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1. 5 ways to use poetry in class RIGHT NOW

.
Howdy, Campers! Happy Poetry Friday! (the PF link is at the end)

Authors-anthologists-publishers Janet Wong and Sylvia Vardell have written an article well-worth reading (it's brief!) for National Poetry Month in the online magazine Bookology which begins:


"We are pressed for time, so we multitask. You might be eating breakfast while you’re reading Bookology, or doing laundry, or both. “Killing two birds with one stone” or “hatching two birds from the same egg”—integrated teaching—is the best way to fit everything in, especially in the K-5 classroom." (read the whole article here)

Janet and Sylvia's Poetry Friday Anthology series does a LOT of heavy lifting including:

1) helping pressed-for-time teachers and librarians teach poetry while meeting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and the Texas TEKS for English Language Arts (ELA)/Poetry and Science & Technology,

and

2) including a “Take 5!” mini-lesson with every poem in their collection for librarians, teachers, and parents with instructions for sharing, picture book pairings, and curriculum connections.

And in their NEW collection Janet and Sylvia have added another bonus: each of the 156 poems in this newest book appears in both English and Spanish--WOWEE!


JoAnne's recent post sang out about this book (which includes JoAnne's terrific Graduation Day poem), and Esther's post continued, including an interview of these two visionaries and Esther's very green Saint Pat's Day poem.

As JoAnne writes:
I’m thrilled to be one of 115 poets (and 3 Teaching Authors!) whose poems are featured in the brand-new Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations

I'm thrilled that they've included two of my poems. This one's for National Thrift Shop Day (who knew?)
(Click to enlarge )

Have a fabulous Poetry Friday...and consider donating to a thrift shop today and then shopping in one, too ~

Remember to enter our Book Giveaway to win an autographed copy of Paul Janeczko’s 50th book, DEATH OF A HAT, illustrated by Chris Raschka.  You can enter between now and April 22 (which just happens to be our SIXTH TeachingAuthors Blogiversary!).

And...please stop by my poetry blog where all Poetry Month long I'm posting PPPs--Previously Published Poems--from anthologies, Cricket Magazine and my novel in poems.

Thank you, dear Robyn Hood Black for hosting PF today!
And thanks, too, to Jama Kim Rattigan for posting the 2015 National Poetry Month Kidlitosphere Events Roundup

posted with love by April Halprin Wayland with help from Monkey and Eli ~

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2. Cracked Christmas Reindeer Ornament

As promised, here's another one of the products I had the pleasure of working on.  I think the concept behind this is pretty self-explanatory.  In case it's hard to tell from the photo, the reindeer's scarf doubles as a hook/noose!  Poor stressed-out reindeer.


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3. Happy New Year! – Top Ten Books of 2014

New yearsWendyWehman

 

Top 10 Fiction of 2014

1. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (20)
2. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (18)
3. A Brief History of Seven Killings, Marlon James (15)
Redeployment, Phil Klay
5. Lila, Marilynne Robinson (13)
The Paying Guests, Sarah Waters
7. The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell (11)
8. Euphoria, Lily King (10)
9. We Were Liars, E. Lockhart (9)
10. Dept. of Speculation, Jenny Offill (8)

Top 10 Nonfiction of 2014

1. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast (15)
2. Being Mortal, Atul Gawande (11)
The Empathy Exams, Leslie Jamison
4. On Immunity, Eula Biss (10)
The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert
In The Kingdom Of Ice, Hampton Sides
7. The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, Jeff Hobbs (9)
8. Bad Feminist, Roxane Gay (6)
Flash Boys, Michael Lewis
What if?, Randall Munroe
Capital, Thomas Piketty
Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson

Sources:
These are the 53 sources counted so far — and from each we take only their most selective lists (e.g. the NYT’s Top 10, not their 100 “notable” books).
Awards (Good Reads; National Book Awards; Booker Award; Kirkus Awards; Giller Prize; Governor General’s Awards; FT McKinsey Award) Critics (Maureen Corrigan; Dwight Garner; Michiko Kakutani; Janet Maslin; Sarah Weinman; James Wood) Magazines (Entertainment Weekly; Newsweek; New York Magazine; Oprah Magazine; People Magazine; Time; Village Voice) Newspapers (Boston Globe; Chicago Tribune; Christian Science Monitor; Guardian; Houston Chronicle; Minneapolis Star Tribune; New York Times; Newsday; Seattle Times; Wall Street Journal; Washington Post) Online publications (BuzzFeed; Daily Beast; Gawker Review of Books; Grantland; Huffington Post; Slate) Other Distinctions/Lists (Monthly Indie Next No. 1 picks; monthly Library Reads No. 1 picks; BEA Buzz Panel books; PL Buzz Books titles; top Google searches) Retailers (Amazon; Amazon Canada; Barnes & Noble; BookPage; Hudson Booksellers; iBooks Store; Indigo; Kobo) Trade publications (Library Journal; Publishers Weekly; Shelf Awareness)

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Book, Holiday, illustrating, list, success Tagged: Best Wishes for 2015, Happy New Year, Top 10 Fiction Books of 2014, Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2015, Wendy Wahman

3 Comments on Happy New Year! – Top Ten Books of 2014, last added: 1/3/2015
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4. Happy New Year’s Eve! – Poem

Andreja Peklar

This illustration was sent in by Andreja Peklar to help us ring in the new year. She was featured earlier this year on Illustrator Saturday. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/illustrator-saturday-andreja-peklar/

Have a happy, safe celebration. If you take any pictures and want to share them, I will post them this week.

Here is a poem sent in by Hally Franz:

An Introvert’s Dilemma

 

It’s New Year’s Eve, and I have not a clue,

As to what I am doing, so I’ll run it by you.

 

Shall I put on heels and make-up and glitz,

For a glamorous evening down at The Ritz?

Or shall I stay home with Ryan Seacrest,

Dressed in my blue jeans instead of my best?

 

Perhaps dinner and dancing for a romantic night,

My hubby and I might stay out ‘til daylight.

Thought sometimes it’s hard to stay out so late,

When it’s been twenty-five years since you’ve been on a date.

 

We’ll have some friends over for board games and soup,

My skill in Balderdash will throw them all for a loop.

Of course, I’ll have to cook yet another meal,

And, if I liked to cook, it would be no big deal.

 

It’s New Year’s Eve, so communing is key,

One more chance to socialize, how lucky are we?

More time and friends, more time with fam,

Another minute might put my head in a jam.

 

Thanks for your input, thanks for your ear,

I’ve made a decision on how to ring in the year.

I’ll cozy up with my jammies, book, and hot tea,

And spend the whole festive evening with little old me.

 

Check back on Friday for Erika Wassell’s Guest Post.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: Holiday, Poems Tagged: Andreja Peklar, Best of, Top 10 2014 Non-Fiction Books, Top 10 Fiction Books of 2014

3 Comments on Happy New Year’s Eve! – Poem, last added: 1/3/2015
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5. Christmas in the Country by Cynthia Rylant

Christmas in the CountryChristmas in the Country is a picture book full of Cynthia Rylant’s remembrances of Christmases in the country where she lived with her grandparents when she was young. From stringing lights, to singing in the choir in the church at the bottom of the hill, to writing a letter to Santa on Christmas Eve – the traditions remembered are not unusual, but they are so lovingly evoked with Rylant’s sweet, simple prose and Diane Good’s soft ink and watercolor illustrations. Reading this book with loved ones will be a sweet celebration of the season, and may prompt a conversation about your own Christmases past. If you are feeling at all harried or overwhelmed with all you have to accomplish this holiday, this book may inspire you to slow down and remember all the simple joys the season offers.

