My Lords and Ladies of the Royal Court1,
Now, now, don't flip your wigs just yet; this is not yet the return of the illustrious Mr. G -- this is merely prelude, possibly prophecy (if he doesn't make a liar of me) by I, your humble web goblin.
For far too long we have gone without word here from Mr. G. He tweets, he whosays, he releases triple albums with his lovely wife and puts more girdles 'round the earth than has an elderly burlesque troupe, yet no blog has he posted in two months. But he has not abandoned us! I tell you that he will return! And I tell you this because he told me this, and told me to tell you this. In his words, he will be "doing a proper blog post" in the near future.
At the point when Google presided over the shotgun wedding of Blogger and Google+, apparently all blog posts by Mr. G became attributed to "Unknown". Why did no one tell me this? I have now fixed things.
Since the first of November, and continuing on through the end of the year, a contest has been running among independent U.S. book stores. The prize is a visit from Mr. G, and to win a store has simply to sell the most copies of THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE during the contest period.
Below you may find a list of all participating stores, along with where to find them online. Christmas is a week away, so if you act quickly there may yet be time to get in some holiday shopping and help push your local store into the lead!
1511 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
1175 Woods Crossing Rd #5
Greenville, SC 29607
82 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02482
6208 E Speedway
Tucson, AZ 85712
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
Books Inc Palo Alto
855 El Camino Real #74
Palo Alto, CA 94031
522 Hartz Ave
Danville, CA 94526
Bookshop Santa Cruz
1520 Pacific Ave
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
15 S Dubuque St
Iowa City, IA 52240
Boulder Book Store
1107 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302
Books Inc Burlingame
1375 Burlingame Ave.
Burlingame, CA 94085
1295 Bardstown Rd
Louisville, KY 40204
Eagle Eye Bookshop
2076 N Decatur Rd
Decatur, GA 30033
Between the Covers
152 E Main St
Harbor Springs, MI 49740
204 N Main St
Hudson, OH 44236
121 W 5th St
Chico, CA 95928
2238 Carter Ave
St. Paul, MN 55108
Towne Center Books
555 Main St
Pleasanton, CA 94566
U C Davis Bookstore
2828 Cowell Blvd
Davis, CA 95618
118 N 3rd St
Marquette, MI 49855
Magers & Quinn
3038 Hennepin Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Books Inc Alameda
1344 Park St
Alameda, CA 94501
768 Boston Post Rd
Madison. CT 06443
Over the Moon Bookstore & Artisan Gallery
5798 Three Notch'd Rd.
Crozet, VA 22932
- I don't know what possessed me to start this blog post as Lord Buckley -- do the kids even know who he is these days? -- but there you have it2.
- It could have been worse. I could have rapped about Christmas jammies.
- There is no third footnote.
Also amazing is his Twitter "apology", which doesn't EVEN MENTION DANIEL CLOWES:
I was truly moved by his piece of work & I knew that it would make a poignant & relevant short. I apologize to all who assumed I wrote it.— Shia LaBeouf (@thecampaignbook) December 17, 2013
Full story at BuzzFeed, of all places.
Vi transcribed the relevant piece, in which Dini recounts conversations he's had with execs who insist that they don't want any girl fans of their shows, because girls don't buy toys. And to keep girls from watching the shows, they make sure that girls are always presented as sidekicks, "one step behind the boys." It's absolutely infuriating.
and also UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
999 Frogs Wake Up
by Ken Kimura, illustrated by Yasunari Murakami
North South, 2013
A whole lot of frogs wake up in the springtime and set out to wake up all sleepyheads, including one who should be left alone!
How Far do You Love Me?
by Lulu Delacre
Lee & Low Books, 2013
A mother expresses her great love against the terrains of the world, from tops of mountains to depths of caves, from desert sands to blue glaciers.
I Can See Just Fine
by Eric Barclay
Even though she insists she can see just fine, a little girl gets glasses that make things much clearer.
I Scream, Ice Cream!
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Serge Bloch
Chronicle Books, 2013
Interesting wordplay as similar sounding words and phrases are illustrated with humor.
Ol’ Mama Squirrel
by David Ezra Stein
Nancy Paulsen Books, 2013
Ol’ Mama Squirrel takes care of her babies, no matter what it takes!
by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Chronicle Books, 2013
Lessons in letting go of little conflicts and bad times with an attitude of peace.
by Cathryn Falwell
Lee & Low Books, 2013
A family of color works together at grandpa’s house to make a vegetable stew.
by Deborah Lee Rose, illustrated by Dan Andreasen
A little girl gets ready for bed in all her sleepy sleepiness.
