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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Christmas, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 1,064
1. SkADaMo 2014

fight
Deep in the recesses of my brain…
a tiny red-hot little flame began to grow.
Something had happened.
A fuse blew and I had gone out of my skull.
I’m telling my dad!
Hey, Ralphie!
Beat him up! Beat him up!
Did you hear what he said?
I have since heard of people under…
extreme duress speaking in strange tongues.
I became conscious that a steady torrent of obscenities…
and swearing of all kinds was pouring out of me as I screamed.

Ralphie!

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2. Christmas Classics you’ve read to you kids – Christine Bongers

Fellow Boomerang Blogger, Romi Sharp recently congratulated me on hitting my first century. Gob smacked! I mean I don’t even own a cricket bat, let alone know how to hold one. She meant blogs of course. I hardly noticed. They rack up and slip by like birthdays these days. Nonetheless, even numbers deserve celebration (especially […]

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3. sweetness

I received a package in the mail this week, and now I can finally show you a sweet assignment that dropped in my lap this summer. If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen the whole thing in excruciating detail, but it always takes me a bit longer to come over here. Well, here goes:

Here I am on the table of contents, mine is the seal juggling Oreo truffles - of course.
 I got to do a feature for allrecipe magazine, and although I'm playing it cool, it was pretty exciting.

For this holiday candy recipe layout, the Art Director chose to photograph the confections in a watercolor Candyland landscape. The candies would become part of the picture, and turn into something else. I got to invent a storyline, paint the scenes and come up with ways to "disguise" the candy, which was a lot of fun.




These are a few of my favorites.

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4. What I’m reading this Christmas: Amanda Diaz, HarperCollins Publishers

Thanks for talking to Boomerang Books, Amanda Diaz. Thank you for having me! You’re a publicist at HarperCollins Publishers and you’re going to share your Christmas picks with us. But first let’s find out about you and some books you’ve been working on. HarperCollins Australia (based in Sydney) is known for its children’s/YA books as […]

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5. SkADaMo 2014

The weeks of drinking gallons of Ovaltine, in order to get…
the Ovaltine inner seal to send off for my Little Orphan Annie…
secret decoder pen, was about to pay off.
decoder-ring
Remember, kids, only members of…
Annie’s secret circle can decode Annie’s secret message.
Remember, Annie is depending on you.
Set your pins to B-2.
Here is the message.
12. 11. 2…
I am in my first secret meeting.
…25. 14. 11. 18.
16. 23…
Pierre was in great voice tonight.
I could tell that tonight’s message was really important.
…3. 25.
That’s a message from Annie herself. Remember, don’t tell anyone.
Ninety seconds later I’m in the only room in the house…
where a boy of nine can sit in privacy and decode.
Ah! “B.” I went to the next.
“E.” The first word is “be”!
“S.” It was coming easier now. “U.”
“T. O.”
“Be sure to.” Be sure to what?
What was Little Orphan Annie trying to say? Be sure to what?
I was getting closer now.
The tension was terrible. What was it?
The fate of the planet may hang in the balance.
Almost there! My fingers flew.
My mind was a steel trap.
Every pore vibrated.
It was almost clear.
Yes!
Ovaltine?
A crummy commercial?

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6. We Like What We Like

When he was little, one of my husband’s favorite Christmas movies was “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.” I laughed out loud the first time he told me the title, sure he was making it up. But no, it’s a real movie starring a young Pia Zadora as a martian child. The acting is terrible, the […]

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7. Royal Mail Stamps



Last summer I was lucky to work on a design proposal for Royal Mail and their Christmas stamps for 2014. It was a dream job!

Working in such a small scale was a real challenge for me as my work is so detailed. I was pleased with the final result, but my designs were not adopted in the end... Of all the opportunities and jobs that I have missed, this is one of those I still feel sorry for, even after a year. This is part of our work as illustrators though. Not every project and every sample is used or published.

Royal Mail gave me permission to include the illustrations in my portfolio. They own the full copyright to the images though, so please, share the link if you like them, but don't take them or use them in another blog post! Thank you.


