What is JacketFlap

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

Sort Blog Posts

Sort Posts by:

  • in

Suggest a Blog

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

Most Commented Posts

In the past 7 days

Recent Comments

Recently Viewed

MyJacketFlap Blogs

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

Blog Posts by Tag

In the past 30 days

Blog Posts by Date

Click days in this calendar to see posts by day or month
<<May 2020>>
new posts in all blogs
Viewing Blog: laurasalas, Most Recent at Top
Results 1 - 25 of 1,128
Visit This Blog | Login to Add to MyJacketFlap
Blog Banner
Writing the World for Kids
Statistics for laurasalas

Number of Readers that added this blog to their MyJacketFlap: 11
1. Puerto Morelos Real Estate +52 1 998 845 7036 call/text/whatsapp

Add a Comment
2. It's Not Me, It's You (LiveJournal)

I just can't take LJ anymore. It doesn't call. It doesn't write. Or, more accurately, it won't let me write! Between all the system hacks and the fact that posting something takes forever because LJ constantly decides I am not allowed to choose a text size or add an image or--gasp--make some words a different color.

So I've moved to Wordpress. I'm brand new there and have basically no idea what I'm doing! But I am posting, so there will be no interruption of service--whether that's a good or bad thing is your call:>)

And over the next month or two, I'll get the blog all set up and prettified! I hope you'll join me there and bookmark the page or add it to your blogroll or reader.

Meanwhile, if you're an LJ friend, I've set up a feed so that you can still read my posts on your Friends Page: [info]laurasalas2. (Thank you, Jama Rattigan of Alphabet Soup, for answering my Wordpress questions and telling me how to set up this feed. Like I said, I'm clueless about lots of blog things! Jama and Susan Taylor Brown have saved me many hours with their help!)

See ya here, there, or somewhere, I hope! (Perfect example: LJ did not want to let this last line be Medium size. Why? No idea. Grrr...)

Add a Comment
3. Poetry Friday: Chocolate-Covered Ants (by J. Patrick Lewis)

It is a well-documented fact that J. Patrick Lewis can write a poem about anything! And so today, in honor of National Chocolates Day (who knew?), our U.S. Children's Poet Laureate shares this poem about chocolate-covered ants. I was looking for a photo to put here, but then I realized I don't enjoy looking at chocolate-covered ants. So you'll just have to use your imagination!

Chocolate-Covered Ants

You start with that ant mandible—
Completely understandable—
      A chocolate jaw has never tasted sweeter.

Then bite of bit of abdomen
Before you’ve finally grabbed a min-
      i-leg, an itty-bitty centimeter.

But ants despise a holiday
That is their grand finale day
      When you become a Chocolate Anteater.

--J. Patrick Lewis, all rights reserved


Like I said, Pat can write a poem about anything! This poem, by the way, is part of a collection he has coming out in 2013: World Rat Day: Poems About Real Holidays You've Never Heard Of (Candlewick). World Rat Day! Seriously? There's another holiday I don't want a picture of! I don't know where Pat comes up with all his clever ideas for poetry collections (world records, epitaphs, book plot riddles), but that's ok. All I have to do is enjoy the poems.

Thanks, Pat, for sharing this poem today! (I'm going to eat something chocolate today, for sure, but it will not have a mandible nor abdomen!)

Speaking of enjoying poems, Diane Mayr at Random Noodling has the Poetry Friday Roundup today. So, um, what are you waiting for?

Add a Comment
4. 15 Words or Less Poems: Unicycle


Image:  Lukian

Wake up your poetry brains with 15 Words or Less (guidelines here)! 

Someone commented on the frog on the unicycle on the cover of BookSpeak, which sent me looking for a unicycle photo! Here's what this one makes me think of:

*  Maybe simple isn't ALWAYS better
*  Evolution
*  What clowns do in their off time

Here's my poem.

Ah, Those Were the Eons

Good old days
two arms,
two eyes,
two wheels

Evolved too far?

--Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

What does the image make YOU think of? Write a quick 15 words or less poem and share it in the comments!

Heads-up: I'll be leaving LiveJournal soon and moving to WordPress. I'll of course post here and let you know the details. It will likely be before next Thursday. Hope to see you over there!

Add a Comment
5. Happy Birthday, BookSpeak!

Today is the pub date of my second poetry collection with Clarion!

Happy Birthday, BookSpeak!

In BookSpeak!, 21 wild, wacky, and winsome poems showcase the magic on a single bookshelf. Characters plead for sequels, book jackets strut their stuff, and a raucous party starts when the lights go out at the bookstore!

