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Interview with Gail Godwin about Grief Cottage

Started by Rob Neufeld in AC-T Book Reviews Aug 3, 2017.

Ellington in Asheville--a survey

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Oct 6, 2017.

Dave Minneman, heroic portrait

Started by Rob Neufeld in Local History Aug 25, 2017.

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Connie Regan-Blake posted events
15 hours ago
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Intermission

IntermissionHear audio by clicking mp3 attachment!(Part of poem, "Coalescence") I thought I might take a break at this point to look around,Now that I’m in the business of making things resound.It’s so nice to have the luxury of being carefree. If you stop and sit back and try to take in everything,It stuns you and you can’t focus on anythingUntil something crops up, and what…See More
21 hours ago
Joan Henehan replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Coalescence
"It's an odyssey..."
Jan 8
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Coalescence

Coalescence (part of  Living Poem)by Rob Neufeld Intro Don’t listen, children, and do not hear.(A monster is coming and there’s no escapeWithin this story, and no good way to tell it, Except to gaze at the horror as at a flower,A disaster streaming off extremes it breedsEverywhere and in our minds, disabling our power.) Distractions are good, puzzles that teaseAnd please and fill the main scene,…See More
Dec 11, 2018
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Sultan's Dream

The Sultan’s Dream (Part of Living Poem) When it comes to walking, the jig’s up.No more fit lad sitting at the pub.No more flim-flam smiling with a limp. See how the legs totter and the torso leans.Do you know what a lame sultan dreams?Of reclining on a divan wearing pantaloons, Comparing his plight to a mountaineer’sNegotiating an icy bluff in a fierce wind,And then lounging in a tent to unwind. Which…See More
Nov 15, 2018
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

The Tale of Ononis

The Tale of Ononis by Rob Neufeld Part 1: The Making of a Celebrity ❧  Hare Begins His Tale  Ononis was my region’s name.People now call it Never-the-same.I’ll start with the day a delivery came. The package I got was a devil’s dare,Swaddled and knotted in Swamp Bloat hairAnd bearing, in red, one word: “Beware!” Bloats are creatures from the Land of Mud Pies,Wallowing in waste with tightly closed eyesUntil fears bring tears and the bleary bloats rise.   ❧  Hare’s Colleagues  I asked my boss,…See More
Nov 9, 2018
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event

Drop Your Troubles: A Solo Storytelling Performance with Connie Regan-Blake at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

December 1, 2018 from 7:30pm to 9pm
Join this internationally renowned storyteller, Connie Regan-Blake, as she transforms a packed theater into an intimate circle of friends with old-timey charm, wisdom, and humor. We’ll also welcome the Singer of  Stories, Donna Marie Todd, who will perform her original story, “The Amazing Zicafoose Sisters.” Connie’s last two shows at BMCA have sold…See More
Nov 6, 2018
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
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Explore the Landscapes of Story and Telling at Lenoir-Rhyne Center for Graduate Studies

January 23, 2019 at 10am to February 27, 2019 at 12pm
A Storytelling Offering in Asheville, NCWednesday Mornings 10am-12pmJanuary 23 – February 27, 2019 This winter Connie is excited to offer a learning opportunity to warm-up your storytelling voice and creativity!  Join her in Asheville, NC at Lenoir-Rhyne University for six story-work sessions with a weekly format that allows for skills to grow over time while encouraging a consistency in discovering, revisiting and refining your stories. During these weekly sessions participants are invited…See More
Nov 6, 2018
Connie Regan-Blake posted an event
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Explore the Landscapes of Story & Telling at Lenoir-Rhyne Center for Graduate Studies

January 23, 2019 at 10am to February 27, 2019 at 12pm
A Storytelling Offering in Asheville, NCWednesday Mornings 10am-12pmJanuary 23 – February 27, 2019 This winter Connie is excited to offer a learning opportunity to warm-up your storytelling voice and creativity!  Join her in Asheville, NC at Lenoir-Rhyne University for six story-work sessions with a weekly format that allows for skills to grow over time while encouraging a consistency in discovering, revisiting and refining your stories. During these weekly sessions participants are invited…See More
Oct 28, 2018
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
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Connie Regan-Blake presents A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories at Black Mountain Center for the Arts

April 6, 2019 from 7:30pm to 9pm
Join nationally celebrated storyteller, Connie Regan-Blake, as she hosts her workshop participants in an enchanting evening of storytelling in “A Slice of Life: An Evening of Stories.” The event will be hosted by the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, just a short drive from Asheville nestled in the picturesque mountains surrounding the area. Call the Center for advance tickets (828) 669-0930 or order…See More
Oct 28, 2018
Connie Regan-Blake updated an event
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Connie Regan-Blake's Taking Your Story to the Stage Workshop at StoryWindow Productions

