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1. Sports Books for Girls

Today Kristine Carlson Asselin revealed the cover of her debut YA novel, Any Way You Slice It, about Penelope Spaulding, who uses hockey as a great escape from her parents’ restaurant. As her confidence on the ice and her commitment to the Rink Rats and someone named Jake Gomes grows, she finds it harder and […]

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2. A Literary Appreciation of Dragons 2015 – Part 3 of 4

Another Friday in January, another post in the Third Annual Bugs and Bunnies Literary Appreciation of Dragons series. (Not sure what this is? Click on the link in the previous sentence, and that will get you up to speed quite nicely. Then come back here to continue the book-ish dragon fun.)

Drawing courtesy of Chez Wheedleton's resident Dragon Expert: Lovely Girl

Back now? Great! Let's get to it:

If you've been here for the last two posts, you'll recall that we've added a new component to this year's festivities: Themes! And if you're new to Bugs and Bunnies? Well, now you know. The theme thing is new.

So far, we've had fun with two themes:

Dragon Fact, Dragon Fable – with dragon books that are informational in nature


and

Chinese Dragon Tales – with dragon books rooted in Chinese culture, with Chinese dragons


For this week, we present:

Other Dragon Tales

These dragon stories involve a variety of world cultures - Egyptian, Viking, English, and one that's unspecified but seems American. Enjoy!



The Dragon and the Thief
Written by Gillian Bradshaw
Ages 9 and up

Prahotep was born backward, with his eyes wide open. The people of his small Egyptian village took that to mean he was frowned upon by the gods. And it seemed to be so, for this son of a fisherman was no good at fishing. 

When one day a crocodile attacks Prahotep's father, his dying wish is for Prahotep to leave his small village near the Nile river, and try to find something he is good at. So Prahotep travels to Thebes. But his attempts at learning new trades there goes no better, and he finds himself labeled with a new name: Bad Luck. Finally, there is only one trade left for him to attempt – theft. When even that doesn't go well, he begins to think the gods really do frown on him. 

And then, Prahotep stumbles into the cave of Hathor, the last of what was believed to be an extinct line of dragons. Her discovery by others will mean her death. Could this be the destiny Prahotep has sought for so long? Could he be the one who can save the last Egyptian dragon?




Dragon Stew
Written by Steve Smallman
Illustrations by Lee Wildish
Ages 5 and up

Five bored Vikings are looking for an adventure. But they don't want to do the same old things. Battle? Nothing new. Shark fishing? Nope. Wresting a bear...in their underwear? Been there, done that!

And then, Loggi Longsocks comes up with one last idea: Catch a dragon, and make a dragon stew! To that, the other Vikings say, "Now, that's something new!" And the adventure begins...




The Reluctant Dragon
Written by Kenneth Grahame
Illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard
Ages 7 - and up

Long ago, there lived a shepherd, his wife, and their small son. One day, the father came across a dragon living in a cave outside the village, and he was beside himself with fear. But the boy, who read lots and lots of books and knew about these things, was less upset. "It's all right, father. Don't you worry. It's only a dragon."

And then, the boy befriended the dragon, and soon convinced his parents the situation was not as dire as all that. The dragon was rather cultured and quite mild-mannered. But when word spread, as word is wont to do, the villagers were not so serene. And they sent for St. George, slayer of dragons. 

The boy sees only one way to save his friend. And it involves convincing the whole town – and a dragon slayer  – to not slay a dragon. But, how?



The Best Pet of All
Written by David LaRochelle
Illustrated by Hanako Wakiyama
Ages 3 - 5

This is the story of a boy who wants a dog for a pet. But each time he asks his mom for a dog, she refuses.

Then one day, the boy decides to ask for something new. He asks for a dragon for a pet. And this time, his mom says, "If you can find a dragon, you can keep it for a pet." 

So he finds a dragon. But a dragon does not make a good pet. And when the boy's mom tells the dragon to leave, it refuses.

The boy has an idea how to get the dragon out of the house, though. And it involves a dog...


* * *

And that's that for this week. We hope you enjoyed Part 3 of 4 of the Third Annual Bugs and Bunnies Literary Appreciation of Dragons. Please join us again next Friday, for Part 4 of 4, when we present dragon books that will satisfy those who like to do more than just read about dragons...





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3. Candlewick Press - Best of YA Giveaway

TIME Magazine recently published their 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time and 100 Best Children's Books of All Time lists. Candlewick Press is offering a chance to win 6 of their titles which appeared on the YA list!

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The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo

Rob, sickly and devastated by the death of his mother, moves to a hotel with his father for a new start. But after he comes across a caged tiger in the woods outside the motel, the unexpected find helps him overcome his sadness and open up to a new friend.

The Tiger Rising is a National Book Award finalist (2001).

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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle--that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is in the Top 25 to be voted on for Best of the Best ranking by reader vote: http://time.com/100-best-young-adult-books/

Boy Proof by Cecil Castellucci

An unforgettable debut novel that follows an antisocial cinephile as she meets a quick-witted artist who's savvy enough to see through her sci-fi disguise. 

Boy Proof will celebrate its 10th anniversary in February 2015.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Illustrated by Jim Kay

An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor. 

Soon to be a major motion picture!

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

A dystopian thriller follows a boy and girl on the run from a town where all thoughts can be heard--and the passage to manhood embodies a horrible secret.

Feed by M. T. Anderson

Anderson takes on consumerism in this smart, savage satire that has captivated readers with its view of an imagined future that veers unnervingly close to the here and now. 

Feed is a National Book Award Finalist (2002).


Thanks to Candlewick, you can enter to win all 6 books using the Rafflecopter widget below! The giveaway is open to the US and Canada only, and ends Monday, January 26, 2015.

Candlewick online: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

eVolt online: Twitter | Tumblr

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US and Canada residents only. Ends 01/26/2015.
  2. We are not responsible for items lost, stolen, or damaged in the mail. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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4. A Literary Appreciation of Dragons 2015 – Part 2 of 4

Here we are, with the second of four posts for the Third Annual Bugs and Bunnies Literary Appreciation of Dragons!

