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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: David Small, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. What happened at ALA Anaheim 2012 - Part deux

So last week I shared a bit about my experience at ALA. Here is the rest of the dirt. This time no pictures of me (possibly), just fawning over famous-er and hugely (brilliantly) talented people (and therefore this post will get lots of hits).

Seriously.

It was like Wonderland (or WondLa- land, but I didn't get to see Tony DiTerlizzi). A famous face at every turn. Fun to say hi, to have a chance conversation, to meet a hero and be inspired. Here are some inspiring moments and inspiring people ...



The charming, enchanting and legendary Ashley Bryan, signing his book 'Word's to My Life's Song'.
If you haven't read it yet, GO get it.

Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life's Song


 And then I got to sign my book for Ashley when he dropped by Charlesbridge Booth! A-MAZ-ING. 
A hug from Mr. Bryan can keep you warm and inspired a long time, let me tell you.


Here is the wonderful David Small. I love David's work .. his loose and yet controlled line work is so awesome. He's signing 'One Cool Friend' by Toni Buzzeo of MAINE. So I had to get a copy ....


LUUURRRRVVV this drawing he did!!!
One Cool Friend 4 Comments on What happened at ALA Anaheim 2012 - Part deux, last added: 7/10/2012
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2. Top 100 Picture Books #51: The Library by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small

#51 The Library by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small (1995)
37 points

All my favorite things—stacks of books and bookshelves of books and libraries full of books! – Ellen L. Ramsay

This is my daughter. This is me. We don’t care about dances, or even doing our chores other than haphazardly, it is all about the books. And in the end, we find that kindred spirit who shares our same tastes and we spend our time together drinking tea and reading books. What a life! - Christine Kelly

When I read this book long ago (the publication date says 1995 so maybe not THAT long ago) I was a bit disturbed by this title.  A 20-something year old will be.  I mean, it’s about someone who spends the best hours of their life reading.  But as I got older I came to understand the Elizabeth Browns of the world.  This is one of those picks that appeals particularly to the librarians and booksellers of the world.

The description from my Amazon review reads, “Our heroine is Elizabeth Brown and our heroine’s method of entering the story is to fall from the sky into her mother’s outstretched laundry linen. Says the text, ‘Elizabeth Brown/ Entered the world/ Dropping straight down from the sky/ Elizabeth Brown/ Entered the world/ Skinny, nearsighted, and shy.’ From the beginning the girl is an avid reader. With her constant companions at her side (a stuffed teddy bear and a continually serene housecat) we watch as Elizabeth Brown goes to school and breaks her own bunk bed with the weight of her books. She lends them to friends and eschews the lure of the opposite sex. Older still, she starts tutoring and lives on her own, reading all the while. Then one day there’s no denying it any longer. ‘She had to face the awful fact.’ There are just too many books in the house. Without further ado her house becomes a library and she moves in with a female friend. To the end of their days they continue to read, ‘And turned page… after page… after page’.”

Once again I’d like to mention that this fall we’ll be seeing a whole new David Small / Sarah Stewart collaboration.  I’ve seen bits of it and all I can say is that it will KNOCK your friggin’ socks off.  That is all.

School Library Journal (which is to say, Trev Jones) said of it, “This is a funny, heartwarming story about a quirky woman with a not-so-peculiar obsession. Cheers for Elizabeth Brown, a true patron of the arts.”

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3. Through the Looking Glass

That's what going to LA SCBWI Summer Conference feels like. Wandering into a fantasy world populated by fantastical authors and illustrators, new friends of all nationalities, heads on sticks and, um, fighting monkeys.

Let me explain:
Fantastical authors - Gary Paulsen, Bruce Colville, Judy Blume to mention a few. That fantastic enough for you?
Fantastical illustrators - Paul O' Zelinsky, Richard Jesse Watson, Denise Fleming, David Small, Kadir Nelson, Marla Frazee, Jerry Pinkney. Amazing.

Someone said to me that being at the LA conference was a lot like speed dating, and you know it sums it up. Awesome people everywhere you turned and so little time before rushing off to the next great breakout session.

