We were very excited to read Creekfinding: a True Story because it tells the story of restoring a long-ago creek in an Iowa prairie setting. Just imagine: bringing back the burbling waters, the fish, the insects, the grasses … everything that makes up the health and character of the land. It took bulldozers and determination, partners [...]
A stewardship for our one and only Earth are an abiding concern for many of our planet’s inhabitants. When an author finds an opportunity to share with the world of readers her own passion for conserving our ecosystems, the book Creekfinding: A True Story is created. We hope you’ll find inspiration for your own exploration [...]
While taking a closer look at Creekfinding: A True Story, it is impossible to separate the narrative and the illustrations because together they make the book whole. And yet two different artists created the words and the illustrations that guide the reader toward an understanding of the Brook Creek restoration project. Claudia McGehee notices the [...]
Quirky Book Lists
If your children (or you) are captivated by talent shows on TV, or dreams of acting on the stage, or the next theater production at school, there are a chorus line of books just waiting to audition for your next favorite. Here’s a mixture of classic and new stories, ranging in interest from grades 3 through [...]
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been wishing for an honest-to-goodness superhero to save the day. If adults are feeling that way, kids, who pick up all of our emotions, are wishing for the same thing. Batman and Wonder Woman led the list of most popular Halloween costumes in 2016. The proliferation of superhero [...]
Writing Road Trip
Driving through a tunnel effectively narrows our field of vision. The walls and ceiling restrict our view to only that which is inside the tunnel. It doesn’t matter if there’s a mountain parked on top of the roof, or an ocean of water being held back by the walls: when we’re inside the tunnel, those [...]
Red Reading Boots
It’s been years since I could keep up with my kids reading. When they first began reading independently, I’d often read (or at least skim) the books they were working on so I could ask questions and talk about it with them. Then for several more years, they would simply tell me about whatever [...]
I applied for a grant but I didn’t get it. How on earth would I write my next book?
Two for the Show
Jackie: Recently Phyllis and I read a heart-breaking column in The New York Times, written by author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who wrote many children’s books, and a couple of books for adults. The column, written as a love-note to her husband from a dying wife, was heartfelt, sad, and funny all at the same time. We [...]
We are honored to interview the highly respected Richard Jackson, who is on to his next career as a writer. His most recently published book is all ears, all eyes, a lush and irresistible read-aloud book, illustrated by Katherine Tillitson (Simon & Schuster). We thought we’d take the opportunity to talk with him about the [...]
For this interview, we turn to the illustrator of a new book, all ears, all eyes, whose work I’ve long admired. This is a very special book. Open it and you’ll be captivated by the forest at night. Such unusual art! But, then, her prior books have also been distinctive, each in their own way. [...]
Enjoy this recipe for tomato soup from Creekfinding’s author, Jacqueline Briggs Martin.
My British mom was fond of making these for us as children. It is a cookie (or “biscuit” if you live in the UK!) she knows from her own childhood. The moniker may suggest an unusual, rather disagreeable ingredient, but in reality, no insects were sacrificed for the dough!
Teach It Forward
I’m still relishing the memory of spring break. Surrounded by mountains and plenty of sunshine, I stumbled upon a literacy oasis that up until then, I had only visited in my dreams. Almost a month later, I am still intrigued and inspired by what I experienced. I knew instantly that this magical place would be [...]
This time around, we’re Skinny Dippin’ with Gary Mlodzik, founder of the Grow Your Library initiative within the national literacy foundation Kids Need to Read. Which celebrity, living or not, do you wish would invite you to a coffee shop? Lee Child. I love his writing! I have read every one of the Jack Reacher [...]
Listen to Virginia’s poem, “What She Asked,” on Poetry Mosaic, the April 7th entry, and then read her description of the real-life event behind the poem. In a rural Oregon high school where I taught English more than 20 years ago, we had big teaching areas separated by screen-wall things, but they came nowhere near [...]