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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Mothers day, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Since April 19, 2015...

After Easter and the jury duty kerfuffle...

...to which I didn't have to go!
Happy dance, happy dance, everybody happy dance!

... I got a rejection on a query I sent to an agent about a month before.  Technically, she never responded to the query, which per the guidelines basically meant the same thing.  No reply, no acceptance.
Tears may have been shed.

But that's okay.  I dusted off my poor weeping query, gave it a little spruce up and sent it bravely back into the big wide world of agents.  I may have whispered a prayer to send it on its way.

Then I had a wedding I went to, last week of April/beginning of May, wherein my sister Amanda (keeper of the blog, Hit and Miss) designed floral arrangements for the altar, and we cleaned bucketloads of roses, carnations, baby's breath and greens and I made 15 centerpieces in glass milk jars for the reception.
Or rather:  Design ALL the flowers!

Speaking of which, I don't think I want to go to weddings anymore.  Waaaaaay too many people!
Way too many people I don't know, and way too many random people wanting to talk to me.
Talk? Talk?!   What makes you think I'd want to chat?  I haz nothing to say.  Unless we speak geek.  Then perhaps we speak.

Then we got BACK from the wedding and the weather has been liek dis:
Grey
Rainy

And liek dis:
*snarf, grumble, grouch
*whaaahaaahaaaaaa!












It hasn't been NICE.  It has been the opposite.  It has been DARK.  My mood goeth downhill.

Directly after getting back, we were into Mother's Day week.  Which made the flower shop a crazy busy place.  Which meant yours truly got to work a six-day work week, after a weekend filled with flower arrangements and wedding feels and socializing.
Source

Socializing, for me, can be physically more draining and damaging than a solid week's work, so piling MOTHER'S DAY WEEK on top of that was... was...

Sorry, words fail.

However, good news.  Before driving back from the wedding in Bakersfield, we stopped at Target and all four of us who had attended the wedding picked up copies of the Target Edition of Josh Groban's STAGES, which contains 17 tracks and are all of them amazing.
Make sure you get the TARGET edition with 17 tracks! The normal version
only has 13, so make sure it 's the special TARGET edition you're getting!

Josh has this superpower that never fails to make me marvel at how PERFECTLY he sings.
IMHO, he sings the only acceptable version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
*Oh Groban!

Speaking of Superheroes and Marvel, I also watched the first two episodes of Daredevil on Netflix during that wedding weekend, so when I got back from the wedding I proceeded to watch the other 11 episodes.


Matt Murdoch is the best!  I refuse to say anything, because, as Yoda say, "If Netflix you have, Daredevil you should be watching."  Seriously, he's a new favourite Marvel superhero.  He is so amazing and cool!  Unfortunately, now that I'm done with those 13 episode, the next season won't be up until 2016!  Netflix, why? Why? Whyyyyy?


Then I saw Age of Ultron.
Source

All I'm going to say about THIS is, OH MY GOSH! HAWKEYE!! TONYSTEVETHOR! QUICKSIIIIIILVER!  JARVISJARVISJARVIS!! And never, ever, ever have I let a ship sink as fast as I let Black Widow's and Hawkeye's.  I was surprisingly okay with it.  I waved a hand and thought, I don't mind Natasha and Clint being friends.

After this, Teresa and Jack and I started watching Harry Potter.  I have never really watched Harry Potter.
I know, right?

I had read up to the fourth book (which *I* thought was horrifying) and then watched the fourth movie which, IMHO, did NOT live up to the fourth books horrifyingness (which is not a word, but I don't care.  I'm a writer.  I do what I want).  Frankly, the fourth movie rather bored me, so I gave up on the series.

Then, I dunno, after the final book had been published and was no longer talked about, I thought I might as well finish the book series, and while I thought J.K. Rowling did a fine job with writing, I wasn't entirely sold on the series.  I don't know why.  I just wasn't a fan.
Sorry.

So I have had no urge to watch the movies until after Valentine's Day, when after a long grueling day at work I came home, ate something fortifying and turned on the TV, and discovered The Chamber of Secrets was playing.  Having nothing better to do, I watched it.
I mean, after all, why not?

Since then, I've been off again, on again wanting to watch them, and we started our sporadic marathon about two weeks ago.  While the first four were nothing special (for me, anyway - and btw, the fourth movie is NOT as boring as I remembered it being.  Perhaps one needs to have been away from books and movies for a significant amount of time or something), we just finished Deathly Hallows part 1, and I'll admit the 5th, 6th and 7-1/2th movies engaged me more and made me feel a bit more connected to the characters.  (Though, and I'm speaking from my experience of having read the books YEARS ago, I am pretty certain the scriptwriters could have clarified Harry as being The Chosen One.  That shtick sort of makes an appearance in the Half Blood Prince, and while I *think* it was clear in the book, it was NOT AT ALL CLEAR in the movie(s), and I honestly can't remember how or why or who or when Harry became this Chosen One or even what it has to do with the plot.)
I feel ya, Minion

I don't think I'm still (yet) techinically a fan.  I haven't entirely finished the series, after all.  Deathly Hallows part 2 will possibly (probably) happen tonight, but now that I've watched the movies I can see why people have become fans.  I will be honest even more and state that I do have a bad tendency to quote HISHE or Honest Trailer lines during crucial moments of the movies (such as, Wizzzzard lightning battle! or, Look out, Harry, he doesn't have a nose!, or, "Just saving your life.  And countless others.  In the future.  It's a long story.")  But overall, my favorite characters are Snape, Professor McGonagall, George and Fred, and Harry.  I like Ron and Hermione, but those first five are my favorites.
Source



Lastly, to bring my month to a close, the query I'd dusted off and sent back out came back with a request for the agent to see the full manuscript.
I may or may not have woken up my sister at the obscene
hour of 5:00 a.m. to show her the joyous news.