Posted by: Parry


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6. Merry Christmas

ana ochoa

This Christmas illustration was sent in by Ana Ocho to help us celebrate the day. Ana has worked with most publishers in Mexico (both private and government), doing picture books as well as school text books. She was featured at the beginning of the year on Illustrator Saturday. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/illustrator-saturday-ana-ochoa/

Christmas Andreja

This happy North Pole Illustration was sent in by Andreha Peklar. She was featured earlier this year on Illustrator Saturday. http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/illustrator-saturday-andreja-peklar/

DECEMBER’S LIGHT by Eileen Spinelli

 

It’s the slanted light of a silver star,

  soft candlelight in a quiet room.

  It’s lantern light from house to barn

  swaying bright against the gloom.

  It’s the light of home across the miles.

  It’s the puddled light of moon-on snow.

  It’s the light in eyes…in smiles…in hearts.

  It’s the sweetest light of all I know.

christmas tree

Thank you Eileen and Carol for the Christmas cheer. Hope everyone is having a wonderful day. Merry Christmas!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Holiday, inspiration, Poems Tagged: Ana Ochoa, Andreja Peklar, Carol Murray, Eileen Spinelli

4 Comments on Merry Christmas, last added: 12/25/2014
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7. Christmas Eve is Here! Two Poems for Judging – One for fun

Christmas Lauren Gallegos FINALAsleep

Lauren Gallegos sent in this cute illustration that rings so true. She is a Children’s Book Illustrator who was featured on Illustrator Saturday: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/illustrator-saturday-lauren-gallegos/  www.Laurengallegos.com Twitter: @laurengallegos

Here are two holiday poems. More tomorrow and Christmas Day. Voting will start on Friday.

The Tasting Tree

By: Robin Jordan

Busy hands stained juicy, red.

Berries strung. Needle ‘n thread.

Draped around a fragrant pine

Over, under branches fine.

Popcorn seeds shake, shake, shake, then

Burst into a snowy flake.

Loosely sewn all in a row

On the festive tree they go.

Vanilla scents thrill the nose.

Cookies tied with shiny bows

Sprinkles shimmer, precious gems

Dot the sweeping verdant stems.

Shepherd crooks, a sweet delight

Twisted stripes. Some red, some white.

Candy canes hung by their hook

Help create a gleeful look.

My tasting tree’s now complete.

Leaving Santa lots to eat.

Working hard all through the night

Must stir up his appetite!

 

markpenguinchristmas500

The above illustration was done by Mark Meyers. He was featured on Illustrator Saturday in 2012. Here’s the link.  http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/10/05/illustrator-saturday-mark-meyers/

Christmas Movies and Meaning

By Hally Franz –

On the Twelve days of Christmas I hoped I could see,

The classic holiday movies I’d missed on TV.

So many favorites make me smile, laugh, and cry,

But the days left for watching are flying right by.

 

Day one, I will start with some time spent with Clark,

Though his house was lit well, he was left in the dark,

‘Bout what grand or glum bonus would come his way,

And what crazy cousin Eddie would do that last day.

 

Day two, it’s time for a freckle-faced kid,

And the tale of what the two robbers did.

Left all alone, but helpless he’s not,

For few have the tricks clever Kevin has got!

 

Day three, I must visit a lodge in Pine Tree,

For Vermont is a lovely white place one should be,

On lyrical holidays with Danny and Bing,

Engagements and soldiers, all the songs they will sing.

 

Day four is saved for a swelling single dad,

Who put on the suit and left the life he once had.

Shaving and gaining, graying and growing,

He flew to the North Pole where elves he’s employing.

 

On day five, I’ll enjoy a sugary treat,

A Caan-Ferrell combo is one hard to beat.

Jovie leads carols, gets Santa’s sleigh off the ground,

In a place folks think no Christmas cheer can be found.

 

From sweet to a sneak on day six, I will go,

When I watch the green guy with the heart yet to grow.

He seemed determined to ruin Christmas for young Cindy Lou,

Until Dr. Seuss taught him a lesson compliments of the Whos.

 

By seven I travel across the pond to hear,

Tales of Mark and Daniel and Bridget dear.

Their accents are lovely, their troubles quite mad,

The kiss in the snow leaves me a Colin Firth fan.

 

Now when on day eight, loves turns to divorce,

It’s time for “delousing babies in Burma,” of course.

Though they try to avoid crazy families, they find,

Even spray cheese and spending limits are better than “lies.”

 

Though Peter B. helped produce my selection above,

He’s rabbit-costume-hating Ralphie in one we all love.

On day nine it’s Red Ryder BB guns and lady-leg lamps,

Frozen tongues, broken glasses, and little guy scamps.

 

My nostalgic mood continues on ten,

When I’ll watch my old black-and-white friend.

George questions himself and thinks his life’s been a waste,

Clarence reveals he’s made Bedford Falls a fine place.

 

Dickens’s story, reincarnated has been,

But, any version works fine on day eleven.

Visions and dreams appear as in our story above,

Unlike good-guy George, Scrooge must learn how to love.

 

Day twelve is reserved for one from way back,

A short film of a child and the love he did lack.

A poor boy he has only his drum he can play,

For the newborn king on that most glorious day.

 

Thank you, Hollywood, for movies we enjoy year after year,

For stories of love, life, and lessons held perennially dear.

But, if one studies the list, I think you will find,

Few of the flicks bring the true meaning to mind.

 

The most known films are sweet and funny, it’s true,

But fail to bring Mary, the manger, and Jesus in view.

Tinsel Town, try addressing man’s internal crave,

And, give us more to see about the son that He gave.

It’s a story that’s true, compelling, and brave,

Of One born to die, our sinning souls to be saved.

 

Consider my list, along with my request,

While I reveal answers to the above test.

 

“Christmas Vacation” should not be spent “Home Alone,”

Unless it’s a “White Christmas” and you’re talking by phone.

But, then “The Santa Clause” and his “Elf” won’t find you around,

If in spite of “The Grinch that Stole Christmas” down the chimney they bound.

 

If left stranded deep in snow read “Bridget Jones’ Diary” for fun,

Are remember “Four Christmases” are rarely better than one.

Tell “The Christmas Story” for one or all who are near,

Be thankful “It’s a Wonderful Life” whether you’re there or you’re here.

Sing “A Christmas Carol” or two with joy in your heart,

And, one called “Little Drummer Boy” is a great way to start.

 

Blessings to all at this Christmastime,

And, thank you for reading my ramble-ing rhyme.

In summary, I say watch those movies we love,

But save time for the Savior sent from above.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

This was sent in by Margo Sorenson. She doesn’t know who wrote it, but it is a very well-known in Hawaii.

“Da Night Bafo Christmas” Was da night bafo’ Christmas, and all ova’ da place,

Not even da geckos was showin’ their face.

Da stockings was hangin’ on top da TV

(‘Cause no mo’ fireplace in Hawai’i )

Da kids stay all crashed, my old man too.

They leave all da work for you-know-who.

So me, I stay pickin’ up alla dea toys,

When – boom! – outside get only big noise!

I run to da window, I open ‘em up,

I stick out my head and I yell, “Eh! Whassup?!”

