Saturday, November 18, 2017

Kate Warne: Pinkerton Detective

Kate Warne: Pinkerton Detective

Juvenile herstory
Kate Carter was in quite a predicament. She'd never known her
mother. The printer father who had raised her had died, leaving her
alone in the world. The jobs open to women before the Civil War in
America--washing clothes, teaching--did not appeal to her. But there
was an ad in the newspaper that intrigued her. She would be willing
to reinvent herself to snag the job it described.
People then considered detective work to be suitable only for
men. The profession was considered to be too dangerous and demanding
for women. Kate, however, could see advantages accruing to her
gender. Girlfriends or wives of criminals who would not speak openly
to men might be more forthcoming with another woman.
As Kate Warne, she joined the fledgling Pinkerton Agemcy and
helped establish its reputation. She even saved President elect
Abraham Lincoln from an assassination attempt. Her success paved the
way for other woman detectives including Hattie Lawton who gathered
Confederate military intelligence during the Civil War.
Marissa Moss' Kate Warne: Pinkerton Detective narrates Kate's
very first case--a bewildering crime involving the theft of $40,000
from the Adams Express Company. Without the missing money as proof,
there would be no way to convict the miscreant. Fortunately a jailed
suspect had a girlfriend ripe for befriending...
Moss has written over seventy children's books and won a bunch
of awards. With Kate Warne: Pinkerton Detective she introduces
readers to a fascinating, little known chapter in American herstory.
Way to go, Marissa!
On a personal note, Gay Thanksgiving at UMaine was AWESOME!!! The
place was packed and the food was scrumptious! I went with my chum,
Olivia, and some of her friends. We had a wonderful time. Then
Friday I spent seven hours learning a lot at a sustainability event.
It was interactive--with people, not computers--and lively and well
worth attending.
A great big shout out goes out to the attendees of both events and the
folks who worked hard to make them happen.
Thursday I'll be giving thanks for living so close to UMaine with its
wonderful people and fascinating programs. I call it my dork
Disneyland.
jules hathaway


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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Scary Faces

Scary Faces

Halloween may inspire face painting. But imagination and
creativity never go out of season. Caro Child's Scary Faces And Other
Arty Face Paintings gives detailed instructions on how to face paint
and create amazing characters such as:
*a loyal sheepdog
*a glittery peacock
*a magical wizard
*a leaping dolphin (my favorite)
*a cut throat pirate and so many more.
Can you believe a solar storm?
Readers who master this fun skill cab find their services in
much demand at plays, parades, school fun days, and just about any
festivity they can imagine. What a fun way for artistic volunteering
and community involvement!
Luckily for parents, clean up instructions are also included.
On a personal note, I was flattered to get an invitation to audition
for a musical. My student friends wondered why I said no thanks until
I explained that if I tried to do too many things I wouldn't do any
well. My campus involvements are more important to me. And I can
always sing my heart out in choir.
A great big shout out goes out to the fabulous UMaine students who
make this such an easy decision.
jules hathaway


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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

My Encyclopedia of the Forest

My Encyclopedia of the Forest

Juvenile nonfiction
"Forests are mysterious and beautiful places. Under the vaulted
ceiling of tall trees, you feel protected and sheltered."
Most of us have images of children's encyclopedias are: adult
encyclopedia mini mes with simpler words, shorter entries, and a lot
more pictures...alphabetically ordered and sometimes a tad on the dull
side. You can forget that expectation in regard to Alain
Pontoppidan's My Encyclopedia of the Forest. It takes young readers
on Bill Nye the Science Guy meets Magical Mystery Tour. Kids are
taken to see some of the most beautiful and fascinating creatures and
places on Earth.
The chapter Into The Woods gives glimpses of the different kinds
of forests around the world. The great north features birch trees,
maple syrup, moose, and bears. Baobabs, humungous termite mounds,
acacia trees, and giraffes are found on the savanna. The Amazon rain
forest is home to red-eyed tree frogs, leaf-cutter ants, Indians,
macaws, and rubber trees.
Not surprisingly, my favorite is Woodland Animals. The
exquisite photography that is one of the real strengths of the whole
book is especially evident in this chapter. A poplar admiral
butterfly spreads its wings. Several kinds of mother birds feed their
downy young. A squirrel and a wood mouse peer out, ready to run at
any sign of danger. A lynx pads through deep snow on fur trimmed
paws. A stealthy fox surveys his domain.
I suspect many kids will enjoy the forest jobs chapter. They'll
get to meet researchers, ranger, and those oh so outdoorsy loggers.
The steps in the path from tree to end products is also very cool.
My Encyclopedia of the Forest is a wonderful acquisition for the
public, school, or family library.
On a personal note, last Sunday at Church of Universal Fellowship our
choir was belting our anthem out loud and proud. We had four rows of
singers and a very lively piece. It felt so good to be up there
making a joyful noise unto the Lord as the Bible instructs us to do.
Then yesterday I tried out the new dress I was thinking of wearing to
the in-laws on Thanksgiving. It's a long sleeve peacock blue lace
with solid sheath underneath number. When I wore it to campus people
were some impressed. So it passes muster.
A great big shout out goes out to my choir family with whom I make
beautiful music.
jules hathaway