So I sent the full manuscript to the agent, and now I must wait up to 60 days to see what she thinks.  It's a bit torturous, but she was nice enough to admit that it was torturous, which was good to hear.  Empathy, empathy.  So all I can do now is pray... and hope... and pray... and, you know, hope.

So, that's been my month!  I hope yours has been just as exciting and eventful as mine, albeit less gloomy.  *Rain, rain, go away, come again some OTHER day.*

Until next month...

Cat! :)
Leopold!

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2. If You Love Honey, Nature's Connections

After turning in artwork for If You Love Honey, Nature's Connections I got a look at Patty Arnold's design and layout for the book. I'm posting a few spreads here to give you a sneak peek. This is my second book illustrated by Martha Sullivan and third book for Dawn Publishing. It comes out this fall. After doing a lot of research for the illustrations I'm now a true honey bee fanatic, not to mention a Martha Sullivan fan!


 And I wanted to say "Thanks!" to William Porter at the Denver Post for including me in his Mother's Day article. It's always great to give a shout out to our moms, especially our moms who spent a lot of time reading to us.




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3. Elizabeth Honey’s ‘Hop Up! Wriggle Over!’ – One for Mum and Bub

Hop Up! Wriggle Over!, Elizabeth Honey (author, illus.), Allen & Unwin, April 2015.   Cherish the moments of early mornings, chaotic meal times, constantly chasing tails and a house that’s never tidy, because one day it will be a distant memory; and you’ll miss it. This recent release emanates all this energy, and more; it’s […]

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4. Celebrating the Calling and Commitment that Is Motherhood

Bunny Roo, I Love You

By Melissa Marr, Illustrated by Teagan White

 

 

It’s a great feeling when you come across a picture book where the author’s story is perfectly matched with a spot on illustrator who adds the extras of the imagined goings on, with their particular take on it. And via their art, they make it all amount to something quite special, soothing and truthful.

And in “Bunny Roo, I Love You” such a match up takes place. And the book itself could not come at a more serendipitous time in my own life, as two friends have just become grandparents – days apart. Twin boys arrived to one family and the other, welcomed a single boy. The first set of grandparents have the twins joining a young sister, and the other has the baby boy, joining a big brother.

Isn’t it great how love just expands naturally to make room for more of the same in a family? I remember when my second chid was born. The thought crazily crossed my mind for a second, “How can I love this new child as much as the first?”

But love is like elastic. It’s ability to encompass more and more of itself as the need arises is quite miraculous! I can’t imagine the first child without the second. Each are unique and each are loved in that widening circle. 

The world can seem like a pretty chaotic and bewildering place to newborns. One minute you’re in a nice, quiet and rather confined space; the next you’re in the bright lights with voices and your foot hitting an ink pad!

But fortunately, as we approach Mother’s Day on May 10th, moms know their own. They know the sight, touch and smell of their own and just exactly how to soothe a small and vulnerable new entry into the world.

Teagan White’s animal art, uses a combination collection of soft green, peach, cream, blue and orange hues that flesh out a new bunny, roo, lizard, wolf, kitten, and piglet in her picture book. They all have moms who know exactly what’s wrong with their new arrivals, and how to both calm and comfort their offspring, keeping them safe.

One of my favorites is the wolf mom. Listen to her take on mothering:

           “Then you opened your

           mouth and howled, and

           I thought you might

           be a lonely wolf.”

 

           I ran to my

           house and made

           you a cozy den

           so you had a home.”

 

Ms. Teagan’s sign of “HOME” hung outside the wolf den, is matched by the mom tucking wee wolfie under a baby blue coverlet to illustrate Ms. Marr’s narrative.

It’s an easy jump for kids to make the connection set up by Ms. Marr, to their own mom’s care and concern for them as babies.

 

          “Then you smiled,

           and I knew…

 

           You are not a

           bunny – roo – lizard -

           wolf – kitten – piggy.

           You are my baby.”

 

I chanced across this quote from a book called “Kindred Spirits.” It said:

 

          “A mother is a mother from

           the moment her baby is first

           placed in her arms until eternity.

           It doesn’t matter if her child is three,              

           thirteen or thirty.”

 

Ms. Marr’s words celebrate in picture book form, and softly enlivened by Ms. White’s pastel drawings, the unbreakable connection of need and wants fulfilled by the simple, self sacrificing word of “mother.

Please allow “Bunny Roo, I Love You” and perhaps a shared sit down read with your child of either this picture book, or some others I will suggest, to set the tone for this singular day. The operative words here are “share and savor.”

Let their words start the beginning of the day that is an honored tradition of celebrating the calling and the commitment that is termed… motherhood.

Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers, both biological and spiritual, that have nourished each, and all of us, on this journey called life!