And then, I no can ba-lieve what I seen!

Was so unreal, you know what I mean?

This fat haole guy get his reindeers in my yard!

And reindeers not housebroken,

you know, as’ why hard!

But nemmind, this Christmas,

so I cut ‘em some slack.

Plus, had uku pile presents pokin’ outta his sack!

So I wait ’till he pau tie up his reindeer,

Then I yell out da window,

“Huui! Brah, ova hea!”

An’ I tell ‘em first thing,

when I open da door,

“Eh, Hemo your shoes! You going dirty my floor!”

He take off his boots, he tell, “You know who I am?”

I go, “Ho! From the smell, must be Mr. Toe Jam!”

He make mempachi eyes and he go, “Ho, ho, ho!”

By now, I stay thinking this guy kinda slow!

He look like my Tutu, but little less weight,

And his beard stay so white, mo’ white than shark bait!

He stay all in red, specially his nose,

And get reindeer spit on top his nice clothes!

But him, he no care; he just smile at me,

And he start fo’ put presents unda-neath da tree.

I tell ‘em, “Eh, brah, no need make li’dat,

And watch where you step! You going ma-ke da cat!”

Then, out from his bag, he pull one brand new computah,

Choke video games, and one motorized scootah!

He try for fill up da Christmas socks too, But had so much pukas,

all da stuff went fall troo.

When he pau, I tell ‘em, “Eh Santa, try wait!

I get plenty leftovahs, I go make you one plate!”

But  he nevah like hang, he had so much fo’ do;

Gotta make all them small kids’  wishes come true.

So I wave ‘em goodbye, and I flash ‘em da shaka,

And  I tell ‘em, “Mele Kalikimaka!”

When he hear that, he stop…and I telling  you true,

He go, “Garans ball-barans! Merry Christmas to you!”  

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Thank you Hally and Robin for sending in your December poems. I will post a couple more tomorrow and a few on Christmas, then you can vote on Friday. Please stop back an vote  for your favorite Holiday poem. Have a Merry Christmas.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Holiday, inspiration, Poems Tagged: Christmas Poems, Hally Franz, Lauren Gallegos, Mark Meyers, Robin Jordan

2 Comments on Christmas Eve is Here! Two Poems for Judging – One for fun, last added: 12/27/2014
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8. Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Greenglass HouseIt seems like every year at this time, I assert once again that winter is the best time for slightly creepy stories — it’s cold outside, and we all like to huddle by the fire (or the radiator), feeling cozy and protected. A spooky mystery can add to that feeling of coziness — weird things are happening out THERE, but in HERE I’m nice and warm.

Greenglass House takes place right before a freezing cold, snowy Christmas. Milo is happy to have his loving innkeeper parents to himself for once, and planning to laze about over the school break. Unexpectedly, and at a time of year when this NEVER happens, the inn fills up with guests. And not just any guests: shifty guests. Shady guests. Guests who seem to be hiding something (or who are just plain unpleasant). It’s an open secret that Milo’s parents’ inn is friendly to smugglers, but do the guests know that? Is that why they’re there at such an odd time? Can anyone be trusted? And that’s before the mysterious thefts start, or the electricity fails due to sabotage Not to mention the ice storm! Milo’s parents and the cook are run off their feet, and Milo is either ignored or needed to help out. So much for Christmas!

Luckily for Milo, the cook’s younger daughter, Meddy, hitched a ride with her mom, so he has someone to talk to. She introduces him to the role-playing game Odd Trails, one that his father used to play when he was Milo’s age. Milo’s game character is braver (and tricksier!) than Milo himself, and their games are a great cover for an investigation into the thefts and sabotage. Do the guests have anything to do with the most famous historical owner of the house? What do they really want? And what significance is there in the guest that arrives on Christmas Eve itself?

Greenglass House is one of the best books I’ve read all year—it was enthralling, amusing, and emotionally affecting, with stellar, atmospheric prose. I’ve been able to recommend it to both adults and children, and everyone who has read it has loved it. If you love Greenglass House as much as I did, check out any of Kate Milford’s other books. None of them are as cold and wintery, but we have them all here at the library, and they’re all truly wonderful.

Posted by: Sarah


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9. HoHoDooDa 2014 Day… oh who knows

god rest ye merry gentlemen 2

Just when you thought you were safe from puns for the rest of the holidays…

Why not take a stroll on over here for links to see what the rest of the HoHoDooDa doodlers are doing.

Oh, and if you are wondering what the heck HoHoDooDa is, check this out.


1 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2014 Day… oh who knows, last added: 12/22/2014
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10. Illustrator Saturday – Santa Favorites

I thought this Saturday I’d bring you some of the Santa’s from past Illustrator Saturdays. Remember that not every illustrator has done an illustration of Santa. I am sure I missed some Santa’s, so if you were featured on Illustrator Saturday and have a Santa that you would like me to add, please email me with the illustration and I will add it to the celebration of Santa.

Yvonnesantauntitled

Yvonne Gilbert http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/illustrator-saturday-yvonne-gilbert/

wenzelsantaraindeers

David Thorn Wenzel – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/illustrator-saturday-david-thorn-wenzel/

ZimmerSanta_4

Glenn Zimmer – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/illustrator-saturday-glenn-zimmer/

ruthsantacircling house

Ruth Sanderson – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/

ruthsantaopeningbag

Ruth Sanderson – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/

santa

Michele Noiset – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/illustrator-saturday-michele-noiset/

santa

David Harrington – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/illustrator-saturday-david-harrington/

cressySantasNewYearsEveSML

Micheal Garland – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/illustrator-saturday-michael-garland/

yvonne51_Father_Christmas_Greeting-Card-1400

Yvonne Gilbert http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/illustrator-saturday-yvonne-gilbert/

becciachristmas2

Carlyn Beccia – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/illustrator-saturday-carlyn-beccia/

santa running

Michele Noiset – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/09/22/illustrator-saturday-michele-noiset/

dillardsanta bear tree

Sarah Dillard – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/illustrator-saturday-sarah-dillard/

garland10087_465065250196522_1314917625_n

Michael Garland – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/illustrator-saturday-michael-garland/

ruthsantaworkshop

Ruth Sanderson – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/illustrator-saturday-ruth-sanderson/

Karen Romagna Santa_&_Lamb_For_Prints

Karen Romagna – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/illustrator-saturday-karen-romanga/

shawnaa2f6f359b451371b24ff958ad09b7d24

Shawna JC Tenney – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/illustrator-saturday-shawna-jc-tenney/

detwilerRedCanoe1-788x1024

Susan Detwiler – http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/illustrator-saturday-susan-detwiler/

eberzSanta small

This Santa was done by Robert Eberz. Robert will be featured on Illustrator Saturday in January, so check back for more. www.roberteberz.com

Merry Christmas! Remember that I will be posting Christmas poems on Christmas Day, so if you have a Christmas poem, please email it to me.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy

 


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Holiday, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, Poems Tagged: Christmas, Santa Claus, Santa illustrations from Illustrator Saturday

5 Comments on Illustrator Saturday – Santa Favorites, last added: 12/23/2014
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11. 10 quotes to inspire a love of winter

Winter encourages a certain kind of idiosyncratic imagery not found during any other season: white, powdery snow, puffs of warm breath, be-scarfed holiday crowds. The following slideshow presents a lovely compilation of quotes from the eighth edition of our Oxford Dictionary of Quotations that will inspire a newfound love for winter, whether you’ve ever experienced snow or not!

