What is JacketFlap

  • JacketFlap connects you to the work of more than 200,000 authors, illustrators, publishers and other creators of books for Children and Young Adults. The site is updated daily with information about every book, author, illustrator, and publisher in the children's / young adult book industry. Members include published authors and illustrators, librarians, agents, editors, publicists, booksellers, publishers and fans.
    Join now (it's free).

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

Enter a Blog's Feed URL below and click Submit:

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

JacketFlap Sponsors

Spread the word about books.
Put this Widget on your blog!
  • Powered by JacketFlap.com

Are you a book Publisher?
Learn about Widgets now!

Advertise on JacketFlap

MyJacketFlap Blogs

  • Login or Register for free to create your own customized page of blog posts from your favorite blogs. You can also add blogs by clicking the "Add to MyJacketFlap" links next to the blog name in each post.

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
new posts in all blogs
Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: imagination, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 114
1. Zoe's Jungle: Bethanie Deeney Murguia

Book: Zoe's Jungle
Author: Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Pages: 40
Age Range: 3-5

My daughter and I both enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) Bethanie Murguia's two previous picture books about Zoe (Zoe Gets Ready and Zoe's Room: No Sister's Allowed). In this third installment, the irrepressible Zoe and her younger sister Addie pretend that a playground is a jungle. Some tension is added to the story by the fact that Mama has decreed that they'll be leaving the park in five minutes. But as it turns out, five minutes is enough time for a jungle adventure, if you have sufficient imagination.

Alternating page spreads show the jungle that Zoe is picturing, vs. the playground as it actually looks. This may be a bit confusing for the youngest readers (my four-year-old wasn't sure what was going on, the first time we read this). But once they understand the device that Murguia is using, I think that kids will enjoy it. For instance, Zoe crosses over an alligator-filled river on a fallen log. The "log" is revealed on the next page to be a wooden bench, passing near some kids playing in a puddle. Not until the final endpages do we see the full view of the park. (And I must say, it's a very nice park!)

Although this is still clearly Zoe's story, it's nice to see her sister growing a bit bigger, and more able to actively take part in things (this is clear from just looking at the cover). The "Addiebeast" runs away and hides, and the brave explorer Zoe must track her down. Addie's polka-dotted dress is echoed in the Addiebeast's spotted tail. 

I also, as a parent, enjoyed the by-play between Zoe and her Mama over when they would leave the park. Zoe goes on a huge rant over how five more minutes is "NOT" enough time. At the end of the rant, Mama just says: "Four minutes!". Zoe slumps over, saying: "Is there no respect for the explorer and her quest?" But then Addie distracts her, and the game is on. 

I love the green jungle palette of Zoe's Jungle, and the images of kids climbing trees and riding wild beasts, as well as the images of kids just playing in a playground. Mostly I love that Zoe's Jungle is a celebration of imaginative play, as well as a celebration of sibling bonds. Recommended, and sure to become a Baby Bookworm favorite!

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (@Scholastic
Publication Date: May 27, 2014
Source of Book: Advance review copy from the publisher

FTC Required Disclosure:

This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

Add a Comment
2. Picture Book Roundup - Wordless edition

It's been ages since I've done a picture book roundup!  Here are two wordless masterpieces.

  • Becker, Aaron. 2013. Journey. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
Harold and the Purple Crayon for a new generation.  Beautiful!

  • Kim, Patti. 2014. Here I Am. North Mankato, MN: Capstone Press. 
An insightful story of a young boy's experience in emigrating from Asia to the United States.

0 Comments on Picture Book Roundup - Wordless edition as of 4/10/2014 9:19:00 AM
Add a Comment
3. Try an Intuitive Heart™ Soul Reflection Experience

Heart Art

“If you wish to know someone’s heart, look into your own.” Heart Art by Henry Reed, Ph.D.

There are many exercises available to awaken intuitive abilities but this one is a favorite because it is so simple and so effective. Also, it surfaces an issue that really matters—one the participant may not even realize as a conscious issue before doing the exercise. Lastly, it facilitates a resolution or process for working with the issue that is line with the soul’s need. The exercise was developed by Henry Reed, Ph.D., Director of the Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies  and can be found at: http://intuitiveheart.com/SoulReflection/. The instructions are at http://intuitiveheart.com/SoulReflection/memory-divination-instructions.html which involve:

  1. Doing the 7 minute Inspired Heart Meditation followed by the Memory Divination Exercise. Both can be downloaded as one meditation in a free mp3 file at http://intuitiveheart.com/SoulReflection/ihmemdiv.mp3
  2. Processing the memory received according to the instructions. Basically, what does this memory remind you of in relation to something important in your life right now? How do you feel about this current concern? What are the challenges?
  3. Going to http://intuitiveheart.com/SoulReflection/selected-important-question.html to find a random question generated. Reflect on this question in light of your memory and the processing of it. What comes to light?

For a description of my experience doing this exercise, please see the sequel post at http://wp.me/p45aiq-4N.

0 Comments on Try an Intuitive Heart™ Soul Reflection Experience as of 4/8/2014 3:59:00 PM
Add a Comment
4. #520 – Elephants at the Airport: Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe by Steve Wolfson & Heleen Brulot

EA Frnt Cover-1sm.

Elephants At The Airport: Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe

by Steve Wolfson & Heleen Brulot

Argami Productions     11/25/2013


Age 4 to 8   32 pages


“Nicki is not so happy about having to move to Zimbabwe, Africa. She is not sure what to expect and is truly surprised when one of the first things she sees is an elephant at the airport.”


“Nikki thought she was waking up, but maybe it was a dream. Why else were her parents sleeping in her bedroom and why she was sleeping sitting up in a chair.”

The Story

Nikki’s mother gets a job that takes the family to Zimbabwe, Africa. Like most young kids, Nikki does not want to leave her home and her friends. She wonders how she will hang her posters on a mud wall. She is also fearful of all the wild animals that she believes will be everywhere. Nikki might be right. At the airport an elephant—a green elephant with red and yellow spots—takes her suitcase off the belt and walks away with it. Dad insists there are no elephants in the city.

In her new home, Nikki sees a menagerie of animals come through the bushes defining her backyard. Rhinos, lions, zebras, baboons, and an ostrich run and play in front of Nikki’s bedroom window. Dad sternly insists there are no wild animals in the city. Nikki spends all her time playing with the elephant from the airport, much to her parent’s dismay. They never see any of the animals that hide in the bushes until Nikki is alone.