 

 

 

 

 

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5. A Gift for Mom

Once Upon A Cloud

By Claire Keane

 

What to give mom for Mother’s Day? It’s a question that not so big, and big children as well, ponder each year come May. It has to be special, and subliminally left unsaid by the little hands that clumsily wrap the gift, looms the question: Is it enough? Will she like it?

Celeste is on such a search. She has imagined beautifully wrapped gifts, with “To Mom”  tags attached of possible unnamed choices for her mother.

This ruminative thinking process usually precedes perfect gift selection, and here, in the middle of it, as Celeste is about to drift off, the Wind blows through her casement window – and she is off on a grand adventure.

Aloft in the fleece filled sky, she is adorned with a necklace, crown and sparkling slippers by a bevy of Stars, as if she is a long awaited guest. Even the Moon awakens from slumbers deep to read to Celeste. And as the sky lightens, the Sun, pictured as a Glinda-like figure from Oz, greets her before her journey home. 

Reminiscing about her adventure with the Sun, the Moon and the Stars, she remembers how each of her greeters made her feel special. And Celeste, in turn, as most kids do, finds her own unique way of personally conveying in gift selection, her own feelings towards her mom.

Celeste gives the gift of herself, which is what, I believe, Ms. Keane is conveying in her picture book. Celeste can give back to mom, what was modeled to her each day by her own mother.

That is what moms are. They are the givers of gifts that last a lifetime in the gifts of their time, talent, energy, sympathy, listening ear, nursing skills, patience and limitless ability to somehow “make it better.”

And speaking as a mom, most of us don’t need the ultimate gifts of a Bentley, Cartier watch or a home in the Hamptons, nor even the Sun, the Moon and the Stars.

Claire Keane, in her picture book, “Once Upon a Cloud,” reminds us gently through a little girl named Celeste, and her dream sequence, that a small bouquet gathered with love, and tied with a red hair ribbon, represents the gift of self; the best gift on any day! For that is what our moms have given to us their entire lives and not just for one night.

Especially on Mother’s Day, who could resist this similar gift of self from a child, in whatever form it takes, all wrapped up with a hug? Better yet, do it more than just on Mother’s Day!

Thank you seems not half enough to say; but thank you to all the moms out there, and to my own – You were the Sun, the Moon and the Stars – to me!

 

 

 

 

 

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6. Life Lessons From Imperfect Mothers

by Sally Matheny

 A perfect mother has never existed.
Nonetheless, God has the ability to use mothers, through their strengths and their weaknesses. There are valuable life lessons to learn, if we are willing.

Take Eve, for example. She was the first woman and the first mother. There are pros and cons to that. She didn’t have anyone to compare herself to, but also she didn’t have a mother or a mother-in-law she could call on for help or advice.

Eve gave birth without the help of a doctor or even a mid-wife. Can you imagine what the very first birth must have been like?

Read more »

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7. Happy Mother’s Day!

To all the mothers out there of every species, have a wonderful day!

Mother and baby ducks by Jessica Lanan

The post Happy Mother’s Day! appeared first on .

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8. Be Honest: Do You Like This Post? Gut Level Truth In Poetry...and in Life

.
Howdy, Campers!

Note the four exciting announcements at the bottom of this post (including this: today's the last day to enter our current book giveaway.)

Thank you, Elizabeth Steinglass, for hosting Poetry Friday today!


I had a wonderful poetry teacher, Tony Lee, who taught us about voice.

Describing something, as a journalist does, Tony said, is the reporting voice.
  That voice comes from the lips, the mouth, the throat.
from morguefile.com
Writing about feelings comes from the gut, a lower, truer, sometimes scarier place, he said.  

from morguefile.com
This is the deep voice.  The deep voice attracts readers.  It connects them to your story.  Be brave, he told us. Find the feelings. Go there.

So why do some blog and FaceBook posts get nine kazillion comments (not mine!) and some get zip?
from FaceBook

12,341,889 likes ~ 58,962 talking about this


Putting aside JoAnn's terrific post about social media and the perfect lengths for poems, posts, headings, etc. in various online media...

it seems to me that getting your work read (or, more to the point, getting your work read and passed on) is about superficial vs. deep.

Just like a book in which the author rips off her shirt and shows us her scars (as Anne Lamott does), FaceBook and blog posts that come from the gut are the ones that resonate.

I was at a meeting the other day; each of us had three minutes to talk about anything we wanted.  The first two minutes and 30 seconds I talked about some success I had had.  In the last 30 seconds, my mouth opened and an embarrassing truth popped out.  I said that Robyn Hood Black had very kindly gifted me homemade granola.  It was especially touching because Robyn knows I can't eat sugar, so she made it with sugar-free maple syrup.  I could actually have it.  Delighted, I sat down for lunch, thinking I'd taste just a spoonful, just to see what it was like.

Good granola is dense, so you don't need much.  And you and I know that you're supposed to eat two cups of granola over a period of several days--with fresh blueberries and your pinky finger raised, right?

Not me... immediately my mouth opened, a vacuum turned on, my brain turned off, and nearly two cups of absolutely delicious granola were gone.  Gone!
This isn't Robyn's granola.
Hers had yummy bits of coconut in it.
But...um...I didn't have time to take a picture of hers.
So this is from morguefile.com
As we went around the room sharing, do you think others in the group commented on the nicely packaged pithy wisdom in my first two minutes and thirty seconds?  Nope.  Nearly ALL of them talked about my granola adventure.  It hit a familiar nerve. We've all been there.

