Middleton writer Kathleen Ernst discusses publication of her 40th guide | Leisure

Q: I know you started another mystery series. Does this mean an end to Chloe Ellefson’s stories?

A: Absolutely not! I love the Chloe series and the project is very personal to me. I am passionate about the places and topics that I explore in the stories. Although Chloe and I are two different people, we have a lot in common. Each book is set in a new location and features a new museum or historical site. That keeps the series fresh.

Q: I saw on your website that you have a new publisher that will reprint your books – why the change? Will there be new covers?

A: The publisher I worked with on the first 10 Chloe Ellefson books closed its doors. Fortunately, I was able to find a new home at HenschelHAUS in Milwaukee. If the backlist is reprinted, they keep their original covers … and the cover for the latest book fits in seamlessly.

Q: You said that your collection of poetry, Balance: Poems of the Female Immigrant Experience in the Upper Midwest, 1830-1930, was inspired by reading diaries, memoirs, and letters written by Wisconsin’s early Yankees and European women for 40 years were written. You have written poetry before, but is this your first book?

A: I have published individual poems in different places, but this is my first collection. People often ask why I focus on immigrant stories so often. One reason for this is that I find immigrant stories infinitely inspiring. It was (and is) such a … daunting experience. Not every story has a happy ending, but all in all, people bowed their heads and did what they had to do. In the middle of the pandemic, I needed … a special, positive project that could inspire others too. I’ve been working on the collection for about 20 years so it just took some fine-tuning. The book came together pretty quickly.

Remembering ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ creator Eric Carle | Arts & Leisure

Eric Carle has written books that refuse to stay on the shelf. In bookstores, of course, his titles have disappeared from the shelves for decades, dragged off millions of times by parents and grandparents, by aunts and uncles and teachers. Anyone who needs a gift for a small child or baby knows that you can’t go wrong with “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”. or (my personal favorite for obvious reasons) “The Grouchy Lady Bug”.

All kinds of wonderfully beautiful and easy-to-read children’s books stay exactly where they were put after they are tidied up until an adult pulls them out again. Carle’s books refuse. They jump off the shelves when mom or dad or nana or pop pop isn’t looking; They lie on the floor or bed or table, open and closed, their iconic splashes of color, which Carle magically transformed into immediately recognizable shapes, and beam at you innocently.

Children cannot keep their hands off it. You love them. You love her so much that if you have to read this damn book to them all over again, you will go crazy; and however, you have memorized them completely; and if you close your eyes for even a minute you can see that red bird or the cucumber or the ladybug on your eyelids, possibly for the rest of your natural life.

But of course you read it. Again and again and again They are lovely, calming, gently amusing, totally predictable, and totally calming. In contrast to “Where the Wild Things Are”, they don’t need different voices to capture a language that imitates adventure or excites children. Where Dr. Seuss Rock ‘n’ Roll is – manic and funny, words in their ambiguity, all sorts of crazy creatures that get in trouble and disappear again – Eric Carle is simple and stately as a waltz.

He created true picture books, alive with engaging imagery and narrative unfolding through repetition and gentle revelation, the perfect disguise for storytelling that taught color, counting and the art of reading.

Children know where they are with an Eric Carle book: in front and in the middle. He saw the world as they did, filled with things to be observed, identified, counted and connected, all important enough to be repeated.

Below are some stories from our staff about their encounters with Carle – as children, as parents, as a family – starting with my own.

My family read at least five copies of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, but it was “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” that became an integral part of our lives.

My son Danny has always loved books, but when he was in kindergarten, like many boys, he had a bit of a problem with the reading department. He was our first child and we certainly didn’t help much – what with our nightly “homework” reading of the dreaded Bob books and our over-excited assurances that he would “get” it soon.

One night when I was putting her to bed, his three year old sister Fiona took “Brown Bear” (from the table – he never seemed to make it to the bookshelf) and began to “read” it aloud. Danny burst into tears.

I want to say that Fiona didn’t take the opportunity to look complacent, but that would be a lie – little sisters enjoy their triumphs wherever they can. Fortunately, she soon made the fatal mistake of turning two pages instead of one and still “reading” the book in the correct order, which enabled me to convince Danny that she was reciting and not reading.

So, of course, many of us learn to read – to memorize sounds by heart and match them to the shape of letters and words – but I didn’t feel the time was right to point it out.

Everyone calmed down, Danny soon became a voracious reader and, over the years, a well-placed “brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?” often defused those pesky “too / not” arguments that can force parents to wonder if their decision to quit smoking before they had children wasn’t a little hasty.

