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1. Filmmaker Creates a Donald Trump-Themed Picture Book

Can you imagine Donald Trump, a reality TV star and Republican presidential candidate, as a character in a children’s book? Guy Larsen, a filmmaker, decided to write one called Donald Trump and the Wig of Evil.

Larsen wrote a post about his picture book on Bored Panda and warned that it may be considered “a little NSFW” (Not Safe For Work). The video embedded above features his narration of his book.

Click here to visit Larsen’s Tumblr page and check out the full text and all the illustrations of the book. For more parody humor, follow these links to watch the “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Trump” video and a clip from the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show. (via The Huffington Post)

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2. Frederick Douglass Gets a Google Doodle for His Birthday

Frederick Douglass Google Doodle (GalleyCat)

Google has created a Doodle to celebrate Frederick Douglass’ 198th Birthday. He  was a social reformer, abolitionist, orator and writer.

Here’s more from the Google Doodle webpage: “To help us commemorate Frederick Douglass’s legacy, the Gilder Lehman Institute curated an exhibit of photographs and ephemera that you can explore here. Through our partnership with Open Road Integrated Media, Google Play Books is offering a free download of Douglass’s seminal autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave, which is available starting today, February 1, 2016.”

In the past, Google has crafted Doodles in honor of Little House series author Laura Ingalls WilderWhere the Wild Things Are creator Maurice Sendak, and Anne of Green Gables novelist Lucy Maud MontgomeryHere’s a video from Google headquarters spotlighting the artists behind the doodles. Which authors would you suggest as future Doodle subjects? (via The Huffington Post)

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3. Dream, dream, dream

The Horn Book GuideThe cover of the Fall 2015 Horn Book Guide is a beautiful Rafael López illustration from Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle (which, by the way, just won the Charlotte Zolotow Award). In this story, saturated acrylic-on-wood illustrations capture the island’s musicality and the surreal dream-images that inspire young Millo — a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s taboo against female drummers. It’s a stunning cover, and I’m proud and excited that the Fall 2015 Horn Book Guide bears it.

In the book, “dream” is used in the sense of a will or desire — Millo aspires to be a drummer.

In this issue of the Guide you’ll find more dreams-as-desire-and-will: Ira’s Shakespeare Dream by Glenda Armand tells the story of Ira Aldridge, an African American man who aspired to be an actor in 1824; Emmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson shows how Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah grew up to be a national hero and disabilities activist; and Henry Aaron’s journey to the major-leagues is described in Henry Aaron’s Dream by Matt Tavares.

But this cover has me thinking about actual dreams. I’m not the only one who finds the topic intriguing:

First, BBC Magazine wonders why people don’t talk about their dreams.

Which is, perhaps, answered by Sarah’s mother, Mrs. Matthiessen, on WBEZ’s This American Life. (Never talk about “your dreams. Nobody cares about your dreams.”)

RadioLab does what they’re oh so good at and delves into the science of dreaming.

This Guide issue also has dreams as I’ve been considering them: that space one inhabits in sleep. Sweet Dreams, Wild Animals! by Eileen R. Meyer highlights the sleeping habits of fourteen animals. The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O’Brien follows a protagonist who enters a new boarding school but discovers the school is a cover for a nefarious experiment. In Kit Alloway’s Dreamfire, teen prodigy Joshlyn Weaver must teach her apprentice, Will Kansas, about dream-walking.

And Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream, which is, coincidentally enough, also what I do.

The post Dream, dream, dream appeared first on The Horn Book.

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4. Katniss and Hermione Throw Down in a Princess Rap Battle Video

Whitney Avalon has posted a new Princess Rap Battle video has been posted on her YouTube page. The video embedded above stars two children’s book heroines pitted against one another: Katniss Everdeen from Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy and Hermione Granger from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

The piece, set at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, also features cameos from headmaster Albus Dumbledore, Capitol escort Effie Trinket, and the Sorting Hat. Which fictional literary characters would you nominate to appear in future rap battles?

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5. The life of culture

Does culture really have a life of its own? Are cultural trends, fashions, ideas, and norms like organisms, evolving and weaving our minds and bodies into an ecological web? You hear a pop song a few times and suddenly find yourself humming the tune. You unthinkingly adopt the vocabulary and turns of phrase of your circle of friends.

The post The life of culture appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. Things I Did Before They Were Cool: Coloring Book Edition

pippins_i love my hairRecently, I have seen many articles about coloring books for adults (like this one). I paid little attention because I was so ahead of this trend.

You see, my right-out-of-college boyfriend and our group of friends were super into board games. Initially I tried to play, but it became very clear to all of us very quickly that no one wanted that: I didn’t understand the rules; I didn’t want to understand the rules; I was bored; I was frustrated; and I made the game miserable for anyone trying to play with me. But if I didn’t play I felt left out, which meant I would pester them while they tried to concentrate.