It was no longer mine...it was all of ours.  

During Poetry Month this year, I had what I called a metaphoraffair--I practiced finding metaphors, posting one each day, both on my website (where, it turned out, the comment mechanism was broken) and on FaceBook and Twitter.

The metaphor which drew the most interest was my final post for Poetry Month 2014, written with and about my mother, who is 91 and not doing great.  It was hard for me to post; it was true. It was from my gut.

I drew this in November, 2010, after Mom and I walked around a park in Malibu...and suddenly I was the parent
I drew this in November, 2010, after Mom and I walked around a park in Malibu…suddenly I was the parent
The point is, be brave, cut deep beneath the skin, share from the gut, share your humaness. That's all we have.
                                                                             *   *   *   *
LAST CALL! If you haven't entered our current giveaway, it ends today!  To enter, go to Jill Esbaum's post to win your very own autographed copy of Jill's Angry Birds Playground: Rain Forest (National Geographic Books)!

Will you be in New York on May 18th? I'll be speaking on the Children's Books Panel of the Seminar on Jewish Story in New York City on Sunday, May 18th.  Here's my interview the seminar organizer, Barbara Krasner published on her blog.

For an example of a beautifully written post which hits a nerve, read Jama Rattigan's gorgeous and heartfelt Mother's Day post.

And, last but not least, happy Children's Book Week!  Be brave. Go forth and share the very thing that hard to share.

posted with love by April Halprin Wayland...but you knew that, right?

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9. Paula: Mother's Day Puzzle--With Raccoons!

Samples came the other day, of the fun Mother’s Day illustration I worked on for a back-page puzzle for Clubhouse Jr. magazine I had a lot of fun with this. I worked in a bit of a tighter style using a very thin line. I’m really pleased with how the final printed piece turned out. And the raccoons still make me smile! Below are some photos of the final art.



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10. Kim Fleming Draws on Her Experience as Illustrator of ‘Mummy, You’re Special To Me’

Kim Fleming knows how to tell a great story. She tells stories through pictures. Kim’s art creates a sense of affection, warmth and joy. Born in Canada, this now Melbournite has found her calling in illustrating children’s books. She has previously illustrated such picture books as the gorgeous True Blue Santa written by Anne Mangan, […]

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11. 15 Best Poetry Books of 2014...Pick 1!

.
Howdy Campers!

Yippee!--it's Poetry Friday!  (the link's at the end of this post ~)

Confession regarding the title of this post: I lied. Although there were many wonderful poetry books this year, I'm going to talk about just one.

You may already have read it...or read about it on Laura Purdie Salas' TeachingAuthors post in May.

You may already know that it's gotten starred reviews in Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist and School Library Journal.

You may have heard that it's one of Publisher's Weekly's Best Picture Books of 2014, it's a School Library Journal Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, it's in the American Booksellers Association Best Books for Children Catalog, and it's on lists predicting the 2015 Caldecott for illustrator Melissa Sweet.

Of course I'm talking about
selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

In this beautiful collection, master anthologist Paul B. Janeczko has organized 36 very short gems around the four seasons, illuminated by Melissa Sweet's both sophisticated and whimsical illustrations.  Wow.

My father was a farmer and an artist. When he sketched my mother playing piano, his goal was to use as few lines as possible to tell that moment of my mother, the light from the window, that sonata.  

In the same way, these poems show moments...and so much more in a few short lines.

Here's one of my favorites from this sterling anthology:

FIREFLY JULY

When I was ten, one summer night,
The baby stars that leapt
Among the trees like dimes of light,
I cupped, and capped, and kept.


Another of my favorites is the always amazing Joyce Sidman’s “A Happy Meeting,” which describes what happens when rain meets dirt (first, “soft, cinnamon kisses,” then, “marriage: mud”). 

And...surprise! I am honored that one of my poems is included in this collection:

SANDPIPERS

Sandpipers run with
their needle beaks digging--they're
hemming the ocean.
April Halprin Wayland

and look who just popped in to wave hello...
poet and anthologist Paul B. Janeczko and illustrator Melissa Sweet!

for hosting Poetry Friday today!

posted with affection by April Halprin Wayland in honor of
my mother, who loved both words and music ~

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12. Double Dipping – Bedtime dramas abound

Putting the kids to bed is a rite of passage that not every parent survives in tact. Bedtime can be fraught with misadventure and procrastination. A five-minute goodnight kiss can draw out into a production of Oscar winning proportions. If you have kids under seven-years-old, chances are you’ve experienced a night or two like this. […]

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13. Win a Mother’s Day Hamper of Books

Looking for great  gifts to buy for your Mum? Books make fantastic gifts for Mother‘s Day! And to make your job easier, we’ve released our 2015 Mother‘s Day Catalogue. If you order from our Mother‘s Day Catalogue before midnight on Sunday 3 May, you’ll get FREE shipping on your order when you use the promotional code code 4mum at […]

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14. PS Mum, this is for you – Mother’s Day picture book reviews

Unconditional love, tolerance and understanding; all qualities most mothers possess in spades. They warrant gratitude every single day, not just on Mother’s Day. So this year, before you load up mum with a bed full of toast crumbs and good intentions snuggle up to her with one of your favourite ‘I love you’ reads. Here […]

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15. Sunday Sketching - Mother's Day Tribute


Decided to draw my mother in church today (engaging in her favorite activity).

