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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: love, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 26 - 50 of 525
26. 48 days, day 47: celebration

{{ I am chronicling 48 days of writing before my July 31 travel. If you are chronicling your summer writing/days and would like to share, please link or comment so we can all cheer one another through. Strength to your sword arm!}}

The Year of Exploration is here.
On Being a Late Bloomer is here.
My speech at Vermont College (moments, memories, meaning) is here.
We don't have a picture of us in the sixties. We met when our mutual friend, Jimmy Murphy, who lived down the street from me and drove me to school in his family's Corvair, asked me one morning at pick-up, "Can we go by and get my friend Jim?" and I said sure.

Turns out, Jimmy and Jim worked together (if you could call it that) at Biff Burger in Charleston, South Carolina. My dad had been transferred to Charleston in 1968. He spent two years mostly flying C-141s into and out of Vietnam while my mother held together a family of three kids and a dog and teenager-hood in the late sixties.

As Jim loped out of his house, trombone case under one arm, spiral notebook spilling papers out of the other, I knew my life was about to change. You can't even define it that way -- it's a feeling you understand only later, looking back. I got out of the passenger seat and crawled into the cramped back seat, not because I was a girl and that's what girls did, but because Jim was 6'6" tall and I knew he wouldn't fit in the back.

I don't know where the trombone went. Maybe there wasn't a trombone.

"Hi," was all I managed. "Hi," he said back. He had gigantic lips (good for kissing, it turned out). He smiled with his whole face, hiding nothing, including how amazing he thought I was, this creature who occupied the front seat of his friend Jimmy's car.

And that was the beginning. Things went very fast. I was a good girl. He was a Billy Graham good boy. But we were very good explorers, and we became inseparable, and such good friends, too. He was a good listener. I was a good talker. For the first time in my life, I had someone to really listen to me, to intently listen, looking me straight in the face, paying attention. It was heady stuff!

The music in his life became the music in mine, as I sat at football games in the bleachers in freezing November, watching the sousaphone player at halftime marching in the St. Andrews High School Marching Band. He loved band, he loved the piano (his strength, still today), and he loved rock and roll.

My dad was transferred to the Philippines in 1970, and through a series of events too long to go into here, Jim and I lost touch for a few decades. When we reunited in our late forties, he still looked at me with that grin and those lips and those eyes so intent on my face, listening. I was so far gone before we even got started again. "I can't believe you never got married," I said, "that you never had kids..."

And do you know what he said? "I waited for you." Well. Here I am, me and my decades of living, my four children all grown now, who have been folded into Jim's heart, too, a heart that has room for anything Debbie loves. It's downright inspiring.

I am pouty, where he lets go. I am critical, where he is understanding. I am self-centered, where he is selfless. I could go on. Perhaps I have him on a pedestal. Perhaps he puts me there, too. Maybe that's as it should be.

We are two artists trying to make our way in a world that is not sympathetic to artistic temperaments and making a living. We manage. We like being together and say that's what counts. We both like simple, silly adventures. He makes me laugh. He likes my faces. He likes my snoring. "I can't sleep until I hear you snore." He will go with me to France one day -- a dream I had even when I knew him in high school.

Is it all good? We both find brown sugar cinnamon frosted Pop Tarts hard to resist. There. Something not so good? Nah. It's all good.

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary. We'll spend it getting ready to leave on our trip that begins in tomorrow's wee hours.

This song was number 50 on the Billboard Top 100 for 1969. I'm listening to a lot of late sixties music in preparation for writing Book 3 of the sixties trilogy. I'm looking for anchor songs for scrapbooks, and for story inspiration. This song reminds me so much of that amazingly innocent and yet powerful Charleston time we had together in 1969. Here's to you, Sweet Jim, to the 14 years we've spent together again. I hope we get 14 more.

(the hair! the suits! the dancing while playing guitar! the lip sync! where are the trumpets? hahahahaha. oh, sixties, you are so weird. thank goodness.)

The Spiral Starecase
More Today Than Yesterday

I don't remember what day it was.
I didn't notice what time it was.
All I know is that I fell in love with you.
And if all my dreams come true,
I'll be spending time with you!

Every day's a new day in love with you.
With each day brings a new way of loving you --
Every time I kiss your lips my mind starts to wander...

I love you more today than yesterday
But not as much as tomorrow!