Did I learn a lot? Yes. Did I make new contacts? Yes. Did I have a good time ... er, yes :-)

The heads on sticks and fighting monkeys will be explained by the following photos ...


With the awesome Debbie Ohi


the Pixel Shaving's Gang (see heads on sticks)
Fred Koehler, Sheri Barnes, Moi, Debbie Ohi, Russ Cox



Fred and Russ hangout with the famous Emma Dryden



Lin Oliver interviews Judy Blume

V
View from our hotel window.
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4. On Traveling Libraries and Heroic ‘Book People’: Inspiring children’s books about getting books to people in remote places and difficult circumstances

Abigail Sawyer regularly reviews books for us here at PaperTigers, and she’s also, in her own words, “a lifelong library lover and an advocate for access to books for all”, so who better to write an article for us about “unconventional libraries” and the children’s books they have inspired. Abigail lives in San Francisco, California, USA, where her two children attend a language-immersion elementary school and are becoming bilingual in English and Mandarin: an experience that has informed her work on the blog for the film Speaking in Tongues. I know you’ll enjoy reading this as much as I have.

On Traveling Libraries and Heroic ‘Book People’: Inspiring children’s books about getting books to people in remote places and difficult circumstances

My sons and I paid our first-ever visit to a bookmobile over the summer.  For us it was a novelty.  We have shelves of books at home and live just 3 blocks from our local branch library, but the brightly colored bus had pulled up right near the playground we were visiting in another San Francisco neighborhood (whose branch library was under renovation), and it was simply too irresistible.  Inside, this library on wheels was cozy, comfortable, and loaded with more books than I would have thought possible.  I urged my boys to practice restraint and choose only one book each rather than compete to reach the limit of how many books one can take out of the San Francisco Public Library system (the answer is 50; we’ve done it at least once).

The bookmobiles provide a great service even in our densely populated city where branch libraries abound.  There are other mobile libraries, however, that take books to children who may live miles from even the nearest modern road; to children who live on remote islands, in the sparsely populated and frigid north, in temporary settlements in vast deserts, and in refugee camps.  The heroic individuals who manage these libraries on boats, burros, vans, and camels provide children and the others they serve with a window on the world and a path into their own imaginations that would otherwise be impossible.

Shortly after my own bookmobile experience, Jeanette Winter‘s Biblioburro (Beach Lane Books, 2010), a tribute to Colombian schoolteacher Luis Soriano, who delivers books to remote hillside villages across rural Colombia, arrived in my mailbox to be reviewed for Paper Tigers.  I loved this book, as I do most of Winter’s work, for its bright pictures and simple, straightforward storytelling. Another picture book, Waiting for the Bibiloburro by Monica Brown (Tricycle Press, 2011), tells the story of Soriano’s famous project from the perspective of one of the children it

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5. Digital Anthology Raises Money for Joplin Schools Tornado Relief Fund

A group of authors have teamed up for the Writing Off Script: Writers on the Influence of Cinema digital anthology, a book of essays raising money for the Joplin Schools Tornado Relief Fund.

The authors (listed below) will write essays on how movies have influenced their work. Follow this link to read an essay from the collection. Cynthia Hawkins will edit the anthology and Simon Smithson of Calavera Books will publish it on December 1st.

Here’s more about the fundraiser: “[Proceeds] will go to the Joplin Eagles Television 14 Program through the Joplin Schools Tornado Relief Fund. The JET 14 Program instructs 160 students each school year in the fundamentals of film production and broadcasting. During the F-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on May 22, 2011, 54% of Joplin’s students lived in the path of the tornado, eight schools including the city’s high school were destroyed or significantly damaged, and one teacher and seven students were killed.”

continued…

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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6. Top 100 Picture Books #92: The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small

#92 The Gardener by Sarah Steward, illustrated by David Small (1997)
21 points

Written as a series of letters, this book shows the beauty of nature and the importance of hard work. Also a great read for adults, especially those who remember and were effected by the Great Depression. – Gina Detate

Previously the book was #94 on the list and like Where Is the Green Sheep? it hasn’t deviated much from its original spot.  This is one of those books that have lasted as long as they have thanks to their superior husband and wife teamwork.  I am therefore very pleased to announce that we will be seeing yet another David Small/Sarah Stewart collaboration published from Macmillan (I believe) this coming fall.