The first reading of Elephants at the Airport was confusing. Why could only Nikki see the animals that were real enough to play with her? The title on the cover states, Elephants at the Airport and nothing more, not even the author and illustrator’s name (that is perfectly okay). A closer look at the credit and title pages shows a subtitle: Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe. Now I get it. The story is a fable. Nikki has no desire to move to Africa and is terrified of the unknown. To make things worse, a green elephant—with red and yellow dots—grabs her suitcase. Dad refuses to believe his child.

Zimbabwe is not a place to fear, but a magical place for kids where the animals entertain Nikki in front of her bedroom window. The story lacks development. Mainly Nikki and her father are in a stalemate over wild animals in the city in which they live. Dad even takes Nikki to a game park—actually a mechanism to end the story. Nikki declares the elephants were great, but her favorite is still the airport elephant, which causes her dad to yell,

“There are NO elephants at the airport!”

Nikki replies that he is right; the elephant is now at their home. She then runs out to play with Airport. Nikki happily skips out of the house and her parents look out to see their daughter with something green and wonder . . . could it be? An acceptable ending I suppose. Kids will laugh and so might their parents.


To me, the ending just tells me the inevitable. An easy ending that does not develop the protagonist. Nikki should change by story’s end, but she changes on the first morning. It seems the character that might change is dad, a secondary character. Does he now believe wild animals are in the city? Does he now believe a green elephant with red and yellow spots plays with his daughter? Nikki folded her fears and her lack of enthusiasm for living in a new country too soon in the story.

Young children will like the imaginary playmate aspect of the story. They will like Airport, maybe even more so because of his coloring. They will most likely not care that the story is poorly constructed and in need of a good edit. Though they might want to know where the other elephants are at the airport.

I love the cover and really like the elephant. The artist draws a nice, realistic elephant. The illustrations are good. A few have what looks like paint smeared across the paper, making the image difficult to see. I think this is supposed to indicate speed—of the animals as they play. A few other images are mostly shades of brown with a bit of color, making it difficult to see what the image represents. That very well could be a printing problem, but in the end, whatever the problem, these spreads are not good. It really is a shame because the illustrations are extremely good.

[After watching the trailer, it is clear that the problem is with printing. The illustrations, every one of them, are gorgeous and detailed clearly in the trailer, but muddled on the page.]

Elephants at the Airport: Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe takes a young girl out of her familiar surroundings and places her into a strange land of wild animals. Nikki quickly recovers from her fears and plays with the elephant from the airport. Dad is not happy, thinking his girl is isolating herself. She has a great time playing with what might or might not be an imaginary friendly elephant. I like the premise of the story. Elephants at the Airport has wonderful story potential but it needs work before I would purchase this adorable green elephant.



Learn more about Elephants at the Airport: Once Upon a Time in Zimbabwe HERE.

Get a copy of Elephants at the Airport at AmazonB&Nbook’s websiteask for it at your neighborhood bookstore.


Meet the author, Steve Wolfson at his website: http://www.wolfsonsworld.com/ 

Meet the illustrator, Heleen Brulot at her website:  http://www.brulot.net/

Check out other books by Argami Productions at its website:  http://www.argamiproductions.com/


ELEPHANTS AT THE AIRPORT: ONCE UPON A TIME IN ZIMBABWE, Text copyright © 2013 by Steve Wolfson. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Heleen Brulot. Reproduced by permission of Argami Productions, Weston, FL.



elephant at airport

Filed under: Children's Books, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: Africa, Argami Productions, children's book reviews, creativity, elephants, family, Heleen Brulot, imagination, relationships, Steve Wolfson, wild animals, Zimbabwe

Add a Comment
5. Diversity in picture books and the astonishing case of the stolen stories

“Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books?”

Last weekend Walter Dean Myers, a previous National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (the US equivalent of the UK’s children’s laureate) wrote a thought-provoking article in the New York Times about the need for books for children’ and young people to truly reflect the world around them. In his piece he was focussing on the lack of black children and young adults in books written for them. But I think much of what he writes is more widely applicable, as was explored and demonstrated at last month’s Inclusive Minds ‘What About Me?’ day at Imagine Children’s Festival. Among many other activities that day there was a discussion of the “concept of normal” in books for children and young adults, and the importance of diversity, of showing all sorts of children, from all sorts of backgrounds, so that all children could read books and see themselves somehow reflected, included and valued.

In a beautiful case of serendipity, with Myers’ words in my head, I picked up stolenstoriesThe Astonishing Case of the Stolen Stories by Anca Sandu (@anca_sandu).

Across a fairy tale kingdom, all stories have been stolen. The palace bookshelves are empty, the bookshop has no stock, and even cookery books and spell books are missing. A trio of detectives are called upon to crack the case and track down the culprit, but when they do so the explanation given for the thievery is heartbreaking:

“Well, I don’t know who I am,”
replied the thing. “I’ve found everyone
else in a book, but never me –
I thought if I kept looking
I might find a book with
my story in it.”

Children may not always be able to articulate it, but it is tremendously powerful when they find a story in which they recognise something of themselves, or something of what they could be. It’s the same for us grown ups, isn’t it?

Sandu’s gorgeous story ends positively with the detectives not only solving the case, but going further and taking steps to solve the source of the problem. Upbeat, witty, inventive, with compassion and creativity – there’s lots to love here.

The Astonishing Case of the Stolen Stories is tantalisingly ripe for use in literacy lessons, begging for teachers and children to work together to write their own stories. There are even jokes about enriched vocabulary, which will revitalise the drive for kids to use “wow” words or “power” words.


Sandu’s illustrations are shot with spring-like pastel hues and achieve a quite magical balance of clutter free, smooth spreads (enhanced by slightly glossy printing) sprinkled with humorous detail: See how many fairytale characters such as the Gingerbread man and Rapunzel you can find hidden in the illustrations.

Although I love The Astonishing Case of the Stolen Stories and would urge you to read it yourself, I also feel Sandu perhaps missed an opportunity in illustrating her story about the importance of readers seeing themselves somehow reflected in the books they read.

