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Results 1 - 25 of 82
1. Ned & Rosco, by Robin Robinson | Dedicated Review

Ned is a book-smart turtle with a very introspective way of thinking. As Rosco cartwheels onto the scene singing a song, Ned’s long awaited moment of serenity is shattered and so begins the story’s true tale of accepting differences and finding a balance between learning and living.

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2. Imploding

The newest offering of the Defective Amish Detective is available now! You can get Vol 6: The Sausage Log Implosion on Kindle here: http://amz.to/11MckpP


I have to say this whole experience has been a lot of fun. When Giovanni approached me about this series, I was a little hesitant. I have always known him to have an outrageous sense of humor and I knew the Amish were handled with a great deal of respect. I did not know how we would blend the two.

What came out of it was a story with lots of heart and its own kind of zaniness. I think we manage to show the proper amount of respect to the Amish. Much of the slapstick falls on the Defective Detective, who is not Amish. What is he? Something of a repentant hitman. Both of our main characters have mysterious pasts that give them unique skills to handle the cozy mysteries we throw at them.

In the end, this series is about friendship and understanding. It is about two men coming from two different worlds and overcoming their differences to work together for the greater good. It is a pleasure to write and I hope you have as much fun reading it!

About The Sausage Log Implosion“Muck is Muck,” Eli the Blacksmith says.How does the Defective Detective go from having a near perfect day to one of the worst? Simple – someone stole his sausage log. Everyone has something in life that makes them happy. For G, it is the culinary delights of the Amish, including whoopie pies and sausage logs. When his favorite market is sold out, G wants to know why. The charming, but innocent, counter girl tells him that the butcher’s meat grinder has been stolen. When something goes awry in Amish Country, G can’t let it go. He joins his stalwart companion Eli and the two of them are on the case. They have two questions to answer. What happened to the meat grinder? And, how much muck is too much muck? This is one explosive implosion!

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3. Lost and Found by Bill Harley

5 Stars
Lost and Found
Bill Harley
Peachtree Publishers
No. Pgs: 32    Ages: 4 - 8
.............

Peachtree Website: When Justin loses the special hat his grandmother made for him, he looks everywhere he can think of to find it. Everywhere, that is, except the lost and found. Mr. Rumkowsky, the old school custodian, is the keeper of all the lost and found items, and everyone is afraid of him, including Justin.

With his grandmother coming to visit soon, his mom upset, and the hat nowhere in sight, Justin finally musters the courage to enter Mr. Rumkowsky’s domain. There he discovers a whole world of treasures – lost items Justin’s friends (and generations of children before them) have been too afraid to claim. Things keep getting weirder and weirder, until way down at the bottom of Rumkowsky’s giant box Justin unearths something completely unexpected…

∞∞∞∞♦♦∞∞∞∞

Justin has lost his hat, the special hat, the one grandma made him, with the red ball on top that fell off. Now, grandma is coming for a visit and mom is upset that Justin has lost his hat. But Justin has asked all his friends and no one has seen his hat.

“Did you ask Mr. Rumkowsky?”

None of the kids wanted to ask Mr. Rumkowsky if he found anything they had lost. They were each too afraid of Mr. Rumkowsky, who was the old custodian located at the end of the scary hallway, behind the cafeteria. Justin continued to look every place imaginable and a couple more after those. Finally, Justin knew what he had to do. His grandma was coming for a visit and he needs his hat.

Mr. Rumkowsky has been with the school forever and he grumbles and frowns. This makes him look scary and none of the kids wants to find out if they are wrong, because they believe they are right. Justin is at the end of his rope and must now go to the lost and found, which means going to see Mr. Rumkowsky.

I enjoyed Lost and Found. The basement corridor that went past the custodian’s office was terrifying in elementary school, as was the dreaded principal’s office. The authority these imposing adults had over “us” kids was actually terrifying. Like Justin and his friends, we were afraid though we had no real information to make such a decision.  Unlike Justin, none of us was ever brave enough to go down that hall. Justin shows much courage not once, but twice and several times after that. Soon, Justin discovers treasures galore in the lost and found from generations of students, and he finds Mr. Rumkowsky is a good guy.