 My mother is darling - elegant, kind of quiet, serene, proper...

That is, unless you get her in from of a camera!

 To be fair, she is posing for photo-reference for me...

 But, I am continually amazed (and rather tickled) at how 'in character' she'll get!

In the contest for "The Best Sport" award, I think my mom wins!

Thanks, and Happy Mother's Day Mom. xxxxx


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16. Storytime: Mother’s Day round-up, part 1

  Ladybug Girl and Her Mama by Jacky Davis & illustrated by David Soman Ladybug Girl loves her mama, and can’t wait to spend the day with her. They plant flowers in the garden, share a special lunch, and enjoy a favorite movie. Together-time has never been so sweet. Just right for Mother’s Day! My …

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17. May News: Earth Day, Featured Blog and Mother’s Day


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Vagabonds by Darcy Pattison

Vagabonds

by Darcy Pattison

Giveaway ends May 09, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

This is a newsy post for May:

Celebrating Earth Day

Authors for Earth Day

Authors for Earth Day.




This week, I did a couple school visits to celebrate Earth Day, as part of the Authors For Earth Day program. Yes, it was after Earth Day, but it was the only time we could schedule it.

Darcy Pattison

Darcy Pattison presenting at Gibbs Magnet Elementary School, Little Rock School District, as part of her participation in Authors For Earth Day.



Darcy Pattison

Darcy Pattison signing books at Authors For Earth Day event.


Student holding Abayomi.

Student at Gibbs Elementary holding my book, ABAYOMI.



Fiction Notes: Featured SCBWI Blog for May/June

I’ve been notified that Fiction Notes will be one of the featured blogs on the SCBWI home page for the next two months. They choose about nine blogs to highlight and rotate them six times a year. I am surprised, but pleased to be included. I was the Arkansas SCBWI Regional Advisor for six years and Conference Director for 10–it’s an organization that has meant a lot to me.

Mother’s Day

Are you active on Pinterest? Here’s a new possibility for promoting your content. Pinterest has announced a Mother’s Day Inspiration Challenge.

“Create a public Pinterest board with your favorite mom memories and the things ‘mom used to make.’”
If you want to join the fun, the deadline is May 7.

The challenge is always how to take someone else’s writing/publishing prompt and make it your own! Here’s my Mother’s Day Pinterest Board, where you’ll see a couple photos of my mom and my tribute to her–plus a few classic books, of course.

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18. Magical Moments for Mum – Mother’s Day Reviews

Dear Mums, whether you begin it with burnt offerings and flowers in bed or embark on a 24 respite from the usual onslaught of bickering and demands, you are celebrating Mothers’ Day because you are part of one of the most magical clubs in the world. The following assortment of picture books, all out now, encapsulates that magic. They are in equal parts cute, absorbing, whimsical and funny.

 

How I love youYoung children under five are well catered for. How I Love You by Anna Pignataro (Scholastic Press, March 2014) oozes tenderness and charm. What it lacks in narrative depth is more than compensated for by the understated beauty of Pignataro’s glorious illustrations. Children will enjoy mimicking the high-lighted prose as they visit a diverse collection of Aussie animals at bedtime, each revealing by their actions just how they love their mummies. Sweet and perfect for bedtime togetherness.
Mummy You're Special to MeSimilar in design and content is Laine Mitchell’s and Kim Fleming’s, Mummy, You’re Special To Me. (Scholastic Australia, April 2014). Again this is less of a story and more of an exploration of the divine diversity and uniqueness of mummies all over the planet.
Little Giraffe thinks his mummy is super special because she’s ‘kind’ and ‘strong as a knight’. As he navigates through life, he discovers a universe of other mummies each with their own special qualities. My favourite encounter was sipping tea with Little Camel’s hip and groovy Gran.
Some of Mitchell’s rhyming verse felt a little off key at times but Fleming’s adorable, multi-technique illustrations were special enough to send me right back to the beginning to enjoy it all over again.

Hootie the CutieHootie the Cutie (New Frontier Publishing, April 2014) by Michelle Worthington and fresh newcomer to the children’s book scene, illustrator Giuseppe Poli, could as easily be enjoyed by dads and grandparents but deserves special mention here, because what mum does not welcome a little dragon magic in her day?
Worthington weaves a winsome, whimsical woodland tale about an owl, small in stature but large in heart and spirit, and brave beyond all measure as it turns out. Poli completes the very pleasing tapestry with illustrations that will enchant the pants off you.
Hootie the Cutie reminds us that sometimes loving (our children) is about allowing for growth and going while simultaneously showing pre-primary aged children that independent thought and actions are qualities that can shape and strengthen who you really are. Highly commendable.
Jam for NanaNanas are high-profiling a lot these days and little wonder when grandparents make up the highest proportion of informal childcare in Australia according to (AIFS)* statistics; so Deborah Kelly’s and Lisa Stewart’s, Jam for Nana (Random House Australia, April 2014) is destined to be a generational crowd pleaser.