Drawing courtesy of Chez Wheedleton's resident Dragon Expert: Lovely Girl


Regular readers – or at least those who follow this particular series here on Bugs and Bunnies – already know what's what. For those who are new: click on the link up there in the very first sentence of this post, and you'll find all kinds of information that will catch you up quite nicely. Then come on back here to continue the dragon-y fun.

Last week, our theme was Dragon Fact, Dragon Fable. This week's theme is:


Chinese Dragon Tales

It's a little round-up of four picture books focused on stories rooted in Chinese culture, with Chinese dragons:



The Paper Dragon, by Marguerite W. Davol
Illustrated by Robert Sabuda
Ages 5 - 8
* Summary courtesy of Chez Wheedleton's own Lovely Girl

Humble artist Mi Fei spends most of his time painting scenes of the glorious past on paper scrolls. The people of his village love to admire his epic portraits of gods, festivals, heroes, and great deeds. When news arrives one day that Sui Jen, the great dragon of Lung Mountain, has woken from his hundred years' sleep and is rampaging through the country, the villagers are sure that Mi Fei has enough knowledge of ancient heroes to save the day. But Mi Fei is just a simple artist! Can he live up to his village's expectations and convince the mighty dragon to sleep once more?



The Boy Who Painted Dragons
Written and Illustrated by Demi
Ages 7 - 10
* Summary courtesy of Chez Wheedleton's own Lovely Girl

 Ping paints dragons everywhere - on the walls, columns, doors, windows, tables, and chairs, and all over the ceiling and floors. All of the other children are in awe of his skill, but none of them know Ping's secret: he is terrified of dragons. No matter how many he paints, he still is unable to get over his fear. When the mighty Heavenly Dragon catches a glimpse of his art and decides to pay Ping a visit, the boy artist is in for a big shock... 


Chopsticks
Written and Illustrated by Jon Berkeley
Ages 4 - 8

Chopsticks is a small gray mouse, living on a floating restaurant in a busy harbor on the island of Hong Kong. The restaurant's entrance is flanked by two huge pillars, each of which has coiled around it a magnificent carved wooden dragon. One night – New Year's night, Chopsticks is going about his usual business of foraging for crumbs, when one of the dragons of the pillars speaks to him, and asks him for help with something very important. But how can one small mouse help a dragon made of wood and lacquer to realize his most cherished dream: to be free, so he can fly?


Dragon Dancing
Written by Carole Lexa Schaefer
Illustrated by Pierr Morgan
Ages 3 and up

A class of students listen to their teacher read a book about dragons. And then, during art class, when it's time to decorate for Mei Lin's birthday, the sparkly paper and ribbons give the kids a great idea. And very soon, a sparkle-headed Birthday Dragon is off exploring imaginary lands, far, far away...at least until they hear their teacher calling.


* * *

And so we've come to the end of Part 2 of 4 of the Third Annual Bugs and Bunnies Literary Appreciation of Dragons. Be sure to come back next Friday, for Part 3 of 4, when we'll explore some more dragon tales...


 

 

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5. Parragon Books Debuts New Line of Princess Books

updated-webbannerParragon Books — the publisher of such children’s books including: Monster High; Pinkabella and Sunshine and Snowballs – has unveiled a new line of children’s book called Glitterbelle. 

The series, which is aimed at the 6 and up set, is centered around a high energy modern-day princess named Glitterbelle. 

From illustrator, Harriet Muncaster, the artwork in the books begin with sketches which are turned into handmade 3D scenes using card, fabric, tiny gems and glitter. The series includes story books, activity books and products. The first four titles in the series will be released this month.

 

 

 

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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6. This little Griffin has a new home....Salem County Bookmobile

Meet our new little Griffin,  the mascot for Salem County Bookmobile ..He now has a home but is in need of a name....

Salem County Bookmobile and Library

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7. Reading Resolutions

Everyone is making goals and checking them twice. Welcome to January! Fresh ideas, new perspective and a clean slate is on the horizon. As an author and an avid reader my goals tend to lean towards literary objectives. Do you have any goals that focus on literacy? Here are a few of mine: Have at least four library visits each month, read and complete one fiction book and one business oriented book monthly, read through my son's personal library collection in entirety every week (this goal is shared between my hubistrator, sitters and myself because he has a lot of books), write in a gratitude journal daily, work on incomplete manuscripts. Those are my reading resolutions-what are your goals when it comes to literacy? Read to a classroom, volunteer at your library, work on a project related to helping others with their literacy goals. The list can be quite endless. Readers are leaders-let's begin this year by leading by example. Read something great.

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8. A Literary Appreciation of Dragons 2015 – Part 1 of 4

We're getting a bit of a late start for the Third Annual Bugs and Bunnies Literary Appreciation of Dragons, but let's not let that dampen our fun, shall we? Counting today, there are still four Fridays left for us to fill with fabulous books full of fantastic dragon stories of one sort or another.

Drawing courtesy of Chez Wheedleton's resident Dragon Expert: Lovely Girl


A Bit of Explanation, for those new to Bugs and Bunnies, or new to this series:

A Literary Appreciation of Dragons is a series where we feature books with some sort of dragon connection, with posts appearing each Friday in January. It began here at Bugs and Bunnies as part of our 2012 observance of Appreciate a Dragon Day - a holiday celebrated annually on January 16th. The day officially came into being ten years ago, courtesy of author Donita K. Paul, to celebrate the release of her novel, DragonSpell (Waterbrook Press, 2004). Want more details? Click on any of the links above for all kinds of dragony fun. When you've had your fill, come on back here, and we'll get started with this year's bookish dragon festivities.


And now, on to the literary dragon fun:

New for this year: Themes! (Not planned, but the books did seem to just fall into categories of their own accord. Weird, how that happens sometimes, isn't it?)

This week's theme:

Dragon Fact, Dragon Fable

All of today's books are informational in nature. All but one contain brief descriptions of various myths, legends or stories specific to various world cultures and histories. And that one that doesn't? Well, we'll save it for last. It's kind of in a category all its own:



Dragons (Monsters and Mythical Creatures)
By Carla Mooney
Ages 13 and up

Dragons is a well-researched, informative book presenting a wide variety of information, images and illustrations on everything to do with dragons. Five chapters cover the general similarities and differences dragons have across different cultures and mythologies, content specific to Western dragons and Eastern dragons, animals that may have inspired dragon myths, and dragon depiction within pop culture. There are also useful sections at the end, detailing the author's sources, a list of various media to consult for further exploration, a content index, and picture credits.