If this poll is good for nothing else, it’s very useful in terms of me digging up my old reviews.  Here’s a description I found in a review that I wrote for Amazon back in 2004: “The year: 1935, and Lydia Grace Finch is being sent from the country to go live with her Uncle Jim in the city. Lydia Grace faces this challenge with resolve and a little sadness. After all, she is leaving her family behind and the effects of the Great Depression having taken their toll. The city is a gray dirty place and Uncle Jim is kind but he never smiles. Soon it’s Spring again and Lydia has found a place to call her own (the building’s abandoned roof). Her number one goal is to get Uncle Jim to smile, and she’s fairly certain that the answer to this problem is just around the corner.”

I’ve heard more than one person tell me that of all the Sarah Stewart/David Small pairings out there, this one is their favorite.  I may have to agree.  Truly, though, it was put best by Anita Silvey who said of the title, “When this book appeared in 1997, I thought it a wonderful re-creation of the Depression Era for children. Now it seems to me an even more important book. With children who might well identify with a parent out of work or having little money, the book speaks to the true American can-do spirit. Make beauty where none exists; plant victory gardens; transform useless landscapes into those that produce food and joy; reuse and recycle. The Gardener can be used to talk about all of these contemporary issues. It continues to send its readers off to find that “bit of earth,” whether in vacant lots, window boxes, or well-laid-out garden beds.”

Publishers Weekly said, “This inspiring offering from creative collaborators (The Library) gets much of its vitality from what it leaves unsaid.”

Said SLJ, “This is a story to share one-on-one, talking about the pictures together and then poring over the details alone.”

  • Aw.
  • Read Anita Silvey’s Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac piece here.

0 Comments on Top 100 Picture Books #92: The Gardener by Sarah Stewart, illustrated by David Small as of 5/16/2012 12:39:00 AM
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7. Stitches Review

Stitches: A Memoir David Small

This graphic novel memoir tells of David Small's early life, how he was often sick and how the treatment at the time-- frequent sinus x-rays, ended up giving him throat cancer, robbing him of his voice. Moreover, it's a look at parents who didn't love each other, and a mother that didn't love him.

What I wanted more of was his story of emotional and mental recovery. The bulk of the book is devoted to his awful childhood, and the end rushes through the explanation of how he overcame that. There's a brief paragraph at the end, where he relates information about his mother that he learned later in life that allows him to be more sympathetic to her. I wanted more of that shown in the book, not just as a note in the back matter. I'm much more interested in stories of overcoming adversity, not stories of a crappy life. Small fulfilled his dreams of becoming an illustrator, but we're not shown or told how. I'm inclined to agree with Tyler Cowen, who says "This much-heralded story of a sick child, mistreated by his parents, struck me as professionally done but pointless."

But, oh, it is so beautifully done. I (think) it's watercolor and pencil, all shades of gray. Here's a (rather low-quality) picture of my favorite panel, showing Small's isolation after the removal of the tumor leaves him voiceless:



It was the art that wouldn't let me put it down.


Book Provided by... my local library

Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

2 Comments on Stitches Review, last added: 1/23/2010
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8. Stitches


Stitches: A Memoir by David Small. W.W. Norton & Co. 2009.

About: David Small's childhood. As a young boy, he senses the unhappiness and secrets around him. At fourteen, he has an operation to remove a cyst. The aftermath involves scars and loss of voice. And loss of innocence, what is left, when he later discovers that the repeat X-rays given him by his radiologist father to cure various ailments caused the cancer.

The Good: In an interview with David Small at Smith, Small says "Ours may be the last generation to carry on the traditions of selfish, silent, confused and confusing behavior in our family."

The reader is introduced to the secrets of the Small family as six year old David visits his Grandmother. First we hear of her tough life; we meet her and find out she's not a sweet Grandma. Why are such secrets kept? Such silent pacts maintained? Fear? Shame? Or is it a twisted selfishness, because it seems easier to keep those secrets?