This picture book delights on many levels; from its dustcover-covered, recipe-book shape and size to its comforting unrushed rhythm and wholesome narrative. It is a book you’ll want to treasure, or at least share with your little one and their significant grandparent. Told from a little girl’s point of view, it highlights the special bond between her and her grandmother and centres on her desire to recreate ‘real jam’ for her nana.
It reminded me of a time in my childhood when backyard apricots tasted like ‘the warmth of a hundred summers’ too and life was full of substance so pure and thick and wonderful, you could ‘hold it upside down and shake it’. Stewart’s divine illustrations and Kelly’s shared pancake ritual make this one very special picture book.
Nurturing and snuggling are all well and good but bringing a smile to mum’s face is perhaps the best thing you can give her. My Mum says the Strangest Things, (Black Dog Books, April 2014), is guaranteed to have her LOL in no time flat. In fact, I can barely get through it (with my Miss 8) without crippling waves of laughter washing over me.
ThMy Says the Strangest Thingse Katrina Germein and Tom Jellet team that gave us My Dad Thinks he’s Funny and My Dad Still Thinks he’s Funny, train their humorous cross-hairs on mum’s idiosyncratic refrains this time, with deadly accuracy. For adult readers, the sweet irony of mum’s idiomatic expressions is difficult to ignore and impossible not to relate to: ‘when mum’s tired she says everyone needs an early night.’ Love, love, love it! There is something here for every member of the family. Older primary aged kids will be rolling their eyes and trying not to laugh. You’ll be taking stock of the next ‘strange thing’ that falls out of your mouth.

 

So, however you end up spending Mothers’ Day, make sure you take a moment or two to share it with the little people who gave you the reason to read picture books again in the first place (and linger longer in bed for at least one day of the year). Happy Mothers’ Day!

* AIFS.gov.au viewed Feb 2014.

 

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19. Spring Planting


An Unremarkable Square of Dirt
by Anika Denise (Copyright, 2014)

The first days in my garden remind me of my mother. On Mother's Day, we'd plant the flower bed at the front of her house--a small, unremarkable square of dirt just to the right of her front door; but to us, it seemed a grand garden. It was the first place she'd lived after moving out of New York, and it had a flower bed that needed flowers.

Busy hands allow my mind to wander. As I sift through soil with my fingers, I remember a conversation we had when I was seven years old. "Mom, what will I be when I grow up--will I be a mom with lots of kids, or a lady who goes to work every day like you?" I asked. I think you'll do it all," was her answer.

I wish she'd told me it would not be always be a perfect balance.

I pull weeds from between the iris bulbs and listen to sound of my breathing. Now my mind travels to when my first daughter was born, red-faced and howling, tiny fists clenched. I remember how she didn't stop crying for three months. And how tired I was. I remember how often I fell short of doing it all.

I rake the bed, evening the soil, and and part a tiny space to place the plants.

I am wiser now, after child number three. I know that all is a fantasy, and it's okay to settle for some.

I wonder, Am I doing a good job? Does she think I'm a good mom?

And then I remember the unremarkable square of dirt by my mother's front door, and how now, in this moment, there is a flower bed that need flowers.


I'll be joining a cast of thirteen remarkable women this Saturday, May 10th, at the RISD Auditorium for Listen To Your Mother, Providence. Tickets for the show can be purchased online here.  If you are in the area, I hope you'll come.

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20. My Favorite Fictional Mother

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day, Mrs. Weasley!

Mother’s Day is May 11 this year, and in addition to all the wonderful women who have “mothered” me in my life, I would also like to send a tribute to my favorite fictional mother, Mrs. Molly Weasley.

Julie Walters as Molly Weasley

Quote by J.K. Rowling from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Photo courtesy Warner Bros.

Julie Walters as Molly Weasley

Quote by J.K. Rowling from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Photo courtesy Warner Bros.

Who could forget this infamous howler she sent Ron in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

? Who is your favorite fictional mother? Let us know in the Comments. And don’t forget to do something nice for your mother this weekend!

image from kids.scholastic.com— Sonja, STACKS Staffer

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21. A Mother’s Day reading list from Oxford World’s Classics

By Kirsty Doole


As Mother’s Day approaches in the United States, we decided to reflect on some of the mothers to be found between the pages of some of our classic books.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Mrs Bennet is surely one of the best-known mothers in English literature. She has five girls to raise, and is determined to make sure they marry well.  So, in one memorable scene when Elizabeth turns down a proposal from the perfectly respectable Mr Collins, she is beside herself and goes straight to her husband to make sure he demands that their daughter change her mind. However, it doesn’t go quite to plan:

‘Come here, child,’ cried her father as she appeared. ‘I have sent for you on an affair of importance. I understand that Mr Collins has made you an offer of marriage. Is it true?’ Elizabeth replied that it was. ‘Very well–and this offer of marriage you have refused?’

‘I have, sir.’

‘Very well. We now come to the point. Your mother insists upon your accepting it. Is it not so, Mrs Bennet?’

‘Yes, or I will never see her again.’

‘An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.’

Elizabeth could not but smile at such a conclusion of such a beginning, but Mrs Bennet, who had persuaded herself that her husband regarded the affair as she wished, was excessively disappointed.

Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott

Mrs March – or Marmee, as she is affectionately known by her daughters – is basically the perfect mother. She works, she helps charity, she contributes to the war effort, all at the same time as being a loving mother to her girls, not to mention keeping the house looking beautiful. She is strongly principled, supported by her rock-steady faith, and despite at one point admitting that she used to have a bit of a temper, never appears to be angry. Most strikingly for the time at which it was written, though, she ensures that her daughters get an education, and encourages them to make decisions for herself, rather than marrying at the earliest opportunity.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Hamlet and his Mother by Eugene Delacroix

Hamlet and his Mother by Eugene Delacroix

Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, causes deep resentment in her son when she swiftly married his uncle Claudius after the death of Hamlet’s father. However, despite the fact that Hamlet sees her as a living example of the weakness of women, she continues to watch over him with affection and concern. The relationship between Hamlet and Gertrude has been the subject of much academic debate. One famous reading of the relationship was by the psychoanalyst Ernest Jones, who in the 1940s published a collection of essays on what he saw as Hamlet’s Oedipal impulses.

The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

In The Yellow Wall-Paper our narrator is a young mother suffering from depression. In a controversial course of treatment she is separated from her son and denied the opportunity to even read or write. She is forced to spend her time locked in a bedroom covered in yellow wallpaper, in which she starts to see a figure moving as her madness tragically develops.

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Mrs Jellyby might be a relatively minor character in Dickens’ mammoth novel, but she is definitely memorable.  She has a husband and several children – most notably her daughter Caddy – but devotes her time to Africa’s needy. She spends all day writing letters and arguing for their cause, but all the time forgetting the saying “charity begins at home” and is blind to the fact that her own family is suffering badly from neglect.

Esther Waters by George Moore

Esther Waters is a young, working-class woman with strong religious beliefs who takes up a job as a kitchen-maid. She is seduced and abandoned, and forced to support herself and her illegitimate child in any way that she can. The novel depicts with extraordinary candour Esther’s struggles against prejudice and injustice, and the growth of her character as she determines to protect her son. James Joyce even called Esther Waters ‘the best novel of modern English life’.

Kirsty Doole is Publicity Manager for Oxford World’s Classics.

For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more. You can follow Oxford World’s Classics on Twitter, Facebook, or here on the OUPblog. Subscribe to only Oxford World’s Classics articles on the OUPblog via email or RSS.

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Image credit: Hamlet and his Mother by Eugene Delacrois. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The post A Mother’s Day reading list from Oxford World’s Classics appeared first on OUPblog.

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22. Even gorillas need moms: A Mother’s Day tribute!

A Mom for Umande

By Maria Faulconer; illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung

 

Remember the 1960 non-fiction book by Joy Adamson called Born Free? It recalled the rescue of a motherless lion cub christened Elsa, by Joy and her husband, George. They raised the cub as their own, eventually releasing it into the Kenyan wilderness. The New York Times called it “a fascinating and remarkable book.” It also became a great motion picture in 1966 with the same name. And as Mother’s Day approaches, that event reminded me of a great picture book called A Mom for Umande. Umande is a sweet picture book about a newborn gorilla with a name in Swahili that means “swirling mists” by the way. And his is a real story of finding a mom.

Motherhood takes a very special skill set. It’s made up of compassion, insight, self-sacrifice, doctoring skills, and a host of others that are learned along the way. Thank goodness, there are mothers that are made and not born in the usual sense of the word. These are the women and yes, even men, that have an innate feeling for what is needed by a particular child that may not be their own by birth, but is in need of nurturing just the same. All of us have the desire to be mothered a bit, whether man or animal. And in the case of Elsa, the lioness in Born Free, the reader discovers that some bonds are made and not born through birth!

The same holds true in the real-life case of Umande featuring a great picture book about a young gorilla whose mom, Kwisha does NOT have the skill set to mother him. Enter an interim group of human mothers that step in at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colorado until the real thing comes along!

For a period of eight months, these zookeepers stepped in for Umande’s mom. Just how do you teach a gorilla to WALK without mom around to give instruction? Why you simply crawl around on the ground with him. Discipline? It’s easy enough to do if you cough in his face as a correction. And as for encouragement, you need only mimic some happy gorilla-like grumbling sounds! Remember that skill set for mothering that I mentioned? The “will to love” is an important part of it since the learning curve can be pretty steep some time! Kids will get a new appreciation for what these substitute Umande moms commit to as they teach him what it is to be a gorilla, 24/7! Talk about compassionate care! Susan Kathleen Hartung’s illustrations bring the cuddly Umande to life as his small cries seem to say, “Will you hold me?” She has complemented Umande’s journey perfectly with art that serves as a great vehicle to share his real life story.

The zookeepers can eventually see that something is missing for Umande. And as they seek a gorilla mom for him, your young reader will meet Kwisha who may still be in the running, but fits the bill as playmate, but not a mom. Even Umande’s dad, Rafiki, has too many other concerns to occupy him.

How does Umande find a mom a thousand miles away via a plane ride to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium? It’s a picture book trip worth taking along with Umande and your young reader.

In the Author’s Note at the end of the book, Maria Faulconer shares the genesis of this book as she read a newspaper clipping about Umande. Since she is an adoptive mom herself, it was a book she felt she had to write.

Motherhood is a true calling. And so, to all the moms out there who shape and serve as anchors for us each day of our lives, Happy Mother’s Day! One day set aside for thanks each year doesn’t seem half enough.