One of the most pressing, but underreported, challenges as a parent is finding books that you can stand to read to your children hundreds – possibly thousands – of times without completely losing your mind. There are books that your kids will want to hear over and over again and that you will read to the point where every word, picture, phrase is easier to remember than your own social security number. Some of them will be so stupid or irritatingly nonsensical that you will regret the day they were written and then accidentally put them behind the couch on purpose.

Then luckily there are Eric Carle’s books, loved by generations because you can’t go wrong with the colorful collage illustrations, the whimsical designs that made the book itself part of the narrative (pages with holes in them!) or the gentle life lessons on kindness and patience focused on the natural world. Pretty much everyone born after 1970 grew up on “Caterpillar” in constant rotation, so for those of us who are parents now, there is the added pull of nostalgia.

While the classics – “Caterpillar” and “Brown Bear” – are indispensable in our home, as in millions of others, my kids seem really drawn to a deep head-to-toe Carle cut.

In the book, one creature after another makes its signature gesture – there’s a gorilla pounding on its chest, an elephant stomping its feet – and then prompts the reader to do the same: Can you do that? In response, my daughters eagerly wave their arms like monkeys and kick their feet like donkeys, but sometimes struggle like a buffalo to “shrug” their shoulders. Figuring it out is part of the fun. It’s an engaging little book that will help toddlers expand their vocabulary and recognize a range of animals and body parts. But it also strengthens them through the game. Best of all, as the parents, you can be the audience and watch your kids play.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar was one of the first books my parents read to me when I was born in 1996. It was one of my favorite books.

When I learned to speak, the book had become my encyclopedia. I would imitate the title character and keep shouting, “I’m so hungry!” The book taught me colors, days of the week, and types of food. It also piqued my interest in metamorphosis.

It was my first encounter with creativity. I would draw and color in pages from the book so my mother could hang them on the fridge. Now, 25 years later, I find time to do art every week – mixed media, paintings, and digital drawings. I still emulate Eric Carle, mixing and mixing colors and reaching for the innocent whimsy of those first years of my life.

Carle’s ultimate gift was the idea of ​​creation, the idea that every transformation in life is the invention of something new.

As I got older and became an uncle, I read it to my niece and nephew who will pass it on – initiating new generations of creation and change, a gift that doesn’t stop giving.

Where do you start teaching kindergarten, the basis for all possible life skills? For many teachers in the US, including my mother, it was “Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?”

The now-retired kindergarten teacher of 34 turned to the picture book by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle every year to teach the things in life. It taught colors, of course: in the end, students were able to name all shades of the rainbow, even if they would never find a blue horse in real life.

They also learned the shapes while making paper reproductions of each animal: a red triangle for the red bird, a purple oval for the cat. Cutting out these figures was a lesson in itself, the small hands wrapped around safety scissors teaching fine motor skills.

Long after the last student left home, my mother sat in her classroom and pieced together those pages of colors and shapes into a thick craft paper book – one for each student who put their handmade artwork together – for all to take away and read to make their own Parents. From a book came 30.

It’s hard to overestimate the impact Eric Carle has made on generations of readers, including myself; his work is embedded in our first learning memories. I tend to believe that more worn copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar are read and passed on than they are bought new.

The copy my mother read to her students is the same one she read to me and my older brothers. All the books we read as children were given to my mother’s class library; our last name is handwritten in sharpie on the corner of each envelope, with faulty stickers or drawings inside.

Children’s books were just as important to our family as they were to my mother’s job. On Christmas Day 1999, my two brothers, aged 12 and 13, gave my mother a present that they thought was appropriate for a type of teacher like them: “The Very Quiet Cricket”, complete with a chirping orchestra in the middle.

Spring in mom’s classroom was the domain of Carle’s most famous omnivore. The book is her favorite. “The students are always amazed that the caterpillar can turn into a butterfly,” she recalls. They sing butterfly songs and make butterfly handprints that are modeled on the brightly colored wings of Carle’s original illustration.

Spring also marks the high point of the school year – nine months, a drop in the bucket for an adult, but a life of growth and learning for a first-time five-year-old in school.

Every year, to bring Carle’s story to life, my mother ordered live caterpillars from the science education store. They lived in a lattice cage and grew larger, much like the hero in Carle’s book, until they crawled and crawled to the top of the container and turned into dolls.

When the critters had transformed, all the kindergarten children gathered outside in a large circle to celebrate them. Together they named each new friend and watched as my mother opened the cage and let go of the butterflies one by one.