So my then-boyfriend bought me coloring books and colored pencils. The group of us would go to the bar, they would focus in on the game, I would focus in on my coloring, and we would all speak distractedly to each other over booze and activities.

And that is how I was preemptively cool.

But then, I ♥ My Hair: A Coloring Book of Braids, Coils, and Doodle Dos (Schwartz & Wade, November 2015) by Andrea Pippins came across my desk. The Horn Book doesn’t review activity books (and this may be an adult book?) but I instantaneously fell in love with it. Pippins writes in her forward, “As an artist and a designer, I’m all about self-empowerment for women and girls, and much of my artwork over the years has been inspired by social, political, and cultural statements that can be made with hair…Inside this book, you’ll find pages filled with doodles that continue to celebrate my love for black hair, and my passion for inspiring all women and girls to feel good about themselves.”


What follows is a riot of up-dos, curls, waves, and braids to color. The illustrations are intricate, bold, and dazzling, with many double-page spreads of impressive styles such as the “South Indian Bejeweled Bridal Braid,” the “Marie Antoinette,” and the “Diana Ross.” Sayings (“Relax & let your hair go free!”) and accoutrements are displayed proudly and beautifully, the book expressing over and over again “I love my hair.”

I love this book.

I spent part of my day listening to calming music and filling in the double-page spread of short hairdos (“Go cropped & coily or short & spiky”).


hair_finished page

One of our interns, Julia, started one and blew mine out of the water:


This is a perfect coloring book for a meticulous colorer — adult or youth — with a message that is extremely valuable. Get it. Give it. Color it. Love it.

The post Things I Did Before They Were Cool: Coloring Book Edition appeared first on The Horn Book.

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7. Donald Trump Stars in Dr. Seuss Parody Video

Have you been following the United States presidential race? The team at CollegeHumor drew inspiration from the political race and a Dr. Seuss picture book for a parody called “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Trump.”

The video embedded above features Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in the role of The Grinch. Follow this link to listen to watch the antics of the original Grinch.

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8. Pixite Develops an Adult Coloring Book iOS App

Pigment App (GalleyCat)Pixite, a photo app development company, has created an adult coloring book-style app called Pigment. For the past few years, adult coloring books have exploded in popularity.

Although this app is free to download, those who wish to access all the available coloring books must pay a $5.00 monthly subscription fee. At this point in time, this app has only been made accessible to iOS device users.

Here’s more from Fast Company: “You can color free-form with your finger, or you can have the app outline shapes like a stencil so you can’t go over the line. You can use the popular Apple Pencil accessory for iPads, but you don’t have to…This aspect of having something mindless to occupy your hands while you do something else can help your focus and concentration. Similar to doodling, coloring may block the brain’s self-generated noise that can often send daydreamers into an anxious spin.” (via mental floss)

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9. Charles Perrault Gets a Google Doodle for His Birthday

Google Doodle Beauty (GalleyCat)

Google has created a Doodle to celebrate Charles Perrault’s 388th Birthday. He has become well-known for writing his own versions of some of the world’s most beloved fairy tales.

Here’s more from the Google Doodle webpage: “We owe the Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty narratives we’ve known since childhood to Charles Perrault, the 17th-century French author and academician…For today’s Doodle, artist Sophie Diao created tableaux for Perrault’s Mother Goose stories (Les Contes de ma Mère l’Oye, 1697): Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Puss in Boots.”

In the past, Google has crafted Doodles in honor of Little House series author Laura Ingalls WilderWhere the Wild Things Are creator Maurice Sendak, and Anne of Green Gables novelist Lucy Maud MontgomeryHere’s a video from Google headquarters spotlighting the artists behind the doodles. Which authors would you suggest as future Doodle subjects? (via Time)

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10. Harry Potter Stop-Motion Short Film Goes Viral

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11. Jane the Virgin Team Publishes Short Novel on Wattpad

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12. Indiegogo Campaign Launched for The Shire: America

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13. Quirk Books Maps Out a Hobbit Adventure: INFOGRAPHIC

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14. New Harry Potter Play to Serve as the Eighth Story of the Series

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15. National Novel Writing Month Survey Results: INFOGRAPHIC

NaNoWriMo ProfileWill you be taking on the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge? The team at Stop Procrastinating has created an infographic that features the results of “A Survey of 2000 NaNoWriMo Writers.”

The image discusses the statistical survey results on timing, outlining, and editing. We’ve embedded the full piece below for you to explore further—what do you think?

NaNoWriMo Infographic (GalleyCat)

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16. Scholastic and We Need Diverse Books to Unveil a Diversity-Themed Book Club Flyer

We Need Diverse BooksThe Scholastic Reading Club and the We Need Diverse Books organization have established a new partnership.

The two collaborators have created a special book club flyer with over 75 books that star diverse protagonists and feature diverse storylines. During the holiday season, this flyer will be distributed to more than 100,000 classrooms and 2.5 million students.