You can watch my book trailer here. (Click on the 360 and change it to 720 to watch it in hi-def.) On my site, you can read sample poems, see some of the interior art, etc. A teaching guide will be available by next week, and more extras are planned.

And if you'd like to use this occasion as an excuse to eat a piece of cake, go for it!

Add a Comment
6. Shabo Saturday

I spent Friday evening and all day Saturday with 7 talented pre-published picture book writers. As the Shabo Award mentor for this year (for the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis), I chose the manuscripts and spent all day critiquing, talking, laughing, and listening. It was really a great day. As usual, I learned a lot even though I was the leader of the class. The participants brought a lot of talent, effort, and diversity of opinions and writing backgrounds. I can't wait to hear good news from each one of them regarding their publication futures!

l to r, top row: Jen, Katy, Kristin, Laura, Jennifer
l to r, bottom row: Cindy, Terri, Rachel

Thank you to Bridget Levin, who established and funds this award for the Loft; to Jerod Santek, who oversees the administration of the award and who made Friday evening and Saturday run smoothly and very tastily; and to the writers themselves: Jen Zolot, Rachel Smoka, Katy Jensen, Terri DeGezelle, Kristin Johnson, Jennifer Kirkeby, and Cindy Rogers!

Add a Comment
7. Poetry Friday: Dogku (Andrew Clements)

Stories told in haiku often don't work for me because in needing to move the plot forward or summarize a lot of stuff in one short poem, the haiku become prose-y and very distant from the qualities I love about them--their photo-of-an-instant feeling and their imagery. But here's a haiku I love from Andrew Clements' Dogku (Atheneum, 2007).

Morning brings children.
Hugs, licks, barking, and laughing.
Warmer than sunshine.

--Andrew Clements, all rights reserved

At the back of the book, Clements explains the appeal of haiku to him, how this small form feels comfortable when you're overwhelmed with too many words and so many choices of what to do with them.

In the wide garden,
I am dizzy with flowers.
I choose a small vase.

--Andrew Clements, all rights reserved

It's a perfect day for soup (I made white chicken chili last night, in fact), so it's perfect that The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup! Have fun!

Add a Comment
8. 15 Words or Less Poems:

Image: NASA

Wake up your poetry brains with 15 Words or Less (guidelines here)! 

I went looking for a light switch picture this morning, but came across this while browsing. This image makes me think of:

*  Is she the Big Bad Wolf being cooked in the kettle?
*  At least it's more room than working on pipes under the sink
*  It's really her pants leg, but it looks to me like a black cat is looking out from behind her

Here's my poem:


When I scrolled
through the images


golden eyes
in darkness

He had waited

--Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

What does the image make YOU think of? Write a quick 15 words or less poem and share it in the comments? Yours doesn't have to be creepy! Feel free to share what you like about other people's work, too!

Add a Comment
9. One Book I Love: The Sniffles for Bear

Bonny Becker's latest Mouse and Bear book, The Sniffles for Bear (Candlewick, 2011), had me laughing the other day.

The very first page clues in the careful reader to the conflict:

Bear was sick, very, very sick.
His eyes were red. His snout was red.
His throat was sore and gruffly.
In fact, Bear was quite sure no one
had ever been as sick as he.

So the problem isn't that Bear is sick, it's that Bear is just a wee bit over-dramatic about it. The sly humor throughout will have kids and adults laughing and comparing Bear to people they know. Bear's expression as Mouse tries to "help" him up the stairs is priceless (illustrations by Kady MacDonald Denton). And I think the time for this book is right this second, since at least 70% of the world seems to have a cold or allergies right now.

Add a Comment
10. They Couldn't Have Said "Veteran" or "Classic?"

I know any publicity is good publicity, and I'd love my books to be on special display table at B&N, but...

Add a Comment
11. Money Matters

After a tragic budget session yesterday, my husband and I realized we are in big trouble. Lots of causes: not sticking to our budget; a decrease in work-for-hire assignments this year; and a long series of big, unexpected expenses (in fact, I'm waiting for the plumber to arrive this morning). Anyway, the upshot is we're broke, and my writing/editing is not bringing in the money it needs to. My income is just way down this year.

So, this week, I'll be doing two main things. I'll be looking into how complicated it would be and what the tax implications would be of my selling my author copies of my various books online (something that was on my 2011 to-do list, and I'll be touching base with clients to see if they have any writing or editing assignments available. If I don't drum up some work quickly (this week), I'll try to find a holiday retail job. I'm stressed about money, and I'm not going to be able to concentrate on the writing I love if I'm worried about how we can pay our bills.

