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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Recent Articles

Lisa Bullard Sarah Aronson Knock Knock David LaRochelle It's All About the Heart Teach It Forward Maurna Rome Page Break Marion Dane Bauer

True Story

Candice Ransom

Recently I attended a writer’s conference mainly to hear one speaker. His award-winning books remind me that the very best writing is found in children’s literature. When he delivered the keynote, I jotted down bits of his sparkling wisdom. At one point he said that we live in a broken world, but one that’s also [...]



Stopping by the Diner

Lisa Bullard

My dad has a passionate hatred of olives on, in, or even in the general vicinity of his food. He’s convinced their mere presence contaminates anything else on his plate. So when he eats at his favorite small-town diner, he’s always careful to tell the server that he wants his dinner salad without the black [...]



Skinny Dip with Sarah Aronson

Sarah Aronson

Sarah Aronson’s most recent books, The Worst Fairy Godmother Ever (The Wish List #1, Beach Lane Books) and Keep Calm and Sparkle On! (The Wish List #2) are at once lighthearted and serious—stories that are fun to read and encourage working for causes that matter to the world. Sarah is widely known in the children’s book writing [...]



Big Surprise!

Lynne Jonell

Early in my career, once I got the revision letter, it would take me 3 MONTHS to move from fury to confusion to hope (and, finally, to revision).



Thanksgiving Tea

The week before Thanksgiving I was part of a wonderful Thanksgiving-themed Storytime. Excellent books were read: Otis Gives Thanks by Loren Long and Thankful by Eileen Spinelli. We sang through There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Turkey by Lucille Colandro, and Simple Gifts by Chris Raschka. All was going swimmingly—beautiful children, rapt and [...]



The Kindness of Teachers

David LaRochelle

I loved first grade. Fifty-one years later, I still have vivid memories of my teacher, Miss Follett. She played the piano every day. She read to us from her giant book of poetry. She showed us photos of her trips to exotic places, like Alaska and Hawaii. At Halloween we screamed in terror and delight [...]



Biography: How to Decide
What Goes into the Soup Pot (and What Doesn’t)

Susan Latta

It is cold up here in the north country, so lately my thoughts have turned to creating a steaming pot of soup. For soup, you have to hit the highlights; the chicken, onions, a carrot or two. If you toss in too many ingredients, nothing will stand out and the result will be a muddled [...]



Skinny Dip with Mira Bartók

Mira Bartók

Mira Bartók, author and illustrator, recently ushered The Wonderling into the world and it is already on several best of 2017 book lists. Congratulations, Mira, and thanks for sharing your responses with our readers. When did you first start reading books? Age 4. All-time favorite book? The Arrival by Shaun Tan. Favorite breakfast or lunch as [...]



Pie Season

How to Make Apple Pie and See the World

Jackie: This is gratitude season and that is a good reminder. Many of us have plenty to be grateful for and we often forget that while waiting for the next good things. It’s also Pie Season. It is the one time of the year at my house when we have no holds barred on pie. [...]



It’s All About the Heart

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”  ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince Originally this installment of Teach it Forward was going to offer my take on how to foster independence and promote stamina [...]



Predictable Pattern

Lynne Jonell

I used to HATE revision letters. My reactions followed a predictable pattern …



Mighty Jack

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King

We are thrust into the midst of the action, which never stops until the epilogue. This is how Ben Hatke tells a story. We don’t know what’s going on. There’s no setup. Instead, we quickly learn that Jack is climbing some vegetative matter to find the ogre who kidnapped his sister Maddy and take her [...]



Cloth and the Picture Book:
Storytelling with Textile Techniques

Spiike Ugliest Dog in the Universe

Author and illustrator Debra Frasier was invited to lecture on this topic to the Western North Carolina Textile Study Group, and the public, in mid-November 2017. This is the bibliography that accompanies Debra’s presentation, with book selections by Debra Frasier and Vicki Palmquist. If you would like to invite Debra to give this presentation to your [...]