Are there any other wintry quotes that you love? Let us know in the comments below.

Headline image credit: Winter bird. Photo by Mathias Erhart. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr. All slideshow background images CC0/public domain via Pixabay or PublicDomainPictures.net (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10).

The post 10 quotes to inspire a love of winter appeared first on OUPblog.

0 Comments on 10 quotes to inspire a love of winter as of 12/16/2014 10:52:00 AM
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12. Happy Chanukah!

amaliaChanukah
Amalia Hoffman sent this in to help us celebrate Chanukah. Amalia was featured on Illustrator Saturday: http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/illustrator-saturday-amalia-hoffman/

Bluebird-&-Dreidel--©-M-Kogan-12-14-2014

Michelle Kogan not only sent in the illustration above, but also the poem below to celebrate Hanukkah.

Hustle of Hanukkah
Michelle Kogan © 2014

Hustle of Hanukkah
somehow squeezing it in
In between holidays
falling often mid week

In between school and work
and numerous car trips
In between tradition
and finding your own way

In between Maccabees
the temples destruction
In between stolen oil
a miracle appears

In between night’s darkness
inner warmth radiates
In between lights glowing
throughout cold winter days

In between your mom’s arms
and between dad’s embrace
Making Hanukkah fit
in between for eight days

The poem below was sent in by Marie Wagner. Marie is an Artist, Author, Publisher, and Web designer. http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/marie-wagner.html?tab=artworkgalleries

ChanukahHankkah

Thank you Amalia, Michelle, and Marie for sharing your work with us.

Hope all my Jewish friends around the world have a wonderful holiday!

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Holiday, illustrating, Illustrator's Saturday, inspiration, Poems Tagged: Amalia Hoffman, Chanukah, Marie Wagner, Michelle Kogan

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13. HoHoDooDa 2014

Now, it is a fact, that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door, except that it was very large. It is also a fact, that Scrooge had seen it, night and morning, during his whole residence in that place; also that Scrooge had as little of what is called fancy about him as any man in the City of London, even including — which is a bold word — the corporation, aldermen, and livery. Let it also be borne in mind that Scrooge had not bestowed one thought on Marley, since his last mention of his seven-year’s dead partner that afternoon. And then let any man explain to me, if he can, how it happened that Scrooge, having his key in the lock of the door, saw in the knocker, without its undergoing any intermediate process of change: not a knocker, but Marley’s face.
marley_RBaird_FC_small
Marley’s face. It was not in impenetrable shadow as the other objects in the yard were, but had a dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark cellar. It was not angry or ferocious, but looked at Scrooge as Marley used to look: with ghostly spectacles turned up upon its ghostly forehead. The hair was curiously stirred, as if by breath or hot-air; and, though the eyes were wide open, they were perfectly motionless. That, and its livid colour, made it horrible; but its horror seemed to be in spite of the face and beyond its control, rather than a part of its own expression. ~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
marleprocess_RBaird

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14. Parenting during the holidays

The holiday season can be an insanely stressful time. Looking for presents, wrapping them, cooking, getting the house ready for visitors, cleaning before and after. Nothing like a normal Saturday night on the couch in front of the TV or with a couple of close friends. The holidays demand perfection. You see it all around you, friends are talking about how stressed out they are, how much they still have to do in just a couple of days. Hyper-decorated stores are talking in their own way. As you approach the 25th of December you still haven’t bought half the gifts you need to rack up for family members, the house looks like a bomb crater and you occasionally wish yourself back in the office with piles of work on your desk waiting to be completed. There are even times when you would exchange a chilly Monday morning and an 8 o’clock meeting for this nerve-racking time that’s supposed to be happy, fun and merry.

What many rattled folks forget in the midst of buying last-minute bequests for loved ones or checking on the unhappy-looking beast in the oven minutes before guests arrive, wishing themselves far away, is that as many as half of the population face a holiday season without their dearest family members. There are people who have lost their loved ones in gruesome ways. I can’t even begin to imagine how they must feel, as they approach every new upcoming holiday season. There are people who have lost their parents to old age, people who have gone through heartbreaking divorces, separations and breakups and people who are overseas defending their country because they have no other choice. The holidays will not be what they once were for any of them. And then there are the single parents, parents many of which have decent custody agreements that are “in the best interest of the children.” According to the US Census Bureau, there are more than 10 million single parents in the United States today. Each year millions among them can look forward to days of loneliness because the little ones they really want to spend time with are with the other parent.

When sane parents separate, many judges, thankfully, divide custody equally. Each parent gets his or her fair share of custody, if at all possible. Even when it’s not possible to share the time with the children equally, judges will usually attempt to divide up the holidays evenly. The kids spend every other holiday with mom and every other holiday with dad. It certainly is in the children’s best interest to get to spend some time with each parent. Most kids, with decent moms and dads, would prefer to spend every holiday with both parents. The precious little ones secretly hope for the impossible: That their divorced or separated parents will get back together. But despite their wishes, they adjust to the situation. They have no other choice.

presents
The array of Christmas presents, by SheepGuardingLlama. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0 via Flickr.

Nor do the parents. As we face the holidays many single parents face a very lonely time. They may be with dear family members: parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. Yet they may nonetheless feel a profound pain in their hearts, even as they watch close relatives savor the pecan pie or scream in delight when they rip open their Christmas presents. Their own children are far away. In most cases the youngsters are in a safe place elsewhere, stuffing their faces with goodies or breaking out laughing when the other grandpa makes a funny face. In most cases single parents know that their children are enjoying themselves in the company of the other caregiver and his or her extended family.

Yet the children are missing from the scenery. Their absence is felt. “It hurts. It hurts every other Christmas when my kids are with their dad during the holidays,” says Wendy Thomas, a St. Louis, Missouri single mother of two girls ages 8 and 5. Thomas shares custody with the girls’ father, who lives in Illinois. “The first year was the hardest but I don’t think I will ever get used to it. Shopping malls and Silent Night make me shiver,” says the 38-year-old entrepreneur. This is her third Christmas and New Year’s without her children.

Each holiday a single parent truly misses his or her children on that one day that is supposed to bring delight to everyone. “It’s going to be a lonely, lonely Christmas without you” may just be tedious background music for the families that didn’t break apart. Each year, however, the oldie is causing a tiny tear to run quietly down the cheek of some single caregiver.

But could some of the reported agony over absent children during the holidays be the result of what psychologists call cognitive dissonance, a psychological mechanism we use to justify our choices and conflicting belief sets? For example, you choose to volunteer three hours a week at the local children’s hospital. It’s killing you. You can barely fit in everything else you have to do. But you tell everyone, including yourself, that volunteer work is truly rewarding and every (wo)man’s duty. Making irrational decisions seem rational is a way to preserve your sense of self worth.

Studies show that the hardship involved in raising children makes us idealize parenthood and consider it an enormously rewarding enterprise. In a study published in the January 2011 issue of the journal Psychological Science researchers primed 80 parents with at least one child in two different ways. One group was asked to read a document reporting the costs of raising a child. The other parents read the same document as well as a script reporting on the benefits of having raised children when you reach old age. The participants were then given a psychological test assessing their beliefs about parenting. The team found what they expected. Parents who had only read about the financial costs of parenthood initially felt more discomfort than the other group. But they went onto idealize parenthood much more than the other participants and when interviewed later their negative feelings were gone.