The illustrations really set the mood for this story. The full spreads are wonderful representations. The custodian’s door has multiple locks that perpetuate this climate of fear. This generational mistrust is easily seen. A closer look at those locks on the custodian’s door shows they are on the inside of the door, as if Mr. Rumkowsky was afraid of what might enter, perhaps a student needing help finding a lost item.

Boys and girls will love Lost and Found, especially if they have a similarly scary person at their school. Librarians and teachers will love this book for its perfect story time quality, the expressive text matched with the dynamic illustrations, that can be seen to several rows back.. Mr. Harley and Mr. Gustavson have produced a picture book that is unique yet captures a common childhood dilemma: the fear of authority.

Interview with Author Bill Harley HERE!

Lost and Found

Author: Bill Harley   website   activity fun!   newsletter
Illustrator: Adam Gustavson   website   facebook
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers   website
Release Date: October 1, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-56145-628-4
Number of Pages: 32
Ages: 4 to 8
Grades: Pre-K to 3
.............

Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade Tagged: authority figures, children's books, courage, family, fear, fear of authorities, lost and found, middle grade books, relationships, respect

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4. Best Internet: Meet Me in the Stairwell




MEET ME IN THE STAIRWELL 
PLEASE READ TO THE VERY END, IT IS BEAUTIFUL!!!

'MEET ME IN THE STAIRWELL'

You say you will never forget where you were when
you heard the news On September 11, 2001.
Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room
with a man who called his wife to say 'Good-Bye.' I
held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the
peace to say, 'Honey, I am not going to make it, but it
is OK..I am ready to go.'

I was with his wife when he called as she fed
breakfast to their children. I held her up as she
tried to understand his words and as she realized
he wasn't coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a
woman cried out to Me for help. 'I have been
knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!' I said.
'Of course I will show you the way home - only
believe in Me now.'

I was at the base of the building with the Priest
ministering to the injured and devastated souls.
I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He
heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat,
with every prayer. I was with the crew as they
were overtaken. I was in the very hearts of the
believers there, comforting and assuring them that their
faith has saved them.

I was in Texas , Virginia , California , Michigan , Afghanistan .
I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news.
Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew
every name - though not all knew Me. Some met Me
for the first time on the 86th floor.

Some sought Me with their last breath.
Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the
smoke and flames; 'Come to Me... this way... take
my hand.' Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me.
But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day. You
may not know why, but I do. However, if you were
there in that explosive moment in time, would you have
reached for Me?

Sept. 11, 2001, was not the end of the journey
for you. But someday your journey will end. And I
will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may
be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are
'ready to go.'

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.
God
During the next 60 seconds, stop whatever you are
doing, and take this opportunity. (Literally it
is only 1 minute.) All you have to do is the
following:

Stop and think and appreciate God's power
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5. Poetry is still Gates retiree's key to reaching kids



If you've ever been to the Rochester Children's Book Festival, you've likely seen Joe"Silly" Sottile (yes, it rhymes!) decked out in his rainbow-colored propeller hat. But the truth is, Sottile wears many hats.

Please click below for the rest of the story:






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6. Ashley Bryan’s Bright and Beautiful Books

