We are pleased to feature No Monkeys, No Chocolate as our August book selection, in which author and science writer Melissa Stewart, along with Allen Young and illustrator Nicole Wong share the interdependent ecosystem that creates the right conditions for cacao beans to be grown and harvested so we can produce chocolate. This ecosystem is set in [...]
We are so pleased to have author and science speaker Melissa Stewart take time away from her very busy book-writing schedule to share her answers to burning questions we had after reading No Monkeys, No Chocolate, our Bookstorm this month. Melissa, when do book ideas usually come knocking on your brain? Ideas can come anytime, anywhere—so [...]
Though I’m reluctant to admit it, some of the most rewarding moments of my career have come when I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and attempted things I didn’t think I could do: write for teenagers, illustrate a book with tricky paper engineering, tackle nonfiction.
Teach It Forward
It’s no secret that I am a big fan of books and reading. I am actually an even bigger fan of babies. I am instantly smitten. I can think of nothing better than cuddling an infant, blanketed by that new baby smell, reading to an audience of one. You can imagine how thrilled I am [...]
I had pretty much given up on finding an appropriate gift for my dad’s 82nd birthday; the last thing he needed was more stuff. So I headed off to the family lake cabin for the 4th of July holiday (also his birthday weekend) with the thought that I’d figure out a clever celebratory idea at [...]
Two for the Show
Phyllis: Tomi Ungerer has written and illustrated over 30 books for children, along with over 100 other books. I didn’t know much about him until Jackie suggested we do a blog on him, and I’m so glad she did. I came home from the library with a stack of his books, which range widely from [...]
For this interview, we visit with Pamela S. Turner, children’s book author with two new books out in 2016, Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune and Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the World’s Brightest Bird: Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop? Sir Richard Francis [...]
I recently had the honor of interviewing Marsha Wilson Chall, the author of the new picture book, The Secret Life of Figgy Mustardo, and her editor, Jill Davis. Marsha Wilson Chall grew up an only child in Minnesota, where her father told her the best stories. The author of many picture books, including Up North at [...]
Is chocolate, in any form, one of your favorite foods? Then you’ll be fascinated by our featured books this month. No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart, Allen Young, and Nicole Wong is an excellent guide to understanding where our chocolate comes from (even if the part about maggots and ants’ brains is an eeeewww [...]
Inspired by our Bookstorm feature this month, No Monkeys, No Chocolate, bake this rich chocolate cake, and indulge in every sweet chocolate-raspberry bite.
I really do like the coffee shop for writing. That little bit of noise and movement takes up just a little of my attention …
Is it a good Idea? Read on …
Writing Road Trip
I may not have to ﬁght off paparazzi like a movie star, but I’m still spy-worthy when my knickers are down. And roadies don’t load my car, but oftentimes I feel like a rock star before the day of a school visit is over.
Writing Road Trip
When I was a kid, a visit from my Texas grandparents guaranteed horizon-expanding experiences. For one thing, we were exposed to food choices not common to our little house in Minnesota’s north woods. I’m not talking about chili—my Texan father cooked that all the time. I’m talking about Grandma drinking hot Dr. Pepper instead [...]
I’m more comfortable with magic than I am with science. Married to a science guy, I work harder to be interested in science. It gives us something to talk about. When I find narrative nonfiction that tells a compelling story, I’m thankful … and intrigued. I’m particularly happy to find books that feature lesser-known aspects [...]
Warning: There’s a lot of enthusiasm ahead for these books! Where Do Pants Go? Written by Rebecca Van Slyke, illustrated by Chris Robertson Sterling Children’s Books, 2016 Well, this is just adorable … and I can already hear households throughout the English-speaking world chanting: “Where do pants go? On your arms? No. On your neck? [...]
Red Reading Boots
When I was doing storytime weekly, a book about a bookworm starling was in my regular rotation. Yes, you read that right—a Bookworm Starling. That’s exactly what Calvin (the starling) is—a bookworm. And that is his shame—his cousins call him “nerdie birdie,” “geeky beaky,” and “bookworm.” Unusual (gently derogatory) labels for a starling. Not that [...]