Friday, October 24, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Since this Halloween is bound to be extra fun for many, I thought I’d share some ideas for living it up courtesy of Plan a Holiday Party (cover pictured):
● Want to make a tasty, festive holiday snack? Just toss some mini pretzels or peanuts in a bowl and mix in a little candy corn for color. If you want, you can add bagel chips, Bugles, raisins, chocolate chips, or anything else you like.
● Need a drink to wash down that salty treat? Fill a punch bowl with ice and 2 liters of lemon-lime soda. Mix in 1 liter of lemonade, pineapple juice, or cranberry juice. Add several drops of red food coloring, and there you have it—“bloody” punch! You can also go for green food coloring and toss in some gummy worms for a little extra creepiness.
● Looking for an easy way to decorate your door or yard? Put some cotton balls in the center of a tissue and secure the cotton by tying the tissue with some string. Draw eyes on with a marker. Hang these guys from a tree or suspend them over your door.
● Make a playlist to keep your party hopping—or to set the mood as you hand out treats to little ghosts and goblins. Our suggested spooky tunes include “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, “Monster Mash” by Bobby “Boris” Pickett, “The Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley, and “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.
Happy Haunting, everyone!
Friday, October 17, 2014
Thursday, October 16, 2014
I’m going to ask for something completely unfair.
Unless you attended opening night of this year’s Children’s and Young Adult Literature Conference at The Loft Literary Center, you probably haven’t seen the Czech film Who’s Afraid of the Wolf. The 2008 film was shown at The Loft thanks to a University of Minnesota professor’s connection to the filmmaker, I believe, and a lively panel discussion followed. Unfortunately, even with the magical Internet at our fingertips, I think the full-length movie is otherwise not very findable in the US.
Who’s Afraid of the Wolf is the story of a girl named Terezka and her parents, and it is striking for the stunningly authentic child’s perspective it conveys. Adult characters are portrayed with depth and good intentions and human flaws, yet for grownup viewers, the cinematography gives a peek back in time to how a kindergartener observes and interacts with her parents and others. Difficult conversations are heard from under the kitchen table or while pretending to focus on an activity across the room. Mom’s old acquaintance is a newcomer to Terezka’s family universe. Events and behaviors beyond a child’s scope of knowledge may as well be the work of aliens. Read a good summary here.
While the story is not limited to one perspective, it treats the child’s point of view with humbling respect and weight.
The trailer gives a decent idea:
My inability to share the whole film with you is what makes this unfair: I’m looking for a picture book manuscript that wows me with similar authenticity. One in which the camera angle is from about three-and-a-half feet high. One that leaves my jaw hanging open at the voice or the way the narration transports me back into a six-year-old’s body. (Give or take a few years.) Especially, and critically, one that holds appeal for both children and the adults who may be reading with them, in the way this film is kid-friendly but no less engaging for adults.
A few notes that may or may not be relevant: I’m a linguist by training. The way the words fit together to paint a story is equally or more likely to woo me as/than any particular type of character, setting, or plot is. I generally don’t go for personified animals. We at Carolrhoda are more likely to publish picture books that are a bit offbeat and/or off the beaten path (think Infinity and Me). I’ll take dry humor and sharp wit any day over super-sweet or sentimental. I will never stop loving Winnie the Pooh.
Watch the trailer. Then send me submissions until October 31.
-Anna Cavallo (@eatreadwriterun)