Ashley Bryan deserves a special valentine for bringing so much joy to the realm of
children’s literature. From his witty, rhythmic retellings of folktales to his bold and beautiful paintings, woodcuts, and
collages, Bryan has enriched the lives of countless readers around the world. You can meet this beloved author/illustrator by opening Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life’s Song (Atheneum, 2009). This engaging autobiography shines with light, color, and love. Bryan, 87 and still thriving, invites us to hear his story, enlivened with his own poetic, accessible language and with a potpourri of photographs that reveal his childhood world, his family, his artwork, his Bronx neighborhood, his parents’ home back in Antigua, as well as his life on Little Cranberry Island. We get a sense of how he evolved as an artist; one touching painting shows him as a wide-eyed child, book in hand, staring out the window at night. Images of birds — which filled the family’s living room — and the echoes of his mother singing will show up, of course, in Bryan’s books, as shown in the illustrations reproduced in this book. Bryan’s childhood was punctuated by drawing, painting, reciting poetry, and listening to the Bible stories his mother read to him and his siblings. His recalls how they were the first black family to join the pretty St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church — where he would one day design a stained-glass window over the altar, showing a magnificent, dark and honey-hued image of Jesus rising from the tomb. After high school, he went, portfolio in hand, to a prominent art institute. A representative there told him his artwork was the best he had seen and that “it would be a waste to give a scholarship to a colored person.”
Bryan persevered. He was accepted at the Cooper Union School of Art and Engineering, and his world widened. After serving in WWII and graduating from Columbia, he taught art (from prep school to Dartmouth), and eventually made his way to the peak of children’s book illustrators.  This autobiography does not brag about Bryan’s multiple awards; instead, it beams with his humble, respectful and indomitable creative spirit. It invites us all to reach inside and listen to that still, precious voice … and to celebrate life while you can.
Note: Ashley Bryan will speak March 16th at the Virginia Festival of the Book. If you’d like to read more about him, see this fabulous 2009 interview in Horn Book.

Of Ashley Bryan’s nearly three dozen books, which do you like best? One of my favorite read-alouds for children ages 7-9 is Beautiful Blackbird.

In Bryan’s rousing read-aloud version of an Ila folktale from Zambia, all the birds have solid-colored feathers, with no patterns or specks of black. Only Blackbird has black feathers that “gleam all colors in the sun.” Generous Blackbird stirs up a brew in his medicine gourd, and then give

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7. Wanting to Be Liked vs. Being Respected

My little granddaughter is twelve years old right now and entering her teenage years. She already has a group of girl friends that mean the world to her. I remember raising my own girls and learning that when in the full bloom of adolescence, their friends meant more to them than their parents.

I got to thinking about the fact that most people want to be liked … throughout their lifetime. But the intensity of that desire seems to change in a bell-shaped curve during a person’s life span.

Think about kids in nursery school who relate to one another in terms of playing with a toy or fighting over the possession of a toy. They ususally want to have things going their way … at all costs without worrying about how the other might feel about them. Forget about being liked.

As the years pass, they begin to start wanting to be both liked and respected. They want their classmates to think of them as “nice” or “smart” or “good athletes” or “good at the trombone,” etc. etc. In adolescence being liked is linked to being “cute,” “beautiful,” “a hunk,” “popular,” and “part of the in-group.” Being respected has not yet become a big deal. The most brilliant kid in the class could be a “nerd.”

Then in adulthood, being respected is as important as being liked. It involves ones success in whatever career they may have, as a breadwinner or homemaker/stay-at-home-mom. One alone is not enough to achieve happiness. The most brilliant, respected doctor who is disliked by his patients isn’t going to get very far. And the “nicest” guy in the neighborhood who can’t keep a job to support his family also has a problem.

Then there is old age. Of course, if you haven’t enough money to retire and take care of yourself, you aren’t in very good shape, no matter how “nice” you are. But if you are are okay financially, you probably don’t give a hoot if people like you or not. Take a look at all the “grumpy old men” out there who are forgiven their behavior because of their age. Or, the “old biddies” who are accepted as they are.

I guess the lesson learned is that if you are lucky enough to make it into old age, it doesn’t really matter if others like you or not. Hope I get there someday!


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8. Kids Don't Learn Respect . . . Unless You Teach Them