“How do single parents get through Christmas as painlessly as possible?”

Could cognitive dissonance explain why single parents feel empty-handed and depressed during holiday seasons without their children? St. Charles, MO, family counselor Deborah Miller doesn’t think that’s what’s going on. “This year it’s my turn to be one of those parents. I’ll be the first to admit that raising a child is not always a blessing. There are countless times when I feel more like a chauffeur or a waitress or a slave than a free agent with some real me-time.” She thinks the lonely-parent phenomenon evidently is not a manifestation of cognitive dissonance, as we don’t idealize away the pain of being without our children on Christmas or New Year’s. The heartache often doesn’t go away until we see our kids again in January and abruptly remember just how draining it is to raise a child. “I’ll finally get some time to myself, and I know my son will have a blast. But I’ll miss him immensely,” says Miller.

How do single parents get through Christmas as painlessly as possible? The solution is not necessarily to have a huge family gathering with your side of the family to ease the sorrow. A gala dinner on Christmas Day may have its advantages. You can hug your little nieces and nephews and maybe feel a bit of comfort as they open their presents in a way only children can approach surprises. You may feel a teensy bit of wonder (or is it jealousy) as you view your siblings and their spouses exchange loving smiles and their young ones take delight in the simplest of things. “It may work for some but there is a sense in which you will only be a spectator,” says Miller. She recalls her Christmas two years ago. “I felt gratified to be part of a functional family, and it was good to see my siblings interact with their children. I also remember being thankful that my parents were still alive and healthy and that they got one more holiday season with some of their grandchildren. But I also felt great sadness, because the dearest thing in my life wasn’t with me. I really missed my son that day.” This Christmas, Miller is getting together with a few friends. “Sure, we will still have Christmas dinner but there won’t be any children or presents or sacred family traditions. So hopefully I won’t be reminded of what I’m missing out on.”

Featured image credit: Christmas Decorations, by Ian Wilson. CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr.

The post Parenting during the holidays appeared first on OUPblog.

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15. HoHoDooDa 2014

I started this challenge in November with #SKADAMO, a sketch a day challenge. No rules, just a way to get those creative juices flowing. I like to give myself a theme and this year I decided to highlight The fun and totally relatable, A Christmas Story, based on the original work of Jean Shepherd. I’ve come to the end of it now with #HoHoDooDa.  This has been fun. You can see the original illustrations with the text as you scroll through by blog. I just thought it would be fun to see them all together.
ChristmasStory_RBaird1
www.robertabaird.com

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16. HoHoDooDa 2014

Next to me in the blackness lay my oiled blue-steel beauty.
The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received… or would ever receive.
sleepralph72_RBaird
Gradually, I drifted off to sleep, pranging ducks on the wing…
and getting off spectacular hip shots.

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17. HoHoDooDa 2014

All right.
Everybody upstairs.
Get dressed.
We are going out to eat.
fararara2_Rbaird
No! Not, “ra ra ra ra ra.” “La la la la la.”
Sing like this:
Try again.    Stop!
Sing something else.
No!       Stop!
Kitchen. Bring food. For customers.
Oh, I’m sorry.
It’s a beautiful duck.
It really is.
But you see…
What?
It’s smiling at me.
Okay?
Beautiful!
That Christmas would live in our memories…
as the Christmas when we were introduced to Chinese turkey.

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18. reindeer

Hi guys, I know I haven't been around much, I hope you're all doing well!
 I wanted to pop in and show you some pictures of this year's Christmas parade. 





This is the fourth time we participated and I think it may have been the most fun for the people involved. The idea was to build a herd of reindeer to walk (and sing and dance - however the mood strikes) in the parade. 
We came up with a template and a patient friend cut out a whole bunch of them from recycled cardboard. Most of the the decorations came from thrift shops, although there was also paint and duct tape involved. We had a fun time and won the city prize for "most creative entry, so we were doing something right! And then there was pizza, of course.



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19. HoHoDooDay 2014 Day 1

HoHoDooDa hedgehogs

Announcing (last minute as is tradition) the beginning of HoHoDooDa 2014 (or Holiday Doodle A Day!)

As nutty as November was, what with PiBoIdMo (thank you so much Tara Lazar!) and SkADaMo 2014, it was just what the doctor ordered as far as a shot of creative, mojo-inducing stress.

A few Decembers ago, to keep the momentum going, my fellow illustrator pals, the talented Marion Eldridge and Laura Jacobson along with myself, engaged in yet another month-long sketch-a-thin which we dubbed HoHoDooDa, short for Holiday Doodle a Day (hmmm, not really that much shorter. Is it?) We did our best to create a holiday-themed doodle a day… or even every other day… or as often as humanly possible, throughout December.

What with the holidays and all, I admit it’s a little crazy and there may be some gnashing of teeth and tears shed, but overall, I’m sure it will be a blast and very rewarding, as it was last year. So, doin’ it again this year!

Just like SkADaMo, anyone who wants to join in is more than welcome! Regardless of what winter holiday you celebrate!

Rules for HoHoDooDa:

“What are the rules for HoHoDooDa?” You may ask.

1. THERE ARE NO RULES! NO SIGN UP! NO REGISTRATION! NO GIVEAWAYS OR GUEST POSTERS!  No regulations, themes, daily words, Facebook pages or anything else resembling organization. Just lots of holidaydoodling, commenting back and forth and hopefully lots of inspiration and craft honing!
HoHoDooDa Doodlers are scoff-laws and Mavricks! (Really, I’m just not that organized.) The only code we live by this month is Doodle! Doodle! Doodle! Doodle everyday from December 1 to December 31, or at least try to.
You may not Doodle every single day, but by golly you will have tried and you’ll have more doodles in your sketchbook at the end of December than you might have otherwise.
So, there’s that!

2. If you send me a link to your blog, (or wherever you are posting your HoHoDooDa doodles) I will keep a running list of all the participants and their links on my blog. This way we can all keep in touch and root each other on and enjoy the sugarplum fruits of each other’s doodle labors.

If you post to your blog it helps if you tag your illustrations HoHoDooDa or create a HoHoDooDa category. If you are posting to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram it helps to add a hashtag (#HohoDooDa.)

It has been my experience that Facebook’s hashtags are not all that reliable, which is why I decided to go back to listing any link you give me.

If there are any broken links, bad links, I forgot anyone, misspelled anyone’s name or any other heinous act was performed, please let me know and I’ll do my best to correct it.

3. Smile, this is fun!

Doodle on my fellow HoHoDooDa Doodlers, (should there be any!)


8 Comments on HoHoDooDay 2014 Day 1, last added: 12/4/2014
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20. SkADaMo 2014 or HoHoDooDay 2014

Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that…
I was not only perpetually four years old, but also a girl.
She just always gives you the nicest things, Ralphie.
Oh, isn’t that sweet?
Ralph, go upstairs and try it on you–
I don’t want to!
Go upstairs right now and try on that present!
a-christmas-storybunny
Immediately my feet began to sweat as those two fluffy little bunnies… with the blue button eyes stared sappily up at me.
Come down here so I can see you better.
I just hoped Flick would never spot them…
as the word of this humiliation could easily make life… at Warren G. Harding School a veritable hell.
Isn’t that cute?
That is the most precious thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
Shut up, Randy.
He looks like a deranged Easter bunny.

