Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring Festival of Children's Literature

Packing today for a Saturday speaking gig at Frostburg State University. I hope to see you there.

29th Annual Spring Festival

of Children's Literature

(click on the name of the festival for more information.)


Monday, April 25, 2011

Nonfiction Monday

Today's Nonfiction Monday book reviews are at the Telling Kids the Truth blog.
Click away and enjoy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Springtime Traditions -- Egg day

The dying of the eggs.
The painting paper towels with egg dye.

The hiding of the eggs.
The search for the eggs.
(I really hid them well this time. It took her over an hour to find them all.)

The making of deviled eggs.
The eating of eggs.
The creating pictures from the colored eggshells.

Spring traditions, don'tcha love them?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

National Library Week -- cakes

CakeWrecks usually has really weird cakes on display, but every Sunday they feature beautiful ones. Take a look at these wonderful Literary Cakes!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

April is Poetry Month

And because April is Poetry Month, there are all sorts of delicious things happening all over the Blogosphere:

Susan Taylor Brown will post Lessons Learned (Mostly about Me) in a Poem-a-Day at SusanWrites.

April Halprin Wayland will be writing and posting an original poem a day during April at her website's blog -- 2011 Poem a Day Challenge!

Liz Garton Scanlon will give us her third year of a Haiku-a-Day every day in April at Liz In Ink.

Jone MacCulloch will post 30 Days--30 Students: A Poem a Day from students at her blog, Check It Out.

At Deo Writer -- Musings to Spark the Spirit you'll find another Poem A Day: A Personal Journey.

There also is a Poetry Postcard Project. If you want a student-written and decorated poem sent to your home, send an email request to macrush53 @yahoo. com.
(Naturally, for security reasons she put spaces into that email address.)

Gregory K. will present 30 poets/ 30 Days -- a whole month of never-before-seen poems by a slew of fabulous poets writing for kids at his Gottabook blog.

Jama Rattigan will present her 2nd Annual Poetry PotLuck (original poem and favorite recipe by guest bloggers) at jama rattigan's alphabet soup.

Irene Latham will host a month-long Poetry Party: poetry quotes, trivia, craft tips, publishing resources and free books! at Live Love Explore.

Andromeda Jazmon will be doing her fourth year in a row of haiga (original haiku + her photos) at A Wrung Sponge.

Janelle at Brimful Curiosities will host a National Poetry Month Kids Poetry Challenge in which kids are invited to create pictures for the poems she posts each Friday. Check it out.

Biblio File will be featuring a poem or review of a novel-in-verse every day in April.

Anastasia Suen has set up a blog and a Twitter account for students (of all ages) to write Haiku (about what they learned at school that day).

Tricia Stohr-Hunt will host a Poetry in the Classroom series, which will highlight a topic, theme, poet, or book and talk about uses in the classroom at the Miss Rumphius effect blog.

Stasia Kehoe will be including poetry links, a giveaway of signed arc of the debut YA verse novel, Audition, plus reviews every Thursday of verse novels at Writer on the Side.

The Poem Farm will introduce a different poem idea-strategy or poetic technique for children and teachers every day. Each idea-strategy/ Technique will be followed by links to a few poems from this past year. The blog will also feature poem sharing ideas through "Poetry Peeks" into classrooms.

Lee Wind will present sprinkled-throughout-the-month GLBTQ poetry posts at his blog.

Mary Lee Hahn will be writing a poem a day again this year, and posting them at A Year of Reading.

National Poetry Month Poetry Friday schedule:

a.. April 1

a.. April 8

a.. April 15

a.. April 22

a.. April 29

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nonfiction Monday -- directions

I'm busy with a sick kid, but here's the link to Nonfiction Monday this week at the Cat and the Fiddle.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekend in the Hospital

Spent the weekend in the hospital with the 11-year-old.
Her appendix burst Friday and they operated. Now she's home (in the living room where the TV and computer are, naturally) where she is trying to recover.

The hospital has cable and we don't, so she was watching as much cable as she could while there. (I think we overdosed on Nick and Disney channel.) Here she's stuck with watching DVDs, poor deprived kid.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Click -- Packet 3 is sent

Well, I've reached the halfway mark in my first semester at Vermont College of Fine Arts. I just sent Packet 3 to my Advisor. This is supposed to be our most difficult packet to complete, although others say that Packet 4 is the hardest.

One nice thing is that I think I now have a couple more picture books and picture book biographies almost completed. Once I have a free moment (what's that?), I'll see about sending them out to publishers. Hurrah, I'm creating again.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Librarian of the Day -- Ann Wagner

As you may (or may not) know, this week is National Library Week. In celebration of this (AND to celebrate National Poetry Month), blogger Tina Nicholas Coury has an interview of Ann Wagner, youth Librarian for the Santa Monica Public Library Main Branch.