There are few female characters in this book; the humans that feature are all white, and the only inclusion of someone with any sort of disability is a pirate with an eye patch. Now I’m not saying that every book has to feature equal numbers of males and females, and different skin colours and people who use wheelchairs (for example), but I am observing that even in a book where your attention is drawn to the fact that readers like to find themselves in books (and thereby explicitly acknowledges the importance of reflecting society in its beautiful diversity – even in a fairy tale kingdom – in the stories we write and read) perhaps more could have been done to reach out to those kids who find it hard to find themselves in stories.

Inspired by the hunt for stories in Sandu’s book we set up our very own storybook treasure hunt. M and J were designated storybook detectives for the afternoon, after I had hidden books and clues around the house and garden.


The clues were very simple and just asked the girls to work out a location based on a book I knew they knew. So, for example, I asked “Where was Pushka trapped until Lulu rescued him?” (The oven, see Pushka), “What gave Ulysses the squirrel his name?” (A vacuum cleaner, see Flora & Ulysses) and “What are you sorting out when you go DING DONG BANG or BING BONG CLANG?” (the kitchen pans, see All Join In).


They then rushed around finding the books I’d hidden…




And when they had solved the final clue we sat and read a selection of the books they’d found whilst munching on a treat:


These are entirely edible storybooks made from no-cook fudge, coloured to match the pastels in The Astonishing Case of the Stolen Stories


The recipe is super easy and brilliant for kids – just 3 ingredients (not including colouring or sprinkles), and all you need to do is mix everything together. The resulting “fudge” is lovely to play with, a little like edible playdoh. If you put it in the fridge for a little it firms up nicely and makes perfect books!

Whilst making the no-bake-fudge story books we listened to:

  • Every Great Detective by Sharon, Lois & Bram
  • Holding Out for a Hero by Bonnie Tyler. Yep. Terrible. Brilliant. Will make (some) sense when you’ve read Sandu’s book!
  • The ultimate detective music – the Pink Panther theme!

  • Alongside reading The Astonishing Case of the Stolen Stories you could enjoy:

  • The Lost Happy Endings by Carol Ann Duffy, illustrated by Jane Ray (you can read my review here)
  • This post by Pippa Goodhard about the gender disparity in anthropomorphic characters in children’s picture books (Thanks to @letterboxlib for helping me find this article)
  • Writing your own story! If you want to give your kids some prompts to help them create their own story, why not try these mini books Clara Vulliamy and I created for you to download.
  • What sort of stories are you currently hunting for?

    Disclosure:I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher.

    3 Comments on Diversity in picture books and the astonishing case of the stolen stories, last added: 3/20/2014
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    6. The Treasure of Snake Island: A Captain No Beard Story | Dedicated Review

    In Carole P. Roman’s fifth installment of her award-winning Captain No Beard series, The Treasure of Snake Island, the crew of the Flying Dragon discovers the power of reading.

    Add a Comment
    7. Luke 11: The Lord’s Prayer as a Chakra Visualization Meditation

    Jesus Teaches Prayer

    The Sermon on the Mount –
    Carl Heinrich Bloch

    Luke 11 begins with the Lord’s Prayer.  Edgar Cayce, Dana Williams and Philip St. Romain, among others, have commented on the correlation of the seven chakras of Hinduism to phrases in the Lord’s Prayer.  Here is my version of an extended Lord’s Prayer which makes a reasonable correlation to the seven chakras, perhaps in a different way suggested by others.  The words in bold are either the original words to the Lord’s Prayer as it is often said in Christian communities or a close proximity with more added to show a correlation to a chakra.  The words in italics suggest the chakra indicated with the suggested correlation in bold following.

    Our Father Who Art In Heaven, help us to see that the greatest service we can give to others is to continually transform ourselves into clearer images made in your likeness.  When we feel the emptiness inside, it is so tempting to seek without for the wealth, power, and recognition needed to help us feel more assured in our service to others.  Instead, help us to see ourselves as we truly are: beings of light and energy already complete with our own God-given power, creativity and blessings which only need to be lit up brightly by Your love—and appreciated by ourselves.

    (7th Chakra: Center for Spiritual Purpose)
    In hallowing and making holy Your name we allow the fullness of Your grace to flood into us from Your home above into the top of our heads, making space for

    (6th Chakra: Center for Spiritual Vision)
    Thy kingdom to come inside our minds, and then…

    (5th Chakra: Center for Decision Making and Communication)
    Delightfully invade our throats so that we can commit to and make the most courageous proclamation possible: Thy Will Be Done, which is only to make us ever more like the impossibly loving, powerful and wise You.

    (4th Chakra: Center for Joining the Energies Above and Below to Heal and Relate)
    At this point You have gone further into us, invading our hearts like an insistent lover, truly commingling the divine with the human so we can truly say, “On earth as it is in heaven!

    (3rd Chakra: Center for Managing Power and Structure)
    But because we need earthly bread and other good things as well as heavenly bread, we can now ask freely and confidently of you, “Give us our daily bread” to fill the aching stomach and other earthly wants and needs.  As a lover, it is Your joy to grant our wishes.

    (2nd Chakra: Center for Creativity within Boundaries)
    Still your loving does not stop.   It reaches further into our most creative places where we give life and make love prosper in our relationships.  Here, the loving comes easy, but the temptation to trespass on others’ boundaries is great and the experience of being trespassed and betrayed is all too frequent, making us need to ask for the grace of forgiveness for ourselves and others.

    (1st Chakra: Center for Security and Survival)
    By now, You have thoroughly penetrated our innermost recesses even to the very bottom of our spines where Your loving presence seeks to cast out any remnant of temptation so that you may deliver us from all evil, and let us know the most blessed peace and well-being.

    Now that You are so thoroughly within us, we are ablaze with light.  Let us shine our light on each other and the world in our work and in our relationships with others.   Let us send light and loving energy to all who are sick, lonely, and hurt by war.  For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever amen.

    0 Comments on Luke 11: The Lord’s Prayer as a Chakra Visualization Meditation as of 3/5/2014 2:54:00 PM
    Add a Comment
    8. Three cheers for Rosie Revere!

    The last couple of weeks on the blog have really reminded me how books can take you everywhere and anywhere. From “pink” books, to the Holocaust, to environmental campaigning, I do love the journey my blog takes me on.

    rosiefrontcoverToday’s roving brings us to contemplate engineering and what constitutes failure, with Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts, a follow up to this same team’s ingenious Iggy Peck, Architect.

