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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Winter, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Thanksgiving Greetings

watercolor illustration of animals having thanksgiving dinner by Jessica Lanan

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope that wherever you may be you have plenty to be thankful for.

Congratulations to Priscilla Alpaugh, for winning a signed copy of The Story I’ll Tell. Thanks to everyone who entered the drawing.

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2. The Crow’s Tale

I can’t resist filling your screen (and mine) with this gorgeous front cover:


The Crow’s Tale by Naomi Howarth (@nhillustrator) is a visually spectacular retelling of a Lenni Lenape Native American legend about how the crow came to have black feathers, and about what counts as real beauty: not how you look, but how you behave.

Deep in the middle of a snowy winter, the animals are all cold and hungry. Crow volunteers to bring back some warmth from the sun, but in doing so he is changed forever. Will his friends still love him?

You see, Crow used to have breathtakingly brilliant feathers in ever colour under the sun. But where there’s fire, there’s soot, and Crow despairs at how his outward appearance is transformed, when all he wanted to do was help his friends.

What this dazzling story tells us all, however, is that “your beauty inside” is what really matters and shines through. Selfless, brave and still beautiful, Crow learns that what his friends really value is his kindness, generosity and courage, not whether his feathers are black or shot through with rainbows.


Howarth’s picture book début is a feast for the eyes, and not least in the way the black crow feathers are reproduced (I can’t show them here because the special printing techniques just don’t show up on a computer screen). Her use of colours reminds me at times of a favourite illustrator of mine – Karin Littlewood – and Howarth’s use of varied perspective keeps page turns surprising.


The fluency of the rhyming text doesn’t quite match the sumptuous heights of the illustration, but the sentiment is heart-warming, encouraging and just right for boosting confidence and encouraging consideration of what we value in ourselves and others.

Inspired by the stunning array of Crow’s original feathers we set about making our own rainbow plumage. We decorated lots of white feathers using slightly watered-down acrylic paint (the acrylic paint “sticks” nicely to the feathers – much more easily and/or brightly than watercolour or poster paint does – and by watering it down it is easier to apply):




Once our feathers were dry we turned them into a piece of art, positioning them in a circle (we used a plate to guide us) on a piece of black card.


It’s now one of the first things you see when you enter our front door (along with obligatory piles of books):


Whilst painting feathers we listened to:

  • Beauty Inside by Mister Marc. This is rather catchy and just a perfect match to the sentiment in The Crow’s Tale.
  • Crow by Joe’s Backyard Band.
  • The Carrion Crow by Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger. We love the nonsense words in this song.

  • Other activities which might work well alongside reading The Crow’s Tale include:

  • Finding out more about the Lenni Lenape Tribal Nation. You could also see if you can find a copy of When The Shadbush Blooms by Carla Messinger, Susan Katz and David Kanietakeron Fadden, a picture book including lots of detail on the Lenni Lenape culture and language, past and present.
  • Crow spotting! Eight species breed in the UK and many are easy to spot even in cities (apologies to readers in the very North-West of Scotland where it will be much harder to spot any members of the crow family). Why not go on a walk and see how many different members of the crow family you can spot. Here’s the RSPB page on the crow family.
  • Painting with nail polish. This sounds crazy, but if you want to get the iridescent sheen on the crow’s black feathers you can use pearly nail polish over black paint. Alternatively try collaging with iridescent cellophane on top of your black paint.

  • If you liked this post you might like these other posts by me:

  • Making colourful wings out of tissue paper
  • The Iridescence of Birds (or: Painting with eye-shadow)
  • Creating a guinea fowl collage
  • crowoptions

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    Disclosure: I was sent a free review copy of this book by the publisher.

    3 Comments on The Crow’s Tale, last added: 11/23/2015
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    3. The Fox and the Snowman Book Blast through November 4th – $100 GC or Paypal cash giveaway

    Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for our new picture book,”The Fox and the Snowman” (November 2 to 4, 2015).

    The Fox and the Snowman

    About the Book

    Title: The Fox and the Snowman | Author: Angela Muse | Illustrator: Helen Wu | Publication Date: October 5, 2015 | Publisher: 4EYESBOOKS | Pages: 28 | Recommended Ages: 0 to 8

    Summary: This is a story of a lone fox and his journey through a year of changing seasons. He discovers friendship and family in this colorful winter tale.

