must we leave, Father?” asked Solomon.
“I cannot leave, my son,” said his father. “The other Jews look to me for guidance. I must stay until they all escape. But you should go, and I will join you later in Algiers.”
“I won’t leave you,” said Solomon. “You are all I have since Mother died. Surely God will protect us.”
Rabbi Simeon hugged his brave son. “Then let us work together and spread the word that everyone must meet in the synagogue.” They hurried through the village, knocking at the doors of every Jewish home and shop.
When everyone had gathered at the house of prayer, Rabbi Simeon told them about the terrible decree.
“Save us!” they cried out in fear.
They hoped their beloved rabbi would work a miracle. For they knew his prayers had once turned back a plague of locusts. Another time, when crops were withering in the fields, his prayers had brought rain.
“You have only three choices,” Rabbi Simeon told the men. “You can escape by sailing to Algiers. You can stay and pretend to convert, but secretly remain a Jew. Or you can defy the king and queen. As for me, I would rather go to my grave than say I am giving up my religion.” Solomon realized how strong his father was and how he strengthened and comforted his people.
In the days that followed, most of the Jews crowded onto ships, taking very little with them. They saw to it that the women and children took the first available ships. Some Jews stayed and pretended to convert, in order to save their lives. They were known as Conversos, but in secret they continued to follow their Jewish ways.
Only a handful of Jews openly refused to convert. Among them were Solomon’s father and Solomon himself. They planned to leave together, once they were certain that all those who wanted to escape had done so.
By then it was the start of Rosh ha-Shanah. Rabbi Simeon and Solomon and those few who dared enter the synagogue prayed with great intensity, in hope that their names would be written in the Book of Life. For on Rosh ha-Shanah that decision is said to be made on high. Surely God would hear their prayers and guard over them.
All went well the first day, but on the second day of Rosh ha-Shanah, just after the sounding of the shofar, soldiers rushed into the synagogue and dragged them all away. They were cast into a prison cell, where Rabbi Simeon continued to lead the prayers by heart. Solomon would have been terrified if he hadn’s seen how calm his father remained.
None of them slept that night. Even though Rosh ha-Shanah had ended, they stayed awake, praying. The cell was very dark, with only one high window. But at dawn it let a little sunlight in. When Rabbi Simeon saw it, he said, “Have faith, my brothers. For just as there is a bit of light, so there is hope, and I feel that God has heard our prayers and will protect us.”
The guard overheard them and laughed. “You think you have hope. You have just three days to live. Then you die. Let’s see what your God does for you then.”
Rabbi Simeon saw how frightened they were. So he turned to Solomon and said, “Won’t you help us pass the time? Why don’t you draw one of those ships you do so well?”
Solomon couldn’t believe his ears. His father was asking him to draw? Solomon felt in his pocket and pulled out his last piece of chalk. When he looked up, he though he saw a hint of a smle on his father’s face.
Solomon remembered all the ships he had watched from the shore, and he began to draw the one he thought was the most beautiful on the sunlit wall. The wind he drew filled the great sails, and he added barrels of wine and bushels of wheat.
Solomon’s father and the other men watched him draw until the sun set and the prison cell was enveloped in darkness. Then they began to pray to God to save them. Once again, they prayed all night.
The next day, Solomon continued to work on his drawing. Little by little he finished every detail of the ship, and then he drew the sea around it. The waves looked as if they might spill right off the wall and splash onto the floor.
The picture seemed finished, but Solomon didn’t want to stop. His father suggested that he draw the two of them, there on the deck. This Solomon did, and all the men marveled at the fine resemblances. Then the second day in prison ended, and again they prayed throughout the night.
When the sun rose on the third day, one of the men asked Solomon to draw him on the ship, too. “For I would like to be with you.” And one by one, the others made the same request. But when darkness fell, Solomon had not yet finished drawing the last man.
That night they prayed to God with all their hearts, for they knew the execution was set for sunrise the next day. All of the men shook with fear, except for Rabbi Simeon. Solomon took strength from his father, and he, too, remained unafraid.
As soon as the first light of dawn came through the window, Solomon took out his chalk and quickly finished drawing the last man.
Just as he drew the final line, he heard keys jangling. The soldiers were coming to unlock the door to their cell. Then Solomon and all the men would be taken to the courtyard for their execution.
Solomon turned to his father and saw that he was deep in prayer. And, at that very moment, he heard his father pronounce God’s secret name out loud.
Suddenly Solomon could not hear the guards in the hallway, and when he looked down, he saw that he was standing on the deck of the beautiful ship he had drawn on the prison wall.