Manners Kids Crayon Pictures, Images and Photos

I remember back then when my brothers and sisters and I were young. We could be a wild bunch at times,the five of us, but that was only allowed inside our own home. When our parents took us to visit we were warned way in advance to quell the rising fear of . . . Oh my God! Ciro and Marian are coming with the five kids!!
One Aunt in particular, my mother's older sister Aunt Mary, was pretty well to do and had a house that looked like a museum. It stayed that way even with her three children living there, thanks to her diligence and fanaticism. There was a long four cushioned sofa against one wall in her living room, just long enough to seat five children and that's where we were forewarned to sit and mind our manners . . . or else! And we did just that until compassion overtook her and she bought us cookies . . . but WATCH the crumbs! Why were we so obediently mild-mannered on family outings, you might ask? Because we knew with certainty that my mother meant business when she said "This is not our house. Do NOT embarrass me!"
When I had my own five children and they were small, I passed on the warning too. Behind the issue of embarrassment was the greater core of Italian-American family life . . . RESPECT! You respect your elders, your parents, your teachers . . . and last but not least . . . YOURSELF. My children knew very clearly what was expected of them from early on. No, they weren't perfect, but they learned respect. I remember my young son Brendan's astonishment when a schoolmate who came to our house one afternoon, walked right up to the refrigerator, opened the door, and grabbed something to eat for himself. Before I could say anything, my seven year old said "What are you doing?" The boy replied nonchalantly, "Getting something to eat, why?" And Brendan sternly said in his little gruff voice, "You better put that back. This isn't your house and you didn't ask!" The boy turned around and saw me standing with my arms folded and sheepishly returned his booty back to the fridge. Then Brendan said, "Mom, I think Adam's hungry." I asked the boy if he'd like something to eat and he shyly shook his head yes and I fixed them both something nice to eat. Adam started smiling again. The next time he came to our home he remembered that we don't starve hungry children here and all he had to do was ask.
Another time, a different friend came over and used the bathroom. When he came out, Brendan was next in line to use it. He walked in and ran right out pulling his friend back into the toilet in a panic. The boy had peed all over the seat and decorated the wall also and just walked out. I heard my son warn him that if his Dad came home and saw that mess he'd be very angry and he won't let you play here again. And then he added, "You have to aim inside the bowl in our house."

It's called . . . Respect. It's called . . . I CARE!

Allowing and encouraging children to grow and explore their world is a task that does not come without responsibility. Respect for oneself and others begins at a very young age, but those values taught and supported through childhood continue throughout one's life. Children need boundaries and when they're in new and unfamiliar places they need to know what these boundaries are. Do unto others as you would have them do to you is a wise lesson to learn early in life.
Children can't grow up alone or in households where no one ever has time for them. They learn respect from their parents first. It all goes back to the beginning. Kids need to play and have fun, to be free and be loved. It's not about restricting their good times. It is about l

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9. Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou

Amazing Peace: A Christmas PoemContinuing our exploration of respect in relation to end-of-year celebrations and inspired by Marjorie’s beautiful post on The Christmas Menorahs, today I highlight Maya Angelou’s Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem (Schwartz & Wade, 2008).

Although written in a Christmas spirit, the poem’s resonance is far more broad, as it encourages one and all to “Come away from rancor. Come the way of friendship.” A sound piece of advice to humanity in this day and age when wars and conflicts still happen in the name of religion.

As seen in the excerpted verses below, her poem is a call for peace and unity:

We clap hands and welcome the Peace of Christmas.
We beckon this good season to wait a while with us.
We, Baptist and Buddhist, Methodist and Muslim, say come.
Peace.
Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian,
Implore you, to stay a while with us.
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

It is Christmas time, a halting of hate time.

On this platform of peace, we can create a language
To translate ourselves to ourselves and to each other.

These words go straight into the heart, don’t they?

Do you know of other books for children that speak of people from different faiths coming together during the holidays? Would you recommend them? Please do share so we can all learn about how others have “come the way of friendship.”

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10. Religious Diversity in relation to End-of-Year Celebrations

religious_diversityThe new issue of PaperTigers, focusing on Religious Diversity in relation to End-of-Year Celebrations, is now live.

The end of the year, when so many holy and secular days are observed and celebrated, reminds us of the importance of understanding and being respectful of how others in our communities engage with and
express their beliefs. Books play an essential role in helping children learn about differences (for instance, why some people celebrate different holidays, or the same holidays in different ways, while others don’t celebrate anything): but more than anything, books can help them realize that, while our individualities do matter, our common humanity matters even more.

We hope you will enjoy our new features, which focus on celebrating diversity while striving for a more encompassing and tolerant world for all our children, families and communities.