    Also check out Lil Glimmer, The Nutt Family: An Acorny Adventure, The Pig Princess, The Bee Bully, Eager Eaglets: Birds of Play, Cactus Charlie, Suzy Snowflake, Monsters Have Mommies, The Christmas Owl, The Cat Who Lost His Meow, Caterpillar Shoes & Ten Thankful Turkeys by this author.

    Grab a copy of the ebook, available for a limited time at the introductory price of 99 cents! (REG $2.99)

    Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo

    iBooks * Createspace * Goodreads

    About the Author: Angela Muse

    Angela MuseAngela Muse was born in California to a military family. This meant that she got used to being the “new kid” in school every couple of years. It was hard trying to make new friends, but Angela discovered she had a knack for writing. In high school Angela began writing poetry and song lyrics. Expressing herself through writing seemed very natural. After becoming a Mom in 2003, Angela continued her storytelling to her own children. In 2009 she wrote and published her first rhyming children’s book aimed at toddlers. Since then she has released several more children’s picture books and released her first young adult romance series, The Alpha Girls.

    Angela’s husband, Ben Muse writes suspense/thriller books that can also be found on Amazon.

    Check out what else she’s working on by visiting www.4eyesbooks.com

    Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

    ** Book Blast Giveaway **

    Prize: One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card or $100 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

    Giveaway ends: November 15, 11:59 pm, 2015

    Open to: Internationally

    How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

    Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Angela Muse and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    MDBR Book Promotion Services

    Copyright © 2015 Mother Daughter Book Reviews, All rights reserved.
    You are receiving this email because you signed up to receive the HTML from all of the Book Blasts hosted by MDBR in the Fall, 2015.

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    4. November 2015 Releases

    Hey, readers! Once again, we’ve brought out the Upcoming Titles feature to give you a sampling of the books being published this month! As always, this is by no means a comprehensive list of forthcoming releases, just a compilation of titles we think our readers (and our contributors!) would enjoy.

    Without further ado:

    November 1st

    01 infinitylost

    November 3rd

    02 how to be brave
    03 traffic
    04 until we meet again
    05 need

    06 the wrinkled crown
    07 black wolves

    November 10th

    08 winter
    09 see no color
    10 consent
    11 da vinci's tiger

    12 soundless
    13 a bitter magic
    14 unforgiven

    November 17th

    15 just visiting
    16 the game of lives

    November 24th

    17 promises i made

    Happy reading!

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    5. Illustration Inspiration: Jim Arnosky, Creator of Frozen Wild

    Artist and naturalist Jim Arnosky has been honored for his overall contribution to literature for children by the Eva L. Gordon Award and the Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Award for nonfiction. His latest book is "Frozen Wild."

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    6. To school in winter...

    "Squishy slime sucked at their rubber overshoes ..." from A Christmas Coat: Memories of my Sioux Childhood by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve. 
    Illustration by Ellen Beier.

    0 Comments on To school in winter... as of 9/9/2015 3:01:00 AM
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    7. this week....

    mixing up a little bit of *magic*....

    spending afternoons with this sly little guy...

    working on a self portrait, of sorts...

    sketching cute little snowmen, just for the fun of it (and because i'm WINTER OBSESSED!!!).

    {that's what's going on}

    0 Comments on this week.... as of 8/19/2015 9:04:00 PM
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    8. New Winter Book

    We have just completed the final edits on our new winter story told in verse.  We are now beginning the illustration process.  We are so excited about this next story and can’t wait to hear your feedback.  Here’s a few hints about what our next story will be about.  Aren’t they just beautiful?  What other animal reminds you of winter?

    Red Fox 3



    Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) on snow at sunset, Kamchatka, Russia

    Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) on snow at sunset, Kamchatka, Russia

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    9. Review – Lulu

    At first glance, life on the icy floes may seem appealing. (Unless you reside in SE Queensland as I do with no real concept of what cold is until you have to live through ‘an unseasonably cold winter’ with little more than a cotton tee-shirt and a pair of bed socks). In Lulu’s world, there […]

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    10. throwback....

    to last WINTER and these two cuties....they put me in my HAPPY place! :)
    'cause this girl has had ENOUGH of this rainforest-like climate and disgustingly high levels of humidity. i just was not made to handle such conditions. perhaps that is why i am known as the "ice princess" amongst my friends. WINTER is MY season! 

    ahh, Mr. WINTER...how i miss you so. your pristine beauty from freshly fallen SNOW to clean, cold temps. i await you anxiously, my dear friend....overly anxiously perhaps....i digress. and with that being said...

    these two bits of adorableness known as Alaska and her little buddy, Aspen can be found FOR SALE here. they are ORIGINAL PAINTINGS, NOT REPRODUCTIONS.

    however, since i like to offer up choices, reproductions and other bits of deliciousness with these two featured can be found here and here as well.

    why not get yourself in the WINTER spirit now?! i surely am every. single. day.