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21. SkADaMo 2014 and HoHoDooDay 2014

Oh, it was beautiful. I could hardly wait to try it out.
Can I try it out, Ma? Can I?
Sure.
Okay.
But outside.
shotmyeye out
Okay, Black Bart, now you get yours.
Oh, my God! I shot my eye out!
You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.
You’ll shoot your eye out, you’ll shoot your eye out!
Ralphie, you be careful out there. Don’t shoot your eye out!
She hadn’t seen! She didn’t know!
My eye’s all right. The BB must’ve hit my glasses.
My glasses! Oh, no!

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22. The Christmas Owl Hardback Giveaway

OwlCover_Kindle_optimized

You can enter to win a signed hardback copy of The Christmas Owl December 4 – December 12. Two lucky winners will receive a copy of these beautiful keepsake books and the hardbacks are only available here. Visit a Rafflecopter giveaway to get your entries in.

Also, during 12/4 -12/6 our Christmas Owl kindle book will be discounted to $.99 on Amazon (reg $3.50).  Happy Holidays from 4EYESBOOKS!

 

Christmas_Pine_Cones_PNG_Clipart


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23. December - Holidays Are Forever, Books, Movies, Kids and Dogs

                                             Best Wishes To All

BiscuitandGravy

  Holiday Dogs, Biscuit and Gravy, are courtesy of Richard Bradley's website, A Rock In My SHoe   

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Holiday Turning Point...

It was Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol that transformed Christmas, first in Victorian TinyTimchristmascarolJohnLeechEngland as the industrial age was barreling ahead, and then throughout Europe. Dicken's notion that the true Christmas spirit embodied caring and generouisity -- especially for those less fortunate --  influenced the thinking of multitudes and transformed the holiday.

The ancient orgins of Christmas and of Santa Claus have been traced to many cultures including Scandanavian (especially Danish), Germanic, Dutch and British. 

The legend of Santa Claus, himself, was greatly enhanced by the poem  A Visit from St Nicholas, written for his children, by the American, Clement Clarke Moore, in 1823.

Images by some of the great illustrators have deeply influenced perceptions of Santa and Chistmas. Nast-visit-st-nick This is especially true for children. However, significant impressions in the minds of adults were also made by the Dicken's illustrations of John Leech (and later by Arthur Rackham) in Great Britain, and the yearly illustrations by Thomas Nast of A Visit From St Nicholas in the USA.  

With the passing of time, the spirit of Christmas has changed. The idea of gifts for children, and then others, has evolved with stories, TV, films, merchants, and ceaseless marketing into an often overwhelming distortion of the original spirit of A Christmas Carol. But the spirit does live on.

A Christmas Carol

"Few works in the history of popular culture have had as much pronounced effect as Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, first published in 1843.  While Christmas Day had always been a sacred, Scroogesolemn feast day within the Christian faith (just as the Winter Solstice had been in many pagan cultures before it), it wasn’t until the middle part of the 1800s that many began to see it less as a site of religious devotion than as a holiday to be celebrated, and to be celebrated most specifically through the act of giving.  While A Christmas Carol didn’t spawn this tradition itself, it, more than any other force, popularized it throughout the western world.  Through its powerful, secular story of redemption through charity and love, Dickens imparted to all that Christmas was a time to celebrate all that was worthwhile about the human race, most specifically our love for one another, and our compassion for those less fortunate."...

 

To read the rest of this excellent article by Jonathan Morris, the Antiscribe, follow this link  It will take you to his comprehensive and instghtful article on the significance and lasting
Downloadimpact of Charles Dicken's and A Christmas Carol. 
Morris also provides, in this article, informed reviews of multiple film and TV versions of A Christmas Carol through the years; he includes photos and video links.
 
This link will enable you to download/read the original version of            A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens"

This link will take you to the 1971 Annimated version of A Christmas Carol produced by Chuck Jones, directed by Richard Williams, and with the voice of Alister Sim as Ebeneezer Scrooge. This is a classic and a favorite of Jonathan Morris: Annimated Christmas Carol

The top two illustrations on the left are by John leech. The illustration, on the right, is by Thomas Nast. The illustrator of the bottom left Christmas scene is unknown. 

Happy Holidays! 

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Vxp2_2"I don't know what to do.' cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoon of himself with his stockings. `I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody. A happy New Year to all the world. Hallo here. Whoop. Hallo.' "--
 

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

 

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   A Foxwoods Holiday Celebration

FoxwoodsBrianPattersonArtist

This wonderful illustration is by Brian Fox-Patterson for a series of children's books by Brian and his wife, Cynthia. To see more of his delightful illustrations, visit  Foxwood Tales Illustrations.


ChristmasTreeBunnies"Their first story was published in 1985, and seven more followed. SnowmanCrittersSince then the series of eight children's books have become modern classics. Over 1.3 million copies have been sold across 18 countries." (Wikipedia)  
For summaries of six of the books, visit  loveReading4Kids. A compilation of four of the Tales can be found in the book, A Foxwood Treasury.

I discovered the Foxwood Tales through the illustrations. I haven't read the books, but I wanted to share the superb illustrations.

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Kwanzaa- A Holiday Celebration 

by Holly Hartman  

"The year 2014 will see the 48th annual Kwanzaa, the African American holiday Kwanzaacelebrated from December 26 to January 1. It is estimated that some 18 million African Americans take part in Kwanzaa.

 Kwanzaa is not a religious holiday, nor is it meant to replace Christmas. KwanzaaKids2It was created by Dr. Maulana "Ron" Karenga, a professor of Black Studies, in 1966. At this time of great social change for African Americans, Karenga sought to design a celebration that would honor the values of ancient African cultures and inspire African Americans who were working for progress. 

Kwanzaa is based on the year-end harvest festivals that have taken place throughout Africa for thousands of years."...Kwanzaa ends with a feast and gift giving... Holidays are forever

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Albus_Dumbledore
One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.” 
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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RoseBig

 The Spirit of Christmas Embodied in a Therapy Dog

This is about Susan and Rose. That's Rose in the photos. It is also about the thousands of therapy dogs bringing unconditional love to young and old. Susan Purser is a retired teacher and has been working for several years with Rose in schools , hospitals, nursing homes and hospices. These are Susan's comments about working with Rose. 


“No matter who you are or why you do pet therapy, it is the dog that opens the door…doors that RoseBig4would otherwise be closed to a well meaning human...

“I consider myself a facilitator…if my dog could drive, she would not need me. Rose seems to enjoy seeing people multiple times and developing a relationship with the people… She is a working dog by nature and she just loves these jobs.  I am constantly amazed at the doors that Rose opens…she goes to places I could never get without her…reaches beyond my reach, touches a person deeper than my touch.  The restless or agitated patient who is calmed by Rose’s touch...the child in the classroom who won’t settle down and get to work but when Rose sits by them, they quiet right down and the hyperactivity seems to dissipate.  The child getting excited about reading to Rose every week; they wouldn’t do that for me, but they do it for Rose...

It is their touch or look that gives people that inner peace when their world is shrinking or spinning so fast they have lost control.  When doors begin the final closing, there is that one last smile, nod, a hand that reaches for a dog that allows some of them to say good bye and close their eyes in peace.”
The photos of Rose are courtesy of Susan Purser.

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LitWorldGroupHappyKidsThe Gift of Reading from LitWorld

Here is a joyous video from Litworld, celebrating the joy of reading, the joy of being somebody, the joy of hope. LitWorld gives the gift of reading to disadvantaged and at-risk children around the world...and they do this not only during the Christmas season, but throughout the year! 