Here’s more from the press release: “The collection showcases a wide variety of titles highlighting important themes about race and ethnicity, multiculturalism, different religions, LGBTQ stories, individuals with disabilities and more. The range of titles and the diversity of the authors will resonate with the widely diverse population of young readers served by Scholastic Reading Club through schools nationwide and help them understand and appreciate people, cultures and experiences different from their own. Additional titles beyond those featured in the flyers will be available online at Scholastic.com/ReadingClub.”

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17. Indiegogo Campaign Launched for Beyond Lovecraft Graphic Novel

A team of six creatives have launched an indiegogo campaign for a 96-page graphic novel entitled Beyond Lovecraft. They aim to raise $8,000.

The book will feature horror stories inspired by the fiction of H. P Lovecraft. Artist Rob Moran has signed on create the illustrations. Writer Jasper Bark has been enlisted to pen the story. We’ve embedded a video about the project above.

Here’s more from the campaign page: “The linking story is set in the apocalyptic aftermath of the return of the great god Cthulhu. The scattered band of humans that survive this catastrophe scratch a bare living, hiding in the shadows of what’s left of their civilisation. A tiny group of scientist from Miskatonic university find a way to access the fabled Library of the Yith. This is an alien archive that contains the entire history of the universe and was first mentioned in Lovecraft’s novella: ‘The Shadow Out of Time.'”

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18. Crayola Unveils a New Series of Adult Coloring Books

crayola3Crayola has developed a line of adult coloring books.

According to Gizmodo, artist Claudia Nice created the illustrations for the Color Escapes series. The four books feature the following artistic themes: geometric, kaleidoscope, nature, and garden.

Here’s more information from the Crayola website: “Color Escapes pages are printed on professional quality sketching paper to receive color from colored pencils or markers without bleed through. The oversized pages are perfect for framing so you can enjoy your creation anytime in your favorite room, or give as a gift to friends and family.”

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19. Lionsgate and Stephenie Meyer to Create the Rook Series

Stephenie Meyer 200 (GalleyCat)Lionsgate and Stephenie Meyer have formed a partnership to develop a new series called Rook.

This project will feature a story based on Daniel O’Malley’s novel. Variety reports that Hulu and “an unnamed U.K. broadcaster.” will air this show.

Here’s more from Deadline: “Meyer, who will executive produce Rook, had taken the project to Lionsgate earlier this year. Rook is said to be based on her genre novel which introduces a strong female protagonist with extraordinary powers who is employed by a mysterious British government agency responsible for defending the UK from supernatural threats.”

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20. Random House Children’s Books to Publish a Stampy Cat Book

Stampy Cat (GalleyCat)Joseph Garrett has signed a two-book deal with Random House Children’s Books. The company will publish the first authorized book starring the international YouTube celebrity, Stampy Cat.

Here’s more from the press release: “The deal for U.S. rights for a 2-book deal was negotiated by Nagler with Egmont Publishing in the UK and Maker Studios on behalf of Stampy Cat. Egmont will release the book on October 22.”

The release date for the United States edition of Stampy’s Lovely Book has been scheduled for Jan. 05, 2016. The book will feature games, activities, jokes and exclusive info about Stampy and his friends.

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21. Poem on Paris Attacks by Karuna Ezara Parikh Goes Viral

A photo posted by Karuna E Parikh (@karunaezara) on

In the wake of the tragedy that has struck Paris, one blogger has decided to craft a poem and share her feelings with the world. Karuna Ezara Parikh has written a piece that has gone viral on the internet.

Parikh’s piece expresses criticism for the lack of attention that the tragedies of Beirut and Baghdad has received. She publicized her moving poem on three social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We’ve showcased the full piece in the Instagram post embedded above—what do you think?

While Parikh does acknowledge that Paris is a city that is beloved by many people, she also feels that “it’s time to pray for humanity. It is time to make all places beloved. It’s time to pray for the world.” (via The Huffington Post)

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22. David Lagercrantz on Writing The Girl in the Spider’s Web

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23. Harry Potter as an Antagonist Video Goes Viral

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24. NYCC ’15: Diversity Sells Out

Diversity is a recurring theme in panels at this year’s New York Comic-Con, mirroring a trend in fandom nationwide. Race, gender, physical ability, mental health, even geeks as an emerging protected class – amidst the how-to’s and PR announcements, programming about diversity is filling rooms and getting headlines. The power of this theme is something […]

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25. Trend takeaway from 2015 BGHB/HBAS: Transformations

Imperial Russia is the new vampires.



And then there’s this:

mccoola_baba yaga's assistant

And, okay, yes, it’s way-post-Imperial, but also this:

anderson_symphony for the city of the dead

Dasvidaniya, Edward. Privet, Dmiti.

For more 2015 Boston Globe-Horn Book and Horn Book at Simmons: Transformations, click on the tag hbook.com/bghb15.

The post Trend takeaway from 2015 BGHB/HBAS: Transformations appeared first on The Horn Book.

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