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23. Celebrating Mothers and Diversity

Happy Mother’s Day! Did you enjoy celebrating Día ? Don’t forget to share any pictures that you might have taken. I hope that you had a wonderful time observing Día at your library with local families and friends. Now that April 30th has come and gone, don’t think your opportunity to incorporate diversity into your programming and collection has passed! Día celebrates children and books while also encouraging families and children to connect with multicultural books, cultures and languages. To honor the special ladies we all treasure today, I’ve put together some of my favorite books about mothers that can expose children to different cultures and languages.

Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse (Chronicle Books, 1998) is a great choice for a multicultural Mother’s Day read. This story tells of an Inuit mother and daughter and is set in the majestic wilderness of Alaska. The child seeks to find out whether her mother will love her no matter what she does. Children will learn about the native creatures of Alaska as the child imagines herself as a polar bear and musk ox.  Preschoolers will be delighted with Lavallee’s artwork depicting mother and daughter clad in Inuit garb. A Canadian historian even assisted in checking the manuscript to assure that the Inuit culture was portrayed accurately in this book.

Image courtesy of Chronicle Books.

Image courtesy of Chronicle Books.

Kindergarteners will enjoy My Mom is a Foreigner, But Not to Me by Julianne Moore (Chronicle Books, 2013). This is a lovely picture book that explores the feelings some children may have when they have a parent from another country. Children can learn how to say, “I love you, Mom!” in a variety of languages such as German and French. So’s beautiful illustrations exhibit various ethnic clothing and foods.

For the remarkable grandmothers in your life, read All About Grandmas by Roni Schotter (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2012). This charming book looks at grandmas of all shapes, sizes and colors! Children can learn how to say “grandma” in 50 languages thanks to a convenient list in the front of the book. Grandchildren will love reading this with their Lola (Philippine dialect) , Farmor (Swedish) or Oma (German).

Image courtesy of Vanita Books.

Image courtesy of Vanita Books.

My final selection for Mother’s Day, A Tale of Two Mommies by Vanita Oelschlager (Vanita Books, 2011), follows a young boy at the beach as he discusses his two mothers with his friends. This is a fun choice for any same-sex couples who may have children with questions about their non-traditional family dynamic, as it shows that they are really not that different from other families at all.

What are some of your favorite titles to share on Mother’s Day?

______________________________________________________________

Nicole Lee Martin is a Children’s Librarian at the Grafton-Midview Public Library in Grafton, OH and is writing this post for the Public Awareness Committee. You can reach her at nicolemartin@oplin.org.

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24. Happy Mother’s Day: Honoring the Mothers and Grandmothers in Our Lives

Today is Mother’s Day, a time when we tend to think happy thoughts about our mothers or other maternal figures in our lives. We might buy them cards and presents, or take them out to eat. There’s no right way to celebrate it, but we each have our own special ways or traditions.

anna jarvis

Anna Jarvis

While most people think of Mother’s Day as a joyous day, the founder of the holiday, Anna Jarvis would probably think we’re celebrating it all wrong. Jarvis originally created Mother’s Day as a way to honor her own mother after she died. She worked to get several states to recognize it as a holiday. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson declared that the second Sunday of every May would be Mother’s Day.  It was a day to honor your own mother, not mothers in general. Prior to this, Jarvis, who was a peace activist and cared for wounded soldiers during the Civil War, tried to create Mother’s Day to honor women who had lost sons during the Civil War.  When Hallmark and other card companies latched onto the holiday, it became greatly commercialized, much to the chagrin of Jarvis.

Anna Jarvis spent the rest of her life fighting against the commercialization of Mother’s Day.

Despite this, we still believe that Mother’s Day is a wonderful way to show your mothers and grandmothers that they hold a special place in your heart!

Here are five titles we’ve rounded up that celebrate mothers and grandmothers:

  1. Abuela’s WeaveA girl in Guatemala learns about family tradition and trust from her grandmother.
  2. Goldfish and Chrysanthemums: A Chinese American girl helps preserve her grandmother’s childhood memories of China by creating a special garden for her in America.
  3. Love to MamáThirteen Latino poets celebrate their bonds with their mothers and grandmothers.
  4. Love Twelve Miles Long: Frederick’s mother walks twelve miles each way for a nighttime visit with her son, during which she recounts what each mile of the journey represents. Based on facts from the life of Frederick Douglass.
  5. Raymond’s Perfect Present: A Chinese American boy receives a nice surprise of his own when he tries to surprise his mother with flowers that he grew.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

love to mama

Image from Love to Mamá


Filed under: Holidays, Musings & Ponderings Tagged: grandmothers, History, mother's day, Mothers

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25. No Love Like A Mother's Love by Jill Lemming



There is no love, like a mother's love,
no stronger bond on earth...
like the precious bond that comes from God,
to a mother, when she gives birth.

A mother's love is forever strong,
never changing for all time...
and when her children need her most,
a mother's love will shine.

God bless these special mothers,
God bless them every one...
for all the tears and heartache,
and for the special work they've done.

When her days on Earth are over,
a mother's love lives on...
through many generations,
with God's blessings on each one.

Be thankful for our mothers,
for they love with a higher love...
from the power of God has given,
and the strength from up above.

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