The ultimate combination of secrets and silence is the surgery on Small, for cancer, though its a year before he's told this. Literally silenced by the surgery (and accordingly silenced by his father, as it's the radiation treatments from the father that causes the cancer), Small has no avenue for his anger. Anger at his surgery and physical limitations, and anger at a mother who takes her unhappiness out in silence and slammed doors, and anger at a father who disappears into work and office. Scarred by their inactions and words, literally carrying the scar on his body.

Small is sent to boarding school and runs away; psychiatric help is advised, and, reluctantly and angrily his parents send him. It turns out to be the single best thing they ever done for their son, because it saves him.

At the end, even though Small has survived, and found art, and made a life for himself, there is a profound sense of sadness. Sadness for the child and teen David, who was failed by his family. Sadness for his mother, whose own mother was clearly mentally ill, who had ongoing physical problems from a birth defect (her heart was literally in the wrong place), who is a closeted lesbian. Sadness for his father, who did not mean to harm his child, yet almost caused his death; stuck in a marriage that will never bring happiness. As for Small's brother, he is practically a ghost in this book, not really present. Perhaps that is how Small felt as a child; or perhaps it is because this is a memoir, not an autobiography, and Small feels it's not his place to tell his brother's story.

While there is sadness for his parents... never does my pity trump the simple fact that both these adults failed their child. Failed in the lies they kept, and the silences, which in turn created a life and home with no emotional safety. Others can go into the art of this book better than I; but for me, part of the reason this story is so devastating and intimate is that it is told with pictures more than words.

What else? I love the idea of young David putting a yellow to

1 Comments on Stitches, last added: 3/10/2010
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9. Thank You, David Small


One of the first entries I wrote for this blog was about reading Philip Isaacson’s Round Buildings, Square Buildings, and Buildings that Wiggled like a Fish long ago—how its beauty and complexity blew me away and made me realize that nonfiction for kids could be an art form and I wanted to try writing it. http://inkrethink.blogspot.com/2008/05/book-that-started-it-all-for-me.html

When Stitches was nominated for a National Book Award in the kids category, I figured I should read it. I had read a few graphic novels before, some okay, some very good, but they didn’t change my reading habits much. No aspersions cast, there are many types of books I don’t read much.

Stitches had me at hello. I would love to say it was literary merit alone, but it was actually because Small's first spread had a single word on it—DETROIT. I live in Boston now, but come from Detroit and have very strong feelings about it.

His second spread had a panel with a row of postwar houses built for returning GIs—one of them looked exactly my childhood house. As subsequent panels slowly drew us toward and inside his home, I noticed his address was 19458. Mine was 18073. As a nonfiction writer, it didn’t take long for me to find out that Small had lived on Pinehurst, not my street, Sorrento. Nevertheless, the hook was set.

It was Small’s story and how he told it that reeled me in, though. Especially that amazing interplay between word and image, where pictures are telling the story, then language carries the narrative baton for a little while, only to pass it off to an image where emotion and action are so perfectly aligned that it takes you someplace else entirely. I was trying to explain this to a friend and she said, “Like a picture is worth a thousand words, basically?” “No,” I answered. “Like the picture does something no words could do.” Examples in this book—pp 62-63, 174, and 250 for starters.

This is not a new insight. Millions (multi-millions) have always known it and I guess I did to. But there’s a difference between knowing something and feeling the one-two punch of its impact, especially within the context of a story. Thank you, David Small, for whacking me over the head.

2 Comments on Thank You, David Small, last added: 3/15/2010
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10. Dept. of Illustrators I Love

So You Want to be a Great
Children's Illustrator

An interview with David Small.

(Via Fans of SCBWI on Facebook.)

2 Comments on Dept. of Illustrators I Love, last added: 9/2/2010
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11. Looking for a funny picture book?

Imogene’s Antlers

written and illustrated by David Small.
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers/Random House
ISBN-13: 978-0375810480

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Looking for a funny, laugh-out-loud picture book? Check out Imogene’s Antlers by David Small. It is SO funny, and has beautiful illustrations! It’s written and illustrated by David Small.