© 2021 Los Angeles Times. Visit at latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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‘Broke Millennial’ Writer Erin Lowry Shares the Four Cash Conversations You Want To Be Having


3 “Strong Buy” stocks under $ 10 that are about to launch

COVID Is Declining And The Markets Are Rising; These are the two trends that investors have most on their mind right now. It is perfectly reasonable for them to go together. With the economy reopening, money will circulate faster – and find its way into the stock market. With economic conditions improving, investors look for the best returns in an expansive environment. A natural place for them: the small-caps market. While big names hit the headlines, the small-cap stocks offer the highest returns. With that in mind, we used the TipRanks database to find three stocks that have a growth profile under the current conditions. We found three under $ 700 million worth of small-cap stocks in Strong Buy trading under $ 10. Not to mention significant upside potential. Shift Technologies (SFT) Not least among the changes we saw during the pandemic year was the major shift towards online business and e-commerce. Shift Technologies brought e-commerce to the used car market with an end-to-end, hassle-free sales model to optimize the customer experience. Shift offers digital solutions that connect car owners and buyers, making it easy to find, test and buy a car. Shift currently operates in California, Oregon, Washington state, and Texas, primarily in urban centers. Like many smaller tech-oriented companies, Shift went public last year through a SPAC merger. In this case, the Special Acquisition Company (SPAC) was the Insurance Acquisition Corporation. The merger was completed in October in a transaction valued at $ 340 million to $ 380 million. The SFT ticker was traded on the NASDAQ on October 15th. Since then, the stock has fallen 35%, giving the company a market cap of $ 602 million. Despite the stock’s depreciation after the merger was complete, Shift still had approximately $ 300 million of newly available capital to conduct operations. The company has plenty of leeway as the used car market is valued at more than $ 840 billion a year. The company’s Q4 report, Shift’s first publicly traded company, saw strong year-over-year growth in revenue and units sold. Revenue for the quarter hit a company record of $ 73.4 million and was 168% higher than last year. Shift sold 4,666 units in the quarter, up 147% year over year. For the full year, sales of $ 195.7 million represented a year-over-year gain of 18% while the total number of units sold reached 13,135, also up 18%. Sales tended strongly towards e-commerce, which accounted for 9,497 units of total sales for the year. Shift has caught the attention of Benchmark’s 5-star analyst Michael Ward, who sees heightened levels of belief in growth in 2021 and 2022. “[In] Our assessment, positive trends in unit sales and cost development in early 2021 have put the company on a positive path … and viewed it as a good time to buy given the stock’s recent decline. The used car market in the United States has a $ 1 trillion sales opportunity. Prices have risen in double digits since mid-2020. Given the price / inventory trend in the new car market, we expect the positive pricing environment to continue into the second half of 2021, ”said Ward. Consistent with his bullish outlook, Ward is placing a buy on shares and his target price of $ 13 suggests an uptrend of ~ 74% for a year. (To view Ward’s track record, click here.) Wall Street tends to agree with Ward’s confidence in the automotive e-commerce company as TipRanks analysis shows SFT is a strong buy. SFT shares sell for $ 7.45 each, and the average target of $ 13.50 indicates a possible uptrend of ~ 81% by the end of the year. (See SFT stock analysis on TipRanks) Casper Sleep (CSPR) The next stock we look at, Casper Sleep, is a $ 290 million company in the bedding business. In particular, the company sells mattresses, pillows, bed frames, and bed linen – household items that everyone needs. Casper works mostly online but also has showrooms. The NYC-based company saw profits surge in the second half of 20, with fourth-quarter revenue hitting its highest level since going public in February 2020. These revenues were $ 150.3 million, more than 18% higher than the prior year. Total annual sales reached $ 497 million, a gain of 13% over the previous year. It’s important to note that following the company’s announcement in the third quarter, these profits came from agreements with four major retailers to ship Casper products. Ashley HomeStore, Denver Mattress, Mathis Brothers and Sam’s Club began stocking Casper Sleep bedding, which earned the company a high profile among the largest mattress retailers in the country. Regarding Casper for Piper Sandler, analyst Robert Friedner set an overweight (i.e. buy) rating and a target price of $ 12, which indicates a scope for 70% appreciation over the current share price of $ 7.04. (To view Friedner’s track record, click here.) “CSPR has recovered from a difficult third quarter in which delays in the supply chain negatively impacted sales. The company appears to be operating at a higher level through 2021 as it has diversified its supplier base and has made steady progress in achieving positive EBITDA in the second half of 2021. With sales growth recovering, new product launches in 2021 and simple comparisons, we believe the sales multiple for CSPR … will continue to increase, “noted Friedner. In general, the rest of the street is optimistic about CSPR. The” buy strong “status of the stock results from the 3 purchases and 1 hold issued compared to the previous one The upside potential is 63% slightly below Friedner’s forecast. (See CSPR stock analysis on TipRanks.) Intellicheck Mobilisia (IDN) The spread of online trading – and The general increase in virtual interactions over the Internet – has increased the demand for technical security. Intellicheck is active in this area and offers a range of SaaS products based on a platform for validating chaperone IDs. Intellicheck has a high profile Client base including five top ion financial institutions and over 50 law enforcement agencies. Intellicheck is auc h Strongly represented in retail, where ID validation is used to authenticate customer photo badges. The pandemic that has ravaged brick and mortar retail has hit the company hard, but the economic reopening has expanded business. The company posted record sales of $ 3.12 million in the first quarter of 2020, just before it suffered a major blow at the start of the coronavirus crisis. However, revenue and revenue rebounded, and Intellicheck’s fourth quarter revenue of $ 3.08 million was just 1.2% below that high – an increase of 6% from fourth quarter 19. The company’s SaaS revenue was up compared to the previous year by 18% and compared to the previous quarter by 23%. More importantly, the company posted positive EPS in the fourth quarter, posting earnings of 7 cents per share. This compared to the break-even result in the third quarter and the loss of 5 percent per share in the second quarter. These facts are behind the optimistic assessment of the 5-star analyst Scott Buck. In his coverage for HC Wainwright, Buck sees Intellicheck in a strong position for long-term growth. “[As] Several large states have begun easing COVID-19-related restrictions, and younger people have been or may be vaccinated at this point. We expect scans in the same store to improve by the rest of 2021. New implementations are expected to include more retailers as well as more traditional financial services providers and potential new markets such as healthcare, real estate and standardized testing. While new customers are unlikely to have a significant impact on the results of the quarter, they will see additional revenue in the next 12 months, “wrote Buck. The analyst summarized,” With additional sales reps, we believe the company will be back in will be able to position itself to complete 30 to 40 software implementations in 2021 for significant revenue growth by 2022. To this end, Buck is rating IDN with a Buy rating and its target price of $ 18 implies an upside of 113 % for the next year. (To see Buck’s track record, click here.) Overall, Intellicheck’s consensus rating for strong buy is unanimous, based on 3 recent positive ratings. The stock has an average target price of $ 14.83, which indicates a 75% uptrend for a year at a current price of $ 8.45. (See IDN Stock Analysis on TipRanks.) To find great ideas for trading small-cap stocks at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks ‘Best Stocks to Buy,’ a newly launched tool that has all the insights into TipRanks stocks united. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the presented analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important that you do your own analysis before making any investment.

