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Tomatoes Ready to Roast

It has become my habit to start Saturday morning with some cooking. Typically, I am prepping for later meals. Today, I needed to roast some tomatoes for a Fennel Compote.

Richard decided to grab the camera when he saw the tomatoes lined up in a row.

tomatoes ready to roast

Wolfsnail Classroom Visits

The lush green days of Spring are here and I’ve been talking about wolfsnails. I visited Spencer Loomis Elementary School in Hawthorne Woods, IL, very near Chicago. Alex D., the daughter of my college roommate, Sarita, goes to Spencer Loomis. We had a great time with private eyes and some garden snails and slugs. Some of the snails were reluctant to move around, but we nudged them with water. The slugs seemed more eager to move; we wondered whether that’s because they have no shells to hid under.
visit to Spencer Loomis
Also, my former neighbor, Shirlene Phillips, found a wolfsnail in her yard so I brought my book to The Redeemer’s School to talk with her students. It was pretty much the same size as the snail I photographed for the book. The 4-year-olds, kindergartners, and first graders had really good questions.

Earlier this month, I spent a few days at the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival with Julie Owen. We presented a session titled Photography and Place: Engaging Projects for Libraries. We pulled together materials related to our presentation on Pinterest here.

 

“Portrait of a Painting” Showing Time

Richard’s Portrait1short film will grace the big screen at Malco Grandview Theater on Saturday, April 11 th, at 11 a.m.

“Portrait” tells the story of a landscape painting created by Jerrod Partridge, a Jackson artist, after a trip to Tuscany, Italy. The painting was commissioned. Richard filmed Jerrod  from start to finish, with some help from our son, Douglas, and from Roderick Red of Red Squared Productions.

The film will be shown along with five other short documentaries selected for the 2015 Crossroads Film Festival.

This image of Jerrod to the left is a screenshot from the film. The image below is an image of the painting itself, also from the film. You can’t get the full effect without the big screen, unfortunately. Jerrod used handmade paper as his canvas.

 

 

Portrait2

 

Richard’s “Portrait” Film Selected by Crossroads Film Festival

XFF Laurel_OFFICIAL_SELECT_White_2015I am very excited to announce that Richard’s short film, “Portrait of a Painting,” was chosen for the 2015 Crossroads Film Festival.

The film chronicles the creation of a landscape painting by Jerrod Partridge, an artist who lives in our neighborhood. It will be shown at Malco Grandview Theatre in Madison, Miss., on April 11.

“Portrait” is Richard’s first film, though he has been creating with moving pictures for about four years. Most of that work has been created to help market our three pictures books and to spread the word about Hope Enterprise Corporation and Hope Credit Union.

Crossroads Film Festival features work by artists from Mississippi and around the world. #XRoadsFF

Filming for “Portrait” stretched over several months. Richard had help from Roderick Red of Red Squared Productions and our youngest son, Douglas Campbell.

Mysterious Patterns Finalist for The Cook Prize

MP cover Such wonderful news came in last week. Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature  was chosen as one of four finalists for The Cook Prize for best STEM picture book.

This prize is given by The Bank Street Center for Children’s Literature. It is unique among prizes for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) books in that the winner is chosen by third and fourth grade students. If you are a teacher or librarian and want your students to participate, please click here to register.

The other finalists this year are Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle by Cheryl Bardoe, illus. by Alan Marks (Charlesbridge), Galápagos George by Jean Craighead George, illus. by Wendell Minor (Harper), and Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis, illus. by Gilbert Ford (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Cheryl Bardoe, author of Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle, is also a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism’s master’s program. She and I did a fireside together four years ago when I was in Evanston promoting Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Number in Nature. Read about that here.

 

Korean Edition of Growing Patterns

Look what was waiting for me when I got home today: my first look at the Korean Edition of Growing Patterns: Fibonacci Numbers in Nature.

Korean Growing PatternsThe Korean edition was published by Woongjin Think Big Co., Ltd. Here’s a look at an inside page:

inside GP Korean

I don’t read Korean, but I have some friends who do. I’ll have to see what they think.

New Website

Richard built me a new website. Click here to check it out and see what you think. Please let me know if something is not working.

