Banksy is Back!

Notorious Street Artist and prankster Banksy posted two tweets on Twitter last week after nearly four months of silence. During the week there had been buzz about the painter.


— banksy (@banksyny) August 15, 2014

There was a piece on the Chicago news claiming that a new piece by the artist had come up overnight in L.A. The main flaw with the story is that Banksy tends to take credit for his work and there has been now reassurance that the piece is by him.

Perhaps what got Banksy to come forward was the scathing article in The Daily Beast titled: Graffiti Artists Turn on Banksy: The Rise of Art Hate. The article discusses how quickly Banksy paintings have been destroyed when they are put on the street, there is a claim that he has gone corporate. His work does sell for inordinate amounts and perhaps the furor over his work has increased.


Whatever the cause for his return, welcome back Banksy! We’ve missed you.

Raina Telgemeier’s “Sisters” is a Winning Sequel to “Smile”

In 2010 Raina Telgemeier's auto-biographical graphic novel Smile was published. It received both critical and commercial success. In the book Telgemeier shares the story of her own sixth grade experience of falling, damaging her teeth and requiring braces and headgear. Readers could empathize with Raina’s fear, frustration, embarrassment and confusion. 

Raina is back with her sister Amara and their little brother Will in Sisters. We are introduced to the characters in fun anecdotes which give us a peek at the family dynamics and home life. We journey with the children and their mother for three weeks on a road trip in which we learn that their parents are separated. Far from being an issues book, Sisters explains the family’s situation as an aspect of the girl’s life, not as a moral or ethical issue. The story begins and remains being told from Raina’s perspective and this slice of life will be relate-able for many teens.  

Telegemeier has a whimsical, comforting drawing style with an impressive skill set reminiscent of influences, Calvin and Hobbes and Foxtrot which she mentions in the book. The brightly colored frames and love-able characters can be enjoyed as a supplement to Smile but can also be equally enjoyed and appreciated as a free standing work. Sisters is a must for Grade School and Middle School Libraries and will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.  

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-54066-7

Page Count: 208 pages

Publisher: Scholastic

*Thank you Scholastic Books for providing me with a review copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

Jennifer Holm’s “The Fourteenth Goldfish” is a Charming MG Read with a Science Twist

Jennifer L. Holm is no stranger to middle grade literature. Her Babymouse graphic novel series has been hugely successful and she’s the author of three Newbery Honor books. The Fourteenth Goldfish is her latest title and will not disappoint young fans. 

Ellie is growing up on the Bay side of San Francisco with her blue-haired mom, who is a drama teacher in a house that looks like a shoebox. She’s happy with her life for the most part, until her grandfather shows up and wants to move in with them.

He has created a formula called T. melvinus which serves as a kind of fountain of youth. Although he still thinks and speaks like an old man, his body is now the same age as Ellie. 

The story continues on a main trajectory that one can predict but what is less predictable is the delicacy and grace that Holm lends to under-lying themes: split families, changing friendships, lost love and more. There are a few sputters and starts to the story which keep it from having a completely free-flow.

Science is it’s own character in the story and readers will learn the names of many important American Scientists while reading. The book also includes recommendations for more science reading. 

My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pub Date: August 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-375-87064-4

Page Count; 208 pages

Publisher: Random House

*Thank you Random House for providing a review copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

Scott Bakula on the set of NCIS: New Orleans - while filming at Buckner Mansion

"I’ll bet you $20 I know where you got your shoes?" #neworleans #machaightvacay2k14

"I’ll bet you $20 I know where you got your shoes?" #neworleans #machaightvacay2k14

Scott Bakula on the set of NCIS: New Orleans - while filming at Buckner Mansion

After the rain #neworleans #5girlsandsam #machaightvacay2k14

After the rain #neworleans #5girlsandsam #machaightvacay2k14


Chris Pratt isn’t the only star who hit the gym for Guardians of the Galaxy.


Houston Street Artist, 2:12, Listed in 9 to Watch Around the World

5 of the 9 artists listed on the 9 Street Artists You Should Follow and Support list from Design Good are from the United States. The list includes Shepard Fairey (also known as OBEY) from L.A. and MOMO from New Orleans. Sitting comfortably at slot number 5 is Houston’s own 2:12.

2:12 has often been a topic on my blog as his work surpasses the basic stencils and quick spray work of many street artists. He layers his work and pulls emotion and sensuality from his subjects. From old film stars to real Houstonians, 2:12 is a master at seeing the humanity in his subjects, almost always females, without demoralizing them.

He chooses to post his work in decaying, forgotten spots in Houston and around the world to bring beauty and attention to places that people have taken for granted. 

2:12 regularly participates in art shows around the community and is active on social media. He is on Twitter and Instagram as: tx2twelve and his blog which includes photos, videos and a store can be found at: http://www.twotwelveart.com/

Congratulations 2:12 on this great honor and Congratulations Houston for the international art recognition. 

One Plus One by JoJo Moyes is a Predictable, Light-Hearted Romance

Jess is a working class single mom with problems piling up on her. One of her many jobs is working as a cleaner. She finds herself in a position to take a substantial amount of money from someone, which will greatly change her life without anyone every finding out.

Ed is a tech guru who has made some mistakes when he chooses ladies. One such mistake may end up sending him to prison. Add in two kids who don’t quite fit in and an immature and absent ex-husband and you have the backbone of One Plus One.

Moyes works in some social issues, mainly the economic difficulties of the working class, but for the most part One Plus One follows a traditional romance novel formula. There is a heavy hand of a morality tale to the book as well as every character is “punished” for questionable choices and is only rewarded when they come clean. Skip this one if you are looking for an enlightening or original read. Grab it if you want a well written but easily digestible love story with lots of laughs.

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Pub Date: July 7, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-525-42658-5

Page Count: 384 pages

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

*Thank you NetGalley for a review copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.