Oh, January, January. You're a month of cold days and gray skies. You're driving us a bit stir-crazy, and we've still got all of February (and much of March) to get through before any sign of spring will save us. So maybe something whimsical is in order? Say, something YouTubeish? Perhaps...
an absurd chicken?
a 5-minute out-the-door morning routine?
seventeen years of Dan Hanna's head?
a piano playing cat?
Ah, much better. Now, back to it.
January has been a fun month on Jumping The Candlestick. Those of you who are new visitors (and I’ve had lots of you lately – thank you!!!) – I thoroughly appreciate you stopping by! Those of you who are longterm visitors, thanks for sticking around fairthfully through many months of reading the rather eclectic mix of posts I provide here. Each and every one of you, it's truly kind of you to make time in your blog-reading day to spend a few minutes here! Thank you.
As we near the end of the month, it's a nice opportunity for a quick look back. This month, Jumping The Candlestick has profiled several Michigan children’s book authors, including Mark Newman and Jeffery Schatzer. In the coming months, JTC will continue to profile the wide-ranging children's book talent of this state, with at least one new Michigander Monday profile a month, and ideally one per week. So, kind readers, do keep stopping back on Mondays. I’ll do my best to keep the profiles rolling on a (semi)regular basis. (When there are gaps, please know that this is not due to lack of potential interviewees, but just due to lack of my timely ability to seek them out. Be patient: there are loads of Michigan authors and illustrators to get to know! We’ll meet them all in time.)
JTC will also continue to feature my occasional poetry; my periodic workout reviews; and miscellaneous Michigan-related news and other announcements. And I’ll also continue to keep you posted on my upcoming events and appearances, should you feel the need to seek out the company of a funny-looking children’s book author leading small groups of children in stories and song as if she can carry a tune (which she can not) and/or speaking to grown-ups about writing as if she has a clue (which she does not). If you're in the area, for any of my appearances, please stop by!
With the January days dwindling away, take note, it's nearly last call on my current reading challenge! Every couple of months or so, I try to do some sort of reading challenge or giveaway. My current challenge is thematically centered on the recently released “Michigan Notable Books” list. Simply choose two of the Michigan Notable Books to read at your own convenience, and you’ll be entered to win a gift certificate to a Michigan indie bookstore of your choice. How cool is that! It's fun; it's easy; but you've got to sign up by Jan. 31 to be entered into the drawing. (You don't have to read the books by Jan. 31, but you do have to sign up by then.) Click here to sign up. Your reading choices are...
• Apparition and Late Fictions ( Lynch )
• Blues in Black and White ( Erlewine, Livingston, and Erlewine )
• Chrysler's Turbine Car ( Lehto )
• Detroit Disassembled ( Moore )
• The Detroit Electric Scheme ( Johnson )
• Eden Springs ( Kasischke )
• Freshwater Boys ( Schuitema )
• The Hanging Tree ( Gruley )
• Lord of Misrule ( Gordon )
• A Michigan Polar Bear Confronts the Bolsheviks ( Anderson and Olson )
• Mine Towns ( Hoagland )
• Picturing Hemingway's Michigan ( Federspiel )
• Reimagining Detroit ( Gallagher )
• Sawdusted ( Goodwin )
• Sixty to Zero ( Taylor )
• The Sweetness of Freedom ( Ostrander and Bloomfield )
• To Account for Murder ( Whitbeck )
• Working Words ( Liebler )
• Wounded Warrior ( Glazer )
• You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know ( Sellers )
Please take a moment to sign up, and then plan to read a couple of these great books in the coming year!
Finally, a bit of good news to share! Yesterday it was announced by the Missouri Library Association that The Pout-Pout Fish has won the 2010 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award. This is a particularly neat award because it's selected by a vote that includes votes by kids. On Mr. Fish's behalf, I'm pleased and honored that the book was selected! But every book on the nomination list is wonderful, so you should definitely head over to the list and read take a look at some really neat titles.
Well, I guess that brings me to the end of my January-look-back. As we near the end of this cold, dreary month: Happy Reading, Happy Blogging, and Happy January to you all!