Steam Train, Dream Train
by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Chronicle Books, 2013
In the nighttime, a train is loaded up by a busy animal crew.
There’s No One I Love Like You
by Jutta Langreuter, illustrated by Stefanie Dahle
North South, 2013
A little rabbit, annoyed at home and mom, gives another homes a try. But of course, home is where the heart is.
This book is a 2013 Cybils YA Speculative Fiction nominee.
Unlike a lot of other people, I don't actually like time travel novels.
I think the last one I truly liked was a DWJ novel - but others were frustating. Deeply frustrating. If I can go back in time, why can't I FIX things? Why can't I make certain some people are never born, or make new decisions? Okay, okay, I understand about personal paradoxes; I can't prevent things from happening to me or I may gimmick myself out of being. But, to change history? Does a minute's change here or there really matter, like a butterfly flapping its wings and creating a tsunami? Is there really that chaotic of an effect?
Well, I didn't actually think I was reading a time travel novel when I opened Sue MacLeod's NAMESAKE - and then I was like, "Hmm." I was impressed with the characterization and drawn in by some home truths about the character's life, and I didn't realize I was enjoying a time travel novel until it was too late. It was a good thing I didn't give it a pass on general principles, either.
The only objection I have to this thoughtful, intense and quiet novel is the cover. While I like the spatters of sealing wax used to make the title, I've seen those ruddy huge rooks. I've seen their feathers. The feather on the cover of the novel is soft and its quill is gently curved - and it isn't even close to looking like it belongs to a rook - those feathers have straight, hard shafts that don't curve, and no real softness to their look. But - that might just be me.
Reader Gut Reaction: Jane Grey is a high school student, she's Canadian, and she's got a secret. Several secrets, in fact, but the ones that have to do with her parents are lulus. Her father is dead, so at least he has no new secrets. Jane's mother, however, is another story. In Mode One, she is super Mom, the shining heroine of motherhood, the patient, kind woman who calls her "sweetheart" and is the hero of her own play of single widowed motherhood. Sometimes she's in Mode Two, where she ignores Jane... and Jane ignores her, and things roll along fairly peacefully. And then, Mode Three, the one where All Hell Breaks Loose. Her mother is hard-eyed, critical, angry and drunk. Sometimes she's violent, and usually, things end with broken glass, tears, and bruises. Then, it turns into needy, whiny, love-me-love-me-let-make-it-up-to-you. It's a cycle Jane's been on for years, but nobody needs to know what her life is like for real. Not even her best friends, Traci and Megan, one of whom is all into her boyfriend, the other who seems like she's actually starting to ditch Jane for a new bestie. Christina - whose nickname is Christo, since she couldn't remember the Count of Montecristo wasn't actually Montecrisco, is suddenly everywhere, a loud-talkkng, gum-popping nuisance who has taken Megan friend away, just when she needs her...
Not that she could have told Megan anything, anyway. Not that sharp-eyed Megan hasn't noticed that something's wrong... and been waiting for Jane to confide... and is losing patience...
All that's left to Jane is school, though these days, since she didn't make the cut for a lot of her AP classes, she's not even into it that much. Only AP history, where her project on Jane Grey, the Tudor queen, has any interest for her. She somehow finds a tiny prayerbook - beautifully tooled, incredibly old - and when she reads a psalm aloud finds herself suddenly leaping across time and space to stand before the owner of that book - Jane Grey, the nine day queen. Believer in the True Faith, and for her sin of heresy, at least in her cousin Mary's eyes, doomed to die.
Jane never wanted the throne, never wanted to marry that corpulent man. Beaten into submission by her power-mad father, used for everyone's political ends, Jane lives out the last of her days in the Tower of London, where the modern Jane, her namesake, finds her. Two girls, finding solace in each other, and refuge from the harsh realities of life. Lady Jane is saving Modern Jane's sanity. Can she do anything for her in return? Maybe she's supposed to ...save her?
WARNING: The Butterfly Effect is real, for a given value of reality. Time travel portals can be anywhere. It is hazardous to read while operating heavy machinery. You cannot have time in a bottle, nor make wishes come true. Your mileage may vary.
You can find NAMESAKE by Sue MacLeod online, or at an independent bookstore near you!
This work is copyrighted material. All opinions are those of the writer, unless otherwise indicated. All book reviews are UNSOLICITED, and no money has exchanged hands, unless otherwise indicated. Please contact the weblog owner for further details.
I write here at 7-Imp (and elsewhere) about picture books. ‘Cause I love them so.