    Rosie dreams of being an engineer. She loves collecting rubbish and creating contraptions. But people laugh at her creations and her emerging confidence is soon crushed. When Great Great Aunt Rose tells young Rosie how she built aeroplanes during the war, Rosie is once again inspired. But will Rosie’s engineering work this time? What if her plans fail?

    An upbeat rhyming tale about the value of trying and trying again, Rosie Revere, Engineer encourages readers to hold on to their passions, and to never give up, even if things don’t work out the first time. Great for encouraging a can-do approach to whatever life throws at you, Rosie’s tale also leads naturally into discussions about women’s roles during the Second World War, and women who have broken the mould in various fields, notably that of flight.

    463px-We_Can_Do_It!Rosie is creative, thoughtful, passionate, full of a sense of fun, and with more than a nod to Rosie the Riveter, not least with her matching headscarf, and the slogan “We Can Do It” on her flying machine.

    Roberts’ illustrations are a scrapheap challenge (junkyard ward) junkie’s dream come true. Littered with curious details to pore over (can you spot a Wild Thing, or follow the unwritten story of the baby bird?) the colours are bright and pen drawings clear. Often on expanses of white, Roberts’ work is vibrant, crisp and fresh, perfectly matching the confident and purposeful message at the heart of the book.


    There is a decidedly American flavour to the text (some rhymes, I assume, work better with certain US accents than my UK one, and cheese spray may seem rather mind boggling to many on this side of the pond) so a little contextualisation might be handy, but my young engineers didn’t bat an eyelid at this. They were simply delighted by this Rosie and her take on life. Spunky, funky and full of fun and inspiration, three cheers for Rosie Revere!

    To go alongside reading Rosie Revere, Engineer I set up a little after-school structural engineering project involving essential tools of the trade: tooth picks and sweets.


    The aim of the game was to see what we could build and how we could build it using just these two materials, plus some imagination, and a little bit of concentration…


    Space rockets and climbing frames soon rose from the kitchen table.


    A spider’s web of construction emerged, with lots of experimental investigation as to what made our feats of engineering stand strong.


    We also got to explore the roles of different materials, as we quickly discovered that most dolly mixtures aren’t very good for this type of project, whilst mini wine gums and gum drops are excellent. (If you want to go for just one, the wine gums are a better bet as they are less messy; the gum drops litter the kitchen table with sugar sprinkles, and also make fingers stickier).


    We all thoroughly enjoyed this engineering project, and M is very keen to try it again soon to model chemical compound structure (her idea!); different sweets for different elements? Definitely sounds fun to me.

    Whilst designing, engineering and building we listened to some brilliant music:

  • I’m Gonna be an Engineer, written by Peggy Seeger, performed in this video by her half brother, Pete Seeger. Full lyrics (which are just fabulous) here.
  • Rosie The Riveter by The Four Vagabonds
  • Dave Rawlings Machine’s The Monkey and The Engineer

  • Other activities which would be great fun to get up to alongside reading Rosie Revere, Engineer include:

  • Junk Modelling! Indeed, Rosie Revere, Engineer cries out for you to rifle the recycling bin and get sticking and gluing and making. Here’s how we like to junk model!
  • Watching this classic car advert showing the domino effect, and invite the kids to try to set up something similar.
  • Tipping the lego all over the floor and seeing what you can build together. This lego website has lots of ideas, but we prefer to have this book open nearby.

  • Don’t miss the teacher’s guide to Rosie Revere either.

    What are you going to engineer today?

    Disclosure: I recieved a free reivew copy of Rosie Revere, Engineer from the publishers.


    3 Comments on Three cheers for Rosie Revere!, last added: 9/18/2013
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    9. I’ve gone dotty……


    September 15 is International Dot Day, when over 1 million teachers and students, inspired by Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot, plan to celebrate “teaching and learning with creativity”. This is my mark — see others by some of your favorite authors and illustrators here, at “Celebri-dots“.

    Suggested Reading, Picture Books About Art and Imagination: Flyaway Katie by Polly Dunbar, The Paper Princess by Elisa Kleven, I Want to Paint My Bathroom Blue by Ruth Krauss and Maurice Sendak, Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty, How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird by Jacques Prevert and Mordicai Gerstein.

    And More Picturebooks about Art and Imagination.

    Filed under: Random, Reading Suggestions Tagged: children's books, creativity, imagination

    Add a Comment
    10. BLOOM



    Artists live a life of wonder. At times, it’s wondering what to do next. I will not lie, I have been wondering this for the last few months. I am looking for the sweet spot! It’s my favorite place to be in Art. It’s the place where you are working and you don’t want to stop. I think it’s a divine place where God kisses your life with ideas that flow out in a steady stream.

    A lot of things can bar you from this place. Looking in the wrong direction, self doubt, self pity, self self self. Ha! Get the point? You have to get rid of the”self” part. If the sweet spot is divine, then you have to seek out the divine.

    A few nights ago I had a dream. My dad was in the dream. Someone had driven him to my house. He slowly came up the steps to my house and said to me, ” Bloom“. In a small whisper he said, “bloom where you are planted”.
    Then he was gone.
    I woke up knowing the “divine” had spoken to me.
    No grinding out ideas, just let the divine IN me out… to make the art I was born to make.

    A flower does not worry about the bloom. All the coding for that bloom is IN the seed. It simply drinks up moisture from above and the roots go down and the bloom comes.

    So… BLOOM today! You were meant to be like none other.

    Filed under: dream, God STuff, Inspiring, Kicking Around Thoughts, Reflections

    6 Comments on BLOOM, last added: 7/17/2013
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    11. Summers Bounty


    What a wonderful summer day! I spent the afternoon napping and reading a book. The clouds darkened the skies and a gentle rain ensued for the good part of about 6 minutes! I do love summer days and WEEKENDS!

    Deadlines for art submissions have passed and there has come this summer season of looking for new ideas. Crunch time gives way to the relaxed season in which i can play with the wonders of my imagination.

    How do I get ideas? I plow through magazines, books, stores, websites, looking for something to inspire. Color combinations, trends, shapes, textures charge me up! I am always careful NOT to steal ideas. But one idea may spawn a new one in my mind.

    As far as writing ideas? They most often come to me on my walks. I have to be sure to bring paper and pen.

    And so I thank you summer months! For your green leaves, spectacular flowers, fruits and veggies in the garden and warm moon lite nights. Summer bounty spills into my studio! I love it!

