Hunger Games Posters

Oh my, now this is one gorgeous line of posters!  Spread across several movie and entertainment sites, you can see the new posters for The Hunger Games movie due out on March 23rd. 

IGN has Woody Harrelson as Haymitch, as well as links to the other posters.  My favorites are Rue, Katniss and Cinna.  Lovely! 

Here is Rue:

How about you?  Do you have a favorite?

Review: Amplified by Tara Kelly


Amplified by Tara Kelly

The author of Harmonic Feedback returns with another book that centers around music.  Jasmine has decided that she doesn’t want to attend Stanford in the fall, so that she can follow her dream of becoming a musician.  She finds herself homeless when her father kicks her out for her decision.  Jasmine’s car breaks down in Santa Cruz.  She finds a listing for a place that she can almost afford but the kicker is that she needs to audition for a band and get picked as their guitarist in order to get the room.  All she has to do is convince three jaded, ultra-cool guys and one amazing girl that she can do it.  The problem is that she’s never played for anyone except her best friend.  Can Jasmine fool them all and for how long?

This book sings.  The character of Jasmine is complex, haunted, frigid, closed off, wide open, and entirely human.   The other band members are equally fascinating, often veering away from what you would expect from them, making them all the more intriguing.  Though it would have been easy to make Jasmine’s father a cardboard stereotype, Kelly didn’t.  One of the conversations with her father shows that both Jasmine and her father are trying yet unable to connect. 

Music is difficult to write about in novels, but Kelly manages to invite readers into a band, allow them to experience the hard work, the drive, the crap and the intensity of the relationships that music creates.  The music in this book is not subtle, this is not another book about a quiet pianist or violinist.  Instead this book thrashes and rocks. 

Impossible to put down, readers will thrum to the rhythm of disaster, recovery, lies and truth.  It is a compelling and remarkable combination.  Appropriate for ages 15-17.

Reviewed from copy received from Henry Holt and Company.

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Review: The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle

artist who painted a blue horse

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle

A young artist paints a blue horse running against a yellow sky, then continues to paint animals in amazing colors.  There is a red crocodile, a yellow cow, a pink rabbit, and an orange elephant.  The book speaks powerfully and simply to the spirit of creativity, the ability to change the world through art, and the right to express yourself.  This becomes even more clear as the book ends with Carle’s own childhood experiences in Nazi Germany where he first saw the forbidden work of Franz Marc who painted Blue Rider.  This is not a picture book biography, but rather a statement of support for all artists who see the world in unique ways.

Carle’s art is really the center of the book with the words just naming the color and animal.  As I read it, I could see it being used very nicely in elementary art classes to encourage children to break away from the norm.  In toddler story times, it could also be used to learn colors and animals perhaps even with some animal noises thrown in to add to the fun. 

This is a book that will speak to many ages, adapt well to projects and conversation, or simply be used as a color and animal book.  It is infinitely flexible, wonderfully expressive, and makes a powerful statement.  Appropriate for ages 2-8.

Reviewed from copy received from Philomel Books.

You can also check out the auction of art by artists and celebrities that was inspired by this picture book.