We will also be talking about religious diversity and end-of-year celebrations here on the blog this month, so we hope you will share your favorite books and experiences with us!

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11. Bridges to Obama: Let Freedom Sing

Let Freedom SingAuthor: Vanessa Newton (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Vanessa Newton
Published: 2009 Chronicle Books (on JOMB)
ISBN: 9781934706909

Spot-on sixties-style illustrations, simple, springboard text and a soulful, sing along refrain shine a celebratory light on 18 individuals who stood tall and opened doors for generations.

More freedom reading on JOMB:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487, so we can include your audio in our show.

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12. Let Your Hair Down: Max Said “Yes!” (The Woodstock Story)

Max Said Author: Abigail Yasgur & Joseph Lipner
Illustrator: Barbara Mendes (on JOMB)
Published: 2009 Change The Universe Press
ISBN: 9780615211442

Exuberant, edge-to-edge illustrations and simple rhyme salute a generous dairy farmer who took a chance on four kids, their dream and the prospect of peace.

You can watch Max Yasgur addressing the crowd at Woodstock, 1969, here.

August 15-17 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. How will you celebrate?

Other books mentioned:

More peace and tolerance on JOMB:

Pop over to Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup for today’s full menu of poetry offerings. Poetry Fridays are brought to us by Kelly Herold of Big A, Little A.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487, so we can include your audio in our show.

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13. Of Compassion and Captivity: Itsy Bitsy & Teeny Weeny

Author: Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen
Illustrator: Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen
Published: 2009 Sleeping Bear Press
ISBN: 9781585364176

Doey eyes, gangly legs and silent, tangible devotion make this true tale of rescue, regret and release a thought provoking look at the value of life and freedom.

Other books mentioned:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487, so we can include your audio in our show.

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14. Talent, Teamwork & Triumph: The Dunderheads

The DunderheadsAuthor: Paul Fleischman (on JOMB)
Illustrator: David Roberts (on JOMB)
Published: 2009 Candlewick Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0763624985

Clean lines, comical details and snappy, generous first person narration sweep us into this suspenseful tale of strategy, solidarity and overlooked superpowers.

Other books mentioned:

More independent thinkers on JOMB:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487, so we can include your audio in our show.

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15. Left Reeling: You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!

You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! Author: Jonah Winter (on JOMB)
Illustrator: André Carrilho (on JOMB)
Published: 2009 Schwartz & Wade (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0375837388

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Gilded, stylized illustrations, scads of stats and lilting, laid back narration present an inspiring tale of persistence, power, poise and prevalent potential in this intimate look at the short but striking career of one of baseball’s greats.

More sports on JOMB:

HOTLINE VOICES: Radio Producer and Sound Artist Paolo Pietropaolo explains why he loves Fantastic Mr. Fox (by Roald Dahl).

We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487, so we can include your audio in our show

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16. Noticing and Nurturing Each Other: How to Heal a Broken Wing

How to Heal a Broken WingAuthor: Bob Graham (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Bob Graham
Published: 2008 Candlewick Press (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0763639036

Chapters.ca Amazon.com

Airy illustrations and sparse poetic prose paint a poignant picture of hope, help and healing in this unspoken invitation to dare to care.

Other books mentioned:

Dreams of flying on JOMB:

Six weeks ago yesterday, in Woodstock, Ontario, eight year old Victoria Stafford  finished her school day … then disappeared.  As the days turned to weeks, Canadians coast to coast came to know Victoria and her family as we watched mother Tara McDonald’s daily efforts to keep the search for her daughter fresh in our minds.  This despite mounting public criticism and suspicion of Tara herself.

Yesterday, we learned of Tori’s tragic fate … and of her mother’s innocence.

This episode of Just One More Book! is dedicated to little Tori Stafford, with heartfelt hopes for the healing of those she left behind.

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17. Remembering for Grandma: Mile-High Apple Pie

Mile-High Apple PieAuthor: Laura Langston (on JOMB)
Illustrator: Lindsey Gardiner (on JOMB)
Published: 2004 Random House (on JOMB)
ISBN: 0099443880

Chapters.ca bn.com

Happily sloppy artwork and perfectly picked words and pace present the first-person ponderings of a young girl as her once spunky grandmother slips into forgetfulness in this sweet, sad tale of coping and compassion.