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27. for Brian Tappin ~ joy and sparrows, seagulls and sky and hope and… ~ part one

Sometimes we’re lucky enough to fleetingly meet a someone who changes us, bursts heart open, adds three feet to your height and shows you where your forgotten wings are buried. And it’s mutual. The following (and the rest of the song which I need to illustrate) are for you Brian Tappin ~ roaring lion, gentle angel, boy I miss you right now, dude! xx

for brian - july 29 2015

Filed under: Brian Tappin, flying, journeys, love, sea, songs

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28. International Kissing Day and DNA

Another ‘Awareness Day’, International Kissing Day, is coming up on July 6. It might not seem obvious but kissing, like most subjects can now be easily linked to the science of DNA. Thus, there could be no more perfect opener for my Double Helix column, given the elegance and beauty of a kiss. To start, there is the obvious biological link between kissing and DNA: propagation of the species. Kissing is not only pleasurable but seems to be a solid way to assess the quality and suitability of a mate.

The post International Kissing Day and DNA appeared first on OUPblog.

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29. Trace Balla’s Time to Shine

Up-and-comer author illustrator, Trace Balla, has quickly hit the scene with the recent success of ‘Rivertime‘, being both shortlisted in the 2015 Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Awards, and winning this year’s Readings Children’s Book Prize. Her work stems from a background in art therapy, animations and community involvement, with […]

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30. Faith, Hope, and Love: A Book Review of Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius

by Sally Matheny

Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius
 At age twelve, Martin Pistorius slowly slipped from perfect health into an unknown illness. His body weakened and his memories faded. After his parents exhausted all medical avenues for an answer, they painfully watched their boy become a mute, quadriplegic.

For four years, Martin was in a waking coma state in an unresponsive shell, unseeing and unknowing of his surroundings.

Then, his mind slowly woke up. But, his body did not.

For ten years, his mind was completely aware—aware that he was trapped inside an unresponsive body and unable to communicate with others. Martin wasn't paralyzed, but no matter how hard he tried, he had no control of his spastic muscles, his curled fingers, or the voice that disappeared with his childhood.

Most of us can’t begin to grasp what it’s like to have no physical control of our bodies. Nor can we fully comprehend the horror and painful realities someone, with a fully intact mind, experiences encased in one of these silent shells.

For someone who went fourteen years unable to express his emotions, Martin Pistorius pushes full throttle, and exquisitely conveys them all in his book.

Tension builds in Martin’s tedious days. Sorrow snatches the tiniest glimmers of joy. Hence, a courage develops, as does hope.

Martin inserts a great sense of humor in spots. I was thankful for them, especially after reading the difficult passages.

I cringed at what Martin had to endure at times. I believe a note for reader discretion is needed for the chapter titled, “Lurking in Plain Sight.” I hated reading it—and rightly so. And yet, had Martin not been so painfully transparent about his darkest days of torture, his story would be incomplete. Nor would I have fully appreciated his joy when he survived and overcame.

This is not an overtly Christian book. There are two or three points of faith shared—but they are profoundly powerful.

The most amazing one to me is the one where Martin shares his knowledge of God’s presence with him. He never had church worship experiences or even Christian training prior to his illness. Nevertheless, when his mind awoke inside the shell of his unresponsive body, he knew God was there with him. Martin sharing that realization is one of my favorite parts of the entire book.

Martin Pistorius as a young teen

The story unfolds of Martin’s amazing journey from being like a “potted plant” to living a full and productive life. All because of one person noticing a flicker of life in him and opening a door of opportunity. Martin expresses appreciation to many but he is certain of who he owes the most gratitude.

In a May 2015 interview with Christianity Today, Martin said,

Without the Lord, I would not be here today. I have no doubt that it was only his intervention that saved me. It is only through God that I have found my voice.”

In the book, Martin shares the joys and fears of learning how to communicate once again. His life changed. He got a job, a college degree, started his own business, and married the love of his life.

This book inspires me to take time to look more intentionally at people—especially those who seemingly fly under the radar. You don’t have to have a health condition to feel invisible.

Time after time, Martin shares the power one tiny act of kindness, one caring word spoken, or one consideration of the man’s heart rather than his body, all had a huge affect on his life.

I recommend this book. Martin Pistorius’ story will take you into the uncomfortable pit of darkness and encourage you to grasp hold of life-giving faith, hope, and love.

A Smiling Martin Pistorius- Twitter Photo

If you’d like to hear Martin Pistorius speak  briefly about forgiveness and compassion listen to this interview with Glen Beck on YouTube.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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31. #LoveWins!

In a landmark opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 today that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, handing gay rights advocates their biggest victory yet. Today is a good day.