Dragons (Mythologies)
By John Malam
Ages 8 - 10

This beautifully illustrated Dragons book focuses on dragon myths and stories within various cultures. It covers information, myths and legends about dragons of Europe, the Middle East, China and Japan, and India. For each of these areas of the world, general information is presented about how dragons were depicted and described, as well as brief retellings of one or two myths or stories from those cultures. A helpful glossary and index are included at the end.



A Time of Golden Dragons
Written by Song Nan Zhang and Hao Yu Zhang
Illustrated by Song Nan Zhang
Ages 9 - 12

A Time of Golden Dragons traces the history and significance of dragons in Chinese culture, from their earliest beginnings up through today. The authors weave together history, culture, myth, art and storytelling to give the reader a clear, easy-to-understand narrative of the ways dragons are used, referred to, and depicted by the Chinese people.

There are sections on Where Dragons Come From, the difference between Eastern and Western dragons, dragons as a symbol of imperial power, Where Dragons Live, dragon references and their meanings within the Chinese language, the significance of dragons in Chinese festivals, dragon references and use in modern Chinese culture, and the dragon's part in the Chinese time measurement system. Each page is accompanied by colorful and detailed illustration to enhance understanding of the text.



The Complete Book of Dragons: A Guide to Dragon Species (How to Train Your Dragon)
Written and Illustrated by Cressida Cowell
Ages 8 - 12

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third, reluctant hero of the How to Train Your Dragon series, against the wishes of his Viking Barbarian father, Stoick the Vast, Chief of the Hairy Hooligan Tribe, presents to the reader: The Complete Book of Dragons: A Guide to Dragon Species, which contains everything Hiccup has learned about dragons.

He includes sections on Dragon Anatomy, Nesting Sites, Dragon Eggs, Training Your Hunting or Lap Dragon, Dragon Riding, The Wilder Species, The Mighty Monsters, The Future of Dragons, and Know Your Dragons. Each section contains drawings, illustrations, typed information, and handwritten notes – some whole-page and some margin, and even a handy reference chart of dragon types and their respective characteristics. There is also a fold-out Map of the Barbaric Archipelago – the lands where Hiccup and the Hairy Hooligan Tribe and the dragons live and travel.

* * *

And so, that's that for this week. We hope you haven't yet had your dragon fill, though. Come on back next week for Part 2 of 5, when we delve into books with dragon lore from one particular corner of the world...


 

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9. Book Review: The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf, by Caldric Blackwell


Title: The Boy Who Couldn’t Cry Wolf
Author: Caldric Blackwell
Publisher: Icasm Press
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Six-year-old Byron Woodward is a werewolf who can’t howl. Determined not to embarrass himself after being chosen to lead a full-moon ceremony, he embarks on a mission to learn how to howl. He learns a lot about howling during his journey, but more importantly, he learns a valuable lesson about believing in himself.

My thoughts...

I love werewolves and I love picture books--but a picture book about werewolves? That's kind of an unusual combination. So I was curious. Well, The Boy Who Couldn’t Cry Wolf turned out to be a pleasant surprise! I read the story with keen interest throughout, and there's was even a bit of suspense as I wondered what was going to happen. The ending was sweet and satisfying. I bet young readers will have the same reaction and will be glued to the pages, though adults might have to explain to the little ones what werewolves are. I love that the author tells an enjoyable story that also touches on important values and ideas, such as the love for nature and, more importantly, the need to believe in oneself. I hope to see more picture books from talented author Caldric Blackwell!


About the Author

Caldric Blackwell realized he loved reading when he read about a bunch of people (with single-syllable names) and their pets (also with single-syllable names) in kindergarten.

Exposure to a host of great authors while studying at the University of California, Santa Barbarainspired him to begin writing fiction. Although he began writing short stories for adults, he eventually migrated to writing children's books. His debut work is an early chapter book titled The Enchanted River Race. His second release is a picture book titled The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf.

Outside of writing, Caldric enjoys hiking and playing the mandolin, banjo, and guitar. Caldric currently resides in California.

For More Information


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    10. Star Bright Title Makes Headlines


    A local newspaper based out of Manchester, Indiana has written an article profiling Neil Wollman and Abigail Fuller, the co-authors of the recently published What Animal Needs a Wig?! The article (which can be expanded above) highlights both the lives of the co-authors, as well as the background on their hilarious new book.

    In contrast to the research-based academic reports and activism publications that both Neil Wollman, a former psychology professor, and wife Abigail fuller, a current sociology professor, are accustomed to working on, What Animal Needs a Wig? came about much more casually. During long trips to visit Fuller's family in Massachusetts, Wollman would make jokes and puns with his family regarding animals. Curious to see if anything could come of it, Wollman decided to team  up with Fuller and her sister, illustrator Frances Baldwin, to construct a compilation of well-researched, interesting, and funny factoids and puns about nature.

    Everyone at Star Bright Books would like to extend congratulate Neil Wollman and Abigail Fuller for writing such an amazing book, and our warmest thanks to writer Eric Seaman for writing this article. For more information regarding What Animal Needs a Wig?, please visit our website, starbrightbooks.com






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    11. The Dragon (Books) Are Returning...

    The Third Annual Literary Appreciation of Dragon Series is most definitely on its way. Bit of a late start, as the first Friday in January has already whooshed past – dragonless. But there are still four Fridays left, and we here at Bugs and Bunnies have four Fridays' worth of deliciously dragon-y books we're excited to share with you!


    If you're a regular reader here, you already know what's what. If you're new, clicking on the link up there in the first sentence of this post will take you to the main series page, where you can explore everything we've presented about dragon books so far, to your heart's content. And of course, regular readers are welcome to click, too, and reminisce.

    Then, be sure to come back this Friday, January 9, 2105, for the first of four new posts full of fabulous dragon books. 

    Until then, we'll leave you with this:

    "We men dream dreams, we work magic, we do good, we do evil. The dragons do not dream. They are dreams. They do not work magic; it is their substance, their being. They do not do; they are."
                                             – Ursula K. Le Guin, The Farthest Shore

     

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    12. Bear and the 3 Goldilocks Has Been Released!