More grandmothers on JOMB:

  • The Grandmother Doll
  • Getting to Know Ruben Plotnick
  • When-I-Was-a-Little-Girl
  • The Gardener
  • The Lotus Seed
  • Snow
  • Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie
  • Treasure For Lunch
  • Falling Angels
  • The Clay Ladies
  • Healing the Wounds of World War II
  • A Gift For Gita
  • Carmine, A Little More Red
  • Petite Rouge, A Cajun Red Riding Hood
  • Grandma’s Feather Bed
  • Bintou’s Braids
  • Seven Brave Women
  • Suki’s Kimono
  • The Not-So-Only Child
  • A Very Unusual Dog
  • Aunt Claire’s Yellow Beehive Hair
  • Mama’s Saris
  • Mr. Hiroshi’s Garden
  • I Am Small
  • Before You Were Here, Mi Amor
  • The Party
  • We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487.

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    18. Don’t Dis Diversity: Silly Tilly

    Silly TillyAuthor: Eileen Spinelli (on JOMB)
    Illustrator: David Slonim (on JOMB)
    Published: 2009 Marshall Cavendish (on JOMB)
    ISBN: 0761455256

    Chapters.ca Amazon.com

    Rhyming triplets and edge-to-edge smile-inducing illustrations follow the carefree foolishness of an unconventional goose and remind us to savour the spice of life.

    More independent thinkers on JOMB:

    Pop over to Under The Covers for today’s full menu of poetry offerings. Poetry Fridays are brought to us by Kelly Herold of Big A, Little A.

    We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487.

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    19. A Good Man…er…Blog is Hard to Find

    I recently discovered a web site called The Quickest Blog Book Tour Guide Ever and from that I joined a really cool Yahoo group (Blog Book Tours) and they have made an huge difference in the way I Blog. Now, as I understand it (I've never researched the history of Blogs) a Blog is something of a personal journal. Okay, I get that. Journaling is very good for the creative spirit. It helps to clear the mind and get the creative juices flowing.

    However, like everything else, there are, and should be, exceptions to how much personal information you put up on your Blog. After all, the entire WORLD has access to this information. Do you really want the whole world to know when you have "those kinds of" cramps? I think not. Especially if your Blog in intended for use in a professional capacity.

    I have been searching for great Blogs in the publishing/writing industry. I have run across a few, certainly not bad ones. If I like a Blog I add it to my new Blog Roll. I think this is a clever way to network and cross promote. You Roll me and I'll Roll you kinda deal. (What is a Blog Roll?)

    One of the Blogs I liketo read on a regular basis is A Newbie's Guide to Publishing by J.A. Konrath. Joe is a pretty out there guy and he speaks his mind no matter what. Joe also has a very powerful personality, but when he posts on his Blog, his words mean something. They offer information, usually in a very entertaining way, and they are relevant to what he is trying to accomplish. Joe offers information to writers. Period. No exclusions, there is information for every level of writer, and he doesn't candy coat. It's a great Blog.

    So why is it that I keep running across Author Blogs that are filled with extremely personal info, ranging from bad days to why they are mad at their husbands? Is this relevant to what they are doing?

    Okay, let's analyze. Are they personal Blogs or professional Author/Business Blogs? What is the difference?

    If you have a Blog and it has your Book cover, your author/business name, and all the other things that you use to promote your books, it is a professional Blog.

    If the Blog title indicates that this is a rant Blog and you are using it to speak your mind and let the world know what you think about every little thing, then consider it personal.

    I strongly discourage you from combining the two. Why you ask? Simple. Personal preference. If you are Jewish and you are angry about something that the Catholic church has done to a friend and you vent your disgust of the church, you are alienating every single Catholic reader who might have read your cozy mystery that has nothing to do with religion.

    If you are homophobic and you complain about gays kissing in public, you will alienate every single gay person who loves to read fantasy novels just like yours!