Louisiana Book Festival

I’ll be in Baton Rouge Friday and Saturday for the Louisiana Book Festival. Come see my presentation on Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature at 10:15 a.m. in the State Library’s First Floor Seminar Center. At 11:15 a.m., I’ll be signing books at the Barnes & Noble Jr. tent. For more about the festival, click here.

 

All The Way at New Stage Theatre

All the Way PosterI watched the Tony Award-winning play, “All The Way,” last night at New Stage Theatre, and I enthusiastically recommend it.

The events of the play take place during the first year President Lyndon Johnson was in office and center on the passage of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964. Watching interactions between Johnson and the other major characters in the drama — from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to J. Edgar Hoover to George Wallace to Fannie Lou Hamer — made me think of the famous quote attributed to Otto von Bismark: “If you like laws and sausages, you should never watch either one being made.”

The language ranges from raunchy, vulgar, and vitriolic to the elevated discourse of a Nobel Peace Prize speech. I joined many others in the audience in laughing out loud (Johnson’s hardball tactics with unsympathetic characters like former Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett), and feeling a part of an Amen corner (during Dave Dennis’ speech at James Chaney’s funeral and Fannie Lou Hamer’s testimony at the 1964 Democratic Convention in Atlantic City).

Director Francine Thomas Reynolds has staged an excellent production of this first rate play with a large cast, including many local actors. There is a tremendous amount of history packed into just shy of three hours, but the play never drags.

One thing that this play makes crystal clear is that Johnson knew the risk to the Democratic Party of pursuing the Civil Rights Act (losing Southern white votes for at least a generation), but he did it anyway. “We have talked long enough in this country about equal rights. It is time now to write the next chapter – and to write it in the books of law.”

I left wanting to ask more questions:

  • How much of the dialogue from telephone conversations was from White House recordings? I thought Oval Office recording began with Nixon, but I’ve heard conversations between President Kennedy and Ross Barnett in other documentaries.
  • What was the final outcome of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party compromise at the Atlantic City convention? I know how the confrontation changed the Democratic Party’s rules for delegate selection.
  • On what does the playwright Robert Schenkkan base his dialogue among various factions in the Civil Rights Movement? Conversations between the NAACP’s Roy Wilkins, SCLC’s King and Abernathy, and SNCC’s Bob Moses and Stokely Carmichael are lively and detailed.

Thank you, New Stage for bringing this play to Jackson. It is especially relevant in this year when we mark the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, the Civil Rights Act, and the Atlantic City Democratic National Convention. And, in our run-up to the mid-term elections.

 

Fractals in Asheville

Home from a great trip to Asheville, North Carolina, where I met friends and talked a lot about fractals. After the book stuff, I went to a family wedding. But first, Asheville … I met up with Joe D’Agnese and Denise Kiernan. Joe wrote Blockhead, a picture book biography of Fibonacci that came out in the same season as Growing Patterns. We enjoyed wonderful food and fellowship.

Malaprops

I signed books at Malaprop’s Bookstore.

hall fletcher
I did a presentation for 4th and 5th graders at Hall Fletcher Elementary School, and made fractals with 5th graders.

group pic
Those of you who follow me on Facebook will know that I also sat for an interview with Greta Johnsen, the co-host of Nerdette, a podcast that is distributed by WBEZ in Chicago. I’ll keep you posted for when that will air.

Like true kindred spirits, Joe and Denise had sunflowers in their garden. I love sunflowers.

flower1ash

flower2ash

Fibonacci Folding Book Project – iPad App

One of the things that got lost in the shuffle of my extra busy summer was the news that Richard developed a brand new version of the Fibonacci Folding Book Project App for the iPad. Back when Apple introduced a new operating system, it knocked out the original App out of action.

Fib Book

The brand new Fibonacci Folding Book Project App is formatted like a magazine and includes step-by-step instructions on making the Fibonacci Folding Book with your students. It’s free from iTunes!!

The version for Android tablets remains available on Google Play.

The photograph above shows an example of a first grader’s work, making the Fibonacci Folding Book Project. See more about this project here.

Video from the Sky: Drone in Maine, New Hampshire

During our recent trip, Richard took along his DJI Phantom II drone and GoPro Hero 3 camera. Here’s the video he edited with his footage.

2014-07Vacation from richard campbell on Vimeo.