    Hi All,


    Sorry about the long absence.  I just wanted to send out a quick post to share some great news.  I am thrilled to announce that my latest picture book, Bear and the 3 Goldilocks, has been released! This fractured fairy-tale was a lot of fun to write and Robert Lee Beers really did an amazing job with the illustrations. It is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or ask your local bookstore. Autographed copies are also available through my website at www.kevinmcnamee.com if you are interested.

    Happy writing!

    Kevin

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    13. Tuck Everlasting 40th Anniversary Blog Tour

    Thanks to Macmillan for including us on the 40th Anniversary blog tour for Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.

    I'm so excited that I'm offering up a copy of the 40th Anniversary Edition of the book in a quick giveaway. It's open internationally and ends Saturday, Jan 10. The book won't be out until Tuesday, Jan 20, so if you don't win my giveaway, you can preorder your copy right here! Enter using the Rafflecopter below, and look up the hashtag #Tuck40th to find the other 39 blog tour posts on the tour!

    image.jpg

    What if you could live forever?

    If I could live forever, I can think of a million things I'd like to do. I'd knit and sew a lot. I'd try to help alleviate poverty and counteract global warming. I'd take a boat out to sea and try to chip away at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch--that's sure to take up a whole lot of time. I'd take classes in everything: languages, math, science, and every art form available. I'd bake millions of cookies, pies, cakes, and other desserts. I'd adopt every stray cat that crossed my path (especially the black ones).

    When I was younger, I thought I'd like to just stay home and read forever. And I'm sure, if I could live forever, I would make sure I had somewhere to keep my books. But there is a whole world out there to see, lots of things to do. I'd try to do them all, especially the things that scare me the most. For example, while I love to sing, I really hate being in front of an audience. I would look for opportunities to sing and maybe speak publicly, or even act. I'm also really scared of swimming in the ocean. I mean, I can go for a little dip at the beach, but when I can't see or feel the sandy bottom anymore, I really start to freak out.

    Of course, there are practical considerations to living forever. How do you pay for everything? Won't people wonder how I stayed young or managed to outlive everyone else? Would I have to go into hiding to protect myself? I really don't relish the thought of having to work for a paycheck the rest of my life, or spend my life on the run, so I'm sure some strict investment and retirement plans, legal action, and/or winning the lottery might have to come into play.

    I'm not sure I'd be lonely, because I do like being alone, and I feel like I can make friends with whoever else happens to be alive at the same time. The worst case scenario I can think of is if I outlived every other earthly life form (including cats), and no benevolent aliens came along to invite me to travel through space with them for eternity. Then, I'd probably regret living for so long. I'd also avoid any kind of wrongdoing--especially things that could land me in jail! A life sentence seems way worse when it's never-ending.

    I'd spend the rest of eternity making friends, traveling, making things, reading (and maybe writing) books, singing, baking, and trying to change the world. I'd knit, and sew, and raise an army of black cats. Actually, even if I can't live forever, I think I'll do those things anyway.

    Except maybe the swimming in the deep ocean part.

    About the book

    2015 marks the 40th anniversary of Natalie Babbitt’s celebrated, ground- breaking title Tuck Everlasting (Anniversary edition on sale January 20). In celebration of the anniversary, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group will publish a special anniversary edition featuring an introduction from Wicked author Gregory Maguire.

    Tuck Everlasting asks readers “What if you could live forever?” Doomed to, or blessed with, eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less of a blessing than it might seem. Then complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.

    Upon the book’s publication in 1975, Natalie was greeted with concern from parents and educators who were stunned to read a book about death written for children. She is an author who challenges her readers and thinks the best questions are the ones without answers.

    This 40th anniversary will introduce a whole new generation to this timeless classic. The book has sold over 3.5 million copies in the US alone, and has never been out of print since publication. 

    About the author

    Natalie Babbitt is the award-winning author of Tuck Everlasting, The Eyes of the Amaryllis, Knee-Knock Rise, and many other brilliantly original books for young people. She began her career in 1966 as the illustrator of The Forty-Ninth Magician, a collaboration with her husband. When her husband became a college president and no longer had time to collaborate, Babbitt tried her hand at writing. Her first novel, The Search for Delicious, established her gift for writing magical tales with profound meaning. Knee-Knock Rise earned her a Newbery Honor, and in 2002, Tuck Everlasting was adapted into a major motion picture. Natalie Babbitt lives in Connecticut, and is a grandmother of three. 

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    14. Interview: Katheryn Russell-Brown on the research behind Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

    Katheryn Russell-BrownReleased in September of 2014, Little Melba and Her Big Trombone is the story of Melba Liston, a little-known but trailblazing musician who broke gender and racial barriers to become a famed trombonist and arranger. We interviewed author Katheryn Russell-Brown to get a better sense of the research that went into writing the book.

    Were you able to talk to any of Melba’s friends or family when doing research for the book? If so, what was that like?

    Katheryn Russell-Brown: Yes indeed. I spoke with Leslie Drayton who co-led a band with Melba. Melba did not have children of her own, but she considered Leslie her “musical son.” He talked to me about Melba’s personality, how she carried herself and some expressions she used. I still keep in touch with him.

    What jazz music did you listen to while working on this story?

    KRB: Melba recorded only one lead album, “Melba Liston and Her ‘Bones” (1958). I listened to it many, many times while writing and revising Little Melba.

    What aspects of Melba’s story inspired you to write this story for children?

    KRB: The more I read and learned about Melba Liston, the more impressed I was with her talent. By every account she was a phenomenal arranger and a master trombone player.

    Melba’s mother and grandfather play a large role in encouraging Melba’s trombone playing. What word of advice would you give to parents to encourage their children’s talents or interests?

    KRB: What I love is that Melba’s mother, Lucille Liston, followed Melba’s lead even though she wasn’t thrilled with Melba’s choice of instrument. She thought the trombone was too big and that it wasn’t for girls! However, at Melba’s urging, her mother bought the trombone and supported her throughout her career.

    What aspect of Melba’s story do you think is especially relevant for young people today?

    KRBTry to find something you love to do and do your best with it.