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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Our Story Begins

Our Story Begins

Juvenile nonfiction
"I was born in New York City in July 1923. My earliest memories
are of drawing, drawing, drawing. After my earliest drawings, under
ten, I copied comics and art from magazines. To free myself from
copying, I began drawing from life, using my brothers and sisters as
models...These drawings are the source that nourished my growth as an
artist."
Ashley Bryan [quoted above], one of the artist/writers who has
done the most to bring authentic multiculturalism to juvenile lit, is
one of twenty-six children's book authors and illustrators featured in
Elissa Brent Weissman's Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors And
Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, And Occasionally Ridiculous Things
They Wrote And Drew As Kids. What a concept! So simple and yet so
elegant.
Kwame Alexander is brilliant at telling dynamic, complex stories
through free verse. He also empowers student writers through his Page
to Stage Writing Workshop and travels the world promoting literacy.
He shares his first real poem he write about his mom. Awwww! It took
him two days and lots of drafts to complete it to his satisfaction.
Linda Sue Park, a Newberry Medal winner, has written over two
dozen picture books and novels. She grew up writing poems and was
thrilled when her father gave her her first typewriter. She
contributes a poem inspired by the first time she ever saw the ocean.
The very prolific Phyllis Reynolds Naylor loved her parents'
evening family story times. As a child, she drew and illustrated
little books. This was during the Depression. With new paper an
unavailable luxury, she worked with used paper her mother brought home
from work. I suspect you'll enjoy her The Food Fairies, created on
Gospel Trumpet Company Stationary.
And there are twenty-two other equally fascination authors and
illustrators to read about. This would be a highly empowering book
for kids to see that their favorites started out a lot like them and
parents to see that the creators of books they enjoyed as youngsters
weren't always polished book cover presences.
Now, for you lucky blog followers I am going to add a twenty-
seventh. True, I have not had a single book published yet.
Inshallah, God willing, it's only a matter of time. So I will share
my first saved piece of writing, a tribute to a special companion. I
wrote this when I was ten.

Sheba
Sheba, prettiest of ocelots,
Has tawny fur in stripes and spots.
She's a sage little creature clothed in fur
With a lion's roar and a tigers purr.
If you search the world around
I doubt there ever will be found
Another Sheba.

And, yes, I did have a pet ocelot. Try not to be too jealous.
On a purrrrsonal note, last night we had the annual Orono Community
Garden dinner and awards. John, Shelley, and their puppy pal, Effie
Mae, hosted at their home. We had a scrumptious homemade soup supper
topped with a perfect pie. The people who attended were a just right
mix. A wood fire and great background music capped off an evening to
celebrate. I surprised John and Shelley (Effie Mae was none too
impressed) by giving them a best garden family award. I am once again
most sociable gardener. I received a planter with green shoots coming
up. I will keep it in the kitchen and hope Joey does not see it as
salad bar.
I am getting lots of positive feedback on my latest BDN opinion piece.
jules hathaway


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Friday, November 10, 2017

This Would Make A Good Story Someday

This Would Make A Good Story Someday

Juvenile fiction
"It's official. We are on board. Goodbye, Shipton, Em, Vi,
surf lessons, and our adorable cats, Amos and Boris, who are being fed
by Fiona Dunphy and will probably poop in our shoes to show how much
they miss us. Goodbye, space to get away from Mom and Mimi, who have
practically killed each other fighting about luggage...Or space to get
away from Ladybug, who has brought four stuffed animal cats and Bruce
the Roman centurion. Or space of any kind really."
If Sara, narrator of Dana Alison Levy's This Would Make A Good
Story Someday, sounds morose, she has every reason to be. She and her
best friends have big plans for the last month of summer vaca before
they start middle school. Now she won't be part of their self
improvement projects.
Mimi, one of Sara's mothers, has won a big national competition
for "serious writers to have time and space to create while immersing
themselves in the magic of viewing the country by train." Mimi gets
to take the family so Sarah is about spend that month in very close
quarters with:
*her two mothers
*her obnoxiously loud and cute little sister, Ladybug
*her older sister Laurel who seems to think of nothing but saving the
world,
and *Laurel's ecowarrior boyfriend, Root. As if that prospect is not
bad enough, Mimi, who has blogged about many of Sara's embarassing
moments, is taking notes and seeking quotes for a book she wants to
get published.
An unexpected complication reveals itself on the train. They
will be travelling with the other winner and his family: two
nonegenarian ladies and a strange boy everyone expects her to
instantly bond with because they're about the same age.
It sounds like a twenty-first ring of pre teen Hades or at least
purgatory. But between the East and West coasts a lot can change. A
girl can come to see things quite differently. So in between the
amusing mishaps there moments of sweetness and poignancy.
This Would Make A Good Story Someday is a great read for kids
with less than perfect families nearing middle school and anyone who
has had experiences with the potential to be amusing...
...someday.
On a personal note, I had a very nice surprise when I woke up this
morning. My latest opinion piece was in the Bangor Daily News in the
best spot on the op ed page: center with the cartoon. :) I had a lot
of fun writing it. It was inspired by the athletes trying to draw
attention to injustice by not standing for the national anthem. I
can't say the pledge of allegiance because America does not have
liberty and justice for all. I wrote about my growing disillusionment
with it going all the way back to elementary school when I encountered
the civil rights movement. I'm already getting good feedback on it.
A great big shout out goes out to my editor and the BDN readers.
jules hathaway


