Whoops! – Perfect Picture Book Friday

It was the cover that called to me from the bookshelf: Who wouldn't be drawn in by those eyes. Everyone on this cover looks GUILTY!!! But what is their crime? Well, it turns out that these three are not the perps. They're the victims!!! They have lost their voices. The cat can't meow, the dog … Continue reading Whoops! – Perfect Picture Book Friday

After the Fall – Perfect Picture Book Friday

STOP THE PRESSES!!! Announcing the first picture book to win both the Caldecott and the Newbery!!!!  Well, if the judging were up to me, that is. Seriously, folks. This book gobsmacked me. Dan Santat has created a touching, funny book about overcoming your fears, and in the process transforming your life. "My name is Humpty … Continue reading After the Fall – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Are You a Writer? – NaNoWriMo

Grant Faulkner, Founder and Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month, recently spoke at a fundraiser for one of my writing groups, the Write On Mamas. Correct that. He didn't "speak" so much as inspire us to challenge our personal narratives. Faulkner drew a series of concentric circles and described the center as someone who … Continue reading Are You a Writer? – NaNoWriMo

Serendipity Strikes (AKR Moment)

Have you ever had an Amy Krouse Rosenthal (AKR) moment? Yesterday, I casually bought Terry Tempest Williams' book, "When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice." I read the title and decided to buy it. I didn't look inside. It just seemed like something I needed to read. When I opened it this morning, I … Continue reading Serendipity Strikes (AKR Moment)

Countdown

I've just spent some time reliving the first ten years of my childhood with the help of Deborah Wiles and the first two books of her stellar (and I mean STELLAR) 1960s trilogy. Although they feature middle grade age protagonists, I'd also say that these books would be instructive and interesting for high school and … Continue reading Countdown

Reading Gender Into It – Children’s Books and Beyond

There's an ongoing discussion in the kid lit world about why boys don't want to read "girl books," meaning books that star female protagonists or feature fairies or princesses on the cover or in the title. Is this "preference" intrinsic, or are they steered away from such interests, starting at a very young age? Shannon … Continue reading Reading Gender Into It – Children’s Books and Beyond

Lucky Boy – Shanthi Sekaran

In a nation overtaken by arguments about immigration and the building of walls, Shanthi Sekaran's new novel underscores the complexity of the situation. But immigration issues are more than a decorative backdrop in Sekaran's novel. They provide the disturbing context for its premise: two women fighting for the right to raise one child, one of … Continue reading Lucky Boy – Shanthi Sekaran

The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors – Perfect Picture Book Friday

As we prepare to do battle in the name of science on Earth Day tomorrow, I thought I'd put the spotlight on the legendary battles being played across the country, the ones happening in school yards, classrooms, and perhaps during dinner when children are challenged to eat their vegetables, no matter how odious.   Picture … Continue reading The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors – Perfect Picture Book Friday

The Salamander-ish Sully Competition

Despite the fact that "salamander" reminds me of slander, and that the definition of "sully" falls in line with slander, I am entering the Sully Competition because I—well, who can resist entering a competition where one of the prizes is an official Sully certificate from the fabulous Mike Allegra, children's book author, playwright, freelance writer … Continue reading The Salamander-ish Sully Competition

The Power of the Pen

I wrote this post in May of 2012 after reading an article in the New York Times. Seems fitting since the Times was just barred from a White House press conference. Chilling…

Jilanne Hoffmann

I love the quote mentioned in today’s New York Times (5/14/2012), regarding a march instigated by a group of Russian writers just wanting to take a protest stroll (against Putin’s crackdown on dissent) through central Moscow without being harassed, beaten, arrested, etc. :

“Russian history is full of confrontations between leaders and writers, whom Stalin once described as ‘engineers of the soul.'”

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