 

LitWorld supports hopes, possibilities and lives in fourteen countries around the world! This link will take you to an interactive map of where Litworld works, from Columbia to India and from Kosovo to California. Interactive Map.

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Interview With Santa

Santa-397KBThis interview was conducted as part of a program to determine the truth behind the incredible story of The Snow Valley Heroes....

 

Interviewer: Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions and clarifying things. 

Santa: I’m happy that the story is finally coming out. 

Interviewer: Is it a true story? 

Santa:  Absolutely. 

Interviewer: Why haven’t we known about it before? 

Santa:  I think it was lost in the mists of time…It took place hundreds and hundreds of years ago. 

Interviewer: Is it true that there was to be no more Christmas?  Pauli&Sledge-397KB

Santa: I’m sorry to say that it’s true. Until the dogs arrived. 

Interviewer: The dogs? 

Santa: It was a surprise to all of us in Santa Claus village. None of us, and that includes all the elves,had even heard of dogs. 

Interviewer: Is that because you were so far North and rather isolated? 

Santa: Well, that and the fact that dogs has just started arriving on planet earth. Prior to that time, there had been no dogs on Earth. 

Interviewer: Really! Where did they come from? And how did they find you? 

Santa: They had started coming down from their own planet – the Planet of the Dogs. They came down to help people. Somehow, they had heard we were in trouble, and one day, there they were, just like that...

 To read all of the Interview With Santa, click this link:  Interview with Santa 

The illustrations from Snow Valley Heroes, A Christmas Tale, are by Stella Mustanoja McCarty

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Podmeme2Free copies of Snow Valley Heroes, a Christmas Tale; Planet Of The Dogs; and Castle In The Mist  are available  for therapy dog owners and organizations, as well as librarians and teachers with therapy reading dog programs. Simply email us at planetofthedogs@gmail.com with your postal address.

All of the Planet Of The Dogs series of books are available through your favorite independent bookstore and online through Barnes&Noble, Amazon, and many other sources.  

 Here is a link to sample chapters of  Snow Valley Heroes 

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Bfp_logo_header


BFPBeagles

We're on Holiday...The Beagle Freedom Project found us a new home after life in a cage as a test animal....wow!

 

"The Beagle Freedom Project is a mission to rescue beagles used in animal experimentation in research laboratories and give them a chance at life in a loving forever home." 

This wonderful organization has several excellent, touching, videos and clear, basic information: The Beagle Freedom project 

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DrSeussXmas

 

"Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

―Dr Seuss, How The Grinch Stole Christmas

 

 

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FindingFidoFinding Fido for Doglovers

"Finding Fido is a book that we believe each and every PetParent should not only read, but own. Finding Fido is a PetParent’s guide to: preventing the loss of their pets in the first place & also serves as a guide to PetParents for essential steps to recovering their pets if they ever are lost. If you’re a first time Pet Parent or a long time, seasoned Pet Parent, there are tips and tricks in here that will be helpful to you!...

As great as this book truly is, we’ve got one detail to share that completely sweetens the pot…the cherry on top if you will. All proceeds from the sale of Finding Fido are donated toward the Beagle Freedom Project Kaitlin Jenkins- PetParent  The cover design and content are by author and dog advocate C.A. Wulff 

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 Holiday Season at the Movies

Fun stories.fantasy and imaginative annimation characterize the holiday movies for children...while dystopia, conflict and bloodshed continue to pour out of YA films.

My hope is that children will see the films intended for them, and stay away from the violence of current YA movies, designed, as Christopher Tolkien says below, as action movies for young people 15 to 25.

Chriestopher Tolkien

 JRR Tolkien's son, Christopher, believes that the quest for commercial success by Peter Hobbit-raft-elvesJackson and the movie industry has destoyed the essence of what his father wrote about the world of Middle Earth in the Hobbit books. Here are excerpts from a post regarding Christopher Tolkien's deep disappointment that appeared on Worldcrunch. The quotes by Tolkien are from an interview he gave to le Monde. 

"Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? 'They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25,' Christopher says regretfully. 'And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film.'.. 

This divorce has been systematically driven by the logic of Hollywood. 'Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time,' Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. 'The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing' "....

Read the full article on Worldcrunch: My Father's "Eviscerated" Work - Son Of Hobbit Scribe J.R.R. Tolkien Finally Speaks Out 

The illustration,"Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raftelves, is by JRR Tolkien.

The Hobbit, Battle of the Five Armies, opens Dec 17. Here is a link to the trailer: Five Armies:

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay1


MockingjayPt1KatnissintheDistrict

The story of the Hunger Games continues through the Holiday Season and beyond, with Mockingjay 1. It opened in late November and is off to becoming another huge financial success. Audiences seem to like the film despite the fact that many critics were dissapointed.

 

Here is an excerpt from the review in the Atlantic by Christopher Orr entitled, Hunger Games: Mockingjay1, Darker, More Relentles than Ever.

 "Is the film a bit baggy in places? Sure. Might it have been better if they’d squeezed the whole book into one movie? Probably. Nonetheless, Mockingjay Part 1 is a fine entertainment, shot through with moments of surprising emotional impact."

Here is a link to the Mockingjay1 trailer.

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The Dystopian Formula 

The dystopian story appears to be a theme for success in today's YA film market. In reviewing MazeRunner3The Maze Runner, Jack Cole wrote that The Maze Runner doesn't separate itself from its YA dystopian bretheren. Here is the headline and an excerpt from Cole's insightful review:In 'The Maze Runner,' the maze itself is a letdown and the film presents boring explanations to the plot's mysteries. By Jake Coyle, Associated Press.

Has a cottage industry ever sprung up as fast as the YA land rush brought on by "Twilight" and "The Hunger Games"? I'd like to use a mortal instrument to put an ender to this game. Please, giver me a break.

But to be fair, there isn't anything inherently wrong with "The Maze Runner," directed by special effects-veteran Wes Ball. It's just that it does so little to find its own path separate from its dystopia brethren. All of the recent young-adult formulas are adhered to here: the teenage rebellion against tradition, the coming-of-age metaphors, the heavy sequel-baiting.

Here is a link to the trailer for The Maze Runner. The film has grossed over one hundred million dollars and continues to play. It was not expensive to produce. There will be a sequel.

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Movie Violence and Children...

I believe that films with relentless violence, surround sound, fearful images and often in 3-D, will HobbitsSworddisturb children. How many children, twelve and under, are seeing the current crop of violent dyustopian films?

I presume the producers of these films, and to a lesser extent, the writers of the book series on which they are based, see violence as an important aspect of marketing and audience appeal.

Perhaps, many young adult viewers, after watching the Hunger Games, are more appreciative of the world they live in and of the fact that they are not one of the 25 million refugee children across the world.

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 The Giver 

GiverSkyAfter reading Jerry Griswold's enthusiastic comments about The Giver in the Unjournal of Children's Literature, I decided to research the movie and write about it. The film was based on a controversial, but well received book by Lois Lowry.The book was published in 1993 and the movie was released in July, 2014. The Giver had a different take on dystopia and the use of violence. 

I have now decided to see the movie before writing further about The Giver. To be continued...