The story goes into fantasy–a little girl, Imogene, wakes up one morning with antlers. At first she encounters some problems (getting dressed, getting out the door), but then she also discovers some fun–hanging donuts off the antlers, feeding birds that way, having her mother faint. Imogene clearly enjoys her new experience. I think kids will delight in the adults’ reactions–her mother fainting away (twice), the principal getting bugged, the doctor unable to find anything wrong.

The text is beautiful–just enough to tell the story, but not overdoing it. Short sentences that tell us so much. I wish more writers wrote like this. And the illustrations! They are gorgeous–so full of life, light-hearted and happy, fun and funny.

The ending is also a delight–when it appears that the next morning, Imogene has been “cured”–only to see that she’s got a huge peacock’s tail attached. This is a funny, feel-good book. It’s one of those books I think both children and adults will enjoy.

I highly recommend it.

source: review copy from the publisher, in exchange for an *honest* review. (I do not review books I don’t like.)

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12. The Story of First Book

A collection of our favorite authors and illustrators sat down to help us tell the story of First Book:

The Story of First Book from First Book on Vimeo.

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13. David Small Keynote - The Voice of the Eye

It's a great morning. Donna Jo Napoli was up first, David Small is up now. If you haven't visited David's website, it is full of fantastic sketches from his travels and helpful links. For a hint at his demo on Monday and a quick interview, visit this post.

Besides visiting David's website, I would say PLEASE take a moment to read the posts about him on Julie Walker Danielson's Seven Impossible Things. Her review of STITCHES alone makes me tear up.

David shares this video with us:



It's pretty harrowing, be sure you've had your breakfast and a hug for the day.

David tells us making STITCHES was the therapy he couldn't get any other way.

David needed to find a way to bring his family back, to recreate and remember them to figure out if his adulthood nightmares, anxieties, and anger are rooted in his childhood or just chronic depression.

But as David is sketching and drawing and writing down his childhood memories, he comes to the conclusion:

"I had an unloving mother who wanted me dead. And I believe it's safer to keep expressions like that away from the body, and get them out through art or music..."

David is still reticent to talk about the making of STITCHES in public, so he's structured the rest of his talk about it as a Q&A.

Why the switch from picture books to an older audience/graphic novels?

David quotes Dante,  
Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Deciding he needed to drop all the metaphors in his life and start looking at REAL life, David wanted some good therapy, but:

"Out on the prairie, you don't have access to the perfect psychoanalyst, so I became that for myself... by writing and drawing this memoir... and I always expected myself to get over 'it.'"

What would you like readers of this book to know?

When all is said and done, STITCHES is a warning about families with wrong-headed tradition. A long conga line of people abusing their children who go on to abuse their children... David reads Philip Larkin's poem:



Though David now has a brighter view of life than Mr. Larkin, and he's stepped out of that conga line he mentions, it's still a daily struggle for David to be sure he's treating his loved ones the right way.

"So now, after being the downer of the morning, I will try to be the upper, too."

David shows us a video called UNCHAIN MY HEART. A rousing, hilarious animatic of a typical day on an author tour. While I STRONGLY OBJECT TO THE PORTRAYAL OF MEDIA ESCOR

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14. Sarah Stewart: writing up to children

Sarah Stewart
Sarah Stewart is the author of five picture books: The Money Tree, The Library, The Gardener, The Journey, and The Friend. David Small, her husband, illustrated each of them. Her next book, The Quiet Place, comes out in 2012.

If you don't remember anything else, Sarah said, remember these two quotes:
Whenever Flaubert was asked for the true identity of Madame Bovary, he would say, "C'est moi."

"If it doesn't come from deep inside of you, forget it," Sarah said. "It's not going to go across the world."

And then, E.B. White, when asked about writing to little children, said, "I write up to children. They are my most discerning audience." 
Children listen differently, Sarah told us. Much more honestly to one another and in their speech.

She exhorted us to leave the room if we weren't willing to go deep with our work: "The blank paper stares at me unblinking, unforgiving, daring me to write a meaningful line. If you're not prepared to fling yourself, body and soul into your writing for the rest of your lives, you should rise up and flee out of this room right now."

And she gave us three words to live by: expect, protect, and reject.