You can read this interview at Tina's blog, Tales from the Rushmore Kid.

Enjoy. -WendieO

Monday, April 11, 2011

Authors and more Authors

My writer friend, Katie Davis, periodically posts podcasts (which she calls, Brainburps) on her blog. For National Library Week she has a real goodie. She describes it like this:

"On Monday (today) I'll be posting my Library Love episode - an homage - for Library week. In it I have the authors below talking about how libraries or librarians did great things for them as children, and how it helped them grow into authors.
There are songs, jokes (Mordicai Gerstein tells one that cracks me up every time) and it's just a great homage to librarians, who are so slammed right now."

So click on over and enjoy. Or, if you want to tweet it, please use the hashtag #LibraryLove.

Thank you!
Katie DAvis

(Here is a list of all the authors featured in this Podcast. If you click on over to Katie's blog, you'll see that she has set up each of these names with links to THEIR blogs or websites. It's an author lovefest!)
 Laurie Halse Anderson
 Kathi Appelt
 Sarah Aronson
 Jeannie Brett
 Diane deGroat
 Sarah Dillard
 Erin Dionne
 Jan Donley
 Jody Feldman
 Judy Freeman
 Mordicai Gerstein
 Deborah Heiligman
 Amy Huntington
 Lita Judge
 Jarrett Krosoczka
 Sarah Darer Littman
 Eric Luper
 Ann Martin
 Wendy Mass
 Anne Mazer
 Jenny Meyerhoff
 Jenny Moss
 Bernard Most
 Micol Ostow
 Laura Ruby
 Peter Sis
 Hope Anita Smith
 Tanya Lee Stone
 Kyra Teis
 Leslie Tryon
 Kristin O‚Donnell Tubb
 Linda Urban
 Ned Vizzini
 Nancy Werlin
 Karen Romano Young
 Sara Zarr

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Louis Armstrong, as told by his Horn

Weinstein, Muriel Harris. Play, Louis, Play! Illus. by Frank Morrison. New York: Bloomsbury, 2010.

This biography of Louis Armstrong seems to be narrated in a conversational tone by the very first horn he played. Since I also have had a biography of Louis Armstrong published, and this book has been placed in the biography area of libraries by Library of Congress catalogers, naturally I was immediately upset at how it seemed to break some basic rules of writing biographies.

With a talking horn, the book seems to be more fiction/ fantasy than real biography -- especially because it also seems as if the author has inserted a lot of made-up conversations and thoughts. However, when I checked the bibliography in the back of the book, I noticed one book that had not been published when I was writing my own biography of Armstrong. It’s possible that the author got these quotes and thoughts from that collection of Armstrong’s words. However, without footnotes, the reader can’t tell what is true from what is made up. I also noticed a few mistakes. For instance -- Armstrong didn’t blow a ‘toy’ horn while working on the Karnofsky’s rag cart. It was a long ‘tin’ horn. A perfectly decent horn used by peddlers and carriages to warn pedestrians that they were coming through.

The author is an award winning poet who uses language brilliantly, but I can’t help but wonder if the conversational, jazzy language the horn is supposedly using is anything like that spoken among jazz fans in New Orleans. “Louis’ heart cracked like an old clamshell.” Lovely use of words, but since there aren’t clams in the Gulf, would a New Orleans’ horn use such a simile? Actually the writer overuses similies on every page.

Remember earlier when I talked about historical fiction versus true nonfiction? Well, this is the book that I found so disturbing. Once you've read this book, I'd love for you to come back and let me know what you think. -wO

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

First Picnic of the Year

I've been inspired by the book, As Always, Julia (letters from Julia Child) to include more food in my blog entries.

Yesterday, while the weather was sunny and almost 80 degrees, the 11-year-old wanted to have a picnic. So, she set up the picnic towel near the bench at the end of our yard. While I cooked hamburgers, she prepared a relish dish (attacking the celery stalks with karate chops of the knife), and we all carried our food out there.

It was lovely. She lay back on the picnic towel (a huge towel with its own carry handles) while we ate sitting on the bench. We talked about the plants and trees at this end of the yard -- what used to be there and what's growing there now -- and simply had a lovely time.

Then the clouds rolled in, signifying the approaching cold front and rain that poured last night.

I think I should have titled this post -- making memories with kids. Or simply, making memories, because we'll always remember this picnic.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung
the grass is riz.
I wonder where
de boirdies iz?

Anybody remember that? probably from the comic strip, POGO.

It's almost 80 degrees out there -- just lovely.
Of course, it's supposed to crash back down into the 40s again for some weeks, but we're enjoying the warmth while we can.