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8. CHRISTMAS - peggy oliver

Peggy Oliver also have a modern and vibrant 'Holiday' collection featuring colourful paper cut style trees and snowflakes. Products include Christmas cards, gift bags, coasters and paper plates. As seen online here.

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9. Rounding up the Reindeers – Frivolous Fun Reads

Okay, so the countdown is on: Chrissy pudding curing away; Christmas turkey ordered; extra chairs stacked ready for those visiting hoards. Santa’s list might even already be on its way to the North Pole but you realise you have a few more stockings to stuff. Here are a bunch of playful festive reads that may […]

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10. Kim Fleming Draws on Her Experience as Illustrator of ‘Mummy, You’re Special To Me’

Kim Fleming knows how to tell a great story. She tells stories through pictures. Kim’s art creates a sense of affection, warmth and joy. Born in Canada, this now Melbournite has found her calling in illustrating children’s books. She has previously illustrated such picture books as the gorgeous True Blue Santa written by Anne Mangan, […]

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11. Ruff Life A Change in Direction

B R Tracey found herself taking an impromptu visit to a major printers yesterday, which is going to give us yet a new and exciting change in direction.  We'll tell you more about this as the changes get under way.

We've had the most bellasome Ruff Life Christmas scene designed by   Ageus. You're going to love it and I can't wait to see all the bellatastic products my images are going to go on.  It's just a shame that Max has to share the same sleigh as me, but I'm sitting in the front.

Don't forget you have just 2 DAYS LEFT to win the signed copy of Diamond in the Ruff, so hurry up.  It's a really funny, exciting and page turning read. Here's the link.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Diamond In The Ruff by B.R. Tracey

Diamond In The Ruff

by B.R. Tracey

Giveaway ends November 18, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

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12. Christmas (Back Catalogue Of) Book Ideas

It’s that time of year when we turn our thoughts to what the heck we are going to source for our loved ones without having to set foot in a physical, upselling store amid millions of similarly harried customers who may or may not have experienced or dished out some carpark rage on their way […]

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13. On World Diabetes Day, a guide to managing diabetes during the holidays

The International Diabetes Foundation has marked 14 November as World Diabetes Day, commemorating the date that Frederick Banting and his team first discovered insulin, and the link between it and diabetic symptoms.

As we approach the festive season, a time of year when indulgence and comfort are positively encouraged, keeping track of, or even thinking about blood glucose levels can become a difficult and annoying task. If good diabetic practice relies on building routines suited to the way your blood sugar levels change throughout the day, then the holidays can prove a big disruption to the task of keeping diabetes firmly in the background. With this in mind, take a look at this list of tips, facts, and advice taken from Diabetes by David Matthews, Niki Meston, Pam Dyson, Jenny Shaw, Laurie King, and Aparna Pal to help you stay in control and happy throughout the festive months:

  • Eat regularly. When big occasions cause your portion sizes to increase alarmingly, it’s tempting to skip or put off other meals. But eating large amounts at irregular intervals can cause blood glucose levels to rise significantly. For many, it’s better to snack throughout the day, including some starchy rather than sugary carbohydrates, promoting slow glucose release into the bloodstream.
  • Alternate drinks. Big dinners, big nights, and family days are likely to mean you consume more alcohol than normal. Alternating alcoholic drinks with diet drinks, soda, or mineral water can minimize their effect on blood glucose levels, so you can stay out, and keep up, without worrying.
  • Help your liver. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver, an organ that also helps release glucose into the bloodstream when levels start to drop. After drinking, the liver is busy processing alcohol, so cannot release glucose as effectively. This increases the risk of hypoglycaemia, especially in people who take insulin or sulphonylurea tablets. To combat this risk, try to avoid drinking on an empty stomach, or eat starchy foods when drinking. You may also need to snack before bed if you’re drinking in the evening.
  • Eat more, exercise more. Regular activity can have major benefits on your diabetes, making the insulin you produce or inject work more efficiently. Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise will have positive effects, and are excellent ways of giving you a mental boost (though blood glucose levels should be monitored). Many symptoms of hypos are similar to those of exercise, such as hotness, sweating or an increased heart rate. Check blood glucose levels regularly and make necessary adjustments; fruit contains natural sugar and is a healthy way of quickly raising levels.
  • Go for your New Year’s resolution. Losing five to ten percent of your starting weight can have a positive impact on your diabetes, not to mention your overall health. Although exercise and eating well are of course promoted by all as the best way to lose weight, there is no medical consensus on one ideal way to achieve weight loss. The key lies in finding an effective approach that you can maintain. Remember that insulin can slow down weight loss, and if you are trying to lose weight, but find you’re having hypos, you’ll need to adjust your medication. Discuss this with your healthcare team.
  • Check Labels. Sodium isn’t synonymous with salt, but many food manufacturers often list sodium rather than salt content on food packaging. To convert a sodium figure into salt, you need to multiply the amount of sodium by 2.5. (For example: A large 12 inch cheese and tomato pizza provides 3.6 g of sodium. 3.6 multiplied by 2.5 is 9, so, the pizza contains approximately 9g of salt; one and a half times the recommended maximum of 6g.)
  • Don’t worry! Although a good routine is important, occasional lapses shouldn’t have a drastic effect on blood glucose levels (though this varies from person to person). Pick up a healthy routine in the New Year, when you’ll feel most motivated, and stick to it. The World Health Organization estimates over 200 million people will have type 2 diabetes by the year 2015, but (according to the international diabetes foundation) over 70% of cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented by adopting healthier lifestyles. Healthy living is not just a supplement, but part of the treatment of diabetes.

Heading image: Christmas Eve by Carl Larsson. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The post On World Diabetes Day, a guide to managing diabetes during the holidays appeared first on OUPblog.

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14. Gothic Tales for Christmas

Three gothic novels by Australian authors will intrigue primary-school aged (and slightly older) readers who enjoy reading about danger cloaked in mystique and how children can overcome this. Withering-by-Sea (ABC Books) is written and illustrated by Judith Rossell, whose talent is really taking wings. She has also illustrated picture books, which include Ten Little Circus […]

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15. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Pop-Up Book | Book Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Pop-Up Book, story by Lisa Ann Marsoli and illustrations by Keith Andrew Finch! Giveaway begins November 11, 2014, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends December 10, 2014, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

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16. XMAS - ellen giggenbach

I think this is my first christmas post of 2014, But now we are into November it is time to start thinking of festive design and these paper ornaments from Ellen Giggenbach are super stylish. They are sold as downloads for you to print at home yourself and would be great for anyone who likes paper craft or making decorations. The designs come in packs of three different designs and can be

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17. Christmas Collectibles

A plethora of picture books about Christmas are published each year. Some are froth and bubble, as unsatisfying as cheap tinsel. Others are excellent, and should be shared with children and families in the lead-up to Christmas Day or join the collections of  avid Christmas book collectors. Some standouts for 2014 that are already available […]

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18. Children’s Book Trends on The Children’s Book Review | November 2014

This month's little peek into what TCBR readers have been most interested in shows the book trends are following the upcoming season with "20 of the Best Christmas Books," "Kids Thanksgiving Books," and the "Best New Kids Books!"

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19. Seven 2014 Picture Books

Santa Clauses: Short Poems From the North Pole by Bob Raczka. 2014. Lerner Publishing Group. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

December 1rst
Wishes blowing in
from my overfilled mailbox--
December's first storm.


I enjoyed reading Bob Raczka's Santa Clauses. The book is a poetic countdown to Christmas. Each of the twenty-five poems is written from Santa's perspective. Each poem is dated. Each poem is haiku. I found this to be a delightful read. I loved some of the poems. I liked all of them, for the most part, but there were a few I did LOVE. The book gives young readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse at Santa's life. Very cute.
Some of my favorites:
December 3rd
Mrs. Claus making
an angel, becoming a
little girl again.
December 10th
The north wind and I
whistling to "Let It Snow!"
on the radio.
I would definitely recommend it. I've read it a few times now, and I just love it more each time.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

A Little Women Christmas. Heather Vogel Frederick. 2014. Simon & Schuster. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

For people who LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, I think this one is well worth reading and rereading. I have read the novel once or twice, certainly enjoyed it well enough, but it's never been one that I've gushed about or LOVED passionately.