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Into The Woods

Into-the-woodsLRRHoodInto the Woods, which seems to be a Disney family film for children, YA, and parents, is now opening on Christmas Day, 2014. The film's slogan, "Be careful what you wish for", relates to the witch, a central character, played by Meryl Streep. Music by Stephen Sondheim, adds to the story, as it did in the original long running Broadway production.

In the story, the witch uses her magical powers to teach lessons in living to Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Rapunzel and Jack and the Beanstalk. The original production was a big hit with audiences. 

Here is a link to the trailer for Into the Woods.

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 Annie


Opens Dec 18... Annie, a family movie, is based on the hit Broadway musical. The cast Annie-Movie-includes Jamie Fox, Quvenzhane Wallis and Cameron Diaz...Here is a summary from IMDB where you will also find more information, photos and trailers.

Annie looks joyous and entertaining in the trailer preview.

"Annie is a young, happy foster kid who's also tough enough to make her way on the streets of New York in 2014. Originally left by her parents as a baby with the promise that they'd be back for her someday, it's been a hard knock life ever since with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan. But everything's about to change..." 

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 Holiday Children's Movies Galore

Here are three more kid's films that look good in their trailers and have been generally well received by reviewers. I have previously posted good notices for the following recently opened movies: Box Trolls, Book of Life, and Hero of Color City -

 Big Hero 6 

Critics Consensus from Rotten Tomatoes :  "Agreeably entertaining and brilliantly animated, Big Hero 6 is briskly-paced, action-packed, and often touching." In 3D. Now Playing. Box office: 200 million thus far. Here is the trailer for Big Hero 6 ...Looks like fun.

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Paddington

Paddington2
 Paddington Review...Here is an excerpt from the 3 star review by Xan Brooks in the Guardian
 
"Paddington, directed by Paul King from the original Michael Bond stories, spins the tale of a small bear (voiced very ably by Ben Whishaw) weaned on marmalade jars and idealised notions of England. The film is as warm as an eiderdown and as fluffy as its feathers. Cast out of his forest home, Paddington hops a cargo ship and comes to London, where his decorous dreams bump up against modern reality"
Opening December 12. Here is the trailer: Paddington Adopted from a classic children's book.
 
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Penquins of Madagascar
 
This is one I missed before...Opened in mid-November. Here is the trailer: Penguins of Madagascar
 
Critics Consensus from Rotten Tomatoes: "Penguins of Madagascar is fast and brightly colored enough to entertain small children, but too frantically silly to offer real filmgoing fun for the whole family."
 
 

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LightsSheepSheepdogsChristmas Lights Moving Through the Hills

A Holiday treat, and a wonder to behold, the moving lights are on hundreds of sheep, running in the darkness, guided by sheepdogs...this is a classic video...Moving Lights

 

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PlanetDogFondaton-Banner

From Rescue to Reading...A Holiday Salute

Brigadoon-grantee-picWe Salute the Planet Dog Foundation for their years of support for "the exemplary work of non-profit organizations training and placing dogs working to help people in need all over the country."

Through the years, they have given over one million dollars; in 2014, alone, they have given over one hundred thousand dollars.

For more information, here is a link to the Planet Dog website 

The photo is from Brigadoon Youth and Service Dog Programs in Bellingham,WA

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Circling The Waggins at Christmas

Here is an an excerpt from the doglover's book, Circling the Waggins, by CA Wulff. The dogs seen in the ebook cover (below) are the current residents of the cabin in the woods wherein this saga of a life with rescued dogs takes place.


CtWrevisedCoverKindle
"I feel like we are haunted by the ghost dog of Christmas past. The season brings a million reminders of our Troll, a dog who had loved Christmas more than any other time of year. He would get excited at the first signs of holiday decorations, and his eyes would shine with a child’s wonder. On Christmas morning, he would race to be the first dog under the tree, to tear at the packages full of biscuits and rawhides. Each of the dogs would tear at a package, but Troll unwrapped with such gusto and fervor, that they would all abandon their presents to stand back and watch him, and then make off with whatever treats he had revealed." 

CA Wullf also created the cover for her book.

 

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Way Cool Dogs On Finding a Puppy That's Good for Kids 

Choosing the right puppy is a critical decision...here is an excerpt from a helpful article on Way Cool Dogs.


POD-Miss Merrie-blog size"How do you choose a puppy that is good for your children? It is a question every parent should ask before deciding to adopt one of the small puppy breeds for their child. Toy puppies can make great companions for kids if they are chosen properly, and the child is trained to handle small puppies properly. And to be fair, a child is the only one who can keep up with the boost of energy that puppies seem to be born with!

The good news is that you have a variety of small puppy breeds to choose from: mini Yorkies, Maltese, Havanese, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and many others. Smaller dogs seem to be less intimidating around children. If the puppies are small, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be aggressive with children. You just need to be careful when choosing a perfect small puppy for your home...

The illustration, from Planet Of The Dogs, is by Stella Mustanoja McCarty

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SunbearSqBigLogo

Sunbear Squad guides good hearted people like those who sent Sunbear this post.... 

Christmas Rescue of a Lost Rescue Dog

 

scooter (5K)Are you ready for a sweet Christmas story about a little lost doggy? We were walking our two dogs a few days ago and saw a little scared pup that looked like a Shitzu/Llasa Apso mix. He was limping, his hair was shaved, he had no collar. We scooped the little guy up and brought him home with us. We drove to Petco and Petsmart to ask if they recognized him. No one did. So we had him scanned to see if he was microchipped. He wasn't. So we listed the little fella on Craigslist and a lost and found pup website also. No luck. We called around to a few vet clinics in our area ... to no avail. So we took care of this little lost boy in our home for a few days.

 

We named the little guy Buddy. He was so sweet. He stayed with us and my two little dogs who played and slept and ate along with him. He seemed to limp a little less as the days went by. We wondered how his life was before he met us. We wondered if he was limping because he may have been a caged dog used for breeding because he was not neutered. We wondered if he came from a loving home or an abusive home. We were getting worried after our fourth day of loving on the little guy...

 

Here is the link to read the complete post on Sunbear Christmas Rescue. 

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  Charles-DickensTree"Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart." -Washington Irving

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24. HoHoDooDay 2014

Sometimes at the height of our reveries, when our joy is at its zenith…
when all is most right with the world…
the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us.
Oh, turkey!
turkey dogs
The heavenly aroma still hung heavy in the house. But it was gone.
All gone. No turkey. No turkey sandwiches.
No turkey salad. No turkey gravy, turkey hash, turkey a la king…
or gallons of turkey soup.
Gone.
All gone.
All right.
Everybody upstairs.
Get dressed.
We are going out to eat.

0 Comments on HoHoDooDay 2014 as of 12/5/2014 12:25:00 AM
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25. HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 4

Spruced Up

…and then, as if by magic, Bruce Sprucington Treeworthy wobbled impossibly into a stately bow.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Looks like we have a few masochists joining HoHoDooDa this year. Below are the names and links of said participants (at least any who have left their name and link to where they are posting their doodles, in the comments here.) If I’ve missed anyone or your link is not working or any other proof of my heinous lack of organizational skills, please let me know and I’ll do my best to fix it.

Let’s get doodling!

For more HoHoDooDa info please go here.

HoHoDooDa 2014 Participants:

Heahter Soodak

Roberta Baird

Pam Tanzey

Bobbie Dacus

Heather LittleBearies

June Goulding


5 Comments on HoHoDooDa 2014 Day 4, last added: 12/5/2014
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