Friday, May 31, 2013

The Dark by Lemony Snicket



Story by Lemony Snicket
Art by Jon Klassen 
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Four out of Five Stars

But one night--
it did.

"Laszlo," the dark said, in the dark.

***
I am afraid of the dark. I cannot go to the bathroom without turning on all the lights in the apartment along the way. I occasionally scream in the middle of the night when I sleep. (Last time, I screamed when I visited my pregnant sister in Tokyo. I hallucinated and saw a little person dancing. Please note: I am not addicted to anything.) 

Laszlo, the main character, is afraid of the dark. But his curiosity is stronger than his fear of opening a chest in a dark corner of the basement. After reading this book, I am still afraid of the dark. I would not go downstairs in the middle of night; even though the dark is actually friendly and meaningful. It is exciting & mysterious, and a story with a happy ending. Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark. The illustration is simple, but creepy with the details of old houses & redish-stains. I should have not read this book on a stormy night...



Thursday, May 30, 2013

Turtle's Penguin Day by Valeri Gorbachev




Story and Art by Valeri Gorbachev
Publisher: Alfred A, Knopf New York
Five out of Five Stars

"That night, Little Turtle ate fish-shaped crackers
with dinner because penguins love fish.
And before he went to sleep, Little Turtle brushed 
his penguin beak."

***
Little Turtle's father read about penguins before Little Turtle went to bed. He decided to be a penguin for a day. His friend and teacher welcomed his experimental attitude. The story is written in simple sentences with a lot of dialogue. I like the way how the teacher supports its students being penguins. I can see many younger readers acting like penguins after reading this heartwarming book. The author drew charming illustrations as well. The book represents a perfect classic picture-book world.    




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Inside My Imagination" by Marta Arteaga



Story by Marta Arteaga
Art by Zuzanna Celej
Publisher: Cuento De Luz
Four out of Five Stars 

"I can keep the sounds of the earth
in a music box-the seas and the rivers,
the crickets, the squirrels leaping through the trees,
and the whisper of the wind in their leaves on those trees..."

***
This is a story of a girl who explains how to work her mind processes. She explains what her imagination is and how to lead a new idea from it. She expresses her ideas into letters and words. From the first couple pages, I was not into the story because there were unicorns. (I really do not understand why childhood memories require unicorns.) However, after several pages, the story becomes more serious and philosophical. She presents her imagination like she presents herself. The sentences flow awkwardly, but work together to paint a smooth palette. The art poetically fills the lines between the spaces.  




Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Virginia Wolf" by Kyo Maclear



Story by Kyo Maclear
Publisher: Kids Can Press 
 Four out of Five Stars

"If I were flying, I would travel
to a perfect place. A place 
with frosted cakes and beautiful 
flowers and excellent trees
to climb and absolutely no doldums..."

***
The story was cleverly inspired by Virginia Woolf and her sister. Virginia woke up feeling wolfish -- depressed & hysterical, as Virgina Woolf was known as being -- so her sister tries to cheer Virginia up. I love the story's idea, Isabelle Arsenault's art, and the handwriting in the book. The book stands out because their beautiful art choices. However, I may disagree with the word and image choices. It seemed to rely too much on short, choppy sentences. Maybe it was trying to establish a rhythm, but it seemed overly-simple in spots.

Monday, May 27, 2013

"I Know Here" by Laurel Croza



Art by Matt James 
Five out of Five Stars

"... and then I'll fold it up. I 
will fold up the howl of the wolf and the
smell of the fox in his cage and the
stare of the old moose and the feel
of my heart beating fast as I 
swooped over my road in a 
fiver-seater airplane..."

***

My next project is to write a poetic picture book. One of my respected poets suggested me to read "I know Here" by Laurel Croza. Her sentences flow so well like a simple poem page after page. I loved the way she uses line breaks and words. I felt a little girl speaking  her emotion in one breath. Both children and adults can enjoy reading her book.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

"Standard Market" in Westmont


We visited "Standard Market" in Westmont. I enjoyed eating the Buddha Bowl, which is seared tuna over seasonal vegetables and brown rice. My hubby had a 24-hour steak sandwich. The food was great and the people were super nice. 

***Five stars***


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mankai Orchid!


My orchid is blooming so beautifully! 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ready to Ship Out


"Thank-You-Note" and a little gift are on the way to your door

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Orchid!


My orchid is about to bloom for the second time

Monday, May 13, 2013

News Letter from Tupelo Press 30 days / 30 Project

I would like to share a news letter from Tupelo Press.

***
In December we introduced you to the 30/30 Project, in which poets run the equivalent of a "poetry marathon," writing 30 poems in 30 days, while the rest of us "sponsor" and encourage them every step of the way. May's poets are well under way!

At year's end we'll publish a Best of the 30/30 Project, 2013 anthology in which at least one poem by each participant will appear. Stay tuned!   
Now we're calling on a new crop of volunteers, for June and beyond. If you'd like to volunteer for a month, please contact kmiles@tupelopress.org with your offer, a brief bio, and three sample poems.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!


Flower arrangement by me

Flowers are from a local flower market, 3 bags / $12!
Jars are from Joe's Crab Shack (my hubby & I had a coupe drinks there)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Prism Review

"Carrying My 237 LBS in a Dance Studio" and "After the Laundry" were accepted by Prism Review!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Cherry Blossoms!


Cherry Blossoms by Our Apartment

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spring Cleaning


The new table cloth (my grandmother dyed the cloth) for the piano


All books back on the shelves after 30 days / 30 poems

Saturday, May 4, 2013

$455!!!

Dear my supporters,

Thank you very much for your support for my 30 poems 30 days by Tupelo Press in April. My donation total is (drum sounds) $455!!! It is fantastically over my goal ($250). I feel love & kindness for my poetry career.

Here are the prize winners:
#1) Platinum: Requested art for David K.
#2) Gold: Requested art for Eddie O.
#3) Silver: My choice of art for Kathleene W.
#4) Bronze: Everyone who donated to me will receive my original postcards.

I would like to write a poem for Merryn B.

Many Hugs,
Naoko

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sakura!


Cherry Blossoms from Indiana University South Bend