    What’s one fact about Melba you learned that didn’t make it to the book?

    KRB: Melba appeared in two major motion pictures. In “The Prodigal” (1955), Liston played the harp and appeared in scenes with Lana Turner. She was also a member of the palace orchestra in “The Ten Commandments” (1956).

    Pages from LITTLE MELBA AND HER BIG TROMBONEHow difficult is it to play the trombone?

    KRB: As I write in Little Melba, “the trombone was no piece of cake.” First, holding it properly is a challenge. Second, it’s heavy, long, and bulky. Third, you have to purse your lips just right, move the slide, and blow!

    Even though Melba quits playing the trombone for a while, she eventually returns to it. What would you say to young people that are thinking of quitting something they enjoy doing or are good at?

    KRBIf you’re going to quit, quit for the right reasons! Don’t quit because something is hard or challenging. If, however, something that brought you joy is no longer bringing joy, it’s OK to take a break.

    Melba loved music and really loved the trombone. However, being on the road was tough for her—times could be tough and sometimes she felt lonely. After going on tour with jazz singer Billie Holiday, Melba decided to take a break. She got a job as a clerk for the Los Angeles Board of Education. She was lured back to music when Dizzy Gillespie asked her to re-join his orchestra and travel to South America.

    In addition to your work as a children’s book writer, you are also a Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Race and Race Relations at the University of Florida. How do you think your work as a professor informed the way you decided to tell Melba’s story?

    KRB:It certainly did inform my approach to writing Little Melba. I love doing research and I love writing, re-rewriting, and editing.

     

     


    Filed under: Diversity, Race, and Representation, Interviews with Authors and Illustrators, Lee & Low Likes Tagged: African/African American Interest, children's books, diversity, History, Katheryn Russell-Brown, Little Melba and her Big Trombone, melba liston, Race issues, writing

    1 Comments on Interview: Katheryn Russell-Brown on the research behind Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, last added: 1/6/2015
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    15. Cybils Awards 2014 Finalists!

    The 2014 Cybils Awards finalists have been announced! The Cybils Awards, now in our 9th year, recognize the best children's and YA books of the year as defined by our primary criteria: kid appeal and literary merit. We are an adjudicated award, and our judges are all bloggers specializing in children's and YA literature. Our lists are a great resource for anyone looking for the best children's and YA books. Here is the full finalist announcement.

    I serve as a judge in the YA Speculative Fiction category, where I'm also Category Chair. I'm excited to share our seven excellent finalists!

    by Leah Cypess
    Greenwillow Books
    Nominated by: Charlotte
    From the moment Ileni stepped into a cave of assassins to teach magic and discover who killed her two predecessors, I was hooked. In DEATH SWORN, Ileni goes deep into a culture that values absolute obedience and killing for the greater good. Ileni herself is the novel's greatest assassin, a heroine who overcomes her fears and doubts, managing to hide that she's weak and easy prey. The intense tension between Ileni and her assassin protector Soren adds a touch of romance to the action, with a refreshing lack of anything resembling a love triangle. The theme of questioning authority and dogma will resonate with teens, as will Ileni's growing engagement with the world around her as she discovers that you can forge a new path for yourself after your dreams falter.
    Allie Jones, In Bed With Books

    by A.S. King
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Nominated by: Angie Manfredi
    You don't need a dose of hallucinogenic bat to enjoy this trippy tale. A.S. King's capable writing weaves together three worlds: the past, where a young mother's suicide left her husband and daughter reeling, the present, in which the last days of high school close the door on that daughter's childhood, and the future, which is a nightmare existence in a patriarchal dystopia. Today, eighteen-year-old Glory O'Brien's smallest choices and revelations will affect all three worlds. They will clarify her past, determine her present and maybe - just maybe - change the future for everyone.

    by John Corey Whaley
    Atheneum
    Nominated by: Mary McKenna Siddals
    Travis Coates is a boy out of time. His body was dying of cancer, which led him to cryogenically preserve himself hoping for a cure. But 5 years later, a radical new procedure allows the doctors to place his perfectly good head onto another boy's body. Now he is literally out of time: he is woken up feeling like only a day has passed when in reality, the world has moved 5 years into the future without him. His friends have graduated, his girlfriend is engaged to another man, his best friend is content to stay in the closet and yet Travis is still stuck in high school. As Travis tries to keep his head on straight, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cringe. Pun totally intended. Noggin by John Corey Whaley takes the typical questions of the teenage years – who am I? where do I fit in? – and kicks them up a notch with a brilliant speculative concept that combines biting humor with the perfect amount of angst and sorrow.

    by Alexandra Duncan
    Greenwillow Books
    Nominated by: Kristen
    Salvage is the epic journey of a girl severed from her community and exiled from the only life she’s ever known. The struggle to survive becomes a journey for self-actualization, as Ava loses everything and must find within herself the strength to start over and find her own way, not once, but over and over again. Rich details immerse the reader in each setting and culture, from a patriarchal, fundamentalist society in space, to a floating city in the Great Pacific Garbage Gyre, to a futuristic Mumbai. A dark skinned heroine leads a cast of characters diverse in race, culture, and class.
    Sheila Ruth, Wands and Worlds

    by Matt De La Peña
    Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
    Nominated by: Jen Robinson
    What starts as a way for Shy to earn money to help his family back in a small town close to the San Diego/Mexico border turns out to be a horrific ride when the dreaded 'Big One' hits the West Coast. Added to the mix is a deadly disease that has killed not only Shy's grandmother, but others. The Living has a gripping plot featuring a Mexican-American protagonist and a cast of diverse characters. It starkly portrays racism and classism among the rich cruise patrons, and the greed that drives some in power to commit questionable acts. Sure to appeal to reluctant readers with its multi-layered characters and action-packed scenes, this novel nails the horror of being caught in a disaster and portrays the courage and strength that can come when people are faced with terrible odds.
    Kim Baccellia, Si, se puede

    by Marie Rutkoski
    Farrar, Straus & Giroux
    The Winner’s Curse is a world-building lover’s dream, with a rich setting and two distinct cultures free of stereotypes. Despite the unequal power dynamic between the two leads - Kestrel as a daughter of the conqueror and Arin as one of the conquered and enslaved - they find themselves drawn to each other, playing a game of emotional chess to get what they need even as the attraction builds. Rutkoski deals sensitively with class issues and the realities of slavery, allowing the romance to develop but ensuring her characters remain true to themselves and their own motivations. The action-packed second half, the moral ambiguity of the characters’ actions, and the intense romance make The Winner’s Curse highly appealing and a story readers will continue to think about long after the last page is turned.
    Kimberly Francisco, STACKED

    by Karen Healey
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Nominated by: Bibliovore
    While We Run opens with Abdi Taalib singing a rendition of Here Comes the Sun - a hopeful, romantic song that directly contradicts his nightmare existence as a government prisoner and puppet. Soon he and Tegan (star of 2013's When We Wake) are on the run, not sure who to trust or what the right next step is. Abdi’s privileged, Somali upbringing may come in handy as they maneuver between the rebels and the installed regime. His ability to manipulate people could be just what they need. But no matter what they decide, lives will be lost.