    2 Comments on Summers Bounty, last added: 7/10/2013
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    12. Storytime: Ladybugs

    The Very Lazy Ladybug by Isobel Finn & illustrated by Jack Tickle Most ladybugs fly from place to place – but not the Very Lazy Ladybug! She would rather sleep all day and all night. But when she decides it’s time to move to a more comfortable place, she has to find some way to …

    Add a Comment
    13. if you want to see a whale

    words by julie fogliano pictures by erin e. stead. roaring brook press 2013 a very old school picture book poetic in word and image now this is what i’m talking about. the title is the premise a set of instructions for what you need to do in order to see a whale it starts with a window and quickly moves to a landscape of the mind the text and instructions more of a tone poem told legato

    0 Comments on if you want to see a whale as of 5/10/2013 11:05:00 AM
    Add a Comment
    14. A dazzle of books..?

    A plague of locusts…
    A pride of lions…
    A flock of sheep…

    But what do you call a collection of books about collective nouns?

    A brilliance?
    A giggle?
    A talent?

    When it comes to the set published by PatrickGeorge, all of the above could apply.

    A filth of starlings, A drove of bullocks, A crackle of crickets and A shiver of sharks each take a themed set of collective nouns, illustrate them in witty and bold ways, a provide a paragraph of information about each animal in question. Part non-fiction book, part English-language/literacy book, part science book, part word-play book, each of these volumes is inventive and engaging.

    Whether you are reading about a run of salmon, where an optical illusion allows the illustration to look both like a salmon’s head and a running shoe, or a culture of bacteria, where the contents of a petri dish looks like Mona Lisa, each page plays with our understanding of language and the way we look at objects.

    A quiver of cobras

    The modern, bright illustrations are crisp, cool and clever. The text is informative and playful. Perfect for any kid who enjoys puns or animals, these bold books are fun for all.

    With these books in mind the girls and I made our own volume of collective nouns:

    We all enjoyed playing with language and sitting down simply drawing together.

    Now, I’m delighted to say I have one set of all 4 books on collective nouns to give away to a lucky reader.

  • The giveaway is open to anyone WORLDWIDE.
  • To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post. I’d love it if you could suggest a new collective noun for books about collective nouns – but any comment is fine.
  • For extra entries you can:
      (1) Tweet about this giveaway, perhaps using this text: Win a set of really clever & rather stylish books by @PatrickGeorge2 over at @playbythebook’s blog http://www.playingbythebook.net/?p=23269 #giveaway
      (2) Share this giveaway on your Facebook page or blog

    You must leave a separate comment for each entry for them to count.

  • The winner will be chosen at random using random.org.
  • The giveaway is open for one week, and closes on Wendesday 12th December 6am UK time. I will post the winner on this post, and also contact them via email. If I do not hear back from the winner within one week of emailing them, I will re-draw a winner.

  • Good luck!


    3 Comments on A dazzle of books..?, last added: 12/5/2012
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    15. TED Talk -- Jarrett J. Krosoczka

    Jarrett J. Krosoczka writes books that kids connect with on so many levels, through his artwork, his humor, his understanding of childhood.  When I am asked for a recommendation from a parent going in to a classroom to read, I want to give them a sure fire hit. I give them a Krosoczka picture book. 

    I did not think I could be a bigger fan girl but now I've viewed his TED talk.

    Krosoczka's TED talk should be a must view for everyone.

    0 Comments on TED Talk -- Jarrett J. Krosoczka as of 12/11/2012 3:39:00 PM
    Add a Comment
    16. Gift Idea # 6: A Bit of Magic

    Here are two picture books that make anything seem possible.

    Little Elephants, by Graeme Base, Abrams, $16.95, ages 4 and up, 40 pages, 2012. When locusts threaten a boy's farm, a stranger appears with a magical horn that brings a herd of tiny elephants to the rescue. In this enchanting picture book, Jim and his mother are nearly out of luck -- their harvester is broken and a swarm of locusts is headed their way. But then something incredible happens. Jim sees a mysterious vagabond wading through the wheat stalks. Though the man cannot stay to help, he tells Jim the wind will bring good luck. That afternoon, Jim discovers a bullhorn left on the gate and as he blows into it, clouds of dust waft out and set off a wondrous chain of events. First, a wild mouse that Jim had let loose the day before returns to his bedroom with a surprise: A herd of toy-sized elephants scuffling under his bed. They're frisky and mischievous, and Jim tries to hide them because his mom doesn't want animals in the house. But then the locusts descend, and the elephants break cover and come charging out. They sprout wings and with trunks swinging, launch themselves at the locusts and drive them away. At last, the wheat is safe. But how will Jim and his mother ever harvest it? Base once again dips his pen into a magical place and gives readers something to dream about. Best parts: Nighttime scenes of the elephants racing around Jim's room on toy cars and frolicking in the yard with egg beaters and spoons -- and later, flying off with the stranger into the sunset.

    The Man from the Land of Fandango, by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Polly Dunbar, Clarion, $16.99, ages 4 and up, 32 pages, 2012. A jolly man in a tricolor jacket leaps off a painting on a magical journey into make-believe, in this sparkly treasure by the late Mahy and her long-time illustrating partner Dunbar. After a girl and boy dab the last paint onto the man's portrait, he "bingles and bangles and bounces" off the picture and takes them on a musical romp with instrument-tooting animals. By the end of the picture book, the showman has danced on ceilings and walls, and taken the children bouncing on kangaroos and sliding down a wave of dreams. Mahy's rhymes skip and somersault across the page, while Dunbar's watercolors shout with glee. Characters smile with half-moon eyes and take trampoline leaps as stars and bubbles float about them. Every character in the story looks dizzily happy and that makes readers want to feel that way too. A wonderful farewell from one of the world's most beloved writers. Favorite part: Watching the man from Fandango leap into life and show us all that you're never too old to be playful  -- "He comes in at the door like a somersault star" and dances around as merrily as chimney sweep Bert from Mary Poppins before popping back into his portrait. 

    0 Comments on Gift Idea # 6: A Bit of Magic as of 12/13/2012 4:06:00 PM
    Add a Comment
    17. Wishing from Afar

    Ever wonder what clever, new books are springing up overseas? Here's a picture book I can't wait for.