His father and all the other men in the picture were with him, safely aboard a real ship floating on a real sea. The sails strained against the wind, just as they had in Solomon’s drawing, and the ship sped away from danger.
All the Jews from the prison rejoiced with Solomon and his father- for they knew they were aboard a ship of miracles, on their way to freedom. They would never forget that Rosh ha-Shanah when God had seen fit to save them.
-The Balkans: oral tradition.Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Watercolor Wednesdays (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: ocean, ships, legneds, seals, selkies, Add a tag
Here is my watercolor "Legends of the Selkies" for the February monthly post. I really like the light that I have going on, on the rocks around her.
This is the best I could come up with, with only reading a little bit about this legend from the link provided. I hadn't heard of the story before. I'm glad to have had the oppurtunity to learn about them and to try my hand hand painting an illustration. It was a very good lesson!
I'm sorry, I wasn't able to do anything for the 'crowd' week. Life got in the way and I had worked up 4 or 5 other new paintings.
Thanks for looking,
Blog: Kids Who Read (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: 3-5 Advanced Read, 6-8 Grade, 9-12 Grade, Adventure, Enjoyable for parents, Reluctant Reader, Series Books, girls, friendship, justice, pirate book, power, ships, strong girl character, survival, Add a tag
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
It is 1797 in London and a young girl has just been put out on the street. All of her family has died of the pestilence and she has nothing but the clothes on her back. Oh, wait! Soon she is robbed of even those by a gang of orphans in need of new clothes. The girl who has her new clothes looks back at her and says, “Well, come on then. And quit your sniveling.” The girl, who narrates this story, writes, “I snuffles and gets up.”
She weeps, she fears, she loses, but she keeps getting up throughout this highly entertaining story of a girl who disguises herself as a boy so she can become a ship’s boy, avoid being hung for thievery, and get enough to eat. I usually demand more than pure entertainment from the books I read–I want to be able to see the world in a new way or learn something thrilling–and I usually don’t like series books, but I finished this book with a single thought: I wanted the next book in the series.
The character of Mary who becomes Jacky leaps from the pages. The endless series of riotous adventurous never seem contrived. All resolutions feel perfectly apt. Danger never disappears, but evil always gets its satisfyingly just desserts.
Bloody Jack will be enjoyed by kids who liked The Unfortunate Series of Events in their younger years, middle school and younger experienced readers who will not be confused by the occasional “guttersnipe” dialect of the narrator (“prolly” for probably; me mum and me dad, etc), high school readers who need a break from fantasy, teen-age angst, and vampire genres, and adults who just like to have fun reading. Attitudes towards the innate differences between the genders are of course amply explored and the romance is tender and true and not excessively graphic. I recommend not trying to find out if the author is male or female until you have read at least one book in the series.
Blog: 3 Evil Cousins (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: 5 out of 5, five daggers, other cultures, 5 out of 5 daggers, ships, adventure, Matthew Kneale, history, Add a tag
Set in the mid-19th century, when British imperialism was at its pinnacle and explorers were mapping the last uncharted corners of the globe, English Passengers spins a delicious yarn of intrigue, torment, and reckless lawbreaking on the high seas and within the plains and forests of Tasmania. It is crewed by a fascinatingly diverse cast of characters, including a likable yet eccentric rum-smuggling captain by the name of Illiam Quillian Kewley, a motley band of seafaring Manxmen, an unlikely trio of obnoxious Brits, and a tormented tribe of indigenous Tasmanians.
Captain Kewley and the crew of his smuggling ship Sincerity are expecting a brief, profitable maiden voyage. But after enduring one misfortune after another, due to “prying British Customs men,” they are forced to take on passengers for charter to Tasmania. Reverend Wilson, Dr. Potter, and Timothy Renshaw promptly proceed to make life extremely difficult for each other and for the ship’s crew, resulting in a brilliantly written comedy of errors populated by the most outrageous fools ever to set foot on a ship.
But awaiting the travelers in Tasmania is something utterly unexpected. Interspersed with the humorous antics of the travelers is the heartwrenching narrative of Peevay, the son of a Tasmanian native and a British sailor, who describes with fierce emotion the torments his people have endured from British colonizers. The book’s two main subplots gradually become intertwined, finally merging near the end and drawing the reader into the novel’s uniquely satisfying conclusion.
Though I normally don’t like historical fiction as much as other types of literature, I enjoyed and deeply appreciated this book. It made me laugh out loud with its sidesplittingly hilarious wit, it brought tears to my eyes with its raw descriptions of horrors inflicted by men, all while managing to deliver a time-honored message of tolerance and peace without being tired or clichéd. The writing successfully captures the unique personality and regional dialect of each character while still reflecting the author’s eloquent voice and creating a thoughtful, polished piece.