Keep your fingers crossed!

Add a Comment
12. Poetry Friday: Desert Moon (by Marilyn Singer)

Marilyn Singer's latest free verse poetry collection, A Full Moon Is Rising (Lee & Low, 2011), is framed by a set of lovely poems about a girl watching the "Broadway Moon" from New York City. In between the opening and closing poem, customs and celebrations and dreams of the moon are brought to life in poems set across the world.

Here's one of my favorites.

Desert Moon
The Sahara, Moroccco

In this tent a boy dreams of traveling.
But it is not the familiar desert he is crossing.
It is the moon.
Astronauts less familliar with heat and dust
   have walked there.
Why not one day

--Marilyn Singer, all rights reserved

Beautiful, right?

And tomorrow is the last day for Cybils nominations! I'm embarrassed to say I haven't nominated one yet. I went early on to nominate one of several, and they were already nominated (which is great, of course). I just checked again with a list of several again, and now they've been nominated, too.

So, help me out, please? What's the children's poetry collection/anthology that should be on that nominated list but hasn't been nominated yet?

David Elzey at Fomograms has the Poetry Friday Roundup!

Add a Comment
13. 15 Words or Less Poems: Soft Landing?

File:Wespe 0.JPG

Image: böhringer friedrich

Wake up your poetry brains with 15 Words or Less (guidelines here)! 

There was a moth clinging to our screen door last week, and I took a picture of it from the underside. I've been waiting all week to post it. But apparently I deleted it. Wikimedia Commons to the rescue! Not a moth on a screen, but a wasp on a sweater. Close enough!

This image makes me think of:

*  Can wasps knit?
*  Do wasps get dandruff?
*  It looks like a ram

Here's my poem:


wisp of wasp
gripping grid
bits of fists

--Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

What does the image make YOU think of? Write a quick 15 words or less poem and share it in the comments? Feel free to share what you like about other people's work, too!

Add a Comment
14. On Exhibit

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a reception for a poetry/photo exhibit at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Lovely poet and visual artist Georgia Greeley had paired up with photographer Anna Botz for Shared Space: An Exhibit About Neighborhood and Sharing Space in a Community. It's a terrific exhibit, full of warm photos of Anna's neighborhood in St. Paul and funny and sometimes heartbreaking poems by Georgia. The exhibit goes until January 3, 2012. If you're a Minnesotan, I hope you'll get to check it out.

Georgia and Anna

Part of the exhibit was a broadside Georgia created for one of my poems.

Here I am with the broadside of my poem behind me.

There's the broadside--isn't it lovely? Georgia created 40 prints of it, and I got four of them. It was really cool to do this, to see one of my poems treated in a different way and turned into visual art.

And at the reception, I also read a few poems from BOOKSPEAK! POEMS ABOUT BOOKS. I get really nervous reading my work, but it went well (I think).

Add a Comment
15. Great News on Eight Great Planets!

I received the very fun news last week that one of my books, Eight Great Planets (Picture Window Books, 2010), won the 2010 Eugene M. Emme Astronautical Literature Award - Children's Category.

Eight Great Planets!: A Song About the Planets (Science Songs)
This is one of my Science Songs books, which each cover a curriculum area via a song written to the tune of an old folk song, in this case, "Where Is Thumbkin?" Nonfiction verse brings up some interesting questions. In this case, I remember having to ask my editor what Capstone/Picture Window Books' official pronunciation of Uranus would be, since it would affect the meter and rhyme of the spread on that planet. Anyway, these books (I did 8 of them) were a blast to write, and it's wonderful to to get recognition from such a prestigious organization.

Add a Comment
16. What's New?

Here's my What's New page on my website for October. What's new with you?

And I'm having display issues on my laptop (or problems with my site--not sure which). Can you visit my About Me page and then tell me here if the grid looks normal/correct or if it's all messed up?


Add a Comment
17. Poetry Friday: p*tag, a poetry e-thology for teens

Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, pioneers of spreading kids' poetry via e-books, are at it again. Their last outing was Poetry Tag Time, which I posted about here and shared my poem from here. Their latest Kindle release is p*tag, another poetry anthology, this one aimed at teens.