Expectation: By this, she means to expect a lot of yourself and expect a lot of your reader. Honor that desire to know in all of us, she said ... the insatiable curiosity in nearly every child. The openness that is so natural for the very young. At the same time, acknowledge the best in yourself. Be quiet. Search within your own unique experience. Take the time you need. Take the time that you and your writing deserve. Remember that only in long silences are we able to hear our most inner selves.

Expect to finish what you've started. "Small miracles can come from the simple act of finishing a story," she said.

Expect a lot of yourself and write up to the child with honesty.


Protection: She urged us to "Protect yourself from Internet invasion and family chaos and work stress in any way that does no harm to your relationships. Get up before everyone else. Ask for quiet time in the family when appropriate. If you work away from home, if you can, eat lunch occasionally and take notes. Eudora Welty said, 'Writing is a muscle. If you don't use it every day, it will let you down. It will diminish'."

Protect your brain. Eat well and exercise. You'll not only write better, you'll feel better. And when you're called up onstage to receive the award for your next book, you'll even look better.

Rejection: Reject the shallow connectedness of the web. Without being selfish or rude, give yourself and your own thoughts as much time as possible.

You do not have to be the most popular person ... to be a great writer. You have to write, and write some more, and then start again and write it better.

When you do send a story off and it gets rejected, remember that it's the story being rejected--and not you. And so put that story away. Let it rest. Don't look at it for months. Write another story. Get out from under that rejection.

Sarah read to us from three classic books (check them out for inspiration):
  • The Grinch by Dr. Seuss
  • Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  • The Crows of Pearblossom by Aldous Huxley
1 Comments on Sarah Stewart: writing up to children, last added: 8/7/2011
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15. Hiromi's Hands by Lynne Barasch


Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 30 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books (March 2007)

Whenever I go into a sushi restaurant, I always admire the art of sushi making and the dedication of the sushi chefs who so carefully practice their craft. I have not however, ever seen a female sushi chef, so when I received a copy of Hiromi's Hands, I was very eager to read it.


Told from the point of view of Hiromi, the story starts in Japan when her father was a young boy apprenticed to a sushi chef. After many years of training and practice, he gets the opportunity to be a sushi chef in the United States, where he settles, meets his wife, and has a daughter, Hiromi. Hiromi's father works very long hours, and when she gets older, she convinces her father to take her along to the fish market and then to his restaurant. Soon, she's a sushi chef in training and eventually becomes one of the first female sushi chefs in the United States.


Along the way we learn a little about Japanese culture and traditions as Hiromi attends Japanese school on the weekends. We also learn what hard work it takes to become a sushi chef. Lynne Barasch's ink and watercolor illustrations of yummy sushi make me hungry, but I would have liked to have seen real pictures of the Suzuki's, especially since Hiromi is a lifelong friend of Barasch's daughter.

Overall, this is a good book that many children will enjoy and would make a good choice for introducing Japanese culture and also introducing stories of successful women who dared to break the mold.

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16. Hiromi's Hands: Supplemental Learning Resources


There are a number of directions you can go with Hiromi's Hands,the true story of one of the first female sushi chefs in the United States (see my review here). I pulled together a few web resources that teach more about Japanese culture.





Japanese Poetry:

Japanese History and Geography:

Japanese Cuisine:

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17. David Small Over Breakfast

Check out the 7 Imp's "Seven Questions Over Breakfast with David Small." Be sure to take a look at David's studio photos. Just incredible! Hat tip to Kelly at the wonderful Big A little a blog.

1 Comments on David Small Over Breakfast, last added: 6/30/2008
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18.

Illustration by David Small from THAT BOOK WOMAN, by Heather Henson

The "Book Women" of Eastern Kentucky: W.P.A.'s Pack Horse Librarians (photo from the KDLA, WPA Photographic Collection)

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19. Rave Review: Stitches

I was not originally going to write a review of this book (and whether this post proves to be a critique or a rambling observation still remains to be seen,) but, having just put it down, I wanted to say something about it. I could have quickly tweeted--"Just read 'Stitches' by David Small. Wow!"--and anyone interested who saw the tweet would have no doubt commented. But that didn't seem fair

1 Comments on Rave Review: Stitches, last added: 9/19/2009
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20.

National Books Award Finalists Named (and I'm back from vacation)...