The remarkable thing about English Passengers is how it manages to be so many things at once. This novel is a window into a time long past, a thrillingly adventurous romp, a first-rate comedy and a tale of real-world strife, all rolled into one. I award it five daggers without hesitation.
Blog: So many books, so little time (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: kim ricketts, Add a tag
The San Fransisco Chronicle reports on "several large West Coast companies such as Google, Microsoft, Starbucks and Yahoo" that bring in authors for author presentations and bookselling events. "Although writers have long given lectures at universities and community centers, growing demand for them at the office is forcing publishers to rethink the traditional author tour and inducing booksellers to create ties with the corporate campus next door."
The whole thing started at Microsoft, which hosted science and technology authors in the late 90s and then included general authors. They worked with Kim Ricketts at Seattle's University Bookstore. Now she has her own business and runs events in Seattle and San Francisco: "clients now include Starbucks, Nordstrom, Real Networks, Boeing, Kimpton Hotel Group, CNet and YouTube, and she is planning to open satellite offices this fall in New York and Washington, D.C., to further her focus on book events for Fortune 500 companies."
I was actually supposed to do an event in Starbucks back in May of 2003, but something fell through the cracks and it didn’t happen. I was so anxious about getting lost in Seattle, it might be better. It’s quite possible that I would still be driving the freeways looked for the right exit and holding my map upside down.
Read more here.
Blog: I.N.K.: Interesting Non fiction for Kids (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: realistic art, Ships, Weapons, Colonial America, history, Edwin Tunis, Add a tag
I’ve written a book in which a biplane played a major part of the story. In another, it was an old time car. But you’d never be able to recreate the airplane from one of my drawing, nor build a car using my image of the auto. That’s okay. Biography is my interest, not machinery. The images did their job: to advance the story about a person.
But that doesn’t diminish my admiration for writers and artists who specialize in things.
One of the best was Edwin Tunis.
He was born in 1897. His father’s work took his family from town to town. Edwin studied art, became a World War One pilot, held design & art jobs, lost design & art jobs, and chased work as a freelancer.
“As a commercial artist I lacked the ‘snappy’ style beloved of advertising agents, but I could draw furniture, architecture, and historical stuff, so I made out well enough.” he said.
He designed a Maryland commemorative stamp, and painted historical murals. The Depression hit him hard and he took a momentary career detour as a radio announcer. World War Two arrived and he found himself working for the Black and Decker Company.
In 1943, the McCormick Company commissioned Tunis to paint a “History of Spices” mural in its Baltimore harbor office. It was 145’ long and took him two and a half years to finish. While researching the subject, he discovered “there was no one book which recounted the whole basic story of the development of ships in a simple way that might interest young people.”
“An outline, a dummy, some pages of text, and one finished illustration went to a literary agent who sold Oars, Sail and Steam within a week, he said”
It was published in 1952, launching fifty-five-year-old Edwin Tunis on a brand new career.
Other books followed: Weapons, 1954; Wheels, 1955; Colonial Living 1957; Indians, 1959; Frontier Living, (a Newberry Medal Honors winner), 1961; Colonial Craftsmen, 1965; Shaw’s Fortune, 1966; The Young United States, ( runner-up for the National Book Award), 1969; Chipmunks on the Doorstep, 1971; The Tavern at the Ferry, (an A.L.A. Notable Book), 1973.
Tunis believed that “illustrations should be as pleasing as the illustrator's abilities permit, but their prime purpose…is clear explanation. They must try…to put the object itself on the page.”
Chairs, chests, tilt-top table, gate-leg tables, sailor’s knots, samp mortars, stirrup stockings, sugar cutters, mill gears, wagon wheels, pugmills, saw mills, querns, hetchels, hats, horses, horns, pewter mugs, and pocket-hoop farthingales.
Do you want to learn how to scutch flax? Play huzzlecap? Pack a hogshead? Tunis shows you.
All are remarkably drawn with painstaking accuracy, yet with a buoyancy and immediacy that gives the images a singular liveliness.
I’m especially fond of Tunis’s elaborate scenes that combine landscape, houses, wagons, people… and horses. I’m jealous of his horses. Whenever I sketch horses, they have an odd anatomy of misplaced, jutting bones and it takes me forever to correct. (Don’t ask me about cows. They’re impossible. I’m convinced cows were designed in a rush on a late Friday before a long, holiday weekend.)