From Amazon: In this second PoetryTagTime anthology, P*TAG, 31 poets speak to the complicated lives of today's teens, with quirky, reflective, and soulful poems about love and longing, war and worry, tattoos, piercings, watching people, being watched, broken lives, luck, burping up kittens, and more. The list of contributors is a "who's who" of the best poets for young people, including YA poets and verse novelists Naomi Shihab Nye, Margarita Engle, Allan Wolf, Betsy Franco, Paul Janeczko, and Helen Frost, Newbery Honor winner Joyce Sidman, current Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis, and poetry legend Lee Bennett Hopkins. Readers can play P*TAG on their own by writing a poem about a photo from the photo library blog at http://teenpoetrytagtime.blogspot.com and comparing it to the P*TAG poem that was inspired by that same photo. More info at www.PoetryTagTime.com.
Here are two of my favorites.

I've been reading the anthology this week, and it's a great one! I love (as you know) poems inspired by images, and the poetry here is top-notch. I don't share full poems from anthologies, but here are just a few brief excerpts that I've loved so far.

"even if we don't / speak the same language, / I'll sip your dream, / and then, and then, say /"

--from Blue Bucket, by Naomi Shihab Nye

"Rapunzel herself / Has NOTHING on me, / A whip of my hair / Could cover a sea /"

--from Hair, by Charles Waters

"I am pretty sure / the singer makes up the words / as he goes along /"

--from Don't You boys Know Any Nice Songs?, by Michael Salinger

"But some hearts are made of china /"

--from Broken, by Jeannine Atkins

"Her energy pours down stairs / in slow motion, / rippling like a golden slinky /"

--from Perfect (for Clara), by Joyce Sidman

What a variety of voices and subjects! And at $2.99 for the Kindle e-book, you really can't beat the price. Poetry is one of the few things small enough for me to read on my phone, and I've read some great poems this week while standing in line at the post office, waiting for my daughter at a doctor's appointment, etc. I hope you'll give p*tag a try! And tell your teacher/librarian friends who are looking for poetry to share with teens.

Mary Ann at Great Kid Books has the Poetry Friday Roundup today. Enjoy!

Add a Comment
18. 15 Words or Less: Precision


File:Patrouille de France Radom 3 1.JPG

Image: Ɓukasz Golowanow at Konflikty.pl website

Wake up your poetry brains with 15 Words or Less (guidelines here)! 

When I taught 8th-grade English, my team was called the Thunderbirds, in honor of the U.S. Air Force exhibition squad. I am always amazed at the precision of air teams that do this! This image makes me think of:

*  They're so perfect they almost look fake, like little Christmas ornaments!
*  The body of the plane looks like the side view of my Swiss Army Knife
*  Paper airplane wars during summer school English class in the library between 10th and 11th grade. And rubber band wars, too!

Here's my poem:

Pilot knifes sky
Slicing the quiet into slivers
Leaving bleeding corkscrew clouds

--Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

What does the image make YOU think of? Write a quick 15 words or less poem and share it in the comments? Feel free to share what you like about other people's work, too!

Add a Comment
19. A Few Writers' Retreat Pictures

Lisa Bullard and I led a writers' retreat this past weekend following the Northwoods Children's Book Conference. It was both fun and exhausting to be a retreat leader, because it wasn't pure retreat--it included critiquing and Q&A and content presentation and a power outage (which was not on the schedule!). One thing I loved was how every writer there was so connected with story, regardless of how much or little individual writers knew about the nuts and bolts of writing for kids. Here are a few pix:

Vicki and Steve Palmquist of Children's Literature Network and Bev Bauer of Redbery Books.

Diana Randolph, morning walking partner, poet, visual artist

Hashing things out on the retreat porch

Novelist Jane Bedell and Diana

Judy, Mary Ellen, and Trish

Mary Ann and Judy

David LaRochelle (a presenter at the conference) put his pumpkin carving skills to good use! We checked out the results on a field trip to Redbery Books.

Add a Comment
20. BookSpeak! What Are Your Books Saying? A Book Trailer

My new book comes out very soon from Clarion, and I'm getting my promotional materials together. Here's the book trailer. It's available in hi-def if you click on 360 and choose 720. Then it will be much sharper on full-screen view (hmmm...I guess full screen isn't available on LJ?). Enjoy!

Add a Comment
21. 15 Words or Less Poems: Gunslingers in Fog


Image: Franconia Sculpture Park

Wake up your poetry brains with 15 Words or Less (guidelines here)!