April 5, 2019 to April 7, 2019
The focus of this “Taking Your Story to the Stage” 3-day workshop is on storytelling performance. Each participant is asked to come with a story that is almost “stage-ready.” Set in Connie’s home tucked in the beautiful mountains surrounding Asheville, NC, this workshop provides a supportive, affirming…See More
Oct 28, 2018
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Let’s say every word is precious

Let’s say every word is precious (Part of Living Poem) Let’s say every word is precious.Say every word is precious.Every word is precious.Every word precious.Every word.Word.--Rob Neufeld, Oct. 16, 2018See More
Oct 17, 2018
Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Oct 12, 2018
Nancy Sutton replied to Rob Neufeld's discussion Metamorphoses
"Poignant in so many ways!   "
Oct 3, 2018
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses (Part of Living Poem)Hear audio: Metamorphoses%20181004_0192.MP3 So Apollo committed the first rape.He’d come back from exterminating Python,The Bane of Humanity, now his arrow-victim,And stopped to mock…See More
Oct 2, 2018
Joan Henehan replied to Joan Henehan's discussion on Reading Living Poem
"Fantastic, that will be very helpful."
Sep 22, 2018

I have been extremely happy to help a couple of different customers in the last few weeks who have come in to the bookshop specifically looking for wordless picture books. Why so happy? Because over the last eight years I have generally found that wordless picture books, no matter how visually stunning, hilarious or touching or award-winning, can be a really tough sell.

And that's a shame.

Now, I should be quick to point out that there is no lack of interest in these books on the part of children. It's the adult shoppers accompanying the kids who almost always poo-poo the idea of taking one of these treasures home. Even if they profess admiration for the artwork, they tend to immediately dismiss it on the grounds that they want to encourage their children to "actually read" or that their child is "already reading," as if that automatically means that a wordless book is a step backward.

Not so, I say!

For one thing, to say that there is no value--intellectual, developmental, spiritual, or otherwise--in taking the time to look at pieces of artwork is like saying that we should stop taking kids (or adults) to art museums and galleries. There is no worth? Really? And believe me, there is some stunning artwork being published, with or without words, in books for children.

For another thing, to dismiss out of hand the educational value of a wordless story is to "out" yourself as an adult who has forgotten how to look at things with a child's eye. Sadly, that is most of us, at one time or another.

Have you ever noticed how a kid who hasn't started reading fluently on his or her own will often open a book and pretend to read it? I see it all the time in the bookshop. An adorable scene: a little one turning pages, pointing to things in the pictures, making up the story on the fly. With or without words on the page, this is a wonderful exercise for a child's burgeoning literacy.

Being able to recognize and empathize with facial expressions and other visual cues related to the story are very important to developing reading comprehension. Let me emphasize that word again: comprehension. Learning to read (and read well) is not just about being able to sound out longer and longer words. It's about fully comprehending what you are reading, in all its detail and nuance.

When a child reads a wordless picture book on his own, he generally will not just flip through the pages impatiently and put it down, like an adult browsing in the bookstore or library. He will pore over every picture, go back and forth, following the thread of the story, seeing if he missed anything, filling in the blanks with his own imagination. Sometimes, depending on the illustrations, one can experience different stories with the same book at different times. Reading like this (yes, reading) is amazingly interactive.

Even outside the context of  reading skills as we usually define them, developing visual literacy is something that is becoming more and more important for children growing up in an image-saturated society. Being able to understand visual cues, recognize archetypal or iconic images, and articulate what you are seeing are all skills that strengthen your ability to think critically about images you are presented with as a consumer and also makes you capable of creating and communicating with images effectively as a student, a teacher, an artist, a business person, or practically any role you may play in society.

Here are a few of my personal favorite wordless picture books:

David Wiesner received the 1991 Caldecott Medal for Tuesday, the whimsical account of a Tuesday when frogs go airborne on their lily pads, float through the air, and explore the nearby houses while their inhabitants sleep.Target age group 5-8 years, but enjoyable for all ages.

Winner of the 2012 Caldecott Medal, A Ball for Daisy is yet another medal winner by Chris Raschka, one of my all-time favorite illustrators. Any child who has ever had a beloved toy break will relate to Daisy's anguish when her favorite ball is destroyed by a bigger dog. In the tradition of his nearly wordless picture book Yo! Yes?,  Raschka explores in pictures the joy and sadness that having a special toy can bring. Raschka's signature swirling, impressionistic illustrations and his affectionate story will particularly appeal to young dog lovers and teachers and parents who have children dealing with the loss of something special. Target age group 3-7 years.

In illustrations of rare detail and surprise, The Red Book by Barbara Lehman crosses oceans and continents to deliver one girl into a new world of possibility, where a friend she's never met is waiting. And as with the best of books, at the conclusion of the story, the journey is not over.

This book is about a book. A magical red book without any words. When you turn the pages you'll experience a new kind of adventure through the power of story.

A Caldecott Honor Book
Target age group 4-8
"The author's simply drawn art...is appropriate to a pleasing puzzle that will challenge young imaginations and intellects." --Horn Book

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