    If you saw a mother breast feeding in the mall and this turned your stomach and you posted that on your Blog, you have just turned a away a HUGE readership of mothers who hoard romance novels just like yours because you are an insensitive dork!

    Are you seeing where I am going with this? If your Blog is professional, keep it that way. Talk about why you write, how you write, what you can't write and why. Talk about the books you've read, the books you want to read. Talk about the festivals and conferences you have attended.

    Talk about the authors you have met and share your positive thoughts and views on the various aspects of society that relate to your profession. I'm not telling you to be Pollyanna, but I am suggesting that you not be the type of person who no one wants to know or care about.

    Readers are sensitive and they deserve to be treated with respect. Pushing your angst off onto them isn't the best way to do that.


    Do you have a good Blog? Share your link with us and if I like it, I'll add it to my Blog Roll. Want a FREE Blog critique? I've got an opinion on EVERYTHING. But remember, if you ask, I'll tell you and you can't be mad at me if you don't like what I say.

    Blog Book Tour August Challenge #10
    ©Karen L. Syed

    Blog Pick Author of the Day

    11 Comments on A Good Man…er…Blog is Hard to Find, last added: 8/11/2008
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    20. Can the Eric Carle Museum get this?!

    A gallery in Manchester, England held an exhibition of art work by Lauren Child. Wouldn't I love to see this closer to home!

    0 Comments on Can the Eric Carle Museum get this?! as of 9/13/2008 12:34:00 PM
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    21. The Tiger’s Choice: Looking Closely at The Happiness of Kati

    Happiness of Kati

    When Jane Vejjajiva won the S.E.A. Write Award for The Happiness of Kati, it was quite a bit as though J.K. Rowling had won the Man Booker Prize for Harry Potter. This is a highly prestigious award given for extraordinary literature written in Southeast Asia, and it isn’t usually bestowed upon a  children’s book.

    And yet this isn’t a book that is read exclusively by children. I received it as a Christmas gift from my good friend Yui, who is younger than I am but is certainly no longer a child. We both count it as one of our favorite books–and here are some reasons why.

    From the opening sentences of this book, Kati’s life is described simply and yet in wonderful detail. Her grandparents, her school, her chores, her meals are all real to the reader well before the first twenty pages have been devoured. And yet, a sadness is slowly delineated in every chapter subheading–Kati’s absent mother takes on a phantom’s shape long before Kati is taken to be with her.

    It is here that this book blossoms into a strength and beauty rarely found in a children’s novel. Kati’s time with her mother is brief, but their relationship has depth, sweetness, and a life of its own. The importance of family within Thai culture is made beautifully clear, and the respect given to a child’s decision offers an ethical guideline without moralizing.

    Best of all–for me at least–is the masterful depiction of each person in this story. With a minimum of description, Jane Vejjajiva makes every one of her characters come to life, fully equipped to live on in the imaginations of those who savor this book.

    If you agree–or perhaps disagree–please let us hear your comments before our final discussion next week.

    0 Comments on The Tiger’s Choice: Looking Closely at The Happiness of Kati as of 9/24/2008 12:14:00 AM
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    22. No Holts Barred: Do Unto Otters (A Book About Manners)

    Do Unto Otters (A Book About Manners)Author: Laurie Keller (on JOMB)
    Illustrator: Laurie Keller
    Published: 2007 Henry Holt and Co. (on JOMB)
    ISBN: 0805079963

    Chapters.ca Amazon.com

    Cluttered with comedy, melodrama and earthy, Looney-Toonesque artwork, this brilliant guide to social success is as hilarious as it is helpful.

    (…er…actually….maybe more hilarious than helpful, as we now hear our girls screaming at each other “DO UNTO OTTERS, REMEMBER, DO UNTO OTTERS!!!!!”)

    Other books mentioned:

    HOTLINE VOICES: Michelle Mitchell from Scribbit: Motherhood in Alaska shares her thoughts about The Little Golden Book Anthologies.

    4 Comments on No Holts Barred: Do Unto Otters (A Book About Manners), last added: 10/11/2008
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    23. What difference does it make?