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Two Cat Tales

Two Cat Tales

Picture books
One day I was about to rush out of Orono Public Library,
fortified with two bags of fresh reading material, when our children's
librarian notified me of two new cat books I'd love to read...unless
it would be too many. Too books, especially ones featuring my
favorite animal? Can there be such a thing?
Jason Carter Eaton's The Catawampus Cat, while full of zip and
pizzaz, has a simple but profound lesson for kids and parents alike.
Into a town where everyone's doing the same old, same old
regular like clockwork...walks the catawampus cat all tilted to one
side. When the people tilted their heads and bodies to match, amazing
things happen.
*A woman finds her wedding ring that has been lost 20 years.
*A barber gives a client a new haircut she loves.
*A librarian takes the wrong book and swaps out her job for a life of
adventure...
Eventually when everyone in town is refocussed and happy there
is a celebration of the catawampus cat. You'll never guess what
happens next.
The moral of the book for kids and parents alike: a slight
change in perspective can make a world of difference. And you don't
have to walk slantwise and risk falling over. Ages ago I had moments
I felt frustrated living in a trailer because they look so much
alike. Then I would pretend to give a tour to a refugee from a
country at war who would really notice the running water, electricity,
full fridge and cupboards, healthy children... I never got all the way
through my home before realizing how much I have to be grateful for.
Alert readers of The Catawampus Cat will notice something
interesting in the illustrations. Embedded in nearly every one is a
realistic detail. In a street scene where people are watching the cat
a green car looks like it came out of a 50's magazine. The posters in
the school and library scenes really jump out at you. Why do you
think the illustrator included them?
There are no wrong answers.
Holly Hobbie's A Cat Named Swan starts off quite precariously.
A kitten born in an alley wakes up to find his mother and littermates
gone. He is all in a big, harsh world, contending with inclement
weather, big dogs, and wheeled vehicles.
One day he is captured and taken to the pound. Well at least
he's safe and well fed. But something even better is in store, a
forever family who brought him home and named him Swan.
"After many days had passed, he learned that the house was his
house, the yard was his yard. He learned that the people were his
people and he was theirs. He belonged to them and he belonged to
them. After many days had passed, he learned that the days would
continue to come and go in the same way."
That's about the happiest ever after any feline can get.
If you have kids clamoring or you find yourself yearning for a
family cat please don't immediately go for a purebred. At least take
a walk through a shelter or pound and see if one of the residents
catches your eye and heart. You may be literally saving a precious
life.
Joey is a random breed. We know who his mother was. The rest
of his lineage is a total mystery. For fourteen years he has been the
dearest companion I could wish for. As I write this he is sprawled
out on my legs, purring heartily, and gazing at me with unconditional
love.
On a purrrrrsonal note, UMaine had two fine events this week. There
was a two day blood drive with fine attendance. I donated and
volunteered. We got lovely long sleeve holiday shirts. Last night we
celebrated multicultural Thanksgiving with all kinds of nontraditional
good food. People who went had a wonderful time.
A great big shout out goes out to all who participated in those events.
jules hathaway



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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

I'm A Girl

I'm A Girl

Picture book
"I'm supposed to be nice...
all sugar and spice...
but I'm sweet and sour!
not a little flower!"
The protagonist of Yasmeen Ismail's I'm A Girl delights in
riding fast, being spontaneous as in stripping to her undies and
jumping into a pool, learning, and playing loud music. There's only
one problem. Everyone she encounters mistakes her for a boy.
What's a girl to do?
Read the book and see.
With short sentences that can be read with plenty of expression
and vivid, dynamic pictures, this is a good selection for really young
kids who are starting to wrap their minds around what being a boy or
girl is all about.
On a personal note, I'm loving my life: family, cat, friends, school,
church, the groups I participate it, my library books, my cute
clothes... There's just one thing I'm not crazy about: daylight
savings time. It gets too dark too early. Everyone I talk to
agrees. I heard somewhere Massachusetts is not observing it this
year. I hope Maine joins in next year.
Wish me luck. I donate blood tomorrow, inshallah (God willing).
A great big shout out to the family members (including Joey cat) and
friends who add so much joy to my life.
jules hathaway




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