This picture book focuses on one of the Christmases written about within Little Women. The 22nd chapter of Little Women. The illustrations by Bagram Ibatoulline are wonderful. If you're a fan of his work, you'll probably want to seek this one out because they are BEAUTIFUL.

I do think it is a picture book for older readers. I think it's a beautiful book for fans of the book or movie.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 5 out of 5
Total: 8 out of 10

Once Upon An Alphabet: Short Stories for All the Letters. Oliver Jeffers. 2014. Penguin. 112 pages. [Source: Library]

It opens with the premise: "If words make up stories, and letters make up words, then stories are made of letters. In this menagerie we have stories, made of words, made for all the letters."

Once Upon An Alphabet is indeed a book of twenty-six "short stories," one for each letter. The stories can best be described as odd and quirky. I think you have to have a certain sense of humor to "get" the stories and how they all fit together, if they indeed do fit all together. (Some do fit together. I know. But do all twenty-six fit together? I'm not as sure of that.)

This one will definitely be for older readers, not preschoolers. This is NOT Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. But I wouldn't say that it's a book that would appeal to one and all, a book with universal appeal. I could see how some readers might LOVE it and others not so much.

I liked some stories, some letters, better than others. A few I didn't like at all. A few I really did enjoy. But I didn't LOVE this one. I do think it's an interesting premise, however.

Text: 3.5 out of 5
Illustrations: 3.5 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 10

Penguin in Peril. Helen Hancocks. 2014. Candlewick. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

One afternoon, three hungry cats ran out of food. They searched the house high and low and found three gold coins. They set off for the grocery store. On their way, the cats passed a movie theater. A movie called The Fishy Feast was playing. They handed over the three gold coins and went in. 

Three cats are inspired by a movie, The Fishy Feast, to kidnap a penguin. Why do they want a penguin? The way they see it, a penguin can catch fish for them. But will the kidnapped penguin agree to such a scheme? Or will the penguin find a way to escape? Will the cats' scheme result in a bounty of fish or in jail time?!

I liked this one. I can't say I loved it particularly. But I thought it was creative and playful. Definitely worth reading at least once.

Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 7 out of 5

The Animals' Santa. Jan Brett. 2014. Penguin. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

"It's your first Christmas Eve, Little Snow. The animals' Santa comes tonight!" Big Snowshoe told his little brother. "Who is the animals' Santa?" Little Snow asked. "We don't know who he is," Big Snowshoe said. "Did you ever see him?" Little Snow asked. "No," the forest animals chimed in. "But we find presents from him on Christmas."

For those of all ages who love Jan Brett, who love, love, love Jan Brett, I think you'll find much to love and appreciate in her newest picture book, The Animals' Santa. The Animals' Santa is in many ways similar to her previous books. (Incredibly detailed illustrations with animals and nature as the subject.)

In The Animals' Santa readers meet Little Snow, Big Snowshoe, and their animal friends. Every animal is happy to share what he/she knows about the "animals' Santa." One by one, they recall what they've received in previous years, trying to show Little Snow, the skeptic, that the animals' Santa is real, and, that he is coming that night. Every animal seems to have an idea of *who* the animals' Santa might be. But all the talking does little to change Little Snow's mind.

Readers will discover along with Little Snow and all the other animals just who the animals' Santa is. I was a bit surprised by the twist in this one, it was not who I was expecting it to be.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10

The Book With No Pictures. B.J. Novak. 2014. Penguin. 48 pages. [Source: Library]

There are no illustrations in this picture book. The book exists in order to make adults reading aloud to children say silly things in silly voices. That is the oh-so-simple premise. That words can be entertaining even if they aren't accompanied by pictures. The premise isn't a bad one necessarily. That being said, I want pictures in a picture book. The text can be as over-the-top and silly and ridiculous as can be. It can say things like "My only friend in the whole wide world is a hippo named Boo Boo Butt". It won't change my mind, I still want pictures.