    {i need to write/illustrate a kids book about the wonders of winter, i'm thinking....}

    0 Comments on throwback.... as of 7/9/2015 10:30:00 PM
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    11. Do you read more in winter or in summer?

    Winter is a popular time for book lovers, the season where many of us enjoy staying in, rugging up and delving into a good book. But do we read more in the winter months or in summer? Summer brings to mind images of sunny days, cool drinks and reading a book on the deck or under the […]

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    12. last, but certainly not least...

    icelyn~orignal drawing
    graphite on bristol
    ©the enchanted easel 2015
    sweet, little Icelyn. 

    this is the third (and final) drawing in my series of three whimsical winter girls. i know, i know....it's almost spring (ugh!) but custom work always comes first and i've had a few of those *jobs*the last couple of weeks (no complaints-love custom work) so little Icleyn here had to take a back seat. but....

    she's DONE (yay me!) and FOR SALE here along with her two lovely companions...little miss Crystal and my personal favorite, little miss Glacia (love the happy little twisted pout on her...).

    although i shall bid my love, mr. winter, adieu in a few days, it will eternally be winter in my heart...(hey look, someone has to show some love for that season...and well, i have MAJ love for it!)

    {up next on the easel (and between other drawings)...custom nursery art...featuring an owl and some sweet little birds.}

    0 Comments on last, but certainly not least... as of 3/17/2015 11:40:00 PM
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    13. Things do keep changing…

    Where Bear?

    By Sophy Henn


    I’m staring out of the window at yet ANOTHER snow storm, and I’m wondering, probably like a ton of east coast people right about now, “Where Liz?”. Where does one go when you’re not content to be where you are? Where do you go?

    Winter is long and harsh this year, but there are a slew of picture books out there that can make the down time fun and productive. And these wonderful books can certainly take you on a journey to places you’re never been, with people you’ve never met.

    Former president Harry Truman used to call his places, the “foxholes of the mind.”- places to visit in memory that are comfy and familiar. And in this picture book, it’s someplace new and exciting!

    All that’s needed is a little planning – just like boy and bear in “Where Bear?”

    Sophy Henn, in her debut picture book, introduces a bear and boy that are fast friends. Then, things change, as that has always been the guaranteed state of the world, right? Things do change. How do you explain THAT to a child or here, a bear, that craves permanence and stability, yet his bearishness and bigness needs a big place to do both. Answer? You find the best possible next step or place to be. And what’s needed here is a bit of research on the part of both boy and bear – together. They search in a variety of settings from jungles to zoos, from circuses to woods and into dark caves. No fit is found….until they share a cold, blue ICE pop. Ah, now you’re onto something. Colder climes are just the ticket for this polar bear.

    Remember Elsa, the lion cub, in the movie, “Born Free?”It was made from the book by Joy Adamson of she and her husband George’s experiences with the rescued and domesticated lion cub, Elsa that had to be retrained to live again in the wild. It was translated successfully into a movie version. I saw it again the other night.

    This picture book, “Where Bear?”reminded me of that scenario in a much simpler set of settings. But the themes are the same; helping the one we have been close to, and no longer can be, through the transition phase to a newer and better life.

    Things do keep changing; it’s a life lesson for kids – and adults. Cubs turn into big white polar bears and boys grow up as well. But as much as things change, some things are forever if we make the effort – and that is key. Things like friendship can last through all sort of life changes, if we make the effort to stay in touch. Even though we are no longer living physically close to that bear or person we know and love, if we have shared something of ourselves with them, they remain a part of who we are and will be.

    And what about shared vacations together? But, where to go? I’m sure they’ll figure it out. Where, Bear? How about someplace warm and sunny?


    Matt Monro – Born Free – YouTube


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    14. Poetry Friday -- Sky Poem

    Poem for the Golden Sky I See Outlining a Web of Winter-Bare Trees and Contrasting the Blue-White Snow-Topped Roofs When I Open My Eyes All Warm and Drowsy After a Nap on a Day Proclaimed to be Too Cold to go to School

    I love you.