    The Paper Dolls, by Julia Donaldson, Pan Macmillan, 32 pages, 2012. A little girl takes her paper dolls on a fantastical adventure through the house and into the garden. First they escape the clutches of a toy dinosaur, then an oven-glove crocodile and finally a real pair of scissors. A charming picture book by UK's Children's Laureate and debut illustrator Rebecca Cobb. Donaldson is the author of the wildly popular The Gruffalo and my all-time favorite Room on a Broom.

    0 Comments on Wishing from Afar as of 12/14/2012 11:16:00 AM
    Add a Comment
    18. When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore

    5 Stars When a Dragon Moves In Jodi Moore Howard McWilliam 23 Pages     Ages: 4 to 8 ........ .......... Inside Jacket:  If you build a perfect sandcastle, a dragon will move in—and that’s exactly what happens to one very lucky boy on the beach. The boy and his dragon brave the waves, roast marshmallows, roam [...]

    Add a Comment
    19. Truth, Lies and MRI Scans.

    Anthony Burgess, on being told he had a brain tumour, and only a year to live, was jubilant. Great, he thought, a whole year in which I’m not going to get knocked over by a bus, or die in a car crash.  Worried that his premature death would leave his wife with nothing, he threw himself into writing.  The brain tumour disappeared, Anthony Burgess established himself as a major novelist.

    This little story, which Burgess describes in his autobiography, may or may not be true.  I doubt that it is.  But regardless of its veracity, it’s been going round and round in my head for some time.

    Like everyone else who writes and reads this blog, I am writing a book.  It’s a book I’ve been working on for five or six years.  It’s the one I’ve always wanted to write. I’m sure you all have one like it. But like plenty of novels writers write, I have struggled to finish it.

    However, I had an Anthony Burgess moment.

    In April this year I had an MRI scan that suggested the arteries in my head were unusually thickened, and I was at risk from a developing an aneurysm.  I’ve written about this in an earlier blog, so won’t go through all the gruesome details again. I’ll just mention that the specialist took five months to tell me, by which time, I thought, I’m lucky to still be here.

    More recently I had a second ‘enhanced’ scan, using state of the art MRI that, if the first had something of the 1970s about it, this one was 2001.  I was sucked into the mouth of Hal.  Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

    This second MRI machine was right next to a bank of monitors displaying my skull, brains and all that mazy Hampton Court stuff. How I longed to see a little homunculus sitting there in the middle, arms pulling the levers, sweat pouring down his little brow.

    “Look!” I imagined yelling to the radiographer, “there, in the middle, a tiny man! And he’s gobbling chips!” The radiographer frowns.  “That’s very common,” she says.

    Look, not all of this is true. The truth is not that exciting. I had the scan, I went home.  The radiographer didn’t say anything at all.  She smiled and nodded and I wondered, as I got my coat, whether she was looking at me that way because I had six months to live, or because she thinks I’m an idiot.

    What if it was both?

    But, when I got the report, it was reassuring.  Whatever was on the previous MRI scan, it was not on this one.  “No abnormalities in the brain, no lesions, the orbits, pituitary, corpus callosum, brain stem” and so on, all normal. Things are flowing as they should be.  The homunculus needs a new armchair, but otherwise, nothing.

    What, I asked the specialist, has happened?  Why has thickening, or arteritis, or aneurysm, or infection disappeared?  I thought these things were either irreversible, or cured only by colossal amounts of steroids.

    No answer.  A shrug. “An over enthusiastic radiographer,” he muttered.

    “What?” I yelled, picking him up by the collar and holding him against the wall.  “Are you saying my illness was the product of someone’s imagination?”

    “Please,” he said, “it’s not my fault!”

    He reached out and pressed an alarm button, two orderlies charged in, and in seconds I was strapped up, restrained, and couldn’t move.

    “I just want the truth, doc,” I said, struggling to free myself.

    “Put it this way,” he said.  “Perhaps we in the NHS love to create fictions, too.  Why should all the imaginative stuff be left to writers?” 

    For whether I was ill, and after a long rest, am cured, or whether there was nothing there in the first place, the fear that I had something eating away at my brains was the spur I needed.  It wasn’t that I was afraid I wouldn’t finish my book before I died, it was that writing kept the worry away.  As long as I wrote, I didn’t dwell.

    I have nearly finished my book.  I’m proud of what I’ve written, but know that finding a publisher for it will not be easy.  It is, to say the least, very idiosyncratic.

    But does that matter? I’m going to live. 

    7 Comments on Truth, Lies and MRI Scans., last added: 12/20/2012
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    20. Holiday Gift Idea #8: Wings to Fly

    Bartholomew Biddle and the Very Big Wind, by Gary Ross, illustrated by Matthew Myers, Candlewick, $17.99, ages 6 and up, 96 pages, 2012.

    A boy flies away from home to escape his ordinary life, only to discover that he misses his parents, his tasks and routines.

    In this exhilarating poem by film director Gary Ross, Bartholomew Biddle straps on a bedsheet and soars out of his window at night to see what the world has to offer.

    "'Why, that looks like fun! / Just look at those trees! They're bending in half -- yeah, that's quite a breeze,'" he says, as a wind blows in to carry him away.

    In bare feet and pajamas, Bart paraglides out over houses and cars, and fancies himself the "World's Best Bedsheet flier."

    "'Wow, this isn't bad!' / he said, swooping and soaring, / buzzing the rooftops while / people were snoring."

    Bart climbs higher and "levels 'er off," then decides he's ready to go somewhere. In the next chapter, Bartholomew wakes up cradled in his sheet between limbs of a banana tree.

    Looking down, he realizes he's on a tropical island and sees a band of pirates as merry as can be. In no time, they invite him down to dig up gold and feast on mango pie. It's paradise. And yet it's almost too perfect even for pirates.

    One day, Bart hears crying and learns that the pirate's captain is homesick for the sea. The captain misses being surprised by life and not having things work out perfectly right: "Fun isn't fun fun / when it's all that you know."

    Bart realizes he misses those things too, and tells the pirates he's "gotta be going" and sets off in search of home. "'Cause tough as it was / to admit to himself / he missed his old room / and the toys on his shelf."

    "And even his mom / at a quarter to eight: 'C'mon sleepyhead -- you're one hour late!"

    As Bart takes flight again, the wind ripples through his pajamas, now tattered at the cuffs like those of a pirate's slops -- reflecting the adventuring he's already done.

    But wind, like life, is uncertain and as Bartholomew coasts for home, he finds himself plummeting down into more peculiar places: where people never leave because they're afraid to or they feel stuck.