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32. returning to Florence, Italy, with April Lindner's LOVE, LUCY

Today, with her vivid reimagining of EM Forster's A Room With a View in a YA novel she titled Love, Lucy, April Lindner has returned me to that city of art—Florence, Italy. She has given me Lucy, torn between two cities and two boys, a father's demands and her own instincts. She has taken me to Fiesole, a village outside Florence where I traveled many years ago—a town that, in fact, became the setting of my favorite published short story.

It's all so clear, in April's book. I see the streets as if I am walking them, the red-tiled roofs as if I am up above them, that Arno as if I am Vespa-ing by.

And that first photo in this post, right down to the red bike, is a picture I took in back in September 2012, when I was researching my own Florence novel, One Thing Stolen. That precise scene and angle, right down to the the red bike, is pictured on the back of April's novel.

We wrote our Italy novels at the same time. Worried them through together. Gave each other the support novelists need. Indulged in all flavors of gelato.

And so, April, it was a pleasure this afternoon to read your story, to find your gelato, your streets, your romance, and, of course, your music, in the pages of Love, Lucy. Congratulations on another wonderful reimagining.

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33. Chocolate Affair

Having an affair with the chocolate.

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34. A Rainbow Is A Rainbow!

A rainbow is a rainbow, 
with whom you ride it is all that matters! 

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35. Smile

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa
Men have named you
You're so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only cause you're lonely
They have blamed you
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there, and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa
Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art

Nat King Cole //  Mona Lisa

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36. Ruby Gold’s story begins

ruby gold - one

Filed under: flying, football, love, pigeons

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37. (badly drawn/scribbled) today’s daydream at two pm: Matzo Ball Pizza

kosher pizza - sepia

Filed under: love

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38. Somebody’s getting a cool present! #illustration...

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39. Special Person for Special Love

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40. Family Hug

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41. muddled as hope ~ (midnight musings)


Filed under: journeys, love

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42. Love and sex: perspectives from emerging adults

Attitudes towards love, sex, sexuality, and gender have changed rapidly over the last decade. What role do emerging adults play in this phenomenon? Are they really more open-minded than the previous generations -- or more at risk?

The post Love and sex: perspectives from emerging adults appeared first on OUPblog.

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43. #659 – Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox & Stephanie Graegin




Peace is an Offering

Written by Annette LeBox
Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Dial Books for Young Readers         3/10/2015
40 pages          Age 3 to 5


“Peace is an offering.
A muffin or a peach.
A birthday invitation.
A trip to the beach.

“Follow these neighborhood children as they find love in everyday things—in sunlight shining through leaves and cookies shared with friends—and learn that peace is all around, if you just look for it.”


Peace is an Offering contains a strong message about what the abstract concept of peace means for the young (and old): helping one another, being kind, joining together, and enjoying all aspects of life with respect to your family, friends, and neighbors. Peace does not need to be overcomplicated or forced. Peace is the accumulation of all the small, meaningful acts we do each day.

“Will you stay with me?
Will you be my friend?
Will you listen to my story
till the very end?”

The children in this large neighborhood, make, find, and (most importantly), show kindness to each other every day in simple heartfelt ways. The poem is beautifully written and illustrated. Children will easily understand each deftly visualized line or verse of the poem. Multicultural children interact with each other, families spend time together, and friends stay close.

peace is an offering 1

What is not to love about Peace is an Offering? Nothing, though the spread alluding to 911 seems unnecessary. The verse feels out of place, as does the illustration, which deviates from the light, airy, everyday life depicted on the other spreads (see two examples here). but for those who lost a loved one or friend, the spread may provide comfort. Peace is an Offering is a gratifying read; uplifting and inspiring young and old alike. The author finishes the poem by offering advice to children.

So offer a cookie,
Walk away from a fight.
Comfort a friend
Through the long, dark night.

I loved every aspect of every spread. The poetry speaks to the heart. Pencil and watercolor illustrations have those details I rave about. Simply said, Peace is an Offering is a joy to read.

PEACE IS AN OFFERING. Text copyright © 2015 by Annette LeBox. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Stephanie Graegin. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Penguin Random House, NY.
Purchase Peace is an Offering at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryPenguin Random House.
Learn more about Peace is an Offering HERE.

Meet the author, Annette LeBox, at her website:  http://annettelebox.com/
Meet the illustrator, Stephanie Graegin, at her website:  http://graegin.com/
Find more picture books at Dial Books for Young Readers website:  http://www.penguin.com/meet/publishers/dialbooksforyoungreaders/

Dial Books for Young Readers is an imprint of Penguin Random House.  http://www.penguin.com/children/

Last Chance! VOTE for YOUR FAVORITE BEST BOOK for 2014 HERE.


Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

Last Chance! VOTE for YOUR FAVORITE BEST BOOK for 2014 HERE.

Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Poetry Tagged: acceptance, Annette LeBox, Dial Books for Young Readers, family, friends, love, multicultural, peace, Peace is an Offering, Penguin Random House, relationships, Stephanie Graegin

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44. the Ancient Region of Hairiness is a fictional place where everyone is loved, nurtured, adored and respected when little and throughout their lives, which in turn results in a land filled with delight, true wildness and extreme contentment. Oh, plus every


Elderflush and Stan Motion

They dance like tomorrow’s birdsong
– times one hundred.

Hands meet briefly
making wings.


From the series:
PORTRAITS and SCENES from the ANCIENT REGION of HAIRINESS. Here there is much JOY, MIRTH…and HAPPINESS SOARS HIGHER than PieQuills, because LOVE is given to ALL, from tiny, tiny onwards…

Filed under: dances, finding norway, flying, love, pigeons, Uncategorized

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45. Portrait of Henry Smookain, as told by Hairy Tell Tall ~ from the Ancient Region of Hairiness

The Ancient Region of Hairiness is a fictional place where everyone is loved, nurtured, adored and respected when little and throughout their lives, which in turn results in a land filled with delight, true wildness and extreme contentment. Oh, plus everyone and thing is hairy, whiskered, bearded, or both (even the pigeons).


ancient hairiness details

Filed under: finding norway, flying, love

1 Comments on Portrait of Henry Smookain, as told by Hairy Tell Tall ~ from the Ancient Region of Hairiness, last added: 3/5/2015
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46. Sailor’s First Story (that you’ve heard, that is)

(written between the 18th and 19th of February, 2015 in one straight sitting (a story written when time crosses midnight, is likely to have a few more strands and maybe bad words, than others)

Title: Sailor’s First Story (that you’ve heard, that is)

There are stories for the telling
and there are those which ain’t
– that’s what I’ve been told,
but I still can’t see no difference.

So I’ll throw a whole
flock of them at you
and you can decide
which is which.


I blows the stories out
as they come
– just as they come,
so sometimes there’s two middles,
or no end,
or even just three beginnings.

And if you want to know more about me
– well that’s definitely the one story
I know’s not worth telling.

All I give is my name
and that’s Sailor.


How dee doo?
Good I hope
and if not so,
spin three times,
blink at the sky
hard and long,
then think on this:


They called her Butterfly,
sometimes Terfly for short.
Not because of some airy, light beauty,
no, more because she’d never stop,
never alight in one damn place longer than a flea bite
(I’m telling of them fleas that bite for nanoseconds,
not thems others that grip on long and not be shaken
even on the brutalest fairground Waltzers).

And this goes for lovers too
– soon as some poor fret
had been dazzled by her shimmery
blizzards of soft words,
she’d be off with their hearts
and on to the next habitation
and over and over again.
Three a month. More.

Some say she’d never been held,
time-stopping slow and gentle,
s’why she’d never stay, get cosy
and ease into her self and surrounds.

Others say her old man’s bark,
– approx. three per minute – startled her so bad,
she couldn’t stop still for longer than
a third of a minute


(you see – now I know that last bit’s
dreadful storytelling for at least three reasons,
but it came out that way,
puffed out crooked.
And now it’s out there,
there it stays.
them’s the rules).

Terfly had more skills and talents than
an army of circuses and every single one in them,
including the animals.

It’s easier to tell
what she couldn’t do.
And that’s cook, sew and clean.

But the others
she’d do so well,
there was always and every
opportunities flowing
wherever she landed.
So that suited
her flit-flight nature.


Now that’s a long beginning.
And we ain’t yet got no middle
and certainly no inkling of an ending.

I’m never sure what’s its shape
when it’s coming out.
This one feels like a two middler,
so hold your horses
(and don’t forgets to give thems a sugar,
or apple, and tell thems they the best.
And anyone else hanging round
as long as them’s deserving.
Respect’s earnt, you know that, right?
There’s no respecting no one who ain’t worthy of that respect, thems like a barking-three-times-per-minute Pa, or a cold-heart Ma with no soft in her arms for snuggling and comfort).


Here’s the two middles.
Them’s short.

1) Terfly falls in love for the first time
with SkyLock, a cloud-tenter
(thems that make the hovering, giant bauble things for circuses – look just like bubbles, but there’s windows and seats so folks can get a good look from all angles – and you have to be trained for hundreds of years, so easy it is to get it wrong and have families flying they won’t have you back, that particular habitation).