    Healey completely integrates a diverse set of characters into a world so real it seems like the reader is also barreling towards that future. The intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion are natural and the characters well-rounded and complete. Diversity isn't a plot device, it's part of each character's individual story. While We Run shows throws us into a world that has computers that look and act like paper, night vision contact lenses, legalized drugs, and the worldwide ability to use human waste as manure. But is it a better future?"
    Kathy M Burnette, The Brain Lair

    Here are the finalists for Elementary & Middle-Grade Speculative Fiction, from the committee chaired by the awesome Charlotte of Charlotte's Library:

    by N. D. Wilson
    Random House Books for Young Readers
    Nominated by: Sarah Potvin
    In the swampy mucks of Florida where sugar cane grows and football is king, Charlie’s family has moved to begin a new chapter in their lives. Pairing up with his cousin, “Cotton”, Charlie begins to learn about his new town, but soon Charlie and Cotton find that their carefree days playing football and running through the burning cane fields are coming to an end. There is something not quite alive--but not quite dead either--wreaking havoc in the flats. Old rivalries are tearing the town apart. The little jealousies, bitter musings, and grudges people have cradled in their hearts are taking over their whole souls. The monsters, bent on destruction, are using this for their own ends. Charlie soon finds himself in the role of reluctant hero tasked with bringing an end to the source of the monsters’ power. In Boys of Blur, N.D. Wilson tells a sweeping tale of family, friendship, community, and heroism with a diverse cast of characters and plenty of action.

    by Kate Milford
    Clarion Books
    Nominated by: Tara
    Milo Pine has grown up in Greenglass House, the beautiful old smugglers's inn his parents run. Everything in his life follows the same pattern from year to year, and that's just the way he likes it. But one snowy day at the beginning of winter vacation, a visitor unexpectedly arrives, and then another one, and another, setting into motion a chain of events that will change Milo's world forever.

    Part puzzle, part mystery, Greenglass House is an enchanting and thoughtful story. Milo's conflicted feelings about his identity and the idea of growing up will resonate with reader. His growing friendship with Meddy and their adventures playing his father's forgotten RPG provide an emotional backbone to this strongly written story about finding out that you are more than you ever thought you could be.
    Maureen Eichner, By Singing Light

    by Lynne Rae Perkins
    Greenwillow Books
    Nominated by: Lwad
    When Jed the squirrel is captured by a hawk, he manages to escape, but he is lost and far from home. Fortunately for him, Jed has good friends, TsTs and Chai, who are willing to put themselves at risk to come to his rescue. Then, the three friends discover a greater threat to their squirrel community than hawks and other predators. Can they return home in time to sound the warning, and can they persuade the busy, nut-gathering squirrel clan that their lives are in danger?

    Nuts to You is a squirrel-y story. The squirrels talk to each other–--in squirrel. One of them has learned some English, and he tells the story to the author who writes it down for us. The moral is, “Save the trees,” for the sake of the squirrels and for humans, too. All of that–--the talking squirrels, the environmental message, the author inside the story—works together for a tale of friendship and adventure that is a cut above your usual talking animal story. At times poignant and at other times hilarious, Nuts to You will keep kids reading and laughing and perhaps looking for their own squirrel friend with whom to share a conversation and a peanut butter sandwich
    Sherry Early, Semicolon

    by Merrie Haskell
    Katherine Tegen Books
    Sand has lived all his thirteen years in view of the cursed castle surrounded by a thick hedge of poisoned thorns. But that doesn't prepare him for the morning when he wakes up inside the castle, among the ashes on the hearth. Everything in the castle is broken, including loaves of bread, items of clothing, and the giant anvil in the smithy. Everything is broken except the body of the princess whom Sand finds in the castle crypt. How to break this curse isn't obvious, and Sand is not a prince. In fact, he's never wanted to be anything but a blacksmith, and as he starts repairing the items in the castle, he discovers a gift for mending -- and healing. But waking the cursed princess is only the beginning. Trapped together inside the castle by the poisonous hedge of thorns, blacksmith's boy and princess must learn to work together to uncover the secrets of the past and break the curse.

    The Castle Behind Thorns is a tale of enchantment, friendship, and forgiveness, a story of overcoming obstacles, mending what's broken, and finding one's place in the world. It will appeal to those who love fairy tales but appreciate stories where it can take much more than a simple kiss to break a spell.
    Sondy Eklund, Sonderbooks

    by Jason Fry
    HarperCollins
    Nominated by: Stephanie Whelan
    Pirates! In Space! Twelve-year-old Tycho Hashoon and his twin sister Yana are actually privateers on their family’s ship, the Shadow Comet, licensed by the Jovian Union of the inhabited moons of Jupiter. Their older brother is, like Tycho and Yana, training to be captain of the ship someday. When Tycho earns a chance to lead a boarding party, disaster strikes. The Hashoons have to give up their hard-won prize and risk losing their letter of marque. Tycho and Yana’s efforts to uncover the truth take them from the Ceres Admiralty Court to seedy port hangouts and uninhabited regions of space.

