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August 2009
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October 2009

Amulet's Kazu Kabuishi at a Gallery Near You (if you're in LA)

Kazu Kibuishi, the creator of the Amulet graphic novels and other works, will sign books and talk about the artistic process on Saturday afternoon, September 12th, at Gallery Nucleus, in Alhambra, CA. Kibuishi will also read from Amulet 2, the latest installment. (See Kibuishi's site, Bolt City, for complete details.)  

Kibuishi says on Twitter that he's working on #3. My son will be glad to hear that! I snagged him a copy of the first Amulet after reading about it at School Library Journal's blog Good Comics for Kids. Reviewer Robin Brenner wrote, "It's a great mix of classic fantasy combined with elements of manga and Saturday morning cartoons. And it has a walking robot castle—very cool imagery and a great start that should really become a classic for kids." 

A gallery exhibit that opens later this month should be worth seeing, too: "Terrible Yellow Eyes," a group show of art inspired by Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are (September 19th-October 6th). The movie opens on October 16th, by the way.

Thanks to Gallery Nucleus for passing along the information. I wish we could go. Google Maps says the drive would take 1 day and 18 hours, straight-through. I did check, though.

"Literature helps us understand who we are..."

Amy Bowllan's "Writers Against Racism" series at her School Library Journal blog has been outstanding. Today's guest is Edith Campbell, a school media specialist in Indianapolis. I thought the following was so spot-on that I made it the title of this post!

Amy Bowllan: In what way can literature be used to combat the effects of racism and promote tolerance?
Edith Campbell: Literature helps us understand who we are and to find our place in the world. Literature makes sense of history, psychology, sociology and more. Everything that humans have done or will do can be laid out in a good story and if we are wise enough to be open to the message, we can learn without the pain and suffering found in the real world. Literature (fiction or non-fiction) can also help us understand our commonalities and differences.

Read the entire interview here. You'll find links to the rest of the excellent series, too. Edith Campbell also blogs at Crazy Quilts.

International Rock Flipping Day 2009

 6a00d834516d9569e200e554dffca98833-120wi International Rock Flipping Day is Sunday, September 20th. Turn over a rock, see and identify what's under it, and write a blog post or submit a Flickr set of photos. (And put the rock right back where you found it.) It sounds like something a six year old invented, but the credit goes to several grown-up nature enthusiasts, including one "doyenne of invertebrate bloggers." You'll find more information at Wanderin' Weeta, a nature blog.

Junior and I participated last year and found Asian shore crabs, mussels, and clams under rocks at the beach. See this report from September '08.

Dave Bronta, a flip-day founder who blogs at Via Negativa, wrote, "[P]eople flipped rocks on four continents on sites ranging from mountaintops to urban centers to the floors of shallow seas. Rock-flippers found frogs, snakes, and invertebrates of every description, as well as fossils and other cool stuff. As before, we advise wearing gloves for protection, and getting the whole family involved — or if you don’t have a family, rope in some neighborhood kids."

Five, six, and seven year olds interested in the rocks themselves might like Nancy Elizabeth Wallace's Rocks! Rocks! Rocks! (Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2009), a picture book that introduces concepts about rock formation and other topics in simple language. (I wish the author hadn't cutely called igneous rocks "iggy," but I doubt kids will care.) 

For more in-depth reading, older children can look for National Audubon Society First Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals (Scholastic, 1998).

Review copy of Rocks! Rocks! Rocks! provided by the publisher. The Audubon Society field guide from our home collection.