2) SkyLock’s heard her reputation
and builds a special cloud-tent
– sets out backwards to make one
that goes against all the training
– one that will take them away, away,
keeps her with him,
no flit-flighting this one no more.


Now here’s the thing.
He’s not liking that there’s no cooking, cleaning, sewing
– he’d made this cloud-tent fixed up to the nines with all the latest a chief chef could desire
but all she does, Terfly, is fret
– fret so loudly, wolves can hear her
twenty one summers away.

SkyLock regrets keeping her
– useless he thinks
and barks for the third time that minute.


Now. He knows well
there’s no ties for her
– no family wanting and wishing and missing her soft heart,
or sweet song, or tip-tap dancing so mesmerising
you can’t do for anything after, just gaze long-lost into nothing.

So he shoves her out
cruel as war,
shoves her out, barking every bad a sailor’s ever heard
and that’s the baddest bad ever of all. And then three times more.

Okay, but here’s the thing
(and I think this might be something of an ending,
or is it another beginning?
Who know, who cares,
I’m puffing hard and fast now,
couldn’t stop if you corked my straw).


Sudden, Terfly discovers
she’s got a skill she never knew:
she can fly! Well, more like a kind of flitty-swooshing
(have you watched a feather fall lately?
If not, do. it gives you the answer to everything.
Straight up.
And down).

So she’s flitty-swooshing,
soft and grinning, singing free
and happy-to-bursting.

She scoffs love.
Maybe that’s why Pa barked
and Ma was ice-cold
– maybe that’s what love does.

But no sooner this sad thought’s out there,
almost like it’s visible or something,
there’s this creature – a humale kinda,
but his legs joined like a merman
and fins as well as arms, but ohhhh, so handsome,
just thinking of him I’m getting half-lid dream-eyes.

He catches her
(she ain’t quite mastered all them sky-diving tricks yet).
And holds her long…
And holds her soft…
And holds her gentle…

And slow-by-slow,
her cheek finds his upper arm
– it feels good enough she cries,
fist time ever. And he brushes and strokes
her hairs and head and that little tiny bit
where somes of us can grow bristle-hairs.

And she’s thinking:
no, this is love.
This is DEFINITELY love.
This is something all shades of new,
new as flying,
new as tomorrow’s sunrise,
new as the butterflies
beneath my tum-button
and she stays absolutely mushy-soft-still
in that place
for longer than all the time
she’s been on this god-forsaken land.


That’s the first.

Will you stay for more?
They come plenty.
Long as there’s ears and eyes.

I also like, every now and then,
the odd pat and smile,
or treat, you know
– that little something that says
I’m here and that’s
not too much hell of a thing…



PS: Shhhh. This next bit’s not for sharing:

(“Thanks Sailor!”

That’s me, typing up the words.

I love this little feller that came into my life as a surprise gift from the cafe owner where I sit painting pigeons and other all-kinds-of-odd most days. I think he’s seen me drooling over it every time I get a new napkin to wipe brushes. There’s something just so sweet, funny and compelling about him – can’t put my finger on it, but I’m so glad he’s landed in my life.

I’m to bed now. I pat Sailor, pass him a sugar. Tell him he’s lovely.
He grins. I nod and grins back :-).

PSS: I’ve found out Sailor likely came from the HMS Warwick Castle, biggest navy ship in both wars – went down in 1944, with Lucky Lady, a small ship, sailing out to help any survivors.


Filed under: flying, journeys, love, sea

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47. Book Titles: Creating a Good Book Name | Rachel Hartman, Author of Seraphina

Shadow Scale jumped out at me. It was more complex than it first appeared, I realized in that moment, because “scale” could mean several different things.

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48. Seraphina Series, by Rachel Hartman | Book Series Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Seraphina, written by Rachel Hartman, and the newest release, Shadow Scale (Seraphina: Book Two). Giveaway begins March 9, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends April 8, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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49. Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman | Book Review

In the kingdom of Goredd, humans and dragons have lived and worked side by side for more than forty years, a treaty of peace signed, and the past war forgotten. But when a member of the royal family is brutally murdered and the finger of blame points to dragons, it appears that not all is forgotten, or forgiven.

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50. Helene Magisson’s Labour of Love: The Velveteen Rabbit

In a gorgeously remastered classic tale, just in time for Easter, is a story about the magic of love; The Velveteen Rabbit. With the original story (first published in 1922) by Margery Williams Bianco being untouched, this current version has an exquisite sense of charm about it thanks to its’ talented illustrator, Helene Magisson.   […]

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