I was driving home from the Redbery Writers' Retreat Sunday afternoon and passed by what I thought was just a huge lot with some huge sculptures in it. Thought I'd check online to see if by chance there were any pictures of this place, labeled the Franconia Sculpture Park (in Franconia, Minnesota), and I was surprised to find a a great website with all sorts of information and media. This community sculpture garden is very cool--a great concept! This image makes me think of:

*  A stiltwalker who got separated from his troupe and is wandering the countryside
*  How we put our heroes on pedastals (which always causes us heartache)
*  Even the biggest, strongest fighter can be vulnerable to something as wispy and formless as fog--maybe it's biological warfare!

Here's my poem:


Iron boots
trample countryside

Only your
foglike love 
of wild
spaces slows
my rusty

--Laura Purdie Salas, all rights reserved

What does the image make YOU think of? Write a quick 15 words or less poem and share it in the comments? Feel free to share what you like about other people's work, too!

Add a Comment
22. Poetry Friday: Two Twosomes from Marilyn Singer


Marilyn Singer comes up with the best ideas. Hello! Reverso fairy tales in Mirror Mirror? I often read her books and think, I wish I'd thought of that.

I just read Twosomes: Love Poems from the Animal Kingdom (Alfred E. Knopf, 2011). Each poem is a piece of pun-filled perfection from one animal to its mate. And the form is...(wait for it) couplets! Of course!

Here are two of my favorites.


I like your tusks. I like your trunk.
I like your size--you're quite a hunk.

--Marilyn Singer, all rights reserved


We'll spend the day wooing, dodging the cars.
We'll spend the night cooing, under the stars.

--Marilyn Singer, all rights reserved

Sara Lewis Holmes is back to her blog--yay! And she's hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup

Add a Comment
23. Author Photos -- My Epic Fails

With my new book, BookSpeak!, coming out, I knew it was time to update my official author photo. The last time I put one up was just before Stampede came out in 2009. (Fiona Bayrock and I posted our thoughts on author photos then on our Bubble Stampede blog.) I hate having my picture taking. Group photos are OK. Individual photos, not so much. I look bad in most pictures.

I got out our digital camera with timer and spent a couple of hours one morning messing around with it, trying to get a decent shot. I wanted an outdoor shot, but with the camera perched on a deck post and me running around to the yard estimating where I thought I needed to be in 10 seconds...um, the results were iffy, at best. Here are some of the better fails.

I moved indoors for the shot instead!

I also went to the arboretum down the street to try to get a few pix of me with leaves. When my spring book comes out, about leaves, the publisher will have a webpage for me, and I thought it might be fun to have a leafy picture. I had seen a few cool pictures recently of faces mostly hidden by leaves and thought that might be fun to try.

Wrong again. I stalked around the arboretum like a fool, standing almost inside small trees, taking pictures of myself.

Not artsy. Just creepy and/or lame. Then, to make matters worse, I uploaded these images to Facebook last night and didn't Publish them. Just wanted to be able to copy them to use here. But I forgot to set the Album Privacy to me only. Oops.

Anyway, I did put new author photos on my site. I don't love them, but I don't hate them enough to mess with the whole thing anymore. I'm safe for another couple of years!

Add a Comment
24. New Kids'/YA Poetry Blog

If you want more kids' poetry in your life (and who doesn't), be sure to check out Poetry at Play. It's the new blog by Poetry Advocates for Children and Young Adults (PACYA). PACYA defines itself as "A grass-roots, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting poetry for every age group." Poet Steven Withrow founded PACYA recently, and I'm proud to be a founding member.

The blog looks awesome! It features a Poet of the Week each week, poetry news found on the web, poetry resources and more.

I'm off to add it to my blog reader now. Join me?

Add a Comment
25. CYBILS Time!

It's October, and you know what that means. What? You don't?

It's CYBILS time, people! Time to nominate your favorite children's/young adult books, e-books, and book apps for a CYBILS award. Go here to read about the CYBILS and nominate books (one nominee per genre, and a book can only be nominated once). You have from now until October 15, when nominations close. Goodreads is going to be so handy for me! I will look through at my 4- and 5-star books I've read this past year and get nominating today.

I'm going to be a Poetry judge, and this will be my third (non-consecutive) year of doing it. This year, I'll be a Round Two judge, which will be a new experience for me. Check out this great Poetry judges' list! Please note that Jone Rush MacCulloch is not only a Round One judge, but she is also the Poetry Overlord. Dang. I want that title:>)

Round One

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater 

Susan Taylor Brown

Elaine Magliaro

Bruce Black

Tricia Stohr-Hunt

Jone Rush MacCulloch

Carol Wilcox

Round Two

Diane Mayr  
The Write Sisters

Mary Lee Hahn
A Year of Reading

Julie Larios
The Drift Record

View Next 25 Posts