    Each landing comes abruptly, while Bartholomew is reflecting on things he misses back home, and is also serendipitous: while stranded in these places, Bart learns what it means to really live.

    First, the wind peters out over a sad little town where men head off to work with their eyes toward the ground. While Bartholomew loses altitude, he wonders if his dad is like these men, shuffling off to work in a daze.

    "Each morning and night / he'd pass through that door, / but what comes in the middle? There's got to be more..."

    Then Bartholomew remembers a glistening day, when he and his dad lay on the floor with 500 shades of crayons, marveling at all of the possibilities life has to offer.

    "You're young, and the future / is yours to be plucked," his dad said that day.

    But then Bart clips a tree and is startled back to reality. He falls into a mucky pond by an austere-looking boarding school, where students have so many rules, they can hardly keep track.

    "No running, no jumping, / no chewing of gum, / No teasing, no sneezing, / no crying for your mum."

    But then Bart befriends one of the students, Densy, who longs to explore too and Bart asks him to fly away with him. Though Densy longs to do so, he's afraid to break the rules and at the last minute, chooses to stay.

    Reluctantly, Bart leaves his new friend behind and soars up until Densy is just a dot on the ground. Soon, Bart is lost in a cloud that leads to a storm and then he's pitched back to the ground.

    With rain pelting down and his sheet tearing, Bart plummets into a canyon where all sorts of explorers and risk-takers are stranded. Among them an aviator "Amelia", a balloonist, windsurfers, a Swiss mountaineer and pioneers.

    The canyon is enclosed by sheer cliffs and everyone has assumed there's no way out. "They sit and they stare / at nothing at all," having lost the spirit of adventure that got them there.

    Will Bart lose his ambition too? Or will a friend new to all this adventuring take a chance, and come and try to save him?

    Ross' debut into children's writing is wondrous and though the poem is epic (for a picture book), it has an easy cadence that keeps readers bounding along to the end.

    The message for children is simple and wise, and reminiscent of something Dr. Seuss would write: 

    Life's for living -- seize the moment, break free. But then come home -- check in, learn the things you need to know before setting off again.

    I read this to my eight-year-old son and knew almost instantly we'd read straight to the end. It was his punctuated laugh and beaming face that cued me in, as he reacted to the line, "He'd turned from a ten-year-old / to a small plane."

    It took almost an hour to read the book and though my voice got a little craggy, we didn't want to stop till the end. When the last page did come, we felt as if we could float off to bed.

    Myers' paintings are exhilarating, particularly those of Bart in flight, and have whimsical touches that float about the page. When Bart learns how explorers blew into the canyon, Myers scatters humorous images of them between poem columns.

    The edges of the pages become the walls of the cavern as characters tumble down: On one side, a tornado whirls down with a flag at the top, representing a golfer who got swept away, and below that a man falls clutching the arm of a giant clock to represent being in the right place at the "wrong time."

    Not all of the pages are illustrated, but after awhile it didn't matter. By the end of the poem, I realized we'd already filled in all of the blanks with our imaginations.

    This is a joyful read for any child who wishes they could lift off and fly.

    Of course, we don't want children experimenting with flight. (A cautionary note appears at the beginning of the story.) But wouldn't it be great to see them in the backyard on a windy day, running around with a sheet at their backs?

    Ross is the director of many acclaimed films, including The Tale of Despereaux, Pleasantville, and The Hunger Games.

    0 Comments on Holiday Gift Idea #8: Wings to Fly as of 12/21/2012 1:55:00 PM
    Add a Comment
    21. Hokey Pokey - a review

    Spinelli, Jerry. 2013. Hokey Pokey. New York: Knopf.
    Advance reader copy provided by NetGalley

    In the world of Hokey Pokey, populated by Snotsnipppers, Newbies, and Gappergums, and others, The Kid is king. In fact, kids are its only human inhabitants.

    For Big Kid, Jack, days pass in a comfortable rhythm of regularity - hanging out with his Amigos, LaJo and Dusty, and riding his bike Scramjet, the envy of every kid in Hokey Pokey.  The rules are simple.  Just remember the Four Nevers:
    Never pass a puddle without stomping in it. Never go to sleep until the last minute. Never go near Forbidden Hut. Never kiss a girl.
    It's a simple life, a good life.  Until one morning, when things are not the same.  His bike is gone, and

    Hokey Pokey is unusual fare for Jerry Spinelli.  It's an allegorical story of childhood delivered by a narrator following the escapades of several different children, and focusing primarily on Jack and his rival and antagonist - the girl, Jubilee.  It's recommended for ages 10 and up, but the beauty of  Hokey Pokey is that it may be read on several levels.  Though the symbolism may be somewhat obvious for older readers, younger readers may simply enjoy Hokey Pokey as a fantasy adventure in an alternate universe. Older readers will see beyond the obvious symbolism of the approaching train and will ponder the relationships between older kids and younger, boys and girls.  Short and thought-provoking. Recommended reading.

    Hokey Pokey received starred reviews in School Library Journal and Kirkus Reviews.

     Preview the book here:

    Interesting note: This is the second book that I've read that features living bicycles. Anyone know the other one?

    2 Comments on Hokey Pokey - a review, last added: 12/24/2012
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    22. The Joys of Writing for Middle Grade/Teen Readers

    Guest Post: 5 Reasons I like Writing for Middle Grade/Teen Readers 
    By Cheryl Carpinello

    1. Being able to write the types of stories I loved to read as a kid.

    As a kid, I devoured books: adventures, mysteries, fantasies, animal stories. As an adult, I still enjoy the same types of reading, but I don’t find myself getting ‘lost’ in the adult reads. And so I write the stories of my youth.  ex. The Harry Potter series

    2. Knowing that kids lend themselves to imagination easier than adults.

    Young readers, like adults, can be a difficult audience to write for. What I’ve found, though, is that they eagerly enter into the world of a book easier than adults. The innocence and imagination of young readers knows no limits at this age.  ex. The Hunger Games, The Twilight series

    3. Helping young readers to see their world in a different way or from a different viewpoint.

    Frequently, young readers only see their world from their own point of view. Try visiting a middle school or high school and seeing all the drama that goes on with the boys as well as the girls. Creating the types of characters that these readers can identify and empathize with, helps them to see their real-life situations differently.  ex. A Child Called It.