I don't think it takes a picture-less book to get adults to read dramatically and make listeners giggle. I think that is just a part of reading books aloud to kids. Depending on the book, of course, some books may be funnier than others and allow for more opportunities.

The book is also "interactive" in that it addresses the reader directly. This has been done in other picture books, better picture books with actual illustrations. My favorite happens to be We Are In A Book by Mo Willems. And earlier this year there was Help! We Need a Title!

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: none
Total: 3 out of 5

The Great Thanksgiving Escape. Mark Fearing. 2014. Candlewick. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

It was another Thanksgiving at Grandma's. "You can play in here with the rest of the kids," Gavin's mother told him. "We'll call you when the turkey's ready." "Have fun!" Gavin's dad called. But Gavin knew it was not going to be fun. Not fun at all. "Hey," someone whispered. It was his cousin Ronda. "What do you say we break out of here and head for the swing set in the backyard?"

How much fun will Gavin have on Thanksgiving at his Grandma's house? More fun that he expected at any rate, in large part due to his cousin, Rhonda. These two sneaky kids team up. The mission: escape the house and actually have some FUN. But it won't be easy. There are obstacles on the path to freedom. And one of those obstacles is "the GREAT WALL OF BUTTS!" There are also zombies to avoid. (Who are the zombies? The teenagers in the basement that are playing video games or on their phones/tablets.) There are SO MANY people in this house: dozens of adults, dozens of kids, dozens of teens. Gavin's family must be HUGE or else Grandma invited the whole neighborhood. Either way, Gavin is going to have a memorable Thanksgiving.

I didn't love this one. I didn't hate this one. I've never really found a Thanksgiving book that I actually loved.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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20. The North Pole Penguin by Christopher Payne

The North Pole Penguin

Title: The North Pole Penguin

Author: Christopher Payne

Illustrator: Lorena Soriano

Publisher/Year: CreateSpace/2014

Now that Halloween is over, my thoughts have turned to Christmas. It’s less than two months away after all. I’m already thinking about the decorating, shopping, and visiting that make up part of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. You may be too. But are you also thinking about Christmas books? If not, I have the perfect one to get you started: The North Pole Penguin. 

This book has the potential to be a Christmastime classic. With its clever rhyme and bright, put-you-in-the-spirit illustrations, The North Pole Penguin begs to be read over and over again. The story is about Parker Preston, a penguin from the South Pole, who loves Christmas and longs to thank Santa Claus in person for stopping at his igloo every year. So he sets off for the North Pole with a gift for Santa and meets new animal friends along the way who also want to give gifts to Santa. Some even accompany him on his journey. Here’s a sample from the book:

Upon some thinking long and hard, he knew his Christmas cause

To cross the globe and go and see the man called Santa Claus.

He’d bring him gifts and change the roles before the winter’s thaws

To give back to the special man whose kindness had no flaws.

If you’re searching for a sweet Christmas story with amazing illustrations and the strong possibility of becoming a holiday tradition, The North Pole Penguin is a perfect choice.


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21. SkADaMo 2014

Xmas_snowsuit5_Rbaird

Preparing to go to school was like getting ready for extended deep sea diving….

Come on mom, we’re going to be late!

My kid brother looked like a tick about to pop!

What’s wrong?

I can’t put my arms down!

Put your arms down when you get to school!

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22. Christmas in progress :)


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23. SkADaMo 2014

xmas_tripledog2_rbaird

Well I double-DOG-dare ya!

NOW it was serious. A double-dog-dare. What else was there but a “triple dare you”? And then, the coup de grace of all dares, the sinister triple-dog-dare.

I TRIPLE-dog-dare ya!

 Schwartz created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple dare and going right for the throat!

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24. Dancing in the Snow


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25. SkADaMo 2014

xmas_fragelee_Rbaird

Aaah! Fra-GEE-leh!” It must be Italian!

 Uh, I think that says FRAGILE, honey.

Huh? Oh, yeah.

 

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