After a six days of vacation in New York, I was not excited about the prospect of weeding through my email inbox. (It was bursting.) After a few hours of wading through, I was rewarded with today's Publishers Lunch featuring the National Book Award finalists. In case you haven't seen the list, here are the 2009 National Books Awards Finalists for the Young People's Literature caegory:

Special shout out to Laini Taylor, who is a 2010 CWIM contributor along with her husband Jim Di Bartolo, illustrator of Lips Touch. (Check out his amazing cover art below along with the other NBA finalist books.)



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21. A National Book Award Nomination

 for David Small, and commentary from Colleen Mondor:
"The issue is not about it being a graphic novel but that it was published for adults ... "

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22. Three Cheers for Heather Henson’s That Book Woman!

That Book Woman

First Book and Simon & Schuster are cheering for Heather Henson’s book That Book Woman, recently chosen for the 2010 – 2011 Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List!

Last December, Simon & Schuster and First Book simultaneously released That Book Woman, a story about the 1930’s Pack Horse Librarians who carried books to children in the hard-to-reach Appalachian Mountains.  Illustrated by Caldecott award-winning illustrator, David Small, That Book Woman tells the story of a country-loving boy named Cal who lives in the hills and hollows of the Appalachian Mountains. He can plow.  He can take care of sheep.  He can do just about anything . . . . except . . . read.  That is until the Book Woman climbs the mountains in sun, rain, or snow, shining the spotlight on the power of books and turning Cal into a reader.

With a character as cool as Cal, and a story that is both touching and entertaining it is no wonder That Book Woman has made the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List. During the 2010 – 2011 school year, children across the state of Texas will read books on the Master List and vote for their favorite book.  The book with the most votes will receive the Texas Bluebonnet Award.  Previous winners include books by some of First Book’s favorite authors, such as Kate DiCamillo’s Because of Winn-Dixie and Jon Scieszka’s Math Curse.

This year, the Master List features books about fantasy, pirates, the deep seas, faraway and not-so faraway lands! The competition may be tight, and the race, close, but we will cross our fingers and hope our little Texan friends vote for That Book Woman to join the list of Texas Bluebonnet Award winners.

0 Comments on Three Cheers for Heather Henson’s That Book Woman! as of 1/1/1900
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23. Day 20 of the Golden Coffee Cup: Reveal

Welcome to another day of the Golden Coffee Cup. This is the two thirds mark. Snap! Snap! Snap! Are you feeling the euphoria?

No clue what a Golden Coffee Cup is? Click here.

Today's hard working high five comes from the very talented David Small.



His book Stitches is an oh-so brave story about David's basically disastrous childhood. Things were deeply mucked up for him in those years.

I get that. I get it so deeply. I'm not sure if I can be as brave as David about my life. I can wholly imagine how intensely personal it is creating a book that reveals the inside of your broken life. Stitches is an autobiographical graphic novel. It's about redemption and the eternal power of hope, a sure testament that from the ashes will rise vibrant life. Yeah, evil sucks, but good will rise. It's also about the refuge of art and the salvation it can bring to our lives. You might want to get a hold of this book. And also, somebody slap some shiny stickers on this one.

The challenge today is to reveal the world, your world. Whatever you have been holding back, the stuff you keep under cover and don't tell people about, let it loose. Distill your sliver of the universe and douse your pages with it. It will be the most painful and wonderful thing that you have ever done. Why not do it today.

Come back tomorrow for more hot coffee. The java will be here. Hope to see you.

The highest revelation is that God is in every man. Ralph Waldo Emerson

2 Comments on Day 20 of the Golden Coffee Cup: Reveal, last added: 12/5/2009
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24. Stitches

by David SmallNorton 2009This graphic memoir about the illustrator reinforces the stereotype of the suffering artist, but does a fine job doing so.Small recounts the major periods of his life that center around his having cancer as a child that developed to the point where he had to have glands in his neck and half his vocal chords removed. His father, a radiologist, and his emotionally closed

1 Comments on Stitches, last added: 1/15/2010
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