    4. Understanding that while young readers enjoy stories, they are also looking for truths about themselves and life.

    Being a hero isn’t easy. Sometimes heroes doubt themselves as well as those around them. Sometimes, heroes even fail, but they don’t give up. Young readers tend to think that they have to be perfect all the time, succeed all the time. As adults, we know that isn’t true or even possible.  ex. The Lord of the Rings

    5. Getting letters/emails from young readers.

    Young readers are not shy. One of the exciting reasons I enjoy writing for these ages is that they have no qualms about saying what they think. Kids may not always be tactful when expressing their feelings, but they are truthful. It is the truth about your writing that will make you a better writer. As a high school writing teacher, I always tried to couch my criticisms in a positive, but instructive manner. In a way, this is what young readers do also if we as writers listen.

    About the Author: 
    Although a retired teacher, Cheryl Carpinello still has a passion for working with kids. She regularly conducts Medieval Writing Workshops for local elementary/middle schools and the Colorado Girl Scouts. She is not the only one who loves Medieval Times and the King Arthur Legend. The kids thoroughly enjoy writing their own medieval stories complete with dragons, wizards, unicorns and knights!

    She loves to travel and her other job is with a major airline. Her favorite trip was a two week visit to Egypt with her husband that included traveling by local train from one end of Egypt to the other.

    Some of her favorite books include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Once and Future King, and any by the duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
    The World of Ink Network will be touring both of author Cheryl Carpinello’s Middle Grade Arthurian Legend books, The King’s Ransom (Young Knights of the Round Table) published by MuseItUp Publishing and Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend published by Outskirts Press throughout January 2013.

    Some stories become legend while some legends become stories!

    You can find out more about Cheryl Carpinello, her books and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/ajka7zv

    Follow Cheryl Carpinello at
    Carpinello’s Writing Pages http://carpinelloswritingpages.blogspot.com


    4 Comments on The Joys of Writing for Middle Grade/Teen Readers, last added: 1/13/2013
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    23. Dreaming Up - a review

    On Fridays, you may find many bloggers participating in STEM Friday or Poetry Friday

    Here is a book that covers both bases.

    Hale, Christy. 2012. Dreaming Up: A celebration of building. New York: Lee and Low.

    As a youth services librarian in a public library, I don't have the same type of interaction with children as  a teacher or school media specialist might. I see more preschool than school-aged children, and though my goal is to "teach" the love of reading and the power of information, children and parents often come to the library seeking pleasure and entertainment. Teaching and learning moments are offered in the form of story time programs, book clubs, or crafts. 

    That's why a book like Dreaming Up is so perfect!  Imagine a book that "teaches" architecture,  concrete poetry, design, and the power of imagination. Now imagine that book is suitable for preschoolers  up to grade 4, that it sparks opportunities for imaginative play, that it is factual (Architecture, DDC 720), that it is properly sourced, that it is multicultural, and yes - it's attractive, too!

    On the page facing each illustrated poem is a photograph of the famous or architecturally significant structure which inspired the poem. Featured buildings are from locations around the globe and include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain, Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Pennsylvania. Back matter includes information on each of the fifteen structures as well as biographical information on each building's architect.

    No need to dream; there is such a book and it's Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building.  Go. Read it. Share it.  

    Get out some boxes, and blankets, and pillows, and playing cards, and Popsicle sticks and building blocks. Encourage the young people you know to "dream up."

    Note: I purposefully did not quote from the book because in concrete poetry, you must see the structure of the words themselves.  Please preview a few pages of Dreaming Up here on the publisher's site.

    View suggested companion learning activities on author Christy Hale's site.

    Today's Poetry Friday is at A Teaching Life.

    STEM Friday may always be found at http://stemfriday.wordpress.com/ - use it as a great resource for children's books featuring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. 

    Join STEM Friday!
    We invite you to join us!
    • Write about STEM each Friday on your blog.
    • Copy the STEM Friday button to use in your blog post.
    STEM Friday
    • Link your post to the comments of our weekly STEM Friday Round-up. (Please use the link to your STEM Friday post, not the address of your blog. Thanks!)

    8 Comments on Dreaming Up - a review, last added: 2/9/2013
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    24. I Remember When . . .


    Oh little Peepsqueak.  This picture of you reminds me of something that happened to me when I was little.  We were visiting an aunt in Washington.  She had a rope that dangled from a tree in her backyard. She also had a big DOG that came running into the yard barking at ME!  I jumped on that rope and UP, UP, UP  I went!  I did not even know I could climb a rope!  I just did it!  ha ha!

    Most of my art comes from my imagination, but it is also from my memories and from my life experiences. All that being said, I think I can still climb a rope!

    Filed under: My Characters, Peepsqueak!, Reflections

    2 Comments on I Remember When . . ., last added: 2/22/2013
    Display Comments Add a Comment
    25. Incorrigible Creatives

    Some children are raised by wolves.
    Others, by creatives. 

    And really, is there a difference?

    Sometimes, the lines between "creative" and "fur-brained" blur.
    And that's the beauty of it.

    To be a creative,
    you get to strap on your courage boots every day
    and write,
    sew, stitch, cook - whatever your bent - 
    and be prepared
    for surprises.

    Surprises like tears and paper wadding.
    Snapping pencils.
    Earnest screwdrivering until the cabinet doors fall off.

    (Thank you for that, my wildebeests.)
    Howling at the moon.
    Eating paint.

    raised-by-wolves days,
    and sometimes, gleams of brilliance.

    Have I mentioned this book?

    the Incorrigible children of ashton place
    "The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, the Mysterious Howling" by Maryrose Wood and illustrated by Jon Klassen
    (the Caldecott 2013 doublescoop!)
    I love this book! I am in a happy swoon.
    Jane Austen meets Agatha Christie meets Alexander McCall Smith, only with heaps of originality and humor. Well done, Maryrose Wood. Wow. wow. wow.

    More wolf-ishness we love:

    The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (The Wolves Chronicles, #1)
    [For the record, and in case any great-grandmothers are concerned:
    dry ice is considered dangerous in some contexts.
    As such, it should probably not be given to toddlers...however, the children in these pictures were skillfully trained stunt-models, posing as children, and obediently avoided actually touching the ice.]


    6 Comments on Incorrigible Creatives, last added: 3/7/2013
    Display Comments Add a Comment

    View Next 25 Posts