    The Hashoon family itself is as appealing as the space-faring premise. They are both loving and competitive, with an extended family all living, joking and squabbling together on board ship. Part space opera, part legal thriller, with a whole lot of very relatable family relationships, Jupiter Pirates: Hunt for the Hydra is an exciting yarn that will hook kids with the adventure while leaving them with deeper thoughts on topics from siblings to slavery.
    Katy Kramp, alibrarymama

    by Paul Durham
    HarperCollins
    Nominated by: Ruth Compton
    Welcome to the village Drowning. For centuries, the residents of Drowning have been warned not to venture into the dark, murky bogs that surround the village. After all, the bogs are home to the evil and terrifying Bog Nobblins – or so the legend goes. Rye O'Chanter has always believed Bog Nobblins were a thing of legend. No one has seen one and there has been no indication they even exist. That all changes when she has a horrific encounter with a single Bog Nobblin that forces Rye to realize the thing people fear most is real.

    Now, Rye is tasked with convincing others the Bog Nobblin is a threat and the village needs help from a mysterious group of criminals known as the Luck Uglies. Luck Uglies, the first book in a trilogy, is a fantasy novel that has it all – magic, friendship, adventure, mysterious creatures, and secrets that need to be uncovered.
    Cindy Hannikman, Fantasy Book Critic

    by Charis Cotter
    Tundra
    Nominated by: Reno
    Rose sees ghosts and thinks she herself might be one, for no one seems to see or care about her. Polly desperately wants to see ghosts, or at least find respite from her busy, family-filled house. What neither expected was for the angry ghost of a third girl to interfere in the friendship they have made with each other through their shared attic wall.

    Part mystery, part ghost story, this gripping and sometimes deeply poignant book will delight readers who love character-driven stories of friendship and family. Full of twists, both ghostly and otherwise, this is an utterly absorbing and beautifully written story.
    Charlotte Taylor, Charlotte's Library

    I'd like to give a shoutout to my fellow judges, an amazing group of smart, hard working, passionate and dedicated book bloggers. It was a pure pleasure discussing books with you! Anyone looking for children's or YA book recommendations would do well to follow these blogs:
    Now a second panel of judges in each category will choose one winner per category. Winners will be announced on February 14, so stay tuned!


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    16. Zac’s Destiny 2014 Kindle Award Winner!

    Zac’s Destiny, winner of The Book Awards for a Kindle title 2014!
    Available on Kindle from Amazon worldwide.

    2014KindleWinner

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    17. Caution: Witch in Progress 2014 Award Winner!

    Caution: Witch in Progress, The Book Awards runner-up for printed book of the year and gaining highest number of votes for a fiction title 2014!

    2014PrintRunner-Up

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    18. Children’s Book For Military Children Adopts New Nickname

    UnknownMother and daughter team Debbie and Jennifer Fink have self published a children’s book for children of  U.S. military personnel. The book, The Little C.H.A.M.P.s, focuses on the lives of five kids whose parents serve in the military.

    But the title went through some changes along the way. The book’s first title, The Little Brats, received negative feedback from the community. Rather than referring to the children in the well-known parlance ‘brats,’ the book has adopted the term “champs” which stands for “Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel.”

    The Washington Post has the scoop:

    “While we know brats is a name that’s used with pride, there are a large number of military-connected children and their families and organizations who really do not like the term ‘brats,’ ” she said.

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    19. Neil Gaiman Recites ‘Jabberwocky’ From Memory

    Once again, Neil Gaiman agreed to perform a reading of a beloved children’s story for a Worldbuilders fundraising venture. The choices included Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, ‘Jabberwocky’ by Lewis Carroll, Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss, and Goodnight Moon written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd.

    ‘Jabberwocky’ received the most votes and the organization has raised more than $639,000.00. The video embedded above features Gaiman in the woods delivering a dramatic recitation of Carroll’s famous nonsense poem from memory—what do you think?

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    20. ‘The Hobbit: The Complete Journey’ Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral

    To honor the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, film editor Joel Walden created a fan-made trailer called “The Hobbit: The Complete Journey.” The video embedded above has drawn more than 159,000 views on YouTube—what do you think?

    New Line Cinema had originally planned to shoot a two-part Hobbit film adaptation. Many J. R. R. Tolkien fans have criticized Peter Jackson for stretching out The Hobbit story into a trilogy.

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    21. Protesting Injustice Then and Now

    ferguson 2In August we wrote to you about the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Our publisher said then that the matter of representation was urgent; now, four months later, we see that urgency for what it is: a matter of life or death. Michael Brown’s name now sits alongside new names like Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and Akai Gurley. How many more names will need to be added before things change?

    Protests around the country remind us that we are not in a post-racial society, that inequality is still here. This can be a harrowing reminder, but it is also an important teachable moment for young people. How do we put current events in context and help young people engage in today’s big questions?

    In difficult moments, books are often a good starting place for conversation. Books that touch on history can be read with fresh eyes in light of current events. For example, in Love to Langston, author Tony Medina describes when a seventh-grade Langston Hughes in 1914 peacefully protests his teacher’s segregation of black students to one row in the classroom. Even when he is expelled, Hughes fights for what he knows is right and his community joins beside him. The teacher is forced to integrate the classroom:

    Jim Crow Row
    from Love to Langston
    By Tony Medina

    In the seventh grade
    in Lawrence, Kansas
    the teacher puts all
    us black kids in the same row
    away from all the white kids

    I don’t roll my eyes
    or suck my teeth
    with a heavy heavy sigh
    and a why why why

    I make signs
    that read
    that read

    Jim Crow Row
    Jim Crow Row
    we in the Jim Crow Row

    Jim Crow is a law
    that separates white and black
    making white feel better
    and black feel left back

    So we protest
    with our parents
    and let everybody
    know about

    Jim Crow Jim Crow
    not allowing us
    to grow

    Jim Crow Jim Crow
    don’t put us in a
    Jim Crow Row

    Whether it was this event or the lifetime of experiences of racism, Langston Hughes was profoundly transformed and wrote about and advocated for equality and justice throughout his life.

    I, Too
    By Langston Hughes
    From the Poetry Foundation

    I, too, sing America.

    I am the darker brother.
    They send me to eat in the kitchen
    When company comes,
    But I laugh,
    And eat well,
    And grow strong.

    Tomorrow,
    I’ll be at the table
    When company comes.
    Nobody’ll dare
    Say to me,
    “Eat in the kitchen,”
    Then.