    My thought on all this politics and financial crisis is that we can make a difference. We MUST make a difference!

    What can we do right now to ensure that the youth and children of now are smart enough and prepared enough and willing enough to care about this country like we do and to run it effectively?

    Education is the key to our survival. Look around you; look at the average kid walking down the street. Is that who you want running our country in 40 years? Would they even care enough to want to?

    By putting more of a focus on the education of this and the next generations we can ensure that our country will be worth the respect of those around us and that we won't have to worry about the next big crisis.

    I think that Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump have the right idea. In WHY WE WANT YOU TO BE RICH, they talk a lot about financial education. It is crucial to not only teach kids the basics, but to also teach them about the wonders of respect and accomplishment and self-worth. By giving them a financial education, we can increase the chances of them being successfully independent. Part of that education needs to be the analysis of situations like what we face now in the financial sector. I once heard someone say that Wall Street didn't affect them because they owned no stock. I wonder what they are thinking now.

    Kids are leaving schools without the basic skills to do simple math or even to know how to read in many cases. I've seen this. It is frightening.

    Is it up to government to fix our education problems? Isn't it up to the people? This is no time for pointing fingers and saying "you did it." It is a time to come together and find a solution to the problem. Don't like the schools your kids go to? Home school, give them the level of education you think they require, but be sure you include the things that are important. WE have to make certain that we all begin and master the basic skills before moving on to the "fun" stuff.

    Where is the support for our educators. I do believe that a lot of the problem with education lies with the teachers. It is not their fault! But they are tired. They are overworked, they are underpaid, and they are seriously underappreciated. What incentive do they have to even care? Now, don't get me wrong, they chose their career and they had to know going in that it would have its down side, but overpopulated classrooms, lack of financial support for curriculum materials and basic tools? Was this part of the deal? When was the last time you thanked your child's teacher for their efforts. How many teachers actually feel like anyone cares?

    Well, I care. I don't have children, but I am educated enough to know that if we, as a people, don't do something to support education in this country, we are all in a lot of trouble, now, and in the future!

    ©Karen L. Syed

    9 Comments on What difference does it make?, last added: 9/28/2008
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    24. Of Flash and Forgiveness: The Worst Best Friend

    The Worst Best FriendAuthor: Alexis O’Neill (on JOMB)
    Illustrator: Laura Huliska-Beith (on JOMB)
    Published: 2008 Scholastic (on JOMB)
    ISBN: 0545010233

    Chapters.ca Amazon.com

    Sunny school-yard action, frisky text and heaps of humorous details propel us through bliss, boastfulness, betrayal and back again in this spirited tale of friendship lost and found.

    Other books mentioned:

    HOTLINE VOICES: An unidentified JOMB listener/author/illustrator recommends Kiss Good Night (by Amy Hest) and Dig Dig Digging (by Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe).

    We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave us a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487.

    To those of you celebrating Yom Kippur, G’mar Chatimah Tovah.

    1 Comments on Of Flash and Forgiveness: The Worst Best Friend, last added: 10/14/2008
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    25. Cultivating Hope: Mr. Hiroshi’s Garden

     Mr. Hiroshi's GardenAuthor: Maxine Trottier (on JOMB)
    Illustrator: Paul Morin (on JOMB)
    Published: 1999 Fitzhenry and Whiteside (on JOMB)
    ISBN: 1550051520

    Chapters.ca Amazon.com

    Dazzling light glows against darkening shadow as this warmly told memory of friendship and fortitude peeks into a dim chapter in Canadian history.

    Other books mentioned:

    For more information about the Japanese Internment of 1942-1945, visit Vanishing British Columbia, Canada: A People’s History, and Canadian Nikkei.

    You can read about more of our favourite Canadian, Asian-themed children’s books in this essay by Andrea at Paper Tigers.

    We’d love to hear your thoughts on a favourite children’s book. Leave a voice message on our JOMB listener hotline, +1-206-350-6487.

    0 Comments on Cultivating Hope: Mr. Hiroshi’s Garden as of 1/1/1900
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