Martinsville writer traces ‘Highways of the South’ | Leisure

MARTINSVILLE, Virginia – Local writer and photographer Stephen H. Provost makes his way to Highways of the South, the third installment in his American Historic Highways series, available now on Amazon.

The author of “Martinsville Memories” portrays highways as a microcosm of American life, particularly in the south, showing its traditions in roadside attractions, restaurants, and more. On a tour of the region, Provost reveals the complicated history of the south that is reflected in its streets.

The south gave the United States fried chicken and barbecue, NASCAR, and Mayberry. Traveling the highways of the south shows guests from the 1930s, motels from the 1940s, drive-ins from the 1950s, and the billboards of today.

Illustrated with 400 historical and contemporary images of dinosaurs and giant chickens, waffle houses and silencers, “Highways of the South” takes readers on a journey along the highways to discover it all. The companion volumes “Yesterday’s Highways” and “America’s First Highways” are also available.

Stephen H. Provost moved full time to Martinsville, Virginia in 2018 after 30 years of newspaper experience. He is the author of more than 30 books.

Creator Murakami hosts reside jam for leisure amid pandemic | Leisure

TOKYO (AP) – Japanese author Haruki Murakami has a remedy for those who need relaxation from stress and worry in times of a pandemic – Brazilian bossa nova music.

“While we are in a time of fear, I hope to help you relax even a little,” said Murakami, 72, when hosting a live online show: “Murakami Jam – It’s to blame the bossa nova “brings together renowned Japanese artists of bossa nova and jazz.

Despite the pandemic, Murakami – known for bestsellers such as “A Wild Sheep Chase” and “The Wind-up Bird Chronicle” – said he still had a daily routine, including walking and writing, but the frequent world traveler stayed in Japan.

Murakami, who has expressed concern about prejudice and discrimination against coronavirus patients on his radio show, noted that bossa nova’s rhythm has a healing effect.

“I think good music is something that heals people and fuels your kindness,” he said.

During the roughly two-hour show on Sunday, he recited his short story “The1963 / 1982 Girl from Ipanema” in 1982, in which a narrator describes in detail his memory of his meeting with a metaphysical girl from the song with live guitar of his guest Kaori Muraji.

The show can be seen online through February 21st.