Tunis died in 1973. In time, his fabulous books fell from print.
But sometimes a bit of serendipitous good luck prevails, this time in the shape of Johns Hopkins University Press.
“Edward Tunis’s work has been known to me for years, owing to his Pratt Library (Baltimore) map of Maryland,” History Editor Robert Brugger said. “ We (at JHU Press) realized that rights to his books on early America were available and reprinted the major ones. ”
Good for them!
And great for us.
There is much to admire about Tunis: His extraordinary artistic skill, and his dedication to accuracy, to be sure. But his dogged pursuit of a life in the arts, one that didn’t find success until late in life is also inspirational, at least to this battered ex-freelancer who didn’t come to children’s books until he was over forty.
But life, being what it is, delivers a piquant end to the Tunis story.
In 1989, The McCormick Building was demolished. With it went Tunis’s Spice mural. And just like in the Joni Mitchell song, in its place they put up a parking lot.
Blog: A Latte a Day (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: "self portrait", beaver, "Great Lakes", Michigan, Maggie Summers, "Bluewater", ships, freighters, Add a tag
Did I say how much I LOVE this new camera? Especially the telephoto lens-it's amazing! Here I am hanging out at my favorite Starbucks. I still need a few filters and a macro but they'll come soon enough. I love black and whites just as much as color photos and can never decide which I like better, it all depends on my mood.
I changed up the order of the photos, Mr. Beaver below just looked too strange being at the top of this post.
My first real taste of summer came when I was home at my parents who live on the Great Lakes of Michigan. These photos were taken off their front deck. The ships that ride the lakes are magnificent when you see them up this close and I never tire of watching them go by. We've recorded them from all over the world. They make their way up through the various locks from the ocean. When they start running again it means the ice has all melted and it's the signal for spring and summer to begin...then boating and water skiing and just hanging out on the beach- my kind of living!
I ran a little over 4 miles around the East lake this morning. The weather is about 82 now and gorgeous-finally! On my trips around the lake I have been fortunate enough to see a lot wildlife and came upon a beaver twice in the past week. I know the damage they can do but still- you can appreciate these industrious characters when you see one. K and I stalked this one for a little over 1/2 hour so we could get a good photo. He was about 4 1/2 feet in total length, his tail about 2 1/2 of that.
Now I have a big job ahead of me and it's off to plant flowers. The iris' are just starting to open around the yard so I'll be posting photos of them later. Enjoy your Saturday!
More tomorrow...Display Comments Add a Comment
Blog: Crazy For Kids Books (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: sibling rivalry, boys, boats, ships, adoption, Add a tag
Sibling rivalry is initiated when a boy's family adopts a brother for him in this fanciful and imaginative story. I love the opening line, "The day Mom and Dad went to pick up my new brother, I built a raft." Our hero sets sail for Bongodongo and then other ports as he tries to distance himself from this new brother he obviously resents.
Tim Wynne-Jones doesn't disappoint as the younger brother hangs about trying to establish a friendship with his new older brother. The Boat in the Tree was one of the books entered for the Cybils awards this year and is still one of my favorites. Although the story is quite good, what really makes the book sing are the illustrations by John Shelley.
As the boy dreams of ships that will carry him away from the new brother, Shelley skillfully captures the breadth of the ship-crazy boy's imagination complete with a pirate's island and smoking volcano. He also details the day-to-day world the boys actually live in. When a storm sends a boat into a tree and Simon helps his older brother bring it down , it is enough to bridge the gap between the boys and between the real and the imagined.
There is so much detail in the illustrations that young children ages 3-6 will be entertained for hours. I recommend this book.
Blog: smartpoodlepublishing.com (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: St. Lawrence River, ships, Antique Boat Museum, Uncategorized, Travel, Photos, Add a tag
The St. Lawrence River starts where Lake Ontario ends and travels all the way up through New York and Canada and out to the Atlantic Ocean. This important waterway is traversed by thousands of ships carrying precious cargo of all types to people all over the world. Even if you are not a major boat lover, you’d appreciate the combination of the peacefulness and power of the ships that pass along the waterway.
The town of Clayton has an Antique Boat Museum that kids will love. The wood is beautiful. You can also tour the Duchess (see last picture above), formerly owned by George Boldt, builder of the Waldorf Astoria and the Boldt Castle. It was later owned by the Rand McNally family.Add a Comment
Blog: Yesisedit's Weblog (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
JacketFlap tags: Art, Children's book, Poem, Say it ain't so, Stories and art, Thoughts, childrens poems, hand made, model, scale, ships, spars, wood, Add a tag