    ©Mary Lee Hahn, 2015

    Linda has the Poetry Friday roundup at TeacherDance this week.

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    15. ...'cause winter isn't over yet!

    ...and what would make better cozy companions than these two adorable balls of arctic cuteness!

    LOVING these throws from fine art america!

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    16. Comic: Snowman Writer

    0 Comments on Comic: Snowman Writer as of 2/18/2015 8:13:00 AM
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    17. …miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and…


    Filed under: flying, journeys, winter

    1 Comments on …miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and…, last added: 2/5/2015
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    18. warm winter wishes (drawing #2)....

    glacia~graphite on bristol
    ©the enchanted easel 2015
    love, glacia


    also, glacia has little friend by the name of crystal who is also FOR SALE here.

    2 sweet little winter girl drawings down...1 more to go. :)

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    19. A smorgasbord of Christmas foods

    In many parts of the world, Christmas does not lack in spirit or rich flavors. Though sweets are a major highlight to this festive holiday, there are quite a few notable savory foods to consider. As you are sitting down to your third helping of turkey, take a look through just some of the Christmas foods people will be eating this year:

    What sorts of Christmas foods do you have every year? Let us know in the comments below.

    Headline image credit: Christmas decoration. Image by Hades2k. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr.

    The post A smorgasbord of Christmas foods appeared first on OUPblog.

    0 Comments on A smorgasbord of Christmas foods as of 12/29/2014 12:17:00 AM
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    20. Seven facts about American Christmas Music

    With that familiar chill in the air signaling winter’s imminent arrival, it’s time again to indulge our craving for Christmas music by Frank Sinatra, Mariah Carey, and more. But first, let’s take a step back and explore the history of Christmas music with the following facts.

    • From medieval Christmas celebrations onwards, the holiday has included Christian, pagan, and secular elements. For example, American Christmas songs range from religious hymns and carols to secular songs about Santa Claus and general goodwill.
    • During the 17th and 18th centuries, American colonists celebrated Christmas with mumming practices, including costumes, pranks, dancing, and musical instruments.
    • Boston tanner and composer William Billings wrote sacred Christmas music in the 18th century.
    • American Christmas music developed from various immigrant traditions, gaining popularity in the United States during the 19th century.
    • Charles Dickens contributed to the popularity of Christmas traditions with his successful novels The Pickwick Papers (1836-7) and A Christmas Carol (1843). Celebrations during this period included door-to-door Christmas caroling, Christmas cards, and “living nativity” scenes.
    • Several classic Christmas carols were produced in the 19th century, including “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” (1849), “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (1863), and “Away in a Manager” (1885).
    • The popularity of Christmas music exploded with radio, television, and film in the 20th century. Hollywood has played an important role in the popularity of Christmas music with films like Holiday Inn (1942), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), and A Christmas Story (1983). (We couldn’t resist posting this classic scene below.)

    Check out our list of classic Christmas tunes below:

    Headline image credit: Lighted Santa Reindeer, 2012. Photo by Anthony92931. CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

    The post Seven facts about American Christmas Music appeared first on OUPblog.

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    21. ✨ sunday night superstar! ✨

    ©the enchanted easel 2014
    just a peek at some new art for 2015!

    working on a few ORIGINAL DRAWINGS that will be FOR SALE the first week of 2015...looking forward to the new year and the new opportunities it shall bring! :)

    0 Comments on ✨ sunday night superstar! ✨ as of 12/31/2014 10:54:00 AM
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    22. warm winter wishes...

    crystal~graphite on bristol
    ©the enchanted easel 2015
    love, crystal


    {little crystal is 2015's first drawing....and she has two friends to join her....COMING SOON! :)}

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    23. Freddy the Frogcaster and the Big Blizzard, by Janice Dean | Book Review

    Freddy the Frogcaster and the Big Blizzard does an excellent job of creating a creative way to get kids interested in learning about the science of weather.

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    24. Half Past Winter, by Ginger Nielson | Book Review

    Half Past Winter is an adorable tale of two bear cubs and their adventure to find winter’s first snow. They grow impatient in their den when no snow comes and decide to explore until they find snow.

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    25. cleaning house

    i'm having a WINTER sale in my shop all throughout the remainder of the season...until the first day of spring. and i know, i'll be the only one who will be sad to see my beloved winter go. *sigh*

    {super bowl SNOW this weekend? yes, please! :)))}

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