    Besides,
    They’ll see how beautiful I am
    And be ashamed—

    I, too, am America.

    How will today’s children be impacted and awakened as activists by images of and participation in the protesting in Ferguson, New York City, and around the nation? In what ways will this moment and experience affect our children’s lens by which they view the world and influence their life’s purpose or calling? What art will they create to express this moment and themselves?

    A photo from one of the recent protests in New York City.

    A photo from one of the recent protests in New York City.

    Further reading:

    Books on Protest:

     


    Filed under: Educator Resources, Race Tagged: African/African American Interest, children's books, diversity, Educators, History, Langston Hughes, poetry, Power of Words, race, Race issues, racism

    1 Comments on Protesting Injustice Then and Now, last added: 12/17/2014
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    22. Norman Bridwell Has Died

    Clifford the Big Red Dog 40th Anniversary EditionNorman Bridwell, the author and illustrator behind the Clifford the Big Red Dog series, has died. He was 86-years-old.

    According to the press release, Bridwell created the beloved crimson canine character Clifford back in 1963. His first manuscript was rejected by nine publishers before Scholastic acquired it.

    Throughout Bridwell’s fifty-year career, he produced more than 150 titles for this popular children’s book series. Two Clifford titles will be released posthumously: Clifford Goes to Kindergarten (May 2015) and Clifford Celebrates Hanukkah (October 2015).

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    23. The Fifth Children's Poetry Festival in El Salvador

    From the Macondo Newsletter

    Edited by Reyna Grande


    MACONDISTAS GOING ABROAD

    Macondista Rene Colato Lainez recently visited his native country, El Salvador, as a featured author. Read about his visit!


    The Fifth Children's Poetry Festival in El Salvador



    by Rene Colato Lainez

    As a child in El Salvador, I loved to visit the old National Library and read books. I would wonder about the authors whose books I would read. Where they nearby or did they live far away? Were they young or old? How could they have written all those wonderful words that I so enjoyed reading? 

    Then one day, when I was living in Los Angeles, I saw on TV and read in the newspaper that an earthquake had destroyed the National Library. I was a sad to know that I was enjoying the public library in Los Angeles while the children in El Salvador no longer had a library, the place that I had loved to visit. 

    Years later, the library in El Salvador was rebuilt in a place that used to be a bank and was named after the Salvadoran writer Francisco Gavidia.I wondered if one day, I would be able to visit this new library.



    I never dreamed that one day I would, in fact, visit this library, and not as a patron, but as a featured author! I am so privileged that now as an author, I can go back every year to my native country and read my books at the annual Children's Poetry Festival in San Salvador which is hosted by this library.The festival is organized by Salvadoran children's book author Jorge Argueta and his wife Holly Ayala in San Francisco and author Manlio Argueta and the National Library in San Salvador. 



    At the festival, the children were very excited to meet authors and poets. Some were local authors, such as Silvia Elena Regalado, Alberto Pocasangre, Jorgelina Cerritos, Ricardo Lindo and Manlio Argueta.Other authors came from abroad, such as Jorge Argueta, Mara Price, Margarita Robleda and myself.

    Since some of my books are about Salvadoran children (Waiting for PapáRené Has Two Last Names, My Shoes and I and I am René, the Boy) I was able to connect with the children at the festival through my books. The children there could see themselves, their culture and their country in my books. I told them that dreams do come true. When I was a kid in El Salvador, I had two dreams: to become a teacher and to be an author. Now my dreams are a reality because I believed in myself, did my best and did  not give up. Children looked at me with sparkles of hope in their eyes. They told me that they will also reach for their dreams, and they were so proud to meet me. 

    As the children were listening to my books, I could see my own reflection in their eyes. I could see the young boy who had loved visiting the library, enjoyed reading books and wondered about authors. 



    The spirit of Macondo is to give back to our communities. I am so happy that I am giving "mi granito de arena" to the children of El Salvador. Many of these children are from rural areas where their parents work hard to provide for them and often there is not enough money to buy books or school supplies. 

    <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE <![endif]-->
    At the end the festival, each child received a festival tote bag with school supplies and gifts, and they also enjoyed a delicious lunch. I am so happy to instill in them the love of books!



    0 Comments on The Fifth Children's Poetry Festival in El Salvador as of 12/17/2014 12:44:00 AM
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    24. Ruby Barnhill Cast as Sophie in The BFG Movie

    Roald Dahl BFGRuby Barnhill, a newcomer English actress, will play Sophie in The BFG. This project marks the first time Barnhill will take on a feature part.

    Steven Spielberg will take the helm of this Roald Dahl film adaptation as the director. Mark Rylance, a British theatre actor, has been cast in the titular role.

    Here’s more from Deadline: “Published in 1982, The BFG is the story of a young London girl and the world’s only benevolent giant who introduces her to the beauty and peril of Giant Country. The two set off on an adventure (with the aid of the Queen of England) to capture the evil, man-eating giants who have been invading the human world. Spielberg is beginning production early in the New Year and Disney releases on July 1, 2016 in the U.S. EOne will bring it to the UK on July 22, 2016.”

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    25. Holidazed

    Yay! I finally received my copies of the January spread I did for Highlights Magazine! Love love LOVE how the colors came out on this one.

    I hope you guys get to pick up a copy! 

    unnamed

    So for those that don’t know yet, we’re expecting our first baby!! Yipee!!! I’m nearing my final trimester, there are two books in the pipeline with very tight back to back deadlines so I’m trying my best to beat the 3rd trimester fatigue and getting as much done as I can while I CAN!

    I’ve been so wrapped up with work lately it’s been challenging to find the time to indulge in any holiday fun. But this weekend I put my foot on the breaks and was finally able to let myself indulge in some seasonal goodies. It was a nice and much needed break!

    unnamed-1

    All the while I was working over the weekend on sketches for them, I received this little fun card from the team at ABDO. Thanks ABDO!

    unnamed-8

    We finally found time to actually buy a tree (his name is “Monty”) and make some christmas cookies for the postman and a few of our dearest and nearest…I wrapped them fast this year, or else they’d all end up in my belly..hee hee. I tell yah, there’s nothing like taking in some holiday music and the smell of cookies and pine to get you caught right up in all this season cheer!!

    Happy Holidays!!

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