Art and Words, Words and Art

Amanda Panda

Thirty years ago, I bought a poster of “Jungle Tales” by J.J. Shannon (1895) at the Met in New York City. I took it to my favorite framer, but when it was ready, I was horrified to see they’d cut off Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Children’s Bookshop at the bottom, framing just the image.  [...]



A Picture and a Thousand Words

Karen Blumenthal

As a reporter and editor for decades, I often heard people accuse my colleagues and me of “bias,” of having a particular slant on a story—usually a point of view that the accuser disputed. It was a common charge, especially if the issue was controversial. But in truth, reporters are no different than anyone else. [...]



Pickle Voice

Lisa Bullard

I think that what we mean when we talk about “writer’s voice” is a writer’s personality showing up on the page. It emerges through many diverse writing choices, ranging from word usage to tone to rhythm.



Skinny Dip with Susan Yutzey

Susan Yutzey

Susan Yutzey worked as an Ohio school librarian for many years, serving in local, state, and national leadership positions. Now retired, she continues to be a tireless advocate for school libraries and librarians. Who was your favorite teacher in grades K-7 and why? Ms. D’Angelo was my seventh grade teacher. I was a new student [...]



Revision Letter

Lynne Jonell

At long last, the revision letter arrives! Lynne Jonell reflects on this part of the publication process.



The Sameness of Sheep

Candice Ransom

Once, when I discussed my work-in-progress, middle-grade novel with my agent, I told her the character was eleven. “Make her twelve,” she said. “But eleven-year-olds aren’t the same as twelve-year-olds,” I protested. “Those are different ages.” “Make her twelve,” she insisted. “The editor will ask you to change it anyway.” I didn’t finish the book [...]



Mouse Books

We have mice. Hopefully just one, but it’s a brash one, scuttling around the kitchen during breakfast this morning. This happens in the fall at our house. We’ve certainly tried to find where they might be getting in, but they say a mouse only needs a dime-sized hole, and we obviously haven’t found it. Caught [...]



Tiny House, Cozy Cabin

Mary Casanova

A few months ago, my husband and I sold our home of 30 years and decided to live full-time in our cozy cabin in the woods. We left behind greater square footage, a quaint and sometimes bustling village on the waterfront, and a home with lots of family memories. But it was time for a [...]



Marion Dane Bauer

Marion Dane Bauer

Marion Dane Bauer and her books are respected and loved by children, parents, educators, librarians, editors, and writers. She began her career as a novelist, turning to picture books later in her career. Celebrating the release of her newest picture book, the charming Winter Dance, we were curious about how she writes these short books [...]



A Vehicle for Change

Lisa Bullard

I’d heard my mom talk about “duck and cover”: hiding under her school desk from a potential nuclear attack. And I’d participated myself in tornado drills during my own school days, lining up in a basement hallway with our arms covering our heads. None of that prepared me for a lockdown drill. I was on [...]



Melanie Heuiser Hill

Melanie Heuiser Hill

Our Bookstorm this month features Giant Pumpkin Suite, the first novel from Melanie Heuiser Hill (Candlewick Press). Often called debut authors, a first-time author is intriguing for a reader. Is this someone we’ll look forward to reading for many years to come? How will this author grow as they become more experienced at crafting a [...]



Pigs Galore

Gracie LaRoo on the Big Screen

This past September, after years of writing and teaching the writing of realistic YA fiction, I was pleased to launch into the world a set of four early chapter books. Not surprisingly, the challenge of telling a story in 1000 words instead of 60,000 was huge. It was not the only challenge. Instead of focusing [...]



On Growing Older … Old

Marion Dane Bauer

Why is “older” an acceptable word and “old” almost forbidden? To answer my own question, I suppose it’s because we’re all growing older, even the four-year-old next door. But old … ah, old smacks of incompetence, of irrelevance. Even worse, old smacks of that truly obscene-to-our-society word … death. I am approaching my birthday month. [...]