I’ve never, however, tried to write one myself (except that time in grad school when I took a course from Jack Gantos, and HOO BOY, was it one of the hardest things I’ve ever been asked to do, but I digress). Despite this fact, I get lots of queries from people who want to publish a picture book but don’t know where to begin.
And I’ve found myself telling these people lately about a new handbook from picture book author Linda Ashman (with whom I had a Kirkus chat this past May). It’s called The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books: Tools and Tips for Writing, Polishing and Selling Your Manuscript. If memory serves me right, she released it this past summer. I’m just now getting around to writing a post about it, though as I said, I’ve personally recommended it to several wannabe authors since then.
It’s an e-book, and you can even download the Table of Contents and Introduction here at Linda’s site. It is packed with the type of information those wanting to be published—or even thinking about writing a picture book—would need to know. In fact, I’m super happy that I can now direct folks to this guidebook, given that I do get asked often about how to get one’s foot in the door when it comes to publishing a picture book. There are nine chapters, which instruct readers—with accessibility and wit—in the ways of Prepping a Picture Book Manuscript for Submission. It’s a comprehensive and common-sense guide from someone who knows the ins-and-outs of picture book publishing and who speaks with wisdom. And occasionally throughout the handbook, Linda pauses to chat briefly with editors, agents, etc. in the field. (You know you wanna hear editors and agents weigh in with their responses to the following queries: “Please complete these sentences: I would love to publish more picture books like … and If I read another picture book manuscript submission about [fill in the blank], I will scream.” At least I found those responses really intriguing.)
Linda opens with Picture Book Basics, closes with helpful resources, and in between covers how to build a story, how to create memorable characters, the pitfalls and joys of rhyme and rhythm, submitting and selling your work, and much, more more.
Everyone has their own, unique path to publication, and there’s not one right way (Linda would be the first to say that, I’m sure), but this is a wonderful resource for aspiring picture book authors — as well as those who teach children’s literature, as Linda notes at her site.
Again, more information for those interested can be found here.
...I wrote about Diamonds & Deceit, the second book in Leila Rasheed's At Somerton series.
If you're looking for some light, Luxe-ish fun, you can't go wrong with this one:
You get the idea. And those are only a FEW of the characters and storylines! Rasheed clearly comes from the Dickens school of literature, in that there are apparently only 43 people living in London: Every single detail—right down to the romance novel that everyone in the book is obsessed with—factors in, coincidences abound (in a generally delightful manner) and there’s a healthy dose of humor to balance out all of the soapiness.
That's why I like to tinker with forms in these challenges. This week I'd like to try the nonet. Here's a description of the form.
A nonet is a nine line poem. The first line containing nine syllables, the next line has eight syllables, the next line has seven syllables. That continues until the last line (the ninth line) which has one syllable. Nonets can be written about any subject. Rhyming is optional.
I love to see a beautifully-crafted Mother Goose collection, and there’s a new one on shelves — David McPhail’s My Mother Goose: A Collection of Favorite Rhymes, Songs, and Concepts, released by Roaring Brook in October.
As the sub-title indicates, these are classic nursery rhymes—McPhail sticks to the most beloved ones and doesn’t throw any terribly obscure rhymes into the mix—but he also occasionally pauses to introduce concepts. In between, “Great A, little a, Bouncing B” and “London Bridge,” readers pause for an entertaining “My ABCs” spread. Later, readers look at how Henry the Bear gets around (covered wagon, unicycle, train, etc.). There are also numbers, shapes, colors, etc.
McPhail opens the book with a note about what nursery rhymes meant to him as a child, and he talks about memories of his own mother reciting them to him — and how he now recites them to his own grandchildren. The book closes with an index of first lines.
In November at the New York Times (here), Leonard Marcus wisely noted that McPhail’s characters in this collection, as you can see in the illustrations featured here, “are wistful daydreamers who bear a certain family resemblance to those first seen in children’s book art in the path-finding early illustration work of Maurice Sendak.” There are even moments that smack of Richard Scarry. These pen-and-ink watercolor illustrations invite us into a cozy, intimate world.
Here are some more illustrations from the book. Enjoy.
(Click to enlarge)
MY MOTHER GOOSE. Copyright © 2013 by David McPhail. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Roaring Brook Press, New York.
Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.
I’m going to forego seven, separate kicks this week. My apologies, but I have a ton of work on my plate. If I take a break, though, to come here and read your kicks, why, it’d be the loveliest of all lovely things, so do tell me what they are, if you’re so inclined.
More from me next week, I promise!